Posts Tagged ‘Disney’

A Much Anticipated Post

(April 27th, 2010)

Dearest Planet Earth, our exotic and beloved home,

I had a ball celebrating this year’s Earth Day with the annual feature-length film by Disneynature. I have found that it is a tradition to go with my friends each year to see nothing more than landscapes and animals on planet Earth. I treated myself to the film, Oceans, which came out on Thursday and was rather impressed. My friend interested in Zoology pointed out the names of sea creatures mentioned and kept me fed with random facts throughout the film. Even though the film did not have a distinguishable plot, line of characters, or special effects, all I can say is that the visuals truly capture your eye  and keep you attentive to this documentary. Every once in a while we would feast our eyes on the impressive feat of a whale or dolphin shooting out of the depths of the water or gasp at the ocean-floor-dwellers devouring their innocent prey. We would laugh at the penguins sliding on the ice into the antarctic waters or stare in awe as the baby sea turtles slowly dug their way to the surface of the sandy beach.  There was some brilliant footage of certain parts of the ocean that I never knew existed. It is such a vast area, and there are probably parts in the dark depths that man has never travelled. I wouldn’t say that I am that interested so much as to watch the entire volume of Planet Earth CDs by Discovery, but I just feel that every Earth Day we should treat ourselves to a little piece of the grand world that surrounds us and understand the power of protecting the environment and promoting life of all living creatures. Just like almost every nature documentary, Oceans talked about how pollution of the waters  has disrupted the lives of innumerable sea-creatures. It was rather sad to see a transition from crystal clear blue ocean to rusty, dirty pools of trash. At one point it showed a whole shopping cart on underwater on bed of sand. I mean, really, of all things? It would be rather nice if humans could just get along with this other parallel dimension. For a small segment at the end of the film, it showed a scuba diver approaching an innocuous shark swimming freely through the water. The diver followed the movements of its tail in a peaceful way as to not frighten it and kept up for it for some time. Such a bond between man and shark clearly shows how people can come closer to animals and stop abusing them.

Ever since the end of winter break, the focus of junior year has been on achievement in the upcoming test: the ACT. So far I’ve gone to classes for the five sections, just so that I can work for a higher score. We’ve taken a practice five-paragraph essay twice in English class. This test is just looked upon so seriously: it decides the level of college that you get into and decides the direction of your life. The intimidation starts with the fact that juniors have to sit in a room for five hours with one twenty-minute break in the middle. Electronic devices are denied entrance; not even a book or a snack out in the open.  The test alone is not even built to finish on a humane level. Having to look down at a bubbling sheet for hours, the neck gradually starts to suffer from such pain. The rather mind-numbing part, the essay question, is right at the end: the last thing that one wants to think about at that point of the test. The reading section is what I am mainly worried about. It is preposterous that the test only supplies thirty minutes to complete four readings and answer questions on each, in no particular order of difficulty or appearance in the reading. My weakness of reading fights against me in this test. Luckily my strength in mathematics helps me a bit. The math section is not only simple, but actually enjoyable. I finished the practice test with plenty of time to spare since I viewed each question as a puzzle or brain-teaser. Well, this test is tomorrow and I hope to say that I feel ready for it. Sleep and a healthy breakfast is what every adult has to tell you to do the night before, so I will definitely strive for that. I just hope my brain can deal with the intellectual burden that the ACT forces upon everyone.


I discovered something rather new this weekend: the intense flavor and texture of a homemade pizza. A couple of months ago a new pizza delivery service, HomeMade Pizza Co,  was erected in our neighborhood. Without a doubt, they have a unique style of preparing dishes. The company pools all the dough and toppings together and allows customers to cook pizzas from home in the oven or on the grill to truly press the title of “freshly baked”. This literal interpretation becomes profoundly visible when this bakery-fresh delicacy arrives at the dinner table. Beforehand, the customer is given a variety of options on the structure of their pizza: from breading to cheeses, sauces, and toppings to spices. It is now perfectly acceptable to call this a finely crafted piece of art, suited to the consumer’s taste. I absolutely loved the first time I tried my own. I decided on a sausage pizza with basil and oregano spices; I could already smell the sticky dough brim when I tore the plastic wrap off. Overall, this pizza has a natural taste, unlike the greasy fast-food pizzas from places like Dominoes or Pizza Hut. The bread is just like heaven: it is nice and fluffy inside, feels and tastes fresh on the outside. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to any pizza lover, since the restaurant gives you the freedom to experiment with different flavors. Their website is located here.


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Childhood I – Memories

A Collaborate Post
By Clonez and Connor

childhood

Waking up every day at six in the morning. Tired; just want to crawl back in bed.
Running to the bus-stop. Lazy; feeling half asleep.
Rushing that quarter mile to get to the other side of the school. Forgot one of my books.
Sitting in class drooling on desk. Seats as hard as cement. Third lecture today.
Watching cars zoom by out the window. Daydreaming away.

What was it like again to be a child? If you could be a kid for just another day, what would you do? Some people take being young for granted. When you’re young, you wanted to grow up to have the same privileges as an adult: to go to work just like daddy used to do or to go shopping just like mommy used to do, so you try to act older than you really are. Then there are some who live their childhood to its fullest. They go to the park, ride their bikes, play with friends, and eat lots and lots of ice cream. This is the type of person who usually ends up with plenty of memories to look back on when they are older.  Being in high school, I feel I am running out of those final days to live my life to it’s fullest. I am torn between the two worlds of childhood and adulthood. I can envision my friends tugging on my left arm and teachers and parents tugging at my right arm.

Making Friends

Being a child, I definitely remember how easy it was to make friends. Common interests are so easy to locate when you are little. Another thing is that there isn’t any judgment that takes place. You don’t have to be more popular or more pretty/handsome. I remember going to the beach by my old house.

I see a small boy playing in the sand with a shovel and bucket.
“Can I play with you?” I said.
The boy says, “Sure,” in such a kind way.

We both start digging in the sand together, having fun.
We watch the waves rush by and surround our castle we built out of shells, rocks and sand.

*>>Fast Forward 10 years>>*

I see a teenage guy playing beach volleyball with some friends.
“Can I play with you guys?” I said.
The guy says, “Who the f*ck are you? Get the h*ll out of here!”
I walk away with my head lowered, kicking sand.

Making friends is tough when you are older. Before, it took only about 2 seconds to become friends when you were five. It could take 2 months to become friends when you are fifteen. Being young, you aren’t judged by your personality or the way that you look or who you hang out with. Being older, those is the only things you are judged by.

Pooh and P’u

I decided to take Religions of the East last semester in High School. Probably the religion that spoke to me the most was Taoism. Taoism emphasizes acting like a child; going off on adventures to places in your wildest imagination. One thing I remember the most is the concept of Wu Wei, or effortless action. It doesn’t necessarily mean being lazy, but when you are a kid, you just go with the flow, you don’t try to have fun, like adults may try to do. Instead, you just have fun. You go and ride that bike and see where it takes you. Instead of riding a bike to a certain destination, you let that bike take you anywhere. When you want to dance, you just dance  anyway you want to. You don’t try hard to follow some choreographed dance routine. Adults try and push that circle peg into the square opening. They want everything to come out the way that they want it (the idea of being perfect) and go against the laws of nature. The final idea that Taoism taught me is the idea of P’u. If you have P’u, it means that your identity hasn’t been affected by anyone else. There isn’t any outside influence to make you act a certain way.  You don’t try and fit in with another group. Instead you just be yourself. As a kid, you are who you are in your natural state. Most adults say that children haven’t found out who they are yet and they need to try new things, but that is how you start to carve that uncarved block, forcing yourself to fit in with the wrong crowd.

Where does Pooh come into play, you may ask? Well, Winnie The Pooh is the perfect example of a fictional character who still has P’u. Winnie The Pooh is like the hero of childhood. I used to read all of the books about him when I was little and watch all of the movies. Growing up with classic Disney movies is something that I remember deeply from my own childhood. I’m not talking about any of the recent ones with twisted plotlines meant for older viewers. I’m talking about movies such as The Lion King, Toy Story, Alice In Wonderland, Aladdin, Lady and The Tramp or The Jungle Book: all stories that have messages behind them. I don’t think anyone is going to learn something from watching The Shaggy Dog, or something like that. Anyway, I hadn’t realized that Winnie The Pooh was closely connected with Taoism. Those classic Disney movies were something that you could remember for years to come and reflect back on.

Another classic Disney Storyline that reminds me of my childhood was Peter Pan. The whole idea of escaping from the adult run world really drew my attention when I was little. I would always fantasize about running away to a world where you could just be a child and get away from the stress of growing up. Then there was always Captain Hook who came in to ruin all of the diversion of being young, representing the message, “It’s time to grow up and face the real world now.”

Music

Psychic spies from China / Try to steal your mind’s elation / Little girls from Sweden / Dream of silver screen quotations / And if you want these kind of dreams / It’s Californication. The first verse of the ever-popular song, Californication by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Not important, right? Wrong. This song has to have had the biggest impact on my childhood more than any other media whatsoever. This song came out in 1999. I was five years old at the time. Like 60% of my extended family lived in Arizona at the time. One crystal clear memory was driving home in the dark from my aunt’s house in Cave Creek (which then was in the middle of nowhere) with my mom, dad, and 2 or so year old sister. Californication played on the radio and I sung along with the *entire* song. Afterwards, my mom asked, “did you sing that entire song?” I replied with a single word. Yes. Nowadays, whenever I am in the car with my mom, A Red Hot Chili Peppers song plays on the radio. Whenever I hear their music, I am instantly zapped back to the early 2000’s and listening to them at family gatherings around my pool. It’s fantastic to feel so young again, even if I am in fact only fourteen.

Germs

I grew up in Chicago for the first  ten years of my life, and so the backyards are tiny and there isn’t a single blade of grass in the ground. Instead there was just a cramped up patio, an even more cramped up garden area, and a set of lawn chairs. In the summer, I remember every year my mom would bring out that kiddy pool that was propped up against the wall. I would watch my parents spend hours filling up this half  foot deep pool with a huge hose that ran from the heater in the front of the house all the way to the backyard. The only thing me and my sisters ever did in that backyard was go swimming in the summer. Other than that, it was not put to use. So here we are, sitting in this tiny “puddle” of a pool. My parents would bring out some Popsicles; the kind that changed color as you licked off a layer. I love it that you don’t have to be a clean freak when you are little. When I was young, I had no idea what a “germ” was. Now that I am fifteen, I just try to stay out of the way of anything I find to be dirty. Anyway, what we did was dip our popsicles in the water that we “swam” in and lick it. I do not remember the reason why, and I didn’t understand at the time why my parents always told us to stop, but now that I think about it, it was rather disgusting. We would also drink from the water that we swam in when we were thirsty. Also, I didn’t understand why my dad was so mad when we started crawling on the floor of public places until I was older. Growing up, I started to expand my fear of germs. When I was little, I would just ignore it, but now it’s like I can’t go around without a bottle of Purell with me. Sometimes it’s hard to learn things when you get older. There are lessons you don’t want or need to know about, such as the idea that there are foods that are bad for you. I know that there is a problem with obesity in America, but why can’t a kid just eat what he or she wants and enjoy it while you can? There is not reason why I should see someone eat a salad at age five. It’s just unheard of and rather sad, because the person is missing out on the greatest gift of youth: candy.

Nanny

I remember my parents spent quite a long time looking for a babysitter to watch us when they went out. There was this one babysitter I remember, she had a Russian accent and always wore some foul smelling perfume. I think her name was Olga, or something. Anyway, whenever she stopped over, she treated us in a strict manner. She made us eat our vegetables, clean up our dinner afterward and go to bed early if we disobeyed. I remember complaining to my parents when they came back home. I still don’t know where the heck they could be going at night. I never understand that late night “adult business” that goes on. It turns out that we got her fired, thankfully. She was such a nightmare. During the time in search for a babysitter, my cousin Jeff would come over and take care of us. He would always come with an arts and craft project for us to do. He was just loads of fun to be around, we would run up to him and hug him whenever he stopped by. My parents finally ended their search and found a nanny for us. She was a plump, African American lady named Reece. She would come over and do housework and take care of us. Me and my sisters all loved her when we were little. She knew all of the friends of our family and took us to the park by our house.  I always loved that park. Every time we went we would see one of my sisters friends or one of my friends there. Reece would say, “Hey there! Nice to see you again!” and this would happen a couple of times a week. The park was just so peaceful. We would play there for hours straight and get tired and come right back home. I remember the block party every year called “Sutton Fest.” There was a DJ that came and all of the smaller kids in the neighborhood would come over and dance. Reece knew them all; I still don’t know how she can know all these people. There was a hula hoop contest, a dunk tank, and even a fire truck that would come in. Reece would watch from the side laughing an clapping to the music. I still remember her laugh; you could tell it was her even if you heard it from across the room. Now that we are older and have moved, she stopped coming over every day and now comes once a year.
Reece would come over every once in a while and say, “My have you grown, boy!”
I would tell her, “Oh no, I stopped growing over a year ago.”
She would say, “No, you are gunna get taller like your Daddy.”
“I will?” I asked. Turns out I did.

I, Connor, have some babysitter stories as well. However, mine contrast greatly against Clonez’s memories. Before my younger sister (3-4 years depending on the time of year) was born, my mom hired a Ukranian babysitter who was 20 something named Rita. I LOVED Rita. She was really, really cool. She even let me eat raw hawt dawgs, something my mom never ever allowed. I am not sure why we fired Rita, but we did. Perhaps it was that she moved away or something. But whatever. That was 11 years ago. When my sister came around, my parents changed babysitters every couple of times. Sometimes they would hire one again and again, and othertimes I had a babysitter one Saturday night and that was it. Every single Saturday around six o’clock, my parents would go out on “date night.” I remember one night in particular telling my mom she looked pretty in her red dress and high heels. I also didn’t know what they did together or why. I just knew when they got home, they’d tip toe into my room and kiss me and tell me they were home, because I never used to be able to sleep well without them home. I can remember two other babysitters of mine. One was named Emily, and she was thirteen at the time. Gosh, she must be graduated from college by now… Anyway, Emily was my favorite. Sometimes, my mom would drop my sister and I off at Emily’s house to be babysitted, but other times, the three of us would hop in the car while my dad was getting ready, and go pick Emily up. One real memory I have is of going to pick her up and ringing her doorbell. She had on a green scarf with stripes on it. After we arrived at my home, I cooked myself a Kid’s Cuisine. Hahah, those were yum yum. Emily would stay up with me and read me books like “If you give a mouse a cookie,” etc. Like Clonez, I also had a babysitter that I DESPISED. Her name was McClain, however that weird name is spelled. I remember she was how should I say it…. voluptuous. One night, I got out of bed and walked through the living room to the kitchen because I was thirsty. And there McClain was, sitting on the floor eating the ranch flavored Doritos drinking out of the gallon jug of milk. Our family’s jug of milk. BUSTED. My sister and I didn’t have to put up with McClain much more after that. My family still makes fun of her on rare occasions. Har har. Although she did show me a really tasty Mexican restaurant.

There are many aspects of childhood that Clonez and myself haven’t touched on, but we will. Just you wait and see! Childhood isn’t just a word. It was an experience. Memories. Adventures. Discoveries. Time to be ourself and not be judged by others. Time to be honest. Time to be carefree. Time to wear pullups and learn to use that magical invention called a toilet. No… childhood isn’t just a word, it’s a major era of your life. See you next time.. (;

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Tribute To Potatoes

My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with.” ~Oprah Winfrey

The classic game, Hot Potato involves players gathering in a circle and tossing a small object to each other while music plays. When the music stops, the player with the “Hot Potato” steps out. In the real world today, who would even dare to give up one of those darling little foods? The potato is just one of the most delicious, nutritious, and most widely eaten foods on the planet. So next time that “Hot Potato” lands in the palm of your hands, don’t pass it around to the next person. If it is too hot to hold, just put it down on the table, pull out your fork and eat it right up!

Mr Potato Head: the sacred shrine that represents the entire incredible, edible race of potatoes. All potatoes must bow down to the all mighty leader, the Head. Okay, maybe not, but the point is that Mr. Potato head symbolized one of the most tasty, delectable foods that has made such a positive impact on our planet. Remember when you were little, watching the Toy Story movies? They had just come out, and they were a hit at the box office. It was one of my favorite movies when I was about five. In fact, I loved all of those classic Disney movies from the nineties. But this movie had one peculiar character; he might have not stood out so much, but just the idea of him made me giggle.  A plastic potato with removable facial features is more fun than a barrel of monkeys! Ever since I was little, I have always loved playing with food, and what could be better than making a funky fresh potato with sunglasses, a cap, and shoes. It turns out that I was all wrong to think that the legendary Mr. Potato head started with the release of Toy Story. It had actually become a hit way back in 1952 when Hasbro released it to the public so that children all around the world could enjoy playing with food! A fantastic idea. Not only fun for the children, but also great for fastidious parents that like their dinner table clear of food, but also like their kids to enjoy playing with comida.

potatoes

Meet the dream team: the crops that are like heroes to developing nations, because they are the most important crops on the planet. Humans consume these more than any other. They are the potato, the rice, the yam, and the corn. There are more that apply, but these are the most well-known of the crops. Anyway, just push aside the other three, because our main focus is on that funny guy with the beanie on the left: the potato. If you did not know, last year was the international year of the potato according to the Food and Agricultural Organization! Oh yeah, go taters! So that gave declaration of the rights to potatoes and all the other starchy edible tubulars because they totally dominate over all other crops. If you did not know, the potato is the number one non-grain food commodity, with 325 million tons grown in 2007. The potato is getting most of its global support from the developing nations. They chow down on almost half of all of the potatoes that are grown. Because the population is growing by a large number of people every year, the world needs some reliance on a source of food, and the potato is there to take that role, and become the super hero of the food industry. I remember learning in Hebrew school (I am Jewish) that in Hebrew, potato translates as tapuach adama, which literally means apple of the ground. I found this interesting, because it is as if saying that potato has all of the sweetness of an apple. Although it is not literally “sweet” it represents everything good because it is just such a help to all of humanity.

There are so many different ways to prepare the potato, and there are also thousands of different species of the potato to enjoy, and so there are endless possibilities to enjoy this amazing food. In the United States alone, only 33% of the potatoes are eaten fresh. 61% is processed into frozen products such as those Ore-Ida french fries or potato wedges, dried out and turned into potato chips, and turned into starch – all processes that remove the majority of the nutrients in the potato. the other 6% is used for replanting the seeds to grow more. In the United States, it really is a shame that a fewer number of people are eating the potatoes fresh. The consumption has declined from 22kg per person in 1999 to 16kg in 2006. Probably one of the most famous states for growing potatoes is Idaho. What is so important about Idaho when it comes to finding a perfect potato? Well, the potatoes grown in Idaho have a high solids content, so there’s more potato and less water. They also get that light and fluffy texture when you put them in your mouth. The soil in Idaho is very dense with nutrients, which makes those spuddies so darn tasty.

Potatoes are great when they are mashed, baked and fried, but did you know that they also can be used as batteries to power up a clock or a small LED light? Last year, I had to do an experiment to show that the potato could be used to power a small light. It turns out that it takes only about ten potatoes to make that light bulb start to spark with light. Me and my partner for the project had set up a system. We turned off the lights and connected to final wire.  To our amazement, there was a small flicker of light coming from the bulb. Unfortunately, we couldn’t present it to the class because we had to set it up from scratch at school. So after a week of research and collecting of supplies we had to start over and do origami instead. Anyway, I still remember how awesome it was to figure out that potatoes could really have the energy to light it up. It shows the amazing, perplexing power of the legendary Idaho potato. There are a lot of complex answers that neither me or my partner could decipher on why this works. The simple answer is that the potato contains a lot of phosphorous, which transmits the energy to the light bulb making it glow.  I may be 100% off on that answer, but that is the reason that I have come to know and love after that research attempt.

The potato is eaten all around the globe. It truly is a global food because almost every culture on the planet utilizes this stupendous crop. In case you were wondering where the great potato comes from, let’s pull out our history books and turn to page– no you don’t have to do that. The short version of that story is that the potato was eaten in the Andes for over 8 thousand years, and after the Spanish got a hold of it, they realized how awesome the potato was, and so they spread it far and wide across the rest of the globe. Thanks, guys! I don’t know what I would do without that potato on my plate!

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Half An Effort Only Counts For Half A Party

What is Club Penguin thinking at this moment? Right now I have no choice but to look forward to the “Festival of Snow” party in February, because the fiesta is just plain dreadful. If Club Penguin tried at all, they would have decorated some more of the rooms that are normally decorated. If Club Penguin is going to continue to make things with half an effort, they won’t be around much longer. What should be positive reviews are going to go down and turnout to be like this one. I can’t put half an effort in to my blog, and try to put more of an effort into a different post. I have to give every post 100%, or else my views will go down, something I learned when I didn’t post.

Club Penguin has to put 100% into every party they make. I’m not saying they should go and make every party like the Mid-evil party, but with a bit of honor. You can’t win a critic over with a sloppy party like the made this one, nor can you win more fans of Club Penguin. If Club Penguin is owned by Disney, the should have people hired to make some more of the rooms that way we all aren’t left with a boring party to be going on for 3 days. If Club Penguin wants to lose money, they can continue to give 60% and have dreadful free items.

One of the reasons I’m so concerned of this is because Club Penguin is wanting more and more members, with the economy bad. Club Penguin is seeming more desperate for money then ever. And right now it’s hard to tell, are they aiming at back up money, or are they trying to get money. Is it possible that Club Penguin is making a party with half an effort because of shortage on money? And If Club Penguin needs money, why don’t they borrow some from Disney?

With Club Penguin not giving an effort in a bad economy, and being desperate for members, aren’t good signs. At the least, Club Penguin should come though strong in the “Festival of Snow”. If they mess up the “Festival of Snow”, that’s when we should be worried, because the “Winter Fiesta” wasn’t a good party to start with. It was to long, and it was the same exact thing as last year. Club Penguin had a whole year to add some more decorations to some more rooms, yet they did nothing. I hope to see more of an effort out of Club Penguin in the future.

Rate It: 4/10

That’s All For Now! So Until Then, Keep Waddlin’ Back!

~Dart211~