Manga and anime and comic-cons, oh my!

By Courtney Burtraw | Sept. 17, 2006, midnight | In Features »

Spiderman strolls leisurely through a crowded room, narrowly avoiding a nasty collision with Draco Malfoy, who is clutching a tiny stuffed animal and gesturing wildly to his friends. Captain Jack Sparrow swaggers past a Pikachu and, posing for photographers in the middle of the floor, is an impressively accurate depiction of a totoro, straight out of "My Neighbor Totoro."

A "Silver Lining" for China's needy students

By Lois Bangiolo | Sept. 16, 2006, midnight | In Features »

So far, senior Allen Zhang has raised only $300, but in China, each dollar is enough to support a student's basic needs for one day. And his visit to China has showed him the need for each one of those dollars.

SGA tries to show Blair that they are more than just three letters

By Priyanka Gokhale | Sept. 14, 2006, midnight | In Features »

When passing through the 160s hallway, one door stands out from the others. At first glance, it looks like the door to every other room at Blair –- polished wood with a small rectangular window. But the door to room 161 has something extra: stick-on letters in the window that read: "HEY! IT'S SGA!" The interior of the SGA office is just as inviting as the sign on the door –- Room 161 boasts a comfortable couch, a whiteboard with ideas and plans and a life-size paper maché Blazer, among other strange knacks.

A prescription for change

By Ankhi Guhathakurta | July 26, 2006, midnight | In Features »

At 54, former surgeon Dr. Dana Beyer is tall and dignified. With a persona that radiates unflappable efficiency, she busily paces about her Chevy Chase home on a Saturday morning an hour before canvassing the neighborhood in preparation for the bid she is making for the District 18 seat in the Maryland House of Delegates. But for Beyer, the upcoming Maryland delegate elections aren't just about securing a seat in the state legislature; they're about creating a world of opportunity. If successful, she will be the first transgender in the United States to be elected into public office.

Chips summer guide

By Natasha Prados | June 8, 2006, midnight | In Features »

Sick of just doing "nothing" all summer? Now you don't have to! Stop twiddling your thumbs, jump up off the couch, and try out some of Chips' great ideas for a suuuuper summer!

Blair's World Cup

By Abe Schwadron | June 2, 2006, midnight | In Features »

Dozens of students line the perimeter of the arena, raucously rooting on their favorite teams and erupting in cheers after every amazing save, complex move and devastating goal. Although the atmosphere rivals that of a professional event, the players are Blair students, rocketing a soccer ball around the small gymnasium to the screams of their countrymen, fans and foes. The Blair Sports Academy's (BSA) indoor soccer league has become the most popular after-school activity for Blazers, and as the 26-team league reaches its championship game today, Friday, the BSA is the talk of Blair Boulevard.

Learning survival of the fittest

By Keianna Dixon | May 25, 2006, midnight | In Features »

At barely an inch deep, the knife wound to senior Brian Abel's leg didn't faze him. Instead of going for help, Abel retaliated against the older cadets at Massanutten Military Academy, a co-ed school in Woodstock, Virginia, where hazing rituals like stabbings are routine.

Teachers with convictions

By Bridget Egan | May 18, 2006, midnight | In Features »

With scribbled notes about notorious liberal Michael Moore written on the whiteboard and Gandhi quotes decorating the walls in teacher Joann Malone's classroom, it may be hard to envision this ex-nun in a jail cell. However, with the classic prison film "The Shawshank Redemption" on her desk, it suddenly becomes believable.

Horseplay at Blair

By Mary Donahue | April 6, 2006, midnight | In Features »

As junior Margaret Sullivan canters around the ring at Meadowbrook Stables in Chevy Chase; her bright orange blazer stands out against the clear morning sky. Sullivan leans forward in the saddle, fearlessly urging her horse to take longer strides towards the looming jump.

Drawing the future of education

By Bridget Egan | March 30, 2006, midnight | In Features »

While most students recall reading classic novels such as "Anne Frank" and "The Secret Garden" while in their 7th grade English class, junior Jessica Weaver remembers reading ... a comic book?

Behind the ball

By Lois Bangiolo | March 29, 2006, midnight | In Features »

Junior Matthew McClain is an accomplished athlete, having played soccer and basketball for Blair. But when he appeared at the first day of lacrosse tryouts, he had held a lacrosse stick only a handful of times. And without a junior varsity (JV) lacrosse team at Blair, he had no choice but to try out for the varsity team.

Teen production of "The Crucible" is on its way

By Meaghan Mallari | March 3, 2006, midnight | In Features »

Four actors stand in a circle, rolling their heads, breathing deeply and meditating in a room of the Roundhouse Theatre Educational Center on Feb. 8. They are releasing their stress and preparing to leave their own personalities, thoughts and feelings for each another being. These actors, like actors in any play, must cease being themselves to assume the roles of their characters.

Poignant voices, harmonious violins

By Meaghan Mallari | March 3, 2006, midnight | In Features »

Lights illuminate the stage decorated by a painted purple curtain opening to a painted starry sky. A woman is standing in the foreground, one hand covered by a long black glove, clasping a microphone while the other hand rests by her side. Her shoulders carry a black feather boa embellished by blue glitter strands. Her dress is black and strapless, revealing a bare neck decorated with a diamond necklace. Three men are seated in the corners and back of the stage; one at a grand piano, another on the bass and the third on the drums. Blair CAP and SPARC teacher Pamela Bryant's face shines as she smiles, about to perform "Route 66," her first song of the night at the Fifteenth Annual East Coast Jazz Festival, held Feb. 16 through Feb. 20 at the Doubletree Hotel in Rockville.

A piece of Takoma Park

By Alexis Egan Meaghan Mallari | March 3, 2006, midnight | In Features »

It is a Sunday afternoon in Old Town Takoma Park and the shops on Carroll Avenue are bustling with people. Bells ring as customers filter in and out of stores carrying bags, holding their children's hands and completing errands. Vendors at the Farmer's Market are packing up their remaining produce into trucks and vans. The clock at the center of Old Town reads 2:15 p.m. It is windy outside, but the sun is shining and the storefront windows decorated with merchandise, mannequins and glittery hangings invite passerbys to enter.

When divorce drives parents apart, academics take a back seat

By Devon Madison | Feb. 22, 2006, midnight | In Features »

He wakes up at 6:30 a.m. Instead of getting ready for school, he ignores his alarm clock and goes back to sleep. After an argument with his mom last night, all that junior Marty Viger wants is to be with his dad. But Viger's parents are divorced, and he has to stay at his mom's for another week. This stressful knowledge makes going to school out of the question; he needs a day off to recoup.

Obtaining alcohol underage

By Natasha Prados | Feb. 14, 2006, midnight | In Features »

Shoving his hands deep into the pocket of his sweatshirt, Cornelius, a senior, strolls towards the liquor store, doing his best to appear nonchalant. Before entering the store, Cornelius and his friends held a rigorous debate about who could best pass for 21 years old - taking hair cut, shoes and clothing style into account - but as soon as Cornelius walks up to the check-out, he is promptly asked for an ID.

Movies to get you in the mood for Valentine's Day

By Alexis Egan Natasha Prados | Feb. 10, 2006, midnight | In Features »

Looking for a good movie to watch on Valentine's Day, one that is not overly sappy or just cheap jokes? Fortunately, there are a lot of great movies out there for everyone. These nine movies are perfect for a date or an afternoon hanging out with friends.

A new kind of art

By Mary Donahue | Feb. 9, 2006, midnight | In Features »

Junior Lauren Atha spreads a thick coat of paint over her canvas, glancing every now and then at her reflection in a nearby mirror. As her self-portrait begins to take shape, junior Erin Fincher also works diligently on her self-portrait, looking contemplatively over her work.

Escaping from problems into disorder

By Alexis Egan | Jan. 17, 2006, midnight | In Features »

Lucas walks down the street, a nervous feeling increasing with every new step, rain pelting down on him. Anxious thoughts bounce around in his head as he contemplates where to go, what to do and whom he can trust. Whether he turns back now and returns home or keeps traveling, his actions will stay with him for the rest of his life. Running away always does.

Ready, get set… study!

By Merlyn Deng | Jan. 10, 2006, midnight | In Features »

Blazers sit quietly at home. Moody, if not hostile, they have stopped seeing friends, talking and going to parties or to after-school activities. Instead, they hide themselves from the world, occasionally venturing out of their rooms for a snack or break. The explanation for this behavior is simple, if not a bit daunting: exam week is almost upon us.

Fear and loathing in MBHS

By Bridget Egan | Jan. 2, 2006, midnight | In Features »

Since the beginning of time the famous and the powerful have been subject to fear. Bruce Wayne developed a fear of bats when he was young. Nicole Kidman is afraid of butterflies. Howard Hughes was known for his intense fear of germs. Slightly less famous, but considerably more unique is junior Elizabeth Chang who fears ... mustard?

Hot holiday gifts for your Christmas lists

By Devon Madison Zoe Norvell | Dec. 22, 2005, midnight | In Features »

Last year it was iPods, now there's the Nano. Last year it was Halo, now everyone's got to have a PSP. Either way, it's clear: this holiday season the hottest items are electronics once again. This December, you don't always have to be rich to snag the perfect gift. Popular and acceptable alternatives are making it easier for you to keep your friends and family happy, as well as your wallet.

Rogers, Leslie

By Mary Donahue | Dec. 21, 2005, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

One of the fascinating things about Leslie Rogers is that he brews his own beer. And that he rides a motorcycle. And that he worked in Australia. And that he didn't start college until he was 26. Get the picture? Rogers is an all-around fascinating guy.

'Tis the season to be cooking

By Alexis Egan Meaghan Mallari | Dec. 21, 2005, midnight | In Features »

With the holidays comes gift giving, sleeping and visiting with family, but no winter would be complete without great food. The aroma of hot chocolate and cookies baking are enough to soothe any cold soul. Whether you are an inexperienced cook or an expert one, these five recipes will be a fun and tasty addition to your cold holiday nights.

In uniform for the United States

By Natasha Prados | Dec. 20, 2005, midnight | In Features »

Decked out in a military-issue gas mask, Blair graduate Jamie Platky feels sweat drip down his skin as he tries not to let panic creep down his spine. He stares at the words scrawled across the cinderblock hut he is about to dash into and tries to obey them. "Conquer your fears. Don't let your fears conquer you," the words read.

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