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The Vox Box

Archive for December 2008

Attainable New Year’s Resolutions

Not only are these “attainable”, they’re also really funny. I think I’m going to adopt some of these as my New Year’s Resolutions… ;)

  • Gain weight. At least 30 pounds.
  • Stop exercising. Waste of time.
  • Read less. Makes you think.
  • Watch more TV. I’ve been missing some good stuff.
  • Procrastinate more. Starting tomorrow.
  • Spend more time at work, surfing with the T1.
  • Take a vacation to someplace important: like, to see the largest ball of twine.
  • Not jump off a cliff just because everyone else did.
  • Stop bringing lunch from home: I should eat out more.
  • Not have eight children at once.
  • Get in a whole NEW rut!
  • Start being superstitious.
  • Personal goal: bring back disco.
  • Not bet against the Minnesota Vikings.
  • Buy an ‘83 Eldorado and invest in a really loud stereo system.
  • Get the windows tinted. Buy some fur for the dash.
  • Speak in a monotone voice and only use monosyllabicwords.
  • Only wear jeans that are 2 sizes too small and use a chain or rope for a belt.
  • Spend my summer vacation in Cyberspace.
  • Not eat cloned meat.
  • Create loose ends.
  • Get more toys.
  • Get further in debt.
  • Not believe politicians.
  • Not drive a motorized vehicle across thin ice.
  • Avoid transmission of inter-species diseases.
  • Avoid airplanes that spontaneously drop 1000 feet.
  • Stay off the International Space Station.
  • Not swim with piranhas or sharks.
  • Associate with even worse business clients.
  • Spread out priorities beyond my ability to keep track of them.
  • Wait around for opportunity.
  • Focus on the faults of others.
  • Mope about my faults.
  • Never make New Year’s resolutions again.

This “list” was found here.

Wow! Time sure does fly by…

I woke up, and realized today was the 30th of December. Yikes! That means… that… tomorrow… is New Year’s Eve! *Gasp* Where did the year go? Who knows… but I’d say for the most part, my year was well spent. How about you? Well, I thought that it would be fun to post a Countdown clock for the New Year, so here it is:


Countdown Clocks

So, are you looking forward to 2009? Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions? (I don’t think Garfield does…) How about any Traditions for New Year’s Eve or New Year’s day? Looking back on 2008, what’s your favorite memory (or memories) of the year?

New Assignments!

Alright guys, our next discussion will be this Friday. We’ll be finishing up the first section, which means the last four parts are officially assigned today. So read through “The Jesse Owens Incident,” “The Other Side of Sandpaper,” “The Smell of Friendship,” and “The Heavyweight Champ of the Schoolyard” by Friday and be ready to discuss!

The Woman with the Iron Fist

On to the next section!

-In this part of the book, we spend a lot of time with Rosa Hubermann. -What do you think of Rosa? How well do you think she and Liesel will interact later on in the book?

-We get a bare taste of the Hitler Youth in this section as well. Neither Liesel nor Hans seems overly eager about Liesel having to join. -Though we only see the Hitler Youth for a paragraph or so, it was mentioned for a reason. How do you think Liesel’s involvement will come into play in future pages?

-Liesel both begins school and begins having regular nightmares in this section. -Are these two events specifically related (not necessarily that school causes nightmares, but that both unpleasant events are juxtaposed for a reason) or are they simply the unpleasant results of Liesel’s new life? Is there significance in the fact that Hans is the solution to both?

-At the end of this section, while cleaning spit off the doorway, Liesel takes a look at the sky. “Usually,” she says, “it was like spillage - cold and heavy, slippery and gray,” but sometimes a sliver of star-ridden sky can be seen. On those nights, she stays out with the stars until Rosa yells at her or until “the stars were dragged down again, into the waters of the German sky.” -Just like Death, Liesel seems to have some sort of connection with the sky. What is the appeal of the sky?

The Kiss

More Book Thief discussion, here we come! Here we’ll discuss the 4th section of the book, The Kiss (A Childhood Decision Maker).

  • In this section, Liesel describes a select few of the people in her neighborhood. We learn about Rudy Steiner, Frau Diller, Tommy Muller, and the interesting “Piffifikus.”  Based on their descriptions, which character do you like the best, find most interesting, or most relate to?
  • Death states, “The only thing worse than a boy who hates you {is} a boy who loves you,” (pg. 52). Do you think that Rudy really loves Liesel? How would this complicate matters for Liesel?
  • We also learn more about ‘The Road of Yellow Stars’. The houses are said to be “almost like lepers”; How does this affect Rudy and Liesel’s neighboorhood as a whole?

The Diary of a Snow Shoveler

A friend told me about this parody, and I did a google search and found it. In light of all this snow, and all the people who are sick of shoveling it, I felt compelled to share it with you. Its called “The Diary of A Snow Shoveler.” I refuse to give away anything about it, other than its absolutely hilarious!

(Content Warning: some strong language…)

It’s a boy for Bristol

Bristol Palin, the teenage daughter of Alaskan governor Sarah Palin, gave birth to a 7-pound, 4-ounce boy on Sunday. She and the father, Levi Johnston, have named the baby Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston. Both mother and child are in good health, though that’s all the governor’s office is releasing.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28425990/?gt1=43001

Does anyone else think that Bristol and Levi may have put the “Sarah Palin Name Generator” to good use?

It just keeps on Comin’…

… the snow that is. Everywhere I look, all I see is snow, snow… (and you guessed it!) more snow. The snow just keeps coming, hardly stopping to give us a break to catch up. So, here I pose the question: How much snow is on the ground at your place?

Belching and Breaking Wind…How Beautiful

The very green (and very sarcastic) Scottish ogre has now found his place: center stage.

Sunday was the night for ‘Shrek the Musical’, the official debut of the ’screen-to-stage musical’ based on the 2001 animated film and children’s book by William Steig.

Played by Brian d’Arcy James and Sutton Foster, Shrek the ogre and Fiona the princess test their relationship to eventually discover a romantic chemistry that, The NY Times reports, is deeper than their “shared affinity for breaking wind and belching really loudly.”

This show can walk the walk, but can it talk the talk? (Or in this musical’s case, sing the song?)

” ‘Shrek’, for the record, is not bad,” continues The New York Times. The movie utilizes it’s iconic characters and wide age range of humor to hook it’s fans.  When compared to other Disney-inspired musicals, such as “Tarzan” and “Little Mermaid”, this ogre-tastic fractured fairy tale is worth your time.

cheap… or smart?

With the economy slowing down, people are obviously spending less. But how’s this affect teenagers? Maybe for those of us who don’t work, and even those who do work, money for fun comes from mom and dad. Do you find yourself trying to do cheaper free time activities because of the bad economy?

South Africa’s New Extreme Sport

Image from dailymail.co.uk

Most people have heard of cage diving with sharks. Cango Ranch in South Africa is now offering cage diving with crocodiles. You are given a snorkel, a mask, and a cage before you are lowered into the water with five crocs- each with 4 times the bite force of a Great White.

Here’s a link if you’re interested

What is the most daring thing you have ever done? Would you ever be interested in cage diving with a crocodile? What about a shark?

Looking Back on 2008’s Tunes

The year is quickly coming to a close - we’ll soon be watching the ball drop and partying along with Dick Clark’s Rocking New Year’s Eve; but now it’s time to lovingly look back on the tunes that rocked 2008.

In its’ The Best of 2008: Albums article, MSN writers and staff described the musical tastes of the year as “vintage dominated by rock, spiced with multi-cultural overtones and graced by country notes in its long, teasingly earthy finish.” Ya, savor that one.  So here are the albums that made the list:

10.Taylor Swift - “Fearless”
Described as “no longer merely precocious, Swift is good enough to make us forgive the full court press of magazine covers, TV spots, and photo ops.” 

9. Fleet Foxes - “Fleet Foxes”
 This lesser-known band straight out of Pudget Sound is making a name for themselves while being loved for their “earnest folk rock.”

8. Coldplay - “Viva La Vida, or Death and All My Friends”
Wow - some of these songs are so catchy it’s insane…and painful. 

7. Vampire Weekend - “Vampire Weekend”
Recognized as one of the year’s officially amazing breakout bands, these Columbia University students rock their “chattering Afro-beat guitars and smark alek, preppy social observations.”

6. Randy Newman - “Harps and Angels”
I have no idea who this is. All I know is that his last name reminds me of ranch dressing…

5. Lil Wayne - “Tha Carter III”
‘Weezy’ sixth studio album dominated in a year that was described by MSN writers as “weak for rap and hip-hop.”

4. The Black Keys - “Attack & Release”
A blast from the past, this duo’s sound is loved by those who dig ” gripping, timeless blues rock.”

3. My Morning Jacket - “Evil Urges”
These guys somehow manage to cover nearly every genre over the course of this album: “Funk to folk, metal to blues, [fueling] their smart, powerful music.”

2. The Hold Steady - “Stay Positive”
I’ve never heard of these guys either, but they are described as a great ‘transformation band’, growing from “a great bar band to a great band, period,” in the past year.

1. TV on the Radio - “Dear Science”
“They may be the most important band…that isn’t Radiohead.”  That’s all I need to hear.

What has been YOUR favorite albums of the year? Which genres of music seemed to take over 2008?

Your Next Assignment!…

Yup, you sound like total spies: Your next assignment is here…

So we’ve covered the Prologue and the first two chapters - We’re gonna keep moving on with The Book Thief.

After posting your thoughts and chatting with others, go forth and prosper on to read the next two sections : ‘The Woman With the Iron Fist’ and ‘The Kiss’.

Tuesday, December 30 will be the day for some rockin’ Discussion right here. (Hopefully we’ll get through Part 1 before the New Year! yay!)   See you then!

Arrival on Himmel Street

Time for round two of Book Club! First up is the first section of part one, entitled “Arrival on Himmel Street.” In this section, we gain more insight into the death of the book thief’s brother, get a glimpse of her new foster family, and witness her first instance of book thievery.

Discussion Questions

-Death makes an observation not long into this section: “A pair of train guards. A pair of grave diggers. When it came down to it, one of them called the shots. The other did what he was told. The question is, what if the other is a lot more than one?” -Does Death’s question apply to contemporary events as well as Nazi Germany? And why do these multiple-others stand by and simply do as they are told?

-Liesel snatches up The Grave Digger’s Handbook minutes after her brother is buried. -Why would she, an illiterate child, steal a book?

-Liesel’s foster parents live on Himmel Street, himmel meaning heaven in German. -Do you think the name foreshadows Liesel’s life aptly (as in her life will be good there) or ironically (in the words of Death, “It wasn’t [hell]. But it sure as hell wasn’t heaven, either,”)? Or is there any foreshadowing at all?

-We get a bare glimpse of Liesel’s foster parents towards the end of this section. -What is your impression of Rosa and Hans Hubermann? How do you think Liesel will get along with each of them?

Growing Up A ‘Saumensch’…

Here we go - discussion of The Book Thief, Chapter 2 commences here!

  • So we begin with a description of the books and their meaning. Death describes them as not just meaning ‘something, but everything.’  What else do they represent? Do you have an object in your life such as this?
  • For Liesel, ‘father’ is a label she says she does not understand. How would you describe/explain the label known as a ‘father’?
  • Are there any other labels in life that are not understandable?

Totally add in your comments-thoughts-questions!! :D

Video of the Week

Can’t beat the classics. Everyone’s favorite clip from ”A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4Hv9YmhGpw

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Merry Christmas!

I know, I know. The readers of The Vox Box aren’t jumping up and down, hyperactively anxious for Santa to arrive- or at least we shouldn’t be.  But when has that ever stopped us before? For a few years now, I’ve shown my younger family members this Santa Tracker by NORAD. It’s very cool, for the under 7 set. Or the wish-they-were-under-7 set.

What are you doing tonight? Any awesome traditions?

George Bush Shoe Attack! Goes to a whole new level

I introduce to you sockandawe.com, the latest way to enjoy the George Bush Shoe Attack outside of youtube.

The objective of the game is at the top of the page: Hit President Bush in the face with your shoes! Do it!

61,092,754 shoes have successfully hit Bush in the face, and counting. Enjoy your 2008 Christmas eve with the opportunity to hit Bush in the face. Have fun!

P.S: I scored 17.

Goodbye, Paper. Hello, Pixels!

Are electronic book devices in the near future for reading?

The e-book industry has remained a silent secret for almost a decade, but now, due in part to sky-rocketing advertising efforts on Amazon.com, e-books’ sales will launch.

Although the book industry and technology have always been tightly linked what with online libraries, web sites, reading lights, and the ability to download documents onto iPods and iPhones, Kindle hopes to introduce a new connection.

Kindle is a wireless device with the ability to display electronic books like any other traditional print copy. The approximated cost is $359; the popularity of the product is credited mostly to Oprah Winfrey, who featured the product on her show, and in part to Amazon.com by analysts.

From the New York Times’ article on the subject:

“The perception is that e-books have been around for 10 years and haven’t done anything,” said Steve Haber, president of Sony’s digital reading division. “But it’s happening now. This is really starting to take off.”…

 …“E-books will become the go-to-first format for an ever-expanding group of readers who are newly discovering how much they enjoy reading books on a screen,” said Markus Dohle, chief executive of Random House, the world’s largest publisher of consumer books.

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It…No!

Baby, it’s COLD outside.  The most flurries and most furies have given birth to the snow storm of the century, and it isn’t going anywhere.  This snow means business.

Local snowfall records have been broken in Spokane and Coeur d’ Alene.  It is the most outrageous snow storm since 1895.  The forecast can hardly keep with its mysterious appearances, or so it seems.

Are you sick of ALL of this snow?  What are your favorite indoor activities for the everlasting winter months?  What are your favorite outdoor activities (don’t you dare say shoveling snow!)?

 

 

 

baby one more time…

How is it that celebrities like Britney Spears can have huge “come backs” before their albums are released and before they have shown signs of new success? I was watching some television and it seems that the media is so consumed with talking about her “come back” when it doesnt seem she’s really done a lot…

Anyone agree?

Las Vegas Snow Storm cancels flights

Apparently, Spokane wasn’t the only place to recieve a dumping of snow last Wednesday. A rare snowfall blanketed Las Vegas on Wednesday, canceling all flights in and out of the city, snarling traffic and dusting palm trees and marquees along the Las Vegas Strip.

Now, Las Vegas is located in Nevada. In the desert. It snows around Las Vegas, on the mountains, but not in the city itself. So when 8 inches dropped on rooftops and palm trees, residents were delighted.

3 inches of accumulation on the Strip would break the December record of two inches set in 1967, but not the record of nine inches set in 1974.

huffington post, huffingtonpost.com/theres-a-link-here.

 

 

Star Wars dance off!

I am practicing this morning with this blog stuff, and want to experiment with embedding a video.  I found this one…

I shall embrace my Star Wars nerdness and post it.  I found it exciting and terrifying all at the same time, especially when Darth Vader hit the floor and did the Thriller…

The Flag…

Round 4 of Book Thief Discussion!

The Flag.

Discussion Questions:

  • The color of the last section was black, now we read about red; What effect does this have on the section?
  • The Narrator compares the falling ash to snow, Are there any other aspects of the book that compares with the weather we’re now experiencing?
  • The colors - white, black, red - Do you think these colors will have distinct importance later in the book?

Feel free to add your comments, questions, thoughts!

Remember:  The next two sections: Arrival on Himmel Street and Growing Up A Saumensch shall be discussed on Friday! :) Enjoy!

Beside the Railway Line

So, on to part two!

In Beside the Railway Line, we are introduced to the book thief for the first time. Again, we are shown this notion of colors as a distraction for Death. Has the meaning of these colors changed since Death and Chocolate? As before, are they symbolic or simply weather-related?

We’ve gotten more of a glimpse of Death by this section. Has your impression of him changed at all?

Death regards staying behind as “the most elementary of mistakes.” Is staying with the survivors for even a moment such a horrible mistake? Not just the survivors in this instance, but survivors in any instance.

Death also notes that his breath “was loud that day” and that he is surprised no one heard him. This seems to indicate that Death is less a spirit than we commonly think of him as. What sort of entity is Death, then? Could he be more human than he’d like to admit?

Any other thoughts?

The Eclipse…

Monday’s the day: Time for some Book Thief discussion…

Caitlin will be posting the discussion boards for the first and second section: Death and Chocolate, and Beside the Railway Line.

So 3 Cheers for the third section of the Prologue!, Here’s where we’ll discuss The Eclipse.

Discussion Questions:

  • The color black seems to be the theme for this section. We see the ‘darkest moments before dawn’, a ‘horizon begining to charcoal’, and the ‘graying light’ in the sky  - Is this fitting with the events of the section?
  • What do you think the Narrator wants the teddy bear symbolize?
  • What’s the significance in an ‘eclipse’, as the Narrator often sees them?

Feel free to add your comments, questions, and thoughts!

 

Death and Chocolate

Alright guys, time to kick off the book club! Just to reiterate, there will be four posts, two each from Chloe and me, one for each section of the prologue.

So, Death and Chocolate. In this section, we are introduced to Death, his occupation (shall we say), and his feelings on the matter. What do you think of Death thus far? In his own words, he is amiable, agreeable, affable, and yet he ‘truthfully’ and unnervingly declares in the fifth line that “you are going to die.” A rather odd way to start a novel, yes?

The colors are another point of discussion. What do you think the colors represent? Are they simply the shades of the sky at the time of a person’s death, or are they some reflection of the person’s soul?

Death also touches on humanity towards the end of this section. Though he doesn’t speak on it specifically, how do you think he views man overall? Survivors frighten him, and he’s not fond of his job, so what’s left for him to like, if anything?

Any other comments on anything at all from this section are welcome too, of course.

Quotes of the Week

Quote 1:

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

Harper Lee in To Kill a Mockingbird

Quote is here.

Any thoughts on this quote? Have you read To Kill a Mockingbird?

Quote 2:

There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.

Charles Dickens in Oliver Twist

Have you read any great books lately? Have you read any horrible books? Any recommendations- or lack of?

Quote is here.

Quote 3:

The interest from around the world … has demonstrated the worldwide appeal of Winnie the Pooh.

Philip Errington, a Sotheby’s specialist, on the record-breaking $2 million sale of a collection of E.H. Shepard’s original drawings from the Winnie the Pooh books by A.A. Milne

Did you watch Winnie the Pooh when you were a little kid?

Quote and explanation found here.

 

PETA loves Oprah…

Oprah Winfrey: Famous talk-show host, radio-show personality, magazine named after herself, - the woman’s even got her own book club stickers…We can now add ”PETA’s Person of the Year” to the list of achievements.  

Given the title by the Norfolk, VA.- based PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Winfrey will be joining the ranks of U.S. Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia (2007) and the founders of the animal and pet-friendly Method cleaning products (2006).

President of PETA, Ingrid E. Newkirk comments on Winfrey’s new honor, thanking her for using her “powerful voice to defend those without one.”  Oprah can expect to recieve an award plaque and a letter of appreciation.

 Read More…

Do you see Oprah as a worthy recipient of this award? Anyone else come to mind as a better winner?

Discussion Begins!

Alllllrighty! The day has come - The Vox Book Club’s first official discussion! ….(*suspense music* - dumm dummm duummmmm!!)

OK - So here’s how it’s going down: There will be 4 seperate posts - As you smarty-pants people can probably guess, one for each section of The Prologue (the reading assigned last week.)

Like most book clubs, (but more fun than English class),  there will be questions. Questions that we find on the internet, questions that we make up, and questions inspired from the awesome-ness of the text.  But feel free to ask your own questions. This is discussion - we want to squeeze as much conversation as possible out of you folks. State your opinions :  what you like - what you don’t like - what you’re scared of - what makes you want to dance. Everything.

Remember: More reading assigned! Arrival on Himmel Street and Growing Up A Saumensch…(dummm dummm dummmmmm!!!) 

 Wanna discuss that Friday?

Enjoy!

 

Not really the lead man…

The story seems to be circulating faster than the hottest gossip in a high school hallway: Ruldolph - the determined little guy who pulled through for Santa that foggy night -  could have been a girl.  *gasp!…*

That’s right.  National Geographic recounts the old facts, stating that “male reindeer generally shed their antlers long before December 25, wheras the females retain theirs until at least January.”  (Antlers are adorning their heads in every picture/movie I’ve seen…) “So Santa’s outriders must be all females.”

Along with the facts, I think the nose has it. Dr. Alice Blue-McLendon, veterinary medicine professor specializing in deer (ya that’s right…deer) at Texas A&M University says it’s all about the big shiny red nose for a gender clue.  “Females like a little bling.”

I don’t really have a question for this post…I just thought it was funny. Well… - Anybody catch one of those classic Christmas-Holiday movies yet? Christmas Without a Santa Claus? The Miser Brothers?

I Couldn’t Resist…

Forget the trees… SAVE THE CHIPMUNKS!!! ;) Enjoy…

Big-Fun-Scary-Adventure…

Is it the title of a new challenge, or a just a ton of adjectives thrown together…? 

This will be pretty familiar to those of you who participated in NaNoWriMo, the equivalent of the Olympics for novel-writers. Challenging nearly 113,000 authors of all ages to pool their blood, sweat, and tears to crank out a novel in one month, the National Novel Writing Month people are celebrating it’s success and now diving into a new challenge (and inviting us along):…

(the 3rd official year of) The Big-Fun-Scary-Adventure of 2009…

Chris Baty, spokesman for NaNoWriMo, sees the New Year not just as a time for some resolutions, but as a time for change. “The quick overview:,” Baty says in his email going out to past NaNoWriMo participants, “We each pick an adventure, declare it to the world, check in with our progress throughout the year, ultimately pull it off, the get a winner’s certificate.” 

That’s right - just pick something new, fresh, and different to do through 2009 then get the shiny certificate (along with bragging rights) upon completion!

“Your curiosity is a dependable guide; follow it. Put yourself in unfamiliar places. Kindle passions. Savor the raw joy of making things, then remake the best of those things until they take someone’s breath away. Wrestle bears.”   -Chris Baty

Just be careful with that whole ‘bear’ thing…

What are your resolutions for 2009? Got an ‘Adventure’ to tackle throughout the year?

Something out of a Sigourney Weaver movie

Neurosurgeon Dr. Paul Grabb was removing a “microscopic tumor” in a three-day-old baby’s brain. The surgery would quickly become one he would never forget. As he removed the tumor, he realized that it contained a perfectly formed foot, hand, and thigh.

Grabb says that this may be a case of “fetal-in-fetu”, where an identical twin dies early in the pregnancy and begins to grow inside of the living twin. According to Grabb, however, “fetal-in-fetu” rarely occurs in the brain.

The baby made a full recovery, but is being monitored to ensure no more growths return.

You can read the full story here

Is there a possible movie deal behind this?

The First Section…Book Club Update

More than just the words on page 1 - ….

For me the first section, - whether it be an Author’s Introduction, a Prologue, or a plain and simple ’First Chapter’, - always carries the future of the book on it’s shoulders.   I usually determine whether I like the book within that first fragile segment….

So, how is The Book Thief treating you? 

The Prologue - assigned last Tuesday - now unravels before us. What was your initial impression? Does the future of The Book Thief (as a book, not a character…) seem bright? Consider the details given by the narration - does that intrigue you?, or is it just plain creepy?

 For more thoughts-provoking questions, head over to Caitlin’s post from December 16.

Like Caitlin said, we’ll begin discussing in more detail on Monday! Be there or be square, my friends. :) 

For you crazy-fast readers (or aweosme book nerds…) out there, we’ll be assigning the first chapter - Arrival on Himmel Street - on Monday the 22.  We’re planning to discuss that on the following Friday, (Dec. 26), but if we’re moving faster than expected we’ll discuss sooner.

So tackle those 10 pages! (We’re goin’ easy on you over Christmas-week…:D)

Happy Holidays and happy reading!

 

Video of the Week

The 2008 Project for Awesome

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nddx9TErKBg

Essentially (if you’re too lazy to watch the video), Project for Awesome is a two-day-long invasion of YouTube. Thousands of people make videos promoting their favorite charities and flood the site with their footage in the hopes that people will actually take the time to watch and possible donate.

Do you think this is an effective way to raise money (in other words, do you think the demographic watching YouTube is likely to contribute something)?

School is closed, Friday too. It’s vacation time!

Just an FYI:  School is closed tomorrow and you can all offically start your holiday vacations early. Here’s the Educatiional Service District website that has all the Spokane area school closures and delays. Stay warm out there!

Iraqi Shoe-Hurler Asks for Pardon

During a news conference this week, an Iraqi television journalist removed both his shoes and threw them at George W Bush while shouting in Arabic: “This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog!” A few seconds later, the journalist tossed his other shoe, shouting, “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!”

 

December’s viral video is commonly referred to Youtube junkies as “George Bush Shoe Attack!” 1,322,017 views have been counted for this video, my personal favorite George Bush Shoe Attack video.

photo found on bbc.co.uk

Now, on December 18th, the Journalist who threw his shoes has asked the Iraqi prime minister for a pardon. The government spokesman, Yassin Majid, said that the reporter wrote to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki apologizing for the incident and calling it an “ugly action.”

 

“He asked the prime minister to pardon him as a son asks his father for forgiveness,” The New York Times reports Mr. Majid said.

 

When Iraqi Parliament discussed the withdrawal from Iraq of armed forces, a group of lawmakers instead demanded that the legislature discuss up the issue of the journalist Muntader al-Zaidi. Some in Parliament say the government should release Mr. Zaidi immediately, while others say the judiciary should decide his fate.

 

What do you think? Is this humorous to you? What should happen to Mr. Zaidi? What do you think of what he shouted in Arab as he threw the shoes, and what about what Bush said in the video?

 

 

 

Mmm, the scent of Burger King

Eau de Burger King, anyone? Is the scent of Burger King really so attractive that it needs to be cologne? Apparently so. Burger King has released a men’s cologne, called Flame, that is “a scent of seduction, with a hint of flame-broiled meat,” according to this MSNBC story. The scent is sold in stores in New York City, as well as on firemeetsdesire.com, a dedicated site for the scent. The best part is that this “mouthwatering mojo. ” can be yours for only $3.99.

Guys, would you buy this scent? Girls, if your guy were to be wearing it, would you be repulsed or ecstatic?

School is closed!

In case you haven’t heard, no school today!

How is everyone spending their day?

Salvation Army kettles get valuable addition…again

A 1911 Liberty Eagle coin (worth about $1000) was found in a Florida Salvation Army kettle for the third year in a row. The coin, found among the usual mess of wrinkled bills and loose change, was sealed in a plastic case with a note reading “In memory of Mimi” attached, just the same as it has been found the past two years.

The donation was more than welcome; during these rough economic times, donations to the Salvation Army have dropped about 25%. And this coin was hardly alone. Two other rare coins and even a diamond ring have been deposited in various kettles across the country this season.

Do you donate time or money to charities during this time of year, or any time of year?

Christmas treats=Christmas must-haves

Chocolates, cookies, candy canes, fudge…whew! The kitchen comes alive as soon as Christmas rolls around!

Take this quiz from The-N.com to find out What Holiday Treat you are. (I was a Gingerbread Man…excellent! One of my favorites…)

 

What are YOUR holiday food traditions? Do YOUR quiz results match your favorite treat?

Not quite yet…

District 81 is still set to have school tomorrow even with treacherous snow conditions. Really, 81… do you just love to make us highschool students squirm?

Butthead update: The boy named “Hitler”

Earlier this week I blogged about a cute little white trash family who named their son Hitler, and are upset that a local grocery store refused to write his name on his birthday cake.  See the blog post and story here…

And I apologize to any proud white trash out there.  You are right, comparing you to this family is wrong.  These guys are just nitwits.

Regarless, an update:  Walmart made their cake.  Awww….  God bless Walmart this holiday season.

Here is the article, but it’s in Danish.  Thanks to buddy Pia for translating for me!  In a nutshell, it just says they tried many places and finally Walmart made their cake.  They mention their other two children, Aryan Nation and Hinler (their misspelling, not mine) and say they they want people to respect their kids’ names. 

QUESTION:  Is a name just a name?  Or do you think these parents should have their heads examined and their name choices will effect their kids’ lives?

Santa’s… to sexy for his hat…

It’s Santa Claus—L.A. style…

At the Beverly Center mall in L.A., shoppers won’t find a jolly old bearded elf Fri-Sun nights.  instead they will find a 6-foot-1, 185-pound “Hunky Santa” played by Eli Wilhide. 

Shoppers who sit on this Santa’s lap can get nutrition and exercise tips, or advice on what to get the wife or girlfriend.  (My advice would be not to sit in some hunk’s lap while shopping for your wife or girlfriend…)

From an article by By Laura T. Coffey at the Today Show:  He’s “gorgeous,” said one woman who recently posed for a photo on his lap. “Illegally gorgeous.”

QUESTION:  Did you sit on Santa’s lap this year?

20 Worst?, or 20 Best?

Shopping shopping shopping. That’s what many teens’ agendas look like in the season of Christmas, no school, and of course, did I mention those 2 beautiful weeks of VACATION! Planning on logging in many hours at the mall? Msn.com reports on a list of the 20 Worst Mall Foods, all condemned for their high-fat, high-sodium content. Read on to evaluate your food picks, the nutritional information is in the continued article. Worst “Healthy” Snack So you think you’re being healthy…but are you? Starbucks Cranberry Flax Muffin Worst Chinese Meal I love Chinese…with a passion… Panda Express Orange Chicken Worst Smoothie Anyone seen the ‘Jamba’ SNL? Love that… Jamba Juice Peanut Butter Moo’d - 24 oz So we’ve covered the ‘Bad Foods’, what are the ‘Good Foods’? What are YOUR favorite things to munch on in the mall?

David Cook’s First Album Rocks As Much As He Does—Must I Say More?

American Idol winner David Cook just released his first album, and—believe me—it rocks! Cook’s sincere lyrics, raw voice, and great musical ability burst from the speakers with a flair all their own. Most of the song lyrics were dreamt up by Cook himself. David’s voice exemplifies the emotions behind each and every word, though, regardless of whether or not he claims the words. This album proclaims David Cook’s initial “Declaration” of his potential, his talent, and his future in the music industry. David Cook is soon to become one of the “Heroes” of the music industry, and he’s having the time of his life one song at a time.

Recipes of the Week

No actual recipes this week. Instead, it’s a free-for-all. I found a YouTube video of monkeys eating holiday treats at the Central Park Zoo in New York. What is your favorite holiday treat?

First day of Book Club!

Okay, guys, today is the first official day of the Vox Box’s Book Club! In case you’re completely out of the loop, we will be reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Since it’s finals time, Chloe and I are going easy on you this round. The first assignment is simply the prologue, four short sections, a grand total of about twelve pages. Come Monday, we will have four posts up, one for each section, and of course we would love it if you contributed in all four. As you’re reading, consider the following: -What effect does the perspective have on the novel as a whole thus far? (consider tone for this one) -What is the significance of color, and why does the narrator prefers chocolate? -What does the narrator have to say about the state of humanity even in this brief section? -What is your impression of the narrator? -What is your opinion of the writing style? If you think I sound too English teacher-y, suck it up. I’m having fun. :) But don’t let that scare you away either. This book club is going to be way more fun than your English class. Swear… Edit: sorry about the signature above, but my antivirus system isn’t fond of the new site and I’m still getting some kinks worked out. This is Caitlin, in case you hadn’t guessed as much already.

Quotes of the Week

Sorry the quotes and recipes are late this week- I had no internet access and am scarily bogged down with makeup work from being sick. Here they are though- all are lyrics from holiday songs. Quote 1: “Silver bells, silver bells It’s Christmas time in the city Ring-a-ling, hear them sing Soon it will be Christmas day” Silver Bells Jay Livingston and Ray Evans All Lyrics found here Where do you do most of your shopping for Christmas presents? Quote 2: Over the river and through the woods To Grandmother’s house we go. The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh Through white and drifted snow. No Author Attributed Are you traveling for the holidays? Quote 3: Frosty the snowman was a jolly happy soul With a corncob pipe and a button nose and two eyes made out of coal Frosty the snowman is a fairy tale they say He was made of snow but the children know how he came to life one day No Author Attributed What is the coolest snowman you have ever made?

I’m not too sure about these…

MSN has a page listing the Top 10 gifts to give to a Music Lover. (such as myself…) All of them are priced under $20. See MSN’s list here.

I may as well just list them here and you can say what you think about them…

Is Dating Outdated?

“Hooking up” is here to stay, but what has it done to valuable dating experiences and social relationships?

In “The Demise of Dating” by Charles M. Blow, an article on the New York Times’ website, the pros and cons of the old dating system are discussed.

…That’s not good. So why is there an increase in hooking up? According to Professor [Kathleen] Bogle [a professor at La Salle University in Philadelphia], it’s: the collapse of advanced planning, lopsided gender ratios on campus, delaying marriage, relaxing values and sheer momentum.

It used to be that “you were trained your whole life to date,” said Ms. Bogle. “Now we’ve lost that ability — the ability to just ask someone out and get to know them.”

Now that’s sad.

Are there any benefits to “hooking up” as opposed to actual dating? To be honest, it appears as if this new romance trend is destroying the very definition of the word “relationship”. If you ask me, it’s just one more way that guys (and girls too I suppose) can feed their lustful desires without the intervention of emotions and trust.

Does anyone agree with me? What is happening to meaningful romantic relationships? Are they gaining value or losing value because of the trend of “hooking up”?

And Erin’s coveted, “Here is the Biggest Butthole on the Planet” award goes to…

I was just sent this Gem…

“Holland Township man names son after Adolf Hitler”

This rocket scientist, (actually, he is unemployed due to inbility to pump gas because of his “emphysema…” why aren’t I surprised?) has named his son after the man whose name is most synonymous with the mass murder of millions.

What a butthole.

An excerpt from the article that about made me cry:

The boy, asked his name, put down a tiny plate and ran behind his father’s leg. He flashed a shy smile but wouldn’t answer. Heath Campbell, 35, the boy’s father, encouraged him.

“Say Adolf,” said Campbell, a Holocaust denier who has three children named for Nazism.

Again, the boy wouldn’t answer.

The poor kid is scared to use his own name. At three.

The man is suing because a local grocery store won’t write “Happy Birthday Adolf Hitler” on his birthday cake. They are upset they were “denied service because of race, ethnicity or religion.”

Hey kids, how do YOU spell irony?

More bits from the article to make you want to throw up:

—The family says they aren’t racist but believese “races shouldn’t mix.”

—The family wanted their kids to have “unique names” but didn’t expect there to be problems, even after they start school.

—The father is a proud Holocaust denier and named all three kids for Nazism—and one is misspelled.

—These two parents and examples of the “Master Race” live on disability payments.

QUESTION: Do you agree with the grocery store’s refusal to frost the kid’s name in the cake, or do you think the first amendment protects this family?

Bush proves he has great reflexes at Baghdad press conference

Many have seen this by now, but we still gotta discuss…

At a press conference in Baghdad, Bush dodged not one but two shoes hurled at him by an angry Iraqi journalist who then yelled “This is a farewell kiss, you dog!” in Arabic. The shoe was tossed after Bush said, “The war is not over,” Bush said, adding that “it is decisively on it’s way to being won.”

Bush responded, saying he wasn’t going to acknowlege the insult. (In Iraq, this is quite the insult—to toss a shoe at someone. It is their version of us mooning him, I guess.) He said the guy was “just trying to get on T.V.”

As reported from a CNN interivew: “So what if the guy threw his shoe at me?” Bush told a reporter in response to a question about the incident.


“Let me talk about the guy throwing his shoe. It’s one way to gain attention. It’s like going to a political rally and having people yell at you. It’s like driving down the street and having people not gesturing with all five fingers.

“It’s a way for people to draw attention. I don’t know what the guy’s cause is. But one thing is for certain. He caused you to ask me a question about it. I didn’t feel the least bit threatened by it.

QUESTION: What do you think? Should Bush acknowlege the insult and apologize? Or is he taking the right attitude and refusing to give it any weight?

But seriously, God.

A certain breed of faith, or lack thereof, summed up through satire:


Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

As I was leaving 5th period today, up and down the hall I heard cries of “it’s snowing! IT’S SNOWING!!!” I’ve lived in Spokane for almost 8 years, and many people around me haved lived here longer, yet I’m still amazed at how excited I get on the first snowfall.

Are you excited for the snow? After watching it dump this afternoon, do you believe that we really will get 11-12 inches?

Remember- drive safe!

Not Just Cow’s Milk

3 years ago, Brokeback Mountain caused an uproar. Milk could become the new Brokeback Mountain. Milk is a movie about a gay man elected to public office in California in the 70’s. As James Matney says in this month’s Vox,

I still urge those over 17 to go out and watch this film. The homosexual themes of “Milk” aren’t what will make this film spectacular and isn’t going to be a pervasive component of the film. The amazing performances, and highly researched script are what will make “Milk” one of the best films of the year.

Here’s the trailer of the movie.

For those 17 or over, would this be a movie you would go see? For those of us under 17, will you watch this movie when you are allowed to?

Please be respectful of other’s ideas- comments on this post will not be derogatory towards homosexuals. Express your opinions in a kind, respectful manner, please.

Dumb and Dumber

How dumb, exactly, do you have to be to possess marijuana, and when it, and a shotgun, get stolen, call police?? Apparently very dumb- but not dumb enough to make it impossible. In May 2008, a man (with felony warrants) did exactly that. Test yourself on your stupid criminal knowledge in this Encarta MSN quiz, here. How did you do? Any particularly dumb criminals that really struck you?

Video of the Week

“How Nerds Drop Insults”

John Green discusses the horrid nature of contemporary insults in light of those calling him “lame” or “nerdy” for cataloguing his home library.

Vox Book Club Results

Alrighty, the votes are in and as follows:

Story Time: 1

To Kill a Mockingbird: 3

A Separate Peace: 3

Sea of Trolls: 5

Looking for Alaska: 0

The Book Thief: 8

Dewey: 0

Water for Elephants: 4

So we will be reading “The Book Thief” by Mark Zusak.

Santa may need rabies shots after bobcat bites him during fundraiser pet store


Ok, I was wrong. This trumps kids crying on Santa…

Associated Press
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, N.J.
Santa Claus posed with a very large kitty on his lap — and now, unfortunately, he might need rabies shots. Jonathan Bebbington was playing the jolly old elf during a Santa Paws photo event at a PetsMart store when he was bitten Sunday on the wrist and hand. The event was to raise money for Penny Angel’s Beagle Rescue group.

Apparently the cat, which the owner said was vaccinated, was bought legitimately from a breeder in Wyoming. My favorite quote from the story: “‘It had very powerful jaws and big teeth,’ he said, estimating the cat weighed about 30 pounds.”

ADVICE: No question, just advice: Don’t bite Santa this close to Christmas time…




Nothing says Christmas like terrified kids!


(I would cry with this Santa, too…)

This is my new favorite web site…

It is a collection of various terrified children on the lap of Santa. Good times!! The photo above is a sample from the collection sent in by readers at the Chicago Tribune.

QUESTION: Did you have any good Santa’s lap/crying stories? Did anyone else laugh as hard as I did at the photos? And why DO we torture our children this way?

Nothing says Christmas like terrified kids

Here is my new favorite website. http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/outdoors/chi-scared-of-santa-special,0,6191895.special It is a compilation of various terrified children on the lap of Santa. Good fun!! QUESTION: Did you cry when you sat on Santa’s lap?

‘Tis The Season…For Trivia Of Course!

How well do you know your Christmas holiday? Take the quiz below and post your score as a comment. Winner gets bragging rights!

Click here for Christmas Quiz.

Barney Teaches Bad Boyz a Lesson

Barney and Barry Manilow have teamed up to bring justice to the Colorado streets.

In a unique form of punishment, Judge Paul Sacco has subjected a group of teens to the music of Barry Manilow and Barney to justify their actions.

The teens’ blaring car stereos were the cause of their Barney blues.

Photo courtesy of www.get4today.com

Judge Sacco hopes to teach the kids about manners in doing so.

What do you think of this unusual punishment? Could this kind of punishment really be effective? What would your response be if a child of yours was “subjected to Barney?”

Check out the video below! I can’t help but feel bad for them… They’re so pitiful…

Quotes of the Week

Quote 1:
If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score?
Vince Lombardi
Totally true, especially in younger kid’s games. Thoughts?
Quote is here.

Quote 2:
A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a lifetime’s experience.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
US jurist (1841 - 1935)
Deep thoughts on a deep quote?
Quote is here.

Quote 3:
“I ain’t sayin’ you a gold digga, I just don’t understand that last twitta.”
STEPHEN COLBERT,
comedian, in a mock feud with Kanye West after the hip-hop star twittered, “Who the f*** is Stephen Colbert?”
I thought this was funny. Any other people who agree with me?
Quote and explanation here.

Dance, Dance, High School Revolution

Is a struggling economy to blame for unsuccessful high school homecoming dances?

It’s no secret that the economy has affected schools, and high school homecoming dances have school activity directors worried about prom.

“When times are bad, this is when they need it most,” Nancy Rich, an activities coordinator, said. “Something in their lives that they can look forward to every year.”

What can the schools do to make dances better despite the economy? Are there bigger issues surrounding high school dances other than cost?

Choices, Choices…

Well, its obviously the Holiday Season, and it seems to me that there are so many good movies out there pertaining to this time of year. So here’s a question for everyone: What are some of your favorite Holiday/Christmas Movies? Any one favor some of ‘the Classics’?

(I’d have to say my top three currently are The Polar Express, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas-Animated, and A Christmas Carol.)

Santa’s Post Office

“Merry Christmas, and to all a good night!” For thousands of kids around the US and the world, that iconic Santa-ism is part of what the holidays are about, even if you don’t celebrate Christmas. For many, it’s about having a ‘good night.’ But for some kids, it’s a little bit harder to have a good time.
And Macy’s is making it easier this holiday season for some of those kids, the ones with life-threatening health issues, with their Santa’s Post Office Believe Campaign. The homepage is here.
Here’s the current Macy’s commercial.

Here’s the challenge to Vox posters, from me. You aren’t too old to write a letter to Santa. Write a letter and deliver it to a Macy’s store, and put the letter you wrote in a comment. I’ll keep track of how many letters are posted, and will post the number on Christmas Day. I’ll also post how many letters Macy’s received total, and post that when they know.

Something disgusting.

Woman infested with maggots. Sixty-two years old.  *shudder*

So it goes, I suppose… strange that her son called the police and then left his mother there all alone. What a world.

Video of the Week

Sorry this is late, you guys, but I’ve been alternately doing homework, packing, and sitting on an airplane, all without internet access. Anywho, here’s an entertaining way to start your weekend.

50 Jokes in 4 Minutes by Hank Green

Oh, and by the way, you all are extremely suckish for not having a meeting the one Monday I’m in Spokane.

A Shock to the System

Do religious references belong on American currency and in the Pledge of Allegiance?

According to a recent survey performed by NBC, 86% of Americans believe that “In God We Trust” should remain on money and that “One Nation Under God” also belongs in its place in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Despite this statistic, where only 14% of the population feels that these references do not belong, people opposing these phrases have been demanding attention for quite some time.

How do you feel? Do these phrases belong in the Pledge of Allegiance and on the American currency? Why or why not?

The Vox Book Club Suggestions

Here are the following books that my fellow bloggers and I came up with. Cast your vote for two, on Wednesday the 10th we’ll count the votes and decide which one we want to read. Erin managed to get ahold of two $25 gift certificates to a book store (I believe Barnes & Noble), which will be randomly awarded to two of the people participating.

Story Time- Edward Bloor
When eighth grader Kate and her Uncle George (who is two years younger than her) receive letters inviting them to attend the Whittaker Magnet School, home of nasty protein shakes and the freakish “Test-Based Curriculum,” their reactions are mixed. George, somewhat of a genius, is pleased, while Kate is horrified. Still, as a search on-line reveals, their house is suddenly in the Whittaker school district, so off they go. It’s not long, before they discover something very strange is afoot at their new school.

To Kill a Mockingbird- Harper Lee
Great book- I’m not sure if too many people would have read it, though. About a girl, Scout, in a small Southern town. It discusses topics pertaining to racial factors in the US in the 1930s.

A Separate Peace- John Knowles
About a teenage boy at a private school in New England during World War 2. A very coming of age type book. I would say this would be a top choice of mine.

The Sea of Trolls-
Set in 8th century Northern Europe, this book
varies between a historical fiction and a fantasy(many events and even some characters are based on actual events, but trolls, dragons, shapeshifters, etc. are nothing out of the ordinary). The plot follows Jack, a young Saxon boy abducted in a Viking raid and kept from being sold as a slave or killed because he is an
apprentice bard. He and his sister, who was kidnapped with him, are then caught up in the turmoils and power struggles of the Norse
tribes, to put things simply. Bit of a longer read, but an excellent book nonetheless.

Looking for Alaska-
This novel follows the life of Pudge, a socially-inept teenage boy obsessed with last words. Knowing he isn’t going to go anywhere at his current high school, he opts to attend his dad’s alma matter, a boarding school in Alabama. There he meets Alaska Young and quickly declares her the love of his life, even though he barely knows her and she already has a boyfriend. Sadly I can’t say too much without giving everything away, but suffice to say the book is excellent. John Green (the author) winds these fantastic, deep themes (death, religion, and the necessity of the afterlife primarily) into a setting and with characters that your average teenager will eat up. However, there are one or two mildly explicit scenes, so I don’t know if that cancels the book out altogether.

The Book Thief-
My all time favorite book. It’s about a girl named Liesel who lives in Nazi Germany with her foster parents, who agree to hide a Jew in their basement. The most interesting part of this book is that it is narrated by Death, whom the reader learns to empahize and connect with. This is a must-read, but it’s longer.

Dewey-
This is a pretty short book, which resembles Marley and Me. Dewey, however, is a cat who lives in a library. My Mom read it and said it’s cute, funny, and light; and anyone who has been around cats knows how entertaining they can be.

Water for Elephants-
This was one of the books my AP English class had to pick from over the summer, and those who read it said it was amazing. It’s about a boy who is about to become a vet, but ends up joining the circus instead. It is set during the Depression, and the circus is anything but grand. Despite this Jacob (the main character) manages to find love.

“When you are craving a beer, coffee is the most disgusting drink in the universe”

For you coffee lovers or lovers of good art and sarcasm, here is one of my favorite columns/blogs/(not sure how to classify it!?) that I have seen in awhile. It is by Christopher Niemann who has done illustrations for the New York Times, The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly and others.

QUESTION: How many of you are coffee addicts already?

Sorry, I’m just choking on the irony.

Everyone’s favorite reactionary, anti-Semitic, over-opinionated blonde bombshell on the right wing has been spouting her mouth off for some time. Intolerant, unempathetic, and very, very, annoying, anyone who is familiar with this woman is doubtlessly aware of her hit books “Slander”, “Godless”, and “Treason”, three of many words she uses to describe liberals (who, according to her, would be republicans had they any brains).

Sadly, she’s fallen and broken her jaw, a vital portion of Ann’s body orate that will unfortunately have to be wired shut for the next few weeks. It’s a shame most of all for me, as I’ll be unable to hear her insight on the imperfection of the Jewish people, entirely-fabricated information, and the folly of my participation in an interracial relationship. Sigh. I suppose I’ll have to settle for a few weeks of Liberal Lies (tm).


Let’s make it a century, shall we?

More, but not much, here.

Is it worth it?…

People camp on the street, lines are formed deep into the night, crowds surge through narrow isles, and bright sale signs are big enough to take on a snowplow…yup - it’s Black Friday…

The stories, such as the killed Walmart shopper, continue to shock the public, while for some the event is avoided completely.

Should Black Friday be banned? Is the preholiday blow-out sale concept becoming too dangerous?

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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 http://voxxiez.blogspot.com.

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