NFC Championship aftermath

By DEMETRIOS TURK

Staff Writer

 

The New Orleans Saints were robbed. They should have been playing against the Patriots last Sunday in the Superbowl. They likely would have won too, watching the game we saw on Sunday. Overall, the Rams proved why they didn’t deserve to be in the SuperBowl. They looked lost and pathetic, only scoring three points in the whole game. The Saints would have been more experienced, especially Drew Brees, and they likely would have won. But no. We got a boring Super Bowl because the Saints were cheated and the NFL chose not to do anything about it.  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t even address what happened until he absolutely had to, the media day at the SuperBowl. The NFL messed this one up. New Orleans will always wear this scar.

What’s Up With That?

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By GRADY CAHILL

Staff Writer

What’s up with teachers rearranging desks? Can’t a teacher just keep the same layout? It makes a hundred times more sense. Plus, why do we need to move seats? It just gives students more anxiety. We get comfortable with our seat partners, and then teachers throw a wrench into that. Then we all have to meet new people. No one likes to meet new people. So, what is up with that? If a student likes who they sit by and they get their work done, leave it alone, they are happy. Just to be clear, I am not throwing any shade at Ms. Moore.

Why Social Media Sites Should be Regulated

 

SocialMedia

By VIANCA TEO

Staff Writer

 

Due to the progressively advanced techniques in software programs, people use this ability to exploit or tamper with images or videos (which people usually do not challenge), present it as ‘ professional’ evidence to justify their ideals, thus leading people to believe it without much of critical analyses. It is argued that weaponization of social media has gone out of hand, that the only front line defense to truly battle fake news is through critical thinking. Indeed, individuals who consume online material should be constantly wary and skeptical of deceitful information, and therefore should be knowledgeable, in terms of suspecting signs and indications that show some reports may be fallacious. However, it is in no other era where developments in technology are plainly emphasized. Scammers, journalists, and simply regular users on the internet alike are all capable of manipulating data and information in various sophisticated methods that make it seem authentic, rendering it increasingly difficult for people to detect which type of accounts are reliable. On that vein, while online consumers are responsible to be able to at least ensure that work is from a reputable source and/or has a standard domain, this exercise still remains defective. It is impossible to keep pace with the volume of information that is fed on internet users by the minute. Hence, it is natural for consumers to easily mistake and believe in false content. Those who are new and beginners to the virtual world – such as inexperienced persons that are too young to recognize falsehoods or too old to understand technology – are especially vulnerable in these cases. If programs that can spread and generate misinformation exists, then social media networks – with their own skills, tools, and knowledge regarding software – should be able to create a system that can eliminate untrustworthy sources.

“What Makes ‘Ouran High School Host Club’ So Different?” – Opinion Paper

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By KAITLYN HENSON
Staff Writer

“Ouran High School Host Club” is the standard anime series in which one unfortunate student attends an elite academy of extremely rich students, and is forced to join the Host Club to repay a debt. But the catch is, that male student is actually a female. So the whole struggle and drama in this anime lie with the Host Club trying to hide their new member’s secret and having to overcome future romances. Pretty standard, and something that not many anime watchers find interesting at all. But in reality, this romance anime shows us how in-depth and mysterious each character is, with a struggle and a past, and the Host Club is the place of happiness for each and every one of them.

To go further in detail on the plot, honor student Haruhi Fujioka is accepted into the elite private school of Ouran Academy. When he accidentally stumbles upon the Host Club’s room, he bumps into and breaks an 8,000,000 yen vase that he can’t afford. So to repay what he’s done, Host Club president Tamaki Suoh has Haruhi become a host, but later finds out that he’s actually a girl, but she seems to be a natural at entertaining ladies. The other host members Kyoya Ootori (club vice president), Hitachiin twins Hikaru and Karou, Mitsukuni “Honey” Haninozuka, Takashi “Mori” Morinozuka, and including Tamakin Suoh (the club president) all have to keep Haruhi’s gender a secret in order for her to finish her dept.

What makes this particular anime different is mainly how a romanticized clubroom could be the source of happiness for not just the guests, but for the club members expressing their true colors and finally being happy in this one place. For example, the Hitachiin twins Hikaru and Karou before were distant and cold to anyone who came across them, for they were identical and looked exactly the same, leading to no one being able to talk to one of them individually. Since they were younger they’ve only relied on each other and didn’t care about anyone else’s well-being. But when Tamaki decided to make a club, he invited them to join in hopes that they would open up from their shells and actually talk to people. And it did work! From their cold, harsh ways, Hikaru and Karou transformed into fun and mischievous brothers that open up to each other and everyone else, making them more likable and more comedic characters. Similar situations regard Mitsukuni (called “Honey” for short) and Takashi (“Mori” for short). Honey was the teacher at his father’s dojo and is a very strong fighter, yet he must pull himself away from liking cute things and eating cake. But when Tamaki comes along, he grants him a chance to finally do what he loves, and Tamaki also grants Mori (Honey’s cousin) to join the club also. Kyoya was convinced at the beginning to work on the club’s finances and to reassure every guest’s happiness to get away from his father’s heavy management and disappointment of him. And Tamaki, the one who started the club, made the host club to ensure a place where people can be happy and make a change in people’s lives, yet his dark past with his parents and family is still behind him, which adapts to his character as a whole greatly. The addition to Haruhi to the club was from being forced to join, but she later learns to depend on others and make friends rather than rely on herself. Her past experiences as a young child with her mother, passing away, still affects her even after years of mourning, yet the host club surprisingly takes that all away.

But how does the host club pursue so much happiness? How does it maintain a place of so much joy when it just entertains young ladies? It’s the hosts. They are learning to grow and change as time passes on, and they protect each other from problems each member has to face. They are a family, and even though this might not be something to watch for everyone, it has a deeper meaning to it than people might think. Behind the comedic laughter and interesting romance, I can guarantee that “Ouran High School Host Club” is worth a watch if you are interested, because there is so much more to the characters and the plot than you would think.

School

By CRISTOFF ZAVALA

Staff Writer

Students must fight off stress and mental fatigue while dealing with the time-consuming school day. Often times they are assigned homework for most classes that they have to balance along with sports and other club activities. Personally, my school has a “block” schedule which means we only have three classes a day, but they are significantly longer than other schools. This makes it easier to balance out homework throughout the week, unlike schools with an all-class-day type schedule in which the students must complete homework nightly. Homework, even if only a little (let’s say around thirty minutes of homework for each class) adds up. This would mean 3-4 hours of homework and some high school students partake in sports and club activities which could also go on for hours at a time. This all makes high school very stressful at times.stress-school

High School Struggles – Academics

highschool

By VIANCA TEO
Staff Writer

High school years are struggling times of revelation and enlightenment, where one begins to enter adolescence – inarguably the most vulnerable stage in life one undergoes. While students are trying to digest learning material from their academic classes, they are simultaneously developing and shaping their characters. With that in mind, American college tuition is tremendously costly that a college education seems unattainable for low and middle-income students, which is the majority of the high school student population. Therefore, the only approach is for students – many who have not and are still in the process of maturity –  to constantly burden themselves with the pressure of seeking unattainably high marks, therefore setting high standards that they wear themselves out in order to be able to achieve scholarship opportunities. In addition, high school students are a young, emotional demographic. Such mentality predisposes them to periodic despair, as well as overwhelming strain and distress – it explains why depression and anxiety disorders are increasing among teens on a national scale; hence, they always require unwavering guidance and support. On that note, parents should assist their children if they expect them to excel in their academic endeavors while looking after their well being.

“The Bigger Story Behind ‘Land Of The Lustrous’” – Opinion Paper

 

kaitlyn

By KAITLYN HENSON

Staff Writer

First glances at “Land Of The Lustrous” and people would not assume much comes out of the story. The animation style is very different from other Japanese anime and this series gets called out for that despite not even watching it. But besides its differences from classic storytelling, “Land Of The Lustrous” could possibly be the most intriguing, most well-developed, breathtaking storytelling of 2017 (warning: there is going to be heavy spoilers for the anime if you have not yet watched it).

“Land Of The Lustrous” (also known as “Houseki no Kuni”) is originally a Japanese manga series created by Haruko Ichikawa and was first published in 2012. Its story based around a world of “gem beings” living peacefully on a deserted planet Earth with the wills of survival. Years after the release of the first manga in the series, anime television studio Orange developed a remake of the story into a complete CG anime series between October to December of 2017.

Its story is fairly interesting to learn about as you watch more of it; following the path of young Phosphophyllite (Phos for short) trying to fit in with the rest of the gems, and desperate to find some sort of meaning to their life (they are referred to as “they”). What I find most intriguing about their story is how much Phos actually changes throughout it, and it goes even further in the manga. Because they are gem people, they are able to break apart and be put back together again, while Phos is one of the weakest and one of the easiest to break (they can lose memories belonging to their missing pieces as well). Throughout the series, Phos ends up losing their legs, arms, head, and eye and had to replace each limb with a different material. Because losing your pieces means losing your memories, throughout time Phos was becoming a different person entirely, with their personality turning to an innocent young person to a broken, dark entity. And not only that, but the experiences and the struggles this unique character goes through at the exact same time changes Phos even more to a deceptive villain-character.

Firstly, their transformation starts to change ever since Phos wanted to help one of their fellow gem people, Cinnabar. Being isolated from the others due to the deadly poison they create, Cinnabar runs the night watch. Phos was devastated by this and decided to help Cinnabar find a more fun job to do. But they are never able to accomplish it after Phos loses their legs to the sea and doesn’t get in trouble for it by Kongō-sensei, the leader and the father-figure of all of the gem people. Not being punished for this weighs down on Phos’s shoulders, especially when winter arrives and that’s when the gems start hibernation. Phos, unable to sleep, is desperate to challenge themselves and is given permission by Kongō-sensei to stay up the whole winter with Antarcite, the only one who is able to withstand the winter conditions. All goes horribly wrong when Phos loses their arms to the ices hoes and must get new ones. Antarcite finds them a gold and platinum alloy but is soon attacked by the moon people. Antarcite is taken away by the moon people, which affects Phos’s mental state greatly. Phos changes the most in this chapter and becomes a much older, more restless person throughout the rest of the winter. At the same time, Phos experiences constant nightmares of Antarcite, which causes less and less sleep. Slowly Phos is turning to a depressive and tired state and still hasn’t made their promise to Cinnabar yet. After the winter everyone was surprised at Phos’s state, and of the loss of Antaracite. Not long after this, the moon people attack the school, but this time it’s a huge monster. But after all is settled, Kongō-sensei is the one who befriends the beast, which confuses Phos greatly. Slowly in time, Phos’s perspective of the moon people grows to Kongō-sensei, and they become suspicious of him. They even abandon their mission to find Cinnabar a better job just to find answers between Kongō-sensei and the moon people, which to me is highly out of character for someone who is supposed to be somewhat of the main protagonist.

But that’s exactly why it happened in the story. A lot more goes on in the manga with Phos beginning to hate Kongō-sensei and becoming so enraged to the point of confronting the moon people themselves and betraying everyone just to save the other gems that have been captured, including Antarcite. They even lose their head and replaces it with a head of Lapis Lazuli, who was manipulative and maintained some sort of evil side to them. This falls heavily on Phos’s character, leading to even working for the moon people and replacing their eye with a synthetic pearl.

I really wanted to shed some light on this intriguing story, mainly on Phos’s transformation from this spoiled, reckless child to this distinctive, manipulative, and possibly evil personality. So many things happen to this character in a short period of time, but the pain and abandonment left by their peers affect this young gem greatly. You can almost feel bad for them and feel every inch of scarring Phos has felt and experienced, from the broken promise to Cinnabar, to the death of Antarcite, and now the suspicions of Kongō-sensei and the betrayal to everyone. And above all that, losing so many of their memories that they’ve literally changed so much, I find that sort of character extremely interesting and very different compared to other main characters. Still, there are a number of protagonists who end up becoming villains in the end, but Phos, on the other hand, has possibly the best turnout of a despicable and broken personality I have ever seen in one story. And the thought of this series being incredibly underrated is critical to me! People should know about this story! People should know about Phos’s story! Above all, there is so much more incredible storytelling packed into this series than just this, so I highly, highly recommend that you check it out, because “Land Of The Lustrous” is truly a breathtaking sight to behold.

“Is Bill Cipher The BEST Disney Villain?”

DisneyVillan

 

By KAITLYN HENSON

Staff Writer

Disney has always been known for their characters as well as their villains. In fact, most of the villains are even as popular as the heroes in the films! Although Bill Cipher from “Gravity Falls” isn’t technically ranked among the other Disney villains, I believe that Bill Cipher might be the BEST villain Disney has ever created.

Bill Cipher was created by Disney’s Television Animation company, compared to the “illuminati” symbol on the one-dollar bill. He is said to be an evil dream demon in the show “Gravity Falls” wanting to cause chaos and confusion to the entire universe. According to many people in the show including character Ford Pines, Bill would do anything to get into the other dimension and spread his “weirdness”. Ford working with Bill in previous years proved Bill Cipher to be manipulative and cunning. But there’s far more to this villain than meets the eye.

In the article Monstrous Nihilism: An Analysis of Bill Cipher and His Effects on the Characters of Gravity Falls, author Natali Cavanagh stated, “Bill represents the impossibility– and danger– of the idea of the absolute.” This is very different than other commonly-known Disney Villains, for example, the antagonist Maleficent from the movie Sleeping Beauty is special because she was different from the other female characters in Disney’s older movies. Famous actress Angelina Jolie (the actress who starred in the 2014 adaptation Maleficent) says, ““When I was little, [seeing Maleficent] was like when you look at Marlene Dietrich for the first time. She was so elegant and so strong and seemed to be having a great time. She always seemed … like she had a secret like something else was going on and you couldn’t get close enough to her to know what that was, and so she remained a mystery.”

This description of a famous Disney villain is very different from Bill Cipher. Bill Cipher is not someone who does evil for revenge (sometimes he does get mad at people and terrify them with his madness, but that is not his main goal). Because Bill’s goal is to annihilate the entire dimension, his reasons are “he destroyed his own dimension”. Well, why? Because he is a character of impossibilities; he denies the roles of reality and breaks through that chain, unlike any other villain that we know of created by Disney. He doesn’t care what happens to anyone, even if people are suffering or die upon his grasp. Bill’s favorite tactic is madness, spreading his illusions of perception beyond all logic, but to him, it’s just a game. Just a fun little world domination for the sake of boredom.

Although there are similar villains who fit some of the roles listed here, such as the Queen Of Heart (Alice In Wonderland), Chernabog (Mickey’s House Of Villains), Kaa (The Jungle Book), Oogie Boogie (Nightmare Before Christmas) and several others, NONE of them match up to the true villainy of Bill Cipher.

 

Sources:

https://bsudlr.wordpress.com/2016/11/28/monstrous-nihilism-an-analysis-of-bill-cipher-and-his-effects-on-the-characters-of-gravity-falls/

Angelina Jolie

Honor Code

HonorCode

 

By CRISTOFF ZAVALA

Staff Writer

 

Honor codes are implemented in schools to prevent plagiarism and cheating on campus, but some question whether these honor codes are really working. Most students are unaware that their school may even have an honor code in place, much less follow the rules. This lack of acknowledgment is an easy thing to blame the effectiveness on, however, it’s further than that.

 

A student would much rather copy work than actually have to do the work themselves, the reason a student cheats is that of the risk/reward chance. Chances are they won’t get caught, but if it’s likely they are to be, they won’t. Honor codes do not work in my opinion, unless the code is student enforced. The chances of being caught become much greater when it’s the other students reporting the cheating happening on campus.

“Why is ‘Land Of The Lustrous’ such a good anime?”

 

Lustrous

By KAITLYN HENSON

Staff Writer

Anime has become more common of a category for people’s entertainment around the world, with new series and ideas coming up out of nowhere to produce these enchanting stories. But the new anime that came around December 2017 of last year is by far one of the most interesting and creative ones I’ve ever seen, and more people should know about it too.

For starters, “Land Of The Lustrous” (also known as ‘Houseki no Kuni’) is a CG anime based on its previous manga by Haruko Ichikawa. It was produced by Japanese animation studio Orange and was written by Toshiya Ono and directed by Takahiko Kyōgoku.

“Land Of The Lustrous” takes place far in the future, where three forms of human life roam the earth: the Lustrous (immortal beings embodied by gemstones), the Lunarians (moon people who seek to harvest the Lustrous for jewelry), and the Admirabilis (beautiful creatures who live in the sea). One such Lustrous named Phosphophyllite (nicknamed Phos) is looking to what to do in her life besides doing nothing, while the other Lustrous fight the Lunarians in intense battles because of how strong their gemstones are. Kongō-sensei, the teacher of all the Lustrous, gives Phos a job of assembling a history of their kind. Bored, Phos looks for help on what to put in the book. But when Phos meets the Nightwatch Cinnabar, Phos sees their story as sad, for Cinnabar is an outcast and lives in isolation because they’re a danger (the Lustrous don’t have genders, instead they are referred to ‘they’). On a course of interesting adventures and fun laughs, Phos tries to help Cinnabar find a new job.

Positive critic reviews were upon “Land Of The Lustrous”’s release, saying that it is one of the most “inventful” and “fresh animes” to come in years. The characters are unique and are relatable in a way that is entertaining. It was a turning point for future CG anime and is one of the best visual works in TV anime.

So, why does this make this so good? It’s mainly because of its originality. The scenery of the whole place is truly an enchanting sight and the characters are well-developed in a number of ways, especially Phos. Phos was voiced by Tomoyo Kurosawa (English-voice by Sarah Wiedenheft) who helped create her character into the person that would eventually become Phosphophyllite. I see her as the most relatable character in the show, being so young and fragile, yet is bored all the time and can’t seem to do many things right because of how weak they are. Of course, there are a ton of interesting characters to watch and learn from, Phos has always been the most interesting out of all of the Lustrous characters.

Overall, the story is intriguing and the animation is way beyond what many people would think about when watching anime. It is very detailed, and the beauty of it all brings “Land Of The Lustrous” to the many reasons why it is such an incredible anime to enjoy.