Getting ready for college: FAFSA edition

By JANET BONILLA

Staff Writer

FAFSA- JanetIt’s that time of the year again. FAFSA is officially up and running! Knowing how to successfully fill out your FAFSA application is essential for your college success. However, not all students qualify for this federal government aid. You may have doubts about whether your parents make too much money in order to qualify for financial aid, but even then, you should still apply for FAFSA. You never know if you might qualify. FAFSA is 100% FREE money! Did you hear that? FREE! There is no excuse not to apply. It is money that you don’t ever need to pay back even after you have that much desired degree in your hand. Amazing right? Financial aid is extremely important and it definitely shouldn’t be put off until the last minute.

FAFSA’s official filing period opened on January 1st. The filing period will come to a close on March 2nd. If you didn’t submit your application by midnight on this date, you will surely miss out on this federal government aid. It’s better to get FAFSA done early so you won’t have to struggle the night before to complete your application accurately.  In order to receive the help that you need to fill out your application accurately, you may want to ask your counselor for help, or even seek the help of a professional.

First of all, you want to make sure you go to the correct website. The official website for Financial Aid is fafsa.ed.gov. However, every year, someone submits their personal information into the wrong website. If you put fafsa.com instead, you will be lead to a incredibly bogus website that will definitely steal your identity at all costs. Don’t be fooled!

Before you begin applying for FAFSA at fafsa.ed.gov you may want to have these documents attainable:

  • Student’s Social Security Number

  • Parent’s Social Security Number

  • Parent’s Date of Birth & Date of Marriage, Separation, or Divorce

  • Student’s Driver’s License or State-Issued Identification Card

  • Student’s Alien Registration or Permanent Resident Card (If you’re not a US citizen)

  • Student’s Personal Identification Number (FAFSA Pin)

  • Parent’s Personal Identification Number (FAFSA Pin)

  • Student’s Current Bank Statements

  • Parent’s Current Bank Statements

  • Student’s 2013 Federal Income Tax Return & W-2 Forms (If any)

  • Parent’s 2013 Federal Income Tax Return & W-2 Forms

  • Current Investment Values (Savings Bonds, Stocks, Mutual Funds, CDs)

  • Child Support Statements

  • Worker’s Compensation Benefits

  • Veteran’s Benefits

  • Current Business Value

These documents will provide the necessary information you need in order to properly fill out your FAFSA information.

Once you finish gathering these documents, you can officially start doing your FAFSA. Having these documents at hand while applying for Financial Aid is extremely helpful. Not only does it make things easier, it also takes much less time, giving you more time to do the things you like.

One of the main reasons why the FAFSA is so important is because when you fill out the form, you are not only applying for Financial Aid, you are also applying for several grants.

The government helps tremendously to fund your college education, so you should most definitely take advantage of it.

If you’re a senior and you haven’t filed your FAFSA yet, you seriously need to get on the bandwagon! Don’t put off the FAFSA for the very last minute. Apply today!

The girly movies

by ZOEY BLAND

Staff Writer

Chick Flicks- Zoey B.

This picture was taken by Zachary Bland.

Chick flicks are the type of movies that every guy fears to watch but every girl dies to watch. What guys don’t realize is that girls enjoy watching romantic movies because inside, they want to have a man in their life that is exactly like they are in the movies. They want a perfect and romantic love like the stories that are portrayed in the classic love stories. In all honesty, who doesn’t want a love like that? To love and to be loved back is the best feeling in the world and as humans, we keep our expectations high.

By watching chick flicks with your loved one, you hope to light a spark in the love that you share, or maybe you just want your special someone to know that you are a sensitive person, in a loving way. It is always nice to know that you and your sweetheart can be emotional together. Sometimes when watching romantic movies, tears will shed and being able to cry in front of your loved one is a good sign because that means that you are completely comfortable. Being a sensitive person is not a bad thing, in fact, some are very attractive to sensitivity because they think that it is precious and sweet. Showing your emotions is very important in a relationship because without them, you may never know if the feelings are mutual as a couple.

Whenever a new chick flick comes out to the theaters, all the girls go crazy! Surely, the girls would absolutely love it if the men took them to go see it but sadly, the ladies are always the one that has to hint that she wants to go see it. Valentine’s day is coming up very soon, which means it is the time of love. What better way to surprise your girlfriend or spouse than to take them on a cute date to the movies? The new chick flick that is premiering on Valentine’s day and its called, “Endless Love”. Anytime the word ‘love’ is in the title of a movie, you know it is going to be a very romantic movie. You can always enjoy watching some of  the classic, most loved, romance movies such as, “The Notebook”, “Dear John”, and “Safe Haven”. There are so many romantic movie options for you and your loved one to choose from. Sometimes it is sweet and relaxing to just cuddle up in blankets and enjoy the comfort of your own home rather than being uncomfortable and cold at the theater. Grabbing a romantic movie and a tub of delicious ice cream makes for a simple but perfect night.

Chick flicks are movies that will undeniably make your heart melt. Heart-melting moments on Valentine’s day are very necessary. There is nothing better than knowing that both you and your sweetheart are enjoying a movie. Most of the time, you think that they are not going to like it but then they end up loving it and beg to watch it again. Getting someone hooked on a movie that you personally absolutely adore is such a wonderful and relieving feeling. So all you truly need is a nice chick flick, some tasty food, and the love of your life by your side of course. Love will be in the air and your love will be so undeniable.

 

Oscar Awards 2014

by SONALI SAMA

Staff Writer

Ladies and gentlemen, the 86th Annual Academy Awards are almost here, and will be hosted by the lovely Ellen Degeneres. The award show will be aired live on ABC on March 2 at 7 P.M. ET.

The nominee list for best picture includes many favorite films of this past year includes: The Wolf of Wall Street, Her, Captain Phillips, American Hustle, 12 years of Slave, Gravity, Dallas Buyers Club, Nebraska, and Philomena. Nikita Sama, a sophomore at Tulare Union, believes that The Wolf of Wall Street will take the Oscar for best picture. In contrast to Nikita’s prediction, Lizzie Bussard, a senior at El Diamante, believes that 12 Years a Slave will come on top this year, because it was one of the best films she has ever seen.

The choices for Best Actor will definitely be a tough category to choose a winner. Nominees include: Bruce Dern from Nebraska , Chiwetel Ejiofor from 12 Years a Slave, Matthew McConaughey from Dallas Buyers Club, Leonardo Dicaprio from The Wolf of Wall Street, and Christian Bale from American Hustle. Kelsi Whitworth agrees that Leonardo Dicaprio deserves this award more than anyone due to the outstanding work he did in the film, The Wolf of Wall Street.

Lastly, the nominees for Best Actress will be a very difficult group to choose from as well. The nominees include: Amy Adams for American Hustle, Sandra Bullock for Gravity,  Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine, Judi Dench for Philomena, and Meryl Streep for August: Osage County.  Nikita Sama shares her opinion: “Amy Adams is definitely going to win this category! She did great in American Hustle. I love her!”

The Academy Awards are around the corner, and this year’s award show is going to be legendary due to the amazing nominees. Not to mention a couple of hours of Ellen Degeneres’ bubbly personality! Yes, it’s going to be an event no one should miss. Tune in on ABC on March 2 to see who wins the Oscar for the following categories: Best Movie, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Animated Film, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Director, Best Documentary Film, Best Short Documentary, Best Film Editing,  Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, Best Product Design, Best Animated Short Film, Best Live Action Short Film, Best Sounding Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Screenplay. You will not want to miss this year’s Academy Awards!

Remains of 14 year old boy found in the East River

by MARIANA ALVAREZ

Staff Writer

 

On October 4, 2013 Avonte Oquendo, a 14 year old autistic boy, went missing after being last seen by surveillance cameras walking unsupervised out of his classroom in Long Island City, New York. Avonte was both autistic and non-verbal. But on January 16, 2014  the search ended after dark jeans, shoes, an arm, and legs were found in the East River. Avonte’s family and loved ones hoped that it wasn’t Avonte, but on Tuesday January 21 it was confirmed by DNA that it was indeed 14 year old Avonte Oquendo.

           During the course of the investigation, bloodhounds were able to trace his scent to a marsh near the school but lost it. A little while later it was traced to a subway station nearby but Avonte couldn’t be found. No one gave up though and about 50 officers and many New Yorkers were determined to find Avonte. Sadly the search ended after remains found in the East River were proved by DNA to be Avonte. However, the medical examiner and the authorities are unsure of how he died or when the time of death was. Due to the gruesome state of which his body was found, authorities aren’t sure if foul play was committed or if his body was in pieces due to natural decomposition in the water. It leaves open many different scenarios though many hope foul play was not involved.

          Avonte’s family places the blame on the Riverview School, also known as the Center Boulevard School, because Avonte was able to leave the school so easily. His family wonders why it took so long for the teacher to notice that he was gone, why did it take so long to alert the administrators, and why weren’t the authorities told immediately? Due to his condition, he should have had a supervisor at all times, but the surveillance tapes show him leaving his classroom and the school alone.

The family of Avonte Oquendo are planning to sue New York’s government for the school district’s negligence, carelessness, and recklessness of the people who were supposed to be watching Avonte Oquendo at all times. The authorities will undoubtedly take this incident as an indication that policies and procedures must be reviewed in order to prevent further tragedies such as Avonte Oquendo’s death.

Justin Bieber arrest

by YAILIN LEDEZMA

Staff Writer

 

Starting off the year on the wrong foot, Justin Bieber was arrested on January 23, 2014. After having his home raided just a week before, on Thursday morning Bieber was charged for a DUI, driving with an expired license, and resisting arrest without violence. The singer was reported to have been “drag-racing” through Miami Beach that night in his red Ferrari and his rented yellow Lamborgini. He had been driving in between 55 to 60 MPH in a residential area of 30 MPH.

 

According to reports given by the police officers at the site, Bieber was obviously under the influence due to his bloodshot eyes and reek of alcohol. As the officers approached him for a pat down, Bieber resisted and argued that he did not have anything on him. Bieber also claimed that he had been at a recording studio and had not even been drinking. This was a false statement, due to the fact that he had been reportedly seen at a club with celebrities, including model Chantel Jeffries. As the search in his car continued, the pop-star kept taking his hands off the vehicle and cursing at the officers. It was until the officers at the scene had no other option than to hand-cuff him that he was finally subdued.

 

His offenses have brought up many possible consequences, like deporting him back to Canada. Though being deported was not a possibility, because his offenses, like driving with an expired license, were only misdemeanors not felonies. His offenses could have taken him to jail though, because they each carry a 6 month in jail time. Bieber also later confessed to drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, and consuming some prescription medication. Justin Bieber and friend rapper Khalil were later taken into custody.

 

Only a few hours that same day of his arrest, Bieber was released from jail with a set bail of $2500. This was decided by the judge after that a “Drug Recognition Expert” decided that the singer driving under the influence of a controlled substance. Which was also seen due to the fact that the breathalyzer test did not demonstrate a significant alcohol impairment.

 

Though Justin Bieber has had a rough month, many hope he is able to get out of these struggling times, for his fans and especially himself.

For Justin Bieber’s “drag-racing” video: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/jan/23/justin-bieber-release-drunk-driving-arrest

Remains of 14 year old boy found in the East River

by MARIANA ALVAREZ

Staff Writer

 

On October 4, 2013 Avonte Oquendo, a 14 year old autistic boy, went missing after being last seen by surveillance cameras walking unsupervised out of his classroom in Long Island City, New York. Avonte was both autistic and non-verbal. But on January 16, 2014  the search ended after dark jeans, shoes, an arm, and legs were found in the East River. Avonte’s family and loved ones hoped that it wasn’t Avonte, but on Tuesday January 21 it was confirmed by DNA that it was indeed 14 year old Avonte Oquendo.

           During the course of the investigation, bloodhounds were able to trace his scent to a marsh near the school but lost it. A little while later it was traced to a subway station nearby but Avonte couldn’t be found. No one gave up though and about 50 officers and many New Yorkers were determined to find Avonte. Sadly the search ended after remains found in the East River were proved by DNA to be Avonte. However, the medical examiner and the authorities are unsure of how he died or when the time of death was. Due to the gruesome state of which his body was found, authorities aren’t sure if foul play was committed or if his body was in pieces due to natural decomposition in the water. It leaves open many different scenarios though many hope foul play was not involved.

          Avonte’s family places the blame on the Riverview School, also known as the Center Boulevard School, because Avonte was able to leave the school so easily. His family wonders why it took so long for the teacher to notice that he was gone, why did it take so long to alert the administrators, and why weren’t the authorities told immediately? Due to his condition, he should have had a supervisor at all times, but the surveillance tapes show him leaving his classroom and the school alone.

The family of Avonte Oquendo are planning to sue New York’s government for the school district’s negligence, carelessness, and recklessness of the people who were supposed to be watching Avonte Oquendo at all times. The authorities will undoubtedly take this incident as an indication that policies and procedures must be reviewed in order to prevent further tragedies such as Avonte Oquendo’s death.

Life on Ceres? Maybe.

KYLE GIBSON

Staff Writer

 

Infrared space telescopes have picked up that water vapor has been rising off the dwarf planet Ceres, the largest object in the main asteroid belt. The asteroid belt is located between the orbiting planets Jupiter and Mars. It is possible that they come from volcanic-like ice geysers on the surface of the dwarf planet. CEO Mark Sykes and director of the Arizona based Planetary Science Institute stated, “This is what you might call the ‘smoking gun’. The implications could be huge for the future of astrobiology and planetary exploration.This raises the possibility that Ceres could replace Europa as the prime target for planetary investigation. It’s going to upend the cart a bit, but that’s science.”

European Space Agency scientist Michael Kuppers stated, “Possibly, the dark regions are warmer than the average surface, resulting in efficient sublimation of small water-ice reservoirs. This is the first clear-cut detection of water on Ceres and in the asteroid belt in general.” Scientists have, for almost 30 years, suspected that there was water on Ceres. There have been hints of water by the presence of hydroxide. Scientist have been using the Herschel Space Observatory’s spectrometer. A spectrometer is an apparatus used for recording and measuring spectra.

Michela Kuppers shed some more light on the situation stating, “It is like volcanism in that hot material from the interior is ‘spat out’ to the surface like a geyser. But these icy volcanoes eject water vapor instead of molten rock. I personally consider cometary-style sublimation the most likely source, because I find it difficult to maintain the internal heat over the age of the solar system to maintain volcanoes but more studies were needed.”

This new scientific discovery will be the main focus for the time being.

The road to Playoffs has been paved

by AMANDA CRANSTON

Head Editor

Varsity Boys-Amanda

Varsity v. Whitney

The El Diamante Varsity Boy’s Basketball team is on the road to victory. The boys beat Mt. Whitney by one point Wednesday, a win which has secured their bid for playoffs. Caleb Johnson said winning felt “Great. Amazing. It was such a great feeling, and this is the the first time we have swept Whitney in El Diamante’s history.” The stands reflected the players’ excitement and tension, as the game raged on with both close calls and nervous leads. Our boys came out victorious, with the game ending at 52-51.

JV v. Whitney

JV v. Whitney

The JV team saw the other end of the spectrum unfortunately; with El Diamante barely losing. Brandon Peck commented that “It was not too good, and it sucked since we lost by one point.” The game was back and forth constantly, with things looking up one minute and down the next. The boys did, however, give it their all, and will give it their all again tonight against Hanford.

Tonight the JV and Varsity boys teams will take on Hanford at Hanford High School, and victorious or not, will showcase our school’s spirit and sportsmanship.

Google and NASA test out a prototype quantum computer

by KIEVIT LOPEZ

Opinion Editor

 

Last year, Google announced that it would be working with NASA to deploy a D-Wave Two Machine, and the team has just published an updated set of benchmark data and test results. The D-Wave Two Machine is very close to being a full on quantum computer, which uses “the power of atoms to solve memory and processing tasks,” according to Google.

 

Google started using the D-Wave Two machine from controversial D-Wave Systems. The D-Wave machines are not thought to be “pure” quantum computers in the sense that quantum entanglement — where the quantum states of one object among many only be described with reference to other objects — occurs in the processing core. However, some promising tests have been run that show much faster processing of certain problems over what seems possible on traditional desktop machines. However, it runs into comparative trouble against custom-optimized conventional (“classical”) hardware.The quantum computer ran against an  Nvidia GPU, which is described as a “tailor-made” custom problem solver.

 

For randomly selected problems, the simulated quantum annealers are significantly faster than the D-Wave hardware. In structured problems, however, the D-Wave hardware has a significant advantage. The Google team states that “This example is intriguing from a physics perspective, since it suggests co-tunneling is helping the hardware figure out that the spins in each unit cell have to be flipped as a block to see a lower energy state.”

Google’s conclusion is not that D-Wave’s computer is or isn’t quantum, but that the chip is itself in early stages. This computer from google cannot be fully described as a quantum computer like those in development by IBU, but even though it is still young, it shows lots of promise.