General Interest

Examining the Health Benefits of Coffee and Tea

By Jenny Wang

Two of the most commonly consumed beverages in the world are coffee and tea. With both delivering similar effects, many people argue over which is the most beneficial option. Research shows that coffee provides fiber, is good for one's microbiome health, and has the ability to lower the risk of cancer and diabetes. At the same time, tea has been shown to lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and can even help moderate stress.

One controversial topic with regard to the differences between coffee and tea is the concentration of caffeine each contains. Although caffeine levels vary depending on the type of coffee beans or tea leaves used, many people believe that tea leaves actually contain more caffeine than unbrewed coffee beans. Statistically, most tea leaves contain 3.5 percent caffeine while unbrewed coffee beans contain only 1.1 to 2.2 percent. However, after the brewing process, brewed coffee may contain more caffeine by volume than tea due to the concentrating effect hot water has on coffee beans. The longer the brewing time, the higher the concentration of caffeine in your coffee cup. Similarly, the temperature of the water, brew time, and the ratio of leaves to water are all factors that affect the caffeine concentration of a cup of tea.

Bayside High School sophomore, Jasmine Ren, said, “I feel less energetic on days that I don’t drink tea. Drinking tea gives me a refreshing, warm feeling that helps me get through class when I’m having a hard time.” After a long and busy school schedule, tea helps to relax the body and fight fatigue. 

Likewise, Bayside High School sophomore, Aryana Cheng, believes, “Drinking tea assists with my physical ability and level of energy. Drinking tea rather than water in the morning gives me more energy that lasts all day. Tea also provides me with better performance when participating in extracurriculars.” The effects of caffeine on the body can last up to 6 hours. Additionally, tea improves the body’s metabolic flexibility and in turn, provides athletes with better athletic performance capability.

Others, however, like Bayside High School junior, Yvonne Wong, choose coffee as their preferred beverage.  “When I do drink coffee, I feel a rush of positive adrenaline that keeps me awake through my SAT prep days.” This is an example of how coffee is useful in supplying caffeine. Caffeine helps the body feel less fatigued;  not only for day-to-day life but also for one's studies.      

Furthermore, Bayside High School senior, Hannah Valcarcel, said, “Drinking coffee makes the school day seem to go by faster. What I like about coffee is that it is customizable. For example, I frequently get this one drink that contains shaken espresso with sweet cream. The additional flavorings are all optional. I would definitely say coffee gives me motivation to study.” 

Surely there are many benefits of both coffee and tea that have yet to be discovered. However, with the information available, it is safe to conclude that both beverages are beneficial in similar ways. Some people may prefer the rush given by coffee while others may prefer the calm feeling that tea brings. The only way to find one’s personal preference is to try both.

Apple vs Samsung: The High-Stakes Rivalry in the Tech Sector

By Tiffany Cheng

Apple and Samsung are both major consumer electronics companies with loyal customers around the world. Apple was founded on April 1st, 1976 in Los Altos, California while Samsung was founded on March 1st, 1938 in Daegu, South Korea. These two companies are competitors in several distinct areas, including the design of their products, the pricing of their offerings, and their market share relative to their competitors.

According to an article published in NextPit, “iPhone Or Samsung: Which smartphone should you choose in 2022”, by Rubens Eishima, “Apple is known to be very different from its competitors.” Eishima elaborates by explaining the pricing structure and quality that separates Apple from its competition. “...The iPhone SE (2022), which doubles up as an entry-level handset while offering specifications that are on par with the once-flagship iPhone 13 at a far more affordable price point.”


Additionally, Eishima mentions Apple's renowned industrial designs. “The new iPhones thus offer a design a little bit more [modern] and also a new main camera that is closer to those of the main competitors, at least in terms of the resolution count.” 

According to a report by Counterpoint Research, “Counterpoint: Global Smartphone Market Share: By Quarter”, Apple has 16 percent of the smartphone market share as of 2022. This demonstrates how effectively Apple differentiates itself from its competitors, allowing its signature iPhone to become ubiquitous.


On the other hand, many believe that Samsung’s tech offerings are both superior and unique in their own right. According to an article published in MUO, “iPhone Vs. Samsung Phone, Which Is Better”, by Ayush Jalan, “You have Samsung fans who just can't get enough of the tech giants' bleeding-edge innovations.”


Jalan elaborates by discussing the cost of Samsung phones. “And since Samsung has such a wide selection of smartphone series, you can expect to find a good deal no matter your budget.” In addition, the industrial designs of the phones are unique. “The camera experience as a whole feels a lot more refined, fun, and versatile in Samsung smartphones.”

According to “Counterpoint: Global Smartphone Market Share: By Quarter,” Samsung has a 21 percent smartphone market share as of 2022. Thus, many argue that Samsung phones are the better choice.

Bayside High School freshman, Yuki Chen, who has experience with Apple products, believes, “The iPhone’s camera quality, high-end games, small-size, and lightness is what truly makes my iPhone experience better.” She offers suggestions for ways Apple can improve, saying: “I think Apple should stick to one iPhone that lasts 10 years with a lasting battery and storage such as [that of] the iPad.” 

However, others have more favorable opinions of Samsung phones. Bayside High School freshman, Melissa Wang, voices, “Some Samsung phones have better camera quality, don't break easily, have a long-lasting battery, charge faster, and have a lot more features and complex options that I like to explore.”

On the other hand, Bayside High School freshman, Teresa Wang, a Samsung phone user states, “I hate Samsung. Their camera quality is so bad, and it is difficult to navigate around.” Clearly, there are mixed opinions on the quality of Samsung products. 

Moreover, Bayside High School freshman, Joyantika Dastidar, a user who has experience with both Apple and Samsung declares, “For Samsung phones, I like how the battery life is really long-lasting and doesn’t break immediately like Apple does. However, I enjoy how Apple [phones] run smoothly and how they have exclusive apps that Samsung doesn’t have. In addition, the camera quality is definitely better.”

Although many people have mixed opinions on Apple and Samsung, the decision on which is better is solely up to the users. There are Apple users who can’t get enough of iOS’ suite of features while there are Samsung users who want to explore the more customizable operating system and user experience provided. 

Why Do We Make New Year's Resolutions?

By Robert V. Queen

When we reflect on 2022 and look toward what 2023 will bring, we think about what we can improve upon from the previous year. Making New Year's resolutions can be a helpful way for us to set and work towards specific goals. But there is more to them than that.

According to, New Year's resolutions can be dated back to when ancient Babylonians promised their gods to repay any debts and return anything borrowed of value. In ancient Rome, Julius Caesar constituted January 1st as the first day of the new year. January is named after the God Janus, who the Romans believed could look into past and future years. Christians devoted themselves to reflecting on past mistakes or wrongdoings and resolving to improve for the future. Today, people construct resolutions for themselves largely for the purpose of self-improvement.

Dr. Cohen, a science teacher at Bayside High School, revealed that he does not make New Year's resolutions as he finds it hard to stick to them. He acknowledges that some individuals may have success with them as long as they make an effort and remain dedicated throughout. He also gave an example of how people often set unrealistic goals like buying a gym membership and not using it, or setting goals that are too high to achieve. 

“They could exercise a certain number of times per week. Some goals can be achievable with time, but if you set the bar too high, you won’t be able to achieve it.” Dr. Cohen believes that setting achievable goals that are realistic is important in order to stick to them over time.

On the other hand, Bayside High School sophomore, Edmund Morris, states that New Year's resolutions can be "pretty effective as some people are very motivated towards the goals they set for themselves." 

Morris also noted that New Year's resolutions can differ based on the content and planning of the resolution. "Some resolutions can be very challenging, but if you work on it over the year, you can pace yourself and eventually complete that resolution." Some of his resolutions include improving his grades, passing all of his classes, continuing to fix a motorcycle, practicing his trumpet, and more.

Similarly, Bayside High School junior, Soumik Jobayed, agrees that resolutions can be effective tools for motivation. "They are if you believe in achieving goals.” However, he notes, "if it takes a lot of work, people might not want to do them." Jobayed added that he feels he can follow through with his resolution as the year progresses.  One of his resolutions is to increase his physical activity, such as by doing more push-ups.

The start of a new year offers an opportunity for us to make positive changes and improve ourselves, whether it be by building on something we've already been working on or by trying something new and stepping out of our comfort zone. Though New Year's resolutions are often associated with the start of the year and may not be at the forefront of our minds throughout the rest of the year, they offer a chance to begin again, as if wiping the slate clean and starting anew. We can reflect on the year before and our lives as a whole and think of how we got to where we are in our lives now. 

Furthermore, we may use resolutions to reflect on how we can better ourselves and potentially improve the future for ourselves and those around us. If we want to be better in general, we should think carefully about how we can do so and why. By staying motivated to accomplish the goals we set for ourselves and consistently putting in the effort to do so, we can realize our potential to the fullest extent possible.

Life in the Coldest Place on Earth

By Alice Dong

With the warmer days of autumn behind us, winter comes bringing heavy coats and most notably, snow. Some New Yorkers welcome the transition from maple leaves to the picturesque view of snow, while many prefer the warmer days. While some may use snow days as an excuse to relax, residents of Yakutia, the coldest village built on permafrost, have a regular routine for dealing with the harsh winter conditions. 

Yakutia is a republic in Russia, located in the far northeast of the country. It is the largest subnational entity in the world by area, and is known for its harsh climate and its vast reserves of natural resources. A regular winter averages a temperature of -31 °F which presents several challenges for the Yakut people.

To keep the family warm, the first task that has to be completed in the morning is to feed firewood to a wood-burning stove. Since morning temperatures can often reach -46°F, it's crucial that the house is heated. It is important to gather enough firewood to withstand the duration of winter in Yakutia, as it can sometimes last up to 9 months. Fire is a valuable resource for the village of Yakutia, as it is essential for many basic needs, such as providing safe drinking water. The pipes are frozen for the duration of winter in Yukatia, so the main source of water is ice. Ice is amassed from nearby rivers in early November, ensuring that the weather is not too severe to work in.

Yakut cuisine often makes extensive use of dairy, meat, fish, and foraged foods. Dairy is an essential part of the Yakut people's diet. The harsh weather is an obstacle that makes it nearly impossible to cultivate varieties of fruits and vegetables to include in their diet. Animals like cows and mares are raised primarily for their milk, which is a significant component of the Yakut diet. A popular traditional dessert in Yakutia is called "Kierchekh", made of hand-whipped pancake batter mixed with gem strawberries, which are harvested during the summer. Breakfast is generally made up of thermogenic and fatty foods that provide energy and warmth throughout the day. 

As with any established society, education is of utmost importance, and the harsh weather of Yakutia does not negate the need for knowledge. Children in Yakutia attend school when the weather is warmer than -65°F. In Yakutia, primary school lasts for four years, and the full scope of a Yakut education is eleven years. Similar to schools in New York, students in Yakutia take a variety of subjects, including language classes (Sakha, English, and Russian), literature, history, and art. Many schools in Yakutia include a second breakfast, which keeps the students energized and warm in the cold weather. Just like students in other parts of the world, Yakut students have recess inside. Students of Yakutia are also taught important skills such as hunting and fishing. 

Most men in Yakutia engage in activities such as fishing, hunting, crafting, and animal husbandry. For centuries, knives have been a crucial tool used by the Yakut people. Children from a young age are taught to craft their own tools and perfect the recipe. The tools are made from locally sourced materials, like iron. Fishing is a practice that every Yakut utilizes, as fish is a common yet nutritious food. “Munkha”, also known as traditional ice fishing, is performed at the beginning of March, often with many other members of the village of Yakutia. Under the ice, catching a lake carp requires a lot of labor and coordinated teamwork. A series of tools are used to drill holes in the ice and then seines are used to catch the fish beneath the frozen lake. The freshly caught carp is then distributed and feasted upon by the Yakuts.

Living in Yakutia presents endless challenges and generations are taught at an early age to hone skills that are crucial to surviving in such harsh conditions. As children, the Yakut have many responsibilities that ensure their survival in the harsh weather. The Yakut make the most out of living in one of the coldest inhabited places in the world. Compared to the consistently cold climate in Yakutia, living in New York feels relatively mild and temperate, like a single snowflake amidst a blizzard. 

The Benefits of Pet Ownership

By Giselle Rodriguez

As humans, we seek happiness, comfort, and companionship. Though there are many ways to attain these emotions, many find them through having a pet. Of course, animals can’t communicate with us as humans do with each other, but they are able to sense feelings and reach something more within. Understanding the benefits of having a pet is important because animals aren't simply in people's lives because they choose to be. Often, they serve a purpose. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “They [pets] can increase opportunities to exercise, get outside, and socialize. Regular walking or playing with pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels. Pets can help manage loneliness and depression by giving us companionship.”

When you have a pet and commit to taking care of them for the long term, it can have a positive impact on your mental health and overall outlook on life. Pets, such as dogs or cats, often provide unconditional love and their well-being depends on the care provided by their owner. Having a sense of responsibility for another being can also help an individual feel a sense of accomplishment and stability in their life. 

Many can relate to this. Bayside High School junior, Tatiana Montero, says, “Due to the presence of my pet, I feel comforted and feel like I'm never alone. A lot of animals can sense when you're not feeling good and can help you go through those emotions.” Pets are empaths and create a positive environment for themselves and their owners. Bayside High School junior, Tremaine Fuller, has similar thoughts. He says, “Having a pet has taught me how to be responsible and patient. Personally, I think if you have the resources and the time, you should get a pet as it's a nice thing to teach you how to care for another life.” 

Correspondingly, Bayside High School junior, Darshan Prabaharan, said, “Although they can't talk, pets express their emotions. When I come home from school, it's nice to see my dog come to me.” It is important to recognize the positive impact pets can have on people's lives. 

While some people may find that having a pet can have a positive impact on their lives, others may not share the same sentiment. Kevin Navarette, a junior at Bayside High School, said, "I didn't find any sort of difference when I got my bird. It wasn't a changing experience. Even so, it still lives with me and I care for it." Pets can come and go in people's lives, but they can still create memories and moments that are cherished.

Having a pet can be a source of comfort and emotional support. Building a bond with a pet can provide a sense of empathy and understanding without judgment or conditions. Having a companion who accepts and loves you unconditionally can be a great way to relax and de-stress. Pets can be that companion for many people, providing the type of companionship that doesn't require validation or meeting certain standards.