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First-Ever Black Valedictorian for Princeton University in 274 years

Leslie Tander

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Based out of New Jersey, Princeton University is one of the most prestigious universities in the United States. It is part of the exclusive private Ivy League group of universities.  It has a proud 274-year old history and at that time it has never had a black valedictorian. That is until the year 2020. Princeton announced that Nicholas Johnson of the class of 2020 as its first-ever black valedictorian. Although Princeton has been a primarily white Caucasian university, it is proud of its growing student diversity and celebrates this achievement by Nicholas. Princeton University has taken conscious steps to promote racial diversity. As of 2020, Princeton has increased its black student body to 8% in its undergraduate programs. This almost double the percentage at other rival universities such as Duke and Dartmouth.

Nicholas Johnson belongs to Montreal, Canada. At Princeton, he was studying operations research and financial engineering. The announcement for the valedictorian was done in April 2020 and Nicholas will be speaking at the virtual commencement ceremony to be held on 31st May 2020. It unfortunate that with the COVID-19 situation, Nicholas will not be able to speak at an in-person commencement ceremony. In any case, this moment holds a special place for Nicholas, given the historical ties of Princeton University to the institution of slavery. Nicholas was not expecting this honor and is extremely thankful to his parents and grandparents for instilling the values of hard work in him and for all the sacrifices they have made for him. He is also proud of his African American heritage and looks forward to keeping up his academic excellence. He hopes his achievement will inspire future generations of black students.

During his time at Princeton, Nicholas was actively involved in extracurricular activities. He participated in internships abroad and was part of the cultural immersion trips to South America, Asia, and Europe. His senior thesis was based on the development of software to combat obesity in Canada through a preventive community-based intervention system. His research also included social distancing measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Nicholas was worked as a software engineer at Google’s state headquarters for California.

Nicholas is an avid fan of the Toronto Raptors from the NBA and also enjoys playing basketball. In his free time, he enjoys playing chess and having meaningful discussions with his teammates on various topics such as academics, sports, and world history. Nicholas was a popular student amongst his classmates. He was always ready to help fellow students and was extremely down-to-earth in his demeanor. He was friendly to classmates from all races and was a promoter of cultural diversity and participated in several events in the field of debates, dramatics, and sports.

The faculty at Princeton describes Nicholas as a personable and hardworking individual. They were able to recognize his outstanding brilliance while teaching him. They were particularly impressed with Nicholas’s interest and drive in solving some of the pressing challenges of the world such as obesity. Nicholas was ready to go above and beyond the requirements of the curriculum. They believe with his work ethic and ambition, he could change the lives of millions of people. The faculty is proud of his achievement and wish him the best in the future.

For the future, Nicholas has ambitious goals. This coming summer he will intern as a software developer for the D.E. Shaw Group, which is a well-recognized technology development company. After his internship, Nicholas will begin his Ph.D. program in operations research at the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA.

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Life

An In-depth Look At The Exciting And Inquisitive Bengal Cats

Lea Lomas

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Many people enjoy cats because they have a reputation for being independent and low maintenance compared to other types of animals. However, one possible exception to the rule is Bengal cats. Not only are Bengal cats known for their unique complexion, they also have an infectious personality that is basically unmatched in the domestic cat world. Bengal cats are considered a combination of Asian leopard cats and traditional house cats.

Origins

Bengals cats are hybrid breeds. Doctors at Loyola University created the hybrids because they wanted a cat with an exotic look but the energetic personality of a domestic cat. The doctors mixed African leopard cats with Egyptian cats. According to the International Cat Association, most Bengal cats are now bred from their own species. This wasn’t the case initially, as the first generation of male Bengal cats were unable to reproduce. Bengals are now recognized as an official breed by several organizations around the World, including the Canadian Cat Association and The Cat Fancier’s Association.

Appearance

Bengal cats are known for their striking appearance. They have spotted or marbled markings. Most of the patterns are black or silver. Bengal cats have multiple coat colors, including seal sepia, seal lynx, brown tabby, and black silver tabby. Most Bengal cats have white background fur on their chin, chest, legs, and abdomen.

Maintenance

Bengal cats are now seen as large house cats. If you would like to add one to your home, make sure that you groom your cat every week. That will remove excess hair and dead hair. Keep your cat’s nails trimmed and always ensure that your Bengal cat is using a clean litter box.

Initially, Bengal cats were seen as too wild potentially out of control to be good pets. However, the cats have learned to channel their energy. So it is important that they get plenty of exercise and physical stimulation throughout the day. Make sure that you have a scratching post nearby and a tree for them to climb.

Bengal cats are very intelligent and inquisitive, so try to find an area around your home for them to explore. Bengal cats love interactive and engaging toys. In general, it’s just important to spend as much quality time as possible. Bengal cats are very fond of water, so look out for them trying to jump in the bathtub with you. While Bengals primarily get along with most animals, you should try to keep them in confined spaces. Bengal cats have been known to prey on hamsters and gerbils.

Managing Their Health

Most Bengal cats have a life expectancy of 10-16 years. Make sure that your cat stays up to date on all of its treatments and immunizations to avoid catching diseases such as leukemia. In some cases, Bengal cats may suffer from blindness. They are especially at risk during their younger years. Try avoiding all foods that contain grains when preparing your Bengal cats’ diet.

If you would like to adopt a Bengal cat, you can try avenues such as Petfinder. You should have a lot of fun learning and growing with your Bengal cat.

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Life

This is Just How Beautiful African Emerald Cuckoos Are

Sherry Rucherman

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Just a step above the brown birds is the beautiful green birds. I mean this in terms of my level of interest in birds. Green is a beautiful color but it is meant for birds to blend in easily and hide. This takes away from the beauty of the green bird. With that being said, please do not take this out of context because green is still one of my favorite colors.

Sometimes, however, I still come across a green bird that always proves me wrong. They are nothing near boring to sit there and observe. Every so often I may stumble across one. When I do, it is hard for me to take my eyes off of it.

One of them happens to be the African emerald cuckoo. I can bet you have probably never heard or seen this one before.

They have beautiful bright bellies that are yellow along with emerald bodies. Between these two characteristics, it makes it hard for these birds to come across as boring. They have mastered the skill of hiding from their predators even though they are extremely bright. Photographers even have a hard time trying to find them to capture any great pictures of them.

African emerald cuckoos are mostly found in Western and Sub-Saharan African. Their preferred habitat is moist forests of course.

They may go and visit urban areas sometimes. However, they can still be pretty difficult to find.

But there still seems to be some good news! If you really want to find one of these birds, the best thing to do is listen out for a very interesting four-note song that stands out from other birds. Follow their song to find out where they are hiding. This is usually the only way to be able to spot them.

One thing about cuckoos is that they do not raise their babies if you know anything about them. This may be hard to believe, yet it is very true.

They do not even make their own nests as other birds do.

They pretty much take the nests that are built by puff back shrikes, bee-eaters, olive bush shrikes, and others. In other words, they steal those nests and get rid of the eggs that are in them.  If this isn’t hard to believe, I don’t know what is.

Once a cuckoo has found a good nest, the female will lay her own eggs and leave them for another mama bird to raise. Yes, you heard me correctly. Another bird from an entirely different species will get stuck to raise a cuckoo’s babies! How rude can this be?

But it doesn’t end there! After hatching, cuckoo babies push other babies from other species away. This just goes to show you how rude these birds really are. Regardless, these birds still are a beautiful sight to see!

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Life

Meet the Human-Faced Potato Poodle That’s Taking Over the Internet

Leslie Tander

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It can be hard to say what makes us humans, human. How are people separate from dogs, cats, monkeys, and more? For some people, you simply know a human when you see one. The many unique traits we offer can be difficult to describe but a lot of people think this cute pooch offers some of the same unique traits reminiscent of humans.

And you know what? They’re right. It’s hard to say way exactly makes this poodle so vaguely human, and yet a quick look in her eyes can be a bit unsettling at first. It feels a bit like you’re looking at a person in a Halloween costume. Of course, once your eyes are drawn away from her eyes, you quickly realize that you’re looking at a cute and fluffy poodle.

The pooch’s name, by the way, is Kokoro. This name may be unfamiliar to some, but it suits the pup quite well. In Japanese, Kokoro roughly means heart and feelings. And Kokoro certainly has a lot of heart and is melting a lot of hearts too.

While she may not know it, Kokoro has become an internet sensation and now has countless fans around the world. Many would love to give this poodle a well-deserved pet on the head. And given Kokoro’s round, bushy afro-like haircut, the pets are sure to feel good for both parties.

So far, Kokoro’s charming photos have garnered over one hundred and thirty thousand likes and thirty thousand shares on Twitter. One top of that, nearly a thousand people have commented. Some people argue that the pupper has an eerie similarity to famed painter and teacher Bob Ross. A few believe that she looks like an ewok. Others simply note that they want to give her a pat on the head or belly rub.

Kokoro is also extremely popular on the photo sharing site Instagram. She has over one hundred and sixty thousand followers. Follow her on Instagram and you can check out more than 3,500 photos. Many of them, of course, featured Kokoro herself.

By all accounts, she’s a smart, gentle, and kind dog. She seems to like exploring outside and overall appears to like chilling out with her buds the most. It also looks like Kokoro spends quite a bit of time traveling and on the road. So who knows, maybe you’ll get to meet her when you’re out on an adventure of your own.

It’s obvious that Kokoro’s human companions take a lot of time and put a lot of effort into her care. Besides her great hairdo, the rest of her coat is obviously well cared for. Poodle hair can be difficult to keep clean, especially if your poodle likes to dig around in the yard or snuggle under furniture. Yet Kokoro looks like she just stepped out of the hair salon.

Got your own pictures of an amazing puppy, cat, or other animal? Consider sharing them with the world. Many people have been cooped up, working from home, and avoiding public gatherings in recent months. Now is the perfect time to share a little light and warmth, and a few photos of amazing animals can go a long way.

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