While winter does not officially start until the twenty-first, the sports played in this season have begun, and the future is bright for Apex’s several teams. Starting off on the basketball court, men’s basketball has been one of the most successful teams in the SWAC over recent years, and the success should not be stopping anytime soon. The JV squad is featuring new players, and the chemistry developed over the season will only enhance their skills. Chemistry is said to be the key for this team as well as Varsity. While Varsity is lacking the size that teams of years past have exhibited, high expectations remain. Among the teams most improved is senior Trevor Downey. The last player on the bench last year has risen to play valuable minutes for the Cougars. The execution of the smaller, finer things is said to be one of Downey’s niches. That execution can be attributed to Coach Neal and his input during practice that has the Cougars primed for another playoff push.
As 2015 comes to a close, it is time to look back on the year’s most memorable aspects. From new song and album releases to captivating movies, 2015 has definitely been a year of hits. Movies play a formative role in society, serving served as a great tool of entertainment, while also leaving lasting impressions. Here are the top ten movies of 2015.
Let’s be honest; it is almost impossible to narrow the films of the year to just ten. However, some have stood out more than others. The genres of these movies range from family fun, action and adventure, and sci-fi. The movies presented in this article are not ranked but are rather ten movies that were highly talked about and remembered this year. Also keep in mind these do not include the movies coming out around Christmas.
The end of the year is coming, and the media is taking time to remind its audience about the memorable year. YouTube, being the king of Internet entertainment, released its YouTube Rewind video, continuing the tradition established in 2010. The film, titled Now Watch Me YouTube 2015 (alluding to the viral song ‘Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)’), has gained over 41 million views within a mere three days and has gotten people talking about the brilliant execution of the music video. The music video is a celebration of “the videos, people, music, and moves that made 2015.” Along with moments from 2015, halfway along the film, they showed a rewind that went all the way back to 2005 to show how far the media has come.
Serial has returned with a second season, following the story of Bowe Bergdahl, a US army soldier who was a prisoner of the Taliban for five years.
Serial is a podcast from the creators of This American Life and is hosted by Sarah Koeing. A single true story is told over the course of a season. “Each season, we follow a plot and characters wherever they take us,” the Serial website remarks. “We won’t know what happens at the end until we get there, not long before you get there with us.” The podcast is available on serialpodcast.com, iTunes, or Pandora.
The first season followed the murder case of Hae Min Lee, a senior at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, Maryland. Lee disappeared on January 13, 1999, and a month later her body was discovered in a city park. Adnan Syed, Lee’s ex-boyfriend, was arrested for her murder and sentenced to life in prison a year later. A majority of the case was based on the accounts of one witness that claimed to have helped Syed bury Lee’s body, but Syed has always said that he had nothing to do with Lee’s death. While researching the case for the podcast, Koeing discovered “that the trial covered up a far more complicated story than the jury--or the public--ever got to hear.”
The day after the final episode of Serial aired in December 2014, Deirdre Enright of the Innocence Project Clinic of the University of Virginia Law School announced the possible discovery of another suspect. In Feb. 2015, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals granted Syed to appeal his conviction due to Cristina Gutierrez, Syed’s attorney, providing ineffective counsel. With the beginning of season two, Syed’s case has been re-opened and a new hearing date is yet to be set.
Season two follows the events leading up to and after the capture of Bowe Bergdahl by Taliban forces. In May 2014, Bergdahl was traded for five Taliban leaders being held at Guantanamo Bay, and, after five years, he was able to return home. However, within hours of his rescue, people began saying Bergdahl was a deserter and traitor who should not be celebrated. People said Bergdahl intentionally walked off the small outpost in Afghanistan and into hostile territory. On Monday, Dec. 14, an Army commander ordered Bergdahl to face a general court-martial, the highest level of trial in the military justice system, under charges of desertion and endangerment of troops.
The upcoming season of Serial is said to be Bowe Bergdahl’s way of telling his version of events. Stay tuned to see where the story takes Sarah Koeing and her team.
Editor-in-Chief and A&E Editor
15. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia- The FX hit comedy is as funny as it has ever been, which is extraordinary considering that the show is in its tenth season. While the newest batch of episodes did not reinvent the wheel, it was consistently hilarious and insane. From a Family Feud inspired game show installment to an episode where the “gang” joins a cult, Sunny proved that it still has what it takes for more seasons.
Wherever you live, there will always be bullies. All across the United States, there are programs in many schools to raise awareness and to reduce cases or find ways of doing this. Regardless of where it happens, it is a major problem that needs more attention. In China it has become an epidemic and gotten out of control.
Huang Tanghong was beaten up by three bullies at his school on June 8th the night before his high school entrance exam. His mother, Liu Lizhu, described him as a shy and quiet boy who was hurt very badly that day and was too afraid to seek help. He went to school the next day but ended up having to seek medical care when the pain became unbearable. He was transported to the hospital where doctors had to perform major surgery on his ruptured spleen. The sad thing is that it was only after he was hospitalized that other students came forward about his bullying. His mother had no idea, but fellow students say that he was beaten up and bullied on regular basis because he was a quiet and easy target and for “the fun of it.” The bullies were arrested but released when their parents agreed to compensate $33,000 for his medical bills.
At least thirty bullying cases have been reported over the past nine months according to Chinese media officials. They have punished these kids by making it have a permanent mark on their school record. They have also banned websites of posting images or videos of these graphic events. In Guangdong, 21% of middle school students say that they either have been a bully or victim or both. It has become an epidemic because most bullies have been bullied themselves and it creates a vicious cycle and triggers more violent events.
What needs to be done all comes down to education for the parents and kids on how to deal with these events. The students need to know that no matter what they can tell their parents and parents should know how to recognize signs of bullying or how to confront their child over it. Students should also face stricter punishment and be able to press assault charges and have these kids face harsher punishment legally not just at school. The key, though,is education on the topic because if more kids learn ways to seek help and defend themselves, and bullies realize there are harsher consequences for their actions and they cannot get away with it, the problem can be reduced greatly slowly eliminating this “cycle” in bullying.
The trend of remaking classic Disney animation movies into live action films began in 2010 with Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Other Disney movies that have been remade are Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, which was told from the perspective of the evil queen, Maleficent. This trend of Disney remakes will continue for the next few years, and the following is a list of the upcoming Disney reboots, including The Jungle Book, Mary Poppins, and The Little Mermaid. Other movies in early development include: Mulan, Pinocchio, The Sword in the Stone, Tink, Winnie the Pooh, and Chip ‘n’ Dale. These live-action reboots are Disney’s way of showing the world that dreams really do come true.
The Jungle Book follows the adventures of Mowgli, an orphan boy that is raised in the jungle by a bear, panther, and a pack of wolves. The movie is due out on April 15, 2016.
Beauty and the Beast is expected to be released on March 17, 2017 with a star-studded cast.
The game of football has changed in many ways including the pass heavy offenses and the types of plays run on both sides of the ball. One of the most important changes, though, is the focus on player safety and the steps the league takes to make the game safer. Many current and former players are filing law suits against the NFL for the fact that they have not only received concussions but most likely permanent brain damage. Some of these head injuries can tragically lead to Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease. The players feel as if they were not given enough warning about the risk of the game and or enough information about safety precautions, and others feel as if the league was just using them to make money and does not actually care.
Editor-in-Chief and A&E Editor
Food, presents, and family all add to the festive mood surrounding the end of the year, but perhaps one of the overlooked aspects of the holiday season would be the outdoor decorations. Many take joy in watching the dazzling displays of Christmas lights, which usually appear a couple days after Thanksgiving. Occasionally, there will be a couple houses on a street with an enormous amount of outdoor decorations and lots of lights. Buildings and homes actually dressed in bright Christmas attire can be far and few between, making it difficult for families who have a tradition of viewing Christmas lights together. But the area still offers quite a few light shows; one just needs to know where to look. Here are the locations of some amazing light exhibitions.
2015 was a good year for movies, and as the year comes to an end there are still releases that many look forward to seeing. Many have already begun looking forward to movies that will be released in 2016. Here are some of the most anticipated movies of this winter: