Young Observers: Mid-October Edition

We are finally beginning to settle comfortably into the fall season, which in our area is quite a relief. Less heat, warm-colored leaves, and cooler air are all things that most people in California would consider signs of much-needed tranquility after a hectic summer full of heatwaves. However, for the Americans on the east coast, things may not be as calm. To them, the fall months mean hurricanes.

The Atlantic hurricane season is currently at full throttle after a rather slow start. These large, stormy juggernauts are beginning to pop up all over North America. Some of the more notable ones this season include Fiona, Orlene, and Ian, with the latter boasting wind speed of 155 miles per hour as it struck the coast of Florida, making it one of the strongest hurricanes to smash through the U.S.

A hurricane even came close to Fullerton one day, bringing abnormally strong winds and sprinkles of rain to a rather crazy week that saw the temperature rise to the high 90s. Although they do not last too long, only existing for a few days on average, they can leave a life-threatening impact on the affected areas. The biggest ones can cause billions of dollars in damage, leave millions temporarily homeless, and completely cut off power and other important services, especially in highly populated areas such as Florida. Hurricane Ian is projected to cost around $75 billion in damage at the time of writing this, which will be absolutely devastating to the people affected. However, there are many ways that we can aid the effort to provide relief and assistance to survivors, even from across the country.

One way we can support hurricane relief is by donating to charities and groups who are actively assisting victims. The American Red Cross, just one of the many non-profit organizations known for their courageous efforts to provide disaster relief to affected areas, strives to provide as much assistance as they can whenever a major predicament arises.

A large group of volunteers and donors band together to offer whatever means of security, protection, and safety to people in need. If you donate just a few dollars, they will make sure that your hardearned cash is put to good use. The Red Cross offers food, shelter, medical care, and other important amenities and necessities to people who have been greatly affected by hurricanes and other natural disasters using your generous donations, so it is very possible that you can help save someone’s life.

You can also join the effort by spreading the word to your community. If you are an artsy person, feel free to create colorful signs and vibrant posters to post around Fullerton to inform others about the harrowing reality of these massive hurricanes.

If technology is more of your jam, make a video or infographic explaining how beneficial donations are to the relief effort and upload it to social media. Bring some of your closest friends into the project if you wish to make it more enjoyable. All of these various mediums are great ways to spread awareness to these monstrous hurricanes.

Finally, you can take it to the next level by directing, leading, or participating in a community event. Each year, many local schools and organizations host food drives, clothing drives, and other charitable events to not only gather materials to send off to affected areas but also to raise awareness for hurricanes and other disasters and issues.

For parents with teens, if your kids are looking for ways to rack up some community service hours, this is a great opportunity. Feel free to locate one of these events around your community and participate in it, or start one up with some friends. If you have a few bucks to spare or a bit of free time on your hands, please consider joining the hurricane relief effort and potentially change someone’s life in the process.

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Onyx is a healthy, strong pit bull. He arrived over a year ago when a few field agents discovered him wandering around, lonely and frightened. Onyx, besides being a little dirty, was happy to be in the OC Animal Care’s comfort. He began socializing with other dogs as soon as he stepped into the shelter. Onyx is always widely grinning and loves treats and playing fetch with humans. Bring out a tennis ball and you are in trouble. You have to play it all day long. He loves it that much.

ANIMAL ID#: A1732502

Onyx was featured by the Anaheim Ducks this past year due to his cheerful, golucky personality and deviously hilarious grin. Onyx does well with other dogs and would appreciate another bouncy dog as a sibling. Due to his size and strength, Onyx is sniffing for a home with children fifteen or older.

Endangered Animal Trivia

Q: What kind of wolf is endangered?

A: The maned wolf, also known by its scientific name, chrysocyon brachyurus. Chrysocyon means ‘golden dog.’ It looks more like a fox than a wolf, but studies show that it is neither fox nor wolf. Joshua Hawkins, Science and Tech freelance writer, states that the “maned wolf is a strange cross between a fox and a deer, and you’ve never seen anything like it.” It is a large canid native to South America. The maned wolf is being kept in captivity and can be found in zoos. The World Wildlife Fund is helping conserve land for the maned wolf. This is due to loss of habitat, the introduction of certain diseases, and a belief that its organs contain healing power. (Pop Quiz: What other endangered mammal has been poached for its supposed magical powers? Answer: Rhinos! They’re hunted for their horns.) The maned wolf eats rabbits, birds, other small rodents, fish, wolf apples, and even sugar canes. FUN FACT: Their long legs is a trait that allows them to see above the tall grass in their habitat.

From cover to cover, Bliss Montage starts off with a bang and never stops. You are presented with a collection of eight stories, each a world within itself.

The stories cover a wide range of topics, from abuse to childhood friendship to Asian-Americanism, with a precise hand. Each theme is carefully and intricately built into the stories until the same thread is woven through each one. I was disconcerted by every single story in this book because the way each one seamlessly fused reality and fantasy was absolutely unreal. They root out the tenuous similarities between two worlds and exist on the thin line between universes, between intention and accident, between the many identities we are capable of shifting into.

Each narrative was written in a detached, almost claustrophobic, tone: a state of perpetual and cold disregard, but Ling Ma managed to make some emotion bleed through. My only problem was that this tended to blend the characters together in my head because of their lack of expression and monotone voice. Because of this, I think it is best to read this in slices at a time rather than all in one sitting to allow its themes to fully unfurl and maximize their impact.

Overall, I found this collection a fascinating exploration of the parallels between fantasy and reality and the many ways in which we are intertwined.

Produced by directors Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, the Sept 21 series, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story stands as one of the highest streamed Netflix television shows, garnering nearly 200 million hours of views within the first week of its release.

Based on the notorious American serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer who murdered 17 men and boys — particularly those who were part of communities of color or those who identified as LGBTQ — the show reveals a scripted take on Dahmer’s crimes. However, as memorable as it is, the production contains some serious and striking flaws that must be addressed.

Family members of Dahmer’s victims recently disclosed that they were not consulted or informed of the series prior to its release. With little focus centered on the perspective of the victims and their families, these individuals are forced to relive their trauma. This is proof of Netflix’s faulty storytelling and a stark lack of consideration for victims and their families.

As a viewer of the series myself, I also find it extremely unsettling that some particularly deranged fans are romanticizing Dahmer and his crimes. Keep in mind that although dramatized, these are real victims and real stories. Audience members have a moral obligation to react and respond to this show with irrefutable respect toward the victims and their relatives. TikTok fan edits and fan accounts glorifying the serial killer, however, is an act of outright mockery of the victims.

Do I find it necessary that Dahmer’s crimes as well as the police officers’ faults be exposed? Absolutely.

Do I believe that Netflix and the series’ producers handled this case appropriately? Absolutely not.

The controversy surrounding the recent series calls for a reform of the entertainment industry. It’s time the media puts an end to capitalizing off of heinous felonies for monetary and entertainment purposes.