Simple, easy holiday diet tricks

With the average Thanksgiving dinner containing over 2000 calories, this festive holiday poses an annual challenge to Americans watching their waistlines.

By Marian Siljeholm

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  With the average Thanksgiving dinner containing over 2000 calories, this festive holiday poses an annual challenge to Americans watching their waistlines.

  What few know is that Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a diet-buster. By following some easy guidelines and altering a few ingredients, this meal can be both delicious and nutritious.

  Healthy eating begins with breakfast, which should not be skipped.  Eating light meals beforehand will prevent gorging on high-calorie foods when dinner is finally served.

  Stay hydrated. On holidays this is especially important as thirst can often be confused for hunger.

  As far Steamed vegetables are high in fiber and low in calories; however, be aware of butter or oil, which can add hundreds of calories.

As far as dinner, not all main courses are stuffed with fat, Turkey is a good protein source, but opt for white meat over dark, do without the heavy gravy, and try to avoid the skin, which has the highest fat concentration of any part of the meat.

  Despite potatoes’ bad reputation, these vegetables, filled with vitamin C and fiber, can be a healthy and filling as long as they are served un-mashed and without high fat toppings such as butter or sour cream.

  Cranberry sauce can also be healthy, as long as it’s not the store-bought, canned type usually served, in which the added sugars amount to 418 calories per cup.

  As a final staple of the Thanksgiving meal, instead of traditional bread based stuffing, try a seasoning or lighter vinegar dressing to reduce carbohydrates.

  When it comes to side dishes, portion control is everything as well as avoiding fried and creamy dishes.

  Finally, to cut calories at dessert, use variations on traditional treats. Instead of pumpkin pie, make individual pumpkin custard cups and apple crisp instead of apple pie as this will eliminate the high-fat crust.

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Senior privilege: Students will eat lunch outside dining hall in alcove during winter

With cold weather on the way, seniors are searching for a new area to sit and eat during lunch.

  STAFF EDITORIAL

  With cold weather on the way, seniors are searching for a new area to sit and eat during lunch.

  As a senior privilege, seniors currently eat lunch on the balcony while underclassmen eat inside the dining hall, which can hold just over 300 students (middle school and high school students combined) per lunch.

  Even though seniors have the whole balcony to themselves, there aren’t enough seats outside, so many seniors find themselves sitting on the ground to eat their food.

  The dining hall is also visibly overflowing when seniors have to sit inside since the high school now has between 35 and 40 new students.

  In order to fix this seating situation once it becomes unbearable to be on the balcony, the administration has decided to repeat what they did during the previous winter, Principal James Lee said.

  Last year, senior students sat at two tables in the alcove that is right outside of the dining hall once the weather had become too cold to eat outside.

  Lee said that the alcove is the “only logical place for the seniors to eat, since it is close to the dining hall.” 

  Tables are going to be placed in that area for students to sit at, while another seating option includes the bench under the windows.

  This solution is acceptable; however, it needs to be improved. Two tables just won’t be sufficient considering the fact that they each only hold eight students, while at least 20 students sit table-less during several lunches. This means that students will still be forced to sit on the floor.

  “When you pull the seniors out of the dining hall, there is enough room for everyone else,” Lee said.

  The new eating area is meant for seniors only. Underclassmen will have to eat in the cafeteria, and there will be more than enough seats for them.

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Haunted House draws large crowd at new location

After debate over where to host the Haunted House, the senior class officers decided to host it at Centennial Grove in Essex, raising approximately $1,200 and drawing a large crowd.

By Kaitlin McDonagh

 INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  After debate over where to host the Haunted House, the senior class officers decided to host it at Centennial Grove in Essex, raising approximately $1,200 and drawing a large crowd.

  The plan came about when Parent Teacher Organization member Annie Cameron suggested the location to the senior class officers.

  “We had been talking about a haunted house for several years, [but] could not get it together. This year, we knew [the seniors] were responsible for this, so I guess we got to you [them] early, and [the officers] were willing,” Cameron said.

  “We were all a little hesitant before we saw the place because it sounded like a lot of work, but once I went with Annie to see it, I thought it was awesome and knew we would be able to pull it off,” senior vice president Molly Friedman said.

  According to Friedman, the school administration was happy with the idea, and it was easy to get approval.

  Seniors began arriving at Centennial Grove around 3 p.m. to set up their stations, which they signed up for in groups the week prior. In total, there were five groups of seniors with themes ranging from “cannibal campers” to “the deadly dollhouse.”

  During setup, students hung up sheets in the pavilion to mark off their rooms and spattered their clothing and props with fake blood. Students who had not signed up with a group brought scary costumes and were scattered throughout the park, where they would jump out at people passing by.

  According to senior Hannah Beardsley, everyone had a great time.

  “I thought it went really well. I think people had a lot of fun doing it and going through it. Kids went through a bunch of times, so that says a little about it,” she said.

  “It was a good way to bring back the old tradition of seniors putting on a haunted house even though they were not allowed to use the new school,” sophomore Dana Filias said.

  Although everyone had fun, one of the main problems the class officers encountered was organizing the senior class.

  “Before it was stressful not knowing who was definitely showing up and who was a possibility,” Friedman said.

  Another problem, according to students who went through the Haunted House, was the layout.

  “I wish that it was a walk-through instead of just a few different houses and you kind of just walk in and out,” Filias said.

  According to Friedman, even though there was some stress, she has heard nothing but compliments about the event and the students.

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Tropical ecosystem exists in room B321

Sophomore Biology classes have established a living terrarium with the habitat of a tropical ecosystem

Photos by Ashley Amero

Sophomore Biology classes have established a living terrarium with the habitat of a tropical ecosystem in Room B321. Two fire-bellied toads, 2 green anole lizards, one song tailed lizard and one baby brown Bahama lizard are making their homes in the 30 gal terrarium. The terrarium was established by using materials native to a tropical rain forest. These materials include a bark floor substrate, 4 different species of live tropical plants, three species of lizard reptiles (anole, Bahama, frogs) and some feeding insects (crickets and brown beetles). Each living organism in the terrarium requires a constant temperature of 78-86 degrees F with 80-90% humidity. This habitat uses a heating pad, overhead heat lamp and overhead basking lamp. The terrarium can safely sustain 2-3 more reptiles, but the Biology group has not yet decided on which species to acquire. Care must be taken to consider the feeding and living habits of the current residents before. Kids in Dr. Burgess’ biology class take turns squirting the cage with water to maintain humidity. The students that are selected in these pictures are Elise Doucette, Tierney McTirnen and Tyler Coggshell.

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Hornets Face Shawsheen in League Championship

Photos by Alex Filias and Jackie Rose

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Green Team sponsored chemistry lab brews up organic glue

Students participated in an afterschool organic chemistry lab with students from Gordon College to learn about Biomimicry and how to create environmentally friendly glue.

Photos by Nicole D’Ambrosio and Will Glidden

Students participated in an afterschool organic chemistry lab to learn about Biomimicry and how to create environmentally friendly glue. Chloe Gothie, the green team events coordinator, helped to organize the event and brought in two students from Gordon College, Ben Stewart and Laura Goudreau. The college students lead an experiment with both middle and high school students about green alternatives.

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Art’s dynamic duo

Twins Nicholas and Matthew Bouwer are known throughout MERHS as young yet accomplished artists. While both are vastly gifted in the arts, the two have chosen very different paths to follow.

Photos by Misha Berkrot and Abbi Biggar

 The dynamic twin duo from South Africa, seniors Nicholas and Matthew Bouwer, are known throughout MERHS as young yet accomplished artists. While both are vastly gifted in the arts, the two have chosen very different paths to follow.

 Nicholas, a proud student of AP Art, specializes in vibrant and fabulously detailed paintings and drawings. He has recently discovered a passion specifically working with water colors and has been creating self portraits and paintings of famous musical artists, such as Kid Cudi.

 Matthew, on the other hand, specializes in ceramics. At the present time, he is perfecting a sculpted pot themed after the Greek myth about Prometheus, a famed titan who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals. Zeus punished Prometheus by having him chained to a rock, and having an eagle devour his liver (which would grow back every night) day after day. Bouwer depicts a shockingly detailed and original representation of Prometheus on his ceramic pot.

 Both twins have made immense impacts on the art department with their originality and creativity, and both will almost certainly continue their mastery of the arts to college life and beyond. 

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Apple updates MacBook Air, iPod nano with new features

Featuring an All-Flash Storage, the MacBook Air allows for users to access data quickly and for the laptop to stay in standby mode for up to 30 days, according to www.apple.com.

By Hannah Daley

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

Macbook Air

  Featuring an All-Flash Storage, the MacBook Air allows for users to access data quickly and for the laptop to stay in standby mode for up to 30 days, according to www.apple.com.

  It also contains a spacious, glass Multi-Touch Trackpad with a buttonless design so that one can pinch, swipe, adjust images, enlarge text, or proceed through a photo album with the touch of a finger.

  Along with providing original features, Apple also improved the MacBook Air’s battery so that the 11-inch model would last for up to five hours, and the 13-inch model would last for seven hours.

  Its small FaceTime Camera also permits users to video chat with others in low-light conditions as its stereo speakers project the sounds from the left and right sides.

  The MacBook Air is available in 11 inches and 13 inches and has a price range of $999-$1,599 with 65 GB-256 GB.

iPod Nano

  Shaped like a square with a clip connected to the 1.5-inch color display, the new iPod nano is more than half the size of the older version.

  It also features all FM radio stations along with Live Pause, which enables listeners to pause the radio song and to continue where they left off.

  Users can also listen to music nonstop for 24 hours with both the 8 GB and 16 GB versions due to the rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

  The models cost $149 and $179, respectively, and come in silver, gray, blue, green, orange, pink, and red.

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Diversity Alliance makes school safer for GLBT teens

Jesse Buchsbaum. Tyler Clementi. Corey Jackson. Phoebe Prince. Sladjana Vidovic. These are only a few of the many teens who have committed suicide in response to discrimination against their sexual orientation.

By Ellen Burgess

INDEPENDENT STAFF

  Jesse Buchsbaum. Tyler Clementi. Corey Jackson. Phoebe Prince. Sladjana Vidovic. These are only a few of the many teens who have committed suicide in response to discrimination against their sexual orientation.

  From Oct. 18 through Oct. 22, the Diversity Alliance, a school club aimed at promoting and solidifying diversity among the student body, sponsored ALLY week in response to these deaths.

  ALLY week was a national event sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), the leading national organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students.

  According to senior Diversity Alliance member Hannah Beardsley, the Diversity Alliance has been participating in ALLY week for the past few years because of the occurrence of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender discrimination in schools across the nation.

  “Its purpose is to create a welcoming, safe environment for GLBT. We stressed the “Pledge” and created posters to show people that WE do really care and want to make the week a safe and knowledgeable time,” Beardsley said.

  Many students “pledged” to be an ALLY, meaning they support the GLBT community and stand against bullying and its result, harassment.

  “I think students became aware of what has been occurring with the teen suicide and they really made a change,”

Beardsley said. According to her, the high student participation throughout the week really impressed the Diversity

Alliance and assured members they had really created change.

  On Oct. 20, students, as part of a nationwide event, wore purple in remembrance of the teenagers who committed suicide because of GLBT harassment.

  “I think it’s good because it honors the people who died,” said sophomore Natalie Caponigro, a participant in this event.

  Diversity Alliance leader and physical education teacher M’Lena Gandolfi was very pleased with the outcome of ALLY week this year. She said it was the most positive year so far because of the participation of boys as well as girls. She said she was pleased with the faculty participation and was grateful that they took time out of their lessons to engage in discussions concerning ALLY week.

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Harry Potter: Fans unite internationally over decade of fandom growth

Enclosed in the 4,175 total pages of the Harry Potter series is the essence of a revolutionary phenomenon that has greatly affected the lives of many around the world.

By Rebecca Lynch

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  Enclosed in the 4,175 total pages of the Harry Potter series is the essence of a revolutionary phenomenon that has greatly affected the lives of many around the world.

  Author J.K. Rowling created Harry’s intricate world in her head 20 years ago, and the first book was published in 1997. Since then, a revolutionary fan base formed, growing up with the books and movies.

  From the moment Harry boarded the Hogwarts Express to the final words in the epilogue at that same train station, fans were swept into the amazing world that Rowling created.

  The books are not merely adventurous stories about a boy wizard. The series is full of complex plots, riveting characters, and a variety of universal themes.

  Death, love, friendship, adjustment, and other thematic issues that everyone experiences throughout his or her lives are addressed somewhere in the series. Readers observed Harry and his classmates grow up and deal with different situations. Even though the characters existed in an alternate world, the issues they faced were relatable.

  Being involved in the Harry Potter fandom during its development was a truly unique experience. Over the past 10 years, checking fansites daily for news and attending midnight book release parties and movie screenings became normal for fans.

  Despite growing older, readers never lost the magical feeling they felt when they read the first pages. Before the release of the last few books, fans of all ages vigorously theorized who was going to die and when Ron and Hermione would finally get together.

  The Internet became an essential tool for Harry Potter fans to share their observations and predictions. Paralleling the Internet’s growth in popularity, the online community for Harry Potter grew exponentially over the years.

  Fansites, podcasts, fanfiction, Wizard Rock bands, Harry Potter musical and general outlets for discussion combined to create a unified international community that continues to thrive three years after the final book was released.

  The online community helped make the Harry Potter fandom the largest fan group of the decade. As a result, the movies have so far grossed over five billion dollars worldwide, a theme park was created, and “Deathly Hallows” became the fastest-selling book in history.

  At the heart of this phenomenon is a masterfully crafted story that is able to capture anyone. In future generations children might learn before they even start the series that Snape killed Dumbledore and Harry lives in the end. While they will undoubtedly enjoy the series, they will never experience the same excitement as those who drooled at a new trailer and eagerly counted down the days until the next book release. That excitement is reserved for the current generations, and the time we spent with Harry, Ron and Hermione will be remain with us for the rest of our lives.

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