Apps of My Eye: Find My Friends and The Starbucks App

By Rachel Daley


Find My Friends


Looking to stalk your friends or crushes at the push of a button? Install Find My Friends from the iTunes store now! This app allows you to easily locate your friends and family from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. By searching someone’s name, they will appear on a map of their location. However, don’t be too sketched out; the consent to share your location with another user has to be mutual. If you do not wish to grant your parents the satisfaction of always knowing where you are, you can choose the “temporary sharing” option, restricting the amount of time that they are able to view where you are. If you’re scared about your parents somehow rigging the system to find you, there is also a privacy setting which allows you to block them. Additionally, if your device is updated with iOS 6, then you can receive location-based alerts which notify you when a friend or family member leaves a current location or arrives to a new one. For girls, this will help substantially with getting ready to go out because you will actually know when your ride is leaving. The app also tells you exactly how far away you are in miles from your friends.


The Starbucks App


 It’s fair to say that behind Nick’s Roast Beef, Starbucks is the next most popular teen hangout spot in the Cape Ann area. The Starbucks app is both convenient and rewarding. A key feature is the “Starbucks Card,” a virtual store credit card which can be swiped via your iPhone or iPod Touch at the register. You can check your card balance on the app and you can reload it with more money as well. Aside from the store card, the app also consists of a full food and drink menu which changes with the seasons. With this, you can access the nutrition facts of your favorite drink or pastry.  Each time you buy an item at Starbucks, a star gets added to your virtual rewards coffee cup. Once you reach a certain number of stars, you are rewarded with a free food or drink at any local Starbucks. If you’re in dire need for a cup of coffee, you can search for the nearest Starbucks through the app with the store locator feature.


Pro Gun Control

Hoping that tragedies will prevent other tragedies is not an efficient way to subdue gun violence in the US. Despite the loss of around 30,000 Americans per year to gun violence, American officials in Congress have sat around hoping media coverage of one gun-related tragedy would prevent the next. Until Obama’s recent plan, no actual reforms have been made. Americans need to band together and demand action for legislative change.

Obama’s plan makes it harder for citizens to obtain weapons, requiring background checks for all people no exceptions. It increases penalties for those who buy weapons for other, and also limits the weaponry that is available for purchase. Civilians will no longer be able to purchase armor-piercing bullets.

Presently, at gun shows, criminals and mentally-ill persons can avoid background checks and obtain firearms in just one day through totally legal means. Many of these firearms are specially designed to kill mass amounts of people in one fail swoop and were created for use in the military.

When the forefathers of the United States drafted the Constitution, granting Americans the right to bear arms, they were referring to rifles in the hands of members of the militia, not semiautomatic handguns in the grasps of gangbangers and the mentally unstable.

As one of the world’s superpowers, America no longer has an operating civilian militia in order to protect freedoms. The United States armed forces is the strongest military in the world; therefore, there is no need for anybody else to own semiautomatic weapons to protect liberties.

Allowing civilians to own automatic and semiautomatic weapons instigates and allows for tragedies to happen. Guns kill people, point blank. An automatic/semiautomatic handgun gives the power and ability to unleash rounds on innocent people before they realize what is going on.

The quickness of these weapons kills targets before they would have the ability to draw their own weapon; so, it would not be beneficial to provide arms to more people, it would only lead to more bloodshed when those guns reach the wrong hands.

Recent shootings have caused the belief that the mentally unstable are the ones responsible for the majority of gun violence. Yet, it is important to recognize that the mental health and gun control are two separate issues.

Guns themselves kill people. Someone who has just reached his/her mental breaking point may raise no red flags when applying for permits to own firearms. It is far too easy to purchase weapons, legally or illegally, in the United States.

Longer wait times, heavy taxes, and strict regulations on which weapons can be held by civilians need to be put into place. The way US citizens obtain weapons is far too hassle-free, and the fact that weapons designed for mass murdering on the battlefield are on the streets of US cities is atrocious.



Harry Potter Club Comes to MERHS

Students came after school to the Harry Potter Club, directed by Ms. Epp, to discuss events that take place within the books and movies. The high school and middle school students also play games to test each other’s knowledge. In the future, the group may also do charitable work in partnership with the Harry Potter Alliance.



Chemistry students learn to make table salt

Before leaving for February break, chemistry teacher Keith Gray had students work with dangerous substances to try and create a safe and edible table salt.