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SGI INSIDER SPRINGVILLE-GRIFFITH INSTITUTE

SPRINGVILLE HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM CLASS

THIS ISSUE INCLUDES

Ancient Statues - Midterm Elections - Siberian Tigers - Boarder Caravan - Fried Movie Reviews and FIS Alpine Ski World Cup

Ancient Statues Discovered in Chan Chan, Peru

by Hannah Yetter

In September 2018, an ancient passageway full of creepy wooden statues has been discovered in Peru in the abandoned city of Chan Chan. According to the Ministry of Culture, the nineteen statues are at least 750 years old, and they are believed to be idols belonging to the pre-Columbian civilization. At a press conference a member from the Ministry Patricia Balbuena, unveiled the newly discovered statues. The nineteen wooden idols were covered in clay masks and were found by archaeologists, curators and engineers working at the site in the citadel passageway. The corridor, which stretches over 100 feet, leads to a ceremonial courtyard. Each of the wooden statues is around 27 inches tall and they appear to represent anthropomorphic characters, carrying a scepter in one hand and a circular object- potentially a shield- in the other. Two of the statues depict a man and a women, both naked, painted in white, black and red. A third statue had 28 fingers and red dots painted on her face, perhaps representing a priestess. Two other items were discovered, both made from mud and depicting women’s faces. They were wrapped in cloth and covered with yellow, blue and orange feathers.

Chan Chan, the largest city of the pre-Columbian era in South America is now an archeologist site for many scientists. Chan Chan is located in the mouth of the Moche Valley and was the capital of the historical empire of the Chimor from 900 to 1470, when they were defeated into the Inca Empire. Chan Chan is believed to have been constructed around 850 AD by the Chimu. After the Inca conquered the Chimu around 1470 AD, Chan Chan began to decline. The ruins of Chan Chan, which cover nearly 14 square miles ( 36 square km), are in fairly good condition because the area is usually rainless. The building material used was adobe brick, and the buildings were finished with mud frequently adorned with patterned relief arabesques. The centre of the city consists of several walled citadels, or quadrangles. Each of these contained pyramidal temples, cemeteries, gardens, reservoirs, and symmetrically arranged rooms. These quadrangles presumably were the living quarters, burial places, and storehouses of the aristocracy. Most of the city’s population consisted of artisans and farmers who lived outside the quadrangles in modest quarters of less durable construction.

These statues are an important discovery for its age and the quality of their decoration. Archaeologists believe that they are guardians from the middle stage of Chan Chan. Earlier this year, a mass child sacrifice was discovered less than a half a mile away from Chan Chan. The event is believed to have taken place about 550 years ago. More than 140 children and 200 young llamas were apparently ritually sacrificed. This discovery gave insight into some of the lesser-known ritual sacrifice practices used in pre- Columbian civilizations. Instances of human sacrifice have been widely documented in the era of Inca, Aztec, and Mayan civilizations, largely due to Spanish conquistadors conquering these peoples and documenting their traditions. But relatively little is known about human sacrifice before these times, making the Chan Chan discovery incredibly important. This latest discovery gives insight into another element of what pre - Columbian Peruvian civilization looked like. Hopefully, as the excavations continue, archeologists will be able to better paint a picture of what life looked like in the ancient lost city of Chan Chan.

“Midterm Elections and Donald Trump”

by Justin Paler

Most people can agree, whether Democrat or Republican, that Trump’s first two years as president have been hectic. From his promises of building a wall on the border of Mexico to his derogatory name calling of women, Trump has had a very unconventional two years in office. The question now is if and how Trump has affected the midterm elections this year, and whether it was positive or negative. Most of the results are in and unsurprisingly the Democrats made up some ground. For one, they took the House Of Representatives, but they couldn’t seize the senate. This basically means that if Trump doesn’t compromise with Democrats nothing will get done in the next two years of his term. If this does happen it will be nearly impossible for him to ever see his second term as our president.

The votes and decisions of the voters have a surprisingly large impact on showing what is likely to happen in the future as well. How people cast their votes and how they answered the questions upon leaving is very telling on how most people see the current government. The majority of women who voted did so Democratically, which is a huge problem for Trump. In the 2016 election the majority of women voted for Trump, and losing this majority is a big blow to him. The majority of men voted Republican, but it was too close to have a great impact either way. As for minorities, all voted Democratically, but they weren’t out in great enough numbers to really support the overall votes.

I think it’s fair to say that the Democrats won the midterms. In Texas, for example, Senator Beto O’ Rourke cam within two points of republican Ted Cruz. Texas has been a predominantly red state for the past thirty years, and having a Democrat come that close is very showing. Another three states switched from Republican to Democrat as well. Trump has had a direct and negative affect on his previous voters, and he now lacks the majority in the U.S. His Republican base is still strong but he has failed to meet the obligations of others in the U.S causing his overall approval to drop, and as a result his voters.

As for the Democrats, the midterms have shown more than a few paths on how to effectively go into the 2020 election. If they keep on pushing how they have been, and if Trump keeps up his antics re election won't happen. In all honesty, I don’t think it’s possible for Trump to serve his next term. He has alienated a lot of women, who were his backbone in 2016, and has lost the majority in voting terms. It’s going to be hard for him to get back his female base, but he does have the next two years to pick up some ground. His only support comes from older people who are die hard Republican. If younger voters would be more present at the elections, Trump would have no chance of reelection. The majority of younger voters were Democrat, but they were only about ten percent of the population who did vote. For the most part Trump had a pretty detrimental impact on his 2016 voters, but he still has time to regain followers if he manages to cooperate with the Democratic party in the house, which is unlikely at best.

Endangered Species: Siberian Tiger

Caitlin Kelley

The Siberian Tiger, also commonly known as the Amur Tiger, is considered a critically endangered species. Amur- Tigers live primarily in eastern Russia’s birch forests, though some exist in China and North Korea. Even though their northern climate is far harsher than those of other tigers, there are rather some advantages. Northern forests offer the lowest human density of any tiger habitat, and the most complete ecosystem. The vast woodlands also allow siberian tigers far more room to roam around than the habitat of most other tigers.

Tigers are the largest of all wild cat breeds and are well known for their power and strength. There actually used to be nine tiger subspecies, but three of them became extinct during the 20th century due to hunting and poaching; Balinese Tigers, Caspian Tigers, and Javans Tigers have been dead for at least 3 decades now. Most of these tigers are believed to have gone extinct between the 1950s and 1980s. Habitat destruction is one of the main reasons for these tigers to go extinct, as well as being hunted.

Tigers have both aesthetic and profitable value. Killing tigers and selling their parts was and still is a very lucrative business. Some common types of tiger products are as follows: bones, meat, blood, tail, head, tongue, etc. The list goes on. Most of these products could be sold from $40 - $12,000 each or per lb, depending on the product.

Over the last hundred years, hunting and forest destruction have reduced tiger populations overall dramatically. Tigers are poached commonly for their fur coats as well as other body parts used in traditional Chinese medicine. All six remaining tiger subspecies are still threatened as of today. Even though many protection programs are in place, poaching remains a threat to Siberian tigers currently.

Tigers often live alone and scent-mark large territories to keep their rivals as well as predators away. They are powerful hunters that travel many miles to find prey, such as elk and wild boar, as well as other large animals. Tigers use their distinctive coats as camouflage and hunt by stealth. They patiently lie in wait and creep up close enough to attack their prey with a quick spring and a deadly pounce. A Siberian Tiger can eat as much as 60 pounds in one sitting, though they usually don’t eat as much.

Despite their bad reputation, most tigers tend to avoid humans. However, a few do become dangerous man eaters. Though the ones that do become dangerous man eaters are often sick and unable to hunt for food normally, or live in areas where their usual prey has died out or left that area for reasons such as migration.

Currently, there’s only 35 individual wild Siberian Tigers and a total of about 500, including in captivity, remaining in Eastern Russia, as well as the bordering regions. Habitat loss and poaching still threaten the diminishing population. Already there’s been three subspecies of tigers to go extinct. Let’s not make it a fourth.

FIS Alpine Ski World Cup

by Lina Voegele

The FIS Alpine Ski World Cup is the top international circuit of alpine skiing competitions. It was founded in 1966 by a group of ski racing friends and experts and soon was backed by International Ski Federation president Marc Hodler during the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 1966 at Portillo, Chile. It became an official FIS event in the spring of 1967 after the FIS Congress at Beirut, Lebanon. The first World Cup ski race was held in Berchtesgaden, West Germany, on January 5, 1967. The races now are hosted primarily at ski resorts in the Alps in Europe, with regular stops in Scandinavia, North America, and East Asia. The World Cup competitions have been hosted in 25 different countries around the world. There are about 50 races between October and March.

There are four disciplines in this event: slalom, giant slalom, super-G and downhill. The difference between these four is the gap between the gates and ultimately the speed. Slalom is the one with the the smallest gaps and the lowest speed. Downhill has the highest speed and you need the most power. Besides that each discipline requires a different type of ski with a different length. Most athletes that compete at the FIS World Cup do not compete in all of the disciplines, just one or two.

There are some other disciplines as well, like parallel slalom and these still count toward the overall world cup list. This event is just once a year. Parallel Slalom is not exactly like normal Slalom. The gaps between the gates are wider and the two participants start at the same time. The races are held on an artificial surface, this way they make sure that both of the participants have the same chance to win. It uses a K.O. System, meaning the winner competes against another winner.

Fried Green Tomatoes Film Review

by Emily Anderson

In 1991 the movie Fried Green Tomatoes was debuted on screens. The movie is based off of the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg. The movie takes place in Whistle Stop, Alabama. This story is about an emotional woman that drowns her sorrows by eating candy bars. Her name was Evelyn Couch. Every week she and her husband go to the nursing home to visit his aunt. Evelyn was never invited in the room to visit because the aunt strongly dislikes her. One week while Evelyn was waiting out the visit she meets a small elderly lady whom she later befriends. Weeks go by and Evelyn comes to visit the lady and the lady tells her a story about her relatives and significant things that happened in their lives. The film takes place in the 1920’s. During this time segregation and discrimination were still big issues. The flashbacks tell a story about a young girl named Idgie and her life and all the troubles and hardships she and her family and friends had faced. Idgie was the type of girl you could call fierce and independent. She had very few friends. When Idgie was younger, her older brother who was her best friend, passed away. His name was Buddy and his girlfriend was Ruth who later becomes Idgie’s best friend. Idgie had worked at the cafe and after Ruth left her abusive husband Idgie gave Ruth a job of there. During the film Idgie raises the ire of tolerant citizens in the town. Suddenly Frank, Ruth’s husband goes missing. Ruth, Idgie and her friends are all accused of the disappearance of Frank. With this mysterious and open-ending Evelyn now looks forward to the next week’s visit and is truly inspired by the story so much so that she starts to take pride in who she is!

Caravan Heading For The Border

By: Brendan Papich

Over the past month, a caravan has been heading for the U.S. border. Starting on October 12th in the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula, a crime-laden city, a group of 160 people gathered and prepared to start their journey in the search of a safe place to live with open jobs. Within a day, the group grew in numbers by 1000. Since then the caravan has gone through the neighboring country of Guatemala with many thousands joining them and some having even reached the Mexican capital of Mexico City. Most past caravans have only had a couple hundred people, but through social media, this caravan has increased in size exponentially.

They formed this caravan because they are seeking a new life with better opportunities. Some also say they are trying to flee the violence in their countries and wish to apply for asylum. Honduras, which has a population of 9 million, has problems with gang violence, drug wars, and corruption. That region of the world also has some of the highest murder rates.

Most of these people, however will likely not get in. Even though the U.S. has a legal obligation to listen to asylum seeker’s claims, these people are fleeing their country because of poverty and will not be persecuted by their government. Asylum does not apply to people searching for a better quality of life. The biggest reason we are all hearing about this caravan is that this situation could be easily spun to be used politically for anybody that is against Latin American immigration.

Red Dead Redemption II Review

By: Kevin Schneider

On October 26, 2018, Red Dead Redemption 2 was released on Xbox One and PlayStation. So the game has been out for almost two weeks now and all the hype for the game really is as true as Rockstar games say. So for people that don’t know, the first game was released back in 2010. The fans have been anticipating this game for a while now and they sure did deliver in quality. The game takes place back in 1899 during the time when Westernization was starting to move more towards Industrialization. When making the game. the developers wanted to make sure the game was done right so they went back and looked and old records of the Wild West and implemented some of the old stories about that time period. Rockstar games, the creator, does this thing where their games are more like art to them. Instead of pumping out as many games as possible to please the fans they like to wait longer for their games to make sure that the maps are large enough and the graphics are only the best quality. So Red Dead Redemption 2 is a sprawling Western tale of loyalty, and conviction, showing the inevitable collapse of a motley crew of Wild West holdouts kicking against the slow march of civilization and Industrialization.

The game has the most authentic and lived-in open world to date. There are so many things to do, so many people to meet, and so many places to explore it’s overwhelming! Red Dead Redemption 2 does an exceptional job at slowly rationing out reasons to visit every corner of its huge world, too. There are many small details that make this game one the greatest games to come out this year, for example, the main character Arthur. His beard hair grows in real time and your style of beard changes based on the length of your hair. In order to trim your hairstyle you have to go to a barber. There are also things that change in real time throughout out the map, like the fact the game is set before a time light pollution became an issue. The sky is riddled with stars and clusters of stars. It looks like an array of galaxies when you look up at night. The game is made for adults and is M (mature) rated so just keep that in mind. Overall, I believe this is a great game to buy for anyone for the holidays that enjoys open world games.

“The Shining” is Overrated Film Review

by Jon Boberg

Warning: spoilers ahead! Recently I got around to watching the classic movie “The Shining” based off of Stephen King’s thriller. I went into watching it with high hopes due to the high ratings and reviews, but as it turns out it's not that great! The two hour and forty minute is a huge snooze fest until about the last forty minutes. That is when it starts to get interesting. The movie starts off with a beautiful scenic drive up the winding roads of the Rocky Mountains, until you reach the supernatural Overlook Hotel. This is where we meet one of the main characters Jack Torrance who was portrayed by Jack Nicholson. Jack was at the hotel for an interview and accepted the job of the caretaker while the hotel was closed for the season. The reason he accepted the job was to focus more on his writing. During the interview he learned about the horrific past of the establishment: The story of Delbert Grady who murdered his family there. This became the main plot of the story and after that Jack was doomed to repeat history.

It takes a long time for the movie to come full circle. A lot of the secondary plot, like how Jack’s son Danny Torrence got the magic ability to communicate telepathically ( known as the “shining”) didn't make sense. The plot is very scattered and takes too long to get to the point. A supporting character who seemed to have a big role in the film, but fails, was Dick Hallorann, the hotels head chef. His role made little sense because he also had the “shining” power like Danny and when the family was in trouble he came to save the day. But on his time off from the hotel, he was in a different state. When he sensed that the Torrance’s were in trouble he flew back to Colorado and went to the hotel himself. And without surprise within minutes of arriving he his murdered by Jack, who started going crazy the day he and his family arrived. We only know this because his wife Wendy started snooping around and reads what he had written. All he wrote the whole time was “All work and no play makes jack a dull boy.” in different formats. This is where he snaps and we get the famous line “Here's Johnny!”, which also doesn't make any sense to the plot. Nicholson improvised that and it was his imitation of Ed McMahon's famous introduction of Johnny Carson. The biggest thing that doesn't make sense is the ending. The closing scene zooms in on an old photo from 1921 and we see Jack Torrance front and center. It doesn't make sense because the movie takes place in 1975. The only way you know the reason behind it is if you look it up or watch the movie 100 times. To me this movie that is regarded as a “masterpiece” is overrated and is definitely not worth the two hour and forty minute watch.

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Created with images by mounsey - "polling station poll election day" • Kaz - "tiger cub tiger cub" • Simon - "skiing backcountry skiiing departure ski touring skitouren" • anaterate - "tomato panicle fried green tomatoes" • Falkenpost - "bull bull skull horns cow beef cattle"

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