Month: December 2020

The Prom: Netflix’s Campy New Film

Giuliana Carmen, US News Department Co-Editor

Warning: the review below contains spoilers. 

Live from Netflix this December, The Prom emerged onto the queue of the top 10 programs in the U.S. shortly after its debut. Directed by esteemed producer Ryan Murphy, known for his campy long-running show Glee and the frightening American Horror Story, The Prom fell nothing short of a typical Netflix original. The show stars Hollywood royalty Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman alongside The Late Late Show host James Cordon. For a cast this universally admired, the film received alarmingly low ratings, with a mere 57% approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes and a 2.7 out of 5 star average on the film aficionado-dominated app Letterboxd.

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The Arecibo Telescope and The Legacy That Remains

Valene M., journalist

Guarded by three concrete towers, admired by the 900-ton observatory that hung so precariously over it, and equipped with shining aluminum panels to stretch its 1,000ft diameter, the Arecibo Telescope was a colossal structure, both in physical size and historical significance. For 57 years, this giant, which was the world’s largest radio telescope until recently, proved itself an invaluable center for radio astronomy as it mapped planets, guided spacecrafts, tracked asteroids, and searched for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence. This last August, its end began when one of 18 cables suspending its hovering observatory slipped and crashed into the panels at the edge of the dish. The damage then was not irreparable, but on November 6th, another cable snapped in half and gouged the center of the dish. With two cables out of commission, the platform above it was in danger of falling at any moment, making repair too dangerous to attempt. The National Science Foundation closed the dish permanently and prepared for its controlled demolition. Then on December 1st, the platform and the 900 tons of instruments that it held came crashing down, sealing the telescope’s fate.

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Enigmatic Monolith in Utah Desert Conjures Theories

Paige P., journalist

Shortly after its mysterious appearance, a twelve-foot-metal structure found in a remote area of the desert in Utah has already disappeared, just as quickly as it came. Members of the Utah Department of Public Safety were flying over the desert on November 18th in search of bighorn sheep. In addition to sheep, they came across a triangular, hollow monolith sticking out of the red rock. By the night of November 27th, the structure, composed of three sheets of stainless-steel, had already been removed by an individual or group of people just over a week after it was originally spotted. At the moment, there is no solid evidence pointing to who created the monolith, how it got there, how long it has been there, or how it disappeared.

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Trump Refuses To Concede Election

Owen H., journalist

Washington, DC – President Donald Trump is refusing to concede the 2020 presidential race to President-Elect Joe Biden. If he continues, he will be the first United States President to ever do so. 

Not that the Trump presidency has been like any other. He has broken many norms already, and has been the third President in the United States to be impeached. But if he refuses to concede the election, he will be the first United States President to do so. Before the 2016 election, Trump said that he would refuse to accept the results of the election if he lost. He has done the same this election too, claiming that there was going to be mass voter fraud and that fake ballots would be cast by mail. 

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Covid Vaccine

Ben K., journalist

A new vaccine for the virus sweeping the country, COVID-19, is in place and may be distributed through pharmacies and grocery stores alike. For many months now, COVID has been affecting everyone in some way, no matter who you are or what country you live in. According to the Associated Press, Moderna, an American biotechnology company, has released news that the tests have yielded very good news, despite the current state of the virus now, and how the future would look very grim without the vaccine. The vaccine has appeared to be 94.5% effective, which is a huge step in dealing with the virus and will be very effective if distributed soon. Many companies are in a race for the vaccine, but only a few have been very successful. While Americans brace heavily for the next possible wave of COVID coming to us all, there is a light at the end of a tunnel for us all.

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It’s Christmas Time In The City

Ava P., journalist

Bright colors light up a green tree against the dark sky that is now sprinkling down small snowflakes. Skates zip across clean ice, horns honk, people bustle by, and the cold crisp air fills your lungs as the city comes alive. This scene attracts thousands of people every year to New York City during the holiday season. With 125 million people visiting each year, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has become a staple for NYC and a “World-Wide symbol of Christmas,” according to the Rockefeller website. While people come from all over to enjoy the tree, many do not know the history of this annual tradition. It all started in December 1931 in the midst of the Great Depression. Workers at Rockefeller Center decided to pool what little money they had together to buy a Christmas tree in an effort to raise spirits. This tree was a 20-foot high balsam fir Christmas tree decorated with garland made by their families. Two years later, it was made an annual tradition and the first official lighting ceremony was held. Although, this was always the most famous public Christmas tree in NYC, it was not the first. In 1912, Madison Square Park put up the first official public Christmas tree as part of a social event to make a Christmas tree available to those who couldn’t afford one.

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The Year Without a Nutcracker: Reimagining Holiday Traditions in Unprecedented Times

Nastia G., Arts Department Co-Editor

TPG/Getty Images

The holiday season of 2020 is sure to be unique. With social distancing guidelines in place, many families are unable to gather for collective meals and take part in timeless traditions. Some have found creative ways to stay connected, even when apart. Thanksgiving went virtual on Zoom, where families were able to indulge in the scrumptious festivities from a safe distance. The video software even dropped its 40-minute time limit for unpaid subscribers in the spirit of the celebration. The holidays are meant to be a time of warmth and togetherness, and in a year like this, they are needed now more than ever, even if adjustments must be made. Indeed, 2020 will be the year to make brand new traditions as we all try to navigate this new world.

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When the Founding Fathers Fail Us

Giuliana Carmen, US News Co-Editor

The electoral college was founded in 1787, as the result of a compromise made because of the opposing beliefs of the delegates at the Constitutional Convention. Those who were for the implementation of the electoral college system feared that voters didn’t possess enough knowledge about each candidate to make a valid and educated decision and that they were not worthy of holding the power of directly deciding who would become president. In my view, this was the beginning of the corruption of democracy in the United States, as a system was created to limit the power of the people and their voices. The creation of this system begs the question: why were some delegates so desperate to suppress the opinions of voters in America?

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Important Updates on the Coronavirus Vaccine

Claire Douglas, journalist

COVID-19 was officially recognized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Mar. 11, 2020, and America is currently still battling for control as cases continue to rise. The month of November, however, has taken a turn for the better with newly released advancements regarding a Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. In collaboration with Operation Warp Speed (OWS), a Pfizer vaccine is expected to begin distribution by mid-December, assuming that their vaccine gains FDA approval, and OWS is expecting widespread vaccination in America to be completed by spring of 2021. 

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Book Review: “Sadie” By Courtney Summers

Adaora Olisa, journalist

Photo courtesy of Amazon

“Because I can’t take another dead girl.”

You can’t forget “Sadie”. Its premise can be laid out in one simple quote:

 “I’m going to kill a man. I’m going to steal the light from his eyes. I want to watch it go out.” 

After her younger sister is murdered, the titular character vows to seek revenge on whoever killed her. With a rented car, photograph, and blade, she drives down a dark path. Identified as a runaway, her caretaker makes a desperate phone call to popular radio host West McCray, in an effort to bring Sadie home. McCray travels to the small town of Cold Creek and picks up the clues she has left behind in a mess, which gives birth to the serialized podcast called The Girls. With every step he takes to find answers, more questions appear. In this confusing puzzle, will he be able to put the pieces together?

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