The 2021 Grammys

“Good luck with the Grammys. If you don’t win at least one, I’m going to hit someone, OK?” Elton John exclaimed to Grammy nominee Phoebe Bridgers last week. Someone must have a black eye, because Phoebe didn’t win. The competition preceding this top music award was fierce. Stars like Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, and Megan Thee Stallion rocked the music world, winning Best Pop Solo Performance, Album of the Year, and Best New Artist respectively.

To recap, popular artists like Beyonce, Dua Lipa, Doja Cat, and Post Malone were all nominated for Record of the Year. Billie Eilish ended up winning this prestigious category. Reflecting on the tragic events of 2020, H.E.R.’s song “I Can’t Breathe” won the award Song of the Year. Other nominees for this category included Taylor Swift, Roddy Richh, Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish, and Post Malone. Beyonce even received her twenty-eighth Grammy, this time for the category Best R&B Performance.

This year’s event, much like the 2020 Grammys, looked very different from past ceremonies because of COVID-19. The Grammys are typically a sold-out event with thousands of spectators, commercials, and glamorous post-parties. This year, only a very limited and socially distanced audience was allowed to attend. However, the performers were able to put on a spectacular show. Taylor Swift stunned her fans with her performance of songs cardigan, willow, and august on top of a one-room cottage with mystical lighting.

All in all, the 2021 Grammys were as entertaining and successful as ever, despite the COVID-19 circumstances. Performers and audience members alike are looking forward to the 2022 Grammys, which hopefully will be back to normal.

— Vienna Gurev

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KTV Segment: World News March 13, 2021

President Biden worked with the House and the Senate to produce and pass the new covid relief bill. The main feature of this bill is a large stimulus check that will aid in the reopening of schools, vaccine distribution, and production. The nation hopes it will be effective against the virus.

Syrian President Assad and his wife have tested positive for covid. They plan to take the next two weeks to recovery and quarantine. During this time Syria has also received their first shipment of covid vaccines. Hopefully, the vaccination will aid in slowing the spread of the virus.

For more information, check out the KTV world news segment.

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Pirates of the World

What is a Pirate?

A pirate is defined as “a person who attacks and robs ships at sea,” by Oxford languages. The first significant pirates, who roamed the Mediterranean around 1276-1178 B.C.E., were known as the Sea Peoples, who were made up of a myriad of ethnicities. Accounts of their destruction were recorded by the last king of Ugarit, Ammurapi, whose kingdom fell victim to this mysterious force. However, the origin of this fearsome group is unknown and remains a mystery to this day. Nonetheless, this practice of abandoning sailor jobs in exchange for a life of piracy became common during the late 1600s to early 1700s which is known as the “Golden Age of Piracy.” Here’s a list of some notable pirates throughout history.

Black Caesar

During this time, piracy was popular among Black people, as it was one of the few ways they could attain power in the West. Often given only two choices, fugitive slaves would often choose the life of piracy over eternal captivity. While discrimination was still apparent, some captains did treat their crew members equally regardless of race. However, the same can not be said for prosecution. As white pirates were hanged, Black pirates were either returned to their owners or resold into slavery. Black Caesar or Henri Caesar, is the most acclaimed Black pirate as he escaped captivity aboard a slave ship with the help of a sailor. Thereafter he would pose as a stranded sailor to rob vessels that offered their aid. Legend has it that he buried his treasure on Elliot Key. He would soon join Blackbeard’s crew in the early 1700s and would even come to witness his death. After their defeat, Black Caesar was captured and taken to Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1718 to be hanged.

Madame Cheng

Arguably the most successful pirate in history, outnumbering Blackbeard in terms of ships with 70,000 sailors, 800 large junks—Chinese sailing ships—and about 1,00 smaller vessels, Madame Cheng is not to be forgotten. Though her name was Ching Shih, she was also referred to as Cheng I Sao, which translates to “wife of Cheng.” Little is known about her early life. She was born in 1785 at an unknown location. For the majority of her life, she served as a prostitute in the city of Guangzhou. But in 1801, she married Cheng Yi, a famous pirate captain. During this time, many unorganized ships were unified into professional fleets to serve the Tây Sơn dynasty of Vietnam, who were at constant battle with the Chinese. When the Tây Sơn was conquered in 1802, instead of scattering the Cheng’s unified rival Cantonese pirates and were divided into different squadrons. Cheng Yi soon died in 1807, yet Madame Cheng soon took charge and appointed her husband’s protegé Zhang Bao as the captain of her most powerful fleet. He would soon become her lover and eventually her new husband. It is said that Madame Cheng was ahead of her time in terms of rights to women, as any carnal abuse of female captives was punishable by death. There were even accounts of those who were commanders who were ordered to capture her and damaged their own ships in order to avoid conflict. By 1810, tension increased between two of her fleets, causing the unison to be unstable. This led to Madame Cheng accepting the Chinese government’s pardon in exchange for a peaceful surrender in 1810. The rest of her life was quite peaceful, living off of her husband’s military earnings until she died at the age of 69.

Anne Bonny

While male pirates dominate history, there were plenty of notable female pirates, too, such as Anne Bonny. Born in Cork, Ireland, around 1700, Anne Bonny was known for her tough spirit. There is little information known about her, but it is said that she married a poverty-stricken sailor at the age of 16. Her father did not approve of this and disowned his daughter. The couple would soon turn to the life of piracy and join Calico Jack’s crew. It is said that she “dressed like a man, while she fought, drank, and swore like one too.” Legend has it that while Bonny appeared as a man, she developed feelings for Mary Read, who joined the crew later on and was also dressed as a man. They would both switch between men’s and women’s clothes as necessary. However, this adventure would soon come to an end in October in 1720, when the ship would fall to Captain Jonathan Barnet to collect their bounty. Records say that, while the rest of the crew caved into surrender, the two women fought to the end and called the men cowards. They were tried and found guilty of several crimes, but their execution was delayed as it was discovered that both women were pregnant. However, it is unclear whether this is true or if the two lied to save themselves. It wouldn’t be until five months later that death would take Mary Read in prison.

Mary Read

Much like Anne Bonny, Mary Read’s history is unknown. She was born around 1690 in England to a widow. It is said that her mother passed her off as a boy to get money from Mary’s grandmother. Later, Read continued to dress a man and would even get a job as a sailor. Later on, she revealed her secret to a Flemish soldier she met during the War of the Spanish Succession and would come to marry. Together they ran The Three Horseshoe Inn in the Dutch town of Breda. After her husband died, she would return to the war dressed as a man, though when peace was signed, Read looked for adventure elsewhere in the West Indies. While navigating the waters, she was soon attacked and was captured by pirates. She then joined them, living life as a free pirate until 1718, when she signed a king’s pardon in exchange for hunting down others who did not acquire the pardon. Read would eventually make her way onto the ship of Calico Jack, where, as stated before, there were accounts of her and Anne Bonny forming a romantic relationship. In any case, it is said that the two were the most ruthless of them all, each carrying a pistol and machete. But as stated above, the ship was captured, but despite this, the two fought till the end. It is unclear what exactly happened to Mary Read during their containment, but records do show that she was buried on April 28, 1721, at St. Catherine Parish in Jamaica.

— Maya Ross

Sources:

5 Notorious Female Pirates

Black Pirates and the Tale of Black Caesar 

Ching Shih the Pirate Queen

Five Pirate Myths That Are Actually True

8 Famous Pirates from History

Pirates in the Ancient Mediterranean

Biography of Anne Bonny, Irish Pirate and Privateer

Biography of French Pirate François L’Olonnais

Biography of Mary Read, English Pirate

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Study Tips for Students

Even though final exams won’t be happening this year, online tests and quizzes remain a prevalent issue for many students. Tests are always stressful, but the addition of online school can make it more difficult for some. If developing good study habits is something you struggle with, no worries—Demon Press has you covered! Below you will find a variety of different tips to help you become better prepared for tests and adapt to the difficulties of online learning. Some tips might work better or worse for you depending on your learning style, but hopefully, you’ll gain some new skills that can help you in this virtual format.

– Tip #1: Try Not to Multitask
It can be easier to multitask in the somewhat less structured virtual environment, however, it can make completing assignments harder. If you focus solely on one assignment at a time, it can make it easier to complete that. Focusing all of your energy into one task at a time can help you get more assignments done productively.

– Tip #2: Rewrite Your Notes
If you are someone who likes to organize and decorate your notes, but can’t seem to find enough time to write down everything during class, this tip is for you. First, write down everything from class in a rough outline-like format, so that you can pay attention while the teacher is talking but still have notes. Then, in your spare time, you can rewrite your notes, but in the decorated format that you like. This helps not just with spending class time wisely, but also with studying, as writing down things that you have learned has been proven to help you remember information.

– Tip #3: Find Online Tutorials
If one particular topic is giving you a hard time, and your teachers’ explanations aren’t helping, it could be beneficial for you to go online and try to find videos about that subject. There are thousands of online tutorials for different topics, and though they might not be the exact way you are being taught the material, the new explanation can give you a fresh perspective. There are countless resources for a multitude of different topics, but some of the most common online resources are Khan Academy and Crash Course.

– Tip #4: Set Goals for Each Study Session
If you are simply going in blind each time you study, it can become difficult to stay focused or feel motivated. If you set measurable goals for what you want to achieve with each study session, it can be easier to be productive during your study sessions.

— Blake Ciresa

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Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is a role model and inspiration for young women around the globe. A pioneer in the music industry, she has released nine unique albums since 2006, most recently indie-pop albums Folklore and Evermore. She has won ten Grammy Awards, an Emmy, and numerous musical accolades. In 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama even described Swift as a woman who “has rocketed to the top of the music industry, but still keeps her feet on the ground, someone who has shattered every expectation of what a twenty-two-year-old can accomplish.”

However, Taylor Swift’s personal life has been critically scrutinized by the public. It seems like everyone from journalists to A-list celebrities have judged her for her relationships. Swift and her fans are well-aware that this backlash is simply because she is a young, successful woman. In response to this hate, Swift preaches messages of feminism to her fans.

In early March of this year, Swift tweeted a message saying, “Hey Ginny & Georgia, 2010 called and it wants its lazy, deeply sexist joke back.” This was in response to a quote from the Netflix show: “What do you care? You go through men faster than Taylor Swift.” Swift stood up to this disrespect and her fans supported her wholeheartedly.

This was not the only hateful message directed towards Swift. In 2013, Abercrombie & Fitch sold a shirt that proclaimed in shiny silver letters, “#more boyfriends than T.S.” They soon removed the shirt from their stores after receiving scathing backlash.

Taylor Swift has had to withstand these slams since day one of her career. Still, she continues to stand up for what she believes in and produces dynamic music, not taking the public’s criticism to heart.

— Vienna Gurev

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Simmons, Embiid Forced out of All-Star Game after Contact Tracing

Even with the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, the annual NBA All-Star Game went on. Included on the teams were Philadelphia 76ers stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Just a few hours before the game was scheduled to start, the duo was informed that they would be required to sit out of the game and quarantine due to contact tracing protocols.

It turned out that the duo’s barber had tested positive for COVID-19. As such, they would have to sit out awaiting tests to confirm that they were both negative for the virus. Both had totally avoided contact with anyone else after their barber, and so no more quarantines were required.

It’s a huge relief that the contact was caught before Embiid and Simmons made it onto the court of the game itself. All of a sudden, the best 24 players in the NBA would have been ruled out for at least 1 game due to the contact with the two. It could have been a major disaster for the league. Instead, both players will miss at least one game, and potentially more.

Embiid is still on pace for an MVP-level season, averaging 30 points per game and 51% from the field. Simmons is also having a solid year, especially on the defensive end. He is a top candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, along with Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert.

Sixers coach Doc Rivers was also present at the All-Star game, coaching Team Durant in a 170-150 loss to Team Lebron.

— Martin Heintzelman

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World News Report: 3/4/21

The U.S. is currently undergoing the process of vaccinating with 8% of the population in the U.S. having been vaccinated. These vaccines are an important step in protecting healthcare workers and those who are at high risk. Vaccination percentages are also likely to increase as Johnson & Johnson steps into the ring with a new vaccine that requires only one dose, unlike the previously approved vaccines.

In other news, Europe continues its preparations for the 2021 Eurovision song contest. This event will begin on May 18 and end on May 22nd. After the cancellation of the 2020 song contest, many fans are excited to see what this year has in store. However, controversy spreads in Cyprus due to the content of one of the songs that has been submitted.

For more information, check out the KTV world news segment by Thomas Linderman and Lucas Piotrowski.

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KTV Segment: Welcome Back to the Library

Ms. Teixeira offers a warm welcome on behalf of the library to the incoming students. While it may look different, the library still offers many of its wonderful resources. By using the proper sign up sheets online or in person, students can spend study halls down in the library to read or work on school work. The library also has a laptop loaning system for students who may have forgotten their device at home.

Even if a student is completely remote, they can still enjoy the books the library has to offer. A curbside pick is available. It’s as easy as putting in an order through the library schoology page and then picking the book up later when school is in session. There are also many books that can be read in the virtual library for students who may not be able to make it to high school.

With the vast amount of reading options available, every student can find something that grabs their interest.

For more information, check out the segment made by Cade Verrico.

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Texas Snowstorm

Beginning on Valentine’s Day, winter storm Uri bombarded Texas. Storms like these are known as generational events, meaning that they usually occur once in a lifetime. Texans were completely unprepared for the disaster that unfurled.

Various communities, rich and poor, were impacted by the snowstorm. They were stranded at home because their cars weren’t equipped with four-wheel drive. They had to huddle in front of their fireplace, if they had one, wrapped in blankets for warmth because their heating system was non-functional. They had to collect snow and boil it for clean drinking water. Some people rationed their food because there was nothing available at the grocery store. There were no snow plows or road salt to make the roads safe to drive on.

Thankfully, materials and machinery to help clean up the snow were shipped to Texas, and charities collected money to donate to Texans in need. As the weather warms and emergency supplies arrive, Texas is slowly bouncing back!

Texans take pride in their independence, which includes being disconnected from the national power grid. They rarely have to worry about winter storms, because they are so far south. A downside of being connected to the national power grid is taxes. Texas would have to pay a large sum of federal taxes to be connected to the power grid because it’s a large state. Check out this article by Martin Heintzelman to learn more about the Texas power grid and the role it played in this situation.

Cities in Texas are given a certain annual budget, which they need to spend on public works programs like roads, sanitation, and education. A major portion of the budget goes to preparing for floods; Texas is hit by hurricanes and floods in the late summer and autumn annually. If they dedicate this money to a winter storm that might not even happen, Texas could be unprepared for its yearly, devastating floods, which are of much more concern.

Texas needs to be prepared for winter storms in the future. Global warming is the primary cause of severe winter storms like Uri, which means these conditions will only get worse. Soon, Texas may be allotting larger parts of its budget to salt for icy roads rather than sandbags for hurricane floods.

Texas will bounce back from this disaster, but it will have to face some difficult financial choices in the future because of global warming. Winter storm Uri was a life-changing event for many Texans.

— Vienna Gurev

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Will Covid Affect Spring Sports?

With many students going back to school using Kennett’s hybrid system, it might be hard to jump back into sports after being home for so long. That’s why I talked with Coach Gottstein, the varsity softball coach, about what the upcoming season might look like.

“I can definitely see the season happening,” Gottstein said, “especially with the vaccine coming out very soon to our coaching staff and teachers within the district.” She also pointed out that all players and coaches will be wearing masks during practices and games, and that luckily softball is a socially distanced sport.

You may also be wondering about how we will be able to celebrate wins with the team if we are social distancing. “Elbow bumps, air fives,” Gottstein said. “Our players are pretty silly, so I am sure they will come up with some goofy ways to celebrate big plays.”

Huddles are also a big part of being a team, but unfortunately, they will have to be distanced as well. “I have a loud voice, the girls on the team can always hear Coach from afar!” she added.

In regards to friends and family wanting to attend the games, the jury is still out on how many spectators are invited. “That is a decision for the district to make.” The stands and outfield area have plenty of room to sit, distance, and enjoy the game.

Since spring sports are mostly outdoors and the vaccine is still rolling out, things may start to look up for our spring sports teams.

— Sierra Tellman

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