By Simran Singh
Thank u, Next, Ariana Grande’s fifth studio album just dropped last Friday along with music video for ‘Break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored’. Thank u, Next released after 6 months, after ‘Sweetener’ released. Usually artists take a year break after releasing a album, but Ariana decided to not take a break and continue dropping music whenever she wants to. This is the first time a artist has done this.
12 new tracks off Thank u, Next. First Track is ‘Imagine’, that is imagining of what could’ve happened with a lover if things didn’t go so sour with mix of beats. Second Track is ‘Needy’, a r&b laid back track about being needy and feeling sorry that she feels this way. Third Track is upbeat NASA, using cleverly the space station’s name to say that she needs her own space. Fourth Track is ‘Bloodline’ a reggae influenced track with trumpets, about not loving someone enough to be in your bloodline. Fifth Track is ‘Fake Smile’, opening with 70s/50s’ vibes, and transitioning to today, it brings up that she is no longer going to be having a fake smile on and she’s going to heal. Sixth Track is ‘Bad Idea’, of wanting to go back to somebody and knowing it’s wrong. Seventh Track is ‘Make Up’, breaking up with somebody just to get back together with them. Eighth Track is ‘Ghostin’ a eerie moody song sampled from deceased ex boyfriend Mac Miller, which the song talks about him and how she should be ghosting her current lover. Ninth Track is ‘In My Head’, the song is opposite of the previous track of imagining someone of how they would be like and finding out they’re nothing like that. Tenth Track is ‘7 rings’, the r&b infused trap track about how she uses her riches to buy gifts for her family & friends. Eleventh Track is thank u, next, the song that started it all, instead of calling her exes out, she thanked them for the things & lessons she learned and is grateful for the experiences. The last track is ‘Break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored’, this track is a lot less serious than the other ones, fun vibes, about wanting a guy even though he’s taken. Ending the album with a less serious note is a good thing, as ‘Sweetener’ ended with ‘Get Well Soon’, which is about the Manchester attack and how we can help each other heal.
Thank u, Next is also the first album where she has co-written all of the tracks. She added her own raw touch to the tracks with not adding Pharrell who produced her previous album which didn’t do as well as her earlier albums. This way of dropping music along the way might even further her career even more. It is currently #1 on the iTunes charts.
You can listen to ‘Thank u, Next’ on Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music,etc.
By Enya Bours
Sunset Season begins with the song “Idle Town,” a tribute to his high school memories and hometown. It is a slow song with nostalgic vibes, reflecting the moments he describes. Next in the album is “Generation Why,” a song that brushes over both the stereotypes and truths as well as the overall mindset his generation has about life, given how they consistently joke about death. The line “‘Cause we are the helpless, selfish, one of a kind / Millennium kids that all wanna die” seems to hit millennials in particular. “Crush Culture,” probably one of the more upbeat songs in the album, follows. In it, Gray discusses his confusion of the obsession his peers have over finding love as well as how he feels as a nineteen-year-old who still has not had his first kiss. “Greek God” talks about the less favorable people in one’s life who may severely they may influence you, but also how with time they fade into the background and you move on. The album concludes with “Lookalike,” a song that describes how when you fall in love with someone, you take bits and pieces of them with you. It is a gentle song that wraps up Gray’s EP perfectly.
You can listen to Sunset Season on Spotify, Google Play Music, Deezer, iHeartRadio, and iTunes, and learn more about the song lyrics at Genius.com.
By Guest Journalist Jefferson Liu
Starting with the massacre of students at Columbine High School in 1999, the gun debate has been a contentious issue. Here’s a different perspective on gun rights, from the IHS Association of Conservative Students.
Some claim banning guns will lead to fewer murders. That is false. According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, Ireland banned guns in 1972 and Jamaica banned guns in 1975; both countries spiked in homicide rates, continuing to 2005. In England and Wales, gun bans in 1997 led to homicide spikes as well. However, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has stated that during the same period (1970s-2005), the US decreased its homicide rates while increasing gun ownership. We can infer that guns are deterrents to crime in this context, since knives, according to a 2014 Smithsonian report, are weapons of choice for committing crimes in regions with strict gun control.
Guns can kill many people in a short amount of time, but compared to other attacks, cause fewer casualties. Globally, other weapons can cause more casualties. In China, a country where guns are completely banned, a man killed 8 students and wounded 5 others in six minutes, as reported by The Guardian. The Diplomat and China Daily both reported that in 2014, 29 people were killed and 143 others were injured within 10 minutes during a terrorist attack in Kunming. An Al Jazeera article mentioned of a truck attack in France that killed 86 people and injured 458 in 5 minutes.
Gun control supporters claim stronger regulations and stricter background checks on guns must be done. In a sense, that is right, since recent mass shootings in America were perpetrated by mentally unstable people. In their coverage of the trial of James Holmes, the 2012 theater shooter, the Denver Post reported that he had suffered mental health issues for a long time, and showed signs of violent intent. In the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting, a local news station indicated that shooter Nikolas Cruz had a long history of animal abuse, had a history of "a pattern of disciplinary issues and unnerving behavior." Florida state investigators also found that Cruz was suffering from depression, autism, and ADHD. Virginia Tech shooter Cho Seung Hui also suffered from anxiety, selective mutism, and severe depression. From this, the commonality of many mass shooters is noticeable: each had at least one mental illness. So yes, there does need to be regulations on guns, but not stricter gun laws. The issue is mental health, and to address this, conduct stronger mental screening, a 30-day wait period, and mandatory gun retraining every three years. If blanket regulations were applied to gun transactions, it would simply limit the ability of legal gun owners to prevent crimes.
Others argue our rates of gun violence are high compared to countries such as Finland or Switzerland, and Italy. First and foremost, the United States has around 313 million people as of today, which is far higher than Finland's 4 million, Switzerland's 8 million, and even Italy's 61 million. As indicated by the demographic comparison website NationMaster, when there are more people, the possibility of crime is higher. A possible counterargument that could be brought up in the face of this reasoning would be China, which has a low crime rate overall. But this was only achievable through stringent and omnipresent governmental control of citizens' rights and harsh punishments, something prevented in the US by the 8th Amendment.
Someone else could argue for gun control based on Japan’s gun laws, but these arguments are unsuited for the context of this argument. Why? The United States shares a very long land border with a comparatively unsafe country: Mexico. It is public knowledge that drug cartels have smuggled arms and illegal narcotics into the United States across the land border in various ways. As cited from Politico, it is difficult to patrol constantly the airspace, land, and the underground between the border of the US and Mexico, which is approximately 2,000 miles long and is the most frequently crossed border in the entire world. By contrast, Japan is an island nation entirely surrounded by ocean, and entry can only be achieved through air or sea travel. Business Insider noted that inspecting maritime and flight travelers and cargo is easier than monitoring every border, every crossing, and every person crossing for the sake of gun regulation.
Bans and excessive regulations are not the answers to the problem of mass shootings in the US. Rather, making sure legal guns stay out of the wrong hands will see the answer to the single most important issue of our safety and our children's safety.
By John Pham
Advertisement has been apart of everyday life since 1836. There are multiple kinds of advertisement photo, poster, video, news, etc. However, there are also different strategies of advertisement and methods for them. For example, false advertising that completely lies about their product, there's subliminal which hides and shows you secret messages to lure you, and then there's deceptive advertising which really hooks people in. deceptive advertising is when a company makes their product more appealing using photos and persuasive voices. An example of deceptive advertising is mainly in your fast food restaurants like McDonald's, Wendy's, and Subway. There are various methods for different foods like for burgers from in and out they use angles and carefully place ingredients to make photos like Wendy's they also adjust lighting and do whatever is possible. A junior by the name of Brandon said:
“It makes me feel really lied. They should at least make their food look more real or make it up to that standard. It's like being cat fished. I feel the same about subway. So they should have a disclaimer about how it really looks”
For places like Bonchon, which is not a fast food place but an actual restaurant, their staple seems to be their chicken which is highly advertised. Their chicken seems to be a reflection of their advertisements unlike fast food restaurants but even real restaurants have their flaws. A junior Andrew Lim and Eric Mok said:
“That actually looks pretty close and it looks really good some could say it makes good on it promise”
In all, deceptive advertisement can really make you hungry for their product even making lots of people like in Eric Mok Words said:
“Why are you showing me this? Are you trying to make me hungry? Do you have food on you right now?”
By Matthew Valenzuela-Serrano
Is it too hot or too cold? Or both?
During the year you’ll hear students complain about the temperature. It can be cold and someone will say, “It’s too cold, I miss summer,” but that same student may also say, “It’s too hot, I miss winter.”
Since Independence is in the Bay Area, we never experience snow or hard rain. If anything, we have great weather all year round, yet we’re still unhappy. Why is that so?
Every year the East Coast gets hit with snow storms and hurricanes, the midwest gets some hurricanes and tornadoes, and the west coast is either on fire or always having an earthquake, but we rarely experience bad weather that other regions do here in the bay.
Junior Josh Pastores said, “The weather is all over the place. I think it was too hot for too long and the fires at the end of Autumn kinda ruined a lot of things for everyone in San Jose.”
Many teachers leave their doors open during the day and some even leave the AC on. So it would seem that quite a few teachers are not as bothered by the weather as the students are.
In the end, ask yourself, are you spoiled? There are cities right now getting snow, while we get rain and sunshine.
By Lucile Gonzales
Let's be real, IHS has a littering problem. Students walk around carelessly throwing
their trash on the floor or when failing to make a shot into the garbage, they leave it wherever it lands. The campus is fairly big, thus the issue of littering is very substantial.
When asking janitor Miko Angeles if he was surprised at the amount of trash he sees around the school he responded, “Uh no I mean I've been there so, I mean, I went to highschool too and ya know it's just human nature”. Angeles also said depending on how much trash, its takes about one to one and a half hours to clean up. It’s quite baffling and saddening to think of littering as “human nature” even though its hurting our earth as well as the humans and animals that live on it.
The littering situation occurring throughout the Independence school corridors is also affecting our classrooms, as sometimes students carelessly leave food lying on classroom floor during lunch. “ When students leave food and spilled drinks lying around, it attracts ants and roaches,that could potentially cause a health hazard”, Guadalupe Alvarez, Spanish teacher at Independence says.
Picking up and cleaning up after one’s self is an easy task, there are trash cans all over the school so there really is no excuse to throw garbage on the ground. Students should be more considerate of the people who pick up their trash and the animals who are harmed by it. Not to mention when students throw their cigarette butts on the ground, which is not only harmful to animals, but to your body.
By Matthew Valenzuela-Serrano
The Camp Fire, which is located north, has been ablaze since November 8th. With wind currents blowing all the smoke to the Bay Area, students can only hope for schools to close early to set off Thanksgiving Break.
As the air quality continues to get worse, our wonderful Superintendent has reassured us that the air is safe for students to attend school for 8 hours a day every week, but has cancelled a football game three different times and even went as far as to relocate the game to Monterrey.
There is a common feeling between each student with regard to how the school district is failing to meet our demands. They have yet to hand out N95 masks, forcing students to wear the incorrect masks or none at all.
On the evening of November 17, the school twitter had announced school will continue until the air quality index reaches 270, ending the tweet with #sixerspride. But students did not stand silent and called out the twitter account, one comparing the school forcing students to breath smoke to the treatment in a concentration camp.
Over the break it rained, vanquishing the smoke and clearing the air. So now do Sixers still have the same opinion about school, or did we forget over the break?
Senior Bernadette Vila said she was, “upset about the situation, but felt different after the break,” saying she didn’t want to add two extra days to the end of the year.
Sixers got vocal about their frustrations, but it seemed it wasn’t too bad, as most students still showed up for the week.
By Enya Bours
TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains information about mental health issues (including suicide) which may be triggering to some.
Emotion-heavy statements are increasingly tossed around lightly and taken as jokes. Interested in what teenagers—the group that is most prominently using statements relating to mental disorders and suicide—think about this topic, I interviewed a handful of students about them.
Q: How do you feel about the frequent use of “I want to die,” “kill me,” and similar statements and how lightly they are tossed around?
Alyssa Torres, Senior: “I feel like it’s overdramatizing a situation to say ‘kill me’ or ‘I want to die.’ Some may argue that these statements should be taken seriously, and perhaps they are correct.”
Jefferson Liu, Senior: “When people say it sarcastically, I’m okay with it. But if it’s serious then I know something is up.”
Q: Do you use them? Why? Why do you think others use them?
Angeline Nguyen, Senior: “I personally do not use them, but I think others use them whenever they experience something bad. They resort to those statements to portray a sense of negativity in their life as a way feel better about themselves so they won’t have to experience whatever negative is in their life.”
Torres: “No. Whenever I hear these phrase, it’s usually when it’s expressing exhaustion or annoyance. It doesn’t usually correlate to actual contemplation of suicide.”
Liu: “No, the closest I’ve ever said to something like that was ‘FML.’ Usually others use them as sarcasm, and especially with people our age it’s an expression of frustration.”
Q: Do you think it’s possible to tell if someone is actually suicidal from statements like these?
Nguyen: “I don’t think there is a way to actually tell if someone is suicidal from these statements because of how often it is being used as a joke.”
Liu: “I think it is. There’s warning signs, and there’s context as well. I don’t know firsthand but I’ve read about signs.”
Q: Did you know that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.? Are you surprised by this?
Torres: “No. I think there have always been teenagers and older individuals who have dealt with mental disorders.”
Nguyen: “It is not surprising because I know many individuals go through tough times and often resort to killing themselves as one way to fix their struggles.”
Liu: “I did not actually, but I’m also not surprised.”
Q: Why do you think suicide rates are increasing/more and more teenagers are being diagnosed with mental disorders?
Torres: “We have a greater understanding on the psychological and sociological aspects of human behavior and emotions. The numbers of diagnosis may primarily rise due to the increasing population as well as the further professionalism maintained to accurately diagnose and support patients.”
Nguyen: “I think stress and pressure plays a huge role in why they are diagnosed with mental disorders.”
Liu: “From the humanitarian point of view it’s because medical practices have gotten better, so we know how to tell if someone has a mental illness. From the skeptical point of view, it’s because today’s teenagers don’t have the same amount of mental fortitude or resilience as before. Kids in the 1940s had to deal with being drafted and possibly dying, while today we have to worry about grades.”
Q: How do you think suicide can be prevented?
Nguyen: “I think suicide can be prevented by establishing more support groups and communities, where these individuals can comfortably talk about their problems and get the support they need to relieve themselves and not think of suicide as a way to end the suffering.”
Liu: “Communication is key. If you don’t talk with someone who seems on edge, you’ll never know until after.”
It seems like students understand the weight of using such statements and the importance of taking care of their mental health. It may just be a common saying that teenagers use to express their distress, though perhaps not the best one.
By Steven Doan
TwitchCon is an annual gathering of many widely known gamers and fans who use the popular streaming website called, “Twitch”, to stream and watch streams. The 2018 TwitchCon was hosted on October 26-28 and lasted throughout the entire days. There was an abundance of people who anticipated attending this convention.
It is a celebration for the Twitch community to come together and interact with each other. Therefore, this event was fairly large and crowded. With events like these, there are expectations for both streamers and fans, leading to mixed reactions.
Fellow senior Brian Ma, enthusiastically shares, “I was walking with my friends and it was hella crowded! The lines and everything dude. But yeah, it was fun and I got to meet some streamers - only a few though.”
Since many people use Twitch as an entertainment platform to watch their favorite streamers, meeting them would be a “dream come true”. As Brian stated, TwitchCon was extremely crowded. The lines even expanded onto the streets as well.
Junior Francis Hoang, says, “ I didn’t see much error other than the meet and greets being a bit unorganized and over crowded. I would’ve participated more in events and talked to more in the events and talked to more famous people or streamers.”
Based on the students’ feedback, TwitchCon was a success for everyone. However, it could have been better in some areas such as overcrowded meet and greets. Francis continues, “It passed my expectations because it was my first ever convention and I had a great time.”
By Mekenzie Burse
A Ouija Board, is a board written with numbers, letters and other signs, and a movable indicator which answers the questions users ask at a seance. It has been a controversial board game for a very long time now, but the answer to the mystery of whether or not they work is still up for grabs.
When asked if they would play with a Ouija Board, the majority of students said they would. A High School student, who has personally played with the Ouija Board says, “When I played the board, me and my friend went to a nearby park and started asking it questions. We obviously said goodbye to it because that's what your supposed to do.” There are rules to playing with this kind of game. However, most people don't know if there is a right way or wrong way to play with it.
The five generally agreed on rules to the board are:
#1- never taunt a ghost or spirit into communicating with you, this can cause a disastrous consequence.
#2- Never ask a Ouija Board when you are going to die.
#3- Never use the board alone. More people means more energy is present with which you can contact a spirit. Always say goodbye to the board before ending your session.
#4- Do not use the board in your home. It will be harder to break contact and the bad energy will remain in your house.
#5- There should be one leader, one person who talks and asks the board the questions.
The students add, “Before I tried it, I didn't know what to believe, I wasn’t sure if it would work or not.” Everybody has different beliefs, so you cannot be persuaded on whether or not the board works until you try it yourself. But, there are contradicting arguments.”
“The Ouija Board is a way for people to get in contact with spirits. This doesn't always lead you to good spirits though. Taking part in playing with this board, is basically signing up for bad luck, I mean why would somebody want to mess with a Ouija Board knowing the consequences that follow,” says a junior here at Independence High.
Different people are going to believe different things, but the question on if the board really works or if it's all a myth still remains unanswered.