Tags Posts tagged with "life"


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The human brain is made of billions of neurons, cells with long branch-shaped projections that convey electrical and chemical information to power every function of the body. Every neuron works in harmony, but they never physically connect. Instead, two neurons communicate by passing neurotransmitters across tiny gaps between the cells. This structure is known as a synapse.

Our goal is to bridge the synapse that separates every member of the Louisville community.

We see entitlement as a backdrop of major events, a state of mind of influential people. Martin Luther King Jr. had a (rightful) entitlement to free speech, leading to the greatest civil rights movement in history. However, entitlement in common usage has negative connotations. This episode of Synapse examines the dark and light side of entitlement.

Thanks to Noah Ramsey for narration help!


Prelude No. 15” – Chris Zabriskie
Illuminations” – Lee Rosevere
Theme in G” – Podington Bear
The Wrong Way” – Jahzzar

Ways to listen to the podcast:

On Soundcloud.
On Youtube.
On iTunes.

synapse logo

The human brain is made of billions of neurons, cells with long branch-shaped projections that convey electrical and chemical information to power every function of the body. Every neuron works in harmony, but they never physically connect. Instead, two neurons communicate by passing neurotransmitters across tiny gaps between the cells. This structure is known as a synapse.

Our goal is to bridge the synapse that separates every member of the Louisville community.

Louisville citizens share their musings about the future, how much it matters, and what you can and can’t do to change it.


Prelude No. 5” – Chris Zabriskie
Future Life” – Derek Clegg
The Future?” – Jonas

Ways to listen to the podcast:

On Soundcloud.
On Youtube.
On iTunes.

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Since 1969, triclosan (a “whitish crystalline powder C12H7Cl3O2 used especially as a broad-spectrum antibacterial agent,” according to Webster’s Dictionary) has been registered with the Environmental Protection Agency for usage in the United States. Since then, its use has grown and is now found in 93% of liquid antibacterial soaps, and is also found in some toothpastes. Triclosan could be found in most households, and is used on a daily basis. However, studies show that this common chemical could be doing more harm than good (if it does any good at all).

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, triclosan is not currently known to be harmful in humans; however, research has shown that it causes harm in animals, such as reduced sperm production in mice, and alters hormone regulation. An article published in Toxicological Sciences by Leah M. Zorrilla, Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences, North Carolina State University, shows evidence that triclosan greatly changes thyroid activity in rats, an effect that may hold true in humans as well.

While not all experiments on animals hold true for humans, these concerning results should be enough to cause questioning of the safety of triclosan.

In addition to potentially being harmful to humans, triclosan could be harmful to the environment. If this pesticide is being used in soaps and toothpastes, that means it is being rinsed with water and will eventually end up in rivers and oceans, where it will affect plant and animal life. The effects that triclosan had on mice during experiments will occur in fish and other aquatic life.

With all of the harm that triclosan could potentially do to humans and the environment, one would think that there must be an advantage to this pesticide being used so widely. However, this is not the case. While useful in toothpaste for preventing gingivitis, according to the FDA, there is currently no evidence that it is beneficial in antibacterial soap, and is no more useful that washing hands with regular soap and water. Consequently, there are essentially no tangible benefits to using triclosan, and and several potential consequences.

Clearly, antibacterial soap that contains triclosan should be banned, or at the very least, regulated much more carefully. In fact, Minnesota has recently become the first state to ban soaps containing triclosan due to the potential harm it could cause. Said law will come into effect January 1, 2017.

In addition, in December 2013, the FDA proposed a rule to require manufacturers of antibacterial products to prove that their products are safe for long term use. The statement released at the time said, “Millions of Americans use antibacterial hand soap and body wash products. Although consumers generally view these products as effective tools to help prevent the spread of germs, there is currently no evidence that they are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water. The widespread consumer use of antibacterial products, the accumulated scientific information and concerns raised by health care and consumer groups have prompted the FDA to reevaluate what data are needed to classify the active ingredients in consumer antibacterial products as ‘generally recognized as safe and effective’ or GRASE.”

While one can only hope that a similar law be passed in our own state, there is something that individuals can do: stop using antibacterial soaps. Though not everyone will quit washing their hands with antibacterial soap, you can help keep yourself from being affected by triclosan and do your part to help the environment. Obviously, however, one cannot avoid antibacterial soap altogether, especially when they often use public restrooms. Therefore, in addition to stopping using antibacterial soaps containing triclosan, you should take action to ban it altogether by contacting your representative and letting your voice be heard.


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Students wore bows and bow ties on Thursday, May 1 to support suicide awareness and to honor the memory of former Male High School junior Maddie Yates, who took her life in mid-April.

The day was part of a new “Campaign for Kindness,” a concept started by Ms. Erica Cooper (English) to show how Manual, largely known as a school of rich academic background, is also one of kindness and caring.

“We are proclaiming that we are going to be kind to each other, and not to forget that in our busy schedules and our AP testing that we need to worry about other people,” said Ms. Cooper.

Although Cooper conceptualized the campaign, Madison Ferriell (11) chose to organize and promote the day of remembrance, which she called “Bows for Maddie.”

“Maddie was a lot like any of us,” said Ferriell. “She got a 30 on her ACT. She got into GSP. She had a very bright future, but she decided to end her life and I think that that could be any of us.”

Male organized a similar demonstration of remembrance the week the tragedy took place, where hundreds of students from the school wore the accessories to honor their lost classmate and friend. The students made the idea of wearing bows because Yates was known to often have a bow in her hair.

“Some people say we are ‘glorifying’ it instead, but I don’t think so,” said Male junior Bailey Hendershot. “It’s a good way to raise awareness because the idea will get spread around the community and more and more people will be aware of her story and the signs of depression.”

The event was received positively by the Manual student body as well as teachers, including Mr. Aaron Morris (Mathematics), who wore a bow tie and took a moment of silence for Yates at the start of his classes.

“I think that by wearing the bow ties, if we can keep one kid from being in that loneliness and by having them know that people care, maybe we can save a life,” said Morris. “And I would wear a bow tie every day if that’s what it takes.”

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To the Underclassman of duPont Manual High School:

With Spring Break in the rearview mirror I know that many of you are already planning your beach getaways for next year. As a senior, I feel it is my duty to keep you safe and informed for the future. So please read the following for your own good.

Spring Break. Senior year. For millions of students across the country, this is the most highly anticipated week of their four years spent in high school. The images of massive parties on the beach dance through their imaginations, put there by countless Hollywood movies and TV shows. Every March and April, teenagers migrate south in droves, settling primarily in the beaches around the Gulf of Mexico, Cancun, and islands in the Caribbean.

It is no secret that teenagers drink during spring break. A lot. Ignoring that fact is not only naive, it is unsafe. There are certain precautions that anyone who drinks should take but apply especially to inexperienced teenage drinkers.

Know What You Drink

For starters, never leave your drink unattended, and never accept a drink from somebody you do not personally know and trust. It is a sad truth that there are some creepy manipulative people in the world today. There are countless stories of girls getting drugged and taken advantage of. Two Manual students that visited a resort in the Dominican Republic were hospitalized after a high dose of Vyvanse was given to them during a night of drinking.  These stories are not just distant things that happen to other people. They are real and affect real people.


Driving drunk is one of the most irresponsible things that anybody can do. The loss of motor skills, judgement, and reaction time make driving while intoxicated nearly impossible. Driving drunk is not only dangerous to your self, but more importantly it is dangerous to everyone you come in contact with. Imagine having to live with yourself knowing that your irresponsible action caused another person’s life to come screeching to a halt.

Being Alone

This applies to everyone, but girls here need to pay special attention. Do not go out on your own. Always have a friend with you when you go out drinking. This goes back to the above mentioned portion about creepy manipulative people. Having a friend with you severely decreases the likelihood of getting potentially drugged or kidnapped.

Knowing your personal limit

Know when to stop before you start. Nobody wants to clean up your vomit. It’s gross and it makes you look sloppy. Another consequence of over drinking is blacking out. The high levels of alcohol disrupt the communication to the point where your brain cannot retain information. Often times the next morning you cannot any remember the events of the night before.

Moral of the story here, don’t be stupid. And if you’re going to be stupid, don’t be very stupid. Be cognizant of the environment and stay safe. No spring break story is worth a life cut short.


 The Class of 2014

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Newburg Middle School teacher Denise Negrus was charged with strangulation, public intoxication, and resisting arrest in December after she was arrested following reports of a domestic disturbance.

After her arrest, Negrus continued to teach at Newburg Middle School for over three months. When JCPS became aware of the incident on March 25 as a result of the RedEye investigation, Negrus was put on non-instructional duties.

According to the arrest report, Negrus’ ex-husband Andrei Negrus went to her home on December 14 because he suspected she was intoxicated while responsible for their children. He notified police, and when they arrived Negrus exited the house and began yelling at a woman in her ex-husband’s vehicle.

Officer Shane Bassett told Negrus to go back inside, but she did not comply. She “attempted to grab or strike” the woman in the vehicle, and then forcibly resisted arrest, according to the report.

While Bassett was transporting Negrus to Clark County Jail, she was verbally abusive and threatening, according to his report dated December 15 2013. She was found to have a blood alcohol content of .19.

“At first I was surprised after everyone was talking about it, then I realized that everyone makes mistakes,” said Armon Wells, a Newburg student currently in Negrus’ class. “Although she educates us, she still has a personal life and we don’t know what’s going on in her life, so I’m not in a position to judge,” Wells said.

Richard Wilson (9, HSU), who had Negrus as a teacher at Newburg, said he was also unsurprised by the charges. “She was rude and nasty at times to her students, but when officials came around her whole attitude would change,” Wilson said.

“I was actually shocked when I found out because she didn’t seem the type of person to do what she did,” said Jeannie Nguyen, another of Negrus’ students.

According to JCPS spokesperson Ben Jackey, there is no official procedure for notifying the district when a teacher is arrested, but the Department of Human Resources is working towards a solution on the issue.

“The superintendent has changed a lot of old policies which are out of date,” Jackey said. “These conversations have been going on for a while, and it is being addressed.”

According to Jackey, police departments will notify JCPS if they are aware they have arrested a JCPS teacher, but not every incident gets reported. “It really comes down to if we have contact with the law enforcement agency,” Jackey said. “When you’ve got a scenario that teachers aren’t communicating with JCPS, it’s possible that there are gaps.”

JCPS teachers are required to pass both a state and federal background check before being hired.

“I was surprised that no one at the school/school board did anything until now. Now I’m going to be more alert and cautious of my childrens’ teachers,” said Tina Nguyen, whose daughter attends Newburg.

Juanita Shackleford, whose daughter attended Newburg before coming to Manual, said she wished Negrus could have had access to counseling before her arrest. “I can just only pray that things get better with her personal life,” Shackleford said.

Newburg Middle School’s principal, Nicole Adell, declined to comment, and Denise Negrus could not be reached for comment.

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Reaching the end of their 50th anniversary season, Actors Theatre of Louisville is once again presenting the Humana Festival of New American Plays with six newly produced plays being performed over the next month. Last night saw the opening of “The Grown-Up,” the most recent work from playwright Jordan Harrison who is returning yet again to the Humana festival with this chilling story.

The Grown-Up tells the story of Kai Shearwater, a boy who finds himself speeding through the stages of life upon turning a magic crystal doorknob. Less about the actual doorknob and the magic behind it, Kai’s story explores the timeless theme of growing up in a way that is both clever and haunting. The play is very quick, speeding towards an ending with fast delivery and constant action just as Kai’s life speeds towards an end. I was first reminded of Thorton Wilder’s “Our Town,” but I soon found it to be something different entirely. Harrison has created a script that explores childhood innocence and what it means to be a “grown-up.”

The tone of the performance interested me the most, as many in the audience seemed to find it very funny. Although jokes were frequent and funny, the script’s strong themes and heightened language keep the story grounded into deeper meaning at all times. I found myself less attached with the characters and more attached with the ideas they shared, which isn’t a bad thing. The script kept my attention throughout with unique characters and plot points that never felt predictable.

The show makes great use of the Bingham Theatre, with a set design that is barebones enough to convey every aspect of the story without needing much change. There is a clear ensemble atmosphere in the room in which nearly every actor played multiple parts with shifting narration. This chamber theater quality works with the minimalist set for a very imaginative performance with dedicated acting from all on stage, although the quick line delivery was a bit too frequent and occasionally lost in the narration.

Regardless, Harrison’s story will both entertain you and leave you thinking well after leaving the theater.

“The Grown-Up” runs through April 6, along with several other new plays that have yet to premier. Check out a full list of shows and more information about the Humana festival here.

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We all have dreams. Some while we sleep; some while we go through our day. There’s no harm in dreaming. In fact, dreaming is what propels us to a fuller life and more than what’s just in arm’s reach. Whether at day or night, dreaming is a fact of life. But to confuse dreams with reality isn’t helpful. It’s one thing to drift off here and there, but to have your head in the clouds all the time won’t get you anywhere. Eventually, you’ll have to take a look at the runway you’re on and take off by yourself.

Meet Walter Mitty. He’s the type of guy who keeps to himself… a lot. You’re more than likely to witness his infamous ‘space outs.’ To say Walter daydreams is an understatement. Working as the negative asset manager for Life magazine for the past 16 years, Walter Mitty finds his life will undergo drastic change with the addition of a new coworker as well as the last issue is set be published. In this movie, Walter makes a choice; a choice people often come across themselves when they leave the theatre. “Am I going to keep dreaming? Or am I going to make my dreams come true?”

After watching The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, I was inspired. Inspired to do something with my life. To make fantasies a reality. Whether it’s traveling to far lands only seen in pictures, acting on an infatuation, or even just telling your stubborn boss off. I believed anyone can find their dreams, follow their wanderlust, and find their fiery romance before i saw this movie. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty strengthened my belief and gave me a cinematic experience to no compare.

From the stunning visuals to the deep, life lessons, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty should be on anyone’s watch list, especially, a Manual student. Many students here, myself included, have very high dreams and are often encouraged to pursue them. But in these same halls we are often reminded of the harsh reality that dreams aren’t always going to happen, and that life will stress us to the point of settling. A healthy reminder that dreams are very achievable and we shouldn’t ever settle for something that limits our happiness; that’s why Manual students should see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

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How do you put a price tag on an education? Well, to most colleges, pretty easily. The average graduating senior in the class of 2010 left college with $24,000 worth of debt in student loans, and the rate has only increased. Most won’t pay this off for years and leads to their careers being wrapped around trying to shake themselves free of the debt. Why? The idea of education doesn’t sound like one that would be a hassle, yet it has become a struggle for many young adults. The system has become estranged and it has students believing that without a degree, they won’t be able to find jobs. But this isn’t necessarily the case.

Education does not come from establishment alone. The world outside of school is rich with valuable life experience which many benefit from. And yes, many jobs do prefer to see a little slip of paper that says “I’m educated” when overlooking a resume. But a compelling argument from the applicant holds more power than one slip of paper.

I’m not saying college isn’t for everyone. Many people gain a great experience from it. However, I am saying that it’s natural for you to have doubts if college is right for you. Education doesn’t necessarily come from establishment; you can find education from endless other options.

See the world. There’s nothing wrong with putting your career and adulthood on hold to live your youth to a fuller extent. You’d be surprised what good some travel can do for someone. You’ve probably had a dream location you’ve always wanted to visit. Well, now’s your chance to live your dream and get away. Getting lost isn’t always bad; in fact, you might just find yourself.

Take a breath. By the time you graduate, you had just been in school for TWELVE years. There’s a lot of pressure and stress probably built up in you and nobody should judge you for wanting to relax. A year off is nothing to be ashamed of. Think of it as a way for to collect yourself so that you’re sure you know what you wanna do. You can work some extra hours, hangout freely, and let your mind work out the future.

Enjoy The Little Things. There are a lot of things in life that we miss. We’re often too in sync with the clock to look around once in awhile. The education system we are in somewhat supports this seeing as many students are constantly rushed by assignment after assignment. Maybe if we weren’t so tasked with deciding our future career in a haste, we could take the time to explore the several options that have been in front of us the entire time.

At the end of this article and you feel solidified in your choice, if you still want to go ahead and head to college for a degree then by all means go for it. The purpose of this article was to help people understand that they can break from the mould and everything will be fine. Feel free to go ‘outside of the box’ and know that the importance of a college degree depends on how important you make it out to be.

Since it’s the seniors’ last year at duPont Manual, we figured since they are about to go out and live on their own in the real world that asking questions about life would suit them the best.

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‘Manual On’ Season 2:
Freshmen On: Politics 2
Sophomores On: Sex-Ed
Juniors On: U.S. History

‘Manual On’ Season 1:

Grade Levels:
Freshmen On: Politics
Sophomores On: Common Sense
Juniors On: Driving
Seniors On: duPont Manual

HSU On: Sports
J&C On: Journalism
VA On: Art History
MST On: Problem-Solving

Bestfriends On: Holidays (Holiday Special)
Couples On: Relationships (Valentines Day Special)