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VOLUME 5 ISSUE 16

GET IN THE KNOW!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Purim Dvar Torah

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Get to Know: Global Studies!

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A Word of Advice...

 

 

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Math Research Fair

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North Shore Takes LISEF

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Is Learning Math and English Important?

 

 

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Mock Trial Team Advances

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Peer Drug Visits Middle School

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Watch TV or TV Watches You?

 

 

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MLB off-Season

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87th Academy Awards

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Yes Please Book Review

 

 

 

 

Purim Dvar Torah

by Hannah Baumgarten

 

Purim Dvar Torah This past shabbat, the shabbat before Purim, we read Parashat Zachor. Every year, at the same time each year, we read of the nation Amalek's attack on the young and vulnerable Bnei Yisrael in the Midbar. The Torah says that Amalek attacked slowly, pouncing on those straggling behind - the old and the weak. The commandment of reading the portion of Zachor can be found in the words "Zachor et asher asa lecha Amalek" (Devarim 25:17). But what exactly are we being commanded to remember? Is it the potential for evil from any country in our midst? It has unfortunately become apparent in our times that we don't require any reminders of the evil actions of Amalek. Why then are we given such a command? Than answer may be that the question Hashem is asking us to ask ourselves is: how could we allow our fellow Jews to fall behind and become vulnerable to the enemy? The Torah explains that we allowed it to happen in the Midbar because, "Ve-ata ayef ve-yagea"(and you were tired). The Jewish people were too concerned with their own condition that they neglected those around them. In light of this, we, as a nation, are given the commandment of Zachor on the shabbat before Purim and also the mitzvot of Mishloach Manot and Matanot LaEvyonim on Purim - mitzvot that require us to engage with the greater community that surrounds us. By fulfilling these mitzvot, we will safeguard ourselves from the attack of both the physical and spiritual Amalek that resides among us.

 

 

Get to Know: Global Studies!

by Aryeh Hajibay 

 

Get to Know: Global Studies!

It is often stated that an understanding of the past makes us more aware of the future, and forces us to avoid the mistakes of our predecessors. Because today's young adults studying early Global Studies will become our leaders of the future, they must use this knowledge of history to make good decisions, such as exercising their precious right to vote for candidates that understand this insightful ideology. For example, conflicts in the Middle East involving Jews, Muslims, and other groups can only be clearly understood with the knowledge of the past thousands of years. Why do Sunni and Shiites constantly argue to the brink of war? While they may be two distinctly different sects of Islam, what sprouts a conflict so violent that their bickering leads to statistically significant deaths every year? A student walking out of a Global History class should find history to be one fascinating, long story; a very long story. And in that understanding of the story comes self-awareness of one's own story. Asking your parents, grandparents and relatives about their pre-American history, especially as Jews who have often been scattered against their will, should be a dinner table conversation inspired by this course.

The Global Studies course at NSHAHS is exactly what its title suggests: a history of great empires spanning from the earliest developments of writing over 6,000 years ago, when written records were first preserved, to the present. We are all human, and to investigate and study where we come from is imperative to understanding our human nature. For instance, the Paleolithic Man, his values, his tools for survival, and our understanding of them, is a journey we take while studying history. Every time the Neolithic Man continues that journey around the globe, we follow his every move thousands of years later in history class. Great empires such as the Gupta in India, the Han, Tang and Song in China, and the Abbasid in the Middle East, through trade and war, have combined their technological advancements to propel the state of mankind forward, and eventually to where we are today.

"Knowledge is power," remarked Mrs Jayne Rosenberg, instructor of Global Studies. "Students should feel empowered by this course because to know who we are as people, and where we fit in the world, and what the possibilities for the future might be, can only be gained by educating oneself in all courses, not only this one."

 

 

A Word of Advice...

by B

 

A Word of Advice...Dear B,

How do I raise my grades in a class that I'm struggling in?

Sincerely,
Struggling Student


Dear Struggling Student,

School can be very difficult in an emotional and stressful way. Struggling in certain classes is very common. Everyone has struggles that they must deal with, whether it's a personal or a school-related problem. By taking this into account before seeking help, you will receive all the benefits, dear reader.

There are multiple ways that you can boost your grade without letting the stress get to you. Teachers have drop-in periods throughout the day when they are available to help answer your questions. If your specific teacher is not free when you are, another teacher of the same department can usually also assist you. When that's not an option, an alternative to your teachers involves your peers. The peer tutoring program, run by Rabbi Noam Weinberg, pairs a struggling student with someone who has excelled in that specific class. This allows you to receive aid from someone else who has gone through the entire course and already knows what to expect. I realize that having an upperclassman tutor you can seem intimidating. However, dear reader, keep in mind that everyone involved in peer tutoring has volunteered. This means that they are willing to sit with you and answer all of your questions, no matter how obscure. If you are still uneasy, requesting a peer tutor who is taking the class with you is just another one of your options. There are multiple ways for you to keep up and increase your grades. Just don't be afraid to ask for a little help when needed.

Sincerely,
B

 

 

Math Research Fair

by Arielle Rothman  

 

Math Research Fair

For the past few months, several NSHAHS students have been diligently studying advanced math topics. With the invaluable help of Mrs. Nora Greene, instructor of mathematics, and Mr. Dennis Nagel, Chairperson of the Math Department, students wrote research papers and prepared math fair presentations. This past Friday, the students presented their projects before judges at the prestigious Al Kalfus Long Island Math Fair, and competed against other students from schools throughout Long Island.

Aryeh Hajibay researched matrices and coding. Neda Shokrian and Joshua Kratka both researched mass point geometry. Rachelle David researched forces in suspension bridges. Reese Berman researched fractals and their dimensions, and created a city designed as a fractal. I researched determinants of square matrices, and showed its applications in geometry, algebra, and cryptography. Shira Eisenberg researched encryption and coding and showed an excerpt from the movie The Imitation Game.

The NSHAHS students impressed the judges with the quality of their work and the depth of their knowledge. The students found the experience to be very valuable. As participant Neda Shokrian remarked, "There were so many presentations on topics that I had never even heard of, which inspired me to further my research on my topic, mass point geometry."

 

 

North Shore Takes LISEF

by Shani Kahan

 

North Shore Takes LISEF
After tremendous research and a rigorous workload, the big day finally arrived as the LISEF 10 boarded the bus and made their way to the fair at the Crest Hollows Country Club. The Long Island Science and Engineering fair was originally planned for February ninth, however, due to the winter's recurring snowstorms, the science fair was rescheduled for last Monday, February 23rd. Mr. Allen Sachs, director of research, accompanied the group to the fair and assigned each individual a station upon arrival. After signing in, all the participants headed to their designated locations and began setting up boards and reviewing presentations. Shortly after, everyone assembled at the opening ceremony, which included a warm greeting, an overview of the day and an explanation of what LISEF is all about. After the friendly welcome and introduction, everyone returned to their boards and waited for their moment to impress the judges. The judges were all from research based facilities, which made the day all the more special and highly serious. Each participant had to pass two rounds of judging. Each judge examined the contestant's boards and listened to the explanations of the works presented. At the end of each presentation, the judges devised a score for the project and the projects that received the highest scores were able to move on to the next round in the competition.

It was truly a great day infused with meaningful learning. Everyone got to explain their work to others and also had the chance to learn new things from those around them. LISEF can be described as "extremely competitive," as entry projects ranged from analyzing the DNA of squirrels to investigating Kaprekar's Routine. Despite that, three students from our school presented work that was truly exemplary and were successful in reaching the next round. Jacob Basaleli, Daniel Bronhiem and Rachelle David have all done an excellent job and will be competing in LISEF Day Two on March 12th. The science department and the rest of the school are truly proud of their accomplishments and wish them the best of luck in the upcoming fair!

 

 

Is Learning Math and English Important?

by Lia Berger  

 

Is Learning Math and English Important?

Since the beginning days of our education, we have all heard terms such as onomatopoeia, foreshadowing, pythagorean theorem, sine, cosine, and tangent in our math and English classes. But many students have asked the same question: why do we need to know them? What's the significance of understanding what irony is, or knowing how to find the area of a circle? Don't worry, you're not wasting your time by learning this material. Here are a few reasons why learning these subjects can help you grow and get further in life.

Math, of course, is important. We use math outside of the classroom every day, but may not realize it. Shoppers use it all the time to calculate change, tax, and sale prices. When people go to restaurants, they use it to determine the waiter's tip. Cooks use it to modify the amount a recipe will make. While learning how to find a missing angle of a triangle may not help you in these regards, it can help train your brain and improve your thinking speed. Learning mathematics is like learning a new language full of different terms, steps, and ideas that can contribute to your brainpower. Plus, you need to know math in order to have a job such as that of an accountant, biologist, architect, or medical doctor, just to name a few.

English, on the other hand, is a language, but one most of us already know how to speak. So why is it that we have to take classes about it? Firstly, it improves your reading and writing abilities, two skills that are vital to success. This is even more important for students who don't read outside of school; English class is the only time they can improve upon their reading skills. English studies can also help you learn to speak and write using perfect grammar, such as distinguishing between "you're" and "your," and "they're" and "there". Furthermore, analyzing symbolism and characters' motives can give great insight into the human character and the world around us.

While these classes might not always seem important on the surface, they are actually working to improve your brainpower and writing skills. Knowing math is essential in order to perform day-to-day tasks, and good grammar is necessary if you want to speak and write effectively. The next time you groan about why learning Shakespeare is pointless, just think about what it is doing for you!

 

 

Mock Trial Team Advances

by Leeal Kahen

 

Mock Trial Team AdvancesOn Wednesday, February 26th, NSHAHS' Mock Trial's team of lawyers and witnesses, as well as the rest of the team, headed to the Mineola Justice Court. Their mission was to defend their client, Casey Cheatham, against the prosecution, played by Great Neck North High School. The team was led by Mr. William Muir, Faculty Advisor to Mock Trial, and Ms. Liora Ben-Sorek, Coach of the Mock Trial Program. After several hours of direct and cross examinations on both sides of the case, the defense lawyers Neda Shokrian, Deeba Abrishamchi, and Brielle Hoffman prevailed, and were able to prove their client innocent. Neda was truly impressed by the opposing team, but believed that the NSHAHS team was ready for anything: "The other team was definitely well prepared, but I feel like our training to ‘expect the unexpected' was a major factor in our victory." On March 11, the mock trial team will be competing in the "Sweet Sixteen" round against the top sixteen mock trial teams in Nassau County. Best of luck to the team!

 

 

Peer Drug Visits Middle School

by Emma Greszes 

 

Peer Drug Visits Middle School

On Wednesday, February 25th, NSHAHS' Peer Drug Educators, headed by Mrs. Nancy Farber, Coordinator of Peer Drug Education, stopped by the NSHA Middle School to spend an advisory session regarding drugs and peer pressure with the 8th grade students. When the educators arrived, they presented a video to the students that displayed the consequences of consuming too much alcohol. Next, the peer drug educators split up into groups to privately communicate with the 8th graders. They spoke with the students about possible peer pressure situations they may face in middle school. The conversation gradually escalated into one about what they could expect to occur once they entered high school, as well as how they could avoid getting into these dangerous situations. The 8th graders learned about what actually happens inside a human body when a person consumes a drug, and the emotional, physical, and mental effects it can have. The students explained to the peer drug educators that they believed it was beneficial to hear from high school students who have personally seen situations that are quite similar to what they were discussing, rather than to hear another lecture from a teacher. The lessons that were taught by the peer drug educators will hopefully influence the 8th graders to think cautiously when they enter high school, and to be more careful before doing something that they might regret in the future.

 

 

Watch TV or TV Watches You?

by Yaakov Spraragen

 

Watch TV or TV Watches You?      Technology supposedly continues to make life easier for consumers, although its benefits might come at a very high personal price: one's privacy. While using a "Smart TV" means not having to search for a remote control between sofa cushions or replacing old batteries, its conveniences may not be worth giving up privacy to unknown third parties listening in to voice prompts.

Your Samsung Smart TV actively monitors you by using voice recognition and motion sensors. This warning routinely pops up as viewers turn on their Smart TV sets: "Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition."

In an effort to ease consumers' concern about this invasion of privacy, Samsung published the common disclaimers, reassuring that it takes user data seriously, follows best practices, and would never share information with untrusted third parties or individuals. Marketing experts have observed that for this reason consumers are becoming hesitant to buy the Samsung Smart TV and some owners have chosen to return them. Now in addition to worrying about nosy parents or siblings who may be listening in, there are electronically charged and merciless eavesdropping devices always ready to record your every move. Although the Samsung Smart Television has many advanced and appealing features, it may not be the "smartest" idea to own such a product.

 

 

MLB off-Season

by Josh Peyser  

 

MLB off-Season

This past Wednesday, each MLB team reported for spring training, in either Florida or Arizona. This past off-season saw a free-agent frenzy, during which big-name players changed teams. For example, the off-season began with Giancarlo Stanton signing the biggest contract in American sports history with the Miami Marlins: a 13-year, $325 million contract that will end when Stanton is 38. The off-season continued with the Boston Red Sox signing the two best infielders in the free agent class, Pablo Sandoval of the World Series champion San Francisco Giants and Hanley Ramirez, formerly of the Los Angeles Dodgers. One of the biggest signings was the Chicago Cubs adding of former Boston Red Sox ace Jon Lester. Another bigtime off-season signing was conducted by the Washington Nationals, who added Detroit Tigers ace Max Scherzer. Due to these many game changing maneuvers, this off-season was one of the greatest in history.

 

 

87th Academy Awards

by Avraham Spraragen

 

87th Academy Awards The 87th Academy Awards took place on February 22, 2015 and was nothing short of glorious. During the ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented Academy Awards, or Oscars, in 24 categories. This year's host was highly acclaimed actor, Neil Patrick Harris. Extraordinary artists including Maroon 5, Tim McGraw, John Legend, Lady Gaga, Rita Ora, and Jennifer Hudson put on jaw dropping musical performances. Known as one of the most popular events for the recognition of celebrity talent in and mastery of the visual arts, this year's Oscars drew in 37.3 million viewers to the American telecast on ABC.

With celebrities galore, the Academy Awards is the annual one-night amalgamation of all of Hollywood's greatest stars. Big blockbuster films were recognized for their distinction in visual effects, acting, directorship, costume, music etc. This year the world was gifted with several movies that are largely considered to be some of the greatest works of the century. Many of these films were nominated for Oscars in categories such as best film, best actor and best actress in a leading role, best directing, and best original screenplay. Harris did a remarkable job of entertaining the elite few who filled up the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles as well as those watching from home. Furthermore, he was able to keep everyone on his or her seats in anticipation for who was to win the different awards.

While many of the wins were predictable, several took people by surprise. Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel won the most awards, tying with four each. The competition for best picture was particularly fierce. The eight movies nominated for best picture were, American Sniper, 
Boyhood, Birdman,The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash. Many were certain that 
Boyhood, a film that follows a boy for twelve years as he is being raised by a divorced couple and examines his relationship with his parents as he grows, was sure to go home with the grand prize. Miraculously, Birdman, another outstanding motion picture, was given the great honor instead. Hats off to all nominees and winners of the night, and a thank you on behalf of society for your gifts to humanity!

 

 

Yes Please Book Review

by Rachel Dynkin  

 

Yes Please Book Review

If you read and loved Tina Fey's Bossypantsand have been waiting for another book of hilarious anecdotes, witty jokes and tremendous female empowerment, then Yes Please by Amy Poehler is sure to be a great read for you.

Because of her brilliant appearances on SNL, Parks and Recreation, Mean Girls, and many other shows and films, Amy Poehler has become a comedic icon. But what else is there to this remarkable woman besides her ability to make us laugh? In her autobiography Yes Please, Amy Poehler opens up about her family life and her journey to success in the comedy industry. Filled with funny pictures and stories that are both inspiring and comical, Yes Please is a fantastic read for anyone who appreciates clever humor.

In her autobiography, Amy Poehler writes, "Great people do things before they're ready," so whether you feel ready or not, get up and grab a copy of Yes Please!

 

 

Editors-in-Chief: Alexandra Levian, Rebecca Rosen
Assistant Editors: Avraham Spraragen, Neda Shokrian
Copy Editor: Stephanie Gottlieb
Web Developer: Benjamin Khakshoor, Shawn Wydra
Writing Staff: Hannah Baumgarten, Sarah Baumgarten, Lia Berger, Rachel Dynkin, Ariel Fox, Emma Greszes, Aryeh Hajibay, Shani Kahan, Leeal Kahen, Stacy Okin, Alana Pearl, Arielle Rothman, Steven Schwartz, Yaakov Spraragen, Mark Steiner
Faculty Advisor: Mrs. April Zabinsky