Hell on Wheels

By Jimmy Archer
Staff Writer

AMC has provided many shows on television that have swayed the attention of the public such as “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead”, and they may be at it again with “Hell on Wheels.”

This show takes place post Civil War on the construction of railroads throughout the United States. A former Confederate soldier, Cullen Bohannon, lost his wife in the war, and tries to start a new life by working for the railroad. Along the way he meets Elam Ferguson, a former slave, who he befriends. Sadly, the character of Ferguson was killed recently in the series, with his former friend Bohannonn killing him. The killing was warranted, with Fergusson having gone on an insane tirade after a bear attacked him and brought him close to death, and his insanity brought him to an attempt to kill Bohanan.

“Hell on Wheels” made its television debut in 2011 and is still making its run. The lead role of Cullen Bohannon is acted by Anson Mount. The show is currently on Season 4 and offers a darker twist on classic Western movies such as those starring John Wayne.

AMC has been notorious for not making “Hollywood” shows; programs where the heroes win, the villains lose, and good prosper. This show portrays events that could occur in real life (at least at that time), but depicts characters that are complicated in ways that those of “Hollywood” films usually are not. Cullen Bohannon is an anti-hero, an imperfect human being who takes odd approaches to helping society. He has had to kill more than one friend, and has seen death on many occasions. In today’s society, the anti-hero has really caught on, with audiences backing the hero with more qualities like Batman than Superman.

The show is attention-grabbing, with constant troubles plaguing the loveable lead character, causing the viewer to hope some good will finally come to Bohannon. He has had a child with a woman who was not meant to become his wife, but since he discovered her in the later stages of pregnancy, he decided to take on the responsibility of husband to raise his child and support his family. Having lost his higher paying job on the railroad, he suffers financially and struggles to support a family. The relationship with his wife is not the best – they have little in common and their marriage only happened to support the child.

His situation takes on relevance to society today, with all of the unexpected pregnancies and financial crises that occur and turn lives upside down. Perhaps the anti-hero is catching because his problems are timeless. He can resolve his issues in ways an audience could only dare to dream.


ALS Ice Bucket Highlights: Everyman Fails and Celebrity Success

By Max Arbogast
Staff Writer

This is a funny ALS Ice Bucket Challenge fail. In this video, the girl pouring the water ends up getting more soaked than the girl actually taking the challenge.

This little kid tries as hard as he can to complete the ice bucket challenge, but can’t quite get the job done.

This ALS ice bucket challenge video has a lot more effort put in to it than others. Canadian professional ice hockey player Paul Bissonnette goes to the top of a mountain and has actual ice water (as in, glacial runoff) dumped on him.

Kobe Bryant 100 Percent as Season Approaches

Over the past two seasons Kobe has suffered two different season ending injuries. Many questioned whether or not Kobe would be able to play the game of basketball again.
Over the past two seasons Kobe has suffered two different season ending injuries. Many questioned whether or not Kobe would be able to play the game of basketball again.

By Jenner Anderson
Staff Writer

Most every sports fan knows who Kobe Bryant is, especially if you live around Sacramento. Not many people around here particularly like his cocky demeanor, his arrogant persona, or even his scoring approach to the game. What one has to admit though, is that the guy has an unprecedented desire to win and has an unmatched work ethic.

Over the past two seasons Kobe has suffered two different season ending injuries. Many questioned whether or not Kobe would be able to play the game of basketball again. However, Bryant has worked and trained harder than ever before in order to return back to full form. In fact, over the summer while vacationing in Brazil during the World Cup, Kobe stated that he was “100 percent.”

But how much can 100 percent be if you have just had to overcome two devastating injuries? If recent reports are any indication, 100 percent is not bad; reporters who looked on as Kobe played five-on-five reported that Kobe looked “really good.”

If this is true, not only is it a testament to Bryant’s skill and ability, but also to his desire to return to the court as good as he has ever been. He has trained very hard to get back to the game. Now we just have to wait and see just how good #24 is as basketball season approaches.

Recent NFLer Dies Mysteriously

Former Titans kicker Rob Bironas, 36, was killed in a car accident  under mysterious circumstances  late Saturday night in Nashville, TN. Photo courtesy of cbssports.com.
Former Titans kicker Rob Bironas, 36, was killed in a car accident under mysterious circumstances late Saturday night in Nashville, TN. Photo courtesy of cbssports.com.

By Theo DeRosa
Sports Editor

At around 11 p.m. Central Time, Bironas lost control of his SUV, which left the road, hitting several trees before landing upside-down. Alcohol was determined to have had no role whatsoever in the crash. Bironas was pronounced dead upon arrival at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

On the night of Monday, September 22, an unidentified woman spoke in a 911 call from the accident scene, saying that Bironas had tried to run her and her husband off the road. She described the driver of the white SUV (Bironas’) as “dangerous…drunk or something.” She stated that the SUV, after attempting to merge into her lane, fell in line behind her car, revving its engine at the stoplight of Franklin and Battery. She allowed the SUV to pass, and soon came upon the one-car accident scene.

The next day, Tuesday, allegations were raised that Bironas had told Belmont University students at a Franklin Road intersection that he would sideswipe their truck and kill them. Twenty-year-old Connor Fraley had noticed a burning smell emanating from Bironas’ SUV. Fraley, a passenger, warned Bironas through the open window that “something’s burning from your exhaust,” to which Bironas allegedly replied, “I’m going to kill everyone in your (expletive) vehicle,” something of a non sequitur. Fraley spent most of the incident on the phone with a 911 dispatcher.

Fraley’s driver, identified only as “Spencer,” sped up to get away from Bironas, who sped up in turn, attempting to sideswipe the vehicle and just narrowly missing. Following an apparent high-speed chase (Fraley claims up to 110 miles per hour) that continued through residential side streets, the students finally shook Bironas, who went on to crash a few minutes later. When Fraley’s roommate texted him a picture of Bironas, Fraley recognized the driver from the night before.

Rachel Bradshaw, the daughter of Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw, had married Bironas in June. She reported her husband missing when he suddenly left the house without explanation around 10:30, near the time Fraley reported his incident.

Released in March by the Titans after totaling 1,032 career points and a team-high 60-yard field goal in 2006 against Indianapolis, Bironas amassed 11 game-winning kicks over an illustrious nine-season career. Known for his charitable exploits, his Rob Bironas Fund aimed to raise support for children in central Tennessee.

The NFL mourns the loss of Bironas. “We are deeply saddened to hear the tragic news from last night about Rob Bironas….Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Rachel, and his family during this very difficult time,” said a spokesman for the Titans.

Bironas’ sudden passing is still shrouded in mystery. Hopefully some light can soon be shed on what truly transpired.

U.S. Strikes ISIL in Syria

President Barack Obama addressing the UN General Assembly in September 2013. He will deliver remarks again Wednesday, following an airstrike against Sunni militants in Syria. Photo courtesy of whitehouse.gov.
President Barack Obama addressing the UN General Assembly in September 2013. He will deliver remarks again Wednesday, following an airstrike against Sunni militants in Syria. Photo courtesy of whitehouse.gov.

By Sam Feineh
News Editor

“U.S. military pilots have unleashed airstrikes against ISIL forces in Syria at approximately 8:30 p.m. ET Monday” (NBCnews.com)

Following President Obama’s landmark address to the nation on Sept. 10 and Congress’ subsequent approval to arm and train Syrian rebels to defeat the Islamic State, military airstrikes have bombarded up to 20 targets, including command posts and weapon depots in the self-proclaimed ISIL capital Raqqa.

“I can confirm that U.S. military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack missiles,” said Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby (ap.org).

“The U.S. military will deploy manned and unmanned air assets, including F-22s, B-1 bombers, F-16s, F-15s and F/A-18s” (NBCnews.com).

The landmark initiative to bomb ISIL targets comes in the wake of violent provocations directed to the U.S. and its allies. In the midst of these threats, the U.S. is seeking to form unlikely coalitions with disparate groups in the Middle East, potentially including the Saudis and UAE to destroy ISIL.

The timing of these attacks provides Mr. Obama a platform to speak upon with the upcoming UN General Assembly in New York. By expediently acting upon the President’s four point plan he noted during his special address to the nation on Sept. 10, the U.S. has demonstrated its commitment to eradicate ISIL‘s influence from the Middle East.

Furthermore, at the UN Assembly, Mr. Obama will attempt to rally more support in the effort to aggressively attack ISIL. Senior officials have yet to designate more information about the strikes; however the airstrikes’ success/failure results will play a key factor in enlisting other countries’ support to attack ISIL.

These strikes took place just a day after more than 130,000 Syrians, primarily Kurds, fled across the border to Turkey to escape the Islamic State militants.

More refugees could cross the border in the coming days despite the increased pressure on Turkey’s infrastructure. Temporary refugee camps could overflow soon due to the large influx of Kurdish Syrians.

“We Kurds do that made nobody help us, and no country cares. They attacked us, killing our people, our livestock, and burning our homes,” said Nesero, a Kurdish refugee (bbc.com).

With war surging in the Kurdish city of Kobani, the West has little time to react. In an interview with MSNBC television Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the strength of Islamic State finances and the size of the area under its control make it a more dangerous threat than al-Qaida (voanews.com).

Thus, the Obama administration is determined to eliminate the potential threat from reaching the U.S. as swiftly as possible.

“This is not American’s fight alone.”

In a Presidential statement given on Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET, Mr. Obama announced that the fight against ISIL is not a solo effort. The U.S. will form a coalition with the 5 Arab partners: Jordan, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia to participate in the operation

The President also revealed that ISIL was not the only intended target in last night’s airstrikes. The Khorasan group, part of an al-Qaida terrorist cell, was also bombarded last night. Khorasan is an archaic term for an Islamic empire, ruled by a caliph.

The group was actively plotting against a U.S. homeland target and Western targets. The United States aimed to surprise the cell by infusing strikes against ISIL along with strikes against Khorasan (cnn.com).

All this comes just hours prior to the President’s arrival at the UN General Assembly.

Is Social Media Socially Destructive?

Social Media Icons
It’s been 10 years since Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook, marking the advent of social media. Consider this: has our social landscape changed for the better?

By Kyle Rairdon
Entertainment Editor

February 4, 2004. A young man by the name of Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook, Inc., on this date, starting a snowball effect of social media outlets that would reshape the next generation’s way of life. A new site allowing users to create a profile and connect around the world with their “friends.” Not only was this site a form of communication and a way to make connections socially, but it also provided a form of entertainment for users, classifying it as media. Social media. A craze that would take the world by storm for the next ten years.

Throughout the years Facebook has updated and remade the site dozens of times, keeping up with these times where Twitter and Instagram dominate the social media platform. With a user base of approximately 271 million, Twitter is a fast evolving site and app, founded in 2006, that is now much more often used among the high-school-aged demographic than the original social media outlet of Facebook. With a lot of activity and only 140 characters maximum to read per tweet, the fast-paced teenage public seems to love the idea of this site. Instagram, a photo sharing app, is another insanely popular and rapidly growing social media outlet, founded in 2010.

With the evolution of these sites and the creation of more, social media has gone from a small creation to arguably the most trending topic of conversation of this young generation. Yet as cool as this shared factor and common topic of conversation is, there are many dangers associated with these sites. Posting all of your information on a public profile can make you susceptible to identity theft. Criminals, too, are using information from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at an alarming rate.

Another negative aspect of the constant posting, tweeting, and double tapping is the vortex of hashtags and captions that has altered our daily life. Sliding into someone’s DMs is the new way to flirt, prompting awkward real life conversations between otherwise talkative online partners. This new kind of relationship is followed by a tangled web of potential drama, such as an accidental Instagram or a subtweet gone wrong. Our social media, is taking over our social lives.

With positive and negative connotations alike, social media has changed our lives and social contact significantly. And all I have to say to this ridiculous and overbearing obsession with online social outlets is…Follow me on Twitter.

Haters Gonna Hate


By Zoe Bonfield
Opinion Editor

Taylor Swift is one of the most famous and talented artists of pop music for this generation. This has not always been the case however. At the start of her career, Swift was almost entirely a country music artist, but now more than eight years later, she has transformed her sound into something entirely different, and identifies herself as a pop artist. And with a new album coming out on October 27th, named after her birth-year 1989, it will be interesting to see how her devoted fans react to the changes.

Swift released one song (and music video) off the album, Shake it Off, in mid-August to promote 1989, and it rose to the number one song on iTunes almost immediately. That type of success is not uncommon for Taylor Swift, as most of her recent releases were at the top of the  iTunes chart for a long time. However, this song is different from her usual songs about love, boys, and break-ups. Instead, she promotes being yourself and ignoring the players, haters, heart-breakers, and fakers and to just shake it off. As an inspiration and role model to young people throughout the world, she is promoting a positive message that we can expect to carry over into the other 12 songs on the album. Now all there is to do is to wait until October 27th to see what the great Taylor Swift has in store for the world.

The Declaration of Newspaper Interdependence

The 2014-2015 Newspaper class spends the week teambuilding and coming up with common agreements. Kyle Rairdon becomes the John Hancock of the group.
The 2014-2015 Newspaper class spends the week teambuilding and coming up with common agreements. Kyle Rairdon becomes the John Hancock of the group.

The class was divided into 4 “news crews” and asked to design a poster. The format: make it look like the front page of a newspaper with a title and logo, but make the content about your group’s values for class. The next day, students analyzed the 4 resulting posters for common ideas, had a lengthy discussion, and developed core values to which the whole class agreed.

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