From Thanksgiving to the Indian Removal Act

By: Caden Ligman

Image taken from: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.history.com%2Ftopics%2Fthanks giving%2Ffirst-thanksgiving-meal&psig=AOvVaw1xDDSAfN3asCFhdmTZiMnB&ust=1606195270591000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAMQjB1qFwoTCNjB9ub1l-0CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD

Years before the first Pilgrims landed in the Americas, the continent was inhabited by Native Americans. When they did eventually come, the Pilgrims started to colonize America. The Native Americans responded to them in various ways. One of these ways was feasting with the Pilgrims, on an autumn day, in 1621. This day is now a national holiday in the U.S. known as Thanksgiving. It is where we celebrate this peaceful interaction between the two parties.

As the Pilgrims continued to colonize North America, tensions between the Native Americans and the colonists grew. The colonists grew hostile and battles broke out around the country. Less than a year after the first Thanksgiving, the Powhatan tribe attacked colonists in Virginia.

This attack is what has come to be known as the Jamestown Massacre. The Powhatan killed 347 of the colonists. This massacre was the first of many conflicts between the colonists and Native Americans. Local governments began to take advantage of the Native Americans, stealing their land and killing tens, of thousands, of their people.

After the U.S. became a country in 1776, elected presidents began to further terrorize the Native Americans. When Andrew Jackson was elected in 1826 he began his campaign to relocate Native Americans away from the colonies.

Jackson introduced the Indian Removal Act in May, 1830. The act gave the president the ability to negotiate with the Native American tribes to relocate them from their land east of the Mississippi in exchange for new land west of the Mississippi. A few tribes complied with these negotiations and moved west, however, the Five Civilized Tribes (Chickasaw, Choctaw, Seminole, Cherokee and Creek) were not as compliant and refused to relocate. The U.S. responded to this by using force to remove them.

Today, the Indian Removal Act is seen as a prime example of how horribly Native Americans were treated.

We celebrate Thanksgiving each year with family and friends. Thanksgiving is a holiday where people appreciate the ones who are close to them and give thanks to the ones they love.

The first Thanksgiving marked the beginning of the relationship between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans. This relationship however, did not stand the test of time, and sadly, turned hostile, eventually leading to the Indian Removal Act and much more.

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‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’ is weird

By: Hayden Fitzsimons

‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’ is Charlie Kaufman’s latest directorial, as well as written, work, and it is, as the title suggests, weird. This is to be expected with Kaufman’s work, as the weird, dream-like, and ethereal style of his writing often becomes a main figure in his films.

This film however is particularly odd, even for a Kaufman film.

The dialogue, as usual, is masterfully written, yet almost feels as if it is a one-sided jumbled mess of thoughts, and it is intentionally done so. The cinematography is equally as odd and off putting, and yet in it’s own way strangely inviting and familiar. Once again, both of these are staples of Kaufman’s work.

‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’ revolves around the relationship between Jake, played by Jesse Plemons, and Lucy, played by Jessie Buckley. Specifically, it focuses more so on Lucy’s thought of ending the relationship. However, there is clearly a connection between her and Jake, and so she is having difficulty ending the relationship.

The film takes place on a road trip through a blizzard to Jake’s childhood home to visit his parents. However, once they get there things become extremely unsettling and it seems as if multiple timelines are merging together. From here, the film continues to spiral and spiral into delusion until the viewer is ultimately left extremely confused and most likely also very pleased with the film.

The film is an extremely slow burn, once again, intentionally so. ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’ lasts just over two hours, however, it feels as if it is four hours or longer. Normally, this would be detrimental to a film, however, in this film’s case it is the highest of compliments.

The world which Kaufman creates is so engrossing and atmospheric that it essentially doubles the length, complexity, and enjoyment of the film simply due to how mind-boggling it is. The length, or at least the perception of the length, could turn some people away from this film which I completely understand.

In addition to this, the film is extremely confusing from start to finish and after finishing the film, if any film were to require a second viewing, this would be the film. This confusion and practically necessary second viewing most likely will deter most viewers from ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things.’ This is an unfortunate issue which plagues many of Kaufman’s films as they are all deeply cerebral and often require deep thought into even the most basic of elements.

I highly recommend this film despite how hard it may be to consume for the average viewer. However, if you are looking to expand your tastes and your perspective on life and media, you will find a deeply emotional and atmospheric tale of regret, aging, time, and consumption as a society in ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’ which will likely have a profound effect on your life in some way or another.

Since ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’ is a Netflix production, it’s likely readily available for your consumption, so please give it a shot.

Lucid dreaming

By: Grace Helmke

Dreams are where our subconscious creates fantastical and terrifying visions of life. We run away from monsters in slow motion, fall from ledges, and jolt ourselves awake. We soar above jungles, run through glowing forests, and walk on water.

But what if dreams could become more than a subconscious vision in a state of sleep? There has long been speculation that some individuals have the ability to “lucid dream,” or become conscious within their sleeping state. 

This subject has captivated individuals as far back as 3000 BC. In ancient Egypt, they depicted three bodies: one of the corpse body (shat), one of the living body (ka), and one of the soul (ba).

In Egytian hieroglyphics, ba is generally portrayed as a bird with a human head. A famous image of a man and his ba depicts a person laying in a bed with one eye open. The bed symbolizes sleep, while the eye means awake. Ba can be seen floating above the sleeping Egyptian, symbolizing an out-of-body experience.  Putting all of this together would translate to “sleep awakening.” This Egytian portrayal is known as one of the earliest depictions of lucid dreaming.

But the first to harness the ability to lucid dream were Tibetan monks. They taught the ability to control one’s dreams through yoga, which is a spiritual practice aimed towards enlightenment. They use techniques to maintain awareness while slipping into a state of sleep.

This method was said to be the passing on of enlightenment. Those that could lucid dream would communicate with enlightened beings, shift into the physical form of other creatures, and fly with beings of another world. They believed that awareness within a dream was the purest form of consciousness. 

The term “lucid dreaming” was developed in 1913 by a Dutch psychiatrist named Frederik van Eeden. He preached the idea that there were nine different types of dreams including: initial, pathological, ordinary, vivid, symbolic, dream-sensations, lucid, demon-dream, and dissociative. He is known for having recorded his own lucid dreaming experiences, including his thoughts and actions before, during, and after the dreams took place. He states, “In these lucid dreams the reintegration of the psychic functions is so complete that the sleeper remembers day-life and his own condition, reaches a state of perfect awareness, and is able to direct his attention, and to attempt different acts of free violation.” 

Today, we continue to study and attempt to decipher what it scientifically means to lucid dream. There have been some recent findings that will provide a basis for the research of awareness within sleep.

Lucid dreaming is a form of metacognition. In other words, you are aware of your own awareness.

While normal dreams can happen in any stage of sleep, it was discovered by British parapsychologist Keith Hearne in 1975, that lucid dreaming tends to happen in REM sleep. The state of REM, or rapid eye movement, is the last stage in the sleep cycle. All other stages are considered non-REM stages.

Some studies have found that the prefrontal cortex, which is the section of the brain that’s responsible for, is connected to lucid dreaming. While most physicalities of a person do not factor into the likelihood of lucid dreaming, it was found that the prefrontal cortex is bigger in those that can lucid dream. In addition, activity in the prefrontal cortex is comparable to levels when a person is awake. 

Lucid dreaming has occurred all over the world for centuries. This fascination with the unusual, and relatively unexplained state, continues to drive individuals to study and gain more knowledge of what causes us to control our own dreams. 

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Celebrating Thanksgiving this year

Image taken from: https://www.dogonews.com/2018/11/16/its-almost-thanksgiving – but created by: rawpixel/CCO

Thanksgiving day is a national holiday in the United States, and it’s celebrated this year on November 26. Thanksgiving is all about expressing gratitude for family; it’s a holiday built upon simply being with family and enjoying delicious food. The traditional Thanksgiving meal includes: roast turkey, turkey stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. 

Unfortunately, with the COVID cases rising in the United States, dinner parties and other social events are going to be too risky this holiday season. According to the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), it’s best to limit in-person gatherings and to celebrate with people in your household. To celebrate with your extended family you can do a virtual gathering over zoom.

If you plan to spend the holiday with other people, here are few safety precautions: 

  • Wear a mask- Wear the mask over your nose and mouth
  • Have multiple tables- Have families that live in the same household sit together
  • Stay six feet apart- Staying six feet apart is important to protect others around you; people with COVID sometimes don’t show any symptoms
  • Have sanitizers- Put hand sanitizers around the house, use the ones that kill 99.99% of germs
  • Open windows– If you’re indoors, open windows for air to come in
  • Outdoor meal- If it’s warm where you are, have a small outdoor meal
  • Clean and disinfect – Frequently clean and disinfect tables
  • Limit people who prepare food- You can have the guests bring their food, or have one person share the food and use plastic utensils.

If you plan on traveling on a plane:

  • Get a flu shot 
  • Quarantine before traveling 
  • Wear your mask the proper way, for the entire journey
  • Wear a face shield if possible 
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Bring your food 
  • Clean your hands often
  • If you are driving, when you are stopping for gas, wear your mask
  • Bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer in a purse or pocket
  • Avoid touching areas and touching your mask 

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Rare phobias

By: Joxery Mezen Camacho

Phobias are one of the most common mental disorders in the world. According to ‘Medical News Today’, phobias are specifically known as a type of anxiety disorder. Most of us know the common phobias such as arachnophobia (fear of spiders) and acrophobia (fear of heights), but there are some phobias that are rare and many do not know. 

Turophobia: 

The first rare phobia is Turophobia: the fear of cheese.

People with this phobia tend to steer clear of having to see, taste, or smell cheese. They also avoid the cheese aisles at grocery stores, or stores that only sell cheese. Those with Turophobia begin to get sweaty or have panic attacks when they’re near cheese. 

Catoptrophobia (or Eisoptrophobia):

This phobia is the fear of mirrors.

People with this phobia try to steer away from mirrors and other objects that have reflecting surfaces. It is believed that people who have this phobia are superstitious or religious and that it’s sometimes connected to witchcraft. This can also be tied into the idea that mirrors can work as portals for ghosts, spirits, and many other fear rising things. 

Chorophobia: 

This next phobia is the fear of dancing.

Those with this phobia attempt to keep away from places that involve dancing like clubs, parties, and studios. Many also can’t watch or be near others who are dancing. It’s believed that this fear stems from lack of confidence and social anxiety. 

Decidiophobia: 

This is the fear of making decisions, and is one of the rarer phobias listed.

People with this phobia steer towards superstitions or rituals in order to decide for them. They can do this through astrology, the flipping of a coin, or going to the universe and asking for signs. Many with this phobia don’t trust themselves enough which causes them to not be able to make a decision. 

Ancraophobia

This phobia is extremely rare and is the fear of wind.

Those with this phobia tend to avoid being near windows, hair and hand dryers, windmills, doors, and air vents. This fear relates to many other ideas that surround the idea of air such as swallowing wind and/or being blown away by strong waves of wind. It’s believed that this phobia is caused by a connection between wind and disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes. 

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‘Avengers: Endgame’ AKA, the best film of all time

By: Ayane Jarso

Image taken from: theIndianexpress.com

‘Avengers: Endgame,’ directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, was released into theaters April 26, 2019 (USA). I believe that this is the best superhero film- neigh the best film, of all time.

We start off with Tony Stark, a very loved character in the Marvel Universe adrift in space. He makes his way back to earth with a lot of assistance from Captain Marvel, who is played by the magnificent actress Brie Larson.

From there on, there are plot twists, major death scenes that will go down in film history, and so many parts that will leave your heart aching, guaranteeing there’s not a dry eye in the house by the time you finish this movie. There might be a lot of loss in ‘Avengers: Endgame’, but it is action packed with plenty of laughable scenes.

The plot of ‘Endgame’ is truly like no other. *SPOILER ALERT* The Avengers try to find a way to reverse the snap through time travel that Thanos did previously, in the third Avengers movie (‘Infinity War’).

What I think is truly incredible is the way that they show scenes from past movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and they show some of the Avengers confronting their past selves. It really kept me on my toes. I was never bored; one minute you could catch me crying, another you could catch me with my eyes boggled out of my head during a fight scene.

The cinematography in some of the shots is really beautiful, and I think everyone should see it with their own eyes.

According to Newsday.com, Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Endgame’ made a whopping $2,797,800,564, making it the highest grossing movie of all time!! I personally think that this movie made such a huge profit because it’s the end of an era that meant so much, to so many people. Even those who weren’t huge Marvel fans thought of this movie as a must see.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe had many movies, but none made an impact this worldly. Saying I enjoyed this film wouldn’t give it enough credit, it’s a must see!

Air pollution

By Olivia Kendle

Air pollution is caused by pollutants that have been released into the air, harming the environment. Most pollutants are from energy sources like factories or power plants. This article will explain how different types of air pollution is affecting not only our environment, but also ourselves.

First up, are wastes disposal plants. Most trash is burned, which releases pollutants such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide. These types of pollutants can cause difficulty breathing, asphyxia (choking), headaches, etc. Sometimes it can result in death. Burning waste also takes a lot more energy and money. Incinerator workers often are exposed to these risks when working in waste plants.

Second, are greenhouse gases. Heat is being trapped in our atmosphere. Greenhouse gases play a huge role in air pollution because the toxins from it are heating and killing the environment. Although more carbon dioxide is being released, methane (the second greenhouse gas) is far more harmful and destructive to the environment. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, hydrofluorocarbons cause way more harm to the environment than carbon dioxide.

Our last pollutant, for now, is actually very surprising: mold and pollen. The air pollution and climate change have made allergens and mold hazardous. The wind, trees, grass, etc., carry the allergens and mold around. Carbon dioxide is affecting plants with pollen, like the common goldenrod, and they are growing bigger and spreading, exposing more people who are allergic to pollen. This means more people will suffer from fever, itchy eyes, runny nose, etc. Mold can also have a dangerous effect. Some molds, for example, if consumed, can result in asthma attacks. If inhaled, they can also be just as dangerous.

Some ways to reduce these pollutants are to stop burning waste, recycle, and use different ways of transportation that involve less to no gas release (like biking, or walking, or riding a public transit). Also, you could try using partial solar power, or trying to save power by turning off the lights in one room before re-entering another (if you don’t already). You can also work or volunteer to help against air pollution companies.

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Xbox X Series overview

By: Jalalaisa Geleto

The Xbox X Series is the latest Xbox to be released by Microsoft. The Xbox X Series will join the PlayStation 5 in being the first consoles of the 9th generation.

The Xbox X Series and PlayStation 5 are going to be competing this holiday season. I’ll give you an overview of the Xbox to help you make an informed purchase of either console.

The Xbox X Series has better specs than the PlayStation 5 and It’s the most computer-like gaming console yet.

According to the official Microsoft site, these are the specs of the Xbox X Series:

  • Processor:
    • CPU – 8X Cores, 3.8GHz, Custom Zen 2 CPU
    • GPU – 12 TFlops, 52 CUs, 1.825GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU
  • Memory and Storage:
    • Memory – 16GB GDDR6 Memory Bandwidth – 10GB@ 560GB/s, 6GB@336 GB/s
    • Storage – 1TB Custom NVME SSD

Microsoft claims that their console can run all games at 4K 60fps. They also claim that the console could run games up to 120 fps. These claims have been tested by early reviews, by testers like Austin Evansand, have been proven true.

Though the real question is: Can the Xbox X Series keep this up with future games, or can it only do this with 8 gen games?

The Xbox X Series is also a multimedia platform that allows for the highest quality streaming and video play. The Xbox X Series can play videos in 8K. 8K screens aren’t even available for the general public.

The Xbox has a lot of consumer friendly programs like, Smart Delivery and Game Pass, that allow people to spend a lot less money playing video games on any platform and on Xbox.

The Xbox X Series is coming on November 10, 2020. Hopefully, this quick overview can help you make your decision on whether you want and Xbox or a PlayStation.

Why are oranges the king of all fruits?

By: Ayane Jarso

Image taken from: Wikipedia

Oranges. Not referring to the plural form of the color, but the juicy citrus that is of the same name.

The second the outer layer of the fruit is peeled back, the distinct aroma fills the room.

The popular fruit is known to originate from southern China, northern India and Myanmar. According to Healthline.com, the citrus fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron, fight free radicals that cause cancer, and can reduce the stress hormone “cortisol”.

The delicious fruit can also improve your skin, as vitamin C supports collagen production. Collagen production can improve skin health and help wounds heal.

You may have heard about the internet trend where people will take hot showers and bring an orange with them to snack on because it’s supposedly the most liberating act of food consumption ever, and will bring you pure unbridled joy. On pure wow.com you get a more detailed explanation as to why that is. The scent of citrus is thought to have calming properties, the smell of the sweet orange helps when you’re feeling anxious. When you’re taking a hot shower, the heat from the water makes the orange smell even more strong because heat can amplify smell. So, the orange becomes much more fragrant in the shower.

Oranges are loved by so many people all over the world and for good reasons too! There are many health benefits that come with the consumption of a delicious orange. It’s good for the state of your mind, helps when you’re anxious. You get an excellent source of vitamins and overall a good experience when you eat this fruit. The juicy citrus has a marvelous texture with little bubbles of juice that you bite into, it’s a wonderful fruit, I say it’s the best out there!

Six reasons to read ‘Six of Crows’

By: Annika Getz

‘Six of Crows’ is a fantasy fiction novel written by Leigh Bardugo, with a sequel called ‘Crooked Kingdom’. It’s an amazing book, and there are a lot of things I love about it.

One thing I adore about this book is the dialogue and banter between the characters. It’s entertaining and interesting to read through their interactions. It also keeps the book a bit more light-hearted and fun. This is not to say that the story is all sunshine and rainbows. It’s deliciously dark, and filled with malice, which is why the witty banter and joking dialogue is so refreshing.

Another great thing about this book is how lovable the characters are. Each one is relatable and easy to connect with. I found myself immediately attached to them, which made the book all the more enjoyable.

Sticking with the topic of characters, I have to say that another thing I loved was the development each character went through throughout the duology. They ended up being well rounded and flawed characters. This made them feel more real, and engulfed me further into the story.

Something else I loved was simply how amazing the plot was. It was entertaining and captivating. Once the story really took off (since the first bit is just set up obviously), I was never bored while reading. It kept me entranced throughout the whole book.

This brings me to my next point, which is that the book really keeps you on the edge of your seat. The suspense is wonderful, it keeps you captivated and really brings you into the story. It’s almost like you’re really there with the characters, going on their adventures with them.

My final point, and perhaps my favorite thing about the book, is that there is so much representation. There are POC characters, LGBTQIA+ characters, characters with disabilities, characters who struggle with addiction, and so much more. But one thing that I loved about the representation was that most of it wasn’t a big deal. The entire characters weren’t based around their sexualities or their disabilities, it was just a part of them. It was refreshing to see characters who faced no invalidation whatsoever.

So there you have it. Six reasons I’d suggest reading the ‘Six of Crows’ duology.