The Student Newspaper of Highline College


Getting to know local Washington bands

Last week, we got to look into some amazing local solo artists of Washington state. If there was one thing those artists agreed upon (and what this week’s artists agreed upon), it was how music unites people.

This week, we get to learn about the unity of multiple musicians brought together; the creation of a band.

Let’s get to know your local bands!

Parasocial relationships: The internet's favorite buzz term

With access to your favorite celebrities’ inner thoughts and visual diaries or your favorite content creators at your fingertips, it’s easier than ever to cultivate a one-sided relationship with pop culture figures. But are parasocial relationships as toxic as the buzz term makes them seem?

Celebrities have been a constant throughout the fluctuating trends of pop culture but the definition of celebrity is in near constant flux as content creation develops and changes.

Dogs with jobs: The differences between working dogs and emotional support animals

Upon entering a restaurant and seeing a dog in a bright red vest on, it’s hard to tell whether the pup is about to start begging for food or alerting their handler to something wrong. With a “Service Dog – Do Not Pet” patch attached, there’s still a level of mistrust these days.

Due to the easy access of service dog attire, it’s commonplace for people to purchase working dog harnesses for household pets in order to bypass “no-pet policy” places. Some might claim their dog is an ESA, maintaining a privilege above business policies.

The procrastinator's guide to 2024 tax deadlines

Hey there you procrastinating pupils! Tax season is pretty much the worst thing ever when you’re juggling classes, activities, and just trying to survive college life. But ignoring tax deadlines will only compound the stress worse than showing up to an 8 a.m. final without any pencils.

“This is my first year ever filing taxes and I’m so lost,” confessed Noah C. “Between trying to decode all those crazy forms and documents, not to mention actually doing the return itself, I’ve just been avoiding it completely. As a first timer, this whole tax thing is straight-up intimidating!”

Getting to know local Washington musicians

Music is truly a universal language that anyone can enjoy. Regardless of language barriers or personal differences, musicians from all around the world share a culture of sound and style that creates a beautiful connection between one another.

With endless genres to choose from – like Hiphop, Pop, or Jazz – there is a style of music for everyone. In the Washington community, we get a taste of a wide variety of genres from some awesome local creators.

Let’s get to know your local artists!

Spring: a season of renewal

One of the most inspiring and rejuvenating seasons has arrived. If you’ve been feeling the weight of winter’s eternal gray clouds and the sting of sharp cold air, dread no longer. Spring season officially began March 19, and with that, a renewed sense of you.

For most of the year, the earth’s axis is either tilted towards or away from the sun, meaning that the warmth, light, and of course, energy the sun provides us with is spread out unequally on the northern and southern halves of the planet. But spring equinox, where the earth’s axis and its orbit finally align, allowing both hemispheres to get an equal amount of sun occurred March 19. 

What’s going on with Boeing? Chronicling the manufacturer’s recent troubles

Windows bursting mid-flight. Wheels falling during take-off. A whistleblower found dead. Since the start of this year, the Seattle-born plane manufacturer Boeing has been embroiled in controversy and accidents back-to-back. Whatever happened with the company to cause such a fall from grace?

The Seattle company was founded in 1916 after William E. Boeing, inspired by an aviation show, built and flew his first plane. Boeing then brought on more staff and engineers to keep the company afloat. Eventually, after an order and connection with the United States Navy, the company struck gold.

Crust me, it's Pi(e) Day! Celebrating with irrational exuberance

As March 14 (3.14) rolls around, mathematicians, educators, and pie enthusiasts worldwide are gearing up for the most irrational and delicious holiday of the year: Pi Day! This annual celebration of the never-ending number has become a cultural phenomenon, with festivities ranging from pi recitation contests to pie-baking competitions.

Speaking of which, do you know why pi isn’t on X? Because 280 characters isn’t enough for it to express itself! We hope you like pi-puns, because you’re about to be served your fair share.

Light Rail construction affects local shops of Pacific Highway

The Light Rail has a lot of goals to meet by the end of 2026 in hopes to benefit the community later on in the future. However, many obstacles stand in the way of meeting that deadline, including that they have to buy more land – often ousting local business that have been in the community for decades.

The Federal Way Light Rail will be making alternative routes to meet the Tacoma Light Rail. One of those routes will go behind local shops on Pacific Highway. Another route even goes through where local shops used to and currently reside. The Light Rail has made offers to buy part of this land from Federal Way Tire City.

Waterland Arcade: The inconspicuous heart of seaside Des Moines

Just off the coast of Des Moines’ Marine View lives a seemingly small arcade. Only an “ARCADE” sign illuminates the exterior at night, but the inside holds another dimension of lights, action, and nostalgia.

This arcade near the sea, aptly named Waterland Arcade, opens after noon almost every day to its local community. Many families and children stop by to play and switch between the wide variety of games. And with any variety, there’s always something for anyone.

Unlike a traditional coin arcade, Waterland Arcade is a free-play arcade with only a simple entry fee. Pay the fee, and every machine is fair game.

Royal flush: Poop talks on toilet innovation and global sanitation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has made global sanitation a priority, committing over $370 million since 2011 to develop sustainable waste treatment solutions for the 2.5 billion lacking adequate facilities.

This effort originated with the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, which provides grants to researchers developing innovative toilet designs that operate off-grid without connections to water, sewers, or electricity.

Happy Leap Day! That’s right, as 2024 is a Leap Year, today marks an extra day only seen every four years

Every four years, the calendar makes room for an extra day, creating what is known as a leap year – a phenomenon that is intriguing, puzzling, and practical. Today, at the end of February, the world is celebrating this unique occurrence, which adds a touch of novelty and an extra 24 hours to our usual month.

Leap years, marked by the addition of an extra day to the month of February, are necessary to keep our calendar in sync with the Earth’s revolutions around the sun.

A city guide to downtown Auburn

Downtown Auburn is best known for its outlet mall and not much else, but venturing a little further into the heart of the small city, it houses several hidden gems that are worth checking out.

Klay Crazy Ceramics sits on a residential corner, with its main wall facing a busy highway, with the unpainted pottery pieces rattling on their shelves as cars cruise by. It’s a charming building, painted baby blue on the inside, and smelling sweetly of stale paint and unbaked clay.

Get ready for the ride: Transit project in Federal Way set to complete in 2026

Get ready for an exciting change! The Federal Way Transit Project is on track to wrap up in 2026, and the community is ready for the future of local transportation.

The Federal Way Transit Project, scheduled for completion in 2026, is set to transform transportation in this region of Washington, according to Sound Transit. This significant upgrade aims to create a more connected transit network, providing residents with an efficient way to navigate their daily lives.

Identity theft prevention

Identity theft occurs when another person steals your personal information and uses it without your permission or knowledge. Fraud and identity theft affect hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions, of people annually. Being a victim to such a crime can be traumatic, so taking necessary precautions will not only save you money, but also bring you peace of mind.

The stress from this ordeal can cost a person more than just their cash, it can bring with it an emotional toll that makes the experience feel unbearable and isolating. It is important to note, victims of this fairly modern crime are far from alone.

Historically Black colleges and universities offer safe scholarly spaces to students of color across America

Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) play a critical role in the American system of higher education. HBCUs have existed for 180 years, and today there are 101 HBCUs in America.

In the wake of emancipation, Black Americans founded HBCUs to educate Black students. During the segregation era, HBCUs offered one of the only paths to a college degree for Black students.

Plushie panic! The rise, fall, and rise again of a cutesy culture

What was once seen as a nerdy niche seemingly became a trendsetter overnight. From Beanie Babies to Squishmallows, stuffed toys and plushies have followed this cycle in pop culture with new fads coming and going. When did this trend cycle start, and when will the current plushie boom end?

Since the dawn of the stuffed toy, plushie companies have been devising the next big toy to kick start a bigger trend. Some attempts like the first Peter Rabbit in 1903 or Paddington Bear in the 1970’s saw success. However, none were even close to the reign of Ty’s Beanie Babies.

The power of the photograph: How images enhance news stories

Photos have long played a pivotal role in bringing news stories to life and engaging readers. As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” This rings true now more than ever in our visually driven digital age. The use of photographs in news reporting dates back to the early days of the camera in the 19th century.

Mathew Brady was one of the first to demonstrate the power of images in journalism during the Civil War, bringing home the grim realities of war through his photographs of battlefields strewn with bodies. His work showed how photographs could evoke raw emotion and provide an unfiltered look at historic events.

Video: PNW gamers took a dead game and created a 70-person community

New fighting game franchise, “Granblue Fantasy Versus”, is a popular game played here in Washington. Locust Cider First Hill has been the main-hub for anime fighting games for the Seattle area; this is how a community was formed around the love for the game.

Thank you for watching the video and supporting the team here at the Thunderword. This video is our foray into video journalism!

Ways to earn extra money while working your regular job

Starting a small business or having a side job to bring in extra income has many worthwhile benefits. Some of the benefits that a person can enjoy by bringing in extra income can include paying off debt early, taking more vacations, and saving money for retirement.

But before you get started, you will need to consider this: How will you fund, structure, register, and get your tax identification for your business? There are organizations that can help you start your own project though, like the Business Development Center at Highline College which can assist you on your journey.

Nature's hidden gems: Hiking in Washington

Washington’s scenic hikes offer a place for you to leave behind your chaotic reality and enter the silent world of nature. You might think you’ve seen it all already, even so, whoever said discovering gems is easy? Commonly known as the “Evergreen State,” here, trails thrive anywhere and everywhere.

Hiking may not seem like the best idea with our ongoing rainy climate, but with spring season drawing closer, trails are bound to be fused with the complexity of Washington weather: damp grounds, blooming wildflowers, and sunbeams peeking through the trees. 

Battling migraine misery: A nuanced look at causes, treatments, and coping

Migraines pummel over 37 million Americans annually with throbbing cranial pain, nausea, light and sound sensitivity, explains Dr. Matthew Preston, a neurologist and distinguished headache specialist.

“I used to get horrible migraines that made me miss so much school,” said Kiana W. “The headaches, nausea and sensitivity to light and sound were awful. I felt so alone and like no one understood what I was going through.”

High hopes and competitive spirits after Seattle Skyfarers Rising

The streets are cold and quiet, but energy is high at a small bar in First Hill as a community gathers once again to compete in the new game, “Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising!”

Seattle Skyfarers Rising, held on Jan. 13, is the fourth installment of a series of tournaments for the franchise, “Granblue”. It is one of many fighting game events in the continuously growing Pacific Northwest fighting game scene.

Taking place at Locust Cider First Hill, it acts as the local hub for anime fighting games for the Seattle area. 

Revenge spending: Making up for lost shopping time

After two years of lockdowns and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are indulging in what experts are calling “revenge spending” — making up for lost time by spending more than usual.

Urban Dictionary defines revenge spending as: “A shopping spree wherein one member of a romantic partnership whose finances are intertwined spends extravagantly and beyond the couple’s means in order to exact vengeance on the other member. Such sprees are generally motivated by jealousy, rage, spite, etc., and come about in relation to specific instances where one member of a couple feels him or herself to have been excluded from the other’s experience of pleasure.”

Baja Blast is back in business – for good this time

For its 20th anniversary this year, fan favorite Mountain Dew: Baja Blast is being released from its hyper-exclusive and/or limited release status to become a permeant fixture in the PepsiCo Inc. lineup, much to the delight of its addicted, devoted, and casual consumers alike.

Imagine a world where your favorite little treat was locked away indefinitely. A store exclusive, the only way to get this treat was visiting a food chain that only sometimes held it. In such dire circumstances, what would you do to get your hands on that treat?