Page 1

Volume 29

Issue 4

January 8, 2009

6754 Valley View Road Edina, MN 55439

EHS students go wireless with WiFi Trevor Aufderheide culture editor

GOING WIRELESS: EHS students now have the ability to access the After months of being contained behind the cage of private access, wireless internet is on the verge of being released into the wild. In an attempt to broaden the school’s technological horizons, the district Media and Technology Services department has decided to open up wireless internet access to students. Students are now able to apply at the media center for a sticker and password that will allow them to use their laptops and the school’s wireless network in class. Librarian Sara Swenson, one of the proponents of the move, said, “We’re hoping that it will allow students to become more engaged and add to the content of each class.” This “connectiveness” could include a multitude of benefits. Junior Tom Schmidt, a student who registered for WiFi use, said, “Using WiFi in class will allow me to look up definitions for words, research relevant information for APUSH, and also pull up quotes. It

means that I can also fact check [APUSH Teacher] Mr. Simpson’s delightful anecdotes.” Aside from these educational benefits, there are practical reasons for the initiative as well. Students may find laptop use more convenient than having to use school desktops all the time. “A personal laptop means I can store data locally without needing a jump drive,” said Schmidt. “If I want to do edit a paper or check my email, I can get that work done in free time at school.” While open WiFi access allows much freedom, undoubtedly there will be restrictions. The students must initially attain a personal password and place a district-certified sticker on their laptop. The Edina Public Schools regulations also have a Web ethics code that students have to follow if they want to retain access. Swenson stated that while all normal rules on electronic device use will apply to laptops, teachers will also have the right to forbid use in their own classes. Along with the short-term move of opening up WiFi at the high school, the district also has its eyes set on the long-term goal of having photo by Eliza Gabriel one laptop for every student, known as the 1-to-1 internet from their own laptops during class. initiative. While this vision probably won’t be realized anytime soon, a recent study was conducted with a focus group consisting of students, teachers, and other members of the community. Most middle school teachers and high school students reactied positively, but Secondary Technology Integrationist Michael Walker said, “EHS teachers are reluctant to change the way they currently teach and are uneasy to rely on technology if it won’t work when they expect it to.” Although a 1-to-1 program isn’t immediate or guaranteed, what remains definite is the implementation of WiFi access for students at the high school. With this force unleashed, many students should find their technology uses altered. “Prior to the arrival of WiFi, I have been using my laptop for playing [video game] Red Alert 2 during Comp Sci,” said Schmidt. “Now, I can see it playing a pivotal role in my school-day ensemble.”

New city council representatives changing Edina Lizzy Meller editor-in-chief

The election this year brought not only the widely publicized election of Barack Obama, but the election of two leaders, Mary Brindle and Ann Swenson, who will directly affect our community as representatives in the Edina City Council. Swenson, Hoigaards employee and long-time Edina resident, had already served a term on Edina City Council when she decided to run for re-election. She plans to confront issues, both big and small, bothering the residents – including the maintenance of the current community. “Residents do not like extra traffic on their streets and are afraid of changes in houses in their neighborhoods and buildings in their community,” explained Swenson. Swenson is particularly concerned about the bikers and walkers of Edina. She hopes to make the area around the Southdale shopping center safer and friendlier for bikers and pedestrians, with more bike paths and sidewalks. In addition, she supports the creation of a biking/pedestrian bridge over Highway 62 to Bredeson Park and a bike path that would go through the area below EHS. “I am committed to keeping our city a vibrant, healthy place where all of us are proud to live,” pledged Swenson. Mary Brindle has been preparing to run for Edina City

Council for ten years and has been appointed to boards, com- a common sense person,” said Brindle. “It’s important missions, and task forces in order to serve and gain experi- to take residents’ hopes and dreams into account when ence needed to be a successful member of the Council. making decisions. That said, it’s also important to plan Brindle believes that there are three major issues facing Edina: transportation, the aging population, and the challenges with increasing diversity. She plans to tackle transportation issues such as the eventual Light Rail Transit that will come close to West Edina, and hopes to prevent the widening of 70th Street. Brindle supports housing that provides a continuum of care as our population ages. She also plans to confront the language photo courtesy of and cultural challenges in our schools and community presented by the growing im- RENOVATIONS FOR EDINA: Better transportation is one of the several issues Edina’s city council representatives will deal with. migrant population. Though Brindle hopes to push into Edina’s future, she plans to still preserve for Edina’s future. There’s a balance there, and common residents’ quality of life in their neighborhoods. “I am sense will help to define that balance.”

ed/op 2 The Big Three should not get their bailout Zephyrus Volume 29, Issue 4 January 8, 2009

The economic crisis has been marked by bailout after bailout. The latest companies in line to try for some of the federal government’s precious money are the Big Three automakers from Detroit. Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, The Big Three, once leaders of the world’s car industry, have now been hurting from stiff foreign competition and once-rising gas prices. They claim that if they are allowed to fail, millions of jobs related to the auto industry will be lost, and the economy will be sent into an even worse recession. G.M. President Frederick A. Henderson said the company would be insolvent if it did not receive federal assistance in the form of a $9 billion dollar loan. Chrysler would like a similar handout, and Ford would like to have access $9 billion loan if they deem it necessary. However, there is fierce opposition to a loan from Republicans in Congress. “Spending billions of additional federal tax dollars

playing a catch-up game with the foreign competition. They continue to make trucks and SUVs for a rapidly dwindling market of buyers. To bail them out now, would be merely putting a band-aid on an ulcerous wound. It would not solve the problem and would be a waste of valued tax-payer money. The national debt would increase and in the end, nothing would be left to show for it. What must be done is to allow them to fail. While it may seem catastrophic to allow this to happen, in reality, the market needs it. If we bail out the automakers, then everyone else who is going bankrupt will also want a bailout. If they have no fear of failure, there will be no incentive for them to even try to be profitable. It’s true, jobs will be lost from letting the Big Three fail. But losing a job is a part of life, and it’s better now than after the Big Three burn through their bailout money and then the workers lose their jobs. Those workers will probably move on to another company to get jobs. This is how the free market works, and while unfortunate, the process needs to be upheld.

art by Sharanya Srinivasan

Sean Carney staff writer

with no promises to reform the root causes crippling automakers’ competitiveness around the world is neither fair to taxpayers nor sound fiscal policy,” said Republican representative John Boehner. For many years the Detroit automakers have been

Vampires: too risky? U.S. versus the world Catherine Kerwin staff writer If this article caught your eye, you may be yet another Twilight fan. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, there’s no doubt that the name of a certain fictional vampire, Edward Cullen, is now either a part of your regular vocabulary or your ears have become photo by Robbie Lehman accustomed to hearing his name. But why the sudTOO MUCH TWILIGHT: Fans of den obsession? Surely Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series can the “Twilight” movie is to blame. become a bit too bloodthirsty. Approaching November 21, the end of each day brought fans closer to the film’s highly anticipated release. They showed support for Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series by sporting themed T-shirts and other paraphernalia. And premiere weekend was no disappointment—its turn out was so huge that a sequel, “New Moon,” received the green light almost immediately. Most fans of the saga are teenage girls who can’t help but squeal at the thought of one of these mythical vampires, but it would be better if all the Twilight fans would pipe down a little. Despite being a fan of the series myself, I have recently experienced a Twilight “overkill.” It seems ironic that a story of forbidden love, meant to be kept secret, is now sprawled throughout the media. Being over-reported and over analyzed in magazines, on entertainment shows, and on websites makes the whole plot out to be even cheesier than it already is. But even worse are fans showing a little too much intensity. When girls are cutting themselves to reflect the scars etched on Jasper Hale’s perfect skin, or literally trampling over one another to get a glimpse of Robert Pattinson (the actor who plays Edward Cullen), things are out of hand. (Before the movie release, Robert Pattinson was scheduled to make an appearance at the San Francisco mall, but when thousands of fans showed up, a stampede broke out and several injuries were reported.). Anyway you look at it, Bella and Edward were described as characters who did not want too much attention. But there is nothing incognito about the fans running around screaming for Edward Cullen to bite them. Did Bella do that? No. And if there is someone like Bella at EHS, I’m betting she’s not into the whole Twilight franchise either. Maybe some of us should take a page from her book.

Zephyrus Staff

across the globe by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, Minnesota and Massachusetts students As the American economy weakens, people (representing the whole US) ranked in the top of all walks of life become worried about their 5 countries in all but one area of testing. So future and that of their country. We look to maybe we aren’t that far behind. anybody for support including our families, Beyond education, critics of the US seem our local officials, and eventually our govern- to think our current government has become ment. But what if we don’t think that our gov- an inefficient and corrupt system. Complaints ernment can save us? What are we to do? about the Bush Administration are as common What we do is complain. Rather than try- as a Toyota in Japan and are perfectly accepting to find a solution to problems, we complain able by society and even campaigning politiabout America’s citizens, its corporations, its cians from both parties. Yes, our President has administration, and its relations with the rest had number of shortcomings in recent years. of the world. However, the In educaUS economy tion, we comreached replain about cord highs in our schools 2007 in terms falling beof stock indexhind those es and GDP, of Japan and the height of China. We the Bush adcomplain that ministration, this will lead and while it to more probis suffering at lems in the the moment, future and a the rest of failing Unitthe world is photo by Linnea Bullion ed States. hurting just However, we AMERICA: During these hard times, it is as much. could be quite more important than ever for US citizens to While high wrong. schoolers may get behind their country rather than complain. not be able to In a 1964 test of US and international students, the US vote, they can make a difference if they feel placed second to last. Those 1964 American strongly about these issues. This difference students, however, are the ones who have does not need to come in the form of complaints. been running the US’s most successful busi- With a new administration on the way, a bit of nesses such as Wal-Mart and Georgia-Pacific change is inevitable, but it will truly take the and have been grossly outperforming their support, not the criticism, of all Americans if international peers in growth and output. any significant improvement is to come. The American per capita GDP is more than So, speak out on what needs to happen, not 40 percent higher than that of Japan, accord- what didn’t happen. Tell me what we can do, ing to the CIA fact-book. In the academic not what they didn’t do. Don’t say that we’re world, nearly 63 percent of highly regarded behind Japan and China, say we can get ahead scientific articles are written by from Ameri- of them! Get behind your country, remember can scholars. its successes, and remember that it is truly Also, in a 2007 survey on math and science the best place in the world!

Chris Greeno ed/op editor

editors-in-chief: Alison Dirr, Lizzy Meller managing editor: Ben Streeter copy editor: Kenzie Miller photo editor: Caroline Valenta advertisement managers: DJ Adams, Matt Norris circulation manager: Christina Kosters news editors: Jack Rohkohl, Anna Waldo features editors: Michael Fetterman Kenzie Temple sports editor: DJ Adams in-depth editor: Ben Streeter ed/op editors: Chris Greeno, Kenzie Miller culture editors: Trevor Aufderheide, Maddie Krasno back page editor: Tony Quattrini columnist: Tony Quattrini staff writers: Todd Barin, Carolyn Beese, Corrin Carlson, Sean Carney, Megan Evans, Lyndsay Hage, Kelsey Hansen, Teddy Hoffman, Matt Hussian, Catherine Kerwin, Christina Kosters, Robbie Latta, Anders Lindquist, John Lucke, Ashley O’Neil, Eamon Rood, Taylor Turner photographers/artists: Eliza Gabriel, Lindsay Hage, Tess Jensen, Olivia Kavanaugh, Grace Kerr, Maddie Krasno, Robbie Lehman, Cindy Pyles, Sharanya Srinivasan webmaster: Matt Norris advisor: Van Anderson Zephyrus is a monthly publication produced by students of Edina High School; 6754 Valley View Road; Edina, MN 55439; (952) 848-3800 x3087. Zephyrus is an open forum for student expression that recognizes the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of the press, and abides by Tinker standard. Opinions published in Zephyrus do not necessarily reflect the views of the entire staff, advisor, administration, or entire student body. Submissions and letters are printed based on the space available. Anonymous letters may be printed only if a Zephyrus advisor or editor knows the author’s identity. Letters should be mailed to the school or given to the advisor or a staff member. Zephyrus reserves the right to edit any letters for clarity and length.



Zephyrus Volume 29, Issue 4 January 8, 2009


ComedySportz takes hold of EHS comedians Kenzie Miller copy editor What do referee uniforms, brown paper bags, and a scoreboard have in common? They are all props to the sensation known as ComedySportz. ComedySportz, an improvisational comedybased company, bases its live shows on two of America’s favorite forms of live entertainment: competition and comedy. The nearest location for the official ComedySportz is on the second floor of Calhoun Square in Uptown, but EHS has its own local version. Here’s how it works: two teams, each with three players, take suggestions from the audience for props and themes for their “games,” or the individual competitions. Each “game” is then played by each team, and the team with the most innovative, crowd-pleasing comedy routine is awarded points in return. The team with the most points from each game at the end of the performance wins. EHS thespians have assembled a team of high school leaguers who bring this fine art a little bit closer to home. The EHS ComedySportz team, affiliated with the actual company and taught by one of the more well-known performers, Halsey Lindquist, the ComedySportz representative, prepares each winter and competes throughout the spring. “The main difference between our ComedySportz

and high school league,” commented Lindquist, coach of the EHS team, “is the setting of our rehearsals. High school league is maybe more difficult because the setting is not on the actual stage where performances take place.” Also, the teams in high school league are made up of four participants. “It’s really fun to get up there and see what you come up with,” junior Teddy Hoffman commented. “There really are some funny people at EHS.” Senior Alex Landreville, another EHS ComedySportz team member, added, “being able to think on your feet is the best feeling.” EHS ComedySportz practices on Mondays and Tuesdays throughout the fall and winter to prepare for the performance season in spring. “We photo by Teddy Hoffman spend a lot of time practicing,” commented Hoffman. Landreville offered, WHAT’S SO FUNNY AT EHS?: ComedySportz students jestingly, “We’re like a family…only practice routines for their performance season. we hate each other.” During the performance season, scrimmages against Eden Prairie, Hopkins, and “We hope to see the trend continue.” Chaska will finally allow EHS thespians to show So mark your calendars, EHS, ComedySportz will their stuff. perform on March 26 at the Uptown ComedySportz “We had a really good turnout at our competitions location, and as usual with EHS thespian perforlast year,” observed senior team member Tony Matthes. mances, it will not disappoint.

Suicide broadcast warns web Maddie Krasno cuture editor

photo courtesy of

After focusing his webcam on the bed in his Florida home, 19-year-old Abraham Biggs committed suicide in front of a confused and stunned internet audience. Biggs died of an overdose of the antidepressant benzodiazepine and other opiate drugs used to treat his depression and bipolar disorder on the afternoon of November 19. Nearly 12 hours after Biggs had declared on a Web site for bodybuilders that he hated himself and wanted to die, the police discovered Biggs’ motionless body, a scene which was also captured by Biggs’ webcam. Biggs had posted a link from the suicide note to, a Website which enables a person to feed live videos and allows viewers to chat with each other in a box beside each video. An investigator claimed Biggs blogged between 3 and 4 a.m. that morning. Posts next to the video displayed some viewers’ encouragement towards Biggs to take more pills, urging him to “go ahead and do it.” Simultaneously, others were trying to talk him out of suicide or debating whether the video was real. would not say how many people watched the broadcast, but the Website’s statistics for October show 672,000 visitors that month. Most likely, there were plenty of viewers that November night who could have sought help for Biggs before it was too late. Many believe a larger crisis is evident. “I don’t understand what it is that drives a person to take their own life, but I do know that if a person committing suicide feels that they must have an audience in order for their death to be effective, our society has a much bigger problem,” commented senior Jay Johnson. “This boy was crying out for help,” said senior Maria Bryan with a shudder. “To think you’d watch someone die and do nothing. I couldn’t live with myself.” Assistant professor Montana Miller from Bowling Green State University in Ohio related Biggs’ public suicide to teenagers’ desire to chronicle every aspect of their lives on websites like Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube. “If it’s not recorded or documented, then it doesn’t even seem worthwhile,” reflected Miller. “For today’s generation it might seem, ‘What’s the point of doing it if everyone isn’t going to see it?’” Biggs’ family is beyond horrified at their son’s unexpected suicide and disappointed in the viewers who sat watching for so many hours without getting their son help. People, but particularly teenagers, have much to take away from this tragedy. Family/Consumer Science teacher Angela Kieffer stated, “I understand how a person can be so depressed that they turn to suicide, but I don’t understand how innocent bystanders can sit and watch. They had the opportunity to save a person’s life. The message is: What would you do in this situation?” Kieffer hopes viewers’ conscience will be the ultimate driving force in preventing such a disaster from reoccurring and advised, “Don’t let television and computers be the distance keeping you from impacting others’ lives.”

Winter play dates Teddy Hoffman staff writer What do shell-shocked women involved with Vietnam and a slaphappy new couple have in common? They are both subjects of the upcoming winter plays: “A Piece of My Heart” and “You’re My Favorite Kind of Pretty.” A “Piece of My Heart”, this season’s winter play, is a drama about the experiences of American women involved overseas with the Vietnam War, including entertainers, intelligence officers, and nurses. Quite a gloomy contrast to the recent upbeat fall musical, “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” “So much about this show is moving, but what gets me the most is seeing each character hit their breaking point in the show. It’s just heart wrenching to watch and act out,” commented Molly Russell (12). But what makes “A Piece of My Heart” worth seeing? The characters, according to Charlotte Sweetland (12): “The fact that the women were so committed to what they did, even if they were criticized for participating, is admirable. They didn’t regret what they did. It amazes me that these women were even somewhat normal after going through what they did.” The heart breaking first-hand accounts of the hardships, sufferings, and losses will challenge any audience not to get choked up. Expect to see familiar faces in the lead roles: Charlotte Sweetland playing Martha, a woman whose composed military upbringing is tested in her Vietnam experience; Molly Russell, portraying a self-reliant female intelligence agent named Steele, and an extraordinary ensemble cast. The winter play isn’t the only theatrical event this season. This year’s One Act (a play EHS submits to a high school theater competition) is the little-known but beloved comedy, “You’re My Favorite Kind of Pretty.” Locally written and directed by Jon Ferguson, a professional comedic actor, “Pretty” is a simple story about how two people fall in love. “I suppose you could call it a romantic comedy, but that’d be underestimating it because it’s so much more,” said actor Tommy Glass (12). “It’s original and something this high school has never seen before. People will love the silliness, but they should keep their minds open to its beauty. It’s deeply, deeply metaphorical and personal.” Encountering random bits of comedic fun along the way (from an extraterrestrial ex-boyfriend to a revenge-hungry bunny), the characters reach profound yet simple conclusions about what it really means to love someone, which will leave the audience slightly baffled, but heartily touched. “This show will get you. Simply put, it’s a beautiful piece of theater. You’ll have to see it both nights to really get it. Not that you’ll need a reason to see it again,” Glass concluded with a smile. EHS thespians are cooking up another great pair of plays this season. So come on down this winter, get out of the cold and witness some theatrical wonders that will leave you either sobbing your hearts out or laughing your butts off.


Zephyrus Volume 29, Issue 4 January 8, 2009

back page The history of the parking lot


Tony Quattrini back page editor As senior, I have had plenty of time to figure out all of the school’s flaws. Although the over-crowding and lack of delicious food are problems, the one that makes me the angriest is the parking lot situation. Those of you who were fortunate enough to be a part of EHS while the old rules were in effect know just how exciting parking in the high school could be. For those of you who weren’t here, the parking lot had at all times, a two way where one way was coming in, the other was going out. No exceptions. This meant that leaving school, every car had to get out using the same single lane. It usually took a half hour just to get out of that asphalt jungle. Thankfully, the geniuses of EHS came up with a “solution”. In the afternoon, both lanes now lead out of the high school, letting twice as many cars leave in the same amount of time. One problem with this solution is that parents coming to pick up their children still try to pull into the recently transformed one way. This just causes more back up and more frustration. The part that actually takes the longest about leaving EHS is finding a student decent enough to let you into the actual line. Now, I know I have few friends, but I know for a fact that my carpool driver Tom Walsh has plenty. You would think someone would eventually let him in, but no. We end up having to wedge the front of our car hastily in front of another student’s, forcing it to stop and let us in. This technique is very effective, but at the same time dangerous. When there is an accident almost every week and even people getting hit by cars, it is time to take action. We should spend less money on useless plasma screen TVs and more on the students. My solution to this growing problem is that we make every single entrance an exit for cars. Anyone who needs to get picked up can wait until 3:20. By that time, every car that is trying to leave will have left.

maze by

Can you solve this maze? Start on the left side, end in the upper-right hand corner. Good luck.

It’s the end of the world as we know it Anna Waldo news editor

the sun’s radiation and prevents us from turning into human crispies. Now cracks the size of California are appearing at There is no escape; all manner of life will random. Stock up on sun block. come to an end on December 21, 2012. This Turns out our favorite national park is not just some wild theory concocted by reliholds a deadly weapon that might angious fanatics. This fact is based on scientific nihilate the human race. Yellowstone evidence. National Park is the largest supervolcano The Mayans, who are known for their inon the continent. Should it explode, 90% tricate calendars based on the alignments of of the world’s populations would be annithe solar system, calculated that every 26,000 hilated (not from the blast itself, but from years, a new age begins. And the next new age asphyxiation due to all the ash), making is coming on December 21, 2012.the 1980 eruption of Mount Saint Helens But how does a “new age” result in the end look like a gentle breeze. Yellowstone of the world? And how is this any different erupts once every 600 to 700 millennia, from the hundreds of apocalyptic theories we’ve which means we can expect a massive heard before? Truthfully, no one is certain. eruption in a few years. However, scientists predict several catastrophic Physicists at UC Berkeley have anaevents for the near future that would support lyzed million year old fossil records and the Mayans’ claim. have determined that mass extinctions First, our sun has been acting up, particuoccur regularly every 62 to 65 million larly since 2003. The last time the sun was this years. It just so happens that 65 million active was after global warming ended the Ice years ago, a massive asteroid crashed in Age. Sunspots, which are giant magnetic storms Mexico, killing off 70% of all living speon the sun’s surface that spew out massive cies, including the dinosaurs. This means proton flares, are directly related to storms we are overdue for a mass extinction, on Earth. In 2005, there was a sudden rise in and there’s a good chance that extinction sun activity. The same year we got one of the will come soon. most devastating hurricane seasons in history. Yes, we’ve heard before that the world photo courtesy of Coincidence? Absolutely not. Which means that is ending on some particular day, and the next time the sun acts up, we can expect yet somehow we’ve all managed to live some stormy weather. It just so happens that through it. But the evidence for 2012 is the solar physicists are predicting peak in solar activity in 2012. undeniable. Doomsday destruction is imminent. Earth’s magnetic field is also cracking. The magnetic field shields us earthlings from But don’t worry. There’s nothing we can do about it anyway.

Zephyrus Issue 4  

This is the fourth publication of Zephyrus News, Edina High School, Minnesota.

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