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12 Tips on Studying for Finals

12 Tips on Studying for Finals

With the quick approach of the end of the school year comes the even quicker approach of finals. So, to help you guys out, I decided to write an article with some of the best study tips that I’ve found online and that I have come up with myself. Feel free to Tweet me some of your own study tips and necessities using #newsthatsparkles or Tweet to me @Sparklenews_ You can also share photos using #newsthatsparkles on Instagram. Also, don’t forget to follow my social media so that you don’t miss anything and be sure to check back for more articles on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Without further adieu, let’s get on with the article!

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Looking Back at 2016: Harambe, The Election, and More

Looking Back at 2016: Harambe, The Election, and More

So much has happened this year whether it be something that has impacted a few people or an event that has changed the lives of millions. Some of these events were good and others bad, but there is no doubt that they were abundant.

One of the best parts of this year for me was you: the 12,157 unique visitors who have continued to visit my website throughout the year. Just yesterday this number was significantly lower when I had checked. I am grateful to have you all as an audience and to have so many of you following my Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube channel as well. In addition to having 12,157 unique visitors, I have had 54,275 views this year so far. For the 2017 year, my goal is to gain at least 10,000 new visitors nearly doubling my current viewer amount. In addition, I promise to post more frequently (at least twice a week) so that you all have more content to read. Anyway, thank you all and, without further adieu, let’s look back at 2016.

Starting early on in the year, I think that we can all agree that the presidential election for the United States has been very notable. Wealthy businessman Donald Trump unexpectedly became very popular early on in the election making himself the Republican nominee. Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state, also gained popularity securing her spot as the Democratic nominee. The election was a rocky road and lasted nearly the whole year. The most awe-striking part being towards the end when it was made clear that Hillary Clinton would win and that Trump had little, if any, chance to beat her. In the end, when November 8th came around, Donald Trump ended up winning the country by a significant number amazing everyone. What makes this year’s election so much more notable than those of years past is probably the outrage and the controversy over it. Even more so, the number of people who weren’t supporting either candidate and disliked both.

In addition to the election, there were events such as the night club shooting and the riots in Dallas over police killings. Speaking of which; police shootings and police being shot were frequent events this year as well. Many questions arose due to these shootings concerning equality and different peoples’ rights.

On more of a positive note, there was also the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this year. Team USA did amazing ending the games with a grand total of 121 medals. Some of the best on our team being athletes such as Michael Phelps and Simone Biles. Also, there was the video that went viral of the US swim team singing together while carpooling to Rio.

In May of this year there was also the killing of Harambe. At the Cincinnati Zoo in May, Harambe the gorilla was shot after a child had fallen into his enclosure due to the carelessness of their parents. The controversy over Harambe’s death is mainly based on the fact that it was the child’s parents’ fault that they ended up in the enclosure, yet Harambe was punished with death for it. Although this was a large deal when it happened, Harambe became a well known meme to teens and other adolescents.

A few large trends this year was the new Pokémon GO app and the IPhone 7. Pokémon GO was released on July 6, 2016 and quickly became a big hit. According to, there has been a total of about 500 million Pokémon GO downloads thus far and that there are about 20 million users per day in the United States alone. Also this year the IPhone 7 was released in September. Being that Apple has such a large following the IPhone 7 was a fairly large hit. Of course, the Fitbit was another popular trend this year. People have constantly been wearing their Fitbits throughout the year and comparing steps with those around them.

Another group of instances that are particularly notable are the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones catching on fire. The phones’ batteries have become known for catching on fire and exploding this year. Along with this, there was also the issue with ‘killer clowns’ appearing around the United States causing people much worry. These clowns also hit the internet hard.

Finally, there were also he deaths of a few very popular celebrities this year. David Bowie, well known for his many hit songs including Starman, Space Oddity, and Under Pressure, died on January 10th this year from cancer at the age of 69. Similarly, the very popular Prince died on April 21 this year at only 57 years old. The former first lady Nancy Reagan also died on March 6 at the age of 94 from heart failure. And, of course, the boxing champion Muhammad Ali who died on June 3 at 74 years old.

2016 has been the year of victories and losses and the year of ups and downs. Through all of the issues we have learned to thrive and from all of the good things we have learned to love. Now all we have to do is hope for an even better year for 2017.





Thanksgiving Infographic

Thanksgiving Infographic

This is just an infographic that I made to celebrate Thanksgiving! To have your opinions counted in the next infographic, make sure you take the survey for December under ‘Monthly Polls’ or below. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

December Survey:


Pallas Cats? Learn About the All New Breed!

Pallas Cats? Learn About the All New Breed!

Name: Pallas Cat          Diet: Carnivore

Class: Mammal              Genus: Feline

                       Recently a Pallas cat was found in a cave when a researcher was studying and looking for snow leopards, instead they were surprised to find a cat that looked an awful lot like a twist between a domestic pet and a snow leopard. Not much research has been done yet on Pallas cats, but here is an article that can tell you most of the facts! Pallas cats, also called Manuls, were found within only a couple years. They live in caves, crevices, and burrows dug by other animals in parts of Asia from the Caspian Sea and Iran to Siberia and Tibet. They eat small rodents, birds, and insects and are mainly carnivores. There are only around 117 Pallas cats worldwide and only about 48 that live in U.S.A. Also a female Pallas cat has only about 6-8 kittens in a litter and they are very rare to find in Asia, and even more rare to find in the US! Over all these kitties are very rare, interesting, and cool.

The Luck of The Maneki Neko Cats

The Luck of The Maneki Neko Cats

The Maneki Neko, also known as  “The beckoning cat” or “welcoming cat”, is a small cat figurine that is also a sign of luck and a great tradition in old Chinese and Japanese culture, but what does it REALLY mean? well lets see! To start off, Nobody is quite sure the EXACT date or reason for the appearance of Maneki Nekos, but what we do know is that they appeared during the Edo period (17th century to mid 19th century) in Japan and that there are many legends regarding the appearance of these little cat figurines. Maneki Neko figurines come in different sizes; and also colors. Depending on their colors; Maneki Neko cats are told to give different fortunes. Here are what each colored cat gives you:

Calico: is  the traditional color combo, and is considered the luckiest figurine  

White: Gives you happiness, Purity, and the fortune of positive things to come

Gold: Gives wealth and prosperity                                                                                

  Black: is supposed to ward off evil spirits

Red: Gives success in love                                                                                               

 Green: Gives good health

These are very neat and interesting fortunes, another part of the cats that show different fortunes is the arm that which is raised. If the right paw/arm is raised, The cat is handing its owner good fortune/luck and money. On the other hand (no pun intended) If the left arm/paw is raised the cat is beckoning customers to come to a store or restaurant. For the best, if BOTH paws are up, The figure will bring both customers, luck and can represent protection or as a sign of a protector. Things the Maneki Neko cat is holding may also symbolize different things. If the cat is holding an old Japanese coin, It symbolizes wealth. If the cat is holding a small mallet/hammer, this also means wealth. If the cat is holding a fish, it means abundance and luck. If it holds a marble/gem, it means luck. Also these figures wear normally a read collar because during the Edo period in Japan, this was how the rich dressed their pet cats. Over all, these are very, very interesting little figurines.

Manatees- Another Reason to Move to Florida!

Manatees- Another Reason to Move to Florida!

Want a reason to move to Florida? Well Manatees are a living reason themselves! Manatees are one of few marine mammals closer to elephants and hyraxes rather than sea lions and whales. They are  big seal-looking creatures with flippers with finger nails on them and can grow up to 13 feet long and weigh 1,300-2,000 pounds. Manatees flippers are paddle-like with, like humans, finger nails on the end. For their size manatees are actually pretty fast,  they swim at about 3-5 MPH but have been timed swimming for short bursts at 19 MPH. They are agile swimmers and can somersault, roll over, and swim upside down. As for their diet, manatees are the only surviving marine mammals that eat only plants or that are full vegetarians. Each one of the massive sea cows can eat upwards of 100 pounds of vegetation daily- about a 10th of their body weight- do to the low nutritional value of the plant life. They spend most of their time feeding, and when they aren’t feeding they are either resting or traveling. Manatees only teeth are called marching molars, they are constantly replaced throughout a manatees life, an adaption to their diet of abrasive vegetation. In spite of their size and how much they eat, Manatees don’t have much fat. Manatees are also a sub tropical species very liable to the cold. Manatees live in the shallow, marshy, coastal areas and rivers of the Caribbean sea, the gulf of Mexico, the amazon basin, and west Africa. Manatees can live up to 60 years old. scientists believe that because of their finger nails, their ancestors may have lived on land billions of years ago. wherever they live, manatees enjoy warmer waters and are known to stay in shallower waters. They frequently migrate through salty water estuaries to fresh water springs. Manatees are also vulnerable, endangered species. Currently, the number of adult individuals is estimated at about 10,00 manatees of that, about only 2,500 are still in the US. Some important reasons to their status as vulnerable are that fisherman are bringing nets through the amazon and west Africa and manatees get hurt and injured by that, Habitat loss due to water-front development, And the most common is when manatees have collisions with speed boats often killing the manatee. Manatees are legally listed as endangered species in the United States. Though manatees are sometimes killed by crocodiles, and suffer from habitat-degradation, a manatees main predator and enemy are humans themselves. Along with these it doesn’t help that manatees can not survive temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning when water front resorts and vacation houses are being built, a manatee is most likely losing its home. Now here are some fun facts about manatees!

– During winter, manatees keep warm by traveling to warm spring-fed rivers

– They cant turn their heads side ways so they must turn their whole bodies to see beside them

– Manatees are also called sea cows, and their bodies, calves

– Unlike whales or fish, manatees breath through their nostrils

– Their closest relatives are stellar sea cows, but they were sadly hunted to extinction within 27 years of their discovery

Manatees are credited for being the basis of the mermaid legends

– There are 4 main species of manatees; the west Indian manatee, The Florida manatee, the Amazonian manatee, and the west African manatee 

A resting manatee can hold its breath for up to 15 minutes while swimming manatee can hold its breath for 3-4 minutes before needing to surface

-Though their eyes are small, they surprisingly have pretty good vision. They have a special membrane that can be drawn across the eyeball for protection. along with this they have great hearing because they have large inner ear bones.

-Manatees use many different senses and sounds to communicate, especially between cows and their calves. Taste and smell in addition to sight, sound and touch, may also be different types of communication for manatees.

New born manatees weigh 60 pounds. mothers must take their calves to the surface for their first breath, but they can swim on their own after an hour or so. Calves are dependent on their mothers for 2 years.

– Manatee’s thick top lip helps them gather food and grasp vegetation. As it is split down the center, and each half of the lip can be moved independently!

Thanks for reading! And think of what happens to thousands of manatees next time you visit a water side resort. Manatees over all are some of the most interesting marine life! 

Snow Leopards

Snow Leopards

snow leopard

(Photo by Daniel Davis on flickr)

These beautiful northern cats are grey with spots and are known for their bushy fur and big paws. These cats are nothing like the sweet house cat you have at home because they are ferocious cats. Some snow leopards can grow up to two feet to the shoulders and six to seven point five feet long and weigh up to 120 lbs.! Snow leopards are extremely hard to find in the wild because they are mostly active at dusk and dawn. There are only 3,500 to 7,000 left in the wild and 600- 700 in zoo’s across the world. Leopards are carnivorous, there for the snow leopard hunts mainly large animals such as wild sheep and goats, but have been known to hunt small animals like rodents, hares, and game bids too. Snow leopards range around most of northern Asia in countries like Russia, China, India, Kazakhstan, and Afghanistan. 6o% of their population is in China while the other 40% live in other countries. Snow leopards like to live around steep cliff areas, rocky outcrops, and ravines. They live in small caves around these areas or in the mountains and line their nests with fur to keep themselves and their cubs warm, and for a soft area to sleep. Some facts that I am almost positive that will be interesting to you is that first off, while hunting prey, snow leopards can spring from 20 to 50 feet! Another cool fact about sow leopards is that their paws were built to be like snow shoes so that they don’t sink in thick snow in northern places like Russia. Over all, these cats are surely amazing and are a great show to applaud for!

Ariana Grande: The Rising Star

Ariana Grande: The Rising Star

By Lindsey K.

Ariana Grande, now a 20 year old, was born on June 26, 1993 in Boca Raton, Florida. She started her career in the Broadway musical 13. Then she became a part of the Nickelodeon show ‘Victorious’. After that being cancelled, she became a lead role in the TV show ‘Sam & Cat’  playing the role Cat, which still airs. Ariana also recorded her new album ‘Yours Truly’ . That album hit number 1 on iTunes! This amazing artist will always be known for her astounding voice and great acting.  

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

This is an article about Taylor Swift for all you Taylor Swift fans out there!

Taylor Swift

Most of you know Taylor Swift, but for those of you who don’t, she is a 24 year old girl born on December 13, 1989 and was born on a Christmas tree farm in Nashville, Tennessee. Her favorite number is 13 and her favorite month is July. She loves to sing and write songs and write about her life. Also, her favorite colors are teal and white, teal because of the ocean water and white because of the snow in winter. Taylor Swift’s favorite animal is also a cat. Did you know she has a pet cat named Meredith! This amazing singer also recently released her newest album Red and is still on her Red world tour. Taylor Swift also explained that why her album and tour are named Red is because all of her songs in the album are based on two main topics; feeling happiness and love and feeling pain and heart brake. She says that they are both completely opposite feelings, but they are both represented by the same strong color; red. Over all, Taylor Swift is one amazing song artist.  


Veterans Day History

Veterans Day History

Veterans day is a holiday honoring those who fought in war, any war because freedom is not free, everything has a cost. Veterans day 2 was originally called Amistice day and was celebrated in honor of the tragedies of war. Veterans day is celebrated on the 11th of November because World War 1 ended at exactly at 11 A.M. on the 11th of the 11th month in 1918 or November 11, 1918. In 1926, Congress passed a resolution making veterans day an official holiday, and making it be celebrated in churches, schools, and other public areas. A year after veterans day became an official holiday, world war 2 broke out in Europe. Over 1 hundred thousand American troops died in world war 2 and even more in the Korean war. After the Korean war, congress made Veterans day a day for not only those who served in world war one, but any veteran who had served in any war. And that is how Veterans Day began.