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Music we can’t bear to live without

Cheyenne Trujillo | Journalism

Writer Cheyenne Trujillo embeds the titles of Top Ten most downloaded songs into a lively explanation about the effect of music on the brain.  Can you name the artist for each song title?

    There are a million reasons why we listen to music.  Content writer at  R.O.I Media and psychology graduate Malini Mohana makes it clear that music can form the shape of you and that music raises our level of awareness of experience.  Although I don’t wanna live forever, being mindful of present experiences can have lasting benefits.  Mohana explains how music is, “A tool for arousing emotions and feelings, music is far more powerful than language.”

    Let’s treat the body like a backroad  and see where the music ‘chills’ the brain.  According to  Dr. Victoria Williamson, the authority on the psychology of music,  music is processed by the brain and impacts on our minds and behaviors. Williamson explains that “Music stimulates the amygdala in a similar way to faces, smells and other sounds, most likely because all these stimuli are perceived as having social significance due to their communicative properties.”

Not only does peer pressure influences the way teens act, but listening to music influences the way teens make designs. Some designs that are made is a thought, “I am a Believer in that, I dig that.”  

       Not only does the amygdala deal with sound and social stimuli, Williams also explains that, “the nucleus accumbens (NA)… is known to activate by peak emotional experiences, known as chills or frisson, but it is also activated as soon as music is playing in the brain and seen as pleasurable.”  Music alone stimulates emotion, and when combined with experiences, can have powerful effects on motivation.

  “The NA is sensitive to primary rewards (food, sex), secondary rewards (money, power), so it represents hedonic value for people.  Which helps to initiate behaviors that aim to obtain more of these rewards for consumption.” Not only does the amygdala deal with what we want, for example food, sex, money, or power, it also deals with “Want…the I want behavior.” If you happen to be thinking about wanting to go to Paris, this thought is in the amygdala.    

So when you’re messing around, or whatever, and someone stops to take the time to judge you, answer them,  “Well I was born this way,” and I tend act out who I am no matter what.  Even if you are judged for just being who you are say that you won’t let go  of this moment and this time.  Someone questions your natural flaws (before they realize they are being a rude, self centered person) because they won’t let go of the fact that they are a poser. In this case be that one kid who breaks the moment to just LET IT GO.    

Also if you or someone is going through a bad time or bad things are happening to someone, or you just know that scars of all those bad things make you beautiful. All those differences that made it hard for you makes someone who they are.  


Beauty ain’t the Best

Citlali Tierney | Staff Writer

Beauty and the Beast, of 1991, became the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, with unmistakable characters and songs and, in a word, craftsmanship. Emma Watson stars in the newest reboot of the nostalgic Disney classic, stuffed with a few real actors and many more hidden with masks of CGI and stretched reality.

The story is mostly untouched since 1991, as is much of the dialogue. It’s Emma Watson’s Belle, reading and being subtly feminist and whatnot in her village, with her adoring father Maurice (Kevin Kline) and the persistent Gaston (Luke Evans, incessantly and fruitlessly trying to impress the only villager who wears blue). Maurice loses himself in unfamiliar territory only to find he’s turned up in the enchanted castle owned by the Beast (Dan Stevens). The Beast is terribly misunderstood, wishing only for the day love breaks the hex that makes him the monster Maurice sees. As the story goes, the brave and vivacious Belle volunteers to take her father’s place and meets the furniture, consisting of Lumiere (Ewan McGregor)df, of course, the huffy clock Cogsworth (Ian McKellen), the teapot Mrs. Pots (Emma Thompson), and nameless others like the wardrobe (Audra McDonald), the feather duster (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), and a new harpsichord that plays itself and shoots its ivory keys like arrows (Stanley Tucci).

Emma Watson has channeled Hermione Granger to portray the new Belle; strong-willed, passionate, and intelligent, Belle has somewhat-subtle hints of feminism about her as she sings and dances through her village. Watson’s singing is no competition to six-time Tony-winning co-star Audra McDonald, who plays Madame Garderobe. However, her singing is enjoyable and clear, filled with the crave for adventure that is so apparent in the animated film, and that Watson reignites in this one.

Dan Stevens captures the most important and overlooked aspects of the Beast; his frustration in himself, anger with the world, and unseen loneliness that all slowly peels away by the hands of Belle to become a loving, compassionate character often swayed by passion and heart.

The music is the same tunes that had children singing and parents humming a quarter century ago, with a few new min-songs thrown in that seemed somewhat awkward at times. The original will always be a classic, and this new reboot is about as good as the other reboots are. Fun to watch, but far from classic.

Perhaps this new take will have you singing for days, too. Personally, it’s underwhelming but charming at best, although it is fun to watch simply because it’s graphically and cinematographic-ally pleasing. I suppose it’s up to you; do you like the Oscar-nominee, the classic animated film that stole the beast and the beauty from our hearts, or do you like to see Belle as a Hermoine Granger?

Review of Edward Scissorhands

Nick Killman | English 9

Movie poster featuring Johnny Depp as Edward and Winona Rider as Kim. Image located at GooglePlay.

I am reviewing the classic movie Edward Scissorhands. This movie was filmed and produced in the 1990’s. The director is Tim Burton, screenwriter is Caroline Thompson and some of the main actors include Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder. The movie is about a machine that has almost all the traits of a human except one thing, he has razor sharp scissors for hands. These scissors are not removable so it is something he has to live with. Edward lives in a castle until a friendly Avon lady discovers him and brings him to her very bland neighborhood. Needless to say his stay starts off very well and is accepted until certain events makes the neighborhood believe he is evil and the whole neighborhood turns against him.

In the beginning all the neighbors enjoy Edward because he is different. He entertains the neighborhood by doing things like cutting their bushes into crazy things, giving their dogs haircuts and even cutting the neighbor’s hair into very different hairstyles. Before he gets there the whole neighborhood is boring, but while he’s there he turns the neighborhood into a very divergent crowd. When Edward meets Kim and her friends, that is when things start going bad for Edward. He gets blamed for things he didn’t do and is falsely accused of many bad things.

While watching this movie I saw many signs and hints to greater ideas than just a Gothic robot with hands. The lighting, camera views, and colors used in the movie help to support the idea that Edward has many Gothic details, but inside he just wants to be nice and loved. This movie also shows how the teen crowd are such judgmental people and are rude to people that are different, which is exactly what is shown in this movie.

The colors used in this movie are symbolic of that character’s mood and heart, such as Edward always wearing black which symbolizes sadness, Peg always wears pink which symbolizes good heart and kindness. The evil Peg always wears red, which symbolized judgement and rudeness. Things like this really change how I look at the movie because it gives the movie a completely different vibe. Another sign is when Kim and Edward first gaze upon each other, Kim sees Edward in a reflection of a mirror, which I think symbolizes that Edward isn’t real in the sense of being human.

Overall I believe this movie is very well written and played with many hidden details that you have to find yourself. When you find these details it changes your whole perspective of the movie in a very good and mysterious way. I would recommend this movie to anyone and any age. It has so many lessons and is also just a really good fairy tale/Gothic story.