What exactly is spyhop? Spyhop is a music media arts program created to benefit underprivileged youth. It was invented in 1999 and since then has mentored Utah as a vehicle for free expression, self-discovery, critical thinking, and skilled participation. These reliable sources are placed in organizations all over the Salt Lake valley or find them online at Spyhop.org. “We believe the next generation has a lot to say and when armed with awareness and knowledge, youth can speak with a great impact” quotes Spyhop. Some of Spyhop’s primary goals consist of; providing high quality programming, promote positive youth development, and increase media literacy with personal awareness in community global connections. Classes such as; film, audio, music, and digital design is also offered. Spyhop’s specialty is educated trainers instill confidence and ownership in youth ideas through digital media arts. An individual interested in joining Spyhop can simply walk into any Salt Lake location or visit Spyhop.org/programs. I had time to speak with Valley High School and spyhop student, Elliot Emery, about spyhop. When asked how did you come about spyhop Elliot says “ My dad is friend’s with the owner and I took song wrtiting classes two years ago.” Mr. Emery tell our institution more about educational services offered. We asked Elliot if himself or anyone he know’s have received any educational help from this organization. “I received a scholarship from them because of my parents income and their skills in drumming and songwriting.” Emery said. Spyhop offers fields and programs showing youth the ropes to produce themselves. Why should talented students attend something like this? Because they are empowered to move from being a passive consumer of media to an active and engaged producer. These programs are placed all over in organizations across the Salt Lake valley to reach young people who are in risk of not reaching their full potential.
Aquarium Friday Activity
By Jazmynn Meaux
On January 20, a group of 40 Valley students, including myself, strode into the wonderful Loveland Aquarium. As we arrived, I could only imagine how the workers reacted when they were informed that 40 Valley High school students would be inside of their pristine aquarium, due to our school’s lovely reputation. The leaders of this journey were none other than Jeremie James, Jess Carmody, Jacinto Peterson, and Tami Burke. Needless to say, this was an interesting Friday activity. Upon arrival, we received instructions on how the packets would and should be done. As Jeremie explained the 500 word essay we needed to write, crowds of students booed in distaste, some even crying in despair. However, even with such a monumental assignment, we looked past it and still had an absolute blast. We split up into many groups and wandered through the aquarium, searching for the answers to the worksheet that Jess so generously gifted us. The volunteers were extremely helpful, even when we asked them a million questions, including inquiries of how someone would go about stealing an otter. Surprisingly, when asked, the volunteer didn’t even look shocked. I think it’s safe to assume she had been asked this before. Volunteers at other exhibits, such as the ‘hands on’ area, were also prepared to answer some strange questions and their reactions showed that. Running your fingers down the slippery back of a stingray or caressing the body of a star fish isn’t exactly something you expect to do on any given day, so they were quick to answer any questions that might arise from such an experience. “It was so creepy! I kind of freaked out a little, but it was really fun,” said Hannah Alldredge when asked what it petting the stingrays was like. The next exhibit we were able to venture onto was the entrancing 360 shark tank where we got to watch in amazement as beautiful sharks and sea turtles swam above us in a tunnel of blue sparkling waters. “They were so beautiful, I wish they would’ve eaten me- that’s the way I want to go out.” said Corinne Von Storch when asked what she enjoyed most about the exhibit. Even with such a creepy response, you can’t really blame her. Tami agreed that her favorite part of the aquarium was the shark exhibit as well. Although these are some of the most graceful and absolutely beautiful underwater creatures, they are also some of the most deadly sea predators, if you’re a fish of course. The sharks weren’t the only spectacle worth looking at. I watched as Jeremie James became entranced, while we were in the penguin research center. He stared at them intently, searching for the meaning behind their blank stares and waddling feet. As he stood, caught in this hypnotic state, I could hear him listening to “Dust in the Wind.” It was a very spiritual moment, not only for Jeremie but for the penguin as well. The only thing that broke the spell was the overwhelming smell of thrown up fish sticks. When asked what was going through his mind during this encounter, his eyes glazed over and he muttered “They looked like candy..” While Jeremie remained in the winter wonderland and home of the penguins, obviously hazy from the enamoured state he’d just recovered from, I knew I needed to continue on my journey. I needed to go to South America- the exhibit at least. I had to leave him behind, he wouldn’t have made it. For deep inside the jungle, you must be ready for anything. As I began exploring the amazingly decorated South American exhibit, I could hear the calling of many different exotic birds and the dripping of a waterfall. Once I got closer to the group of my peers, the sounds I could hear faded as they were replaced with the rippling laughter of Valley students. Of course, when I arrived to the group it was the jokes of Jess and Jacinto keeping them entertained. Jess and Jacinto’s conversations always achieve a high level of appreciation reactions of thundering laughter from anyone who actually has a sense of humor. With such bizarre and peculiar characters chaperoning this trip, it was nothing short of an adventure. If you didn’t get the chance to attend, you definitely missed out! But don’t worry, there are always more Friday adventures to go on. If you were lucky enough to go, however, I’m sure you agree- this trip was definitely more than worthwhile.
Netflix Top Picks
By Corinne Vonstorch
SHAMELESS Will make you crave a cigarette even if you don’t smoke. The Gallaghers get into crazy situations every episode. With the eldest daughter Fiona raising her five siblings in the slums of chicago with no help from her alcoholic father, the story line never gets boring.
DEXTER A show made for serial killers in training. You will come to love a blood splatter analyst turned serial killer by night. His charming personality and troubled childhood make it hard not to empathize with him.
BREAKING BAD an overqualified chemistry teacher named Walter White is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. In order to prolong his life with expensive medication and leave sufficient money for his family, he unites with an old student named Jesse. Together they create a crystal meth business.
SKINS describes the story of a group of British teens who are trying to grow up and find love and happiness despite questionable parenting and teachers who more want to be friends (and lovers) rather than authority figures. The controversial plot line explores issues such as dysfunctional families, mental illness, sexual orientation identity, substance abuse, and death. This is NOT just a teeny-drama, it’s top quality essential viewing for anyone with an open mind. In fact, we all live in the delicate skins and embrace each other to comfort the confused and lonely youth.
ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK is the story of Piper Chapman, a woman in her thirties who is sentenced to fifteen months in prison after being convicted of a decade-old crime of transporting money to her drug-dealing girlfriend.
BATES MOTEL is the prequel to the iconic movie Psycho. The show starts out as Norman Bates being portrayed as a regular young man. As the show goes on, Norma and Norman’s relationship gives us insight to how Norman came to be the way he is. An intricate back story to Norma’s life is revealed and Norman’s psyche slowly starts to unravel, long before the events way down in the fruit cellar.
Twenty One Pilots: Changing the World one Teenage Girl at a Time
By Elliot Emery
Rhythmic thunder fires from the sky and into a small bright-eyed baby lying in field. That drummer was Joshua William Dunn the greatest drummer to ever live. That’s how the band Tenty One Pilots was birthed, in a field of thunder and wonder. If you are unfamiliar with Twenty One Pilots imagine your eighth grade self in his room yelling at his parents because they just don’t understand you, now add beautiful complaining and whining about a girl who is sick of your creepy texts at one o’clock in the morning, and you waiting outside of her house with a bluetooth speaker and a little gift box with a choker in it. Twenty One Pilots are, in fact, The New Beatles. Their songs don’t apply to most things and the band is selling out large arenas by playing three chords. “Their music speaks to you, along the lines of My Chemical Romance,” Colton Ebert, a Valley student, said. “Their upbeat songs are perfect to listen to on a good day.” Ebert continued. People love their music, and with those sick beats, it’s easy to see why. Not only can the band string together a beat to rival a hummingbird suffering from sever arrhythmia, they can also construct poetic conceteits that would keep Lord Byron awake at night. Consider the lyrical artistry that would go into the rhyming “sleep” with “sleep.” It is not only genius, but it also makes you wonder, “why doesn’t everybody do this all the time?” Think of the greatest lyrics you’ve ever heard. Throw it all away in the “real music” bin, and think about this, “My taste in music is your face,” one of the many poetic lines created by this band, but what does it mean? Is this a person who is literally tasting faces, which is awesome? What does it mean? These influential teens make one wonder, is tasting faces a good thing? Should my friends and I gather ‘round and taste each other’s faces while listening to Twenty One Pilots? Such poetry! “Your weeping will creep in your head and you’ll cry” is another lyric from a song called “Isle of Flightless birds.” They can take sadness to a whole new level, like sadness times two. Another lyric from the same song says, “We find our worth in giving birth and stuff.” Who adds “and stuff” at the end of a line? I’ll tell you who, artists with a true talent and passion for writing lyrics that are poetic and relatable. “Open the slits in your face and start your day, You don’t have much time to make your slits look just right” is another beautiful, metaphorical, and relatable lyric from the geniuses that are Twenty One Pilots. What do you think they mean by “slits on your face”? Were they stabbed? Is this a Botox procedure that went horribly wrong? Or does it mean eyes? Eyes can tell you a lot about a person, who they are, what they have been through. But most people don’t understand that, that’s why these lyrical genius’s make it simpler to understand. You’re probably wondering why are there so many teenage girls screaming like crazy about the band. It’s probably because of their brilliant stage performances. I don’t think it has anything to do with the band trying to distract the audience from truly listening to the brilliant music. With ski masks and face paint, these musicians know how to play a good show. Josh Dunn, the drummer, has a minimalistic setup with a kick drum larger than life. Tyler Joseph has nothing but his looks, a microphone, and his beautiful lyrics. Their stage performances are nothing short of perfect with fireworks, lighting, dance, and exciting curtain drop. Leaving 13 year old girls who will shortly grow out of them, speechless. “Heathens” by TOP is at number two on Billboard Music Charts (a perfect place for it), and Ride is at number four. This is why they are one of the best bands, ever. Playing music doesn’t have to do with talent. Did the sex pistols have talent? No. Music is about the hundreds of thousands screaming teenage girls that pull your music to the top of the billboard. Music isn’t about talent and complexity, It’s about a catchy phrase and a pretty face. The Beatles didn’t know what they were doing. what does “I am the walrus” even mean? “Taking my time on my ride.” He’s is obviously talking about riding a unicycle in nothing but an American flag Speedo, singing the national anthem at the top of lungs in a high falsetto with lots and lots of vibrato. Rock n’ Roll legends like Twenty One Pilots don’t know what they’re doing. That’s Rock n’ Roll, and that takes talent. Not knowing what you are doing. takes. talent. Faking your way to the top with auto tune and sampled drums is pure Rock. Accepting an award in your underwear to make all the 12 year olds melt into their seat is 100% Rock n’ Roll.
Mass Vs. Niche
Get the best bang for your buck while supporting a local buisness
By Paige May
People seem to forget that there are local, non-chain restaurants filled with fresh and healthy options available throughout the Salt Lake Valley. When you support local restaurants, you’re helping your community and locals. And really, why go to a chain restaurant, when you could go to a local place. A place that promises something unique, perhaps even something quirky. These places may have odd locations or peculiar environments, yet are often strangely charming and may want to make you go back multiple times. Here are some local restaurants that have healthier options, unusual atmospheres, and affordable menu items.
Lone star is a Mexican taqueria located on 2265 Fort Union Blvd. At first, it is hard to find because of it’s odd location, but when you see it, it is definitely an eye catcher as Lone Star has an old car parked in front of the restaurant covered in colorful stickers and the building itself is painted in a bright neon green and purple, making it unique and different from other restaurants. Lone star has a quirkiness to it with its brightly colored neon signs and colorful christmas lights hanging just overhead and bright decor, all adding character to the small oddly-shaped building, which looks like a 1950s diner. Lone Star has a rustic outdoor seating area, perfect for those summer days and an indoor seating buzzing with interesting people consuming copious amounts of delicious food. The food served their is marvelous, with delicious burritos, mouth watering tacos, and appetizing taco salads. All options cost under $10. Lonestar offers many kinds of meats that can be selected: carne asada or the roasted pork that cooked to perfection, bursting like flavorful fireworks across your taste buds. Lone Star also likes to add both lime and pico de gallo, boosting the flavor to your meal. Meals are also served with a side bowl of chips and many different flavors of salsa.
Pho Tay Ho
Pho Tay Ho is a Thai food restaurant located on 1766 Main Street. However, it hasn’t always been there. Pho Tay Ho started out on the first floor of an apartment complex, but in 2009 they moved to a better location, making it easier for customers to frequent the restaurant. The general atmosphere of Pho Tay Ho is cozy, making you feel like you’re at home sitting in your favorite chair while you sip on your favorite cup of tea. Visually, the bungalow exterior is an interesting contrast to the traditional Asian decor. Pho Tay Ho’s menu consists of beef, vegetarian, or chicken pho that cost under $10 and comes in three different sizes: small, medium, and large. Their beef broth is what the restaurant is known for, as it has been cooking and steeping for hours to bring out the bold flavors of the noodle soup, tasting like it was made by a well-known five star chef. Before you are served pho, the waiter brings out a plate consisting of fresh picked basil, lime, sprouts and jalapeños that make the pho taste like an angelic gift. The rice noodles are cooked to a perfect softness and chewiness. Also, the noodles are freshly made and only by the owner, Mai. Pho Tay Ho has many different kinds of Vietnamese sides like the fresh spring rolls or their eggrolls that may not look entirely appetizing, but when taking the first bite, they give the perfect crunch and savoriness.
Get to School
By Ireland Lowe
How often do we miss school? Whether it’s one reason or another, you will never see a full classroom of students at one time, even at a school like Valley, students miss classes regularly. Why? Get Schooled, is a non-profit organization dedicated to focusing on all things to do with helping students graduate high school or even to help students decide what they want to do after high school ends. In July of 2015, the organization conducted a mass pole over email, looking to see what the number one reason students were missing school. About 1,300 individuals responded. Amongst those students the top answer to the posed question, with seventy-nine percent agreeing, was that students “didn’t feel well.” The common cold, or even too much stress can take a tremendous toll on our bodies when we let it simmer for too long. Stress alone can cause numerous health issues, including but not limited to heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Most importantly, it affects the student’s ability to learn, making it that much harder to focus in class. This kind of stress can keep a student up at night, or it has the chance of turning into an unhealthy cycle, which only serves to add up to more missed school, and puts the student further behind and in danger of failing school. There are many other reasons students miss school. There are other reasons students become credit deficient. It’s a good thing there are alternative high schools like Valley. For those students who struggled with illness and the stresses of the traditional educational environment, alternative schools like Valley offer many opportunities to earn credit inside and outside class, provide a learning environments that many students argue are better than their traditional counterparts, and can offer students learning opportunities without distractions like extracurricular activities (or the occasional pep rally), and provide quiet place to study where students can work on earning credits. In Utah, there aren’t many schools that offer this alternative scheduling to their students, who may feel that they are overwhelmed with their studies. Some students feel that their weeks can get monotonous when they’re doing the same thing every day. Alternative schools offer the chance for students to focus on their own studies. With that in mind, students picking their schedules can increase the likelihood of actually showing up to class. When you have more control over what happens. It can relieve some of the added stress that comes along with school. Having the option of picking your classes and your teachers here at Valley offers a great deal of help to students looking for a second chance at schooling. The counselors here are always happy to help, and they reassure you that graduation is in reach, or if it’s not, they work you through the process of catching up. They also give you the tools to pick yourself back up. Whether you’re in there for an hour or fifteen minutes, the Valley counselors are there to help you. And they encourage you to make it to school everyday.
How well can you trust your eyes?
By Jazmynn Meaux
For years, the saying “I’ll believe it when I see it” has been passed around, feeding into the general belief that you can always trust your eyes, but this common belief is false. Our eyes lie frequently. Our eyes create images that don’t accurately portray the world around us, as though we need more issues about our own body parts. Some of these false images are called optical illusions, and the science behind them is pretty fascinating. How are our eyes playing tricks on us? Well, when you look at an object, you’re not actually seeing it. Your eyes are only absorbing the light that is bouncing off of that object, then converting that light into electrical impulses that your brain can portray as an image. In other words, because of the complexity of the process, your eyes may not be as reliable as you once thought. This entire process takes about a tenth of a second, yet delivers huge amounts of comlex information to your brain. Even though the brain is an incredible organic machine, with such large amounts of information being delivered to it, it can’t completely focus on everything at once, so in order to make up for its lag, our brains creates shortcuts for us to focus on what it perceives to be more important.
I know what you’re thinking, “How will I ever trust my eyes again!?” Well, don’t worry too much. Your eyes are still incredible and vital organs. Even though they may trick you sometimes, they are still very reliable and do their best to inform your brain about your surroundings. So don’t worry too much, they still connect you to reality. Unless the world is an illusion. Then you can freak out. But that’s a whole other article.
Mass vs. Niche
The struggle of finding good coffee in Utah
By Paige May
Because of Utah’s peculiar culture, there aren’t a lot of local coffee options. Although there are many restaurant and coffee chains that offer coffee, most of those places don’t put the time and effort into the beverages. They also don’t offer the same homey environment that you receive when lounging in a local coffee house. Places like Starbucks, Beans and Brews, and Dunkin Donuts rush to get your orders out, and the coffee is only sometimes good quality. Some of the drinks, like a frappuccino, have so much sugar and flavoring that the only taste is sugar. When they do roast their own beans, they have a tendency to over-roast, which then ruins the flavor and caffeine in coffee. These drinks taste sweet and burnt… like charred candy and burned marshmallows. When you’re buying coffee, you should be buying coffee, not a Girl Scout cookie or a Snickers Bar. Luckily, there are better alternatives. Supporting a local business is very important. When buying from big companies, you’re helping some rich CEO pay off their yacht. When you support a local business, you could be helping a single mom buy her kids school supplies, or a striving entrepreneur earn a living from her passion. That’s why choosing Sunset Coffee, Millcreek Coffee Co., and Publik are all good substitutes to the chain coffee houses.
Publik Coffee Roasters
As we all know, the best places to eat and get drinks are in the middle of nowhere or at least in the worst of places, and that is exactly where Publik Coffee Roasters is. Publik is located in the midst of abandoned buildings, broken windows surround the alley; the exterior could be intimidating, but once you walk in, every single negative thought about it disappears as patrons relax in the well-maintained and decorated environment. Publik is a very modern and industrial looking place with many artistic features like the grass covered walls or the artisan light bulbs. At the front counter, patrons are greeted by friendly and funny baristas. Their menu is written on a large window to the room where they roast coffee beans. They take enough time with your coffee that each one comes adorned with images. The coffee is freshly roasted. The flavors are complex and unique, and they taste like coffee.
Millcreek Coffee Roasters
Millcreek Coffee Roasters is located near Publik but is more likely to be noticed because it is located right on main street surrounded by tall buildings and other local businesses. Walking into Millcreek, the smell of their fresh roasted beans and chocolate draws coffee connoisseurs in. The coffee house has an open concept that allows customers to see almost everything that is happening behind the counter as well as the machines where the roasters are roasting the coffee. Their lattes are the perfect ratio of steamed milk and espresso, and their mochas have a brilliant balance of espresso and rich chocolate.
Sunset Coffee, located in Sandy Utah, is a lively coffee house, constantly full of coffee enthusiasts, packed wall to wall with a diversity of people from all walks of life, all joined in unison over one commonality: well-brewed coffee. The first thing noticed when walking into Sunset is the large amount of entertainment they have varying from barista’s flipping cups just like a bartender would, or the wide variety of magazines, books, and board games that go along with the homey feeling. Their baristas are talented in making different kinds of drinks. They can make something frozen, iced, or warm, and Sunset has a wide range of flavoring to spice up your drink. They can make anything that their customers can think of. Sunset’s baristas are very social. Depending on the amount of times that you go, they try to get to know you, as well as the drink you order.
This is Halloween A History of Halloween By Danielle McAllister
Envisioning when Halloween first began, sitting in front of a slow fire, watching painted bodies dance around shouting other-worldly chants. Sitting with people who walked this earth, chatting about their traditions and listening to their stories unfold, I can feel the magic in the crisp Autumn air. The sun has set, and the real festivities are about to begin. The warm weather is slipping, and the world will soon turn cold and barren. the people gathered around explain their heritage, tying modern day Halloween to the Halloween celebrations of long ago. My imagination sparked curiosity, igniting a hunt for the truth to find the origin of Halloween. I began searching The History Channel’s website which brought the Celts to my attention, an ancient group who lived over 2,000 years ago, and their many different Halloween customs. The holiday marked the first day of November, but for the Celts, more specifically, the end of summer and beginning of the dark days. Because of this, it was referred to as the new year. On the day before the new year, the Celts celebrated a different sort of holiday, this event was called Samhain (sow-in). This holiday fit closer into what we now know as Halloween The ancient tribes would dress themselves in animal hides and burn crops all night long. Despite the damage caused to crops, there was a lot of spiritual growth, the Celts felt, during this time due to the “otherworldly” presences. It was believed that during this time the boundary between spirit world and physical world became intertwined, in turn the Celtic belief system held that the spirits of the dead somehow visited their human world on October 31st. This led to the Celts belief of reading the future on Halloween. Because of this, people would read each other’s futures for long hours during the night. Eventually, Halloween traditions sailed the seas and made their way to the United States, just in time for the 19th century. The newly found holiday stayed mostly in southern colonies and Maryland, but that didn’t last long... The History Channel again tells us, “As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups as well as the American Indians meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge.” New travelers spread across the country and drug their culture along with them. Halloween began to pop up everywhere in the U.S and Samhain was quickly lost to history. By the the year 1846, we not only had Halloween but also started to morph it into our own cultural event. We adopted new traditions like costumes, parties, and the earliest form of “trick-or-treating.” Children would go door to door asking for treats or money. In return the adults wouldn’t get any tricks played on them. The newly found tradition seemed harmless and continued to grow. By the second half of the nineteenth century, the holiday was more of a national phenomenon and was community centered. There was a move to make Halloween less about percieved witchcraft and more about family. Now, when I picture Halloween, I see kids “Trunk-or-Treating” and then going home, teens dressed as sexy cats and rabbits galore, careless actions are taken on this scary dark night. I would like to see loved ones passing time together, sharing spooky stories while the little ones run and scary movies play in the background. The goal to get Halloween to be a more family oriented holiday was met with great pride but was it the direction we needed to head? No longer do we tell each other’s fortunes or dress ourselves in animal hides to chant around a fire. The roots of Samhain have definitely changed. Instead of animal hide, we pick our favorite fictional creatures or plastic masked men and hide ourselves for the night. The fortunes of future are now part of past, along with the spirits of Celts who may roam our streets, joining in on our new festive fun.