Are you getting enough sleep?

By Brittany Walder
Staff Writer

College is a time of many changes. Not only is the homework stacking up, more bills are coming in, exercise is seldom, and a perpetual rain cloud seems to be hovering over the average college student just waiting to pile on the stress. The last thing most students think about is getting an adequate amount of sleep. Yet getting those recommended eight hours a night can be exactly what students need to relax, regroup, and get some of these burdening tasks accomplished.

It can be hard for younger students to settle down at 10 p.m. when there’s so much to do; those who aren’t grinding their teeth at the thought of research papers, tests, and assignments are probably struggling to find the time to cool off and unwind with friends. For others, college is the equivalent of new freedom, and they just want to live up every moment, even if that means crashing at four in the morning, mere hours before class.

For older students and those who have families of their own to take care of, it can be difficult to manage a household, find time for school, and call it a night as well. Everyone has their share of responsibilities. Getting enough rest is the key to finding time for everything.

Relax:

A good night’s rest may seem impossible if you’re stressing over it. The first thing you need to do is realize that whatever work you’re going to try to cram in during the wee hours of the morning runs a high chance of being flimsy. You may forget key facts that could sum up your work. Or your ability to link concepts together could suffer. Unless you’re a night owl by nature (according to msn.com, only 10% of adults physically need less than or more than the recommended hours of sleep), you’re only going to push out sloppy work that says nothing of your full potential. Realize that after a night’s rest, you’re brain has time to regenerate. You’ll function better and work better.

Partying hard doesn’t mean partying late:

OK, so the myth goes that all of the fun happens at night. All of the bad guys in movies creep along the shadows. All of the best parties take place in the after hours. There’s some sort of stereotyped appeal about life being more edgy after the sun goes down. You might think that after sitting in class all day and burning up energy at night that you’ll crash into sweet dreams. Wrong. High-energy activity before bed time, including exercising, partying, and running around the house like a maniac as you look for research material, can slow the process significantly. You’re more likely to find yourself lying awake staring at the ceiling, and waking in the morning sore and exhausted. Experts suggest that any high-energy activity is best utilized in the morning, so that the body has time to relax. This actually is more effective than sleep medications, and can leave you feeling better rested.

You could be a zombie. You might not even know it.

Just because you guzzled 160z of Monster this morning and felt great all day doesn’t mean that you were “alert” and “rested” and “didn’t/don’t need” sleep. Besides being a heart-attacks in a can, energy drinks leave you incredibly wired, but don’t put your body through the processes it needs to rejuvenate and function properly. Sleep builds T cells that protect the body against infections and illnesses. It also helps your will power kick in so that you can control impulses to eat when you’re not really hungry. You may have sprinted through the day like Speed Racer, but eventually that caffeine and sugar fix is going to send you into withdrawal. Without the sleep needed to boost your memory and alertness, you’ll probably be shuffling like a George A. Romero extra by week’s end–or day’s end.

Health is powered by sleep. Sleep is powered by health:

It’s Shakespearean, really; but did you know that difficulties sleeping may indicate other health issues? Your overall health is affected by the amount of sleep you get each night. It’s a vital part of being able to function properly and remain both mentally and physically healthy. Difficulty sleeping or a desire to sleep too much also says something about your body. An excessive intake of carbohydrates before bedtime, or an overall inadequate diet, can affect your ability to sleep soundly or at appropriate times. Finding balance in all of life’s activities is essentially to being productive.

Seven to eight hours a day, seven days a week:

Considering that the average modern American gets less than six hours of sleep a night (that’s 42 hours a week), but works on average 40 hours a week, that’s not a lot of make-up time filling the gap. If people can go to work and cite obligations, necessity, and health (as in not starving due to lack of grocery money) as reasons for trudging through a full-time job on top of college, why is it so hard to reward themselves with rest? It’s easy to toss a Hershey bar in the shopping cart and cite it as a “reward,” but people often forget that sleep is one of the most beneficial rewards (and it’s free). It’s recommended that adults get seven to eight hours of sleep a night, and it helps if there’s a consistent schedule. It puts the body into a cycle that maximizes the benefits of resting. So ditch the energy drinks, drop the books a little early, and get some sleep. It’s guaranteed to revitalize your health and energy and add a little kick to your staggering routine.

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Stand up and protest; sit down and Get on the Bus

 

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By LENNY DESERIO

Staff Writer

Amnesty International held their annual day of protest known as Get on the Bus on Friday, April 17, 2009. Organized by Amnesty activists from Somerville, Massachusetts, Get on the Bus is held in New York City each April with Amnesty groups from across the Northeast taking part in the protests. The protests started back in 1996 when approximately thirty Amnesty Activists descended on the steps of the Nigerian Embassy in New York to protest the execution of Nigerian Environmental Activist Ken Saro Wiwa. Now in its fourteenth year, the event draws nearly 1200 activists annually to protest for different human rights violations worldwide. 

 This year the group protested for the immediate and unconditional releases of Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wanchun and political prisoners in Burma. 

Wanchun was arrested in March 2008 by the Chinese government for taking part in pro-democracy demonstrations. The conflict in Burma has been ongoing since 1988, when thousands of students and Buddhist monks were arrested or killed by the Burmese military for participating and organizing a pro-democracy uprising against the military junta.

Amnesty estimates there are currently 2,100 people imprisoned in Burma. This includes Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and National Democracy League leader Aung San Sui Kyi who has been under house arrest for the past nineteen years by the Burmese military government. 

According to Get on the Bus Coordinator Deanna Marie, “The purpose of Get on the Bus is to create a forum for human rights education and activism.” Marie went on to say, “The goal is to bring injustices into the light and to stand together in solidarity to change the world.  It truly is amazing what we can accomplish by raising our voices to empower those individuals who have been oppressed in any way.”

When asked why she felt people should care about these injustices, Marie said, “As  Americans, we are in the enviable position of being part of one of the greatest nations on this planet; we have the power to force our leaders to bring about changes in other countries. I believe that because of this, we have an obligation to utilize our power to help those who may be without a voice. We need to ensure that the rules and rights we benefit from as Americans are made available to everyone. All human beings have certain inalienable rights.” 

Jane Timm, an Amnesty member and student at NYU, expressed similar feelings when asked why she felt people should care about human rights abuses in far and distant places of the world and what we can do to help.  “In this country, we take human rights for granted. You don’t have to fear imprisonment for writing a news story or protesting the government. In America, you don’t have to worry about being kidnapped for expressing an unpopular opinion.  As Americans, we  must stand up for those who do not have the freedom to stand up for themselves. We must fight for them because they cannot.”

Though the struggle for human rights is long and hard, Amnesty International has proven, over time, that the fight for global human rights is worth it, one step at a time, one human being at a time.


Taylor Swift, more than a Country star

Taylor Swift showing off her stylish side. 

 

Taylor Swift showing off her stylish side.

By KRISTEN TANTILLO

Staff Writer

 In mid 2006, people all over the country were introduced to Taylor Swift. She topped the charts instantly with her single, Tim McGraw. After releasing her self-titled album at the age of 16, she was starting to become a role model for girls everywhere and was making her way to becoming one of the most popular artists who would eventually see all her dreams come true.

 Growing up right outside of Reading, P.A, Taylor was inspired and encouraged by her opera-singing grandmother. She started singing at local events when she was just a kid, including a gig singing the national anthem at a Philadelphia 76ers basketball game when she was 11. She was so much in love with singing and song writing, she decided to take lessons on how to play the guitar. Rumor has it that she would only stop practicing when her fingers started to bleed. According to www.countrymusic.about.com,after years of practice and hard work, Taylor’s parents realized her dedication and packed up and moved to Nashville, TN to try to help their daughter become the star they knew she was.

 It did not take long before her talent was discovered. She was signed to Big Machine Records and soon started the rapid fire of instant hits. Swift writes all of her songs and helps co-write other already stars songs such as Kelli Pickler. Swift says that she pours her feelings into her songs and she is telling the world about her life, and since most of her songs are about heart ache and growing up, girls all over the country can relate to each and every song in some way. Her hits are played on many stations throughout America. Starting out as a new born country star, she has made her way to topping every chart there is. According to Nielsen SoundScan( music information system that tracks the sales of music) on www.goodreads.com, “Swift is the biggest selling artist of 2008 in America with combined sales of more than four million albums. Her latest album, Fearless and her self-titled album finished 2008 at number three and number six respectively, with sales of 2.1 and 1.5 million. She was the first artist in the history of Nielsen SoundScan to have two different albums in the Top 10 on the yearend album chart.”

 Girls at a young age admire Taylor for her vow to never change. She always says “I never want to change so much that people can’t recognize me.” We are so used to seeing these everyday people become famous and change their appearance, that we hardly recognize them. Taylor has stayed exactly the same. She expresses that she wants to remain natural and pure.

Taylor Swift’s songs inspire girls to go chase their dreams, fall into love and take a chance. She is now a spokes-model for the brand L.E.I and has many young girls looking up to her. Even parents and guys enjoy her personality and listen to Taylor swift and they LIKE it. “There are countless times I have pulled up to stop lights and I look over and see a young guy singing and bopping in his car to a Taylor Swift song. It is almost attractive to see them screaming “Love story” at the top of their lungs. Maybe it means they want to fall in love too, just like us girls!” said Heather Dickerson, a student at CCC.

 Swift is an undeniable inspiration. She encourages everyone to be fearless, which is also the title of her latest album “Fearless is not the absence of fear. It’s not being completely unafraid. to me, Fearless is having fears. Fearless is having doubts, lots of them. To me, fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death. Fearless is falling madly in love again, even though you’ve been hurt before. Fearless is walking into your freshman year of high school at fifteen. Fearless is getting back up and fighting for what you want over and over again…even though every time you’ve tried before, you’ve lost. It’s fearless to have faith that someday things will change. Fearless is having the courage

Vacations

By Susie Rempfer

Vacations are the perfect time to sit back, relax, and smell the roses. While vacations can be soothing to the senses, they can also be damaging to the checkbook, credit cards, and wallet.

Vacations don’t have to be expensive. Whether its spending a day at Six Flags or the Baltimore Aquarium, spending a few days visiting loved ones in California, or spending a week in Europe or Mexico there are simple ways to eliminate the amount of money spent.

When planning a vacation, research is essential to cutting back on cost. Researching things such as the locations of the cheapest gas stations and the airlines with the cheapest airfare can start saving you money right away. Another quick trick to budgeting for a vacation is to go on the Internet and look up prices for hotels and restaurants you want to visit. By doing so you will be able to estimate how much money to set aside each day for meals, and you will be able to relax about finding a four-star hotel without ridiculous pricing.

 Another key thing to remember when planning a vacation is to spend what money you do bring wisely.

Although it may be the kids’ first trip to Disneyland, spending hundreds of dollars on souvenirs that will soon be forgotten at the bottom of a toy box is unnecessary. And although you may see something and say to yourself, “I have to buy this,” remember to shop around first. Some stores offer the same merchandise for less, or may offer something else that will make the first spontaneous purchase seem asinine. One tip for shopping for souvenirs is to pick an amount you’re willing to spend in total on every souvenir you buy. After each purchase of a shot glass or stuffed animal subtract that from the initial souvenir fund and budgeting money for trinkets will be worry free for the remainder of the vacation.

Another thing to think about when buying souvenirs is to stop buying something for everyone. Although a co-worker might have sent you a post card and key-chain from Hawaii, that doesn’t mean you have to buy him a twenty-dollar Mickey Mouse paperweight. Buy souvenirs for yourself and forget about everyone else; let pictures show off all the places you visited to interested friends and family members.

 VacationBy considering these few things, planning that dream vacation is no longer out of reach. Spend an evening researching where you want to go, and get estimates on everything you can think of; it may surprise you to realize that you could already have enough money saved up for that trip to Bermuda you’ve been dying to go on.

Harry Kalas

 

Harry Kalas

Harry Kalas

By Saul Rosa

Staff Writer

When baseball fans recall the names of legends, they usually say Babe Ruth or Jackie Robinson, but to a Phillies’ fan the name Harry Kalas is sure to pop up.

At the age of 73, with almost 40 years of experience as the Phillies’ play-by-play announcer, Harry Kalas died in a press box at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. before the Phillies’ game against the Nationals April 13.

Kalas began his career calling in the minor league games for Hawaii Islanders while stationed in Hawaii for the United States Army.

In 1963, Kalas first appeared in the Major Leagues replacing Al Helfer, for the Houston Astros, where he worked Gene Elston and Loel Passe.

He first made his appearance with the Phillies in 1971 when he succeeded Bill Campbell, and was the master of ceremonies for the opening of the Veterans Stadium.

Kalas began narrating for the NFL Films in 1975, and became the primary voice in 1984 with the death of John Facenda.

Kalas was awarded the Ford C. Frick Award, an award for broadcasters for major contributions to baseball, from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002. 

Nicknamed “Harry the K” by Phillies fans, Kalas also announced the ceremonial closing of Veterans Stadium in 2003 and was the master of ceremonies at the ceremonial opening of Citizens Bank Park in 2004.

Five days before Kalas would be the victim of cardiovascular disease, the Phillies honored Kalas by having him throw the first pitch before the game against the Braves on April 9, 2009. 

Many fans and players would put Kalas amongst the greats of Philadelphia.

“Harry Kalas, if you can look past Ben Franklin and William Penn, may have been the greatest person to grace Philadelphia in the history of the city,” stated Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt to Rob Maaddi, AP Sports Writer.

Eagles a Super Bowl caliber team

By LENNY DESERIO

Staff  Writer

While it’s still to early to be making predictions about the season one can argue the Eagles have one of the best teams in the Reid era.  With the addition of corner Ellis Hobbs and last years signing of Asante Samuel the Eagles continue to have a deep and talented secondary even with the loss of pro bowl free safety Brian Dawkins.

On the D- line a healthy Victor Abriamri and Jaqua parker will keep Trent Cole fresh.  Allowing Darren Howard move to defensive tackle. But let’s not forget any defense is only as good as the coach calling the plays and the Eagles continue to have one of the best in the N.F.L., with Jim Johnson 

What makes the Eagles the best in the Andy Reid Era is this years draft class.  With the 19th overall pick, the Eagles selected standout wide out Jeremy Macklin.  The Eagles then selected running back Lesean McCoy with their third round pick to backup Brian Westbrook.  McCoy gained Rookie of the Year for the Big East in 2007 and in 2008 had forty carries for ten yards or more, twenty of which were for twenty yards.  McCoy, Westbrook, and Macklin make the Eagles offense a force to reckon with this year. 

 Of course any offense can only be good, as their special teams.  Since the special teams are responsible for giving the offense a short field to work with. The Eagles have two solid return specialists in both Jeremy Macklin, and last year pick Desean Jackson. Not only can both these players give the Eagles good starting position, but they’re also a threat to go all the way on each return.

I’ll even go out on a limb and say that the Eagles have the best offense in the N.F.C. East if they become more balanced. All that’s left for the Eagles to do is win the division and be the top seed in the conference–this way they’ll not only get a first round bye in the playoffs they’ll get home field advantage throughout and we all know how difficult it is to play in Philly in December. My prediction for the season is that the Eagles go 13- 3 and win the Super Bowl.

Vineland’s very own Bring the Music festival ’09

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By AARON RILEY

Staff Writer

The music is being brought on June 24th, 2009 at Vineland, New Jersey, courtesy of the 2nd Annual Bring the Music festival. Boasting moderately unknown bands, many from the tri-state area, infixed into the smaller and more intimate (at least relative to most venues) setting of the U-Sell Flea Market, the Bring the Music festival has been a successful new concert. Beginning in 2008, the Bring the Music festival has spotlighted lesser-known bands with strong local and online followings, many of which you wouldn’t see at Coachella or the Pitchfork Music festival.

These bands’ vital lifelines of fan support have been achieved primarily though the Internet. In the age of Myspace and Facebook, a striking portion of the problems facing local and regional bands has been thankfully eradicated, leading, for many of them, to record deals. There are still however, bands that continue to be independent, either by choice or by as of yet remaining undiscovered. With that information in mind, festivals like this are important for establishing fanbases for many unrecognized talents.

Bands performing at the festival this year are You, Me, and Everyone We Know, The Morning Of, Go Crash Audio, The Lives of Famous Men, Raccoon Fighter, Where the Ocean Meets the Sky, Losing Ground, A’s Rage, Liam and Me, Eyes on the Prize, Van Atta High, I Know the Struggle, The Crosstown Rivalry, Cheezy and the Crackers, and Cassonova Brown. Expect to see more bands perform that will be announced in the coming weeks. Last year’s Bring the Music festival was held on June 25th, 2008, and included headliners Houston Calls, Person L, and Socratic.

The Bring the Music festival is being held on June 24th, 12:00 PM Noon, at the U-Sell Flea Market, 2896 S. Delsea Dr., Vineland, N.J. 08360. The tickets cost $15 presale and $20 at the door.