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The Vox Box

Archive for October 2008

Video of the Week

A hilarious clip featuring Rowan Atkinson. Warning: if you are offended by the middle finger, don’t watch the last two minutes or so.

Here, Pup! Here, Puppy, Puppy!

He wanted to see the world through a dog’s eyes. Or he was stolen. But either way, one dog has made quite the journey. Several months ago, a small Maltese dog named Max went missing from his Florida home. He’s being reunited with his owner after he was found 1,200 miles away in Chicago. Yes, Chicago, Illinois. He had somehow gotten from a West Palm Beach, Florida suburb to a Chicago Illinois Animal Control office, where his microchip was scanned and he was found to be missing. He’s on a plane ride home this week. The MSNBC story is here.

Do you have a dog? Any wacky stories about the travels your dog has been on? Do you take your dog on vacations?

Obama and McCain dance off!

The end with Palin is almost frightening, but well worth waiting for!

QUESTION: Who do YOU think would win in a dance off?

Jazzfest or bust!…

Today’s the day for jazz at WSU - the Jazz festival is coming to town…and I’m jazzed. (ha…lousy pun)

This year’s guest artist, saxophonist David Hagelganz, has not only scored awards from Downbeat magazine (a very very popular music mag) but also toured with big jazz names including Chris Botti.

This festival is giving high school jazz groups (like the one I’m in!) the opportuity to perform on the big stage in the Kimbrough Music Building. Performances will be adjudicated by experienced musicians, faculty, and staff from surrounding schools such as EWU.

Is anyone else involved in jazz bands, choirs, or ensambles? How is the music program at your school?

He Wanted More Quality Time with His Grandma. Really.

An eighteen year old boy was sentenced to 18 months in juvenile detention Tuesday for elder abuse.
Michael Alfinez, 18, pleaded guilty to cajoling his senile granmother into appearing on a homemade rap video with a gun and threatening to “shoot all the pigs”.

Here‘s the entire video
So, do you spend quality time with your grandparents? How?

Obscure World News of the Week


The world record for world’s largest sandwich was attempted in the Iranian capital of Tehran, to be recorded by Guinness World Record officials and be set for display in a park.

And then anarchy took hold.

Like savages, the mob of observers devoured the sandwich without allowing the three present Guinness officials the chance to record the pivotal event. Despite arduously packing this 1,500 meter-long wich with 1400 total kilograms of ostrich and chicken meat, the work proved to be of little avail; no official record has been made of the sandwich’s size. Iran’s only chance at fame now lies in the sole piece of evidence to the food item’s girth: a piece of video footage which stands a slight chance of being accepted as proof enough to stabilize the world record.

It is yet to be seen whether or not a feature film will be made about the event, though if I were a maker of the sandwich, I’d be sending a few letters the way of old George Romero.

Ah, well. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Get it?

Zombie-like Iranian man seen here in mid-destruction of Iran’s moment of glory

Apple’s Politics

Apple Incorporated, the well-known producer computer technology, has recently pledged $100,000 to the campaign to defeat California Proposition 8, a referendum that seeks to remove the rights of homosexual couples to marry in that state. Apple has declined to explain their stance on the issue further than to say that the company views gay marriage not as a political issue, but as one of civil rights. Clothing maker Levi-Strauss taken a similar position, donating $25,000 of their own funds.

If in the market for a product, would you take into account a company’s stance on your favorite issue in deciding what brand to buy?


In just eight short days, authors everywhere will forgo contractions in favor of unnecessary adjectives and prepositional phrases. You know what that means? Yep. It’s National Novel Writing Month again.

Once a year, writers worldwide (despite the fact that the event is titled “National”) attempt to cram 50,000 words in the 30 days of November (roughly 1,667 words a day, or a little over three pages). I just barely succeeded last year and hope to make it again this year (which is why I’ve been pre-writing instead of paying attention in class all this week).

Has anyone else participated in NaNoWriMo before? Anyone interested in joining me in my annual bout of insanity?

St. Louis high school dealing with major HIV scare

Students at Normandy High School in suburban St. Louis, Missouri, are being tested for HIV.

Details sure are awfully vague at this time, but…

NORMANDY, Missouri (AP) — Students at a suburban St. Louis high school headed to the gymnasium for HIV testing this week after an infected person told health officials as many as 50 teenagers might have been exposed to the virus that causes AIDS.

Officials refused to give details on who the person was or how the students at Normandy High School might have been exposed, but the district is consulting with national AIDS organizations as it tries to minimize the fallout and prevent the infection — and misinformation — from spreading.

“There’s potential for stigma for all students regardless of whether they’re positive or negative,” Normandy School District spokesman Doug Hochstedler said Thursday. “The board wants to be sure all children are fully educated.”

A teacher in a neighboring district singled out a girl who dates someone at Normandy High and instructed her to get tested, Hochstedler said. A competing school’s football team initially balked at playing Normandy’s 8-0 team.

Jasmine Lane, a 16-year-old sophomore, said her boyfriend from a neighboring high school broke up with her on learning of the news — after she bought them tickets to homecoming.

“I cried so hard,” she said.

Marcus Holman, a 14-year-old freshman, said he never imagined HIV would become such a widespread threat at school.

“I’m just trying to pass, get to the next grade, safely,” he said.

Click here for the whole story…

What bothers me about the story (other than kids with HIV!) is this part: “The Health Department also will not say how any exposure might have occurred. Health Department spokesman Craig LeFebvre has said the possibilities include sexual activity, intravenous drug use, piercings and tattoos.”

QUESTION: If FIFTY kids have done something that could possibly lead to HIV… shouldn’t they be talking about what it was and educating them not to do it again?

A’right… the cat box cake…

My daughter Chloe convinced me to do it: We made the cat box cake.

(Recipe was posted here a few days ago…)

There is a cake walk tomorrow at the Halloween party where she goes to school, and there is a contest for the cakes that are created: Scariest, most creative, grossest, etc. Chloe is going for the grossest.

Tips: The hardest part is dying those cookies crumbs green and getting those Tootsie Rolls to look like actual cat poo. (Dear God. I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence…) Anyway, I have to admit, the cake crumb mixture is mighty tasty.

I’ll let you know how the contest goes! Does anyone else have disgusting Halloween plans?

Scorned “wife” from online game “kills” virtual ex-husband in story of desperation and intrigue…

Ok, I exaggerate. But come on… This is nuts!

Link here…

In a nutshell, virtual boy meets virtual girl in virtual game, virtual boy (virtually) marries virtual girl. Virtual boy leaves virtual girl. Virtual girl get SERIOUSLY PISSED OFF (not virtual) and virtually murders boy.

The woman used login information she got from the 33-year-old office worker when their characters were happily married, and killed the character. The man complained to police when he discovered that his beloved online avatar was dead.

She was arrested, but not for murder, of course. But rather “illegal access onto a computer and manipulating electronic data.”

QUESTION: Do you play these virtual games? Do you or someone you know take them this seriously?

Don’t Supersize Me!

Who’s to blame for an overweight America?

Okay, so my health class has been watching Supersize Me, and it really has me thinking: what is the initial cause of America’s health problems?!

I’ve begun to compile a list. We (America) have large serving sizes, fast food readily available, high fat/high calorie foods in place of healthy options, shortsightedness in some of our decisions, and media that has influenced us beyond belief.

In part of the film Supersize Me, Morgan (the guy who dares to eat only McDonald’s for 30 days) interviews some young kids. He shows them pictures of George Washington, Jesus, Wendy from Wendy’s, George W. Bush, and Ronald McDonald. All of the kids knew who Ronald McDonald was, but they knew hardly any of the others.

There’s another part where this group of people keeps attempting to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. They try and try, but each time they mess it up. However, when asked, they can easily sing the “Big Mac” theme song.

So, here are my little wonders. What is to blame for America’s obesity? How can we fix it? Why is it that Americans are more obese than any other country?

Prostitutes in San Francisco

Sweet, sweet freedom.

Proposition K, an upcoming ballot in the local San Francisco elections, proposes a complete end to the prosecution of sexual solicitors by local police. Failing in Berkeley to a two-third’s majority, this measure is projected to fare well in San Francisco, which is well-known as an incredibly liberal and sexual city. If passed, this will be the first American territory to allow prostitution to such an extent, going beyond the closed-doors and official business sexual markets of Rhode Island and Nevada and allowing sex to be sold directly on the street, free of arrest.

Sadomasochism, homosexuality, medical marijuana, and now this. Where is this city’s moral compass? Well, that question isn’t so important; rather, one should ask whether or not the legalization of such an act is an intelligent decision.

Is it? Yes and no. Regardless of how repulsive the act may seem to some, the rate of sexual solicitation does not decrease simply because it is illegal; prostitution is popular across all social classes (that one’s for you, Spitzer) and persecution of the salesladies and customers alike hasn’t seemed to change that the slightest bit. Statistically speaking, the 11 million dollars the San Franciscan police—and the millions more the federal government spends—on prostitution have changed absolutely nothing.

Immoral, sure. Stoppable? Not really. What is stoppable, however, is the unnecessary spread of STD’s that can be tested for in both patrons and employees by the management of legitimate brothels. Which isn’t so relevant to this measure, since legitimate business is uninvolved in this measure, though if it passes, I’m hopeful that this is where San Fran will take it.

Regardless, the subjecting of these women to the whims of slimeball pimps, drug dealers, and sex perverts will immediately decrease upon the passing of this bill. Now, there is no fear for these women to go to the cops, and so the acts of rape, murder, and burglary which are so commonly perpetrated against prostitutes can be better defended against.

Luckily for the nosy feds, that good ole’ loophole exists, which allows national government to arrest whoever the hell they’d like to in blatant disregard to the Jeffersonian state-power philosophy. They’ve used this to arrest AIDs and cancer patients for using marijuana, so these street madams best not celebrate too much.

Does anyone see the merit to the legalization of prostitution? What should ultimately be done to ‘solve’ the problem of prostitution?

Got haunted house?

Dan Pelle/SR
An evil clown and other scary creatures await visitors to the Cheney Haunted House located at the Cheney Pool. J.P. Russo hangs spider webs in the hallway behind the clown.

This is from the Huckleberries site, but the photo will be used in the West Plains Voices Thursday. I peed in my pants a little when I saw it…

QUESTION: Are you afraid of clowns? And where are the best haunted houses in our area?

Stripper causing chaos…

Chaos in the courtroom, that is…Charles Privette of Broward County, Florida has filed a lawsuit after being struck by a stripper’s shoe. Privette blames the stripper’s “negligent dancing” and is suing the Pompano Beach club.

Crazy court cases are everywhere! Read up on some more…

Like Subway? A New York City man sued the sandwich chain for $1 million after being surprised with a 7-inch knife blade baked into the bread of his sammy.

More like ‘Victoria’s Self-Defense’… A Victoria’s Secret store in Los Angeles was sued by a woman claiming to have gotten hit in the eye by panties having flown off a decoration.

What’s the craziest court-battle you’ve heard of? How would it be to stand in as a juror? :D (I would find it really hard to be in the jury without laughing…)

Hot @!?*&%$# Debate!

Parents are throwing fits over swear words inside high school libraries’ books.

With today’s parent-school communication lines more open than ever, parents are finding it tempting to criticize what their kids are reading. Parents can very easily scan high school library books for swear words, present those words in context to the school, and have books removed from the library.

In fact, Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn has become the most attacked book for its references to African-American people. What these parents fail to realize is that, in some cases, these terms contribute to the theme, mood, tone, characterization, and sometimes even setting (in Huckleberry Finn‘s case) of the story.

Where do YOU stand on this issue? Is there a happy medium? Do parents have a right to do what they’re doing?

Quotes of the Week

Quote 1:
If you treat people right they will treat you right - ninety percent of the time.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

This reminds me of high school. Even if people act absolutely amazing, never a mean word, others will still be critical. Any thoughts?
Quote here.

Quote 2:
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

Abraham Lincoln

Yes or no? Do you tend to speak up or do you stay quiet?
Quote here.

Quote 3:
But to name my greatest strength I guess it would be my humility. Greatest weakness, it’s possible that I’m a little too awesome.

Barack Obama

This quote made me laugh. It’s cool to see that even the presidential candidates are actually people, especially with only 18 days left. I don’t really have a question for this one, so please just keep it clean and semi-on topic.

Quote here.

Only in California…

Reuters Photo
… Can you find a “Smash Shack.” Sara’s Smash Shack to be exact. Located in San Diego, California a buisness unlike any other is thriving due to the failing economy. Why? Everyone is stressed out about the economy, their jobs and life in general. At Sarah’s Smash Shack, clients can come in, “order” a couple items of the “menu”, head into one of the “break rooms” and smash those items to relieve stress! (Now that’s my kind of therapy…)
Care to see the “menu”?

Odd News of the Week: Not Exactly Burglar of the Year

A 91 year old English woman had the scare of her life when she confronted a burglar in her home on October 8.
So imagine her surprise when she later recieved flowers and a note, apologizing for scaring her and breaking into her home. Apparently the burglar thought that the house was empty.

Read the story here

Erin’s recipe of the week: Kitty litter. Mmmmm…

Would someone with a stronger stomach than me please make this and then post how it went?

Click here for a recipe on how to create a cake that VERY closely resembles a cat box. A well used one, also. (Gag…)

“For the coup de gras take one Tootsie Roll and heat until pliable, hang it over the side of the kitty litter box, sprinkling it lightly with cookie crumbs. Place the box on a newspaper and sprinkle a few of the cookie crumbs around for a truly disgusting effect!”

QUESTION: Could you eat this?

Obama and McCain… Two wild and crazy guys…

Obama and McCain took a quick break last night from debating to exchange barbs at an annual charity event in New York City.

Not bad work—the roast raised $3.9 million for underprivileged kids.

Check out a clip of the event here…

McCain was also on Letterman last night, and Palin will be on SNL tomorrow night.

Here is all of Obama’s sketch…

Here is all of McCain’s…

My personal favorite lines are from Obama:

“If I had to name my greatest strength, I guess it would be my humility. Greatest weakness, it’s possible that I’m a little too awesome.”

QUESTION: Is the comedy a welcome break? Or do you think it is just a distraction from the issues at hand?

Why College Isn’t All Fun and Games

For those of you who were not watching Dr. Phil on Tuesday, you missed an interesting show. It was about campus safety. During this episode, Dr. Phil announced that 1 out of 4 college girls are the victims of rape or attempted rape. Many of these incidents involve alcohol. If you would like to see tips for staying safe in college, click here. Both men and women are at risk of assult, to name a few.

What do you think of this statistic? Is it higher than you expected? What do you plan to do (or what are you already doing) to stay safe in college?

Is water better bottled?

According to a study released Wednesday, much of the bottled water sold in America contains the same impurities that tap water does. While none of the leading brands of bottled water exceeded Federal standards for water purity, the study challenges the popular notion that bottled water is better to drink than tap water.

“In some cases, it appears bottled water is no less polluted than tap water and, at 1,900 times the cost, consumers should expect better,” said Jane Houlihan, an environmental engineer who co-authored the study.

Researchers detected some 38 chemicals or other impurities in their study, including, among others, bacteria, caffeine, and acetaminophen, a popular painkiller. Additionally, according to the study, two brands of bottled water, Sam’s Choice and Acadia, fail to comply with California state regulations regarding the amount of chlorine byproducts in water. Both companies dispute these results; more information on the study here.

Are these results disappointing? What should consumers be able to expect to when paying 1,900 times as much for water as they would otherwise?

Want an excuse not to do homework?

Here you go: My Tuesday night gift to you…

Yearbook yourself!

Click here…

If you are patient with the advertising, you (boys and girls) can use a favorite photo and insert it into hairstyles of the past few decades. After I finished giggling my face off, I made 13 shots for my Facebook page.

Now I’m going to go make some of all my friends…


It’s Columbus Day!!!

To some, Columbus Day signifies a day off of school or a long weekend. However, it’s significance goes far past an extra day to sleep in. Columbus Day celebrates Christopher Columbus’s exploration of the New World, setting off a chain of events that eventually led to the colonization of America.

Here’s a quiz all about Columbus Day. IF you need to study beforehand, here’s a fairly in depth but easy to read article about Columbus and Columbus Day.

My score was embarassingly low. Let’s just say it would have been an F.

How did you do on the quiz? How did you spend your 3-day weekend, if you had one?

“Visit China’s Forbidden City…as a virtual eunuch.”

An online three-dimensional tour of China’s Forbidden City allows people worldwide to visit without setting foot in Beijing. Tourists can “watch the Qing dynasty emperor feast at dinner, train fighting crickets and feed them with blood-fattened mosquitoes, or practice archery with the help of a courtesan,” under the avatar guise of an imperial eunuch.

Nine different avatars, including the eunuch, are available for the tourist to choose from, all in traditional costume. Imperial eunuchs (called “imperial servants” on the site) were an important element to the history of the imperial court; they “controlled portions of court life and could rise to great power.”


Would you consider touring as a eunuch? Would you feel at all awkward about it, knowing that others taking the tour can see your avatar?

What Do You Want to Be When You’re a Grown-Up?

Just thinking, I mean, we ask little kids that question all the time, and get answers back like ‘A superhero!’ and ‘A monster-truck driver.’
But what do you, as a teenager or young adult, want to do after high school or college? Do you have any dreams you’d love to accomplish?

Parents, input from you would be appreciated as well. What did you want to be when you were a kid? Did it change a lot as you grew older? Did you stick with any of the professions you wanted to be as a child?

If there are any teachers or counselors on here, feel free to chime in. Answer the parent questions, or maybe things you see at schools that you find interesting about a teen’s after-high school plans.

Here’s a website that looks promising.

Poor Pumpkin…

In light of this being the season for Jack-O-Lanterns, I felt the need to post this.

This is what happens when pumpkins have to much to drink:

Please Note: A friend sent this to me via email. (Thank you Carter.) Therefore, I am unsure of the original author.

Solving that ‘hairy’ problem…

The Royal Family is taking a step in the green - and fashionable - direction.

PETA has worked with many celebrities and organizations to try to find a solution to the high use of real bear fur for the hats of the Buckingham Palace Gaurdsmen. Not only is the Family recognizing this as a “cruel and unnecessary practice in today’s world”, but they’re turning to some popular British designers for inspiration.

High-end designer Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney, and US designer Marc Bouwer have all agreed to produce caps if commisioned.

“It currently takes one black bear for every hat worn by the Buckingham gaurd. 50-100 new hats are needed every year. Over the past five years the MoD has spent more than $600,000 on bear skins.”

According to, Baroness Taylor, the Minister for Defence procurement (also in charge of gathering military equimpent) will meet this week with PETA to discuss alternative materials to the bear fur.

This post was fueled by comments on the prior blog: - What other ways could the Royal Family ‘go green’? Isn’t it ironic that the British are using the North American black bear…?

Continuing with the debates…

An interesting video compilation of various prominent YouTube vloggers with their takes on the debate. The last two are my personal favorites.

From the mouth of John Green: “I apologize if this is poor-quality vlogging; I played a drinking game during the debate where I had to drink every time someone said ‘fundamental difference’ or ‘my friends,’ so of course I’m shellacked.”

Obscure World News of the Week

Macaque Monkeys are a genus of Old World monkeys, classified in the subfamily of Cercopithecinae. Excepting humans, they are the most widespread of all primates, with very diverse geographical habitats ranging from northern Africa to Japan. Their involvement in animal testing has stirred much controversy among animal rights activists. Apparently, they’re also highly diseased, with ninety percent purported to be infected with the herpes-B virus. And they can wait tables. Take a gander.

Who wouldn’t want an animal with a ninety percent chance of carrying herpes handling their food?

Good ol’ 1996…

The year of 1996 can be remembered for many things - for wellness consultant Karen Hanrahan, it was the year she decided to purchase and save a McDonald’s burger.

Ya…a 12 year old burger. (!)

Hanrahan uses this burger as a speech-prop to illustrate the fast food industry’s high use of preservatives to keep their food looking fresh throughout the time of production, transportation, and storage.

“Ladies, Gentleman, and children alike - this is a chemical food. There is absolutely no nutrition here,” Karen says of the burger.

Read MORE!

Would you ‘salvage’ a food product to prove a point? Do you consider the food’s ingredients before you chow down?

Got a package!…

There’s a new (and unexpected) addition to the cargo holds of numerous flights headed to southern Brazil - penguins.
Slate Photo

Without known reason, these juvenile Patagonian penguins washed up by the hundreds to the shores of northern Brazil - many perishing before treatment was reached. But how do you get that many penguins to the Salvador-based treatment center? - You fly them. (How ironic, right? Penguins don’t fly…)

Fitting 23 birds to a box, then fitting them into crates, “the Brazilian government’s environmental authority loaded 399 penguins onto a C-130 Hercules transport plane” headed for a rehabilitation center in Pelotas.

These distraught birds are now on a better path…or…flight. Read more about these “flying” birds.

What would you do with these dazed and confused penguins? Any thoughts on the irony here? :D I loved it.

Homecoming Hits a Home Run

Homecoming season is in full bloom. High schools everywhere are starting to celebrate.

How was your school’s homecoming? What was the best part? Did your school do anything really unique?

At Post Falls, we have the Powderpuff Football, the guys’ volleyball match, a few assemblies, several class contests, a tailgate party, plenty of spirit days, the dance, and the big game.

Wholesome Rap for a Wholesome Family

In the spirit of Halloween and the dawning autumn, here is something relevant to neither.

Flight of the Conchords: Great rappers, or greatest rappers?

Obama’s Quote-unquote Victory

Once upon a time, I was quite the Obama fan. I read much of his book, blown away by his rhetorical prowess and storytelling ability. It would go down in history, I thought, with historical texts akin to the autobiographies of Franklin and Frederick Douglass. His understanding of drug policy, of the disadvantaged, of minorities and, apparently, of humanity in general, was impressive and scholarly and unwavering in the eyes of a judgmental and conventional public. Why, then, is he now being such a complacent tool?

Yeah, I know why. He has to win. It simply bothers me to have heard nothing new from this man for what seems like months on end, just one carefully crafted, ambiguous, vague and meaningless political statement after another; endless attempts to discredit McCain while reminding everyone how much he respects and empathizes with him. A simultaneous denouncement and embrace of the same old Washington politics.

I support Obama, moreso than I have in my past “lesser evil” preferences. But the way I perceive him has drastically changed in the past few months of pandering and fallacy I’ve observed him partake in. If he is to win, I’d like to see him revert to the idealist I enjoyed listening to and reading about before the campaign took off.

Sigh. Hope just prepares for eventual and intense cynicism.

McCain ‘08: “Cambodians Are Taller Than You Think”

Obscure World News of the Week


President Evo Morales of Bolivia announced his disapproval of U.S. intervention in the Bolivian coca crop and drug trade last Saturday, rejecting American requests to fly anti-drug aircraft over Bolivian territory. Morales feels that the DEA’s periodic flights over Bolivia are, along with the rest of US efforts to combat the Bolivian drug trade, equivalent to espionage.

“It’s important that the international community knows that here, we don’t need control of the United States on coca cultivation,” the president told a gathering of coca farmers. “We can control ourselves internally. We don’t need any spying from anybody.”

Eric Watnik, spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy, denies that these flights are used for surveillance. Regardless of this claim, U.S-Bolivian relations are souring over the issue, with the Bolivian capital La Paz growing increasingly distant from an amiable status with Washington.

The deterioration of relations with Bolivia has sparked up just recently, starting last month with Morales’ expulsion of the U.S. ambassador, whom he accused of supporting violent protests organized by Morales’ conservative opposition. Washington’s response was parallel; Bolivia’s ambassador was consequentially ousted, while the nation itself was blacklisted for its failure to cooperate to American standards with U.S. anti-drug efforts.

“We’ve certified Bolivia twice before under the Morales government, even though they have taken a very different approach to counterdrugs, especially to eradication, than previous governments,” said Tom Shannon, U.S. assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs.

“But what we’ve noticed over the past couple of months,” he added, “was a declining political willingness to cooperate and then a very precise attempt by the part of some of the government ministries to begin to lower the level of cooperation and try to break the linkages” between U.S. and Bolivian anti-drug efforts.

Bolivia is the third largest producer of coca in the world. Coca is used to make cocaine, among other things, so it’s understandable why this nation is such a priority for the American anti-drug effort. Still, it seems a matter which we are not fully equipped to regulate, as drug use and trade in our nation is very high and continues to grow regardless of any strategies we have laid down to combat it. When we’ve made literally zero progress in our own war on drugs—which has technically persisted since Nixon first used the term in 1971—it doesn’t seem so wise of us to be attempting to globally perpetrate these failed strategies.

It’s a blow for Bolivia, most of all. They are South America’s poorest nation; it’s predicted that up to 20,000 jobs will be lost as a result of this blacklist.

Is this America’s business? Does the DEA ever actually accomplish anything, ever?

Fear of Eviction Leads Elderly Woman to Suicide Attempt

Photo Found on CNN
Wednesday, in Akron, Ohio, 90 year old Addie Polk tried to shoot herself after she found out she was to be evicted. Shortly after Deputies arrived to deliver an eviction notice, they and a neighbor heard loud noises and gun shots coming from inside the house. The neighbor, Robert Dillon, found a ladder and climbed into the house through a bathroom window. He found Miss Polk lying on her bed, with a handgun beside her. She was still breathing and was raced to Akron General Medical Center where she is still in Critical Condition. Prior to Wednesday, Deputies had tried to serve the eviction notice 30 times, but each time the notice disappeared.

This unfortunately is a sad example of the effects our economy is having on people, especially homeowners. A countless number of homes are undergoing foreclosures, and people are being evicted. Many are just as desperate as Miss Polk. Cities everywhere are making efforts to start programs that’ll allow people to keep their homes, but with the economy how it is currently, it doesn’t exactly appear to be easy.

This story can be found on CNN.

So many questions come to mind as I post this, but I would like to hear what you all have to say without me giving a prompt.

Odd News of the Week: No More Free Lunches for the Naked

If visitors of the Black Frog Restaurant in Greenville, Maine want to jump off a dock naked, they’re going to have to do it without the promise of a sandwich. When the owner of the restaurant, Leigh Turner, was refused a renewal of his liquor license by the town board due to several incidents of “indecent conduct” were linked to the restaurant. Turner offered a french dip sandwich for free to anyone who jumped off of the dock without clothing.

Is jumping off a dock naked worth saving $10.95? Would you do it?

Tonight’s debate….

After the debate in St.Louis tonight between Senator Joe Biden and Governor Palin, both expectations of the candidates were not what happened. Political stradegists had predicted Sarah Palin to spew memorized information on foreign policies and such and mess up the debate as she was said to have with Katie Couric. On the other hand, Senator Biden was predicted to talk too much about himself during the debate tonight…

What do you think? Are the vice presidential picks making a big difference this year?

Vox layout night Youtube of the evening…

There may be S-R layoffs and the Vox future is in question, but we still are kicking layout’s butt and have our Youtube of the evening for you.

Tonight’s video is brought to you due to a headline error. Enjoy…

We Told You So…

In an August post,here, we told you about the Nebraska abandonment law that allowed parents to leave children at a ‘safe haven’ until they were 19. Opinions were given that the law would be used as a threat, used to get rid of of teens that were out-of-control or unmanageable.

Nati Hamik
Well, it’s happened. In September, 15 older children were dropped off. One group included 9 children of a widowed father, age 1-17.

A quote that really struck me was the father’s.
“I was able to get the kids to a safe place before they were homeless. I hope they know I love them. I hope their future is better without me around them.” It just broke my heart, and reaffirmed for me that while it may be hard for someone, it’s not okay to just leave a child. I think these children are probably hurt, even if they are going to be placed with family members as the New York Times story says, here.

What do you think, now that this has actually happened? Do you think that it’s okay for struggling parents to leave adolescent or pre-adolescent children?

Planned Parenthood Loves Palin

Sarah Palin has helped fundraise $802,678 for Planned Parenthood simply by running alongside McCain.

Although she stands firmly against abortion, Sarah Palin has become an icon for the group. An e-mail sent out by the Planned Parenthood asked people to donate money “in honor of Sarah Palin” to the cause. As of Saturday, over 31,000 people have responded and donated.

Some negative attention was given to Palin when another e-mail was sent out requesting donations from people who opposed McCain’s running mate. However, this message was not sent from Planned Parenthood.

An article from the Spokesman-Review’s website said:

Jim Roderick, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of North Texas, said the spike in donations “speaks to the tenor of some people’s concern about our issues,” which include not just abortion but emergency contraception, family planning and testing for sexually transmitted diseases.

What do you think about this fundraiser? Is it attracting the right kind of attention to Palin? How does Palin’s stance on abortion fit in?

10 Things Never to Buy New

MSN has a list posted of things you shouldn’t buy new, here. Lists of ‘shouldn’t buys’ usually end in used, but this ends in new, and is perfect for the money-strapped teen.

1. Books
For me, that’s a given. I almost never buy books new, unless it’s going to be forever before they are at the library, like something new, or if they are something I cannot wait for, like my favorite series books. Other than that, I am a frequent library-goer and Goodwill book shopper.
Do you buy books used?

2.DVDs and CDs
I wouldn’t know, I don’t really buy either. But the list has more explanation on most of these topics.
Would you buy media used, not just CDs and DVDs, but video games, computer programs, et cetera?

3. Little Kid’s Toys
I have zero experience. Wait, no, that’s not true. If I see something that I know my younger cousin would love, like a plush dog or something, I’ll buy it if it’s clean. But it has to be clean. I don’t have any question for this one, feel free to comment if you would like.

4. Jewelry
I buy a lot of costume jewelry second-hand. I am not ever against buying something cute at a store in the mall, but if I see things like pop beads or new or unused jewelry at second-hand stores, I’ll buy it.
Girls, do you buy necklaces or costume jewelry second hand? Do you buy for the prettiness or for the value?

5-10 are in the Extended Entry.

Got Milk?

Everybody has heard the title line. It’s become so oftenly used, it might even be called iconic. But for the teenage group, milk is not the preferred beverage. Jolt or Pepsi may be the drink of choice, but not milk. Teens in California high schools, however, are trying to change that.

New York Times Photo
The high schoolers are doing an Apprentice-like campaign to come up with ideas to get teens to think of milk as a drink of choice. They will be coming up with fun, innnovative ads and ideas that will be run sometime next year if deemed acceptable.

The story is here.

Do you drink milk daily?

Stressing Out, A Good Thing?

It’s most likely that someone else has blogged about something like this. But I just recently found a new story about the benefits of stress.

Some might figure that anxious people tend to make batter decisions. Gregory Samanes-Larkin, a graduate student in philosophy at Stanford, ran an experiment which involved scanning the brains of healthy people without anxiety disorders and watched as the anterior insula, a part of the brain, lit up when patients anticipated losing money. The more anxious patients showed even more activity in that particular section of the brain.

The second part of the experiment brought the same people back to play a computer game for real cash. The more anxious people were better at learning how to avoid losing money.

What do you think? Have you ever felt you had the “perfect” amount of stress or anxiousness?

Febreeze anyone?…

Many are considering putting the kabosh on their household air-freshner use - the associated health risks just simply stink. (sorry…could not resist that pun)

In 2007, the Natural Resources Defense Council evaluated 14 air fresheners, finding that 12 contained “varying amounts of pthalates, chemicals that…can cause developmental abnormalities.”

Dr. Andrew Weil, Prevention magazine, includes that exposing yourself or others to the chemicals in air fresheners as little as once a week can increase chances of developing asthma or other lung damaging problems by 71 percent.

“A boquet of fresh flowers” may be the better, and healthier choice, says Weil.

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    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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