Category Archives: Opinion

iPhone 7 Brings Exciting New Changes

By Michael Braun

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So you thought that your iPhone 6s was cool? Well the two new iPhones, the 7 and 7 plus, blow the competition away. First off, the iPhone 7 comes in five amazing colors. The classic gold, rose gold, and silver and the new black and jet black. The iPhone 6s only came in 3 colors, silver, gold, and rose gold.

A big difference about the iPhone 7 from the 6 is no more headphone jack. This means that your old headphones won’t work for this. But don’t fear, because apple has you covered. Coming in the box with the iPhone 7 will be new headphones that instead of connecting to a headphone jack, will connect to a lightning port, where you charge your phone. Or, if you want to keep your headphones, the iPhone 7 comes with a syncing dongle that will allow old headphones to connect to the lightning port. Or, if that doesn’t satisfy you, you can get the new air pods. As you may have guessed from the name, these are earbuds connected by bluetooth, and that means no more getting wires all tangled up. They have 5 hours battery life and come with a charging case with an extra 24 hours of battery life. These air pods cost $159.

Have you ever said goodbye to your phone next to a toilet or a pool? Well do not fear, the new waterproof iPhone 7 is here! Yes, that’s right, I did say waterproof. It can go up to thirty minutes submerged and one meter down. As well as being protected from water, the iPhone 7 is sealed and will repel dust.

This next update is probably the biggest part about the new phone. However, this update is only for the iPhone 7 plus. Along with the original 12MP lens, the 7 plus comes with an additional lens which helps to make your pictures all the better. When taking a picture, you can zoom up to 2x in hardware and 10x in software. It also has a more advanced LED flash for better coloring.

What makes a phone the best it can be? The little things. Yes, they are little differences, but they add up. First off, the brightness is much better. This might not seem to amazing, but its max brightness is much brighter, making it much easier to read, see, or watch. Another difference about the 7 is it has much better battery life. Apple claims that it has 2 hours longer battery life. Ways to save battery life can include lowering volume, lowering brightness, and turning on airplane mode. If you put your brightness to a quarter way, it should save you about 15%.

You can buy the iPhone 7 for 32, 128, or 256 GB for $649, $749, or $849. Or if you want to go big and get the 7   plus, you can get 32, 128, or 256 GB for $769, $869, or $969. Not bad. But just wait till the next iPhone! The iPhone 8…

Stop Eating GMOs Now

By Julia B.

Unfortunately, this student just ate a container of non-organic raspberries. Next time, she should buy organic.

Unfortunately, this student just ate a container of non-organic raspberries. Next time, she should buy organic.

Imagine. A student finishes his breakfast. Every morning he eats the same thing: whole grain cereal with fresh strawberries. He doesn’t, however, buy organic strawberries. He thinks the organic strawberries are bland. That same morning, when he is walking to school, he is rushed to the hospital because his heart developed a defect. And to think that all of this happened because of strawberries. The amazing tasty fruit that everyone loves. This could happen to any person. These strawberries he ate were genetically modified. When fruits are genetically modified it means that scientists switch the genes of foods to create something different and “better”. Genetically modified foods (GMOs) can hurt people and the environment in a lot of different ways, and students as well as their families need to stop buying them.

First off, GMOs are altered versions of produce such as fruits, and we do not know if this will create chaos in the body. Did you know, approximately 80% of foods are GMOs in the U.S., and these foods have been connected to health problems? GMOs do not have to be labeled so people do not know if they are buying GMOs. Also, GMOs have very little consumer benefits, while they also have negative effects on health and the body. GMO supporters believe that GMOs have way more nutrients than regular foods do, when the reality is you get the same amount of nutrients when you eat an assortment of regular organic foods. This proves there really is no need for GMOs. Imagine, scientists could end up creating a food that is rabid and rancid. This could lead to even bigger panic among people when you are buying food from the stores for themselves and your family.

Next, when testing GMOs on animals there have been mixed results which means there is a chance GMOs could cause danger toward humans. In the long term, GMOs have many negative side effects. In a short term study there have been few negative effects. Rats fed GMOs have had babies way smaller than they usually would. Also, rats fed these biotech foods live shorter than their normal lifespan. Imagine if you were an animal that got fed GMOs, and then you had all sorts of things blazing through you, such as heart defects and lung defects. GMOs can cause insanity with health, and it can cause cruel defects as well. People who are for GMOs say that scientists are hoping to create GMOs that have a ton of benefits. WAIT! Notice how they say hoping. When they say this, it really suggests that scientists have no idea if they will actually create a lot of benefits.

Lastly, weeds have started to become resistant to pesticides and herbicides, which, makes it harder to control corrupting weeds. Superweeds are beginning to pop up in a ton of farms because of GMOs. As well as this, superbugs cause more spraying to happen in farms. These bugs can create toxins that may hurt the growing crops. If even one thing goes wrong, it could create a domino effect, starting with humans. Superbugs hurt the food growing in farms. Superweeds will spread as fast as a cold can travel from one person to another. Imagine if you were a farmer and you had superweeds, then you might have to shut your farm down if the superweeds become popular among your farm.

We as humans have the ability to make a change. We have the power to ban GMOs. GMOs affect us and don’t give us the nutrients we need to survive. This is a big problem, but you can change that. If you stop buying GMOs there is a chance that you can save all humans. Spread the word. By refusing to buy GMOs you can make a difference and change the world.

Middle Schoolers Need More Sleep

By Kasey P.

In a conversation between two middle school students, the phrase, “I’m so tired,” is surprisingly common. Although kids are known to be energetic and excited, many are exhausted every single day.

Many people know how important sleep is. Getting a good night’s sleep is known to increase concentration and focus, improve happiness, and even assist creative thinking. Scientists have discovered that the brain doesn’t actually relax during sleep. Growth and other things necessary to be healthy and happy occur during sleep.

In addition, lack of sleep is linked to lower grades, bad moods, and can contribute to illness. Sleep is necessary for focus, and without it, it is hard to do the best work possible. It is difficult for someone to have a good day when it is hard to keep their eyes open.

Studies have shown that most middle school students are not getting the sleep they need. Middle school students need between 9 and 9½ hours of sleep for the optimal amount of rest. Teenagers will often get an amount of sleep that if much lower than this number. After awhile, the missed sleep adds up, and students are tired every day.

However, research shows that the common sleepiness of middle school students is actually natural. As students get older, the body’s internal clock is reset in a way that it wants to fall asleep later and wake up later. It is completely normal to not be able to fall asleep until after around eleven p.m.

Most middle schoolers actually need to go to bed later, but school start times and morning activities prevents sleeping in from being an option. Some schools have pushed their start times back so that students could sleep in a little bit later, but this is not always an option. Luckily, students can do small things to catch more of the sleep they need.

One way to get the optimal amount of rest is to set a regular bedtime routine. Doing the same relaxing activities before going to sleep tells the body that it is time to be tired and to fall asleep. Going to bed at the same time every night is an essential part of a good routine. Exercising, caffeinated drinks or using electronic devices can make it difficult to sleep if they are used right beforehand. Reading, yoga, or listening to relaxing music before bed are calming activities that are perfect for bedtime. Doing something like this a few minutes before sleeping can make it easier to fall asleep.

In addition to good bedtime habits, students should allow themselves enough time to get the sleep they need. There is no way for anyone to feel rested if he or she goes to bed at one in the morning and have to wake up at seven a.m. Although it can be hard to find the time to get necessary sleep, going to bed an extra hour early can help the body catch up on the sleep it needs.

Middle school students often don’t get the sleep they need. This is partly because as students grow, it can be harder to fall asleep early and wake up early. A consistent bedtime routine and providing the time to catch up on sleep can help. Once students get the sleep they need, the benefits are endless.

The Cafeteria: A Perfect Place for Lunch

By Kasey P.

At each lunch period at Brookside school, students casually walk into the cafeteria to enjoy their lunch. Some students buy lunch at the front of the cafeteria, while others bring lunches to school. While the majority of schools have a cafeteria, some are using new locations for eating lunch. Staying in the cafeteria establishes order, controls messes, and is fun for many students.

Eating in the cafeteria organizes what happens at lunchtime. All the students in the grade are in one place at the same time. Students buying lunch can do so fairly quickly before sitting at a table. If lunch was anywhere else, students who buy lunch would have to walk several places, leaving little time to eat their lunch. In addition, if students were to eat in different locations, lunchtime could become complicated. It is most convenient to simply eat in the cafeteria.

Eating in the cafeteria also keeps messes under control. A spill on a cafeteria table is easier to clean up than one in a classroom or outside. After time is up, lunch aids pass out towels to clean the tables. Students clean up after themselves in a process. Anywhere else, this process might not be so simple.

Some say that eating in new places might be more fun for students, but many students are having a good time in the cafeteria. Cameron H., a seventh grade student, said, “I enjoy eating in the cafeteria because I get to chat with all my friends.” When students are having fun, there is no need to move lunch to a new place.

In conclusion, students should continue to eat their lunch in the school cafeteria. It is unnecessary to have a change of location. Eating in the cafeteria provides organization, easy cleanup, and fun for students.

Students Should Have More Language Options

By Avyn S.

At Brookside, it is mandatory to take Spanish in fourth through eighth grade. In 4th and 5th grade, that is reasonable, but once 6th grade is reached, why shouldn’t we have a choice like some other middle schools? This will provide preparation for high school, when we have the option to choose a language. Also, it is an amazing opportunity to be able to learn a language, especially one each student enjoys. Finally, many people have different family members that live in a foreign country, and they would like to learn the language they speak.

I have interviewed many kids in sixth through eighth grade, and all of them said that they would like be able to to pick their own language, even if it had to become another cycle class. A sixth grader, Mikayla Walsh, said, “Maybe someone speaks Spanish at home, and is looking for more of a challenge. We should be able to choose our own language in grades six through eight.”

Mary Claire Flynne, another sixth grader, said, “I do not think Spanish should be mandatory because people should have the right to choose at our age, and people may want to speak the language of their heritage.” Many other students I conferred with agreed with Mikayla and Mary Claire.

If we have the choice in high school, why not start choosing now? There is a wide variation of language choices at the public high school for our town, Northern Highlands. So, since the majority of students will be attending Northern Highlands for high school, we should prepare like the Ho-Ho-Kus, Saddle River, and Upper Saddle River middle schools do, who also attend to Northern Highlands, by offering a choice of languages.

Being able to have the opportunity to learn a foreign language is an amazing way to learn a language we are passionate about. For some students, it may be Spanish, for others, it may be many other languages.

There are many students at Brookside that speak a language at home, and many of those speak Spanish. If they can already speak fluent Spanish, then they shouldn’t have to take a class where they do not learn anything new. Also, many kids have grandparents or other extended family that speak another language and many students may want to learn that language.

In conclusion, many students believe that we should be able to choose a foreign language, and I agree. This is because it will provide preparation for high school, when we have the option to choose a language. Also, it is an amazing opportunity to be able to learn a language, especially one you enjoy. Finally, many people have different family members that live in a foreign country, and they would like to learn the language they speak.

Run for Fun!

By Lauren F.

“It’s mile run day!” When students hear this statement, the typical reactions are moans and groans, usually in the form of, “Why?” Nobody’s ever in the mood to go outside and run. However, despite the complaining, running the mile does have many benefits. Although staying healthy is one of them, it is certainly not the most important one, as most people assume. Running can actually help lift your spirits when you’re feeling upset or stressed out. Also, although many people believe that running is only for the athletic, every one is able to participate in it. Running is much more helpful than people assume.

Although most students complain about running the mile, it is very healthy for us. It burns calories, and is an excellent way to improve cardiovascular health. That means that it keeps your heart healthy, and reduces your chance of getting heart disease. Running the mile also helps you build muscle, and improves your bones as well. As researchers from the University of Missouri state, “Running strengthens bones better than other aerobic activities.” Our bones aren’t improving if we’re just sitting around all day. For some people, running the mile is the best exercise they get all week.

Most people do not realize that running the mile on a regular basis puts you in a better mood. Not only are you happier, but your stress is reduced, and your sleep is improved. The reason for this is that when you run, your body releases endorphins that send messages to your brain to block pain. So if you’re feeling depressed or stressed out, just take a break and go for a run.

It is a misconception that only athletes can run. People of all ages and athletic ability are able to participate in running. As Kasey Pataki, a 7th grader at Brookside Middle School, states, “Running is fun because I get better each time I do it. It doesn’t matter if I am the fastest or the slowest.” Kasey realizes that she isn’t the best, and that’s okay with her. She just has a good time running, like all students should.

So, don’t complain about running the mile. It keeps you healthy! You don’t want to be sick all the time, do you? To make the mile more enjoyable, you could come up with fun things to do, such as running with your friends, or to the tempo of a song. Just remember, we’re running it for our own good.

Disagree? See what Stephanie M. has to say.

A Day in the Life…

cartoon for bulldogs bites(shannon)