‘A Madea Homecoming’

By: Samera Adam

Image taken from: https://www.imdb.com/title/

‘A Madea Homecoming’ is a 2022 comedy film produced by Tyler Perry, who also plays the role of the main character.

The movie starts off with a barbecue that takes place in Atlanta Georgia. Mr. Brown is in charge on the grill where he is seen putting a lot of gasoline in. After being warned, he then accidentally sets himself on fire.

While the majority of the backyard was on fire, everybody else was too busy preparing for Tim’s graduation.

Madea, the main character, is done putting up with the family drama and nonsense and now speaks up. She will not let the family members ruin her great grandson’s grad party. 

Tim is on his way to Madea’s house where he and his friend Davi have a big announcement to make.

As the movie goes on more and more family members start showing up.

Laura and Silvia eventually come. Laura is Tim’s mother, while Silvia is the friend/lawyer of Laura’s divorce.

Tim wants his father to be at his graduation party. Laura then puts her feelings aside for her son even though Richard, Tim’s father, left her with no money. The whole family thinks that he should not be invited.

Later that night, Agnes tries to surprise her nephew, Davi, at Madea’s house. Agnes is the aunt who took Davi in after both of his parents had passed away.

When arriving at Madea’s house, Cara, Laura’s sister, is there to open the door. Agnes then does a “Wakanda forever” gesture and gets the door slammed in her face.

After Cara comes back to give her a second try, Agnes walks into the house uninvited. 

Agnes then makes a joke about Madea’s size. Madea then grabs her by her scarf, lifts her up and starts threatening her. When she notices everyone is silently staring at her, Agnes says “Why do you all look like you have your knickers in a bunch?”

Everybody is silently thinking “knickers” referred to the N-word with the hard “er” at the end, but later she explained it meant underwear.

Later on, Laura and Agnes are washing dishes. Agnes reveals that Davi is retiring to Ireland to take over the family’s farm. 

Madea’s family thinks that that’s a waste of his talent. He just finished law school and is in debt but instead he wants to fly across the world and not use his degree. 

Though this movie was supposed to be a comedy, it wasn’t that funny. I would give it a solid 3 out of 5. You can watch it on Netflix.


How to survive a bear attack

By: Abdirahman Ege

Image taken from: Untitled document

Although bear attacks are rare, a man should always be on the lookout for one. You never know when something like this will come in handy.

Whether you’re dealing with a grizzly or a black bear, the way you respond to an attack differs.

Knowing what kind of bear you’re dealing with is the first step in surviving a bear encounter.

What to do If a Grizzly Bear attacks you

1. Always keep bear spray on hand. Experts advise hikers in bear country to carry bear pepper spray. This stuff is usually enough to put a stop to a bear.

2. Do not try to run away, the bear will automatically think you are his prey and chase after you. You will not be able to outrun a bear.

A Black bear is different on how it acts. This is what you should do if a Black Bear tries to attack you.

1. Don’t climb a tree, Black Bears are great at climbing trees, so you should avoid trees at all costs.

2. Fight back, when a Black Bear tries to attack you, aim for his face and nose.

if you ever encounter a bear, make sure to know what type of bear it is and use the appropriate tactics to save yourself!

Top two 2023 NFL draft prospects

By: Toby Martin-Kohls

With the 2022 NFL Draft in the rearview, I’ll be taking a way-too-early look at the top two draft prospects for the 2023 draft.

This year’s draft was considered a poor class for quarterbacks by many experts and analysts. Only 1 QB was taken in the first round, which is rare in today’s pro game. QB is considered the most valuable position, so many are picked early.

In next year’s prospective draft class, two quarterbacks are expected to be the first two picks of the NFL draft. 

C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

Stroud is a sophomore QB for Ohio State, a football powerhouse that plays in the Big 10 conference. He is expected to go pro after this upcoming season. 

He was a 4-star prospect coming out of Rancho Cucamonga, CA in the class of 2020. He had a mesmerizing senior season throwing for 3,878 yards and 47 touchdowns in just 13 games under Coach Mark Verti. He was the 42nd best prospect in the class and had other offers from other major programs such as: Michigan, Georgia, Oregon, and USC. 

Stroud possesses all the intangibles NFL evaluators are looking for in a pro QB. Ohio State head coach Ryan Day has praised his work ethic and professionalism. He is capable of making throws all over the field but struggled a small bit with accuracy his freshman year. 

Another thing to watch for is his injury history. Stroud suffered a separated joint in his throwing shoulder during the first week of the 2021 season. While this might be a small concern, QB is so valuable to NFL scouts that his talent should overrule his injury history in this case.

Stroud set an Ohio State and Rose Bowl single-game record with 573 passing yards in a come from behind victory over Utah and finished the season with 4,435 passing yards, along with 44 touchdowns and just six interceptions. 

Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Young is a sophomore QB for Alabama, which is currently the best dynasty in college football. Like Stroud, he is expected to go pro after this upcoming season.

According to the 24/7 Sports Composite rankings, Young was a 5-star prospect and No. 2 nationally, coming out of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, CA. He chose Alabama over offers from a variety of other big programs such as: USC, Auburn, Georgia, Miami, Ohio State, Oregon, and Texas. 

Young won the Heisman Trophy for best QB in college football in 2021 and also won the Maxwell Award, given to the all-around most outstanding player. He earned the starting job after sitting behind, now pro QB, Mac Jones (New England Patriots). 

He set the Alabama single-season marks for passing yards with 4,872 and 47 touchdowns. Evaluators say he is a smart, athletic passer that has a great arm and has the intangibles. He served as team captain for Alabama last season. He has a natural feel for the pocket, has scrambling ability, and doesn’t make many mistakes. His leadership combined with his football knowledge is a great combination to get picked early, especially at a premium position.

The knock on Young will most likely be his size. He is not the size of a prototypical QB. He stands at 6’ 0” and 194lbs. However, NFL execs and scouts say his athleticism and competitiveness outshine this physical attribute. This size and combo have worked in the NFL before at a high level, with the likes of 9-time Pro Bowler Russell Wilson and 2020 NFL Rookie of the Year Kyler Murray.

It will be interesting to see how mock drafts change over the course of this next season, and which teams will pick these two talented signal-callers. 

How companies “Woke-Wash” their brands

By: Ella Tabor

Recently, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, there has been an uproar of sustainability and a level of awareness that brands are portraying. This is mainly due to the increased desire for political change from the public and the media. Businesses simply can’t risk facing any form of scrutiny. 

These brands aim to appeal to their consumers by releasing more levels of sizing, a deeper range of shades for make-up, an image of sustainability, and messages of empowerment or in support of equality movements; anything that makes the brand look politically correct. 

But, these brands, most often, do not actually support or employ the messages they say they do. 

The term “Woke-Washing” is used to describe business practices that are made to appear conscious, yet do not provide much substance. 

The art of performing a progressive move only for the public eye is nothing new. Take for instance the term “Glass Cliff”. Originally coined by women, the “Glass Cliff” refers to when a company promotes someone (most often minority and women) to an executive position under circumstances that make success improbable. Often, companies will do this to their leaders of color; they get all the praise for the progressive action and none of the criticism when they let them go.

For an example of this shady technique, let’s look at the brand Lululemon. Lululemon is a brand that focuses on athletic wear, athleisure, and healthy living. Lululemon portrays an image of inclusivity and equity yet, in 2019 the brand was mocked for promoting an event on “decolonising gender” and “resisting capitalism”. 

The brand was quickly shamed by the media and Twitter users for its ironic stance on capitalism, given the price vs. quality of their clothing. One Twitter user, Randi Max, says, “…Lululemon’s yoga pants cost $150 and you are telling me to resist capitalism?” 

Also, in 2019, the brand faced allegations that workers at a factory in Bangladesh, who make the brand’s clothing, had been beaten and abused according to The Guardian. Attempting to sweep this under the rug, Lululemon gave no proper response to these allegations. 

As we can see, Woke-Washing is truly just another form of performative activism; it forces false narratives of progressive actions without any of the action. 

Lululemon is only one example; however, there are many. Next time you shop at a store, it is worth looking into the brand’s ethics.

Sports schedule for: May 16-21

A 1 month look into the Minnesota Twins season

By: Abby Altman

Image taken from: Startribune.com

In 2021, the Minnesota Twins defined “disappointing”. They went from being back to back division champs, the league leader in home runs, and one of the best teams in baseball, to taking last place in the AL Central in 2021. The 2021 Twins were plagued with injuries, pitching problems, and an offense that seemed to have lost its power. 

In preseason power rankings for 2022, the Twins were consistently found in the lower 20’s. That has quickly changed.

Just 1 month since the lockout ended, and the season began, the Twins now find themselves at #10 in the MLB Power Rankings. 

The Twins started off the first few games in rough shape, but quickly turned it around. 

Beginning the season in a 4 game series against the Mariners, the Twins started 0-2, but came back to split the series 2-2. The 2 game series against the Dodgers was a well expected sweep by the Dodgers, potentially the best team in baseball. 

There were 2 more series before the Twins took their first series win. Minnesota split the series with the Red Sox, and then lost the 3 game series to the Royals 1-2. 

It was the mid April homestand when the Twins got hot. The Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers traveled to Minnesota, where the Twins won 6 games in a row, sweeping 2 division rivals back to back. 

The Twins then traveled to Tampa Bay, where they won the series 2-1 against the Rays, landing a 7 game winning streak. 

In the most recent games, the Twins split a 4 game series with the Orioles and swept the Athletics. The Houston Astros swept the Twins in a 3 game series in Minnesota last week. The Guardians came to Minnesota to end the Twins longest home stand of the year, and the Twins took a 2-1 series victory. 

The Twins are now traveling to Oakland to take on the Athletics for the 2nd time this season. In game 1, the Twins took a 3-1 victory with Chris Archer pitching 4 innings, allowing only 1 run, and the bullpen shutting the A’s down the remainder of the game. 

The Twins .583 record has not come without any injuries or difficulties. Many Twins players have found themselves benched due to injury or COVID, or placed on the IL. 

Players like Carlos Correa, Byron Buxton, Miguel Sanó, Luis Arraez, and many others have missed significant amounts of time due to injury and illness. Because of this, the Twins lineup is often full of young players. 

MLB veterans like Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, Gio Urshela, and Gary Sanchez are essential parts of the Twins nearly every game, with the amount of young players in the lineup.

Alex Kirriloff, Royce Lewis, Gilberto Celestino, and Jose Miranda are just a few names who are found in the starting lineup more often than you would expect. 

Alex Kirrilof played in 59 games last season, before undergoing a season ending wrist surgery. Before the surgery, Kirilloff was batting .251 with 8 home runs. This season, he is batting just .172 in only 10 games. 

Royce Lewis and Jose Miranda are 2 players the Twins recently called up from AAA. Both infielders, Lewis has been playing shortstop while Correa heals his hand on the 10-day IL. Miranda has been making appearances at 1st base and 3rd base, with Miguel Sano on the IL as well. 

The Twins bats have been slower this year than in previous years, so a large part of the Twins success is provided by the pitching. The Twins have the 5th lowest overall ERA in the MLB, 10th in starting pitchers, and 6th in relief pitchers. 

The Twins have a fairly new pitching staff, acquiring Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan, Chris Archer, Chris Paddack, and Dylan Bundy, all just before the 2022 season. For the majority of the time, these pitchers make up the Twins starting rotation, who have held opponents to 4 or less runs in 70% of this season’s games. 

The AL Central is perhaps one of the worst divisions in the MLB. Because of this, the Twins find themselves in 1st place in the division, 3 games ahead of the White Sox. The Twins have the 5th best record in the AL, and the 9th best record in the MLB. 

‘Dr. Strange 2’ movie review

By: Carla Tizcareno

The new Doctor Strange movie was underwhelming to say the least. I am a major Marvel fan and I was extremely disappointed. It was long and the plot didn’t seem to have any sort of direction. If you’re really looking for a Doctor Strange movie, this one doesn’t give it justice. If anything, it was more about Wanda and the multiverse.

To start off, the techniques they used to film seemed pretty dated. It reminded me of a lame horror movie from the 90’s. Which makes sense because when you look at the director, Sam Raimi’s, list of movies he directed, they are mostly boring horror movies from (guess when) the 90’s.

I personally find it weird that the 1st Spider Man movies were actually good because Raimi’s list of movies is not impressive. Movies like the 1985 film ‘Crimewave’, and 1992 ‘Army of Darkness’, are some of the examples of the movies that he directed. You can tell that it was him from the unnecessary perspective flips, quick camera changes during fight scenes, editing skills, and the lack of attention to detail.

Marvel movies are known for their production and well thought out scenes. There is one scene at the beginning of the movie where you see the same man run away from a monster 4 times, all from different angles. During the fight scenes there is so much movement and the camera cuts in and out so many times that I got dizzy just looking at it.

Comparing fight scenes from this movie to any other Marvel movie is so depressing. The editing quality totally ruins the potential in every scene. The quality of the edits can easily be ranked on the same level as the 2003 ‘Hulk’ film. The jokes are weak and not timed well. There isn’t enough build up to the moment to make it a good joke that adds a decent amount of comedic relief whilst also going back to the original situation naturally.

If I’m being totally honest, the acting was weak and boring. Xochitl Gomez, the girl who played America Chavez, in my opinion, was not the right actress for the role. She went from playing Dawn, from the Netflix original television series, ‘The Babysitters Club’, to a Marvel movie. Her acting in ‘The Babysitters Club’ wasn’t even good, so it didn’t surprise me when I realized her acting in this movie was the same way. Her Spanish was botched and her general acting skills were like watching a middle school play. Her character was supposed to be Puerto Rican but apparently the Marvel movies directors don’t seem to care about the accuracy from the comics.

After watching the movie my first thought was “They’re pranking us. This has to be a joke,” and I still believe that. 4/10. You can see this movie in theaters.

‘Cruella’ review

By: Eva Olson

‘Cruella’ aired May 18th, 2021 in theaters. It stars Emma Stone as Estella and Cruella de Vil. Estella is very smart and ambitious while Cruella is wicked and revenge-bent. Throughout the movie she switches between Cruella and Estella making the movie all the more fascinating.

This movie’s storyline and plot were very different from ‘101 Dalmations’ which made the film super entertaining to watch. It was fun to try and find the differences between the Cruella in the animated ‘101 Dalmatians’ from 1969, and the Cruella in this movie. Also, seeing how Dalmatians tied into this storyline was amusing.

All of the main characters had a lot of layers to their characters. Emma Stone did an amazing job as Cruella.

Emma Thompson also did an amazing job in making me dislike her character the Baroness.

This movie shows you a lot about Cruella’s backstory and what her story is. You get to see a lot of Cruella as a child. You also get to learn more about her friends Jasper and Horace which was very interesting.

The setting was mostly in London in the 1970s, which was very cool and made the movie very visually appealing. Hellman Hall, where the Baroness lived, was very eerie and creepy. Throughout the whole movie the weather was kind of dreary and gray which really matched the movie and set the tone.

The costumes in this movie were eye catching. Mostly because one of the main themes in this movie is fashion, and Cruella is an aspiring fashion designer. I especially loved Cruella’s dress that she lit on fire. All of the characters’ outfits were so captivating, especially Cruella’s, and really showed their individual personalities.

Overall, I liked this movie more than I thought I would. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to just about anyone. I would give this movie a 5/5 star rating. You can watch ‘Cruella’ on Disney+.

Wordle: The new popular vocab game

By: Olivia Miller

Image taken from: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2F
http://www.gamedeveloper.com%2Fgdc%2F- wordle-creator-heads-to-gdc-2022-to-talk-about-his-surprise-smash&psig

“Wordle” is a new daily word game that has become incredibly popular in the last 6 months. The online game that is currently being run by the ‘New York Times’ has taken the nation by storm, and unlike other vocabulary games, has managed to reach players of all ages.

How does this game work? Well, it’s quite simple. Everyday, there is a new five letter word that players have to attempt to guess in six tries. On your first try you guess any random five letter word, and afterwards the game tells you which of the letters in that word are either not in the word, in the word but in the wrong spot, or in the word as well as in the right spot.

With these clues comes a tactic most players use, which is when typing their first guess, trying to include as many vowels as possible. This tactic helps get at least one correct letter in the first try, in turn helping you guess the full word quicker. Some people (like myself) always use the same first word every day, mainly because they think that word is most effective in getting the most letters correct.

There is no explanation for this simple game’s rise to popularity, possibly because there is only one word a day. This causes people to end the round of the day wanting to play more, so they come back the next day, the next day, and so on.

I asked students of Highland Park High School what they think of “Wordle” and here are some of the responses.

“I think it’s fun to compete against your friends to see who can guess it in the least amount of tries” – Mila Hart.

“It’s a game that’s fun but works your brain at the same time… it’s also helped me learn new words I didn’t even know existed.” – anonymous.

This game has become so popular that there have been many spin offs of the game created. These include “Wordle Unlimited”, which name explains itself. Apparently players can’t wait a whole day for another word so an unlimited version of the game has been created.

Another popular spinoff is “Heardle”. This game plays a small clip of a song that you then (like “Wordle”) have to guess in a limited amount of tries. There are tons of more spin-offs that have been created, so if you get sick of “Wordle” you can check out these many other games.

Why is soda so addicting?

By: Haroon Yonis

Soda is a common drink in America. It’s tasty, sweet, and most importantly it’s refreshing. You can’t go a day without seeing it, whether it’s in your household, on a commercial, or in the restaurant you’re having your meal in.

It’s undeniable that soda is involved in our lives, and especially plays a major role in American culture and cuisine. 

But what makes this drink so addicting and tasty? The answer may surprise you, and may finally make you realize how much of a danger it really is.

Firstly, soda contains a ton of sugar, and some brands may have upwards of 60 grams in their drink! This insane amount of sugar releases chemicals in your brain, chemicals that make you feel good, and makes the soda much more refreshing. One of these chemicals is known as dopamine, and it makes you feel pleasure, a common feeling associated with sugar and soda.

On top of that, many sodas contain ingredients such as artificial flavors, and additives such as caffeine, that make you crave it, and as a result sometimes causes one to create an unhealthy addiction and obsession with the drink. Diet sodas have further promoted this widespread addiction, as many view them as a healthier alternative to regular sodas, when in reality they may even be worse.

The availability and cheap price of soda also makes it appealing to many customers, especially those who cannot afford healthier sweeteners, and as a result opt out for soda instead. They are found in practically every restaurant, and the honest and rather harsh truth is that it is almost impossible to avoid soda. There are very limited options when it comes to alternatives, and the sweet tasting drink has become a staple in America.

Some advice would be just to cut out soda from your diet, and as your body slowly adjusts to the change, you’ll realize that you no longer crave or want the drink. Soda has many detrimental effects on your body, and it simply isn’t optimal for human digestion. Do yourself a favor and stay away from that can of poisonous sugar!