Sunday, December 30, 2007

Major Labels Vs. Independent Labels

This guy, Owen Husney, does a good job of telling the pros and cons of major and independent record labels.

Go to this show!

Come for the ska, stay for the...more ska!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Problem With Music

By Steve Albini

Whenever I talk to a band who are about to sign with a major label, I always end up thinking of them in a particular context. I imagine a trench, about four feet wide and five feet deep, maybe sixty yards long, filled with runny, decaying shit. I imagine these people, some of them good friends, some of them barely acquaintances, at one end of this trench. I also imagine a faceless industry lackey at the other end holding a fountain pen and a contract waiting to be signed. Nobody can see what's printed on the contract. It's too far away, and besides, the shit stench is making everybody's eyes water. The lackey shouts to everybody that the first one to swim the trench gets to sign the contract. Everybody dives in the trench and they struggle furiously to get to the other end. Two people arrive simultaneously and begin wrestling furiously, clawing each other and dunking each other under the shit. Eventually, one of them capitulates, and there's only one contestant left. He reaches for the pen, but the Lackey says "Actually, I think you need a little more development. Swim again, please. Backstroke". And he does of course....

Click this here to read the rest of Albini's article

Faculty Spotlight: Mr. Bankert

Mr. Bankert conducting the Wind Ensemble. That's Liz with the bass.
Meet Tom. He grew up in a small town in Massachusetts, and has been playing the saxophone since fourth grade. You can find him hanging around the music department. Sounds like one of the band kids, right? Well, Tom isn’t exactly a band kid. He’s their boss. This year, Mr. Thomas Bankert came to Wakefield as the new head of the performing arts department. He teaches music theory classes and conducts the concert band, wind ensemble, marching band, and jazz ensemble. He has a busy schedule, but wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I don’t remember ever really wanting to be anything other than a musician of some kind,” Mr. Bankert told me. “Sometimes I wanted to be a teacher, sometimes I wanted to be a professional player, conductor of a Broadway orchestra, but it was always music of some kind.” Mr. Bankert decided his career path back in high school. At 16, he “started playing [jazz] in clubs and bars,” and his interest in music was encouraged by his band director, “a really good guy.”
“You could pretty much find everything in my iPod,” Mr. Bankert said. He has been a fan of jazz since high school. “I started with Miles Davis then listened to a lot of Joshua Redman,” Mr. Bankert said. “But my favorite bands growing up…I listened to a lot of grunge,” he said. “I listened to all types of music, but that was my favorite.”
So, what does Mr. Bankert REALLY think of the music program? He said with a smile, “The kids are good. There’s talent.” He continued, “The support in the administration and in the community is really good, and hopefully the program will grow while I’m here. My goal is to make this an experience everyone involved will remember for the rest of their lives.”
Our conversation ended with some advice. Mr. Bankert’s outlook on life is that, “there’s always gonna be bad things. You have to look through ‘em and always look forward.” He is one of the many looking forward to the future of the music department.

Perfect season!

We are the champions, we are the champions, no time for losers, 'cause we are the champions...of the world!

Enchanted review

Rated PG
**** out of five
Directed by Kevin Lima
Starring Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, and James Marsden
Pour a cup of Shrek and a cup of Elf into a blender. Add a teaspoon of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and three tablespoons of The Little Mermaid. Then, throw in a pinch of Timothy Spall, who seems to be the villain’s sidekick in every movie these days. Liquefy.
That’s Enchanted, and it tastes delicious. Yes, it’s a romantic comedy, so I’ll be devoting the rest of this space to convincing all our male readers to see it. No, don’t put the paper down! That’s better. Guys, Enchanted is a good movie, and I’ll tell you why.
Remember seven years ago, when Shrek came out and made fun of all those Disney movies you grew up watching? Well, Enchanted is a Disney self-parody in a similar vein. Writer Bill Kelly highlights the bizarre aspects of fairy tales by taking five characters, the princess (Adams), the prince (Marsden), the villain (Susan Sarandon), her sidekick (Spall), and the funny little animated chipmunk, and throwing them into the real world.
The theater was packed with people of all ages, and they all seemed to love the movie. There are jokes for the kids, jokes for the adults, and the impressive animation to be expected from Disney. Particularly, the CGI used on aforementioned chipmunk Pip is, as the stranger sitting next to me remarked, “Amazing.”
In summary, Enchanted isn’t just a chick flick or a kiddy flick. It’s…everyone flick. Yeah. So everyone go see it.

CD Review: An Innocent Man

1) Easy Money
2) An Innocent Man
3) The Longest Time
4) This Night
5) Tell Her About It
6) Uptown Girl
7) Careless Talk
8) Christie Lee
9) Leave A Tender Moment Alone
10) Keeping The Faith
Every few months, Rod Stewart, Barry Manilow, or some other sixty-something singer releases an album paying tribute to the great music of the past. Back in 1983, Billy Joel did something similar. However, instead of simply covering his favorite songs from the 50s, he wrote new songs in the styles of his favorite artists.
"Christie Lee", for example, is influenced by the work of Jerry Lee Lewis. But like many Billy Joel songs, it tells a story, this one about his then-girlfriend Christie Lee Brinkley. Instead of showing off his piano chops, Billy instead lets his band mate Mark Rivera bust out a nice alto sax solo.
Then there's "Easy Money", an homage to James Brown. You can tell from the blasting horns, funky bass, soulful organ, driving drums, and Billy's imitation of James's trademark grunts. He even got some female back-up singers. A few seconds into the song, one could picture James making a grand entrance onstage.
By 1983, Billy had come a long way from making simpler songs like "Just the Way You Are", and was getting more ambitious in the studio. This album wouldn't have been possible without Billy's band: Rivera, drummer Liberty DeVitto, guitarists David Brown and Russell Javors, and bassist Doug Stegmeyer. Producer Phil Ramone did a great job putting it all together. Particular props for "The Longest Time", a track comprised of 15 vocal parts all performed by Billy himself.
This is Billy Joel at his best. The album does a great job displaying his abilities as a songwriter, singer, and musician. His best work? I wouldn't know. Christina?
****1/4 out of five

Sizing Up The Presidential Candidates (Part 1)

You are probably going to disagree with some of the views presented here. What I am going to do is identify an issue, present to you the Catholic voters guide to voting view on the issue, and then I will give each candidate a percentage. The percentage will indicate how close a candidate's view is to the views presented in the guide. I think that all Catholics should use this invaluable guide in helping them vote in 2008. We make up 30% of the nation's voters!

- Abortion is the dominant political issue.
- Being pro-abortion disqualifies a candidate from a Catholic vote.
- Catholics can justly support politicians who advocate incremental means toward eliminating abortion.
- All instances of abortion are morally wrong.

  1. Joe Biden - Democrat - 33% - Disqualified
  2. Hilary Clinton - Democrat - 50% - Disqualified
  3. Chris Dodd - Democrat - 0% - Disqualified
  4. John Edwards - Democrat - 0% - Disqualified
  5. Mike Gravel - Democrat - 0% - Disqualified
  6. Dennis Kucinich - Democrat - 0% - Disqualified
  7. Barack Obama - Democrat - 0% - Disqualified
  8. Bill Richardson - Democrat - 0% - Disqualified
  9. Rudy Guiliani - Republican - 44% - Disqualified
  10. Mike Huckabee - Republican - 90%
  11. Duncan Hunter - Republican - 100%
  12. John McCain - Republican - 100%
  13. Ron Paul - Republican - 90%
  14. Mitt Romney - Republican - 66% - Disqualified
  15. Fred Thompson - Republican - 85%
  16. Alan Keyes - Republican - 100%
  17. William Koenig - Republican - 100%
  18. Don Grundmann - Constitution Party - 100%
  19. Jared Ball - Green Party - 0% - Disqualified
  20. Cynthia McKinney - Green Party - 0% - Disqualified
  21. Kent Mesplay - Green Party - 0% - Disqualified
  22. Kat Swift - Green Party - 10% - Disqualified
  23. Dan Imperato - Libertarian Party - 100%
* Please note that there are many other candidates running!
* All "Disqualified" Candidates will not be included in future "Sizing Up" parts

Friday, December 28, 2007

Taking Care Of Some Business

In order to reduce the amount of ambiguous posts, I have decided to make commenting privileges available to registered users only. I know that a few people on this site including myself have expressed some concern with anonymous posters. Chances are you already have a gmail or blogger account, so just sign in with that and post your comments. Not that hard, right?

omg new look!

No, we weren't hacked...Glen and I have been fiddling with the look of the blog. Tell us what you think. Like this current design? Miss the old look? How about something completely different?

Songs of the Week

Fall Of Troy- Whacko Jacko Steals the Elephant Man's Bones (2005) 00's

Daniel Johnston- Love Wheel (1994) 90's

BDP- 8MM Goes Bang (1987) 80's

Black Flag- Wasted (1978) 70's

The Beatles- In My Life (1965) 60's

Little Richard- Good Golly Miss Molly (1956) 50's

The Teacher Controversy

I've been sifting through the Wakefield Item lately only to read a bunch of articles in the opinion section of the paper regarding what seems to be teachers' salaries. Many of the letters that are published are actually very funny. Selectman Phyllis Hull's writing contains very obvious anti-union themes. Hull, if I am reading her letters correctly, believes that teachers should not be parents or baby sitters. In other words, she doesn't think that they should help out in after school activities. If they dare help out after school (oh no!) that may mean that they deserve more money (oh no!). All hell will break loose and taxpayers will have to pay even more in taxes (oh no!). The teachers, Ms. Marsh and Mr. Brennan just to name two, have spoken out against Hull. Obviously. They are trying to convince her that their day doesn't end at 2:05 pm. And it doesn't. Teachers have stacks of papers to correct and many teachers also help out with extra curricular activities (oh no!). I think that Hull said in one of her letters that the salary of teachers should be merit based. Teachers getting paid the same amount of money (oh no!) sounds a lot like socialism to me. I know that many teachers have jobs on the side which serve as adjuncts to their base teaching salary. If these teachers want a higher teaching salary, they should go to school for a Master's and other certifications. Another part of me thinks that teachers do deserve to be paid more simply because they are instructing others (and preparing them to earn a good salary).

One fellow on brings up a some what intriguing point:

I don't believe that public school teachers are underpaid. I base this upon a comparison between my pay and my sister's pay. I am an Accounting Manager, with a bachelor's degree and fourteen years experience in my field. She is a high school Math Teacher with a bachelors degree and 10 years experience in her field. I work an average of 240 days per year, and she works an average of 180 days a year. I usually work 9 hours a day, and at certain times of the month/year work 10 to 12 hours a day. She usually works 8 hours a day including prep time at home. Based on this, I estimate that I work about 2400 hours a year. She works about 1440 hours a year. As a result, her hourly wage scale works out to be about $6.00 an hour more than mine. In addition, she rarely has to work nights, never has to work weekends, gets the entire summer off, gets a week off in February, gets a week off in April, gets 10 days off at Christmas, gets 4 days off at Thanksgiving and never has to work a holiday. The last time she complained to me about how much more people in the private sector were making, I did this calculation for her. I haven't heard her complain since then.

In addition, since the majority of teachers are paid with tax money, higher pay for teachers means higher taxes for the general public. I am pretty liberal, but I still would think twice about voting to increase my tax burden so a teacher who makes $6.00 per hour more than me could get a raise.

Joan Landers Versus Maynard Sufferdini

Joan Landers is awesome!

Happy Kwanzaa

By your tree or menorah, kinara, or pole, or whatever symbol your observance may hold
May your heart be at peace, may your spirit be light
From turmoil, no sir cease, if but just for a night - David Anderson

That quote is excerpted from a recent Dave Anderson video:

Online Videos by

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street review

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Rated R
****1/4 out of five
Directed by Tim Burton
Starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Alan Rickman
One cannot deny that Tim Burton is a great director, and Johnny Depp a great actor. However, the last two movies they made together prepared me for disappointment. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a pointless remake, and don’t get me started on Corpse Bride. I’m not crazy about musicals, either. I usually find them too long and boring for my liking, and coming from an intellectual snob like me, that’s really saying something. But these movie reviews don’t write themselves, and it was a long, boring musical directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp, or Alvin and the Chipmunks. Sweeney Todd it is!
And what a pleasant surprise it was! Stephen Sondheim’s music and lyrics are clever and pleasing to the ear, a rarity in musicals. Johnny Depp’s performance reminds us why he’s one of the best actors in the business.
He can sing, too. So can most of the cast. Helena Bonham Carter’s voice is just too weak compared to the others.
My only other quibble is that the script is a mixed bag. For every surprise and moment of suspense, there’s a cheesy line that sounds like it was written by George Lucas. And I totally saw the ending coming.
Nitpicking aside, Sweeney Todd greatly exceeded my expectations. It lacks most problems of musical movies. Burton trimmed the fat and gave us a nicely-paced two-hour movie, with top notch performances, production values, and editing. I loved the movie, but I must warn you…don’t see it if you don’t like blood.

omg new admin!

As you may have observed, I haven't been on this site as much as an administrator should. You know you're too busy to run this website alone when Chris Mogni spends more time on it than you do. This is why I've recruited Glen, who, as you all know, has WAY too much free time, to help me out as the new co-administrator.

Ben Tan, right, announces Glen's promotion at a press conference.

Violence after Bhutto's assassination

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan put its paramilitary forces on "red alert" across the country on Thursday after the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto sparked violent protests by her supporters.

Pictured is a vehicle set ablaze by Bhutto supporters. Bhutto died earlier today in a combined suicide bomb attack and shooting during a political rally for her party, the Pakistan People's Party. Some opposition groups believe her death could lead to civil war. Whether or not you agree with her politics, her assassination reflects the sad state of the Middle East.

Tunnels Now Cellphone Ready

Passengers riding the T in tunnels underneath downtown Boston will now be able to chat on their cellphones, text-message their friends, or use hand-held devices to e-mail their bosses from platforms and underground tunnels in and around four of the MBTA's busiest stations.

Yesterday, AT&T became the third cellphone provider to offer a signal underground. T-Mobile and Verizon both connected their networks earlier this month, but without any announcement from the T, many customers were not aware they could use their phones.

The service is currently being offered in Downtown Crossing, Government Center, State, and Park Street stations, and all the tunnels in between. Expansion to other stations and tunnels is expected as cellphone service providers see demand and are willing to pay for the connection. - Boston Globe

It does a suck a bit to not have those devices working.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Two minutes until Christmas...

May peace be with you all.

Family of woman killed in tunnel collapse gets $6 million

After three weeks of confidential negotiations, Powers Fasteners has reached a $6 million settlement with the family of a Jamaica Plain woman who was killed in last year’s ceiling collapse in a Big Dig tunnel, family representatives and company officials announced Monday night.

Powers faces charges of manslaughter. The company is accused of failing to warn contractors of the danger of using fast-drying glue to secure ceiling bolts. It is the first of 15 defendants in the lawsuit brought by the woman's family. Nice to see the family get some compensation for its troubles.

200 grand going to housing authorities

PEABODY – Congressman John F. Tierney has announced $200,821 in grant funding will be awarded to Housing Authorities across the North Shore and the Merrimack Valley, including Wakefield.
These grants will be dedicated to helping citizens of Lynn, North Andover, Wakefield and Gloucester to achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency.
As part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Family Self-Sufficiency Program and the Resident Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency Program, the grants will provide housing vouchers and supportive services for those in need in communities across the North Shore.

Thanks, John-boy, and a Merry Christmas to you and the family. What? I can call him "John-boy". I KNOW him.

Sign up for the next ski/snowboard trip!

Permission slips are now available for the second Ski and Snowboard Club trip to Waterville Valley on Saturday, January 12.

Sign up! It'll be a lot of fun.

This is a warning, Mogni.

I will not tolerate personal insults against the Étudiant writers or against anyone else who comments on posts. If you're going to comment, be polite. Be intelligent. If you "hate" somebody, keep that hatred to yourself. If you're going to give feedback, please write it in the form of constructive criticism, not name-calling (Future posts won't have so many videos embedded in). You've read The Prince? That's great, but it doesn't give you the right to belittle anyone who hasn't. Any more insults, and your I.P.'s banned.

Super Sweet 16 (Piece of Shit)

Want to know what the real kiss of death is? Want to know what show is more morally evil and incorrect than American Idol? It is right on the fucking network that millions of youths tune into each and every day. A network that visually and psychologically enslaves them. The network is MTV and the show is Super Sweet 16. If you have never seen it, the show documents rich, spoiled, and hedonistic teenagers' 16th birthday parties. The birthday girls waste their fathers' monies on thousand dollar dresses, diamond jewelry, and the like. After they buy their dress, they go on to have their birthday bash at some high class place. Often, a celebrity is invited to the party. I was just watching one episode and fuck! The only thing that prevented me from punching the television screen was a potential trip to the hospital on Christmas Eve. I mean seriously, at the very least has there ever been an episode featuring an unattractive, middle class girl? I doubt it. This show is pathetic. I am going to e-mail MTV and express my disdain to them, those uncreative fucks.

sXe Q&A

What is sXe?
- sXe stands for straight-edge. Straight-edge refers to a group of people who are in favor of self control and who very much discourage drug and alcohol use and promiscuous sexual behavior.

When did the sXe movement start?
- Minor threat front man Ian Mackaye is said to have coined the name in 1981.

Is sXe political?
- Not inherently, although many straight-edgers support political causes that line up with their sXe beliefs (drug illegalization, to name one)

What kind of drugs are sXe no-nos?
- Basically all of them. Alcohol as I said before is not allowed. Illegal drugs like marijuana and heroin (to name a few) are also discouraged. Some straight-edgers don't even take medication like Aspirin. Caffeine, a drug found in soft drinks, is prohibited by some straight-edgers.

Is sXe a religious philosophy?
- Nope, although many major religions are against the use of drugs and are against pre-marital sex. In that way, religious beliefs may be the same as sXe beliefs.

Once edge always edge?
- Not at all. If you fuck up, you can always go to being edge.

How do I sign up?
- You don't sign up per se. All you need to do is stop drinking, smoking and having sex.

Are people who live on the edge rebellious?
- Yes, that is the nature of punk music. As one kid said:

"The difference between us and nerds is that we [abstain from drugs] as
a way of rebelling against society, not because society tells us not
to. "

Are you straight edge?
- Since you asked, I would say that yes, I am. Some argue that you have to dress punk and be wholly
associated with the punk movement. I would argue that you don't need to. I think that sXe is at its
most basic level a philosophy. You can either adhere to it or you don't.

One last thing I would like to add is that our society believes that underage drinking and promiscuity
are acceptable. By adhering to sXe philosophy, you are rebelling against these social norms.

Democrat/Republican Support Levels



Sunday, December 23, 2007

James Joyce

James Joyce was born on February 2nd, 1882 in Rathgar, a suburb of Dublin, Ireland. His father was laid off of a job, but did end up having a significant amount of property due to pensions. But through bad habits, John Joyce eventually went broke. Despite this, James was able to learn how to play the piano and sing opera.

At age six, Joyce was sent to Clongowes Wood College, a Jesuit boarding school in the countryside. He later went on to attend Belvedere College from 1893 to 1898 in Dublin, where he achieved several accomplishments. And finally from 1898 to 1902, Joyce went to University College where he was well-known for his hatred towards religion, and refusal to join the nationalist movement in Ireland.

While in school, Joyce published a few interesting articles such as one which directly attacked parochialism in Ireland. One year after earning his degree, Joyce’s mother died. Soon after this sad time, James went on to write his first autobiographical novel titled A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Aside from writing novels, Joyce wrote poems. He had his own assortment known as epiphanies – sketches intended to reproduce external scenes in their crudeness. At that time, James immediately knew what his future profession was – literature.

Joyce’s love life sparked in 1904, when he met Nora Barnacle, an unemployed lady from Galway, Ireland. Joyce and Barnacle together ended up in the city of Pula in present day Yugoslavia. Joyce stayed in Pula for a few months until he was transferred as an English teacher to Trieste in Italy. Barnacle and he had two children, a son George (born 1905) and a daughter Lucia (born 1907). They remained in Trieste until 1915.

Joyce was a non-stop worker, but did face a terrible challenge in not having a publisher for his works. A break through came through in 1913 when American poet Ezra Pound agreed to publish a few of Joyce’s book including A Portrait, Dubliners, and the Egoist.

From the l915 to 1919, Joyce resided in Zurich, Switzerland. Joyce received financial support from the editor of the Egoist. This woman, Harriett Shaw Weaver wound up playing a large role in Joyce’s life as a longtime friend.

Joyce’s biggest transformation from semi-popular novelist to immensely famous author occurred in 1922 when American book store owner Sylvia Beach agreed to publish Ulysses, a modernization of the Odyssey by Homer. For the next 17 years, Joyce dedicated his time and effort to his final work Finnegans Wake. Delaying the novel’s release were many obstacles. Among the top obstructions were Joyce’s painfully lacking eyesight and his daughter’s signs of schizophrenia. His daughter’s schizophrenia was especially harmful to Joyce, he worried about it frantically and refused to acknowledge that there was no cure the illness. Finnegans Wake was finally published in 1939, the beginning of World War II. Instead of gaining more success during wartime, Joyce was faced with the task of moving to times (first from Paris to Vichy, France and then lastly to Zurich in 1939).

Unfortunately for Joyce, he was unable to begin any more novels; he was hospitalized with severe stomach pains and later died in 1941 of peritonitis. Joyce was buried in Fluntern Cemetery overlooking the city of Zurich.

Through Joyce’s own narratives, the literature genre was changed from an old fashion style to new methods of original writing. Joyce used a variety of techniques such as an external and internal narrative, the unreliable narrator (a style that focuses mainly on the persons and events described) and promoted the idea that reality could be combined with fictional ideals. Modern literature would be extremely dull and ancient if Joyce had not introduced these revolutionary techniques. Many famous and non-famous writers alike would not write as well as they do had Joyce never introduced these types of systems.

School Uniforms

In modern times, public school students often overlook the necessity of having a structured way of learning. These days’ kids don’t care how they look, nor do they evaluate the meaning of their daily attire. In Europe many public schools are turning to uniforms. The common perception is that uniforms will consist of prim and prom garments like nice slacks for boys and jumpers for girls. But actually what could happen is quite the opposite of that.

What’s important about having school uniforms? Is it really necessary to wear them? Questions like these often pop up, but rather than just ignoring them, we need to answer them. A simple dress would include khaki’s, jeans, along with a nice shirt. Why spend more money on “Cool” clothes, when you can go the simple, easy, and affordable way by paying for clothing? You might add that this is an avoidance of freedom of expression. But in all fairness, uniforms represent unity, discipline, and absolutely no distraction.

School uniforms guarantee that no clothing will display gang related symbolism and colors. There would be a decrease in all sorts of violence, including theft and bullying. Teachers can now concentrate more on their lesson plan, rather than being “clothes police”. There would be no more “that is too short” or “go to the office and change into something different”. Almost always these distractions prevent the true goal of schooling which includes having an educational and learning environment. By wearing uniforms, students can now sense a feeling of pride for their school. Ultimately more kids will want to go to school for this effortless fact.

Imagine wearing a nice woven v-neck shirt engraved with an outlined red warrior emblem. Imagine not worrying about what you are going to have to wear tomorrow. For everyone who wanted to attend a private school, but could not, visualize learning in an atmosphere so similar to that. Envision a hall of teenagers walking to their next class without any tease or jeer interrupting their procession.

To me the idea of wearing uniforms is something that is necessary. It will be a school wide change for the better, not for the worse. What can you do to help make this dream a near-future reality? Discuss this topic at the next school committee meeting. Once the idea starts floating around more and more people can start clinging to the idea. After stating all the positives and overcoming the potential of any negatives, school uniforms can be put into place in the near future. My ultimate goal is to not to bring small mention to the idea, rather to bring forth immediate discussion of a topic that can soon impact school children’s learning experiences across the public schools.

Stem Cells

About four years ago, the “Ultimate” stem cell was discovered. The stem cell, which was found in adults, can turn into any tissue in the body. The adult stem cell could possibly spell the end of embryonic cells. According to Ihor Lemischka of Princeton University, “They (adult stem cells) can differentiate into pretty much anything that an embryonic stem cell can differentiate into.”

The cells were found in the bone marrow of adults by Catherine Verfaillie at the University of Minnesota. The cells known as MAPCs (Multipotent Adult Progenitor Cells) have been found in the skin and muscle as well as in mice. The question still remained at the time of publication: Are these adult stem cells as versatile as embryonic stem cells?

If given under the right conditions, MAPCs can turn into various tissue types such as muscle, cartilage, liver and brain cells among others. When Verfaillie conducted an experiment which involved MAPCs being placed into new born mice, the results turned up nicely showing that one single MAPC can give supply to all the body’s tissues. In no way are the embryonic cells identical to MAPC cells, although they do share a lot of properties. Embryonic cells have been known to form cancerous loads if you insert them into adults, but as far as MAPC’s are concerned this hasn’t been of any danger.

Questions have been raised concerning the functionality of the MAPC as well as if it can be truly considered ‘a cell’. None-the-less, it is a decisive step for Stem Cell Research.

Stem Cells will impact the way society functions in the years too come. Already there are numerous pro-stem cell research movements and the potential developments and breakthroughs stem cells can have are tremendous. If stem cell research continues, former detrimental illnesses such as cancer, blindness and diabetes, could soon go away quicker than it had started. The focus from embryonic stem cells to adult stem cells is becoming more eminent and the number of scientists constructing stem cell research studies amplifies everyday. With the expected abundance of stem cells in the coming years (if research is funded and sanctioned by the government), the cost of treatment shouldn’t be that high. What does this mean? It means that people won’t have to fight illness or even worry about having a prolonged medical condition. Within the next twenty, I predict that stem cells will literally take over the medical field of study.

The following words describe my opinion on the stem cell debate: Embryonic stem cells = bad, adult stem cells = good. I think that using embryonic stem cells is a destruction of human life, considering that the embryonic stem cells come from a dead baby, most likely as a result of an abortion, something that I am also against. I have no problems with adult stem cells because they are coming from living beings. As long as no harm is done to the adults of whom the stem cells are coming from, it is all well and good. So if I was asked to support embryonic stem cell research, I would instantaneously state my dislike.

Power To The People: Give Peace A Chance

Mike Gravel:

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Clergy and the Presidency

Clinton and Obama, who are both in favor of abortion and LGBT rights, have received the most clergy cash. Slightly ironic. They must be getting that money from ultra liberal sects.

Gift Cards Go Grocery

In last-minute trips to the grocery store or pharmacy for eggs or soda, shoppers now can cross off a few other items on their holiday shopping lists: toys, gift cards, and even iPods and GPS units.

Local supermarkets and pharmacies this year are going head-to-head with the likes of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Best Buy Co. to court holiday shoppers. While these stores long have offered everything from cheese and fruit platters to wreaths and wrapping paper during the holiday season, many are stepping up their game with items such as HP printers and DVDs to boost sales during the busy shopping period. - Source: Boston Globe

My employer, Johnnie's Foodmaster, started selling gift cards earlier this year. Unfortunately, they haven't been hot sellers quite yet.

Songs of the Week Christmas Edition!

This week's edition of Songs of the Week is going to have a different format. I am simply going to list some personal favorite Christmas tunes. Enjoy!

Elvis Presley- Blue Christmas (1957)

The Who- Christmas (1969)

Trans- Siberian Orchestra- Christmas Eve/ Sarajevo 12/24 (1996)

Run- D.M.C.- Christmas In Hollis (1987)

Judy Garland, Daphne Loves Derby- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (1944, 2007)

The Ramones- Merry Christmas (I don't want to fight tonight) (1987)

South Park- Mr. Hankey The Christmas Poo (1997)

Chuck Berry- Run, Rudolph, Run (1958)

Bing Crosby, Johnny Cash- Silent Night (1935, 1972)

Johnny Cash: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (1963), The Christmas Guest (1980), Hark the Herald Angels Sing (1980), and O Come All Ye Faithful (1980).

Fear- Fuck Christmas (1982)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Lakota Indians Say "Peace Out"

WASHINGTON — The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States.

"We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us,'' long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means said.

A delegation of Lakota leaders has delivered a message to the State Department, and said they were unilaterally withdrawing from treaties they signed with the federal government of the U.S., some of them more than 150 years old.

The group also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan embassies, and would continue on their diplomatic mission and take it overseas in the coming weeks and months.

Lakota country includes parts of the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.

If you don't like America and really want to leave, look no further than....Nebraska!

Christmas Eve Sky Show

Dec. 24, 2007: It's Christmas Eve, and you're snuggled cozily in your den. A glowing fire gently crackles and pops in the fireplace, and your head starts to droop as you nod off. Just then, something cold and wet nudges your cheek. You open your eyes to stare directly into a large black nose. It's time to take the dog for his walk.

Grumbling in vain, you put on your coat, snap the leash onto the wiggling dog's collar, open the door to a rush of cold air. You step outside and enter a magical landscape.

The night isn't dark, it's glowing with a silvery-white light. Up above, the 98% full moon looks huge and clear in the azure sky. It just might be the brightest moon you've ever seen. That's because it's the highest-riding full moon until the year 2023.

...And not far from the beautiful moon glows fireplace-red Mars. This Christmas Eve, Mars is at its closest to Earth for the next nine years. Mars is also "at opposition." That's astronomy-lingo for "directly opposite the sun." It means Mars is up whenever the sun is down: on Christmas Eve, the Red Planet will be visible all night long. - Source: NASA, Ms. Coppe for e-mailing the science club this

Home Alone 2: Greatest Movie Ever

Home Alone 2 is the greatest movie of all time. Yeah, no, shut up. It is. It is easily the best Christmas movie. I am sure you have all seen it, but you don't really appreciate it until the 10th or so time. My sister and I watch HA2 once a year, usually on Christmas eve. HA2 offers a great array of Christmas music favorites. HA2 also features the pigeon lady, a pioneer in the movie industry. You have probably seen Home Alone 2 and chances are you thought it was simply a rehash of Home Alone 1. You are mistaken. Home Alone 2 is legendary. Home Alone 2 on VHS is legendary.

Consumer Spending Increases

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Consumers put aside worries about slumping home sales and soaring gasoline prices and headed to the malls in November, pushing spending up by the largest amount in 3.5 years.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that consumer spending surged by 1.1 percent last month, nearly triple the October gain. The gain reflected various promotional efforts by retailers such as heavy discounting and longer store hours at the start of the holiday shopping season.

Consumers are shopping to the tune of "more, more, more." Consumerism these days....

The Economy Under George W. Bush

The damage done to the American economy does not make front-page headlines every day, but the repercussions will be felt beyond the lifetime of anyone reading this page.

I can hear an irritated counterthrust already. The president has not driven the United States into a recession during his almost seven years in office. Unemployment stands at a respectable 4.6 percent. Well, fine. But the other side of the ledger groans with distress: a tax code that has become hideously biased in favor of the rich; a national debt that will probably have grown 70 percent by the time this president leaves Washington; a swelling cascade of mortgage defaults; a record near-$850 billion trade deficit; oil prices that are higher than they have ever been; and a dollar so weak that for an American to buy a cup of coffee in London or Paris-or even the Yukon-becomes a venture in high finance.

And it gets worse. After almost seven years of this president, the United States is less prepared than ever to face the future. We have not been educating enough engineers and scientists, people with the skills we will need to compete with China and India. We have not been investing in the kinds of basic research that made us the technological powerhouse of the late 20th century. And although the president now understands-or so he says-that we must begin to wean ourselves from oil and coal, we have on his watch become more deeply dependent on both. - Sources: Vanity Fair and Bill Baer (for adding bold to the text)

The taxes aren't high enough on the wealthy, oh no! A part of me says "they earned it" and a part of me says "big business is corrupt." A flat tax for the middle class just may be the right solution. What about the people making > $1 million? I hope they are philanthropists.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

We got a lot of snow, part II

Another snowstorm swept across northern New England on Thursday, shutting down scores of schools and making for messy commutes.

Weather will never shut down Wakefield High, though! 90-minute delay, sure. Early release, O.K. But we won't get a day off until the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are spotted around town.

Doesn't this make you mad?

SUNNYVALE, Calif.—Military contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. said Thursday it received an $849 million deal for production and system support on the Navy's sixth generation fleet of ballistic missiles for fiscal 2008. - Boston Globe

Who gives a crap about Jamie w/e/t/f* Spears

Seriously. Who the hell cares? 16 year olds get pregnant all the time (actually not really) and of course the only reason why people are so frenzied is because she is the sister of Britney Spears. We are putting this poor child on a fucking pedestal just because she is a "star's" sibling. People should start to grow a backbone and worry about more important affairs such as ending world hunger and promoting peace. It is these people who read the shitty gossip magazines that are lowering the standard's of the human race.


*w/e/t/f = whatever the fuck

Oh yeah and my apologies for my use of vulgar language. If you are offended, please let me know.

No Income Tax! No Racing! YES WEED!

A proposal to make major changes to a controversial state law intended to promote affordable housing has failed to garner enough signatures to make it onto the November 2008 ballot.

But the secretary of state's office says that proposals to repeal the state income tax, ban greyhound racing, and decriminalize the use of marijuana are still on track. - Boston Globe


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Myanmar update

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Senate passed on Wednesday an act forbidding the import of gems and timber from Myanmar and imposes fresh financial sanctions and travel restrictions on leaders of the country.

Hey, junta! Yeah, you! Step down and let democratic leaders take over, or continue to get pimp slapped by the world!

House sends budget bill to Bushykins

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The House of Representatives approved a $556 billion bill on Wednesday to fund most of the federal government through September 2008, ending a year-long budget fight with President George W. Bush by also including new money for the Iraq war.

The House gave final congressional approval to the bill, which was cleared by the Senate late on Tuesday. It now goes to Bush for his expected approval.

Here's a nice snippet...
About $1 billion would be for humanitarian and peacekeeping missions in Sudan, where violence has plagued Darfur.

See? Washington DOES care.

You're under arrest under charges of not having a toilet

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Local authorities have arrested at least 100 Ugandans for failing to build toilets in their homes in the midst of a cholera epidemic that has killed 8 people and infected 164, state media reported Wednesday.

This is the top story in Reuters's weird news section, and if you thought that lead was funny, wait until you read the name of the guy who wrote it. You ready? Tim Cocks.

Darfur update

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Aid groups urged the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday to set a 30-day deadline for Sudan to stop obstructing the planned January 1 deployment of U.N.-African Union peacekeepers to Darfur or face sanctions.

"The new hybrid peacekeeping force for Darfur is being set up to fail," said a statement from 35 aid groups.

The U.N. had nothing but good things to say about UNAMID, making it sound like a surefire way to quell the violence in Darfur. Well, the proper attitude towards any idea is a skeptical one. UNAMID will be worlds better than the AU force currently down there. Let's just hope the Sudanese government takes some action to help...oh, I don't know...STOP THE VIOLENCE.

Curt Schilling has strong words for steroid users

If Roger Clemens can’t discredit the steroid allegations made against him in the Mitchell Report, the four Cy Young awards he won after he allegedly started using performance-enhancing drugs should be taken away, Curt Schilling wrote today.

Ouch. Not even an asterisk. Just take away all those honors! NESportsNews. Local sports on steroids.

Top ten quotes of 2007, courtesy Fred Shapiro, Yale Book of Quotations editor

1) "Don't tase me bro!" - Andrew Meyer
2) "I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don't have maps and I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and Iraq and everywhere like such as and I believe that they should our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa and should help Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for our children." - Lauren Upton
3) "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country." - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
4) "That's some nappy-headed hos there." - Don Imus
5) "I don't recall." - Alberto Gonzales
6) "There's only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun and a verb and 9/11." - Joseph Biden
7) "I'm not going to get into a name-calling match with somebody who has a 9 percent approval rating." - Harry Reid
8) "(I have) a wide stance when going to the bathroom." - Larry Craig
9) "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man." - Joseph Biden
10) "I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history." - Jimmy Carter
I, for one, will be adding every single one of these quotes to my Facebook profile.

Where your money's going

WAKEFIELD - The existing town-wide Housing Rehabilitation Program will continue in Wakefield for at least another year using $240,000 from the Program Income Fund to assist low and moderate income homeowners with needed repairs. Another $65,000 will be spent to keep the local Community Development office open and administer the Housing Rehabilitation Program through Dec. 31, 2008. A portion of the remaining $68,000 in the Program Income account will likely be used to replace one of the town's senior citizen transportation vans.
After meeting with Wayne Darragh, the town's Community Development Block Grant Program Director, the Board of Selectmen voted this week to expend the funds and continue the low to moderate income housing rehab assistance program through December 2008.
Darragh reminded the board that the $373,000 currently in the Program Income account has been generated through the repayment of liens placed on residential properties that participated in previous housing rehabilitation programs.

If there's one thing the Wakefield Item is good at, it's publishing cute photos. If there's two things it's good at, they are 1) publishing cute photos 2) letting us all know where our money's going. If there's three things it's good

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Did you know? Part 2

Did you know that Sears used to sell ready-to-assemble houses through mail orders?

Yet another piece of information to add to your short term.

Drug Use In Highschoolers

The annual Monitoring the Future survey of eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders found that the percentage of students reporting illicit drug use in the past month is continuing a decline that began in 2001.

The percentage of those in the three grades who said they had used any illicit drug -- including marijuana, Ecstasy, LSD, amphetamines, inhalants, methamphetamine, steroids, cocaine, heroin, alcohol and cigarettes -- in the past month went from 19.4 percent in 2001 to 14.8 percent in 2007, a 24 percent drop. The decline was most dramatic among eighth-graders but was also seen among those in 10th and 12th grades. - Catholic News Service
I am pretty much against people under the age of 16 doing said drugs. I don't know why anyone would want to get into the drugs that I bolded. You might be thinking "no alcohol and cigarettes? Come on." Both are addicting (as are the other things I bolded) and addictions aren't fun. If you have good self control then I suppose they could be. If you have good self control, I don't know why there would be an addiction in the first place. Alcohol is what naive teenagers drink to feel socially acceptable. When was the last time you heard of a teenager drinking alone? Yeah, I know you are saying "that would be stupid." Cigarettes are just stupid. Can some cigarette smoker out there convince me that they aren't?

HR 1955

`(1) COMMISSION- The term `Commission' means the National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism established under section 899C.

`(2) VIOLENT RADICALIZATION- The term `violent radicalization' means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.

`(3) HOMEGROWN TERRORISM- The term `homegrown terrorism' means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

`(4) IDEOLOGICALLY BASED VIOLENCE- The term `ideologically based violence' means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual's political, religious, or social beliefs.


`(1) The development and implementation of methods and processes that can be utilized to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States is critical to combating domestic terrorism.

`(2) The promotion of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence exists in the United States and poses a threat to homeland security.

`(3) The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.

`(4) While the United States must continue its vigilant efforts to combat international terrorism, it must also strengthen efforts to combat the threat posed by homegrown terrorists based and operating within the United States.

`(5) Understanding the motivational factors that lead to violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence is a vital step toward eradicating these threats in the United States.

`(6) Preventing the potential rise of self radicalized, unaffiliated terrorists domestically cannot be easily accomplished solely through traditional Federal intelligence or law enforcement efforts, and can benefit from the incorporation of State and local efforts.

`(7) Individuals prone to violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence span all races, ethnicities, and religious beliefs, and individuals should not be targeted based solely on race, ethnicity, or religion.

`(8) Any measure taken to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence and homegrown terrorism in the United States should not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights, or civil liberties of United States citizens or lawful permanent residents.

`(9) Certain governments, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia have significant experience with homegrown terrorism and the United States can benefit from lessons learned by those nations.


`(A) IN GENERAL- The Commission may request directly from any executive department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, independent establishment, or instrumentality of the Government, information, suggestions, estimates, and statistics for the purposes of this section. The head of each such department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, independent establishment, or instrumentality shall, to the extent practicable and authorized by law, furnish such information, suggestions, estimates, and statistics directly to the Commission, upon request made by the Chair of the Commission, by the chair of any subcommittee created by a majority of the Commission, or by any member designated by a majority of the Commission.

`(B) RECEIPT, HANDLING, STORAGE, AND DISSEMINATION- The Committee and its staff shall receive, handle, store, and disseminate information in a manner consistent with the operative statutes, regulations, and Executive orders that govern the handling, storage, and dissemination of such information at the department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, independent establishment, or instrumentality that responds to the request.


`(k) Postal Services- The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as departments and agencies of the United States.

`(l) Nonapplicability of Federal Advisory Committee Act- The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Commission.


`(a) In General- The Department of Homeland Security's efforts to prevent ideologically based violence and homegrown terrorism as described herein shall not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights, or civil liberties of United States citizens or lawful permanent residents.


The bill's usage of "violent radicalization," "ideologically based violence," and "homegrown terrorism" has sparked criticism and controversy.

* I apologize for posting a lot of content on this. Some politically concerned citizens may be interested in this kind of information.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Video Game News

MLB 2k8 Producer Interview

Says Ben Brinkman, the Producer of MLB 2k8: "Well, a lot of the stuff in the game gameplay mechanic wise, a lot of the stuff was kind of dated. It had been in the game for a number of years and fans buying the game year after year were getting a lot of the same experiences – last year, it looked a lot better, but we wanted to do something new and different and hopefully innovative and fun. We believe they are innovative and fun, but we want the people playing our game to feel the same way, as well as reviewers. We've done a lot of stuff this year – let's leave it at that. It's across the board, we did primarily focus on a couple of areas, but we also touched on everything. Like we talked about with fielding, it's a much different and more fluid and responsive experience. One thing that we're going to roll out later on: our pitching and batting duel – I'm having a blast playing the game. Both pitching and batting. We redid, like I said, the batting, but we redid the pitching as well, and it's a more organic experience. I'll just leave it at that."


COD4 Multiplayer Patch

Team Deathmatch
• Map Added to Rotation: Showdown - now available in map rotation.
Mercenary Team Deathmatch
• Brand New Playlists: No Clans / Parties allowed.
• Players who don't want to be matchmade with clans (or people in parties) can team up with fellow lone wolves and play some TDM.
• Map Added to Rotation: Showdown - now available in map rotation.
• Score Limit Change: 100 Points
• Map Added to Rotation: Ambush - now available in map rotation.
• Map Added to Rotation: Bloc- now available in map rotation.
• Map Added to Rotation: Pipeline - now available in map rotation.
Ground War
• No changes.
• Map Added to Rotation: Showdown - now available in map rotation.
• Map Added to Rotation: Ambush - now available in map rotation.
• Map Added to Rotation: Bloc- now available in map rotation.
• Map Added to Rotation: Pipeline - now available in map rotation.
Search and Destroy
• Map Added to Rotation: Showdown - now available in map rotation.
Team Tactical
• Map Added to Rotation: Ambush - now available in map rotation.
• Map Added to Rotation: Bloc- now available in map rotation.
• Map Added to Rotation: Pipeline - now available in map rotation.
Hardcore Team Deathmatch
• Brand New Playlist: 100% Hardcore Team Deathmatch Only
• No longer switched between Hardcore Search and Destroy and Hardcore Team Deathmatch
• Map Added to Rotation: Showdown - now available in map rotation.
Hardcore Search and Destroy
• Brand New Playlist: 100% Hardcore Search and Destroy Only
• No longer switched between Hardcore Search and Destroy and Hardcore Team Deathmatch
• Map Added to Rotation: Showdown - now available in map rotation.
Old School
• Rule Set Change: Free-for-All Only w/ Old School Rules
• Increased Health (slightly)
• No Health Re-gen
• Score Limit Change: 100 points
• Map Added to Rotation: Showdown - now available in map rotation.
Cage Match
• Rule Set Change: No Longer Old School Mode
• 1 v 1: Normal Rules
• Map Added to Rotation: Countdown - now available in map rotation
• Map Added to Rotation: District - now available in map rotation
• Playlist Removed
Team Objective
• Playlist Removed
• All gametypes included now available individually.
Upcoming Patch Updates (Seperate from above Playlist changes):
Addition of Host Migration
• If Host of lobby leaves, all players will be deposited back to the lobby where next best host will be selected before new game restarts. Players will no longer be kicked out of game entirely.
Improved Network Performance For Larger Games
• 18 player games now require more bandwidth to host, resulting in smoother performance for players.
Optimized Server Selection for First Match
• Server selection is now optimized to select best bandwidth servers associated by LSP.
Updated Spectator "Chase Cam"
• Change Spectator Mode: Switch between First Person and Third Person.
• 360 Degree rotation around character you're spectating.
Fixed "Playlist Older Than Host" Error
• Player will no longer get error when entering games.
Optimized Corrupt Create-a-Class Handling
• Players will no longer be kicked from game when their create-a-class data is corrupted.
Added Kill Cam To Everything
• Kill Cam view Added: Air Strike Bombs (Follows bomb from plane to target)
• Kill Cam view Added: Grenades (Follows frag from hand to ground, then rotates to view target)
• Kill Cam view Added: RPGs (Follows RPG from launch to target)
• Kill Cam view Added: M203 Rounds (Follows round from launcher to target)
• Kill Cam view Added: Claymores (Views from behind claymore until explosion)
• Kill Cam view Added: C4 Packs (View from pack rotating to watch target)
• Kill Cam view Added: Martrdom (View from grenade rotating to watch target)
Optimized Old School Experience
• Added Unlimited Sprint
• Doubled Magazine Size
• Added Ragdoll Cam
Additional Start Spawn Locations in All Maps
• Added a minimum of 9 extra start spawns on each side of all maps.
Optimized Sniper Rifle / ACOG Scope Accuracy
• Sniper Rifles and ACOG scope accuracy improved due to fix.
Fixed Weapon Sprint Bug
• Bug which gave players more sprint when using particular weapons.
Thanks again for your constant feedback and support of the game, keep in mind that playlists are constantly evolving, so everything is subject to change based on feedback and results. If we feel something isn't fun or based on your feedback we'll continue to change it up and I'll continue to keep you in the loop.

Nuclear Crap

Russia has delivered its first shipment of nuclear fuel to a reactor it is helping to build at Bushehr in Iran.

The two sides reached agreement last week on a schedule to finish building the plant after years of delays.

The UN has demanded that Iran halt uranium enrichment but has approved the Russian nuclear fuel deliveries.

US President George W Bush supported the move, but said it proved "the Iranians do not need to learn how to enrich" uranium for themselves.

Some Western countries fear Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons but Tehran says its programme is for peaceful power generation only. - BBC NEWS

I think the world "nuclear" should just cease its existence.

Bus drivers take day off

Boston (AP/WBZ Newsroom) -- Boston School Superintendent Carol Johnson is apologizing to parents and students who were left out in the cold Monday morning.

About 680 public school students were left at bus stops after 70 drivers called in sick or took personal days off.

Johnson calls the high number of absences "very problematic." Those students won't be penalized if they missed school.

Johnson tells WBZ Newsradio1030 she wants a review and documentation explaining the absences.

I'm so glad I don't take the bus anymore. Yeah... Walking to school is so much fun. Especially walking on ice.

Jay, Conan coming back sans writers

It's official: "The Tonight Show starring Jay Leno" and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" are returning to the airwaves -- sans writers -- on Jan. 2.

I hope this writers' strike ends soon. I mean, if you didn't like Jay Leno he's gonna do the show all by himself! Heck, even THIS site has failed in every attempt to be funny.
Oh, wait. This site was NEVER funny. Never mind.

We got a lot of snow.

WAKEFIELD — Snow made heavy by a steady mist and then rain hampered the town’s cleanup efforts yesterday and today. The 10 inches received late last week made the removal effort take that much longer.
About eight inches of snow fell between 2:30 a.m. and around 11:30 a.m. Sunday before turning to mist, drizzle and rain, which made the snow extremely heavy and hard to move.
“With all the snow already on the ground, this really was a major storm,” said DPW Director Richard Stinson of yesterday’s weather event. “We had a three inch storm that included about an inch of ice (on Dec. 2) which never really melted. Then we got 10 inches last Thursday. There really is nowhere to put it and the snow yesterday was very heavy. We tried to push it back and widen many of the town’s streets but it was difficult. Pickup trucks were having a hard time moving it.”
Stinson noted that the DPW will be cleaning the Square beginning at 10 tonight, going through to 7 a.m. Tuesday.

The picture above is an artist's depiction of Main Street earlier today.

Tear Gas Fired At Mexicans

SAN DIEGO - Border Patrol agents are firing tear gas and powerful pepper-spray weapons across the border into Mexico to repel what the agency says are an increasing number of attacks by assailants hurling rocks, bottles and bricks.

The counteroffensive has drawn complaints that innocent families are being caught in the crossfire.

"A neighbor shouted, 'Stop it! There are children living here," said Esther Arias Medina, 41, who on Wednesday fled her Tijuana, Mexico, shanty with her 3-week-old grandson after the infant began coughing from smoke that seeped through the walls. - Associated Press

Hoodie Ban in Texas

DALLAS (CBS 11 News)
A Dallas high school has banned students from wearing anything that might keep their heads and ears warm. But the weather isn't what sparked the so-called "hoodie ban" at Kimball High School.
The school district calls it a safety and security issue.
We weren't allowed inside Kimball. But the jackets and sweatshirts with hoods and hats that kids wear on the outside are banned on the inside.
There have been some fights at Kimball lately. School officials say they can't identify teenagers who attacked other students, because hoods hid their identity.
School district officials say the hood ban is within the principal's discretion. And students must adhere to the rule.

Full Article:

90 Minute Delay

Wakefield Public
Middlesex County
90 Minute Delay, No AM Kindergarten or Pre-School
Submitted at: 5:41 AM EST on Monday, Dec 17



High School

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Baby Videos

An Inconvienent Lie

What now, Al Gore? What now? You have lied to us.

Where is the mild winter climate?

Where are the palm trees?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Theyz Gonna Stop Teh Internets! OH NOZ!

GLOBAL RESEARCH - Researchers funded by the federal government want to shut down the internet and start over, citing the fact that at the moment there are loopholes in the system whereby users cannot be tracked and traced all the time.

Time magazine has reported that several foundations and universities including Rutgers, Stanford, Princeton, Carnegie Mellon and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are pursuing individual projects, along with the Defense Department, in order to wipe out the current internet and replace it with a new network which will satisfy big business and government:
One challenge in any reconstruction, though, will be balancing the interests of various constituencies. The first time around, researchers were able to toil away in their labs quietly. Industry is playing a bigger role this time, and law enforcement is bound to make its needs for wiretapping known.
There's no evidence they are meddling yet, but once any research looks promising, "a number of people (will) want to be in the drawing room," said Jonathan Zittrain, a law professor affiliated with Oxford and Harvard universities. "They'll be wearing coats and ties and spilling out of the venue."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Songs of the Week

00's- The Mabuses- Dark Star (2007)

90's- A Tribe Called Quest- Excursions (1991)

80s- Sonic Youth- Cross the Breeze (1988)

70's- Lou Reed- Make Up (1972)

Love- The Red Telephone (1967)

50's- Frankie and The Teenagers- Why Do Fools Fall in Love? (1956)

It Looks Like......

Well, I don't want to say anything quite yet. It is 5:55 AM and there has no announcement regarding Wakefield. I would say the latest possible time they will make an announcement will be around 6:05-6:15. If they don't make one by then, we will almost definitely have school.

Yeah, it is 6:23 AM. Go to school now.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

No School Tommorow?

Approximately 90% of the student body at WHS hope for no school tommorow. There then is the 10% students who love to learn and really don't want to miss out on anything! These kids love to take tests since they most likely already prepared for them (and don't want to forget the information). I am in the 90% that hopes that we don't have school tommorow. It would be a great start to a potential 4 day weekend (a second major storm is scheduled to hit Sunday afternoon). We, however, are likely to have school both days. Yes, we are supposed to get about 8" total from today's storm. Looking outside it looks like about 5 or 6 inches have already fallen. According to weather reports, snow will fall at a 1-2 inch per hour rate until 9 PM. That gives the DPW more than 8 hours to salt and clear off the roads. It looks like there will be at least one layer of snow on the roads that won't disappear by morning. The morning commute could be disastrous if there isn't enough work done. We could always have a delay, but since the DPW will have 8 hours to clear away the snow from the school a delay would be pointless. Thus, it is either no school or school. I'm sure everyone will be pissed if we do in fact have school. And who likes to see teenagers angry? Word around the town is that a group of students are planning on making snow and unloading it in front of the school. Actually, that is a joke. I politely ask whoever is in the position of making this decision (superintendent) to cancel school with any reservation (delay). Thank you.

P.S. If the Etudiant happens to be your homepage and you go to WHS, you can check here tommorow morning as early as 5 AM for the latest school closing information. Don't worry a source (most likely from the school's website) will be provided.

Remembering Graveside 2 Years Later

Three members of Graveside, 21-year-old Edwin Duncan, 21-year-old Jason Bachiller and 19-year-old Christopher Vieira, were gunned down Dec. 13 in Boston's worst crime in a decade. Their friend, 22-year-old Jihad Chankhour, was also killed.

Duncan had produced Graveside's recordings in the same basement recording studio on Bourneside Street in Dorchester where they were shot.

His mother granted The Boston Globe permission today to broadcast audio clips from Graveside's mix tape, "Official Basement Files, Volume I." The clips have been edited for profanity.

Audio Graveside clip 1 | Audio Graveside clip 2 | Audio Graveside clip 3