Category: s

7 Life Hacks for Every Teenage Student to Work Smarter

Being a student can be challenging. There are so many new things changing in your life and so many responsibilities that you can’t even find time for yourself. Instead of procrastinating or trying to change the system, you’d better find some shortcuts that’ll help you work smartly. While, working hard is necessary to win in life, working smartly on the other hand can help you accomplish even more.

 

If finding a balance is a problem for you too, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we are going to discuss a few tips that will change your school experience for the better – and most of them are quite easy to do.

Record Lectures

If you want to simplify your studying process, here is what you could do:

• Record classroom lectures (make sure you professor agrees)
• Download the recorder on your laptop or tablet
• Play it loud and make sure you understand the content
• You can edit audio quality using QuickTime Pro or Audacity
• Play the recordings again, at twice or triple the speed
• Start learning

Voila! Now you don’t have to spend hours looking through your old notes and various textbooks. All you have to do is press play!

Set Your Schedule as Your Wallpaper

Its hard to remember your schedule and room numbers the first few days of class. One tip is to take a picture or type out your schedule and take a screenshot of it. Set it as your phone, tablet, or laptop wallpaper and you will have it available at a moment’s notice.

Use Google Translate as an Essay Checker

Writing essays can be boring. There’s so much structure, and so much work to do. Professors can be pretentious, and deadlines can be a pain in the bum. Shorten your time spent at your desk by using Google Translate.

• Write down your essay
• Copy the first paragraph
• Paste it into Google Translate
• Press “Translate”
• Close your eyes, and let Google read your essay out loud for you
• When you hear a grammar mistakes or spot a typo, correct it in your oroginal paper
• Repeat with the following paragraphs

Why not use this free tool to improve your writing — and your grades?

Use Amazon Prime for Free

Laila Johnson, freelancer worker at Essay Geeks service and former Manager at Amazon, shares her advice:

“Did you know that if you are a student, Amazon Prime is free for you? For every e-mail ending in ‘.edu,’ Amazon gives out amazing advantages.”

You can:

• Download Kindle books for free
• Read unlimitedly
• Get instant videos in a second
• Benefit from two-day shipping, and many others

Since you are already a student, open up an account with your school’s e-mail, and benefit from unlimited options!

Use Noise Down

The new intelligent App application called Noise Down automatically detects the noise level in your home, class, or wherever you are. All you have to do is tune your app to suit your needs. If the background noise exceeds your own settings and preferences, an alarm will sound. This is an amazing way to realize whether you need to change study environments or not.

For instance, studying in a café is only a great choice as long as others don’t distract you from your work, right? Know where that boundaries lay by using Noise Down.

Learn How to Use Photoshop

We all know that being a student means living on a tight budget. As technology is developing as such a fast pace, learning how to use Photoshop will always be of great use to you to create presentations, posters, and funny memes of course. Why not start learning, while still young? Not only will it help with your graphics for school, it might even help you get a job down the line! Adobe offers Photoshop to students at a discount as part of its Creative Cloud.

Create a Special Playlist to Stay on Time

This life hack is one of my favorites! Because who doesn’t like listening to music in order to figure out time?

• Choose your favorite pumped songs
• Set up a special Playlist on Spotify
• Listen to it a couple of times
• Start playing it early in the morning, and try to finish your routine by the end of your playlist

Great music while showering, great music while taking breakfast, great music while preparing for your day. Could you ask for more?

Conclusion

If you decided to work smart, here is your opportunity. Record your lessons, set your schedule as your phone’s background screen, use Google Translate to correct your writing mistakes, use Amazon Prime for free, try out Noise Down to focus better on your work, learn how to use Photoshop, and create a special Spotify playlist to always be on time.


Chris Richardson is a journalist, editor, and a blogger. He loves to write, learn new things, and meet new outgoing people. Chris is also fond of traveling, sports, and playing the guitar. Follow him on Google+.

 

Alex & Me’s Lily Mae Silverstein – Interview with Teens Wanna Know! and Film Review

Fans of Disney XD’s series Bunk’d are familiar with Lily Mae Silverstein, who plays “Lydia the Weasel” on the show. This busy teen actress also stars as “Penny” in the Nickelodeon/Warner Bros. July, 2018 release of Alex & Me starring Alex Morgan (US Women’s National Soccer Team) and Siena Agudong from Star Falls and Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn on Nickelodeon.

What you might not know is that Lily is also an aspiring filmmaker, having been part of an award winning cinematic arts program at her middle school. She is also loves animals, and has collected donations and volunteered at various shelters to celebrate her birthday every year since age 5.

Lily is very cool, smart, and talented — as you will discover for yourself when you read our interview with her below. And make sure to keep scrolling all the way to the bottom to read our quick review of Alex & Me!

Hi Lily, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Before we get into your role in Alex & Me starring soccer phenom Alex Morgan, tell us a little about yourself.

I have been acting for a total of 12 years now and I have to say that it truly is my “Number 1” passion. My mom was in the advertising business when she had my older brother.  She took him to auditions as a baby, and then she soon did the same with me. I got my first role in a Disneyland commercial, which is a dream come true for a two year old. I have been acting ever since.

But acting is not the only passion that I have encountered. I love playing soccer, which runs in the family. I love to dance and tumble, which I am trying to combine into a love for cheerleading. I just graduated middle school 2 DAYS AGO, and am excited to move onto greater things at my high school like debate and musical theater. But nothing will stop me from going through each audition process until I find my next role.

Alex & Me comes out June 12thon digital and June 19th on DVD + Blu-Ray. Tell me about your character and why you think teens should watch this movie.

I play Penny in this movie–a fierce and fabulous character. She may not be the best soccer player at first, but definitely knows how to boss others around. Although she can be seen as quite demanding, she really wants what’s best for the team and won’t let any opponent get in her way. We just recently saw the world-premier of the film and I was ecstatic with the finished product.

Alex & Me is an empowering film showing that girls can do anything they put their minds to. We need more women role models and I know you can find some in this movie. It truly is a movie inspired by family and love, which is something I have found with the cast mates.  Just remember that girls can do anything they want with hard work and some help from family.

Were you a soccer player before this film? If so, tell me about about it (favorite position, years played, etc).

Yes, I was a soccer player before this film and still am. I’m not going to flatter myself, because my dad gave me hints about how my soccer playing wasn’t to his liking in the film. [lol, dads will be dads – Ed.] But, Soccer has been a part of my life from a very young age. My dad was born and raised in Switzerland where soccer is extremely popular. Being a soccer player himself definitely put some ideas in my head from a young age.

I love playing forward, but usually find myself in a defense position. I even found a love for playing goalie on set. Whenever anyone would want to practice shots on goal in between scenes, I would try to run into the goal first to play goalie. I believe I have been playing soccer on and off for about 10 years now and I hope to continue.

What was your on-set soccer training like for this movie?

The soccer training was really great. We had an onset coach to help with specific moves for specific shots and warming up, Stephen “Macca” McAnespie. He also orchestrated a lot of the soccer games.  He’d tell us where to run so we could make the shot for the camera.  He was really great and we had a lot of fun scrimmaging games for the film.   We also had a small basketball court at our hotel.  We would kick soccer balls around after our daily wrap. It was usually just six girls practicing their shots for hours. This is just one of the ways that us girls got really close.

Did you fan-girl when you met Alex Morgan, or was it a pretty chill moment?

Meeting Alex Morgan was surprisingly a super chill moment. Reagen Champanella, (who plays Bug in the film and was the inspiration for the script) ran over and said she just met Alex Morgan! She took me and a few other girls over and introduced us. We said our hellos and Alex was so nice. I was even able to show her a picture of a girl on my soccer team who dressed up in her jersey for Halloween. It was a normal introduction to such a sweet person.

With that said, I nearly freaked out when meeting Jerry Trainor. I shook his hand and melted in the fact that I was such a huge fan. I told him that I met Nathan Kress when working on Henry Danger and he said that he actually visited Nathan the day that I was working!!! I definitely did not play it cool.

Who did you hang out with most on set?

The movie surrounds a team called the Breakaways. So, every scene involved the team.  There were 5 soccer-playing actors and 6 girls from New Orleans that were on a real soccer team.  The girls from New Orleans were really great.  They invited us to hang out and they really taught us about the city—what to do and where to hang out.  They invited us to come back for Mardi Gras. My family and I are considering it for next year! In conclusion, we were one big family that played around and had fun everyday.

You’ve got some directing chops, right? Do you think you will lean more towards filmmaking or acting as you grow older?

For the past three years, I was apart of the Cinematic Arts Academy at my middle school and made many films throughout the years. There have been major flops and successes that have helped me learn what it’s like to be in the industry. My filmmaking has helped me tremendously as an actress because I am more aware with what I like and dislike from actors and actresses in my films.  I am very intrigued by the world of stop motion and would love to make more of those films. In other words, I hope to continue acting and filmmaking for as long as I have the time and energy to do both.

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you.

I have extremely flexible joints.  I can dislocate my shoulder and put my feet behind my head. [woah – Ed.]

Biggest pet peeve?

When peers discredit your feelings like they are not important.

Favorite book?

“The Outsiders” by my favorite author S.E. Hinton. Since “The Outsiders” I have gone on to read every other book that she has written and have loved them so much as they continued to inspire me to write my own some day.

Favorite musical artist?

Although I love pop music, I am more of a theater gal. Some of my favorite musicals include “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Something Rotten.” I have seen both on Broadway and will never stop listening to their soundtracks!!!

Favorite movie?

My favorite movie is Deadpool because it is so funny and it stars my dream husband, Ryan Reynolds. Furthermore, I recently saw Deadpool 2, opening night, and may have shed a tear.

Most embarrassing moment you wish you could do over?

When I was around the age of 8, I went in for a role for the show Jessie. While I was waiting for the lady to call me in, I was playing around on my mom’s phone. When I got into the room, I was unprepared and forgot all of my lines. The lady sent me out to get my script and I was crying to my mom. But, the casting director was understanding and gave me another chance with script in hand.

I surprisingly got a callback! But, I am glad that I didn’t get the role because who knows if I would have gotten on Bunk’d. I also have learned a valuable lesson to this day. Before an audition, you will rarely find me on my phone. You will find me constantly reviewing my lines to be prepared for any changes in the room.  That was an embarrassing moment, but a moment that I would not want to do over.

What do you have coming up next?

I recently was in an episode of Walk the Prank that I am excited to watch. I am also excited for Bunk’d season 3; where you might encounter a certain familiar character “Weasel.”

Could we get a selfie of whatever you are doing at the moment? Its something we do for the fans!

-Here is a cringey bathroom selfie-

I took this because my bathroom has good lighting and I am just at home watching movies with my family after a long day of learning lines for an audition. This is my average day, but something I enjoy very much.

Follow Lily here:

https://www.instagram.com/lilymaesilverstein/

https://twitter.com/lilymaesilver

https://www.facebook.com/LilyMaeSilverstein/

Alex & Me Film Review

Siena Agudong plays Reagan, an aspiring soccer player whose parents ignore her soccer dreams in favor of supporting her older brother’s football career. “I’m going to go move to Alaska and join a cult!” she says to her parents, played by Chuti Tiu and Jim Klock, who are so focused on their son’s college scholarship prospects that they remain oblivious to her proclamation — and her request for a ride to soccer tryouts.

After getting to tryouts on a broken bicycle, Reagan fails to impress the coach of the number one team. Dejected, she throws a tantrum in her bedroom and tries to rip down a poster of her hero, USWNT star Alex Morgan — only to slip off her chair, whack her head on the hard edge of a shelf, and pass out. Shorty then starts trippin’ – she is literally woken up by a hallucination of Alex Morgan herself, who dips from the poster and pops up in the flesh to motivate Reagan back on track like a soccer fairy godmother.

Reagan joins a team of girls who’ve gotten cut from other teams and, thanks to Morgan, helps turn it around despite many challenges. The moral of the story is to keep pushing and to work hard, and the movie does a good job at delivering the message while also being humurous.

The movie is full of characters and situations anyone who has participated in youth soccer will recognize: mean coaches, beer-bellied refs, the coach who people think is a soccer expert just because he’s British, working on whatever crappy practice fields you can scrape up, grass allergies, after-game ice cream, parents who yell at their kids while they are playing, and more. The movie probably captures what its like to play AYSO and youth club soccer in America better than any film to date.

There are some inexplicable moments though. Reagans’s best friend at school somehow fails to go to any of her games, and a budding relationship with a boy never really goes anywhere (he doesn’t show up to cheer her on either, for example). And the storyline about a “fake” coach is kind of silly, especially since the character played by Jerry Trainor just kinds of disappears despite being the funniest in the film. As of this writing, Trainor’s name doesn’t even appear on the cast list for the film on IMDB! It’s like he showed up one day, hammed it up on set for a few hours, and then split — strange for an actor very well known to Nickelodeon fans from Drake and Josh and iCarly — his part could have been bigger or at least brought back at some point.

Production quality on the film isn’t superb. In some scenes, the handheld camera work and insufficient lighting on actor’s faces were distracting, and some shots needed better focus. But I am just being nitpicky. As far as the acting — well, Alex Morgan is not a pro actor, but she is likable enough to get away with it in this movie. Everyone else does an adequate job being “Disney-ish,” which is fine since this film is for that demographic.

Final opinion: If you are older, this movie is not for you unless you are a hardcore Alex Morgan fan. But if you play youth soccer, you are probably going to enjoy it!

Overall rating: 6 out of 10.

p.s. I feel sorry for any future soccer player who has the misfortune of being named Natalie Gunderson. Major shade thrown, bro.

The Effects of Late-Night Phone Use on Adolescent Health

It’s not a crime to stay up late playing on your phone, but there are definitely some very well-documented deficits to your health when you regularly engage with smartphones close and during bedtime.

While some adolescents in your household might think so, they aren’t exempt from the shortfalls in health as a result of using mobile phones late at night. If they needed some proof of the bad effects that come from not putting the phone down at certain times, we have a collection of informative and factual reasons that will serve to point them in the right direction.

Using a smartphone can interrupt good sleep

You can fork out all the money in the world for bedroom furniture that will give your teens the best night’s sleep, but if they’re glued to their phones, then the blue light will act to disrupt the production of melatonin; this is the hormone that regulates the body’s sleep cycle.

The standout negative effects of this will result in increased sleepless nights, which is never a good thing when younger members of the family are still developing. Fatigue is also bad for their overall mood, not to mention the potential for the onset of depression and anxiety.

Using a smartphone can damage your eyes

The blue light that’s emitted from your mobile phone is one element of the full light spectrum. This is something that we are exposed to via the sun’s rays; however, when humans, particularly adolescents are exposed to this at nighttime, it can be damaging to their vision.

Direct exposure to blue light can also damage your retinas over time. This might not be an instant concern for younger members of the family, but loss of vision should not be taken lightly, therefore, making them aware of the dangers they are faced with is important.

Using a smartphone can affect attention spans

Your teens might be alone when they are using their phones at night, but this doesn’t mean that the effects stay in the bedroom. You might think that they don’t listen at the best of times, but just imagine if their attention spans are lessened due to smartphone use at bedtime.

Let’s be honest, we’re all guilty of using our phones too much, especially at night, but you’ve got to lead by example because adults are more likely to be aware of the fact that the simple presence of a smartphone causes a distraction.

Using a smartphone might cause electromagnetic radiation problems

At present, there’s no concrete evidence on the matter, scientists claim that radiation from smartphones has been said to be connected to health problems.

The scientists who conducted the study have called on the World Health Organization and governments and the UN, to introduce rigorous regulations concerning mobile phones that produce electromagnetic fields.

What can you do to overcome these issues?

If you are concerned with the problems associated with adolescents in your family using their smartphones at night, there are ways that you can approach the subject to help them reduce their nighttime usage.

Obviously showing them the points raised above will help but talk with your teen about their phone use is also a really effective method too.

It could do more harm than good if you were to lay down a new set of stringent rules in regard to mobile phones use in the bedroom, so have a chat with them and see if they are aware of the health issues themselves.

Put the ball in their court and give them choices, explain how scrolling through social media right throughout the night can have negative effects on their health and wellbeing.

Another informed choice you can opt for is to form a regular bedtime routine that the entire family can/will realistically adhere to.

Bedtime routines for young children are frequently talked about, but bedtime rituals are also just as important for the adolescents in the family, too.

Promote quiet activity in the two hours leading up to before bed, whatever that may be. You can show that you are practising what you preach by having a certain room, or spot in the house where each member of the family can deposit their phones within an allotted time period before you tuck yourselves into bed.

You can also adopt, the use of mindfulness apps or listening to soothing music to aid in relaxing their minds and bodies before bed.

These are just a couple of the ideas you can use to help your teens to understand how to overcome the negative effects associated with using a smartphone at night. Essentially, there isn’t a stock, black-or-white answer that works for each family, it’s about finding a balance and bringing awareness on the matter.

5 Ways to Avoid Plagiarism in High School Writing

Plagiarism is using in writing someone else’s text published in paper or electronic form, without full reference to the source or even with a reference, if the volume and nature of borrowing provoke questions regarding the independence of the work performed or one of its main sections.

It is the worst sin in the academic world, and it can cost you pretty much. We are sure you are not intended to plagiarize, but anyway, too many students suffer from the accusation of plagiarism every year. Even if you are in high school, you can use these five ways to avoid plagiarism and stay on the safe side.

WAY #1. Using Direct Quotes

Put someone else’s text in quotes and mention the reference to the source of the text in a link or square bracket (a must for the academic text). In this case, citation is necessary when:

  • A genuine formulation has a special meaning;
  • The original phrase so faithfully conveys a meaning that it is impossible to surpass it;
  • When you want to mention  significant statements of a political leader or a universally recognized researcher on this issue.

When quoting, be very accurate and bring it unchanged. When quoting is not borrowed from the source, but from a secondary source, mention this in a footnote (if applicable according to the chosen formatting style), for example, cit. by: …, is given by: … and indicate the primary source itself. When adding something to the citation, you should indicate this in square brackets. Your explanations in the quotes themselves should also be enclosed in square brackets. It is allowed to single out individual passages in the quotation, but then it should be noted in the same place or at the end of quoting [highlighted by me]. To avoid doubt, it is customary to specify [highlighted in the source], even when the selection already exists in the source itself.

Quotation, the volume of which does not exceed four lines or two sentences, should be enclosed in double quotes. A longer quote is given in a separate paragraph by expanding or narrowing the margins on both sides of the text. In this method of quoting, there is no need for double quotes.
When quoting, it is allowed to remove not relevant extracts from the text, but only on condition that they do not contain meaningful content. The place of seizure should be indicated by adding this sign […] regardless of whether one word or the whole passage was withdrawn.

WAY #2. Paraphrasing

For the reasons mentioned above, do not use a lot of direct quotes in the text and preferably lead the arguments of authoritative researchers through paraphrases with reference to the source. In order to describe the author’s ideas, it is necessary to rephrase his statements, and not to rewrite them from this source. Thus it is necessary to be guided by two principles:

  • The paraphrase should express the essence of the author’s ideas, do not distort and do not violate their meaning;
  • The paraphrase should be directly related to the topic under discussion.

WAY #3. Using Online Plagiarism Checkers

You can’t trust them fully, but they are rather helpful when it comes to the unintentional plagiarism and online sources. All free online checkers work only with open data, it means they can’t find the same piece of text in someone else’s paper which was submitted and added to the database uniting colleges and universities. However, the possibility that you will write something that was written before is rather theoretical, isn’t it? Paid online plagiarism checkers dig deeper — they have a database of journal articles and books, they are mostly also connected to the bases of the peer reviewed journals, which means the search will be truly deep and intense. It takes more time, but it is worth it. When it comes to some serious assignments it is better to use paid plagiarism-checkers. If you have such a necessity not more than once or twice a month it is better to pay for a single check, but if you want to check every paper, it is more beneficial to buy monthly account or even an annual one.

WAY #4. Using Only Valid Sources

Pay attention to the list of sources you are allowed and required to use when writing your paper. Such lists are often provided by your professor in the syllabus to the particular course. Avoid using any kind of “wiki” articles, blogs and other sources which can hardly be named academical. Of course, there are even some tweets which have changed the history, and you can definitely quote them, however, in other cases it is better to stick to the conventional academic sources: books, peer-reviewed journals, academic journals, etc.

WAY #5. Paying Attention to the Citation Style

Failure to use the citation style properly often is the reason why students get accused of plagiarism. It is only normal because if you don’t cite something the way you should, it means that you might be willing to conceal the fact that you used someone else’s work. Use sources like Purdue Owl and similar to hone your formatting and to speed the process up find some free citation generators. Make sure that all the names mentioned in the text are mentioned in the “works cited” part — for this, use Ctrl+F first starting from the top to the bottom, then reverse.

It is not too much difficult to avoid plagiarism if you are writing your academic paper diligently and fast, but it is better to be extra cautious regarding this issue.

 

Top Dangers for Today’s Teens and How to Stay Safe

As a teen, it’s important you take responsibility for your own safety and security. This is an essential part of life where you’ll be working on transitioning into adulthood. As you grow away from your parents’ care, you will be faced with more and more choices. Your response will determine a lot of your future. A life of new privileges, including driving and going out without your parents, leads to new responsibilities. Read about these top three dangers and work to make healthy choices in your own life.

Alcohol Use and Abuse

Teens are not legally able to purchase or possess alcohol, but many find it easy to obtain, whether it’s from their parents or friends. Drinking has many negative effects on the body, and early use can lead to a greater chance of alcoholism in adulthood. Binge drinking, or drinking heavily in one sitting, can lead to serious health problems and even alcohol poisoning. Over time, it can damage your liver and could lead to cancer. Each year, 5,000 people under 21 die due to underage drinking.

Prescription Drugs

Teens need to know the true dangers of prescription drug abuse. It is never okay to take someone else’s medication. Parents should keep all family prescriptions in a secure location for everyone’s safety. Prescription drug abuse can lead to dangerous drug interactions and even death. It is also a gateway to other drugs such as heroin.

If you are offered a friend’s prescription or something they have taken from their parents, make sure you tell an adult in authority, or your school resource officer.

Unsafe Driving

According to this article by Cloud Media News, dangers behind the wheel kill more teens than any other cause of death. Driving unsafely doesn’t only happen when under the influence of alcohol. 33% of all deaths between ages 13 and 19 were caused by motor vehicle accidents. Distractions, such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, or too much talking with passengers, can be extremely dangerous. Teens also need to make sure they do not drive impaired by drugs or alcohol, and that everyone in the car wears seat belts.

With a little thought and caution, teens can protect themselves from serious dangers. Talk to your parents or a trusted adult for help and don’t be afraid to ask for advice when you need it. Make sure you are a good example to your friends and younger siblings, and avoid becoming a statistic yourself.

Stuck on a Feeling – Carly Peeters Release Party Red Carpet & Performance

Live performances! Fun red carpet interviews! Miss Teen International 2017 Carly Peeters debuted her new single and video for “Stuck on a Feeling” at Cherry Soda Studios in Los Angeles, and reporter Keira Pena covered the action.

Interviews: Carly Peeters, Pynk Le’monade, Bryce Xavier, Elizabeth J. Cron, Grayson Thorne Kilpatrick, Asia Aragon, Serena Laurel, Jacob Hopkins, Kash Hovey, Kathy Kolla, Terrell Ransom Jr., Savannah Kennick, Sheldon Bailey, James Ryan, Griffin Morgan, Madison Deaver, Orli & Arielle Gottesman, Somalie Inez.

Watch “Stuck on a Feeling”

Spotify – https://spoti.fi/2rPA5zF
iTunes – https://apple.co/2INJ6TM
Google Play – https://bit.ly/2ISShCA
Amazon – https://amzn.to/2rTfcDV

Connect with Carly Peeters:
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/carlyonsugar
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/carlyonsugar
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/carlyonsugar
Website: http://www.carlypeeters.com

Host: Keira Pena
http://instagram.com/keirapena

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/teenswannaknow
Facebook: http://facebook.com/teenswannaknow

Visit our Café Press store for merch http://cafepress.com/teenswannaknow

Want your party covered? Business inquiries & bookings: info@teenswannaknow.com

Nickelodeon’s Star Falls’ Jadiel Dowlin Chats with Teens Wanna Know!

Have you watched Star Falls yet? It’s the new Nickelodeon show starring Siena Agudong who plays a teen that convinces a Hollywood star to move himself and his family into her rural house in order to set him up with her mom. Hilarity ensues as cultures clash.

One of its other leads is Jadiel Dowlin, from Toronto, Canada. He is an actor and scriptwriter (for Dino Dana) born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Jadiel started his career modeling and appearing in
commercials at the age of 12, followed up by a run on popular children’s television game show series Zoink’d and then a lead role in the Japanese-produced DVD series GrapeSEED. In 2013, he was cast in Annedroids, which earned him a 2016 Daytime Emmy Award nomination in the category of Outstanding Performer in a Children’s or Pre–school Children’s Series for his role as Nick Clegg. He has also won a 2015 Joey Award for Best Actor in a TV Action Leading Role and a 2015 Young Artist Awards for Outstanding Young Ensemble in a TV Series.

Other film and television credits include Rogue (DirecTV), Dino Dana (Amazon
Prime), The Swap (Disney Channel), The Stanley Dynamic (YTV) and Super Why! (PBS Kids).

Outside of showbiz, Jadiel loves comic books and playing soccer. He has also broken records as a sprinter in running events including the 4 × 100 metres relay.

Whew! This guy is talented and busy. Let’s get to know him better in our interview below!


Hi Jadiel, nice to e-meet you! Before we talk about Star Falls, tell us a little bit about yourself.

It’s great meeting you as well so we can talk about Star Falls and lots more. I’m a Canadian actor, writer, comic enthusiast, and I love track and field. It so happens that I’m fluent in Spanish as well and I fully embrace my Hispanic Afro-Caribbean heritage – thanks to my Panamanian parents.

Tell us about Star Falls and your character Phoenix Brooks

Star Falls is a unique TV series on Nickelodeon that airs on Saturday evenings. It’s about a celebrity movie star dad that has to move to a small town to shoot a movie and decides that he wants to take his three Hollywood kids with him. The local veterinarian’s daughter decides to perform some schemes to have her mom meet her idol, Craig Brooks, the movie star. Phoenix is Craig’s oldest son, and he’s not a typical teenager; he’s very wise beyond his years. A total philosopher! And with his quirkiness he provides a different element to the show.

What has been the most rewarding part about working on this show so far?

There have been so many rewarding experiences but since you asked for one… I would have to say working with the cast. I’m an only child so being able to perform a role that entails having a younger sister and little brother was very different and enlightening. It’s given me the opportunity to act as a role model and leader for them, while also keeping me on my toes since Bo and Diamond (Phoenix’s siblings) are a handful. Watch the show to experience the shenanigans and many adventures.

And the most challenging?

I don’t see situations as challenges; I’m the type of person that sees situations as an opportunity to learn. There’s one thing I’m glad that I won’t have to do any longer now that I’m 18, and that’s two hours of school time per day for each day I’m on set. That was difficult to juggle because young actors performing time has to be cut short by mandated schooling. So I’m definitely glad that’s over! But it’s a bonus because now that I’m 18, I get to play younger roles so production companies love it!

Funniest moment on set as an actor?

That would have to be scenes that involve animals. Those are the most fun because animals (like babies) bring a different energy to the set, and although they are trained, sometimes things don’t go as planned. I’ve experienced snakes, tarantulas, skunks, donkeys, dogs, birds, cats and many others. But there’s one scene in an upcoming Star Falls episode where we had a goat. Well, it so happens the goat decided to go the bathroom during a take! It simultaneously defecated and urinated at the same time, and I was inches away from it! We had to clear the set and it took a while to have everything cleaned.

You are a scriptwriter as well as an actor. How did you get involved writing for Dino Dana?

I became close to the creators and writers of Annedroids, which is produced by Sinking Ship Entertainment. Although it’s been a few years since the TV series, we’ve kept in-touch and I was provided with the opportunity to pitch episodes for Dina Dana, and I’ve written several episodes so far. I loved this experience because I’m able to learn another aspect of the film industry, and create art through another medium, e.g., production, writing, directing. I’m excited to keep growing and produce my own content.

Your parents are from Panama. What part of that culture are you most proud of?

I would have to say that I’m so happy that I’m able to speak Spanish because it opens up the world to me. It makes travelling a joy, and bilingualism allows you to connect to more people, cultures etc. Plus the flavourful Panamanian/Hispanic food and the variety of upbeat music gives me a sense of vibrancy and culture I can imbue in my acting. Like my favorite saying is: “Oye, que pasa?!” (Hey, what’s happening).

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Gosh, that’s an easy one! When people give spoilers about TV shows, movies, books. That drives me crazy. I actually mute my alerts and stay off media to ensure I don’t read anything by accident. Because it’s always best to experience climactic events firsthand in the cinema, not on your twitter feed!

Biggest guilty pleasure?

Being huge in the world of comics, I enjoy collecting these action figures called Hot Toys. Only thing is that they’re super rare to get and a tad expensive!

If you could do over one embarrassing moment on your life, what would it be?

That would be the time I tore my uniform pants in elementary school. It was a track and field day and of course there was a lot of running and jumping involved. I came in first for many of the events and was feeling pretty good about myself. But after the long jump event my friends starting laughing at me, and I turned and realized I had split my pants. My boxers were in full view of everyone! It was embarrassing to say the least.

Favorite movie?

Well, you know it has to be a comic book movie, so I’ll go with The Dark Knight. It’s able to tell a compelling story using interweaving subplot devices. It’s actually more than a movie; it’s an analysis of the criminal element, and juggles concepts like order/chaos, justice/injustice. It’s very ambitious and entertaining film.

Dream role?

Hmm I would like to do more drama and thriller roles. They’re lots of fun, and allow you to portray a different/darker side of characters. Superhero and Supervillain roles would also be on the list.

Favorite musical act?

My go to music is instrumental and my favorite composer is Hans Zimmer. He’s the composer for many terrific films, including Man-of-Steel, and The Dark Knight Trilogy, Interstellar, Gladiator, and many more. His usage of drums is bombastic and immersive.

Favorite book?

My favorite book is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, but it’s a great read that takes the reader on a journey. It offers insight on what ones life purpose should be, and has an awesome twist. Everyone should read it at least once.

Most unique or surprising thing people don’t know about you?

People are always surprised that I’m fluent in Spanish, that I have the natural ability to wiggle my ears, and that I obtained Ryerson’s University President’s Entrance Scholarship, which is a “full-ride.” I’m pursuing a double major in Philosophy and Film studies.

What are you working on next?

Be on the lookout for three episodes I wrote for Dino Dana Including: Growing Up Dino, Dinosauroid Dana, and Flying Expectations. I have many other projects in the works, but unfortunately I’m not able to share the details as yet. Stay tuned!

Where can your fans follow you?

They can follow me on many social media sites:
Instagram: @jadiel_dowlin
Twitter: @jadieldowlin
Facebook: @jadieldowlin
IMDb: www.imdb.me/jadieldowlin
Website: www.jadieldowlin.com

Selfie time!

4 Fun Video Games That Actually Make You Smarter

Video games are no longer exclusively for entertainment. In recent years, some of the industry’s most popular games are those which challenge players to think outside of the box. At this point, most people agree that certain games can help you develop your capacity for learning. These are the four best games for building your brain.

1. The Sims

Of all important life skills, social awareness is near the top. The Sims is an approachable game franchise that features an art style perfect for children and teenagers. However, don’t let the game’s cartoon appearance fool you. The Sims provides an immense amount of depth and shows players glimpses of how life really works in the outside world.

Players will learn about buying houses, making friends, self-development and many other topics that appear in day-to-day life. Those teenagers who enjoy The Sims are put into a growth mindset, and that is an essential feature of a lifelong learner.

2. Minecraft

Minecraft is one of the most popular video games among all age groups. In a sandbox world with limitless opportunities, players are free to explore their wildest ideas. In contrast to the tedium of regular life, Minecraft exposes players to the hidden secrets of the world’s happiest people: creativity and spontaneity.

The sandbox nature of Minecraft helps build players’ brains because few parts of the game are straightforward. Players exercise their critical thinking capacity, and they are forced to create solutions to problems that have many possible solutions. These are the skills of the real world.

3. Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is a surprise hit from a few years ago, and it’s still one of the best games for brain development. Players are given total control over a farm, and they must forge their own path as the “new kid in town”. Players can choose from many divergent paths, but the core gameplay remains the same: specialize in something, build a reputation around town and watch as new opportunities unfold.

Above all, Stardew Valley teaches our brains to consider the compounding nature of responsibilities. When you grow and sell more crops, for example, people around town become more reliant on you. Over time, our brains will notice a similar pattern in all walks of life.

4. Tetris

Tetris is the oldest game on this list — and it’s the most classically brain-intensive. The fast-paced nature of Tetris helps players develop their on-the-fly decision making. This is an important skill in many areas of life, but it’s especially important in conversation. Those who can think quickly are always among the most influential people in the room.

More importantly, Tetris will help players develop trust in their intuitions. With only limited time to place blocks in their eventual landing place, players must develop a true sense of muscle memory. Such skills are important everywhere from the classroom to the workplace.

These are the four best games for building your brain, and they all have one thing in common: they force players to make creative decisions. Games that push your brain toward a growth mindset will always hold a special place in the world of entertainment. These are among the few games that educate as much as they entertain.

Resources:

Other Articles You Might Like:

The 10 Cool Free Games for Your iPhone

Disruptus – A Brain-Boosting Game for both Teens and Adults

Is MMO Toxicity Simply a Reflection of Real Life?

 

Sleep Easy: What College Admission Officers Won’t Tell You

According to a recent article in Inside Higher Ed, private colleges and universities are trending toward raising their tuition “discount” rates despite annual increases of the “sticker price” of attendance. Did you know the average private college’s discount rate reached 48% in 2014?

This tuition “discount” rate makes the enrollment process more akin to shopping for a mattress than
choosing a higher learning institution. This steep discount is offered by using institutional grants that largely come from tuition revenue. Does the old saying about “robbing Peter to pay Paul” apply? Let’s take a closer look at the current process of “shopping” for a private school.

A tale of three mattresses

Buyer #1, an undergraduate applicant in Chanel couture clothing, walks into UberSleep (private college) to buy the perfect mattress (education). The salesman (admission officer) shows the buyer the Hypnos Luxury Mattress with the inflated sticker price of $15,000. The buyer immediately buys the Hypnos because she can afford it and believes the mattress is worth it. Her inner monologue: “I’m spending almost half my life in bed, and this mattress is an investment.”

Buyer #2 walks into UberSleep to buy the perfect mattress wearing clothes she purchased on a discount rack at Marshall’s. She sees the sticker price of the Hypnos and walks out, resolving just to buy a good mattress from Target for a fraction of the cost. In education, she may settle for a less competitive college than she might be able to attend, just because no one has explained to her the way this game gets played.

Buyer #3 walks into UberSleep and falls in love with the Hypnos, but he can’t afford it. He advocates for why he is the perfect customer and convinces the UberSleep salesman to offer a 48% discount. He positions himself as a future advocate for the store, as someone likely to bring more money in the future as the result of the excellent restful nights he’s experienced. The mattress, although still expensive, is sold.

Spike and discount

How is this possible? The mattress salesman can offer the cut because the sticker price of the mattress is inflated in the first place (not to be confused with an inflatable mattress). The first buyer paying the full price allowed enough revenue to offset Buyer #3’s attendance at zero profit.

This “spike and discount” trend has been a staple of the private institution enrollment process and has been increasing since 2008. And it doesn’t seem to be abating any time soon.
Here’s why this should make you mad: it’s a form of lying. It unfairly requires students and parents to play a game as if they’re haggling at a street fair when the future is at stake.

Know your options

The problem for countless potential undergraduate applicants is that they resemble Buyer #2. Many highly qualified high school seniors are deterred from applying to private schools where they would thrive and find academic fulfillment because the “sticker price” of enrollment seems unmanageable. They either cannot afford or simply won’t pay the hefty premium of an “elite” education. They don’t want to risk a potential rejection letter from a dream school because of their inability to pay the tuition in full.

My advice: DO NOT BE BUYER #2! If your dream school is a private university, apply. If your second choice is a private university: apply. If your safety school is private . . . you guessed it: apply! Like any good “salesman,” these enrollment officers need their bottom line. Enrollment and revenue are down for many private colleges, so you’d be surprised how many seemingly unattainable schools are willing to work with you.

The cult of prestige

So many of the elite institutions need to keep enrollment numbers up so they can maintain their ranking and prestige. These numbers partially rely upon the quality of academic achievement within their student body and how many admitted students become freshmen at their institution. Yes, the “sticker price” of a private school is exorbitant, but now you know the tricks of their tuition trade.

As millions of private school college freshman can attest, requiring assistance for your education does not necessarily influence your chances of admittance. These schools are spiking their sticker tuition so that they can offer discounts in the form of grants to excellent applicants who cannot afford to enroll. Yes, private institutions need tuition revenue, but they also need an academically competitive and well-rounded student body to keep their ranking. If you are within the target range of admittance for a school that you believe you would like to attend, don’t let the advertised tuition deter you from getting to attend your dream school.

Aside from scholarships and institutional aid offered through a specific institution, there are many opportunities to obtain additional aid. You can apply for a federal or state grant (“need-based aid” does not need to be repaid); a federal or state scholarship (“merit-based aid” also does not need to be repaid); or a federal or state loan.

As we head into college application season, please keep in mind that the “ticket price” is not where you want to focus. Building your future is not about money, it’s about fit. I trust you’re a more informed consumer—please join me on my website for more insider information to help you on your way to college admission.

Happy shopping!


Pamela Donnelley is a 20-year educator and the founder of GATE College System; co-developed by 26 Ivy League educators that’s committed to increasing equitable access to higher education and improved post-graduation outcomes for underprivileged 9th-12th grad students across the country. GATE is partnering with public high schools nationwide to provide its platform gratis to 50% of disadvantaged, at risk and first generation students, and in partnership with nonprofit JAG.org has been embraced by 34 high schools in 7 states this spring, with major districts now lining up for pro bono access for its disadvantaged student population.

Is Porn Addiction a Thing?

There’s no question that pornography consumption is up among teens. Research shows that pornography is increasingly seen as harmless and acceptable among younger consumers. That is certainly the common line in popular culture. But is it true? Is porn a harmless pastime, or is your southern Baptist Great Aunt on to something?

Most people associate addiction with substances such as alcohol and drugs. Surprisingly, porn affects the brain in many of the same ways as substances, making it a detriment on affected individual’s daily functioning. There may be more to the pornography story than Hollywood is letting on.

What Exactly is Addiction?

Addiction is a chronic disease in which sufferers are unable to maintain comfortable brain function without getting their fix from a substance. A common misconception about addiction is that it requires consumption of substances that have “chemical hooks” that create a dependency in the addict’s biochemistry. While these hooks do exist, addiction is far more concerned with the addict’s neurochemistry – especially the presence of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens region of the brain.

Because addiction is linked with this neurochemical activity, and because that activity can be caused by any number of stimuli, addiction can also be found in food, exercise, and yes – even porn. All of these things have one thing in common. They get the brain hooked on them by releasing that dopamine, which is responsible for pleasure. Addiction affects the brain by flooding it with dopamine and over time, the user must look at more pornographic images to get the rush. Because of that, addicts become trapped in a repetitive cycle of shame, compulsion, and betrayal.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms?

Since porn doesn’t necessarily produce noticeable changes in your appearance like substances do, it can be difficult to tell if someone may be struggling with it. Once common sign is withdrawal from friends and family. Many porn addicts prefer to be alone and may avoid social outings that they once enjoyed. Sleep related issues such as insomnia or excessive over sleeping can also be a sign of a serious addiction.

These complications can result from feelings of depression, shame and even anxiety. Financial problems may also arise as a result of over spending on pornographic websites or forms of media. Another common characteristic of this addiction is irritability. This occurs when the feelings of pleasure dissipate in the brain, resulting in a low state of mind. Irritability can also trigger aggression and even mood swings which can hurt your relationship with loved ones.

Can I Quit?

Because of the serious consequences of pornography addiction, many young men are calling it quits. But like any addiction, quitting isn’t easy to do. LifeStar Therapy recommends anyone attempting to beat an addiction should gather a strong network of support. “If you’re hesitant to talk to someone about your addiction, remember addiction thrives in shame. By finding a group you can open up to, and where you can listen to others share their stories, the shame of the addiction decreases because you’ll be around people who understand and relate to your struggles. Support groups have people at various stages on the path of recovery, and those further along can offer insights and tips to help you. The benefits of groups are not only about the positive feedback and energy to succeed, but providing support to others as well.”

If you or someone you care about is struggling with an addiction to porn, professional treatment is widely available. Programs offer a variety of services that target different aspects of addiction. Things like therapy, one on one counseling and exploring new hobbies and interests may be used to tackle the problem at hand.

Porn may seem like an entertaining way to pass the time for many teens, but can quickly get out of hand for some people. If you feel like you or someone you loved may be addicted to porn, seek help immediately.