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Expanding our minds and horizons through language

Maria Shinina Associate Staff Writer ———————–——- If I were to ask you what you thought language was, what would be your first thought? Probably “a form of communication” right? Well, language actually lies much deeper than the simplified sentiment of “communication.”   Language is the key to unlocking every door on this earth, whether it be a room, a country, a culture, or even an outlook on life. Every speech has its own nuances, traced to the etymological background of the language. Thus, bilingualism, or fluency in multiple languages, has significant impacts on the way we shape ourselves, our lives, our personalities, and our behaviors. Have you ever been told you become a completely different character when you speak in another language? Well, the attitude and cultural significance that you place on any language plays a role in how you present your personality.   Similarly, bilingualism allows for the development of your cultural palette. By being bilingual, you expose yourself to different ideas and can form your own thinking based on that exposure. This helps enhance social skills, as there’s more room for communication and personal connection with a brand new culturally diverse set of individuals.   Have you ever heard someone sound blunt and aggressive in one language, but cheery and bright in the other one? Well, that’s tied into the cultural aspects behind each language and the phonetics that influence the mouth’s speech and pronunciation of various sounds.   As our mouth learns the different syllables and sounds of the language, it becomes more accustomed to transition between the different languages. This also explains why several bilinguals thrive in learning more languages, as their mouths are already well-experienced in a wide range of phonetics and phonology.    Additionally, language also affects the mind. Bilingualism is tied into the structural subcortical regions of the brain that control language and speech. In this region, multilingual individuals see improved cognitive processing, as well as enhanced executive control and a lowered risk of neurodegenerative disorders like dementia or Alzheimer’s.   Research has also found that bilingualism enhances cognitive abilities. Bilingual individuals typically have advanced attention and multitasking skills due to the brain’s heightened executive control in toggling back and forth between languages. A recent study was conducted with monolinguals and bilinguals examining how increased language processing affects brain wave activity. Ultimately, it was found that bilinguals exuded significantly higher activity in the five left-hemisphere language learning regions, which was determined through tasks of retrieval.   Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds to just pick up Duolingo and suddenly expect to be completely fluent in a foreign language. As we age, it becomes exponentially more difficult to gain fluency in new languages as our brains become less elastic. New sentence structures and conjugation rules are difficult to internalize, especially if they are not from the same language family as our original tongue.    Children typically exceed with understanding new languages due to their immature prefrontal cortex, which helps them achieve mastery in new languages with little effort from their end.   However, older age should still not discourage anyone with enthusiasm towards a foreign language, since there is evidence that language learning at any age increases neuroplasticity of the mind.   There are actually multiple perks tied into being bilingual beyond neurological benefits, after all. This brain-altering skill is sought after in the employment world, as employers will go as far as to compete with others for strong, multilingual employees that can interact with customers of a different tongue with ease.   In fact, according to the Gitnux Marketdata Report in 2023, 66% of customer service positions in the United States are held by bilingual individuals. Furthermore, a study of insurance claims processors found that being bilingual boosted work efficiency by 22%. In the work field, bilinguals clearly have the upper hand, as they are more marketable and can work with other employers who don’t speak English.   This skill is even more advantageous in school. Tying back to the executive control and cognitive flexibility of being bilingual, those who balance two languages have outstanding problem-solving skills and an impeccable ability to face and adjust to academic challenges.   For example, bilingual students typically have far stronger pre-reading skills compared to their monolingual counterparts due to their cognitive flexibility allowing them to quickly switch between concepts. Bilingual students are set up for fundamental communication and problem-solving strategies that will navigate them through the rest of their academic journey.   Focusing on the broader aspect of bilingualism, the United States has only 20% of residents possessing the knowledge of two languages, whereas 67% of the European population is bilingual. This disparity is caused by the homogenous nature of American culture—unfortunately the average American student only begins learning a new language in sixth grade. Additionally, several American schools are inadequate with their teaching styles towards languages, landing students at a first-grade mastery even after several years of classes.   Furthermore, if we dive deeper into New York State, even though the language standards are more rigorous compared to other states, students still lack fluency by the end of their senior year. This is why many argue that though the language programs at Brighton attempt to be as immersive as possible, the teaching styles of the languages and the age block of learning new languages is hindering students from becoming proficient in their language of study.   In fact, several students find themselves quitting their language by senior year due to lack of progress and simply losing interest in the subject, as language is not emphasized any importance in the overall curriculum.   Ultimately, bilingualism has proven to be multifaceted. There are benefits between education, flexible cognitive thinking and speech adaptations, so why not start learning? Language is only continuing to diversify our culture and further expand our interconnected world. Maybe it’s time to hop onto Duolingo, pick your favorite language and begin a daily streak– what is there to lose?



Music therapy: diving into both music and our mind

Daniela Nobles Associate Staff Writer ———————–——- Have you ever experienced the surreal feeling of rolling down the windows and blasting some Taylor Swift while driving? Maybe relaxing to some LoFi beats while preparing for your big math test? Or maybe some tragic ballads when you're feeling down? Even though we all listen to music for the melodious tunes and relatability of each song, not many people realize the deeper impact music has on our minds. In fact, several studies have shown that both listening and contributing to music helps your mental and physical health, hence the wonderful creation of music therapy.   With its endless layers and sounds, music allows humanity to meld our backgrounds and experiences together into new genre—bending compositions.  These new sounds define generations and revolutionize culture. The defining impact of music has provided humanity with an expressive outlet. Much of the power music holds lies in its impact on mental health. By utilizing the Iso Principle—a method of matching songs to your current mood and then shifting the songs to shift your energy, so one can guide their psyche towards peace.   For instance, the day following a painful breakup, you can intentionally partition your day into three movements to begin the recovery process.   Firstly, acknowledging the weight of your sadness with the melancholy lyrics of Phoebe Bridgers and Lord Huron is essential. Next, ease yourself out of the wallowing with the audibly textured beats of Frank Ocean and SZA, who still explore themes of love and loss yet through more fast—paced, distracting tracks. Finally, tune into the special artists personal to you, whose tracks remind you of summer and elicit joy.   Even though such situations are daunting and uncomfortable, studies show that by leaning on music to reframe one's mindset, it's possible to regain control by regulating emotions towards comfort and stability.  Usually, the Iso Principle doesn’t get too dangerous, unless you’re listening to songs for long periods of time. For example, jamming out to intense music for hours is unhealthy and can lead to high levels of cortisol and noradrenaline production, which are neurotransmitters linked to high levels of stress and the fight-or-flight instinctual state.  However, that’s not to say that music is dangerous. Listening to music is extremely beneficial when studying. Our brains are wired to connect music with long-term memory, so listening to the right music will improve focus and memorization. In general, the greatest genres to listen to range from classical all the way to jazz due to their stimulating sounds. While the Iso Principle is used through personal experimentation, there is an entire field of well-trained professionals specifically trained to wield music to aid their patients through music therapy. Music therapy is the clinical use of songs to reduce stress and high levels of anxiety. This form of therapy involves a wide spectrum of activities, from music improvisation and song writing to meditative listening and active music lyric analysis.   There are many ways to interpret and utilize music therapy, the most basic of which being listening to music. When we listen to any type of music, our blood flows at a heightened level to the limbic system—the area in the brain that controls emotion. Then, our minds begin to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that rewards stimulation with feelings of satisfaction and motivation. As your body recognizes and becomes more familiar with the song, our minds begin to anticipate excitement when hearing those first known notes due to the rush of dopamine.   Not only does listening to music influence our dopamine release but facilitates neurogenesis - the process of forming new neurons in the hippocampus. This neurological development has been shown to improve cognitive functions such as memory or learning. Incredibly, physical health can vastly improve all due to the act of listening to music.     Another form of music therapy, which is a little less common, is lyric analysis—when you look over lyrics to any chosen song and highlight the lines that stood out to you or related to you the most. Then, you discuss what lines you chose and why these lyrics were so meaningful to you. This is a great clinical tool, as it helps individuals' emotions in a safe manner and guides them through any of their emotions or feelings such as grief, loss, happiness, etc.       Although music therapy is popular, how will it continue to develop in the near future? Several schools and facilities are already planning on implementing music therapy. Playing music during tests, classwork, etc., could improve and advance student’s levels of concentration.    Some education systems are in the works of implementing music studios and lounges for students to further stimulate academic concentration. In fact, Brighton is already instilling this in our very own school. Currently, the librarians are working on a record-listening lounge located in the lower library.   Additionally, although many schools strongly advise, but don’t force students to take up musical instruments or singing, studies have favored students taking up mandatory singing/instrument lessons at school. As debriefed earlier, adolescents who participate in musical training typically have higher academic achievement and better cognitive skills when being tested.   Not only would implementing music-based learning and therapy be impactful at schools, but in several other facilities. For example, music is highly versatile in the medical field. Music can be used as a diverse treatment, especially when it’s accompanied with medications.   A 2022 study has shown that those with Parkinson’s disease can utilize rhythmic auditory stimulation, which helps individuals to match their movements to the sounds of music and music-based therapy to improve their motor functions and increase walking speed. However, this is just one example of the vast benefits in the medical world. Ultimately, music therapy has the clinical goal of improving one’s well-being   Music is something everybody listens to, whether it’s while doing your homework, driving back from a long day of school, or chilling out on your bed with a good book. Next time when you catch yourself going on Spotify, remember the impacts of that song.


A vicious serial killer, historical narratives, and the pop culture of crime 

Vivienne Biedenkopf Written Spring 2023 for an independent study Edited Winter 2024 by Trap Staff ———————–——- F A N S O F T R U E C R I M E For fans of true crime stories there are moments of glorious satisfaction when, through our vicarious investigation, connections are made, and truths are revealed, no matter how gruesome or shocking. It becomes even more intense when the connections to the crime are close to home. What had been innocent landmarks become shaded in mystery and lights are cast upon idealized local histories revealing harsh alternative realities, as Charles Dickens called it, “a tale of two cities.” I’ve been a true crime fan for as long as I can remember. In my near 16 years, I probably have listened to hundreds of crime podcasts, read numerous crime stories and watched a handful of documentaries on some of the most heinous murders in history. I likely started younger than child psychologists would advise, but in my family, if something is for educational purposes it generally gets a pass. I was fascinated not by any criminal but by serial killers. I learned about as many cases as I could, and—like the investigators on the cases—made connections, drew conclusions, and was addicted to the big reveals. This pursuit went on for years until one case struck uncomfortably close to home. S E R I A L K I L L E R S The recent Dahmer series on Netflix brought a lot of renewed attention to his name and the crimes, along with criticism of the reenactment for being insensitive to the victims’ families. It was in the context of pop-crime that I discovered the less trending, Arthur Shawcross, Rochester, New York’s most brutal serial killer, whom I now know, lived just a couple miles from my house and across the street from my grandfather’s medical office. T H E G I L D E D A G E I live in Brighton, New York, a suburb of Rochester. Rochester is a mid-sized, lack-luster, historic city in the northwestern section of the empire state, located off Interstate-90, between Syracuse and Buffalo. Notable historic leaders associated with Rochester include Frederick Douglas, Susan B. Anthony, and George Eastman. Rochester is also famed for the companies that developed the Erie Canal and utilized the city’s hydroelectric power source, the Genesee River, to advance businesses. Rochester was founded in the late 18th century primarily as a flourmill center and by the early 20th century was one of the most entrepreneurial centers in the US. Iconic companies, Xerox, Kodak and Bausch and Lomb, were founded in Rochester. In the city’s golden age, Kodak employed over 60,000 people in Rochester and over 150,000 around the world. In the mid-20th century Rochester was internationally respected as a bustling center for imaging and innovation. Between the 1950s and 1980s, the city was promoted by its large corporations and chamber of commerce as a most desirable place to live. By the 1990s, however, the giant corporate presence started to weaken. Their businesses and the panache of Rochester were in decline. Xerox and Bausch and Lomb moved their headquarters from Rochester to Connecticut and Ontario, respectively. In 2012, the great Eastman Kodak Company filed for bankruptcy. The gilded age of Rochester was over, but local communal pride and an idealized vision of Rochester stuck. T A R N I S H E D P A S T According to family folklore, my mum convinced my European father to move to Rochester in 2007, eight weeks before I was born, because it was said to be home to major corporations and a good place to raise kids. My mum grew up in suburban Rochester when Rochester was in its prime, and clouded by nostalgia, she omits other, darker sides of Rochester when telling its tale, the darkest being the worlds of prostitution and murder. So, it was with fascination and surprise when I learned of a sinister side of Rochester’s past upon discovering the Genesee River Killer, Arthur Shawcross. Arthur Shawcross was an American serial killer who was active in the 1970s and 80s. He mutilated and murdered at least twelve victims in Rochester, and he brutally murdered two children prior to moving here. In the crime world, Shawcross is notoriously known for his gruesomeness and the disturbing nature of his crimes. Investigators reported the gutting, dismemberment and mutilation of mostly poor people. Those who are not true crime fanatics may have never heard of him. Despite the extent and fierceness of his killings, I found no evidence of public hysteria in Rochester at the time of his killings. My research on Shawcross was limited to local newspapers that revisited the story years later, crime websites, articles from psychology publications that debated Shawcross’s mental state, and an obscure documentary where viewers can chillingly watch and listen to Shawcross tell his horrific tale. All these sources revealed the seriousness of the situation in late 1980s Rochester, but interestingly there is no sensationalism, as can be found when researching the “big names” in crime history. The lack of sensationalism and having to dig harder to find information about this killer seemed fitting for a 20th century serial killer in Rochester. A heinous serial killer such as Shawcross had no place in an idealistic, historic narrative of the city. ------Continue reading from here if you came from the print artricle.------ O R I G I N S O F A K I L L E R Arthur Shawcross was born on June 6, 1945 in Kittery, Maine. His family moved to Watertown, New York when Arthur was very young. At that time, Watertown was a small frontier town near the Canadian border, a far cry from the military base city my family and I know from our annual summer trips driving to Canada. As a child, Shawcross exhibited problematic behavior, including frequent bed-wetting and bullying. Psychologists today characterize bedwetting as one part of the Mac Donald Triad: a series of behaviors, also including killing animals, and an obsession with fire, that when demonstrated in childhood, indicate the possibility of violent tendencies later in life. Unsurprisingly, he was also known to be an arsonist. Shawcross had a below average IQ and dropped out of school after failing the ninth grade. In his late adolescent years, he committed some small crimes and received his first probationary sentence. Disturbingly, Shawcross has made claims that his mother molested him and that he had sexual relations with his sister. The family has denied this, claiming that he had a “normal” childhood and that he was imagining these traumas. Were they a family trying to protect themselves or were they telling the truth? It was found later that Shawcross would change his stories as he was interviewed and investigated, and because of this, we have no way of knowing the truth of Shawcross’s childhood. At age 21, Arthur Shawcross was drafted into the army for the Vietnam War. At this time, he also divorced his first wife and left his 18-month-old son, never to see him again. In Vietnam, Shawcross claimed he witnessed atrocities, but it was later found out that he was never in such a position where this was possible. His fabrications make it difficult to piece together a biography. Irrespective of truth, it seems like Shawcross wanted to be associated with gruesomeness and atrocities. It is also possible that he was a master manipulator, who spun his experiences into something that could rationalize his actions. After returning from Vietnam, Shawcross married his second wife, Linda, but he was divorced soon after due to his criminal behavior. In 1969, crimes of arson and burglary earned Shawcross a five-year sentence at Attica Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison off I-90, only forty miles west of Rochester. After serving for almost two dozen months, Shawcross was released early on parole due to his role in helping a guard during the Attica prison riot of September 1971. He returned to his hometown of Watertown, New York, and that is when the killings began. T H E F I R S T K I L L I N G S Shawcross’s first two victims were young kids in Watertown in 1972. The first was a ten-year-old boy, Jack Owen Blake, whom he took “fishing.” Jack Owen Blake had blond hair, freckles, big ears, and a pug nose. He was a sweet and fun-loving fifth grader and the seventh of nine children. The boy’s body was found five months later with signs of sexual assault and strangulation. Just before the discovery of the boy’s body, 8-year-old Karen Ann Hill’s body was found under a bridge. She had been raped, and sources say that there was mud, leaves, and debris stuffed in her mouth and clothes. Neighbors saw her with Shawcross near the bridge right before she disappeared, and he was arrested the next day. He pleaded guilty to both killings and was sentenced to a maximum of twenty-five years. After serving fourteen years of his sentence, Arthur Shawcross was released due to lack of evidence tying him to the Jack Blake case and after it was concluded by social workers that he was “no longer dangerous.” They could not have been more wrong; he was just getting started. T H E G E N E S E E R I V E R K I L L E R After being released from prison, Shawcross moved around a lot. It was hard for him to settle anywhere, as his criminal record was made known to the public. He moved to Binghamton, Delhi, and Fleischmanns, NY, and eventually to Rochester with his girlfriend, Rose Marie Walley, in June of 1987. They temporarily lived in a hotel for transients and eventually settled at 241 Alexander Street, in the East-End of Rochester, which, ironically, was across the street from a hospital. My grandfather used to have his medical office on Alexander Street. In a multigenerational connection, my grandfather drove by the house of this killer on his way to and from work every day. Today the Shawcross house is a refurbished condo, painted a somber black. And it’s no longer just one of the homes of Alexander Street. It’s the home of one of the most notorious serial killers in history. When Shawcross moved to Rochester in 1987, his criminal record was sealed to prevent public alarm. The public had no idea a vile killer had moved to town. Less than a year after moving to Rochester, in March of 1988, Shawcross began killing again. His first victim is believed to be Dorothy Blackburn, a 27-year-old prostitute whom he strangled. The body was found in the Genesse River. So many of his victims were found in proximity to the Genesee River, that the press named Shawcross the “Genesee River Killer”, adding a new, dark dimension to the river I know so well as the home to my rowing team. The next murders were believed to have occurred in September, October, and November of 1989. It is said that it was not until the body of 26-year-old June Stott, who was neither a prostitute nor drug user, was found on Thanksgiving Day, that the FBI was brought in to assist local law enforcement. Patterns of behavior led investigators to believe they were dealing with a serial killer and they organized “war rooms” to investigate the killer’s identity. It was determined by profilers that the killer returned to the crime scene, either to conceal the body or because he found pleasure in the fresh kill. Between December of 1989 and January of 1990, three more bodies turned up. They were all young, female prostitutes. Shawcross’s victims ranged in age, from as young as eight years to as old as 59 , but most were young women in their 20s or 30s. He believed all his victims deserved to die. Authorities did run background checks, but the sealing of Shawcross’s records prevented him from coming up as a possible suspect. On January 2, 1990, police had finally made a breakthrough. A man was spotted on a bridge near one of the murder victims by a police helicopter. He managed to get away, but the police were able to background check the license plate on the van he drove, leading to the arrest of Arthur Shawcross on January 4, 1990. The Genesee River Killer’s 21-month long killing spree was over. There were at least 12 victims in the Rochester area. T R I A L A N D A R R E S T Arthur Shawcross agreed to cooperate with the police, confessing to eleven murders (he was never charged with the 12th). Between his arrest in January of 1990 and his trial in November of 1990, he wrote a shocking eighty-page long confession. It was revealed that Shawcross always blamed the victim for their death, saying that they did something that made them deserve to die. When describing his murders, Shawcross reportedly had no emotion or remorse. During his trial, Shawcross’s attorneys tried to argue that he was insane, but the court didn’t agree. A famous psychologist, Dorothy Otnow Lewis, testified that Shawcross had brain damage, multiple personalities disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and a history of being sexually abused. Lewis is famous for her work on the Ted Bundy case and her belief that people are not born evil. She argued that because of his mental state, Shawcross should be institutionalized instead of going to prison. The court disagreed. Ultimately, he was sentenced to 250 years in prison, and this time, he wasn’t getting out. In a bizarre complement to Shawcross’s ghastly nature, he spent his years in prison creating colorful artwork of butterflies, wildlife, and nature. He mailed some of his drawings and paintings to art dealers, resulting in his work being posted on the internet and Shawcross being compensated. The same twisted mind that was responsible for the deaths of many was now capitalizing off of it. Interestingly, this exposition wasn’t shut down because a monster was now being viewed as an artist, but because it is illegal for inmates to sell their artwork. Arthur Shawcross died in prison in 2008, at the age of 63. W H Y O B S C U R I T Y ? Reading of and listening to investigators who were on the case, it is evident the Shawcross case exhausted law enforcement for over 15 months. And one certainly could argue their job was made more difficult by the sealed records that prevented a city from knowing a convicted killer was in town. The FBI moved into Rochester, the story was covered in newspapers, and top psychologists in the country, like Dorothy Otnow Lewis, were involved in the Shawcross trial. Yet, the name Arthur Shawcross didn’t seem to instill mass hysteria at the time, and today is still rather unknown. Unlike Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, Son of Sam, and Jack the Ripper, it is a challenge to find diverse and reliable sources on Arthur Shawcross. To gauge popular awareness of the Genesee River Killer, I surveyed 10 peers on their familiarity with Son of Sam, Jack the Ripper and Arthur Shawcross. None of them had heard of Shawcross. Jack the Ripper, who murdered and mutilated prostitutes in 19th century London, is legendary. But what makes Ripper famous is not the terror he inflicted upon London but that he is known as the first serial killer to have mutilated his victims. The London public was likely shocked by his actions but not terrorized. David Berkowitz, the “Son of Sam”, confessed to murdering eight women, fewer than Shawcross, yet is one of the most well-known serial killers, likely because of the terror he inflicted on one of the largest cities in the world, New York. In the 1970s,Berkowitz targeted and shot dead “everyday” women with long dark hair. Because Berkowitz targeted women with long, brown hair, hundreds of women in New York City cut their hair short and bleached it blond. Berkowitz had an effect on “everyday people”, which I believe propelled his notoriety. Shawcross’ victims, on the other hand, were mainly women in the world of vice, not a concern of the everyday civilian, and perhaps, an undesirable side of Rochester's history it does not want to implicate itself with. Prostitution is illegal in the US, making association with it a crime. While it may not instill terror upon the public, it is estimated that women involved in street prostitution are over sixty times more likely to be murdered than non-prostitutes, making it not only the oldest, but the most dangerous occupation. Is Shawcross’s relative obscurity because he was not terrifying to enough people? Is it because his victims were the marginalized, undesirables of a city that was trying to hold onto an ideal narrative? Could it be that the public is not surprised by the deaths of prostitutes? Or does it only seem that Arthur Shawcross is relatively unknown, from my perspective, and that of my peers, who live in a world outside the world of vice and law enforcement? The answer to “why obscurity” is likely a combination of all of these, and more. Irrespective, for sure a Genesee River Killer does not synch well with ideal histories of the mighty Genesee River and a prided Gilded Age of Rochester. R E F L E C T I O N O N T R U E C R I M E I have heard that a dilemma for essay writers and journalists is how to get close to your subject but not so close that you become the subject. That concern does not fit well with true crime story junkies who vicariously insert themselves into the stories and are addicted to the big reveal. The subject here is Arthur Shawcross, but the subject is also an idealized historical narrative of my hometown and the great reveal that something very horrible took place here. Discovering Arthur Shawcross was a thrill, made more real by every heinous detail. I got to uncover an alternative tale of the city of Rochester. My excitement was fueled by a dark satisfaction of tarnishing the privileged Gilded Age. I was drawn to this subject for the buzz, but I will conclude with a somber admission. My excitement, and the excitement of thousands of serial killer fans driving the pop culture of true crime, exists because innocent victims died, many of them horrifically. Their lives, along with the larger world that they existed within, are excluded from the historical narratives of wealth and glory that we look back upon.



Ingenious or endangering: the 3D printing debate

Gloria Milosevic Associate Staff Writer ———————–—— Imagine a world where you could print anything you want. Running late to school? You could print your lunch. Need a pencil for your homework, but can’t find any near you? Print your own pencil to use. 3D printing is growing because of its amazing benefit of convenient items at your disposal. This concept was developed around the 1980s in Japan and France but was only later made public in 1988 by cofounder of 3D Systems, Charles Hull. This first release made revolutionary tides towards how the average individual works. People can work and create new products without relying on any big firm tech companies and avoid paying unreasonable prices. This form of printing is done by layering material over itself and letting it cure to form the 3D model. However, the advantage comes in when the prototypes of whatever design your printing, are made within hours, compared to the months and even years of time it takes to create that same prototype through manufacturing. This system is also much cheaper and creates a more efficient end product. 3D printers can also serve to create models that demonstrate visualizing concepts into life. This can especially be useful towards architectural, medical, and education models. For instance, architects can utilize 3D printing to show physical designs of their site plans. 3D printing really emphasizes what core structural elements could be needed to improve the design. This is only one example of the endless possibilities among 3D printing. These printers can also create different tools and functional parts that are once again easily produced. This feature is especially useful for producing inaccessibly parts needed for a manufacturing item. 3D printing’s ability to efficiently create complex products at the click of a button is the main appeal behind this phenomenon. Several industries utilize this form of printing for improvement in their field. For example, in the medical field, 3D scanning techniques are present in MRI’s, X-Ray’s and CT scans. The images go through a process called segmentation, where data is segmented to highlight areas of anatomy that need to be scanned. This technique helps save significant time, compared to the traditional approaches of scanning. Printers are also extremely useful in aviation. 3D printing can create functional parts for increasingly complex designs such as engine and turbine parts, and at a much cheaper price compared to buying these parts for as much as 10,000 dollars. The duration to create these parts is also vastly lower; the printing can take as little as 30 minutes to print out, compared to building the parts from scratch, that can take about 3 months. Additionally, products like shoes, eye wear, and jewelry are also aided by 3D printers. Let’s consider an essential item for individuals who have poor eyesight: glasses. Glasses lenses have been drastically improved by creating accurate lenses and using miniature droplets to create a stronger prescription based on the eyes’ prescription. Not only glasses, but if you want to improve your outfit, you can easily print out a beautiful set of earrings that takes seconds to produce and makes your outfit look more stylish. Going back to the various industries affected by 3D printing, education is an area that has been experimented on. Education is the most important concept for a student, and as a society, we are always trying to better our schooling system. Luckily, 3D printers have been able to conquer this mountain of bettering. So far, schools have implemented the utilization of these printers, causing an improved amount of learning and engaging discussions among the students. A common 3D printer used in education is Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) that serves as a machine to heat up partial molten materials made in specific layers at a time. This is especially useful for scientific experiments and allows students to bring creativity into life with experiments. Other commonly used printers include Stereolithography printers and Selective Laser Sintering printers that have been increasingly implemented in schools. For young students, 3D printers are especially useful, so children can bring their imagination to real-life such as drawings or visual concepts. Nevertheless, 3D students are infinitely more helpful to older students in high school and college. For example, in universities the printers are used in architecture, industrial design, and art departments. Working beyond CAD design, students can bring 3D printing to tackle real-world problems such as COVID-19, with the PPE shortage University students can also create research projects such as building structures in architecture, developing molecular models in chemistry, etc.  However, even though 3D printing sounds fantastic, there’s still some drawbacks behind this new technology. For starters, this form of printing is quite harmful for the environment. Typically, the materials used for printing, such as plastics, are unsustainable and not ecofriendly to the Earth. In most cases, there’s always products of plastic leftover after the printing have occurred that become waste and continue to hurt the environment. Additionally, a lot of the technology developed from 3D printing is not advanced enough to be used for projects involving humans and animals. For example, there’s a strong risk of contamination when using technologies and machines to produce medical items, creating an unsterile environment. Performing on real-life people and animals can be extremely harmful when utilizing technology, which is why 3D printing in the medical field still has a lot of development to occur. Nevertheless, 3D printers are still a growing, but surely promising concept. Their implementations and positive effect in several industries in reasoning enough towards their power to benefit everyone’s learning. As it has been brushed upon already, schools especially greatly gain from these printers due to the creativity and designs immersed from 3D. Interestingly, the students both at Brighton High School and Twelve Corners Middle School already have access to advanced 3D printing. This is in the Makers’ Space, in the BHS technical department. However, some students may disagree with the accessibility of this printer to them due to teacher regulations placed on them. Others may disagree with the ethical clauses such as the sheer amounts of plastic used and the technological functions behind it. Nevertheless, the 3D printer will continue to develop and progress in various fields. The efficiency of 3D printing and the future developments will ensure a more productive society in different industries whether it be medical, educational, etc.


International school calendars differ from American standard

Sean Tipple Associate Staff Writer ———————–—— As seen in the past generation, public and private school systems have been shifting towards full year schooling. Now, you may be wondering what that is. Full-year schooling is an alternative type of schooling, where school runs for the entire year, but with much more frequent breaks. For example, students would go to school from Monday through Friday for roughly two months, have a two-week break, then have a couple more weeks of school. This system has already been implemented in several school districts. Although many parents are skeptical about the dramatic change in school systems for their children, full-year schooling has proven to be beneficial towards a student's success and could even take over our future. There are plenty of benefits tied into this type of schooling. For example, there’s no change to the number of school days, so school is still in session for 180 days. In fact, the usual nine months on and three months off are still there, just redistributed throughout the year, instead of an established summer. It sounds pretty nice to get more frequent longer breaks throughout the school year. So why are people so reluctant to take full-year schooling? Summer vacation is a staple to the American school systems across the nation as its original use was hypothesized to be so that the youth could help on their farms for the harvest in the fall. So many forms of media and trade rely on the summer break, such as horrible mattress stores and local car dealerships. Nobody could forget the iconic “Back to School” sales plastered everywhere, reminding children that a prized piece of their childhood is ending. Summer vacation is also accounted for by travel agencies, airlines, and tourist locales. There is a big, dramatic increase in families traveling on summer vacation for the important reason that school isn’t in session. Of course, that would get more people on vacation, greatly helping the travel agencies financially. Gas prices also increase during the summer due to a large influx in families and students driving on road trips. Overall, our American customs have influenced the economy to be reliant on the value of school not being in session during summer, raising the concerning question of why there even is the idea of full-year schooling? Why change something that already works?  There haven’t been any influential benefits found yet for year-round schooling except that families are able to save money on summer camps and other summer engagements. However, according to Youngstown State University, it was found that lower-income students have more success in year-round schools. Single-track schooling is a common form of year-round school, where all students attend school on the same calendar with shorter small sessions throughout the year, ultimately replacing summer break. This is to prevent the summer learning loss and to provide time for necessary remediation and enrichment activities. Additionally, summer break also creates learning gaps that can be negated by year-round schooling, due to schooling occurring all year. In fact, other countries schools have already hopped on this bandwagon, such as Australia and Japan. Although other countries have hopped on the bandwagon of this new phenomenon of schooling, the majority of the United States still aren’t completely in favor of it. Additionally, it’s worth noting that our very own school, Brighton High School, has also yet to implement or even start proposing and discussing a year-round schooling calendar. Of course, this is a hotly debated subject among the parents of the school districts, but the popular opinion among students continues to be traditional schooling. Many students enjoy summer break, with family vacations, fun summer camps, an influx in free time, and the chance to hang out with friends. In all geographic and socioeconomic contexts, students can continue to select which option works best for their circumstances.


Will cable TV sink or swim in a stream of change

We’ve all experienced the cozy feeling of waking up on a still Saturday morning, ready to pour a bowl of cereal and flick through channels without a care in the world – right? As streaming services and scrolling bite into our time and attention spans, cable media seems to have slipped into irrelevancy. Ever since 2013, cable television has been experiencing a rapid loss of viewership that has been continuing to fall until present day. The demise of cable television may seem inevitable, but there is a possibility that, if given enough time, cable companies could adapt to the changing world. Cable TV made its debut in the United States,1948. The original intent was to provide a better television signal in more remote areas in the country. Fast-forwarding to 2023, the pitfall of television is upon society. The ultimate reason for the demise of cable is their arch-nemesis: streaming services. For starters, streaming services are major competitors because of their accessibility to all-time favorite shows, not to mention their ability to allow viewers to watch anything at any time. In fact, one in two households in the US and Canada have a Netflix subscription, accounting for more than 67 million subscribers in North America. Cable gifts viewers spontaneous, unique media that spans professional sports to talk shows and back, yet the stark difference of cost between streaming platforms and cable television raises the question if investing in live channels is really worth it. Especially with the development of personal devices, people prefer to watch shows while conducting simple activities. Whether it be washing dishes after a dragging day of school or laying on a comfy bed, after a treacherous evening of work, unwinding with a comfort movie is much more convenient than waiting hours for high quality shows on cable platforms. There’s already an abundance of stress placed in several individual’s lives, so having the simple accessibility of your favorite show in your hands is much more advantageous. Adding onto the advantages of streaming shows, who have much more publicity than cable companies, these prestige, classic sitcoms are what gain rapid viewers, while shows in the streaming era aren’t gaining nearly enough traction. Channels just need Taylor Swift to boost their viewership! A humongous disadvantage of cable television is also the fact that new release movies won’t be available on cable until a good amount of time has passed, so to stay updated, one would try to go to the theaters upon release or use a streaming service to have the freedom to watch at one’s pleasure. Channels like ESPN and Disney have hopped on the streaming service train, playing a huge role in a booming business. There are some aspects of cable TV that are keeping it afloat that aren’t just the stubborn baby boomers refusing to adapt to new technologies. For instance, live streaming events seem to be preferably watched on cable by most people. According to the NFL, around 90% of the 2022 Super Bowl viewers watched the event unfold on TV, instead of using a streaming service. The tradition of hosting a party with the game on the TV is still going strong and will continue for many more years. However, Disney + owning ESPN, who stream Thursday Night Football, present the industry dominance of streaming platforms. This also applies to occasions such as award shows like the Oscars, which can be streamed by Hulu TV. The term “cord cutter” is used to refer to someone who has canceled a cable subscription in favor of a streaming service. Most cord cutters switch to streaming because they don’t want to pay for something they don’t use. Cable presents the complication of providing every show, instead of selecting one. Not everyone watches TV news or watches sports, so why should they have to pay for it? The decrease in revenue from cable subscriptions is nothing to fear—for now. However, in long-term projections, the cable industry will be taking a fatal hit if the usage continues to decline. However, this is only bad news for the six largest cable networks (Fox, CNN, Fox Business, MSNBC, CNBC, and HLN). A positive way of looking at this situation is that cable is not going anywhere, it’s just moving online, to easier streaming services. Although Netflix is notorious for interrupting the previous flow of how streaming services worked as it now creates some of its own content, it still took shows that originally aired on TV and made them accessible at any time. These streaming services provide a more accessible way to access favorite shows, without the dire annoyance of waiting for the show to appear on cable. Even then, cable TV platforms could be taking steps to preserve subscribers such as unbundling their content. This would keep viewers from paying for channels they don’t want, solving logistical financial problems. Overall, though, cable TV is being met with less and less demand because of less publicity and a decrease in appeal. The downfall in viewership led to a sharp decline in companies that wanted to be advertised on TV. An important note to point out is that the cable companies must also reach out to the older demographic, as the concept of on-demand channels isn’t enticing younger people, compared to how the adoration for cable TV used to. In total, all cable TV and live TV providers lost 2.31 million subscribers in the first three months of 2023. But that still doesn’t affect the classiness and timelessness of cable TV. Even around 30-40% of the older population will continue to subscribe to cable programs, meaning that the TV industry will still be profitable, it just won’t be making as much as it did in the past 2 decades due to the older audience viewership. According to Nielsen, the switch to streaming platforms becomes more apparent as streaming viewership surpassed overall cable viewing in the US for the very first time in July of 2022. But it’s important to mention cable still accounted for 30% of overall TV viewing in the US between March and April. This 30% represents the older demographic, as they just cannot let go of their sweet, old television. Platforms like Netlix, Hulu, and Disney + will only continue to grow more popular, but that doesn’t mean the end of cable is here. Cable isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, especially with the millions of baby boomers and gen x consumers that keep news channels alive. Even if the sun has begun to set on cable television, that doesn’t mean it’s viewers will instantly evaporate. Cable will likely always be present in the world, regardless of if it is no longer on the cutting edge of entertainment anymore. Afterall, how are we supposed to have Superbowl Sunday?

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