Monday, June 12, 2017

Local Ideas For A Fun Summer

Written by: Brandon Drapeau 

There is a week left of school and summer is right around the corner. One of my biggest problems is that I am so excited for the summer, but when it comes around I always end up home never knowing what to do with myself. So now I am taking time to think of things to do this summer and sharing them with my peers, these are not in any specific order.

1. Go Bowling!


Lucky for us, we have a perfectly well-functioning bowling alley right in the town center. You can go with some friends, bowl, a game, and maybe grab some dinner at one of the many surrounding restaurants.

2. Play Spikeball!

The best way I can describe what Spikeball is, is that it is 2 versus 2 volleyball condensed down onto a trampoline. In volleyball, you hit the ball over the net, but in Spikeball you bounce the ball off the trampoline. The twist is, you can hit the ball in any direction, so make sure you rotate with your partner to keep the ball alive. There are many beaches around Sparta, so finding a place to play will not be hard. Last year, me and 3 pals played on the beach for 6 hours and I ended up getting horrible sun burn, but it was well worth it.

3. Go To The Boardwalk/Playground!


While this may seem boring, believe it or not, spending a day at the boardwalk can be a lot of fun because you may see a lot of people you know and they have a pizza and ice cream locations within 100 feet of each other. Chances are, you have probably already done this so it's nothing new to you, but it's always a hit.

4. Go Down The Shore!


Yes, I know most of you reading this can’t just go to the shore, they have to plan it and mostly likely stay somewhere with a parent, but it is very fun and something to spend time at during your summer (and it’s also a great place to play a competitive game of spikeball.)

5. Go To Mountain Creek!


Last year I bought a season pass to Mountain Creek and I didn’t use it as much as I should’ve. It has a lot of fun water rides and very large wave pool to cool off. My most favorite thing to do was the cliff jump. It’s very thrilling, but with our next option, there is a free version of this.

6. Go Bridge Jumping!


I AM NOT TELLING YOU TO DO THIS! I am just shedding light on a possible activity you can participate in, if you so choose. The bridge is about 15 feet above the water and is so much fun to jump off and land in the refreshing lake, not that I have tried it or anything! You can climb up the side of the bridge and do it for hours... if you don’t get caught. Be careful if you do choose to do this, and again, I am not telling you to if you get caught by the security or boat police.


This is a short and simple list of things I thought you could use to make your summer a little bit more fun. During the summer, have fun, and enjoy yourself, and make sure to apply sunblock. Can’t wait till next school year where I will write about what I did over the summer!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The True Diary of Freshman Year

Written by: Kanita Tariq 

I’ll be honest- freshman year was hard. 

Whether it was the boatload of assignments I put off until the last possible minute, or the uncertainty of who I could or couldn’t trust, my freshman year was a big learning experience for the next three years of high school. 

I was excited about starting high school. Finally- I was a grown-up. I felt independent, smarter, and a whole lot cooler. My whole life, I’d watch high schoolers on T.V. looking so cool as they smoothly navigated their way through, with an army of friends and supporters behind them. 

This was not my reality. In the real world, I had to deal with deadlines, quarterlies, as well as the struggle of maintaining a social life in between. I was tossed into the realm of Google and its helpful resources, along with a string of technical difficulties that often outweighed the good. I attempted to push away the horrific reminders of final exams, which is not something I can forget about anymore. 

I thought I could steer clear of the drama that came along with the transition of high school. As frivolous as my issues seemed, they meant the entire world to me. People changed. I changed. With a hectic end to the year, I found myself saying goodbye to some old friends. That doesn’t mean anyone’s a villain- it just means that some relationships aren’t meant to make it past middle school. 

It wasn’t all as gloomy as I’m making it seem. I solidified some old friendships, made new ones, and maintained good grades (for now… fourth marking period isn’t over yet!). I met some teachers that changed my life forever. 

The biggest takeaway was that I learned. Not just about the makeup of an organism or Napoleon’s rise to power, but about how to treat people, how to make a difference in the world, and how to be the best person I could ever possibly be. So while I cringe at the thought of setting my alarm for 5:30 A.M. every morning for another three years, or the big, bad final exams I have to face in just a few weeks, I can rest with the thought that I can walk away with a better heart and a better mind.



Monday, May 8, 2017

Wonder and Myth of NJ, From Garden State Outsiders


Written by: Will Nichols 



If there's one thing that will physically put growing hair on your chest, or make you cringe, is the fact that people outside of New Jersey believe things that are not true.


Myth #1: New Jersey is a dump, all urban, and all factory! Wrong. If you fly into New Jersey, you fly into Newark Airport, and you see Newark. All you do, is travel I-95, or transfer flights, and you don’t see anything else.You see the concrete tar,  trash and industrialization of this city. Unfortunate assumption? Yes, it’s an embarrassment to us.
However go north into Sussex County, and this is what you find!KIMG0006.jpg Lake Mohawk


This is what you see in Northern New Jersey. Scenery you won’t forget. Just so I can show you multiple sides of the spectrum, let me show you the south. KIMG0095.jpg
Sea Girt, New Jersey





From the Jersey Shore to Sussex County you can’t deny we are the Garden State for a reason, and if anyone says otherwise, give them a ride, and let them see for themselves, and watch their eyes get fully dilated, because it was unexpected!


#2. Jersey Shore(The Show) reflects how we act! Absolutely not! Jersey shore consists of a bunch of people who do not resemble our morals, faith and professional personality. I remember people being surprised I was from New Jersey because I was so kind, and it just led me to think how little they actually know about the state. We come from such a diverse culture, and are widespread, yet we are a close family, and bend over backwards to get the job done for our relatives and friends. Sparta alone are filled with several religions, sport teams, occupations, and people who have a purpose to help the society. We have the most realistic people around us who come from several different backgrounds.  At the end of the day, we all work together to forget our differences. The show Jersey Shore is the most pathetic example of who we are. If you can teach people something away from New Jersey it’s two things:


  1. We are the Garden State, and not every town in New Jersey is urban like Newark.
  2. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Just because Snooki is, doesn’t mean we are.


I rest my case.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Politicalization of Science





Written by: Sean Hannon
Our current political climate is extremely tense, with massive amounts of misinformation being released to the public by both the left and the right wing. Both ideologies claim that their own ideas are correct and all the others are made up or flawed. Politics clearly isn't a place for objective truth, which lead me to assume that the 2017 March for Science will be a non-partisan protest. Simply looking at social media sites and left leaning outlets I knew I was wrong, the pictures of the science march being about race, gender, immigration, and other non-science related issues was a huge eye opener for me. There I discovered the disturbing politicization of science - why are two total separate fields suddenly in the same melting pot?
To start, we need to address the Science March. It may seem like a relatively scientific event after some Google searches, but when you dig in deeper to the event, you unravel its liberal stance. Granted, you could argue that the plethora of anti-Trump signs where justified due to his stance on climate change, but there is no feasible reason for the race, gender, and immigration signs I mentioned earlier at this event in particular. Those signs are simply partisan talking points and when associated with science, hurts sciences credibility to Centrists and Republicans.

Of course, these are the acts of individuals and we can't paint the whole organization as partisan because of a few outliers. To see if the organizers are partisan you would have to get a direct connection to them, which makes their Twitter account a great source of information.
















I personally find these 2 tweets from the verified account most interesting. The first one is referring the United States Air Force dropping the so called ”mother of all bombs" in Afghanistan. Not only is it a horrible thing to do, but has nothing to do with science in any way.
The second tweet honestly baffles me. At least this tweet had something to do with science, but if you read the tweet it implies a negative connotation about science. This sounds exactly what some fanatic traditionalist would say to stop scientific progress. Even then, it would still be a condescending tweet towards a statement arguably taken out of context by Sean Spicer.
Finally, there's a tweet by a different March for Science account that showcases a staple leftist tactic, Identity Politics. Identity Politics is marketing a political ideology towards a specific group of people(for the Democrats, minorities and women). Otherwise the claim that colonization, racism, immigration, etc are scientific issues is objectively wrong, so the only message they sent was “we are good people because we care for others” instead of digging into the true manner they claim to advocate for: science. This is akin to a politician using kids in his campaign to look like a nice person.
Any Republican or science skeptic who sees these non-scientific tweets may lose faith in science as a medium, which will hurt us all, considering that climate change is a pressing issue that many still deny. These idiotic tweets are just going to reaffirm their beliefs that climate change is leftist propaganda, and has no base in reality. With leaders like Bill Nye selling out to non-facts, the climate change argument is in more danger than ever.

Friday, April 28, 2017

New Exoplanet is Biggest Probable Host for Extraterrestrial Life

Image result for LHS 1140b

We might not be as alone in the universe as we thought.

Recently, a new exoplanet named LHS 1140b was discovered only 40 light years from Earth in the constellation of Cetus. It has been classified as a “Super Earth,” or a larger and more massive planet than ours, orbiting within the habitable zone of a red dwarf star solar system.

Here are the exoplanet’s stats: 18,000 km in diameter (1.4 times larger than Earth’s), at least 5 billion years old, and a density 7 times greater than Earth’s, making scientists suspect the planet to be mostly rocky with a dense iron core.

The main cause for excitement is that the planet is within its system’s habitable zone. While LHS 1140b orbits 10 times closer to its sun when compared to Earth, it receives only half of the sunlight Earth gets due to the red dwarf’s faintness, making most scientists declaring it a worthy candidate to host life.

The B.B.C.’s Sky at Night Magazine had a chance to talk to Xavier Delfosse and Xavier Bonfils, who worked with the CNRS and IPAG in Grenoble, France, and they had this to say about this amazing discovery, “The LHS 1140 system might prove to be an even more important target for the future characterization of planets in the habitable zone than Proxima b or TRAPPIST-1. This has been a remarkable year for exoplanet discoveries!”

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Floating Cities May One Day be the Birthplace of New and Experimental Government


Image result for seasteading institute
Over the course of the election and of President Trump’s time in office, have you ever wondered, “Man! Isn’t there any way to reform the entire government and shift it into a new structure without having to deal with all of the laws and pesky politicians who can’t agree on anything?”


No? Just me?


Well, thought of it or not, the idea of experimenting with government is one of the main bases of the Seasteading Institute, who have, over the course of a few years, displayed their idea of allowing people to experiment with the idea of governmental policy as they live on floating cities.


An artist’s renditioning of a floating city (Source: wired.com)


The reason for these floating cities to be, well... floating, is because as the Institute’s website states, “At The Seasteading Institute, we believe that experiments are the source of all progress: to find something better, you have to try something new. But right now, there is no open space for experimenting with new societies. That’s why we work to enable seasteading communities — floating cities — which will allow the next generation of pioneers to peacefully test new ideas for how to live together.” (Source: https://www.seasteading.org/about/)


By creating and experimenting with these new societies on the sea, breakthroughs in agriculture, sustainable energy, health care, and medical research are now more possible than ever before. Their websites claims, “Our goal is to maximize entrepreneurial freedom to create blue jobs to welcome anyone to the Next New World.” (Source: https://www.seasteading.org/about/)


Sound like fun? Ready to pack your bags and take to the sea? It’s best that you hurry, because these floating cities may appear sooner than you think!


In San Francisco, on January 13, 2017, the government of French Polynesia signed an agreement with the Seasteaders that allowed development of the floating island project within their country.  Randolph Hencken, Executive Director of the Seasteading Institute, had this to say about the historic occasion, ““The Seasteading Institute and the government of French Polynesia will draw from the best practices of more than 4000 existing Special Economic Zones around the world to create a ‘Special Economic SeaZone’. The SeaZone will combine the advantages of French Polynesia’s geopolitical location with unique regulatory opportunities specifically designed to attract investors.”  (Source: https://www.seasteading.org/2017/01/government-french-polynesia-signs-agreement-seasteaders-floating-island-project/)


An artist renditioning of what French Polynesia’s floating cities will look like (Source: maritime-executive.com)

With this first step, French Polynesia may become the leading country in Seasteading, and influence country's across the globe to invest in the project as well. So, whenever you think that our government will never leave its conflictual state, you’ll be relaxed to know that it’ll so be possible to find a resolution literally floating by.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Men in Pinstripes

Written by: Brandon Drapeau 


In the New York Yankees' last ten games, they have been victorious in nine, sweeping the Rays and the Cardinals in the process. They would have won ten straight if it weren't for Tuesday evening's game against the White Sox, where the Yanks lost 4-1. Many of these wins wouldn’t be possible if it wasn't for incredible performances by Aaron Judge, with eleven hits (five of them being home runs) tallying eleven RBI’s. Also on the big performers list is Starlin Castro coming up big with a three-run home run last night to add to his RBI’s, giving him nine in the last ten games and solidifying the chance for a comeback in the game against the White Sox.
With lots of young talent on this team, some may say the Yankees can clinch their 28th ring this year. If 6-foot-7-inch Aaron Judge keeps blasting home runs, and the Yankees core starters keep throwing the way they have been, we might see Joe Girardi have to assign number 29 as his jersey number next season.

Scores from last ten games:
@ Baltimore: W 7-3
Tampa: W 1-8
Tampa: W 4-8
Tampa: W 2-3
St. Louise: W 3-4
St. Louise: W 2-3
St. Louise: W 3-9
Chicago: W 4-7
Chicago: L 4-1
Chicago: W 1-9



Editor's Note: This article was written during spring break, on April 20th. We are just getting the chance to get caught up with The Oracle as of now, 4/26, leading information to be delayed - the NY Yankees have since played more games. We will be posting future articles in a more timely manner.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Couch Potatoes Unite!

Written by: Lauren Groff

Looking for a new TV show? With all of the stress of constant schoolwork and extracurriculars, any Sparta student can tell you that free time to watch their favorite TV series has become sacred. Every moment you spend watching your favorite shows between homework should be spent watching something you actually enjoy and are interested in, right? As most of us have learned the hard way, the show that your peers are raving about may not always be of your interest. Here are a few suggestions based on your interests to avoid wasting time watching the wrong flicks.

If you are a sports fan.... Friday Night Lights
Image result for friday night lights
Enjoy this NBC tv series, following the lives of highschool football players and their families thriving in their small, football-crazed Texas hometown. This show is honest, entertaining, and illustrates the important lessons every teen learns throughout their lifetime.

If Sci-Fi excites you… Stranger Things
Image result for stranger things
Chances are you've most likely heard about this one… but because it's such a good show, I'm here to tell you once again. Stranger Things, produced by the Duffer Brothers takes a unique spin on every classic 80's movie while uncovering an extremely dark and disturbing government secret. I must admit, I was never a sci-fi fan until I began watching this series, and I immediately fell in love with it!

If you like comedy… Parks and Recreation
Image result for parks and rec
This NBC sticom starring Amy Poehler revolves around Poehler`s hilarious character, Leslie Knope, and her determination to beautify her town. Filled with lighthearted banter that is sure to make you grin, Parks and Recreation is the perfect show to take a break with at the end of the day.


If you`re into fashion… Gossip Girl
Image result for gossip girl
Gossip Girl follows the lives of the children of the ridiculously wealthy Upper East-Side NYC tycoons. With their parents often away on important business ventures, the kids rule the scene with their high-fashion outfits and outrageous parties throughout the city. The costume budget for this show was particularly high, and every outfit is immaculate on Serena Van DerWoodsen (Blake Lively) and her best friend, Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester). If you enjoy the fashion industry, Gossip Girl is the perfect place to get some inspiration!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Family is Furever.

Written by: the entire staff at The Oracle

    On Monday evening, Sparta High suffered the scare of an accident endured by two of the dearest members to the Spartan family. Our therapy dogs, who graciously entered the halls of SHS in 2014 and then in 2016 were the victims of a horrible accident. Franc, our older member was struck by a vehicle and passed, while Stanley was left in critical condition. Unfortunately, the driver of the vehicle continued on in the road, leaving our two friends and our hearts suffering.

    Franc and Stanley brightened the faces of everyone, whether we visited them when we felt under the weather or when they escaped their humble abode and ran through our soccer game in gym class. The pups even attended freshman orientation to greet incoming students and make them feel welcome in their new school. No words can even describe the devastation of this situation. At only three years old, Franc was taken from Sparta High way too soon. Co-op student Lenny Fontes who works in the guidance office said, “Franc and Stanley have done so much for the students of Sparta High School. They were always there for anyone who needed them and they never failed to provide the students with a countless amount of laughs, memories, and love. They were a big part of this school and Franc will be missed dearly, hopefully Stanley can be back on the job as soon as next week.” Whether students suffer serious emotional troubles or just needed a pick-me-up, the therapy dogs are waiting with friendly faces and a gentle disposition in the guidance office to make anyone feel better. Any Spartan could tell you that the therapy dogs brighten their day at least once during their time at Sparta High School. Now that one is gone and the other suffering, a hole lies where they used to be, and a light has gone out in students’ lives. On Tuesday night, Instagram and other social media sites were flooded with pictures of the pups, for they have made an impact on so many of us. Franc and Stanley have made a lasting impact on the SHS community, and Franc will most definitely never be forgotten.

We surely marveled at the idea of getting yet another therapy dog this year, and our wishes were fulfilled. Stanley underwent surgery and the student body is sending their best wishes in hopes of a speedy recovery. Stanley suffered a damaged tear duct and may not have vision in his left eye, but he can structure cognitively.

    Ms.Konwiser, we cannot thank you enough for being a mother to the two pups and giving them a huge family, the students of SHS. Thank you for going through training to make them appropriate to be certified therapy dogs.Thank you for showing them love and making them excited to come to work everyday. Ms.Konwiser has done a great deed bringing these dogs into the Sparta High School family, for they have gone on to become some of the school’s most iconic members. They will go down in history as fighters of stress and fountains of happiness.




Thank you to Mrs.Graham's photography classes for the wonderful photos of Franc. Credit to Noelle Vallario and Billy L.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Top NYC Hot Spots for Foodies!

Written by: Mallory Collins

Planning to spend a day in the (notorious BIG) city soon? New York is always a good idea for a weekend getaway away from home, yet so close to home! You’re sure to get hungry with all that walking around so why not hit up one of these famous and fun spots.


  1. Serendipity 3 (225 E 60th St)
Loved by all (even Kim and Kayne) this nostalgic café is known for their famous Frozen Hot chocolate!
Image result for serendipity nyc frozen hot chocolate


  1. Tiny’s ( 135 W Broadway )
Need some Instagram inspiration? Then take a giant leap over to Tiny’s!
Related image   Image result for tiny's nyc
  1. The Butcher’s Daughter (581 Hudson St)
Known for their amazing vegetarian options, healthy juices, and relaxing atmosphere, this place is the perfect spot to spend your spring days!
Image result for the butcher's daughter west village   Image result for the butcher's daughter west village
  1. Ralphs Coffee (711 5th Ave… Second Floor)
Love Ralph Lauren? Then you’ll love his coffee shop just as much!
 Image result for ralph's coffee shopImage result for ralph's coffee shop

  1. DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections (550 LaGuardia Pl)
You know how your mom always yells at you for eating the cookie dough? At Cookie Dough Confections you can eat as much of it as you want without ever getting in trouble!
Image result for cookie do nyc    Image result for cookie do nyc
  1. Taiyaki NYC (119 Baxter St)
Want your ice-cream in the cutest cone imaginable? Head on over to Taiyaki for their famous fish shaped waffle cones!
Image result for Taiyaki NYCImage result for Taiyaki NYC


  1. Ladurée (864 Madison Ave and 398 W Broadway)
Ever wonder what it’s like to be Blair Waldorf? Well now you can! With their delicious macarons, tea, and other deserts you are bound to feel like a real Upper East Sider!
Image result for laduree nyc gardenImage result for laduree nyc box


  1. Milk Bar Midtown (15 W 56th St)
Too young to go to a real bar? Then try the Milk Bar for their one of a kind deserts!
Image result for milk cafe nyc   Image result for momofuku milk bar


  1. Cupcake ATM (780 Lexington Ave)
Low on cash? Need a sugar fix?.... then hit up the cupcake ATM!
Image result for sprinkles atm nyc       Image result for sprinkles atm nyc
  1. Housing Works Bookstore Café (26 Crosby St)
      This is the perfect spot to relax with a book while enjoying delicious treats and drinks!
           Image result for bookstore cafe nyc Image result for bookstore cafe nyc