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The Vox Box

Archive for March 2008

Cops bust root beer kegger

I think this is awesome. It makes me proud that I will be in Wisconsin next year.

WAUSAU, Wis. - Cars lining the street. A house full of young people. A keg and drinking games inside. Police thought they had an underage boozing party on their hands.

But though they made dozens of teens take breath tests, none tested positive for alcohol. That’s because the keg contained root beer.

The party was held by a high school student who wanted to show that teens don’t always drink alcohol at their parties. It has gained fame on

Dustin Zebro, 18, said he staged the party after friends at D.C. Everest High School got suspended from sports because of pictures showing them drinking from red cups.

The root-beer kegger was “to kind of make fun of the school,” he said. “They assumed there was beer in the cups. We just wanted to have some root beer in red cups and just make it look like a party, but there actually wasn’t any alcohol.”


And here is an obnoxious, but first-hand account, of the incident.

Do you think underaged drinking is a significant problem for high schoolers? Do you think schools should take action when they learn of it, even if it happens off-campus?

Happy Winter Break!!!

Happy winter break to all those that have it this week!

Shall we build snow angels? Have sledding contests? Light candels in a circle, smother ourselves in mustard as we chant and dance a sacrificial jig for the sun God to get rid of this stupid snow so that we can have a real spring break?

Ummm, the last one.

What if it keeps snowing?

Youtube pick of the evening

17 seconds of bliss.

To those who thought creating a paper was boring…

The premiere of “The Paper” airs April 14 on MTV. It’s a reality show based on a high school newspaper staff at Cypress Bay High School.

QUESTION: Have you ever been on a high school publication?

College admissions linked to successful teams

RICHMOND, Va. - Turns out there’s some basis for the long-held belief among college admissions officials that the better their schools’ teams do in high-profile sporting events, the more applications they’ll see.

Until recently, evidence about the “Flutie Effect” — coined when applications to Boston College jumped about 30 percent in the two years after quarterback Doug Flutie’s Hail Mary pass beat Miami in 1984 — had been mostly anecdotal.

So two researchers set out to quantify it, concluding after a broad study that winning the NCAA football or men’s basketball title means a bump of about 8 percent, with smaller increases the reward more modest success.

• Schools that make it to the Sweet 16 in the men’s basketball tournament see an average 3 percent boost in applications the following year. The champion is likely to see a 7 to 8 percent increase, but just making the 65-team field will net schools an average 1 percent bump.

• Similarly, applications go up 7 to 8 percent at schools that win the national football championship, and schools that finish in the top 20 have a 2.5 percent gain.

Rest of the article. It mentions Gonzaga as a school reaping the benefits of having a successful Division I team.

Just wondering, those of you involved in the college process, did prolific sports teams influence your decision-making?

When Does Spokane Close?

So I recently went to Saturday Night Salsa at “Simply Dance” on Sprague, and had a blast as allways; but I remembered something I read in the slice a while back about Spokane closing at 10:00 since there’s not much to do.

Come to think of it, that’s one of the only city styled outings I actually do, most of the rest of the time I’m just hanging with friends at people’s houses or doing Church activities.

What do you guys like to do around here?

“A disenchanted playroom”

I was sent this link yesterday. It is a photo series by “Wolfram Hahn.” I’ve never heard of him, but the photos are pretty telling.

“The children depicted in this series are between three and twelve. Their regards are sad, with facial expressions rather to be associated with adults, unusual for children this age. They regard a spot below the camera; focusing on something in that space not revealed to the viewer. As such they seem lifeless like dolls, or bodies bereft of their spirits.

These kids were photographed watching TV. To show how sensitive children react to this mass medium and on what level their emotions are exposed to the surface of broadcast transmissions: the subtle charm of real life is lost when under the influence.”

QUESTION: What is your first reaction after watching the slideshow? How much TV do you watch a day?

The worst baby names…

“Candy Store,” “Curry Duck,” and “Ima Hooker,” just to name a few…

QUESTION: What is the worst name you’ve ever heard?

Kentucky town’s mayor banned from businesses

He’s called the most honest politician in the state of Kentucky, but…

Click to play video…

I want to vote for “Bud,” the guy drinking beer on the porch…

School clears kids in contraband candy caper

HOLY CRAP! Do not—DO NOT! Screw around with sugar in Connecticut!

NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (AP) School officials have decided to go light on an eighth-grader caught with contraband candy in New Haven, Connecticut.

That’s right, kids. NO CANDY AT SCHOOL!

Michael Sheridan, an eighth-grade honors student who was suspended for a day, barred from attending an honors dinner and stripped of his title as class vice president after he was caught with a bag of Skittles candy in school will get his student council post back, school officials said.

Superintendent Reginald Mayo said in a statement late Wednesday that he and principal Eleanor Turner met with student Michael’s parents and that Turner decided to clear the boy’s record and restore him to his student council post.

Again. They take sugar violations seriously in Conn. Either that, or their superintendent is NOT a very busy man…

Michael was disciplined after he was caught buying a bag of Skittles from a classmate. The classmate’s suspension also will be expunged, school officials said.

Watch Michael explain here…

The New Haven school system banned candy sales in 2003 as part of a districtwide school wellness policy, school spokeswoman Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo said.

“I am sorry this has happened,” Turner said in a statement. “My hope is that we can get back to the normal school routine, especially since we are in the middle of taking the Connecticut mastery test.”

Yes. Get back to those WASLs, kids…

QUESTION: Is there a school rule that you think goes too far?

Teenage Kids To Make a Business Out of Car-Spotting

Not all paparazzi are dirtbags. Just ask the four kids that started They turned their love of exotic cars into a website anyone can contribute to. Being photographed by these guys is not an annoyance - it’s an honor. I saw them on Jay Leno awhile back, and Nightline reported on them again recently. They are in the process of getting advertisers, but the site is already an amazing accomplishment.

Why didn’t I think of this?!

Check out their latest video:

Question: Do you know anyone who has turned their passion into a moneymaker?

Woman sits on boyfriend’s toilet for 2 years

Yes. You read that headline right. No. I’m not making it up. No. It’s not April 1st.

AP: NESS CITY, Kan. - Deputies said a woman in western Kansas sat on her boyfriend’s toilet for two years, and they’re investigating whether she was mistreated.

Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple said a man called his office last month to report that something was wrong with his girlfriend.

Whipple said it appeared the 35-year-old Ness City woman’s skin had grown around the seat. She initially refused emergency medical services but was finally convinced by responders and her boyfriend that she needed to be checked out at a hospital.


“She was not glued. She was not tied. She was just physically stuck by her body,” Whipple said. “It is hard to imagine. … I still have a hard time imagining it myself.”
He told investigators he brought his girlfriend food and water, and asked her every day to come out of the bathroom.

“And her reply would be, ‘Maybe tomorrow,”’ Whipple said. “According to him, she did not want to leave the bathroom.”

The boyfriend called police on Feb. 27 to report that “there was something wrong with his girlfriend,” Whipple said, adding that he never explained why it took him two years to call. Full story…

No question, kids. Let’s all just sit back, stretch. And move on…

BUT! If you have a loved one who refuses to leave the toilet for even more than a day? I say call for help. Don’t wait 2 years.

This has been a public service announcement brought to you from the Vox…

Study finds at least 1 in 4 US teen girls has a STD

Yikes. Read the full story here.

CHICAGO - At least one in four teenage American girls has a sexually transmitted disease, suggests a first-of-its-kind federal study that startled some adolescent-health experts.

Some doctors said the numbers might be a reflection of both abstinence-only sex education and teens’ own sense of invulnerabilty. Because some sexually transmitted infections can cause infertility and cancer, U.S. health officials called for better screening, vaccination and prevention.

Among those who admitted having sex, the rate was even more disturbing — 40 percent had an STD.

“Sexuality is still a very taboo subject in our society,” [sex education expert Nora Gelperin] said. “Teens tell us that they can’t make decisions in the dark and that adults aren’t properly preparing them to make responsible decisions.”

Needless to say, it’s a pretty staggering statistic. Girls, think of your three best friends … er, just kidding.

But really. What do you (girls and guys) think might be the root cause of these findings? Is the education system to blame - do you feel like you have been sufficiently educated on ways to prevent STDs?

To revive hunting, states turn to the classroom

Mike Shay, owner of the Sports Emporium in Morgantown, W.Va. He said he was 8 or 9 when his father first took him hunting, and it took him years before he was ready to shoot. Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

I am sure many, young and old, can relate to this one…

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — When David Helms was in seventh grade, he would take his .22-caliber rifle to school, put a box of ammunition in his locker and, like virtually all the other boys, lean his rifle against a wall in the principal’s office so he could start hunting squirrels and groundhogs as soon as classes let out.
Now, when he takes his 8-year-old grandson hunting on weekends, Mr. Helms, 55, searches the boy’s pockets before sending him back to school to ensure that there are no forgotten ammunition shells. But most of his grandson’s peers never have to worry about that, Mr. Helms said, because they would sooner play video games than join them outdoors.
Hunting is on the decline across the nation as participation has fallen over the last three decades, and states have begun trying to bolster this rural tradition by attracting new and younger people to the sport.
In West Virginia, state lawmakers gave final approval on Friday to a bill that allows hunting education classes in all schools where at least 20 students express interest. The goal is to reverse a 20 percent drop in hunting permits purchased over the last decade, which has caused a loss of more than $1.5 million in state revenue over that period. At least six other states are considering similar legislation.

The article goes on about how gun control advocates are obviously not pleased. I can’t find which are the other 6 states considering similar legislation.

QUESTION: Do you see the value in these classes as promoting a sport at your schools?

Challenged books. How many have you read?

I just stumbled across this list. It’s a few years’ old, but I bet most of the books still apply.

The following books were the most frequently challenged in 2006 according to the American Library Association:

The “10 Most Challenged Books of 2006” reflect a range of themes, and consist of the following titles:

“And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, for homosexuality, anti-family, and unsuited to age group;
“Gossip Girls” series by Cecily Von Ziegesar for homosexuality, sexual content, drugs, unsuited to age group, and offensive language;
“Alice” series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor for sexual content and offensive language;
“The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things” by Carolyn Mackler for sexual content, anti-family, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;
“The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison for sexual content, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;
“Scary Stories” series by Alvin Schwartz for occult/Satanism, unsuited to age group, violence, and insensitivity;
“Athletic Shorts” by Chris Crutcher for homosexuality and offensive language;
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky for homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;
“Beloved” by Toni Morrison for offensive language, sexual content, and unsuited to age group; and
“The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier for sexual content, offensive language, and violence.

Off the list this year, but on for several years past, are the “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger, “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain.

QUESTION: How many of these books have you read? Do you feel they deserved to be banned off your school’s bookshelves?

Taking a year off before college…

HOME AWAY FROM HOME Landon C. White graduated from high school in Denver last spring and is taking a year off in France. Ed Alcock for The New York Times

Another good one from the New York Times:

By Alex Williams By the time she graduated from high school, Sabrina Skau needed a break. She was 18. She was exhausted.

While high school passes with the plodding pace of a marathon for some students, Ms. Skau, who graduated from David Douglas High School in Portland, Ore., last June, approached it more like a 26-mile sprint. Setting her sights on admission to college, she took three college-level Latin courses at Portland State University the summer after eighth grade. Through her senior year, she barely stopped for breath, as hours of oboe practice and band competitions crowded into hours of after-school volunteer work.

By the end, she barely stumbled over the finish line.

“I had always been so excited to go to college, but over senior year I simply started to get burned out,” she said in an e-mail message. “By the summertime it was evident that I was not looking forward to going back to school. That was something that frightened both my parents and me.”

So Ms. Skau took a step that would have seemed shocking a year before: she said no to college — at least for a year.

Ms. Skau, who is now teaching English in Argentina, is among a growing number of high-achieving students who are contemplating a year off before college — known as a gap year — as a release from mounting pressures to gain admittance to top colleges.

The article goes on to tell the tales of other students taking a “gap year” before college. Some schools are even holding gap-year fairs to show options for students on how to spend their time off.

QUESTION: Are you going straight to college? Or are you taking a year?

New Richest Man

Warren Buffett is winning now, Gates is in third.

It’s a whole new Paradigm…

Obama Aide Resigns

(Image courtesy of Good Magazine)

From the BBC:

An adviser to Barack Obama has resigned after a Scottish newspaper quoted her calling rival US Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton “a monster”.

Samantha Power has expressed “deep regret” over the comments and said she had tried to retract them.

The Scotsman newspaper quoted Ms Power as saying: “She is a monster, too - that is off the record - she is stooping to anything.”

Ms Power is a Harvard professor who has advised Mr Obama on foreign policy.

You can read the rest, along with a great political rundown here.

Question: Did her comments warrent a resignation? How much does this hurt Obama?

Download edition: the 2008 prom edition

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A Green Car You May Actually Want

I like high performance cars quite a lot. In fact, I think I even once stated on this blog that I would rather have Lamborghinis than Polar Bears. (Maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration, sinnce Polar Bears are pretty awesome.)

But now, I don’t have to wear carbon snowshoes to get my sporty car. Meet the Tesla Roadster. It is a fully electric car which runs for 220 miles per charge. However, unlike the Toyota Prius, it is neither ugly nor slow. In fact, 0-60 MPH is dealt with in 4 seconds flat, and it does 125 MPH.

It looks great, handles like a dream, rides nice, and will blitz 95% of everything else off the line. What more could you want?

A cheaper ($30K instead of $100K), family-friendly Tesla is also in the works. You can read all about this amazing company here.

When they get the price down, would you consider buying an electric car?

Found this website… like a year ago.

It’s a pretty awesome site for sharing fiction and poetry.

Is this can be the website plz?

just thought I’d blurb about it. Oh, and ignore the bad grammar above. It’s a little nudge to us nerds…

The Vox prom edition comes out tomorrow…

The Vox staff put out the first prom edition—we may make it an annual thing if you all enjoy it.

I’ll have pages up tomorrow for those who read online, but it will be at the schools tomorrow and around town on Friday.

The cover, here, was done by Caroline O’Grady at Lewis and Clark High School. She is a rockstar.

The issue is full of other great graphics and writing about the grand social event we call the prom.

QUESTION: Are you going to prom?


For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s a little like football. My “Mum’s” from New Zealand, and she says football is “boring ball.” If you watch this clip and others, you may see why.

How come this isn’t bigger in the U.S?

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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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