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JUNE 1, 2010


photo by sally xie




he Greek economy, second only to the Irish, has fallen on bad times. Greece recently revealed that the fictitious-sounding claims of the previous government in regards to their checkbook were, in fact, fictitious. Greece had borrowed more than it could ever pay back alone.




t’s another Sunday night and you’re chilling at home on Facebook. Suddenly, while posting pictures up from your weekend, you receive an instant message from your friend: “hey, did you finish your ISP essay? It’s due tomorrow, right?” A moment of panic. You pause, then look over guiltily at your unopened backpack lying dutifully right where you left it on Friday afternoon. Right, that essay, the one your teacher assigned two weeks back. You were planning on getting to it, really, you were—the clock tolls, its 11:00 PM and you stare at a blank Microsoft Word page. And so it begins; you grab your binder and frantically flip through it for your notes. It slips, and dozens of sheets are now strewn across the floor; that’s okay, you’ll get those in the morning. You start typing and get about two sentences into your 6 page essay, before you decide it’s a good time for a break. Once you make a sandwich and get back to your essay, you ask yourself, why? Why did I leave this to the last minute? What’s wrong with me? CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

IN THIS ISSUE: to: high school students from: bill gates ............................... shut-eye shortfall


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got exchange on the brain?

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change the ballot without a vote ..............................................


make the most of it: a guide to summer ............................


fight or flight

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destination shanghai the highs and lows of teenage romance

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unexpected devaluation


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BY EDWARD WANG t the peak of his power, the empire infectious debut single “Just Dance” in of Alexander the Great stretched 2008, marking her first step in becoming from the western edge of modern- the next “Queen of Pop”. Massive pop day India to Egypt. Fast-forward almost anthems such as “Pokerface” and “Bad 2300 years to today and the world is being Romance” soon followed, topping charts overtaken yet again by another superpow- and breaking records. After just two short er- albeit one very different from years, Lady Gaga has managed Alexander the Great. This time to achieve six hit singles off the tools of domination are of her diamond certified not swords, spears, and debut album, “The shields, but a husky Fame”, perform live contralto voice, an for the Queen, win electrifying sense of two Grammys, and style, a disco stick, garner multitudes and a great number of adoring fans of extremely pointed from all over the shoulder pads. globe. At the moment, Lady Gaga Who is this mighty reigns at the top of conqueror? Her name is Time’s 100 Most InfluStefani Joanne Angelina Gerential People of 2010 online manotta, more commonly known poll, being compared to the likes as Lady Gaga, hailing from the suburb of Madonna and Michael Jackson. of Yonkers on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Starting piano by ear at the Despite her great success, Lady Gaga age of four, she grew up to become one remains one of the most polarizing musiof twenty people ever to get early accep- cal figures alive today. As with any celebtance to the prestigious Tisch School of rity, there are her detractors who criticize Music in New York. After working in the her for her theatricality, who argue that underground New York club circuit, Lady her outlandish costumes and props are Gaga burst into the music scene with her just a ploy to shock and grab attention. CONTINUED ON PAGE 5


pictures courtesy of

Keep the earth green. Please recycle.

Trusting that Greece would be incentivized into magically making more money than it ever could feasibly, and that it would eventually pay back the money and never default on its loans, the European Union promised to loan Greece hundreds of billions of euros, totaling €750 billion for all European Union countries suffering similar problems. This is, of course, a capital solution. CONTINUED ON PAGE 6

photo courtesy of




BY TIMOTHY LEE or many of us who grew up with Japanese anime shows like Pokémon, Digimon, and Cardcaptors, these shows along with other cartoons summed up our weekly dose of Saturday morning television. You may still remember our favourite characters like Pikachu, Sailor Moon, and Team Rocket. The familiarity of anime varies from person to person, but its influence on North American viewers is undeniable.


The majority of us have casually watched anime shows throughout our lives and would agree that most of us are normal. We enjoy anime as much as the next person, but it’s not like it’s an addiction or anything. The occasional anime watchers are engaged mostly to alleviate their boredom. Admit it, watching pretty pictures on a screen is much less of a hassle than reading a book. But there is a small minority among us, a group of people who are more immersed in the screen than the real world. CONTINUED ON PAGE 5

Brought to you by the RHHS Spyglass Team.

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CONTINUED FROM FRONT PAGE NEWS Well, nothing is wrong with you. Unless you classify procrastination as a disease, that is. Many of us wish we could blame our chronic stalling on a medical condition, and if you are a student reading this (or even a teacher!) it is likely you have been in a similar scenario at some point in your life. So why do we do it? There are many different reasons why we procrastinate, but for the most part, it’s because we simply don’t want to do it at that moment in time. We don’t want to do things for a variety of reasons, but when boiled down, it usually comes down to the following situations: when something is difficult, when something is time-consuming, when you feel you don’t have the ability to do something, or when you are simply afraid of doing it. It’s important to understand why you don’t want to do something, because it makes it easier to either identify or avoid these situations. Alright, so now you know why you procrastinate, but what can you do about it? Surprisingly, a lot. Firstly, start small; you can’t get it all done at once, so don’t overwhelm yourself trying! Remember, it took months to perfect the art of procrastination, so it will be difficult to change your habits all at once. Start by breaking your tasks into small segments, and make a to-do list of all the different things you have to do. Prioritize what needs to get done first, and reward yourself when you accomplish a task. Find a quiet area to work, where you won’t be tempted by distractions (cough cough, Facebook). Lastly, motivate yourself; imagine yourself accomplishing your goal. Two things have been proven to motivate people: pleasure and pain. Think about how good you will feel and all the free time you will have (more time to hang with friends, read a book, or play COD); or on the other hand, imagine the consequences of not accomplishing your goal (i.e. living in your mom’s

photo by sally xie

basement at the age of 30). Whatever works! Chances are that you’ve probably heard this advice dozens of times. That’s because these are tried and true methods, but if they aren’t working for you or if you want to try something a little different, there are hundreds of other ways to break the habit. Where better to get tips than from fellow students? I had the opportunity to attend Richmond Hill High School’s alumni meeting a few weeks ago, where I had a chance to ask first year university students for advice on how to beat procrastination. All of them had useful and interesting tips; one student suggested rewarding yourself with stickers and others lived by calendars and daily planners. But what all of them agreed upon was the fact that you need help to stop procrastinating; you should get help from friends or family, or anyone that you can trust and rely on. Let’s face it, nothing is going to get done if we rely on ourselves, because we will keep making up excuses for ourselves; you need someone to keep you accountable. Choose someone who won’t easily back off; they can motivate you by only hanging out with you after you finish a certain task, or they can use more drastic measures and threaten you if you don’t complete a task (just joking… or am I?) Either way, it really helps when someone is supporting you. Taking occasional breaks can actually improve the quality of your work, so remember to take a breather every once in a while, to help you stay on track. As a side note, procrastination is not always a terrible thing; I wrote this article while procrastinating, instead of studying for my test tomorrow. Art or disease, call it what you will, but procrastination is not going to go away on its own; you need to do something about it. So stop procrastinating and get started right now! … Or in a bit, I think Glee is on!

To:High School Students From: Bill Gates

by alice you


ndoubtedly an internationally recognized brand name, Microsoft has brought about a computer revolution that has carried through to this day. Microsoft Office, one of the company’s most commonly used product, is a collection of software that aids the day-to-day activities of many businesses and has also gained student dependence and reliance for the completion of school work. The convenience and practicality of Microsoft’s products have resulted in one of the most successful companies of the century. As the Chairman of Microsoft and the person with the highest net worth in the world, Bill Gates has a life beyond satisfactory. However, he has personally revealed to the media that his life was not without bumps along the road – just like every other person. No matter what the mistakes he has made before, it is apparent that he has surpassed them and moved further along the road of success. What’s more is that Bill Gates seems to have grasped what life is all about and has established his expertise on the “secret” ingredients to success. Through various speeches given to high school students around the world, he has provided 11 useful tips about success for students. 1. Life is not fair, so get used to it! “It’s not fair! It’s not fair!”This is perhaps the most banal phrase in a high school student’s vocabulary. What is not fair? Did the teacher take marks off your test? That

was because your answer was incorrect. Did you not get selected to be part of the team? That was because other people exhibited talents superior to yours, or at least the teacher thought so. So what? This is life and it certainly isn’t a game you can win every time! Life isn’t fair – yes – so get used to it! 2. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself. The world will not care about your selfesteem. The world also does not have the time to listen to your moans and objections to the way some things turned out. However, it hopes you can first obtain achievements, and it is greatly concerned about that. Emphasize on your own feelings afterwards.

Far from the grasps of procrastination, these chemistry students are diligently working.

university drop-out starting a company called Microsoft with his friends. That’s all. 4. If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. If you thought teachers at your school were overly strict, then come back and think about that when you have a boss. Chances are, your boss is not going to be any more lenient than your teacher already is. You are there to help the boss earn money, so there would be no reason for the boss to give you leniency. The boss wants you to be productive! With this in mind, thank your teachers!

7. Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills and listening to you talk about how cool you are. 8. Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has NOT. 9. Life is not divided into semesters or terms. You don’t get summers off, and very few employers are interested in helping you “find yourself ”. Do that in your own time. 10. TV is not real life. In real life, people have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Some more tips:

11. Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one!

5. Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: opportunity.

The bottom line is, wake up from “Planet Imaginary” and move to Planet Reality if you haven’t already done so. As harsh as these may sound, they are merely the life lessons that multi-billionaire Bill Gates has summed up for students in the world.

6. If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes but learn from them.

3. When you first walk out of the school, you cannot have a 6 or 7-figure salary right away. You especially cannot become some company’s CEO right away and also have a nice car, until the day you earn these luxuries through hard work. The day you get out of high school, a 6-figure salary will not be waiting for you outside the graduation hall. Even the best people of the bunch do not start very high. You may be wondering how they end up there and the answer to that is their diligence. Did Mr. Gates start off as a billionaire? Absolutely not. He started as a

Keep the earth green. Please recycle.

photo courtesy of

Brought to you by the RHHS Spyglass Team.






student exchange can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Not only will you get to see and explore foreign locales, make new friends, and discover new cultures, a foreign exchange can mark the first real step in achieving your own independence. But despite all these perks, many students still shy away from this opportunity. As a former participant on a student exchange myself, I can relate to some of the hesitations and fears of prospective participants. And so, compiled below are several key pieces of information and commonly asked questions that will hopefully help you make this big decision. What is a student exchange? Most often, you will find that there are two different types of exchanges offered. Your first option would be to go on a work exchange where you would live with a host family while working during the day and earning money. Many students find this type of exchange a great method of generating income during the summer months. The second type of exchange is where you are paired with a partner and both of you live in each other’s houses for a period of time. Your partner would travel to your house and live and to go to school with you for a few weeks to several months and you in turn, would travel to his or her house and live with your partner for the same amount of time. The purpose of participating in one of these exchanges can range from mastering a foreign language to simply experiencing a different way of life. How does the process work? When you have decided that you want to participate on a student exchange, the first thing that you will usually be required to complete is an information booklet. If you are participating in a student exchange you will be asked to talk about your hobbies, your likes and dislikes, your school, etc. You may also be asked to include several photos of yourself and your home. All of this is done to ensure that you will be paired with another student who is most compatible with yourself – someone you are likely to get a along with. After you have submitted the booklet, you will be interviewed by the exchange coordinator and pretty soon, if all works out, you will be paired with an exchange partner.

ON THE BRAIN? paying, a good method of estimating would be finding out how much a round ticket to your destination will cost – chances are, your exchange will cost somewhere in that neighborhood.

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Where can I go? There are many exchange opportunities offered by our school. Students can choose to go on a work exchange to Quebec during the summer or go on a regular exchange to countries such as France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and Spain for either two months or three months during the school year. There are also opportunities to go to other countries such as Ecuador. What if we can’t communicate? It is very likely that when your partner comes, he or she will not be able to speak English very well. The purpose of them coming to live with you is probably to learn how to speak more fluently. In the beginning, there may be communication difficulties but always remember to speak slowly and clearly – using gestures helps. As your partner is exposed more and more to the language, their English skills will improve and soon you will be able to converse with them normally. You will find the same thing happening to you when you go to their home; for the first few weeks you will have difficulty saying anything at all, but as you get more familiar with the language, your abilities and confidence will grow and flourish. Many students come back from foreign exchanges with greatly improved language skills and most importantly, greater confidence in their speaking abilities. What is there to do for fun?

How much does it cost?

The best part of going on a foreign exchange is all the exciting new things you’ll be able to experience. Many of the countries that you can visit have lush, vibrant cultures and histories much older than Canada’s. Visiting one of these countries is a great way to see firsthand some of the things others can only read about in textbooks. Apart from the great historic destinations, you’ll also get the opportunity to see world famous landmarks and internationally celebrated museums and art galleries. On a smaller scale, you might get the chance to see a movie in a foreign language, or go visit a public library, or even just hang out with kids your own age at parties and get-togethers.

With exchanges, you are usually only paying for airfare, travel expenses, and medical insurance since you will be living with a host family who is obligated to pay for your food and shelter necessities. To get a more accurate idea of how much you will be

If you are interested in participating in an exchange, you can contact Mme. Bolton in Portable 6 (exchanges to France, Germany, Spain, etc. and work exchanges to Quebec) or go to the Guidance office to find more information.

A RHHS student takes a quick nap.

photo by sally xie


n today’s changing world, teenagers face various problems that previous generations hardly encountered in their daily lives. A large number of them are stressed over increasing pressure from school and families to perform well in order to succeed in life. They also often find it challenging to fit in for various sociocultural reasons. The changing school environment, according to recently conducted research studies, is taking a toll on their lives: teenagers in North America are sleep deprived – a cause for concern for parents, health care professionals, policymakers, students and teachers. What concerns people is the empirical evidence that lack of sleep in teens affects their mental and physical health as well their academic performance. High school students like us are expected to get 8 and a half to 9 hours of sleep every night. What this means is that students would sleep a total of 56-60 hours per week. This seems to be a feasible target, but not often carried out. Recent research from Consumer Affairs indicates that 45% of students aged 11-17 get much less than eight hours of sleep per night. It is no wonder that more and more students catch up on sleep at home in the morning and end up missing their first class. Teachers across North America have also noticed that some students will ‘compromise’ by taking naps inside the classroom. What are the real effects of these habits in the longterm? A recent medical study reported by CBC News claims that prolonged sleep deprivation can lead to mental instability, depression and even brain damage. Apart from its negative effects on health, sleep deprivation can also impact the lives of others. Did you know that 100 000 car accidents are caused each year by fatigued drivers, 50% of which are in the age group of 16-25? Most people experiencing the generation’s “Shut-eye Shortfall” said that they have little choice but to stay up late, as school assignments and commitment to part-time jobs take up the majority of their time each day. One student told The Spyglass,

“I’d really benefit from just one extra hour of sleep in the morning. I could focus better in morning classes and have more time to study for tests and do homework. I could come to school feeling good.” Some schools in the United States, after receiving similar input from students, took part in a sleep-study project last year. The plan was to start first period one hour later than usual. After a few months of experiments, administrators noticed that attendance and student grades improved significantly. Furthermore, the number of accidents caused by students dropped by more than 16.5%. Eastern Collegiate Institute is the first Canadian school to try it out this year and they are also expecting similar results. Schools, however, are not the only ones who can help to improve the situation. Parents also play an instrumental role in assuring that their child gets enough sleep. Some parents do not know that the biological clock of children changes when they reach their teen years. Unaware of the new sleeping patterns, parents often confuse their child’s reluctance to get up in the morning with laziness. Students also make the situation worse by not recognizing the limits of their bodies. When students stay up late to text friends, play games or use the computer, they let their brains suffer from over stimulation. Students, parents and teachers play important parts in helping to exterminate the Shut-eye Shortfall. Although the picture is a worrisome one, the future is unlikely to be gloomy if all parties are willing to make an effort to change the current state of sleep deprivation of teenagers. If parents let their kids sleep in for reasonable amount of time during the weekends, students turn off their electronics at night, and the School Board changes the current schedule, things will surely begin to improve soon. But the question is: is the school board ready to take the initiative? A sleep deprived teenager. photo by sally xie

The author with his exchange partner in France. COURTESY OF EDWARD WANG Keep the earth green. Please recycle.

Brought to you by the RHHS Spyglass Team.

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Change the Vote



CTIONS IN RICHMON E L E L A P I D HI ter to ask than the Town’s inauguMUNIC LL these roles; applica- rated authority himself? to pro-

There comes a certain time of each year when monogrammed posters blossom with spring across the walls and lockers of Richmond Hill High with the namesakes of each promising to be the change they wish to see in the school. By the time this issue of The Spyglass is in your hands, you will have elected the coming year’s Student Council. Those posters will have been torn down and recycled (or framed in bedrooms for the truly avid); your chosen representatives will have donned their black polos and new titles. That’s how things run at RHHS.

tions to run remain open until September 10th. Of these, fourteen will go on to represent the Town based on the votes of constituents.

Richmond Hill Council is responsible for addressing issues that will impact all of us living in the Town at one point or another. Traffic and transit is one of such. The environment in terms of urban sustainability, the preservation of local landmarks such as Rouge Park. Fiscal management, alongside with the control of rising municipal taxes are among the rising issues of the township. Community safety and the role of the York Regional Police is another topic of discussion. The quality of life that ties our town together makes it not only the second most diverse in Canada, but also among the Conference Board of Canada’s best places to live.

But this year, politics don’t end there in Richmond Hill. In due time, you’ll start seeing signs for a different campaign springing up. This isn’t quite StuCo – the stakes are being raised, just as surely as they’re being planted on your neighbours’ lawns. On October 25th, 2010, the Town of Richmond Hill will be holding a municipal election for the first time in four years. Residents will elect to office our Mayor, Regional & Local Councillor (two positions), Ward Councillor (one for each of Wards 1 to 6; see left for a full Ward map) and Trustee for the English Public (two positions), English Separate, French Public and French Separate School Boards. There are many candidates vying for

Make the most of it: BY SIENNA WARECKI


et’s face it: we’ve all been to Canada’s Wonderland a hundred times over. For a student, summer is the time you get to relax and adventure. Pool parties, shopping, late nights out: all of these and more are the hallmarks of a good vacation. But where’s the variety?

Mayor Dave Barrow, himself a graduate of Richmond Hill High, has a message for its students on election involvement. Mayor Barrow told The Spyglass, “The Town is the level of government that is the closest to all aspects of your life, so it is important that you pay attention to the election and get involved in electing its leaders.”

Richmond Hill’s six electoral wards. webmap.pdf

And yet, only a fraction of RHHS’ population is of age to vote – so how could the biggest political event in Richmond Hill even be relevant to the remaining majority of us? How does the election affect us? And just as importantly, how can we affect the election? Well, who bet-


For the more adventurous readers, here’s something you could go at all year around: the urban sport of Parkour. What is it? It’s the ability to get from point A to point B as fast as possible, by doing things like jumping fences, vaulting over benches, and so on. Parkour was featured in the game Mirror’s Edge, and the game does the sport justice. In Toronto, there’s a group known as the PKTO, which is the biggest, most well-organized parkour group in the GTA. They have events all the time, inviting everyone and anyone to come and join in on the ‘running rampant in downtown Toronto’ fun. If you’re the sporty type, you should definitely check them out. A man plays his trumpet at the Beaches International Jazz Festival. The festival runs July 16-17 with free admission.

Campaigns have been progressing since January 2010, and don’t end until Election Day in October. Sign up to help out with a campaign, and start seeing Richmond Hill from a new perspective – it takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work to keep this town going. The representatives you support are going to be your voice at the Town for the next four years. Make it worth your while!


This year, have your say. The most direct way to reach out to a local politician is to participate in their campaign. Find a candidate in your ward or one running for the Regional & Local Councillor or mayoral positions whose objectives you stand behind – the list is updated with each new applicant at documents/2010_election_unofficial_candidate_list.pdf, and contains the websites and contact information of each. Candidates are always in need of volunteers to put up lawn signs, and

A Guide to Summer Where are the days that will stand out, unique, amongst the blur of summer fun? Well right here, of course – for those of you beginning to get bored with the same old summer activities, here are a few things that are worth checking out in the summer of 2010!

mote the campaign door-to-door. Volunteers help organize and run events and get a peek into the busy life of municipal office. (And of course, earn community service hours.)



To be held on Yonge St. between Major Mackenzie Dr. and Crosby Ave., Richmond Hill will be throwing this year’s annual Village Heritage Festival on a (hopefully!) sunny Saturday afternoon. The street will be closed off to vehicles, to make way for a plethora of food stalls, arts and crafts vendors, and live entertainment. It’s about as local as you can get, and there’s no cost to join in the fun, so get down to Yonge on the 12th and see what Richmond Hill has to offer! BEACHES INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL: JULY 16-25. ADMISSION: FREE.

For almost ten days in July, Queen Street E. will be alive with the sounds of jazz and Latin music; bands on the street itself, along with in Kew Gardens and Woodbine Park, will entertain you for the most reasonable price of nothing. Local artists and bands such as Blue Room, Jay Douglas, Dr. Draw, Menew, and so many more will be attending to make these days a roaring good time. To all the music aficionados out there, this toe-tapping, shoulder-shimmying festival is an event you won’t want to miss. PHOTO COURTESY OF RB3M

Keep the earth green. Please recycle.


Toronto will be holding its fourth annual Just for Laughs comedy festival at the beginning of July. This year’s line up hasn’t been announced, but with past line-ups featuring the likes of Sarah Silverman, Danny Bhoy and the Monty Python legend John Cleese, Just for Laughs is going to have a hard time topping itself. The prices vary for individual events, but if you like to think you’ve got a good sense of humour, mark these dates on your calendar.

2010 So there you have four fresh, local, reasonably priced opportunities for those who are looking for something new! Good food, good humour, brighteyed energy and fantastic music—what more could a summer need? Just throw any of these titles into your favourite internet search to take a closer look at what they have to offer for the summer of 2010, and remember: Canada’s Wonderland will always be there the next day.

Brought to you by the RHHS Spyglass Team.





he cheerful picnicker runs happily through the woods, gathering berries and such. Suddenly, the sky turns cloudy, dramatic music is played, and he turns around to find a massive, fuming black bear about to attack him for stealing her berries. The camera zooms in as the innocent man’s eyes widen, the frantic pounding of his heart is heard, then, just as you’re biting your nails, screaming at him to run, he reacts by doing the most normal and instinctive thing possible in this situation – he stands frozen and pees. It’s not surprising that many of us have seen this sort of scene played out – whether it be in a movie, or from real life experiences. Of course, this naturally leads us to wonder about the cause of this odd result. Why waste time gaping at the bear and letting nature do its calling when those precious five seconds could be put to use running for one’s life? It turns out that this seemingly strange reaction is all part of a subconscious response stemming from prehistoric times. Unlike us, our cavemen and women ancestors had to deal with a lot scarier things than angry bears — foes like famished sabre tooth tigers poking into their caves. To respond to the dangers that lay rampant, humans developed the fight or flight response, similar to many other vertebrates. That is, when a threat is recognized, the body chooses one of two options: to fight or to flee.

are metabolized to power the muscles. Reflexes are accelerated and irrelevant bodily functions like digestion are stopped. Similarly, if taking flight, the body responds by developing tunnel vision (a loss of peripheral vision) to keep one focused on their path. A loss of hearing might ensue to keep distractions away. The pupils dilate to see better in the dark, endorphins are released to dull any pain, and if need be, urination or defecation occurs literally to “empty the load” and let us run faster. Although we no longer need to face the dangers of the wild, our body’s response to perceived threat is still present. Today, psychologists call it the “acute stress response”. This is what gives mothers the superhuman strength to lift cars and rescue their trapped children, or heroes the courage to face danger head-on. Nowadays, the threats that trigger our primitive response systems are overly stressful situations, for example, a fight with our boss after a particularly tiring day and road rage. Suddenly, we are overcome with aggressiveness and hyper vigilance, which is counter-productive. As a result, we hold it in, which is counterintuitive. Afterwards, we do not take measures to calm down and relieve our stress hormones, which is counter-intelligent.

Some of us have watched over thirty series. Some of us have spent entire days watching anime instead of doing homework or studying for tomorrow’s test. Some think of imaginary situations about their favourite characters wishing they were real. The Japanese term otaku is used to describe obsessed anime fans, but many wear the label proudly. Anime fans can range from the innocent to the truly bizarre. The strangest of otaku can make even Star Trek fans seem normal. One Japanese man was obsessed to the point where he was in love. He allegedly wanted to marry an anime character and argued that Japan should change its laws to allow such a thing to happen. He even created an online petition supporting his cause. “I am no longer interested in three dimensions,” he says, “I would even like to become a resident of the two-dimensional world.” But before you start pitying this man, understand that his petition attracted more than 1000 signatories. “Even if she is fictional, it is still loving someone. I would like to have legal approval for this system at any cost” says one signatory. One can look to the characteristics of anime that make it so appealing. In the world of anime, there is something for everyone. Looking for a show about travelling pirates and a talking blue-nosed reindeer? Check. A show about a family cursed to turn into their animal forms if they are embraced by anyone of the opposite sex? Check. Shows about a tragic ro-


mance where one tragically dies because of cancer or some rare disease? Triple check. Much like other artistic mediums, anime explores all aspects of the human emotions. Sports, magic, romance, larger than life characters, and fantastical settings all provide a sense of escapism for watchers. Even the way the characters are drawn, with their enormous eyes and outrageous hairstyles (think Yugi from Yu-Gi-Oh), have an out of this world sense about them. Another factor is that an anime series has the ability to continuously churn out episodes for an indeterminate amount of time. Pokémon has already dragged on for over ten seasons with its characters seemingly unable to age. With new episodes being released every other week, an avid follower feels the urge to follow the story in order to find out what happens next. In a single anime series, tie-in products may include figurines, posters, books, video games, and trading cards to keep you hooked. There are entire conventions that attract thousands of fans each year devoted to showcasing anime products. Hardcore fans create extensive online encyclopaedias and write lengthy fan fictions the size of novellas. Fan fictions are stories written by fans where they have the chance to be in control of the story. On top of the main series, many of us spend hours reading these stories. Don’t be surprised to find many fan fictions in which fans explore the sexual tension between characters that the original work has failed to address. If you’re ever looking for an addiction but are too scared to try something dangerous, picking anime may seem like a safe bet. But be warned. Before you know it, you may find yourself married to a bluenosed talking reindeer.

Thankfully, the solution to dealing with our primitive, violent reactions is much If fighting, the body immediately pre- simpler than attempting to defeat a ti- CONTINUED FROM FRONT PAGE NEWS pares for aggressive combative behaviour. ger. Taking time to relax and thinking of THE LADY HAS ARRIVED The cardiovascular system works harder something pleasant, exercising to release and edgy, Lady Gaga has managed to esand faster to bring more blood and oxy- endorphins, and learning to avoid violent Some even believe that Lady Gaga is not in tablish a persona so weird and removed gen to body cells, while the arteries con- situations will all help reduce stress, which fact a lady, but a hermaphrodite, no doubt that it no longer matters whether or not strict to increase blood pressure. Nutrients in turn will reduce the need for such a des- sparked by rampant online rumours. she fits the stereotypes. Her trademark has normally stored, such as fat and glucose, perate response. become her eccentricity; a modern pop the above picture is courtesy of mattisokay2 But whether or not you’re a fan of hers, chameleon – you’ll never know what she’ll Lady Gaga’s image has become unavoid- show up wearing, what antics she’ll pull, BY SIENNA WARECKI ably omnipresent. So just how did Lady how she’ll perform her songs, but you’ll Gaga create her household name? It cer- always know it’s her. Lady Gaga is living tainly didn’t rely on mainstream music’s proof that to make it in the pop music traditional marketing model for female world, one does not have to be a greasy, artists - often very heavy on sex appeal and half-naked bimbo grinding the floor. It oes anybody else remember the • City tap water must meet standards pretty faces and less so on actual musical is her ability to break stereotypes that atdrinking fountain? That free, readily for certain toxic or carcinogenic chemicals, merit. With her large, obtrusive nose and tract her multitudes of adoring, almost available source of water to students everysuch as phthalate, a chemical that can leach heavy eyebrows, Lady Gaga does not pos- religiously fervent fans. She represents to where? Apparently nobody does, because from plastic, including plastic bottles; the sess a particularly beautiful face, yet she them the idea that one does not have to when it comes to hydration, bottled water bottled water industry has managed to ex- more than manages to make up for it with fit the preconceived mould created by inis all the rage these days. We have spring empt bottled water from these regulations. her musical talent. Amidst a sea of auto- dustry bigwigs, but that one can be unique water, mineral water, flavoured water, even tuners and lip-syncers it is exceedingly rare and self-expressive while at the same time vitamin water, all for a price range between On top of all that, bottled water is a to find a successful mainstream artist like successful. This reigning “Queen of Pop” $1–5. High, but reasonable for such good waste of plastic. In fact, the bottled water Lady Gaga with such a high degree of vo- has taken the world by storm and captured water, right? industry poses one of the biggest threats to cal calibre and musicianship – performing the hearts of millions; singing, dancing, the environment because of their packag- all of her tours completely live and wowing and voguing her way to the top – all while Before you crack open another bottle of ing — seventeen million barrels of oil are audiences with her acoustic renditions. wearing pant-less leotards and high heels. Aquafina, here are a few facts, taken from used in the production of water bottles anreports written by the Natural Resources nually. That’s enough to fuel a million cars But what truly sets Lady Gaga apart Could Alexander ever have done that? Defense Council (NRDC) about tap vs. for a year, yet we wonder why oil prices from all others is her attitude. Both fierce One is inclined to think not. bottled water: are so high. In addition, only one in five PHOTO BY JASON LAU water bottles are recycled. The other four • City tap water can have no confirmed contribute to the three billion pounds of E. coli or fecal coliform bacteria. FDA botwaste produced solely from plastic bottles. tled water rules include no such prohibition (a certain amount of any type of coliMy recommendation? Install a filter at form bacteria is allowed in bottled water). home and buy a reusable water bottle. You won’t have to look far; there are dozens of • City tap water must be filtered and filter models on the market, all for a good disinfected. In contrast, there are no fedprice. As for the water bottles, why, we sell eral filtration or disinfection requirements them right here at RHHS — good, sturfor bottled water. dy metal water bottles, for a price of five dollars. Five dollars is absolutely nothing • Most cities have to test their water compared to what you will save if you stop for Cryptosporidium or Giardia, two comdrinking bottled water. mon water pathogens that can cause intestinal problems, yet bottled water compaIf your bottle ever runs empty at school, nies do not have to do this. there is always the drinking fountain.

Secrets of the

Water Bottle Industry D

Keep the earth green. Please recycle.

Brought to you by the RHHS Spyglass Team.

6 \\


A SNEAK PEAK OF THE SHANGHAI EXPO 2010 (MAY 1, 2010 – OCTOBER 31, 2010) The living city being inclusive, sustainable, and creative is the theme that Canadians bring to the world stage. Through this C-shaped structure with an open public square, Canada focuses on changing the impression of it being cold and vast to warm and inviting.


shanghai! destination




n the eye of the western world, it is pizzazz. Stunning night views, recordbreaking skyscrapers, and bustling financial districts are trademark characteristics of the “Paris of the East”. Shanghai, located on the east coast of the rising superpower of China, is, at the least, a pleasing eye-opener to foreign visitors.

Shanghai Expo Committee, is due to the inevitable speed of urbanization. With the ongoing pursuit of a better quality of life including environmental campaigns, the Shanghai Expo focuses on showcasing different solutions and responses to a better life in the city. The question is: how do we upgrade city life in the new era?

Besides the usual tour route of the Oriental Pearl Tower, the Bund, and the Nanjing Road shopping district, 2010 gives visitors another unique experience in Shanghai – a “revolutionary” world exposition; revolutionary in the sense that it is the first expo hosted in a developing country, the first expo to have urbania as its theme, and the largest world expo site ever with 5.28 square kilometres of aweinspiring architecture.

In addition, Shanghai Expo 2010 is a “grand gathering of cultures” says the committee. With 200 participants and 70 million visitors expected, the Shanghai Expo is by far the largest of its kind. On May 1, 2010, the Shanghai Expo opened its doors with the largest light show ever attempted. The emblem, representing the large family of mankind, is only one of the welcoming aspects of this expo.

Shanghai Expo 2010, accompanied by the slogan “Better City, Better Life” has received attention worldwide due to its transformation of the world exposition. It breaks away from the traditional view that expos are gatherings and conferences for technological advancement. Reasoning behind such a change, stated by the


Named “The Crown of the East”, the architecture is in a traditional Dougong style dating back more than 2000 years. The pavilion shows China’s plan of sustainability for the future with low-carbon technologies at the core of the structure.


This seed cathedral’s theme is “Building on the past, Shaping our future”. The first ever world exposition was held in the Crystal Palace at Hyde Park destroyed half a century ago. This is the transformation of the Crystal Palace made with more than 60 000 transparent rods containing seeds of different plants.


“Balancity”, the idea of a city of harmony and balance, contrasts the seemingly chaotic design of the pavilion. However, the message is that with the busy lives that people now lead, everything has to balance thus creating a harmonious and stable life.

Walking through the pavilions is an enjoyable and thought-provoking adventure. Not only would it be a chance to look at each country‘s interpretation of “Better City, Better Life”, but it would also be a chance to feel the contemporary air of Shanghai. It is definitely an experience not to be missed!




CONTINUED FROM FRONT PAGE NEWS After all, loaning money to those who could never feasibly pay back such loans had been the cornerstone of the American banking industry for years (at least, up to the 2007-2010 recession), as well as the major business model for successful and charitable individuals such as Bernie Madoff and Charles Ponzi. Yet one of the truly magical things about the European Union’s plans for Greece is that they would solve the issue of transparency. Surely, by being so benevolent and kind to Greece, its government won’t make little white lies about its checkbooks anymore and, surely, Greece can now be trusted. After all, why else would China, South Korea and the United States send billions in aid to North Korea? It is also clear that the approach by the European Union, which would more-orless send Greece into eternal debt unless it demands a lot more from its taxpayers (which it is now doing), has largely been met with happiness, frivolity and joy from the citizens as Greeks take to the streets of Athens and revel in the police batons, riot shields, and tear-gas grenades being flung about at the birthplace of democracy. Greeks all across the country are celebrating the genius of their government and the wonders the European Union has done for its euro-zone, by making bonfires out of old public buildings and cheerfully chanting “Come out, thieves!” in front of

the Greek parliament. After all, the principles and ideas behind the European Union’s “not a bailout” bailout are sound. The Greek economy isn’t doing well, so the other members of the union should give money to Greece to go to the doctor and get fixed. In this case, “money” means “over a hundred billion euros”, the “doctors” are other foreign creditors, and “fixed” means “pay back its previous loans, so they can borrow even more money”. Of course, such plans are so divine that they should surely be implemented in other sectors. If banks were to lend money to the homeless, surely the homeless would pay that money back and live successful lives. If nations were to be more reconciliatory, if South Korea disarmed at their border with North Korea, surely then others would do the same. If teachers were to give perfect marks on poorly written tests, surely students would be incentivized by such unwarranted benevolence into working harder to meet up to such expectations.







If there is a moral behind this story, surely it is that throwing extravagant amounts of money at problems makes all the problems go away and leaves the world a peaceful, happy, and more joyous place. *In terms of debt **Happiness is subjective


Keep the earth green. Please recycle.

Brought to you by the RHHS Spyglass Team.


// 7

The highs and lows of



he tentative hand holding. The sweet glances. The afterschool dates. For many people, romance in high school is a given. The rush of euphoria that a potential sweetheart brings is hardly comparable to any other joy—yet, the brilliance of young love can turn sour quite quickly. Intriguing conversations can evaporate into brief greets as the inevitable fall-out occurs, but the doubt remains: is fleeting young love worth pursuing?

TEENAGE romance

ture, when a relationship becomes more of a life-long commitment. High school ro-

ter the fall-out, feelings will be hurt, and bitter opinions may ensue. The emotional carnage that occurs post-breakup will also hinder happiness to some extent. As we’re all teens, something so traumatic can feel like the end of the world. Be it sexism or not, much of the blame is hauled onto the shoulders of the male, while the female is left to grieve with a group of protective friends. This unbalanced distribution of blame and guilt usually leads to hostility between the ex-couple, which severs ties with the two united social circles. Needless to say, breakups rarely go smoothly.

mistakes committed in your past.

The ecstasy of your first serious relationship is hard to forget. Even though high school relationships are usually brief, moments created by these milestones in your life undoubtedly bring short-term satisfaction. You’ll reflect on your life, and think, ‘boy, everything’s finally picture perfect’. Amazingly enough, just the presence of a significant other is enough to raise your spirits to new highs. Naturally, it feels like you’re on the top of the world.

The fallout between a couple leads to an uncomfortable awkwardness in their separate social circles- a difficult obstacle to work around in high school. Connections may be lost, new friends may distance themselves; the after effects of a breakup will significantly affect who you still keep in touch with.

Dating in high school allows you to broaden your social circle of friends, which is generally beneficial. You may make new friends, develop new hobbies, and gain significant insight on different kinds of people. Perhaps you’ll even make new connections with people you wouldn’t have normally approached.

Unexpected Devaluation BY IMELDA LO


he price of pearls have been dropping in China. Just take a look at the price tags that contour the display cases of Shanghai’s jewelry stores: dozens of pearls can be purchased for under 10 yuan, or a mere $1.50 Canadian, and that is without bargaining. Recently, the pearling industry in Southeast Asia and China has been facing a decrease in sales. This is partly due to the global economic recession, but the main problem behind the industry’s afflictions is a supply glut. Due to the surplus of unwanted goods caused by the rapid expansion of the pearling industry, the value of the pearls fell and many employees of pearling companies have since lost their jobs. Many economists and individuals involved in the pearling industry are of the opinion that a quota should have been applied in Southeast Asian economies since good quality strands made from Australian South-Sea pearls still command prices of $100,000 or more—the same as ten years

ago. The quota would have prevented the supply glut from wrenching jobs away from the already impoverished Southeast Asians and Chinese. In southern China, pearling companies are beginning to worry about the plummeting prices and the resulting damage to the pearls’ image of exclusivity. In response, the Chinese government has begun to rein in production. As well, scientists have noticed that the excessive pearl cultivation has had a negative impact on the environment, as a mixture of pollution and fertilizers are dumped into the water to encourage the mussels and oysters to produce pearls faster. Although the Southeast Asian countries, especially Myanmar, are more along the lines of command, they have been too laissez-faire in terms of the pearling industry. A quota should be placed on pearl production in Southeast Asia to prevent a further supply glut from devastating the market.

With the initial contentedness of young love, comes an almost-inevitable breakup. Casual flirting leads into a cautious crush, which may or may not escalate into a fresh, budding relationship. But this exciting new commitment eventually fades. Af-



Beijing, China


BY JOYCE TAN most important queen consort England has ever had” due to her sway over King Henry VIII, who declared independence from Rome and then divorced (and later killed) his first wife in order to marry Anne. After the birth of their daughter Elizabeth and three miscarriages, King Henry VIII accused Anne of adultery, had her beheaded, and married his third wife, Jane Seymour, the next day.

On June 1st, 1215, the four-year-long war for control of Beijing between the Mongols and the Jurchen Jin dynasty was ended with the Battle of Beijing. For the first two years of war, the Jin was able to keep their enemies at bay, but the Mongol army had soon become powerful enough to seize all the Jin terriERY29.COM .REFIN tory, apart from the Great F WWW O Wall of China and Bei- ESY T jing. The Mongols, UR led by Genghis Khan, defeated the Jurchen ruler Emperor Xuanzong’s forces by strategically dividing his own army into three and attacking three different points of the Great Wall. CO

mances offer you the opportunity to learn from your mistakes, and strengthen your problem-solving skills when it comes to drama and conflict in the romance department. In your future relationships, you’ll know exactly how to avoid the romantic

moking tuxedo by Yves Le S St. onic Lau c i e ren Th t

Teen relationships also help you develop emotionally and socially. Going out with your special someone broadens your understanding of the expectations and feelings of your peers. It also lends you insight and experience for the fu-

photo by jason lau

The blunt truth is, teen romances rarely last. They also rarely end amicably. To some, it may seem pointless to delve into a commitment that will ultimately reap no reward. Yet, if we were all logical and coldly calculative, we wouldn’t be the teens we are. The whole point of youth is to experiment with the intriguing--this includes learning when you get burnt, as well as smiling at the wonderful memories made. Even though a young relationship might eventually dwindle and die, the experiences, both good and bad, help you grow as a person. If you’re lucky, the pain will dim, and you’ll only have to smile back at the memories of precarious, marvelous young love.

London, England

Anne Boleyn, second wife of the memorable King Henry VIII and mother of the celebrated Queen Elizabeth I, was crowned Queen of England on June 1st, 1533 at a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey. She reigned for three years, and was later called the “most influential and

Keep the earth green. Please recycle.

Paris, France

June 1st, 2008 marked the death of French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, heralded as one of the greatest designers in 20th century French mode. His strong influence on fashion can be seen from the popularity of wearing silhouettes in the 20s-40s, the famous Le Smoking tuxedo for women in the 60s (pictured left), and his well-liked Prêt-à-Porter line, among many other achievements. Though he passed away due to a battle with brain cancer, his fans remain loyal, and his brand lives on under the direction of YSL Creative Director Stefano Pilati.

Brought to you by the RHHS Spyglass Team.


e hope you enjoyed this issue of The Spyglass. Our goal for next year is to promote school spirit and provide students with the opportunity to publish and share their written work on a bi-monthly basis. Next year’s issues will have more school involvement, which will mean more school events, club information, and student interviews published. Please feel free to give us feedback on our Facebook group, “RHHS Spyglass.” The Spyglass team would like to thank Mr. Garner and Mr. Mitchell and our previous editors for allowing The Spyglass to continue.

- Katie







32 Sloth, for one 33 It's subject to inflation 34 The eohippus had fourteen 35 Quarter 37 Tenacious clinger 38 Anthem opener 41 Club for Mickelson 43 Like refried beans 45 Follower of Job 46 Shoreline recess 47 Nasua narica 48 City on the Little Cuyahoga 50 Interdicts 52 Cry 54 Air: Comb. form 55 Rock fancier 56 He quit working long ago 59 Half of CIV 60 Suffix for Harlem


crossword courtesy of

1 Shell food 2 Computer color 3 Israeli oil port 4 Mytilidae 5 Romaine 6 Cicero's lang. 7 Conan of TV 8 Hidden valley 9 "Moby-Dick," for example 10 "Quahog" 11 Muscular dog 12 Not in the ___ 14 Accomplisheth 17 Foxy 21 Asteroid discovered in 1898 23 Golden Rule word 24 Squid or octopus 26 Corrode 27 Morlock victim 28 "Scallop"




39 Pooh’s pal 40 “Diana and Callisto” painter 42 GI rec hall 43 Appearance 44 Factory sec. 45 Unpaid TV ad 46 Let up 47 Church law 49 Definitely not the cheap seats 51 Naha locale 53 Emulate Icarus 57 Schenk of Winter Olympic fame 58 “Blue crab” 61 Suited ___ tee 62 Highway postings 63 Verily 64 Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 5 ___ Minor” 65 Borden’s cash cow? 66 Nada


1 Come down in torrents 5 Clunky shoes 10 Prefix for content 13 Sacco-Vanzetti case org. 14 Not too difficult 15 Just make (with “out”) 16 “Oyster” 18 Estuary 19 Start 20 Entomology study 22 Unbury 25 Reward for Rover 26 Acknowledge 29 Giverny denial 30 After the ball? 31 Rubber trees 32 City on the Miss. 33 Sham 36 Part of ASCAP 37 Science of life



by sam bellotto jr.


Seafood Science




QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? SUGGESTIONS? Email us at or visit us on Facebook:

RHHS Spyglass group

how to play

A Kakuro puzzle is a crossword which uses numbers. The clues are in the small triangles. The blank squares must be filled with digits 1 through 9. The numbers in an answer must add up to the clue (Left for rows, top for columns). However, no number can be duplicated in an answer. For example, two squares that add up to 6 may be 1+5 or 2+4 but not 3+3.


We would love to hear them!

Keep the earth green. Please recycle.

Brought to you by the RHHS Spyglass Team.

Spyglass — June 2010  

The first 2010 issue of the Spyglass student newspaper