In late February, America swept the Olympics by taking gold in almost every category. We wiped out Canada and left France trailing behind. Sweden had nothing on us. U-S-A! U-S-A!
Our cohorts at AccuWeather and the Capital Weather Gang are describing the storm coming our way tonight as a "bomb" and a "super storm." We have to say, we're less than impressed - we hardy Montgomery County residents are ready for anything.
An in-school memorial service for Paris Essoumba will be held tomorrow during sixth period. Students who wish to attend may sign up in their fourth period classes, according to senior class president Tamara Taylor. Essoumba, who was a senior and a member of the varsity football team, died on Feb. 1 at his home in Silver Spring.
Montgomery County officials opened two additional overnight shelters yesterday for residents affected by power outages, according to county spokeswoman Mary Anderson.
Here's the latest news - the snow is never going to melt! That's right, we're going to be thrown into a massive snow age and we will never see the grass in our backyards ever again!
Sorry for leaving you in the dark, Blazers - literally. With power out in many areas of Montgomery County, the "thundersnow" has left many of us (including yours truly!) without heat, TV, computer access and of course - snoWatch. But never fear! We're back with revised predictions for school this week (spoiler alert - there probably won't be much of it).
The air is freezing cold, the wind is making my eyes water, the parking lot is full and the frigid atmosphere is suddenly pierced by a shriek of frustration. I have just walked out of my third grocery store of the day empty-handed, with no carton of milk in hand.
Well, here we are again, already writing another snoWatch column for you to enjoy. We're fresh off a snowy weekend - though we were hoping for a two-hour delay yesterday.
Blair senior Paris Essoumba committed suicide Monday evening at his home in Silver Spring. He was 17 years old. Crisis management teams will be available this week to help students and staff cope with the news of his death, according to Acting Principal Myriam Rogers.
It snowed on a Saturday. Nobody cares. In all seriousness, snow showers during the weekend only keep Blazers cooped up inside staring forlornly out the windows at the slick streets.
In case you didn't get the memo, it's cold out there. Really cold. So cold that, according to AccuWeather, iguanas in Florida are going into hibernation mode and falling off trees (seriously - see for yourself).
The news is in from Copenhagen - the nations of the world have decided yet again to "recognize" climate change without committing to emissions reduction. And just like that, Mother Nature responds as vengefully as she can, by dumping a ridiculous amount of snow on the ground over a weekend.
Festivus is upon us! This ridiculous holiday popularized by "Seinfeld" kicked off in D.C. this weekend, and we thought Blazers could use a little airing of the grievances themselves. So here goes.
On Saturday morning at 6:37 a.m., Silver Chips Online's panel of snow experts* dragged themselves out of bed to attend an emergency meeting held in the nation's capital to calculate with their usual astonishing accuracy the probability of school delays and cancellations.
On Tuesday morning during third period, two female students were escorted off campus in handcuffs by Educational Facilities Officer (EFO) Darryl Marshall and taken to the Third District Police Station on Sligo Ave., according to a spokesman for the station.
A fight occurred between two male Blair students at 3:15 p.m. yesterday outside the Blair Student Activity Center (SAC), according to the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD).
On Monday, two incidents of hazing occurred on school campus. Nine students were involved in the fights, which occurred during 5B lunch, according to Principal Darryl Williams.
Blair senior Adam Hallberlin was involved in a car accident on Sligo Creek Parkway just before midnight on Friday, according to a letter written by his step-father, Joel Kanter. Hallberlin is currently in the National Rehabilitation Hospital in D.C.
Perhaps the most anticipated film of the summer, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is an almost seamless blend of comedy, romance, action and magic. Director David Yates appropriately captures the dark, horrifying mood that envelops the wizarding world and leaves even those uneducated in matters of bezoars and Devil's Snare completely spellbound.
Two six-car Red Line Metro trains collided at 5 p.m. on Monday evening at the height of rush hour, resulting in nine fatalities. At least 100 passengers sustained injuries in what transportation officials reported as the deadliest accident in Metro's 33-year history.
State officials reported today that they have identified two more probable cases of H1N1 (swine) flu in Montgomery County, bringing the total number of likely state cases to nine. One of these cases is a 53-year-old World Bank executive from Montgomery County who recently traveled to Mexico and the other is a student at Rockville High School.
The Blair varsity girls' lacrosse team devoured the Paint Branch Panthers 18-10 in a lopsided game that tested both teams' defense to the limits. The Lady Blazers fought hard throughout the game with key plays by senior co-captain Susie Branson, who scored seven goals, and junior Sarah Frank, who scored three.
Instrumental music teacher Dustin Doyle left Blair last Friday after six years of service to take a position in the military as a U.S. Air Force Band Conductor.
I stood in the dark recesses of my room one Thursday night struggling to hang on to the five light bulb packages in my arms as they began to slip. A crack, yelp and frustrated sigh later, my third bulb in only two weeks had broken as it hit the floor. So far, I had only changed five bulbs and about 20 more remained, mocking me.
On Friday afternoon, the Blair girls' lacrosse team offered a clear bargain to fans: two games for the price of one ticket. Though the Lady Blazers (2-1) eventually triumphed against the rival Springbrook Blue Devils, 18-7, it took nearly half the match for the girls to find their groove, leading to a tale of two halves.
Montgomery County officials seeking to reduce a recent spike in crime have initiated a three-part strategy that targets illegal immigrants, juvenile offenders and prison inmates, according to the Gazette and a Montgomery County government press release. Officials emphasized that the new policies will not involve racial profiling.
"Duplicity" is a film of double-crosses, double-entendres and double the charm of traditional spy thrillers. With more plot twists than a pretzel, this ultra-sophisticated love story is smart, droll and dazzling. Although at times keeping up with director Tony Gilroy's Rubik's Cube of a story line can become truly exhausting, the excellent casting and clever satire make the film truly superior entertainment.
Coming off several successful preseason bids in the past week, the Blair varsity girls' lacrosse team (0-1) took the field on Friday pumped for their first game of the season against the defending regional champion Wootton Patriots (1-0). Unfortunately, the Patriots' skill and experience proved too much for the Lady Blazers, who lost the game 15-6 due to a lack of precision in passing and an inability to maintain strength in the defensive zone.
During the Montgomery County Swimming Championship on Saturday, Blair senior Andrew McGehee qualified for high school All-American recognition in the 100-yard Breaststroke with a time of 58.52, becoming the first Blazer in history to earn the honor.
Lacking the wit of "Sex and the City" and the charm of "Legally Blonde," "Confessions of a Shopaholic" is just so last season. Though it tries mightily to live up to its cute title and premise, the movie largely registers as an overdone story of female self-improvement without the glamour and refined taste that made similar films timeless hits.
Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley visited Blair during 5A lunch Wednesday to announce the Chris Cooley Education Fund scholarship, a $25,000 college scholarship that will be awarded to eight students at selected local schools. Through this fund, Cooley also made a $5,000 donation to Blair's academic programs and spoke to seniors about the importance of education in both his and their lives.
The Blair swim and dive team captured a combined fourth place out of six teams in the Division II championship meet on Saturday, losing to the Richard Montgomery Rockets, the Blake Bengals and the Poolesville Falcons. The boys' team, which finished its season undefeated, won second place with a final score of 387 points, while the girls placed last with 278 points.
The Blair swim and dive team (4-0) landed a victory against the Quince Orchard Cougars on Saturday with a score of 183-157. The boys easily coasted on way to a 101-68 win, but the girls' side was much closer with the Cougars inching out a seven-point lead in the last few events to win 89-82.
In elementary and middle school, I remember painting huge signs throughout the hallways: "Don't pollute!", "Save the Bay!", "We drink this water too!" We read articles in science classes about attempts to revive the Bay, and took field trips to the estuary to learn about runoff, nitrogen pollution and oyster populations. We were involved in our local environment, deeply invested in a water source a mere hour from our homes.
Last June, a waiter at the Red Robin restaurant in Lakeforest Mall was stabbed to death by an 18-year-old man who, six weeks earlier, had been caught by police with marijuana at an elementary school. The following August, a Silver Spring man died after allegedly being attacked with a metal bat by his roommate. In October, an elderly Bethesda woman was burned alive in her house. And just last month, a 14-year-old Blazer, Tai Lam, was shot and killed on a county bus.
The Blair swim and dive team (3-0) won their third dual meet of the season on Saturday against the Blake Bengals with a combined score of 181-161. The boys reigned dominant yet again, with a score of 102-69, but the girls lost 92-79 in a meet that was marked by exceptionally close swims in several events.
The Career Center held a series of panel discussions as part of Alumni Day during third and fifth periods Wednesday in the auditorium to offer current students information about the college application process and the transition from high school to college. This is the second year that the Career Center has arranged the event.
Silver Quill, Blair's award-winning literary magazine, will be holding their second open mic event on Friday, Dec. 19 during 5A and 5B lunches in the media center. The event, a free show that allows Blazers to display their talents and watch their friends perform, was first held on Nov. 20 and will continue to be hosted every month.
In their second official dual meet of the season, the Blair swim and dive team (2-0) triumphed over the Magruder Colonels 180-167. The boys' team brought the water to a scorching boil with a decisive score of 110-61, but the girls suffered a frustrating loss, falling 70-101 to the faster Colonel girls.
In my first period class, I am one of a handful of students who regularly stands up and recites the Pledge of Allegiance. On some days, I do so even though my teacher continues lecturing right through InfoFlow. With the relentless stream of information about the structure of atoms going in one ear and straight out the other, it's often difficult to concentrate on either chemistry or patriotism: "I pledge allegiance...electrons...flag...molecule...liberty...bond...all." What a riot.
"Quiet!" yells math teacher David Stein, staring menacingly around the computer lab in room 316. A hushed, reverent silence envelops the room. Taking a seat at his computer, Stein looks right and then left at his fellow teachers, who have their fingers eagerly poised over their keyboards. "Ready?" he asks. "One...two...three...go!" The day's notorious crossword puzzle has begun.
Winter winds are whipping through the air, turning noses bright red with cold. Christmas trees are being lugged out of trucks and to the side of the road. You can smell it in the air, feel it on your skin and see the discounts at the mall - the holiday season is finally here. Unfortunately, along with the usual pleasures of family, friends, good food and good times often comes the looming terror of gift shopping. But with this ridiculously easy and delicious recipe for peppermint bark, a traditional holiday treat can turn into a beautiful and festive gift.
At lunch a couple of weeks ago, junior Leon Scales almost had a meltdown. He was trying to speak to his ex-girlfriend, but she brushed him off repeatedly to talk to someone else, leaving Scales feeling hurt, confused and upset. He felt his anger starting to get the better of him, pumping through the veins of his clenched fists and pounding heart - but instead of picking a fight, he turned around and walked down Blair Boulevard towards the band room. Picking up his drumsticks, Scales sat down and began to play.
I was shocked when I heard about the death of Tai Lam last Saturday. He was so young and had so much to live for. An honor student, a member of the wrestling team and fashion club, Tai was clearly a popular kid. He made so many friends in just the first two months of school. Last week, the impact he had on Blazers was obvious. A purple-and-white haze enveloped the hallways, and bowed heads and tears were no strange sight.
More often than not, sequels to animated films are stale and uninspired. For every magical "Toy Story 2," we must endure atrocities like "Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2." But "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" is an uproariously funny movie that is emotionally and visually richer than its 2005 original. With sharp, breathtaking animation, "Madagascar 2" delivers lessons in friendship, individuality and community while boasting a plethora of boogieing animal tushies to keep kids hooked.
It happened again on Thursday. I was rushing down the hall, hefting my enormous backpack and cumbersome tennis bag when I heard the warning bell ring. I was so close. I had one hand on the door to the girls' bathroom, but I resigned myself to a sixth period of discomfort, fearing the wrath of my editors should I arrive late to Silver Chips.
Based on the New York Times best selling novel by Sue Monk Kidd, "The Secret Life of Bees" is a heartwarming family film that manages to incorporate spirituality, life lessons, American history and honest emotion without becoming overly sentimental. Unlike most literary interpretations, in which the actors usually fail to portray an accurate image of characters as the reader pictures them, this production remains true to the book and showcases a cast that is just right for the themes of love, family and personal exploration.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the Paul S. Sarbanes Silver Spring Transit Center, a facility that will combine transportation services into one center located in downtown Silver Spring, was held on Sept. 26. Bus operations were moved to on-street stops on Sept. 28 to make way for construction of the transit center that will be completed in about two years, according to a Montgomery County government press release.
Nebiyu Fitta and Liam Ulasevich were elected as freshman class president and vice president respectively in the elections held last Thursday and Friday during U.S. History classes. Election speeches were held Wednesday during second period in the auditorium to familiarize voters with the candidates the class of 2012, and results were announced today.
A meeting was held last Sunday at the Coffield Community Center in Silver Spring from 2 - 4 p.m. to solicit the public's suggestions for the new Silver Spring Library that will be constructed in Downtown Silver Spring. The discussion, led by Rita Gale, Public Services Administrator for Montgomery County Public Libraries, was the third in a series of public design meetings intended to receive feedback from the community.
A remake of the celebrated 1939 George Cukor-directed film about infidelity, divorce and friendship starring Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford, "The Women" is certainly entertaining, but fails to capture the social bite and catty spirit of the original. Director Diane English brings to the big screen a movie with little relevancy or insight. Instead of making a point about female empowerment, English makes women look vain and selfish while throwing in a few snappy one-liners to draw laughs from a primarily female audience.
America has seen funnier and deserves better than yet another story of a dysfunctional family, this time with two middle-aged losers-turned-brothers who refuse to grow up. "Step Brothers" stars Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, both of whom have considerable talent and chemistry on screen (think "Talladega Nights", "Anchorman" and "Walk Hard"). Their usual hilarity only raises our expectations. But as stepbrothers, the duo is a disappointment. The plot is tiring and thin, the story is old and the movie is ultimately a collection of juvenile jokes focusing on fart, vomit and other exploits best left in the bathroom - much like the film itself.
The bustle in Celita Davis's classroom can be heard from down the hall. Groups of students fill the room, some chattering loudly in Spanish, others crowded around a computer watching YouTube clips. In a corner, four friends are busily engaged in a fierce game of Uno. Colorful pictures from a Pi Day activity cover the back wall, and inspirational posters adorn the front board. A box of calculators lies abandoned on a desk and caricatures replace math equations on the white board. The scene is not unusual except for the time of day—it is 5B lunch, and these students have voluntarily abandoned the cafeteria for the comfort of their math classroom, room 235.
Democrat Donna Edwards was elected to the U.S House of Representatives by voters in Maryland's Fourth Congressional District, which includes areas of Silver Spring and Takoma Park, last Tuesday, becoming the first black woman to represent the state in Congress.
Our poor car just recovered from one massive storm - it took a good two hours to get it running again. How much more can it take?
Despite the heavy-duty shoveling (my shoulder is still sore), our neighborhood was a winter wonderland.
It's hard to tell where the houses are...
These swirly lights (called compact fluorescent light bulbs or CFLs) use about 75 percent less energy than conventional bulbs.
Junior co-captain Jeffrey Lin blazes his way to a huge first place win in the 100 Fly with a time of 55:88.
Stein and Donaldson work together to fill in the blanks, hoping to finish the puzzle in about two minutes.
Break into pieces for a sweet and festive snack...
or place in a decorative container to share with friends!
Spread the melted chocolate onto the white chocolate layer.
Pour the melted white chocolate onto the aluminum foil and chill in refrigerator to create white chocolate layer.
2. Melt the chopped white chocolate until it is smooth and creamy.
1. Only a few ingredients are required to make this delicious treat.
Davis hangs out with the students she describes as her "lunch buddies."