‘Attack on Titan’ season 4 review

By: Mohamed Ahmed

As you may know, ‘Attack on Titan’ season 4, is coming out weekly. As of March 24th there are 16 episodes out. This anime is arguably the most watched seasonal anime coming out right now. Apparently, season 4 is the final season of the anime, and this is what I think about the season so far. 

Animation 

The animation for this last season is really good. The studio in charge is most known for doing another anime called ‘Vinland Saga’. The animation studio is WIT studio.

They have the task of animating much harder things and details than the other seasons, like the technological advancements in this series during the timeskip. Trains, guns, and explosions are rampant in this season making it a much more difficult task to animate. Even with all that, they are doing a great job with consistency and the animation is much better than expected. 

Voice acting 

For this season, you have good news for both sub (Japanese) and dub (English), because the voice acting is phenomenal. Especially in Japanese, this part of the anime is flawless.

The octaves of the voices changed according to what they used to sound like, and for me personally, they sound exactly like what four years would do to someone; older characters sound the same as younger characters grew up. 

Designs 

The designs are really good for most characters. The main character, his sister, and his best friend have all aged and the designs were really good. On top of that, the change in animation really made the designs look significantly better because we were unfamiliar with this animation style.

Changes 

This is by far the worst part of this season. The changes they made to save time cheapens the story. They keep the most important parts intact, but the foreshadowing and other details, like character interaction and buildup, were removed. The more time passes the worse it will get, and the more they will skip.

They are claiming that this is the final season, but to this day, the manga is still coming out.

Yoga in the United States

By: Grace Helmke

Yoga was once a practice that involved great spirituality and mindfulness. It was a way of life which no individual had taken lightly. However, after its introduction in Western society, yoga became a factory which Americans have simply thrown money at. The culture of Hindus, Buddhists, and Janeists have become a multi-million dollar industry marketed towards white women. 

The origins of yoga date back thousands of years. It was first mentioned in the ‘Rig Veda’, which are ancient Sanskrit texts from India, however, yoga was practiced by yogis long before there was written record of it. The ‘Rig Veda’ is one of the most important texts in the tradition of Hinduism. It is a collection of hymns and mantras divided into ten mandalas (books).

Over time, yogis passed down the discipline to their students. Schools of yoga had begun to expand across India, and started to spread through Eastern Asia as well. 

Yoga is one of the six schools of philosophy in Hinduism, and is a major part of the traditions of Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism as well. It is a practice which combines aspects of physicality, spirituality, and mental well being through breathing techniques, poses, and meditation.

Yoga is most commonly known in the Western world as being an exercise that involves poses, but in reality, physicality is not as significant in the traditional practices in India. Instead of being a fitness routine, yoga was focused on spiritual growth and mental improvement. The word yoga in Sanskrit means “union” and is meant to be a way to connect the mind, body, and soul.

According to a research study done by the University of Connecticut, yoga practitioners in the United States are generally white, middle aged, women, of a higher socioeconomic status. Therefore, the American yoga industry markets towards this demographic. Products such as yoga mats and blocks are so overpriced that they have become inaccessible to individuals of lower socioeconomic status. Yoga studios are generally built in areas of greater wealth. This might have something to do with the $90 yoga pants they sell, or the $20 per class fee they charge. Yoga practitioners in the U.S. spend more than $10 billion a year on classes, clothing, and accessories. The upscale white woman is the face of yoga, because that’s who Western yoga (white yoga) is marketed towards. 

One of the most significant symbols of the commercialization of yoga is the mat. Many consider this a vital piece in the practice. A top of the line mat can cost you around $100. However, mats have not always been a staple to the practice of yoga. The first mat which was intentionally produced for the purpose of yoga, was created in the 1990s. Before that, yoga was practiced on grass, rugs, and even just on the bare floor. Today some argue that the use of mats interferes with the practice, claiming it distracts the practitioner away from the true aims of yoga, and towards that accumulation of commodities.

The result of the commercialization of yoga could potentially be dangerous. Unqualified teachers can cause physical harm to students. According to an article by the ‘New York Times’, it is all too common for students and teachers alike to injure themselves from lack of experience in yoga. Glenn Black, an incredibly experienced and famous yogi, claims that the majority of people in practice, shouldn’t be.

Commercialization has driven yoga to become more of an exercise which involves harsh posing, causing injury to be common. It’s rarely known that certain poses can cause serious issues such as strokes, wounding of vertebral arteries, and blood clots. These poses are not meant for the inflexible white urbanite. The poses were extensions of positions ancient Indians used to sit and stand in every day. Their bodies were built to be able to bend this way.

The failure to discuss the idea that yoga can cause blinding pain is done on purpose. What’s pumped out into the media is the idea that yoga is a miracle cure for anxiety, depression, back aches, high blood pressure, and so much more. This furthers its already growing popularity and contributes to the rising trust in its abilities. The industry creates such an incredible profit that they would do nothing to endanger it. Therefore its potential harm is not mentioned.

In addition to the dangers commercialization of yoga can cause to Americans, the dilution and corruption of yoga in the Western world does harm Hindu people and culture, as well as other traditions that practice yoga. The way that yoga is practiced in Western society is cultural appropriation. It has erased the true traditions of yoga through the failure to practice in the correct manner. This creates obstacles for Hindu people attempting to access their own culture, and prevents the passing down of tradition.

Practicing yoga without acknowledging its background is also very problematic because of its history with British colonial rule. Hindus were persecuted by the British, and prevented from practicing yoga in their own land. Their culture was almost erased.

Hindus today still face discrimination for practicing yoga, while white people practice it without consequences and without ackknowledging the culture and people behind it. 

Western commercialization has created a culture of appropriation. We have turned hallowed traditions and spiritual practices into workout routines for the wealthy. Our lack of awareness and acknowledgement harms cultures around the world. The practice of yoga is not a weekly stretch, but in fact is a way of life.

For more information, please visit:

Homework stress and tips to help

By: McKenna Nutter

Research that was conducted at Stanford University, in 2013, found that high school students, who may be considered a part of ‘high achieving communities’, who spend more time on their homework, struggle with balancing their education with their social life and physical health. This lack of balance has caused many of these students stress. 

This study came to find that more than two hours of homework per night is not only overbearing, but it also is counterproductive. The students who participated in this study reported to be spending over three hours on homework, on average. 

When it came to stress, over 70% of the studied students reported they were often, or even always, stressed over schoolwork, and more than 99% claimed that homework was a stressor. More than 40% of students claimed they experienced three or more physical symptoms when asked if they ever experienced any headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss, and stomach problems, and 80% said they experienced at least one. 

Many students in this study, and even personally, felt forced and/or obligated, to choose homework and grades over the rest of their life. This could mean that any free time at home, time with my family, any social outings, and extracurricular activities were neglected because of homework. 

Some tips that can help with the stress of too much homework are:

  • Stick to a schedule: As a student, this has helped me a lot, with more than my homework. Just forcing myself to wake up at the same time everyday, get dress and do something like make my bed or pick up my room before school has helped me create good habits that I wouldn’t otherwise have.
  • Stay organized and check your agenda constantly: This is another important aspect to keeping stress down. A tool I use personally is a homework app. I enter my homework and the due dates into an app and check it off as complete when it is submitted. It also helps me when an adult also has access to my homework tracker to help me stay on task.
  • Communication: Communication with your teacher is ideal, it helps your teacher get to know you and it makes it easy to talk to them when you have questions. And as mentioned before, talking with an adult in your house is very helpful. Sit down for five minutes every night, or every couple nights, and discuss how homework is progressing and your upcoming assignments. I was very hesitant when I first started doing this, but it has given me a lot of motivation to get things done. 
  • Get a good night’s sleep. This one seems very obvious but it’s true. I’m sure everyone knows the importance of sleep, but as a high schooler myself, I cannot tell anyone how much easier school got when I started going to sleep at a decent time. If you were to do this, even on most nights, the difference is noticeable. 

There are many resources students can use to keep in contact with their teachers and many apps and websites to keep track of your schoolwork. The app I use personally is called ‘My Homework Student Planner’, and paper planners are another amazing way to stay up to date. I spend, at most, five minutes at the start of each day looking through Schoology for new assignments. 

How “green” are electric vehicles really?

By: Alexandra Rimbu

Around the world, governments and automakers have pushed electric vehicles as a key solution to curbing oil use and fighting climate change, but are these vehicles really as “green” as advertised?

The answer is yes, but also no. While electric vehicles are, in fact, very “green”, they do still have environmental effects.

An argument that is often put forward when discussing how environmentally-friendly electric vehicles are is how polluting and damaging the process behind the manufacturing of their batteries can be to the Earth. The batteries behind electric vehicles are actually composed of a range of rare-earth metals, and the extraction of these metals contributes significantly to carbon emissions. In this sense, electric vehicles are not exactly “green”.

Additionally, the production of electric vehicles consumes a lot of energy. In fact, the emissions from the production of an electric vehicle is higher than those during the production of a conventional vehicle. This is due to the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries needed for electric vehicles. More than a third of the lifetime CO2 emissions from an electric vehicle come from the energy used to make the car itself. This is not very “green” either.

However, electric vehicles produce no tailpipe emissions, producing no carbon dioxide emissions when driving. When evaluated on that factor alone, electric vehicles are a lot more eco-friendly than conventional gasoline-powered vehicles on the market today. Over a year,  an average of 1.5 million grams of CO2 can be saved just by one electric vehicle on the roads.

Electric vehicles are also much more energy-efficient than conventional gasoline-powered vehicles. Approximately 17 to 21 percent of the energy is converted into power for the car when the gasoline in conventional vehicles combusts. 59 to 62 percent of the energy is converted into electric energy to power electric vehicles. 

So, the answer to our question is quite ambiguous, but perhaps, as technology advances and electric vehicles become even more environmentally friendly, we will have a definitive answer.

For more information, please visit:

Quick rundown of vitamins

By: Mohamed Ahmed

There are 13 essential elements. Vitamins are organic compounds that we need to ingest to stay healthy. In a sense they are the bodybuilders, defenders, and maintenance workers if the body. They build muscle and bone, capture and use energy, all the while healing wounds.

They are consumed in different ways. Lipid (fat) soluble, and water soluble. Water soluble vitamins are taken up by the blood flow. Lipid soluble is broken up by bile from the liver and is commonly seen in fat.

The difference of the way it is consumed, ejected, and even stored is based on if it is a water or a fat soluble vitamin.

Here are the four main vitamins that you need the most:

Vitamin A 

Vitamin A is vital for the reproductive system and for the immune system. The other things that Vitamin A is good for is that it helps lungs, kidneys, and other organs run properly.

Liver, fish, and dairy are great sources of Vitamin A. 

Vitamin B 

Vitamin B is great for cell health, it is also great for infections and even helps blood cells thrive.

Ways to receive Vitamin B are meat, eggs, whole grains, seeds, and you can’t forget the dark leafy vegetables. 

Vitamin C 

This is the vitamin that you probably will recognize. A deadly disease called scurvy can be cured with this vitamin. It has the benefits of helping reduce your chances of contracting certain types of cancer and diabetes.

This vitamin can be found in oranges, mangoes, papayas, and pineapples. 

Vitamin D 

Vitamin D can be found in liver, eggs, red meat, and ultraviolet radiation. Ultraviolet radiation can be found basically anywhere the sun is, so you can get Vitamin D by going outside as well.

Severe Vitamin D deficiencies can lead to the following: easily fatigued, bone pains, and even muscle weakness.

For more information, please visit:

Women’s History Month: Mary Kenner

By: Hayat Osman

Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner is an African American inventor who was born on May 17, 1912, in Monroe, North Carolina. Her father, Sidney Davidson, was an inventor and she had one sister, Millred Davidson.

In her childhood, Mary Kenner was filled with many ideas. Mary wanted to invent tools to help make people’s lives more convenient.

In 1924, she explored the U.S. Patent and Trademark office and became familiar with the building and patent process.

Later, Mary Kenner graduated Dunbar High School and attended Howard University but had to stop attending due to financial reasons.

Although Mary didn’t finish her formal education she still used her spare time to invent. In 1957, Mary created her first patent of the sanitary belt (a sanitary belt was an early model for the type of pads women would wear during their periods). Originally, Mary had Invented it earlier in the 1920s, but could not afford a patent. As the years progressed Mary continued to improve her version of the sanitary belt.

Mary’s first patent of the sanitary belt was an elastic band that held napkins in place. Maxi pads were not invented until much later. But Mary’s invention was revolutionary and prevented way more leaks than the rags women used at the time.

One company approached Mary’s idea and was interested in marketing her patented invention, but when a representative learned she was black, the company backed away. Because of the racism and prejudice against women at the time, Mary’s invention was declined until 30 years after Mary invented it.

Despite the racism Mary faced as a black inventor, she continued inventing and filed five patents in her lifetime. Leaving behind a legacy worthy of celebration.

Happy women’s history month!

For more information, please visit:

March Madness

By: Charles Fragrassi

If you follow college basketball, then you surely are aware of March Madness. March Madness is a 64 team tournament, with the 64 best college basketball teams. The teams are ranked one through 16 based on their record, strength of schedule, and overall talent.

This year, the teams are in a “bubble” which is a bunch of hotels where the players are quarantined and not allowed to leave to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A common part of March Madness is filling out a bracket; anyone can fill out a bracket on who you think is going to win the tournament.

If someone were to fill out a bracket and have it be perfect, they would win the Warren Buffet One Million Dollar Challenge. Warren Buffet says he would award anyone one million dollars a year for life if they were to fill out a perfect bracket. Filling out a perfect bracket is nearly impossible, in fact the odds are 1-10 billion.

March Madness is also a huge event for gamblers as the AGA (American Gambling Association) estimates 10.4 billion dollars will be gambled, while only 3% of that money will be gambled legally.

In my opinion, March Madness is one of the exciting, fun times of the year. I love filling out brackets and watching games with my friends. March Madness is expected to have record breaking numbers in viewers this year due to the fact that they couldn’t even have the tournament last year due to COVID.

For more information, please visit:

Agriculture and the ocean

By: Grace Helmke

The ocean does not take credit where credit is due. It sustains all life on earth. Without it, humanity would cease to exist. Oxygen would slowly dissipate, temperatures would drop to astronomically low levels, jobs would be lost, and coastal economies would be suffering.

Even so, there is complete disregard for the ocean and its inhabitants. Agriculture, amongst many other things, is one of the greatest plagues our oceans have ever seen; contributing to the complete eradication of life in many areas of our ocean. 

What are dead zones? 

Human activity has created areas in the ocean known as “dead zones,” which are regions where less oxygen is dissolved due to lack of marine habitation. Dead zones occur in areas that are unusually high in nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. This dramatic increase causes large scale red tides, which are harmful algal blooms that are toxic to all forms of life. It can become deadly to fish and birds, and can cause severe illness in humans. The red tides will die off after using up all the oxygen in the area, sinking to the bottom to decompose, leaving a barren environment in its wake. 

Causes of dead zones 

While dead zones can be created naturally, man has significantly impacted their frequency and extremity. Overfishing, global warming, and urbanization can all cause dead zones, but one of the most significant causes of dead zones is the industry of agriculture.

Animal manure and commercial fertilizer runoff makes its way into waterways, and empties out into the ocean. Both manure and fertilizer contain phosphorus and nitrogen, the two chemical nutrients which, when built up, can cause algal blooms. The environmental protection agency suggests that around 335 million tons of animal waste is produced by livestock every year.

If a farm doesnt have the correct system to deal with waste, it ends up in the waterways. In 2011, The Economic Research Service, of the USDA, stated that 22 million tons of fertilizers were used in crops in the United States. According to Edf.org, about 50 percent of fertilizer is actually taken up by the crops themselves. The rest ends up in waterways. 

Dead zones around the world 

The biggest dead zone in the world is in the Arabian Sea, right between the nations of Oman and Iran. It covers almost 63,7000 square miles of the Gulf of Oman (equivalent to the size of Florida). The cause is a combination of overfishing and a buildup of phosphorus and nitrogen from the agricultural industry. 

The famed waterway, the Mississippi, is a significant carrier of nitrogen and phosphorus. Midwest farming operations have produced so much chemical population that they have created the second largest dead zone in the world. The Mississippi carries the chemicals through the nation, and empties them out into the Gulf of Mexico. Its area varies in size, but can cover up to 7,000 square miles. 

Effects 

The effects of dead zones can be incredibly detrimental to a region’s economy. Many coastal cities rely on their seafood industry, and biodiversity, to bring in tourists. In addition, many locals work in commercial fishing. If the fish disappear from the ocean, they have no job. 

What can be done to prevent dead zones? 

  1. Buying organic: Organic farms are prohibited from using fertilizer or pesticides on crops. Supporting organic methods of farming is a great way of contributing to a cleaner ocean. 
  2. Buffers: Planting trees, shrubs, and grasses would help reduce the amount of nutrients making their way into the ocean. The plants absorb nutrients, keeping it away from bodies of water.
  3. Animal waste systems: Implementing animal waste systems in farms would help to reduce the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen being released into oceans. 

For more information, please visit: 

‘Freaked’ review

By: Teah Henry

‘Freaked’ is a 1993 comedy written and directed by Alex Winter and Tom Stern. It stars Alex Winter as smug celebrity Ricky Coogin, who is hired by the company Everything Except Shoes, or E.E.S. for short, as a spokesperson to speak against accusations that the company is producing a harmful toxic waste. Sent to South America by E.E.S., Ricky and two of his friends end up taking a detour to visit a freak show, only to find that it’s run by a mad scientist who kidnaps them and turns them into freaks for his show. 

The movie was originally an ‘Evil Dead’ style horror movie starring the band Butthole Surfers. After some rewrites, it became a surrealist comedy more in line with the directors’ MTV show, ‘The Idiot Box’.

When they pitched the film to Fox, Joe Roth was the studio head, and he gave them twelve million dollars as a budget. Unfortunately, Roth would be fired during ‘Freaked’ being filmed, and was replaced by Peter Chernin, who did not like the film and cut the budget.

‘Freaked’ made only $30,000 dollars in theaters, mostly due to the cutting down Chernin and Fox did to the budget and publicity. 

It’s a shame the movie didn’t do well at its release, because it’s one of the most creative comedies out there. It feels like it easily could have become a classic alongside other movies such as ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’.

It’s surreal humor features jokes where an outhouse is humongous on the inside, or how the villain character can’t hear a loud crash but can hear a styrofoam cup falling to the floor. It never misses a beat with the laughs, and the script is actually pretty smart with some jokes being cleverly set up in the beginning of the movie, only for the punchline to appear near the end. 

If the humor isn’t your thing, its special effects are worth watching the movie for on their own. Done by three different companies, the effects in ‘Freaked’ create an ensemble of people turned into freaks such as a human worm and a man with a nose bigger than his face. It’s all done incredibly well, especially the make-up for Ricky Coogin, once he’s turned into a half-human, half-beast. It was even nominated for a Saturn Award for best make-up. 

Despite its troubled release, ‘Freaked’ has become somewhat of a cult hit. It’s not available anywhere to watch officially, but the movie has been uploaded on YouTube in its entirety and has nearly one million views. Most people that have seen it agree that it’s a good movie while being very, very weird. 

‘Freaked’ is a look at how films and their creators can get shortchanged by a big studio, but luckily, some films are able to gain a decent fan base based simply on the quality of the movie alone. If you need a movie to watch, ‘Freaked’ is a good one to check out. 

How to train your dog!

By: Reagan Welch

To effectively train your dog you need to establish a two way relationship with them. Dogs see and comprehend the world differently than humans do, dogs begin with the nose, then the eyes, then the ears, whereas humans start with our ears, then our eyes, and then are noses.

Knowing that information, use it to your advantage, commit it to the memory. When trying to communicate with your dog, start with scent, then eye contact, and then calmly speak. This will help build trust early on.

According to Cesar Millan, you want to be compassionate but in control of your dog. Have a calm-assertive personality, and you want your dog to be the follower, a calm submissive energy.

In order to achieve that, you always want to appear calm and in control. Being assertive does not mean being aggressive or angry. You just need to be in control, quietly and calmly, therefore it is easier for your dog to trust you.

To get your dog into a calm-submissive state, just sit them down and have them relax before starting anything. Then, before you start having them look at you, eventually they will be able to do this without any commands.

When correcting your dog’s behavior, it is your energy, your mind set, and the timing that are important rather than the method, as long as it is not abusive. Never resort to striking a dog. Simply a word, a sound, or a quick assertive touch should do the trick and snap your dog out of that behavior. Your job is just to redirect your dog’s attention back to you.

Doing this every time, on time, will help the dog understand what behaviors are unwanted and what behaviors are wanted.

Remember, discipline is not punishment, it is simply commitment. Discipline keeps humans on track and healthy, as it should for a dog too. It is simply there to help guide them and allow them to have a healthy relationship with you. As Cesar Millan says, “Discipline is survival, and without it, you are likely to become a source of negative energy.”

For more information, please visit Cesar Milan’s website: