Myths People Still Believe

Facts over myths

Many myths are merely believed because the majority of people are not confronted with a different opinion. No one is going to believe a single person with a differing opinion over family and friends. However, in our advancing world, modern science and the expanse of the internet has led to a better understanding of our world. This does not mean that there are, or ever will be, a shortage of false myths that remain in circulation.

Here are several myths and misconceptions that people still believe:

We only use 10% of our brain. This statement is quite common and has been promoted by the media for years. However, just thinking about this myth will show its many flaws. It is a scientific fact that having a stroke can lead to decreased functions. In most cases only a small portion of the brain is damaged in a stroke, so if we have 90% to spare, how does this lead to a negative outcome. This myth could relate to only 10% of our neurons firing at a time. Yet neurons are always receiving signals so that is false as well.

Another myth is cats always land on their feet. This is just as common as a cat has nine lives myth, however people are more inclined to believe it. According to Animal Planet, a cats will “reflexively corrects its course so that by the time he arrives on the ground, his feet are in position to hit first.” However, falling from short heights give a cat less time to correct themselves. In addition, any of the funny cat videos that can be found on YouTube will disprove this myth.

In addition, many people still believe that bats are blind. Because bats use echolocation, it is believed they are blind. True, echolocation allows bats to hunt at night more effectively, but bats in fact have very good eye sight. Mies from National geographic states bigger bats "can see three times better than humans."

A very common myth is salt makes water boil faster. This myth is a bit complicated. Yes, salt does make water boil faster, but the amount it takes is far greater than the pinch that any cook puts in their pot. Lifehacker.com kindly gives us an example in which 10 g of salt per 1 kg of water, or 1 teaspoon per quart, are added and the boiling point increase is approximately 0.17 °C. This is not a practical increase and would not have a discernable difference than adding no salt.

Almost as common as salt in water, the giving sugar to children makes them hyper myth is widely believed. Every parent probably takes this as fact, and every child probably argues it with them. The truth is that it is the situation in which kids often get a major sugar increase, such as birthday parties, is what makes them hyper. On Science News, “a double-blind research study found way back in 1994 that sugar doesn’t change kids’ behavior.”

Finally, people are still certain that blood is blue. If you look at your skin, it seems that the veins contain blue blood. People began to say that it only turned red once out of the body because it came into contact with oxygen. However, blood is always red. It contains a large number of red blood cells which in turn contain hemoglobin. According to PDB, protein data bank, “Hemoglobin is the protein that makes blood red. It is composed of four protein chains, two alpha chains and two beta chains, each with a ring-like heme group containing an iron atom. Oxygen binds reversibly to these iron atoms and is transported through blood.” It is true that oxygenated blood is bright red, but deoxygenated blood is simple a deep purple/dark red. If you have ever had your blood drawn then you have seen deoxygenated blood and it is not blue, just much darker.

Kollee King, Reporter

Spring comedies

 
Comedy and Tragedy (via Google Images)

Each spring, Black Hills alumni gather together to write and organize comedic plays for the entertainment of their peers. This year, Luke Putvin, Nolan Harris, and Guita Taheri come together to bring you “The Tiest,” “Controlling Interests,” and “It’s not you, it’s me.”

I interviewed Nolan Harris, a frequent performer at Black Hills and had a starring role in Black Hills’ last play “Grease.” When asked what theatre meant to him, Nolan replied with, “To me, theatre is a collaboration between many people in order to create art. I have two parts in the upcoming spring comedies, as Brad in “Controlling Interests,” and Thomas in “It’s not you, it’s me.” However Nolan not only performs in plays, he also writes some of his own. The third spring comedy “The Tiest,” is written and directed by Nolan Harris. “The main conflict is somebody going to steal a tie, in a satire of heist movies,” describes Nolan. Nolan said “alumni can look forward to enjoying shock, physical, and linguistic humor.”

The Black Hills theatre group relentlessly works weeks on end, several hours a day. So far the spring comedies have been under rehearsal for over a month now. Mollie Alonzo, theatre performer of two years, has a role in both Luke Putvin’s play “It’s not you, it’s me,” in Guita Taheri’s play, “Controlling interests,” and a small role in “The Tiest.” Mollie says viewers can look forward to, “lot’s of funny jokes, comedic acting, and slapstick comedy.”

The highly anticipated plays can be watched May 5-6th and May 12-13th all at 7 p.m.. Tickets are $8 for parents and $5 for students, the show will be in the P.A.C at Black Hills Highschool.

Alex Rebara, Reporter

Gap years become increasingly popular.

In recent years, becoming a “gapper” after high school has become increasingly popular.

A gapper is somebody who takes a gap year in between high school and college, or college and grad school. In 2015 alone, nearly 40,000 students took a gap year, according to William Brangham, a PBS Reporter.

Gap years have been growing in popularity to not only state schools, but to the Ivy League schools as well. According to the New York Times, Harvard has seen an increase in the popularity of gap years by nearly 35%, and MIT saw their numbers of gappers nearly double from 2009 to 2010.

Due to the increase in popularity, the American Gap Association has been formed. The AGA runs an annual survey taken by gap year alumni, and the study from 2014/15 school year says that 86% of the students who took a gap year would reccomend it to students choosing their after high school plans.

There are several benefits to taking a gap year. According to survey an AGA survey, 98% of the students said that taking time off helped them develop as a person, and 97% claimed that their gap year helped them mature. Another benefit was students developing helpful career skills, 84% of the students said that the skills they gained were useful and beneficial to their futures, and 77% claimed to their gap year helping them find their purpose in life.

According to a Business Insider article, taking a gap year show positive results in a student’s future. The article says that “gap years allow students a trial period” to help them really figure out what they want to do, without the expenses of attending college at the time. Susan Jones, the Career Center Advisor at Black Hills said “I think it depends on the individual, based on their situation. If you plan to take a gap year it should be in your post high school plans and you need to take this time to really explore your options and collect the information you need to make that decision.”

According to a Business Insider article, taking a gap year show positive results in a student’s future. The article says that “gap years allow students a trial period” to help them really figure out what they want to do, without the expenses of attending college at the time. Susan Jones, the Career Center Advisor at Black Hills said “I think it depends on the individual, based on their situation. If you plan to take a gap year it should be in your post high school plans and you need to take this time to really explore your options and collect the information you need to make that decision.”

An article done by CNN shows that some of the nation’s top schools like when students take gap years because they have more of a clear focus on their career and future goals, and show higher academic progress.

Mikael Stigall, Reporter

Foresic improvements help free innocent convicts

Forensic evidence changing the fate of convicted innocents (Photo courtesy of Creative Commons)

Recent breakthroughs in forensics have been proving the innocence of hundreds of convicted men and women, some of whom have been considered cold cases for decades.

In some cases it is changing how witnesses are used as opposed to hard science. In a recent cold case, The Olympian reports that Jack McCullough was cleared of the murder of Maria Ridulph. In 1957 Ridluph had been kidnapped and later found dead months later. McCullough had been blamed for the crime with little evidence and possible witnesses.

However, an FBI investigation proved through phone records and timetables that he could not have possibly committed the crime. The Olympian reports that, according to nearly 20 witnesses, the kidnapping took place between 6:45 and 6:55 pm. New evidence of a pay phone records show that McCullough to be 35 miles away at the Air Force recruiting station at 6:57 pm.

Another misstep that occurred at a photo lineup. The other suspects in the lineup all had professionally taken photos, except for Mr. McCullough. His was a home photo with a dark background and he was not dressed in a suit like the other suspects.

Yet another reason people thought he was the murderer was own mother. She announced on her deathbed that she knew all along that he had killed Ridluph. However, this evidence was called into question during the recent hearing as she was dying of cancer and on morphine to help deal with the pain. The overseeing doctor stated that she could be described as “pleasantly confused and disoriented.”

For these reasons, many people have begun to rely more on technological advancements to cut back on human error. For instance, the Forensics Science Degree website lists new inventions that do many things. From studying chemicals to improving and tracking computer hacking.

Such improvements to the science side of forensics have already helped people like McCullough, yet there are still people innocent people going to jail. These breakthroughs in science have helped free many innocent people from prison, and will help slow any more from being blamed for crimes they had no hand in.

Maura Moffat, Reporter

A Step Towards Ending Family Homelessness

Volunteering a helping hand (Photo courtesy of Puyallup Sumner Chamber of Commerce )

Helping Hands House is a “deeply committed” community dedicated to preventing and ending family homelessness in Pierce County. They are always looking to increase the awareness in other communities such as their neighbor, Thurston County.

In respect of the Helping Hands House, founded by Margie Addington in 1984, it is only fair to spread the word and bring attention to the BHHS student body, in case they would like to contribute. As said on the Helping Hands website, Margie was first “challenged by her pasture to create temporary homes for homeless families” but it “ended up being a passion that lead her to church members, who helped make it happen.” Now with the “amount of homeless people increasing from 2008-2009 by 20,000” they are convinced to “continue expanding.”

Recently, the Helping Hands House was passed to Nola Renz, who continues to rigorously support the community with beautiful homes and maturing families. The program now has 42 housing units, but with the help of other individuals, fundraisers, and volunteering, there are possibilities for more home units.

Even more, things like, yard care, holiday- adopt a family day, and making home programs will provide the homeless families with meals, gifts, and a clean - well prepped house. As said on their website, houses are always being fled in and out by former homeless families who are now “on there own self sufficient living.”

Also, there is volunteering throughout the year to ready the homes by painting, cleaning, rebuilding, and helping with community fundraisers. Some fundraisers the Helping Hand Community has is on; every third saturday of the month where they announce housewarming tours which demonstrates to the people how to invest on changing a life. Infact, on helpinghandhouse.org they invite anyone who is interested to “come and see first-hand a work that changes the lives of homeless families at the behind-the-scenes House Warming Tour.”

When senior, Bo Peradotto was asked how he feels about the Helping Hands Program he responded in an extremely generous way, “Anything that helps to better the lives of those less fortunate is a plus in my book and there should absolutely be more, because despite efforts, homeless people are still often seen as second class citizens.”and again he firmly spoke,”That needs to be changed”.

Atlanta Hagen, Reporter

Foresic improvements help free innocent convicts

Forensic evidence changing the fate of convicted innocents (Photo courtesy of Creative Commons)

Recent breakthroughs in forensics have been proving the innocence of hundreds of convicted men and women, some of whom have been considered cold cases for decades.

In some cases it is changing how witnesses are used as opposed to hard science. In a recent cold case, The Olympian reports that Jack McCullough was cleared of the murder of Maria Ridulph. In 1957 Ridluph had been kidnapped and later found dead months later. McCullough had been blamed for the crime with little evidence and possible witnesses.

However, an FBI investigation proved through phone records and timetables that he could not have possibly committed the crime. The Olympian reports that, according to nearly 20 witnesses, the kidnapping took place between 6:45 and 6:55 pm. New evidence of a pay phone records show that McCullough to be 35 miles away at the Air Force recruiting station at 6:57 pm.

Another misstep that occurred at a photo lineup. The other suspects in the lineup all had professionally taken photos, except for Mr. McCullough. His was a home photo with a dark background and he was not dressed in a suit like the other suspects.

Yet another reason people thought he was the murderer was own mother. She announced on her deathbed that she knew all along that he had killed Ridluph. However, this evidence was called into question during the recent hearing as she was dying of cancer and on morphine to help deal with the pain. The overseeing doctor stated that she could be described as “pleasantly confused and disoriented.”

For these reasons, many people have begun to rely more on technological advancements to cut back on human error. For instance, the Forensics Science Degree website lists new inventions that do many things. From studying chemicals to improving and tracking computer hacking.

Such improvements to the science side of forensics have already helped people like McCullough, yet there are still people innocent people going to jail. These breakthroughs in science have helped free many innocent people from prison, and will help slow any more from being blamed for crimes they had no hand in.

Maura Moffat, Reporter

Doctors and researchers around the world work to combat type 2 diabetes.

Projected number of people with type 2 diabetes by 2030 vs. the numbers from 2000, by the million.  (photo courtsey of Albert Einstein college of medicine)

Type 2 diabetes has been a prominent problem in America for the last 30 years, as numbers have been significantly increasing each year since the 1980s.

Type 2 diabetes is such a problem because diabetes kills 3.4 million people each year. According to a spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO), the organization “projects that the deaths will increase by two thirds until the year 2030.

The two types of diabetes are very different. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and digestive and kidney diseases, the difference between type 2 and type 1 diabetes is: with type 1 a patient is typically born with the disease, and in type 2, the disease can be developed at any age, and is not a permanent diagnoses. It is estimated that 90% of all diabetes cases are specifically type 2. Type 2 diabetes affects nearly 30 million US citizens each day, and 1 out of every 8 of those people were not overweight at the time of their diagnoses.

Researchers have found a treatment that could possibly completely reverse type 2 diabetes. Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 can be reversed. Recently, a team of researchers in England have conducted a study on reversing type 2 diabetes. The study included 30 patients who were put onto a restrictive diet of non starchy vegetables and 3 smoothies a day for eight weeks. Six months later, half of the patients had no signs or symptoms of ever having diabetes. The professor in charge of this study, Roy Taylor, says that “This is a radical change in our understanding of Type 2 diabetes.”

The future of diabetes treatments is looking a lot less harmful to a person’s body. If the treatment with this diet gets approved, patients undergoing treatment will no longer have to take series ‘ of medications that could potentially damage their organs. According to the National Institute of Diabetes, and digestive, and kidney diseases and the United Kingdom’s Diabetes community, some of the most common side effects from traditional diabetes medications are: constant nausea, low glucose levels, and weight gain, risk of liver disease, and anaemia risk.

Early diagnosis is extremely important for combatting type 2 diabetes. The earlier a person can start treatment, the less harm that the diabetes will do to your body, and the easier it will be to reverse it. If someone is experiencing symptoms of diabetes: fatigue, numbness in hands or feet, bruises that aren’t healing, then they should seek out a medical professional and ask for a screening.

New treatments for type 2 diabetes are in the works, and they hold the potential to end the type 2 diabetes epidemic around the world in a matter of months. Really, the number one way to prevent

Ashley Mixon, Reporter

Downtown Dive Off!

Intersection of Capitol way and 5th Ave., Downtown Olympia

Downtown Olympia, the capital of Washington, a polished melting pot of different cultures, races, sexual orientations, and liberal arts. Most people go downtown for the bars, the fountain, or to get inked. But one thing as prevailing as tattoo shops downtown is restaurants!

On the corner of 4th Ave W and Columbia St SW juts an old fashioned bulb light sign reading “Cascadia.” In this building runs Cascadia Grill, a local American style restaurant that serves “Brunch and Dinner.” Originally the property was M. E. George Groceries, a store that sold mostly flour and feed for animals, back in the days of the Western Frontier. I went in on one of their less busy days to get a taste for myself, which was surprisingly Saturday. There I spoke with the waitress Rebecca, who suggested their most popular order “The Jerk.” The Jerk is a quarter pound, certified angus burger, cut and made right in the kitchen, on fresh sesame bun. This burger is lined with pepperjack cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and most importantly two thick slices of locally picked jalapeno! With your option of french fries, a bowl of fruit, or cole slaw as a side, this meal is as local as the spirit of Downtown Oly itself. “All ingredients are chosen from our local farmers market, and our meat is prepared right here at Cascadia Grill, rather than bought premade.” Rebecca told me. After barely finishing the Jerk, I ordered a Mint Oreo Milkshake from the dessert menu and did not feel the slightest bit of guilt.

From the outside Cascadia Grill looks like just another weathered building in Olympia, but entering the restaurant quickly dissuades all assumptions. With a great, dark wood finish on all the walls, tables, and window sills and frames, I suddenly found myself in a John Wayne movie. Although the diner lacked the dust, dirt, and bar-fights to qualify, it definitely provided a clean, comfortable environment to eat.

Sitting in the “Ol’ West” style bar and grill I did some unprofessional, opinionated math and rated the Cascadia Grill an 9 out of 10 stars for good ambiance, fresh and local food, and creativity. As well as great customer service and great sanitation. Cascadia Grill can do breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert in a high quality fashion.

Only a few blocks away also on 4th Ave dwells “King Solomon’s Reef,” a diner style restaurant that serves creative, and original dishes that have become a favorite for Black Hills alumni. With a captivating paint job of faint orange and shades of ocean blue, King Solomon’s Reef is captivating, unique, and easily distinguishable from other buildings Downtown. Sadly, the eye appealing sights were ended at the doorstep. I immediately was drawn to the dust and dirt-ridden floor and became skeptical of my impending experience with the cooking. Most of the kitchen was behind swing-doors, the area behind the counter did not look very sanitary, even for a Downtown Oly Dive. Nevertheless, I withheld bias until my meal was served.

Their most strange yet popular dish served is the “Tachos,” “a concoction of tater tots and taco nachos” says waitress Jess. “Our least busy hours are on Thursdays and Tuesdays, and our custom made milkshakes are also a very common order here.” Following Jess’s advice, I ordered a mint oreo shake and Tachos. While the meal was delicious, I was shocked to discover multiple hairs in both my Tachos and delicious milkshake. While I enjoy my daily dose of foreign DNA in my diet as much as the next guy, beard hairs were not mentioned on the menu.

All in all King Solomon’s Reef got 7 out of 10. While it had great food and friendly service, the beard hairs in not one but two things I ordered, along with the poor upkeep of the inside of the diner itself definitely bumped it down a few notches for me.

If you happen to be strolling Downtown this summer want a good, cheap, custom made milkshake the Reef is the place for you. The Reef also offers unique and much more creative food that is very good for what is expected. Yet Cascadia grill undeniably offers the better service and more practical food choices, and a cleaner, calmer, high quality interior, along with a competing dessert menu for the summer.

Alex Rebara, Black Hills Food Critic

Things to do for Spring of 2016

Tumwater Falls Park

It is finally spring of 2016, and with Tumwaters sudden change in weather there is so much fun to be done, for free. From activities like swimming, jumping to simply roaming the beautiful downtown oly there are places like Wards Lake, Black Lake (Kenneydell park), Deschutes River Ranch, Pioneer Park, Falls park, a walk Downtown Oly, or even Capital Forest.

“Wards lake is my favorite lake around because it is close enough for me to ride my bike to and it is open whenever I want. Plus it is the cleanest, warmest lake in the area, and I can swim across the whole thing safely. It is just so perfect since nobody really knows about it. Overall, it is just a very deep,refreshing, satisfying, recharging, and peaceful lake because it is so low key”, said Freshman, Syre Hagen. On that note, students that are just now hearing about Wards lake should drop by for the “perfect” experience. From Yelm Hwy SE turn north onto Boulevard Rd appx .4 mi, west and .3 mi on 42nd Ave SE is Wards Lake access area.

Another lake with free entry and a beautiful, clean access area, better known as Kenneydell, is Black Lake. Kenneydell is open 8am to 5pm but is closed on weekends “for the safety and cleanliness of the park.” The lake is located at 6745 Fairview Rd SW. This school year on Monday, April 18th, BHHS students celebrated “senior skip day at Kenneydell. “There were about 20 BHHS students just playing football in the water, tanning, and just soaking up the sun” said senior Zack Willet. When Senior, Natalie Patton was asked how her experience at Kenneydell was, she said, “Senior skip day was great! It was a perfect day!”.

An even bigger teenage attraction is the “classic” River Ranch located on 9725 Rich Rd SE. The River Ranch is known for a couple of interesting things, like the rope that swings you from the edge of a tree stump up on a cliff and drops down into the park's second water current. Also exciting are the 7 foot cliff that Tumwater citizens from all ages jump off, and, of course, camping. Freshman Madison Bays said that “The River Ranch is one of my favorite places to enjoy deep swimming holes and the steep cliffs, and it's perfect for hot summer days because of the big open area.”

The River Ranch is actually the same river that people swim at in Pioneer Park on 5801 Henderson Blvd SE. Howerver Pioneer is a bigger attraction because of the park's huge sports facilities. It has three full soccer fields, two volleyball courts, and two baseball fields, along with a decent sized park, and, most importantly, the river that attracts all age groups around Tumwater. Rhysa Connelly said that “on hot days there are always families on the rocky beaches bacbecuing and playing with their dogs while the other hundreds of people that take up the whole parking lot are floating on tires, tubes, and even air mattresses.” Rachel Reull actually said that, sometimes “It's a good place to play your sports at or go hangout with friends to float the river -- and its a safe place to be”.

Last but definitely not least, is Tumwater Falls Park at 110 Deschutes Parkway Southwest. Tumwater Falls Park is the biggest tourist attraction in the area. Joe Kane a former server at Falls Terrace said that “the most visitors come in September to see the salmon run right through the river, it is one of the most awesome things”. Infact, he also said that when he “was a student at Michael T Simmons they went on field trips there”. Living as close as students of BHHS do Tumwater Falls Park is a popular place to visit when students find themselves in deep boredom on these random sunny days.

These spring and summer activities prove Tumwater not to be the “slow paced, sometimes boring, and extremely rainy place” it is, as Jordyn Sutherland had said.

Atlanta Hagen, Reporter

Student Teachers at BHHS work towards teacher certification

Mr. Annis leading the BHHS Symphonic Band (Photo courtesy of Tristan Shank)

This year BHHS has a multitude of student teachers from all over the state that have joined our staff and have been working towards becoming certified educators.

Mr. Annis, the student teacher for band, and Ms. Glad, the student teacher for Spanish, shared some of their perspectives regarding what student teachers are and why we have them.

The student teaching program is put in place to provide a guide or template for future teachers. Annis highlighted that student teaching is “required by the state that all public school teachers have to be certified,” as well that it is an important step because it allows for “practice teaching by following examples,” presented by educators who are already certified.

As for how you become a student teacher, some teacher internship programs have an application process that includes what field you want to go into, as well as what schools you can intern at. In Annis’s case, he states that, “St. Martin’s University asked where I wanted to go,” leading him to get in contact with Mr. Landowski, the BHHS band teacher.

While the process of entering student teaching program is partly the University’s responsibility, certified teachers also play a part. Glad stated that, teachers choose you and “take you in.”

The job of a student teacher varies throughout the year. Glad stated that student teachers are, “more like a guest in the classroom” who follow the “groundwork and lesson plans” presented by the certified educator. Annis stated that he “started shadowing” Mr. Landowski, and eventually started “teaching a full class” under the supervision of Landowski who “lead and gave ideas.”

Student teaching is also used to gauge how your enjoyment as a certified educator may be. Glad, who is in her first year of student teaching as well as her first year teaching in general, stated that she has had a “positive experience” and that she enjoys the fact that the student teaching provides a more “hands on experience.” Annis went on to say that, “some people hate it,” while he on the other hand, “love[s] it.” Adding that, he has had a, “great mentor,” in reference to Mr. Landowski.

All teachers have had to participate in student teaching in one form or another, some having more positive experiences than others. Student teaching is a very important step within the field of education that provides insight into what being a certified educator may be like.

Tristan Shank, Reporter

Little Green Cars puts on a great show in Seattle on April first.

Little Green Cars during their set at the Crocodile in Seattle   (Photo courtesy of Ashley Mixon)

On Friday April 1, Little Green Cars put on an outstanding performance with opening act John Mark Nelson at the Crocodile in Seattle, WA.

The opening act was John Mark Nelson. John Mark Nelson, released his first album in 2011, though his most recent album has given him the most exposure. Nelson's first album, World Gone Cool, was released when he was just 17 years old. His whole life has been surrounded by music, as most of his immediate family members are musicians in some way. For those who do not know who he is, Mark’s music style could be best described as indie rock, folk, and singer/songwriter. The songs he performs are easy to sing along to, and when he is performing them, you can tell see the passion he feels for his music

John Mark Nelson also put on a surprisingly great set with his band. Kara Laudon, the keyboardist in this band, was a featured singer on one of the songs, and performed amazingly with John Mark Nelson. Nelson’s band was playing louder than he was singing, but he was engaging the crowd none the less.

The headlining band was Little Green Cars. This group is an indie rock band from Dublin, Ireland. Personal loss that each of the band members has faced within the last couple years was the inspiration for their most recent album, EPHEMERA. The band has been together since 2008, and released their debut album under their record deal in 2013. LGC has toured all over UK and the United States. One of their highlight performances was Coachella in 2013.

The performance put on by the band was amazing. The band is almost better in a live concert setting than recorded CDs, because you could really hear the harmonization and raw emotion of the songs. Unlike most bands, LGC rotates their lead singer song to song. The band performed extremely well as a group, and you could just tell that they were so happy to be there, because as a band “that never smiles” they sure smiled quite often. Band member Stevie Appleby recited a poem he wrote to the crowd, and discussed their first tour through Seattle, and all the changes that they have made since then.

The venue for this event was the Crocodile on 2nd Ave. in Seattle. The Crocodile opened its doors in 1991, and has been providing an amazing concert atmosphere since then. The main performances done at this venue are from local, up and coming artists and bands. Some of the most notable performances at the Crocodile include those by Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and even Snoop Dogg. A more recent highlight event took place on April 12th, when Lukas Graham performed to a sold out crowd.

Overall, I would say that this is one of the best concerts I have been to, and would rate it an overall 8 out of 10, only taking points because the wait time between the doors opening and the opening act seemed to last a bit longer than an hour. Both bands played amazing hour long sets and really engaged their audiences. I have never seen the Crocodile more crowded than I did during this concert. I would definitely recommend that people check out both Little Green Cars and John Mark Nelson, for some great new music.

Ashley Mixon, Reporter

Lincs program is moving life skills students forward.

Lincs is a program offered to Life Skills students from ages 18-21 who have met their graduation requirements,  in the Tumwater School District to learn real life skills to help them with independent living.

The program helps prepare life skills students for their life in the future. To get into this program, there are a set of requirements the student needs to meet.

Lincs is like high school but based more on everyday living skills. Students learn to clean by doing laundry and other household chores. Also, they learn to do personal finances by learning to pay bills and balance their checkbooks. Students also get vocational training, learn functional academics, how to use the public transportation system, and other goals that are fit for each student.

Also, Lincs helps to get these students jobs. Twice a week, the students volunteer at places such as the Food Co-op. By volunteering, the students gain work experience and gain experience in a professional environment.

The Lincs program coordinator is Teresa Anderson. Ms. Anderson says the benifit "is to teach them to be independent in their community once they have completed school." Black Hills High School Life skills teacher Krystin Murphy also says “ Lincs is an effective program because it provides students with disabilities to be exposed to the real world while helping with job development. ”

Overall, Lincs is a program that benefits students in life skills by getting them ready for independent living. Also, Lincs end goal is to help each student with future employment.

Mikael Stigall, Reporter

Upcoming movie reboots and remakes

The new Ghostbusters movie is just one of the many reboots coming   (Photo courtesy of Creative Commons)

Past years have seen several movies resurface with new actors, new directors, and CGI. The more popular one have gathered huge support and were praised for their establishment of interest in old films. ScreenRant, a large and well respected source for entertainment news, has stated that “When a reboot is announced, many moviegoers decry Hollywood of being unoriginal and out of ideas” yet “filmmakers can often take old material and put a refreshing spin on it, generating interest in a once fading brand.”

Some of these more popular films may not be seen as reboots when in fact they are. Many of these films originals are from years ago, which leads a younger audience to believe that they are in fact the first version. Ocean’s Eleven is a great example. The original was release in 1960, but the version that everyone knows was released in 2001.

Batman Begins, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Godzilla, and Mad Max Fury Road are but a few of these reboots made in the past decade. Mad Max alone was nominated for ten academy awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Below, in no particular order, are some of the most recognizable movies being rebooted:

Jumanji

The original plot revolved around two kids who find and play a magical board game. They release a man trapped for decades in it, played by Robin Williams, and a host of dangers that can only be stopped by finishing the game. Hollywood life.com laments that “It’s definitely exciting news, however, Jumanji, famously starred the late, great Robin Williams, which makes the reboot plans weigh a bit heavier on our hearts.” Directed by Jake Kasdan, it is set for a release on December 25th, 2016.

Highlander

The Internet Movie Database, IMDb, which is a huge database about films, television, etc. gives a brief description of the original, “After centuries of dueling to survive against others like him, Connor MacLeod, an immortal Scottish swordsman must confront the last of his kind, a murderously brutal barbarian, who lusts for the Prize” IMDB. So far there has been scant news concerning who will be cast. However, one role has been filled, Dave Bautista will be playing the villain, who was originally played by Clancy Brown. Cedric Nicolas-Troyan is set to direct. There has been no confirmed release date.

Ghostbusters

With Melissa McCarthy, Katie McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Kristen Wiig staring in the upcoming reboot, Inverse says these women “are all great, and the ladies-first spin on ghostbusting is a fresh take on reviving an old franchise.” This reboot will be directed by Paul Feig and includes cameos by some of the original cast members such as Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray. The release date is July 15, 2016.

Green Lantern Corps

With Marvel’s ever expanding shared universe, DC is playing catch up to the massive success Marvel has had. The Batman v Superman is the second film in their universe, Man of Steel was the first, and DC has plans to launch several solo films in addition to their Justice League movies, as stated in their Comic-Con panel. ScreenRant gave a quick update of the film on their website “Plot details are unknown at this time, but the film is part of Warner Bros.’ DC cinematic universe and will serve as the solo vehicle for the Green Lantern character, following his presumed appearances in the two Justice League films. This project does not have any connection to the 2011 Green Lantern film starring Ryan Reynolds and will be a reboot with a new actor in the role.” The release date is set for June 19, 2020.

Kollee King, Reporter

GLSEN's four steps to a safer school environment

In today’s society, LGBTQ+ youth can face harassment and discrimination in school. GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network) is an organization that works to prevent this from happening through a variety of techniques. One of these techniques was to create four plans schools can use to make their institutions a safer place for all students.

The first approach GLSEN recommends is for schools to implement an anti-bullying policy that specifies sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. According to GLSEN’s website, this specification “is crucial to ensure that anti-bullying policies are effective for all students.” When asked whether she thought Black Hills High School is a safe and welcoming place for transgender and non-binary students, junior Ally Remy responded that she doesn’t think BHHS is “actively trying to oppress or in any way harm its transgender and non-binary students, but [that] they end up being pushed to the sidelines and harmed”.

In addition to an anti-bullying policy, GLSEN advises school staff be trained to recognize and resolve LGBTQ+ harassment. According to GLSEN’s website, they offer an array of programs for educators such as “self-guided reading, webinars and videos, or in-person workshops”.

Another strategy that GLSEN suggests schools use to prevent harassment of their LGBTQ+ students is to support students who want to dissolve LGBTQ+ harassment. This can mean, as GLSEN reports on their website, “the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance or participation in events such as the National Day of Silence and Ally Week.”

The fourth approach that GLSEN recommends is to educate students on inclusiveness and diversity. This will allow them, according to GLSEN’s website, “to understand and respect difference within the school community and society as a whole.” The use of implementing a curriculum to teach students about LGBTQ+ issues reflects a concern that Remy raised that “we do not have any information about transgender and non-binary people in our health classes”, which is the reason why “the ignorance that permeates the entire school” exists.

These are four of the ways in which schools can improve their environment to be safe and inclusive for all students. And if schools wish to begin this process, GLSEN offers many resources for them to pursue and use.

Tyra Zeigler, Reporter

Local Animal Organizations

A For Heavens Sake volunteer wrapping up a injured deer

There are many animal organizations in our area. However, not a lot of people understand what they really do and how the students and volunteers contribute to the animals in our community.

One popular animal organization is Animal Services. Volunteers provide animals with a healthy and clean environment, as well as comforting the abandoned animals and cheering them up until the right owner comes along to adopt it. Animal Services is a wonderful place to volunteer, all it takes is to attend the initiation and complete an hour of training. You will being changing animals’ lives before you know it.

In addition, many don’t know there is a small local rescue and wildlife rehabilitation just miles from Black Hills High School called, For Heaven’s Sake. They do everything from rescuing animals to releasing them back into the wild. Anyone who finds injured wildlife can bring it there and, with the help of volunteers, they will nurture it back to health at the best of their ability.

Another local organization The Audubon Society. In addition to working in Tumwater, it is a worldwide community that focuses on the conservation of birds. Community members participate in habitat improvement projects and provide data on the health of local bird species through bird counts and other local monitoring projects. The president of Black Hills Audubon, Deb Nickerson, provided some insight into the program. The 1400 members that are involved have made loads of accomplishments, including a tower that was sixty feet tall constructed in Chehalis for the migrating swifts to come roost in at night and thirty five nest boxes Boston Harbor built for purple martins to rest in. In addition, Nickerson shared that the community members involved are responsible for monitoring each numbered house and checking the Osprey nests in Port of Olympia. Nickerson stated she wanted to “help contribute to make the world a better place for wildlife.”

In addition to helping animals for community service hours or for enjoyment, many students are studying hard at the local New Market to gain skills and the practice needed to become a veterinarian in the future. New Market offers a Vet Tech program, which is designed to prepare students to enter the pet health care field. Along with getting hands-on experience, students are responsible for a weekly dog wash and they gain insight into the vet clinics in a 20 hour job shadow. Cynthia Quinn, a current vet tech student, shared a few things about her experience so far. Quinn stated that she really enjoys Fridays because she gets to “see a whole bunch of dogs”. Not only is she clipping nails and giving baths, she also memorized 350 medical terms. Now that is an accomplishment! Vet tech students use these skills to build up knowledge for their future career. Quinn, for example would like to pursue her dreams and open up her own animal rescue.

Without organizations like these, both domestic animals and pets would have no place to heal both physically and mentally. These places make a big difference in animals’ lives.

Hailey McReynolds, Reporter

Downtown Dive Off!

Downtown Olympia, the capital of Washington, a polished melting pot of different cultures, races, sexual orientations, and liberal arts. Most people go downtown for the bars, the fountain, or to get inked. But one thing as prevailing as tattoo shops downtown is restaurants!

On the corner of 4th Ave W and Columbia St SW juts an old fashioned bulb light sign reading “Cascadia.” In this building runs Cascadia Grill, a local American style restaurant that serves “Brunch and Dinner.” Originally the property was M. E. George Groceries, a store that sold mostly flour and feed for animals, back in the days of the Western Frontier. I went in on one of their less busy days to get a taste for myself, which was surprisingly Saturday. There I spoke with the waitress Rebecca, who suggested their most popular order “The Jerk.” The Jerk is a quarter pound, certified angus burger, cut and made right in the kitchen, on fresh sesame bun. This burger is lined with pepperjack cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and most importantly two thick slices of locally picked jalapeno! With your option of french fries, a bowl of fruit, or cole slaw as a side, this meal is as local as the spirit of Downtown Oly itself. “All ingredients are chosen from our local farmers market, and our meat is prepared right here at Cascadia Grill, rather than bought premade.” Rebecca told me. After barely finishing the Jerk, I ordered a Mint Oreo Milkshake from the dessert menu and did not feel the slightest bit of guilt.

On the corner of 4th Ave W and Columbia St SW juts an old fashioned bulb light sign reading “Cascadia.” In this building runs Cascadia Grill, a local American style restaurant that serves “Brunch and Dinner.” Originally the property was M. E. George Groceries, a store that sold mostly flour and feed for animals, back in the days of the Western Frontier. I went in on one of their less busy days to get a taste for myself, which was surprisingly Saturday. There I spoke with the waitress Rebecca, who suggested their most popular order “The Jerk.” The Jerk is a quarter pound, certified angus burger, cut and made right in the kitchen, on fresh sesame bun. This burger is lined with pepperjack cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and most importantly two thick slices of locally picked jalapeno! With your option of french fries, a bowl of fruit, or cole slaw as a side, this meal is as local as the spirit of Downtown Oly itself. “All ingredients are chosen from our local farmers market, and our meat is prepared right here at Cascadia Grill, rather than bought premade.” Rebecca told me. After barely finishing the Jerk, I ordered a Mint Oreo Milkshake from the dessert menu and did not feel the slightest bit of guilt.

Sitting in the “Ol’ West” style bar and grill I did some unprofessional, opinionated math and rated the Cascadia Grill an 9 out of 10 stars for good ambiance, fresh and local food, and creativity. As well as great customer service and great sanitation. Cascadia Grill can do breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert in a high quality fashion.

Only a few blocks away also on 4th Ave dwells “King Solomon’s Reef,” a diner style restaurant that serves creative and original dishes that have become a favorite for Black Hills alumni. With a captivating paint job of faint orange and shades of ocean blue, King Solomon’s Reef is captivating, unique, and easily distinguishable from other buildings Downtown. Sadly, the eye appealing sights were ended at the doorstep. I immediately was drawn to the dust and dirt-ridden floor and became skeptical of my impending experience with the cooking. Nevertheless, I withheld bias until my meal was served.

Their most strange yet popular dish served is the “Tachos,” “a concoction of tater tots and taco nachos” says waitress Jess. “Our least busy hours are on Thursdays and Tuesdays, and our custom made milkshakes are also a very common order here.” Following Jess’s advice, I ordered a mint oreo shake and Tachos.

All in all King Solomon’s Reef got 7 out of 10. While it had great food and friendly service, the poor upkeep of the inside of the diner itself definitely bumped it down a few notches for me.

If you happen to be strolling downtown this summer want a good, cheap, custom made milkshake the Reef is the place for you. The Reef also offers unique and much more creative food that is very good for what is expected. Yet Cascadia grill undeniably offers the better service and more practical food choices, and a cleaner, calmer, high quality interior, along with a competing dessert menu for the summer.

Alex Rebara, Reporter

Comparing to a legacy- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Wei Feng (Harry Shum Jr.) from The Sword of Destiny   (Photo courtesy of Creative Commons)

Comparing to a legacy: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon On February 26th 2016, Netflix released the movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny which is an Americanized sequel of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The two movies stem from the same source, and yet they are very different in several ways.

Crouching Tiger is a movie teeming with action with a very involved plot. However, the film does not start with action, in fact there is mainly story building for the first ten minutes of the film. This film takes place during the 19th century in China, where a legendary warrior Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-Fat) gives his sword, the Green Destiny to Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) for safekeeping. Yet it is stolen by Nobleman’s daughter, Jen Yu (Ziyi Zhang), and the two warriors chase the young lady to regain the sword. The resulting story is a heartfelt tale with complex fight scenes and tranquil moments which amount to an intricate plot of honor, love, loss, and a little bit of humor. However the end is very bittersweet as young Jen makes one too many mistakes which ultimately ends in tragedy.

Crouching Tiger received various awards and nominations from around the world . In fact, at the Oscars, this film received ten nominations, and won four awards for best Cinematography, Foreign Language Film, Art Direction, and Music (Original Score).Written by Directed by Ang Lee, from Life of Pi, choreography by Yuen Woo-ping who is known for The Matrix, and music also performed by Yo-yo Ma. This martial arts feature is entirely in Mandarin (Chinese) with English subtitles because it was a Hong Kong film.

Because of the first movie’s success, the Sword of Destiny had a lot to measure up to. Previously the choreographer, Yuen Woo-ping returned but as the director of the second film, and the screenplay written by John Fusco, writer of Hidalgo, and the show Marco Polo, also on Netflix. This explains the comparatively explosive beginning of the movie as the only returning actress, Michelle Yeoh as Lien, is attacked on her way to an official’s funeral. The story continues as Warlord Hades Dai (Jason Scott Lee) learns of the location of the legendary sword the Green Destiny and sends a young warrior, Wei Fang (Harry Shum Jr.) to steal it. He is quickly caught as another thief attempts to steal the sword, Snow Vase (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) and instead turns him in. Afterwards ensues many more high action fight sequences, and drama. Lien’s long lost husband to be, Meng Sizhao or Silent Wolf (Donnie Yen) arrives to protect the sword and the people in the area from further attack. In the Sacred Sword, relationships are reformed, others are created and the story ends on a happy note for the heros.

Both movies were very different in story telling, character development, and filming. In the first film, the action was a blur of impossibly fast kicks, punches, and jabs which were blocked at the last second to the point where it was nearly impossible to tell who was winning. The movies were different in many ways. The second film takes much longer in the fight scenes with plenty of slow motion shots and usually a clear winner. There were also fewer scene changes and the characters were more talkative than in the first.

There were many varying opinions on the movies. “I liked the first one better…” said Julie Moffat, after watching both movies. “...[it] told the story more through action and the character’s relationships… and the elements… the second movie the characters told their stories, which didn’t bother me…” Watching the movies with her was Richard, her son, and he explained that, “...I liked both…[especially how] the second one wraps it up at the end but I like both equally.” Both mentioned how the fight scenes flowed as the actors seemed to dance around rather than fight with each other, and the cinematography that caught the eye with color contrasts and helped tell the story in a completely different way.

The media did not appreciate the sequel as much as the Moffats though. Netflix places it on the Top 50 Best Action Movies on Netflix. “The sequel is not even close to as good as the original Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Those expectations are much too big to live up to, but I commend Netflix for trying,” says Bryce Olin, a writer for NetflixLife.com. Other reviews were not as kind. New York Times writer Mike Hale, along with dozens of other reviewers both professional and freelance agree that that the second movie was overall less creative, plot driven and lacked the original luster of the original film. The Sacred Sword did indeed “lift” several key plot points from the original movie; such as the brash young woman fighter who falls in love with a thief, and scenes where master and student fight, and so on. “It was in English!” Was one of Julie’s only complaints, and the plot carried some of the English speaking culture’s sayings.

Although the second movie was not nearly as “beautiful” as the first but it was as good as could be expected.

L. Maura Moffat, Reporter

Movie Review - The Force Awakens

Star Wars The Force Awakens poster

More than ten years after the final prequel was released, the Star Wars franchise resurfaces in the seventh episode, The Force Awakens.

While well-known characters such as Leia Organa, Han Solo, and Chewbacca are in The Force Awakens, several unfamiliar faces are introduced. The three new main characters of Star Wars: The Force Awakens are Rey, Finn, and Kylo Ren. Rey has lived on the desert planet Jakku since she was a child, and has survived by trading scavenged parts from wrecked ships for food. Having to contend with the untrustworthy and dangerous folk of Jakku has led to Rey becoming a skilled fighter, and quick thinker in dire situations. Yet while such circumstances may have hardened the heart of others, Rey has retained a sense of fairness and respect for life, which she displays by rescuing the droid BB-8 from a scavenger who would sell him for parts. According to junior Ian Swenson, “Rey was just awesome”. Throughout the film, Rey’s backstory is revealed as having been abandoned on Jakku for an, as yet, unknown reason. She feels extreme loneliness over her abandonment, and is determined to wait on Jakku for her family despite it being a miserable existence.

Alongside Rey is another new protagonist, Finn, an ex-stormtrooper who, in his first battle, undergoes a realization that he cannot carry out the will of the First Order if doing so means murdering innocents. For most of the film, he proves to be someone who would rather hide from conflict than face it. As Swenson says he “just thought [Finn] could have been a little more confident”. Still, he demonstrates acts of bravery and individuality in helping the Resistance pilot, Po Dameron, escape the custody of the First Order because of his belief that “it’s the right thing to do”. And, Finn shows great loyalty, as well as cunning, when cons his way onto a mission to defeat the First Order so that he can rescue Rey.

Opposite the protagonists is Kylo Ren, the right hand of the First Order and sith lord-in-training. Kylo Ren shows immense power on a multitude of occasions: stopping a blaster shot in mid-air, exhibiting advanced telepathy, and surviving a shot from Chewbacca’s crossbow that has sent others flying backwards. Like Rey, Kylo Ren’s history is divulged over the course of the movie as he is revealed to be the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa and was once a padawan of Luke Skywalker before turning to the dark side of the Force. However, Kylo Ren proves to be deeply conflicted about his turn, and often looks to his grandfather, Darth Vader, for strength because he “feel[s] the pull to the light”.

While watching Episode VII: The Force Awakens, the character similarities between it and Episode IV: A New Hope become increasingly prevalent. Kylo Ren’s costume and mask is incredibly reminiscent of Darth Vader’s, as his role in the First Order’s regime. And, despite being explained as having risen from the ashes of the Empire, the First Order is an incarnation of the Empire, from its use of a massive army of Stormtroopers, to the planet-destroying weapon called Starkiller Base. Similarly, the First Order’s opposition, the Resistance, is a modern Rebellion.

In addition to the characters, the plot of Episode IV and VII are very similar in construction. The first few opening scenes are almost identical to each other. Both feature an integral member of the rebelling force passing essential information to a droid for safekeeping. The droid then wanders across a desert planet before being captured for retail and then coming into the possession of a local dressed in white. Senior Isaac Christensen stated that he thought “some people were disappointed that [the plot] was too similar to the originals”.

However, there were several sequences that fans found both either well-filmed or well-acted. Swenson said that one of his favorite moments of The Force Awakens was when Rey “gets [Luke’s] lightsaber with the Force because… it was just so well-filmed”. Christensen also shared that the most impactful moment for him was the death of Han Solo because he “had an emotional connection with him” and “he seems kind of immortal”.

Despite the plot and character similarities in the latest Star Wars episode, both Swenson and Christiansen recommend seeing the movie. According to Christiensen, The Force Awakens is “revolutionary” and “the best movie… that’s come out in [his] lifetime.” While Swenson advises that, if you want to “see good old classic Han and Chewy just still tearing it up”, and “if you want to know what it feels like to see an actual Star Wars film” in theatres when it is released, then The Force Awakens is an excellent movie to see.

Tyra L. Zeigler, Reporter

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