Big Cat Science and the African Savannah Food Chain

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Fierce Lions Hunt Alone, as Teams

by Alexis Zubia-Torres, age 12

Because they are vicious hunters, lions have earned a spot among the top of the food chain. One feature that makes this species so vicious is their teeth. In fact, lions have three different types of teeth that help them bring down and finish off their prey.

Lions use their long, sharp canine teeth to pierce a victim's neck or spinal cord. Then, they use their casnassials, or cutting teeth, to slice through their prey's flesh, while they use their molars to crack their prey's bones.

This ferocious predator, which typically weighs nearly 600 pounds, has a number of other traits that make it one of the world's most dangerous hunters. For example, they have long claws, which they can retract into their paws. The color of dry grass, lions also use their sneaky camouflage skills to trap unsuspecting mammals like zebras, antelopes, giraffes, and sometimes even humans. [Read More]

Free Press Reporters Meet with, Learn from the Artists of Mata Ortiz

MMoCA Exhibit Highlights Stunning Art from the Rural Mexican Village

by Mariana Gomez, age 15 and Sarah Useche, age 15

Simpson Street Free Press student reporters recently had the opportunity to meet and interview potters from the rural Mexican village of Mata Ortiz at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA). Each artist has a unique story—some began the trade at age 17, while others started at only four years old. All of the artists, young and old, share a deep passion for the ceramic arts and their village.

Inspired by the ancient works of art created by the Paquimé, the pottery produced in Mata Ortiz is fascinating and full of detail. The pottery is decorated with intricate and beautiful patterns. It is carefully painted with homemade brushes, which are often made up of only a few strands of human hair. The potters’ materials, both clay and paints, are plucked from the mountains surrounding their village. Mata Ortiz artists craft their pieces without the use of a potter’s wheel. [Read More]

A Real Story About
Paying for College

Recent Free Press Grad Looks Back at Freshman Year

by Jonah Huang, age 19

As a former student at the Simpson Street Free Press, I was frequently told that I needed to learn how to manage my money well once I was in college. Being able to afford higher education is a challenge that involves seeking scholarships, taking loans, and paying attention to money management.

I have completed my first year of college and I now understand the wisdom of efficient money management. For me, it seemed like it would be a fairly simple process. At the age of 14, I often thought about what it would be like to live alone. In my head, I would calculate the cost of housing, the cost of food, the hours that I would work, and the amount of extra money I would have left over to spend on leisurely pursuits.

At the age of 19, I now realized that there is no such thing as “extra money to spend on leisurely pursuits.” I have also realized that I spend far more money than I think. [Read More]

Inside the FIFA Scandal

FBI and Swiss Government Investigate Top FIFA Officials

by Oliver Vazquez, age 11

FIFA is the most important name in the world of soccer. FIFA stands for Fédération International de Football Association. The FIFA world cup is one of the biggest sports events in the world. It is held every four years in a host country. The world cup is a big tournament where countries come together and compete.

The FIFA scandal was a big surprise for many soccer fans. Money was the main issue in the scandal. FIFA was involved in accepting kickbacks, which is illegal payments for unfair deals. The scandal also involved racketeering, which is criminal activity that benefits an organization. Additionally, FIFA accepted $150 million in bribes, potentially including bides from Russia and Qatar. FIFA was involved in money laundering, which is hiding where illegal money came from.

The FBI became involved because money was being moved within US banks. The FBI wanted to know if any illegal deals took place on US soil or used US banks or internet connections. After three years of investigation, the FBI is now sure that the issue does fall under US jurisdiction because payments were carried out via US banks. A total of 14 people were arrested in Switzerland, out of them, nine were high ranking FIFA officials. Switzerland is also conducting their own investigation. [Read More]