‘Forrest Gump’ review

By: Charlie Fragassi

*Note, even though the movie is over 25 years old, spoiler alerts in this article

The movie ‘Forrest Gump’ is a fictional story that was made in 1994, directed by Robert Zemeckis, and written by Eric Roth.

The movie starts off with Forrest at the bus stop where he’s telling people the story of his life. He starts off as a young kid growing up in rural Alabama.

Forrest is classified as a slow learner in the movie and you can see it displayed throughout the movie as it takes him longer to understand things.

Forrest finds the love of his life Jenny. Jenny and Forrest spend a huge part of their life together until Forrest goes to college on a football scholarship because of his lightning fast speed.

After college, Forrest enlists in the army and makes many friends. Forrest gets deployed in Vietnam where he loses one of his best friends, Bubba. Throughout his stay at the army he becomes a national level ping pong competitor, and wins $25,000 which he used to buy a shrimping boat.

Forrest is financially stable and is living well when Jenny pops back into his life. He asks Jenny to marry him and she originally declines but later on in life sees Forrest on national TV as he was running across America. She finds Forrest and he finds out he has a kid. Jenny then marries Forrest and they all move back to Greensboro, Alabama.

The movie ends with Forrest talking to Jenny at her gravestone as she had a virus and didn’t make it through.

This is a tremendous movie as it takes you on an emotional roller coaster and fits all genres for everyone to love. I liked how it included many historical events throughout the movie and displayed them as accurately as possible, all while still making the movie entertaining and funny.

Recent events in St. Vincent

By: Hayat Osman

Image taken from: https://news.un.org/en/story/ 2021/04/1089592

The island St. Vincent, of the Caribbean, was subjected to multiple explosive eruptions by a 4,049 foot volcano, La Soufrière, on April 9, 2021.

According to ‘National Geographic’, volcanic ash is formed by tiny particles of jagged rock, glass, and minerals. Due to the ash of volcanoes being made of sharp jagged fragments it is very lethal causing eye, nose, lung irritation, and diculty breathing.

The Volcano La Soufrière emitted so much ash that many were forced to flee towards safety.

The Prime minister of St. Vincent, Ralph Gonsalves, ordered an evacuation as a precaution, on Thursday, for about 1,600 people living in the northern part of the island, after several days of increased activity. Evacuation continued on Friday. The country’s National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) said that the ash from the first eruption was at 20,000 ft in the air drifting eastwards.

Later on Friday afternoon, 2 more eruptions happened, spewing more ash into the air to the point that the ash had complicated evacuation efforts as visibility was poor. Many citizens of the island shared pictures and photos on social media of the heavy ash fall.

4 cruise ships were sent on Friday, two from Royal Caribbean, and two from Carnival Cruise Line, to help evacuees escape to nearby islands.

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Snacks that help give you energy

By: Joxery Mezen Camacho

Do you ever feel like you need a bit more energy to get through the day? Maybe you didn’t get a good night’s sleep the night before, or your classes left you exhausted. Well, here are some healthy snacks to give you a bit more energy to get you through the day: 

Nuts! 

Nuts are a great snack to have after something draining like a workout! They have good fats and are high in protein which helps your body recover and helps you regain some energy. 

Fruit! 

Apples, bananas, and watermelon are some of the best fruits to get an energy boost! Dried fruit is also good and easier to take around! It contains natural sugar and is high in fiber which is a good energy booster! 

Seeds! 

All seeds contain a bunch of protein! They also have good fats and many have different types of vitamins and minerals which are good for your body and can give you a good wake up call! 

Peanut butter! 

Peanut butter is greatly known for being a good source of protein! It also contains sugar and salt, and it’s quick and easy to eat for when you need a quick energy boost! 

Turkey sticks and some fruit! 

A mix of a turkey stick and an apple could give you a great energy boost! The mix of protein, fiber, and sugar really help your body out! 

Chocolate! 

Specifically, dark chocolate — it contains sugar and fats which really help give you some energy! Eating nuts or fruit covered in chocolate are also great choices, and are even better because they’re better for your health! 

Cottage cheese! 

Whether you have it by itself or with seeds, berries, or even chocolate, it’s good on protein and fat which are good energy boosters! However, you should eat it in moderation, since it can contain high amounts of sodium. 

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Killing of Daunte Wright

On April 11, 2021, a 20-year-old African American man, Daunte Wright, was fatally shot by police officer Kimberly Potter during a traffic stop. Officer Potter has worked at the Brooklyn Center Police for 26 years. 

This incident happened just miles away from where Derek Chauvin was on trial for the murder of George Floyd, another African American that died at the hands of a policeman. 

Wright was pulled over for a traffic violation, but when he tried to get back into his car, there was a struggle, after the officers had attempted to handcuff him on the side of the road. 

In the body camera video that was released by Chief Gannon, an officer was heard saying: “Taser, Taser, Taser”, then Wright was seen getting into his car while the same officer says: “Holy s***, I just shot him”.

Wounded by the cop, Wright crashed a few streets away. Chief Gannon shared that officer Potter meant to use a Taser but mistakenly drew her gun instead. 

On the Tuesday after the shooting, officer Potter resigned saying, “I have loved every minute of being a police officer and serving this community to the best of my ability, but I believe it is in the best interest of the community, the department, and my fellow officers if I resign.”

A day after her resignation she was arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter. She was released, after posting a $100,000 bond. If she is convicted, she could spend 10 years in prison.

Protesters took to the streets in the days after, and demanded justice. Monday morning, the Brooklyn Center mayor announced a curfew from 1 a.m. until 6 a.m, asking protesters to “Be safe and to go home”.

For more information, please visit these websites:

Why this article is ACTUALLY BAD!?!?

Image a compilation of images taken from YouTube

Late at night, you’re scrolling through your Youtube page, having a nice cup of sandwich on your lap, and you just can’t seem to find anything that interests you at the moment. You scroll further past your usual recommendations of Mr Beast building a house out of coffee filters, or whatever people watch nowadays, and you scroll so far you see something… disturbing. Something unusual. Something that makes you angry, upset, and confused. Something that so profoundly shatters your own comfortable conception of reality, that you just have to click.

The video in question: “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Was Actually A Bad Show, And Everyone Who Likes It Is Stupid” by mrcoolguy2009. Now you say, “But… I like The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, is this person saying I’m stupid? Well I sure don’t wanna be stupid, so I’ll let this guy, who’s clearly smarter than me explain to me why this show I like is bad, so I wont be stupid anymore!” 

I mean, I know that’s not the exact thought process in regards to the psychology behind why people click these videos, But I feel like sometimes it’s supposed to be that way. It’s somewhat commonplace to use the ability of making someone feel as though they are missing out on something, by doing something wrong, or liking “the wrong thing”, just to either make people click over fear of missing out on the “correct” way of looking at things, or to garner controversy from those who disagree. Either way, it’s a pretty straightforward way to get somebody interested in what you have to say, by letting them know they’re “wrong” for liking something

But once people actually do click these videos after seeing the thumbnail and title, why are some so inclined to take this one lil person’s opinion as fact, and subconsciously give it a higher standard of credibility as opposed to when you hear a conversation in everyday life? Well, I feel like it’s more or less just the disconnect between being told an opinion via a real conversation, via flashy Youtube edits with big red letters and a graphic that has an arrow pointing at something, alongside its 300k views, so if a lot of people also read the same thing as you, sometimes people are just like, “Yeah, I guess it’s gotta be true, I mean why else did so many people watch it?”

In other words:

When you hear me say something stupid like “Drinking water is probably really bad for you, because eventually you’ll get water poisoning and die and your eyeballs will roll outta your head” or whatever, most people can easily go: “Yeah this guys an idiot, and I disagree with him because of this, this, this, and this,” and that’s a perfectly balanced system because you are the one deciding how you intake this other person’s viewpoint. But in the regards of an opinionated commentary video, there isn’t really too much back and forth between the creator who’s telling you his take, and “you”, who’s hearing it. You can’t just pause the video and say to the guy “Hey, maybe ‘Forrest Gump’, isn’t a bad movie just cause he walks past the same extra twice in the scene where he gives the speech”, you can only do that in your head and while using something known as your own common sense.

World famous professional Youtube personality known as “The Nostalgia Critic” who talks about how Disney’s “Hercules” is a bad movie because Greece doesn’t look how it does in real life

But with something being presented in such an official, and highly promoted format, with somebody who is only producing their argument through a lens in which no disagreements or personal criticisms can pass through for the entirety of said video, it seems slightly more futile to consider challenging this person on their take. I’m not saying it makes everybody seem objectively right all the time, I’m just saying with all these cards stacked in their favor, it makes people a just a little bit more inclined to believe what they say, even if it is based on some nonsensical nothingness.

So, I guess this article is pretty much just stating the obvious of “If you say something with enough confidence, and have a large enough audience, more people will take you seriously”, but with everyone (including my own)’s bias in everything they say, especially online, I’m just saying how I feel like it’s a little too easy to get caught up in believing/agreeing with words on a screen because of who’s saying it. So, I dunno, all I’m saying is; just take stuff with a handful of salt before giving into the worldview of “UncleFungus1941” over your actual peers and friends you know in real life. 

How to motivate yourself and stop procrastinating!

By: Reagan Welch

Image taken from: https://timetracking.screenish.com/2016/02/16/
procrastination-the-motivation-killer/

Getting motivated right now is hard. Whether it’s because of COVID-19, or something completely different, or just because, it’s hard.

Sometimes, people rely on others to motivate them, and not themselves, and that’s what distinguishes high achieving professionals from them. Of course, to a certain extent, people need others to help motivate them, and that’s okay, but if you’re struggling on doing simple day to day things it will help to do self motivating activities.

Here are some simple strategies to get back in the game:

  • When you wake up in the morning get up and out of bed right away; get your feet on the ground. This will help you wake up faster and better.
  • Start small; don’t go too big. There’s no shame in starting where you need too.
  • Set goals, small or big, depending on you. Ask your friends to check in on you and your progress.
  • Play music, take a break, get up and have a dance party with yourself.
  • Be kind to yourself. If a friend of yours was struggling, you would do everything you could to help them, so why can’t you do that for yourself.
  • Take your bad days, your setbacks, and use them to grow and improve.

Procrastination is a part of life and your motivation. Every day you don’t do that one thing you’ll lose more and more motivation and eventually you might just not do it. We don’t want that.

You might be asking how do you overcome procrastination? Well here’s some simple steps:

  • Step one: identify that you are procrastinating
  • Step two: figure out why you are procrastinating
  • Step three: find some anti-procrastination strategies

Procrastination is a habit so it might take a while to break and it will be hard to break, but you can do it. You might stay on track, you might not, you might get set back, and that’s okay. Take in the whole experience and use it all as a learning experience.

For a more in-depth idea on how to start overcoming procrastination, where they have a lot more information and tips, please go to:

The problem with ‘Dear Evan Hansen’

By: Bijou Kruszka

Image taken from: https://bit.ly/3m9CLmT

‘Dear Evan Hansen’ is a musical that premiered on Broadway in 2016, and has been extremely well-received. The show won 6 Tony awards, including best musical. A movie adaptation was announced late last year and will be released in September.

With the movie awaiting release, and Broadway closer to reopening, I wanted to shed some light on the issues within the story of the hit musical.

A short plot review is necessary for context, so here it is:

Evan Hansen is a socially awkward high-schooler who has no friends, a broken arm from falling out of a tree, and deals with social anxiety. His therapist recommends writing letters to himself, as a way to motivate Evan.

One day at school, he meets Connor Murphy, another teen who struggles with mental illnesses as well as drug addiction, who signs his cast. When Connor accidentally reads one of Evan’s letters, which had a few lines about Evan having a crush on his sister, Connor storms out with Evan’s letter in hand.

The next day, Evan learns that Connor has killed himself, and the Murphys believe that Evan’s letter, found on Connor, is, in fact, Connor’s suicide note. Now, here’s where the plot gets sticky. Instead of coming clean, Evan pretends that he and Connor were best friends. He tells the Murphys a whole narrative of their friendship.

Evan then enlists the help of Jared Kleinman to fake emails between the two. Evan also starts an organization, the Connor Project, dedicated to keeping Connor’s memory alive. This sounds nice on paper, but to do it, he has Alana Beck take charge, who’s only interested in it for publicity and her college application.

Later, Evan develops a romance with Zoe, built on more lies about Connor.

In the end, he tells the truth about Connor. The finale is Evan, a year later, living a good life, when he sees Zoe again.

So, what exactly is wrong?

Quite a few things. Let’s start with the titular character, Evan Hansen himself. He has so many opportunities throughout the show to tell the Murphys the truth. Instead, he continues to build more and more of a false narrative of his “friendship” with Connor. Evan feels more like a part of a family with the Murphys than with his single mom, so he continues to manipulate them. It happens to the point where Connor’s parents offer to pay Evan’s college tuition. That is awful, considering how large of a financial decision that is, especially today.

In Act 2, the truth comes out, and Evan sings what is supposed to be an apology to the Murphys, but slowly turns into a pity party for him. The song is nearly 5 minutes long, and he barely says sorry once for his actions. Evan has manipulated this family into believing this web of lies, including lying to Zoe to create a romantic relationship, and can’t even bring himself to properly apologize. He then leaves, and the Murphys don’t see him again for a year! He goes on living his life as if he hasn’t just destroyed a family emotionally. It’s infuriating.

Then, there’s Connor Murphy. To start, both Evan and Connor struggle with mental illnesses. Where Evan’s is used as a redeeming quality, Connor’s is used to villainize him. It doesn’t make sense. The show also uses him to romanticize suicide. That’s a bold statement, I know, but hear me out.

Connor, disliked by both his family and peers when he is alive, commits suicide. Then, when he dies, Evan steps in. Evan lies about Connor to Zoe, and she starts to believe that Connor did actually like her. Evan starts The Connor Project, convincing his peers and people online that Connor was a good person. Connor was actually a very aggressive person and was very unkind to those around him. The message is this: if you are disliked in life, just die and you will be remembered as a better person. What a horrible thing to tell people, especially knowing that the fanbase is made up of mostly teenagers!

In the end, the music of ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ is beautiful, but the story and characters have lots of issues.

The benefits of learning a language

By: Joxery Mezen Camacho

At Highland, students must take two years worth of language credits. And many like to continue on for all four years.

But why should we be learning a second language? Just for fun? Or are there actual benefits besides being able to say you’re bilingual?

With that in mind, here are 6 benefits to learning a new language: 

  1. Improve Memory 

An experiment in the ‘Journal of Experimental Child Psychology’ found that learning another language improves your working memory. Learning a language takes effort from your brain, since you have to memorize a lot of new words and different pronunciations. This helps you get better at recalling information such as words, names, and facts. 

  1. Confidence in decision making

According to a research article in ‘Sage Journals’, if you think in a different language helps you make decisions because it reduces biases. This leads to less overthinking, making you able to make more decisions with confidence. 

  1. Helps improve your primary language 

When you learn a new language you’re introduced to more of the basics and specifics that languages are made up of — grammar, different tenses, and more that you don’t usually overthink since you’ve been talking for just about forever in your first language! This makes you more aware of these things in your primary language which decreases the chance of making mistakes. 

  1. Strengthens your mind 

Learning a new language is a great way to keep your brain working and growing! An article on Neurology.org states that learning a new language can reduce or delay Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, and dementia. The brain keeps getting stronger because of the new neural pathways that are created as a result of learning a new language. 

  1. Improve focus and attention 

When you learn a new language you tend to get good at switching from your primary language and the one you’re learning. This improves your ability to refocus, as well as focus on switching between tasks. 

  1. Opens more opportunities

Knowing more than one language can open new doors for you. It can be a way to beef up your resume, making you a more unique candidate for a job. It can also open up a different place to travel to, to study abroad in, or to live! A new language can also lead to new relationships with other people because of a similar goal or ability. 

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Endangered species: tigers

By: McKenna Nutter

The tiger is a very popular and well known animal. The large cat is known for its unique pattern. Despite having grown up knowing a bit about these animals, I was surprised to find out that these animals are endangered. Since learning of the tigers endangerment, it has crossed my mind that there are many species that are facing the brink of extinction while many people are unaware. The overall tiger population of approximately 3,900 has earned tigers a place on the ‘Red List of Threatened Species’. 

3 out of the general 8 species of tigers have now gone entirely extinct. About a century ago, there were estimated to be about 50,000 to 80,000 tigers inhabiting the wild. Female tigers will only give birth to two to four tigers every two years.

The growing human population has caused growing communities. Because of this, tigers have lost so much of their habitat to society.

Tigers are a natural predator, but they also fall prey to hunters. Tigers, for a very long time, were large targets for trophy hunting because they were big, dangerous and beautiful. Tigers were also largely hunted because in some cultures, they believed that tiger bones had healing properties, and could cure disease. Some tiger bones were even used in traditional medicines.

Livestock farmers also have a very big place in their endangerment. As we pushed back on their habitats they have lost a lot of their natural prey. We have built farms, and on those farms are animals such as sheep, cows, chickens, etc. Many farmers have shot tigers in order to protect their livestock, and while this is required to take care of their business, it has had a major impact on the species.

While we may never get the tiger population back to what it was before, there are still ways we can help them hold on. WCS, or the World Conservation Society, is an organization that conducts research on tigers, then uses that research to inform and teach communities local to tiger habitats about tigers. They also reach out to wildlife rangers and wildlife conservations to teach them about tigers as well. Donations to any non harmful research societies and wildlife conservation organizations can do wonders for not only tigers, but other endangered species. 

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The future of architecture

By: Grace Helmke

The human race has long been graced with creatives in all fields. We have been subject to artists who have shaped our culture without us even knowing. Architecture is one the least acknowledged fields of art, yet it contributes a great deal to the society in which we exist.

Architecture is the physical representation of a society. It reflects how we see the world, and how we see ourselves. That being said, what does the future hold for architecture? How will society shape our physical world into a reflection of our newfound values? 

  1. Smart cities 

Technology has become an important part of the lives of practically everyone in society. It’s part of our everyday lives. Smartphones are the keys to city life, providing information on any topic you could think of. It allows us information on healthcare services, access to transit, traffic, restaurants, and even provides safety measures and alerts. According to McKinsey & Company, smart-city strategies are about “Using technology and data purposefully to make better decisions and deliver a better quality of life.”

Creating architecture built around the idea of increased technological use would significantly impact all aspects of society. Citizens would fight crime, and improve public safety, make daily commutes faster if smart-mobility infrastructure is created, deliver a cleaner and more sustainable environment through electric and more sustainable applications. 

  1. Vertical cities 

As our world’s population continues to rise, we will have to accommodate for the increase in the need for living spaces. Currently, over 54% of the world’s population lives in urban areas. This figure is expected to increase to 66% by 2050. Land will become scarce, especially if we continue to build out, instead of up. Creating vertical cities will not only provide a society that’s community based, but would expedite the goal of smart cities. 

  1. Bioarchitecture

Bioarchitecture is the blending of the art of architecture with biomimetics. It incorporates natural shapes to provide a structure that is essentially bioinspired, and eco-friendly. The architecture would mimic its surroundings to provide less of an intrusive existence.

This idea isn’t necessarily new. Ancient Greeks and Romans mimicked nature in their architecture. They incorporated leaf motifs into their structures. Frank Lloyd Wright was a pioneer in the bio architectural movement. He continuously pursued the idea of blurring the lines between his buildings and their landscapes. Even so, this movement will continue to increase as our society places a higher value on our own individual impact on the environment.

  1. Parametric architecture 

This type of architecture involves complex design and unique varieties of structures. It is characterized by free-from architectural concepts with sweeping lines, curves, and irregular shapes. This style presents as very futuristic. It rejects symmetry and uniformity, and instead creates works of art that vary in shapes, textures, and sizes. 

The future will indeed place a higher value on creativity and expression. This form of architecture will produce a work of art which can be doubled as living, working, and recreational spaces. It will produce a society free from the concepts of uniformity. 

  1. Space housing

Technological advancement in the field of aeronautics is happening at a rapid pace. We are closer and closer to achieving commercial space travel. And when the day comes that individuals may be able to travel to space for extremely low prices, an industry will likely emerge on other planets. Hotels and homes capable of housing humans in outer space and on other planets will develop. At first, these habitats will likely be inflatable. Bigelow Aerospace, a company in Nevada that specializes in space technology, has begun to produce these alternative housing solutions.

  1. Accessibility in architecture 

Hopefully, the future holds a greater opportunity for inclusivity. We do not currently have a society that’s built for all forms of life. One major issue for many disabled people is lack of adequate and accessible designs in public architecture. As we progress to become more aware of issues facing all walks of life, we will begin to develop ways in which everyone is benefited. 

Our future holds incredible opportunities for advancement. We may just become a society based upon inclusion, awareness, and desire for good. Our incredible architectural artists and talented technicians will no doubt help us to create a better world where our actions will be for the betterment of all. 

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