Landscape (Artwork)

posted Feb 14, 2019, 4:43 AM by Jeffrey Wolf

By:Katherine Alder, Staff Writer
Posted February 14th, 2019

Eagle Pastel Drawing (Artwork)

posted Feb 8, 2019, 4:42 AM by Jeffrey Wolf

By: Kelsey Alder, Staff Writer
Posted February 8th, 2019

Forest Floor (a poem)

posted Jan 28, 2019, 10:58 AM by Jeffrey Wolf

By Katherine Alder, Staff Writer

Posted January 28, 2019

Decaying leaves litter the ground

amongst the fungi and moss covered stones

all shaded by the canopy of trees

from the spotlight of the sun

that lights the landscape beyond

Creeping lichens stand stark against the trees rough grey brown bark

The sound of bird calls

permeates the air

In the distance small waves

reach for solid Earth

splashing against the sandy shore

sparkling in the bright sunlight

Beautifully blue

Matching the sky above

“Invictus” By Ryan Graudin does time travel right.

posted Jan 28, 2019, 10:51 AM by Jeffrey Wolf

By: Kelsey Alder, Staff writer

Posted January 28th, 2019

The book Invictus by Ryan Graudin was a fairly unique take on the idea of time travel.  What possibly sets it apart the most is that the main character isn't the “good guy” necessarily.  In a lot of books, the main character tries their best to have perfect morals, and this book took a break from that.  Ryan Graudin also didn't overcomplicate time travel like most all other sci fi books and movies do. He addressed the issue of any differences in the past causing massive changes in the future, but it was ignored except for when it added to the plot. There were some good plot twists that were unexpected as well, which made it more interesting. The book was easy to read, the style of the writing was well presented, and the characters were relatable, seeming almost like real people. Overall the book was a good read.

Countdown Part V

posted Jan 8, 2019, 4:34 AM by Jeffrey Wolf

By: Katherine Alder, Staff Writer

Posted January 8th, 2019

We were standing in the hallway of the weapons factory.  Next to us was a door leading to a staircase, and along the sides were a few other doors, presumably leading to offices or storage rooms. If this mission was real, we would have a very limited time frame to find the weapon before they spotted us.  That’s evidently why I was here and not in a cell, but I had never tried to take other people into the blue time. Is that even possible? This program was remarkably detailed for such a rogue company, and why would they have this kind of facility?

Then of course, Jackson had to interrupt my thoughts by barking orders, “Ash, I want you to take the upper floor, Quinn the lower, I’ll take this one.  Morozov, just stay out of the way and try not to steal anything else.”

I sighed before replying, “First of all, you can’t stop me from stealing things, and second, we are in a holographic simulation Jackson, that means it is literally impossible to steal from it. Though, I do like a challenge.”

“Just stay out of the way,” he growled.

“You realize that this mission is basically a break in. It is our job to steal this, so sidelining the thief, just showcases your incompetence,” I replied casually.

“This is not some petty crime scene Victoria, we are not breaking and entering this is a serious mission.”

“My crimes were anything but petty. I robbed a bank in broad daylight in front of seventeen witnesses while it was being robbed, and the only reason they have any information about me is because your Task Force cronies leaked it to them. Admit it, my mutation is the most useful in situations like this. That is why I am here. You. Need. Me.” I ranted.

“I can’t believe this. You are bragging about being a criminal. What do you expect? Praise?” He shouted back at me.

“If I might interject, what is your power? And why do you call it a mutation?” Ash asked.

“I can temporarily stop time, I control it through this watch, I set it for the amount of time I need and I have until it reaches the time it was at when I first changed it. That is why they call me Countdown,” I said tapping my watch for effect, “And I call it a mutation, because that is what it is. Our genetic code replicated wrong, producing us: mutants.”

She nodded and said, “Most of us call it a power, because the result is an ability, not a defect, but that is an interesting viewpoint.”

“There are plenty of benign mutations, they are not all defects, so I prefer to stick with the science, not the wannabe superheroes. Anyway, we are wasting time, as of yet I have never tried to bring anyone else into the blue time, so we have to work off your clocks. Lets go.”

“Blue time?” Ash asked.

“Search now, explain later,” I replied glancing at my watch and resetting it about thirty seconds. I used that time to steal Jackson’s wallet and walk across the room and standing behind Ash. She jumped at my sudden appearance, glaring at me before following Quinn and heading toward the stairs. Jackson and I took off in separate directions in order to search this floor. The efforts we went to so that we could avoid each other were almost comical. I jokingly grabbed a few things knowing they would disappear when the projectors went off. I walked into one of the offices, and pulled open a few drawers, rifling through the files, discovering they were all blank, which seemed strange with the amount of detail they put into the program. I slammed the drawer shut, searching for information would be futile. They were very careful with the information they provided. They gave us just enough to work off of but not so little that the rest would get suspicious of their motivations. They never tried to convince us to help them. They practically drafted me into helping, and the others didn’t seem to need persuading; they were already sold on the “Task Force are heroes” ploy.  They could just string us along with the promise of more information, but never follow through with it. I gave the rest of the room a cursory glance before moving on to the next.

The walls dissolved around me slowly fading into nothing, revealing our scattered group all standing in the wide open training room. Axel and Jordan starred us down glaring daggers of disappointment. I sauntered over to them while everyone else hurried across the floor afraid of their reproachful gaze.

“What was that! We brought you here for a mission, and if you can’t be serious about it then you don’t belong here. Morozov you are getting on my last nerve; you are this close to spending the rest of your life in a jail cell.  Jackson you are here because they need leadership, so swallow your pride and stop falling for her taunting. Quinn, Ash, you two are mature enough to ignore their antics, but you still can’t get anything done. You are all incompetent, and very much replaceable, so get your act together.” Axel ranted.

“If I was replaceable you never would have taken me. If someone else has my mutation than you must not have been able to coerce them into working for your idiotic mission, so I am not worried.” I replied with more confidence than I felt.

Axel just glared in response. Jordan finally interrupted our silent standoff, asking me, “In the simulation you mentioned something called the blue time and touched on the idea of bring others into it what did you mean by that,”

“Yeah, I was wondering that too,” Ash added.

“Basically, the blue time is what I call it when I stop time. Everything kind of freezes in place, and there is this blue light over everything. It is beautiful.  Quiet too. Like, nothing is moving, so there is no sound, not fans, cars, electrical noises, animals, nothing. Even the biggest city falls silent,” I said pausing a moment before adding, “I am not entirely sure if stopping time is even the right word for it, it is more like stretching a moment out I guess.”

“You mentioned bringing people with you,” Jordan prodded.

I sighed and answered, “It was just a passing thought. If I could bring people with me, the missions would go much faster. We could be in and out before they ever noticed, I don’t think it will work though.”

“Hmm... We definitely will have to experiment with that later.” Jordan replied thoughtfully.

“Your power could be so useful, why would you turn to villainy?” Ash asked.

“I don’t believe in heroes and villains, just people. Yes, some of them are cruel, some are kind, but there is no perfect person. And besides, you say that as though I have never done a single good thing in my life,” I replied.

“Perhaps you have done some good Victoria, but you can’t deny that you are a criminal. Why did you choose that life?” she responded.

“Because, I am good at it, and it’s fun. I return most of the stuff I steal anyway, it is not that big of a deal.”

“Because you’re good at it? That is a terrible-” She started.

“Morozov! Return what you stole immediately.” Axel interrupted.

I looked over and noticed Solis was standing next to him. I hadn’t noticed him reenter the room. “What? Oh yeah, Jackson I was going to give this back. I just wanted to see how long it would take for you to notice,” I said, tossing him his wallet.

“Wait what? When did you take this?” He said surprised, he dropped it, not expecting me to throw something at him.

“Morozov! I was talking about Ensign Solis’s ID,” Axel snapped. I laughed and threw the card at him, Solis caught it. “All of you just return to your rooms, someone will come after you if we need you again.”

Ralph Breaks the Internet is an amazing movie!

posted Jan 3, 2019, 7:24 AM by Jeffrey Wolf

By: Eddie Inchaurregui, Staff Writer

Posted January 3rd, 2019

For this article, I will give you guys insight on the new movie Ralph Breaks the Internet. In this movie, we start off with our two main characters: Ralph and Vanellope Von Schweetz, who are continuing to enjoy the arcade life. In the course of their adventure, Vanellope complains to Ralph noting how repetitive their life is at Litwak’s Family Fun Center Arcade. Ralph disagrees, saying he prefers the pleasures of the arcade he shares with her. In attempt to spice up Vanellope’s life, Ralph changes her game, which causes the arcade game to break. In order to save all the players of Sugar Rush from abandonment, the cast is set off on an adventure to fix her arcade game. After discovering the Internet, Vanellope is in shock and awe over the game Slaughter Race. She tells Ralph of her desire to stay, but Ralph wants to be with her at the arcade. This drives Ralph to go to the Dark Web in search for a virus to make the game unappealing. Due to flawed thinking, the virus is released on the internet causing it to ‘break.’ It is up to our protagonists to save the internet. This movie has been introduced to the public earlier this summer, creating anticipation among the public for its arrival. The plot was not predictable, and relates to the theme of friends going different ways and being able to conquer one’s insecurities, as they can lead to further harm within the relationship. Disney was able to spread an important message in a very creative and amusing way. At first glance, this movie might seem to be a cooking grenade waiting to explode. The internet is a very broad concept and ever-evolving. They were able to hit different categories such as: E-commerce, WiFi, Search Engines, Pop-up Ads, viruses, viral videos, and many others. Based on this movie's production, I’d give it a solid 9/10. It’s easy to tell if a movie is “good”. Generally if you’d like to watch the movie more than once, it’s a good movie. Ralph Breaks the Internet is more.  Ralph Breaks the Internet is amazing.

Imagine Dragons begin a new trend with its latest album Origins

posted Jan 3, 2019, 6:02 AM by Jeffrey Wolf

By: Eddie Inchaurregui, Staff Writer

Posted January 3rd, 2019

Today, I will shortly review the latest album by Imagine Dragons. It was first released in November 9th of 2018. It is the 4th Imagine Dragons album installment, and it has received varied ratings. The Original Listing has 12 songs. They include Natural, Boomerang, Machine, Cool out, Bad Liar, West Coast, Zero, Bullet in a Gun, Digital, Only, Stuck, and Love. The album review has a lot of controversial statements attributed to it’s. The Guardian gave it a 2 out of 5, stating that "the most streamed rock band in the world may want us to believe that they are angry philosophers, but the reality doesn't change a gilt-edged mainstream formula."  Metacritic gave it a 59/100 based on ten reviews showing a varying opinion of the public. Newsday gave the album a positive review, saying: "It sounds like the start of something even bigger for Imagine Dragons."  I will concur, there doesn’t appear to be many reoccuring themes.The only themes I’ve noticed are: improving self esteem, moving towards a better relationship, holding onto love, inability to communicate, breaking from society’s industrialization. The album itself is a collection of songs that have little uniformity.  I’d give the album a rating of 8/10 in comparison with the band's recent albums. The album is authentically new, catchy, carries a positive message, and has drawn many to it’s melodic pieces.

The 5th Wave is the latest futuristic storytelling.

posted Jan 3, 2019, 5:12 AM by Jeffrey Wolf

By: Elizabeth Briggs, Co Editor-in-Chief

Posted January 3rd, 2019

The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey, is a futuristic tale of a world nearing extinction. Aliens have destroyed nearly the whole human population. The book follows Cassie Sullivan as she navigates through the torn up remains of the planet. When Cassie unknowingly leads her brother to danger, she feels obligated to risk everything to save him. Along the way, Cassie meets many survivors. It becomes difficult for her to trust anyone as aliens had previously been disguised as humans. Eventually, she comes to meet people she can trust and works to bring her family back together again.  

I enjoyed reading The 5th Wave because of the sci-fi feel of it and the complex action. I did dislike the fact that it does resemble some other similar young adult books. Overall, the book was quite enjoyable and I would recommend it.

Countdown Part IV

posted Dec 5, 2018, 4:56 AM by Jeffrey Wolf

By: Katherine Alder, Staff Writer

Posted December 5th, 2018

We were all assigned rooms in the Task Force Headquarters, my door was of course guarded and the interior was absent of windows.  Only one way out. I still couldn’t use my powers unless they allowed it. I am not sure why they still felt the need to do that, because they had made it impossible for me to escape by telling the media who I was, and with their surveillance network, I would be caught within days. I searched the room for cameras or bugs. I checked under everything.  I didn’t find any cameras –though they were easy to disguise as innocuous objects so I may have missed one– which was unfortunate, because it would have been fun to mess with them. I flopped down on my bed, disappointed after my fruitless search, when I remembered the one place I hadn’t checked. I quickly jumped up, pulled the mattress off the frame, and looked around the edge until I saw the small device attached to the corner of the frame.  There, it would fit between the wood and the mattress. I picked it up and set it on the desk before moving the mattress back in place.

I turned to the bug picking it and said, “Do you really think I wouldn’t notice this? Honestly. It wasn’t even hidden that well. Were you even trying? Axel? Jordan? You could have at least made it a challenge. Though, I am not sure what you expected to gain out of this.  It’s not like I would just discuss my supper secret escape plan with myself. Even I am not that arrogant or stupid. I am not going to have a stereotypical villain monologue with no one to monologue to. Also I thought you were supposed to be training us for this mission, the whole team thing -did I mention, I don’t don’t do teams- anyway, I. Am. Bored. I know you’re listening to this, so can you just, I don’t know, respond maybe, or at least do something.”

I sighed, and threw the bug down on my desk, deciding not to dismantle it for now, it might be fun to mess with them later. I resumed my pacing crossing the small space in a few steps, back and forth across the carpet. The room was simple: a bed, desk, dresser, and not much else.  I had my laptop and phone, but I couldn’t contact anyone. They didn’t want anyone to know we were here. I heard a knock at the door and muttered, “Finally,” before saying, “Yes, what is it?”

“You are to report to the training floor Miss Morozov,” a guard replied.

I opened the door and asked, “Why?”

“I am not privy to that information Miss Morozov, you will likely be briefed when you arrive. You must come with me,” he said.

“And if I don’t want to?” I said.

“Then I have been authorized to quote ‘drag her kicking and screaming to get her there on time’  unquote,” he replied.

“Excuse me. I would never be dragged anywhere kicking or screaming. I have more dignity than that, and I am shocked they would think so low of me.” I snapped.

“I am just the messenger, and I have to ask you to stop wasting time,” he replied.

“Where is the other one? You’re new,” I asked.

“Captain Evans has more important things to attend to then babysitting a criminal,” he said.

“Okay first of all, they were already being robbed, I actually stopped a robbery, and the bank’s security was deplorable.  And second are you saying I am unimportant, because I thought I had a rather significant role to play in this mission. If I didn’t they would have arrested me,” I ranted.

“Whatever you say ma’am, you still broke the law, and you are still going to have to work with me not Captain Evans.”

“If I am going to have to work with you I would like to know your name then,” I said.

“Ensign Solis,” he answered.

“Have a good day Ensign Solis,” I said and shut the door in his face. I quickly shoved the chair from my desk under the door knob and laughed.

“Victoria Morozov, you will open this door immediately and come with me or I will remove the door from the wall,” he replied irritated.

“Hmmm no I don’t think I will,” I replied.

“You will come with me whether you like it or not,” he said. After a few minutes he had unscrewed the hinges and removed the door, leaning it up against the wall next to me room.  He shoved the chair out of the way and grabbed my arm dragging me out of the room.

I let him drag me down the hall for a moment before yanking my arm back and saying, “I think that is quite enough.”

“If you will stop acting like a child and report to the training area you won’t have to be led around like one.  Now will you walk with me or do you need me to hold your hand Miss Morozov,” he replied.

“I’ll walk.” I said, “And just for the record, that is not how you led a child around.” He sighed in response and picked up the pace. I followed behind him slightly slower. We went down a staircase and around a corner before he stopped at a door and waved his ID card in front of a scanner. I expected it to be more secure than that. It would be easy to pickpocket him and open the door, though there was not much of importance in a training room, the lock was likely a formality as even Solis had access. I bumped into him as I walked in the door, taking his ID at the same time. The training room was massive; it had holo projectors along the walls for mission simulations.  There was gym equipment and mats in the last third of the room, kept away from the sim so that people couldn’t trip over them. I sauntered across the floor to where the rest of the group stood. Jordan sighed at my entrance.

Axel glared at me and said, “You’re late Morozov.”

“Really? Well no one told me what time I was supposed to be here just that I was supposed to be here so it’s really not my fault,” I replied.

“We sent Solis to get you way before the others so that you would get here on time and you are still late. How?” he said exasperated.

“Fashionably late?” I said.

“Stop acting so immature, and do you job,” Jackson snapped.

“Ooo immature, that is three syllables that must be a big word for you,” I mocked.

“Enough Morozov! We have work to do,” Jordan commanded. “Now, Jackson, Victoria, you have to be able to work together so stop insulting each other every time you speak. Ash, Quinn thank you for not getting involved.”

“What about every other time we speak?” I asked.

“Victoria, do you want to spend the rest of your life in a jail cell?” she threatened.

“Not particularly,” I replied nonchalantly.

“Then shut up.”

“And if-” I started, before she silenced me with a glare.

“Now, if we could continue without any further interruptions, that would make this go much faster,” she said.

I opened my mouth to say something, when Jackson yelled, “Morozov, don’t even think about it. I would like to get through this without you wasting more of my time.”

“Now who is interrupting who, Jordan?”

The girl with the purple hair looked up and said, “Can you two just shut up, Victoria you aren’t half as funny as you think you are. And Jackson, she is clearly baiting you, and you continue to fall for it every time.”

“Thank you Ash, now we are going to start off running simulations, then work on your individual power,” Jordan said. The lights dimmed and the holograms came up, suddenly we were in a factory. An image materialized in front of us accompanied by Jordan’s voice, “This is the weapon you are looking for now bring it back.”

Be among the machines in Daniel H. Wilson’s book, “The Clockwork Dynasty” (Book Review)

posted Dec 4, 2018, 4:59 AM by Jeffrey Wolf   [ updated Dec 4, 2018, 5:01 AM ]

By: Kelsey Alder, Staff Writer

Posted December 4th, 2018

"The Clockwork Dynasty” by Daniel H. Wilson is a book about ancient machines that look and function more or less like humans and live around us, but are fighting a war between each other.  Overall, the story was pretty unique; however, it didn’t have many surprises either. Throughout the story, June and Peter are both trying to fight in the millenia-old war being waged between the automatons, but Peter is also dealing with an internal conflict.  He doesn’t know who he is. All of the automatons have a word that they must follow unconditionally, but he doesn’t feel like he is living up to that word in anything he does. Also, June is trying to be a part of this new world made of clockwork, but the automatons are so much stronger than her.  She is trying to understand how she can make a difference when she barely survived her first encounter with an automaton. One thing I didn’t like was that it took quite a while before the book picked up and got interesting. The beginning was very slow, but after they finished the lengthy exposition the book got quite interesting. With that said, the book was good, and an interesting read.  The story and ideas behind it were new and the author definitely knew a lot about the subject. I definitely enjoyed reading the book, and would recommend it to people who like more complex books and are patient with an author's storytelling.

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