Wrong Baylor Comic

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Places to be, people to see: some destinations for your Spring Break
Mar08

Places to be, people to see: some destinations for your Spring Break

Published in the March 8, 2017 issue of The Bells What does halfway through the semester signify? Studying for midterms, cleaning up your room so that it’s room check ready, and most importantly, planning a vacation for spring break. But you don’t have to travel thousands of miles to have fun over the break. There are numerous places to go within three hours driving distance from Belton. Austin area Austin is a great city if you want to interact with nature. This includes Zilker Park, which is home to Barton Springs Pool, which is a naturally-formed pool that is around 68-70 degrees year-round, Lady Bird Lake, and Zilker Botanical Garden. If you still want to go out and explore nature but don’t want to drive too far from campus, Inner Space Cavern in Georgetown is an interesting location. The cave gives you a glance into prehistoric times. Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin is a great destination that will give you information about how Texas came to be. You can also watch movies in the IMAX Theater, look at artifacts, and observe various presentations about the wonders of the Lone Star State. Zilker Park (1 hr 4 min) Bullock Texas State History Museum (1 hr) Inner Space Cavern (33 min) Dallas area Dallas is home to many museums, a thrilling art scene, and unusual shopping centers. The Dallas Museum of Art is ranked one of America’s biggest art museums and is a great place to check out local culture. NorthPark Center is interesting in that it integrates an art experience with shopping. Walking in the mall, you can see various paintings and sculptures which makes shopping all the more enjoyable. In addition, Bishop Arts District, located in North Oak Cliff, is named “Dallas’ most independent neighborhood.” This area has more than 60 independent stores that are sure to please anyone looking for unique items. Dallas Museum of Art (2 h 8 min) NorthPark Center (2 hr 19 min) Bishop Arts District (2 hr 4 min) San Antonio area San Antonio is all about the thrills and excitements. Six Flags Fiesta Texas is an amusement park that has everything from some of the country’s craziest coasters like BATMAN: The Ride, the “world’s first 4D free-fly coaster” to some more mild mannered rides like Bugs’ White Water Rapids. Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resort in New Braunfels is one of the best waterparks in the nation, and is home to the ‘Master Blaster’ which is a water slide that is six stories tall and takes you uphill. If you’re not looking for that much of an adrenaline rush, there’s always the...

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The top three most underrated animated films
Mar08

The top three most underrated animated films

Published in the March 8, 2017 issue of The Bells From Disney to DreamWorks, animated films take us on journeys into an exciting, new world. Many times, amazing movies are overlooked by critics because they don’t fit certain criteria. However, a good film is something that you can look back on and still enjoy. The movie has to stand the test of time. Sometimes, I’ll go on Netflix and watch movies and shows that I watched when I was younger, just to bring back memories. Some of them make me wonder, why would I ever see this? This is so stupid. But others, those small gems in Hollywood land, have a close place in my heart that I will never get tired of seeing. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you – The top three most underrated animated movies. These movies either did not perform well at the box office, received poor reviews from critics, or are not as well known as they deserve to be. Treasure Planet  (2002) Here is a movie that combines stunning visuals with an interesting storyline. Many times in movies, animated or live action, the creators get so consumed with special effects that they forget the most important element in a movie – telling a story that sticks to the minds of the audience. Treasure Planet is about a rebellious teen named Jim Hawkins who receives a map to legendary treasure. On his journey to finding the treasure, he forms an alliance with a cyborg, John Silver, whose only motivation is to get to the treasure first. On the way, they encounter numerous obstacles in their pursuit. This movie sparks creativity. The animators create a world with a steampunk and Victorian feel, reminiscent of the book Treasure Island. The relationship between Hawkins and Silver is an interesting one, as Jim lacks a father figure and Silver represents the dad he never had. The friendship between the two only gets more dramatic when Hawkins finds out what Silver’s true intentions are. Sadly, Treasure Planet did not perform well at the box office. With a budget of $140 million, the film only made $109.6 million in return. The Prince of Egypt (1998) It is rare to get movies and shows based off of the Bible, but it is even rarer that these Biblical films capture the true emotion and passion behind the stories (ahem, I’m looking at you Noah) like DreamWorks’ The Prince of Egypt. This movie follows the story of Moses and the events that followed, which led to Pharaoh letting God’s people go. I love everything about this movie. The idea that Moses...

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“Holy cats, Batman!”
Feb22

“Holy cats, Batman!”

Published in the February 22, 2017 issue of The Bells “Clever and self-knowing.” “Smart, funny, and fast-paced.” “A great action/comedy on its own terms.” These are just some of the many reviews of the new hit movie The Lego Batman Movie which premiered on February 10, 2017. And with a 91 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this film seems like a shoe-in for an Oscar or two. The Lego Batman Movie is about, you guessed it, Legos and Batman. When something amiss goes on in Gotham City, Batman goes on a mission to prevent any more damage from being done. There are many obstacles in his path, though. There’s the new Commissioner of Gotham City, Barbara Gordon, who wants to defeat crime in a way Batman doesn’t agree with. Also, he finds out that he has adopted a boy, Dick Grayson, aka, Robin, who is eager to help Batman in any way he can. The movie tackles themes such as loneliness and the importance of friendship. Because Batman usually works alone, it is difficult for him to have to work with others. There are many aspects of the film that I enjoyed. At the beginning of the movie, the film pokes fun at itself by stating the obvious, like how an innocent bystander gets caught up in trouble, just like in other action movies. In fact, the movie does a really good job at making fun of its own story and the history behind Batman. There are a ton of references to old Batman cartoons and movies and how Batman goes through “similar phases”, as shown by Alfred, Batman’s butler, who pokes fun at him by listing different Batman films throughout the years. What’s unique about this movie is that it doesn’t just limit itself to the DC universe. There are numerous characters from other movies such as Voldemort from Harry Potter, Eye of Sauron from The Lord of the Rings, and a velociraptor from Jurassic Park. Another interesting thing is that The Lego Batman Movie practically acknowledges that the real world is out there because by referencing live-action movies. Also, the jokes in the movie are sure to please a wide variety of age groups. Batman, known to be a serious character in other films, brings about a new interpretation. He’s gruff, tough, conceited, and absolutely hilarious all at once. At the end of the film, you can really see his temperament shift to that of a more caring personality. However, that’s not to say the film doesn’t have any flaws. I thought it was a bit too fast-paced. There were scatterings of serious issues here and there,...

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Best devotionals for students to read
Feb22

Best devotionals for students to read

Published in the February 22, 2017 issue of The Bells College can be a fun yet stressful time in a person’s life. But in the midst of trials, the most important thing to do is to turn to God. You might wish you had more time to dwell in God’s Word, but classes and other college-related activities take up a lot of time. However, it’s important to realize that there is always time for God. It helps, even in the most exhausting and challenging moments of your life, to pause and see what the Lord has to say to you. I’ve always found that devotionals are a good place to start when wanting to find peace. The Bible app, found on Android and Apple devices, allows users to read the Bible, watch Christian videos, highlight verses, create notes, and access devotionals. There are five devotionals that I believe will benefit students in their walk of faith. College Student Devotional – This devotional is a 14-day plan that has a story about real college students’ struggles and a Bible passage that relates to the story. At the end of the narrative, the devotional asks you questions that helps you deepen your understanding of your own life. Exploring Your Gifts – God has given each of us our own gifts and talents. College is a perfect time to discover what He has given us and how to utilize our abilities for His glory. Exploring Your Gifts is a four-day plan that walks you through how God is preparing you for great things, by using examples of leaders in the Bible such as Moses, Esther, Hosea, and Timothy. Divine Direction – This seven-day devotional discusses a principle each day that will help you seek God’s direction in your life. These principles cover decisions involved in starting, stopping, staying, going, serving, connecting, and trusting in God. Chasing the Light – Chasing the Light helps readers to “pursue the Light of the World.” What’s interesting about this devotional is that for each day, there is an inspiring image of nature with a Bible verse that you can post on social media. Stability in a Fragile World – This devotional helps you find peace in Jesus. At the end of the devotional, there are affirmations that remind you that God is an infinite and loving Father who will always help you in your trials and tribulations. Devotionals are just one resource to strengthen your hope in Jesus. Reading the Bible, praying, and connecting with other believers will also help ignite your faith and restore peace in your heart and mind. You don’t have to walk...

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