Ping! A young girl gets a notification on her iPad that her favorite YouTuber posted a new video. She rushes to open the app. She is glued to the screen, watching her favorite YouTuber’s videos for hours, while her parents are trying to unglue her. 
The Internet plays a huge role in the lives of Generation Z (1996-2010). In the entertainment world, YouTubers are taking over the industry, becoming more and more popular as years go by. They are posting videos in hundreds of different genres from DIYs, beauty, or gaming. They are signing multi-million dollar record deals, buying mansions and writing books. YouTubers are becoming the role models the youth look up to, rather than traditional Hollywood celebrities. 
The rise of social media and its stars have redefined the word celebrity. Now, a celebrity can be your neighbor who is setting the trends and driving opinions, and they are doing it all through their computer. The “classic” celebrity is still popular, but not as broadly popular as YouTubers. 
A survey by Defy Media in 2015 stated that 63 percent of respondents aged 13-24 said they would try a brand or a product recommended by a YouTube creator, while only 48 percent would do the same from a movie or TV star. Businesses are realizing that if they put an ordinary person to promote their products, teenagers will be more inclined to buy. Big makeup brands, including MAC Cosmetics, Tarte and Too Faced, use YouTubers to promote their products. 
Connection is the word that many use to describe the relationship between YouTube stars and their teen subscribers. According to a study by Business Insider, teens and young adults describe YouTubers as someone who is "just like me, understands me, someone I trust, has the best advice, doesn't try to be perfect...and likes the same things I do." All of these values are what teens need their role models to be. 
Think With Google states that since YouTubers have a stronger and more engaged audience, in comparison to a traditional celebrity, the top 25 most popular YouTubers earn on average three times as many views, two times as many actions and 12 times as many comments. On Ariana Grande’s posts on Instagram most people give one word responses or heart eye emojis. While on The Ace Family’s channel, a family that documents their regular everyday lives, it is common to see paragraphs of how they helped someone overcome some type of struggle. YouTubers are known for making millions of people’s happiness possible. 
While the Internet continues to be the main hub for new talent, YouTubers are winning over the hearts of this new generation by being authentic and true to themselves.

Read more…
I remember the first time I played “Fortnite.” The moment I started building a wall, I knew this was the game for me because I enjoyed defending myself against other players. After playing the game a couple of times, everybody else in the world and I got addicted because it was so unique. 
“Fortnite” is a game that combines building and combat, mixing elements of “Call of Duty,” “The Hunger Games” and “Minecraft” all together. Millions of people are playing “Fortnite” for hours and hours on end, and there seems to be no sign of gamers stopping any time soon.
“Fortnite” is a multiplayer shooter where a maximum of 100 people are inserted into the game to fight to the end. The game, released July 25, 2017 by Epic Games, is an open world game where you can do anything and explore without any limitations. The game is available on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, mobile and PC. 
“‘Fortnite’ has affected my physical life by keeping me in the house more,” said 16-year- old Dorchester resident Clynton Caines. 
“Fortnite” players are spending endless hours staring at the screen and have become addicted to the game. According to the New York Times, “Some of what hooks players is obvious: it has quality graphics, a sense of humor and advances rapidly.”
 However, because these gamers are focused on their victory royale, they are not fully moving their bodies, just moving their fingers to control their players. Therefore, they are not getting enough exercise. 
“My little brother, a freshman in high school, is constantly playing ‘Fortnite,’” said Joseph Downing, a computer engineer major at Northeastern University. “He plays the game several hours a day without leaving his room.”
“Fortnite” is also preventing kids from socializing with their friends and family. According to the Guardian, “Whether it’s social media or video games, children should enjoy them safely and as part of a lifestyle that includes exercise and socialising in the real world.” But, if you talk to people online and stay in your room all day, you are disconnected from your friends family, and the world around you. “Fortnite” is driving a wall between you and your family and friends.
My advice for people who want to play “Fortnite” and still have a well-balanced life is to limit yourself. You need to learn how to balance playing games and living the rest of your life. Make a schedule to set an amount of time to play the game, and spend the rest of your time on your social life and studying. You also need to have the willpower to say “no, not another game” to yourself and just get off the game.
Staying inside limits your capabilities. According to the Huffington Post, it is proven that going outside will make you healthier. It helps both your body and brain. Although there is a whole world on “Fortnite,” there is another bigger world outside.

Read more…
The first time I went into downtown Boston, all I could smell were hot dogs, burgers and fries all around me. Although there were many stores and parks, the food options was what really stood out to me. Here are the five best fast food restaurants in downtown, with their top five can’t-miss menu items.

1. Charleys Philly Steaks
Charleys has delicious subs all made fresh right in front of you. I recommend the chicken teriyaki sub. The sauce they put on it is phenomenal. Their wide variety of subs range from $5–$10. The fries are always $2.50. You get great food without spending a lot of money. The top five menu items I recommend are: 
1. Chicken teriyaki sub. It has that special sauce that makes the chicken extra good. 
2. Baconator fries. They are like Wendy’s baconator fries, but thick cut like Burger King fries. 
3. Philly cheesesteak. The melted cheese blends in well with the steak in order to achieve a delectable taste.
4. Steakhouse salad. This is a healthy option for people who want to stay fit. 
5. Bacon three cheese steak. This steak sub has three cheeses and bacon mixed in. 

2. Wendy’s
The moment you walk into Wendy’s you can smell salty fries. They have cushioned seats so you can sit comfortably while enjoying your food. This location has two floors, which is great because it gets packed during rush hour. Even though Wendy’s is a fast food restaurant, the food can take a while to make, because they are cooking delicious burgers. I recommend: 
1. Baconator fries. This is my favorite because they put bacon bits on some extremely good melted cheese.
2. 4 for $4 Meal. This combo lets you pick four items for only $4. It’s a hard deal to beat. 
3. Baconator. This burger has two layers of beef and cheese topped with six strips of smoked bacon.
4. Grilled chicken wrap.The spice they put on the chicken makes it unique.
5. Frosty. There is nothing better than getting something sweet for only 99 cents. 

3. McDonald’s
There is always a McDonald’s nearby with very affordable prices, and most are very clean. The moment you walk in you will be punched by the delightful aroma of McDonald's signature fries. They have an amazing dollar menu that not many restaurants have. On the dollar menu, you can get great food options like the McChicken sandwich. I recommend:
1. McChicken. This delectable delight is only $1.
2. French fries. The fries are salty, but when you bite into them they are soft and good. 
3. Chicken McNuggets. These are some of the best chicken nuggets I’ve tasted. They are a McDonald’s classic. 
4. Sausage burrito. This breakfast burrito has cheese, sausage and other ingredients that makes it a great way to start your morning. 
5. Hash browns. A classic and cheap menu item. 

4. Burger King
Burger King has some of the best fries. They are thick, crispy and lightly salted. Their value menu offers a variety of burgers for under $2. Basically everything on the menu is good and cheap, from the fries to the bacon double cheeseburger. I recommend: 
1. Chicken fries. Hot and tasty chicken strips shaped like french fries.
2. French fries. These fries are fat and salty.
3. Bacon Jr. King sandwich. It’s cheap and it has bacon on it. Enough said. 
4. Bacon egg and cheese croissant. The breakfast of champions. 
5. Cheeseburger. They are know for these burgers.

5. Five Guys
The restaurant has red and white stripes throughout and it’s very clean. All of their meat is fresh and cooked as you order it. So if you want real meat, come here. It typically costs $9 for a burger, but it’s quality food. If you don't have that much money, you’re better off going somewhere else. My top recommendations are: 
1. Cheeseburger. Fresh grilled meat paired with as many free toppings as you like.
2. Little bacon cheeseburger. Fresh bacon and meat make for an excellent combination.
3. Patty melt. While it’s not officially on the menu, you can ask for a grilled cheese sandwich with a beef patty inside of it. Order it next time you are here. 
4. Fries. Fresh cut potatoes cooked in pure peanut oil. 

Read more…
Rugby has been a staple of European sport for over 200 years. Its high action tackling and fast-paced game play captivate audiences worldwide. Despite this, America has been behind on the sport, having few events besides collegiate ones. Since the founding of USA Rugby, the national rugby team, in 1971, that has changed. 
 Rugby is a fairly new sport to our country, but it is growing quickly and consistently. After years of development in the first half of the 20th century, stunted by American football’s popularity, rugby began to grow rapidly in the second half of the century. When USA Rugby was founded, it changed how rugby was perceived in the U.S., now a national competitor. Many organizations and teams are recruiting players across the nation at the youth and collegiate level. 
“There are currently 47 state youth organizations that introduce the sport to players as young as five years old. These youth programs continue through high school,” said Rich Cortez, Collegiate Director at USA Rugby.
 After the U.S. became an international participant in the sport, the sport began to expand, with youth leagues being founded nationwide.
 Today, it has greatly expanded as a sport, extending to everything from youth leagues to a major league. Mainly thanks to major rugby organizations, it is televised, broadcasted, advertised and played nationwide. College rugby is also televised, with various levels of elite divisions. Now, with new teams being added, such as the major league team from New York (New York United RFC), rugby is now more popular than ever, and this growth shows no signs of stopping. 
“I continue rugby because I like the teamwork needed and the overall culture of the sport. Not to mention the rush you get when you play,” said Griffin Drinkwater, a 14-year-old local club player. 
Going off what we have today, there is just so much more potential for rugby to grow and for so many more people to play this great sport. 

Read more…
Coal vs. Cascadia: Trump Chokes Out National Park Service’s Budget
From towering cliffs to dramatic valleys, the Pacific Northwest is breathtaking. But, this land is in danger. The Trump administration’s budget cuts for planned fiscal year 19 are going to do more harm than good to these lands, despite the intentions they broadcast to hide the expenses and problems. 
 On the surface, it is a simple plan by the Trump Administration to address the backlog in the National Parks Service (NPS)’s maintenance budget. However, the real plan is to cut the budgets of NPS employees and resources, spend more money on repairing faltering infrastructure and start “responsibly” developing on public lands for energy like coal, gas and oil.
 This “responsible energy development” can damage and remove certain benefits of parks. Energy development is disruptive to lands and weakens our Earth’s natural defenses against climate change.
“Using nature-based solutions such as land conservation is also our number one line of defense against climate change,”  said Stefanie Covino, a coordinator at Mass Audubon. “Open space provides both mitigation benefits (acting as a carbon sink) as well as adaptation (soaking up extra water, recharging groundwater supplies and reducing heat island effect).”
 The plan also removes NPS’s land acquisition budget, saying “it’s to keep the focus on land development.” Experts have been critiquing this plan, saying it opens various doors for privatization and selling of private land.
 “Oil, gas and coal exploration and extraction destroy habitats and pollute the land and water either through leakage or wastes. That will damage our heritage to benefit major corporations,” said Katherine Fogarty, an AP Environmental Science teacher at Boston Latin Academy. 

“This budget enables the Department to meet its core mission and prioritizes programs that will put Americans’ security first,” said Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke during an address at Interior headquarters. 
In a broad sense, this can mean fracking on public land. Considering this is used to keep lands maintained, this seems like a contradictory idea. 
NPS’s website directly states that Trump’s proposed budget will be used for “securing the highest priority resources and most critical assets, readily responding to requests for emergency assistance, performing search and rescue operations.” It hardly mentions the large cuts in budget and staff which are used already for repairs and response.
This plan fails to support and provide resources for the national parks; it wastes plenty of resources in the process of gaining more to use. It cripples the National Parks Service in staff and services, cuts vital resources and conservation staff, and develops energy and oil on public land. 
“Getting rid of them would destroy this landscape, the history, and be bad for the environment. Not only getting rid of all the trees but all the animals who live in those areas,” said 15-year-old Nikki Okoli from Jamaica Plain. 
The parks are vital for the health of humans and animals, and to preserve our nation’s natural beauty and history.

Read more…