Hi everyone. I’d like to start this edition off by quickly saying that I hope you’re all doing well and staying healthy during the pandemic. The articles you’ll be reading are a little dated because of complications surrounding COVID-19; still, it didn’t seem fair that all of the hard work of the paper’s writers would go to waste, so I hope you enjoy them anyway, and that the stories make you think of better times.
Music, a hobby of humans since we were banging on drums back in the ice caves. Only 90 BCE kids will remember…
Yuliia Hrytskiv February 1, 2020
There is no reason for hobbies to become things of the past.
With having to constantly keep up their marks and worry about getting into a good college or university, high schoolers can forget that an active life outside of school is a component of happiness. Today, many people confuse hobbies with more work to do, something that they need to become professionals in, causing people to refuse to try things. The truth is that there is absolutely no good argument against having a hobby, because it is something that makes you feel better and brings you joy. While for some people, hobbies may turn into successful careers, for others, they just stay as hobbies forever.
It is good when you have a passion you want to pursue, but what to do if you are not interested in anything? Fortunately, it’s not a helpless situation. We all know about passion, but really, a single passion does not exist. Therefore, you can choose any hobby you want even if you don’t feel like you were born to do it. Experts suggest to keep trying things, and that eventually, you will either fall in love with a hobby or understand that it is not your thing at all. My advice to you is to get out of your comfort zone and try something new, for it will bring you deep feelings of meaning and satisfaction.
Moreover, a lot of high schoolers complain about not having time to “live” due to large amounts of work in school. However, having hobbies and spending time on them will not make your grades go down. Studies have shown that hobbies increase your productivity, allowing you to work smarter, not harder. Hobbies make you more creative and are enormously beneficial to your mental and physical health. Scientists studying this issue say that if you make time for your hobbies, you will feel better and find school to be easier. While this is something that’s supposed to make you more interested in pursuing a hobby, this is the wrong perspective to look from. A hobby is not something that you should do to be more successful at your work, but is rather about taking time for yourself that you deserve.
Three Kingdoms, like other Total War games, thrusts you into a position of leadership, letting you take control of a ruler to carve your name out in the the books of history
Shi Shaochen January 21, 2020
Release Date: May 23, 2019
Developer: Creative Assembly
Visuals: 3/5; Perfect for a graphic novel, but really just OK
Controls: 4/5; Not necessarily the best, but enjoyable
Immersion: 5/5; One of the most immersive strategy games I’ve ever played
Overall: 4/5; A good game even if you don’t like watching 1000 people fight each other to the death.
“The Empire, long divided, must unite; The Empire, long united, must divide.”
With the release of its newest piece of DLC, “Mandate of Heaven”, which depicts the scenario for the Yellow Turban Rebellion, Total War: Three Kingdoms has finally become a relatively complete strategy game.
The game provides two modes to choose from when playing the campaigns: the Romance mode, which is primarily based around the popular novel “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”, and the Records mode, based on “Records of the Three Kingdoms”, the 3rd century records contemporary to the game’s setting. However, both modes share the astounding accuracy of events and the description of various characters from the novel, while using the style of Chinese painting for its unique aesthetic.
The actual gameplay, in fact, is fairly easy. This would usually lead to the loss of fun and the sense of achievement; however, it is not the case for Total War: Three Kingdoms. Even though one could defeat the most powerful army commanded in the game using only some farmers with pitchforks, they would likely still enjoy the experience after several similar battles. The duel system, which allows two characters to fight in single combat, certainly plays a huge role in this, as the game has developed a distinguishable character system with around 30 unique warriors supported by high quality art.
Some of the things I found impressive about the game are the 2D visuals, the music, and the game’s trailers. The music is simply magnificent with the sounds of an epic orchestra mixed with those of traditional instruments, along with the symbolic repetitive lyrics adapted from ancient Chinese poems, including some that were written by the aforementioned Cao Cao, a famed Chinese poet and warlord who is playable in the game. The trailers, on the other hand, show the delicate use of cinematic and storytelling techniques that are beyond words. For example, in the trailer for Cao Cao, the ending of the game of Go chess between Yuan Shao and himself matches up the story between the two in The Romance of Three Kingdoms. Although there is a large inconsistency between the gorgeous 2D art for the characters and the 3D models that did not meet many expectations, it seems that Creative Assembly really put effort into immersion and details.
Total War: Three Kingdoms might not be the best Total War game out there, but it definitely is the best Three Kingdoms game that I’ve ever played.
Akil Thomas’ games winning goal against Amir Miftakhov, the Russian goaltender
Konrad Sharma January 22, 2020
With just 3:58 left in the third period, Akil Thomas of Canada scored the goal that finished off an aggressive comeback and secured a 4-3 victory over Russia, securing Canada’s 18th gold medal in the World Juniors.
Canada had outscored opponents 22-5 over its last four games, yet moments before they won, with under 2 minutes remaining, they were down 3-1. They fought off a two man advantage and scored three goals, including a backhander by Thomas as he fell to the ice. Fortunately for Canada, a clearing attempt that appeared to hit a camera outside of play was not called for a delay of game penalty, which would have given Russia a 6-on-3 situation with 1:47 remaining. Even so, Russia imploded and took another penalty for playing with a broken stick, and Canada was able to run out the clock with a 5-on-3 man advantage before bursting into a well earned celebration.
This long-lasting rivalry will continue, as Russia is closest to Canada in gold medals attained, and is leading Canada in overall medals won. Now defending champions, Canada may still have to fend off Russia next year, and chances are that we will battle it out again soon.
From singing in their bedrooms to performing at various festivals such as Camp Flog Gnaw, all the way to going on tour with the likes of The 1975 and Clairo, the boy band LAUNDRY DAY is on their way to becoming a global sensation. Inspired by Tyler, the Creator and BROCKHAMPTON, the pop group started in New York in 2017 when five high school friends joined to create music. The bands lineup is made up of Sawyer Nunes, Jude Ciulla, Etai Abramovich, Henry Weingartner, and Henry Pearl. The boys are not afraid to take risks in the creative process of their music, constantly making changes and releasing pieces that are unique. They currently have three albums out, their most recent being HOMESICK which includes popular songs such as “Harvard” and “Cha”. They went on their own tour for this album across North American and European cities. Their songs are very personal to them and they make sure they write things that they can relate to as they feel like it means more – especially since they’re still going through changes. Their style of music contains both very distorted sounds along with catchy melodies, a good example being “Red Roses”.
The members of the band make sure that they make themselves unique and memorable in any way that they can. Part of this is how they film their music videos, which are creative and have a very “home-video” style. They look very low-budget, but the way they are filmed really suits the group. They are also known for their wacky editing when it comes to videos and merchandise. The band is also very connected with their fanbase. They’ll often reply to messages or posts on their social media, and after their concerts, they’ll stay later to talk and take pictures with fans for free. They’ve stated many times how appreciative they are of all the love and support. If you’re ever looking for new and unique music, you should most definitely give a listen to Laundry Day. They release new music very often, and have made songs with so many different varieties that even if you don’t like one song of theirs, you’ll surely be able to find another that you might enjoy.
Pipe intended for use in the Expansion on a train car
Fares Magahed January 20, 2020
British Columbia had been having a hard time making their case against the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion, or the TMX. The Trans Mountain Pipeline is a pipeline that transports crude and refined oil from Alberta to the coast of B.C. The British Columbian government wanted to have the ability to regulate what was going through the pipeline, and argued that it might be damaging to the environment. As they had been fighting a losing battle, the B.C government hired private-sector litigator Joseph Arvay, who had worked with similar cases before, to present their case against the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion to the Supreme Court of Canada. Last Thursday, as Arvay was giving his closing statements, he said, “If I’m not going to win the appeal, I don’t want to lose badly”. However, Arvay and the B.C government lost their appeal. Badly.
Typically, in cases that go to the Supreme Court, both sides present their cases and the judges take weeks to decide, the group usually coming back divided. In this case, the judges were unanimous in their decision, all stating that pipelines are a federal responsibility, and once the federal cabinet approves one, a province should not be able to pass a law that would get in one’s way.
Joker was definitely one of the most memorable movies released in 2019.
In a decadent metropolis, Gotham City, a miserable comedian named Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) is slowly being pushed to insanity. Like any fictional city in the early 80s, everyone in the subway wears suits while people in the streets starve, and drug use and social ills are rampant. Unemployment is spiking, crime is at an all time high, and financial ruin for Gotham is certain, as evidenced by the city suddenly yanking away desperately needed social services like the medication and therapy that Arthur depends on. Luckily, billionaire Thomas Wayne grandstands as a candidate for mayor who promises that he alone can save the city from disaster. But Arthur, who was being bullied by three businessmen who worked at Wayne Enterprises, Thomas’ company, finds this claim especially funny. Why? You’ll have to see the film to find out.
The settings and visual aesthetics in Joker play an important role in the transformation of Arthur. The warm light of the city streetlamps and the reflection of the cold electric light in the subway, the graffiti and the trash everywhere, the bright sun that shines outside the window of Gotham Hospital, the exploding smoke grenades in the night; all of these things contribute to this unique story. From the dreadful pianos to the classical jazz, to the rhythmic beats and the echoes with barely any sense of melody, the music in Joker is a reflection of Arthur’s mind. He bursts with hope in this desolate city, yet society slaps him in the face with greater misery, which eventually ends Arthur’s life and begins that of Joker.
This movie involves a great deal of symbolism. The gun that Arthur is obsessed with is the power that allows him to strike back at those who wish him ill. However, it is also the reason why the maniacal villain of lore is born. The mask and makeup in Joker serve as key elements throughout the movie. At first, they protect from sorrow, then provide a disguise when the public rallies around those symbols. When Arthur begins to see his life as a comedy rather than a tragedy, they are symbols of himself, as he no longer needs a mask. To an extent, Joker is already a symbol that brings a specific meaning to the audience when the movie ends
The characters in this movie are, like those of other good films, mirrors of the messages that the movie wants the audience to understand. The character Randall is a friend that helped and harmed Arthur at the same time. Gary, a little-person, serves as a foil for Arthur, as he is frequently abused as well. Talk show host Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro, whose role is a direct reference to his previous roles in the films Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy) is at first the inspiration and a hero to Arthur, as he indirectly saved his life multiple times when Arthur was able to resist his suicidal feelings because of Murray’s show. Murray is a personal saviour that took the role of father in fatherless Arthur’s mind. Yet, when Arthur saw Murray’s mockery of his comedy, he became enraged as he ‘betrayed’ Arthur, and thus lost his holiness in the man’s eyes. The relationship between Arthur and his mother is similar but darker. Arthur’s Oedipus complex contrasts with the fact that his mother suffers from maladies both physical and mental. All of these things together help Arthur become the Joker, a creation of society.
The HMS Dreadnought, the hydrogen bomb of that day and age, has a legacy of something other than war
Julian Apolinario August 21, 2019
As the old saying goes, “those that do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Now, this is applicable both in the average high school classroom and in the briefing room of the Pentagon, and while I would say that failing a class isn’t quite as bad as starting a nuclear war, I know some people who would disagree.
In all seriousness, though, a lot of people don’t know about what came before us, and even fewer really care. Instead, they write off history as nothing but boring facts spouted from the mouths of teachers or other adults. However, I think that history is both important, and the source of the best stories that we may ever come across. Now, as the other saying goes, “truth is stranger than fiction,” and that’s true for one reason: fiction needs to sound real.
Here’s the best example of that: Virginia Woolf is many things; an author, a feminist icon, and a not so well known anti-Semite. But something that most people probably don’t know about her is the time that she and her friends impersonated the Abyssinian (Ethiopian) emperor and his family in front of the British Navy’s submarine killing ship.
It started like any other day: Virginia woke up, had breakfast, and set off with her friend Horace de Vere Cole, a notorious prankster, to go fool the British Navy. Now, to fully appreciate the rest of this story, you need to know something about Horace. de Vere Cole was born into a good family and served in the military like his dad, but was declared unfit for service due to injuries. It wasn’t all bad, because through this path, he became a pranking legend. See, no matter how many stores you’ve prank-called, houses you’ve TP’d, or chickens you’ve unleashed in a school, you’ve never done what this man has done.
And that thing was impersonate royalty.
Now, before the whole Navy fiasco, he’d pulled off a similar stunt when he convinced the mayor of his town that he was the Uncle of the Sultan of Zanzibar, and pulled it off so well that he was given a ride in a carriage, a tour of the town, and dressed up so convincingly that his own friends didn’t recognize him.
Back to Virginia: she and her brother Adrian were friends with Horace, and he had another prank in mind; a similar yet better one. They decided to get some friends and dress up as the Emperor of Abyssinia and his retinue. Why do this, you might ask? Two reasons.
One: There was a ship called the HMS Dreadnought that was (to the British people of the time), bigger than Avengers Endgame, Lil Uzi dropping a new album, and a new Harry Potter book put together. It was revolutionary in the field of war, the pride of England, and so naturally, the Dreadnought wasn’t exactly open to the public. But it was to the Emperor of Abyssinia.
Two: Now, you might have been wondering, “why would anyone go to all this effort, no matter how good the bragging rights are?” Well, there was some 1910s beef. Back in the day, the officers in the of different ships in the Navy were rivals and loved a good prank, and it seemed that the sailors of the HMS Dreadnought had a stick a little too far up, and the sailors of the HMS Hawke thought that they were due to be knocked down a few pegs. And guess what ship had an officer who was friends with Horace de Vere Cole?
So, onto the prank: some telegrams were sent ahead stating that the Emperor of Abyssinia desired to inspect the Dreadnought, and that he would be coming with his entourage. Horace impersonated a government official and arranged for them a VIP train carriage on the way to Weymouth, where the ship was docked. When they got there, they were given the whole nine yards: a band performance, crew salute, and the flying of a flag.
Here’s the interesting part. What language do they speak in that part of Africa? Amharic. What language do 1910s British twenty-somethings not speak? Amharic. So, what did they do instead? They spoke gibberish with the occasional Greek or Latin word thrown in, “translated” by Virginia’s brother, Adrian. Another interesting development was the meal. A lovely meal had been prepared for the Emperor, but guess what doesn’t mix well with eating? Disguises with fake beards; so, they were forced to pretend as if something was wrong and not eat at all.
It just so happened that Virginia and Adrian’s cousin, Willie, had a job in the Navy, and was a commander under the captain of the Dreadnought. And he didn’t recognize them. Now, this might not seem like such a big deal, but you have to understand something; Virginia Woolf was not impersonating an Abyssinian princess. She was impersonating a prince.
And so, the band of merry “royals” left the Dreadnought and boarded a free carriage all the way back to London. But, that’s not where this story ends. Eventually, the public found out about this and the Navy was the laughingstock of the country. And so, with wounded pride, the Navy demanded Horace’s arrest. But Horace had an ace up his sleeve: somehow, he had broken not a single law.
And thus, he was home free, or so he thought. See, despite the captain loving the prank, apparently armed soldiers don’t take kindly to having their pride wounded, so they decided to dish out some army style justice. They took Horace and his posse out to a field in the middle of London, and gave them a public caning.
Thus ended the Abyssinian Royal Visit.
Horace de Vere Cole‘s Wikipedia page is worth a look if you liked this kind of story. There’s a section just for his pranks, which I linked here.