Genetically modified salmon receives FDA approval

The FDA has approved a fish genetically engineered to develop more rapidly than non-genetically engineered salmon, named the AquAdvantage Salmon. It’s the first GMO animal approved for human consumption in the United States.

The AquAdvantage salmon develops twice as fast as non-GM Atlantic salmon, due to the over-expression of a growth hormone. AquaBounty Technologies, the organization that made the fish, has been attempting to get it through approval for just about 20 years. The fish is an Atlantic salmon which has been genetically modified to incorporate genes from various fish, including a growth hormone gene and the promoter of an antifreeze gene.

Genetically modified salmon is now FDA approved. Graphic by Katie Gibson
Genetically modified salmon is now FDA approved. Graphic by Katie Gibson

In a statement released November 20th by AquaBounty’s CEO Ron Stotish, he said, “AquAdvantage Salmon is a game-changer that brings healthy and nutritious food to consumers in an environmentally responsible manner without damaging the ocean and other marine habitats. Using land-based aquaculture systems, this rich source of protein and other nutrients can be farmed close to major consumer markets in a more sustainable manner.”

The FDA has only agreed to AquaBounty’s present breeding and growing setup, where fish are bred in Canada on Prince Edward Island, and sterilized eggs are shipped to the highlands of Panama to be developed to market size. On the off-chance that the product takes off and the organization needs to add additional facilities, each of these would need to get approved separately. “It’s not clear that it would be a simple process by any means,” Smith says.

With the current administrative fight behind it, AquaBounty still has to win over grocery stores and customers careful about GM products. “It’s difficult to disentangle consumer’s attitudes from their understanding of the technology,” Smith says, “there are a lot of politics of [GM organisms] that might inform people’s decision-making that might not have anything to do whatsoever with the technology.”

What’s more, in light of the fact that the new product can be labeled as farmed Atlantic salmon without mention of the genetic modification, shoppers may not know they’re eating it unless sellers explicitly decline to purchase it, Smith says. Target, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods have stated that they weren’t going to sell, or buy, the fish.

Two major untouchable subjects with your parental units

Some subjects are simply not okay to talk to your parents about. Your parents gave you life, but that doesn’t mean you should talk to them about the nitty gritty, personal, somewhat inappropriate stuff. It’s just awkward and uncomfortable for everyone involved. Here are some topics you should probably steer clear from when talking to your parents.

1. Sex

Nobody willingly likes to talk about sex when it comes to explaining what it means or how to do it. Your parents obviously knows what’s going on when it comes to sex because they had you, but mostly likely, they’d rather not talk to their child about it. You should never brag to your parents about how much you’re getting laid. First of all, why would you do that in the first place? That’s just a little bit weird, but also, that topic could spark the conversation of STDs and other awkward conversations that you nor them want to endure.

Last but not least, please don’t talk to your parents about sex toys. I don’t care if your parents are the “cool parents.” It’s not cool to do that. If you want information, google it or ask a friends. Don’t tell them you’re looking to buy a nice dildo and you were wondering where you could get it. They most likely have no idea what you’re talking about and if they do they’re either mortified or confused. Don’t bring up that conversation. Just don’t.

2. Alcohol and Drugs

Alcohol and drugs are somewhat of a better conversation than sex; however, parents can be scary overprotective so you have to be careful about how you start the conversation. If you ask any questions without prefacing it with “I’m not a drug addict or alcoholic nor am I attempting to be; however, I do have a question,” then your parents will most likely think you’re a drug dealer, pot head, or alcoholic. Just make sure they know what’s going on before you bring it up. Be nice to your parents

Don't be this kid, please.  Photo from buzzfeed
Don’t be this kid, please.
Photo from buzzfeed

These topics could be different for each person, but I think, generally, these are some good rules to follow to ensure everyone feels comfortable and not awkward when having to look you in the eyes. Be respectful and nice to your parents, it usually help later in life.

Time management tips

Time management can be difficult to handle in college. Between classes, homework, projects, and papers you think you don’t have any free time. However, if you manage your time right, you will have some time to spare. Whether you get a part-time job, join a club or sports team, or just relax is up to you but each commitment will take a certain amount of time, and how you deal with your schoolwork will determine if you have the time for each activity.

Manage your time throughout the day. Graphic by Katie Gibson
Manage your time throughout the day. Graphic by Katie Gibson

Making a to-do list for each day can help out immensely with your heavy workload. This way, you know what you have to accomplish for that day and can prioritize your work. The key to making a to-do list is to not put too many tasks on it. If you only put a few things that you absolutely have to get done by that night, then you can only focus on those few things and accomplish your goal.

Another helpful tip for time management is to have and utilize a planner. Having a planner seems like something that is normal and standard for most college students but whether or not it’s used and how it’s used is the deal breaker on how helpful it can be. To make your planner as helpful as possible it’s best to write down all the due dates you are aware of in the beginning of the semester. This way, even if that week you forget something is due you will see it already written down. Leaving reminders is very beneficial and will help with time management in the long run.

As long as you are making to-do lists, writing down stuff in your planner, and not letting the stress of school take over your life and attitude, you will be surviving, and conquering, the time management wheel that is college!

Presents that should be at the top of your Christmas list

Yeah, yeah, yeah for Christmas we should all be asking for peace on Earth, but let’s pretend for one second that it’s not taboo to admit that you want material things under the tree come December 25th. As a college student, everyone is always asking me the dreaded question, “What do you want for Christmas?” The truth is, it’s hard to think of wish list items sometimes so if you’re grandmother is pressing you for answers, here are some ideas for your Christmas list.

Get your Christmas list ready. Graphic from People
Get your Christmas list ready. Graphic from People

1) Spring break money

There’s no better gift than an ever lasting memory right? If your plan is to take off for somewhere tropical come March, consider asking for “spring break money”. Grandparents like to give it because they know what it’s going to, plus it will take the pressure off when it comes to saving every cent for break.

2) Christmas lights (fairy lights)

A new trend in apartment décor, Christmas lights will liven up any room and set a peaceful atmosphere. Plus as the Christmas season wanes on they get cheaper.

3) Ikea gift card

You’re in college now. If you don’t get excited over cheap furniture, cool lighting, and lingonberry juice then what kind of adult are you? Ikea is like Disney World for 20 somethings. Decorate your apartment, eat some Swedish meatballs, and carry home a box of delicious lingonberry concentrate all on a family member’s dime this holiday season.

4) Costco Membership

Once again, this is a gift that would seem horribly boring ten years ago, but nowadays Costco is the promise land. You need 200 Pizza Bagel Bites. You’re a busy person. Plus if you’re hungry, tasting stations equal free lunch.

5) A Slushie Maker

Slushie makers will be there for yo as you pull those dreadful all-nighters studying for finals. They also are great at parties. The most versatile thing you could ever own.

6) Vintage Popcorn Popper

Yeah you could use microwavable bags, but popcorn kernels are cheaper and the whole process is better for you. Plus you can play with a million flavors. There are whole recipe books on how to make new and delicious kinds of popcorn. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Still ask for world peace though. We do need that.

Technology that monitors stress level

In the realm of innovative wearable technology, monitoring fitness and movement is commonly the primary objective. Wearable tech created to tally steps, monitor workouts, and hit more reps has well and genuinely become the standard but be that as it may, in the course of the past twelve months, there’s been an enormous increase in gadgets built in order to keep our minds in check, just as much as our bodies. Recently, a product has been manufactured that strives to assist individuals in managing their anxiety and stress amid their everyday lives.

New wearable technology monitors stress-level, not fitness. Image from CBS Boston.
New wearable technology monitors stress-level, not fitness.
Image from CBS Boston.

The consumers simply clip Spire to their jeans or bra and the device monitors the patterns of your breathing to figure out whether they’re relaxed, centered, or strained. If the breathing speeds up to an excessive amount, the device will buzz and a message will be sent to your iPhone telling you to take a deep breath. “That simplicity of the feedback is what makes it so applicable and what makes it so actionable in daily life,” clarified Spire co-founder Neema Moraveji. “You can take a deep breath without stopping what you’re doing, without distracting from what you’re doing.”

While technology may add to current stress and anxiety levels, Moraveji says there’s no sensible escape. “The question became: ‘how could technology change and improve our state of mind?’” Notices are delivered, as necessary, so consumers can monitor and contrast their activity levels and perspective everyday.

As a doctor, Liz Scheufele perceives how essential the right sort of breathing can be, “the exercise of deep breathing, to bring you out of that tense state, I think that’s highly valuable.”

“I think it’s great”, Peter Kazanjy expressed, who is a loyal Spire user. He says it has made him more aware of his breathing and everyday stress and anxiety degrees. “You kind of notice things like maybe I’m hunched over and I’m not doing as deep breathing through my diaphragm as a I should be.”

Spire may assist in directing your breathing and you’ll have the capacity to be more in control. In any case, it costs about $150 and it is not considered a medical device.

What consumers and speculators truly want to know, is whether wearable technology intended to monitor stress actually helps or hinders with regards to better and a more full comprehension of the physical side effects symptoms of anxiety and stress.

Parties are overrated

It’s okay to be a loner and not go out to parties. You want to know why? Well, because it’s completely healthy to like to be by yourself. It’s also very healthy to not drink or smoke or what to put yourself in a potentially dangerous situation.

Partying doesn’t have to be a right of passage into adulthood. You don’t need to prove yourself by going out to parties and getting wasted while people draw penises on your forehead while you’re passed out. Going to parties isn’t for everyone and you should never feel pressured into doing something you don’t want to do.

I don’t like going out to parties. I don’t like the idea of being around drunk people who are trying to act sober, who are trying to hit on me, or who are trying to not vomit or help their friend who is vomiting. I don’t think it’s insane to think these circumstances are not fun or even that they’re anxiety inducing. A lot of people don’t take into account the amount of anxiety that parties and other gatherings with that many people can cause. Being put into a small house with a large amount of loud and drunk people could cause anyone to have a minor freak out.

Parties involve drinking. There really is no way around it. You can have all the intentions in the world of going to a party and not drinking, but when five to ten people are shoving drinks in your face and you realise you aren’t having a good time because everyone else is drunk, you’re most likely going to start drinking, the first of many bad decisions of the night. You didn’t intend on drinking so you drove all your friends there; unfortunately, now that you’re drunk you think “Oh, well I drove here so now I have to drive home.” So you do. Then you end up crashing your car, hurting your friends, and going to jail. See what one bad decision can do? I’ve never seen the good effects or results of going to party so I don’t see why I should.

Find some friends and skip the party. Or just watch friends and skip the party. Photo from mtv
Find some friends and skip the party. Or just watch friends and skip the party.
Photo from mtv

It’s completely okay to not want to party. In fact, I think it’s the better choice. Staying home, on the couch with a good show and a bowl of popcorn with a few friends is safer and more fun than going out and getting wasted. Try it. I think you’ll like it.

Majors vs. Minors

When entering college, one of the big questions everyone is asking is if you have decided on a major. Some go into college undecided and figure it out by taking introductory classes, whereas others have known for years what they want to major in.

Your major should be something that you know you’re good at. Whether that be writing, math, or drawing you should be confident in your work and your classes so that when you get out into the real world after school you can be strong and confident with your abilities.

Majors can be difficult to pick out but at least if you choose something that you’re good at or that comes naturally to you it won’t be as difficult as it could be. By choosing a major you’re good at, you’re letting yourself take more classes and better yourself on information you may already know.

Also, it lets you practice your skills over and over and in different ways throughout classes among your 4 years in college.

Minors are optional, but my parents told me to minor in something I loved. My freshman year I took an introductory history class and found out that I love history. So I decided after that semester that I wanted to minor in history. If I was successful with my major and ended up being happy with my job I would take my minor and find something to do that I really loved and incorporate history into that. I still enjoy my major, but history is one of my passions and I am happy I get to take the selection of classes I do and learn more about our country’s history and the world’s history.

My parents were wise in telling me to major in something I’m good at and minor in something I love because I feel like I’m getting the best of both worlds and I couldn’t be happier with my decisions.

Easy crafts and treats to brighten your holiday season

Whether you’re looking for inexpensive yet adorable gifts to give this holiday season, or just want to spruce up your dwellings for Christmas, Pinterest is an invaluable resource. Here are some easy crafts and treats that I’ve found to brighten up your holiday season:

1) Hot Chocolate Ornaments


What you’ll need:

-Clear, plastic, fillable ornaments (they have ones that are safe for food- look for those)

-Instant hot chocolate mixes (any flavor but the website especially recommends the peppermint chocolate, white chocolate, and dark chocolate mixes from Swiss Miss)

-add ins (sprinkles, peppermint bits, chocolate chips, etc.)

-Jet puffed marshmallow bits (will look like teeny, tiny marshmallows)


-Clean out ornament.

-Craft a funnel (you can use a plastic kitchen funnel or just printer paper or wax paper)

-Pour in hot chocolate mix first.

-Next funnel in your add ins in layers (i.e. sprinkles first, then chocolate chips, then peppermint bits)

-Lastly add the marshmallows to fill up the ornament.

These cute crafts make excellent stocking stuffers or just small gifts for friends, co-workers, or neighbors. Bonus: Dip candy canes in chocolate and give with the ornaments as delicious hot chocolate stirs.

2) Festive Mason Jars

Mason jars have become popular at weddings, parties, and now they can become part of your holiday décor.

While there are several different ways to decorate a mason jar for Christmas, here is how to make the Snowman.

What you’ll need:

-A clear mason jar

-A bag of “Frosty Snow” (can be found at most craft stores)

-Large red pom poms

-Red and white pipe cleaners

-Black buttons

-Orange air dry clay



-Glue button eyes onto jar

-Mold clay into a carrot nose and glue where the nose should be

-Next cover snowman in a thick layer of glue (get around eyes and nose but don’t get glue on them)

-Cover snowman in a thick layer of “Frosty Snow” (this is done best by rolling the snowman over “Frosty Snow” on a plate and then sprinkling “Frosty Snow” by hand to cover any holes)

-Let jar dry

-While jar dries, start making the earmuffs.

-Cut one red and one white pipe cleaner in half and twist them together. Once twisted mold into a “U” shape.

-Glue pom poms, one on each side of the lid of the jar.

-Last glue the pipe cleaner into place (one end of the pipe cleaner behind one pom pom and one behind the other)

These cute jars make excellent gifts or just a cute DIY decoration. Click on the link in the title for more patterns for your jar. Bonus: put a flameless LED candle inside your jar to make it glow.

3) Ornament Wreath


 What you’ll need:-cheap spherical Christmas ornaments (any color or design you want will work)-Styrofoam wreath ring (available at Walmart and most craft stores)

-strong glue


-Simply glue the ornaments on the wreath (make sure they are properly layered as in the pictures above for the best effect)

Get to crafting!

Sleep cycle changes can be detrimental to your health

In the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, a new study proposes that when routine sleep habits are disrupted, the danger for long-term health problems such diabetes and coronary disease rises. Sleep adjustments are connected to metabolic problems, including insulin resistance and a higher body mass index.

Although other exploration on the subject has linked sleep disruptions to poor health, the new study is the first to explicitly connect shifts in sleeping times to metabolic issues. Those issues were free of other variables, for example, sleep disorders, smoking, and financial status.

The scientists studied 447 middle-aged, healthy, women and men, aged 30 to 54, who worked no less than 25 hours weekly outside their homes. They each wore a motion-monitoring wristband, called Actiwatch-16, that recorded their rest and movement every day for a seven days. Surveys were utilized to evaluate their activity and dietary patterns.

Around 85 percent of the members of the study slept longer on their days-off than on days of work, while the other 15 percent woke up earlier on their days-off than on workdays, the study found. None of the participants kept up with their workday rest schedules on days-off.

man in bed eyes opened suffering insomnia and sleep disorder
“Around 85 percent of the members of the study slept longer on their days-off than on days of work.”

Those with huge contrasts within their sleep schedules on days of work and days-off displayed a tendency to have worse levels of cholesterol and fasting insulin, greater insulin resistance, bigger waist size, and higher body mass index (BMI).

This connection between what the scientists call “social jetlag” and the health risk factors persevered even subsequent to altering different measures of rest and lifestyle behaviors, such as physical movement and calorie consumption.

Social jetlag refers to the mismatch between an individual’s biological circadian rhythm [body clock] and their socially imposed sleep schedules. Other researchers have found that social jetlag relates to obesity and some indicators of cardiovascular function,” study creator Patricia Wong, of the University of Pittsburgh, said in a news release from the Endocrine Society.

The affiliation found in the research does not demonstrate an immediate cause-and-effect relationship between conflicting rest routines and the development of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

The study’s findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, on November 18.

Struggles of being a girl

Are you a person who has boobs and a vagina? Do you have trouble with bras and typical materials that girls use? The struggle is all too real and it’s honestly unfair all the troubles us girls have to go through. Here are some of the main struggles I go through. I’m sure you’ll be able to relate.

    1. Sticky Bras


    Sticky bras can save your life or make it harder. They’re suppose to replace your regular, strappy bra, but be better. They stick to your boobs making a clasp in the back irrelevant and taking away the visibility of the clasp so you can wear backless dresses or shirts. They also make straps unnecessary, allowing you to wear dresses and shirts that come off the shoulder without being embarrassed about your straps showing. However, after a while, sticky bras can become, well, unsticky, making it very difficult to keep it on. You’ll be out with your friends when you hear the stickiness coming off, sagging your boobs, or completely falling off. All of the sudden, your bra is at your stomach and you’re forced to run to the bathroom without anyone seeing your bra or boobs falling to the ground. They’re a great invention; unfortunately, they will turn on you in the blink of an eye.

Being a girl can be hard. Photo from fakeplus
Being a girl can be hard.
Photo from fakeplus



    Every girl can obtain a cameltoe. It all depends on the type of pants that you wear. Yoga pants are the major culprits, though. If you don’t know what a cameltoe is, it occurs when your pants or undergarments get pushed or stuck up in your vagina, making the image of a camel’s toe. It’s kind of gross, I know, but these things happen and sometimes you really can’t control it. Some things you can do it prevent a camel toe include wearing looser pants. Looser pants should prevent a camel toe from occurring because the fabric will be far enough away that it won’t be able to get stuck up there. You can also put a sock in your pants. A sock will create a barrier between your vagina and your pants preventing the camel toe from occurring. 

    3. Nipples

    Everyone has nipples, boys and girls. However, girls are more frowned upon, in society, for showing their nipples, whether it be on purpose or not. Girls hate it when their nipples show through their bra or their shirt, whether it’s because of the color of the nipple or because they are hard. Both of these reasons are unpreventable and can be very annoying.

A couple of tricks you can use to cover up your nipples are putting toilet paper between your nipples and the shirt or bra. People won’t be able to see the toilet paper or your nipples and everyone is happy. You can also place bandaids or tape on top of your nipples to stop them from poking through.

Being a girl can be very troublesome and difficult. However, with the right tips and tricks, you can walk outside confidently and fabulously without your bra, camel toe, or nipples saying hello to every stranger walking by. Be proud to be a girl and make it work.

How to deal with anxiety in college

Everyone can feel anxious about final exams and deadlines for papers, but those only come periodically throughout the semester. Other, simpler, things can make someone anxious such as day-to-day homework, social life issues, and anything from being alone for too long to being around too many people too often. Anxiety can take over someone’s mind so that they constantly second-guess themselves. It can be difficult going through college with anxiety. There are some ways to really control it and keep it under control.


Anxiety can make someone feel sad and nervous all the time. It can affect how they do in school and how social they are around friends. One of the most important things to remember when dealing with anxiety while away at college is that if you don’t want to be alone, you never have to be. There is always somebody you can call whether that be your family, friends from home, or friends at school some one wants to hear about what’s making you anxious and feeling unsure. On the flip side of that, if you do want to be alone, there is always a door you can close the rest of the world out of and take some time to reflect on yourself and have some alone time.

Another key factor to remember in calming down your anxiety is that everything will be okay. Whether you’re worried about school, a job, or your social life things will eventually all work out. If you get a bad grade it won’t be the end of your world, or if you’re a few minutes late to work it won’t get you fired, and if you have an awkward encounter with peers it won’t kill you. Things happen in life that are uncomfortable but the important thing is to push past it and keep going with the rest of your life because everything will turn out okay.

Whatever anxiety you are dealing with or struggling through, you can get through it by keeping these things in mind and just reminding yourself you’re going to be okay in the end!

Why ABC Family’s “25 Days of Christmas” is a scam

Nothing beats the Christmas season. Baking cookies, drinking hot chocolate, listening to Christmas music, watching Christmas movies- it’s almost impossible to be in a bad mood. But ABC Family’s supposed “25 Days of Christmas” can sometimes put me in one.

Every year ABC Family advertises that they will be playing Christmas movies for the entirety of the twenty-five days leading up to Christmas. This is a great concept. Who doesn’t want to huddle around in the living room watching classic movies? Unfortunately, it’s too good to be true. Don’t believe me? Simply watch a commercial for the monstrosity. ABC Family advertises the Harry Potter movies, Pixar movies, made for TV movies about dancing…all of this is included in that supposed “25 Days of Christmas”. It’s almost as if they think that advertising “The Incredibles” with some snowflakes in the corner of the television screen and some vague sleigh bells in the background will make it a Christmas movie.

25 days of christmas
“Harry Potter and Disney are delightful, but it’s hard to get into the holiday spirit with some holiday movies when holiday movies are not being played despite being advertised.”

Now on one hand I get it, they probably feel like if they solely show Christmas movies then they’ll isolate their viewers who don’t celebrate the holiday. But they advertise the event as the “25 Days of CHRISTMAS” so they’re isolating the minority of viewers that don’t celebrate it by calling it the “25 Days of Christmas”. Honestly, other channels such as Hallmark and Lifetime show nothing but Christmas movies during the holidays and if anyone should be worried about losing viewers, it’s those channels since they only have about twenty to begin with.

There’s nothing wrong with this non-Christmas movies. After all, both Harry Potter and Disney are delightful. But it’s hard to get into the holiday spirit with some holiday movies when holiday movies are not being played despite being advertised.

Then when ABC Family does get around to playing some actual Christmas movies, they play the same handful of movies each night. More Christmas movies exist then Jim Carrey’s version of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”.

All of that being said, ABC Family’s “25 Days of Christmas” is a time honored family tradition in many households and it’d be sad if they stopped doing it. But for God’s sake, if you’re going to play Christmas movies for a month then PLEASE just play Christmas movies for a month.

Hobbits were real?

An ancient, 3-foot-tall human, whose unusually small stature has earned it the moniker “hobbit”, has astounded evolutionary researchers since it’s bones were discovered on the island of Flores, in Indonesia. Some scientists have proposed that the individual was a Homo sapien with a growth disorder.

Endocasts of the skulls of a hobbit (left) and a modern human (right). Credit: Professor Peter Brown, University of New England
Endocasts of the skulls of a hobbit (left) and a modern human (right).
Credit: Professor Peter Brown, University of New England

Recently discovered teeth from the hobbit propose it is a unique species, as opposed to a present-day human with a development issue. The new research also proposes that hobbits may share a immediate ancestor with present-day humans.

The 18,000-year-old fossil remains of the hobbit were found in 2003. From that point forward, scientists have suggested that the hobbit, which had a brain about the size of a grapefruit, was a branch of the human lineage Homo, named Homo floresiensis. On the other hand, separate scientists have contended that the hobbit was truly a current human with microcephaly, a condition that leads to an abnormally little head, a little body and some mental impediment.

To learn more about the hobbit, researchers have now performed the first comprehensive investigation of the ancient human’s teeth. The analysts contrasted the 40 known hobbit teeth and those from 490 present-day people from Asia, Oceania, Africa and Europe, as well as from an assortment of extinct hominins, such as Homo habilis.

The scientists discovered that hobbit teeth were as small as those from short present-day humans. On the other hand, different features of these teeth looked totally divergent from those of present-day humans.

The hobbit teeth showed a mix of more primitive traits seen in early hominids and more advanced traits found in later hominins. Credit:
The hobbit teeth showed a mix of primitive traits and advanced traits. Credit:

The hobbit teeth showed an exceptional mosaic of primitive attributes seen in early hominins blended with more-propelled characteristics displayed by later hominins, the scientists said. For example, the canine and premolar teeth looked primitive, while the molar teeth looked advanced, or as though they had emerged later in the evolution of Homo sapiens.

These discoveries negate prior assertions that hobbits had teeth completely like those of modern humans. The outcomes likewise propose that hobbits were not simply modern humans with serious abnormalities, the scientists said.

While human ancestry, for the most part, developed bigger bodies and brains through time, the hobbit suggests that seclusion on islands could considerably switch this developmental pattern, Yousuke Kaifu, a paleoanthropologist at Japan’s National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo, said.

The scientists detailed their discoveries November 18 in the online journal PLOS ONE.

What to get your girlfriend for Christmas

Do you have trouble picking out the perfect present for your girlfriend? Does it make you nervous? Scared? Confused? Me too. Girls can be very hard to shop for, especially when they already have tons of clothes, jewelry, and things in general.

My girlfriend is very picking about presents and things she buys and she hates it when people buy her things that she doesn’t need. Does that sound familiar? It makes it so much harder to get her something good for Christmas. Here are some tips to get her the perfect Christmas present.

Just listen to your girlfriend! Photo from twoology
Just listen to your girlfriend! Photo from twoology


1. Listen

Believe it or not, if you listen to your girlfriend, she’ll most likely give you hints to what she wants, whether purposefully or not. You might be having a simple conversation when she brings up this thing she saw earlier today and she thought it was cute or pretty or just that she really liked it. She might drop more subtle, unconscious hints such as saying she really needs a new alarm clock or a new watch but doesn’t have the time to get one. Those are the subtle hints that you need to pick up on. Listening can really help when trying to figure out what to get her.

2. Pay Attention

Pay attention to what she likes to do. If she likes yoga, get her a new yoga mat. If she likes sports or music, get her tickets to a sporting event or a concert. Concert tickets are always a good idea. Nobody hates concerts. Does she like to hike or ride bikes? Does she like to draw or write? Then take her to a nice hiking trail, ride bikes up to a beautiful views, buy her a sketch pad or a journal. Most of the gifts or presents your girlfriend wants will be said within a month or two before Christmas. All you have to do is know your girlfriend, pay attention.

A girlfriend is a girlfriend. Photo from stephgrantphotography
A girlfriend is a girlfriend.
Photo from stephgrantphotography


These are the two tips for getting your girlfriend the perfect present. It really isn’t that hard. All you have to do is have a conversation with her and actually listen. A concept that is new to many but isn’t new to your girls. Be respectful and get her the gift she deserves.

Nagoya Necessity

In Radford, there aren’t many great sushi restaurants around. We aren’t near a body of water where those types of fish are found to make ideal sushi, so you would think there wouldn’t be a Japanese restaurant. However, my friends and I have discovered a small restaurant on Main Street known as Nagoya. It is a Japanese/Chinese place where they sell everything from general tso’s chicken combination with egg-fried rice, to some of the best sushi I have ever had.


“For how much food you get it’s a cheap price and you will also most likely have leftovers.”


“For how much food you get it’s a cheap price and you will also most likely have leftovers.”

The workers at Nagoya are very friendly and welcoming. They’re willing to assist you with whatever you need and explain anything on the menu. The deals at Nagoya are great too. For how much food you get it’s a cheap price and you will also most likely have leftovers. There are plenty of options and types of sushi to order, some raw, some cooked, and some smothered in eel sauce which is a sweet, thick sauce similar to soy sauce. They will put avocado slices on top or drizzle spicy mayonnaise on your sushi roll, however you like to eat your sushi they will cater to your needs and wants.

In a small town that definitely isn’t known for seafood, Nagoya is a great find. It’s a great place to buy food and it’s always good to support a local business. They do take out or dine in and either way you will be satisfied spending your money there. The food is delicious, the people are refreshing, and the environment is open and inviting. If you haven’t discovered the goodness that Nagoya has to offer, you should definitely try to check it out before your four years at Radford are up! It’s worth your money, time, and taste buds!


Christmas music: can you really overplay it?

As soon as November first rolls around, you start to hear it. It starts off  playing in drug stores and maybe the occasional Walmart, but as Thanksgiving gets closer, it becomes nearly impossible to so much as turn on a car radio without having the cheery Christmas hits fill your vehicle.

The verdict is split. Some people wish Christmas music would be kept safely in the confines of the week leading up to the big holiday, while others want to get their “Jingle Bell Rock” on the moment the leaves start to turn color. Those annoyed by the Christmas hits usually have the same complaint- it’s not that they dislike the music but it’s simply overplayed. They get annoyed by Christmas music the same way you groan every time you can’t escape Adele’s “Hello”, no matter how many times you change the radio station.

While I myself turn on the “all Christmas, all the time” radio station the second it starts up each year, I understand why those who find themselves cringing every time they walk into a department store in the November- December time period feel the way they do.

After all, Christmas music is essentially the same handful of songs on repeat just performed in different ways by different artists. Seriously, if you have one Christmas album, you have them all. Sure there are some original songs that are always enjoyable, but most of the time you can bet on hearing “Winter Wonderland” or “Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer” several times in one sitting.

For those of you who still can’t understand the plight of these tortured souls, imagine hearing today’s hits, “Sorry” by Justin Bieber, “Same Old Love” by Selena Gomez, or “Hello” by Adele played on an infinite, cheery loop, each recording played by a different artist who tries to change vocal inflections here or there but really never strays from the original track. Pretty gruesome sounding, right?

If you, like me, love Christmas so much that even Alvin and the Chipmunks’ versions of the classic songs don’t bother you, then great, but if you know people who are annoyed by the holiday music, maybe change up your playlist just a tad when you invite them over.

Roses conducting electricity

A team of Swedish analysts have created flexible electronic circuits — produced using pliable organic materials — inside a rose. Their material makes them conceivably compatible with tissues and has impelled research endeavors to utilize them to diagnose and treat diseases.

Their idea was to utilize the plant’s own structural engineering and biology to assist them in assembling devices on the inside. They aimed to assemble polymer-based “wires” on the inside of a plant’s xylem. They expected that on the off-chance that they could break down conducting polymer building blocks in water, maybe plants could pull them up the channels and connect them into wires.

Swedish researchers have created a circuit inside the stems and leaves of rose cuttings. Graphic from Linkoping University.
Swedish researchers have created a circuit inside the stems and leaves of rose cuttings.
Graphic from Linkoping University.


After Magnus Berggren, a materials scientist and electrical engineer at Linköping University, Norrköping, in Sweden, and his associates tried more than a dozen different polymer electronic building blocks — all unsuccessful — they tried an organic electronic building block called PEDOT-S:H. Each of these building blocks comprises of a short, repeating chain of a conductive organic molecule with short arms coming off each section of the chain.

Each of the arms has a sulfur-containing group bonded to a hydrogen atom. Berggren’s group found that when they set them in the water, the rose stems promptly pulled the short polymer chains up the xylem channels. The intact plants pulled the organics up through the roots also, much more gradually, however, Berggren says.

Once inside, the chemistry in those channels pulled the hydrogen atoms off the short arms, a change that provoked the sulfur groups on neighboring chains to link together. The team then added electronic probes to opposite ends of these strings, and found that they were wires, directing electricity all down the line.

When that worked, Berggren’s group included other electronic patches on the surface of their rose stems to make transistors that could switch the current in a wire on and off. As they report in Science Advances, they went ahead to utilize an arrangement of different techniques to show they could get leaves to take up organic electronics, creating an array of pixels.

This isn’t the first time researchers have infused plants with electrical materials, but the first time they’ve utilized the plants’ own vascular framework to form a circuit. This innovation could give a method of controlling plant biology for experimental exploration, to collect energy — or as another option to genetic engineering.

In the long run, the development may permit individuals to collect energy from trees and shrubs, not by chopping them down and utilizing them for fuel, but by connecting them directly into their photosynthesis hardware. It also may be possible to harness plants’ photosynthesis capacities to create electricity directly, allowing us to procure the sun’s energy without destroying the plants.

Thanksgiving: Love it or hate it?

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and for some people it’s an exciting holiday, one of nice family get togethers and the sharing of love and great food. For others, it’s a holiday to be dreaded, dealing with racist and homophobic extended relatives and having to answer the same damn questions over and over again. No matter what your circumstance is, Thanksgiving is happening and you’re going to have to deal with people that you don’t like. However, here are some tips to deal with awkward and uncomfortable family encounters.

  1. Force your way through small talk

Dealing with relatives can be easy or hard. It all depends on how you approach the situation. Small talk is something that I, personally, can’t stand. It’s superficial and boring. I don’t really care how your job has been or how your snot-nosed child is doing. I know that they really don’t care about the classes I’m taking in college or what I hope to do in the future, but for some reason, society says it’s what people do to be polite, to be conversational.

To get through introductions and small talk with your family, answer one of their questions as quickly as you can and then excuse yourself to the bathroom. Trust me, it works every time. If they attempt to approach you again, excuse yourself once more by saying, “I have to help my mom in the kitchen.” Not only do you get away from their stupid questions, you also are perceived as helpful and kind to your mother. What more could you ask for?

  1. Ignore or call out you bigot relatives

Depending on your relatives and your personality, these two options are up to you. If you’re shy, don’t feel like starting a fight, or you know your relatives would react badly to any sort of argument to their dumb comments, simply ignore them. Depending on how old they are, trying to change the mind of your 92-year-old grandma on why you dating a black person is okay is a pointless argument. She’s old and was brought up in a certain way of thinking, just like you were. At this point, it doesn’t really matter.

On the other hand, if you are sick and tired of hearing the same bigotry that you do every year, stand up to them. Make them understand why they are wrong and why it needs to stop. Even if you simply say that their comments make you uncomfortable, without saying why or how it affects you directly, it should be enough to shut them up. Do whatever feels right to you.

Do you have a crazy family? Photo from pinterest
Do you have a crazy family? Photo from pinterest

Thanksgiving is a holiday you either love or hate. You can choose to love it if you pick your battles and know when enough is enough. The point of Thanksgiving is to be love and give love, be thankful for what you have and who you have it with. Stupid relatives with dumb views shouldn’t affect the meaning of the holiday. Have fun and tell those bigots where to stick it.