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Midterm Elections: What Were The Results and What Do They Mean?

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Written by Madalyn Chapman

Tuesday, Nov. 6 was the date of the 2018 midterm elections. 35 out of the 100 seats in the United States Senate were up for re-election, as were all 435 seats in the House of Representatives. 36 states also chose new governors.

The 2018 midterm elections resulted in the Democrats taking the House of Representatives, while the Republicans will maintain control of the Senate.

Over 100 women were elected to the House of Representatives, which was a historic high. There were also many historic firsts.

The first Muslim women were elected to Congress: Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) and Abby Finkenauer (D-IA) became the youngest women to ever be elected to Congress at 29 years old.

The first Native American women in Congress were also elected. Sharice Davids (D-KS) and Deb Haaland (D-NM) will begin their terms on Jan. 3, 2018, along with all other newly elected representatives.

Colorado elected the first openly gay governor in the country as Democrat Jared Polis pulled ahead of Republican Walker Stapleton.

Massachusetts elected Democrat Ayanna Pressley and Connecticut elected Jahana Hayes (D-CT). Both states are sending a first black woman to represent them in the House of Representatives for the first time.

Arizona and Tennessee elected their first female senators, Republican Martha McSally and Republican Marsha Blackburn, respectively.

Maine and South Dakota elected their first female governors: Janet Mills (D-ME) and Kristi Noem (R-SD).

Before the midterm elections, Republicans controlled the House, the Senate and the presidency. There wasn’t a body of the legislative branch controlled by the Democrats, so the Republicans were able to push through legislation that may have been difficult or impossible to otherwise.

The results of the midterm elections mean the Democrats will have an increased ability to block legislation from the Republican party. It also means they will be able to launch investigations into President Trump’s finances and ethics, as well as Russian interference in the United States’ affairs.

“Washington could now face deep political polarization and legislative gridlock following the divide,” says Vickie Oliphant, a reporter for Express, a newspaper based in the United Kingdom.

‘Toy Like Me’ Making Progress at RC

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Written by Shamira James

According to the World Health Organization, around 15% of the world’s population is living with a disability. While some disabilities are less inhibiting than others, that doesn’t lessen the effect that they have on people’s lives. Toy Like Me is organization that helps the 140 million children worldwide shed some light on representation for kids in the toy industry who are different. On their website are different ways to get involved and take action on the issue, but there is also a way for everyone on the RC campus to get involved.

The RC base of this organization has the same goal as the larger picture: representation. What started as a May Term class for some has now become a full-on passion for others, and they are seeking to make a club and become an established cause on campus.

Junior Olivia Orent took Dr. Frances Bosch’s “Differabilites” May Term class this summer. While she learned a lot in the class, she came in already having such a drive for helping.

“When I was high school, I volunteered with the Special Olympics and I got to meet people with disabilities, and it was a really life changing experience. That’s actually why I’m a Health and Exercise Science major: so I can work with kids and help with physical therapy,” Orent said.

The club has already made really good progress for only having one week of fundraising, coming close to $400. The money will go towards toys for the big Modification Day project, where volunteers will come in and help change the toys for the kids.

“We raise so much money because we need quality toys for the kids,” Orent said. “Like we had this toy last year for this girl who has spina bifida and we had to melt the plastic on her back, so the toys need to be able to stand some pretty heavy modifications at times.”

The club has some big plans coming up within the next few months including their Santa Toy Drive, which in addition to the toys they’ll buy, will help on Modification Day, as well as participating in the Salem Christmas Parade. Orent said that the organization is hopeful to plan a party where they’ll rent out Colket and have kids with disabilities come and celebrate, having a good time in the spirit of being different.

Dickenson Talks Medical Technology

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Written by Emily LeClerc

Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of men and women across the United States. Each year, around six hundred thousand people die from heart disease. It isn’t just the U.S. either. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Needless to say, heart disease is a main concern for doctors and researchers across the globe.

The most common type of cardiovascular disease is coronary heart disease. Coronary arteries are the arteries that supply blood to the heart. They run all across the heart’s surface and are critical to keeping the heart working properly. In coronary heart disease, the coronary arteries become blocked with plaque. This plaque blockage slowly closes the artery, leaving less and less space for the blood to flow through. Once the entire artery is blocked, it can cause heart attack, cardiac arrest, and death.

Throughout the years, two main methods have been developed to treat coronary heart disease. The first is bypass surgery. This is an incredibly invasive surgery which involves opening the ribcage, moving other internal organs out of the way in order to get to the heart, and bypassing the blockage by connecting a new artery to the blocked one. The recovery time is nearly a year. Doctors were in search of a less intense and invasive treatment for this disease. This is when coronary stents were developed.

Stents are essentially small metal or plastic tubes inserted into a blocked artery to keep the passageway open. Ever since their first use in 1986, they have been used more and more frequently in place of a bypass surgery. During a coronary angioplasty, which is a procedure where surgeons use a balloon to stretch open a narrow or blocked artery, generally a stent will be inserted to keep the artery open. Stenting is nowhere near as invasive as bypass and has gained quite a bit of traction in the medical world

Last week, on Thursday, Nov. 1, Dr. Roger Dickenson came to RC to give a talk concerning the company he works for and coronary stents. Dr. Dickenson works for Integer, which is a global company that works essentially in the design and development of medical technology. One of their specific products is coronary stent tubing. Dr. Dickenson spent most of the talk discussing the development of coronary stents and how over the years, Integer has contributed greatly to stenting technology. With Integer’s improvement’s to coronary stents, the medical world has moved forward in their ability to treat coronary heart disease and reduce the fatality rate of the disease.

Sushi Provides Different Meal Choice: Local Restaurants Offer Dish as Specialty

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Written by Lorin Brice Hall

This week Commons served sushi alongside its normal lunch. Commons has always had a secondary meal option during the lunch rush and some alternate lunches that have been traditionally served include falafel, MYO omelet which carries over from breakfast, smoothies and veggie lo mein. These meals are great for vegetarians as they provide a respite from the generic steamed veggies that are always offered. However this is the first time that Commons has offered sushi.

Sushi, a traditional Japanese dish, first appeared on the Yoro Code, a list of governing laws created in 718 A.C.E, and was a way of preserving fish by covering the seafood in fermented rice, with the fish being eaten entirely separate from the rice. Since its origins, sushi has considerably evolved and diversified. Sushi is now an umbrella term for a range of dishes. Commons decision to include sushi in its roster of secondary meal items means that there’s now something new to anticipate. If you like a quick snack that is filling and refreshing then try Sushi. Commons offers it irregularly as a meal at dinner, when this happens it is often paired with Miso Soup, and now it is in the roster of secondary meal options for lunch.

Restaurants in the Salem area that offer sushi include Tokyo Express, Hibachi Express, Cafe Asia and the Sakura Japanese Steak and Seafood house. Bushi, a restaurant in downtown Roanoke, has recently changed the local sushi game. The restaurants name is derived from the word Bushido, which is the ethical warrior code of the Samurai. This restaurant takes sushi and just enlarges it into a burrito. Instead of the cut up slices one would normally picture it’s just a larger roll. The shop also sells poke which is the burrito bowl equivalent of sushi. If you have never tried sushi before than you should experiment and give it a try!

Counting Calories Can Have Consequences

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Written by Isaac Davis

In an age obsessed with image, diet and nutrition why is nearly 40% of the US obese (CDC 2018)?

Rising rates of obesity is a story of many characters: modern lifestyles are typically more sedentary and more stressful, foods are more processed, there is a huge disconnect between food origins and cultivation – the list goes on! However, one simple statistic that we see around us all the time may provide a quick an easy fix to some of our nutritional faux-pas.   

Calories are easily one of the most overused and misunderstood nutrition statistics. A calorie is measure of usable energy, though how many calories you actually get out of your food depends on how highly processed it is. This food processing can often occur before you even buy it, but the effects of what form you ingest your food in can have major consequences. If you eat food in a raw (unprocessed) state then you tend to lose weight. If you ate this same food cooked you would gain weight, despite the fact that the calorie count is the same! Catalysing this issue is the fact that processed food is typically softer and easier to breakdown, meaning we expend less energy through digestion.

In addition to this we face significant challenges from the popular belief in ‘like-calories’. The fact that one cup of whole almonds has the same amount of calories as 23/4 McDonald’s cheese burgers does not mean that they are equal. The fact that you can eat a meal at your favourite fast-food vendor 3 times a day and still be under your recommended calorie intake does not make that a healthy choice, or one that will help you lose weight.

We must stop counting calories and work to reconceptualize the role of the calorie in nutrition; understanding the calorie as the loose measurement of potential energy it represents. In the matter of healthy eating: do away with calorie counting and keep things fresh and simple. In the words of Michael Pollan: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”