Pierce Pioneer

“Outbreak” Review

Photofest / Courtesy Photo
Dustin Hoffman and Rene Russo in 1995’s ‘Outbreak’.

A look back at 1995’s “Outbreak”, amidst the COVID-19 quarantine.

During these quiet, yet rather suspenseful times, many people may be finding that they’re running out of things to do while sitting at home. While it is more than likely that most have had more than their fair share of TV and Netflix, one classic movie stands out in light of its relevancy to today’s events. 1995’s “Outbreak”, available to stream on Netflix, wonders, “What would happen if a deadly virus took the world by storm?” 

This virus in particular is named ‘Motaba’, where the recipients of which break out into nasty open sores. The makeup in the movie is quite realistic, as expected of a feature film; but nevertheless, if blood makes one squeamish, this may not be the film for them. 

As far as factual accuracy is concerned, Outbreak, being set mainly in the United States, uses correct medical and governmental terminology. The main protagonists associate with real organizations such as the World Health Organization and the CDC. 

The movie has a very well planned and moderate pace, rarely being too slow, yet not skimming over any important details or scenes for the sake of time. 

For those looking for comic relief in this rather dark story, there are several light jokes throughout between leading roles which helps viewers connect to the characters, making the movie all the better. Not to worry for those who find that humor ruins a good plot however, as there is still plenty of solemnness and blood to go around. 

This being said, the semi-intense graphics of the disease are not the only reason this movie is rated R. While there is no questionable or sexual content throughout the movie, the main characters swear frequently enough that one may want to reconsider before watching this movie with children. 

Overall, Outbreak is a well-orchestrated film that will capture the attention of a viewer throughout, with the perfect mix of both suspenseful and heartwarming moments. Especially considering the events that have been happening around the world recently, this movie is certainly worth a watch for anyone with a Netflix subscription.

Expanding Your Creative Horizons

Jesus Contreras / Staff Photographer

Pierce College’s Digital Design Studio and the Maker Space provides students with new creative opportunities

Pierce College is full of useful resources and commodities put in place in order to help students succeed. Many of these outlets, such as the library and tutoring center, are widely known about, and regularly give needed aid to a multitude of students. 

However, there are some resources the college has to offer that are not quite as recognized as others, and many students would be astounded to find the tools they’re missing out on. Made available mainly for students studying design at Pierce, although any student can use equipment and software, are the tools found in both the Digital Design Studio and the Maker Space.

Located in CAS 405, right next to the classroom in the library, the Digital Design Studio looks like a normal computer lab at first glance. Look further into the creative space however, and you’ll find it to be much more.

The computers in the lab, besides featuring massive curved monitors, are equipped with a host of Adobe programs that cannot be found on most other computers on campus. Students wishing to try their hand at Photoshop or After Effects have complete eligibility to do so at any time the studio is open, which should be for the majority any weekday.

Myra Fehling / Staff Illustration
Illustration of 3D printed models from the Maker Space

This resource can, has and will save students much time and money, as these programs can be quite pricey when purchased personally, even for students. Josseline Benitez, a student who works in the STAT department said, “A lot of people do use the resources, and they want to do some side projects, which is completely fine.”

On the ground level of the Olympic building is a space filled with colorful tables, chairs, and room for almost any activity. Many students see this area as just another place to study, but this largely unrecognized area has much more potential. This is the Maker Space, an area where students can not only use equipment like a 3D printer or laser cutter to create whatever their imaginations can devise, but also a space for games and art.

Design student Diane Russel works in the Maker Space and has used its resources for many of her own projects. “I would say we’re a pretty valuable resource,” said Russel. “The tables in the front are usually pretty full, people come to study and do homework.” 

Russel notes that while the space is often packed with students, few know of and utilize the actual equipment they have available. “I wish I had known about the 3D printer when I was taking my 3D class, I think that would have been fun and would have helped me understand the spatial aspects more.”

“I would like to see more people use the Maker Space, using the 3D printer and laser cutter for projects, and to expand their knowledge of the programs, and to use the skills they have in different, hands on ways. I think that would be a great thing.” Russel noted in a recent interview.

These two useful resource centers, although widely neglected, have the potential to be much more of a help to students than they currently are, simply because of how few students know they exist. Dion Jacobs, another STAT employee and student who sees the small number of students who use these assets said, “I think if there was more word on where this stuff was at, there would be a lot more students here, and it would help them with their classes, and give them a better experience here at Pierce.”

Serendipitous By Design

Veronica Lu / Staff Photographer
Dino-Slofer sharing his words of wisdom on how he got his business started thanks to his experience at Pierce.

Daniel Dino-Slofer, a Pierce College alumni and successful business owner, shares words of wisdom to share with equally aspiring students.

Many college students simply want to collect their degree, and find a comfortable job with reliable pay. But 32-year-old Dino-Slofer, who graduated from Pierce College in the Spring of 2019, went above and beyond the expectations set by the surrounding culture, and now runs his own successful company.

Being a student at Pierce College, Dino-Slofer never thought of himself as the entrepreneur type. “I never imagined I would get very far after graduating, in terms of being my own boss or doing something that I set my mind to,” he said. “I always thought that I would just get a job right out of college and work for someone else.”

Despite his concerns, Dino-Slofer went down a different path. Although much of what Dino-Slofer has accomplished was organized after he graduated, his journey through college was quite unique, if not also hindered by unfortunate technical difficulties. 

Dino-Slofer was on the verge of obtaining his degree in media design and production when his program got cancelled. After spending three years as a student at Clover Park Technical College  he was forced to either choose a different program at the school or complete his degree somewhere else. Dino-Slofer decided to finish his program at Pierce College. 

“I made a choice to come to Pierce,” he said. “And not only did I complete my degree, I decided to go on to get my certificate in social media marketing and project management.” Dino-Slofer attributes his success to this transfer to Pierce, saying that it was his experiences, the support and quality in the courses that he took which led him to start his own small business.

Dino-Slofer now runs Lucent Designs, a freelance photography and digital design company. The staff consists of Dino-Slofer himself, and two co-workers, Akari Nori and Andera Bautista. Dino-Slofer states that each team member is proficient in different categories of photography. “I specialize in landscape photography. Akari, she specializes in portraits, and Andrea she specializes in urban photography.”

While Dino-Slofer lives here in the Pacific Northwest, Nori and Bautista currently reside in Canada and Japan, respectively. This gives the company very different perspectives, and much variety in content between the three locations.

Dino-Slofer’s inspirational, outgoing personality has not gone unnoticed by his fellow students either. “(Daniel is) always in the background, taking pictures, and he’s usually doing it on campus. Chances are if there’s any event going on, he’s covering it.” said an friend of Daniels, who. 

Yet another friend, Ren, who wished his last name to be undisclosed, has known Daniel since he first started attending Pierce College. “He was very outgoing when I initially met him, and that still hasn’t changed.” said Ren.

Dino-Slofer’s innovation and success can speak to many young minds, and be an encouraging light when it seems that students dreams may never come to fruition. Dino-Slofer offers some words of encouragement to current and future students who wish to become entrepreneurs like himself. 

“Whatever your dream, whatever your goal is, go for it, even if you don’t entirely have a complete plan in your mind. Take the first steps, get things started. Seek out the information you need to start your own business, your own freelance or whatever thing you want to start, and as you get better at it, it’ll come naturally.”

Pokémon Sword and Shield gives a fresh new take on a well used formula

The Pokemon Company / Courtesy Photo

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, the newest members of the Pokémon video game franchise, are two fun, engaging games that will inspire both seasoned players, and curious newcomers to ‘catch em’ all’. These titles are the first ‘traditional’ Pokémon games being released exclusively on the Nintendo Switch, and fans of the series will be delighted with what the games have to bring.

For those who aren’t familiar with the popular franchise, Pokémon is set in a world where the massive wildlife population, collectively known as Pokémon, hence the series’ name, are traditionally caught and trained by individuals known as trainers. These trainers attempt to take their Pokémon team to the top, by means of battle between the creatures, in hopes of being the best of the best.

Pokémon Sword and Shield represents this well-worn formula well, while also adding its own new take on the traditional trainer’s journey. While players explore the newfound Galar region, they will not only encounter many Pokémon they know and love, but also an assortment of brand-new creatures native to the area.

Anyone who’s played previous Pokémon games will be relieved to know that Sword and Shield manages to maintain the traditional control and turn based battle schemes, unlike the Nintendo Switch’s first Pokémon title, “Pokémon Let’s Go”, which received much controversy upon its release.

Detail-wary players may notice the games’ newer art style, which differs slightly from the design in previous games. The graphics are presented in an attractive, colorful manga reminiscent style, seemingly blown up into the third dimension, but with much more clarity than previous games. This is perhaps due to the fact that the Nintendo Switch, the platform upon which the games are exclusive to, has a much better resolution than any previous hand-held consoles that housed older Pokémon games.

One of the most anticipated new features of Sword and Shield is the option to ‘dynamax’ one’s Pokémon during battle. This new feature allows Pokémon to grow to a massive size, greatly increasing both their power, and general awesomeness factor. During a battle where dynamaxing is permitted, a player may dynamax one Pokémon for the duration of three turns. This new tactic will certainly play a key role in players’ strategizing during battle, as Sword and Shield will soon be the newest official platform for competitive gameplay.

Pokémon Sword and Shield is a promising successor to the many other games in the franchise, with the perfect mix of both new and familiar content. Wandering the extensive Galar region, long-time fans of the franchise will be excited to see how the locals have refreshed the usual trainer’s journey, and players just picking up their first Pokéball will have a blast battling till they themselves become the champion.

Since this has been written, Nintendo has announced new DLCs to be released in June 2020 and in Autumn 2020.

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