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North Texas experiences record-breaking heat wave NEWS: PAGE 2

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VOL. 113 No. 7

UNT adds 500 new parking spots close to Victory By Rebecca Najera @RebeccaNajera42 In order to help first time college students, an additional 500 parking spots will be added to campus as an expansion to the parking lots near Victory Hall, according to UNT officials. “It is going to be for first time in college [students] — so essentially Dave Reynolds for freshman — living in residence halls across the campus,” said Dave Reynolds, associate vice president for facilities. The additional parking will be an expansion of Lots 80, 81 and 85, which

are already labeled as parking for firsttime college students. “We do re-evaluate [parking] each year, so if we find that there is a need for other students to be parking out there, we’ll change it, but for this year, it is labeled for first-time college students,” said Trista Moxley, senior communications specialist for UNT’s transportation department. The roughly $2 million project will not only help create the new parking spaces, but will also provide additional lighting and help build a restroom facility in the lot. “We’re happy to work in partnership with the UNT transportation team to bring them this new parking lot and [to]

continue to work repairs and striping on other lots around the campus,” Reynolds said. While the parking expansions will benefit freshman and first-time college students, some feel additional parking options should be made available for commuting students. “I feel like [the expansion] won’t fix the problem, really,” elementary education senior Maria Scotto Diclemente said. “Since it’s only for new students, it’s just avoiding an overload, but there will still be issues with students that already drive to campus. They aren’t fixing that parking.” Scotto Diclemente feels that a possible solution to parking issues on

campus would be to build more lots for all students or limit the amount of new students that get parking. “I didn’t have my car my freshman year, and I was fine,” said Scotto Diclemente. Integrative studies senior BreAnna Isgitt has also attended UNT for her entire college career and said she never used her car while she was living on campus. “I don’t think [the expansion is] going to help the parking situation that much,” Isgitt said. “It seems like everyone who needs to park are the people who are coming from off campus. I think that if they are going to build a new parking lot, it should be available for all students.” Isgitt feels that the university could

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utilize other areas for parking. “I think the school just recently bought some property, so I think we could use some of that to create parking for commuters,” Isgitt said. In the future, Fouts Field will be receiving an expansion, adding more parking to that area as well, Moxley said. “We are adding parking as much as we can, and obviously this is an issue that we as the Transportation Services Department are constantly monitoring and trying to improve on,” Moxley said. “We’re excited to have some additional parking to offer.” The parking expansions near Victory Hall are set to be completed before movein day, Saturday, Aug. 18.

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mess with this champ By Claire Lin @claire_grace_ On July 21 and 22, UNT senior Corbin Deaton journeyed to Birmingham, England, representing Team USA at the Taekwondo International meet. There were roughly 4,000 competitors from around the world, but she was able to bring home one gold and two silver medals, a masterful feat. Deaton’s love for the martial arts dates back 10 years. She began with judo and jiu-jitsu in a mixed martial arts school in New Mexico, then moved to karate in Colorado and finally settled into perfecting the art of taekwondo in Texas at the World Taekwondo Alliance under her current teacher, Grandmaster McNeely. “I latched onto it and stuck with it, and now it’s been about five years since joining taekwondo,” Deaton said. Deaton is majoring in kinesiology and is set to graduate Corbin Deaton this upcoming December, after which she will be able to continue her education in the master’s program. She has been able to pursue her love for the Korean art of taekwondo while simultaneously pursuing her educational goals, and she will still be able to do so while completing her master’s degree. Deaton said balancing school and the martial art has proven to be a difficult task, but she has managed to make it out on top. She attributes her ability to pursue both passions to John Nauright, the assistant head of school and director of the Institute of Research and Graduate Studies for the School of Sport and Service Management at UNT. “Dr. Nauright has greatly supported me in traveling over to England while being a student,” Deaton said. “If not for a conversation with him, I would not have known the opportunities offered in the master’s program while continuing my taekwondo training. I thought I would have to retire from taekwondo to continue my education.” These opportunities entailed an academic scholarship award. “To assist her being able to compete for Team USA and represent the best of UNT to a global audience, the Department [of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation] supported her with a small award created to support world-class athletes not in UNT NCAA-linked sports,” Nauright said. “With funding she can continue her high quality education, continue

Corbin Deaton does a side kick. Will Baldwin


Hairstylist gives people confidence from root to tip By Nikki Johnson-Bolden @nikkinikxo For some, hair is an afterthought in daily pampering routines. This is not the case for Morgan Brack, a licensed

cosmetologist and barber based out of Debi Do & Company Salon in Denton. Hair is a priority for Brack, not just a career — it’s a creative outlet. Brack, who is entering her 11th year as a cosmetologist

this month, had an interest in styling hair for many years before deciding to become a professional. Prior to becoming licensed, she considered mortuary work or something in the criminal justice field as career options.

Denton hairstylist Morgan Brack styles client Melody Morgan’s hair in her salon space at Debi Do’s. Morgan has been Brack’s client for eight years. Kara Dry

North Texas Daily @ntdaily @ntdaily


Located off Highland Street, this emergency pole is one of the safety measures UNT provides to students. Jacob Ostermann

“I have always been naturally good at styling hair and enjoyed it,” Brack said. “I finally got to a point where I was like, ‘I might as well go get licensed so I can do what I love and make a living from it,’ so that is what I did.” Expression through color Brack has used social media, particularly Instagram, as a toolas a way to showcase her work on clients. Many of these posts display styles with bright, bold colors that include green, pink and recently rainbow patterns. Hair coloring is a task that has the easy potential to go awry, but Brack has mastered it, thanks to her willingness to experiment, and has made it something she is recognized for. “With this line of work, you literally have the opportunity to create art on a new canvas every day,” Brack said. “With the bright colors and more vivid work, it was just a jump-right-in moment — no fear. I just did my research,



Denton asks for public input on new dog park pg 2 The city of Denton has allocated more than $400,000 for a new dog park. It will be finished by next fall, officials say.

Emergency poles aim to help prevent violence By Rebecca Najera @RebeccaNajera42 Sexual assault is an issue that has gained a lot of attention on college campuses in the last 10 years. According to a study by the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), 11.2 percent of all students experience some type of sexual assault nationwide. With the number of reported sexual assault cases at UNT having nearly doubled between

2015 and 2016, it is important for students to know what sources are available to them in case of emergencies, including the emergency poles placed around campus. According to that same RAINN study, the amount of sexual assaults on campus typically peaks within the fall semester. Students should be aware of the safety measures UNT takes to help reduce the amount of crimes that occur on




Bill DeBerry Funeral Directors provide sentimental funeral services pg 5 This family-owned and operated funeral service business has been in Denton since 1990, and they plan to stick around.

Monitoring kids in moderation gives them headway to flourish pg 7 Of course we have to monitor what content our kids are consuming — but can over-parenting be as detrimental as a lack of parenting?

NEWS Page 2

North Texas Daily Editorial Board Editor-in-Chief Alec Spicer @spicer_alec News Editor Parker Ward @parkerdfw Arts & Life Editor Kaitlin Pennell @k_itlinn Opinion Editor Rachel Herzer @coolrachdoritos Visuals Editor Kelsey Shoemaker @kelesmis

Production Team Design Editor Kelly Fox @kellythefox1 Designer/Copy Editor Kiera Geils @KieraGeils Designer/Copy Editor Parisa Nasiripour @risanasiri Senior Staff Illustrator Austin Banzon @Austinbanzon99

Business Director Adam Reese 940-565-4265

Faculty Adviser Randy Loftis 940-565-3495

To pitch a story or contact the Editor-in-Chief, please email

Trending on Twitter Omarosa

Omarosa Manigault, former director of communications for the Trump White House, allegedly recorded meetings with the president, according to the Daily Beast. Manigault is set to release a tellall book about the White House Aug. 14.


The Oscar’s governing board has announced changes to the 91st Academy Awards including a threehour broadcast and the introduction of a new award for outstanding achievement in popular film.

International Cat Day

Wednesday was international cat day, and Twitter users shared photos of their cats. International cat day was created by the International Fund for Animal Welfare.



UNT offering new class on the practical applications of blockchain technology By Devin Rardin @DevinRardin UNT is offering a new course this fall in an attempt to be ahead of the emerging technology blockchain — the backbone of cryptocurrencies. The class — BCIS 4980 for undergraduate students and BCIS 5900 for graduate students — will run from Aug. 13 to Dec. 13. It takes place on Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 9:20 p.m. and will be taught at the UNT Frisco campus and broadcast to students at the Denton campus. The course will cost students $1,899. Blockchain is a database that allows for mathematical verification to keep track of the different entries in the system of records. The class looks to teach students how blockchain works and how to implement it in future enterprises. “There is a high potential for this ushering in a new economy much like the public internet ushered in a new economy,” course instructor Cijoy Olickal said. “UNT being at the forefront of it is pretty exciting.” The cryptocurrency market saw significant growth in 2017 and 2018. Systems like Bitcoin allowed people to utilize digital currency independently from a bank by using their computer to complete various algorithms or blockchains. The value of cryptocurrency rose from $11 billion to $300 billion in 2017, according to Forbes.   Olickal said society always relied on a banker to hold value on someone’s behalf and an accountant to be a bookkeeper. Meaning that cryptocurrency, unlike more traditional forms of currency, does not need to be centralized through banks. “The implementation of bitcoin is the first time that’s been a unified system where money has become

Top: Bitcoin has become a major talking point among financial experts. Right: UNT Professor Cijoy Olickal’s new blockchain class aims to teach students the practical applications of blockchain. Courtesy programmable, which means you can put logic and money together,” Olickal said. Cryptocurrency became a big talking point last December, when the most popular form of it, bitcoin, reached a value of $19,000 per one bitcoin, causing UNT to want to offer a class on the technology behind bitcoin. Business junior Daisy Hem said the blockchain course adds to the numerous classes at UNT and can be relevant for the right job. “UNT has a lot of random courses,” Hems said. “Every time I register for classes, there is always something different I haven’t heard of in my life. It would be a good skill to have if you get a job where it’s relevant.” Olickal said students can use the knowledge from the class to enhance a company they enter into or create new

business models. “I hope it gives them enough of an understanding of the concept for them to create a new enterprise or build a new organization around that technology,” Olickal said. Jonathon Fite, president of UNT’s professional development institute, said that along with seniors and graduate students, industry professionals can join the class if they want to learn more about the emerging technology. “It will give [students and professionals] a specific certification on an emerging technology platform that many people in the industry don’t have,” Fite said. “It puts them ahead of the class by giving them exposure to an emerging technology.” Olickal said UNT is the first university in the region to offer a substantial course on blockchain even

though Stanford and MIT have courses that offer information on minor components of the system. He encouraged different types of students to take the class because a better mix of students will help with a better understanding of the technology. “I’m excited that UNT is doing this,” Olickal said. “We are ahead of everybody in the Midwest, and I encourage people of all different backgrounds to join.”

Experts think climate change may be responsible for record-breaking heat wave that hit North Texas By Vanessa McTillmon @vanessa_marie96 Temperatures over 100 degrees continue to be a possibility in North Texas and all around the state for the rest of the summer. And if such days do come, they will join the other almost two dozen that have reigned over North Texas thus far. This includes the weeklong heat wave that occurred last month with temperatures above 105 degrees. “When those temperatures get up over 106 degrees, that is unusual,” meteorology and climatology professor Kent McGregor said. “You have to go back to the horrible summer of 2011 to find those kinds of temperatures. Putting it differently, it’s been about six or seven years now since we’ve had four or five days in a row of the kind of temperatures we had [last month].” The summer of 2011 continues to be of one the hottest Texas summers since 1980 with 71 consecutive days of temperatures over 100 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. The question of why these high-temperature heat waves seem to come back every so often has yet to be fully answered. However, some studies do indicate factors such as global

warming might play a role in these events, Texas State University professor Richard Dixon said. “The climate models predict, in an overall warming world, heat waves will become more frequent and more longlasting,” Dixon said. “So, if you think about the climate model as an experiment that poses a question, then we’re seeing the answer that was posed from that climate model.” Global warming is not the only scientific topic that has been introduced to explain increased temperatures and heat waves over the last few decades. Climate change, which has been a topic of discussion in both the scientific and political world, is another occurrence that has been invited into the conversation. Scientists believe climate change to be an event that has been occurring over the last century due to hazardous toxins and activity produced by humans. These hazardous elements are believed to have been the cause of numerous changes to the world’s original composition. While scientists continue to study to gather evidence of climate change, the recent heat wave will have to remain off their list of evidence for

quite a while, McGregor said. “I don’t believe that what we’ve seen is necessarily evidence of climate change.,” McGregor said, “However, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that global warming is real and climate change is occurring. But you can’t take every unusual weather event that happens and say that’s proof of climate change because it’s not necessarily.” Dixon agrees that the recent heat waves cannot be directly related to climate change, though he does believe there may be a potential correlation between the two. “I suspect that based on the fact that this heat wave is

showing such a large special footprint, not only here in the U.S. but in many other parts of the northern hemisphere, attribution studies will show that a certain percentage of that excess heat is due to climate change,” Dixon said. Charles Jackson, a research scientist at the University of Texas at Austin, studies climate change and believes its effects are high level and will take time much time to fix. “The climate system is not something you change overnight,” Jackson said. “For our children and our children’s children, the decisions that we make today

affect them. Some of the best things we can do is be aware of how things are connected and try to leave a better world for our kids.” In the meantime, Jackson says we must invest in factors that will alleviate the biological and financial stress of heat waves we have endured. “Otherwise, we learn how to put up with the heat,” Jackson said. “For Texas, we have air conditioning, but what happens in other countries is that they have to invest in order to get through the heat waves, and that costs money and energy.”

On a record hot day, tiny chihuahua Lucy caught some high-index UV rays while surfing on a boogie board. In the summer heat, dog walkers are warned to avoid hot cement for fear it could burn their dog’s paw pads. Kara Dry

NEWS AROUND THE US Yosemite National Park shut down because of wildfires On Wednesday, the National Parks Service announced that Yosemite National Park will shut down indefinitely due to the threat of wildfires in the area. The closure is due to the Ferguson wildfire, which has already become the biggest wildfire in California’s history. The Mariposa Tourism Bureau told the San Francisco Chronicle that the county has already almost $300,000 in revenue for the summer.

Panel of judges deny new trial for Brock Turner

A California Appeals court has rejected Brock Turner’s appeal for a new trial. In 2016, Judge Aaron Persky made national headlines when he sentenced Brock Turner to six months for sexually assaulting an intoxicated woman outside an on-campus fraternity party. Turner filed the appeal claiming that his trial was not fair, however, the panel of three judges hearing his appeal said that there was “substantial evidence” to convict.

By Parker Ward

Denton Taco Cabana robbed The Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday that a man entered the Taco Cabana on West University Drive at 11:30 p.m. and waited until the restaurant had closed at midnight. Once the building was locked and the employees inside were finishing closing, the man pulled a gun on a female employee washing dishes and forced her to take him to the manager’s office where police say the man left with around $1000 in cash.

New York halts licenses for ride-sharing services

11-year-old girl tased by offduty Ohio police officer

New York City passed a set of bills Wednesday that will halt new licenses for ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft while they try to learn more about the industry. Also within the bills, was legislation that would allow for a minimum wage for drivers of these services which could be the beginning of government control for an industry that has been under intense scrutiny from government regulators.

Officials in Cincinatti are rethinking its use of force policy after an off-duty police officer doing side work as security at Kroger tased an 11-year-old girl because he suspected her of shoplifting on Monday. The event sparked national outrage when it was discovered that the department’s policy was to not tase a suspect actively evading arrest unless the lives of the officer or bystanders were at a severe risk.


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Students protest Bengali human rights By Devin Rardin @DevinRardin Nearly 20 UNT students involved in the Bangladesh Student Association stood in front of UNT’s main sign off North Texas Boulevard Sunday morning in protest for safer roads in Bangladesh and in support of the student protesters in the country. “As we are very far from our country, we still want to do our best to support them, and we hope they get justice,” student organization president Fahim Ibne Shams said. “We want safer roads so that everyone, every student and everybody in our country is safe.” Students in Bangladesh have been protesting poor road safety for the last week after a speeding bus ran into and killed two teenagers. More than 100 people were injured Saturday during a protest when a group of progovernment activists attacked the student protesters. Bangladesh police were also reported using rubber bullets and tear gas against the protesters. Utdal Kumer Dey, a UNT doctoral student and protestor, said Bangladesh needs international news coverage because many members of the Bangladesh press have been silenced regarding the issue. Many members of the Bangladesh news media have reported being beaten or molested while trying to cover the protests. Bangladesh authorities shut down mobile internet access in

different areas of the country in hopes of disorganizing the protesters. “They are supporting safer roads, but they are attacked by police and government,” doctoral student and protester Md Rasel Al Manun said. “We want the safety, and we want their success of this movement.” The 20 UNT students protested for an hour. They held signs saying “Stop state violence against school kids” and “We want justice.” Other signs were written in Bengali and featured the Bangladesh flag. “The students of universities in our country have also come to support [students in Bangladesh],” Kumer said. “It’s becoming huge day by day.”

Top: UNT students stood outside of the main sign on North Texas Boulevard Sunday in support of student protesters in Bangladesh. Emily Olkkola Left: Student protesters in Bangladesh were met with violence from progovernment advocates Saturday. Courtesy Bangladesh Student Association

Denton finalizing plans to open new dog park this fall By Devin Rardin @DevinRardin

A code blue emergency phone connects users to the UNT police department by pressing a button. These phones help keep students safe by providing a way to call for help in a dangerous situation. Jacob Ostermann

UNT aims to assist, aid students with emergency phone lines across campus SAFETY CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 campus and help victims. “We currently have around 69 emergency phones on the main campus and another five at the Discovery Park campus,” said John Hester, Discovery Park police services supervisor, via email. These emergency phones are located on tall, green poles, known as Code Blue, and are topped with a blue emergency light. “These emergency phones connect the caller with our police dispatch center with the press of a button,” Hester said. “Users can use them for an emergency, but also anytime they need police services — such as a security escort after hours, to report unsafe conditions, needing a jump start for a dead battery, etc.” These poles are strategically placed around campus, including but not limited to areas near residence halls and recreational centers, and are tested monthly by the university’s alarm services coordinator. The poles can be used for non-emergency situations, however improper use is illegal. “They’re only useful if people know their location, so you should take note of where they are, at least the ones nearby the buildings you frequent,” integrative studies senior Jastinee Xiong said. “You never know when you might need to use one, if ever. At the very

least, save the UNT Police’s phone number to your contacts.” Though she’s never felt unsafe on campus, even at night, Xiong feels that the poles can possibly be of better use when compared to cellphones in emergency situations. “They can be faster than dialing the police since you have to dial for the UNT Police instead of 911, which will take you to the Denton police department instead,” Xiong said. “Plus, they won’t have to trace where you’re located since it’s a designated police post, so there’s less time wasted on asking for your location to get a dispatcher to you.” Echoing Xiong, Hester also noted that the emergency poles are user friendly. “To use them you simply press the red button,” he said. “This [activates] the phone and dials the dispatch center, also causing the blue light on top to strobe.” Integrative studies senior Lizzy Fisher believes incorporating information about the emergency poles would be a valuable step in ensuring students’ safety on campus. “Honestly, I kind of forgot that we [had them] on campus,” Fisher said. “I can’t even picture where one is. I believe they are important to have, but I think they’re ineffective if people don’t know where they are or realize what their purpose is.”

If there were to be a communication issue when trying to use one of the poles, such as a microphone not working, an officer is sent to check on the reason for activation. For those unfamiliar with the location of where one of these may be, a map can be found online. “There have been plenty of times where I’ve had to walk across campus at some ungodly hour [and] usually I would feel pretty safe,” Fisher said. “There have been a couple of times where I did feel unsafe, but I never really thought about the fact that if I needed it, there are those emergency poles.” According to UNT’s 2017 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, there was one statutory rape case, eight fondling incidents and 13 rapes that occured on campus in 2016. An additional 12 rapes occurred in residential facilities and one occurred on university public property. The university has multiple services available for those needing to report a crime. Students can contact the Dean of Students office, Title IX Coordinators, the UNT Police Department or file a report online. Following the reporting of a crime, UNT has a response plan to help ensure the safety of the complainant.

Denton dog owners have one option when it comes to dog parks — Wiggly Field in south Denton. That will change next fall when the city finishes a second dog park, which looks to serve residents on the north side of Denton. The dog park will be located at North Lakes Park adjacent to the Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center. “We’ve had requests for a northern dog park,” said Gary Packan, director of Denton Parks and Recreation. “To accommodate current needs as well as future needs, this will fit well into the geographic location of our dog parks. It’s a service for our residents.” The city is budgeting $600,000 for the creation of the new park and has, so far, allocated $411,538 for the project. The park’s initial designs were created in May 2018, and they will go through public input sessions during the months of August and September. Construction for the park is planned to start this winter. Early designs include four play areas with an outer space theme. The center will be decorated with paintings of different planets while each four play areas will be themed around a different constellation. Initial diagrams also plan for 70 plus parking spots and include an educational aspect, which has yet to be revealed. The agenda information sheet for the parks and recreation beautification board meeting mentions that the economic development and the public art committees will be consulted when constructing the park.  “The inclusion of art into park facilities is important to add history and culture into public spaces to enhance education as well as improve beautification of the community.” Northern Denton residents never had a close location to take their dogs, and the new park looks to mitigate that issue. The new

park could also relieve some of the strain on the Wiggly Field park, which is in Lake Forest Park. “It’s a great benefit,” said Paul O’Neill, animal services supervisor at the Linda McNatt adoption center. “I know the Wiggly Field dog park is a popular place and heavily used. Hopefully, it will ease some of the burden that dog park faces but also allow people on this side of town easier access to a dog park.” Communications, marketing and merchandising senior Noelle Franklin said many UNT students have pets so a dog park close to campus will be helpful. She is the president of The Paw Project, a student organization that volunteers with local shelters and animal rescue projects. “It’s really great, especially since a lot of students have dogs,” Franklin said. “I hope they put proper care into it to make it really great.” Packan said the dog park’s location next to the adoption center was strategic because the two can work hand in hand. “There are some great opportunities to work directly with them for the adoption of dogs,” Packan said. “We thought it was a great compliment to what they already do at the adoption center” O’Neill, who works at the adoption center, envisioned volunteers taking dogs to the park for exercise and dog park users taking a detour at the adoption center. “We’ll also be able to expand our volunteer program a little bit and let volunteers take dogs to the park to get them some exercise and hopefully use them as walking billboards,” O’Neill said. Denton parks and recreation representatives are looking for public input with the hopes that numerous people are involved in the design process. A public input meeting is scheduled at 7 p.m. on Aug. 16 at the North Lakes Recreation Center.

The city of Denton plans to open a second dog park on the north side of Denton near the Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center. File

ARTS & LIFE Page 4



Manifest Destiny’s Child delivers sugar and spice Being part of a band is a serious commitment. Rehearsals, gigs, writing music and even simply agreeing on all of those things is a considerable investment of time. For Carol Gonzalez and Sabrina Tionloc of Manifest Destiny’s Child, these things come naturally, and they have their years-long friendship to thank for it. That friendship is the foundation of the band and is the force that helps keep it going. Frisco natives Gonzalez and Tionloc, both 19, met in elementary school but became close friends during their freshman year of high school. As their friendship grew, music entered the equation. “I started playing guitar, and I really liked it,” Gonzalez said. “Then I got Sabrina to start playing the guitar.” The duo approach music not as something serious and regimented, but rather as something fun that was made even more enjoyable doing together. For the most part, they don’t have scheduled practice times and instead choose to play by ear. “We definitely always practice the day of a show,” Gonzalez said. “The morning before, we always practice that morning. And then usually maybe a couple days before, something like that.” Though they are the core of Manifest Destiny’s Child, Gonzalez and Tionloc also include a rotating lineup of drummers. “We have a lot of different friends and people we know that play the drums, and they know our situation, so they’ll just offer themselves to play drums,” Gonzalez said. “We want to play with as many drummers we can. Everyone plays a little differently, so it is cool to see them play our songs differently. It spices things up.” One of those drummers is recent UNT graduate Kaylin Martinez, 22. Martinez, a drummer for about 12 years, is inspired by the band’s performances whether she is on stage with them or in the crowd. “I finally got to see them play without playing with them this past week,” Martinez said. “As a friend, it was such a proud feeling. Playing with them, it is like we are one unit. We mesh really well together — we know where each person is going to go next. There is this trust that occurs when we play together, which is really special.” Martinez describes their style as eclectic and mature, admiring the talent they have at their young ages. “When Carol plays, she goes to another place,” Martinez said. “They are both so sweet, but then they just elevate to [these] whole different people when they perform, and it’s really cool. Their performance style is very powerful.”

The girls’ quirky moniker is courtesy of a mixture of Tionloc’s cousin and chance. “My cousin had this list of band names and they’re [all] comedic,” Tionloc said. “I was scrolling through it and he had one that said, ‘Manifest Destiny’s Child.’ I just thought it was really funny, so we used it as a filler name for a bit but then ended up sticking to it. It grew on us.” The essence of the band’s name complements its musical style as well. Initially influenced by bands such as Warpaint and Deerhoof, Manifest Destiny’s Child’s sound expanded during its formative years and is now inspired by a variety of different bands. “We don’t really aim for a genre,” Tionloc said. “People like to describe us as punk, girly, riot girl.” Manifest Destiny’s Child’s 2016 EP “Raspberry Kamikaze” features songs that show off the frantic energy and mellow grooves the members have used to cultivate their own unique sound and a solid following. Jade Owens, 26, is a fan and friend of the band who is drawn to those very things. “My favorite thing about their band is their musical style,” Owens said. “It is pretty and unhinged.” Owens met the members of Manifest Destiny’s Child through the Denton music scene and has seen them perform a few times over the three years she has known them. “Their performances are deranged in the most elegant way,” Owens said. “One moment they are playing something thin and graceful, then suddenly they are screaming at the top of their lungs at you.” Creating dynamic songs is a process that occurs organically for the two. An idea for a new song may come about while Gonzalez and Tionloc are just hanging out. “Sometimes I will write something and bring it to Sabrina, or Sabrina will write something and bring it to me,” Gonzalez said. “We will just build off of each other like that. She will write the verse and then tell me to write the guitar part for the verse — it just kind of changes.” Manifest Destiny’s Child’s songs are heavily instrumental, which helps make each one a journey sonically. “Lyrics are actually always the last thing we write — it is the last thing we focus on,” Gonzalez said. “We always focus on the music more than we do on vocals because we don’t really have a singer — we just sing between us. Our instruments are more important than vocals are.” As a result, the band’s lyrics serve as more of an enhancement to the songs, and the content can vary. “Sometimes they will just be jams, and then we will shout random things,” Tionloc said. “In the end, we are conveying something, but the way we go about it can be not very organized.”

Finding an identity Some say a ground rule for bands is that they must have an interesting name. If not, they risk being forgotten or mistaken for another band. But “Manifest Destiny’s Child” is one that is hard to forget.

Girl power Manifest Destiny’s Child is one of the few local bands comprised of two main female members. Being a female presence in any male-dominated scene has the potential for adversity, but Gonzalez and Tionloc have experienced an atmosphere of

By Nikki Johnson-Bolden @nikkinikxo

Top: Manifest Destiny’s Child during their set at Dan’s Silver Leaf in Denton. The band’s lineup consisted of Carol Gonzalez (left), Lucas Martins (middle) and Sabrina Tionloc (right). Bottom Left: Carol Gonzalez (left) and Sabrina Tionloc (right) of Manifest Destiny’s Child. Bottom Right: The band’s setlist sits on top of a cymbal in the green room of Dan’s Silver Leaf. Photos by Jacob Ostermann equality in Denton. “Everyone was accepting about it,” Tionloc said. “Denton is cool — everyone is chill like that.” Having all female members has helped characterize the band but it has never been used as a mandated part of their identity. “When we first started out, our other band member was a girl, too, so that was kind of our thing — we kind of played on that,” Gonzalez said. “Everyone loved it.” Tionloc said being an all-girl group wasn’t something that was forced. “It was never something that we had to have [or] something we had to do — it just happened that way,” Tionloc said. The band has not encountered the usual conflict

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that comes with working so closely with another person. Besides some apprehension from parents when they first started out, things have been smooth sailing for Manifest Destiny’s Child. “We have been on the same page,” Tionloc said. “It is just a level of understanding. The importance of the relationship aside from the band helps.” Tionloc and Gonzalez are optimistic about the bands’ future, which includes playing shows in Austin due to Gonzalez’s transfer to the University of Texas at Austin. But even though they will be slightly separated between cities, Manifest Destiny’s Child will continue because of the strength of their friendship. “We are just best friends doing what we love together,” Gonzalez said.

Taekwondo athlete wins gold, silver in England ATHLETE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 to compete and win more medals for Team USA, and represent UNT globally as well.” Preparing for the world stage In order to train for the competition in England, Deaton trained every day she possibly could. However, Deaton recalls the spring semester being one of the hardest semesters she’s ever had to face, with having to balance the additional stress of school. “Once school got out though, I went every day I possibly could,” Deaton said. “We have classes every day from Monday through Thursday, and on the weekends I work.” Deaton trains at Plano Sports Authority Martial Arts, located in Plano off Preston Meadow Drive. The drive is nearly an hour each way, and she goes almost seven days a week. Her hard work and dedication pay off though, clearly evident in the numerous medals she brings home from every competition. Past competitions have brought her to Florida, Italy and England. This coming fall entails competitions in Arkansas and Louisiana, and perhaps even a trip to Croatia. Deaton is a busy athlete, but she also makes time for her partner-incrime and boyfriend of one year and seven months, Sean McMenamin. McMenamin also trains in taekwondo. He was able to travel to England for his first competition to compete with Deaton. The two didn’t meet through their sport, however. “We actually met at a trivia [game night],” Deaton said. The couple enjoys traveling

together and having a competitive aspect in their relationship. “Ex-girlfriends have always been touchy and sensitive when I’ve been competitive, but Corbin is not like that,” McMenamin said. “Especially since she’s a lot better than me at taekwondo, it’s a lot of fun. I like her a lot.” Although their extensive competitions have brought them to many places around the world, the financial costs have always been a difficulty for Deaton and McMenamin. No one funds them and every expense is out-of-pocket, so Deaton is always seeking out sponsorships to enable her to continue representing Team USA. “I did get an academic award from the kinesiology department, which helped a lot,” Deaton said. “But it’s all off fundraising.” Deaton said the lack of funding has been difficult to stay on par with her competitors from other countries because of the funding available for them. “They’re able to travel around more, and they don’t have to work,” Deaton said. “Literally, their job is to train.” Teaching on the horizon In regards to her future with martial arts, Deaton is considering the possibility of opening up a school someday. Deaton currently runs a class on Saturdays and is using that to see if having a school is something she wants to do for the rest of her life. But the bottom line for her is to never stop taekwondo completely. “I always want to stay consistent, even if it’s just helping out at a school or with classes,” Deaton said. “I never want to stop taekwondo.”


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DeBerry family is Denton’s support system in life, death By Claire Lin @claire_grace_ Bill DeBerry Funeral Directors, a funeral home and crematorium, is situated unassumingly on the busy street of West University drive in Denton. Established in 1990, the business has been offering its unique services to the community for 28 years. Founder Bill DeBerry Sr., who passed away in 2016, created his business with his son Bill DeBerry Jr. after realizing there was a need in the community for a funeral service that truly cared about the emotional and financial needs of their customers. The DeBerrys had previously worked together at a funeral home but became disenchanted with the way the business was being operated. It was profit-driven, and while the DeBerrys understood the need to make a living, they said they wanted their work and their services to be people-driven. “We decided it was time for us to step out on our own,” DeBerry Jr., 55, said. “We want everyone to be able to have an affordable service.” Typically, cremation costs can run up to $1,895. For a traditional funeral service, that can cost anywhere between $5,500 and $8,500. Funerals are expensive, so it makes difference to a grieving family to be able to honor their loved one’s last moments while not breaking the bank. There are currently three funeral homes in Denton. Two out of the three are family-owned and the other is owned by a group. “There is a lot of consolidation in the funeral home industry with big businesses buying up all the familyowned firms,” DeBerry Jr. said. “We are fighting the corporate trend and trying to stay family-owned so that people aren’t treated like a number when they come through, but are treated personally.”

Bill DeBerry Jr.’s official title now is the general manager and funeral director/mortician. He took over after his father and said he takes great pride in continuing his father’s legacy, as do the rest of the staff. “Bill [Sr.] was a good guy,” receptionist and biographical clerk Mayra Calderon, 44, said. “He was well-respected by everyone in the community.” DeBerry Jr. works with his younger brother Andrew DeBerry, 50, who is another funeral director and family counselor. Andrew’s son, Justin DeBerry, also works there as a funeral director assistant. He is currently attending the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service to earn his degree as an official mortician, the same path DeBerry Jr. took. There are only three mortician schools in all of Texas, a small number for how large the state is. The other two are located in Houston and San Antonio. It takes 18 months of schooling to graduate with a degree to become a mortician, but many of those classes are the same classes that people take in nursing and other medical pathways. A great amount of information is fed into mortician school students before they take their comprehensive examinations. The heavy work of a mortician doesn’t stop there, as hours of work are put in to preparing each person for their funeral services and ceremonies. “You’re looking at about eight to 10 man hours,” DeBerry Jr. said. “Not all of it can be done in one day. We have to have meetings with the family, and they have to choose the hairdresser and bring the clothes. It’s a process.” According to DeBerry Jr., the hardest part of the job is trying to schedule the funeral when somebody wants it. “We usually have to coordinate with the church of their preference and their minister of choice, and if we

Bill DeBerry Jr. (left) and his brother Andrew DeBerry (right) run DeBerry Funeral Directors together. They continued in the family business after their fathers death in 2016. Anna Engelland have other funerals happening that day, we have to consider that as well,” DeBerry Jr. said. But no matter the difficulties, the DeBerrys said they have no desire to sell or retire the business. They would like to keep the business in the family for as long as they can through Justin DeBerry as he finishes up mortuary school, and beyond that. “I think he [Justin] is doing it because of my dad [DeBerry Sr.],” Andrew said. “It’s like being a mamma’s boy, except he was a grand-daddy’s boy. They were like two peas in a pod.”

In a service and industry that many people would shy away from, the DeBerry family has faithfully served the Denton community. They said they love what they do, and the community shares many sentiments on the business’s social media pages. “The most rewarding part of the job is after the service,” DeBerry Jr. said. “The spouse, husband or wife will shake my hand or hug me, and say, ‘Thank you. You made this easy for me.’ That’s the most rewarding part.”

West Oak Coffee Bar hosts inaugural monthly community game night By Shane Monaco @ShaneMonaco1 Three regulars of the Square’s West Oak Coffee Bar huddled around a roughly 5 foot tall Scrabble board, planning their next moves. While busy for a Tuesday night in summer, only some are here for the shop’s inaugural monthly game night. “The reason that [West Oak] exists is to be an environment that fosters

relationships and where a community can grow and kind of blossom,” said Josh Piers, the general manager of West Oak Coffee Bar. “I really like games, and I have a lot of games at home, from Settlers of Catan to Betrayal at House on the Hill. Games are a great way for people to get together and get really excited about something that doesn’t matter a whole lot but builds friendship. So, as we talked about ideas for how we could engage our community, and because I like to play games when we

At West Oak Coffee Shop’s game night, Leonardo Acosta plays a game of giant Scrabble. Kara Dry

are not here, it was an easy decision for me to say we should have a game night.” West Oak’s game night was mainly advertised through its Facebook page and is slated to be hosted on the first Tuesday of every month. Participants can bring their own games and enjoy happy hour prices on drinks. In addition to trying to fill up an otherwise slower weekday, West Oak’s goal for the event was to foster more of a sense of community where people could join in on stranger’s games and bond over a mutual love of games and gaming. While other places in the Denton area that offer similar game nights provide their own games for attendees to use, West Oak instead decided to ask participants to bring their own games. This move was made in order to ensure that those coming to play these games were able to gain the full enjoyment out of them. In the end, the only game that was provided by West Oak was a lifesize Scrabble board propped up with two-sided tape near the entrance of the coffee shop with a pile of letters next to it. “I think that people would [come participate] if they knew about it,” said James Evanowski, a frequent customer at West Oak. “The giant Scrabble

board is a good advertisement, but it should probably say that is [every first] Tuesday. I never really see much advertised here — just one or two events in the past year.” While the event was advertised on Facebook, some very frequent regulars to the coffee shop were caught off guard by the sudden event because they said they had not heard of the event, despite coming to the shop so often as to know most of the baristas by name. The participants such as Evanowski, who only found out about the event after being told that they were participating in it, were still supportive of the event and only wished that they had known about it earlier. Evanowski and his two friends, who had come not knowing of the event, ended up staying for the duration and left with a new interest in this event they now know about. “Honestly, even if it was game night, that isn’t something that would make me want to come,” said Leonardo Acosta, a recent UNT graduate and frequenter of West Oak. “But now that I am actively participating, I could see myself wanting to do this. I think people would be reluctant to play with others if [people] started bringing their own games. I think it would have been more

Hairdresser encourages individuality in haircuts HAIR CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 educated myself on the steps it takes to achieve these looks and [did] it.” Brack said she gets inspired for new styles and colors by her surroundings. “I can look at the color scheme of any object and draw out some sort of inspiration from it, but I would say I get most of my inspiration from nature and all its beautiful colors and from the cinema,” Brack said. “I love watching movies and being inspired by their hair and wardrobe, and I love being able to integrate that into everyday life.” The adventurous approach to her clients’ hair extends to her own. “I started experimenting on my hair back when I was in middle school, probably around eighth grade,” Brack said. “But the real fun didn’t start until I was an educated, licensed stylist 11 years ago. [Since then] I have had every color under the rainbow because — why not?” Brack believes that the way a person’s hair looks should be their decision and that they should wear whatever style they want, regardless of others’ perceptions. “Look, no one should ever tell you what works for you or not,” Brack said. “They can give their opinions, but in the end, it is up to you. If you want to rock a certain color, cut or style, that is on you. If you want green, wear it green.” Having her hair a copper-orange color in the past was an impactful choice that was inspired by one of her sons. “My oldest son is a natural redhead and one day he asked me, ‘Mom, can you color my hair brown like everyone else?’” Brack said. “[He said], ‘Everyone else in the family has brown hair, and I want to match y’all.’ The next day when he was at school, I transformed my hair to match my son’s so he would not feel left out. It’s moments like that that make you realize that what you do is important.” The style she currently has — dreads featuring green and blue on the ends — is all about ease. “I am all about that hippie wash-and-go look,” Brack said. “My style is forever changing, and I just let my hair change with it.” Hair brings connections Years of appointments with loyal clients have brought about friendships for Brack. “My clients are really like family to me,” Brack said. “I have known some of my clients for 11 years and some longer that knew me before I was licensed.” The relationship between a stylist and a client is one that requires mutual trust. Having a person cut and style hair can be an intimate experience for some, which Brack recognizes and embraces. “I am the type of stylist that will bend over backward for my clients and make them feel like my chair is a safe place,” Brack said. “They can always tell me anything with no judgment passed while they sit in my chair. My clients are an extension of the ones I love and care for.” She encourages her clients to take advantage of the options available that allow them to change their hair up. “I always tell my clients, ‘You are never too old, young or fill-in-the-blank to wear the hair you want to wear,’” Brack said. “Be confident. Own it. Life is

too short to have boring hair.” One of her clients Lindsey Ebert, 36, has been going to Brack for about five years and enjoys Brack’s skill level when dealing with color. “A friend of mine recommended her to me because I have been getting bright, unconventional colors in my hair for a long time, and it has been hard for me to find someone who knows how to do it,” Ebert said. “I think she is fabulous. She does it faster than anyone I have ever known. She understands color theory really well. I love the fact that she is up-to-date with her industry, and the fact that she went and got her barber license is super cool.” Ebert and Brack collaborate on how her hair will look, and oftentimes Brack will find a look tailored specifically to Ebert. “She will send me photographs of different color ideas that she has seen or just a photograph of something that inspires her to do something different,” Ebert said. “I’m really easy to work with — I just show up, and if I have an idea of a color range to stay in, I will tell her. If not, I just kind of let her do her thing.” Another client, Amy Carlisle, 32, has been going to Brack for three years now. “I think her and I have done my hair every color of the rainbow, and I bet probably made up some of our own,” Carlisle said. She appreciates the care that Brack has for her clients, as far as giving them a style that complements them. “She can make you feel beautiful without feeling like you have to make a drastic change,” Carlisle said. “She is able to look at a single person and take what they want and make it into something that is going to work for them.” Behind the business Although being a hairstylist is a job that allows for artistry, it is still an industry that requires dedication and work outside the salon. “Honestly a typical work day for me starts very early, taking my first client at [around] 8 [or] 8:30 a.m., going nonstop, fast-pace with very few breaks,” Brack said. “I usually work through my lunch. I find time to eat while a client is processing. I work back-to-back appointments until about 7 in the evening. This goes on for five to six days a week, but work does not stop at the shop. I come home and consult with clients, return emails and work on my social media platforms, too.” In addition to cosmetology, Brack has ventured into the barbering industry and has been a licensed barber for two years. This addition to her certification required additional hours of schooling. “Many people do not realize that a barber and a cosmetologist are not the same thing,” Brack said. “The only difference between the two is that a licensed barber can use a straight razor blade, and a licensed cosmetologist cannot. I decided that I wanted to further my education and become certified in using the straight razor and become dual-licensed.” Coming into the barber industry as a woman showed Brack that there was a gap in the number of female barbers, as well as cosmetologists, who can perform both skills. “There are very few women in the barber industry, and I wanted to help uplift women in that field and be able to take on an extra skill,” Brack said. “I love that I can now offer more services to both my male and female

beneficial if West Oak had more games themselves, like communal games. I know those games are hard to keep track of, but stuff like the giant scrabble board really helps a lot. Game night for West Oak was not only a new event for the local business, but it was also an event that did not fall into the more regular genre of events, such as musical showcases. Though West Oak does try to host events its owners think are unique and that their community would enjoy, their end goal is to sell well-made and ethically sourced coffee. While the shop sells more than coffee, it is their meticulous and thorough vetting of coffee suppliers that sets the coffee side of their business apart from the rest. Piers admits that the prices at West Oak can be higher than some other coffee places around town, but also said customers can have peace of mind that the higher prices of coffee help support businesses that pay fair wages for their harvesters. The game night at West Oak might not have been successful this month, but Piers is still viewing this event as a learning experience to find ways the company can better adapt it for the future.

clients. For me, it is always about continuously educating yourself and always wanting to grow with your industry.” As a mother of two, Brack finds that it is necessary to balance life at the salon and her personal life. “Really [it] is an everyday battle for me,” Brack said. “[It’s] knowing when to just put down my tools and come home and be with my boys and be present in the moment.” Getting to the place she is in now has been a journey that needed both passion and commitment, she said. “This industry is an industry [where] you start low and you build yourself up,” Brack said. “It takes time, money, patience and growing connections with people to bring them in to trust you. Building relationships with clients takes time, but that is what gets your referral business going. It is not going to happen overnight, and these relationships are time-consuming — sometimes you have to work late and stay late to please a client, but it pays off.” She is experiencing that pay-off now by being able to have flexibility at work. “I’m to the point in my business [that] I can pick and choose and make my own schedule and work when I want,” Brack said. “It wasn’t always like that — it’s taken 11 years of growing.” Brack delivers a message of self-confidence and acceptance that starts with hair and extends to every part of a person. “I tell people, ‘Your hair is your crown, you wear it every day,’” Brack said. “It is one of the first things people notice about you, and you should be proud of it — love it and take care of it. Your hair should make you feel confident on both the inside and out. If your hair looks good, you feel good.”

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‘Mission Impossible: Fallout’ is a deceptively clever sequel

By Zack Helms @NTDailyZack For 22 years, Tom Cruise has been headlining the “Mission Impossible” films. With six now to his name, one wonders whether or not the franchise, as well as Cruise, has run its course with the given material. While the franchise has never been below decent in any of its outings, they’ve always come off like an American-made, poor man’s James Bond series of films. And while this is glaringly obvious, Cruise has dedicated time and faith in the franchise to distinguish itself from its inspirations.

Zack’s rating:  “Mission Impossible: Fallout” This is no less a present mentality in the latest outing, “Mission Impossible: Fallout.” “Fallout” carries on unfinished plot threads that were present in the previous film, “Rogue Nation,” in which Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), a former MI6 agent gone-rogue, infiltrates government organizations and wreaks terrorist havoc on the

world by converting agents to his cause. Here, Lane is back at it and plans on detonating two nuclear bombs in western Asia. After Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) dismantles the rogue nation, a few remaining terrorists remain under the name “The Apostles” and continue their goal toward a government-less anarchy, believing it’s the governmental systems that are to blame for the self-destructive nature of mankind. “Fallout” is without a doubt the sleekest, most competently produced film in the franchise to date. Furthermore, it’s darker and more imposing than any of its inspirations as well. While the plot is not wholly original — considering this is essentially the same kind of plot as the the second, fourth and fifth films — it still has enough of its own DNA to feel original. It continues plot threads from previous films, but scene-to-scene, it’s a visual treat, the action is stunningly above most summer block busters and the moral limits of Cruise’s Hunt are uncomfortably called into question expertly. The supporting cast also return from previous installments. Simon Pegg’s Benji, Rebecca Ferguson’s Ilsa, Ving Rhames’ Luther and even a surprise cameo from Michelle Monaghan’s Julia, who played Cruise’s wife in the third film, are all wellwritten, competently acted characters. I particularly enjoyed Henry Cavill’s Walker as one of the secondary antagonists. He and Cruise play extremely well off each other, and no screen time feels wasted between the

two of them. Cavill fits in the franchise well and is a worthy addition to the legacy of cast members. While it’s without a doubt an incredibly exhilarating ride, the film is mercilessly convoluted and riddled with plot twists that don’t pay off because of cheap misdirection. This is forgivable once or twice within a film, but here, “Fallout” uses this method as a crutch to make sense far too often, and I constantly felt like my suspense of disbelief was stretched a little too thin. The film is slightly too long, coming in at an astonishing two and a half hours long. This is to the films detriment because the third act loses its wicked smart and professionally methodical pace for an all-out sprint to save the world. While these final scenes are excellent, they battle with the tone and writing of the first two acts. The stakes are also extremely high, which is not inherently a bad thing, but it runs the risk of “jumping the shark” in its inevitable next film — not everything needs to be so massively high stakes. “Mission Impossible: Fallout” feels modern, from it’s stellar action to its modern rendition of the classic theme song. It’s well acted and feels different enough to feel like a benchmark in spy thrillers. It’s length and disjointed acts are a disappointment for sure, and the writing is needlessly filled with betrayals and cheap plot twists, but perhaps that is more indicative of the genre’s age and tropes rather than the script itself. Either way, I still managed to enjoy it from start to finish.

Courtesy “Mission Impossible: Fallout” Facebook

Courtesy Travis Scott Facebook

‘Father of the Year’ is comedy flop of the year

By Kaitlin Pennell @k_itlinnn The only thing good about David Spade’s latest role in “Father of the Year” was his wig – and even that was ratty.

Kaitlin’s rating:  “Father of the Year”

‘Astroworld’ leaves listeners with empty space

By Alexander Downs Contributing Writer Houston’s very own Travis Scott is back with “Astroworld,” a new 17-track album fans have been anxious for since his last fulllength album in 2016, “Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight.” After releasing 2017’s “Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho” EP with Quavo, “Astroworld” is Scott’s first solo project in a while, and the result is nothing less than exactly what he has produced throughout his career.

Alexander’s rating: ¼ “Astroworld” The album opens up with “STARGAZING,” a dreamscape filled with references of drug usage, which — paired with the dark, dreary instruments — gives listeners a vibe that leaves you feeling lost in the proverbial sauce. The best thing about this song is the beat transition halfway in. The change-up in beats and

lyrics leads you from Scott’s light, pondering thoughts and toward a darker realm deeper in his psyche — a recurring theme on the album. “SICKO MODE” follows soon after, and it’s my personal favorite on the album. The song features Drake and has ad-libs from Swae Lee, one half of Rae Sremmurd. “SICKO MODE” leads the listener down a path of anger, intent and cockiness — almost like the song itself has a chip on it’s shoulder. The instrumental of this song really makes it what it is. Without it, it’s just another Drake-twisted song you could throw in the pile of a thousand others, but there’s a special something with this track. This one has some real creative genius in it, and the Tay Keith beat on the second half also just adds to my liking of the song. A lot of the songs on this album fall flat for me, like “RIP SCREW,” “NO BYSTANDERS” and “WAKE UP.” These songs, both musically and lyrically, seem to either be the same typical Travis Scott sound that does not add up to the bigger picture or are songs that are just on the album to get a longer play time. While “RIP SCREW” has a sentimental value of paying homage to DJ Screw, one of the scene’s pioneers, “NO BYSTANDERS” is the kind of track where I could hit shuffle on anyone’s phone and find a much better track with the same intent. “WAKE UP” just sounds like a generic The Weeknd song with Travis Scott’s “it’s lit!” ad-lib plastered into it. For completely different reasons, two tracks really shocked me in this album: “NC17” featuring 21 Savage and “SKELETONS”

featuring and produced by Tame Impala (yes, Tame Impala as in that Australian indie psych rock band). 21 Savage really did not bring much to “NC-17,” and his pairing with Scott on this track tries too hard to imitate Drake’s singing-while-rapping style, which just ends up sounding like a seventh grade choir on the first day of school. Alternatively, “SKELETONS” is the most positively shocking track to listen to. The way Tame Impala adds its own unadulterated sound into a Travis Scott recording continues to amaze me, even after multiple listens. This album follows a few different themes that get extremely muddied up while listening to it. Scott goes back and forth between saying he lives two separate lives — one for his family and one for his friends — and the line he draws in this divide is blurry and inconsistent. In many tracks, he will talk about drug or weapon use, and then on the next he’ll talk about cleaning up his act to pursue the life he wants. Scotts paints the picture that the life he wants is on the opposite end of the spectrum from the life he needs, which is referenced on “ASTROTHUNDER,” an iconic track produced by John Mayer produced where he continues to talk about practicing what he preaches. With this album, I feel as if Travis tried his best to work on something new, both musically and lyrically. However it seems as if he fell back into his niche as the rapper who has the same cadence in 90 percent of his bars, as well as screaming “it’s lit!” after every single line.

“Father of the Year,” released exclusively by Netflix on July 20, is a coming-of-age comedy set somewhere in New England. The movie begins with Ben (played by Joey Bragg) and Larry (played by Matt Shively) going back to their childhood hometown after they’ve graduated from college. Ben landed a sweet-paying job in New York, and Larry planned to join along for the adventure, so their trip back home to see their families was meant to be a final farewell. After a drunken night at a local bar, the friends wage a bet over whose father would win in a fight. When word gets around to the fathers — Wayne (played by Spade) and Mardy (played by Nat Faxon) — chaos ensues, leaving Ben job-less. The biggest issue with this film is its predictable plot and flat, over-the-top jokes, which all fall back to the film’s poor writing. Without giving too much away, Wayne tries to get his son’s job back in New York after realizing he messed up, and I’m sure you can fill in the blank for what

happens next. For those who appreciate the Adam-Sandler-type comedy, this is the movie for you. For those who enjoy a more engaging type of comedy, steer clear of this flick. While some of the jokes did land, and I caught myself chuckling at some of the oneliners, the overwhelming majority of them did not, and those that did not were accompanied by multiple eye rolls. The comedy in this type of movie is more appropriate for young kids who will laugh at anything. Maybe this is a sign that I’m getting old and bitter, but the level of unfunny in this film is onpar with that of the new cast of “SNL.” In one of the final scenes of the movie, Spade is seen fumbling around an office trying to combat a bird he sees through a pair of VR goggles. At this point in the film, I was so tempted to go ahead and turn the movie off because my cringe levels were off the charts. But with only about 15 minutes left, I decided to power through it. The one thing working here for “Father of the Year” is the cast, who unexpectedly did well for the sub-par script they were given to work with. I’ve never seen Bragg in a film before, but he definitely pulled off his Michael Cera-esque character really well. Bridgit Mendler, most commonly known for her Disney channel work in “Lemonade Mouth” and “Good Luck Charlie,” made an appearance and played her door-next-girl role to a tee. Spade’s character ­— especially his accent ­ — could have used some work, but he generally sold me on the druk, white trash dad role. In the end, as with most other Netflix-sponsored flicks, I’m adding this to my list of movies not worth the watch.

Courtesy “Father of the Year” Facebook




Monitoring kids in moderation allows room to grow

By Spencer Kain @spencer_kain Over censoring is a nasty, unnecessary little beast. I firmly believe parents “over parent” their kids regarding the media they allow them to consume and don’t consider maybe their kids want to branch out and discover things on their own accord. Look, I’m not trying to tell you how to parent your own kids or anything, but if you were offended by the statement I just made, maybe ask yourself why you think it applies to you. Are you over-censoring your kids? If so, why? I completely understand the need to protect your kids from the violent, cruel outside world and the evils within, but overcensoring your kids on what they watch, play, read and do is not the answer to shielding them from harm. The bad things in the world are still going to be there no matter how closely you monitor

your children. Don’t just let your kids experience things for themselves, let them find things for themselves. Give them some freedom to explore what may interest them or what they already know interests them. Obviously there should be some restrictions in place — kids shouldn’t have total free reign. But if they find something new they think is interesting and it turns out they actually don’t like it as much as they thought, you know what? Good for them. At least they tried it and explored it for themselves. You never know, they may end up finding the thing they are most passionate about through this solo exploration. It happened with me. When I was seven years old, I was browsing Blockbuster with my dad (the good old days), and I stumbled upon a VHS copy of the 1984 classic “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” I always had an interest in horror movies even at such a young age, so I vehemently begged him to let me rent it because I had heard of Freddy Krueger at school and I wanted to watch the movie he was in. He was hesitant at first because he thought it might scare me too much, but after some incessant begging, he let me rent it with the warning that I’d better not get nightmares because of it. Needless to say, after watching the film, I had a newfound

Musicians experience the emotions they convey in their songs

Illustration by Austin Banzon

admiration not only for the horror genre, but for films in general. We returned to the Blockbuster the next day to give back “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” which then sparked my interest in renting the 1973 classic “The Exorcist.” My dad was very

hesitant about that one, but after more begging and the same warning from him, he let me rent it. Turns out “The Exorcist” added even more fuel to the fire of my admiration for horror and film. To this day, it remains my favorite film of all time.

If my dad would have sheltered me from those two movies, I do not think my passion for film would be as ferocious as it is today, nor do I think I would be in college pursuing a degree in that very field. What I’m really trying to say

here is if you let your kids explore potential and concrete interests, avoid over censoring them and really let them embrace these things on their own, they might just find an enriching passion that sticks with them for life.

How meditation can change your life

By Nicholas Stiltner @N30Nick By Patrick Cleath @oldshorts Circumstances always create hunger, and that is why it is sometimes tricky when fans want artists to top their past projects. People love to classify their favorite genre as “real music.” While this usually reflects an unnecessary sense of superiority over the taste of others, the thought process tells us something important. When we know in our hearts that something feels “real,” whether it be music, film or TV shows, it’s because it was communicating something we identify with. Consumers across the world have many cultural differences that constrain the ability to identify with the same things. So when an artist is able to reach more people than others, they are doing something valuable. In music, there are certain lines like “Chicken wings and fries, we don’t go on dates,” or “I love you like a fat kid loves cake,” that convey emotion as well as a reference so ubiquitously known they grab attention unlike any other. Unfortunately, not all lines are this blissfully ignorant. Many times lyrics end up uniting people who have experienced a similar sadness, an urge to escape from life and pain. Lyrics such as “In the end, it doesn’t even matter,” or “Everything that shines ain’t always gonna be gold,” were created by people who dealt with mental illnesses. The first comes from the lead singer of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, who committed suicide in 2017, and the second from Kid Cudi, who has openly addressed his problems with depression and addiction. When music inspired by dangerous circumstances reaches an audience that is more concerned about the music than the people behind it, an ignorant dialogue is created. They want Eminem to rap like he did when he was addicted to heroin, they want Tyler, the Creator to rap like he did when Australia banned him and they want Adele to make songs like she did after her tough breakup. I’m not going to lie, I liked Chance the Rapper’s music way more when he got suspended from high school and was doing the acid that inspired his first two projects, but he is a human being who had a child, found religion and became an activist. People need to remember that an artist is not just a brand that turns criticisms into decisions but are real people reading comments on a phone just like the rest of us. On the same note, there are many popular artists and entertainers who are encouraged when they make music or post online about doing hard drugs. Many internet rappers have advertised Xanax and codeine, which literally kill and injure their peers every day. Just recently Lil Peep, who rapped about drugs constantly, was killed when he unknowingly took a laced Xanax pill. Fredo Santana, a rapper who had a history of being hospitalized due to seizures from codeine, died in 2018 after continued use. If you have a friend that is dealing with alcoholism, you probably wouldn’t drink around them. People who have dedicated a large portion of their lives to creating art and entertaining you deserve the same respect. Everyone ends up wildin’ out in the comment sections every once in a while, so it’s nothing to be ashamed of. But in the case of artists, we really need to learn to appreciate the emotional and mental sacrifices they make for their art and hope for the best for them as people.

The mind needs fostering in the same way your muscles need practice or your talents need to be refined. If you never push your muscles past their limits, you will not become stronger, and the same goes for your mind. Just like muscles, the mind can be “worked out” and improved in many ways, one being meditation. There have been a few studies and plenty of individual stories about the positive effects of meditation, and I believe it is just as important — if not more so — as going to the gym and doing physical exercise. A study published in PubMed Central reported that the daily practice of mindfulness meditation increased people’s life satisfaction and reduced depressive symptoms based on the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. This theory is a model that attempts to explain the mechanisms behind positive emotions. Based on this model, it is hypothesized that positive emotions broaden the relationship between thought and action, making it possible to look past the automatic response our body gives us and aid in finding more creative and f lexible ways to solve our problems. The build part of the theory is a result of the foundation that the broaden half builds in our daily lives. If we consistently attempt to broaden our perspectives and see the positive side of situations, we become more open-minded and tolerant of alternate views, as well as becoming more mindful of ourselves and our lives. Meditation is starting to make its way into the business world as well. Practicing meditation allows for the development of a calm and pragmatic demeanor, perfect for stressful situations that come with a high-level business job. Alak Vasa, the founder of Elements Truff les, claimed that practicing meditation helped her keep panic and fear at bay during stressful situations

Illustration by Austin Banzon when she worked on the trade f loor at Goldman Sachs. CEO Jonathan Tang of VASTRM Fashion introduced meditation to his staff after 9/11 to help them process the traumatic experience and reach a state of calmness and acceptance. In the same Harvard Business Review, Peter Cooper, Founder of Cooper Investors, discusses the effects of meditation on the ability to focus. He claims meditation greatly helps him in selecting wise investment options due to his ability to focus on the important information provided and not get caught on

insignificant or unprofitable details. Personally, over the summer I have been taking the time to meditate and I can testify to the positive effects. I feel calmer, more level-headed and understanding in situations that I normally would panic in. I agree with Peter Cooper, it does help me sift through the unimportant information in my life, whether it be insecurities about myself or the distractions of day to day life. Meditation also helps me learn more about myself, which I believe to be an important part of growth and something we

should all dedicate time to. Whether you are working in the business field or just want to improve your focus, adding a meditation session to your daily routine can change your perspective in a positive way. All it takes is 10-15 minutes of meditation a day to begin to compound the broaden-andbuild effect, increasing positive thoughts and making life more satisfying. Sometimes you just have to take the time to sit down, breathe and think things through — meditation is the perfect way to do exactly that.


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Censorship of Alex Jones is not a free speech issue By The Editorial Board @ntdaily Known primarily for his conservative fringe media site, Infowars — that pushes such conspiracies such as “The Sandy Hook Hoax” — Alex Jones has come under fire recently for his repeated policy violations of social platforms. YouTube and Facebook have taken very small steps toward censoring content of his they find to be hate speech. In response to this, some argue this kind of censorship is too slippery of a slope: today they crack down on hate speech, tomorrow they outlaw certain words. But what this argument fails to recognize is the immense difference in government censorship and private sector censorship. Freedom of speech refers to the right of the American people to say whatever they want — free from government censorship. Private companies like YouTube reserve the right to censor the content on their own platforms and frankly, suggesting private entities should host any and all content ever created seems like a much more slippery slope than taking a stand against violence-

inciting speech. And Jones’ words have incited violence. “Pizzagate” was one of the many conspiracies covered heavily by Infowars that resulted in the direct targeting of the entities involved. A gunman entered a busy North Carolina pizza shop brandishing an AR15 rif le and a revolver with the intent to further “investigate” the conspiracy Jones raved so much about. No one was injured in this specific case, but this country is no stranger to needless murder at the hands of those motivated by misinformation and a gun. Fake news is a real phenomenon with real consequences. Huge, mediadisseminating social platforms like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook have a responsibility to their users and should take ownership when the content being shared on their sites have direct and negative outcomes. The onus was on these companies to come forward and squash dangerous, unsubstantiated, fabricated conspiracies being peddled as truths. What followed instead was a slap on the wrist. Facebook removed a few of

his videos and banned Jones’ personal account for 30 days, meaning other Infowars account administrators can still post on his behalf and he can still appear in the content. YouTube took down some of Jones’ videos as well as administered a “strike” against him, preventing the account from live streaming for 90 days. If the account receives two more strikes in this time period, YouTube will delete the account. Twitter made the decision not to curtail Jones’ online presence in any way. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey cited Jones had not violated any of Twitter’s policies, and furthermore implied it is up to journalists to “document, validate and refute” false information and allow the public to come to their own conclusions. Assigning the role of deescalating the effects and spread of fake news entirely to journalists is irresponsible. Misinformation is far too rampant and inf luential to pretend like the online platforms that facilitate it should play no role in its abatement. The CEO of one of the largest online social platforms has

essentially bowed out of taking any responsibility for the content allowed on his site. These f limsy, disappointing punishments should come as a surprise to us, but don’t. After all, at the end of the day, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are companies and companies strive for profits. Setting a precedent

and thoroughly banning the conspiracist altogether would discourage the content production of Jones’ supporters and others hoping to ride the fake news comet to fame. And where would YouTube be without conspiracy theory videos? Jones’ free speech is not being

hindered — these companies are just attempting to remove him from their property. Jones is well within his rights to rant about chemically-altered water allegedly turning frogs gay (yes, he really claims that) to the birds in his own backyard, if he so wishes.

Alex Jones. Courtesy Facebook

Regular people with addictions deserve the same support as celebrities The nature of addiction. The fame machine has allowed us to watch with anticipation, sometimes even with disturbing glee, as a celebrity begins their downward spiral. We see their suffering and call them “crackheads,” and we laugh when they attack paparazzi with

umbrellas or have Twitter meltdowns. Underneath these callous attitudes is the assumption that addiction is a choice — that people who have it all, much more than the rest of us, are making conscious choices to destroy their lives. Therefore, they don’t warrant our pity or our

By Maritza Ramos @maritzarara We have lost a lot of celebrities to drug or alcohol addiction — Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, Chris Farley and even further back we have the likes of Elvis Presley and Judy Garland. There’s a lot to be said about the environment that drives these individuals to misuse drugs when it seems like they have everything they could possibly need: fame, success, riches and more. But as we undergo this revolution in mental health dialogue and, hopefully, treatments for these illnesses, there is an aspect that has not been broached as responsibly or as humanely.

Illustration by Allison Shuckman

concern. In the past few years, these ideas have started to shift. Celebrities like Demi Lovato (who recently suffered a relapse), Eminem and Mac Miller have made it normal for celebrities to be open about their struggles with sobriety. It allows the public to see the real, multi-dimensional person behind the Hollywood glamour. Although this is good news, not everyone sees it as fully constructive. Some advocates for the humanization of those with addictions have expressed frustration that the public has become much more understanding of the plights of the wealthy and famous than of the people in their own neighborhood suffering from addiction. These advocates posit it is much easier to empathize with individuals who live the lives we fantasize about, who have more money than they can count and who the public deems as beautiful, talented and worth saving. This is true. Wealthy people and celebrities often get less prison time or none at all for drug offenses. But even with this knowledge, it’s beneficial to encourage these attitudes

of acceptance and support no matter the class or background of the person with the addiction. Of course we should draw attention to the classist double standard, but we shouldn’t use this as an opportunity to bash these celebrities for “having it all” and “choosing” to be addicted to drugs. If anything, celebrities’ sobriety struggles being hyper-visible is a great thing. On one end, it shows the regular public that fame and wealth do not always fix your life, and on the other, it shows those recovering that people at the top have similar problems and they’re not alone. Most importantly, a conversation has been initiated with the people who do not battle addiction. They are being educated and reminded of the struggles of those around them who deal with this disease, and hopefully it influences them enough to be more empathetic toward the people in their neighborhood who don’t have the same resources as Demi Lovato or Eminem. In this way, we can inspire regular people to reach out for help. Because famous or not, we all deserve kindness.

Fre e m o b i l e ti c k ets for UNT st u d ents at u nt Ti x . c o m

M ea n G r e e n S p o r t s . c o m @ M ea n G r e e n F B






North Texas Daily 8/9/2018  
North Texas Daily 8/9/2018