KHQ TODAY

End of Year Busy Work


As the year draws closer towards its end many students now face a new problem. Teachers have reached the end of their required curriculum, and now many have decided to give them work with no purpose other than to keep them busy. This can be incredibly frustrating for students.

Often, the work is not actually helpful for the real world or knowledge we would need to have. In my personal experience, I have done countless essays and presentations at the end of the year and this year it has been especially bad.

This is the first year of my high school career where I have had a job during school, so it hits much harder now. For the past few weeks, I’ve noticed times I am doing homework at 11:00 P.M. instead of sleeping after a shift and start to think “Why am I doing this?”

In my personal opinion as this year draws closer to its end teachers should take more consideration towards their student’s time and the other things they have going on in their lives outside of school such as sports or a part-time job. Upon this consideration, they should work to limit their busy work given. In its replacement, I feel that short assignments that are helpful and relevant to what students need to know In real life would be a much better use of time than a presentation or essay this time of year after the main curriculum has already been taught.

Different Gender, Different Cost

An increased price of female items which males pay a cheaper amount for has affected women lives for years.

Items+such+as+utility+products%2C+care+products%2C+and+more+are+all+more+expensive+than+their+male+counterparts.+

Photo by: Emilia Belcolore

Items such as utility products, care products, and more are all more expensive than their male counterparts.

Most know the two different arguments to whether or not females should have to pay the price of feminine products and more. As much as that may be a pain, the more apparent issue is the price difference of the same item but one labeled for men and the other for women. Why should females have to pay extra for the same thing just because it’s scented differently, colored in pinks and purples, and potentially lesser quality? If you’re not familiar with what’s called “the pink tax”, it’s the increase of pricing for women’s items when the male counterpart can be significantly cheaper. For years the price of items such as razors, shaving cream, deodorant, soaps, and even children’s toys have seemed to be sexist. Over time, women have slowly but surely been receiving the rights they deserve such equal pay, but the pink tax has not completely disappeared.

Represented by pink dollar bills, this anonymous quote shows the value behind the pink tax. (Photo by: Emilia Belcolore)

If you’re not completely convinced, a study completed by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs did confirm that females are more likely to bear the expense compared to males. On average, the DCA found that women’s products cost seven percent more than similar products for men. Not only is the pink tax inconvenient for most, but it can cost up to thousands of dollars in damages.
“The pink tax costs women roughly $2,135 per year,” says goodhousekeeping.com.
According to axthepinktax.com, the pink tax can cost a 30-year-old woman more than $40,000 in fees and nearly $82,000 will be charged to a woman in her late 60’s that men don’t have to pay. Currently no federal law prohibits companies from charging different prices for identical items based on gender. The Listen Money Matter’s website says that women pay more than men 42% of the time. They also suggest women to buy male products. “Surprisingly color has little to do with the hair removing process,” said the article after telling women to save money by purchasing male razors.

Hopefully over time, both males and females will be able to pay the same price for the same item. After all, just because it’s a different gender, doesn’t mean there should be a different cost.

This chart created shows on average how much more females pay for different products compared to males.
About the Contributor

Springfield Public School Announces 5 days of In-Person Learning

On Tuesday March 9th, Springfield Public Schools announced that they will be going back to 5 days of In-Person learning, starting after Spring break. This only applies to the students currently enrolled in the Hybrid Learning option. Students that previously had Wednesdays as a virtual learning day will now be back seated in class. This announcement however does not affect SPS students enrolled in the Fully Virtual Learning option.

Monday March 22nd, will mark the start of the first week in over a year where students enrolled in the In-Person learning option will be back in seated classes 5 days a week.

SPS’s announcement comes as transmission rates of COVID-19 still remain at moderate levels in Greene County, Missouri, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a statement to parents SPS noted that the district will continue with the current safety protocols such as requiring face coverings for students and staff and thorough cleaning of SPS buildings.

However, it remains difficult to see how the district will be able to continue with there safety protocols while going back to 5 days of In-Person Learning.

SPS originally made Wednesdays a deep cleaning day. While students learned virtually, SPS facilities would be thoroughly cleaned. But now with students in school 5 days a week, there remains little time for a thorough cleaning of SPS classrooms and facilities.

There also remains the question of whether or not students will be required to wear a mask through the end of the school year. The City of Springfield mask ordinance is set to end April 9th. If the ordinance does not get extended past April 9th, then residents within the city of Springfield limits will no longer be required to wear a face covering. This would also mean that students may not be required to wear a mask unless SPS says otherwise.

Finally, there are still unknowns about when all staff in SPS can get vaccinated. While this process has started, many teachers and staff are still not vaccinated. Going back 5 days a week would mean that there is another day for the the virus to be transmitted, and another day of crowded class rooms, and as the warmer weather comes classrooms will be COVID-19 hot pots.

While SPS did work with the Health Department in making this decision, there still remain many unknowns. At this point it seems as though it would have been better for SPS to stick with the current arrangement, to make sure that we can keep transmission rates down in our schools and keep students safe.

At the end of the day only time will tell if SPS made the right decision in sending thousands of students back to 5 days of In-Person learning during a global pandemic that has no real end in sight.

Foreign Language Credits

Learning a foreign language isn’t for everyone. Some people excel in this department, while others struggle to wrap their minds around something so different. You might’ve heard people in your life say things like, “Without credits of foreign language, you probably won’t get into college,”. Is this statement really true?

“[Having a foreign language] sets students apart to  more employers and the general public,” Spanish teacher Kristen Wyrick said. 

Mrs. Wyrick is a teacher who believes that being fluent in another foreign language is incredibly  important. 

Now, it is not impossible to get into college without 2 credits of a foreign language, but it does set a disadvantage. When looking between someone with two foreign language credits on their application and someone with less, college admissions officers are more likely to choose the first. Foreign language fluency is more appealing to colleges because it opens the door for opportunity and success. People who are fluent in two or more languages are available to more career opportunities and are more culturally developed, after learning about a new culture and its language.  Colleges also like consistency when it comes to foreign languages. 

These classes should be in the same language—colleges would much prefer to see proficiency in one language than a superficial smattering of several languages,” Allen Grove said, in his article for ThoughtCo.com. 

Again, however, it’s not impossible for a high school senior with little to no foreign language credits to get into college. 

“I think a person can get into college but you won’t be very competitive,” Mrs. Wyrick said. 

A student who doesn’t fulfill those requirements must know that their level of competitiveness when trying to get into a college is much lower without being fluent in a foreign language. 

“That said, students who have just the minimum can win admission if their applications demonstrate strengths in other areas,” Grove from ThoughtCo.com said. 

Our 2020-21 school year is coming to an end, and people are moving up a grade, graduating, and going off to college.  It is important that students feel prepared for what is ahead, and understand all of the factors that go into making their education as successful as possible. Foreign language classes look great on applications, but aren’t for everyone. If it is something that peaks your interest, go for it. However, just know, they are not required to get into college. Everyone should pursue their own passions and skills while taking a step into further education and adulthood.

About the Writer

Designer at a Discount!

  Keeping up to date with popular name brands should never come at an extreme cost. Here is a list of trendy items and their fraction of the cost Amazon dupes; 

  LuluLemon has been a commonly purchased brand since the mid 2000s and their prices have steadily increased along with their popularity. LuluLemon align 28” leggings are one of their most popular products, which cost about $98. The most common dupe for these leggings are the Buttery Soft high waisted yoga pants on Amazon, which cost around $22. 

It is no secret Ray Ban sunglasses are a popular sunglass brand for many teens, but is it really worth the cost? The most common Ray Ban glasses I see people wearing are the Round Metal Classic G-15 + Gold, which cost around $154 before tax and shipping. You would be lucky to find these in store and especially on sale, but fortunately Amazon has an almost identical pair for $19.99 and is offered with Amazon Prime.

Hydro Flask water bottles have been around for a couple years now and their popularity has only increased. Hydro Flasks are great water bottles, especially the 32 oz. bottle with the wide mouth straw lid, which tends to be about $49.95. To me $5o for a water bottle is a bit extreme, but once again Amazon is coming to the rescue. Amazon sells a “Simple Modern Insulated Water Bottle with Straw Lid 1 Liter Reusable Wide Mouth Stainless Steel Flask Thermos”, which is also 32 oz and cost about $19.99 and also comes with Amazon Prime! 

 

 

AMC Private Theater Rental – Is it worth it?

COVID-19 has affected many aspects of our lives. Things we took for granted being able to do at the drop of a hat are no longer easily accessible if at all. One of the many victims of the COVID-19 shutdown was movie theaters. Movie theaters across the country have been shut down since March of last year, and some of which such as the relatively new arrival Alamo Drafthouse and Cinema have closed their ticket stands for good.

Needless to say, the AMC movie theater has had to get creative to keep moviegoer attendance up especially considering COVID-19 restrictions that regulate the number of attendees at a time, and the fact that there have been far fewer blockbuster releases since COVID-19 struck. But thanks to problem-solving masterminds behind the scenes, they have come up with a solution. People can literally rent out an entire theater room and have up to twenty people attend – for only one hundred to two hundred dollars, depending on the show they choose. Not only that, but there is a variety of movies the renter can choose from, including classics such as Back to the Future and Jurassic World for one hundred dollars and new releases such as Wonder Woman 1984 and Chaos Walking for two hundred.

Now, maybe the two hundred sounds like a ridiculously high price to watch a movie. Maybe even one hundred sounds like a bit much. So let’s do some math. Let’s say you were to go watch an older movie with a group of twenty people, and the overall cost was one hundred dollars. If you divided one hundred by twenty, that’s five bucks a person. The movies available to watch for one hundred dollars are movies no longer playing in most movie theaters, so in my opinion, five dollars to watch a classic movie as if it had just been released sounds pretty good.

Now, how about the two hundred dollar rentals? Are those worth it? Let’s do some more math. If you wanted to go watch a new release and just bought a regular ticket for an evening show, it would cost an adult almost thirteen dollars. If you rented out the theater and got a group of twenty together to hang out and watch it together and split the cost, the cost per ticket would end up being ten dollars a person.

Ok, so the prices sound good. The films sound good. What about the experience? I had the opportunity to be apart of a group that rented out a theater room to watch a movie that left theaters in 2018, Crazy Rich Asians. Although this movie is no longer available as an option to view in a rented-out theater, the experience would still be the same. We literally had the entire room to ourselves. We could sit in any seat we want and move around as we pleased. We could talk to each other or react to the movie out loud if we wanted to and even take a nap without judgment (I took full advantage of this). The theater was selling popcorn and drinks as well as other food so we got to enjoy these moviegoing classics as well. Then once we were done, a team of workers came through and thoroughly sanitized everything so the room was ready for the next group or show.

Overall, I really enjoyed this experience. I loved having the freedom to watch a movie with a large group of friends without worrying about everyone getting tickets in the general vicinity of one another. I enjoyed getting to see a movie I liked a lot but didn’t have the chance to see it when it first released, and getting to verbally react to the movie and laugh and talk with friends was super fun as well. The price is extremely reasonable and the system of renting a room was well set up. So if you and a group of friends want to get out and do something different, consider renting out a theater and enjoy the show!

 

Questionable Quarantine

Students unable to social distance. If one tested positive for COVID-19, the new guidelines would not require the others to quarantine

SPS new guidelines shows they do not care about students, staff, or families.
We need to return to the quarantine guidelines that were enforced at the beginning of the year in interest of everyone’s safety.
Previous guidelines were if a student was seated next to a COVID-19 positive person they would have to quarantine.
On November 12, 2020 SPS changed their quarantine guidelines. Now anyone directly exposed to COVID-19 is no longer required to quarantine, as long as both parties were wearing masks.
Countless times I have seen students improperly wearing their masks, which makes them ineffective. However, SPS will still consider that student as wearing masks. Teachers are busy and do not have a lot of time to tell the students repeatedly to wear the masks properly.
Masks when worn properly still aren’t always 100% effective. This furthermore shows why quarantine should be mandatory for anyone directly exposed to COVID-19 masked or not. According to UCDAVIS wearing a mask only decreases your chance of getting COVID by 65%,
SPS is abiding by these new rules in hopes of keeping students and staff in school.
Are people’s lives really less important than attending school? SPS thinks so.

COVID-19 case numbers are not decreasing. In this time our school has decided to loosen restrictions instead of cracking down on them.
We all have family and elders in our lives that we care for. Our school, a place of work to many, does not care about their staff or students safety and well-being.
The president of the local education union spoke out against these new rules and called them a “dangerous choice.”
The school district changed a system that wasn’t broken for their own greed. I believe, the less teachers that are quarantined, the less money they have to pay for substitutes. The teachers are not paid during COVID-19 sick leave. We have to stand up for what is right. It could literally be life and death.
Our own state governor, Mike Parsons, who first allowed these new quarantine guidelines said, “These kids have got to get back to school. They’re at the lowest risk possible. And if they do get COVID-19, which they will — and they will when they go to school — they’re not going to the hospitals. They’re not going to have to sit in doctor’s offices. They’re going to go home and they’re going to get over it. We’ve got to move on. We can’t just let this thing stop in our tracks.”
Some might agree with Parsons. Those who do are out of touch, and do not understand what it is like for those of us experiencing these new guidelines. If he won’t care about us and our families someone needs to.

Senioritis

   If you are anything like me you didn’t know that this was a real thing, or a thing at all till you finally got to the last year of high school. I truly didn’t know it was a thing but I saw how it can affect you. I haven’t liked school or wasn’t pumped to come in since I was in back in early middle school. Now with the years of our high school years coming to an end I know, we are all ready to be done with all the drama, negativity, stress, and every other thing that you have every piled onto yourself through the years. We have all had our moments when we wish to drop out or give up with no motivation, but that, that is senioritis in its truest form.

   I have been here maybe about two fifths of the time that we are supposed to be here. This isn’t because I think it’s hard, or that I  don’t want to do the work, it’s just that I am simply…… done.

   This might not be true for all seniors and some even have the urge to push harder than ever and take the hardest classes they can but in reality, there are just so many filler classes that DON’T HELP US IN THE FUTURE. Personal finance is one of the only classes I know for a fact I will use in my adult life. 

   This isn’t a rant as it may seem but hopefully an eye opener to teachers and staff so students can find a love for school like teachers have the love to teach. The matter of fact is that school wears on all of us, students or staff, it’s gotten to us many times and in the end, it will get to you. What we need to understand tho is the fact that you have to be the one to power through it or sit back and coast like I have fallen to do.

Stressed For School

   Counselors are constantly reminding us that honors or advanced classes are good. They help us get ahead, they will look good on our resumes, but at what cost?

   The Pew Research Center explains that in 2018, 70% of teens think that depression and anxiety are a problem among their peers and still, they are pushed to constantly do better, be better, and achieve more.

   The pressure to be in all honors and still be in 300 clubs, sports and activities is overwhelming. On top of that, there is an obligation to have a job and a social life and then still find time for ourselves.

  At the end of the day, the time just doesn’t check out and for some people, college is not even an option. 

   Counselors make it seem like it is the only real post-high school plan and do everything to gear our education towards it. 

   Schools need to show us that there are options outside of college; there is the military, there are two-year associate programs for people wanting to go into the workforce.

   The stress and anxiety of high school shouldn’t be forced on everyone– no matter what counselors say. 

The Taste Of Water

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  Imagine this, it’s between classes and you only have five minutes to get a drink and get to class. Knowing which fountain to go to can save you a few seconds of those valuable five minutes. Through a set of rigorous tests and an official chart, I’m going to tell you where to get the best water in our school.

     Eighteen fountains make up what most students can easily access in between classes. Fountains next to each other were rated together and their scores then averaged. This means only twelve fountains are up for the true title of the best fountain.

   Let’s start with the categories I went through to figure out the best water fountain. 

    I first started with the coldness of the water. After a long day getting a cold drink can make all the difference. On a scale from one to five, there were many fountains that achieved a perfect score.

 Fountains near the first floor science wing and first floor history wing have some of the coldest water. Another honorable mention would be the fountain near the concessions stand.

   The water there is crisp and cold, but did not reach the top of the ranks due to deficits in other categories.

   The next of the categories I choose to rank the fountains was accessibility. Some fountains were immediately disqualified for being in places an average student cannot get to.

   Depending on what class you’re in or traveling to could change the accessibility for you. For this, I went with fountains that weren’t meant for certain classes or too far from the rest of the school.

 My next category was the presentation. This severely lowered the scores of different fountains. Small chunks of food in the drain or unfortunately placed trashcans can ruin a good hydration experience.

   This caused fountains in the commons, near the gym, and on the second floor near room 244 to lose a majority of their points. 

   Next is taste. Some people might say that water is tasteless, but I would have to disagree. Water can taste metallic, dirty, and even stale. So, when picking the perfect water fountain, the taste was a big concern.

   The second floor science wing and second floor English wing fountains had a crisp, clean taste that left me feeling refreshed.

   Finally, the last of my categories was pressure. When you have to touch the spout the water comes out of to get a drink, it leaves you feeling grossed out. For this, I recommend the first floor science wing or the fountain near the concessions stand.

   There was one fountain that had everything I was looking for in a quick drink. With five in temperature, accessibility, presentation, and taste the second floor math hallway had the best water. With a 4.8 rating, as the water pressure lost a single point, it’s the best fountain in school.

   Next time you’re in need of a quick drink and have time to walk to any fountain, the math hall will be waiting. 

Apex vs Fortnite

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Photo by: TNS

Apex Legends (Electronic Arts)

As most already know, Fortnite was easily the most popular game of 2018. Just recently a battle royal game by the name Apex Legends that is also free to download and play became available to the public on .Battle royale games are games that you fight till only a winner stands so there is only one winner compared to other shooter games like call of duty or halo that you can play free for all, team deathmatch, and etc. As 2019 started fortnite was still roaring with users but Apexs launch has stolen quite a few Fortnite users. When it comes to Apex, the main question the users have is will it also go cross platform like Fortnite? This means will they make it able for xbox users to play with pc and ps4 friends and vise versa. In an interview with euorogamer, A website focused on video game journalism the lead producer Drew McCoy confirmed that cross play for Apex Legends is in the works and will be coming during the games lifespan. This is great news to its fans and will continue to make this game more popular and compete with Fortnite better. In my opinion Fortnite is the better game because of getting new seasons and new characters to unlock makes the game more exciting for me. I also play with a lot of friends that have xbox and apex is not yet compatible so i will continue to play fortnite till apex goes cross platform. I know what to expect in fortnite considering I have seen playing it for close to a year now.
While apex is a whole new game to learn and get the hang of i am going to continue bettering my fortnite skills. One major difference between the two is in Fortnite you can drop in to the map by yourself, with a partner or in a squad, Meaning when the game starts you are flying in a plane and have to parachute out to start the game, landing wherever you would like. In Apex your only option is to drop in as a team of three. Another huge difference in fortnite you have the ability to build walls, ramps and roofs to protect yourself when someone is shooting at you. At first i did not like this but grew to like it as I learned that it will protect and keep me alive. When landing to load up in fortnite you then search houses for chests, guns, ammo, wood, brick, and metal, you can get these materials by using you sword to chop down the trees, walls, rocks etc. In apex the only way to get your supplies is by opening supply bins and picking stuff up of the ground in houses. I like playing both of the games but at the end of the day i would rather play fortnite because I have more fun and am better at Fortnite than Apex.

thank u, next

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When the weight of the world gets too heavy what do you do? For Ariana Grande, you pick yourself up and run to the studio. To kick off the new year, Grande released her fifth studio album Thank U, Next. Released just six months after her fourth album Sweetener, Thank U, Next sets the tone with pop songs filled with wants, needs, and emotional relief. The albums lead single “Thank U, Next” was the fastest song in history to reach 100 million streams and spent most weeks at No.1 by a female artist (4 weeks). Tracks go from wanting desire without commitment (bloodline), missing someone you’ve lost (ghostin’), making someone out to be better than they really are (In my head),
to interrupting relationships out of pure boredom (break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored). Songs like ghostin’ will have you reminiscing on your past lovers with lyrics like “He just comes to visit me/when I’m dreaming every now and then,”. More upbeat songs like NASA will have you dancing to the thought of needing space. Imagine is track No.1 on the album that illustrates the world revolving around a couple, as if they are the only two around. Overall, this album will have you celebrating your self worth and journey. When I think of this album the word that comes to mind is karma. No specific karma, good nor bad. I would recommend listening to this album on the days you need to pick yourself up and move on.

Springfield Food Leader

Takeout food is a large part of our everyday lives. Being on the move for most of us means either McDonald’s , Wendy’s, or another large fast food chain. With a simple call ahead most restaurants will put together a carry out, or to go order, which could be a much healthier option other than the fast food restaurants on every corner. The Springfield Food Leader reviewed Yum Yum Bowl, Hinode, City Butcher, and Houlihan’s. We ordered two meals from each of the restaurants. The majority of these restaurants prioritize sit down customers, but we ordered all our food for carry out, but made sure to take note of freshness, taste, and customer service. Yum Yum Bowl was the first restaurant we reviewed, they are located at 4808, 706 Battlefield Rd, Springfield, MO 65807, or you can reach them at 417-882-3644. We ordered Yum Yum bowl over the phone and then went to pick it up. When we showed up at the restaurant about 15 minutes later, the food was almost ready for us. The girl who was working at the front counter was very nice and treated us with kindness and professionalisim. The two meals we ordered from Yum Yum Bowl were the orange chicken with fried rice and the bourbon chicken with steamed rice. The so called “bourbon” chicken had good texture and was not dry at all, but the flavor was not there. The bourbon flavor that was supposed to be infused in the meat was basically non existent. Everyone who sampled the chicken said that it was very bland, and the chicken almost tasted like it had the aroma of carrots and other assorted vegetables with it. The steamed rice that came with the bourbon chicken was actually pretty decent, a tad over cooked, but as a side dish it did its job. The orange chicken was cooked similar to the bourbon, very moist and tender. The orange chicken was very flavorful unlike the bourbon, which in our opinion wasn’t a good thing. The chicken was drowned in a processed orange flavored sauce which almost gave a similar flavor of orange fruit snacks. The sauce; very candy tasting, really did not have much of a bite to it, as orange chicken generally does. Fried rice was the side that came with the the orange chicken. The fried rice really lacked the typical fried rice flavor, it tasted more like the steamed rice they serve, but doused in soy sauce. Fried rice traditionally is served with vegetables and egg mixed in which really is what gives it the distinct flavor, the fried rice at Yum Yum bowl on the other hand did not. Hinode The second restaurant we reviewed was Hinode which is located at 4301 S National Ave, Springfield, MO 65810 and can be reached at 417-877-1777. The two meals ordered at Hinode where the Chicken and the Sirloin steak lunch specials. When we showed up at Hinode, we had already called in and we ended up waiting for a while. We walked in and we talked to the hostess who barely smiled at us. We thought she was a little rude, and did not want to take care of us. Once we paid and we were waiting she did not say anything else to us, and then we got our food and left. The chicken in the chicken special was somewhat dry. The sauce that it was in was a very good teriyaki, so it leveled out the score for the dry chicken. The chicken portion was also very small, so there was not as much food given compared to Yum Yum Bowl. The sirloin steak in the other special we ordered was cooked to a perfect medium. Whatever sauce the steak was marinated in was phenomenal, we practically drank the juice to figure out what was in it, we could only detect garlic and teriyaki. The sirloin steak well exceeded expectations. The food at Hinode did come with more sides, both the chicken and the steak came with real fried rice, noodles, and vegetables. The fried rice was delicious and was completely a breath of fresh air compared to Yum Yum Bowl. The noodles were also delicious, they were cooked with butter, garlic, salt, and pepper. They were a great side for this dish. The vegetables were crunchy and were in the same sauce as the chicken which tied the whole meal together. When comparing these two meals which are in the same category of food, Hinode definitely won the prize. The food was great and even though the service did not match the food quality, the food made up for it. We’ve been to Asia with hinode and Yum Yum bowl, now we are headed over to Italy by visiting Bambinos Cafe located at 2810 Battlefield Rd Suite D, Springfield, MO 65804, or reachable at 417-881-4442. Bambinos At Bambinos we ordered two dishes as well, the toasted ravioli (a midwestern delicacy) and “The Bambino”, and every order at Bambinos is served with a side of sliced bread.
Starting off with the Toasted ravioli, and I’ll have to admit I was slightly disappointed with what I had received. The ravioli is one of the meat filled variety. I was slightly disappointed by that fact. The breading on the ravioli was nothing special, for a restaurant that claims to be the best italian in Springfield, they could step up their toasted rav game. To top it off, the ravioli was overcooked and even burnt on the bottom. The marinara sauce served with it was really watery and did not have many different elements of taste. My ravioli experience at Bambinos was sub par to say the least. The second dish was a pasta called “The bambino”, a Cavatelli pasta cooked in a stellar meat and tomato sauce with and endless depth of flavor, the dish was even topped off with melted provel cheese, which added to the flavor. The sauce was seasoned well with hints of garlic and chopped onion. The meat sauce didn’t skimp out on the meat portion of the sauce either, making this meal extremely hearty. The pasta was cooked perfectly al dente to add to how amazing this dish was. The addition of the melted cheese and toasted provel cheese on the top really made this the type of food that will stick to your ribs and remind you of grandmas cooking. HEAVY STATEMENT ALERT, this was the best pasta dish I have ever eaten. To finish out my review of Bambinos, I have got to say the toasted rav was below expectations, the pasta was amazing in every sense of the word and the service was decent at best. After being to Asia twice with a journey to Yum Yum bowl and Hinode, then heading over to Italy with a visit to Bambinos Cafe, we are finally taking a trip back to American with some good old fashioned BBQ from City Butcher and Barbeque. They are located at 3650 S Campbell Ave, Springfield, MO 65807 and can be reached at 417-720-1113. City Butcher At City butcher you can only make call in orders before 10:30 AM, so unless you call in before, then hopefully it is your lucky day and they still have meat whenever you come in. We actually ordered three items here because the sandwiches did not come with sides so we got a medium container of coleslaw along with a brisket sandwich and a burnt ends sandwich. Getting things rolling let’s start off with the coleslaw. Just like most coleslaws it was made with cabbage, vinegar, mustard, mayo and some spices. I thought personally that there wasn’t enough flavor and the cabbage really overpowered the sauce and traditional flavor of coleslaw. Even though the coleslaw was not very flavorful, the lettuce was crunchy and wasn’t impossible to eat. The brisket and the burnt ends where very similar, the only difference being that the burnt ends are a typically fatter chunk of meat adding to the flavor, and the charred crust around the meat. On the burnt ends there was also a lot of added seasoning which made for a bolder taste. Both the brisket and burnt ends where smoked to perfection and where as tender as could be, you could even see the smoke ring around the exterior of the meat proving it’s been cooked low and slow for hours. The seasoning is obviously a black pepper base and gave the meat another great spicy flavor. The bun both sandwiches were served on was a buttery flavored bun, I mean its a bun, it did its job, held the meat. Since the meat was so delicious, I think that the bun should have been higher quality. It was just a regular hamburger bun. The flavor all in all was so amazing, barbeque sauce was not even needed, all though the sauce they served had a nice mild spicy to it and was extremely good. The downside to this sauce (besides the fact it was not needed) was it had all most a jelly like consistency. All in all City butcher did not disappoint and holds true to what I’ve been told, the best barbeque in Springfield. Not to mention as soon as I walked into the door I was greeted with a smile. Overall, we were able to eat some very good food and the restaurants overall did a very good job. They all gave us the right food, it had somewhat of a decent flavor, and all of the workers were very kind to us. Even though we did not enjoy some dishes, the overall experience was very pleasant and positive, and I would definitely try all of these restaurants again.

Cry Pretty

Photo Courtesy of Tribune News
A country singer, Carrie Underwood, released her sixth studio album, Cry Pretty, on September 14, 2018. The album consist of 13 songs. They are soulful and full of meaning. The songs show another part of Carrie that most fans are not use to seeing. Not all of the songs have music videos, but you still feel the meaning in each word she sings. The songs Bullet and Love Wins are definitely the most inspirational, and the words convey messages still talked about today. These topics consist of gay rights and gun violence. In today’s climate talking about these issues is important because it helps
open the minds of people in society, and brings light to some major issues. The album has taken some political risk, but nonetheless the songs aren’t just about the country, roads and drinking that most stereotypical country music holds, they’re about love and convey real meaning, but Carrie keeps her country style and full throat voice. I’m not a big fan of country music. I’ve never listen to it, but I decided to try something different. And I was pleasantly surprised. If you’re a fan of country music and songs with what, I believe, are meaningful and full of life, I highly recommend the album Cry Pretty.

Swimming

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Photo courtesy of Tribune News

In his fifth and final studio album, the late Mac Miller drowns the listener in captivating songs of R&B, soul, jazz rap about heartbreak, self love, and healing. But do not be mistaken, this is not a breakup album.
“I’m just talking about things that I’m proud of myself for, things I’m afraid of, or things that are just thoughts and emotions,” he told Beats 1 host Zane Lowe.
The whole album itself, flows at the same pace and keeps you listening. The leading single, Self Care tells how Miller is overcoming struggles and making the decision to treat himself right.
The emotional and nostalgic feel of 2009 with a beautiful orchestra playing at the beginning will have you reminiscing on the past.

More upbeat songs like What’s the use? , which has a subtle cameo of Snoop Dogg, tells how Miller is dealing with personal devastation.
The title goes wonderfully with the album as a whole, the album flows you along song to song, each telling a story and has important meaning behind each one. Overall, the word that comes to mind when I listen to this album is patience, I’m not quite sure how to explain why but maybe because the album seems to keep you calm and focused, even the upbeat songs. I would highly recommend listening to Swimming on your lowest, chillest, or simply days you just need to be in your head.

Sierra Burgess Really Is A Loser

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The Netflix original movie Sierra Burgess Is a Loser was supposed to be a homage to every self conscious girl who feels like they have no purpose or have no idea who they are. Instead, the movie portrayed its main character, Sierra Burgess as a vindictive and manipulative loner whose only purpose in life is to win the heart of a boy. Sierra is the basic stereotype for this sort of character. She has good grades, is in band, has one friend, who is just as nerdy as her, and she is bullied for every step she takes. She is even played by a plus sized actress, which is a step up for the teen film industry. When we first meet Sierra, she is going through what most high school seniors go through, college stress. Her counselor asks her the question of “What is Sierra Burgess?” but Sierra has no answer, causing her to stress. Her counselor suggests she takes up tutoring, so that her applications stand out. That’s when she decided to put her number around the school. When the head mean girl of the school, Veronica, decides to give Sierra’s number to a cute guy as a joke because he has “loser friends,” things start to take off. Sierra gets a mystery text, It happens to be Jamey, the cute boy. Sierra has no idea why or how this boy has her number but she plays along, hoping that it isn’t all too good to be true.
When Jamey calls her Veronica it is all clear and Sierra is crushed. She decides to play along anyway. The movie tries to justify Veronica’s horrific bullying with the fact that her mom is plus sized and her dad left. The mom is just a coverup for trying to be a ‘diverse’ movie and giving a mean spirited girl a scapegoat. The main problem I have with this movie is that it glorifies the act of catfishing. Catfishing is pretending to be someone else, and engaging in a fantasy that could eventually lead to emotional harm for both involved. Sierra is catfishing Jamey into believing that she is Veronica, when in fact she is not. Jamey eventually asks “Veronica” to FaceTime and (Sierra being an idiot) says yes. Coincidentally, the real Veronica ends up needing a tutor and Sierra offers to help her in exchange for a favor. Her plan is to FaceTime Jamey with Veronica’s face, but with Sierra’s voice in the background. When Sierra says something, Veronica acts like it is lagging. The FaceTime ends up being a success, and the catfishing continues. Overall, this movie was trying to send a major message to teenagers that you don’t have to be the most beautiful, skinny, or the most popular to win the favor of people, but it ended up being like every other Netflix original, with the same cast, bad acting, and the glorification of nasty internet ways.

Kneeling For Nothing

I do not support making Colin Kaepernick the face of the Nike campaign. I personally believe that it is disrespectful and a spit in the face to the men and women that serve and have served our great country under the flag and National Anthem. However, I don’t believe that Kaepernick intended for it to be viewed as disrespectful. I think that he just wanted to do something to get the NFL talking about him again because he is not a very good quarterback and he was probably going to get traded. No matter the intended outcome of his actions I do realize that he was just exercising his right to protest, I just don’t agree with the way he went about it. I am truly glad that he used his “celebrity” status to stand up for something that he believes in.
Honestly though, I don’t think that he is the right person to speak for the “oppressed black people and people of color” since he grew up in a white household and he did make it into the NFL so he wasn’t too oppressed if you ask me. Also, for Nike to name him as the face of their ad under the phrase “stand up for what you believe in, even if it means losing everything” is ironic. He DID NOT lose everything! He simply lost one overpaid job for another. That is not everything when there are people dodging bullets on a war front, hiding from the government in order to go to school, and when many people don’t have houses, food, or drinkable water. Kaepernick used his status and the issues of the world to benefit himself and Nike helped him to do so when they endorsed him.
Photo courtesy of Tribune News Service

A To Z Conspiracy: Area 51

Whats really going on behind the closed gates of Area 51?

By ZACH ARNOLD AND AARON SAWCHAK

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The U.S we’re  conducting low flying planes for recon missions about one hundred and fifty six miles from Las Vegas in Nevada in the early 1950’s. The constant  fear of being spotted and shot down led President Eisenhower to authorize the development of a top secret high altitude recon aircraft project called the U-2. This required a remote area not visible by spies or civilians. Area 51 was perfect for this.

  The sheehan family owned a groom mine property overlooking the secret base Area 51. The family no longer owns the title to the property that the family owned for one hundred and thirty years. The Federal government took the deed through eminent domain after offering the Sheehan family $333,000 which they thought was extremely low. The family has still not been paid for the land but are very prepared to fight in a jury trial.. Sheehan told Fox News that Air Force officials started showing up unannounced on the property in the early 1940s and 1950s to intimidate his grandparents. His family made complaints to the Air Force but nothing ever happened. After the Air Force confiscated the property on September 16, 2015, the family had three experts appraise the property. Each appraiser noticed its unique value and came to a conclusion that the land was worth 44 million to 116 million dollars.

  In contrast to commercial airliners, which can fly at altitudes of around 30,000 feet, U-2 planes could reach heights of 60,000 feet. This led to the misconception that U-2’s were extraterrestrial flying objects. With Air force officials knowing these  sightings were actually U-2 tests they decided to cover this up by saying that these sightings were “natural phenomena” and “high altitude weather research planes”. The CIA officially acknowledged the existence and location of this base in 2013. In July 1947, the military sensationally announced in a press meeting that they had found the remains of a crashed flying saucer in the desert. The following day they retracted their statement saying that it was a U.S air force air balloon. Sheriff Jess Slaughter and Deputy Sheriff Charles Fogus were on duty the night of the incident.

  In the interview with Sheriff Fogus he claimed that  he saw a flying object smash into the side of a river bed. The object was “100 feet” across. “When we got there the land was covered with soldiers and they were hauling a big creature,I saw the legs and feet on some of them and they looked like our feet.

  After the Soviets took people to the moon the USA felt pressured to do the same. Not having the technology that the USSR had, the Americans were desperate to get someone to the moon. Area 51 was the best place they could find to fake the moon landing. When Neil Armstrong planted the American Flag  in the dirt, the flag started to wave like there was a breeze.

Christmas Cookies

 As thanksgiving comes to an end family and friends start to think about getting ready for christmas one of the most celebrated american holidays. Making christmas foods and goodies is one amazing way to have some fun in the kitchen around the holidays.

Making sugar cookies: ingredients- 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon baking powder, 1 cup of butter-softened, 1 ½ cups white sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Directions: 1) preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. 2) In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoons of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets. 3) Bake eight to ten minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

  How to make royal icing; Ingredients- three tablespoons of meringue powder, six tablespoons of water, and four cups of sifted confectioners sugar. Next you are going to beat all ingredients together on low for seven to ten minutes or until icing forms peaks. Keep icing covered with a wet kitchen towel to keep icing from drying out.

  After making these cookies and adding the royal icing i decided to try them and give them a rate from one to ten. I give these cookies a solid eight because they are very good and i couldn’t stop at just one cookie. The icing really added a perfect flavor to the sugar cookie.

Source for recipe: allrecipes.com

 

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