Thursday, January 12, 2017

Car Rides to 50 Million Copies to Christmas Eve

Jess Mullen
Staff Writer

Richard Adams known best for his first novel, Watership Down, passed away Dec. 24 at the age of 96. Adams was born in 1920 and grew up in England where he attended school and later continued his education to college. In 1940, two years after graduating college, Adams joined the British Army in the Royal Army Service Corps where he was selected to be a liaison for that division. After six years in the army, Adams was released in 1946 where he continued his education for an additional two years, yet in the years following college he was a part of the British Civil Service where he was promoted to the position of Assistant Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, an organization formed after World War II. This is the time frame in which Adams started to write fiction.     
 Watership Down began as a narrated tale to pass time in a car ride and bedtime stories shared by Adams and his two daughters. Adams recalled that “[he] had been put on the spot and [he] started off ‘Once there were two rabbits called Hazel and Fiver.” And [he] just took it on from there.” A narration that began in a car ride turned into what critics refer to as a “redefining anthropomorphic” tale which has won the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and has sold more than 50 million copies. Other notable works of Adams include Shardik, The Plague Dogs, and The Girl in a Swing, unfortunately none of those earned any awards.
 Watership Down follows Hazel, Fiver, and a small group of bunnies as they embark on an endeavor to reach safety, after a foreseen danger in their warren. Adams was praised with the ability to portray the rabbits in a natural way and places them into a heavily developed culture with their own language and belief system. While Watership Down won an award for children’s fiction, it discusses dark topics such as fear, politics, violence, and humanity. Even Adams weighed in on critiques of this kind, saying that “maybe [he] made it too dark.” Adams also described his next novel, Shardik as “rather difficult” and a “savage novel.” He says he only wishes he had started writing earlier, had he known how “frighteningly well” he could do it.

 On Dec. 27 there was a post on Adam’s official website which read; “Richard’s much loved family announce with sadness that their dear father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed away peacefully at 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve.” The brief statement was followed by a quote from Watership Down: ‘It seemed to Hazel that he would not be needing his body any more, so he left it lying on the edge of the ditch, but stopped for a moment to watch his rabbits and to try to get used to the extraordinary feeling that strength and speed were flowing inexhaustibly out of him into their sleek young bodies and healthy senses. “You needn’t worry about them,” said his companion. “They’ll be alright - and thousands like them.”’

George Michael dies at 53

Liz Donahue
Staff Writer

George Michael was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in East Finchley, London, on June 25, 1963. George Michael, who was a popular music icon from the duo Wham!, died at age 53 at his home in Goring in Oxfordshire, England. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His death is being described as "unexplained but not suspicious," indicating they discovered no evidence of foul play. He died from apparent heart failure in his bed, however he was sleeping while this happened so he felt no pain. He died on Christmas day.
 Michael’s former love, Kenny Goss will play a major role in his funeral. It is not accepted in his father’s culture to be homosexual, so inviting one of his son’s former lovers is a step toward acceptance. The couple was together between 1996 and 2009. After learning the news, Goss stated "I'm heartbroken with the news that my dear friend and long time love George Michael has passed. He was a major part of my life and I loved him very, very much. He was an extremely kind and generous man. The beautiful memories and music he brought to the world will always be an important part of my life and those who also loved and admired him."
 George Michael was a big pop superstar in the ‘80s and ‘90s. For lots of his successful music, he was his own producer and studio backup band. Amongst his number one singles and one hundred million album sales, he has also won multiple Grammys and other music awards. In 1998, Michael came out as gay after an arrest of lewd conduct charges. He used his name and music to help support AIDS prevention. Later, he described himself as bisexual. His last studio album was produced in 2004, however he could still sell out arenas year after that.
 An early idol of the MTV generation, Michael gained immense population from hits like "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," "Young Guns (Go For It)" and "Freedom." He will always be remembered through his music that impacted the lives of many and his music will continue to be listened to and loved by all generations.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Look Back on 2016, A Look Ahead on 2017

Jess Mullen
Staff Writer

With the conclusion of 2016 and a fresh start to 2017, students at New Hope-Solebury began to reflect on 2016, and look ahead to 2017 with New Year’s Resolutions in mind. Some students concluded 2016 with a successful mindset, while others were merely filled with stress. Likewise, students look to a new year as a new start to do new things, go new places, and meet new people, while others see 2017 as another year to drudge through. Some attack 2017 with a unique resolution and determine to keep it, while others have inevitably failed on the first week, and some who refuse to commit to a resolution.
 The winter solstice made the top of the list for some students in 2016, as well as the shared enjoyment of the summer olympics. Vacations of many kinds were also highlights of 2016 to many students. Some enjoyed adventures with family and friends, as well as traveling in general whether it be to a local beach or a foreign country. For those who play sports, winning districts was also a highlight. For others, family played a big part in highlights, such as becoming an aunt. A widely agreed upon favorite of 2016 was summer break as well as the time with friends and family that so wonderfully complements it.
 In 2017 students are looking forward to traveling to more places including the upcoming trip with the music department to Los Angeles. Again those who look forward to sports have in store upcoming seasons packed with tournaments. Summer mission trips are already being planned and those are greatly anticipated among students. There are already those students looking forward to summer, the completion of ACT’s, SAT’s, and college applications, and of course, those already excited to get another year of school out of the way.
 New Year’s Resolutions are some of the consistent, get into shape and eat better and be a nicer person resolutions. Some branch out to stop overreacting, make smarter decisions, and be more positive as well as getting out more, spending time with a more diverse group of people, and making individual needs a priority over making others happy. Some students wish to work on their religious studies such as reading the Bible. On the other hand, there are always those who never commit to a resolution.

Cattelan creates art piece about America with a working golden toilet

Marc Verwiel
Copy Editor

People who needed to relieve themselves at the Guggenheim in New York may have found a shiny surprise.
 Artist Maurizio Cattelan recently came out of retirement to unveil his one of a kind piece: an 18-karat solid gold toilet. This piece is fully functional, and, surprisingly enough, completely open to the public to "make use of." There is one guard standing outside of the lavatory, making sure no one sneaks in and takes off with the piece of art--or a piece of the art; its gold alone is estimated to cost over $2.5 million.

 However, the thing that struck me when I first heard of this extravagant lavatory was the name of the piece: America. At first I thought that it was nothing more than a cheeky jab at America, but as I thought about it, the title began to make sense. The toilet is made of gold, a substance that can be very beautiful and valuable. However, it is currently in the form of a toilet, a form that many may consider a waste of such great material. For many people, America finds itself in a similar state: made up of promises but currently disappointing many. Whether the disappointment is caused by recent political events, economic issues, or one of many other domestic issues, America has been proven to currently be at its unhappiest. However, the toilet is still made of gold, and America is still made of promise. Like turning the toilet into a necklace or ring, turning America into a country that uses its full potential will be messy and hard, but in these tumultuous times, it is important to keep seeing the glimmer in the toilet of America.