Really Old News-The French Revolution

By Teddy Walker

The French Revolution happened between 1787 and 1799. It’s often referred to as the Revolution of 1789 to distinguish it from later revolutions in France. Over the course of the revolution, the French feudal system was destroyed and Napoleon became the ruler of France.

The revolution, like all great political change, had many driving factors. Among them included the rising price of bread, high taxes, national debt, and poor harvest. Much of France’s problems with money were due to their support of the American revolution. The support of the United States left France on the verge of bankruptcy and caused the Monarchy to increase taxes on the nation. This largely affected those who were not of noble birth, of which there was a massively increasing number.

Between 1715 and 1800, the european population had doubled in number. This, combined with a growing commoner merchant class and better education and living conditions, caused a significant degree of political unrest as the lower classes sought to remove the last vestiges of the feudal system from their lives. While this problem was prevalent throughout Europe, it was much more of an issue in France as it had the largest population of any european nation and a crippled economy.

In 1789, the period known as the Great Fear began. On July 14, Parisian rioters took the Bastille (a large fortress in Paris) to secure weapons in an effort to prevent an aristocratic conspiracy. In the days that followed, the estates of the wealthy were attacked and many feudal documents proving nobility and the like were destroyed.

In 1792, France declared war on Austria. The monarchy hoped that the war would either enforce the power of the crown or allow another nation’s army to save the king from his own people. A few months latter, the kingdom of Prussia joined with Austria against France and battles largely resulted in french defeat for the rest of the year.

In early 1793, the french king was put on trial before the national convention ( a proto-senate/parliament of sorts) and sentenced to death for treason. Latter in the year, the reign of terror began. The reign started on 19 Fructidor, year 1 and ended on 9 Thermidor, year 2. If you don’t know when that is it’s because revolutionary France decided to use a stupid calendar that didn’t work very well because time doesn’t fit into a metric system. From mid 1793 to mid 1794, about 300,000 people were arrested by revolutionaries. About 17,000 were tried and executed while many more were killed without trial or died in prison.

Following a victory over Austria and the reoccupation of Belgium, the reign of terror was ended. This led to another, albeit smaller, wave of unrest across France. During this time, royalist revolutionaries attempted the “white terror” and tried to seize control of Paris. They were crushed by the armies of Napoleon and were unsuccessful in reinstalling the monarchs.

Sources:

https://history.state.gov/milestones/1784-1800/french-rev

https://www.britannica.com/event/French-Revolution

http://www.history.com/topics/french-revolution

Stardew Valley and How I Discovered I’d Be Okay With Being A Farmer

By Lola Burris

Stardew Valley teaches you that each day is precious.

Stardew Valley is a game about moving to live on your grandfather’s farm, which he left to you when he passed, in a small town named Stardew Valley. Our protagonist is fed up with working for big corporation,Joja Mart, and decides it’s time to stop slaving away in a cubicle and actually breathe.

A lot of people compare this game to Harvest moon, and that makes sense; I think that was the developer, Concerned Ape’s, intent. But, I grew up playing Harvest Moon, those games are very dear to me, and I’m not afraid to say that Stardew Valley improves upon Harvest Moon in every way possible and is ultimately better. Stardew Valley taught me more about connections than any other game I’ve played thus far.

In Stardew Valley you fall into a rhythm while playing: wake up, check the weather, water your plants, pet your chickens, say hello to pierre in his store, give a gift to that pretty girl, go down a few more levels in the mine than you did yesterday, and go to bed. You do this every day, but somehow it never grows boring because you’re always progressing. Each relationship grows simply by saying hello, every time you harvest your crops you have more money to buy more seeds than you did last time, over time you’ll sell enough eggs to buy another chicken coop, or maybe a barn.

There is so much to do in this game: if you’re happy with how your farm looks (which you never are but whatever) you need to fill out the museum, if you’ve filled out the museum than maybe you want to finish every romance route (there are lots). I could speak for hours about every character in this game, but they’re so special that I just want to leave it to you to play. Basically I’ve put an embarrassing amount of time into this game.

Stardew Valley was my favorite game of 2016, by a large margin. This game is so so special to me, and I think it’s going to be a game that stays with me for a long time.

Triplets of Belleville

By Noah Beaver

What do you think of when someone says ‘animation’? Perhaps you’ll imagine the cartoonish, yet realistic characters in Pixar. Or maybe the goofy and fluid Princesses and animal sidekicks of Disney. If you don’t get invited to a lot of parties, you’ll likely think of the giant eyed, small skirted, badly dubbed girls and boys of Japanese cartoons. But there’s one country that differs far from America and Japan, the only one that’s still trying to keep the fluid 2d animation alive even today. This is one of the best movies from that country with some of the best animators, France’s Triplets of Belleville.

Though the plot is simple, it’s unpredictable, stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A grandma buys her son a bike. Years later, he becomes a professional bike racer. He then becomes kidnaped by the French mafia, who ship him over to New York, New York (which looks more like Montreal with horrifically morbidly obese people), so that they can make him race against other bikers against his will for gambling. His grandma and her dog follow the kidnappers to America, where they find the grandmas favorite (and old) musical stars, the Triplets of Belleville.

To summarize this movies art style seems impossible, the closest I can compare it to is vintage cartoons such Felix the Cat and Betty Boop, suggested by the fluidity of the animation and the intro of the movie that pays homage to those tunes, as well as the fact that the technology used in the film suggests that it takes place sometimes in the 30’s, when those cartoons were popular.

The music isn’t epic, nor is it simple. It’s classical, paying homage to French Music, the main attractions are the scenes where the characters play tunes using household objects, a genre called Found Music.

The visuals are unlike anything else, one can’t help but laugh, because even the most minor characters have been drawn with the most amazing proportions, so much that they’ll always remain in your mind. Take this snooty French waiter for example:

His eyes are always closed, his head is always closer to his butt then his chest (really, his upper torso should have broken off long ago), and he only has 2 minutes of screen time. And that’s part of the beauty of the film, every single character leaves an impression, no matter how insignificant. That makes this movie eerie, not weird, though the visuals are unlike anything I’ve ever seen, the plot is easy to understand even without dialogue, calling it weird would be an evasion.

If you like animation, watch it. If you think animation is only for kids, watch it. If you think originality is dead, watch it. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll also wish more people would make films like this.

Thank You for Smoking

By Noah Beaver

What if I told you that there was a movie that made giant corporations look appealing, lobbyists promoting good health like scum bags, and that smoking is cool as hell? That movie is Thank You for Smoking.

Our protagonist is Nick Naylor, played by Aaron Eckhart. He’s a spokesperson for the world’s biggest cigarette company. His job is to convince as many people as possible that smoking is good for you.

His antagonist is a senator from Vermont, played by William H Macy. He’s trying to prove what should be obvious: that smoking kills. His overall goal is to make it

mandatory for cigarette companies to put image labels that warn about the effects of Tobacco.

With this description alone, you’d probably think of Nick Naylor as the bad guy, just like in an after school special. However, that’s not the case. Nick’s job is to convince the masses of the pros of smoking. And the thing is, he’s great at it. He convinces by having actual valid points, such as the fact that cholesterol is a much bigger killer than cigarettes, if cigarettes should have a giant warning label, shouldn’t also Vermont cheese?

His rival is trying to put a giant label with a skull on crossbones on all cigarette boxes, so that everyone will know of the dangers of smoking. But the fact is, everyone knows about the dangers of smoking. Schools and parents both already warn of the dangers of smoking, as they should. So why should a cigarette box do the same? Nick believes that with the knowledge present, people have the right to choose for themselves.

You may still believe that this movie isn’t worth watching, because you still don’t believe in it’s message. You probably have family members who have lost their lives to smoking. So, have I, and I don’t believe that smoking is good for you at all, or that cigarettes companies should have the freedom to sell to everybody. And neither does this movie.

A story almost always gives you a clear good guy and a clear bad guy. Or maybe it will give you a redeemable bad guy, or even no bad guys at all. Part of the genius of this movie is, neither are obvious. The smoking company is corrupt for trying to make as much money as possible, selling the deadliest substance in the world. But the lobbyists against it are just as corrupt, they use the same advertising tactics cigarette companies use to influence the public, censor media from having any of the characters smoking (even as far as to censor old ones by replacing the characters smoking with having a lollipop or candy cane in the mouth), and profit from raising the tax dollars of cigarettes.

If you’re a fan of comedies/satire, watch this movie. If you want a reason to smoke, watch this movie. If you believe that all smoking should be banned, and that you’re 100% sure that this film would do nothing but offend you, watch it. Because the only thing offensive about this movie, is the message, and the only possible danger you could get from it is finding out that your beliefs are wrong.

PS Also this film is rated R. That’s only because it uses “the f-word” too many times, it doesn’t use any swear words stronger than that, nor does it include any naughty body parts.

Kinds of Monotony that aren’t Monotonous

By Eden Pearl

Something of an introduction to a rant/self help book in the form of a blog post, written by a teenager to evoke the feelings of companionship & understanding/An Attempt to replicate a blogger

Mornings are never the same. I’ve often wanted desperately that bleeding, beautifully scheduled monotony, but it was never destined for me. Boredom is the least of my problems. Boredom is a lovely feeling, as when I experience boredom I know that there are no hidden worries under the doorstep. When I’m bored, I’m not scared (I can think of three times I’ve felt genuine fear, There are few feelings as safe as boredom). Happy is wonderfully painted but it’s destined to end. I’m not nihilistic; I think everything matters. For those that are lucky enough to have monotony; I am pleased for you. You’ve accomplished what I’ve always pleaded with myself to achieve. However, if your boredom is crushing, crushing your feet and back of your neck, I’m afraid that’s not quite boredom anymore. We may have a bigger problem than I have a solution for. And why shouldn’t you bite off more than you can chew? If you feel good enough where you want to take that risk, and it’s not something bubbling up from your throat simmering in the back of every moment you know, then be wary. If you’re looking for something to make you happy, I don’t have an answer for you. Nothing can make you happy. But, see, again, there are people who seem to have found relief in their god or gods or goddesses which can be a way to start progress towards happiness. But it isn’t the god that makes you happy, it’s the stories and teachings that teach you to take care of yourself. When people finally get happy, they thank god, which is perfectly alright, no problem. All to them. When people start taking care of themselves, their life changes. Now, I do not mean this with the intent of “go take a bubble bath and get over it”. We all know that’s bull. If you want to feel okay enough to spend your free time, to use your free time well enough to learn guitar, there is a different way to go about it. Most people want to do things. It’s hard to do things. What I realized, (actually just now, maybe this will be edited out later) is that no matter how much you want to pack your schedule, fill your day with tennis and language and school and music, you can’t do it all at one. There’s a reason New Year’s resolutions or fad diet plans don’t go out the way you want them too. Because no matter how much planning you do, your plan for yourself will always be out of reach. If you are someone who takes tennis and ballet and swims competitively while simultaneously competing with the top minds in the nation, you’re either someone being forced to do these things or you have your life together. Polar opposites. If you’re really being controlled, you’re not happy. You can be happy, but most of your days have some sort of cloud over them, whether it be the raining or snowing or hailing type. If you don’t really relate to any of these things, that’s absolutely fine! People like different things; you’re not expected to like everything. But maybe this is not for people who are looking for a quick answer on how to feel good this second. I suppose this is written for those mentally ill, depressed, anxiety-ridden, or people with problems that won’t go away. I’m not here to tell you how to live your life, but I kind of am, however, most importantly, you don’t have to listen to me. Do with my thoughts what you will.

Signing off, a teenager constantly searching for answers

(I’ve written about nothing here)

You got pulled over, congratulations!

By Andy Murray

You got pulled over, congratulations!

You did something stupid and got noticed by the popo. The first question you should ask yourself is: Why did you get pulled over?

The answer should be something like this:

(A) I was speeding.

(B) I ran a red light.

(C) I have a warrant for armed robbery.

Once you know why it is happening, let it happen. Be sure to keep your hands on the steering wheel and answer all of the questions truthfully, don’t talk yourself into a ticket… that’s never good.

Talking yourself into a ticket is saying something like:

(A) I pay your salary.

(B) You have no cause to pull me over.

(C) See you in court bub.

Mean stuff like that.

so…

Next is the handing of the identification.

Your officer will ask for you drivers license and proof of insurance. A driver’s license is that little card with the photo you keep in your wallet. The insurance is usually in the glove box and lets your officer know that you don’t want to pay for anyone’s car when you hit it.

Next, they will check your insurance to the car’s vin (Vehicle Identification Number) located on that sticker on the windshield.

HOPE YOU HAVE IT UPDATED.

They will then go back to their car and run you through NCIC/TCIC (National Criminal Information Center/Texas Criminal Information Center), this will tell them if you are a criminal or not.

They will then either give you a citation (Equivalent of a Class C Misdemeanor [Fine up to $500]) or a Verbal Warning. The you can leave, just don’t be the person that burns their tires and speeds away, that will just get you pulled over again.

Drive safe! (you terrible driver)

Three Small Stories

By Jacob Gantenbein

Three Small Stories:

 

 

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The cocoons:

 

Green, Pink, Blue, and Yellow;

These are all of the colors they were proud to show off together in their little tree. They whispered to each other silently as they hung there for years… until something happened that none of them could predict. The wind blew through and they smashed into each other and some of them were even broken. Yet, no funerals could be held. The other cocoon sets were too far on the tree to hear what was happening. This tree was quite for the rest of it’s time hoping that would stop the wind, and it did. The cocoons, they hung there forever, beside their dead friends until the next gust of wind which never came, all thanks to the tree.

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The Discount Ark:

 

Need to save every species of animal that exists on your planet?

Maybe you are suffering from a large flood? Or perhaps the sky is falling? Or maybe fidget spinners were just discovered by anyone born after 2001? Buy a discount ark! Don’t bother with Noah’s, it’s far too big and expensive. Our design is simple and comfortable! It’s baseball bat shape gives everyone onboard the same sensation you had as a kid in little league when you got hit by a bat! It’s floats nicely and is shielded from all sides! THERE ARE NO EXITS

You can’t know how great it is until you give it a shot! YOU WON’T REGRET IT.

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Mixing Paint:

 

“Are we mixing paint?” Sarah said to the wall knowing he’d hear her. The wall began to warp as if it had been soaked in water for hundreds of years.
“Why though?” Sarah crossed her arms. The paint on the wall started to flake itself off.

“No! You shut up! I’ve had with this Jenn. I can’t be the only one in this relationship who tries! I can’t be the only one who has the paint Jenn!” Sarah turned away from the wall. The wall moved and brushed up against Sarah. “You’re selfish Jenn!” Sarah pushed the wall away.

“I can’t…” the wall was shaking and a crack began to stretch from one end of itself to another. It sounded like bones under a press; like dry macaroni under a shoe.
“Jenn…” Sarah moved closer. Sounds of flesh echoed through the crack in the middle of the wall like cooked macaroni still under a shoe. A thick liquid oozed from the crack like some kind of slime. Sarah’s eyes opened wide and her lips stretched to a smile just like the crack the wall.

“The paint!” She hugged the wall. “You’re the best girlfriend ever Jenn.”