Interesting Places to go around the Central Texas Area

Published in the October 12, 2016 issue of The Bells Around campus, it seems as though students are left doing the same old same thing. From movies to going to the lake, to bowling, students are faced with ultimate boredom and longing to go home to do something new. But there are things around the Central Texas area that many don’t know about that could keep locals entertained all year around. 1. Local Pumpkin Patches With the fall season embracing Texas with its slight change in leaves and light breeze, pumpkin patches and Christmas tree farms will be popping up all over. Locally, we have a few pumpkin patches open for business, The Robinson Family Farm and Silo Christmas Tree Farm. They each have various attractions, including mazes and hot chocolate. And theri pictureesque surroundings make them great places for perfect photo ops. 2. Topsey Exotic Ranch In Copperas Cove, this drive-through safari includes various animals ranging from deer to giraffes. For 10 dollars a person and 1 dollar per bag of feed, it’s a great way to spend a day. But be warned, the animals can be quite large, and the trail is quite long. So go with a full tank of gas and preferably in a large vehicle or truck. 3. That Art Place/Arusha’s Looking for an experience closer to campus? That Art Place in Belton or Arusha’s Coffee Shop are great to visit. That Art Place is a local art studio where patrons can take art classes to learn how to paint canvases, work with glass, and paint pottery such as mugs and figurines. These items will be glazed and fired for you and available within a couple of weeks, and will be food and drink safe. Arusha’s is a great hangout if one is looking for somewhere to chill out and listen to some local bands and drink something locally-brewed. 4. Drive-In Theater In Gatesville, for a small fee of 10 dollars per carload, a group can see a movie and enjoy popcorn from the comfort of their car. New releases are shown and the theater is open seven days a week, featuring two movies a night. There are many hidden treasures around the Central Texas area that students have yet to discover. So keep these in mind the next time you feel the need to venture off campus looking for fun and...

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Finding your Hustle: Alternative Ways To Make Money in College

Published in the September 28, 2016 issue of The Bells College is filled with so many amazing moments. Academics may seem stressful, but there’s no doubt that the social part of college is a truly fun experience  There’s hanging with friends, playing sports, going to events, joining church groups and clubs, and so much more. But let’s be honest: college is hard to enjoy when you’re broke. There’s the cliché that after paying for tuition, room and board, books, and other necessities, college students struggle financially and consider themselves “poor, which sadly, most of the time rings true. It’s understandable. A lot of times as college students, we work minimum wage jobs. If you want to find a hustle (a clean, legal hustle) that does not involve flipping burgers, here are a few suggestions First, find what you are good at. Your best shot at making extra money is to find something you are good at. Get better at it, and network and advertise those skills. You can be a service to people, with a little effort and practice. There are plenty of jobs that come just from practicing the skill and having a little faith. That is usually how people make extra money on the side. Here are just a few jobs for an example: Barbering/Hairstyling This is mostly for the guys, but it can be for the ladies, too. All you need is some clippers, some sheen, and a mirror. Practice makes perfect, and soon, you can be cutting all your friends’ hair for a rate. Ladies, if you are also good at cutting or dying hair, your friends can come to you for convenience and a discounted rate compared to a salon. Babysitting or Tutoring Some people love working with kids. There are always jobs for aiding and helping kids, and babysitting or tutoring are incredibly needed, especially in the Belton/Temple community. Families are always looking for college students to help watch kids after school, and Temple ISD even has an afterschool program so you can help kids with their homework. It is a great way to make money while also making an impact on the next generation. Freelance Writer Although this would take some time to build traffic, companies pay for writing. You can either make your own blog and write about popular, relevant topics (such as how-tos or pop culture articles), or you can find someone who wants you to write a particular piece and will pay you for it. There are tons of media outlets looking for bloggers/ writers. These are just a few ways you can be a service to others and...

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Coming this fall: Find out what you can expect on your TV this season

Published in the September 28, 2016 issue of The Bells October, the time when fleece sweaters, Halloween, and Pumpkin spice become trending topics. But perhaps most importantly, October is the time when new TV series arrive. CBS plans to air three new shows on their network that will have viewers laughing along and getting hooked on medical drama. The show Man with a Plan is a comedy about a contractor, Adam (Matt LeBlanc), who begins to look after his three kids more often when his wife Andi (Liza Snyder) starts working. However, he discovers that the job is not so easy, as his children are wild, and he must learn how to take control of the situation. Man With a Plan will air Oct. 24. The Great Indoors is a sitcom that follows Jack Gordon (Joel McHale), a reporter that once wandered around the globe in order to scoop out incredible stories. Now, he is the boss in the digital section of a magazine, working with young writers who fail to truly understand nature. He must figure out how to connect to his coworkers who are into pop culture and things he doesn’t have a clue about. The Great Indoors will air Oct. 27. Pure Genius is a medical drama about a wealthy, tech-savvy man, James Bell (Augustus Prew), who partners up with Dr. Walter Wallace (Dermot Mulroney), a surgeon, to create a hospital with advanced medical technology, in hopes of treating patients with mysterious illnesses. Pure Genius will premiere Oct. 27. In addition, The CW will air two new shows – No Tomorrow on Oct. 4 and Frequency on Oct. 5. No Tomorrow, a comedy- drama, stars Tori Anderson as Evie and Joshua Sasse as Xavier. Evie falls in love with Xavier, but she soon discovers that Xavier is not as suave as he first appears. He believes that the apocalypse is coming in a matter of months, which explains his exhilarating, carefree lifestyle. Evie, although skeptical of his idea, joins in on his adventurous routines. Frequency, a drama, is about a detective named Raimy Sullivan (Peyton List). She discovers that she can speak to her father Frank Sullivan (Riley Smith) in the past by using a radio. Together, they try to change the past and rekindle their damaged relationship. ABC also has two show premieres – Conviction, which will air Oct. 3, and American Housewife on Oct. 11.   Conviction is a drama about the daughter of a past United States President, a rebellious attorney named Hayes Morrison (Hayley Atwell). After having a run-in with the law, she is blackmailed into examining cases that may not have...

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Pokemon Go: the app that captured the world

Published in the September 28, 2016 issue of The Bells   Claiming over one hundred million downloads in the first two and a half months since its release, Pokemon Go has won the hearts of many smartphone users. People who had played the game before and new players alike leapt at the opportunity to take part in this exciting new installment in the world of Pokemon. The game is a virtual reality based version of the well-loved series. The user walks around in the world and can see one of three interactive parts of the game; a Pokemon, a PokeStop, or a Pokemon Gym. Pokemon are caught with PokeBalls. PokeStops can be used to collect items and attract Pokemon. And at a Gym, a player can battle the Pokemon of other players in an attempt to take it over. As of right now, seemingly the only goal of the game is to collect all 150 available Pokemon. Initial opinions of the game before the release were on opposite ends of the spectrum, but gamers were anxiously anticipating the July 6 release date. When the day came for the app to be released, users flooded the servers with attempts to play, causing the game to have quite the rocky start. Server issues plagued users for several weeks, causing frustration. Eventually the issues were sorted out, and people began to play. For a while it was like magic. To be able to see Pokemon on the screen in any given location was an interesting new twist to smartphone gaming. Users were everywhere, from parks, to grocery stores, to private premises in a few unfortunate cases. Junior public relations major Bryan Guice said, “Pokemon Go is a fun way to spend some of your down time away from class and a great way to exercise. The downside is people aren’t the best decision makers most of the time. Most people become so engulfed when they play that they won’t look both ways before crossing the street, or they refuse to stay off of private property.” While currently sitting at a rating of a 4.1 on the Google Play store and three-and a- half stars on the Apple Store, Pokemon Go is a great game that could be doing better. Freshman Multimedia and Information Technology major Emily Tomlinson said, “It’s a fun game with a great concept that brings people together, but I think people are losing interest. The company keeps failing to listen to the suggestions and complaints of the users.” The problem with the game, according to the users right now, is that it feels like a different game. Concepts like...

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Have you heard of BEN-HUR?

Published in the August 24 issue of The Bells Two brothers stand at the starting line, waiting to begin a chariot race of a lifetime. From the moment Ben-Hur begins, the audience is thrown into action. Ben-Hur is a remake of the 1959, Oscar-winning film. Several reviewers, including Rolling Stone and CNN, believe the new film doesn’t come close to comparing to the original epic. As I have never seen the original, I went into the film as an uninformed moviegoer without any standards to compare the film to. While I do not believe this film will be 2016’s Best Picture, I was thoroughly impressed. Ben-Hur tells the story of the Jewish prince, Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), and his quest for vengeance against his Roman adopted brother, Messala (Tony Kebbell). Hur and Messala are devoted friends and brothers until Messala leaves Hur’s family to join the Roman army due to his insecurity over his birth family. A few years later, Messala returns to Jerusalem only to have Hur and his family arrested for treason against Rome. The film takes place during the period where Pontius Pilate (Pilou Asbaek) and his army were killing those who wanted freedom against Rome. Hur is sentenced to be a galley slave, while his mother and sister are supposedly jailed and crucified. Five years later, Hur finds himself back in Jerusalem thirsting for revenge. Huston plays a convincing Judah. The audience is able to mourn with him as he loses everything he has after being falsely accused by Messala. And the audience will find themselves cheering him on in the intense chariot race scene that will determine the fate of the two brothers. Love plays a huge role in this version of Ben-Hur, as well. Once Jesus teaches Judah about the importance of loving your neighbor, he is never the same. Judah’s story intermingles with the life of Christ. And the film portrays a biblically accurate depiction of Christ’s crucifixion that left more than one audience member with tears on their cheeks. Another notable appearance in the film is Morgan Freeman’s Ilderim who serves as Judah’s advisor/life coach/ trainer. Ilderim’s guidance saves Judah’s life more than once in the film. Ben-Hur combines biblical, fictional, and historical elements that when put together depict a moving tale of suffering and redemption. If you can sit through the two and a half hour film, Ben-Hur is a...

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Enchanting Harry Potter series get a not-so-magical makeover
Aug24

Enchanting Harry Potter series get a not-so-magical makeover

Published in the Aug. 24, 2016 issue Finally, there is a new book out that features the world-famous Harry Potter and his friends. So like Sirius Black, the Harry Potter fans did their waiting. It’s been nine years since the release of the seventh book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In the years since, “Potterheads” have anxiously-awaited any continuation of Harry’s story. And now, with the release of, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, fans can finally have their fix. The new story begins 20 years after the Battle of Hogwarts and focuses on Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger-Weasley, Draco Malfoy and all their children. And even though the wait was long, it was worth it. As a massive Harry Potter fan, I was ecstatic when I discovered that there would be a play coming out introducing the world to the newest generation of wizards and witches, while also letting us take a glance at what was happening with the original group of Hogwart’s students. But because the play would be debuting overseas, I was concerned that I would never get the chance to see what happened to my favorite characters. I was hoping there would be a way to see the play without having to buy a plane ticket. When it was announced that the script would be released as a book, I knew it would allow me and other Harry Potter fans to get the knowledge we need without the travel.While the script gives the reader a feel of the play, it leaves much to the imagination and dismisses details of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The book also does not mention most of the minor characters that made the Harry Potter series memorable. Another downside of the Cursed Child is that the beloved J.K. Rowling does not write it. The play was actually written by Jack Thorne, who based the play off of a new original story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Thorne. Since the story is only based on a story from Rowling, the Cursed Child gives off a fan-fiction vibe. There are points in the story that do not make sense because they conflict with happenings in the series. Despite the errors of the book, there are some things the book got right, like the introduction of the new generation: Scorpious Malfoy, Rose Granger-Weasley, and Albus Severus Potter. While there are others characters in the book, the play focuses on these children as they try to make a name for themselves outside of their parents’ shadows. While the book did have its ups and downs, it was actually really good....

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