Category Archives: The Arts / Trends

Reasons behind school shootings: Part II… Story By Lauren Stidham

Reasons behind school shootings: Part II

One thing that can be linked to school violence and school shootings is violent video games and television. Kids all around our country have free access to countless video games, shows, and movies. Most of these portray violence one way or another. Although some are much more graphic than others, it remains nonetheless.

So what does violent screenplay have to do with school shootings?

Could it really lead to violence?... Could video games really cause a school shooting, or is it just some old wives tale? Photo-By: digitaltrends.com
Could it really lead to violence?… Could video games really cause a school shooting, or is it just some old wives tale? Photo-By: digitaltrends.com

We will start with video games. Many parents, teachers, and other people in authority frown on over usage of video games, and in some cases they don’t allow it at all. Now of course we must consider that there are certain video games that are well designed and geared towards promoting learning, not all video games are violent.

Of course, a majority of the best-sellers are very violent. Out of the top ten best-sellers of 2015, only two of them aren’t graphically violent. The other eight are all based upon extremely violent scenarios and depict scenes of which you are expected to take the lives of people in gruesome ways.

According to studies conducted by Dr. Vincent Matthews from Indiana University, violent video games alter the person’s ability to use emotions, attention, and concentration. His experiment involved making a group of young men play violent video games two hours a day for just a week. In just that time frame, their brains had already altered.

“The brain changes that Matthews’ group saw were similar to those seen in teens with destructive sociopathic disorders” – Time.com

Now think of the kids who have been under the influence of video games for a matter of years, by this time, their emotional and concentration part of their brain would be eroded. Without that emotional part functioning properly, the person can become dangerous. Most of what keeps normal people from killing is the emotional and/or moral standard.

Not only do video games change the way your brain works, but they can also be very addictive. World of Warcraft in particular is the center of many cases of addictions. There are several reasons realism, social interaction, and the ongoing sense that there is always a next level.

The game’s realism is created by having camera views that simulate the views that one would get if you were actually in the game, plus you can adjust the view to get the desired effect. There is a network of people who play the game and you can pair up with them and go on quests together. This provides a source to fulfill social needs. Additionally, World of Warcraft is an ongoing game of which doesn’t have an end. You can continually advance in the game, you can move to a new realm when you max out in one realm. The makers of the game update it and add new realms regularly.

To read an article about how World of Warcraft effected Ryan van Cleave’s life go to http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/aug/29/world-of-warcraft-video-game-addict

Additionally, there is another link between violent video games and school shootings. This one applies directly to violent television.

As earlier stated, kids all around have full access to violent video games and television. This can prove to be bad because as a child develops, they aren’t quite able to tell the difference between reality and fiction.  In the movies like the book of Eli and video games like grand theft auto five, the people don’t have consequences for their actions the way that real people do.  A child could believe that they could do what their favorite television or video game character does.

“I have ultimate control and can do what I want with few real repercussions.” – Ryan van Cleave, former World of Warcraft addict.

How does it Work?... How could watching television really affect your mind? Photo By: Shutterstock
How does it Work?… How could watching television really affect your mind? Photo By: Shutterstock

Further, television can promote the idea of violence. There are many popular movies where the main character is a criminal. Many shows are designed in a way that distorts our idea of a hero. Instead of the classic chivalrous hero who saves the innocent, we have characters who are masters of destruction and know gruesome and cruel means to “get the job done.”

Now the question is, does that really cause violence as severe as a school shooting? A majority of perfectly normal people have experienced violent media. Shouldn’t there be a whole lot more school shootings if violence and graphic media are so directly linked?

The truth is that it takes a still developing or unstable brain to see an act of violence and then commit an act of violence as severe as a school shooting. It all goes back to the condition of the brain. Yes, video games and television can help to provoke an act of violence, but it is very rare that it is the sole cause.

However it is not counted out as a possibility for a cause.

“Craig A. Anderson and Brad J. Bushman found a statistically significant small-to-moderate-strength relationship between watching violent media and acts of aggression or violence later in life.” – New York Times

Studies show that there are actually some direct correlations between violence and media violence. To look over the evidence yourself you can follow this link to http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/25/opinion/sunday/does-media-violence-lead-to-the-real-thing.html?_r=0 .

Why be a Barbie Girl?… Story by Catherine Jay

What is beauty? Many people think of women when they hear the word beauty. Do they think of the things that actually can ‘create’ these beautiful women? Do injections and surgery come to mind? People don’t always realize that some women manipulate their bodies in order to fit what is classified as ‘beautiful’. Feeling that they aren’t really beautiful, women get rid of their natural beauty and instead replace it with artificial. Much like a Barbie doll, they forget what it means to be different, to be themselves.

Starting back in the 1900s through the 1910s, the standards for beauty was ‘the Gibson Girls’. Rarely was a beauty standard so

explicit and defined, yet Charles Dana Gibson based the iconic illustrations on “thousands of American girls.” The ideal of femininity was slender and tall with a “voluptuous” bust and wide hips. Using corsets the pinch and take in the waist, the woman was dressed in up to date fashion and physically was attractive and healthy. Using corsets allowed the woman to have the illusion of a small waist and larger bust. Corsets were a painful thing that women had to deal with through the Victorian Era, resulting in bruised and broken ribs. The tighter the corset, the more defined the woman was and the more she would be noticed for her smaller frame. (http://www.rehabs.com).

            As time passed the new style became very far from the Gibson Girls. The ‘Roaring Twenties’ (the 1920s) was the time of the flappers. The flapper represented the idea of women that was far more casual than the corseted Gibson Girls. Their appearance was considered boyish youth, with minimal breasts, a straight figure without any corseting, and shorter hair. This was a style that was worn by the rebellious women who rejected the corseted fashion. This wasn’t painful and didn’t show false appearances. Instead it showed a woman for who she was, without the help of a painful corset tightened around her torso. Going into the fashion of the Great Depression, women went back to the traditional style in women’s fashion and body image. Though short hair remained commonplace, skirts once again became longer, and clothing that showed off a natural waist was in style. The style was far more about practicality than beauty. (http://www.rehabs.com).

After the Great Depression, the beauty standards of women changed to stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Twiggy, and Pamela Anderson. In the time of Marilyn, it was still a goal for women to have an hourglass body rather than that of a flapper. Bigger busts and waists were the ideal. As time passed the standards became skinnier and skinnier. The style became something that was hard to achieve. A thin body with large bust was almost impossible to reach without manipulating their bodies. Women resorted to starving themselves in order to get their “ideal” bodies. Now this isn’t just women.

In our generation, girls as young as six years old worry about their bodies. Women will get plastic surgery in order to make themselves more “beautiful”. Injections, removals, getting a new face, it’s all fake. The natural beauty of women has decreased. Being yourself isn’t what the standards are. Instead it’s that of a Barbie doll. Perfect in every way. Without flaws, without your true beauty. The low self-esteem in women today doesn’t necessarily go away after they get their ideal appearance. Inside women are still finding flaws in themselves.

Will women learn to become their own ideal? Will they find a way to love themselves, including all of their flaws? Are meeting the standards of beauty that important? Why be like everyone else? If we all were supposed to look the same, we would be born that way. Becoming a Barbie doll isn’t what women should strive for. Be yourself, show your own beauty rather than trying to be like everyone else. Can women achieve this? Will the future of women disregard any stereotypes or standards of beauty?

 

If you want more information on 100 years of beauty standards in the US, please follow the link below. http://www.rehabs.com/explore/womens-body-image-and-bmi/

Drugs Changing Your Life

By Neome Ruffing

We see it on TV every day, Drugs are everywhere, all over the world. Mostly, we see famous people using drugs and ruining their careers. Drugs can take control of your life if you let them. Celebrities like Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus, Drew Barrymore, Macaulay Culkin, and Ashley Olsen are known for drug stories. Our childhood idols are changing their personalities so suddenly that we don’t even understand what happened. That was my reaction when I heard about Miley Cyrus and her life-changing performances.

Miley Cyrus’ life seemed to be a perfect world. She had a career, a fiancé, family and friends. Little girls dreamed about having her life and were jealous.

“What happened Miley?” Now lots of people are asking “Why is she doing that? Is she on drugs? That’s not the Miley we know”. That’s what almost everyone is thinking, but do you know what she is going through? She broke up with her fiancé because he seemed to be having an affair with another woman. Her relationship of many years, and long-term show, Hannah Montana, are simultaneously over.

Miley started to change her lifestyle. She doesn’t care what people are thinking about her. She doesn’t have to be perfect. She’s doing whatever she wants to do. So, she started to smoke weed and to twerk.  Twerking is basically exotic dancing. You remember her performance with Robin Thicke at the VMA’s ? The general opinion about Miley Cyrus is crazy, but she’s not. She is still the same, only a few different views than a year ago. People judge her because of that performance but why? She’s being herself, she lives her life, and she doesn’t hurt anybody?

We all know about drugs. But, do you know all of the mainstream drugs? For example, the new trend drug ‘krokodil’.  The drug is easily made from codeine, iodine and red phosphorus. The street name in Russia for homemade Desomorphine is “krokodil”. You only have to take this drug once, and you are already addicted to it. It has its name, because it changes your skin. The skin looks green, just like crocodile skin. And it could gets worse, your skin opens. In bad cases, you can see your bones. If you try this drug, it is your doom. Most users of krokodil are dead within 2 years of using.

And do you know Molly? Maybe you’ve heard about ‘her’. It’s the club drug ecstasy. Sold from $15 to $50 a dose.  This illegal white powder is on the rise in popularity with the support of popular artists whose lyrics describe it as one of the party drugs to take. It gives you the ‘feel-good’ feeling for three to six hours. Many users find themselves overdosing too easily and many have died. Only a few days ago two young women died in a club because of molly. Having Molly as a friend, might not be a good thing for everyone.

Molly’s good friend Mary Jane is also very big this year. It’s Cannabis, also known as marijuana. This drug is meant to be a kind of medicine, but lots of people use it for other reasons. Cannabis is often consumed for its psychoactive and physiological effects, which can include heightened mood or euphoria, relaxation, and increase in appetite. Unwanted side-effects can sometimes include a decrease in short-term memory, dry mouth, blushing of the eyes, and feelings of paranoia or anxiety. The best spot to get Mary Jane is Amsterdam, the Netherlands legalized Marijuana.

An anonymous resource started smoking cigarettes and weed when he was eleven. He also tried weed, cocaine, alcohol, special mushrooms, heroin, molly, ecstasy, lsd, dmt, just to try it. It was his decision and his friends didn’t care: ‘I wouldn’t change it, I am glad that I tried it. I don’t regret it at all’. We can find these people everywhere. They might not look like it, but they still could be a ‘druggy’. We can’t judge them because of their look.

Here are some other celebrities, who took drugs. We all remember Lindsay Lohan as the cute little girl from ‘the parent trap’, the cool teenager from ‘freaky Friday’, and ‘mean girls’. Now we see her on TV only if she did something wrong, again. She got caught driving her car when she was drunk and takes coke. The officers at jail already know her, she spent around 90 days in jail because of drinking and vandalism.

Another one is Mischa Barton, the OC California Star gone wild, she has gotten more press for drug use than for acting. Her marijuana possession has kept her in the spotlight.

The next one is Drew Barrymore. Child star Drew Barrymore’s drug abuse in her teenage years found her controversial fame with two trips to rehab that motivated her to get back on track with her career. Mischa and Lindsay should take her as an idol. If they can’t take the stress from being in the spotlight, they should choose another career. Not everyone is meant to be for this business.

Fall Fashion Trends

 

Story by Neome Ruffing

This Year, the Fashion Trends have changed. The men and women have to show courage to wear the fall and winter trends of 2013-14. You can decide if you are fearless about being judged because of your clothes, or not. Maybe it is just the fashion designers who want to challenge you by designing these trends. It’s up to you.

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Photo by Annette Ruffing: Neome Ruffing’s brother poses on the German Beach

The fashion trends for women are fearless and eye-catching. The top color of the year 2013 is Emerald green. That shade fits perfectly into the fall, so it is pretty suitable. Added to that is velvet, and leather which are very big this winter. Oldies are getting a new design for this fall, such as the midcentury style and collar pullovers. In the midcentury women wore large skirts and dresses which were tight. These clothes are getting back this year so you better get ready and look for some old fashioned clothes to be prepared.

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Photo by Nadja Miller: Neome Ruffing’s Brother poses in an abandoned warehouse

This Fall/Winter black and white! Back to black, and shine bright like the snow, are the most important slogans for this winter! This is the casual fashion trend for the season.

But what about shoes? No we don’t wear UGG boots like all the European girls in the winter! We need to wear thigh-high boots! The higher the better! Get some style for your feet and follow this trend.

The last category is winter coats. BIG, BIGGER, FURCOATS! Oversized coats are a must-have for the season. If you want to look stylish in the cold months you do better with fur coats.

                                                                          Do’s and Don’ts:

 DO invest in eye-catching outerwear!

DON’T be afraid to experiment with various colors, lengths, and textures.

DO consider the rest of your outfit when rocking these coats. Keep everything else simple.

 

                                                          Men Fashion Trends Fall/Winter 2013

 

Fur coats aren’t only for women! Men can wear it this season too.  There are lots of different variations like coats and jackets. The most common furs are ermine, mink, fox, and cowhide fur.

Fur comes in all basic shades. You can even wear catchy colors. Almost no NO-GO’s this season.

Leather is all time favorite of the fall-winter season ‘13.

It is the timeless material of the world. It always looks stylish, classy and fashionable. So get advantage from this year’s trends and wear a double-breasted leather jacket. You can get one double-breasted jacket in crocodile skin. You can also try a coat of ostrich leather.

Number Three is velvet! To match outfits, with your girlfriend on a cozy winter day. Velvet looks graceful and isn’t only for women! You can combine it with fur, leather or cashmere. It fits perfect into the season.

Next one: Bright colors!

A big fashion trend this fall is casual style and comfy clothes in bright hues. So try bright colors and prints this season. Like women, men also can have the fun of colors. It’s not only a spring and summer trend. We are bringing back the summer!

The bestseller shades of grey gets a trend. Any variations of grey are trendy. The classic look never gets old. . Wore grey with black to give a more modish look. You can also try grey with white and with other bolder colors.

Don’t be shy, this season you can show your personality without being judged! Take your chance and do it! Don’t care about others, be yourself and feel good.

The Hunger Games Sequel to be Released Soon

Story by Ian McConnaughey

The hit movie edition of the popular Hunger Games book was massively popular, and was voted one of the top movies of its year. Think how the sequel will be met…

Early predictions for the movie release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire say that the film could make even more profit than previously thought. Original speculations guessed that the sequel would make around $575 million, but new predictions show that the highly anticipated film could make up to $950 million or more.

It is predicted that if Catching Fire hits the numbers, it could easily be placed as the second most successful film of the year, beat only by the recent film Iron Man 3.

A partial list of the cast for this upcoming film is as follows:

    • Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen
    • Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark
    • Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne
    • Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy
    • Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket
    • Lenny Kravitz as Cinna
    • Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee
    • Jeffrey Wright as Beetee
    • Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman
    • Donald Sutherland as President Snow
    • Toby Jones as Claudius Templesmith
    • Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair
    • Jena Malone as Johanna Mason
    • Lynn Cohen as Mags
    • Amanda Plummer as Wiress
    • Meta Golding as Enobaria
    • Bruno Gunn as Brutus
    • Alan Ritchson as Gloss
    • E. Roger Mitchell as Chaff
    • Maria Howell as Seeder
    • Stephanie Leigh Schlund as Cashmere
    • Elena Sanchez as Cecelia
    • Bobby Jordan as Blight
    • John Casino as Woof
    • Willow Shields as Primrose Everdeen
    • Paula Malcomson as Mrs. Everdeen
    • Patrick St. Esprit as Romulus Thread

Eric Feig, the Lionsgate Studios President of Production said “We are so excited to be embarking on this adventure with Francis Lawrence, who has already exhibited immense creative vision and resourcefulness in casting the film and planning its look and feel.  The stakes are raised in every way in this second story, and we are thrilled to get the production underway in these perfect locations, with our excellent returning cast and some world class actors in new roles.”

The movie takes place after Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark win the 74th Annual Hunger Games, and return to District 12, but not before after several victory parades, none of which they wanted to participate in. Rumor reaches Katniss that her and Peeta’s actions have sparked small rebellions in the districts, but President Snow makes it very clear that they are inconsequential. She and Peeta are thinking that they will finally be safe from the Capitol, but then a shocking twist brings them back to the Arena for the Quarter Quell, the 75th Annual Hunger Games. Will they prevail and live yet again, or shall they be split apart in a bloody confrontation?

Lawrence, Jennifer. “Analyst Predicts ‘Catching Fire’ Will Make $950 Million Worldwide.” Zimbio. Zimbio, 18 Sept. 2013. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://www.zimbio.com/Jennifer Lawrence/articles/B99P01AE6p1/Analyst Predicts Catching Fire Will Make 950>.

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Sept. 2013. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.

“THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE BEGINS PRODUCTION.” Lionsgate Investigators. Lionsgate Studios, n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2013. <http://investors.lionsgate.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=62796&p=irol-newsArticle&id=1733641>.

IPhone 5S ! Samsung Galaxy S4 ! Who’s the winner ?

Story by Charles Guénard

On September the 10th, Apple launched the brand new iPhone 5S.  But at the same time, Samsung replied with its latest smartphone : the Galaxy S4. They have just been released on the market days ago, but a war is already announced between these smartphones who can be both considered as the best. The question that can be asked is : what is the best ? Through this article who will develop and compare each device with the design, the performance and all important stuff, you will be able to make your idea.

With the design, the iPhone 5S has a stronger  structure than the galaxy S4, the glass of the iPhone 5S can resist to an important shock. The Galaxy S4 is just built in a plastic slab. Speaking of the color, the iPhone 5S is proposed in 3 colors : gold, silver and space grey.  Samsung’s smartphone proposes a removable back.

The drawback of the smartphone is the battery life because it doesn’t last for long, Apple and Samsung have tried to improve with that with their new products. Samsung talked a lot about the battery life of the galaxy S4 and presented it as “an amazing improvement”. Apple was very discreet about that, but after many tests, it has been proved that the iPhone 5S will last longer than the Galaxy S4 : 10 hours of Internet LTE for the iPhone 5S against 6 hours for the Galaxy S4.

The size of the screen of the iPhone 5S is the same than the previous iPhone. The galaxy S4′ screen is much bigger than the one of the iPhone 5S. The Samsung product will be better to watch videos, surfing on the web and playing games, it has a 1920 x 1080 pixels’ display.

For the performance, the iPhone 5S has all-new A7 chip. It also got a 64 bit architecture. Apple insure that these features will double the performance compared to the previous iPhone. Apple showed these performance with the new game Infinity Blade 3. This demonstration let people think that the gaming performance of the iPhone 5S will blow away what has been seen with the Android games.

With the iPhone 5S, Apple introduces the new Software iOS 7, the notable feature is the control center who make the main setting easier to access.  The Galaxy S4  has what has been called the TouchWiz, it promises to give you notifications faster while busy. It also propose a clever multitasking interface : 2 apps can run on the screen at the same moment.

While introducing the iPhone 5S, Apple talked a lot about the ID touch, a fingerprint scan. This way, the smartphone can be unlocked only by the owner, “thinking foward”, that’s how Apple describes this feature.  The Galaxy S4 proposes the Air gestures, the vocal assistant which is clever than Siri on the iPhone 5S.

It’s impossible to talk about these phones without speaking of their camera. The Galaxy S4 will give your better results in terms of definition and resolution. But in terms of quality of the picture and the video, the iPhone 5S will give you amazing results with his iSight camera. Moreover, the iPhone 5S offers a slow motion recording : a whole new feature in the smartphone history.

IPhone 5S or Galaxy S4 ? It’s time to make your choice !

Welcome to the 75th Annual Hunger Games!

Story by Sam Berkey

Jennifer Lawrence is back again as the infamous Katniss Everdeen in the new prequel to the first Hunger Games movie, Hunger Games: Catching Fire. This time, Katniss and Peeta Mellark are put back into the Games after barely coming out alive from their first competition.  Old characters we know and love along with some new characters, thrills and chills await us in this new film, coming November 22nd.

But what made Jennifer become this beloved character? How did she rise to fame? These are questions that some people overlook or just don’t think about. Many don’t know that she tried out for the role of Bella Swan in the Twilight movies. Nor do they know much of the other movies or TV shows she stared or guest stared in.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky as the youngest and the only daughter to Karen and Gary Lawrence she started acting at the local theater. When she was fourteen, she persuaded her parents to take her to New York to find an agent and to pursue a successful acting carrier. Never having one lesson or class in acting, Lawrence started on the TBS The Bill Engvall Show comedy TV series as Lauren Pearson in 2007. She was given the Young Artist Award for Outstanding Young Performer in a TV Series for the role, even though the show was cancelled after only three seasons.

From there, Lawrence appeared on other TV series such as Monk, Cold Case, and Medium as a guest. She was given a small role as Tiff in Garden Party in 2008, and later that year was in The Burning Plain as Mariana. She received the Marcello Mastroianni Award for best young emerging actor/actress at the Venice Film Festival in ’08 due to her performance. Lawrence was cast as the lead role in the family drama The Poker House as a young girl victim of abuse and neglect which awarded her the Los Angeles Film Festival for Outstanding Performance that same year.

Lawrence finally made a breakthrough when she stared in Winter’s Bone as Ree Dolly which won Best Picture at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010. She had obtained the Academy Award for Best Actress and the National Board of Review Award for Best Breakthrough Performance on January 25th, 2011. This made her the third youngest actress to be nominated for that category accruing more nominations from the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Independent Spirits Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and the Satellite Awards among many others.

But her most well known performance is her character Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games. Lawrence, a fan of the series, was intimidated by the size of the movie and what it might do for her fame that it took her three days to accept the role. She had to go through yoga, archery, rock and tree climbing, combat, parkour, running, Pilates and stunt training in order to be in perfect shape for the role. Her role as Katniss was praised by many reporters and critics and Forbes Magazine stated “No one who has seen The Hunger Games would question star Jennifer Lawrence’s ability to play an action star.”

In 2011, Lawrence stared as the golden eyed, blue-skinned shape-shifting Raven Darkholme/Mystique in X-Men: First Class which was one of two prequels to the X-Men series. She will be returning as the same character this upcoming year in X-Men Days of Future Past. Lawrence stared in her first thriller called The House at the End of the Street as Elissa, and was first cast as “O” in Savages, but she declined it due to her scheduling conflicts.  She played Tiffany Maxwell, a recently widowed young woman in the romantic comedy-drama Silver Linings Playbook with Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. That performance made her receive worldwide praise from all critics for her leading role. Lawrence was given the Golden Globe, Academy Award and other accolades for Best Actress for her wonderful performance.

Lawrence surprisingly replaced Angelina Jolie in Serena as an unstable woman who can’t give her husband children and sets out to kill a woman that bore him a son before Selena and her husband were married. She will also be staring in American Hustle which is about the ’70s FBI sting operation Abscam with actors Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and actress Amy Adams. The Ends of the Earth is going to be her third collaboration film that is directed by David O. Russell and The Glass Castle, a memoir by Jeanette Wall’s best-seller, will be casting Lawrence as the lead role. Lawrence will still be acting as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay-Part 1 which will be released in November 21st, 2014 and Part 2 will be released the 20th of November in 2015. June of this year, it will be announced that Lawrence will not only be acting but producing the film adaptation of The Rules of Inheritance, Claire Bidwell Smith’s memoir that will be directed by Susanne Bier.