Science Scavenger Hunt

October 28, 2021

Astronomers may have discovered the first known exoplanet outside of the Milky Way.

According to Lisa Grossman of Science News, the planet is located in the Whirlpool galaxy which is about 28 million light-years from Earth. Astronomers say that the planet orbits both a massive star and a dead star. This discovery suggests there could be many other planets outside of our solar system to be found.

Over 4,8000 planets have been discovered orbiting other stars inside the Milky Way. Scientists know that there is no doubt that other galaxies hold planets just as our own galaxy does. However, the challenge comes during the search for the planets, considering other galaxies are lightyears away. Astrophysicist Rosanne Di Stefano explains that “they always assumed there were other planets in other galaxies, but to actually find something, is a beautiful thing. It’s a humbling experience.”

In 2018, astrophysicists began searching in archived data for objects that blocked out bright X-ray binaries. After looking through three different galaxies, only one turned up planet-like. The Saturn-sized exoplanet discovery is “quite intriguing and would be a great discovery,” says astrophysicist Ignazio Pillitteri.

Some scientists speculate how coincidental the discovery actually is to find something in such a small time frame of observation. Di Stefano counters that the observations her team has done encourages that there are many other extragalactic planets to be found.

Media Comparison

October 27, 2021

I chose a story from my hometown that went viral a couple years back while I was in high school. In the written article titled “‘Racism is a taught behavior’: High-schoolers disciplined for wearing white robes and a hood on ‘Spirit Day’”, I found writer went into much more detail of the towns history and population of the town of Riverton, Wyoming. The author of this article interviewed a Native American activist of Riverton to get an insight on how such incidents may increase tensions in schools and int he community. Exclaiming that ‘tensions have only escalated in recent years’ the author even mentions another completely unrelated incident that occurred just outside of the Riverton Walmart where a Native American man was shot and killed by police. The article also used very specific descriptive words saying how the boys ‘stormed’ through the door with ‘grins on their faces’ as they wore white robes and pointed hoods resembling KKK member attire. The written article got a different point of view by reaching out to the Native American community other than just the school administrators.

The broadcast story was much more simple than the article from The Washington Post. They mostly used phone recordings from the superintendent for their source. Superintendent Snyder apologized and explained that the incident is not a representation of Riverton High and that the students will be punished appropriately. The video was a visual story that would catch the attention of people who don’t like to read.

News Comment #7

October 22, 2021

This is an article about the tragic accident that occurred on the set of “Rust” resulting in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, and leaving director Joel Souza injured and currently recovering in the hospital.

This event happened on Thursday afternoon, and as of today it is still being reported live and being updated. This particular news website “New York Times” is a well known company so I’d imagine many people follow their stories and enjoy the live updates.

The author of this article has done good job portraying the chain of events as they had happened and then updating the readers about Alec Baldwin and the condition of Souza. Along with the updates the author was able to pull sources from twitter which are live updates within themselves.

Of course the pictures and the tweets also add to the ‘drama’ of the tragic event. The article explains the heart-wrenching investigation then shows pictures of Baldwin emotional while talking on the phone.

The photographs and twitter posts are also the only solid sources that the author had to work with considering the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the shooting and have yet to release much information.

The pressure is on for Iowa lawmakers as neighboring states begin to legalize marijuana. Law reforms are growing prominent statewide, including Iowa State University students supporting the advocacy group NORML.

I asked Morningside University students their opinion on the legalization of marijuana in Iowa, and if they think a program like NORML would be of interest on our campus.

“I think legalizing marijuana would provide a lot of jobs in our area, and there is a lot of money that can be made for the state in taxes”, says Brenndan Gorski, a senior business major here at Morningside. Gorski, familiar with economics, explained how beneficial this would be for the economy not only because of the money but it would also open up space in jails if it were decriminalized. Gorski believes decriminalizing marijuana would “make the community a better place if the more dangerous and violent people were locked up and not people who recreationally use marijuana”.

In the article “Iowa State University students seek to legalize marijuana”, it is stated that under Iowa law the punishment for the possession or use of marijuana recreationally includes a $1,000 fine and/or 6 months in jail.

Ron DeFauw, a senior Biology major, agrees with Gorski on the legalization of marijuana.

“For Iowans to be put in jail for smoking weed, it is doing the opposite of building our economy” DeFauw said. DeFauw explains that a lot of tax payers money “isn’t paying for the right kind of people to be in there” and that the laws that vary from state to state do not give Americans equal opportunities.

DeFauw also explains that law makers should consider the medicinal opportunities that marijuana provides.

From a biology majors perspective, he states, “Since it is a federally banned substance it makes it illegal to experiment on it and do further research on things like the endocannabinoid system”. DeFauw says that there is a lot of benefits that can come from the research of marijuana. “…it can provide jobs for scientists, there could be medical breakthroughs, and I’m sure the list could go on” says DeFauw.

Although these students support the legalization of marijuana in Iowa, some students like Bri Courtney, a junior nursing major, are more skeptical about taking this step.

“I think it has its benefits, but I don’t think it is for everyone either” says Courtney. She continues to elaborate, saying that not many young adults are responsible enough to maintain healthy lifestyles if it is recreationally legalized.

Although Courtney doesn’t support it she states she is on more of a middle ground. “I don’t really think it’s all that great but other states that are really close to Iowa that have already passed laws, like Illinois, are just bringing that kind of stuff here so it doesn’t matter anyways.”

Many students state-wide are actively advocating to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana.

“I want to provide an outlet for Iowans to share their voice on this important cause of cannabis law reform” says Josh Montgomery, a student apart of the organization NORML.

In an effort to further spread awareness, would a reformation group like NORML be supported at Morningside?

Gorski replied, “I think some sort of organization like that would be a great way to make it more of an easier subject to talk about and less of a ‘taboo'”.

DeFauw also agrees, “The more this is talked about seriously the faster change can happen”.

“I would definitely support a group like NORML here on campus… in fact, I think a lot of people would” DeFauw said. DeFauw believes that something like this on campus may not make any large legal changes for Iowa, but he says the community should be more informed so support numbers grow and “maybe we can reach this reformation to a federal level someday”.

Although Courtney is undecided on whether she supports the legalization of marijuana, she states, “I think that would be a great way to inform people like me so I can understand how it could be beneficial”.

The student organization NORML at Iowa State University has created a website in support for legalization of marijuana and they hope to gather 10,000 signatures. Although federal law prohibits states from lightening penalties and fines, creating local reform groups here at Morningside could create the same impact as it did at Iowa State University.

“Watch for gesture”

October 12, 2021

I would describe Professor Fuglsang as more of a relaxed character, especially for a professor. He uses his hands for hand gestures, even when he is eating he still flails his hands around. Although Fuglsang is quite a bit older, his posture and movements are still quick and perky with energy. Fuglsang usually uses his body language and hands to communicate. While I observed his actions I noticed that he tended to use hand signals rather than facial expressions to express himself. Occasionally, he did crack a smile or express a face of confusion but along with those he would shake his hands or raise his shoulders up. I also noticed he does to the typical “professor walk” where he walks with his hands clasped behind his back whenever he is listening to a student or impatiently waiting for the class to reply to his questions.

Fuglsang is a communications professor so I have noticed that he knows how to communicate efficiently, that’s why he uses his hands and his body language to portray his confidence that he does to the class. I also noticed that he dresses down compared to most professors. Not that dressing down is a bad thing, but for the students I think it sends the message that he is easily approachable.

While Fuglsang speaks to our class he is constantly moving. Even though he makes my head twist around like an owl, he still uses the right tone of voice and volume for us to hear him. He also speaks to us a bit differently than other professors speak to their students. I don’t know many professors that drop terms like “shit” or “fuck up” in the middle of class. That being said Professor Fuglsangs quirky lax-like nature is what makes him most comparable to a cool house cat that always has something to say.

The pirouline is a sweet and crunchy straw-like cookie that is filled with a creamy chocolate hazelnut filling. The nostalgic crunch takes me back to my home in Wyoming during Christmas time because my mom always buys them for the holidays. The red and white cylinder always glimmers with festivity.

The Disney Princess gummies come in a variety of colors and flavors. Although the package is enticing by featuring Pocahontas and Cinderella on the front, the rubbery princess heads inside are less than thrilling. They all have different flavors, but they are all commonly sweet with bland versions of strawberry, blue raspberry, orange, lemon, etc.