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MUS Basketball........................1 NFL Draft.................................4 Elliott Cole Interview.................5 College Basketball.................5,6 NFL Playoffs.............................6

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Sweeney Todd, Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches Reviews................................7 Bari Ristorante, Juno Reviews.8 8 Diagram, Ciao Bella Reviews..17 Best Music of 2007...................18

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Best Games of 2007............19-21 Best Movies of 2007............21-23 Crossword and Sudoku............24

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League Play Starts Strong By FOrresT BaTy

Photo Courtesy of Mark Vives

Sophomore Barry Brunetti scores during Saturday’s win against TiptonRosemark Academy

A fast start, then a minor setback, and now back on track. This is a quick overview of the MUS Basketball season thus far. Going into the winter break having just lost one game, the Owls looked to continue their dominance. In the annual Carbondale Illinois Holiday tournament, the Owls dropped two out of three games, setting their record at 9-3. For the season, the Owls were averaging just under 60 points per game, while only giving up a little over 50 points per game. Statistically, they had nothing to worry about and looked to bounce back against Arlington. Now back from the break, the Owls have won 4 of their last 5 games. Traveling to Arlington High School on January 4, the Owls held off the Tigers, 55 to 46. On the following night, the Owls lost at home to Harding, 31 to 45. Trying to recover from a miserable shooting night, the Owls hosted St. Benedict and opened league play with a 52 to 41 win. This past Friday night, the Owls won decisively at ECS in arguably their most complete game of the year, 79 to 61. Brilliant shooting highlighted this game, as Robert Counce poured in 20 points and Jordan Brown added 15. On Saturday night, the Owls handled Tipton-Rosemark, winning 71 to 60. Taylor Reed led the way with a team-high 17 points. This gives the Owls a 13-4 overall record and a 2-0 record in league play. However, the road is soon to get rougher. This week, the Owls have two tough games, the first at Briarcrest on Tuesday night and the second at home against Christian Brothers on Friday night. The Owls will look to build on a strong start in league play this week against the Saints and then against the Brothers during their Homecoming.

Photos Courtesy of MUS

Portraits (L-R, T-B): Mr. Hatchett, Mr. MacQueen, Mr. Springfield

Beloved Teacher Honored By rOBerT DuFFley Newest in the series of faculty portraits is the likeness of Bill Hatchett, who taught English here at MUS from 1957 to 1985. Faculty and alumni gathered at a January 10 ceremony to honor Mr. Hatchett and unveil the portrait of him that will soon join those of Leigh MacQueen and John Murray Springfield. Presiding over the unveiling ceremony was Bobby Wade, president of the Alumni Executive Board, while Mr. Haguewood and Mr. Thompson spoke, praising Mr. Hatchett and recounting anecdotes. Mr. Hatchett came to MUS in 1957 highly qualified, having taught at Cambridge, in Greece, and at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. He wrote to the new MUS’s founder Col. Ross Lynn that he felt he should teach at the college level to best know how to prepare college preparatory students. Once here, Mr. Hatchett immediately set about becoming “part of the legend, life, and lore of MUS,” according to Mr. Thompson. A co-author of the MUS fight song, Mr. Hatchett was even married in the Hyde Chapel by Dr. Jackson. Mr. Hatchett was a member of the MUS

faculty for twenty-nine years, in which he sought to “enforce writing in a world addicted to gibberish.” Among his students, Mr. Hatchett was notorious for his cryptic grading method, and one former student described his graded essays as “living things, bleeding from the corrective surgeries of a master.” Mr. Haguewood described his classroom as a “curious kind of chapel,” and said that Mr. Hatchett had been compared to Mr. Chips, the British schoolmaster of literary renown. He was a member of many societies, such as MENSA, and he was always willing to learn. Mr. Hatchett was eventually taken from MUS by a 1985 stroke, and he requested that only the word “teacher” be printed on his tombstone. Painted by award-winning South Carolina artist Rich Nelson, Mr. Hatchett’s picture will likely hang in the cafeteria. In a Monday chapel speech, Mr. Haguewood stated that the eventual goal is to cover the cafeteria walls in paintings. From the reverence with which Mr. Wade, Mr. Thompson, and Mr. Haguewood spoke, it seems that Mr. Bill Hatchett, who “endowed his love of literature with his love of God,” is quite worthy of being the subject one of the third of many faculty portraits to come.


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Roger Chu Asst. Teddy Klug Associate Editor

News Editor

Robert Duffley Viewpoints Editor

Samir Sheth Sports Editor

Owen Mercer Amusements Editor

Will Mays Layout Editors

Photographer

Mark Vives

Photo Courtesy of Kate Metcalf

Spencer Reese, and MUS alum, addressed the student body during chapel on Friday, January 4th

Potter-mad Alum Speaks By Drew Cornaghie

Cartoonists

Anthony Dang Parker Joyner Columnists

Brandon Parrish Wade Laycoock Kimbrough Taylor Business Manager

Joshua Vieira Contributors James Arnold, Fadi Assaf, Forrest Baty, Eric Catmur, Drew Cornaghie, Parker Joyner, Evan Mah, Mustafa Motiwala, Anand Patel, Brad Ringel, Mason Soun Faculty Advisor

Mr. Norman Thompson

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Alexander Fones

Shameel Jahanzeb Ryan Turner

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Last Friday, Spencer Reese, who graduated from MUS in 1994, spoke in chapel about his memories of his time at our school and about the worth of controversy in literature. What he so humbly did not tell us is the amazing success he has experienced through his eccentric and creative teaching style. Recently, Reese, who teaches English at Lausanne, received the Leadership Development Award from the National Council of Teachers of English. Additionally, Reese has been commended by the Commercial Appeal, honored by the Shelby-Memphis Council of Teachers, and is scheduled to speak at this year’s MidSouth Comic Con. Perhaps most impressive, he was asked to work toward his doctorate at Exeter University in England. He was bestowed with these honors, of course, because he’s absolutely obsessed with Harry Potter. Interestingly, Reese did not always feel this way. In fact, when the books first came out, he refused to read them as he did not think they could measure up to The Lord of the Rings. Not until he was stuck on a boring vacation did Reese pick up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Evidently, that little decision, designed only to provide some entertainment, sparked Reese’s overflowing fanaticism and took him down a path of no return. Reese has designed

his English course at Lausanne entirely around the Harry Potter series, culminating in the fourth quarter with a survey and analysis of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The decision to incorporate Harry Potter in his classroom, alongside such classics as The Lord of the Flies, Romeo and Juliet, and Fahrenheit 451, was made during a class field trip to see the first movie. Upon arriving at the theatre and disembarking from the bus, Reese was approached by a woman who commended him for bringing his students to see a movie and learn outside of class. When he told her they were seeing Harry Potter, the woman snapped and told him he was going straight to hell and dragging the kids down with him. When asked, however, she confessed that she hadn’t read the books, nor had the minister at her church who warned her about them. Disturbed that someone could have such conviction regarding a topic she knew virtually nothing about, Reese resolved to teach his students the literary worth of the Harry Potter novels and the value of their controversy. As he mentioned in chapel, controversy is not necessarily a bad thing and one must look at all views of a subject before making any sort of assessment of it. Ultimately, Spencer Reese has proved that with an MUS education, we can pretty much do anything in life, even go to Hogwarts.

With the start of 2008, there is one thing most Americans have on their minds: the elections. The New Year means that the primaries have begun and candidates are racing from state to state, trying to ensure a win. Both the Democrats and Republicans are fiercely competitive this time around, and both sides have many candidates who differ dramatically in their political views. The Iowa caucuses gave a great deal of insight into the rest of the election process. Mike Huckabee unexpectedly claimed a victory in the Republican votes. However, this outcome is not terribly surprising. Out of all the candidates, Huckabee would be the expected choice if you look at the candidates from the perspectives of a Republican Iowan. Iowa is seated on the border of the Bible belt, so it is logical that most conservatives would lean towards the more Christian candidate. To a Republican, Huckabee seems like the most logical pick from a Mormon, an old POW, a politically confused New Yorker, and an actor. The Democrats’ result was a little different. Senator Barack Obama won the day with a well-earned victory over Hillary and Edwards. Iowa’s result gave Americans a good sign as to how great a threat Obama poses to other hopefuls. If Iowa chooses a young, black, Muslim-raised senator over the “experienced” Hillary Rodham and good-ole Democrat John Edwards, then what is going to happen farther down the campaign trail? The win for Obama also uprooted some of Clinton’s solidarity as the party leader, and caused much question as to who will get the Democratic AfricanAmerican vote. New Hampshire didn’t give voters much of an idea about who is going to win the candidate position for each party. The Clinton-Obama contest is going to be even tighter now that each has won a primary, but the real surprise came from John McCain, who had a come back from a meager 12% in Iowa to winning in New Hampshire. Does this news mean that McCain will get his support from New England instead of the Massachusetts native Mitt Romney? None of these results give many answers as to who will win the remaining primaries, but they allow for a wide range of political views on both the Democratic and Republican side.


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The Beats of Hypnosis By Fadi Assaf Nobody listens to techno? Come on Eminem. Get over yourself. Although diminished to measly trash in the United States, techno and trance have successfully swept across many European and Asian countries. While those individuals across the pond indulge in the magical beats of trance and techno, we Americans are too busy memorizing the dance steps to Soulja Boy’s “Crank That.” With that point aside, what infuriates me the most is hearing some dim-witted teenager belittle trance and techno with a simple, “There are no lyrics, it’s not even music.” Woah! No lyrics? Maybe you have failed to purchase Tiësto’s latest album In Search of Sunrise 6: Ibiza, (ISOS 6). Tiësto’s sixth album has lyrics and a bunch of them at that. Frankly, if you believe that techno and trance don’t have lyrics then you probably don’t know the first think about either one of them. And you know what they say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Exactly. Secondly, the argument that techno and trance music aren’t even music at all is completely irrational. One of the main reasons people demean techno and trance is because they do not possess the imagination necessary to appreciate the beats and lyrics that techno and trance provide. Techno and trance were created for the listener to interpret the music whichever way he/she chooses to. Therefore a song which contains a certain beat maybe be interpreted in a plethora of ways. So basically, techno and trance may not be suit-

Photo Credit of Wikipedia.org

Tiesto’s In Search of Sunrise 6: Ibiza able for those lacking an imagination. For those select people, good luck! Contrary to popular belief, illegal drugs are not required in order to enjoy the hypnotic madness known as trance or techno is not required. For one to enjoy the music he/she must imagine and allow the music to come to life. The music, unlike many mainstream titles, invigorates and creates a sense of reverie within the listener. These are some of the reasons millions of avid fans attend sold-out concerts around our musically deprived planet. Have you ever heard of Soulja Boy performing in front of 2.5 million fans? I think not. Techno and trance are alive and well. So gentlemen, pull out your glow sticks, LED spike balls, and your strobe lights, because rave season is here.

Thought of the Day Lacks Student Effort By Anand Patel “The Thought of the Day”… The highlight of all our weeks, I am sure. Looking up famous quotes on the internet and reciting them in front of our homeroom classes, how useful and exhilarating. The whole idea of the “thought of the day” is to increase our verbal communication skills/ speech experience, right? Well, after having gone through my “thoughts of the day”, I got to thinking. With all due respect, all everybody was doing was repeating what one another said. I am not trying to butcher the “thought of the day” or anything but I am just trying to say that it could use some

reform. There is only a limited number of famous quotes that are worth copying, pasting, printing, and repeating on the internet for us all to use. If not to completely abolish the “thought of the day”, we should really modify it for the better. Incorporating our own ideas into our own thoughts of the day would perhaps be much more beneficial to us than just listening to the same quotes on the same topic, over and over, twice a week, for a month; all of which have no hint of what we truly believe on the subject. Integrating these famous quotes and their meanings into what we may have prepared for Tuesday or Thursday would give us and our speeches even more signifi-

cance. Don’t get me wrong, the “thought of the day” isn’t a “horrendous” idea, Coach Cady may have something here. All I am saying is that we can modify our present, not so thought-provoking or enlightening, “thought of the day” with a more inspired and creative thought of our days. Presenting our own self-written thoughts of the day would give us a whole new way to express ourselves without the attentive eyes of our teachers grading us on our grammar or content. We would be totally free to express our thoughts on the “thought of the day” which would thus give us more confidence in school and effectively in life itself. The “thought of the day” has so much potential

at MUS; it has the possibility to blossom into something that every student looks forward to - an event which allows them to break free from the yoke that this institution has put on our thoughts and actions. By no means will the eradication of the “thought of the day” do any of us any good… or bad. The continuation of the “thought of the day” is quite inevitable. If it is going to stay and be unaccepted by the student body, why not have it be something that could be liked and become a new tradition here at MUS? Even though this “Thought of the Day” is new and foreign to us all now, it may, from now on, live a long life here at MUS… if a change comes, that is.


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The NFL Draft: An Early Look By Kimbrough Taylor By this point, a recap of the college season or the bowls would probably be of little or no interest to you. So, with my last college football article, I thought a look at this year’s NFL Draft would be a good idea. This year’s draft will take place on Saturday and Sunday, April 26 & 27, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. This year, the draft will cut down on the time allotted to teams to make their picks this year, making the draft a more “watch-able” event that will not take up your entire day. In addition to changes to the draft, the NFL plans to unveil its new logo, replacing the current one which has been in use since 1976. But, all things considered, the draft is about one thing: the players. Below, I have listed my top 10 picks by position for this year’s draft, with a brief description about each player. This list may not include all the top players in my perspective, but rather will show the top ten as of now (juniors still have until Tuesday, January 15th to declare their intentions to enter the draft). This portion of my list will cover offensive players, with a defensive list coming in the following issue of The Owls’ Hoot. Some positions I’ve deemed only need the top 5 listed Quarterbacks 1) Matt Ryan, Sr., Boston College – Ryan is the complete package for an NFL QB. He has great awareness, pocket presence, and decision making, along with an adequate arm. 2) Brian Brohm, Sr., Louisville – Brohm is a 3rd year starter at Louiville who could have been a 1st round pick last year. 3) Andre Woodson, Sr., Kentucky – Woodson almost lost his job as the starter 2 years ago at Kentucky, but he has established himself as a premiere QB and led the Wildcats to two Bowl games in a row. 4) Chad Henne, Sr., Michigan – Henne’s performance against Florida in Michigan’s last game under Lloyd Carr elevated his status in most scouts’ eyes (25-39 for 373 yds and 3 TDs). 5) Dennis Dixon, Sr., Oregon – The scrambling QB had a great season, led his team to the top in rankings, was a legitimate Heisman candidate, and was incredibly valuable to his team (when he injured his knee, his team suffered through the final 2 regular season games). Running Backs 1) Darren McFadden, Jr., Arkansas – McFadden has finished 2nd in the Heisman voting for the past two seasons. 2) Jonathan Stewart, Jr., Oregon – Explosive back carried much of the weight

after Dixon’s injury. 3) Chris Johnson, Sr., East Carolina – If you caught the Hawaii bowl, you’ve heard of him. If not, check out these numbers: 28 carries for 223 yards and 1 TD along with 3 catches for 33 yards and another score in the game. 4) Tashard Choice, Sr., Georgia Tech – Choice proved to be a very valuable player to his team, running for almost 1,500 yards. 5) Kevin Smith, Jr., Central Florida – Smith came within 100 yards of breaking Barry Sanders’ single-season rushing record with 2,567. 6) Mike Hart, Sr., Michigan – Hart was a four-year starter for the Wolverines, providing consistency throughout his entire career, rarely fumbling and running for over 5,000 career yards. 7) Rashard Mendenhall, Jr., Illinois – A big reason why the Illini were able to go from a 2-win season to a 10-win season and a Rose Bowl berth in only a year. 8) Jamaal Charles, Jr., Texas – Charles is a versatile back with great speed. He ran for 1619 yards and 18 touchdowns his junior year. 9) Matt Forte, Sr., Tulane – A relatively unknown player who ran for over 2,000 yards his senior year. 10) Ray Rice, Jr., Rutgers – Coach Greg

Schiano has said Rice is the main reason Rutgers has managed their rise to the national spotlight. Fullbacks 1) Peyton Hillis, Sr., Arkansas – Hillis was used in many facets at Arkansas. He is a great receiver, runner, and blocker. 2) Owen Schmitt, Sr., West Virginia – THE MAN BEAT HIMSELF IN THE FACE WITH HIS HELMET… also scored 14 TDs in his career and is a ferocious blocker 3) Jacob Hester, Sr., LSU – Hester is a great runner and receiver. He spent a lot of time at tailback rather than fullback. Wide Receivers 1) Limas Sweed, Sr., Texas – Sweed is a huge target, coming in at 6-5, 219. He caught 20 Tds over his career at Texas. 2) Adarius Bowman, Sr., Oklahoma State – Bowman is another large target at 6-4. He caught 12 Tds his senior year. 3) Darius Reynaud, Sr., West Virginia – Reynaud is a very well balanced and physical receiver. He did not get the huge numbers of other receivers because of WVU’s runfirst offensive mindset. 4) Early Doucet, Sr., LSU – Doucet did not have the big year many predicted, but he is still a great receiver. He does better as a complimentary rather than a go-to player. 5) Malcolm Kelly, Jr., Oklahoma – A great receiver who missed Oklahoma’s bowl

Photo courtesy of sportsillustrated.cnn.com

Boston College Quarterback Matt Ryan is likely to be highly sought after in the upcoming NFL Draft

game due to injury. He did not get the talk he deserved during the season. 6) James Hardy, Jr., Indiana – Tallest receiver in draft at 6-7. He lacks great speed to make quick, short routes work, but he is an excellent deep threat. 7) Mario Manningham, Jr., Michigan – At this time, Manningham has not “officially” declared for the draft, but when he does, look for him to jump up in the draft. He has great speed and is very versatile. 8) Keenan Burton, Sr., Kentucky – A tall receiver who was Andre Woodson’s favorite target throughout the pair’s careers at Kentucky. 9) D.J. Hall, Sr., Alabama – A quick receiver with great jumping ability. Hall is a threat anywhere on the field. 10) DeSean Jackson, Jr., California – Jackson could be a top 10 draft pick, but I’ve put him down here due to inconsistency, injury-proneness, and a lack of motivation (Jackson was suspended on many occasions throughout his career and teams drafting players go through extensive “character analysis”). Tight Ends 1) Fred Davis, Sr., Southern California – Davis emerged as QB John David Booty’s favorite target. He has great speed for someone his size. 2) John Carlson, Sr., Notre Dame – A bright spot on an otherwise dismal team, Carlson could have left for the draft as a junior. 3) Martin Rucker, Sr., Missouri – Rucker played in a Missouri system that valued its Tight Ends, and as a result showed he has great hands. He also has good size at 6-6, 255. 4) Jacob Tamme, Sr., Kentucky – A great receiver and consistent player, but not a great blocker. 5) Cornelius Ingram, Jr., Florida – A match-up nightmare with big size and receiver-like speed. Offensive Line 1) Jake Long, Sr., Michigan – Long is a big guy at 6-7, 310. He can play right or left tackle. 2) Ryan Clady, Jr., Boise State – Clady has great speed for someone a player his size (6-5, 320). He plays tackle. 3) Roy Scheuning, Sr., Oregon State – The four year starter is a very aggressive and consistent blocker. 4) Steve Justice, Sr., Wake Forest – He makes up for a lack of size with great tenacity, quickness, and intelligence from his Center position. 5) Eric Young, Sr., Tennessee – Young is a big player, but is often victimized by faster defensive linemen.


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Former Owl Elliott Cole Spreads Wings at Vanderbilt By Owen Mercer

Photo Courtesy of Yearbook

Elliott Cole during a game last year against CBHS

Arguably the biggest factor in the MUS Owls’ State Championship-winning season was the play of then-senior guard Elliott Cole. His 31 points, in addition to his leadership, resulted in a 70-50 victory over St. George’s in the TSSAA State Basketball title game and brought Coach Jerry Peters his first state tournament title. Throughout the season, Cole was the vocal and physical leader of the team, often putting the team on his back and leading them to many crucial victories. After his prep career at MUS ended, he wanted to play college basketball somewhere, but couldn’t convince a school he liked to offer him a scholarship. So, long story short, he ended up playing for the Vanderbilt Commodores as a walk-on. Interested in what it is like to play Division I basketball and the recruitment process, I asked Elliott for an interview: How did you end up on the Vanderbilt basketball team? I didn’t know it before the game, but [Vanderbilt] Coach [Kevin] Stallings and [Vanderbilt assistant] Coach [King] Rice were at the state championship game to look at [St. George’s] Elliott Williams. After the season I visited Belmont for basketball, and decided not to play there, but I did email Coach Rice about walking on at Vanderbilt because I knew he was at the game. I guess I played well enough that they noticed me, and a few days later Coach Stallings called me and told me that I had a spot on the team. What has been the most exciting part of the season thus far? The most exciting part would definite-

ly be the SEC opener vs. South Carolina (January 9). It was the first day of class and all the students were back on campus. They had the ‘Memorial Madness’ pep rally before the game, so all the students were there early. I think our shootaround had a few thousand people at it. It was definitely the best basketball game atmosphere I’ve ever seen What does it feel like to be a part of the team that has had the best start in Vanderbilt history (16-0 as of January 10)? It feels great. It’s something we, as a team, are aware of but are not focusing on. Coach always tells us that we’re not playing to be undefeated, but we’re playing to win championships. Winning is great, and being undefeated is awesome. But it’s not what we’re focusing on. How have you had to improve your game since coming to Vanderbilt? The biggest differences between high school basketball and college basketball are size and speed, and both of those are important on defense. I’ve had to work on being more physical when I guard the ball and being quick enough to contain defenders. That’s definitely where I’ve had to improve the most. What is the locker room like before and after a game? The locker room is great. Before the game we’re just trying to get fired up and ready to play. Everyone kind of has their own ritual. After the game Coach Stallings talks about the game and how we played. Some games are better than others, and for the most part a win puts everyone in a good mood. But the game lets us know what we need to work on.

and Jajuan and Tyler Smith, Tennessee has developed one of the top high-scoring offenses in the league to tack on to its impressive record, consisting of only one loss. Even though Lofton’s three-point percentage has been uncharacteristically low (34%), Tennessee’s showdown with Memphis on February 23 is speculated to be an electric thriller. Completing the trio, Vanderbilt, lead by senior Shan Foster, has accomplished an impressive season so far with only one loss. However, the Commodores need to take advantage of their few tough opponents against Tennessee and Ole Miss in order to maintain an esteemed reputation. Aside from the local teams, the highly regarded national teams have generally

kept up with their expectations. North Carolina has maintained their preseason ranking of No.1 and has accomplished an undefeated record, despite escaping a thriller at Clemson highlighted by Wayne Ellington’s last second three in overtime to end his thirty-six point game and the Tar Heels victory over the tigers. Furthermore, undefeated No.3 Kansas has proven its capability of beating teams with its defense and offense, an attribute that could lead the Jayhawks to a national championship. The Pac-10’s UCLA and Washington State are two high-ranked, tough competitors who have proven to be able to make a run in the tournament with a combined record of one loss. However, as the season Continued On Page 6

March Finals Still Wide Open in College Basketball By Brad Ringel Often, surprises can swiftly creep up upon any ordinary athletic season in a single night; however, few analysts could have predicted this year’s storylines in college basketball. For instance, the college season boomed quickly with Billie Gillispie’s blown fresh start with Kentucky from its opening loss to Garner Webb. Also, USC’s stunning defeat from Mercer and Michigan State’s humiliating collapse to Division II Grand Valley State added to the list of astonishments. Even more surprising to some is the quality of Tennessee’s elite teams: Memphis, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee, who all are continually soaring past their already high expectations.

Tennessee’s three prolific squads are lead by the current No. 2 and undefeated Memphis Tigers. Piloted by highly recruited freshman Derek Rose and veterans Chris-Douglass Roberts and Joey Dorsey, this year’s tigers seem to be among the top teams in the nation. Coach Calipari’s new high-paced offensive style, stressing the drive off the dribble, helps Memphis’ deep team wear down opponents and accumulate many free throws off inside fouls. Also, the Tigers’ defense lead by Dorsey’s abilities to rebound and block shots has helped the Tigers knock off the top-notch schools of USC, Georgetown, and Arizona. Like Memphis, the Volunteers have also climbed atop the nation’s best. Lead by the hot-shooting senior Chris Lofton


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Road to Super Bowl XLII By Mason Soun As fans across the nation prepare for Super Bowl XLII, only four teams are left. After a memorable season with the New England Patriots’ perfection, the emergence of unknown players such as Earnest Graham, and the tragic story of Sean Taylor and inspirational story of Kevin Everett, the NFL playoffs have proved exciting once again. In the AFC Championship, the San Diego Chargers will go to Foxboro to attempt to upset MVP Tom Brady and his 17-0 Patriots. The Green Bay Packers, led by veteran Brett Favre, will play the New York Giants. All four teams boast talented running backs and stout defenses. In many cases, the conference championships prove to be more exciting than the Super Bowl, or the largest American sport event. On Saturday, the Green Bay Packers became the first team to move on to the conference championships. Brett Favre and a strong Packer defense, led by Probowlers Aaron Kampman and Al Harris, have led this young team to a 13-3 regular season record. Before the season, the Packers were mainly concerned with their running attack, but Ryan Grant, an undrafted rookie, proved to be the solution, running for 956 yards and 8 touchdowns over just 7 starts. Along with the very heavy snow, their opponents Saturday were the Seattle Seahawks, fresh off their win over the Redskins in which the Seattle defense ran back two interceptions for touchdowns late in the game. The Seahawks’ momentum from the Redskin game showed as the Seahawks jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, mainly the cause of two Ryan Grant fumbles. The Packers chose to stick with their young back, and it proved to be a great decision, as Grant ran for fifty yards and a score the next drive. Then, as the offense started heating up in blizzard conditions, the defense played well, allowing only two field goals for the rest of the game. Grant finished a career day with 201 yards (a new franchise record for the playoffs) and three touchdowns, while Favre threw three touchdowns to lead the Packers to their first NFC championship in ten years. The New England Patriots enter the AFC championship as the favorite to win it all. While becoming the first team to go 160, the Patriots dominated their opponents, and Tom Brady threw for a record fifty TD passes. The Patriots’ first opponent after their by week was the Jacksonville Jaguars. Even though he started the game down seven points, Brady showed why he is considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time by throwing 26/28 passes for 262 and three touchdowns. The game was close at half-

time, but the Patriots were just too much for the Jaguars, outscoring them by eleven points. Safety Rodney Harrison sealed the Patriots’ seventeenth win and ticket to the AFC championship with a late interception in the fourth quarter. The San Diego Chargers will look to revenge their Week 2 loss against the Patriots in the divisional playoffs. The Chargers, led by rushing leader LaDainian Tomlinson, come to New England with a 13-5 record, having battled both the Titans and the Colts. They were able to defeat the Titans despite a 6 point deficit at halftime. They would ultimately win the game 17-6, mainly through the connection between Philip Rivers and his receivers, Vincent Jackson and Chris Chambers. After their win, they went to play the Colts, the defending champs in the divisional round. The Chargers found themselves in a see-saw battle with the Colts. However, the defense stepped up again right before the half, as Antonio Cormartie picked off Peyton Manning for the fourth time of the year. The teams would exchange passing touchdowns at the beginning of the second half, and then would both score fifty-six yard passing touchdowns. The game was over when the Chargers, who despite being without Tomlinson and Rivers due to injuries, scored on a QB-sneak, a touchdown the Colts would never answer. The last team in the final four is the New York Giants, led by the Manning you didn’t expect in the championship rounds. Despite talks of the chance of firing coach Tom Coughlin near the end of the season, the Giants finished off a great 10-6 season, giving the Patriots their toughest win. Coming in with a 5 seed to the playoffs, they had to go on the road twice, first to Tampa Bay. At Tampa Bay, they were able to stop the Bucs’ top wideout, Joey Galloway, even with a depleted secondary. After defeating the Buccaneers 24-14, they moved on to the top seeded Dallas Cowboys. In a game that would prove to be the second upset of the day, the Giants were able to come back from a 20 play Dallas drive and provide Amani Toomer with his second touchdown of the game right before halftime. After the half, the front seven of the defense was able to pressure Cowboy’s quarterback Tony Romo, giving much needed help to the even more injured secondary. A Brandon Jacobs’ touch down sealed the win with 2:24 left, shocking Romo, his girlfriend, and the entire Cowboys team. The win punched a ticket to the very cold Lambeau field. Preview: Chargers 17 @ Patriots 30 A preview of the match-up would be the Patriot 38-14 victory over the Chargers in

Foxboro during Week 2. Yes, the teams are different, but a Charger upset is highly improbable. As Tomlinson, Rivers, and Gates did not play some or all of the second half, it’s unlikely for them to be 100%. The two big match-ups are Tomlinson vs. the Patriots defense and Randy Moss vs. the Chargers’ secondary. Although sensational during the season, Tomlinson has gained only 70 yards in the playoffs, and he now plays a Patriot team that held the Jaguars (the second best rushing team) to only 80 yards. The other match-up involves Moss, who only caught one pass during the Jaguar game. As great as Cromartie is, the Patriots showed that they could win a game and pass very well with Moss. Although they beat the Colts with mainly their second string, the Chargers will probably not be able to pull off an upset. The Patriots will be able to stop the Chargers’ passing game with their veterans, and the Patriots will be playing in the Super Bowl with a perfect season at stake. Giants 14 @ Packers 21 These teams also met in Week 2, the game going 35-13 to the Packers. However, that game can not provide a simulation of this game, because Jacobs and Grant both did not play, and the weather was a lot gentler than what mother nature promises this time around. Another big factor different in this game is the absence of Jeremy Shockey and enough corners to defend the Packer receivers. Although Romo couldn’t take advantage of this depleted secondary, Favre will as he is an experienced quarterback. The Giants probably hope that the game ends in a rushing attack due to the snow not because they have the better rushing game necessarily, but because of the Packers’ second ranked passing offense. The snow should limit a really high scoring game, and the Packers should come out with a ticket to Phoenix to test the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Super Bowl XLII: Patriots 24, Packers 21 This one should be close, and though the Patriots will be the favorites, the Packers have a great chance to win.

Photo Courtesy of SuperBowl.com

The Super Bowl XLII logo

Photo Courtesy of MemphisFlyer.com

John Calipari and the Memphis Tigers are having a phenomenal season

College

From Page 5

unfolds, the top two conferences in this year’s field will probably be the ACC and the Big 12. As usual, the ACC remains the best conference in basketball with its two top ten teams of North Carolina and Duke, but what makes this conference the leading conference in the nation is all of its smaller ranked teams. Teams such as Clemson, Miami, Boston College, Florida State, Wake Forest, and Virginia can make any conference game, no matter the location, a toss up. Similarly, the Big 12 consists of the dominant schools of Kansas, Texas, and Texas A&M, yet also has those smaller but competitive schools such as Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Missouri, who just upset Texas, that are capable of competing at the top level. These conferences should produce good results when it comes to March. Speaking of March, there are so many teams that are contenders for the national title. Obvious teams such as Memphis, North Carolina, and Kansas as well as the sleepers of the ACC and Big 12 could surprise and reach the later rounds. However, once the tournament begins, the regular season can be disregarded, and anything can happen. So the real question that remains is which teams will keep a mentality and focus that will guide them to success throughout the tournament.


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A Bloody Good Film By Robert Duffley Tim Burton’s macabre vision, Stephen Sondheim’s musical brilliance, and the talent of stars like Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter combine to form the dark masterpiece that is Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Recently awarded the Golden Globe for Best Musical or Comedy, this movie is one to see. Set in the brooding alleyways of Burton’s 19th-century Britain, Sweeney Todd is a bloody (and musical) tale of revenge. The plot begins as Sweeney Todd (Depp), formerly known as Benjamin Barker, returns to London from fifteen years of exile. Audiences quickly learn through a short series of flashbacks that Sweeney is an innocent man whose life was ruined when Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman, who plays Snape in the Harry Potter movies) sent him away in an effort to steal his beautiful wife. After learning that his wife poisoned herself and that Turpin stole his daughter, Sweeney, sporting a suitably sinister new haircut and his collection of silver shaving razors, resolves to exact his rage on the general populace of London with the aid of his landlady, Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter). After Depp decides that “everyone deserves to die,” the two quickly set about decimating the population of London’s underbelly and serving their victims as meat pies. Though the movie is excellent in all areas, its clear highlight is the characters. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, in particular, give stellar performances, bringing Sondheim’s tragically misguided protagonists into sharp reality. Depp’s Sweeney

is obviously in tremendous emotional pain, while Carter’s Mrs. Lovett is a complicated mixture of tenderness and cold rationality. Though some expressed concern that Depp and Carter would be unable to carry the monumental weight of a Sondheim score, they do so marvelously, and the film’s musical numbers are all clear windows into the characters. Sweeney Todd should not be watched with misguided expectations, however: it is very dark and very bloody. The violence comes, however, in short and intense doses, and there is much more to the storyline than blood and gore. In fact, there are some extremely humorous moments in the film, such as the musical number “A Little Priest,” in which Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett speculate what different types of people would taste like as meat pies. Sacha Baron Cohen, too, adds elements of humor to the first part of the film as he struts around an otherwise dark landscape in a ridiculously flamboyant blue and yellow silk suit as Pirelli the Italian barber. Overall, however, the film is a dark and tragic tale of revenge’s ability to consume those who pursue it. If not pleased by the consequences of the film’s thrilling climax, audiences are at least satisfied by the knowledge that what had to happen did happen. All in all, Sweeney Todd is an innovative and deeply moving juxtaposition of extreme emotional fragility, intense violence, and “bloody good meat pies.” Robert gives this movie 5 out of 5 buzzards.

Photo Courtesy of IMDb.com

Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd, the Demon Baber of Fleet Street

Photo Courtesy of Alexander Fones

One of the variety of sandwiches alongside their custom-branded chips at Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches

Jimmy John’s: Super Hero By James Arnold Spying the newly opened sub-sandwich shop eloquently named Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, I turned into the parking lot late one Thursday night. After entering, I saw what appeared to be a normal sub shop, souped up with cheesy posters and stickers. I ordered my food, consisting of five different sandwiches (to get a variety), and began to subject not only the food, but the entire restaurant to a more serious inquiry. Jimmy John’s opened in 1983 and became a rapidly expanding chain. Its new location in East Memphis, located on 5181 Poplar Ave., is open from 11a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week to feed the sandwichcraving masses. Boasting speed and fresh ingredients as its forte, Jimmy John’s also caters seven days a week. The prices are average for a sub shop, ranging from $3.25 for a “plain slim” all the way to $7.25 for the J.J. Gargantuan, “large enough to feed the hungriest of humans.” Jimmy John’s serves their own brand of chips, accompanied, of course, by dill pickles. J.J. sandwiches come on a choice of wheat bread, French bread, or a wrap. Although usually exploding with lettuce, and

even with refreshing sprouts for a change, the subs are short on meat. Toasting is not an option, and all the sandwiches are cold, but fresh-tasting ingredients more than make up for its temperature. The more basic subs on the menu, consisting of the usual ham, turkey, roast beef, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise are all satisfactory, but are not great, and a better taste can be acquired at a Quizno’s, Lennie’s, or Subway. Jimmy John’s real expertise lies in their specialty sandwiches, including the Beach Club, The Gourmet Veggie Club, and the Totally Tuna. In these sandwiches, Jimmy John’s takes a step away from the ordinary by including ingredients such as alfalfa sprouts, avocado, cucumber, oregano, Dijon mustard, and several others. And everything can be topped off by a chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookie. Serving around eighteen different sandwiches on three different types of bread, there are plenty of options to explore on these generously sized sandwiches. James gives this restaurant 4 out of 5 buzzards.


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Bari Ristorante: The Real Thing By Evan Mah For some time now, I’ve been searching for great Italian restaurants in Memphis. Italian food being one of my favorites, I needed to have options and variety concerning restaurants. While Ronnie Grisanti’s and Spindini are good restaurants, I was looking for a place not owned by a Grisanti brother as to get another perspective on Italian cuisine. My hunt led me to a small, up-scale restaurant called Bari Ristorante. This cozy, midtown eatery is relatively new, having just opened in the last two years. The head chef, Jason Severs, takes a different approach to Italian cooking when compared to the Grisanti brothers. This difference may be due to the fact that Chef Severs comes from a southeastern portion of Italy, specifically near the town of Bari, while the Gristantis come from a northeastern portion of Italy, specifically Tuscany. One difference is the menu style. Instead of choosing one or two items from the menu, the idea at Bari’s is to order three or four items whose portion sizes are small. I was always under the impression that a typical Italian meal consisted of ordering really large portions and passing it around a table of 8. Apparently, this conception is inaccurate. Instead, “authentic” Italian cuisine means receiving small portions to enable the diner to order multiple courses, not receiving butter with bread, lacking pasta containing heaps of meat in it (e.g. spaghetti), and refraining from drowning the pasta with a sauce. Bari Ristorante does all of these things. Although I have never been to Italy, a friend of mine

Photo Courtesy of Evan Mah

Conchiglia con Finocchio e Sambuca: seared scallops with fennel, caramelized onions and sambuca has, and according to him, Bari’s comes the closest in serving authentic Italian food. Scanning the Antipasti e Primi (Appetizers), I ordered one of the few things that I could order: Frittella di Melanzane. Everything else contained some sort of shellfish, a group of food which I’m allergic to. The Frittella di Melanzane was a blend of eggplant and pecorino (a type of cheese) breaded and fried. The eggplant inside was extremely tender and well seasoned. Despite being fried, the dish wasn’t “sinful”, and the breading carried no heavy or old oil taste to it. For my second course, I had

the Rigatoni con Pomodoro, Formaggio e Peperocino, a dish consisting of red pepper flakes, fresh mozzarella and a light tomato sauce all served over rigatoni (tube-shaped pasta). The simplicity of this dish, though, doesn’t reflect its flavor, like Rachel Ray’s three-course, ten minute meals. The rigatoni, which wasn’t immersed in sauce, was very fresh, and the accompanying tomato sauce was perfect. Overall, the dish was light yet still full of flavor. The fresh cubes of mozzarella were a nice touch especially since very few restaurants have them. For my third and final course, I had the Polpette, house

made meatballs served with red sauce and topped with slices of parmigiano-reggiano (“parmesan” being the French version). The meatballs were excellent. Well seasoned, tender, and not over salted, the meatballs tasted great with the small, and I mean small, amount of red sauce that was given. That night, I was joined by two others who shall forever be known as Diner #1 and Diner #2 (D1 & D2 for short). Diner #1, like me, also ordered and enjoyed the eggplant appetizer and meatballs. For a side, D1 and D2 requested the Patate arrostite, roasted new potatoes with garlic and rosemary. The potatoes were soft and the garlic and sprigs of rosemary worked well together. Although homemade, the bread that accompanied the meal was mediocre. The rosemary in the bread just wasn’t appealing to me at all. In closing, my supposedly “authentic” experience at Bari Ristorante was a nice change from the usual super-heavy, American-Italian meal. Usually, I walk out of a Grisanti restaurant feeling overstuffed and as a result promise myself to eat only a salad for lunch the next day. This time, though, I left extremely content and felt that I had eaten just enough. The only thing that could have been better was the bread. Other than that, Bari’s alert waiters, prompt kitchen, and excellent food induced me to having no problems paying $36 for my meal ($41 with tip). Evan gives this restaurant 4 out of 5 buzzards.

Juno Pregnant with Wit By Drew Cornaghie

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

Movie poster for Juno

Director Jason Reitman, the man who brought us Thank You for Smoking, delivers another irreverent and witty film that can’t fail to please. Juno is told entirely from the point of view of your typical sarcastic and cynical teenager. Juno (Ellen Page) is pregnant at sixteen and woefully unequipped to deal with this unexpected twist in her life, and so she treats it with the same nonchalance and flippancy that she would any other mundane problem, even boxing out the unlikely father, Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera). She goes for a quick fix at a local abortion clinic, but finds herself overwhelmed at the thought of what she’s about to do. Juno then resolves to carry the baby to term and give it up for adoption. Leafing through ads, Juno finds Mark and Vanessa Loring, an overachieving, WASPish couple, who want nothing more than to adopt Juno’s mistake as their own. At first, Vanessa

(Jennifer Garner) comes across as uptight, obsessive, and overbearing while Mark (Jason Bateman) quickly bonds with Juno over their mutual interest in music and gory movies. However, these impressions prove wrong as Juno’s presence soon leads to the breakdown of Mark and Vanessa’s marriage. Shocked that such an ideal couple could fall apart so easily, Juno questions whether two people can really love one another forever. Though the storyline might seem clichéd at first, Juno is full of vitality and humor. The movie is, at heart, a comedy about growing up. Juno begins as a snappy, impulsive teen whose bad decisions get her into extremely undesirable situations. However, as the movie progresses, she displays remarkable maturity and responsibility, growing into a wise young woman ready to face real life, and all without losing any of her wit along the way. Ellen Page plays Juno with amazing con-

viction. The enormous amount of hype she’s been receiving is well deserved. Juno’s topselling soundtrack, which features the Moldy Peaches, gives each scene an organic, genuine feel, as if Juno and Paulie were singing the songs themselves. (In fact, Cera and Page do sing the last song on the album, a second recording of “Anyone Else But You.”) Juno’s sense of humor is sarcastic, irreverent, and witty, and kept me laughing through most of the movie. Despite this, numerous audience members around me cried their way through the movie’s emotionally-charged close. If you liked Superbad or Knocked Up, then this movie will most likely hit home. You won’t find Juno at the Paradiso, but I’d say it is worth the drive to another theatre and the eight bucks to get in. Drew gives this movie 4.5 out 5 buzzards.


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Basketball Homecoming 2008

ANN BUTLER

JILLIAN SMITH

SARAH COX

PARKER WADE

LIZ MARTIN

SARAH JANE ZANONE

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As part of the refocusing of Homecoming this year, the previous format of the Homecoming section was deemed inadequate. So, the Owl’s Hoot has decided to print interviews conducted in person with each of the candidates. These interviews should provide informative glances into the worlds and personalities of the members of MUS’s 2008 Basketball Homecoming Court. We hope you enjoy them. Interviews conducted and transcribed by Alexander Fones.

Homecoming Game MUS vs. CBHS In the Sue Hyde Gymnasium 7:30 pm, Friday, January 18 Homecoming Dance After the game In the Campus Center Featuring 8 Ball and MJG $15 for admission Dance Theme High Rollin’! Big Money!

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Ann Butler

“I’m the diamond in the dirt that ain’t been found. I’m the underground Queen, and I ain’t been crowned.”

Basic Information Name: Ann Butler Nicknames: A. But School: Hutchison Grade: Twelfth Eye Color: Green Hair Color: Blonde Zodiac Sign: Gemini Single/Taken: Taken Alexander’s Nickname Empress Ann At Ann Butler’s interview, Michael Shoptaw was present as it was at his house. We were in rather comfortable chairs in a nice Midtown home’s living room. HGTV was playing on the muted TV.

What are your college plans, if any? I hear back from Georgia in April, and if I get in, I’ll be deciding between there and Arkansas. What extracurriculars are you involved in? I am an MUS basketball cheerleader, and I go to St. Peter’s Catholic Church. That’s pretty much it for now. Oh, and I volunteer for Ronald McDonald House for St. Jude. All right, tough question right here at the beginning. Why do you want to be homecoming queen? Because I want to get one step closer to world domination. Good plan. So what is particularly queenly about you? Queenly? Hmm, this is one I haven’t thought of. Hmm, what’s queenly about me? Being captain of the cheerleading team. Who is your escort? Michael Shoptaw. Have you been following the basketball team this year? Yes, I have been to 90% of the games. What advice would you give them this season? I would tell Robert to calm down with the language and to stop talking with cheerleaders during the game, and I would tell Taylor Reed to stop trying to dunk so many times and just make an easy lay-up. I would tell Jordan to relax ‘cause he’s a little tense. Wait, wait? [Michael whispers something to her] And tell Coach Peters to play Will Pryor. Who’s your favorite player on the team? Either Kevin Gray or Will Pryor. It’s a tossup. I’ve been friends with Will Pryor since I moved here, and Kevin Gray is just cool. Could you quickly improvise an acronym for the word ‘Queen’? Quite Unique Extraordinarily… [Michael says:] Electrifying… No! You’re helping me! I want to do it myself! Ok, Quite Unique Extraordinarily… Electrifying… I’ve trapped myself! [loud sigh] I don’t

know… Nature. Who is your favorite member of the Owl’s Hoot staff? Roger Chu. What percent of the things Roger Chu says do you actually understand? Estimate, please. I understand “um.” He says “um” between just about every single word. That’s pretty much it. So… what do you do at Ronald McDonald House? Hutchison goes once a month, and we cook dinners for all the families there. I just liked it a lot, so a few of my friends and I over Christmas did these workshops there where everyone brings in toys for the kids and then things you would buy for your parents. And we set it up like two stores. The kids went into the parents’ shop and ‘bought’ things for their parents for free, and the parents went into the kids’ store and get presents for them, like a Nintendo or DVD’s, great stuff like that. So, I do stuff with both the school and my own thing there, too. We have to do fifteen hours of community service every year, so that’s where I pick up most of my hours. That and being Vice-President of Student Council and cheerleading take up pretty much all my time. Is Vice-President of Student Council at Hutchison similar to our VP here at MUS, in which case your principal duty is to be hilarious during Monday chapels? Well, I would never compare myself favorably to Vance Montgomery. So, in that way, no. We don’t really have pep rallies, so I’m more in charge of elections, and I basically just do everything along with the president. Do you believe in world peace?

That it’s possible? Eventually. [Michael says:] Once everybody’s dead. Wow. That was a bit dark, Michael. So, how do you think your election will progress the world towards world peace or world domination, whichever one, or both? Well, world domination definitely comes before world peace, because being in control would be better than… because then I could, you know, then I could make the world be peaceful. So, once I’ve conquered MUS I’m just that much closer. ‘Peace through force.’ Exactly! Like the Soviets. Once they do what I say, it will all work out. Any final comments to say to the entire MUS community? Tim Tebow stinks; McFadden should have won the Heisman.

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Sarah Cox

“Suckas want to see me fall, fall like a ton of bricks. It’ll never happen, dog. Sarah Cox a playa slick.”

Basic Information Name: Sarah Cox Nicknames: Socrates School: Hutchison Grade: Twelfth Eye Color: Blue Hair Color: Brown Zodiac Sign: Vegetarius Single/Taken: [Purposely blank] Alexander’s Nickname Sarah, the Madcap Zoologist Sarah Cox’s interview took place on the exterior patio of the Starbucks right next to the Olive Garden near the interstate exit on Poplar. Roger Chu, Robert Duffley, and Alexander Fones conducted the interview. Vance Montgomery was also present. What are the qualities in you that are queenly? Uhhhhhhhh… Well, all right, we can come back

to that one. Let’s just start with extracurriculars and college plans and general information just to get your head going. So, what extracurriculars are you involved in? Ok, well, I play volleyball, and I run track, and I’m a cheerleader. I do Bridge Builders, where we build bridges… What’s your favorite class at Hutchison? [Vance says:] Say sewing. Say sewing. Umm, sewing and needlework. I just finished my last piece yesterday. What was it of? A turtle… It’s a scarf, of a mother turtle… with baby turtles following it actually, so it’s pretty sweet. So, what do you find queenly about yourself? Just brag. We don’t care. I mean, I’m not good at bragging. Yeah, I got junk in the trunk. No, but seriously… I can’t think! Well, that’s pretty queenly. I like your panda shirt. Thanks. I really do. Pandas are like my favorite animal. You can ask me that! I used to like turtles when I was little. What other favorite animals do you have? Do you like animals? Yeah! As I was saying earlier, I like turtles, which is why I knit turtles. And panda bears are my favorite. I’ve seen them at the zoo, actually. Do you go to the zoo often? Yeah, I went with my anatomy class last year to see the polar bears. It was an exquisite experience. Do you like Ya Ya or Le Le better? Umm, I don’t know their names… Who is your escort? Vance Montgomery. [Vance says:] Vice-President. Vice-President Vance Montgomery. So, describe your perfect date with Vance.

Well, you know what? I thought you said to meet at the Olive Garden. So, I was really confused until like twenty minutes ago, but Vance was actually really mad because we weren’t going to the Olive Garden. So, my dream date with my escort would be him picking me up in his Ford Taurus, going to the Olive Garden. Candlelit dinner in the corner. And you know, the usual: spaghetti and meatballs. Why not? So, the hardest question of all time. Come up with an acronym for ‘Queen.’ An acronym? Do you need paper and a pen? Is that where I make up my own definition? Uhh. No. It’s where each letter in the word is another word… Oh! Ok! I can think in my head. I don’t have to write it down… Ok, I’m going to try to do it really fast. Ok. Wait, that’s two syllables… alright, I mean, two words. ‘Qua…’ Ok, hold on. Nevermind. ‘Quail!’… ‘Uranus!’ … [Vance says]: Quail Uranus?! Quail… Uranus… I didn’t even mean to say that! Ok, Umm. ‘Epilepsy.’ Ok, before we continue, I think I forgot to preface that these words need to describe you, but we’ll stick with those three for now. But what are the remaining letters? Hmmm, I forgot about the other ‘E’… ‘Ecuador’…and… ‘Nylon’… Wait! That doesn’t describe me! ‘Knit?’… ‘Nifty!’ As you’ve been following probably in the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary… Yeah, I actually watched it the other night! You did? Wow. Ok, what did you think? Well, actually, I hate Hillary Clinton, because she looks like a man, and she has a man haircut, and I don’t like her. I don’t think she even…

Do you like her healthcare policy? I don’t even care about that. But anyway, back to our original thought. About a week ago, Hillary Clinton cried before the New Hampshire primaries, and it’s cited as possibly being one of the reasons she won there. Would you cry to be MUS 2008 Basketball Homecoming Queen? Well, one time I cried to get out of a ticket, and that got me somewhere. So, why not? So, who’s your favorite member of the Owl’s Hoot staff? If I could combine all of you three [Robert Chu, Robert Duffley, and Alexander Fones] into one person, I’d pick that person. Final question for all time. What would like to say to the MUS community as a whole? As your final thoughts? Vote for me. I make really good cookies.

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Liz Martin

“Hey Girl Hey!” and “Be a Wiz and Vote for Liz.” Basic Information Name: Liz Martin Nicknames: Lizard School: Hutchison Grade: Eleventh Eye Color: Brown Hair Color: Brown Zodiac Sign: Taurus Single/Taken: Occupied Alexander’s Nickname Liz, the Shy One Liz Martin’s interview was conducted in the MUS dining hall by Roger Chu and Alexander Fones. Jack Steffner, Jillian Smith, and Sarah Jane Zanone were also present. Due to noise from a nearby vacuum cleaner, we moved halfway through the interview into the Senior Lounge.

What extracurriculars are you involved in? Well, in school, I’m in the Spanish Club and Student Council and SAD. SAD? What is that? Umm… I don’t know what it stands for. Yeah, and I play sports. I play basketball for my church league. So, have you been following the MUS basketball team this season? Mmhmm. What advice would you give the basketball team? None, they’re really good! [Jack says:] Jordan needs to wear more toner. Say that, it’d be funny. No, cause Jordan’s my friend! [Jack says:] Exactly. That’s why it’d be funny! Do you have any college plans yet? Alabama. All right. Why do you want to be homecoming queen? I don’t know. Wait, don’t like write that down and put like ‘I don’t know,’ but like… Don’t worry. It’s the most popular answer. Oh… ok… well, the crowns are shiny. What qualities do you have that are particularly queenly? [Jack says:] Personable, I don’t know… and nice. These questions are so hard to talk about, like brag about yourself. Let’s skip this question. We can go back to it. Who is escorting you? Patrick Boyer, but he’s at baseball right now. What’s new? Describe your perfect date with Pat-

rick. Oh my gosh. Ok, my perfect date with Patrick… would be… umm… not in Memphis, because… Because then people would see you? No! Because it would be more e x c i t i n g . We could go to the Bahamas or something. I haven’t been there, but it sounds fun. We’ve been a lot of places in Memphis, like the movies, pretty much everything you can do in Memphis. So, what candidate are you going for? Huckabee! Cuz his name’s funny! Please improvise an acronym for ‘Queen.’ A letter for each one? Oh my gosh. ‘N’ would be ‘nice.’ And ‘Q’ would be… ‘U’… ‘Unique’… but I don’t like unique. The double E? Oh my gosh. We can come back to this one. What would you do to be homecoming queen? Be myself. What would you say to the rest of the homecoming court? Good luck? This is really hard. I’m thinking on these questions really hard. Have you ever played Guitar Hero? Yes. What level do you play on? [silence] What’s in your favorite song? Message in a Bottle. You know, [singing quietly] ‘message in a baaaaah-tle, sending out an S.O.S.!’ Who’s your favorite basketball

player? On the basketball team? Of MUS. Jordan, because he’s like my brother, and because he’s so tan. What would you like to say in conclusion to the entire MUS community? I’d rather not actually…Anything? I don’t know… uhhh… Got anything? Can it be to a specific person? Sure. Wait, did I say that baseball is one of my favorite sports? Did you ask me who my favorite baseball player on the MUS team was? Fine. Who’s your favorite player on the MUS team… minus Patrick Boyer? No! You can’t do minus Patrick Boyer. No no no! Fine. Favorite junior on the team? I don’t know those people!

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Jillian Smith “Jillian’s… like downtown.”

Basic Information Name: Jillian Smith Nicknames: J-Nasty, Jilly Bean School: St. Mary’s Grade: Eleventh Eye Color: Chocolate Brown Hair Color: Naturally? Zodiac Sign: Peace Single/Taken: Check Facebook Alexander’s Nickname Jillian, the Rebel Rebel Roger and I conducted Jillian’s interview in the Senior Lounge. Jack Steffner, Sarah Jane Zanone, and Liz Martin were also present. Nick Nash, Austin Beckford, and Parker Joyner were playing videogames on the opposite side of the lounge.

How’s school going for you? I just got accused of plagiarizing on my entire term paper. I’m not in the greatest mood with St. Mary’s right now. But, that might not be the best thing to put in there… because of Coach Ray [laughs]. [Roger says:] Wait, Coach Ray? [Explains that Coach Ray is, in fact, married to Dr. Ray of St. Mary’s.] So, which one are you more scared of? Coach Ray or Dr. Ray? [Ponderous Silence] Like say you’re in an alleyway… [Quickly] Coach Ray. What sort of extracurriculars are you involved in? I play sports. Soccer, track, and I cheer for MUS. What’s your mile time? I don’t do the mile. I sprint and do hurdles. I’ve fallen for the past three years at regionals, in the same lane, on the same hurdle. What are your college plans? I like the South. I mean, I haven’t even taken the SAT yet. Why do you want to be Homecoming Queen? To rule the school. What sort of qualities do you bring to homecoming queen? Umm… Freshly dyed hair. What color was it originally? It’s questionable. Well, I dyed it first black with Connell, but it wasn’t supposed to be black, I wanted it to be brown. So I dyed it again. Who’s your favorite player on the basketball team? I’ll give a shout-out to T’Reed, cause he can sink those threes. And he can dunk! Who’s your escort? Connell Hall.

Describe your perfect date with Connell. We can go dye our hair together. Do you think Connell could effectively defend you from Coach Ray in an alley? I think it takes a little more than one person to take Coach Ray. Improvise an acronym for ‘Queen’ please. This is going to take a while… [Begins writing on legal pad] Ok, we’ll go on while you work. Have you ever been to Jillian’s downtown? Yea, it opened on my birthday. Really? Are you sure it’s not named after you. It is in my book. Do you have a book? What’s it called? Jillian. Strong title. What would be in the third chapter of your book? I tripped over a threshold carrying a glass plate when I was three. And the glass went into my cheek. [She points to a faint scar] Traumatic chapter. Yeah, it’s like the climax. Except not, because I was three. So, it’s been building from there. Your life must be an action movie by now. Oh, it totally is. What are your thoughts on the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primaries? Ummm. Well, which candidate would you go for? Not Clinton. Ummm, Giuliani. His name sounds like mine! How’s that acronym coming? Quite… Unusually… hmmm, perhaps I’ll skip to the end. ‘N.’ Hmm, what’s an ‘N’ word? [Parker, Nick, and Austin look up from the television momentarily.] Who’s your favorite member of the Owl’s Hoot staff?

Kimbrough Taylor. Ok, Quite Unusually Everlasting… Quite Unusually Elegant? Quite Unusually Everlastingly Eufra? Is Eufra a word? Do you mean euphoria? Yeah, what does that mean? Like, really happy… Yeah, that. Quite Unusually Everlastingly Euphoria… [Jack says:] The adjective form is ‘euphoric.’ Ok, Quite Unusually Everlastingly Euphoric… and Nice at the end. Do you have anything you’d like to ask us? [To Roger] What’s the blue on your pants? [Roger says:] Umm, pen bled. Do you have anything you’d like to say in finality to the entire MUS community? Would it be cliché to say ‘Beat the Brothers’? Nope.

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Parker Wade “That’s what she said.”

Basic Information Name: Parker Wade Nicknames: P-bub School: Hutchison Grade: Senior Eye Color: Hazel Hair Color: Blonde Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius Single/Taken: Taken Alexander’s Nickname Parker, the Petite Powerhouse Parker Wade’s interview took place in the MUS cafeteria and was conducted by Alexander Fones and Roger Chu. Malcolm Wood was also present. Some of the answers were lost due to the overpowering white noise of the vacuum being run on the other side of the hall. So, what are your college plans?

Pretty much set on cheering at Alabama. How is the cheerleading at Alabama? Are they going to draft you? Yea, tryouts are in April. What qualities would you bring to the title of homecoming queen? [Malcolm says:] Say hotness. No! Gosh… I don’t know. [Malcolm says:] She’s really nice… and short. How has being short affected you? I have to look up to everybody. So, you’re humble. Yeah! [Malcolm says:] I can’t take her with me on rollercoasters… But standing on my tippy toes has really helped my balance. Who is your escort to homecoming? Malcolm Wood. Improvise an acronym for ‘Queen.’ Umm… what do you mean by acronym? An acronym is where… I know that… but it’s like one word. [Malcolm says:] Like for all the letters. Oh for like the whole thing? Yeah. Ok. Ummm… ‘Quick.’ [Malcolm says:] Easy is a good word for homecoming queen. No! Help me better than that. [Malcolm says:] Go Go Gadget Good Ideas. I don’t know. Well, we can move on while you think on that. Have you been following the MUS basketball team? Yeah, I would be going to the game tonight, but it’s the Father-Daughter

Dance. That’s ok. So, who are you taking? My dad. What sort of advice would you give the basketball team for this season? I would shoot for the goal. Not away from it. Go big or go home. Have you ever committed a felony? No, except I’ve gotten in trouble driving. Ran a stop sign, and I went ninety in a sixty-five. Anything on that ‘Queen’ Acronym? No… Well, let’s think about some words that start with ‘Q.’ ‘Queasy.’ ‘Quail.’ ‘Quack.’ ‘Quite.’ ‘Questionable.’ [Malcolm says:] Questioned. I like that. Can you play basketball? Yeah, but if you saw me, you would laugh really hard. I’m really bad. Can you dunk? Haha. No. Who is your favorite player on the basketball team? Jordan Brown, because he’s cool. [Malcolm says:] Say he can keep a secret. He can keep a secret. Wait, that sounds creepy. Anything else on that ‘Queen’ Acronym? Let’s skip to the end. Ok. ‘N.’ How about I put ‘Not!’ at the end like Borat? Do you ever play Guitar Hero? Yeah, I play on Hard. Freebird’s pretty hard. [Malcolm says:] Make her nickname Needles. What would you say

to the other people on the Homecoming Court? [Malcolm says:] Watch your back. Watch your back. So, we have ‘not.’ Anything else? Nope. What would Homecoming Queen mean to you? I don’t know… Why are you doing this to me? Would you cry to become Homecoming Queen like Hillary Clinton? Yes. Any ending notes you’d like to leave the entire MUS community? I think I would have done better with a questionnaire.

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Sarah Jane Zanone “Me, stressed? Never!”

Basic Information Name: Sarah Jane Zanone Nicknames: “None really.” School: Hutchison Grade: Eleventh Eye Color: Brown Hair Color: Brown Zodiac Sign: Virgo Single/Taken: Single Alexander’s Nickname Sarah Jane, the Twentieth-First Century Fox Sarah Jane’s interview was conducted in the Senior Lounge by Roger Chu and Alexander Fones. Jack Steffner was also present. Some answers were obscured by shoddy Dictaphone work.

How’s school going? I wish I was a senior. What extracurriculars are you involved in? Well, I’m on the injured list for the swim team right now. I have stomach problems, but I don’t really have extracurriculars. Homework. What are your college plans at this moment, if any? I really like NYU and Princeton. I couldn’t get in, but I really like it up there. And I like California. Why do you want to be Homecoming Queen? I get to buy a new dress. Who will be escorting you? Jack Steffner. Describe your perfect date with Jack here. What do you think Jack? What would be our perfect date? [Jack says:] Long walks on the beach… What is your perfect date, I don’t know! Improvise an acronym for ‘Queen.’ Umm. I have the E’s. ‘Easily Entertained.’ Do you ever play Guitar Hero? No, videogames hurt my eyes. What would you do to be Basketball Homecoming Queen? Gee, I dunno. Wait a sec. [She pulls out her phone and begins to dial.] I’m calling Johnny. [She is forwarded to an automatic voice message system. Johnny is not available. She chooses not to leave a message after the beep.] Who’s your favorite person on the Owl’s Hoot staff? You two [Roger Chu and Alexander Fones], but I miss the questionnaires. We do, too. Coke or Pepsi? Coke or Diet Coke. That moose over the TV is freaking me out. We use it for intimidation during interrogations. I need a ‘Q’ word for the acronym. Quintessential.

What’s that mean? Quite essential. I thought of one. Quixotic. That’s a good word. Owl’s Hoot or Signpost? I can’t go against my school paper. I actually wrote a movie review last year. What did you review? The Covenant. What did you think of it? The guys were hot. So, thumbs up. [Note: The Covenant has a three percent on Rotten Tomatoes.] I put a ‘U’ for the ‘U’ in ‘queen.’ Hmm, for ‘N’… I don’t know. I’d put ‘Nostalgic’ and then in parentheses ‘for the questionnaire.’ So, Sarah Jane, final question: What would you like to say to the entire MUS community? Wait a sec. [She answers her phone.] It’s Liz. She’s lost in the school.

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Wu Tang Clan at It Again By Mustafa Motiwala

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.org

Wu Tang Clan at the Virgin Festival in Baltimore

Ciao Bella Retains Quality By Wade Laycook If you’ve ever ventured to the Malco Paradiso, you probably noticed Ciao Bella, the Italian restaurant that once occupied a small space behind the theater. Awarded the Silver Award for Italian Cuisine by Memphis Magazine in 2001, Ciao Bella (roughly “Hello Beautiful” for those not up on their Italian) has offered some of the city’s best Italian cuisine since its inception in 2001. Recently though, the restaurant temporarily closed and moved down the street to the space formerly occupied by LuLu Grille. A few weeks ago, Ciao Bella reopened in this new location, along with a new menu. Having been a fan of Ciao Bella for quite some time, I decided to see what the new location was all about. The new menu produced a few changes (most noticeably the addition of several traditional Greek items), but fundamentally, it has remained the same. To start things off, expect to be treated with a basket of incredibly mouthwatering bread (usually an afterthought elsewhere), served with Ciao Bella’s own tasty olive oil and herb concoction. As difficult as it might seem, try not to fill up on the bread, as it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Ciao Bella offers a large selection of Italian pasta, veal, chicken, and seafood dishes, as well as a wide range of gourmet pizzas. To sample the menu, I began by ordering the Contadina, a delicious penne pasta dish served with fresh basil, diced Roma tomatoes, and a garlic butter sauce. Chicken or shrimp can be added for a small fee. I also sampled the new Crab Cake Ravioli, an interesting, yet delicious addition to the menu. As tasty as these pasta dishes were, however, the real treat came with the fourteen-inch Caprino pizza. Topped with goat cheese,

artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, mozzarella, and marinara, this pizza won my taste buds over, easily becoming my favorite item of the night. The crispy crust was the perfect size (not too thin or thick), and the cheese cooked to golden perfection. Kudos to Ciao Bella for such a great pizza! As far as service goes, Ciao Bella employs a top-notch wait staff, and their service and friendliness have never left me lacking anything. Although in a different location, the new Ciao Bella still offers the same warm atmosphere prevalent in the former location. Though the new space is somewhat larger, the restaurant’s relatively small space fills quickly during peak hours, so drop by earlier on Friday or Saturday night to avoid the crowd. With its reasonable prices, Ciao Bella offers a great value, considering the consistent quality of the food and the atmosphere. Granted, there are a few other places that offer gourmet Italian food in town, albeit at the expense of an arm and a leg. I know it’s my purpose to critique a restaurant in writing a review, but as with Deli Mexicana, I honestly cannot find anything wrong with Ciao Bella. Sorry if you feel like I’m advertising, but I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone in search of some of Memphis’s finest Italian cuisine. Located at 565 Erin Way Drive off Poplar (one block west of Mendenhall), Ciao Bella is open Sunday through Thursday from 5pm to 9pm, and Saturday and Friday from 5pm to 10pm. Visit their website at www.ciaobellamemphis.com. Wade gives this restaurant 5 out of 5 buzzards.

As the fifth studio album by the critically acclaimed, underground hip-hop group, the Wu-Tang Clan, 8 Diagrams sets itself apart from previous albums not only because of the obvious time difference between it’s late December release and the release of the last album, Iron Flag (2001), but also because the album represents a more mature sound than certain previous albums, both in production and in lyrics. Despite the auditory success, however, the direction of the album has caused controversy among certain members of the group, specifically Ghostface Killah and Raekwon “the Chef.” Claiming that the new album is “bull[edit],” Ghostface launched a direct vocal attack towards the RZA, who assumed full production responsibilities for 8 Diagrams. Raekwon referred to the RZA as a “hip-hop hippie” for the genre-stretching soundscapes that developed a more eclectic feel than what most of the mainstream rap fans of today would appreciate and for not accepting production help by mainstream hip-hop figures such as Pharrell and Kanye West. However, any long time fan of the Wu-Tang Clan could bear witness that the group has never pandered to the demands of the mainstream market to make money and has always made music representative of their own culture. Following that practice, 8 Diagrams reincorporates many of the defining themes of the group, including almost moralistic audio samples from several kung-fu movies, and even the title of the album is derived from the title of such a film. The album is comprised of fourteen tracks with two additional tracks not included in the US version of the album, including the track “ODB Special” in honor of the late ODB and is the first collaboration of the Wu since ODB’s passing in November 2004. “Campfire” starts off the album with solid verses delivered by Method Man, Ghostface Killah, and Cappadonna, consecutively. “Take It Back” and “Get Them Out Ya Way Pa,” the next two tracks, are more sped up with quick lyrical deliveries and aggressive beats, notable characteristics throughout much of the Wu-Tang Clan’s more recent productions such as Iron Flag. However, although many felt that Iron Flag displayed lackluster and rushed producing, the tracks on 8 Diagrams do not suffer from such problems. In “Rushing Elephants,” Raekwon, GZA, RZA, and Masta Killah deliver straight verses without any form of a hook, as one would find on a street mix tape. However, the production on this track by RZA is phenomenal and

brings the two best aspects of hardcore and underground hip-hop together: raw lyrics and an engaging beat. “Unpredictable” may not be an immediate favorite of somebody not familiar with this type of underground rap, however, but the song grows on you after hearing it a couple times. “The Heart Gently Weeps” acts as an interpolation of the Beatles classic, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” with John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Dhani Harrison, the son of George Harrison, on lead and rhythm guitar, respectively. With Erykah Badu on the chorus, the song explores the deeper side to the Wu’s music, chronicling the experiences of a heroin addict. George Clinton appears on the hook for “Wolves” which takes the album back to a faster tempo and more fun lyrics. However, “Gun Will Go” returns to the album to a more serious tone and is eerily reminiscent to “Tearz” from the legendary first album of the Wu, 36 Chambers. The RZA explores his spiritual side on the only solo track of the album, “Sunlight,” while “Stick Me for My Riches” serves as one of the more modern songs with strong verses from Method Man, Inspectah Deck, RZA, and GZA along with a catchy hook from Gerald Alston. The least satisfying song on the album would have to be “Starter,” as it seems to rely too much on a poorly produced hook and verses that seem to be delivered in an almost lazy manner. “Windmill” saves the album from a relative slump, allowing “Weak Spot” and “Life Changes” to close the album quite nicely. As you can tell, the songs do not seem to flow as well as they did on 36 Chambers, leading one to believe this lack of cohesiveness is most likely due to creative friction between members of the group. Yet one must take into consideration the almost experimental nature of the album when judging its value. In conclusion, 8 Diagrams serves as a quality release from the fabled New York rap group, despite all the controversy and feuding. Although the RZA received much criticism on his attempt at musical diversity, he succeeded in pushing the genre forward with 8 Diagrams. Just like he said, “How could hiphop be dead if Wu-Tang is forever? We’re here to revive the spirit and the economics and bring in a wave of energy that has lately dissipated.” Mustafa gives this album 5 out of 5 buzzards.


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The Best Albums of 2007 That You’ve Never Heard Of a dark, moody production. The result is a huge sounding album with many moments that capture the listener in a moment of pure beauty. The album reveals its splendor with repeated listens, and, really, it ran away with the title.

Bloc Party’s A Weekend in the City

of Montreal’s Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

Photo Courtesy of Will Mays

Rage Against the Machine at the Voodoo Music Festival in New Orleans on October 27, 2007 By Will Mays Here*” list, but, this year, I can’t claim that title to be true. Yes, I think these are the best As far as music goes, the beginning of albums to have been released this year. No, 2007 held an incredible amount of promise, I don’t expect most, if any, of my readers yet, by September, the industry had slowed to agree with me, not to mention that lists down, and a “rap battle” between Kayne past have seemed to do nothing more than West and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson was con- anger readers. As a result, where I would cocted to bolster some sort of excitement give you the normal “Best Albums of 2007” back into buying CD’s. While Graduation list, I instead present my list of “The Best and Curtis both proved to be a bit of a disap- Albums You’ve Never Heard Of (That Were pointment, the radio waves were taken over Released in 2007)” starting with The Arcade by the juggernaut of “Crank That (Soulja Fire’s brilliant Neon Bible. Boy),” possibly the most overplayed, nonsensical, and catchiest song of the year. Still, the music industry has been slow since summer, and, while The Foo Fighters’ single “The Pretender” seemed to be a breath of fresh air, the rest of their album proved to be boring and to no fulfill the potential held by the roaring single. 2007 did see some major reunions despite its slow post-summer seasons though. Rage Against the Machine, The Police, and Van Halen all held successful reunion tours, but each of those were outshined by the Album Covers Courtesy of Wikipedia reunion of one of the most successful and The Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible revered acts in music: Led Zeppelin. Though these reunion tours have proven to be hugely 1) The Arcade Fire – Neon Bible successful, most of these major acts have The Arcade Fire have managed not only denied rumors of working on a new album, to create a worthy follow-up to their masso only the future will tell what real benefits terful debut, Funeral, but also create the these reunions hold. year’s best album in the process. Neon Bible The list of albums ahead has tradition- expands on the baroque pop stylings of its ally been considered a “Best of *Insert Year predecessor, but washes the results over in

2) of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? of Montreal are quirky; funky; and, on this album, brooding. The band from Athens delivers a concept album about separation anxiety, hiding from problems, and alternate identities that sound an awful lot like David Bowie. Band leader Kevin Barnes performs nearly everything on the album, and every increasing listen proves how successful a band can be combining catchy choruses, abstract lyrical allusions, drum machines, and the best bass lines of 2007.

Interpol’s Our Love to Admire 3) Interpol – Our Love to Admire Interpol might’ve added synthesizers to the mix, but, otherwise, they haven’t done much to change up their formula. However, their “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach on their major-label debut still offers all the pleasures of their first two albums. While some tracks might be a little less than terrific, the standout “Pioneer to the Falls” might just be the best song the quartet has written so far.

4) Bloc Party – A Weekend in the City England’s poster children for post-punk revival deliver a charged second album that shows the band can do more than just write a catchy tune. The guitars spiral and zing while the drums pound with intense flash. The charged music provides the perfect backdrop for the lyrics, which have a level of depth the first album only hinted at. Overall, the album is a solid end to end success.

The Shins’ Wincing the Night Away 5) The Shins – Wincing the Night Away Also known as “the band from that Zune commercial,” The Shins started recording Wincing the Night Away in summer 2005, and they took over a year to finish, but the time was well spent. The album’s lush production gives the album incredible musical depth, and the band stretches out into new musical directions. The jazzy ending to “Sea Legs” and ethereal melody of the opener, “Sleeping Lessons,” are both standout tracks exemplifying their newfound musical confidence. Honorable Mentions Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank Nine Inch Nails – Year Zero Queens of the Stoneage – Era Vulgaris Radiohead – In Rainbows Rush – Snakes & Arrows Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga


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The Best Games of 2007: Wii, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 By Will Mays, Eric Catmur, and Parker Joyner 2007 might be regarded as one of the most important years in gaming. Not only was it the first full year that the Xbox 360, the Nintendo Wii, and the PlayStation 3 were all competing with each other, but it was also the year that saw the end of Halo, the return of Mario, and proof that Sony doesn’t rule the world. Overall though, Nintendo sold more consoles than its competitors, but buyers found that Nintendo’s fun little system lacked the deep library of games Microsoft’s console had, and while the Xbox easily had the best games, its graphical prowess was ousted by the PS3, which arguably has the weakest library of games despite its powerful setup. Overall, gamers will have something to play regardless of what console they have, and we’ve tried to pick out the three best games per console starting with the Nintendo Wii. Nintendo Wii 1) Super Mario Galaxy The best game yet for the Wii. Super Mario Galaxy is one of the most, if not the most, innovative game of the year. This new edition of the Mario franchise revives the series by combining elements from the amazing Super Mario Brothers 3 and the classic Super Mario 64. The graphics in the game are very simple but amazing and the gameplay works surprisingly well with the Wiimote. Overall, Super Mario Galaxy is by far the best platformer game to come out in the last five years, and it keeps the Mario formula intact while adding new life to the series

by reinventing the control scheme and creating unforgettable worlds. 2) Metroid Prime 3: Corruption The final installment of the Metroid Prime trilogy wraps up the story in one incredible game. The first two Prime games were very good, but Corruption completely reinvents the series. Corruption works very well with the Wiimote by making the controls feel natural in the firstperson view. The graphics in the game are great and the details in the player’s surroundings are flawless. Corruption ends the series on a high note and leaves the player with a feeling of completion. On the whole, Corruption is a must-have for the Wii and also one of the best games of the year on any system. 3) Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition Resident Evil 4 was one of the greatest games on the Gamecube when it was released in 2006 and then released again on the PS2 a few months later. Now, Resident Evil 4 makes its third appearance on consoles and is better than ever. The control scheme works well, though it is difficult to

Photo Courtesy of 1up.com

Uncharted mixes Indiana Jones with wonderful gameplay get used to at first, and the graphics in the game are good but nothing too amazing. The gameplay is the shining element of the game and makes up for any other shortcomings. The game is still a must-play for anyone who has never played Resident Evil 4, and, even if you have played it before, it’s still a must-play for anyone who is a fan of the game or franchise.

Playstation 3 While the Wii had two remarkable games in Super Mario Galaxy and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, finding a third Wii game was a difficult task, proving that the Wii’s sales aren’t because of its library of games. The PS3, on the other hand, while not having very many sales or a strong overall library, did manage to have a couple of very strong exclusive titles. 1) Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune Uncharted is a game to make PS3 owners rejoice. Finally, there’s an adventure game to make Xbox owners jealous. The story is a sort of Photo Courtesy of IGN.com pulp centered Super Mario Galaxy offers an inventive platforming experience around Nathan

Drake, an adventurer on the search for the treasure of his ancestor, privateer Sir Francis Drake. The story features loads of action and adventure with photo-realistic graphics, and tight gameplay keeps the game fun and interesting. To summarize what this game is about, though, think of all the fun of an Indiana Jones movie with wonderful graphics, sound design, and gameplay. 2) Warhawk This online only, multiplayer wargame shows off Sony’s PlayStation Network online client, being the first game for PS3 to be released both on the Blu-Ray disc format and the online PlayStation Network. The game features fast paced air and land combat with matches of up to 32 players, while making good use of the PS3’s SIXAXIS motion sensor controller. Warhawk also features split-screen online multiplayer, meaning that you and three of your friends can all play online on the same console at the same time. Overall, while lacking a single player campaign, the polished online multiplayer and the split-screen online multiplayer is worth the price of admission. 3) Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction PS3 owners are most likely familiar with Ratchet and Clank by now, seeing as the franchise has been one of Sony’s more successful exclusive properties. This newest title, the fifth in the series, blends the familiar platforming, adventure, third-person shooter action and a number of new tricks into one pretty package, not to mention that the graphics and art direction are beautiful. If you aren’t into Mario Galaxy, or you just Continued On Page 20


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A m u s e m e n t s The Best Games of 2007: Wii, Playstation 3, Xbox 360

Continued From Page 19 terpieces as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire, it’s no surprise that developer BioWare’s latest game, Mass Effect, is an accomplishment and tour de force in the RPG genre. Mass Effect is built on the ideas of depth and choice. The gamer dictates exactly what he or she says and how he or she reacts in one of the most remarkable and original universes ever created. A gamer could replay Mass Effect over ten different times and have a completely different experience every time. Known for their engrossing stories, BioWare delivers a captivating tale that rivals that of any game, including BioWare’s own previous games. Mass Effect is a must-have for RPG fans, and, really, the depth and originality makes the game essential to any Xbox library.

Photo Courtesy of ChewOnTech.com

Like Corruption, Halo 3 is the third in a series and an accomplished first person shooter want a good platformer for PS3, Ratchet & Clank is a great choice. Xbox 360 Whereas Sony might be a little behind the ball as far as games go at the present, Microsoft has been leading the pack as far as quality exclusive titles go. Whether it be the massively successful Halo franchise or the incredible BioShock, the Xbox 360 currently has the best lineup of exclusive games available, and the three following games are some of 2007’s best. 1) Halo 3 Halo 3 is not the best game of 2007 just because it features an incredible overall sense of completion, but also because it represents a pattern of greatness started with Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 on the original Xbox. Developer Bungee has single-handedly made the original Xbox worth having, and the third installment in the series proves that they can still make a killer app for an already successful console. The game truly allows players to “finish the fight” both in the campaign and excellent multiplayer. And, through Xbox Live, gamers can take part in one of the best online multiplayer experiences available. The story, gameplay, graphics, and sound design are all top-notch, and any Xbox owner lacking Halo 3 is missing out on the biggest gaming phenomenon on consoles. 2) BioShock BioShock is possibly the strongest argument gamers have for saying that a game

can be art. Not only is the story exceptional, engaging, and brilliant, but the art and sound design is better than most movies these days. The gameplay is flawless, and the game never presents a dull moment. The graphics gorgeously render the setting of the undersea city Rapture in meticulous detail, and the immersing experience not only manages to

make the gamer feel as if he is actually at the bottom of the sea but also makes him jump with every surprise in Rapture. Overall, this game sets a new standard for next-gen gaming to be measured against, and it possibly proves that a game can be art. 3) Mass Effect With a resumé containing such mas-

Cross-Platform While each console had various exclusive titles, there were also some games that were available on multiple consoles that are on par with these exclusive titles. 1. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) Moving out of the trenches of World War II and into the realm of future warfare, the latest Call of Duty shows the peak of firstperson-shooters. The campaign is intense, and the multiplayer is addictive. Graphically, the game is a pinnacle in modern gaming, presenting a photorealistic battlefield, and the gameplay is picture perfect. This game is one of the few available that Continued On Page 21

Photo Courtesy of AndyMerrill.com

Call of Duty 4 is available on multiple consoles and excels in the “modern warfare” genre


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A m u s e m e n t s Best Games

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is essential on both Xbox and PS3, and is a crowning achievement in an already excellent franchise. 2. Rock Band (Xbox 360, PS3) Rock Band is a music game and then some. Featuring not only guitar, but also bass, vocals, and drums (a first in videogames), Rock Band is the fruit of EA’s acquisition of Guitar Hero creators Harmonix. The song selection is an excellent blend of many genres of rock from Black Sabbath to the Beastie Boys, from Coheed & Cambria to The Who. Also, gamers get to play a set of mostly original tunes, not covers. Rock Band is the best music game available right now, and it’s a sure fire blast if you can find it for either Xbox or PS3. 3. The Orange Box (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) The Orange Box is easily the best buy in gaming right now. For the price of one game, you get about five games’ worth of enjoyment, including the incredible HalfLife 2, the puzzling Portal, and the insane Team Fortress 2. The graphics look great on any system you play on, and a proper Half-Life 2 next-gen port is worth the price tag alone, but it’s nearly impossible to get bored with all the content provided in this set, which also has the first two Half-Life 2 story expansions as well. The set is excellent in general, and a great buy for any gamer wanting to get the most for his dollar. Well, there you have it. That’s it for the best games of 2007. We hope you enjoyed and agreed with our picks, and, remember, they’re just a game.

2007 at the Movies By Will Mays and Alexander Fones Ok, so the Amusements staff might’ve cheated this year. Yes, a couple of the movies on the following list aren’t necessarily movies from 2007, but they weren’t available in Memphis theaters until 2007, so we feel justified in placing them on the list. Overall, Hollywood managed to have a pretty decent year; though, as usual, many of the year’s best films didn’t come out until long after the summer blockbusters, and, with the writers’ strike still raging on, 2008 might be a bit of a grim year. Regardless, the show must go on, and it is our honor to present the best films of this past year. 1) Pan’s Labyrinth Guillermo del Toro’s masterpiece of a fairy tale centers around a young girl, Ofelia, in post-Spanish Civil War Spain. Ofelia

manages to befriend a mystical faun, Pan, who convinces her she is really the princess of a dream world. All the while, her new stepfather, Captain Vidal, a Falange officer, brutally runs the farmhouse Ofelia and her pregnant mother are staying in. The film features masterful direction and vision through its blending of fantasy, horror, and life during the tumultuous Spanish Civil War. The contrast between the terrors of Ofelia’s fantasy world and the real-world dread caused by the Falange is more than proof of del Toro’s ability to craft a profound tale, and the young Ivana Baquero’s portrayal of Ofelia is nothing short of breathtaking. We both agree that Pan’s Labyrinth is incredible, and a testament that quality knows no language. 2) No Country for Old Men No Country for Old Men is the result of Continued On Page 22

By Anthony Dang

Photo Courtesy of RottenTomatoes.com

Guillermo del Toro’s masterpiece fairy tale, Pan’s Labyrinth


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A m u s e m e n t s 2007 at the Movies what happens when you put the Coen brothers in charge of adapting a novel written by Tennesee’s own Cormac McCarthy. It’s unrelentingly bloody, yet the film is brilliant. The excellent cast leaves no room for a single star, yet each performance is uncompromisingly superb, and Javier Bardem’s take on the psychopathic Anton Chigurh is simply astounding. Joel and Ethan Coen’s cinematography is stunning, and easily the best of the year as well. The movie is an exceptional modern Western, and the film’s subtle depth allows for numerous viewings without getting worn-out. An extraordinary achievement in modern cinema, No Country for Old Men is a complete triumph that is more than just a film: it’s an experience. 3) Juno The product of Thank You for Smoking director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody, Juno is the perfect amalgam of sentiment and sass. The archetypal story, a young pregnant teen learns lessons about life, could have made the Lifetime Channel without Cody’s sharp dialogue and a particularly strong performance by up-and-coming Ellen Page as the quirky titular character. In fact, the whole cast is quirky, and the strength of the ensemble draws parallels to Reitman’s first venture, Smoking. J.K. Simmons, Allison Janney, Michael Cera, and

Continued From Page 21 Jennifer Gardner (surprisingly) balance precisely and flawlessly along the line of verisimilitude and stylized wit. The end result is a film that will make you laugh, cry, and definitely dig that indie music soundtrack to death. 4) Children of Men Children of Men hits on a goldmine with the plot summary alone. The possibility of worldwide infertility seems both eerily possible and unfathomably catastrophic. To undo all human progression with the slow process of simply dying out with no one to pass on the accumulated knowledge of generations is absolutely the most horrifying idea of which we’ve

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Josh Brolin as Llewelyn Moss in No Country for Old Men ever heard. In fact, if it weren’t for the expert direction of Alfonso Cuaron, we might’ve written this film off as another dystopian

Photo Courtesy of RottenTomatoes.com

Owen Wilson (center-left), Adrien Brody (center-right), and Jason Schwartzman (right) play three brothers from a dysfunctional family in The Darjeeling Limited

nightmare. The script delivers both plot and dialogue, but the true mastery is the expert cinematography. Extended single-shot cuts of action sequences really inserts the spectator into the movie, and allows for the reality of impending extinction to really sink in like a knife. Breathtaking, spectacular, horrifying, and yet inspiring, Children of Men is Cuaron’s science fiction masterpiece that will only become richer with the legacy it will inevitably leave on the genre. 5) Superbad Superbad, a semi-autobiography of writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, is astounding with its pinpoint accuracy of the teenage soul. Every time we see a movie produced by this crew, centered around producer Judd Apatow, they baffle us with a seemingly impossible mix of the vile and the heartfelt to produce something genuinely hilarious. Superbad does this to a tee, getting away with some of the most foul language and disgusting events ever put on celluloid, made truly realistic and horrifying by the astute performances by Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse as awkward high school seniors. Instantly quotable and forever re-watchable, Superbad has already taken a seat in the pantheon of classic comedies. You won’t want to miss this excellent comedy. 6) The Darjeeling Limited Known for his work on such cult classics as Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, director Wes Anderson has created Continued On Page 23


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Continued From Page 22 ing murder mystery, Zodiac focuses more on the social and mental effects of a killer on the people trying to solve the case rather than the case itself. The result is not only a brighter film than Se7en, but also a film that evolves into much more than a standard “whodunit.” The cast includes such luminaries as Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo, all of who give performances that could be considered the best of their careers. While the case is still unsolved today both on screen and in real life, Zodiac manages to sustain suspense, and its tight, character-driven drama makes for an outstanding movie.

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Ratatouille tells of a young rat, Remy (voiced by Patton Oswalt) and his cooking adventures with a clumsy garbage boy Linguini (voiced by Lou Romano) a film worthy of its predecessors in The Darjeeling Limited. Featuring the elusive Owen Wilson along with Adrian Brody and Jason Schwartzman as three dysfunctional brothers travelling across India in the wake of their father’s death, Darjeeling is a breath of fresh air for anyone who thought Anderson’s The Life Aquatic was nothing more than mediocre. Anderson’s quirky screenplay and spectacular cinematography, which displays the raw beauty of both urban and rural India and its peoples, also help contribute to making The Darjeeling Limited one of the year’s best films. 7) Hot Fuzz This cop comedy from England comes from across the pond by the same writing and directing team that delivered the hilarious Shaun of the Dead. While Shaun was more of a send-up of zombie horror films, Hot Fuzz satirizes American buddy cop films. Both Simon Pegg and Nick Frost provide a multitude of laughs as the film’s protagonists, an ultra-hardworking supercop and ne’er-do-well drunkard of an officer; and the film’s heinous plot, featuring the likes of a brutal serial killer, a township conspiracy, and a runaway swan, is more than enough to make the movie entertaining. Also, Timothy Dalton gives a terrific performance as an ominous store owner bent making bad puns. Hot Fuzz is a gory, explosive action comedy better than any of its American counterparts this year. 8) Eastern Promises I (Alexander) wondered as we compiled this list if my love of Eastern Promises had faded with time. My earlier review this year of David Cronenberg’s newest film on the Russian mob was almost too kind in retrospect, but while my mind is telling me “no,” my body is screaming “YES!” I say

my body because Eastern Promises will truly be a bodily experience for many. It is violence at its most eye-poppingly visceral, and suspense at its most bodily-function inducing. Not only that, but the movie has a vast tragedy and spellbinding mystery that I did not see in Scorsese’s The Departed or Lynch’s Blue Velvet; though, by other critics, Promises is compared nearing those films. I say it surpasses. Viggo Mortensen takes the cake for his acclaimed performance as a chauffeur with some secrets, but there’s equally good acting by Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel, and Armin MuellerStahl also. This is best take on the Russian Mafia availible, and one of the best gangster movies to date. 9) Ratatouille Ratatouille is the newest animated film from Pixar, a studio that has yet to make a complete miss. When we say we hated 2006’s Cars, it’s only because Pixar has already set the bar so high with Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. Brad Bird, director of the latter animated adventure, goes from animating superheroes to animating rats. This shift would be a step down cinematically for most directors. Bird, however, never rests, and Ratatouille triumphs because of his work. Patton Oswald leads the voice work as

Remy the rat, and Ian Holm and Janeane Garofalo give noteworthy performances if only as each’s distinct voice was made unrecognizable by their mildly exaggerated yet authentic French accents. However, the best voice work comes from the unparalleled Peter O’Toole as the feared food critic Anton Ego. Ratatouille hits the spot. 10) Zodiac David Fincher’s exploration of the 1960’s “Zodiac” killings in the San Francisco Bay area is quite a bit different from his vicious take on the serial killer in 1995’s Se7en. Where Se7en was dark and menac-

In lieu of a traditional “Worst Films of 2007” list that follows our “Best of” list, we have decided to enshrine a single film as the nefarious “Worst Film of 2007,” an honor many aspire to achieve, yet only one film merits. This year, it’s a film which features such a lack of competence for film craft that the viewer is both befuddled, disturbed, and speechless. Without any further adieu, we would like to recognize Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer’s Epic Movie as a titan of terribleness, the worst film of 2007, and possibly the worst film ever made. 2007 was a pretty good year overall, and it was especially good to Hollywood. We hope you enjoyed our list, and we pray the writers’ strike won’t sink 2008’s chances at some good films. Until next time, we’ll see you at the movies.

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Jake Gyllenhaal, and Chloë Sevigny in Zodiac


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1. Barge 2. Dalai ____ 3. Ovate 4. Lake 5. Impetuous 6. Afloat 7. Danish krone (abbr.)

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8. Electronecephalograph (abbr.) 9. Demon barber Todd’s first name 1. Sloven 10. Dismiss 5. Underworld 11. Express emotions 10. New Jersey’s neighbor 12. Rounded part 13. Trouble 14. More snug 15. Awry 16. People who wear black and write 22. Wing 24. Compete sad poems. 25. Animal Oil 17. Adult insect 26. American state 18. Woolen cloth 27. Annoying insect 19. Pack 28. Island 20. Friend 29. Thick carpet 21. Greek letter 30. Hoops 23. 1997 Madonna movie 31. Glens 25. Spring flower 34. Red Planet 26. Fuze 35. Roman Goddess and recent box 28. Nation nearly the size of Lake office hit Michigan 36. Dale 31. Recipient 38. Chow 32. Bake unshelled eggs 39. Homecoming opponent 33. Hence 40. Pork servings 34. Rapper 8ball’s homie 42. Radio (2 wds.) 37. Touch down 43. Mouth ulcer 38. Widely known 44. Married woman 40. Draw 45. Pair 41. Chick holder 46. Swelling 42. Infant 47. Asian country 43. Chili con ____ 48. Ogre 44. Butterflies’ cousins 49. Proverb asked at Quiz Bowl 45. Plum tournament, “men make 46. Occupy wholly houses, women make ____” 49. European nomads 51. Like 50. Rationalism 52. Alder 51. Glower 53. Location 52. Teaspoon (abbr.) 55. Environmental protection agency 54. Domestic friends 57. Roberto’s yes (abbr.) 58. Title of respect 56. Chest 60. Extremely high frequency 59. Uncanny (abbr.) 61. Staff 62. Fatty vegetable 63. Gone with the Wind’s Mr. Butler 64. Alternative (abbr.) 65. Former name of Jerez 66. Dues

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Owl's Hoot January 18, 2008. Vol LII No 7  

Mr. Hatchett Portrait, Spencer Reese chapel speech on controversy, Elliott Cole "Spreds Wings at Vanderbilt," Bari Ristorante, Jimmy John's,...

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