Hello, everyone. As you can tell by the by line I’m Zack Penzien and I take care of the hardcopy design around here. If you were here last semester, you will notice that the Erie Square Gazette looks a bit different this time around. Well I did that. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Researching the Shetland Sheep dog before buying one at a few weeks old had me horrified. Part of me was excited to have an essentially miniscule collie, and another part was anxious that it would live up to its wild reputation. Shelties are ranked #6 on Stanley Coren’s dog intelligence study with a very high trainability. Still, that offered little in the way of reassurance.
Michigan lawmakers approve Right to Work
In a move that would rival the “War of the Roses,” Michigan legislators have voted to make Michigan the 24th state to become a “Right to Work” state.
This move allows Michiganders the right to work at jobs without being forced to pay union dues.
I believe it to be a smart move. Others may disagree and might ask “why Michigan?”
According to Detroit Free Press writer John Gallagher’s Nov. 17 article it’s “An upbeat outlook for Michigan’s economy.”
University of Michigan economists predict moderate economy growth and job gains during the next two years.
I agree with that.
From what I have seen, housing is slowly turning around as well. As encouraged as I am about these positive signs, I don’t think we can rest on our laurels.
I would like to see a more intensified growth in our state. We are headed in the right direction, but need to pick up speed, not slow down.
This is why I am not opposed to taking another look at Right to Work.
Ok, so I understand those who oppose Right to Work believe the move will weaken unions and feel it can lead to lower wages. But what I have always had a problem with is employees being forced to pay union dues as grounds for employment, even if they do not join their company’s union.
I can see right in both perspectives.
As a realist, I believe if you opt out of a right to work union, then you should not be able to reap the benefits of those who do choose union membership.
Right to Work can lead to more businesses, and opponents of Right to Work are right in their concern over lower wages.
On the other hand is the success in other Right to Work states.
According to the Bureau of Census, between 2000-2011, Right to Work states have seen an over 11 percent increase in residents ages 25-34. Growing pay checks lead to increased populous in these states.
Accordingly, non-Right to Work states has seen a 0.6 percent increase in the same time frame.
I believe Right to Work is not the cure all, but is one of the necessary ingredients for growth, yet ensures a state’s politics are not dominated and controlled by unions.
The SC4 survival guide to finals week
The end of the world is nigh, at least according to the Mayan Calendar.
However, fear not, because the reasoning behind it isn’t because our finals are coming next week. In order to avoid a disastrous demise I have found ways from across the campus on how to survive and pass the dreaded finals.
To begin I roamed the student center looking for other students who were bunkering down with books and pencils.
I stumbled across Melissa Bratton, a freshman from Marysville, who looked ready to take on the college world. I asked her why she though that it was important to study for the finals and she replied, “It is to make sure that the information sticks, because the finals make or break your grade.”
The tools to being successful on your finals are within your own grasp. The best approaches I have found to do for studying are easy to do.
Whenever I begin my study process, I make sure that I am comfortable and there are no distractions within the room. Along with that I make sure I have something to drink and something else to snack on.
When studying it is best not to just do it all at once.
Ashley Smith, a freshman from Marysville, told me, “Don’t cram all in one night, and don’t stay up all night before the test.”
It is much better to spread out your studying time over a longer period of time. You will be much more likely to absorb the information that you read.
If you would like more tips on how to study, go to academictips.com
Winter’s chocolate fix
Winter’s coming and the cold weather’s not letting up, so why not try something new?
Hot chocolate from scratch, or maybe even some no-bake cookies?
Sure, it’s easy to head to the nearest store and purchase premixed powder, whether it be in tub form or packet, but it’s just as easy to concoct hot chocolate from scratch.
Most of the necessary ingredients can be found around the house, some might need to be purchased.
For two servings the ingredients are:
- 4-5 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder, the kind often used for baking.
- 4 Tablespoons sugar, a sugar substitute maybe used, refer to the package substitutions
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups milk, or for a lactose free version try plain soymilk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Mix sugar, cocoa, and salt in a small bowl then set aside.
Next heat the milk, or soy milk on the stove or microwave, until hot. Separate the milk into two mugs, and then evenly divide the powder mixture into the two mugs.
Stir and maybe add some marshmallow or whipped cream, if desired.
No-bake cookies are another chocolate fix that most ingredients if not already stocked, are cheap to purchase.
To make two to three dozen cookies, it takes about 20 minutes and the following ingredients:
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup milk
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups quick-cooking oats
First prepare a wax paper lined cookie sheet for dropping, and then set aside.
Add the butter, sugar, milk and cocoa powder to a 4-quart saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Let the mixture boil for one minute, and then remove from heat.
Add the peanut butter and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Next stir in the oats.
Now grab the wax paper lined cookie sheet and drop heaping teaspoons of the mixture onto it, leaving a little space for the cookies to settle.
Let cool until set, then they are ready to eat.
These recipes were found online, the hot chocolate one is courtesy of Meijer Healthy Living Advisor Tina Miller, and the no-bake cookies to the Brown Eyed Baker website.
Everyday should be Veteran’s Day
I clearly remember the day my eldest brother left for Vietnam because it was the first time I ever saw my father cry.
Dad had all of us gather by the family car for a group photograph before leaving to drive my big brother Bill to the airport to serve his country.
I still remember Dad’s eyes brimming with tears as we left him there that day.
To the military, he was an Air Force Sargent. To us, he was a son, and a big brother that was going away for a very long time.
Over the years this scene has been replayed countless times in homes around our country. Our family worried and thought about our loved one serving in harm’s way.
We were among the lucky ones, he came home.
Today’s families with loved ones serving worry and think about their sons, daughters, brothers sisters and spouses so far from home.
For many, their loved ones don’t come home because they made the ultimate sacrifice.
Our soldiers serve and protect every day. They don’t get to say, nah I’ll take today off because I don’t feel like going in to work today.
Don’t get me wrong. I am glad there is a national holiday set aside to pay respect to our soldiers. I just don’t think one day each November is enough.
It is sobering to think of what life might be like if soldiers were not willing to make sacrifices.
I doubt there are any soldiers serving that are fighting for what is in front of them on whatever battlefield they stand upon. They are fighting for what was left behind back home.
Because of this we are free to voice our opinions. Free to protest when we disagree about something.
Our veterans that serve deserve much more than one day every November. So do their families.
In this, a presidential election year, I have been reflecting on how much things have changed over the last four years.
Four years ago, I paid around $1.87-$1.88 a gallon for gas.
What I wouldn’t give to see those prices again.
Over the summer months, I have watched prices at my local station rise by 30 cents. I currently pay close to $3.90 a gallon for gas. As a result, I can barely maintain my budget.
One would think with summer behind us, the kids all back in school, that prices would hold steady or decline, not keep rising.
Watching the news, one hears reports as to why costs escalate. Reasons range from how warm last winter was to refineries that are closed due to explosions, the weak economy, greedy oil companies or the United States dependency on foreign oil.
These seemingly plausible answers have become so redundant, I find myself questioning their validity.
According to Daniel Yergin, author of “The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World”, in comments he made to the Wall Street Journal Sept.13,2012, Yergin said he believed shale gas(formed from being trapped in shale formations) production now accounts for 40 percent of U.S. gas production.
Yergin explained that technologies used to harvest shale gas, have revitalized U.S. oil production. As exciting as this news seems to be, I highly doubt our country will return to the dominance it once had in the oil industry.
Nonetheless, as our production increases, I would hope our dependence on foreign oil will decrease.
I am realistic enough to know the days of $1.88 a gallon gas are gone. I would settle for enough of a decrease that I can afford to pay my utilities and not worry about how to put food on the table.
Pumpkins stay strong, for Halloween that is.
Year after year, costumes and candy might change, but this single element has remained the same, whether used for decoration or the best part yet, food.
Roasting seeds after pumpkin carving makes for a delectable and easy treat using just four ingredients: pumpkin seeds, water, salt and olive oil. For every half a cup of pumpkin seeds you will need two cups of water and two teaspoons of salt.
After you get your pumpkin done, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then clean the stringy pumpkin guts off and rinse the seeds under cold water. Next, combine the water and salt in a saucepan, then boil the seeds in this mixture for 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from heat and drain the seeds well, patting them with a paper towel to remove extra water. Brush a cookie sheet with about one tablespoon of olive oil, and then add the seeds, spreading them out in a single layer.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until they begin to brown. Remove them from heat, cool, and then sprinkle them with salt if you wish.
Chose not to carve this year? Never fear, pie pumpkins are also prevalent when it comes to seeds, and if painted with non-toxic paint or products, may later be used to make delicious pumpkin rolls or pies.
Allrecipes.com is the site I commonly use and has a variety of user submitted recipes to choose from.
Paint it, peel it, carve it
Pumpkin carving, one of the few activities where people are encouraged to stab something with a sharp object.
But now a day it’s not at all uncommon for people to set their knives and tiny saws aside for some different tools.
One of those tools is paint.
Whether it is a parent with young children, or someone that just doesn’t want to go through the hassle of cutting and gutting a pumpkin, paint is often a go to tool for pumpkin decorating. While painting a pumpkin decreases a person’s chance of cutting themselves, they have to be more careful when picking their pumpkin.
Bumps on the pumpkin can be a hindrance when painting, and may even be a blemish if they’re big enough to remain noticeable once the job is complete. Dampness on the pumpkin’s skin can also be a hindrance, but easily remedied by wiping the pumpkin with a dry cloth.
People have also traded the usual carving tools for sculpting tools. This allows the user to peel away the pumpkin’s skin in layers. Gives them a bit more control over what they’re crafting.
It takes patience, but if a person can stick it out, they can end up with some awesome results. Some of the works out there that have been done with this method look more like they belong in a museum than sitting on someone’s front porch.
That’s not to say that the traditional method of carving pumpkins is disappearing. People can still go walk down the street to see traditional jack-o-lanterns resting on the porches of many homes.
It’s just that one shouldn’t be surprised if they see a not so traditional jack-o-lantern resting right beside it. And as time goes by, maybe even more methods of pumpkin decorating will arise.
Journey into the unseen
Have you ever heard about a videogame that has never surfaced, leaving you wondering if they were ever real or a lack luster fever dream?
If so, do I have the website for you!
Unseen64.net is an archive of material from canceled, unseen and beta videogames. In the past week, most spare time I’ve had has been lost on browsing the site packed with concept art, tech demos and information about games from every notable console and iteration of PC’s.
Unseen64 also has concept art and demo videos from games that have come out, but if you’re just interested in seeing video content Unseen64 has to offer, check out www.youtube.com/ user/monokoma.
I got lost in Unseen64 because I love to see the creative process behind the media I like.
When the Nintendo DS first came out I heard a rumor from one of my friends that “Halo 2” was coming to the DS. I was excited that I would be able to take one of my favorite games with me, but it never surfaced and I assumed that my friend gotten some bad information.
My friend was correct; Unseen64 has a video of a tech demo for the game that was apparently scrapped.
Unseen 64 is a love letter to the creative process of videogames. If you’re like me and get lost in the “making of” parts of DVDs, give it a look. I’m sure it will be added to your bookmarks in no time.