Mount Hood

Easy workouts for the gym or at home

Written by: Jaylin Hardin | Sports Editor

Unsure of where to start at the gym? Looking for a new workout routine? Then look no further. The exercises below can be done by anyone of any fitness level at home or the gym. Organized by which part of the body it works, one is sure to find a new exercise to include in a gym routine.

Legs: exercises that isolate quads, glutes and hamstrings

Bulgarian Split Squats — This isolates the quadricep muscle group. Begin by standing a few feet in front of a bench or raised platform, or if one is at home consider using a couch or chair. Rest one foot behind on the raised surface, with the top of the foot facing down. Lower the body into a lunge, keeping the torso upright, until the front thigh is almost parallel to the ground, ensuring the knee doesn’t go past the toes. Push through the front heel to return to the starting position, and repeat for the desired number of repetitions, then switch legs. If at the gym, try holding dumbbells in both hands.

Hamstring Hip Bridges — Lie on the back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift hips off the ground until the body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Hold this position briefly, then lower the hips back to the ground. Continue for the desired number of repetitions. At the gym, try doing this exercise with a medicine ball or weight plate resting on the lower abdomen. For added resistance at home, try adding a band just above the knees to provide tension. 

Pistol Squat — This works the glutes and quadriceps. Stand on one leg with the other leg extended in front. Lower the body down by bending the standing leg, keeping the extended leg straight in front as you lower. Lower until the thigh is parallel to the ground and push back up to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, then switch legs. If at the gym, hold a dumbbell in the hand opposite from the extended leg. 

Arms: exercises that isolate triceps, biceps and shoulders

Bicep Curls — This exercise requires equipment. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand or an EZ curl — wavy — barbell, arms straight down by the sides of the body. Keeping upper arms still, bend the elbows to lift the dumbbells or barbell towards the shoulders. Squeeze the biceps at the top of the movement, and slowly lower the dumbbells or bar back to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions. If one doesn’t have equipment, try using soup cans or milk cartons. 

Pike Push-Ups — Start in a push-up position with hips raised high, this position is the same as the downward dog yoga pose. Lower the body towards the ground by bending the arms at the elbows. Push back up to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions. This exercise targets the shoulders, chest and triceps.

Tricep Dips — Sit on the edge of a bench or chair with hands gripping the edge, before sliding off the bench, supporting the weight with arms. Lower the body by bending the elbows until the upper arms are parallel to the ground. Push back up to the starting position, straightening the arms. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Core: exercises that isolate the abdominal muscles

Flare-ups — Lie on the back with legs straight and arms extended overhead. Lift legs and upper body off the ground simultaneously, forming a “V” shape with the body, reaching hands towards the toes. Lower legs and upper body back to the starting position, repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Crunchy Frogs — Sit on the floor with legs bent and feet off the ground, arms extended straight in front. At the same time, extend the legs out wide and bring arms back.

Bring legs and arms back to the starting position, hugging knees to chest.

Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Russian Twists — Sit on the floor with knees bent, heels touching the ground and torso leaning back slightly. Lift feet off the ground, balancing on the tailbone, and hold hands together in front of the chest. Twist the torso to one side, bringing hands towards the floor beside the hip before returning to the center and twisting to the other side. Continue alternating sides for the desired number of repetitions. When performing this exercise at the gym, hold a medicine ball or dumbbell when twisting.

These exercises can be performed by anyone of any level of physical fitness and modified if they are too simple or too difficult. Whether one is a beginner or well-versed in the gym world, these exercises are sure to be a hit when it comes to building muscle strength. 

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How to love one’s body

Written by: Libby Thoma | Staff Writer

Content warning: this article contains mentions of eating disorders and body image. 

Loving one’s body for what it is and realizing one’s worth extends past weight and bodily features is important. Hating or disliking one’s body can be upsetting, unhealthy and can even be dangerous by leading to other disorders. Here are some ideas on how to feel better about oneself:

The body is a vessel — A person’s body is a vessel that carries around a soul, in a religious or spiritual sense. In a scientific sense, one’s body is a vessel that carries one’s brain. Both convey relatively the same idea — the body is not what is important, but the soul, the person behind the body, the personality and kindness are what is important. The body is a vessel to carry around the true inner self. Deeply focusing on the body or disliking it is not worth it in this sense. 

The body is an instrument, not an ornament — One’s body does so much for a person, with millions of little living things and mechanisms working together to ensure health and well-being. This is important to realize, one’s body is much greater than just something to look at or a tool to appeal to other people. One’s body is something to fuel and take care of so one can achieve the best health. Everybody is different and everybody needs to be taken care of differently. This difference also means that beauty is subjective and everybody is beautiful, despite society  making us think otherwise.

Recognize Photoshop — Since the birth of social media, body negativity has skyrocketed, and many are riddled with comparisons and the feeling of a lesser body. It is important to realize that many of these bodies seen on social media are not real. Recognizing Photoshop, and even plastic surgery, is important for recognizing that most people don’t look like that.

Ignoring critics — Brushing off body critics is important. However, this is not easy as skinny privilege is rampant and many of those who aren’t skinny feel the effects. Some are told constantly, and sometimes for years, that their weight is some kind of a problem. This is important to let go of and recognize that the people spouting this hate are insecure themselves and don’t realize the importance of a kind soul. Everyone is beautiful differently, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so recognizing that critics don’t understand one’s beauty is vital and sometimes life-changing. 

Of course, it is best to be healthy. However, this doesn’t mean skinny, muscular or being in a specific “BMI” range. This means ensuring one feels their best and can do everyday activities, nothing more, but health does not equal worth. 

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Careers for art majors

Written by: Lili Minato | Freelancer

Art & Design is a challenging major to attempt: the workload is difficult and time-consuming, and many believe that an art-related job after college is unachievable. In reality, there are a plethora of possible careers for those interested in pursuing art. All mediums are welcome in this short list of rewarding and feasible jobs for artists. 

Art teacher — Starting with the obvious, an art teacher is a great profession for those interested in spreading the love of art through teaching. This job is extremely versatile considering one could teach children, teens or adults. It presents a great opportunity to instruct up-and-coming artists, while still having time to create one’s own art. For those also interested in psychology, an art therapist could be a great choice for a future career. 

Brand design — Also known as corporate identity, this occupation involves designing logos and visuals for brands. This would be a great career for those interested in graphic design or illustration. Brand design consists of developing designs and visuals that coincide with a brand’s identity and function. Applications may include the following: logo design, package design, advertising, merchandise and much more. Those who are also interested in business and psychology may find this career extra intriguing. 

Web design — Web design covers a wide range of jobs and careers relating to both art and science. For those interested in graphic design, one could consider being a web graphic designer. Web graphic designers create the visual look of websites, such as color schemes, fonts, logos and more. For those interested in computer science, a job in information architecture could be more interesting. Information architecture creates the structure of websites and pages to keep information clear and readable. For those who love video games and character design, a game designer could also be a good career choice. Video game design could include the creation of concept art, original characters or scenery. Most of the visuals seen in video games needed an artist to create them. 

Commissioned artist — While also an obvious option, there is a wide range of artwork an artist can be commissioned for. One could do pet portraits or environmental artwork. All art that one makes is valid, and there will always be an audience out there to buy art pieces. Whether it be a million-dollar oil painting or a fifteen-dollar art print, commissioned artwork may not be how some single-handedly make a living, but it can never harm an artist to put one’s pieces on sale. 

Misc. illustrator — There are a multitude of options for those interested in illustration. One could be a courtroom, medical or botanical illustrator. One could sketch out storyboards for movies, TV shows or ads. One could make greeting cards or book covers. If one is good at picturing facial features, a job as a police sketch artist could be a possible career. There is a wide range for those who enjoy illustrating, there is always something for everyone. 

There are various other job options that weren’t listed above. If one is interested in an artistic field but is unsure of what the future may hold, many careers support artistic pursuits. The Center for Professional Pathways, located in the Werner University Center, is a great option for those looking to discover such a career. 

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This week in completely made up horoscopes

The signs if they were bugs:

Aries: a large wet Western worm

Taurus: dragonfly

Gemini: firefly in a jar

Cancer: Semi-aggressive mantis staring into your soul, test me… 

Leo: C–ty little moth

Virgo: Honey bee

Libra: Pink sticky note with eight googly eyes on it

Scorpio: Atlas Moth due to their 13” wingspan, duh

Sagittarius: Homosexual Cicada

Capricorn: That one worm in Brazil that crawls up urethras

Aquarius: WOU’s trash squirells 

Pisces: Morpho butterfly like the dude from The Matrix  

Vampire craze: from “Dracula” to “Twilight”

Written by: Claire Phillips | Entertainment Editor

If any of the names Count Dracula, Lestat de Lioncourt or Edward Cullen ring a bell, the popular vampire media culture has been doing its job. Whether “Dracula” was required reading in high school, or you ran to the first screening of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1,” vampires have a knack for finding their way into the lives and hearts of many.

Vampires, of course, found their humble beginnings in mythology. In European folklore, dark and shrouded vampires visited loved ones and caused mischief in their villages, a stark difference from the pale, cold-blooded creatures society knows today.

The word “vampire” originated in folklore in Southeastern and Eastern Europe. Demons and spirits were precursors to vampires in Mesopotamian, Hebrew and Greek cultures. Many other cultures have their own variations of vampires.

Drawing from Transylvanian folklore, Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” has been a popular gothic classic since its release in the late 1800s. The novel has no single narrator, and the majority of it is told in letters and journal entries. Many may know this book from high school English, and while the memories may not be so fond, it is not a forgettable story.

If a book or even a movie adaptation of the classic doesn’t sound appealing, there are even more ways to enjoy the vampire tale. “Dracula Daily,” a free subscription newsletter, sends Jonathan Harker’s journal entries one day at a time so readers can experience the story with him.

In 1976, a novel titled “Interview With the Vampire” was published. Twelve books later, Anne Rice made a name for herself in the vampire world. The first book received a movie adaptation in 1994 by the same name, starring Tom Cruise as Lestat de Lioncourt, Brad Pitt as Louis de Pointe du Lac and a young Kirsten Dunst as Claudia. In 2022, a television series aired on AMC based on the original “Interview With the Vampire” book. 

Set between San Francisco, New Orleans and Paris, “Interview With the Vampire” has a romantic yet gory take on vampire folklore. The interweaving of characters and settings set a precedent for future vampire stories. Anne Rice, herself, was an executive producer of the television show but sadly passed before it aired. However, she assured everything went according to her vision. 

Pacific Northwesterners are well aware of the “Twilight” franchise. Whether people were “Twilight” crazy, or “Twilight” haters, everyone knew about this popular franchise in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Written by Stephanie Meyer and directed by Catherine Hardwicke, this vampire love story has not fallen out of the limelight.

Rosario Peralta Cortez, the English writing specialist for Spanish speakers at Western’s Writing Center, brought “Twilight” culture to Western’s campus when she was a student. “In my dorm in Landers, I had two massive Twilight posters that my friend who worked at the movie theater had gifted me,” Peralta Cortez said.

Peralta Cortez is still spreading her love for vampire culture at the Writing Center — all you have to do is ask.

The original “Twilight” movie, an adaptation of the first novel, was supposed to be an independent film, but garnered $408.4 million at the box office and set a foundation for a successful five-movie saga. Bella Swan and Edward Cullen charmed the entire world both then, and now, and vampire enthusiasts enjoy sharing the story with others.

“It’s nice to still be able to return to the same story so many years later and find new joy from it,” said Peralta Cortez. “I also got my mom hooked on the books in Spanish, which was fun to experience. I learned the word for Twilight from the books, crepúsculo, which sounds so much cooler than Twilight.” Vampire stories suck you in, no matter the language. Don’t forget to make a trip up to Forks, Washington.

“What We Do in the Shadows” references all the vampire stories above, left and right. Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement know how to appeal to an audience, especially those who are already familiar with these stories. Both the original 2014 movie and ongoing television series are filmed in a mockumentary style — almost like a horror “Modern Family,” if you will. Even the “cameramen” get involved in some vampire fun.

The movie and series follow two sets of vampire roommates, respectively, and their chaotic adventures. There are wholesome moments, sad moments and some straight-up weird and gory moments. It may not be for everyone, but it sure is hilarious. 

Some may say choosing to consume any form of vampire media is silly or immature. Many think it might be beneath them. However, there is a lot to learn from all of these stories. Rosario Peralta Cortez said it best: “Old stories can be given new light, and vampires can be enjoyed with whatever level of seriousness you choose to give them.”

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Written by: Hannah Field | News Editor

Taylor Swift’s newest album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” was finally released April 19. During the announcement speech at the Grammy Awards show Feb. 4, Swift held up two fingers in a peace sign — alluding to her double album drop — when announcing her eleventh studio album. Fast forward to meeting Swift at midnight, fans listening to the 16 tracks of “The Tortured Poets Department” were surprised at 2 a.m. when Swift dropped an extra 15 songs.

The production of the album rested in the hands of Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff of the band Bleachers, longtime friends and collaborators of Swift who heavily utilized synths, keyboard tunes and distortion techniques. Track one, “Fortnight,” is sung alongside Austin Post, also known as Post Malone, while Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine is featured on track eight, “Florida!!!”

The album itself appears to be the lovechild of Swift’s last original album release “Midnights” and the pandemic-created sister albums “Folklore” and “Evermore.” While officially being a pop genre album, much of the album is backed by a soft piano and utilizes strong lyricism as Swift sings about various tragic topics, such as heartbreak, abandonment and the nuance of fame.

The 31 songs have topped the charts, being the first album on Spotify to reach one billion streams within a week as well as being the platform’s most-streamed album within one day at 300 million. Despite breaking records, the album has been surveyed heavily in the media — with many fans turned anti-Swiftie and strangers criticizing what they consider to be odd lines, off-beat tunes and a lack of true poeticism, rather antithetical to the tortured poet of “The Tortured Poets Department.”

However, most critically condemned is Swift’s apparent past relationship with The 1975 frontman Matty Healy, with multiple songs dedicated to their previous interloping. Although nobody knows definitively which songs are about Healy, many fans presume at least “Fresh Out The Slammer,” “But Daddy I Love Him” and “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived” to be in regards to Healy — with the latter being a direct descriptor of Healy’s behavior during and after their time together.

“The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology,” the second installment of the album, contains the song “thanK you aIMee,” which, in all capital letters, spells out KIM — which fans presume to be about Kim Kardashian and their nearly decade-long feud.

Overall, the album explores the themes of unrest, misunderstanding, dying romance and Swift’s complex relationship with fame. Very few songs, if any, are considered joyful pop hits, and the most upbeat song of all, “I Can Do It With A Broken Heart,” is likely one of the most “miserable.” It’s an album for the tortured poets of the world reeling from personal loss in one way or another — and, according to the Swifties, more is coming May 3. Although, in typical Swift fashion, she’s likely got more tricks up her sleeve to keep the guesses coming and the songs streaming.


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Never left the 90’s

Written by: Sierra Porter | Staff Writer

“This Is How We Do It” — Montell Jordan 

“Ride Or Die” — JAY-Z

“Thuggish Ruggish Bone” — Bone Thugs-n-Harmony 

“The Choice Is Yours” — Black Sheep 

“Woo Hah!! Got You All In Check” — Busta Rhymes 

“Forgot About Dre” — Dr. Dre feat. Eminem 

“As The World Turns” — Eminem 

“It Was a Good Day” — Ice Cube

“Everyday Struggle” — The Notorious B.I.G

“C.R.E.A.M” — Wu-Tang Clan 

“Troublesome 96’” — 2pac

“Girls All Pause” — Kurupt feat. Nate Dogg & Roscoe 

“Who’s The Mack?” — Ice Cube

“The World Is Yours” — Nas

“Loungin (Who Do Ya Luv)” — LL COOL J

“Shook Ones, Pt II” — Mobb Deep 

“93’ Till Infinity” — Souls of Mischief 

“Mass Appeal” — Gang Starr 

“Regulate” — Warren G feat. Nate Dogg 

“I Got 5 On It” — Luniz feat. Michael Marshall 

“O.P.P” — Naughty By Nature

“O.G Original Gangster” — Ice T

“You Got Me” — The Roots feat. Erykah Badu & Tariq Trotter 

“Tonite” — DJ Quik 

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