Best and Worst Films of 2014 by Mr. Joo

Mr. Joo is back with his latest movie reviews for 2014.

10.  John Wick

“Satisfying action flick that’s like a good round of a shoot ‘em all video game.”


9.  The Interview

“It felt good to exercise my democratic right to laugh at some Seth Rogen crude humor.”


8.  Draft Day

“Kevin Costner is at his best when starring in sports films…reminder of his glory days.”


7.  American Sniper

“Politics and controversies aside, Bradley Cooper’s superb performance is enough to make this one of this year’s best.”


6.  Boyhood

“Pretty hard not to be impressed by Richard Linklater’s 12 year effort.”


5.  Grand Budapest Hotel

“Been waiting a long time for the second Wes Anderson film I liked (first since Royal Tenenbaums).”


4.  Two Days, One Night

“Simple honest look at ordinary people and their reaction to difficult situations.”


3.  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

“A blockbuster with substance.”


2.  Foxcatcher

“How this was snubbed for the Best Picture Academy Award is a mystery.”


1.  Gone Girl
“Flawless movie…David Fincher’s best since Fight Club.”



10. Into the Woods

“Forgettable…other than Meryl Streep’s performance.”


9.  The Theory of Everything

“Most overrated film of the year…a mediocre biopic at best.”


8.  300:  Rise of an Empire

“Violence couldn’t be any more tedious in this failed attempt to revive the original.”


7.  Noah

“So dull…Evan Almighty didn’t seem all that bad after watching this.”


6.  The Fault in our Stars

“Relentless force-feeding of sappiness too exhausting to sit through.”


5.  Lucy

“Hard to believe Scarlett Johansson was once in gems like Lost in Translation and Ghost World.”


4.  Godzilla

“It was 90 minutes into the film until anything happened…and so many talented actors wasted on nothing roles.”


3.  The Angriest Man in Brooklyn

“Such a shame this had to be Robin Williams’ last film.”


2.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

“There was no need to reopen the manhole to let these reptiles see the light of day again.”


1.  Transformers:  Age of Extinction

“No surprise here.”



5.  The Divine Move (신의한수)

“Never knew a movie about baduk can be so exciting.”


4.  Han Gong-ju (한공주)

“Upsetting but intriguing story about a girl’s struggle to find herself after a traumatic event.”


3.  Miss Granny (수상한그녀)

“Same old Freaky Friday story…but a darn funny one.”


2.  My Love, Don’t Cross That River (님아, 그 강을 건너지 마오)

“Haven’t shed so many tears in a movie theatre since I watched ET as a 2nd grader.”


1.  Whistle Blower (제보자)

“Based on the true story of Dr. Hwang Woo-Suk’s fabricated stem cell research…Park Hae-il delivers a great performance to add to the screenplay’s take on Korea’s modern history and social criticism.”



5.  The Royal Tailor (상의원)

“It’s about as fun as you’d think a film about tailors would be.”


4.  My Dictator (나의독재자)

“Expected more for a film with such interesting premise.”


3.  Sea Fog (해무)

“Perfectly titled for such a haze of a movie.”


2.  Scarlet Innocence (마담뺑덕)

“More ridiculous than even the most outrageous Korean drama plot.”


1.  Big Match (빅 매치)
“Dullest movie ever for a film that was billed as an “action” flick.”

– Mr. Joo (Teacher)
Header: Mr. Joo (Teacher)

Best Friend Confessions

Best friends: you can’t live with them, you can’t live without them.

Best friends. They’re the Fred Flintstone to our Barney Rubble, the Bert to our Ernie, and the Olaf to our Anna. More often than not, they drive us crazy, but you can’t stay mad at them for long, since you need to tell them the latest gossip. They’re available for 3:00 AM phone calls, Friday night pig-outs, and crazy sleepovers where you don’t sleep at all. They’re your soulmates, saviors, and siblings, and you just can’t help but feel grateful.


Below are a few (true!) confessions that your best friends want you to know. Read them, cherish them, and treasure them, just like how they adore you.

Love in AP Lang: Best friends Yunji Lee (’16) and Jaye Ahn (’16) give each other a heartwarming hug after rigorously writing an essay for Mr. van Moppes. (Jamine Kang (’16))

Dear best friend(s),


  1. “Honestly, thank you for being such a great friend, for making me a better person. I love how we’re so comfortable around each other, and I love knowing that I can completely be myself around you. This year has been tough for the both of us, but I know by the end of it we’ll be that much stronger! Hehe. Let’s finish strong and play a lot during senior second semester!”


  1. “You and I share so many topics that we never run out of things to say. We talk for couple of hours on the phone yet we still end our conversation saying, ‘Let’s talk more when we meet this weekend.’ And when a tiring week of school ends and the weekend finally comes, we pile up even more stories to share in our bucket list of “stories to share with each other.” We talk about the nonsense things that happened to us at school, crazy things we heard, and even the most embarrassing things that happened to us.”


  1. “My friendship with you not only makes me feel like I always have someone to trust, but it also makes me a better person.”


  1. “Our friendship has gone to the point where you Snapchat me while you poop. I’m not sure whether to be happy about that or scared.”


  1.  “I like how I can feel that you care for me from the bottom of your heart. I also like how I can care for you too from the bottom of my heart. I want to embrace everything about you, regardless of whether they are good or bad. But when you keep secrets from me, and try to laugh your way out of it, it ticks me off.”


  1. “Just being with you makes me someone else. You’re there at my highest highs; you listen after my lowest lows. Thank you bestie, and I love you!”


  1. “I can’t thank you enough for being who you are and not trying to be someone else.”


  1. “Sometimes I can feel that you’re faking a laugh in front of other people. But those people don’t seem to realize it. The fact that I can recognize your fake self makes me your true BFF, right? I hope you, too, can detect my fake laughs when others can’t.”


  1. “We rarely get mad at each other. But when we do, we automatically sense that something is wrong and try to talk it out. You and I both know that hiding our complaints we have for each other is the worst thing we can do to our friendship. The more we share our deep feelings towards each other, our friendship gets tighter and tighter. When you open up your feelings to me about the things I did that hurt you, I feel grateful and relieved that you made me realize my flaws and gave me a chance to fix those problems.”


  1. “Thank you for putting up with all the times I slapped you with excitement, ranted my problems, and got you in trouble. You’re irreplaceable.”


Forever yours,

Your Best Friend

Hunter Lee’s Latest Catch: Tiffany Sung (’16) and Taeshin (Hunter) Lee (’16) cozy up on the high school third floor. Talk about the cutest best friends pairing there ever was! Or is it perhaps more? (Justin Kwon (’16))

Simply put, they’re the best things—worst enemies, long lost siblings, partners in crime—that have ever happened to us. They’re weird, they’re immature, and often times they can be plain annoying. But they understand us (sometimes even better than we do ourselves) and accept us for who we are, and what’s more to ask than that?


“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” — Thomas Aquinas

– Emily Kim (’16)

#NYFW: A Week In Review

New faces, new styles, new colors: this year’s New York Fashion Week is one you don’t want to miss.

It’s that time of the year again—time for all the designer brands to churn out new collections, for street photographers to frantically take pictures of the best street style, and for celebrities to show up in their most stylish outfits.

What time of the year is it? It’s Fashion Week.

Fashion Week is a biannual event when designers show their collections for the season ahead. Fashion Week occurs not only in New York—designers also preview their fresh new designs in cities such as Paris and London. Normally, however, designers participate in Fashion Weeks that occur in their headquarters or home city, as a sign of support for their local economy and fellow retailers.

Shades On, Arms Crossed: The notorious Anna Wintour, Editor-In-Chief of Vogue Magazine, was spotted at the Calvin Klein Fashion Show with actress Sienna Miller giving a rather stern look. (Mike Coppola)

It first began in New York as “Press Week”, during 1943, the height of World War II. When the American media couldn’t travel to Paris where the most trendy shows were held, the American fashion industry decided to hold their own shows and show the world what New York was capable of.

The Original Fashion Week: A female model walks the runway during “Press Week” of 1943, organized by Eleanor Lambert. (The Smithsonian)

Now, New York Fashion Week is one of the most anticipated, renowned events in the world of fashion. This year, the NYFW Fall/Winter Collections for 2015 featured several new trends both in fashion and beauty—here are just a few of them.



1. From bright tangerine to deep sunset hues, several designers such as Victoria Beckham and Prabal Gurung featured orange in their looks, either with separates or with one-pieces, promising a colorful fall and winter season this year.

Cozy In Orange: A model walking for Prabal Gurung. (Fernanda Calfat)

2. Many embellished and intricately decorated pieces were seen coming down the runway during Fashion Week. Some brands like Reem Acra used minimal yet stunning embellishments, while others like Alice & Olivia went all-out and covered entire pieces with studs.

It’s All About The Details: A model walking for Reem Acra. // (Thomas Concordia)

3. This season displayed many looks that gained inspiration from the ‘70s, such as the bohemian vibe and flowy hemlines. Tory Burch featured cool yet casual separates with funky, earthen-colored geometric prints, while J.Crew paired a classic denim shirt with a full-length sequin skirt.

J. Crew - Presentation - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2015
How Can She Pull That Off?: A model for J. Crew // (Randy Brooke)

4. Many designers made a plaid statement by using the print on trousers, coats, and separates, while adding a twist to the classic school-girl uniform. The brand Tommy Hilfiger made his use of plaid stand out by applying it as a colorblock on dresses and tops, while Marc by Marc Jacobs used the standard red with more contemporary colors such as pastel yellow and blue for lines.

Tommy Hilfiger Women's - Runway - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2015
Boxy & Bold: A model walking for Tommy Hilfiger. (Randy Brooke, Getty)

5. Leather is always a hit for the colder months, but this time designers are taking a softer route and using the material suede, giving the look a warmer and more luxurious feel. Designer Jason Wu contrasted this rich and subdued material with more racy outfits like this low-cut and high-slit dress.

Jason Wu - Runway - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2015
Low Cut & High Slit: A model walking for Jason Wu (Thomas Concordia)


1. Many makeup artists featured sharp, graphic eyeliners at New York Fashion Week. Some brands like Anna Sui and Yigal Azrouël had minimal lines that highlighted the models’ facial features, while others like DKNY had bold, more eye-catching looks.

Minimal is More: This model for Anna Sui receives touch ups before her the show begins. (Gary Gershoff)

2. If the geometric eyeliner wasn’t wild enough, some models were also spotted with face embellishments during shows. Rodarte models had multiple fake piercings on each eyebrow, while Tommy Hilfiger models had more subtle face tattoos.

Creepy Or Cool?: A model for Rodarte bears multiple (but thankfully fake?) piercings on her eyebrows. (Imaxtree Images)

3. Shades of mauve and reddish-brown were spotted on models’ lips during shows. Donna Karan models wore the classic ‘90s brown lip, while Marc Jacobs took a more alternative route with a deep eggplant shade.

Marc Jacobs - Backstage - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2015
The Lip Factor: This brunette model for Marc Jacobs sports a lip color in a shade reminiscent of a deep plum as she poses for the camera before her show. (Jamie McCarthy)

4. A little sparkle on the eyes never hurt anybody. Models at the Rodarte show were treated to Swarovski embellishments right under their eyes, while those walking the Tadashi Shoji show had a more bold look, with flashy gold glitter on their eyelids.

Glitter & Gold: A model for Tadashi Shoji receives the finishing touches to her gold glitter eyeliner. Talk about detail! (Mike Coppola)

5. This season, designers favored the knot instead of the usual buns and braids. Some were bold and statement-making, like Carolina Herrera’s that were inspired by the sumo-wrestler style. More subtle and feminine knots were seen at the Zero + Marie Cornejo show.

As Pretty As A Wrestler: This model for Caroline Herrera sports the ‘sumo-wrestler bun’ as she struts down the runway. (Imaxtree Images)

But, this season’s New York Fashion Week also featured several new faces on the catwalk.

One of the new models seen was Molly Bair: a 17 year old American girl who before her life in the fashion world lived an ordinary life in suburban Philadelphia. Hard to miss with her tall height of 6”1 (184.5 cm), Bair is also known for her high cheekbones, intense blue eyes, symmetrical face and prominent ears, which give her a unique alienesque look. She has already walked for major designers like Chanel, Alexander Wang, and Prada; who knows where this young model will stand in the future?

New Kid On The Block: Molly Bair’s sky rocketing success in the modeling industry is mainly due to her unique look, a trait very much favored by the competitive world of modeling. Although a new comer, she’s already walked for prestigious designers such as Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler, Vera Wang, and Alexander Wang. (The Society Management, Getty Images)

 Another rising young model is Lucky Blue Smith. At a height of 6”2 (187cm), this sixteen year old American is hard not to notice, especially with his shock of platinum blonde hair (a stark contrast from his previously dirty-blonde locks) and his phenomenal facial structure. He started his career at the age of 12, scouted by the Next Models management. His sisters Pyper America and Daisy Clementine also model, and the whole Smith family are in a surf-rock band named ‘The Atomies’. Whether in fashion or music, there’s no doubt that Lucky Blue has a successful path in front of him—and he’s just getting started.

The 16 Year Old Model Sensation: Yup. This stunning model is only sixteen. Named “Male Model of the Moment” by Teen Vogue, Smith also has an impressive half a million followers on Instagram drooling over his every update. He has walked for many prestigious designers such as Jeremy Scott, Bottega Veneta, Salvatore Feragamo, and Tom Ford. (Aiden Wolf, Getty Images)

Overall, New York Fashion Week for Fall/Winter 2015 was a jumble of old and new: fresh modern trends were featured with a return of the 70s, and new faces joined the world of fashion. It’s not just about the clothes and the makeup; Fashion Week is a way of showing the world what the local designers can do, exploring cultural and social ideas, and celebrating the soon-to-come season. If that wasn’t enough for you, no worries! Fashion Weeks in London, Paris, and Milan are soon to happen, so stay tuned!

– Seiyeon Park (’17)

Header: Getty Images

Justice For Michael Brown?

Darren Wilson may be free to go, but changes can be made to the discriminatory issues minorities of Ferguson, Missouri still face.

It was a murder that made the whole world cry out in anger. It was a tragedy that unveiled to the international crowd the brutal, antiquated, often hypocritical outlook many American people and the American police forces still had on race and equality.

It was the killing of Michael Brown.

Many of us are familiar with this misfortune. It’s been over half a year since, and yet it is still a much discussed topic, as it should be. Michael Brown was a teenager looking forward to attending college in the fall of 2014, when he, unarmed, was told to approach a police vehicle by an officer named Darren Wilson under the pretenses of “jaywalking.” He was killed by the white police officer in the city of Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014.  Witnesses had varying stories about how the situation played out, but nonetheless, this event of police brutality stirred the entire city of Ferguson. The debate was whether to fight back against the police force, or side with Wilson. The situation spread like wildfire, and places like New York City, New York, and Oakland, California, rallied protesters to fight against the terrible injustice.

#BLACKLIVESMATTER: The famous hashtag that started to trend since the death of Trayvon Martin (2012) made an appearance once more as people from all over America used the tag for protests both off the streets and on them. // Eduardo Munoz, Reuters

When the time for the trial came around, the slightly dimming spark was flamed again, brighter than ever, at both the words Wilson had to say about the situation, and the decision made by the grand jury to not indict Wilson.

Claiming that he had a “clean conscience because I know I did my job right,” Wilson further added onto his comment that if he had the opportunity to relive that moment, he “would not do anything different that day.”

The Interview: Darren Wilson got himself an exclusive interview with ABC News, where he made rather stunning comments about his case and the crime committed against Michael Brown. // ABC News

And although many people who were once impassioned by Brown’s unjustified death have filed his tragedy as an event of the past, there are still many people who come to pay their respects at Brown’s makeshift memorial in Ferguson every day, who tend to it whenever a disrespectful, cowardly person comes in the dead of the night to ruin it. There are still many people who are trying to do the one last thing they can do for the deceased teenager, and that is to bring him at least some form of justice he fully deserves.

“They Can’t Even Let Us Mourn Our Dead.”: A Ferguson resident ran across the Mike Brown Memorial in Ferguson, which had been intentionally destroyed by an uncaught resident. // J. Meless, Twitter

The Justice Department has been conducting investigations on the Ferguson police force, only to find out that the police department had a pattern of mainly persecuting the minorities of the city, especially African Americans. Unfortunately, because the Grand Jury claimed that Wilson was innocent, they are unable to rescind this judging. But to prevent situations like the incident of Brown from happening again, the Justice Department has issued a warning to the Ferguson police force to fix their predictable judgements. Failure to do so could result in “consent decree,” according to Jeffrey Toobin, a CNN senior legal analyst, which would mean that the police force will negotiate “a settlement in which Ferguson will announce that they will make changes in their police department by improving training, perhaps change hiring, perhaps change leadership…” It will be responsible for heavy impacts on part of the police chief of Ferguson, some of the police officers, perhaps on the mayor himself, and definitely on the Ferguson police department as a whole.

US Attorney General Eric Holder delivers remarks on the Justice Department’s efforts in Ferguson, Missouri.
One Last Act: Eric Holder, the current Attorney General of the United States, is expected to retire next week. // Shawn Thew, EPA

And although Wilson still will live with a “clean conscience” and free of indictment, movements like these will hopefully lessen the amount of racially-influenced targeting that is happening not only in Ferguson, but also in so many other cities today. Hopefully, there will gradually be a reduce in situations like the murder of Mike Brown, and the age old practice of racial discrimination will, once and for all, come to a close.


Rest in power, Michael Brown.

– Faith Choi (’16)

Header: Jamelle Bouie

Cures For Your Sweet Tooth

The #TREATYOSELF saga continues.

Cake, cookies, ice cream. YUM. Every once in a while, you need to #TREATYOSELF to a sweet snack. We asked some students for their favorite sweet treats and found recipes so you can make it yourself!


“Brownies!” (Ji Sun Jeon, ‘17)

Simple brownies are rich, decadent, and full of chocolate. A perfect snack for when you’re running low on energy and happiness.

You will need:

½ cup vegetable oil

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

¼ tsp baking powder

⅓ cup cocoa powder

¼ tsp salt

½ cup flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC)
  2. Blend the oil and sugar until they are well mixed
  3. Stir in eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients (baking powder, cocoa powder, salt, flour) together separately.
  5. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients and blend until the batter comes together.
  6. Pour the mixture into a greased 9×9 pan (if you double the recipe, use 9×13 pan and bake for longer)
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, cool the brownies, and enjoy!


(recipe by

Two Peas & Their Pod

“Chocolate sea salt caramel cookies.” (Faith Choi, ‘16)

Mmmm, now that sounds good. What is this delectable treat? Warm, chewy, rich cookies that are all gooey with caramel, with a surprise of salt for extra flavor.


You will need:

1 ¼  cup all-purpose flour

¼ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

5 tbsp butter

7 tbsp cocoa

⅔ cup sugar

⅓ cup brown sugar

⅓ cup plain yogurt

1 tsp vanilla extract

Soft caramels (rolled into little balls)

Sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and prepare 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  2. Sift and mix together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Separately, melt butter over a saucepan. Removing it from the heat, stir in cocoa and sugars until it looks kind of like wet sand.
  4. Mix in the yogurt and vanilla until well blended.
  5. Stir in dry ingredients and continue to mix
  6. Wrap the cookie dough around the balls of caramel and sprinkle sea salt over each one.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, cool cookies, and enjoy!


(recipe by



“Umm peppermint cookie thing. Oh wait, it’s.. ahh peppermint bark!” (Lina Oh, 11)

What is peppermint bark? Only the easiest, but most delicious snack for lovers of the chocolate-peppermint pairing! A layer of bittersweet dark chocolate, a layer of buttery white chocolate, and a layer of crunchy zingy peppermint. The perfect combination.


You will need:

12 oz plain white chocolate

12 oz plain dark chocolate

½ cup crushed peppermint candy


  1. First, line a 9×12 pan with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the dark chocolate. You can use the double boiler for this, where you boil a pot of water and place a heat-proof bowl over it, constantly stirring until the chocolate is smooth. Or, you could microwave the chocolate 15-20 seconds and a time, stirring in between.
  3. Spread a layer of the dark chocolate in the pan.
  4. Now, melt the white chocolate using whichever method you prefer.
  5. Quickly, while the chocolate is still hot, pour the mixture over the dark chocolate.
  6. Put peppermints into a ziploc bag, and crush with a rolling pin or a hammer.
  7. Sprinkle the crushed peppermints over the chocolate
  8. Put in the refrigerator to harden. Once it’s ready, break them apart and enjoy!

(recipe by

Whatever the case, remember to take a break once in a while from vigorous studying, and indulge your sweet tooth! All these recipes await you! YUM.
– Sarah Chin (’16)

Header: Healing The Body

Blueprint Takes COEX: What To Eat

Sometimes, you just gotta #TREATYOSELF.

Bored on a weekend? Need a time-out from the academic rigor? Why not #TREATYOSELF with a trip to COEX? With its recent innovation, it’s a perfect venue for shopping, eating, and simply winding down with your friends – all in one place.

A place with a definitely lighter mood, the interior of this breakfast spot is lined with rose gold pans and other cool knick knacks that welcome the guests in. // Faith Choi (’16)
  1. Creammou


  • Rating: 3.5/5
It’s a bit heavy on the sweets, especially because of the whipped cream, maple syrup, sugar powder, and hot chocolate, but it all works together to create something beautiful in your mouth. // Faith Choi (’16)

Creammou is a homey and cozy breakfast shop. With a reasonable pricing of 6,000 won and phenomenal pancakes, I would say Creammou is worth a visit (perhaps even a re-visit). The pancakes are not too overwhelming – they are, rather, delightfully light and fluffy. Perfect for a quick bit of breakfast that you missed! Hot chocolate, on the other hand, was “a little too sweet”, according to Sarah Chin (‘16), and wasn’t worth the 4,500 won she handed over at the counter.

The second you enter, you’re hit with dim lighting and the smell of scrumptious baked goods. // Faith Choi (’16)
  1. Eskimo

  • Rating: 4/5

“It tastes like something my grandma would bake for me, but that doesn’t even make sense because neither of them bake.” – Faith Choi (‘16)

The antique-looking plates that deliver the delicious treats just make the entire experience that much better. // Faith Choi (’16)

Eskimos is a dessert shop that sells a variety of tummy-filling pastries. Their Chocolate Eclair, a little overpriced at 2,500 won, is not only sweet but also carries an amazing aftertaste. In my opinion, it was slightly small in portion, but try it yourself to be certain! Mmm, their Lemon Tart Meringue was beyond sublime; it’s a perfect balance between sweet and sour. The crust was its best part! The mini apple pie also had impressive crusts, but, disappointingly, it was extremely hard to eat, especially when sharing with three other individuals. However, after an arduous task of splitting the pie, it was worth it; it was a great balance with the lemon tart meringue. Eskimo carries an authentic ambience with hints of hipster vibes here and there, but the lighting is horrendous. No #selfie in this place for sure!

As soon as it hit 1 PM, Shybana started filling up. Faith Choi (’16)
  1. Shybana

  • Rating: 3/5
It’s a beauty so far, but that’s only because the Sirloin Steak hasn’t arrived yet. // Faith Choi (’16)

While we entered wildly excited for some Southern comfort lunch, Shybana provided us with an ample disappointment. Let’s start on a brighter note, shall we? The Louisiana Cajun Chicken Pasta was, actually, quite good. A flavorful dish with perfectly cooked chicken – tender on the inside, crispy on the outside – was enough to get five hungry girls excited. It was well-paired with the bacon mac and cheese ordered, which also had satisfying texture, saltiness, and flavor (plus croutons on the side), not too greasy or cheesy. The disappointment came with the third dish: sirloin steak. It was not at all like the picture on the menu: overcooked meat, undercooked garlic, too small in portion and thickness. Thankfully, it had good acidity with its lemon flavor, which (almost) remedied all else.

Check out how fancy this place is! // Faith Choi (’16)
  1. Chloris Tea and Coffee


  • Rating: 3.5/5
Daisy Kim (’16) greedily reaches for the hot black milk tea. // Faith Choi (’16)

Before anything, Chloris Tea and Coffee is an epitome of properness; we felt–inevitably–a little bit out of place. The Black Cream Milk Tea we ordered was light and smooth, not too overwhelming with a great balance of milk and tea. However, there were mixed reactions on the cream that came with the tea. Some felt that there was too much foam to dig through to reach the gist of the drink, while some others felt it was an elegant touch to a mundane menu like black milk tea: you decide for yourself!

– Lina Oh (’16)

Header: Jaye Ahn (’16)

Gordon Ramsay: Food Extraordinaire

So you think you know Gordon Ramsay? Think again.

Gordon Ramsay? World renowned chef. Successful restaurateur. Celebrated television personality. Gordon Ramsay! On November 8, 1966, in Scotland, a culinary mastermind fated for a road of prosperity, luxury, and entrepreneurship, was born. However, as convincing as his current glamour-filled life may seem, Ramsay did not have a smooth start. Ramsay’s first love, surprisingly, was football. At the age of 15, he embarked on a path of a professional sports career by joining the Glasgow Rangers, a professional Scottish football club. However, during trial runs, a severe knee injury prematurely ended his career.

Goodbye, Futbol: Ramsay (center, bottom)’s unfortunate accident ended his football career before it could even begin. // Zimbio

Fortunately for us (sorry, Ramsay), with his dream as a professional athlete forced to an end his interest in culinary pursuits began to blossom. Ramsay attended the North Oxfordshire Technical College and pursued a degree in hotel management. After completing his studies, he worked under Europe’s finest chefs, such as Albert Roux, Marco Pierre White, Joel Robuchon and Guy Savoy, learning, observing, and polishing his natural talent.

Afterwards, Ramsay began a streak of success as in 1993 he became chef of Aubergine, a two Michelin stars restaurant, and in 1998 set up his first restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, which received the rare honor of three Michelin stars—a prestigious title attributed to only four chefs in the entire United Kingdom. Later on, Ramsay opened chains of restaurants around the globe, all of which are now thriving.

Do You Fancy?: The Restaurant Gordon Ramsay attracts its customers not just for the amazing food but for the fancy interior. It’s the place to be for British socialites and celebrities, such as Victoria and David Beckham. // Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

Now, Ramsay, most evidently, is internationally famous; he is well known for his fiery attitude, excessive use of profanity, hilarious memes, and reality television shows. Most famous as the host of Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef, Ramsay currently scouts for skilled individuals who have the valor to endure his hellishly intense culinary boot camp and the potential to become a master chef.

Mean or Sassy?: This is just one out of hundred of memes on the internet quoting or twisting around yet another sassy comment from Ramsay. // Fox Everett

Though many mistakenly attribute his fame and big name to his exposure on popular media, we mustn’t forget that he’s where he is due to his extraordinary tastes and recipe for success. Regardless of whether they are racks of lamb decorated with a warm salad of mixed beans and slow-roast tomatoes or lemon tarts sprinkled with handfuls of zesty summer berries, his dishes keep us coming back for more servings.

Gordon Ramsay Group Restaurants

– Emily Kim (’16)


From Mott Hall Bridges to Harvard

Find out how the fans of Humans of New York earned a million dollars to help a public school in Brooklyn to take a trip to Harvard.

The Brooklyn neighborhood in Brownsville is recognized as one of the most dangerous, crime-ridden areas in New York City. Poverty and unemployment rates exceed 20%, and 30% of the third graders in the district fail to read at the appropriate standards (New York Daily News). Further, numerous students attending the Mott Hall Bridges Academy (a public high school in Brooklyn) are coping with drug addiction, and it is mandatory for students to pass through metal detectors every morning to enter the school building, adding weight to the level of disorder at the school.

But on February 5, 2015, the school found luck. The photo-blog “Humans of New York,” which has won acclaim for its acknowledgment of the oftentimes dismal reality of New York, raised $1 million for the students in Mott Hall Bridges Academy to take a trip to Harvard University.

The Man Behind The Lens, And The Operation: Brandon Stanton is the blogger and photographer for Humans of New York, and the man responsible for setting up this plan. // AFP

According to NBC news, the “Humans of New York” street photographer Brandon Stanton had interviewed a 13-year-old student, Vidal Chastanet. Stanton asked, “Who’s influenced you the most in your life?” Vidal’s answer surprised him: “My principal, Ms. Lopez…When we get in trouble, she doesn’t suspend us. She calls us to her office and explains to us how society was built down around us. And she tells us that each time somebody fails out of school, a new jail cell gets built. And one time she made every student stand up, one at a time, and she told each one of us that we matter.”

Later, when Stanton met with Nydia Lopez, the principal, she expressed her dream of taking her students to a Harvard trip, wishing to expand the minds of desperate students. She wanted to show them, that “there are no limits.”

There Are No Limits: Vidal Chastanet (left) with his principal, Nydia Lopez (right). // PBS

Principal Nydia Lopez’s dream and the thirteen-year-old Vidal’s words inspired Stanton, who began posting these stories and raising funds online through Indiegogo.

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Over And Beyond: By the time the fundraiser had ended, Humans of New York raised ten times more amount of money than they had expected.

According to The Huffington Post, Stanton’s stories spread among his 12 million followers, and in only four days, they raised over $700,000. Soon enough, Stanton finally surpassed the initial goal of $1 million through the help of 40,000 donors across the world. At the end, a total of $1,179,873 was raised, which was enough money to send the students to Harvard University for ten years, along with summer programs and scholarships funds.

“I’m so proud of how everyone has rallied around this story, in ways that go so far beyond just raising money,” Stanton wrote in his Facebook post. Adding to that, Lopez’s final words were, according to NBC news, “I think in the past couple of days there’s been a dynamic shift in how we all view the world and there’s power in education has created this resounding need for all of us to act like humans. And so what Brandon was able to do is just show that it’s not only humans of New York, but there’s humans of the world.”

– Sammie Kim (’18)


Chinese Government Strengthens the Great Firewall

“Brick by brick, the Great Firewall extends.”


China is notorious for its censored internet. Ranging from social networking sites such as Facebook to specific keyword searches on Google, Chinese citizens are restricted in their online activities. Recently, China has further strengthened its Great Firewall yet again.


Numerous sites we use for granted are unaccessible for Chinese citizens. Websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google – some of the most widely used social platform – are a few of the many restrictions.


It was reported on January 28th, 2015, that the Chinese government started to strengthen and increase its security of virtual private networks, more commonly known as VPNs. This system allows its users to evade the Great Firewall to access blocked sites and search up sensitive keywords. This change would be detrimental not only to individuals but also to companies that require communication through essential but blocked social networking sites.


Winger Chen, a CEO of a food and beverage consulting company residing in China, learned to work around the unstable connection and slow internet. He has considered this new change to be disastrous to the continuation of the company. He has mentioned that he is “100% reliant” on the service that Google, one of the most strictly blocked sites, provides, and that it would be nearly impossible to run his company without the assistance of the VPN.


Statistics in 2014 from CNN illustrate that 56% of companies operating in China have shown negative views on the internet censorship, in contrast to a lower 39% in 2010. This result leads to strong evidence that the increase in censorship and security in China is becoming a problem to not only the citizens’ lives but also the companies. The problematic issue with this is that the companies bring economic benefits to the nation. Hence, restricting internet access for companies might result in negative effects for the country as well.
China has been recognized for its rapid bursts of growth in the economy over the past years. Its widespread role over global markets is certainly perceivable to the world. However, in other areas, China still has room for improvement. Many citizens hope that the Chinese government revise restrictions pertaining to the internet. The world will keep a constant eye on the Great Firewall for any according changes.


Yan, S. (2015, January 28). China crackdown makes it harder to get around the Great Firewall. Retrieved February 8, 2015.


– Serim Jang (’16)

Header: Michael Cambon/WAN-IFRA

Measles Outbreak in Disneyland


The number of measles outbreaks has risen to 149 in Mexico, Canada, and in at least eight of the U.S states, according to the Latin Post.

Measles, the infectious disease that causes painful, red rashes and a severe case of fever, erupted in December 2014, at Disneyland. The Latin Post further reported that at least 123 cases were confirmed in Anaheim, California, where 39 visitors have sought Disneyland during the holiday seasons. Seven other states like Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Washington and Utah have reported cases of measles as well. Simultaneously, Mexico has reported two cases and Canada ten cases.


This sudden outbreak has provoked worry from many parts of Latin America. Latin America’s conservative political authorities such as Rush Limbaugh “…blamed the measles outbreak on thousands of Latin American children who crossed the Mexico border to the United States during the immigration crisis” (Latin Post).

But this claim was soon contradicted by health experts (U.S Center for Disease Control and Prevention), who stated that “…many of the measles cases each year involve U.S-born Americans who traveled abroad and back.” Furthermore, according to the World Health Organization, while the U.S. had a 91 percent vaccination rate, Mexico and Honduras had a 89 percent rate, Guatemala had a 85 percent rate, and El Salvador had an overwhelming 95 percent rate. At least one case of measles in Mexico was detected in an unvaccinated child who visited Disneyland in late December.

Vaccination still remains a topic of debate among parents. (

Meanwhile, debate over vaccinations for measles has sparked disputes between fretful parents, as some parents choose not to vaccinate their children. A common fear these parents have is that their children may get certain medical disorders like autism from the vaccines. Other parents who choose not to vaccinate their children simply disregard measles as a recoverable disease, and point out that majority of recovered children were not vaccinated at all.


This has only generated more denunciation. Sandy Roffman, a mother from Brooklyn, tells Voice of America, “It’s unfathomable to me that, A) anyone would deliberately put their child in harm and, B) would put the rest of the world in harm.”

The conflict within parents has now also become a school problem, especially for schools composed of middle and upper class families, like Julian School.

The Wall Street Journal states,

“Neighboring schools have sent unvaccinated students home after suspected measles cases, prompting debate at Julian. Ms. Cauzza, the principle, is hearing from parents who will not vaccinate their children, and then angry parents who adamantly argue that those unvaccinated children threaten their immunized children.”

“Choice is embedded in everything we do,” continues Ms. Cauzza, “Forty-four of the unvaccinated kindergartners are home-study children who aren’t on school premises daily. Julian is remaining neutral on vaccination as long as exemptions are allowed.”

Either way, the undeniable truth is that measles remain a threat to the public and the children until a proper, sustainable solution is proposed.


– Sammie Kim (’18)