Tag Archives: journalism

Assad, Chemical Weapons, and MOAB, Oh My! … by Jada Giddings

Recently in the past two weeks, the U.S. fired the GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), or “Mother of All Bombs,” into a network of tunnels filled with ISIS fighters in Afghanistan. Killing at least ninety-four ISIS militants terrorizing the Afghan people, a majority of the citizens of Afghanistan supported this bomb dropped. This weapon, MOAB, was the first time the United States military have used it.

The Mother of All Bombs.
The Mother of All Bombs.

The bomb was dropped from the C-130 Hercules and guided to its target with a GPS of sorts. It accelerated thirty-two feet per second from where it was dropped causing it to be pulled down by gravity at insane speeds. The bomb has a one mile range and practically flattened everything in its blast radius. Despite the high casualty rate of this air strike, ISIS fighters continue to attack American troops and Afghan security forces, which led the U.S. to threaten to call in more airstrikes to known militant positions throughout Afghanistan.


Along with last week’s event of MOAB, Bashar al-Assad committed genocide against the Syrian peoples in Khan Sheikhoun. After this chemical attack, the United States responded by holding the entire Assad regime accountable for the blatant human rights violations. Killing around five-hundred thousand innocent lives, the United States is taking Syria’s disregard for human rights seriously. It is intended that all financial networks that participated in the making of chemical weapons, used to attack these many innocent lives, will be shut down. Though, it is little known that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons before. “In response to findings by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism, that the Syrian regime was responsible for three chlorine gas attacks in 2014 and 2015,” A recent press release stated, shedding new light on chemical attacks by Assad. Why he has committed genocide against the people of Syria; a mystery. Just the week after the 2017 chemical attacks took place, China and Russia vetoed a United Nations resolution that was backed up by the West, the resolution imposing sanctions in Syria of its chemical weapons.

Assad“It was the seventh time that Russia, Syria’s top military ally, has used its veto power to shield the Damascus regime,” AFP reported. The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, claimed it was “completely inappropriate” to impose sanctions on their ally, Syria, believing that it would disrupt the peace talks with them.

Finals Week Leading To Third Trimester… Jada Giddings


It’s the last week of second trimester and its havoc for all high school students; not to mention the final say over grades and passing classes. With the daily rush and the weight of homework, students have on the last week of March, it’s hard to believe they all can survive – and especially knowing third trimester will be bringing a new style of project-based learning at Forrest Bird Charter High School.

It’s finals week, more like a high school student’s final week of living.
It’s finals week, more like a high school student’s final week of living.

The sophomores through seniors will have their schedules changed under the means of the next big school project: community service. Helping the community, improving the town of Sandpoint, and showing off a creative mind are all a part of the project, but some sophomores disapprove of the assignment. Because the community project, it requires teenagers of FBCS to go out into the world and interact with the community to provide service to them. Of course, this leads some teens, those introverted or more independent, to disapproving of the more extroverted project. Also, a great displeasure from the percent of kids who don’t want the next trimester project to take place, also don’t approve of schedule changes.

A photo of the FBCS sign in our rainy springtime, ebbing third trimester to come.
A photo of the FBCS sign in our rainy springtime, ebbing third trimester to come.

Schedule changes, for sophomore through senior students, will consist of morning periods switching to an all-school class to receive lectures to impact their final project or entering the public to do their project. Luckily, for those who dislike the community service projects have an alternative set of projects to be accomplished that do not require leaving school campus. On the other hand, freshman will not be changing schedules. For them, everything will remain the same but some think that they should change their periods with their higher peers. Unfortunately, freshman will have to wait until tenth grade to partake in schedule changes for third trimester.

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?

MTG: What it is and why you should play it… Story By Alistair King

MTG: What it is and why you should play it

I move this piece to the right, your turn. I move this forward and attack, your piece is dead. What does this sound like to you? Just a simple game of chess? If you thought that you would be wrong, though the principle is the same.

Cardboard Crack... while some players can squeeze by with small collections, many players spend tons... Photo By Wizards of The Coast
Cardboard Crack… while some players can squeeze by with small collections, many players spend tons… Photo By Wizards of The Coast

Magic the Gathering (MTG) was first released in 1993 by Richard Garfield and published by Wizards of the Coast. The premise of the game is simple, each player has 20 life and their goal is to get the other players life total to 0. The game was almost an overnight hit for Wizards and it was impossible to meet the printing demands for the cards.

The game has received many awards for its gameplay and the sets they produce. The first time they got an award was a year after its release getting the Mensa Select award, and the latest being in 2015 as Origins “Best Card Game of the Year.”

In 2004 USA Today ran an article about MTG saying that the game might help develop mental and social skills. Parents that were interviewed said it was much like a sport and helps teach their children how to win and lose gracefully. However, MTG is highly addictive, with some players going as far to call it “Cardboard Crack.”

While the premise of the game is rather simple the actuality of it is rather complex. You have different types of cards you can play whether they be spells, creatures, or land that allows you to cast more of the cards that you have. Each deck is made with these cards. Average decks of cards are around 60 cards, But they often range from 40-100 depending on what format you are playing.

Deck construction is critical in this game. Players can’t just grab 60 cards, shuffle them together, and then expect for you to win the match. Certain cards work well with other cards and the best ones have effects that help each other. A way of seeing these types of cards is by looking at their color. There are 5 different basic colors in the game. Black, Blue, Red, White, and Green. Cards that help each other are often in the same color.


Photo By: Odyssey
An average match… Photo By: Odyssey

When players get around to playing a match the luck factor is visible almost immediately.  They start by drawing 7 cards and hoping that they get a good spread of lands, spells, and creatures. Not drawing enough lands means that you can’t cast spells, not enough creatures and your opponent can overpower you, and not enough spells and you won’t have any defense or offense.

The game ends with one of the players running out of life, running out of cards after which they can simply shuffle the cards back in and play again. But why should you play this game?

In simple, it’s fun. It’s a lot like chess that requires a fair bit of strategy to win, and players that have played chess extensively have a better chance of winning an even match. Second is that the cards you buy will always be usable. While cards do rotate out of the standard format, you can use them in a variety of other ways. Finally, a reason that you should play this game is that the cards have value. Collections of cards go for up to thousands of dollars and the most expensive card in all of Magic, the Black Lotus, goes for 100,000 dollars on a good day. While most players don’t have that much, many of them still have quite pricey collections.

Of Physics and Donuts… Story by John Holmes

What do donuts and superconductors have in common? The answer comes in a relatively astounding discovery, as the Nobel Prize Laureates in Physics – David Thouless, F. Duncan Haldane, and J. Michael Kosterlitz – can attest.

Donuts and math…to a topologist, a great combination. Photo by: John Holmes.
Donuts and math…to a topologist, a great combination. Photo by: John Holmes.

So, what is the common thread between pastries and physics? The answer lies in topology. Topology, also known as “rubber sheet geometry,” studies the various ways an object can be formed without being broken. Though topology has many similarities to geometry, topology differs due to its concern with holes. The more holes an object has in it, the more likely it is to be broken when forming a new shape. This is where the donut comes in. A donut has a hole in it, so if you wanted to form it into the shape of a slice of pizza, you would have to tear the donut apart. This, to a topologist, would make a donut different than a slice of pizza. However, since a slice of pizza has no holes, it can – theoretically – be formed into the shape of an apple, making an apple equivalent to a slice of pizza.

Perhaps, an easier explanation can be derived by using two-dimensional objects. A square, since it has no holes, can be formed into a circle, but a figure-eight cannot be shaped into a square due to its holes. In this example, a square is equivalent to a circle, but a figure-eight is not equivalent to a square.

The Laureates related this to the realm of condensed matter physics, using superconductors instead of donuts. Up until the early 1970’s, the popular theory was that thin layers of electrically conductive materials could not become superconductive. However, Michael Kosterlitz and David Thouless overturned that theory by demonstrating how superconductivity could occur at low temperatures. Later, in the 1980’s, Thouless showed that previous experiments with thin-film superconductors – in which the conductance was measured as integers – were topological in nature. Around that time, Duncan Haldane related topological concepts to chains of small magnets found in certain materials.

A square is equivalent to a circle…but a circle is not equivalent to a figure eight. Photo by: John Holmes.
A square is equivalent to a circle…but a circle is not equivalent to a figure eight. Photo by: John Holmes.

So, how do these concepts correlate to donuts? Through phase transitions. When a given amount of heat is added to – or taken from – matter, it can change from one state to another. This happens when heating an ice cube: the ice melts, changing from a solid to a liquid. Likewise, the opposite is true. When freezing water, heat leaves the system, thus the water transforms from a liquid to a solid. Normally, matter changes between four states – solid, liquid, gaseous, and plasma. However, a change in temperature can also change the electrical properties of matter. These changes occur rapidly – similar to how the donut has a rapid change when it is broken; this is a topological phenomenon. That’s the discovery these three Laureates made – using topology to analyze the phase transitions of a material. Thanks to this discovery, we now know that this does not only occur in thin materials but in ordinary three-dimensional objects as well.

But what can this realization lead to? In addition to advancing research in condensed matter physics, the hope is it will lead to advancements in electronics and superconductors, or even quantum computers. By understanding the flow of electrons through superconductors, electronic components can be made extremely efficient, with little to no electrical resistance. As for the effect on quantum computing, an understanding of the quantum super-cooled, quantum state of electrons in matter will help to build inexpensive and efficient quantum computers – making problem solving and database searches much faster. Through the discoveries made by these three Laureates, the future of electronics and computing technologies looks bright.

Stock Report 2016… Story By: John Holmes

The market is up…here is the Dow Jones, NASDAQ, and S&P. Photo by: CNN.
The market is up…here is the Dow Jones, NASDAQ, and S&P. Photo by: CNN.

Stock markets do crazy things during an election. The Dow rose 257 points the day after the election, and the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ rose by 1.1% each. However, on Tuesday, Dow futures were down 900 points and there was a 4% drop in crude oil prices.

Global markets also suffered some loss after the election. Both the Mexican peso and the British pound fell 9%, and the Japanese market fell sharply with a 5% drop in the Nikkei 225. In addition to these, the Euro has also gone down in value.

There was some rising, though. Big banks rose their interest rates, with JPMorgan Chase rising 5% and a 7% increase for Morgan Stanley. Defense stocks, such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, also rose.

Though there were some large drops, the odd behavior of the market during and just after the election is nothing to fret over. Presidential elections normally cause strange behavior in the market. According to Anne Smith, Senior Editor of Kiplinger, “The stock market has, for the most part, ebbed and flowed with the four-year election cycle for the past 182 years.” Bear markets and recessions are common trends during a president’s first two years, and bull markets and prosperous times tend to occur in the final two. For example, the Dow Jones, ever since 1833, has gained an average of 10.4% the year before an election, but normally drops to 6% during the election year. And as for concerns about which party wins the White House, Smith says those concerns are “unwarranted—at least from an investing standpoint.” As can be seen, there is really no need to worry over your investment portfolio after an election.

The current exchange rates…the Euro, Pound, Yen, Canadian Dollar, Yuan. Photo by: CNN.
The current exchange rates…the Euro, Pound, Yen, Canadian Dollar, Yuan. Photo by: CNN.

As for the current market, the Dow is at +0.19%, the NASDAQ is at +0.74%, and S&P is at +0.47%. Oil is at $44.93 per barrel, gas is at an average of $2.70, gold is at $1,217.30, and silver is at $16.80. Japan’s Nikkei is at 0%, London’s FTSE 100 is at +0.67%, Germany’s DAX is at +0.20%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is at -0.08%. The exchange rate for the Euro is $1.06, for the British pound it is $1.24, and the Canadian dollar is at $0.74. Some of the most popular stocks include Fitbit Inc., Cisco, American Airlines, Wal-Mart, and Macy’s.

Hopefully, as a new year comes, the market will continue to rise and rebound. It is just a matter of waiting to see.

Is Brexit a Dead End? Story by Mack Jastle

A recent lawsuit by three British citizens may upset Brexit’s agreed upon timeline and disrupt the outcome of the decision to leave the EU.  Britain’s High Court ruled in favor of the lawsuit on Thursday, agreeing that Parliament gets a say in the decision to leave the European Union.

Complications…A recent lawsuit by British citizens could disrupt the planned British Exit from the EU.  Photo-by: BBC.com
Complications…A recent lawsuit by British citizens could disrupt the planned British Exit from the EU. Photo-by: BBC.com

This means that Theresa May, the Prime Minister of Britain, can’t trigger the process of leaving the EU on her own; she must first seek approval from Parliament.  This new development comes in the wake of the June 23rd vote to leave the EU, which passed with a 52-48% margin.  In order for the UK to actually leave the EU, it must invoke an agreement called Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which would give both sides two years to agree to the terms of the separation.

Prime Minister May has stated that she intends to initiate the process by the end of March 2017, which would put the actual exit from the EU sometime near the end of the summer of 2019.

However, this lawsuit could throw a wrench into that plan.

The suit, filed by Deir Dos Santos, Charlie Mullins, and Gina Miller, (a hairdresser, a plumber, and an investment manager, respectively), challenges the right of Prime Minster May to trigger Article 50 without obtaining backing from the Parliament.  They maintain that only Parliament can make the decision to leave the EU, but clarify that they are not trying to overturn the decision made by the public.

“We are all leavers now,” Miller says to BBC Radio Four.

“It is about any government, any prime minister, in the future being able to take away people’s rights without consulting Parliament,” Miller said.  “We cannot have a democracy like that.  That isn’t a democracy, that is verging on dictatorship,” she continued.

Disarray…Prime Minister Theresa May had planned to begin the steps for leaving the EU by the end of March, but that could change if the Supreme Court upholds the lawsuit.  Photo-by: Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press
Disarray…Prime Minister Theresa May had planned to begin the steps for leaving the EU by the end of March, but that could change if the Supreme Court upholds the lawsuit. Photo-by: Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

The government has appealed the decision of the High Court to favor the case, and will present their case to the British Supreme Court next month.

If the appeal fails, they will likely have to bring forth an act of Parliament, which would mean getting approval from both the MPs (Members of Parliament), and the House of Lords.  And while the general consensus is that they will ultimately support the decision to leave the EU (based on the results of the June 23rd referendum), involving the full parliamentary process could spur attempts to amend legislation or add in details, further complicating the process.

So while the lawsuit doesn’t seem to be aimed at stopping a British Exit, there are still a formidable amount of obstacles facing the decision.  The exit process will take at least two years and will require authorization from numerous different countries and parliaments.

So no, Brexit isn’t a dead end.  It’s just a really long detour.

Halloween at FBCS… Story By Iris Grayson

Halloween at FBCS was all together an eventful day.

Halloween is a Celtic holiday that is now usually associated with receiving candy and dressing up in costumes.

The decorations around the school were curtsey of the student council, everything ranging from spider webs in the entrance, to bats and ghosts hanging from the ceiling. There were noise makers going off in the entrance, and mouse silhouettes on the front desk as well.

The Halloween costumes at FBCS ranged from the Joker, to a Minion in a coconut bra, to original characters.

The Judges of the costume contest consisted of Paul, Wendy, Michael, and Mary. The winners of the costume contest were Gabe Walden, as a trashcan, for most original; Sierra VanGaundy as Flynn Rider, and Yakira Jones dressed as Rapunzel from Tangled.

Though they weren’t the only ones with impressive costumes, there were Joellie Heneise, Juliet Harrison dressed up as Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, Joker and henchmen, original characters such as Barnaby Abrahams and Emmet Gilligan, Zacharie from Off, and many, many others. Student Council also gave the kids going to the lock in a treat, as they had to pay less money if they were wearing a costume on Halloween. They gave this as a way of thanking everyone for celebrating school spirit.


The pumpkin carving contest ended up having three contestants and three winners. There were pumpkins painted, and carved. Though a total of one of the pumpkins was carved for the pumpkin carving contest. The one carver was Holly’s entire advisory. While the painters brought theirs in by themselves.

One pumpkin was white and had melted crayon art falling from the top. The other was a pumpkin painted like a woman’s face with Day of the Dead make up. The carved pumpkin was a smaller frowning pumpkin inside of a larger pumpkin with square holes carved through it. All three contestants ended up winning the contest and all received a mug filled with candy.


Day of the Dead was also on Tuesday the 2nd and Wednesday the 3rd, and it is the days after Halloween. Day of the Dead the holiday is also called Día de los Muertos is a Spanish holiday that honors the dead in a celebratory way. The multi-day holiday is to commemorate, friends and family who have died, and those who still need help gaining access to the spirt world.. The day usually is decorated with marigolds, and sugar skulls.

Please remember to be positive that the candy you do eat is sealed, and unopened, as it may contain dangerous substances, or objects inside if they are already opened.

Forrest Bird Charter School would like to give a thank you to everyone who participated in providing school spirit by dressing up, carving pumpkins, and competing in the contests.

Hillary Colludes with the DOJ… Story By Jada Giddings

As its likely well-known by now, Hillary Clinton has previously deleted over thirty-thousand emails from her private server. Last Tuesday, the Trump campaign called out the Department of Justice discharge all of Clinton’s communications between her and her supporters to prove the investigation an overboard situation.

A picture shot during James Comey and Loretta Lynch spoke about Hillary Clinton’s emails, making it obvious that Clinton has been being given a special treatment.
A picture shot during James Comey and Loretta Lynch spoke about Hillary Clinton’s emails, making it obvious that Clinton has been being given a special treatment.

After this took place charge, WikiLeaks hacked and leaked out recent messages. In these hacked emails, DOJ spokesman, Brian Fallon, was found updating processes relating to the investigation relating to Hillary’s emails. “DOJ folks inform me there is a status hearing in this case this morning, so we could have a window into the judge’s thinking about this proposed production schedule as quickly as today,” Brian Fallon sent to Hillary Clinton on May 19th of 2015. Later the same day of the release, Donald Trump’s communication advisor, Jason Miller, said, “Today’s report that Clinton’s campaign was in communication with the Obama Department of Justice on the email investigation shows a level of collusion which calls into question the entire investigation into her private server.”

For having access to Clinton’s emails, the State Department was sued and the litigation soon was in process to determine a date to release the messages. Another matter on hand was the Justice Department putting a criminal probe within Hillary Clinton’s classified materials was irrelevant to the case.

A photo of Hillary Clinton claiming the situation between the DOJ and the leaked videos was ‘colluded.’
A photo of Hillary Clinton claiming the situation between the DOJ and the leaked videos was ‘colluded.’

After the charges from the Trump campaign had been given, James Comey, a director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Loretta Lynch on the behalf of the Department of Justice, had made it obvious that Hillary was being given a ‘special treatment’ considering the two directors of the DOJ continued to spin their story. People below these directors from the Department of Justice now know that Hillary is getting these sudden privileges. By managing to exploit this, James Comey from the FBI is said to have permanently ruined the reputation of the bureau. This has been stated by veteran agents of the FBI. They have also claimed James Comey to be ‘cowardly’ due to neglect to the investigation and mishandlings of evidence through the use private servers.

After the situation, Comey argued that at was a mass of FBI agents’ fault, those of whom were under Comey himself. He stated, “So if I blew it, they blew it too.” This showed that he took no responsibility for his actions. Though, agents claim that Comey basically ‘forced’ the agents into agreeing to basic rules and demands from lawyers that are defending Hillary Clinton as well as her aids. Dennis V. Hughes, a first chief of the computer investigations unit of the FBI, claimed, “In my 25 years with the bureau, I never had any ground rules in my interviews.” This event has shown how the FBI and DOJ are really corrupt and that Hillary is above the law in a sense.

October Student of the Month Story By: Natalie Faris

This month Tiberius Olsen, Brianna Abbey, Noah Cordle, Juliet Harrison, Leah Roth, Lauren Roth, Briana Stefani, Gage Johnson, and John Christman started their day with a pleasant surprise of being awarded student of the month for their positive depositions.

Students at FBCS have been awarded for their positive personalities in class. Photo by: Mind and Mentality
Students at FBCS have been awarded for their positive personalities in class. Photo by: Mind and Mentality

“My initial reaction was surprise, I mean I didn’t expect to get called on stage that morning!” Said Leah Roth, describing what she felt that morning. Her words seem to speak for all of the other awarded students. Across the board, there were reactions of surprise and excitement.

The Student of the Month award was based on the idea of the Kuddos Kids awards, but it grew when the Vaugh family donated the student of the month board in honor of Mr. Goodwin.  “At the end of the school year, the staff member were contemplating what the award should honor. We felt that Mr. Goodwin would have liked the focus to be on positive traits since he so often spoke of the importance of educating the entire student. The teachers brainstormed a list of positive traits that they wanted to honor.” Says Mary Jensen.

The students that were rewarded for positivity gave much affirmation about the idea of basing it on personality rather than academics.  “While it doesn’t acknowledge us academically, it does showcase the things that people may not notice if they can’t look passed your grades … I think that people have forgotten that while your grade may show what you’re learning in class, it doesn’t showcase who you are as a person.” Said Morgan Morse

“Positivity is very important to daily life it can make even the darkest days better if you can keep your eyes on a brighter more positive future.” Said Noah Cordle. Each of the students saw that positivity effected their lives in a beneficial way. “Research is beginning to reveal that positive thinking is about much more than just being happy or displaying an upbeat attitude. Positive thoughts can actually create real value in your life and help you build skills that last much longer than a smile.” – Huffington Post

So it is evident that positivity not only is beneficial to students who practice it, but is also scientifically proven to help different parts of your life. But how can you have a positive attitude? The receivers of the student of the month award have some advice for how to stay positive.

The students of the month give their insight to how to stay positive. Photo By:Workplace Positivity
The students of the month give their insight to how to stay positive. Photo By:Workplace Positivity

“Just do what feels right, and always keep your chin up. Although you may be feeling down about something, keep smiling and try to remember that your mood, whether you believe so or not, does affect the people around you.” – Morgan Morse

“Yea, just think of the good things in life and don’t let anyone get in the way of your positivity” – Tiberius Olsen

“Think about things that bring a smile to your face no matter what or think about something you’re looking forward to.” – Brianna Abbey

“Yes smile through pain, laugh in agony, and tell jokes in the depression and surround yourself with people that make you happy.” – Noah Cordle

“I think the best way to be more positive is to try and help others feel happy. I know that probably sounds really cliche, but it’s true! If my best friend is sad, I won’t stop until she/he is happy again.” – Leah Roth