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The Vox Box

Archive for September 2007

Chicago suburb shakes up stop signs

AP photo
Quote the Yahoo! article:

The new signs are red octagons, just like the real stop signs, but instead of just “Stop” they say “Stop … right there pilgrim” and “Stop … in the naame of love.” Naame? Think of the drawn-out pronunciation in the hit by the Supremes.

It might be too soon to know whether the alternative signs will work. But while the mayor was posing for a photo with one of the new signs, a driver sped by without stopping.

I thought that end sentence was pretty funny. I’m not sure I have an incredibly deep question to draw from this, but it made me laugh. It’s worth trying, at least?

Yay TP!

Are you ever short toilet paper? Would you go so far as to steal rolls of TP to make sure your caboose is nice and clean? Well, it seems someone is. At the Fond du Lac City County Government center someone has been taking 6 rolls a week from the restrooms. This has been going on since June. Does someone simply not want to buy their own TP, or is someone planning a massive prank?

Whole Story

What would you do with tons of toilet paper?

Something new

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

It is what it sounds like-Men who suffer from anorexia.
I was watching something about it on the teli yesterday and apparently Dennis Quaid went through it. He said that he would look at his 130 pound self in the mirror and see a 180 pound man.

I know we have discussed a lot about how almost all of us knows a girl who has been anorexic at one time but do any of you know boys who have? Any who have maybe thought about it? Do you think guys care as much about weight as girls do?

Is it worth it?

By 2008, we are expected to be paying 623 billion dollars with the war in Iraq.

Thoughts? Are you sick of it all yet? When should it be over? Is it worth it? Save money-skip war?

Deep thoughts from Robbie…

Here is our second attempt at being profound for the evening.

Here Megan bombards our resident curmudgeon, Robbie, with deep questions to get everyone thinking.

So as you take your homework break to see what the Vox is up to, now you know… What would Robbie do…

Andrea’s layout night YouTube pick of the evening…

I think many of us can relate to this one… In some strange way or another…

Our first blog broadcast…

Here you go. Introducing… the Vox…


Chinese American Idol-like shows need to keep it clean…

The Chinese government is bringing the smack down on raunchy television. Remember: content is heavily controlled in this communist country, and they are saying if Idol wannabe shows like this one want to continue, they have to follow rules:

NYT: Under rules that are to take effect next Monday, contestants in “Idol”-like shows should be healthy and mature and must align their “hairstyle, dress and remarks with the aesthetic values of the general public.” Hosts must refrain from “flirting with each other” and making “inflammatory or sensational remarks,” and voting will be confined to the studio audience. Full article

The shows also aren’t allowed during prime time.

Have a fight with Mom? Here is what NOT to do…

Teenager survives flight in jet wheel well

MOSCOW (UPI) — A 15-year-old Russian boy survived a 900-mile flight in the wheel well of a jet flying from Perm to Moscow. Full story…

Here’s a tip, kids. Airplane wheel wells are cold. Very cold. Airplanes go very high in the sky. It is cold up there.

Question: What is the stupidest thing you ever did to get even with your parents when you were mad at them?

Streaking. On Mount Everest. Yeah…

“Last year, a Nepali climber claimed the world’s highest display of nudity when he disrobed for several minutes while standing on the 29,035-foot summit with the temperature about 14 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Yeah… uh… what’s the deal? I just thought it was funny. Here’s the rest of it.

The sad, human side of the SS

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
PHOTO CAPTION: Karl Höcker, adjutant to the commandant of Auschwitz, and SS auxiliaries relaxing at a recreation lodge near the camp.

Last December the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum was given a photo album by a former United States Army intelligence officer.
This album was only 16 pages long, but it held photos that showed a side of the most notorious of the Nazi death camps, Auschwitz, that the public doesn’t see.


Check out the video album set up at the New York Times. It’s amazing:

The album…

For example, one of the Höcker pictures, shot on July 22, 1944, shows a group of cheerful young women who worked as SS communications specialists eating bowls of fresh blueberries. One turns her bowl upside down and makes a mock frown because she has finished her portion.

On that day, said Judith Cohen, a historian at the Holocaust museum in Washington, 150 new prisoners arrived at the Birkenau site. Of that group, 21 men and 12 women were selected for work, the rest transported immediately to the gas chambers. By Neil A. Lewis/NYT

Full article…

Is Facebook so safe after all?

The New York attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, is investigating whether Facebook, the online social networking site, is misleading users by promoting itself as a place where high school students and younger children are safe from adult sexual predators. By Anne Barnard/NYT

Full article…

The anarchists got some lawyers…

Oh we gotta discuss this one. Don’t let me down, gang…

I’m sure you remember the anarchists who were arrested on July 4. They were protesting police brutality and stopped for a picnic in the park on an American flag. There were complaints, and things got crazy…

Now 55 attorneys, including a former judge, a former county prosecutor and Gonzaga law professors, are volunteering to help defend them. Many take that First Amendment seriously…

What do you guys think? Did the anarchists get what they deserved for being obnoxious? Were their rights violated? Did all of this just get blown out of proportion?

Here’s a good S-R article on the long list of lawyers volunteering. The defense team looks to be longer than the list of defendants…

College newspaper prints a no-no.

The Rocky Mountain Collegian newspaper is in trouble this week after printing an editorial that began “Taser this…F– Bush,” however their version didn’t include the censorship. Editor-in-chief, J. David McSwane, plans to defend their decision in front of the Board of Student Communications today. The editorial is claimed to spark conversation and interest.

Do you guys think this is appropriate for a college paper?

Full story

Oooh… Check this one out, kids…

Stop Childhood Obesity Now, a campaign from Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, has a new commercial it plans to start showing this week, which will excoriate Congress for taking money from the meat and dairy industry, then making it easy for schools and food assistance programs to get federally purchased bacon, burgers, meat and dairy products. So what does that have to do with Craig?/Jim Camden, Spin Control.

Poor Britney…

I dunno if I’d trust the story of a fired bodyguard who only worked for her for two months, but here is his tale of woe.

He says here in this clip that he saw Brit using drugs.

I hope he doesn’t plan on getting a job for any celebrities any time soon…

He says he is making the media round “For her kids…”

Campaign Against Anorexia

I just had to repost this—It is originally from the Huckleberries blog just next door…

Alberto Pellaschiar/AP Photo

A woman looks at a giant poster showing a naked emaciated woman, part of a campaign against anorexia by Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani, in Milan, Italy, Tuesday. The campaign, sponsored by an Italian clothing firm, came up in Italy just as Milan fashion shows started.

Dave Oliveria’s question: Have you or anyone you’ve known suffered from anorexia?

Laugh of the evening…

As I mentioned, it is layout week at the Vox.

It never fails that as we copy edit and design pages, someone pops up with something goofy from YouTube. (See my previous post of Andrea’s video…)

Here was our laugh of the evening. This, my friends, is what the future of America was laughing at tonight…

And me. Call me immature, but I laughed…

Ahmadinejad makes waves in US visit

Ahmadinejad speaking at Columbia University (AP Photo)

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been ruffling all kinds of feathers during his visit to the United States.

First, Ahmadinejad was denied a request to lay a wreath at Ground Zero. The city government would not stand for it, as they mistrusted Ahmadinejad’s intentions. Do you think they should have denied him this?

Second, he spoke at Columbia University, dividing the campus between those who believe Ahmadinejad’s views deserve no forum, and those who think it’s a matter of academic freedom. Do you think the university ought to have allowed him to speak? If you don’t know much about Ahmadinejad, he’s gained international notoriety for his views on Israel, both denying the Holocaust and alleging that “Israel should be wiped off the face of the map.” There is also plenty of controversy over Iran’s government, with wide reports of human rights abuses.

I’ve been waiting to bring something like this up

So I’m going to be able to vote next presidential election, and I’m pretty psyched. Here’s an article about President Bush’s predictions about the race.

Who do you support in the presidential race? I know there are a lot of people running, but if you had to choose one thus far, who would it be? Are you even paying attention to the race? What issues do you have with other candidates? Who do you think will win regardless of who you want to win?

Sorry, No Car For You

108 Chinese cities go a day every year when no one is to use their cars. Their goal is to help reduce pollution.

Great idea I think, but living on a rather large hill, I would have a problem with it… maybe because I don’t have a bike… But what do you think? Could you survive the madness? Would you just stay home all day? How would you feel if our city started this “tradition”?

God responds!

This is pretty funny. So earlier there was the post about the man suing God to make the point that anybody can sue anybody, well God allegedly responded. The defendant said that he was immune to some earthly laws and that the court lacks jurisdiction, among other things. The letter apparently just appeared on the counter with a “poof!”

The picture is of Sen. Ernie Chambers of Ohama during the debate. I thought that the fan behind his head was some sort of halo, glowing thing. This whole thing is pretty silly.

It’s a pretty funny article, check it out

Former Seattleite creates amazing art

If you need a bit of a break from heated discussions, why not take a breather with some amazing art?

Phil Hansen, formerly of Seattle and currently in Minneapolis, has gained international renown for his unique style of creating amazing pieces of art; oftentimes he uses words, objects or smaller images to create a larger picture. The above is a piece of his hearkening back to his Seattle days—it’s a chalk picture of the Mariner’s Ichiro Suzuki, made out of a baseball traced 262 times (Ichiro fans should be able to figure out the significance of that number).

If you’re an avid YouTuber, you’ve probably come across one of his videos; YouTube is the medium through which he shares most of his art.

Here is one of his most popular videos, featuring a unique portrait of Bruce Lee:

If you like what you see, check out his YouTube channel and his website.

Possible Darwin Award… Speaking of stupid Simpsons…

BOSTON (AP) — An MIT student wearing what turned out to be a fake bomb was arrested at gunpoint Friday at Logan International Airport and later claimed it was artwork, officials said.

Star Simpson, 19, had a computer circuit board and wiring in plain view over a black hooded sweatshirt she was wearing, said State Police Maj. Scott Pare, the commanding officer at the airport.

“She said that it was a piece of art and she wanted to stand out on career day,” Pare said at a news conference. “She claims that it was just art, and that she was proud of the art and she wanted to display it.”

Simpson was charged with disturbing the peace and possessing a hoax device. A not guilty plea was entered for her and she was released on $750 bail.

Uhhh… kids? Please don’t ever do this? Electronics with wild wires tied to your body at airports just aren’t ok—even if a used as a fashion statement…

Simpson was “extremely lucky she followed the instructions or deadly force would have been used,” Pare said. “She’s lucky to be in a cell as opposed to the morgue.”

The trooper, joined by others with submachine guns, confronted her at a traffic island in front of the terminal.

“She was immediately told to stop, to raise her hands and not to make any movement, so we could observe all her movements to see if she was trying to trip any type of device,” Pare said. “Had she not followed the protocol, we might have used deadly force.” (Full article)

AP/Lisa Poole

On a more serious note…

We haven’t discussed the “Jena 6.”

AP photo

Perhaps you have been discussing it in class, but for those who haven’t heard, here is the condensed version:

Jena is a small town in Louisiana. In early August of 2006, three (white) boys hung nooses from a tree at the high school. Administration knew who did it, but did not punish them. (I don’t remember their reasoning, but do remember “Boys will be boys” being thrown out.)

The local prosecutor also did not press charges because he could find no Louisiana law under which they could be charged.

Tensions rose, and three months later six (black) students beat up a white student. Justin Barker was knocked unconscious, his face badly swollen and bloodied, but he was able to attend a school function later that night.

The six teens were prosecuted—there were plenty of laws in which they could be charged. They were originally charged with attempted second-degree murder and conspiracy.

Only one of the Jena 6 has been tried: Mychal Bell:

By MARY FOSTER (AP) Bell, 16 at the time of the attack, is the only one of the “Jena Six” to be tried so far. He was convicted on an aggravated second-degree battery count that could have sent him to prison for 15 years, but the conviction was overturned last week when a state appeals court said he should not have been tried as an adult.

Thursday’s protest had been planned to coincide with Bell’s sentencing, but organizers decided to press ahead even after the conviction was thrown out. Bell remains jailed while prosecutors prepare an appeal. He has been unable to meet the $90,000 bond.

Yesterday, up to 20,000 people marched in protest of the treatment of the Jena 6 in the town of about 3,500. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson helped organize the event, and Martin Luther King III was also there. Sharpton calls Jena the beginning of the 21st century civil rights movement.
For more, here are links to two good articles on the topic: one and two

(from the same AP article…) Bails for the Jena 6 were between $70,000 and $138,000, and all but Bell have posted bond. Bell, 17, has been in prison since his arrest. The judge has refused to lower his $90,000 bail, citing Bell’s record, which includes four juvenile offenses — two simple battery charges among them.

What do you think, gang? Be respectful…
Do you agree with Sharpton? What do you think the ramifications of this issue will be on race in America?

Late night laughs…

When it gets to be late at night and we are designing the latest issue of the paper, Vox news editor Andrea Chapin plays this to wake us all up…

Just when I think YouTube will be the downfall of our society, genius like this rears its head…

So for those of you who need a homework break, this one’s for you… Enjoy…

Puzzle of the day: Man says he spots Virgin Mary in lemon slice

I don’t see it… Do you?

(KNBC—Los Angeles)

Marty Nance of Watauga, Texas, spotted the face earlier this week while he was cutting the lemon at his father’s bar.

However, where Nance sees the Virgin Mary, others in the bar are seeing other faces.

“Some people say it looked like Mother Teresa or Virgin Mary,” Nance said. “Some people say it looked like the Mona Lisa picture and some people say it looked like Nicole Kidman.” (Full story…)

Seattle Commuters Urged To ‘Ride The SLUT’

Ahem… Sensitive readers, turn away now…

(KNBC, Los Angeles.) SEATTLE, Wash. — Some residents in Seattle are calling their new transit system by its acronym: SLUT.

Apparently it is officially the “Seattle Streetcar” but many people insist it was originally named the “South Lake Union Trolley” and they are sticking to it.

The coffee shop Kapow Coffee even sells commemorative T-shirts that read, “Ride the SLUT.”

“Well, we just wanted to get behind the SLUT and show our support,” said Don Clifton of Kapow Coffee.

Full story…

There is debate whether it really was ever called the trolley; developers claim it is an urban legend. We’ll just hope the new rail system doesn’t somehow live up to its reputation.

The new $5 has splashes of color… pretty colors…

(AP) WASHINGTON - Honest Abe will become Colorful Abe with splashes of purple and gray livening up the $5 bill.

The government showed off the new bill Thursday in an Internet news conference highlighting changes made in the ongoing battle to stay a step ahead of counterfeiters.

“We wanted this redesigned bill to scream, ‘I am a five. I am a five,’” Larry Felix, director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

Full article…

According to the U.S. Secret Service, we lost $62 million last year due to counterfeit bills.

The next makeover will be for the $100 bill.

What do you think? Pretty?

Introducing Kato Kaelin And The Lashes

First, you need to know that columnist Doug Clark’s son, Ben, is the lead singer for the popular Seattle band, The Lashes (and that Ben is a former student body president from Ferris High School). He’s the tall, dark-haired kid in the video above. Then, you should know that Kato Kaelin — yeah, that one — is a friend of his and dances for Ben and The Lashes in the just-released “Hollywood Pizza Party” video. Now, you can tune in.

Cell Phone Policies

It’s a pretty big issue—schools hate cell phones. Is it an over-discussed topic? Should cell phones be allowed in schools?

Holy Mother

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Is this real?!??!???!

Measure your environmental footprint!

American Public Media has unveiled a free online game called “Consumer Consequences.” The interactive game let’s you see the “environmental consequences” of our lifestyles on Earth. Click here to play.

Players’ scores are based on the number of “Earths” it would take to support their lifestyles. Thanks to my SUV, it would take about 3.4 Earths to sustain my evil ways.

Unless you grow your own food, never throw anything away, and don’t use heat, you are probably doomed to lose the game. I’m told these carbon footprint games are all the same—propaganda to get everyone to feel guilty for not recycling and buying new things.

But it’s still fun! Try it: How do you do?

More for pirate fans: George Harrison

For the nostalgic pirate…

What IF mothers ruled the world?

I stole this question from DFO on the Huckleberries blog. Today they are talking about Sally Field’s speech at the Emmy’s where she credited mothers everywhere. (She plays a mommy on the ABC show “Brothers and Sisters.”)

Said Sally: “And, let’s face it, if the mothers ruled the war, there would be no (expletive) wars in the first place.”

What do you think? How WOULD the world look if mothers ruled?

Kids…Don’t try this at home…

Cops: Man dies after armless artist’s head-butt
Pair reportedly fought over woman in suburban Atlanta driveway

(AP) SNELLVILLE, Ga. - Police are investigating the death of a man who collapsed after he was head-butted by an armless man in a fight over a woman. Snellville Police Chief Roy Whitehead said the two men, Charles Keith Teer and William Russell Redfern, scuffled Monday afternoon in the driveway of a suburban Atlanta home.

Full story

I researched it a bit, and in other reports it sounds like the guy had a heart attack after the beating.

“There was no significant trauma which caused his death. He died of natural causes.”

No charges against Rusty have been filed.

Hmm… Regardless. What is worth fighting for?

Nebraska State Senator Sues God

Democrat Says He’s Making A Point — Seeks Permanent Injunction Against Almighty

(AP) Nebraska State Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha, a self-proclaimed agnostic who skips morning prayers during the legislative session and often criticizes Christians, said he filed the lawsuit to show that anybody can file a legal action against anybody for any reason. Story here

Yup. Chambers is asking a court to “order the Almighty and his followers to stop making terrorist threats.”

Check out the actual suit. The dude has a few points…

Ewwww alert: Study says we don’t wash our hands

According to the American Society for Microbiology, Americans are a bunch of nasty people who don’t wash their hands.

According to a press release and their web site, men are the worst offenders.

Well? It’s cold season. Did you wash your hands today? Huh? Did you???

Tattoo regret?


ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — Laura Hathaway initially had no regrets after getting a tattoo on her lower back when she was 21. But now, 10 years later, she wants it gone.

The American Academy of Dermatology reports tattoo regret is common in the United States. Among a group of 18- to 50-year-olds surveyed in 2004, 24 percent reported having a tattoo and 17 percent of those considered getting their tattoo removed.

Check out the full article and video here…

Apparently dermatologists are seeing a “boom” in customers that want that tattoo they got when younger removed. But having it removed is costly and painful.

The video is cool because you can actually see a tattoo being removed. Ewww…

Question: What do you think is a good age to get a tattoo? Is there an age where the chances of regreting it later is slimmer?

Cities cracking down (har!) on saggy pants

According to an article on Yahoo!:

Proposals to ban saggy pants are starting to ride up in several places. At the extreme end, wearing pants low enough to show boxers or bare buttocks in one small Louisiana town means six months in jail and a $500 fine. A crackdown also is being pushed in Atlanta. And in Trenton, getting caught with your pants down may soon result in not only a fine, but a city worker assessing where your life is headed.

“Are they employed? Do they have a high school diploma? It’s a wonderful way to redirect at that point,” said Trenton Councilwoman Annette Lartigue, who is drafting a law to outlaw saggy pants. “The message is clear: We don’t want to see your backside.”

What do you guys think? Is it reasonable for communities to not want to see guys roaming around with their pants at their ankles? Or are you ready to fight for your right to bare behinds?

Personally, I think the notion of banning saggy jeans is pretty ridiculous. I mean, I think low-riding pants are unattractive and unnecessary, but it’s not a legislative issue. For me it sort of falls under the whole concept of “you don’t have the right to not be offended.” You may not like it, but it’s not in your powers to change it.

From Huckleberries: Unsafe At Any Speed …

Originally posted at Huckleberries Online

SR photog Jesse Tinsley passed along this old newspaper add, along with the comment: I was reading a 1942 Popular Science magazine and ran across this image under “Handy Tips for Car Owners”. It says that you can install handles on your dashboard for children to hold on to while standing in the front seat area. How times have changed.

If I catch any of you dingbats riding like this, I’ll ground you. (Shut up. I can do that if I want to. I’m a mom.) —Erin

Starbucks has made it to Russia

Check ‘er out…

Alexander Natruskin/Reuters

Does it bring a little tear to your eye?

Weight loss surgery for teens…

What do you all think? This is from an article in today’s S-R by Jonel Aleccia

“State-paid weight-loss surgery OK’d for young adults”

Morbidly obese young adults ages 18 to 20 will be eligible for state-paid surgery for weight loss starting next year, under new rules approved by a Washington health care committee.

However, the group responsible for determining Medicaid and other coverage denied the procedure for use in children and younger adolescents, citing safety concerns and worries about whether they could consent to life-altering surgery.

“It’s a lot to be deciding on when you’re not quite an adult,” said Dr. Matthew Rawlins, a Spokane bariatric surgeon.

Check out the full article. There is a story from a local teen who had the surgery.

What do you all think?

Illegal Aliens

Are they truly illegal? Should they be? All around I hear people condemning others for hating Mexicans, for having no human love or tollerability toward others. At the same time people curse the others for subjecting our citizens to the dangers of an open boarder, allowing things like drug trades, economic turmoil, and a lack of ability to communicate with even local residents.

I don’t hate Mexicans, I just want to be safe, but more and more I feel like I’m part of the minority by not being a part of either extreme. Am I some sort of fiend for wanting a secure boarder? Is there a bigger issue here, like the “North American Union” deal?

So what is with our leaders?

Ok, so many teens can be empathetic, I think, to Larry Craig. Some I have talked to say, “Who cares if he is gay?” Or, “It would suck to have your life on display like that.” Etc…

Others enjoy the laughs… See Jon Stewart’s take, here…

What do you guys think? What about the fact he lied and tried to hide his arrest? Is that what you want from your political leaders?

Robbery Becomes Murder?

I’m sure many of you have heard about the Jamie Lynn Drake case. If you haven’t… she was a 19-year-old graduate from Mead High School and went missing for a while. She was found murdered in suspect, Kevin Newland’s mother’s summer house. Although Newland was found guilty on 12 counts, including Murder in the First Degree, he was not found guilty of premeditated murder in the first degree with aggravating circumstances, which means… he doesn’t go to jail for life without parole. Newland’s intent was robbery, but ended in a killing. If you knew Jaime do you think this is right? Do you hold any kind of grudge because this man, (20-years-old) is not going to jail for the rest of his life for killing someone you knew? A friend? An acquaintance? Even if you didn’t know her, how do you feel about someone murdering and then not going to jail for the rest of their life? I’m not talking about an accident, or self defense, I’m talking about murder. First degree murder-premeditated. Do you care if he had “aggravating circumstances?”

Forget the Government

Who needs it, right? That’s what anarchists think. How do they expect to live? Do you think it would work? Would you honestly be able to live without any rules or regulations? Laws wouldn’t be enforced! I guess this would be a bonus for those poor French poodle Opera lovers in Chicago who aren’t aloud to tag along with their owners. Do anarchists not see how free we actually are in the U.S.? Do you think they are reasonable?

Frosh Have it Tough

Hopefully you saw this one in the paper. Basically it says that Freshmen have it horrendously difficult. That elder peers are sadistic tourture Gods that will beat a Freshman to a pulp on a whim. Robbie also alluded to having experience some of it first hand. Has anyone else had similar experiences? My Freshman year was great! I was honestly unfamiliar with the horrors that were described. Am I blissfully unaware of the evils that take place right under my nose (or over my nose, many Freshmen are taller than me)? How many of you out there have been stuffed in a trashcan?

World Leaders

Who cares? So you-pick-istan has a terrible leader who is evil and smells terrible. How does that effect teenagers today? Why should todays teenagers be worried about what happens afar or even around here? Do we really have much power in influencing these events? Or should we care simply because we too will someday be in a position to influence events and people? What are the best reasons to immerse ourselves in leader affairs, or what are the biggest reasons to simply leave it to those in charge?

Fall TV

It seems that with the beginning of every coming school year, prime time television achieves new heights in awesomeness. Some of the hot shows causing a lot of buzz are Bionic Woman, Pushing Daisies, Psych, Heroes and tons more. With so many shows to choose from, let us know what shows you really pull for!

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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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