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Information Overload

What you are about to hear is poem that was created in collaboration with all of Student Media. It was written by Rylee Rucker, but it could not exist in it’s current form without all of the wonderful folks who agreed to led their voices to the project. A special thanks goes out to the Beehive’s Sarah Jennings, who agreed to help record and edit the audio so that this poem could come to life.

We hope you enjoy the finished product, and that you can handle the Information Overload.

Featuring the voices of:
Sierra Bradley
Pearl Thompson
Jennifer Bennett
Evan Leichty
Sarah Jennings
Rylee Rucker
Alex Burnley
Geoff White
Yves White
Dustin Staples
Dylan Lepore
Tristan Blake Rines

Legislation Introduce to Raise the National Legal Age of Smoking

It is very possible that the smoking age across the United States will be raised to 21 very soon. This announcement has pushed the agenda forward.

Last Thursday, Sen. Mitch McConnell announced that he will introduce legislation aimed at raising the national smoking age to 21, from 18.

This bill, which will be introduced next month, will cover all tobacco products including vaping devices.

McConnell, R-Ky.,  made the announcement in his home state, which is one of the nation’s largest tobacco producers. He noted that Kentucky has some of the highest cancer rates in the country. From 2012-16, lung cancer made up 66 percent of all cancer deaths in the state, according to the American Cancer Society.

Under the legislation, it will remain the responsibility of retailers to verify the age of anyone buying tobacco products just like it is right now with alcohol.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 9 out of 10 cigarette smokers first try smoking cigarettes by 18.

McConnell said vaping devices pose the “most serious threat,” especially to middle school and teenage students, and raising the age to 21 will present fewer opportunities for children to access these devices.

More than 3 million U.S. high school students used e-cigarettes in 2018, up 78 percent from the year before, the CDC found in its annual National Youth Tobacco Society.

Those numbers, however, have been reported to be as high as 5 million when counting middle schools too.

However, the bill will have an exemption for men and women who serve in uniform, according to McConnell who is currently the Senate Majority Leader.

“I hope my legislation will earn strong, bipartisan support in the Senate,” McConnell said. “I’m confident many of my colleagues will agree that protecting our young people from starting tobacco use at an early age can have remarkable, long-term health benefits for Kentucky and the country.”

Tobacco giant Altria, which is the maker of Marlboro and other brands of cigarettes, said it “strongly supports raising the legal age of purchase for all tobacco products.”

“This is the most effective action to reverse rising underage e-vapor usage rates,” the company said in a statement.

Currently, there are eleven states — Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and Utah — that have already enacted laws that set 21 as the minimum age to buy tobacco products.

Three other states — Delaware, Maryland, and New York — are on the verge of enacting similar standards as well, according to the anti-smoking group Tobacco Free Kids.

The Adventures of Thalia and Friends: Candy Run

Springtime is a good time for my friends and me. It starts warming up, for one thing, and then the humans all start spending time outside, which means we have free reign over their rooms. The best part of spring though, at least in my opinion, is the candy.

I’ve never been sure what it is about this time of year that causes the humans to start hoarding candy, and they don’t all do it. Last year a bird named Melpomene got trapped in the building, and she said the humans collected candy as part of a ritual for appeasing the little humans, but that never made sense to me since our building doesn’t have any small humans in it.

Regardless of why they do it, every year without fail, the humans gather up bags and bags of sugary, delicious candy, and then leave it all in their rooms to go sit outside on a blanket for no apparent reason.

Usually, it’s just Calliope and me who go on candy runs together, but today we’d been invited over by one of the rats who lived on the fourth floor, and oh, how that changed things.

“Thalia! Calliope! There you are!”

Erato greeted us with excitement in her voice, already practically bouncing with excitement. I tried not to visibly swoon. Erato is the cutest rat I’ve ever met, and she’s pretty much perfect in every possible way. Hanging out with her is amazing, but it’s also terrifying because I worry about messing things up by saying something dumb.

Today though, today we had candy to eat. And doesn’t that just make every situation better? Especially when Erato led us back to the room she liked to stay in and revealed the giant bag of colorful little beans that was sitting on the floor.

“Gosh, your humans are great,” Calliope said, staring up at the bag in awe.

“It’s being held shut by a bag clip,” Erato said smugly, grabbing onto the edge of the bag and bringing it down to our level. The simple plastic clip came off with ease, as it didn’t even require opposable thumbs to remove. Silly humans.

The bag opened, and a wave of sugary goodness spilled out across the floor. It was amazing. It was colorful. It smelled so good. It was absolutely—

“Ahhhh! Ew! Oh my god, there are rats in my dorm!”

The three of us looked up in panic to see that the door had opened and Erato’s humans had returned.

“Uh oh.”

“Eeeek! Kill it! Kill them! This is so gross!”

“We should run now.”

Measles Outbreak Hitting the Country Hard

The battle over vaccinations has taken a turn for the worse in New York.

The widening measles outbreak has prompted public health officials to take extraordinary measures to limit the spread of the highly contagious virus.

The city of New York will be making unvaccinated people in high-risk areas in Brooklyn get immunized or they will face fines upwards of $1,000. Schools in Washington have barred hundreds of students from classes and school events due to an outbreak there.

Hospitals in some areas are currently screening kids who have a fever and/or a rash in the nation’s second-worst outbreak since the supposed elimination of measles in 2000.

But what about people who can’t – or shouldn’t – get vaccinated?
Of course, with any battle involving health, public trust must be taken into consideration. Parents vaccinate their children in order to protect them from preventable diseases. This also helps those who can’t get vaccinated due to age or other health issues like cancer.

Continue reading Measles Outbreak Hitting the Country Hard

But a Memory

As I look over the cherry field
I feel eyes watching me, waiting.
There is something there, something left behind
in the garden that feels caught,
dragging from thorns I never thought to see.
With sweetness but a memory, the fruit is bitter in its absence.
The insects are clearer than ever
but they shrink as I take a step back.

Every step, growing smaller.

Until the cherries from years past shine like the setting sun,
their thorns unfurled
into leaves that brushed my bleeding hands
as they promised a treasure hidden just out of sight.
The further I back away, the more effort it takes
to remember that the cherries are a memory.

To not go running forward.

I tell myself that the orchard is gone,
that the gray briars are all that remain
of that cherry field—
the briars that I planted
as a child, in search of sweeter fruit.
In my hunger, I choked the cherries
that stood tall and still do,

But only in my memories.

Pet Sematary Review

On April 5th, the reboot of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary hit theaters, and reminded everyone why local pet cemeteries are generally a bad idea. The remake deviates from the original 1989 version of the film, offering viewers not just a modernization but a reinterpretation of the classic tale. With powerful performances from the main cast, some very impressive special effects, and a killer score, this film is definitely worth seeing if you’re up for a little fear.

For those unfamiliar with this film, Pet Sematary follows the Creed family as they settle into their supposedly idyllic new home in rural Maine. However, their new beginning is marked by hauntings and unease, and tragedy looms over them like a shadow. The film’s scares come mostly from suspense and a sense that something terrible is about to happen, even if you don’t know what exactly that terrible thing might be. The jump scares are minimal, but there’s plenty of gore and body horror to go around, and the film certainly earns its ‘R’ rating.

Is this film the scariest ever made? Probably not, though it certainly scared me. Sure, someone in the theater I was in very loudly spilled their popcorn no less than 30 seconds in, but that wasn’t really the film’s fault. However, fans of horror will likely still find the film entertaining, and it provides an interesting new take on King’s classic story. The film makes several nods to the original, though there are a few changes that serve to breathe new, horrifying life to this chilling tale. I would recommend this film to anyone looking to experience a feeling of deep sense of unease for an hour and 40 minutes, but to anyone who would actually like to go to Maine at some point, as I’d rather not be held responsible for any lingering fears of Maine’s beautiful wilderness that develop while watching this film.

Photo by Kerry Hayes/Paramount Pictures

Verizon Introduces a Free Version of Their Call Filter

More and more people are looking at different cell phone companies just based off whether or not there will be a system for blocking out robocalls, which reached record highs in the past couple of years.

Verizon is releasing their features for free to customers after telling their customers of the features earlier in the week. They would fulfill that promise with Call Filter, which previously cost $2.99 per month per line.

The free version, which has the same name as the paid service, will be available to Verizon customers on the App Store and Google Play.

Some of the features that will be available on the free version of Call Filter include a spam detection, spam filter, and the ability to report numbers. Users will also get an alert if the incoming call is likely to be spam. Verizon will also let you determine your level of risk, which in return will help the network be able to block calls for you automatically, sending them to voicemail.

The free version has been released already, but Verizon did state that it will take about three weeks before all of its customers will have use of it. You won’t need to sign up for an unlimited plan to get the service, but Call Filter will not be available to prepaid users.

The service won’t be limited to just Android and Apple phones, as it will work with basic phones along with BlackBerrys and the discontinued Windows Phone. The setup will vary with each phone as users with those phones will have to call Verizon, head to a store, or log in to their accounts online.

Now, there will be some features that will not be available on the free version of Call Filter, which is why Verizon will be still offering the $2.99 version of Call Filter. Those who opt to pay for it will also gain Caller ID to identify the names of unknown callers, plus the ability to create personal spam and block lists.

Those who have the paid version will also get a “robocall risk meter,” a scale on your screen based on the fraud risk, ranging from low to medium, to high. The paid version will also provide users the ability to research and look up spam numbers.

It was also announced on Thursday that Verizon has successfully designed a “verified calls” feature on its network that helps you determine whether a caller is legit, showing you a notification that it is verified alongside the full ten digit number. This will be a function under the premium Call Filter services.

The company has started deploying verification across its network and will continue doing so over the next few months.

Verizon is not the first company to be entering the race to fight back against spammers as AT&T and Comcast made the announcement last week that they have completed their first verified call between their respective networks.

T-Mobile was the first to launch a  call verification on its mobile network, which took place earlier this year. However, it was only doing so for calls between T-Mobile customers and on a limited amount of devices as it waits for other carriers and networks to roll out the feature.

 

Photo from Forbes

Within the Ice

Far to the North,
Before the world’s End,
There’s a cave in the Ice,
Where no mortal dare tread.

On the surface is beauty,
Blue ice rising from white snow,
Catching the light on the sun,
Hiding secrets we will never know.

Deep within those ice blue walls,
Where the world knows only cold,
Lie sleeping creatures terrible and great,
Lost since days of old.

Slumbering giants trapped below,
Alive and waiting in the dark.
The sun does not reach them there,
Yet they await its warming spark.
Within the Ice they’ve slept for years,
Creatures old and patient still.
What difference does a century make,
When faced with such an ancient will?

One day they will arise once more,
Though it’s doubtful to be soon.
When they come they’ll bring the cold,
And trap us all beneath the moon.

The world was dark and fearful once,
And one day those fears will return.
But for now, they sleep beneath the ice,
Until they feel the sun’s sweet burn.

Photo by David Rucker

T-Rex Found in Canada Determined to be World’s Biggest

If you were to be asked, “What is the first dinosaur that you can name?” most people would probably say, a T-Rex. This is not surprising, as the dinosaur is very legendary in many ways, and the T-Rex they found previously in Canada has now been determined to be one of the biggest ever.

The towering Tyrannosaurus Rex that  was discovered in western Canada in 1991 has been determined to be the world’s largest in recorded history. A team of paleontologists determined this in a statement on Friday after decades of research and the reconstructing of the skeleton.

Nicknamed “Scotty,” for a celebratory bottle of scotch consumed the night it was discovered, the T-Rex was measured at 13 yards long and probably weighed more than 19,400 pounds, making it bigger than all other carnivorous dinosaurs, the team from the University of Alberta said in a statement. Continue reading T-Rex Found in Canada Determined to be World’s Biggest

Child of Starlight: Issue 3 – Part 4: Necessities – Part 1

Dreams of gnashing teeth and yellow eyes plagued Aliene as she slept; the vague sense of danger scratched at her mind until it broke through, snapping her awake. Under the pale light of a waxing moon and shimmering stars, numerous eyes peered at her from the edge of the campsite. Aliene grabbed hold of the instinctual fear within her and strangled it angrily, sharing the feelings through her reach as she let it expand. The watching eyes blinked, dissolving back into the forest, leaving only the slight rustle of grasses and leaves.

Aliene woke up again to the more pleasant greetings of the sun reaching over her and Jacobus. Blinking away sleep, Aliene sat up looking around the camp listening intently. Beneath the calls of birds and other small animals the steady slushing sounds of the river beckoned to her. Aliene rummaged through her pack, retrieving the replacement shirt in a similar style to Jacobus’, and the pair of loose pants both were dark blue. As she took her clothes out and stood to leave Jacobus sat up yawning, “Be back in a few.” She ventured away from their camp as he signed a thumbs up.

The small river Jacobus found a few days ago had been working well as a guide for the past couple of days. They had shared each other’s skills to determine what work would be best, she had come to accept the monk was going to be better in direct combat, the man was tough above all else. He had been interested to learn of her stealthy approach but wasn’t surprised given her hunter label. Aliene let her mind wander to the many questions still lingering within her mind as she became accustomed to the rivers chilled waters. She scrubbed herself as best she could finding a few scratches and bruises that had yet to heal fully. After rinsing her old clothes she stepped from the water, placing her palms together. Aliene focused her reach to the surface of her skin gently raising the temperature and drying away the water. Continue reading Child of Starlight: Issue 3 – Part 4: Necessities – Part 1

Rosy Revolver

Your Bolivian Rosewood grip fits and melds into my palm,
A custom-made extension of my limb that feels completely organic.
Your barrel stainless steel with intricate roses engraved on you,
Like beautiful wild roses covering the soft skin of a woman’s ribs.

I see the essence of you in your reflective mirror.
I envision a strong woman holding a red rose covered in briars
Cutting her palm, dripping blood as she refuses to let go.
When I hold you, I am reminded of the old days
When I didn’t need, but I desired you.
When I looked at you only admiring your beauty.

Your cylinder holds six .38 specials.
I pull your trigger and you push out the bullets
And kick up like a woman dancing choreography you know well.
Cock and pull back, explode out, push forward, kick up and repeat five times then reload.

I feel the reassuring icy touch of you digging into my side
Constantly reminding me you’re there.
You’re the type of woman often called a bitch
But truly you just have an ironclad heart
As you protect those who you hold dear.

Some may fear you because you are ‘dangerous,’
But you are as safe as a kitchen knife
So long as I am careful you won’t hurt anyone,
But if I am threatened
You’re a mama bear prepared to protect.

They try to ban you, take you away,
And, yes, not everyone deserves you.
But just because you can hurt
Doesn’t mean you should be taken away.
Most of us who love you
Use mama bear to protect us
Or just keep you to admire your beauty.
So why should you be taken away from us
When we never abused you?

Ode to Hot Sauce

You burn my tongue
Yet your taste tempts me on
I twist and lift your top
And sniff your essence
My eyes water

You flavor my fries
You coat my wings
And drip onto my ramen
I crave you on all foods now
Is it an obsession or a phase?

Tabasco, Texas Pete, Taco Bell Fire
My forehead sweaty
My nose runny
Lips burning
I love the feeling of the burn

I savor your flavor and
Capture the rapture of the sensation
Every moment you’re in my mouth
I keep water at my side
Although not even H2O can stop the heat

I tried to hold back the tears
But one day I couldn’t fight it anymore
The burn, the thrill became part of me
One day it might backfire
But I like to Live Mas

Child of Starlight: Issue 3 – Part 1: Admitted Denial

“So, that was an actual God?” Jacobus asked, sitting on a stump, still breathing hard.

“Short answer, yes,” Aliene said between gulps of air. They were back in the forest, but every nerve was still panicking. “The Celestial chiefs can manifest Avatars for speaking to or defending the tribes.”

Jacobus slapped his cheek, calming himself a bit. “That happen very often?”

Aliene just looked at him, shaking her head; she stood to examine the bow Centauri had given her. The blue metal fins retracted, suddenly folding in a couple times, becoming no longer than her forearm. Aliene took a strip of cloth from her wrist and secured the magic bow to the back of her belt, hiding it beneath her shirt. Aliene put her pack on as Jacobus stood and did the same. “I should find another bow soon.”

“He did say not to use it a lot,” Jacobus said before his face twitched slightly. “I am assuming here, but you don’t have a large inner-magic reserve do you?”

“No,” Aliene replied as she began walking after looking up at the suns position. “If I remember right, Schillia is the closest country, so maybe we should head there for good supplies.” Aliene had taken a few steps before realizing Jacobus had stopped walking; she turned to him and the air left her lungs.

His face wasn’t angry but the air around him shivered from his gaze. Jacobus inhaled deeply, saying, “I wouldn’t suggest it.”

“Why?”

“Going there would cause more problems than it could ever solve.” Jacobus calmed himself but still looked drained from the thought.

“There a longer version?” Aliene let her hands fall to her sides.

Jacobus sighed. “We should walk and talk.”

Aliene nodded and waited for him to reach her side before they continued.

“During the fighting of Schillia’s civil war, I was ordered to do many things I am not proud of. The comfort of knowing it was in service to my country faded quickly after I was released.” Jacobus’ pace quickened as he spoke. “Without the direction I had while in the army, those memories I ignored began hounding every moment of my existence. Whether awake or dreaming I couldn’t outrun them. That is why I began traveling to monasteries.” The rhythmic pace began creeping up towards a jog. “You know the rest from there.”

Aliene was quiet a moment. “Do you ever regret being in that army?”

“I couldn’t say one way or the other.” Jacobus began slowing as he asked, “Have you ever done something you regret?”

Aliene wrinkled the area between her eyebrows. “Yeah, it was a long time ago, but it was when Hafwen first began teaching me magic.” Her pause held until Jacobus went to speak, but Aliene cut him off first. “I had been warned that using magic the first few times can mess with your emotions, the lesson awakened an anger I didn’t realize I had. I attacked her.”

Jacobus waited a moment. “But it was an accident, right?” Aliene just looked at him, face muted of expression, but her brown eyes trembled. “You just gave in,” Jacobus said quietly, half looking through her as if seeing something else further away.

“It was the first and only time. I had ignored the feeling so long it got replaced with something worse.” Aliene’s breathing turned rapid as she slowed down.

Jacobus stayed beside her saying, “That is probably true for many parts of life.” The two walked in soft silence for a while before Jacobus froze mid-step. “Well, that is not very inviting.” He and Aliene stepped out of the tree line onto blackened earth.

Aliene nodded her agreement. “This is the Morbid Row, the border of Misten’s land.”

They looked around at the dead and dying plant life dotting the plagued soil that hissed steam where it wasn’t covered in pools of dark, oily water.

Butterfly Sanctuary To Be Protected By Spending Bill

There were worries that a butterfly sanctuary in Texas would be destroyed by a proposed border wall that would have cut the sanctuary in half. The good news is that this will not be happening.

The bipartisan spending bill that was passed by both the House and the Senate on Thursday had language in the bill that will be protecting five different landmarks in the Rio Grande area, including the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas.

U.S Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas said he was the one to add in the language in the 1,159-page spending package that President Trump signed on Friday, avoiding another shutdown.

The five sites affected over $600 million of the wall’s proposed cost. There were worries that hundreds of different species of butterflies would be affected after a federal court had ruled that they would not be protecting the building.

Now, the building will be one of five sites unaffected by a proposed wall. The other four include the future home of Space X’s commercial spaceport, a Catholic chapel, a bird watching spot that is internationally recognized, and a wildlife refuge.

While this can be classified as “pork barrel spending” to some people, we need areas like the butterfly sanctuary as they are very critical to our food supply and growth.

It’s sad that it had to come to this point where we needed the intervention of a congressman to save the sanctuary, but at least the sanctuary will be there for many more years to come.

Castle of Crows – Part 6

After all the noise of the night before, I think it was the silence that woke me up. The rain had finally stopped, and the world had finally gone quiet after the wild panic of the night before. The candles around the room had gone out while we slept, but now that the sun was up there was dim light shining through the curtains. The door was still locked, and it seemed undamaged despite the best efforts of whatever had attacked the room earlier.

Now that there was nothing trying to force its way in, I felt safe enough to investigate the room. The wood cabinet was locked up tight, but the work table had more then enough weird things on it for me. Besides the cauldron, there was an assortment of herbs and stones, and several rows of shelves holding dozens of little bottles filled with powders, liquids, and what appeared to be bones. Each bottle was labeled in Aunt Pen’s neat script, but not in English. There was also a book filled with recipes, but none of them looked like they made food. At least, I hoped they weren’t food.

Macey yawned behind me, and I turned to see her rubbing her eyes as she woke up. Continue reading Castle of Crows – Part 6

Link Between Breast Implants and Cancer According to FDA

For some people in the United States, plastic surgery is a way to make yourself feel “better” or more “perfect” in some ways. However, the risks always come ahead of the rewards. In this case, the risk is not worth it.

At least 457 women have been diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma, which is a rare type of cancer. The Food and Drug Administration has stated that nine people have died since being diagnosed with this type of cancer that affects the cells of the immune system. They can be found around the breast implant area.

The FDA has issued multiple warnings in letters to those in the medical field explaining the link between the cancer and one of the most popular forms of plastic surgery. The letters state the warning signs of the cancer, which could be new lumps, pain and swelling around the breast area.

FDA has also asked for medical providers to report all cases to them in order to gather numbers, which could result in a halt on certain types of breast implants.

However, most of the cases that have occurred have to do with textured implants rather than smooth implants. The good news is that the cancer is slow growing and easily treatable if caught early.

There’s only a small number of women who have cancer out of the estimated 10 to 11 million women who have breast implants in the world, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Plastic Surgery Foundation.

This isn’t the first time that the FDA has brought this to our attention as in 2011, they presented the possibility of cancer but mentioned that it was a small chance that it could happen.

Now, new information has arisen. While 457 may seem to be a small amount, it’s a big enough number to where patients should be getting themselves checked for cancer, so if it is found, then it can be treated as soon as possible.

 

Photo from NPR

The Fairy Tale of Mr. Right

Mr. Right is a fairy tale told to little girls, so they know princes are real.

Mr. Right is kind, chivalrous, loyal, truly loves you, and not just for the sex.

Mr. Right won’t pressure you, never asking you to do anything that’ll hurt you.

Mr. Right won’t lay a hand on you without permission

He’ll even ask to kiss you and never hit you out of anger.

Mr. Right will be loved by your family and friends.

He’ll never make you jealous because you’re his woman, but he’s not a misogynist.

 

When a little girl meets a boy

She thinks he’s good because all boys are good to girls they’re interested in.

He’s nothing like the stories or romantic comedies.

He doesn’t say and do everything right, but she’ll let it go because she can save him,

Make a man out of a bad boy and he’ll be her trophy.

No one warns the little girls not to trust them.

He’ll screw her over, shred her flower petal heart and move on.

Not all boys are princes.

Continue reading The Fairy Tale of Mr. Right

Fortnite Reaches New Levels With Gaming’s First Ever Live Concert In Game.

Fortnite has been a revolutionary game for all of gaming. It has also been an example for many gaming companies that you can do microtransactions and not affect the gamers that play the game for fun.

It’s not pay-to-win, and along with Battle Royale, Fortnite and Epic Games have one of the better games in recent memories. Now they can say that they had gaming’s first live concert.

Marshmello, the DJ with hits like “Happier” and “Friends”, and avid Fortnite gamer had his first ever concert in a game that was live and free for all gamers to see.

The concert was a standard concert for Marshmello and had his standard set of songs, but of course, it was also different as he was performing these songs live on a game. The concert also stopped all action in the game as gamers were not allowed to kill each other or the virtual Marshmello until the concert was over.

After the concert ended, gamers were able to return to their games and play as they normally would.

Epic Games also released a Marshmello skin for gamers to use for their Fortnite characters.

This is not the first time that Fortnite has used their famous fans for advertisement. They have used Ninja’s popularity to reach the top of the streaming charts on Twitch and YouTube, and have also taken advantage of Drake’s popularity, who is known to be an avid Fortnite gamer as well.

As of right now, there were no reported issues with connections for the concert as it most likely produced a high amount of traffic in the game at that time.

This concert with Marshmello was a good day for gaming and music, as it could lead to something much bigger like a Drake concert. Then we will see if Epic Games has the best servers in the world.