The lights dim and curtains open to reveal a fantastical world full of over-sized books, colorful castles and magic genie lamps. Thirty-five teens weave in and out of the set, singing a childlike tune about seeking solace from external pressures through these creations - or "forts," as they call them. This introductory sequence of the 2009 City at Peace production "Living [in theory]," led the way to a show that captivated the audience with its honesty and relevance.
I would consider myself a pretty compliant student. Okay, compliant may be too strong of a word...but I generally complete all my assignments, maintain a low-key profile in class and I've rarely sought beef with the staff.
Blair's annual international show will be held in the auditorium tonight at 7 p.m. The event is coordinated by ESOL teachers Jody Tomesek and Emily Alexiou, with Tomesek and ESOL teacher Katie Honerkamp serving as Masters of Ceremonies. Students can purchase tickets for $3 at the door.
After a five-year hiatus, U2 fans are anxious to see what genius these recent Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famers cook up next. Unfortunately, after 11 albums of Bono's impassioned vocals and the signature timbre of The Edge's guitar, "No Line On The Horizion" doesn't match up to the anthemic prowess the band established in the mid-1980s. But who can resist Bono's voice and The Edge's awesome guitar playing? "No Line" may not be U2's best album, but considering much of the bile that is produced by the music industry these days, it's absolutely supreme.
Ah, springtime. The weather is warming up and the flowers are beginning to bloom - as is luuurve, hopefully. Sophomores Kirstyn Ross-Roach and Amir Gorjifard kick off this season of Blair's own dating game - will they bond over burritos or will your Blair Pair matchmakers need to find a new gig?
"Alright, everyone," junior Laura Sirbu eagerly commanded. "Girls on this side, boys on that side." I moseyed over to the right and glanced around the room, noting with some amusement that the girls nearly doubled the boys. Sirbu and English teacher Michelle Edwards, our bubbly instructors, immediately launched into a demonstration of the basic salsa step, and in minutes, the room was filled with sounds of shuffling feet and the occasional giggle as dancers watched each other stumble.
I never watch Oscar-worthy movies until well after the awards season...which is why I watch the Academy Awards not to see who goes home with the most gold, but to see all the gorgeous dresses and the entertainment. After last year's show of forgettable gowns and a so-so host (love ya, Jon, but stick to "The Daily Show"), the 2009 Oscars celebration was quite a treat for this shallow viewer.
Right after a day of misfortune (Friday the 13th) comes Valentine's Day - the day where love and commercialism are in the air, creating an annoying sense of obligation for some, a romantic pink-laden aura in others and a ping of loneliness to all the single ladies (yes, all the single ladies) and gents. But never fear, this month of romantic endeavors comes with help.
In many cultures, eight is considered a lucky number. In our solar system, eight planets orbit around the sun (but we will never forget Pluto). In an octave, there are eight notes. Considering such, your "American Idol" experts here at Silver Chips Online had high hopes for season eight of "AI," expecting staggering vocal performances and tough competition. But, alas, eight appears to have failed us.
The Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, a nonprofit organization based in Takoma Park, will present their second annual Youth Arts Night on Sunday, Jan. 11 at 7:30 p.m. The event will feature performances from the dance company's own Teen Exchange and a variety of young talents in the area, including senior singer-songwriter Tori Heller and all-senior air band Action Jackson and the Go-Getters.
We know all teachers have seemingly inappropriate questions about students. So take a break from the grading, planning and acting like you're awake. If you're funny enough, we'll publish you (with or without your name) so that all your students can laugh with (at) you! Plus, we promise you won't get fired for your opinions. At least until our fearless leader Mr. Williams files a lawsuit, in which case we may be forced to disband or give your name, all in the name of Blair, so that the media won't tar our reputation.
Ever been in the mood for homemade cake but been too lazy to spend all that time baking, only to eat a portion of the cake before leaving it to grow stale in the fridge? Well, here's a solution for you: microwavable cake! This single-serve recipe will not only allow you to make cake in a fraction of the time but you also will never need to worry about wasting another homemade cake again.
As my junior year came to a close, I promised myself that I would start all my college stuff over the summer. In fact, I went so far as to "start" on a recommendation packet (resume, questionnaire, college list, the works - juniors, expect to get these soon) before school even ended - the exact date was June 13, 2008. And that's how far I had gotten - name, date, typed-out questions. Nothing else.
As we head into the winter, a huge frenzy known as the college application process threatens the sanity of our seniors and forces 11th grade teachers, school counselors and college admissions personnel to wonder why in the world they have chosen such an unrewarding career path. As such, efforts in high schools and colleges are continuously being made and perfected to help seniors stay on top of things, trying to make their lives – and the lives of everyone else involved – as smooth as possible.
This year's presidential race, which ended just over a week ago, sure got a lot of people talking. Recap videos were uploaded on YouTube, blogs were constantly updated with the most recent political gaffes and political commentators either lauded or lambasted candidates and campaigners for their latest antics. Although the end of the presidential race sadly marks the end of priceless election moments, Silver Chips Online is here with the best moments of the 2008 campaign.
We're back! After a five-month hiatus. the A.S.K. (Anika, Sean and Kevin) combination has valiantly re-energized themselves and triumphed in a tiring war with laziness for a new (actual) round of Ask Chips. For those of you who remember us and have requested our re-emergence as a world power, yay! We hope you're as excited about our second return as we are. Of course, if you ever have any questions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll hook you up. We use your semi-appropriate (and even fully inappropriate) questions when we can, so it's your time to be funny (in that way) if you are funny (in that way). We love you (in that way, bom chicka wah wah). So, without further ado, let's answer some questions!
The Halloween release date for "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" was quite an appropriate one; it takes one tough cookie not to be frightened by the prospect of Seth Rogen in an adult film. All jokes aside, "Zack and Miri" doesn't quite match up to the comedic geniuses of Rogen and director Kevin Smith's previous films, but nevertheless bursts with hysterical antics and great interaction between characters.
A movie about a guy meeting a girl over the internet and then traveling 500 miles just so he can lose his virginity to her? Sounds like "Road Trip" and "American Pie" just had a baby. Perhaps it's also a cousin of "EuroTrip." Either way, it doesn't take a genius to figure out "Sex Drive" is just another typical teenage movie, complete with lots of gross humor and nudity galore.
In the last few years, an astonishing phenomenon has swept the world. A relatively new innovation has rivaled television's spot as the universal pastime. Millions, perhaps billions, tune in every day - captivated by average people who literally become overnight celebrities. What might this unbelievable craze be? Why, it's none other than the spread of the popular video-sharing website YouTube.com, where anyone with an access to a video camera and Internet connection can upload their own creations and dazzle the entire world with their talents. Of course, with 100 million videos uploaded every day, only a select few stand out above all others.
No matter how well-crafted a remake is, there will inevitably be unhappy fans of the original. The movie "Get Smart," based on the 1960s sitcom of the same name, will surely disappoint those who were hoping for a nostalgic replication of the original. In many respects, the movie is quite different from the show, but it does a commendable job of paying homage to the sitcom while altering the comedic style to cater to current tastes.
Disney Channel, Cartoon Network (CN) and Nickelodeon gained much popularity during the 1990s and stole our attention as innocent young children, long before the time of six-hour homework loads and an emphasis on extracurricular activities. Although these TV networks still produce shows that continue to entertain their young audience, shows like "Hannah Montana" and "Zoey 101" are, well, certainly not the way things used to be.
As the temperature heats up and Blazers begin exchanging high-level stress for pre-summer euphoria, one thing remains constant: the endless flow of celebrity talk. With so much juicy Hollywood gossip and so many unforgettable movies, TV shows and music, Silver Chips Online is here with a recap of the school year's best moments in the world of entertainment.
We're back! After a two-year hiatus - due to lame bureaucratic incompatibilities - the A.S.K. (that's Anika, Sean and Kevin, your resident geniuses) combination has fought valiantly and triumphed in an emotional war for a new (potential) round of Ask Chips. For those of you who remember us, yay! We hope you're as excited about our return as we are. For those of you who have no idea who we are, that is perfectly fine - you'll learn quickly. So, without further ado, let's answer some questions!
The 2008 spring sports awards banquet, which was held in the auditorium May 27 at 7 p.m., honored over 270 Blazers who participated in the spring season. Over 205 athletes were distinguished as "Scholar Athletes," students who maintained a 3.25 or higher throughout the season, and 52 received awards from their coaches because of their exceptional athleticism, sportsmanship and dedication to their sports.
Watkins Mill junior Quratul-Ann Malik won the position for the 2008-2009 Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB) against Blake junior Alexander Blocker. Malik will begin her term on July 1, replacing current SMOB and Walter Johnson senior Ben Moskowitz.
Nelson H. Kobren Gymnasium, April 24 - Blair's gymnastics team won their first meet of the season and their first and only home game against the Springbrook Blue Devils. The team placed first in all events and won 153.3-123.8. Freshman Sophia Seidel won top honors with an all-around score of 34.9, tying with Springbrook's Hannah Brande.
It's an epidemic that sweeps the nation's high school seniors, devastating teachers everywhere in its wake. Very few are immune to its powerful charm. This imaginary virus infects its hosts in varying ways, and symptoms can range from the occasional neglect of homework and an excessive need to party to a half-day schedule and three classes with precarious 69.5 percent 'C' grades - including gym.
"Winner winner, chicken dinner," the dealer says to Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess) whenever he gets 21 - a win in the card game blackjack - which is quite often. Although the movie is not nearly as victorious at wowing the audience as Ben is at playing blackjack, it is certainly entertaining with its flashy cinematography and decent performances.
Everyone loves the chocolate-y goodness of a scrumptious brownie. But if you're getting tired of eating plain old brownie after plain old brownie, a great way to jazz things up is by combing the traditional recipe with another favorite dessert. For those who love brownies and the sharp, refreshing taste of mint chocolate chip ice cream, here is something that will definitely add a little zing to an otherwise ordinary batch of brownies.
Standing on the steps of the Scottish Rite Freemasonry, the Blair uniform-clad marching band plays their fight song while flag-bearing Players from "Beauty and the Beast" march energetically to the beat. Other Players join students from Paint Branch High School as majorettes in orange and cream uniforms, maintaining huge smiles as they perform a complex choreography with rifles. An entertained audience dances with the music. But the focus - of both the arbitrary bystander and the camera - is not on this grand spectacle but on a conversation between two seemingly inconspicuous people walking along the sidewalk - Russell Crowe and Rachel McAdams, two of Hollywood's biggest names.
Juniors Alex Blocker from Blake High School and Quratul-Ann Malik of Watkins Mill High School have announced their candidacy for the 2008-2009 Student Member of the Board (SMOB) election. The traditional nominating convention, where student delegates choose two candidates if there are three or more applicants, will be replaced by a town meeting on Friday at Blake High School. At the meeting, student delegates and students who registered for the event on or before Feb. 13 will hear the candidates' speeches and be able to ask questions.
The end-of-year exam schedules for the 2007-2008 school year have been released on the school's web site and the PTSA List Serv, according to Assistant Principal Myriam Rogers. Senior exams run from May 23 to May 29, and regular exams for the rest of the school are from June 5 to June 10, beginning one day earlier than the rest of Mongtomery County because Blair administration wanted to make sure that exams end before the June 11 graduation.
MARTIN LUTHER KING SWIM CENTER, Feb.16– Blair's swim and dive placed seventh with a combined score of 279 out of all 25 MCPS teams and first amongst all Division II, III and IV teams. Walter Johnson placed first out of all teams, with a combined score of 525.5. Blair boys took third place with 230 points – outscoring the Division I teams of Whitman, Churchill, Sherwood and Richard Montgomery – and girls placed 13th with a score of 49.
On Nov. 5, 2007, Blazers across Blair Boulevard were deeply disheartened to learn that new episodes of their favorite shows would be brought to a halt. Thanks to the Writers Guild strike, which started over a disagreement with television and movie producers over how much writers should get for DVD sales and podcasts, students were forced to suffer 94 miserable days of endless piles of homework and the unforgiving semester exams without the de-stressing relief of watching fresh episodes of Jim putting Dwight's Birkenstocks in Jell-O or an actually funny "Daily Show."
Sophomore Nicolette Harley was playing cards with her brother when she heard the news. "Did you hear what happened?" her mother asked a bemused Harley, who replied, "No, what?" Hesitantly, her mother told her the news - Harley's all-time favorite actor had just been found dead. After checking CNN for verification, she found out that on Jan. 22, Heath Ledger had passed away from an overdose of drugs, leaving fans across the world heartbroken.
MONTGOMERY AQUATIC CENTER, Feb. 2 – In the last dual meet of the season, Blair's Division II swim and dive team landed a handy victory over the Einstein's Division III team, bringing their season record to 5-1. The combined score was 263-104, the boys winning 126-59 and the girls, 137-45.
The cacophony of guitar strings and gossip suddenly ceases as music teacher Paul Newport holds up a hand for silence. Then, only harmonized voices and suppressed giggles can be heard as Newport runs through scales with the choir, occasionally making jokes and replacing the standard "fa-la-la-la-la" with names of students in the room. Conversation rises up again as Newport stops to tune the guitars but quiets once more as he holds a finger to his mouth and says, "Can you do this for me, everyone?"
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Superintendent Jerry Weast revealed to the school board in a memo dated Dec. 21 that students in Advanced Placement (AP) classes who plan to take the corresponding AP exam may skip the county final exam for that class. The decision also applies to students enrolled in other college-preparatory programs such as International Baccalaureate (IB) and Cambridge (CIE), and will take effect during the second semester, when students take standardized exams for those courses.
Worthwhile movies don't always have Oscar potential. But a good sign of a lousy film is when a top-notch actor decides to invest in a not so top-notch film. Take Ralph Fiennes in "Maid in Manhattan" for example. Likewise, two-time Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank in "P.S. I Love You" fails to add anything to this mawkish and clichéd chick flick.
Lupe Fiasco's critically acclaimed debut album "Food & Liquor" was a welcomed departure from the formulaic, crass music that dominates mainstream hip-hop. Set to experimental and fresh beats, every track was a lyrical painting of Lupe's insightful musings on life that forced fans and critics to have high expectations for Lupe's next musical venture. Indeed, "The Cool," his latest release, presents hip-hop in its purest, poetic nature, contradicting Nas and other cynics who claim the genre is dead.
Olney Swim Center, Dec. 15 – Blair's swim and dive team defeated the Hornets 231-111, the boys winning with a spectacular 135-36 and the girls, 96-75. Two Blazers also set new school records – senior co-captain Yang Yang in the 100 Fly and junior Melanie Snail in the 200 Free.
Juniors Sam Barth, Greg Friedman, Peter Myers, Russell Ottalini and Joe Gilbert emerge on-stage to enthusiastic applause, ready to spread Christmas cheer in this year's SGR Spectacular. While they set up, it becomes apparent that the boys are not equipped with any musical instruments or even microphones. And as the Christmas song "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" begins playing in the background, "pianist" Ottalini emphatically mimes the action and other group members begin imitating other instruments. These boys are in an air band, known as "Action Jackson and the Go Getters."
In addition to capturing the Spirit Award for the third year in a row, Blair's varsity cheerleading squad won first place in the 2007-2008 MCPS Division II cheerleading competition held at Blair on Nov. 17.
Jerry Seinfeld has never exactly been known to be particularly kid friendly. So the thought of him portraying a bee – of all creatures – in an animated comedy certainly raises eyebrows. "Bee Movie" says no, mainly due to the film's more mature-oriented gags, which fail to appeal to the target kid audience.
"A Comedy of Errors," one of Shakespeare's earlier plays, is a farcical tale of mistaken identities that requires utmost excellence in physical comedy. Given this tall order, the Montgomery Blair Players did not fail to entertain their audience throughout the night.
With two hit movies and an extremely popular TV show, Steve Carell has set quite a high standard for himself. For this reason alone, Carell's new comedy "Dan in Real Life," which otherwise would have earned average marks as a romantic comedy, has been downgraded to a downright disappointment.
Boo! It's that time of year again. Pumpkins are carved, costumes crafted and now all that's left is food. Halloween allows cooks to get creative, experimenting with foods to make them look cute, creepy or downright disgusting. Now you can be creative too by making these dishes to dazzle or haunt your friends.
The Damascus Hornets triumphed over the girls' varsity volleyball team, winning straight sets – 25-15, 25-18 and 25-23 to bring Blair's record to 6-6. Although the Blazers initiated vigorous rallies and competed fiercely, they were overcome by the Hornets' good teamwork and powerful offense as well as their own unforced errors.
One child dies of hunger every five seconds, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN). To a simple minded person, this concept would be hard to understand. There is more than enough food for everyone in the world; global agriculture is able to provide an astounding 2,720,000 calories per person per day. Considering that a person needs a minimum of 2100 calories to lead a productive life, one would expect the entire world's population to be well-fed.
Blair varsity girls' volleyball defeated the Whitman Vikings in straight sets on Thursday, bringing their record 6-3. The Blazers easily won the first set 25-10 and the second 25-20, but began to fall short during a suspenseful final set before ultimately prevailing 27-25.
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, requires Muslims to fast every day from sunrise to sunset as a way to gain self-discipline, self-cleansing and sympathy for those who are less fortunate. But after 12 grueling hours of fasting, it is Muslim tradition to be surrounded by loved ones and count down to sundown, when one can finally fill up with a delicious meal. Some popular dishes made during this holy month include "cholay or chana," fried chickpeas usually served within South Asian families; Qatayef, or Arab pancakes, a dessert from the Middle East that is usually filled with nuts or sweet cheese; and Haleem, a thick lentil and meat soup enjoyed in both the Middle East and South Asia.
Jessica Alba and Dane Cook are two good-looking individuals. Exceptionally good-looking, in fact, which is probably the sole reason these two were paired to star in a new comedy from first time director Mark Helfrich. After all, everyone loves it when two hotties fall in love. However, the makers of "Good Luck Chuck" were under the false impression that this premise alone, accompanied with tons of bare breasts and ill-conceived potty jokes, would be enough substance for a successful romantic-comedy. Sure enough, the end result is vulgar, sexist and painful to watch.
The Quince Orchard Cougars triumphed over Blair's girls' varsity volleyball on Wednesday, evening Blair's record at 2-2. The Blazers started off promisingly, winning the first set 25-18 but lost the last three, 25-16, 25-22 and 25-16. Although both teams were evenly matched, the Blazers fell short due to errors and faults.
Blair failed to meet the Annual Measurable Objective (AMO) for the English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) subgroup for the 2006-2007 school year, according to Principal Darryl Williams. However, the Blair administration has yet to find out whether Blair has met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).
There are many degrees of Kevin Bacon. He has done angst-ridden teen with crazy-cool moves. He has done misunderstood child molester. Heck, he has even done gay German hairdresser. While he has rarely disappointed, it is a wonder if he can pull off the role of the vengeful vigilante in this thriller that is loosely based on Brian Garfield's 1975 novel of the same name. But indeed he has, with a stunning performance that greatly outshines the poor plot and writing.
In order to enjoy this comedy, you must either be an Adam Sandler fan or not take the film seriously seriously. With that being said, "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" is a side-splitting comedy with great chemistry between Sandler and Kevin James.
If we don't think about it, "Live Earth" sounds like a great idea: celebrities from across the globe unite to spread awareness about man-made climate change and how detrimental it is to our environment. Let's face it, whether we like it or not, celebrities have a significant impact on the mindset of the average person. They are considered role models by many, their words have value, so when they say, "The world is in trouble, we need to save it," people are likely to listen. However, this message is deeply marred by the disturbingly huge amount of gas used and pollution expelled to put this event into action.
Blair has partnered up with Ivy Insiders, a series of SAT prep courses run entirely by Ivy League graduates and students to offer Blazers SAT and ACT prep classes. Blazers will be offered special discounts for the program, whose partnership with the school was spearheaded by 2006 alum Jody Pollock. Classes will begin at Blair on July 21 and continue through August.
There are all the ingredients needed for this recipe.
Decorate and you're done!
Microwave until cake rises.
Pour all ingredients into the mug.
Place mug contents on plate.
Pour icing over brownies.
The finished product!
Bake brownies as directed.
Cover and freeze six hours or until firm.
To make icing, combine condensed milk, peppermint extract, food coloring, whipped cream and chocolate chips.
Harley reads an article commemorating her favorite late actor.
Scott endured a long line at the Redskins vs. Bills game to get a towel commemorating Taylor.
This slushy orange drink is sure to increase holiday spirit.
Sprinkle sandwiches with fake spiders for an extra scary effect.
Coriander leaves also add extra flavor to Haleem.
The filling can also serve as a delicious topping.
Coriander leaves add the right touch of garnish.
Spanish teacher Jennifer Stanton-Brand is all smiles at school.
Stanton-Brand is all smiles at school.