Planet 9

Many people know of the planets in our Solar System: Mercury, Venus, our own planet Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. There are also dwarf planets, such as Pluto, Ceres, and Eris. However, there is one planet that is still hypothetical and completely based on mathematics and theory. Planet 9 is a possible 9th planet in our solar system. Hypothetically, it would be located far beyond Neptune, the reason it is currently an unconfirmed planet. If it were existent, however, Planet 9’s orbit around our Sun could take as much as 10,000 to 20,000 years, in comparison to Neptune’s 165-year orbit. However, it is important to remember that these estimates are all based purely on mathematics and theory, and nothing is currently confirmed. The theoretical planet is believed to orbit the Sun more than 10 times further from the Sun than Neptune, which orbits the Sun at a distance of 2.8 billion miles.

Far outside our main solar system, there is a strange gravitational effect on some relatively small celestial objects (like asteroids). The way they orbit the Sun suggests to some scientists that there is yet another large planet orbiting our Sun far beyond Neptune and Pluto. Still, some scientists also say that our perception of the orbits of those objects is simply caused by human error in calculating and ‘viewing’ their orbits. Until enough evidence is discovered, or the planet itself is spotted through telescopes or various other methods, we can’t really claim that it either exists or doesn’t exist. There may be some other explanation for this phenomenon, or perhaps there really is an undiscovered planet somewhere out in the furthest reaches of our solar system.

-Peri A.

Film Review: Marvel Studios’ Eternals

This review may contain spoilers.

Eternals reveals more about the structure of the MCU itself. This movie spans many years, and constantly has flashbacks to reveal more about the immortal Eternals. These beings have lived on Earth for thousands of years and have been present in so many different points in history. They have even seen ancient Rome! After an earthquake, Deviants start emerging again and attacking the Eternals. Ikaris joins Sersi and Sprite as they go to find their leader, Ajak. However, they arrive at her isolated home to find her killed by a Deviant. Sersi is made the leader by Ajak’s final wish. They soon begin to gather the rest of the Eternals so as to be able to fight the Deviants (only to find they have evolved over thousands of years). 

I felt that this movie offers a new perspective on some of the larger events of the MCU. Some viewpoints I hadn’t considered before and facts I hadn’t known were presented in this movie. In addition, I liked the diversity of characters, all of which had very different personalities and powers. There were numerous unexpected plot twists which I felt helped reveal or imply things before the truth came out. Although I generally enjoyed the movie, I felt like it was a little inconsistent with the way it randomly changed time periods. 

I do think that this movie is very important to our understanding of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as it reveals a lot of insight about the origins of the MCU and other details of the MCU which had earlier remained mostly unseen. 

-Peri A.

The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie

Ruth and her husband Derek Kettering have some problems. Van Aldin, Ruth’s father, suggests to her to divorce Derek. She agrees, but once she is on the Blue Train, she gets nervous that she may not have told her father everything she should have. Katherine Grey compassionately listens to Ruth and gives her sensible advice. However, the next day, as the Blue Train finishes its journey, Ruth is found strangled in her compartment, and also disfigured by being hit by something very hard after her death. Since Katherine was one of the only people to have interacted at all with Ruth, she is naturally now a part of solving the case.

Everything gets even more complicated when Van Aldin states that Derek would benefit from Ruth’s death by millions of pounds. Soon, they also find a letter from Ruth’s former lover, the Comte de la Roche, asking for her to allow him to see her rubies for his book on jewels. With two suspects already at the beginning of the investigation, who were both spotted on the train, and with Ruth’s largest rubies missing, the case is more confusing than ever.

Then, Hercule Poirot helps to investigate the case. With his keen observations, he is able to piece together an accurate summary of the scene and murder. 

I really liked this book because it was so mysterious and the ending was unexpected. There were a variety of characters included in the story, and all of them had different strengths and weaknesses, which also made the story more enjoyable.

-Peri A.

The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

OCDaniel by Wesley King

Daniel has OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), but he doesn’t know that. He just thinks he is crazy. He avoids writing certain numbers, and he has a ‘Routine’ which takes him hours to do, just before bed. His “Zaps”, as he calls them, are sudden feelings of problems that need to be solved immediately. Most of all, he hides that he gets Zaps from everyone he knows. He gets Zaps from writing certain numbers, or sometimes not flicking a light switch enough times. Also, he hates football – which his dad makes him play. He plays as the backup punter (so he is basically just the water boy) and spends most of his time during games arranging the water cups strategically. However, he is surrounded by people who love football, from his best friend to his older brother and he feels like he has to continue playing.

One day, he receives a message from someone who calls themself  “Star Child”. As he gets further into this mystery, he finds himself now scared for much more important things than the feelings he gets for Zaps.

I like this book because I think that a lot of people can relate to the feeling of having to do something right or otherwise terrible things will happen. About 2.2 million adults (which is about 1% of the total U.S. population) have OCD. 

I think OCDaniel, Daniel’s story, gives the reader little insight into the life of someone with OCD and helps us understand what they are going through.

-Peri A.

OCDaniel by Wesley King is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

TV Review: Hawkeye

I always felt like Hawkeye was one of the more overlooked characters in the MCU. However, this series reveals a lot more about how the events of Avengers: Endgame affected Hawkeye. I enjoyed watching this series because it had a lot of action and was generally really intriguing. I wasn’t expecting a lot of the events which took place in the series.

It starts with Kate Bishop secretly following her mother’s fiance, Jack Duquesne (her father died in the 2012 New York attack led by Loki) to a black-market auction. The auction includes items from Hawkeye’s former identity as the Ronin. As the event is soon attacked, Jack takes Ronin’s sword and Kate grabs the Ronin suit. She claims to the attackers that she is the real Ronin. After seeing the headlines concerning the Ronin, Hawkeye finds Kate and they eventually end up trying to clear the name of the Ronin.

However, during his time as Ronin, Clint Barton (Hawkeye) made a lot of enemies. One of those enemies, the daughter of a man he killed, is looking for revenge, and she won’t stop until she gets it. Additionally, Yelena is also on a mission to get revenge on Clint for “killing” her sister Natasha (Black Widow). Like the majority of people, she doesn’t know what actually happened on Vormir. Suddenly, for Hawkeye, a simple holiday vacation with his family turns into a dangerous mission.

This series was really enjoyable, and I am looking forward to the next installment of the MCU. If you are a Marvel fan or someone who likes action movies or series, you will not want to miss this series.

-Peri A.

Marvel’s Avengers: The Game

This high-quality video game features 4 different story modes and 1 online game mode. The newest of these 4 story modes is the Black Panther and Wakanda expansion. Many of the original Avengers are found in this game, including Black Widow, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Captain America, and the newest playable character, Black Panther. Each character has 3 abilities, which act like power-ups for a short time before they need to recharge.

The first story primarily follows Kamala Khan, also known in the Marvel Universe as Ms. Marvel. It starts off at a celebration of the Avengers, but things quickly go awry as they get attacked and Captain America dies. Kamala gains Inhuman powers in a world that fears Inhumans and does not like the Avengers anymore. One day, amidst AIM’s (Advanced Idea Mechanics) announcements that they are doing everything they can to take care of Inhumans, Kamala is taken into the world of the Avengers. 

I really enjoy playing this video game and the stories are very engaging. There are so many missions to complete and the storylines connect with each other really well. It constantly keeps you guessing. I also liked how you are able to play as a lot of different Avengers characters. There are constantly new players, stories, and challenges being added into the game. 

The stunning graphics, the amazing gamemodes and stories, and the variety of characters makes this a very enjoyable video game. I would recommend anyone who enjoys Marvel or adventures to play Marvel Avengers. 

I would rate this game a 10/10.

-Peri A.

Marvel’s Avengers: The Game is available for check out from the Mission Viejo Library.

Movie Review: Black Widow

This is a great movie! I thought that it helped to answer a lot of questions Marvel fans have had about Natasha Romanoff, also known as Black Widow. I really enjoyed the action and plot of this movie. It takes place just after Captain America: Civil War and before Avengers: Infinity War

One day, a strange package arrives and forces Natasha Romanoff to find Yelena, whom she last saw when they were young children being separated and sent to different places. They are now both spies and have both grown up. At first, they struggle to get along, possibly from feelings of betrayal. 

Eventually, they find the Red Guardian (Alexei) and Melina, who end up helping them in their mission to find a man named Dreykov and put a permanent end to his diabolical schemes. However, is it really possible to end his terrible plans?

This movie helps viewers to understand more about Black Widow, especially what shaped her into becoming who she is now. A lot of the characters in this movie went through character changes, especially in their intentions and their personalities. I would recommend this movie to Marvel fans who enjoy adventurous movies. I thought that this movie had some important messages, like ‘People are capable of change’. There were also a few connections I was able to make between Natasha Romanoff in Black Widow and Natasha Romanoff in Infinity War, mostly between her actions and her personality in these two movies. I would rate this movie a 10/10.

-Peri A.

7 Books to Read

There are a lot of amazing books to read, but these are some of my favorites. The books are not listed in order.

  1. Little Women

I enjoyed reading this book because of the wide variety of characters and their different personalities. It is a great novel and an amazing classic. The main characters include Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March. This book explores a part of the lives of these 4 sisters. There are several sequels to this classic, including Little Men and Jo’s Boys. There is also a movie based on Little Women.

  1. The Hobbit

This is a great book. It is one of my all time favorites and I would highly recommend you to read it. It is about Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, who goes on an adventure to help the dwarves. Their home has been taken over by a dragon named Smaug, and Gandalf thinks Bilbo is a good fit for the journey. However, Bilbo does not like adventures or going outside his hometown Shire at all. During this journey, he faces lots of obstacles and challenges. Will he survive the adventure and return to the Shire, or will he fail in his quest? This novel has been made into a trilogy of 3 movies named An Unexpected Journey, the Desolation of Smaug, and the Battle of the Five Armies. I would recommend you to read the book first before watching the movies so you will be able to visualize the story instead of thinking about what took place in the movie.

  1. Death on the Nile

Death on the Nile is a great book. It was intriguing and kept me wanting to read until the ending throughout the whole book. This book is about a cruise down the Nile, enjoyable until a murder happens. Additionally, there are several other crimes Hercule Poirot must try to solve! Everything in this book was interesting, and I would definitely recommend you to read this amazing story.

  1. Book Love

This book is a graphic novel about books and love for books. The book is very funny and it has a lot of amazing stories. I really liked reading it and if you enjoy reading graphic novels and/or are a bookworm, this book is for you!  It is definitely a great read.

  1. Heidi

Heidi lives in the mountains with her grumpy grandfather until one day her aunt takes her to Frankfurt to befriend the daughter of the family she is working for. Heidi accompanies the young girl throughout a part of her life. The story is about Heidi’s adventures and the journeys she takes. I liked this classic, and I would highly recommend you to read this book.

  1. And Then There Were None

This book is about 10 people who have gone to an island, invited for different reasons. Everything seems normal, until those guests start to be murdered, one by one. However, there is a terrible storm and they can’t leave the island, or get any help to the island. The remaining people do not know who shall be killed next, but they do know it could be them. They must all find out who the killer is before they are all killed. 

  1. The Lord of the Rings

A sequel to The Hobbit, this trilogy is also a great series to read. It takes place many years after the Hobbit. Frodo is given an extremely powerful Ring, but he soon finds out he must destroy it, or the world may be ravaged. He sets out on a journey to Mordor to demolish the Ring in Mount Doom. Mordor, however, is the location of his enemy. This trilogy consists of Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. It has also been made into 3 movies based on the trilogy of books.

-Peri A.

The Matilda Effect

This story is about a girl named Matilda and her grandmother’s journey from England to Sweden. The book emphasizes how women and girls may be treated unfairly, especially in the scientific fields. Matilda wants to be an inventor and loves science. The grandmother (Granny Joss) discovered a planet many years ago, but her boss claimed it was his discovery, and now he is about to be given a Nobel Prize! 

Matilda has also not been given awards, like a science prize in her school, because no one believed a girl could have done what she did. The judges gave the prize to a boy named Thomas Thomas, even though he did his experiment wrong, just because “at least he did it all by himself.” Matilda should clearly have won. 

She soon finds out her grandmother’s discovery was incorrectly credited and decides to go to Sweden to tell the Nobel Prize Committee that Professor Smocks is lying about his “discovery”. Her parents do not allow her to go there, so one night she sneaks out with her grandmother to go to Sweden. Will Matilda be able to get Granny Joss to the Nobel Prize ceremony in time, or will the planet forever be credited to Professor Smocks? They face many challenges along the way, almost dying at some parts, too. 

I like this book because the plot is so intriguing and the author is constantly introducing new characters. It was very interesting to see how each of these characters influenced the story and the characters. They are so different but are all affected in some way by Matilda and Granny Joss.

The “Matilda Effect” is a bias against women, and instead of giving them credit for their achievement(s), it is given to one of their male colleagues instead. This term was first used in 1993 by Margaret W. Rossiter, and named after Matilda Goslyn Gage. Historians had ignored Matilda Gage’s work as well. The title of the book, the storyline and the name of the main character in the story, is a reminder of this bias, ‘The Matilda Effect.

 I would recommend you to read this book if you enjoy science, engineering, or inventing and like a variety of characters. It is a truly enjoyable story and I really liked the plot. I thought that it was important that it emphasized how women and girls are sometimes treated unfairly.

-Peri A.

TV Review: Loki

In Avengers: Endgame, when a few of the Avengers went to New York (2012) to retrieve one of the much needed Infinity Stones, Loki grabbed the Tesseract and escaped his captors, who were the 2012 versions of the Avengers. This show answers the question of where Loki ended up after using the Space stone. 

Loki, by using the stone, created alternate realities, or a branch in the timeline. So, the TVA (Time Variance Authority) reset that branch, and there is only one remaining timeline left. It is later revealed that the TVA’s job is to make sure there are no alternate timelines, and they were given this job by the Timekeepers. When someone travels off of their timeline or changes something that shouldn’t be changed (according to the TVA) that person becomes a Variant, meaning they are an alternate version of themselves. The mysterious Timekeepers are in control of the TVA, and they are the ones who look into the future and give instructions on the way events should be taking place. 

This show is really entertaining. I think that it shows us a different part of Loki’s personality and character. Since he has been portrayed as a villain most of his time in the MCU, this is an extremely important part of Loki’s developing personality. Another part about this show that I liked was how there were constantly plot twists and new things being revealed to both Loki and the viewer. I would recommend you to watch this show if you are a Marvel fan or enjoy exciting and adventurous TV shows.

-Peri A.