North Korea Strikes (like twice)

image

Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, defied the UN by firing two “medium” missiles into the Sea of Japan. Rumors have circulated that they were meant to attack Japan/ South Korea (allies of the US, though relations between the two aren’t friendly.) Either way, the North Korean government could be trying to provoke the US. Since then, more sanctions have been put in place and strengthened by the US. It’s estimated that North Korea has 10 to 16 nuclear warheads, and currently working on an intercontinental ballistic to deliver them.

UPDATE: Five more missiles were launched into the Sea of Japan. They were short range and North Korea plans on putting more nuclear tests into action. China, North Korea’s only large supporter, is advising them to stop.

The UN is very upset and has demanded that North Korea completely and irreversibly dismantle their nuclear missile testing program. Apparently they have been testing missiles for a while until they were found by the US- sanction representatives to have a large amount of uranium in their possession.

POLAR PLUNGE CHECKLIST!!

webpp20152Tomorrow is the day!! 

Here is what you need to know:

TIME: Arrive by 10:45– WE ARE LINING UP AT 11:30.  

WHAT TO WEAR: Wear your Village Vikings gear (if you bought something), Bathing suit under your clothing, hat, gloves, warm socks and boots.  It’s best to overdress and take off layers rather than wear too little!!

WHAT TO BRING: A towel or robe for after the jump.  You should be able to put back on the same things you wear to the plunge.  But, in case things get wet, have an extra sweatshirt and socks, just in case!  Also bring a plastic bag for any wet clothing.

**Put your cell in a ziplock JUST IN CASE!!

**You don’t have to plunge in order to join the fun– students, family, and friends who are coming just for moral support are more than welcome!  Land-lovers should bring their phones/cameras and snap as many pics as they can!!

 

 

Artist Spotlight: Being As An Ocean

Being As An Ocean playing live.

‘Being As An Ocean’ playing live.

Being As An Ocean is a post-hardcore/melodic hardcore band from Alpine, California. The band was formed in 2011 and is currently still active and making new music under the record company, Equal Vision. They were originally formed when Tyler Ross, Ralph Sica, Joel Quartuccio, and Shad Hamawe left their previous band, Vanguard, because they were looking for a different sound. The demo versions of two songs, “The Hardest Part Is Forgetting Those You Swore You Would Never Forget”, and “Humble Servant, Am I” that appeared on their debut album, “Dear G-d”, were streamed as two singles on the band’s myspace page on January 4, 2011.Originally, they had their guitarist write the entire album as soon as they formed. Later, it was fully tracked in an old hotel called, “The Palms”, and was then later sent to Brian Hood to be mixed and mastered. “Dear G-d” received overwhelmingly positive reviews. After its release, they toured over 20 countries including Canada, Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom and Australia.

The lyrical content of this album in particular is arguably very Christian. While many critics assert that the band is a Christian band, the band has said several times that they’re just Christians who love to make music. In 2013, Shad Hamawe and Jacob Prest left the band due to personal reasons, and their desires to step away from the intense touring schedule. The members who still remained started to record some material and also held auditions to recruit new members. The band recruited Connor Dennis, the former drummer of the hardcore punk band, Sleep Patterns, and Michael McGough, guitarist of the band of post hardcore band, The Elijah.

With these two new band members, they released their second album, “How We Both Wondrously Perish”.  Lyrically, musically, and vocally, this album surpasses the last one. They recorded the album in Atlanta, Georgia at “Glow in the Dark Studios” and it was released on May 6, 2014. McGough was the biggest addition to BAAO in all the best ways from his playing to his singing. Quartuccio’s vocal delivery on this album drastically improved, but over all, he is very well known for his passionate, yelled vocals and the spoken word poetry usually infused with the band’s music. Shortly after it’s release, the band stated they were working on a new album to be released later in 2015. They released the main single, ‘Little Richie” and soon after they released their self- titled album.

On this album, the lyrics rip through listeners’ hearts: ‘We still defile and abuse the innocent/Like items to be sold or owned/Slavery and prostitution is no place for a nine year old”(Death’s Great Black Wing Scrapes The Air, “Mediocre Shakespeare”, 2014) and “A loving marriage from the outside, but oh,/ how ferociously he’d hit her/Richie stood by the bleach white bedside/Ma held his face in her hands while he cried”(Little Richie, “Being As An Ocean”, 2015). Overall, this is possibly the best and most authentic band in the music scene today. Check them out; you won’t regret it one bit.

Here are some links to their social media outlets and music outlets:
http://www.facebook.com/BeingAsAnOcean
http://www.twitter.com/beingasanocean
https://www.instagram.com/beingasanocean/
https://myspace.com/beingasanocean/music/songs
https://invoguerecords.bandcamp.com/album/being-as-an-ocean
https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/being-as-an-ocean/id492982354
Merch:
http://merchnow.com/catalogs/being-as-an-ocean
http://www.impericon.com/en/being-as-an-ocean.html
http://www.merchconnectioninc.com/collections/being-as-an-ocean

Are Superfoods even Super?

imageA superfood is typically know as some sort of produce that is supposed to give extreme (or “super”) efficient health benefits. This concept of “super foods” is not new at all; eastern cooking has ingredients like ginseng, turmeric, buckwheat, etc. that are staples, and seen as holy ingredients. Lately, though, superfoods has been sensationalized by advertisers.

Superfoods include blueberries (antioxidants, phytonutrients, lowers chance of cancer, slows age related diseases i.e. Alzheimer’s, Dementia), tomatoes (lycopene, vitamin C, potassium, lowers chance of cancer, fiber, and lowers cholesterol), kale (phytonutrients, lowers chance of cancer/ decreases levels of cancer causing liquids), black beans (protein without artery clogging substances, antioxidants, fiber, iron), broccoli (Folic acid, vitamin C, and suppresses tumor growth/ reduces risk of cancer), Salmon (despite the Mercury, omega 3 that reduces inflammation, betters circulation, and balances good and bad cholesterol. B vitamins, and Selenium that prevent cell damage which helps with preventing cancer), and oats (potassium, fiber, magnesium, phytonutrients, lowers cholesterol and prevent heart disease).

To check out more superfoods, here’s a list of 52 of them: http://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/nutrition/a3180/eat-healthy-america-52-superfoods-25519/

Whether you believe in the representation of superfoods of being “super,” doesn’t really matter. Science has proven a healthy diet creates a healthier body. The choice is up to you.

Project Fi

Google's new project

Google’s new project.

Google is in charge of many innovative ideas and projects. Their ideas range from making the fastest internet to spreading the internet through balloons and planes. Google tries to push companies to be more helpful to the consumers. One of the new projects that is striving toward this goal is called Project Fi. Project Fi is a network for phones to connect to in order to get better reception.

Project Fi combines two big networks, Sprint and T-Mobile. Project Fi’s network is now even bigger than Sprint or T-Mobile alone. ‘Wi-Fi Assistant’ is a built-in program in the sim card, which enables the phone to automatically, and securely, connect to open Wi-Fi networks. This happens seamlessly, and the connection is completely encrypted in order to prevent people from stealing passwords and other valuable information. Since the sim card allows phones to have two networks, the phone switches to the network with a stronger connection, which prevents dropped calls. The whole idea for this is to improve cellular connection at a reasonable price. The one downside is that a Nexus phone (Nexus 5, 6, or 6P) is needed in order to start using it; the sim card doesn’t work with other phones like iPhones or most android phones. Google said they’re trying to get more phones compatible, but hasn’t happened yet.

The plan for Project Fi  is unlimited talk and text for $20.  Data plans work in a different way. As it stands now, major network companies charge people ridiculous fees for overusing their data and if they don’t use up all the data they paid for, they don’t receive a credit to their account. But with Project Fi, the data plans aren’t set in stone. If a subscriber uses less data than he or she paid for, money gets returned for the unused data. If a subscriber goes over the data limit, then he or she only pays for the extra datea used. For example, if Kylar’s data limit is 2.0 GB and he uses 2.6 GB, then he would pay the 2.0 GB of data as well as the .6 GB of data. The plans start $10 per gigabyte of data. My recommendation, if you are planning to try out Project Fi, is to get the $20 plan for the talk and text, and add $10 for 1 GB of data.

These sim cards are easier to get in our area than Google Fiber. Project Fi is currently only accepting subscribers through invites. If you sign up on their website, then wait a week, and you’ll be able to get a sim card that has all of the capabilities of switching networks at a sensible price. The Project Fi app also breaks down your bill, so it is easier to understand. 

Torture is Actually Torture

This cartoon isn't wrong.

This cartoon isn’t wrong.

President Obama released a plan on February 23rd to close Guantanamo Bay which, although a promising gesture, doesn’t go nearly far enough to expiate the unethical treatment of its prisoners. From a fiscal point of view, his plan makes sense. We would initially spend up to $475 million to upgrade an existing prison and in exchange, we would save as much as $85 million annually. Unfortunately, Obama’s plan has generated much controversy among the Republican-dominated congress, and furthermore doesn’t end the practice which made Guantanamo so famous– waterboarding. In fact, according to Obama’s statements about his plan, he intends to use “all legal tools to deal with the remaining detainees”. These “legal tools” known broadly as “enhanced interrogation”, include: mild violence, cramped confinement for up to 18 hours, forced nudity, stress positions, and waterboarding, etc. 

Not only are these methods of enhanced interrogation blatantly inhumane and torturous, they are also sometimes used on those whose guilt is ambiguous. Most of what we know about enhanced interrogation has been gleaned from the 10% of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s CIA report on that has been released. It confirmed that at least 26 detainees were wrongfully held. In one particularly egregious instance, an intellectually challenged man was detained for use as leverage. While those myopic enough to support enhanced interrogation may attempt to dismiss the report as leftist, the committee that authored it was majority Republican. In fact, the majority party’s delegation included future 2016 presidential candidate Marco Rubio, amongst other prominent Republicans.

Startlingly, enhanced interrogation is actually an awful way of gathering intelligence. According to the CIA report, no actionable intelligence was gleaned from enhanced interrogation, in fact, it actually elicited many false confessions. HIG– or High Value Detainee Interrogation Group– is a government research program comprised of FBI, CIA, and Pentagon officials, which released a peer-reviewed study demonstrating that controlling interrogation strategies– such as torture– are ineffective at producing credible intelligence. In contrast, the same study found that “supportive” rapport-building techniques produce veritable intelligence at a superior rate. While proponents of enhanced interrogation may scramble to find morsels of useful information gleaned from torture, the argument is a non sequitur. Whether or not torture has ever produced actionable intelligence is irrelevant if other–more moral– methods produce equal or, in this case, superior results. In my research for this article, I could find no peer-reviewed study to promulgate the ubiquitous notion that torture is more effective than other means of interrogation and several to prove the opposite.

Despite the obvious immorality of enhanced interrogation, it is disgustingly ambiguous whether it is illegal in our country. Legally, torture is defined as “an act committed by a person… intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering”. Severe mental pain or suffering is constituted by a series of vague standards, which allow the government to dodge questions of legality behind the ambiguity of the law. In contrast to our own government’s moral cowardice, waterboarding is denounced as torture by reputed international bodies such as the Red Cross and the European Court of Human Rights.

In conclusion, Obama’s plan to close Guantanamo Bay has needlessly stirred partisan controversy in spite of its reluctance to permanently end state-sanctioned torture in our country. Instead, the proposal attempts to exculpate the government by removing it from the facility that has come to symbolize its sins. While it may be fiscally responsible, and relatively safe, to move detainees elsewhere, it doesn’t prevent the greater evil: torture. To reiterate, enhanced interrogation is torture, and torture is–at least based on the evidence available– extremely ineffective at producing actionable intelligence and inhumane in the extreme. It is fair to assume that torture might stop if detainees were sent to a U.S facility, but it is imperative that we explicitly prevent such revenge-driven, cruel, and ineffective practices from being continued in the future.

Deadpool Turns Worried Parents Against Divided Fanbase

Deadpool is the most risque of Marvel films yet.

Deadpool stars Ryan Reynolds and is getting attention for its violence and obscenity.

Deadpool, the long anticipated film starring Ryan Reynolds, was banned in China due to extreme violence and obscenity. For Fox, economically speaking, it would have been very expensive to cut scenes and remake the film in order to meet the demands of the Chinese market. 

Before its release, it was unknown how the rating of the film would affect the box office overall. What was known, however, was that Disney, who bought Marvel in 2009, was taking a huge gamble. But given that Deadpool is a character geared toward more mature readers, (it features mature themes like abuse, sex, and extreme violence and goriness) the rating has turned worried parents against their enthusiastic kids who want to see it. Many underage children have seen PG-13 movies, but not many are permitted to see rated- R movies, so it was unclear how the film would be received upon opening.

But, Deadpool grossed 152.2 million dollars over the four day opening holiday weekend and has a strong chance of being the highest grossing Marvel movie ever produced. Judging by the numbers, the rating did not negatively impact ticket sales and may have even been a benefit. 

 

Neomasculinity: “Roosh V”

roosh-v1

Many people have stated their opinions on their beliefs for the limits of women’s rights. One voice that speaks loud and clear is Daryush Valizadeh, an American blogger who posts controversial writing bashing modern- day women. He is also notoriously known as the leader of a group self-named as “Return of the Kings”. Roosh has many platforms on which he advertises his opinions such as a blogs, books, and in his public speeches.

Recently, there has been a large controversy over Roosh V because of his threatening tactics. One of his most outrageous articles was about the issue of rape. He proposed that “ rape [should be made] legal if done on private property. I propose that we make the violent taking of a woman not punishable by law when done off public grounds. In a later post he quickly retracted his statement by stating that his rape article was a “satirical experiment”.

But his views on women are as expected: misogynistic, scrupulous, and utterly offensive. He claims that fat women, women with short hair, women with tattoos/piercings, and women that talk too much are unattractive. Along with being sexist, Roosh V also has some colorful opinions on homosexuality and Western culture. He suggests that all heterosexual men leave America because “You will sleep with thinner women who don’t have attitude.”

On February 6th, Roosh V planned to have an international “meet-up day” across 43 countries. Though he is banned from many places such as Australia and Canada, his devoted followers were committed to continuing the pro-rape meet-ups. As of the posting of this article, all meet-ups have been cancelled with Roosh claiming he doesn’t want “crazy fat feminists” counter- protesting his group.

He is currently hiding out at his mom’s house.

dontRape

What is Gender Identity?

imageOn June 9th, 2015 Vanity Fair magazine will release an issue with the cover featuring Caitlyn Jenner with the words “Call Me Caitlyn” heading the magazine. The cover, which is already released on the internet, along with her sit-down interview with Diane Sawyer, has garnered a lot of controversy and publicity over the revelation of who Caitlyn Jenner really is. While Caitlyn Jenner is famous for winning a gold medal in the 1976 Olympic decathlon, the new topic she addresses today is extremely relevant as gender identity finds its way into the national and international conversation. So, what exactly is gender identity?

Gender identity is the internal sense and feeling of one’s gender. Transgender people’s gender identity does not match that of their sex, assigned at birth. For some people, gender is not apparent. Instead they are classified as “Genderqueer” or “Genderfluid.” In other words, they do not identify themselves as men or women, but rather as somewhere in between, or neither at all.
Trans people should not be treated any differently than any other person. Here are some basic common sense guidelines to follow when talking to a transgender or genderqueer person:

  1. Always use a transgender person’s chosen name.
  2. If possible, ask the person of with which gender they identify and what name they would like to be called. (This is not rude, it’s respectful to address them however they want to be addressed.)
  3. Always use their chosen pronoun. (ex. He/She/They)
  4. When referring to a transgender person’s past life before their transition, use their current gender identity and name, never using their past gender or name.
  5. Transgender people should be treated as any other person and should not be talked down to or given privileges not given to other cis-gendered persons. (In other words, don’t think of them as “transgender” think of them as how they would like you to, a man or a woman or neither, whichever they prefer to identify as is what you should identify them as.)

Always be respectful of people, regardless of their genders. Everyone should be treated with the same respect as you’d like to be given; seriously, it’s dumb to treat someone as if they’re less than you, just because they feel more comfortable identifying with a different gender.

New Eyes, Blue Eyes

imageWish you had blue eyes? If so, they will soon be available at Strōma Medical. No incision needed and no, they’re not contacts. Strōma Medical is still in its research phase but they have discovered multiple advances in the eye surgery field.

We all have blue eyes, those with brown eyes just have a layer of pigment on top. What this procedure does is skim that layer off to reveal your genuine eye color. It’s done with a low- energy laser and takes approximately twenty seconds per eye.

How is this different from other procedures? Two current types of surgeries, BrightOcular and NewColorIris, are procedures that make an incision in the cornea and then insert a colored disc.

Strōma Medical’s procedure permanent and even a skilled ophthalmologist shouldn’t be able to tell the difference. But they say you might end up with a ring around your new eyes. But that isn’t too much of a negative side effect since it is actually considered a very attractive feature as it outlines the blue color, making eyes stand out even more. On the Strōma page, it links its viewers to the famous photograph of Sharbat Gula as an example of this look.

As of this moment, patient’s can’t choose their own eye colors because the procedure only reveals the natural color of the eye. After the procedure, gradually eyes will darken for a week before lightening to a blue color, which can range from blue gray, blue violet etc.

The company is based in California, so as long as you’re over 18 (other physicians may have stricter age limits) and you have plane fare, you access your “true” eye color.