‘The Platform’ movie review

By: Eva Olson

Image taken from: Platform

‘The Platform’ is a Spanish horror/thriller movie released in early November of 2019. This movie follows the main character, Goreng, and his journey in this vertical prison that has a moving platform that stops at each level to give people food. Because there is only one platform carrying food, not every level gets food. Every level has two people on it and every month you get sent to a random level. Throughout the movie, Goreng has to fight for survival and learn who he can and can’t trust, and he has to make some tough decisions that make him question his morals.

I thought the movie was very suspenseful and had me on the edge of my seat almost the entire time. I thought the pacing was perfect and helped create suspense. The plot was very interesting and I thought it was very original and not like a typical horror movie. I thought there were a lot of good plot twists that weren’t predictable and surprised me a lot. I liked how the movie didn’t rely on jump scares for suspense.

This movie was pretty gory and had some pretty gross scenes. There was a decent amount of blood and other kinds of gross things (think about how character may have to get food). There were multiple scenes where I felt the need to look away because it was too gross. Although it was kind of gory, it wasn’t constant and in every scene which I liked.

I thought all the characters were very interesting and I liked how everyone wasn’t specifically good or bad and they were conflicted at times. I also liked how the relationships between the characters would change constantly. I thought the acting was good and they did a great job casting each character.

I thought this movie was very good overall. I think I would’ve liked it better if the movie was originally in English so the dialogue would match up (it was dubbed in English) but the movie was still good. If you’re looking for a suspenseful thriller/horror movie then this is a good option.

I give it a 7.5/10 rating.

Video games: Fun pastime of destructive force?

By: Isaac Lund

According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2017, 43% of U.S. adults said that they often play video games. According to this same study, 57% of Americans aged 18-29 owned a dedicated gaming console.

With video games and online media in general becoming an increasingly important factor in our lives with the onset of the pandemic, whether video games are productive or not is information we can’t pass up.

Video games definitely have their upsides, or else they wouldn’t be so popular among high schoolers and adults alike. Things like cooperative in-game goals and voice channels allow people to build social networks, a skill that is essential throughout the rest of life as well.

Video games also hone decision making speed with fast-paced success-or-failure choices placed in front of players on a constant repeat. This same system also helps players to improve hand eye coordination and reflexes.

Finally, video games can replace more harmful vices and are proven to reduce cravings for other unsavory addictive behaviors.

Image taken from: Yourteenmag.com

All things considered, video games aren’t without their flaws either. If gaming becomes an intense addiction, it can cause psychological issues and even add on to already-present mental health disorders.

Gaming without moderation can also reduce physical exercise and hygiene, and can isolate one from family and friends, especially if played alone.

Also, while gaming often provides a needed escape from the stress of life, it can distract from, and increase, procrastination towards things that need to be done, such as schoolwork.

Video games can be an amazing form of entertainment, both interactive and cooperative. But playing video games without emphasizing their social aspect, or playing enough to cause serious addiction, can lead to a destructive spiral difficult to escape.

Is it worth the risk? That’s up to you.

The benefits of reading

By: Mary Koch & Ella Sutherland

Reading is important. Although it may not be as fun as watching a movie or TV show, it’s much better for your mind and body.

Reading is an easy way to wind down, especially after a stressful day. Just reading for a few minutes everyday is proven to be more effective than an entire yoga session. Having something to take our minds off the day can be beneficial in getting a good night’s sleep. Unlike your phone or the TV, a book can help you relax before bed which is always important.

Reading helps to strengthen overall brain function and increase memory. Scientists found that it can lower beta-amyloid, which is a brain protein connected Alzheimer’s, by keeping the mind ready and active. When you read your brain is becoming more creative and more imaginative. If you need to remember something it is easier to do if you read it aloud.

Your brain needs to stay active, and reading is a good way to do that. You don’t need to be reading non fiction or a textbook either; it’s best if you read something that interests you, so you’ll pay attention and maybe learn something. Reading helps with memorization, vocabulary, and communication skills. Those are all important skills not only in school, but in life when you’re applying for jobs or trying to get promotions.

If you have trouble focusing on everyday tasks or hard ones, reading can improve your focus and concentration skills. When you read something that you are interested in it forces you to really think about what you are reading and therefore helps you focus more. If you continue reading everyday, or as much as you can, I believe that your concentration levels will increase by a lot.

Mental health and mental illness can even be affected by reading habits. It’s become so common that it has a name, bibliotherapy, and bibliotherapists will give books they think will help especially with things like grief, anxiety, and depression. Fiction books are often used because when people can relate to the characters it’s easier to connect with them and understand your own feelings. Depression can make people feel alone, and reading can give people an outlet, and it can make people feel like they have a safe place.

Reading can improve your writing skills as well. If you read different styles of writing you will be more open to trying different writing techniques. If you start reading and you pay more attention to the author’s writing style, then it will help you find your own writing style.

Reading can also help in medical recovery. It can alleviate stress while your body is trying to repair itself. For example heart attack patients have found reading poetry beneficial during their recovery.

Reading can help people empathize with each other by showing situations and how they make people feel. It also exposes people to more emotions they might not see or feel in everyday life which is something that not everyone has access to.

When asking other students how they felt about reading most responses were positive. One 9th grader said, “I think it helps people understand new topics and expand their imaginations.”

Another student said, “It can distract you from reality which is a nice change.”

Reading is a great resource for school too. Being able to find a book when you want to learn about something is a great skill, and you’ll likely learn more than you would by looking up answers on Google.

Next time you have some free time before you turn on the TV, try picking up a book. You might be surprised at how fun and interesting reading can be.

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Minnesota Vikings bounce back against Seattle

By: Abby Altman

Image taken from: Image taken from seahawkswire.usatoday.com

The atmosphere at US Bank Stadium coming into week 3 might have been exactly what the team needed. The stands were packed with purple, and the Skol chant was seemingly louder than ever. The stadium even had fake snow coming down to represent “The Team of the North.” 

Coming into this game the Vikings were 0-2, playing against the 1-1 Seahawks. Prior to this game, the Vikings hadn’t hosted the Seahawks in Minnesota since 2016, and hadn’t beaten them since 2009. 

Kirk Cousins, once again played at an MVP caliber level, going 30/38, with 323 yards and 3 touchdowns, and played his 3rd consecutive game with no turnovers. Even without star running back Dalvin Cook, the offense was propelled by backup Alexander Mattison, who picked up 112 rushing yards and 171 total yards. The offensive line looked stronger than it has in several years. 

“It’s the best offensive performance that I’ve seen in the eight years that I’ve been here,” coach Mike Zimmer said.

The first 2 weeks this season, the Vikings receiving core was fairly quiet. Sophomore WR Justin Jefferson ended his rookie year blazing, and was a top candidate for rookie of the year. He hadn’t done much this season, but after this week’s stats, we can see Jefferson is back. Justin had 11 targets, 118 receiving yards, and a touchdown, along with an impressive catch and 28 yard run. 

Another good thing to see is sophomore WR KJ Osborn is stepping up to make the Vikings WR core a very dangerous trio. Jefferson, Thielen, and Osborn, all combined for 194 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns this week. 

The defense played just slightly above average in the first half, but shut down the Seattle offense in the second half. The Vikings allowed the Seahawks offense 389 yards, 2 touchdowns and a field goal. The defensive line was able to get to Seahawks QB Russell Wilson twice, with Everson Griffen and Eric Kendricks both bringing in a sack. 

Kicker Greg Joseph redeemed himself in this comeback after missing a game winning kick in week 2. Joseph went 6/6 with 3 field goals for 44, 33 and 20 yards, and 3 PATs. 

In a post game interview coach Mike Zimmer said he told the team “We work so hard, we prepare so hard, we deserve to win.” 

The Vikings hope to keep this streak going and improve to 2-2 next week, at home against Cleveland. 

*Note: Since the writing of this article, the Vikings have gone 1-1 in the two games they’ve played.

Shortage of school bus drivers

School has started, and many parents in the Saint Paul School District are dealing with the problem of how to get their kids to and from school due to a school bus driver shortage. The district has reported being short 50 bus drivers, which is affecting the following schools:

  • American Indian Magnet
  • Murray Middle School
  • Wellstone Elementary
  • L’Etoile du Nord Elementary
  • Capitol Hill Magnet School
  • Jie Ming Mandarin Immersion
  • Battle Creek Middle School
  • Central High School
  • Como Park Senior High
  • Harding Senior High
  • Washington Technology Magnet School

The district has said that the four high schools (Central, Harding, Como, and Washington) will be using Metro Transit this year. Students will be given a free bus pass, but Metro Transit reported that they will not be changing their times, nor their locations, and that if students want to get a bus ride, they will have to get one at their available stops. A bus typically comes every 15 minutes, or 30 minutes.

One of the issues students face with the Metro Transit pick up times, is that some have to take very early busses, as there is no option closer to the start of school (for example, one bus picks up at 8:25am, which does not give students time to get to school on time).

With the seven remaining schools (middle and elementary), to try to make this easier for some of the students, they will adjust their start times, and when school ends, to fit with the routes the school bus company is able to cover.

At a press conference, Superintendent Joe Gothard said that this has become a nationwide issue and he’s working with schools to reduce this problem.

Just in the state of Minnesota, Minneapolis Public Schools, are telling students’ families that they will pay them to drive their kids to school. In the Stillwater school district, KARE 11 has reported that the school district is suing their bus driver contractor for a breach of contract, due to them leaving 20 percent of their routes uncovered.

You may have noticed that Highland Park was not on this list, however, that is not to say students haven’t been affected by the shortage. Routes have had to be combined, due to a lack of drivers, and this has resulted in students being dropped off later. Even with the inconvenience, it is still better than taking Metro Transit.

For more information please visit: https://kstp.com/news/bus-drivers-needed-as-school-year-starts-in-st-paul-tuesday/6229827/

Sports schedule for: 10/11-10/16

5:00pm Girls Soccer vs. Two Riversat Two Rivers High School
7:00pm Boys Soccer vs. Holy Angelsat Academy of Holy Angels
5:30pm / 5:30pm 7:00pm4:30pm / 8:30pmC-Squad / JV / Varsity Volleyball vs. HardingHOME
5:30pm Diving Conference Meetat Humboldt High School
6:30pm Swimming Conference Meetat St. Catherine University
7:00pm5:00pm / 8:45pmFootball vs. North St. Paulat North St. Paul High School
9:00am8:00am / 2:00pmVarsity Volleyball Tournament  Benilde-St. Margaret’sat Benilde-St. Margaret’s

Plato’s foundation

Image taken from: “File:David – the Death of Socrates.jpg.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 28 Aug. 2016, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trial_of_Socrates#/media/File:David_-_The_Death_of_Socrates.jpg

By: Parker Rowan

I recently read 5 dialogues from the Greek philosopher Plato. The dialogues of “Euthyphro”, “Apology”, “Crito”, “Meno”, and “Phaedo”, are some of his writings where he recites the teachings of Socrates’ through a series of conversations between Socrates and various other Athenian residents, in which Socrates establishes a very clear, and critical pattern of thinking. 

During your time in school you may have heard of, and participated in, a “Socratic Seminar” during which you were asked a question that you and the other students were directed to discuss and dissect what the question was asking, and what it meant. Socrates was the one to invent (or at least popularize) this style of thinking, hence the name “Socratic”.

This type of question and answer based discussion has become essential in our courts. If you have ever watched a show, or movie about lawyers or court cases, you have probably heard of the term “cross examination”, which is when the person on the stand is asked questions by a prosecutor in an attempt to pick apart their story and dismiss or disprove it. Socrates is the foundation for this. 

This leads into Socrates’ influence on the courts, and debates in general with the concept of “burden of proof”, which in law means that the accuser (in criminal cases the prosecutor, and in civil the plaintiff) must lay objective truths both parties agree upon, by providing evidence to establish such.

Socrates’ style of questioning and discussing has had a major impact on our courts, changing the way we argue and discuss evidence in a trial. Before Socrates, as you can see in “Apology”, there was not much room for disputing evidence. Before Socrates, one would approach the courts as an accuser, displaying their accusations to a jury. Then, the defendant would approach the court, and the same jury with their reasons as to why they are innocent.

Before Socrates, many did not have proper debate skills, and so couldn’t prove they were or weren’t being wrongfully accused, and often pleaded using their family or health as a means of defense. 

Socrates’ showed the people a better way to argue, and that the better defense is to break down what they are truly saying and dispute it with evidence through question and answer based responses. During Socrates’ trial, early in “Apology”, it was made very clear that Socrates was not a popular resident of Athens, one might even call him somewhat of an outcast, but despite this he was able to get 140 of the 500 present in the jury, along with 5 out of the 10 judges, to vote against giving him the death penalty, by breaking down his accusers accusations of “corrupting the youth”, and proving that it was a falsehood. 

Although it didn’t work out for Socrates, his teachings have helped shape our court systems, and many of these teachings have been used to help prove the innocence and guilt of so many. Through Socrates’ teachings, Plato was able to help establish a foundation for our justice system.

Recommended reading: Five Dialogs Second Edition (Hacket, 2002)

Schools impact on students’ mental health

By: Grace Blumer-Lamotte

Many students struggle with their mental health during school. Some struggle with ADHD, anxiety, depression, etc. These struggles can affect their long-term education and health. Some consequences consist of affecting the students, others, their school, their communities, and the larger society.

According to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, students mental health problems can affect a student’s energy level, concentration, dependability, mental ability, and optimism, hindering performance. Research suggests that depression is associated with lower grade point averages, and that co-occurring depression and anxiety can increase this association. Depression has also been linked to dropping out of school. 

I asked two students this question: “How has school impacted your energy levels, concentration, dependability, mental ability, and optimism?”

The first student was a freshman, and they said that “School is a waste of my energy levels. It puts a lot of stress on parents and the students.”

The second student was a senior, who said, “Throughout my years of education, I have only found one year to be easy and helpful on my mental health. And that year was elementary school. We learned a little and did not have 7 classes a day. I am extremely stressed out senior year with college applications and my grades.”

Another one of the consequences that mental health issues is that it affects others around you. According to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, peers, family members, faculty, and staff may be personally affected out of concern for these students. Staff play an important role in educating students. They also play a big part in the students’ lives. I have had teachers that act like my own family.

Depression and anxiety can have harmful effects on relationships and work productivity. Roommates, peers, faculty, and staff also experience profound grief over student suicides and suicidal behavior.

I asked the same two students: “Has a staff member ever affected your education? If so, how? Was it a positive or a negative impact?”

The freshman said, “It was a positive impact because they help me with my work, while being a good educator.”

The senior said, “Most of my years of school I always had a favorite staff member I could go to for advice and help. I feel that staff members play a big role in students’ education.”

According to MPR News, up to one in five kids living in the U.S. shows signs or symptoms of a mental health disorder in a given year. So, in a school classroom of 25 students, five of them may be struggling with the same issues many adults deal with: depression, anxiety, substance abuse. And yet, most children — nearly 80 percent — who need mental health services won’t get them. 

Mental health is an important aspect of school. Whether you struggle with a mental illness or family issues at home, students normally struggle. There will always be something outside of school that distracts the student from their education.

How micro trends and fast fashion contribute to climate change

By: Mila Hart

I know we all love shopping and keeping up with the latest trends, but did you know that the fashion industry is one of the most harmful contributors to climate change? Here’s why.

A micro-trend is one that quickly rises in popularity and falls even faster. Fast fashion is trendy clothing that is mass produced as quickly and cheaply as possible.

In the past 100 years trends have gone from lasting a decade, to lasting three to five years, to now only lasting a few weeks before everyone moves onto something else. A large contributor to the increase in micro trends is social media.

Because the micro trends cycle has rapidly increased, more and more clothing items are being mass produced through fast fashion. Clothing production almost doubled in the last 20 years and people are only keeping those items for half as long.

According to the World Resources Institute, “[T]he fast fashion industry is responsible for nearly 10 percent of annual global gas emissions and is the second largest consumer of the world’s water supply”. 85 percent of textiles go to the dump each year. Experts say the “equivalent of one garbage truck of clothing is burned or dumped in a landfill every second”.

Here are some ways you can make a difference and reduce the carbon footprint of your clothing.

First off, thrift! Thrift! Thrift! Thrifting is an amazing way to be a sustainable shopper. And while you’re thrifting you may as well also donate your old clothes that you don’t want anymore instead of throwing them away.

But if you want to buy new clothes, select clothing items that are sustainably made and avoid synthetic materials like polyester. Studies show that polyester releases nearly three times more carbon emissions than cotton.

What’s happening with Pipeline 3?

By: Sarah VonBerge

Line 3 has been a pipeline that’s been running since the 1960s, when it was originally built. It was originally a pipeline that stretched 282 miles from Alberta, Canada to Wisconsin, United States of America. Overtime, the pipeline has eroded and once carried about 760,000 barrels of oil per day but now only carries about half of that amount.

Enbridge, the company who is building the pipeline, said that it would be cheaper to just completely make a new line instead of repairing the old one. The new Line 3 is expected to go 330 miles instead of only 282 because it is now being built around the Minnesota Ojibwe Leech Lake Reservation, which adds about 50 miles. According to Reutuers.com, as of September 1, 2021, Enbridge is planning on being able to transport 620,000 barrels of oil per day beginning October 1.

There are conflicting thoughts on whether a new pipeline is a good idea. Some agree with it and others do not; on one hand, it will bring more oil and on the other it could bring even more climate change than the world is already facing.

Some agree with the new pipeline, saying that it will make getting oil from place to place very easy. Pipelines are safer for transporting oil than trucks or trains, after all. The rebuilding of Line 3 is expected to make 4,200 jobs in the 2 years of construction, although it will only make about 20 permanent jobs.

All over Minnesota, people are constantly fixing roads and other power utilities, so many just see this new Line 3 as the same thing. Even though we have a limited supply of oil and they’re looking at better ways to use power, the demand is still high and oil means money.

Enbridge has already spent $100 million on safety measures for both the workers and the environment. The towns and cities that have been around the building of the pipeline are currently booming. The line is bringing more people into their hotels, restaurants, and stores, which is bringing in more money for them. In the end, the new Line 3 is expected to boost the economy by $2 billion.

Many are concerned about how this new line will affect the environment. The USA’s biggest inland oil spill came from Line 3 in 1993 and split 1,700,000 gallons of crude oil into the Prairie River in Grand Rapids, MN. Even 30 years later, the river hasn’t completely recovered. Many are worried it will happen again in multiple places but especially in the Mississippi River, as it crosses it twice.

The new Line 3 will bring more carbon-intensive oil for decades to come and blocking Line 3 instead of rebuilding it will help stop/limit emissions. Our earth is suffering and many are upset that we aren’t doing anything to help, but instead doing things that will only make it worse.

One of the biggest concerns about Line 3 is how it will affect indigenous people. Even though it will go around the Leech Lake Reservation, there is still a chance of a spill which will disturb their ways of life. If oil spills into their lakes, rivers, or wild rice fields, it will greatly affect their food supply. Because they are so dependent on the environment, they, and others, are very worried about how this new line will affect them; not only while it’s being built, but also in the future.

Not only are they worried about their environment around them, they are also worried for the women. Native women are going missing in extreme numbers and many have never been found. In June, state locals arrested 6 men involved in sex trafficking in Beltrami County. 2 men who were arrested were working on Line 3. At the beginning of this year, another 2 Line 3 workers were arrested in Itasca county for the same thing.

Line 3 is very dangerous, not only to the environment, but to people. Enbridge swears that they will make sure that everyone who interacts with line 3 in any way will stay safe and protected but there’s really no way to do that. No amount of money will guarantee people won’t go missing or that the environment will get healthier. There may be good news and thoughts on the other side as well, but neither out weigh each other.

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