With pollution levels in the air through the roof, many people are trying to find good ways to stay in shape and keep in good health without having to play a sport. Many have turned to new hobbies such as pilates or yoga, although, skeptics like me are beginning to wonder whether yoga should even be considered a sport.
Junior Jade Womack says, "I think it should be qualified as a sport. The point of a sport is to increase your overall health. The competition has really just become a franchise business."
Yoga is an activity where a person stretches his or her body and holds poses in difficult positions for extended periods of time. This makes for an exercise which involves little effort and has no way of competing against others.
On the other side of things however, Junior Sam Waters says, "Yoga is for personal meditation and relaxation, so no it's not a sport."
There is an alternative to simply meditating silently in a room for a few hours however. Other types of yoga include Bikram yoga, which is the same type of yoga except for the fact that it is done in a room heated up to about 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Forrest yoga is simply based more around abdominal and breathing exercises than stretching and lying on one's back.
Another reason some say that yoga shouldn't be considered a sport is because of the simplicity of some of the positions. For example the savasana position is simply the act of lying on one's back completely motionless. The real exercise in different positions like these is just the ability of the individual to stay awake.
Junior Teague Guy says, "No it shouldn't be considered a sport because a sport should be cardio based and yoga's just stretching and flexibility, which is what people do before playing a sport."
It can be debated both ways but it seems that mostly those who have not attempted to try yoga, do not consider it to be a sport. Maybe if everyone were to try it just once, the opinions would sway toward it being considered a sport. But seriously, there's no competition, it's very easy to not break a sweat (except in Bikram yoga), and most of the positions can be done while lying in bed. So the question still is, "Is yoga really a sport or just a hobby?"
The cold months have been upon the northern hemisphere for a while and before it gets warmer it will only get colder. As temperatures range from 19 degrees to 40 degrees, there is no doubt that everyone needs to bundle up. Your outerwear collection should include at least one pair of gloves or mittens (whichever you prefer) to ensure your hands stay nice and warm and don't crack from the cold dry weather, a hat lined with fur or fleece (90 percent of body heat is lost through the head), one or two coats- one that is waterproof and a casual/formal one if you want, and a scarf (the skin on the neck is very thin and fragile so protect it).
Here are the top ten places to shop for outerwear, so everyone can stay warm and toasty for the rest of winter:
1. REI- Not only do they specialize in outdoor equipment, but they have everything from coats to face masks. There are shelves and shelves that are filled with hats and gloves of every color and size, the coat section has coats that will keep you warm in Antarctica or warm for a night in Falls Church. The wide selection of brands and styles is sure to keep you happy and warm. 2. The North Face- Another store that specializes in outerwear, but only carries their brand. Known for their fleece jackets that come in an array of colors, they also offer many more kinds of jackets whether they are light or heavy they will keep you warm on the inside and outside. 3. Patagonia- Although it could be lumped into a category with the other two stores, one of the main differences is their inclination to help the earth. For the green inside of you, Patagonia is the store to shop at if you want to help the earth and be warm. 4. Nordstrom- With over two floors of clothing wonderfulness, check out the outerwear section that holds many choices. While Nordstrom does not specialize in outerwear, their wide selection of things to keep you warm will prepare you to go out into the wilderness. 5. J. Crew- If you want to look like the Obamas, J. Crew is the place to shop for outerwear. At the inauguration of President Obama, his two daughters wore custom J. Crew coats which are now sold in the actual stores. The store bases it's sales on the seasons, so right now there is still a lot of outwear in the store; but if you want to get your outerwear for a good bargain, wait until the end of January when most stores' winter collections goes on sale. 6. American Eagle- The store aimed at teenagers and college students has a variety of pea-coats and waterproof coats. Boys and girls will find it easy to find something that looks good and is in style. If you like an array of plaids, this store will certainly be worth your time and money. 7. Under Armour- They not only specialize in making warm things, but they also make things with little bulk and maximum movement. If you are an athlete or an active person Under Armour provides protection against wind and cold. The best thing about them is that they create things that are not bulky. A warm coat can be thin yet extremely warm and have interchangeable linings. 8. Pac Sun- The California style store may be targeted at younger children, but they sell brands such as Volcom, Roxy, Hurley, Burton, and Billabong. These brands specialize in boarding sports which includes snowboarding. They create outwear products that are warm, waterproof and stylish. 9. Unique- Yes the huge thrift store warehouse-- the rows and rows and rows of clothes offer a wide variety at a low price. They may be used, but unless there are noticeable holes or stains on the garment, it's fine. Wash it a couple of times once you bring it home and all that money you saved can go towards a pair of shoes or something. 10. Macy's- They aren't just famous for their Thanksgiving Day Parade, they sell a lot of clothes. The mannequins are usually outfitted in fun and stylish coats. Ask a clerk to help you find the right style and color for you.
Ah, re-releases. Great in theory, and frustrating in execution. When artists re-release an album, it would seem like a great reward for the fans who support that music, and a great addition for the new or casual fans by providing them with incentives to buy it. Unfortunately, the fans who already bought the album when it came out feel cheated that they have to pony up more money for something that consists primarily of something they already own. The fans who haven't purchased the album by this point have no desire to do so at any point, and the fans who will buy it end up paying more than they did when it was at discounted opening day prices.
Yet there was still that same sort of giddy feeling when it was announced that Eminem would be re-releasing the best selling rap album of the year, Relapse, with seven additional songs, five of which were new for the album. The background for Relapse: Refill helps explain the re-release. Originally, Eminem had planned on releasing a sequel to Relapse, appropriately titled Relapse 2, later in 2009, with content that was still similar to the original. In late November, with no release date set for the sequel, Eminem announced that he had decided to take Relapse 2 in a different direction, and would release it in 2010. However, he still wanted fans to hear what he had originally planned for the album, so he would put five of the songs from the studio session onto a re-release of Relapse, as well as putting two songs already out in the public ("Forever" and "Taking My Ball") in order to boost sales. It's also just great hearing any new material released by Eminem, regardless of what it is.
As for the album itself, it will certainly hold up Slim Shady's fans until the sequel is released. As far as the original Relapse disc is concerned, it's still an impressive listen (check the Lasso archives from last year for the original review). Unless Eminem replaced the entire disc with "Big Weenie" from Encore on a 76 minute loop, I'll assume that nothing's changed from the original. Although it should be noted that in the time since the original review, "Must Be the Ganja" has grown in to an oddly infectious tune, while "Hello" has developed almost no replay value whatsoever and become worse with every listen.
The second disc that contains the seven new songs is certainly worth a listen. It starts with the single "Forever," which features Drake, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne, and was released back in September. It may have been a little late, considering that the single reached its peak position of #8 on the Billboard charts four and a half months prior to Refill's release, but the reality is that the song is great. Drake may be Lil Wayne's protégé, but unlike his mentor, he actually has talent and charisma, and it really shows in his opening verse. He is followed by Kanye, whose verse is as witty, funny, and brilliant as his College Dropout raps ("Superbad chicks givin' me McLovin/You would think I ran the world like Michelle's husband".)
Coming in third is Wayne, who not only doesn't suck as usual, but is actually good. His voice isn't grating, he isn't saying any stupid third grade level metaphors, and his words actually tend to rhyme, so it all adds up to a verse that, while still the worst on the song, is impressive. Of course, Eminem decided to be a jerk and murder everybody on the song in the span of 57 seconds, not only rapping incredibly well, but at a pace twice as fast as everybody else, while still enunciating his words clearly and ferociously, making his verse nothing short of a victory lap. Kanye may have the best verse in terms of lyricism, but Mr. Mathers had the best performance by far.
Following "Forever" is the first song of unreleased material, the Dr. Dre assisted "Hell Breaks Loose." It's a nice song, but it doesn't pick up any steam until Dre's verse and Eminem's second verse, where the beat hits a stride and the lyrics become satisfactory. Dre really shines by rapping in a lightning fast manner, unheard of for him, and while it sounds like it may have been done with some editing in the studio, it's irrelevant because the resulting sound is pleasant. The biggest problem with the song is that the beat often has too much going on, which is hard to describe, but makes sense when listening to it.
After that is "Buffalo Bill," which is the only weak track of Refill. The beat is plain boring, the lyrics don't stand out at all from the numerous other tracks on the full album with the exact same subject matter, and the song just never clicks.
"Elevator" is up next, and it's a bit of a different taste on the album for two reasons. One is that Eminem produces the track himself, which is a change from the almost exclusively produced Dre beats that Eminem had used in 2009 (All of the tracks except for "Beautiful" were produced by Dre on Relapse.) The second is that it's the only track on Refill with some actual serious subject matter, bringing up how his personal life has been deliberately misconstrued by the media. But the song doesn't reach nearly the same personal level as either "Déjà Vu" or "Beautiful" from the original release, and as such, the song never leaves a memorable impression.
The next song on the album is "Taking My Ball," which was released originally for the Renegade edition of the video game DJ Hero. By all accounts, the song should be terrible. It has a cheesy beat, Eminem's infamous Arabic street vendor voice, and some really off-putting lyrics. But for some reason, the song works. This is mostly due to the how good the beat actually is, especially during the chorus, which is infectiously catchy, and while the lyrics are pretty mediocre, they fit in with the whole vibe of the song incredibly well, making it a notable pick from the album.
The best track on the album is the haunting "Music Box," which features an almost perfect Dr. Dre beat, and a memorable chorus. The song also benefits highly from Eminem using his normal voice on the song, because even if he's talking about the same subject matter as he has been talking about for the entire CD, it all sounds better when Eminem is putting more emphasis in the lyrics like he does on "Music Box." Ending the album is "Drop The Bomb on ‘Em," which is just kind of...there. It's not a particularly great song, nor is it the best song to end the album on, but it's still a worthwhile listen.
It may be a pain to be forced to pay more money for little in terms of new material, but in the case of Relapse: Refill, it's a great way for die hard Eminem fans to divulge in some new material while they wait for the proper studio album. Of course, that may all change if the release date for Relapse 2 gets pushed back as the year draws to a close, but for now it's sufficient.
Last month, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra stopped at the Verizon Center for the annual Christmas concert tour of rock and Christmas music. The band played two concerts, one at four o'clock and one at eight o'clock on the same day. Both of the concerts lived up to their high expectations.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra is a rock and roll band, with a local string orchestra backing them up. The show is much the same every year; during the first hour a story is told of a Christmas miracle by a narrator who speaks between songs. Then there is a five-minute intermission during which the lead singer introduces each band member. Then the final hour features music from the band's newest album released this year titled, "Night Castle."
One thing that makes this band so enjoyable is that most of their music was composed by others. They play songs that were originally written by composers such as Bach and Beethoven but tweak it into a rock song. This is a very original concept despite the fact that most of the music they write is not there's originally.
Beyond the music, incredible stage components throughout the entire show make the concerts much more enjoyable. The stage features scissor lifts, hoisting the rockers high above the crowd at various times during the show. It also features scaffolding that rises and falls and warps to create any number of shapes to fit the music.
During the song "First Snow" there is a light snowfall from the arena rafters; as the concert goes on, flames shoot from the stage and sparks rain down upon the stage. During the finale, the two lead rockers run through the crowd to the rear of the arena, where they are hoisted up toward the rafters on a smaller stage.
Although the band visits every year, and features many of the same stunts and music, the performance almost never ceases to amaze fans.
Avatar, written and directed by James Cameron, was released December 17, 2009. The idea was thought up in 1994 by Cameron but he said that "technology needed to catch up," with what he wanted the film to be like.
The film takes place in a fictional world called Pandora that humans have discovered and are beginning to mine precious minerals on. The native population, the Na'vi, and Pandora's ecosystem are threatened by this so they begin to fight back.
Jake Sully, a disabled marine, is the main character. He travels to Pandora after his twin brother is shot and killed. Sully goes because of the Avatar program where a Na'vi body is grown using a human's DNA. Sully's matches his brother's genes and as the bodies are extremely expensive, they need someone to take his place.
As the movie progresses, Jake is accepted into a Na'vi clan and he eventually realizes what the humans are doing is wrong. In the final battle he fights for the Na'vi and ends up staying on Pandora.
The movie itself is chock full of propaganda. The producers use the exciting, action packed story to promote eco-friendly feelings and while this is not necessarily wrong, there is no subtlety to the message. Throughout the movie, they make unfair accusations towards the U.S. military and humankind's industrial progress. The producers also try to promote the reactionary viewpoint of tribalism over modernization.
With all of that said, it is one of the best movies of the year for its amazing special affects. They ensure a thrilling, action-packed experience that help promote Cameron as one of the best directors of the year.
The story itself is also very creative and fun to watch. There are many extremely good ideas and the amount of detail made by the producers is amazing. On the whole, it is a good movie as long as you think about the ideas presented for yourself and don't just accept what it says.
This restaurant is located at 130 North Washington Street. With its delicious food, live music and cozy "Beach Shack" feel, Clare and Don's Beach Shack is the place to go.
The menu is widely varied, offering fresh sea-food, vegetarian selections and a great fish and chips dish. They also have happy hour at their bar and sometimes live music.
The food is really good, and the prices are low. It's not too expensive, and you get a lot of food. The people who work there are nice and friendly. And the best thing is you don't have to wait a long time for your food to get served.
So if you want a taste of the beach, like live music and awesome food, Clare and Don's Beach Shack is a great place to take your friends and family.
There is a big difference between Norwegian schools and US high schools. From the school policies, to the freedoms to leave and smoke on campus, everything is so different.
After you have finished tenth grade in Norway you can decide if you want to continue to go to school or quit. Of course if you want a good job in the future it's smart to continue with school. If you choose to continue you start in eleventh grade and finish after your thirteenth year. After that you can apply to universities.
You also have a lot more freedom when you're in school in Norway. Probably because you chose to be there, and it's really up to you. For example, here your parents would have to call in if you're not going to school, and if you skip you get ASI's or detention. In Norway it's much simpler. If you're sick or maybe you just want to skip, you can just text your teacher and tell him/her that you're not coming. If you skip you won't get punished, because we don't have anything like ASI's or detentions. We probably don't because we chose to continue to go to school, so why would we skip? But it feels really good to have the freedom and to have your teachers treat you like an adult.
Another difference is that in Norway you can leave campus whenever you want to, and we are allowed to smoke on campus. In fact, you can ask the teachers for a cigarette and some might give you one.
Another great thing if you decide to continue to go to school in Norway is that you get paid every month by the government. We get paid when we're in eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth grade, and also if we choose to go to universities after that.
An American student would feel so much more free if they went to Norway for a school year. Based on my own experiences, I feel that you're being treated as kids here and that the adults don't trust you. You don't have as much freedom as you should have. It can be good in a way because you're staying focused on what you're supposed to focus on. But nonetheless, I like the Norwegian school system better because I feel more responsible.