American Document Solutions

BY MICHAEL LUO Short Fiction. (continued from our “Unconstrained” issue on 4/9/15) The fact that I had given up a year of collegiate social drinking for minimum-wage mind numbing was something I tried hard not to think about. My dad, the same guy who sent me potato chips for Christmas, said a gap year was a good way to build character. But his hobbies had recently transitioned from lifelong binge drinking to an extended overnight stay at Plainfield Correctional Facility, so I felt every right to think differently. School had been such an intense atmosphere that I had to quit …






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The Woods

BY MICHAEL LUO A sibling I always wanted. RJ and I tried to stay warm underneath the tarp we tried to build. It wasn’t the greatest architectural achievement of the twenty-fourth century, sure, but no one could blame us for trying. Except God. She must’ve thought it was funny to have a downpour on a couple of stranded orphans in the middle of a forest. He lied curled up on the log, that sketch neatly tucked into his chest. For all the trouble he had gotten us into, I was impressed he could still keep a used napkin so tidy. …






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Desert for Dinner

BY MICHAEL LUO Short Fiction: A sandy alternative to sweetness. “Did you get it?” “I think I got something.” “You probably missed.” “We’ll see about that.” RJ wanted to come, but I told him to stay. Then I forgot he was my brother and not my dog, so he came along anyway. For all the rational thinking we could’ve done, rationing our food was not one of them. Now, we were dependent on ourselves to hunt. Thankfully, those archery lessons in War Corps. were worth something, if naught for all the cute boys I never impressed. We approached our prey …






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Musical Piracy

BY MICHAEL LUO The difficult decision of wanting songs with limited resources. Digital media is in an age of streaming. From Spotify to Netflix, entertainment has become not something you buy and own, but rather, a limitless collection for you to pay and subscribe. With services that offer free-with-ads or paid ad-free streaming, digital entertainment has evolved into downloads in the cloud, allowing users and fans to ignore storage space in order to connect to their favorite artists, shows, and games whenever and wherever Internet exists. But even with this advancement of having the world at your fingertips, Internet piracy …






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Giving and Receiving

BY MICHAEL LUO An evening with Micheal Flaherty. In Lois Lowry’s The Giver, memories are painful not because they are held, but because of the loneliness with which the Giver holds them. “Memories need to be shared,” says the Giver. This idea to share the good and the bad is brought to screen well in the film adaptation directed by Phillip Noyce and produced by Walden Media. Fortunately for us at Harvard, Walden Media’s Co-Founder and President, Micheal Flaherty, was on hand to discuss his involvement in the film this past Saturday, September 20th at the SOCH. Sponsored by Harvard …






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Summer Blogs: Revisited

By PEYTON FINE Hanging On: The US World Cup Story Look, I am not saying that anything that happened on a soccer field was that important in the grand scheme of things. That would be asinine. What I am saying is that for two glorious weeks, I was proud to watch “our” team. I was proud because we didn’t pout or complain. We didn’t give up when the going was tough. We kept hanging on, and good things happened.?“Hanging on” was the M.O. of the U.S. soccer team. It is the philosophy, good or bad, for so many of our …






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Featuring Who?

BY MICHAEL LUO Unexpected musical collaborations Musical collaborations are something of a hip trend. When you turn on the radio, the most advertised songs are usually the ones with the biggest stars. Of course, these tend to be one from pop and one from hip-hop. The archetypical Top 40 hit involves a catchy chorus and a memorable verse. Sometimes, the singer will be exclusively female, the diva of the day, and the rapper exclusively male, the man of his time. Nowadays, both genres of music have fortunately been permeated by both genders with backgrounds as diverse as the musical interpretations …






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A Look into the Arts

BY MICHAEL LUO A selected preview of happenings near Harvard. An Evening with Champions September 19 at 8:00pm & September 20 at 7:00pm Bright Hockey Arena www.aneveningwithchampions.org An exhibition of champion figure skaters for the purpose of fighting cancer. Student-run and non-profit, this showing of world-class figure skaters “is motivated to support Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund as they seek new methods of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer.” This year’s show includes 2-time Olympian Johnny Weir, 2014 Olympians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, 2-time US Champion Alissa Czisny, and many others. Watch beautiful people dance on ice …






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Yearning for Yedikule

BY MICHAEL LUO The surviving gardens of Istanbul. At first glance, the Yedikule Gardens appear more to be a sparse collection of private farms trapped amid the dawn of the days of Constantinople and the booming gentrification of modern Istanbul. These bostans, or market gardens, are situated along the edges of encroaching apartment complexes and mall plazas while aligning the sides of historic Byzantine walls and Ottoman water wells. As generational families of farmers work to maintain these endangered spaces of vegetation, one would be keen to notice the symbolism in Istanbul’s ongoing struggle between tradition and progress. The Yedikule …






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Shortly Animated

BY MICHAEL LUO Picturesque parables told under fifteen minutes. Parisian theaters are supposed to be known for their atmosphere of voguish panache, so when I had the opportunity to view a film in La Ville-Lumière, I made the decision of selecting an animated one that is rated G. To be honest, I was probably one of two people aged between eighteen and thirty, given that those who paid to see Brave were either children or the owners of those children. This isn’t a film review, so I won’t say much about Brave, but what I do remember from sneaking into …






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Silver Screen Superheroes

BY MICHAEL LUO The success of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe With Captain America: The Winter Soldier being released internationally on March 26, 2014 and planned for release in North America on April 4, 2014, Marvel Comics has accomplished its ninth film in six years as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Currently in its “Phase Two,” the films’ shared fictional universe interweaves the individual story arcs of Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America with their combined efforts as the Avengers. Already the third most successful film franchise behind Harry Potter and James Bond, Marvel has ambitions to attain the top …






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Dreams from Childhood

BY MICHAEL LUO How your earliest days impact the rest of your days. There is something inspiring and foolish in a child’s naïve determination. As children, we’ve all been there, longing to be someone we’re not. To compensate, we choose to imagine, to invent worlds stirred by the art around us. Children’s art, whether books, shows, or otherwise, may be targeted at children, but they are mostly created by adults. This relationship illustrates how childhood creativity shouldn’t end when your age hits double digits; ideas and beliefs from childhood continue to flourish and influence later life aspirations. Take a moment …






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Museum Impressions

BY MICHAEL LUO Reflections on democratic, interactive, and immersive art at the MFA. It was a sunny and breezy afternoon. I took the Green Line to Copley and came out against a gust of wind. Trying to get my bearings, I strolled past the Boston Public Library, not realizing that was the opposite direction of the one I wanted. Once back in the station, I inserted a twenty-dollar bill to boost my Charlie Card, obtaining to my great pleasure, ten dollars worth of change in gold coins. Carrying this abundance of pocket change and a university ID worthy of free …






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Broken Girls and Bowman

BY MICHAEL LUO A comparative look at 2 Broke Girls and Archer Fridays for me usually consist of watching family-friendly Pixar films, alone, consuming microwavable SpaghettiOs, alone, and falling asleep to Nas’s Illmatic, during class. You might say this is not the ideal college experience, but I argue otherwise. The education attainable through such elegant practices has taught me much more than all the classes I’ve failed. One exercise in particular is the following of television series. For those who don’t know, a television is a magical box that functions much like the screen of your MacBook without the annoyance …






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