The Dark Web

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The dark web; many of us have heard about it before but never really explored it and see it as something shrouded in mystery and criminal activity. Not always. The dark web is the very definition of complete, anonymous, online freedom. I don’t advise exploring the dark web without taking safety and anonymity precautions because there are things you don’t want to see, and there is activity that is very much considered illegal. Now the tor router (program used to access dark web) is an invention of the U.S. navy, but is now used as a search engine of sorts to remain completely anonymous by scrambling your IP address through many volunteer run servers throughout the world. Everyone sees this as some dark, small, and hidden underworld of the internet when in fact it is easily accessible to the average Joe. Not only that, but it is about 90% of the whole internet. Naturally when people are given complete and total freedom to sell purchase and post about whatever content they feel like, it usually becomes a haven for illicit activity. It also becomes a haven for political activists and people trying to expose the government when they try to sweep things under the rug. One of the most popular instances of this is Edward Snowden, the man who leaked classified NSA documents and now has asylum in Russia because he is one of the FBI’s most wanted. As for what you can find on the dark web, well, the list almost doesn’t end. In fact if you look for the right things you can find some interesting content, and if you look in the wrong place, don’t look in the wrong places. There are many things that may seem far fetched but don’t be mistaken the dark web is a complete free for all with gruesome services and forums such as hitmen for hire, child pornography rings, even blogs of active serial killers and other criminals posting candidly of their heinous crimes. Is the dark web a tool that can be used for justice and keeping the government that controls us in line? Or is it a hive of criminals looking for an easy way to do what they please. You decide.

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The Origins of The Dab

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This dance move is the most recent fad among today’s youth and has been attempted far and wide by many celebrities and even politicians trying to get the young vote. Looking at you Hillary. The dab has taken the world by storm in social media among all age groups, to see how to dab clink the link. Where the dab came from is shrouded in mystery and controversy, the rap group Migos claims to be the first people to dab. They state on Twitter that they started it almost 2 years ago; they would dab when they were getting into one of their songs in the recording booth. According to them the dab was dubbed that by people online and previously had no name. The popular opinion is that the dance originated in Atlanta and most rap groups will adamantly back this up, however the rapper Bow Wow claims that he discovered the dab. Allegedly the dance came from smoking a strong strain of marijuana that made you cough after one hit. Most of the internet was quick to shut him down as he obviously has the less popular opinion; Migos called him out on Twitter stating, “Bow Wow must have gotten a little too high this morning.” Regardless of where it came from this dance is easy for anyone to do although it can look very stupid at times if you do not do it right. 

The Brink of Madness

As we descend into the pits and corners of Hamlet’s mind one question is brought up time and time again, is he brilliant or mad? When his actions and thoughts are analyzed closely it is clear to see he is both, a high-functioning psychopath. In the beginning of Hamlet we can see that he is quite witty, intelligent, and snarky with a sort of method to his madness. Although he descends further into darkness and madness the farther we reach into the play we can still see he has his wit and sense about him.

We first see glimpses of his madness in Act 2, when Polonius believes that his disappointed love for Ophelia is the cause for his strange actions. Polonius approaches the king and queen to inform them that their son Hamlet, upon being rejected by Ophelia per her father’s demand, has gone mad due to this unrequited love. He states that Hamlet, “Fell into a sadness, then into a fast, . . . into the madness wherein now he raves, and we all mourn for” (Hamlet 2.2). Here Polonius tries to instill the notion of their son being insane so that they might take action to keep Hamlet away from Ophelia. Polonius believes that Hamlet also has a method to his madness and suspects him of mischief, and perhaps believes him to be a threat to the Danish Kingdom.

As we dive into Act 3 of the play his madness and his mind games progress, however, the line between method and madness is starting to blur. Hamlet has put on a show with a plot that strikes uncanny resemblance to the murder his uncle committed in an attempt to get a reaction from him, confirming the story told by his father’s ghost. After this play his mother is shocked at how he has acted and put the family on display and sends his friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to inform him she would like to speak with him. When Guildenstern insists upon him going to her Hamlet trying to further his look of insanity says he cannot “Make you a wholesome answer; my wit’s diseased: . . . as you say my mother: therefore no more, but to the matter: my mother you say-” (Hamlet 3.2). Throughout his interaction with his friends he changes his mood very much, and now his mind games start to take shape of real mental illness.

By the end of Act 4 Hamlet is a danger not only to himself but a danger to others in what appears to be clear madness and bloodthirst. After speaking to one of Fortinbras’ commanders he realizes that he has been too unsure of himself and hasn’t executed a true plan. He thinks all other thought is a waste of time so he believes, “O, from this time forth, my thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth.(Hamlet 4.4)” At this point in the play we can see something snap in Hamlet’s mind. At first his mind was clouded with calculations, over thinking, and logical doubt; his mind is now fixated on the blood of his uncle being spilled no matter the cost.

His madness and bloodthirst, in the end, cost him his life. His suicidal tendencies in the beginning turned to insanity while he searched for revenge for his father. He developed tunnel vision and the only thing he could see was Claudius’ death while he pushed Ophelia and even his mother aside. It is dismal to see that even though he was undoubtedly the smartest and most witful person in the entirety of the play, he was still cut short by his growing mental illness and hesitation to act.

To be, or not to be?

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As seniors, a lot of us are stressing out about what career path to take and all the benefits and disadvantages that come along with them. Picking something you want to do for the rest of your life at the age of 17 or 18 is not very easy to do. In addition, you have to excel at what you do because of the intense competition that you will find in most every field you look at. Another aspect of career choice to consider is passion vs. being realistic, for instance, I personally want to pursue a film and acting career at AMDA (a performing arts college in L.A.). Acting is my passion and also essentially the only thing I’m particularly good at. Unfortunately the tuition to go to AMDA is insane. $40,000 a year. Yeah. Also any performing arts career is not guaranteed, and finding an act to land can be very difficult. My other option is to attend a community college without a single clue of what else I would want to pursue. It is always a hard decision when your passion and a practical money making job don’t coincide, although good for the people who are lucky and want to be a doctor or surgeon. I plan to take a route that will save me money and let me pursue my passion but also have something to fall back on. I’m going to attend OCC for two years and get a degree in something practical, then I will transfer to AMDA and work on getting my Bachelors in film and acting. The next 6 months are very crucial for all of our futures and some of us more than others (me) can’t afford to slip into the coma that is senioritis. So with this I hope everybody thinks, dreams, and plans a realistic way to pursue their goals.

Superstition

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Superstition has been integrated into our society since the dawn of man. To some it is childish and idiotic to believe in, to others it is almost something to be believed in religiously. Personally, in my life, there is much superstition involved when it comes to theatre. I think we all know where I’m going with this, yes the infamous “Macbeth”. A dreaded sound to hear during rehearsal or anywhere near the set. For those who aren’t aware in a theatre if somebody says the word ‘Macbeth’ it is extremely bad luck, (yes I’ve seen it happen) after somebody says this something in the production goes horribly wrong. It has been reported through out the years that cast members would fall ill or become injured before Showtime. Perhaps a part of the set may break. My theatre teacher Mr. Zick is a very firm believer in this superstition and will literally have you spin around and say a cuss word and have you go outside for five minutes to ‘cleanse’ the theatre of the curse. I found the whole thing quite ridiculous until one afternoon during dress rehearsal I said it as a joke to prove everyone wrong. The majority of the kids flipped out and told me to perform the whole ritual (which I didn’t). About an hour later one of our tech people falls from a ladder trying to hang curtains, and to this day I have not said the name in any theatre. This begs the question, is superstition real? Or just some silly myth to mess with your head? I am still undecided on the matter however you never know.

The Great Gatsby and my story

This blog post is great and i enjoy how you used Fitzgerald’s type of writing and it’s really amazing how in these blogs that everyone dreaded in the beginning of the year have actually become places where students are comfortable to voice things about their personal life like in this post. I am going to miss these blogs actually now that we’ve finally reached the end of the road. I am glad I got to read this and so many other students thoughts this year.

Current, crazy, and fun!

I have a story to share that is similar to the Great Gatsby but not exactly. You see this is a story about me and my friend from middle school who I’ve been friends with for a while, but suddenly a tragic event happened and we distanced ourselves towards another. This is my story.

October 19, 2012 I met a girl named Bree who sat next to me in math. Though it’s weird how can I just meet someone who’s been sitting next to me for about a month? Well we never spoke to each other until that day. I found out that she had similar interests that I had so we became friends quick. We weren’t close friends though, we were just casual friends who’d talk every while in math class. Over the years I’ve been friends with her she’d always have an absurd, charming little laugh. It bothered…

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Book Bulgogi

In The Great Gatsby I have found many profound amazing quotes that Fitzgerald seems to come up with on the fly and they are truly a testament to his literary genius. There are so many passages in this book that you can analyze and find a deep meaning in them. “He hadn’t once ceased looking at Daisy, and I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes. Sometimes too, he stared around at his possessions in a dazed way, as though in her actual and astounding presence none of it was any longer real.” Gatsby has fallen in love and the only thing that really matters to him is what matters to Daisy. This story also uses symbolism in a unique way in this passage, “Standing behind him, Michaelis saw with a shock that he was looking at the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg, which had just emerged, pale and enormous from the dissolving night. “God sees everything”, repeated Wilson.” I enjoy how Fitzgerald compares the eyes of Eckleburg on the billboard to an omniscient, godlike, figure. Fitzgerald perfectly illustrates how strong love can be without even a word being said. I think this was most apparent in the quote, “They had never been closer in their month of love, nor communicated more profoundly with one another, than when she brushed silent lips against his coats shoulders or when he touched the end of her fingers, as though she were asleep.” I guess you are right Mr. T, silence is pretty undervalued. Finally, I think the last few paragraphs of the book are the most inspiring, and your class has helped me see the green light on the dock. I’ve seen and learned a lot from your class and thank you for teaching me that there is so much beauty in things that we see everyday, and that life is always exciting.

Heartbreak.

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We all experience it at least once in our lifetime. To most it is the worst feeling ever because it is a pain that no aspirin can relieve and nothing can fill the void. No matter what you do you can’t escape the pain, you find yourself missing that thing or person more and more everyday. You know it will pass yet somehow the only thing you want now is to have them back. However, it is necessary for us to know what it is to have loved and lost. To learn the pain that makes us human. Pain and loss define us just as much as happiness or love, and at some point at some time we have to let go. Life goes on and in a way the cycle continues, we all have to move on. It never means what was there meant nothing because everyone you love deeply takes a place in your heart. Learning to move on is an important part to learn and make us human but… not every time. If there is still hope and there is still something there you should fight everyday for it and give it everything you have. I guess if I had to sum it all up I would tell you to move on only when required because it is true that everything ends, but it doesn’t have to end now. Keep fighting, keep loving, keep living.

Leaving.

One of the hardest things to do in life is by far, leaving. No matter what it is your home, a person, a place you love very much. In my personal experiences I think leaving is a good and bad thing, on one hand I lost all the things I enjoyed seeing and all the people I talked to and I just missed everything. However leaving also made me realize all the beautiful things I got to see and the opportunities I was privileged enough to have and all the small memories that I took for granted. The place I am talking about is New York City. Last year I applied for an internship at Columbia University and my uncle offered to let me stay with him there over the summer since all of my relatives are in New Jersey. The whole experience was so amazing and most of all, new. I got to experience a job and coworkers and being a lab assistant in one of the most prestigious colleges in the country. I also met amazing people who worked really hard to get where they were and you would think they would emphasize me to work hard and get ahead and do everything you can. Surprisingly all of them said “Just enjoy life now, don’t sweat the little things but try to take as many opportunities you can and make sure you make mistakes.” I still remember the ride to the airport with my uncle and sitting in the terminal waiting for my flight. I still see the World Trade Center just barely on the horizon and remember it as the best experience of my life.

Depression

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In Catcher In The Rye the main character Holden struggles with depression, back in his time depression wasn’t viewed as much of a serious mental illness as it is today. It can be a very debilitating disease and can often be serious to drive a person to suicide. Even in today’s society I don’t believe depression gets the attention it deserves as a real disease. I personally know people who are depressed and lose their motivation to do simple things and their parents call them lazy or stupid instead of giving them support.

I think if the older generation were raised in a time where a kid that ate lunch alone and didn’t talk was just labeled a loner. While today a person like that would more likely be viewed as someone struggling with depression. As a result of this I think the older generation will often criticize someone with depression rather than be helpful, sympathetic, and ready to give their support.

Now what exactly does depression feel like? Depending on the severity of it you may feel sad often and not care about things, maybe lose your appetite. In more severe cases one may feel despair and hopeless; not exactly sad. But just a lack of emotion altogether; the inability to feel. With this often comes a lack of motivation to do simple things like getting out of bed, eating, and talking to friends. Depression is very awful to have and I think only after feeling it for yourself can you really know how debilitating it is.