Kapur’s Fall Dive into Abbey Road and Elton John’s Masterpieces

Kapur’s Fall Dive into Abbey Road and Elton John’s Masterpieces

Rhea Kapur (V)

Even though I dislike the mainstream, formulaic pop that constantly fills Spotify’s “Today’s Top Hits” Playlist, I keep an eye on the charts. Billboard Hot 100? The top 200 albums? Rolling Stone’s Top 100? iTunes Top 100? You name it. Imagine my surprise when, just a few days into October, I saw not Taylor Swift’s Lover at the top of the Billboard 200, but The Beatles’ Abbey Road, as it was just past the album’s 50th anniversary (Sept. 26th).

I went through a brief Beatles phase this summer, after rediscovering Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the “Twist and Shout” cameo – the song was on repeat for weeks, so much so that Spotify would start recommending it in every single one of my personalized playlists. I mainly listened to their popular works – “Twist and Shout,” of course, “Hey Jude” (the beautiful lyrics of which, by the way, were written by Paul McCartney to comfort John Lennon’s son Julian during his parents’ divorce), “Here Comes The Sun,” and “Blackbird.” But, last week, after noticing the Beatles’ unusual appearance in the Billboard 200, and reminiscing about my summer obsession, I was intrigued. So I put in headphones, closed my doors, and blasted Abbey Road, Remastered 2009. The Beatles’ swan song. The famous last album. The goodbye. And I have to say – it was an experience.

My favorite song by far was “Carry That Weight,” one of the only songs on the album recorded with all four members. It’s dark, it’s deep, it’s striking. A bit of history: recorded as one with “Golden Slumbers,” an eerily reassuring, hopeful, and vulnerable track in and of itself, the song was written by Paul McCartney but it interestingly featured vocals from all four Beatles. The sheer pressure the song conveys (heavy trumpets, “weight” being repeated, etc. – and that abrupt ending) mirrors the Beatles’ own struggles at the time: inter-group rifts and management troubles with Apple plagued them. Fellow juniors, I bet you can relate to this pressure – I know I’m already feeling it. Take comfort in knowing that the Beatles, too, went through seemingly hopeless times – but of course, theirs was probably much more significant, as the band ended up breaking up at the end. However, those times overall turned out to be great and remembered from today’s perspective, and ours will too – have faith. The weight, in fact, will be “carried a long time.”

A couple more gems from Abbey Road – “You Never Give Me Your Money,” featuring a beautiful, poignant piano base, “Oh! Darling” with McCartney’s wrought, almost painful, but undeniably powerful vocals, and of course, “Come Together” with its unique instrumental backbone – quiet, but with all the more noticeable guitar and beats in the back. I highly recommend those. And check out the 2019 mix of Abbey Road – it has come out in honor of the 50th Anniversary! 

To continue my “classics~vibes” music pattern, I was reminded of Elton John – another great artist I constantly listened to this summer after watching the movie in his honor, Rocketman, with some friends. And what a movie that was. It was the first time I really listened to and recognized Elton John, and in theaters, too – the music was just all-encompassing and consuming in conjunction with the story of his eventful, bright-as-a-supernova life. Hearing the song “Rocketman” blasted, I could sense the mixed feelings and, of course, the Ray Bradbury influence – he wrote a short story in the 1950s entitled “The Rocket Man” upon which the song lyrics are heavily based. 

Elton John wrote about the most obscure things – the “blue jean baby” in his hands in “Tiny Dancer” (a classic, by the way – simply a beautiful song), or “Spanish Harlem” in “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” (one of my favorite songs of all time, and one of Elton’s own favorites, too. I mean, the emotion in it is unparalleled). Honky Chateau is definitely a must-check-out album. But, I digress. Overall, Elton manages to make each and every one of his songs striking and beautiful. He’s simply a genius – not only with the jazz piano, which backs almost all of his songs, but with the lyrics and the voice, too. I’m eternally envious of those fortunate enough to have witnessed his genius in person, in his prime (Mr. Keating, looking at you!).

So I highly, highly recommend checking out Elton John and Abbey Road. Listen to them alone, in a quiet space, or even on a rainy morning bus ride, but with the music blasting as loud as you can bear – and really feel the music. Let it transport you away from the generic pop for a minute and take you back to the roaring 60s and 70s, when people, places, and music had unique character. Anyway, I’ve been listening to these two as I write this column, and it’s been the perfect vibe. I guarantee you, you’ll be hooked. 

Karuppur Tackles the Technology Tea

Karuppur Tackles the Technology Tea

Aneesh Karuppur (V)

Some interesting things transpired in the tech world over the summer, and even more during the start of the school year.

Perhaps the most talked-about issue was the release of Apple’s new products in September, the most buzzy of which is the new set of iPhones. These include the iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max. The feature everyone seems to be talking about are the new cameras; on the iPhone 11, there is now a second camera for enhanced zoom. On the iPhone 11 Pros, there are now three cameras: one for normal shots, one for closer ones, and one for an ultra-wide picture. The cameras also feature a new Night Mode, a concept likely pilfered from the previous “camera phone,” the Google Pixel. Night Mode uses software tools to brighten your image without making it grainy. It draws out details from all the black spots of your picture. Portrait mode has been updated, as has the camera app itself. It is now easier to look at and use. iPhones have long had 4K video (ultra-high-definition) abilities, and Apple is now advertising enhanced editing tools to go along with it. Finally, Apple is also selling “slofies” with the new batch of iPhones, which are essentially slow-mo selfie videos. I would consider the camera upgrades a reasonable selling point, but the “slofie” aspect is frankly not very compelling.

Other upgrades from last year’s phones include the improved glass casing and a faster chip that features more machine-learning capabilities. This means that the phone can better optimize various tasks and generally run faster during demanding tasks such as games and Schoology uploads. The new iPhones also come in some nice new colors, and have improved screens for quality and color accuracy. 

All of this is well and good, but for me, it does not really add up to a compelling proposition. In fact, these last two years of iPhones have been fairly underwhelming. My recommendation is that, unless you have an iPhone 7 or older, or you really want the cool new camera features, this absurdly expensive update is not worth your money. Next year’s iPhones are rumored to have new designs and potentially 5G, the faster mobile data standard that some Android phones already have. For now, just upload the new iOS 13 on your existing phone and sit this update out. 

Apple also announced some incremental upgrades in the Apple Watch Series 5, but I still recommend a Series 3 or a Series 4 if you can find one, as they have better value. Additionally, iPadOS on iPads can now better mimic a laptop operating system. To get a maximum bang for your buck, I recommend the regular iPad (or iPad Pro for artists) with a Logitech Crayon stylus (or an Apple Pencil for artists). These tablets should serve as good note-taking and art tools. Finally, Apple mildly updated their MacBook Pros by adding the TouchBar mini-touch screen, as well as some processor bumps. This last one gets a lukewarm recommendation from me—I am hoping that Apple will respond to recent leaps made by other manufacturers in the laptop industry and further improve their product. 

Now that I have Apple’s news out of the way, let’s talk about Microsoft’s new line of Surface products. The Surface Laptop 3 is more of an incremental upgrade, but there is finally USB-C in the laptop. This port can connect to multiple displays, drives, or any other device through the use of a dongle instead of one individual port.

Microsoft also updated the Surface Pro 7 tablet with similar upgrades as the laptop. The new device here is the Surface Pro X, which is a clear iPad Pro copycat. It is more of a laptop than the Surface Pro 7 is, and comes with a harder keyboard. I still believe that a Dell XPS 2-in-1 would meet the needs of just about every Windows user except the extremely involved artist, so I don’t have a whole lot to recommend from Microsoft; they are charging Apple-level prices while Dell’s XPS’s are offering similar quality for significantly less money.

Finally, Samsung has announced its Galaxy Note 10 phones, which offer the best performance an Android phone can offer while still remaining svelte and making good use of the built in stylus (S-Pen). Personally, I am not a fan of Samsung devices, and the camera hole in the display is, in my opinion, a worse design than Apple’s notch. Regardless, the Note 10 is an impressive phone, and if you are willing to pay over a thousand dollars, it’s a solid buy.

That just about wraps it up for this issue’s tech column. I hope it helped you make more informed tech-buying decisions. Stay tuned for the next issue!


Kaplan reviews Spider-Man: Far From Home

Kaplan reviews Spider-Man: Far From Home

Alex Kaplan (V)

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home. If you don’t want to read spoilers, don’t read on.

This past July, I saw the release of the second Spider-Man film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe––Spider-Man: Far From Home. The film was a continuation of where the universe left off after Avengers: Endgame. The world is clearly still reeling from the loss of Iron Man in the battle against Thanos at the Avengers Headquarters, and the people are looking for a new symbol of peace. Nobody feels this pressure more than Peter Parker (played by Tom Holland), Tony Stark’s protege and high-school spider-teenager. He is hounded by the press and Nick Fury, and to top it all off, Stark left Peter unfettered access to his military-grade weapons system, EDITH (“Even Dead I’m The Hero”). The story follows Parker as he deals with this pressure and interacts with Mysterio, a walking fake-news metaphor. The circumstances around the film raise a lot of interesting moral questions, including whether or not it is acceptable to deceive people for their own comfort, and if it is fair to interrupt a hero’s daily life to recruit them for a mission. Chief among these questions is this: is it fair to lay the hopes of the world on a teenage hero?

Throughout the film, Peter Parker struggles to balance his life as a normal teenager with his superhero persona, which leads to some perilous situations. Peter spends the majority of the film on a field trip across Europe, where he tries to ask out his crush, MJ. While on a bus through the countryside, Peter realizes that the glasses Tony Stark left for him house EDITH, and he attempts to use it to remove an embarrassing photo from another student’s phone. Instead, he fails to exercise proper precaution and nearly kills a member of his class with a drone strike. Needless to say, Peter does not have the proper experience necessary to operate military-grade artificial intelligence technology. He is too concerned with the issues surrounding his high-school life to to focus on properly utilizing weapons technology.

Unfortunately for Peter, he has to focus on being a hero, or wherever the trip goes,  massive elemental monsters follow. This seems to take a toll on him, as throughout the film Peter laments not being able to spend time with the people in his class. Speaking directly to Mysterio, he says, “I didn’t think I was going to have to save the world this summer. I know that makes me sound like such a jerk. I just, I had this plan with this girl that I really like, and now it’s all ruined.” Peter is unable to commit his time to heroism, and, in my opinion, the Avengers should not expect him to. He deserves to have a high school experience like anyone else’s.

Overall, I thought that Spider-Man: Far From Home was a well put-together and enjoyable film. I encourage anyone who likes both high school dramas and superhero/military shenanigans to watch it. It also serves as an effective reminder, and a cautionary tale to people like Pingry students, that teenagers should not be trusted with the fate of the entire world. Much like Peter Parker, we must be wary of overextending ourselves.

Spider-Man: Far From Home: 8.5/10

Tony Stark’s Moral Choices and Placement of Responsibility: 3/10

Karuppur on the Consumer Electronics Show

By Aneesh Karuppur ’21

Welcome back to The Pingry Record’s Tech Column! There’s a lot to talk about this issue — namely the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada — but there’s still exciting stuff going on back home at Pingry, too.

First up, Pingry’s Student Technology Committee (STC) has made a lot of progress over the season. Pingry’s Apple Authorized Service Provider, called The Bear Repair, has fixed many students’ computers since it was started this fall. The Bear Repair has done everything from troubleshooting problems to running official diagnostic tests to performing display and battery replacements. It provides the same level of service as an Apple Genius Bar, but without the hassle of driving to a different place or making an appointment far in advance. STC’s Apple Certified Mac Technicians (ACMT) are fully qualified and follow official procedures, and The Bear Repair’s pricing is lower as well. Check it out in the back of the tech office. Consultations, troubleshooting, and problem diagnoses are completely free! More ACMTs are being trained as this article is being written, so there will be even more available technicians in the coming months.

STC’s Tech Team has undertaken an endeavor to provide charging carts around the school, so students don’t have to leave their laptop in the tech office or sit in the library if it needs to be charged. The Charging Station team is currently working on the logistics and the placement of these carts and hopes to roll them out as soon as possible.

Tech Team is also working on getting the most out of the school’s 3D printer. New members are being trained on how to use computer-aided design (CAD) to make and print models. All students are allowed to use the 3D printer provided they design the models themselves.

In global tech news, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was a big deal. Computers, specifically gaming laptops, made a big splash at the show. Many high-performance computers were released with Nvidia’s latest RTX line of graphics processing units (GPUs). Additionally, laptop maker Gigabyte released a laptop that uses artificial intelligence to optimize power delivery. All of these innovations, while very expensive and not completely practical yet, point towards a software-driven future.

Another big theme at the show was new smartphones. Many manufacturers showed off unique designs, including smart flip phones, and more notably foldable phones. These devices are important since they feature screens that can bend almost a full 360 degrees. This could potentially mean more screen size in the same form factor and could increase portability. Companies like Apple and Samsung have developed proprietary knowledge and techniques in this technology due to their promises.

Virtual reality is also becoming more important. HTC, which makes the Vive headset, demonstrated a new eye-tracking technology that allows you to look around a virtual space without moving your head. Oculus debuted the Quest, a new headset which provides a virtual reality experience without the hassle of hooking up a computer. In fact, Pingry has both HTC Vive and Oculus headsets, and a desktop to power them, so students will hopefully be able to use virtual reality technology in their classes in the coming years.

Counter-Couture

Counter-Couture

By Julia Fu ’19

During this bleak winter season, comfort is the priority. Many girls are sporting cozy shearling jackets and teddy coats to stay warm. Though, despite the winter aesthetic of oversized sweaters and leggings, there are many exciting fashion trends on the rise at Pingry. What was once dismissed as kitschy and gaudy is making a comeback; animal prints have been spotted on skirts, turtlenecks, and even phone cases! Pair your favorite basic sweater with a leopard print skirt or finish a monochromatic outfit with faux snakeskin shoes. On a night out, wear a leopard print coat with heels for the “city-girl look.”

With the spring season only a few weeks away, it’s time to break out the Lilly Pulitzer dresses and pastel skirts, as this year’s spring trends are reminiscent of Sixties fashion. The counterculture of the 1960’s represented a rebellion against the values of traditional society. During this time of social upheaval, mainstream fashion was radically changed with the emergence of Bohemian fashion. The same trends of flared sleeves, fringe jackets, and flowy peasant dresses can be seen at today’s popular clothing stores, such as Free People and Forever 21. Embrace the Boho-chic style with floral print dresses and embroidered denim jackets. For a comfortable and stylish outfit, wear a pair of flowy and flared pants with a plain tee-shirt.

With the revival of Sixties Mod, you’ll be seeing lots of brightly-colored culottes and tweed tops this spring. If you’re looking for the essential mini dress, find one with a fun and flirty print, like polka dots or colored stripes. Though once regarded as a fashion faux pas, mixing prints is in vogue once again. So, don’t be afraid to experiment with the broad color palette. This was the era of bold, innovative, and creative fashion that broke all the rules and created new trends. English model, Twiggy, popularized the plaid mini skirt, which had initially shocked the public. Leopard print was born in the wardrobe of the first lady and Sixties fashion icon, Jackie Kennedy. Yves Saint Laurent’s knee-high boots demonstrated that fashion had both functional and aesthetic value.

As the Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli once said, “In difficult times, fashion is always outrageous.” Whether it is mixing prints or trying a vintage trend, take a fashion risk this season to find your own style. The values of individuality and self-discovery were fundamental to the counterculture revolution.

Baked to Perfection: Livingston’s Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza

Baked to Perfection: Livingston’s Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza

By Felicia Ho ’19

Craving a slice of pie in the cold days of winter? Dreaming of that crispy brown crust crumbling with a satisfying crunch and that smooth tomato sauce melting with a fresh layer of mozzarella cheese? Put down the phone for Pizza Brothers, Dominos, Pizza Hut, or wherever your pizza pangs typically lead you. Instead, stop by the nearest Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza to dig into some hearty Italian fare.

With six locations in New Jersey alone, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza has exploded in popularity since its first doors opened in 2002. Anthony Bruno, the founder, takes pride in every step of the process  – picking the freshest ingredients, making and stretching the dough daily, handling orders, sliding the pizza into an 800-degree coal fired oven, and presenting the pie to customers. In fact, every single item on the menu (excluding the cheesecake and the salads, of course!) is baked in the 800-degree coal fired oven and delivers a smoky and crunchy first bite.

While you are anxiously waiting for that first bite, take a look around the restaurant. Hanging on the walls are a few signs left behind from those who came before you. There’s a framed, signed jersey, probably from legendary quarterback Dan Marino, who frequents Anthony’s Pizza in Florida and is the inspiration behind the Eggplant Marino pizza; some magazine and newspaper clippings; and a series of black-and-white photos with celebrities. In a few moments, you too will join their ranks.

When ordering, keep in mind that portion sizes are large, as the dishes are meant to be shared with family and friends. As for appetizers, try the Coal Oven Roasted Chicken Wings with caramelized onions and focaccia, a flat oven-baked Italian bread that is nicely seasoned with a mix of spices that accents the flavor of the onions. The drumsticks are incredibly juicy, and the blackened char adds an edge to the tender, white chicken.

If you’re feeling adventurous, go for the speciality pies; personal favorites of mine include the Philly Cheesesteak and the Eggplant Marino. Topped with caramelized onions and marinated steak, a slice of the philly cheesesteak does a great job of rekindling memories of Philadelphia’s best. The Eggplant Marino is a must-get – especially for any vegetarians in the family. Even though the eggplant is sliced into paper-thin pieces, each bite is juicy and tangy, complimenting the thickness of the cheese. Of course, there is always the trustworthy build-your-own-pizza option to solve any arguments at the table.

A few thoughts to consider before you wrap up your order: if you are ordering the calzone, be prepared for a small pool of oil oozing out of the ricotta and cheese stuffed into the shell. It is definitely not a finger food, and even the length of a small calzone is about the diameter of small pie. Experiment by adding a little color to your plate – try the Arugula Pizza or the classic Arugula Salad with Burrata.

One of the downsides to Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza might be just how filling it is: by the end of every lunch at Anthony’s, I am ready to fall into a food coma. Of course, that blissful happiness of finishing a meal well done attests to the rich flavor even in the crispy, thin pizzas. Where else can you grab a slice right out of a 800-degree coal fired oven?

Fu’s Fantastic Reads

Fu’s Fantastic Reads

By Julia Fu ’22

In this book column, I will run through and review some of my favorite books I’ve recently read. My first suggestion is Becoming by Michelle Obama, a refreshingly candid autobiography. She delves into her childhood and life as the first African American First Lady, telling the reader about her background and how she found her voice. Obama shares her authentic self with the reader, taking us through her life full of accomplishments and meaning. The book is split into three parts: “Becoming Me,” “Becoming Us,” and “Becoming More.” Each section brings new perspectives and sheds light onto her own life and the life of her husband, President Barack Obama. As the story continues, you see how she grows, not only as a person, but as a mother, a wife, and a First Lady. Enduring and facing many obstacles, Michelle Obama inspires the reader to become truly and unabashedly themselves.

My next suggestion is Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie. A very complex book with a chilling plot and well-developed characters, Death on the Nile is a great book to get you started in the Hercule Poirot series. The book starts slowly by introducing all of the characters and eventually building up to the murder on a cruise in Egypt. The real investigations begin when Linnet Ridgeway, a beautiful, rich socialite, is murdered in the prime of her life. She comes onto the cruise for her honeymoon with her new husband. Luckily, Hercule Poirot, world-renowned detective, happens to be on the same boat. The people on the boat all have separate motives and agendas, and it is up to Hercule Poirot to uncover the truth. Christie introduces many plotlines in the book, and, as the reader, you must avoid the red herrings and try to solve the murder.

Finally, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is a heist story with diverse characters in a fantasy world. The book begins with a short prologue that introduces the setting of this story: a city of thieves, liars, and opportunity. Like many fantasy novels, it does start slow, but the pace quickly picks up. The book is focused on six central characters, each with their own narratives and different skill sets. All the characters have interesting flaws that draw the reader to sympathize with them. Bardugo weaves a grimy fantasy complete with knives, guns, magic, and technology. The character clashes and interactions increase tensions, and, as you keep reading the book, the stakes get higher and higher until the final moment when all is revealed.

Snow Many Dresses, So Little Time

Snow Many Dresses, So Little Time

By Kristine Fu ’19

With the end of winter break, we are reminded that the annual Snowball Dance is approaching! This year, Snowball is on Saturday, January 26th. It is a night to relax, hang out with friends, and take pictures in our beautiful dresses and handsome suits. For some, dress shopping can be overwhelming; there are dozens of dress websites and endless choices for cut, color, decals, etc. If you don’t know where to start, I would recommend perusing through the Revolve website or the Nordstrom site, both of which have a wide variety of options and brands. H&M ($) offers a wide range of styles, from elegant crushed-velvet dresses to eye-catching sequin dresses. For monochromatic bodycon dresses, check out Lulus ($$). Their wrap and skater dresses are typically solid colors, without flashy details. On the other hand, Zara is your go-to for avant-garde styles, such as studded dresses, snake print, and silk chain-print. Free People ($$$) is known for its unique designs with ruffles, lace, jacquard fabrics, and classy floral prints. Consider Rent the Runway ($-$$$) if you are interested in wearing haute couture like Chanel or Versace for less. This company is also a practical option since you will likely only wear the accessories and dress once a year.

The final recommendations for finding the perfect outfit: 1) For those who shop online, be sure to buy your dress early! Avoid the panic when your dress arrives the day before January 26th and ends up not fitting right. 2) Dress for confidence! Your dress is a form of self-expression, so you should feel confident and comfortable in whatever you choose.

Satisfy a Boiling Passion at Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot

Satisfy a Boiling Passion at Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot

By Felicia Ho ’19

Winter is brutal. Icy winds blow through your useless coat, chilling you to the bone. Your car might be smothered under a thick layer of snow, and your hands, already numb from shoveling snow off the driveway, will be as frozen as the icicles hanging down from your roof. When the world succumbs to darkness at 5:00 PM, where do you turn to for some warmth and light?

Here’s some advice based on my own experience living in this post-apocalyptic nightmare: step inside Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot in Edison, NJ.

Soft, acoustic pop song covers blend in with quiet chatter from large and small families alike, creating a cozy atmosphere inside. When you arrive at your table, you might be surprised to see a black, rectangular stove top sitting in the center. You may think, “am I actually at Benihana?”

No – this is where the magic of hot pot happens.

Hot pot is a traditional Chinese dish typically enjoyed during the winter, and involves preparing a simmering pot of soup and placing all kinds of foods, from lamb meat to fish dumplings, into the pot to cook at the table.

Ready to get started? First, choose a soup base. In addition being a well-known chain in China that has now expanded to over 30 different locations in the U.S., Little Sheep celebrates central Mongolian traditional cuisine by offering two different soups: a simple broth with goji berries, jujubes, black cardamom pods, ginseng, and herbs; or a spicy red broth with chili oil and peppercorns. If this is your first time, I recommend the half and half pot with both soups. Now, it’s time to pick what you will be cooking inside of the pot. There is a wide variety of meats, vegetables, seafood, and noodles — don’t be afraid to try new things and order away! As a four-person family, we typically order lamb, beef, the seafood combo, fish balls with roe stuffed inside, fish tofu, beef tripe, spinach, napa cabbage, enoki mushrooms, crab sticks, pumpkin, taro, glass noodles (long, silky noodles that dissolve in your mouth), and egg dumplings. You can also order sides like the sesame pancake, which is satisfyingly crunchy on the outside and has layers of fluffy, soft bread inside, or the sesame balls, filled with my absolute favorite — sweet red bean paste — for dessert.

After you order, head over to the sauce bar. The sauce is a key component to eating hot pot, as the food cooked in hot pot typically lacks in flavor. There are several sauces available; the most popular being sesame paste and sha cha sauce, which has the tang of barbeque sauce and the hearty base of Italian meat sauce. Feel free to mix and match, and sprinkle a few green onions on top at the end.

By this time, the broth should be boiling and ready to cook all the delicious food you ordered. As a few general guidelines, Little Sheep recommends 10-15 seconds in the pot for thin sliced meat, 1-2 minutes for green vegetables, and 3-5 minutes for all other ingredients. Here’s a tip: the spicy broth cooks faster than the regular one.

As you savor the last bits of a taro that dissolve in your mouth or break open a fish ball filled with roe, you’ll watch everyone, from your annoying five-year-old little brother to your beloved 75-year-old grandmother, join in on the fun of cooking their own food.

Don’t worry if you have a “food baby” by the end of your hot pot journey; treat this meal as a reward that you deserve after all your hard work studying for tests, writing papers, and preparing presentations during these last few weeks leading up to winter break.

STC Acheivements and Holiday Season Tech

By Aneesh Karuppur ’21

The December season is one of the most active for new technology, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday marking the beginning of the holidays. But before delving into the tech world at large, let us take a look at how the Student Technology Committee (STC) is making Pingry an even more technologically advanced school.

           In early November, STC welcomed its new members for the 2018-2019 school year:  Michael Sun (VI), Chris Gu (III), Lukas Strelecky (III), Jamie Wang (V), Sumant Sagar (IV), Abigail Rubino (III), Ashley Lu (V), Julian Lee (IV), Jessica Yatvitskiy (IV), Brian Li (III), Colin Wen (V), Katherine Xie (III), and Thomas Beacham (V).

Notably, STC announced that Pingry is now an Apple Authorized Service Provider that will go by the title “Pingry Bear Repair.” Students and faculty can have their Macbooks repaired and serviced at Pingry without having to drive out to the nearest Apple Store. Officially licensed and approved STC members will work carefully with Macbooks as technicians at any Apple Store would. Apple Certified Mac Technicians (ACMTs) are available during first flex and CP in the Tech Office.

           STC will also be working on many other projects during the school year. For example, STC’s How Cards will provide helpful tutorials on all sorts of tech questions, conveniently arranged in the form of virtual notecards. The Virtual Reality Curriculum will be receiving many updates as well, and STC hopes to integrate the Virtual Reality headset and computer station into many more classes. The communications team will be working on providing websites to Pingry publications (an example can be found at www.students.pingry.org/record!) and any clubs that request one. The Pingry Today app will be be receiving some new features, and assorted coding projects and possible school-wide charging stations round out this exciting list of projects.

           Turning back to the greater world of technology, Apple’s MacBook Air, one of the most popular and famous computers to ever be released, was finally updated after ten years. Long a staple of the Pingry 1:1 Program, the original MacBook Air was first launched in 2007 and was hailed as a light but fast machine for the ambitious student. The new MacBook Air features a brand-new processor, a memory bump, a much sharper screen, and a chassis made entirely out of recycled aluminum. The 128 Gigabytes model of the new Air starts at $1,199.

I personally do not recommend this laptop. If you are looking for a very light laptop, Apple’s normal MacBook is a better option. If you are looking to do a little more powerful work like modeling, photo and video editing, music production, and publications work, the base model MacBook Pro (without the Touch Bar) is a much better option for just a little more money and is in fact the very laptop this column was typed on. The original MacBook Air was revolutionary, but the new one has effectively become redundant in Apple’s line-up.

           In other Apple news, Apple also launched its new iPad Pro. It starts at $799, and is aimed at professional artists and content creators. It is very powerful, but runs iOS (just like an iPhone) and so is not a great option to serve Pingry students as a main device.

           Apple also released its long-awaited update to the Mac Mini. The Mac Mini has been the cheapest way to buy a Mac, especially because it doesn’t come with a display or a keyboard. The new Mac Mini features updated components and better upgradability down the road. Due to the fact that this is a desktop computer, I don’t recommend it for students, especially if they already have a Mac laptop for school.