Category Archives: OPINION

Love to hate it, Hate to love it

By Jorge Cantu

I have overheard people walking out of the theater saying that this should have been on YouTube, that the quality and movie was that poor, that bad. That the simple setting of the movie was stupid, never leaving the house in the suburbs of San Diego, California. The special effects, little to none, were too simple, not being scary at all. That the unknown actors brought the movie down, versus using well known A-list actors. I can see why people would think this; I can see why people would leave the theater commenting on these things. But in my opinion, all of these things are what make the movie what it is, what makes it almost seem real.

What really makes the movie is the very last scene, and the feeling you get walking away. It makes you think about the movie once it is done.
So I agree you either get into the movie for what it is, or you look at it as a simple, cheap and stupid non-scary movie. You either love it or hate it, and I have to say I loved it.

The unknown actors make the movie even more believable; since you are not staring at say Tom Cruise freaking out on screen that you know for sure is fake.
Yes it was a cheap movie to make, but I feel it is a slap in the face for Hollywood and their big budget films. Paranormal Activity is able to do what most scary movies do not, and that is a feeling of genuine suspense and a feeling of relation to the characters.
It seems that the special effects probably cost less than a say a crappy car to make. It isn’t what you are actually seeing on screen, it is that the story draws you into believe that there is something really there, happening to this girl Katie. You can almost relate to her raw fear as she screams and turns frantic on screen, because the movie makes it seem like such a real life scenario.
Now I won’t go into detail about the storyline too much since I do not want to spoil the fun. But I will go into what this movie does so well. The building of the story is slowly building, suspenseful, and not so much scary as more so creepy. During the movie I found myself intensely following the story line, excited to see what was going to happen night after night. And when things happen, they are downright creepy.
Katie, Micah’s wife, has experienced some sort of supernatural following all of her life, commenting on seeing shadows before at night, and feeling a presence around her in the past. Micah starts messing with his camera, thus the beginning of the movie is filled with glimpses of film when he turns the camera on. He wants to record their bedroom at night to try and witness any strange events of the paranormal force that follows Katie to see if it’s real. Then the real spookiness begins.
The story involves a couple who just moved into a new house. Their names are Katie and Micah, and it is shot through a home camera. This brought me back to the Blair Witch Project, which I loved because of the realness that the shaky camera brought to life. Paranormal Activity does just that, but takes it a step further in making you believe. With the beginning and ending of the movie involving a screen saying how the San Diego police department found the tape, adding to the realness.



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“Last Cicada Singing”

by Jorge Cantu

Last Cicada SingingThe Guqin is one of the most unique instruments I have ever encountered. It is formerly known as the Qin, and has been involved with famous Chinese philosophers such as Confucius. With a range of about four octaves, this ancient instrument is known to have 91 different harmonics, as indicated by the white dots on the side of the instrument. Being unique, and having a history, this instrument has made its way into the hands of one of Whatcom’s very own; musical instructor Christopher Roberts. He has just released a solo CD with the use of the qin, called the Last Cicada Singing.
Christopher Roberts describes on the inside panel how the Chinese used to take their qin into the mountains, and would develop string techniques to mimic the movements of birds, insects, streams, etc.
Mimicing nature; that is what this CD is all about. You pick up on the relaxing, soothing feel of the CD as soon as the first song starts. You can tell automatically Chris Roberts is taking it back old school, to nature. It feels as though the CD was meant to be listened to while lying down, or sitting out at night looking at the sky.
There really is no song structure, so do not expect to be snapping your fingers along to the beat. The feeling conveyed is rather, the feeling of nature. Roberts uses sliding tones on the instrument, as well as harmonics. It is filled with wondrous tones, all of them very soft, as the qin is a very quiet instrument anyway.
“Last Cicada Singing” doesn’t really differentiate between the sounds of the songs, more so it sounds to me like an ongoing song. It definitely feels like something I have never heard before. I would recommend to anybody, that before listening, look up the qin instrument, and study a little about what the Chinese were trying to convey with this instrument.
The qin is a very peculiar instrument, being the most revered instrument in Chinese history, and dating back about 5,000 years. It was so revered, that they even had qin “societies”, in which large gatherings of qin players would take place a few times a month.
Christopher Roberts has embraced the qin and it’s history, and created new pieces for solo qin, that in my opinion seem very hard to follow, but I feel as though that wasn’t what he was getting at. Rather he was getting at nature and in a way the feel for the Northwest and all of its beauty.

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The Bargain Hunter’s Used Car Guide


by Matt Benoit

Today, the Bargain Hunter, a “certified” (by which we mean he once spent time in a mental hospital) expert on both bargains and hunting, is here to help you find the used car of your dreams, and hopefully not your nightmares, by pointing you in the right direction. He will, not, however, loan you any cash.

So, it’s time for you to find a used car. The easiest way to go about finding a used car involves finding what are called “classified” ads, which are usually where desperate people go to sell things they don’t want anymore, including their own loved ones:

“In-laws—2 for 1 special! They said they were only staying two weeks, but they’re STILL here! $500 OBO, but willing to throw in Menudo album.”

Classified ads can be found in newspapers, but also on-line at Web sites such as Craigslist. On a side note, I have no idea who the hell Craig is, or what his list looks like.

Anyway, once you have found a car that you are interested in and it does not convey from its photograph that it was a stunt vehicle in Mad Max or is an otherwise heavily-oxidized death cage, it is time to meet the car and owner in-person.

You must now make an appointment to meet, hopefully in broad daylight. Consider bringing along someone who looks like Steven Seagal for “moral” support—just in case.

As a discerning consumer, it is always important to ask the owner questions about the vehicle. These should include at least some of the following:

1)     Does it run?

2)     Is the door supposed to fall off like that?

3)     Has this thing ever been in any high-speed chases?

4)     What are all these stains in the trunk?

5)     Can I paint over the “Pimpmobile” logo? 

Once you are satisfied with your responses, and the person who is answering them does not freak out and try to run away (you can always send Steven Seagal after them if they do), it is time to suggest taking the car for a “test drive.”

This is where you will get to “feel out” your potential wheels—none of which will hopefully shoot off the vehicle when you make that first right-hand turn into traffic—by driving the car around with the owner sitting shotgun.

It has been my experience that you should accelerate the vehicle to at least 100 mph to get an idea of its maneuvering capabilities, as well as properly testing the brakes by slamming on them as hard as possible.

If anything, these exercises should help you determine whether you really want to purchase the car, and may even help you persuade the owner to knock off a few bucks (especially if Steven Seagal, who is sitting in the backseat, has him or her in a head lock).

After this, if you are still confident about the vehicle, you may cut a deal and make your purchase. And even though the Bargain Hunter will not help you with gas money, he would love to know how your used car is treating you.

So drop him an e-mail sometime. By the way, that vomit green AMC Gremlin you have really matches your personality.

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Courtney Addler


Courtney Adler

“We need more places to hang out.”



Nathan Barton


Nathan Barton

“A larger library, comparable to Western’s.”



Derek VanderGriend


Derek vandergriend

“I think we need more bike racks.”



Ian Campbell


Ian Campbell

“More computers, because I find  myself standing in line quite a lot.”

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Reflections on LaRouche


By Emily Huntington

As a journalist representing the Horizon, and therefore representing the college, the biggest part of my job is to stay objective. In other words, my opinions have to stay out of my writing and my interviews.

It gets difficult, because I have a lot of opinions. When there are demonstrations on campus that display huge signs against abortion, I want to speak up. When the LaRouche men came with the Obama/Hitler mustache poster on October 28, I was angry…but all I could do was shake my head as I walked past them. That was until about 1:30, when myself and a classmate decided to take our notepads down and talk to them. Not to do a story, but just to see why they were there and what they had to say.DSC_0879

The first thing they said to us was “Hey, did you see our poster?” Now, what I responded probably could have gone unsaid, but I feel that doing something like that to the president of the United States – whether you love him or hate him – is unacceptable. Besides, I find it ironic that one of the men looked like a carbon copy of a younger version of him! After I said what I said and they realized that we were with the paper, they wouldn’t talk to us. “We don’t give interviews,” one of the men said. He also said that because I “insulted” his friend they weren’t going to talk… had we been “normal” people (not student journalists), they would have answered our questions.  Since we weren’t, however, all they did was hand us a magazine with a number on the back. “Call this number if you want an interview,” he said. They were downright rude.

Unfortunately, no matter how offensive or rude some demonstrators are, the college cannot disallow them to come to campus. There is a form they have to fill out and they can only be on certain areas, but as long as they are keeping their hands to themselves and not following students with propaganda, they can be there. No matter what kind of demonstrations come, whether it be anti-abortion posters, or if the LaRouche men come back, I have to keep my cool and refrain from saying what is really on my mind, even if they return with the same poster or something more offensive.

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