Action movies are often criticized for being testosterone-fueled entertainment filled with unnecessary explosions and graphic gore. The template for an average action movie involves muscle shirts, flimsy plots and bloody fist fights on rooftops while flaming helicopters fall from the sky. However, that template has been recently challenged by a trilogy of movies by the name of “John Wick.”

Less than a couple of years ago, my friends (or people who publicly claim to know me well) would not necessarily have used words like “impulsive” while answering questions about what kind of person I am. This past year has been a tremendous journey; one which I haven’t had much time to document, but one I’ve had more than enough time to relish.

The most powerful thing in the world is your brain and how your brain manipulates your surroundings to create a conscious, beautiful thought. It deliberately puts your reality into your imagination, forfeiting or validating what you believe to be true.

Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has recently received acclaim and criticism for the latest characterization of his campaign. There have been many of those in the media who have characterized his move on healthcare as supporting a public option rather than the "Medicare for All" that Warren and Sanders have been all in for. There has been a lot of pushback from supporters and those campaigns over this issue and others.

From the moment we are strong enough to support our own heads, we stare up at the stars with wonder. At first, we may simply wonder who put the lights in the sky, or where they were, or why we couldn’t reach them. However, as we grow, these questions get answered and newer, more complicated questions arise. The first of these is often: “Are we alone?”

In 2014, when I was a teenager struggling with the most mundane things teenagers struggle with, I came across an advertisement for a toothpaste. This was in India, and I have a vague memory of being enamored with the neon lighting and fancy bikes in the advertisement. I dug into the details and found out the name of the movie that would — albeit slightly — change my life. Spoilers ahead.

There are benefits and drawbacks to more people living their lives on Twitter and constantly being connected online. To be honest, I am no saint and am definitely one of those people who spends way too much time scrolling through the app and refreshing my timeline for the umpteenth time. 

Fall is now upon us and winter is soon to follow. For some, this is a time of griping about the cold and sprinting from their car to their door. For others, the falling of the first leaf or the loosing of the first snow upon the world means beautiful fall colors, Christmas lights and friends and family.

From calculus to physics, there are lots of difficult classes that are taught at Iowa State that require effortful learning to understand the concepts within each course. While most people are content with note taking and intense study sessions for aiding their studies in these subjects, others may need more help in remembering key concepts for the upcoming test and courses afterward that rely on the prerequisite coursework.

There is no such thing as not voting; not voting is a vote. According to the Census Bureau in 2018, only 53 percent of the citizen voting-age population voted in 2018, which actually had the highest midterm turnout in the last four decades.

Every morning when you wake up and get to work, study or whatever it is that constitutes the better part of your day, a small portion of your active brain gets locked into — for lack of a better phrase — the daily grind. It is important to stay in touch with your curious side, and not for very complicated reasons.

Iowa State students stopped traffic Wednesday as they marched at the intersection of Union Drive and Lincoln Way, chanting things like "No Nazis! No KKK! No fascist USA!" and "Who do you work for? Who do you protect?"

A couple weeks ago, I witnessed an incident at a local Starbucks where a man was screaming at a female barista taking an order at the front register, who was on the verge of tears as she attempted to upkeep her customer service character. The situation worsened to the point where she had to excuse herself from the front register and rush to the back of the store, being replaced by a male barista.

Dear politicians, for the love of God, please stop buying ad space on YouTube and TV. I am so overly tired of hearing the same 30 seconds of you speaking every time a commercial break comes on or I switch to another video. In particular, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Tom Steyer have been the most prominent politicians speaking to me against my will and, although it may be petty, this is most likely going to make me less willing to vote for you.

Meditation is an ancient practice that originated in India around 3,500 B.C. The practice itself largely consists of sitting still and focusing on one's breathing, with the goal of calming the mind of all the thoughts roaming around. It is a deceptively simple task. Some Hindu and Buddhist monks spend their entire lives perfecting their meditative state to reach a state of nirvana.

I knew very little about Halloween in my first year in the United States. I spent last year's Halloween watching a horror movie and eating ice cream. This year, I went to a friend's Halloween party, and it was wonderful. Of course, she had made it clear that costumes were welcome.

When I saw that the New York Times and The Guardian were scalding the newest addition to the DC Films collection to the bone, I knew the film had to be good. Too good. It caused such an upset that hundreds of newspapers have reviewed the film on either side of the opinion spectrum: cataclysmically awful or miraculously genius. If you have not watched “Joker” yet, see the film and then get back to me. The fact that its reviews are so opinionated is enough for admission.

Hong Kong is currently in the midst of a rebellion. Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous “special administrative region” that is ultimately under the power of China. However, that relationship has always been strained and the final straw came earlier this year when the government created a bill that would allow China to extradite people from Hong Kong to the mainland.

The so-called “freshman fifteen” is a term often said on college campuses that illustrates how dining plans that emphasize high calorie foods with little nutritional value (such as easy to prepare fried foods) contribute to a noticeable weight gain among incoming students. This should be no surprise, as foods like pizza, fried chicken and sweets that are provided in an “all-you-can-eat buffet” style at dining halls have been shown to contribute significantly to freshmen weight gain.

Political dialogue and civility is crucial, especially in today’s political climate. There is an importance in engaging in dialogue and maintaining a level of decorum and civility amongst those individuals whom you may disagree with. No difference is made if one is a conservative, liberal or anything in between.

What if you had to decide between tuition or dinner? A college diploma or nutrition? All across the country, even here at Iowa State University, students struggle to purchase food due to fears of increasing their already high college expenses.

Like all college students, I lead a busy life. We have papers to write, books to read and tests to study for. On top of all of the academic studies, most of us work. Most days feel like simply jumping from one task to the other, from when I wake up to when I go to bed, only to repeat the cycle the next day. Seeing your hard work pay off in the form of paychecks and high grades can be rewarding, but it is also incredibly stressful.

As a graduate student with a part-time job on campus, alongside many others, I struggle with balancing my work-study with my life. There are things I have to do. There are things I can choose not to do, which sometimes slip out of my control (like not sleeping on time). In an era when personal fulfillment is as far down on the priority list as anything that doesn’t help check things off my to-do, it’s astonishing how much of a difference an hour of “me-time” can do.

One of the infamous attractions held by public universities is their promise for free speech and expression embedded into their constitutions; private universities do not have this luxury. While living on a public university’s campus, you will see varying accounts of how students exercise these specific rights and privileges. For those of you who crossed through the lawn in front of Parks Library during the middle of last week, you know about the interactions between the street preacher …

There is a family down the street you are dangerously envious of because of their elegantly decorated interior in their colonial home, loving ambiance, close family connection and marvelously talented children. The wife probably works as a real estate agent, while the husband works at a finance consulting firm in the city. "This is the life," we all say at one point or another. Who wouldn't want the perfect, white picket fence dream instilled in us by our childhood cartoons and children'…

The Democratic primary process being so packed and crowded has made it very difficult for the public to delineate between candidates. All too often I run into people who have no idea who particular candidates even are and with the field being so full, polling has placed an increased importance on the reporting being done on the primary. Large political media outlets like the New York Times, Politico and FiveThirtyEight all release frequent updates on who’s winning the Democratic primary …

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. By now, most of you know who he is. Kavanaugh was first accused of sexual misconduct in late 2018 when Christine Ford testified against him before a judiciary committee, but he was eventually sworn into the Supreme Court when her accusations fell apart. Almost exactly a year later, The New York Times released an article accusing Kavanaugh of more sexual misconduct.

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