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Oreo vs. Girl Scout
By Loren Allen, Grade 9

Knock knock. “Ugh! What are they trying to sell me now?” you grumble before opening the front door to see an adorable 7 year old Girl Scout asking you if you would like to buy some of their world famous Thin Mints. How do you say no to that? You really can’t, but apparently Oreo doesn’t agree.

Recently Oreo released a new product known as Oreo Fudge Crème. This product is available in four flavors; Original, Mint, Golden Oreo, and Peanut Butter. If you have ever tasted the mint-flavored Fudge Creme, you’ll understand the huge similarities they have in common with Thin Mints made by Girl Scouts. So how do you decide which one to buy?

Pros that Oreo Fudge Cremes have over Girl Scout’s Thin Mints:
1. Oreo has their product year round, where as Girl Scout cookies are only available for a few months each year. With Girl Scout cookies, you have to stock up on your favorites, but with Oreo Fudge Cremes you can simply grab a box during your weekly grocery run--they’re not going anywhere.
2. Oreo Mint Fudge Crème cost only $2.59 at Wal-Mart, but Girl Scouts sell Thin Mints for $3.50.
3. Girl Scout’s and Oreo’s cookies both come in boxes of 28, yet the Girl Scout’s brand cost 91 cents more. In summary, Oreo gives more bang for your buck.

Some pros Girl Scout’s have over Oreo:
1. Girl Scout’s cookies contain only 40 calories per cookie, where as Oreo’s have a little over 56. Is the price worth the extra weight?
2. The money collected from the cookie sales is donated to the Girl Scouts foundation to fund activities for it’s members. An extra 90 cents could help send a little girl and her friends camping.
3. The Girl Scouts are the original creators of Thin Mints. Are Oreo Fudge Cremes better quality?

There’s one last thing that you should know. There is a cheaper way to satisfy your cravings. How? Separate Double Stuff Oreos in half horizontally while melting down Andes Chocolate Mints. Dip the cookie halves in the chocolate and cool in the freezer. BAM, you now have more Thin Mints for a cheaper price!

Sources:
http://www.girlscouts.org/program/gs_cookies/
http://www.fitsugar.com/Nutritional-Information-Girl-Scout-Cookies-1106800
Oreo Packaging  
Image by Loren Allen, Grade 9

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From Record Players to iPods – The Tech History of Music
By Danielle Gennaro, Grade 12

According to my sister, music is her life. Despite her exaggerated metaphor, music definitely plays a vital role in the world’s several thousand cultures. Music is capable of expressing a way of life. And today, it is implemented into our daily lives. As we wake up and get ready to go to school or work, we slide over the power switch on our iPods and jam to our favorite songs. As we get into our cars and head off to school (or work), we turn on our radios. Music is always at our fingertips. It is instant.   Who are we to thank for this consistent, easily-accessed entertainment? Is it Apple? Not quite.

We need to go as far back as Thomas Edison, the nineteenth-century inventor and experimentalist of the recorded sound, in order to grasp the true beginning of music technology. Who knew that one of Edison’s frequent, scientific mishaps would spark music technology? The origins of his discovery that sound could be recorded was accidental, when he fumbled over a noise his ears witnessed with tin foil and a telegraph stylus; it just so happens that it would eventually lead to his first public recording of the all-too-familiar “Mary Had a Little Lamb” for the nation to witness the first human-recorded voice. Since his 1877 accident, the record player he created would embark on a century’s existence and global popularity.

The dominance of the record player as a music player held for nearly seventy years, through which it was refined and embellished to fit distinct presences, whether they be in residential homes or antique shops.  Music history analysts today claim that the record player has had one of the most influential transformations in the music industry.  The significance of the record player was not only evident in its unique structure, but also in its ability to capture, record, and save music to hear again and again – not just for performance.  Although it was the record player that dominated the music industry, challenges were confronted during its lifetime. The popularity of the radio during the 1920s, along with the Great Depression of the 1930s, incited its momentary decline.   Ultimately, though, its popularity immediately sprang right back up again during the 1940s, during World War II.

It was not until the late 1960s that a new music playing device arose in popularity; it was the eight-track player, an alternate, magnetic recording system. Many claim, though, that the record player was indomitable, even during the somewhat popular era of the eight-track player. The record player’s prominence in the world would soon decline and transfer to the cassette and CD player. It was Sony which introduced the new Compact Disk player leading to the ultimate end of record player’s use in homes. CD players were said to have an improved sound quality, although were often given negative reviews for “skipping.” This “skipping” issue arose due to sudden jolts or movements of the player. The CD players utilized lasers which would interpret music from the Compact Disks. If and when the disk was pushed or bumped, the laser would briefly be pushed or bumped along with the disk, and therefore, the music off the disks would be “skipped.” Nevertheless, companies like Sony received nearly fifteen to twenty years of successful CD player sales.

At the turn of the twenty-first century, Apple Computers came to the world’s rescue! Apple Computers’ first portable, digital music player, the iPod, was introduced to the world on October 23, 2001 and instantly transformed the music industry. Music could be downloaded straight from the new iTunes software and could be accessed in seconds at your fingertips, or rather at your “ear tips.”

From the record player to the eight-track player, to the cassette player, down to the CD player, and finally to the iPod, music technology has come a long way.   

References:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/music/inside/cron.html
http://articles.mibba.com/History/1961/The-Record-Player
http://www.ehow.com/about_5414706_history-record-player.html
Image by Hannah Fishbough, Grade 12


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