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The Vox Box

Archive for March 2009

Oh, sweet irony

A 28-year-old Ohio man was charged with drunken driving after crashing his motorized bar stool earlier this month. After responding to reports of the crash, police said “they found a man who had wrecked a bar stool powered by a deconstructed lawn mower.” The driver, Kile Wygle, was briefly hospitalized. According to reports, Wygle told an officer that he had consumed 15 beers, later adding to another officer that “his motorized bar stool can go up to 38 mph.” Wygle has pleaded not guiltly, but a definite trial date has yet to be set.

Question: Any thoughts on how Wygle might defend this “not guilty” plea?

14-Year-Old Girl May Be Sex Offender After Uploading Racy Myspace Pictures

A New Jersey teen has been accused of child pornography after posting nearly 30 explicit nude pictures of herself on MySpace.com; charges that could force her to register as a sex offender if convicted.

The case probably comes as a result from prosecutors pursuing child pornography cases resulting from kids sending nude photos via cell phones and e-mail. (Do we really have to watch another newscast on ”sexting?” Come on!)  Legal experts, though, could not recall another case of a child porn charge resulting from a teen’s posting to a social networking site.

Myspace has a team that reviews the network for innapropriate content, and they tipped off the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, causing quite a bit of hub-bub. Did i mention that this girl is 14? Fourteen. Think about it. Supposedly, the girl posted them because she wanted her boyfriend to see them. She could face up to 17 years in jail and be forced to register as a sex offender, though the jail sentence is unlikely.

 

 

Some observers are criticizing the trend of prosecuting teens who send racy text messages or post illicit photos of themselves. What do you think?

The Glow: Spokane (high)Lights

Here’s Episode 3 of The Glow! So we know that Spokane’s youth is pretty dang talented…(we ARE Spokane’s youth, after all…:D) Here we’ll check out the best of the best of teen art coming straight out of Spokane.

My school took an “art-exploration” field trip to check out the 36th Annual Educational Service Regional High School Art Show based at the Spokane Public Library. (Displayed until April 8)The show displayed the best 192 entries that District 101 teens had to offer.

The walls of the Library were completely covered with the talent of Spokane’s high school students. Contributors included teens from 11 local schools including Shadle Park, East Valley, and Pullman School. The works included pastel, charcoal, acrylic paint, clay, graphite - even photography. 

I was blown away by the quality of this art. The dedication, passion, and inspiration were all evident throughout every piece: Definite evidence of an ‘art-revival’ occuring within our current generation. Notable artists included Lindsay Wells from  East Valley High School with her first place and double Judge’s-Choice award-winning work, “Don’t Just Exist, Live.” Also from East Valley, Destiny Jaeger recieved a Judge’s-Choice, the Avista-Choice, and a second-place award for pastel “Through the Eyes of the Homeless.”

The FAVORites! - Beautiful? Yes. Remarkable? Of course. Inspiring? Definitely. Each of these 192 total pieces expressed the artist’s point of view with amazing clarity. I can’t possibly pick a favorite, (aside from the really-really good S’mores hot chocolate I picked up from the Zip-Trip heading out of town…yummm) Fantastic art and fantastic hot cocoa: just a couple more reasons of why I’m proud to be part of Spokane’s teen generation. :D.

(Sketch featured in picture: Amanda Overbust, Shadle Park. ”I Have A Secret.” Made with conte, charcoal, and pencil.)

Art programs seem to be taking the heat in today’s economy: Is this just? How could we save them? Have you seen this happening in your school?

The Best Dam Letter Ever!

In the spirit of spring break, I’m going to leave you with two dam letters that have gained a sort of celebrity at Mead High School. Every senior taking AP Government has read the dam letters, and enjoyed them to boot. I managed to find them on the snopes.com, which investigates urban myths. The first letter, written to Ryan DeVries, is important only because it sets the stage for the second; you can just skim through it. You will definitely want to read all of the second letter!

Read the letters here

Have a great spring break!

Oh Deer, Matt Lauer!

On Monday, Matt Lauer was absent from the Today Show for the first time in… well… very, very long.

And why? Well… he hit a deer. On his bike. Wear your helmets, kids! Like Matt Lauer! Sources say he “Was cycling on Long Island and was going pretty fast downhill. A deer kind of came out of nowhere and in an effort to avoid hitting the deer, Matt slammed on the brakes and went flying. He separated his shoulder.”

Lauer was back on Thursday, in a sling. Co-host Meredith Vieira made light of the injury saying that Lauer thought the deer had been hired by the competition. She then joked that she was actually the one who hired the deer, telling it to “just graze him”.

This gives whole new meaning to the “Where in the World is Matt Lauer” series.

 

Policeman keeps NFL player, family from loved one’s deathbed

A Dallas policeman pulled over NFL player Ryan Moats and his family, on their way to see Moats’s dying mother-in-law one last time, and held them for 13 minutes as he leisurely wrote the traffic ticket mere feet from the emergency room door.

Moats, his emergency flashers going, blew through a red light near the hospital and was pulled over by Officer Robert Powell, a three-year member of the Dallas police department. Moats hurriedly explained the situation, but Powell refused to let the family inside the hospital. Moats’s wife then attempted to tell Powell what was going on, only to have Powell draw his gun. She pleaded with him for a moment more, then ignored him and went inside the hospital with her great-aunt.

The two women sent out hospital personnel to verify the situation, but Powell still refused to allow Moats and his grandfather-in-law into the building, preferring to take his time writing a traffic ticket instead. When the two men were finally allowed inside, Moats’s mother-in-law had already passed away. This account is based on video footage from Powell’s in-car camera. Powell has since been placed on paid administrative leave, and the police department has issued a full apology.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/032609dnmetcopstop.3e9c080.html

Question: Was Powell in any way justified in his actions, even initially? Are situations like these connected with the profession (thinking of the Taser-happy Spokane police here), or are they connected only to the individual?

SOM: Save Our Malls

It’s an oddity if you haven’t ‘cut back’ in the last few months. You can’t open a newspaper without another analysis of how something is affected by the economy. Zoos. Camps. And, today’s article on MSN, malls.

It’s an absolute disaster,” said Howard Davidowitz, the chairman of Davidowitz & Associates, a national retail consulting and investment banking firm. “What a mall represents is discretionary spending, and discretionary spending is in a depression.”

 The article talks about the bankruptcies of multiple large stores, and also about multiple stores that have announced closures. Macys is one of the companies that will be closing stores nationwide.

Where do you shop? Have you found anywhere that continues to thrive, in spite of the recession?

Telling the truth at gunpoint…

“I never thought I’d tell my Muslim parents that I’m gay. Then a terrifying encounter gave me no choice.”

First published in Newsweek, this is the story of Shariq Mahbub and his upbringing in Karachi, Pakistan. Mahbub felt forced to take every oppotunity to hide his sexuality from his family.

“…All through college I dated women, willing myself to be ‘normal’.”

This is a very powerful story…I can’t really summarize this.

What would you do in this situation? What are your thoughts on the extreme culture-difference represented here?

Please no more cupcakes…

With prom season rolling around in Spokane, prom dress shopping is limited as I found out the hard way. I went to all the big prom stores, and I felt like I was shoved into giant cupcake dresses that didn’t fit me and given not so great service. FINALLY went to a great store selling prom dresses downtown called Finders Keepers 2. Its such a hidden little store but it was so unique and the dresses were beautiful! And not to mention they give lots of discounts and I didn’t see a single cupcake. FAB!

Video of the Week

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN2HAroA12w

“Twouble with Twitters”- a young man takes on the mass epidemic that is Twitter.

Question: Has Twitter, Facebook, or any other such technological innovation taken over to this extent?

*Disclaimer: one not-so-nice word towards the end

Week 2: Ushuaia, Argentina

It’s not Antarctica, but it’s darn close. We are heading to the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia, Argentina. It is 745 miles from Antarctica. Ushuaia is a popular tourist attraction, especially for cruisers to Antarctica. It used to be the site of a prison, because of it’s distance from other settlements.

Some popular tourist attractions are the End of the World train, from Ushuaia to Tierra del Fuego National Park, multiple day cruises to Antarctica, museums about the settlement, and skiing in nearby mountains.

Would you be interested in visiting this Argentinan city? How about Antarctica? Anything to add?

 

NTS: Not a Good Way to Reconcile

All she wanted to do was have an uninterrupted conversation with her estranged husband. At least that’s what Helen Sun told police Monday night when they asked her why she had handcuffed herself to her sleeping almost-ex and began biting him.

The previous day, Sun changed the locks on their bedroom door while her husband, who had just filed for divorce, was out. That night, Robert Drawbaugh woke to find himself handcuffed to his wife. As he called for help on his cell phone, Sun began biting him on his chest and arms. Police who arrived at the house broke in after they heard screams of pain (apparently Drawbaugh wasn’t “in” with the Twilight crowd). Sun was arrested, her charges include assault and unlawful restraint.   

 Read the article here

 

 

I really only have one question: Did she actually think this would work???

Are we a lost generation?

Alright. This one is 100% for us Teenagers. Please watch this, and then post your thoughts. Its short, but its clever and has a strong message.

This video really got me thinking. We as teens have become lazy and complacent. We take things for granted. We put work, friends, and other things above our families. We see problems all around us, but don’t do anything to fix them. We figure “what difference can I make?”

What do you guys think? Is there any way we can make a difference? The video talked about how we could possibly end up living in our later years, if everything stays the same. Does it have to be that way? Why do you think teenagers nowadays have the attitudes they do? It hasn’t always been this way. I want to know what you think.

Slam Special: Concerts

We’ve got live music up the wa-zoo here in Spokane, (gotta take advantage of the great venues, right?!) So here’s an update on the shows hitting our area as of…now. (photo taken outside Brused Books…)

Carnifex - Tues. March 24
Performing with The Skies Burn Black, We Are Devastation, If We Live, and more at The Empyrean Coffeehouse. The show starts at 6 pm…but at the Empyrean the par-TAY never stops. :).

Plain White T’s - Wed. March 25
These guys are ready to bust the roof off of Spokane’s Knitting Factory. Kicking with openers’ Vedera and Danger Radio, the shows starts at 6 pm.  (Check out the PWT’s website here, Plainwhitet’s.com. )

Burning Twilight - Wed. March 25
Now I’m pretty sure that this show doesn’t have anything to do with Bella, Edward, or vampires…but it IS Burning Twilight’s first AllAges show. So show some love at The Empyrean at 6 pm.

AND - a little sidenote. Seeing as TODAY is the 24th, do you know what that means? 1 MONTH UNTIL DEATH CAB FOR CUTE @ McCarthey!! Just had to share my excitement…

What concert are YOU most likely to hit? Any additions to the list for this week? *(Anyone know where I can get some Death Cab tickets?!)* ha..

Best of the Inland Northwest - 2009

(Only pitted against the Indie Music Edition), “The Best of the Inland Northwest” marks my favorite edition of that free paper found on every corner in Spokane: The Pacific Northwest Inlander. This copy gives credit to ‘the best everything’ Spokane has to offer - burgers, newscasters, coffee, you name it they’ve reviewed it. Here are some of the best….*drumroll please….

Best TV Weathercaster - Tom Sherry, KREM
Even though he often tells us about the dreaded snow in March, this guy is officially in the Inlander Hall of Fame. (2nd Place: George Maupin, KHQ. 3rd Place: Kris Crocker, KXLY)

Best Burritos - Ionic Burrito & Cosmic Quesos
Ok - I’ve heard a lot about this place, I’m thinking that it’s time I pay it a visit. (Anyone wanna help me with a burrito and a ‘Glow’ article??) Well, when the burrito-train calls your name how could you not hit up a cool resturant that features the Ionic Boom (a 15-inch tortilla…stuffed, my friend.) I’ve also heard there’s live music here: Kristin Marlo? (2nd Place: Slick Rock, 3rd Place: Q’Doba)

Best Sushi - Raw
YES! It is the mother-load of all sushi! I love this place with a passion. Now sushi from Spokane can be kinda ‘iffy, seeing as we’re pretty far away from any oceans. But Raw does it well - you’ve got all types of traditional sushi-rolls plus and ‘island-style’ grill servin’ chicken curry and stir-fry bowls. Amazing. (2nd Place: Sushi.com, 3rd Place: Suki Yaki)

Best Coffee Roaster - (a tie!?!?) Cravens Coffee and Thomas Hammer
Cravens took the title in ‘07 while Thomas Hammer happened to scoop it up last year. This year? A dead-tie. I love what the Inlander says: “It’s time for a coffee-roaster smackdown. Simon Craven and Tom Hammer, mano a mano, across a table, with beans and cups scattered about…”  I couldn’t agree more. (2nd Place: Doma Coffee, 3rd Place: 4 Seasons Coffee)

Best Concert of the Past Year - Wilco amd Fleet Foxes
I knew these guys had to be good as I found them topping the charts in my ‘Best Bands of 2008’ blog-post…but I had no idea they were this good. But any band that comes back after an encore to play an arrangement of Bob Dylan’s ‘I Shall Be Released’ straight-up deserves to make the list. (2nd Place: Journey/Cheap Trick/Heart at the Arena, 3rd Place: Def Leppard/Styx/REO Speedwagon, at the Arena.)

View the fullll monty of the article at The Inlander.

What would win YOUR votes for faves of Spokane? Any topics to ADD?

Icon War!

Ha ha ha. :D My piano teacher sent me this link. Its hilarious! Most of us forget to shut off our computers at night, right? (I do.) Well…

…while we are away, the icons will play…

Is the U.S. Supporting Foreign Dictators?

   Today’s PARADE magazine released their annual article, “The World’s 10 Worst Dictators” (click on dictator to learn more). The descriptions of suffering and oppression were disgusting, but that isn’t what truly enraged me about the article. Below the dictator’s name and description of their rule is a small blurb titled “U.S. link.”  In some cases the “U.S. link” explains how the U.S. has shut down trading, etc. to the countries until they stop violating human rights.  In many cases, however, the “U.S. link” describes how America continues to do business with the world’s worst dictators, simply ignoring the fact that our money will continue to support their reign.

   In fact, the United States is importing millions (sometimes billions) of dollars worth of goods from 6 of the 10 dictatorships listed in PARADE’s article.  Robert Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, but in the past year he has gone from #6 on the dictators list to #1.  According to PARADE, over 3,800 people have died of cholera since August, unemployment has risen to 85%, and inflation makes U.S. gas prices seem like a joke ($50 billion is enough to buy 2 loaves of bread).  Despite this, American imports from Zimbabwe have actually risen in the past two years.  The horrors of Darfur are slowly being released in the media, and the International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Sudan’s leader, Omar al-Bashir (#2).  Despite the fact that both Bush and Obama have spoken out against al-Bashir, last year U.S. trade with Sudan increased to $148 million. Similarly, the rulers of Saudi Arabia (#5), China (#6), Turkmenistan (#9), and Libya (#10) are known to rule with an iron fist similar to that of Nazi Germany or the Taliban.  Yet the U.S. imports billions of dollars worth of goods from them each year.

 

Is the U.S. guilty of sponsoring dictatorship? We need goods such as oil, but is the rape, murder, and imprisonment of millions of people worth it?

Coming Up…

No, not a cool art exhibit or awesome concert. Coming up are… the AP exams. I have heard May referred to as the “hell month” and “month of horror.” I have also heard my AP US History teacher grumble since January about the snow days. The AP classes at CV got to come in early last week to cover material while the majority of the students at the school, at least those not taking the WASL, got to sleep in. It was helpful, though.

The College Board AP site is here, and not surprisingly “hell month” is not mentioned.

Are you in AP classes? Do you enjoy them? What are you doing, or will you be doing, to prepare for the exams? Have you taken any AP exams before?

 

The Glow: Pullman (high)Lights

I got the name! The Glow: -insert selected city here- (high)Lights….what do you think?  Finally - a phrase that describes what I do, (check out the city’s highlights!) and something catchy, (glowing city lights!). Whew! So here’s the third weekly installment of my adventures…

There’s usually only one thought in my mind when traveling through the ‘Home of the Cougs’, Pullman, Washington: “Which coffee shop?” (That’s not really all that surprising, now is it?)

While grabbing some ‘joe down on the East end of Main Street, I came across a little used book store - Brused Books. To be honest, any store with a huge window-display of various art books is exactly my type of place.

“The name came to owner Bruce Calkins in a dream…” says the website for Brused Books: Personal.palouse.net. And it’s perfect. The store features over 80,000 different titles, (*jaw drops…) and keeps track of each one old-school style.  No ‘database’ for these guys; it’s classic card files and trade-in credit all the way.

This is exactly the warm-comforting-scholarly atmosphere that you experience directly upon stepping into this book-lover’s heaven. Looking for a copy of Allende’s ‘Eva Luna’? (They’ve got at least 5…) How about the I Ching? (I counted 4, including countless textbooks delving into every other surrounding philosophy…)

Brused Books will also satisfy your inner-world traveler.  I like to call it the ‘Center Cultural Mini-Store’, (based on it’s location: the center of the store, and what it offers: a high dose of culture…) It features authentic Prayer Flags, ethnic pan-flutes, fair-trade herbal tea, and hand-woven scarves and bags from various international countries. This place truly is a go-to place for anyone interested in finding a crazy-good deal in a little shop with a crazy-cool atmosphere.

Chloe’s Tried-and-True Favorites: I have to hand it to the Music section. Located wayyy in the back, I’ve found some great steals. It’s got everything ranging from orchestra sheet music and jazz instruction books to the pubished journals of Kurt Cobain (had to buy it), and the lyric-book for The Doors, (had to get that one too…)

What’s better: A great used book?, or a brand-spankin’ new one? What has been your favorite book-store find?

AIG Scandal!!!

Americans outraged over the American International Group (AIG) bonus scandal thats sweeping the country in a fog of anger.  March 10 was the offical date that the whole country found out that AIG excutives are getting $165 million dollars of taxpayer money as bonuses. Right now American leaders are starting to question Secretary Treasurer Tim Geithner if he can really handle the position.  Congress did an investagation in Geithners position and discovered that Tim Geithner actually new about this a week ahead and didn’t do anything to stop it.  Democrats and Republicans also found out that AIG secretly sent $40 billion dollars of taxpayer money to bail out European banks.

CEO and Chairman Edward Liddy says he had no idea about this bonus scandal.  Later on Congress found out these bonuses were put into an amendent called the Dod amendment that protects the policies of AIG bonuses.  Barack Obama annouced that he is going to tax 90% of the bonuses that were given out, but some people say that this is unconstitutional because Obama is breaking an amendent and is violating the U.S Constitution.  Also, many congress men and women are calling for Tim Geithner to be fired, but so far Obama still stands by Tim Geithner and his position as Secretary Treasurer of the U.S. Government. 

Do you think Tim Geithner should be fired? Is taxing the bonuses unconstitutional?

I got this information at ://www.hannity.com/

Calling the Crazies…

Chris Baty and the Office of Letters and Light is at it again! Did you like the insanity, (but greatness), of NANOWRIMO? Then here comes the next best thing, (even though this pic is from June….) : IT’S Script-Frenzy.

National Novel Writing Month, known as NANOWRIMO, challenged writers everywhere to put on their ‘novelist cap’ and try their hand at creating a fictional world within a whirlwind marathon month.  Script-Frenzy is a equal challenge worthy for the insane -  crank out “100 pages of scripted material in the month of April.”

Why!?!, you ask? Yes - it’s a massive crunch of brain power that must be exerted…but you guys are clever! The website, scriptfrenzy.org, inspires us: “Because you have a story to tell. Because you want a creative challenge. Because you’ll be disappointed if you missed out on the adventure. Because you need to make time for you.” Those are true words if I’ve ever heard them…

Yup - we’ve got a pretty open criteria here for Script-Frenzy. This required “Scripted Material” could mean movie…play…graphic novel…even series of TV scripts. Just get pre-writing: April 1st is here in 11 days…

Anyone in this with me? How did you guys fare with NANOWRIMO?

 

Video of the Week

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIeq4i-us8I

“Your Mother” by CollegeHumor

Question: Come on, confess. How many of you still make “your mom” jokes?

Obama and Leno: The First Presidental ‘Sit-Down’…

In addition to being our nation’s first African-American leader, President Barack Obama now has a whole new ‘first’ under his belt. In addition to many other papers and news channels,  The Daily Mail reports that Obama became “the first sitting U.S. president to appear on a late night chat show” after his guest appearance on Jay Leno. Obama appeared on Leno’s show during his campaign, yet he is now crossing new waters as our President. 

This move was not seen by all as pure entertainment. Viewers and critics say Obama has weakened his ‘regal’ reputation as the Leader of the Free World, “dumbing down the presidency,” and also “blurring the line between politics and entertainment.”

Most celebrities jump at these late-night talk shows for a chance to publicize new TV shows, movie debuts, or CD releases, but not Barack: He’ll work to publicize America’s new economic resucue plan. NBC executives are hoping for double the five million usual viewers for the 10-minute segment featuring the President. 

“We don’t look at it as a process of demonstrating the President’s sense of humour,” said White House press spokesman Robert Gibbs.  It’s more of an opportunity “To explain the economic situation we are in.”

Do you think Obama is truly “Americanizing” the Presidental position? Does this stint on Leno make the President appear less professional?

 

OMG! This one’s a must watch…

I would embed it, but it seems that the videos embed code feature has been disabled. This video is of IL Divo performing Amazing Grace at the Colosseum in Rome. This is a powerful and awesome rendition of the song. Enjoy. :)

Il Divo Singing “Amazing Grace”

Double the Slam…

Well - it looks like our homeland of Spokane has just got too much entertainment for a single weekly blogpost….say hello to: (drumroll please…) Double the Slam. I’ll post up some interesting shows/concerts/events/whatever looks pleasing to our advanced generation. Ha - enjoy!

Ain’t Misbehavin’: Thu - Sun. March 19-22
Sure to be the “electrifying” show of the month, Ain’t Misbehavin’ features 2003 Idol Winner Ruben Studdard and Frenchie Davis in this presentation of the Fats Waller Broadway Musical. Startin’ up at the INB Performing Arts Center. (Tickets on sale now)

Candlebox, Jet Black Stare, and Royal Bliss: Sat. March 21
Candlebox, this Seattle-based headliner is taking over the Knitting Factory with side-kick shows Jet Black Stare and Royal Bliss at 7 pm. (check out their tunes on MySpace…)

Ok…to mix it up a little bit, here’s two local art displays that sound pretty cool.

The Empyrean Coffeehouse features Josh Jalcoich and CJ Bruininks: Through Tue. March 31
Like Katie said in the previous ‘Slam’, the Empyrean is a great way to enjoy some good coffee, enjoy some good music, support the locals, and….wait…did I mention the coffee? - Cause that’s really a great selling point.  The Empyrean is now featuring artist Josh Jalcoich and CJ Bruininks. (this place has a super-cool website, check it out at empyreancoffee.com.)

The Bank Left Gallery features The Youth of Palouse: Through Tue. March 31
This is basically my area of the state’s version of the Empyrean, except with a more ‘tea-room and bistro’ feel.  In addition to featuring the ‘Regular Artists’, the Gallery now is now showing off the work of the young artists, grades 3rd through 12th, of the area with it’s first-ever kid’s show. (Their website can be found at bankleftgallery.com)

 

Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

After the demise of the Quotes and Recipes of the week, I am starting a new weekly post, focusing on a specific place in the world every week. The first place is The Big Apple- New York City. New York has the largest population of any city in the United States, and the 13th most populous city in the world.

New York is famous from everything to it’s food to, more recently, it’s Wall Street failures. The city has a newspaper that is world famous, the New York Times. One thing almost everybody has heard about is Broadway. Did you know that Broadway is actually 39 very large theaters located along or very close to Broadway street in New York?

Have you ever been to New York? Do you have anything interesting to offer the conversation? What is your favorite thing to do in big cities?

Side Note: I, like Chloe, need a cool name.  I don’t like Oh, The Places You’ll Go! It would be nice if it were 2 or 3 words. Any ideas?

Another Note: The map below will ave more lines added to it as we ’travel’ more places. I set it up on Travellerspoint. There are 2 reasons for this; I won’t remember where I’ve ‘visited’ unless I have some way to track it and it’s kind of a cool visual.

Left-Handed Presidents

When Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain took the stage for the presidential debates in November, viewers may notice both candidates scribbling notes with their left hands. Such a curiosity has occurred before: In 1992, all three contenders — George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot — were lefties.

6 of the 12 chief executives since the end of World War II will have been left-handed: Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, Bush number one, Clinton and Obama. (This is a disproportionate number, considering that only ten percent of people in the general population is left-handed.)

Question: Is it possible that right- and left-handed people — and presidents — think differently?

Does anyone know whether lefties are overrepresented among C.E.O.’s or world leaders outside the United States? By my calculations, left-handed presidents would be one in a thousand chance.

Obama’s BIG Bill

No one can really tell if the new president’s stimulis package will work or not…Democrats believe that the $787 billion dollar stimulis bill made up of tax payer money will invest in our economy and stockmarket to create and save 4 million jobs. The package is made up of 65% spending and 35% tax cuts to the middle class familys.  So far economist experts say that only about 23% of the bill will go in effect this year and will take about 3/4 of President Obama’s first term to be completely spent .

Mean while…Republicans are strongly against President Obama’s stimulis package, because the Republicans believe that this bill is way too much spending in tax payer money and not enough tax cuts.  One of the main focuses for their disagreement with Obama  is “who’s going to pay for all this???”  Republican leaders like John McCain said “This bill is generational theft and will have a hard impact on middle class Americans.”

But it’s already too late for the Republicans…President Obama and the Democrats already passed the bill, and right now are country is in the fate of the most expesive spending bill in the history of the world. The question is, “will it work???”

This information came from http://www.hannity.com/

What do you think of Obama’s plan???

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: No more…

Never again do I ever want to have to type the name of a newsprint publication, such as the Seattle P-I, followed by the words ‘web-shift’ and ‘bankruptcy.’ 

Today marks the final edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, a paper described as the “scrappy, blue-collar rabble-rouser to the staid, thoughtful Times.”  According to The Los Angeles Times, the P-I will become the “largest metropolitan daily to switch to an online-only publication.”

The Hearst Corporation, publishers of the P-I since 1921, recognizes the rough economy and it’s effect on daily publications.  “Hearst fought for for years to keep this place going. But time and these rotten economic conditions finally caught up with us,” says pubisher Roger Oglesby as he hands out the writer’s cancelling statement.

After an 146 year-history the Post-Intelligencer’s “nearly 118,000 weekday subscribers” are automatically being transferred to the city’s last remaining daily: the Seattle Times. 

“Personally, I’m just a little disappointed that such a rich news tradition has closed with so little regard for the core values that we strived to preserve during all the years we worked here,” says Kristen Millares Young, writer for the P-I.

This economy of ours hitting these daily publications pretty hard; How do you think this going to affect our country’s future in journalism? Should all papers switch to solely internet-publications?

 

The SECOND…something…

Ok, I know…this is getting somewhat pathetic; the name just hasn’t come to me yet. It will - every good name has to come eventually. (I even Googled “how to come up with good blog names”, and got a great website by Chris G, creator of the NANOWRIMO…but I’m still workin’ on it…)

March 13th (12-9 pm) and 14th (10am-8pm) marked the 11th Annual Home and Garden Expo, kickin’ off at the University of Idaho Kibbie Dome in Moscow.  (This may sound like your standard work-gloves-wearing, home-improvement-obsessed, ‘DIY’, Martha Stewart-y gathering of old farts…but I am proud to say that it’s just the opposite. 

This marks my 4th time attending and it gets better every time. First off, the awesome-ness of the Kibbie Dome.  You walk in, and not only can you catch the scent of amazing new cars and fresh gardening soil wafting through the bleachers, (two really great smells in my opinion), but you can also breathe in the delicious aromas of the food. Two words: delicious. Hmmm wait - …I guess I only needed one word to describe that one. 

To get a better picture of this shin-dig, just imagine a huge college fair. Except every time you see a table full of college information, forms, and free pencils - replace it with a local business trying to do some advertising.  There were booths by Staples, ReMax, Recycling Centers, the Pullman Aquatic Center, the Schwan Food company (with free samples!) and every construction business in a 50-mile radius of Moscow.  Plus about 15 spankin’ new cars from local dealers.

And a lil’ sidenote: The free stuff is much much better than any college fair. (I totally scored some free sticky notes and an orange…yes…an orange as an advertising-tactic…:D) 

But back to the food. The Home and Garden Expo not only features business from your local community, large and small, but the food is local too. We had to choose from Basilio’s italian food, Papa John’s pizza, even a mini-espresso stand!  (Well - there wasn’t any choosing with the espresso, it was a must.) I ended up grabbing some of Basilio’s portable fare - it’s one of my all-time favorite resturants in Pullman, WA.

My-All-Time-Tried-and-True-Favorite! (The Recommendation:) Another 12 oz. Americano for me! That mini-espresso stand was too cool to resist. And it’s hard to beat a hot cup of coffee on a really cold day. For lunch I enjoyed some of Basilio’s Tomato Basil Raviolini Soup - and this really does get two words: truly amazing! It was the perfect size and amount for a quick-pick me up before making my final rounds of the business booths.

Check out the Expo’s Official Site (Anyone want to reserve a booth for the VOX next year?!?) I’m all in!   Here’s the Palouse Expo!

Ever gone to this event? Does anyone have their own garden? Does this DIY-fest sound like a good time?

 

Selection Sunday

Here we are, just a couple hours away from finding out whose going to be dancin’ and whose going to be packin’ up until next year.  CBS is airing the selection show at 3pm, but ESPN will also be providing coverage through Sports Center.

Time to see if UConn or Memphis gets the number one seed, where Gonzaga falls, and which bubble teams will get a shot to mix-up the results in the big dance.  I’ll be here on this blog posting as we find out the selections.

Miss. St. stole another bid this morning really making some tough decsisions for the selection panel.

 

Craziness.

The Barreleye fish, alternately and quite aptly called the spookfish, does not have any eyes on the outside of its head.  In fact, they are entirely inside of the fish’s head; the two external circles on its face which appear to be eyes are actually nostrils.  How does the fish see then?  Its head is a transparent dome through which light passes freely and its tubular eyes can see.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8e0VuV6OHd4

Deep sea existence is wild.

NCAA March Madness

March Madness has more than arrived.  With Championship week almost complete, the selection comittee for the NCAA tournament has a list of teams who have clinched a spot and several teams to consider for the tournament.

The Sports section here at the Vox is going to do our best to cover the selection process tomorrow afternoon (3 pm on CBS) and the day to day happenings of the tournament here on the Vox Box blog.

For now I’ve listed teams who have clinched a spot by winning their conference tournament.

Let me know which bubble teams you think are in, and which are out during the selection proccess tomorrow.  Also, who are the number one seeds going to be in the tournament?  Finally, what seed have the Gonzaga Bulldogs earned for themself?

Spokane’s Entertainment Slam

Catchy name, right?!? (Pic by me.) So in addition to hitting up some super-cool entertainment/food/COFFEE places, I’m giving you all a heads up about some attractions that are heading straight for Spokane. Get ready to fasten your seatbelts; Spokane makes sure the show gets a little wild…:).

New Movie Releases: Fri, March 13. (Exerpts taken from the ‘7’)
The Last House on the Left - “Parents take revenge on the strangers who harmed their daughter.”
Miss March - “A young man awakens from a long coma to find his high-school sweetheart a centerfold model.”
Race to Witch Mountain - “A Las Vegas taxi driver must protect two youths who possess paranormal powers.”
Waltz With Bashir - “A friend’s recurring nightmare prompts a filmmaker to probe his own memories as a soldier.”

Barry Manilow: (NOT) Sat. March 14….he will be missed…
As you’ve probably heard, the much-awaited Barry Manilow show @ the Arena will be postponed ‘till Oct. 23. Dang…:). Anyone planning on going??

Spokane Chiefs vs. Kelowna Rockets: Mon, March 16
Due to illness, (two words: food poisoning…) this match was postponed until Monday. I may know nothing about sports but I definitely know that this is going to be good. Kicking off…well, more like ‘pucking’ - not puking - off at 6:00 pm at the Arena. 

SFCC Winter Concert Series: Tue, March 17 and Thu, March 19
Here’s how the ‘Falls celebrates the end of winter quarter. Choral Music will happen on the 17th while the Big Band will take place on the 19th; both shows startin’ up at 7:30 pm at the Music and Performing arts building auditorium.

Blake Shelton: Wed, March 18
Shelton’s bringing his fine country stylings to the Coeur d’Alene Casino at 7 pm.

Here’s the first taste of some of Spokane’s upcoming entertainment; Anthing you’re interested in??  Post the info of any future venues here - we could all use some good entertainment…

Bye, Bye Baby Daddy!

Bristol Palin has said goodbye to her baby daddy. According to a MSNBC story, here, Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston have broken up. The reason is unknown, but they have been broken up for a few weeks. An unnamed source says “I thought they would stick it out. But I think they can work together to raise Tripp.” Another source says that even those ‘in the loop’ don’t know why the couple split.

“I’m not sure what caused [them to break up] – it’s common knowledge,” says another source who knows the family.

Are you surprised? What are your thoughts on this?

(Artful painting of the split image was done by me.)

Was Anna Nicole Smith’s Death Really an Accident?

 Two years after former Playboy Bunny and TV star Anna Nicole Smith was found dead from an accidental overdose, authorities have annnounced that her lover/lawyer Howard Stern and doctor Sandeep Kapoor were arrested today for supplying her with a cocktail of drugs, including Xanax, antidepressants, and methadone.  A second doctor has been asked to turn herself in.  Authorities say the two doctors and Stern knew Smith was addicted to drugs, but supplied them anyway.  The combination of these drugs can easily “cause death, injury and permanent morbidity and disability,” according to CA Attorney General Jerry Brown.  As it turns out, that’s exactly what the drugs did.  

Read the whole story here

The doctors and Stern are being charged with unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance, among others. Should they be charged with murder? If a person willingly takes drugs and dies because of it are the “dealers” to blame?

Baby Wilson

A few weeks ago, I posted something about Baby Think It Over. It got some discussion. This weekend is my weekend to bring home the baby. It’s a bit of an experience, and it’s going to be a long weekend. A LONG weekend. I named my baby boy Wilson Cooper. Wilson’s a family name and Cooper’s just awesome.

So far, since it turned on at 4 PM, he’s been fed 4 times, had his diaper canged 3 times and has fussed for close to 2 hours total. I’m already exhausted. Right now my baby is… snoring, maybe? Or snorting like a horse? Not totally sure.

 

 

Welcome the Newbie!!

So - we’re adding to our ranks here at the Vox Blog! Give a warm and welcome ‘Howdy’ to our new blogger, Jeffrey! (He’s stinkin’ excited to be here! Love the enthusiasm!)

So this kid LOVES to talk politics - he reads about em’, watches tv about em’, breathes them, even puts milk on his daily bowl of Politic-O’s: It’s a passion. So get geared up and ready for some good debates, updates, and general governmental awesome-ness.

Let’s introduce the kid with a fun ‘Wild-Card’ style post. Politic free for all!

Anything bothering you in the White House these days? Who’s your favorite politician? Better Yet!: Throw your OWN topic in…and say hello to Jeffrey.

Last Recipes of the Week

As I already mentioned on the Quotes of the Week post, I have decided that this will be my last Recipes of the Week post. I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but ideas would be appreciated. What is your favorite thing to eat in the world?

What is your favorite type of cuisine (Chinese, Italian, Mexican, et cetera)?

Do you have a favorite recipe to follow?

The Last Quotes of the Week

I’ve decided that this will be the last Quotes of the Week. I’m going to start something new next week, but my 2 weekly posts, this and Recipes of the Week are going to be ending. I want to try something else, and want things that bring up a bit more discussion. So, for this quote of the week, come up with your own quote. We’ve done Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln; why can’t we have a Rae F. or Jeremiah S. quote? Make them funny, make them serious. Make them quotes you’ve heard or quotes you’ve made up. Make them inside jokes just for you to laugh over.

Mine would have to be “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself… and spiders and snakes and the list goes on. But fear is pretty much it.”

What is your quote?

Video of the Week

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wbn9F32TaA0

“I’m Not Edward Cullen” (a song about “how hard it is to live up to the example of a perfectly beautiful, perpetually-seventeen, bodily-functionless, millionaire vampire”)

Question: Is there anyone, fictional or otherwise, who can compare to one such as Edward Cullen? *coughMr.Darcycough*

Effects of “Global Warming”

All this talk about global warming spurred me on to find a video about it. Well here ya go.

Maybe there is such a thing as Global Warming?… Nah.

“I live inside myself…”

A Pennsylvania man was cited for DUI on Tuesday. However he claims that he himself is a sovereign nation, so the court cannot dictate what he does. Get a load of this:
Scott Allan Witmer, who represented himself, said he believes police lack jurisdiction to pull him over. As he said in court: “I live inside myself, not in Pennsylvania.” He said there is no victim in the crime and asked to go to trial.

He won’t be released from jail until he’s undergone psychiatric evaluation.

Sovereign nation, eh buddy? Good luck with that one…

What do you all think? Is this guy just trying to avoid charges or is he truly a bit of a nutcase?

Another school shooting?

Yes. Another school shooting… Only this time, it took place in Germany. A 17-year old, identified as Tim Kretschmer, entered his high school in Winnenden, Germany, and open fired on his peers and teachers. It seems like it all happened rather quickly.
Entering the high school where he graduated last year, he burst into morning classes and opened fire, taking students and teachers by complete surprise.

“Children were sitting at their tables, with pencils still in their hands, their heads fallen over on the table,” said regional police director Ralf Michelfelder, describing the grisly scene that his officers found. “Most of them had shots in their head — it must have all happened in seconds.”

Kretschmer left the school hurriedly after shooting 9 kids, and 3 teachers. A police chase ensued, and ended at a dead end street where police found Kretschmer dead. He had shot himself in the head. This AP Article from MSNBC included a section where classmates shared with reporters their relationship to Kretschmer and how none of them had ever known him to be a “bad kid.” However one girl had met Kretschmer only a short bit ago and said he had shown her a note that he had written to his parents.
Sabienne Boehm, 12, said she recently had met the shooter and that he had claimed fellow students at the high school had mocked him and teachers there ignored him.

Three weeks ago, she said, he showed her a note. “He wrote to his parents that he’s suffering and he can’t go on,” she told the AP outside a memorial service at a town church late Wednesday.

School shootings such as this one are tragic. This particular one actually wasn’t Germany’s worst school shooting, but it was devastating to say the least. From 1996 up to know there have been at least a dozen major school shootings in the US and other countries. (Mainly Germany, Finland, DeKalb, and Scotland.) This wasn’t the first, and unfortunately, it probably won’t be the last.

Read more here. Also, here’s a video depicting the event a little more:

I don’t know that I have a question for this one, but feel free to discuss this and other school shootings/incidents, or anything relating to this.

What Would You Have Done?

At Ferris High School there is a daily news broadcasting show called FIN: the Ferris Information Network. The show essentially broadcasts the Daily Bulletin, which includes everything from sports updates to senior class announcements, as a pseudo news station piece by Ferris students to the entire school.

After every program a post-show is played as entertainment for both students and staff. The post-shows are student work that is created in the filmmaking and Ferris Information Network Broadcasting classes. Topics that post-shows cover can literally be anything. In my four years at Ferris, I have seen many different mini-films, ranging from a stop-motion adventure of a Lego toy who transformed into a full-fledged boy to an episode of a teenager being stalked by and eventually eaten by a trash can. Obviously, there is more than enough creativity for students to entertain their peers. However, not all post-shows are what is considered “school appropriate.”

The video attached to this article was not made by me. My friends who were a part of the FIN program made this to be aired as a post-show. The film teacher, upon viewing their piece, rejected the video as inappropriate. My friends thought differently.

In the video there are jokes made against homosexuality: basically, they had made fun of gay people indirectly in their film parody of eHarmony. The film teacher thought that it would offend students that were gay or possibly still “in-the-closet” students and that it should not be aired.

Needless to say, my friends were outraged.

Here’s the question: was the gay joke that big of a deal?

Was the homosexuality piece the only thing not “school appropriate?” Do you find any other qualities of the video that was offensive? What about the video do you think gives it reason to be aired or to be spared from students and staff, or in this case, Ferris High School?

What would you have done? Would you have aired it?

Global Warming: Science or Scare?

Global warming is a hot debate topic in our country today, but is it actually in existence? Cliff Harris and Dr. Douglass attack the concept from an opposing stand point.

In “The ‘cold truth’ from Dr. Douglass about global warming,” Cliff Harris dissects the research performed by Dr. William Campbell Douglass II, M.D., to disprove the idea of global warming.  A chart with global temperatures dating back to 2500 B.C. and running through 2040 A.D. pointed out major temperature swings, which Harris then used to compare against averages from recent times.  His findings weren’t anything extraordinary, either.

In Harris’ opinion, the concept of global warming has been blown out of proportion due to politics, paid researchers, and environmental activists.  He says, “Until this global warming hubbub, climatology wasn’t considered a life-or-death issue the way medicine is. …Since global warming has become a divisive political minefield, there’s big-time grant and research money being tossed about to help politicians (regardless of their stance on the issue) make their points. …The same climatologists and researchers who advocate global warming are often being paid to study it.”

His opinion, research, and evidence may or may not be enough to sway someone on the topic, but check this out.  He concludes his article (published February 20th in a local newspaper) with weather predictions for the rest of February and early March, based off the data he gathered from earlier temperature swings.  Cliff Harris’ predictions for February were dead on, as are his March predictions thus far.  Harris wrote, “Early March should feature some snowy and cold periods with lower than usual snow levels down to the valley floor locations, even along the warmer lakes that are currently free of ice. …Stay tuned.” 

Even if the entire idea of global warming is not real, the fear of its possibility is enough to “scare” the United States into acting for the benefit of the environment, which can protect the U.S. from other environmental problems.  By acting in environmentaly concious ways, the United States safeguards itself from negative environmental effects AND global warming, if global warming exists.  Could this whole issue be nothing more than a scare?  If so, is it because no one knows whether global warming exists, or is it for other reasons?

Dances (or Raised?…) with Wolves

Ok - this was an intersting story to come across.  Remember the days when we used to crawl about on all fours, roll around, and pretend to drink water out of a bowl like our family pets? Good memories…yet for Ukrainian Oxana Malaya, this was life.

One of only 100 known in the world, Malaya is a “feral child.” In other words, she was truly raised by dogs.  The Telegraph, a jolly paper straight out of England, reports that Malaya was left outside by her “indifferent, alcoholic parents”. To find shelter, three-year old Oxana crawled into a small kennel that was also housing dogs.

Malaya was discovered nearly five years later by a neighbor.  At the age of eight, “Oxana could hardly speak and ran around on all fours barking, mimicking her carers.”

Yet as unique as this case appears to be, The Telegraph also reports that this story lacks the scientific foundation: ” “She was like a small aniimal. She walked on all fours. She ate like a dog,” is about as scientific as it gets.”  Officials declare there was no “written documentation about her physical and phychological state when found.”

Now 26 years of age, Malaya is living in a home for the disabled in Ukraine having incredibly improved social skills. “Superficially, you would never know this was a young women raised by dogs,” commented Lyn Fry from Channel 4 after meeting Oxana.

Do you believe Oxana’s story? How would YOU report this case to police?

 

 

Welcome to Opposite-land…

Here’s a basic fact about myself : I love free papers. And The Inlander has definitely got to be one of my favorites. While flipping through the March 5 - 11 issue(Vol. 16, No. 20), I came across a dynamite collabo’ piece by Daniel Walters, Derek Casanovas, Joel Smith, Jordy Byrd, and Nicholas Deshais.

Titled, When Down is Up, this article investigates 10 jobs that arn’t feeling the economic problems, each one saved by one simple fact: The rest of us are feeling it. Here’s the list:

Repo Man - The first line is brilliant: “An ‘07 Porsche Cayman sits in [repo man’s] garage. Oh, it isn’t his. He swiped it - legally.”  Ahhh…such irony, such truth. Daniel Walters reports that auto repossessions “jumped 12 percent” between the years of 2007 and 2008.

Box Officer - What’s really bringing the public to the Garland Theatre?: Is it their great prices or the bottomless popcorn? Only charging $3.50 a ticket, the Garland is seeing a huge jump in ticket-sales. “It’s not rocket science,” said Martin Kaplan, an entertainment-scholar at the U. of South Carolina. “People want to forget their troubles, and they want to be with other people.”

Beautifier - Botox: “It’s the ultimate pick-me-up with instant gratification,” says Kelly Richardson, Reflctions Med Spas’ exec. director. That’s all we need to hear.

Gamer - Just like the movies, video games are becoming the talk of the town. ”People are just trying to brighten up their lives and find something that’s going to give them some enjoyment.” And enjoyment there is; video games can be bought for cheap, resold for cash, and played for hours. One word: Ka-ching.

Check out the full at: The Inlander, online.

(Read on, more are listed below.)  But so far, what jobs do YOU think are doing the best? How do you think YOUR dream-future profession is going to fare through the times?

THE FIRST! - …something

Alright - so here’s the first official ‘Adventure of Chloe Rambo’…yet I still don’t have the right name for it…it’s gotta be something dynamic (!), something catchy (!), something memorable (!). I’m lovin’ all of your ideas! So I’m going for something like Anthony Bourdain’s ‘No Reservations’…that’s the absolute perfect title for his show. It’s hardcore like Tony, memorable like Tony, and has a neat-o double meaning…(cause we all know that Mr. Bourdain is wayyy to cool to make standard resturant reservations AND the fact that he’s pretty fearless in what he does…) I’ll keep thinking on the whole ‘title’ thing…

Anyways - I thought it would be pretty cool for the first un-named post to give all you Spokane-teens a taste…(or at least a description of the taste), of where I’m from.  So I hit up The Green Frog, an amazing little coffee-shop/cafe with mega-personality.

Complete with it’s own grocery, library, and post office, the town of Palouse, WA is one of the ‘more civilized’ places in Whitman County. (And only about an hour and fifteen minutes from Spokane…)  Now throw The Green Frog into the town’s mix and we’ve got a town that’s quickly becoming a musical and cultural hot-spot, all thanks to this little addition in the business community.

Not only do owners Tiana and Paula feature Thomas Hammer coffee, espresso, (*ahhh!) and gourmet teas - they’re also servin’ up warm soups, sandwiches, wraps, even homemade (and crazy-delicious!) baked goods.

But what makes this place so unique, so slammin’, so popular in a small-town area? 3 words baby:  Open Mic Nite.  The Green Frog puts on a live-music fiesta every first Friday of the month, while also featuring a smaller “Live Music and Pita Pizzas” every Thursday.  (These nights are super-popular…come early or stand.)

My Official-and-Total Favorite!: Warming up with a 12 oz. double Americano and an amazing ‘Cherry White Chocolate’ scone. (That’s what I enjoyed the day I took these shots!…yummm.) But if you’re hitting up for lunch, I always reccomend the mini-pita pizza. Perfect with melted cheese and fresh olives. Check out their page on Palouse’s website: http://www.visitpalouse.com/greenfrog.html. Over and out!

You got any skills to show off at an ‘Open Mic Nite?’  Where do YOU guys find the most scrumptious scones??

 

A Worthy Cause

Many people don’t know that March is MS Awareness Month. This is a disease that is affecting millions each year with devastating effects. Get involved and volunteer this month by emailing msaa@msassociation.org. Even the smallest efforts help!

Read Between The (New?) Lines

I know one of my favorite things to do is sit in Barnes and Noble at a cafe table with a coffe and read all afternoon. My friend asked me yesterday, “What do you do in bookstores?” I told her “I read books.” I don’t remember how the rest of the conversation went, but I know that it the end product was that she said that bookstores weren’t necessary, because everyone uses them as libraries anyway. I disagreed, but then we (gasp!) actually had to start Language Arts work. My reasoning was that sometimes you just want to buy a book, or need to buy a book.

I found a fantastic article in a college newspaper, The Maine Campus, called Bookstore Readers by Spencer Morton. I would be very interested to know local stores’ ideas on ‘free reading’.

EDIT: Just called Barnes and Noble in the Valley. Jeff said, when asked what Barnes and Noble’s policy on ‘free reading’ is, that “We have no problem. You can come in, grab a coffee, sit in a chair and read all afternoon.”

It got me to thinking: Do you read books in bookstores, without buying them afterwards? Is this an okay thing to do? What is your explanation or opinion on either for my friend’s side or mine? In these economic times, have you visited a library more and a bookstore less?

Video of the Week

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

“Facebook Off”

Two college students battle for the heart of a girl by hacking each other’s Facebook accounts.

With the heavy influence of Facebook these days, could this become a reality? Is it now a reality?

BRAND SPANKIN’-NEW! - …something!

Alllrighty - so here’s a…(like I previously exclaimed..) BRAND SPANKIN’-NEW section that’s going to be hitting the blog weekly. I’d like to call it the ‘Venue of the Week’, or ‘The Hot Spot’…or ‘Cool Places for Cool People Like Us’…(hmmm. Perhaps shorten that to ‘CPFCPLU’??)  Anyways - I’m looking for a good title and want all of YOU to help me out.

Here’s the lowdown: Every week I’m gonna check out a new place in the Spokane-area.  It could be a coffee shop, resturant, neat-o grocery store, boutique, - maybe even some little kid’s lemonade stand.  But here at the Vox Box, you’re going to get all of the details and insight.

Any concerts coming to town?  Cool festivals? Slammin’ shows? New businesses? You’ll hear about it. Feel free to comment up and give me some ideas. Tell me where to go next! (I’m allllways up for a new coffee house - anywhere, anytime…:)…) Love it.

Over and out!

What should the name be? That’s my main question; every good adventure had a name….

“Honey, You’ve Eaten Your Engagement Ring.”

When Reed Harris decided to put a diamond ring in his girlfriend’s milkshake as part of his proposal, he didn’t expect her to swallow it.

Ever heard of a great proposal story? One that your fiance is bound to remember forever? A woman’s boyfriend hid it in a milkshake to propose to her, and she swallowed it. And she “felt nothing at all.”

The idea was innocent enough: put the ring in a drink and let his girlfriend discover it. But a bump hit when she ate the entire shake and never found the ring.

And they got it all on camera. Including the part where the proposer leaned over to her and whispered in her ear that she swallowed her engagement.

Of course, they got an X-ray image, and with it he got down on bended knee and asked for her marriage.

Kaitlin Whipple and Reed Harris were on ABC America Sunday, showing off her ring, which she digested naturally…

When I read this, I honestly thought the woman was a 300-pound food addict who couldn’t get enough. Then I realized that her friends had challenged her to a race to drink the milkshake, and she was too competitive to lose. Woops. But this isn’t the only time a full-grown woman has ingested something that was not intended for nutrition purposes…

Quotes of the Week

I’m leaving it open this week. I’m going for song lyrics, but feel free to add any you like. I’ll put 2 or 3 in under 1 theme

Theme 1:

Finding Yourself

 Song 1:

Amazing Grace by John Newton

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Song 2:

Chasing Pavements by Adele

Should i give up,
Or should i just keep chasing pavements?
Even if it leads nowhere,
Or would it be a waste?
Even If i knew my place should i leave it there?
Should i give up,
Or should i just keep chasing pavements?
Even if it leads nowhere

What are your favorite songs to listen to? Any that really strike you as fitting this theme?

Excessive or Required?

If fifteen-year-old Malika Calhoun thought being arrested was bad, she was in for a surprise. Calhoun and her friend “borrowed” her friend’s mother’s car without permission. After they were arrested, Calhoun claims the police officer was verbally abusive and that they exchanged words. Once she was placed in a holding cell, jail footage shows Calhoun kicking her shoe at one police officer, who responded by slamming her up against a wall, throwing her to the ground, and pulling her up by the hair.

You can see Malika’s interview and footage of the assult here

While police force is often required in dangerous situations, it is clear that Calhoun acted out of anger, and that the officers involved were not in any danger. Was their response simply procedure, or do you think excessive force was indeed at play?

Another Birthday…More Cake?

Well - I tried to be a clever blogger and think of a catchy rhyming title for this but I got nothin’. Dr. Seuss could think of a rhyme for anything, (or at least make one up…); especially as we celebrate The Cat in the Hat’s 50th birthday. (I’d bet the Cat’s birthday party would be a little different than the Hot 100’s shindig…)

Described by Wikipedia, the famous Cat in the Hat is “a tall, anthropomorphic, (given human characteristics…) mischievous cat, wearing a tall, red and white striped hat, a bowtie, and an umbrella.”  Anthropomorphic? That word probably took me longer to pronounce than it would to just read the book…

So how do we celebrate a breakthrough work of children’s literature such as this?  Seussville.com is hosting a “Happy Birthday Cat in the Hat!” page putting heavy emphasis on getting all of the neighborhood kids reading.  Community members, siblings, parents, and teachers alike are asked to participate in the NEA’s National Read-Aloud, thus bringing books into the lil’ guys’ lives.

(You can even send the Cat himself a fancy-shmancy e-card…rawr…)

Gettin’ Reele with Michael Steele

Coupled with the refusal to dismiss the partisan stubbornness of their waning party, the senseless, Pallinesque rise of Bobby Jindal from obscurity to clarion-calling Republican spokesperson, and the tendency towards mass-criticizing Obama with the exact same verbiage on fifty different channels from fifty different people, the GOP has decided to dismiss that terrible, acronym-ruining “O”  that has made them so unappealing to a generation that is simply unwilling to accept old as the new black. 

How did they do it?  They got Grand ole token black man Michael Steele to act “hip” and “urban” in one of the most hilarious cases of accidental irony thus far in 2009.  That, or they’ve so wholly given up that they’ve just decided to lampoon themselves with a constant and singular appeal to the “out-of-touch” crowd, who actually does bear an impressive showing at the polls each year. 

Because it’s late and I have a couple essays to get to, I’ll let Stephen Colbert fill you in on what I’m talking about.

The Grand Young Party… now that’s something I can get behind.  Mostly because GYP is only two letters from “GYPSY”, and I think Hendrix’s chemistry with Cox and Miles was eons beyond the tired limitations The Experience began to place on him.  Maybe the “Grand Young Party that’s [totally] Super Young [seriously we are]”?  

Seriously, Band of Gypsies was an unequivocal power trio.

 

Federal Gov’t no longer allowed interference with state medical marijuana laws, says US Attorney General


The DEA has notoriously undermined the legalization of medical marijuana in states such as Portland, California, Colorado, and our very own Washington by arresting distributors and users of marijuana intended for medical purposes.  Though given legal amnesty by their respective state governments, medical growers and medical users, the latter of whom are often seeking self-therapy through marijuana use for such diseases as lymphoma, cancer, glaucoma, and AIDS, remained unprotected by federal law despite the 1996 chain reaction involving California’s legalization of medicinal cannabis and the several states that followed suit.  But it seems that, in the spirit of the Obama administration long-hailed promise of change, things have actually changed.

During his campaign, Barack Obama declared that raids on medical marijuana patients would no longer occur in states that had legalized the medical use of THC.  Attorney General Eric Holder, in response to recent DEA raids which brought doubt to this hopeful promise, stated on CNN, “What the President said during the campaign … will be consistent with what we will be doing here in law enforcement… What [President Obama] said during the campaign… is now American policy.”

In 2001, Obama publicly announced his stance on the legal status of marijuana.  Of course, he did not push for legalization, whether out of opposition to the stance or out of a conscious understanding that no pro-legalization candidate would be able to make significant headway in the election, but he did support the decriminalization of marijuana, which would make the penalty for possession, if any.  Twenty-one states have already taken this step, though some have not done so on a statewide basis (such as Washington, where lenient penalties in Seattle differ from harsher ones in Spokane), while many conservative states resist such measures with great passion. Some are speculating that marijuana may be entirely decriminalized by the end of Obama’s presidency, with inevitable but slightly superficial comparisons being drawn between FDR’s adamant and complete repeal of alcohol prohibition, saying something along the lines of “It’s time for a drink.”

What do you think?  Is it a good thing that medical marijuana patients can no longer be prosecuted by federal officials?  Will Obama decriminalize recreational marijuana use with the words “it’s time for a toke”? And is this bad or good?




That’s ‘Hot’…

It’s a fifty-year old that’s still relatively cool: Billboard is celebratng 50 years of keeping tabs on the music world’s ‘popular crowd’.

First published in Billboard’s August 8, 1958 issue, the Hot 100 was the “first list to measure popularity by incorporating both radio play and sales.”  So basically everything that’s begun migrating in the mainstream makes it on the Hot 100, often thus making it hated (or shunned) by music ’purists’ and ‘alternative-lovers’ alike. 

Just like the music industry itself, the Hot 100 has progressed with the generations.  Ricky Nelson was the first to score No. 1 with “Poor LIttle Fool”, while Flo Rida and Ke$ha currently rock the title with “Right Round”.

Billboard.com is celebrating with great lists galore. Check out the brand-spankin’-new countdowns featuring “One Hit Wonders”, “All Time Top Artists”, and even “Top 100 Songs of the Year - 1958-2007”, (what I like to refer to as the ‘Full Monty’…)

What are YOUR favorite Hot 100 tunes? Which ‘unknown’ or ‘underground’ songs do you think deserve to make the list?

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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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