The Cantina: How truly wonderful, the mind of a child is

Jonathan Weaver – Assistant A&E Editor

Star Wars is for kids. Always has been, always should be. The phrase “meant for kids” should not be seen so negatively; Star Wars would not be what it is today if George Lucas decided he needed to be more gritty and edgy in 1977. Boiled down to its most very basic elements, Star Wars is about good defeating evil; a young nobody relying on his own will and courage to defeat the evil ruling the world.

Star Wars was meant to convey the message that diversity helps not hinders, that women should stop being portrayed as helpless, and that tyranny, fascism, and imperialism will not survive against morality. These are very important messages for kids to learn, and that’s why Star Wars captured the minds of so many in ways that “2001: A Space Odyssey” or “Lost In Space” did. Kids could relate to Luke and Leia, they wanted to be Han, they adored Chewy, and they feared Vader, yet wanted more.

There is a big community of fans currently concerned that Disney is making Star Wars kid friendly, as if that wasn’t always the case. These very fans were once the kids who waited anxiously in line to watch “The Empire Strikes Back” in theaters. The same fans who would then run home to play with their Millenium Falcon playset or pretend to have a lightsaber duel with their friends. These fans all remember the moment that popcorn fell out of their mouth as the words, “No. I am your father.” hit their ears.

Star Wars resonates with both children and adults, a thing that few pieces of media can properly do now. If Star Wars were to abandon its roots, and embrace a darker tone and content, it would lose its fairy-tale essence, and the magic would fade.

For this reason, fans should not worry about the upcoming animated show “Star Wars: the Resistance.” While yes it is primarily marketed at kids, so are the toys, which have always been a staple of the property. The same thing was said about the “Clone Wars” series and the “Rebels” series, both of which are widely regarded as great additions to the canon, and fun stories in their own right.

Star Wars will still feel like itself — the magic will still be there. Kids will see what happens when everyday people, just like them, stand up against injustice. The concepts appeal to all ages, but every family member will still be able to relate to and bond over the stories and adventures in a galaxy far, far away.

 

In celebration of Mac Miller

Enrique Castaneda-Pineda – Anchor Staff

Despite Mac Miller’s troubled personal life, there is one thing that stands true: Miller loved to make music, and was constantly experimenting and changing his music style.

There have been several controversies surrounding his death, from the knowledge of his drug overdose to the cyber attacks against his former girlfriend, Ariana Grande. Between promethazine, cocaine, lean, and many more drugs, Miller could not come back from his addiction originating back in 2012. Although he started using lean when he was fifteen, the problem with several drugs did not surface until 2012.

Recently, in a post on Instagram, Frankie Grande, Grande’s brother, commented on his personal addiction and how Miller influenced him to get clean and go to rehab. According to Frankie, Miller was always good to him and Ariana Grande, though Ariana has mentioned that the relationship was a toxic one. Other friends of the two mentioned that Ariana was a stable force in his life, as she helped him a lot with his struggle with mental health and drugs.

After releasing music consistently since 2007, Miller took a break after fans did not receive his 2016 album, “The Divine Feminine,” as well as expected, with sales much lower than previous albums. After a two year break, Miller released “Swimming” shortly following his split with Ariana Grande. Due to the focus surrounding her, the album did not perform well, with less pure album sales than his previous album, but a total of 66,000 units sold at debut.

Many saw this album as an album were Mac Miller was “in his feelings” after his break-up, while some felt it was a heartful, jazz-rap masterpiece. Released just over a month ago, this was Miller’s last album before his unfortunate passing. Though it seemed, through this album, that Miller was growing as a person, attempting to overcome his addiction. Unfortunately, we now know that was not the case.

Mac Miller, Photo courtesy of I’m Music Magazine

The saddest part of losing Mac is the fact that he seemed to be nothing but a caring person who loved what he did, all the while fighting a silent battle with his inner demons.

Several celebrities have paid their respects to celebrate the person that Mac Miller was. People including J. Cole, Donald Glover, Chance the Rapper, and many, many more. They all spoke about Miller’s personality and how he has influenced them.  Chance the Rapper made a statement about Miller, stating that he was one of the first to help him launch his career after taking him on his second ever tour. Donald Glover also mentioned that Miller was “the sweetest guy” at his concert two Saturdays ago. Glover said, “I love you Mac, and I just want to tell you that I love you and this song (Riot) is for him, because I feel like sometimes he wanted to let go.”

Though many are heartbroken, Donald Glover stated, “we should be allowed to be sad about it…and I feel good about being sad, because it tells me that he was special.”

Despite his end, Mac Miller did what he loved unapologetically. Rest in Peace to legend, Malcolm James McCormick, aka Mac Miller.

 

Just the facts

Mike Dwyer – Anchor Staff

A Killer whale named Wikie has learned how to say “hello” and “bye-bye”, but still has no sense of smell. All marbled crayfish are clones, an anomaly which is thought to be the result of a reproductive accident that occurred in a German aquarium sometime around 1995.

Female bearded dragons grow a temporary penis during early development, puppies hit peak cuteness at eight weeks of age, some cats have thumbs and fearful dairy calves tend to be more pessimistic than their sociable peers.

Turkey vultures nest in the trunks of hollow trees while yellow-billed oxpeckers have been spotted roosting in the armpits of giraffes. A researcher in Japan conditioned pigeons to judge children’s artwork to be either “good” or “bad”. Hermit crabs actively seek lasting relationships with sea anemones, Ugandan warthogs will lie down in the presence of nit-picking mongooses, while white-tip sharks pose for cleaner wrasses, ending the engagement if the wrasse bites too hard.

A biology program produced mice with chronic bad breath. It is illegal to harvest the stomach bile of Vietnamese bile bears. Researchers in Ontario, Canada conclude that your dog will not save you.

Sometimes, Shoaling fish betray their friends. Male antelopes have been observed gas-lighting their female mates to get more sex. Up to 90 percent of koalas have chlamydia and it is infectious to humans. Some caterpillars have developed a taste for flesh. Chimpanzees, elephants, and dolphins have displayed what appears to be a form of proto-religious ritual, whereas starling murmurations are thought to have advanced to the early stages of avian-Marxism.

In Meerkat mobs, the alpha female will enslave others, forcing them to serve as wet nurses for her offspring. In defense, horned lizards may aim and squirt blood from their eyes. The cigarette snail kills its victims with a venomous harpoon. Cows will face either magnetic north or south while grazing, and are responsible for more human death per year than sharks. Recently voted “World’s Ugliest Animal”, the blobfish has very little bone or muscle in its body, and no swim bladder. A physicists in Paris has determined that cats can behave like a liquid, or a solid, depending on the circumstances.

The neotrogla, a cave-dwelling genus of barklice in Brazil, will copulate for up to 70 hours with its reverse sexual organs. Scientists in South Korea have genetically engineered a glow-in-the-dark puppy. A blind, bisexual goose named Thomas, who became the center of a highly publicized love triangle in New Zealand, has passed away at the age of 38. Thomas is survived by his eight cygnets, who were stolen several years prior by a rival named George.

 

Damages cause by your flicking habits

Samantha Malley & Samantha Scetta – Art Director & Editor-in-Chief

What do we think of when we think of littering? Coffee cups, candy wrappers and plastic bags… these are items that are constantly littering sidewalks and polluting oceans. A much more common yet absolutely insidiously littered item is actually the cigarette butts that are notoriously flicked out of car windows and onto the streets. Shockingly, the butts of cigarettes are the number one item littered not just in the United States… but throughout the whole entire world.

About four and a half trillion cigarette butts are littered every year making up more than a third of all litter. Once tossed to the ground, a cigarette butt can leach harmful chemicals such as arsenic and lead –simply creating an unnecessary and detrimental hazard to our natural world.

“Thousands upon thousands of ciggy butts in a fishes mouth”, Graphic by Wiley Sadowski

There are two visible parts that make up a cigarette: the tobacco and the plastic filter. Although the smokeable tobacco part is biodegradable by definition, the plastic filter is made up of cellulose acetate. This compound technically breaks down but never disappears…ever. Combine that with not only the thousands of chemicals found in a cigarette butt with all the other different types of litter found daily in the environment and you have a recipe for a toxic environment.

Reported just this year by the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup project, the top ten most littered items were all made up of plastic. These items included cigarettes, of course, food wrappers, plastic bottles and caps, plastic bags, and straws.

Sounds like the perfect recipe for a poisonous meal. All animals, from pets to wildlife can’t know the difference between food and garbage until it is already being eaten. This is especially true for marine life that are basically forced to ingest plastic waste. Would you want to eat a fish that has ingested cigarette butts?

Cigarettes cause a plethora of disease from lung cancer to liver cancer, and from erectile dysfunction to stroke. Smoking cigarettes is a debilitating habit that will eventually cause the smoker health problems that they would most likely not have had otherwise. Smoking cigarettes is a personal choice, however, when smoking around children or littering cigarette butts it becomes less personal and more harmful to other beings– this is when smoking becomes an environmental issue. There are other means of disposing cigarettes such as putting them into ashtrays and then emptying the ashtray into a garbage routinely.

However, when going for a walk or driving a car it is much easier to just throw the cigarette filter onto the ground rather than waiting to find a proper place to dispose of it. Unless people stop smoking cigarettes altogether, the butts are going to end up in our oceans, our front yards and the mouths of animals worldwide.

 

From the archives

 

 

Catherine Enos  – Opinions Editor

This archived article is from the October 16, 1968 issue of The Anchor.

It is always interesting to take a look at the student complaints of the past, and the archived Anchor issues are rich in this area. It’s funny to see that the grievances of 50 years ago are the same issues that students have today; for example, the price of textbooks.

Any college student knows that the costs of textbooks, just like the cost of tuition, have exploded in recent years across the nation. Some students skip buying the textbook, but what is the point of paying tuition if you’re going to skip out on the textbook and probably miss half of the curriculum?

The message of this article wasn’t whether students were buying textbooks, though. The message was: RIC students are paying too much money for their textbooks. And in an age before the internet or speedy shipping (if the student special-ordered the book), students faced a monopoly, so capitalism kicked in and boosted the price of the textbooks.

I never thought I would appreciate being able to spend $90 on a textbook instead of $100, but looking back in time can help you appreciate the small things. Next time you buy a textbook at the cheapest price you can find at the click of a button, think of all the students who had to manually investigate these prices and face bookstore boycotts to make “lower” prices a reality.

 

RIC plans to host 5k

Tim Caplan – News Editor

Coach Jay Jones and the Rhode Island College wrestling team are set to hold two different fundraisers on homecoming weekend at the end of September.

On Saturday, Sept. 29, RIC wrestling will hold their annual 5k road race, which will begin at 9 a.m. on the RIC track facility. Participants will run around the campus and end back at the track, while the top finishers will receive cash and gift card prizes.

The top male and female finishers will receive a $50 cash prize while the top RIC alumni, top RIC student, the top finisher over 40, as well as the top finisher over 55 will also receive gift cards to the RIC bookstore. All registered runners will receive a 5k homecoming t-shirt. To register online, go to https://g2racereg.webconnex.com/ric5k2018.

The RIC wrestling team will also be hosting their annual Golf Ball Drop Raffle Extravaganza. Tickets will be sold by members of the wrestling team for $10 and they will be giving away $2,000 in cash and prizes including a $1,000 grand prize, a $500 second place cash prize, and a $250 third place cash prize.

Participants do not need to be present at the golf ball drop to win, balls are assigned randomly with each ticket, and dropped during the homecoming festivities out on the lawn in front of Gaige Hall.

 

Partisan battles waged in Supreme court nominee hearings

Tim Caplan – News Editor

On Tuesday, Sept. 4th the Senate Judiciary Committee began their public hearing of Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s second nominee for the supreme court, less than two years into his first presidential term.

Pandemonium ensued almost immediately once the hearings began, Senators Richard Blumenthal and Kamala Harris immediately motioned to suspend the hearings, claiming that they did not have adequate information on the judicial record of Kavanaugh and that there was an absence of records during his time spent working in the Bush administration. During this time there were outbursts in the courtroom from protestors who object to the nomination of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, including people dressed in costumes from “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

The first round of questioning began from the senators the next day, and Kavanaugh did not give too many solid answers, he claimed that he did not want to address hypothetical situations that weren’t based on precedent. There were constant procedural objections by democrats throughout the day.

Senators Kamala Harris (D)-CA and Corey Booker (D)-NJ have made it clear that they oppose the nomination of Kavanaugh for several reasons. Harris provided a line of questioning indicating concern for Kavanaugh’s connections to a law firm with potential connections to President Trump, as well as the aforementioned lack of documented information about the candidate. Corey Booker released what he thought were classified documents (which in reality were available to the public before he published them) in an attempt to show the committee his questions about Kavanaugh’s views on “race and the law.”

Protester, Photo courtesy of RT.com

On Thursday, Sept. 14, a document was made public in which an anonymous woman accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct and forcing himself upon her in the 1980’s while he was attending boarding school in Bethesda, Maryland. The document came from a woman in California who sent it to her Congressman, Dianne Feinstein (D)-CA. Feinstein referred the document to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, who stated that they would not pursue the case because they found that the claims made by the accuser were unsubstantiated. Kavanaugh completely denies these allegations.

For now, the hearings will continue while cutthroat politics occupy the American political system.

 

Highlights of the Primary Elections

Aaron Isaac – Staff Writer

Rhode Island’s state primaries occurred this past week. Most of the incumbents in office are going to the general election, but some incumbents have lost their primary elections.

Polling Place, Photo courtesy of Kristy Sittinger

Samuel Bell defeated incumbent Paul Jabour, who has been in the District five seat since 2006. Bell ran on “common -sense gun reform” and called out politicians in Rhode Island who took money from the National Rifle Association. He also criticized the legislature for raising property taxes while taxes are being cut for the rich. However, Jab our has requested a recount after losing by 172 votes.

Sam Bell, Photo courtesy of Twitter

Mark McKenney won Senate District 30 by beating progressive Jeanine Calkin who was first elected in 2016. McKenney has supported increased funding for schools and wants to make visits to the Department of Motor Vehicles “a whole lot easier.”

Another loss for incumbents was in House District 13. Ramon Perez lost to 28 year old Mario Mendez. Perez took the seat in 2016 but was engulfed in scandal when he accidentally shared a document with legislatures which showed tabs with pornographic material in their titles; Perez thereafter deleted his Facebook account. Mendez ran on increasing the minimum wage and supports adult education. According to current results, Perez requested a recount after losing by 74 votes.

Some elections were interesting even if the incumbent was not overturned. The House District 3 race between incumbent Moira Walsh and Michael Earnheart sparked interest when the Democratic Party endorsed challenger Earnheart who only joined the party in the summer. The endorsement was withdrawn when the party was criticized for its support of Earnheart over Walsh.

There were no incumbents who lost in the state races, but at least one race was a curiosity in the news. Rocky De La Fuente challenged Robert Flanders in the Republican Primary for RI Senate, But La Fuente, a millionaire businessman, was also running in Vermont, Wyoming, Delaware, Florida, and California. During a speech in Florida, he revealed that he didn’t expect to win, but just wants to let “people know who I am.”

A close state race was the race for Lieutenant Governor. Incumbent Mckee barely squeezed by against challenger Regunburg, current reporting shows McKee won with 51.1 percent of the vote.

Finally, the primary race for governor saw Alan Fung defeat Patricia Morgan and Giovanni Feroce. Fung will face Gina Raimondo who defeated challengers Matt Brown and Spencer Dickinson.

The general election race has already opened up. The Raimondo campaign released an ad which intended to show the “distressed community” in Cranston. However, the ad actually showed stores in Providence.

On that note, this general election should be interesting.

 

Flower power: phytoremediation and the sunflower

Lucille DiNaro – Business Manager

Photo courtesy of Thomas Crudale

It is about this time of year when Summer slowly melts into Autumn that New Englanders witness an explosion of plant life. The fast approaching harvest brings forth rolling fields of corn, tumbling pumpkin patches, and in recent years, sunflowers. This newfound popularity of the sunflower field did not arise like the kitschy tulip farms you see on Instagram. Recent studies have pegged Helianthus annuus–commonly known as the sunflower–as an effective phytoremediation agent, and it has caught farmer’s attention.

Native to the Americas, the sunflower is a drought tolerant, late blooming plant that has generally been avoided by farmers due to its fast-spreading and invasive nature. However, threats to soil fertility posed by increased heavy metal contamination and saline soils has caused many to reconsider this particular plant.

The sunflower is a known hyperaccumulator which makes it a great candidate for phytoremediation of soil. Simply put, the biological activities and processes of the sunflower allow the plant to absorb high concentrations of heavy materials in their tissue and simultaneously neutralize the surrounding soil. Research conducted by environmental scientists in the past ten years has attributed the sunflower the ability to absorb nickel, copper, arsenic, lead and cadmium from contaminated soils.

 

The 10,000 suns exhibit, intersection of Dollar and S. Main St Providence,
Photo courtesy of Thomas Crudale

The success of the sunflower as a phytoremediator is most likely attributed to its genetic makeup. Farmers and environmental scientists are drawn to the sunflower particularly due to its ability to thrive in moist soils, as soils near water systems are highly prone to contamination. Likewise, the invasive, self-maintaining nature of the sunflower significantly decreases the amount of labor involved in soil remediation.

The practice of phytoremediation via sunflower has been put into action right in our own backyard, at the intersection of Wickenden and South Main streets in Providence. Adam E. Anderson, registered landscape architect and professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, has incorporated the sunflower and its restorative properties in what he describes as a summer long botanical performance. 10,000 suns pictured above and below, was first installed in 2016 in an effort to both combat the toxicity of the soil on former I-195 land and provide a unique outdoor space for Providence citizens. Now in its third year, the garden has established a devoted community of volunteers who work tirelessly to plant and maintain the hundreds of rows of golden suns.

For decades, extraction and soil washing have existed as the primordial method of soil remediation, despite out of pocket cost and environmental risks. Phytoextraction of metals, on the other hand, is inexpensive, natural and miraculously effective. The sunflower survives and thrives throughout the phytoremediation process, positioning itself as a successful venture for farmers and environmental scientists to consider in the years to come.

 

A conversation with President Sanchez

Aaron Isaac – Staff Writer

Rhode Island College is great, but no one knows it. This was certainly the sentiment from RIC President Frank D. Sanchez during the Student Community Government meeting on Sept. 13.

“Since I started two years ago one of the biggest challenges that I think the college has is really telling our story of quality, the real value, (and) the innovation that’s happening” Sanchez said.

President Sanchez, Photo courtesy of
Britt Donahue

Sanchez cited the RIC nursing program as “arguably the leading school of nursing in all of New England” citing high national test results. In fact, Rhode Island College students constantly perform better than the state and national average.

RIC’s nursing students and staff have also earned awards for their achievements. RIC Professor of Nursing and Associate Dean Lynn Blanchette was honored as the 2018 Nurse of the Year in an Academic Setting and senior nursing student Laura Ramirez became the first recipient of the Senior Student Nurse of the Year award.

President Sanchez also cited RIC’s relatively low price. RIC, in a ranking of 100 colleges by Best Value Schools, RIC ranked 36th. “The return on investment at Rhode Island College really is extraordinary.”

RIC will team with a consulting firm to rebrand RIC in order to spread the word of RIC successes. Students will be integral to that, Sanchez hoped graphic design student could get involved in RIC’s marketing.

After Sanchez left, SCG focused on how to raise attention and attract members to the organization. That makes sense considering the only people that were in the room were the people who had to be there. However, SCG does perform an important function to the college. They work with administrators and students to solve issues.

One example is to fix faulty lights which, recently, have been going out in the open parking lot. “There have been some nights when the lights were not on at all” Representative Percy said. “When I saw that I felt concerned for the safety of students.”

SCG also handles the budget for school clubs and student organizations and acts as a forum for students to express themselves to the committee. If you would like to contact SCG you can email them at ricscg@ric.edu or call them at (401) 456-8088.