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The mysterious origins of April fools day

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Even though April fools day (also called All Fools’ Day) may not be as popular as Valentine’s day or Christmas, there are some people who wait all year to celebrate this goofy holiday. The amusing outcome of most celebrations consists of people pranking their friends, teachers, families, and even companies.

In 1878, New York Graphic published an article convincing people that Edison had solved the problem of world hunger with a machine that could manufacture “biscuit, meat, vegetables and wine” out of nothing more than air, water and dirt, and people really believed it!

However, are all these pranks what this “day for fools” is really about? Where did it come from? As dearly as we hold the tradition of making fools of the people we care about, there are more than enough theories about where April Fools’ Day came from.

Notice the following statement about April Fools Day from the Encyclopedia Britannica: “Although it has been observed for centuries in several countries, the origin of the custom is unknown. It resembles other festivals, such as the Hilaria of ancient Rome (March 25) and the Holi festival of India (ending March 31). Its timing seems related to the vernal equinox (March 21), when nature ‘fools’ mankind with sudden changes in the weather.” Regardless of its origin, people use April Fools’ Day as an excuse to “play the fool.”

According to, one theory is that it began in 1582, when France adopted the Gregorian calendar. Before then, New Year’s Day fell on March 25, not Jan. 1st. and April fools were those who still celebrated the holiday in the spring, and were the subject of pranks and ridicule by those who observed the new year months ago.

In the Netherlands, the origin of April Fools’ Day is often attributed to the Dutch victory at Brielle in 1572, where the Spanish Duke Álvarez de Toledo was defeated. “Op 1 April verloor Alva zijn bril” is a Dutch proverb, which can be translated to “On the first of April, Alva lost his glasses.” In this case, the glasses (“bril” in Dutch) serve as a metaphor for Brielle. In shorter words, they turned it into a mocking of Alvarez, making him look like a fool.

Even though history does not provide an authoritative source to determine this holiday’s exact basis and origin people will continue to celebrate and use it as an excuse to pull crazy pranks, and get away with it.

This is old European art representing
This is old European art representing “fools.” Photo Courtesy of The Grateful American Foundation.


Atlantic moves

in Arts & Entertainment/Campus Life by

 Students at Atlantic put their dancing shoes on to participate in a school-wide campaign on  March 6.  “Let’s Move” is a campaign that was started in 2010 by ex-first lady Michelle Obama. The main goal of the campaign, according to its website, is to “solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation.”

   So, how does Atlantic plan on fixing this problem? By getting kids active and getting them moving, by means of dancing. Angela Williams is the director who drives the campaign at our school and, during this year’s campaign, Jackson Destine, junior, made a rap song and video that promotes healthy living and being on a healthy diet by rapping lyrics that prompts students to move and exercise. Students danced in the school courtyard for the music video. Whoever participated was given t-shirts that were designed by art teachers Natalie De Feliz and Julia Zuniga.

   It’s not the first time that our school participated in this campaign; last year the school took part in the campaign by making a video showcasing how our school promotes healthy living through dancing to a popular rap song. Manasse Dornot, senior, said “it was pretty fun, seeing my peers, and future seniors goofing off and enjoying themselves, brought a smile to my face.”

   Administrators and students seem to be enjoying the campaign and its message, with the amount of support the campaign received, it will be welcome again next year.

The Let's Move logo Source:
The Let’s Move logo

Logan: movie review

in Arts & Entertainment/Opinions/Editorials by
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    X-23 and Wolverine in a car. Photo Courtesy of Youtube

 In 2016, the R-rated superhero movie Deadpool was released to the public, and although it was not the first Superhero movie to be R-rated, this one was a major turning point for Marvel movies.

  No matter a character’s backstory, when Marvel makes movies based on their heroes, it seems that they’ve been afraid to make a superhero film that was not rated PG-13, because they feared that it would not bring in enough profit. This fear would lead to them watering down stories because a group of four people, the average family dynamic, watching a movie is more profitable than just one or two individuals watching it. Deadpool went on to do extremely well, attaining over $700 million in the box office.

   When it was announced that the new Wolverine movie would be R-rated, fans of the hero who’d been begging for an R-rated film were very excited. Logan was the product that fans had been waiting for, and although it’s been said to be less action-packed than viewers were expecting, it does set a new trend that superhero movies can follow.

   The character of Wolverine throughout the comic books series was always portrayed as a wild, violent individual, and although it is seen throughout Logan, it is not nearly as dramatic.

  The movie, however, gives Wolverine the “Watchmen treatment,” which is a DC comic book that explores heroes when they are at their lowest and weariest. As a result, there is less of a focus on the violence and more emphasis on character development.

  The title of the movie is appropriate because this is one of the most personal superhero movies, digging deep into Logan’s personality, as he is tasked with smuggling a girl across the country, protecting her from villains searching for her, while simultaneously learning more about her as the story progresses.

  The acting in the movie is acceptable. The reason why it is considered good but not great, is because there are child actors in this movie… a lot of them. Although the young actress who plays a significant role (Dafne Keen) is great, the other child actors in the movie seemed to be overacting in certain scenes. When it comes to Oscar nominated Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) and Golden Globe winner Patrick Stewart (Charles Xavier), the acting was amazing. Boyd Holbrook, who plays the main antagonist, was very great as well.

  The movie touched on some adult themes, such as suicide, immigration and even racist subjects that are rarely touched upon in superhero movies, which is usually to be commended. It was surprising to see that some scenes were extreme tear-jerkers.

  Overall, Logan was an amazing superhero movie that is not shy to show its hero at his lowest and exploit his deep emotions but still manage to cast him in a different light of vulnerability, which is the opposite of what a superhero is. It was less of a superhero movie and more a heartfelt bonding story between two characters.

Marvel heroes fight for the rights of their readers

in Arts & Entertainment/Opinions/Editorials by
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    Kamala Khan looking at the sky. Photo courtesy of Marvel
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    X-men posing for a picture. Image courtesy of Marvel

   During the African American Civil Rights movement in the United States (1955-1966), there were protests for equal rights for the Black community, especially those in the South. Southern states had in place the “Jim Crow” law, which prohibited African-Americans from sharing the same bathrooms, restaurants, and theaters with white individuals. It basically marginalized them because of their race.

    In 1963, Marvel Comics released the first issue Uncanny X-Men, written by Stan Lee; this comic book is what begin the X-Men franchise. “The X-Men” are a group of mutants that are feared and hated by humans just because they were mutant; the correlation of this story with the events occurring in this era was obvious.

   In 1982, Chris Claremont, a longtime writer of  X-Men comic books, said, “The X-Men are hated, feared, and despised collectively by humanity for no other reason than that they are mutants. So what we have…intended or not, is a book that is about racism, bigotry, and prejudice.”

  In these comic books, one of the villains, Magneto, believes that humans should be completely destroyed by mutants so that mutants could live in peace, while Professor Xavier, who is a protagonist, believes that humans and mutants could live in harmony without any violence. These two opposing ideologies resemble those of Martin Luther King. Jr and Malcolm Little (Malcolm X). Little thought that the black community should forcibly fight for their rights, while King believed that they should fight for their rights by means of peaceful action.

   In 1966, still during the Civil Rights era, Marvel introduced the first mainstream black superhero in Fantastic Four Vol. 1 #52. In this issue of the Fantastic Four, the heroes pay Black Panther a visit in his fictional African country of Wakanda, where he shows them his power by hunting them.

   In later issues, he fights alongside the “Fantastic Four,” a group mainly composed of white members. These comics not only show Marvel’s inclusion of minorities but also their implied opinion of laws like the “Jim Crow” law. By having heroes of different races and backgrounds fight alongside one another, it showed that they were against any sort of segregation and marginalization.

  Marvel went on to prove this even more by creating the first openly gay superhero called Northstar in 1979, a year after the first openly gay politician, and gay rights activist,  Harvey Milk, was assassinated by Dan White, who was charged with manslaughter rather than murder. In 2013, “Ms. Marvel” (Carol Danvers), a white superheroine, was rebooted into a Muslim, Pakistani-American teenager called Kamala Khan in Captain Marvel Vol.7 issue #14. Ever since 9/11, the United States has been undergoing a transitional period where the Muslim population are now those being marginalized because of their religion by some people in the country.

  Recently there was a law put in place by President Donald Trump that banned refugees and citizens from certain Muslim countries. Katie M. Logan of The Conversation, in an article called “Why America needs Marvel superhero Kamala Khan now more than ever,” said that Kamala Khan “challenges the assumptions many Americans have about Muslims and is a radical departure from how the media tend to depict Muslim-Americans. She shows how Muslim-Americans and immigrants are not forces that threaten communities – as some would argue – but are people who can strengthen and preserve them.”

  Today Marvel Comics is currently the leading comic books publisher in the world because they take pride in diversifying their comic books.  

Valentine’s Day’s meaning lies beyond general knowledge

in Arts & Entertainment/News by

   Typically, Valentines Day is thought to be a romantic holiday intended to spread love and chocolate around!  However, there is more to the real origins of this celebration on Feb. 14.
  The roots of St. Valentine’s Day lie in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia (Lupercalia was a very ancient, possibly pre-Roman pastoral festival, observed on Feb.15, to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility).  The Romans had dedicated this day to the god Lupercus.
  On Lupercalia, the men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain – but not by force.  The woman would line up and wait for the men to whip them!  It is said that they believed this would help with fertility.
  The “romantic” part of this is that the brutal festival included a “matchmaking lottery,” in which young men drew the names of women from a jar and those women would then be their sexual partner.
  Apparently, the ancient Romans may also be responsible for the name of this lovely holiday. Emperor Claudius II executed two men — both named Valentine — on Feb. 14 of different years in the third century A.D.  They were honored and celebrated at the Catholic Church on St. Valentines Day.
  It seems as if most holidays celebrated now-a-days have darker roots, but over time became less extreme. It seems fortuitous, then, that Shakespeare romanticized it in his work, and the nicer version of St. Valentines Day gained popularity throughout Britain and the rest of Europe.

The picture above demonstrates the ancient traditions of Lupercalia. Photo Courtesy of
The picture above demonstrates the ancient traditions of Lupercalia. Photo Courtesy of

The Bullied Boy

in Arts & Entertainment/Campus Life by

A group of students collaborated to write a poem about the effects of bullying.  Here’s a message from Benjamin Sanchez, Natividad Martinez, Starcia Luzincourt, Jean Sonedy, and Rivers Barthelemy.

Matthew a young white boy
who wakes up every morning with regret.
When all he wants to do is forget.
All he wanted was a friend
But their words offend.
Put on a fake smile and pretends
all he wanted was a true friend
but instead
they got his life to end

Matthew always cried himself to sleep
Cries like a cat with no teeth
It was always hard for him to get on his feet.
They did it all for fun
without realizing what they have done.
He screamed so loud but no one could hear
They were his biggest fear
It went on for years
And all he did was shed tears.

How could they sleep at night
Knowing they were the reason he wanted to kill his light
There’s no one he could trust
His souls turned to dust
One day he took a huge amount of pills
They console him and comfort him tell him it’s ok
His pills give him company all night
and now he is out like a light

He was full of dreams
all they did was stand by and heard him scream
He left a letter now their son is gone
they wondered what went wrong
they read the letter
and felt so much disgust
getting justice was a must
the boy and the titanic are not so different both seem strong
and crumb all under a minute

Instead of the bullies trying to look cool
they should feel for Mathew who they made look like a fool
how hopeless
he was lying there with motionless
it was sad to see him
jump the gun in more ways than one
and now his life is done.
now the bullies are dying of shame
now they will have a million apologies to give this day.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review

in Arts & Entertainment/Opinions/Editorials by
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    The cast of Rogue One in their outfits. Image courtesy of
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    Rogue One poster image. Image courtesy of

When it was announced that director Gareth Edwards would be taking on the next movie in the Star Wars series, movie fans knew one thing- he would do the Star Wars universe justice. After watching Godzilla, a movie directed by Edwards, it was apparent that he is good at showing the scope of things.

  Godzilla in the movie was giant and fierce, and when watching the movie, the audience was able to get that sense because Edwards is really good at making big things seem big. In Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Edwards’ imprints is left on each and every scene. The first time  the“Death Star” is show on screen, or when a “Star Destroyer” hovers on top of a city, their mass is well executed on screen and the audience can get a sense of how powerful these things can be.

  The aesthetic of the movie is also something to be praised. Edwards takes the clean “everyone-is-well-dressed” Star Wars series and makes it more grounded. Stormtroopers’ armors (which are usually shiny, and white in other Star Wars movies) are full of dirt and blood, and character’s clothes are full of holes and are worn out. The filmography is also very well executed, the shots in this movie beautiful, and the color grading just another layer to the Star Wars aesthetic audiences grown accustomed to.   

  Moreover the acting in the movie is nothing but amazing. The actors here give 110% in the most diverse Star Wars movie to date, from actress Felicity Jones, an English actress, to Donnie Yen, a Chinese-American actor. The movie tries to also pay respect to its source material by deciding to not change the actors who played characters in Star Wars: Episode IV who have either passed away or are too old to play those same characters. The way they did this was with CGI, which was noticeable in some scenes when those characters talk, the way their lips moved kind gave it away (CGI has a plastic feel to it), but it wasn’t a big distraction.

  One thing that needs to be noted about the plot for everyone who plans on watching the movie is that it is an introduction of new characters and a new story, so the build-up to the final act of the movie is a little long, as every character needs to be introduced (which is more of a positive aspect). It is a positive because the time spent with the characters makes the final act even more enjoyable because the audience had the time to know and love those characters, so it is easier for them to care for them. That is another thing the movie does well: it makes the audience care for the characters and their stories.

  One  main gripe with the movie, however, was how the main villain was just so forgettable, which was not a big problem because the main characters were what the story was mostly focused on.

The ending of the movie is also something that was done well. Since Rogue One is a prequel to “Episode IV,” it was surprising to see how well it transitioned into the 1977 movie. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a beautiful, well-acted, extremely well-directed movie that is must-watch for any movie fan.

Nintendo or Nintendon’t?

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    The Nintendo Switch, releasing March 3rd.

   Despite two media events surrounding the new device, the Nintendo Switch is consistently marred by nagging questions. On Monday, Nintendo answered some of these, specifically those regarding the hardware.

  Nintendo revealed that the 6.2 inch touchscreen of the tablet can, and will, produce 720p resolution while the video output whilst docked is 1920 x 1080  and 60 frames per second. In addition, a 4310 mAh battery will be used. With this battery, users can expect a range of 3.5-6 hours of game time while undocked, depending on the intensity and power level of the game being played.

  As for the operating system, fans were given a peek at its sleek design. Somewhat similar to the 3DS home menu, the Switch will implement cube-shaped boxes that will represent applications and games. Perhaps borrowing from the PlayStation 4’s Operating System,, the screen will scroll horizontally.

  Technology website Techradar said, “The biggest thing we’re still waiting for information on in terms of hardware at the moment, then, is the CPU/GPU which on the specifications page is still only listed as a NVIDIA customized Tegra processor.”

  Having been burned by Nintendo’s last flop, the Wii U, consumers feel entitled to full information disclosure from the Japanese giants before purchasing.

  Describing the externals of the device, Yahoo Tech said,“When it comes to the Switch’s dock, the USB ports, TV output LED and the system connector are all found up front. The USB ports are handy for the Pro controllers and the Joy-Con charging grip — both of which are sold separately. Another USB port that works with USB 2.0 and 3.0 is found at the back of the dock, along with the AC adaptor port, HDMI port and the back cover.”

  In what appears to be a critical success for Nintendo – a much needed one at that – the hardware specifications nail the power of the Switch somewhere between the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One.       

  Reaching new standards for graphical capabilities for Nintendo, never being heralded for particularly fantastic graphics, “The big N” seeks to change that with its hardware for the future.

  The Nintendo Switch releases March 3 to the public, listed at $299.99.

Consumer Electronics Show powers up for a new year

in Arts & Entertainment by
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    Honda's rider assist is showcased at CES 2017
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    Hulu's Live TV streaming service is introduced
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    Kuri the Nanny Robot says hello

  Showcasing the newest pinnacles of technological innovation, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) gave its latest rendition this past week in Las Vegas, Nevada. In its fiftieth anniversary show, the 2017 transcription offered a peek at never seen technologies by conglomerates such as Honda and Samsung.

  Seen by many as a proverbial “looking glass into the future,” the CES is reminiscent of past World Fairs, in which technology would be similarly demonstrated. Hulu took advantage of the show to introduce its new live TV streaming platform. Purchased at a flat rate monthly, the service provides users with an interactive live TV feed in which DVR recording is available. Stated in their presentation, Hulu Live will likely be released to the public by May or June.

  It’s not often that a product truly stuns its users at CES, but LG’s W-Series OLED TV did exactly that. A slim 2.6 millimeters thick across its entire device, it can become the slimmest television device available on the market. The visuals are stunning, offering 4K capabilities and HDR support to deliver sharp images no matter the use. In addition to the visuals, the television plans to ship alongside a Dolby-Atmos sound bar, producing crisp sound to supplement the visuals.

  In consecutive years, automotive technology is gaining traction among visitors of the show. Honda’s Riding Assist is a particularly unique piece of technology that seems to be fantasy when first seen as it self-stabilizes a motorcycle, creating a much safer experience for riders. Unlike much of what is seen at CES every year, Riding Assist is exceptionally new, and has the potential to become a hot item. In a very iterative CES, Honda’s Rider Assist stands out above the rest of the crowd.

  “The system borrows balance technology from Honda’s prototype Uni-Cub, a personal transporter that has an innovative wheel that can travel in any direction without turning. The rider sits on the Uni-Cub and the device keeps itself upright. Honda says the technology could make riding in slow moving traffic more pleasurable because it frees the rider from having to keep the bike balanced by constantly moving his or her body,” said Martyn Williams, PC World writer.

  In addition to automotive and streaming devices, wearable tech has seen a surge in demand, as the technology has been utilized to benefit health and life services, as seen in the FitBit. This year’s most interesting product has been dubbed Kuri the Nanny Robot. Shown exclusively as a roving security camera, it can check on kids and pets while the user is in other parts of the house. Programmed to have several smart-home capabilities, the Nanny Robot is able to perform simple commands such as dimming lights and controlling a thermostat.

  Especially useful for busy families, the Nanny Robot hopes to release next December, lying at a price point of $699.00 and will be available in Japan, England, and the United States on release.

  An array of exciting and enticing new devices were shown at this year’s show, with hopes that the consumer technology market can continue to proliferate its success in the modern world.

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