Archive for July 2008
More wacky J-camp antics…
Maggie questions waterfowl at Riverfront Park
You can’t have camp without s’mores…
Jackson takes the first bite of his most “interesting” s’more monstrosity.”
We also tested s’mores!
The best combo: Chocolate Graham, deluxe dark chocolate, 2 chocolate caramel kisses, chocolate marshmallow, and banana!
The most gross combo: (aka, “The Big Jackson”) Graham crackers, marshmallow, 85 percent cocoa chocolate piece, citrus chocolate, 2 Andes mints, a white chocolate Hershey’s kiss, and… a carrot.
Jackson recommends spearing the marshmallow with the baby carrot.
Rachel recommends the pink marshmallows. Word is still out on what flavor they were.
“The Big Jackson”
Today we have been working on our story package, there are great ideas happening here, but who cares? What is really awesome right now is that it’s food panel time with food editor Lorie Hutson!!!
I have no idea what they are eating, and Lorie says they can’t know until they are done. But the last thing had “white stuff” inside it.
“This one has white stuff in it too,” Jackson Marchant of Mead High reports. But he’s eating it. Rachel was staring at it apprehensively…
“It looks weird,” Kate Gibson of the Oaks says.
Anthony isn’t talking either. But he doesn’t talk much, anyway.
Lori is back. The white stuff is filling/frosting. The kids look relieved…
The US has kept the largest net-using population since records of the number of people using the net have been kept, until now.
Official figures now say China has the world’s largest net-using population.
According to statistics from the China Internet Network Information Center, or CNNIC, 253 million Chinese people are now surfing the web.
That figure is 30 million more than the 223 million US people counted online in June, by Neilson Online.
The 2008 stats for China increased 56% in one year, according to the CNNIC. Analysts expect the numbers to grow by 18% every year and by 2012, the Chinese numbers will break the records at 490 million.
What about you? Have you noticed the change since you first started using the net?
Features writer Paula Davenport is in here with the kids now talking about interviewing. Pia will be in here soon to help them plan their story ideas.
We have been discussing what a newspaper needs to look like to get the attention of the average teenager. They have good ideas—I’ll share some later. So far, they are feeling pretty largely forgotten in the newspaper. They don’t buy them, obviously, and they don’t see themselves in there, either. We are discussing, “What would make you pick up your parents’ copy?”
QUESTION: If you are a teenager reading today, what do you need to see in a newspaper to get you to read?
(No, this is not from The Onion.)
48 highly intelligent people from India decided to find out for themselves if an image of Mary was present in the Sun - and blinded themselves.
“Alarmed health authorities in India’s Kottayam district have set up a sign dispelling rumors of a miraculous image in the sky and warning of the dangers of looking into direct sunlight.”
“Despite warnings, and the potentially harmful effects of their actions, believers are allegedly still flocking to a hotelier’s house in Erumeli near where the divine image is said to have appeared.”
Find out more from the UK’s Telegraph.
I think they should stick to looking for Her in grilled-cheese sandwiches. At least that’s safer…
(From the nanny-state department)
Today marks a vote in the L.A. city council which would ban fast food for a year in the impoverished neighborhood of South L.A. The goal here is to encourage the citizens to slim down by making healthier choices.
The aim of the yearlong moratorium, which won full support from a City Council committee last week, is to give the city time to try to attract restaurants that serve healthier food.
The California Restaurant Association says the moratorium, which could be extended up to two years, is misguided.
Fast food “is the only industry that wants to be in South LA,” said association spokesman Andrew Casana. “Sit-down restaurants don’t want to go in. If they did, they’d be there.”
I’m inclined to agree. If restaraunts do not want to move into a poor area, I cannot see how you can force them. Plus, assuming the healthier food was there, could people afford it?
Get the full story here.
So what do you think: should the government ban fast food? If so, how should it be defined?
An 18 year old Australian man’s dare turned ugly, Wednesday morning, when he was hit by a car. Yahoo has the full story. The man had been dared to play “Chicken” on the Tullamarine Freeway in Melbourne, in nothing but his underwear. Other than the man himself, no one else was injured. Police were aghast by how stupid the man was to have taken such a dare.
How about you? Would you have taken this dare? Have you ever been dared to do something that you know you shouldn’t do? Did you take the dare or not? Is it really worth risking your own safety and taking a dare just to prove you’re not a “scaredy-cat?” What if there was money or some other reward involved? Then would you do it?
In this controversial reality show, five teenage couples are given a house and adult responsibilites- including the care of several children; an infant, a toddler, a pre-teen, and a teen, as well as a senior citizen. Critics are slamming the show, saying that the parents allowing their infants and toddlers to be “borrowed” are plain irresponsible.
Do you watch this show? Would you even bother watching it? If you were a parent, would you “donate” your child to this experiment?
Keith Walendowski, a Milwaukee, WI resident, wasn’t happy with just leaving the lawn unmowed when the mower wouldn’t start. Instead, he shot the machine. I guess he had to go for the big guns (pun intended.)
Milwaukee Sheriff’s Dept. Photo
According to the MSNBC article, found here Milwaukee police are charging him with misdemeanor disorderly conduct while armed and felony possession of a short-barreled shotgun or rifle.
“[The woman who reported him] said [Walendowski] was intoxicated.
Walendowski could face up to an $11,000 fine and six years and three months in prison if convicted.”
Walendowski’s take on the situation was ” Ican do that, it’s my lawn mower and my yard so I can shoot it if I want.”
I have to wonder if the lawn mower hadn’t worked before that, or if he just decided that giving it a nice shot in the motor would make it start. Also, was he just carrying around the gun, or did he run back inside and get it?
Do you think the police were justified in charging him? Did he have any justification for his actions? What would you have done in that situation?
Some of you have been there. You wanna break up, yet avoid the tears and the drama…
But breaking up via text is SOOO tacky.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just get their voicemail?
Well, here you go: (267) SLY-DIAL
Full article… Slydial lets you connect directly with another person’s cell phone voice mail, bypassing the traditional ringing process that often results — sometimes disastrously — with someone picking up on the other end.
After playing a short advertisement — unless users pay a subscription fee or 15 cents per call to skip ads — Slydial puts callers directly into their target’s voice mail.
Recipients should then get a voice mail notification, and sometimes they will see a caller’s number show up as a missed call, too.
“Everybody has gone through the scenario where they’ve called somebody and just hoped they got voice mail so they didn’t have to have a conversation,” he said.
QUESTION: Have you ever been dumped via voicemail? Would you use this service to do so?
WASHINGTON - Sixteen years after Barbie dolls declared, “Math class is tough!” girls are proving that when it comes to math they are just as tough as boys.
In the largest study of its kind, girls measured up to boys in every grade, from second through 11th. The research was released Thursday in the journal Science.
Parents and teachers persist in thinking boys are simply better at math, said Janet Hyde, the University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher who led the study. And girls who grow up believing it wind up avoiding harder math classes.
“It keeps girls and women out of a lot of careers, particularly high-prestige, lucrative careers in science and technology,” Hyde said.
That’s changing, though slowly.
Women are now earning 48 percent of undergraduate college degrees in math; they still lag far behind in physics and engineering.
But in primary and secondary school, girls have caught up, with researchers attributing that advance to increasing numbers of girls taking advanced math classes such as calculus.
The researchers found no difference in the scores of boys versus girls — not even in high school. Studies 20 years ago showed girls and boys did equally well on math in elementary school, but girls fell behind in high school.
Article. AP photo.
Do you think boys and girls simply think differently? Do you believe that girls are naturally inclined to excell in english, while boys are naturally better at math or science? Have you had any personal experiences - boys or girls - at being one of the few of your gender excelling in a specific area?
Surely some teens, myself included, have the habit to turn the ipod or mp3 player up high. But experts are worried it poses big risks to teens later on.
When turning up ipods and personal stereos is becoming more common to block out the noise of daily commutes, hearing-loss experts worry about the dose of noise from say, a bus engine, plus the noise from a personal playlist.
A bus can emit a sound as loud as an alarm clock, and adding a personal stereo at more than half of the volume to that “is setting yourself up for early-onset hearing loss” that will affect everyday life and conversation. Says Monica Pozer, Canadian Island Hearing Services Director of Auidology.
People would avoid an electric saw at more than 100 decibels but they plug music directly into their ears at the same level, Pozer notes.
She goes on to say turning up the volume will make it “dangerously loud for your hearing health…should current listening habits continue, widespread hearing-loss due to MP3-player use could become a reality.”
Do you listen to your music loud? Do you believe Monica and other hearing-loss experts are worrying excessively? Or should we really turn the music down?
This video has had over 40 million views on Youtube.
In the video the lethargic Charlie the unicorn journeys reluctantly to Candy Mountain with Pink and Blue. Upon arrival to the Candy Cave, The Letter Y sings for about 45 seconds and then Charlie enters the cave.
Either this video is ridiculous and stupid or ridiculously funny. What do you think?
I was whining the other day when some jerk nearly hit me at Monroe and Riverside, but this video has any experience of mine beat:
(Watch the lower right. Not the dude at the counter…)
I like how he puts his hat back on.
QUESTION: If you were writing this news story, how would your headline read?
(From the friendly robot department)
New York Times columnist Frank Rich wrote a very thought-provoking piece discussing how the new Pixar movie may be more in touch with the country and our looming problems than either of the candidates for president.
Sitting among rapt children mostly under 12, I felt as if I’d stepped through a looking glass. This movie seemed more realistically in touch with what troubles America this year than either the substance or the players of the political food fight beyond the multiplex’s walls.
While the real-life grown-ups on TV were again rebooting Vietnam, the kids at “Wall-E” were in deep contemplation of a world in peril — and of the future that is theirs to make what they will of it. Compare any 10 minutes of the movie with 10 minutes of any cable-news channel, and you’ll soon be asking: Exactly who are the adults in our country and who are the cartoon characters?
…“Wall-E” is a robot-meets-robot love story, as simple (and often as silent) as a Keaton or Chaplin fable, set largely in a smoldering and abandoned Earth, circa 2700, where the only remaining signs of life are a cockroach and a single green sprout.
…Humanity is not dead in “Wall-E,” but it is in peril. The world’s population cruises the heavens ceaselessly on a mammoth luxury spaceship that it boarded in the early 22nd century after the planet became uninhabitable. For government, there is a global corporation called Buy N Large, which keeps the public wired to umpteenth-generation iPods and addicted to a diet of supersized liquefied fast food and instantly obsolete products. The people are too bloated to walk — they float around on motorized Barcaloungers — but they are happy shoppers.
Read all of this brilliant column here.
If you have seen “WALL-E”, do you agree with the writer’s assessment? And if not, what other popular art do you think addresses modern societal challenges?
A girl is shown in Bogota on Sunday participating in the rallies.
Sometimes it is a little bit too easy to forget about big problems around the world. Earlier today, nations around the world came together to protest for the freedom of hostages in Colombia. The story is from cnn.com and can be found in full here.
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — More than a million Colombians, clad in white and shouting “No more kidnapping,” marked their independence day on Sunday with marches and concerts demanding freedom for hostages still held by leftist rebels.
Demonstrators chanted “Libertad!” — the Spanish word for freedom — in rallies across the Andean nation and in some 40 cities abroad, including Paris, London, Miami, Beijing, Sydney and New York.
It was the second nationwide mobilization this year against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and its abhorred policy of kidnapping for ransom or political leverage. Latin America’s last major rebel army holds dozens of hostages in Colombian jungle jails, some for more than a decade.
Questions: Do you think that protests such as this one work? Do you believe that our government has an obligation to help hostages such as these be released?
While wasting my precious time on YouTube, I found this video. I thought it was entertaining, and I figured we have had some serious topics here on the blog lately, so why not inject some humor? I will warn you though, there are some topics in this film that aren’t politically correct, and may be offensive. Nonetheless, it’s a humorous video.
Video found on YouTube and made by Hapa Animation
The video has won multiple awards, including the Elan Award, a coveted award in animation. It has shown at multiple festivals around Canada. The blog for the site can be found here.
I have 2 questions. First, do you think that this video is entertaining and thought-provoking, or just the work of someone with way too much time on their hands? Second, does this film make you think about or reflect on anything in your own life?
15 years ago, then-President Bill Clinton announced “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the controversial piece of legislation banning gays, lesbians and bisexuals from disclosing their sexual orientation while in the military.
According to a survey done by ABC News, found here, 75% of Americans support allowing homosexuals that have disclosed their sexual orientation to serve.
The legislation can be found in it’s entirety on the University of California at Davis psychology page, here.
So the question is do you agree or disagree with the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’s basis? I don’t mean to begin a debate on whether or not homosexuality is acceptable in the military, I just want to know if in today’s gay-rights world, is Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell still applicable? Do you believe it’s basis is still sound?
Just got back from the theater, and I was absolutely staggered - this is miles beyond any superhero movie you have ever seen. That even includes Iron Man, which was a proud achievement in its own right.
By now, you’ve already heard that Heath Ledger probably deserves an Oscar nomination for his performance as the Joker, but everyone else does a phenomenal job as well. Christian Bale portrays a realistic hero in peril in a way Toby Maguire should have in the last two Spidy films. Also, the already impressive supporting cast improves its contribution. In every way, you get the sense that all the stops have been pulled out, from the complex moral dilemmas to the grotesquery of Two Face’s injuries.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this movie is the new standard-bearer for the smart action film. Amazingly, it seems almost as good at throwing deep symbols at the audience as it is fiery explosions.
Of course, all of this is tinged with despair in the wake of Heath Ledger’s death. But perhaps we can take solace in the fact that he will be remembered as a cornerstone of such a brilliant project. I can hardly think of a better swan song than a movie which fires on more cylinders than the Batmobile itself.
Anyone else seen it yet? What did you think? Will the series ever bring back the Joker, or end it with Ledger’s performance?
Here’s an interesting one for those of you interested in sports. Not too long ago, the NBA enacted an age minimum that basically requires high school basketball players to play at least one year of college ball before declaring for the draft.
However, some players are finding new ways around this:
AKRON, Ohio — Brandon Jennings is considered the best point guard prospect in the high school class of 2008. His ball-handling and ability to lead the fast break make him a tantalizing prospect.
But Jennings may best be known as a trendsetter.
Jennings, who is 6 feet 2 inches and from Los Angeles, has given strong indications that he will play in Europe next season. An announcement is expected soon, and it could cause a ripple effect for other high school players considering jumping overseas to play until they are eligible for the N.B.A. draft.
Professional teams in Italy are among the European clubs that have expressed interest in Jennings, who would most likely get a minimum of $300,000, including salary and endorsements.
One argument against this is that 18 year olds are simply too young for this kind of transition.
Indiana Coach Tom Crean said he was not in favor of anything that would give a player an excuse not to keep up with his academics.
“If people thought going to the N.B.A. was a hard adjustment at a young age, imagine going thousands and thousands of miles away,” Crean said. “You’re going to lose your support system. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.”
What do you think - is it fair to require high schoolers to play at least on year of college ball, even if they are attending college solely to get that year in? Is 18 simply too young to go overseas and play?
As a dignified, soon-to-be Marquette freshman, I will refrain from commenting on what a dirtbag Tom Crean is.
Today, the S-R published it’s first gay marriage announcment. (The couple was married in California.)
On his blog, editor Steve Smith discusses an example of feedback he received:
While I recognize their marriage was legalized in California, same sex marriage is not legal in the state of Washington. Thus, I feel the Spokesman Review has done a grave disservice to their readers/subscribers by placing a picture of something not legal in the celebratory section of the paper. It is one thing to place illegal behavior on the front page when reporting criminal activity. It is quite another to place it in a place of celebration. I highly doubt the Spokesman would place a picture of a minor drinking alcohol in this section. I find this picture similar in legality respects. As a long time subscriber I enjoy the TODAY section for it’s celebratory nature, it’s local flavor, and it’s cultural involvement. This put a damper on that enjoyment.
QUESTION: What do you think? Should the S-R not publish gay marriage announcements?
MSNBC reports the inevitable outcome of sharply rising fuel prices - an audacious gas station “heist” out of Florida
After investigating, deputies and the clerk discovered the suspect disabled a part in the pump that measures gas volume. That allowed the theft of 995 gallons, worth $4,092.
Mike Macho, of JMP Solutions, says officials with his company have their hands full with what is becoming a popular way for thieves to steal gas.
“I was here last week fixing the same problem, the same dispenser, on two other products,” he said.
The theif has yet to be identified. Get the full meal deal here.
So what comes next? Will tanker trucks be hijacked or gas stations held up? Would you even dare to rig a machine overseen by someone named Mike Macho?
According to a CBS story,
“On Friday, Delaware’s largest shopping center, the Christiana Mall, officially instituted the Parental Guidance Required program. The program prohibits teens 17 and under from entering the mall Friday or Saturday nights unless accompanied by an adult 21 or older. Each adult will be permitted to supervise four teens.”
The article goes on to say that 54 malls across the country have enacted similar policies, and that in this case, teens will be required to wear a red armband to enter the mall after business hours. Mall officials claim that they took this action after having received complaints from several businesses in the mall.
What’s more, according to usaweekend.com, is that over 700 cities in the United States have enacted teen curfew ordinances, often in efforts to reduce crime. While various civil rights organizations continue to fight such laws, this recent development in Delaware demonstrates that they may not be making the progress they would like.
Are teen curfews justified if they prove effective at reducing crime, or are they discriminatory, plain and simple?
Watch out Levi McConaughey and Maddie Spears, Knox and Vivienne Jolie Pitt are the new babies to be this month. Especially in the eyes of the press. Pictures of the twins, born in France, are expected to be worth $15-20 million dollars. This is a huge amount of money on just about every scale, especially compared to the $4 million that the couples’ first child, Shiloh, brought in, and the $6 million that Jennifer Lopez’s twins pocketed. It is expected, however, that like the money for Shiloh’s pictures, this money will go to charity.
Find the story here.
Is it ethical to sell your baby’s pictures, especially for this amount of money? What if the money will go to charity? Is it healthy for children not even out of the womb to be getting this much media attention? What about the couple’s three adopted children, whose pictures weren’t sold at all?
Since the Three-Mile Island nuclear incident of 1979, the construction of nuclear power plants has been at a standstill. However, the inflating price of oil and environmental concerns have led to renewed calls for the creation of new nuclear power plants, and the Energy Policy Act of 2005 recently authorized their renewed construction. Presidential candidate John McCain has disclosed his goal of building 45 new nuclear reactors in the US by 2030, and Barack Obama has also voiced support for nuclear power.
Despite these overtures, only three nuclear plant applications have been accepted so far in the 2008 calendar year, and several states including Wisconsin and Kentucky still enforce bans on nuclear plant construction.
Do economic and emissions concerns merit the construction of new plants, or should we wait for better alternatives because of waste disposal and other safety concerns? What is the way forward for energy production in the United States?
Melissa Farrell, 21, sits with her daughter, Laila, age 21 months, and talks to the media in Coeur d’Alene City Park Wednesday afternoon in the wake of a citation for injury to a child after bystanders told police she treated Laila roughly during the Coeur d’Alene Fourth of July parade. At right is her husband Robert.
This story… has been causing a lot of discussion on some of the S-R blogs this week.
In a nutshell: A young mother spanked her 21-month-old during a 4th of July parade in CDA. She was keeping her out of the street. Some witnesses say it was a downright beating. The family say the witnesses are wrong and didn’t have an accurate view. Regardless, police were called over and it’s now big news.
QUESTION: How do you feel about spanking? Do you think whether or not you were spanked as a child has effected you as a young adult?
A Fourth of July firework injured 37 people in Iowa when it misfired, sending a fireball into a crowd of spectators. The full story can be found at cnn.com, here
Witnesses told the Charles City Press that a large fireball veered toward the crowd gathered downtown on lawn chairs and blankets.
“It was like a bunch of little fireworks just coming toward us,” said spectator Emily Watson. “They started to explode. It was just like skating right across the street and then I saw them exploding right in the street here. … In a split second, it started coming at me.”
Brenda Schweiger said she feared for her life.
“My exact thought was, ‘This is it, we’re going to die,’” she said.
While most of the people treated in this incident suffered only minor injuries,the article went on to describe a few more serious consequences to beauty gone wrong this year including a man losing part of his leg in Ohio and 6-year-old girl with second degree burns in New York.
Have any of you ever had any close calls with fireworks? How did all of you celebrate the fourth this year?
That’s right. A single vote for whoever the highest bidder wanted for the presidential election in November. The seller learned the hard way not to mess with our countrie’s system of democracy. Take a look.
Yes, I know that I just did an eBay story but this was just too good to pass up. What do you think? Does Max deserve a felony charge for his attempt to sell his vote or do you think the prosecutors went too far in the name of democracy?
…and he didn’t even get the selling price he was hoping for.
After a particularly hard divorce with his wife, Ian Usher, a British immigrant to Australia, auctioned off a package of his life in hopes of creating a new start for himself. In the package, he sold his house, everything in it (including a car, motorcycle, sky diving gear and jet ski), a trial at his sales job and an introduction to all of his friends.
By the end of the auction, the final bid was only $382,718, a total that Usher said his house was worth on it’s own.
“I guess I’m a little bit disappointed at the final price, I’d hoped it to be a little higher than that,” Usher told Nine Network television on Monday. “But I am committed to selling and moving on and making a fresh start.”
The story came from msnbc.com and you can find it here.
So, what do you think? Do any of you have a break up story that even compares to wanting to start life completely over?
From the New York Times, full story here…
SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — For car-loving American teenagers, this is turning out to be the summer the cruising died.
Kevin Ballschmiede, 16, pined for his 1999 Dodge Ram — “my pride and joy” — the other night as he hung out in a parking lot in this town outside Chicago. Given that filling the 26-gallon tank can now cost more than $100, he had left it at home and caught a ride.
From coast to coast, American teenagers appear to be driving less this summer. Police officers who keep watch on weekend cruising zones say fewer youths are spending their time driving around in circles, with more of them hanging out in parking lots, malls or movie theaters.
QUESTION: Has gas prices affected your summer cruising and plans?
HOUMA, La. (AP) — School officials in Terrebonne Parish are considering a policy that would require all commencement speeches to be in English.
The proposal comes after Hue and Cindy Vo, cousins who were co-valedictorians at Ellender High School, delivered part of their commencement addresses last month in Vietnamese.
Cindy Vo, the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants, spoke about high-school memories, friends and the future. Then Ms. Vo, 18, recited a sentence in Vietnamese dedicated to her parents, as they watched. She told classmates that the line, roughly translated, was a command to always be your own person.
Cindy Vo says in the article that her parents don’t speak fluent Vietnemese.
QUESTION: Are the board members overreacting? Should students be able to send a personal “thank you” to their families in their native tongue at school ceremonies?