Violent but Victorious, The story of Catalonia

by Srikar Vegesna

January 17, 2018

Reasons for Independence

    On October 1st in 2017 the Catalonian Parliament sent a referendum to Madrid which was rejected and was described as illegal. The referendum explained why they wanted to split away and asked Spain to recognize Catalonia as an independent country. The people of Catalonia want to split away because their region was significantly different than the rest of Spain and it seemed more productive if Catalonia were its own country. However, the Spanish Constitution declares that splitting away from the country would be illegal. Thus creating riots. Police were placed in Catalonia and attacked anybody who came to polling stations. They also fired rubber bullets into crowds of voters or protesters and beat up the violent.

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Diverse Catalonia

Catalonia is fairly different from the rest of Spain as it has a different culture and even a different language. Spain is afraid that the Catalonian uprising will influence other provinces to do as the same. This is why the Spanish Government strongly opposes it. Some people say that Catalonia can survive on its own because it has it own government and language, however others believe that Catalonia will not survive on its own and must follow the Constitution. Protests were held everywhere from Barcelona to Tarragona.

Finally, independence arrived when Catalan parliament voted for independence. Now the region became a sovereign country.

Opinion: Drama is Ruining Recreational Sports

by Brady Rivkin

About three-fourths of families in America have at least one child in an organized sport, which is around 45 million children, but, worryingly, nearly eighty percent quit by the time they reach fifteen years of age, says the Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine. This statistic would mean that by eighth grade, the number of people in programs by the Lincolnshire Sports Association would have dwindled extremely. Why they desert the association has much to do with drama in sports, and it is an atrocious impediment to the improvement and learning in sports by those who are truly serious about progressing in a sport. Drama in sports exists in many forms, some of which exist off the playing field. It could be that someone is told not to sit at a certain table at lunch because they are not “good enough” at sports or not in the travel league. (I still vividly remember the day in fifth grade when I sat down at the “travel” table for lunch and one of the other students told me I couldn’t sit there. I ate there anyway because I did not want to let cowardly ideas control me.) Most, however, are in practices and games, and there it passes on to unassuming children who look up to those considered to be proficient at sports and try to emulate their feats. Classic examples include how so many basketball players practice shooting and a few “fancy” dribbling moves, leading to many more taking out-of-range shots in games and letting down their teams. I used to do that, and my team despised it. Still, it happens in practices and games, and when people are told to practice ball handling more, they dribble into a corner and get trapped. Even though both shooting difficult shots and dribbling into places that make the game difficult have been vehemently warned against in the few years that I have been playing house league basketball, they still happen way too often. When this happens, people’s attitudes toward others become increasingly cruel toward one another and they screech for things like foul calls when they were not even touched. Antics like this are easily preventable, so this epidemic should have been ended long ago. If the LSA truly supports learning, it must commit to shifting the dynamic of its leagues away from that of a cutthroat musical audition. The sake of our futures as children depend on it.


by: Vivian Zhu

In which a girl sits on the Sun in search for home.

ASTRA has been to many places. Many, many places. Whether that be the tip of the Milky Way, or a tiny, rundown town in Africa, her adventures have always been in search for shelter. For a place she could call home.

How many years had passed since then? A thousand? A billion? Now Astra is the universes she traveled to. She sits on top of the Sun of Universes, watching over the Planets of the Universes, and observing as billions of stars explode. Each thing in her universe is a magnification of other ones—one planet represents others in different galaxies.

This has been her home since forever. But where is her real home? There has been a place, right? A place from a long, long time ago…


We are made up of the same stuff as the stars.

                The sun, the moon, the stars. Astra floated down the molten lava of the Sun, feeling the heat of a thousand more as her fingers held the golden liquid.

                “Hey, Sun,” she said, her voice muted in the blackness of space. “How are you?”

                 Her hands were the color of pure energy, faded white and dulled after billions of years of sitting on the Sun. Her once blonde hair, golden and yellow, was blackened into the color of deep space. And the eyes of the girl were no longer warm brown, but clear white with no iris or pupil.

                  The splash of freckles on her face was perhaps the only color in her entire body. The small dots were multicolored, a long time effect from centuries in space. Blue and purple were tucked in the corners of her nose, while soft pink and light teal dotted the frames of her cheeks.

                   Astra wrapped her arms around her legs. Today was worse than the rest—the feeling of loneliness enveloped her insides entirely.

                   “Hey, Sun,” she said absentmindedly, her low voice thoughtful. “Are you ever lonely? Are you ever sad? Do you ever feel like… like there’s something so heavy on your chest that you can’t describe it with one word?”

                    She inhaled sharply. This was a conversation she had held back for as long as she could remember. On the glowing ball of warmth, Astra’s blank eyes of no color felt moist.

                    “What am I saying? You’re not human.” She laughed harshly, but it was cut short with streaming tears.

                     And then it all came out. For the first time in thousands of centuries, her loneliness and desire for home poured out of her. But her tears were not water—they were streams of liquid silver.

                     It was beautiful.

                     Her tears were the same as the stars.

                     And though it was impossible to cry in space, her tears of stars kept streaming down her face, defying gravity and all laws of science.

                     “Hey, Sun,” Astra said, her pale hands reaching to wipe away the silver tears. “You’re not human, so you don’t understand. But I don’t understand why I’m crying either—so does that mean I’m not human too?

                      “What does it even mean to be “human”? What is this place called Earth? Why do I still have memories of a place where I was safe and sheltered?”

                      And when she finally reached her ultimate question, the planets before her shook as her melodious voice rose into a crescendo of volume.

                      “Why am I even here?”

                      In this universe where one planet represented a million others, where one star was the magnification of a billion, why did Astra even belong in a place so desolate and perfect? The planets had no answer as they continued their relentless orbit.

                      “Yes,” she whispered, her voice catching. “Why am I even here?

                     The blazing sun beneath her seemed to shudder. It’s flames of pure energy erupted, engulfing her body in a shower of prickly warmth. Astra was surprised, for she had never felt such a wonderful feeling consuming her body inch by inch. The Sun had never flared, not like this before.

                       Before a word could escape from her lips, the molten star beneath her feet gave way, and then she was falling.


                       Astra opened her eyes. She felt an unfamiliar touch against her body, something that was rough and fuzzy and strange. She sat up, squinting at the sudden brightness.

                        What was this?

                        She seemed to have fell asleep. But how? The last Astra remembered was the sudden blast that came from the Sun, then darkness and falling as she plummeted to the unknown. Where was this, though? Her eyes flitted to the bright enclosure.

                        The word came before she realized it. Tent.

                        A tent. And the thing that was covering her was a blanket, the strange cushion beneath her head was a pillow, and the blinding light coming from outside was…

                        The Sun.

                        “What in the world?” Astra breathed. Her voice caught when she stared at a small oval contraption on the right of her makeshift bed. Mirror, she remembered, but the face she saw in it couldn’t be her own. For as long as her memory stretched, Astra’s hair was black from the darkness of space. Her eyes were white, with no pupil color. The girl in the mirror, though, was a gorgeous beauty with wavy blond locks and dark chocolate irises.

                         “Is this… me?” she wondered aloud, her eyes wide. “Is this… home?”

                         A sudden crash from outside the tent startled her. Astra blinked, watching as a girl popped into her shelter. She was young, way younger than her, with smooth chocolate skin and curious almond eyes. Her hair was close-cropped and curly.

                         A man emerged from behind her. He was thin and reedy, and sandy hair blocked out the lights in his blue eyes. “Hey, Astra. Get up.”

                         Astra obliged. “Where am I?”

                         The man raised a brow. “Really? Now? Did you hit your head or something? Gods, Astra, we need you. Stop with the joking. This is Africa, and we have a mission.”

                         She had no clue what he was saying. “I don’t know who you are.”

                         Anger replaced the mild amusement on his expression. Astra flinched, but before the man could strike her, the young girl with curious eyes stopped him. “She’s not lying. You can see it. Astra, do you not remember us?”

                         The girl in bed shook her head. This was too much for her. The only memory she had was the one of the planets and the Sun.

                         Then the world spun upside down and everything went black.







First Gear

by: Sam Sweet

Everything for 2018!

New: Muscle cars, trucks, sports cars, crossovers and SUVs

Driverless Bolt

The Mustang and the Camaro have always been muscle cars, but the Dodge hellcat is better in a line than both of them. Yes, the ZL1 1LE and GT350R are track monsters, but that isn’t what a muscle car means. However, that

changes now. The new GT500 is confirmed by Ford to have 700+ horsepower. And Chevrolet isn’t far behind. Spy shots reveal a Camaro with new, larger, brakes. Rumors of a Z/28 may prove true. Ford has also announced a new Mustang Bullitt to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original film.

The new Audi A5 lineup added many things. But it got rid of the kingpin, the RS5. And for 2019, it returns with a twin turbo V6 and ceramic brakes.

Many new trucks are available soon, including the updated Silverado, the new Ranger, a new Ram 1500 luxury trim, a revamped version of the ancient Nissan Frontier, and TRD versions of the Tundra and Tacoma. Over in Europe, Renault made a pickup truck! Grand Tour host Jeremy Clarkson quotes it won’t work because, “The Americans don’t want a Renault, and the French don’t want a pickup truck.” Chevrolet is making a medium duty 4500/5500HD soon.

The classic G-class Mercedes has a new generation out, and to no one’s surprise it looks virtually identical to the old one. To celebrate, they fossilized an older model in synthetic resin.

Subaru has made a new 3 row crossover after the failure with the Tribeca.

On a final note, Chevrolet tested an autonomous Bolt without any steering wheel or pedals.

That’s all for now.