Art & Entertainment

Movie Review: Journey to a Christmas Star

By: Teri Stover

Journey to a Christmas Star is an hour and seventeen minute long movie that came out in 2012. The movie is based on an old fairy tale with a king, queen, Princess Golden Hair, an unfaithful squire, and an evil witch.

Together, the unfaithful squire and evil witch lead Golden Hair to the forest to get the Christmas Star and cast a spell on her to make her vanish, along with her the Christmas Star. The only way to reverse the curse is to find the Christmas Star in 10 years time.

The queen dies of grief and the king is desperately searching Along the way, a girl named Sonja, an orphaned child who escaped being prisoner, promises to help the king find the Christmas Star, and their journey begins.

This is a great family film with fantasy and an easy plot to follow. I think it may be a great choice to watch in the spirit of Christmas.


Holiday Traditions: Thanksgiving

By: Teri Stover

When people say Thanksgiving, the turkey is the first thing that comes to mind. The roasted, golden, juicy, mouth-watering, turkey, with it’s distinct rich smell. It just brings everyone together for a Thanksgiving meal.

The football games play a big part in most American celebrations. This tradition goes back to 1876 when the first football championship was held on Thanksgiving. This year, the Bears and the Lions play at 12:30pm, the Eagles and Cowboys play at 4:30pm, and the Seahawks and 49ers play at 8:30pm. The room filled is usually with friends and family surrounding the TV and chanting loudly, rooting on their team.

Most families get together and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which takes place in New York City. The first parade was in 1920, and was organized by Gimbels department store in Philadelphia, not Macy’s, like many people believe. But, the parade didn’t get popular until 1924, and now it’s an annual event enjoyed across America with balloons, bands, floats, and more.

Another famous tradition is making a wish on the wishbone. This tradition was started by the Romans, dating back all the way to 322 b.c. The way this tradition works is by two people yanking on both sides of the bone, and the person with the bigger half has their wish come true.

Lastly, and most importantly, friends and family get together and give thanks to one another. With that being said, giving thanks means just being thankful for all that others have done for you. Everyone needs to take a little time this holiday to appreciate each other and let your loved ones know that they truly are appreciated.


How does music inspire you?

By: Teri Stover

Music doesn’t necessarily inspire me as much as it expresses me. Music doesn’t send just one feeling, and it does not apply to just anyone. One may receive their message by what is being said through the lyrics, another may receive their message through the beat and rhythm of the music. Whether it be upbeat and happy rhythm, or smooth and soothing, or even through a balance of both. However, the way you receive the message doesn’t matter; what matters is what being sent; what matters is what it means to you, and what you do with it. It’s like a secret code that means something different to each individual, a lock that is keeping me in the dark from what I’m feeling, and once I figure out the meaning, the feeling, the message, I hold on to it as long as I can. I use that to express myself in a way that is nearly impossible to describe, a way of letting go, a way of accepting who I am.

Music puts me into a trans, a place where I can do anything, where I can be anything; a place with no limits that can go on forever, until I open my eyes that is. Then I’m back, back into the cruel world, a world based off of anger and hatred, and my only escape is music. The only place where the rest of the world will never be able to interfere, the only place I’m safe; safe to be me and not be afraid of what anyone else thinks and safe to think without others opinions contradicting with mine. I can express my feelings, let go of the hurt, of the pain, just let it all fade away, and replace it with happiness, joy, and feel whole. This is the message I discover from the hidden edges of the limitless music.


Fall a time for family traditions








By:  Jamie Mullins

Fall is a season of family traditions and coming together to celebrate. Fall is known for football games and bonfires, carving pumpkins, trick or treating, haunted houses, and festivals. Fall brings cooler weather and the changing of the leaves into beautiful colors. It is a time for raking and playing in the leaves, visiting pumpkin patches, and hunting in the woods. In our community the fall season is also the time of harvesting the crops. This fall offers many entertaining events and opportunities to enjoy yourself with friends and family.

The month of September has many festivals to celebrate the harvest season. The National Sweetcorn Festival was held in Hoopeston, IL on August 28-September 1st, 2014. The first festival was organized to promote business in Hoopeston and to celebrate the yearly harvest of sweet corn. Approximately 50 tons of sweet corn is cooked and distributed for free. The festival also includes a carnival, demolition derby, parade, and other fun events.

In Champaign, IL you can attend the Pygmalion Music Festival on September 25-28, 2014. This festival started out in small clubs. Now in its tenth year, it has expanded into a long weekend with more accomplished authors and artists. It includes a book fair and craft vendors.

There is a pumpkin festival in Morton, IL on September 10-13, 2014. Over 80% of the world’s canned pumpkin is processed here and the pumpkin festival is held to celebrate the canning season. A parade, craft fair, run, walk, and live music entertainment are all a part of the celebration.

During the month of October, you can visit Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul, IL and go through the corn maze. Curtis Orchard in Champaign, IL has an apple orchard where you can pick your own apples as well as pick your own pumpkins. Curtis Orchard also has a Cafe, Bakery, and Country Store where you can buy Amish products and many other items.

Finally, fall comes to an end by celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends and lots of good food. This season provides many opportunities to enjoy time with friends and family. Take a weekend, slow down, and spend some quality time taking in all that fall has to offer.


How is nature and life compared to art?

By: Julianna Burton

The exploration of nature in art can take endless forms, because nature provides us with such a different view on our ideas and our views on life.

Nature in art can take many visual forms, from photo realism to abstraction. Art can mimic nature, by seeking to visually replicate objects as they actually appear in real life. But, abstract paintings can also take their visual cue from actual forms in nature. There are many different ways to approach the subject of nature in art.

Art can open our eyes to the intricacy and beauty of the natural world. It can simply be a pretty picture that appreciates nature for what it is or it can be a challenging piece expressing our complex human connection to nature. Art can serve a purpose beyond being an object of beauty.


American Horror Story

By: Julianna Burton

When Strongman Dell Toledo shows up with his wife and fellow performer Desiree, a hermaphroditic, the troupe of monsters begins to face problems they don’t even realize are coming yet. He shows up with the confidence of a mountain, only to crumble into desperation when Elsa rejects his act. Immediately Elsa gives in and as we all know, that was a mistake. Now Toledo is calling the shots, running the show, beating up Jimmy, and billing Elsa lowest on the show roster. The jump in logic here defies gravity but hopefully it will clear itself up.

Meanwhile, Dot and Bette remain the headliners of the show, only it’s the unsuspecting Dot who shows up her conjoined twin and turns out to be the one with real talent.

We certainly learned a bit more about Dandy though. While it’s no surprise that he’s a twisted murderer, and while he could have easily been killed this week by the clown who his mother didn’t seem to notice was dirty and nightmarish, I’m glad he wasn’t. I don’t think he’ll bring anything deep or meaningful to the show, but it’s nice to have another villain around. Someone who gets excited when they see a severed head in a dirty sack and wants to learn more about the monster who put it there. One who’s willing to help wrangle up kidnapped kids when they try to escape their trappings.

Overall, the show has shown us so much and I think it will continue to give us what we want in the future.


Annabelle: Before the conjuring there was Annabelle

BY: Teri Stover

Annabelle is the prequel to The Conjuring, directed by James Loenetti and written by Gary Dauberman. This horror film creates suspense and thrill throughout the entire hour and thirty five minute time period.

The story of a happily married couple and their infant child takes a wrong turn, and it all starts when the couple brings the rare doll into their home to complete their collection. Little do they know that a girl from their neighborhood Annabelle who was said to commit suicides’ spirit has possessed the doll, and their journey between the devil and god collide and unwrap in a series of events.


Should Tattoos Be Regarded As An Art Form?

By: Julianna Burton

People say that tattoos look “trashy” and “cheap”, subjected to those who practice the art with either no or a small amount of artistic ability or poor handling of the machines as they are heavy and tend to shake due to the needle’s motion of up to eighty times per second.

It is nothing to do with the general art form as there are many talented artists who are still working to perfect the art, they should not be tarred with the same brush as lazy, so-called “artists” as the majority of tattoo artists are skilled and take their work very seriously.

Tattoos are judged negatively because of previous owners, as they used to solely belong to the skin of prisoners. They were a mark of pride to prove to the community of their criminal reputation. Symbols such as a tear applied just below eyes, and religious imagery was a popular choice if the criminal had found God during conviction. These were very common “prison” tattoos.

When tattoo artists and enthusiasts alike are questioned they have a completely different outlook on the practice. Tattoo art conceals individuality, as the choice of the image they are tattooed with. Tattoos help others feel better about themselves and help them express their views and emotions.

Art forms should not be judged or degraded, art from different cultures are admired and inspiring. Tattoos are an art form. This is why they should be treated with the same respect and admiration as other forms of art as they are methods of expression and creativity.


The History of Art in America (8000B.C.-2000B.C.)

By Nikolas Heiser

Twenty thousand years ago, as the world’s climate begins slowly to warm after the last major Ice Age people crossed the Bering Strait between Siberia and Alaska. These new Americans spread out through the two large continents – reaching temperate environments, they begin to diversify. While continuing to hunt game for food, they also gather edible plants and shellfish. Their shelters were found in caves, or built in tent like structures of wood and animal skin. Their weapons and tools are fashioned from wood, stone, and bone. Basketry develop and fiber-tempered pottery is eventually fired. The practice of placing significant burials beneath earth-and-stone mounds is initiated.

8000 B.C. American Archaic cultures are those that occur between Paleoindian hunter groups and the people who have realized some combination of pottery making, burial mound construction, and garden technology.

5000 B.C. Indian Knoll(small hill, mound) and other shell-mound sites along the Green River, in Kentucky, begin to be occupied.

4000 B.C. Small conical(cone like) burial mounds are the earliest earthworks along the Mississippi.

3500 B.C. People of the Old Copper culture around the Great Lakes use native copper for tools.

3000 B.C. Lovelock Cave, an open rock shelter in Western Nevada – is inhabited, and remains in use until historic times. Large quantities of perishable materials such as bird decoys, baskets, basketry items, featherwork, and skin blankets have been discovered there.

2500 B.C. Pottery is made in the lower Savannah River valley of Georgia and South Carolina.


It’s Time For Fall…

By: Alyshia Kersey

It’s that time of year again

It’s time to drink warm, delicious apple cider by a fire.

To go on camping trips with your brothers and sisters.

It’s time to watch the leaves turn the beautiful colors of red, orange, and gold.

It’s time to laugh and talk with your family around a table

eating turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie.

It’s the time where you see your siblings or kids

dressed up in  their cute, little costumes.

From a princess to a witch or from Batman to a vampire.

It’s the time

When you can finally start wearing your sweaters,boots, scarves, and jeans

and you can pack away your summer wear.

It’s the time

where you really realize all the things you love

and how many things that

you are truly grateful for.

It’s time for fall…


The Giver

BY: Nikolas Heiser

The Giver came out August 15, 2014. It is set in a city that has been wiped of all emotions, pain, and war. When a boy named Jonas was chosen to succeed the Receiver of Memories, the memories he received changed everything. It will test the relationships of everyone when Jonas’ emotions return. He realizes the dark secrets the receiver must hold, and he knows he must escape to save the ones he loves. The movie is remarkably similar to the book, but there are one or two minor changes. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a bit of excitement with their popcorn.



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