Category Archives: Opinion

Nerd factor: Sensational Casting

Tatiana Maslany to star in Marvel's She-Hulk Disney+ series | EW.com
Image from https://ew.com/tv/tatiana-maslany-marvel-she-hulk-disney-plus/

Dr. Mike Robinson ~ UL Communication Studies Professor

Decades ago, when superhero properties were guaranteed to be neither all that plentiful nor particularly all that good, fans lived in fear of casting rumors and news. That decision to put the right actor in the right part would always tell you if the producers “got it” or not.  It was almost a relief if a good actor was named. 

We tend to forget, for example, that twelve years ago most of the world did not really know who Iron Man was. The selection of Robert Downey, Jr. to play the brash but troubled billionaire inventor in high tech armor was a signal to all the comic book readers that these new Marvel Studios movies were going to be in the right zone after all. 

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College Life: The journey of my Spirituality

Photo retrieved from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/455637687281840118/.

Kelli Carter ~ Staff Writer

     This week has honestly been a spiritual journey for me. I have always been spiritual but I have never really chosen to learn more about different rituals. For example I have been learning more about crystals, tarot cards and herbs. 

     For some reason I have been really feeling pulled to doing more meditation and better understanding my energy. 

     Everyday so far I have been doing Oil Pulling, which is a practice of Ayurveda which is an old herbal medicine. Oil pulling is when you swish coconut in your mouth for 20 minutes in order to pull out toxins from your body. It was hard at first, but if you find something to do while doing it then time will pass faster.

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Watch with me: Antimagic and Grimoires, the World of Black Clover

Promotional Poster of the Show taken from myanimelist.com (https://myanimelist.net/anime/34)572/Black_Clover/pics

Kamryn Schnieder ~ Copy Editor

       This week I want to talk about a longer show that is currently airing and has stocked up over 140 episodes. “Black Clover,” produced by Studio Pierrot, is a fantasy adventure anime based in a magical world of four kingdoms: Clover, Diamond, Spade, and Heart, where each country has its own magical style. The story focuses on a set of wizards (or mages, the translation mixes the two) in the Clover Kingdom, who use grimoires as a focus for their magic and cast specified kinds of spells through it. One example is the character Yami, who uses dark magic. Another is Yuno, who uses wind magic. 

     The magic is not limited to elements or objects, however, as there are characters who can also create and control mirrors and light, as well as the Wizard King who can control time, amongst other unique magics. Additionally, there exists the sinister demon magic, as well as the unique and dangerous antimagic, possessed by one of the two main characters.

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Mystic Magic: Cleansing

Photo retrieved from https://www.google.com/amp/blog.wisdomproducts.com/index.php/2017/06/10/burning-incense-sticks-part-i/amp/.

Grace Cavanaugh ~ Editor in Chief

     As the spooky season descends upon us, and with Mabon behind us, it should be about time to think about cleansing. The next full moon is Oct. 1 and that is the perfect time to clean your space and start fresh.

     First of all, crystals are a great way to cleanse your space. Selenite, charged by the moon, is a great cleanser. Hematite will ward off bad energy. Black Tourmaline is a spiritual protector. Amethyst also has protecting properties. There are tons of crystals out there, and all of them have their own properties. Do some research, find one you like, and go get it.

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College Life: Reserve Wine Bar: A Taste of VIRGINIA

Kelli Carter ~ Staff Writer

Reserve wine bar is the first wine bar to hit Lynchburg. After a year and half of planning and renovation the wine bar recently opened in downtown Lynchburg.

All the wines on the menu are from Virgina. This allows for visitors to get a taste of some of the best wines that this state has to offer as the fifth wine producing region in the country after New York.

Mike Lawler and Mike Barefoot met in Northern Virginia to open up a winery then Lawler moved back home to Lynchburg with his wife Megan. They soon realized  that Lynchburg did not have anything like a tap room or a wine bar.

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Nerd factor: My Version of 2020

Villains and Vigilantes (1986) comic books
Image from mycomicshop.com/search?TID=277381

Dr. Mike Robinson ~ UL Communication Studies Professor

Several decades ago, I created a city set in the near future year of 2020. Time has now caught up to me. 

My nerd friends and I basically played two role-playing games throughout school and college. The first was, of course, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. We accumulated piles of rulebooks, guides, and monster manuals so that we could roll our dice and guide our characters on adventures written out in longhand in notebooks and mapped on graph paper. This system became world famous and is basically the conceptual architect of all the RPG tabletop and computer games that followed.

The second game was a lesser known but equally alliteratively titled game called Villains and Vigilantes. As the title suggests, this was about superheroes. Commercially speaking, the game never caught on quite the way that AD&D did. Of course, as a consolation, V&V got to avoid being blamed as a Satanic influence during some moral panics of the 1980s. As a game, V&V was a bit clunkier too, relying upon complex numerical formulas to generate some character traits. We loved it despite its flaws. Or maybe for them.

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Covid-19 and student privacy

James Freeman ~ Guest Writer

     I am a transfer student to the University of Lynchburg. I have been in college on and offline for two years at this point.

     My experiences at college have all been boring and normal up to this point. Once Covid-19 hit I assumed things would move to an online only format as it had before. 

     This included pre -recorded lectures and webcam office hours for questions and help. This was a very well-oiled system in my opinion and made life OK for those who had to learn online. 

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Watch with me: The Promised Neverland

Promotional Poster for “The Promised Neverland” taken from Kissanime.nz

Kamryn Schnieder ~ Copy Editor

     Originally, I wanted to save the more spooky, scary, or Halloween-y shows until closer to October, but then I realized that there are so many to choose from that it would not make much of a difference. So, this week I am talking about a newer show titled “The Promised Neverland.” I want to disclaim before I go much further that due to the nature of the show, it is going to be impossible to avoid spoilers, so if you do not want minor or major spoilers, you have been warned. 

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Mystic magic: Happy Mabon!

Photo retrieved from https://www.mabonhouse.co/mabon.

Grace Cavanaugh ~ Editor in Chief

     Mabon is coming up on Sept. 21! 

     Mabon is one of the eight pagan/Wiccan sabbats, which means they are holidays that witches celebrate. Mabon itself celebrates the end of summer on the autumnal equinox, and it is considered the mid-harvest festival.

     For this particular article, I decided to do some research, and landed on the Boston Public Library (BPL). According to them, Mabon is far from the first harvest festival. “In the 1700s, the Bavarians began a festival that starts in the last week of September. They called this festival Oktoberfest.”

     The website continued, “Many cultures see the second harvest (after the first harvest Lammas) and equinox as a time for giving thanks. This time of year is when farmers know how well their summer crops did, and how well fed their animals have become.”

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Watch With me: Fall 2020 Anime Previews

Cover art for the first Volume of the Jujustu Kaisen Manga by Gege Akutami.

Kamryn Schnieder ~ Copy Editor

     October marks the start of the new anime season for Fall 2020, and while that sounds like it is a while away, it will approach as quickly as midterms. So, for this issue, I looked into some of the upcoming anime and will be talking about some of those that caught my attention.

     Firstly was an anime called “Jujustu Kaisen.” A supernatural anime that deals with dangerous and ancient demons as spiritual powers, Jujustu may be a great anime to start around the Halloween season. This show centers around Itadori Yuji who acquires supernatural powers through plot means and uses his new strengths to battle Curses, supernatural manifestations of negative emotions, alongside his new partners.

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Mystic Magic: alchemy

Photo retrieved from https://secretsnicholasflamel.fandom.com/wiki/Alchemy.

Grace Cavanaugh ~ Editor in Chief

     The word alchemy just makes me think of fancy chemistry. To my understanding, that is all it really was: chemistry before we had the word. Imagine, using chemicals to change something into something else. It is fascinating, is it not?

     Most people who have heard of alchemy probably relate it to something like magic. Witchcraft, if you will. The problem therein is that alchemists were revered as scientists, while witches were set ablaze for fun. Alchemy nowadays might be magic, but then, it was just experiments so the scientist may live forever, or what have you.

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Nerd factor: It’s just a phase

X-MEN: KITTY PRYDE Film in the Works
Image from https://www.aintitcool.com/node/79220

Dr. Mike Robinson ~ UL Communication Studies Professor

     At first, the ability to pass through solid objects seems like an ideal superpower to have. No walls can hold a phaser. No ropes can bind them. And in the very physical career of superheroics, no blow can land upon them. However, there are many problems and potential dangers associated with intangibility. 

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Nerd Factor: Knew Mutants

Image from https://movieweb.com/

Dr. Mike Robinson ~ UL Communication Studies Professor

     As hard as it is to believe now, a few decades back there was only one X-Men comic. Marvel’s team of “hated by the world they have sworn to protect” mutants had been lighting the superhero world on fire every month in Uncanny X-Men, but it took a lot time to start them as a franchise. Today, a Marvel character that even starts to get white hot gets their own series and probably a movie option with a rumored Disney+ series. Back then, the company was weirdly slow in spinning out even a new comic book series. 

     The first attempt to capture the glory was The New Mutants. In 1983, I got in a bit of trouble for enthusiastically reading the very first issue of their comic. Now, not quite forty years later, I find I cannot motivate myself to see their movie. 

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College Life: Senior year

Insidious movie poster. Photo retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insidious_(film).

Kelli Carter ~ Staff Writer

     I hope everyone is having a good week so far. Now that classes are fully online and we can not have visitors, we honestly have to make the best out of each situation. So here are some things that have been keeping me and my housemates busy.

    First off, we really love cooking. Lately we have been having these themed dinners and they have been such a blast. For example, one night we did a Tiger King theme and had tacos, Another night we had a Punk Rock theme and we played Punk Rock music while eating dinner. Each night we try to change up the theme and make it fun so we do not get bored.

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Watch with me: MWAM, The Wolves of Japanese Rock

Image from https://www.mwamjapan.info.

Kamryn Schnieder ~ Copy Editor

     This week, instead of talking about an airing or noteworthy show, I want to talk about the band Man With A Mission. They are a Japanese Rock band that has dabbled in creating Anime soundtracks as well as other projects. Their sound has a pretty wide range, but they could be described as something akin to Fall Out Boy, and many of their songs are in English, or a blend of English and Japanese.

     Formed in 2010, the band has been going strong with consistent members. Tokyo Tanaka, Jean-Ken Johnny, Kamikaze Boy, DJ, Santa Monica, and Spear Rib make up the band. They have been on tour in Japan, the States, Korea, the UK, and other countries and have performed with the likes of Jimmy Eat World and have even had Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy work with them on the song “Dead End Tokyo.” They had been planning on going on a 10-year anniversary tour this year but due to Corona, they have canceled it until further notice. They have released three anniversary albums with many of their famous singles and covers from earlier in their career, however.

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