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.