December 10, 2013I am sure that it is now common knowledge that a film based on the biblical story of Noah and the ark is set to be released in 2014. If not, watch the trailer and then continue reading. Not since Charlton Heston played Moses in “The Ten Commandments” has there been a mainstream, live-action film about an Old Testament figure. Of course, there was that time Patrick Dempsey played Jeremiah, but not many people know about that. Everyone should go see “Noah.” This is not just some low budget production. There are some big names and some major CGI in this film. First we have Russell Crowe as Noah. I had always pictured Noah as an old man with a long white beard and smile on his face; at least that is how all of the illustrated Bibles of my childhood portrayed him. Instead, Noah is seen as seasoned but not feeble. This makes sense. How would an enfeebled old man build a vessel in which to hold every animal on the planet? Plus, Russell Crowe is a great actor and it will be interesting to see what he brings to the character. Then there is the fact that Emma Watson will be in the movie. Like many of my peers, I have celebrity crush on Watson. Besides the obvious fact that she is attractive, she is a decent actor as well. In “Noah,” the former “Harry Potter” star plays Noah’s adopted daughter Ila. What kind of part that is I do not know, but if it is played well (and it most likely will be), then it will most likely lend well the characterization of Noah as well as other characters. Finally, Sir Anthony Hopkins will be playing the part of Methuselah. Methuselah is one of those biblical figures that we only know a few things about: his name, how old he was when he had Noah’s father (Lamech), and how old he was when he died (969 years). We all know him as the most long-lived man in the Bible. This minimal information leaves quite a bit of room for characterization, so it will be very interesting to see where Hopkins takes him. Obviously, these are not the only good actors in the film, but they are my top three. Everyone should go see it not only for the good acting, but also to see the familiar story through a different lens. Looking at something in different ways, especially those that make us feel uncomfortable, can provide interesting insight and, at times, growth. So, grab some friends and hit the theater. Even if it ends up being a terrible, it can still be a fun experience. Plus it cannot be as bad as “The Last Airbender”, right? Oh, and did I mention Emma Watson is in it?
November 21, 2013I recently went and saw “Thor: The Dark World” with my family. Now, I am not movie critic. Movies are, for the most part, just a method of entertainment and if a movie does that then I am pretty happy. Being a sucker for Marvel movies in general, “The Dark World” did a great job of this. However, it is safe to say that this sequel is a pretty good movie. Good movies always reflect truth in some way and “The Dark World” is no exception. The film reminds us that: 1. Moms are the best. Moms always try to see the best in their kids even when they go astray. A good mom does what she can to protect her family. They are even so awesome that they look after your friends like they are one of their own. Just maybe not with a sword in usual circumstances 2. Brothers will sometimes bicker and fight with each other 3. And they know just what to say to get at each other 4.But, despite their differences they can often come together to accomplish something good. 5. “The Dark World” also reminds us how scary a villain can be Yes, a megalomaniac bent on ruling the world is scary, but when he or she tampers with powers that cannot be contained, he or she will at least attempt to help stop complete destruction of the coveted domain. On the other hand, a villain with the power to destroy everything who wants to destroy everything is truly terrifying. There is no shared empathy and no stopping point for that guy. Plus, Malekith is the stuff of nightmares. 6. We are also given a bit of social commentary. With technology to a point where we have both a method for recording events and then sharing them in a single device, it is super easy to just pull out the hand dandy cellphone and snap a few picks. But you really need to pick your moments (0:09 in the clip) 7. Sometimes, introducing your girlfriend to your friends and family is awkward. 8. Actually, some romances are just awkward in general If you have seen the film, you know what I mean. 9. We have all been on that awkward date with a distracted person. 10. And this guy is wonderful. The poor guy. Sorry for the spoilers. Go see “Thor: The Dark World” because it is worth it.
November 7, 2013I used to be proud practitioner of the once noble tradition of No Shave November. Every Oct. 31 I would shave my face so that it was smooth as a baby’s bottom and see how far I could get before Dec. 1 rolled around. I never grew much. Most of my facial hair was blond except for the sideburns, which were barely thick enough to even be called sideburns. This year is a different story. I have resolved to be clean-shaven for the entirety of this month. Those closest to me will be puzzled as I have been a vocal proponent of No Shave November in prior years. However, I do have my reasons. No Shave November has lost its meaning. The original intent was for both men and women to come together and not shave. It was a holiday to fight social norms. Participants proudly proclaimed that they could not shave if they wanted and no one could tell them otherwise. We were sticking it to the Man. In reality, though, very few women tend to participate. This leads to the idea of No Shave November as being a men only occasion. Then there are the men who will not participate because their girlfriends do not want them to. They allow themselves to be controlled by another person. And then there was sticking it to the Man. As Jack Black’s character, Dewey Finn, said in “School of Rock,” “And there used to be a way to stick it to the Man. It was called rock ‘n roll, but guess what, oh no, the Man ruined that, too, with a little thing called MTV!” The same thing has happened to No Shave November (at least here on campus). ASC has put out posters about the holiday. How can we stick it to the Man if the Man says the same thing? Plus, there have been rumors that the beard on the posters is photo-shopped which desecrates the holiday even further (if the rumor is indeed true). There are still those who are participating and I do not look down upon them. That would be wrong. As for myself, I shall attempt to be, as my roommate once remarked, “a bastion of cleanliness in a sea of uncouth beards!” I do not want to be itchy and scratchy for a full month just to shave away all my progress as soon as the month ends. Let your hair grow if you please. Shave if that is what you want. Judge not the other for his or her decisions, but instead look at your own motivations for the actions you take.
November 1, 2013The giraffes are fantastic creatures. They are tall, elegant, and unique. There is no living animal quite like them. Sadly, we are now using them as a form of punishment. Last week, Facebook was blown up with people posting this riddle: “It’s 3 a.m., the doorbell rings and you wake up. Unexpected visitors! It’s your parents and they are here for breakfast. You have strawberry jam, honey, wine, bread and cheese. What is the first thing you open?” The riddle was posted as a status and then people would send a message to the person who posted it with what they thought was the answer. If the former guesses correctly, then they get to go on living their lives as before. However, a wrong guess leads to punishment: (insert horrendous music) a picture of a giraffe has to be set as the profile picture. There have been multiple discussions and articles about how the answer could be either eyes or the door. Eyes because that is what happens when you wake up or the door because it is implied that you have already opened your eyes. This is not the point. Why are we using giraffes as punishment? Giraffes are beautiful. Now, if the punishment was to turn one’s Facebook profile page into a picture of a naked mole rat, I would call that a decent punishment. They are ugly: This does not equal this: Where is the shame is having a giraffe as profile picture? If I were to look at someone’s Facebook and see that his or her profile picture is a giraffe I am just going to think that person really likes giraffes. I like giraffes too and our relationship can move forward as we have this in common. Perhaps it is not a huge step, but it makes for good small talk. Very few people look at a picture of a naked mole rat as someone’s profile picture and think, “Wow, this person really appreciates beautiful creatures.” No. I am thinking, “Ok. This person likes bald rodents. What else should I know?” I was one of the many people who guessed the riddle wrong (or at least wrong in the views of the person I messaged). I found a lovely picture of a giraffe that I thought looked a bit sassy. Having grown quite attached to this smart-alecky giraffe, I intend to keep it as my picture for a while. As you can see, it is a fantastic picture. If you are one of the people who already has or will be changing your profile picture to that of a giraffe, do not take it as punishment. Instead, raise that picture proudly and proclaim to the digital world: “I like giraffes!” Besides, it is just a picture.
October 28, 2013Written by guest contributor Shealtiel Hart Scene One: Picture that time you were sitting in the Bon alone. Your friends are caught in the long line and would not be at the table for another five minutes at least. So what do you do? Pull out your phone and connect to social media. Whew. Congratulations! You just avoided an awkward moment of sitting alone with nothing to do. It’s OK. We all do it. Except Grandpa Roy. Scene two: You’re engaged in conversation with a friend when you suddenly feel your phone vibrate in your pocket. Quickly, you pull out your phone and look at the text you just received, while still listening to your friend, of course. Which has priority: friend or phone? Scene three: You’re walking along the sidewalk with some friends and come upon a street performer. He is pulling out the craziest dance moves you have ever seen, and he’s not alone.There are four performers behind him playing some of the most extraordinary music you’ve ever heard. Do you A.) Pull out your phone and video them so you can share this epic moment with the world or B.) Watch them through your own eyes and enjoy the moment? Is B even an option? By now, you’ve probably guessed where I’m going with these scenarios. Is it possible in our society to make memories without involving media? It doesn’t seem to be. In this age, it is nearly impossible to hit someone with a water balloon without costing yourself $200 plus in cell-phone-replacement fees. Imagine how much more you might see if you leave your phone where it is and take in the beauty before your eyes. Rather than prioritizing your electronics over personal interaction, show the people in front of you they have value. I won’t even mention texting and driving. Consider viewing events with your eyes alone rather than re-watching the low-quality video you recorded later. Many may read this and think I’m advocating abolishing all forms of social media from every aspect of life and returning to petro glyphs. I’m not. Technological communication is important and has its own place in our society. That being said, I do not think it needs to have priority over face-to-face interaction. CharstarleneTV recently uploaded a video to YouTube entitled “I Forgot My Phone.” If you aren’t a part of the 23+ million people who have already watched it, I encourage you to watch it (on your iPhone if you must). One of the most essential elements of a modern wedding is a photographer, a person to record one of the happiest moments of the couple’s lives. I think wedding couples are onto something with this idea of hiring someone to record their memories for them. Perhaps they want to enjoy the moments themselves and not be burdened by recording them. This concept could and should be more applicable to daily life than we let it be. I’m not saying we should hire someone to follow us around constantly and capture every significant moment, but rather we should be more selective in the moments we decide the rest of the world needs to see. A friend stated, “Some people are so focused on taking a video, they’re only left with some low- quality video to re-watch later.” Honestly, I love seeing the video of you enjoying a concert by your favorite artist. I just want to know you actually enjoyed the event and not simply captured it. So text your boss back, tell Facebook your nephew learned to walk and video that crazy lady pushing a shopping cart full of frozen fish sticks into the river. Just do it once you’re done talking to your fellow human in front of you. Don’t forget what it feels like to look up once in a while and make memories without the approval of your 974 Facebook friends and set down all your electronic devices and run through a fountain once in a while.
October 23, 2013Think back to freshman year. For some of you, this will not be too hard as you are freshmen right now. Here you are, thrust into this new world. You are excited and a bit nervous. You are placed in a dorm and your first inclination is to try to meet as many people as possible in order to start a friendship so you do not end up sad and alone. At least, that is what you try to tell yourself. The inflow of new people slowly tapers off and you begin to work on maintaining the relationships you have. You revert back to your normal self and your friends acclimate to this new normal. Maybe you still like meeting new people, but it is no longer a top priority. But what happens when you do meet new people? As an introvert, I can only keep up the façade of being incredibly charming and wonderful for a short amount of time before I have to go hide and recharge. It is great to meet people during these short bursts of being cool, but that rarely happens. Being with familiar people allows me to just be me, which is so much easier. If I am at lunch with a few friends and then some of their friends whom I do not know come and sit down, it changes everything. My first reaction is to internally freak out. Have I met these people? Should I know their names? I then proceed to be awkwardly silent as I try to figure out if I can contribute to the conversation or if it would be better to silently eat my food. I study the newcomers, trying not to stare. They do not need to know how weird I am immediately. Sometimes the opportunity to speak comes up and I will take it. Then I have to judge the reaction. Can I continue or should I run away? If all goes well, we will part and I will at least remember their faces for the next, somewhat-awkward interaction when I have to ask for names again. Meeting people casually is hard. Most of the people you meet after freshman year are not in find-friends-to-survive mode anymore either. It always seems like the other person has it all together, but he or she usually does not. The best anyone can do is stick out a friendly hand and ask for a name. And then ten minutes later, ask what the new person’s name is again. Everybody does it.
October 19, 2013I find it hard to believe that we are already about halfway through the semester. Everyone has gotten into their routines and classes are in full swing. Many of us have gotten through midterms and others still have a few more to go. Long story short, the stress of the college student life has kicked in and everyone is looking for a way to cope. Everyone has his or her own way of dealing with stress. Some people like to exercise. Endorphins are released and they feel better. Other people opt to stay home and watch a few episodes of their favorite television show. This method is relaxing and provides a temporary escape from everything. The list of ways people blow off steam is endless. While I do enjoy being active as well as sitting down and watching my favorite show, these do not leave me as refreshed as I would like. Exercising makes you all sweaty and hungry and watching a television show tends to be unsatisfying when I catch up on all of the episodes. Instead I go for something more in the middle. I have found that the best place to relax is outside. I am not talking about hanging out on the quad where people can wander up to you and bother you and where the trees, although beautiful, are sparse. The kinds of places I am referring to are the places where trails wind through the trees. Here, the people are just visitors. Being outside is amazing because it displays God in action. Yes, God is in action everywhere, but it is far more accessible for viewing in nature. The leaves change with the seasons, the clouds float above making their wondrous shapes, the bugs go about their business, and the birds sing. Nature keeps rolling along, ignorant of the chaos we create for ourselves. Albert Einstein said, “Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.” Nature tells us to slow down and allow God to do His will in us. We spend so much time stressing about life that we often forget this. Christ even turned to nature to explain this during the Sermon on the Mount. God takes care of the birds and the flowers, so why would he not take care of us? Finding places like these is not difficult; you either have to know where to look or be willing to go adventuring to fine them. I do not intend to reveal the places I like to go. That would take the adventure and the mystery out of the experience. Besides, the places I go may not be as pleasing to some as they are to me. The whole idea in itself may not even be very alluring to some people. Regardless, spending time out with nature away from everything can be rejuvenating and I highly recommend it. Find a spot, sit down, and just let the beauty of creation wash over you
September 18, 2013As a fervent Facebook trend watcher, I have seen some very interesting things. My newsfeed has been blown up with information about Syria, Edward Snowden, Miley Cyrus, and even hashtags (yet another idea that has already gone the way of the “poke”). Some of this information is interesting; my understanding of the whole civil war and American-Russian relations is much better than a month ago. Other things are just hide your head in the sand embarrassing; I was just fine before I knew what twerking was and now it is a word in the dictionary. Recently, the big hubbub is focused on a music video by the Ylvis, a Norwegian variety show brother duo. The video, entitled “The Fox”, is all about what noise a fox makes. If you have not seen this video yet, I would suggest you do so now: We all know dogs woof, birds tweet, and cows go moo, but have you ever wondered what sound a fox makes? Is it ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding? Joff-tchoff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff? Fraka-kaka-kaka-kaka-kow? Nope. It sounds like this: Imagine hearing that alone at night. It would be terrifying. However, I would be more concerned about stumbling upon a group of Norwegians dressed as foxes doing a choreographed dance in the woods. The whole video leaves me dumbfounded. I do not know whether to laugh, sing a long, dance, just walk away, or some awkward and uncomfortable combination of two or more. Regardless, it has every quality a good music video needs to go viral: Humor: Without some kind of emotional connection, no one is going to want to even watch a video, much less share it with his or her social network. One of the greatest things we possess as human beings is the ability to get together and laugh. Catchy lyrics: A simple tune is something that a person needs at times. It wriggles its way into his or her head and there is little that can be done but sing along. The next thing you know, someone asks what he or she is singing and then someone else is exposed. It is a bit like a zombie virus without the whole dying and eating brains thing. Tasteful auto-tune: There are few things worse than overbearing auto-tuning in a song. Just ask anyone who has listened to Akon. Auto-tune is like parsley; it makes everything on the plate prettier, but it is not actually part of the meal. Animals: People love animals. Period. Sure, there may not be any real animals, but there are some wonderful animal costumes. These are probably not all of the reasons for the sudden popularity of Ylvis’ latest music video, but the most noticeable. Of course there is the question of good cinematography, but Cinema and Media Communications is not my major. I just know I liked what I saw. And apparently so did a few other people. Sure, it is no “Gangnam Style”, but it will continue to entertain the masses until the next craze comes along.
April 18, 2013Crescent Staff sweatshirts have just arrived! We have had our last meeting of the year, it has been a pleasure working with you all! We will still be updating through summer, so stay with us! Crescent Staff
April 4, 2013How bout that Croissant eh? “The Joy of the Crescent since 1891” While we all indulge in a good joke, we love when others can indulge with us even more. For those of you following the “Crescent Staff goes missing…” story, I would like to inform you that Robin Baker himself sent us a letter refusing to pay the ransom. This basically proves how truly dedicated he is to the future football team. Since he would rather spend his $4.5 million towards the sports team instead of saving the lives of our dedicated staff. For those of you who are still concerned, the staff has returned, uninjured. Turns out the whole thing was a big April Fools Joke. Happy April Fools day everyone! What were your favorite pranks? For more good stories read the rest of the Croissant, or talk to Izzy Anderson, boy does she have a story to share!
March 19, 2013Commuter Parking already a sore subject? The Crescent has already put out your average “parking problems” column… But today I bring you much more current news. News of a revolution! construction blocks parking spaces cones block parking spaces busses blocking parking spaces in overflow lot I arrived at the Commuter Lot at 9:55 today. I drove in a few circles and noticed a construction truck and trailer full of supplies blocking about 5 spots… can’t park there! Then there were some orange cones blocking four spots… can’t park there! I continued to drive to the Le Shana/overflow lot… this is where the busses are kept, and conveniently blocking about ten more spots. See pictures above. Recently some of my commuter friends have used their critical thinking and problem solving skills to find alternate parking in the “L” shaped area of the far NW corner of the lot. This area, when parked facing north along the longer curb, provides about four more spots to commuters. They had realized this and were parking there very easily and practically for about a week …until they were given tickets for “parking in an unmarked spot.” Compare Figure 1 to Figure 2 Below. I was proud of these thinkers for coming up with a solution, and am now very disappointed that Campus Security had to disapprove. Since commuter parking is such an ordeal, why don’t they mark these 4 more spaces, for us, which will give four less people per day a reason to complain? (FIGURE 1) NW Corner with four cars parked in space (FIGURE 2) NW Corner with one car parked in space I know freedom of speech is one thing, but I am also going to express this concern to ASC, (Hi Bryan Kasler!) and I hope that others will do the same. I would at least like this problem to be looked into, is there a reason we can’t mark the new spaces? Something the students aren’t realizing? Something we should know? If it’s a matter of funds, George Fox could use the surplus in revenue from our tickets to pay for it! Answers please! Thank you. -The Commuters