Students react to blocked websites and apps at school

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This is an example of what students see on their iPad screen when attempting to visit a blocked website like barstoolsports.com.

This is an example of what students see on their iPad screen when attempting to visit a blocked website like barstoolsports.com.

ithin the past week, students have gone up in arms in reaction to the technology center blocking ESPN.com, along with the NCAA March Madness app and the Bar Stool Sports app and website. Since the closing of these different sites and apps students have been complaining that they should be allowed access them, even during the school day.

Senior Jeff Edmondson said, “It is ridiculous! I’m flabbergasted!” The students want access. They want to be able to watch the March Madness tournament games and keep up to date on anything else. Senior Ed Ruff was asked what he thought of the tech center closing access, and he expressed, “I’m only here because I’m just trying to graduate.”

Ryan Fasenmyer, director of technology at Cathedral Prep, was asked why the technology center decided to block these different apps and websites. Mr. Fasenmyer said, “Why do students feel it necessary to go on Barstool when they should be learning?”

Students have been asking why the tech center has to block all of the most popular sites and the most fun apps. Students have been trying to find any excuse that they can think of to plead to Assistant Principal Mr. Swanson and the tech center staff about why the students should be allowed access to these sites and apps. However, in most instances, the students do not get their way.

Mr. Fasenmyer explained, “Our Internet Server will begin running slow, so we run a search across it finding what might be causing the problem. When we get the list we check over everything on it and block anything that does not have educational value.”




NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Preview

Thursday’s Games

Wichita State (30-4) vs. Notre Dame (31-5), 7:15 p.m., CBS – Wichita State is rolling after a big win against in-state rival Kansas. They won from great effort on the defensive end, along with a shooting spark from junior Evan Wessel. Notre Dame has had a fairly easy road up until this point of the tournament. They beat a subpar Butler squad last round, and they almost got upset by Northeastern in the opening round. Notre Dame has the scoring offense to compete with any team in the nation. Their success depends upon if their defensive effort is at the same level as their offensive effort.

Prediction: It’s going to be a very high scoring game with lots of exciting plays, but I think that Notre Dame’s offense is just too much for Wichita State to handle.

Notre Dame 76, Wichita State 69

Kentucky (36-0) vs. West Virginia (29-6), 9:45 p.m., CBS – Kentucky has rolled through the tournament so far. There might not be a team in the field that can beat them, but only time will tell. There is also not just one player for Kentucky that has been dominating. It has been a complete team domination. West Virginia has had a surprising run into the Sweet 16. I don’t think anyone really expected them to be able to beat Maryland, but they forced a lot of turnovers and pulled it off. In order for West Virginia to pull off the biggest upset of the decade against Kentucky, they will need to win the turnover battle significantly.

Prediction: Kentucky will dominate. Period. End of discussion.

Kentucky 67, West Virginia 47

Wisconsin (33-3) vs. North Carolina (26-11), 7:47 p.m., TBS – This is the biggest matchup of the tournament so far. Wisconsin might be the best team in the nation, riding on the back of national player of the year, Frank Kaminsky. North Carolina has been rolling as of late. They made it to the ACC championship game, but blew their lead and lost to Notre Dame. They rebounded over the loss quickly and they have convincingly won their first two games of the tournament.

Prediction: North Carolina will try to push the ball and run up and down, while Wisconsin will also try to impose their will and slow the ball down. Wisconsin should be able to control the overall tempo the game and make it to the regional championship game.

Wisconsin 65, North Carolina 62

Arizona (33-3) vs. Xavier (23-13), 10:17 p.m., TBS – Arizona is an underrated two seed in the tournament. They should have been a one seed over Duke, but that’s for another day’s debate. Arizona has cruised through the first two rounds easily. Xavier is a surprise team in the Sweet 16. They had an easy round though, beating the winner of a play-in game, and then playing a weak Georgia State team who magically upset Baylor.

Prediction: Arizona should be able to cruise through this game just like they did in previous rounds.

Arizona 54, Xavier 40

Friday’s Games

N.C. State (22-13) vs. Louisville (26-8), 7:37 p.m., TBS – N.C. State has been a shocking surprise in the Sweet 16. They have the talent to compete with anyone in the nation, but they need to keep up the team chemistry that they have shown throughout the tournament. Louisville is also a surprise because Chris Jones, who is one of the best guards in the nation, was kicked off the team at the end of the season. They have turned it up on the defensive end of the floor since his removal. Louisville’s defensive pressure against Northern Iowa single-handedly won them the game.

Prediction: N.C. State’s guards will have to play their best game of their lives in order to win this game. But Montrezl Harrell will be too much in the post for N.C. State to handle.

Louisville 73, N.C. State 59

Michigan State (25-11) vs. Oklahoma (24-10), 10:07 p.m., TBS – Michigan State has rode on the backs of their tandem guards, Travis Trice and Denzel Valentine. Trice has been hitting big shot after big shot in the tournament so far. Oklahoma has had an all-around team effort throughout the tournament. They are led by junior guard Buddy Hield. Oklahoma had a close call against upset minded Dayton, but they turned up the intensity in the final two minutes and pulled out a huge win.

Prediction : Oklahoma will be too big on the inside for Michigan State to handle, and Trice’s magic will run out. “The Trice is Wrong.” Boomer Sooner!

Oklahoma 67, Michigan State  61

UCLA (22-13) vs. Gonzaga (34-2), 7:15 p.m., CBS – UCLA was not even suppose to have made it into the tournament with their weak resumé. But, they have proven everyone wrong and had made it back into the Sweet Sixteen. UCLA is led by the coach’s son, Bryce Alford. Gonzaga also wanted to prove everyone wrong after being bounced early in the tournament last season. They are led by senior guard, Kevin Pangos and junior forward, Kyle Wiltjer.

Prediction: Kyle Witjer’s ability to stretch the floor will be too much for UCLA to handle. This should be an easy win for Gonzaga.

Gonzaga 81, UCLA 67

Duke (31-4) vs. Utah (26-8), 9:45 p.m., CBS – Duke is led by their freshman trio of Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor, and Justise Winslow. Okafor has been a beast down low and won/will win Freshman Player of the Year honors. Jones has been Duke’s floor general, and Winslow does all the dirty work for Duke like rebounding and getting steals on defense. Duke has rolled through the opening round of games. Utah had been a surprise for many analysts. Utah isn’t bad, but they did come out of one of the worst conferences, the Pac-12. They are led by NBA prospect, Delon Wright.

Prediction: Utah should be able to compete with Duke, but Duke’s freshman should dominate this game, especially Okafor.

Duke 68, Utah 60




Updated 2015 Rambler Bracket Challenge standings entering Sweet 16

The 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball March Madness Tournament started two weeks ago, and the madness began right away. There have already been multiple upsets with 10-seed Ohio State beating, 7-seed VCU, 11-seed UCLA winning over 6-seed SMU, 11-seed Dayton winning over 6-seed Providence. Additionally, two 14 seeds, Georgia St. and UAB beat a pair of 3 seeds, Baylor and Iowa State, respectively. And all of that happened in the round of 64.

The third round or Round of 32 went more according to form with only two real upsets, while two 7th-seeded teams, Wichita St. And Michigan St, were victorious over 2nd-seeded Kansas and Virginia, respectively.

After these first few of rounds, no brackets have been left unscathed. Not only are there no perfect brackets left in the 2015 Rambler Bracket Challenge, but also there are no perfect brackets left among the millions of entries turned in on ESPN.

In terms of The Rambler’s contest, sophomore Kyle Carter sits atop the leaderboard with 500 points, having made only 10 incorrect picks. He has Gonzaga as his tournament winner. Close behind Kyle, tied for second place, with 470 points are sophomore Nick Hardner, who has Arizona winning it all, and senior Niklas Bitters, who has Kentucky.

At the bottom of the standings is sophomore Andrew Haverly. His strategy of using a random number generator proved unsuccessful as he is the only participant still under 200 points with only 190 through the end of Sunday’s games. And just barely ahead of him are three staff members of The Rambler, senior Daniel Bauman with 290 points, junior Joe Sala with 300, and senior Oliver Wiesner with 320.

The composite staff bracket that the staff of The Rambler voted on has one glaring error with Baylor in the Final Four, but the bracket scored 380 points overall, so it's in the middle of the pack for the time being.

The composite staff bracket that the staff of The Rambler voted on has one glaring error with Baylor in the Final Four, but the bracket scored 380 points overall, so it’s in the middle of the pack for the time being.

The tournament resumes with Sweet 16 games on Thursday and Friday and the Elite 8 on Saturday and Sunday. Let’s see how the rest of the tournament plays out, and the madness it can create.

Check below for a full breakdown of the current Rambler Bracket Challenge standings:

First Name Last Name Total Points
Kyle Carter 500
Niklas Bitters 470
Nick Hardner 470
Jed Bartos 460
Matt Conrad 460
Muhamed Pehlic 460
Peter Bloomstine 450
Keegan Farver 450
Maurice House 450
Joshua Kovalcin 450
Kyle Martin 450
Rory Monahan 450
Mr. Parsons 450
Robby Quinn 450
Thomas Rosenthal 450
Daniel Serafin 450
Austin Bovee 440
Philip Cammarata 440
Kyle Carman 430
Eli Chase 430
Jonathan Szymczek 430
Matt Fessler 420
Mark Leone 420
Mark Majewski 420
Luke Baloga 410
Josh Heberlein 410
Mrs. Kim 410
Chris Muldrew 410
Noah Noble 410
Tino Scutella 410
Justin Whitman 410
Chad Zaczyk 410
Mr. Colwell 400
Nathan Serafin 400
Brian Buseck 390
Bryan Carlson 390
John Ogeka 390
Tyler Smith 390
Albert Taylor 390
Kevin Bello 380
Zarek Causgrove 380
Noah Nicolia 380
Edward Ruff III 380
Doug Spizarny 380
Dillon Elliott 370
Mr. Hubert 370
Jack Kelly 370
Jared Ordos 370
Jack Zaphiris 370
Ryan Dyne 350
Ryan Misko 350
Sean Reed 340
Ryan Signorino 340
Oliver Wiesner 320
Joe Sala 300
Daniel Bauman 290
Andrew Haverly 190



Advice on how to do well on the SAT

As the seniors finish up their college search, it is time for the juniors to begin theirs. One of the most important factors of getting accepted by a college is your SAT score. With a high SAT score, the acceptance letters and scholarships will be flying in. With a low SAT score, you can say goodbye to your hopes of getting into a big-name school. As someone who has recently gone through the process, I will share with you what I did to receive an above average score on the SAT.

You should definitely take an SAT Prep course. Unfortunately, I can not bequeath to you all of the information you need for the SAT in one small article. That’s why there are many programs available in the real world to help students prepare for this test. Although it is boring, it is essential. They will teach you and warn you about all the different types of equations and questions. They will also teach you tricks for guessing and simplifying difficult problems.

I also recommend taking the SAT twice. There’s no better way to experience what the SAT is like than actually taking the test. While taking it your first time, when you come across a problem you don’t understand, try to remember what type of question it is. There are many different apps and websites that will teach you and help you through the problems you don’t understand.

My most important piece of advice is to relax. Stressing over it will only hurt you. You need take it seriously, but you don’t want to be like the one girl in my testing room who just sat on the steps and cried during the first break. I do not believe she did very well.




Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight set for May 2

The day all boxing fans have been waiting for has finally come: Floyd Mayweather has agreed to box Manny Pacquiao. Already deemed the fight of the century, the bout is set to take place on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Mayweather comes in with an unprecedented 47-0 record, making him the early favorite. Don’t sleep on Pacquiao though. He comes into the fight with a 57-5-2 record, but he knows a fight like this could make or break a career. Either way the fight is projected to gross up to $400 million and is set to be one of the biggest sports events of the 21st century.

The Case for Pacquiao by Joe Sala

This is primed to be one of the best matches the world has ever seen, no matter who wins. I give Pacquiao the advantage in the bout, however. The key to this match for Pacquiao is endurance. Mayweather has the advantage of reach and strength in this fight, as he does most. But Pacquiao’s southpaw style favors him being able to throw many right jabs, increasing his punch count and giving him the edge if it comes down to the judges.

Pacquiao has been known to have one of the most lethal jabs in the boxing world. He is often times able to stun his opponent with the jab, then open him up for his left-handed hook. This is a favorable style especially against a fighter with a heavy right like Mayweather. Pacquiao’s best chance is to pick and choose his moments. He can’t open up heavy and leave himself open to an early KO. He needs to wait for Mayweather to show any sign of fatigue then take a slightly more aggressive offensive approach. Even though Pacquiao is known for his relentless pressure, Pacquiao will have to find a way to hold back early on.

The emotions surrounding the fight also play into the favor of Pacquiao. He is rarely an underdog, and being an underdog in this fight might play to his mental drive advantage. This is a once-in-a-lifetime fight that has been put off since 2009. Both parties have had an equal share of negotiation disputes, but most of them were due to Mayweather’s refusal to have an equal split. Also in 2010, Mayweather was quoted making racial comments directed at Pacquiao. Mayweather later denied making these comments, but they still added some heat into the fight.

Either way Pacquiao is still one of the greatest fighters of his generation. Overall, I think the combination of endurance and motivation will give Pacquiao his career-defining win.

 

The Case for Mayweather by Edward Ruff III

Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been an unstoppable force since his arrival in professional boxing. When he entered professional boxing, he TKO’d his first opponent in less than 1 minute (37 seconds to be exact), and the streak has been rolling ever since. “Money” Mayweather is 47-0 with 26 KOs to his name and is looking like he may end his career on top of the world if he can overpower Pacquiao.

The fight is located in Las Vegas, a venue Mayweather has been known to shine in. He also has a 2-inch height advantage and a 5-inch reach advantage over his opponent. Mayweather may be a year older than Pacquiao, but Mayweather hasn’t been beaten up as much. There is a reason why the man has never lost. Pacquiao is going to discover those reasons when he steps into the ring. Chucky Bizzaro, a senior at Prep and also a boxing enthusiast, says, “It will be a great fight, but ‘Money’ Mayweather is a beast and will show it against Pacquiao.”

In my personal opinion, I feel the fight will last until about the middle to late stages of the second round before Mayweather successfully knocks out Pacquiao. The only depressing aspect about this bout is the fact that this would have gone down as possibly the greatest fight in the history of the sport if it had been fought in 2009. It would have been phenomenal to see these two in the prime of their careers battling it out. Now, towards the later stages of their careers, it just won’t have the same thrill as the two would have had 6 years ago.




Cathedral Prep hockey teams brings state championship back to Erie

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The ecstatic Ramblers celebrate their historic state championship win on the ice.

This past Saturday, March 21, the Cathedral Prep hockey team competed in the PIAA AA state championship at the newly renovated Pegula Ice Arena in State College, Pa. With two bus loads of students cheering on the boys, the Ramblers rallied from a 1-0 deficit early in the first period to come out victorious, shutting out the Downington East Cougars in the remaining two periods, winning the contest 3-1. The Ramblers took home the title for just the third time in the school’s history with the first coming in 1984 and the second coming in the 1997.

Sophomore Dillon Elliott hammered home an equalizer with the clock hovering around three minutes left in the first period. Even later in the period, Hunter Emerson scored to give the Ramblers the lead. From there, the Ramblers typical high-flying, fast-paced offense and unstoppable defense took over. The freshman goaltender Jacob Kucharski was certainly the man of the match and of the playoffs. The brick wall blocked 71 of 77 shots throughout the playoffs and held the Cougars to just one goal, all while doing it as a freshman. Assistant captain Ben Eliason broke down after the final buzzer went off. “I couldn’t believe it. All the hard work and years of dedication have finally paid off. Nothing compares to this feeling,” he said.

In the past four years, the Ramblers have made it to the Pens Cup, which is the name of the semifinals, three times, but this year was the first time they won and advanced to states. The championship win capped an unbelievable season when they sat at number one in the state for the majority of the regular season. Seniors Trevor Faulkner, Ben Eliason, Hunter Emerson, Stephen Zeigler, Richard Vicary, and Jack Kelly leave the underclassmen behind with big shoes to fill. This year’s seniors led the team with an astounding record of 29-4.

The momentous season came to a close when the team returned back to Erie on Saturday night to a parade of fire trucks and a thunderous, rowdy crowd. The hockey team made Cathedral Prep, and all of Erie, proud for winning the first hockey championship the city has won in years.




The importance of internet security

photo credit: Crackers via photopin (license)

photo credit: Crackers via photopin (license)

The internet is something which people use all the time from checking their Facebook accounts all the way to researching information for the next project. How secure is the internet though? When typing in a search phrase on Google, what assurance is there that nobody else is peering over your shoulder watching?

As recently as 10 years ago, this wasn’t really a problem. Data was secure and unlogged statistically almost 80 percent of the time. The only major worry was someone who was physically breathing down your neck to see what you were doing online. The times have changed, however. Right now, there are a large number of companies which hide behind large terms and conditions which you accept without a thought to get a service. In reality, almost everything that you put out online is being recorded and stored “somewhere” on a hard drive rack.

A large example of this is Google, the search engine that the majority of people use. Its services extend now from internet searching to emails and even maps. What they don’t tell you is that most things that you type are logged in some form or another. Every search that you type in is registered in a database which is then sold to advertisers. While the methods vary, Google likes to target advertisement banners and links towards you based on what you have searched for. While it may appear harmless, it helps Google get a profit.

If you have location services enabled and use Google Maps, you’ll find that your location has been logged and drawn in on a map. Remember, you may only be able to access your own data. Those who run Google, however, have access to the entire thing. Who knows what they are really doing with the data. You can see an example of this located here. Merely login with your Google account, and your locational data should appear if you didn’t disable to hard-to-find location services settings on your mobile device.

When you type something online, it’s a good bet that it’s being logged. People often say, “Be careful what you put online. It never goes away.” While this statement isn’t 100 percent correct, it’s very good to treat it like it is. You don’t know what is stored where unless you have a good understanding on how things are logged online.

There are a few methods to keep yourself anonymous while online. Most of them may seem rather inconvenient. However, it may be the only true way to keep your data hidden.

  • Don’t make any accounts – When you sign up for a service, you are agreeing to their terms and conditions. Read the fine print if need be. Know what you’re getting into.
  • Use a service such as a Proxy or Virtual Private Network (VPN) – These mask your identity and help you stay anonymous while browsing the internet. While these become pointless if you give account details manually though an account, if you browse without any accounts, these will do very, very well in keeping your identity hidden.
  • Block Scripts – Scripts are processes which run in the background when you use certain websites. If you find an ad blocker or some sort of program which blocks scripts as well, you may see a large amount of advertisements disappear.
  • Be careful what you install – Internet Security isn’t only what you use on the web-browser. When you install a game or some other program, you may be agreeing to some data provision which you aren’t aware of right away. Viruses and other malware can also find their way to you through programs you install, providing information to potentially malicious users.

It’s not very easy to stay hidden on the internet, and in most cases, you probably do not need to be. It’s good however, to be aware of what is being done with your data.




2015 El Clasico Preview

It is that time of the year again. The Spanish footballing Giants clash again for the 2015 El Clasico: FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid. This game is not just any simple game. It is a game of long term rivalries, fans bragging rights, and two of the most skillful players of all time: Messi vs. Ronaldo.

The game is set to kick off on Sunday, March 22 at the Camp Nou stadium at Barcelona. In the most recent game those clubs played against each other, Madrid bested Barcelona with a 3-1 win with the help of Ronaldo, who opened the scoring spree for Madrid with a penalty. Then Pepe added a score, with an assist from Kroos, and Benzema added another, with an assist from Rodriguez.

At this game, people will witness the player with the better boots. Ronaldo is set to play the match with his brand new Nike Mercurial Superfly CR7. With the famous CR7 logo on the cleats, he will be hard to miss at the game. Messi will be wearing his new Adidas Adizero giving tribute to the town where he learned to play the game.

Most importantly, this game is critical to both teams. Barcelona is ahead of Madeid by one point on the La Liga table. They need to keep the lead and even increase it to secure the win. Madrid will be at their best trying to get ahead back to the lead on the table.

This game is what all fans have been waiting for. Mark the date: tomorrow at 4 p.m. Eastern, when the clash of Giants will begin.




Magic the Gathering News: Pre-release Dragons of Tarkir breakdown

mtgThe pre-release of Dragons of Tarkir is this weekend. This pre-release, like others, is a sealed pool format where you build your deck from a pool of 5 booster packs, and one seeded booster for the dragon lord you pledge allegiance to.

There are five dragons to pick from, all of which are modeled after the legendary dragons from Fate Reforged. They are as follows: Atarka, Ojutai, Silumgar, Dramoka, and Kolaghan. Each dragon has its own unique attributes and color combination, like the control-centric Ojutai build, or the aggro-heavy Kolaghan build.

Like other clan pledge prereleases there is a promotional item included. This time it happens to be a spin down 20-sided life counter in your chosen dragon’s color, all of which look fabulous. Now diving into the flavor of the set, history has been altered and this is the alternate reality Tarkir where dragons still freely roam the skies. People have become accustomed and pledge their allegiance to different dragons, forming the new clans.

The dragons themselves have also undergone a change. All of the legendary dragons from Fates Reforged, at that time rather young dragons, are all elder dragons. Elder dragon is a sub-type that hasn’t been seen in a rather long time and is making a welcome return to form, indicating high cost powerful creatures with potential game winning effects. This change in the flow of history has also influenced the planeswalkers from Tarkir,

Sarkhan has undergone a color change to Temur, or red-blue-green and is a potent planeswalker, but is rather underpowered effect wise. His counterpart, however, has become much better than her previous creature iteration, Narset Transcendent is an extremely efficient planeswalker and likely to see play in formats other than standard, with a relatively low casting cost of 4 and a high base loyalty she will make a welcome addition to many control based decks, especially when paired with a mirror match due to her final ability. Prerelease Dragons of Tarkir is looking to be rather interesting.




Examining different types of headaches

Have you ever woke up in the morning with a pounding sensation in the head? A high-tension headache wreaking havoc on your concentration and generally leaving you uncomfortable? You’re not the only one, headaches are a very common occurrence among people. But is there anything you can do while suffering through a headache? First it’s good to understand what kind of headache you have in the first place. Treatment can vary depending on the kind that you experience.

Tension Headaches

This kind of headache is the most common type of headaches among adults and adolescents. These are caused by muscle contraction and cause mild to moderate pain, and can go over a long period of time. More than likely, this is what you are experiencing.

Taking a painkiller and going on with your day is your best bet if you experience this type of pain. Thankfully it’s the least severe, and the most easily avoided with medication. Something such as Advil may help with this kind of headache.

Migraines

Surprisingly, the exact cause of migraines are unknown despite having such a good scientific community today. Migraine pain is moderate to severe, often described as a pounding or throbbing sensation in your head. These can last from four hours to three days, and it usually occurs one to four times per month if you experience head pains often. These are associated with symptoms such as sensitivity to light, noise, or odors.

When you experience a migraines, it’s a good idea to stay home and find a dark, quiet place to rest in. This will take the edge off of the pain until it fades away completely with time.

Cluster Headaches

This is the least common, but the most severe type of headache. The pain can be described as having a burning or piercing quality that is throbbing or constant. The pain is located behind one eye, or in the eye region without changing sides. These can occur one to three times per day during a cluster period, which may last two weeks to three months. These headaches may disappear completely for months or years, only to recur.

It’s good to find a doctor if you experience this type of headache, dealing with it on your own without medication can be extremely uncomfortable without any peace of mind.

Sinus Headaches

These are associated with a deep and constant pain in the cheekbones, bridge of the noise, or forehead. Sinus headaches are one of the easiest in which you can diagnose yourself. However, sinus headaches usually come with other sinus symptoms such as nasal discharge, feeling of fullness in the ears, or even a fever.

So now that there is a general understanding on what types of headaches they are, another big question is, are headaches hereditary?

Regretfully, yes. Headaches do have a tendency to run in the family. If, for instance, your father had headaches and migraines often, there is a big chance that if you as a child have some as well, it will be something quite long lasting in your life.

The bottom line is that headaches are things which you may have to deal with through your life without any relief. Your best option is to figure out what you are experiencing, and decide if you need to visit a doctor, or if you can treat it yourself.