Review on Netflix’s ‘100 Humans’

By: Joxery Mezen Camacho

While I was browsing Netflix, the show ‘100 Humans’ came up.

The slogan “Life’s Questions. Answered.” is what compelled me to click on it and see what the show is about.

The Netflix synopsis states that the show has humans of different backgrounds partake in a multitude of experiments that explore different aspects of life. This easily convinced me to watch it because of my heavy interest in psychology. 

The show looked at people’s difference in abilities and in perspectives. The whole thing is set out to be a social experiment. The experiments done on these 100 humans were all quite interesting, and the reasoning behind most of them did make me interested in watching to the end to find out the results. However, at times the experiments didn’t use all of the 100 humans available which made their end results to be less accurate. 

I would also say that 100 humans doesn’t mean 100% accuracy on the end results, since there are over 7 billion people living in this world. Nevertheless, the topics and questions that are brought up do make one question and reflect what their own perspectives are and what society’s perspectives are. The show did this by bringing in people who are knowledgeable about the different topics mentioned to further speak about them and explain what the results meant, and why those were the results they arrived at. 

The experiments done were also quite interesting. Many of them were funny, and some took a more serious approach. But overall, they were all light-hearted.

The show went through a few experiments each episode and would switch off from each as everything went on. I didn’t mind the approach and thought it worked well because it left little room for boredom of a question. 

The show was funny and interesting and the episodes were about half an hour each. And while the show and experiments weren’t all that accurate, and could’ve probably been done better, I liked most of the questions they posed and how they made me think and reflect on the experiment results.

I’d rate this show a 9/10. 

Remy the Ratatouille: how a TikTok trend became a full musical

By: Bijou Kruszka

It’s the year 2007, and the Pixar movie ‘Ratatouille’ just came out in theaters. Now, nearly 14 years later, the musical version of the movie, composed by TikTok creators, is performed by Broadway actors. How did we get here?

It all started with Emily Jacobson in August of 2020, who had just read an article on a new ‘Ratatouille’-themed ride at Disney World, according to an Inside Edition interview with Jacobson. She started singing an improvised song about the main character, Remy, and decided to post it to TikTok. The song’s lyrics were “Remy the ratatouille, the rat of all my dreams. I praise you, oh ratatouille. May the world remember your name.”

In a Buzzfeed interview, Jacobson said that she had “pretty much forgotten about it” until 2 months later, when she “woke up to hundreds of notifications.” The song had blown up and got the attention of composer Daniel Mertzluff. Mertzluff added ensemble-like vocals and instrumentation to Jacobson’s song, and pitched the idea of a ‘Ratatouille’ musical.

People all over TikTok quickly jumped on to this idea, composing songs, choreographing said songs, dreaming up costume and set designs, and even creating a Playbill cover. The 15-second song, consisting of 4 short lines, had somehow created an entire community on TikTok.

In the Buzzfeed interview, Jacobson stated that she was concerned that she was going to get copyrighted by Disney, but Disney seemed to encourage the trend. Patton Oswalt, who voiced Remy in the movie, showed his support as well.

In December of 2020, it was announced a virtual performance of this ‘Ratatouille’ musical would be live streamed, with the proceeds going to the Actors Fund, which benefits actors, especially during the pandemic. The production streamed from January 1st to January 4th, and it raised $2,000,000 for the Actors Fund.

The performance starred Titus Burgess as Remy, Wayne Brady as his father, Andrew Barth Feldman as Linguini, Ashley Park as Colette and Andre de Shields as Anton Ego. The show got good reception, with critics agreeing that though it was odd, it was very enjoyable.

In the end, we can see that somehow ‘Ratatouille’, in the middle of a pandemic, pulled thousands of people together to create something. Perhaps, Remy really is the rat of all our dreams.

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​The effects COVID-19 has had on professional sports

By: Charles Fragrassi

Image taken from: “Coronavirus: Coaches near Bench to Wear Masks as NFL Defends Return of Fans for Some Teams”

​COVID-19 has changed all of our lives forever; it changes our daily routines, grocery stores, and sporting events.

The NBA was one of the first major sports organizations to be affected by this; they responded by shutting down completely. After 4 months or so, they resumed play in a “bubble” in Walt Disney World. This was a great solution to COVID as they had zero COVID cases the rest of the season and were able to finished the season.

Major League Baseball was the next sport in season, and they too started their season three months late and had numerous precautions for COVID-19, such as there were to be zero fans in attendance, and teams were set to play against teams that were a certain amount of miles from each other to prevent traveling cross country.

MLB wasn’t as lucky as the NBA, and had people test positive from time to time. Some of the precautions were that they were not allowed to travel with the team and have access to the facilities. In order to get back to playing, they had to not have had a fever for 72 hours, and test negative twice. Although there were a few positive cases from time to time, MLB finished their season with hopes that next season will be back to normal.

As COVID cases grew more and more, there were questions about if the NFL would even have a season. The National Football League defied odds by having a season during the pandemic. Some of the precautions the NFL took were pretty much no handshakes or jersey swaps after the game, which in my opinion made no sense because they were just tackling each other for the past hour.

Players and coaches were also required to wear masks on the sideline and were strongly encouraged to social distance. They also made a requirement that only 62 players were allowed to travel at a time. Also, if any players tested positive, they were immediately placed on the COVID-19 reserve list and weren’t allowed back until it had been 10 days since symptoms first appeared, and they had to be 72 hours symptom free, with two negative tests.

Although there were a few games rescheduled due to COVID, the NFL did a pretty good job and finished the season pretty flawlessly.

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A review of The Weeknd’s Super Bowl halftime performance 

By: Caroline Crosby

There’s much to dissect concerning the eye-catching narrative that The Weeknd worked so hard to convey to fans, so I’ll first offer a personal hottake. 

Looking back on the performance, as someone who knew next to nothing about the superstar’s intentions, I must say, I was incredibly confused at first. It provided all the glamour and elaborate choreography that has come to be expected of a legendary Super Bowl halftime show, but the underlying message (far from my own comprehension, at the time) irked me. What was he trying to say? Why include the dizzying mirror scene and sea of red-jacket clad backup dancers? What significance did the face-obscuring bandages offer? 

I was not alone in my perplexity. The performance was well received by many, but also prompted much speculation and critique from confused fans and the general public alike. 

The media, to no one’s surprise, has been diligently circulating rumors regarding the “true meaning” of The Weeknd’s unique performance on the 7th. So what in the world could the real message be, and why were some fans so shocked after it’s grand debut?

In an interview with ‘Variety’, on the 3rd of February, The Weeknd stated that, “The significance of the entire head bandages is reflecting on the absurd culture of Hollywood celebrity and people manipulating themselves for superficial reasons to please and be validated, it’s all a progression and we watch The Character’s storyline hit heightened levels of danger and absurdity as his tale goes on.” 

The character referred to here, is one that The Weeknd had been developing since September of 2020, in preparation for the emerging show’s narrative. Throughout his concerts and various public appearances prior to the Super Bowl, the 30-year-old was frequently seen in prosthetics and bandages, adding to the general confusion of devoted fans and other patrons of pop culture.

Many expressed discontent with the star’s sudden transformation and obviously intense physical reconstruction, convinced that he was gearing up for some big reveal per his highly anticipated Super Bowl debut.

The Weeknd shocked fans yet again when he showed up as himself, perfectly bandage and prosthetic free. The performance came and went, and as expected, general Twitter chaos ensued. It was only after the fact when the bizarre storyline reached its climax and became clearest to the public.

Overall, The Weeknd’s cryptic performance provided a moving commentary on the loss of individuality that plagues fame, and the plastic “people pleasing personas” that many stars find themselves chained to in order to retain popularity in today’s society.

Regarding the big show in an interview with ‘Billboard Magazine’, The Weeknd explained, “We’ve really been focusing on dialing in on the fans at home and making performances a cinematic experience, and we want to do that with the Superbowl.” 

Truly dedicated to said performance, various sources report that The Weeknd paid around 7 million USD out of pocket to supply all the necessary resources for the show. A highly unusual feat for those graced with halftime-level stardom, but probably didn’t make much of a dent in the wallet of the man in the ruby jacket.

In other semi-relevant news, the aforementioned Givenchy jacket sported by our performer was embroidered with authentic rubies, and weighed around 44 lbs. For reference, The Weeknd spun around a football field in front of 96.4 million viewers, in a jacket equal in weight to that of an adolescent Basset Hound.

If that doesn’t convince you of the man’s sheer devotion to the arts, I’m not sure what will.

For the full recording of The Weeknd’s performance, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rhadTURsrw 

‘Bachelor’ host Chris Harrison defending a racist contestant

‘Bachelor’ host Chris Harrison came under fire after an interview with Rachel Lindsay, on ‘The Extra’, defending one of the contestants, Rachel Kirkconnel’s racist past. Kirkconnell was photographed dressed as a Native American at a South Antebellum Plantation-themed fraternity formal in 2018, she liked racist posts, and shared QAnon conspiracy theories (that falsely claimed that former President Trump is facing down a shadowy cabal of Democratic pedophiles) online.

The Antebellum period was from the late 18th century until the start of the American Civil War, in 1861. During those years, societal standards were created establishing ideals of Southern white manhood and womanhood. The Antebellum parties of the Old South are celebrations of the Antebellum-era and the Confederacy. Attending these parties, or throwing one, is symbolizing and paying respect to the Confederate South and the violent racism of that era.

Here is the interaction between Harrison and Lindsay on ‘The Extra’ about the photos of Kirkconnell: 

Harrison: “Well, Rachel, is it a good look in 2018? Or, is it not a good look in 2021? Because there’s a big difference.”

Linsay: “It’s not a good look ever.” She added, “If I went to that party, what would I represent at that party?”

Harrison: “You’re 100 percent right in 2021. That was not the case in 2018. And again, I’m not defending Rachael. I just know that I don’t know, 50 million people did that in 2018. That was the type of party that a lot of people went to. And again, I’m not defending it. I didn’t go to it.”

After facing criticism about his comments. Harrison’s took to Twitter and Instagram the following day posting: 

“To my Bachelor Nation family — I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology. I  have this incredible platform to speak about love, and yesterday I took a stance on topics about which I should have been better informed.”

The following day, after weeks of being silent, Kirkconnell apologized on her Instagram for not recognizing “how offensive and racist” her actions were. She wrote:

“I am sorry to the communities and individuals that my actions harmed and offended. I am ashamed of my lack of education, but it is no one’s responsibility to educate me”, She wrote, “If you are a person who doesn’t understand the offense in question, I urge you to learn from my mistakes and encourage you to use them as a teachable moment.”

The female contestants on the current season, the most diverse group of contestants in the franchise’s history, took a stand in support of Lindsay and condemned the defense of racism. 

“We are the women of ‘Bachelor’ Season 25,” the women posted. “Twenty-five women who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) were cast on this historic season that was meant to represent change. We are deeply disappointed and want to make it clear that we denounce any defense of racism. Rachel Lindsay continued to advocate with grace” they added, “We stand with her, we hear her, and we advocate for change alongside her.”

After the backlash from Harrison’s interview, he announced in an Instagram and Twitter post that he will be stepping aside for a while to get educated on a more profound and productive level, and that also, he will not join the “After the Final Rose” special.

In the interview Harrison did with Lindsay, I think what he wanted was for everyone to give Kirkconnell a chance to speak out, but then he went on to defend her racist actions and said since it was back in 2018 her actions should be excused. Attending an Antebellum party is not a good look ever, and being in attendance at this kind of party is offensive and racist, even if it was 5 years ago.

Even though I think Kirkconnell’s apology was sincere, white people in her comments are excusing her behavior saying “You did nothing wrong” and that Lindsay is the one who should be apologizing. Due to the negative and racist messages that have been sent to Lindsay, the one who did Harrison interview, she has had to delete her Instagram.

When someone apologizes for their racist actions, or for saying the N-word, white people should not decide what was racist or accept the apology; the apology is not for you. Kirkconnell didn’t offend you, and instead of Kirkconnell being held accountable for her actions, Lindsay had to delete her Instagram because of the racist messages she received.

Kirkconnell is responsible for her actions and Harrison got himself fired, not Lindsay.

What is herd immunity?

By: Hayat Osman

Herd immunity is when enough people in a population are immune to a disease that it slows down the spread of the illness.

When a disease such as COVID-19 begins to spread scientists start by looking at the reproduction number, this represents how many people in a susceptible population could catch the virus from a single infected person.

For example, with the measles, one infected person on average would pass the virus to 12-18 other people. With COVID-19, an infected person would likely infect 2-4 other people, furthering the spread of the disease.

When people in a population start becoming immune to a disease, the chances of infecting others goes down making it harder for the virus to spread. The result is the community being protected against diseases as well as those with weak immune systems.

Scientists say herd immunity could be reached two ways: through broad infection or vaccination. To get herd immunity through broad infection the majority of a population would need to get sick from the virus and develop natural defenses such as antibodies to fight the disease.

But this method would be deadly because less than 5% of people worldwide have had COVID-19 and to reach immunity that number would need to be between 60-70%.

Experts say the most efficient way to herd immunity is through vaccination.

Vaccines help produce antibodies which help the immune system recognize diseases, controlling it from further spread. The benefits of reaching herd immunity through vaccination is only having the needed amount of people vaccinated, while broad infection may affect 100% of the population and generations after.

With COVID-19 the number of vaccinations that would be necessary to reach immunity is between 60-70%.

Review on documentary: ‘Dolores’

By: Joxery Mezen Camacho

“Then we see the racism that we’re looking at today, we see the misogyny, homophobia and all that. And that’s because our histories are not being told, they are not included in our school books. So then what happens is that people will  grow up ignorant of the contributions of people of color or of women or of the LGBT community, of labor unions, etc. We have this abysmal ignorance of women inside America. I think that it’s not only important for women, but it’s important for our  whole society that our stories be told and that our victories and our achievements can be recorded in history. “ – Dolores Huerta, Huffington Post

Dolores Huerta has spent most of her life being an activist; however, many don’t know who she is or find her to be a subordinate when compared to her work partner, Cesar Chavez. This documentary shows her life as a dedicated activist and the problems she had to face because of it. 

The documentary mainly focuses on her time spent making change for farm workers through the Farmworkers Movement in the 1960’s. However, it begins retelling her earlier years of when she wasn’t an activist. We’re shown the inequality and the state of the society she lived in. The documentary captures it well. It also captures her want to do something about it by showing her actions and everything she has to sacrifice. 

It goes on to further show her sacrifices and struggles in her work as an activist through videos. Some showed the sexism she faced and the difficulties that came with being a single mother. Some of her children are also in the documentary, and they speak of their own perspectives and thoughts. This helped when trying to understand the struggles that come with the dedication of activism. 

The documentary pays careful attention to the outside things that impacted Huerta’s work, such as the people who worked around her and those that she met through her work. We see her grow as an activist and as a person who becomes more confident. 

Once the end of the documentary is near, there is a focus on who Huerta has become and what she has accomplished, as well as her own opinions on the way she has lived her life. 

Overall, the documentary uses a good mix of interviews of people in Huerta’s life, historians, past interview clips, and commentary in order to get her story across. It was able to captivate my interest and had many scenes where I felt as though I was actually there experiencing the events unfolding.

I give the documentary a 10/10 and strongly recommend it for its ability to show different perspectives while keeping everything interesting and informative. 

I believe that this documentary is important because it spreads the importance of who Dolores Huerta is, giving her the credit she deserves. 

My first day of work ever experience

By: Jimmy Somerville

I recently picked up my first ever actual job at Dominos. I turned 16 in November and like many other teenagers, and just people in general, I want money. And you get money by having a job, so I was never seriously job searching, but if there was an opportunity for a job, I was going to take it, and I got that opportunity.

My mom picked up pizza for us at Dominos and she saw they were hiring and all I had to do was text PIZZA to the phone number on the sign, and before you know it, I had an interview, and now I officially work at Dominos.

So, about my first day of work experience. I want to say my first day was around 17 days ago. So, it was a Tuesday I’m pretty sure. I was a little bit nervous but nothing crazy.

My shift was from 3-7 and 4 hours is actually a lot longer than I thought.

They had me sorting out and placing the order number stickers on the pizza boxes, and had me putting what the customer ordered on the pizza boxes. For example, if a customer orders a large pizza, the sticker would say 14” because it is 14 inches. I then take the sticker and put it on the box and set it a certain way on this shelf.

I also took calls which are harder than you’d imagine and sort of stressful at times. It is kind of difficult at first understanding how the computer works, especially when you have to move fast.

But overall, not a bad first day.

I will say work isn’t fun and I am just hoping my shift ends pretty soon after I get there. But my schedule is 2, 5 hour shifts a week, so nothing crazy at all. But 5 hours is a pretty long time. But at least I’m making $12 an hour. I know it’s worth it to have money at the end of the day.

Why Zendaya is one of the most influential people of this generation

By: Ayane Jarso

Image taken from: Elle.com

Zendaya Coleman is a 24-year-old actress, model, singer, and dancer. She first gained her popularity when she played the role of Rocky Blue on the Disney Channel show ‘Shake It Up’.

She has played many roles that have proven her versatility when it comes to acting. She played Anne Wheeler in the film ‘The Greatest Showman’. MJ in the new Spider-Man movies, showing her more awkward, intense, teenage roles.

One of her biggest roles, on ‘Euphoria’, is 17-year-old Rue, who struggles with a drug addiction. I personally believe this is one of her most influential roles.

In the ‘Euphoria’ series, her character, Rue, comes straight out of rehab with no intention to stay clean. Throughout the show, Rue ruins many very important relationships in her life due to her addiction, and when she does decide to get clean, it’s not for herself, but for the girl that she’s madly in love with, Jules.

This role that Zendaya plays shows young people how relying on others for all your happiness can really mess up your life; you should take care of yourself before getting invested in someone else. I truly believe that people would not feel the importance of this show without her incredible execution with this character.

Not only does she play important roles on the big screen, but she also uses her platform to make real change in the world. Zendaya does everything in her power to fight colorism in Hollywood by denying roles that are meant for dark skinned women. She has used her platform numerous times to encourage young people to vote and make their voices heard! She speaks out against police brutality bringing more attention to the Black Lives Matter movement.

According to Insider.com, Zendaya stated that if she hadn’t become an actor she’d be a teacher; both of her parents are educators and education is very important to her.

She is an inspiration to young people everywhere and she is still accomplishing so much!

‘The Lorax’ movie analysis

By: Ellie Mulvaney and Irene Cohen

Many children’s movies are made with themes that are much less superficial than the frivolous, kid-friendly plots that house them. Often, messages and lessons are disguised in how the characters interact and the way conflict is resolved in order to teach life skills in an intertwining way. ​’The Lorax’,​ originally written by Dr. Seuss, and directed by Chris Renaud, is no exception.

The story follows one Ted Wiggins, a teenage boy living in a seemingly perfect town, though one that is almost entirely artificial. In his quest to find a real tree for the girl he likes, he travels outside the gates of town, against the wishes of the mayor, and antagonist, Mr. O’Hare. He finds a barren and dead landscape, and a man by the name of The Oncler, who retells the story of how his business ruined the surrounding land, resulting in the fake city with no real plants that Ted lives in.

In this, the viewer sees the once thriving ecosystem that once existed, and the Lorax, a creature who protected it. As The Oncler went against the Lorax’s demands to leave the trees alone, we can see the depleting resources for the animals who live there, and the further destruction as the company becomes more large scale. By creating these animal characters, that children come to befriend during the former half of the film, it builds their empathy for when these same animals eventually have to leave what was once their home due to the pollution.

The film even includes a famous Dr. Seuss quote spoken by The Oncler; “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” By teaching children the importance of their actions and their own effect on the world they live in, ‘The Lorax’ film effectively helps raise an awareness of oneself in the future generations, and an understanding of the human footprint on our planet.

Much like in the real world, the depletion of these natural resources, the Truffula trees, and resulting pollution is not the goal, it is a mere side effect of the Onceler’s greed. The Onceler doesn’t care about anything other than his objective of being as wealthy as he can possibly be, no matter the consequences.

In the beginning of the movie, the Onceler is not respected by his relatives because of his lack of his success, but as the plot progresses, and he makes more and more profit off of the Thneeds he produces, he begins to gain their respect. This criticizes our society’s standard of success, because even though his production of these Thneeds is devastating the environment, it doesn’t matter as long as it is “helping the economy.”

In the song “How Bad Can I Be?” it is explicitly stated by the Onceler what he thinks is important in life. It says:

The people with the money (people with the money) Make this ever-loving world go ’round
So I’m biggering my company, I’m biggering my factory, I’m biggering my corporate size.

Everybody out there, take care of yours and me? I’ll take care. of.
Mine, mine, mine, mine, mine.

This is an excerpt from the song. We see that the Onceler knows that the people in power are the people with the money, so he will continue to expand his company at the cost of decimating entire forests of Truffula trees and polluting the ecosystem. He believes he should be able to continue this pollution in the name of his company without anyone criticizing him so he can continue generating profit.

All of this ravaging of the ecosystem results in the extinction of Truffula trees, which were the main source of oxygen for the people of the town. Since this natural resource is now scarce, Mr. O’Hare takes advantage of this and commodifies oxygen, a basic right. He begins to sell bottled oxygen to the citizens of his town, something that was once free and natural is now just another commercialized item.

‘The Lorax’ movie cautions its viewers of what capitalist greed could ultimately lead to. When those in power are those who control the economy, society will not progress. To be in control of the economy, you first have to let go of human decency in order to exploit and ruin the lives of others. Basic human rights should never be commodified or considered a luxury.