Monthly Archives: May 2017

How to Stay Focused Through the End of the Year

by Erin Bedry  – Staff Reporter

As third quarter ends, it can often be hard to find the motivation to finish the year strong. Thoughts of the summer time start to creep into the minds of everyone and distract from schoolwork. We all want to get out of school and sleep in, but it is important to stay focused and keep your grades up. To help you keep up, here are some tips to incorporate into your daily life.
1. Stay organized: After you clean your room, it helps you feel better in general. It is the same for your schoolwork. Use dividers in a binder and separate your papers into each class. This way, you will never spend too much time trying to find that certain paper and you will be less likely to forget about an assignment you were supposed to complete.
2. Set a schedule: All the teachers and all the parents tell their students not to procrastinate, but they do it anyway. At least a couple days before the due date, try to make a schedule. Know when you are able to work on an assignment and when you will be too busy to do it. If you play a sport or are in a club, this is especially important. Tell yourself when you are going to do the work and then just sit down and do it.
3. Be consistent: The best thing you can do to keep your grade up is just turn in your assignments. It can take forever to make up for just one F in the gradebook. Instead of giving up on an assignment and just tossing it to the side, do as much as you can and then turn it in. Try to have the same level of work throughout all your assignments. If you turn in inconsistent work, you will not leave a good impression with your teacher.
4. Remain positive: Self-deprecation can be your worst enemy. If you do not believe in yourself, then it will prove very hard to do all your assignments and finish the year strong. Always look on the bright side of things. Having a good attitude will make the people around you friendlier and easier to deal with. This way, if you really need an extension on something, teachers will be more inclined to grant you this. Positivity makes everything easier on yourself.
If you follow all of these tips, it can help you stay on the right track for your education. Stay strong and keep working hard.

1984 Proves Relevant Years After Publication

by Fiona Higgins – Staff Reporter

In light of the recent political election, many people on both sides have accused the candidates of being Orwellian. What does that mean? Look no further than 1984, a novel written by George Orwell.
This book is required reading for AP Language students, but unlike many books similar to 1984 that students have to read in school, this one sticks out by how disturbing some of the subject matter can be. A dystopian book written in 1949, the actual story takes place in 1984 like the title implies. Orwell describes a world in which three governments have taken over the entire world and are all subjecting their citizens to similarly totalitarian styles of control. The main character, Winston, lives in Oceania, which encompasses both Americas, the British Isles, Australia and southern Africa. This government encourages people to live by the idea of Doublethink, which in turn allows the government to alter any information they want and the citizens will automatically believe it.
Coming from a post World War II Britain, some of the fears of government takeovers seems warranted, but the controlling policies of The Party, the new government, represent the worst of what could’ve been after the second World War.
More than being a slightly disconcerting required reading novel, though, Orwell’s ideas have given way to new terms that have worked their way into our vocabulary. Phrases like “Big Brother is watching” is a reference to this book, in that “Big Brother” is the supposed leader of The Party. Terms like “Thought Police” and “newspeak” originated from 1984 as well, talking about how The Party uses various manipulating methods to control the population with fear and lack of information.
Like many of the books read in English class, many judged it to be dull before even opening the cover. After all, we have grown up in a time where dystopian novels are starting to become extremely commonplace. However, this one is so twisted that you can’t help but pay attention to it. This is one of the oldest dystopian novels most of us have ever seen.
Whether you have already read it from the first semester of junior or sophomore year, or you have still yet to pick it up, the ideas presented in this book are certainly worth considering, even if the governments suggested are unlikely to happen. It certainly has produced many interesting discussions in class, and most of us will not be likely to forget it quickly.

Top Three Greatest Sci-Fi Films of All Time

by Nolan James – Staff Reporter

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“2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968) – An absolute masterpiece by Stanley Kubrick, “2001: A Space Odyssey” defined science fiction for all films of the genre released after it. 2001: A Space Odyssey stars Kier Dullea and Gary Lockwood, who play David Bowman and Frank Poole, astronauts aboard the Discovery One, a spaceship bound for Jupiter, along with a crew of astronauts in cryogenic sleep. The ship is controlled by artificial intelligence HAL 9000, who the crew affectionately refer to as “Hal.” HAL, however, soon starts malfunctioning, leading Bowman and Poole to decide to shut HAL off. Unbeknownst to them, however, HAL reads their lips, and starts terminating the crew in panic. Bowman soon finds out that HAL has been keeping their true mission a secret to them that their mission is to find and research a strange black monolith that has appeared multiple times throughout history. With a complex story chockfull of symbolism, and revolutionary graphics that are better than that of most modern movies, if any movie is to be selected to represent the science fiction genre, it should be “2001.”

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“Blade Runner” (1982) – The king of the cyberpunk genre, “Blade Runner” is a phenomenal science fiction movie directed by Ridley Scott, who also directed the famous Sci-Fi-Horror movie “Alien”. “Blade Runner” stars Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard, an ex-bounty hunter who killed androids for a living. The movie takes place in Los Angeles in 2019 in a gritty, polluted world overrun with poverty. Androids, or “replicants,” as they are called, have been forbidden from living on earth, and are forced to migrate to Mars. Deckard is hired to kill, or “retire,” four rogue replicants who have come to earth. “Blade Runner” has a very morally complex story, dealing with themes of what it truly means to be human, as Deckard begins to question whether androids really are just machines that he should be able to retire, and the replicants try to find a way to extend their four-year life span. There are many different versions to watch, the best of which are probably the Director’s Cut and Final Cut, due to the many changes the studio forced Ridley Scott to make. No matter which version you watch, though, “Blade Runner” still proves one of the greatest science fiction movies of all time.

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“Star Wars” (1977) – While some may point to this film’s sequel, “The Empire Strikes Back,” as the superior film, which is probably true, there’s no movie that has had as much of an impact as the original “Star Wars,” especially within the Sci-Fi genre. “Star Wars” features a memorable cast of characters, most of whom have become cultural icons, and a classic, albeit rather clichéd, story about a rebellion fighting back against the tyrannical Empire. While the movie’s writing and dialogue is rather dated and corny, “Star Wars” was a milestone for the Sci-Fi genre. It has a detailed, creative world and impressive visual effects, standards for any great science fiction movie. “Star Wars” is definitely amongst the great classic movies.

History of Early Anime

by Jessica Pahutski – Staff Editor

Ever since the late 1990s, anime has been an international entertainment powerhouse. Older people can remember a time when titles like “Robotech” and “Star Blazers” graced TV screens in a heavily-edited and localized state. Going back even further brings beloved classics such as “Speed Racer” and an obscure theatrical release called “Magic Boy”. But what are the origins? Was there an “anime industry” before the 60s?
Records of foreign animations shown in Japan go back to about 1910. The first piece of Japanese animation is shrouded in mystery. Found with a collection of old projectors in 2005, “Katsudō Shashin” (“Moving Picture”) dates from at least 1912. Only 3 seconds in length, this stenciled work shows a boy writing the title in kanji right-to-left before removing his hat and bowing to the audience. No one knows who created it or why, with theories ranging from it being a fragment of a lost short to a company logo.
By 1917, the seeds of the industry had sprouted. Dozens of silent shorts were shown in theaters, such as the four-minute-long “Namakura Gatana” (“The Dull Sword”). Discovered in an antique shop 90 years after its creation, this used cutout animation (a relative of stop-motion) to tell of a samurai buying the titular blunt sword. Short subjects on folktales were also quite popular and numerous. Many of these early works were destroyed in the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923, making “Namakura”’s survival nothing short of miraculous.
Sound film emerged in the West in 1927, with Japan catching up about four years later. “Chikara to Onna no Yo no Naka” (“Within the World of Power and Women”), a short film of unknown length, was the first talkie anime ever made. Even though it had a star-studded cast of stage actors, no copy is known to exist. What we know of the plot is as follows: The main character is a man with an overbearing wife. He has an affair with a typist, which his spouse finds out about when he talks in his sleep. One member of Chikara to Onna’s animation team would go on to make another milestone motion picture.
Made in 1945 to boost morale in evacuated children, “Momotarō: Umi no Shinpei” (“Momotaro’s Divine Sea Warriors”) is thought to be the first feature-length anime film, clocking in at 74 minutes. A sequel to 1943’s “Momotaro’s Sea Eagles”, “Divine Sea Warriors” follows a group of anthropomorphic animal soldiers and their human commander as they take over a British-held island in the Pacific. Mitsuyo Seo, forced by the government to make propaganda, wanted to spread hope for peace once the fighting ended. The film, believed to have been lost or confiscated during postwar occupation, resurfaced in 1983 through a negative print.

“13 Reasons Why” Premiers on Netflix Receiving Mixed Reviews

by Emma Hartvickson – Staff Reporter

The new TV series “13 reasons why” was recently released on Netflix, and has swept the nation into a trance. “13 reasons why” delivers a strong message about bullying, suicide and the struggles of high school. Adapted from the novel by Jay Asher,13 reasons raised further speculation in schools, and left many kids thinking about the way they act in school.
“13 reasons why” is what you could call a typical high school soap opera, but in reality, it is so much more than that. High school student, Hannah Baker, seemed to have an amazing life that nobody expected her to end. However, little did they know, she was truly unhappy. The story follows teenager Clay Jensen, in his quest to uncover the story behind his classmate and crush, Hannah, and her decision to end her life. One day, Clay finds a tapped up box addressed to him on his doorstep. He opens it, and finds thirteen tapes, thirteen reasons why Hannah Baker ended her life, and that if you were the one listening, you were one of the reasons.
Rated mature on Netflix, 13 reasons why is a subject raise in our society today, Both the district of Tahoma and Auburn released statements on the subjects relayed in the show, and are suggesting parents keep a tighter watch on what they are letting their kids watch, the following is a message from TAHOMA SCHOOL DISTRICT 409,
Dear Tahoma Family:
“We want to share information with you about a TV program that is creating a lot of conversation, and some concern, around the country because of its focus on teen suicide. The show is on Netflix and is called “13 Reasons Why.” The show is based on a young-adult novel of the same name whose main character, Hannah Baker, 17, takes her own life but leaves behind 13 audio recordings for people who she claims contributed to her death. The story is graphic and compelling, which is why we are reaching out so that families are aware. The school district is not taking a position about whether the program is appropriate for viewing by teens. However, we want you to know that there is considerable discussion among mental-health professionals about the show’s impact and how it can be processed.”
Kids as young as 13-14 years old should not be exposed to, whether it is the book, or the TV show. The subjects and topics, as dark as they seem, are truly a big part of our society today.
What people should learn from the story is how much every little thing you say to someone matters. Each tape you listen too tells of what Hannah experiences daily on a regular basis, and it sickens many to think that these things could ever happen, but they do, and it is under our noses. Many can safely say that they don’t think their school is that way because they have neither experienced or witnessed many events in the show, but back to what was stated before, you never know what is going on in someone else’s life.

“Ghost in the Shell” Disappoints Audiences With Poor Attempt to Recreate Original Movie and Manga

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by Nolan James – Staff Reporter

“Ghost in the Shell,” released on Mar 31, is a remake of the beloved Japanese animated movie and manga. The original “Ghost in the Shell” is famous for its complex and morally ambiguous story. This new movie, directed by Rupert Sanders, spits in the face of the original story with its dumbed-down and clichéd plot, adding another movie to the cyberpunk genre that does not contribute anything new.
“Ghost in the Shell” stars Scarlett Johansson as Major Mira Killian, a cyborg police officer trying to stop a criminal who hacks into the brains of people. However, the Major learns that the criminal is another cyborg like herself, and was the prototype cyborg discarded as a failure.
The Major soon learns of her past life, and that the government had taken her against her will and turned her into a cyborg weapon. This is not part of the original movie, nor should it be. The whole ‘turned into a weapon by the government’ cliché has been used to death by other movies in the cyberpunk genre, and is, unfortunately, the major focus of this movie.
While the story still falls short of the original movie, it is not all bad. There are a lot of touching, emotional moments that tug at the heart, like the Major visiting her mother from her past life, and all of the throwbacks to the original movie are fun to see when they occur.
One thing that this movie was definitely missing, however, was the legendary soundtrack from the original movie. While part of the original’s haunting soundtrack plays during the end credits, the movie itself was filled with bland action-movie music. It did not stand out at all, to say the least.
As far as it goes for the actors, they mostly did a decent job. Scarlet Johansson stood out the most, half of the time portraying the emotionless cyborg perfectly. Sadly, however, the Major had more emotional moments than in the original, so Johansson’s typical robotic acting stood out as awkward during those scenes.
One of the main aspects of a cyberpunk movie is the futuristic world, which, sadly, was not great in this movie. The design team threw too much in, so the world ended up too detailed to be realistic. With so much futuristic technology, the world was distracting instead of awe-inspiring like other films’ worlds in the genre.
The rest of the movie was not very interesting. The graphics were decent, but were not anything special, and the cinematography did not stand out at all. The majority of the movie felt this way, uninteresting and overall bland.
“Ghost in the Shell” showed a lot of potential, with the first act seemingly focusing on the dangers of technology, as people with robotic attachments were hacked by a terrorist. However, the movie instead decided to focus on the government using people as weapons, which does not leave much of an impact.
The movie was a failed attempt to recreate a classic story, trying too hard to be like other movies in the genre instead of like the original. Because of this, just another cyberpunk movie was born rather than anything significant or worthwhile. At the very least, there will always be the original movie to go back and watch time and time again.

Spring Student Athlete Profiles

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Kyle Combs: Senior, varsity Baseball player
Favorite color: red
Age: 17
Kyle hopes to attend college after senior year, ”I would like to go to Green river then central, I plan on continuing baseball there by trying out for their team.”
“My best game stats were 2-3 against KW with a triple.”
“What motivates me to play baseball is my teammates that push me to work hard every day.”
Kyle describes the challenges he faces during baseball season, “You go to school for 6-7 hours a day, then practice for 3-4 hours, an finally come home to eat, but you’re tired by that time it’s late and you’re tired, but now you have homework, it is hard to get motivated again to do homework.”
Kyle explains why people should join baseball, “People should join baseball because It is a great team to be a part of, everyone is supportive.”
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Eric Riley: Freshman, varsity soccer player
Favorite color: blue
Age: 15
Eric is still considering his option for college, “Still deciding what college I want to attend, but I plan to play soccer if the school I go to offers it.”
“My best game stats are 2 goals and 2 assist.”
“What motivates me to play soccer is my love for the sport and the physical and mental benefits I receive from soccer.”
There are many challenges Eric faces during soccer season, “Sports take up a lot of time and so does school so the compete for your attention and devotion and often times when you comprise for school and sports it leads to very late nights and less sleep sometimes.”
Eric explains why people should join soccer, “People should join and play soccer because it teaches discipline respect hard work and teamwork while it is also great exercise. Soccer gets you out meeting new people traveling from place to place and learning new things.”

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Hallie Fredricks: Junior, Varsity tennis player.
Favorite color: turquoise
Age: 16
Hallie also intends to go to college after senior year, “For college, I would like to go to BYU, and play tennis If possible.”
“My best game stats are from when I won, with my partner Amber, 6-2, 6-2.”
“What motivates me to play tennis is my love of the sport and the drive to keep getting better.”
Hallie describes the challenges she faces during tennis season, “It is hard to balance school and sports because you do not have a lot of time to do everything that you need to do.”
Hallie explains why people should join tennis, “People should join tennis because it is a lot of fun and we are always having a good time.”

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Maggie Brach: Junior, Varsity fast pitch.
Favorite color: blue.
Age: 17
Maggie also plans to attend college after senior year, “I plan to attend Green River, and then move to a four year college, where I will play sports. “
“I do not know about my game stats yet.”
“My teammates and songs get me motivated to play fast pitch.”
Maggie describes the challenges she faces during fast pitch season, “It is hard to balance sports and school because you have to stay on top of your schoolwork and have to practice really hard for the sport. It takes a lot of time and effort.”
Maggie explains why people should join fast pitch “People should join fast pitch because you can make many new friends and learn things along the way.”

Oakland Raiders Anticipate Signing Retired Marshawn Lynch

by Jett Gonzales – Staff Reporter

Since the conclusion of the 2016 – 2017 NFL season, post season has been heating up. One of the biggest stories is the possibility of former Seattle Seahawks running back, Marshawn Lynch, coming out of retirement.
The rumor began circulating when the Oakland Raiders showed interest in trying to get Lynch to come out of retirement and play for them. This rumor was pushed aside as most people believed that Lynch was going to stay retired. However, this all changed when Lynch began negotiating with the team, and now the Oakland Raiders are in the process of acquiring the 31-year-old running back. Many people believed that the only way Lynch would come out of retirement would be if he could compete for another Super Bowl ring and if he could play in his hometown, Oakland, California.
The Raiders had one of their best seasons in years last season, going 12 – 4, but lost in the wild card round because of an injury that sidelined their starting quarterback, Derek Carr. Many fans believe the Raiders are just one or two players away from being title contenders, and Lynch could be that player. Last year, the Raiders shuffled through three different running backs throughout the season and Lynch would provide them with a reliable option to carry the ball multiple times a game. The only issue now is figuring out how much the Raiders are willing to pay for Lynch.
Marshawn Lynch is still “owned” by the Seattle Seahawks, and if he were to come out of retirement, he would still be under contract with them. Therefore, if the Raiders want Lynch, they are going to have to give up something to Seattle. Lynch is best known for his nickname “Beastmode” because of his tough and powerful running style. While his running style put up some impressive numbers over his 9-year career, rushing for 9,112 yards and 74 touchdowns, it has also put a lot of wear and tear on his body. Lynch only made it through half of his final season in Seattle before having to sit out due to a sports hernia. He compiled just 417 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Although the process of getting Lynch to Oakland took almost all off-season, on April 26, Lynch was traded to the Oakland Raiders for 2018 late round draft picks. Lynch signed a two-year deal with a base salary of three million. Marshawn Lynch will be heading to Oakland for the 2017 – 2018 NFL season.