Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Random Facts of the Week

♥ The moon weighs 18 million tons

♥ The shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes

♥ The average person’s left hand does 56% of the typing.

♥ There are more chickens than people in the world.

♥ Porcupines float in water.

Rant of the Week

On the annoyances of not having access to the internet and trying to write a review

It’s kind of crazy how much we use the internet in our lives now if you think about it. I’m sitting here trying to think of how to start a review on the movie “The Quantum of Solace” for our local paper, and I’m getting absolutely nowhere. Why? Well, first of all, the movie was awful. It was action packed, but it had no plot. It was just about Bond’s shallow struggle with revenge, and he killed everyone interesting anyway. But probably the biggest problem that I’m having is not being able to go online. There’s a word I’m trying to think of, one that means “no consequences”, in reference to James Bond’s killing habits, but I can’t think of it and my phone modem is down, so there’s no thesaurus.com to look it up. I guess I could go find a hard copy of a dictionary (do we even own one?) but I would have no idea what word to look for. I need Google even to tell me one possiblility of a word, because you can’t just go typing in “no consequences” in the thesaurus box. Also, a review should probably have a reference to what other people around the world think of the movie, like online polls, box office sales, or critic’s ratings, and I don’t have access to any of that information without my internet. The movie was really bad though, so it’s not like I can’t guess what everyone else thought of it. But still…

This has been the “Rant of the Day” with the editor

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Random Facts of the Week!

-There are more doughnut shots per capita in Canada than any other country

-Children grow faster in the springtime

-40,000 Americans are injured by toilets each year

Friday, December 12, 2008

Twilight- Movie Review

Yesterday, I was offered the opportunity to begin writing movie and music reviews for our local paper. My first is on "Twilight", the object of my obsession for a long time... so here it goes:

A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine and I went to Findlay to see “Twilight”. We had been waiting for weeks for the movie to premiere, and on the car ride there, we were giggling and clapping our hands in excitement like little kids on Christmas morning. Both of us had read the Twilight series, by Stephanie Meyer, and fallen in love with her characters, especially Edward. The plot of the story seems generic; A teenage girl falls in love with the gorgeous and seemingly unattainable boy (one Edward Cullen), who turns out to be an immortal vampire. Of course, it can’t end there. This vampire family is “vegetarian”. They hunt animals rather than people, because they don’t want to be monsters. It’s hard to resist humans though, and when one of them falls in love with the girl, it becomes more and more dangerous for them to exist.

We arrived at the theatre, bought our popcorn and sat down in the best possible seats. We had come early, hardly able to contain our excitement, and had to sit through 45 minutes of ads, sitting on our hands, trying to contain ourselves until the actual movie started. We weren’t alone in this though. The movie had made girls all over the country (and even the world) crazy with anticipation. Eventually, the movie started, and we spent an amazing two hours finally seeing the books come to life.

There were parts in the book that didn’t make it to the film, one of which I missed especially. There were a few extra scenes also but none that clashed with the theme and feeling of the book. There were also some details that they left out in an effort to make the movie less confusing, which I guess makes sense, although it’s slightly frustrating for fans of the books. However, all of the pivotal scenes were kept, which is good, and more than many books-made-into-movies can claim. As a big fan of the books before I saw the movie, I can honestly say that I approve. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty close.

Of course, not everyone has time to read a 498 page book, especially one aimed at teenagers (Although, there’s an internet movement going on now called, “Twilight Moms” for 30+ year olds who love the series). So, it’s important to know how the movie would be to a person who had never obsessed over the books. I talked to some of my friends, and I couldn’t find one that didn’t like it. (Well maybe one, but he hadn’t seen it, so it wasn’t exactly fair) My grandparents even enjoyed seeing it! I think the reason that the books are so appealing is that, even though it’s considered “fantasy”, it was completely relatable. There’s a first love which is dangerous and intense, and at the same time, very sweet and innocent, but most of all, completely forbidden. The onscreen chemistry was shockingly real and the acting was believable. Maybe the best part of this movie is the family of vampires. You’ll fall in love with them. Each character is surprisingly well developed and, of course, inhumanly beautiful, with golden eyes and pale skin.

And, you can’t have a movie without a climax, of course. You’ll get your fix of action and suspense from the flick when there’s a conflict with another vampire coven… one that isn’t “vegetarian”. There are some intense parts, and one that is slightly disturbing, but nothing too bad. Also, there is one scene when the leads kiss, but not too much more. Don’t take anyone too young (it’s rated PG-13), but it’s appropriate for most people.

So, is it worth paying nine or ten bucks and driving a half hour to the nearest big movie theatre to see? That depends. If you’re ready for a bit of cheesiness, a couple tears, and some predictability, then definitely! But there are also more important issues that are underlying the story: Moral and ethical dilemmas. If you were made into a vampire, a monster, would you have the strength to resist everything that you were made to be and do? Is it worth fighting against yourself to get back some of your humanity? If you can live forever, what do you live for? I do think that it’s a movie that you should see eventually, and while it was made for the big screen, I’m sure seeing it on DVD will be almost as good. In fact, when it comes out in the spring of next year, I’ll be first in line to get it!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Random Facts of the Week!

And now we have our random facts of the week...
The microwave was invented when a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.
Pigs can run a mile in 7.5 minutes
My sister Sara commented on this; "That's better than I can do!"
So there you have it!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

So, there's this photo editing site: picnik.com
And I'm in LOVE with it! :) Today I had some fun with New York City.

Here's the original picture I got from Google Images-

Sunrise on the city that never sleeps...

Wish you were here!

This is New York City.... in 1961

And here we have the sci-fi city...

There's so much that you can do, and it's really easy. Anyone can use it! Plus, it's free!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bogus to Bubbly

Bogus to Bubbly
by Scott Westerfeld
reviewed by Hannah

I have been waiting for this book to come out for years! My friend Kallen gave it to me for my birthday last week, and I read it during that day at school. (I'm not exactly sure what the teachers taught that day) Scott Westerfeld wrote the "Uglies" series, which, despite the name, is actually quite good. It had to do with ethical and moral issues in a "Utopian" community. It's a good series, because it really makes you think! It's sci-fi, but it actually has a plot and characters with real feelings, which I have found many sci-fi books lack.

This is a guide book, subtitled, "An insider's guide to the world of Uglies". Inside is information about the world which Westerfeld has created. Some sections include the science of beauty, a guide of the gadgets and technology mentioned, and the beginning of one of the books in a series from a different character's perspective To someone who only read the series once, this is an interesting read. I, however, have read the entire series 3 times (I'm sorry-- they're my favorite. haha) and so I knew most of the content already.

I did learn some new and quite random facts, which was cool; The phrase "I love you" is said exactly twice total. Also, the unit one character uses to measure beauty, milli-helens, originates from Helen of Troy, whose beauty was said to launch 1000 ships.

I would definitely get this is you see it, but only if you first read the 4 books in the series: "Uglies", "Pretties", "Specials", and "Extras". Those books, along with this guide, will give you an exciting and disturbing look in the direction our world is headed and an absorbing conspiracy plot of our planet 200 years in the future.

All we need now is a movie!

Untitled- by Kerry

We have our first submission to "Bubbles". It's a short "flash fiction" story by Kerry, a senior in high school. Enjoy! :)

(c) Kerry / PsychoticxFreak
714 words, 21 November 2008

“My name is Carter Anderson. I am the son of the people you murdered and I will hate you forever.”
One day I’m going to say that to the man who ruthlessly murdered my parents 10 years ago. I will get my revenge someday, Ponce Westley. Someday soon.
For now, though, it’s time to celebrate.
“Happy Birthday, Carter!” my family, friends, and fellow community members yell. I smile and blow out the candles. Kind of dorky, I’ll admit, but that’s how we do things here.
Aunt Millie and Uncle Jesse—who were my legal guardians until I turned 18 today—have invited everybody in the community for a barbeque at the village park. There must be a hundred people here, a fact that bothers me because I don’t like large crowds. It’s fantastic that so many people showed up, of course, but I like my alone time too.
So I head for the woods. Much of the park consists of a forest with various hiking trails going through it. They all eventually lead to (and around, if you choose to go further) a large manmade lake. I head up the main trail.
I’ve been hiking for about 10 minutes when I come across another hiker. He’s about Uncle Jesse’s age and is wearing very old, beat up clothes. I don’t know him, but that’s not much of a surprise. Even in a town as small as Shannon I am constantly running into people I’ve never met.
We strike up a conversation. He’s not from the area, but he’s here for the weekend to visit a friend. He doesn’t tell much about himself other than that, but he seems interested in my life. I tell him about my friends and my family. When he finds out that I’m living with my aunt and uncle, he asks where my parents are.
“They were murdered when I was eight by some crazy idiot.” I say, trying to sound nonchalant.
“I’m very sorry to hear that.” he says. He sounds like he really means it, too.
“I don’t like to talk about it.”
“Then let’s talk about something else. What year are you in school?”
Our conversation continues until we reach the lake. It’s hot out and I would like to go for a swim. My new friend says he wants to keep walking, so we part. I take my shirt off and dive into the murky water.
The water envelops my body like a cool blanket. I move with confidence despite the fact that it’s hard to see more than two feet in front of my face. My friends and I swim here often and nothing’s ever given us any trouble.
Then, suddenly, I see a huge boulder in front of me. I’m heading straight for it at top speed. Too late to turn around…

When I come to, I’m lying on the grass soaking wet. My new friend is sitting next to me, his clothes drenched.
“Are you okay?” he asks.
“Yeah, I guess so…” I feel a little dizzy when I try to sit up. He gently pushes me back down.
“Don’t get up.” he says. “You need to rest.”
I gladly obey his orders and remain on my back. My rescuer is silent as I slowly recover.
When I finally feel well enough to stand up, I head back down the trail. My new friend follows me, catching me when I stumble. By the time we get back to the park he’s as good as carrying me.
My family greets me, my aunt in hysterics. “We didn’t know where you’d gone! Everyone is out looking for you. JESSE! We found him!” She then notices the good-sized lump on my head where I hit the rock. “What happened?”
I explain everything as my friend holds me up.
“…and he saved me.” I finished.
“Thank you so much for rescuing Carter!” Then my aunt looks puzzled. “But who are you? I think I’ve seen you before.”
“I am Ponce Westley.” Seeing my shocked face, he adds, “Yes, Carter, I am the ‘crazy idiot’ who killed your parents.”
I can think of nothing to say but, “My name is Carter Anderson. I am the boy whose life you saved and I will be grateful to you forever.”

**editor's note- we had a question about this story from a reader, and I'd just like to clarify that this story is "flash-fiction" It was posted on a website that's subtitle was "Stories as short as my attention span", so, that's the reason it's such a quick read**

Monday, December 1, 2008

The first post!

Ever since I was in 5th grade, I've had an interest in journalism. I first published a work called "The Hannah News" -- I know, creative! Anyway, It had articles about people in my family who believed in aliens, poems that my little cousins had written, a story about extremely good intuition on the part of a family member. Nothing special, but definately a good start as a 10 year old. I made about 4 or 5 issues and even started charging for a subscription to my mini- newspaper/magazine! Eventually I ran out of things to write about, because quite honestly I was to lazy to actually do any real research, and too young to understand most of the interesting things happening around me anyway.

Now, as a high school student, I'm taking the first step in making "The Hannah News" come back to life. My new magazine/newspaper will most likely to called "Bubbles", the reason for which I will discuss soon. I know that my writing won't be perfect, and to be realistic, it isn't likely that I will keep it up for a long time, but I'm going to try and write articles about whatever interests me at the time, normally about things like books, movies, technology, and my personal opinion on what's happening in the world. I'll probably sound naive to some, but I'm hoping that this blog will help me become a better writer, and help me be more comprehending about, well, everything.

And, the reason I named it "Bubbles" is that my favorite author, Scott Westerfeld, just published a guide book on my favorite series, Uglies, called "Bogus to Bubbly". His blog is great for me to read! He posts a lot, and always about things that I find relevant, so "Bubbles" seemed appropriate.

Keep reading everyone, I'll post more as soon as I can!