What was happening with Captain Marvel?

Captain Marvel was released on March 8th, but there was a whole mess of events regarding the movie before that.

Captain Marvel has a female lead superhero which, despite it not being a big deal, caused a huge controversy.

Brie Larson, who plays Captain Marvel in the film, brought up feminist issues. This caused a lot of anti-feminist people to go against the film because it is “feminist propaganda.” Captain Marvel did not get good reviews on Rotten Tomatoes before its release, and in turn Rotten Tomatoes disabled the feature to rate movies before its release.

The bad reviews also caused a small Twitter drama. A lot of people would complain about how only white men would review the movie as bad, and this caused some female critics to wonder if that makes their criticism worthless as they also didn’t like the movie.

Some people complained about the music. The movie would use pop music which would remind people about Guardians of the Galaxy, but the complaints came from the fact that the latter movie was more fitting for that type of music as it had a personal connection to the main character.

Overall, it was a generic superhero movie. It was less of the movie itself that caused so much drama, but rather the events and interviews that took place before it’s release.

It’s a shame that the movie had so much pre-release drama, but just like all other internet drama, it will all blow over soon. At least now we’re all just waiting for Endgame together.

How to get past writer’s block

Writer’s block impacts everybody. Whether you’re writing something for school, or for fun, chances are, it’s hit you. Here are some tips on how to get past it.

  1. Don’t start writing with a blank slate; always start with an outline. This helps because you will always know what happens next with your plot or essay, so you won’t be stuck trying to move forward.

  2. Walk away from writing. Not forever of course, but taking a step back and taking a break can help refresh your brain, and open yourself to more ideas and creativity.
  3. Don’t beat yourself up. If you beat yourself up about not being able to move ahead, that won’t help. It only results in you being upset and not moving ahead. It’s normal to get writer’s block, so don’t feel bad.
  4. Start to write something else. Writing something else like a short story or even just short sentences can help refresh your brain while also taking a break. It can also help the creative juices start flowing.
  5. Last but not least, brainstorm. Write down ideas of what you could write next. Write everything you think down. Something will stick, and you will eventually be able to move forward.

These are just a few ways to get past writer’s block, and they’re all worth a try. So next time you’re stuck writing; try one or multiple of these tips. You will most likely be able to get past your writer’s block.

Valentine’s Day history

Valentine’s Day has gone and passed, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a history lesson on it.

It started as a feast to honor saints and to celebrate romance. In the 18th century, it became less of a feast to celebrate saints and more of a day to give the people you loved chocolates, roses, and heart-shaped cards.

In the 19th century, hand-written cards were largely replaced with mass produced Valentine’s cards from companies. People also started giving keys to their valentine to show that they “unlocked their heart,” and they were also given to children to ward off epilepsy. The Orthodox and Lutheran are often the most to celebrate it.

The 1800s was when most companies started selling what we use today to celebrate: boxes of chocolates, roses, and cards with Cupids.

Around 190 million cards are sent in the United States, and that doesn’t include the millions that children in schools hand out to their classmates. It is a HUGE source for money in the country.

There’s also many movies and cartoons based around Valentine’s Day. The TV show Parks and Rec also made their own “Galentine’s Day,” which is a day to celebrate your female friends.

Valentine’s Day isn’t just a day for romance, it’s also meant to celebrate anyone you deem important in your life.

The egg

Kylie Jenner posted the first photo of her daughter, Stormi, and it became the most liked Instagram post with 18 million likes.

But then came a challenge. An unknown Instagram user made an account called “world_record_egg” and posted one picture of an egg. Why? To make it the most liked Instagram post.

And it did. At 50 million likes now, the egg has beat Kylie Jenner by a lot.

She retaliated with a video of herself cracking an egg on the pavement with the caption “Take that little egg.” It’s nice that she’s a good sport about it all.

Many people have commented on how crazy it is that this can happen, and what a time to be alive. It’s safe to say that memes have taken a good spot in the internet, and often influence our lives in small ways like this.

The egg has taken a firm spot in Instagram history, and however crazy it may be, at least everyone had fun with it.

 

Pets as gifts

Pets aren’t always just fun and games, you have to feed it, take care of it, and maybe even potty train. That’s why if you got a pet for the holidays, I urge you to take care of it.

Pets require attention, love, and lots of work. Don’t give someone a pet if they won’t take care of it.

Also, if you received a pet, make sure you do proper research on how to take care of your new pet. For example, many rabbits end up in homes with poor conditions around Easter due to people adopting them without knowing how to take care of them.

Some pets also need special requirements that take time to prepare; for example, to adopt a bearded dragon you have to make sure your tank is at the proper temperature, so don’t spring a new pet on someone randomly.

Don’t gift a pet to someone who is usually busy, as pets need to be taken care of, and make sure you don’t gift someone a pet who is low on money who won’t be able to properly afford their pet.

While the number of returned gift pets has gone down, it is still something that should be thought about and not a sudden decision.

Does this person want a pet? Can this person properly take care of the pet? Are two questions you should ask before gifting a pet to someone.

But regardless, whenever a holiday comes around, I hope you have a great one!

Laura Loomer and Twitter

Laura Loomer is a far-right political activist who just got herself spun into yet another controversy.

Her activism has sparked controversy, especially this time when she chained herself to the doors of the Twitter HQ.

She did this after Twitter banned her for calling Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota state representive, “anti-jewish” and part of an oppressive religion.

Loomer had handcuffed herself just a week after her ban while wearing a yellow Jude patch. A police officer used bolt cutters to un-handcuff her, and she was not arrested.

This isn’t the first time she got herself in a controversy. In her senior year at Barry University, she taped a conversation between her and college officials. She was given criminal charges and was suspended from the university for violating the student code of conduct. She has dressed in burqas twice for her activism, and even interrupted two book signings. She went to the trial of Noor Salman with press credentials, which were revoked after she started to harass Salman’s family.

Let’s just hope she doesn’t get herself caught up in anything else.

Funyun facts

Funyuns are a chip brand invented in 1969 by a Frito-Lay employee. That employee’s name? George Bigner. They are meant to be like onion rings with their flavoring and shape. The flavor comes from a salt and onion mix that they pour onto the chip.

Funyuns were named by Jim Albright, a professor at the University of North Texas. Funyuns were originally going to be called OnYums, but that was already a copywrited product of Rudolph Foods.

Frito-Lay chip bags used to have a “window” on the bags so you could see the food inside. Funyuns were the last chip of Frito-Lay that gave up the window. This happened in 2005.

Funyuns also had five different flavors. Original, Wasabi, Flamin’ Hot, Chile & Limón, and Steakhouse Onion. Wasabi was only a Funyun flavor from 2001 to 2002, and Steakhouse Onion was created in 2015 and was only discontinued this year. But the other three flavors are still here today!

Funyuns are made mostly from cornmeal, and then put into their ring shape from an extrusion process. As mentioned earlier, the flavor comes from a salt and onion flavor mix.

And last, a fun fact! In Brazil, Funyuns are called “Cebolitos”.

How to improve your second quarter

There’s always room for improvement! Here are three ways to help you do better in the second quarter of the school year!

Get Organized

Just a folder or two can drastically improve how you organize things if you normally just shove things in your bag without looking. Organizing has proven to help increase productivity, and it decreases stress and unhappiness.

Not organizing often means you forget assignments, and study less. So try to get more organized if you need to be!

Designate Time For Homework 

I’m sure everyone reading this has gone home after school, intending to do homework, but first you want to watch a YouTube video or Netflix. Then you’re no longer in the mood, or you’ve forgotten. Maybe designate an hour to two of your day specially for homework. That way you won’t forget, and you’ll actually do it.

Self Care 

Taking care of yourself is the most important thing. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, and keeping up your hygiene. If you need a small break for mental or physical health, that’s always alright. You can’t do well in school, if you’re not well yourself.

Have a good quarter two!

Halloween tips

Halloween is one of the more spooky days of the year, but do you want to know what the real threat during Halloween is? It’s not ghosts or killer clowns, it’s being unsafe. 

It’s believed that Halloween started as a Celtic holiday with pagan origins. People believed that on one night of the year, the veil between the spirit world and our’s lifted, allowing spirits to visit us. People would leave food and drink offerings, and would wear masks so the ghouls would believe that they were also a spirit. It was also believed that deceased family members would come and visit their family.

But now that you know a little bit about the history, you should also know that safety on Halloween isn’t just for little kids. So, here are some ways you can be safe on Halloween.

Crime rates spike up on three holidays; New Year’s Eve, Independence Day, and Halloween. In Boston and Canada, they had a 50% increase in crime on October 31st. Drinking rates don’t go up during Halloween, definitely not as much as on Saint Patrick’s Day, but even then don’t go out late at night in all black.

That being said, make sure you don’t get distracted while driving if you plan on going out on Halloween. Most kids are instructed to wear reflective gear, but you never know. Just follow basic safe driving tips like don’t text and drive, and don’t get distracted in general.

Also, if you’re getting candy, make sure it’s safe for you to eat. Especially, make sure it’s free of any allergens that you might want to be aware of.

If you’re wearing a costume, make sure you can see clearly, that you can breathe, and that you won’t overheat easily.

If you’re going to a haunted house, make sure you don’t assault the workers, or ruin the decorations. If you’re a jumpy person, and you think if someone jumps out at you that you’ll bop them right in the nose, maybe don’t go to a haunted house. Don’t even punch a worker or break the spooky decorations just for fun.

Lastly, know your limits. Don’t do anything if it makes you too scared. It’s totally okay to stay inside during the night of Hallow’s Eve, and not do anything remotely spooky.

But the most important thing is to have fun. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing if you’re not having fun.

Have a fun Halloween!

 

 

What happened with TellTale Games

The gaming company TellTale started up in October of 2004, and nearly 14 years later, they shut down. But why? Were they not making good sales? Were they in the middle of a huge controversy? Did the employees stop caring? Well, here’s where you find out.

TellTale started off small, and it wasn’t until a crisp April day in 2012 that TellTale truly got its start with their game, The Walking Dead. The first season of their game boasted five episodes, and by November it was all complete. It received huge praise, winning over eighty awards. It topped the sales chart for Xbox, and when I say pretty much everyone played it, I mean it.

The Walking Dead started an era. An era of choice-driven games. In TellTale’s series, you, the player, can choose what to say and how to act. You are in charge of your relationships with others, who dies, who lives, and how well your group survives.

But is that true? TellTale tells the player in the beginning “Your choices matter,” but is that a lie? Sadly, pretty much. Sure, you have choices, you can make someone hate you, and you can even sacrifice someone to save another. But it doesn’t matter.

In the game you have to choose between two people to save. Doug and Carly. You would think that whoever you save would change the game. That these two characters will start a new storyline, and the game will change depending on who lives, and who dies. But no matter you save, they die soon later anyway, leaving the game unchanged. It creates an illusion of choice.

Sure, if TellTale’s games were only one of a few choice-based games then maybe nobody would have minded. The problem is that The Walking Dead became so popular that game companies realized they could make massive profit from those types of games. And why play a game that tricks you into believing that your choices matter when you can play a game where they actually do matter?

A good comparison is between TellTale’s The Walking Dead, and Quantic Dream‘s Detroit: Become Human. In the latter game, you can see a map at the end of every episode or section you play. You can see what choices you made, and the different branches of choices that you didn’t. There are tons of endings and small details that differ depending on what you, the player, chose.

So really, TellTale started an era in the gaming world, but it was their eventual downfall. The games being created to capitalize on the popularity of that genre were better than the one that started it all.

But I’m sure you’re thinking “That can’t be the only reason! Just because their games didn’t have real choices!” And you’re right. So let’s look at the next reason why TellTale couldn’t keep afloat.

Employees were generally unhappy. Many worked long hours, and the management was toxic. There was barely any organization. Nobody really kept track of what was going on. The management stopped interacting with their staff, and that meant less morale.

As TellTale got more popular, the more they made games. Soon they started working on multiple games at once. Instead of choosing developers to stick to one game, they rotated developers. This made the creation process to be more sloppy, and many workers didn’t understand this decision.

There wasn’t even any proper schedule. Rewrites and improvoments of the game were asked very last minute. Employees say that it was a constant barrage of work with no break, six day work weeks, with about 18 hours for each of those days. New developers couldn’t handle it, and the older ones were not putting in all their effort.

Eventually, TellTale couldn’t handle the stress. It collapsed under its own foundation.

Over 200 workers were laid off without severance, many took to Twitter to say not to work extreme overtime for a company that, in the end, will not care about you.

Many other game companies told these employees that they could always come and work them. At least there’s a silver lining to the storm clouds.

It is unknown if TellTale will continue the final season of The Walking Dead. The episodes are set to release in November and December, and their MineCraft Netflix series will be finished.