The Wolf The Student News Site of Tualatin High School Thu, 05 Nov 2020 00:32:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Hacksmith brings us one step closer to the galaxy far, far away Thu, 05 Nov 2020 00:32:30 +0000 James Hobson, more commonly known as The Hacksmith, builds the first plasma-based retractable lightsaber.

Over the past few years, there has been an increasing number of attempts at building a lightsaber. Since the very beginning, James Hobson (A.K.A The Hacksmith) has been at the forefront of lightsaber building. It started with heating a titanium blade to about 3000℉ and attaching it to a handle. Now Hobson has built the first ever plasma-based retractable lightsaber.

The lightsaber uses compressed liquid propane gas, mixed with oxygen to create the plasma, which is then pushed through a large array of laminar flow nozzles to create a highly condensed beam of pure plasma.

“Even with all of our new equipment and capabilities, we’re still bound by the laws of thermodynamics,” Hobson said.

What he’s saying is that, due to the laws of thermodynamics it is currently impossible to power a lightsaber without an external battery pack. That means the lightsaber is actually more like a proto saber, which, according to Star Wars lore, is an early version of the lightsaber that featured a long cord that ran from the hilt of the saber to a battery pack that could be worn on the waist. However, Hobson’s saber required a tank of propane to be carried around at all times, so he made a backpack that housed all the fuel and electronics for the saber.

The new proto saber heats to a whopping 4000℉ and is capable of melting titanium, concrete and pretty much anything else. Unfortunately, because the blade is made of gas, there can be no lightsaber dueling and no deflection of blaster bolts. 

This is, without a doubt, the closest we’ve come to a real lightsaber and a major feat of technology. 

For the build video go here.

For the test video go here.

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Is “The Haunting of Bly Manor” a worthy sequel to “The Haunting of Hill House”? Thu, 05 Nov 2020 00:32:30 +0000 Spoiler warning for The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor


I loved The Haunting of Hill House as much as the next horror buff, so when I heard the series was being renewed for a second season, I was ecstatic! I thought that Bly Manor was going to be a terrifying follow-up to Hill House, but instead of leaving me with newfound paranoia, Bly Manor just left me as, well, a mess. And as the end credits rolled (as did my tears), I couldn’t help thinking how wrong I was. 

These two shows are fundamentally different — that much is certain. From the title card theme song to the color palette, almost everything feels brighter in Bly Manor. Personally, I found myself less afraid while watching the second season. There was less gore, fewer scary monsters and even the jump scares were far and few between. Make no mistake, Hill House is a Trojan horse; I came for the spooks and stayed for the poignant narrative about death. If I’ve learned anything about Mike Flanagan, the director, it’s that he loves to use horror as a vessel for other genres. But I believe that Bly Manor took a step beyond Hill House as it shed its outer layer. So when I watched this show, expecting to be scared stiff, I was kind of disappointed. 

As I watched Bly Manor, I realized I wasn’t afraid of the ghosts, I was afraid of becoming one. In fact, I was terrified by the idea of losing the people I love. The ghosts of Hill House were trapped by a malevolent structure for no reason, only that they were unlucky enough to trust it. As far as I know, there aren’t many haunted houses that will exploit my deepest trauma.  

Enter Bly Manor, a show about loss. I watched for nine episodes as my favorite characters, living and dead, struggled, cried and fell apart. Then I watched them as they tried to put themselves back together again. In Bly Manor, the main antagonist isn’t the house as much as it is a ghost. She was just a person who had died and refused to go. Sure, I’ll yell when there are monsters, but confronting the fact that no matter how much I love someone, I can still forget them? And they can still forget me? No thanks, Mike, I’ve had enough existential dread for one day. 

Ok, full transparency, I lied before. Bly Manor isn’t a story about loss. In fact, Bly Manor is hard to even characterize as horror. 

To quote one character, “You said it was a ghost story. It isn’t. It’s a love story.” 

I think this is the writers’ way of addressing the audience, saying, “I know this isn’t what you expected, but that’s ok. It’s a different story.” Beneath the haunted house and the vengeful ghosts, Bly Manor is a love story, and like the best love stories, it is also a tragedy. 

So to answer the question, “Is Bly Manor as good as Hill House?” Yes, yes it is, but not in the way you might think. 

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Elementary children find new adventures in virtual bookshelf Thu, 05 Nov 2020 00:32:30 +0000 During this time, people have supported each other in countless ways, from students offering free tutoring to their peers to community members volunteering at a food pantry. As someone with strong aspirations to become an elementary teacher, I realized I wanted to take up a project to benefit young children in the area and established Bucky’s Bookshelf.

Junior Kayla Wolf’s Bitmoji lounges in a bean bag chair while reading to a group of children at Bucky’s Bookshelf. The virtual bookshelf was established for elementary students over the summer and has continued to expand its titles and genres. Photo by Kayla Wolf.

I established Bucky’s Bookshelf over the summer as a way to give families access to quality literature at a time when getting out to shop for books seems nearly impossible. With libraries closed and few offering book pick ups, elementary students have limited access to books. To help support these children, I created read-aloud videos of books of different genres and cultures. I then posted them to a virtual bookshelf for elementary students to enjoy. Only one day after launching Bucky’s Bookshelf, I received several views on the read-alouds and continued to add more videos each week.

As the bookshelf expanded, I recruited more Tualatin students to join me in my efforts. One volunteer, junior Zoe Taaffe, enjoyed the impact her videos had on the children who watched them. 

“I really enjoyed being a part of the Bucky’s Bookshelf program because it allowed me the opportunity to help out the young kids affected by COVID,” Taaffe said. “By reading a story, I was able to help with learning and joy in a child’s life, which is a great feeling!”

The work of students like Taaffe has made Bucky’s Bookshelf available for children at Deer Creek and continues to excite them about literature every day. 

If you love to read and want to donate your time to take a child on a reading adventure, I invite you to join the volunteers and me at Bucky’s Bookshelf. You can contact me at if you are interested and would like more information.

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College application deadlines approach; time to get started! Thu, 05 Nov 2020 00:32:30 +0000 College application season has begun, and with COVID-19 in our midst, the process is looking quite strange. With state schools no longer requiring standardized testing scores and many colleges switching to entirely online applications, college application has never been easier! Or so one would think, if they weren’t actively applying to their dream school and wondering what to write now that the majority of our extracurriculars have been cancelled. Don’t worry, for we at The Wolf have insights to make your application process less stressful! 

  1. Don’t write about what you couldn’t do because of COVID-19. Write about what you’ve done despite COVID-19. It may seem tough, but colleges love to hear about how you’ve persevered and innovated to get past obstacles; letting them know that you have been a powerhouse throughout the pandemic is sure to catch the reader’s eye!
  2. Apply early if possible. Try to get your applications in before the due dates so they don’t look like they were written in a rush to meet a certain deadline. Starting earlier will give you more time to perfect your application rather than settling for what you have because you’ve run into the deadline.  
  3. When answering cliché questions about “how others view you,” consider going to a friend of yours and ask them to describe you, honestly, in a few words. Take their answer and interpret what those things mean about you.
  4. Really consider who should write your recommendation letters. You may get a good recommendation from a teacher that you’ve received good grades from, that’s true. However, you’re bound to get a great recommendation from the teacher that has seen you struggle in their class, but has also seen you improve as you consistently displayed effort. 
  5. Keep in contact with your counselors! They have a lot of seniors applying to college right now, so it’s important that they know where you personally are in the application process. Do they need to send in a transcript yet? To where? Don’t expect them to just do it without a request from you; it’s a collaborative effort! 
  6. Don’t type your essay answers directly into the application site; instead, write them on a separate Google Doc. Having a website crash on you without automatically saving your response is a terrible pain, and college application sites aren’t exactly known for reliable “automatic save” services. You could lose half of what you’ve written.

Everything seems scary right now, and going to college is going to be a giant transition for all of us, but by displaying effort, perseverance and innovation (alongside grammatically-correct sentences), you’re bound to end up with an application to be proud of. Good luck seniors and early graduates!

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Halloween advice for scaredy cats Thu, 05 Nov 2020 00:32:30 +0000 While the thrill of fog machines, horror movies and clown costumes makes for a very exciting Halloween, the spooky culture of the season isn’t for everyone. If you are one of those scaredy cats out there, there is good news: you don’t have to hide in your room all of Halloween because there are still ways to have fun without risking nightmares. Here are a few suggestions.

1. Watch Disney Channel’s Zombies on Disney Plus

Earning a highly impressive score of 55 percent from the audience of the film critiquing website Rotten Tomatoes, Zombies is clearly a cinematic masterpiece. Depending on your fright tolerance, even this Disney movie may be too scary for you. Still, I highly recommend it. The plot consists of cheerleaders and zombies celebrating their differences and competing in dance battles. It is suggested for ages 6 and up; however, the sight of zombies can definitely be frightening, so take my advice and don’t watch it by yourself. 

2. Carve Pumpkins

I know that many can relate to the disappointment of trick-or-treating and approaching a house only to be greeted with skeletons, spider webs or, worst of all, angry jack-o-lanterns. Those houses are a huge turn off to easily scared trick-or-treaters and should definitely reconsider their porch decorations. Don’t be one of those houses; instead, decorate with pumpkins carved with rainbows, smiley faces and butterflies. 

3. Pretend like it is Christmas

If you celebrate Christmas, this is a very good tactic for keeping away the spooky feeling in the air on Halloween night. In place of handing out ghost-shaped lollipops to trick-or-treaters, hand out candy canes. Forget the scary Halloween decorations, string Christmas lights and pump up your giant inflatable Santa to put in the middle of your lawn. Warning: Be careful with this one because there are some early-Christmas haters that will threaten you for this, even though they are getting heated over nothing because what’s the harm in spreading Christmas spirit a little early?

It is hard not to go into full survival mode during Halloween due to the sheer terror that comes with spooky season, but don’t hesitate to try any of these ideas to attempt to relax. After all, holidays are meant to be fun, so do your best to forget about that creepy doll in the attic and enjoy yourself.

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A pro’s guide to shopping Black Friday 2020 Thu, 05 Nov 2020 00:32:30 +0000 The holiday season is full of traditions, including that beloved day for shoppers: Black Friday. 

Just like almost everything else this year, Black Friday will look different in order to follow COVID-19 precautions. Instead of traditionally waking up at 5 a.m., racing to your nearest Walmart and standing in a mile-long line just to almost get into a brawl for that new flatscreen TV, most Black Friday deals will be online this year. This doesn’t mean you can’t get great deals, though! Stores such as Walmart, Target and Home Depot are switching things up and having multiple days worth of sales throughout the month of November to ensure customers get what they want instead of one-day sales.

Walmart is starting their deal days online on Nov. 4 with deals on toys, electronics and home products. These deals will be in store on  Nov. 7. On Nov. 11, they are releasing more deals online for electronics, which will be available in store three days later. Finally, on Nov. 25, the final deals on electronics, toys, gifts, apparel and seasonal items will be released online and instore on Nov. 27. 

A  benefit to these changes is many stores are extending their return policies, which allow shoppers a longer window to make returns and exchanges on their purchases. 

Along with Black Friday sales, make sure to look out for Cyber Monday sales, as well. Spend some time doing research in order to get the best deals for your holiday shopping, and maybe even splurge and buy that item on the top of your wishlist. 

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Gen Z speaks on 2020 election Thu, 05 Nov 2020 00:32:30 +0000 With the 2020 election results coming out in a few days, many adults are hoping that their votes counted. However, people under 18 were not able to vote, and therefore are watching the rest of the country decide what their future looks like. This may be one of the most important election cycles because of what is going on in the world. 

Gen Z has become one of the most politically active and open-minded generations. This election will impact us more than anyone, and therefore we should be aware and active in it. Planned Parenthood, same-sex marrige, the environment, civil rights and so much more that will be our future can be affected by this election.

“I feel like we are truly on the verge of something,” Tualatin High School junior Ryan Ehrhart said. “This is such a decisive moment in our history, and I mean that well beyond whether or not Biden wins. The next few years are going to be such a referendum on how the younger generations are going to lead this country.”

One thing that teenagers can do to make sure they are politically active is to register to vote. Anyone 16 or above can register, and it makes the person feel as if they are already making a difference. To register, you can go to the Secretary of State Online Registration site and fill out the registration form. You will need a driving permit or license. 

“I am registered to vote,” Tualatin High School senior Faith Hermann said. “I feel like [the current political climate] is very divided. [I am a] little nervous to see what the outcome of the election is.”

Tualatin High School senior Allison Johns is 18, and therefore eligible to vote in this election. She sent in her paperwork to register, but when she checked online, she was not registered and it was past the date to register and vote in this election.

“I believe it is past the deadline for voter registration, and sadly my paperwork had not yet been processed,” Johns said. “If there was any way for me to register, I would.”

Students have also made up their minds on who they would vote for. Even students that can’t vote yet have their preferences on who they would vote for this year.

“I would vote for Biden. It isn’t [an] opinion that Trump is not fit to be president of the United States,” Johns said. “[H]e does not represent the moral or political change I want to see in our country. Biden is not ideal either, but he is the only competition likely to win at this point.”

Some people say that both candidates are bad, and the phrase “the lesser of two evils” has been thrown around in many conversations about the election.

“I do absolutely support voting for Biden solely as an effort to unelect Trump,” Ehrhart said. “The stakes really are too great, and as horrible a choice this is, I have to say that the path of least progress is less terrible than the direction we are currently headed.”

Because of the effect that this election will have on the younger generations, many people are experiencing feelings of dread when it comes to the election. As teenagers who are politically active, we want to do as much as we can about the current situation, but we can’t do much yet.

“My overall feelings are anger, fear and depression,” Ehrhart continued. “This year has been so miserable politically, it feels like nothing can go right and nothing will. I really don’t have a prediction on who’s going to win. Polls tell a strong story, but they did last time, as well.”

Ehrhart is referring to the previous presidential election in 2016, during which the public polls showed Hillary Clinton ahead of Donald Trump. This year, the polls show Joseph Biden ahead of Trump, but like Ehrhart, many people do not trust the polls anymore.

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“Scary” stories for the strong-of-heart Thu, 05 Nov 2020 00:32:29 +0000 Content Warning: This story contains vulgar imagery and gore, so it’s not for the faint of heart.

Last weekend, my family was driving home from our weekly trip to our grandparents’ house, and it started pouring rain. Suddenly, a four-legged figure sprinted across the road. My dad barely swerved the car out of the way in time to save the animal, but our car skidded to a halt in the bottom of a ditch. I got out of the car and ran around the car to see that the animal we almost hit was a small dog. She was drenched with rain and mud, shivering in the spotlight of our car’s headlights. She did not have a collar, but around her ankle was a tag from Build-A-Bear. The only conclusion I could come to was that this dog was owned by someone who worked there. I quickly decided we couldn’t just leave her there, so I opened our trunk and coaxed the dog into the back of our car.

Later that night, my parents and brother decided to get takeout from ¿Por Qué No?, but I had to finish my newspaper article, so I decided to stay home with Ruthie (the name we temporarily gave the dog). I settled down to watch the horror movie, Hubie Halloween, on the couch while Ruthie roamed nearby. When I was watching the movie, during the scary parts I cuddled close to Ruthie for comfort and stroked her fur. It felt kind of strange; it felt straw-like and not soft and natural like normal dog fur. Every so often, I would glance over at Ruthie to see that she was staring straight at me. Her eyes were bead-like with tiny slits and they never stopped looking at me. Suddenly, I looked over at Ruthie and it was almost like her skin was falling off of her body. Something started moving around inside of her skin and then a zipper on her back popped up and a small paw started to unzip itself from inside the skin of what I thought was a dog. The creature dropped into a heap on the floor, and out crawled a tiny, hairless cat. I screamed as the cat hissed and the last thing I saw before I passed out was a wrinkly sack of skin jump at my eyes.

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Halloween films to spook up the season Thu, 05 Nov 2020 00:32:29 +0000 The Wolf has put together a guide for those who preferred to spend their Halloween weekend at home this year. We recommend the following movies to be included in your movie marathon!

The Shining – 1980 ★★★★★ (4.5 stars)

The Shining is a thrilling story originally written by author Stephan King. Director Stanley Kubrick’s take on the story will leave you wanting more! The Shining is a perfect film to watch during the Spooky Season.


Hocus Pocus – 1993 ★★★★★ (5 stars)

A family-friendly movie to watch this Halloween! This classic movie is directed by Kenny Ortega — who also directed the High School Musical trilogy! If you’d like a story of best friends, witches and a magical cat, then Hocus Pocus is for you. 


The Nightmare Before Christmas – 1993 ★★★★ (4 stars)

This original-animated film is perfect for those of all ages to watch during this Halloween season. Henry Selick, who also created the stop-motion production Coraline in 2009, provides a movie you’ll want to watch on repeat!


The Blair Witch Project– 1999            ★★★ (3.5 stars) 

If you like scary but realistic movies, this film is for you! This thriller witch hunt will have you at the edge of your seat the whole time. I would recommend keeping a flashlight nearby. 


Halloweentown– 1998 ★★★★★ (5 stars)

Halloweentown is a must-see for all ages. It’s a great mix of magic and adventure, so whether you’re watching your siblings on Halloween or hanging out with friends, this film is perfect for you! 


Beetlejuice– 1988 ★★★★ (4 stars)

Whimsical and unique, Beetlejuice is the perfect solution if you’re looking to spice up your movie choices! With a new outlook on life and death, it does a good job of cornering all aspects of a solid Halloween film.


Ghostbusters– 1984 ★★★★ (4 stars)

A classic series containing three movies thus far and one expected to be released in 2021. Stick to the first two if you’re wanting an ‘80s classic. Although a bit slow at first, the plot eventually reaches a paranormal level of excitement!


Hubie Halloween– 2020 ★★★ (3 stars)

Starring its co-writer, Adam Sandler, Hubie Halloween is a comedy and mystery wrapped into one. Featuring an easily recognizable cast, the movie is good for those who’d rather not have nightmares and can take its odd sense of humor.


Corpse Bride– 2005 ★★★★ (4 stars)

Corpse Bride is a fun alternative to a typical Halloween movie. Tim Burton impresses yet again with this clever stop-motion animation. This seemingly dark yet surprisingly funny and witty movie is a nice change of pace.

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Russian hackers commit international cyber attacks Thu, 05 Nov 2020 00:32:29 +0000 According to recent reports from many news sources, the Russian are committing cyber attacks internationally, but who are the ones responsible for the attacks directly? 

Six Glavnoye Razvedyvatelnoye Upravlenie (aka GRU) officers are being charged with seven crimes, including conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. The GRU is the main intelligence agency for the Russian military. Unlike the Federal Security Service (FSB), who report directly to the Russian president, the GRU reports to the Minister of Defense in Russia and the Chief of General Staff, who is the highest ranking officer of the Russian armed forces.

The six Russian military officers wanted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) are Yuriy Sergeyevich Andrienko, Sergey Vladimirovich Detistov, Pavel Valeryevich Frolov, Anatoliy Sergeyevich Kovalev, Artem Valeryevich Ochichenko and Petr Nikolayevich Pliskin. Andrienko is being charged with having a hand in developing components of the NotPetya, a malware that targets Windows-based systems, and Olympic Destroyer malware. So are Frolov, Pliskin and Detistov. FrolovPavel is accused of having a hand in KillDisk, another malware program.  Detistov, along with Kovalev and Ochichenko, are accused of developing spear phishing techniques and messages targeting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. Spear phishing is  a way of stealing information through email or other electronic communications.

The thing is, how can they be taken to trial if they are in Russia. Well, they can’t unless the Russian government gives them up because the U.S. doesn’t have an extradition agreement with Russia. So, as of now, the U.S government can’t do anything about them other than apply pressure and negotiate. There is also evidence that Russia isn’t the only country involved; there is also evidence of hacking that points to both Iran and China. China has attacked non-campaign emails of high profile people in Biden’s campaign, while Iran has gone after personal and work accounts of staff and administration officials under the Trump campaign, according to Microsoft reports.

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