Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Left vs. Right By Christina Barron

Have you ever heard someone you know talk about how they believe they use one side of their brain more than the other? Chances are, most of us have. But if you haven’t, or if you don’t quite understand this concept, let me enlighten you.

First of all, the 'left brain vs. right brain' theory is just that. A theory. It has yet to be 100% proven, but it is a relatively simple theory based on stereotyping that most people accept because of general observations. The theory developed from the epilepsy research of Roger W. Sperry, receiver of the 1981 Nobel Prize.

 Basically the theory hypothesizes that one side of their brain holds dominance over the other and this affects the person’s personality and his or her strengths of intelligence. The side of dominance is different from person to person.  The theory is based on an aspect of psychology referred to as lateralization of brain function.

People will say things like “I’m left brained” or “I’m right brained”. If a person believes they are left brained, this is probably because they identify their thought patterns as logical, analytical, and critical. While the person who believes they are right brained they identify with being more thoughtful, subjective, and intuitive. In academics, this usually means that the left brained person is better at math than they are with English because they like to be organized and rational, while the right brained person enjoys English because of its potential to be abstract and promote deep thought and feelings.

Even though you may have dominance towards one side, remember that the two cerebral hemispheres do work together. The left side of the brain is responsible for words, numbers, analysis, lists and controls the right side of the body. The right side of the brain is responsible for color, rhythm, spatial awareness & depth perception, daydreaming and controls the left side of the body.

While the 'right brain vs left brain' theory makes sense and is a very interesting consideration of how our Creator made our brains to work, it is important to remember that scientific theories do no define us.  Below is a set of pretty poetry that sums the importance of them both working together to make life beautiful while casting out the typical stereotypes of the two sides. 

(Quote collected via tumblr, original source wasn't noted) 

Monday, March 23, 2015

San Antonio Spurs by Logan Chapman

Coming closer and closer is the looming playoffs for the NBA and the San Antonio Spurs still have a lot of ground to make up if they want to reach a higher seed.  The spurs started off slow but have as of late gained a lot of ground on the dominating Golden State Warriors. Kawhi Leonard, last years mvp, is staying strong wand is scoring a lot of points. The difference between the spurs and most teams is that the spurs don't have any stellar players who dominate the whole team but instead choose to focus on playing the game like a unit.  This has caused them great success over the years with their 5 championship wins and the Spurs has been looked upon as one of the greatest franchises in the games history.  Hopefully this can translate onto the court as the playoffs loom.

March Madness by Logan Chapman

Its that time of the year again.  Time to drop your jobs and sit down at the tv for what seems like hours on end because its March Madness.  Currently we are in the sweet 16 which are all the teams from the 64 picked to be in the playoffs who have one their two games to get there.  Already there have been a great many upsets including the loss of Kansas (2) to Wichita St.(7) who was not expected to make it very far.  Leading the pack as the number one team in the entire bracket is Kentucky who has had a stellar year not losing a single game.  Still what is widely known about March Madness is that anything can and will happen which is why it is called madness so sit back on your comfy sofas and grab your wings because this is going to be an interesting post season.

Golf is a Real Sport by Logan Chapman

It may not be as aggressive as football, as difficult as basketball, or as exciting as a nascar race and sure people in their 80s can still play the game, but in my opinion golf is the hardest and most exhilarating sport on the planet.  In most sports you can have an off day and still win because you are apart of a team, but in golf you are by yourself throughout the competition and this adds an exuberant amount of pressure which has been known to break professional golfers to the point of breaking and throwing golf clubs.

 In my opinion nothing is more satisfying then hitting the absolute perfect shot and having it do what you want it to do.  This feeling tops scoring a point in any other sport because us golfers realize the incredible skill and luck it takes to hit an incredible shot and how much harder it is to hit a tiny ball into a hole only slightly bigger from two football fields away than to shoot a big ball into a basket only a few feet in front of you.  So many factors of physics go into play as a good golfer is able to make a shot go left or right just by hitting the ball a different way or have it shoot really high in the air or run along the ground.  Where most other sports are repetitive, golf is always changing as every course is different and a skilled player must learn every course in depth to the point where the type of grass plays a factor.  The final difference that makes golf the best sport is the unmatched beauty of a golf course especially when it runs along a coast line and most other sports are played on a court or a field that never changes.

So for anyone saying that golf is boring or not a real sport all you have to do is go out and play a round sometime and you will see that golf is not a game you can just be naturally good at and how golf is the hardest game that man has ever invented.

Trending Music Review: Uptown Funk by Logan Chapman

Holding steady on the Billboard Hot 100 at rank number 1 where it has been for the past 11 weeks is the song Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and featuring the vocals of Bruno Mars.  Basically if you have managed to not have heard this song yet than you deserve in award because this song is everywhere.  Just like last years number 1 song Happy, Uptown Funk is being played on every station and talk show and it is almost impossible to not learn this whole song.  Mixed with the insanely talented vocals of Bruno Mars is a beat which throws back the whole song quite a few years to the funk days.  This hiccup from the normal sound of current music I believe is what has grown the songs fame along with the talented style and star persona of Bruno Mars.  If you ever want to test out just how popular this song is all you have to do is start humming the base line and I can almost guarantee you that someone will join you in singing this massive hit of a song.  

Trending Music Review: Believe by Logan Chapman

Making its Billboard Hot 100 debut as the highest debuting track of the week at rank 31 is the new song Believe by Mumford & Sons.  It has been awhile since Mumford & Sons released a new song and this song is going to be apart of their next studio album titled Wilder Minds which is their first album since 2,012 which is when the whole band went on hiatus.  The normal sound for this band is a very folk sound with many string instruments like banjos, but Believe has a different kind of sound to it which I find more resembles OneRepublic.  For this song they have subtracted many of the sounds that we know best from this band and have changed up their whole style adding in an electric guitar and a keyboard.  This song, though different, truly is very good as the vocals and keyboard are the focus and Marcus Mumford showcases his voice brilliantly creating a song which i'm sure we will be hearing for many weeks to come.

Trending Music Review: FourFiveSeconds by Logan Chapman

Holding steady this week on the Billboard hot 100 chart at number 5 is the song FourFiveSeconds which is a collaboration of vocals from Rihanna, Kanye West, and Sir Paul McCartney.  Very rarely in the music industry does a collaboration of three massive artists take place and even rarer is the song actually very good but the stars aligned as this song was created and now America can't get the chorus out of their heads.  The vocals of Rihanna and Kanye West are what most people would say really drives this song, but in my opinion the main focus of the song and what sets it apart so much is the amazing guitar skills of Paul McCartney.  This guitar creates an amazing background for the song which brings out every detail in this track.  The only downside that I must give this song is that it is very repetitive and it has a tendency to get stuck in ones head very easily which can be kind of annoying at times.  Aside from this song being overplayed on countless radio stations which greatly impacts how we feel about the song, FourFiveSeconds is a true example of what a good collaboration song should look like.

The Most Horrifically Fun App by Mason Chapman

If you are in the mood for a scare but don't really know how to get one, there is a great game for it. It is called Five Nights at Freddy's. This is an app that will literally make you jump in fear and get your heart pounding.

The game is set in a pizza place. The pizza place has robot suits that serve the costumers. You are a night guard in the game. At night the robot suits activate and go looking for children to serve or employees to help. When they robot suits find you, they realize that you are not in a suit. So they begin to try to stuff you into a suit no matter what. This is how you lose the game.

The game is full of jump scares and is not for the faint of heart. However it is an extremely exhilarating game and is worth the money.

Six Flags Tips and Tricks by Mason Chapman

Summer is coming up and that means that if you are living near a Six Flags you will undoubtedly visit it. Here are some tips to have a fun time for alot less money.

1. Summer can get hot and when it does you will get thirsty. Rather than by a drink or a water bottle, go to the nearest restaurant and ask for a water. They will give you a nice tall cold cup of water completely free.

2. If you don't want to spend a lot of money for a locker in the water park, go to the nearest roller coaster and purchase one for a dollar for two hours. This is a much cheaper way to keep your stuff safe while you are riding the water rides.

3. If you want don't want to wait in long lines, go against the crowd. The tendency of the crowd when the park opens is to go to the nearest rides. If you walk all the way to the back of the park and work your way up, you may or may not even have to wait in a line at all and if you do they will be much shorter.

If you follow these tips you will have an even better time at Six Flags! 

Be sure to visit the Facebook Page: Six Flags Fiesta Texas Tips and Tricks for more helpful information. 

Trending music review: Love me like you do by Logan Chapman

Holding steady for the past few weeks on the billboard hot 100 chart at rank number 4 is the song Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding.  This song was originally created for the soundtrack to the fifty shades of grey movie but has now become one of the most popular songs for the current music trends.  This song showcases Ellie Gouldings vocals with many runs and changes in pitch for her voice which is what she excels at.  This song, being much slower in tempo then many we are used to Ellie Goulding singing like the song lights for instance, brings a whole new dimension to what we believed she was capable of doing.  In my opinion Ellie Gouldings voice in this song is what takes it to a more emotional level and what brings the song to life.

Mission Impossible is Becoming Reality by Mason Chapman

The apple watch is coming April 24th. I am personally very excited for this. I know that it has almost no practical use besides making things just a little bit faster to get to, but I think it is really cool. Its like a child's dream come true. These were in all of the sci-fi shows and movies. For instance Buzz Lightyear talks to star command through his wrist in Toy Story. In Mission Impossible they always had cool, concealed gadgets to communicate with. It was every kid's dream to have a cool gadget like those characters and now we can. This is truly an amazing creation. 

Why Vine is The Best Social Media by Mason Chapman

Vine is an interesting idea for social media. For those that do not know, Vine is a social media app that people post 6 second videos to. Getting your point across in a 6 second video seems like a really hard thing to do. This makes people who Vine actually kind of talented. Some Viners make a video every day. To come up with a new idea everyday for a new Vine is actually really amazing.

Vine does something amazing to our culture as well. Because the videos are so short, people have the ability to watch a lot of them very quickly. This means that pretty much everyone who goes on Vine, which is a lot, has seen the same vines. If one person thinks a vine is funny then undoubtedly someone else will think it is funny. When this chain reaction happens enough, a vine trend happens.

Vine trends can be really stupid but they bring us all together a little bit and help us relate to one another. For instance one vine that went viral was this little kid saying the word twenty-one in a really weird way. Once enough people had seen it and thinking it was funny, people started making parodies off of this video. Then everyone started seeing these parodies and started saying the word twenty-one in a whole new way. If you go around a teenager now and say twenty-one there is a good chance they will look at you and say twenty-one how that kid says it.

Vine helps people bond together. If you are in a group of people a vine that someone has seen will usually come up. If the rest of the group has seen it, then they will all start talking about it and quoting it. Then they will start talking about more vines and bonding together.

Some people may see vine as dumb. However I see vine as an incredible social resource that helps people bond together and one that has shaped modern culture.

Political Scandal of the Week: Cruz by Caleb Wright

Recently, there was a gigantic change in a relationship very dear to my heart. Well, actually, it wasn’t a gigantic change so much as it was a change in label; I simply get to call it something else now. And while that may not seem all that significant, in reality, it means the world to me. That change in label has honestly changed my entire outlook on life.
The love of my life, Ted Cruz, has officially declared his candidacy.
Everyone saw it coming. He already has the third most visits to Iowa (an important Republican caucus), according to informational site P2016.org. He creates his image in such a way in the national press such that many people, regardless of whether or not they agree with him, view him as a viable candidate. He’s a fringe candidate in the Republican Party, and uses that to his advantage – he decries the Republican establishment (who was never going to like him anyway), in favor of the more conservative base (especially in his home state of Texas).
But, fascinatingly, there is controversy over whether or not he’s even eligible to run. To quote Article Two of the Constitution:
No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States. 
Ted Cruz, despite his Texan constituency and Cuban roots, was born in Canada. Yes, the land of maple syrup, hockey, and communist health care. The natural born citizen clause is perhaps most interesting because it’s never been officially interpreted; no definition of “natural born citizen” was brought up in the Constitution, and the only court interpretations have been regarding citizens born in America to foreign parents.
Cruz’s situation is a bit different. At birth, he was an American citizen, thanks to his mother’s American citizenship, but was also a Canadian citizen (he has since renounced his Canadian citizenship). Based on the most common interpretation of the natural born citizen clause, he’s eligible to run, since he was a citizen “at birth.”
There have been a few, but not many, other times when the natural born citizen clause has been called into question. John McCain was born on a military base in the Panama Canal Zone to US parents, calling into question whether or not a military base counted as “in the United States,” and whether or not his citizenship from his parents would count. There’s only been one elected President where this was an actual issue. Chester A. Arthur, who became President in 1881 after James Garfield’s assassination, faced issues, according to J. Gordon Hylton of Marquette University Law School:
The controversy over Arthur’s citizenship status centers around the place of Arthur’s actual birth. By one account he was born in his family’s home in Franklin County, Vermont. If this was true, then he was clearly a natural born citizen. On the other hand, the competing account has it that he was born during his pregnant mother’s visit to her family’s home in Canada.
If the latter story is true, then Arthur was technically foreign-born, and in 1829, citizenship in such cases passed to the child only if the father was a United States citizen, and, of course, at this point Arthur’s father was still a citizen of the British Empire. 
Based on the interpretation Cruz is using, Arthur wouldn’t be eligible to run (much less become Vice President, since the same eligibility rules apply to both offices) since, at the time, citizenship couldn’t pass through the mother (thank you patriarchy). But, McCain would be eligible, and so would Barack Obama, even if he was born in Kenya, thanks to his mother’s citizenship.
But, most likely, this is a non-issue. Democrats and Republicans would much rather debate about other things that don’t matter instead of Constitutional law that doesn’t matter; back in 2008, the Senate passed a bipartisan, technically non-binding resolution declaring McCain eligible, just to get it out of the way. Citizenship will most likely not prevent Cruz from becoming President; his road to the White House has many obstacles, but the natural born citizen clause won’t be one of them.

A Mind Blowing Thought by Mason Chapman

Our brains are very powerful. We have the most powerful brains out of any creature on the planet. They are so powerful that sometimes when we dream, we thin we are actually in real life.

Well what if real life isn't real life. What if your real life is actually just the thoughts of you in a coma in a hospital bed in some other reality that you are not even aware of because you think you are actually living. All of the things that happen to you in this life that you think you are living are actually just thoughts that your brain is creating in its coma state to try to compensate for you being in a coma. What if all of the supernatural occurrences that we see happen in real life or on tv is actually someone getting through to us while we are in the coma. Maybe they are talking to us while we sleep in the hospital bed and this is influencing the "dream" that we call real life. Well one might say that this theory is stupid because people go into comas in this "dream" so that means that there is no way we could be in a coma in this alternate reality thing. Well yes people do go into comas, but what if they are just descending to another level of an alternate reality and we are influencing that reality by talking to them. One might then ask what dying means in this "dream" thing we call real life. Well that is simple. Dying is like taking the red pill in the Matrix. You ascend to the other reality waking up from your coma to live the life that you were meant to live. Unless the reality that you died in was the third level. If you die in the third level you go up to the second level. The problem is, there is no way of knowing what level you are actually on.

*I actually do believe that we are living our actual lives I just thought this was an interesting thought.

The Best Diet in the Entire World by Mason Chapman

There are a lot of diets out there. Some of them work, and some of them do not work. I do however know of one that works very well because I did it myself. I used to weigh 210 pounds and now I weigh 160 with this diet. And it only took 6 months! It really does work.

The diet is called the Primal diet. It is basically trying to get people to eat like cave men and not eat all of the junk that we eat today. 

The Primal Diet: Basically all you have to do is just not eat bread, drink sugary drinks, or eat sweets. This also includes not eating chips or potatoes. Avoid fried food as well. If you can do this then you can do the Primal Diet. 

What the Primal Diet does to you: When you stop eating lots of carbs, after four weeks your body goes into a state called ketosis. When this happens your body basically naturally realized that it has all of this extra fat stored up for no reason and it has to use it. Your body will just start eating away your fat and you will not even really have to do anything. You may want to exercise a little by lifting weights but your body will naturally do most of the work. The key is to stay with the diet and not to veer off. 

Now a lot of people might be scared of this diet and think that there is no possible way that they  can do it. If you do think that, then you are just lying to yourself. Here are the steps you have to have to stick with it. 

1. Have a goal in mind. If you want to get to a certain weight or look a certain way then have that goal in mind. Think about that goal every day. This will motivate you to stay on the diet.

2. Treat yourself like you have an allergy to bread or sugary drinks. This will help you overcome the temptations that will happen through your primal diet. 

3. Make sure you eat a lot of the stuff that you can eat. You can eat any kind of meat or cheese. You can obviously have vegetables. Fruits are fine because they are natural sugars. Do not make the natural sugar excuse with any kind of soda though because that will throw off your ketosis. The nice thing is, is that you can eat as much of this stuff as you want to because the diet is not about controlling your calorie intake, rather it is about controlling the amount of carbs that you eat. 

If you can follow these steps, then you can look like how you want to look like in no time at all. 

Things to Never Try: 1 by Mason Chapman

This is a SuperSoaker flame thrower. As fun as this looks, this is very very dangerous. Putting lighter fluid inside of a gun and sticking a match in front of it is never a smart idea. The fire ball could flash back and explode the gun. No one was harmed in this picture but it could have very possibly happened. Please do not ever try this at home or really anywhere because it is extremely dangerous. 

The Van Theory by Mason Chapman

I have a fairly large youth group. The thing about my youth group is that not all of us know each other. We recognize each other's faces but we don't ever really get to know one another. Unfortunately this can tend to form cliques in the youth group. I am fairly certain that many youth groups have this same issue. However the van theory, is a way to disband these cliques. 

I have seen many new people come into my youth group. A lot of times these new people are too shy to go talk to anyone and we are too comfortable to just talk to our own friends that we already have. This can lead to the new person feeling left out of the youth group. The van theory is also a way to solve this.

The van theory is basically this. If a youth group tends to go on a lot of trips, they usually need a way to get there. Typically a youth group will have a van or a bus for transportation. When a new comer or different people who are not common friends get into this van, a strange thing happens. Everyone tends to bond together. They bond over the music and the strange conversations that will undoubtedly happen on a trip in the van. The van theory after enough trips, has brought my youth group so much closer together than we used to be. It has also made new people feel as though they have been in our youth group for a long time. If you feel like you are left out I would strongly encourage you to go on a trip with your youth group and see if the van theory works for you.  

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Give Iran Nuclear Weapons by Caleb Wright

Allow me to enlighten you to the fascinating world of Homeschool Debaters, with an anecdote of what we contrive in our free time. The following is a plan a debater and I developed in between rounds; the original inspiration was a case devoted to stopping Iran from having nuclear weapons. The purpose of this alternate plan was to somehow justify giving nukes to Iran.

Affirmative Philosophy: The only way to achieve stability in the Middle East is having a balance of powers, that is, several regional powers, each with varying interests and motivations, and each able to keep the others in check.

Mandate 0. Before the rest of the plan is carried out, get the European Union and the United Nations to put sanctions on Saudi Arabia for humanitarian purposes, which won’t be a very difficult task because nobody likes Saudi Arabia except Saudi Arabia.

Mandate 1. Give nuclear weapons to Iran, remove our current sanctions on them, and allow them to sell their oil in Petrodollars (a practice that lets them sell oil in United States dollars on the global market). Make those three things conditional on them respecting human rights more.

Mandate 2. Give nuclear weapons to Jordan. Jordan is the most moderate country in the Middle East, and will balance everyone.

Mandate 3. Give nuclear weapons to Iraq. Make it conditional on them forming a more stable government. Doing so will balance the Shiite government of Iran (Iraq and Jordan are both Sunni).

Mandate 4. Give nuclear weapons to Israel, and invest in desalination programs to help their impending water crisis. Doing so will make them a little more happy with the United States after empowering all of their enemies.

At this point, four major players in the Middle East have nuclear weapons, and are able to balance each other quite well, since there’s a moderate Islamic country (Jordan), a Jewish country (Israel), a Sunni country that still has a sizable Shiite minority (Iraq), and a Shiite country (Iran). However, Saudi Arabia is incredibly angry, especially after:

Mandate 5. Put sanctions on Saudi Arabia, and remove their Petrodollar deal.

Now, Saudi Arabia is going to try to continue selling their oil. The EU will already not buy it thanks to Mandate 0, but Russia might.

Mandate 6. Have a deal with Russia, essentially giving them Crimea, in exchange for them placing sanctions on Saudi Arabia. The EU won’t be happy about it, but they don’t matter.

The Saudi’s might also sell oil to China.

Mandate 7. Invest heavily in the fracking industry in China to help solve their energy/pollution problems, in exchange for them sanctioning Saudi Arabia. All of this will also be funded through Chinese debt, so they’re happy with us anymore. This investment will also help the fracking industry domestically, since the price of oil will fall after this plan and fracking will go down.

Helping China will make India angry, so:

Mandate 8. Have a free trade deal with India to pacify them.

Helping India will make Pakistan angry, so:

Mandate 9. Have a free trade deal with Pakistan to pacify them.

Now, Saudi Arabia is controlled economically, and all the people they might acquire a nuclear weapon from won’t sell it to them because we’ve entered in agreements with them (Russia, China, Pakistan, and India), because it would damage their interests (Israel, Jordan, Iraq, and Iran), or just because they’re not idiots (France and the United Kingdom).

We can pressure Saudi Arabia into human rights reforms in exchange for removing the sanctions, but still not give them or allow them to acquire nuclear weapons, because we want them to be at a disadvantage.

All the players in the Middle East are balanced such that we don’t have to constantly interfere, there’s a drastic incentive to fight ISIS (so that they don’t acquire weapons of mass destructions), and the only people angry are the entire European Union (who nobody likes) and Saudi Arabia (who nobody likes). World peace achieved.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Political Scandal of the Week: Putin by Caleb Wright

Today, something fascinating happened. Russian President Vladmir Putin returned after a ten day absence. During the ten days in which the world managed to survive without constant pictures of shirtless hunting and bear riding, many analysts speculated the reasons for his disappearance, ranging from simple health problems to a secret coup to Putin personally participating in special operations in Ukraine.

In reality, none of these were true, and nor was he holed away somewhere with a new girlfriend and child (as some in the European Union insisted). His personal spokesman said he was in perfect health, and that his handshake could still “break a hand.”

Which brings us to the more interesting take-away: the cult of Putin. Russians, stereotypically, want strong leaders and policies. That’s the idea behind most of their recent foreign policy actions regarding Ukraine, and even their domestic policies regarding Russian homogeneity and the imprisonment of the LGBT community. But, Putin has taken it to another level with the pervasive image of him as the ideal strong man (who actually isn’t even that ripped in the first place). To quote CNN analyst Frida Ghitis,

Does Putin ever catch a cold? Does he ever get sick? The Kremlin doesn't want to allow Putin's image of virility and strength to become tarnished by the weaknesses of mere humans. Putin rules in the old-fashioned style of a personality cult. The system requires propaganda and image control. It needs Putin to be larger than life.
In reality, this damages Russia. Having your entire international position as a country rest on one man is ridiculous. The United States (thankfully or unfortunately, depending on who you ask) is not solely represented by President Obama. The only other country with such faith in one single leader is North Korea, where Kim Jong Un’s recent disappearance caused the same grasping at straws among commentators. A strong Russia is not one where a single leader possesses all of the country’s public image.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Use Better Fonts by Caleb Wright

For the love of all that isn't Comic Sans (aka all that is holy), use more fonts than Times New Roman, Arial, and Impact. Fonts are a fascinating area of design -- in no other aspect of "art" can a change of a few pixels mean so much. If you every want to see real anger, simply go to a Typographer's Convention (yes, they exist). Check out this stylistic guide for fonts, courtesy of Plato Web Design:

Friday, March 13, 2015

Cool 3D Art by Amy Yarbrough

There are all sorts of different artists. Some like to draw cartoons, some like to draw realism... And then there are the ones that want you to feel like you're going to fall into a chasm! But it's cool nonetheless!

Things to Do While You Have a Sprained Ankle by Amy Yarbrough

  Spring break is a great time to have fun with friends… But don’t have too much fun, because then you’ll end up stuck inside with a sprained ankle… So if you're like me, and should never be let out of the house without some sort of protective padding, here’s a list of things to pass the time!

1. Drown your sorrows in coffee. 

2. Torment your sibling until they finally leave the room.

3. Get a sudden urge to do productive things even though you can’t.

4. Clean the window so you can see the beautiful day from a safe distance.

5. Wish you could use said beautiful day to go running.

6. Laugh because you wouldn't run even if you weren't injured.

7. Play pitiful music on your guitar.

8. Stalk people on instagram.

9. Contemplate life.

10. Eat some food.

11. Watch Netflix until you realize you have to write a blog post.

11. Stare at a blank word document for an hour.

12. Write a list.

13. Repeat.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

                   "The Most Beautiful Woman In The World" ~ By Cara Haley
     Hedy Lamarr was an Australian and American film actress. She  was a beautiful star that stole the audiences heart away with her performances. Praise for her glorious looks, she was promoted as the "world's most beautiful women".  But other than her glamorous life that most admire her for, she was also one intelligent inventor for her time.  During her career as a successful actress, she co-invented the technology for spread spectrum and frequency hopping communications. She used her role as a women to her advantage. She learned quite a few things about torpedoes during her former marriage to Friedrich Mandl, an Austrian arms dealer that worked with the Nazis.  She was silent, secretly expanding her knowledge.  "Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid." And when she fled away from that alluring "gold prison" to America, she took with her not only her phenomenal theatrical skill and her exquisite beauty, but also the useful knowledge of military technology   
     During World War II, Lamarr was inspired to contribute to the war effort. She focused her efforts on countering torpedoes. With George Antheil, an avant garde composer and a dear friend of hers, Hedy Lamarr founded the creation of a frequency hopping system. This new technology became important to America's military during World War ll because it was used in controlling torpedoes.  Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil discussed the fact that radio-controlled torpedoes, while important in the naval war, could easily be jammed by broadcasting interference at the frequency of the control signal, causing the torpedo to go off course.  They  developed the idea of using frequency hopping to avoid jamming. Their method was achieved by using a piano roll to unpredictably change the signal sent between a control center and the torpedo at short burst.   The specific code for the sequence of frequencies would be held identically by the controlling ship and in the torpedo. It was nearly impossible for the enemy to scan and jam it for this implement was simply too advanced with power. The frequency-hopping sequence was controlled by a player-piano mechanism, which Antheil had earlier used to master his Ballet Mécanique.  Both Lamarr and Antheil used cognition from their past lives to help advance their idea to the next step.  This early stage of wireless communication they created  was the main foundation of GPS, Galileo,  GILO and  NASO satellites, Bluetooth, cellphones, and digital wireless systems.  No later than a decade after Hedy invented this astounding device, it became a basic military technology. 
    Though this invention was a form of careful instructed intelligence, Hedy Lamarr was never truly appreciated with thanks or even an award. Her gifted implement was taken away and used. But not with despair, Hedy reached out and made something marvelous, not allowing the high democracy of sexism that dictated the era's choices control her.  She kept inventing as a passionate hobby, one in which she allowed no one to discourage. She was a Hollywood scarlet with ambition. Except in the matter of her beauty, which she valued least of all, people regularly underestimated her. A few ever saw beyond her charming looks to her intelligence.   Hedy Lamarr was finally inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014. She invented to challenge and amuse herself, but mostly to bring order to the world through chaotic. And this, she truly succeeded. 

                                     Picturing Beauty ~ By Cara Haley

       Life imitates art. Everything has a design. Nothing fails to have once obtain a structure of uniqueness. Somethings are overly used and copied, but there are a few that develop from something entirely brand new. And these things are truly amazing. What quite a few forget to see is that something  materialistic can be considered a form of ingenuity.  The world of fashion is an art itself.  Don't believe me? The industry is more than the models seen on top. There is an entire populated  crew supporting one piece. Dedication and dreams are carefully sewn into it. But even before that, it all simply starts with a thought. Yes, one simple thought connects are visual picture in an idealist's mind. All things start with a blank canvass. With this, the designer earns the title of an artist that achieves the greatness of creating a masterpiece.  Here are some exquisite designs that lived so much further than some crummy blank page. 

"Time to Blossom" by Jessica Durrant
Time to Blossom 
 ( Unknown at the moment) 
"She turned to the sunlight And shook her yellow head And whispered to her neighbors:"Winter is dead."
"Sasha Pivovarova" by Cedric Rivrain 
  "Alessandra Ambrosia" by Shamek Bluwi
 Dazzling Jewel

American Accents By Sydney Quanz

I have lived n Texas my entire life, however, I convinced myself that I don't have a Texas Accent.  After taking a quick look at this fun Map that shows the difference in how people say things across the USA, my perspective has completely changed.  I think I may talk more like a Texan than I previously thought. Look through these maps that show the way americans talk differently to see if you fit the normal dialect for where you grew up!

Four Obscure Bands By Sydney Quanz

Everyone knows that one friend who considers themselves so ahead of the times, catching the trends before they become popular and then once they reach popularity, stating with indifference how overrated that book/band/movie/style is.

A Hipster is always quick to flaunt his hipster-ness. If the converse, skinny jeans and obscure band t-shirt don't give it away from the start, then carefully crafted comment such as: "That Band? Oh, I liked them before they were cool," will clue you in.

Unfortunately, I am that friend. I actually enjoy finding good music that isn't well known. Its fun, and you get to help support musicians that don't have the luxury of topping the charts. In my quest for obscure bands, I have found bands that have finally surfaced to the mainstream radio stations. For example: at the beginning of this school year I couldn't wait for Bastille to release their album in America because I had been listening to them on You Tube ever since they released in Britain. This spring though, I began to here "Pompeii" progressively more, until I muttered to myself in disgust: "The mainstream masses are here".

But, I digress. Here is my list of my favorite lesser known bands. Enjoy.

1. MisterWives
    I discovered the MisterWives on Spotify at the beginning of the year. Their sound is different and fun, filled with strong beats and uplifting melodies. Most of the focus is on the incredible vocals of Mandy Lee, who somehow manages to maintain a unique tone while hitting high and low notes with crystal clarity. Their EP, Reflections, is well crafted and truly a great listen from start to finish, but the songs that stick out to me are Vagabond and ReflectionsReflections captures the insanity that comes without closure in a relationship, and the freedom that comes with letting go. Vagabond is the melodically beautiful, somewhat bittersweet call of someone who has been through hell and back. It both mourns the journey and celebrates the finish.

2. Duologue
    I downloaded Duologues album, Song and Dance, off of Noise trade because it was described and unique and innovative. I bought the album having no idea how much I would come to love it later. The time signatures of the songs are different, the arrangements are unprecedented, and the music is compelling. Often I would listen and wonder how on earth the band could make such strange sounds fit together and become a song, like in the chorus of Machine Stop. Yet some songs start with the melodies naked and alone, such as Underworld, only following with a haunting synth part and complex beat. My favorite song on the album is Zeroes. Its passionate chorus, daring lyrics and driving riff never fail to move me.

3. Coast
    I honestly have no clue how I ever came across Coast, but I remember what caught my ear from the beginning. The guitar picking was excellent, especially in the chorus of Your Soul, and the songs were truly lighthearted and enjoyable. I knew from the first listen that these were the type of songs I would want to jam to car when no one was around. The lyrics are what kept me listening however. When I began to read them, I felt that I was reading a love letter or a poem, not an modern alternative song. For example the lyric below from Stone is particularly classy and poetic.

She said, "I want a real rose"
Colors and everyone knows
The dust kicked up from your shoes
Floats like angelical moons
Silhouettes in the corners of your mind
Sublime like the cracks of your smile
Pray that I'll keep you covered
Collapse the trees that shudder

Coast won my heart, and rightfully so, with poetry not music.

4. Magic Man
    From the moment I heard Paris, I was prepared to buy the entire album. Magic Man is modern, with dubstep synths that music from the 2010's will make its signature sound.  The beats are foot tapping good, and the melodies are catchy and memorable, while the vocals are quiet good for the genre. My favorites will undoubtably be Paris and Waves. Both stick in your head, in a good way, and are dance-alone-in-your-room worthy. Though Paris is somewhat known, I hope that the rest of the album will get the publicity it deserves.

Timeless Art By Hannah Haley

    One thread of fabric. One strand of imagination. One idea. Its marvelous, passionate, and daring. It baffles critics and allures aficionados.While a storm of madness swirls behind the scenes, the finishing touch is awe inspiring. It is altogether timeless.
      Clothes has been with man since the great fall. But how you wear the clothing is crucial. Fashion, one might say, is a walking land of turmoil, but it really just depends on the current trends. For say, a classic item of fashion will always be the black leather jacket. That's a trend that will never die out as fashion progresses. 
       Blouses, jackets, jeans, skirts, dresses, scarves, the list goes on! Fashion is truly endless. However, with its never ending runaway, a lot of flaws and mistakes can and will be made. With that said, it's best bet to avoid those flaws. But how? For starters, never ever wear boots in the summer. It's not cold and nor is it winter. Do not, under any circumstances, wear boots in the summer. Another issues is "short shorts." Goodness, how is letting your butt show anywhere near classy or even fashionable? Yet, that is a terrible trend right now and a lot of girls are making that mistake. They'll regret it when they're forty, I'm sure. Another horrible trend is yoga pants. Makes one want to almost choke at the sight of them. If you don't do yoga, don't wear yoga pants. They're not even pants, but considered otherwise. 
     Furthermore, trends can be a good or bad thing, but it is up to you to decide if that trend is for you. We all have different personalities and style. While one might think red and orange blend together, another won't (seriously though, red and orange do not mix. It's a fashion crime to do such a thing). But if you could rock what you wear and love it, go for it. Just always consider this in mind when you put together an outfit: is it me? Is it my style? Does it blend well? Never forget those thoughts as you put together a piece of art. 
     Lastly, fashion is a force to be reckoned with. Flaws are normal so keeping on walking on your runway. Never let your mistakes haunt you by repeating history (though some trends would be nice to come back). Go out into the world with class and enjoy the compliments about your fashion you receive. After all, you are a unique individual who allows your clothes to reflect no one other than yourself. 

"Inside Out" Pixar's Upcoming Masterpiece By Sydney Quanz

Finally, the movie I have been waiting three years for: Inside Out. This new masterpiece is from Pixar Animation Studios, which you might know from any of your most favorite childhood movies, (Toy Story, A Bugs Life, Ratatouille, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo ect.). Pixar is known for pushing the limits of our imagination beyond cheesy talking animals. They have explored world where toys can talk, rats can become cooks, robots can fall in love and superheroes can be part of normal families. However, for the past couple years Pixar has been lacking in the innovation department. Of their past four movies, there was a sequel, a prequel, the end of trilogy and an Irish Princess. though Brave was good, Toy Story made me cry, Monsters University was entertaining and Cars 2 just bombed, they each lacked the inspiring imagination that Pixar has made its trademark.

That is until now.

Inside Out is the story of a middle school girl, Riley, who moves to a new town, told cleverly through the personifications of her emotions: Anger, Fear, Sadness, Disgust and Happiness. These five characters live inside Riley's mind and show the complex battle of emotions that come with adolescence. Thus far, this movie looks like a creative way to understand the depression and anxiety that we all face at one point or another, with the positive message that there is always a bright side.

If this riveting concept doesn't make this movie and instant classic, then the colorful animation and  the vocal performance of Parks and Recreation's Amy Poehler, SNL's Bill Hader, The Office's Mindy Kaling and Phillis Smith and Lewis Black will make this animated feature one to remember.

The Trailer for Inside Out:

Second-A-Day Child of War By Sydney Quanz

Everyone has seen those second-a-day videos where you watch a child grow from an infant to teenager, a man propose to his wife every day through whiteboards, or a expecting mother go from super skinny to holding a child in her arms. By using this method, people have found a enchanting way to show some of life most precious moments over time, and it beautiful. However, Save The Children has finally decided to tell one of life's tragedies through a second-a-day film. It is haunting to say the least; and an important reminder of what war does to children.


Why You Should go See Pride and Prejudice! By Sydney Quanz

For the past ten years, SAC Day's Theatre  Class has built a reputation in the Homeschooling World for its fantastic productions. With over a hundred students, five directors and several family Dynasties; its seems that every year SAC day has somehow been able to produce a better production. Let 's take a walk down memory lane, shall we?

Two years ago, Mrs. Belinda Dunn took over as Director and took on Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing".  This play was driven by the playful relationships between the characters, and the inspiring elements that made the cast take ownership of Shakespeare's work.  Dogberry;s invisible police car, Benedict posing as a bartender, the watchmen with water guns and the brilliant (completely planned) extra scene with the Reverend and Leonato.  The set was simply, but gave ore focus to the fantastic cast.  The lead cast included Caleb Warren as Benedict, Robyn Scott as Beatrice, Kenneth Graham as Claudio and Ashley Mills as Hero. 

Last Year, Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" hit the stage with its natural turn-of-the-century wit and charm.  Heading up this production, Mrs. Dunn outdid herself with a fantastic set, great costumes and blocking that blew Much Ado About Nothing out of the water.  The comedy was the perfect mix between the goofy slapstick of Dr. Chasuble, and the clever word play of Algernon. Tied with the brilliant comedic diction of Oscar Wilde and the natural talent that hit the stage: The Importance of Being Earnest was arguably the best production in recent history.  The lead couples were played by Sam Dunn as John Worthing, Timothy Warren as Algernon, Mikayla Halsell as Cecily and Sydney Quanz as Gwendolyn.

How does SAC Day's Theatre Production class expect to follow these acts?  Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice will be taking the stage this April 24th & 25th. However, it won't be the yawn fest, quiet, proper Pride and Prejudice that your mom knows and loves. Taking the story back to Roaring Twenties, this production promises to be saturated with the same life, edge and drama that defined that decade.  The play revolves around the Bennet family and the romantic exploits of their daughters, involving the love-struck Jane who seems to have found “the one” in Charles Bingley, and her judgmental sister Lizzie, who is determined to hate the intimidating Mr. Darcy. With the pressure from the past generation to marry, the girls meet a circus of interesting characters such as the longwinded Reverend Collins, the charming officer George Wickham, snooty Caroline Bingley and the proper Lady Catherine(not to be confused with Lady Bracknell).  Amidst the love and betrayal, the wit and charm of the supporting characters will keep the audience interested.  

Director Naomi Phillips has cast most of the roles for the play. Junior Sydney Quanz has been cast as Lizzy Bennet, while Mr. Darcy will be played by Junior Jackson Waschek. Jane will be played by Hannah Belle Gamble, and Junior Mason Chapman will play Mr. Bingley. Some of the other cast includes Freshman Amy Yarbrough as Mrs. Bennet and Senior Kenneth Graham as Mr. Bennet. Sophomore Tiffany Prescott landed the pivotal role of Lydia Bennett, and Freshman Marie Mott will play her sister, Kitty. The Paragon of Virtue, Mr. Wickham, will be played by Michael Scarpino.  Expert creeper Mr. Collins will be played by Junior Caleb Wright, and Freshman Aubrey Fagan has been cast as Charlotte. The pointless drunk guy, Mr. Hurst, whose wife Louisa has mysteriously disappeared from the play, will be played by Freshman Austin Oden. The terrifying Catherine De Bourgh will be portrayed by Kenzie Carnahan, who may or may not be a Junior, and Logan Chapman, who is definitely a Junior, will play Colonel Fitzwilliam. 
So buy your tickets and keep your calendars open for April 24th & 25th to see the SAC day Production Class put on their best show yet!