All posts by Hannah Dubinski

Family Traditions: Past, Present and …?

Once upon a time, (just a way to start), in Wrentham, a small town in Massachusetts, a girl, my grandmother, celebrated Christmas each year with her family. My grandmother had grown up as a Christian, specifically Episcopalian; she had a father named Charlie, her mother’s name was Dorothy and she had an older sister named Gale.

Every year on December 25th, the whole family would come over and early on Christmas morning, my grandmother would run down the stairs, excited because Christmas was suddenly here. All the relatives would all ready be up, sitting around the tree. On Christmas day Santa Claus would pay a visit to the LaDue household and my great grandmother would cook a wonderful dinner, and they would open presents and just relax as a family. When I first asked my grandmother what Christmas was like as a kid she described it in one word: wonderful.

All throughout my mother’s childhood they would celebrate Christmas with my grandmother’s parents. It was magical; stockings were hung over the fireplace and Santa came and visited them when they were little too. When my grandmother married; she converted to Judaism which is why we ran into a dilemma when my great grandmother died. We didn’t feel exactly right celebrating Christmas anymore, but they had always gotten together as a family on Christmas day and didn’t want that tradition to end; so instead, we called the day family day. Though we now do not get together and have a traditional Christmas; we have created traditions of our own.

Now every year on Christmas Eve, all the cousins and my aunt and uncle have a giant sleepover at my grandparent’s house and we make a crazy milkshakes with random ingredients like barbecue sauce or mustard; and every year on Christmas day we all sit together and exchange presents and watch home videos of Christmas past.

The Celebrity Makeover

Everyone goes through that stage in their life when they start to transition from a child to an adult, this is when they figure out what they are to the world, when they become who they’re going  to be for their entire adult life. When a celebrity comes to this age, it is harder for us to process that they are not the little kids who we have grown up seeing on Disney. So they do whatever it takes, even if it means completely changing who they are. It starts slowly, usually they start with an act of rebellion, and then it grows into them being hardly recognizable to the celebrity we have come to love (or hate), but still they are a part of every child’s everyday life. My favorite example is Miley Cyrus.

Miley first appeared in my eyes about six years ago, when I saw her appear on the new series “Hannah Montana,” she was about thirteen. It was one of the first shows I saw on Disney, and it just amazes me that only six years ago Miley was about a year older than I am now, but now six years later you can barely tell she is the same person. It started with a couple of tattoos and ended in her engagement to Australian actor Liam Hemsworth, plus a horrifying new hair cut . Miley is not the only star who has been trying to break out of her childhood image, many more have been there. Which makes us wonder, which celebrity is next?


Natural gas is a fossil fuel that we have a lot of here in the USA, twice as much as Saudi Arabia has oil. Natural gas is found in shale which is found two miles underground.

To get to the natural gas you have to drill wells on empty farmland. You could get millions of dollars selling your land to the gas companies; you could become a millionaire overnight.

Since farmers and land owners get so much money for their land, sometimes they don’t really think about the fact that the chemicals that companies use to get the natural gas out of the land, using a process called fracking, could contaminate the drinking water in the area

Hydraulic Fracturing (fracking) is a process used to get natural gas out of the ground. How it is done is that water is mixed with sand and chemicals and then pumped down into the well, creating an enormous pressure which cracks the shale open and the natural gas floats to the top of the well so companies can sell it.

Fracking has already started production or exploration in over thirty states, and has already started production in Pennsylvania. Even though fracking may not seem like a big issue to people who live near a big city, like Philadelphia, in other parts of Pennsylvania it really is a big deal. People are really worried that the Susquehanna is going to get contaminated and then that cuts off some peoples drinking supplies.

My personal opinion is that we should find a safer way to retrieve natural gas than fracking, but that’s just my opinion. Lots of people think fracking is great because we can now provide our own gas in the USA and become a more independent country.

Here is where I got my information. There is a great video at the first site that teaches you a lot about fracking here in the USA.


Behind the Scenes at the Franklin Institute

Behind the Scenes at the Franklin Institute
An Interview With Larry Dubinski
by Hannah Dubinski ’18

Ever wonder what it’s like to solve crimes? How about seeing ancient mummies?  My father, Larry Dubinski, gets to do all this and more every day in his work as Senior Vice President of the Franklin Institute. Recently, I sat down with my father and asked him all about his experience there.

What is the newest exhibit at the Franklin Institute?

CSI: The Experience.

What is the exhibit about?
The exhibit teaches about forensic science and other tools investigators use to solve crimes. As a visitor you are immersed in one of three crime scenes and you use scientific tools and principles to solve crimes. Click on the link find out more about this exciting new exhibit.

 How long will this exhibit be there?
Until January 2nd.

What is your favorite location in the Franklin Institute?
The Benjamin Franklin National Memorial.


It is a majestic place and one of the few national memorials in private hands. Additionally Franklin was one of the most important figures in the founding of our country.

What is your favorite traveling exhibit and why?
King Tut because it attracted the young and old to learn about the mysteries of ancient Egypt.

What is an area that many people may not know about?
The observatory with a giant telescope on the roof of the Franklin Institute.

Can you tell us more about that?
During the day you can look at the sun, and at night you have a spectacular view of the planets and stars.

What is the next traveling exhibit?
Giant Mysterious Dinosaurs.

What is the best part of your job?
Watching my kids learn from and enjoy the exhibitions.

What is the mission of the Franklin Institute?
To inspire a passion in science and technology.