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Whatcom digs archaeology

By Apple Parry

Whatcom Community College held its fourth annual Archaeology Fair in the Syre Auditorium on Oct 30, where Whatcom’s anthropology faculty and the Association for Washington Archaeology welcomed students and staff from Whatcom and Western Washington University to show a variety of educational displays.

The fair had tables from Whatcom students, Western students, cultural resource management firms, private firms, the Lummi nation, a few independent researchers, and a table of archaeology-focused books.

“I’m really pleased that we’ve got such good representation here,” said Dr. Jennifer Zovar, a Whatcom professor and organizer of the event.

Zovar’s archaeology class was in charge of the “Garbology” display table. She explained, “Archaeology is really the study of ancient garbage, and so, by looking at modern garbage, what can we tell about our own campus? The project they did for this fair was looking at litter patterns on campus and what we might be able to learn about changing habits.”

Dr. Zovar

Dr. Jennifer Zovar

 

Zovar and her class found that, “a lot of [the garbage] is cigarette butts.”

Zovar said one of the biggest takeaways from the event was that “a lot of Whatcom students come and are able to meet students and faculty from Western.”

Students that are “getting interested in archeology here at Whatcom have ended up transferring and going on to archeology careers, in part because of outreach events like this.” Zovar said, adding, “The connections you make at an event like this, it’s much different than the connections you make in the classroom.”

A slideshow was debuted this year, featuring pictures all related to archaeology and anthropology, which played throughout the event. Zovar said, “It just helps to see those sorts of hands-on pictures, you get to see the faces of the people doing archeology in addition to
everything that we’ve got going on.”

One of those faces is teacher and faunal analyst Alyson Rollins, who has been involved in the fair since the start. Her topic, faunal analysis, is the differentiation between animal bones and human bones. One of her goals for this fair was to give the larger community insight into what kind of jobs and opportunities are available in the real world.

Rollins said her favorite part about the fair is getting the opportunity to “touch base with colleagues that we don’t get to see very often,” and “getting to interact with my students outside of the classroom.”

Riley Campbell, a student, said “It’s cool to see how things change over time, and the different methods people use to make different things.” His project focused on the timeline of bottles and cans, how they have aged, and how manufacturers have changed the shape and materials they use to make them.

Riley Rieber, a Western student, started her first archaeology fair in charge of the hands-on station. This station lets participants experience firsthand how to use the same tools and techniques used by the people of the past.

Rieber said her station is interesting because “if you were trying to survive out in the woods with nothing but the things around you, you can learn from the past and apply it to today.” The activities included shaving bark off a tree branch, using rocks to shape other rocks, and learning which types of rocks are most useful in certain situations.

Zovar said “Western always brings this hands-on display, it’s usually the most popular because it’s so cool to try and use the tools that the peoples used so long ago and see how they really work.”


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“The Kissing Booth”: Creepy and condescending

By Apple Parry

“The Kissing Booth” is truly the worst movie I’ve ever seen. Without analyzing the entire script, the side plot inconsistencies, or the incredibly overdone romantic plot, let’s talk about how sexist the film is.

The opening scene shows Elle’s childhood and longtime friendship with Lee Flynn. It also shows that Elle has always had a crush on Lee’s off limits older brother, Noah.

Based on just that montage, it’s obvious this movie is going to focus on yet another forbidden, bad-boy teen romance— unfortunately, it’s so much worse than that.

The next scene starts with Elle’s only pair of school regulation pants ripping. So, what is a girl to do other than wear a “ninth-grade skirt on an eleventh-grade body”?

All the important or authoritative men in Elle’s life comment on her skirt, starting with her dad. But her dad’s concerns are genuine and caring. He offers to pick up her “back-ups” and bring them to her at school.

On the way to school, Lee sarcastically tells Elle that with that skirt on she is seen as a “distraction.” Even as a joke, these remarks are harmful to both women and men. It encourages the objectification of women in a lighthearted manner.

Lee also has a tendency throughout the movie to think that, just because he’s her best friend, he can control her, or, at least, whom she dates.

Once they arrive at school, a football player with a man bun decides to slap her ass, and the Flynn brothers step up to defend her. Noah, the knight in shining leather, comes to the rescue, and they all get called into the principal’s office.

While waiting to be called in to the principal’s office, Noah claims, “Wearing a skirt like that is asking for it.” When Elle gets defensive, he dismisses it by saying the feminist rant wasn’t worth it. Clearly, this movie could have used Elle’s rebuttal.

Once called into the principal’s office, Elle must explain to the fourth man in a matter of minutes why she is wearing this stupidly small skirt. This event was just an excuse to include sexist comments, actions, and consequences. When discussing what happened Elle says, “dude touched my lady bump” making her sexual assault into a joke.

After a very weird detention, Elle agrees to go on a date with good ol’ grab ass, but she gets ditched.

The football player later tells Elle, “no boobs are worth a broken nose.” It’s almost poetic really, but it also implies that he only wanted Elle for her looks and body, and that she’s not even worth it.

Somehow, Elle blindly stumbles into the boy’s locker room, covered in paint with her shirt off. Read that sentence again and guess how the director finessed that scene into the movie.

Instead of running out of there like a sane 16-year-old girl, she struts past about 40 guys, picks up her shirt and walks out. This would be an empowering move, if it wasn’t just to piss off a guy and remind everyone she grew boobs over the summer.

Since they live in California, I would expect nothing less than a beach party at some point in this movie. It delivered. At this party, some douche continuously tries to force Elle to go to a hot tub with him, obviously with only one purpose in mind. But Noah shows up to defend her- once again.

A major flaw is that the director never lets Elle handle things by herself, showing young girls they should have a “big, strong man” to defend them at all times, rather than showing how they could deal with it alone, which is what happens much more often in the real world.

After Noah punches the guy, he yells at Elle to get in the car multiple times and hits the car. Life tip: if someone with a violent past starts yelling at you and hitting things, don’t get in his car!

Maybe it was for comedic purposes, but Elle has to jump on a trampoline, while in a skirt, exposing her underwear multiple times. I know this is small
— but that’s exactly the point. Seeing small things like this makes it seem okay because it was only for a short amount of time.

When Lee finds out that Noah and Elle are together, he tells Elle, “The only thing I had that he didn’t was you… and now he has that too.” That was Elle’s best friend not only calling her a “thing,” but saying she was Noah’s “thing”.

Speaking of Noah, the typecast bad boy is starting to get super old. Casting the same type of rebel, is extremely cliché. It encourages the ‘I can fix him’ phenomenon, where girls take a typically bad boy and try to change him for the better, which usually doesn’t work.

While concluding the movie, Elle claims that “there was a part of [her] that was always going to belong to Noah Flynn.”

I’ve heard this saying multiple times, and realized I’ve only ever heard it from women.

This kind of sexist content is obliterating all the progress we’ve made. It ignores what’s wrong or right and just focuses on what will get the movie the most exposure. Every male in Elle’s life has either been demeaning or subtly sexist, and that can only result in a damaged person, especially because when it really counts, Elle doesn’t stand up for herself.

Even for a movie based on an amateur young adult novel, this was astonishingly horrible. If you watched The Kissing Booth, congratulations! You and I both wasted an hour and forty-five minutes of our lives, that we can never, ever get back.

 


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Bellingham gets an arcade upgrade

By Ken Johnson

Over the past year, three gaming lounges have sprung up around downtown Bellingham, which is a little weird, because “gaming lounges” didn’t seem to exist five years ago.

College towns are magnets for odd business ideas. Some of these ideas, like Hops N Headz, a taproom with a family-fun vibe, are nice, but others, like Gather Bellingham, a new student-apartment complex, are built to suck money from your fanny pack.

So, are these gaming lounges fun activities? Or another scheme to take your money?

Rook and Rogue:

With all of the drunken Dungeons and Dragons players, the Rook and Rogue would be the most entertaining place to see a barroom brawl.

The Rook and Rogue is a board-game pub, and it lives up to the name: shelves of board games dominate the middle of the room. Most games are free to play, but if you want access to the role-playing games, you have to pay a premium price.

The service is a roller coaster ride. It might be 30 minutes until someone takes your order, but, once they do, they’re really sorry you had to wait so long.

A board-game pub seems like a fun idea, and the Rook and Rogue executes it well. It is all ages, which gives the place a comfortable atmosphere.

The aesthetic was mismatched. The vibe is a mix between Hogwarts and an old west saloon, with its impressive line of whiskey bottles.

It could be a good hangout spot for college students, except for the cost. A burger is around $11 and a drink is about $9.

Pro tip: If you’re going there to play board games, just order appetizers.

rooknrogue

  • 206 W Magnolia St, Bellingham, WA
  • 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., most nights.

Heady VR

If you have never used a virtual reality headset before, and you don’t know anyone who owns one, Heady VR might be a good option.

A virtual-reality headset creates a digital and immersive world- it feels like you’re really there.

The phrase “virtual reality arcade” conjures up images of marvelous machines, like if the International Space Station had video games.

That is not the case with Heady VR. The experience of going to Heady VR is kind of like if a couple of guys you know invited you over to try out their halfway-working VR headsets and charged you $20 for their trouble.

Also, you can’t wear glasses with their headsets.

That being said, it is a locally owned business and, potentially, an interesting idea, if they hone in their equipment.

heady

  • 215 W Holly St suite b-28, Bellingham, WA
  • 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., most days

Ruckus Room Arcade

Out of these three places, the Ruckus Room Arcade seems like the best option for college students. It’s lowkey and cheap.

The Ruckus Room is an arcade/bar, but it is more of an arcade than a bar. It is all ages and never open past midnight, which can be a downside for any night owls. The games are classic arcade games: Skee-Ball, pinball, and Mortal Kombat.

The alcohol is modest, think PBR, and all of the drinking is confined to a couple of tables in the middle of the room.

It may not be a great place to drink, but the Ruckus Room is entertaining and easy on the wallet. What more can you ask for?

  • 1423 Railroad Ave, Bellingham, WA
  • 2 p.m. to 12 p.m., most days.

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Smaller construction plans near end

By Joe Zimmerman

Many general repairs were done on Whatcom’s campus over the summer, but there were two major capital projects started that won’t be done for quite a while.

General repairs include upgrading an engineering classroom in Kulshan Hall, exterior LED light fixtures on Cascade Hall and crosswalk improvements on Kellogg Road.

At the beginning of the summer, a memo was sent to the campus community from Brian Keeley, Senior Director for Facilities and Operations, outlining the projects that took place over the summer and the two major capital projects: the Phyllis & Charles Self-Learning Commons and Residence Hall On-Campus housing.

The Self-Learning Commons is a 65,328 sq. ft. facility that will transition into the new campus library and learning center, supporting students in English and Math, as well as individualized tutoring. Food services, study areas, and a multi-media center will be available on the ground level, as well as expanded tutoring centers on the third floor.

Construction on the learning commons, designed by Schreiber Starling & Whitehead Architects, began in February east of Kulshan hall. Colacurcio Brothers Construction Inc. will be conducting the build until February 2020.

The other major capital project is the construction of Residences Hall, an on-campus housing complex located on Kellogg Road adjacent to Heiner Center.

Construction of Residences Hall will begin in September east of campus on Kellogg Road, expected to be finished in May 2020.

There will be apartment style-rooms, as well as outdoor recreation and social areas. The complex will house approximately 230 beds in four-bedroom, two-bedroom, and studio units complete with kitchenettes and small living rooms.

In the article “Student housing in the works” by Ken Johnson published in the May 22nd, 2018 issue, Nathan Langstraat, the vice president of administrative services, said the outdoor area surrounding the housing complex “will have gardens, a hammock area, and barbecues for residents.”

Smaller projects have been completed over the summer by the maintenance staff and Colacurcio Brothers Construction.

Pedestrian safety has always been an issue on a campus split by Kellogg road, a well-traveled route. Addressing those concerns, Whatcom has hired Zervas Group Architects, K-Engineers, and Wilson Engineering to improve the crosswalks going from Kulshan Hall to Heiner and from Cascade to Laidlaw. Improvements will include overhead lighting, a signal light, and additional signs.

A smaller project, taken on by the Whatcom maintenance staff over the summer, included upgrading the engineering classroom Room 205 in Kulshan Hall to support lab and lecture-intensive courses. Both Whatcom Engineering and Facilities Departments consulted in the room’s design.

The maintenance staff also replaced outdated light fixtures with low-wattage LED fixtures in an effort to improve lighting around campus and reduce Whatcom’s energy usage.


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Another Ski to Sea in the books

IMG_5023By Ken Johnson

Ski to Sea happened May 27, engulfing Bellingham in a festive and intense atmosphere.

The Ski to Sea race has seven different events: cross country skiing, downhill skiing or snowboarding, running, road biking, canoeing, cyclocross biking and sea kayaking.

There is a method to this athletic madness; these events show the range of outdoor activity in Bellingham.

Boomer’s Drive-In won this year with a time of 6 hours, 6 minutes and 42 seconds.

Race day was sunny and hot, and for most of the events this spelled out perfect conditions- but not for cyclocross.

According to Jeff Cummings, who helped design the cyclocross track, the ideal conditions are for it to rain two days before the race, that way there aren’t clods of dirt blocking the racers’ path.

Cyclocross is a form of bike racing wherein competitors deal with a variety of different terrain, as well as lift their bikes over small obstacles.

Mark Gallatin, a Ski to Sea volunteer at the canoe leg, said that canoers regularly flip over.

Gallatin added, pointing at a bend in the river treacherous with sticks and logs, some people get holes poked in their canoes.

Not everyone who races in Ski to Sea is competitive, for some it is an opportunity to have fun and get together with friends.

The “Sheroes,” an all-women team from the United States and Canada, said Ski to Sea gives them a chance to reconnect every year.

Lana Mitchel and Eric Booth were part of another team from out of town. They drove from Seattle to compete.

Booth said he “gets that tingly feeling associated with skiing” whenever he comes to Bellingham.

Ski to Sea draws large crowds of people, and this, coupled with the road closures that allow bikers and runners to race, creates a traffic issue. Closures made it borderline impossible to travel through downtown Fairhaven, as well as into many parks from Lynden to downtown Bellingham.

According to “Adventures NW” Ski to Sea was originally created as a tourist attraction to stimulate the local economy.

Ski to Sea still provides a boost to Bellingham’s economy.

Pete Madden, an employee at Backcountry Essentials, a sporting goods store in downtown Bellingham, said that traffic through their store increased around 15 percent.

“Good weather and more people in town increased traffic through the store,” Madden said.

Booths, set up to advertise different businesses, populated Ski to Sea. In downtown Fairhaven, near the finish line, the streets were packed with flamboyant stands giving out prizes. Mercedes’ cars lined one of the streets, acting as a make-shift car dealership.

Like Christmas or Easter, Ski to Sea brings gobs of money into Bellingham while managing to be a fun and engaging tradition.


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