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Friday, January 18, 2008

INBRIEF

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Volume 54

photo by Nate Grann

The Unifunk Holiday Gala, hosted by The Funk, Diversity Council, and UNITY, was held Friday, Dec. 21 after school in the commons. The student band Woop Ditty (pictured above), and Little Boxes, composed of ’07 MV alums, provided musical entertainment. The event raised money for the host organizations and provided a fun outlet.

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Library’s lunchtime ‘lockdown’ inconvenient for students staff writer

photo by Debbie Li

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Issue 6

By Kirstin Yanisch

The Synergy Swing Dance, held Saturday, Jan. 12, included music from Mounds View’s Jazz Won band, a swing-dancing lesson from U of M students, and two hours of open dancing. Over 75 students attended and raised about $800 for the Leukemia Foundation. Students dressed according to the 1940s theme and enjoyed an alternative style of dancing.

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Mounds View’s library has always been a hub of activity for book lovers. A gathering place, a study zone, and a research area, it serves many purposes for MV students and staff. However, there has been a decrease in the number of students in the library at lunch times this year. This is because, until first semester last year, all lunches were open for students to leave and spend time in the library. According to Head Library Media Specialist Rebecca Stouten, “[The librarians] noticed a change in attendance the first day of closed lunches.” Previously, the library had 80 students a day during lunches. Now the librarians see only about eight to ten. With closed lunches, many think they cannot go to the library during lunch hour. However, when the Operations Committee decided to close lunches last year, it meant limited—but not complete—inaccessibility to the library. Associate Principal, Mark Tateosian, a member of the Operations Committee, said, “The librarians were involved in discussions about how students could talk to teachers and get to the library during closed lunches.” The committee created a library pass, provided by the office, to every teacher in the school. Students can ask any teacher for this pass and show it to the lunchroom monitors before leaving. Yet not many students are aware of the existence of such a pass.

“I didn’t know about [the library passes], but I may use them because sometimes I need to print off things over lunch,” said Yuhe Yan, 11. Others thought that the passes weren’t quite worth their while. Sean Hemstead, 10, said, “It’s too difficult. You have to get the pass, use the pass, and then find time to return it.” Tateosian agrees that there has not been much awareness about the passes. “I haven’t seen many of [them] used,” he said. According to Stouten, students are also allowed to come before school and get a pass from the librarians to leave lunch if they don’t get one from their teachers. Because students don’t always utilize the library as much as they used to, librarians have tried to increase book circulation by inviting English teachers to bring their classes in more regularly for research and to check out books. Some students agreed that they spend less time in the library doing research when teachers don’t schedule time for them. Jenna Fishback, 10 said, “Last year our teachers scheduled more time for us in the library to do research. Now, [the research] is easier to do at home.” English teachers are also doing their part to keep the library busy. “I don’t always have a reason in the curriculum to take [students] down. But anytime I’m doing an independent reading project we go to the library, and sometimes I ask the librarians to give a book talk,” said Rebecca Hauth-Schmid, English teacher.

photo by Debbie Li

Rhiannon LeGarde, 11, studies in an empty library during B lunch due to Mounds View’s closed lunch policy. The library’s unavailability during lunch hour is inconvenient for students, though many are unaware it is accessible with a pass from a teacher or librarian. Despite fewer students during lunches and fewer students doing research in the library, the librarians say that they still see many students during the day. Stouten said, “I think we have pretty typical numbers [of students] for schools with closed lunches. I’m not concerned about not being busy enough.” According to Stouten’s monthly statistics, numbers of student visits to the library are still high. In September there were 434

visitors, 848 in October, and 746 in November. Stouten says that one positive thing about closed lunches is that “…teachers like the fewer disruptions in the library when they bring in their classes during the day.” However, Stouten also said that she “misses having more students up here, but I understand school policy is made for the good of the entire school.”

Eden Prairie athletes suspended for Facebook photos Facebook pictures prompted the EPHS administration to discipline 13 students By Divya Gupta staff writer

A week ago, disciplinary action was taken against 13 Eden Prairie High School students due to incriminating Facebook photos. The pictures, which appeared to show students drinking, were given to the administration by an anonymous source, according to EPHS students. While the principal and superintendent both said the school did not search out the photos, they have not released any other information. Eden Prairie students, however, have been very vocal about the issue. Not only did they alert the media to the story, but also planned and staged a protest walkout on Thursday, Jan. 10.

“They questioned a total of around 100 kids, but actually only thoroughly investigated 43 and suspended 13,” said Nate Kelly, 10, a student at EPHS. The punishments were harshest for student athletes. EPHS student Evan Deam, 10, said he believes, “an offender would receive two weeks sports and activities suspension, or be forced to not participate in two sporting events, whichever is more severe.” Also, captains and other leaders would be stripped of their titles, and any athletes up for All-Conference or All-State would no longer be eligible. All penalties are in accordance with the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) policies. To be part of the league, schools must maintain a minimum degree of consequences, but they can add on punishments as they see fit. “Mounds View does not go heavier than the high school league anymore,” explained head cross country coach Ross Fleming. “Some sports within

the school in the past have enforced different rules.” Much of the discussion of the events at EPHS is being done via Facebook. A group titled “EPHS has gone too far” served as a meeting place for students organizing the walkout. It was countered by groups “EPHS has NOT gone too far” and “EPHS students have gone too far.” The walkout was a planned event organized by Facebook. The event description summarized popular opinion, saying that students “feel that the suspensions being handed down to student athletes are far beyond the realm of rationality and supercede the bounds of the school’s jurisdiction.” The walkout, scheduled by mass text messages, is not appearing to affect the school’s decisions. “The school deans were very strict about what students did in protest,” Kelly said. “The security guards all lined up by the doors.” The principal and deans were supposedly present. According to

Deam, less than 30 students participated in the actual walkout. The low turnout seemed largely to be a result of poor organization and differences in beliefs. According to Deam, “There were primarily two reactions from students.” The first group called it an invasion of privacy. “These students were very upset, especially because people were being called down to their deans, even though they were innocent,” he said. The opposing point of view, he says, is that the school is merely “doing the right thing.” Kacie McGruder, 12, an EPHS student, agreed. “The students who were caught or friends with the people who were caught were really upset,” she said. “On the other hand, the kids who didn’t get caught think it’s their fault they decided to put pictures like that up in the first place.” At Mounds View, opinions are just as divided. “I think the school has a right

to look at the photos, because the students signed the MSHSL contract, and if you did that you should know not to put the pictures up,” said Lauren Ostlund, 12. Yet many students argue that it is an invasion of privacy to use Facebook photos as evidence. “It’s about their rights as students and their rights to privacy,” Shane Humphrey, 12, said. “The school shouldn’t be using Facebook to do this.” EPHS’s crackdown on pictures of alcohol and drug use on the Internet is part of a larger movement. Colleges and businesses have begun looking at applicants’ Facebook and MySpace accounts regularly, and reserve the right to turn people away because of incriminating photos. The questioning at EPHS will likely continue, and more students are expected to face consequences. McGruder summarized the general sentiment, saying the atmosphere will remain one of relative openmindedness.


2editorials MV’s discrimi-ninja-tory

op T 10 Reasons to vote in the caucus

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You’re 18! Go wild!

Make 1/300000000th of a difference

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Everywhere but the voting booth was closed.

Jae Chang ‘08 Spite your parents’ party loyalties

Actively participate in our nation’s decay!

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...be a responsible citizen... Apathy is so last week

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Help pretend the 2-party system still works

Quick! Before we bomb Iran!

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2007-2008 Viewer Editors Editor-in-Chief Anna Brockway Managing Editor Alice Liu News Belle Lin Editorials Andrew Larkin Commentary Sam Louwagie Features Abby House Kathleen Gormley Spread Lauren Peake Vicky Kelberer Variety Alicia Hilgers Reviews TT Phan Sports Chelsy Mateer Andy Madsen Gallery Ashley Aram Business Manager Elizabeth Steele Photographers/Artists Nate Grann David Derong Debbie Li Advisor Martha Rush Assistant Advisor David Weinberg

January 18, 2008

policies unmasked By Sean Moore staff writer

We’ve all had to do it at the beginning of the year; some of us for four (or five) years now. Bring home a slip of paper, and meticulously go over the student handbook with a fine-toothed comb alongside our parents before signing our lives away to the school for another nine months. Yeah right. The truth is, most of us shove the piece of paper in front of our parent’s noses and grunt, “Sign. Now.” But what really lies between the lines of the school’s bitesized rhetoric, beyond the bus safety and the just-in-case-afrosh-goes-crazy-with-a-Bunsenburner plan? Is there some hidden clause within that enrolls us in the draft? Perhaps there’s a line of fine print outlawing smiles? Or maybe even some voodoo blood pact embedded into our preciously deceptive handbook that forces us under pain of death to mutter the words “under god” every Tuesday morning at 8:27 sharp. Luckily, none of those things are within our handbook; yet, there is something else that our apathy has let go unseen, perhaps worse than anything else. It comes from a prejudice so strong, so ferocious, so spiteful, it’s no small wonder that the ACLU, Free Speech Coalition and the NAACP haven’t sued the school yet. Yes, that’s right. The school hates ninjas. Take a closer look

at the actions the school has recently undertaken. The school has whitewashed the halls so their shadowy silhouettes stand out. They have wired their lights into motion detectors, preventing ninjas from remaining hidden in the shadows. The school has even gone so far as to incorporate its discriminatory beliefs into the policies and codes of conduct we are forced to abide by. For years now, it seems the school has been slowly adding to their intolerant rhetoric, forcing our shadow-cloaked brethren to assimilate or be sent packing. Take, for example, the school’s weapon policy. For decades now, the school has outlawed guns and knives, and for good reason. But recently, subtle changes to the code have been worked in: namely, the banning of such exotic weapons as nunchucks and throwing stars; coincidentally, the weapons of choice for ninjas. This outrageous and absurd policy is not only discriminatory to our large ninja population, but could prove to be fatal for them as well. Ninjas never can be unarmed, lest a rival ninja, or worse, a samurai, makes an attempt at their life. The school’s code goes further than banning their exotic weapons; nearly all things ninjas love or need are prohibited. The school prohibits hackeysacking of all forms. Of course, as we all know, hackeysack is both an essential part of a growing ninja’s training and a favorite pastime of ninjas. They invented

hackeysack. The school also doesn’t allow “slam dancing,” the only way young ninjas can get out their rage until they become trained assassins. The school has even restricted ninjas’ movements within the school. With the school policy of no noise in the hallways, every form of laughter, from bellowing guffaws, to slight mouse chuckles, are hushed out of existence at the slightest sign of a joke or wisecrack. “So what,” you may say, “a ninja never laughs, let alone smiles.” True, yet ninjas can sneak through the world in the spaces between laughs. With no laughter emanating through our hallways, ninjas and their stealthy slinking become all but ineffective. The school has gone to great lengths to take away the most indispensable part of a ninja, his vital method of subterfuge, his all-important (lack of an) identity: his mask. The school’s nohats-unless-you’re-ClintEastwood-or-the-Pope policy also prohibits masks, and has deprived ninjas of the one thing that separates them from mere mortals such as ourselves. We are observing one of the most horrendous instances of discrimination our school has ever seen. We have the responsibility to take action, because, ninja or mortal, warrior god or mere freshman, we are all, first and foremost, Americans. And as such we believe that all men, whether born by a woman or by darkness itself, are created equal.

years ago). As charming as kitty-powered home lighting systems and glow-in-the-dark fur coats sound, the cats only glow under ultraviolet light. And unfortunately for the many of us with less-than-satisfactory bank accounts, it takes thousands of dollars to clone a normal cat, let alone a fluorescent one. If you can get past these obstacles, be prepared for a mob of angry animal rights activists protesting your luminescent furball. In fact, in 2004, the state legislature of California placed a ban on glow-in-the-dark fish, due to concerns about the manipulation of animal genes. Yet despite appearing like crackpot science, there is a method to this madness. There is nothing unethical about these experiments, because of their research value. Scientists from

Gyeongsang University, which is located in southern South Korea, originally designed tests to track mutating genes in an attempt to understand the 250 known genetic diseases that humans and cats have in common. The glowing was an unplanned side effect – albeit a very entertaining one. Experimenting with cloning could prove valuable in stabilizing endangered populations of animals such as the Sumatran tigers. Now that it has been proven that animals with manipulated genes can be cloned, it may be possible to eliminate altogether the genes that lower the tigers’ survival rates. While progress has been made, the cats represent an important step forward for South Korean geneticists, who suffered a major blow with the discrediting of Dr. Hwant Woo-suk in 2005. Hwant claimed to have cloned human embryos, which, if true, would have been a key breakthrough in stem cell research. An investigation later found the data and research to be fraudulent. For now, it seems the kittens will be locked away in labs, the eerie playthings of scientists. In the meantime, we can only speculate on what will come next: cats with lasers for eyes? Glowin-the-dark immigrant labor (it’s easier to spot them)? Or even…

Cats now lightbulbs, too By Divya Gupta staff writer

Eureka! I mean… that’s funny… Science is full of serendipitous wonders like penicillin, LSD and corn flakes. While researching genetic diseases, South Korean scientists stumbled upon the latest in a stream of bizarre creations: glow-in-thedark cats. They are not the first animals to display freakish properties, and if the kittens survive to adulthood, they would join the ranks of pig, mice, and fish in a luminescent – and entirely cloned – zoo. Before you try to order one at your local pet store, keep in mind these animals are not really commercially viable (or we would have been dining on eggs and luminescent-green ham

Staff - Cassie Ahiers, Bret Alexander, Colin Anderson, Christopher Audet, Nick Barkve, Karly Bergmann, Anna Blaske, Sean Delahunt, Holly Groves, Divya Gupta, Nora Gyarfas, Sophia Har, Dan Heaney, Alex Hoffman, Corinne Holmes, Luke Hutchison, Kiersten Jackson, Thomas Jemelieta, Wes Kocur, Natalia Kruse, Cassandra Larson, John Liu, Marysa Meyer, Ryan Miller, Sean Moore, Emily Nelson, Collin Nisler, Brandon Osero, Carolyn Paulet, Shaked Peleg, Ross Peterson, Brooke Roberts, Maddy Stephens, Emily Storms, Abby Taylor, Sam Toninato, Kristen Vanderburg, Sarah Wang, Taylor Wilson, Christina Xia, Kirstin Yanisch, Sabrina Zappa The Viewer is published by the student editors at: Mounds View High School 1900 Lake Valentine Road Arden Hills, Minnesota The Viewer is printed by: ECM Publishers, Inc.

photo by Anna Brockway

While this may look like an ordinary cat, only UV rays can reveal its luminescent properties.

…Dinosaurs!?

graphic by David Derong photos courtesy of Wikipedia.org

Vote Opr..ama By Shaked Peleg staff writer

Oprah Winfrey takes on Chuck Norris in an epic battle of two of the world’s most revered celebrities. This may sound farfetched, but it’s what could happen if Winfrey-endorsed Barack Obama wins the Democratic ticket and Norrisendorsed Mike Huckabee wins the Republican ticket. Rather than trying to comprehend and analyze each candidate’s different, nuanced approach to how they would act as president, the American people have outsourced their brains to people who may or may not be more qualified to judge these candidates: celebrities. People may not care what Katherine McPhee (endorsing Democratic hopeful Hilary Clinton) or Kevin Bacon (backing John Edwards) think about the candidates, but Winfrey has brought celebrity endorsements to an entirely new level. She has the highest rated talk show in television history and is considered by some to be the most influential person in the world. In a recent poll, she was voted the second most admired woman in the U.S., only after Hillary Clinton. She has never before come out in full support of a political figure, but this election she chose to endorse Obama, most recently at various rallies on the campaign trail, which revolve more around the celebrity than the man running for president of the country. Speaking to the largest crowd of any election event for 2008 thus far, with 30,000 people, Obama admitted that the crowd was largely there to see Winfrey, not him. Norris also has quite a reputation in popular culture. The website ChuckNorrisFacts.com claims that, “Contrary to popular belief, America is not a democracy, it is a Chucktatorship.” This may, in fact, be right. A video of Norris endorsing Huckabee has been viewed almost 1.2 million times on YouTube. In the video, Huckabee says, “Chuck Norris doesn’t endorse, he tells America how it’s gonna be.” Such a statement only reveals the problem with celebrity endorsements. These people have every right to use their influence on people in a way they choose. But we give them that power. What makes us think that they would know any better than us who will do the best job in office? They are basing their opinions on the same facts available to American citizens, if only we took the time to seek them out and analyze them for ourselves.


January 18, 2008

commentary3

No such thing as a Oh, that? It’ s... art free lunch at MV By Cassie Ahiers staff writer

By Thomas Jemielita staff writer

I doubt I’m alone in saying that Mounds View lunches are overpriced and declining in quality. Every fall since my freshman year, I have come back to a worse lunch with jacked up prices. For all you younger students at Mounds View, let me paint a picture of a magical world of how lunch used to be. The hamburger buns were sprinkled with sesame seeds, the fries would fill your plate to the brim, and ribwiches were served on Fridays in a nicely compact wrapper. The snack lines were filled with tasty edibles such as M&Ms, Reese's and Starbursts. There were Kempswich sandwiches, Snickers ice cream bars, and free ice cream toppings. Friday used to be the best day of the week, with actual fried Chicken Clux and those ribwiches. The Powerades were 20 oz., and actually cheaper than they are now. People could nicely ask the lunch ladies to add a little bit more on their plate and they would oblige. Yes, those were the golden days. A time when we students could eat reasonably priced, tasty foods. But it’s just gone downhill. What happened to the lunchroom love? And seriously, should I really have to pay 75 cents extra for another egg roll? Those egg rolls probably cost two cents to produce, or are stolen from some Asian restaurant’s dumpster. Let’s compare some prices: the half bottles of Powerade at school: $1.25. A full bottle of Powerade from a gas station: $1. A hamburger meal at school: $2.25. A

better hamburger and better fries at Wendy’s: $2. A Mounds View cookie: 33 cents; a bag of cookies at a grocery store: $1 (depending on the size). Spending a lot of money on small portions of low-quality food: priceless? The posters that the school is using to try to soothe our dire pain do not help the problem. One such poster, in the cafeteria, shows a larger brownie shrink to a smaller brownie with big lettering that says, “More yummy for less of a tummy.” This is not some type of crusade against bad eating habits. Lack of student nutrition is a legitimate problem, but charging students more money for less food is not the way to fix it. I’d rather pay the actual value of the product, not receive a smaller product for the same price. It’s not “more yummy for less of the tummy,” it’s more profit from lunch food for providing less – and worse – food for the students. Students who don’t want to pay the exorbitant prices are left with two options: go hungry, or bring your own lunch. But who wants to wake up earlier to prepare a lunch that will only get stale by the time you actually eat? I don’t. Very few other students do, either. We’re just trying to study, sleep, and graduate, not make our own sustenance every day. That job belongs to the cafeteria, and the job should entail serving good tasting, fairly priced food. Make lunch back to what it was: a wonderful room full of the aroma of good meals that left both your stomach and your wallet full longer.

The other weekend I went to the Walker Art Center. After an excruciatingly long week of class, I craved something other than the daily norm of school bells and cafeteria trash. Of all the outlets I could think of, what better place to find the raw emotion and personality that I so needed? After battling a torrential snowstorm and chaotic city streets, I finally entered this creative paradise. The first few works of art that I saw were exactly what I had come for: murals and sculptures passionately made by artists I could relate to. I saw large paintings and models I could appreciate and I felt I was looking into the artists’ secret diaries. But as I entered a new room and walked from piece to piece I got an odd feeling, one I couldn’t quite place. As I looked at my reflection in a golden urinal it struck me: I didn’t get any of this. photo by Nate Grann The walls started to close in on me and I felt smothered by a Nikhil Sathyanarayana, 11, ponders the meaning of this so-called “art.” white room of meaningless utensils and spray-painted hardware find in an Applebee’s crayon set suddenly found yourself with an supplies. This once sought-afterto be that avant-garde. entire exhibit devoted to your oasis had turned into a cage and I Even if I were to agree that hand-plastered drinking fountain. was trapped. I could not underthis is cutting edge artistic expresI left the Walker with none of stand what had caused this sudden sion, I still have to wonder, who my questions truly answered. My confusion. As I looked back at the decides what is a masterpiece? need for creativity had been fultitles I was hit with the realization How do you sort through the piles filled by much of the art, but I that a force greater than myself— of decorated lawn ornaments to still couldn’t get over some of the modern art—surrounded me. find the one worthy of spot in the absurd pieces. Even after returnSomehow during my tour I had Walker? If I were to make a coling to school on Monday I continwandered into a room more conlection of leftover lunchmeats and ued to think about how bizarre the fusing than any AP class offered superglue them to a Frisbee would whole experience had been. at Mounds View. I become famous? I may see the Then it occurred to me, though I love art, and I can typically world as a flying disk of bologna, I hate to admit it, modern art had understand an artist’s message or but I don’t expect others to want left a lasting impression on me, by at least appreciate their hard work. to see it in their home. forcing me to question what But as I stared at three canvases I wonder if modern art is a defines art in general. And maybe painted solid, primary colors, I form that you practice for a lifethat’s just its purpose. had to ask myself, how is this art? time. Are there modern artists? Or I pondered this as I sat I’m pretty sure this person didn’t is modern art merely a fluke accithrough another rough period create the primary colors, yet by dent that the museum created, Monday morning, then suddenly I putting them on giant sheets of when they picked up an unfinfelt that indescribable feeling paper, they’re suddenly considished mural? I assume that an again. As I gazed down at the ered groundbreaking. I’m glad artist’s name has a lot to do with charcoal markings on my desk, I the simplest forms of color can it. Plumbers place drinking founsighed, I still don’t get it. And to inspire someone, but does that tains on walls every year and it’s make matters worse, now everyreally make it modern? I don’t nothing epic, but if your name is where I looked I saw modern art. consider something that you can Marcel Duchamp, then you’ve

Letters to the editor: Search policy clarification I would like to clarify the Mounds View School District practice on searches. The position of the district is that reasonable suspicion must exist prior to a search of a locker, backpack or car. However, it is important to remember that reasonable suspicion requires a lower standard than probable cause, the standard to which law enforcement officers are held. I also would like to clarify that it is our practice to inform students and parents prior to largescale searches, such as checking backpacks at the

end of the school year. I believe that using reasonable suspicion as a standard for initiating a search and giving prior notice for larger scale searches provides an appropriate balance between providing a safe and secure environment for learning while respecting student rights. Sincerely, Julie Wikelius Principal, Mounds View High School

Anti-semitic language offends photo by David Derong

Is it “all of the yummy with less of a tummy,” or “all of the money for less of the food?”

I hate hearing, “You’re such a Jew” spat out in the hall or seeing, “I heart the Jewish race” scrawled out on my chemistry desk. In the 21st century it is weird to hear or see these things in Mounds View High School. In fact, in one of my favorite classrooms in the school, I found a Star of David written on a desk with “Ha-ha you’re a Jew” scrawled out under it. I am simply offended. I am Jewish and it is very disheartening to hear my religion and identity being so blatantly insulted. Calling someone a “Jew” is as childish as calling someone a “dummy.” The fact remains that regardless of the

situation it is being used in, or the origin of the insult, no one group should be singled out in such a way. Maybe the criticizer does not agree with the choices of a group, or the history of a group, but they must accept the group for our society to function. They must be tolerant of peoples’ differences because a pluralistic society is a healthy society. I have always thought of Mounds View as a tolerant place, and that tolerance should be maintained. Jeremy Scheiner, Mounds View student


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January 18, 2008

Course Registration 2008-2009 New classes hit registration books By Cassie Ahiers

By Karly Bergmann staff writer

staff writer

Each year when registration guides come out, students find they have more classes to choose from, but for many, this is frustrating rather than liberating. “It’s hard to find time for both classes that I want to take, and classes that I have to take,” said Lauren Warchol, 11. To add to students’ numerous options, two classes have been added to the curriculum for the ’08-’09 school year. Incoming freshmen will have the option of enrolling in Accelerated Physical Science, and Speech II will be available for grades 10-12. After a successful first year of Accelerated Biology, the Science Department decided that an accelerated option for the freshman class would be a great way to challenge certain students. “The class would be for students who could stand a more rigorous course,” said Graham Wright, Accelerated Chemistry teacher. The class would be the fourth accelerated science class to be offered at Mounds View, making accelerated science available in every grade. “We really want to encourage students to join [an accelerated science class] at any level,” said Wright. Wright emphasized that because the science classes are not directly reliant on each other, students do not have to have completed any accelerated classes prior to enrolling in one, and are not locked into staying in them for following years. Accelerated Physical Science

Extinct classes attempt comeback

Deciding which classes to enroll in for next year may be even more complicated when lack of interest in classes have left them unable to be offered. Classes such as Honors Humanities, AP Art History, Advanced 3D Art and Desktop Publishing did not have a large enough enrollment to be offered this school year and could be missing from students’ schedules again in the coming school year. The lack of enrollment in one course affects class sizes schoolwide. Small classes cause an imbalance in photo by Nate Grann would other classes. If a class with few kids in it was offered, Cole Laszlo, 9, looks over a registration guide trying to choose which another class would have to be classes to take during the next school year. too full in order to maintain will be open to any freshman, access,” said Hallberg. balance. but parents and students will be Speech II will greatly differ “In a perfect world we cautioned that it will be a more from Speech I, a currently could run a class with nine stuin-depth study of the same tradi- offered class, and be more perdents in it, but realistically we tional subjects. formance oriented. can’t with the costs and the “It will focus on intense lab “Speech I deals with overnumber of available staff,” said exercises, and students will have coming apprehension, and it Principal Julie Wikelius. a higher math expectation as focuses on handling basic preWith these class size issues, well,” said Wright. sentations comfortably, while student scheduling becomes a Speech II will also be chalthis course will assume that you nightmare. As hard as Mounds lenging students next year, but can handle public speaking, and View works to honor the class in a much different way. The then build your skills from choices students make, someclass will focus on different there,” said Hallberg times it’s just not possible for forms of public speaking and Speech I is not a required students to get into their preprovoke students to advance prerequisite for Speech II, how- ferred class. their skills. Janelle Hallberg, ever, there will be an application Teachers who taught the English teacher and Speech process. classes that are missing this Team head coach, will teach the While students may be faced year share in students’ disapclass. with tougher choices for regispointment of not being able to “From coaching speech, I’ve tering this year due to the addi- take them. learned a lot, and have found tion of two new classes, they Victoria Sadek, English that it’s almost like teaching a remain optimistic and excited teacher, who co-teaches Honors class. The course will offer great for the large variety of courses Humanities with Kathryn tools for Speech Team members, offered. Miller, social studies teacher, and give other students who may “It’s great to have more said, “It was close numberbe interested, but cannot commit opportunities, even if that means wise, Miller and I were sad that to the team, a chance to get more decisions,” said Warchol. class didn’t fly… It [Honors

Humanities] is so much fun to teach and the kids who take it are amazing.” Covering the study of Western civilization from the Greeks to the Industrial Revolution, Honors Humanities focused on the literature, music, philosophy, and art of a certain time period in a comprehensive course designed to prepare students for college-level classes. Sam Helgeson, 12, took Honors Humanities last year. He said, “I feel that the people who wanted to take it have been cheated out of their unalienable right to Honors Humanities!” AP Art History, known for its difficult AP exam, was also not offered this year due to reasons other than low enrollment. The teacher who previously taught the class is no longer teaching at Mounds View and her position has not been filled. Advanced 3D Art and Desktop Publishing were also unable to be held this current school year due to low student interest and enrollment, though this is not an accurate measure of whether or not they will be able to be offered next year. For those who signed up for Honors Humanities and weren’t able to take it this year, or those interested in taking any one of these currently unavailable classes next year, there still is hope. Classes that students don’t show much interest in one year have been known to bounce back the next year. Because of these trends, students are advised to sign up for the class they want to take, regardless if it was offered the last year or not and to hope for the best.

Virtual Fitness The Shoreview Community Center introduces fitness bikes with virtual reality programs By Collin Nisler staff writer

Boredom or monotony can keep a lot of people from obtaining the recommended one-hour of exercise per day. Staring at the same old health club magazines on the treadmill day after day makes exercising too much of a chore for many. “I don’t bother exercising. It’s boring, plus I don’t need to,” said Westin Strand, 10. In addition to boredom, the chill of Minnesota winters sometimes squashes any motivation to exercise outdoors. However, fear of the cold is

no longer an excuse for members of the Shoreview Community Center and other fitness clubs around the country. Now, members of these fitness clubs can enjoy the thrill of biking through forests and deserts without leaving the gym. Expresso Fitness, a company that makes fitness machines, has combined exercise and virtual reality by attaching LCD screens to fitness bikes. This new innovation can provide a fun and invigorating experience, without having to see the stale exercise room. Although the technology

isn’t new, exercise companies now have the confidence to produce the machines with improved video graphics because increasing club members are looking to jazz up their exercise routines. The idea of the converted exercise bike is to make working out more appealing to those in need of physical activity, which is a large audience. According to AmericanHeart.org, obesity has increased 179 percent from 1970 to 2007. The bike, called “the Spark,” features a screen just beyond the handlebars. As one bikes, houses, trees, and beaches whiz by. Squirrels and other creatures cross the path. When the biking gets tough going up a hill, the gears can be switched to make the climb easier. The bikes also have the unique capability to do races. Users sitting side-by-side can race against each other, and users can race against his or her best time. Progress can even be tracked online with user identification codes. Mountain bike enthusiast Alex Strange, 10, said the bikes could be a valid alternative to the real thing. “I like biking for one and a half hours outside, and I think it would be worth using the virtual

photo by David Derong

The new exercise bikes at the Shoreview Community Center feature LCD screens and customized workout programs. bikes when the weather is bad,” popping up in fitness clubs, he said. many say it will be easier and As innovative and entertainmore fun to include entertaining as the bikes may be, the cost ment into the same old workout is steep. The bikes are $4,795, routine. which is nearly twice that of a Annie Linder-Scholer, 11, regular exercise bike. A fitness who has used the bikes several club may have to increase mem- times, has highly enjoyed the bership or guest fees as a result ride. of purchasing the bikes. She said, “It’s motivating, Although the cost of the and it keeps you on task. I like bikes is staggering, the benefits how it pushes you so you don’t may be worth the hefty price have to push yourself. I will deftag. initely keep using them.” With the new exercise bikes


January 18, 2008

Paul Blaske:

5 features

Chasing criminals, stopping crime By Alice Liu

managing editor Those who have heard it gawk in disbelief. Stories of an ordinary teenager tackling the powers of evil have spread among students in Mounds View. Tackling, literally. Will Sharpe, 12, raised both his hands over his head and his eyes widened and mouth opened in amazement. Andrew Knight, 12, said, “I was speechless. It was just crazy.” Around 9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20, Paul Blaske, 12, had just finished his shift at the Cub Foods store on Lexington Ave. Leaving the store, Blaske was not aware that a robbery had just taken place. Nor did he expect the cinematic chase scene that he was about

to be in the middle of. Blaske has been working at Cub Foods for a couple of months on the store’s Clean Team. His routine mainly consists of bringing in and cleaning up shopping carts. Blaske describes himself as just an ordinary teenager: he goes out with friends, hangs out around his house, and stays active in sports and school. After work, “I just go home, do homework and go to bed,” he said. However, this routine was shaken up on the night two days prior to winter break. “I was walking out to my car, and all of a sudden this shorter guy was running past me,” said Blaske. Noticing two co-workers chasing after the man, Blaske assumed something was amiss. “I thought this guy must have stolen something,” he said. According to Blaske, the man was Latin American, wore a black hooded sweatshirt and was dashing away from the Cub Foods store. His co-workers yelled, “Go get him,” and Blaske began his pursuit. “So I chased up with them. He was running the whole time, sprinting out of Cub Foods. I ran up and tackled him down. They just held him there and we called the cops,” he said. Blaske returned home after the police secured the man.

“I found out a couple days later that he was stealing frozen pizzas and beer,” he said. Reflecting back on the incident, Blaske was surprised by his audacious chase. “I guess it was kind of instinct. I didn’t think about anything before, like the possibilities that he could have a weapon. After I tackled him, I was just kind of like ‘oh crap.’ He could have stabbed me or something,” he said. When Blaske’s mother was informed, her surprise regarding her son’s display of valor resulted in e-mails being sent to friends and family regarding the incident. News about Blaske’s courageous endeavor spread quickly around the school. “Our little Paul, saving the world,” said Knight. “I would not have done that; I would have assumed that he had a weapon and freaked out,” said Sharpe. Even with the praise of fellow students, Blaske remains modest. “They [my friends] thought, ‘that’s the coolest thing I ever heard!’ Most of them were just like, ‘whoa I’ve seen it in movies but I’ve never heard about it in real life.’ But I’m just like ‘oh yea.’ It’s not like I was seeking the spotlight. I didn’t do it to get a Viewer article written about me,” he said. Besides Blaske’s courageous

Senior Committee Update The Senior Committee, consisting of Senior Class Officers Cara Morphew, Kristen Anderson, and Tyler Pihl, and several members of the senior class, proposed their plan for senior privileges and open lunch. The Operations Committee did not grant their request for open lunch. But according to Assistant Principal Mark Tateosian, they would like to recognize the responsibility and maturity of the class of 2008 in another way. Currently, the Senior Committee is brainstorming new privileges to present to the Operations Committee. The Viewer polled seniors on what their ideal privilege would be.

“Skipping sixth hour

“An immunity on tardy

every day.”

detentions for seniors.”

Joe Grittner, 12

Caitlin Lahr, 12

“Kempswiches for all!”

“Cheese for the pasta

Meg McMurray, 12

bar for seniors only.”

Information compiled by Kathleen Gormley & Kristen Vanderburg features editor & staff writer

Alan Long, 12 photos by David Derong

instinct, his physical attributes also contributed to his success in tackling the robber. Blaske is one of the captains of the boys’ varsity track and field team and a varsity sprinter and jumper. In the winter, he trains hard three days a week for the upcoming season. “I think keeping in shape and running a lot was probably helpful. I don’t think the other guys would have caught him, so I guess it was good I was there,” he said. In retrospect, Blaske is happy that he tackled the man, but he is mindful of costly mistakes that could have landed him in a bad situation. “I probably would have found out what he was stealing before I went after him because now that I think about it, pizza and beer probably wouldn’t be worth the possibility of getting shot and stabbed. I should have found out the whole situation. It just went by so fast,” he said. For an ordinary teenager at Mounds View, Blaske’s cinematic chase scene has brought an exciting tale to tell, a little bit of fame, but mostly an everlasting experience. Blaske said, “It proves it could happen to anyone anytime. I just never thought it would be me.”

photos by Debbie Li Paul Blaske, 12, successfully overtook an escaping criminal. When leaving work at Cub Foods on Lexington Ave., he chased and tackled a man who was stealing from inside the store. Police then arrested the shoplifter.

School Board member faces removal from duties By Kathleen Gormley features editor

On Jan. 8, newly elected School Board Member Susan Murphy was sworn in to office at Snail Lake Education Center. Following this event, the next item on the agenda was a presentation by District Lawyer John Roszack. Roszack brought to the Board’s attention that any member that knowingly participates in contract negotiations in which they receive personal financial benefit can be subject to a gross misdemeanor. Murphy’s husband is a custodian in the District, and custodians are currently in negotiations for salaries and benefits.

The District knew of this conflict of interest at the time of the election this fall, but did not take action at the time because it was believed that if elected, Murphy’s absence from negotiations would be sufficient. However, they learned at the meeting that the rest of the Board would also be subject to legal sanctions if they knew of Murphy’s potential gain. Under recommendation of Roszak, the Board has asked retired Fourth Judicial Disrict Judge Myron S. Greenberg to conduct a thorough analysis and determine if this is a conflict of interest. The Board will then make its final decision. All current members remain on the Board at this time.


Students skip out on essential servings By Sarah Wang staff writer

Lunchtime: the bell rings, students herd into the lunchroom, and are faced with a barrage of choices. Should they get the pizza or the salad? The fruit cup or the burger? After-school snacks pose another problem: does one choose an apple or a candy bar? Every day, teens are faced with decisions about their health that many don’t even realize they are making. “I eat pretty much what I want, when I want,” said Kelsey Kilander, 12. “I think I am just lucky enough to like healthy food!” However, eating well can be hard for some teens. Hanging out with friends, frequenting fast food outlets and snacking can lead to unhealthy eating habits. After all, junk food is not only tasty, it is faster to prepare and eat than a full meal, and many teens have

such high metabolisms that the consequences of a fatty diet are not apparent. Although Mounds View students appear to be healthy, not all maintain a nutritious diet. “It’s hard to eat right because most healthy foods don’t taste very good. I always ending up eating a lot of junk food,” said Abi Hill, 10. The average Mounds View student only eats two servings of vegetables, even though the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that teenagers eat at least 3-5 servings. Vegetables are especially important for teens because they have important vitamins and minerals that will prevent future chronic disease. “I almost never eat vegetables because they taste horrible,” said Danika Romano, 11. Mounds View students are eating a healthy amount of fruit, meat, and dairy, but not enough grains. The

USDA recommends 6-11 servings of grains per day, while the average Mounds View student is only eating 5 servings. “Sometimes, I get so busy that I don't realize that I'm not eating enough of certain food groups,” said Meryl Sell, 10. Even though students know that certain foods are harmful, they eat them anyway. 92.16 percent of students eat junk food, and out of the 70.59 percent of students who read nutrition labels, only 22.2 percent didn’t eat a food at least once because of the unhealthy nutritional value. “Mostly I just eat foods that taste good, even if I know it’s unhealthy,” said Peter Grinsell, 11. Only 60.18 percent of Mounds View students eat breakfast. It’s important not to skip meals, and eating breakfast can give students more energy for school and activities.

“I just don’t have time in the morning,” said Danae Johnson, 9. Mounds View recently added a new breakfast program to encourage students to eat a healthy breakfast. “Students should start their day in a healthy and nutritional way. Nutrition services wanted all students to be able to have breakfast,” said Head Cook Cathy Murphy. An unhealthy diet can lead to serious health problems. “Unhealthy eating can cause anemia, obesity, and high blood pressure,” said Nutrition Expert Julie Upton. Eating right is especially important for developing teens who require key nutrients such as protein, calcium, iron, folate and zinc. For them, as well as everyone else, maintaining a nutritious diet is the key to good health.

Students chow

Naptime tips & tricks Do... Don’t... ...drink caffeine or exercise around bedtime. ...have video games or television in your sleep space ...do homework in bed.

...keep consistent hours. ...power nap for 20 minutes when you’re feeling drowsy. ...have a bedtime ritual.

photo by David Derong

MV teens can’t catch their Z’s By Cassandra Larson staff writer

The average teenager, according to the American Sleep Disorders Association, needs about nine and half hours of sleep a night. However, the average Mounds View student only sleeps 6.2 hours a night. Drowsy Mounds View students blame many things for their lack of sleep. Becky LaCasse, 11, said, “[with] too much homework with work and sports. I just don’t have time [for sleep].” With the exception of one late start a month, Mounds View students begin class at 7:30 a.m. bright and early. Sleeping 6.2 hours a night, the average Mounds View student may suffer from sleep deprivation which can cause decreased memory, anxiety, depression, inability to concentrate, severe mood swings, and even outbreaks of acne. Going without sleep for 24 hours results in a reduced hand-eye coordination equivalent to a blood alcohol content of 0.1. Although sleep deprivation may not be taken seriously, it can lead to anywhere from failing grades to a serious deadly car accident. “Almost all teen-agers, as they reach puberty, become walking zombies because they are getting far too little sleep,” said James B. Maas, PhD, as reported by the Monitor on Psychology. Deborah Meier, an East Harlem NYC school reformer, claims students go through grade and even middle school with little to no homework, but once the overwhelming papers and projects of high school hit, students are unable to deal with the larger workload. To battle the stress and sleep

deprivation overwhelming homework can bring, a few schools have set homework standards. Piscataway High in Piscataway Township, NJ, regulates homework to not exceed more than two hours a night. The school hopes that with a restriction on homework, teens will be able to finish their daytime activities and homework before the late night hours. The program has not been in place long enough to yield concrete data regarding actual improvement in student performance. Restricting homework time may not be enough. Mounds View’s six classes a day would result in only 20 minutes of homework per class with a two-hour limit. With rising college entrance standards, students are pushed to take more accelerated classes than ever before. To pass a college credit exam for any Advanced Placement course one hour a day isn't nearly enough to prepare students. Anders Owen, 11, said, “For A.P. classes it would be crazy to limit the amount of homework. You mostly learn by what you read and do outside of class.” Other Mounds View students blame school hours for their lack of sleep. Dandi Zhu, 9, said, “School should start at 8:30 every day... this way students will be more awake and focused for their classes.” The brain chemical melatonin, which causes sleep or drowsiness, has been discovered to secrete from 11:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m., according to a Yale University research team. For teenagers to fall asleep at eleven and actually sleep the recommended 9.5 hours, school would have to start after 8:30 a.m. Based on this discovery, Edina

T h e H e a l t h H ab

moved their school start from 7:20 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and Minneapolis Public Schools moved their start from 7:15 a.m.to 8:40 a.m.. Ellen Gutzwiller, 12, thought a later start was a great idea. Gutzwiller said, “It’s what our bodies need, it’s ridiculous, teens need the most sleep and we’re starting school so early!” Many parents are opposed to a later start for high school students. The logistics in busing, sports, and childcare for the younger siblings make this appear a greater burden than one missed hour of sleep. Nina Suvorova, 12, agrees, “It may not be a good fit for Mounds View because we are already so sports oriented. [Students] are already staying after school so late for sports and other clubs, to stay much later into the night would be ridiculous.” A survey of schools with later start times conducted by the Center for Applied Research and Education found the later start provided a very significant decrease in the dropouts, less cases of depression, and higher GPA’s. A survey of Edina’s parent body about the late start found they agreed it was a good fit for high school students. To prevent sleep deprivation and its serious consequences, teenagers should set a nightly routine. Through this, the mind will send the body signals it is time to prep for sleep. Plenty of rest is an important need for one’s health, be sure to catch those Z’s when you can, whether with 20 minute power naps or just a good night’s sleep.

Nutrition Facts Average MV student Amount

Avg. Daily Valu

Sleep Hours per night Wake up at least once per night Food Fruit/Veggie servings per day Dairy servings per day Grains servings per day Protein servings per day Exercise Time per day Days per week Relationships Number of romantic relationships Never argue with friends

6.2 78%

4. 2. 5. 2.

73.2 mi 4.1

1. 22%

survey results compiled by Maddy Stephens, Cassand Larson, Marysa Meyer, and Vicky Kelbe


Pumping iron is high priority By Marysa Meyer staff writer

Many of us know that a healthy lifestyle as a teen can lead to a healthy adult life and beyond. But how many of us are actually aware of these seemingly trivial aspects of our health, such as exercise? The medical community has reported that American teenagers today are in far worse physical conditions than teens were 20 years ago. 30.4 percent of American teenagers are considered overweight, and 15.5 percent have been tagged as “obese.” One of the main causes of teenage obesity is lack of physical activity. Perhaps Mounds View students are following in the footsteps of many other teenage Americans by spending too much time sitting around surfing the web instead of getting themselves moving at least three times a week. Although 74 percent of students polled reported getting at least some exercise, the question remains whether or not they are getting enough. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend at least 20 minutes of exercise three or more days a week. Although many students wish to stay in shape, some are not as motivated to do so if they’re not committed to a structured activity where they are required to

photo by David Derong

down on varying forms of lunch.

2 %

.1 .1 .3 .2

in 16

.9 %

dra erer

much as you want to,” said Alyssa Wilson, 10. “I know I should exercise more than I do, but I don’t always have time.” With busy schedules, many people don’t have enough hours left in the day to work out. Still, many at Mounds View consider exercise an important part of their daily activities and make time to exercise. “Being in a sport helps you with your school work. It keeps you more focused,” said Alison Kessler, 10. “When your body is healthy, your mind is healthy.” A wide variety of athletic opportunities are offered at Mounds View. With all of these activities, students are more likely to find a sport they enjoy participating in to fulfill their exercising requirement.

“I think there’s every opportunity for students to be active at our school,” said School Health Assistant Jane Watson. For those who don’t participate in sports, there are other options for getting the physical activity you need. “The weight room is always open after school,” said Physical Education Teacher Jim Galvin. “I don’t care how students get [exercise] as long as they’re doing something.” Exercising is important for staying healthy and in shape. According to Family Life Magazine, it helps you get good grades as well. Exercise stimulates blood and oxygen flow to the brain, which in turn leads to increased brain activity. However, just because someone doesn’t exercise does not mean they are going to become “obese.” The effects of a lack of exercise may not be visible at all. “My metabolism is so high that I don’t need to exercise all the time,” said Elly Bacig, 10. Despite the obstacle to finding time to exercise, students at Mounds View need to keep in mind the absolute necessity of physical activity. Watson said, “Whether you’re nine months, 9 years, or 90 years old, exercising is important for a healthy body.”

Relationships key to mental well-being

abits of MV Students

ue

engage in physical exercise. “When you’re in a sport, you exercise a lot. When you’re not, people don’t do much [to stay in shape]” said Aaron Wang, 9. “I can’t make myself [exercise]. I need someone to tell me to,” said Dana Kautto, 11. Time is an important factor in how much students exercise. “With other activities and all the homework you get, you can’t exercise as

photo by Nate Grann

Nutrition Facts Recommended amounts Amount

Sleep Hours per night Food Fruit/Veggie servings per day Dairy servings per day Grains servings per day Protein servings per day Exercise Time per day Days per week

Avg. Daily Value

9.5 5-9 2-3 6-11 2-3 20 min 4-5

information courtesy of the National Sleep Foundation, United States Department of Agriculture, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

By Maddy Stephens staff writer

Health is a big topic at MV. It is taught via textbooks, anti-tobacco posters, and the constant regurgitation of the phrase, “life is good.” Mounds View students surpass the national and state requirements of health education. But one thing that cannot fully be taught through classroom instruction is the value and diversity of relationships. An aspect of nearly every facet of life, students at Mounds View are confronted with some sort of relationship every part of their day—be it at home, at school, with friends, or with a significant other. Students at Mounds View have diverse and complex networks of friends. Almost three fourths of students reported arguments with friends as less than frequent, while 16 percent opted for the "frequent" option. Students reported "rarely" getting into fights with friends at 25 percent. “My interactions with others can be either a huge help to daily stress, or completely demolish what would have been a good day,” said Willis Tebben, 11. ‘It's not that my friends and I are catty or something…usually we just end up fighting because of miscommunications, or little disagreements that ultimately end up getting resolved after a little discussion,” said Laura Grittner, 11. Students at Mounds View generally do not match the stereotype of being gossipy or manipulative as set by television and movies like Mean Girls. “I guess we all just get along pretty well,” said Tebben. “If by ‘get along pretty well,’ you mean we coexist, then I guess that's an accurate statement,” said Chris Kloeckner, 11, who eyed Tebben. While many Mounds View students may feel that they are swimming in a sea of dating experts, some are exempt. “I've never dated anyone… I guess I don't find that a big deal, but it seems like a lot of upperclassmen have had a lot of relationships,” said Cody Liebfried, 9. Polls show that 26 percent of students

have never been in a relationship; in contrast, only ten percent of students have been involved in five or more relationships. However, only 19 percent of these relationships were reported as being “serious.” Teens, at Mounds View at least, seem to be looking for a less-than-serious relationship. “I'd rather not be in a serious relationship—it's more stress, and ultimately a lot more costly on the guy's part,” said Kloeckner. Serious relationships are not completely alien at Mounds View. Many students seek the comfort and closeness a long-term relationship can offer. “But in a long term relationship, you really get to know the person. It would be nice to know that someone is there for you,” countered Lauren Kunzer, 11. Tebben shrugged, “I guess I'm not looking for anything serious right now, just because it takes away from time with friends and personal space, but at the same time ... there's a different kind of closeness I think between people in a long term relationship.” Home-born elements are another factor in the relationship sector. The way students interact with their guardians and siblings can influence other elements of their social life. 20 percent of students polled reported an unhealthy environment at home, often leading to strained relationships with others. “My parents and I fight sometimes. But I think it's pretty obvious that everyone fights with [his or her] parents sometimes. And that some people fight with their parents a lot,” said Nick Strause, 12. Many students found themselves relying on different family members for different things, such as parents to talk about college and siblings to talk about romance. Grittner said, “My relationship with my family is really different for each member of my family. It's not the same between my brother and I as it is between my mom and I. It's really hard to generalize that kind of thing.”


8variety

January 18, 2008

Electrifying the music scene Monster truck madness By Sam Toninato staff writer

The Electric Fetus store at 2000 4th Avenue South in Minneapolis.

By Emily Nelson staff writer

One can tolerate only so much Fergie, Rihanna, and Britney. If you’ve wondered what else the music world holds, Electric Fetus can help you discover what you’ve been missing. The preeminent indie music store in the Twin Cities and Duluth offers an extensive selection of indie and local music. Electric Fetus is a relic in the retail world, a throwback to another age. Dan Foley and Ron Korsh opened Electric Fetus in 1968, and since then the store has become a cultural icon in the Twin Cities. Still operating at its original location at 4th Avenue and Franklin in Minneapolis, Electric Fetus maintains a retro appeal with psychedelic lava lamps and vintage posters, reminiscent of the days of Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead. Electric Fetus is more than just a record store. There’s something about the heady scent of incense, tilted wooden floors, and rows of vintage records that tells you this is better than a frustrating stop at Best Buy. Multicolored Christmas lights glow year-round on the dimly lit storefront while, inside creaky

floorboards whisper tales of past generations. “I love the atmosphere at Electric Fetus,” said Leslie Scott, 11. Forget impersonal service, mainstream pop albums, and the frustration of never finding what you want. Electric Fetus will redefine your idea of music stores. Music is an essential part of many people’s lives and thus is not to be taken lightly. Electric Fetus understands that. With hands deeply immersed in the local music scene, the staff at Electric Fetus seems to genuinely care about music. Scott said, “If I have a question about a band or an album, the salespeople always have tons of information about all the band’s albums, and they’re always eager to suggest other bands I might be interested in.” Nickels Krause, 11, agreed, “The staff is really knowledgeable about all the music they sell.” And that’s no small feat. Electric Fetus has nearly everything you can imagine. They will have that album that you’ve been searching for and can’t find anywhere else. If, by chance, they don’t have it, they’ll find it

photo by Nate Grann somewhere else and promptly order it for you. In addition to great records and local music, Electric Fetus offers an assortment of eclectic gifts. The shop’s diverse selection of hats ranges from fedoras to trendy beanies. It also stocks unique clothing, books, jewelry, and other paraphernalia that you probably won’t find at other places in the Twin Cities. Lauryl Bergmann, 10, said, “They have a really nice incense selection.” With iTunes selling albums for as low as $5.99, you may be reluctant to buy music from Electric Fetus as their merchandise is a bit pricier. Most albums cost around $13.99, but if you’re dissatisfied with the takeover of inhospitable chain music stores or you long for the bygone days of high fidelity, then Electric Fetus is worth the extra effort and cash. Perhaps the thing that makes Electric Fetus so exceptional is that the staff just loves music a little bit more than that of other music stores. Electric Fetus offers the perfect sanctuary for any music buff looking to escape the dreadful world of Best Buys and Sam Goodies.

On Dec. 8 at the Metrodome, a man dressed as Donkey Kong jumped a twoton monster truck over a motor home. While this may seem odd to some, this type of event is actually quite common at monster truck rallies, which are held monthly at the Metrodome. At these rallies, trucks race for first, perform death-defying leaps, and crash into each other. These monster truck rallies may seem cheesy, but they are actually a great source of immensely cheesy fun. “Monster truck rallies are great! It’s a place where you can just go crazy. I was screaming and yelling for my favorite truck, it was so much fun,” said Jack Basten, 11. Even though some love them, monster truck rallies are not well known at Mounds View. “I’ve never really heard much about monster trucks here,” said Walker James, 10. “It isn’t very popular at Mounds View.” This lack of familiarity may lead some to stereotype the activity. Some believe that monster trucks are only for hillbillies or rednecks. James said, “People just think that monster truck rallies are for hicks. They think that only hicks drive the trucks.” However, that is not the case. Monster trucks have been around since the ‘70s and continue to be incredibly popular. There are thousands of monster truck fans across the country and the sport continues to grow today. People of all ages enjoy monster trucks. “A lot of people think it is just for rednecks,” said Cole Thayer, 9. “But I think it is a sport. It can be for anyone.” Greg Northrop, 10, used to believe that monster trucks were for rednecks. But after attending a rally, his view on monster trucks changed.

“I didn’t know what the rally was going to be like; it was kind of a different thing for me. But it turned out to be really fun,” said Northrop. Monster truck rallies are broken into two parts. They start with two trucks competing against each other in a head-tohead race. There are almost no rules to speak of. The winners move on to the finals, and the losers compete for a consolation prize. Courses are filled with hairpin turns, large ramps, and bumpy terrain. Trucks race at breakneck speeds and require immense skill to control. If a driver were to lose control of his truck, he could seriously injure himself or the crowd. After the races are complete, the freestyle segment begins. During it trucks come out and perform their own choreographed routine. These routines can include huge leaps, death-defying backflips, and spectacular crashes. “The freestyle section of the rally is definitely my favorite. It is much more fun to watch,” said Reed Thompson, 11. During these intense freestyle routines, it is not unusual for the drivers to wreck their trucks and their surroundings. “At the rally I went to, one of the trucks drove over a shed,” Thompson said. “I don’t know if there was anything important in the shed, but the truck just drove right through it like it was nothing. It was really fun to watch.” Whether you are a seasoned monster truck fan, or new to the world of monster trucks, be sure to look into this exciting sport. Tickets cost only $15, and rallies take place at the Metrodome. Don’t be afraid to give monster truck rallies a try. “You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a monster truck launch off of a 70 foot gap,” said Thompson

courtesy of Monsterjamonline.com


January 18, 2008

Viewer staff pick out the essentials of 2007.

9 reviews

EDITORS’ PICKS OF 2 0 0 7

IN OUR BEDROOM AFTER THE WAR

JUNO MOVIE SOUNDTRACK

Stars

Various Arists

Stars is yet another product of Canada’s progressive indie-pop scene. Including members from the collective Broken Social Scene, Stars combines musicianship with dramatic intensity, employing dialogue-esque lyrics between a male and female vocalist. Most of their songs consist of shimmering musicianship, moving away from the dance tracks found in their previous album (Set Yourself on Fire) and towards a gentler, mellower sound.

Anna Brockway: Editor-in-chief “

If I’m driving and it’s gloomy, it’s great to sing along to.

Good movies have good music. Juno, a critically-acclaimed coming-of-age comedy, is no exception. The soundtrack features the greats (The Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth) and the new (lots of Kimya Dawson, Belle & Sebastian). The end result is a cute mix made for people who like some sap. No harm in that. It should be noted that Micheal Cera (Super Bad) sings in the last track.

Alice Liu: Managing Editor

EVEN IF IT KILLS ME

PE RS O N P ITC H

Motion City Soundtrack

Panda Bear

From their formation in 1997, Motion City Soundtrack has gone from Minneapolis pop-punk unknowns to borderline mainstream. Their new album caters to fans both new and old and Justin Pierre’s hair is still crazy. While maintaining some influence from The Rentals, Guided by Voices, and the Pixies, MCS has moved towards a catchier sound that has only furthered their success.

Belle Lin: News

and catchy lyrics that are easy “They haveonathefreshears.sound Plus, the lead singer has great hair. ”

I saw Juno and the next thing you know, I had the soundtrack and started learning the chords of ‘Anyone Else but You’ on my guitar.

Noah Lennox, otherwise known as Panda Bear, pushes experimentation past the limits of Animal Collective. This solo project explores even more expansive songwriting while going minimalist on instruments, instead of relying on purely electronics (although Lennox does love his loop machine) to provide a bizarre sound with a psychedelic core.

Andrew Larkin: Editorials

albums “It’s oneof ofthetheyear,mostwhileinnovative managing to maintain an accessible and relaxing atmosphere. ”

GRADUATION

CONTINUUM

Kanye West

John Mayer

Kanye West appears to be unstoppable. Currently in the lead in record sales against 50 Cent (the two are having a showdown), Graduation wowed fans and critics alike with its solidity and direction. The controversial artist used samples from A-list names like Elton John, Steely Dan, and Daft Punk and unshakeable beats to show listeners a good time. It’s apparent that Kanye can’t be stopped (and the notoriously pretentious artist probably thinks so too).

“Awesome.”

Sam Louwagie: Commentary

Continuum marks John Mayer’s return as a producer, and his efforts have clearly paid off. With an already impressive track record (he has won multiple Grammys), his latest has been dubbed his best. Mayer seems to have finally fully utilized his talents in Continuum, employing old-time blues and soul techniques throughout the entire album. So while it may be hard for some to take him seriously after his first hit “Your Body is a Wonderland,” he’s one of the best in popular music. Srsly.

Abby House: Features

ECHOES, SILENCE, PATIENCE, & GRACE

TH E C O O L

The Foo Fighters

Lupe Fiasco

The Foo Fighters have regrouped to produce a more diverse album, rather than the straight up power-pop they have in the past. It seems that as the years have gone by, the group has decided to mellow out. That isn’t to say they’ve lost any of their vitality, though, as their new stuff is just as cohesive as their past works. If anything, this album shows that there is a lot more to come.

Kathleen Gormley: Features

They don’t have just one sound; you never get sick of listening to them.

“Who doesn’t love a guy like John Mayer?”

Lupe Fiasco has been called the “savior of today’s hip-hop” and the “thinking man’s rapper,” among names like Nas, De La Soul, and more recently, Kanye West. Chicago’s latest hot-shot is an introspective and witty lyricist, pondering everything from the apocalypse to the weight of worldly possesions. The Cool is fierce, real, and one of the smartest efforts this year.

Vicky Kelberer: Spread

IN RAINBOWS

is appealing to everyone; “I like that his hemusicactually stands for something. ”

S P IC ED M O U N T AI N , S AC R E D HEAR T Brian Whitson & The Nightwolves

Radiohead In Rainbows is not only considered groundbreaking in terms of music, but in delivery as well. In an effort to get fans to think about what they would be willing to pay for music, Radiohead released In Rainbows sans price tag. Listeners could download the album off a website and donate as much as they’d like. While modernizing distribution, the album doesn’t fall deeper into Radiohead’s heavy experimentation, but rather returns to Radiohead’s roots: simplicity.

It’s hard to do Brian Whitson justice in a single paragraph. His real name is Nick, a local folk-troubador residing in Minneapolis. His music is a manifestation of his travels from Minnesota to California, recorded on lo-fi equipment in living rooms over the past few years. His songs talk of restlessness, rootlessness, and yearning and are driven by the need to explore. Fact: Will Haine (’06 MV Alumnus) and Cole Weiland (’05 MV Alumnus) are members of the Nightwolves.

Alicia Hilgers: Variety

TT Phan: Reviews

“Thom Yorke.”

S T I L L F E EL S GO O D

TH E CO N

Rascal Flatts

Tegan & Sara

“Their live shows are better than a religious revival.”

Although Rascal Flatts is country as far as appearances go, the group actually creates pop-oriented music with a country twang. Because of this appeal, their popularity has exploded over the past few years. The new disc is filled with power choruses, vocal harmonies, and stinging electric guitars to create the perfect summer disc.

Moving on from heartbreak-pop, Tegan and Sara moves to darker things in The Con. While the identical twins pack instant pop-hooks into their songs, they manage to make them work harmoniously with odd structures and bittersweet sentiments. The album is infused with raw creativity: the sisters have never sounded more like themselves. And every girl still likes Tegan & Sara at least a little.

Chelsy Mateer: Sports

Ashley Aram: Gallery

It always puts me in a good mood.

SEL F-TITLED

WINCING THE NIGHT AWAY The Shins

Beach House Slide guitars and bossa nova rhythms pulsate throughout Beach House to create a temporary fog. The album is held together by gorgeous Nico-like vocals and entrances users with an almost-eerie ritualistic spell, breaking the mold of the typical lovesick boy-girl duo sound. The album sweeps listeners into a world of haunting lullabies, waltzes, and hymnals, thriving in the blur it creates.

Nate Grann: Photo

It’s a different sound from their previous albums but remains really unique.

and “I really like the thelyricsguitar/synth duo. ”

The Shins have been developing their song for quite a while now. Making their debut to the masses with the popular, cute “indie” film Garden State, long-time Shins fans can still swoon and new ones can become enthralled with this new album. Making use of their typical almost self-depracating lyrics, soaring vocals, and some experimentation, Wincing the Night Away a is a worthwhile listen.

David Derong: Photo

It’s dreamy. “ ” photos courtesy of last.fm


10sports

January 18, 2008

Mo und s V i ew stu de nts ex er ci se th e ir cr eat iv it y

IRISH DANCING Lauren O’Brien When people think of Ireland, they might think of leprechauns, Irish accents, and pubs – but not the ancient art of Irish Dancing. However, Lauren O’Brien, 12, has been Irish Dancing since she was five years old. “My mom put me in it because my grandparents Irish danced before they immigrated to the U.S. It has been tons of fun, so I kept with it,” said O’Brien. O’Brien dances at a school in Edina called Corda Mór, which translates to “Great Heart” in Gaelic. There are three different levels at the school: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Irish dancing is different in many ways from other forms of dancing. For example, Irish dancers are not allowed to move their arms at all during competition. They have to be kept at their sides while they are performing. Also, competitions are always done as solos. Whereas other forms of dance use many people to put on the show, an Irish dancer puts on the same show solo. While O’Brien isn’t able to say that she can dance like the people in the famous show, “RiverDance,” participating in the activity has benefited her in many other ways. “I’ve gotten to meet a lot of new people that do the same thing I do, made lots of friendships, and been able to travel all around for competitions,” said O’Brien. O’Brien plans to stick with Irish Dancing as a lifelong hobby. She said,

“I’m happy that my mom got me into it as a young girl instead of a hobby I wouldn’t be able to learn as easy as I got older.” She hopes that when she’s older her grandkids will be Irish dancers. O’Brien said, “My

favorite part about Irish dancing is performing in front of people, and I love the look on my grandparents’ faces when they see me doing what they used to do!”

UNICYCLING Laurie Bachman Laurie Bachman, 11, has been unicycling since eigth grade with a club that meets at Chippewa Middle School on Fridays. She got into it through her friend Kristine PfenningWendt, 11, who had a unicycle at her house. “I tried it at Kristine’s house for the first time. That’s when she told me about the club, and I decided I would try to learn,” said Bachman. Bachman really enjoys the uniqueness of unicycling and the amount of tricks. Out of the countless tricks that can be done on a unicycle, Bachman’s favorite is going backwards. “Going backwards is really hard. It’s kind of annoying because you have to learn how to go forwards, and now you have to learn how to go backwards all over again. It’s also a long process because you have to learn one backwards revolution before you can do two, and two before three,” said Bachman. Many people may not try unicy-

cling because of the general belief that it’s dangerous. However, Bachman said, “Injury can be easily avoided with the use of a helmet and knowing how to fall.” With the knowledge of basic unicycle safety, Bachman has only hurt her leg once. “Depending in which direction you fall, it’s important to know how to land on your feet so there is no danger of crashing down onto the ground. The most important thing is to wear a helmet. One of my instructors told me that if you fall without a helmet on, the way down is going to seem a lot longer than it really is.” With the instruction of fellow unicyclers at the Chippewa Unicycle Club and the help of a friend, Bachman has discovered an abstract and enjoyable activity to keep herself busy and entertained.

photos courtesy of Jodi VanDeRiet, Lauren O’Brien, David Bank Studios (Josh Swanson photo), Luke Hutchison (Tucker Morris photo) Laurie Bachman photo by David Derong stories written by Alex Hoffman and Anna Blaske

HORSEBACK RIDING Jodi VanDeRiet

Every summer, Jodi VanDeRiet, 11, and her family load up their horses and head out to various cities so VanDeRiet can compete with other kids her age in western-style horse competitions. “Most of the competitions are only 45 minutes away and they are usually on the weekends. They are really competitive, but also really fun because there are a lot of people my age there,” she said. When VanDeRiet was two years old her mom introduced her to riding. VanDeRiet started taking lessons at a barn in Hugo. She currently owns two horses, a Welsch Pony and a Quarter Horse. “We’re going to move in the spring so I can be closer to my horses since Hugo is kind of far away,” she said. VanDeRiet is competitive in events

including barrel racing, pole bending, and other speed races. Barrel racing is a speed event in which the competitors speed around three barrels in a triangle pattern as fast as they can. Pole bending includes a line of poles which the competitors weave their horses in and out of as fast as they can. Through horseback ridi ng, VanDeRiet builds relationships with her animals, and she also creates friendships with her fellow riders.

When Josh Swanson was six years old, his dad introduced him to boxing. His dad was an amateur boxer at the Duluth Police Gym. “He bought me my first pair of gloves and boxing bag, which started my hobby,” said Swanson, 12. Swanson did not take lessons, belong to a gym, or participate in boxing

matches. He boxed alone at his house, mainly to stay active. “I just like to do it for fun, I never really thought competing would be fun, so I just box in my house,” explained Swanson. For Swanson, boxing was not just one of those sports that young boys take up, then get bored of and quit a year later. He still picks up the gloves and hits the bag despite all the other stresses of high school. Now, Swanson enjoys teaching his friends how to box, and they have small boxing tournaments on the weekends. “None of my friends want to fight me though, because I’m too good,” joked Swanson. Not only does boxing offer a fun time with his friends, it also lets him release tension, which will only benefit him in years to come. “It’s a great stress reliever just go hit the bag for a while,” said Swanson.

BOXING Josh Swanson

BACKPACKING Tucker Morris Hiking through the woods with an enormous backpack on and flies buzzing around might not be your cup of tea, but Tucker Morris, 11, has been backpacking for five years and loves nothing more than taking off that heavy pack and brewing his hot cup of tea over an open fire. “I first gave it a try when a camp counselor offered to take me and two of my friends on a trip to the North Shore. I wasn’t sure about it then, but I go with those two friends to different national forests in Minnesota pretty often now. It’s really a lot of fun,” said Morris. Their favorite place to go is the new Duluth segment of the Superior Hiking Trail. It’s a long trail, so it’s easy to find your own secluded space to make camp without any noise from other hikers. Morris, a seasoned veteran of backpacking, has picked up on a few unwritten rules to follow. “Always ditch your food far away from your camp. There are always animals nearby that are interested by the smell of food, and bears are known to attack if they’re scared,” said Morris. Morris’ favorite part about backpacking is when the day’s hike is over and

it’s time to set up camp. After pitching the tent in a strategic place, he and his friends like to sit around the fire before they go to sleep. Morris said,“Sitting around a fire with your buddies on a nice summer night is pretty tough to beat. Especially when you know you’re having Ramen Noodles for yet another meal the next morning.”


January 18, 2008

11

sports

An unexpected surprise The Mounds View boys’ hockey team is young this year, but the squad is still managing to do better than any other team in past seasons By Brooke Roberts & Alex Hoffman staff writers

After a 6-0 defeat of Irondale and a first place win at the Chisago Holiday Tournament, MV’s varsity boys’ hockey team is on track for potentially its best season in years. “I think our biggest win so far this season was our 2-3 win over Forest Lake in the Holiday Tournament championship. They are in our conference, and it set the tone for the rest of the year,” said Joe Hau, 11. The team’s final record for last year’s season was eight wins with 18 losses. Having lost some great players like pastcaptains Brian Novak, Tommy Francisco, and Ben Huebsch, the preseason outlook seemed bleak. However, the team has shown that they plan on being a serious contender this season, and currently have an overall record of 6-6. The team has set a few informal goals that they would like to achieve this season. The underclassmen want to improve and become more comfortable playing varsity. The whole team wants to win more games than they lose and win a game in the section playoffs, which hasn’t been done in the past five years. Mounds View boys’ hockey has acquired some rivals over the years just like any other sport. Current rivals are Roseville, White Bear Lake, and Irondale. The team has already lost to Roseville with an overtime score of 1-0. The goal was scored with only two seconds left,

making it one of the hardest losses for the team so far this season. The Mustangs throttled Irondale 6-0, and have not played White Bear. “To beat White Bear we have to play as a team and be disciplined. One decision can make or break you, and we try to

eliminate the bad ones,” said Jake Elms, 11. With a good team come key players, and this year’s hockey team is no different. Brock Pederson, 12, is the team’s leading scorer and one of the team’s important players.

photo by Debbie Li

The hard work of this year’s young Mounds View boys’ hockey team has propelled the squad further than many expected.

Q&A with U of M Head Coach Tim Brewster The University of Minnesota football team hasn’t qualified for a bowl game for the first time in six years. In a special interview, he tells the Viewer his plans for the future.

By Holly Groves staff writer

How do you feel about missing out in a bowl game this year? Well, it’s disappointing, but our goals and aspirations are to win a Big Ten championship and take the Gopher nation to Pasadena. We also understand the process is very hard and can be difficult and so this season was hard but I think what we have done is to set a foundation for the future and I think we are going to be in many bowl games in the future. What Big Ten team played the best this year? Ohio State and Illinois both played very well this year, Illinois went to the Rose Bowl this year and Ohio State played for the national championship. It seems that we have a lot of quarterbacks; how are you going to use all of their talent? We love competition and competition is what makes your team great. What I want to do is to make all the positions on our team very competitive ... going into this fall. We have Adam Weber, who had a year under his belt, we have Tony Mortenson, and also Clint Brewster, my son, will be on the team and I think it will be a healthy competition for them. What is a realistic expectation for the team next year? Every day when I am coach our expectation is to win a championship. We have no real desire just to go to a bowl game but to win a championship. We want to improve a lot from last season; we played a poor defense this season. I am very committed to getting a great defense team.

“Brock is definitely a big asset to the team. He’s a playmaker, and can make a lot happen out of nothin’,” said Gino Villella, 11. Another key player is goalie, Tony Civello, 12. “Tony can be an awesome goalkeeper. The team really rallies around Tony when he does well, so when he plays well we all play well,” said Elms. This varsity squad doesn’t consist of entirely upperclassmen. There are four sophomores on the team, due to a number of seniors getting cut. “I don’t think the team is necessarily better off without the seniors that got cut because they were really talented. But now we [the sophomores] can develop faster due to playing at the varsity level,” said Jack Messerly, 10. “With the seniors being cut, the team lost seniority and leadership. But the sophomores have stepped up and showed their hard work ethic. With their hard work and consistent play, they push the upperclassmen to be better players, and that really helps the team as a whole,” said Elms. This year’s team has surprised many, consisting of new faces and few seniors to lead. But the team has already achieved goals past teams haven’t. This team’s success falls in the hands of the young hockey players’ performance and their ability to grow quickly into a fast-paced varsity game.

The competitive edge

By Liz Steele

business manager “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.” The words of Kanye West express why many high school athletes are turning to protein shakes. As high school athletics become more and more competitive, the pressure mounts for individual athletes to enhance their performance. Teammates, coaches, parents, and the players themselves all have something to gain if an athlete can just get that extra edge. Protein shakes are mainly used before or after lifting. As you lift, your muscles develop miniscule tears. These tears are completely healthy and necessary for muscle growth. Protein shakes help repair these tears quickly, causing athletes to bulk up faster. Additionally, because the tears are repaired more quickly, protein shakes decrease soreness after lifting. Still, some athletes agree that the mental expectation of the power of protein powders is more effective than the actual physical properties of the powders themselves. Protein shakes, which are completely legal under Minnesota State High School League rules, are increasing in popularity. They are sold in grocery and nutrition stores across the country. Also popular is protein powder, which can be mixed into most beverages. According to Jason Bergman, 12, “They taste good if you do it right: frozen bananas, chocolate syrup, protein powder and peanut butter.”

But are they nutritious? Brandon Piechowski, 12, a cross-country captain, says his dad makes him eat protein shakes. “It’s a way for me to get something in my stomach after a workout that is healthy.” There’s no question that people need protein. As anyone who has taken health knows, proteins are the building blocks of muscle. Proteins are used by the brain and immune system as well. According to the FDA, a high school boy needs about 3,600 calories a day if he participates in heavy activity. This translates into about 140 grams of protein a day. Athletes claim that getting this protein from food alone is impossible, given time constraints, as well as limited food options. In perspective, Photo courtesy of EAS.com and Ian you would have to drink 17.5 Goldsmith glasses of milk (more than a heavy high school football playgallon) to get your recommend- ers. Additionally, the American ed daily dose of protein. Kidney Fund has warned that However according to high protein diets can cause Nancy Clark, renowned sport failure, decrease coronutritionist, “There is no substi- kidney nary blood flow, and cause bone tute for a strong breakfast and loss. daily nutrition plan built on a So how many MV athletes foundation of ‘real’ food.” use protein shakes? Experts across the field Football player Matt agree that protein supplements Stoltman, 11, estimates that must be used in moderation. over 30 percent of football Protein shakes can add 200 to players use protein shakes. 300 grams of protein a day. And Are these athletes at risk? there’s a downside to this. The general consensus is that Martica Heaner, exercise they aren’t, as long as they are physiologist and nutritionist, used in moderation. The bottom explained, “Extra protein does line is that players should make not automatically make extra every effort to get enough promuscle. In fact, if you eat more tein from healthy foods, but a protein than your body uses, it few protein shakes a week will will be stored as fat.” probably not cause any longConcern has arisen nationterm health problems. wide over the incidence of


12gallery Dear

January 18, 2008

“Everyone at my office thinks I drink coffee, but it’s grape Kool-Aid. I hate coffee.” This humorous confession, handwritten on a postcard with a picture of a coffee mug, is just one of the 180,000 anonymous secrets that can be found at PostSecret.com. Ranging from serious to ridiculous, these entertaining secrets have made PostSecret a cult classic. PostSecret is a website started by New York native Frank Warren in 2004. According to the website, Warren started this “postcard art project” in 2003 as a result of a dream he had while visiting Paris. In the dream it was revealed that he would “find his answers in the secrets of strangers.” Warren began passing out flyers and blank postcards to people, inviting them to anonymously share their secrets with the world and become postcard artists. The flyers contained the same rules and guidelines that apply today: legibly write your secret on a decorated postcard or any other 4x6 “canvas” and send it to PostSecret at 1345 Copper Ridge Rd, Germantown, Maryland, 20874. Though the background story may sound crazy, the website itself is certainly not. The website is a simple Blogspot page with a plain black background and around 20 pictures of homemade postcards with never-before-told secrets written on them. The page is updated every Sunday and displays a wide and interesting selection of “postcards” made out of everything from pictures to CDs. Anyone can send in their secret, which keeps the website diverse. The allure of PostSecret comes not only from human curiosity but from the ability to relate to anonymous people and to share the

,

same secret. Because of this connection, PostSecret features a discussion forum where members of the PostSecret community can discuss and share secrets. The website has become so popular that a week’s worth of secrets doesn’t always suffice for its dedicated followers, so an audio secret function has been added and secrets can now be read, discussed, and listened to every week. The popularity and demand for PostSecret has spread past the website itself. Four PostSecret books have been published, each filled with the most memorable and raw secrets from the year, such as, “I don’t care about recycling, but I pretend I do.” The books have been on such high demand that the profits have kept all advertising off the PostSecret site. People have also started slipping their secret postcards in between pages of libraries’ PostSecret books to be found by the next reader. PostSecret has been spilling into pop-culture as well. In 2005, the band All American Rejects used the PostSecret project as the theme of their music video for the song, “Dirty Little Secret.” The video shows people holding up their postcards in front of their faces and revealing their painfully honest and relatable secrets. A memorable one being, “I cheated on my SAT and got a scholarship.” With its recent “2007 Weblog of the year” award and constantly growing fan base that now numbers in the hundred thousands, it is easy to see that PostSecret will not stay a cult classic for long. Frank Warren’s humble art project has turned into a world-wide cultural craze. The only a secret he has yet to share is what he will come up with next.

images courtesy of USA Today

Frank Warren, the creator of PostSecret, has spoken at universities across the country.

story by Karly Bergmann staff writer

images courtesy of PostSecret.com


January 18th, 2008 - MVHS Viewer