January 2022

Virtual Tours of Museums and Aquariums!

What are some of the best virtual tours to explore and relax?

Would you like to take a tour of a museum or an aquarium, but are not able to attend in person? Here are some great virtual tours that you can experience from the comfort of your home!

This tour of the New York Aquarium hosts a wide variety of sea animals! One example is the display of fish surrounded by beautiful reefs. More sea animals include seals and penguins. Tourists are given a closer look at the living area of penguins, which includes the sight of nests and eggs. If that is not exciting enough, tourists may also visit the shark exhibits!

Are you interested in dinosaur fossils? Are you interested in other long-extinct animals’ fossils? If so, this tour is perfect for you! This museum features many life-sized sculptures of animals like dinosaurs, elephants, lions, buffalos, and much more! Also, the museum holds a large display of minerals and stones. This includes minerals that glow in the dark. So exciting!

This aquarium is one of the largest in the world. It has two exhibits that contain dozens of aquatic habitats. The 3D virtual tour allows you to roam in the facility’s two buildings. On this tour, viewers can see animals from some of the most popular habitats in the world, like the Amazon River Forest, Atlantic Coral Reef, and Australia’s rivers. 

This museum provides a tour that lets you view artworks dating back to the eighth and twenty-first centuries. This tour is accessible through the J. Paul Getty Museum website. The 3D explore section allows you to move around as if you were touring in person. Overall, the tour provides a detailed experience and lots of interactions!

Written by: Saraleim Mozqueda Saldana | Editor

Casey Watkins | Staff Writer

Graphic by: Casey Watkins

Spider Man: No Way Home.. A Review

Great movie for Spider Man fans only?

Spider Man: No Way Home was a movie many had been anxious to see. It is a must-see for everyone, because there is big talk surrounding No Way Home. It is a movie that should not be spoiled for anyone, by any means! New viewers should be able to experience the raw emotion. Although a superhero movie, No Way home is filled with many emotional scenes; scenes that will make you excited, mad, laugh, and cry. 

The beginning of No Way Home gives us a taste into what Spider Man’s life is like with his identity exposed. That did not last long, though. Peter Parker requested for Dr. Strange to get rid of the situation. Thus, the chaos of the multiverse began. There were many ways this film could’ve played out with the concept of a multiverse, but it was brilliant to appeal to the audiences’ nostalgia by bringing back Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield to help Tom Holland’s Peter Parker. There was much excitement to bring back all the Spider Man villains as well! 

There has been debate on whether viewers had to watch the old Spider Man movies and be a big fan in order to love this new movie. Cary Darling, who writes for the Houston Chronicle, shares some thoughts.

“A deft, funny and surprisingly emotional superhero adventure that manages to provide both fan service for the Marvel faithful and breezy entertainment for those who wouldn’t know Peter Parker from Peter Jackson,” Darling said. 

Darling’s point of view seemed to be a popular view. However, there is an opposing view. Chris Hewitt, from Minneapolis Star Tribune, stands with the opposing side. 

“It’s called ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ but a better title for this exhausting sequel would be ‘Spider-Man: For Superfans Only’,” Hewitt said.

No matter which side you lean toward, the important thing is that you saw the movie. Not seeing it would make the question, “Have you been living under a rock?” a fair question. On the other hand, if you have not seen it, and you have read this far, the spoilers may affect your emotions during viewing. That is okay. It is still a must-watch, even if you wait for it to become available on streaming services! Not to mention, there are two big after-credit scenes that introduce a whole new story plot that will keep you anxiously waiting, once again.

Author: Alicia Garcia | Staff Writer

Graphic by: Alicia Garcia

Duolingo, a Game-like Language Learning App!

How does Duolingo work and what do students think about it?

Duolingo has become known for its meme-worthy advertising tactics, passive-aggressive reminders, and its recognizable owl mascot. Beneath the surface of all of this, some may ask: is the app really effective? At its core, Duolingo works by teaching people in an unconventional manner, which means the app focuses on its students learning through game-like lessons. This unconventional tactic also means Duolingo does not teach its students language rules; instead, the app focuses on teaching patterns to its students, so they will be able to predict them on their own.

Now, what are FPU students’ experience with the app? Students Kayley Bryan-Sanchez, Paula Mercado, and Alex Vang have used this app as a casual way to learn the basics of a language of their choosing. In Kayley’s case, the app has been a part of her life for 8 years. She first downloaded it in high school, but she did not take it very seriously until she started college. Like many users of the app, she is learning several languages at once. Her main focus, though, is French. When asked if she thought the app helped her learn French, she stated that it helped her a fair amount. Mostly, one of the main parts that she enjoys about the app is that it allows her to take her time. She took French class in high school, but she noted that the pace did not allow her to properly learn the accent and grammar. 

With Duolingo, however, she feels she can grasp the concepts better by working at her own rate. Although she finds the app helpful, she does recommend the app as a basic learning skill. To fully learn a language, she recommends buying books in whatever foreign language one wants to learn. When asked about some of the things she did not like about the app, or things she would like to change, she noted the constant reminders and the “hearts.” When it came to the constant reminders, she found that they were annoying to receive. In addition, she felt like the hearts should be removed. That way, a person could continue their lesson without having to wait if they make mistakes.  

Although she used the app in 2015 (when it was much less developed), Paula expressed similar opinions about it. She also felt like the app was best suited as a basic step towards learning a new language. In her case, she felt like the app mostly benefited her when it came to learning how to write in English. When asked what she liked about the app, she liked how the app reminded her to do her lessons. In particular, she shared that she would have completed lessons more often if she would have received the passive-aggressive reminders Duolingo is now known for. Like Kayley, she also experienced class lessons and the app’s lessons. In her case, however, she felt more motivated when there were other people in the same situation as her. This feeling mostly stems from the fact that she felt like the Duolingo lessons could be abandoned at any time. Overall, though, she reflects on her experience positively.

Finally, another student that used Duolingo for a short period was Alex Vang. She took a much more casual approach to the app, which meant that she only used it to brush up on her Spanish lessons. This took three weeks, but she did find the app useful and stated that the practice would be helpful for her in the workplace. Although she found it useful for practicing Spanish, she did note that the app had little variety. As a result, she felt like the app could improve by adding more languages to its platform. 

Author: Saraleim Mozqueda Saldana | Editor

Graphic: Valerie Claustro