POLITICS: State governments navigating COVID-19

Photo by Trans Silica on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

by Skyler Adkins, Sloan Minor–

Every day, new regulations and orders are enacted in states to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Some states take a more financial approach, while others take a more social stance. As one may expect, the states with a high number of cases tend to use money to combat the spread of the disease. However, other states with a lower affected population use social measures like social distancing and stay-at-home orders as their way of combatting COVID-19. Uniquely, Utah has offered its appreciation to its Chinese population due to the overt discrimination against them due to the origin of this virus. Each state has made individual efforts while also watching and listening to what their neighboring states are doing. Here is a list of every states’ actions.

Telehealth is also an important concept that has arisen from this chaos. Telehealth allows patients to continue to meet with their doctors and physicians while still practicing social distancing. Not only can doctors see patients with COVID-19 with no fear of contraction, but patients can also still attend physical therapy appointments, counseling appointments, and more without the same fear. While only several states are using this program, the country hopes others will follow.

Life & Style: How to Stay Productive During Quarantine

by Hannah Brown, Christine O’Donnell–

photo by Christine O’Donnell

Due to the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Americans are urged to stay home to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. President Trump extended guidelines to practice social distancing until April 30th, leaving many citizens unsure as to what the future holds. In this time of uncertainty, there are many activities people can do to be productive at home. 

Physical activity like at-home workouts and yoga at home are ways to improve your health and elevate your energy levels. Exercising your brain is important, as well, and can be done by reading books and solving puzzles. Also, efforts around the house such as organizing and cleaning are a great use of this time spent at home. 

An important thing to keep in mind is that it is okay to feel a loss of control right now, but you should try to not be too hard on yourself because this will pass and life will soon return to normal.

SCI/TECH: A Mummy’s Voice Revived

Photo by Leeds Museums and Galleries on Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Photo by Leeds Museums and Galleries on Foter.com / CC BY-NC

By Will Pearson, Lilly Savin–

Over the 3,000 years ago, there was an Egyptian Priest by the name of Nesyamun, who used to chant and sing the religious liturgy. Since his death in 1069 B.C., he has been silent in his mummified coffin until now.

British Scientists have figured out a way to resurrect the priest’s voice. The scientist did a CT scan of the mummy’s vocal tract, which they would send that to a 3-D printer. It printed out the vocal tract, and it got hooked up to a voice box. The voice box played a sound that sounded in between the words “bad” and “bed.”

The next step in the process is to change the format into a computer model that will match the scan of the vocal tract and turn to a digital simulation of a moving jaw and tongue. It is a groundbreaking experiment that could now bring a voice to this piece of history.

SCI/TECH: Drone Delivery

Photo on Foter.com

by Skyler Adkins, Dan Demski and Aisha Sheppard —

Amazon has taken over the delivery industry with special features like 2-day shipping, food deliveries, and, now, drones. Prime Air was launched in December of 2016 with delivery time of approximately 13 minutes. Amazon understands that with this innovative idea comes defects and complaints, so Amazon is constantly testing new technology and fixing bugs in the drones. One of the major defects in the drones used for Prime Air is the GSP. Some drones have crashed into houses or landed in abandoned fields.

Another secured delivery system that Amazon has created is Amazon Hubs. These P.O. boxes are established outside business such as convenience stores and create a safe space for consumers’ packages. Theft on and off campus has been unacceptable, especially with Amazon packages being left on doorsteps or outside dorm rooms. These Amazon Hubs keep consumers secure of their package safety.

Controversy over Confederate statues

confederate statue
Courtesy of Foter.com


by Nathan Brennan, Ally Larrick–

A statue that was recently revealed in Times Square has been notable for the controversy related to Confederate statues based in Richmond, Virginia. As the capital of the Confederacy, Richmond has been home to statues and monuments directly affiliated with the Confederacy for years. 

In this episode we will discuss the ongoing controversy and the importance of  remembering history, and learning from it. The ability to have conversations with architects and sculptors also allow for a more well-rounded discussion. Being able to understand the truth, and learn from difficulties in the nation’s history, will help Americans move forward. Modern statues are only the beginning of an ongoing effort to keep Americans informed, and be given the ability to learn from history. 


Politics: Virginia sued over marriage license requirement

certificate of marriage
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

by Denashia Dunnaville and Linda Kil

Three couples suing the Commonwealth of Virginia citing the state violated their First Amendment rights. One engaged couple attempted to get their marriage license when they were met with a form of over 200 shocking terms regarding race. The document included terms such as “Aryan”, “Quadroon”, and “Nubian”.

In this podcast, we discuss the details of this surprising case. The podcast will examine the history of the law requirement and delve into another historical case against the Commonwealth of Virginia.

LIFE/STYLE: “Staycationing” on the rise

by Lizzy Street, Ian Gruber, Nguyen Phan –

Photo by ruich_whx on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Chronic stress, fatigue and lowered worker productivity — according to Psychology Today, that’s what can happen to the human body when one doesn’t take time off for a vacation.

For many adults, taking an occasional vacation is necessary to keep the balance of work and life in check. For college students, however, planning a vacation can be stressful, especially with tight budgets and busy schedules. The younger generation is discovering the benefits of a “staycation,” or a vacation in one’s own town.

“Staycationing” is on the rise, and it has many advantages for finances and health — both mental and physical. For college students especially, staying at home is much more economical than going abroad. On average, Americans spend between 10 and 15 percent of their annual income on vacation, in which they spend 44 percent on transportation costs. By choosing to staycation, students can save money that would have been used on tickets, gas and accommodations. This reduction in travel time also opens up free time for more activities and stress relief.

Even though staycations have several worthwhile benefits, they also come with unexpected costs. According to NBC News, traveling for vacation has unique advantages that staycations do not share, including a lowered risk of heart attacks, heart disease and depression.

ARTS/CULTURE: Unsung Hero in Black History

by Hannah Bumgarner, Liam Duchelle–

Black History Month has arrived. While the occasion is noticed and celebrated by millions of Americans, its startup remains a story that hasn’t garnered serious attention. At least at the mainstream level, few people know of how Black History Month came to be what it is today.

It all started with Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a fascinating man who was the second African-American ever to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard despite not having any formal education until the age of 20. Even still, this may be only his second greatest accomplishment.

In 1926, Dr. Woodson pioneered the introduction of what was then called “Negro History Week”. The week of recognition was intended to align with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas; which is why the now month-long event occurs in February. Due to his contributions to the celebration and empowerment of African-Americans, Dr. Woodson later became known as the “father of black history”.

From a more local perspective, here at Virginia Tech student organizations are making efforts to shed light on the struggles of the African-American. Acknowledgment that these struggles still exist is the first step to creating a movement for change.

carter g. woodson quote

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SCI/TECH: Augmented reality makes its way into daily lives

by Christina Dougherty, Brenda Nguyen—

Photo on Fotor.com









Augmented reality is merging its way into everyday technology, providing more accessibility and convenience to users.

Augmented reality is when technology can produce computer-generated images on a user’s view of the real world. Though seemingly advanced, this technology is now available on most smartphones.

The world was introduced to an app in 2016 called “Pokémon Go”, an interactive game that allows players to “catch” the creatures in their area. This app gained great success, and really introduced augmented reality to a wide range of people.

Augmented reality is not only good for entertainment purposes, but for convenience as well. These apps are downloaded with a simple click on your smartphone. Augmented Reality is making its way into medicine as well, changing the way surgeons perform medical procedures.

Join us in this podcast as we discuss how augmented reality became well-known and to where the technology is expanding into our lives now.

SPORTS: Hokie football working through obstacles


Tyrod Taylor during pregame prayer
Photo credit: techsports on Foter.com / CC BY-ND

by Riley Wyant, Danielle Jeffers–

Following the loss to Old Dominion University on Sept. 22, Virginia Tech football has faced many struggles. During the matchup, starting quarterback Josh Jackson broke his left fibula and had to be carted off the field in the fourth quarter. He will be sitting out the rest of the season following an intensive repair surgery.

Post-game internal controversy in the locker room led to the dismissal of Defensive End Trevon Hill. Hill led the team in sacks and was one of the star players on the defense. His dismissal will impact Bud Foster’s defense in future matchups as the Hokies fight for a chance at the playoffs.

Ryan Willis, a transfer from Kansas, is now Virginia Tech’s starting quarterback but the team seems to be unfamiliar with the new dynamic. After the loss to ODU, the Hokies regained their confidence and beat Duke in Durham on Sept. 29. Unfortunately, the winning streak didn’t last as the team lost against Notre Dame last Saturday at home. There is an obvious lack of consistency and chemistry when it comes to the young team.

The Hokies are traveling to Chapel Hill this weekend to take on the UNC Tarheels. Will the team win and regain momentum or disappoint once again?