Monday, November 28, 2011

How Thanksgiving came to be

Most people don’t know this, but Thanksgiving wasn’t actually a “real” holiday until 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed “Thanksgiving Day”. People believe that in 1621 when the pilgrims came over that they celebrated the first Thanksgiving, which is not true. Yes, the pilgrims had a gathering and gave thanks for their three-day feast, but it wasn’t called Thanksgiving yet.
The pilgrims came over on the Mayflower and settled on Plymouth Rock December 11, 1620. Their first winter was a harsh one. There were 102 who sailed over on the Mayflower, but the following fall there were only 46 left. In 1621 the remaining colonists celebrated their new beginning in America, with a feast, along with the 91 natives that helped the Pilgrims through their first year. After that the “Thanksgiving” feast was not celebrated again until many years later.
Edward Rawson a clerk, proclaimed June 29 as a day of thanksgiving. In 1789, when George Washington proclaimed “National Day of Thanksgiving”, people were opposed to it. Later President Thomas Jefferson opposed the idea of having a day of thanksgiving, because he felt like there was a discord among colonies. President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving. Every president after Lincoln proclaimed the holiday.
No matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving, it means something different to everyone. The term “turkey” was used by the Pilgrims to mean any sort of wild fowl. Pumpkin pie is something that is a tradition we have now days, but something they had back then. There was no flour, so there was no bread or pastries. The Pilgrims did boil pumpkin and they produced a type of bread from their corn crops. Another example is the cornucopia. The cornucopia is a basket that food is held in as a decoration or where food is placed. The one major constant is the feast that goes back many years ago to the Pilgrims’ first year in America.

The Band Concert

   One thing our school is known for is out awesome band. Our band has won a lot of rewards and has made Ripley proud. The band director Mrs. Poole has done an outstanding job with teaching and coaching all the band members to be as good as they are.
   December 18, there is going to be a band concert in the auditorium Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Right before the band gets started the jazz band will be performing as an opening to the band concert. During the performance the songs Coventry Carol, Feliz Navidad, Christmas on the March, Hallelujah its Christmas, plus a few other bonus songs with be played. There are a few weeks before the play so the soloist if any, have not yet been determined.
   The band consists of 132 students and 35 of them seniors. This concert and the spring concert will be the senior members last at Ripley High.
   The band also does marching performances at competitions and at our football games.
   When asked, Mrs. Pool says that “the students prefer marching band because of all the excitement and the fun music”.
   Concert band is where the learning takes place. The band members are taught the importance of balance, blend and dynamics. This helps the students have a great concert band, but also a fun and exciting marching band next year.

Harry Potter DVD exceeds expectations

By: Lynzi Acree

At first glance, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 two DVD special edition seems bare and not worth the time and money. On the first DVD, you have the movie itself and deleted scenes. On the second DVD, you have all of three extra features. This short list does not build confidence in the quality of this “Special Edition.”
The movie itself is good, but two thirds of the time, you can’t see anything due to poor lighting. The parts that are dark are really dark and the parts that are bright are really bright and it seems to take until the very end for the lighting crew to find a decent balance where you can actually see more than one pale face in the middle of a black screen.
The deleted scenes look promising, but then you watch them. As soon as you watch even one, you realize that these are not the regular deleted scenes that add another dimension to the movie. Some of them are nothing more than one, maybe two extra lines of unnecessary dialogue. One deleted scene does nothing more than spoil the surprise in what would be the following scene. These deleted scenes were taken out for the sake of making the movie slightly shorter without taking out any important content. I was very disappointed in them.
The second DVD includes: A Conversation Between Daniel Radcliffe and J.K. Rowling, The Goblins of Gringotts, and The Women of Harry Potter. The conversation between the man who played Harry and the woman who wrote the books is much better than you could expect. It’s full of jokes and secrets they couldn’t tell us until the movies were over. The Goblins of Gringotts is a documentary about finding the people to play the goblins and doing their make up and the processes behind it. It’s fun to watch someone go from being a normal human to being a goblin. The Women of Harry Potter is about all the different female characters and how the actresses and the author feel about them.
All in all, upon viewing, the DVD is much better than could be anticipated based on the small amount of information on the box.

World half empty or half full?

By: Lynzi Acree

October 31, the world population officially hit 7 billion. While there is no way to be exactly sure, this number is estimated based on statistics.
Some may be wondering about the implications of this amount of people; is it a good thing or a bad thing? The truth is, 7 billion is a really freaking-huge number. Nine zeroes do not reasonably represent the sheer magnitude of how many 7 billion is.
According to, if you filled 7 billion average-sized thimbles with water, that water could fill at least 5 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Seven billion seconds ago, it was 1789.
Pessimistically and realistically, this is a horrible, awful, really bad milestone for the population to hit. We are running out of room and resources quickly. Many experts would agree that the carrying capacity of the Earth is approximately 10 billion humans, and that number is far too close for comfort. No one can really know what will happen when we reach carrying capacity. We can’t even be sure of the number the population will grow to before that mysterious thing happens, but it would probably be very bad.
In my opinion, the best thing would be if we could control the population before we got anywhere near the carrying capacity. A good way to do this is to integrate women into the work force so that they no longer feel their only purpose is to take care of their family. Some countries don’t make any governmental effort to execute a plan like this. Another competent method is education. You can’t just hand out birth control pills; you have to teach people how to use contraceptives. This method usually gradually lowers the population. The most efficient system is to limit the number of children each couple can have, like China.
In the entire world, there are 15,641,597,556 acres of habitable land. That’s more than twice 7 billion, but much of that is covered in forests or used for growing crops and cattle, or other food sources. The more people there are, the more land we need for food sources, and the more land we need for living space. Eventually, there may be no more room for either. What then?
Well, Thomas Malthus theorized that when the Earth became overcrowded, war and plague would break out until the population was considerably smaller, if not completely extinct.
If our options are population control or extinction, odds are most people would choose population control.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Students weigh in on fads

By: Tabitha Hudnall

Over the years society has witnessed many fads. Some are timeless while others come and go within a week. This is an undeniable part of our culture. It’s hard to pinpoint where a fad comes from. One day you walk down the street or hallway and see someone wearing nice shoes or a cool new hair style. The next thing you know everyone is where the same shoes and the same hair style. It’s a common thing we see with teenagers. Fads include more than clothes though. There are fads in music and movies as well. The newspaper contributed a survey on what the selected students here at Ripley High thought about the subject.

Results show what types of fads students have noticed among the hallways this fall. The most widely noticed were, “fuzzy boots, feathers in people’s hair, skinny jeans, band t-shirts, Sperry’s, and hair poufs.” Eighty-nine percent of the students that took the survey said they have seen fads around the school, but only thirty-two percent admitted to being in a fad. This may be due to students trying to find their own individuality and not wanting to admit being a part of a fad. Some causes of fads spreading are due to widely watched teen shows such as “Jersey Shore”. Teens watch these shows and see styles that capture their attention, so as the result these styles get passed along and turn into fads. Not everybody watches these shows though, so these styles depend on your tastes.

Movies are a big part of entertainment nowadays and fads also go along with them. Recently the big craze has been movies with lots of gore, horror, and drama. Remakes of movies such as “Footloose” and “The Thing” have been common as well. The very well known “Twilight” saga is a hot topic in the movie world as well, and they also bring along clothing fads such as the “Team Edward, Team Jacob” t-shirts. Teens and adults as well love these movies because they include romance, gore, and drama all in one. These movies spark people’s attention because they have all the components that teenagers love and can’t get enough of.

Music will always have its fads that go along with it. In the 60’s and 70’s it was the hippy phase and in the 80’s it was big hair and bright spandex. Today with music we see lots of pop, rap, and hardcore bands. Our surveys gave examples like Lil Wayne for rap, Rihanna and Lady Gaga for pop, and Asking Alexandria for hardcore. Each genre has fashions that go along with them. If you happen to look around the hallways you will see these types of fashions every day. Skinny jeans, baggy t’s, poufed up hair, we’ve seen it all. I think one of the reasons our styles change is due to music. Bands tend to start their own styles that fans like to follow.

Everyone has their opinions on new styles and fads and whether they think they are good or bad is up to them. Fads are good in the sense that they bring groups of people that have similar tastes together. This can also lead to bad outcomes though because it can leave people out.

So next time you are walking to class, at a sports event, or just walking through Wal-Mart, look around and notice the many types of fads our generation currently has. Before you know it they will be gone and new styles will emerge. It is in our nature to change, whether it’s the clothes we wear, movies we watch, or music we listen to.               

Boys Basketball prepped for promising season

As we near December, we get even closer to the high school basketball season. It’s the squeaks on the floor, the frantic action between players and the opposing team, and the unpredictability of the sport that attracts crowds to cheer for their favorite side year after year. If you’re a fan of our Vikings, it is hard not to be pumped this year; the last two seasons have seen our boys’ basketball team consistently win 15 out of 24 of their games.

It would be hard not to talk about our basketball team without mentioning the loss of 2011 graduate Chase Fischer. Scoring a total of 2213 points during his years on the team, his absence will certainly ensure the team steps up its game and rises to the occasion. Players like senior Cody Miller are likely to help lead the team to success in the 2011-2012 season. Miller averages around 15 points per game, has quite a nice record of 2-point shots from last season, and has scored 351 points total over his 2 years playing basketball on the Viking team. As far as stats go, Miller is one of the team’s best assets.

“Things are definitely looking up, and my pappy always said that looking up is better than looking down.” Coach Craig Harmon said in regards to the upcoming season, and shared how he motivates the team when morale is low.

“I tell them to play like it's their last time playing; play like a senior!”

Each year the team seems to perform even better than the year before. Couple that with the fact that the team won a lot of their games with a huge point difference and that the games the team did lose were often very close, this year proves to be very promising for our boys basketball team.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sleep deprivation and you; the real deal

By: Logan Moore

Are you getting enough sleep? Studies from the American Psychological Association (APA) think not. People have an internal clock, which affects what time you get tired. In younger aged kids, the clock hits the hour of tired at about 8 or 9 p.m. Once kids hit puberty, they don’t get tired until about 11 p.m., or even later! As you can see, this can be a problem for many high school students. How are we supposed to get our nine hours if our body doesn’t let us sleep until late in the night?

A survey was sent out to English classes of every grade level in the high school to see how many hours students get of sleep each night. Sixty-seven percent of the males surveyed get seven or more hours of sleep each night, whereas only 49 percent of females get seven or more hours of sleep. That’s almost a 20 percent difference, folks. There are many possible reasons for this. Perhaps the guys are more active during the day, and get tired earlier. Girls could be staying up later to study or do homework.

The APA shows that only 15 percent of teenagers were reported sleeping for eight-and-a-half hours or more on a school night. Most of us teenagers tend to have wonky sleeping patterns during the week. We typically stay up late, and sleep late during the weekends, which can affect our biological clocks and mess up our sleep schedules. If teens don’t get enough sleep, their ability to listen, learn, and concentrate is limited. They are also more prone to pimples, and no one likes pimples. Sleep affects hormones that control glucose metabolism and appetite. Not to mention that inflammation and insulin resistance can also lead to acne.

There are many different solutions for a sleeping problem. Try making a set bed and wake-up time; it will help you keep on schedule and keep you more refreshed.

Make sleeping a priority! Sleep is a necessity for the body. Just like eating and drinking: sleep is not an option. Extreme sleep deprivation can cause death, just as sure as starvation does. You need sleep to feel well rested and concentrate during the day.

Don’t do homework and/or study so late at night. If you’re tired for the big test tomorrow, then you probably won’t do well anyway. Making the necessary adjustments will change you from the zombie you usually are into a fantastic little sunflower.

Animal overpopulation growing problem

When I was younger I would count all the dead animals that were by the road any time we were out driving. There were always way too many. There were cats, dogs, deer, and even birds. It seemed like no animal was safe. It’s been happening more and more due to animal overpopulation.

Animal overpopulation is a serious problem. It is impossible to determine just how many stray cats and dogs live in the U.S., but it is estimated to be about 70 million for cats alone.

According to, a fertile cat can have up to two litters a year, with 4-6 kittens each litter. The average fertile dog produces one litter a year; the average number of puppies is 4-6 each. estimated that in only seven years, a female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 cats. In just six years, one female dog and her brood can produce as many as 67,000 puppies. says seven dogs and cats are born every day for each person born in the U.S. Only one in five puppies and kittens stays in original home all it’s life. The other four are abandoned to the streets to freeze to death or end up in a shelter. It costs U.S. taxpayers an estimated $2 billion each year to round up, house, kill, and dispose of homeless animals. It costs more money to raise a litter of kittens than it does to spay/neuter one. The cost of spaying/neutering a pet depends on the on its weight, size, and what kind of animal it is estimated that every 1.5 seconds a shelter animal is killed. That’s 192,308 per week, or 27,437 pets euthanized every 24 hours, 365 days a year. If you have room in your heart and home, consider adopting from an animals shelter. An estimated 3.7 million animals are euthanized in shelters each year across the U.S. You have the ability to change that. Just think of how shelter animals feel when they see somebody walking into the shelter and they know that they might finally be getting a home with somebody who will love and take care of them instead of living in a cage. Think of how it feels for them when it doesn’t happen because you wanted a breed they didn’t have. Those animals hope. They hope that one day somebody will come for them, love them. Instead, they are euthanized because you were too picky. Adopt from a shelter, because those animals will love you for saving their life.

Sterilizing dogs and cats more than we already do can drastically reduce the number of puppies and kittens born so that shelters can care for, and place, those that are already there, in loving homes. advices you to adopt animals from shelters. If you have room in your heart and home, consider adopting from an animals shelter. An estimated 3.7 million animals are euthanized in shelters each year across the U.S. You have the ability to change that.

Any site will advice pet owners to put collars and ID tags on your animal friends so you can get them back if they get lost. Ask your vet to implant a microchip under their skin for permanent identification. Also try to prevent your dog or cat from getting lost in the first place. Secure your yard. Consider keeping cats indoors, as they live longer than outdoor cats.

If you don’t have the money to spay/neuter your pat, go to There are people who will sponsor you. They will give you their own money to help spay/neuter your animals. There are people put there that will help you. They want to help stop the massacre of innocent animals.

By: Megan Mobley

Veterans' Day Ceremony

By: Taryn Matheny

   This is the second year in a row that our school has conducted a Veterans’ Day assembly to honor the veterans that live around town and some that are relatives to kids in our own school. The ceremony was hold November 10 in the auditorium and it was packed full. All students were in attendance, and some of them even had to stand up on the side of the walls. This ceremony has come about to honor the men and women that have fought for our country.
   “I thought it was a great ceremony, and I get to look at the people who have helped fight for our country,” Said Senior Kenny Yonkosky.
A number of veterans were in attendance on this day. The veterans were guest speakers in the history classes throughout the morning. This gave them a chance to talk to kids about what they have been through and to tell their stories. It gives them a chance to inform our students about history and to help them realize about what goes on in our military branches.
   “I got a chance to listen to veterans about their life stories and it was very interesting to listen to as well as helped me understand more about the military,” Said Senior Anthony Michael.
   During the ceremony Student Council President Dalton Border opened up with the pledge of allegiance and then had a moment of silence. The students were all in unison as they sang our National Anthem next. Veteran Tome Reynolds spoke to the audience about his military background and what being a part of the Army means to him. Principal Will Hosaflook recognized every veteran as he called their name and had them stand. The Choir sang all of the military anthems as well as other songs during the ceremony. The ceremony was a great success and everyone seemed to enjoy it.
   “It really felt great to sing the military anthems for the different veterans that stood before us, and it seemed like they enjoyed it as well,” said Senior Choir Member Will Mullins.
   This ceremony is something that should happen throughout all high schools in the United States. It honors the men and women that have fought for our country as well as honoring the ones that have lost their lives. The assembly lets us remember that there is a reason we have the lives we do, because we have men and women fighting for us everyday to have and keep them. This ceremony was a great success and we will continue to have it each year.

Things to do over Thanksgiving Break

By: Anni Ashworth

Thanksgiving is a national time for American families to come together, give thanks, and gain tons of weight from all the delicious food. But as students, we continue to find ourselves with nothing to do over the week-long break every year it rolls around. To help with that boredom, here are a few possibilities.

• Hunting is of course a necessity during break. More than likely, half the population of Ripley spends their entire week in the woods all day.
• Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade has been around for 85 years this November. It’s a classic way to get in the holiday groove. Plus it’s really interesting to see what crazy ideas people have.

• Volunteering at a local food pantry is always open, too. Or even just making an extra dish of food to be donated to those pantries to people that can’t afford Thanksgiving dinner.

• Football is a must. Thanksgiving is the time for huge rivalries. For example, West Virginia University VS Pitt is on the 25th.

• There’s Black Friday shopping as well, because who wouldn’t want to be trampled in order to get that perfect deal on that perfect outfit?

• Doing all that homework you’ve been putting off so you don’t have to cram it in the day before is a really good idea too. Being a procrastinator is not always a good thing, especially when you complain about having nothing to do every day you have off.

• Basically, just spend time with your family doing the little things you love. There’s no reason to ever complain about having nothing to do. Would you rather be in school those five days?

Girl's Basketball

By: Taryn Matheny
   The girls’ basketball team has been shooting and doing workouts for this season since after last season ended. The coach of the Lady Vikings is Justin Frashier and the assistant coach is John Kennedy. They began practicing Monday, November 7. This year the team is looking to seriously compete against the other teams in their conference. A couple of the teams they are working toward beating is George Washington and South Charleston.
   The Lady Vikings have a number of returning players, including a number of seniors. The returning players from last season are seniors: Rachel Stuck, Ryne Hill, Bethany Thomas, and Paige Smith, juniors: Jillian Mullins and Mellissa Hughgart, and sophomores: Kensey Bergdorf, Michalia Parsons, Sarah Williams, and Chelsey Hager.
   “This team has done a lot to improve themselves over the off-season and I am looking forward to coaching this season,” said Head Coach Justin Frashier.
   The Vikings really feel they have what it takes to compete in their conference this season. They have been shooting during the off-season as well as running on the track and bleachers. They are willing to put the hard work and extra effort into it if that is what it will take to have success this season. They Lady Vikings will continue to practice hard to prepare for their first game.
   “A lot of us have really been working hard in the off season and I think that will really give us a big improvement over last season,” said Senior Rachel Stuck.
   The girls’ first game is December 6 at home against George Washington. If you want to see a good basketball game, then you should take this opportunity to come and watch your Lady Vikes.

WVUs move to the Big 12

By: Anni Ashworth
West Virginia University moving to the Big 12 is the biggest news the state has had in a while. It’s been obvious for weeks that WVU no longer wants to be a part of the Big East. But the fact that there is only one familiar team on future schedules is sort of mind blowing.

There are many new opportunities for the Mountaineers in the Big 12 Conference. The team is the second new member to join the Conference since it began in 1996, the other being TCU, and will start participating athletically July 1, 2012. Consisting of Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas Tech, the Big 12 Conference has won 42 team-national championships and 492 NCAA individual crowns. The new addition won’t only benefit the other teams, because WVU will be a power house among power houses, but it will help the conference in the long run too.

The road to the Big 12 hasn’t been the easiest, however. There was a huge debate over whether WVU’s resignation from the Big East was true because their original contract required them to wait a 27-month waiting period before it was official. WVU’s loophole was the fact that in that same contract, the Big East was required to keep the football conference viable, but failed to do so. It’s pretty clear that the Big East knows with the loss of WVU their conference will basically disappear which is why they fought as hard as they could to get the team to stay.

Another downside to the conference redistribution is the potential loss of the Backyard Brawl. The West Virginia vs. Pitt game has been a tradition since 1895, but with the Mountaineers’ Big 12 schedule containing nine conference match ups, they only have three non-conference games to try to jam the rivalry into.

Overall, I believe the move promises West Virginia University new stability and credibility for years to come. When the 2012-13 season comes around, it is expected that the Big 12 Conference will be the best opportunity the Mountaineers have had in a long time.

Fuzzy Friends: Future of America?

Alpaca farming is a growing industry in America, especially in West Virginia. There are over 300 alpaca farms in America, including the 24 in West Virginia. As a resident of an alpaca farm, I have quite a bit of knowledge on this particular subject.

The goal is to raise the alpacas for their fleece and sell the fleece for profit. The fleece is used for yarn to make clothing items. Alpaca fiber is 5-6 times warmer than wool, and it doesn’t contain lanolin or oil. Lanolin is the item in wool that so many people are allergic to. You could also sell alpaca beans (manure) as fertilizer. It is very clean, contains no parasites, and it is odorless. A major purpose is to sell and breed alpacas to other farms and other prospective farms.

Many people think that alpacas and llamas are the same thing, but they are not. Although, they look similar, they do have differences. Alpacas’ weight can vary from 125- 200 pounds, with a median of 160 pounds. Llamas’ weight varies from 300-400 pounds, with a median of 340 pounds. Alpaca fleece is softer than llama fleece, making it easier to work with when turning the fibers into yarn. Alpaca fleece is also much more comfortable on the skin.

Alpacas aren’t your average, everyday animals. They have quite a personality that is different with each one of them. A lot of them can be very friendly while others can have obnoxious minds of their own. Overall, they are considered to be intelligent animals, which are for the most part easy to work with. For instance, one of the alpacas that we have on our farm, Kingsley, thinks that he is a dog. He tends to run and jump on people just to get closer to their faces. He loves attention, he loves to be petted as a dog would, and tries to lick your face.

Another one of our alpacas is the absolute opposite of Kingsley, and his name is Joe. He is not friendly, and has a very arrogant attitude. He acts like he owns the whole farm and everyone residing there. He has that mentality because at the farm he lived on before ours he was a stud, and practically ran the whole pack. A stud is who the majority of female alpacas are mated with. Now that he is on our farm, he has been fixed and is no longer a stud. His attitude shows that he clearly still thinks he is.

Alpaca farms are helpful to our economy by developing another textile industry similar to wool. It would be another “home grown”, American made item for the U.S.A.

Local alpaca farmer Averill Perdue said he got into the alpaca farming business because, “I think it’s a great time to enter into alpaca farming. The market has been down for the last couple of years and it is rebounding nicely in late 2011. That’s why we’ve made huge investments in 2011.”

Alpaca facts:

Alpacas originate from Peru!

Alpacas have odd fighting mechanisms. They have teeth in the back of their mouths that are curved sharply backward to rip off body parts of the enemy!

Female alpacas carry their babies to term up to 11 months! Most alpaca farmers wait about a week after they give birth before breeding them again. Female alpacas spend the majority of their adult lives pregnant.

By: Danielle Vealey

Random sport: Hornussen

By: David Hicks

There are plenty of crazy sports that don’t seem like a good idea to do and plenty more that are not safe to do. This is one of those games. Hornussen originated from the sheep fields of Switzerland. Shepherds wanted a game that was fun, a cardio work out, and required a lot of people to play to create camaraderie with the other shepherds. Herding is a long and lonely job taken place in the fields away from towns. So, when given a chance they wanted to play, and that is how this game came into existence. It’s been around since the 1600 and is now apart of the Swiss leagues and tournament that are popular today.

This game is much like tee-ball and hockey mixed in with the strength and iron wits. A puck or hurnuss is put on top of a ramp and is stuck there with a special type of clay. The hurnuss is hit by a whipping type stick with a wooden solid cylinder attached at the end. Each player gets two hits each and the velocity of the hurnuss reaches up to 300 km/h, which is approximately 184 mi/h. The score of the hit is related to the distance on how far the puck gets from the ramp.

The fun part is that you are not just hitting it and waiting for it to land; you have a group of people, or another team, trying to bat your ball down. A team holding schindels, or sticks with a catching board on it, tries to throw the schindels up in the air to hit and knock the puck down. Once every person on the team has hit twice, the teams switch and the hitting team becomes the defensive team.

These players must really be crazy. Even if there have been about two cases a year of injuries occurring, you still have a plausible chance to lose an eye. This is a sport of true courage and just being able to gut it out and conquer your natural fear. So if you ever want to have a rush and play baseball at the same time, get some buddies and play hornussen, because you are guaranteed a giant dose of crazy to spice up the rest of your day.

Singers ready to preform

By: David Hicks

It’s about the time for the beautiful sounds of singing and magnificent music to hit the air of Ripley High School. This December, the Concert Choir and Chamber Choir will be holding a concerted with the theme of Christmas in mind. The Mixed Choirs will be singing an assortment of songs including: Ding-a Ding-a Ding by: Greg Giplin, A Christmas Carol by: Charles Ives, A Rhapsody of Christmas by: Ed Lojeski, and Do You Hear What I Hear by: Harry Simeone, and many more.

The responsibility for being able to play this great show comes from the hard work from the students participating in choir. One of them, senior Maci Oiler, is a great example of natural talent. With her very beautiful and gifted voice Oiler is ready to start the show and to have fun with this year’s concert.

“I’m really excited to perform these pieces. Although I’m sad, I’m pumped to sing my last Christmas concert,” commented Oiler.

After John Ryder left last year, a new dominent figure takes the light of the choir teacher. Lily Corathers has been preparing these students and has been working hard to make these beautiful voices as good as they could be.

“Mrs. Corathers is a very good teacher and has been an awesome mentor to all of us,” says Oiler. “She works really hard to teach us and I feel that we will do find singing in different concerts this year.”

To see the choir sooner, you can go to the Tasty Cup Cakery in Ripley on Saturday November 19th, where they will be singing for a fundraiser. The Toys for Tots program will be collecting toys as the students sing, so go on down and be mystified by the voices of angels.

"Call of Duty" out in stores

By: David Hicks

Gaming fans all around the world were lined up Monday, the 14th of November to wait until the clock struck midnight and the gaming experience of a lifetime was available to the public. I am talking about the new “Call of Duty, Modern Warfare 3,” which has been an anticipated game since the talk of its creation was in several gaming magazines through out the summer.

“Modern Warfare 3” is a first-person shooter game that takes place in the present day. The player will play as different characters attempting different objectives and tasks to complete the mission. The health is the same from the previous games which is determined by how red, which represents blood, your screen is. You will also be accompanied by several soldiers who can not be issued orders on campaign.

There is a different game mode on this game that has people excited. It’s a survival mode that the player or his cooperative partners face until they die. Unlike the popular Nazi zombies, the computer opponents will spawn at different tactical positions that just going through the designated point of entry.

You can also be awarded several various perks along with your kill streak now. Instead of having just juggernaut which makes you almost undefeatable, after you get so many kills you can have focus or kick which affect how efficiently you fire your weapon. Also, you can get many other supply drops that intensify the game and make the experience one that will make other games look like toys for tots.

This game is in stores now worth about $60.00 at Wal-Mart and will more than likely to the sale record the “Call of Duty: Black ops” set on its five-day opening sale. This is for all systems and is a large step in the gaming community with both graphics and gameplay.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

'Once Upon a Time' magical new show

Once upon a time, the universe smiled down on the masses of bored television audiences and gave us the aptly named series “Once Upon a Time”. The plot premise is a little confusing, but see if you can keep up: Prince Charming, AKA James, and Snow White have just been married when the Evil Queen crashes their wedding and informs everyone present that she is poised to put a curse on the entire kingdom that will ruin everyone’s lives and put a stop to all happy endings. The residents of the kingdom fret about this curse for over three years without anything actually happening until Snow White is about to give birth to her first child, a daughter named Emma. That very day, the curse (in form of a large, black cloud) immerses the kingdom. The Prince puts Emma in a magical cabinet to protect her and watches as she disappears right before he is killed by the Queen’s soldiers.

Meanwhile, in an alternate reality, a now adult Emma lives alone as a bounty hunter in Boston. She is found by Henry, the son she gave up for adoption 10 years ago, who asks her for a ride home. Turns out he lives in Maine, in a little town called Storybrook (story book, get it?) and he is convinced that everyone in town is a fairy tale character trapped between worlds, frozen in time. He begs Emma to help him save everyone from the Evil Queen, who is now the mayor of Storybrook and Henry’s adopted mother. He bases his evidence on a mysterious book that tells all the stories from the other universe including the one of Emma’s destiny to someday save everybody from the curse.

The premise is crazy and interesting to explore as long as you don’t mind that Gennifer Goodwin is playing the mother of someone who looks older than her and overlook the plot hole of Henry growing up in a town where nobody ages. The cast chemistry is electric and amazing and all the characters are so dynamic and original that you could spend hours analyzing characters alone. Goodwin as Snow White quietly steals every scene she’s in, and occasionally if the scene already belongs to her, she’ll give it to someone else and then graciously steals it back. This is especially surprising because her character is soft-spoken and gentle. She doesn’t take scenes by mugging the person it belongs to; she more asks politely for them and they are gladly handed over. She radiates with a quiet wisdom, and you just want to trust her.

Lana Parilla is absolutely poisonous as the Queen. She occasionally comes off too harsh, but she balances these moments with times of a smooth voice and dangerous quiet. Jared Gilmore is one of the best child actors on TV today, and he pulls off the precociousness of Henry perfectly.

This is one show that may be difficult to catch up with if you miss too many episodes, but it’s definitely worth watching, so I’d suggest beginning watching as soon as possible. You don’t want to be left behind.

Sarah Says: students need to step up

How did we become a generation of doing exactly and only as much as we need to get by? I don’t remember a time in high school when I sat down to write a paper and thought “I’m going to spend as much time as needed to make this the best paper possible.” No, usually I’m still wiping sleep from my eyes and thinking “what exactly do I need to do to get credit for this paper?” the morning it’s due. My fellow students brag about how little time they spend on projects and the winner is usually the guy that did his project in his spare time the class period before it was due. Why is that? How did we become a generation that celebrates the art of procrastinating and getting by?

Depending on your mindset, you can either blame us or our teachers. You can blame our teachers if you believe it’s their job to somehow give us study skills and habits. You can blame us if you think we should have developed these study skills on our own in some way. You could even blame our parents if you think time management is their responsibility.
Personally, I’m going to blame students. We should have developed these study skills out of necessity when we were younger (you know, the same necessity of having to do homework and study for tests in order to pass a class that we have now as high schoolers). We can’t depend on someone else to teach us these skills, or we’ll drop them as soon as they stop being mandated by that authority figure (i.e. we’re screwed in college).

So, if these skills are so necessary, why don’t we just go ahead and develop them already? Well, we’re a generation of entitlement. We feel entitled to good jobs, we feel entitled to go to college if we make the grades, and, most of all, we feel entitled to live our lives as we choose (I’m not going to go into whether this feeling of entitlement is deserved). This includes using our time as we choose, and obviously we’re not going to choose to spend our time working when we could be on Twitter or updating our fantasy football team. We’ll spend hours avoiding homework laughing at stupid things like pictures of chubby Asian babies and cats on the internet. We’re not going to develop the study skills we need until our entitlement complex shifts focus to being entitled to do the best work we are capable of doing.

I’ll give you one good reason for this to happen: the real world requires it. The “real world” is a fantastic and mythical place for most of us. It’s a place where not everybody knows everyone else, people dress up every day, and you’re not going to do very well if you’re scraping by on your work. You can get by, sure, but with the cost of living going up, your entry level job isn’t going to pay for the car you want or that family you’re thinking of having. Walmart doesn’t pay enough to keep your Warcraft account funded and give you enough left over to someday move out of your parent’s basement. If you burn the burgers at McDonald’s, its probably going to get you fired.

Here’s what’s great about: early election predictions

By: Emma Shinn

It’s a natural human thing to do: we watch the world unfold around us, and just can’t help but make predictions about what we think is going to happen next. The world of politics is no different. In fact, it may be even worse about constantly trying to predict the future. Media outlets tend to try to act as fortune tellers, staring into their crystal balls (in this case full of polls, historical trends, and the expert opinions of both highly-educated political scientists and the random people they interview on the street) and telling us just who is going to win the next election.

Unfortunately for those media outlets and the people who listen to them, those predictions are often completely wrong. The fact of the matter is this: it is completely impossible to predict the winner of any election with 100% certainty, no matter what tactics you used to gain your supposed knowledge. One of the biggest and most obvious reasons for this is simple polling errors.

All polls and surveys are conducted with a certain margin of error, which means that they are all automatically and inherently flawed. There are often instances of bias, wherein surveys are given only to certain groups or demographics (such as the viewers of a certain news channel, the voters of a certain political party, etc). Even more common are instances of what could possibly be termed “user error,” when people being polled lie to the surveyors because they don’t want to admit that they a) don’t know, b) don’t care, or c) have an unpopular opinion.

Until now, this article has been focusing on early polls and predictions as an abstract and general failure. Let’s now turn our attention to some recent specific examples of this problem in American politics. In 2007, most early polls had former First Lady and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton easily besting Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination, and possibly becoming our first female president. Fast forward a year and you’ve got the election of our first black president instead, and Hillary Clinton left in the dust.

In 1991, the aforementioned woman’s husband, Bill Clinton, was far behind in the early polls. He was losing badly to everyone’s favorite mildly-crazy Reverend Jesse Jackson, and the now virtually unremembered Mario Cuomo. Very few people had Clinton pegged to win that race, and yet today, he is looked back on by most people as an extremely effective leader.

And perhaps the most telling example of all came earlier this year, when a certain business mogul with ridiculous hair and a reality tv show announced his intention to run for President in 2012. Believe it or not, Donald Trump led the polls for awhile, which in turn caused everyone in the media to speculate and give analysis on what it might be like if the American people chose him to run our government. I don’t know about anyone else, but I find that absolutely terrifying.

So, to tie us back in to the title of my column; what’s great about early election predictions? The fact that they’re so completely useless, of course! It’s simply great that we all sit around, making predictions based on next to no facts and the results of flawed surveys. It’s great that we bet on who we think is going to win the election, and get to brag and boast when we were right, but don’t have to deal with the consequences when we’re wrong. It’s great that the media gets to do the exact same thing, but on a larger scale, with corporate funding, and in front of tons of viewers who use what those news stations are saying to help form their own opinions.

Oh, and in case you haven’t picked up on it by now, when I say “great” on this topic, I really mean “awful.”

RHS theater prepares for winter play

By: Emma Shinn

December 9-10 a group of Ripley students will perform A Christmas Carol, a play based on the classic story written by Charles Dickens. As of publication, the productions are set to be open for the community, at 7 p.m., but director and theatre teacher Christina Iman is discussing the possibility of a school production as well.

A Christmas Carol is, as most everyone knows, the story of a grumpy old businessman named Ebenezer Scrooge who discovers the true meaning of Christmas with the help of a few ghosts, namely those of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, and his deceased business partner Jacob Marley. Senior Will Mullins will play Scrooge, while the Christmas ghosts will be played by juniors Danielle Vealey and Matt Jacobs, and senior Jared Mullins, respectively.

“[The experience] has been great,” said sophomore Matthew Taylor, who will play Bob Cratchet. “It’s going to be a good show.”

First-time director Iman said she was most excited “just to be able to bring a classic piece of literature to the stage in a somewhat professional manner.”

The RHS theater will be producing other plays throughout the school year, including a spring musical, and a one-act sometime after the first of the year. While plans for the spring musical are being kept top secret for the moment, Iman noted that the planned one-act will be a piece that is taken to a regional competition in Parkersburg. According to Iman, this will be the first time “in a long while” that Ripley has gone to an acting competition. The winning school there will get to go onto a state acting competition.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Student Council works to improve school

It’s been a year of change for Ripley High School, from rules, to staffing, and scheduling. This wave of change applies to our student government as well. If you're unsure as to what they do, check the bleachers after a home football game. Chances are you'll see members of Student Council picking up trash around the area. They also help put together the blood drives, and Spirit Week activities. This year, Student Council members are being granted even more input in matters affecting our school.

“It’s really about putting more control in the students’ hands, turning it over to the kids and letting them do what they need to do. Let it be their year,” advisor Jason Ward excitedly explained.

This is great news for everyone, as the administration and teachers will get a better idea of what the students think should be done to improve the school and the students get to work towards implementing their ideas in a more direct way. Some of the things planned include placing RHS flags along the main road into the school to help give our campus a sense of pride, a Powder Puff football competition, and of course, ideas for Spirit Week.

“It's a great way to be involved with the student body and show your school spirit. As a club we sponsor a lot of activities and try to get the student body active here at the high school,” senior class secretary Markee Shamblin said.

Student Council also branches off by class to work on events such as decorating floats for the Homecoming Parade, and has competitions for things such as hallway decorations throughout Spirit Week. If you have any ideas or concerns about RHS, see our full list of students involved in Student Council in the school handbook.

Bands gather to take Princeton by Storm

On October 1st, eighteen bands from West Virginia and Virginia all headed to Princeton, West Virginia, to take part in the third Southern Thunder Marching Band Invitational, “Taking the South by Storm”, at Anne S. Hunnicut Stadium. Participants included our very own Viking Band, the Cabell Midland Knights, the Spring Valley Timber Wolves, and the Capital Cougars; all of whom were in the 4A Division competing against each other. Though it was the third Southern Thunder event it was Ripley’s first time competing. The competition was a six hour affair, beginning with the first class division beginning at approximately one p.m., and ending with the awards ceremony at seven p.m.

The day sent a chill through many in attendance not only from the nervousness associated with wanting to do well, but also due to the nippy weather. As the hours passed, cold combined with wind and drizzling rains to make the event truly miserable, and test the bands’ marching and flag skills even more. Thankfully at the time our band started to enter the field, conditions were clear for the first two numbers, and once it did begin to drizzle again, it was very light. After the Viking Band finished their “Elvis Lives” show, there was one final performance in the class division, and then the judges began to make their decision. As they did, the host band, Princeton Senior High, marched onto the field for their exhibition performance while the judges finished tallying scores. The bands were judged on their marching, music, auxiliary, general effect, majorettes, color guard, and percussion. Despite giving a performance with just a few flaws, our band left with only one reward for second place Color Guard. Though it may not be the sweeping victory we could have hoped for, the event highlighted the areas the Viking Band needs to improve on, and let them know exactly how to fix what was wrong and make for even more impressive showings in the future.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin traditions change over time

By: Lynzi Acree

If you’re a fan of Halloween and all its traditions, then there’s a chance that you’ll be making a Jack-O-Lantern soon. Who doesn’t love those childhood memories of sitting around putting faces on pumpkins?
So, when you carve that pumpkin, there are several different designs for you may want to look into:

The traditional design: Jack-o’-Lanterns were originally carved radishes and squashes to tell stories or ward off demons. This tradition started in Ireland and spread over the UK, but when people started immigrating to America, it was much easier to use the indigenous pumpkin rather than the smaller radishes.

The picture is in the pumpkin: With the larger vegetables at hand, it was easier to make more than just a basic face; and with the new tools that have developed over time fancier, more in-depth drawings became possible. Many pictures still keep the theme of Halloween, but not all of them.

People’s faces: Even more recently, pop culture has been incorporated into the Jack-o’-Lantern tradition. You can use different cutting depths to shade and emphasize features.
A man in Kenova, WV makes an amazing display of Jack-o’-Lanterns every year. Ric Griffith, the great pumpkin artist has the help of volunteers for this great project. The Pumpkins are on display for about a week around Halloween. If you ever get a chance to stop by it is strongly advised that you seize the opportunity.

Feelin' down on your luck? Superstitions explained

By: Lynzi Acree

Halloween will be here before you know it, so you might want to brush up on your superstitions in case of paranoia. Superstitions are defined in most dictionaries as “an irrational belief in the existence of unseen forces which control fate.” Even though superstitions seem timeless, they do have origins. Here are those of some popular beliefs and the story of where they originated from:

The number 13: This notion pops up all over history. There are many theories as to why it’s unlucky. One such theory is that, in the Bible, Judas “the Betrayer of Jesus,” was the 13th member at the Last Supper. In Egyptian society, the number 13 was lucky because it symbolized death, for them meaning the glorious afterlife. Other cultures corrupted the number and it’s meaning with their fear of death.

Black cats: The Egyptian Goddess Bastet was believed to be a black cat. Christians in the Middle Ages wanted to wipe all traces of other religions from society, so early American settlers told young children and the uneducated that black cats were disguised demons and should be killed. They also killed women who owned the cats, thinking they were witches.

Spilled salt: Salt was thought to purify and drive away evil spirits, which were known for lurking behind your left shoulder, waiting for a chance to wreak some havoc. When you throw the spilt salt over your left shoulder, you drive the evil spirits away.

Walking under a ladder: There are two versions of this superstition. One belief is that the ladder forms a triangle which represents the “Holy Trinity.” If you walk through it, you violate the space and are believed to be in a league with the Devil. The other version is that hangmen used a ladder to hang a person from the gallows, and if you walked under the ladder, death would notice you.

Breaking a mirror: Your reflection in a mirror is symbolic of your soul. According to the pagan Romans, breaking the mirror, and therefore the reflection, damages the soul and brings spiritual suffering for seven years. Why seven years? The Romans believed that every seven years your body was rejuvenated.

Knock on wood: Pagans thought good spirits lived in wood and trees. By knocking on wood or touching it, you were “remembering” them and they would protect you from bad fortune.

For more detail and more superstitions you can visit:

Golf season at end: Coach steps down after ten years

By: Lynzi Acree
The golf season ended on a high note September 24 having begun August 11.
Senior James Dobbs said the practices “really prepared the team for playing games.”
This season went pretty well for the team and it went as most of the players had expected. Like anything, it had its highs and lows, but all the players had improved most likely because of diligent practice.
According to coach Diane Franklin, the strongest players this season, experienced players, were senior captain Jordan Franklin, junior Jacob Haynes, junior Tyler Jones, and freshman player Wes Withrow. The other new player is freshman Justin McKown. Other teammates include freshman Taylor Casto, senior James Dobbs, junior Trenten Boggess, and sophomore Logan Reynolds.
The team competes and practices at Greenhills Country Club.
Franklin said her best year was 2002, which was the last year the whole team went to states.
This is the last of ten years that Franklin has coached.
“I started when my eldest son Tyler was a senior,” she said, “and I’ll be finishing with my youngest son as a senior.”

Volleyball team hopes to end season on good note

By: Taryn Matheny
   The Ripley Viking volleyball team has had a great showing in all of their games this season. The team’s record is 13-18-1 and they have been able to play against tough opponents this year. The team has played hard throughout the season only getting better with each game.
   “We have been able to improve on our communication skills and that has helped us to do better in games during the season,” said senior Ryne Hill.
   The volleyball team looks to continue to get better over their last few games and to win the majority of them. They have worked hard since they began practicing over the summer and are looking forward to having a great finish to their season. They haven’t given up during any of their games and they are hoping that helps them as they get towards the end of the season.
   “This year is a little different from last year,” said Junior Lyndsay Anthony
   “But in only losing two players we have been able to stay the same, because a lot of underclassmen got to play so we are more experienced this year.”
   The volleyball team has performed up to many people’s expectations on the team. They believe that they have performed to their best every time that they have played and they have just had a few mistakes that have caused them to come up short in some of their games.
   “I felt like we were going to be a pretty decent team at the beginning of the season and we have played up to expectations by performing to our best in each game,” said senior Kala Ford.
   The team feels that their effort has really helped them in their last few games and they are looking to fight it out until the end. The Lady Vikings are going to continue to work hard and if you get the chance to come and support them then you should while you still can.

Team chemisty

By: Anni Ashworth

With a record of 8-5-3, this year’s boys’ soccer team has come ready to play. Consisting mainly of veterans, the team has been playing the game together for many seasons which has helped them find their balance and strategize against other opponents this season.
Senior Logan Welling commented, "As a team we’ve learned how to work together which wins games. This season has been a good ending to my high school soccer career."
The Vikings will play home October 19 for regionals which will determine the continuation of their season. Good luck to all the players, and congratulations seniors on a good ending season!

Runners heading to end season

By: Anni Ashworth

            This year’s cross-country season has been full of determination and the will-power to push more every meet. The runners have endured it all, from scorching hot practices over the summer to running meets with mud up to their knees. Nothing has stopped them from doing what they love.
             “When you run cross-country, you just automatically assume that you’re going to have to run through the rain and mud,” Senior Daron Clark said, “You just learn to enjoy it when you can; anything’s better than running in the scorching heat.”
            The team is very competitive within themselves. Junior Chad Longanacre, who ranked 26th in the state, and junior Caleb Casto, who ranked 39th, have continually come neck-in-neck f each other in each meet.
            The cross-country team consists of: seniors Levi Braley, Anni Ashworth, Karli Casto, Brittany Sellers, Daron Clark and Travis Adcock; juniors Caleb Casto, Ali Cunningham, Melissa Hughart, Ryan Gregory, Sammy Shaver, Kendra Sellers, and Chad Longanacre; sophomores Jake Casto, Molli Cunningham, Dylan Welling; and freshmen Levi Phillips, Breanna Sturns and Kyndra Hill.
            Hughart commented, “I’m ready to pick our commitment up and get better every meet. I have a lot of goals I plan to achieve before the end of the season.”
            The last cross-country meet will be October 29 at Cabell Midland. There’s no doubt this season will be ending the right way. Congratulations on a good year so far and good luck finishing the season!

Football going for win out

By: Taryn Matheny

   The Viking football team has fought hard in all of their games this season. The record for the Vikings is 3-5. They have played well away from home this season. The Vikings won a game on the road at Nitro with a score of 39-22. They also were able to come away with a victory in a tough-fought game at Lincoln County with a score of 24-20. The Vikings also came away with a win at home against St. Albans with a score of 22-0. It has been a season of streaks for the Vikings. They started off losing two games in a row, but then they came back and won two games on the road. The Vikings won against Nitro in their last game and the Vikings are hoping to win out their games the rest of this season.
   “This is where I thought we would be when it comes to effort. We have battled in each game until the very and we’ve just had some bad breaks in a few games,” said senior Quarterback Tyler Casto.
   The team continues to work hard and have made improvements in coming together as a team. They are finding ways to motivate themselves for each game, whether by listening to music or by just getting each other fired up however they can before each game.
   “We are going to be ready for these next few games. Coach Frashier and Dr. Isner have really started to get us all fired up and I think we can have success these final games,” said senior Wide Receiver Anthony Michael.
   The seniors are especially looking to take control this last game and finish the rest of the season up strong. They are looking to keep everyone up and to have the same intensity throughout the game no matter how it is going for them. The team is looking to fight it out until the very end with their last game being against Ravenswood.
   They are going to continue to try hard and finish out their season strong. Their next game is a home game and it is the Hatchet Game. It is against Ravenswood on November 4th. If you get the chance to come and watch them, then you should take this opportunity to come and cheer on your Ripley Viking Football team.

Lady Vikings have fun with season

By: Sarah Smith
“Playing soccer is fun because we get to kick things,” senior captain Emily Pierson stays positive even though the girls’ soccer season has been difficult and not exactly productive with a record of 3-10-3.
“We’ve played some really good games and we’re playing much better as a team. We just haven’t been able to finish,” says senior forward Emily Smith.
Playing well as a team was one of the Lady Viking’s main goals this season, as well as building a base for future years. Seeing as all freshmen save for an injured Caleigh Neil have received significant playing time with three freshmen, Morgan Pierson, Callan Banks and Holly Farkosh earning starting spots along their upperclassmen counterparts, that goal looks to have been reached as well.
“I really like all the girls and I just have fun playing with the team,” says Farkosh, a defender.
The Lady Vikes will graduate nine seniors, including seven starters, but they will return 12 girls and hopefully have generated enough interest to attract some new talent next year.
“I just have fun playing with the team. They’re a great group and we’re just enjoying the time we have together,” Smith sums up the year.

Students weigh in on policy changes

By: Emma Shinn

The students of Tabby Craddock’s General Psychology class gave a set of survey questions to a random sampling of the Ripley High School population as part of an assignment. The survey asked for students’ opinions on some of the major rule changes that were implemented this year, and for suggestions on what they think would improve the school.
The majority (52%) of students surveyed said that they do like the 8-period day, and that they approve of the switch from block scheduling. An even bigger majority (76%) said that they like having one-hour lunches twice a week, and 81% of survey participants said that they like the rules better this year than they have in years past.
In terms of things the students would change about Ripley high if they could, there was a shocking response. A staggering 72% of students polled said that they thought having year-round school would help them remember lessons better. One student’s specific response included the supplement, “but I would probably hate it.”
Some common responses to the question “What is one thing you would change about Ripley High?” were: allowing cell phones or changing the cell phone policy, switching to open campus and allowing students to leave during lunch, using laptops instead of textbooks, putting in snack machines, returning to block scheduling, and getting school uniforms.
Students also had a lot of opinions on how to improve lunch. Many of them mentioned wanting an hour lunch every day, “better” quality bag lunches and hot lunches, and having lunches separated by grade.

Soul Punk offers new sound

By: Emma Shinn

Last year, I reviewed Patrick Stump’s EP Truant Wave, and noted that it was being released as a precursor to his first solo album. (For those of you that don’t know, an EP is a musical release that is more than a single, but less than an album). I mentioned that the release date for the full-length album had been pushed back multiple times before it finally settled at October 18.
At the time, I predicted (based on my opinions of the EP) that Soul Punk would be quite a change from Stump’s former work with Fall Out Boy. I also thought that even though I would remain a fan no matter what, I probably wouldn’t be too fond of the new musical direction in which Stump was going. After listening to Soul Punk, I have found that I was right on the first count, but wrong on the latter.
While this new music is noticeably different from Fall Out Boy’s sound, as a long time fan, I actually like the change quite a bit. When the title Soul Punk was announced, many fans and critics questioned what exactly that meant. Going into this album as a listener, I still didn’t quite know what I was going to be hearing, but as soon as the first song begins, you realize just exactly what it was that Stump was trying to describe with that title. The songs are a mixture of synth-pop and electro-punk music, with soulful lyrics written straight from Stump’s heart.
My favorite song on the album is the fast-paced fourth track entitled “Spotlight (New Regrets).” With a beat that makes you alternately want to dance and clap your hands, and inspirational lyrics like, “You could be the star, you could shine so bright.” “Spotlight” is a brilliant pick-me-up song for when you’re feeling out of sorts.
The album features two versions of the song “This City”, one of which is a remix featuring rapper Lupe Fiasco. The remix was the first (and so far only) single released off the album, and was written about Stump and Fiasco’s hometown of Chicago. Both versions of “This City” make for great listening, but I definitely feel that the Lupe Fiasco version has an incredible vibe that you don’t realize is missing from the original until you hear it in the remix.
Probably the track with the most interesting background is “Allie.” The song was used as the basis for a contest run on Stump’s website during the lead-up to the album’s release. The album was available for preorder online, and everyone who used that option was automatically entered into the contest. Twenty people were chosen at random from that list and Stump re-recorded the song with their name in place of “Allie.” These people were then mailed their personalized copy of the song.
Overall, I would recommend this album to anyone who likes synth-pop or electronic music, or is just looking for something new and different to listen to. In a culture where most music genres are starting to sound the same, I can honestly say that this album is completely unique. I’d also recommend it to any Fall Out Boy fans who may be feeling dubious about Stump’s solo career. It’s definitely a change from the sound you’re used to, but the layered beats and falsetto voice will capture your attention immediately.
Soul Punk is available on CD in stores, or for digital download from iTunes or Stump’s website, It is available on vinyl from the website as well.

TV shows need originality

By: Sarah Smith
Have you looked at a new TV show lately and thought, “Hey, that’s a great idea for a show! How original!”? No? I don’t blame you. It seems like screenwriters are just recycling plot premises and changing minor details. The following outline could work for just about any cop show currently on the air: [Blank] is an unconventional [cop, detective, agent, special agent] who is totally awesome and completely defies the rules of his/her profession. They have a straight-man foil partner named [blank] and a boss who doesn’t necessarily like their unconventional ways but respects their ability to get work done. There are more than 25 cop shows on the air, almost all of which follow this basic format (e.g. “Psych”, “Castle”, and “White Collar”).
Even worse are the cake shows. There are fewer cake shows than cop shows, but cake shows are more annoying and have less viable plot lines to add variety to an already original theme. Every week you can tune into “Cake Boss” or any other of at least five shows themed around cakes for 30 minutes to an hour and…wait for it…watch them make a cake. If you get lucky, they might make more than one per episode. And even if you miss a weekly premier, don’t be disheartened; the sugary, floury goodness never ends. “Cake Boss” and “Ace of Cakes” are on three to four hour blocks on their respective channels.
If glorified pastries aren’t your thing, there are other overdone show themes to bury yourself in. There are an alarming number of shows about stuff. Getting stuff, keeping stuff, and selling stuff is apparently fascinating to a wide enough audience to allow for at least six shows about pawn shops, pawning, hoarding, and finding things to pawn and keep. I don’t know who watches these shows, but whoever you are, please stop. Your terrible shows about shopping are taking up valuable time on the History Channel that could be used for actual history.
The problem with having so many shows themed around one topic seems obvious: it gets boring. You can only watch so many episodes of “American Pickers” without getting sick of seeing them make cheap deals on old stuff and talk about how awesome their van is (hint: their van really is not awesome at all). Ideally, every time you turn on your TV, every episode of a show is different in some way and every show will be different from others like it by at least two major points aside from the names of the characters. This could be accomplished by writers taking more time in finding original premise points for their shows and not just filling in a basic outline with some new names.
Fortunately, there is hope. “Once Upon a Time”, a new fantasy show set in modern time looks to be a promising, original premise. “American Horror Story” is a horror TV show, which is a premise that has only been tackled successfully a couple of times (see review on page ___). These few lights of originality will hopefully inspire other TV writers to take initiative and create original plot premise and themes. If not I fully intend on throwing my television out the top window of the tallest building I can find.

Here's what's great about: Ron Paul

By: Emma Shinn

In a survey given earlier this year by the Viking Press staff, a number of students said that one thing they wanted to see in our newspaper was more national news and politics. As someone who is rabidly interested in both of those topics, I decided to write about them in my senior column.
As a warning to any readers, let me say the following: quite a bit of my interest in politics is based on how sarcastic and/or funny I can be while discussing them. Anything I say in my column should always be taken with a grain of salt. You could find me writing my true opinions, exaggerated, or you could find me being completely sarcastic from start to finish. Either way, I’m hoping to accomplish two things: information and entertainment. I want you to learn, but I also want you to laugh.
With that said, I’m not sure how many of you are aware of this, but there happens to be a presidential race going on at the moment. With 15 different candidates vying for the Republican nomination, it has been difficult for a lot of Republican and conservative Independent voters to choose a candidate they really support. Watch any Republican debate, and the first thing you’ll notice is that most of the candidates seem to have roughly the same ideas and positions, just phrased different ways. Some people call that “party unity”; I just call it boring.
So where is that candidate who’s going to spice things up? Where is that person who’s going to stand up and say, “Hey! I’m different from those other guys (and girls)! Elect me!” I’ll tell you where he is. In Congress, co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill with Democrat Barney Frank that would legalize marijuana. He’s also in Texas, the state he represents, opposing the death penalty and advocating the revision of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Most “mainstream” Republicans have completely opposing views on all of those issues, so how’s that for being different?
The question now becomes, who is this innovator of the Republican Party? Who is this person so willing to stand out and stand alone on the issues that he truly believes in? The answer, of course, is Congressman Ronald Ernest “Ron” Paul, a veteran of both the United States Air Force and National Guard, and a licensed medical doctor.
Now, I’m not saying that Paul is the best candidate for President, but I’m also not saying he’s the worst. All I’m saying is that he certainly isn’t like the others, and whether you find that an exciting change of pace or a horrible detraction, you now know that it’s true.

Sarah Says: Christie Rampone rocks my socks

By: Sarah Smith
I feel like I might be overdoing the women’s soccer angle on all my stories, but the more I think about it, the less I care. Women’s soccer gets almost no attention compared to men’s professional sports, so I don’t feel guilty for focusing on these strong, amazing women for one more month.
The woman I want to focus on in particular is Christie Rampone. Christie Rampone is the baddest female athlete alive. She is the current captain of the U.S. women’s national team and her club team, magicJack, and a literal soccer mom.
For one thing, Rampone is 36 years old. In women’s soccer, 36 is as good as 70. By 36, most women are hanging up their cleats and saying, “Oh well, that was a good career. Time to go home,” but not Christie Rampone. Rampone is still one of the fastest ladies on the team, and she is constantly referred to as “the fittest woman here” by her teammates.
Not only that, but Rampone has two children. While male athletes father children all the time, women athletes are completely different. By having children, I mean Rampone carried two babies for two separate nine-month periods and then gave birth. So this means two nine-month breaks for Rampone, right? Ha ha, no. While carrying her first daughter, Rylie, Rampone stayed on a less intense training program up until the seven-month mark. After Rylie was born, Rampone was back in training in a matter of two weeks.
The story of Reece, the second Rampone daughter, is a bit more complicated. In 2008, the fledging season for Women’s Professional Soccer, Rampone was playing with a team called Sky Blue FC. They were terrible. They were last in the league and it looked like they were going to be out of the playoffs before they even started. Then, to make things even better for Sky Blue, their coach was suspended and his successor quit. It looked like the end of the season. Rampone, on top of her captain’s job and responsibilities as a player, was given the duties of looking after and coaching the team. In a logical succession of events, Sky Blue went from last to first and to win the league under the coaching of Rampone. During the celebration a bottle of champagne was popped and, as per tradition, the captain was offered the first drink. Her response?
“No, sorry guys, I can’t. I’m three months pregnant.”
That’s right. Christie Rampone coached/captained one of the most successful comebacks in soccer history while toting a baby around in her belly.
This was not Rampone’s first medical happening that had an effect on her career. In college, she tore her anterior cructiate ligament. An ACL tear can end an athlete, and even if it doesn’t, many people lose the chance to play at a higher level due to missed playing time while injured. Obviously not Christie Rampone.
The only sad part of the story of Christie Rampone is that after all these comebacks and general amazingness, she might not have a job in a couple of years. The WPS draws in so little viewership and attendance and has such small sponsors compared to what a professional team needs that, if something doesn’t change, the league will soon dissolve and hundreds of women will be left without jobs. Viewership and attendance are on the rise, so hopefully this will not be a problem. Knowing Christie Rampone, if it does, she’ll start a league in her backyard and house all the players in her basement while becoming a successful businesswoman in order to support them all.

Friday, October 28, 2011

First County-Wide Art Show Great Success

By: Tabitha Hudnall

Students attended the first annual art show taking place at the Jackson County Courthouse. The show was set up October 14 at 8:30 am and artwork was judged on the fourteenth as well. The reception was on the 17th from 5:30-7:30 pm and the awards were given to the winners. The show was in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Participants from all Jackson County schools were present at the show.

The show accepted artwork from grades K-12. Each school had a limit of twenty pieces in the show. Each school has artwork chosen by the school’s art teachers. The criteria from which our own Debbi Sisson chose the work include “detail, fullness, size, and neatness of the work.” Where most art shows are separated into categories such as pencil, paint, multimedia, and more, this show combined all works of art into levels of elementary, middle, and high school.

Each school level gave awards for best of show, first, second, third, fourth, and honorable mentions. Separate recognition was given to art that represents Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

At the high school level, Zeke Freshour of Ripley won best of show, Rachel Stanley of Ripley won best of show in Domestic Violence Awareness category, Tabitha Hudnall of Ripley won first place, Billy Maynor of Ripley won second place, and Ashley Sauls of Ravenswood won third place.

Earl Ray Tomblin chosen governor in special election

By: Danielle Vealey

Tuesday October 4 Earl Ray Tomblin was chosen for Governor during a special election. Governor Joe Manchin ran and was elected for the open senate seat that needed to be filled after Senator Robert C. Byrd passed away. Therefore, someone had to take his place. The term that Manchin didn’t finish began on Jan. 19, 2009 and ends Jan. 14, 2013.

The primary election was in May when one candidate out of each party was selected out of 19. Up until then they had all campaigned on their platforms of what they thought could improve the state.

Tomblin is 59 and is from Logan County. He has been married to his wife, Joanne, for 31 years and they have a son named Brent. He received his undergraduate from WVU, an M.B.A. from Marshall, and attended the University of Charleston. Tomblin is a self-employed business man and former school teacher. He was elected to the WV House of Delegates in 1974 at the age of 22 and was elected to the state senate in 1980. He is the longest serving Senate President. Then in 2000 he was named the state’s first Lieutenant Governor.

Governor Tomblin has several plans for the betterment of West Virginia. He has recently issued an executive order that will protect our environment and our citizens, all while providing stability natural gas companies need to create jobs and develop our resources.

He says he will do all that he can to complete major highway projects while still maintaining the state’s secondary roads. Tomblin pledges to make sure that no federal highway money goes unmatched throughout the state.

He also feels that we must improve the use of technology and reduce the dropout rate of students. He thinks that children need today’s technologies available in schools to learn skills that are necessary to succeed in the next generation’s economy. Tomblin firmly believes that as a state we must devote additional time and resources to keep the children at risk of dropping out in the schools.

Tomblin’s administration is currently working on improving access to health care. The state is helping 10,000 West Virginians receive access to primary care centers. This will enable our citizens to have better access to preventive care. He also thinks that that we can take advantage of telemedicine opportunities as we continue extending broadband Internet service into areas of WV that are currently undeserved. Tomblin is proud and confident to be the leader of this state and plans to do all he can to make it a better place to the citizens of WV.

The Viking Pride Board

Surprise! There’s another Viking Pride Board going up. A few weeks back the Viking Competition Board was announced, but The Viking Press printed the wrong name for the “thermometer” boards. The true Viking Pride Board will be placed near the alma mater on the wall in the main lobby. Principal Will Hosaflook, with the help of seniors Stephanie Gruber and Megan Randolph (Service learning students in the office), will be the professional on this subject.
Basically, the rules are simple. If you clean up around the school and do good deeds such as pick up trash and throw it away, then you will earn a star on the board. The board is for the entire school as one, so if one person does a good deed or does something bad, we all get punished. The board is new this year and Hosaflook has been very clear that if he sees something he doesn’t approve of, he will announce it on the intercom.
If a student breaks a rule like getting in a fight or littering, there go all of our privileges. The privileges include our one-hour lunches and students, privilege before school and during get to stand outside and in the hallways and talk to our friends it will all be gone. We will all have to be in the gymnasium or the cafeteria at lunch. Everyone enjoys these privileges and wants to keep them, so clean up and keep our school clean. This board is an all-year deal, don’t beat yourself up if we start losing stars because you can earn them back by following the rules and making Ripley High look awesome.

"The Thing"

Have you ever been to a movie and thought, "Okay, it's about to get better" and it doesn't? You just expect the climax to be shocking and to put you on the edge of your seat. Well, watch the movie “The Thing”, there is nothing exciting or thrilling about it at all.
October 14 the movie "The Thing" was released. It had an overall grade of a C from the People's Critics: Film Review. After watching the movie and reading comments, there are people who enjoyed it and people who think they wasted money to make it and to go and watch it. Personally, I think it is a waste of money and cheaply put together. I was very disappointed after watching this movie as were the people I was with. Movies should keep you guessing and this movie what was about to happen was too obvious.
For those of you who haven't watched it or heard of it, I'll sum up. In the beginning of the movie an alien spacecraft and specimen were found under ice. Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a paleontologist and a group of researchers (Joel Edgerton as Sam, Ulrich Thomsen as Dr. Sander Halvorson, and Eric Christian Olswen as Adam Goodman), are called to study the specimen found. After the specimen is brought up from the cold, it becomes alive and starts attacking and getting inside people to makes everyone second guess everyone and everything. After watching this movie, I discovered it is a prequel to the classic 1982 movie “The Thing” by John Carpenter.
After researching the older movie and watching clips of it, there are a lot of good elements in both movies. In the 1982 version, the horror is more intense and there’s an uneasy feeling as you’re watching it, which is the feeling you want when you watch a horror film. The 2011 version is more digitally designed with the new technology we have today, but the focus was so much on that, that the horror fell flat. So either movie you watch there are things you are going to like and dislike.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Flying Eagles defeat our hometown Vikings

By: David Hicks
Last Friday the Ripley Vikings played against the Woodrow Wilson Flying Eagles at Death Valley. The excited Vikings, from the homecoming celebrations and a chance to get a winning record, was cut short as the speed of the Flying Eagles seemed to be enough to over come the Vikings. Our Viking boys fought back with all their might, but they couldn’t beat the Eagles. The final score of the game came out to 53-17 with Eagles coming away with the win. This upcoming Friday, the Vikings head over to Roane County High school to play the Raiders. Please come and help cheer for our hometown Vikings as they play to even out their record.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Viking Pride Board, Take 2

By: Elaika Beaver

The Viking Pride Board
A lot of people are wondering what is the Viking Pride Board? Well, in brief terms it is where all freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors compete against one another to see what class can rise to the top before another.

Ok, let’s say for instance Spirit week here at Ripley if your class has the most spirit each day then you go hirer on the board. Spirit Week is a week to be carefree and have fun and be silly. Why not participate? There is also many other ways to get higher on the board. If the faculty sees’s someone doing a good deed or helping out the school by picking up trash or helping out someone then that looks good on you and your class and your class will raise higher on the board. Plus, it makes the school itself look way more appealing to visitors and us the students. No one would have to pick up anything at all if people would just throw there garbage away, it’s not hard we all know what a trash can is.

There is also a downside you can also go down on the board and lose. A quick example is what if your class does awesome at participating in spirit week and does good deeds through that week but some at breakfast or lunch just thinks there above walking to a trash can to throw it away. That would mean they are not a team player which is definitely not fair in my opinion.

Now I know every person in this school is capable of making their class go above and beyond what is expected so why not do it? The first class that gets to the top gets a prize. I am going to guess the prize is a bonus break or getting into an athletic event for free are the usual rewards. Who knows what it could be this year so do good and make sure you’ll find out and get what ever the prize may be.

New Rules

Elaika Beaver
New Rules

In life there is always change. In Ripley High the rules change a lot. Some good some bad but whether we want them or not, every year they are added and deducted.
A big change this year is parking. Parking has always been an issue at Ripley because we have so many people who drive. Luckily, this year Officer Penson has come up with the parking pass. The parking passes give you permission to park in the senior lot before the people who does not have them. Seniors are given the first chance at a pass and spot to park. The spots are not assigned it is just first come first serve. To get one all you have to do is fill out a form about your car and I believe there are still passes available. So many people I have talked to like the passes and believe it is a fair way to go. Hopefully everyone agrees and there is less complaining.
Speaking of complaining, another change this year I bet everyone approves of is the common lunch. I personally love that on Tuesdays and Thursdays we have one lunch for an hour. Last year we had two lunches and it spilt a lot of friends up. With so many classes lunch is sometimes the only time we can see and talk to our friends. Some freshman have, said two lunches is sometimes confusing as do other people in various grades. It’s still early in the year everyone will become accustomed to the different schedules on different days.
We are only in high school for four years, Yes it seems like a long period of time, but ask people who have graduated; it flies by. I’m a senior this year and I look back and wonder where the time went. So why get upset if the rules or changes in the school aren’t to your liking? Once you’re out and graduated, it won’t even matter.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Controversial television: Gay characters, latest of society issues in media

“Grey’s Anatomy”. “Teen Wolf”. “Torchwood”. “The Secret Life of an American Teenager”. “Bones”. “Degrassi: The Next Generation”. “Pretty Little Liars”. “Glee”. “Law and Order”. What do all of these shows have in common? Yes, they are fairly well-known, popular shows among many different types of audiences, but there is something else—all of these shows feature at least one openly gay or lesbian character. And that is just to name a few of what seems like a never-ending stream of today’ major television shows embracing the gay community. This recent flood of gay characters has left much of our conservative population wondering: What happened to the way television used to be?
Believe it or not, homosexuality is not really new to T.V. the concept of implied homosexuality has been around for—a very long time. For example: “Bachelor Father” (aired in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s) features a male character (the uncle) that takes in his orphaned niece, Kelly and raises her through her teen years. The uncle never marries and solicits help with the more challenging aspects of raising a teenage girl (i.e. dating) from his man servant, Peter. Maybe this is just a happy coincidence. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. However, I would like you to keep in mind some of the other, less suggestive shows of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s that featured unusual family values or dynamics, depicting single parent households and non-stereotypical racial roles, such as: “My Three Sons”, “To Rome With Love”, “Julia”—All of which helped to redefine the social structure of America and pave the way for a new generation of television shows, like “M*A*S*H”, the first show on public television to depict a cross-dressing character.
So, all this talk about the historical progression of controversial characters brings us to the question: Why put these characters on T.V. in the first place? Well, a simple, surface answer would be: “to broaden the fan base”. With more and more people embracing and supporting the struggles of societal underdogs (single fathers and mothers playing roles not typically assigned to their gender) it only seems natural for major networks to reach out and cater to the desires of these new audiences. It is the same way now. With Gay Rights at the forefront of both political agendas and media coverage, adding these gay characters is just the networks’ way of shifting along with the sway of social acceptability.
But, if your are looking for more than just a surface answer, you could ask yourself this: What if it’s not the networks catering to the shift in what we think is socially acceptable, but instead, the people who are catering to the idea of a larger truth hidden within these popular shows? Slowly, as more T.V. families have been portrayed as having nontraditional family dynamics, society as a whole has learned to accept that single mothers can be strong and independent, and that single fathers can be caring and compassionate. Similarly, television shows now are depicting gay and lesbian characters as “just another character” (because typically their homosexuality is not the central premise of the show). This realization has made an quite an impact on how many people define what it means to be gay by breaking down many of the stereotypes associated with homosexuality. For instance, if we think about individual characters, it’s easy to see that each one has different interests, hobbies, and personalities, just like every other person in the world. Some like sports, some like dance or choir, some are shy, some are outgoing, some like fashion, others are lucky if they match every morning, some are feminine, some are masculine and some are gay. As more people come to terms with these differences, society changes and so does television, conforming to the reality that gays and lesbians are just people.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Viking girls ready to spike

By: Taryn Matheny

   The volleyball team has been training since the first chance they got to work together. They began working
together in June, practicing and attending different camps to improve their play for the upcoming season.
   The team’s first game was September 6th against Parkersburg Catholic at home. The junior varsity team had a good showing in their play against Parkersburg Catholic and was able to come out with the victory. The Varsity team showed good signs during their play, but were unable to come away with the win. The team played hard and competed well against Parkersburg Catholic. The team has a chance to be a very good team this season if they can just correct a few tiny mistakes they made in their last game. They have a lot of time to work on making these corrections with this being only their first game of the season.
   “We played good, but we need to work on our communication skills,” said Senior Ryne Hill.
   They now know what they will need to do to improve from this to win their next game. The volleyball team’s next game is away at Charleston Catholic where they hope they will improve and be able to come away with the win. If you get the opportunity to come and watch the volleyball team you should definitely take some time and go support them and cheer them on to victory.