Best places to visit in Minnesota in the fall

By: Addison Strack

There are many beautiful places to visit in Minnesota during the fall, and in this article I will be talking about a couple of the many places to visit.

The first destination I will be talking about is Minneopa State Park. This park is located in Mankato, Minnesota, and while it is beautiful year round, it is especially stunning in the fall.

The park contains a double waterfall that leads into a 39-foot drop over a gorgeous cliff. There are also 4.5 miles of trails within the park that are surrounded by trees that turn beautiful and vibrant colors during the fall. It is a great place to visit to take a hike and get some fresh air.

Another popular destination to visit in Minnesota during the fall is Taylors Falls. Taylors falls is a small town northeast of the Twin Cities. It is surrounded by bluffs and cliffs, and has many fun activities to offer.

You can head to Interstate Park in Taylors Falls to canoe, kayak, hike, and enjoy amazing views. The Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tour is another great option to experience the beautiful scenery.

There are also many restaurants in Taylors Falls that serve delicious and high rated food. The Drive In serves classic American food like burgers, fries, shakes, and root beer floats. It is a perfect place to stop and enjoy a delicious meal.

If you’re looking for more beautiful views, you should check out Split Rock Lighthouse, in the small town of Two Harbors. The lighthouse is located on a rocky cliff over a lake. Behind the lighthouse is a forest that turns bright yellow, orange, and red in the fall to add to the beautiful landscape.

Image taken from:
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A fourth, and final place that I’m going to be talking about is Cuyuna, which is about 2 hours northwest of the Twin Cities. Cuyuna is a city that has a ton of fun activities to offer.

There are beautiful and charming cabins that were built in Cuyuna Cove that offer a great place to stay during your visit. These cabins are close to the Main Street in Crosby, which has many restaurants and shops.

Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area is also near Cuyuna Cove. Here you can swim, kayak, paddle board, canoe, snorkel, and more in the gorgeous clear lakes. You can also explore the beautiful mountain biking trails near Cuyuna Cove as well. Overall, it is a great place to visit to enjoy the outdoors, and explore the city.

Clearly, there are many beautiful places to visit in Minnesota in the fall, and I have only named a few. If you would like to read about more places to visit, feel free to check out the websites below.

Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks face off in the first NHL game in Milwaukee in 29 years

By: Ann McMullen

Image taken from:
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On October 2nd, Minnesota and Chicago’s NHL teams faced off at the Fiserv Forum in downtown Milwaukee.

Although this was a preseason game, it was still of great importance to the teams, the fans, and the league as a whole. According to the Blackhawks’ president of business operations, over 80% of ticket sales were to Wisconsin residents, despite Milwaukee’s close proximity to Chicago.

Some fans are hopeful that a Milwaukee arena hosting a game could be the first step towards a professional hockey team there, while others are just happy to see the sport successfully spreading to other major cities.

Either way, considering this was the first NHL game in Wisconsin’s biggest city, in nearly 30 years, Milwaukee citizens and travelers alike enjoyed lots of festivities surrounding the game. These included exclusive merchandise, tailgating, and discounts on lots of local food and drinks.

The game itself was spectacular as well — from a Wild fan’s standpoint, at least. Minnesota scored 3 goals, beginning with two short handed ones in the second period of play. The final goal was scored midway through the third period, with both teams at full power.

Fans from both sides enjoyed watching Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury play the entire game, as the highly acclaimed athlete actually played for Chicago the previous season. Fleury was able to block all 12 shots from his former team, leading the Minnesota Wild to a shutout and their fourth consecutive win of the preseason.

Despite disappointment regarding the score from some Blackhawks fans, this “home-away-from-home” game was a great success. Whether or not a professional hockey team is ever implemented in Wisconsin, I hope the National Hockey League will continue to host games in other major cities in North America, and beyond, and further expand the sport’s fan base.

Halloween and other autumn festivals: Origins and customs

By: Julia Sikorski Roehsner

Halloween. Also known as All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve, this popular holiday is celebrated annually on October 31st. Festivities include dressing up in costumes, trick-or-treating, hosting parties, and carving pumpkins.

Most people know what it is. But does everyone know its roots?

Halloween originates from the Celtic Samhain festival. The festival was a way for the Celts to celebrate a new year, marking the beginning of the winter season. They believed that the souls of the dead returned to visit the living.

The Celts would build large bonfires to sacrifice animals and harvest to their deities, and to ward off evil spirits. Sometimes they would don costumes or masks – both often made of animal components – to avoid recognition by ghosts. Prophecy was also an important event.

After the Romans conquered the Celts, they wove into Samhain their own festival of Feralia. This was meant to commemorate those who had passed away, as well as honor the Roman goddess of harvest and fruit trees, Pomona.

All Saints’ Day was introduced into the mix by Pope Boniface IV, and was a festival to honor Christian saints and martyrs. It was originally established on May 13, but was later moved to November 1st. The day before was made All Hallows’ Eve, and the day after made All Souls’ Day (a celebration similar to Samhain).

All Hallows’ Eve eventually evolved to become today’s Halloween.

Due to strict, colonial Protestant beliefs in New England, Halloween might not have gained traction in the United States if it weren’t for immigration. In the mid 1800s, large numbers of immigrants journeyed to America, including those from Ireland seeking refuge from the Irish Potato Famine. With them came their Halloween traditions.

By the 20th century, Halloween was a popular national holiday in the US.

Today, hearing “Trick or treat!” on the night of October 31st is common in countries such as Ireland and Canada, and of course the United States. However, Halloween isn’t a central autumnal holiday all across the world.

Día de los Muertos originated in Mexico, and is celebrated there and across Latin America. Translated as the Day of the Dead, this annual holiday also begins on October 31st, but lasts until November 2nd. It has ties to pre-Columbian Mesoamerican rituals, where food and supplies were provided by family members to help the dead reach their final resting place, Mictlán.

Similarly, today’s Día de los Muertos is meant to honor the dead, who are believed to return to the world of the living during the holiday. Common activities include building ofrendas (decorated altars for the dead), tidying and visiting gravesites, and dancing.

Another mid-autumn holiday is Guy Fawkes Day, primarily celebrated in Great Britain. Other names include Bonfire Night or Fireworks Night. It occurs every year on November 5th. The day is meant to commemorate Guy Fawkes’ failed assasination attempt on King James I in 1605. Fawkes was caught and executed for high treason, and the English lit bonfires to celebrate the survival of their king.

The modern holiday involves setting off fireworks, lighting bonfires, burning effigies of Guy Fawkes, and attending parades.

The celebrations of Halloween, Día de los Muertos, and Guy Fawkes Day help people around the world say goodbye to the dying days of October, and welcome in the last months of the year.

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What is spirit week? And how was it for HPSH?

By: Domingo Basso

Image taken from:

So, our school, Highland Park Senior High, has this thing called spirit week at certain points in the year.

Actually, first allow me to explain to you what exactly this “spirit week” is. Spirit week is a time of year for schools to be a little more festive and have some fun with some little event or spin on the norm every day of the week. Such as: wearing all white clothes to school one day or wearing pajamas. Spirit weeks usually last… well one week (hence the name) and are usually active before an event at said school.

Another thing to note is that most high schools have their spirit week on the week of homecoming ,and ends with a pep rally on the Friday of that week, followed by the homecoming dance later that night. 

In Highland Park Senior High’s case, spirit week had the following events each day: Monday was pajama + stuffed animal day, Tuesday was Twin day, Wednesday was Cultural pride day, Thursday was class color day, and finally, Friday was RED OUT day. 

The whole concept of spirit week was first really put into use in the year of 1952. The first spirit week was known as “Friendship Week” at Palo Alto High School and later on in the 1960s it was renamed to what we know it as today: “Spirit Week”

Finally, to close off this article, let’s see the opinions of some students around Homecoming Spirit Week of 2022.

I interviewed four students and this is what they all said: 

The first student said: “Mid.” And after having this person elaborate a little more they proceeded to say that it wasn’t all that good because “There wasn’t a no backpack day,” and “it was so bad that I can’t even remember any of the themes from that week” (By the way this same person didn’t know what the theme of most of the days even were).

The second student said :“Kinda boring,” and after making this student also elaborate more, via the use of a very friendly message including their address and a picture of their immediate family, they proceeded to say that it was because “None of the daily events were all that interesting or engaging.”

And the third student had this to say about spirit week: “It was alright, Friday was cool because of the pep fest but some of the other days barely anyone participated in spirit week.”

Finally, the fourth student said: “Yah I like spirit week.” Not much to say there they simply found spirit week enjoyable.

Overall, I’d say spirit week was alright. Last year was better though, because the events were more interesting.

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James Webb achievements

By: Reed Morris

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) launched on Christmas Day, 2022. At a cost of over 10 billion dollars, a project of this magnitude MUST have a worthwhile outcome. The JWST has only been operational and in position for three months, but has already surpassed expectations. 

Throughout the launch process, deployment, and calibration, everything went perfectly. All 300 some single points of failure deployed without issue, and the telescope was finally up and running by July of 2022. The first set of images was released on July 12th, showing the world what NASA’s bleeding edge technology could do. 

The first image released by NASA was a much more advanced and detailed version of Hubble’s deep field. The deep field is pictured below.

Image taken from the NASA app

While this picture might seem like any other picture of space, it contains some of the most spectacular sights in our known universe. This image contains the farthest intergalactic objects humans have ever observed. It also shows many instances of gravitational lensing, where massive galaxy clusters warp space enough to bend the light from galaxies behind, to amplify and focus their light. 

This deep field is fascinating in many ways. First off we have to talk about its size. While this image seems large, the area that Webb viewed to take this picture was roughly the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length. Another very interesting aspect about this deep field is the time it took to capture the image. While Hubble took weeks to capture a lesser deep field, James Webb took just hours to capture the spectacular image pictured above. With that sort of efficiency and processing power, the future of space exploration is in Webb’s pocket. 

One of the most important aspects of Webb that I mentioned a lot in my previous article is its ability to peer back in time further than we’ve ever dreamed. While we currently live just around 14.5 billion years after the theoretical Big Bang, the above deep field displays light captured back to under 1 billion years after the Big Bang. Webb’s large mirror and intense infrared capabilities allows us to view the warped and stretched light that has been traveling for eons through cold empty nothing, just to be absorbed by Webb’s censor and displayed in the spectacular deep field. 

As Webb continues to explore deeper into space and further back in time, keep an eye out in the news and here for further exploration into the James Webb Space Telescope’s achievements and discoveries. 

The pros and cons of students being allowed to use personal devices in school

By: Abisola Dosunmu

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Should the use of interpersonal devices—like phones—-be allowed in schools? I feel like that’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves at one time or another. Maybe not in that exact wording—but, well, you know what I mean.

In our modern world, life thrives on the use of digital technology.  We can use digital devices to communicate with our friends, family, literally anybody. There are around 7.753 billion people on this earth. With a few key types and a click of a button we can easily communicate with them. Maybe we’ve gotten desensitized to that, especially with the younger generation, but let me remind you, a hundred years ago, this would have been impossible to even think about. Now, it’s our reality. That’s pretty amazing.

So, what does ranting about the use of modern technology have to do with my topic? Well, cell phones have many uses besides the opportunity of being socially connected. They can be used for organization, note taking, access to educational apps, and new and unique learning opportunities tailored to each student’s needs. There’s really no one size fits all for everyone, especially when it comes to learning. 

Now, we have a whole labyrinth of information on the internet waiting to be discovered, with new takes on information and data from people all around the world. The ability to discover new perspectives and the opportunity to expand students’ minds and stray from the dusty old textbooks and worksheets.  Isn’t that what learning is about? Why not take advantage of that?

But, I also understand how cell phones can easily be misused in a learning environment. From distractions and cheating, to bullying, the use of cell phones can have a very negative impact on students’ daily lives. It all comes down to trust. When executed the right way, it can be a fresh and a helpful new way to develop new ways of learning.

I’m not saying I prefer this one way or another. Each point has its advantages and drawbacks. I mean, distance learning was done on devices. Some students thrived on it, some people didn’t. That’s fine. 

Instead of policing and trafficking use of all personal devices, recognize that some people can handle their devices responsibly and some genuinely need it (emergencies, to notify a guardian, personal problems, rescheduling something, etc.), while some people may have trouble focusing on learning with it.  That’s okay, because everyone learns differently and has different challenges. 

How can we achieve that? Well, there’s really no fair way to make it a rule one way or another. Despite what I just wrote, you can’t really allow one student to be on their phone and ban the other student from using it. What you can do is teach students to be responsible with their personal devices, to be respectful when using it, to be responsible with sharing content, and realizing when it’s time to put it away.  I know it might not seem like it, but it’s just another life lesson you need to teach in school.

So, what do you think? Should we encourage personal digital devices in school settings or completely veer away from it?

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Zach Bryan and his newest album ‘American Heartbreak’

By: Mia David

Zach Bryan, a young veteran passionate about country and folk music, has been rising in the music industry. Bryan was born in Oklahoma and was recently discharged from the U.S. Navy. He started producing music in 2019; he has produced three albums and multiple singles and EPs.

Bryan’s most recent album, ‘American Heartbreak’ came out in May 2022. It quickly became popular and has been in the top 20 on Billboard music’s best albums since its release. The album consists of 36 tracks and has a total time of 2 hours.

Bryan explored the idea of storytelling with this new album. While listening, the songs connect to each other and tell stories of falling in and out of love and meeting new people.

When the album was released, Bryan wrote, “I’d like to always be a story-teller and to do that I figured I’d have to fit into many shoes.”

Throughout the past year, Bryan has continued to produce more and more music. After ‘American Heartbreak’ he released an EP called ‘Summertime Blues’ and recently announced the release of yet another EP.

Bryan has been on tour, and he recently played at Surly Brewing Company here in Minnesota, and the concert was completely sold out.

Bryan has been on the rise and continues to gain popularity. However, he remains humble and continues to make music he enjoys. In an interview with the New York Times, he says, “I’m too writing driven to be a big star… I’m not meant for it.” However, Bryan seems to be proving that he can be both.

Bryan’s passion for writing music is refreshing to many, and his old country feel captures the attention of everyone, even those who claim to be anti-country music.

People enjoy Bryan’s music not just because of his talent but because of how relatable he is and how much he loves what he does.

Bryan describes his attitude towards music and life the most accurately. In an Instagram post, he writes, “My only ambitions in this life are to never bend to the thoughtless routines of this world, to always move slow enough to watch the sunrise, and to accept every single person for who they are, exactly where they stand, regardless if they can return the favor.”

You can listen to Zach Bryan’s music on all streaming platforms.

Columbus Day and the controversy surrounding it.

By: Brogan Frey

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“In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” This quote is one that many people hear often, most commonly on a day known as Columbus Day. However, in past years, this name has been subject to controversy. Here’s why. 

Columbus Day is celebrated annually on the second Monday of October. In the past few decades, a day named “Indigenous Peoples Day” has started to take over and replace Columbus Day. 

Last year, Joe Biden became the first U.S. president to formally recognize Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day. The first thought of Indigenous Peoples Day was in 1977, at the International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas. The convention, which was sponsored by the United Nations and held in Geneva, Switzerland, was when countries began to discuss replacing Columbus Day in the Americas with a celebration to be known as Indigenous Peoples Day.  

In 1992, in the city of Berkley, California, “[S]ymbolically renamed Columbus Day as ‘Indigenous Peoples Day’ to protest the historical conquest of North America by Europeans, and to call attention to the losses suffered by the Native American peoples and their cultures through diseases, warfare, massacres, and forced assimilation”.

Before we get too far into Indigenous Peoples Day, let’s talk about Columbus Day. This day is, as many may already know, named after the famous European explorer Christopher Columbus, who many know as the first person to “discover” the Americas. Although this is something that, until recently, was taught often in classrooms around the country, there are actually a few things that are incorrect about this statement. 

The first thing incorrect in this statement is when it is said that he was the first person to discover the Americas. This is far from correct. This is the ignoring of an entire group of people who had lived on these 2 continents for a long time before Christopher Columbus had even seen them. Indigenous peoples had already been living in the Americas for thousands of years when Columbus “discovered” them. Columbus didn’t discover the Americas, he was simply one of the first non-natives to find them. 

Now that we know that he was not the first person to discover the Americas, let’s go into the other thing incorrect about this statement. Columbus wasn’t even the first non-native person to find the Americas. The first confirmed non-natives to find the Americas were Vikings in around 1,000 A.D. from Greenland. 

There is clear evidence that this group of Vikings stayed for about 10 years before returning to Greenland, supposedly because relations with native North Americans were hostile at best. This group consisted of a man named Leif Erikson and his extended family. 

Even before the Vikings, there is legend of an Irish monk, named Saint Brendan, sailing to North America on a wooden boat covered in animal fur. His alleged journey is detailed in the ancient annals (historical records) of Ireland. There is, however, no evidence that he ever made landfall in North America. 

Essentially, Columbus was never the first non-native to find the Americas. His story is simply told so often because of the dramatics of it all. He begged the King and Queen of Spain to give him ships so he could sail to China, India, and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia. 

At the time of his voyage, Europeans knew the earth was round, but they didn’t know that the Pacific Ocean or the Americas existed. Because of this, Columbus thought that if he sailed East, he would eventually get to India because he thought that it was just the Atlantic in between Spain and India. 

A few months after setting sail in August of 1492, Columbus spotted the island of Cuba, on October 12th, 1492, believing it to be mainland China. In December, the expedition found Hispaniola, which they believed to be Japan. They didn’t know they were in a place previously unknown to Europeans. 

Soon after landing in Cuba, he and his crew found out that they were not in fact in China, but a completely new place. On his first day in what was called “the New World,” he ordered six of the natives to be seized. Columbus kept a journal, and on this, he wrote that he believed that the natives that were seized would be good servants. 

This is where this story turns dark. This is the part of the journey and “discovery” that is not spoken about nearly enough. Throughout his years in Cuba, Columbus enacted many policies of forced labor in which natives were put to work for the sake of profits. 

Later, according to, he sent thousands of Taino people (the natives) from the island of Hispaniola to Spain to be sold. Many died on the trip. Those that were left behind were forced to search for gold in mines and work on plantations. Within 60 years of Columbus arriving, only a few hundred Taino Indians were left of what was most likely a group of over 250,000 before Columbus. 

Violence wasn’t the only thing that killed many native populations in the Americas. The Europeans brought many diseases that had never shown up there before. These diseases killed about 90% of the population that hadn’t already been killed by Columbus or his crew. 

Overall, Columbus was far from being the first person to find the Americas. There was at least one confirmed group before him, and many that have not been confirmed but who may have visited long before him. He was also cruel and racist towards the natives, and his policies ended up killing several hundred thousand people. 

We need to stop celebrating a man who ruined and ended many lives. Next year, instead of Columbus Day, let’s celebrate the first, original people who called these lands home by celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day. 

For more information on Indigenous Peoples Day, please visit

For more information on Columbus Day, please visit

Fantasy football studs and duds – through week 7

By: Toby Martin-Kohls

Stud: Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

Saquon came into the season coming off a poor 2021 season that saw him play in only 13 games while injuring his ankle and getting placed into the NFL’s COVID protocol. He averaged a career-low 3.7 yards per carry and only scored 2 touchdowns in 13 regular season games. He also lost his first NFL fumble.

This season he has looked like he’s back into his first two seasons’ form when he had back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. So far, in 2022, he is averaging a career-best 5.1 ypc and 104 rushing yards per game.

His ADP (average draft position) on ESPN this season was 22, as the RB8 overall. Through 7 weeks he has scored 137 fantasy points, good for RB2 on the year, only trailing Chargers RB Austin Ekeler. According to oddsmakers, Barkley is the current favorite to take home the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year award.

Dud: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts

Jonathan Taylor was largely the consensus No.1 pick in most fantasy drafts this season. Coming off a monster year where he was the best player in fantasy, he has disappointed a lot of managers this year. Last year he played in all 17 regular season games, rushing for over 1,800 yards and 18 touchdowns. He scored 369 fantasy points on the year, good for an average of 21.7ppg.

Because of his scarce injury history, and the Colts’ willingness to run the ball, he was considered the consensus No. 1 pick this year. An ankle injury has forced him to miss two weeks this year, but even before that, he was underperforming. He currently sits with 62 fantasy points, as the overall RB31. 

Stud: Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders

Josh Jacobs has certainly surprised owners this year, finally breaking out, as he is sitting at RB4 on the year. Throughout his 4-year NFL career, he has been a solid, but not an overly spectacular choice for fantasy managers. Coming into this season there were questions around a timeshare with backup running backs Kenyan Drake, Ameer Abdullah, and rookie Zamir White. Jacobs has proven that he is the superior back and the Raiders with continue to feed him the ball.

Jacobs has been red hot the past 3 weeks, averaging over 30 points per game. Jacobs just became the third player in Raiders franchise history to record 150 scrimmage yards and score a TD in three consecutive games, joining Marcus Allen from 1985, and Clem Daniels from 1966. Jacobs is a locked and loaded RB1 for the rest of the season.

Dud: Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons

I think the whole fantasy community can agree that Pitts is one of the biggest busts that hurts this fantasy season. Coming into the season, he was being thought of and drafted as the TE3 behind only Mark Andrews and Travis Kelce. On average, he was being drafted around the 3rd/4th round turn in 12-team PPR (point per reception) leagues.

After becoming only the second rookie TE ever in NFL history to have a 1,000-yard season, expectations were high. However, it is clear that the Falcons are a run-first team right now and that head coach Arthur Smith does not trust his starting QB, Marcus Mariota, to throw the ball many times per game.

The Falcons are currently 2nd to last in the league in passing yards per game with only 1,062 yards on the year for an average of 152 yards per game. Pitts is borderline droppable at this point except for perhaps deeper leagues, and only because of his uber talent and upside at the weak TE position. 

Was the homecoming dance playlist good?

By: Gabe Kleiber

Image from: Aedon Everson-McDermott

Highland’s homecoming dance was a few Fridays ago, and one obvious challenge for any school dance is accommodating for the various age groups and genre preferences that come with having a school with hundreds of students.

But how well was this done?

To answer this question, I asked students what they liked and disliked about the song selection, and to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10.

One student said, “I really liked that they had some Spanish songs in there, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the rap ones.”

This brings up another huge issue for picking songs; the language barrier. Knowing and understanding the words to songs is often a big factor of whether or not you like them. There is no real option but to play songs in multiple languages, which they did, and it seemed to go over pretty well with everyone.

Another student said, “I liked that there was a variety of songs. My favorite was the dance pop songs, especially the classics like ‘I got a feeling’. I didn’t dislike many songs they played and they switched up the style a lot, so I will give it a 8/10.”

The last person I talked to said this, “I was expecting more slow music, but a lot of it was energetic and exciting. Even though they played a lot of music that I didn’t like, a lot of people seemed to enjoy every song they played. It wasn’t kids music either, it was the kind of music people our age actually listen too. I especially liked the hip hop ones like ‘Love Sosa’ and ‘Pop Out’. Overall they played something for everyone and did a nice job balancing different tastes. 7.5/10.”

I completely agree with this last one. It seems like overall there was a nice variety of music for all different genre preferences. Even if you aren’t a fan of pop music, they never played more than one or two without changing it up and playing something different. This made it so everything felt unique and everyone could dance to a song they liked often no matter what kind of music they liked.

They really did a good job with the balancing. I didn’t talk to anyone that didn’t enjoy at least 5 different songs they played, and there wasn’t a single song that any of them strongly disliked. Obviously, there were songs they were less fond of, but to keep everyone happy you have to play things that some people don’t like as much.

Overall, I am impressed they were able to keep so many people with different tastes happy, so I will give the playlist a 8.5/10.