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So far Emily Ladd has created 35 blog entries.

Avengers: Age of Ultron uses interesting cast, pulls in viewer

AvengersMarvel

Junior, Emily Ladd, enjoyed the Avengers sequel and found it as equally enjoyable as the first film. However, she felt the story fell short in becoming its own recognizable movie.

The Avengers are back again this summer with another movie packed full of humor and superhero antics. Their world is different now, with 4 movies and a TV show released since the last Avengers movie. These additions bring new story-lines and characters into the mix, presenting new problems, allies, and enemies. But among all the action and zingers, there stands a question: How does the movie hold up compared to the first Avengers?Avengers: Age of Ultron follows the story of the team of heroes as they look for a way to continue protecting their danger-filled world. The movie opens with the six supers on a mission to get back a powerful scepter with mind-control abilities, used by the villain in the first film.

The scepter is held by HYDRA, the organization and antagonist of the two Captain America movies, who employ the use many alien artifacts and dangerous weapons as well as “enhanced” humans, like Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who can run at incredible speeds and his twin Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen), who can control and manipulate objects as well as mess with people’s minds. to fight back and gain control.

In attempts to fight these powerful new threats, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), also known as Iron man, strives to create an AI, Ultron, to help protect the world, a sort of safety net. But, as it usually goes with AIs meant to protect people, things start to go haywire as Ultron grows out of their control. Designed to protect the world, Ultron decides the only way to protect the world is to eliminate the humans causing the problems… like the Avengers.

The movie is a tinge darker than most Marvel movies, but the jokes keep the mood light while still leaving the weight and tension of the danger the super hero team faces. Some of the jokes are cruder than the last, but overall it stays pretty clean and keeps audiences laughing with sharp and well-timed wit.

The writing is solid, though some of the elements feel forced, when they could be more organic if given time, like the relationship between Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo). The movie relies a bit on Marvel’s Cinematic Universe to explain some aspects of the story. Since all Marvel’s shows and movies are connected, explanations are sometimes swept off to be addressed in the TV show or future movies. Parts of the film were also chopped, leaving remnants of secondary plot lines behind without much clarification.

Despite all this, the movie is still very enjoyable. In my personal opinion, I found the first Avengers to be better than Age of Ultron, but like both about the same. Avengers: Age of Ultron is a good movie. A little grittier, arguably still just as funny, and handles it’s huge cast of characters with ease. The acting is never weak, the new characters are compelling and pull you in. The story and action is well balanced, and it respects the continuity of the other movies, but seems to be too concerned about the future Marvel movies and stories and not it’s own tale.

In the end, Avengers: Age of Ultron is a great summer flick full of snappy dialogue, witty humor, and engaging action. It’s not quite like it’s predecessor, but it’s still good. There’s a lot of fun to have with Age of Ultron. It makes for a great movie to see a couple times over the summer and a good bridge that continues Marvel’s over-arching storyline.

Age of Ultron is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action, violence and destruction, and for some suggestive comments.

Avengers: Age of Ultron- 3 stars.

By |2017-09-12T17:10:00+00:00May 4th, 2015|Reviews, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Economics fair 2015 recap

Economics project provides learning opportunity for students

Students flooded the campus gym on March 18, 2015, to shop at student-made booths marketing different products.

20140318-Econ-Fair-001Dawson Triplitt | The Feather Online Archive

Each year Robert Foshee’s economics classes create products to sell during an economic fair. The fair was held in the gym this year due to rainy weather.

The annual economics fair (econ fair for short) took place with around 20-student run booths.

The fair is held with the goal of helping Robert Foshee’s economics and civics students further understand their topic. Foshee shared his reasons for holding the event.

“We want to find ways to connect information from class to a real world situation. We learn about supply, demand, budgets, but it doesn’t really get ingrained until you do something with it,” Foshee said. “They have to pick a product to make, figure out a budget for it, they have to market it.” I think it’s a pretty cool way to learn it without having to read a book or listen to a lecture.”

Students in groups of two-three designed products from food, clothing and jewelry. After preparing it and marketing through posters around school and social media accounts, they sold their products in the gym. Julianna Rosik, ’16, sold boba drinks with two other students during the fair. Rosik commented on the work and learning experience.

‘The Econ fair was fun, but it was also pretty stressful,” Rosik said. “We learned about entrepreneurship during the Economics fair and the process of selling a product, and though this experience I realized that I do not want to be an entrepreneur. My group did well with our product Bubble Joy Boba drink, but when we added up our total costs, we found out our profits barely made us break even. It was fun even though we didn’t make much money.”

We learn about supply, demand, budgets, but it doesn’t really get ingrained until you do something with it. They have to pick a product to make, figure out a budget for it, they have to market it. I think it’s a pretty cool way to learn it without having to read a book or listen to a lecture. — Robert Foshee, Economics teacher.

This is the second year the fair took place in the gym. Previously, the Economics fair was set up in the lunch area. The set up of the booths changed too, in hopes of making the process more efficient for the shoppers and the students to make it easier to shop and sell. Eunsol (Dana) Kwon, ’16, commented on the arrangement.

“I thought it was really comfortable and a good idea because I could see ever item easily and I could quickly find which food I wanted,” Kwon said. “I liked every booth but my favorite was one of the cookie booths.”

The next economic fair will be held with next years’ civics students.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter and e-mail: @ejLadd and [email protected]

By |2015-03-27T00:00:00+00:00March 27th, 2015|FC Events, News, Uncategorized|2 Comments

Frame Rate: Why the Nationwide ad works

You may not have liked this commercial. The Super Bowl Nationwide ad about the kid who passed away in an accident is a great example of good film making. This is nothing about whether I liked the ad or not, it’s simply the fact that it was well made. This is a critique based on the ad’s quality.

Emily Ladd's blog "Frame Rate" covers many film and TV topics.Kylie Bell

Emily Ladd’s blog “Frame Rate” covers many film and TV topics.

For those of you watching the Super Bowl, you probably saw it. Jokes about it flew on Twitter throughout the game as well as complaints about it being depressing and a downer of an ad.

It follows a kid, telling us he won’t learn to ride his bike; he won’t get cooties. He won’t get married or a whole list of things, because he died in an accident. It is a big downer. It has all this build up tension, and a release that makes your heart sink down to your toes and puts a knot in your stomach.

It’s 48 seconds long yet packs a terribly strong emotional punch. It’s like a one minute short film (but I guess that is what commercials are).

It reels you in. Look at that adorable kid and his dog. The tone and color of the video made me at least immediately think “is this a new movie or show?”and then it gets pretty adorable. It does really look like a movie (to me), and the adorable little animated cooties. The day-dreaming imaginative flying that makes you feel like you’re there is important. The sailing on the ocean with the dog; the adorable suit and all the robots at the wedding. It all reels you in. Wow, isn’t this adorably imaginative? I felt like I was a little kid again. It was so innocent and fun.

The build up comes from the boy telling us he’ll never get to do these things. So besides being drawn in by the visuals and atmosphere, we get roped up with why this boy can’t do any of these things. Why not? What’s stopping him? We want closure.

And they give it to us, and it’s raw.

We see an overflowing bathtub, spilled dishwashing tabs from under a sink, a knocked over TV. Innocent, seemingly, but the audience knows what it implies. It worms into their head. Protect what matters most.

So is that supposed to sell insurance to us? A statement from Nationwide posted on the Wall Street Journal says they anticipated a reaction.

“We absolutely knew that there was going to be a reaction where you had strong feelings both ways,” said Nationwide Chief Marketing Officer Matt Jauchius. “The initial negative reaction from the social space was a little stronger than we anticipated, but we absolutely anticipated that we would cause a conversation.” — Nationwide Says It Expected Reaction to Child-Safety Ad.

And it did. It raised awareness and did so with impact.

Don’t movies aim to do that? To tell a story like this? The build up, the tension, the visuals, the narration, the release, the wrap up. I think the ad is well written and well produced, like it’s own little movie, and there’s things to be learned from it beyond it’s initial message.

Click Make Safe Happen-Nationwide Commercial. Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

This writer can be reached via Twitter and e-mail: @ejLadd and [email protected]

For more features, read the Feb. 3 article, Featured App: Shades.

By |2015-02-04T00:00:00+00:00February 4th, 2015|Emily Ladd, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Local eatery hosts school fundraiser (VIDEO)

Applebee’s provides opportunity for school

IMG_5241Photo by Emily Ladd

Applebee’s school sports wall, with Fresno Christian teams from over the years.

Students, teachers, families and community supporters alike dined at the Applebee’s on the corner of Cedar and Herndon, Jan. 15, 2015, to support FC. Applebee’s donated 15% of their revenue that evening when diners showed their waiter the fundraiser flier.

Dean of Students Amy Deffenbacher explained how the event benefited both the school and the restaurant.

“I love fundraising events, like the Applebee’s one for several different reasons. It takes something that all of us do (eat dinner) and turns it into an opportunity to give back to the school,” Deffenbacher said. “Second, it gets our school out into the community and helps form partnerships with our neighboring businesses. In this case, got a former FC student Jessica Radtke (’02), a current Applebee’s employee who helped coordinate the event, a reason to reconnect with Fresno Christian.”

The restaurant boasted decorations such as balloons in school colors and a raffle table in the back with stuffed eagles and decorations. The raffle offered a chance to win spirit wear for those who entered the drawing. Fierce the Eagle, cherished FC mascot, even made an appearance to greet families.

Jenny King, ’17, did not attend the fundraiser, but expressed her admiration for the event.

“It’s pretty cool; the location was prime because it’s a nearby restaurant. You don’t see too many restaurants supporting schools, especially bigger chains like Applebee’s,” King said. “I was kind of surprised that they were a big part of supporting us the first time I went there.”

The support from the Applebee’s location goes beyond just this year; they have actively supported the school in past years and hang FC memorabilia photos along the walls.

The Feather would like to formally thank Applebee’s for the opportunity to raise money for the school.

Check back later for how much money the fundraiser raised.

FCS Applebee’s Fundraiser 2015 from The Feather Online on Vimeo.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

For more features, read Jan. 22 article, Publications enrich audience through social media.

By |2015-01-26T00:00:00+00:00January 26th, 2015|FC Events, Features, Uncategorized, Videos, Videos 2014-15|0 Comments

Into the Woods presents a lively, enjoyable tale

IntoTheWoodsimdb.com

Story presents quirky adventure,

Into the Woods is just what it seems: a wacky and fun adventure into the woods of fairy tales, with stories that intertwine together, a mysterious fantasy world full of people ready to break into song. It gives exactly what it promises: a good musical and story.

The tale follows an array of characters: a baker and his wife who want a child, a little girl with a red hood traveling to see her grandmother, a girl named Cinderella who just wants a chance to go to the king’s festival, a poor boy named Jack and his mother, two charming princes, a girl locked away in her tower and a witch who will bring them all together in the most chaotic and amusing way.

All the characters have a wish, but the focus is the baker and his wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt), who cannot have a child because their neighbor, who happens to be the Witch (Meryl Streep), cursed their house long ago when the baker was a baby. To break the spell they must meet her demands by bringing her four specific items.

The Witch asks for a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn, a slipper as pure as gold and a cow as white as milk. It just so happens that Little Red (Lilla Crawford) has such a hood, Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) a golden slipper, Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) a white cow and Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy) golden hair. An easy task on the surface, but as each of those characters pursue their wishes and wants, things begin to get a little bit chaotic.

The movie is well produced, with superb acting, singing and filming. This movie is not the stereotypical bright Disney movie. It is funny and cheery in spots, but is generally darker than most Disney movies in points. The story is entertaining and fun, but while it isn’t in any measure bad it isn’t enough to merit a second viewing for some.

The songs are clever and catchy, with snappy lyrics that stand out and stick in your head. Well composed and performed, whether the sections were sung live during filming or recorded in studio, the songs that vary on the emotional scale from dealing with sadness and loss to ridiculous hilarity.

I have not seen the stage version, but know the story has been altered in spots and characters as well as songs cut. Fans of the original may be a little let down to see parts left out, but the story still stands just fine with the pieces cut.

The movie never has a slow moment, and is a fun twist on fairy tales with nods to the original stories. Into the Woods is quite good, but nothing outstanding. Those who do not want to see it badly could wait till it comes out on Netflix or hits the shelves, but fans and those interested should consider going to the theater to watch.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd.

For more reviews, read the Jan. 5 article, Final novel concludes The Giver Quartet, solves unanswered mysteries.

By |2015-01-07T00:00:00+00:00January 7th, 2015|Movies/TV, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Last movie installment instills emotion, sentimental

A last goodbye to The Hobbit movie trilogy

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Long awaited, the final installment in The Hobbit movie arrives. The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies marks a bittersweet tale and goodbye to the trilogy of films, but a fantastic end to the journey and keeps you invested to the very end.

The movie begins with Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch), the dragon from the previous film who lives in the mountain that previously housed the dwarves now fallen kingdom, as he launches his attack against the small town at the edge of a nearby lake.

In the appropriately dubbed Laketown, the town master (Stephen Fry) is busy making an escape and leaving everyone to die, while Bard (Luke Evans) remains locked up during the destruction. The dwarves and Bilbo (Martin Freeman) meanwhile are up on the mountain, save for a few still in Laketown with the elf Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly), trying to escape before the town is destroyed. Things begin to unravel and tension mounts as the varying characters and parties begin to turn on each other, conflict brewing and mounting until it’s peak, leading to a battle against five different armies, the namesake of the movie.

Despite the fact that the story is largely a battle over all, the entire movie is wonderfully paced. It is movie is a blend of emotions, being the last of the trilogy, and packs home a bittersweet, humorous, serious, and sentimental storyline. The action is focused more on the characters, and the battle moves from one character of the large cast to the next, some of them at the time facing more amusing situations than the other.

The well written story and superb acting, from every actor, Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage most notably, taking the center stage for some of the movie. They evoke laughter to break tense scenes, tears in the touching moments or the chaos, and cause the audience to even question the sanity of their character. Every single actor delivers a fantastic performance and many lines and moments keep you laughing or quoting them even after leaving the theater.

Without spoiling anything, the movie wonderfully ties up loose ends and connects it to Lord of the Rings, alluding to the future war against the antagonist Sauron and future events. For fans, it’s a fantastic, sentimental wrap up that invites them to watch the original Lord of the Rings trilogy.

For those who wanted The Hobbit to resemble the Lord of the Rings, they may be a little let down. The fact that a lot of the orcs look mainly CGI and not as realistic as they did in Lord of the Rings. While just a nitpick, the realism sometimes made the story feel more possible even for a fantasy movie. The Hobbit seems much more like a tale you hear.

None of this is bad, and actually adds to the story. Lord of the Rings is much more realistic for a fantasy movie, where as The Hobbit trilogy is much more like a storybook, almost. The entire movie is gorgeous anyway, with fantastic set pieces and amazing views of New Zealand. It almost feels like Middle Earth is a real place you could book a flight to and visit

All in all the movie is a fantastic farewell to the series for both big fans and casual viewers. It is a little saddening to give a last goodbye, but great to be able to relive the adventures in Middle Earth once again.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

For more reviews, read the Dec. 20 article, Christmas play parades stereotypical theme, unlikable characters.

By |2015-01-02T00:00:00+00:00January 2nd, 2015|Movies/TV, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Writing compensates for weak story line, plot

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Movie fun, original adventure for all

Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) graduated high school at 13. He is about as smart as his brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney), who is going to a big tech school. Both the brothers love inventing robots, but where as Tadashi’s invention is Baymax (Scott Adsit), a balloon-like health care robot built specifically for treating all forms of medical problems, Hiro spends more time making robots for illegal bot fights around town.

After some convincing, Hiro gives up bot fighting to strive for a scholarship to Tadashi?s college. In the process Hiro meets all of his brother?s lab partners– Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.), Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez, GoGo Tomago (Jamie Chung), all who got nicknamed by their friend Fred (T.J. Miller). Inspired, Hiro works with them to invent his own creation that earns him a full ride scholarship at a showcase one night. But when a fire sparks to life, the night spirals into tragedy, and the backstory for a super hero group is born.

Big Hero 6 is a super hero movie, and a good one at that. It?s full of bright colors, snappy jokes and a couple of music montages. It seems to follow a familiar formula, making it a little easy to guess what might happen next. Yet the fact that the story was cliched didn?t make the movie bad. Even if the storyline was cookie cutter, the writing still made it better.

The characters are all well written and developed, the jokes are witty and well placed, and every character is easy to connect strongly with. The story itself felt a little weak, but the rest of the writing completely made up for it, making you connect with each character and care about their outcome as you root for them along the way.

Despite the seemingly basic storyline, Big Hero 6’s atmosphere feels different and refreshing. Set in San Fransokyo, Hiro’s city is a mash of Japanese and San Francisco, with San Fran?s tight curving stress and Golden Gate Bridge, but with Tokyo?s big buildings, bright lights, trams and culture. It?s something of a different and a refreshing take on the ?heroes in a big city? trope. It?s both familiar and unfamiliar, and the culture mix makes it that much more quaint.

The animation is also absolutely beautiful. It looks like a cartoon, but the detail put into each and every character to make it realistic as well as cartoonish. The colors, the city, the characters are all eye catching and well-animated.

The whole movie is a fun ride, and the first animated hero movie to hit theaters in a long while. The characters are all different in both appearance and personality, and it?s easy to grow to care about them (you can’t help but fall in love with Baymax). The jokes are well placed and an absolute riot, the characters well developed, even if the story is a little easy to predict. If I could rate movies with 1/2 stars on here, I’d give it a 3 1/2. It’s lovable, it’s pretty, it’s funny, and it makes for a great night at the theater.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

For more reviews, read the Oct. 31 article, Near death exhibit showcases avoidable fatalities .

By |2014-11-12T00:00:00+00:00November 12th, 2014|Movies/TV, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Parents to host movie night for students of all ages

MovieNightimdb.com

Food, friends and fun at movie night

This upcoming Friday, Oct. 24, an FC fun night for all ages will be held. The event will be featuring an array of snacks, friends and the recently released film Mr. Peabody & Sherman.

The event will be hosted by the PST (Parents Serving Teachers). The movie night is considered a must-have occasion due to its popularity among students and teachers when it was previously held.

Brenda Rocha, a member of the PST, talked about the event and its popularity in previous years.

“We had a lot of fun before. There’s free food and a movie, an area for the adults to drink coffee and hot chocolate,” Rocha said. “It’s fun entertainment for everybody. It got requested this year. It’s a fun time for everyone to gather together and socialize outside of school and yet entertaining so the kids can have fun, too.”

Despite its popularity, many high school and jr. high students were unaware of this event. One of these students is Junior Zoe House.

“This is the first time I’ve heard about movie night,” House said. “I’m not interested in going. It’s not my type of thing. I’d rather hang out somewhere outside of school.”

Izabella Arballo, a fifth grader, attended last year’s showing of the movie Epic.

“It was fun night. I was really bored that night,” Arballo said. “So it was cool that I got the change to hang out with friends and watch a movie.”

Mr. Peabody & Sherman will be played that night at 6 p.m. The event will be held on the west field by the GL Johnson Chapel. Make sure to bring your own blanket or lawn chair, but food and drinks will be provided.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

For more news, read Oct. 16 article, BRIEF: Joni and Friends to speak on campus, Oct. 24.

By |2014-10-23T00:00:00+00:00October 23rd, 2014|FC Events, News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Show provides audience with lots of laughs

Adams1Courtesy of the Good Company Players

The Addam’s Family cast lined up for a rather grim family photo.

Musical full of humor and talent

A familiar theme begins to play throughout the theater, the audience snapping along. The curtain rises, and there they are. A group of cadaverous, corpse-like figures: The Addams Family.

The Addams family is a musical comedy put on by the Good Company Players in the Roger Rockas theater. The musical is a tad dark, as should be expected with a family like the Addams. Riddled with a few mature themes, the show proves to be an absolute riot when it comes to the jokes.

The story follows the Addams’ daughter, Wednesday (Kindle Cowger), who’s now much older than she appeared in the famed TV show. Her interests have shifted from the family’s usual interests like death, dark colors, and shooting down dinner with a crossbow in Central Park. Wednesday finds herself in love, dreaming of cheery places and colors. She wants to get married to the man she met, Lucas (Adrian Ammsso), and she really wants her family’s approval. The thing is, her family isn’t exactly what one might call ‘normal’. So when she invites Lucas and his parents, Alice (Jessica Sarkisian) and Mal (Gordon Moore), over for dinner, she wants this day to be as regular as possible.

But what does ‘normal’ mean, really? To Wednesday, normal is the exact opposite of what her family is, so trying to have a plain old dinner won’t exactly be easy. Especially when she asks her father, Gomez (Tyler Branco), to keep the engagement a secret from her mother Morticia (Paige Parker). But Morticia and Gomez promised never to keep secrets from each other, and Lucas’s family will be over any minute.

To make matters worse, Wednesday’s brother, Pugsley (Connor Pofahl), doesn’t want his sister to grow up and move away. He is determined to do whatever it takes to get her to stay home. It adds up to be a chaotic and hilarious combination.

The performers were fantastic, especially Wednesday’s ability to keep her straight faced murderous glare throughout even the funniest parts of the musical. All of the cast are incredibly talented singers, pull of every gag and joke skillfully and wonderful actors. The whole theater often ended up doubled over in laughter.

On top of that, the musical was well produced, with eye catching costumes and props. From large lizards, to the family’s Cousin It (with long hair from head to the floor), to Thing, the resident floating hand. They’re fun and well made, adding that much more to production.

The musical numbers are an absolute delight to listen to, both beautiful and filled with jokes and clever wit. The whole company’s singing abilities are up to par with their acting – both of which are incredibly good.

The story itself is well written and put together, but not something that will have you on the edge of your seat. It makes for a fun ride, but the jokes and the actor’s charm and talent are what truly make the production enjoyable.

It feels wrong not to mention the Good Company Players’ Junior Company, who opened before the main musical. The group is incredibly talented, all with amazing singing voices. It adds to the appeal of the whole production, and is a complete joy to watch live.

The Addams Family not a show to take the kids to, but a great laugh and very entertaining, even if the story might not be the most interesting. It still manages to be engaging and full of goofy and well timed jokes. There were a bit too many mature jokes when it comes to personal taste, but still hilarious none the less. The musical, along with the Jr Company make for a wonderful, laugh filled night.

For ticket information, visit the Good Company Players’ site or order tickets online at the Roger Rockas site.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

For more entertainment, read the Oct. 8 article, Feather highlights: ‘Frame Rate’ blog

By |2014-10-09T00:00:00+00:00October 9th, 2014|Theatre, Uncategorized|1 Comment

Framerate: Something new

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Fall is back, and with it comes warm drinks, candles, autumn colors, and new TV shows. With new programs, new seasons, and some not returning at all, there’s a lot watch. So what exactly is returning, and what’s brand new? There’s an interesting mix of shows, with things from Marvel, new murder mysteries, and some familiar shows from across the sea. I’m going to talk about some of the notable ones you might be interested in.

A new show on ABC, Forever, is rather interesting, but also rather familiar (but more on that in a second). A new murder mystery show, Forever is the story of Dr. Henry Morgan (Iaon Gruffudd), a medical examiner in New York City with an interesting…ailment, of sorts. Whenever he dies, he always comes back to life, awakening in a body of water, an adult, never aging. This is rather useful, as his knowledge of the human body and death makes his job a piece of cake for him, and solving murders a little easier when he can sometimes test how someone might have died (as gruesome as that sounds).

The thing is, the premise of the show sounds almost exactly like New Amsterdam, which is about John Amsterdam (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), an NYPD homicide detective who doesn’t age and comes back to life whenever he dies. New Amsterdam, produced by a group separate from the Forever creators, aired in 2008 on Fox but ended up being cancelled. The idea may not be an original one, and fans of New Amsterdam may not like Forever as much, but it still is an intriguing one, and it’ll be interesting to see if it fares any better than the previous one.

There’s another show that premiered recently on American TV that may seem similar to one overseas, but for a very good reason. Gracepoint is the American version of the British murder mystery show Broadchurch. Gracepoint is described as a remake of the show, with some of the same actors returning to play characters, but in truth, the mystery is rewritten, with new twists and a different culprit to keep anyone who tuned into it’s UK counterpart on their toes. It is more just eerily familiar, not a carbon copy.

David Tennant, who played the lead detective in Broadchurch also plays the main detective in the American remake, but with a different name and an American accent. I never caught either show, but I am rather interested in both shows. It’d be fun to see how differently each play out. Gracepoint is a murder mystery, so it can and will be a dark show at points.

On the superhero side of TV, there’s Gotham, airing on Fox. Nearly everyone has seen some version of Batman’s story, but this show is tackling it from a different angle, and a different point in time. Instead of joining the caped crusader on crime solving adventures, the show follows a young detective, James Gordon (Ben McKenzie), who many will recognize as Commissioner Gordon. He’s not quite commissioner yet, however. The show takes place around the time Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), the man behind Batman’s mask, watches his parents get murdered during a robbery in an alley. Detective Gordon investigates the case, and the show explores the beginnings of Gordon, Wayne, and many super villains such as Catwoman, Ivy, and Penguin. I will admit, I have not actually watched Gotham yet, so I can’t really share any opinions on it. But for those interested in DC and Batman, you may want to tune in to see what it?s like.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back with it’s second season, and is covering storyline questions within the Marvel cinematic “universe” (the continuity and connections between the Disney owned Marvel movies) as well as a lot of developments and cliffhangers it left with it’s finale. Personally, I love the show and its characters. It follows Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), and his team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents as they work to rebuild the agency, as the once thought defeated threat of Hydra pretty much destroyed S.H.I.E.L.D. from the inside out in the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and in episodes of the show. While it does revolve around a superhero based universe, it brings in many heroes who don’t have any sort of superpowers, and some characters who’d be better classified as mercenaries, rogues, and traitors. It explores a different side of the comic universe, and is both well written and engaging. On top of that, premiering most likely in January 2015, Agent Carter follows Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) and the Howling Commandos, seen in the first Captain America movie, as they build the foundation for S.H.I.E.L.D. after World War II.

There’s many more new and returning shows, (Sleepy Hollow, How to get Away With Murder, Scorpion, and so much more) but I won’t bore you by droning on and on about them. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited about all the shows back and new to TV. What shows are you interested in, and what ones do you wish were still on air?

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter and e-mail: @ejLadd and [email protected]

For more features, read the Oct. 7 article, National News Engagement Day: Join the discussion.

By |2014-10-08T00:00:00+00:00October 8th, 2014|Emily Ladd, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Chapel features modest fashion show, dress code (VIDEO)

IMG_1413rKylie Bell

Students show off school appropriate outfits

During a Thursday gender chapel, the female students on campus were treated to a talk on dress code that was a little unorthodox compared to previous talks given. Instead of teachers reviewing the dress code with the girls, they reviewed the rules through a video and fashion show, Sept. 25.

The video detailed several tricks students sometimes use to try and cheat dress code and how they sometimes ignore it all together. It featured a uniformed “Enforcer”, a familiar face dressed in a police uniform and aviators, ready to take away any dress code offenders.

Brenda Warkentin, secretary for the high school office, often sees students breaking dress code. Warkentin talked about the rules she sees broken most often.

“The two biggest problems are girls who wear tops that aren’t high enough and skirts too short,” said Warkentin. “They don’t realize that when they are going up and down stairs and someone else is going up or down they can see right down or up their clothes.”

Afterward a fashion show was held in the girl’s chapel to promote fall fashion that is both in style and in dress code. The show was held with the help of Buckle, a clothing store in Fashion Fair Mall, who styled all the girls for the show.

Jenny King, ’17, one of the models in the fashion show, explained what other girls can do after seeing the demonstration to follow dress code.

“It was a fun way to show what girls can wear instead of just having a talk and leaving. It was something girls could actually be involved in and see examples of,” said King. “If you don’t think that something’s in dress code, don’t wear it. Wear clothes that show you, you’re personality, not something you aren’t or that you don’t want to show. Stay in dress code.”

Warkentin reminded students that dress code isn’t just a set of rules to follow but something Christians should be aware of.

“As young Christian women they need to be respectful of themselves and others around them, and to honor God,” said Warkentin. “The young boys around school don’t need that visual image.”

While some students may complain that staying in dress code is difficult, Kim Butler, Buckle employee, has several tips for girls who want to wear fashionable fall clothes without breaking school rules.

“You want to stay modest by layering. Make sure you have something that covers your midriff. Scarfs are a great way to keep yourself covered,” said Butler. “You want to dress for your body type. If you feel like something’s showing a little too much even when you’re covered, wear something flowy, accent with a belt. Wear colors that accent your skin tone. If you ever want to come in or have any questions, the girls at Buckle are willing to do that for you guys.”

Girls on campus are asked to stay in dress code and do “The Eagle Check” before leaving home. “Too short? Too showy? Too low? Don’t show. Eagle check your heart out the door. Let’s go.”

The dress code can be viewed in the student handbook on the Fresno Christian website.

For a video on the actual fashion show, check out Fashion Show 2014 (VIDEO).

While the girls were watching their fashion show, the boys were taught on male machismo, Sept. 25. Click here to check out their video.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

For more Features, read the Sept. 25 article, College fair informs, excites student body.

By |2014-09-26T00:00:00+00:00September 26th, 2014|Chapel, Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

New teacher joins campus, community

donagheKylie Bell

Donaghe watched FC for an open position since graduating. When a position opened up in English, she and many others prayed for direction with the decision.

English teacher eager to be at FC

The 2014-’15 school year is filled with changes, from new schedules, new freshmen and to new teachers. Amy Deffenbacher, Dean of Students, has left teaching English to focus on her new role, leaving a void in the school teaching program. Andrea Donaghe, who taught at Central High, Sanger High and Reedley High, now joins the FC community as its newest English teacher.

Donaghe grew up in Tarzana, California, where she was homeschooled. She graduated from Mount Whitney High School. After she got married she moved to Fresno, attending Fresno City and later Fresno State. Donaghe majored in English, but originally planned to major in speech pathology. She switched majors with only a semester left before graduating.

“I don’t recommend changing your major because of the bills and work, but I changed and transferred to Fresno Pacific and got my degree in English with the emphasis in teaching,” Donaghe said. “I was a semester shy of graduating when I changed my major. I was not enjoying it. I needed to do something I liked, so here I am. I’m glad I switched, I don’t regret it.”

Before being homeschooled, Donaghe attended Visalia Christian Academy. The dynamics of a private school stuck with her, drawing her back toward the environment.

“I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be teaching, it always appealed to me to go back,” Donaghe said. “It really is its own community; I know it sounds cliche, but it’s a different culture and community than a public school sector, having taught in public school. It’s very different, but I think it’s different in a good way.”

Donaghe watched FC for an open position since graduating. When a position opened up in English, she and many others prayed for direction with the decision. Donaghe applied, and once asked if she would like the job, answered with a definite yes.

“I didn’t even need to question when they asked me. I wanted the job,” Donaghe said. “I shared over the weekend at the senior retreat at Calvin Crest that I don’t have any doubt about where I’m supposed to be and that’s a really good feeling to have, as an adult, and as a Christian, having a peace that it’s meant to be. ”

Along with regular English classes, Donaghe is also teaching Advanced Placement (AP) Language and Composition. Donaghe has taught AP classes previously in other schools but wants to ensure she can provide what her students wish to learn.

“I want to deliver what these kids want to do. I know my students will do well, but I want to hold their attention and pay attention to what they want to learn,” Donaghe said. “I want to meet their expectations so they don’t reach the end of the year and think they didn’t learn anything.”

The atmosphere set by smaller classes and a smaller student body encourages Donaghe, a stark difference from public school classes she taught. The average of about 40 students in a class dropped to around 20.

“In a small school you have some of the same teachers for different things, there’s accountability there,” Donaghe said. “You can’t fall into the cracks. Teachers ask students ‘how are we doing? what are we doing? is it going to get turned in?'”

Julianna Rosik, ’16, takes Donaghe’s AP Composition class. This is Rosik’s first time in an AP English class and first time meeting Donaghe. Rosik shared her first impressions and hopes for the class.

“She’s really funny and connects well with the students. It’s clear she enjoys her job and working with high schoolers,” Rosik said. “I’m looking forward to getting to know her more and preparing for the AP test.”

This year, Donaghe will be teaching sophomore, junior and senior English as well as AP Language and Composition.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

For more features, read the Aug. 18 article, Sister-to-Sister program leads to growth, companionship

By |2014-08-21T00:00:00+00:00August 21st, 2014|FC Events, Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

‘Winter Soldier’ proves best of Marvel movies

CPTAmerica1imdb.com

Marvel’s new film strongest yet

What do you get when you take an old super soldier from the 40s, two trained assassins, an ex-military officer, a government organization and the aftermath of an old war still affecting the world? If you said Captain America: The Winter Soldier, then you’re correct. The formula is an odd one, but the resulting movie is incredible.

The movie follows Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (played by Chris Evans), as he goes about his life after being frozen in ice for many years and being in the battle seen in The Avengers.

Steve is now working for S.H.I.E.L.D, or Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, the government agency that has been appearing throughout the Marvel movies and has it’s own TV show (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.).

S.H.I.E.L.D. is juggling the aftermath of the events in Avengers, Thor: The Dark World,, and trying to keep up with the fact that the world now has so called “super heroes” and that life exists on places beyond earth.

Steve, along with Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), goes on a simple hostage rescue mission for S.H.I.E.l.D. But as it usually is with secret organizations, there’s more than meets the eye here. Old secrets begin to appear and unravel, and it’s quickly discovered that the pieces from the past are still in play.

Seeing the actors from The Avengers, Captain America, and Agents of S.H.I.E.l.D. return for the movie is a treat. They all reprise their roles fantastically, and all bring their characters back to life with new character development on the big screen.

The Winter Soldier (who’s actor will remain unnamed, for the sake of the plot), a steel-hearted assassin who is great at what he does, is portrayed particularly well. He conveys his emotions (or lack of, in some instances) beautifully despite having a mask for part of the film.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a comic book movie that doesn’t feel like a comic book movie, and it’s a good thing. It’s one of the more grounded Marvel movies, in a sense. Instead of super villains with big plots and teamed up super heroes, this sequel movie gives you the after math of a war and a secret agency collapsing in on itself. — Emily Ladd, writer

The movie also sees the introduction of a new character, Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie). Sam joins the little band of heroes and fits in well and acted wonderfully with a snarky sense of humor that adds to the movie’s banter.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a comic book movie that doesn’t feel like a comic book movie, and it’s a good thing. It’s one of the more grounded Marvel movies, in a sense. Instead of super villains with big plots and teamed up super heroes, this sequel movie gives you the after math of a war and a secret agency collapsing in on itself.

Think the Bourne movie trilogy meets the first Captain America movie. While the fantasy and sci-fi elements are still there, it’s a definite change of pace is a good one. Captain America: The Winter Soldier exceeds the quality of the first movie and is possibly the best stand-alone hero Marvel movie since Iron Man.

Like comics themselves, you can watch this movie but may not pick up on a few things. It’s a bit like joining a TV show mid-season, or reading a comic series starting in the middle. You can pick things up quickly, but some elements will go over your head or not seem connected. I recommend watching Captain America and The Avengers if you haven’t seen them already before watching this film.

Marvel has created a strong, well supported movie universe for themselves. Like the hashtag Marvel has been using on it’s social media sites, it’s all connected. The movies and the show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. all link together, like small snapshots of stories all from the same universe. I can’t wait to see what chapter comes next in Marvel’s story.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier runs at 136 minutes and is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, gunplay and action throughout.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

For more entertainment, read the March 26 article, ‘Lucky Stiff’ offers superb acting, impressive set changes.

By |2014-04-07T00:00:00+00:00April 7th, 2014|Movies/TV, Uncategorized|0 Comments

‘Newsies’ excites with dance numbers, set changes

Newsies1Courtesy of The Feather staff

A view of the stage at Nederlander Theatre before the show begins.

Musical engaging, passionate performers

I entered the Nederlander Theatre with little idea of what to expect. With only one experience with Broadway musicals, the first being the day before with Les Miserables. After the lights dimmed and the sets slid behind stage, Disney’s Newsies began, and by the end of the musical, had me loving it.

Newsies details the life of several homeless boys living on the streets of New York in the late 1890s. The group follows one of the oldest boys, Jack Kelly (Correy Cott), and sells papers for The World, published by Joseph Pulitzer (John Dossett). Jack cares deeply for the orphaned and homeless group he sticks with, but dreams of earning enough money to travel to Santa Fe and ditch New York.

Meanwhile, Pulitzer’s paper is struggling so he decides to raise the price of papers the newsies buy without consulting any of them. Enraged, Jack and his friends refuse to buy any papers. After one of the new recruits explains how they could orchestrate a protest, the kids form their own union and go on strike, trying to rally the other newsies in New York to protest as well.

Based on true events and full of witty one-liners and snappy comebacks, Newsies’ story is engaging and exciting. The audience finds themselves rooting for the newsies and connecting with the characters and their varying and unique struggles.

One of the first things that struck me before anything else was the atmosphere and relationship amongst the cast. The whole crew were obviously close, their interactions sincere and choreography well timed. The entire group was cheery and excited and the mood was infectious. They had a great time, so the audience did as well.

In the very beginning of it some of the cast members seemed to struggle with lines. While hardly noticeable, it did seem like a few of the people paused unnaturally before continuing to say their line.

However, the audience showed their support and love for the characters, giving a standing ovation at the end of the play, and cheered as they finished the performance giving a quick little speech.

The cast’s dancing reflected this too. From what I saw that night their choreography was timed well and in sync with the other dancers, in both the stunts, tap dancing and other dance numbers.

The second thing to snatch my attention was the background and various set elements. Special effects are utilized by the musical to project different backgrounds that change, like shots in a movie and sometimes resembling animation. They were used to show montages of the different headlines and articles the newsies sold, as well as showing one of the character’s drawings as he drew it. The technology was well utilized and really caught my attention without being distracting from what actually occurred on stage.

Overall, Newsies does a great job of engaging the audience and getting them invested in the characters and stories. The audience will walk away singing and dancing to the musical numbers or eagerly discussing the story, acting and visual effects. If I had the chance, I would definitely go see it again.

To watch the trailer for the Broadway show, Newsies, visit Newsies, The Musical, on YouTube.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

For more reviews, read the March 19 article, New York restaurant offers authentic Italian experience.

By |2014-03-24T00:00:00+00:00March 24th, 2014|Theatre, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Second 'Hobbit' introduces new characters, special effects

HobbittCourtesy of imdb.com

Movie delves into second section of book

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey made it’s debut December 2012, exciting fans all over the world. While some were disappointed with the movie adaption, still many eagerly awaited to see the second part in the trilogy of films.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug uses the book more as a guideline when it comes to storyline. While it followed the basic plot, many aspects of the story were changed and new characters introduced.

Realizing that the movie is going to be quite different from the book, it’s actually quite enjoyable and arguably better than its first installment.

The movie opens with Thorin (Richard Armitage), the leader of the company journeying to the Lonely Mountain, talking with Gandalf in a inn. It is before Thorin has decided to organize the journey to the mountain, and Gandalf urges him to take a group and reclaim the mountain and his kingdom.

Fast forward to where the first movie left off: Bilbo, the dwarves and Gandalf are blazing a trail forward while trying to avoid the orcs following them, who’s sole mission is to kill them all. Running from the orcs, they find themselves taking shelter in another’s home, Beorn, while planning their next path, planning to journey through the forest of Mirkwood, where unknown dangers and perils await them.

Beorn (Mikael Persbrandt), the skin-changer who can appear as a man or a bear was introduced in the movie. While the way the group met him and came to stay in his home was not the same as their meeting in the book. However, seeing Beorn’s home and design was still fantastic.

While I wish more time was spent in Beorn’s home, his design and home itself were great. The most noticeable thing about Beorn was how they designed his eyes while he was in human form. They are distinctively wild, obviously animal-like, adding to his bear-like design

The Desolation of Smaug revealed another great character: Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch), the dragon in the Lonely Mountain.

Smaug was one of the things I was most excited to see, and I was not disappointed. My mouth fell open in awe upon seeing the dragon. His design is fantastic, with reptilian elements about him, as well as being distinctly like a dragon and being able to show emotions almost like a human could with his expressions.

The movie balances its funny moments with more serious ones, with some un-realistic but hilarious comedy moments, such as some of the barrel scenes as the dwarves and Bilbo’s (Martin Freeman) escape from the Mirkwood elves’ palace.

One thing I appreciated was showing the affect the one ring had on Bilbo which added to the movie. Freeman wonderfully depicted the corruption of the ring and Bilbo’s horror as he realized what the ring is doing to him.

New characters and characters who were not in the book made appearances in the movie as well. Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and a new character, Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly), debued in the film.

Despite not being in the novel, the characters added to the movie and helped along the storyline, since it didn’t follow the book as closely as the first film.

The movie has vast differences from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, with many event changes and added battles. Attending the movie and expecting it to be different and not a carbon copy of the novel made the experience a more gratifying one.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug runs at 161 minutes and is rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

For more reviews, read the Dec. 10 article, CMT performs heartwarming ‘Beauty and the Beast’.

By |2013-12-19T00:00:00+00:00December 19th, 2013|Movies/TV, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Clovis Christmas Tree Lighting (VIDEO)

ClovisLightingEmily Ladd

Mr. and Mrs. Claus arrive at Clovis City Hall to light the Christmas tree.

Santa Claus comes to Clovis

Kids cheered and clapped as Santa himself appeared at Clovis City Hall, ready to help with the annual lighting of the christmas tree in front of the building, Dec. 2. Lynne Ashbeck, the mayor of Clovis, introduced him before he initiated the countdown to light up the tree.

Clark Intermediate’s and Clovis High’s choir began the event with various Christmas songs when Santa arrived to the event with Mrs. Claus. After a brief countdown, and with Santa at the podium, the tree lit up the area. He invited all those in attendance to enjoy cookies and drinks served inside City Hall. Kids lined up inside and the holiday season officially opened as eager youngster gave Santa a list or shared what they wanted for Christmas.

“Seeing everybody so happy and all the little kids excited over the tree lighting up was fun to see,” Eve Clark, a member of Clark Intermediate’s choir, said. “Having Santa come was fun, because all the kids’ faces lighted up when he showed up.”

Other Christmas events in Fresno and Clovis include Christmas Tree Lane on Van Ness Blvd., Cindy Lane at Wawona Ranch Estates, and A Candlelight Christmas on Huntington Blvd. Christmas Tree Lane is open to vehicles Dec. 3-Dec. 25, from 6:10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6:11p.m. Friday through Saturday. The next walk date (where no vehicles will be allowed) is Dec. 11. Candlelight Christmas is at Huntington Boulevard and Sixth Street, open to vehicles and those who wish to walk 6-10 p.m. until Christmas Eve.

Fresno Christian’s ‘Round the Table Carol Sing,’ put on by the FC music department, will be Dec. 12 from 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. in the FC gym. The preforming FC music groups are Celebration Choir, Kingsmen Quartet, Adoration Ladies’ Ensemble, Jazz Band, and Percussion Ensemble. Tickets are free but can be reserved for certain seats. Cookies and hot cider will be served during the event. For more information, read the article Music department anticipates upcoming holiday concert.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

By |2013-12-10T00:00:00+00:00December 10th, 2013|Community Events, Uncategorized, Videos|2 Comments

Long-time show celebrates 50th year with special episode (VIDEO)

givingnot@rocketmail.comGoogle Images

The iconic T.A.R.D.I.S, The Doctor’s ship from Doctor Who.

Doctor Who in theaters, fan experience

On Nov. 23, 1963, a new sci-fi show made it’s debut on television. Now, fifty years later, on Nov. 25, 2013, Doctor Who made an appearance in theaters to celebrate it’s 50th anniversary.

Fans of all ages flocked to theaters ready to enjoy the event, eager to see the episode celebrating the show’s milestone. 50 years leaves a lot to live up to, and “The Day of the Doctor” did an absolutely fantastic job.

The room filled with cheers and applause as the trailers came to a halt and the iconic theme song began playing. Instead of using the more recent opening sequence and theme, the original black and white version was used. The episode makes many tributes and nods to the originals, delighting new fans and old fans.

One of the dangerous things about writing for Doctor Who is the time travel aspect. After seeing so many franchises handle time travel, multiple timelines and paradoxes so horribly, one almost expects movies and shows to mess it up somehow. Doctor Who, however, being a show that revolves around the idea of time travel and paradoxes, handles the aspect beautifully.

There’s not much I can say without spoiling it, but the episode involved a lot of time travel and loose ends, all of which were tied up and explained wonderfully, leaving no plot hole or problems that I could see.

For those of you who don’t want the details spoiled, don’t read on. The opening theme wasn’t the only nod to the previous installments of the series; every incarnation of the Doctor showed up, even the soon-to-be Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, who will be taking the role over this Christmas. (The current actor playing the Doctor is Matt Smith).

Archived footage of each of the Doctor’s regenerations were used in the show, many of the actors who played him and are still living appeared (causing a lot of cheers and applause in the theater).

Many, including myself, presumed the classic Doctors would not appear in the 50th anniversary episode, due to false information spread by the writers as to not spoil the episode’s surprises. The writers did quite well with this, because many nods and appearances were a delightful surprise.

Seeing David Tennant, who played the Tenth Doctor, and Billie Piper, who played Rose Tyler originally but portrayed a character called “The Moment”, reprise their roles was delightful. Both acted their parts wonderfully, as if they hadn’t been gone from the show at all.

Among the familiar faces were some new ones, such as John Hurt’s character, referred to by some as the War Doctor. The War Doctor is a regeneration of the Doctor never previously mentioned, as the Doctor himself tried to forget that part of him. He was the one who fought in the Time War, the war against his people, Time Lords, and the Daleks.

I was skeptic of the character at first, but his humor and sarcasm won me over. The regeneration of the Doctor that he portrayed had large moral and emotional struggles, the decision of ending the war and saving the universe but destroying his people or letting the war continue weighing on his shoulders. Hurt did a fantastic job at taking on the crucial role of playing that incarnation of the Doctor.

The whole episode captured the future, present, and past of Doctor Who magnificently, not trying to be bigger than it could, but not a weak storyline. It was sprinkled with wit and charm, and just the right amount of references to it’s past fifty years without overwhelming the audience with them.

It was bittersweet, filled with comedic moments but serious and occasionally heartbreaking moments. I couldn’t find one thing I didn’t like about it, not one plot hole, not one minuscule error.

Overall, without spoiling anything, the episode turned the tables for the Doctor Who storyline, and I, for one, cannot wait for the Christmas special to see what’s in store for the Doctor, his friends and the fans.

It’s become more than just another sci-fi show, uniting fans, young and old, writers, crew members and actors together, celebrating 50 years of the show they all love. To Doctor Who, and it’s whole crew, have a fantastic, brilliant next 50 years.

For more reviews, read the Dec. 4 article, Cafe Via offers Italian comfort food.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

By |2013-12-04T00:00:00+00:00December 4th, 2013|Movies/TV, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Film entertains with witty dialogue, action

THORDarkWorldSmimdb.com

Movie ties into other media, holds up well

Disney’s Marvel Studios has left itself a lot to live up to, after it’s success with The Avengers and it’s growing fanbase for movies like Iron Man and Captain America. Thor: The Dark World has been hyped up for months now, hinting and promoting itself at Comic-Con and spreading the word on Twitter and Facebook, and being a fan of Marvel movies, I was understandably excited.

Hoping it wouldn’t fall short of expectations, I attended the film and was not disappointed.The movie opens to the sound of the character Odin’s (Anthony Hopkins) voice, telling a story about a war fought many, many years ago. He tells about this race of dark elves, and a dark elf named Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) who planned to plunge the 9 realms, including the earth, and other worlds in the Marvel universe, into darkness, using an ancient weapon known as the Aether.

Malekith was stopped and the Aether hidden where no one could find it. That is, no one could find until now. Odin finishes his story, giving the viewers a bit of background for the movie, and the movie jumps to see Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), astrophysicist and Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) love interest in the first movie.

Her assistant, Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings), interrupts Jane’s date with someone in London to show her these unusual readings their instruments picked up. After a bit of prompting, she convinces Jane to come with her and Ian, Darcy’s intern, to investigate it.

On Asgard, Thor’s home world, we see Loki (Tom Hiddleston), villain in The Avengers, marched in the palace in chains and sent to the dungeon by Odin. We also get a glimpse at what Thor’s been doing all this time; trying to unite and bring peace to the 9 realms. Jane and Darcy, meanwhile, drive out to this abandoned warehouse location, and investigate a strange set of anomalies they found: objects being dropped and disappearing midair, heavy objects reacting as if there is no gravity and floating and many other strange occurrences.

Jane separates from the group to look around, and manages to disappear herself, being transported to a place that is definitely not earth. This sets off a wide chain of events, involving Thor, Loki, a reawakened Malekith and the Aether, setting the plot into motion.

Thor: The Dark World does a great job at picking up where the other movies left off, showing us the original Thor characters and what’s happened to them after the events of The Avengers.

The film also handled having multiple story lines ongoing in one “universe” rather well, hinting at ABC’s new show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and alluding to the events and affects of the earlier film The Avengers. Thor: The Dark World acknowledges the presence of these ongoing stories without drawing too much attention away from it’s own story.

The movie itself is hilarious, getting myself and the whole theater to laugh at the sarcastic one-liners delivered by Loki and other jokes made throughout the movie. The humor never distracted too much from the actual story and balanced out the sadder points of the movie as well.

There is a lot of tension in the film, especially with Loki, who struggles with a lot of inner turmoil and the consequences of his actions during Thor and The Avengers. Thor needs Loki’s help in the film, making Loki the anti-hero instead of villain of the movie.

The special effects and CGI in the movie are well done, the acting fantastic and over all quality of the film is great. If I could, I would rate this movie 3.5 stars. It isn’t a three star film, but it isn’t the best it could be. Despite its occasional weak story points and plot holes, Thor: The Dark World is an enjoyable and well made film, and makes a great addition to Marvel’s ever-growing movie collection.

Thor: The Dark World runs at 120 minutes and is rated PG-13 for violence.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

For more reviews, read the Nov. 8 article, Book turned movie impresses with effects.

By |2013-11-14T00:00:00+00:00November 14th, 2013|Movies/TV, Uncategorized|0 Comments

BRIEF: Grandparents invited to visit, Sept. 13

GrandparentsBriefRyan King

Nicole Hudecek, ’16, works on homework with her Grandmother.

Students and Grandparents to enjoy class, lunch together

This coming Friday, students and their grandparents will attend classes together to celebrate the annual Grandparent’s Day celebration, Sept. 13.

National Grandparents Day, which became a holiday in 1978, is celebrated every Sunday after Labor Day. Campus Grandparents Day is Sept 13 this year. Grandparents will visit periods three and four, including lunch, which is held before fifth period. Lunch will be held in the Peoples Church (PC) Gym, the PC Multi-Purpose Room and the Jackie Johnson Room.

FC holds a Grandparent’s day celebration annually, giving student’s grandparents a chance to meet their friends, see what classes they have and what they are learning. Principal Todd Bennett explained one of the reasons the school has this celebration.

“It’s biblical to respect your grandparents, your elders and this gives us a way to show respect and to honor them,” Bennett said. “And invite them to be apart of our lives and see what happens in our daily lives at school. It’s a really nice day and the kids and grandparents are usually very proud of each other.”

Senior Brieann Winchell explained why she and her grandmother enjoy Grandparents day.

“I get to hang out with my awesome Grandma,” Winchell said. “My grandma likes to see my friends and what I do at school. She’s always at Grandparents day and loves to see what we do here.”

Students as well as teacher’s enjoy and see the value of the celebration. Science and Chinese language teacher Dan Harris enjoys FC’s annual celebration of Grandparent’s day.

“I think it’s a really good idea from the grandparent’s perspectives,” Harris said. “They get to see their grandchildren succeeding and growing in their faith. I also think it’s very very important for kids to recognize the value of those who have lived a long time. Each of our grandparent’s experiences are unique. So having a chance to share an experience with them I think is extremely valuable.”

The following is the special schedule for Friday, Sept. 13.

Grandparents Day Bell Schedule 2013

Period 0: 7-7:50 (50 min.)
Period 1: 8-8:50 (50 min.)
Period 2: 8:55-9:45 (50 min.)
Period 3: 9:50-10:40 (50 min.)
BREAK: 10:40-10:50 (10 min.)
Period 4: 10:50-11:40 (50 min.)
LUNCH: 11:40-12:25 (40 min.)
Period 5: 12:30-1:20 (50 min.)
Period 7: 1:25-2:10 (45 min.)
Period 8: 2:15-3 (45 min.)

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

For more news, read the Sept. 11 article, Beach Trip sign ups begin in office.

By |2013-09-11T00:00:00+00:00September 11th, 2013|FC Events, News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Library receives much-needed remodel

NewLibrary1Ryan King

The new library interior.

Donations used for new space, lighting

Workers continue to finish up construction this week on Fresno Christian’s revamped library. Students bustle in and out of the door, using the newly renovated library for the very first time this year. Many volunteers put their time and work into renovating the library to be fit and available for a new school year.

Continuing with the renovations and updates from the past few years, such as the updated science and journalism labs, the library on campus recently received a much needed upgrade. The librarian, Lin Brown, shared how the library was becoming cramped and inadequate.

“The room was dark and crowded with many things happening in a small space,” Brown said. “The makeover has been extreme and was made possible primarily with the donation of private funds and volunteer workers.”

Many families and staff members volunteered their time to help with the remodel and reconstruction of the library. A plaque in the library thanks The Siebert Family, Raynes Family, Bennett Family, Mick FullerKathy Pierce, Kimberly DeWolf, Michael and Caroline Ogdon, the Khouzams, Grossmans and the many other volunteers who can never be adequately thanked for their hundreds of hours of their time put into the construction of the new library.

I am hopeful that the students will see the library as a much more pleasant place to be and want to take care of it. Along with that, I want the students to see the library as an open and friendly place where they can find materials on the shelves for classroom assignments and pleasure reading. — Lin Brown, librarian.

While construction is not yet complete in the entrance of the new facility, students may still enter the library for study hall and use its materials. Students may enter through the side door of the library.

“The front of the building is not completed yet,” Brown said. “The landscaping will be going in and the walkway and front door are under construction. There are plans to put the letters FCS in the walkway and I think that will be great fun for the students to see as they come into the building.”

Sophomore Timothy Nyberg notes that the library looks good even from the outside.

“When we drive up to school in the morning, the library is no longer a sore spot on campus,” Nyberg said. “It looks great; they are even landscaping it. The library can now be promoted instead of avoided.”

With the drastic remodel of the library comes the addition of a few new rules for students to follow. The desks for study hall are now distanced from the bookshelves, making the temptation for students to remove books or leave things shoved on shelves harder to carry out.

“Students have always been encouraged to respect the facility, but I think it will be easier to put into practice with the beautiful new library,” Brown said. “One of the outstanding features of the new library is the beautiful wood floor. It is durable, but we all need to take care not drag heavy objects over it and be careful about our footwear. Like the gym floor it is not made for cleats.”

Now that both school campuses have merged, the library is used by K-12 students. Brown expressed that it is important to keep the noise level down. It is also important to throw away garbage and respect the building.

“What I really want to emphasize to the students too is that this beautiful new library of theirs came at a high price,” Brown said. “It took sacrificial giving of dollars to provide the means to accomplish the makeover. It also took many long hours of volunteer labor- often late hours, and hours in the heat. I want the students to be aware of that and appreciate what has been done for them.”

Senior Viviana Hinojosa appreciates that the library has been remodeled this year. Previously she thought that no one enjoyed being in the library because of the atmosphere, but now it is a lot more welcoming to her.

“I think it’s really great they remodeled the library,” Hinojosa said. “Before no one really used the library because it had old computers and was very cluttered. Now, it looks brand new, open and welcoming.”

The library now has wide open space, enough room for the study hall classes and other classes come to look for materials or a book for leisure reading. The library is also equipped with computers for students.

“I am hopeful that the students will see the library as a much more pleasant place to be and want to take care of it,” Brown said. “Along with that, I want the students to see the library as an open and friendly place where they can find materials on the shelves for classroom assignments and pleasure reading.”

The library is available from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for students’ use. To learn more about the library and it’s new features, contact Lin Brown via email.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

For more features, read the Sept. 4 article, Original teacher retires after 36 years.

By |2013-09-05T00:00:00+00:00September 5th, 2013|Features, Uncategorized|4 Comments

Fantasy book gives way to enticing storyline

100Cupboardsamazon.com

100 Cupboards is the first book in a trilogy by the same name. The next two entries in the series are Dandelion Fire and The Chestnut King.

When Henry York goes to stay with his aunt and uncle in the small, countryside town of Henry, Kansas, the last thing he expected to find was a doorway to another world, let alone one hundred of them on one wall of his room. This is the basic plot of 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson.

100 Cupboards is the first book in a trilogy by the same name. Though the novel is found in the children’s section in most libraries, the storyline and characters are well written and relatable to readers of all ages.

Henry is an only child who was babied by his parents. Used to a sheltered life, Henry is rather ignorant to some things in life. When his parents are kidnapped on vacation, he is sent to live with his aunt and uncle and three cousins, whom he barely knows.

Henry moves to live in the small, cramped little attic with a small bed, no windows and peeling plaster on the walls. Late that night the plaster begins to fall from the wall and onto his bed. Behind the plaster Henry discovers a series of small cupboards, and an odd door with what looks to be a compass and a dial on it. The compass door thumps, and one knob turns. There is nothing on the other side of the wall, so what could possibly be the purposes of all those doors?

Wilson immerses the reader in a mysterious and magical world, but gives it a unique twist. As Henry and Henrietta, begin to uncover the secrets of the strange cupboards and the things inside, the reader always knows as little as Henry does. Whenever the cupboards seem to make sense, new information and problems arise, whether it be Henry learning to open them, or how to actually fit through, or what is behind them, and even what is behind the one door that a terrifying, vicious cat crawled out of.

The mystery and eeriness of the cupboards combined with the fantasy aspects draws the reader in. The cupboards perk curiosity yet seem dangerous, giving readers a mixed feeling of wanting to discover their purpose but avoid whatever dangers may lie on the other side. — Emily Ladd

 

I worried that the book may seem like a copy of C.S Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Despite sharing the aspect of having doors to a different world, there are little to no similarities, despite the villain, who has some, though not many, similarities to the antagonist in Lewis’ book.

The characters in 100 Cupboards are relatable and far from one sided. As Henry struggles with challenges such as figuring out the enigmatic cupboards as he battles internally with his cowardice and attempting to cope with the eerie, sickening feeling the cupboards give him. With each event the character’s become deeper and easier to empathize with.

Wilson’s writing is descriptive and original, giving the book a different and enjoyable feel. The book manages to combine real life with a fantasy world without making it feel repetitive and common. I personally love how Wilson describes things, breaking away from typical stereotypes yet not being flashy with descriptions, letting the reader continue to read without the writing losing its flow, yet being able to appreciate the specific way Wilson worded the sentence.

The atmosphere of the book itself is delightful. The mystery and eeriness of the cupboards combined with the fantasy aspects draws the reader in. The cupboards perk curiosity yet seem dangerous, giving readers a mixed feeling of wanting to discover their purpose but avoid whatever dangers may lie on the other side.

Combined with Wilson’s unique and charming writing style and the engrossing storyline, 100 Cupboards is an excellent read. It manages to stand out unique against the other fantasy books. With every chapter the plot thickens, keeping the reader interested. The story is well written, the characters relatable and lovable, making it an enjoyable book for all ages.

The next books in the series are Dandelion Fire and The Chestnut King.

You can contact the author via his website.

For more reviews, read the Aug. 16 article, Unexpected Victorian-era book reveals charismatic plot.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter and e-mail: @ejLadd and [email protected]

By |2013-08-20T00:00:00+00:00August 20th, 2013|Books, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Little-known instrument makes appearance in video game

Flute2Tynin Fries

Chloe Duerr, ’14, and Emily Ladd, ’16, play their Ocarinas in the hall.

Student encourages more to learn about instrument

Ocarinas, while known for their reoccurring role in Nintendo’s video game series The Legend of Zelda, are not familiar to many people. Though the roots of the instrument can be traced to Italy and South America and can be found used throughout history, few people even recognize the name. Many may be surprised to learn that three students on the FC campus actually play ocarinas.

Ocarinas come in many different shapes and sizes. They usually have twelve or ten holes, two thumb holes on the back of the instrument, eight holes for each finger on the front and two small holes one can reach by sliding a finger forward, lowering the pitch. These are the kind of ocarinas seen in The Legend of Zelda games and are more traditional. They are shaped so the instrument sticks out to the side of the players mouth.

Ocarinas can have multiple chambers, providing for a larger range of sound. The stem has multiple holes to blow into, each having a separate chamber with holes. Each chamber provides a different range of notes.

Inline ocarinas are held like a recorder or tin whistle. The holes are usually covered by two hands, side by side. Many of these kinds are wooden, as opposed to clay or ceramic ocarinas.

 

Ocarinas are fun to play because they are very unique. Not everyone plays an ocarina or even knows what they are. They’re portable and easy to carry anywhere. They also produce a beautiful tone ranging from a deep rich sound to a bright vibrant noise. — Chloe Duerr, ’14

Ocarinas also come in pendant form, including English pendants and Peruvian pendants. Small and portable, English pendants have four to six holes while Peruvian ocarinas, originating from the time of the Incas, commonly having from four to six holes yet occasionally having eight.

FC has three ocarina players on campus: Chloe Duerr, ’14, Katherine Bennet, ’13, and myself. None of the players have had any lessons and play purely for fun.

Duerr enjoys playing her ocarina because of the rarity the instrument holds, some people not even knowing what they are.

“Ocarinas are fun to play because they are very unique,” Duerr said. “Not everyone plays an ocarina or even knows what they are. They’re portable and easy to carry anywhere. They also produce a beautiful tone ranging from a deep rich sound to a bright vibrant noise.”

David Ramos, known as Doccjazz4 by some on YouTube, owns over 100 ocarinas and posts videos of him playing original songs and covers on his account. Currently he is working on his first ocarina album. Ramos put the first US Ocarina Gathering into motion in 2009. He expressed why he believes ocarinas attract others to play them.

“I think people enjoy the ocarina for three reasons, the first of which is nostalgia,” Ramos said. “Over last 100 years or so, the ocarina has been played in feature films, anime, and most notably, video games such as the Legend of Zelda. For those of us that grew up seeing and hearing the instrument in those mediums, playing the ocarina provides us a sort of ‘link to the past,’ allowing us to relive our childhood through this iconic instrument.”

Ramos mentioned, though many people may have heard or seen an ocarina once before, very few people are aware of the instrument.

“The second reason is its obscurity,” Ramos continued. “Despite the ocarina’s popularity, many people still do not know what an ocarina is. There are also so many different types, shapes and styles of the ocarina, that it is nearly impossible to find any two ocarinas that are exactly the same! I think we’re able to identify with it’s uniqueness and actually enjoy the fact that we own something special and unknown to most of the world.”

Helpful ways have made ocarinas an easier instrument to play. With music tabs, showing what holes one should cover to play certain songs, those who do not know how to read sheet music can play it easily. With many friendly, easy to comprehend tutorials uploaded to YouTube, learning to read sheet music can be an option as well. Ramos continued to make a point about this.

“And the third reason is the ocarina’s characteristics ? that is to say, how easy it is to play, its portability and its beautiful tone,” Ramos said. “Each of the three main types of ocarina ? transverse, pendant, and inline ? are relatively easy to play for beginners and experienced musicians alike. Because they are so small, they can be carried virtually anywhere without any trouble. And the tone is unlike anything I’ve ever heard before, pure and earth-like.”

Forums for ocarina players are also available. With a wide variety of people who have played different versions of the instrument and those who are experienced and new to ocarinas, forums are a great place to ask questions regarding ocarinas in general.

There are numerous stores online dedicated to selling ocarinas of all sorts, such as Songbird Ocarinas and STL Ocarina. A simple google search will lead you to several stores to purchase one of the flutes from.

With an interesting history and sound, ocarinas make wonderful instruments for the vetrans of music and the inexperienced. Ocarinas are good for those who are interested in playing one professionally or just for fun.

For more opinions, read the April 24 College Corner: Rejection letters.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

By |2013-05-17T00:00:00+00:00May 17th, 2013|Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

BRIEF: Students to attend Career Day, half day schedule

CareerDay1Ryan King

Kori Friesen adresses students about pursing a career in photography

Speakers to address students, discuss jobs

When students begin to consider their future outside of high school, they can be become stressed and intimidated. It is important for students to learn more about careers they are interested in pursuing and become informed on colleges they might attend.

In order to help enlighten students on certain carreers, FC will be holding a Career Day from 12:30 p.m.-3 p.m. to help meet these needs without students having to leave the campus, April 10.

Career Day is a required event fore 7-12 grade students. Wednesday is following the half day bell schedule. Seniors will not be allowed off campus lunch that day. All students will be given an assignment to fill out about the speakers they listen to.

Academic Adviser Michelle Warkentin organized Career Day with the hopes of getting students to search for jobs that fit their strengths and interests. Warkentin hopes the speakers can provide insight for students into the job they have, allowing students to see if what they are interested in is really what they are expecting.

Warkentin expressed how critical Career Day is for students and how it may affect their future. Without knowing what they need to major in can cause problems for students, according to Warkentin.

“This event is important for students because it pushes them to start thinking about their future,” Warkentin. “It is important to have a plan upon graduating from high school, or at least an idea of the direction they would like to go in. Too often students graduate from high school and start attending a college but later discover that that college does not offer the major they need to get where they want to go. Having a good idea about future career plans can save students time, money and stress.”

Dorina Gillmore, a children’s book author, is coming to present at the event. She believes sharing how God can change your career plans in life can be beneficial to the students.

“I love sharing about how God has worked in my career path in unexpected ways,” Dorina said. “I know I have been inspired and encouraged by many others on the journey. This event is a great chance to get a window into various careers.”

After attending the FC Career Day last year, junior Aaron Ward looks forward to having a shorter class day and listening to the various speakers. Along with getting to hear about different professions, Ward believes the event is important to students’ futures.

“I’m looking forward to the half day schedule and to hear what the engineer, Robert Carroll, has to say,” Ward said. “I think Career Day is important because it gives us more of a spectrum of what we can do with our lives.”

For more information, email Warkentin.

Career Fair Schedule

12:30-12:45 Introduction (FC Gym)

12:50-1:20 Session 1:
Robert Carroll, Engineer- Rm. 601/603 (Martens & Foth)
Kyle Gentz, Film Editor/Director of Photoraphy- Rm. 602/604 (Witters & Fuller)
Dorina Gilmore, Children’s Book Author- Rm. 621/623 (Lee/Ainley)
Jonathon Wiebe, Insurance Agent/Former Baseball Player- Rm. 606/608 (Belmont & Ogdon)

1:25-1:55 Session 2:
Koby Johns, Firefighter- Rm. 601/603 (Martens & Foth)
John Risch, Graphic Designer- Rm. 602/604 (Witters & Fuller)
Ericlee Gilmore, Personal Trainer- Rm. 621/623 (Lee/Ainley)
Westy Guill, Coffee Shop Co-Owner- Rm. 606/608 (Belmont & Ogdon)

2:00-2:30 Session 3:
Kevin Fuller, Mechanical Contractor- Rm. 601/603 (Martens & Foth)
Asia Smith, Musician- Rm. 602/604 (Witters & Fuller)
Lorinda Riffel, Elementary Teacher and Director of Home School Program- Rm. 621/623 (Lee/Ainley)
Dawn Steele, Government Affairs Manager, Coffee Shop Co-Owner- Rm. 606/608 (Belmont & Ogdon)

2:35-3:00 Meet and greet (Lunch area)

For more news articles, read the April 5 article BRIEF: Inspire Gala to feature Tebow, April 5.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

By |2013-04-09T00:00:00+00:00April 9th, 2013|News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

High school reinitiates Spirit Wear Fridays

SpiritWearTFeather Staff

A Fresno Christian T-shirt available for purchase.

Competition begins around school apparel

Starting Jan. 25, the school reinitiated Spirit Wear Fridays, holding a competition between all four classes, with rewards for the winning class. Spirit Wear Friday is an event where students wear their school colors and t-shirts to support the campus.

The school is encouraging students to wear their school sweatshirts, t-shirts and other school apparel on Fridays. Spirit Wear Friday was previously an event that eventually was neglected and not promoted. The student council is aiming to start it back up again. Stephan Melendez, ’13, one of the student council members, explains the intent of beginning the competition again.

“We’re doing Spirit Wear Fridays because it gets the school involved, it shows school spirit and it’s something we can coordinate with our theme “We Are One,” so we are all a body of Christ and all look the same,” Melendez said. “This way we can also revamp school spirit in high school.”

While the high school is just getting back into their school spirit, the elementary students regularly wear FC clothing on Fridays. It has become a competition among the classes. Many of the students, such as fifth grader Angelica Pimentel, enjoy the competition.

“I like the spirit wear competitions because it allows me to express my school spirit,” Pimentel said. “And the competition feels a lot like a sport.”

The competition is set up so that the winning class receives a trophy and a stuffed eagle to display in their classroom for a month. At the end of each month the competition resets. Administrator Kerry Roberts explains the rewards given in the elementary competition and the importance of it.

“The kindergarten through sixth grade classes compete to see who has the best percentage of spirit wear,” Roberts said. “The winning class gets a trophy and a stuffed eagle. It’s important to them and they love to show their school spirit.”

The high school and junior high classes will have a competition as well. The competitions will be held separately and counted through the Bible classes. Principal Todd Bennett describes how the competition will be held in the high school classes.

“The class who wears the most spirit wear will receive the award on Monday,” Bennett said. “I’ll choose the award. Fresno Christian sweat pants will be allowed to be worn.”

Some high school students already wear FCS clothing on Fridays for sports. FC cheerleader Maddie Luginbill, ’16, expresses her feelings on encouraging the rest of the class to wear spirit wear.

“I have to wear FC wear for cheer anyway, so it isn’t much of a hassle,” Luginbill said. “I think supporting our school is a good idea.”

For more news articles, read the Jan. 26 article, Superintendent to give State of the School address.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

By |2013-01-29T00:00:00+00:00January 29th, 2013|News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

'Live Spectacular' entertains with comedy, fight scenes

HowToTrain1SmCourtesy of the Live Spectacular book

Hiccup scratching the “puppet” Toothless dragon on the chin.

How to Train Your Dragon performance impressive and exciting

Actors scramble, slide and skid for cover as a deep roar rumbles across through the auditorium. Fire erupts from the stage, so close the audience can feel the heat. Across the stage comes a huge, red dragon who lumbers across the room. He blinks, tosses his head and spits smoke as the actor’s shields burst into flames.

Actors raise their swords and axes and lurch forward with a yell. The dragon stretches it’s wings open as it spits smoke at them. A battle is stirring. The How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular presented a show like this, with emotional actors and moving, blinking, flying dragons.

The How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular, held in the Fresno Save Mart Center, showcased mechanical dragons, spectacular effects and choreographed fights in the life re-telling of Dreamworks’s How to Train Your Dragon film, Dec. 20, 21 and 22.

The show began with the Dreamworks logo projected onto the wall. The main character, Hiccup, played by both Riley Miner and Rarmian Newton at different showings, came out to the stage with a fishing pole. Using more projections, the floor would ripple as he cast it. As he pulled it back for another cast, it seemed to get hooked on the projection on the screen. With a tug he “ripped” it off the screen and began to introduce the story.

Projections were used quite a lot for the telling of the story and created a very cool effect. In the beginning of the story, dragons attacked the village the vikings live in, known as Berk. Hiccup was secured into a harness and began to run on the wall, where the ground was projected, as if you were watching from above. The view would change as Hiccup ran, all the while still looking pretty convincing.

Projections were continually used to make location changes and even help simulate flying and humongous dragon known as The Red Death, which is so big they only built it’s head and tail.

The actors themselves put a lot of emotion into the acting. While most people only hear their voice and see their actions from high in the stands, those close enough to the performance can witness the emotion in their faces. Each actor put lots of emotion into their voice, actions and expressions.

The storyline was tweaked to make telling it in live-action more possible, but stuck very close to the original movie. With this said, there were a lot of battles against the dragons during the viking training scenes. The scenes were well choreographed, with actors cartwheeling, rolling and flying around in a harness.

The animatronic dragons themselves were operated by three people. A puppeteer controls the main movements of the body, the auxiliary worker controls the facial expressions and one person controls and steers the dragon. The dragons were very detailed, from the shading of the scales and detail in the horns and claws to looking like their teeth were covered in spit or their nose was running.

The main dragon, Toothless, was even capable of curling his lips in disgust like in the movie. They can stretch their wings and flap them while leaping about, and even spew smoke out of their mouths. The dragons were created by Global Creatures.

Some of the dragons flew as well as walked. Toothless was the one dragon ridden the most. Hiccup would climb up into a saddle on the animatronic dragons back and strap himself in. He would flap and take off, gliding through the air and close to the audience.

The show also offered many other visual effects, such as props and shields that would burst into flames. Hiccup would seemingly draw on the screen or ground and the drawings would appear at the same time as projections. This created a visual effect that made it seem like you were watching him draw up close.

The show also took advantages of many puppets and shadow puppets, casting shadows up on the screen to illustrate different dragons and their abilities. Puppets were also used to represent boats approaching the shore.

The story was told well and was entertaining for people of all ages. The humor such as the vikings dancing before their training. There was also humor older attenders could laugh at. The acting, effects and dragons were captivating and kept the audience entertained.

The costumes the vikings wore were detailed, with cloaks that looked like fur. The armor was convincing and the clothes looked like the character’s in the movie. They were altered a bit made to make it easier to move, roll and do other active things.

All-in-all the show was attracting and presented quite well. The show took advantage of the many things available to us today with technology and was able to tell a story set back when there was no electronics. The show was humorous and entertaining, and a wonderful thing to go see with friends or family.

For more reviews, read the Jan. 14 article, Adventure game provides engaging story.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

By |2013-01-15T00:00:00+00:00January 15th, 2013|Theatre, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Choir solo sparks excitement in senior

Taylor3Feather Staff

Taylor Neufeld (left) sings her solo at the fall performance.

Student pursues passion, overcomes obstacles

Imagine being up on stage, ready to preform in front of the crowd. All eyes are on the performers now, anticipating the entire choir’s performance. One student has just joined the musical group and she has to sing a solo, despite struggling with hitting the high notes.

Taylor Neufeld, ’13, had an experience very similar to that. Neufeld joined choir because of her love for singing and for a chance to prove that she can sing.

“I always ask my dad if I have a good voice and he tells me I’m not an American Idol singer,” Neufeld said. “It makes me want to get better because I think I can prove him wrong.”

She joined choir this year since it did not fit in her schedule previously. Neufeld is an alto singer and was featured in a solo in the fall concert. According to Neufeld, she loves performing for people and making others joyful.

“I love going to the performances and seeing a smile on the audience’s face,” Neufeld said “I like making people happy.”

Neufeld struggles with hitting high notes as an alto and timing her breaths correctly. Though her obstacles have never caused her problems in performances, being in choir has helped her learn how to hit the higher notes.

According to fellow alto choir member Gillian Rea, ’16, she believes that all of the alto section struggles with self-confidence.

“The altos are more insecure, I think, about singing,” Rea said. “It’s a weird part to sing because it’s really close to the tenor’s part.”

Neufeld was one of the soloists chosen for the fall concert. While some students may have felt anxious, she was filled with excitement.

“I was really excited to be one of the solo acts,” Neufeld said. “It was really cool to sing a solo for my first year of choir in the first performance. Mr. Ogdon picked me and two other people for the song, so it was cool to sing. I didn’t really feel nervous, just excited.”

As a senior on campus, she loves getting to know her other class mates and is eager for the semester to end. Neufeld did not expect to experience ‘senioritis’ but finds herself tired of the daily schedule and is excited for a break from school.

“I’m really excited to be a senior but part of me just wants to be done with it,” Neufeld said. “The best part of it though is getting the special privileges seniors get.”

Along with love for singing, Neufeld knows American Sign Language (ASL). She began learning ASL in sixth grade and has some experience with performances because of it.

“In the performing arts group, instead of singing the song we would sign them,” Neufeld said. “I guess that’s one of my talents.”

Music director Michael Ogdon enjoys having Neufeld in his class and the opportunity for Neufeld to sing with the other choir members.

“Taylor is new to the choir after a long time away from music fun,” Ogdon said. “Her schedule finally let her jump back into the thick of it with eighty others.”

To read more about the Fall Choir concert, read the Oct. 17 article Choral department to hold fall concert.

For more features, read the Dec. 14 article, Most wonderful time: Join the discussion, 2012 (VIDEO).

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

By |2012-12-18T00:00:00+00:00December 18th, 2012|FC Arts, Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' masters special effects (VIDEO)

HobbitReviewimdb.com

The theatrical poster for The Hobbit.

First installment entices excitement

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who is well respected, trusted and never does anything out of the ordinary. So when the wizard Gandalf the Grey appears at his door and invites him on a quest to win a kingdom back from the dragon Smaug, in the company of 13 dwarves, he goes on quite an unexpected journey.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was a very fitting title for the first installment of Peter Jackson’s adaption of the J.R.R. Tolkien novel The Hobbit.

Jackson set the bar very high with the Lord of the Rings Trilogy movies. Many people came to The Hobbit with high expectations, including myself. The Hobbit was something that Tolkien and Jackson fans were looking forward to ever since the movie was announced.

A lot of students at school have read The Hobbit, some two or three times for school. Having a knowledge of the story line and events, some may be confused and surprised with the events in the movie.

The movie starts just a little earlier than when Fellowship of the Ring started. Bilbo is writing a book of his adventures. He tells some back story of the dwarves, their treasure hoard and the attack of Smaug the Dragon. They show the massive mines the dwarves have dug. Already the special effects and sets are looking amazing, showing the majesty and beauty in the mine and home carved under the mountain.

The introduction of Smaug is handled well, teasing the watcher with small glimpses of the beast but no clear view of what he looks like. They show how he is relentless and greedy and how his only care is the hoard of riches in the mountain and how he destroys the dwarves’ home in the process.

This is where the story of Bilbo begins. The audience is shown a much younger Bilbo, played by Martin Freeman, sitting on his front porch, smoking his pipe and greeting a man passing his home with a friendly, “Good morning!”

The man passing his house happens to be the wizard Gandalf, who goes on to ask Bilbo if he meant to wish him a good morning, or that it is a good morning whether he wants it to be or not, or if that Bilbo feels that it is a good morning or if he meant it is a morning to be good on. A flustered Bilbo responds that he meant all of them at once.

Freeman, well known for his role in the Master Piece Theater show Sherlock, handles the role of Bilbo quite well. Freeman is excellent at displaying Bilbo’s frustration, nervousness and home sickness through out the movie along with his courage and sympathy towards the dwarves for having lost their home to Smaug. Smaug the dragon is voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, who also voiced the Necromancer in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and plays the main character in the show ‘Sherlock,’ along side Martin Freeman.

The dwarves themselves are very interesting, as Gimli was the only dwarf previously seen in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Seeing other dwarves all with completely different personalities was very enjoyable and gave a better look into the lives of dwarves.

The story itself, like previously mentioned, is quite different from the book itself. Though many events have changed a little, such as when the dwarves are caught by the goblins. Other events have been added to the movie, like the scenes with Radagast the Brown, a wizard who has a love for nature and would much rather be in the company of animals than people.

This can make it a bit confusing at first if the watcher has read The Hobbit , since some of the events were not even mentioned in the book.

A major difference in the movie is the lack of reality in the movie. Granted, this is a fantasy movie but even the Trilogy was grounded in some reality. There were several moments during The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey that made the watcher think in the back of their head “How on earth did they manage to live through that?” This is understandable though, since many of those scenes were very intense and some rather funny and help keep the watcher on the edge of their seat.

Andy Serkis reprised his role in the movie as the creature Gollum, doing the well known scene “Riddles in the Dark.” He does an excellent job making Gollum very creepy and kind of hilarious at the same time. Gollum, who often talks to himself, seeming to have a personality disorder from being corrupted by the One Ring, often fights with himself, telling himself to ‘Shut up!’ and arguing with himself, trying to think of an answer to Bilbo’s riddles.

All these things may be different, but it does not necessarily make them a bad thing. The scenes that have been added are events that have been pulled from Tolkien’s book The Silmarillion and notes on the history of Middle Earth.

One negative thing I noticed was that some of the orcs were CGI. In the Trilogy, the majority of the orcs were people in heavy makeup and prosthetics, giving them a more realistic feel and look. The effects used to make the orcs in The Hobbit were very good but didn’t give the same feeling as the disgusting, evil orcs in the Trilogy. The goblins were animated as well and seemed a bit too cartoony.

The negative effects, while annoying details, are quite outweighed by the positive effects. The acting is brilliant and well done by both actors returning to take up roles in the story of Middle earth and by actors new to the sets.

The special effects were very well done and the soundtrack is beautiful, setting the tone for the movie and creating an iconic theme. The story may have changed a bit but does well at tying it all back together with the book and is wonderful at keeping the audience at the edge of their seat.

The characters are memorable and amusing with many memorable lines both from the book and original. The ending of the movie leaves the audience longing for the second part of the three part installment of the movie.

When the movie ended in the theater, the audience rose and clapped. The fans were buzzing with excitement and discussing their favorite parts of it all. Anyone who is a fan of The Lord of the Rings should see this movie, as it helps to fill in the blanks by adding some depth and history to the movie Trilogy. While it may veer off the path of the book, it manages to stick very close to the original story. It’s laughable, fun and captivating, and is a wonderful addition to the movie versions of Lord of the Rings.

The next movie to be released is The Desolation of Smaug, which will be the second movie out of three.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.

For more movie reviews, read the Nov. 28 article, Historical flick focuses on abolition (VIDEO).

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

By |2012-12-17T00:00:00+00:00December 17th, 2012|Movies/TV, Uncategorized|1 Comment

'Professor Layton' game creates complex plot (VIDEO)

ProfessorLaytonUnwoundFutureamazon.com

The Nintendo DS box art for Professor Layton and the Unwound Future

Series offers compelling story, puzzles

The third installment of the Professor Layton series, Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, follows the story of Professor Hershel Layton and Luke Triton, who have recently received a letter that is supposedly from Luke in the future. Brace yourself, this story line gets a bit complicated.

A few weeks before the arrival of the mysterious letter, Layton and Luke were attending a luncheon where the invention of the century was about to be unveiled. People such as the fictional Prime Minister, Bill Hawks, Inspector Chelmey, Constable Barton, the Professor and Luke were invited to attend the unveiling of a time machine, invented by a man known as Doctor Alain Stahngun.

Stahngun invites the Prime Minister to be the test subject in the time machine. The Prime Minister reluctantly enters the time machine and with the pull of a lever and a whirl of machinery the entire machine explodes.

No one can find any sign of Doctor Stahngun or the Prime Minister. Chelmey begins a search for them but nothing, not even a shoe or scrap of clothing, can be found.

Not much happens until Layton receives the letter which was said to have been written by Luke in the future, explaining to him that he lives in the future version of London and that the world is in total chaos.

Nothing else is explained in the letter. The only thing that remains in the letter is directions to a clock shop which future Luke would like Layton and Luke to visit.

Upon entering the clock shop, Layton discovers a gigantic clock in the back room. The owner of the shop pulls a lever attached to clock and with a large creak and a tremendous amount of shaking, Layton and Luke are transported to London ten years in the future.

Layton and Luke search the very different London for future Luke. While scouring the city, Layton spots a very familiar face. A woman that is wandering the streets looks almost exactly like someone Layton had dated before a tragic accident in which she died.

The accident she had died in was the result of an experiment involving two other rather familiar scientists; Stahngun and Bill Hawks. So, what exactly is going on here?

Among all of the Professor Layton games before it, Professor Layton and the Unwound Future is by far the most detailed and possibly the most confusing mystery.

Professor Layton and the Unwound future can be played on a Nintendo DS and DSi. The game uses both of the dual screens and the touch screen feature.

With puzzles ready for the player to solve at every turn, and a mystery that just thickens with every question answered, the game is far from boring.

There are a wide variety of puzzles presented, some of which can be solved easily and others that can prove to be very challenging. As Professor Layton says, “Every puzzle has an answer.”

Some may think that it would be hard to follow the story because of the element of time travel. On the contrary, the game does a wonderful job clarifying when the player is in the future and when the player is in the present as well as skillfully presenting flashbacks into the past.

Like the previous games, three mini games are available to play. The player can collect stickers to put in a storybook, solve puzzles involving a parrot and solve an obstacle course like game involving a little toy car.

The ending of the entire game is tear jerking. Many players have cried at the ending, though I won’t detail why as it spoils the mysteries’ solution.

Some of the puzzles seem very similar to the previous games’ puzzles and can be a little repetitive and tiresome, though the brand new puzzles help balance out this negative element.

The story line of the game is very entertaining and suspenseful. Sudden plot twists keep the player on their toes and keep them hooked on the game.

To sum Professor Layton and the Unwound Future up, I would say that absolutely everyone who played the previous two games needs to play this one, even if they didn’t fully enjoy the previous two. The complexity of the story line and the development of each character is truly a spectacular thing and makes the game worth a look.

To read the reviews on the previous two games, Professor Layton and the Curious Village and Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, respectively, read the articles Puzzle game provides unique game play (VIDEO) and ‘Diabolical Box’ develops characters, plot (VIDEO).

For more reviews, read the Oct. 13 article, Fair food leaves senior full, includes multiple meals (VIDEO).

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

By |2012-11-06T00:00:00+00:00November 6th, 2012|Technology, Uncategorized|1 Comment

'Diabolical Box' develops characters, plot (VIDEO)

DiabolicalBoxamazon.com

The Nintendo DS box art for The Diabolical Box.

‘Diabolical Box’ develops characters, plot (VIDEO)

Following the review on Level-5‘s first Professor Layton game, Professor Layton and the Curious Village, it only makes sense to review the second installment in the video game series, Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, a mystery involving a cursed box rumored to kill all who open it.

As mentioned in the previous article, the Professor Layton series is designed for the Nintendo DS and DSi and makes good use of the dual screen feature, putting instructions for puzzles on the top screen and puzzles and navigation on the bottom touch screen.

The puzzle game starts with two sentences displayed on the screen for the player to chew on. “There are tales of a box that brings death on any who dare open it. Tell me, do you think these rumors to be true?”

Those two lines help set the mysterious tone of the game, which focuses on Professor Hershel Layton and his apprentice, Luke Triton, as they investigate the mysterious “Elysian Box” (or as it’s rightly called in the Australian and European versions of the game, “Pandora’s Box.”)

An animated cut scene then plays, showing the Professor and Luke boarding a train known as The Molentary Express, or as some of the characters say, “A cruise ship on wheels.”

The game then shows what had occurred the past week or two which lead to the investigation of the mysterious box.

The Professor had received a letter from his dear friend, Doctor Andrew Schrader. Schrader writes to tell that he has discovered the elusive Elysian Box and has been researching it for quite some time. He planned on finishing his research before opening the lid, but writes that his curiosity is just too great. In the unlikely event that he does indeed die, he would like Professor Layton to finish the study of the box.

The game then provides instructions on how to play the game. By tapping somewhere on the touch screen, the player may investigate. The player may also move around using the little button, shaped like a shoe, to navigate around the area.

The Professor and Luke arrive at Dr. Schrader’s apartment, or flat, to discover Schrader on the floor dead. But nowhere can they find any sign of the Elysian Box. All that seems of relevance in the room is a train ticket for the Molentary Express.

Luke, Layton and the head inspector for Scotland yard, Inspector Chelmey, board the train and take it to the town of Dropstone. Though they may have gotten more then they bargained for.

The setting quickly changes from the quaint little country town of Dropstone to the mysterious and brightly lit town known as Folsense. Nothing is exactly what it seems. The Professor and Luke finally discover the box, and despite all the warnings, Layton decides to lift the box’s golden lid.
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Like the previous game, Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box is based around solving puzzles. The puzzles vary from sliding puzzles, math puzzles, riddles, brain teasers and a newer addition, mazes.

Some people find puzzles to be bland or uninteresting, but with a hint of humor worked into the art and puzzle, they can be pretty entertaining.

Being the second game in the series, the characters have developed enough for the writers to make a more complicated mystery to solve. Unlike Professor Layton and the Curious Village, while I had my assumptions, I was not able to guess the actual solution.

The ending of the game is also a bit emotional. Though it isn’t a tear jerker, it might pull on your heartstrings a bit.

The entire mystery surrounding the Elysian Box and the town of Folsense continues to become more unclear as more clues are uncovered, until one main clue makes everything clear. The mystery was even more intriguing the the previous one and I found myself disappointed when it ended. Not because the game wasn’t enjoyable, but because I had enjoyed it so much I wanted to play more.

The soundtrack was even more entertaining than the previous game’s, with music that set the mysterious tone of the game wonderfully.

Along with the main game play, three mini games are also available to play. The player can make an obstacle course for a hamster, put a camera back together and gather diary pages, which are largely helpful in the case.

Unlike the previous game, Professor Layton and the Diabolical box has a hint of romance in it. The Elysian Box seems to have a connection to a love story between two characters, one of which who passed away.

With the qualities of a mystery book, an animated movie and interactive video game, Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box proves to be even better than it’s previous game.

Anyone who enjoyed Professor Layton and the Curious Village should buy this game. With elements of the previous game ingrained into it and and an even more interesting story and mystery to sink your teeth into the game is definitely worth being bought to play.

The series continues with the next game Professor Layton and the Unwound Future.

Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box is rated E10+ for Alcohol Reference and Mild Violence.

For more video game reviews, read the Oct. 18 article, Puzzle game provides unique game play (VIDEO).

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

By |2012-10-31T00:00:00+00:00October 31st, 2012|Technology, Uncategorized|1 Comment

Puzzle game provides unique game play (VIDEO)

Game provides intriguing atmosphere, puzzles

TheCuriousVIllageamazon.com

The Curious Village Nintendo DS game cover

Professor Layton and the Curious Village is the first installment in the Professor Layton video game series by Level-5 for the Nintendo DS and DSi. Professor Layton and the Curious Village, released in 2008, follows one of the Professor’s investigations. But unlike his other mysteries, this one must remain top secret, for reasons only known to the people present and the player.

Hershel Layton, the perfect picture of a modern-day gentleman, is a professor of archaeology at the fictional Gressenheller University in London, England. He also happens to be investigating a murder, tracking down a kidnapper and attempting to settle an inheritance dispute.

Professor Layton and the Curious Village is classified under the Puzzle genre. The goal of the game is to gather clues to solve an ultimate mystery and the mini mysteries that come with it. To do this the player moves around town and questions the characters in the game. Most often the character will give a puzzle to the player to solve. Puzzles can also be found hidden around the game and act as locks to locations the player can later explore.

The puzzles take advantage of the Nintendo DS’s dual screen feature, with the instructions for the puzzle displayed on the upper screen and the puzzle itself on the bottom touch screen.

The game seems simple enough upon first glance. Professor Layton and his apprentice, Luke Triton, have received a letter inviting them out to the village St. Mystere to search for a lost inheritance known as “The Golden Apple”.

The game opens with Luke and Layton talking to each other in Layton’s car. Layton asks Luke to pull out the map enclosed within the letter with directions to the village. Much to Luke’s surprise, the map is in the form of a puzzle.

Unlike some puzzle games, the puzzles are intriguing and entertaining. It can be hard to put the game down, even for gamers who don’t enjoy the genre.

Upon arriving at the village and meeting many curious villagers, Layton and Luke arrive at Reinhold Manor, whose owner, Baron Reinhold, recently passed away.

After meeting with Dahlia, Baron’s wife, Layton and his apprentice begin their investigation. Almost immediately after beginning their search, a booming crash is heard and the entire manor shakes violently.

The tremor frightens away Lady Dahlia’s cat and everyone is preoccupied in finding the feline and the source of the noise and tremor. Upon their return to the manor, they discover Simon Reinhold, a suspect in the case, has been murdered.

The story goes deeper and deeper as answers uncovered just produce more questions. Who or what is taking the villagers? Why are there gears lying around town? What is the point of the huge, foreboding tower in the center of town? And why does everything remind Layton of a puzzle?

The storyline is not the only appealing part of the game. This puzzle game features animated cut scenes that look like they came out of a movie and voice acting for the characters, which I have never seen on a Nintendo DS game before.

Even the soundtrack, featuring the violin, accordion, piano, drums, chimes, bells and a fitting tone for each situation, is beautifully made. At times I wished to just leave the game on to enjoy the music.

One of the only flaws in the game is that the game is short. If a gamer played the game for about three to four hours everyday they could complete it in about a week.

Along with that the solution to the mystery seems a bit easy to guess toward the middle of the game, though it was still quite enjoyable to play.

The puzzles themselves ranged from sliding puzzles to math problems to riddles. Instead of the usual, boring puzzle explanations, humor was often integrated into the illustrations and instructions. If the player skips a puzzle or does not discover one of the hidden ones while cruising around town, the puzzle can be found in Granny Riddleton’s Shack, a little house where all the puzzles you miss go and wait to be solved.

Overall, with Professor Layton and the Curious Village’s unique story line, intriguing puzzles, beautiful animation and unforgettable songs, such as the one that plays while solving a puzzle, the game is definitely worth some attention and will leave the player wanting more. Professor Layton makes a return appearance in the second game as Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box.

For more reviews, read the Oct. 13 article, Fair food leaves senior full, includes multiple meals (VIDEO).

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

By |2012-10-18T00:00:00+00:00October 18th, 2012|Technology, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Freshmen begin planning homecoming float

FreshmanfloatEmily Ladd

After meeting together and voting for a theme amongst themselves, the freshman class decided to build a Peter Pan float, meeting at freshman Maddie Luginbill’s house.

As homecoming approaches, each class will compete in the float competition during half time, Oct. 26. Until then, students meet and collaborate to construct their chosen theme.

To go along with the theme, “Once Upon a Homecoming,” the freshmen class has chosen to portray Peter Pan. Check back each week to see updates on their progress as the deadline approaches.

Oct. 29

The four high school classes gathered on the North field and put the final touches on their floats, Oct. 26. The freshmen class met for about an hour after school and put the backdrop and props up on their float. Several students changed into their mermaid, pirate and other character costumes. The freshmen worked their hardest and placed third amongst the other classes. The juniors placed first, the seniors placed second and the sophomores fourth.

Oct. 22

With homecoming just four days away, the freshmen add just the last finishing touches to their Neverland float. After calling a meeting to address the matter of costumes and meeting on Oct. 21 to add what little details were left to do, the freshmen have a renewed sense of confidence.

The float was moved to Kiaya Hargis’ house, where it was worked on every weekend and half-day.

“I believe we’re going to win because we put so much effort into it [/fusion_builder_column]

[the float],” Hargis said. “We have so many artistic kids and they put a lot of effort into the artwork. I think we pose as competition because I think we’ve worked the hardest.”

The homecoming football game is Oct. 26 at Fresno Christian.

Oct. 15

After meeting October 13th and 14th the Freshmen class completed the base of the float and half of the backdrop. They gathered materials such as paper, spray paint and bamboo and set to work on the essentials for their float. The Freshmen class plan to meet this Wednesday at Kiaya Hargis‘s house from 1:00-5:00.

Oct. 9

Being unexperienced at making homecoming floats might lower their chances of winning the annual competition, but the freshman class will give it their all in making the Peter Pan float for this year’s homecoming theme, “Once Upon a Homecoming.”

After meeting together and voting for a theme amongst themselves, the freshman class decided to build a Peter Pan float, meeting at freshman Maddie Luginbill’s house.

Luginbill was voted for Freshman Princess along with Skyler Lee and Courtney Messer, who is also supplying the trailer for the float.

The class met at Messer’s house to watch the movie to draw ideas from it, Oct. 5. Some of the students had never seen the cartoon before that first meeting.

Despite the freshmen class only winning once before, the class is determined to rank as high as they can.

“We could win because Peter Pan is sort of easy to do,” Messer said. “We have a lot of artistic people in our class, so that’s an advantage.”

With homecoming on Oct. 26, the Freshmen class will have to work diligently to finish their float, but with hard work and organized schedules they may just win.

For more features, read the Oct. 4 article Former NFL athlete shares story, encouraging message (VIDEO).

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

By |2012-10-09T00:00:00+00:00October 9th, 2012|FC Events, Features, Uncategorized|2 Comments

BRIEF: Band to compete at fair, CSUF (VIDEO)

FeatherBriefLogoFeather Staff

The FC band and color-guard will also be preforming on the opening day of The Big Fresno Fair in the second annual Big Band Review, sponsored by Toyota and the Educational Employees Credit Union.

Students encouraged to view upcoming performances

FC’s high school band is almost in full swing with their upcoming performance at the Fresno Fair and their viewing of the Sierra Cup Classic (SCC) at California State University, Fresno, Oct. 3.

The SCC is hosted by the Western Band Association in Fresno State’s Bulldog Stadium. General admission is $12 and senior and student admissions is $9; attendees might also have to pay $10 for parking.

Music Director Michael Ogdon is excited about competed against both small and larger schools.

“Typical programming has smaller schools performing their 8 minute halftime competition shows in the early afternoon,” Ogdon said. “These are followed by the schools of 1000 to 2000. The headliners, big schools of 3000 to 4000 with large marching, percussion and color guard units perform in the evening. A special feature at the Sierra Cup is a performance from the host, Fresno State University marching band, color-guard, and twirlers.”

The FC band and color-guard will also be preforming on the opening day of The Big Fresno Fair in the second annual Big Band Review, sponsored by Toyota and the Educational Employees Credit Union. The band and color-guard will march inside the horse track at 2:30 p.m. in the Brian I. Tatarian Grandstand and play in a drum line competition at 2:45 p.m.. The competition is free to watch with paid admission to the fair.

Lindsey Biehler, ’15, member of the FC marching band encourages people to attend the SCC to support the school.

“I think people should come to watch our parade because we are representing the school,” Biehler said. “Last year was fun because we had to dodge people while we marched. It was kinda entertaining to watch.”

Ticket cost for the Fresno Fair are $6 for kids, $10 for adults and $7 for seniors and Military personnel. Admittance for children under five years of age is free.

The band will next march at the 56th annual running of the Biola Raisin Day Parade in the city of Biola, Oct. 20. The parade is described as the biggest 2-block parade in the west. For more information on the band program, contact Michael Ogdon.

For more news, read the Oct. 2 article Book Buddies meeting scheduled, Oct. 8.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

By |2012-10-03T00:00:00+00:00October 3rd, 2012|FC Events, Leadership, News, Uncategorized|1 Comment

Kearney Park hosts 35th annual Highland Gathering & Games

Highlander3Emily Ladd

The Gathering and Games offers an average of 2,000 attendees the chance to enjoy Scottish culture, food and history.

Celebration of Scottish Culture offers fun and food

Bagpipes could be heard across the property and smells of meat pies drifted as people crowded at 7160 West Kearney Boulevard in Fresno, Sept. 15. People of Scottish roots and those just looking for a good time arrived for the 35th annual Highland Gathering and Games to celebrate everything Scottish.

People of all sorts come to enjoy the Highland Gathering and Games. Magicians, people of scottish clans and roots, to bag pipers or drummers, dancers, cooks and people who have come to enjoy Scottish history.

According to the Scottish Society of Central California (SSCC) website, the games were originally hosted by the Celtic Cultural Society of Central California but in 1984, the games were taken over by the SSCC; it is now considered one of the best one-day Scottish festivals on the West Coast.

The Gathering and Games offers an average of 2,000 attendees the chance to enjoy Scottish culture, food and history. Robyn Guiterrez, Clan Fraser ad Chieftain of this year’s Games, discussed why the festival was held.

“The whole purpose of attending the games is to give the general public an opportunity to enjoy Scottish culture, events, enjoy the food and learn while having fun,” Guiterrez said. “We bring authentic foods from a time past as well as Clan Row where one can sit with their clansman and relate.”

Many people who have been to Scotland and attend the games believe that Kearney Park is the ideal location to host the event. Guiterrez discussed the location of the Gathering and Games and the peoples’ opinion on it.

“It’s a family day where young and old alike will find entertainment, music, friendships and remember our past and what our ancestors sacrificed to come to America,” Guiterrez said. “We receive calls throughout the year asking if we will be hosting our games at the location. It’s almost like going home to Scotland. All we need is a glen with a river running through it and we’d be set.”

Clan booths and vendors line the field, selling things like clan shirts, jewelry, Scottish foods and metal works. People wear the traditional dress and some, such as the blacksmith, work right in front of passersby.

Steve Morgan joined the Society for Creative Anachronism because of his interest for obtaining accurate weapons relative to the time period and acts as one of the blacksmiths.

“I took lessons from a blacksmith and began to make my own weapons,” Morgan said. “I now go to renascence fairs, pirate festivals, civil war reenactments and other festivals such as the Gathering and Games. We sell to the people there who are re-enactors who need stuff that is from the right time period and made the right way. It’s a lot of fun.”

The athletics held at the festival include Open/Bramer Stones, weights for distance, the Scottish Hammer, caber toss and weight for height. Though the games are mainly professional, children may participate if a parent or guardian signs them up to play; the athletics include sports all originating from Scotland.

Another thing the Highland Gathering and Games provides is the bands to add to the atmosphere. This year at the games, Avalon Rising, Pipe on the Hob and the Harp Society and violinist Michael Mullen were featured, along with the pipers and drummers who played throughout the day.

The Stag and Thistle Pipe Band was one of the bands who played at the festival. Freshman Emily Spradling, from Bullard High School, is one of the members in the band.

“We go to the Highland Gathering and Games to help promote our band and to inform people about the Scottish culture,” Spradling said. “I enjoy going to the games to watch the caper toss. I also enjoy the food.”

Stag and Thistle Pipe Band state their reasons for playing: “to preserve and promote the Great Highland Bagpipe, excellence in piping and the love of bagpipe music.”

The pipers marched on field during the opening ceremony, welcoming the entrance of the clans who parade past with their banners. Dance competitions are held, magicians preform and athletics are participated in.

The Central California Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals mobile adoption and Central California Blood Center Bloodmobile also appeared at the games. The games also hold the North American Hammer Throw Championship, along with professional and youth athletics.

Though the games only have one day to offer this experience, the SSCC would like to be able to offer the festival for a longer time period.

“We would like to be ale to offer a two-day games festival in order to provide more cultural events,” Gutierrez said. “We’d like to expand our Living History Village and draw more professional athletes from all over the United States and Canada.”

For more information on the games, contact Robyn Gutierrez. For information on the Clan Coveners, contact Cuff Burell or call him at 559.924.0922. For food and merchandise vendor information, contact Gutierrez or Mary Anderson or call
559.227.8169. To learn more about Fresno Stag and Thistle Pipe Band, contact Business Manager Ken Bain at 559.439.5553.

For more features, read the Sept. 28 article, Seventh grader sets motorcycle record.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

By |2012-09-28T00:00:00+00:00September 28th, 2012|Community Events, Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Students, teacher observe cats for art class (VIDEO)

CatHaven1Ashley Erickson

Anderson founded the Cat Haven in 1993 with the hope of educating his visitors about endangered cat species because his passion was peaked in seventh grade, according to the website.

Cat Haven provides real life experiences for class

Imagine watching a mountain lion, prowling in it’s habitat, so close you could almost touch it. This summer a group of students had an experience similar to this at Project Survival’s Cat Haven in the Sierra Mountain foothills near Dunlap.

Home economics and art teacher Sharon Scharf invited alumni Alexandra Barisic, Becky Barisic, Barisic’s mom, and seniors Ashley Erickson, Kevin Thao, Juan Ruelas and Katie Barisic to Project Survival’s Cat Haven to snap photos of the wild cats, June 7.

Scharf’s friend Wendy Debbas is involved in the Cat Haven’s activities. Debbas has lead safaris in Africa and helps support a orphanage in Kenya. Scharf traveled to Debbas’ house and snapped pictures of two 23-week old jaguar cubs.

“I have since been able to go to Wendy’s house to take photos of two jaguar cubs she was raising until they were old enough to be placed in the Cat Haven,” Scharf said. “They were 12 weeks old at the time. She kept them in a bathroom when they were not romping in the backyard with her dog. She also has a bobcat, who I photographed, who was found in an abandoned washing machine with her sister; their mom had been killed.”

Scharf saw the photos Debbas took of the different wild cats protected at the Cat Haven and wanted her students to be able to photograph the same cats.

“They [/fusion_builder_column]

[the art students] can’t draw from a published photograph and enter it in a contest,” Scharf said. “They have to draw from their own photos. Drawing from a published photo is plagiarism.”

The group met at Blossom Trail Cafe and then left for the Cat Haven. When they arrived they received an introduction and a tour.

“We were given an excellent introduction by the director, Dale Anderson.” Scharf said. “Then Jolein, a docent, gave us about a two hour tour. We learned a great deal more than we bargained for- about conservation, the mission of the Cat Haven; to raise funds to educate the people in Kenya where the endangered cats live, how to coexist with them and to not kill them.”

“We learned a great deal more than we bargained for- about conservation, the mission of the Cat Haven; to raise funds to educate the people in Kenya where the endangered cats live, how to coexist with them and to not kill them.” –Sharon Scharf, FC art teacher

Anderson founded the Cat Haven in 1993 with the hope of educating his visitors about endangered cat species because his passion was peaked in seventh grade, according to the website.

“I wanted a different way to conserve wild cat’s lives,” said Anderson. “I also wanted to get people interested in helping the cats. In the seventh grade a gentleman brought a mountain lion to my class. I do not remember the name of the gentleman but I do remember the cat’s name: Sam.”

As he got older he decided he wanted a unique way to help different species of wild cats. He hoped it would teach others about the endangered species and encourage them to help.

Erickson was one of the many vistors who learned more then they would have thought while attending the Cat Haven’s tours.

“We got a guided tour of the entire facility and spent a lot of time taking pictures of the different cats,” Erickson said. “We learned about their different personalities, how they would normally look and how many were left in the wild. It was really interesting. I had never seen those animals except on TV, so it was unique to see them so close.”

Katie and Erickson were the first students Scharf invited on the trip because of their experience with this particular kind of art.

“Ashley Erickson and Katie Barsic have both done artwork using large cat photos, so those are the two students I started with,” Scharf said. “When [Greg] Stobbe found out, he wanted Juan Ruelas to go take photos and videograph the event. Kevin Thao joined him, along with Katie’s mom and her sister.”

The group was guided from habitat to habitat, learning about each cat as they were able to observe them in a habitat very similar to their natural setting.

“We took a tour of the Cat Haven and saw lots of small and large cats,” Katie said. “There were two lions that were really cool. We almost touched one. They had a lot of jaguars, too.”

Fellow classmates agreed with Katie, reflecting on their experience on the haven and agreeing that others should visit the haven.

“I was really surprised that there were lions like that about an hour away from Fresno,” Ruelas said. “It’s awesome, it’s a unique experience and it’s something you will enjoy and not regret, unless you hate lions and cats.”

Traveling to the Cat Haven to see the cats is not the only option. The sanctuary takes its smaller cats to public events such as the Madera Fair or to other schools. The cats have also been on the TV program, The Tonight Show, and spent time with different celebrities.

Scharf would like to work with the Cat Haven to arrange a day when they could bring some of the smaller cats on campus, as the haven has not yet been presented to FC.

“I feel it would be a great opportunity for our student body to hear the presentation the Cat Haven gives to schools,” Scharf said. “Bringing one of their cheetahs and talking about the conservation program they have. I’m presently trying to talk to the right people to get this to happen.”

For more information on the Cat Haven, visit their website or make the drive to 38257 E. Kings Canyon Rd.
Dunlap, CA. 93621. The entrance fees are $9 for adults and $6 for children 6-12. Seniors are $7.50. Visitors can also contact them via email or by phone at 559.338.3216.

For more information on the field trip, email Scharf.

For more features, read the Sept. 11 article, Seniors bond through activities, strengthen relationships.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ejLadd

By |2012-09-13T00:00:00+00:00September 13th, 2012|FC Arts, FC Events, Features, Uncategorized|1 Comment