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A Hard Makeover for America’s First Soft Drink

Is ginger ale the world’s most evolved beverage? It has been enjoyed as a mixer for many liquors, a tonic for the queasy and a stand-alone refreshment. Over time, its variations have been many, but there’s no doubt this libation has serious staying power.

Today, deep into the 21st century, what is commonly considered America’s first soft drink is evolving again by receiving a hard makeover. “Spiked,” or hard ginger ales infused with alcohol, are making their way onto store shelves. Craft beer companies, such as Brooklyn, New York-based Coney Island Brewing Co., are noticing the demand to return to one’s roots and are playing on these nostalgic beverages with quality ingredients as this trend in the craft beer scene grows.

Dating back to nearly three centuries ago in Ireland, ginger ale’s first incarnation can best be described as a homemade tonic consisting of sugar water and a healthy heaping of ginger root. By the mid-1800s, it was barrel-aged into a golden beverage with a sweet, bubbly texture and a ginger punch. By the time ginger ale crossed the Atlantic into the United States, it evolved still, receiving new life during Prohibition. During this period, ginger ale, in all of its golden, dry effervescence, served as an ideal mixer to mask powerful, bootlegged liquors. Beyond the Prohibition era, ginger ale’s hold over consumers stood firm, and thanks to dry ginger ale pioneer and Canada Dry brewer John McLaughlin, this version of the drink — which consumers know and love today — became a fixture in grocery stores.

“We launched our Hard Root Beer this summer and the response was unprecedented,” said Chris Adams, brewery operations manager for Coney Island Brewing Company. “We knew we would appeal to the tastes of craft beer drinkers if, like with Hard Root Beer, we created hard craft sodas that are both delicious and nostalgic, and we are excited to be doing that once more with our recent Hard Ginger Ale and Hard Orange Cream Ale.”

For more information, visit www.coneyislandbeer.com.

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Special Feature: Maltese Puppies Looking for a New Family

By– Harriet Babs

In light of Thanksgiving, Babs is feeling sentimental and would like to help these puppies-yes, puppies- find a home. Two eighteen-week-old Maltese puppies need a home. The owner is leaving the country on Missionary purposes and would like to give the puppies (one male and one female) for free to a good home.

The animals are located in Cuba, New York.

Contact the news station at News@EmpireStateNews.net with all serious inquiries.


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Holiday Shopping Report

By– Harriet Babs

‘Tis the season to spend an exorbitant amount of money. As Black Friday approaches our friends at CardHub & WalletHub have put together some guidelines that you can buy (or abide) by.

  • The best deal of the season can be found at JCPenny and Kohls.
  • You will get the most value for your money in the department of music, books and movies
  • Jewelry is likely to have the worst “sale” prices
  • Of the most popular gift cards, Visa, Amazon and American Express are the top three.
  • 17% of items on Amazon will actually be more expensive on Black Friday than they are today.

For more information about the holiday shopping outlook and how to get the most for your money, check out CardHub’s guide for best holiday shopping credit cards here!


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Adele Joining Team of Artists who Refuse to Participate in Streaming Services

by– Carly St. James

Adele has released a statement that her new album, 25 (no, she is not still 25-years-old), will not be made available on streaming services such as Spotify and the new iTunes streaming service.

This makes Adele one of many artists who are taking a stand for their livelihood. In a statement made by Taylor Swift regarding the expectation on artists to offer their music for free, she said “We don’t ask you for free iPhones”, why should we give you our music for free?

Other artists, like Bruce Springsteen and Bob Seger share this stance and have withheld the majority of their music from streaming sites, as well. These efforts are made to both preserve the artistry of music, and the artists themselves, in particular the less established artists who need their albums or singles to sell in order to pay the bills.


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lab rats

A Spike in Female Aggression Can be Linked to This Seasonal Change

by– Carly St. James

A study done at Indiana University draws a correlation between the hours of sunlight received per day and the level of aggression displayed in test mice.

During the study, several test groups were established with all factors controlled for except for amount of sunlight exposure per day, the test variable. The study finds that female rats who were exposed to the least amount of sunlight displayed the most aggression. The aggression was channeled toward a perceived territorial threat and was not observed in male rats.

The findings indicate that rather than being controlled strictly by sex hormones (estrogen, testosterone and the like), aggression is strongly influenced by Melatonin. During the winter time, the level of sex hormones decreases sharply. Melatonin levels, however, increase as response to the change in sunlight. Despite this drop of sex hormones, aggression increased notably in the female rats, indicating that Melatonin levels affect aggression just as much, if not more than, estrogen and testosterone. Melatonin does this by acting on the adrenal glands, causing a release of dehydroepiandrosterone, DHEA. DHEA has consistently been linked to aggression in both mammals and birds.

Humans, too, experience seasonal changes in behavior. We have coined the term Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) for when these behavioral changes interfere with normal functioning. Interestingly enough, 3 out of every 4 SAD-sufferers are female*. This statistic could further imply the connection between Melatonin and female non-sex hormones (DHEA) and the behaviors that coincide.

The full study can be viewed in the Proceedings of the Royal Academy B.



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Police Raid in Paris-Suburb Results in Death of TWO Terrorists and Arrest of SEVEN

by– Fiona Von Bier

Paris Police raid apartment 2km from a targeted location in last week’s ISIS attack.

The apartment, which is located in Saint-Denis (a Paris-Suburb) has been under surveillance since the November 13th attack. Evidence found in the first apartment, led to the raiding of another apartment nearby. Two deaths of terrorists (& their affiliates) have been noted:  a female, who blew herself up using a suicide vest; the second, a male; it is unclear if the male was shot or blown up by a grenade.

A total of seven people have been arrested as direct result of the sting operation: three males were arrested inside the apartment, the apartment landlord (male) and his female acquaintance were arrested immediately outside the apartment, and two other suspects were found hiding among the debris were subsequently arrested.

The identities of the arrested remain to be known, as police are working to verify who they have in custody. The primary suspects targeted by the raid were Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the purported ringleader of last week’s attacks, Salah Abdeslam, a Belgium national and the suspected driver in last week’s attacks, Bilal Hadfi, a french national, among others.

Police report that the ISIS suspects were on the  brink of launching another terrorist operation when police raided. It is unclear what that operation was.


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Anonymous’ Hack on ISIS Begins

by– Harriet Babs

Within 24 Hours of Anonymous’ declaration of war on ISIS, over 3,800 ISIS-connected twitter accounts have been taken down.

In the video, which was spoken in French, Anonymous makes the following promise:

Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down. You should know that we will find you and we will not let you go. We will launch the biggest operation ever against you,”

Anonymous is an international group of hackers who are known to interfere when they see a perceived injustice of great magnitude. In the past, they have hacked and leaked the servers of the Ferguson Missouri police department, as retribution for the perceived treatment of the protesters surrounding the Michael Brown charges.

October of 2015, Anonymous promised to expose the names of thousands of KKK members. Whether or not those names were leaked remains unclear. The current Anonymous war on ISIS is known as #opParis.

The video (which is in french) can be viewed below.


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Adel Termos

Adel Termos: The Suicide Hero

by– Carly St. James


Spider-Man versus the Green Goblin. Batman versus the Dark Knight. We’ve glorified it since the beginning of time: Good vs Evil. The enlightened among us will argue, “It’s all subjective. We are always good and They are always evil.” For the sake of this article- nothing is subjective. Let’s go on a little journey.


Beirut, November 12th, 2015. Two ISIS suicide bombers stake out and attack a funeral in an open market in Lebanon. The first bomb goes off killing 43 and mangling hundreds. There is a second bomb; it has yet to detonate, but it will. Adel Termos, a father of two, sees the second suicide bomber strapped and ready to explode. In a moment’s decision, Termos launches himself upon the attacker. The tackle detonates the bomb, killing both Termos and the ISIS terrorist, but saving hundreds of others.


What do we have here? We have one man- two men actually- who voluntarily kill themselves so that they may destroy and kill others; and we have one man, Adel Termos, who voluntarily, even desperately, sacrifices his own life to preserve and cherish the lives of others. We have the Suicide Bombers and we have the Suicide Hero. We have exceptionally evil and the exceptionally good.


Both classes of men have one thing in common- they are willing to dispense of themselves. What differentiates them is their binary reasoning. The former thinks that life (or, better said, specific lives) are so worthy of being destroyed that he is happy to give his life to that end; the latter thinks that life is so precious that he is- not happy, but- willing to give of his own life to protect them. The former sees it as an predestined honor- the latter, a spontaneous duty.


So often, we are led to fear the attacker: keep an eye out for the attacker; don’t underestimate the enemy. Well today, let Mr. Termos’ actions urge you to look for the hero. Look for the helper in the story, and if you have it in you, be the one helps.


In a world full of suicide bombers and individuals hell-bent on destruction, we need the Suicide Hero. We need him, not just to save our lives, but to preserve our hope. We need the men and women who take bold actions that scream, “life is worth saving!” When they fight to protect life, they are also working to protect its sanctity.
May Adel Termos and all those whose lives were lost during the recent ISIS attacks rest peacefully.


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A Tale Told by a Mirror in a Women’s Bathroom at a Nightclub

Sabia: It was sad, the saddest one of all. I always see inside of them, always. I see their thoughts and their feelings, their past experiences, their hopes. During that moment, when they lock eyes with their own reflection through my surface, I see it all. I feel evasive; I don’t mean to enter into them like that, but it is not an act of my will. As I was saying, this one was the saddest. She came in right after a 53-year-old woman, gaudy, fashionable and confident. As that woman looked at herself in my reflection, I saw a normal, surface level life; she had some ups and downs, but was never really challenged, never really suffered, so she did not have much depth. She seemed perfectly fine enough and I’m sure she’s the kind of woman who smiles and makes small talk with strangers in the line for coffee; she’s a welcomer, makes people feel comfortable and carries on. She was pleasant enough.

This next one, man this next one, nothing could have prepared me for it. I mean-I had no idea what was coming, but even if I did, I still could not have been prepared. I noticed her when she first walked in, a slender girl, somewhere between her late teens and early twenties. Her shoulders were slouched, sort of defeated-looking, but without a trace of bitterness. I didn’t see her face as she walked into the stall. When she walked out, she looked at the line of sinks, the three side by side along the far wall, and the lone sink off to the right, the sink that I reflect. She glanced at the three unified sinks for a brief moment and then turned towards me. She walked over with a slow but rhythmic pace; she stared at the ground, not to watch her feet, but almost as if to make sure she wasn’t stepping on anything that she could hurt. Her steps were delicate and without sound. She turned the left faucet on, hesitated until she saw steam, and submerged both her hands in the water. She let out a soft gasp, I assume because of the temperature, and lifter her head up and back, eyes closed, savoring the sensation. She then turned the left faucet back about half way, turned the right faucet forward and equal amount, put three, swift drops of soap in her hand and washed very efficiently. She shut the water off and shook the droplets off her hands. All the while, she did not look up at me once. I observed her movements, they intrigued me, but I didn’t yet know her. I’m not used to that. The people who stand in front of me usually let me in unknowingly before I even get the chance to observe them.

This one was different.

After shaking her hands out four and a half times, she glanced up. She locked eyes with her self for the briefest, but most focused of moments, put her head down and turned away. She seemed to know; she seemed to know that with that one look I would see into her. I think that’s why she avoided it. She knew she would be exposed. She didn’t want me to see her mind, her heart, her past or future; she definitely didn’t. But she seemed to resign to the fact, and exchanged the gaze as if it were her duty. She looked into my surface, and when she did- I saw myself. I saw a collection of everyone’s pain and everyone’s joy, of everyone’s sorrow and everyone’s laughter. Every experience, good, bad and mediocre, was imprinted on the very fiber of this girl. She carried it all. When she looked at me, I saw such sadness, such solitude. Her eyes were so heavy. Yet, she seemed to humbly accept the weight.

I realized then that the reason she didn’t first look at me, the reason she avoided contact until the very end, was not because she didn’t want to be seen. No, that wasn’t it; she wasn’t hiding. It was because she didn’t want me to be stuck with a vision that couldn’t be unseen. She didn’t want me to have to bare that weight. In the end, I think she ultimately decided to look up out of loneliness. For just a second, she wanted contact with someone who would understand, someone like me. Or maybe, maybe she wanted me to know that I wasn’t alone, that some human out there understood me. I don’t know what the reason is.
I don’t even know if I will remember this girl next week; all my memories are wiped clean at the end of the week, when the man with the washcloth comes in. For all I know, I’ve met her before. That girl though, she doesn’t have a man with a washcloth. I wonder if she ever forgets. It must be exhausting to never be able to forget.


16-year-old charged with sending tweets that shut down Marist College

TOWN OF POUGHKEEPSIE – A 16-year-old City of Poughkeepsie youth has been arrested for sending two threatening tweets to Marist College in the Town of Poughkeepsie over a seven-hour period threatening to commit an offense that created fear resulting in the college cancelling classes and telling students to stay in your dormitories.

A police investigation determined the threat was not legitimate and the suspect acted on his own.

Town of Poughkeepsie Police were assisted in their investigation by State Police, Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, City of Poughkeepsie Police, FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, Dutchess District Attorney’s Office, Marist College Office of Safety and Security, and college officials.

Anyone who has information about the incident is asked to call Poughkeepsie Town Police at 845-485-3666 or leave an anonymous tip to www.townpolice.net .

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