Stuff YOU Should Know

Posted by on Aug 11, 2022 in Stuff You Should Know

Welcome Back to School!

For many students, August means going back to school. Here are some tips for starting the new school year off right, before you ever even set foot in the classroom! 

Communicate with your teachers. Don’t be afraid to reach out in advance to introduce yourself.  Getting to know your teacher and letting them know you better will improve your communication throughout the rest of the school year. 

Get organized! This could mean creating a quiet, distraction-free workspace at home. Or maybe you need to ensure that you have all the supplies and materials you need. Purchase a planner or calendar, and use it to mark school events, extracurricular activities, and social commitments. If you can, practice walking your daily schedule. Finding your locker in advance and knowing where your classrooms are can reduce stress. 

Establish a routine. Start by waking up earlier a few days before school starts, to get your body used to a new schedule. If you have been staying up later than usual during the summer, get back into the habit of going to bed on time. Figure out your best times each evening for homework and studying, and mark that in your planner as well. 

Check in with friends. Going back to school can feel much less overwhelming if you will have friendly faces to greet you there. Are there friends you lost touch with over the summer? If so, send them a message now to say hello. At the same time, try talking to at least one new person in each of your classes, to add new friends to your old ones.  

What Do You Think? What are you most looking forward to in the new school year?

Senate Passes Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

On August 7, 2022, after a marathon voting session lasting nearly sixteen hours, the Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. It passed by one vote. All fifty Democrats voted for it, and all fifty Republicans voting against it. Vice President Kamala Harris passed the tie-breaking vote for the Democrats  

The bill addresses three key issues: climate, health, and taxes. It calls for a $369.75 billion investment in clean energy programs and domestic energy production. It sets a goal of cutting carbon emissions by about forty percent by 2030. This is the largest investment that the U.S. government has ever made to fight climate change. The Inflation Reduction Act will also continue some of the changes made to the Affordable Care Act during the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal here is to lower prescription drug costs for Medicare users. 

Where will the money to fund this bill come from? Democrats say that additional taxes on those who make more than $400,000 per year as well as taxes on corporations that make more than $1 billion per year will generate enough money to fund the Inflation Reduction Act. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this legislation will reduce the federal deficit by $102 billion over the next decade. 

After passing the Senate, the bill moves to the House of Representatives. A vote is expected to take place when the House returns from its summer recess this week. 

What Do You Think? Do Democrats or Republicans control the House? Based on this information, and what you’ve read above, do you think the Inflation Reduction Act will pass the House of Representatives? 

Ship of Wonders

In 1656, a Spanish ship filled with treasure collided with another boat and sank in a coral reef off the coast of the Bahamas. About six hundred people on board died. The ship was named the Nuestra Senora de las Maravillas (Our Lady of Wonders). It carried an unusual amount of jewels, coins, gems, and other treasures. Some of the items were a royal tax for King Philip IV of Spain, and the rest were private property.  

a school of fish swim around an underwater shipwreck.
More historic treasure was recently discovered off the coast of the Bahamas.

Most of that treasure has already been retrieved from the bottom of the ocean. But in 2020, the Allen Exploration began a two-year expedition to bring up even more objects that reveal more about what life was like on board the ship. The expedition used sonar and magnetometers to locate debris along an eight-mile area of the ocean floor. The equipment located personal belongings of the crew and passengers, such as ceramics and food storage jars, clothing, tobacco pipes, wine bottles and more. This material provides an important look at what life was like during the “Golden Age” of Spain. There are also silver and gold coins, jewels, and a 75-pound silver bar. 

The objects will be on display beginning this month at the new Bahamas Maritime Museum in Freeport.  

Dig Deeper The expedition used technology such as sonar and magnetometers to locate items from the sunken ship on the ocean floor. How does this equipment work? Use Internet resources to learn more and write a short paragraph about what you find.