Aquaman Pollution

'Aquaman' Showcases The Issue Of Pollution, Maybe Now We'll Start Caring About Our Oceans

The movie may be fictional, but this problem is very real.

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I'm a comics fan. I love both DC and Marvel (although Marvel is obviously the better of the two, sorry not sorry). This isn't news to anyone who knows me, so naturally, I was excited for the newest installment of the DC comic movies, "Aquaman." I expected to enjoy it, and I definitely did, but what I didn't expect was to walk out of the theater with a feeling that the villain made a good point.

"Aquaman" follows Arthur, the son of the Queen of Atlantis and a human, his father. He has abilities that make both land and sea optimal worlds for him. When his half brother, the presiding ruler of Atlantis, decides to declare war on the people on land, or what they refer to as "the surface," it's up to Arthur to stop him. I won't get much more into the plot than that for fear of spoilers, but basically, the movie has a lot of action, a lot of humor, and a lot of heartfelt moments.

The movie also spells out a huge issue that our planet is currently dealing with: pollution and the way we're treating our oceans. One of the reasons the people of the sea are so intent on destroying the surface is because of the disregard for what goes into the ocean, into their home.

There's a scene in the movie that provides a stunning visual of just how much damage we're causing in every body of water on Earth. The ruler of Atlantis decides he's sick of the way humans treat their oceans, so he uses his power to create a giant tidal wave. This tidal wave isn't meant to kill anyone (yet), it's simply to send a message. The wave spits every piece of trash, sewage, and every warship inhabiting the ocean back onto the shores, resulting in massive piles of garbage and pollutants on every coast.

Watching this scene unfold, I thought, "Yeah, the guy has a point."

If our oceans possessed creatures strong enough to do something about the way we're treating their home, I'm sure they would. We thoughtlessly dump an unbelievable amount of waste into our oceans every year. In plastic waste alone, 8 million tons are deposited into the ocean annually. Toxic waste materials, such as sewage sludge, industrial waste, and radioactive waste make up 80% of ocean pollution. Chemicals and toxins from pesticides are continually flowing into rivers and waterways that eventually land them right into the ocean, poisoning marine life.

This scene alone isn't the extent to which "Aquaman" showcases ocean pollution. I lost count of the amount of jabs at humanity for their poor waste management. The king of Atlantis is angry that humans have simply claimed the oceans as their property without acknowledging the presence of the life within them. The people of Atlantis and the other kingdoms in the sea are fed up with waste and garbage flooding into their home because of the carelessness showed by the surface.

And I can't say I blame them.

Obviously, the declaration of war and the intent to destroy humanity isn't great, but their motives aren't unfounded. This movie raises awareness of ocean pollution and environmental pollution, in general, and makes you think about where your garbage ends up. Though "Aquaman" provides little in the way of solutions to this problem, other than a giant sibling fist fight, the movie still resembles a call to action.

We can't clean up our oceans or stop producing waste overnight. But we can control, to some extent, where our waste ends up. Recycle whatever materials you're able to. Ditch plastic bags. Invest in a reusable water bottle. There are so many simple ways to reduce the amount of waste you produce, and thereby reduce the amount potentially dumped into bodies of water around the world.

Say whatever you will about the plot, the acting, the characters, and the adaptation of "Aquaman," but one thing that can't be denied is that visually, it's amazing, and it creates an image of the damage being done to the sea. It raises many questions about the way we're treating our oceans, and how the oceans would respond if they could.

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ASU Students Push For A Healthier Dining Hall To Counter 'Freshman 15' Fears

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap.

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Arizona State University students are pushing for change within the downtown Phoenix dining hall as they strive to avoid the infamous freshman 15.

The downtown Phoenix campus offers fewer dining options than the Tempe campus and has a less appetizing dining hall. The freshman 15 is a common scare among students living in the dorms, who are often freshman.

The freshman 15 is defined as a student who gains 15 pounds or more in their first year of college. Studies prove the average freshman does not exercise the right amount, is sleep deprived, has a poor diet, increases their stress level, alcohol consumption, and fatty food intake, which is most likely causing their weight gain.

Lauren Hernandez

Daniella Rudoy, a journalism major and fitness instructor at the SDFC, relived her freshman year as she provided tips for incoming freshman.

"There are a lot of workouts you can do in your dorm room as long as you have access to YouTube or a floor. You can go on a run, a walk, or do exercises that do not require equipment," Rudoy said in support of college fitness.

Rudoy said that mental health, fitness, and nutrition all correlate with one another.

"I follow the saying abs are made in the kitchen. So if you are working out day and night, but eating a giant pizza and chicken wings with a pack of beer when you come home you aren't doing yourself much good," Rudoy said.

Lauren Hernandez

The main cause for weight gain is increased alcohol consumption. 80 percent of college students drink and this includes binge drinking, which is unhealthy for many reasons.

Students who do not drink are most likely gaining weight because of their exposure to an all-you-can-eat dining hall. The downtown Phoenix campus offers a salad bar as their only consistent healthy option for students, therefore students are left eating hamburgers, fries, and pizza.

"I haven't been to the dining hall this semester. Last semester, I went because I had no other options. I am a vegetarian and the dining hall is not accommodating to those with allergies or food restrictions. I find it very difficult to find vegetarian options," Lexi Varrato, a journalism major said.

Lauren Hernandez

Varrato explained that she believes the freshman 15 is "100 percent real" and that incoming freshman should research their meal plans and ask their school how their dietary restrictions will be accommodated before purchasing a non-refundable meal plan.

Megan Tretter, a nursing major at Seattle University emphasized that not every dining hall is like ASU's and that the freshman 15 is "definitely not a problem" at her school.

"I always eat healthy at my dining hall. There are a lot of good and healthy options at Seattle University. I usually go to the smoothie line in the morning, have a salad for lunch, and make myself an acai bowl after work with avocado toast in our floor's kitchen," Tretter said in support of her school's strive for healthy options.

College students across the United States have healthier dining options than ASU, but many colleges still face the same problems that students here are facing.

Tara Shultz, a journalism major at ASU believes she has avoided the "very real" freshman 15 by living at home.

"I believe the freshman 15 targets dorm residence and first-year students who do not live at home as they do not have their parents as a guide and are forced to eat at a dining hall that only serves fatty foods," Shultz emphasized.

Lauren Hernandez

The downtown Phoenix campus offers students access to the SDFC, YMCA, and Taylor Place gym, where students can take group fitness classes, run on a track, play basketball, or swim. Alternative options for students are purchasing a membership at Orangetheory or EOS Fitness.

Most students agreed with journalism major Vanessa Gonzalez that they have little time to work out due to their workload, but many students like Varrato, Tretter, and Rudoy explained that they try to work out every day as it is a stress reliever and it enriches their mental health.

Steve Fiorentino, the owner of Powered Up Nutrition encourages college students to learn what they are putting in their bodies.

"I think it starts with nutrition. Students believe they can outwork a bad diet and I believe that is their number one mistake. My advice is to stop eating fast foods and start eating whole and healthy foods along with supplements," Fiorentino stated.

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap. The campus dining hall is not always the reason to blame as students have the option to decrease their meal plans, become active, and make healthy choices!

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Yes, TRF Is A Real Major

My homework may be to watch movies, but it's still homework.

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I understand that many people don't consider watching numerous movies a week your typical homework, but for me it is. Here at Syracuse University, I'm a Television, Radio, and Film (TRF) major. When I announced I was going to Syracuse I was still undecided but in the school of communications. I went undecided because I couldn't decide between photography or TRF, but a lot of people at home didn't understand that.

My grandparents always had big dreams for their grandkids. However, those dreams were always something like a doctor or lawyer, something to achieve the parts of the American dream they never fully did. Unfortunately, when they found out I wanted to go into communications they became worried. I don't regret my choice of my major at all, I'm actually kind of obsessed with it, but it's not easy hearing everyone talk down about your major.

Some people were less concerned when they heard I was going to Syracuse, who has one of the top communication programs in the country. My grandpa's reaction quickly changed when he was able to tell his friends his granddaughter would be a Newhouse student. I couldn't imagine the reactions I would have gotten if I had chosen a smaller or lesser-known school, I don't know if I would have felt as proud as I did.

Which is pretty surprising, because if you know me then you know I never shut up about TRF.

I love my major, but it's hard when people think all I do is watch TV and never do real work. I've spent plenty of late nights on set, analyzing films, or trying to figure out the next scene in my script. There's just as much work in my major as any other major.

Maybe the confusion is because I'm still unsure as to where I want to go with my degree. I don't have a focus yet, or a clear end goal, but I know I've loved every TRF class I've taken so far, so at least I'm in the right major.


Basically, I just want everyone to respect my major and know I didn't go to school just to watch movies.

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