Life lessons with Harry Potter

Life lessons with Harry Potter

Written by: Liberty Miller | Lifestyle Editor I, alongside many others, spent my childhood looking through the lenses of the main characters in the novels I read. Having pored over the “Harry Potter” series since third grade, I got to experience a large portion of my developmental years from the perspective of the Chosen One, Harry Potter.  “Harry Potter” is a distinct pop culture personality, who openly defies the government, fights prejudice and is fiercely loyal to his friends. J.K. Rowling also creates a wonderfully dimensional character profile for everyone in the book — rather than making the characters one-dimensionally morally sound or evil, she creates multifaceted characters that make mistakes, have moral gray areas, apologize and evolve as people.  “Harry Potter” makes a relatable variety of mistakes throughout the series, and while being an astute and stubborn personality, also admits when he’s wrong and works to make things right.  Coming from an unsavory background as the humble punching bag of the Dursley family, Harry Potter had the beginnings befitting of a supervillain. Facing daily roadblocks and abuse with no connections or friends, Harry became self-reliant and resentful of his life.  He eventually gained status as a wizard and escaped his life with the Dursleys to attend Hogwarts, a similar path to Voldemort’s. However, Harry chose to defend those less fortunate and befriend characters like Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, who were not the most popular or influential characters but were genuine friends.  He rejected the Sorting Hat’s offer to place him in Slytherin despite being offered power and influence. Throughout the series, he makes conscious decisions to defend...

Soft rock for the soul

Soft rock for the soul

Written by: Liberty Miller | Lifestyle Editor “Everlong” — Foo Fighters “Photograph” — Nickelback  “100 Year” — Five For Fighting “Where The Streets Have No Name” — U2 “Lovers in Japan – Osaka Sun Remix” — Coldplay “My Hero” — Foo Fighters  “Stop and Stare” — OneRepublic “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” — Train  “Use Somebody” — Kings of Leon “Viva La Vida” — Coldplay  “Bitter Sweet Symphony – Remastered” — The Verve  “Sweet Disposition” — The Temper Trap  “Wonderwall” — Oasis  “Yellow” — Coldplay  “For the First Time” — The Script  “She Will Be Loved” — Maroon 5  “With Or Without You” — U2 “Iris” — The Goo Goo Dolls  “Clocks” — Coldplay  “Wherever You Will Go” — The Calling  “You And Me” — Lifehouse Contact the author at...

Most anticipated reads of 2024

Most anticipated reads of 2024

Written by: Claire Phillips | Entertainment Editor If you’re a reader who’s looking for new books to add to an already-long reading list, here’s a few more to add that are being released throughout the year. “Dungeons and Drama” by Kristy Boyce — Musical lover Riley has aspirations to become a director on Broadway, and Nathan is a nerdy employee at Riley’s dad’s game store. When Riley is grounded and has to work at her dad’s store, she doesn’t realize it meant joining Nathan’s D&D game… or flirting with him. Look for this new release on Jan. 9. “The Color of a Lie” by Kim Johnson — In the 1950s, a Black family passes as white and moves to a “Whites Only” town. Caught between two worlds, teenager Calvin puts his family at risk as he uncovers the racist secrets of the suburbs. Look for this new release on June 11. “These Deadly Prophecies” by Andrea Tang — Tabatha Zeng, a sorcerer’s apprentice, finds herself caught up in the sorcerer’s death — that he predicted. In order to prove her innocence, she must solve her boss’s murder. Look for this new release on Jan. 30. “Tehrangeles” by Porochista Khakpour — The four daughters of wealthy reality-TV stars are on the verge of landing their own TV show — until they realize their deepest secrets are about to be revealed to the public before the cameras even roll. Look for this new release on June 11. “Just Another Epic Love Poem” by Parisa Akhbari — Mitra’s two best friends are Bea and the journal they share, containing an epic, never-ending...

Netflix policy change causes chaos

Netflix policy change causes chaos

Written by: Sierra Porter | Staff Writer Netflix is an American subscription streaming service that was created in 1997 by founders Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph. By 2007, they launched their streaming service to compete with Blockbuster which implemented several different family plans. Recently, Netflix has been cracking down on their single household and password sharing policies — making it an absolute nightmare for travelers, large families and especially college students. The cheapest plan is the standard plan with ads which allows for two devices to watch TV shows and movies for $6.99.  The standard plan is ad-free, full HD, allows for access among three devices and has the option to add an extra member– for an additional cost of 7.99 a month. The premium plan is also ad-free but offers ultra HD, is accessible on four devices and has the option to add two extra members for $7.99 each.  The new ability to add members at an extra cost has encouraged Netflix to crack down on password sharing outside of a single household. This means that if one attempts to log in to their Netflix account outside of the designated household, it will log out all other members; regardless of if it is still within the device limit. This policy seems to be a desperate money grab, as it forces members to either buy more expensive plans or pay additional costs.  Why is this a game-changer for so many? For many students, the full college experience includes living in the dorms, but that also means all funds usually go towards those expenses. Tremendous amounts of students report being...

A playlist to start 2024 off right

A playlist to start 2024 off right

Written by: Claire Phillips | Entertainment Editor “Darlin’ Do Not Fear” — Brett Dennen “Spice Up Your Life” — Spice Girls “Time to Pretend” — MGMT “Nothing You Can Take From Me (Boot Stompin’ Version)” — Rachel Zegler “You’re Losing Me (From The Vault)” — Taylor Swift “Now and Then” — The Beatles “America” — Simon & Garfunkel “I Love You Always Forever” — Donna Lewis “Letter To An Old Poet” — boygenius “New Perspective” — Noah Kahan “Dive” — Olivia Dean “Rubber Ring” — The Smiths “Ghost” — Arlo Parks “Midnight Moon” — The Paper Kites “Breaking Down” — Florence and the Machine “Wrapped Up In Books” — Belle and Sebastian “A Long Way Past The Past” — Fleet Foxes “First Light” — Hozier “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?” — She & Him “Strawberry” — Andrew Montana “the way things go” — beabadoobee “Traveller” — Chris Stapleton “So Nice So Smart” — Kimya Dawson Contact the author at...

The Golden Globes and its miserable host

The Golden Globes and its miserable host

Written by: Jaylin Hardin | Sports Editor The Golden Globes is an award ceremony held annually to recognize the achievements of actors, directors, composers and even the movies themselves. “Oppenheimer”, “Barbie” and “Killers of the Flower Moon” all walked away with awards this year. The awards rewarded are as follows: Best Drama — “Oppenheimer” Best Actress in a Drama —  Lily Gladstone in “Killers of the Flower Moon” Best Actor in a Drama — Cillian Murphy in “Oppenheimer” Best Director — Christopher Nolan in “Oppenheimer” Cinematic and Box Office Achievement —  “Barbie” Other winners include Studio Ghibli’s “The Boy and the Heron,” Billie Eilish’s original song “What Was I Made For?” from “Barbie” and director Yorgos Lanthimos’ comedy “Poor Things,” starring Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo. However, it is not the Golden Globe winners that have been generating a buzz on social media, nor is it Lily Gladstone’s acceptance speech, where she spoke in the Blackfeet language.  Nope, everyone is worked up about Jo Koy and his “jokes” about “Barbie” and Taylor Swift — whose “Eras Tour” movie was also nominated.  Koy’s monologue included the comparison of “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie.” “Oppenheimer is based on a 721-page Pulitzer Prize-winning book about the Manhattan Project, and Barbie is on a plastic doll with big boobies,” Koy said. Almost immediately following the slight, he went after Swift, joking that the difference between the Golden Globes and the NFL was that the Globes showed fewer shots of Taylor Swift. These “jokes” have taken precedence over the achievements of the directors and actors who worked tirelessly on these movies. Rather than celebrating the fact...

Mixed feelings on Timothee Chalamet’s new movie

Mixed feelings on Timothee Chalamet’s new movie

Written by: Claire Phillips | Entertainment Editor Content warning: this article contains spoilers Just in time for the holiday season, a sweet prequel, based on a beloved children’s novel by Roald Dahl, arrived in theaters in the United Kingdom Dec. 8 and the United States Dec. 15. French-American actor Timothée Chalamet stars as a younger version of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s” chocolatier, Willy Wonka. “So quiet up, and listen down. Nope, scratch that, reverse it,” as Wonka says. The movie features talented actors, such as Hugh Grant, Olivia Colman and Keegan-Michael Key. Timothée Chalamet has acquired a fan base of young women from his roles in movies such as “Call Me By Your Name,” “Lady Bird” and “Little Women.” Word of Chalamet playing a familiar favorite spread quickly. However, some movie-goers had mixed feelings about the new take on the classic.  “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ” has already seen two adaptations, starring Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp as Wonka. Additionally, the original book has a sequel, and some fans were wondering why a prequel made it to the screen before an adaptation of the sequel did. Lili Minato, a sophomore at Western, is a film fanatic and meticulously selects her movies. She proposed a thoughtful question in regards to the new addition to the “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” universe — “I think (prequels) can be done well… but if you want to make a prequel, is it needed?” Perhaps the initial audience reaction to “Wonka” was due to its misleading advertising. “I thought it was weird that they didn’t (advertise) Wonka as a musical. People went...

“Down the Drain:” a biography of Julia Fox

“Down the Drain:” a biography of Julia Fox

Written by: Ruth Simonsen | Digital Media Manager Content warning: this article contains spoilers Julia Fox, once known as Kanye West’s rebound girlfriend, is best known for donning head-to-toe black latex outfits and hand-drawn eyeliner. In the media’s eyes, she was no more than arm candy to the controversial rapper.  Since their split in 2022, however, her fame continued to skyrocket and she saw her following grow. Now, she proudly calls herself a female sex symbol, with her bleached eyebrows and lilting voice.  Once Fox released her recent biography, “Down the Drain,” the world was surprised she was not always this famous. Julia Fox spent much of her early years in the small town of Saronno in Italy. After moving to New York City to live with her father, her life quickly began to grow rockier by the day. Between her father’s verbal and physical abuse and her mother’s spontaneous wrath, Julia spent most of her childhood couch-surfing and searching for solace in any place that promised even the slightest bit of happiness.  This mindset frequently landed her in unsafe situations — including a relationship with a controlling drug dealer who stalked and threatened her. However, through her ex boyfriend, she was first introduced to narcotics, many of which would haunt her for the rest of her life.  The rest of her teen years were spent traveling between Italy and New York City — working as a dominatrix — then settling down as a sugar baby for an extremely wealthy client. Through this resource, she gained her footing by creating a clothing brand leading to a life of extravagance...

The Hunger Games renaissance

The Hunger Games renaissance

Written by: Jaylin Hardin | Sports Editor Content warning: this article contains spoilers “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins was easily one of the most formative young-adult trilogies for teenage girls in the early 2010s — alongside Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight.” The three-book, four-movie franchise was highly grossing all over the world, with the first four films grossing a whopping $2.9 billion on their own at the box office.  However, it’s Collins’ newest novel-to-movie adaptation that is bringing “The Hunger Games” into a renaissance of popularity, fan edits and cosplays.  “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” novel, released in May of 2020, follows a young President Snow when he and Lucy Gray Baird, the victor of the tenth annual Hunger Games, traverse through the games and the events that are caused in the aftermath. Young Snow and his fellow classmates at the Capitol’s top academy are tasked with creating spectacles of the tributes they are assigned to. Snow and his tribute, Lucy Gray Baird, slowly fall in love over the course of the novel, but this romance ultimately ends in tragedy, with Snow spiraling into the cold-hearted red flag the audience knows him as when Katniss Everdeen comes into play.  The movie follows the book almost perfectly, with some omissions, but the movie’s release has released a shockwave of fan media. In 2014 a compilation of Josh Hutcherson, the actor who played Peeta Mellark, photos to the song “Whistle” by Flo Rida was posted to YouTube by user MetroGirlzStation. This video has had a resurgence in popularity, especially on TikTok, and becoming a modern Rick Roll of sorts.  Other fans...

The comeback of Percy Jackson and the Olympians

The comeback of Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Written by: Claire Phillips | Entertainment Editor History was made on June 28, 2005, when Rick Riordan first published “The Lightning Thief.” In the last year, the author of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” has released two new books belonging to the original beloved book series. Over the last 18 years, the series has grown to be 17 books long in addition to two trilogies that take place in the same universe. To date, the “Percy Jackson” series has been adapted into two movies and a television series that is scheduled to air on Disney+ on Dec. 20. The series stars actors Walker Scobell as Jackson, Leah Sava Jeffries as Annabeth Chase and Aryan Simhadri as Grover Underwood. Trailers for the show depict the trio embarking on epic adventures, accurately mirroring the first book in the series. Fans have ultimately been more receptive to the casting of the show than the original two movies, though the characters don’t exactly match their book descriptions. Lovers of the book series were disappointed by previous adaptations of the book series to see plot points erased and the characters inappropriately cast in the movies.  As Riordan continued to expand his universe, he added more diversity to his book by including POC, LGBTQ+ and disabled characters. “Percy Jackson” fans are excited to see this diversity has carried over into the series as well. Since the original “Percy Jackson” pentalogy was released in the 2000s, Rick Riordan has continued to write bestselling novels. “The Heroes of Olympus” continued the “Percy Jackson” story with a new cast of characters in the 2010s, and “The Trials of...