Zack Snyder’s Justice League Launches on HBO Max

Colin Corrado
Lead Editor

   After many years of fan campaigns and speculation, the Zack Snyder cut of the film Justice League, formally titled Zack Snyder’s Justice League, released on streaming platform HBO Max on March 18.

   The film released to mostly positive reception receiving a 71% on aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, with critics and consumers agreeing the new cut of the film was a massive improvement over the original theatrical cut of the film from 2017, though some feel the new cut’s long runtime drags out the pacing too much with no real benefit. Aside from just critical reception, the film also also performed well on HBO Max in terms of analytics with an estimated 1.8 million households tuning in to watch the movie making it one of the most highly debuts on the platform behind Wonder Woman 1984 and Godzilla vs. Kong.

   Zack Snyder was originally the director of Justice League which was a continuation of his previous works in the DC film universe such as Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, but after the tragic death of his daughter he stepped down from the project and Joss Whedon took over the project, but he chose to reshoot most of the movie and only 20 minutes worth of Snyder’s footage was used in Whedon’s cut of the film. When the movie was released in 2017 it was widely panned and plans for future movies with SNyder’s characters were canned.

How Have The Pandemic Impacted Teens Positively

Megan Reese
Staff Writer

   For the last year, we’ve heard bad news on top of even more bad news, on a loop. When you think about this year, nothing positive comes to mind..at first. However, with the bad, came some good for teenagers, and that’s not talked about enough. 

   Over the summer, there wasn’t much to do with so many things closed down, so teenagers really had to dig to find something they were passionate about to keep them busy. For me, I was able to start my blog that discusses fashion, advice, and more. I honestly don’t think I would have started that blog without the pandemic, as weird as it sounds. I wouldn’t have had the guts or time to really focus on that area of my life, and since then, that blog has been a very big part of my life. Many people I know also mentioned that had the time and were in the right headspace to really think about what was important to them, which was really refreshing. Things like playing the piano for a little bit longer, finding time to read books that weren’t school-related, or just spending time with their families. 

    Not only were we not allowed to come back to school, but we couldn’t come back to sports either, creating a large opening in our schedules. Although this may seem like a negative thing to most people, some teens turned it into something positive and got a job. For many teens who are student-athletes, a job in the fall through spring may seem impossible with their tight schedules. However, with the pandemic, there was no schedule to compete with, so they were able to use their time working and making money. Not only did this give them something to do with their extra time, but it allowed them to find that sense of independence and pride. Getting a job, getting your license, and doing all of these things to start moving on to that next chapter in a teenager’s life, is a really interesting thing to experience in a pandemic, so it was nice to hear that people still feel like they’re able to do those things and feel excited for them. 

   Now, let’s discuss the social aspect of the pandemic. Most people would immediately assume that it negatively impacted how teens made friends since we weren’t in school and sports. People would also argue that our screen time going up drastically was a negative impact of the pandemic, yet actually social media was probably our only connection to people our age and the things going on in the world. I can say firsthand that social media connected me to a lot of new friends in the last year, and I am so grateful for the friendships I’ve made without even having to meet them face to face. 

    In our personal lives, we also had a lot of time to think and self-evaluate. Without the pressure of putting on a fake smile or fake appearance at school every day, people were able to have a lot of self-growth. I think the pandemic allowed people to really appreciate themselves and how unique they are. Whether that was trying out a cool makeup look, wearing something that made them feel special, re-decorating their rooms, or altering their personalities, people were finally able to be themselves. I had many people tell me how much more confident and happy with themselves they felt because they had the time to stop and catch their breath, thinking about who they are and not caring about what the rest of the world thought. 

    Not being in school may have caused a lot of disruption academically, but it allowed for a lot of amazing things to happen behind the scenes in our personal lives. 

Spring Fashion Trends

By Samantha Fato
Staff writer

   As Spring rolls in, new fashion trends follow. This pandemic has shown us that despite the need to stay home, we can still express ourselves through our clothing and accessories, and Spring has welcomed in new trends for fashion-lovers to partake in.

   As for specific clothing trends, gingham-styled pieces such as dresses, or babydoll tops have become a statement for many wardrobes. Bright/pastel colored gingham patterns have become very popular amongst Spring dresses, and are perfect for a fun flowy look, which also accommodates to the weather perfectly as warm weather makes its way in.

   Colorful floral patterns such as tropical flowers have also become very popular as Spring flowers begin to bloom. The early 2000s look of tropical floral patterns have quickly made a comeback, while basic floral designs, now commonly known as “ditsy” or “ditsy floral,” are more commonly seen amongst dresses and flowy cardigans. 

   Another trend making its way into Spring of 2021 are patterns and styles that were ones commonly worn and seen in the 60s and 70s. Danielle Naer, a fashion writer who writes for “The Zoe Report” shares that trends such as “flared jeans, circle skirts, and disco collars” have risen in popularity. Many popular clothing stores/brands such as Brandy Melville, Princess Polly, and Forever 21 have released flared pants recently, living up to the past trend that is making its way back. Naer also shares that “style-watchers are also seeing an uptick of retro-boho trends from the ’70s, present in Dior and Kenneth Ize’s collections.” Even high-end fashion developers are in on these trends, expressing the fashion in their new pieces. 

   Another common trend that has circulated throughout the internet is shopping from retailers that offer used clothing. Applications such as Depop, eBay, and Poshmark, have become more commonly bought from because of the need to stay inside for the pandemic, as well as this generation’s want to help the environment. The constant manufacturing of new clothing uses large amounts of water, as well as releasing greenhouse gases into the air, but by reusing clothing and recreating it into a new unique piece, or buying pieces from someone who doesn’t use them anymore, rather than buying it new, you’re doing your part for the environment by not contributing to the mass amounts of negative effects that creating new clothing can have on our environment. Another plus of shopping secondhand is the amount of money saved.

   Social media applications such as Pinterest and Instagram offer great inspiration outfits and images if you’re looking into taking part in any of these trends, and although the pandemic has put shopping in public and going out to a halt, online shopping has come in clutch to allow us to shop and participate in these trends from the comfort of our own home. 

How COVID-19 Affects Us One Year Later

Anna Sladic
Staff Writer

    One year ago our lives were changed drastically due to the coronavirus outbreak. Lives were disrupted and confusion and fear spread across the globe, but now it is one year later, so what is different?

    Last year, schools shut down, people started working from home, borders closed, the economy was collapsing, and worst of all, people were dying from an unknown virus. Now some of these things have not gotten much better, but there still is hope. 

    With the introduction of the Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna vaccines, America COVID cases have diminished. According to Our World in Data, almost 20 percent of Americans are vaccinated which is around 64.4 million people. This is a dramatic change since last year since there are now ways to protect people from the virus.

    Now kids are returning to school. Some schools went back even earlier than springtime, but many schools are transitioning into a hybrid learning environment. In addition, some kids are able to play sports again. Not only can student athletes return to practice with their teams, but some states are allowing them to play games. In addition, professional and collegiate athletes were able to play sports. The Super Bowl and March Madness took place which allowed many athletes and spectators to feel normal again. 

    Even though COVID cases are not zero in America and the pandemic is far from over, there are still positive changes. One year later, sports, school, and work are returning to normal due to the increasing availability of the vaccine which is something many people thought impossible last year. 

Cool celestial events happening in 2021

Camryn Crump
Staff Writer

 Many celestial events are going to take place during the year of 2021; in all there will be about 6-10 events, some of them being very rare. 

   On April 22nd-23th, there will be a meteor shower. More specifically, a lyrids meteor shower. “The Lyrids is an average shower, usually producing about 20 meteors per hour at its peak”; according to Sea and Sky, the meteors from a lyrid meteor shower are caused by dust particles left from a comet that was found in 1861 named “Thatcher”. These meteors can create luminescent trails left in their wake, however because of the moon that will be nearly full this year, those trails could be covered. 

  However, the moon covering the trails might be worth it. On April 27, we will have a Full-Super moon which is also known as a “pink moon”. The term pink moon was coined by native american tribes because of the color being close to that of “moss pink” which is a spring flower according to Sea and Sky. This will also be the first of three supermoons that we will have in 2021 and will be extremely luminecent, large and prominent. 

   If you really want to see a meteor shower though, you will have to wait until May 6-7 when a eta aquarids meteor shower will take place, or later in the summer on August 11-12 for a perseid meteor shower. In order to see the most and the best of meteor showers, waiting until August is the best thing to do. According to Sea and Sky, these perseid showers are caused by a comet named “Swift Tuttle”, also discovered in 1861. In accordance with Smithsonian magazine, perseid meteors leave long fiery streaks of light in the dark sky, which are very hard to miss. People could see up to, “83 meteors per hour on the peak of the night of August 11th to the 12th ”. To get the best view of these perseid showers, the best bet is to be in a dark location after midnight. 

  Also happening in August, is another full moon, only this one will be blue. According to Sea and Sky, blue moons only occur every 2.7 years which makes sense considering when people use the term “once in a blue moon” they mean very rare or unusual, not occurring regularly.

   Although the meteor shower in May not be as cool as the one happening in August, there is still something pretty cool happening in the sky in May. This one being a total lunar eclipse, which some call a “blood moon” as the moon will appear a reddish orange color in the sky. According to Smithsonian magazine, “For the first time since January 2019, the Earth’s shadow will envelop the full moon in a total lunar eclipse.” For those of us on the east coast the lunar eclipse will take place promptly at 4:44 am and for those on Pacific time closer to 3:33 am on May 26, 2021. 

   Some other cool celestial events taking place in 2021 include:

-A partial lunar eclipse on November 19.

– Another meteor shower: A geminid meteor shower, in December on the 13th-14th which, according to sea sky, is the king of meteor showers as it can produce up to 120 meteors per hour at its peak. 

-The annular solar eclipse taking place just two weeks after the blood moon on June 10th. 

    If you’re into astronomy, 2021 should be a cool and interesting year for you; even if you aren’t into astronomy, sometimes it’s good to stop and look up once in a while at the wonderful and beautiful night sky and it’s happenings. 

The Return To In-Person Learning

Annie Ryan

  There has been lots of talk about whether Montgomery County is doing the logical thing by sending us back to school in March/April 2021. With the Covid 19 cases gradually declining after the amount of vaccine distributions going on is rising, children in the state are getting scheduled to go back to school, and some have already begun to go back. 

   On February 9th 2021, The Montgomery County Board of Education voted to approve MCPS’ 2021 Recovery Plan and released their recovery guide. Along with the recovery guide, they released their plans on transportation and transition times, phases, instruction models, and the “what to expect by grade” reports. Covid 19 cases in Maryland overall have spiraled up since March 5, but are continuing to decrease in Montgomery County.

   On April 8th, special groups and seniors in Montgomery County got to return to our school’s while continuing to follow all of the set guidelines placed in our schools. Freshman, Sophomores, and Juniors are proposed to go back on April 19th if the guidelines are met and kept. 

NCAA Controversy

Nicolas Recinos
Staff Writer

 The underlying contrasts among the women’s and men’sNCAA Weight Room facilities demonstrate there’s much more work to do in accomplishing correspondence across pro athletics. The men’s NCAA team was gifted with an amazing new gym, with barbells, dumbbells, etc. The women’s NCAA team assumed they would get the same treatment, however they were treated with high disrespect.  There to welcome the top women’s school b-ball major parts in the nation were conveniences and facilities — all given under the support of the NCAA — that were horribly inconsistent when contrasted with those offered to their male partners at the men’s Tournament bubble in Indianapolis. The women’s team had only received six pairs of dumbbells and a stack of yoga mats, again compared to the amazing comfort of a big, personal gym. Malakia Habib, soccer player for Damascus High School, called this situation “disgusting and disrespectful to all women who have been treated unfairly.”

   The weights, however, were not the only inequality between teams. Rather than the alternative rich smorgasbords served in the men’s air pocket, the ladies were getting little pre-bundled dinners. The ladies’ groups were likewise getting less dependable Covid-19 antigen tests, while the men’s groups were accepting the best quality level PCR tests. Unfit to discredit the unmistakable error in conveniences, the NCAA at first took cover behind an articulation accusing the “controlled climate” of the pandemic and guaranteeing that the inconsistency in the weight offices was because of an absence of room in the ladies’ air pocket.

   Although the NCAA has upheld ladies’ games as they have filled in prevalence, there is no question that the NCAA has never given the ladies’ side a similar help it reaches out to the men. One requirement is to look no farther than the actual court to see that the NCAA has neglected to utilize its most impressive marking instrument to advance the ladies’ competition: the brand name “College basketball” logo, which graces the focus court for the men’s games. Despite the fact that no brand name limitations forbid the NCAA from utilizing the March Madness marking to advance both the people’s competitions, it has mysteriously chosen to utilize it in the men’s tournament as it were.

   The conceivable support offered by the NCAA for this distinctive treatment? That the ladies’ b-ball competition doesn’t get sufficient income. However, the NCAA additionally has neglected to unveil what the incomes and expenses are for the ladies’ competition, not to mention how they measure facing the men’s. Regardless of whether the numbers showed that the NCAA can’t monetarily legitimize a similar degree of rewards for the ladies’ competition, it has never given a decent confidence reason it couldn’t remunerate wins in a more restricted design. Doing so would in any event give ladies some slice of the income pie. The NCAA, notwithstanding, as of late affirmed that it isn’t pushing for any adjustments in the reward structure. 

   Obviously, the imbalances in the people’s air pockets have been met with critical reaction from players, mentors, fans and the media. The patrons and financial backers have additionally pushed back. Dick’s Sporting Goods reported its eagerness to bring “loads of wellness gear” to the salvage in San Antonio. Orange Theory Fitness comparatively offered to open its studios for private meetings and to convey floor and weight hardware.

Attack On Titan Episode 14 delayed due to earthquake

Ishan Pahwa
Staff Writer

Ever since it’s manga debut in September of 2009, and the anime of the same name debuting in April of 2013, Attack on Titan has taken the anime community by storm.   

Created by Hajime Isayama, the plot revolves around Eren Yeager, a boy who lived in the town of Shiganshina, which is located on the edge of Wall Maria, one of three walls that are used to protect humans from giant, humanoid creatures known as Titans. One day, two Titans breach the wall protecting Shiganshina, and one of the Titans devours Eren’s mother, whilst he escapes. After witnessing this, Eren vows revenge on all Titans, and enlists the aid of the military and his childhood friends, Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlert. 

The show’s final season commenced on December 7 of 2020, and the first part had concluded on March 29 of 2021. However, a magnitude 4.6 earthquake, which struck near Wakayama, Japan on March 14, 2021 had caused Episode 73 of the final season to be delayed to March 21. 

Attack On Titan’s 73rd episode “Evil” that was broadcasted on NHK General TV was interrupted due to the earthquake that happened in Wakayama” tweeted the Official Attack On Titan Twitter Account. “We will inform you all about its future broadcast and distribution details as soon as they’ve been decided” the Tweet read. 

The episode has been out for three weeks at the time of publication, and is available to watch on any anime streaming service, such as Crunchyroll and Funimation. The second part of the Final Season will air in winter of this year; stay tuned for more details.  

Royal Family Faces Backlash After Oprah Interview

By Ally Haddad 

Staff Writer 

   During an interview with Oprah Winfrey, a popular talk show host, racism claims made by Megahn Markle and Prince Harry have shook the royal family and may have threatened the future of the Commonwealth. 

   The TV special “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s tell-all with Oprah Winfrey” aired in the UK on Commonwealth Day, a day praising unity among the association between 54 countries. However, after the episode aired, member nations began calling out the royal family wanting to drop Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state. In response to the interview, media outlets and leaders of other countries began speaking out in disappointment towards the royal family. 

   In the interview, duchess Megan Markle revealed that she felt suicidal during her pregnancy with her son Archie and received no support whatsoever from the royal family. “I went to the institution, and I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help, I said I never felt this way before…and I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution,” Markle said adding on that she had went to “one of the most senior people” to voice her concerns. Additionally, Megan shared with Winfrey concerns within the royal family about how dark her baby’s skin tone would be.

There were several “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he was born.” said Markle. This shocking revelation from the interview supposedly came straight from conversations Prince Harry had with members of his family. Both Megan and Harry refused to discuss the full conversations or name family members who were involved. They racism claims resulted in severe backlash towards the royal family questing the power they still have and why- especially if they’re racist. 

   News Americas, a company owninhg media outlets all across the Carribena, published an editorial suggesting tht the Commonwealth nations “emancopate themselves from the metal slavery and the last shackle of colonialism.” In Nigeria- the Commonwealth’s largest black nation- Nigerians had the same “disappointed” response towards the family. Several other representatives from countries such as Uganda, Jamaica, and Canada had similar opinions towards the allegations. Head of the Centre for Democracy and Development in Nigeria, Idayat Hassan said “We are a proud nation and have always assumed the royal family were pro-African and we enjoyed the relationship.” “We assumed we stood at the same level as them, but it seems as though they have in fact looked down on us.” Hassan told the UK paper Times of London. 

   The majority of responses were calling for a split with the monarchy in London-many questioning while we still need royalty. In addition to backlash towards the royal family, both Harry and Megan have been slandered by the British media. Markle has always been portrayed horribly by the media but it has gotten worse in response to these claims made in the interview. 

Following the Border Crisis

Daniel Lennon

Staff Writer

The Southern Border of the United States has always been a hot political topic and the epicenter of how the United States should “redo” or reform the Immirgration system. Latest data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows. This week there were more than 172,300 encounters with migrants on the Southwest border in March, a 71% increase over February.

That’s up from 103,731 in March 2019 and 50,347 in March 2018. This includes a record 18,890 unaccompanied children, compared to 9,380 in March 2019 and 5,244 in March 2018. CBP also reported 53,623 encounters with family units last month, a 173% increase. Many Americans wonder why this might be happening and turned to the newly elected President Biden for answers. Some found the answer was receptive and pointed to this situation being handled similarly by other Administrations. Others found the President’s answer to be grotesque. 

“It happens every year,” President Biden said in a news conference. Some point to data, border security analysis, and other experts in the subject. Whether the President’s “It happens every year” is true or not it, there has been a bipartisan consensus to draft a bill that would force the Department of Homeland Security to fund reasonable and safe conditions for the migrants who are either being detained to illegal entry for the vast amount of children that are coming in solo waves!

In recent time, Roberta Johnson the former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico has stepped down from her position some have labeled as the “Border Czar.” The crisis undoubtedly will need to be addressed promptly and swiftly with coordinated communication! It has been noted as a full test to the Biden Administrations dealing with the Covid-19 Pandemic, Gun violence and foreign relations. Rumors have led some to also believe in a possible rebuild or restart of the previous administration’s border wall, though there hasn’t been any official proclamation from the President.

The Vice President  who has been named a possible “Border Czar” has also refused to visit the Southern Border due to possible exposure to covid, while the Secretary of Department of Homeland Security has gone 3 times. Currently, the President claimed the “Situation is under control.” Many people are still skeptical and await to see how this issue unfolds in the next months.