Tag Archives: Forrest Bird Charter School

Premier: Life with Harry Smith

Harry Smith is an average man bored with life and seeking comfort from his television.  Living on the edge of habitual boredom, his life is forever transformed when he decides to develop a friendship with his last french fry.

A metaphorical jaunt into the constant cliches students face every day in which they have been chillingly desensitized.

Return to Planet Earth by… Leah Roth

Our video production editor, Leah Roth, created a futuristic, science fiction, micro-documentary about the repercussions of a nuclear winter for Mr. Bigley’s Science Fiction in Literature class at Forrest Bird Charter School.

Inexorable by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1200097 Artist: http://incompetech.com/

Solar Roadways Fact or Fiction?

Our Reporter explores the Solar Roadways project in Sandpoint, Idaho after many errors on their install.  The day the student journalism class went to test the panels, it led to a city police investigation. Unfortunately, the panels were not working on the day of Bird Eye News’ test. To this day, as of March 21, 2017, the panels are not producing any power that can be used by the city’s power grid.

Are the Solar Roadways fact or fiction?

A Series of Unfortunate Events: How Uber Story By Mack Jastle

Controversy….Uber is once again in the public crosshairs after a recent account describes rampant favoritism and sexism within the management structure. Photo-by: Telhelka
Controversy….Uber is once again in the public crosshairs after a recent account describes rampant favoritism and sexism within the management structure. Photo-by: Telhelka

It’s been a rough few months for Uber.  From the #DeleteUber that went trending January in response to a perceived strike break, to mounting concerns over invasive privacy settings and user tracking, to perceived support for President Trump’s travel ban forcing CEO Travis Kalanick to resign from the President’s security council, the company has faced near constant anger and outrage from both users of the app and the media itself.

Recent allegations of sexism and sexual harassment within the company’s upper echelons have revitalized the growing discontent with Uber and its business practices, and prompted several other former software engineers from Uber to speak out.  Suddenly, just as #DeleteUber was on death’s door, it was given new life.0o

The genesis for these new accusations is an account by a former software engineer for the company, Susan Fowler, who worked in Uber’s software engineering department as a software reliability engineer from November 2015 to December 2016.  Titled: “Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Year At Uber,” and written on Fowler’s personal blog, the post describes widespread sexism and chaos within the organization, and outlines a meritocracy where managers and supervisors routinely undermined their superiors in an attempt to take their job and curry favor with the organization.

Rough Year…Uber’s 2017 has been very tough, with the hashtag #DeleteUber permeating the company for the last several weeks. Photo-by: Cato Institute
Rough Year…Uber’s 2017 has been very tough, with the hashtag #DeleteUber permeating the company for the last several weeks. Photo-by: Cato Institute

Fowler writes that on her first official day working for the company, she was propositioned by her manager for sex over the company chat.  When she screen-shotted the messages and reported him to the human resources department, she was told that he was a “high performer” on his performance reviews, and they didn’t ‘feel comfortable punishing him for what was probably just an innocent mistake on his part.’  Fowler was told that since it was the manager’s first offense, they didn’t want to ruin his career by putting it on his record.    HR then gave Fowler an ultimatum; either she transfer teams and never see the manager again, or stay on the team and likely receive a poor performance review from the manager.  When Fowler tried to talk with HR or escalate the situation, she was given the same decision, and was told that it would not be retaliation if she received a negative review because she had been given a choice.

Fowler then transferred to a different team, where she came into contact with other women engineers, some of whom had also encountered the same manager propositioning them, well before Fowler was part of the company.  In short, the HR department had lied to Fowler and the other women, and had allowed this harassment to continue.  Meetings with HR were scheduled by Fowler and a few other women in an attempt to do something about the situation.

In the meeting, the HR representative maintained that the only offense on record was Fowler’s, and that none of the other women had any complaints about him, and thus nothing would change.

Fowler was berated for keeping a record of all the sexist emails and remarks she had received, and was told that sending emails to HR about these issues was unprofessional.

At the time of Fowler joining the company, about 25% of the company’s engineers were female.  Re-calculating the numbers on the day she left reveals that only 3% of the engineers in the company were female.

Uber and its CEO Travis Kalanick have denounced the behavior described in the account, and have launched investigations into the matter.

However, these investigations may be too little, too late.  Uber is still recovering from losing 200,000 users over the perceived strike break, and just when the effects of that calamity have started to fade, these recent allegations make #DeleteUber trend again.

If Uber wants to stay #1 in the rideshare business, it’s going to have a make a real and concentrated effort to distance itself from this kind of behavior, and it has to make it fast.

Otherwise, people will have no trouble catching a Lyft instead.




Greece: Euros to Dollars?…Story by Jada Giddings

Recently Britain pulled away from the European Union and Greece may follow. With the euro slowly diminishing as a currency, Greece

A photo of the Greek flag shattering to express the fall of Greece.
A photo of the Greek flag shattering to express the fall of Greece.

has been pondering if they should switch to the United States dollar. Since Britain, a rich counter within the European Union, has left the

European Union, Germany is left to stand with the next richest country in the organization of countries. With the act of Brexit taking place, Greece fears that the country may become

unsustainable if the Euro becomes l

A protester against the European Union, protesting that Greece is falling.
A protester against the European Union, protesting that Greece is falling.

ess valuable because of Britain supporting the widely used

currency. Thus, leading Greece to begin to think about commencing Grexit.

Uber is Going Automatic Story by Travis Tuttle

Want a ride?.. Uber’s driver-less car prototype. Photo by Business Insider
Want a ride?.. Uber’s driver-less car prototype. Photo by Business Insider

Uber is a successful and well known transportation company that has thousands of drivers that are ready to drive you to wherever you would like to go with a simple app. Although this system is wildly used and generally appreciated, Uber is making transportation more efficient with automatic cars. Because Uber does not know how to build cars, they are starting to design equipment that is compatible with Volvo cars. This equipment includes laser detecting systems, and cameras among other technologies processed by a powerful computer in the trunk. Uber has a small test fleet of driverless cars that are operating as normal Uber cars and driving passengers to their destinations, but they have safety drivers that take notes of the car’s performance as well as being able to take control of the care in an emergency as well as conditions in which the car has trouble processing.

Uber does have competition for the best driverless cars. Google has also been designing automatic cars, although they are still a work in progress as well as all of the other driverless car prototypes. Googles prototypes are limited to 25 miles per hour to avoid serious crashes (they have had minor incidents), and their detecting system can be off by somewhat wide margins. Uber has hired many engineers to design software and technology to guide their cars safely, and efficiently, eventually possibly to the point of a manual car. They map all of the obstacles in their test area including buildings, potholes, and other obstacles, then when the car is driving it uses GPS location to find its location and compare the location view to the corresponding maps to find differences such as pedestrians and other cars to stop for or avoid.

Although this system works fairly well, it has difficulty rendering terrain in some situations. At the moment, with technology being at the level that it is, cars with drivers are probably safer and more efficient, but technology is catching up quickly, and soon driverless cars may replace manual cars altogether. Despite the current technology, Uber wants to get an early start with this promising adaptation, and likely be a major driverless car company perhaps not so far in the future. Driverless cars are probably not quite as safe as normal cars. There have been multiple accidents from all of the driverless car companies except for Uber, likely because they just released their first cars. The most notable incident killed one person.

Even if Driverless cars have lots of glitches and problems, they will likely soon be a new reality despite skepticism from many people. Technology is advancing at a fast rate, and driverless cars may come before people might think.

The Oscars…Story by Bill Morton

It seems every year there are all these new movies that are nominated for Oscars. These movies are creative, unique and beautifully shot and acted, but yet… most movies that win best picture sort of get stuck in the muck of lost film history, getting confused and morphed into another movie of the similar genre, or better yet gets forgotten altogether. Look at the last seven best

The Oscars 2017. Photo by Connor Cable, The Odyssey
The Oscars 2017. Photo by Connor Cable, The Odyssey

picture winners: The Hurt Locker (2010) war drama, The King’s Speech (2011) historical drama, The Artist (2012) black and white drama, Argo (2013) historical drama, 12 Years a Slave (2014) historical drama, Birdman (2015) drama and last year’s Spotlight (2016) historical drama. As you can see from just these last seven best picture winners, four of them are historical dramas. Historical dramas seem to be the most legit among the best picture winners.

This year’s Nominees are pretty interesting, and they seem to consist of a lot of oddballs. A lot of random movies it seems no one have seen. The nominees for best picture are Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, and Moonlight. A survey of 35 students’ opinions was made on who they think will win Best Picture for this year, and the results will not surprise you.

Arrival: 4

Fences: 3

Hacksaw Ridge: 5

Hell or High Water: 0

Hidden Figures: 3

La La Land: 10

Lion: 4

Manchester by the Sea: 1

Moonlight: 5

They were also asked what their predictions for Best Actor and Actress will be. These are the results.


Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea: 0

All the best picture nominees for the Oscars, 2017. Photo by THR Staff, the Hollywood reporter.
All the best picture nominees for the Oscars, 2017. Photo by THR Staff, the Hollywood reporter.

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge: 8

Ryan Gosling, La La Land: 14

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic: 5

Denzel Washington, Fences: 8



Isabelle Huppert, Elle: 3

Ruth Negga, Loving: 5

Natalie Portman, Jackie: 6

Emma Stone, La La Land: 16

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins: 5

So obviously everyone thinks that La La Land will dominate the Oscars this year, as it’s been nominated 12 times, and they’re right… for some of them. Sure, Emma Stone has it in the bag, along with best soundtrack as well as best song and best director (Damien Chazelle), but let’s look at best actor. Ryan Gosling was not considered by anyone the best performance in that movie, Emma Stone was. How to easily find this one out would be to look at the guilds and trust their decisions. That means the Screen Actors Guild, the Directors Guild of America and Producers Guild of America. They consist to be the most accurate when it comes to searching for who will win best actor, best actress and best director. Not only those, but the most trusted awards show to follow are the Golden Globes. Though it isn’t taken as seriously as the Oscars due to most of the guests getting hammered (drunk) by the end of the show. It seems that in the past 20 years the Golden Globes have predicted best actor correctly 70%, which a very reasonable rate it is, but the award for best actress is more probable, as they’ve predicted best actress 90% the same as the Oscars. So when it comes to deciding for best actor and best actress, stick with the Golden Globe’s choice. The only problem is… the Golden Globes split their actors and actresses into two categories; best actor/actress in a drama AND best actor/actress in a comedy or musical. That really makes things more difficult to predict, but that doesn’t have to mean it’s a 50/50 choice. This year’s winners for the Golden Globes best actors were Casey Affleck (who none of the students voted for, let alone knew) and Ryan Gosling (who mostly every student knew and voted for). We all know that Emma Stone has this one in the bag, so let’s focus on best actor. Most people think that Ryan Gosling will win, but here’s why Casey Affleck will win best actor. There is a moment in between January 25th and January 30th (around the time when the judges vote for the Oscars) in Google Trends when Casey Affleck jumps up to the number one spot, only for five days, then goes back down to number three. Why bring that up as a reason? Not only that Casey Affleck won the Golden Globes best actor, but that last year, in the 2016 Oscars a little movie called Spotlight raised in search trends at that exact time, or close to, then went all the way back down, and you know what happened? Spotlight won for best picture that year, which no one expected, except for those people keeping close attention to the search trends, and realizing that everyone was interested in that topic at that time. That is why Casey Affleck will win over Ryan Gosling at this year’s Oscars, because he actually was the best performance in the movie and that Ryan Gosling was not the best performance in La La Land.

Snow Days…Story by Natalie Faris

The northern counties of Idaho have been experiencing some very violent snow/ice storms. All of the cities that surround Sandpoint and FBCS are covered with fresh snow and icy roads. Sandpoint received about a foot of snow with some freezing rain. However, the snow never stopped north of Sandpoint, hitting Bonners Ferry with about three feet in most places, however, deeper snow was found further north from Bonners Ferry.

On Monday, officials declared Monday the 8th an emergency, enabling the city to ask for additional snow removal resources if needed. Thankfully, the city hasn’t needed the resources yet and has been hard at work. According to the Spokesman-Review’s interview of Mayor David Sims the city generally hauls about 50 dump trucks of snow, but on Monday they were at a total of 160 and still counting, making this three times bigger than an average snow storm in Bonners Ferry.

Rumors of possible record snowfall are floating around, however, the current record is “26.0 inches on January 15, 1954”. Sadly, the

Heavy Snow…A picture of the trees that received a fresh blanket of snow during the snowstorm which caused Bonners Ferry to declare a state of emergency. Photo by Lauren Stidham
Heavy Snow…A picture of the trees that received a fresh blanket of snow during the snowstorm which caused Bonners Ferry to declare a state of emergency. Photo by Lauren Stidham

storm dropped about 20 inches on the hardest day. Learn more at the Spokesman-Review and WeatherDB.

However, even though no records were broken, school was canceled on Monday the 6th and the north bus wasn’t running at all expect for on the afternoon of Wednesday the 8th. Overall, full-time school was only held twice this week (Tuesday and Wednesday), the and there was two EADs (Thursday and Friday).

But what is up with all of these EADs? What happened to our snow days? Our school has a cap on how many snow days we can take after we hit our limit, snow days are turned into EADs. You might wonder how we are supposed to know how to complete all of these EAD assignments without seeing our teachers and learning what we need to do, and you might have found it hard to complete all of those assignments without teacher help before the hard due date scheduled on Friday the 10th. Thankfully, the school recognized the tough situation and moved the hard due date to Friday the 17th, giving students extra time to get things all tied up.

With all of this talk of snow and missed school days, don’t let the weather get you down! Sunshine and warmth are forecasted for the week

of 12-18th of February, maybe spring isn’t far away after all!