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SENTINEL TRIBUNE EDUCATION Wednesday, January 30, 2013 Page 7 I COLLEGE NEWS The Wisdom of the Ages Aged Is 79 the new 20? Intensity! This past week was another filled with academic, sporting, and fine arts challenges. Emotions ran the gamut from exhaustion to joy with slices of disappointment, compas- sion and every other possibility in between. There seems to be a thousand things a minutes happening in most of our lives. For most high school students, this whirlwind of activity and experience is magnified by their youth and their relative new- ness to the planet. Not so long ago a person of fifteen or sixteen was near the end of their expected life while now they have barely looked over the first hill. Two thousand years ago the average lifespan was about 20 years. By 1796 it edged up to near 24 years. It doubled to 48 years by 1896 when Laura Ingalls turned 29. Today the world average life expectancy is about 63 years with men in the U.S. hanging around 'til about 72 and women staying to tidy up 'til age 79. Scientists are not all sure why this difference exist but we know... There is often the sense that high school is all there is. For some this is depressing and for others it becomes the end of their growth as if they were living 2000 years ago. We are stuck in the year 12 AD rushing as if we or the world had only a few years left. With the emphasis placed on the importance of doing well and getting the diploma and being in the right activities, we are in such a hurry to do all and get all and be all that we become caught in "la vida loca" (the crazy life) or for us older folks ... we become the grasshopper in Aesop Fable of the Ant and the Grasshopper. The balance between work and play and between setting long-term goals and enjoy- ing the events of the moment is an ever, greater challenge. In 12 AD, if my dad made wheels or baked bread that was most likely what I did as did his father before him. Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that people in their 40's and 50's have held roughly eleven different jobs so far ... I nod yes but not that it is always a bad thing. Most of the experi- ences I have had, I did not imagine at age fifteen though much of the basics were in place. It can be quite amazing. High school is not who you are but is a training ground and an experiment for who you want to be. The evolution of who you are and what jobs you will do repeats some times once or twice and sometimes a dozen or more times. The world keeps on turning. How will you grow and prosper if you are not able to navigate its ever, changing landscape? Simply put as my grandma used to say, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket". Quade received col- lege degree Austin Quade, Westbrook participated in the North Dakota State University, Fargo, 2012 Fall graduation. Quade received a BSME degree in Mechanical Engineering. Fall graduates at South Central College Local Students Graduate Fall Semester from South Central College Faribault and North Mankato, MN. The Vice President of Academic Affairs for South Central College, Dr. Nancy Genelin, has recently released the names of the 2012 Fall Semester gradu- ates of South Central College. The semester ended on December 19, 2012. Fall graduates will be invited to participate in South Central College's offi- cial commencement activi- ties to be held in May. Among the graduates was Kyle West, Walnut Grove, N Mankato, diploma, Agribusiness Production. Ridgewater College announces Fall Semester 2012 Dean's List Ridgewater College would like to acknowledge those students earning recog- nition on the Dean's lists for fall semester 2012. In order to be included on the Dean's list a student must maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or higher and be enrolled in at least twelve credits, and meet certain other criteria. Area students included on the list are: Eli Herding and David McClellan, Westbrook N G High School second quarter honor roll A Honor Roll Dallenbach, Paige Erickson, Grade 7: Miranda Darian Gilb, Stephpanie Ankrum, Addison Beaty, Gundermann, Logan Jordyn Berg, Abraham Her, Hotzler, Taylor Lindaman, Mariah Soleta, Regan Dana Madson, Hailey Truedson, Xeng Vang, Lina Osland, Megan Yang Vue, Simba Xiong B Honor Roll Grade 8: CalleAnderson, Grade 7: Lincoln Megan DeSmith, Cassidy Anderson, Matthew Burns, Mischke, MaKenna Takle, Matthew Deprez, Kyle Pahnia Vue Kuehl, Thomas Lindstrom, Grade 9: Nicholas Berg, Theresa Merrick, Anthony Tessa Busswitz, Morgan ross, Kevin Sanchez, Lance Dennistoun, Abby Herding, Swenhaugen, Kelly Mariah Olson, Jacob Otto, Truedson, KennaWah|, Lue Juliana Pederson Yang, Paul Yang Grade 10: Payton Grade 8: Danton Determan, Sawyer Anderson, Stacy Hanson, Helgeson, Zuag Paj Her, Beau Herding, Jack Kaylee Mischke, Elizabeth Jorgenson, Matthew Woelber Kleven, Beth Nelson, Grade 11 : Tyson Berg, Soulee Vue, Emma Woelber, Alexander Burns, Alexa Yer Xiong, Lawnerce Byers, Dayna Comnick, Zimmerman Trey Kockeiman, Matthew Grade 9: Brennon Otto, Pakou Vue, Steven Cooley, Mc Kenzie Deprez, Yang Kenji Hang, cole Olson, Grade 12: Reed Bakken, Brandon Pacholl, Ashton Nathan Byers, Megan Quade, Meng Vang Grade 10: Brandon Baisavage, Tarynn Dailenbach, Kaylan Glenn, Lena Her, Sophie Horkey, Markette Hubin, Mitchell Jarmer, Madeline Johnson, Tyler Schoborg, Sheng thao Fa Vue, Bee Xiong, Kao Xiong, Seng Xiong, Xue Yang Grade 11 : Dylan Anderson, Steffanie Ankrum, Andrew Benson, Shane Buchman, Levi Bunting, Eli Gundermann, Affiny Her, Smiley Her, Zua Her, Jordaan Joel, Auston Olson, Andrew Pederson, Madison Takle, Ashley Taylor, Si Vue, Brody Williams, Jimmy woelber, Mai Her Xiong, Tey Xiong, Benzie Yang Grade 12: Aaron Hass, Madelyne Hemp, Cha Her, Kylee Jenniges, Kelsi Long- Wahl, Andrew Merrick, Hunter Priegnitz, Vang Vue, Yuepan Vue, John Yang Weekly Science Quiz by Douglas Clark Dark Lightning The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is an Earth- orbiting space observatory that is being used to perform high-energy gamma-ray astronomy. Launched in June of 2008, this telescope is probing the cosmos for gamma rays and high-energy events. And while it is find- ing many sources for these events, such as supernova explosions and distant, supermassive black holes from other galaxies, it has also found an unlikely source closer to home. In 2009, the telescope was hit by a stream of high-ener- gy positrons--the antimatter version of electrons---com- ing from a thunderstorm on Earth. I00 trillion positrons had been funneled into a tight pulse by the Earth's magnetic field and hurled straight to the observatory at nearly the speed of light. To put that number into perspec- tive, it's more than what hits the Earth's atmosphere from all other cosmic sources combined. Somehow, anti- matter had been produced in the clouds above Earth and the best theory we have to explain it is dark lightning. Earth-orbiting satellites have been observing terres- trial gamma ray flashes (TGFs) from thunderstorms as far back as 1994. And it is also known that gamma-rays at the right energy can pro- duce electron/positron pairs. Normal lightning occurs when unbalanced electrostat- ic charges in the atmosphere trigger a massive discharge between a cloud and the ground or between two clouds. A light flash traces the path of the charged parti- cles which heat the air to 30,000C, nearly six times hotter than the surface of the Sun. Dark lighting may seem crazy, but there is mounting evidence that it's real. Like ordinary lightning, dark lightning also tries to neutral- ize the unbalanced electric fields in a thunderstorm. Under the right conditions, the thunderstorm creates a powerful avalanche of elec- trons shooting away from Earth at nearly the speed of light. The electrons collide with air molecules in the atmosphere to produce gamma rays. Next, the gamma ray energy trans- forms into electron/positron particle pairs. Further colli- sions between these particles and other air molecules cre- ates a repeating cycle--a self-generating, self-sustain- ing particle accelerator. Once the loop gets started, it can discharge the thundercloud as fast as lightning. And because the cascading elec- trons and positrons generate more gamma rays than visi- ble light, the process is prac- tically invisible to the human eye. Researchers once thought the gamma ray flashes from thunderstorms were a weird by-product of ordinary light- ning. Now many think it is dark lightning instead. The gamma ray burst monitor onboard the Fermi Gamma- ray Space Telescope is per- fectly suited to record these flashes and new data pro- cessing techniques have improved the burst monitor's performance. In mid-2010, a testing a mode was initiated which allows for the detec- tion of faint gamma ray flashes that had previously gone undetected. Now Fermi should be able to catch near- ly 1,000 flashes each year. With an abundance of new data, researches hope to gain new insights on the mysteries of dark lightning. 1) True or false: TGFs originate from the Sun. 2) Lightning heats up the air to nearly ??? times the temperature of the surface of the Sun. 3) Gamma rays at the right energy can create electrons and ???. 4) True or false: Gamma rays are a form of electro- magnetic radiation. 5) True or false: Dark lightning is a form of dark energy. Answers on page 2 Copyright (C) 2013 Weekly Science Quiz All rights reserved. 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