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So far Emily Ladd has created 35 blog entries.

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


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 |2017-09-12T17:10:00-07:00May 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 ejladd@gmail.com

By |2015-03-27T00:00:00-07:00March 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 ejladd@gmail.com

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

By |2015-02-04T00:00:00-08:00February 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 |2015-01-26T00:00:00-08:00January 26th, 2015|FC Events, Features, Uncategorized, Videos, Videos 2014-15|0 Comments

Into the Woods presents a lively, enjoyable tale


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 |2015-01-07T00:00:00-08:00January 7th, 2015|Movies/TV, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Last movie installment instills emotion, sentimental

A last goodbye to The Hobbit movie trilogy

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 |2015-01-02T00:00:00-08:00January 2nd, 2015|Movies/TV, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Writing compensates for weak story line, plot


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 |2014-11-12T00:00:00-08:00November 12th, 2014|Movies/TV, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Parents to host movie night for students of all ages


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 |2014-10-23T00:00:00-07:00October 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 |2014-10-09T00:00:00-07:00October 9th, 2014|Theatre, Uncategorized|1 Comment

Framerate: Something new


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 ejladd@gmail.com

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

By |2014-10-08T00:00:00-07:00October 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 |2014-09-26T00:00:00-07:00September 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 |2014-08-21T00:00:00-07:00August 21st, 2014|FC Events, Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

‘Winter Soldier’ proves best of Marvel movies


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 |2014-04-07T00:00:00-07:00April 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 |2014-03-24T00:00:00-07:00March 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 |2013-12-19T00:00:00-08:00December 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 |2013-12-10T00:00:00-08:00December 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 |2013-12-04T00:00:00-08:00December 4th, 2013|Movies/TV, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Film entertains with witty dialogue, action


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 |2013-11-14T00:00:00-08:00November 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 |2013-09-11T00:00:00-07:00September 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 |2013-09-05T00:00:00-07:00September 5th, 2013|Features, Uncategorized|4 Comments

Fantasy book gives way to enticing storyline


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 ejladd@gmail.com

By |2013-08-20T00:00:00-07:00August 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 |2013-05-17T00:00:00-07:00May 17th, 2013|Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments