Nickelodeon Classics: 'Avatar: The Last Airbender'

Nickelodeon Classics: 'Avatar: The Last Airbender'

Insight into one of the greatest animated television series in Nickelodeon history.
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In the early 2000s, it is argued that we were living in the golden age of TV. With shows like "Breaking Bad" and "The Wire," The TV series format has evolved to bear characters and storylines that transcend reality itself. The Nickelodeon of old produced some of its most successful animated cartoon series between 2005 and 2008 (Rugrats, Hey Arnold, Cat-Dog etc.).

However, nothing could compare to the success of "Avatar: The Last Airbender," which I consider to be the best animated series... ever.

Created by Michael Dante Dimartino and Bryan Konietzko, "The Last Airbender" tells the story of a twelve-year-old name Aang, the airbending protagonist who is deemed "The Avatar." The Avatar has the ability, when in the Avatar state, to possess all four bending elements (Air, Water, Fire, and Earth), while only temporarily. Aang is accompanied by three other characters; siblings Katara and Sokka from the Southern Water Tribe, and Toph from the earth kingdom.

Aang also has two other animal companions in Momo, a Flying Lemur, and Appa, a Flying Bison. During the duration of Seasons 1 and 2, The Fire Prince Zuko is constantly hunting the avatar, looking for redemption and honor after being banished from the fire nation.

Each character has their own unique arc.


What makes "Avatar: The Last Airbender" so incredible is the individual journeys and maturation of each of the main characters. Through each episode and season, we slowly see each character grow into not only incredible warriors and benders, but incredible people as well.

Prince Zuko is the best example of this, as he evolves from cold-hearted fire bender to kind-hearted teacher and friend to Aang. Zuko's arc, in my opinion, is one of the best redemption arcs of any animated series.

Basics of elements are explained and believable



“Water. Earth. Fire. Air. Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony. Then, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, could stop them. But when the world needed him most, he vanished. One hundred years later, my brother and I discovered the new Avatar…”

It’s a simple, effective setup. It may not be as catchy as “mobster who has a stressful suburban family life” or “dying chemistry teacher who decides to start cooking meth,” but it establishes a structure that is appealing to fantasy fans but is also comprehensible to those who ultimately won’t care about the lore but will need to understand how everything fits together.

The world of "The Last Airbender" is divided into four nations: Water, Earth, Fire, and Air. Each nation’s culture matches the characteristics of its associated element. Air nomads live in the clouds, untethered to earthly possessions. Citizens of the Fire nation tend to be passionate and war-like. The Earth Kingdom’s people are stoic and enduring, and so on. A certain percentage of all people are “benders,” able to practice a martial art that allows them to manipulate either air, water, fire, or earth.

The nations used to live in a peaceful balance, guided by a powerful guardian called The Avatar. The Avatar alone has the power to bend all four elements, and each time he or she dies, they are reincarnated in a new body and must be trained to become the Avatar once more.

A century ago, the Avatar went missing just as the Fire Nation incited a war of conquest against the other three nations. Fire Nation armies wiped out the air nomads – surely one of the darkest turns in this children’s tale – and began to systematically destroy the southern water tribe as well.

The northern water tribe forsook its southern counterpart and retreated behind their icy walls. The Earth Nation has resisted the Fire Nation for decades, but lately, the war hasn’t been going their way.

So if you haven't seen this classic before, you can watch all of Season 1 on kissanime.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.
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Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.


2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.


4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.

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Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.


I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.


I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.


As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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