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THE HURRICANE NATION Huntingtown High School ♦ Huntingtown, MD

December 2009 Editors-in-Chief: Hannah Finlayson Shaj Mathew Lauren White

is really

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Staff Writers: Ally Allen Nate Dawes Liana Farnese Nisa Hussain Kevin McGuire Brian Merewitz Aron Morgan Stefanie Moscati Emily Mutschler Garrett O’Leary Maddy Pomilla Roopa Srivastava Advisor: Mr. Jim Ritter

Special thanks to senior Adrienne Carroll for designing the cover.

editors’ note Another edition of the Hurricane Nation we have for you here, just in time for the holidays. To help you out with any last minute Christmas shopping, we have gift guides for clothes under $35, gifts that “give back” upon purchase, and the latest philanthropic fad: micro-loans. This issue also includes commentary on the sad state of daily newspapers and where they’re headed in the near future. Our staffers explain their picks for top movies of the year as well as best and worst sports moments of the decade. Please feel free to email us with comments, suggestions, or letters to the editor at Happy Holidays! —Hannah, Shaj, and Lauren

Read this issue online with The Hurricane Nation Digital Edition

contents 12/09 3 swine river 4 hide from the swine 5 medical marijuana 6 advice from alumni 7 george washington slept here review 8 all I want for christmas 9 volunteering in the community 10 teacher/student choice 11 christmas: unwrapped 12 the way sports talk should be 13 pop culture grid 14 for love of the game 14 set for south Africa : u.s.a. 15 the top 5 sports moments of the 2000s 15 st. ledger award 16 worst 5 sports moments of the 2000s 17 iPod shuffle 18 local band scene 18 rihanna goes r rated with latest album

19 20 21 22 23 24 25 25 26 27 29 30 31 32 33 34

cheap clothing finds gifts that give back for the holidays music news concert calendar alice in wonderland dream decoder an evil christmas? a christmas carol review everything iDon’t . . . droid does better cinema talk: films of 2009 fashion teachers of the month michael Jackson: tragedy or travesty how to . . . drive a stick what’s black, white, and red all over cooped up in a bookstore troop deployment plan

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swine flu ♦ medical marijuana ♦ george washington slept here

SWINE RIVER By Emily Mutschler

The swine flu is a rising problem, and it is affecting more places than just good ole' Calvert County. “[We] assume that everyone has it, [because that is] the best way to keep it contained,” said Ms. Bradly, the school nurse here. Tamiflu, which is an anti-flu drug that treats the seasonal flu as well as H1N1, is producing new problems that most people are unaware of. Three rivers in Japan have been contaminated with the main ingredient of the anti-flu drug, oseltamivir carboxylate, otherwise known as OC. Local sewage plants have discharged the chemical in water into rivers. The flu causing viruses are constantly finding new ways to form and evolve into new viruses. Birds carry these flu viruses naturally, soothe birds that live near the infected rivers are directly affected. By digesting the OC, birds can learn how to fight off the flues that Tamiflu treats. Different flues that cannot be treated by the Tamiflu may begin to develop in the birds, which can easily pass it to other animals in their habitat. The Tamiflu can’t treat any new viruses because it is unable top kill the viruses. This

stronger flu could be transmitted from the animals to humans. When the flu is at its worst, more people get the Tamiflu treatment. This treatment is ejected from the humans through urine, which is excreted into rivers from various sewage plants. A large amount, almost all, of the Tamiflu ingested by humans will end up in the environment as OC eventually. Scientists have known about the issue for years. Sewage plants could remove all of the OC from the water, but they have failed to do so. With a large virus going around, many people are at risk. This could affect the entire population’s health.

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Hide From The Swine By Maddy Pomilla


bout half a year ago the country went into panic over the news of a newly discovered flu: the Swine Flu. The first confirmed case of Swine Flu surfaced in Mexico in midMarch last year, and when news of the death of an infant due to the then-mysterious illness hit the states, the response was large. Swine Flu headlines hit news channels, magazines, newpapers, and online news articles. Our very own school here in Huntingtown was infested with swine for a week or two. Everyone went into hysterics. Now in all seriousness, I actually do understand why there was-and still is— such hype over the pandemic. It’s scary to think there is a potentially dangerous new flu infecting everyone around us, but everyone has got to stop freaking out and listen to the facts not the rumors. You don’t get swine flu from eating pork, you won’t die if you eat bacon, and believe it or not, you won’t turn into a pig either. Freshman Erica Lenza felt the same. She said, “Everyone is freaking out about the swine flu, but why? We’ve discovered new diseases before and it will probably happen again. Spazzing about the flu is just going to make it worse.”

A sneeze captured in slow motion. A major cause of the spread of swine flu.

We can’t deny that it’s here, but we can all help to delay or minimize spread of it. But how? It’s all common things you’ve heard before. 1) Sneeze into a tissue or the shoulder area. Avoid touching your face, nose or mouth too frequently with your hands since swine flu appears to be transmitted through the respiratory system. 2) Wash your hands frequently with soap… duh. 3) If you have flu symptoms DO NOT GO TO SCHOOL OR WORK. Doctor’s say that truly is the best way to stop this pandemic from continuing. Even if you’re feeling better, you should not go back to school or work until two days after the symptoms have subsided. And please, whatever you do, don’t wear a mask. You’re not preventing the flu from spreading — you just look stupid. Masks are only necessary to be worn by health care workers, so save yourself the embarrassment. Swine flu and seasonal flu vaccines are now at local health clinics. If you have any further questions or concerns, you can call the swine flu information line: 410-535-5400 (extension 349).


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By Stefanie Moscati As of May 22, 2003, Maryland was the ninth state of fifteen to legalize medical marijuana. Many did not even know of the medical use of marijuana, so it may be surprising to find it has been around for six years. The use of cannabis for medical reasons is a huge controversy. The question of, “How will they know if they’re just smoking to get high or not?” is brought up very often. According to Maryland Senate Bill 502, “The bill applies to defendants possessing less than one ounce of marijuana and who can prove they used marijuana out of medical necessity and with a doctor's recommendation.” Therefore, if the patient carries once ounce or less of the marijuana, then they are protected from criminal records and possibly being imprisoned. However, if a patient is carrying more than an ounce of the marijuana, they can be charged up to a maximum of $100. One may think this could lead to an increase of drug trafficking throughout the United States; however, the government will not arrest users of medical marijuana as long as they comply with state laws. Bruce Mirken of the Marijuana Policy Project seems to be happy about this, saying, "This change in policy moves the federal government dramatically toward respecting scientific and practical reality." Does the marijuana even work in terms of relieving symptoms, or do people just believe that it does? According to The Washington Post, “Countless anecdotal reports have suggested that smoking marijuana can help relieve the pain, nausea and muscular spasticity that often accompany cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other ailments. But few well-controlled studies have been conducted.” Our own school nurse, Ms. Brady, believes that “THC [main ingredient in marijuana] is a natural medication. It can be helpful for terminal illness, and it’s probably better than morphine.” However, she also believes that the marijuana should have major restrictions because it could increase drug trafficking. Since there are laws that people must abide by in order to smoke this medical marijuana, but few controlled studies, controversy has ensued. There are not many states on board with this bill so far. Perhaps people will have to wait for more studies to be conducted to form an opinion. As for now, the fifteen states that have legalized it are taking actions to keep it for medicinal purposes only.

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Advice from Alumni: Scholarships and Financial Aid By Brian Merewitz Every issue of The Hurricane Nation features a column of advice from Huntingtown alumni regarding an array of topics dealing with college. This article will feature college sophomores Jen Price of Towson University (a former Hurricane Nation member) and Jimmy Bare of Long Island University: CW Post. Scholarships are everywhere, if you know where to look. Getting scholarships and/or aid can, in some cases, determine what schools you will be able to afford. Here’s what Jimmy and Jen have to say about earning them. HN: If you had to do the whole college process again, would you do anything differently regarding scholarships and financial aid? JP: I would definitely have applied for more scholarships! There are a million of them out there for everyone, and you don’t have to have a 4.0 or have done a thousand hours of community service to get them. Once you decide what your major is, many more scholarships become avail- Jen Price attends Towson University. able to you...especially through your college. JB: I would not procrastinate and wait until the last minute to turn everything in. I put so much extra stress on myself that was just not needed. HN: Did you apply for FAFSA? Would you recommend it for everyone? JP: Yes I applied for FAFSA because at Towson University it is a requirement. I personally didn’t receive any money from it, but I would definitely recommend it because it barely takes any time to fill out and if you do receive aid it would be well worth it. JB: Yes and it was worth it. It helped my school determine how much they wanted to give me as a need based scholarship. HN: How many scholarships did you apply for? How much scholarship money did you receive? JP: I applied for about 5 or 6 scholarships during the summer and I received $600 Jimmy Bare, a Long Island University student from a Senatorial scholarship. I plan on applying for more second semester that are directed towards my major (mass communications). JB: I applied for three scholarships through my school and was awarded $8,000 each year HN: Did you receive financial aid from your school? What about a scholarship from the school? JP: I didn’t receive one this year, but last year I got a $500 academic scholarship from Towson. It wasn’t as much as I would have liked to get but it paid for my books! JB: Yes I received a scholarship from the school for academics.

JB: I did not do

HN: Students are often told to apply for tons of scholarships regardless of the amount. Did you do this? Did it work out? JP: I didn’t apply for as many as I should have, but for the ones I did apply for, I didn’t really care about the amount of money I would be able to receive, I just applied for the ones I was eligible for. It worked out with my Senatorial scholarship, but I believe if I had applied for more, I would have received more than one. this but wish I had. I probably would have been able to get even more off.

HN: What’s your advice for Seniors on how to get the most financial aid and scholarship money? JP: Apply for as many scholarships as you are eligible for! It’s really tedious and boring, but it pays off when you get them! JB: Just apply for everything. I know it’s boring and you would rather be doing other things, but it’s worth it in the end. HN: Where should students look for scholarships? JP: Go on your university’s website and look at what scholarships they have available because they’ll have a ton. and are also great sites that allow you to create a profile about yourself, and then match you with scholarships based on it. JB: Look through your potential school first and see all they have to offer. If you need more scholarships after that then look at private ones. A simple internet search will bring up a ton.


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George Washington Slept Here—Apparently Not! By Roopa Srivastava had no purpose. We then barely realized that they left during the third act. The whole story-line seemed as though it was just an ordinary day in the life of the family. Despite the disappointing story plot, the cast’s acting was amazing; They truly went into their character and brought them into life, one even did it without talking. Miss Wilcox (Sarah Mayner) did not say one word throughout the play, instead she would float around with very little head movement when asked a question. Conveying emotion without words is no less than impressive. Hester (Stephanie Brown) was another one of my favorite characters, as the angry-maid. Stephanie truly made this character alive. Huntingtown’s Eye of the Storm Productions She kept in character the whole time, her voice was perfect for her part. When she was mad she made has been known for putting on a an amazing show sure you knew it, with her crouched-down walk and and giving it their absolute best. And, in George Washington Slept Here they did exactly that — only evil death stare. As for when she was happy, she would hum, wiggle and shout with glee. Uncle Stanley to be weighted down by a horrible plot. George Washington Slept Here is about New- (Paul America) was one of the funniest character in the play. America always has a way of making his ton Fuller (Peter Merski) and his family who buys a characters make the crowd smile or laugh. house in the country in which George Washington The stage and props were very creative as supposedly slept in. But once they arrive at the house well. In the beginning the house was wrecked, vines they are greeted with the fact that Benadict Arnold were growing out of the windows, the furniture was actually slept there, and that they have a very rude destroyed, and there was a cow in the kitchen. But the neighbor Mr. Prescott (Ryan Lienesch). Annabelle, stage completely transformed after they finished re(Lindsay Harris) Newton’s wife, is outraged that her modeling. There were fancy curtains, the walls and husband bought the house without her consent, but agrees to live there. Their daughter Madge Fuller, (Heather Robbins) is overjoyed with the idea of living in the country. She brings along Steve Eldridge (Andrew Fulginiti), who you assume to be her boyfriend, but later on hit a very rocky bump, when Madge runs off with Clayton Evans (Zachary Johnson). The Fuller family faces many obstacles Heather Robbins, Andrew Fulginiti, Zachary Johnson, Ryan Lienesch, throughout the play, in which Brandi Pick, Billy Saunders, Paul America, Lindsay Harriss, Peter Merski, families now a days are facing. Johnny Posner, Katherine Norwood, Travis Wingfield, Colin Loveless, For example losing there home, bankruptcies, and family trouble. Vicky Mathews, Sarah Mayner, Katie Settle, Stephanie Brown. But the beginning just seemed windows were fixed, and the furniture looked brand that it was going nowhere. new. EOTS is truly ingenious when it comes to creatIn total there were three acts, but only one ing props. had actual drama and suspense. The first two acts George Washington Slept Here was filled seemed like they were just going on with their lives and all of their problems were all over the place. De- with talented actors who gave it their all and made their characters connect with the audience; however, spite the lengthy exposition, some of the characters the plot was not up to par. were not clearly introduced either. Madge’s four friends were brought in and it seemed as though they

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All I Want for Christmas is...A Microloan By Shaj Mathew

You’ve probably been told a million times this holiday season how fortunate you are to have what you have, to live where you live, etc. And if you haven’t, then someone should have told you. I’m not in any way trying to edify you or affect that I’m someone particularly morally upright (I’m not), but perhaps you may be interested in giving a special, more unconventional gift this holiday season to someone who you don’t even know. I’m talking about making a micro-loan. Micro-lending, if you are not familiar with the term, involves loaning small amounts of money to hardworking entrepreneurs or students worldwide, usually via an online social network; this online portal allows you to choose who to lend to, see how exactly the person uses your money, keep abreast of the person’s progress, and track the eventual repayment of your loan. Most micro-lending services use PayPal or other means of secure online payment. The great thing about micro-lending is that it promotes sustainability – you’re not merely donating money to someone, but also fostering his economic independence since he eventually pays you back according to a strict monthly repayment plan. Below are two micro-lending organizations — and one particularly compelling charity — worth giving to this season.


The interfaces of these websites make it easier than ever to donate to deserving entrepreneurs and students worldwide.

Kiva ( is perhaps the most popular micro-lending website out

there. Since its inception in 2005, almost 600,000 online lenders have loaned $100 million to 240,000 entrepreneurs in over 50 countries. The organization connects you to individual entrepreneurs around the world with specific business plans; simply select the individual with the plan you’d like to support and lend.

Vittana ( follows the same premise as Kiva does, except it focuses specifically on education. You can lend aspiring students in developing countries as little as $25 so they can attend college. An investment in college or graduate education is an investment that can never depreciate in value, that can never be taken away – and that is what makes it such a great gift for people in the third world, where student loans are extremely difficult to obtain. In terms of sustainability, higher education also translates into much greater employment opportunities. Donors Choose ( allows you to help teachers in poor school districts across America purchase desperately needed supplies for their students and classrooms. However, unlike Kiva and Vittana, Donors Choose is not a micro-lending organization per se: your contribution is not repaid – in cash, at least. But perhaps equal or greater than monetary recompense are the thank you letters, the “impact letter” from the class’s teacher, and the photos of the children using the particular school supply which appear online after the supply has been purchased. The schools participating in the Donors Choose programs aren’t placing orders for SMARTboards on a whim like ours is – in fact, most listed on the site are classified as “high poverty” schools at which more than 40% of students receive free or reduced lunch, though at some list levels as high as 90%.


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Volunteering in the Community By Liana Farnese People have probably asked you at some point in your life if you have ever volunteered somewhere, or if you could help out with something. There are a lot of places around our community and environment where you can volunteer and help out. One particular group of HHS students got themselves involved with a family to help them raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation. These students are Samantha Barham, Taylor (From Left) Samantha Barham, Taylor Fallin, Angela Giancoli , Liana Farnese, Alyssa Fallin, Alyssa Hirsch, Liana Hirsch, Shannon Rhoads, Haley Race, and Destiny Mason Farnese, Angela Giancoli, Shannon Rhoads, Haley Race, and Destiny Mason. The Gagnon Family’s son, Cameron, has Leukemia and is now in remission. The family was trying to raise money for a banner for the Light the Night walk in D.C. The banner’s cost was $1,000. The group of students helped with throwing a fundraiser. The fundraiser was held at the Barham residence and had a lot of activities for the children to do. There was a moon bounce, face painting, a haunted trial, a bon fire, hay rides, and many others. People that came made donations while they were there and the family ended up raising $3,000. All of the money that was not used to purchase the banner was given to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation for research and helping find a cure.

Check out the World’s Fair! Dec. 21 in the Media Center

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Teacher/Student Choice By Liana Farnese

Mrs.Gillis: “Senior, Jacob Camp is taking two of my upper level classes. He gets straight A’s all the way through, while being involved in NJROTC. He has also volunteered on numerous weekends with me at the local animal shelter.”

Ms. McLaughlin: “Freshman Maddie Stedman excels academically, her communication skills are stellar, and she relates well to her peers in class.”

Junior Bryant O’Brien: “Mr. Currier, because he always keeps a friendly learning environment and effectively outlines and reviews the material needed to know.”

Freshman Lauren Barber: “Mrs. Hancock, she is really nice and patient about everything. I feel that I understand everything and learn well in her class.” Mrs. Farrell: “Freshman Jennifer Waldron has a very outgoing personality, cares about her grades, and is always studying to try to improve.” Mrs. Claggett: “Sophomore Presley Collinson is very outgoing. She is comfortable with herself and fun to have in class.”

Sophomore Kelsey Harding: “Mrs. Claggett she is really nice and chill about things but we still can get all our work done.”


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Christmas: Unwrapped By Ally Allen


id you know that Christmas at one point in time involved gang rioting? Or that it had even been outlawed? Neither did I. This curiosity which impelled me to know how exactly Christmas came to be was what provoked my research on this topic. The results, were to say, quite surprising and intriguing. To find that Christmas, at least celebrated in the United States, was built upon religions and traditions spread throughout the whole world, beginning centuries ago in Rome (but isn’t that where everything began?) piqued my interest, for it seemed Christmas’s true origins were only muddled, vague and distorted. What Roman celebration was Christmas modeled after? Why is the fireplace immediately recognized as a symbol of Christmas (and not because of the time of the season)? And where did the idea come from to take pine trees from outside and place them into our homes? Let’s start with the Winter Solstice in Rome. For one month in Rome, the social class was turned upside down, allowing peasants and slaves to take the place of the upper class. Saturnalia – a festival in

honor of the god of agriculture, Saturn – was considered pagan in its celebrations, a time full of merriment. On December 25th, known as a sacred day by the Romans, the people celebrated the birthday of Mithra, an infant god. Also around that time, during the Winter Solstice, Romans were known to celebrate what was called Juvenalia, a festival in honor of children. It is known that Jesus Christ’s birth was not mentioned or found in the Bible. In a decision, supposedly influenced by the want to borrow and embrace the festivities of Saturnalia, the church was compelled to set the date of Jesus Christ’s birth on December 25th. From then the Feast of the Nativity, otherwise known as Christmas spread through to Egypt, England and in the following centuries, then to Scandinavia. But, before the influence of Jesus Christ’s birth could even affect many countries in Europe, such as the Norse of Scandinavia were known to celebrate, what was called Yule from December 21st all the way through to January. In tradition and honor of the return of the sun, the men would bring in logs to set on fire, while they feasted, until it burned out. Along these lines, the infusion of the tradition of setting a Christmas in our house and decorating it was borrowed who is known to have started this tradition. Though to the Scandinavians and Romans, the boughs of evergreens, during the Winter Solstice had only reminded them of better times to come after winter had ended. Many of us take the traditions that we celebrate today, for Christmas, for granted. The picturesque, peaceful gathering of family members during the holidays, the giving and receiving of presents, the cozy burning of the fire as family and friends merge and join together that we see today as a natural part of Christmas, wasn’t actually taught as a way to celebrate Christmas until the early 19th century. So how was Christmas celebrated before then? During the 1600’s, Christmas in England was not allowed to be celebrated and until the year of 1870 Christmas was not considered a national holiday until then. Believe it or not, during the early 19 th century, before a man named Washington Irving would even come into the picture to change the way Americans thought about Christmas, the holiday was inflicted with strife, violence, and relentless turmoil. Why? During that time, as a reaction to high unemployment rates, lower classes revolted. Washington Irving, with the publication of The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., turned around how Americans view Christmas today, that involves an integration of all mankind, gathered, to celebrate despite differences: Christmas.

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best and worst sports moments ♦ pop culture grid ♦ st. ledger award

The Way Sports Talk Should Be: Extreme Ironing By Brian Merewitz I could sit here and tell you about how good This championship was divided into different sections including urban, water, forest, rocky, and freeOvechkin is or how bad the Redskins are, but why style. Each team or participant was tested in each would you care what I have to say when it’s all on section with different type of ESPN? I could tell you about fabrics. Two British teams the NBA season starting, but won the team section and a there’s not really much to say German and Austrian reat this point. Therefore, I ceived the prizes for the indihave chosen the highly comvidual competition. petitive sport (the media deThis sport debuted bates whether it really is a in 1997 in Leicester, England sport or not, but I say it is) of by Phil Shaw, who came extreme ironing. home from work and had to Yes, it is just what it iron, but wanted to rock sounds like. People (done climb, so he decided to iron solo or in groups) take an while rock climbing. He ironing board, iron, and later went on a world tour to clothes to remote locations promote the sport and his and iron. If you aren’t a huge encounter with German extreme ironing fan yet, wait tourists in New Zealand lead until you hear some of the to the creation of “Extreme places people have gone. Ironing International.” BritPeople have taken ain’s channel 4 opened the their love of ironing to all world’s eyes to this sport by kinds of extremes. At first, I creating a documentary was much like you. I woncalled Extreme Ironing: dered where the heck people Pressing for Victory and could iron and call it a sport. This extreme ironer can iron while wakeboarding. was later aired on the NaHowever, “athletes” have tional Geographic Channel. ironed while climbing a mountain, while parachuting, while under the ice of In March 2008, a team of 72 divers set a record for most people ironing underwater at once and Exa frozen lake, while in a tree, while sitting in the treme Ironing has held competitions in the U.S. at middle of the street, while in a canoe, and while Mount Rushmore and Devil’s Tower and in New snowboarding In September 2002, this obscure sport held York City and Boston. While this sport may not require the most its first world competition in Munich, Germany. 12 physical skill, who wouldn’t enjoy ironing under teams participated from Austria, Australia, Chile, extreme conditions? Croatia, Great Britain (3 teams), and Germany.


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The Pop Culture Grid: The Boys’ Swim Team By Hannah Finlayson How does the boys’ swim team fit

If I were Harry Potter I’d...

My cell phone ringtone is

My New Year’s Resolution

My celebrity crush is

TV marathon I could watch all day

My best pick-up line

Best Movie Ever

Step Brothers

Senior Wayne Lambert

Get a pointy hat


Be tight

Megan Fox

Family Guy

If I could rearrange the alphabet I’d put U and I together

Sophomore Alec Morgan

Bust a cap in Voldemort


Be Awesome

Megan Fox

America’s Next Top Model


The Notebook

Senior Christian Naumann

Fly...on a broom


Be awesomeer

Megan Fox

The Office

Are you tired? Cause you’ve been running through my head all day.

Step Brothers

Senior Stephen Anderson

Be a chick magnet

Baby Got Back

To go shopping more

Rosie O’Donnell

Little House on the Prairie

Does this smell like chloroform?

The Notebook

Senior Luke Dohrman

Get with Hermione

Every Girl

Do homework

Thirza Morgan

The Simpsons

Kiss me, I’m vaccinated

The Hangover

TV marathon I could watch all day

My best pick-up line

The Pop Culture Grid: The Girls’ Swim Team By Hannah Finlayson How does the girls’ swim team fit it?

If I were Harry Potter I’d...

My cell phone ringtone is

My New Year’s Resolution

My celebrity crush is

Best Movie Ever

Sophomore Maggie Scopel

Be awesome

Barbie Girl

Get Zach back from Las Vegas

Jake Dohrman

Star Trek

Hey Zach


Senior Aron Morgan

Get contacts

I’m Goin’ In

Go hard, or go home.

Chuck Dorhman

Wizards of Waverly Place

The body is made up of 90% water and I’m thirsty.

30 Days of Night

Senior Alex Haughey

Be awesome


To break records

Robert Pattinson


Holla at me


Senior Brianne Palensky

Kill the bad guy

Jump then Fall

To break my record in the 100m breast stroke.

Michael Phelps


Ay yo boy


Senior Bailey Bertolaccini

Be a dude magnet

Hey Steven

To go shopping more

Regis Philbin

America’s Best Dance Crew

Hi Stephen

Hannah Montana: The Movie

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For Love of the Game By Lauren White It is the volleyball regional championship match. The winner of this game moves on to the state semi-final round. And it is match point — for Northern High School. The crowd goes silent as the referee beckons for serve. And then I can see Northern’s crowd go crazy, but all I can hear is my own breathing. Driving home that night, I began to cry. I cannot say that I did not cry over the loss, but those tears I left on the gym floor. These tears were for something much bigger: it was the realization that, as a senior, a major chapter in my life was over. I had dedicated four years to high school volleyball, and with one point it was all over. As high school athletes, we have all complained about going to practice after school each day, we have all complained about incompetent referees, we have all complained about our coaches (love you Coach Turner). And yet, we keep coming back. We must, because we cannot imagine what life would be like without our sport. We play for love of the game. Being an athlete for Huntingtown High School is an enriching experience. Each time we go to play we are receiving the opportunity to represent our school outside of academics. Each time we put on a uniform we are saying that we are confident members of our team. Each time we step on a court, a field, or a mat we are showing our pride in Huntingtown High School. Most of the time, however, athletes do not realize this. We are focused on the game. We are wrapped up in the exhilaration of getting the kill, the touchdown, the goal and then celebrating with our teammates. It is this feeling that makes us love the sport. And it for this reason that when that final season

of high school athletics comes to an end, we are overcome with grief. We no longer have a next year, even if we plan on playing club ball or college athletics. It is why a loss is so devastating, especially when it marks the end of a season. But we need to remember all the good times we have had over the years. The times, as beginners, we spent cheering on the team from the bench, the times we spent with the team outside of games and practice, the times we mastered a new skill, and the times we executed those skills perfectly. Underclassmen athletes, do not take these times for granted. Cherish them, because when they are over, you’ll wish you could do it all again. So it is important for high school athletes to remember what we play for. We do not play for the win. We play for that feeling of control and excitement, for the roaring crowds, for our families, and for ourselves. We play for love of the game. High school athletes love the sport they play. They play for love of the game.

Set for South Africa: USA By Garrett O’Leary The stage is set. All 32 teams have qualified and groups have been drawn for the 2010 World Cup. The “Group of Death” showcases Brazil, Portugal, and Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), and the unfortunate country of North Korea. On the other hand, France, who barely qualified, has a relatively easy draw. They are in Group A with South Africa, Mexico, and Uruguay. And then there is Group C: England, Slovenia, Algeria, and USA. As a fan of American soccer I am quite pleased with the draw. The United States begins by facing England which should shape up to be fine match. As for the matches against Algeria and Slovenia, the United States should be solidly win both. Even if the USA loses to England, if they can beat the other two teams, they should be in good shape to move past the group stage. However, if USA makes it out of the group stage then they are likely to play Germany. In short, Germany is one of the most powerful soccer teams in the world, currently ranked 6th in the world by FIFA. The United States is definitely capable of beating any team, just as they defeated Spain in last summer’s Confederations Cup. However, the US is wildly inconsistent, as demonstrated in the 2006 World Cup in which they failed to win a game. Yet, USA miraculously defeated Spain and gave Brazil great competition despite losing the Confederations Cup final. The USA will have their work cut out for them this summer, and despite being middle of the pack at 65-1 odds, the States do have a legitimate shot at the Cup. The first match pits USA vs. England on June 12th. Furthermore, teammates Landon Donovan and David Beckham will face off on opposing sides, an interesting plotline below the match. England striker Wayne Rooney believes, “[England] is full of confidence.” Yet, USA striker Landon Donovan shares a similar mindset, believing that this summer “is a chance for [USA] to show.” The largest sporting event in the world kicks off this summer in South Africa.


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The Top 5 Sports Moments of the 2000s Brian Merewitz To say that a lot has happened in the sports world over the past 10 years is a gross understatement. Ten years ago, the Nationals didn’t exist, Gilbert Arenas wasn’t in the NBA, Ovechkin was unheard of, and the Redskins went 8-8. Like I said, lots have changed. Here are the top five events from the past ten years, while Garrett O’Leary will describe the worst five. 1. Lance Armstrong: After being diagnosed with cancer in 1996, Lance’s life was on the line. Forget racing—doctors weren’t sure if he would even live. However, Armstrong didn’t just survive, he was able to return to racing. He didn’t just return to racing either—he dominated it. In 2005, Lance Armstrong set a record seven-straight Tour De Frances! Lance Armstrong’s road from cancer to victory earned him the #1 spot. 2. Michael Phelps: Eight gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Enough said. But that’s not even it! He also won 14 gold medals in his career. In other words, Phelps is unstoppable in the pool. Both of those things mentioned above are world records. If only he didn’t have the negative media from a drug encounter, then he would have been a contender for the number one spot. 3. New England Patriots: The 2000s have been the decade of the Patriots. They have dominated every aspect of the NFL, earning the name of a dynasty by some analysts. The Patriots won three Super Bowls since 2001 and appeared in four. They also set a record for 18 straight regular season victories. The New England Patriots dynasty has landed them the three spot on the best sports moments of the decade. 4. Barry Bonds: Go ahead and get the steroid jokes over with now. Regardless of what was or wasn’t in Bonds’ body, he undeniably can crank balls over the fence. On August 7th, 2007 the San Francisco Giants’ slugger hit homerun number 756 to pass Hank Aaron; he currently has 762. People claim that he shouldn’t have this record and so on, but who knows what previous players and record holders have used? As far as I’m concerned, anyone that can hit a major league pitcher’s ball over a fence a couple hundred feet away 756 times deserves a spot in the top five. 5. The Sox: Yes, the Red Sox (twice) and White Sox both won World Series in the 2000s. So did six other teams, but they aren’t on here. The difference? The droughts that both Sox overcame. The Boston Red Sox won in 2004 for the first time since 1918. 86 years between championships! The curse was over and it wouldn’t take long to get another. In 2007, the World Series trophy was in Boston again. However between these wins, another team ended their drought, which was even longer than the Red Sox. In 2005, the Chicago White Sox ended their 90 year skid with their first victory since 1915. The Sox ability to overcome their droughts in the 2000s got them the #5 spot. Honorable Mention: -George Mason Boys Basketball takes Cinderella to a new level in 2006 -Kobe Bryant scores 81 points in a game on January 22nd, 2006 -The University of Connecticut Huskies became the first team to ever win the Boys and Girls NCAA Basketball National Championship in the same year (2004) -The University of Florida Gators won the National Championship in both football and basketball in 2006

St. Ledger Award By Brian Merewitz The St. Ledger Award was created by Will St. Ledger in 2005 and was passed to Shannon St. Ledger in 2007. With the lack of another St. Ledger, I have been granted the privilege of writing this column. The St. Ledger Award is given to an outstanding athlete in every issue of the Hurricane Nation. This athlete should be a male or female that highly demonstrates athletic and academic excellence throughout the course of each issue. This issue’s winner of the St. Ledger Award is none other than senior Christian Naumann.

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local bands ♦ droid ♦ dream decoder

iPod Shuffle: Chelsea “Gangsta” Perry By Hannah Finlayson Hurricane Nation asks a student to put his iPod on “shuffle”, and comment on the first few tracks that come up. No skipping embarrassing tracks allowed, so the student will not be able to filter their music library. Huntingtown High school gets an exclusive look into the unhindered musical library of a student. Name: Chelsea Perry Grade: 12 Age: 17 “I’m inspired by Michael Jackson cause he’s gangsta. Dass my boi.”

Song: I’m Good Artist: Clipse ft. Pharrell Album: Till the Casket Drops “Dass my jaaaam.”

Song: Bounce Artist: The Cab Album: Whisper War “What should I say about this? Dass my jaaam too. Word.”

Song: Ignorance Artist: Paramore Album: Brand New Eyes “I don't like this song anymore because Bryant O’Brien likes this song and dass not cool. Cause he’s a guy.”

Song: Are You Happy Now? Artist: Michelle Branch Album: Hotel Paper “I’m so embarrassed. So seventh grade.”

Song: You Left Me Artist: The Maine Album: Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop “Emily Nowak got me into this song. She’s gangsta yeah yeah yeah.”

Song: Jesus Walks Artist: Kanye West Album: College Dropout “I don't like Taylor Swift anyway.”

Song: Swagga Like Us Artist: T.I. ft Kanye West, Jay-Z & Lil Wayne Album: Paper Trail “Gangsta’s anthem right thur.”

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Rihanna Goes Rated R with Latest Album By Ally Allen

Once Okay Twice:

Known for their quirky individuality in creating music that sets themselves apart from the rest of the indie rock music scene, the band Once Okay Twice, coming from Washington, D.C., does this through their ability to create an atmosphere light-hearted and free-spirited, while also incorporating an intense, open playground for spontaneity and creativity. The band members are as diverse as they come, bringing to the whole a varied set of personalities, resulting in the experimental lyrics and music. The band, when playing live, often exudes a calm, relaxed atmosphere. For example, Nicolas Hardt, the bass player, wore a banana suit during one set.

The Dance Party:

Relevant to their name, The Dance Party provides the exact type of music to set any scene alight with fire (not literally). Within the first five seconds of listening to their music, the room is filled with frenetic bodies and bobbing heads, dancing in time to the techno, synth-pop imbuing itself within the listener’s ears. Lyrics and powerful tunes caught in time to a whirlwind of an environment, crisp and scintillating, allowing onself the freedom to match the spirit of the music. Synth keyboards reminiscent of the eighties, highspirited guitar riffs, and a Powerpop, New Wave mix resulting in such songs as catchy, sensational, “Sasha Don’t Sleep” and the ear-catching song, “Vampires”.

Fools & Horses:

In playing “Anna Was The Enemy”, from their most recent album, titled, “I Am The Ghost”, it is almost as though one is driving down the road embracing the sweet, warm air swishing through one’s hair and setting a brilliant smile onto one’s face. The music played by Fools & Horses, is often compared to such bands as The Foo Fighters and Coldplay. Such songs as “Selfish”, “We Have Arrived”, and “Anna Was The Enemy”, simulate the mix of the mellow, pop-rock tunes of the nineties, being able to incorporate a mood classified as mainstream influenced by Radiohead, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Motown, The Beatles, Franz Ferdinand.

Rihanna comes back with revenge with the release of her fourth studio album, “Rated R”. For the past three albums, it seems as though Rihanna has only been perfecting her “bad- girl” image. But this time there is no toning it down. Rihanna reaches her pinnacle in “bad-girl” status with the song “G4L”, in which she openly and dominantly asserts, “Gangster for life ‘till the day that I die, I promise I’m standing high.” Set to a pulsating beat, Rihanna declares her desire and spirit for revenge without any remorse, as she sings, fittingly, in the beginning and end of the song, “I lick the gun when I’m done ‘cause I know that revenge is sweet.” “Rockstar 101” – a course on being a rockstar perhaps? Entertaining us with glamorous grunge, Rihanna gives us a raw demonstration of a rockstar herself as she states, “I’ma live my whole life in the night” (Of course, isn’t that the only way to live?) Though the Barbados singer expresses her feelings and thoughts in a confrontational manner in the first part of the album, with such songs as the crude and coarse, “Rude Boy” and “Russian Roulette”,that is relieved to the audience without any warning or degree of hesitance, she is not afraid to let the softer side be seen during the latter part of the album. Remaining to be of the most memorable songs on the album, “Photographs”, dictates to us a story of love and heartbreak, involving Rihanna singing pensively, “It shoulda been me and you, it coulda been you and me. Now all I’ve got are these photographs.” An acoustic guitar plays in the background creating a melancholic mood as she sings along with, regrettingly reminiscing of a love that never worked out. In “Cold Case Love”, Rihanna describes her past troubles as being “at the scene of a crime”. One of the more emotional songs on the album, Rihanna’s soft, crystal voice croons as soft pipe organs and tender violins accompany, as her cathartic lyrics bring us to a more upbeat tune complemented with a tinge of electric guitar, ending with fitting symphonic violins. Rihanna’s voice breaks through with emotional power in“The Last Song” giving us an accomplished sense of a woman who has overcome mental and emotional adversity and has come to terms with herself. and found herself to be a woman, independent, adamant, brave and fiery-spirited – as she will always be.


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Cheap Clothing Finds: Under $35 By Roopa Srivastava


(34.50) Surfer’s Point; Navy and white stripes Vintage Wash, Hollister. (14.90) Emerald Clove; Red, Hollister Cami (29.50) Navy Blue and Gray Stripes, Long Sleeve -This combination of shirts can be worn during any Thermal American Eagle. season. A jean skirt will go well with it during the -This shirt can be worn for casual days, with any summer. And a comfortable type of jeans will do type of jeans. This can also be worn when you want well during the winter. to dress up. Add nice jacket and you’re ready to go.

(29.99) Tommy Hilfiger Jeans, Omaha Antique Freedom; Macy’s -The light color of the jeans make them easy to wear dark and light color with it.

(19.99) American Eagle Beach Cat Slip-On Payless. -These slip on can be worn with any casual outfits. The tan color allows it to go well with dark and light colored clothes.

(29.50)Dark Vintage Skinny Jean American Eagle -Skinny jeans can be worn with any type of shoes and can go with any type of shirt. But make sure that you try on the jeans first , so they aren’t too tight or short.

(22.99) Airwalk Flurry Moccasins; Tan Payless. -Light colored moccasins are good for toning down the color of dark colored outfits.

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Gifts That Give Back for The Holidays By Emily Mutschler Leopard-printed bangle:

Cookies: “Sweet Home Pick” from the Dancing Deer Baking Co. 35% of the proceeds goes to helping homeless mothers and their kids fund education, find jobs, and find a home. $35.95 at

All proceeds benefit the organization's efforts to help children who suffer from inadequate living conditions. $10 at

Lush Charity Pot Hand and Body Cream: 100% of the retail price (minus taxes) goes towards funds that support animal rights, environmental protection and humanitarian concerns. $20.95 at

Desert journal of Dreams: These journals are made by women in poverty-stricken areas of Western India. The paper was made from recycled cotton rags, meaning no trees were killed in the process. The purchase of a journal helps support life for the women and preserve the art from this area. $38 at

TOMS Shoes:

For men and women. For every purchase from TOMS, a pair of shoes is donated to a child in need. Prices vary at

Livestrong: Performance Gucci: 25% of this sale is donated to UNICEF. $695 at

Men’s Fleece Hoodie. A portion of the proceeds go towards the Lance Armstrong Foundation. $55 at


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A Very Kanye Christmas

By Emily Mutschler

Tim McGraw and Gwyneth Paltrow will be starring in a new country musical.

By Aron Morgan

The Jonas Brothers will possibly be collaborating with Celine Dion very soon. Nick Jonas will also being going on his very own solo tour.

Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba “can’t wait” to tour with Bon Jovi in 2010.

Billy Ray Cyrus will be traveling to Iraq to sing to the troops this Christmas.

Creed has officially reunited and will have new things ready and out in stores.

Two more of Adam Lambert’s performances have been canceled, since the controversy of the last performance, where he was affectionate with another male.

Corbin Bleu, Jesse McCartney, and Annalynne McCord were all honored for their generous charities.

Chris Brown’s new album, Graffiti, uncludes hidden feelings about his ex-girlfriend, Rihanna.

UPCOMING RELEASES! December 22 Mary J. Blige Mudvayne Eminem January 12 OK Go Omarion Rindo Starr Vampire Weekend January 26 Chamillionaire Lady Antebellum Three 6 mafia February 2 Jamie Foxx

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CONCERT CALENDAR By Stefanie Moscati


I Saw A Ghost

City & Colour


Four Year Strong

Sing Me Insomnia

Crash Boom Bang

Motion City Soundtrack


12/26/09: Hotspur w/ Citizen & Find Vienna @ Jammin’ Java. 12/30/09: The Kindness of Strangers w/ Octaves, In Alcatraz 1962, I Saw A Ghost & Of Empires @ The Ottobar. 12/31/09: New Years Eve Party w/ Crash Boom Bang, Shane Hines, The Blackjacks & Billy Woodward and the Senders @ Jammin’ Java. 1/7/10: City & Colour w/ Lissie @ the 9:30 Club. 1/15/10: Four Year Strong w/ The Bled, This Time Next Year & Title Fight @ The Rock and Roll Hotel. 1/30/10: Sing Me Insomnia w/ The Goodnight Anthem & Struan Shields @ Jammin’ Java. 2/1/10: Motion City Soundtrack w/ Set Your Goals, This Providence & The Swellers @ Recher Theatre. 2/7/10: The Friday Night Boys w/ Anarbor, The Ready Set & The Bigger Lights @ The Ottobar. 2/20/09: Emmure w/ Terror, After the Burial, Miss May I & Thick As Blood @ The Ottobar.

Tickets available at:


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Alice in Wonderland By Nate Dawes

Al- rabbit then dives into a hole, and as Alice follows, she eventually discovers that she has left the world of the party, and entered a realm of imagination. She learns that she has been brought to the wonderland to destroy the “Jabberwock,” and topple the Red Queen’s empire.

“Alice” played by Mia Wasikowska.

After the production of the 1951 cartoon of Alice in Wonderland, Tim Burton has been trying to discover new and interesting ways to change up the storyline and add new dimensions to the characters. "It was always a girl wandering around from one crazy character to another, and I never really felt any real emotional connection," stated Burton in his interview about the movie. His goal with the new film is to give the story "some framework of emotional ground-

though only due to be released March 5th 2010, a new movie titled Alice in Wonderland has already gathered its own league of followers. Directed by Tim Burton, who is well known for his dark and somewhat odd films, Alice in Wonderland features characters such as the Mad Hatter, and the Queen of Hearts who are only a few of the many outlandish citizens of wonderland. Along with a charismatic crew, the movie takes place in a computer generated dream world filled with a multitude of colors and unimaginable inhabitants. Based off the Lewis Caroll novels Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, the 2010 film Alice in Wonderland is about a teenage woman named Alice who attends a party, but runs off following the trail of a rabbit. The

“The Mad Hatter” played by Jonny Depp. ing" and "to try and make Alice feel more like a story as opposed to a series of events." Although its months away from release, it’s bizarre and unconventional style gives Alice in Wonderland the potential to be a very exiting and interesting movie to see.

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Dream Decoder

By Ally Allen

Anonymous: Recently, I had a dream that included me exiting my house to find that everything was abandoned. All of the cars were gone and there was no one around. The dream had ended with me being chased by a panther, with me running away. This was a significant dream to me; but I want to understand what it means.

across a gap but doing it hanging upside down, like a monkey. Surrounding the other side, were products of make-up cosmetics; a man in a gray shirt had said that he would help me win by showing me a shortcut; I obliged. He, then, opened up a secret compartment, which was a little door that I had to crawl through. Through this hidden compartment, I entered a theater, which was barren and deserted. He had come in as well, and, as I felt a strong attraction to him, we began to make-out. He interrupted it soon after by leaving. Upon returning, he came back, but it was not him, it was a friend of mine whom I knew in reality, but did not look the same. He was completely covered in black clothing. He said to me angrily that there can only be one love; never two. I defended myself by saying that it was not me who had kissed the man in the gray shirt, but a different person; it was I who had wanted him and only him – no one else.

Analysis: Seeing a pyramid within your dream symbolizes an integration of mind, body, and soul but also means that changes will be occurring in a short amount of time. Analysis: Usually, to find that you have been abandoned When entering a pyramid, this is seen as seeking the meaning of life. Deserts only symbolize the feelings of in a dream, as you had in this situation, it most literally loneliness, unhappiness, and lack of hope. The fact that translated to your innate fear of being abandoned, deserted, or neglected. But, besides this, there is also the fact you are climbing a rope in this dream as a demand of being in a competition with other girls, means your determithat this may signify you going through troubling times, such as a recent loss of a loved one. Be careful, though, as nation to overcome what has been troubling you. You are symbolically, crossing the gap of your troubles through this may mean letting go of others will trigger troubling times in the future. Being chased by a panther means that this rope. When the color gray appears in one’s dreams, it signifies emotionally distancing yourself from what trouyou are repressing unacknowledged anger or running bles you and what makes you anxious; it involves shielding away from a primitive fear. When a panther appears in yourself from your emotions. To kiss this man, is only an your dream, this only means that there are dangers up ahead that you need to be aware of, and possible enemies, outlet for the emotions that you cannot express in your waking life. It is a wish fulfillment from a longing that has taking any form, meaning to do you harm. Though, contrasting, it could also mean power and grace. The fact that not been fulfilled in your awakened state. Seeing the color you were running in your dream means you are avoiding a black, only signifies isolation and conflicts with people situation, which involves not confronting your fears. This that you know. Overall, it seems as if the emotions that you are holding back from expressing to a person which may also mean that you are not taking responsibility for means much to you in your life – perhaps the one that your actions. showed up in this dream – are only fueling conflict within yourself, another person or both. Anonymous: I had this dream recently, in which I was entering a pyramid located in the desert along with a group of all of these other people, who were all girls. Supposedly, I was competing in a race or competition with the girls who were entering. When in the pyramid, a part of the race involved, climbing on a rope, horizontally


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An Evil Christmas? By Stefanie Moscati

Many view Santa as this fun-loving, jolly old man that gives presents to good little girls and boys, but who actually ‘takes care of’ the naughty children. There are many legends behind this: Austria has Krampus, Northwestern Germany has Belsnickle, Belgium and the Netherlands have Zwarte Piet or Black Peter, and France has Père Fouettard or the Whip Father. Most of these legends have similarities in which these are ‘companions of Saint Nicholas’. Krampus originated from children of poor families. They would roam the streets and sled hills during a holiday festival while wearing black rags and masks. While sledding, they would drag chains behind them and would occasionally throw them towards other children that got in their way. Now, Krampus is portrayed as a man wearing goat fur and carved mask. They carry bundles of sticks to use as switches and swing cow bells to warn their arrival. He is often described as a devil. It is said that if a child is good, they receive gifts and a shiny, golden branch to represent their good deeds; however, if a child is bad, Krampus takes the gifts for himself and will only leave a silver branch. Belsnickle is portrayed as a man with fur all over and a mask occasionally with a long tongue. He is a rather scary creature that delivers socks or shoes filled with gifts and candy with St. Nick if the children are good. If they’re bad, they’ll find coal or switches in their stockings. Black Peter is said to leave gifts in children’s shoes. He goes down the chimney which explains his black face. He has not only a black face, but googleyeyes and red lips. Père Fouettard is said to be the murderer of three children. When St. Nick found out, he resurrected the children and Père Fouettard became a servant of him out of repentance. When Père travels with St. Nick, he punishes the naughty children by whipping them. So, maybe Christmas isn’t all fun in different countries. You better make it on the Good List or Santa could have one of his companions after you!

Bah Humbug: A Christmas Carol Not One of Disney’s Best By Lauren White With countless renditions of Charles Dickens’ timeless tale, A Christmas Carol, it is hard to get excited about a new movie. And yet, Robert Zemeckis (The Polar Express) was able to get us all hyped over his version of the Christmas classic with promises of creative animation, a notable voice cast, and refreshing originality. Zemeckis, however, fell short on his promises. The movie sticks strictly to the original plot. A miserly old man, Ebenezer Scrooge, after being visited by three ghosts, The Ghost of Christmas Past, The Ghost of Christmas Present, and The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, and transforms into a generous, Christmas-loving person. Zemeckis tries to be original with his depiction of the ghosts (The Ghost of Christmas is a flying candle) but all in all, it comes out looking a bit creepy.

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Everything iDon’t….Droid Does Better By Kevin McGuire tures in the dark. iDon’t run simultaneous apps. iDon’t have interchangeable batteries. Everything ately, Motorola has been going down the tubes. iDon’t..” at this point, the music stops and the picLiterally. Their stocks have been in the negative since 2000, while LG Electronics and Samsung have ture fazes out to an obscure panorama of an unclear subject. The sentence “Droid Does” appears and been prospering. Motorola was now close to being fazes out, and the commercial ends. It was the bean invisible electronics producer, and with Apple’s iPhone 3G S products soaring, Verizon was now los- ginning of the buzz of the mysterious Droid. Finally, after months of waiting, Verizon released the Droid. ing customers. So, the two underdogs of the elecAt first sight, the Droid is, well, boxy. It’s a tronics world teamed up to produce the phone of the rectangle, and it’s got really sharp edges. But turn century which was unveiled in November 2009: The the Droid on, and a 3.7 inch, 854 pixel brilliant Motorola Droid. screen sure beats the heck out of the iPhone’s Verizon started producing commercials atscreen, which, until the release of the Droid, was the tacking the iPhone starting in the late summer. I screen to beat. However, with such a large screen, had the chance to see the slightly amusing commerthe Droid is rather big, even larger than the iPhone. cial during the premiere of NCIS Season 7. It begins The Droid is also a little heavier than most smartas a usual Apple commercial: white, text appearing phones, but it actually feels better in the hand than with the characteristic “i”, and “It’s Magic” playing the iPhone. The Droid also has a tangible keyboard in the background. The commercial starts to list all that is located under the touch screen. However, the tangible keyboard needs some work: the buttons are shoved together and its very hard to type. For Verizon’s first attempt at a Google Android phone, this is one of the best ones yet. The Droid is the fastest and most powerful Android phone to date. The apps are looking better than the G1, and synchronization is available for Microsoft Exchange for email, contacts, calendar, and more. Basically, you can use your Gmail and Comcast email accounts on the Droid. The other apps are much improved, and they work really well compared to other Android phones. The bottom line: The Droid is a great start for Verizon to boost their sales. With the improved The Droid is a great start to Verizon’s Android phone line, screen and apps, the Droid is sure to impress for the but it has some bugs. holidays. of the subtle faults with the iPhone: “iDon’t take pic-


Jim Carrey, who plays most of the voices in this movie, is the same old Jim Carrey. You either love him or you hate him. Even in an animated film, his elaborate facial expressions stand out, and in many cases in this film, are a bit too over the top. He took Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to a comedic realm it was never meant to go. On a more positive note, Zemeckis is a true master in the art of performance capture animation. He is able to make an animated film seem both realistic and magical, which, for a Christmas movie, is exactly the feeling you wish to elicit. Perhaps Disney’s A Christmas Carol’s disappointment comes not from the movie itself. It could simply be that Robert Zemeckis chose the wrong Christmas story to retell, as A Christmas Carol, though timeless, is old news. We all know the story. There is nothing new to tell and really no new way to tell it. In all, two words sum up this year’s rendition of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. In the words of the great writer himself, bah humbug.

Disney’s A Christmas Carol is not up to par with other movie renditions of Charles Dickens’ classic novel.


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CINEMA TALK: FILMS OF 2009 By Kevin McGuire, Hannah Finlayson, and Nate Dawes Well, the end of 2009 is here, and it’s time to take a look back on all that Hollywood has produced this year. There’s been some great movies, and, well, some pretty horrible ones. Hannah, Nate, and Kevin sat down with some of the other staff and reviewed popular movies of 2009. Defiance Kevin-Personally, one of my favorite movies. Daniel Craig is one of my favorite actors, and the plot is a heroic and inspiring story, plus there’s a lot of shooting, which is always good. Hannah– I didn't even see this. It looked like every other action movie. And Daniel Craig… no thanks.

Up Kevin- This movie is perfect proof that there are still great kids movies out there. There's a good plot, and the characters are hilarious. Plus, there’s action that keeps you interested, yet laughing throughout the whole movie. Hannah– Agreed. Definitely one of the best movies this year. The great thing about this movie is that although it’s fun for kids, it also has deeper messages that anyone can enjoy.

New Moon Kevin- I can’t believe I was convinced into writing for this. Uh, it’s got action, but way too much romance and too many blue scenes. Hannah– What are blue scenes? Kevin– You know, where there is a blue tint to the scene. Like in Hellboy. Hannah– Ok I don't really know what you mean, but I liked it. It was a fun movie. You Team Edward or Team Jacob? Kevin– Team Edward Hannah– Me too, Kev! Nate– It shouldn't have been made. Hannah– You’re just jealous. Maddy– The new director ruined it. But I didn't mind watching Taylor Lautner shirtless for two hours.

Star Trek Kevin- Star Trek is literally the perfect sci-fi movie. Lots of shooting, CGI, and action, plus a good plot. Hannah– I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. I had never really been into the show, but it didn't make a difference in understanding the plot. Nate- I haven't seen Star Trek. Hannah– Well, see it! Public Enemies Kevin- I don’t usually like Johnny Depp’s movies, but this one is a winner. The action is spectacular, yet the storyline is accurate and appealing. How fast do you think you could clean out a bank? Hannah– Really long, really boring. After about the first hour, I was done. It was really repetitive. Kevin– Whatever, Hannah. Hannah– Whatever, Kevin

Watchmen Kevin- Don’t get me wrong, I love superhero movies. But Watchmen just doesn't appeal to me. The storyline is interesting, yet it was too deep for me. My advice? Read the graphic novel first. Hannah– I mean it was interesting, but I think it was a little too much like soft-core porn for me. Viewer Discretion Advised! Kevin– Hahaha yeah… a little disgusting Nate– What?! The movie was art, not porn. Grow up. Hannah– To each his own, Nate.

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CONTINUED... Quantum of Solace Kevin-One of my favorite movies this year. I wasn't sure about Daniel Craig being the new Bond, but he delivers a great performance. The plot is a little hard to follow, but the action makes up for it. Hannah– I’ll be honest, I fell asleep during this movie. I’m tired of James Bond. Nate– It was cool, but it was confusing and it was nowhere near as cool as Quantum of Solace.

District 9 Kevin-Another one of my favorite films. Peter Jackson continues his blockbuster line with D9, and Sharlto Copley delivers a performance that makes up for the dumb aliens. Hannah– So awesome. The aliens weren’t dumb either. Who doesn’t like an extraterrestrial with the name Christopher Johnson. No, but really, I loved this movie. Garrett– Aliens, aliens, aliens! BOOM!

The Pink Panther 2 Kevin-This movie was released way back in February, but it was so bad I decided to include it in this article. Bad plot, stupid accents, and no action at all. Hannah– I saw the first one; once was enough. Maddy— The Pink Panther? I’m going to barf. Even the commericials looked bad. Nate– Seriously The Pink Panther 2? Why are we even including this. Hannah– I agree. Moving on. Mr. Ritter– I weep for Steve Martin’s career.

Fast and Furious Kevin-Honestly, I only saw this movie for the Dodge Charger with a 480block Hemi. There wasn't much plot, but the cars and girls are cool. Just an empty movie with cool cars. Hannah– Nope, I didn't see it. Lame. Nate– Waste of money! Hannah- Agreed. Garrett– I’d rather see Twilight or New Moon.

G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra Kevin-Movie was okay, an adequate plot, and a lot of action. I sure hope the sequel is better. Hannah– What sequel? I mean, if a movie is this bad, why would you think the sequel would be better? Mr. Ritter– I could have been worse… it could have been Transformers. Hannah– OOOOOH!


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Fashion Teachers of the Month


By Nisa Hussain straightforward approach. He finds the store with the highest quality for the lowest price. It’s a reasonable way to orget frumpy dresses and ancient sweater vests, shop. Soroka finds good bargains from the sale rack at deour fine educators at Huntingtown are redefin-

ing the unfashionable stereotype of teachers. For this month, Government teacher Mr. Mohler and English teacher Ms. Soroka have been chosen as Fashion Teachers

partment stores too, and also Ann Taylor Loft for her other pieces. It’s always strange to imagine teachers when they were our age, visualizing them in crazy ensembles. But in this case, it’s not

of the Month.

much of an ex-

With a style as “eclectic

treme change.

and colorful” as

Both Mohler and

she describes it,

Soroka seemed to

Ms. Soroka defi-

have slightly

nitely epitomizes

toned down their

fresh. Sporting

looks since they

her velvet blazer

were teenagers,

she had bought

but have kept

from a thrift store

their same distinct

back when she

style they cur-

was in the tenth

rently attain. “I

grade or going

was obsessed with

casual in basic tops, she still

Ms. Soroka shows her stuff in a business casual dress while Mr. Molher rocks the nonchalant stripes.

fashion. Whatever was stylish, I

shows off her personality through her outfits. Meanwhile,

owned, but I also have always had an alternative, funky

Mr. Mohler seems to keep in mind the worldly, practical

edge to my style,” Soroka said of her teenage years. Just as

issues when it comes to fashion. “Comfort, utility, and eco-

the trendsetting students at school now do, fashion risks

nomics” all contribute to his reasons for his clothes. But it

and daring outfits were all part of the fun. “I actually wore

works out well because it still results in a sharp, nicely-

black leather pants to school and a pair of silver, alligator,

groomed look. His smart sweaters and shirts keep things

high-heeled loafers!” she confessed. But one thing from

looking simple and fresh.

high school that hasn’t changed in this school that Soroka

Both manage to keep their identity and authority

doesn’t like is the revealing tops that girls wear. She be-

balanced with their attire, maintaining a more professional

lieves it sends the wrong messages and that girls don’t need

vibe than something one of their students would wear still.

that type of image to look pretty. Mohler still describes his

They also agree on their favorite piece of clothing they own: appearance as a youth as “relaxed and eclectic” which he jeans. Also, when it comes to shopping, Mohler has a

also described his style presently as.

Hurricane Nation

Michael Jackson: Tragedy or Travesty? By Lauren White Has the phrase “rest in peace” lost all meaning for Michael Jackson? Four months after his death on June 25, 2009, it is virtually impossible not to be reminded of the King of Pop while surfing the internet or flipping through the television channels. Enough all ready! Yes, Michael Jackson was a pioneer in the pop music culture. Yes, Michael Jackson did astound the world with his inventive dance moves. An yes, Michael Jackson was — and is — a music icon. But this does not merit the attention that his death is still receiving. Not to mention that this excessive publicity has deprived other notable American figures from the life’s praise that they deserve. Four other American icons died tragically around the same time as Jackson: Farrah Fawcett (June 25), Billy Mays (June 28), Eunice Kennedy Shriver (August 11), and Edward “Ted” Kennedy (August 25). And yet their lives have not been celebrated as Jackson’s has. Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics program, and Ted Kennedy, a beloved senator, are two of America’s heroes. And yet the media, as well as society as a whole, have place more emphasis on the death of a crazed Hollywood celebrity and alleged child molester. For weeks after Jackson’s passing , news channels seemed to report nothing but what might have been the cause of his death: was his cardiac arrest induced by an accidental drug overdose, or was it murder? Even now there is still talk about the cause of the pop star’s demise. There is also a full length movie in theaters entitled This is It , which features a behind the scenes look at the King of Pop’s last rehearsals. Really? On first hearing the news of Michael Jackson, many people mockMichael Jackson was a phenomenal artist, but ingly predicted that Jackson had staged his own death as a pubthe media, fueled by American sentiment, has licity stunt. Isn’t the posthumous publicity that we have given overplayed the King of Pop’s death.. him just as bad? There is no denying that Michael Jackson was a fantastic artist. His work will be remembered with reverence, and he will forever be thought of as the man who engineered the pop music genre. But it is time to let him, finally, rest in peace.

What do you think about the media’s coverage of Michael Jackson’s death?

“He was a big American icon so his death deserves attention.” - Doreen Chan, Junior

“It brought his music back into the public eye. His contributions to music are now being highlighted more than before.” - Cecilia Sanders, Sophomore

“The media has handled his death appropriately.” - David Knupp, Senior

“He was a very influential person, but the media overly publicized and overpowered what should have been a more intimate occasion.” - Kristen Grauer, Senior


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newspaper industry ♦ cooped up in a bookstore ♦ troop deployment

How to…Drive a Stick By Nate Dawes

Whether you are a car enthusiast or just

an every day driver, learning to drive a manual transmission car is a very important skill to know. Although complex, and very frustrating at first, the benefits of knowing how to operate a stick outweigh the irritation of learning to do so. Not only will you be able to drive expensive dream cars like the Audi R8, but you will just look cool when you go for a drive. Now, each car has its own preferences, and every driver handles each car differently. Because of this, learning and driving with a manual transmission varies from person to person. However, there are major “Must Do’s” that the driver must accomplish for the car to not only move, but continue fluently and proficiently. First things first, you need to know what the pedals are. Yes, of coarse there is the gas and break, but there is also the clutch, which if applied puts the car into neutral. To start the car, push down on both the clutch and the break then turn the key. Now that you’ve started the car, release the parking break, but keep both feet on the pedals. Move the gear shift lever, which is used to manually change gears, into first gear so you

The Clutch

The Break

may move forward, or reverse if you are backing out. For this example, let’s say you are moving forward. Release the brake, and very slowly let your foot off the clutch. As you ease off the clutch, you will notice the car The gear shift lever will want to move forward. It is at this critical moment where you ease on the gas. If you don’t give enough gas, the car will lurch forward and stall which is very bad, especially if you are in the middle of route 4. If you give too much gas, the car will peel out, and make a very loud noise. It is a matter of finding the sweet spot where the gas takes over the clutch and you begin to move. Once moving, the faster you go the higher gear is required. As you gain speed, you will have to push in the clutch, and manually change gears. When you need to stop, just hold down the clutch, break, and come to a nice stop. Apply the parking break, pull out the key and release the clutch. Tada! You now know the ins and The Gas outs of how to drive a stick. Just remember, always use the clutch.

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What’s Black, White, and Red All Over?

By Nisa Hussain This is old news. Everyone knows the newspaper industry is changing; it’s all about change nowadays and hopefully things continue to change — it’s called progression. With technology becoming more sophisticated, it’s inevitable for the newspaper business not to change. Online is in. Newspapers are out. It seems only natural now, right? Big name newspapers are closing and a more advanced way of life is replacing them. But what will happen to everything associated with the newspaper department because of the decline? The shift of reliance from newspapers to online sources makes sense. The internet is fast. The paper can be a day old compared to the up-to-the-minute updates that online sources have. Not only are there online versions of different papers, but blogs and fact websites are growing in popularity. And with technology a large part of most jobs (and lives!) these days, most people are already on the computer anyways, so it is easy to access. But online alternatives aren’t the only reason the newspaper business Is this the end of the newspaper? is declining so rapidly. Nowadays you can blame anything on the recession. But in this case, it actually is hurting the journalism industry through a chain of events. The bad economy has caused companies and businesses to cut down on buying ads, which reduces the revenue received to fund the newspapers. Many papers have filed bankruptcy and those who have survived have to deal with the financial struggle by slashing salaries and staff. Already some of the largest papers have started to cut staff members. The Charlotte Observer released 15% of their staff, the Atlanta Journal cut 200 jobs, the Washington Times cut 40%, and even the New York Times plans to cut 100 newsroom jobs. It’s a rough time for writers and reporters. So will the actual newspaper become obsolete now that the economy has basically ruined the past few years for the industry and that online newspapers are replacing the real thing? Of course they are not going to vanish from the face of the Earth, but they certainly will lose their high position as the most common source of news. There will probably always be the main papers in circulation, so those who cling to their Sunday paper shouldn’t worry. And maybe it is a new beginning for some papers. Their online version can provide some jobs for the newer generation of technology-savvy kids in journalism. Speaking of this generation, it’s safe to say that Huntingtown students are already part of the more online world of media. Senior Stephen Wallace admits he finds his news online (“New York Times or usually”) rather than on paper. Ahead of the game, he also avoids the inaccuracy and reliability problems that some websites hold, stating, "I usually check more than one place for news. and are great places for neutral, factual news.” The newspaper has been around since what seemed like the beginning of time, and some like to think it will continue far into the future. Newspapers are still alive and perhaps once the economy improves, they will hopefully regain some balance in the media world. It’s a shame what is happening to the workforce that are part of struggling papers and it’s also discouraging news for aspiring journalists, considering the industry is at its worse. And besides, newspapers are a nice break from all the bright lights of the latest technology. It’s where there is fine writing, dependable information, and real reporting. Sometimes it’s nice to open up a tangible newspaper and read the headlines without getting an eye strain from the computer screen. Maybe it’s for old people. Maybe it’s not. So is the newspaper really obsolete? Wallace answers for his generation, “Not necessarily - there's always the comics."


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Cooped up in a Bookstore – In Order to Stop Reading by Shaj Mathew


he rustle of textbook pages turning, the hasty unzipping of oversized book bags hardly disrupts this venue’s overflowing intellectual energy. The pounding clatter of fingers pressed against greasy laptop keyboards – a soothing symphony to knowledge, it seems – fills the second-floor air, redolent of fresh Starbucks coffee. College students donning the ubiquitous ‘H’ logo, tourists doing likewise, a few bums clad in sweatpants, and the other denizens of Cambridge flock here, traveling up the cascading staircase past the stack of Malcolm Gladwell’s books to check out all three floors of the establishment. It is June 2009 and I take my place among the overstressed, sleepless, and nascent literati at the Harvard Coop, one of two main bookstores just outside the campus of the nation's most prestigious university. School is never out here. A seventeen-year-old high school student, I was researching no thesis. However, I had enrolled in two creative writing classes for the summer and desperately needed to begin on my final project: a piece of creative non-fiction of up to 15 pages. Hours had flown by in my dorm room in Harvard Yard’s Thayer Hall without progress. Instead, I had voraciously consumed my eclectic – and completely electronic – literary diet of news, soccer blogs, and The New Yorker online. Reading was, and still is, my favorite tool of procrastination – and how easy it is thanks to the Internet! I am loathe to brand my online perusing a “waste” of time – in fact, I’ve probably learned more about writing this way than I have in school – but, for all my putative benefits of this side-reading, it gets me off track. Fast. A mere click on my black IBM laptop opens up the Chrome browser, and from there, the stories, the videos, the links tantalize me from my iGoogle page’s Reader gadget. I really want to finish writing the overture, the introduction to the piece – but what if another story pops up, another red Facebook notification illuminates the bottom-right corner of my screen? I can’t resist. It takes less than a second, so I just hit the “F” key and “Enter” to check once more. Three notifications. But I had to get my assignment done: a four to fifteen page project for my creative nonfiction class. And as they say, desperate for one

A second-floor view of The Coop. to cut off the Internet. So I planted myself firming at the place with the spottiest wireless reception on campus: The Harvard Coop bookstore. There, I thought, I could focus, motivated by the collegiate atmosphere just teeming with brilliance, students tapping away at their literary masterpieces on pearl white Macbooks or furiously scribbling proofs of theorems belonging to esoteric branches of mathematics. Buoyed by my change of milieu, I sat, ordered a coffee, wrote – and actually got a few pages done in a few hours. But never, never at the Coop did I realize the obvious irony of my situation. A student, who procrastinates by reading of all things, has to hole himself up at none other than a bookstore…in order to do his work and avoid reading. Perfect sense, right? The tragedy is that I never fully recognized the irony; my professor had to point it out to me as we conferenced over the writing process and the piece, which I largely composed in my dorm room anyway. This incident speaks to the differences between my Gen Y peers and I and even those just slightly older. Despite the fact that I had, on many an occasion, actually spent several hours reading books off of the shelves at the Coop, I paradoxically saw the Coop, a comprehensive bookstore, as the only place where I would not succumb to my proclivity for procrastination, the only place where I would not read. In hindsight, it seems that Harvard’s cavernous Widener library would be the only place more inane for me to go at the time.

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But why didn’t I realize my folly? Perhaps it’s just the incipient laziness coming over my generation. Reading something online – a blog post, a news story, a feature article – is downright quicker than pulling out a book. You can scan, highlight – and if you lose interest – move on to another work in a matter of seconds. And with high-speed Internet essentially universal, I see no logical reason to physically use a book when everything is more conveniently on a screen, at your fingertips. In fact, I could have theoretically completed all of my assigned readings for my two classes online, instead of in my expensive textbook; in many cases, I still did that regardless of the fact that I

had bought the book. Why? The answer lies in said convenience, as well as the Internet-saturated, onlineonly culture in which I have grown up. Indeed, mine is the generation of the Kindle. Apart from the little remaining nostalgia felt for the hard copy, we are inexorably moving entirely online. And as for those last remnants of nostalgia, our inherent resistance to change? They are the life support to which current print media clings. The problem is, sooner rather than later, the support will wither, wane, and expire as the online revolution, one which I experienced on a balmy morning in a Harvard bookstore, beats on, one megabyte per second.

Troop Deployment Plan Caters to All, Convinces None By Shaj Mathew The crux of President Obama's character lies in his pragmatism, his practicality, his uncanny ability to find an unlikely middle ground even during the most intractable of disputes. Normally, this attribute is a salutary, positive one – it showcases his consensus-building powers and usually results in the creation of a resolution with popular, bipartisan support. However, Obama’s recent decision to add 30,000 troops to the American contingent in Afghanistan smacks of unwonted, uncharacteristic irresolution on his part – and illustrates a rare instance in which the president failed to make a difficult choice when the situation required one. The president’s speech was a pastiche – more like a patchwork, on second thought – of ideologies seemingly thrown together to appease everyone. For the Democrats, who have railed against the plan, he inserted a date for withdrawal: July 2011. For Republicans, he provided the troop surge. But no one on either side appeared to be satisfied. Irate Republicans fumed that by pronouncing to the world our withdrawal date, America has essentially let terrorists know when they will be able to pounce. The GOP fears that after America leaves, the Taliban and Al Qaeda will be able to roam and terrorize Afghanistan with impunity, since the American troops will be gone. In the meantime, they contend, the terrorists will have two years to go into hiding or plan future attacks. John McCain summarized his party’s prevailing viewpoint plainly: “The way that you win wars is to break the enemy's will, not to announce dates that you are leaving.” Democrats, on the other hand, decried the troop increase. Unfathomable to them is the logic that by merely adding more troops, success will follow. For many of them, we fight a war unwinnable, unsalvageable, futile – eerily reminiscent of Vietnam. Prominent liberals like New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof have even stated that the expected price of the deployment, some $30 billion per year, would be better spent on building schools for Afghanis.

The president also failed to mention where exactly the money would come from; Democrats have voted against funding the deployment with the $280 billion in currently unused federal stimulus money. President Obama and General Stanley McCrystal also committed a fatal error in drawing up The president proclaims his plan. the plan as well; they did not consult tribal elders in Afghanistan, the very people who understand the thoughts, opinions, and morale of the Afghan people best. In this speech outlining our future efforts in Afghanistan, the President has stuck his principle of pragmatism – and that has failed him. We are still fighting an amorphous enemy for the “freedom” of a people weary of our very presence. We are leaving in July of 2011, regardless of what is left to be done. We are propping up a so-called “democratic” government, one that is largely seen as a farce within Afghanistan. We are copping out, either way you look at it, and that seemed all too apparent to the very man delivering the plan to the nation. American political columnist Kevin Drum said it best: “There are two possible reasons for the speech being so unconvincing: either Obama doesn’t know how to deliver a good speech or else Obama isn’t really convinced himself. But we know the former isn’t true, don’t we? You can fill in the rest yourself.”



Waldorf, MD 301-870-8285



Lexington Park, MD 301-862-0028


The Hurricane Nation Winter 2009 Issue  

Digital Edition of The Hurricane Nation Winter 2009 Issue