Month: March 2018

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High

By far the most tragic and most terrifying school shooting since Sandy Hook, the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High Dchool on February 14th, Valentine’s Day, has claimed 17 lives, threatened 14 more, and affected hundreds in the worst way possible. The shooting strikes scarily close to home; it occurred in Broward County, Florida, less than 200 miles from Lake Howell.
The shooter has been identified as Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old who is a former student of the high school. He entered the school around 2 in the afternoon, armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, a bulletproof vest, and a backpack full of ammunition. Shortly after he opened fire in the classrooms. He then dropped his gun and vest and ran out with the rest of the fleeing students, making his way to a nearby Walmart, where he purchased a drink from the Subway inside before continuing on to a McDonald’s. According to TIME, it was at the McDonald’s that Cruz was found, and taken into police custody without further incident. He has been arrested under 17 charges of premeditated murder.
Students have posted many photos and videos across social media of the shooting. There are text messages from students saying goodbye to their parents, footage of SWAT teams clearing out the classrooms, and photos of laptops with bullet holes through them and blood on the floors. 17 people were killed in total, 12 within the school and others outside the building, as well as two who died in hospitals. Sixteen others are being treated at local hospitals, 5 in critical condition but the rest expected to recover.
The shooting comes as a tragedy, but not necessarily a shock. Over the past few years, there have been more than 20 calls for sercice about both Cruz and his brother to be closely investigated. Additionally, a YouTube comment about “becoming a professional school shooter” has been linked to an account whose name is “nikolas cruz.” Many students and teachers have voiced their own fears about Cruz being capable of violence.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting is the 6th school shooting to result in injuries since the start of 2018. In total, there have been 17 incidents of firearms in schools this year. It is also the deadliest school shooting since Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012, which took 26 lives in total.

 

Written By: Rachel Smith

Image courtesy of Saul Martinez for The New York Times

Daylight Savings Time Bill

Florida lawmakers want to pass legislation for more working, learning and playing time in the sunshine.Two bills, called the “Sunshine Protection Act,” would ask Congress to give the state permission to make Daylight SavingS Time year round. The proposals each passed their first Senate and House committees unanimously this week.

 
If Congress agrees, Florida would join two other states that have exempted themselves from the 1966 law that set a uniform time for all time zones across the country. Hawaii and most of Arizona are on Standard Time year-round.

 
Under federal law, the U.S. Department of Transportation has been given the task of setting time zones but allows states to exempt themselves from the new ones if Congress approves. Daylight SavingS Time (when you set your clocks forward or backwards by one hour) runs from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November.
The practical impact of that change would mean that on the Winter Solstice — that’s the day in the Northern Hemisphere with the least amount of daylight — sunrise in Florida would be at about 8 a.m. and sunset would be at about 6:30 p.m. instead of 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. like it is now.

 
The Senate’s version of the bill also moves the western part of the state, which is in Central Time, into the Eastern Time zone, if Congress approves.
 

Senate sponsor Greg Steube, a Sarasota Republican, said he got the idea after walking into his local barbershop last fall, shortly after the clocks changed from Daylight Savings to Standard Time.
“One of the barbers had young children and it had such a negative impact every time they set their clocks back [that they had trouble] getting their kids up for school,” he told the Senate Community Affairs Committee meeting on Tuesday.
 

So he filed the bill and the idea has “turned into something I’ve never seen happen,” he said.
Studies have found that observing Daylight Savings Times year-round would boost the economy, save energy, improve road and public safety, and reduce crime, due to the fact there is more sunlight in the evening hours,” she told the House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs on Wednesday.
 

Fitzenhagen predicted it will improve mental health and simplify life.
“This is the first great step to putting more sunshine in our lives,” she said. “How many times have you gotten home from work in the winter time and you’d like to throw the football, dip a line in, or go out to dinner with your spouse? This will give people the opportunity to have more quality time when its nicest in Florida.”
This isn’t the first time the idea has been proposed. Rep. Mark Danish, a Tampa Democrat, filed a bill to make Daylight Savings Time year round in 2014, but the measure never got a hearing.

 

 

Written By: Kimiya Watkins

Image Credit to Getty Images

Black Panther Review

Black Panther is the long awaited Marvel release starring Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther, Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger, and Danai Gurira as Okoye. This film truly hit it out of the park with a great cast, fun action scenes, and great comedy. Boseman is impossible to dislike as he gives a wonderful portrayal of a man becoming king and protector of his country in a changing world. The villain, Killmonger, while obviously being a villain, had motivation–motivation as well as logic. This was refreshing to see from a Marvel movie–as of late, their villains have been lacking. Another major score for Black Panther is that it does not feel like one giant trailer. Recent Marvel films have sadly fallen into this formula; it feels as though they cannot stand alone. This is not the case with Black Panther at all.

It was so refreshing to see a film so rich with culture and vibrant with beautiful cinematography. Though the film is set in the fictional country of Wakanda in Africa, the culture, costume/hair design, and even language are drew heavy inspiration from real life African tribes and cultures. It was a beautiful and inspiring piece of art.

However, this is not a perfect movie. When a film is so highly anticipated, it seems almost wrong to say anything against it. But there are a few scenes in which the CGI is very apparent. Coming from a movie with such a large budget, seeing cheesy CG or almost unfinished elements can be disappointing, but these scenes are nowhere near enough to ruin the movie.

Black Panther did not disappoint audiences. Scoring $201.8 million in just three days, it has secured its place as the fifth highest grossing film in America (opening weekend) and the second highest grossing Marvel film, with the first being The Avengers (2012). It deserves a solid A-.

 

Written By: Hannah Baird

Image Credit to Rotten Tomatoes