Breast cancer awareness month

Mary Park
Graphics Editor

In honor of many survivors, October is the National Breast Cancer Awareness month. It is really important to emphasize the fact that breast cancer is the most common type to be diagnosed in women (yes, men can receive breast cancer too). Every year almost 200,000  people are diagnosed, and unfortunately, a fourth of the population is expected to die from the disease.

Micaela Soria, a senior, recalls her grandmother’s experience with breast cancer. “My grandmother, Stella and I are extremely close. She was diagnosed when I was really young, and at the time I didn’t really understand what was happening. But I know that it would have greatly affected me if she wasn’t around now.” When asked about the process her grandmother had to face, Soria says, “It was really tough. My family is really old fashion, and my grandpa had a big burden on his shoulder, because he had to take care of everyone. It was very overwhelming for him.” Fortunately, Stella is now Breast cancer free and has occasional check ups.
    Mackenzie Domingues also shares her story with a close, loved one who battled breast cancer.”I was really close to my mom’s co-worker of twenty years. I would always go with my mom to work. I was about twelve when I learned the news and couldn’t believe it. She had really long hair, and had to cut it all off. She was gone for almost a year and we would check in on her several times.Thankfully, she is doing great and now is in remission.”
    Even though October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, we all must be aware that there are also tons of other types that affect people. It may occur anywhere in the body, from head to toe. I had the opportunity to speak with our very own student here at El Diamante, Chase Burch, who received cancer at a young age, but successfully defeated it and is now cancer free.
“When I was ten, I remember that I had headaches, and my parents thought it was not a big deal thinking it was just the flu.” But it got worse. “I don’t remember much. But I was taken to Fresno in an ambulance for an emergency surgery. Then the doctor told my parents that I was diagnosed with Cancer, specifically Medulloblastoma.” Medullablastoma, is a brain tumor, and the growth of abnormal cells in the tissues of the brain. “I remember my mom saying, ‘This is not it. we’re going to find the best option for our daughter.’” Burch’s family then learned about St. Jude’s hospital and began undergoing treatment. Chase learned this was a serious issue soon. “I left the hospital to visit home for a little bit, and I saw my grandma was doing jumping jacks. When I attempted to, I couldn’t do anything.” Not only did Chase learn how serious cancer was, she was forced to suffer through harsh conditions and treatments. “I had radiation for six weeks and went through chemotherapy for four months. After surgery, I wasn’t able to walk and had to learn again, and I had a left hand deficiency.” Chase’s treatments and procedures lasted for about a year, but it was all worth it. “I began seeing a physical therapist and became better and better. And after another surgery, I was pretty much finished.” Luckily Chase finished her last treatment on her birthday. “I had my last treatment on my birthday. And I think it was the best birthday gift ever.” When I asked her about how she feels about life now, she replied, “I definitely appreciate life more. I’m so thankful for my family, friends, and really appreciate the little things.” This year, Chase is officially cancer free for 5 wonderful years.
    Chase’s family also created a foundation called “Hats and Hair from Kids Who Care.”
“One day, My friends from elementary school wanted to raise money to buy me wigs to wear. And my mom actually clipped on hair pieces on a baseball cap and told me to try it on. I never took it off because I loved it so much!” Mrs. Bitney’s homeroom, with your help, actually donated all the proceeds from the annual pumpkin decorating contest to the “Hats and Hair From Kids Who Care” foundation. If you would like to donate or help out, please check out http://www.hatsandhair.blogspot.com/

    So remember it is very important to become aware of this deadly cause. Keep in mind that if we all take part, we can eventually end cancer becoming the number one cause of death.

Phot by Megan Moore. Completed Paper Bag Pumpkin

Halloween Crafts

by MEGAN MOORE

Staff Writer

 It’s October once again; which means it’s time to get into the Halloween spirit. Although watching scary movies while shoving popcorn, going trick or treating, and playing tricks on your best friend are classic ways to get into the mood; nothing screams Halloween like a nice Halloween craft.

 

1. Pumpkin                                                                                                                     

What you need:

  • Orange tissue paper
  • Green ribbon
  • A roll of toilet paper
  • A black marker
  • Green tissue paper
  • Tape
  • Scissors

 Start by laying the piece of orange tissue paper on a flat surface. Place the toilet paper roll in the middle of the sheet of tissue paper and pull the side of the paper up so that it covers the toilet paper completely. Tie the ends of the tissue with the green ribbon securely. Once you finish you can begin to draw the pumpkin face with your marker. After you are done drawing, cut out leaves from the green tissue paper. Tape the leaves wherever you would like them.

 2. Ghost Lollipops

What you need:

  • White tissue paper
  • Blow pops or tootsie pops
  • Black ribbon
  • A black marker

 Cut the white tissue big enough to cover the lollipop. Tie the tissue to the stick of the lollipop with the black ribbon. Once you are finished draw the face of the ghost.

 3. Frankenstein Mask

What you need:

  • A paper bag large enough to fit over your head
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • A toilet paper roll without the toilet paper on it
  • Black paint
  • Green paint
  • Grey paint
  • A black marker

 Start by sizing the paper bag on your head. Have someone draw a circle on the place the eye holes need to be cut out at. Take off the paper bag and cut out the circles. After you finish cutting, paint the whole bag green and set it aside. Then cut the toilet paper roll in half and paint it grey. Once both are dry, tape the toilet paper rolls on both sides of the bag. Next draw the hair on the bag with the marker and then paint the hair black. Lastly, draw stitches on the bag with the black marker. Once it is dry the mask is finished.

 4. Broom Treat Bag

What you need:

  •  Two  4 ¼ by 8 inch paper bags
  • A small wood branch
  • Scissors
  • Black string
  • Treats

 Cut the sides of one paper bag into half-inch strips. Place the treats in the bottom of the uncut bag. Put the stick in the middle, sticking out of the top of the bag. Flatten the cut bag and place the uncut bag on it. Bring up the shredded bag and scrunch the top of both bags together. Tie them off with black string.

 5. Clothespin Bats

What you need:

  • Black construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Close pins

 

Cut out bats from the black construction paper. Pin the cut outs to wire using clothes pins.

 

6. Lollipop holder

What you need:

  • A fake pumpkin
  • Lollipops
  • An electric drill

 

Drill holes in the pumpkin an inch apart and place the sticks of the lollipops in the hole.

Favorite Halloween Movies

by MEGAN MOORE

Staff writer

1. All of the Halloween Town Movies

The Halloween Town series started in 1998 which includes Halloween Town (1998), Halloween Town 2: Kalabar’s Revenge (2001), Halloween Town High (2004), and Return to Halloween Town (2006).

On Marny Piper’s (Kimberly J. Brown) 13th birthday, she finds out she is a witch after he grandma Aggie Cromwell (Debbie Reynolds) visits on Halloween night. Wanting to gain her powers, she follows her grandma to Halloween Town against her mothers wishes. Throughout this series Marny has many ups and downs between the criminals who try to take over Halloween town and the ones who try to take her powers.

2.  The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was directed by Tim Burton in 1999 retelling the classic legend of the Headless Horseman. This film takes mystery up to a whole new level as Constable Crane tries to undercover the mystery and prove his theories of forensics on the Headless Horseman’s victims.

3. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown was directed by Bill Melendez featuring Peter Robbins, Christopher Shea, Sally Dryer, and Kathy Steinberg. In this movie, the Peanuts gang go out trick-or-treating while Linus sits in a pumpkin patch hoping that The Great Pumpkin will visit him.

4.  Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus is a great Halloween movie that was created in 1993 by Kenney Ortega. In this movie three witches are released in Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween night who stay alive by sucking the life out of children. It is up to two teenagers, a little girl, and a cat to stop them.

Ashton Kutcher, New Member of “Two and a Half Men”

by MACKENZIE DOMINGUES
Staff Writer

Ashton Kutcher debuted as Walden Schmidt in Two and a Half Men’s ninth season on Monday, September 19, 2011. Kutcher’s premiere on the hit show left little remembrance of Charlie Sheen. Although Sheen is long gone, fans will come to find that the entertainment of the show will not lose it’s style.

On Monday’s premiere 28 million viewers watched “Two and a Half Men”, a record audience for the show. In the first episode, it is announced that Sheen’s character, Charlie Harper, died when he “slipped” on a platform at a Metro in Paris. Thus falling in front of an oncoming train. They introduce Ashton Kutcher as a tech billionaire who threw himself into the ocean because his wife left him. However, the water was too cold and he shows up at Charlie’s Malibu pad and offers to buy it.
Kutcher recaptures the warmth that brought him his mainstream appeal by co-starring on this hit show. The poised and confident Kutcher we all know may have gained his popularity from his past works; That 70’s Show, and movies such as Dude, Where’s My Car?, Cheaper by the Dozen, What Happens in Vegas, Valentine’s Day, and No Strings Attached to just name a few. Creators at CBS hope that Kutcher’s strong personality and humorous character will appeal to the public of the “20 somethings” and not so much the old fogey, “40 somethings”. They are aiming to attract female viewers this season as well.

Ashton’s charismatic acting style captures a new generation of audience members.  As Ashton has stepped in and taken on the co-star role, he succeeds to bring the energy and balance back to the show.
Critics say Kutcher fits in nicely; He is refreshing. However, others dubbed his appearance as “horrible” and “pathetic”. What do you think? There are so many mixed emotions about Kutcher between fans one will just have to sit down on a Monday night, watch Two and a Half Men, and form your own opinion.

Stealing the spirit of sports

by RYAN PRIESSMAN

Opinion Editor

            Competitive sports have always been an enjoyed pastime in civilized society. They were fair, professional, and always allowed the audience to watch a challenging struggle on even terms. For the athletes, sports provided a way to test themselves and gave them a passionate outlet for their natural abilities.

            But when one introduces things like steroids into the mix, the balancing beam that makes each game of each sport a unique event is tilted to one side and the challenge disappears. The introduction of an unfair advantage spoils the feel and the spirit of the game.

            In the last few decades, the use (or detection of) steroids has increased drastically in professional sports. For those that are unaware, a steroid is a certain type of medication usually in the form of a pill or injection that boosts the natural abilities of the human body, often by increasing the body’s production of the hormone testosterone. In doing so, the body grows more muscle faster and gains greater physical prowess, though sometimes at the expense of chemical imbalances and injury to the user.

            The supplements have been around for decades, picking up steam when the Soviet Union began to use them and they spread across the globe like all drugs do once they are discovered and mass produced. Starting in the 1990s and continuing into the new millennium, ways to detect steroids have increased, allowing for a more broad and publicized series of scandals resulting from the drugs. Professional sports are always a target for the cheap placebo victory that steroids bring, and as such authorities of the leagues are always on alert.

            The draw to use steroids is obvious, and especially when pertaining to professional athletes; the chance to get a boost in one’s game can be irresistible, along with the added benefits to be gained from getting fit fast. But the very nature of their existence goes against everything professional sports stand for; to have a clean, honest competition in a pure contest of strength and skill. When one side is augmented by supplemental steroids that allow them to train harder or perform better, the contest is tilted to one side and loses its value.

            The thing that always made incredible feats in sports incredible was the fact that humans did those things; athletes only had their training and personal devotion to bring to the table when it was time to make a critical play. The normality of these people and their extraordinary actions helped to make their feats even more amazing to behold.

            Steroids are like flashy explosions, on the other hand; once you see them or their effects enough, they lose their flair and become something less special. Instead of being a triumph due to human tenacity and determination, the “victory” gained with the help of steroids can be credited to chemicals and drugs. All of the satisfaction from performing a legendary feat is sapped away, because it is not longer one’s own success.

            Sports have evolved over the decades just as the rest of culture has, but with this new change that is seeming to catch on everywhere more than just a facet of sports has been threatened; their very meaning is in jeopardy. If professional sports players cannot return to the roots of their predecessors and play right, with only their own bodies and skill, then the once glorious competitions might as well not be competitions at all.

graphic by Taylor Higgins. A completed pumpkin.

El D Eats- Perfect Party Pumpkin

by TAYLOR HIGGINS

Staff Writer

Ingredients:
1 baguette or loaf of crusty bread
1 pumpkin
2½ cups grated Gruyere cheese
1¼ cups grated Monterey jack cheese
1¼ cups grated mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter (about seven pounds)
1½ cups heavy cream
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Cut the baguette into 1-1½” chunks
3. Toast the bread until crisp, but not darkened. Do not do this in an actual toaster!
4. Cut the top off the pumpkin, like how you would with a Jack-O-Lantern
5. Discard all the pumpkin gunk and seeds. (It helps to do this step over newspaper.)
6. Sprinkle some sea salt into the hollowed out pumpkin.                                                                                    7. Combine the cream and broth with about ½ tsp. pepper and 1 tsp. salt with a whisk.
8. Place a layer of bread at the bottom of the pumpkin. Add a layer of cheese. Add some of the cream and broth mixture. Repeat these steps until the pumpkin is full about ½” from the top.
9. Place the pumpkin in a baking dish, and brush the outside with olive oil.
10. Place in the oven, and bake for 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours. When the pumpkin is tender and the filling is puffed, it is ready.
(For some extra flavor, try adding garlic cloves and toasted pine nuts)

End of Harry Potter Era?

By JULIA VALDEPENA
Staff Writer

Remember being eleven years old and waiting for your Hogwarts acceptance letter? Harry Potter fans do. Ever since the first novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, was published in 1997, J.K. Rowling not only created a breath-taking series, but a passionate fan base. Now the last installment of Harry Potter has come and gone. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 premiered this summer, breaking box office records worldwide. Millions of fans, including me, lined up for hours to watch the last movie. Some were disappointed, others were ecstatic, but one thing’s for sure; from beginning to end Harry Potter has caused controversies, inspired many, promoted reading, and made many believe in magic again.

For many the end of Harry Potter feels like the end of their childhood. No doubt, Harry Potter has been around for many of us since the beginning of elementary school and now it is ending in our high school years. Is it really the end of Harry Potter, or is there more coming to look forward for? Of course there is more Harry Potter on its way! There is the Harry Potter Wizard World in Florida’s Universal Studios. Although it may be a bit of a journey for us in California, it’d be a great trip to try butterbeer, buy some Hogwarts gear, or try out the owl post. Then there is also Pottermore coming out later in October. Pottermore is a new way to experience the magnificence of Harry Potter online. Created by J.K. Rowling herself, Pottermore includes getting your own wand, getting sorted into your house (hopefully Griffyndor), and brewing potions. As you move along each chapter, players get to unlock exclusive background content contributed from J.K. Rowling, such as Professor McGonagall’s love life. Right now a lucky million are beta testers for the site, but fear not Potterheads, Pottermore is coming soon.

The legacy of Harry Potter will always live on our hearts for those true fans. It is a story that has touched us with its life lesson, love is the strongest weapon. The magic is not over and will always live within us. And as J.K. Rowling said at the last movie premiere,  “The stories we love best do live in us forever so whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”

History of Halloween

by KRISTIN GONZALES
Staff Writer


Here in the United States, Halloween is seen as a fun holiday full of creative costumes, candy, and parties, but within the history of it lies paganism, Roman religions, Catholic Christianity, Irish folklore, and British politics.
About 2,000 years ago, the Celtics had a festival celebrating the end of the year held on the first of November called Samhain.  This day symbolized the end of their year, end of summer, end of harvest season, and beginning of a hard winter. The weaker livestock were killed and eaten on this day, for they would most likely not survive the winter. So ultimately, this time of the year represented death to the Pagan Celtics. They believed that on the night before that the wall between the living and the dead was open, allowing spirits to walk among the living.
Samhain was then considered a magical holiday, filled with many stories about what the Celtics practiced and believed.  Some say offerings of food and drink were left to aid or ward spirits away while some say they dressed up in crazy costumes to scare them away. The structured way of living was forgotten on this day, for the Celtics did unusual things such as dressing up as the opposite sex, moving gates and fences, and other things associated with Halloween.
Another belief is that the Celtics honored and celebrated the dead during this time by lighting a central bonfire to honor the Pagan gods. Fortunes were told and marked stones were thrown in the fire, and if you did not find your stone after the fire went out, then it was believed you would die the following year. Some also were costumes of animal skulls and skins while some walked the land dressed as beggars asking for food door to door. Those who gave food were rewarded while those who did not were punished by the fairies. This is reported to be the first mark of “trick or treat.”
In the first century A.D., the Romans had taken over most of the Celtic lands.  They had two festivals celebrated at the same time as well.  One was Feralia, which was the day to honor the dead, and the other was in honor of Pomona, the goddess of trees and fruits.  These were combined with Samhain in the Celtic lands while the Romans ruled over them for four hundred years.  The goddess’s symbol, an apple, might have been the root for the tradition of bobbing for apples.
Over the next hundred of years, Christianity spread to the lands, though the Christian church did not like the festival of Samhain, with it having Pagan roots. So, Pop Bonifcae IV made May 13th as All Saints Day, also known as All Hallows Day, to honor the dead. Later it was moved to November 1st to take away the attention of Samhain. But Samhain traditions of bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes continued. Since Samhain was celebrated the night before All Hallows Day, it became known as All Hallows Eve, later called Halloween.
In 1000 A.D., the church made November 2nd, All Souls Day, honoring the dead who were nto saints. On this day in England, the poor would “go a-souling,” by going door to door asking for food in return they would pray for their lost loved ones. They would be given “soul cakes,” which were pastries made for those who promised to pray for their dead relatives so that they would go to heaven. Children eventually adopted this practice but were given money, ale, or food.
Although historians are not one-hundred percent positive that this is how Halloween was created, it is still a fun and interesting tale of cherished holiday celebrated still today.

November Winter Sports Schedules

by RYAN PRIESSMAN

Opinion Editor

 

BASKETBALL (BOYS)

 

DATE                                     OPPONENT                                         TIME                                      PLACE

11/26                                     Lemoore (scrimmage)                   10:00                                     Lemoore

11/28                                     Centennial                                         4:00, 5:30, 7:00                  Home

11/29                                     Bakersfield Christian                     4:00, 5:30, 7:00                  Bakersfield

BASKETBALL (GIRLS)

DATE                                     OPPONENT                                         TIME                                      PLACE

11/23                                     Lemoore (scrimmage)                   2:00                                        Lemoore

11/28,29,30                         Centennial Tour (Varsity              TBA                                        Bakersfield

SOCCER (BOYS)

DATE                                     OPPONENT                                         TIME                                      PLACE

11/22                                     Orosi                                                     3:30 (V&JV)                        Home

11/28                                     Edison                                                  3:30 (V&JV)                        Home

11/30                                     Tulare Western                                 3:30 and 5:00 (V&JV)      Home

SOCCER (GIRLS)

DATE                                     OPPONENT                                         TIME                                      PLACE

11/22                                     Clovis (scrimmage)                         3:30 (V&JV)                        Clovis

11/30                                     Tulare Western                             4:30-6:00 (V&JV)              Tulare

WRESTLING

DATE                                     OPPONENT                                         TIME                                      PLACE

11/22                                     Edison/Woodlake (scrimmage) 4:30                                        Home

11/30                                     Tulare Western/Mt. Whitney     4:30                                        Home

 

Graphic by Bryson Viera.

Paranormal Experiences

by BRYSON VIERA
Staff Writer


There comes a time in almost every individual’s life where they have an eerie feeling inside of them. Whether it comes from watching Ghost Hunters, seeing something in the corner of the eye, a sudden chill, or even an ominous disembodied voice, it can have a paranormal root.
Paranormal experiences can vary in multiple ways. Sometimes they can be linked to deaths in a family, past lives that are trapped in the land of Purgatory, or even simple paranoid thoughts. In some cases, poltergeists, demons, or other forms of spiritual energy can linger in a certain area for a long period of time, and have no relation to the individual experiencing the supernatural.
According to the Long Island Paranormal Investigators, an apparition (a spirit that manifests itself) is the most intense form of an entity. If an individual is able to actually see a spirit, then the energy is strong in power or nature, and can sometimes be harmful.
Shows such as Ghost Hunters, Paranormal Witness, and Ghost Adventures are able to capture some of the energy and unexplainable events that a spirit can create. One of the most famous forms of energy that these shows capture is an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena). EVP’s can be one of the most eerie and disturbing things to capture on a digital recorder.
Roxie Lebenzon, a student here at El Diamante, has had more than one encounter with the supernatural. When she was about six years old, she had quite the experience.  She lived in a house that was built in the 1800’s in Maine, and said there was an eerie feeling.  “My parents don’t believe in ghosts. They always tried to come up with a logical explanation for anything that happened,” she states in her interview. Roxie told a story about one of her little brother’s toy cars (specifically a remote controlled police car) that moved around by itself one night.
“Even when my dad pulled the batteries out of the car and the remote control, the lights and the car would still go off.”
The fact that en electric car was able to continue operating without batteries is more than out of the ordinary. Electric waves were able to flow through a toy police car, which makes it a question on how powerful the spirit was. Paranormal entities are known for such unexplainable events; how it is able to occur though will remain unknown.