Courtesy of April Attride
Caitlin Reardon wakes up in the morning and gets ready for another day of excitement and positive smiles to start off the morning. Reardon is an educator at the Franklin Park Zoo. She teaches people of all ages about the animals at the zoo with the hope that they might become more interested in animals.
Reardon was introduced to animals at a very young age. “My uncle has worked with animals his whole life, so I was fortunate to be around exotic species since I was young,” she said. “I loved being around them so much that I knew I wanted to go to school for something revolving around animals.” 
Now, Reardon gets to change people's view on animals and make them see the better in them, along with making them want to get involved. She loves to work with the 5-and-6-year-olds because she loves to see them learning. It brings joy to hear them share what they’ve learned.
“I love speaking to them about animals because of their excitement,” she said. “They always want to share everything they know. Whenever I am able to work with this age group, the children’s enthusiasm in learning about the animals always brings a smile to my face.
Reardon has worked with turtles, snakes, lizards, small birds, ferrets, rabbits, foxes, sloths and a few others, but like many people, Caitlin loves all animals. But, there’s one that holds her heart. “My favorite animal is the jaguar, which we have at our Stone Zoo location,” she said. “My favorite jaguar fact is that they have the largest jaws out of all the big cats, which means they are able to crush their prey’s skulls. [Also,] Jaguars’ fur is quite coarse, which allows for the rain to slide down their fur as it would on a raincoat.”
Reardon is proud to be part of the zoo team. She loves to encourage an interest in animals in all the people she comes into contact with at the zoo.  “I love both of our zoos and the amazing animals [who] call our zoos home,” she said. “As long as we continue to educate guests and spark their interest in new species and conservation topics, I will continue to be proud of this job.”


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Courtesy of Albertina De Carvalho
The first thing that I noticed when I walked into Boston GLASS was the loud music of the Vogue Hour,  a program dedicated to the art of voguing, or “model-like poses with angular, linear, and rigid arm, leg, and body movements.” Right away, this seemed to me like a safe space, where LGBTQ youth can look for support free of judgment. It seemed like a place where people respect and support each other.
“Don’t mind it, it is like this every Monday and Tuesday,” said Kamar Porter.
Porter is the prevention network coordinator at Boston GLASS. He tests people for HIV and STIs, and refers people to housing, behavioral health specialists and clinics. 
Boston GLASS is a community center that provides LGBTQ+ youth of color services like education and connections to other providers and community organizations. Its focus is on individuals in the LGBTQ+ community, a term GLASS uses to refer to people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, Two-Spirit, intersex, asexual, pansexual, living with HIV, or are a part of other sexual and gender minorities. Boston GLASS provides services and programs such as a drop-in center, behavioral health services, prevention services, a mentorship program, youth leadership development and community education. They provide workshops as well, from Vogue Hour, to creative writing, to yoga.
Porter grew up in Boston GLASS. At age 16, he started on the outreach team. Some years later, after a staff member pushed him to continue his education, Porter became the health educator, and later, the prevention network coordinator.
What Porter likes the most about GLASS is that you can be here and be you. To understand youth is to have been in their shoes, he says, dealing with things like transitioning, and homelessness. His goal is for the youth to be the best them they can be, and to be inspired and follow their dreams.
Porter gets the most satisfaction out of his work when he makes people happy, and supports them. The worst part, he says, is when youth age out and he no longer sees them.
Every time I go to GLASS it’s to see the youth doing the Vogue Hour, which is incredible for me. It introduced me to a completely different world that I personally would love to be a part of.
As I left Boston GLASS, I saw people being themselves without any judgment. This is the work that Porter does.
“I love working at Boston GLASS,” he said.


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Courtesy of FOX
While FOX’s “X-Men” franchise has always been fairly hit or miss, I have always tried to enjoy them for what they are: a fine time with characters whose cartoon theme song is still playing in my mind.  Sometimes, in the case of “Logan,” I find a film that I thoroughly enjoy—however, that was not the case with the franchise’s most recent release, “Dark Phoenix.”
I settled into the theater with low expectations, simply hoping for a half-decent conclusion to the franchise that started the modern superhero craze. Two hours later, as the end credits began to roll, the older, bearded fellow to my left let out a large sigh.  In an attempt to deflect the awkward eye contact we had made, I asked,
“That bad, huh?”
To which he responded with a laundry list of reasons why the film we had just trudged through, was—well, just that, a trudge.  We talked as the credits rolled, discussing the movie’s failings, what could have been better, and what we begrudgingly enjoyed. 
However, that was the extent of the conversation I wanted to have about this film. After we left the theater, my movie buddy G and I exchanged the token “It looked cool” and “I liked the characters” remarks, then quickly changed our topic of conversation. We found “Dark Phoenix” forgettable—and therein lies the film’s greatest flaw.
 I literally could not explain the plot of this movie from memory. Here’s what G and I were able to piece together with no small amount of help from IMDB: After a rescue mission goes horribly wrong, telepath Jean Grey is imbued with a cosmic entity that gives her a special ability. While the movie never makes clear what the ability is, its power attracts an alien race hellbent on using Grey to take over our planet. 
However, despite the fact that I saw this movie an hour ago, I cannot recount any details beyond that. I can't even remember the villain's name. Throughout the film, there is far too much going on—from aliens to internment camps to an astrological deity—and very little makes sense. James McAvoy’s Professor X, for example, is kind of a terrible person until all of a sudden he isn’t. The plot becomes so cluttered with character deaths, romance arcs, redemption arcs, arcs being reused from other films in this same franchise, references to the comic this movie pretends to be based on, and some very awkwardly placed social commentary that it becomes difficult to figure who exactly we are supposed to be rooting for. 
The acting, or lack thereof, is also cringeworthy the whole way through. Reaction shots make tense moments utterly hilarious, and poor delivery muddies dramatic moments. An emotional death, the catalyst of much of the film’s conflict, is an awkward affair that misses the mark entirely. It is all but impossible to take this film as seriously as it wants to be. At more than one moment, a serious scene was interrupted by audience laughter at how off the performances were. 
Lead actress Sophie Turner’s bland and inconsistent take on beloved character Jean Grey is as paper thin as the pages of the source material she probably did not read.  Even worse is her relationship with co-star Tye Sheridan, whose portrayal of Scott Summers has about as much depth as the can of Pringles I enjoyed significantly more than seeing them try, and fail, to give a compelling performance.
Ultimately, “Dark Phoenix” is not worth your time, and certainly not worth your money. If you’re seriously hurting for your X-Men fix, “Logan” is without a doubt not only a superior film, but the send-off the X-Men series deserved.

DARK PHOENIX
Directed by Bryan Singer. Starring Sophie Turner, James Mcavoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Tye Sheridan, and Michael Fassbender. At Boston Common, Fenway, and others. 1hr 54mins. PG-13. 



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Pexels
Three years ago, Warner Bros. announced the production of “Pokemon: Detective Pikachu,” and I signed a petition to have Danny DeVito voice the titular character. One year ago, I read that Deadpool himself, Ryan Reynolds, would be playing the role and thought, “huh, neat.” Three hours ago—knowing full well the reputation of video game movies—I sat down with low expectations, but very high hopes. Twenty minutes ago, I let out a sigh and walked out of the theatre with neither met.
As someone whose life goal is to be the very best like no one ever was, I could not help but be disappointed by a film that, despite having so much potential, drops the ball faster than my Golisopod using Aqua Jet. Detective Pikachu, a live-action movie adaptation of the video game of the same name, stars Justice Smith as insurance worker Tim Goodman, (Get it? Cause he’s the good guy?). After hearing of his father's untimely demise, Goodman boards a train to Rhyme City, where people and pokemon live and work together as equals, to make peace with his father's memory. It is here he meets Lucy Stevens, the “young reporter” archetype, who informs him that his father was actually murdered. The movie actually begins to pick up when Ryan Reynolds as Detective Goodman’s pokemon partner, Pikachu, enters the story (the real reason anyone is seeing this movie). The three are then faced with stopping a shady businessman looking to harness Mewtwo, the most powerful pokemon, to change the pokemon world forever. 
 First off, it must be acknowledged that this is a movie made for children. However, so were “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse,” “The Lion King,” and literally every Pixar movie. The label of “kids’ movie” doesn’t excuse a nonsensical plot, poor dialogue, and subpar acting. The story is rushed, with the antagonist hitting the audience with vital information far too late in the game. Apparently—as we learn in the last 20 minutes of the film—Mewtwo isn’t inherently evil (something that anyone who’s seen Pokemon: The First Movie already knew). Rhyme City’s founder is actually mind-controlling it to merge people and Pokemon (something Mewtwo is...apparently capable of?). However, Mewtwo can only do this when pokemon are under the effects of the macguffin known as “Chemical R,” which sometimes forces pokemon into a state of rage, but then later inexplicably also serves as a sedative. These inconsistencies might be excusable in a film with less star power, but with several major studios and Nintendo in the movie’s corner, it can’t be ignored.
That being said, “Detective Pikachu” is not without enjoyable elements. The smart-mouthed Pika-Pool had the audience roaring with laughter several times with some surprisingly dark humor. If you’re a pokemon fan, you’ll be filled with nostalgia when you see the creatures whom you've built a bond with over countless playthroughs on the big screen. However, once you get past the “live action” pokemon gimmick, “Detective Pikachu” is mediocre at best and hardly worth the price of admission. If you’re dead set on seeing a movie this weekend, see “Avengers: Endgame” again instead.

POKEMON: DETECTIVE PIKACHU
Directed by Rob Letterman. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Bill Nighy, Ken Watanabe. At Boston Common, Fenway, and others. 1hr 44mins. PG.


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Dr. Najmo was at her lab working with her assistant Taina, testing the gun. They had been working on the gun for three years now.
“Do you think it's going to work?” Taina asked doubtfully.
Dr. Najmo didn’t reply to her, because she was watching the TV and saw news about gun violence. This reminded her of a past memory, of when she was five years old and saw gun violence on the TV for the first time. This was why she was making this gun. On the TV she saw corpses of students who died during gun violence attacks, and the family members of the dead students crying and yelling at police officers. They were killed by a man who shot and killed for fun. It was horrible news, so she shut off the TV.
In 2050, Dr. Najmo looked out on the street and saw that everyone was carrying a gun as an accessory. There was a lot of gun violence and death. The government wanted to ban the guns, but the second amendment would not allow that. Since the government couldn’t solve this problem, Dr. Najmo and her assistant Taina had ideas that would stop people from doing bad things. They had to make a technology that could know when you are doing bad or good stuff. It had to be something that connects to your brain. Since Dr. Najmo had a PHD in neuroscience, she knew it was possible to make this new technology. The new gun had a chip that went
into your brain, or into the person’s brain who wanted to have a gun. The chip helped the gun know what was going to happen with it. It will not allow you to kill any human, and the people who want this gun can use it only for hunting or for a gun collection, keeping the guns at home like trophies.
“I want to ask you a question and you have to answer,” Taina expressed.
“Okay, what is it?” Dr. Najmo said, wondering what she was going to ask.
“Do you think is going to work this time?” Taina asked. She breathed.
“Again with that question,” Dr. Najmo added.
“Just answer the question!” Taina urged.
“Of course it is going to work this this time,” Dr. Najmo assured her.
"We don’t even know how to put it together or make it work.”
“We have been doing this for three years, and nothing works,” Taina said doubtingly.
“Have patience, Taina,” Dr. Najmo pushed.
“If it does not work this time, I'm going to quit. I don’t want to waste my time for something that is not going to work,” Taina warned.
“Taina, it takes time and patience to be successful. We should not give up now when we are getting it right. We should try one more time before we make a decision, to see if is going to work. If it doesn't, we will stop the project,” Dr. Najmo said, convincing her.
“Okay,” Taina said.
Dr. Najmo started putting the gun together. She connected the gun and the chip together using tongs. She felt relieved now that her gun was ready to change the society for the better.
After she put together the gun, she started testing it for the last time, as she promised to Taina. She was standing and leaning over the table, and putting the gun parts together to find where to put the chip in. Taina was watching and listening to her as she put the chip in the gun. 
Dr. Najmo knew that she had to make this work because she had been working on this project for three years, and she didn’t want her three years of work and effort to go to waste. She was walking out on the pavement, and there was a target to test the gun. She raised the gun with her both hands to shoot the target. She closed her right eye under the goggles and shot the target. 
“Bang!” The bullet hit right between the eyes. She jumped out of excitement.
 “Finally my hard work pays off!” Dr. Najmo grinned.
Now that her gun worked, she decided to propose to the government that her gun was safer than the regular guns, and that they should ban other guns and replace them with her new guns. Now, she prepared to meet and shake hands with people from the government who made laws about guns.
“I have a proposal for you that can stop the gun violence,” Dr. Najmo suggested. “I made a new gun that works with technology, it’s called ‘stop wrong.’ This gun has a chip that goes in your brain, which connects them. The gun knows what is going on with your brain, and senses if you are going to do dangerous things. It stops working to prevent you from killing or harming other people with your gun.”
“This is a good idea, but how do we know these guns are safe, because sometimes technology has viruses, and starts doing the opposite,”said John. John was a federal firearm officer whose job was to make laws for gun control, and he was second in command after his supervisor.
Dr. Najmo felt like was he was going to reject her proposal, and all of sudden she got an idea to show that the gun is safe for people. She felt cold as she grabbed the gun and pointed it at John, surprising him.
John stammered as he said, “What are you doing?”
As she tried to shoot John the gun stopped working. She pulled the trigger many times, but nothing came out of the gun.
“Are you crazy? Do want to kill me?” John said.
“No, I was just showing you that the gun is safe for society and the government,” Dr. Najmo explained.
“Okay, I see your point, but I have to talk first with my supervisor before I say anything  to you. I will call you today at 6:30 pm.”
“Okay and bye.”
They shook hands and he left. Dr. Najmo started feeling relaxed as she had a 50 percent chance of getting accepted. She went back to her lab and started having a conversation with Taina.
“How did it go at the meeting?” Taina asked.
“I think it went well and our project will be accepted.”
“Well that is good news.”
“He said he was going to call me at 6:30 pm to give me the result after he talked with his supervisor.”
“I hope we get good news.”
“I am sure we will.”
Three hours passed and now it was 6:29 pm, almost the time he said he was going to call. The clock hit 6:30 pm  and her phone rang. She started praying before she answered the phone. After she finished praying, she answered the phone. 
“Hello.”
“Hi, it is me John, and I have good news for you.”
Dr. Najmo was so surprised that she took a long time to respond to him.
“Hello, Dr. Najmo, are you there?”
“Yes I am here,” she stammered as she spoke.
“Your proposal is approved, would you like to make an announcement to the media?”
Dr. Najmo jumped up and down with excitement. She uttered “thank you,” and replied that she would make announcement.
“Today Stop Violence becomes fully operational.”
The nightly news went from gun violence to missing dogs and weather. People began taking walks at all times of the day and night without fear. The murder rate went down and so did the bank robbery rate and the home invasions rate. Yes, there was still some violence, but there was much less, and it was caused by other things like knives or hands. The society was better off because of their development.
“This project is important to me because in the past there was a lot of gun violence and the society was in fear. I decided to create this gun in order to stop the gun violence because innocent people were dying,” Dr. Najmo said to an audience.
“Parents were losing their son or daughter,” Taina added.
“And sisters were losing a brother, husband or father,” Dr. Najmo continued. “But now we live in peace and liberty because there’s no more gun violence.”

 


 


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