U.S. shut down affecting next Mars mission


Staff Writer


The U.S government shutdown happened on Oct. 1, 2013 and is now affecting NASA’s latest mission to Mars. The mission scheduled for next month is now very likely to be delayed and if that happens, NASA will have to wait for more than two years until it can launch. Bruce Jakosky, head of the mission, stated, “We are just inside of seven weeks to launch and we are shutdown. The shutdown has already had an effect on preparations for the Mars mission, with a launch dress rehearsal and mission readiness review canceled this week.” The project supposed to launch is called the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN). It was scheduled to launch from Kennedy Space Center. Hoping their project would be exempt from the shutdown, the head of the project called NASA’s Goddard Space Center in Maryland in hopes they would be saved, but they were turned down.

Jakosky stated what the launch’s objective was: “The MAVEN mission is studying the sun’s impact on the Mars upper atmosphere. Launching in this window places them at a solar maximum, for the greatest impacts of the sun’s effect on Mars’ upper atmosphere. The next window, if they are forced to launch, would put the spacecraft’s arrival at solar minimum.” Delaying the launch for 26 months would add millions of dollars to the already made $670 million dollar price tag. If the MAVEN project does launch in 2016, the alignment of the Earth and Mars would require that MAVEN use even more fuel than it was intended to use. This would cut into it’s time for the mission and the conditions would be poor for research. Overall the government shutdown has been hitting NASA’s latest project very badly and has left it inert and paused for the time being.

From Norway to California


Publicity Manager

Linea Hagfors, a foreign exchange student from Norway, has been enjoying her visit in America. Although she comes from a family that loves to travel and has visited 16 countries, America is new territory for her. Through her beauty and friendliness, Hagfors has become very well known to the students of El Diamante, and we enjoy having her as a part of our school.

Because Hagfors has never been to America, this has been a very different experience for her. The warm and sunny weather is one of her favorite things here in California, along with the people. She enjoys the outgoing attitudes and openness of the residents of our country. However, she didn’t hesitate to admit that the infestation of fast foods is the only factor that she hates about living in America. Back in Norway, she misses being surrounded by her loving friends and family and would do anything to have them next to her.

This school year has been amazing so far for her. One thing that she is looking forward to the most is venturing to the beautiful attractions that California holds. She has visited San Diego many times already, but she is really looking forward to visiting San Fran, Vegas, and Mexico. Not only is she excited to travel, but she is also very excited to experience Californian summer. “Summer in Norway only lasts about two months, and sometimes the temperature can reach 100 degrees but thats very rare,” Hagfors explains. Of all the people she has met at El Diamante, Linea is the most thankful for Savannah Walters. She explained to us that when she first came to America, Savannah was there for her the most and she helped her peel out of her shell and meet new people.

Hagfors will always remember her experience in America. She has a lot to look forward to. Hagfors is a very down to earth girl and she has  such a loving heart. Shes also an animal lover! Her accent is barely noticeable and her smile is so welcoming. Everyone should get to know this beautiful girl.

Pumpkin decorating ideas


Staff Writer

Halloween is just around the corner! And although the heat hasn’t lightened up at all, it’s still fun to think about getting in the fall spirit! And what better way to do that than by decorating pumpkins! Just about everyone has been carving pumpkins since they were in elementary school, but most of the time, all the hard work you put into a pumpkin ends up sitting on the front porch! An idea that hasn’t occurred to a lot of people is actually using their pumpkins as a decoration inside the house!

Since no one loves the smell of rotting pumpkins, it’s a better idea to find non-carving ways to decorate your little veggies! Though not as traditional, doing it this way can be just as much fun, and a lot less messy.

It’s easy to google ways to make your pumpkin special, or you can even figure out ways on your own! Some of the best looking examples were found on blogs and websites, which had lots of clever, cute ways to make pumpkins look amazing!

Puff-Paint Pumpkin

Level: Easy

from alisaburke.blogspot.com

A simple but fun idea is using puff paint to draw all over a pumpkin! Using plain white, or even colored puff-paint from a craft store, you can draw designs or pictures all across your pumpkin, even adding a little bit of glitter if you feel like it!

Sequin Pumpkin

Level: Medium

from swelldesigner.blogspot.com

This blogger painted their pumpkin(s) white before hand, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use orange pumpkins, too! For this pumpkin idea you’ll need: a hot glue gun, orange, gold, and silver sequins (though any colors are fine), and a bit of time. First wash and dry your pumpkin. Then, carefully use the hot glue gun to put a drop of glue about the size of a pea onto your pumpkin. Before the glue dries, place a sequin on the drop of glue and lightly press it down, being careful not to glue your fingers! Though this can be a little time consuming, the finished product is amazing!

Crayon Art Pumpkin

Level: Hard

from swelldesigner.blogspot.com

This pumpkin is by far the most difficult and time consuming of the three. But if you take the time, you’ll be happy you did when you get to display your work of art! For this craft, you’ll need a twenty four pack of crayons (or bigger, depending on the size of your pumpkin). In rainbow color order, take a bottle of glue and glue each crayon around the stem of the pumpkin. When finished, the bottoms of the crayons should form a circle around the top of the pumpkin. Using a hair-dryer, set it to the hottest setting and blow the hot air onto the crayons. Make sure you’re outside or have something underneath the pumpkin, because the wax will start to drip! When the colors have all ran down the pumpkin, let it cool for about 15 minutes. Then you’re ready to set it out on display!

If you decide to make one of these examples, or figure out your own idea, this is a surefire way to get into the Halloween spirit, and have a fun time enjoying this special season!

How do cashews grow?





This photo was taken by Rachael Feil.

We have all tasted and enjoyed delightful almonds, peanuts, pecans, cashews, and other nuts (unless, of course, you are allergic and are missing out on something fantastic). How these various nuts grow may not be common knowledge however. All nuts grow with some kind of shell around them, but what distinguishes cashews from the rest of the nuts in the nut family is the fact that they are actually grown on certain types of apples.

The apple part of the cashew apple is very rich in nutrients and has fives times more vitamin C than an orange contains. In other countries, it is eaten or prepared many different ways. Many eat it fresh, but it can also be cooked in curries, fermented into vinegars as well as alcoholic drinks, and used to make preserves, chutneys, and jams (which are very popular in India and Brazil). In parts of South America, natives view the apple as a delicacy rather that the cashew nut part of it.

Cashew apples have a highly astringent taste due to the waxy layer on the skin that causes irritation to occur on the tongue and in the throat. In cultures that frequently eat cashew apples, they remove the astringent quality that the apples possess either by steaming the fruit for five minutes before washing it in cold water, boiling the fruit in salt water for five minutes, or soaking them in a gelatin solution which reduces the concentration to make the apple more edible.

This apple is very foreign to our society since we are used to only eating cashew nuts. The kidney-shaped drupe that grows on the end of the apple is probably what we consider the ‘true fruit’ of the cashew apple. This part is what develops first on the tree. After this develops, the pedicel expands to grow into the cashew apple. Within this fruit is the cashew nut, a single seed. It is surrounded by a double shell containing allergenic phenolic resin and anacardic acid, which is a skin irritant chemically related to allergenic oil urushiol, the toxin found in poison ivy. Roasting the cashews destroys the toxin, but one must roast them outdoors in order to avoid a catastrophe. The smoke contains urushiol droplets which can irritate the lungs if inhaled and can cause severe, sometimes even deadly, reactions.

Now, I am sure that most of you Miners learned something new today! This is rich information that you can use to impress family and friends, and now you will always have a fun fact to share with others whenever someone brings up cashews. Keep calm, and eat cashews, Miners!

New staff joins Miner family: Mr. Sneed


Staff Writer

         After being able to meet a part of our new family here at El Diamante, we are now able to meet one of our new teachers who already has been here at El Diamante. He wasn’t here as a teacher, but as a student.

         Tanner Sneed always knew he wanted to be a teacher since his freshman year in high school. He just couldn’t wait to return to El Diamante when he graduated. He explains, “It was always a goal of mine to come back.” Now he is here as a P.E. and health teacher, making a great addition to our school.

         Mr.Sneed loves that’s he was able to come back here to El Diamante and continue his love for the school. He is now a varsity football, varsity basketball, and freshman baseball coach. With this he has been able to demonstrate his passion for sports; he loves spending his free time coaching.

         Teaching here at El Diamante is where Mr.Sneed hopes to remain for the next 10 years, since he is able to do what he loves and can make teaching fun! As for the rest of us here on campus, we look forward to what the rest of these 10 years looks like with Mr.Sneed.

Sweden sweetheart


Publicity Co-Editor

Linda Wennerstrom, a swedish doll, has definitely left her mark on El Diamante’s campus. With her quirky laugh and personality, Linda can be described in only one word: Adorable. This week, The Dig got the honor to interview this peppy senior and we learned a lot about her.

First, being in America for a couple months now seems like a long time right? For Linda, however, time has swung by fast, she doesn’t even feel a drop of homesickness! “I try not to talk to my family a lot, because when I talk to them, I begin to miss them,” says the family oriented foreign exchange student. In Wennerstrom’s opinion, it’s important to breath in all of America while she is here. She left Sweden for a reason and if she keeps thinking about her home, she won’t be able to enjoy life in California. Along with missing family, Wennerstrom laughingly states that she misses the long lunches the most. She then explained to us that lunch in Sweden was one and a half hours long, and not only that but everyone there ate freshly cooked food in restaurants for free. Jealous? I know I am. She also told us that in Sweden, the school systems are very different; the students don’t have different periods for classes, everything is taught by the same teacher in the same class. Wennerstrom states that she has grown very close relationships with people as a result of the Swedish schooling system, whereas here, she is just acquainted with some of the 100 people she sees everyday.

Second, Wennerstrom would say she has adapted quite well in America. She loves the fact that the “city is so alive!” She never seems to get bored with all the opportunity and freedom here in America. One thing she loves about El Diamante is the school spirit. She enjoys seeing everyone at football games cheering their school on and wearing El D gear. That’s another difference between Sweden and America, she states. Wennerstrom also confessed that she is better suited for the U.S. because of her bubbly and outgoing personality.

Third, not only is Wennerstrom experiencing an entirely different atmosphere living in California, but she is also making fairly close friendships with her peers. “One of my best friends is Stephanie from Brazil,” she tells us. Along with Stephanie, Wennerstrom also reveals that Zoey Bland, Chelsea Marquez, and Julia Sanchez are her best friends here in America. This Swedish girl also states that she likes living with her host family, however, its hard being the only child in the house sometimes.

Interviewing Wennerstrom was a blast! She is so friendly and sweet, she brightens your day just by speaking in her thick accent. This Swedish doll is the perfect fit for El Diamante with the amount of energy and school spirit she contains (she was the mascot at the game against Central). She will most definitely be missed when she leaves back to her country next spring.

Government shutdown


Staff Writer


Government Shutdown-Courteney Kauffmann

This picture was taken by COURTENEY KAUFFMANN.

The latest news from the result of the government shut down reveals that at least 800,000 federal employees will not be reporting for work. Government departments no longer have free funds to pay them. There isn’t even a guarantee that they will receive that pay back when they do start working again. In previous shutdowns, including that of the year 1995 and 1996 lasted five and twenty one days at the most. The shutdown will temporarily discontinue the usage of federal museums, national parks, offices that give visas to foreigners, and federal regulatory agencies. The Statue of Liberty in New York City is also closed to tourists due to the shutdown. People are frustrated and want this all to be over with. It is out of our hands and the wait is on for the decision to made soon! I decided to interview John David to represent the frustration Americans are facing at the moment.

Interview with John David:

The Dig: How do you feel personally about federal employees going without pay?

John: “I feel sorry for them, it’s not their fault. They didn’t do anything wrong”.

The Dig: Do you feel like it’s fair or unfair? Explain your answer.

John: “Unfair because someone else is controlling whether or not their working, not totally based on performance”.

The Dig: If things could be handled differently regarding their situation what do you think would of been the best option?

John: “I think the politicians should have gotten together way ahead of time, to prevent this kind of situation”.

The Dig: How would you feel if you were going through what they were experiencing?

John: “I’d be scared, and nervous about how I’d feed my family, pay the bills, and not knowing when I’d be able to work again”.

After the interview, focusing on what John had to say, we all probably could agree that these statements are probably the frustrating emotions that all Americans are experiencing and feeling due to the shut down. We are all hoping this can be resolved as soon as possible.


New staff joins Miner family: Mr. Samaniego


Staff Writer

             It’s week six, and the new year feel is finally setting in, especially for our new staff on campus. As we’ve already spoken to Anatomy, English, Drama, and Biology teachers, this week we were able to get to know a World History teacher.

            Mr. Samaniego is now officially part of the El Diamante staff. For two years, most people knew him as Mrs.Zylstra’s substitute while she was ill. And after years of being a long-term substitute, he was able to do something he actually preferred.

          Teaching always seemed to be in Mr.Samaniego’s plans as he studied at Fresno State. Previously, he had been an accountant clerk for 8 years and it didn’t reach his expectations. He  then continued and said, “ I felt so miserable most of the time I was there, and I took the job just because I needed the money and I took this job because I wanted it. I did it for 8 years and most days I hated being there, but I wanted to get married so I needed to keep the job.”

           With some time he realized he wanted to work with little kids, and he thought he would be teaching k-6. When he got a long-term substitute position here, he really enjoyed it.  Over the summer Mr.Samaniego was offered the job, after he had applied late June and interviewed in July. Without a doubt he accepted the job and is loving El Diamante and all the students.

           It has been almost 2 years since Mr.Samaniego has been a teacher and when asked what aspects of teaching he enjoys most, he responded, “Working with kids, and everything because I’m actually happy doing what I do.”

          Mr.Samaniego also shared with us his hobbies which included watching scary movies or going on short day trips. But like all the other new teachers on campus, he too is already taking part in our pride as Miners and can’t wait for the rest of the year. We also hope to continue being the best school we can be for him and the rest of the new staff.


New staff joins Miner family: Mrs. Guzman


Staff Writer

New staff joins Miner family

This photo was taken by YAILIN LEDEZMA.

As the new school year brought new opportunities for everyone, El Diamante was able to provide a new beginning for fifteen teachers. From math to drama, or even spanish to 3D art, our campus now has a new staff ready to make this yet another great year.


        Coming from La Joya Middle School, Mrs. Tina Guzman made her way to the big kids of El Diamante. As of now she is teaching anatomy and physiology, which is a tremendous difference from 7th grade physical science. When asked if middle school was different from high school she admitted, “Yes, very different. Well I made a big jump because I went from teaching 7th grade to seniors.  I mean I had fun at both places, but the conversations with my seniors are a lot more intellectual, they’re a lot deeper, they’re more thoughtful.”


      For Mrs.Guzman, the change from middle school to high school was very peculiar. As she explains that teaching wasn’t always in her plans, she tells us that she started as an athletic trainer. Knowledge of the human body began to grow on her, and after time it suddenly became a passion to know more about. During her years at La Joya, getting to the human body section always thrilled her and she then told us, “When Mr. Waters left to go to La Joya, his position opened and I pounced on the opportunity.” She then explains how teaching something that is a new subject that she never taught before is a lot of work, but something she’s enjoying.


   Teaching has become what Mrs.Guzman is passionate about, and she brings her perky-self into all interactions with her students. She comes to school every morning and lets her positiveness radiate onto her students. Her dreams of becoming an anatomy teacher came to realization here at El Diamante, and she tells us that she hopes to be here with us for a long time, “From the beginning of my career, which started 8 or 9 years ago, this is where I wanted to be. So now that I’m here, I don’t have any plans to go anywhere anytime soon.” Fortunately for Mrs.Guzman, getting accommodated to our school wasn’t very difficult, since she has been friends with Mr. Miller from when he used to mentor her for her first two years at La Joya.


   Miner pride is something we’re very proud of here at El Diamante. Being a new teacher on campus isn’t stopping Mrs.Guzman from being part of this, “ I am so ready for this! I was actually always part of the dress up days at La Joya, so I can’t wait for this year!” Apart from all the excitement of dress up weeks, our new anatomy teacher was able to share with us her favorite part of teaching, “Not just being their teacher, but getting to know them as people , hearing their funny stories, what they’re doing on their weekends, and what their college plans are.”


   Mrs.Guzman has several things that identifies her as a great person, either the way she connects with students or her dreams of running in an Ironman triathlon, one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation. Needless to say, El Diamante has gained an outstanding teacher, whom we hope will stay in our Miner family for a long time.

Reformation: Colorado


Assistant Editor


Colorado has not had the best of luck lately. The state has been suffering from severe flooding. The floods have even proved to be deadly.

Flooding began about a month ago following torrential downpour near central Colorado. These floods have induced a ton of damage to the well-being of the state. Homes were destroyed, major roads were washed away, and important infrastructure was damaged.

Many citizens had to evacuate their homes and run to safety. The floods caused so much damage that residents of a town may be kept away from their homes for nearly six months, according to officials.

The drinking water in Lyons was contaminated by E. coli bacteria, and the waste water system suffered a $1 million worth of damage, as said by town administrator, Victoria Simonsen.

Initially, there was a list of 1,200 people who were ‘unaccounted for’, but that list steadily diminished over the course of the following week.

On a happier note, during this time of hardship, families would gradually reunite, evacuees would register at shelters, and rescue teams would reach hard-to-get areas cut off by the floods to retrieve those missing.

There were at least 10 reported deaths, including a 79-year-old victim, Evelyn Starner, whose body was found on the 23rd.

The flooding also damaged oil fields on the state’s Front Range. At least 22,000 gallons of oil has spilled from tanks, making the cleanup level of the floods even more complicated.

Property losses have a possibility of hitting $2 billion. Will Colorado ever truly recover from the damage done by these floods? Time will tell.