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Looking Back at 2017: Manchester, The Great American Eclipse, and More

Looking Back at 2017: Manchester, The Great American Eclipse, and More

“Be a Voice, Not an Echo” -Albert Einstein


2017 is finally coming down to the wire. A year ago I decided to write a review of 2016 and I ended the review with a hope that 2017 would be a better year. So, let’s look back at 2017 and remember the good times along with the bad and reflect on all the lessons we learned as people.

Americans started the year off with the inauguration of President Donald Trump on January 20th. Similarly, the French had their election this year starting in April and ending in May with the inauguration of Emmanuel Macron. Along with these were dozens of other elections, but the American and French particularly stood out due to the controversy around them.

This year there were also several brutal events such as the Manchester attack. On May 22, a young man detonated a homemade suicide bomb at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England killing 22 and injuring 59 others. Then, on October 1st, 58 people were shot dead in a shooting in Las Vegas and 26 additional people were killed in November at a church shooting in a small town near San Antonio, Texas. This being said, not all of this year’s horrors were man made. Starting in August, Hurricane Harvey devastated southern states such as Louisiana and Texas killing 77 people and destroying hundreds of thousands of homes. Then came Hurricane Irma killing 134 people in Florida and the islands south of it. Finally, Hurricane Maria hit multiple countries bordering the Atlantic ocean, most notably Puerto Rico, and directly killed 66 people but lead to the death of many more due to a lack of power, shelter, and resources, especially in island countries.

Despite these tragedies, we rose to the occasion and helped. First responders saved over 122,000 people and 5,000 pets after and during Hurricane Harvey and over 300 volunteer organizations rose to help victims of the storm. Relatives and strangers alike found room in their hearts and homes all around the United States for Irma evacuees. After the Manchester bombing, One Love Manchester was held, a concert that ended up raising millions upon millions of dollars for the families of the attack victims.

Even apart from these acts of kindness we found hope. On August 21st, Americans all across the country looked up and we saw a beautiful anomaly: a complete solar eclipse. Almost everywhere in the country you could see it, whether it be complete or partial. We watched online and read about a child born blind and deaf given the gift of being able to hear and see her mother for the first time.

We found happiness. We binged shows like Stranger Things, Riverdale, and 13 Reason’s Why. We listened to music that spoke to us like ‘Sign of the Times’ by Harry Styles. We watched the new Star Wars and the countless other movies of the year. We learned to laugh and smile an come together as a world community.

And most of all, we fought with resilience. Women raised awareness and brought attention to sexual harassment, its victims, and its effects through the ‘Me Too’ campaign. The women’s marches also took place to make it known that women are deserving of their rights and tens of millions of women marched nation wide in the United States. Also, women in Saudi Arabia finally earned the right to drive in September of this year.

So, in conclusion, if you ask me whether I think this year has been better than last, I will gladly tell you that it has. There is still kindness and hope in this world and that is what strengthens us to do good. Yes, there is bad, but there will always be bad. After all, it is the bad that truly allows us to see the good.

Here’s to 2017

Blogmas Dec. 3, 2017: 25 Ways to Get Into the Holiday Spirit

Blogmas Dec. 3, 2017: 25 Ways to Get Into the Holiday Spirit

Hey guys! I’m more than a little bit excited to say that I am going to be doing Blogmas this year on Sparklenews.com! I know that it is already the third, but I was really busy on the first and yesterday. That being said, from today up until Christmas I will be posting a new Christmas related article for you guys. Some posts will be random Christmas related articles and others will be blogs about what I did that was Christmas-y that day. So, make sure you are subscribed to the site so that you get notifications whenever a new article is posted and also, keep watch for an upcoming holiday giveaway and don’t forget to follow all of my social medias. Most of all, don’t forget to sparkle! Enjoy and Merry Christmas! ūüôā


This year I decided to get super into the Christmas spirit in order to make the holiday season extra special. When brainstorming ideas on how exactly I could do this, I came up with the idea of doing something Christmas related every day starting on December first and going on up until Christmas. I got some of these ideas by looking up Christmas advent activity ideas and others were my own original ideas. Enjoy!

1. Make a gingerbread house village

2. Watch the Polar Express and drink hot chocolate

3. Attend a ballet performance of ‘The Nutcracker’

4. Make paper snowflakes

5. Decorate your Christmas tree

6. Wear an ugly Christmas sweater all day

7. Host or attend a Christmas party

8. Bake Christmas cookies

9. Have a Christmas photo shoot

10. Go ice skating

11. Go snow tubing

12. Make homemade gift tags

13. Bake Jesus a birthday cake

14. Make homemade hot chocolate

15. Make homemade wrapping paper

16. Go Christmas caroling

17. Try some Christmas DIYs from Pinterest

18. Go Christmas shopping

19. Attend a tree lighting

20. Decorate your nails for Christmas

21. Write and send Christmas cards

22. Make a peppermint milkshake

23. Make an advent calendar

24. Have a Christmas movie marathon

25. Celebrate with friends and family

The Shadow People

The Shadow People

Hey guys! I wrote this poem on a sticky note I was using as a bookmark on my flight back from vacation this August. I decided to share it with you guys because I like it and it is kind of creepy so it fits in with the Halloween theme. Don’t forget to follow all my social medias, subscribe to my website, check back on Saturday for more Halloween articles, and don’t forget to sparkle! Also, if you illustrate this poem and tag @sparklenews on Instagram or @sparklenews_ on Twitter, I will add it to this post and give you a shout out!


Sneaking, creeping,

as I walk.

Cold and dark,

they never talk.

Steps so quiet,

you can barely hear.

Following you,

they fill me with fear.

But as the light

fades away,

The Shadow People

turn to gray.

But even so,

they are here to stay,

for they can never

go away.

6 Bone-Chilling Reads for October

6 Bone-Chilling Reads for October

Hi guys, it is officially fall! I am excited to be posting my first fall themed article of the year. As you may or may not know, I love to read and I especially love to read creepy books, so I decided to create a list of 6 books that I think are absolutely perfect for October. If you have already read these or they don’t interest you, feel free to email me at newsthatsparkles@gmail.com for more! Also, from now on I will be scheduling articles to post every Wednesday and Saturday. Don’t forget to follow all my social medias, subscribe to my site, and, most of all, don’t forget to sparkle!


1. The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco

The Girl From the Well is definitely one of my favorite books of all time. It is the story of a lonely ghost named Okiku who is obsessed with numbers and wanders the globe seeking vengeance for children who died gruesome deaths as she once did. That is, until she finds a young boy named Tark who is haunted by a dark spirit. To make it more interesting, the novel is actually based off the Japanese legend of the ghost Okiku. I would definitely recommend this bone-chilling story for older teens who enjoy a scary story.

Creep Factor: 4/5

Sparkle Rating: 4/5

2. Paper Towns by John Green

In the novel Paper Towns by John Green, Quentin Jacobsen has had a crush on his next door neighbor Margo for ever, but they haven’t been close friends since they were children. Then, one night Margo takes Quentin on an amazing adventure in the night to get revenge on her friends that did her wrong just to disappear the next morning. Although Quentin is initially disappointed, he soon discovers that Margo has left him clues so that he can find her. This book is thrilling and mysterious and, overall, a great read.

Creep Factor: 0/5

Sparkle Rating: 3/5

3. Doll Bones by Holly Black

Doll Bones by Holly Black is absolutely perfect for the month of October! Three childhood friends venture to another town in order to bring a creepy bone china doll back to it’s proper grave. This book is adventurous, creepy, and heart-warming all at the same time.

Creep Factor: 3/5

Sparkle Rating: 5/5

4. The Hot Zone by Richard Preston

The Hot Zone by Richard Preston is the horrifying true story of Ebola and it’s relative, Marburg. Preston delves into the origins of the viruses in the jungles of central Africa and how it came all the way to Washington D.C. just a few years ago. I suggest this book to people who enjoy science or a scary story but I will warn that the book gets graphic at points when talking about symptoms of the diseases. Overall, it is sure to keep readers on edge and cringing.

Creep Factor: 4/5

Sparkle Rating: 3.5/5

5. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

In¬†A Monster Calls¬†by Patrick Ness, Conor O’Malley is faced with the tragedy of his mother having cancer. He slowly grows lonely as people only know him as the boy whose mother is sick and he soon becomes haunted by nightmares. One night a monster shows up at Conor’s window and says that he wishes to tell Conor three stories so that he may then tell the monster his own story: the story of his truth. This novel is overall very moving and makes for quite an experience to read. Also, for those of you who enjoy movies there is a very well made movie based on the book as well.

Creep Factor: 2/5

Sparkle Rating: 5/5

6. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

After a horrific attack on his grandfather, Jacob travels to a mysterious island in order to discover the truth about his grandfather’s past. On the island, Jacob explores a children’s home where his grandfather lived for a period that reveals the truth behind the stories he once told his beloved grandson. This story is not only suspenseful, but also exciting and magical.

Creep Factor: 4/5

Sparkle Rating: 5/5


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 expandedramblings.com, 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:

thanksgiving-infographic-3

31 Nights of Halloween- Night 1

31 Nights of Halloween- Night 1

The time has come again for the 31 nights of Halloween on Sparkle News! For new viewers, the 31 nights of Halloween is a series of 31 Halloween related articles, one posted each night leading up to October 31st, made to celebrate the Halloween spirit. So, be sure to check back daily!

Night 1

     For night 1 of the 21 nights of Halloween, here is a Halloween themed survey! Make sure you answer all the questions, when one is answered it will automatically go to the next. Also, make sure to continue to check back for the results and the other Halloween articles to come!

D.I.Y St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun Storage Jar

D.I.Y St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun Storage Jar

 Leprechaun storage jar

photo (7)

 Materials: 1 glass jar (works well with a pasta sauce jar), 1 small plastic leprechaun hat (I got this from the Dollar Store), 1 piece of orange construction paper, 1 (maybe 2 depending on the size of your jar) pieces of green construction paper, 1 small scrap piece of yellow construction paper, a black marker or Sharpie, a green marker, a glue stick or tape.

Instructions:¬†First, take your green piece of construction paper and cut it the long way so that it is as tall as your jar, you may need two pieces of green construction paper to complete this step. Next, glue or tape the green construction paper on your glass jar so that none of the plain glass is visible other than that of the top hole and the bottom base of the jar. Now, take your orange construction paper and cut a beard shape from it. make the inside part of the beard smooth and empty so that you will have room to draw on your leprechaun’s face later. Now glue on your beard fairly close to the top of the jar. Now, cut out a belt buckle from yellow construction paper and glue just below the middle of your jar. Next, draw a face in the center of the green paper inside the area that is left open of the beard. Now add your green plastic leprechaun hat, you can either tape it on, or if it has and elastic band strap that under to the bottom. Now for final touches! you can draw on the rest of the belt with a green marker and decorate it or you can leave it as is. Finally just take off the hat to open the jar, you can place items inside it or just use it as decoration! Thank you for reading! keep out for more articles in March coming soon!

 

The 18th Day of Halloween;

The 18th Day of Halloween;

Today I am showing you guys how to make some cute witches Potion jars!

 

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You will need:

-Glass cork jars (you can find them for $1 at Target)

-water

-food coloring

-glow in the dark insects and creatures

 

Directions:

Fill each of your glass cork jars with different amounts of water and use food coloring to make them Halloween colors, next insert your glow in the dark creatures and insects and creepy crawler and insert the cork at the top. To finish it off you can add a label, you may use scrapbook factory or make handmade labels if you wish that say “toxic” or “Potion” etc. Have a great day!

The 31 Days of Halloween

The 31 Days of Halloween

It is October, Halloween month! So in celebration of Halloween, I will try and post one article each day until Halloween that is fall or Halloween themed along with my normal articles. Stay tuned for the 31 Days of Halloween!