What in the WORLD? RUMOR
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK Edible “dirt” has recently appeared on the menus of several of the world’s most renowned restaurants Actually, the “dirt” only looks and feels like dirt. Each chef creates signature tastes from dried or charred powders with the appearance and consistency of sand, soil or ash -- from a base of plants, vegetables or eggs, or even dried beer.
WATSONVILLE, CA Mark Smith, 59, was arrested at a bank after he had allegedly threatened a teller with a bomb (spelled “bom” in the ransom note) and demanded $2,000. The teller, apparently skeptical of Smith’s toughness, convinced him to borrow the money instead, and she had him wait while she retrieved an application (during which time she called 911). By the time police arrived, Smith was filling out the loan form.
Risto Koiva of Bielefeld University has invented the “Intelli Chair” after researching “sonification” -- the use of noise to convey information. If the chair detects that its occupant is sitting in the wrong position or has remained seated for too long, it makes a noise to tell the user it is time to change position.
JAPAN Broken hips and sprained ankles might be a thing of the past for elderly Japanese citizens thanks to the invention of the human airbag. A pouch is strapped around the waist, and if sensors detect any sudden movement, airbags inflate in a tenth of a second and provide padding on the “most vulnerable parts of the body in a fall: the back of the head and the bottom.”
ART BY//BRIDGET NOVAK COMPILED BY//ALISSA ROTHMAN
Speech and debate excel
Forensics recieves 200 degree ranking BY AMIR SABBAGH
The latest in a string of awards and accomplishments, the West High forensics team attained a degree rating of 200 or more last year, placing it among the top five percent of National Forensics League teams nationwide. Degrees are allocated based on the number of points won at competition events as well as the number of participating students. This is the second straight year that the team has won the honor, an accolade West also recieved in 2005 and 2006. This distinction places the team in the league’s elite “200 Club,” according to forensics program coordinator, Cyndy Woodhouse. “It really attests to the consistent quality of the kids, year after year,” said Woodhouse. “I’m very proud of them.” Students attribute their success to
hard work all around. the best in the country. On top of that, “It really comes down to how well the the team understands what needs to coaching staff works with the students happen in order to perform well at and how much we work at it,” said Dan- these tournaments,” said McKinley. iel Dai ’11, a member of the debate Despite the honor, members of both team. “We have teams haven’t really dedicated put their members, and I guards down, think that’s why focusing on we continually winning upsucceed.” coming tourS p e e c h naments, and, captain Paul in the long McKinley ’11 run, performagreed, citing well at nathe overall tionals. DANIEL DAI ’11 ing PAUL MCKINLEY’11 quality of the “I think this program and the preparedness of the award will be nice for the team, but teams at competitions. we’re really not a team that succeeds “The coaches, [Megan and Melanie and then stops trying. To us, speech is Johnson, Kathleen Hession, Michael about continual improvement. With Smith and Travis Henderson], continu- a season that spans over the length of ously make it possible for the team to the school year, we’re constantly asking travel to larger out of state tourna- ourselves what we can do to get better,” ments where we can compete against McKinley said. More than 50 million pumpkin pies are consumed in the U.S. each year.
MR. GROSS ON TV?
Those double takes at your TV and a quick playback on TiVo will confirm this one. “Yes, I’m in an ad. As a city councilor I am in it talking about a new bridge being built with money from [the] I-JOBS program,” said social studies teacher Mitch Gross. Gross said the experience was enjoyable overall. “It took quite a while to shoot, so I was shocked that I was only on for ten seconds,” Gross said.
SCHOOL HEATING HAS SPECIFIC DATE TO START?
After a week of cooler weather, students shivering in the north side classrooms asked, “When is the heat coming on?” According to Principal Jerry Arganbright, the school usually has a target to turn the heat on between Oct. 15 and Nov. 1. “We try to get through a good part of October,” said Arganbright. Students will be happy to know that Mike O’Connor, the head custodian, expects for the heat to be on by sometime this week.
MAGNET SCHOOL IN ICCSD?
Rumors have surfaced that the proposed third high school may turn into a magnet school, similar to those in the Des Moines area. “Yes, no, maybe,” Arganbright said. “Nobody knows yet what we’re going to do. The third attendance center could be a traditional high school or something else. I know North Liberty is expecting a traditional high school, but I know the superintendent is going to lead the discussion and try to find the best fit for the community.” So, for right now it seems as though anything is possible.