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What’s brown, sweet, and packed with tryptophan? Discover the science behind chocolate.

Les Misérables sings its way into the hearts of movie-goers.



VALENTINE’S DAY • 4 There’s no need to overspend to have fun on a date.



Scan this QR Code to check out past Vital Signs issues online!



Bravo Medical Magnet High School’s Locked Door Policy Takes Effect by Irene Harutyunyan & Vito Perez

The December 14, 2012 school shooting at Newtown, Connecticut has had citizens clamoring for stricter gun control policies and has prompted schools across the nation to adopt a “locked door policy” in the hopes of preventing yet another deadly incident. Bravo Medical Magnet High School has taken part in this precautionary security measure to further protect its students. In the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, a gunman entered campus, taking the lives of 20 children and 6 adults. Parents send their children to school on a daily basis, believing that their kids will be out of harm’s way. By no means would this unfortunate event have crossed any parent’s mind. Nationwide, the debate of arming teachers has authorities questioning whether this is the right path to take. Would a killer think twice about targeting a school whose administration has the right to shoot back? “We call 9-1-1 when we are in trouble, because we want someone with a gun to come and help,” says Virginia Assemblyman Bob Marshall. In response to this tragedy,

Photo Credit / Mary Boyadzhyan

Senator Dianne Feinstein has revealed a new bill to ban assaultstyle weapons on January 24, 2013. The bill effectively strengthens the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and various state bans by forbidding the sale, transfer, importation, or manufacturing of 120 specifically named firearms, including certain

February Calendar

A Night Through the Looking Glass

compiled by Karl Pascasio

by Anee Davtyan




Ticket Sales for Senior Picnic

Tue., Feb. 5 - Fri., Feb. 15 Nutrition & Lunch

Student Store

Valentine Gram Sales

Tue., Feb. 5 - Wed., Feb. 13 Nutrition & Lunch

1st Floor Lobby

Prom Court Informational Meeting

Thurs., Feb. 15 Lunch

Room 312

NO SCHOOL President’s Day

---Mon., Feb. 18

Senior Picnic

Science Fair

Tue., Feb. 26 - Thurs., Feb. 28

semiautomatic rifles, handguns, and shotguns. In spite of considerable support, according to Delaware Senator Ted Kaufman, passing the bill now is “going to be much more difficult than 1994” since only 46 out of the 435 members of the House of Representatives voted in favor of it. The White House has maintained its

support of the bill’s reinstatement of the Assault Weapons Ban. In clear opposition, the National Rifle Association (NRA) denounces such a bill asserting that it is an infringement of the right to bear arms as explicitly protected by the Second Amendment. Regardless, the need to manufacture, purchase, transfer, and possess any firearm will not wane anytime soon. In case of an emergency, each teacher has rehearsed a plan to keep the students safe. As discussed in a recent faculty meeting, teachers have created a plan to keep the students, staff, and administrators safe from any potential harm that may occur on school campus. Bravo Knights appreciate the measures being taken, but don’t seem to agree with the idea that this won’t keep us vulnerable. “Ignoring the fact that we are still required to stay outside the building until 7:30 a.m., the main measures of enforcing to keep the class doors shut keeps us safe in the building,” expresses senior Kristina Galstyan (’13). Will such measures even come into use? Let us hope not.

Six Flags


I’m no Alice, but it sure felt like I was in Wonderland! On January 25, 2013, Bravo Medical Magnet High School held its annual Winter Formal from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM with over 400 tickets sold. “To be honest, this winter formal was the best I’ve ever attended throughout my four years at Bravo,” said Amy Garsevanian (‘13). Although professional photography was provided by Fotorama, Bravo’s Yearbook class set up their own photobooth for less formal, more silly snapshots. Students were able to choose from a variety of Alice in Wonderland themed accessories such as rabbits and red roses along with other fun props such as silly glasses or hats. Guests also enjoyed the chocolate fountains and delectable assortment of wafers and cookies that were served.

Photo Credit / Karl Pascasio

The success of Bravo’s Winter Formal is all thanks to the Leadership class as well as the teachers and administrators who volunteered to chaperone.





FEBRUARY 8, 2013


Scholarship Deadlines Fast Approaching! by Marisol Aguilera

Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF) Scholarship Awards Deadline: April 30, 2013 This scholarship is provided by the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF), who awards undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing careers in the direct/interactive marketing.

Seniors, it will not be easy to pay for all the expenses that are yet to come. So take advantage of the financial help that is provided. Apply for scholarships now! Here are just a few of the many that are available online. For more information, visit www. Don’t Be Trashy Scholarship Deadline: February 21, 2013 This scholarship is given to students who are interested in spreading awareness of littering. Everyone who joins the cause will have the chance to win a $2,000 college scholarship.

D.R.E.A.M.S Scholarship Deadline: May 01, 2013 This particular scholarship is given to graduating high school seniors in Los Angeles and who have achieved success and demonstrated high levels of ethical behavior.

Friends of the California State Fair Scholarship Deadline: March 09, 2013 The Friends of the California State Fair Scholarship program awards students in California who show academic excellence, leadership potential, civic engagement and commitment to receive a higher education.

Anne Trabue Scholarship Deadline: May 15, 2013 This scholarship is in recognition of the famous golf player, Anne Trabue. The foundation WSCGA honored her by creating a scholarship to assist students interested in pursuing a career in sport print or broadcast journalism.

Chocolate: The Sweet Tooth of Science by Hannah Contreras point, the state of matter turns from solid to liquid. Rich in flavor and smooth to the touch, dark chocolate melts in a person’s mouth at about 75-80OF creating a satisfying sensation known in the food industry as “mouth feel.” According to the National Science Foundation, the process of chocolate is “one of the most complex chemical mixtures known to man” since over 1,500 flavor components have been identified in its structure and taste. Chocolate, made from the beans of a cacao tree, undergoes a series of heat and air processes that require the cocoa

“Chemically speaking, chocolate really is the world’s perfect food. ”

Google Images /

-Michael Levine, author

beans to be fermented, dried, and roasted. Next, the cocoa beans are pressed into a cocoa mix to create a thick, viscous consistency that is crafted to melt over the many taste buds on a person’s tongue. Chocolate then cools and hardens into a solid state by the process of tempering, thus allowing the cocoa butter to solidify and the fat molecules to form a crystalline structure made of beta crystals. Valentine’s Day does not have to be based on sweaty handholding and messy kisses; forget the roses and heart-shaped trinkets, experience chemistry like it should be, smothered in chocolate.

Photo Credit / Hannah Contreras

Chocolate has been seen as a token of love ever since the beginning of valentine hearts and grown diaperclad men; however, few actually understand the chemistry behind their love-induced sugar comas. Made of coco solids, cocoa butter, and sugar, chocolate contains caffeine, theobromine, and tryptophan which strategically affects a person’s brain so that it releases endorphins (a happiness chemical). The chemistry of chocolate is solely based on temperature, heat reactions, and melting point; at room temperature, chocolate is in solid form, but as it reaches its melting

Yesenia Quiroz (’15) indulges in the much loved King Size Reese’s with a smile.

When Words Go Too Far by Gabriela Corona

“Bullying builds character like nuclear waste creates superheroes. It’s a rare occurrence and often does much more damage than endowment.” –Zack W. Van, author of “Inanimate Heroes” On September 22, 2010, Tyler Clementi jumped from the George Washington Bridge and was soon after found deceased in the Hudson River. He was harassed by his roommate and friend, whom invaded his privacy and poked fun at him for being homosexual. On October 10, 2012, Amanda Todd hung herself in her Port Coquitlam, British Colombia home. She was humiliated, blackmailed, and assaulted by peers. Clementi was 18 years old and Todd was 15 at the time of their deaths. As one can see, bullying is not only an action that people see on elementary school playgrounds anymore; it affects people of all ages, ethnicities, and sexualities. To this day, a large amount of reports surface the media stating new incidents revolving around the nature of bullying. As sad as it seems, people are getting used to this kind of news, to the point where we can almost consider it “normal.” As high school students of a small, conservative school, one would believe that no such thing as bullying would happen within these walls. However, our school, along with many others, is guilty of these actions, although we might not really notice it at first. Some of us are guilty of witnessing a few of our peers being harassed by others and not doing anything about it. If people view incidents of that matter, it should be reported to an adult as soon as possible. Acting as a voice for others can certainly make a difference. This concept of bullying, not one that people should be used to, is nevertheless considered normal. No matter who the person is or what their story is about, making them suffer emotionally and physically should never be an option or a thought. Think about family, friends, and yourself; if someone were to bully them or you, it would definitely be a painful experience. As cliché as this could be, it could not carry any more truth to it: treat others the way you would want to be treated. People should not be afraid to express who they are or what they feel around others. Being different is what makes life more exciting…more precious. It would have been ideal if Tyler Clementi and Amanda Todd could walk among us today and not have endured the pain they did, but no matter what, I hope they know that they have impacted the lives of many others in such a positive manner — they have become an inspiration. Do not be afraid to be who you are just because you think someone might not accept you. Never forget that you are beautiful and will always be that because you are nothing else but yourself. This is dedicated to Tyler Clementi, Amanda Todd, and anyone who has ever been a victim of bullying.


FEBRUARY 8, 2013





A Not So Miserable Review by Atrianne Dolom

Google Images /

From the criticallyacclaimed novel by Victor Hugo to a well-renowned Broadway Musical, Les Misérables has drawn even more fans from its recent film adaptation, premiered last Christmas of 2012. Directed by Tom Hooper, Les Misérables was released with a star-studded cast featuring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, and Helena Bonham Carter. With a powerfully emotional plot and praise-worthy musical performances, Les Misérables has outdone itself yet again. Set in 19th century Revolutionary France, ex-prisoner, Jean Valjean (Jackman) seeks a

Super Bowl XLVII

Photo Credit /

Super Bowl XLVII aired on Sunday, February 3, 2013. The San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens, coached by Jim and John Harbaugh respectively, faced off in an exciting game that kept everyone watching on the edge of their seats. The first quarter began with a strong showing by the Ravens, who scored the first touchdown of the match. Joe Flacco, the Ravens starting quarterback completed passes that resulted in three touchdowns before halftime. The 49ers, known for their suffocating defense, did not seem to be focused during the first half. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers made some efficient passes but not enough to score any touchdowns

that first half. Still, two field goals were converted. After Beyonce’s powerful halftime show the Ravens came out and made a touchdown in 11 seconds, courtesy of Jacoby Jones (#12), who ran 109 yards to the endzone. It seemed as if all hope for the 49ers was lost, but a 30minute power outage occurred at the Superdome which seemed to give the 49ers a momentum shift. When the lights came back on, the 49ers mounted a great comeback. They caught up to the Ravens after a touchdown made by Frank Gore (#21). However, the Ravens were still in the lead and all that was needed for the 49ers to win was a two point conversion. From there on, the only points scored were a Ravens’ field goal. By the end of the game, the Baltimore Ravens were declared Super Bowl Champions with a 3-point lead, 34-31, on the San Francisco 49ers and quarterback Joe Flacco (Ravens) was named MVP. Ray Lewis ended his professional football career as a Super Bowl champion.

NBA All-Star Extravaganza by Cynthia Valadez

Google Images /

Google Images /

by Siboney Arias

and redemption. new life after he breaks parole, only sacrifice, to be hunted down by policeman Les Misérables is beautifully Javert (Crowe). When Valjean furnished with a stunning set production and wardrobe that places the actors in the reality of “The must-see 19th century France. A must-see movie musical movie musical of the decade, Les of the decade.” Misérables owes its grandeur to its note-perfect cast. Hathaway’s ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ was wonderfully sympathizes with the dying Fantine sentimental, which drove the emotion (Hathaway), he agrees to care of the film along with Jackman’s for her child, Cosette (Seyfried). strong vocals. Tom Hooper makes With Cosette, Valjean’s life takes up for what he lacks in his take on a different turn as he constantly this musical of great bravura, with tries to escape from Javert. The the greatly outdone performances film encompasses a span of 10 by the cast. Enough said, Les years, in which it recounts a tale of Misérables is c’est magnifique. broken dreams, love, compassion,

On February 17, 2013 the “Lone-Star” state of Texas will host the anticipated 62nd NBA All-Star Game. This upcoming All-Star Weekend, the illustrious city of Houston has the privilege to host twenty-four of the league’s most beloved and elite players at the Toyota Center. Among this year’s star-studded lineup are a myriad of familiar faces along with some additional NBA personalities. Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs will be coaching the Western Conference team that will be orchestrated by the Clippers’ point guard Chris Paul. Accompanying Paul in the Western Conference starting lineup are the Clippers’ Blake Griffin, the Thunder’s Kevin Durant, the Lakers’ Dwight Howard, and—for the 15th consecutive year—the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant. Seeing as to how the starting spots are earned based on the votes of the fans, it is not surprising that four of the five starters are from Los Angeles teams. In contrast, the all-star reserves are all selected by league coaches based on individual merit more than predominant popularity. The seven reserves that will be flanking the starters are: Tony Parker (Spurs), Russell Westbrook(Thunder), Tim Duncan (Spurs), Zach Randolph (Grizzlies), LaMarcus Aldrige (Trail Blazers), James Harden (Rockets), and David

Lee (Warriors). Nonetheless, with a western conference replete with prolific players, not all deserving players made the cut. Erick Spolestra of the Miami Heat will coach the Eastern Conference team that will be conducted by Miami Heat’s guard Dwayne Wade. Wade will be joined in the starting five by teammate LeBron James, the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, the Celtics’ Kevin Garnett, and the Nets’ Brook Lopez. Lopez will be replacing the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo after he suffered a torn ACL well into the season. Among the seven reserves for the Eastern Conference are Jrue Holiday (76ers), Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers), Chris Bosh(Heat), Tyson Chandler (Knicks), Joakim Noah (Bulls), Paul George (Pacers), and Luol Deng (Bulls). Prior to replacing Rondo, Lopez was regarded as the most obvious All-Star snub. Despite the absence of some of the most recognized NBA athletes due to serious injuries sustained prior to or during the season, there is no doubt that this year’s All-Stars will not disappoint. For three of the last four years, the Western Conference has gotten the win over their Eastern Conference counterparts. Still, there is no telling what the outcome of this upcoming game will be. After all, this is the NBA—where amazing happens.





FEBRUARY 8, 2013




Date on a Budget

by Monica Roque

by Ines Pastor Aranda & Crystal Perez

“Being single is a lot wiser than being in the wrong relationship.”-Anonymous

Everywhere you look, you encounter people tied down by relationships: in movies, magazines, and television shows. It seems like having a partner and finding that special someone are of absolute importance in life. Society has compelled most of us to believe that happiness relies on another person, when in actuality, happiness lies within yourself. Being single allows you to be more independent and make exhilarating and spontaneous decisions in life. Living life at your own pace allows you to reconnect with your inner self and focus on your relationships with family and friends and encourages personal happiness. This allows time to focus on hobbies and talents you never even realized you possessed. Having the advantage of flying solo is not a punishment like society happens to portray it, rather a positive state in your life. In the media, movies give the false hope that someday you will find long-lasting love. For instance, Disney movies illustrate how both men and women are programmed from a young age to believe that one has to find their one true love in order to live happily ever after. However, relying on someone else for your own happiness is unrealistic. You have to be independent and be responsible for your own well-being. You can not rely on another person to make you feel worth living for.

Valentine’s Day is the day that couples anxiously wait for because it gives them an opportunity to spend a special day together. Some of the perks for them around this time include being showered with gifts and affection. Most couples spend it in a typical way by going out on a date to a park or a candlelight dinner. More important than gifts, couples get to truly be able to spend quality time together acknowledging just how fortunate they are to have each other; it is far more valuable than any Valentine’s idea they could come up with. They don’t have to spend Valentine’s Day watching Netflix all night, eating a big bowl of ice cream while their mascara runs down their cheeks wishing their love life was somewhat similar to “The Notebook.” Being in a relationship drives you away from the “forever alone” feeling. Guys do not have to pretend they do not care about relationships and love. Most of the time, single guys feel really down that they do not have someone’s company and wish they had the girl they have had an eye on since the school year began. The greatest joy one can receive is when we share and spend it with someone close to us on Valentine’s Day. Now they have someone to buy those things for and things to receive from and not just by anybody but the person that they are happy to be with. The best part is that couples can be extra sweet towards each other because it is the time of the year that it does not feel it is too much. Many can agree that Valentine’s Day is perhaps best enjoyed and well spent with a loved one.

What’s your perfect Valentine’s Day scenario?

collected by Daisy Flores & Dulce Morales “I would walk into my class and find a huge, cute, fluffy, and soft teddy bear in my seat with a rose on the desk and a little note saying ‘Valentine?’” -Cecilia Rojas (’13)

Amy Guerra

+ “I would write her a short, silly poem and leave a rose in her locker.” -Fernando Flores (’15)



Daisy Flores Editor

Monica Roque

Miriam Ifegwu

Maria Guillen

Carmina Paz

Karl Pascasio

Vito Perez

Hannah Contreras

Cynthia Valadez


Managing Editor Photographer-in-Chief Editor

Anee Davtyan Editor

Editor Editor Editor Editor

= “Sitting on a sofa and watching a marathon of scary movies and enjoying the fact that I don’t need to get all dressed up.” -Maria Guillen (’13)

“What girl doesn’t fantasize about a huge bouquet of roses or a romantic serenade? But boys will be boys, so chocolates and roses would be nice. After all, it’s the thought that counts.”

Oh, the sweet days of courtship when you barely have enough cash in your wallet to feed yourself… Here are a few ways to have fun with your date without breaking the bank: • Dine al fresco. Spending over $40 for two at a fancy restaurant just isn’t practical these days. Take advantage of a sunny afternoon and dine outdoors for a change. For a picnic at the park, prepare your favorite lunchtime snacks and pack them into a bag. Make sure to include an old blanket to spread onto the grass at the park (maybe even your front lawn) and afterwards, hit the playground swings and get in touch with your inner child. • Have a movie night. For those who love the great indoors, arrange a simple movie date at home complete with your favorite comedy, horror, action, or drama flick, some microwave popcorn, and a warm blanket. By skipping the movie theater, think about how much money you’re saving today. • Go sightseeing. Wander around popular tourist areas in Los Angeles like Hollywood and Highland and pretend to be tourists. At the Hollywood landmark Grauman’s Chinese Theater, you can take wacky photos with the costumed people posing on the Walk of Fame without having to spend a dime. Stop by the several pop culture museums that dot this boulevard like Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum and the Hollywood Wax Museum. • Play a sport together. When planning a frugal date, there’s no need to sweat it—but you can if you want to. What’s more romantic than having some competitive fun outdoors? Whether it’s playing basketball, soccer, tennis, biking, or hiking, there’s nothing like exercising with your favorite person in the world.

-Wendy Ramirez (’14)

Editorial Matter Opinions expressed in Vital Signs belong to the writer. They do not reflect the opinions of the Journalism staff or those of Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School.

Letters to the Editors Letters to the editors concerning any topic relevant to Vital Signs are welcomed. Please refrain from using vulgar or disrespectful language. Letters should be brief and should be edited to maximize space use and heighten clarity. Letters may be anonymous or signed by the author. Please send letters to: or Drop them off in Mr. R. Rodriguez’s mailbox or in Room 312

FEB 2013  

Bravo Medical Magnet High School's Locked Door Policy Takes Effect

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