The Student Newspaper of Highline College

Science & Technology

From micro to macro: Exploitative transactions

Video games have existed for decades and have quickly become a source of entertainment for people of all ages across the globe. Unfortunately with popularity, comes an increased rise in commercialization. In the case of video games, this commercialization comes in the form of many things, but microtransactions are the most prevalent.

Microtransactions are small in-game purchases that give the player either cosmetics and/or other content like level up packages or, on rare occasions, loot. They cost actual money, and oftentimes use an in-game currency as a go between. (Note that I said small in-game purchases.)

Solar eclipse wows skywatchers across North America

A rare total solar eclipse captivated millions across North America on Monday, April 8. The celestial spectacle, which lasted just over two minutes in the path of totality, offered a breathtaking display of nature’s grandeur.

Solar eclipses occur when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, casting its shadow onto our planet. There are three main types of solar eclipses: total, partial, and annular. Monday’s event was a total solar eclipse, the most dramatic of the three, occurring when the moon completely blocks the sun’s light.

Privacy in the digital age

In the modern era, our dependence on technology has transformed the very notion of privacy into a quaint relic of the past. With smartphones as constant companions, our lives are an open book, ready to be dissected and monetized by algorithms and corporations. 

Take for instance, a daily bus commute where you’re surrounded by a sea of screens, each one a window into someone’s digital soul. It’s truly a sight, watching as people surrender their privacy with every tap and swipe, all in the name of connectivity and convenience. Who needs personal space when you have Wi-Fi, right?

Artificial intelligence: The shortcomings of an underdeveloped technology in our lives 

Artificial intelligence has been taking over seemingly every corner of the internet and free market. Airlines, search engines, and marketing firms are adopting it, and it seems like every service has a new AI feature to advertise. For the average consumer, is any of this even useful?

AI itself has been mainly behind the scenes for decades, whether it be a computer player in a video game or an algorithm of any kind. Its recent boom in popularity, however, was due to OpenAI’s Chat-GPT releasing in November 2022. Recent advances like these began the AI boom as we know it.

Climate change: What does it mean for Des Moines?

Decades ago, the topic of global warming lacked attention regarding basic research, funding, and societal interest. Today, the issue is increasingly gaining more awareness, as its impacts on our environment are becoming more prominent through sea-level rise, disastrous storms, increased drought, and even loss of species worldwide.

This world renowned debate first took place in the late 1980’s, where the issue was perceived as something that wouldn’t impact us for generations. Well, that day has come, and its effects on us as humans are evident in these strangely warmer temperatures, rapid weather changes, and especially poverty and displacement.

Comets: ​​Celestial wanderers that reveal nature’s creativity

Do you ever look up in wonder, interested to know about all that fills the sky? Well, if you were to be paying attention at the right time and place you may be dazzled by a show put on by a mysterious space traveler – a comet.

Comets travel through the depths of space while continuing to intrigue and inspire scientists and skywatchers alike. Have you ever looked up at night and seen what you thought was a shooting star, but that star and its tail didn’t fade? You were probably witnessing a comet, which at times can be seen slowly moving across the sky.

Managing relationships with technology

With new tech capabilities constantly on the rise, there’s little we can’t do without electricity, a wifi connection, and a few simple swipes of a finger. Technology has improved the way we live our lives in a myriad of way, yet we would be remiss to ignore the wealth of problems it has brought along with it.

Technology makes our lives easier as it allows us to stay uninterruptedly connected to the world around us. Yet, with its advancement continuously evolving, our engagement with our smartphones, laptops, fitness trackers, and other home devices is evolving as well.

Bioavailability of calcium: The amount of calcium utilized by our bodies

Hey there Highline scholars, do you know how your body absorbs calcium, one of the important minerals for our bones? Calcium is a large mineral present in our body – it helps in strengthening bones and teeth. And although it is difficult to break it down through the digestive system, it plays a vital role in blood clotting.

Calcium bioavailability refers to the amount of calcium in a food or supplement that is absorbable and available for use by the body. It can vary depending on several factors, including the source of calcium and the other components present in the diet or supplement.

Become immersed in adventure with the Meta Quest 2 virtual reality headset

Metaverse 2, a virtual reality realm, offers a diverse experience allowing exploration of open worlds, participation in gaming challenges, and attendance at music concerts. Engage with a community building new worlds, make friends, and delve into endless possibilities and fun.

Let’s explore some features it provides without a gaming PC, followed by what unfolds. Within the metaverse, you can virtually travel to different states and countries, like an adventure in London, England, or the Bahamas provides a unique and immersive VR vacation.