Burned Bridges

The United States has a complex and deep rooted relationship with the rest of the world. We stood beside Europe on the march to victory in the first two world wars. But then the 60s and 70s yielded economic and political corruption centered in Latin America, casting us in a malicious light. Then the 1980s saw the fall of the Berlin wall/ Soviet Union, which the US had a large part in. We were the heroes – until the Gulf Wars and Afghanistan, when we invaded places where there was no need to invade, while withdrawing from regions at crucial, inopportune points. Now, in October of 2019, we burned a bridge that had been forged with blood and brotherhood, united under a common desire for justice and peace. For decades, the Kurdish people, an ethnic group living between Syria and Turkey, helped the United States with intelligence, manpower, and resources. In turn, we drove radical insurgents from the surrounding area. But as of this week, the Kurds no longer see us as the ally we have always been. Despite strong warnings from various agencies and the pentagon, President Donald Trump ordered American troops out of a buffer zone between Turkey and Syria, which had for years stopped the Kurds from fighting with the Turks over land. By essentially opening the gate for the Turkish Army, the United States turned its back on the Kurdish people, which has resulted in a plethora of problems. Two issues that stand out greater than the rest are the fact that we betrayed a long standing and loyal ally, and that because of Turkey/Syria’s concentration on the impending conflict, large amounts of prisoners that belong to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have escaped from prisons that as of recent lack security. Many fear that an old and strong bridge has been destroyed, and that the future of the western Middle East may be drastically changed for the worst. The events that are to unfold are likely to be harrowing and unpredictable, so please read from reputable sources if you wish to learn more.  

Image result for kurdish fighters
Credit: The Times of Israel

An Editorial on Milk

There are many unanswered questions pertaining to human history. What was the first language? Why do we feel emotions? Exactly where did the first human come from? Yet one question rules over the rest, hovering over the heads of puzzled scientists. Why do we drink milk? Or, more specifically, who in the hell thought to pull on a pink dangling thing underneath a cow, see white stuff come out, and then DRINK IT? Sure, whoever this individual was, their logic wasn’t completely flawed, as humans spend the first year of their life drinking milk. But it could have gone very poorly.

Most likely the first Milkman was in fact a male, as men tend to have more dumb ideas than women. So this person happened to luck out by choosing a cow. It’s possible that he could have stumbled upon a cat and decided to milk it, which would likely have yielded fruitless yet harmless results. But say he had decided to milk a horse, or even worse, an alligator. The future of humans would have been drastically different. No milk means no Marie Antoinette saying “let them eat cake.” No milk means a race of people who don’t exceed 4 feet.  No milk means no mid-class gastrointestinal issues from Aaron.

Thankfully, the Milkman chose a cow. Now, imagine if you lived in a small community of 30 or so people, who may or may not have had language, and largely depended upon each other for resources. You have been living tranquilly in a temperate valley for the past 20 years, and in two years you will be old and die. Suddenly, Thag, the town fool rushes into your village holding a handful of white liquid, some of which appears to be dripping down his beard, a wild and crazed look in his eyes. Of course, you might assume the worst. But he tells you to drink it too, for it tastes good; and lo, it is, and rejoice! for Milk has been discovered. Soon, there will be cookies, ice cream, Got Milk? posters, and of course, yogurt. A revolutionary discovery has been made, and the world may never be the same again. So thank you, Milkperson, for not trying to milk an Emu. We appreciate it.

Credit: ThoughtCo

Siege Pro League Changes

Rainbow Six Siege is a first person tactical shooter developed in 2012. It grew quickly, and within the first year, it had a thriving professional esports scene. Now, in 2019, there are dozens of teams, close to 50 if you count challenger league. There are tournaments that have prize pools topping one million dollars. So as the Siege Invitational 2020 looms on the horizon, with the Japan Major in the forefront, some big changes are coming to the North American team rosters. The biggest surprise is that Evil Geniuses, who in 2018 competed against Penta (Now G2) in the Invitational Grand Finals, lost both their captain (Canadian) and their coach (Gotcha) in the same week, picking up Modigga in place of their former leader. This in turn balanced many of the other NA teams, giving SSG a boost by swapping Chala with Canadian, as well as giving Team Solo Mid the confidence to win Dreamhack Montreal with their new coach, Gotcha. There were a few other swaps, such as Jarvis from DZ and Hyper from Rise Nation. With all of these balances and swaps among the NA teams (with the exceptions of Rogue and Reciprocity), Season X is sure to be an interesting one, with some big upsets along the way. Be looking out for Dark Zero, TSM, and SSG, as all are neck and neck in the standings for a spot in Japan. Also, a quick note on the EU side of things, G2, GiFU, and Penta all seem to be uniting in the goal to bring down the champions of the Raleigh Major, the Russian giants of Empire. With TSM and Empire Esports already having secured spots at the invitational in February, the Siege community awaits a barn burner in Japan, which takes place on November 9th of this year.

Credit: SiegeGG

Colorblind Autumn

California will always be the greatest state to me, don’t get me wrong. We have everything here. Some of the best skiing in the world, iconic beaches, wine country, incredible and unique cities. But despite all of these, the golden state lacks one thing- seasons. For me, and probably many of us who were raised here, Fall is warm breezes and dry air. The landscape maintains a tan and green hue, and the blue skies yield temperatures in the 80s. Here, it isn’t harvest season. The skies are not gray. Sweaters are not the garment of choice. Yes, we do have an abundance of pumpkin spice themed foods at the local Trader Jose. But it doesn’t quite make up for an abundance of colored leaves and ominous sky. In some ways it feels like fall. The lighting is different than summer, and the nights colder. There’s a general sense of giddy unease, and everything is a shade darker. But it isn’t the same. Visiting colleges display fold outs of orange yellow and gold tinted campuses, scarves and beanies, coffee and scarecrows resembling the flourishing crops. I know I’m not the only one that yearns for this, but sometimes it feels that way. California I love you, but there’s a few things you lack. Don’t even get me started about winter. 

Credit: TripSavvy

Half-Life

It is common knowledge that Junior year is (most likely) the hardest year of a students high school career. At least that is the case at OVS, where AP courses dominate one’s time and extra curriculars are essential. Senior year is supposed to be different though. There’s the anticipation of college, of being an adult, of spending the last year with people that you’ve grown up with. That’s what I thought when I arrived a week late to school. I expected a general sense of positive anticipation, of laxness and comradery. At first that was true. Everything had a tinge of refreshment and independence. But there was a feeling there that I didn’t expect, but that I was strangely familiar with. And as the days progressed, that feeling expanded, suffocating those sentiments of senior status. Then I began seeing it in other people. Not everyone. Not to the same degree that I was feeling it. But it wasn’t just me.  It’s something like this, quoting a good friend of mine: “It feels like I’m rotting on the inside and out, if that makes sense.” To me, it makes perfect sense. That was the feeling that had been growing. A general sense of self degradation. I wasn’t the person that I used to be. Maybe it’s change. Maybe it’s stress. Maybe it’s life experience. I don’t know the cause, but it’s there nonetheless. It’s frightening, even more so when two of your closest friends express those same sentiments to you within a week. Maybe it’s just me, and those of you reading this don’t feel it at all. But if you do feel like something is hollowing you out, if you feel like there’s an unstoppable source of existential decay, then try smiling a little more. Tell your friends you care about them.  Do something good every day.

Who knows, maybe you’ll end up on our thumbs up segment of The Wednesday Briefing.

Credit: ojaivisitors.com

Technology

To some degree, everyone 25 and younger is an IT expert. When the WiFi stops working, it is usually the duty of the youngest member available to fix it. You just switch the button on and off and Lo! you are beheld as a technological deity, as the internet now works perfectly. Your family praises you, and you become the go to person every time something technology related goes wrong. But we know the truth. Those of us who have experienced this phenomenon know, buried deep inside of our consciences, that we in fact know very little about technology. I have fallen victim many a time to this, especially when I slightly adjust the HDMI cable for Ms. Wilson. But my technological skills (or lack thereof) finally met their match. The portal into the WordPress site was a treacherous one. A cyclical loop of “Error 404” and “Please have the moderator re-invite you.” But then it appeared. Suddenly and out of nowhere. A big button that said “Start writing.” This, this was my salvation. And so yeah basically here I am. I figured it out. Easy peasy. Yep.

 

Credit: The Onion