“Tracers” Movie Review

On March 20th, 2015, “Tracers, directed by Daniel Benmayor, was released.  The movie takes place in New York and stars Taylor Lautner.  Lautner is best known for his work in the “Twilight” movies.

A big element of this movie from the start is the use of parkour and freerunning.  Dictionary.com states that parkour is “the sport of moving along a route, typically in a city, trying to get around or through various obstacles in the quickest and most efficient manner possible, as by jumping, climbing, or running.”

In most movies, the actors will have a look-alike who will do the stunts for them.  According to IMDb, Lautner has been practicing martial arts since he was a kid.  His practice allowed him to perform his own stunts in this movie.

IMDb continues to report about Latuner and his young life.  According to IMDb,  “Lautner  ranked number one in NASKA’s Black Belt Open Forms, Musical Weapons, Traditional Weapons and Traditional Forms and, at the age of twelve, he became the three-time Junior World Champion.”

Daniel Benmayor and his writing crew did an excellent job with this movie.  They were able to incorporate all different kinds of lifestyles into one story.  In the beginning, these groups of people seemed to be the complete opposite of what they actually were.

The three major groups in this movie are the Chinese mafia, the innocent family renting their garage to a bike messenger, and a group of people using their skills of freerunning to roam the city.

As you watch the movie, you see a bike messenger, who is in debt with a Chinese mafia, get involved with a group of freerunners as he thinks it is only a hobby.  The viewers soon find out that the use of parkour is used to quietly get away with robberies.  Because the messenger is in debt with the Chinese mafia, this seems like a perfect idea to both him and the audience.

As the story continues, the movie becomes more than just an action-thriller. It becomes a romantic drama as well.

Although a member of the group is in a relationship, she starts to fall in love with someone else. The makers of this movie put a good balance of love and action into this movie.

The movie ends by tying the groups together which makes the audience remain on the edge of their seats. Team members turn on each other as enemies become friends. This movie is great for any viewer.

Embarrassment for Secret Service upon Two Agents Crashing into White House

On Wednesday, March 4, 2015, two senior secret service agents crashed their vehicle into a White House barrier after a night of drinking. After the crash, officers on duty who witnessed the incident wanted to arrest the officers and conduct sobriety tests; however, a supervisor on duty allowed them to go home. It is hard to fathom that in what should be the safest area in the United States was compromised by two employees who live to protect it.

Given the fact that in recent years law enforcement has been heavily cracking down on drunk drivers, this incident has caused a lot of scrutiny toward the secret service as a whole.

The two agents are reportedly Mark Connolly, the second in command on President Barrack Obama’s security unit, and the other, George Ogilvie, a senior supervisor in the Washington field office. Both men have been reassigned for the time being, and an investigation is ongoing (washingtonpost.com).

This incident has led people to question not only the judgment of the secret service but with whom President Barrack Obama chooses to surround himself.

Republican chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah and top Democrat Elijah Cummings of Maryland issued a statement last Wednesday evening and said, “The fact that this event involved senior-level agents is not only embarrassing, but [it also] exhibits a clear lack of judgment in a potentially dangerous situation” (cnn.com).  It is baffling that two of the men trusted with arguably one of the most important jobs a United States citizen can have, could make such a monumental mistake, endangering not only their own lives, but the lives of people around them.

Inevitably, if the agents are found to have been heavily intoxicated when the incident occurred, they will have to be let go from their positions despite years of dedicated servitude. While the incident is unfortunate for the two agents, their actions were an embarrassment for the White House and the entire secret service.

For now, however, nothing is permanent until the investigation into what transpired is concluded, and according to a senior administration official at the White House, “at the request of Secret Service Director Joe Clancy, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General is conducting an investigation into the allegations. We’re not going to comment further on this while that investigation is ongoing” (cnn.com).

Information used in this article comes from:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/secret-service-agents-investigated-for-late-night-car-accident-at-white-house/2015/03/11/9c853906-c7ff-11e4-a199-6cb5e63819d2_story.html

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/11/politics/drunk-secret-service-agents-white-house/

Super Smash Bros: a Revolution

What happens when 41 lacrosse players are given plenty of free time with no place to go? A revolution is what happens.

This is exactly what happened this year on the lacrosse team’s visit to Georgia this spring break. Senior Dylan Gaines brought down his Nintendo 64  along with his Super Smash Bros game. Once the console was plugged into the T.V. and turned on, it wasn’t turned off.

Although Super Smash Bros is a video game for the Nintendo 64 console and came out 15 years ago, it is just as fun as it was the day it came out. For many, the game was a childhood.

In the game, the user selects a character from various other Nintendo games. Then the player fights against friends or a computer.

The goal of the game is to knock the other players off of the map. To do so, each character has a unique set of moves. No two characters are quite the same.

When playing with friends, the game can get very intense often leading to wagers and bets being placed on the games.

The games mainly consisted of contests between Dylan Gaines, Colton Haugh, Devon Shewell, and Josh Lurie. The game style was a free-for-all, and the last one standing was crowned the victor.

Colton Haugh and Devon Shewell both boast that they are the best players on the lacrosse team.  Dylan Gaines thought otherwise and claimed to be the dankest. 

Josh Lurie also is the self-proclaimed champion. However, he is the kind of player that hides from all of the action with an unfair item. He waits for everybody else to take each other out of the game, and then he will start to play with the advantage of more lives.

There was no consistent winner of the games, leading to games getting pretty rowdy. Each game with a completely different outcome allowed for insanity and chaos inside of the hotel rooms.

Although the games were joyous for the most part, tempers eventually rose, and arguments broke out.

There was complaining about Josh Lurie holding a Beam Sword for the whole match. Complaints about Devon Shewell only using certain unfair moves with the character Kirby were considered annoying and unfair.

The biggest argument was obviously who was the best player.  It was, and is still, a never ending argument. All that can be done is to just play over and over again until there is a clear victor, which may never even happen.

Maryland Loses to West Virginia in 3rd Round of NCAA Tournament

After a hard-fought season, the Maryland Men’s Basketball team fell short to number five seed West Virginia 69–59 on Sunday, March 22nd.

Turnovers were what hurt the number four seed Terps the most. West Virginia came out with aggressive defensive play and gritty full court presses that led to Maryland’s eventual defeat. The Terps had a team-high 23 turnovers on Sunday, which led to 26 points for the Mountaineers.

Senior guard Dez Wells, who has contributed much to the Terrapin’s success, did not have one of his best performances against WVU. Wells was a let down with eight turnovers, which was just one fewer than the entire West Virginia team. Wells had nine points, going three of eight shooting.

Another setback for the Terps was the loss of freshman point guard Melo Trimble. Trimble was forced to be taken out of the game Sunday after accidently being kicked in the head by a teammate, getting knocked out. Trimble was also knocked down two times before, once being on a controversial aggressive pick set by Mountaineer forward Devin Williams.

Trimble, who was honored this year with a first team All-Big Ten selection, lead the Terp’s in scoring with an average of 16.3 points a game. He contributed with a team high of 15 points and seven rebounds against West Virginia before being taken out with a critical 8:25 left on the clock.  Trimble had 32 double-figure scoring performances this year, ranking him fifth in the team’s history.

To a CBS Sports reporter, Maryland Head Coach Mark Turgeon stressed the importance of Trimble when he said, “Obviously, Melo is pretty important to us. Lucky for us, he’s been healthy all year. That’s pretty amazing. We have one point guard in our program and a really good one in Melo. And it’s the first time all year really that he couldn’t play.”

At the half, Maryland trailed West Virginia 35 to 34. The Terps converted 55% on the floor while also out shooting West Virginia by 19 percentage points. Turnovers were still a negative factor for the Terps in the first half having nine of them leading to 10 second-chance points for the Mountaineers.

West Virgina matched up against the powerhouse number one seeded Kentucky Wildcats in the Sweet Sixteen. WVU lost 78-39. Maryland will start preparing for next season with the loss of three starters including Richaud Pack and Dez Wells.

All information in this article came from Umterps.com, Cbssports.com, Si.com, and Ncaa.com

Greek Lifestyle Turns Cruel and Deadly

Lately, fraternities around the country have been undergoing speculation due to a recent surplus of hazing and racism.

On Wednesday, March 25th, an 18-year-old man who attended the University of South Carolina was found dead on the porch of his fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha. His death was more than likely caused by alcohol poisoning, being that they found his body next to an empty keg and St. Patrick’s Day decorations.

The Richland County Coroner’s Office ruled it as a “suspicious death.”

Previously, the University of Oklahoma fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon was caught on video encouraging racism on a bus on the way to a party. Two students were expelled. The fraternity was suspended by the chapter as well.

The question is, what is becoming of the Greek life? Students come to these competitive universities to get a quality education and also to have some fun. Why is it that people always have to see fraternity members ending up dead or getting expelled?

Even at prestigious universities such as Dartmouth, pledge hazing continues to rise to more extreme extents. The “Animal House” fraternity Alpha Delta Phi at Dartmouth is in legal trouble as well as trouble with the school for branding their pledges.

Branding is incredibly dehumanizing and should not be even related to fraternity practices whatsoever.

Fraternities around the world need to reevaluate their core values and take a stand against hazing that causes physical and emotional harm. Of course, hazing won’t stop completely, but to limit it would be a success.

Though these are all bad examples of fraternity lifestyle, light does shine through with the University of Utah’s Beta Theta Pi fraternity. This fraternity won the award of distinction, the highest award that can be given to any fraternity by The North American Interfraternity Conference.

Beta Theta has raised money for and volunteered at the Rape Recovery Center in Utah for the past two years.

Vincent Fu, vice president of internal operations at Beta Theta, said he wants all of the members to be involved in at least one club and also to be well educated on how to deal with sexual violence situations.

It is rare to see a positive example of fraternities, but they do exist. Other fraternities need to make a change for the good and stop harming and hazing freshmen. Freshman year of college is the hardest time of some people’s lives; there is no need to make it any worse through the pledge process.

The answer lies in the timeless phrase that parents always tell their children: moderation is everything.

Sources:

http://www.ibtimes.com/pi-kappa-alpha-fraternity-suspended-usc-member-found-dead-after-st-patricks-day-party-1851906

http://coladaily.com/2015/03/20/obits-charles-leverett-adams-charlie-terreni-jr-18-usc-freshman-pledged-pi-kappa-alpha/

http://dailyutahchronicle.com/2015/03/30/us-beta-theta-pi-fraternity-wins-national-award-for-excellence/

Clinton’s Email Potentially Ruptures Credibility

Even as the story begins to lose traction, Hillary Clinton’s email scandal could stick in voters’ minds in 2016.

There is a complete division between the American people. The controversial story surrounding Hillary Clinton’s email has put her integrity and her transparency into question. As many Americans discuss whether her using a private email for personal and professional use is wrong, many people are thinking about her future as the potential 45th president of the United States.

CNN.com conducted many polls pertaining to Hillary Clinton’s actions and to her integrity and future as president. After her press conference regarding the use of a private email, 57% of people said that they would be proud to call Hillary Clinton their president. Another poll showed 52% of voters said that her use of a private email shows no indication regarding her job performance or integrity as a whole, but 46% of voters believe that this is an indication of her lack of “readiness for the job” and a reinforcement of voters’ distrust of Clinton.

A surprising 27% of democrats, 74% of republicans, and 53% of independents believe that Hillary Clinton committed a form of wrongdoing by using her private email account. As this email incident may seem significant, Clinton is the clear favorite to receive the Democratic nomination, beating Vice President Joe Biden in the polls by 50 points according to another poll conducted by CNN.com. Many also are confident that Clinton is favored for the White House in 2016 even if more democrats decide to run.

Many Americans are severely concerned with the clarity surrounding the Benghazi terrorist attacks. Clinton was subpoenaed for all her emails relating to the Benghazi attacks from 2012, however, the emails from her time at the state department have been permanently deleted. These subpoenaed emails related especially to the location of terrorist weapons in Libya.

The Clinton family, unfortunately, has been surrounded by controversy for many years. Voters still remember the Monica Lewinsky scandal which led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998. As former President Clinton has suffered for his actions, this event still affects the credibility surrounding the family as a whole.

Through all this controversy, it seems that many Americans will look past this incident and focus on the bigger future. Clinton provides loyal service for the United States and may escape this email catastrophe unscathed. Clinton is a strong competitor for 2016 and has a huge chance to win the Democratic primary against her weaker political opponents.

History of Peeps Marshmallows

Peeps have been a favorite treat during seasonal holidays since the early 1960s. With the sugary outside covering the fluffy marshmallow inside, Peeps are a delicious springtime candy.

Peeps are made by a candy company called Just Born. Peeps were first created by a company called Rodda Candy Company. The company was later bought by Bob Born (owner of Just Born) because he “loved the way the chick looked.”

The Just Born Candy Company headquarters is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It not only produces Peeps, but it produces Hot Tomales, Peanut Chews, Teenee and Beanies, and Mike & Ikes.

Peeps are made by first mixing a variety of different ingredients to make the famous fluffy marshmallow. The contents are then put into a secret machine that shapes the Peeps. Finally, the dyed sugar is coated over the marshmallow, and a machine dots the eyes to bring the Peep to life.

Peeps are known to be a big part of the Easter holiday. They are not just sold during Easter, though.  During the holidays of Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day, Peeps are sold.

During Halloween, Peeps are shaped into ghosts, cats, and jack-o-lanterns. During the holiday of Christmas, Peeps are made into snowmen, Christmas trees, reindeer, and gingerbread men. Lastly, during the holiday of Valentine’s Day, Just Born offers a variety of different flavored Peeps such as chocolate dipped cherries.

Peeps can be bought at any time during the year. If it isn’t a holiday season, but someone still wants some Peeps, they can be bought through the Just Born Website.

Just Born has kept its original formula since day one of making Peeps. It also used the same machines until just recently when it switched to more effective machines.

Back when Just Born started making Peeps, it would take 27 hours to make them. Now it only takes six minutes to make a batch. Each day Just Born produces about 5.5 million Peeps a day in all different colors and shapes.

The original Peeps actually had wings that came off the back of the bird. The wings were taken out in 1955 to help speed up the production.

Peeps have become so popular that Just Born started to begin to make other products involving Peeps. These products include lip balm, Peeps flavored milk, and egg nog.

In Bethlehem, they drop a giant peep on New Year’s Eve. The giant Peep has many different flashing lights that flash when dropping.

700 million Peeps are sold yearly in the United States and Canada.