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Saturday, July 7, 2018

Romeo and Juliet: Zeffirelli vs. Luhrmann; thoughts on the subject by Ansgar Devadhasan

Romeo and Juliet: Zeffirelli vs. Luhrmann

While Romeo and Juliet is a well acclaimed piece of literature, the film adaptations often
go unrecognized. The Zeffirelli movie adaptation and Luhrmann adaptation of the story both
follow the main points of the original Romeo and Juliet book, however Zeffirelli's adaptation
adheres more closely to the original book by following the original book’s scenes, settings, and
overall look. In the 1968 film adaptation by Zeffirelli, the opening fight scene takes place at a
marketplace, similar to the book. However in the 1996 film, the scene takes place at a gas
station, where both members of the two families are driving sports cars. Within the first few
minutes of this scene, most of the major characters are introduced with a loud burst of music and
a close-up shot of their face, as a feud then erupts at the gas station. I think everything in the film
is bold; from the cars that they drive to the gun that are wrapped around their waist, it give us a
sort of daredevil feeling. However, 1968 version fight scene, on the other hand, is a little slower
paced, with a less intense feeling and a simplistic look, making this version a more pleasing film
to watch. But despite these differences, there are many parts of the fight scene that look similar
to each other. One example is, “What, drawn, and talk of peace? I hate the word, As I hate hell,
all Montagues, and thee. Have at thee, coward!” (1.1.60-63). Here, Tybalt says this as he enters
the brawl with the Montagues. This shows us that even though this scene looks different between
the movies, the dialogue is constant here, which I think, captures the true essence of the original
scene from the book.
The 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet by has a modern twist to the book, which gave off
a modern-day, or a contemporary feeling to me, One such example is that instead of using
swords to fight with, the actors used guns that they called swords. This is as opposed to the
original book and the Zeffirelli film adaptation where the characters used actual swords. Another
example of modernization of an original book scene is where Romeo is in Mantua, and instead of
having the Friar ride a horse to Mantua to give Romeo the letter, as in the Zeffirelli adaptation
and original book, the Friar sends the letter via. UPS, in which it gets returned back, instead of
where in the book and Zeffirelli version, where friar John sends back the letter saying he
couldn’t deliver the letter. “Who bare my letter, then, to Romeo? I could not send it—here it is
again— (Returning the letter.) Nor get a messenger to bring it thee, So fearful were they of
infection. Unhappy fortune!” (5.2.13-17). This dialogue remains the same in the Zeffirelli
version, but not in the Luhrmann version. This is so it makes the scene similar to the actual book,
but still keeps up with contemporary feeling the director was trying to give off in the first place.
In the 1996 Luhrmann version, Romeo goes to see Juliet after she ‘dies’, when she is
actually asleep and is extremely upset. In the Zeffirelli adaptation and original book, Juliet wakes
up after Romeo takes the poison and dies, and then she stabs herself with a sword. Come, bitter
conduct, come, unsavoury guide! Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on The dashing rocks
thy seasick weary bark! Here's to my love! Drinking. O true apothecary, Thy drugs are quick.
Thus with a kiss I die. (5.3.116-120). Here, Romeo kisses Juliet and takes the poison, but in the
Luhrmann version, Juliet wakes up before he dies, but the words Romeo says is constant
throughout the movies. Although the Luhrmann version of this scene has a more tense and
suspenseful feeling, keeping the viewers on the edge of their seats, the Zeffirelli version

represents the original book, making it more pleasurable to watch as we know exactly what is
going to happen as it is happening.
To conclude, Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 Film more effectively represents Shakespeare's play
in the sense of scene and setting, while Baz Luhrmann's film was heavily adapted to modern
times but kept all the scenes in the play. Between the two, the way the scenes were adapted, and
settings in which the film was shot was key in the fidelity displayed between the two versions.
The infidelity was mostly marked by directors personal style and keeping with the era of the
films. If you are someone who read Romeo and Juliet, and simply wanted a movie version of
book, re-capturing its exact scenes, the 1968 Zeffirelli version is the way to go, but if you are
looking for a new, modern take on the book, with something you can maybe relate to a little
more, the 1996 Luhrmann version is something you may enjoy more, which I hope helps your
decision for which film you may prefer. Even though many shots were similar between the
Zeffirelli and Luhrmann versions, the two films evoke vastly different scenes and sequences and
because of this, neither film was pointless in its retelling of the book, but, I found the 1968
Zeffirelli adaptation a better movie to watch for as it directly adapts the book, which is what
many people such as myself look for in a movie adaptation.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Favorites Struggling, Russia Surging in World Cup by Sam DeCosta

Favorites Struggling, Russia Surging in World Cup

The World Cup has reached the knockout stage, and it has seen some of the world’s biggest teams eliminated far sooner than many of us expected. In this article, I will break down the biggest upsets in the World Cup so far, including Germany being eliminate, and Russia advancing to the quarterfinals.

Germany
Known as one of the more dependable teams at the world stage, Germany were shockingly eliminated in the first round of the World Cup for the first time since 1938. They failed to beat Mexico and South Korea en route to a devastating campaign, arguably the worst in German history. It is one of the biggest shocks of this tournament, considering Germany have advanced to at least the semifinals every World Cup since 2002, and are the current title holders. But evidently, Germany ran out of gas. They are known as a machine, for their incredible conveyor belt of talent coming through, and their ruthless ability to win year after year. However, the run for the Germans ended in 2018, and there will be new world champions this year.

Argentina
Possibly the best player in the world will be going home from the World Cup empty-handed. Lionel Messi and Argentina were humbled by France in a seven goal thriller, losing 4-3. It is a shame that one of the greatest players that has ever kicked a ball has never won a World Cup, considering the glamorous career he has had. There was plenty of momentum building for Messi going into the World Cup, as the general consensus of soccer fans around the world was that if Messi won the World Cup with a mediocre Argentina side, he would be the G.O.A.T., or the greatest of all time. But it did not work out that way, because Messi was not able to step up when his country needed him.

Spain
The World Cup is always fun, but it is even funner when the host nation does well. This year’s hosts, Russia, came into the tournament with low expectations. Russia are currently ranked the 70th best team in the world, the lowest ranked team in the World Cup according to FIFA’s World Rankings. However, after a scintillating first few games, including a 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia on opening day, Russia started to rally behind their national team. The Russians dazzled the world with their football and their goal-scoring against Saudi Arabia and Egypt, but expectations were dampered after a 3-0 loss to Uruguay. But they responded incredibly, with an astonishing victory over Spain in the second round. Spain, third favorites to win the World Cup, were bounced by Russia on penalty kicks, continuing the incredible Russian fairytale into the quarterfinals.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky Review by Nina Claudia Soukhanovskii


Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky Review
by Nina Claudia Soukhanovskii
A Tempting Quote:
“I look up at him, and my heart leaps into my throat— I can’t say a word. I want to yell Stop, don’t move! and can’t. And there probably isn’t enough time, anyway, it all happens so fast: Kirill steps over the empty, turns around, and his back goes right into the silver stuff. The only thing I can do is close my eyes” (Strugatsky 31). 
Terms to Know:
The Zone- When some aliens visit this planet, they leave behind a “dead” area known as the Zone. It contains many strange things that humans struggle to explain, including random magnetic fields, electric currents, and possible time travelling. Additionally, anyone who enters the Zone carries with them series of bad luck and other effects on themselves and those around them. For example, Redrick’s (the main character’s) daughter grows less human after he continuously visits the Zone. She stops understanding the human language and develops strange animal-like ways.
The Visit/Visitors- This term is used to describe the aliens that “created” the Zone. Once again, science knows little about them and where they came from.
Empty- One of the artifacts that the aliens left behind in the Zone. They are really valuable, and will bring anyone a large pay if brought back. However, one must endure the dangers of the Zone in order to obtain an empty, so that is why not many are up for the challenge.
Golden Sphere- is rumored to grant a wish that you really want from within. Redrick (the main character) and Arthur (who just happened to have come along with him) try to find this so that they can fix the problems that they experience in their lives.
Stalker- Someone who goes to the Zone to hunt for artifacts and other clues. Redrick (the main character) is a stalker, and so are most of his co-workers. 
Summary:
In the beginning, readers are introduced to Redrick Schuhart. He is very easy-going with his life, and often doesn’t see the serious side of things. He enjoys going to the bar and drinking with his friends, despite the seriousness of his position as a stalker, which means he illegally enters the Zone at night to search for valuable artifacts. 
We also meet his girlfriend, Guta, who is pregnant. Despite all the scientific research that the children of stalkers are born with strange mutations, Guta states that she wants to keep the baby. Redrink and Guta later get married. 
Then, during one of his trips to the Zone, Redrick and his coworker run into a mysterious silvery web and before Redrick can say anything, his coworker, Kiril, steps into the web by accident. This is where the quote I wrote above comes in. Kiril seems to be fine at first, but he dies from a “heart attack” several hours later. The loss of his friend causes Redrick to really think about why he is a stalker.
The next time the readers see Redrick he is part of a “gang” of stalkers, lead under a code name  by Richard Noonan. Certain decisions that he makes anger some, while please others. At this point, he is torn between his family and his work (which leads him to jail at one point) and it seems as if his work is taking over.
In the end, Redrick has to realize that maybe all of the sacrifices he makes for his stalking are not worth it, and he has one last chance to redeem himself. Whether or not he takes the chance, and how he gets it is for the readers to find out.
My Thoughts
This book is a bit slow at first, but I promise you that by the end, all of you will like it. There is also a huge message behind the whole thing that will be revealed at the end. If you don’t get the message, go back and reread the book until you get it. It’s practically impossible to miss. In fact, my favorite part of the book was the last few chapters because of how it all connected. I also enjoyed how the book was broken up into sections and how each little section.
Rating
I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars. The reason why I didn’t give it full starts was because it might be difficult for some people to pick up on the initial terminology and ideas. That’s why I included a few facts that I thought might be helpful in the beginning of my review. Enjoy

Ice Cream by Bhargavi Karthikeyan


Hey there? You like ice cream? Then this article’s for YOU!
Icecream was invented in 200 B.C,by the chinese. It was a sort of mixture made from rice and milk. It was enjoyed only by the royalty,during special occasions. Nowadays,almost every person in America has tasted ice-cream. It can be eaten as a snack, or as a dessert at a fancy event. Ice cream is delicious,but there is one flaw that the chinese didn’t think about:
It melts too rapidly!

Have you ever sat outside with an ice cream cone on a hot,sunny day,and it melts in front of your eyes? You want to savor every bite,but it’s gone before you take a lick?

Well,you won’t be having that problem any more!
Scientists have discovered a banana plant extract,taken from the rachis,or the central stalk of a banana bunch. The experiment proved worthwhile,as the new ice-cream lasted longer and had more shelf-life than the other.

They may be onto something! Maybe in the next couple years,you’ll be able to savor ice-cream, eating it at your leisure!


By Bhargavi Karthikeyan

Title: World Cup is Underway By Sam DeCosta (delay in publishing completely the fault of Saleena)



The wait is finally over. After four years of anticipation, the 2018 World Cup is underway. And already, there are plenty of storylines. Whether it be surprises, upsets, or great performances, this World Cup is already producing scintilating entertainment. After the first five days, here are the top storylines.

Liftoff For the Hosts

The two lowest ranked teams in the tournament, Russia and Saudi Arabia, faced off on opening day. As the hosts, all eyes are on Russia to play well and advance to the knockout stage. To do so, they had to beat Saudi Arabia to gain momentum going into games against much tougher opposition, including Egypt and Uruguay. And the hosts responded. After seven winless matches going in, Russia blew Saudi Arabia off the park, winning 5-0 in front of 80,000 fans in Moscow. Although Saudi Arabia are the worst team in the tournament, Russia have the momentum, and their home fans behind them, to keep it up and make it to the knockout stage.

Grab Your Popcorn

Ever since the schedule was released for the World Cup, the game that everyone circled was Portugal versus Spain. The European champions, featuring international superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo, against the 2010 World Cup champions. And after months of hype, the match lived up to expectations. Portugal took the lead twice through goals by Ronaldo, only to see Spain equalize twice, until a stunning right footed volley from Real Madrid defender, Nacho, made it 3-2 to the Spanish. But that would not be all. Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up yet again, scoring from a free kick to put Portugal on level terms with Spain, ending the match 3-3. Frankly, this game may have been the greatest World Cup game of the twenty-first century. Hopefully, it is not the last time Portugal and Spain meet in this World Cup.

Bad Day at the Office

Many of the tournament favorites heading into the World Cup have stumbled out of the gate. Argentina, led by five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi, were neutralized by World Cup debutants, Iceland. Yes, a country with a population of just over 330,000 people tied the two-time winners, Argentina. Brazil tied as well, with the pedestrian Switzerland. The most glamorous team in the tournament, and the favorite to win their sixth World Cup, were held 1-1 by Switzerland, shocking many. However, the greatest of them all came on Sunday afternoon, when the title holders fell. Germany, winners of the 2014 edition, lost to Mexico 1-0, in a game they were completely outplayed. For the big teams in the World Cup, it was quite the underwhelming weekend, considering the expectations they have set for themselves.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Avinash Paluri ---On Cell Phones


Over the past several years, cell phones have become a vital need in our daily lives. Although there are many reasons why; I will be focusing on the improvement of cellphones and the many unique quirks about each one.
Everyone has heard about the iPhone X and the new Face ID,  although it is unique and secure, it was not the first phone to have such ability. Many Android phones have a similar feature and although it might not be as secure, it comes at a cheaper starting price. For example, the iPhone X comes at a starting price of $999 but the One Plus 5t starts off at $499 its half the price of the iPhone X and you get its key feature which has made the iPhone X one of Apple’s most successful and innovative smartphones.
Although this feature has been out for a good amount of years, the fingerprint scanner is one thing everyone goes to for securing their phone. Almost all the newest phones include it and there is almost no difference between each one, the Vivo X20 Plus UD, has an on-screen fingerprint scanner. This is the first phone in the world that includes a fingerprint scanner which is embedded in the screen minimizing the bezels on the phone. It is still a fairly new concept so there may be a couple of glitches here and there but the fact that one company came out with it, there will be others trying to do the same to sell their products.
Lastly, one of the newest phones that came out this year has a camera which has similar technology used in many high-end digital cameras. The Samsung S9’s camera comes with an F1.5/F2.4 aperture which basically means that you can get high-quality shots in any lighting. This is helpful if you love going to new places and rely on your phone to take a quick snap of any place at any time. One of the most hyped up features of the S9 is the super slow-mo feature that records up to 960 frames per seconds. This may not be a “resourceful” feature, but who does not love slowing down time when catching an action-packed scene.
In the end, all the latest phones have features that separate them from the rest of the group. The future is bright in the smartphone industry as the possibilities are endless. Who knows, maybe there will be a phone that has a 3-D display? You can never know based on the technology that exists in this era.

Friday, April 6, 2018

The Gower St Detective: The Mangle Street Murders by M.R.C. Kasasian Book Review by Arnavi Narnaware


The Gower St Detective: The Mangle Street Murders by M.R.C. Kasasian
Book Review by Arnavi Narnaware

Summary:
Set in the lavish yet poverty-stricken streets of London in 1882, this is the first of Ms. Middleton and Mr. Grice’s extraordinary cases. March Middleton’s enticing narrations give the reader a taste of how life was back then, when there was no technology to solve cases and people relied on intelligence, wit and cold hard evidence.
March is an intelligent young woman in her early twenties. She has a kind nature and she lives her life independently and freely. With her quick wit and bold nature, she knows how to get around tough situations. Look closely, and you will see that she is mysteriously different than most women, and there is more to her than meets the eye. After her father dies, March decides to accept her godfather’s offer to live with him. She has a buried dark past that is yet to be uncovered, therefore he is unfamiliar to her and he may even be dangerous. With no family left and the determination to find out more about herself, she moves from her little house in Dorset to her godfather's mansion in London. Sidney Grice is a renowned personal detective with a very long experienced past. He is well-known for his ability to catch criminals and solve cases, all well as his rude nature and eye for money. He lives alone with only a young and slightly oddball maid (Molly) and a cook (Cook) who barely comes out of the kitchen. Regardless of his grumpy character, many people respect him, for he is a miracle of a man and he has a unique way of seeing EVERYTHING in the world. He can read people like books, pointing out even the tiniest detail, careless of how good or bad it is. He is the number one detective you would go to if you wanted justice, and you would be ready to pay him any price because that’s just how good he is. Even with his arrogance and the consistent insults that he throws like bricks, he will never fail to WOW anyone he meets. Soon March arrives, and everything is turned topsy-turvy. Right away, Grice points out her smoking and gin-drinking habits, which he disapproves of. He takes one glance at her boots, and he narrates her life-style to her, obviously bored by the easiness of it. But, unlike others, she is not impressed and able to retort cleverly to her godfather’s shrewd remarks. Of course, this does not stop Sidney Grice from being irritated, but the two make a unique combination that is sure to amuse anyone who looks in on their relationship. Not long after March arrives, Grice is presented his next case. Grace Dillinger, an attractive older widow, shows up at his house in desperation. Her son-in-law, William Ashby, has been accused of murdering his wife, Sarah Ashby, in the small house that they shared. Grace believes with all her heart that William is innocent, and begs Sidney Grice to look into the case. Grice listens coolly, and after ignoring the widow’s frightened pleas, he names his price. When he finds out that she has nothing to offer him, he dismisses her. Business is business right? Nope, not when it comes to March Middleton. Irritated by the ego of her new guardian, March feels for Grace and she insists that she pay the fee, but on one condition - she can help out on the case too. Grice declines right away, but after a lengthy argument, he finally compromises. Sidney Grice and March Middleton, detective and ward, set out to solve this bizarre and brutal murder case. New characters and possible suspects are introduced. Clues pop up everywhere. Shocking secrets are discovered. Finally, all the puzzle pieces are assembled and the ghastly truth is revealed at the end. In this book, one thing is for sure - you will never see it coming!
My opinion:
This may be obvious by now, but I seriously, seriously love this book. I couldn’t help but write a biased summary. My favorite character is Sidney Grice, the detective with an impossibly large ego. He is a rare individual, and honestly I think he’s a cool dude. There were countless times when I marveled at his skill and laughed at his insults. It’s a 5/5 from me, and I recommend you read it too! This book is perfect for people who like mystery and secrets; it is a mystery/realistic fiction series for young adults but parts of the book involve romance, adventure, comedy and other interesting subjects. One thing that may bother some readers is the detail that is put into it. Details are a great spect of this book, but sometimes the scenes that are described are gory. Those parts may not be your favorites, but other than that, it is a very addicting book. If you read it and like it as much as I do, you should check out the rest of the books in the series too!