Dinosaur Deficit and Deprivation of Happiness 

By: TAYLOR BENNETT

Staff Writer

We all know the feeling: the pure dread that is a poor internet connection. The entirety of the student body (and staff) have felt this at some point in their careers. The pressure and tension within the classroom as you fling open your computer, rapidly press the power button, hoping for a sign of life, only to be shown a sad, empty little box where your Wi-Fi once lived – it’s unbearable, really. The one redeeming quality of the poor service that is experienced throughout this school comes in a delightful, pixelated package to soothe the anxious minds in its presence: The Dinosaur Game. Like the fleeting feeling of a long-lost friend, this game has consistently comforted those struggling with internet connectivity in classrooms, until recent times. With the restriction and monitored use of computers on campus, it has become increasingly evident that our dearest dinosaur friend has gone extinct. 

While this may generally seem like a good idea, many people seem to disagree. Restricting and monitoring internet usage on campus is crucial to both the safety and mental well-being of all students and staff. However, this little prehistoric pal was part of the process of positivity, and would not interfere with classroom activities, as the game disappears the minute that the computer reconnects to the campus Wi-Fi; this calming T-Rex and his little cactus, asteroid, and pterodactyl friends do not hang around after the establishment of a connection, thus would not be a distraction in the classroom. This being said, for the sake of the anxiety-inducing loss of service on computers while trying to submit an assignment, I genuinely believe the dinosaur should return to our computers, warming both our hearts and our screens.

Cartoon Spotlights: The Mitchells vs. The Machines

By KAITLYN HENSON

Staff Writer

If you’re a fan of Into the Spiderverse or Gravity Falls, chances are you might be interested in the Netflix original movie The Mitchells vs. The Machines. Released on April 30 of 2021, this movie follows the life of young Katie Mitchell and her family — as they unexpectedly have to survive the robot uprising and save the world.

Originally going to be called Connected, The Mitchells vs. The Machines is a really fun adventure for everyone to enjoy! The animation is incredibly artistic and creative, and it really branches out with what the limits of animation can do. The art style also works with Katie’s wacky family in an Adventure Time-whimsical fashion of mayhem and chaos. This movie also mixes in elements of 2d to its 3d environments and incorporates Katie Mitchell’s style of drawing into every frame. The amount of effort put into every shot and every tiny detail of this movie is incredible, and the story is even better.

Growing up in the modern age, the Mitchell family struggles to get along with each other – particularly with Katie and her dad. With his daughter going off to a film college, the dad tries to plan a last-minute getaway trip for the whole family before Katie has to head off – despite her pleas not to go. Little do any of them know a robot invasion had started to arise and take over the world, the Mitchell family being the ONLY ones to escape being captured and ultimately the ones who have to save the day.

I’m absolutely in love with this movie – and one of the few movies that have managed to make me cry. I relate to Katie Mitchell so much in this movie that some of my friends have joked about her being an animated version of myself. As someone who has a strong passion for the animation industry, I see a lot of myself in her character and her style of creativity. I also love her entire family – the little brother who is obsessed with dinosaurs, the quirky mom trying to fit in, and the old-fashioned dad who cannot understand technology at all. Working together they are all fun to watch as they try to get through this crazy time in their lives.

There’s simply not enough I can fit into this article without it being too long, because of how incredible the movie The Mitchells vs. The Machines really is. It’s one of my favorite movies of all time and it sparks my creativity so much by how much time and effort was put into the creation of it. If you haven’t checked out The Mitchells vs. The Machines yet, it’s on Netflix to watch for family and friends to enjoy together. Again this is a beautifully crafted story of excitement and adventure, so if you have time go check out this awesome movie!

Kai

By JOSEPH MARROQUIN

Staff writer

Kai is the name of my fat cat. He’s white with black spots and weighs about 20 pounds. He’s really mean to people he doesn’t know but it’s okay he just has trust issues. He’s been through the trenches ya know what I mean? Once you get to know him he’s pretty cool. He likes to eat, sleep, and be pet. Emphasis on the eating part. It’s all good now though, he’s been limited from his food so he doesn’t overeat. I don’t mean any disrespect to anyone reading this but I would certainly sacrifice a number of people to save him. Anyways look at these pictures of him.  (Scroll down)

Are You a Bad Person? 

By MAKENNA WOOD 

Staff Writer 

The green-eyed monster roams inside of every person; watching, waiting for the perfect opportunity to attack. In simpler terms- jealousy gets the best of us sometimes. And although society has deemed jealousy as a less-than-admirable quality in a person, it is a quality that every single person possesses. Whether it be jealousy concerning love or work or friendship, it is jealousy nonetheless. I have often felt jealousy in friendships; not concerning what the friend has but that I have to share that friend with other people. Obviously, I do not “own” that friend and they may hang out with whomever, whenever they wish but that does not mean that these ugly feelings have suddenly disappeared- as ugly feelings do not listen to reason. Despite the fact that I know bitterness and envy are completely expected and typical to feel, it still makes me wonder if I am a bad person. If it is even possible to determine if someone is a good or bad person based on feelings that everyone experiences which you may or may not even act on.

Free COVID-19 Tests

By GISSELE GONZALEZ
Staff Writer

Every U.S. household is now eligible to order 4 free at-home COVID-19 Tests!

The Biden Administration has launched a new federal website for Americans to order free at-home COVID-19 tests. Tests can be ordered online at covidtests.gov! Every household, based on residential address, is limited to ordering 4 tests and will be shipped by the US Postal Service 7-12 days after the order has been placed. The government-run website encourages all Americans to order their tests now so you have them when you need them. Tests will begin shipping in late January. 

How to order:

  1. Click on “Order Free At-Home Tests” 
  2. Fill out basic contact information such as name, email, and address
  3. Click “Check Out Now”

Remember to continue washing your hands frequently and practicing social distancing. Take care, everyone! 

LA Unified’s New Mask Policy

By MICHELLE HASH

Staff Writer

As the new semester begins, Los Angeles Unified School District has begun requiring their students to wear surgical grade masks as opposed to cloth ones. The new masks have to meet the criteria of a well-fitted, non-cloth mask that also has a wire nose piece that must be worn at all times, including outside. This rule does not apply to all of their students, they are allowing medical exemptions from certain physical and mental illnesses. 

Recently there have been many studies proving that cloth masks are not very successful in protecting individuals from COVID-19 and more health officials are coming out, strongly encouraging everyone to begin wearing N-95 or KN-95 masks. And if not those, at least the blue surgical masks. They are the first school district, and also 2nd largest school district in the nation, to begin enforcing this, potentially enforced by other schools in the future. 

THE MONEY STORE ALBUM REVIEW

By Chad Boswell

Staff Writer

On April 24, 2012, Californian band Death Grips released their debut album and most popular album titled “The Money Store”. This album was very successful and was very anticipated by fans after their mixtape Exmilitary. This album to this day is still very loved by fans of experimental rap itself and the members of the band Death Grips. The Money Store is a very noise/sound type album mixed with effects and samples from the internet.

Death Grips is a band that formed in Sacramento CA, and the band consists of members Stefan Burnett (mainly known as MC Ride), Zach Hill, and Andy Morin and this trio has been making music since 2010. This band is very mysterious but also knows a lot at the same time. Death Grips have released 8 albums while they have been together and have grown a larger fan base since. The Money Store is a really interesting album and stands out a lot from the other projects that Death Grips have released. 

The Money Store was their most anticipated album and caught a new rhythm that nobody had heard from Death Grips before. On their first album, it was a more lyrical rap-rock album but they changed things up with the Money Store. In this album, they introduced many aspects of their band like sound/noise sci-fi type stuff. They also introduced the actual experimental side of their band including all these mixes of noises and sounds and electronic vibe that make the songs very enjoyable to listen to.

Some things I like about this album is obviously the electronic vibe of the album but the stand out popular songs from it, some of the songs I liked from this album are “Get Got, The Fever (Aye Aye), Hustle Bones, I’ve seen footage, Double Helix, System Blower, Punk weight, Bit*h please, Hacker.” All those songs are very good and I personally enjoyed them a lot but some things I did not like from this album are just the songs I don’t like on the album and those songs and the production of it just don’t stand out to me as much as the other songs on the album. Most songs and production are really good and very enjoyable to listen to. 

In my personal opinion, I would give this album a 9/10. The Money Store is a very good album and I recommend it to anybody who likes electronic-type albums or just experimental music. The album might become a 10 for me in the future but as of right now it is a 9 just because of the songs that don’t stand out to me as much. This album is still very good and I see myself still listening to it every day.

Gabby Petito Homicide Case

By DANIELLE GIANNANDREA

Staff Writer

On September 11, 2021, Gabby was reported missing by her parents. Gabby and her fiance Brian Laundrie had gone on a trip around the country in their convertible camper van. They left in late August, just the two of them, however, the fiance returned from the trip on September 1st without Gabby. Gabby was not responding to any of her family’s calls or texts. Her mother reported a missing person case a few days after Brian’s return. 

Two days after Gabby’s missing person case file, Brian was reported as a missing person. 

Search parties found Gabby’s body on September 19, 2021, where they were camping in Wyoming. The coroner came to the conclusion that her death was a homicide through strangulation. 

The search for Brian continued, his parent’s house was searched, the FBI could not find any evidence of his remains. 

About a month later Brian was found alongside his backpack and other items in a creek. The coroner reported that he had committed suicide, indicated by the gunshot to the head.

When Brian was reported missing his parents turned all of their firearms into the FBI, however, they were missing one gun; the FBI was unable to determine if this missing weapon had been used in his suicide. 

Along with Brian’s personal items found by his body, there was a journal found. This journal had a confession written in it stating that he was the one that strangled his fiance to death.

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach: A Book Review 

By PAIGE FOSTER 

Staff Writer 

The scientists are, for once, unanimous. People are looting shops. Restaurants have shut down. The end of the world is coming. This is where Tommy Wallach’s novel, We All Looked Up, begins. An asteroid is hurtling towards Earth, and scientists estimate that it will land on April 1st, two months from its discovery. Wallach’s best-selling fiction novel follows the journey of six teenagers as they live out their remaining time on planet Earth. 

When writing a review of We All Looked Up, there is hardly a lack of content to discuss. I could start with the writing style, which is simplistically casual but indulgent all at once. I could start with the characters, who have moments of genuine humanity, but occasionally vacillate to the exaggerated caricatures of their stereotypes. I could start with how Wallach balances the heavy subject matter in the novel, including drug use and sex, and poor family relations. I could even start with a rating out of five stars (I’d give it a three), but that would not adequately communicate the most important aspects of the book as a whole. 

The ending of the world is a commonly proposed hypothetical, and thus most people have an answer to what they would do in such a situation. Some might want to go skydiving, others would want to reconcile with an estranged loved one, still, others would quit their high-stress job or find God or maybe all of the above. And while people have these fanciful ideas of what they would do if the world was ending, very few pause to consider the fact that it is ending already. We act as though time is an infinite resource. As morbid as it may sound, the most important thing Tommy Wallach does in We All Looked Up is to remind people of their mortality. He helps his readers to understand that their own fears – of rejection, humiliation, or failure – may prevent them from resolving conflicts or from accomplishing anything of real value in their lives. 

Thus Wallach’s book is not good because the writing is sound (which it is), or because the characters are likable (which not all of them are), or because it is enjoyable to read (which is only 80% true). Rather, it is good because it reminds people that their pesky fears are both illusory and insignificant in the face of the impending natural reality that is death. It poses the obvious question: What would you do if the world was ending? But it also raises a more important one: The world is ending, what are you going to do? 

Homemade Apple Pie Recipe

By BRIANNAH PERRY

Staff Writer

Ingredients 

PIE DOUGH

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ sticks butter, 1 1/2 sticks, cold, cubed
  • 8 tablespoons ice water, or as needed

FILLING

  • 2 ½ lb Granny Smith apple, cored, sliced, peeled
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

TOPPING

  • 1 scoop vanilla ice cream

Preparation

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, add the flour and salt. Mix with fork until combined.
  2. Add in cubed butter and break up into flour with a fork. Mixture will still have lumps about the size of small peas.
  3. Gradually add the ice water and continue to mix until the dough starts to come together. You may not need all of the water, but if the dough is too dry then add more. The dough should not be very tacky or sticky.
  4. Work the dough together with your hands and turn out onto a surface. Work into a ball and cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate.
  5. Peel the apples, then core and slice.
  6. In a bowl, add the sliced apples, sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and juice from the lemon.
  7. Mix until combined and all apples are coated. Refrigerate.
  8. Preheat the oven to 375°F (200°C).
  9. On a floured surface, cut the pie dough in half and roll out both halves until round and about ⅛-inch (3 mm) thick.
  10. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and unroll onto a pie dish making sure the dough reaches all edges. Trim extra if necessary.
  11. Pour in apple filling mixture and pat down.
  12. Roll the other half of the dough on top.
  13. Trim the extra dough from the edges and pinch the edges to create a crimp. Make sure edges are sealed together.