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Hawaii: A Rant

News Type: 
Date: 
Thursday, May 16, 2019

Hawaii is a top travel destination among tourists among worldwide. The first things we think of whenever Hawaii is mentioned are the resorts, the mountain ranges, and the magnificent golden sand of the beaches that glimmers in the sun. Indeed, Hawaii is a tourist hotspot but what if one seeks to backpack around the island rather than do the usual tourist stuff?

A rule of thumb is that every city has an area that is specifically designed to suck money out of tourists. The visual appeal, the sounds are all artificially crafted to ensure that we think we are having a good time, but in reality are falling for traps set by resort, hotel, and brand corporations. In Hawaii, the place is known as Waikiki; as much of a paradise as it seems, no local will tell you to spend time there.

And now as a “immigrant” from Singapore that has been living on this wretched island for two years, let me give you my take on what true Hawaii is like. I would like to structure my “rant” by separating the aspects of Hawaii and comparing between expectation and reality. That way you can really see how this island is different. So sit back, relax, and enjoy getting educated on why Hawaii is not exactly the paradise many people have been fooled into believing.

First of all, housing costs are absurd. Hawaii has one of the highest housing costs in the nation, with the median house price being more than half a million dollars and also double the national living cost of $278,900. With such high housing costs many residents are forced to resort to renting or even become homeless (Hawaii has the highest per capita rate of homelessness in the country).

An eye-catching view of Honolulu (photo credit: The Points Guy)

Basic affordable housing is something that is not widely available as the construction rate for these houses is extremely slow. If you don’t have a secure job and are planning to move to Hawaii because it’s paradise, you should think twice as paradise doesn’t come cheap. And it’s not just the houses that are expensive -- basic necessities like milk, fruits, and clothing are all a notch higher than what the same items cost on the mainland.

Hawaii’s food isn’t something to be proud of, either. Food costs are through the roof, wth a simple plate lunch setting you back eight dollars. The best local delicacies Hawaii has to offer are mediocre compared to food in other places like Thailand; the dishes here are rather simple and, personally, I consider them to be just bad barbeque.

Take for instance the loco moco, a ground beef patty topped with a ketchup-based sauce, served atop a pile of white rice, smothered with caramelized onion gravy and topped with a fried egg. Its description may sound appetizing but most eateries produce a cheap version -- a thawed hamburger patty with barbeque sauce served with processed and bland macaroni salad on dry rice. If you want high-quality traditional food, be prepared to spend a lot more. Put it this way, take-out food is overpriced and the variety isn’t much.

Let’s say you actually want to get around the city to eat at some food places. Let’s also say that you don’t drive. So the bus is probably the way to get around. You might expect a bus service that tens of thousands of people rely on to be reliable, but that is only a dream that many Hawaii locals have.

The Bus service in Hawaii -- that’s its name -- is average at best. I’ll give you a firsthand experience to let you visualize it. When I first arrived in Hawaii in 2016, a bus pass cost me twenty-five dollars per month, the next year they hiked it to thirty dollars, and the following year thirty-five dollars. Apart from that there have been many instances where The Bus schedule is just downright ridiculous.

Once the app mentioned that the bus was coming at 5:15 P.M. and I had approximately two minutes to get to the station. I ran as fast as the wind and when I got there at 5:15, there was no bus to be seen. Obviously it couldn’t be spot-on accurate so I waited. Five minutes later, nothing. Ten minutes, nothing. So I checked the app I found out that the bus was running late and would arrive at 5:30 P.M.

At 5:30 there was still no bus and I found out through the app that it had once again changed and would be arriving at 5:45. Great, I thought. At 5:45 there was still no bus and I just gave up, sitting there with my head down until the bus arrived at 5:54 P.M. From my experience, The Bus also comes once every forty minutes which, compared to other countries like Singapore, where buses come once every fifteen minutes, is a total disaster.

If you think that public transport is bad, wait until you hear about the trouble of driving in Hawaii. A study done by the personal finance website wallethub found that Hawaii ranks thirty-fifth in terms of rush-hour traffic congestion. Hawaii residents also spend an extra 60.8 hours a year in traffic.

Ala Moana Center, the ideal Hawaii mall (photo credit: Ala Moana Center).

During rush hour, Hawaii residents flock the highways to enter or leave downtown, but the highway infrastructure is simply incompatible with the influx of cars. In terms of other factors like road quality and auto-maintenance cost, Hawaii ranks forty-sixth and forty-ninth, respectively, in the nation. Gas prices are costly too, where a gallon of gas puts you back at around nearly four dollars a gallon. You must be willing to pay a high-price to drive in Hawaii. Literally.

My next complaint is entertainment in Hawaii, something which these islands aren’t particularly known for. I personally think Hawaii only has about three decent shopping malls like Ala Moana Center, Windward Mall, and Pearlridge Center. Many might disagree and argue that Hawaii has tons of shopping centers, but their idea of shopping centers is an outdoor lot where there are rows of shops next to each other.

Hawaii is a small place and, unlike other places like Hong Kong or Los Angeles, the amount of actual shopping facilities is very limited. On the other hand, live entertainment is uncommon on this island. Musicians and bands rarely come to Hawaii because it’s out of the way. If you’re hoping to catch sport events where famous teams play, then good luck. The only sports you’re going to catch are those at the local universities.

But if you’re more of a nature person then Hawaii might be just the place for you. Hawaii has many exotic flora and fauna and it’s especially enchanting if you manage to get a view of the wildlife on nature hikes. If not, then the hikes will also often provide you with the spectacular view of the islands from the top of beautifully sloped mountain ranges and the vibrant colors of the landscape.

Even the waterfalls in Hawaii are magnificent, looking like something coming out of a painting, the water that flows from rock to rock, and the rainbows that form from the refraction of the waterfall mists show nature at its best. The sea waters in Hawaii are also, for the most part, crystal clear with great waves where you can surf. The beaches provide many photo opportunities, ideal for instagrammers and other photographers. The climate is just right year-round -- not too hot, not too cold and, most importantly, not too humid. You definitely won’t complain spending time outdoors.

To be fair, Hawaii is not an ideal place to stay unless you’re well-off and appreciative of nature. Only then you can enjoy the islands at its fullest and have the true Aloha spirit.

That One Angry British Guy on TV

News Type: 
Date: 
Thursday, April 18, 2019

From behind the TV screen alone, it may be difficult to view Gordon Ramsay as anything other than a constantly enraged madman. As his loud and proud personality is served up in the entertainment industry as the main course instead of his raw talent as a chef, it becomes increasingly more difficult to get to know and understand the well accomplished chef that he truly is.

It is easy to assume that Ramsay has simply forced his way into the cooking industry kicking and screaming, but that statement could not be any further from the truth. Ramsay has earned his spot in the culinary world, yet instead of being known as the chef with sixteen total Michelin stars, he is often reduced to “that one angry British guy on TV.”

Although he screams and shouts with a thunderous English accent, Ramsay is actually Scottish. Born on November 8, 1966, in Glasgow, Scotland, he moved to Stratford-upon-Avon, England with his family when he was five years old.

Growing up, Ramsay’s dream was to play soccer for Rangers F.C. When he was presented with the chance to do so at the age of fifteen under a youth policy, he was ecstatic. Unfortunately, however, he injured his knee three years later before ever actually playing in a certified league match. He continuing to train and play on his injured knee, and as a result, suffered irreparable damage, leaving the Rangers with no other choice but to release him from the team.

Around the same time, Ramsay’s mother divorced his abusive alcoholic father and, consequently, his younger brother Ronnie developed an addiction to heroin. Ramsay’s father grew resentful towards the family, especially towards Gordon as he wanted him to become a professional soccer player, even though he was not physically able to be one. This created a terrible environment for the dismantled yet determined Gordon, so he decided to get away from it all.

After visiting a local career enrolling office, Ramsay was directed towards a hotel and dining foundation focused on catering. Since he couldn’t easily afford to go to school, he attended North Oxfordshire Technical College only once a week and worked six days a week in a nearby pub and hotel.

Ramsay quickly became obsessed with and excelled in the culinary arts, memorizing recipe books and discovering new, profound uses for different ingredients. After graduating, Ramsay moved to London to work at Harveys under his first mentor Marco Pierre White. This was where Ramsey was primed to be the hot-headed chef that everyone knows today.

"Cooking is about passion, so it may look slightly temperamental in a way that it's
    too assertive to the naked eye" -- Gordon Ramsay (photo credit: The Straight Times)

Pierre White was an amazing chef but he was a tyrant. While Ramsay was training under him, Pierre White attained three Michelin stars and was the youngest chef to ever do so. He was known as the godfather of modern cooking and had also been dubbed the first celebrity chef by many cooking enthusiasts.

Such a status was not without its sacrifices, however, and everything in Pierre White’s kitchen had to be perfect. If everything was not exactly how it should be, he would tear the entire place apart in disappointment-based frustration.

One famous incident with Ramsay occurred when Pierre White randomly hurled some sauces at him making him cry. While a feud between the two chefs still exists to this day, without the perfectionistic qualities Pierre White had instilled in Gordon, he would not be the man we all know and hear today.

Nearly three years later, Ramsay found a second mentor in Albert Roux, and eventually he moved to Paris to work under Michelin-starred chefs Guy Savoy and Joël Robuchon. In 1993, Pierre White opened a new restaurant and, knowing Ramsay’s talent, offered him a position there as head chef along with a ten percent stake in the business. There, Ramsay received his first two Michelin stars. Two years later at the same restaurant, Ramsay was awarded the Newcomer of the Year award at the prestigious Catey Awards, an Oscars-like event for restaurant and hotel businesses.

In 1998, Ramsay opened his first restaurant under his own name. This was a huge financial gamble, and to offset the costs he invited a television camera crew to film a reality show called Ramsay’s Boiling Point, which ended up transforming into more of a documentary. The show was successful and Ramsay’s hot-temperedness was the main attraction. The popularity of this film sparked a follow-up mini series called Gordon Ramsay: Beyond Boiling Point and, as time has gone on, Ramsay has starred in more than twenty shows most famously, The F Word, Hell’s Kitchen, Master Chef, and Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.”

Today, Ramsay has over thirty-five luxury restaurants around the world and currently holds seven Michelin stars. In 2000, he was named “Chef of the Year” and, in 2006, he was named “The Most Influential Person” in the UK hospitality industry, awarded “Independent Restaurateur of the Year,” and was granted the title of “Officer of the Order of the British Empire.” In 2008 and 2009, stemming from his performances on his various TV shows, Ramsay was awarded “Favorite International Personality.” In 2013, he was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame and, along with all his work on TV and in his restaurants, Ramsay has more than twenty books.

His trademark stubbornness, combativeness, ego, and anger can all be entertaining at times, and highly offensive at others. Without getting to know him, Ramsay can be unjustly dismissed simply as another enraged TV personality. What separates him as an individual from other great entertainers, however, are certain traits that aren’t so easily apparent from behind the TV screen, such as his willingness to go out of his comfort zone, his confidence in himself, and his passion and love for what he does.

When he first began to devote himself to becoming a chef, Ramsay purposely threw himself into uncomfortable situations, leaving behind and exchanging his family and everything he knew for harsh cooking environments and an entirely new career path. Since he did not come from the best cooking education system available, he had to put his head down and work harder than everyone else to gradually work his way up the restaurant industry.

Even when his dreams of becoming a professional soccer player were crushed, it may have slowed him down but it never completely stopped him. Finally, while Ramsay has been professionally cooking for well over twenty years, he still enjoys every second of it.

There is a level one reaches when they work their absolute hardest, and there is an exceedingly higher level where one works their absolute hardest and loves what they do. Ramsay is on this elevated level, which is the most significant reason why he is so successful. If he truly hated cooking and if he was truly the furious psycho seen on TV, only then would it be acceptable to refer to Gordon Ramsay as “that one angry British guy on TV."

Plastic Straws Are Sooo 2018

News Type: 
Date: 
Monday, April 29, 2019

Seeing straws that are made of materials other than plastic has become pretty common in the current century that we’re living in. Coffee shops are selling reusable straws with cleaners near their registers, drink vendors are offering paper straws, and online influencers have started encouraging others to stop using plastic straws.

Large companies such as Starbucks have made a commitment to eliminate as many plastic straws as possible. Their “forward thinking” goal is to eliminate all plastic straws by 2020. As an alternative, Starbucks has designed a standardized strawless lid that can be used for various beverages which have already been released. The company also plans to offer straws that are made from either paper or compostable plastic.

Other companies have announced similar goals that all revolve around the idea of reducing their environmental footprint by replacing plastic straws. Hilton and American Airlines share similar plans, which are to replace plastic straws with biodegradable alternatives. Hyatt, on the other hand, claims that they will offer “eco-friendly” alternatives and will only make plastic straws by request.

More and more people seem to be making the switch, large influential companies have been working towards producing straws made of alternative materials, and it has even come to the point where cities have been proposing a ban. But why? How are plastic straws really affecting our lives?

According to a study done in 2017, Americans are estimated to use about 390 million plastic straws a day. Plastic straws may seem to have a short life-span since it’s made to be a single-use product, but one straw is estimated to take about 200 years to decompose.

Straws are not the only type of trash that ends up in the ocean and becomes ingested by marine life, it is the eighth-most found trash item in the ocean as of January 2019. If we continue our actions, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean.

Photo credit: Lieke Van Der Vorst.

Some may argue that plastics are recyclable, but the problem is that, due to the straws’ lightness, mechanical recycling sorters aren’t able to process them properly.

Freshman Riley Jose is aware of how harmful plastic is to the environment and weighed in on how marine life is suffering from our actions.

“When seven billion people are using one plastic straw a day, it has an effect on the environment,” she said.

Jose attempts to limit her use of plastic straws by purchasing a metal straw that she tries to take everywhere or by reusing plastic straws that come with her order. She noticed how alternative methods for straws have been becoming more common and even mentioned how the restaurant that she works at has made the switch to paper. It’s as if straws made of alternative methods have become the newest trend.

“I like it even though it costs more, it’s a lot better for the earth,” she said.

Recently, numerous companies have been promoting eco-friendly products other than straws such as reusable meal kits as well as utensils. Ads for these products can be found on various social media platforms.

Science instructor Van Velasco believes that straws, utensils, and containers go together like a “kit,” which is why alternative materials for all the tools that we use on a daily basis should be encouraged.

Earlier this year, a bill was proposed to ban plastic straws in Hawaii but failed to pass. Velasco thinks that the bill should be modified to incorporate all plastic tools. Why waste your time making separate laws for each type of plastic that we use?

“People can’t just make a legislation about straws,” Velasco said. “Why not include utensils and containers as well?”

Although Velasco isn’t too worried about the effects of plastic straws as others, he considers straws to be just as detrimental to the planet like anything else made of plastic. He agrees with the increase in awareness regarding the straws since it brings attention to our planet’s health.

“If it’s going to be a tool to get awareness, then I agree with it,” he said.

Plastic may seem to be the least of our problems, but if we continue to live life carelessly, our planet will be dead soon and there won’t be a place for future generations. If we’re able to do something to reduce the environmental toll such as by simply bringing our own reusable kits for meals, why not?

“People should think in the long term about the health of the planet,” Velasco said. “Using reusable utensils will have a positive effect on future generations and the environment.”

B(so)PP II - Epsilon: Beloved Daughter (Medium, 2 Hints)

News Type: 
Date: 
Monday, March 11, 2019

Note: After a long hiatus, the puzzles have returned… Sorry to keep you waiting, but I’ve been very busy. Let’s continue with the story...

You walk out of the room. In the hallway, you run into her again.

“How’s it going?” she says.

“Not bad, you know…”

You show her the mysterious pages you found.

“I found this… it’s very interesting.”

She smiles, as if she’s impressed.

“Wow, you’re good.”

She starts reading it. As she continues reading, however, her smile starts turning into a frown.

“No…”

“Huh?”

“It can’t be…”

“What do you mean?”

“Where did you find this?!”

“In the… umm… hallway?”

She stares at you, her voice getting angrier, her eyes starting to fill with tears.

“What were you doing?!”

“I was just going to…”

She starts to break down.

“YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO SEE THIS!”, she shouts through tears.

“Well, I’m very sorry…”

“You just don’t understand…”

“She’s gone…!”

“Who?”

“He’s gone…!”

“Well…”

“THEY’RE ALL GONE!”

Suddenly, it’s quiet.

“Everyone… everything… gone.”

Her voice starts to shake.

“I want to go home…”

She can’t speak anymore. She runs away, sobbing hysterically. On her way out, she drops something, a charm of sorts. You pick it up and inspect it.

When you do, a slip of paper falls out of the charm…

You hear a distant voice call you…

You answer… (answer in lowercase letters)

Hint 1:

Even though you’re far apart… I can still hear you...

Hint 2:

How would I (CH1)?

PBA Food Wars

News Type: 
Date: 
Friday, February 15, 2019

For most students at PBA, lunch is probably what we all look forward to during the school day.  During lunch you can hang out with your friends, take a break from school work and EAT!

At PBA, we have two lunch providers: 1132 Cafe and Bangkok Chef. It seems that the majority of the students enjoy both caterers but only a few seem to actually enjoy their lunch. Why is that? Could it be the short amount of time we are given to eat or is it the food? It could be both, but seeing all the leftover food that is thrown away after lunch in the trash, it is probably safe to say that it is the food.  

A shoyu chicken plate lunch from 1132 Cafe.

Recently, a survey was sent out asking students for their opinions on the lunch services provided by the school. It asked questions like prefered food caterer options, ratings, and what days of the week students usually order. The food options that were offered was 1132 Cafe; Bangkok Chef; the corner store down the street; and PBA Cafe, which is a student workshop led by Ms. Debbie.

In the results only 27 percent of the student body responded, but of those 27 percent the majority prefered Bangkok Chef over 1132 Cafe. Though the amount of feedback was limited, Ms. Debbie also reassured us that only 25 students on average order school lunch. This also adds to the big question as to why so many students prefer to take home lunch, buy lunch, or not eat anything at all.  

Head of school Josh Hernandez Morse said that he enjoys both lunch providers but believes that there are pros and cons for each one.

Bangkok Chef, he noted, is “a hot meal, portions are big, not deli style and it’s cheaper.” However, he also mentioned that students may Bangkok Chef to 1132 Cafe because it is newer and only started providing lunch to PBA this school year.  

Mrs. Debbie shared similar thoughts about 1132 Cafe.

“I think they get tired of it or bored of it,” she said.

Feedback from the staff is important, but it is equally as important to know what the students actually feel. Senior Evelyn Wong doesn’t order lunch as often as others, but she still has strong opinions on both lunch providers.

“I think that the reason why more students like Bangkok Chef is because of the fact that it is new, cheap, and they have a good variety of food to choose from, as opposed to 1132 Cafe, where the majority of the students are probably tired of it and the price is higher,” she said.  

Junior Alex Harman, who was in charge of distributing lunch to students earlier this school year, also noticed that more students order Bangkok Chef than 1132 Cafe. She shares similar preferences with the student population as she too favors Bangkok Chef over 1132 Cafe.  

Since everyone seem to be leaning more toward Bangkok Chef, I think that it is safe to say that the winner of this battle is Bangkok Chef, at least for now. However, it could be argued that Bangkok Chef’s menu is always the same which could lose the students’ interests in time and no matter who the lunch provider is, someone will always either like or dislike it.  

The Expansion of Music Genres

News Type: 
Date: 
Thursday, February 7, 2019

In the last couple of years alone, the genres of music have been evolving and expanding at a rate never seen before. In the time that we live in, if you were to stop listening to new music for just a few months, it wouldn’t be surprising to see you totally lost when you got back into it. In fact, put someone on an island without new music for one year and, by the time they got back, their previous ideas and expectations associated with music as a whole would be outdated and no longer accurate.

Most likely, some of their favorite artists wouldn’t be as popular as they used to be; their favorite song that released just a year ago would be considered too old and forgotten; and when listening to current music that falls under the same genre as it did a year ago, they would be left dumbfounded. That is the rapid rate at which music is changing and the boundaries of its genres are blurring. With all of this change taking place, the leaders of the charge are none other than the artists and fans themselves.

The information age that we live in has played a massive role in diversifying today’s genres of music. With the ease of accessible music and plethora of social media platforms that we have today, anyone can become an artist as long as they get enough publicity. Any publicity that gets people talking is good publicity nowadays, which is why artists spread rumors or start drama. The more extreme examples of this can be seen in new artists that are categorized as Soundcloud or mumble rappers. Categorized by their preferred music platform and unclear lyrics, these artists have been basking in the spotlight by committing crimes, throwing out threats, doing good deeds, releasing diss tracks, and by simply attaining reviews regardless of the verdict.

The technology available to us nowadays allows for almost any information to be accessed at any time. This dramatically accelerates the publicity-chasing process and just one story, regardless of the topic, can be the catalyst for an artist to explode in popularity overnight.

It used to be hard for an artist to gain popularity. There were no ways for them to force themselves into the public eye on a scale similar to how they can today. For quick fame, artists had to either know someone in the music industry or they had to get on tv somehow. The only other way for an artist to get their foot into the door and amass a following was through hard work and luck. It didn’t matter if they were talented if nobody heard them -- for artists to attain respect and acknowledgement, they had to persevere until they were acknowledged.

The genres of music are expanding just like the entire universe around
    us! (photo credit: Science News)

Sacrifices had to be made and tolls were paid through blood, sweat, and tears. For instance, Eminem, 2Pac, and Nas, remembered today as some of the most popular icons in the golden era of hip hop, were all discovered through their quality of work and talent. They worked hard and made their own luck, thereby earning respect and loyalty -- two of biggest factors that kept famous artists popular and prevented underground artists from gaining ground.

Because of the increased rate that new music has been released in the past few years, consumers have been spoiled and want new music to drop year-round. This causes fans’ patience to stay at an all-time low, forcing artists to constantly release new music to stay relevant, all while trying to adapt to the swiftly changing times. If an artist fails to release new music every so often or adopt new sounds quickly, it's likely that they will be left in the dust and forgotten. That leaves the door open for new artists who are dying to get noticed.

The more artists in the industry, however, the more diluted it becomes. As more and more artists and genres come into play, the less likely a potential fan is to establish a meaningful, loyal connection with an artist, thereby making it easier and easier to embrace new ones and forget old ones. Regardless, this constant flow of old artists going out and new artists coming in is effective in keeping the well that is the music industry pumping with wild new genres, but the quality of the water is what's at stake. Is the water cold? Are the artists producing good music? Is the water clean? Will the artist have longevity?

With what seems like everyone secretly trying to become a music artist nowadays, it can be hard for a single individual to stand out amongst the crowd. To solve this problem, artists must create their own style, sound, and flow that sets them apart from everyone else. To be successful, they have no other option but to break boundaries and blend new genres. While these artists’ intentions aren’t destructive, they are naive in that this method of gaining fame creates more one-hit wonders then it does superstars.

With artists experimenting so much in attempts to find the next big trend, they lack the habits and traits that would normally form their own style. This is why big one-hit wonder artists like Desiigner or Silento often fail to release successful follow-up albums; either all their songs sound exactly the same out because they don’t want to alienate fans with a new sound, or totally random and crazy in attempts to develop their own style afterwards. This only applies to artists that gain traction quickly. For artists who work hard through longer periods of time such as Kendrick Lamar or Drake, the chances that they will stay relevant once they get famous is higher as they developed both their own individual style and a loyal following.

That is why genres of music have been evolving and expanding at such an insane pace. Since there are more artists now than ever before, there are many different approaches towards music genres. And since all of the main, original genres of the past are already set in stone, well-established and plain, they must be combined with another or be totally revamped in order to create something that will truly stand out.

Nowadays fans play a much larger role in the music industry and express stronger views and opinions without holding back. Loyalty is cast aside, which in turn causes fans to be more accepting of new artists even if they won’t be around for long. While all of these artists continue to release new music to satisfy their fans, they perpetuate a cycle where some must do what others won’t in order to get the attention they crave. And what these artists must do is create entirely new genres, mix old ones, or put their individual spin on things. Whatever they do, they must be ahead of the curve because with how fast music nowadays is changing, by the time they catch up, it will already be too late as the fans will be on to something else entirely.

Have Confidence in Yourself

News Type: 
Date: 
Thursday, January 3, 2019

Stop overthinking.

Everyone has a goal in their mind that they want to do every day. Some succeed because of how committed they are to doing everything they can do to get to their goal.

According to junior YM Foo, even the simple act of trying can lead to great things.

Sebastian Wind confidently gets ready to go to class. 

“It’s better to try new things because it gives us a chance to have new experiences even if they’re bad,” he said. “Trying your best and being not successful is way better than not doing anything at all because it shows that you actually did something.”

Sophomore Jayden Williams agrees with that sentiment. To him, it’s not necessarily about talent, but effort.  

“Anyone can be successful if you have motivation to push yourself forward,” he said.

There will always be obstacles in the way of you when you’re proceeding towards your goal. But don’t just ignore people when they are saying negative things about you because some of what they say might be facts about who you are. Just accept those facts so you can move on.

As junior Sebastian Wind noted, sometimes moving on “could be easier than you might think.”  

Maybe the challenges in your life are hard for you, but you’re just overthinking it. It’s good to have confidence but don’t be too overconfident about what you’re doing before you’ll regret something later.

Friends Dont Let Friends Eat Fake Poke

News Type: 
Date: 
Thursday, January 10, 2019

Poke (pronounced POH-kay) has never been easier to get in Hawaii as well as on the mainland United States. You can find it as the cubes of raw fish that you eat at a beach picnic, part of a pu pu platter, at the grocery store, or even while sitting on the tailgate of a truck.

Poke, in all its forms, is indeed the unofficial food of Hawaii, consisting of marinated raw ahi tuna. The simple dish gained popularity within the last three years but has a rich history.

The word “poke” means “to slice” or “to cut crosswise into pieces” in Hawaiian. Native Hawaiians would slice up small reef fish and serve it raw. Sometimes limu (edible brown algae) and kukui nut paste, known as “inamona,” was mixed with the sliced fish to create the dish. Japanese influences during the 1800s contributed to the evolution of the dish, when the fish base shifted to ahi tuna and inamona was replaced with shoyu.

Sophomore Lyla Gonsalves prefers to prepare her own poke using traditional ingredients and shoyu, which is what it’s usually marinated in today.

“I make it with shoyu, limu, and kukui nuts, not with lettuce or just eating it plain,” she said.

A delicious bowl of shoyu ahi poke (photo credit: AnnaSea).

Poke can not only be eaten alone but also found on top of rice, which is known as a poke bowl. Sometimes, furikake (Japanese seasoning) is sprinkled on the rice. Now, instead of being served on rice, poké can be found on greens, zoodles, and even quinoa.

The options that poke can be found on has been recently created by businesses who have jumped on the bandwagon. Poke has boomed on the mainland since it’s been labeled healthy because of how it’s made raw with vegetables.

Senior Makana Hoapili is shocked that poke has established itself on the mainland since it’s mostly known in the islands.

“I didn’t think it would become a thing on the mainland,” he said.

From a business perspective, poke is customizable and more economical compared to opening a restaurant. A restaurant has requirements such as industrial strength equipment and a vent system. To make the dish, an oven, let alone a full kitchen isn’t needed at all.

Due to the popularity around social media nowadays, almost anything can be transformed to be Instagrammable, which is why various toppings have been added to poke, ranging from watermelon radish to avocado or even Capelin roe. Anything that can make it look colorful will result in more likes.

Although the mainland is changing poke from its original form, the freshness of poke is vital. Many shops are serving poke made from fish that has been caught days or even weeks before and has been treated in order to preserve its color. Fishing is a habit that a lot of locals enjoy in Hawaii and when someone catches a lot of fish, they usually share it with their friends and family, which might be turned into poke.

Gonsalves not only likes to make her own food but believes that knowing where the ingredients come from creates a deeper meaning.

“The fact that I know the person who fished for the food creates more of a connection,” she said.

The mainland may be altering poke but it will always be a part of Hawaii, and for locals, real poke is the taste of home.

“It’s something I can appreciate on the daily,” Hoapili said.

Marching Towards Equal Rights

News Type: 
Date: 
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

This year marks the second year that PBA has participated in the Honolulu Pride Parade and, although nothing can top the amount of positivity and support from all the participants, the parade itself has a rich history that not many people know about.

It all started with a police raid on June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn located in New York City. The city’s police raided the bar since it was operating without a liquor license and revelers inside were arrested while patrons were handcuffed outside. According to the New York City liquor authority, licenses weren’t given to establishments that served gay patrons.

This was during the 1960s, when people were not as welcoming to the LGBT community so various gay bars became a place of refuge for them. The Stonewall Inn had become a home to many and was considered a sacred bar.

The raid provoked a riot between the bar patrons and the police when a woman was hit on the head by an officer, which caused the police to barricade themselves in the bar. Fueled by anger, the crowd set the barricade on fire and the crowd was later dispersed by the fire department as they put out the flames. Over the next six days, demonstrations happened outside of the bar where thousands of people shared their thoughts on the LGBT community.

This event encouraged people to stand up for LGBT political activism. The first Pride Parade was held in New York City on June 28, 1970 -- one year after the Stonewall riots. The parade was fifty-one blocks long and featured an official chant: “Say it loud, gay is proud.”

Due to everyone’s efforts and support towards the LGBT community, the Pride Parade’s journey has been grueling but all the hard work has paid off, as parades continue to be held in honor of the Stonewall riots. The Honolulu Pride Parade has been held since 1990 and thousands of people have participated in this colorful festival.

This was the first time that freshman Riley Jose has participated in the event. She decided to attend because she thought it would be fun to see so many people coming together for a good cause.

PBA students pose at the start of the pride parade (photo by Blanche Yarnell).

“ I think Pride is important because it’s celebrating our differences and accepting people for who they are,” she said.

Senior Jocelyn Miyashiro attended both the 2017 and 2018 Honolulu Pride Parade. From her experience, she felt more prepared this year since there was more time to plan and she continues to enjoy being there to experience the support towards the community.

“I was very inspired by it because not all the people there were a part of the LGBTQ+ community and it made me happy to see so many supporters,” she said.

The LGBT community has expanded and is now known as the LGBTQ+ community. The community has gone through numerous hardships, from violent crimes done to LGBTQ+ individuals to being sent to “gay conversion therapy.” By attending the parade, people were able to reflect on the difficulties that others had to go through in the past and even today in some places.

“I think that all the people that went through not being accepted as a person or who you choose to love are great role models for what they did,” Jose said.

Miyashiro shares similar thoughts. She believes that these people are inspirational since they have endured the hate from others just because of their difference in sexuality and the community itself is more welcomed now compared to just a few years ago.

“It has inspired me because they have gone through so many hardships as a community and individually yet they’re still proud of who they are,” she said.

Many agree that the Pride Parade is not only a memorable experience but also an eye-opener. Everyone is able to participate in Pride and it’s an opportunity that, according to Miyashiro, you definitely don’t want to take for granted.

“If you’re reading this, you should go to Pride,” she said. “I really hope that PBA will always have a place in the Pride parade.”

The Hype of Supreme

News Type: 
Date: 
Thursday, October 25, 2018

T-shirts that’ll run you $1,000. Hoodies that go for $2,000. Crowbars that sell for $250 and individual bricks that cost $200. Supreme, the billion dollar streetwear brand has taken the world by storm with their outlandish products and even crazier resell prices.

In 1994, James Jebbia, the founder of Supreme, started up his first store in SoHo, Manhattan. At the time, it was a cool, simple yet secretive shop that sold clothes and skateboards to skaters in the area.

The goal of Supreme was never to make it big one day but rather to provide for open minded, loyal customers. This optimistic attitude of both the brand and its customers did wonders in the earlier years with notoriety spreading quickly through word of mouth.

Eventually, celebrities started to take notice, most notably rappers such as Kanye West, Kid Cudi, and Tyler the Creator. They took Supreme and brought it into the public eye for the first time. They started boosting the brand’s popularity and the public’s demand for it.

Sophomore Lyla Gonsalves, a fan of Supreme’s earlier underground years, isn’t particularly a fan of all the new hype that has been brought to the company.


Hundreds of people line up outside the Los Angeles Supreme store waiting for it to
open (photo credit: Glossy).

“I feel like in the beginning people bought Supreme because they really enjoyed the brand,” she said. “Nowadays people just buy it for the hype. Back then I used to like Supreme more compared to now but as it got more mainstream it got less cool. Everyone just wears it because of the hype rather than actually liking the product, which I don’t agree with.”

On the other hand there are people like senior Daniel Kohn, who enjoys all the hype and attention that Supreme has been getting recently

“I like Supreme because I gotta flex,” he said, referring to dressing in a cool way. “It’s all about flexing.”

The hype surrounding Supreme was also created through the company’s brilliant marketing approach. Supreme has never spent a penny on advertising, they have never sold out and gone commercial, and they aren’t afraid to express their viewpoints and make a statement.

Through the limited quantity releases of their products, over time they have created a market where every single one of their items sell out. From dog bowls to shovels, fans of the brand never hold back in buying something labeled with the Supreme logo.

Along with the hype, however, has come a resale market where sold-out items are marked up and resold at a much higher amount. This has caused a lot of issues where fans of Supreme have to pay ridiculous prices for the items they want.

“I think it is good that the world knows about Supreme,” Kohn said. “What's bad about it though is that you can’t always get what you want. Now you gotta pay a lot more on other websites and most of the people buying Supreme just try to resell it rather than wear it.”

While Supreme continues to gain popularity, it seems to have lost a part of itself along the way. The hype of Supreme has paved a path for the company -- one that conflicts with the ideals of their once simple, secretive shop. Loyalty doesn’t seem common anymore.

“When Supreme was out on the streets more and worn by everyday people who actually liked the brand, it was better because it was still genuine,” Gonsalves said. “When celebrities and influencers started wearing it, they took it to another level and kind of ruined it.”

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