Harker Aquila

Few will participate in space tourism, but many will benefit

Research into space tourism would benefit the masses, despite the immense cost.

by Derek Yen, Aquila Columnist

April 23, 2016

Commercial space travel is a thrilling prospect for many. Humans have admired the heavens as long as Polaris has burned in the sky – but only a handful of astronauts have ever left the earth. Several companies are currently researching spaceflight technologies with the hopes of providing a program for pri...

Brussels attacks highlight necessity for quotas on chemicals

Acetone peroxide is actually created as a mixture of monomer, dimer, trimer, and tetramer forms. TATP, the trimer form of acetone peroxide, can form an explosive less detectable than and almost as dangerous as TNT, a powerful explosive used in artillery, construction and fracking.

by Derek Yen, Reporter and Aquila Columnist

March 27, 2016

  In the deadly attacks in Brussels this week, the terrorists reportedly used the explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP). Anyone with basic chemistry knowledge and access to ingredients available at the average drugstore can make this substance. In fact, TATP can be created using acetone a...

The politicized prioritization of STEM over the humanities is detrimental

Philosophy has long been a pillar of education and culture. But recently politicians have increasingly called for STEM to be prioritized over the humanities. Although frequently treated as opposite fields, STEM and the humanities overlap in surprising ways, making it essential to sustain a balance between the two.

by Derek Yen, Reporter and Aquila Columnist

March 12, 2016

Presidential candidate Marco Rubio boldly declared in November that “we need more welders and less philosophers. If we do this, we will be able to increase wages for millions of Americans and be able to leave everyone better off without making anyone worse off.” Factual inaccuracy about wages...

Pro-Con: Analyzing the Apple password bypass debate

Pro-Con: Analyzing the Apple password bypass debate

by Alex Wang and Derek Yen

February 28, 2016

After the San Bernardino shooting in December of last year, the government retrieved one of the shooters’ phones, an Apple iPhone 5C, and demanded that Apple create an encryption key to unlock the phone. In response, Apple Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tim Cook published an open letter to his customers...

Eradicating mosquitoes could come back to bite us

Spread by mosquitoes, the  Zika virus can cause severe fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis. With the virus outbreak reaching epidemic levels in February, understanding Oxitec, a gene-based pesticide which has the potential to eradicate mosquitoes completely, is more important than ever.

by Derek Yen, Aquila Columnist

February 18, 2016

The Zika virus made headlines last week for its oft-occurring but unproven link with microcephaly in infants. Transmitted by mosquitoes, Zika threatens tropical and subtropical countries as well as those who travel through them. South American governments have worked to hinder the spread of Zika or mitig...

Not worth its salt: discussing the viability of desalination as a solution to California’s drought

Not worth its salt: discussing the viability of desalination as a solution to California’s drought

by Derek Yen, Aquila Columnist

January 15, 2016

  As the rainy season returns to California, the drought that was once at the forefront of media coverage and statewide discussion no longer concerns the public as greatly. Unfortunately, most of this rainwater can not, and will not, be used to mitigate the drought. There is little infra...

Freemium gaming diminishes the video game market

The freemium model allows players to obtain advantages by using real money to buy forms of internal currency to get more moves in Candy Crush, fill the stamina bar in Madden Mobile and speed up build times in Clash of Clans, to name a few examples.

by Derek Yen, Reporter

December 2, 2015

The advent of the internet has inexorably changed the nature of digital purchases – perhaps for the worse when considering the video game market. Increasingly publishers have adopted a business model colloquially known as “freemium gaming.” As the name suggests, the freemium model revolves around a juxta...

Social media’s evolution into the most versatile communication tool

Though social media platforms first arose as modes of communication between social groups, groups now use social media to spread news, advertise, and gather support for events. This versatility highlights social media's evolution into a key communication tool in the past few years.

by Derek Yen, Reporter

December 1, 2015

Social media has changed global networking by allowing users from across the world to communicate with each other quickly and reliably. While services such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are typically used for mundane purposes such as communicating with friends, social media services have the capacit...

The student news site of The Harker School.
Derek Yen