‘Levius’

Levius is an a steampunk action anime available on Netflix that features a kid named Levius Cromwell battling other opponents in a sport called “metal boxing,” which is just normal boxing, but they use robot arms. Unlike most anime, this show uses 3D models instead of 2D drawings. The models are done really well and gives the show a sense of energy that you don’t see in other shows of the same type.

The plot of Levius revolves around an upcoming metal boxer named Levius. Metal boxers have metal arms filled with a special water called Agartha Water, that when mixed with a drop of the users blood, turns into steam and falls under their control like a natural extension of their body. When contained inside a prosthetic arm, it’s like the person using it has a normal arm that can hit a lot harder. I like the inclusion of Agartha Water as a plot element because it makes the metal arms seem realistic when the show takes place in an 1800s time period.

Levius lost his arm in a war before the series started, and after moving to his uncle Zack’s house, they bonded through their love of boxing. Soon afterwards, Levius became a rising star in the metal boxing world. The premise is simple enough, a lot like you would see in any other sports anime. But what sets this show apart is the characters.

The supporting cast, which consists of Levius’s one-eyed uncle Zack, his personal mechanic Bill, and his rival Natalia are all great and unique enough that they don’t get boring, but the real star of the show is Levius himself. Right away in the first episode we learn that he doesn’t really know why he boxes, and that he is looking for a reason through the sport. Watching him trying to discover his reason for fighting through the show is easily the most intriguing part of it.

Also, the action in Levius is amazing. Even though every single fight takes place in the same boxing ring and it’s not like they can have weapons in there, the animators still make each fight unique, with each boxer having a unique fighting style and every single fight turning out differently. Each punch has energy you can feel, and the sound effects make you feel the action.

So, if you’re into anime, steampunk, or just like fast paced action shows, then you’ll love Levius. For those into deeper plots and more intricate storylines, Levius’s relationship with his friends and his rival boxers keeps the story moving, and the music is top tier when it comes to a score for a show. 

My only real complaint I have for this show is that one of the episodes near the climax feels like it’s just filler and interrupts the final fight, but because it is so intense, I think it works, and doesn’t interrupt the action. Other than that, sometimes the lips of the characters seem like they don’t match up with the voices, but I think that’s just my brain being too slow.

My final rating for this show is a 9/10.

Lab-grown alternatives to meat

Lab-grown meat is meat that is not from a living organism. It is made by taking a muscle sample from an animal. Then they take stem cells from the tissue, and replicate those and grow them. These cells are able to renew and grow themselves, that’s why it is important to the process of making the meat. The cells then generate into different tissues and are able to grow, forming muscle tissues. The meat grows onto itself in a cultivator. It’s ready to harvest in 4-6 weeks. That is fast!

There is a reason why this is being practiced. This type of meat can put an end to cruel and unethical treatment of many animals that are raised for food. Many of these animals have bad living conditions that consist of little space, and their diet is foods meant to bulk them up, sometimes with abusive caretakers.

Many animals used for food now are genetically mutated for the purpose of getting more meat off of them. Most baby bulls are killed for meat. The female cows are needed for breeding and milking, so why waste funds on a male that produces less product? The same is thought for chickens; hens lay the eggs.

Along with better relationships with cattle, there are also good impacts this meat brings to the environment. The production of livestock products is one of the huge industries contributing to extreme amounts of deforestation, water pollution, and greenhouse-gas emissions. Less land usage, less ingredients, and an overall smaller impact is a result of synthetic meats. Synthetically growing the meat does not need as many resources as sustaining and growing animals from birth. One simple tissue sample is used and is able to make thousands of quarter pounders. We are able to reduce the pollution agriculture causes as well as the amount of land we have dedicated towards it.

The meat is not yet on the market, it is still being tested, but it is hoped to be coming very soon. The purpose of this advancement isn’t to get rid of traditional agriculture, it’s about finding a safer, less cruel alternative to factory farming. The cost of production is high right now, that is because it’s not yet perfected. There is a focus on bringing the cost down, but it still utilizes fewer resources. There are a lot of different names for the food produced, but we know one thing for sure, it’s a nearly perfect alternative for real meat.

Importance of the school counselors

I’m sure everyone has seen the counselor’s officer banner hanging in the hallway on the first floor. But why is it important to provide counselors at school? What are the benefits? Here are several reasons to consider when wondering about the importance of school counselors. 

Academic success. Counselors can help students who may be struggling with certain classes or have lower grades. They can provide advice or even connect you to teachers to help solve problems that are the most challenging. Not only that, but if you want to switch out of a class and change your schedule, the counselors are able to figure it out with you. Over time, they want to make sure you are earning credits towards graduation and building your high school transcript and GPA. 

Well being of the students. Although counselors are provided to help with academics and choosing a career path, they also are present for personal issues that may be interfering with school. If this is ever the case, you can schedule a one-on-one conference with your counselor to help get guidance or advice on something that may be occurring outside of school. They also provide an individual focus to students who may be struggling from mental health or are just overwhelmed and stressed about something at school or home. 

Future success. Lastly, counselors work with students to help determine what the future might look like. Especially for upperclassmen, they can help with scheduling, transcripts, and college applications. Most importantly, they want to make sure that all students are ready for the college and/or career path ahead of them.  

In the end, counselors do many important things for the school and the students in it. They provide a support system for students who may be struggling and offer solutions to help them. 

Poodle or Lab?

Choosing a puppy to become a new family member is very hard, especially when you don’t know if the puppy will have the right characteristics.

The first breed I want to go over is the Poodle. This dog, in my opinion, is very family friendly and allergy friendly. If anyone in your family is allergic to dogs, you will be able to have a Poodle because poodles are hypoallergenic. This means that they will not trigger the individual’s allergy. They’re also very smart dogs who are able to learn very quickly. The dogs are among the smartest breeds, so  this will make the training a lot easier. They also adapt to new living spaces. These dogs are also very calm when left alone, so chances of separation anxiety goes down. Another benefit that is a huge pro is that this breed will not shed. They have a very thick undercoat but that can go away with haircuts.

The other breed I’d like to go over is a Labrador. This breed is also among the smartest, they’re also known for being the most friendly kind of dog. They’re very easy to train in almost any category. They make a great family pet. Although they’re very intelligent and friendly they’re also a lot of work. They shed a lot and have some separation anxiety making it hard for any plans to be made unless you have a dog sitter. They’re also among the most energetic and seek a lot of attention. These breeds are recommended to anyone who has a lot of time on their hands. They’re the most kind and loving dogs, making them perfect for kids. But they need all of your time. 

Overall, I recommend getting a Poodle or a Poodle mix. They’re kind and everything a Labrador is, but have all a lot of benefits as well making taking care of them a lot more flexible. They’re perfect for anyone, including kids, and even people with any allergies. They’re very intelligent and perfect for a family looking for a new member.

‘1917’ movie review

Who doesn’t love a good war movie? They’re raw, intense and the fact that it’s based on an historical event makes it much better. 1917 in particular stands out from the rest and I believe you’ll love to know why.

1917 came out on December 4, 2019, and made $323.8 million in the box office. The movie is a dramatic narrative film based in World War I and follows two British soldiers by the names of Lance Cpl. Schofield and Lance Cpl. Blake. These two men are given a mission to give orders to another team that the battle they are about to fight is a trap, and they’re about to lose 1,600 of their comrades, along with Cpl. Blake’s own brother. It is up to these two men to go and stop this mission before time runs out.

This movie may sound somewhat simple, but it takes big twists that makes the audience feel more hooked and engaged to the film.

One thing that really stands out, and probably is the most known element about this film, is that they make it look like the whole movie was filmed in one single shot. This makes the audience feel stuck in the movie and it feels as if the story wouldn’t have an end. They also cut scenes in a very clever way, they have the character they’re focusing on walk into a very dark room and that’s when the next scene starts.

The acting in 1917 is very good for the most part. The writing for the characters that the actors play on the other hand can be a bit questioning. For example, the main character would see an enemy and wouldn’t shoot, they would rather wait for the enemy to shoot at them. Or they would try and save the enemy from a freak accident. Moments like these are somewhat irritating because the movie is meant to focus on a soldier who is meant to do their duty and they seem way too soft on their enemy and almost see them as an ally.

One thing I believe really stood out in this film is the color scheme. It has a realistic tone to it but still stays on the grayish and dark green spectrum, which I believe really fits with the time period it’s meant to take place in and the location of the film. 

The film does a really good job at making the audience nervous. They have the movie feel as if it’s going to have a huge blast of action at any moment or that the character next to the main character will get shot with a big loud bang to make everyone jump. It makes the whole audience feel uneasy, and I think the soundtrack plays a big part in this feeling.

The soundtrack is very slow during a majority of the film and it really fits with the timing and moments. Though sometimes it seems to get really dramatic and too intense and it seems they’re trying a bit too hard for the audience to get really into a scene. A majority of the time though, the slow and eerie music makes the movie feel a lot more intense.

Overall, I believe this movie did a solid job at making itself unique and have an interesting take on the war film genre. 8/10

Gender pay gap between the NBA and the WNBA.

Image taken from: ttps://www.slamonline.com/wnba/wnbpa-opt-out-cba-after-2019-season/

It’s no secret that the NBA has a larger fan base than the WNBA, but why? People have shown that they don’t really care about the WNBA, and they have been given many opportunities show that they care. According to Sports Illustrated, “In 2007, the WNBA and ESPN reached an eight-year television agreement, thus assuring high-impact exposure.” Even with that exposure, the WNBA is still less popular. Another reason why this is is that they play in the summer and play about half as many games as the NBA teams will play in a season.

Another argument against the WNBA is that it is simply not as fun or interesting as the NBA; you are more likely to see somebody dunk or fly over an opponent in the NBA. Most of that is just genetics and the fact that most women physically are unable to dunk. 

The WNBA started on April 24, 1996 when the NBA board of governors approved the idea of the WNBA to start playing in June of 1997. This year they are celebrating their 23rd season.

They have 12 teams, with either 11 or 12 players on each team, meaning that they have a total of 144 roster spots available. The NBA has 15 players per team with 34 teams, this leaves them with 510 open roster spots. The WNBA has less spots so they are a more exclusive organization, but they still have a smaller fan base. 

The largest difference between the NBA and the WNBA is the pay gap. The average salary for an NBA player is $7.7 million, according to CNBC. The rookie salary for the #1 draft pick, Deandre Ayton, is set at $6.7 million dollars, the #2 draft pick will start at $6 million. Comparatively, the average salary for a WNBA player is only $75,000. The rookie salary in 2019 was $41,965. The WNBA has decided for the 2021 season that they will have a maximum salary of $130,000. 

Some people argue that the WNBA players are overpaid as it is. Others believe that they deserve their pay because in 2017 the WNBA made $25 million in revenue and the NBA made $7.4 billion that same year, according to GrandStand Central. It’s obvious that male sports are generally more popular than their female counterparts playing the same sports. 

Facts/advice on vaping

Vaping is very popular among teenagers in the United States and many other countries around the world. According to NPR, 5.3 million people are addicted to vaping. Teens who vape are way more likely to smoke cigarettes. 44,000 students who smoke took a survey and 37% who vape are seniors in 2018. The director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse said that teens need to understand the consequences.

Vaping is known to be less harmful than smoking but it is still bad for people. Vaping causes people to get addicted to nicotine or drugs. Regular cigarettes have 7,000 chemical toxins in them but with e-cigarettes it is unknown. Vaping causes lung injuries and death according to the CDC because 60 people have died from it.  

Why do teens still vape when the media says that it’s bad? Teens believe vaping is better than smoking regular cigarettes. They also think it’s easier to vape because you don’t need a lighter. Teenagers like vaping because it doesn’t smell at all and younger people don’t like the smell of cigarettes. They also like vaping because of the flavorings. Teenagers mainly vape because they want to fit in with their friends and they don’t want to feel left out. 

How should teens avoid vaping? Teens should be informed about vaping at a younger age so that they are informed about it. If their parents or teachers explain to them at a younger age about the consequences, teens will have a strong hate towards it as they get older and they won’t want to vape. Teens should be aware about peer pressure because teens pressure each other to fit in. 

If a teen is vaping, what are ways that they can quit and avoid it forever?

The first thing they should do is to read about the consequences so it can scare them from vaping again.

The second thing they should do is to reach out for help whether it is professional help or a friend. They can help you forget about vaping so that you’re not addicted. They should do something else that they enjoy so that they don’t have to think about it at all.

The third thing they should do is to get rid of all their vaping equipment. Having them around will cause you to become more tempted about it and quitting will be harder for you. If you have friends that vape, stay away from them. If they vape around you, you will definitely vape with them.

Also, they should do something else that they enjoy so that they don’t have to think about it at all. These will help teens who need guidance and want to avoid vaping forever. 

These things will hopefully help teens who need guidance and want to avoid vaping forever. 

LGBTQ+ misrepresentation in the media and how it harms people

LGBTQ+ representation in the media is much more frequent nowadays than it was even ten years ago. However, more representation means more chances for misrepresentation, which more often than not is the case in media with LGBTQ+ characters and relationships. 

Harmful stereotypes of members of the LGBTQ+ community are a huge part of this. One of the most popular stereotypes is the extremely feminine gay man. While obviously there are many people like this, and it is in no way a bad thing, the sheer amount of characters written in this way reinforces the harmful stereotype that being attracted to men “makes you” incredibly feminine. In the same way, lesbians are frequently portrayed as more masculine by having short hair, wearing what is considered traditionally men’s clothing, etc. 

Forcing gay and lesbian characters to fall into these categories can cause mental health issues and emotional struggles amongst people in the LGBTQ+ community. For example, LGBTQ+ people might not fit in with who they’re “supposed” to be/how they’re “supposed” to act in accordance with their sexuality. From here can stem extreme feelings of loneliness and isolation, as described in the article “Is Chronic Loneliness Real?” as people who don’t fall into these categories would not feel like they belong anywhere, even within the LGBTQ+ community, which of all the places should be the most safe and accepting space for all its members. 

Often times gay characters that fall into the stereotype category are overly sexualized as well and they overly sexualize all other attractive people of the same gender that they come into contact with in a way that is more often than not inappropriate and borderline harassment. The existence of this trope greatly harms the public perception of the LGBTQ+ community. It reinforces the idea that LGBTQ+ relationships are solely sexual and thus people involved in them are “sexual deviants,” which was and is an argument used against same-sex marriage and relationships. 

According to the LGBT foundation, the misrepresentation that follows the trans and non-binary community often damages the public’s perception of them. Anti-transgender hate crimes doubled in 2018 from the previous numbers in 2015-2016. This strongly indicates a surge on anti-trans attitudes, that can be credited to misrepresentation on who these people are.

Another way LGBTQ+ people are misrepresented is in the form of queerbaiting. Queerbaiting according to PinkNews is a way that companies and producers try to lure people from an LGBTQ+ viewer base that are connecting with a character that is heavily implied to be part of the community but ultimately ends up either unconfirmed or being heterosexual. This is thought to be a way to satisfy, and or appeal to the media’s LGBTQ+ community fanbase and not lose their main/straight audience. This seems to do more harm than good though as it insinuates that the LGBTQ+ audience is a 2nd thought to them, or less important. It also suggests that queer relationships are less valuable.

The misrepresentation of LGBTQ+ people in the media is abundant and harmful. In the end, it hurts the very people the media is trying to represent. The problem is that all companies that don’t take the time to hire LGBTQ+ writers and editors want the most amount of people to be interested in whatever it is they are producing, instead of wanting for all people to be represented in media. Because of this, these companies become lazy in writing media with LGBTQ+ people and instead write whatever they think will appeal to the LGBTQ+ community by playing into stereotypes used by other sources of media. This cycle repeats itself over and over again for years. 

So, how can we address and solve these issues? Well, for starters, media creators heavily rely on the audience’s response to their product. Without viewers the creators make no money, so they’re almost always willing to adapt to whatever their audience wants (although this isn’t always the case). If there’s a big problem with the product, cause an uproar. Make people notice the problem. Once the issue is addressed, people will start to react and hopefully the producers will too. From there we can show these companies how to show LGBTQ+ characters in a way that doesn’t harm the community. There is hope for improvement in the representation of LGBTQ+ people in media, all we have to do is act.

Suicideboys: ‘Stop Staring at the Shadows’

Stop Staring at the Shadows was a Valentine’s Day release album from the New Orleans duo Suicideboys (often written as $uicideboy$) which consists of Ruby da Cherry and Scrim. This is their second album, but they have released many mixtapes and EPs. They have a EP saga which so far has 20 parts. Although this is only their second album, it is their 45th released project. The album was officially announced on December 19th, 2019 and had two singles.

The album has 12 tracks, and honestly that was not enough for me because I loved this album. It’s energetic, it’s loud, and the production is phenomenal. The album opens with “All Dogs Go To Heaven” which has a beat that sounds like it’s sampling a video game, and every track after keeps up with its excitement. No track feels out of place, and every part of it works. Each track feels unique while also fitting in very well with the rest of the album.

The album got pretty good reviews, and their fans were pretty satisfied with the release. Suicideboys are known for controversy and darker lyrics with a nightmarish feel, and this album definitely delivers. “MEGA ZEPH,” which the track title is based off of a rundown roller coaster in Six Flags New Orleans, feels like horror and then ends with screaming lyrics about the devil and drugs into the mic.

It’s an album that goes hard, and isn’t afraid to do what it wants to do. I would recommend this album if you like energetic, darker, music. I think it’s safe to say this is a step in the right direction for Suicideboys, and I can’t wait to see what they come out with next.

‘To All the Boys P.S. I Still Love You’ review

In April 2014 To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was published by Jenny Han who followed with two more books: P.S. I Still Love You (2015)and Always and Forever, Lara Jean (2017).

In 2018, Netflix started production for the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before movie starring Lana Condor as Lara Jean and Noah Centineo as Peter Kavinsky.

“The Netflix year end report said it was the most re-watched movie in 2018” said Bustles Angelica Florio. “It was rewatched by almost 50% of its viewers.” So as any company would, Netflix decided to make the second book a movie which recently came out on February 12th, 2020.

After watching P.S. I Still Love You I was disappointed. I was expecting a big feud between Peter Skavinsky and John Ambrose, but Ambrose wasn’t even in the movie much. They had times where they met and talked but it was mostly still about Peter and Lara.

There was barely any character development for John and Lara’s growing relationship or Peter and Lara’s failing one and I felt like there were too many side stories going on and they didn’t focus on Peter and Lara’s relationship enough. For instance, when Lara figured out that Gen took the video of Peter and Lara making out in the hot tub because the only reason Peter and Lara had a relationship was because Lara happened to walk by before Gen. Lara ended up at the retirement home talking to John right after tis happened without any explanation of how she got there.

I felt like the movie was rushed and the book was most likely better. I just wished that they came back to John and Lara’s relationship since she just left to go back to Peter. It felt like Peter and Lara’s relationship was having problems and it just so happened John was there but he was never the problem.

I would give this movie three out of five stars as there where parts of the movie that lacked emotion and were just slow paced. Also the characters were still brand new even though we were in the second movie. I also thought that Peter was portrayed as a bad boyfriend the whole movie and they put a halo on John making him seem like he was the good guy, and for them to just get back together doesn’t make sense.