Remembering Pearl Harbor

Staff Writer

“Yesterday, December 7th, 1941- A date which will live in infamy- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by air and naval forces of the Empire of Japan”  The quote just mentioned was from a famous speech by President Roosevelt addressing the widespread panic over the surprise bombing of the naval base of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

At 7:53 a.m on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, the first wave of Japanese planes assaulted the base, taking the entire barracks by surprise. The raids continued for almost 2 hours and sunk many vital battleships, destroyers, and cruise-ships, the biggest and most infamous being the USS Arizona which was rent asunder, causing over a thousand deaths in its fiery explosion.  About 2,400 people were killed in the raid and over a were thousand injured.

For those who haven’t taken U.S. History or don’t know the history of the world at the time, I’ll give a brief overview to help people better understand what happened. At this time, World War 2 was in full force in Europe. Many countries had fallen to Nazi Germany by 1941, including Czechoslovakia, France, and Poland. However, Germany was not the only country that was involved in the numerous invasions of World War 2. Germany was in league with two other countries. Italy was ruled by the totalitarian leader Benito Mussolini, and the Japanese Empire was ruled by Emperor Hirohito. This alliance was dubbed the Axis of Evil. Up until this point, the United States had adopted a policy known as “isolationism,” which is when a country keeps to itself and does not interfere with the affairs of another country and does not allow other countries to interfere with theirs. However, because of Japan technically being an “enemy,” the U.S decided to take action against Japan without using actual warfare. The United States cut Japan’s oil supply off. Since Japan is an island nation, it depended on the U.S for %80 of its oil. Since

History of Christmas lights

Staff Writer

With the holiday season approaching, many families light their houses with colorful Christmas lights and decorations to be in the holiday spirit. But where did the whole idea of this tradition come from?

Christmas lights were first used by the Germans in the 1700-1800’s, and only by those who were wealthy. At the time, these lights came in the form of candles which were either glued or pinned to the tree branches. The purpose of this method of lighting the Christmas tree, was to light the ornaments placed on the branches. Then in the beginning of the 1900’s, people started to use candle holders to hold the lights placed on the tree, moving away from having to glue the entire light on the tree itself. 15 years later, small lanterns and glass balls were being used to keep the candle in place.

Edward Johnson, assistant to Thomas Edison, had come up with the idea to place an electric light on the tree instead of candles. Johnson’s first experiment to light an actual tree, electrically, was displayed in New York City. He placed 80 little electric bulbs all around a tree resulting in a successful lighting. It was only 20 years later that the purchasing of lights skyrocketted. When people were able to get a hold of them, stores lit up and Christmas lights went into mass production amongst the population everywhere.
Today Christmas lights are not only used to light trees, but for outside decoration as well. Such as on houses, lawns, bushes, and some even made into the shapes of reindeer, Santa and his sleigh, Candy Canes, and Angels only to name a few.

There are even some houses that are really in the holiday spirit who go above and beyond every one’s expectations. It is estimated that some households have a total of over 150,000 lights on the house: covering the top of the house and completely covering the grass, not including the lights inside the home. Not only must these master decorators love the holiday joy it brings, but they must also be dedicated to the decoration, knowing their December electricity bill will be increased immensely .

So as we get into the holiday spirit and begin to decorate our houses and our Christmas trees, remember where the first actual Christmas tree lights first came from. Hats off to Edward Johnson for bringing this lighting innovation to our list of Christmas traditions.

Awkward Holiday stories

Staff Writer

With winter break just around the corner, gifts and parties are sure to ensue. While most of these are pleasant experiences, strange instances are just as imminent. I have had a plethora of these experiences within my seventeen years of existence, and one recent event in particular stands out in my mind. At Thanksgiving this year, I had a lovely dinner with my family and my aunt’s family.
After dinner, my aunt invited some of her friends over for dessert, and a particularly older guest named Pinky was quite stunned by my height. She approached me several times throughout the night to tell me that the way I held my shoulders back was “just wonderful.” Although Pinky’s comment was harmless, not everyone at the party had such innocent intentions. Many of the younger adults took notice of Pinky’s comments, and turned the whole ordeal into a game. With this in mind, I decided to ask: “What has been your most bizarre holiday experience?” The responses are listed below.
  • “When I spent Christmas in Mexico, we stayed at my aunt’s house. It was pretty small, so we all had to sleep on the kitchen floor.” -Julia Valdepeña
  • “During Easter, my cousins and I see how many pieces of gum we can chew.” -Sam Chapa
  • “At Thanksgiving, my step-dad told me that the woman living in the upstairs section of my step-sister’s duplex was ugly and had a fake eye. Later, when she came downstairs to say hello to everyone, I discovered that she was extremely attractive and was in on the whole joke.” -Aaron Maddox
  • “I received a weird gift. My family told me that I look like a murderer, and they gave me a book about anatomy and disassembling the human body.” -Guillermo Ruiz
  • “A rabbit had babies on my doorstep.” -Orlando Gomez

“Arthur Christmas” to get into the Christmas spirit

Staff Writer

Get into the Christmas spirit with the movie Arthur Christmas! It is a great movie for the whole family to see. This year Santa’s son Arthur has an urgent mission that must be completed before Christmas morning dawns.

The preview for the movie shows a clip of a boy that has been awoken thinking Santa was in his room. Santa and his elves are hiding, trying not to reveal themselves. Unfortunately, Santa’s chin is resting on a “Try Me” button. If he moves it will make noise for 10 seconds. All the elves in the headquarters suggest a plan on how to get everyone out of the room. They come up with a plan to remove the batteries and then a new problem occurs. Another sound from the toy starts to play and they can’t control it. The elves blind the boy with lights; the boy becomes confused and they leave the scene.

Unfortunately one of the elves in the headquarters drops a present without noticing while helping the other elves and Santa in the room. They later notice that it was a little girl named Gwen’s’ present. If Santa is ever discovered he will have to be gone for six years! We can’t have that happen. James McAvoy, Arthur, has grown up and knows about Santa and watches him deliver presents with his grandsanta. Now Arthur has a mission to deliver Gwen’s toy before its too late. He hopes Gwen, Ramona Marquez, doesn’t stop believing in Santa.

Album Review: Nicole Scherzinger’s “Killer Love”

Staff Writer

After a lengthy 3 year delay, a series of flop singles, a return and a break up of the Pussycat Dolls, Nicole Scherzinger finally releases her long awaited and highly anticipated album, Killer Love! Poison: the album opener is the first single, and I must say, this song, though it’s your typical RedOne produced track, is A BANGER! I’ve been intoxicated with this song from first listen. Scherzinger’s vocals soar at the breakdown, and it shows everyone that she means business! It even hit number 3 in the UK.

Killer Love: “If this is good then why are you driving my heart insane and if it’s bad than why can’t I just walk away”; Not only is this Scherzinger’s personal favorite song, but it’s also the name of the title track. It’s also a rumored future single!

Don’t Hold Your Breath: “You can’t touch me now, There’s no feeling left! If u think I’m coming back, Don’t hold your breath!”; The album’s second single, a demo of the song by Keri Hilson and Timbaland, leaked early last year and I loved that one. When I read the title of the second single, I really hoped that it wasn’t the same song because the demo was amazing. I didn’t know if Scherzinger could measure up with different lyrics and a different production team behind it but Scherzinger’s simple yet powerful and emotive delivery really sells you this one! It’s one of my top favorites! The lyrics are really good as well! Wet; this is one of those songs that just makes you want to get up and DANCE! The chorus is one of those sing-along ones, its personally one of my favorites. The music video goes along with the song as well, it just makes listening to the song that more energetic.

You Will Be Loved: is more of a slow temple song but it’s a good change for Scherzinger and the lyrics speak honest truth! Power’s Out; though it’s a mistake putting it after (Club Banger Nation), this song is probably the best Scherzinger leak I’ve heard. This song leaked almost 2 years ago, but there’s no denying one amazing collaboration, I’m glad she finally got to release it. It’s one of those songs you wish someone would dedicate to you, it’s THAT good.

Nicole’s fans have been waiting for this album for a long, long time, and I’ve had very high expectations for it, and boy oh boy does she deliver! This album is cohesive, with all the right elements of a hit album! I really hope that Nicole gets to the top with this album because she has worked so hard for it, you can hear it in the lyrics.

Stress for success

Staff Writer

This time of the year is not only the most wonderful, but also the most stressful for high school seniors. With the start of Christmas season comes the end of college applications. UCs and CSUs, state schools, had their application deadlines on November 30th. Over Thanksgiving break, several seniors were scrambling to submit all of their applications in time to achieve their goals. Some seniors had already submitted their applications long before the due date and actually relaxed over the break. One thing is for sure, though. Seniors are stressing out over the future. High school is coming to an end along with the certainty of what is going to happen after the school year.

It is such a drag applying to college; first you have to get your transcript and ask your parents countless questions pertaining to the application. And for those applying to UC’s, there are the personal statements that must be revised to perfection. How do you brag about yourself without making it seem so? It is enough to worry about and this isn’t even accounting the scholarship applications. Here are some of El Diamante’s seniors with tales of horror about college fears and applications:

Rachel Pemelton– “The colleges I applied to are CSU Sacramento, Chico, Monterey Bay, and Fresno. I was stressed, mainly because it is the process of choosing the right college for my future education.”

Ashley Van Dyke– “I applied to CSU Fresno, Northridge, Fullerton, and San Diego. Northridge is my top choice, I really want to get in. What worries me most is if I’ll get into it or not. I was a bit stressed at first but I finished my applications early so I wasn’t under a time crunch towards the end.”

Jesus Rivera– “ I applied to both UC’s and CSU’s. For UC’s I applied to Irvine, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and Riverside. For CSU’s, it was Fresno and Long Beach. I was very stressed about applying because there were so many things to take into consideration to create the perfect application. The personal statement portion for the UC’s was time-consuming. I had to ask several people to revise it like teachers and friends, so that took a while to get done. A tip for future seniors is to apply early.”

Cris Santonil– “ I applied to two CSU’s: East Bay and Fresno. The whole applying process was kind of easy for me because I knew which major I wanted to go into (nursing) and I knew which school was right for my major. I was under a lot of stress from my parents mainly because they really want me to do well. And also because it’s college! College itself is stressful to think about.”

Clara Chun– “I applied to UC’s; San Diego, Los Angeles, Irvine, Davis, and Berkeley and CSU San Diego. My dream school is UC San Diego. I really want to get in and ever since I submitted my application I’ve been stressing on whether I’ll get in or not. The stress of applying to colleges on a scale of 1-10 was an 11. It was so stressful  because when you start applying you need to know everything that you want to do and get everything together. It is like applying for your future. The personal statements that I wrote for UC’s were hard because at first I had no idea what to write. It took forever to figure out how to tie together all my extracurricular activities into the topic. And to revise them I asked Mrs. Jolly and Mrs. Briano, my english teachers. To freshman, sophomores, and juniors, I’d advise them to start thinking NOW about what you want to major in and considering the colleges that are best for your major. Consider them now so senior year won’t be so stressful.”

As you can see, seniors are advising to finish applications early and to consider all your options such as Cris and Ashley did. College is a huge milestone. It is the end of required education and it’s a daunting idea that your future education rests in the choice of strangers. Applications is a process that takes time to consider and really think of what you want to do. Try not to rush into your future. It’s a big deal.

Cyber Monday sales hit $1.25 billion

Staff Writer

The Monday after Thanksgiving, deemed Cyber Monday, marks the unofficial beginning of the online holiday shopping season. Online retailers offer many discounts on their products during these 24 hours, which has turned into the number one online shopping day of the year. Some people even wake up early on Cyber Monday, just to ensure that they get the product they want. For the people who didn’t want to brave the madness of Black Friday, Cyber Monday provided a way to still get some amazing deals in the comfort of their own home. After record sales during Black Friday, experts estimated that Cyber Monday sales would hit record numbers, at least $1.2 billion. After the online chaos of Monday, turns out the sales reached $1.25 billion, up 22% from Cyber Monday last year.

All eyes were on last week as they rolled out some amazing discounts. The world’s leading online retailer offered discounts up to 80% off, on everything from clothing to books to Android apps and chocolate boxes. But, instead of only offering these type of discounts for only one day, they extended their bargain prices for the entire week! Amazon also featured Lightning Deals during Cyber Monday week, in which the best deals were available for a certain number of hours, staggered throughout the week.

Amazon wasn’t the only major online retailer to offer great sales for Cyber Monday. Best Buy’s website featured great deals on electronics, as well as offering $10 E-Cards with some purchases. Clothing chains, such as American Eagle, Eddie Bauer, Kohl’s and Gap supplied free shipping when a certain amount of money was spent. All of the New York Times best-sellers were marked half-off on Barnes and Nobles’ website. Toys ‘R Us offered discounts, up to 70% off, on thousands of their items in their online store.

Spectacular Cyber Monday deals weren’t limited to just the traditional online retailers. The offered subscriptions to their online newspaper for 50% off the regular price., an online photo printing service, gave out discounted prints, and half-off site-wide sales. Some airlines even got in the Cyber Monday spirit; United Airlines’ travel fares, if booked on Cyber Monday, were only $39 each way. American Airlines is offering 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi on all flights through January 2, 2012.
If you missed all of the great sales on Cyber Monday this year, don’t worry. Next year is sure to have even better deals.

A Nickel Named Sue

Staff Writer

“I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM!” I sung aloud, skipping down the sidewalk towards the ice cream stand.
OK, you only have one chance at this, so lets make it good. Don’t giggle! Look cute!
“Chocolate pleaaaassseeeee!” I pleaded, clasping my hands together and sticking out my bottom lip.
“There ya go!” the man said enthusiastically, handing me the ice cream, “That will be one dollar.”
“Oh…I don’t have any money…” I whispered, looking down sadly as I clacked my ballet flats together.
Looking up at him, I frowned and handed back the ice cream
“Well then, it’s free!” The man laughed sliding the ice cream back to me.
“EEE! THANK YOU!” I squealed, grabbing the ice cream.
I pulled the wrapper off the ice cream, throwing it to the ground and began eating.
Ah, life is good. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, free ice cream! Things couldn’t get better than this!
“My bologna has a first name, it’s O-S-C-A-R! My bologna has a second name it’s M-A-Y-E-R! I like to eat it everyday and if you ask me what I sayyyyyyyyy… that Oscar Mayer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A!” I screamed, skipping my way to the park.
I shoved down the rest of my ice cream in one bite, getting bored of holding it, then wiped my hands on my plaid skirt.
AH! BRAIN FREEZE! I clutched my straight, brown hair in my fist in pain, waiting for it to pass.
“Hey, babe!” some loser called to me as I approached the park.
“Hmph.” I huffed, flinging my hair over my shoulder like he was not worthy enough to talk to me.
Walking across the grass, I watched two losers wrestling.
“Boys,” I sighed. I don’t get them.
“Hey, look a penny!” I shouted excitedly, grabbing the penny off the ground in front of the wrestling elephants.
I’m practically rich! Wait until I tell mommy!
Skipping, I whistled, leaving the park. I slowed to a walk, noticing something shiny on the other side of the street.
“Ooh, shiny! I want it! I want it!” I shouted jumping up and down, waiting for the cars to pass by. I ran across the road flinging my arms in every direction, making sure any car could see me.
Tempted to reach the mysterious object first, I pushed passed a little boy causing him fall.
“Move it or lose it!” I called out running towards the shiny little thing.
I picked up the object, inspecting it in my hand. Shiny, silver, little.
A nickel! Mommy’s going to be so excited! I squealed, hopping up and down once a again. I’m going to name it Sue! OMG! And the penny can be named…Phil!
“Mom! She pushed me!” the boy behind me whined.
“No I didn’t!” I shrieked, frightened of getting in trouble. Recognizing him as the boy form the park, I squinted, giving him an evil look. He responded, trying to give me one back. Instead his eye just twitched. I rolled my eyes, pushed him to the ground, and ran away.
“LOSER!” I screamed behind me, continuing on my way home. My skirt hit the back of my thighs and at the same time my flats clacked against the cement.
Almost home! Yeep!
My hair flew out behind me with how fast I was going. SUPERWOMAN!
Running up to the house, I burst through the front door, frantically looking for my mom.
“MOM,” I yelled, my head whipping from side to side.
“Mom?” I muttered, stomping out of the house. Why isn’t she home?
The open sign flashed as I passed by the candy shop. I pressed my face against the glass looking at everything they have.
“Lollipops…tootsie rolls…GUMMY WORMS?!”
Running inside, I ran over to the front desk.
“Can I have a gummy worm?!” I shouted.
“Yes you can. That will be 6 cents,” the lady said in a plain voice.
I jutted out my bottom lip, trying to use my famous trick.
“But-” she cut me off.
“6 cents,” she repeated.
“Fine…” I huffed, handing her Sue and Phil.
“Bye Sue…Phil…” I whispered as she handed me the gummy worm.
“AND HELLO GUMMY WORM!” I shouted, shoving it into my mouth.

Areopostale on Black Friday.

Black Friday: a recap

Staff writer

Large after-Thanksgiving sales, a technique pitched by stores, have been used for awhile. Many recent factors have caused the past couple Black Fridays to be especially chaotic and memorable, to say the least. There were several fairly notable acts that happened across the U.S today, showing just how wild a crowd of bargain hunters enticed by fantastic deals in a tough economy can be.

One of the most notable was a woman in L.A  who pepper-sprayed 20 other customers in the face attempting to get to a discounted Microsoft Xbox console. Another notable incident occurred in a Wal-mart in Phoenix, Arizona. An elderly man placed a video game under his shirt to avoid the crowd and a security guard saw this happen and assumed the man was shoplifting. The guard then proceeded to knock the man over, who then fell forward and broke his nose, falling unconscious for about ten minutes. There were other fist fights, robberies, and even stabbings that happened across the nation.

A lot of people will ask, “What about this day could cause a normal person to go into a frenzy and lead them to do the violent acts committed?”. There is actually a lot of psychology going on when it comes to Black Friday. First being the heavy advertising. Stores pump billions into advertising their products and they advertise it extremely heavily this time of year. Second is the economy. In such a weak economy, buying a 42’ inch flat screen t.v for $200 is almost unheard of. Third, and finally, Americans are obsessed with finding the best deal. There are solutions, however. Cyber Monday has become more popular in recent years and your chances of getting stabbed while shopping online are slim to none.

Holiday craft ideas

Staff Writer

Christmas Coffee mug
This season, spice up your Christmas with some homemade craft ideas.
If you’re coffee drinker and want a decorative mug to sip out of here is what you will need;

  • White mug
  • Porcelain paints – We used blue Porcelain 150 by Pebeo
  • Porcelain out liner tube paint – We used black and red Porcelain 150 out liner tube)
  • Paintbrush
  • Masking tape (3/4″ and 2″ wide)
  • Adhesive mailing labels
  • Paper hole punch
  • Scissors

Step 1:
Wash the mug. Next place a piece of masking tape 1/2″ down from the rim. Be sure to press the tape down firmly so the paint won’t bleed under the edge of the tape. This will create the Snowman.
Step 2:
Place a cut up wavy tape around the bottom edge of the mug( this will create the snow effect.)
Tape should be ¾ up from the bottom of the mug. Make sure to tape the handles of the mug to remain white.
Step 3:
Go online and search a snowman to print out. Once you’ve done so, trace the snowman onto  2″ wide masking tape. Cut out and firmly press it on to the mug above the snow.
Step 4:
Using a paper hole punch, you will punch holes in white paper to make snowflakes. Randomly stick them around the mug. Feell free to do whatever you wish to do on the back side of the mug; it’s optional.
Step 5:
Now that you’ve completed those couple of steps, it’s now time to paint the mug blue (you may need to do a couple of coats).
Step 6:
After waiting 24 hours for the mug to dry remove all masking tape.
Step 7:
Outline the snowman,arms and the words “Let it Snow” in black paint. Wait a couple minutes to let it dry so that there are no smears.Then, in red paint add the nose, buttons,scarf and heart.
Step 8:
After waiting 24 hours for it to completely dry, bake your coffee mug, according to porcelain paint. This will allow the paint to set in.
Your homemade coffee mug is now finished! Now you may enjoy your coffee (hot cocoa if you prefer) or maybe even consider giving this  “Let It Snow” mug to a friend.

Candy Canes Wreath
Thing you will need:

  • Wire hanger
  • Red fabric (about ½ yard)
  • White fabric (about ½ yard)
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors

Step 1:
Form the wire into a Candy Cane shape.
Step 2:
Using the red fabric, cut small slits 1” apart. Now rip the fabric into strips about 6” to 7” long.
Step 3:
Towards the bottom of the wired candy cane begin to tie fabric around it. (fold each strip in half before you tie them on the wire). Make sure to scrunch them together. This allows it to be tighter.
Step 4:
Continue to tie and scrunch the fabric onto the wire. Make sure to alternate the red and white fabric to create the candy cane effect.
Step 5:
Once you have finished tying all fabric on to the wire you may fill free to cut any long pieces.
Tie a ribbon around the top part of the candy cane and there you go, you have created a homemade candy cane to decorate your home!