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Bittersweet Process – Giselle N.

Have you ever wondered how the coffee in your Starbucks drink is made? It is actually a very long process and requires a lot of attention in order to provide consumers with the best quality of coffee.

A coffee bean, firstly, is a seed, and specifically, a fruit. These coffee beans are planted in large beds and given lots of water and moisture, so they’re usually planted during the wet season. They mostly stay in the shade.

It takes about three to four years for a coffee tree to start bearing fruit. They’re called coffee cherries and turn a bright deep red when they’re ripe. There are two ways that these cherries can be harvested. One method is strip picking which when all the cherries are stripped off of their branch. Another method is selectively picking which is the ripest cherries will be handpicked. This is the most most expensive and requires more hard labor and is used in finer Arabica beans.

After the cherries are picked, they have to be processed. There are two methods that can be done to do this. The first method is the dry method. This is an age-old method that is mostly used in water deprived areas. The beans are laid out to be sun dried and protected from any exposure from moisture. They are raked and turned throughout the day, so that they don’t spoil. The moisture level has to drop down to 11%.  The wet method is where the cherries go through a machine where their pulp and skin are removed from the bean. They are separated by weight and put into fermentation tanks where a layer of mucilage is dissolved. The beans that went through this method then have to go through the same drying process as the other method.

From here, They have to be graded and sorted. They are reviewed by size, weight, and color. Now that the milled beans, or green coffee, have been checked, they are put into containers, ready to be shipped. Brazil holds the title for the largest coffee exporting nation.

They are tested for the best quality and taste called cupping. The taster, cupper, first checks the visual quality. Then the coffee is roasted and brewed, so that the cupper can best experience the aroma. To taste the coffee, the person inhales a spoonful and the purpose for this is so that it evenly spreads across the tastebuds, and then spits it out. This testing is important because it also analyzes what kind of blends of coffee go together and what is the proper roasting.

When you roast coffee, it turns from a green bean to a brown one. In a roasting machine, the temperature has to approximately be 550 degrees fahrenheit and the beans have to be constantly turned so that they don’t burn up. Once they have an internal temperature of about 400 degrees, they begin to turn brown and an oil called caffeol is released which is what gives coffee its aroma and flavor. This process is called pyrolysis. The beans can be cooled by air or water.

The coffee can now be grinded into different textures. How fine or how course depends on the kind of method that is used. Now, you can start to brew your coffee and add flavoring to your liking.

As can be seen, it’s an extensive process that a coffee bean goes through in order to help you get through your day. It’s an international drink that people all over the world share.

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Mosquito Mania – Giselle N.

Recently, there’s been a disease breakout and this time, it’s not Ebola, it’s the Zika virus. The WHO has declared zika as a worldwide medical emergency.

The outbreak started to alarm people about a year ago in Brazil, now spread in about 20 countries. It was given a lot of attention when medical officials suspected a link between the virus and a birth defect, known as microcephaly. Microcephaly is a condition where a baby is born with an abnormally small head. It affects brain development and depending on how severe it is, the baby might not survive for a long time. The ones that do survive, will have many intellectual disabilities throughout their life.

Some countries, including Brazil, have advised and cautioned for women to not get pregnant because in fear that the woman carrying a child has been infected by the virus and then pass it on to her newborn. It’s still not certain if there is any link, but they still informed women that is is best to hold off from getting pregnant until more is known about the virus.

The Zika virus was first identified in monkeys in Uganda back in 1947. There have been a few cases here and there, but not until last year, did Brazil begin to report multiple cases. It has been spreading rapidly into many countries, and even a few cases in the U.S.

Currently, the zika virus is being transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes which are found on the Americas. If a person already has the virus and a mosquito takes the blood of the infected person, it can then go bite another person, thus spreading the virus from person to person. That’s why a way to prevent from getting bitten is, of course, taking the precautions that you normally would to prevent getting mosquito bites. That would be wear clothing covers most of your body and using bug spray. You should also completely close your windows so they don’t have an access to enter your home. Mosquitos like to lay their eggs in water, so it would be best to cut them off to any water.

This virus is, although, a bit scary because the symptoms are barely visible. Some of the symptoms include: fever, a rash, joint pain, and red eyes. Sometimes there aren’t even any symptoms indicating that you are infected. As of right now, there is no vaccine or cure for this disease, but there is a lot of money and funding being put for the development of some treatment. Some scientists believe that they are close to coming close and will begin vaccine trials in September or as late as early 2017. In the best case scenario, there could possibly be a vaccine in 2018.

Social Media

Social media is all around us: Facebook, Instagram,Twitter, Reddit, Youtube, Snapchat, Ifunny, Vine, etc.. Some of us used it everyday for entertainment,education,and etc. This world of social media is full of astonishing things. We occasionally see the beauty of it or sometimes the cruel and the dark. What would the world be like without having it? Does it cause bad influence?Well we find out these answers.

It’s amazing how social media can work in different ways. Sometimes it connect people closer together.There are some people who talk to their love ones who live in a different state or country. Although most people use social media for entertainment because nowadays the internet is full of excitement. Like watching cat videos on YouTube which causes a tremendous cause of  laughter. Then seeing the amazing face swap on Snapchat and always trying to get the face just perfect for you and the person you share it with. Some young teenager girls feel that it connect you well. For example when a anyone is going through rough time social really helps them connect with others who are going through the same thing. Together they can get through it and solve the problems that causing them suffering. It really does help them and everybody that is with them on the way.Although social media is amazing there are some flaws.

Many female teenagers who post a selfies always get comments saying “You’re beautiful” or “You’re so pretty”. This causes teenagers to feel happy and better about themselves which is sometimes a good thing. Although many parents are considered that their children who are still young have a account on social media which they think is dangerous. With social media at the tip of our fingers it wouldn’t be hard for a child or for anyone to reach and sometimes be convinced the wrong things. Many teens nowadays are so worried about their looks because they don’t a certain way that society has taught us. Although this is mostly affecting young ones and teenagers this could lead to depression at a young age. Though we all learn from our past and sometimes that could lead to a better future.

Surprisingly the world before social media was alright. Yeah, there was a lot of differences between now and then but they could still manage the world without it. The earliest method of communicating across great distance was sending letter. While others people spoke face-to-face in order to talk to each other and interact with another.Instead of looking for new trends on Twitter or on others social media.Throughout time they would use radio,to hear the news to know what was going on in the world. They would listen and sit around the radio listening to the stories,news, and music. Before taking pictures on your phone then posting it to the internet. Back then they would take pictures on cameras to capture the moment of a good memory with a friend or a family member really anybody you wanted to be with. Right now we would say that living without social media is hard, but to the people who were born without social media with them it was a reality that was their life.

Some think that although they are of dangerous this really never seemed to bother them “Yup. I’m pretty reserved though, even in social media, so I’ve never been worried.”said a student at New Tech. Many feel like although it is sometimes dangerous it’s an something that brings the people more together, and sure there are some flaws but nothing is really perfect it’s just the way we see it that changes our perspective of it.


Why I support Bernie Sanders

 For me, Bernie Sanders is the antithesis of what it means to be a politician. I see him riding back and forth on public broadcasts on the train station to Washington, pictures of him walking to the capitol and constantly surrounded by his support system. He truly wants to be able to have the American dream. For decades, we have tried the Republican way and the Democratic way. The only thing that we have done is tilt the table in favor for ruling elite. Bernie, to me knows what we’re actually facing as Americans. Sanders wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Note that the federal minimum wage is rounded up to about $8 in total. Sanders has made it his appoint to raise up the pay to a “living wage.” This being a decent amount of money to pay for groceries, living expenses, such as rent, electricity, water, and so on.

 

Even if this goal weren’t to go through, there still would have been an effort made which is better than nothing. About 40% of Americans earn less than $15 an hour and that figure adds up to what a person who is working full time would earn. USA’s wages have gotten bad and a lot of people  are under financial stress. If this doesn’t make you want to support Sanders I don’t know what will. Sanders is a regular guy who represents regular folk. He has shown ability to work with John McCain, a Senior of the senate who was also a Republican nominee back in 2008.  He has also worked with others behind the scenes to form compromises without insulting or berating others. I support bernie because his policies would seriously re-build the middle class. He’d use diplomacy first, avoid self-defeating, pointless and expensive wars, and build a culture of respect. I will continue to support sanders because he has integrity.

 

He tells the truth, what you see is what you get. He’s a good man and would make a terrific president! He wants people to be able to go see the doctor without worrying about the expense, and get the medication they need. He believes in peaceful resolution vs. war. He won’t be bought. He wants all Americans who work 40 hours or more a week to not have to work multiple more  jobs to get by. He wants to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour. He treats others with respect even if they don’t see eye to eye. He wants to hold people, police, and higher authorities accountable for their actions no matter how high of a power they are. I am supportive of Bernie Sanders because he cares. He is about a real change. He is about righting wrongs and giving some power to the people where it should be. This why I support Bernie Sanders as our next president 2016.

Human Rights Violated

When the word jail or prison is brought up, you logically think criminals and people who have done bad things, but sometimes innocent people are taken in place of the people who are really guilty. These people’s human rights are violated, and recently these human rights practically don’t exist in countries like Russia, Azerbaijan, and other countries.

Going on since 2006, Russian authorities had claimed a specific religious group, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, to have had extremist religious worship. In June 2016, it was found that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), found that Russia had violated Articles 5 and 9. According to ECHR Convention Guide to Article 5, it is the right to liberty and security. This article is 44 pages long and explains the article, why it was made, and the guarantees a person has if they are deprived of their liberty and security. In the ECHR Convention Guide to Article 9, it explains the freedom to religion. These articles were found to be violated when the police went in on an illegal raid in a religious service on the night April 12, 2006. Russian officials have even made a list of books they considered extremist, some of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ literature is on the list. There have been times where it was believed the Russian Authorities have tried to fabricate evidence, or plant evidence, in their place of worship so they could be charged with extremism. The official page of Jehovah’s Witnesses has a video explaining this situation. You can go to JW.ORG, and search for Russian Authorities Fabricate Evidence to Charge Witnesses With Extremist, it should be the first video. If you want more information about what is happening in Russia, you could hover over the bold RUSSIA under the date. Most of these Jehovah’s Witnesses have been sent to court and tried for the extremist actions they have been accused of. The Russian authorities have also tried to make the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, the bible, go onto the list of extremist books. Without their books, they will not be able to go to their place of worship to study the bible. With the issue of the bible, we can see that recently, January 14, 2016, Russian authorities have seized the shipments of bibles and the books that help them understand the bible. In 2015, they stopped a shipment of 2,013 Russian-language copies of the bible. This again was violating their human rights by not letting them have their freedom of religion.

Azerbaijan has also been violating the human rights of many people in their country. This started in 2014, on Sunday morning the police had broken into the Jehovah’s Witnesses place of worship, the official page of Jehovah’s Witnesses mentions, “The police not only interrupted the religious service of Jehovah’s Witnesses but also beat several of the men, searched the premises without a warrant, verbally abused those in attendance, and confiscated money, computers, and the congregation’s Bible literature.” The officers had no right to do this, according to Crime and Society: A Comparative Criminology Tour of the World, “The Constitution allows searches of residences only with a court order or in cases provided by law; however, the authorities often conducted searches without warrants.” There was also the case of two women who were being held, Irina Zakharchenko and Valida Jabrayilova, for 11 months. These women were finally released on January 28, 2016, but it came with a price. It cost them 7,000 manat or 4474.62 American dollars. This price was only because these ladies had been distributing one religious brochure. Government officials later decided that the fines would be dropped seeing as the women had been in the jail since February 17, 2015. There was at one point a UN ruling that directed Azerbaijan to compensate the ladies for the unjust imprisonment thaScreen Shot 2016-04-19 at 12.37.07 PMt they were put into, but the officials completely disregarded that order. As mentioned before the ladies were let go, and are now in a healthy state. You can also find more information going to JW.ORG, and looking up Irina Zakharchenko and Valida Jabrayilova.

 

New York Police Department

Back when I lived in New York, there would always be small white cars with blue lettering driving around… These cars symbolized protection of the city. I remember seeing at least 20 of these cars per day. They were seriously everywhere. Most of the time they were driving around the city, making sure all way correct and in order. That doesn’t mean, it was peaceful all the time. I recall seeing high speed cop cars with their sirens playing as loud as can be, racing their ways toward the crime. I had no doubt, the police department would make a stop to it.

The NYPD was established in 1845 and is one of the oldest and most historic police departments, establishing its roots back to the 17th century. According to nyc.gov, the NYPD is the biggest police department in the whole country. They have the most members in their department, more than big states like Texas, California, Florida, etc. As of 2012, the police department has over 34,000 uniformed officers patrolling the city’s streets and over 51,000 employees overall. This includes the staff, chiefs, and officers all over the several dozen departments around the city I imagine the numbers nowadays being much higher since it is 3 years later. The NYPD even has more employees than the FBI, a nation wide group, that’s crazy! As stated on the guardian.com, In the year of 2013 alone, the budget of the NYPD was a total of 4.6 billion dollars, and that may sound like a huge number, but in reality it is just 15% of the entire city’s budget. Can you imagine how much the other 85% is? It takes a ton of money to run one of the biggest cities in the world.

After doing some research on my favorite law enforcement in the world, I realised that the NYPD is so big, it’s almost like an army itself. The NYPD has a broad array of specialized services, including the Emergency Service Unit, K9, harbor patrol, air support, bomb disposal, counter-terrorism, criminal intelligence, anti-gang, anti-organized crime, narcotics, public transportation and public housing. Doesn’t that sound like an army? They have all these units available to them to keep the city in peace. I believe It is amazing, New York City has the total population of 6.4 million people, and the police department should be allowed to have these sources available to them in order to keep the community together and prevent hostile attacks. Nowadays the NYPD is more secure and alert than they were now… With the population increasing dramatically, and the city having a history of being attacked and in danger. The department should definitely be prepared for whatever may occur.

Now let’s get into what equipment the NYPD uses… When I was in the Sixth grader, my teacher’s brother, a police officer came into my class to demonstrate what their duty is. He showed us what he had on his belt, and I was amazed. They had so much equipment on that belt, I was beginning to wonder how they could carry all that around all day. I remember him showing us his gun, combat stick, flashlight, and  handcuffs. I don’t remember it all since it was so long ago. After doing some research on I found out that they carry their radio, ammo, batteries, weapon of defence which can be pepper spray, taser, or gun, gloves, pens, pencil, and papers. The cars the NYPD uses also varies a lot. I remember seeing dozens of different vehicles that would have that big blue logo on them, It was amazing. The cars ranged from a 1990 chevrolet caprice all the way to a 2016 ford hybrid. The car I used to see the most was a 2008 ford crown victoria… It brings back so many memories when I see a picture of this car. The NYPD also has scooters, motorcycles, trucks, vans, boats, and even helicopters wandering around the city.

To conclude, the NYPD is my favorite law enforcement because of it’s history and how much I relate to it. I truly hope to see it grow and improve.

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