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vol. XXXIII, issue 5 north carolina school of science and mathematics

january/february 2014 stentorian123@gmail.com

World prepares for 2014 Olympics SG From Feb. 7-23, hundreds of talented, skilled winter sport athletes will represent their respective countries and compete for gold in the 2014 Winter Olympic games at Sochi, Russia. Athletes from a record number of 88 nations will participate in different events. The most popular and anticipated events this year are figure skating, ice hockey, ski jumping, snowboarding, and alpine skiing. Figure skating, an event that plays a lead role in every Olympics, will be under an even larger spotlight. For the ladies’ figure skating, both South Korea’s Kim Yu-na and Japan’s Mao Asada have high expectations from their respective countries for the gold medal. For the men, Canada’s Patrick Chan hopes to add

an Olympic medal to his accomplishments, which include three world titles. This year Olympic hockey is returning to its roots with a standard 200-by-100 foot international ice surface, compared to the extremely large NHL-sized rink at

ice to recover. There’s too much space to move the puck through you. With that much room to operate, it becomes a very tactical game rather than an emotional game.” Ken Hitchcock, Team Canada’s assistant coach, says. This year, Team Russia

Vancouver in 2010. This will affect much of the geometry of the game, including shooting angles and positioning of the players. “You can’t take the risks that you can on a small surface. There’s too much

hopes to win gold with their country behind them. “If Russia plays for gold, it will be the biggest game in Russian hockey history. More pressure than Game 8 (against Canada in the 1972 Summit Series),” Igor Kuperman says.

to Beyoncé’s usage of the recording in the pop song. June Scobee Rodgers, the widow of Challenger space shuttle commander Dick Scobee, told ABC, “We were disappointed to learn that an audio clip from the day we lost our heroic Challenger crew

saying that “the choice is little different than taking Walter Cronkite’s words to viewers announcing the death of President Kennedy or 911 calls from the World Trade Center attack and using them for shock value in a pop tune.” Beyoncé and her

Courtesy of sochi2014.com

By Su Cho

In Sochi, history will be made in ski jumping. Since the Winter Olympics in 1924, ski jumping was solely a men’s sport. This year, women will be able to compete for the first time. Japan’s Sara Takanashi is the fan favorite to become the first female Olympic gold medalist in the event. Over the last ten years, snowboarding has become more widespread and well known. This year, Shaun White hopes to add another medal in the men’s half-pipe. White has won back-toback medals in this event for the last two Olympic games. The Sochi Olympics seems to be the most controversial and tense of the Olympic games, due to the anti-gay legislation of Russia and the numerous terror threats received. Despite international outcry, Russia’s law that restricts Olympics continued on Page 2

Beyoncé’s new single, XO, causes NASA controversy By Caroline Liu

In Beyoncé Knowles newly released single, XO, from her latest album, Beyoncé, the singer/song writer has caused a heated debate after incorporating audio recordings of the 1986 Challenger shuttle disaster. The tragic accident resulted in the death of all seven crewmembers aboard the space shuttle. In the opening of the song, NASA public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt is sampled saying “Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction.” In response, Lauren B. Worley, NASA’s An image from Beyonce’s single, XO. press secretary, released this was used in the song ‘XO’. The statement: “The Challenger moment included in this song accident is an important part of is an emotionally difficult one our history; a tragic reminder for the Challenger families, that space exploration is colleagues and friends. We risky and should never be have always chosen to focus trivialized. NASA works every not on how our loved ones day to honor the legacy of our were lost, but rather on how fallen astronauts as we carry they lived and how their legacy out our mission to reach for lives on today.” new heights and explore the Keith Cowing, a former universe.” NASA worker who operates Many NASA astronaut the website NASA Watch, families are also objecting also criticized the sample,

in a statement to ABC. “The songwriters included the audio in tribute to the unselfish work of the Challenger crew with hope that they will never be forgotten.” At NCSSM, it is well known that Instructor of Chemistry Myra Halpin has many connections with NASA. Having flown her students experiment aboard NASA’s Reduced Gravity Plane and been named NASA’s Teacher in Space Finalist, Halpin is also friends with many NASA astronauts, including those who were on the flight. “I was there for the launch at the time and I knew most of the crew. So Courtesy of digitalspy.com when I heard management however have the countdown, it definitely come out defending Beyoncé’s brought back strong emotions, artistic choices. “My heart just listening to the verbiage.” When asked about whether goes out to the families of those lost in the Challenger or not she thought the recording disaster. The song ‘XO’ was was appropriate in the song, recorded with the sincerest Halpin responded “I don’t see intention to help heal those that it was a tribute to the tragic who have lost loved ones and incident. I think it just evoked to remind us that unexpected emotion, leaving the listeners things happen, so love and confused. I think it would have appreciate every minute that been more fitting if the actual you have with those who mean song had been related to the the most to you,” Beyoncé said loss of the great Heroes.”

update By Kim Ngo

This month SG has been collaborating with Mr. Brown, the new head of the PFM, and Director of Residential Life Michael Newbauer about issues students were concerned about with the PFM food as well as participating in the ASG conference. Many students complained that dinner lines were being closed before 7:30 so less options were available to students who came into the PFM later to eat dinner. SG emphasized this issue to Brown, since it is a violation of the PFM contract, and it has been fixed. Another significant focus is menu modifications. Since there are some menu items that are very popular with students (such as chicken parmesan and Mexican “build-your-own” tacos), SG wants to increase the frequency of those dishes and decrease the frequency of less popular food items. Vegetarian options were another major concern for students. While there is generally pasta, steamed vegetables, and rice, there is a significant lack of vegetarian protein. Tofu has been added now to the stir fry line (in addition to the meat option)/ The PFM staff is working to incorporate other sources of vegetarian protein into the menu as well. SG also wants to encourage more healthy and nutritious options, which will allow students to maintain a healthful diet and optimal well-being. One thing that has already been done is having fruit salad available at the salad bar during lunch and dinner. (It was previously only available at breakfast). SG wants to make sure this is continued, and has advocated for fresh, seasonal fruits and vegeables. Over extended, four SG delegates attended the January meeting of the Association of Student Governemens hosted by UNC-Greensboro and North Carolina A&T. Two funding grants were approved at the meeting, one to support Junior Anli Zhang’s Multicultural Fashion Show and another to purchase a camera for SG. Delegates also discussed a resolution to encourage the UNC system to procure only electronics made from conflictfree materials and approved a program encouraging Student Governments to conduct financial literacy training workshops for their constituents.


features Strange news Junior Senator from around proposes change to the world Amstud credits january/february 2014

By Sarah Colbert

a highway building project because of the expected impact on not only the environment, but also on the ancient elves that supposedly occupy the region. Concern is especially high because the land where the road is to be constructed is the alleged site of an elf church. 4. A Miami resident, Fernando Caignet Aguilera captured a four foot alligator and attempted to trade it for alcohol at a Florida

Courtesy of news.nationalgeographic.com

Weird things happen every day that do not get picked up by the mainstream news media. Here is a compilation of a few recent oddities. 1. D i s a p p o i n t e d guests discovered that a few of the animals at a zoo in China’s Henan Province were imposters. The “lion” was actually a Tibetan Mastiff, a type of domestic dog. Domestic dogs were also found in the “wolf” exhibit,

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The Henan Prvovince Zoo’s “Lion.” and a white fox was labeled “leopard.” The zoo is now temporarily closed. 2. A woman found a human foot inside a shoe on Peck Lake Beach on Jupiter Island, Florida. Authorities are investigating but have found no other human remains. 3. An Icelandic group, called “Friends of the Lava,” has partnered with environmentalists to urge the Supreme Court to ban

convenience store. Aguilera could be sentenced up to six months in jail and a $500 fine for his crime. 5. 3D Systems, a threedimensional printer company, declared its arrangement with Hershey Company to create a 3-D printer that produces chocolate and other edible goods. (Information compiled from cnn.com, nbcmiami. com, pbs.og, and news. nationalgeographic.com)

continued from page 1

Sochi Olympics full of controversy gay-rights activity remains. Last July, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law to ban pro-gay “propaganda” that could be available to minors. Many activists view this law as a restriction on any public expression of gay-rights. For the past weeks, CocaCola and McDonald’s, two major sponsors of the Olympics, have been targeted by social media campaigns held by gay-rights supporters. Several activists plan to travel to Sochi to protest the law. They hope to team up with athletes who are participating in the games. In an open letter to some of the biggest Olympic sponsors, forty human rights and gay rights groups from the United States, Western Europe, and Russia urge these companies to run ads promoting equality for lesbians, gay, bisexuals, and transgender people. “LGBT people must not

be targeted with violence or deprived of their ability to advocate for their own equality. As all eyes turn toward Sochi, we ask you to stand with us,” the letter states. Russia has also received multiple terror threats from multiple groups. In one investigation, Russian police are on the hunt for a suspect who is allegedly the widow of a member of an extremist militant group from Russia. Despite the multiple threats, Russian president Vladmir Putin insists the Sochi Olympics will be safe. “We will try to make certain that the security measures are not intrusive or too conspicuous, so they are not too noticeable for the athletes, the Olympics’ guests or journalists,” Putin says, according to CNN. “But at the same time, we will do our utmost to ensure that they are effective.”

By Betty Liu

Recently, the Academic Affairs Committee of Student Government has brought up the issue of possibly revaluing American Studies. Early last December, Junior Senator, Guy Blanc raised the question on the NCSSM Classes of 2014 and 2015 Facebook page. As it is, American Studies is valued at five points, as it is a 300 level class. Through the comments on the page, it is seen that many students believe that American Studies, typically referred to as “Amstud” is one of the most difficult classes taken during junior year at NCSSM, so the credit earned should reflect the degree of difficulty and be raised to 6 points, the same value given by an AP class or a 400 level class. In early January, Blanc met with Elizabeth Moose, Dean of Humanities, to discuss the possibility of raising American Studies to a 6.0 class. It is likely American Studies will not change in point value, but it is possible that the number of credits for the class will change. As it stands, American Studies is a three-trimester class and is worth 6 credits, two core English, two core History, and two core elective. As it is 6 credits, therefore it counts a lot on a student’s transcript. There is a chance that the number of credits earned in American Studies will decrease, possibly to 4 credits, but students would still be required to take the

three trimesters of American Studies. American Studies was once a two-trimester class that met for double blocks. Recently, it was changed so it would meet for one block a day for three trimesters. In an interview, Moose mentioned that the issue is part of a larger discussion of NCSSM graduation requirements. The issue has been discussed by the Humanities Department at NCSSM, the Dean’s group, the Faculty Senate, as well as the Instructional Council. Ms. Moose continued to say that Geoff Coltrane, Director of Instructional Research and Engagement, has done an analysis on the impact a change in credits would have on student’s GPA’s and the data is currently being reviewed by Faculty Senate and the Dean’s group. Moose says that she is committed to collaborating with the members of these groups to make a fair and reasonable decision that is in the best interests of the students. There is a mixed response from the student body about changing the credit. Some students are glad that American Studies could count for less. One student remarked “It would be nice because a bad grade in Amstud wouldn’t have so much impact on our transcript.” As some students are struggling with American Studies, this is the main reason some juniors are supportive of such a change. However,

others feel that it would be unfair to make the class count for less. When asked, Junior Gavin Riley said “Given the amount of work we are given in Amstud, it would be unfair to have it count for less credit.” Along with discussing possible changes in the amount of credit awarded for American Studies, there is a discussion within the faculty about the possibility of adding an Engineering and Technology requirement to the graduation requirements. When asked, students also showed a mixed response with regards to the addition of an Engineering and Technology requirement. Some students are all for the change, such as Junior Carly McKenna. “That would be fine,” she said. McKenna went on to say that she enjoyed engineering and thought it would make sense for NCSSM to have that requirement, due to the school’s strong base in STEM fields. Other students are less supportive of the proposed change such as Junior Cora Bright who said she was not a fan of Engineering. Though these changes are being discussed, nothing is certain yet. Blanc continued to say that if either change was going to be considered more seriously, he would take a poll to gauge student support. He ends with saying “Although neither of these issues would affect our graduation, we should still try to make our school a better place for those after us.”

The Mystery of Edwin Drood!

Photo by Zihui Yang

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For the Winter Musical, the Promethean Players put on the musical: The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Based on an unfinished novel by Charles Dickens set in London in 1892, The Mystery of Edwin Drood allows the audience to pick from over 300 possible endings. The Promethean Players put on three showings to much audience acclaim.


opinion

Opinion- Is the network really secure? At a school so technologically dependent, network security is going to be an issue of primary importance. However, recent changes to the school’s network security, initiated after a major breach, have not been enthusiastically embraced by the student body. Although ITS has kept details of their security network confidential, changes beyond their veil of secrecy are apparent to students. A major update to network security has been the introduction of educational videos for students and faculty, which are to be completed by Jan. 31. These “Securing The Human” videos can be found under the Community tab of MyNCSSM. Furthermore, to make changes to the network ITS must shutdown the school’s network. “These shutdowns typically occur when students are either away or asleep, but we occasionally do so when students and staff are potentially using the network,” said Paul Menchini, head of network security. So students can expect an increase in network shutdowns in order to close gaps in security. Behind the scenes however, ITS is engaged in a constant struggle, dealing with dozens of security breaches daily. However, a recent breach in network integrity, the kind found once out of several years, has prompted ITS and administration to make these changes. The majority of breaches come from outside the school. “Our users have elevated privileges on the network compared to outsiders, and so one way to breach the network is to gain access via one of our users,” said Menchini as he detailed the importance of the initiative to educate students. However, a student, who wishes to be unnamed, criticized these videos. “They are a last ditch effort by administration to insert confidence into network security,” said the source. Furthermore, students are not entirely convinced these changes to network security will not limit their privileges and abilities, or are even necessary. “They already restrict where we can go on the internet. Maybe that is more beneficial to them, but students won’t be happy because they can’t be placated by the

internet … We’ve been on the internet as long as they have and we already know what to do,” said the student. Given the resources NCSSM invests in its network, one would expect them to protect it with greater tenacity, especially considering the importance of technology to this school. Administration has apparently decided to entrust the integrity of the network in the users they do not trust to fully access the network. It is not surprising this decision has raised eyebrows across campus. So the question students are asking is, “If the system works for the most part, why change it?” Is living with a network perforated by miniature faults in security worth undWergoing the process of changing the network? Unless ITS is willing to reveal more details about their new initiative and the effect it will have upon students, the student body will be left unanswered. Courtesy of clker.com

By Richard Ong

Tips for staying healthy this winter By Caroline Liu

- Be the sketchy couple in the ground watts hallway: Yes, kissing can help you fight off colds and flu. By exchanging bacteria back and forth, you are actually enhancing your body’s natural defenses and boosting your immune system. Alternatively, just use soaps without antimicrobial ingredients so you do not kill good bacteria on your body with the bad. - Have a good laugh: laughter lowers cortisol levels and release endorphins, feelgood chemicals that trigger immune cells. - Drink coffee: drinking hot liquids, including coffee can help wash the virus out of your mouth and down into your stomach where viruses can’t grow due to the acids.

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Opinion- Obama calls for “A Year of Action” and side-steps Congress By Andrew Peterson

to pass single legislation while forcing Republicans to abandon their ideological distinctions to satisfy a growing America. Meanwhile, Republicans refuse to hand control across the aisle. By addressing immigration through smaller reforms, Republicans hope to accomplish their goals, while still representing nearly fifty percent of Americans that voted them into office. One of the last topics addressed in The President’s Address to Congress was about his controversial healthcare reform dubbed “Obamacare.” “The American people aren’t interested in refighting old battles,” said Obama on Tuesday night, “So again, if you The State of the Union address: President Barack Obama called for have specific plans to cut 2014 to be a “year of action” and an end to “Mad Men” workplace costs, cover more people, policies. and increase choice- tell America what you’d do results, there is a President who women is more ironic than differently. Let’s see if the is aware that his time in the it seems. While the party on numbers add up. But let’s not Oval Office has been defined the left points fingers to the have another 40 something by many bumps in the road. right, Americans have noticed votes to repeal a law that’s Obama promised to raise that both sides are at fault. already helping millions of the minimum wage for those Unable to bridge the gap that Americans.” contracted to the federal divides congress, Democrats While this sounds like government, to create a new have turned to media to a harmless statement to tax-free savings bond to paint the Republican Party encourage the Republican encourage Americans to save, as detrimental to women’s controlled House to consider to close Guantànamo Bay interests. the Affordable Care Act, prison, to push immigration reflects the Obama While it is the role of the it reforms into reality, and to veto President to support his party, administration’s frustration any sanctions that Congress he missed a crucial opportunity as they fought hard in the places to derail America’s to Democrats to bridge the Supreme Court, in Congress, deal with Iran over its nuclear growing fissure between the and in public perception to program. Right and Left in Congress amend the botched rollout of However, an overarching when he reminded voters of the flagship website. However, promise to bypass America’s the “Republicans failure.” while Obamacare supposedly legislature hangs eerily over Another key point addressed helps millions of Americans every moment of his speech, in Obama’s State of the Union by giving them access to “Wherever and whenever I can Address was Immigration affordable healthcare, it also take steps without legislation reform. has several noticeable flaws. to expand opportunity for more The healthcare policies In his address to Congress, American families, that’s what Obama said, “If we serious that the Obama administration I’m going to do, he vows to about economic growth, it is so adamantly defended in the American people. His last time to head the call of business the Affordable Care Act do year in office will be “a year of leaders, labor leaders, faith not serve the Americans that action.” leaders, and law enforcement- most desperately need it. If In his speech, Obama and fix our broken immigration the Obama Administration addressed several key system. Republicans and wants to achieve its dream issues that have defined his Democrats in the Senate have of healthcare coverage for Presidency. These include acted. I know that members of every American, then they hot-button topics like Women both parties in the House want must forget the bipartisanship Health Care, and Immigration to do the same.” that divides Congress and Reform. In the beginning of Republicans preferred to recognize that it is impractical his speech, Obama announced address the complicated but to increase government the alarming statistics, important issue of immigration spending in a time when there “women make up about half in a series of smaller reforms, is not money to spend. our workforce. But they still rather than approving a In his State of the Union make 77 cents for every dollar simplified and blanket approval Address, Obama called for a man earns. That is wrong and thrust upon at them by the Congress to cooperate, but he in 2014 it’s an embarrassment. Democrats. While President also made a mistake. He did A woman deserves equal pay Obama is waiting with bated not try to bridge the growing for equal work.” breath as negotiations open gap between Republicans Obama actually meant in the Republican controlled and Democrats. If Obama that Republicans could have House might be more willing truly wants to redefine his improved their handling of the to strike a deal. Presidency, he must find a way issues surrounding women, and Both sides need to recognize to bridge the divide between that these mistakes costs them the complexity of immigration Republicans and Democrats. the last presidential election reform. Democrats, hoping He must find a way to make and several key congressional to see sweeping reform, want government work. In the President’s annual address to Congress, Barack Obama made several controversial promises that are meant to keep America on track. However, behind the bold promises for action and

seats. At this moment in his speech, Obama was appealing to a group that has supported the Democratic Party heavily in recent elections, and he is reminding them to continue their support in November. However, Obama’s call to

Courtesy of blogs.cfr.org

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january/february 2014

features

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Fey and Poehler dazzle at Golden Globes Whether you are fascinated by the world of film, are completely obsessed with fashion, or live under a rock, it is impossible to escape the contagious obsession with Hollywood’s award season. Earlier this year, the competitive award season was at full swing during the 71st Golden Globes. Filled with gaffes, awkward moments, hilarious jokes, glimmering dresses, and drunken stars, the Golden Globes is an event that captures the attention of people around the world. Like every other Award show, the Golden Globes has its flaws. No one truly understands or respects the opinions of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that distributes the wildly coveted gold statues. Long, confusing, rambling speeches are mumbled on stage. Unexpected winners are as

Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and sent zingers at Matt Damon, Jonah Hill, George Clooney, and Tom Hanks. The most talked about moment was their summary of Gravity—“It’s basically the story of how George Clooney would rather float away into space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age.” Without a doubt, the Fey-Poehler performance made the 71st Golden Globes a hit, even before the first awards were given. Even despite their best efforts, the Globes definitely experienced a pacing problem as the initial awards were given out.; confusing and disorganized stage decisions; and suffering from several annoying and persistent sound issues. Courtesy of screencrush.com

By Andrew Peterson

surprised as the next guy as they accept their awards. And the combination of adrenaline, nerves, and too much booze create the atmosphere we have come to expect around every award show. This year was no different. Among the expected award show disasters, this years undisputed stars were definitely

the shows two hosts, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. A match made in heaven, these two delivered one liner after one liner seamlessly throughout the show while needling our favorite stars at the perfect moments. The two hilarious hosts kicked off the night by picking on the audience, mocking the

The technical side of the night was far from superb. Despite playing some off too slowly while ushering our favorites off the stage quickly, the Globes avoided creating a terribly dull middle section that often accompanies award shows like the Emmys and the Oscars. There were some odd missteps during the Globes---the best director announcement came way earlier than expected when the teleprompter provided the wrong words. Despite these errors throughout the night, it was at least enjoyable. It is so incredibly hard to pull off, and they did it beautifully. No award show is perfect, but the combination of Fey and Poehler left little to complain about. The globes had its technical glitches, and its awkward moments, but in its entirety, the Golden Globes met all expectations.

Lunar New Year an important holiday for Go Green many NCSSM students By Betty Liu

spare the time to celebrate, but there are still a few noteworthy celebrations, listed below.

out for the feast. Generations of family gather together under one roof to dine together, so there has to be a copious amount of food.

Courtesy of NCSSM

In the next week, Chinese students will be celebrating one of the most popular holidays in Chinese culture: ChiNew Year Cleaning— nese New Year, also called the Many families clean the house Spring Festival. The holiday is based on the lunar calendar, so the date changes every year. This year, it fell on Jan. 31. Sadly, this fell just shy of extended, which means many of the Chinese students here at NCSSM celebrated the holiday away from their NCSSM language students celabrate the New Year with students from families. C h i n e s e Hangzhou Foreign Language School. New Year is to the Chinese as Christmas during the days leading up to Making Dumplings— is to Americans. It is a time the new year. A clean house Dumplings are a traditional for giving gifts, spending time can lead to good start, not to food in Chinese culture. They with family, and feasting. The mention, it is considered bad consist of ground meat and celebration often lasts for two luck to sweep on New Year’s chopped vegetables sealed weeks, going from Dec. 31 to Day: it is believed that along in a thin layer of dough and Jan. 15 (on the lunar calendar.) with the dust, the year’s good boiled. While they can be At NCSSM, Chinese New fortune will be swept out as eaten anytime, dumplings are Year was celebrated a little well. a popular dish during Chinese early on Monday, Jan. 27 in New Year because families the Woolworth Room. The Decorating the house— can gather around and make Chinese New Year Celebration Perhaps the most popular dumplings together. was celebrated with the tradition, popular décor Chinese language program includes the symbol for Watching CCTV’s New community and the Hangzhou fortune, couplets written on Year Gala—A rather recent Foreign Language School red paper, and various forms tradition, the gala is a live (HFLS) students who visited of koi fish. These decorations performance hosted by China from Jan. 19-28. add to the air of festivity and Central Television that features This celebration’s agenda are said to bring good luck to some of the most popular featured an exchange of gifts, the household. singers, dancers, and actors tai chi presentation by the from all over China. HFLS students, Chinese skits New Year’s Feast—One by NCSSM Intermediate of the highlights of the New Giving Red Envelopes— Chinese students, and food. Year festivities, the Chinese On New Year’s Day, adults Nowadays, families are so are notorious for their love of will often give children red busy that they often cannot food, and most families go all envelopes filled with money.

These envelopes are often elaborately decorated with symbols for luck and fortune and represent good luck for the year to come. Visiting family and friends—After the initial celebration, many people will go out to visit family and friends that they were not with on New Year’s Eve. Lantern Festival—This ends the New Year’s festivities and is celebrated on the equivalent of Jan.15 of the lunar calendar. This day marks the first full moon of the New Year and people go outside with lanterns to admire the moon. People also eat sticky rice balls called yuanxiao, which represents family unity.

the

Facts Provided By The Sustainability Project

-If the entire world lived like the average American, we would need five planets to provide enough resources -Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to listen to a full album on your iPod. Recycling 100 cans could light your bedroom for two whole weeks. -An estimated 80,000,000 Hershey’s Kisses are wrapped each day, using enough aluminum foil to cover over 40 football fields. All that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it. -Only 13 percent of water bottles are recycled. In 2005, Americans purchased 30 billion water bottles, and 26 billion of them wound up in

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