Southern Lights 2013

Hannah Roberts

Nov. 22 through Dec. 31 from 5:30 to 10 p.m. a lighting ceremony will take place at the Kentucky Horse Park. Show up for the 20th annual lighting to have fun with family and/or friends. The event includes millions of brilliant lights, a petting zoo, camel and pony rides, model trains, craft vendors and a mini-train express. What more could you ask for? You can drive your car for $15 (Sunday-Thursday) or $20 (Friday-Saturday). Also, you can rent a limousine for $30, a mini bus for $50 or a motor coach for $150.


Snowed in, branch out

Megan McAnly

Waking up to snow caked on the roads is probably the only good thing during winter. Everyone loves a day off, but what things would you do on an unexpected snow day? Some like to stay at home and some like the outdoors. Here are some possible activities to try on the next unexpected snow day:

  • Sleep in
  • Play in the snow
  • Play video games
  • Clean(?)
  • Go shopping
  • Be sure to make a negative or positive status on Facebook or Twitter
  • Take pictures for Instagram
  • Not be dangerous on the roads
  • Practice driving in the snow for experience
  • Catch up on homework
  • Make a 5-star meal for you and your family
  • Go out to eat
  • Catch up on sleep
  • Work out
  • Work
  • Stay in and read a book
  • Watch hilarious Vines
  • Netflix movie day!
  • Find good looking outfits to wear for the next couple of days
  • Hangout with some friends and family
  • Relax any way you know how
  • Enjoy yourself!

The showdown of the season

Jacob Sears

As the 2013-2014 college basketball season progress, the Kentucky Wildcats will be taking on rival Louisville Cardinals in their annual matchup. With Louisville officially ranked higher than Kentucky, many people believe Kentucky will lose. The Cats have had a lot of practice since they were ranked down though.

Arguably Louisville’s best player, Russ Smith, will be matching up against Andrew Harrison, both scoring as point guards.  Andrew Harrison averages ten points a game with three assist per game, while Russ Smith averages eighteen points and five assists per game.

Even though Louisville has a better point guard, statistically, UK has the best power forward in the country in Julius Randle, who will match up against Louisville’s Chane Behanan. Behanan averages eight points and four offensives rebounds, as well as three defensive rebounds, one steal and no blocks per game. Randle is averaging eighteen points, five offensive rebounds, seven defensive rebounds and one block per game.

The game will be broadcasted on Dec. 28 on WKYT 27. This will be a close game, no question about it. These two teams clearly match up very well, but Kentucky fans can only hope for a victory against their inner-state rivals.

The art of failing*

Mia Zanzucchi

December is full of great things like Hanukkah and Christmas and New Year’s Eve and failure.

For juniors, GSP application deadlines and National Merit Scholars results loom. For seniors, it’s college. For a combination of seniors, juniors and even some underclassmen, the ACT and SAT are slapping faces. There is a never-ending fight for dominance between stress and vomit-inducing heartache. Feelings are inevitable. Rejection is inevitable. Failing is inevitable. (Note: Side effects of failing might include but are not limited to crying, shaking, eating, not eating, standing in corners, sitting in corners, staring at walls, listening to screamo music at full blast, taking naps, moody grunts.)

But fear not, for I have done a lot of failing in my life. And I’ve got some advice for you on how to handle rejection and the feeling of failure that often accompanies.

Though it pains me to be so cliché, don’t give up. Seriously. It’s not where you go to college or what you do over the summer or what test scores you get. It’s what you do with what you’ve got.  You know that song “Started From the Bottom?” Yeah, that. Show those naysayers that you’re seriously serious about your life by not letting rejection get you down and becoming one with the phoenix, rising out of the ashes.

Don’t fall into the self-fulfilling prophecy trap. If you think you’re going to do horribly on the ACT, you probably will. If you think your life is going to suck, it probably will. So stop. Just stop. You are a breathing human being, so don’t count yourself out for anything. Nobody will remember your ACT score, and not even where you went to college, if you are an exceptionally hard working, passionate and determined employee.

In addition to those two treatments to failure, food, naps, food, walks (or runs if you’re one of those people), food, establishing a group of people – friends, family, teachers, counselors – who support you and food also contain magical healing powers.

I’ve taken the liberty of finding a silver lining of failing for you. Life isn’t perfect and there is no way you can go through life without not getting something (or many things) you want. The sooner you learn how to deal with rejection and failure, the more prepared for life you’ll be. Think of how awesome it will be to be in college and not have a mental breakdown over being bad or mediocre at something, unlike some children who have been coddled and told they can do everything their whole lives.

*This is, of course, failing not in the solely academic sense. So please pass your finals. I don’t want to get yelled at.

A profile on Matthew Haughton

Zach Rieff

Mr. Matthew Haughton is a new Teacher to WJHS. He teaches freshmen, sophomore and Junior English. He enjoys teaching English here, and is very happy with how welcomed he is in our school. He states that WJHS is “Never a drag… The kids, parents, and co-workers are great!”

Mr. Haughton is a published author. He has poems published in over 100 periodicals and has a published book of poems called “Stand in the Stillness of Woods”.  Haughton has worked in many different careers, most involving literature somehow. When he attended his high school, he enjoyed English; it wasn’t until he went to college that he decided that he wanted to take English and literature more seriously.

Mr. Haughton had good grades in high school, except math. He had to go to summer school due to his grades in math. He also acted in high school, but when he attended UK for a acting major, he made the decision to study Literature. Haughton’s favorite band in high school was “Pixies of Nirvana” and when asked what his favorite music genre was, he exclaimed “ROCK!”

One of Mr. Haughton’s Christmas traditions is to go see his family and be with his girlfriend. Mr. Haughton is a very family oriented person. Both his dad and his brother are engineers, but he got the creative genes in the family.

Mr. Haughton is very glad to be part of the Colt family here at WJHS. He is an all around funny, creative and insightful teacher. But what he looks for most in teaching here is learning from his students. He thanks you for your welcome to this new school!

Diabetic do’s

Cierra Stinnett

Let’s be real: high school is stressful. Keeping up with grades, keeping up friends, keeping up with life. Yet there are the very few who have an added stress in their life. It’s called Type 1 diabetes, a condition where you have to watch you blood sugars, sugar consumption and what you eat on a day-to-day basis.

If you’re a Type 1 diabetic, your body does not produce insulin (what keeps your sugar stable). Depending on how much you eat a day is how many shots you will have to take a day. It’s like you are on a diet every day of your life. If you eat and take too much insulin, then your sugar will get low and that can be very dangerous. You will always know when your sugar gets low because you will get very hot and dizzy. If you don’t get your sugar up in time, then you could pass out. Most teens with this condition won’t tell their friends about it, so when their sugar gets low, friends may not know what to do. Honestly, it is a simple fix. Juice or crackers with peanut butter will bring someone’s sugar up in about 15 minutes.

It’s always nice to have someone help you when things get stressful, so if you’re a friend of someone who is a diabetic, keep these three things in mind:
1. Know what to do if someone’s sugar gets low.
2. Always keep crackers, juice or something with sugar in it to give to a friend with low sugar.
3. Last but not least, stay calm. The more you know what to do, the more you can help!

Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4

Gentry Fitch

Christmas is soon approaching and one of this year’s hottest gifts, Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 are head-to-head.  These devices are the next generation of gaming and are built with the most cutting-edge technology and consumer lulls they can possibly pack into one system.

Body design
The Xbox One brings a larger console to the fight but at some expense to Sony’s frontrunner.  The cost of producing a smaller console may result in a louder machine and less ventilation to cool of graphics processors that can cause various malfunctions in the system. However, these drawbacks shouldn’t affect your everyday gamer. 

In terms of aesthetics, this one is in the eye of the consumer.  Microsoft truly puts the “box” in Xbox in its new generation.  Essentially there is a black box, a port to enter a disc on the left and an Xbox logo towards the right.  You also have some I/O ports in the back for power, audio, monitor connection, Xbox Live support among many other things.

Sony has a quite similar design, as pointed out in the E3 conference earlier this year, to the PS4’s much older brother: the PS2.  The console was produced to resemble a slant parallelogram with the disc reader on the left and PS4 logo on the right.  Similar to the Xbox One, all of the I/O ports are in the back of the device where you can connect to power, audio, etc.

Overall the designs are quite subjective to the consumer’s taste but should be considered both ways.

The other selling point for more conscious gamers is on-board internals.  The processing power of the two systems is greatly increased considering the Xbox 360 and PS3. 

Xbox boasts an 8-core x86 CPU processor under the hood, which allows for a speedy and safe switch between apps, games and other media outlets.  The CPU in the Xbox One is the same as in the PS4, but this does not mean overall performance is the same.  Many other factors in the machines work together to promote a performance that can be used for a better gaming experience.  For example, a graphics processor, also known as a GPU, can directly affect a console’s individual performance while actually playing games rather than that of the CPU, which runs all interactions that you don’t necessarily see onscreen.  The GPU in the PlayStation 4 runs quickly but the Microsoft equivalent comes out on top (853 MHz vs. 800Mhz).

The final factor for the internals is the systems memory (measured in RAM).  This is another touchy comparison as both consoles have 8 GB of RAM inside, but the other internals in the devices determine which 8 GB will be faster to access.  Without getting overly technical, this factor comes to a tie.

Deal breakers
Despite critics’ thoughts on these next generation devices, both have equivalent hardware and are worthy of an awesome Christmas gift.  This is why they’re jam-packed with small goodies that could possibly sway consumer opinion.

The most convincing aspect for an average consumer is price. The PS4 is priced at $400 and the Xbox One at $500; however, there is a reason for the $100 price difference.  The Xbox One is a packaged deal that includes one wireless controller, the console itself and a Kinect sensor.  The Kinect sensor is normally sold for $100 so with all things equal, the two are about the same value when its all said and done.  This advantage also helps developers for Xbox create games that can seamlessly integrate the Kinect sensor into their games and applications because the market all has the same hardware.

Wireless gaming and international competition has now dominated the market for some years now.  Sony and Microsoft have devised a plan to keep online players with their system.  Sony’s route is a reliable service with somewhere in the 30,000 range of servers worldwide, allowing for stable game play and reliable cloud services.  This comes for $50 annually starting Nov. 15th.  Microsoft chose the exceptionally reliable and stable route.  With around 300,000 servers worldwide to host online gaming, Xbox Live is the service of choice between the two.  This high value comes at a higher price, but only $60 for a ten-fold better service is hard to beat.

Some other factors that are subject to some vicious debate between the die-hard PS’ers and Xbox’ers are controller shape, release titles, and outside corporate partnerships, most of which are overlooked by a casual gamer.

The Xbox one (left) in comparison to the PlayStation 4 (right) Photo:

The Xbox one (left) in comparison to the PlayStation 4 (right)

Technology grant develops theatre and community

Olivia Mohr

In late September or early October, every school in the district was asked to apply for a Jessamine mini-grant, a grant giving amounts ranging from approximately $12,000-$25,000 to schools, based on student enrollment.

Dr. Wells wrote the grant for West, and around Thanksgiving, he received the news that West was getting $26,443 form the grant. Approximately $20,000 of it is going towards the auditorium, which, as of now, could use some improvement.

A projector and an accompanying desktop will be installed in the auditorium, as well as an enhanced sound system. These advancements will not only affect the drama department; they will affect the whole school. As well as benefiting the arts and drama programs, the improvements that will be made will allow great ACT prep, and the auditorium will basically become like another classroom. Also, the auditorium will become easier to rent out for use because it will be better equipped; it will be a potential source of cash flow for our school and the district.

So what difference will these advancements make? In the auditorium, we will see clearer computer presentations, have a better sound system and the auditorium will, in general, have better visual appeal.

Ideally, the technological advancements should be done in the spring, according to Dr. Wells, and any unused money will go towards buying the school more iPads or to paying off the debt still owed on our existing iPads.

The money from the tech grant will clearly benefit West and the Jessamine County community by making the auditorium a better place.

Christmas-style pretzel M&M hugs

Cody Perez

Screenshot at Dec 15 18-08-38

Everyone loves the holidays, and what are the holidays without holiday snacks and food? Here is a sweet, simple and easy holiday snack that you can make in less than 30 min. 

Ingredients that you are going to need are:

  • 70 square pretzels (It’s better to avoid butter snaps)
  • 70 Hershey’s Hugs chocolates unwrapped (from nearly 1 full 12 oz. package)
  • 70 Mint Chocolate M&M’s.


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2.  Align pretzels on cookie sheet in a single layer then top each pretzel with one Hershey’s Hug chocolate. Bake in preheated oven for 4 – 5 minutes. Until the chocolate is shiny and soft (but NOT melting, the chocolates should still hold their shape).
  3. Remove from oven and carefully place one M&M in the center of each soft Hug and press down on the M&M to spread the chocolate.
  4. Place in refrigerator and allow to rest until chocolate has set, about 5 minutes. Store in an airtight container.

Nelson Mandela: an abridged biography

Young Koh

Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, to mother Nonqaphi Nosekeni and father Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gadla Mandela into the Madiba clan in South Africa. His father, who was a nobleman and counselor to a junior prince of the clan, died when Mandela was a child.

He was christened “Nelson” by his teacher in primary school. His experience with secondary education was, to say the least, tumultuous. He finished a B.A. degree through the University of South Africa in 1943 after being expelled from the University of Fort Hare for participating in a student protest. He began his studies for a Bachelor of Laws degree and only obtained it through the University of South Africa after his imprisonment in 1989.

Mandela joined the African National Congress in 1944, where he helped form the ANC Youth League. His involvement in the protest at Sharpsville brought him to a mass treason trial with thousands detained, where he was acquitted. In June 1961, he was asked to lead the armed struggle and helped to establish Umkhonto weSizwe (Spear of the Nation).

Under an alias, Mandela traveled to England on Jan. 11, 1962 seeking foreign support for his armed movement of protest. He then went on to Morocco and Ethiopia for military training. He returned in July of the same year and was arrested at a police roadblock soon thereafter, on Aug. 5. He was convicted of leaving the country illegally and inciting workers to strike, and was sentenced to 5 years of prison.

Mandela joined nine others in the now-famous Rivonia trial because of a police raid at a secret ANC hideout where several of his comrades were arrested. He was convicted of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island, where he began his term on June 11, 1964. Mandela’s mother passed in 1968 and his eldest son in 1969. He was unable to attend either of their funerals

Mandela was released on Feb. 11, 1990, though throughout his imprisonment, he was given at least three conditional offers of release. He was elected as the president of the ANC in 1991, and he won the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with President de Klerk. On April 27, 1994, he voted for the first time in his life. Mandela was elected president of South Africa on May 10, 1994 and stepped down in 1999 after one term as president.

In 2001, Mandela made his prostate cancer diagnosis public. He passed away on Dec. 5, 2013 at the age of 95.