October 23, 2014Netflix has become a great and inexpensive resource, in recent years, for watching television shows and movies. With Halloween being right around the corner, I decided to give the old Netflix queue a spin and see what Halloween movies they might have to offer. I found that Netflix has a decent selection of scary movies from the modern, to the classics, to the downright cheesy. Though there were many options, including “Barney! Halloween Party!” and “Silence of the Lambs,” I decided to stick to a film that was neither extremely scary nor childlike, but one that was more in the middle — “House on Haunted Hill,” a black and white horror film from 1959. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie and even found myself getting a bit jumpy towards the end. Plot “House on Haunted Hill” is a horror mystery directed by William Castle. The movie starts out with the shrill, piercing sound of a terrified woman and hooks your attention from then on. The fourth wall is broken and we, the audience, are asked to come join a party by the floating head of Frederick Loren (Vincent Price). He explains that he is hosting an event and has offered five strangers $10,000 each if they spend the night locked in a haunted house until 8 a.m. This is a party I don’t think I’d enjoy attending, even for the money. The guests are brought to the house on a hill in a funeral procession of cars, following a hearse. There are doors that open and shut by themselves, a giant vat of flesh-dissolving acid in the basement, and the party favors are .45 caliber pistols, handed out in tiny black coffins. Frederick Loren, who is an eccentric millionaire/playboy, warns his guests that they might not live to see morning. He goes on to tell them that they are now trapped in this eerie house that has jail bars on the windows and a vault door made of solid steel that has been locked from the outside. There is no electricity, no telephones, and no one around for miles to hear any cries for help. At this point the guests all seem to be pretty nervous, especially since Mr. Watson Pritchard (Elisha Cook Jr.), the owner of the house, keeps insisting that the house really is haunted with ghosts. Annabelle Loren (Carol Ohmart), Frederick’s fourth wife, is also at the party, although unwillingly, and has apparently had a hand in planning this whole affair. Lance Schroeder (Richard Long), is a test pilot and man full of curiosity. He is also a love interest for one of Frederick’s employees, Nora Manning (Carolyn Craig), who was invited to the house because she is desperate for money to help her family. She is the hysteric one of the bunch and seems to be a target for many of the supernatural occurrences during the night. Finally we have Dr. David Trent (Alan Marshal), a psychiatrist who specializes in cases of hysteria, and Ruth Bridgers (Julie Mitchum) a newspaper columnist. All of them are strangers and it doesn’t take long for supernatural occurrences to begin, starting a night full of terror for the guests. It took me just a few moments to get into this movie, but once I did I was completely sucked in. One of the things that I really enjoyed about this movie was that I was constantly wondering what was going to happen next. Not only does this movie have witty dialogue, but it constantly kept me on my toes. There were two constant themes in this movie: greed and jealousy, and I felt that they were portrayed beautifully. These traits ended up being the downfall of several characters. I was also pleased to find a surprising ending. I am one who gets bored with movies when you can predict every single plot point in the first few minutes; “House on Haunted Hill” had me guessing until the end. Because it is a movie from the late 50s, some of the effects were not the stellar computer animation and digitally enhanced wonders that we are used to from today’s films. All things considered, the effects were actually pretty good and only mildly unbelievable. Another point of weakness was the acting. Most of the actors were able to portray an authentic experience, but there were several characters and several scenes where the acting was sub-par and overly dramatic. Fun facts: This movie was the inspiration behind Alfred Hitchcock’s famous horror film “Psycho.” Also when it was first being promoted in theatrical trailers, the director William Castle had theaters use a giant pulley system to fly a plastic skeleton over the audience, which helped the film become a big success. The film also has a sequel: “Return to House on Haunted Hill,” as well as a 1999 remake, also known as, “House on Haunted Hill.” Both movies experienced negative receptions. This movie reminded me a lot of a real life version of Clue, not the silly 1985 movie version “Clue,” but the board game, as if brought to life in a haunted house. I really enjoyed this classic horror film and I recommend giving it a try, especially if you’re looking for something fun, cheap and easy to do on Halloween.
October 23, 2014Halloween is only a few weeks away, so the window of time for costume shopping is shrinking. For many of us it can be difficult to decide whether or not to dress up in costume, stay home to hand out candy, or find the right gathering to be a part of. Zombie costumes are of course back on track with the fan base for so many TV shows and movie trends, but not everyone wants to be gory, especially if you are handing out candy to small children or working at your church harvest party. Whether you decide to stay home or go out, here are some fun (not frightening) ideas that range from higher in price to minimal cost, as well as where to find stuff. These costumes that are trending for this year are upwards of thirty dollars. If money isn’t as much of an issue you can find these costumes at Amazon.com and your local Halloween store. “Flo” from the Progressive Insurance commercials “Stewardess, “Mary Poppins-ish” and “Pajama Party” For those who don’t have as much time to put something together, you can always just buy a great vintage eighties t-shirt from 80’s tees.com for around twenty dollars. They have tees for every taste, from cartoons to sappy John Hughes movies. And for the ladies, you can always fall back on music and movie icons. It can be fun to visit your local second-hand stores to get leg warmers, chiffon skirts, and brightly patterned shirts and accessories. Don’t forget to tease or crimp your pony tail and tie it up with a bow or a scarf. You can also find crazy, colorful and fluffy prom or bridesmaid dresses at your local second-hand store or Goodwill to compliment your wild pony tail. Pair with combat boots and fingerless gloves to show off your tribute to all of the eighties movies that made you fall in love with so many great characters. If you are feeling really daring, coordinate with a group of friends and have your own theme party. This week’s tip: Try on some fun, brightly colored wigs and look to play around with face paint, make-up and glitter. Worst comes to worst in the search for costume ideas, Halloween stores sell great separate pieces as well as full costumes.
October 21, 2014Ever had those days when there is nothing to do, homework feels like a terrible idea and there is no entertaining content online? Ever feel as if you have no motivation to get off your couch? Don’t worry, adventure is everywhere. My friends and I were having one of those days, so… 1. We made things up – use your imagination! Ask for a person, place and thing, and create a story using these devices. We came up with an elaborate story of Pocahontas trying to find a magic pillow in the Himalayas. Our story was not Pulitzer Prize winning but it was enough to keep us occupied and it made us laugh. What stories can you come up with? 2. Make some cookies If you can hoist yourself off from the couch, consider baking some cookies. Missing some ingredients? Go on a scavenger hunt across campus and steal from ask your friends and neighbors. While the cookies bake, crank up the music and have a mini dance party. Then when they are done, you get to eat them, which is the best part. 3. Try and catch food in your mouth If you can’t hoist yourself off the couch, then you need to get creative. My friends and I grabbed some popcorn and threw it across the room to see who would catch them in their mouth. Just remember to pick up the popcorn afterward, or to keep a vacuum on hand. 4. Live tweet your friends Of course this can seem a little pretentious, but who cares? It’s your friends and you’re having fun. Why not share the hilarious things your friends say and confuse everyone by not adding context. 5. Pretend the floor is hot lava I think you know the rules of this. The next time you are bored and too lazy to get off the couch, you can do little things; adventures can be had anywhere. You don’t even have to get up. Often staying at home and spending time with friends, doing things that make me happy are the only adventures I need.
October 16, 2014I’ve started looking at the ceiling. Most afternoons, I sit in the upper levels of the Radcliffe Camera, one of Oxford’s 100+ library buildings. I sit at a wooden desk, fitted with its own light and electrical outlet. I read. Or try to. It is silent here, mostly. The echo here amplifies every noise, making nearly every action that is not reading—someone sliding their chair back, coughing, or (the horror) dropping a book—into an Event that draws eyes towards the perpetrator. “You WILL sit and you WILL read,” these walls say. I reread the paragraph I thought I read. But after three hours of sitting at this desk, these are no longer English words, but little black hieroglyphics, taunting me with their impossibility. I don’t know what I’m reading now. What’s my research topic? Does this book even have anything to do with it? Why am I here? I lean back in the chair (also wooden, probably here when the library opened in 1749), close my eyes. And then I open them and see the ceiling. Wow, I think (any powers of eloquence have sizzled to a crisp by now). I get to study here. I don’t HAVE to. I GET to. I take a deep breath and look back at my page, and discover I can somehow read hieroglyphics.
October 16, 2014Oregon has seemed to think that it’s August for far too long. But fall is officially here and so are the fall inspired drinks! Normally it is easy to tell by the nip in the air and the changing of the leaves that fall is upon us; however this year, Mother Nature seems to have had a short in her circuits. Only recently has the weather begun to change, calling for warmer clothes and toasty fall drinks. One of the things that I love about GFU is its close proximity to several wonderful and distinctly different coffee shops. Everyone has a favorite place to sip warm java and meet up with friends and study groups, so why not review some of the featured fall drinks from each location? Coffee Cat has always been a favorite of mine, so I was very excited to try their Pumpkin Pie Latte. When I took my first sip, I was reminded of eating a slice of pumpkin pie and then drinking a cup of coffee to wash it down. I really enjoyed the drink; the flavors of pumpkin and coffee were very distinct to me. It reminded me of the smell that wafts up from carving a pumpkin during Halloween. The latte came topped with cinnamon, which added to the flavor to the drink as well. Coffee Cottage’s Apple-Cranberry Spiced Cider with caramel whipped cream was like taking a warm bite of delicious apple pie. The cranberry flavor gave the drink a little bit of a crisp and tart twinge that I really enjoyed. My favorite part was the caramel whipped cream; it paired with the drink deliciously. Think crunchy fall walks through orange, yellow and red leaves, scarves and sweaters, and staying inside wrapped in a cozy blanket. That is what I thought of when sipping this delicious toasty beverage. I highly recommend giving it a try. The Spiced Apple Scone also from Coffee Cottage was in the one day old sale, but still sweet and a sensation for the taste buds. It was a bit crispy on the outside and had real chunks of cooked apple in the center. It reminded me of eating apple pie crust, which is my favorite part of the pie. The center was moist and had the texture of sweet corn bread with pockets of apple. An overall win. As far as chai goes, Chapter’s Pumpkin Pie Chai was good, but it wasn’t my favorite fall drink of the bunch, because I couldn’t taste distinct pumpkin. It also had a hint of graham cracker taste, which might have been an attempt at pie crust flavor. Overall, for a chai it was well-prepared, warm and comforting. After going around to many of the local coffee shops and trying their different fall specials, I am fully ready for the change of season. Summer is over and fall is officially here.
October 15, 2014The convoy crawled through the hot desert. Insurgents were in the area; it would only be a matter of time before they would have their first contact. Suddenly, an explosion: the convoy had hit an improvised explosive device. Intense fighting followed. This was war. Sergeant Terrance Mitchell looked out and saw a wounded soldier—an AK-47 firearm had blown his leg off below the knee. Instincts kicked in and Terrance had to help him. “Permission to dismount, sir,” he said to his sergeant. Despite being denied multiple times, Terrance dismounted and rushed to his first casualty. His training was being put to the test: Move the casualty to a safer zone. Control the bleeding—use a tourniquet, apply direct pressure to the wound. Get fluids into him through an IV. Provide antibiotics and pain medication. Call the medical evacuation team and transport him out. Another wounded soldier was brought to him. Those were their only casualties from this fire fight. “Only two were wounded, but we killed 11. We won that one,” Terrance said of the battle. “That was when I realized: This is war. You can’t be afraid.” Terrance was a part of a specialized group sent to Afghanistan for Military Transition Training. “It’s pretty elite,” said Terrance. “It’s male, non-commissioned officers: all professional soldiers, no young recruits.” His team worked with the Afghan national army and police. “We trained them and fought with them against the insurgents. We were essentially combat advisors,” he said. “I wasn’t attached to a particular team. I was dispersed pretty often,” Terrance said. Missions varied: seek and destroy, claim new land, humanitarian efforts… All of this began for Terrance after high school when his best friend put him up to the idea of joining the Army. After meeting with an army ranger recruiter, Terrance began taking the idea seriously. The recruiter suggested he join health care. Basic training was nine brutal weeks of physical conditioning and learning soldiering skills and weapons. Terrance spent basic training in Georgia at the hardest training site in the U.S. He then moved into Advanced Individual Training, where soldiers learn their specialties over the course of 16 weeks. Terrance’s specialties were as a dietitian assistant (hospital food service), medic, and cook. Through an Additional Skill Identifier, he gained another specialty: combat advisor. “I took on all the leadership positions I could. In the barracks, in classes, wherever,” said Terrance. “I wanted to be a good soldier.” In two years, Terrance earned his ranking as a sergeant. Normally, it takes five years. “I was just motivated,” he said. “It’s something I believe in.” Overall, Terrance spent nine years in the army, one of which was overseas. The rest of the time was on active duty within the U.S., completing missions and further training. Like so many other soldiers who experience war firsthand, Terrance was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and was discharged from the army. Now 32 years old and a sophomore at GFU, Terrance studies Business Management and minors in Finance. He originally started out as a Nursing major. Terrance said, “It just made sense. I had spent all this time as a medic, it seemed right to go into nursing.” However, being a nursing student proved to be difficult. “In military training, you focus on one topic at a time. You are so much more focused. In school, you have to study five different topics at a time and the subjects are more scattered,” he explained. With a degree in business, Terrance has the opportunity to fulfill his dream of working with Nike. “I love sports; I play pretty much all sports. I’m athletic and enjoy training and being physically active. I absolutely love what Nike stands for,” Terrance said. Everything in that statement is reflected in his image. His love for being active is evident in his athletic build. Most of his clothes or gear has the famous Nike “swoosh” logo. Each arm displays a tattoo peeking out from under his Nike shirt. Both are Chinese symbols. One means, “Forgive me, Lord”; the other, “Feel my pain.” Besides translating the symbols and a brief comment about getting the tattoos while in the army, Terrance did not elaborate much. Yet the tattoos speak loudly of his character and faith, which he shared a little bit more about. “I have to say I have a unique relationship with God,” he said. “I definitely believe; my faith is strong. I try to walk a straight line and live a good life. I don’t read the Bible or go to church as often as I necessarily should, but Jesus knows I love him. “While I was deployed, I went through a lot of emotional stuff,” Terrance continued. “I learned who I was. There were lots of stresses. You have to sleep where you killed people, with your body armor on, with your rifle loaded and ready. Stuff like that was hard.” But those experiences contributed to the strong person he is today. “I know I’m strong—I’ve been through a lot. I grew up in a broken home; I overcame a lot of adversities. I bought my own house when I was 26. I’ll be the first person in my family to graduate college. I can make it through anything,” he said. When asked how others see him, Terrance replied with humility. “Not to speak highly of myself, but my friends admire me. They know I’m a real person. They respect me.” “I definitely have my weaknesses,” Terrance said. “I can be closed off because my life experiences taught me to not depend on anyone for any reason. It’s hard because you can’t live alone.” For Terrance, being at GFU has helped him stay connected with good community as he works towards graduation. He will keep working hard so he can achieve his career goals and continue to be a leader. “The Known,” a weekly series written by Amy Rose, introduces you to people at the GFU who deserve to Be Known.
October 15, 2014“Let’s go on an adventure,” I’ll say to one of my friends, usually while we are sitting on a couch avoiding homework. “What kind of adventure?” they usually ask. “Anything,” I respond, because in my mind adventure is not just going on a hike or on a road trip. To me, adventure can be as small as visiting friends, getting something to eat late at night, or playing a game with friends. Adventure does not have to be taking back the home of a king under a mountain. Adventure can be getting out of the normal routine. My name is Britta Walen. I am a sophomore, an English major, and a reporter for the Crescent. I enjoy reading, listening to melancholy music, eating peanut butter out of the jar, and people-watching on my porch. My goal in writing this is to share my experiences in the hope that you will share yours. I want to show my fellow GFU students what they can do here in Newberg when they don’t want to go too far or when they can’t leave campus or spend too much money. I want other people to realize that adventures do not always have to be a big extravaganza. Sometimes adventures are the little things that we do not even notice. I believe that God gives us little adventures all the time, we just have to be excited about what he is going to show us. So starting next week, we will be adventure bound, you and me together. Because adventure awaits.
October 14, 2014Despite having the talent, she lacked the passion needed to thrive here. She wouldn’t last much longer at this news station. After graduating from George Fox University, Faith Curammeng returned to her home in Anchorage, Ala. It wasn’t too long before the CBS affiliate asked her to be the 5 p.m. TV news producer. She applied to be a writer, but accepted the offer. The show aired between Oprah and Dan Rather—a small-scale newscast sandwiched by national broadcasts. Because of the smaller nature of her show, Faith was able to do a lot of writing, as well as producing. “It was fun working with people I’d grown up watching on TV. There was power in being able to put something on TV,” she said. However, the honeymoon phase came to an end as she recognized the darker side of the career. “It was hard to have a career dependent on bad things happening,” she said. “It became hard not to feel good about having bad news. The worse the news, the better the story. It was an awful feeling.” Conflicting emotions continued to build as she experienced difficulties with the director of the news show. She didn’t like the director’s style and they soon butted heads. Luckily for Faith, she found a mentor in the executive producer, Tricia Moen. Like Faith, Tricia was a Christian. Faith had been feeling burned out on religion at the time, and Tricia was able to encourage her in ways other coworkers could not. The two women bonded over the difficulty of staying strong in their faith despite working in a toxic environment. Eventually, the studio needed to revamp its managerial positions and they let Tricia go. Without her mentor, Faith continued to struggle at the station, especially with the director. Her coworkers began telling her what she knew in her heart: “You’re good at what you do, but it’s not your passion.” “It was overwhelming to be a young professional,” Faith said. “When I quit, it ended as amicably as possible. I knew, and the director knew, that I was done.” Sometime later, she was offered a job there again. She turned it down. Now Faith is an adjunct instructor in the Department of Communication, Journalism and Cinematic Arts at GFU, her alma mater. She currently teaches Intro to Communication, Professional Writing and Broadcast News. In her Broadcast News class, Faith’s dry humor and informal approach stands out from other professors who have taught the course. She teaches from the front of the class while eating a vegan dinner from a Tupperware container and discussing her real world experience. She shares fond memories of her news jobs followed by jaded commentary. To many students, Faith is the perfect instructor: She has lived out this career path. She knows firsthand what broadcast news is like. After her time at the CBS affiliate, Faith was asked to work at another station as the TV commercial producer. “I was able to be so much more creative,” Faith said. “I could write, film, and edit the commercial concepts and scripts. There was more freedom in expression. I loved that.” Despite enjoying that job, she quit in order to move back to Oregon for new educational opportunities. Her first job while back in the pacific northwest was as a media assistant in a Sherwood junior high. It was simpler than the frantic lifestyle of broadcast news. She spent the year checking out books to students and monitoring the computer labs. When asked about that job, Faith smiled. “I loved being an authority figure but not a teacher. I could give ear to their issues. They’re raw and getting to know who they are,” she said. Faith had always aspired to be teaching in some way, whether formally or informally. She loved working with youth and young adults. The job in Sherwood allowed her to live out her passion in a smaller capacity. However, she needed a stable job that would allow her to continue enjoying the pacific northwest lifestyle. “I’m a West Coast girl. I enjoy the outdoors, so any area that allows me ocean and mountain access is perfect for me,” she explained. She knew she was good at working for the news industry and found herself applying to work at KATU as a writer. Soon enough, they were asking her to be an editor. Hoping she could take the job and move into a writing position, she accepted the offer. For six years, Faith stayed on the same shift as an editor. “They always had someone else in mind for the writing job. Although it would challenge my mind more than editing, I would be working more but getting paid less. I decided to stay put,” she said. The early morning shifts, four days a week, accommodated her outdoorsy nature. “I could take lots of trips to Canada and Seattle and go hiking or biking,” she said. “I trained for a marathon. I could go back home once or twice a year.” After six long years, GFU reached out to Faith, asking her to work for them. Clella Jaffe, a retired professor, had been friends with Faith on Facebook and they remained in contact with each other since Faith graduated in 2001. Faith had taught at Portland Community College once before and had help from Clella. When Clella asked if Faith was interested in teaching at GFU, she responded with great enthusiasm. This would be a great chance to continue living out her dream of teaching. When she speaks to her Broadcast News students, she is brutally honest. She shares her experiences and describes the places she worked as “toxic environments.” While some students are encouraged by her honesty, others wonder why Faith teaches a subject she is disillusioned by. Does she feel conflict in teaching a profession she feels jaded by? Faith said, “I try to push that aside since everyone’s experience will be different. The job is so fluid and dynamic. It is based on different markets and stations.” “I was to present it as, ‘Here are the tools you need,’” she explained. “If students are serious about being involved in broadcast news, I want to be honest with them. But, at the same time, tell them, ‘Dare to dream! It’s not utopia, but go for it!’” Discouraging students is the last thing she wants to do. When students show a lack of interest or hesitance to experiment within the Broadcast News class, she challenges them. “When else are you going to get the chance to play around with this stuff? Try it out! Play the role of news anchor! Be the director in this mock newscast!” When she was an undergraduate, earned a double degree in Communication Arts and Media Broadcasting. “I trust that God has opened doors for me before, so I keep my eyes open for new opportunities,” she said. For Faith, it’s all about encouraging students to find out what their passions are, what they’re good at, and how those overlap. As she discovered, it is often difficult to find that sweet spot. She was—and is—good at broadcast news. Her long-lasting passion and desire is to teach. At GFU, at least for now, it appears that Faith has found that space of overlap.
October 13, 2014It’s a busy Monday morning in George Fox University’s student union building. The scene is typical: a flurry of study groups, professors walking about, and students slurping coffee and shuffling paper. In the midst of all this, one young man–an engineering major–walks in and sits down at a table. Nothing would give away the fact that he is currently being recruited by Fortune 500 companies. And he’s only a sophomore. Michael Peterson was scrolling through the university’s email announcements one day and saw an internship listed for Autodesk, a worldwide engineering and media software company with a campus in Lake Oswego, Ore. Interest piqued, he went to the career center to learn more. “Michael walked into my office, we chatted about his interests and background and I knew he would be a good fit,” said Deb Mumm-Hill, George Fox’s director of student success. He soon found himself working among high-level engineers on projects like 3D printing, drone development, and workflows for a product design suite. “I was working on interoperability,” says Peterson, “how the products work with each other, moving data between programs, moving 2D to 3D, stuff like that.” Autodesk’s software is used by car companies for modeling and simulations and by movie producers for high-quality graphics. They are also one of the leading developers in 3-D printing — a process that allows production companies to construct anything with internal cavities that are difficult to build out of metal, including rocket engines. “It’s really specialty stuff,” he says with a smile. His summer internship was also a specialty program. Peterson was part of a team of twelve other paid interns, all working alongside professional engineers. The program offered a living stipend and intern fieldtrips, including activities like paintballing and river floating. However, the internship was not all fun and games. He remembers the first few weeks being very intimidating. “It was kind of nerve-racking,” he says. “I had never worked in a corporate environment like that.” Even being the ambitious young man he is, Peterson found it hard to catch on at first. “It was really interesting to be an official intern—you have your own cubicle, have an IT guy, all these things that [mean] you fit into this company’s structure. It took me a week or so to figure that out, because there’s so many internal things that they do—internal communication, internal servers for information—all these different things that you have to get to know.” Although working at such a large corporation was a little overwhelming, he soon learned that being an intern didn’t mean he was unimportant. Whenever he had a question, someone always jumped in to make sure he got the answer. “I remember this one time I had a question, and my boss goes, ‘Well, let’s just have a conference call with the guy who made it.’ It’s like—wow—I don’t know if it’s that intense of a question.” Autodesk will use Peterson’s work this year in their annual nation-wide training conference. He and other interns produced a number of videos during the internship that detail how to use the company’s software. Thanks to the internship, the sophomore now has a number of opportunities to choose from for next summer. He is currently being recruited by Oshkosh Corporation, a company that designs and manufactures military grade trucks and tactical vehicles. “That would be cool,” he says about the recruitment offer, but he’s still keeping his options open. “I really have two companies that I’m looking at right now where I’d like to intern.” These two companies are well within reach for the Autodesk intern. One, called SpaceX, develops space flights for NASA. Although Peterson is only in his second year of college, he has high aspirations. Once he declares a concentration in mechanical engineering, he dreams of going into aerospace technology. The ultimate direction could change, but it’s something he is passionate about now. “I say aerospace because it’s an exciting field,” he says. Whatever he does decide to pursue next summer, it will certainly not fail to be exciting.
October 10, 2014With the beginning of autumn comes the releasing of the fall television schedule, much to the anticipation of most college students. Not only is this the chance to be relieved from cliff-hanging season finales of favorite shows, but it presents the opportunity to check out new shows as well. Last week. CBS introduced a new show called “Scorpion” to its Monday night lineup. The pilot aired Sept. 22 right after “The Big Bang Theory” at 8/9 central. CBS normally reserves this time slot for sitcoms, but they are trying something new by placing an action drama in the nine o’clock time slot. Ratings and time will eventually tell if the show will be renewed for a second season, but I can say for certain that Scorpion has made my list of shows to watch even though I should be studying/doing homework/sleeping. Loosely based on the real life of computer prodigy Walter O’Brien, this show is about a group of geniuses who are asked to help the United States Government solve problems that only people with high mental abilities could solve. If Scorpion were to have parents, the BBC’s television show “Sherlock” and “The Big Bang Theory” would likely win the DNA test. Walter O’Brien (Elyes Gabel) is one of the top five smartest people in the world. He has an IQ of 197 (to put that in perspective, Einstein had an IQ of 160) and is the leader of the Scorpion team. The Scorpion team includes mechanical prodigy Happy Quinn (Jadyn Wong), world-class shrink Toby Curtis (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and human calculator Sylvester Dodd (Ari Stidham). They are joined by Paige Dineen (Katharine McPhee), a single mom and former waitress who helps the characters connect to the human world and emotional side of things. The pilot episode opens explosively and keeps the viewer sucked in until the end. Walter O’Brien, who was able to hack into NASA to get the blueprints for a space shuttle to hang on his wall at the age of 11, is the leader of Scorpion. The team is asked by Federal Agent of Homeland Security, Cabe Gallo (Robert Patrick), to help stop a national security threat. At the end of the episode they are all offered full-time jobs working for the government as the last line of defense against high tech threats around the world. The show does a good job of being believable. One difficult aspect was that some of the secondary characters are hard to relate to, because they are so smart and lack basic human emotional skills. It’s hard to tell if that is simply because they aren’t played by the best actors, or because their characters are supposed to come across as a little wooden and lacking social skills. That is why the show needs Paige Dineen, the humanizing character. Ever since being the runner-up on American Idol in 2006, Katharine McPhee has not only worked on her musical career but her acting career as well. McPhee shines in this new series; her acting is real and raw. She brings comedy as well as a human aspect to the show; she is not afraid to call the geniuses out on their lack of empathy and sensitivity (something that happens a lot). Overall, this show is worth the watch. But be careful: it is a show that sucks you in. I am already addicted after just one episode. You can view the pilot episode here: Scorpion Pilot
October 10, 2014The weather is changing, as you may have noticed. The leaves are turning different colors, and even though the sun is still out, we are now seeing the ushering in of a new season. Yes, it’s time for fall. So pack away your rainbow flip flops, shorts, and leather sandals with love and say good bye to them until next year. But cheer up! There are some things we have to look forward to, and as you can see by these pictures, the students of George Fox University have already started to pack away summer looks and are definitely paying attention to what is trending for this new season. We can see that boots are always going to come back for the new season and this year there are so many different options. There are knee high boots to wear with skinny jeans; ankle cut boots worn with loose fitting denim; and we are seeing that the folded down leather boots with laces have made their way back as well. If you are tired of always wearing your boots with denim, or pants in general, don’t be afraid to pair your boots with a fantastic mini skirt or the “go to” just above the knee casual cotton dress. These looks can be pulled off with knee high boots, or ankle high boots with tights and socks. Don’t be afraid to pair your look with a faux leather jacket or even a great blazer. Brightly colored pieces are always in, but try to stay away from mixing patterns. We saw this last season and there is a reason why it didn’t last long. This week’s top tip: Don’t be afraid to use colored eye shadow. Stray away from the neutral norm, and add a little color to your bottom lid. Try using eye shadow as your liner, instead of liquid or pencil liner. It’s cheaper, cleaner, and more defining. Remember that your eyes can also be your best accessory without looking like your mom in her 80’s high school prom photo. Britta Walen- GFU Sophomore