Cell Phones: A Real World Horror Story
By Samantha Coville, Grade 9

Three hundred million cell phones are being used every day in the United States of America. That’s about 82% of the country using cell phones.  Sure, it’s cool what they can do, and you may love how it can be a portable camera, but what happens when your cell phone dies and you decide to get a new one? You probably just throw your cell phone in the trash like most Americans do.

Just throwing a cell phone in the trash can is a hazard to people and to nature. In some cell phones, the battery is cadmium. One piece of cadmium from one singular cell phone is enough to contaminate and poison 600,000 gallons of water!

The lead used in soldering parts of your thrown out cell phone can affect the immune system along with the endocrine and central nervous systems. You can seriously damage you body if you come accidentally get infected with it. Four hundred children died in Nigeria in 2010 from the result of lead poisoning.

Brominated flame retardants, which can cause cancer and liver damage, are found in the wiring of most cell phones. California has been passing laws banning brominated flame retardants from couches and other house-hold items due to the fact that many people were getting cancer from it.

Phones can be recycled. Seventy percent of Americans do not know this, and they just throw their phones in the trash and cause serious health issues for them and everyone else. Don’t be one of those people. Find somewhere to recycle your phone. Help save hundreds from potential deaths.

Photograph by Priscilla G., Grade 9

Cool Computer Features
By Loren Allen, Grade 9

I stuck my dad in front of our new laptop and he was incredibly confused.

Have you ever noticed that new laptops and computers have all of these awesome features that the older computers never had? I’m going to list and describe five new features.

Built-in web cams. These are cameras that are actually part of the computer. You can use it to transmit a live video of you to another person, and use programs like Windows Messenger, Skype, Yahoo Messenger, and Google Talk, to video chat with your friends.  

Built-in microphones. There are also microphones that are part of the computer. They are usually placed around the keyboard. Be aware that if you use your built in microphone (also called the internal microphone), the other person will be able to hear you type. The one down side of internal microphones is that they pick up all the background noise.

Internet Explorer 9. If you get a brand new non-Apple laptop you will automatically have Internet Explorer 9 installed on it. This one is really cool because the URL bar is also your search engine. You type in it normally like if you were at google.com, and it will search it in Google.

Sticky Notes. Don’t you just hate it when you write down something on a sticky note and you lose it? I do. The cool feature with sticky notes is you can write down your information on a sticky note, and it puts that note on a “sticky note” and posts it on your desktop. You can find this feature on new laptops under “Start,” then “All Programs,” and then “Accessories.”

Synaptic Pointing Device.  Say what now? That little mouse pad icon under your hidden icons that is a called a synaptic pointing device. If you double click on that icon, you can select the pointer type. For example, you can get a banana mouse pointer. The touchpad shows you every time you touch your mouse or move it around. Also, if you look on your keyboard there is a button that looks like a mouse with a X on it, next to the F12 key. If you press that your mouse pad will lock off. Make sure you don’t accidentally press that button.

So check your computer to see if you have any of these cool features. They are very useful!

Photograph by Priscilla G., Grade 9

John Hurley
7/7/2011 10:18:06 pm

The best browser, in terms of simplicity and speed, for the majority of consumers, is Chrome. microsoft has simply copies chrome.

IE is still the number one browser for downloading other browsers.

Loren Allen
7/10/2011 02:21:52 am

Hey John! Yeah I know Chrome is the best, but when you get a new labtop you get internet explorer as a default! But I totally agree with you

Rachael Britton
7/11/2011 05:49:40 am

I use Google Chrome and I love it.

Anna H.
7/19/2011 01:57:27 am

Actually, if you got a Mac, you would get Safari as the default. Only a Windows computer (as in, running Windows) will give you IE.

Loren Allen
7/24/2011 06:20:23 am

Yeah Anna but when I wrote the article it was referring to windows computers not Mac.... but I know that mac users get safari as default but a lot of people download chrome on their macs. :D


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