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The Vox Box

Archive for October 2007

17 year-old become milliionaire

Yeah. you read that right. A millionaire. So how much allowance are you getting nowadays, anyway?

Ashley Qualls started the website when she was fourteen. The site mostly offers designs for MySpace pages, garnering its revenue from advertisers.

There is an article and video here.

Is this amazing, or what? I’m not even really sure what to say.

Current Events Quiz, week of Oct. 29 - Nov. 2

1. In recent years what would have happened last Saturday night/Sunday morning but now is occurring this coming weekend? (HINT: The change confused not only people but also some electronics devices as well.)

2. A suicide bomber in Iraq killed 29 this week, but he wasn’t a car bomber. What did he use for transportation?

3. What term did a study released this week from Johns Hopkins University use to describe schools with fewer than 60 percent of incoming freshmen
eventually graduating?

4. News media are reporting guards employed by Blackwater USA, the security company under investigation for its activities in Iraq, may have made statements about what happened in exchange for some kind of what?

5. A tropical storm in the Caribbean has already killed almost 20 in the Dominican Republic and might become a hurricane later this week. What is its name?

6. What singer and movie star, first famous for his role of Sir Lancelot in “Camelot,” died this week while waiting for a lung transplant?

7. What ripped as it was being installed on the international space station?

8. What did the U.S. Navy help a North Korean ship off the coast of Somalia successfully fight this week?

Question: How do you think you did? I’ll post answers later…

Just one more of the many dangers of cheerleading….


Since we have been on the topic of cheerleaders making dress code…

The high heel race…

NBC News: Oct. 28: Emergency personnel were on hand in Mexico City, Sunday, as women donned high heels to compete in 100 meter races. No severe injuries were reported.

High heel race
High heel race

I think I could take some of these women…

Hunter’s pics revive Bigfoot debate

(Associated Press) Hunter Rick Jacobs of Ridgway, Penn, says he captured an image of the elusive Sasquatch. Or perhaps a baby Sasquatch. Or perhaps a juvenile Sasquatch…

Or maybe a bear with a skin problem.

Jacobs had a camera set up to get a shot of deer, but says he got Bigfoot instead.

“I’ve been hunting for years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Jacobs said.

“There is no question it is a bear with a severe case of mange,” Pennsylvania Game Commission spokesman Jerry Feaser said.

QUESTION: Is this Sasquatch? Do you believe in Sasquatch?

Bob Kiviat, producer of “World’s Greatest Hoaxes Exposed” discusses: (And an image of creature in question…)
Bigfoot – not just a myth?
Bigfoot – not just a myth?

Bored with homework? Try Halloween Hangman!

Halloween Hangman created by The Dimension's Edge, Inc.

The skeleton insults you. He is very cocky. I really wanted him to hang after awhile…

The Realities of College Today

The Spokesman ran a very intriguing column today. My history teacher brought it up in class, and I thought it was worth sharing.

The whole idea is that big-name schools aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. What’s worse, they may be encouraging you to apply just so they can reject you.

Some students may feel flattered that Harvard, Yale or M.I.T. seems to be dying to have them apply. But the brutal reality is that the reason for wanting so many youngsters to apply is so that they can be rejected.

Why? Because the prestige ranking of a college or university as a “selective” institution is measured by how small a percentage of its applicants are accepted. So they have to get thousands of young people to apply, so that they can be rejected.


You may never have heard of Harvey Mudd College but a higher percentage of its graduates go on to get Ph.D.s than do the graduates of Harvard, Yale, Stanford or M.I.T. So do the graduates of Grinnell, Reed, and various other small colleges.

Of the chief executive officers of the 50 largest American corporations surveyed in 2006, only four had Ivy League degrees. Some — including Michael Dell of Dell computers and Bill Gates of Microsoft — had no degree at all.

Apparently getting into Prestige U. is not the life or death thing that some students or their parents think it is.

Unfortunately, prestige rankings are so hyped in the media — especially by U.S. News & World Report magazine — that many people think that is how to choose a college.

The full column is here.

For those of you perusing college options, how much does prestige factor into your decisions? Do you consult ranking guides?

Haunted Houses

What do you do if your house is haunted? Troy Taylor may have the answers with over 40 books about the paranormal. Here’s a little blurb on what to do.

Do any of you have any haunted house stories? If you don’t have any real ones, I wouldn’t say no to hearing some fake ones. It’s so hard to find a good ghost story in a world full of rational thought.

Your weekend chuckle…

For next time you are frustrated when those around you see all the signs, but don’t do a thing about it…

(Note this is from The Onion. It is satire…)

Preemptive Memorial Honors Future Victims Of Imminent Dam Disaster

Leslie’s quick random thought of the day

Flag Burning…

Accoring to the first ammendment we have the right to do so.

But do you approve? Isn’t it a little disrespectful?

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Current Events Quiz, Week of Oct. 22 – 26

1. As many as half a million have been evacuated in what state this week because of fierce winds driving wildfires there?
Extra Credit: What are these winds called?

2. Leaders from Iraq and what other country are discussing a way to put a cease-fire into effect along the two countries’ shared border? Is it (a) Korean, (b) Russia, (c) Turkey?

3. Name one of the teams in the World Series?

4. The U.S. State Department can’t account for exactly how a contractor spent more than $1 billion to train police in what country?

5. Astronauts blasted off today from Cape Canaveral. What is their basic two-week mission?
Extra credit: What movie memento is packed on board the shuttle?

6. NASA was also in the news for something less positive this week. The agency conducted an $8.5 million study about airline safety but now doesn’t want to release the findings. Why?

7. J.K. Rowling, author of the “Harry Potter” books, said late last week she always pictured Dumbledore as what?

8. The Senate passed a bill this week that approves money for what kind of programs, even though President Bush will likely veto this?

QUESTION: How did ya do? I’ll post answers tomorrow…

In Japan, they are wearing the hiding places…

If you do one thing tonight, it must be to go check out this New York Times slide show:

show here…

QUESTION: Would this work here in the U.S.?

Things are getting heated, below…

So this is just comic relief.

(Language alert…)

Dumbledore is Gay.

Well, I didn’t see that coming.

I’m not talking about the actor, J.K. Rowling said at a reading that Dumbledore is gay. She said that Gellert Grindelwald, the wizard Dumbledore defeated and had those insightful conversations with was his love interest.

Yes, it’s weird, see for yourself.

I think she’s just trying to get more attention now that the books are over.

I knew the books went downhill starting at book 5, but I never expected anything so random and unnecessarily controversial like this.

Seven year old suspended for “water gun”

A second-grader in DENNIS TOWNSHIP, N.J was suspended for one day after drawing a photo of what his mother claims to be him shooting a water gun.
He gave his masterpiece to a friend whose parent’s were not fond of it.

The article is here

Do you think suspension was the right punishment? Do you think one day was long enough? Would you want your kid going to school with him?

Alien in a Duck!

Apparently an x-ray was done on a duck because it hurt it’s poor wing and the x-ray showed what looked like the head of an alien.

Here is the video.

The duck supposedly didn’t make it… so they did an autopsy which showed no alien.

Oh and now you can get the duck on ebay?

Do you believe in aliens?

Volleyball team finds deer carcass on bus

SAN ANTONIO — A girl’s high school volleyball team was shocked to find a bloody deer carcass on their bus after a game against a rival.

Members of the Comfort High School Whitetail Deer volleyball team came across the remains of a dead deer after playing a game against Blanco High School.

A sister of a Comfort High School student said she believes students from Blanco High School placed the carcass on the bus as a prank.

Rest of story.


What about at your schools? Any good stories of interesting or funny pranks?

Read about us on Sunday. We are cute!

In Sunday’s Spokesman Review, you can read about a day in the life of a typical Spokane (and Coeur d’ Alene!) teenager.

For one day, Vox writers and photographers journaled their day from the morning’s alarm beep and back to the pillow again.

Go and check it out Sunday! Everyone else is…

Here’s our clever promo. Check out the subliminal messaging… It’s REALLY subtle… watch for it!!

Fendi holds fashion show on Great Wall of China

Models use the Great Wall as a catwalk (AP photo)

Built over 200 years before Christ to protect Chinese borders, now a cat walk for the rich and famous…

Guess I’m a loser because I’ve never heard of them, but designer Karl Lagerfield put on the show for Fendi.

“Fifties-style promdresses and fur jackets were highlighted on the stage by the Italian luxury goods company famous for its shoes, bags and geometric logo.”

More photos and full article here:

QUESTION: What do you think of the wall being used as a cat walk?

Airport Screeners miss Most Fake Bombs

60% of Fake Bombs sent through security to test the screener’s efficiency managed to make it past security.

That’s trouble.

But don’t worry everyone! They’re improving!

The article doesn’t say what they improved from (hopefully it’s not an improvement from a 100% smuggle rate, that would be too scary), but the important thing is that they are making progress, right?

Either way, it kinda scares me that they seem somewhat happy about their improvement, since more than half the bombs are still going through.

I suppose they just wanted to avoid people pannicking unnecisarilly, since they must be catching the real bombs, judging by the fact that we haven’t had a problem since the shoe bomb guy.

I’m just going to think that the screeners have been catching all the real ones instead of thinking that the terrorists simply haven’t tried for a long time.

Either way, with continued tests, we should be efficient soon enough.

Don’t worry, we’ll know without question if we aren’t effective enough.

Please remember not to drive stoopid?

I’m just posting this as a reminder. Drive safe tonight…

Get the Flash Player to see this video.
Jesse Tinsley Video/Spokesman-Review

Question: Have you ever had a close encounter with a train?

stolen from HBO…

Here he is, kids. Just when we needed a hero…

Stephen Colbert announces his decision to decide if he will make a bid for the presidency…

QUESTION: How would someone like Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert do as our president?

Speaking of drunks…

AP Published: October 16:

MINDEN, Nev. — A man who was out on bail following a drunken driving arrest is back behind bars after he was caught drinking a 12-pack of beer on the Douglas County Courthouse lawn. Martin Ruiz asked the judge to release him on his own recognizance, promising not to drink another beer or drive.

But Judge Michael Gibbons set his bail at $100,000 on Monday, saying he was surprised Ruiz was released on recognizance the first time.

Ruiz was arrested in January shortly after his 21st birthday following an accident in which he, his passenger and the other driver were injured. He allegedly was driving 70 miles an hour down the twisting mountain road with a blood alcohol content of .104. The legal limit in Nevada is 0.8.

Gibbons said it would be “completely inappropriate” to release him on recognizance again.

C’mon. The court house lawn? The guy’s got Moxie!

Current Events Quiz

Week of Oct. 15-19, 2007…

This week we’re doing something a little different. Match the newsmaker in the first list with his or her description in the second list.

_____ 1. Al Gore
_____ 2. O.J. Simpson
_____ 3. Condoleezza Rice
_____ 4. Hillary Clinton
_____ 5. Asa Coon
_____ 6. Dalai Lama
_____ 7. Fred Thompson
_____ 8. Vladimir Putin
_____ 9. Michael Mukasey
____ 10. Larry Craig

Possible Answers:

a. Ahead of all other presidential candidates with campaign funds of nearly $35 million.
b. Winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
c. Exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader receiving the Congressional Gold Medal.
d. Actor who entered the Republican race for Presidential candidate late and is already starting to lose ground.
e. Charged with armed robbery when he claims he was retrieving sports memorabilia that was his.
f. Idaho senator still under fire for events in a Minneapolis airport washroom.
g. President Bush’s nomination Attorney General, now starting confirmation hearings.
h. Cleveland teen who wounded four and then killed himself in a school shooting.
i. Russian president attending a summit in Iran.
j. U.S. Secretary of State who is trying to set up Mideast peace talks.

How does everyone do? (Answers will be posted later tonight…)

Leslie’s Movie Review!

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After FINALLY coming out…
Across the Universe was AMAZING.
Even for those who may not be a fan of musicals, this is Beatles music! Come on!
I highly recommend you all go out and see it. Right now.
It is playing at Northtown and Downtown.
On the top three favorite movies list for sure.

Have you seen it? Planning on it?
What’s your all time favorite movie and why

Dare not to swear

Members of Madonna Hanna’s Advanced Fashion Marketing class lead the Dare Not To Swear pep rally Wednesday. Photo by James Mange

From the Bremerton Patriot, By James Mange… full article

Speaking of potty mouths…

“Music, cheers, a skit and a powerpoint presentation greeted the student body at a pep rally in the auditorium” at Bremerton High School this month. It was all the start to a new year and their “Dare not to swear” campaign.

More than 1,000 students swore not to swear in the inaugural program at the school last year, not only pledging not to swear in school themselves, but to enthusiastically encourage others to clean up their language as well.

“Dare Not To Swear” received a $6,000 grant from the Milken Family Foundation, and a smaller grant from the Washington Education Association. The association also awarded the project with a 2007 WEA Human and Civil Rights Student Involvement Award.

The campaign will strive to top last year’s mark with a registration on Tuesday during the lunch periods. The fashion marketing students who created the program will man the registration tables, and the Kitsap Credit Union, Unique Experience and The Candy Shoppe will be on-hand to support the kick off and give away “Dare Not To Swear” merchandise which they have purchased in support of the anti-swearing project.

QUESTION: Would you participate in this campaign? How do you feel about swearing? (Keep it clean, folks…)

Pennsylvania woman cited for cursing at toilet

Yahoo News, SCRANTON, PA…

A woman who was allegedly shouting obscenities at her overflowing toilet loud enough for her neighbor to hear was cited for disorderly conduct. She could be fined up to $300 and serve up to 90 days in jail.

(Insert potty mouth joke here.)

“It doesn’t make any sense. I was in my house. It’s not like I was outside or drunk,” Herb told The Times-Tribune of Scranton. “The toilet was overflowing and leaking down into the kitchen and I was yelling (for my daughter) to get the mop.”

The woman doesn’t remember WHAT she said, but admits she knows it wasn’t clean.

Mary Catherine Roper, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union in Philadelphia, took issue with the citation.

“You can’t prosecute somebody for swearing at a cop or a toilet,” she said.

Question: Have you ever been overheard for using choice words you later regreted?

Texting and driving

Here is a pretty grim reminder about texting and driving, something the Vox columnist Jennifer Helton of Mead High School wrote about in our current issue: Click here for file

(video below.)

Driving under the influence of a keyboard
Driving under the influence of a keyboard

QUESTION: Do you text and drive? How do you feel about those who do?

Report recounts horrors of youth boot camps

This New York Times article describes “reports of abuse of troubled young people in privately run boot camps and other residential treatment centers” as widespread, with examples numbering in the thousands, according to a federal report released last Wednesday.

The report is about the “bad kid” camps I’m sure we have all heard of. The ones kids are sent to that “disappear” and for thousands of dollars, the place will kick the kid back into shape—sometimes literally.

This story describes the tale of Aaron Bacon, who died at 16 while at the Northstar Expeditions in Escalante, Utah. Aaron’s father, Robert, says the boy was starved, and they sent him there to try and get him away from the influence of drugs at home.

A “bloody and tattered journal” he was forced to keep as part of his therapy contained, instead of poetry, “an unbelievable account of torture, abuse and neglect,” Mr. Bacon said. Aaron had spent 14 of 20 days “without any food whatsoever,” while being forced to hike 8 to 10 miles a day. “On the days he did have food, it consisted of undercooked lentils, lizards, scorpions, trail mix and a celebrated canned peach on the 13th” day, Mr. Bacon said.

“I feel I sent my son to his death, to a program that now I know couldn’t have provided any of the services they promised,” he said, his voice cracking.

Gregory D. Kutz, managing director of forensic audits and special investigations at the accounting office, also testified. He said Aaron was beaten “from the top of his head to the tip of his toes” during his month in the program. By Diana Jean Schemo/NYT

QUESTION: Have you known anyone sent to these homes/camps? Do you think they can help?

In U.S. Poll, Most Fail a Quiz on Global Causes of Child Deaths

© 2002 Virginia Lamprecht, US Coalition for Child Survival

What would you guess is the leading cause of child deaths?

Most Americans in a poll sponsored by the U.S. Coalition for Child Survival guessed AIDS or malaria.

Celia W. Dugger/NYT
42 percent of Americans guessed that AIDS killed the most children. But the disease is responsible for only 3 percent of the 9.7 million deaths a year of children younger than 5.

Eighteen percent of Americans thought malaria was the deadliest, but it killed 8 percent, or about 800,000 young children.

Full article…

Pneumonia, treatable with a 58-cent dose of antibiotic syrup, accounts for almost one out of every five deaths of children under age 5 each year. Diarrhea, treatable with 42 cents’ worth of oral rehydration salts, was the reason for 17 percent of young children’s deaths.

And more than a third of child deaths resulted from complications related to birth — a cluster of causes that includes tetanus (preventable with two 20-cent tetanus shots for the mother during pregnancy) and failure to breathe at birth (correctable with a simple mask and plastic bag device that can cost as little as $10).

Did any of you guess correctly on what caused the most deaths?

Gang problem in Spokane?

“The blog gang sign” from

Today the Spokesman reported in an article by Jody Lawrence-Turner that results of a recent gang sweep in the Spokane area was “greatly exaggerated” and that officials took weeks to set the record straight.

The news that 77 “violent gang members and associates” had been arrested was big news with Spokane media on Oct. 1, and the figure has become a part of the mayoral campaign.

“We concentrated on the worst of the worst, chronic offenders with ties to illegal firearms and violent crime,” Seattle Special Agent in Charge Kelvin Crenshaw said in a press release that day from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

But the reality is about 35 people were booked into Spokane County Jail during the three-day operation. Some of them had no gang affiliation, and all but 10 have been released from jail.

Only one gun was seized, and arrests ranged from warrants for driving without a valid license and first-degree robbery. There were other misdemeanor charges that involved controlled substances.

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) asked for a quote from him to be used in the press release two weeks before the roundup even occurred.

“Gang members and their willingness to use violence presents a significant threat to Spokane area residents and businesses,” he was quoted as saying.

But on Thursday, Kirkpatrick, Knezovich and Mayor Dennis Hession said they had been misled and didn’t know the real numbers until The Spokesman-Review insisted that the names of those arrested and their charges be released. It took a formal records request to get the information from the Sheriff’s Office and the Police Department, and the ATF refused to comply with that request.

You can see the inacurate press release and more with the full story

QUESTION: Do you feel there is a gang problem in Spokane?

Andrea’s YouTube of the evening…

Ok, I’m sorry… but Durf’s YouTube pic below just bites compared to this one… ;)

Meet the Latvian band Cosmos as they beatbox “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson.

This is perfect if you are tired of homework and need slapped awake.

Kyle’s Youtube Pic of the Century

Man this is cool! It’s 15 minutes long, but just watch a little and you’ll see why it’s the best thing ever!

Brothers In Arms: The Farewell

I thought some of you would find this good viewing. These young men are barely older than some of you.

SReporter Jim Hagengruber will tell you all about Matt Shipp’s deployment to Iraq in a 60-inch front-page story in Sunday’s SR

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

Video Journal, the blog of colleague Colin Mulvaney, (along with photographer Brian Plonka and the Spokesman-Review) has been chronicling the military journey of Hauser Lake brothers Matt and Robert Shipp. In the latest Video Journal, Colin writes: “Since Matt and Robert Shipp have graduated from boot camp their lives have changed. Matt has grown from an Idaho kid to a well-trained U.S. Marine and now husband. Matt married Jessica in May, telling her three days before the wedding that he volunteered for duty in Iraq. This story tells of their love and Matt’s commitment to his dream to defend our nation at war.”

Other video journals from the series:
*Brothers In Arms: The Beginning
*Brothers In Arms: The Crucible
*Brothers In Arms: The Graduation

The Worst Invention


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This is not ok in my book.Anytime I see this I want to knock the parents upside the head.

Kids aren’t your pets people!
Hold their freakin’ hands.
That’s what the poor boy in the picture wants, “Daddy, show me love!” :(

What do you think about leashes for children? Do you have any inventions of your own?

Oh, Grandmother, what big chutzpah you have!

This msnbc story was just sent to me by alert student journalist Corrine:

Full story here...

Watch the video. You gotta watch the video. (Click on full story to see.)

UPPER DARBY, Pa. - A woman had her 4-year-old granddaughter help her shoplift at a department store, police said Tuesday. Surveillance cameras recorded Monica Vitale, 42, on Monday taking items from a Sears and having her granddaughter put them into a toy stroller, Upper Darby Township Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said.

“She actually hands the little girl the package, and the 4-year-old puts it in the stroller, raises the hood of the stroller, and then Grandmom covers it,” Chitwood said.(AP)

I’m not sure if the real lesson is not to be a jerk and teach babies to steal, or a visual lesson in why large tattoos are a baaaaaaad idea…

Like I said. Watch the video…

School safety a hot issue this week

First, on Wednesday, a 14 year-old boy shot two students and two teacher and then shot himself at a school in Cleveland.

Now, CNN is reporting the arrest of another 14 year-old boy in Pennsylvania suspected of planning a “Columbine type event” at a high school.

Police in Plymouth Township near Philadelphia took the boy into custody after a search of his home turned up a number of weapons, including a 9 mm rifle with a laser scope and dozens of air guns.

Police also found an operational hand grenade, three other hand grenades in the process of construction, bomb-making equipment and manuals.

Rest of the story.

These two incidents beg some obvious questions. How safe do you feel at your schools? Do you think they take adequate security measures (resource officers, metal detectors, etc.)? Is there something more schools can do help stop the violence?

Top Eastern Idaho news of the day: Phantom “Pooper”…

I am almost as hesitant to post this as the Durf was to post what he did below…

Apparently this is big news in Idaho Falls—worthy of the expose I am linking to, below. Fair warning: It’s gross.

Watch the video.
It’s journalism at it’s finest!

I am impressed, however, at how many ways this reporter found to describe the act of pooping.

Scary little girls… Take the horror movie challenge!

I don’t watch horror movies. Especially ones with creepy little girls…

But others do! And it’s a pretty popular horror movie genre: Scary chicks hanging out with the dead. Or undead. Or soon to be dead. Or should be dead. Or… You get the picture.

Here’s another fun quiz brought to us by Mental_Floss. Match the scary little girl to her movie.

How did you do?

Are you Generation Q? “The Quiet Generation?”

October 1967. During a March on the Pentagon, a protester sticks a carnation in the barrel of a National Guardsman’s rifle.

I just finished a column by Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times. He has spent the past few weeks traveling and visiting college students, and has come to the conclusion that they should be dubbed, “Generation Q. The Quiet Generation.”

Full column here...

“I am impressed because they are so much more optimistic and idealistic than they should be. I am baffled because they are so much less radical and politically engaged than they need to be.”

Friedman goes on to say that he is impressed with many young adults’ work abroad with the poor in El Salvador, AIDS clinics and traveling abroad, but…

“It’s for all these reasons that I’ve been calling them “Generation Q” — the Quiet Americans, in the best sense of that term, quietly pursuing their idealism, at home and abroad.

But Generation Q may be too quiet, too online, for its own good, and for the country’s own good. When I think of the huge budget deficit, Social Security deficit and ecological deficit that our generation is leaving this generation, if they are not spitting mad, well, then they’re just not paying attention. And we’ll just keep piling it on them.”

QUESTION: Do you agree with Friedman? Is this generation too passive? Do they need to rise up more as the youth was in the sixties and seventies?

Moronic teen nearly kills people on Spokane freeway…

A teenage suspect is loaded into a police vehicle today at the conclusion of a car chase that started in Hayden, Idaho, and ended near the eastbound Argonne exit of I-90 in Spokane Valley. No serious injuries were reported. HOLLY PICKETT The Spokesman-Review

Hey kids. Stay in school…
Interstate 90 was closed for about two hours today after three teens in a stolen car attempted to get away from police by driving the wrong way at speeds up to 100 mph.


Full story…

And here is video of the scene:

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

The little twits hit a man in an SUV, and then a motorcylist hit the SUV. It is a serious miracle no one was killed. The teen driver was 16. His passengers are 13 and 14.

They didn’t stop there, either. The teens then jumped from the wrecked car and split. They were apprehended quickly, however, by cops at gunpoint.

I’m not sure what I hope to accomplish by posting this. How could someone be so selfish and stupid? Do they understand what would have happened if someone had been killed? Or how many could have been killed?

“They are very young,” said Washington State Patrol Trooper Mark Baker of the teens in the stolen car.

According to Reagan, the incident began this morning when the 13-year-old took his mother’s car from a Spokane home, picked up the other two teens and drove to Coeur d’Alene. After the 13-year-old had trouble driving on the freeway, the 16-year-old began driving.

After driving around near the Coeur d’Alene city beach for a while, the trio went to Hayden where they attracted police attention because of a hit-and-run with a vehicle and fence. Amy Cannata/SR

Question: The kids ARE all under 18. What is a proper punishment for this kind of behavior?

I want to put a shirt on the young man being arrested. And pull up his pants…

Should teachers be allowed to carry guns?

A Medford, Oregon high school teacher has caused quite a stir recently as she fights to be allowed to carry a concealed pistol while she works.

High school English teacher Shirley Katz insists she needs to take her pistol with her to work because she fears her ex-husband could show up and try to harm her. She’s also worried about a Columbine-style attack.

But Katz’s district has barred teachers from bringing guns to school, so she is challenging the ban as unlawful, since Oregon is among states that allow people with a permit to carry concealed weapons into public buildings.

“This is primarily about my Second Amendment right and Oregon law and the simple fact that I know it is my right to carry that gun,” said Katz, 44, sitting at the kitchen table of her home outside this city of 74,000.

“I have that (concealed weapons) permit. I refuse to let my ex-husband bully me. And I am not going to let the school board bully me, either.”

The rest of the article is here.

What do you think? Does she have a right to carry this weapon? Would it make students more or less safe? Is it sending the wrong message if teachers begin bringing guns to school?

Fortune cookies offer pessimistic advice

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Wonton Food in Queens, NY, has created a line of fortune cookies that are not as full of the optimism and vague advice most are used to.

“We wanted our fortune cookies to be a little bit more value-added,” marketing director Bernard Chow said. “We wanted to get some different perspective, to write something that is more contemporary.”

Full article…

Some examples:
“Today is a disastrous day. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”
“It’s over your head now. Time to get some professional help.”
“Plan for the best, prepare for the worst.”
“Perhaps you’ve been focusing too much on yourself.”
“There may be a crisis looming, be ready for it.”

Go for it: If you were writing them, what would your pessimistic fortune say?

Single mom ordered to pay $222,000 for sharing music files…

I’m sure this hits home for many of you…

DULUTH, Minn. - The recording industry won a key fight Thursday against illegal music downloading when a federal jury found that a Minnesota woman shared copyrighted music online and levied $222,000 in damages against her.

The jury ordered Jammie Thomas, 30, to pay the six record companies that sued her $9,250 for each of 24 songs they focused on in the case. They had alleged she shared 1,702 songs online in violation of their copyrights.

Thomas and her attorney, Brian Toder, declined comment as they left the courthouse. Jurors also left without commenting.

“This does send a message, I hope, that downloading and distributing our recordings is not OK,” said Richard Gabriel, the lead attorney for the music companies. Joshua Freed/AP Full article

I did a bit of searching, and found the list of 24 songs she was in trouble for:
Guns N Roses “Welcome to the Jungle”; “November Rain”
Vanessa Williams “Save the Best for Last”
Janet Jackson “Let’s Wait Awhile”
Gloria Estefan “Here We Are”; “Coming Out of the Dark”; “Rhythm is Gonna Get You”
Goo Goo Dolls “Iris”
Journey “Faithfully”; “Don’t Stop Believing”
Sara McLachlan “Possession”; “Building a Mystery”
Aerosmith “Cryin’”
Linkin Park “One Step Closer”
Def Leppard “Pour Some Sugar on Me”
Reba McEntire “One Honest Heart”
Bryan Adams “Somebody”
No Doubt “Bathwater”; “Hella Good”; “Different People
Sheryl Crow “Run Baby Run”
Richard Marx “Now and Forever
Destiny’s Child “Bills, Bills, Bills”
Green Day “Basket Case”

It’s a playlist that will go down in history if this is the first case where someone has to pay up for sharing music. (She is appealing.)

What do you guys think? Should sharing/downloading music be illegal?

The paintball gun crusader…

Ann Johansson for The New York Times

I had no idea that this happens with paintball guns:

By Michael Parrisha/NYT 14-year-old player inadvertently detached a valve, launching his gun’s carbon-dioxide-filled cylinder as an unguided missile. It struck Ms. Contois, who was watching from a picnic area off the field, in the back of the head. She never regained consciousness, and died at the scene. full article

Apparently this also happened to a 15-year-old boy here in Washington…

The NYT article linked above details the husband of the woman who was killed’s crusade to improve the guns.

I know a lot of you paintball. I guess this serves as a warning more than anything else…

Candidate Test

Here’s a sweet little test to find out what presidential candidate most agrees with you on the issues of today.

Who agrees with you?

Please be dumber

Attatched is a picture of a message I got in my email. It is my email service letting me know that they finally blocked a piece of spam mail.

Can you be dumber? Not only is this only the third time in 5 years of using their email that they actually blocked something, but they send me a message that is of no more value than spam letting me know it.

Is there anyway to scream “not only am I incapable, but I nullify my victories!” any louder?

Anyone else have any experiences like this?

Appendix discovery

Doctors finally believe they have found the use of the appendix! The theory is that the Appendix stores and produces good germs for the stomach. Read the Article.

This is supposed to be a fairly recent, somewhat major discovery. Today is October 6, 2007. After doing a simple image search on Google for the appendix, I made a discovery: a website last updated September 14, 2006 said

In the past, the appendix was considered an evolutionary leftover. Now however, scientists acknowledge that the appendix helps support the immune system in two ways. It helps tell lymphocytes where they need to go to fight an infection and it boosts the large intestine’s immunity to a variety of foods and drugs. The latter helps keep your gastrointestinal tract from getting inflamed in response to certain food and medications you ingest.

Am I confused? It seems like this site is saying not only what the scientists are coming out with today, but saying it in more detail than what has been released to the press. Perhaps these current results are more comprehensive and conclusive. educate yourself.

Any ways, I think this subject matter goes deeper than a squigly dead-end tube. This reminded me of how little we really know about everything. It took what we consider brilliant minds centuries to figure out what a part of our own body-something we’ve been routinely taking out of people for a long time-actually does for the body. How much more can we learn about ourselves? What important pieces of our life are we missing?

We learn about the renaissance, and awakening of knowledge and light, increacing sciences and open mindedness like never before as if it is a thing of the past. To me it seems we are still in the midst of a great constant increase of truth and power.

Thank goodness, or we may never have figured out what that appendix thing is for!

Fire tragedy a brutal wake-up call for small town

Five people died in a fire tragedy in Greenville Ohio.

If that isn’t sad enough, the person being charged with arson and murder, is but 10 years of age.

Did I read that right? A ten year old capable of arson and murdering his own mother? This is written in sadness, rather than anger, that either the judicial system has become so warped and confused that someone so young could be tried for such haneous crimes, or that kids just aren’t as pure and innocent as they used to be. I desperately hope that the err is of the judicial system, rather than from todays society and lifestyle being capable of creating someone so dark, so quickly.

What’s your experience? Can a ten year old boy be capable of extreme crimes? Is the err due to a faultering judicial system?

Guess what? You matter.

If you’re like most teenagers, you probably don’t feel like you have a lot of potential to make a real impact on the world. Sure, schools are constantly throwing inspirational messages like “Try your hardest!” and “you can do anything you set your mind to!” But how many of us actually believe we’re capable of achieving great things, at least while we’re in our youth?

For days when you’re feeling meaningless, check out this blog post, listing six remarkable individuals—most of whom you’ve probably heard of—who made amazing contributions to the world while they were still young (five of them were under 30).

Do you think young people today have more or less ability to make great contributions than they have in the past? For example, is the rallying of youth around causes like Global Warming or Darfur comparable to the great student protests of the 60s? Or is the age of passionate, powerful protests gone in our generation?

Andrea: “This is both hilarious and wrong…”

Andrea’s YouTube (commercial) pick of the night…

Are they REALLY saying, “be a mine sticker???” Thunderbunny will love this one…

Teens irresponsible with money?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Spending habits are developing at a younger age each generation. Teens are one of the most highly sought-after consumer groups.

Over 100,000 people under the age of 25 went bankrupt in 2001.
100,000! Is that only suprising to me?

One in three teens would prefer buying things with a credit card than cash. Why is that? Are you one of those teens?

Credit problems can affect getting a car, getting a job, renting an apartment… But you must build credit, and to do that you must go into debt.

How do you feel about credit cards? Is it safer to just never get one? Does it make sense that you need credit but that involves getting into debt?

Do you have a credit card?

Got Star Trek?

It’s getting late and I’m working under the influence of cold meds. This made me giggle…

For yet more Trek-inspiration…

It is a collection of Star Trek scenes, only as those inspirational posters you see in doctor’s offices and district offices everywhere.


Current Events Quiz, Oct 1-5…

graphic by Carol O’Mally, Vox graphic artist goddess

Here’s a new feature for our little blog… The Current Events quiz. This quiz is courtesy of one of the Journalism Education Association’s rockstars, and an instructor at Kent State University, Candace Bowen.

No. Seriously. She rocks.

See how you do. I’ll post the answers soon… No Googling the answers, brats. Just see how you do… (I’m proud to say that some of these questions you can get right by reading this blog…)


1. In celebrity news, who lost custody of her children this week?
Extra credit: Name one thing that might have influenced the judge’s

2. The House Oversight and Reform Committee is conducting hearings about what security contractor accused of covering up information about shootings?

3. What court began its new term this week?

4. What was surprising about the report of September military and civilian death tolls in Iraq?

5. Playoffs are beginning for what major professional sport?
Extra Credit: Name one team still in the running.

6. What economic indicator hit a record high this week?

7. What is going to be getting more scrutiny at airport security checks?

8. What long-time rocker started his first tour in five years this week and released a new album?

Students arrested for stealing final exams

As many as 50 students in Hanover, New Hampshire “conspired to break into” their school and “steal final exams.” Instead of keeping this issue within the school’s disciplinary powers, school administrators went straight to the police to have the students arrested for trespassing or related charges. Some parents are fighting back against the charges, saying the issue should be left solely to the schools.

Here is a CNN video about the case.

Do you think the school is right to press charges? And what do you think about the case in general—is this a statement of students being so desperate to succeed and get into college that they’ll try anything? Or is it just a group too lazy to do the work themselves?

Should parents supervise underage drinking?

*Erin’s note… I’m moving this post to the top, again, since it has generated such a strong discussion… So much so, that the Vox staffers are making it a topic in the Novemeber print edition of the paper.

I read an article on CNN about some perspectives on the issue of underage drinking.

“We taught them to drink in a civilized fashion, like a civilized human being,” says Stanton Peele, psychologist and author of “Addiction-Proof Your Child.”

He says many of the programs set up to stop alcohol abuse contribute to the teen binge-drinking crisis. Any program that tells kids flatly not to drink creates temptation, he says. “Preparing your child to drink at home lessens the likelihood that they are going to binge drink,” he says. “Not sharing alcohol with your child is a risk factor for binge drinking.”

Peele says other cultures have figured it out. He points to Italy, Greece and Israel, where children are given small amounts of wine at religious celebrations or watered-down alcohol on special occasions.

But many other experts say the psychologist is off base. “That’s ridiculous,” says Calvina Fay, executive director of the Drug Free America Foundation. “By allowing teens to drink,” Fay says, “you are giving permission to your children to do harmful things.”

What do you think? Is underage drinking always wrong? Is it okay for parents to set rules outside of the law in their own house? What about Europe, is their philosophy on drinking better?

“When it comes to college admissions, how early is too early?”

From the New York Times Friday:

“Last year, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the association of guidance counselors and admissions officers that sets college recruiting standards nationwide, voted to forbid colleges to make admissions offers before Sept. 15 of a student’s senior year. The policy, which is to go into effect next year, was an effort to keep college admissions anxiety from creeping down to ever-younger students.” NYT/Tamar Lewin

“What I have seen in the last 12 years in this position is mounting pressure on students and families,” said Diane Freytag, a college counselor at the Overlake School, a private school in Redmond, Wash. “They are made to feel that the earlier, the better, and what often happens is that they make choices that are not well thought out. I think students need the extra time to consider their options. But I know, when I worked on the other side, in college admissions, there was a feeling that the early bird catches the worm, that students who get an early offer are more likely to accept.” full article

What do you think? Can it ever be too soon to commit to a college?

10 Questions From the Redesigned Naturalization Test

New citizens taking the oath of allegiance this month on the steamship Ticonderoga at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vt. Toby Talbot/Associated Press

Ok kids… be honest…Federal immigration authorities unveiled 100 new questions Thursday that immigrants will have to study to pass a civics test to become American citizens.

Click here to take the test.

QUESTION: How did you do? Be honest!

We will be checking back and forth to see how we do with the grown up folks over on the HBO blog. They will be posting how they do as well…

Go do good things, kids…

Greg Hunts (left), Frank Schofhauser (top), Ed Hare (in bucket), Sean Grier (standing) and Jim Olson (right) remove the roof of chairlift #3 at Mt. Spokane, September 22, 2007. The crew gathered to complete Andrew Roswell’s Eagle Scout project. Roswell was killed by a recycling truck in May ‘07. DAN PELLE The Spokesman-Review

Some of you might have known Andrew Rosell. He was a Mt Spokane student who was killed when he was run over on his bicycle. He was working on his Eagle Scout ranking—and didn’t get to finish his project: to repair lift three on Mt Spokane.

The Boy Scouts of America gave him the “Spirit of Eagle award, which honors Scouts who have completed much of the work required to become an Eagle Scout but died before they could achieve it.” (See the full article here…)

On a recent weekend, members of the Boy Scouts; Campfire USA; friends; his parents; grandparents; an aunt; and his sister, Stephanie, gathered at the mountain to replace the chairlift’s roof. They also painted the inside and outside of lodge No. 2 and cleared brush around the chairlift.

“I’m just blessed that we’re able to finish this for him,” said his mother, Brenda Prentice.

I don’t know why, for sure, but I was just really struck by this story.

Question: When was the last time you participated in something like this? Something larger than yourself?

School prank ends with a male homecoming queen…

He says it started as a joke, and now many parents are saying it’s a stiff lesson for students on voting.

What do you guys think?

Link to video from CNN here… (you may have to click below where the other images are to see it.)

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About this blog

In 2006, then-editor Steve Smith of The Spokesman-Review had the idea of starting a publication for an often forgotten audience: teenagers. The Vox Box was a continuation of the Vox, an all-student staffed newspaper published by The Spokesman-Review. High school student journalists who staffed the Vox made all content decisions as they learn about the trade of journalism. This blog's mission was to give students an opportunity to publish their voices. The Vox Box and the Vox wrapped up in June 2009, but you can follow former staffers' new blog at

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