Book Reviews - Music Review - Smart TV Warning - Bees - Dresden Heist - White House Decorating - Surfing in the Olympics - Local Restaurant - Computer Science

A Book Review of Pride and Prejudice

By Kamila Husieinova

Each person has a book that has sunk into his soul and changed him. In my case, this is Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I read it a month ago, and extraordinary feelings are still boiling inside me. I really liked this novel and it is philosophical for me because it contains many quotes, sayings, and deeds that can change a person by one hundred and eighty degrees.

Almost all Jane Austen’s novels are based on the fact that the main characters fall in love not with whom they should. Then the next half of the novel they go against their fates and as a result their hearts find a way to be together, despite all the barriers. This particular book talks about the above mentioned characters. Jane Austen treats each hero with respect, justice and reverence.

Elizabeth Bennet is a girl from a simple family who is annoyed by the insignificance of her mother and sisters, whom she is ashamed of. She is open, very smart, fair, witty, funny, and at the same time has moral principles, draws conclusions about people from their first acquaintances, meetings.

Mr. Darcy is an aristocrat whose personality contains intelligence, good breeding, as well as pride and arrogance. But in fact, he is noble and helps people who really need help.

The basic idea is that love is so strong that it can change even a person like Mr. Darcy. A sentence uttered by Jane: "Anything, just not marriage without love." Despite the fact that the mother wanted to marry them to young people who have a lot of money, their daughters wanted to marry for love.

This novel is relevant today. It is studied in British universities and schools. It’s interesting and strange that at the time of the creation of this masterpiece, this book was not recognized as necessary for printing, and therefore lay on the shelf for fifteen years.

The novel teaches that when people are afraid to show their feelings because of their pride, fear of being abandoned is wrong. Each person should read this novel and experience all the feelings described in the book!

FBI Warns About Smart TV’s

by Brett Russell

Since the expansion of technology in the consumer market over the past decade, security concerns have loomed over the heads of customers everywhere. There have been countless cases of security breaches on both large scale and personal levels. With the threat of breaches which could exploit information such as personal details or bank information, other cyber attacks including the hacking of cameras on phones and laptops are overlooked. In addition, companies put added security into technology which contain personal details and bank information, leaving webcams less protected. These unprotected webcams are present in many of the new smart TV’s, which allow you to video chat with others, by using your television which is connected to an internet network. Through your TV, some hackers can even go beyond just the webcam, into your WIFI network, if things aren’t secured properly. The FBI has put out warnings involving the hacking of TV’s, since they discovered many incidents when looking in to it. They have placed their interest on the issue due to the severe invasion of privacy which may occur when the webcam and microphone is hacked. They have proposed a handful of options which the TV owner can choose from, including things ranging from reprogramming the network, to simply placing a piece of black tape over the camera. The FBI also claimed that hackers can quite easily do things like change your channels, or shut things down. While not as serious as spying on people through webcams, this is still an issue which no TV owner wants to face. TV and network providers are currently working on resolutions to the issue at hand, but in the meantime, people everywhere are at risk of a cyber invasion in their home.

Bee Concerned

by Aedan Smith

The bee population is rapidly decreasing, which will have terrible effects on our ecosystem and economy. This is because bees support about $20 billion worth of crops in the U.S annually and $170 world wide. However, over the past 15 or so years, colonies have been collapsing due to “ colony collapse disorder”, and some regions have seen colony losses up to 90%. From April 1st 2018 to April 1st 2019 there has been an overall decline of 37.7% for all commercial hives, but this hasn’t concerned any commercial beekeepers because this level of winter loss has been normal since 2006.

The main reason for the decline is because of the varroa mite. The varroa mite is a pest that has been affecting honey bee hives since its introduction in Florida in the 1980’s. Varroa mites are external parasites that suck blood from adults and developing broods. This will cause for emerging broods to have deformed limbs such as a missing leg or wing. These parasites can spread throughout a hive and destroy it in a period of 4 weeks. Another reason hives are disappearing is because the carelessness of hive owners. The average year for a commercial beekeeper is traveling around the country following seasonal crop cycles, and with all of this travelling beekeepers have to cross multiple types of terrain. This takes time and money, so some beekeepers take shortcuts by going through the mountain ranges instead of around them. This causes for some of the hives to die off because of the change in temperature and pressure. Another reason that the hives are dying is because of pesticides. Some of the pesticides that farmers put on their crops get bees addicted to them similar to humans that get addicted to nicotine. This causes for the bees to seek out the pesticide instead of pollen, which can starve the hive. With scientists learning about these reasons for “colony collapse disorder” they can now take steps to prevent it.

The Great Dresden Heist

By Sean Lux

On November 25th, a great tragedy fell upon the Grünes Gewölbe, or Green Vault in Dresden, Germany (State of Saxony) when several valuable treasures were stolen from the museum.

At about 4 A.M. local time, a bridge near the museum was set on fire, causing a power outage which disabled the museum's alarm system, though the CCTV remained functional. Two unidentified thieves removed an iron grille from a ground-floor window and smashed the glass, making their way inside. Using axes to break the display cases, they removed three 18th-century jewelry sets, each of which contained diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and other precious gemstones. However, some pieces were sewn into the display and could not be taken. The heist lasted for nearly an hour. Once the thieves were satisfied, they exited through the same window and fled in an Audi A6. The robbery was detected at 4:56, and the police arrived a few minutes later, but the robbers were already long gone by then.

The Green Vault opened in 1723, and is one of the world’s oldest museums. Housed inside Dresden Castle, the museum displays over four-thousand pieces of gold, precious jewels, and Baroque artifacts. Many of these items were collected in the 1720s during the reign of Augustus II of Poland, and his successors added more in the following decades. Today, it is the largest collection of treasures in Europe.

The value of the purloined items is estimated to be around 1 billion Euros ($1.1 billion USD), making this the largest museum theft in history.

The robbery is devastating for not only the state of Saxony, but for Germany as a whole, as several items of monetary and cultural value were taken and remain missing. Saxony’s Minister-President Michael Kretschmer denounced the crime on Twitter, lamenting that “it’s not just the State Art Collections that was robbed, but us Saxons.” The interior minister stated that the true loss is “impossible to estimate” due to the treasure’s cultural value. Officials fear that the thieves will sell their loot on the black market, and museum workers have begged them not to harm the collection in any way. It has been ten days since the robbery, and police are still unsure of the perpetrators’ identities or what their intentions are. They have put up a reward of 500,000 Euros for information leading to an arrest.

Springville Couple Among White House Decorators

by Troy Ellis

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the White House as the holiday season grows closer and grander. Many people that have been given the opportunity to have a helping hand in the affair from not only across the nation, but all over the world as well. We even have two local residents of Springville who have also been given the honor of helping decorate. Jason Saramak, a Deputy Sheriff with Erie County Sheriff’s Office, and his husband Nicholas are just two of the 120 volunteers picked to decorate the White House this year. Volunteers that range from across the world, traveling all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Saramak says a woman drove from Montana to help as well as people from Italy.

They arrived in Washington D.C. on Thanksgiving day to help execute the vision of first lady Melania Trump. Being a part of this great occasion and being able to put their very own touch on the decorating is something that the couple find very honorable and personal to them. They even stated “It’s an honor to play a role in decorating many of the rooms.” As well as another statement where they added “One tree by the residential staircase that we did took us all day to do. And it is a patriotic duty because it’s the people’s house,” Saramak said. He says they were assigned to the tree in the Grand Foyer, which had a gold theme. Saramak even says there’s a gold star family Christmas tree near the Rose Garden where he put an ornament on that tree in honor of his cousin, who was a Buffalo Firefighter who has passed away. “To see everything after it’s done takes your breath away. You get to walk through every room, you get to enjoy everybody’s company. You make new friends, we have almost become a family,” Nicholas Saramak said.

This gracious experience with people from all over the nation and the world leads the couple to hope and plan on going back next year, as well as the following years to come in order to do their part and make Christmas at the White House a grand and gorgeous one.

Computer Science

by Nathan Myers

Computers have become an integral part of our society. Most objects in your house are either run, created, or designed by computers. Computers have been one of the most important, if not the most important creations for human information collection. Computers allow the human race to compile and compare ideas and information across the globe, with ease and efficiency.

Because computers are so important, and so common in society, you would think that schools would teach some form of computer science. In Connecticut, only 52% of schools offer and sort of computer science class in k-12th grade. A new law has been passed that by the end of 2019, all schools need to have, or have a plan to create a computer science lesson or class that is incorporated into their k-12 curriculum. This law was followed by a law that all teachers have to receive training in computer science by 2020. Computers are such a diverse tool that is important for everyone to use, in every career.

The fact that schools in connecticut are taking strides towards making computer science a normal class for students to take is one of the first steps towards making our world a more interconnected, and collectively progressive cohesive society. If everyone knew how to effectively use computers and apply their applications to their everyday lives, the world would become a much more efficient and effective place, where significantly more things can get done, and more progress can be made to make our world a better place.

Surfing at The 2020 Olympics

by Jared Hecht

Kelly Slater and John John Florence are competing for the last spot in the 2020 Olympics. They are competing to be In the Olympics for surfing this will be the first Olympics to hold surfing as an event. Kelly Slater will be 48 at the time of the Olympics and it would mark his 40th year of competitive surfing. This Is why he really wants to make it to the first Olympics to hold surfing because his career is coming to an end. There are only 2 slots available in the U.S.for people to compete in the event. The two people that qualify is based on the World Surf League rankings. The first American spot has already been clinched by the Californian Kalohe Andino who has had an amazing year on tour and is ranked 5th. Both Slater and Florence have had struggles this year Slater is getting to the end of his career and has struggled to win on tour with a beat performance of finishing third. Florence suffered an injury to his right leg during the semifinals of a surfing competition and missed most of the season is still the second ranked American because of his strong performances early in the season. At the final event of the season Pipe Master Slater will have to advance a few rounds further than John John Florence to take the second available American spot. Seth Moniz another American is looking in from the outside and will need a good showing at pipeline to have a chance. In Brazil they are having a similar struggle because only 2 can go and 3 of the top 4 ranked surfers currently ranked in the world are from Brazil. Also the top 3 Female surfers are all from America so it's unfortunate some will need to miss the first surfing event at the olympics that deserve to go.

Metallica’s “Ride the Lightning” Album Review

by Tyler Ucci

For those of you that don’t know, Metallica is an American heavy/thrash metal band. They have released 10 albums over 38 years. One of my personal favorites was the “Ride the Lightning” album. The album was released to the public on July 27th, 1984 and recorded in Copenhagen, Demark. This location was chosen because this is where the drummer, Lars Ulrich, was born. The album cover has quite the 80’s look to it. There is an electric chair, that people are executed in, suspended in the air with lightning striking all around it with Metallica, in big block 3D letters at the top. The lightning bolts coincidentally make a capital “M”. I don’t know if that was on purpose or not, but it looks incredible. The cover’s color are mainly blue with hints of purple. But when released in some European countries, the blue and purple colors were changed to different shades of emerald green by a printer error.

The inspiration for this album came when one of the guitarists, Kirk Hammett, was reading Stephen King’s The Stand. In this novel was the term “ride the lightning”. Hammett told James Hetfield about what he had read the night before. Hetfield, being the singer and the other guitarist, started to write a song which held the title “Ride the Lightning” and was later picked by the group to be the name of the album. The song comes from the perspective of a man on death row, dreading the day that he has to be executed by electric chair. Moving forward, something that surprised me was how James Hetfield’s voice changed between some songs. He was at the age of 21 and you can really tell when listening to all of the songs. Personally, what made me fall in love with Metallica’s sound was the guitar solos from Hetfield and Hammett, while also having amazing drum work by Ulrich. Another thing I really enjoyed from researching this album and learning more about it was the fact that almost everyone took a turn in writing each song. It wasn’t all one person trying to make everything fit together perfectly. It was these differences in each man that made the songs what they are. In this process, Cliff Burton made his bass heard really well, which doesn’t always happen in metal music. Throughout the album there are your basic heavy metal songs, but the group had an idea. A different and revolutionary idea and recorded an instrumental song, Call of Ktulu. Even though there are no words at all in the song, you feel like the guitars, bass and drums are trying to tell you a story. The only thing I didn’t like about this album was the first song, Fight Fire with Fire. The pace and tempo of Hetfield’s voice is off putting for me, even though the drum and guitar work is phenomenal. If you are a fan of hard, fast paced and aggressive music, give this album a listen.

1. Fight Fire with Fire (4:45)

2. Ride the Lightning (6:37)

3. For Whom the Bell Tolls (5:10)

4. Fade to Black (6:57)

5. Trapped Under Ice (4:04)

6. Escape (4:24)

7. Creeping Death (6:36)

8. Call of Ktulu (8:54)

Steelbound: The New Restaurant

By: Margaret Coulombe

The newest restaurant in Springville is Steelbound Brewery and Distillery. This restaurant is where Papa Jake’s used to be which some people miss greatly. Nonetheless, Steelbound is an awesome new restaurant with new food ideas and a lot of interestingly named drinks.

The original restaurant started out in Ellicottville last year, and the idea of Steelbound started in the year of 2015. The owners wanted a restaurant that would makes its customers feel at home. Bill Burse, one of the owners of Steelbound, has two kids and has coached football for young kids . Originally from Buffalo, Bursee now lives in Springville. It's home for Bursee, his wife, Racquel, and their two children, Tyler and Olivia, who both attended Springville-Griffith Institute in grades K-12.

Mr. Bursee wanted to make another Steelbound in Springville because he wanted to be part of the evolution of Springville. He says that the Springville community means a lot to him and he wants to give something back to Springville: the brewery. He never thought that his idea would just happen overnight. There are other managers and many other employess to take credit for this new evolution, but Bill Burse is the founder.

Since last summer, Steelbound has been slowly working on improvements to the building. In November, they hired most of the staff. The inside of the restaurant is different, the old booths are gone with more room for more tables. The mirrors are now chalkboards, and a new store will be open to the public along with a garden dining area in the spring and summer!

The staff are like busy bees working in a hive, seating people, and clearing and cleaning tables efficiently. They have a variety of different types of food, like burgers, pasta, sea food, pizza and the most awesome appetizers! One of the appetizers is cheese curds, which is fried cheese which they make it homemade. Another one is Pretzel Bites, which are three large pretzels with cheese sauce. Two of my favorite meals to have in Steelbound are the Fish Fry (on Fridays) and their Cheeseburger. The French fries are similar to Papa Jake’s, but have a more distinct flavor.

Personally, I think that having a restaurant new to town is a good thing. Some of the staff, you may recognize in the halls at our school. I’m not going to name any of them, but I will tell you that I, myself, work there as an employee. We have a little fun like making jokes, while cleaning or seating people. If I do see you in Steelbound, I will give you a nod. Not to be rude, but it’s a way for me to say hi or hello, if I’m clearing tables.

Doctor Sleep

By. Victoria Garcia

Back in 1977 Stephen King wrote a novel called The Shining, which is about a man, Jack Torrance, who has been hired to look after the Overlook Hotel with his wife, Wendy, and their son, Danny, who has supernatural powers called the Shining. During their stay supernatural ocurences begin to happen and Jack is driven mad by them and eventually attempts to murder his family. The book has been declared one of the greatest horror novels ever written; just three years later, Stanley Kubrick would loosely adapt the story to film and though it initially was not well received it’s since been declared one of the greatest horror films ever created.

In 2013, The Shining received an unexpected sequel called Doctor Sleep, which is about Danny Torrance, now grown up, who’s become an alcoholic just like his father before him and uses his powers to give dying patients in a hospital a calm and easy death. The book received mostly positive reviews, with the only negative thing people had to say about it was how Danny had become just like his father. And of course Hollywood decided that this would be the perfect story to adapt to film.

To be fair, it would theoretically make sense that this story would be adapted, however there are many issues with adapting the book, one of which in particular is the fact that they chose to make it a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s film, but since Stephen King despised that adaptation he chose for the book to not follow it at all, for example in Doctor Sleep Mr. Holloran is a vital character to the storyline, but in the Kubrick film he was killed off. But despite these completely obvious issues with adapting the book there’s a chance that it could still be a good adaptation and sequel, which the film wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t good either.

On opening night the film had made $1.5 million, which was originally expected to be around $25-50 million for their $50 million price tag. As of right now, a month after it premiered, they have made 64 million dollars and are already being pulled from theaters, for some context, Rocketman was first released on May 21st 2019 and wasn’t pulled from theaters until the following September.

The film received mostly positive reviews with the biggest complaint being the films extremely long running time, almost three hours. As a side note, the film doesn’t really do anything to make itself memorable. That’s not entirely a bad thing but since this film was supposed to start an entire franchise starting with a sequel titled Doctor Sleep: Holloran it truly failed. In the film industry if you want to make a franchise then you have to make sure that the first movie is something that an audience will enjoy and want to see a continuation of. If you fail to do so then your entire franchise is over after just one movie.

Other criticisms that I had were: Why aren’t Danny and Abra related in the movie, but they’re supposed to be in the book? In the book it’s revealed that Jack Torrance had an affair with a female teacher who worked at the same school as him and he impregnated her with a daughter, who would later on give birth to Abra; in the movie, however, this doesn’t happen. Abra does refer to him as “Uncle Dan” throughout the movie so why didn’t they just include the scene where they’re revealed to be related. Why did they have Danny reenact everything that his father did in the climax of the movie? One of the biggest complaints about the book is that Danny became an alcoholic just like his father, so why did the filmmakers think it would be a great idea to have him completely mimic his father by limping after Abra with an axe, to top it all off they even decided to dress him in almost identical clothing to what Jack wore when he tried to kill Wendy and Danny.Why did they decide to kill off Danny in the end of the movie? In the book Danny and Abra successfully kill Rose the Hat with the help of Jack’s ghost and afterwards he apologized to Danny for what he did and then was allowed to finally rest in peace, but in the movie Danny dies the same way Jack was supposed to in the original book, which doesn’t really amount to anything aside from killing off the main protagonist, plus in the original novel Jack’s character slowly became more evil over the course of the book, thus his death in the end felt more natural, Danny didn’t become possessed until the last few minutes of the film, thus his death felt more out of place.

One thing that I actually enjoyed unironically was Ewan McGregor as Danny. Every film I’ve seen him in, whether it was bad, good, or a complete abomination of God, he’s always the best part of it, and this film is no exception. He is amazing as Danny, and it genuinely feels like he really was the same little boy from the first film; McGregor is 100% the best part of the movie.

Doctor Sleep was once just a novel that Stephen King made just to pacify his readers, and has become a film that was made with the intention of bringing another one of King’s stories to the big screen, with slight changes. As of right now, it doesn’t look like the film will not be as highly regarded as some of King’s other stories that were recently brought to the screen, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad, and I don’t think the film should just be ignored as it is right now.

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