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    Comment and Opinion

    Why Arent There Any Great White Sharks in Any of the Worlds Aquariums?

    By Emily Balaiss, Year 11

    Even if you love aquariums, there is one sea creature that you will never come across: the great white shark. And no, it’s not because people get scared that the shark will jump out of the thick glass walls and bite their heads off.

    Great white sharks can be found in cool coastal waters around the world, mainly around Australia, Asia, South America, and North America. They usually grow up to about 15 feet in length and weigh up to 7,000 pounds. They use their extremely heavy tails to propel their bodies trough the water at a top speed of 35 miles per hour.

    The reason we don’t see them in aquariums is because they can’t stand being in captivity. Sharks, when captured, can suffer from depression and lose the will to live. There has been plenty of attempts to contain this creature; in 1999, a great white was captured and sent to Marine Land of the Pacific in Los Angeles and the shark didn’t even last one day. Despite this, people keep trying to tame the king of the sea. Up until 2003, there had been 25 attempts to catch and hold this creature, and all of them ended up tragically for the shark.

    Lack of space is another reason why no aquarium can hold a great white. One shark managed to swim from Australia to South Africa in just 99 days and they can also leap 20 feet up into the air. Obviously, no aquarium has that amount of space.

    Respiratory problems are one more reason why we can’t hold a great white shark. Sharks need to keep moving to stay alive because they are obligate ram breathers, meaning that they breathe best when moving and they need a constant flow of oxygen through their gills. An aquarium can’t provide this, so they will start to develop problems with their respiratory system. Also, they can suffer with hypoxia or a low deficiency of oxygen, and choke to death because of this.


    The Big Releases of CES This Year

    By Ben Nutley, Year 7

    This year at CES, which is a large convention showcasing new technology items in Las Vegas, there has been some big releases: a foldable phone, a car with four legs and a drone that can lift 91kg, this year has been quite big at CES. However there have been a few strange ones too. Here are just some of them.

    A table tennis playing robot

    If you are always winning at table tennis and need a challenge, you might want to have a go with one of these. Not only will the robot make quick work of you at table tennis, he will record your techniques, your weaknesses and will exploit them to the best of his ability.

    Vuzix Blade

    These chunky glasses are made with convenience in mind. This pair of shades has a built in Amazon Alexa, you can answer calls from it, and you can listen to music. Even though they were revealed at CES they have not yet got a price.

    An intelligent toilet?

    The Kohler Numi Intelligent Toilet is not a normal toilet. It has a hands-free flushing, feet warming, air drying, odor control, music, a night light and automatic seat temperature management. And on top of all that, it even has an in-built Amazon Alexa, so you can flush, just by telling it to.

    From robots to intelligent toilets, this year at CES has definitely been an interesting year to say the least.


    Things to Know About the LGBTQ+ Community

    By Emily Rodgers, Year 7

    If you don’t know much about the LGBTQ+ community (which stands for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer and others), here are some facts and figures to help you understand more.

    1. One in five LGBT people have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last 12 months.

    2. Two in five trans people have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity in the last 12 months.

    3. The number of LGBT people who have experienced a hate crime or incident in the last year because of their sexual orientation has risen by 78 percent since 2013.

    4. Four in five LGBT people who have experienced a hate crime or incident didn’t report it to the police.

    5. One in ten LGBT people have experienced anti- LGBT abuse online directed towards them personally in the last month. This increases to one in four for trans people directly experiencing 7 transphobic abuse online in the last month.

    1. Nearly half (45 per cent) of LGBT pupils - including 64 per cent of trans pupils - are bullied for being LGBT in Britain's schools. This is down from 55 per cent of lesbian, gay and bi pupils who experienced bullying because of their sexual orientation in 2012 and 65 per cent in 2007.

    2. Half of LGBT pupils hear homophobic slurs 'frequently' or 'often' at school.

    3. Seven in 10 LGBT pupils report that their school says that homophobic and biphobic bullying is wrong, up from half in 2012 and a quarter in 2007. However, just two in five LGBT pupils report that their schools say that transphobic bullying is wrong.

    4. More than four in five trans young people have self-harmed, as have three in five lesbian, gay and bi young people who aren't trans.

    5. More than two in five trans young people have attempted to take their own life. as have one in five lesbian, gay and bi students who aren't trans.

    And here are some facts about attitudes towards this community around the globe:

    1. 72 countries criminalise same-sex relationships (and in 45 the law is applied to women as well as men).

    2. The death penalty is either ‘allowed’ or there is evidence of its existence in 8 countries.

    3. In more than half the world, LGBT people may not be protected from discrimination by workplace law.

    4. Most governments deny trans people the right to legally change their name and gender from those that were assigned to them at birth.

    5. Between 2008 and 2014, there were 1,612 trans people murdered across 62 countries - equivalent to a killing every two days.

    6. A quarter of the world’s population believes that being LGBT should be a crime.

    It seems that there is still a long way to go before we can say that this community receives the true respect it deserves. If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, why not join the BEAM club to make your voice heard?