The Endeavor of Quarantine: Succeeding In Remote Learning

The Endeavor of Quarantine: Succeeding In Remote Learning

How to stay motivated and advance your mark at home

by Dylan

Three hundred and eighty nine days, the amount of time since life was normal, schools were mask free and the worry about learning online was out of question.

The formulation of quarantine and the implementation of online learning globally has strongly impacted our schooling today, connecting with teachers miles away and learning trigonometry over a screen. However the latter factors also resulted in the fall of motivation.

I interviewed North Toronto’s own Tait O., the question asked was; What have you done to stay motivated whilst in online school? “The biggest work incentive for me has been finding the right setup” said Tait, “The past year I have rearranged my computer 3 times and I think I got it right, having everything where I need it has made my classes far easier”. Continuing on with what Tait has said, I too believe organization is a key factor to succeeding this year. The next point of view will come from myself, The term I would use to describe what motivates me is engagement, through all online and in class lessons, being part of the conversation has been something that urges me to work as I am more invested in the said topic. I have always been taught that speaking what you have learned is the best way to remember it and I feel remote learning is the best location to apply this principle.

The final piece of advice comes from another North Toronto student, Ralph. “The problem I had with working online was how fast everything was moving” Ralph stated, “To combat my problem, the most helpful tactic I used was persistence and routine”. Ralph’s solution is also a subfactor of what Tait said about organization and I too believe persistence is a keystone of virtual school.

What is Bitcoin?

by Stone

Bitcoin surpasses all expectations by becoming the top crypto currency in the world and having people invest billions into it. Now you may be asking yourself, What is a Bitcoin? Well Bitcoin is a new currency that was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Transactions are made with no middle men – meaning, no banks! Bitcoin can be used to book hotels on Expedia, shop for furniture on Overstock and buy Xbox games. But much of the hype is about getting rich by trading it. The price of bitcoin skyrocketed into the thousands in 2017.

Bitcoin is a great thing for high school students to start getting into, I in fact have a tiny amount of money into bitcoin and I find it quite fun watching bitcoin and watching my investment go up. Also, I think bitcoin is a great way to start learning more about crypto currency. It is very easy to understand and I think I have written everything the average person would need to know about bitcoin in the following paragraphs.

Bitcoins can be used to buy merchandise anonymously. In addition, international payments are easy and cheap because bitcoins are not tied to any country or subject to regulation. Small businesses may like them because there are no credit card fees. Some people just buy bitcoins as an investment, hoping that they’ll go up in value.

Bitcoins are stored in a “digital wallet,” which exists either in the cloud or on a user’s computer. The wallet is a kind of virtual bank account that allows users to send or receive bitcoins, pay for goods or save their money. Unlike bank accounts, bitcoin wallets are not insured by the FDIC.

No one knows what will become of bitcoin. It is mostly unregulated, but some countries like Japan, China and Australia have begun weighing regulations. Governments are concerned about taxation and their lack of control over the currency.

In fact, Elon Musk has just recently made it so you can purchase a Tesla with Bitcoin. Musk even added #bitcoin in his bio on Twitter recently, “I think bitcoin is really on the verge of getting broad acceptance by conventional finance people” Musk said.

Now one bitcoin is worth $74,138.23, bitcoin has gone up by $58,502.63 in the last 7 years. Although some of the richest people in the world still don’t believe in it like Warren Buffet, Warren says “crypto currencies don’t have any real value you can only sell it to someone else, you can’t do anything with it”.

The Impact of COVID-19 on local businesses

by Mia

The COVID-19 outbreak has undoubtedly had a profound impact on local businesses in Canada. Retail catering, accommodation and tourism, transportation, entertainment and other industries revenue fell sharply. Some telecommuting, online education, online medical, fresh logistics and others slowly began to progress and develop. The outbreak presents different challenges and opportunities for various industries in Canada, and these changes could have a profound impact on the future development of business.

The impact on local businesses is a serious problem that cannot be ignored, the local businesses seem affected by COVID-19 more than the larger businesses.

“Small businesses were more likely to request credit from financial institutions to cover operating costs due to COVID-19.” Compared with larger and better-known businesses such as large and chain businesses, local small businesses in Canada, which already have much less revenue, have been hit harder by the epidemic and. In many cases, they have had to ask for credit to cover their operating costs. Due to the lack of income, increase in the purchase price, high rent, and etc, many small businesses are under great commercial pressure.

The impact on local businesses are also affecting the people. It will affect the young people and university students who are looking for part-time jobs. The closure of many small businesses due to unaffordable rent and other costs are resulting in fewer job opportunities or even lose job opportunities for young people. For those recently joined the workforce may face lower wages and higher risk of getting fired caused by the overall economic depression.

For young people who are just stepping out into local businesses or who are interested in getting a work in a local business, some practical advice can help reduce the losses and consequences of bad decisions. If you want to work in an offline store, uncertain working hours and prices are the risks that you need to consider during this time of the period, because the government will issue a stay-at-home order according to the severity of the recent epidemic. I suggested you work at online retailer during this time. For example Foodiepages is Gift boxes that support small business. You can participate in online marketing, promote ads on social media and communicate with the customers and etc. These work are safe and can be done at home, also relatively stable during the pandemic.

Even though many local businesses have been affected by the COVID-19 and the impact of it are through many aspects, we as workers can reduce our risk by making the right decision. After the pandemic has passed, we believe the local business in Canada will come back to the way it was.

When will fully-autonomous cars be ready for the road across Canada?

And what does this mean for NT students?

by Andrea

Imagine going to greet your uber driver, then realizing that there’s no driver. Your Uber is actually a level 5 autonomous car, and you are just another passenger. To the students here that don’t subscribe to the news, this concept may still seem very fantastical, and far away from ever reaching production. However, this is not true in the cases of Tesla Motors and Waymo (formerly known as Google’s driverless car). These companies have been working away at new innovative softwares for longer than most of us have been aware of, making them closer and closer to full autonomy every day. Still, the questions remain: how long will it take? And how will it affect us?

Fully autonomous cars could be ready tomorrow, yet they won’t be road ready for a while. Presently, Ontario is the only province in Canada with laws allowing driverless cars on the road. The conditions for this law state that there has to be a licensed driver behind the wheel, and a $5M insurance on the car. Every other region has to wait until Transport Canada gives the go-ahead for fully-autonomous vehicles. With this in mind, Tesla released a statement saying that a level five autonomy car will be released by the end of early 2021. Excluding Tesla, other autonomous car companies are approximating 2024-2030 for the delivery of their models respectively. Knowing this, our driverless car fate may be much sooner than anticipated.

With this fate, NT students will be affected mostly through their wallets. Current taxi rates are around $0.40 per mile. In comparison, a fully-autonomous robo-taxi is projected to cost around $0.32 per mile, according to Inside EV’s. This lowered cost of travel with driverless cars will heavily drop expenses on our costs for transportation. In addition, robo-taxis will have much more space for ride-sharing as there is one less person needed in the car.

Realizing all this, autonomous cars will be in our very near future, regardless of whether it be in a few months or years. When these cars do become an actual product, and become robo-taxis, they will save everyone (not solely NT students) a fair amount of money in transportation.

Bitcoin?

What is crypto currency and should you invest in bitcoin

by Calixto

Bitcoin, I’m sure the word rings so many bells. A concept that in recent years has taken the internet by storm and has created a whole new wave of currency, Cryptocurrency. As I’m sure you have heard, Bitcoin is the largest most prominent cryptocurrency. Nonetheless, few know the history, how the currency works and if you should invest in it.

Put simply, Bitcoin is purely operated online and unlike government-issued currencies, it is operated by a decentralized authority. It is unregulated and very volatile.

Many would be skeptical about investing online, and in an online currency, mainly due to not trusting online security and the thought of their information or money being stolen. In reality, that is not the case as the technology and system that Bitcoin uses is very safe and virtually unhackable. The Bitcoin code is run in a collection of computers referred to as nodes.

These nodes are scattered all around the world and number in the thousands. This decentralizes the Bitcoin network making it very difficult to target. These nodes also house a specific type of database known as blockchain. Nodes and blockchain are key to making Bitcoin safe. Blockchain works in a way that stores data and transactions in boxes, or “blocks”. As Bitcoin transactions happen live, blocks are visibly filled with set transactions which are also constantly being verified for legitimacy. This way, no one can cheat the system. The transparency and sheer width of the network is what makes Bitcoin a safe online network.

As popularity in cryptocurrency and specifically Bitcoin grow, the recurring question raised is “Should I buy Bitcoin?”. The simple answer is, if you have the money, go for it. Though very volatile, over the last ten years Bitcoin has seen serious gains (300% annual returns in 2020) and many see it as the future of currency. Nevertheless, you should be prepared to see violent fluctuations in price. Through thick and thin Bitcoin is still considered by many investors to be a great asset to one’s portfolio.

Travel & Tourism

How to go on holiday, without the risk.

by Matthew

For those of you thinking of finding a way to spend a break, this is the article for you.

Travel and tourism have been affected heavily during the pandemic. The tourism industry is expected to lose $1 trillion dollars because of the new risk from traveling, this has caused many businesses reliant on travel to go out of business.

Traveling around the world is one of the main ways the COVID-19 virus has spread across the globe, but that doesn’t mean you have to go around the globe for a holiday. Industries such as camping, for example, have been a way you can get out of your house for a holiday, but without the risk from flying. I asked a Toronto citizen what they thought about it from their experiences camping during the pandemic: “Camping is a wonderful getaway from the lockdown monotony, compared to an airplane destination one doesn’t have to travel for an extended period of time and it’s considerably less expensive. For all the outdoor activities camping offers, it’s definitely one of my favourite ways to spend my time in Ontario.” Camping is the perfect way to get out of the house for a while, and still staying safe.

Unfortunately, camping won’t be an option for many students to spend their March break because as of April 3rd campsites have been temporarily closed due to increasing cases.

Aside from that the camping industry has been booming, booked sites have doubled this year and many new camping businesses have been starting amid the lockdown like new camp gear rental businesses and more campgrounds opening recently as well, these will be on hold for a while but will be back in business before you know it.

When summer comes many students might try to get a job at a campsite, but unless more people are vaccinated before then, campsites may close due to increasing cases again, so it’s possible that the job and the industry could be a little risky.

Teenage spending: Tips to help start saving

by Arianna

As teenagers, we have a reputation of recklessly spending our money. Needless to say if it’s true or not, it doesn’t hurt to reevaluate our ways of saving, learn new methods or for some to just begin. The importance of saving is simply really; it’s more or less the satisfaction and security of having mass money set aside in case of need. Saving has many benefits and paves the way to financial freedom. So, here at NT, business is a great course that goes over this topic that not everyone one decides to take. “Yeah, I spend a lot of money on food and clothing and honestly a lot of unnecessary things so it would be nice to learn how to save instead of spending carelessly,” said by a grade 10 student who did not take this course. This is why I will be sharing with you some effective steps to save like a pro because not only is it effective now but, saving early creates good habits for your future!

Before revealing my tips, to gain further insight, I have conducted a mini survey to briefly investigate spending habits amongst teens. Majority revealed that their top expense was from food and trendy clothing. Following along with video games, cosmetics, and random impulse purchases. Furthermore, more than half think they are bad at saving and almost all would like to know more on how to efficiently. So, I present:
Get Organized and Start Budgeting

First things first is to know your overall savings at the given moment. Once that is done, set aside a monthly budget for yourself. Remember to be smart and reasonable with your personal allowance. This will be the amount of money you allow yourself to spend for the month. Depending on your flow of income I’d do this each month or two just so you aren’t spending more than you earn.

Keeping Track of every Purchase

It may sound like a drag to constantly note each purchase you make but, it is honestly quite helpful. Keeping note creates more awareness of purchases being made, becomes an efficient habit to have and let’s your budgeting become more precise. You can keep track on a spreadsheet, piece of paper, or even in the Notes app of your phone.

Comparison shopping

Next, comparison shopping will become your natural instinct. Never buy an item right away because what if you could have saved! Nothing hurts more than paying more money than you needed to. Luckily with modern day technology we can quickly browse the internet from store to store wherever and whenever. So, before you buy something do some research and find the best price.

Eliminating Impulse Purchase

Subsequently, before every purchase you should ask yourself these questions. Is this a need or a want? How long will this item be of use to me? Will I still want it when it’s not trending or can I wait a little longer for the newest invention? When you ask yourself questions like you’re doubting yourself you are alert of your purchases and are least likely to buy things on impulse.

30 Day Rule

With that, businesses are transferring to a heavy e-commerce world, making it even easier to impulse buy with one click with a lot of external influences such as Instagram ads, Pinterest and Tiktok. The 30 day rule focuses on your wants rather than needs as well as general big purchases. The 30 day rule is to take a mental or physical note of what you were planning to buy. Then, if you still want by the end of 30 days, buy it! It defers impulsive buys and unnecessary ones.

BYOF (Bring Your Own Food)

Finally, as food is one of teen’s biggest expenses, start packing your own food wherever you go! There is food in your fridge for a reason. Whenever you go out, pack a snack, heck even multiple. So, now you are less likely to give in to temptation. Or let’s say your friend wants to eat out however, you don’t want to spend money or miss out: eat beforehand and buy a small side like fries for under $5! It’s a win-win.

Hope this helped! Happy saving!

Carbon Labels to Expose the Carbon Footprint of Everyday Products

by Lulia, Ruby & Elena

Carbon Labels to Expose the Carbon Footprint of Everyday Products
By: Elena Vlitas, Lulia Amaha, and Ruby Steinberg

In an increasingly environmentally conscious world, companies are beginning to introduce carbon labels to their products. A carbon label highlights the quantity of carbon emissions a product generates throughout its entire production process (including manufacturing, transportation and disposal). This will create a new category of comparison shopping, as in the past, only the price served as a judge of value, and nutrition and ingredient labels as a judge of health. Now that carbon labels are now being used to compare anything from shampoo to food products, environmentally conscious consumers will begin to compare products based on quantified data of sustainability. The use of carbon labels will allow customers to become more aware of their carbon footprint.

The looming threat of climate change has brought the conversation of sustainable practices to the forefront. Younger generations who will face the consequences of environmental downfall are especially concerned about the climate. Three quarters of NT students stated that sustainable practices encourage them to buy a product. That being said, as most companies with sustainable practices tend to be more expensive, only 33% of the students stated that they would be willing to buy a sustainable product that costs more than an unsustainable counterpart. When asked why climate action and carbon labelling matters, grade 10 student Amelia, stated, “It’s good to see how your shopping is affecting the environment. I want to be socially conscious and aware of my choices and not do something because it is easier or cheaper when it is harmful.”

Carbon labelling was introduced in 2007 and briefly adopted by Tesco, PepsiCo and Innocent Boots as part of a government pilot program. However, the companies dropped the carbon labels in 2011 because too few brands followed suit. Given the recent rise in climate concerns among consumers, companies like Unilever, manufacturer of products including Q-tips and Dove, are among the first to widely reintroduce these product labels. Unilever plans to introduce carbon labels to all 70,000 of their products. The company says that products perceived as sustainable are growing faster than those are not, and they aim to explore how to best present their efforts towards sustainability to the public. Another company moving in this direction is Quorn, a meat-substitute product now including on-pack carbon emissions from farm to table. Others to implement these labels include Oatly AB, a Swedish oat-milk company, and Logitech International, a computer keyboard company. While some consumers have had to make assumptions on which products have less footprint based on factors such as packaging and broad averages, specific carbon labels for each product will allow consumers to easily compare carbon emissions between products to make informed purchases. Ultimately, these are the companies that are paving the way for sustainability and carbon emission transparency.

The question is, what changes can be expected once companies start to commit to implementing carbon labels? Will their competitors start to make that same commitment? This could lead to widespread and standardized carbon labelling. Right now, companies like Dove are using this strategy to gain an advantage in the competitive hygiene product industry. The more consumers are informed, the more we can expect a shift. If carbon labels become more extensively used, it will not only encourage a positive rivalry among companies, leading to potential carbon neutral practices but also encourage consumers to reevaluate their purchasing decisions. Carbon labelling allows consumers to become more aware of the carbon footprint left behind from their favourite products. Ultimately the carbon labels could lead towards better sustainability and spark a conversation of company methodology, trust, and ethics.

These efforts, although on the path towards sustainability, will be unsuccessful without consumer interest and support. In a poll conducted of a grade 10 class, about 17% reported that they would take the time to compare carbon labels. This is just an example. Around the world, more and more people are discussing ways to minimize their environmental impact through their purchasing habits. If carbon labels meant that companies were competing for 17% of the market share, environmental sustainability would surely be a driving factor in production. Ultimately, it is up to consumers to demand sustainability, more so than government or corporations, as companies simply act in favour of the market interests. In a study conducted by Cone Communications, 92% of consumers stated they would buy an environmentally friendly product. If environmentally responsible companies and products were shown to be more successful, others would follow suit.

With that being said, there will be several barriers that may slow or limit the use of carbon labelling across a large scale of different products. While some companies may observe that their carbon footprint is low, thus making it a beneficial point to market to consumers, many other companies (particularly those with large factories and high carbon emissions) may be more hesitant to disclose their carbon emissions to customers. For instance, beef products have very high carbon emissions at 36 kilograms of CO2eq per kilogram, which is 10 to 100 times more than plant-based counterparts. Similarly, Proctor and Gamble (P&G), the manufacturer of Pantene and Head and Shoulders has been involved in numerous environmental disputes, being named in a lawsuit as one of 10 companies causing a “pollution crisis”. Given these companies’ unsustainable practices, they would not want to add carbon labels as it would expose their emissions to consumers and could cause many to switch to more eco-friendly products like Dove or Quorn. This poses an ethical dilemma between being eco-friendly and transparent while sacrificing profits, or maximizing profits despite the impacts.

Carbon labels are just one step towards addressing the climate crisis. Since carbon labels still are not widely used, teens can do a few things to encourage companies to take environmental action. First, teens can write, petition or email companies to be transparent about their emissions. Teens can also do research into the sustainability of their products and make an effort to switch should they find that a company isn’t producing their products responsibly. While alone, one may not think they can have a big impact, if teens come together to vocalize concerns and be conscious of their carbon footprint, in the long term, it will have a huge positive impact on the planet. Teenagers also have the ability to influence their families’ spending. Given that 80% of parents’ spending is influenced by their teens and adolescents, a combined $819 billion globally, teens have the power to shift spending to companies with more sustainable practices. In the long term, this would give all companies financial incentives to do better in protecting the planet so that they do not lose the teenage market share. Overall, it’s up to each and every person to ensure the success of carbon labelling, and to encourage more environmentally conscious steps like this in the future.

Works Cited

  • Kateman, Brian. “Carbon Labels Are Finally Coming To The Food And Beverage Industry.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 20 July 2020, www.forbes.com/sites/briankateman/2020/07/20/carbon-labels-are-finally-coming-to-the-food-and-beverage-industry/.
  • Giles, Jim. “Unilever’s Carbon Labeling Initiative Will Drive New Behavior in the Supply Chain.” Greenbiz, 10 July 2020, www.greenbiz.com/article/unilevers-carbon-labeling-initiative-will-drive-new-behavior-supply-chain.
  • Dolsak, Nives, and Aseem Prakash. “Unilever’s Climate Plan: Emissions From Supply Chain And Consumers Are The Real Challenge.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 20 June 2020, www.forbes.com/sites/prakashdolsak/2020/06/18/unilevers-climate-plan-emissions-from-supply-chain-and-consumers-are-the-real-challenge/?sh=52a0fa21fba9.
  • Smithers, Rebecca. “Quorn to Be First Major Brand to Introduce Carbon Labelling.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 9 Jan. 2020, www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/09/quorn-to-be-first-major-brand-to-introduce-carbon-labelling.
  • Ritchie, Hannah. “The Carbon Footprint of Foods: Are Differences Explained by the Impacts of Methane?” Our World in Data, 10 Mar. 2020, https://ourworldindata.org/carbon-footprint-food-methane.
  • Ciochetto, Meredith. “Cone Releases the 2013 Cone Communications/Echo Global CSR Study – Cone Communications: Cone: Cone PR: Cone Inc: PR Agency: Boston: NYC.” Cone, Cone Communications | Cone | Cone PR | Cone Inc | PR Agency | Boston | NYC, 7 June 2016, www.conecomm.com/news-blog/2013-global-csr-study-release.
  • Bona, Carmen, et al. “How Marketers Can Win with Gen Z and Millennials Post-COVID-19.” BCG Global, BCG Global, 8 Jan. 2021, www.bcg.com/publications/2020/how-marketers-can-win-with-gen-z-millennials-post-covid.

Why Buying Physical Copies of Media is Better than Digital

Sony closing playstation 3 and PSVita online stores reveals why it is still important to buy physical hard copies of games in this online dominated world.

by Tanzeel

As online networks become more reliable, people have been switching over to buying games online. Sony confirms that they are closing their stores for Playstation 3 and PSVita by August 21st, this would mean many well known and loved games exclusive to the PS3 and Vita would be completely lost to time. Sony did confirm people can still redownload and play games that they have already bought from the store but they can no longer buy new games. Giving people the ability to play owned online games still causes Sony to pay and run multiple servers.
Sony cannot keep these servers open forever and so at a certain point all of the online games you may own will stop working. The fact they shut down the stores means keeping the store servers up was getting too expensive for Sony making it only a matter of time till the servers that run games will also be shut down.
The positive of buying hard copy games is that you can never lose the game. Since the game does not run on a server you can play the game long after the hosting server is dead. You can also sell the game to retro game collectors for a far higher price as that game is no longer available for purchase anywhere.
This is not only true for video games but also for other media. An old niche movie can be lost to time if a disk is not owned as not every movie makes it onto a streaming service or the internet. Making said old movie extremely profitable to obtain.
As time passes, online stores and streaming services will close with physical media outliving them. Even if online stores are more convenient, hard copies will always be more profitable in the long run.

How To Find a Summer Job

by Eric

In the summer of every year, you are happily ready to get a job but since the pandemic has hit, continuing or finding that summer job will greatly impact you and the company’s business.
In these tough times of 2021 during the pandemic, have you ever wondered about that one summer job you were looking for? Yet it is not attainable because of your safety and its availability? This is an article about the many ways you can find a summer job, even if there is a pandemic. Whether you want to be a camp counsellor or work at a clothing store, there are many ways of finding a summer job in this virus-filled year of 2021.

If you would like to become a camp counsellor for your summer job but you are worried about your safety, you could always do the counselling online. Abdi a grade 11 student commented “The real difference between online and in person counselling is the experience. It differs from building a community with the people around you, instead of going on a computer and teaching a bunch of lessons” This is a lot more safe, and you still have the feeling of helping people with their difficulties/problems.

If you wanted to work at a clothing or shoe store like Nike or Roots, but these jobs are not available. A possibility is you could call different companies and ask a couple of questions like: Is there a possible position I could fill? Are there any precautions I need to take before I look to attend this job? Could you describe a typical workday, or week for this job? Depending on how available you both are and if there is an available position for the job, you now have the chance of getting a job.

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