Friday, January 29, 2016

NHS THON dances its way to $13,000

Amanda Horak, Sabrina Bilotta, and Anna Sirianni
Staff Writers
 $13,000 was raised for pediatric cancer research leading up to Jan. 8-9: the fourth-annual NHS THON.
 In years past, students fundraised independently and donated all proceeds to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. This year’s THON was linked with the Penn State THON through Four Diamonds Fund, which allowed students to fundraise online. All proceeds were donated to the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.
 THON was organized by the student body government and made possible by teacher chaperones and parents who donated food. Class of 2013 Graduate Carly Stephens returned to speak to students about her battle with cancer and life in remission, which made the event even more meaningful for participants.
 Student government planned fundraisers throughout the week leading up to the event such as a Panera night and daily food sales. The enthusiastic officers and cabinet members did their best at getting all students to participate in each activity leading up to and at THON.
 “You feed off of everybody’s energy,” said cabinet member Abby Bultemeier after the clock passed 1 a.m. Bultemeier said setting up throughout the night to transition between activities was the most fun and challenging part.
 Although not a member of student government, Senior Tim Heffernan quickly jumped in to help out during the limbo competition, when he saw a need for a commentator (or announcer) and a vacant microphone.
 “The limbo was my debut in the commentary realm. I gotta say, I was getting some rave reviews from the fans in the crowd,” Heffernan said. “By popular demand, I’m gonna be back for the rest of the events of the evening.”
 And back he was.
 Heffernan served as the color commentator for the events throughout the rest of the night, including teacher sumo wrestling and musical chairs.
 Though staying energized was a challenge for some who fell asleep, Heffernan found a way to stay awake the entire night.
 “I pounded some Mountain Dew; we’re not tired at all,” he said, nodding to fellow senior Thomas Slattery. “I’m goin’ all night...I really want to transfer my energy to the crowd.”
 Next to Heffernan, Thomas Slattery was focused on other methods to stay energized.  
 “What’s keeping me awake is the thought of winning handball. I’m psyched baby. We know we’re gonna win.” he said of his team, ‘THON Cena,’ who’d just lost the dodgeball competition. The team felt prepared to handball after hours of practice during Team Sports class, in which they’d formed “chemistry,” Slattery said.
 “We’re gonna come in with a level mindset and focus on winning.”
Aside from the dodgeball and handball competitions, students at THON competed to win a hover board over the course of several competitions. Tobi Oliveira conquered Grace Wu and Michael Iverson in bobbing for apples and ended as the overall champion.
 Sophomore Bernadette del Prado “had a lot of fun watching all of the competitions,” she said. “It’s really great at how much money we raised too.”

North Korean Claim on Testing Hydrogen Bomb

Jack Slominski & Jonah Slominski
Staff Writers

On January 6, North Korea bragged about a “spectacular success” of one of its first testings of a hydrogen bomb. This was carried out by leader Kim Jong Un, who said on state television that this will “make the world...look up to our strong nuclear country.”
 There is some speculations about whether this testing actually occurred. Norsar, a group that monitors nuclear testing, estimated, based on seismic readings, states that the explosion was far less of an actual hydrogen bomb that was previously tested in 2013. The group later stated that the testing took place deep underground, and it would be difficult to monitor the radiation levels created by this bomb.
 Mike Chinoy, a person located at the University of Southern California’s U.S.-China institute states that, “evidence seems to suggest it wasn’t a full hydrogen bomb.” He also stated that with every test, North Korea comes closer to having the ability of miniaturizing nuclear weapons and to equip them onto long range weapons. He said, “whether this was a full H-Bomb or not, it is still a worrying development.”
 The United Nations security council, which is consisted of 15 countries, including superpowers Russia, China, and the United States, met on Wednesday, Jan. 7, to discuss how to prevent North Korea from getting more nuclear weapons and how North Korea should be punished for its testing. The U.N previously imposed embargos on North Korea, but those so far have not stopped North Korea from testing nuclear weapons. It will be interesting to not only see whether or not North Korea actually tested a hydrogen bomb, but how the world reacts if the testings did actually happen. If previous U.N embargos did not stop nuclear testing, maybe stronger and stricter punishments need to be handed out.
 On January 9, North Korea called for a peace treaty with the United States and an end to U.S military exercises in South Korea. The United States State Department responded, saying it is still open for dialogue between the two countries, but North Korea would have to show steps towards denuclearization. The U.S still has joint military activities with South Korea, since technically North and South Korea are still in a state of war, as the conflict from 1950-1953 ended with a truce, not a peace treaty. How North Korea reacts to this remains to be seen, and it will be interesting to see what happens as this goes on.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thon 2016 raises energy levels

by Alexandra Mangano
Staff Writer

In 1973, a group of students from Penn State University created THON to add excitement to their year. They wanted to give back to their community. Today, PSU has the longest dance marathon in the country that lasts a total of 46 hours. Penn State’s THON has grown to engage several other university, high school, middle school, and elementary students to raise money for pediatric cancer. New Hope Solebury high school is one of the schools that does THON.
 The night started out with a THON dance in the high school gym. It lasted from 7-10:30 p.m. After 8 p.m., no more students were able to come in. At 10:30 p.m., the hotline bling video premiered. Several teachers were in the video and it was very funny. Throughout the 12 hours of THON there were several activities in the high school gym alone. There was an open gym from 11-12. Starting at 12 a.m. and ending at 1 a.m., there was a guest speaker and lmbo. Jump the donut was played from 1-2 a.m. and hot potato and musical chairs was played from 2-3 a.m. The hula hoopers competed from 3-4 a.m.  Lastly, twister and bobbing for apples was done from 4-5 a.m.
 The middle school gym had an abundance of activities as well. Dodgeball, handball, Star Wars, soccer, life size hungry hippo and student sumo wrestling were played until the early hours of the morning. Delicious food and drinks were available in the cafeteria the whole THON experience.
 One of the most exciting things about THON was the hoverboard competition. To be eligible to win, students interested had to participate in specific games. The games included were limbo, hot potato, musical chairs and the hula hoop competition. Three winners from each game played a game of twister. The three students who win twister bobbed for apples to decide who won the hoverboard. Tobi Oliveira defeated Grace Wu and Michael Iverson.

 THON was an amazing experience that raised over $13,000 to fight pediatric cancer. I can confidently say everyone left with great memories that they will remember for a long time.