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N E WS & F E A T U R E S
What it takes to get school
By Luke Merski, staff writer
In recent Prep history, there has only been one instance that
school has been canceled due to the weather. This happened about
four weeks ago on Tuesday, October 30, 2012. There was much
fear and unknown about the weather on that night. At about 9
p.m. on Monday the 29, students received a phone call from Father Jabo. With the other area schools having canceled, and in the
interest of precautionary student safety, he announced that Prep
would have the following day off because of the extreme weather
When I talked to Lucas Buseck, he said that he was also somewhat
disappointed that our tradition was broken over weather that
turned out to be nothing.
After this day off, I feel that it will be even harder to obtain a snow
day. Cathedral Prep already had tough requirements for a snow
day, and finally after getting school off and having it turn out to be
nothing serious, I feel it will be even more harder to get off from
school in the future. With the winter season almost upon us, we
shouldn't get our hopes up for another snow day and prepare for a
long and cold winter.
Personally, I was surprised when school was cancelled due to
weather. Being a senior now at Prep, I have had many instances
over the years with horrible weather conditions, including several
feet of snow. Each of these times, the hope was always that school
would be cancelled, but it never was and students eventually made
it in to school, keeping our record of never having a snow day.
Also, I had an interview with Mr. Murnock about what it would
take to have a snow day, why Prep rarely has snow days, and also
what the specific reasons were that we had off for Hurricane
After sleeping through a night of high speed winds and periods of
heavy rain, I woke up in the morning, only to be delighted by the
beautiful weather. It was a sunny day with clear blue skies. Although it was a wonderful day to have off from school, I was almost disappointed because we had such a strong record of never
having off for weather. I was upset that our long record was broken over a storm that mostly spared Erie.
Luke: What were the main reasons we had off for Hurricane
Mr. Murnock: Projections were not good the entire night. They
were monitoring other schools throughout the night and they were
all closing (City of Erie and Millcreek schools). Father Jabo went
to Villa and checked the weather conditions. Later the Erie School
District closed. Since we normally run on their schedule, we decided to close. But in the end, Father Jabo waited to the last minute
to make the call.
Living in Erie for all 17 years of my life so far, I do not think that
conditions will ever reach the requirements to obtain a day off
strictly because of snow. I think that it’s a safe bet that this winter
season will produce no days off for the students here at Prep.
Luke: Was that the very first day Prep has ever had off due to
Mr. Murnock: Yes, for as long as I have been here at Prep, but I
can’t speak for before my time. We specifically try not to close because for practical reasons. Our history of not having snow days is
not because we are trying to be macho. It is because most students’
parents have to go to work. If they drive their sons, they can drop
them off on the way. The majority of students come from the city of
Erie. Some can walk to school and also parents like their sons to be
in school during they day.
Luke: What would it take for us to have a snow day this winter season?
Mr. Murnock: Unsafe conditions, conditions that are so unsafe
that the students’ safety is in jeopardy.
Luke: Are you upset that school was cancelled for Hurricane
Sandy because it ended up being a nice day when we had off and
the conditions were not that bad?
Mr. Murnock: Yes, of course. It interrupted the scheduling and
planning. Also, it was the end of quarter and this made us back up
school one day and also back up report cards. In the end we have
to make up that day of school, most likely in the summer, which no
one wants to do.
N E WS & F E A T U R E S
Peter’s Presents
By Nick Michael, contributing video reporter
This year, with the addition of the iPad, The Rambler introduced multimedia video content for the first time ever. This issue marks a
new milestone, as The Rambler has established a relationship with Mr. Deau’s broadcast journalism class. This partnership will enable
students in the class the opportunity to produce and publish high quality, professional-grade video reports for The Rambler, adding to
and enhancing the content already being produced on a regular basis by the staff of The Rambler.
The first video report, produced by Nick Michael, tells the story of Peter’s Presents, a Cathedral Prep Christmas tradition.
N E WS & F E A T U R E S
Pizza Bomber puts Erie on the
By Austin Kanonczyk, contributing writer
Pizza Bomber: The Untold Story of America’s Most Shocking
Bank Robbery was written by Dr. Jerry Clark (Cathedral Prep
Class of 1978), whose son Michael Clark is currently attending
Prep, and Mr. Ed Palattella (Cathedral Prep Graduate).
not a man considered evil, insane, or mentally unfit. Ironically,
Wells was not the last victim of this mysterious bank robbery.
Cathedral Prep graduate Jerry Clark was the
lead FBI special agent who was eventually
the agent that solved the case. Ed Palattella,
another accomplished Cathedral Prep graduate, followed this complex case from beginning to end as the lead investigative reporter
for the Erie Times newspaper. Eventually,
Clark and Palattella teamed up to “set the record straight” about what really happened in
this bizarre murder case. The ordeal contained may twists and turns, as well as facts
that were not shared with the general public.
Being “Brothers of Prep," they collaborated
their efforts and wrote the book, Pizza
Bomber: The Untold Story of America’s
Most Shocking Bank Robbery.
Their gruesome story began on the morning of Aug. 28, 2003, in
Erie, Pennsylvania. A seemingly unsuspecting pizza delivery man
named Brian Wells was confronted by multiple people who secured a time bomb around his neck and demanded him against his
will to rob a local bank. The manipulative plan was that Wells
would successfully rob the bank, hand over the money to the accomplices who secured the bomb to his neck, and then he would
receive clues that would assist him in disarming the live bomb
clamped around his neck. This case, labeled “Collar Bomb," was
considered a major case for the FBI and one of the most creative
bank robbery schemes in history.
The unique plan didn’t go as well as the creative criminals had
schemed. The police captured Wells before he could acquire the
multiple clues necessary to disarm the continuously ticking collar
bomb. Time unfortunately ran out, as the bomb detonated while it
was tightly fastened to Wells' neck.
After a lengthily investigation following Wells' shocking death, the
FBI came to the conclusion that Wells was an innocent victim and
Erie has always been known for a few things ranging from its amazing sunsets on our beautiful peninsula to its great Italian food, but
Erie has never been recognized on such large a scale for such an
important murder case. When traveling and speaking to natives of
another state, once many people hear the words "Erie, Pennsylvania" the first thing that crosses their mind is The Pizza Bomber
Case. This case was recognized nationwide.
the Antlers, and basically spend the whole weekend celebrating
with my friends. This never did happen due to my commitment to
the case. I tell about this in the book.
Though very busy promoting his new book, Dr. Clark spared some
time to answer a few questions pertaining to the book as well as the
Austin: Is there a possibility of a movie?
Dr. Clark: Yes, Ed and I have a contact with Hollywood to develop
a movie. I personally signed on as consultant to maintain accuracy
of our story. Hollywood currently has the book and is adapting it to
a screen play.
Austin: What made you decide to write about the Pizza Bomber?
Dr. Clark: After a long investigation, with complex, twists and
turns the public wasn't aware what really happened with this murder case. As the lead investigator I wanted to set the record
Austin: What actor would you prefer to play the character of you?
Austin: What's your personal favorite part of the book?
Dr. Clark: I was thinking Don Knots or some famous, talented
and handsome actor.
Dr. Clark: After Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong’s trial, my family went
to The Erie Club for a celebratory dinner. Everyone close to me sat
down, relished my accomplishments and had a really great dinner.
It was a great release.
The book, Pizza Bomber: The Untold Story of America’s Most
Shocking Bank Robbery is available for purchase at locations such
as Borders Books and iBooks for $9.99. Buy a copy today and discover Jerry and Ed’s untold story written by fellow Prep grads!
Austin: What challenges did you encounter while writing the
Dr. Clark: Trying to make 7-8 years of activity flow into a logical
chronological story was a challenge. Ed was a master at compressing all that time into an easy-to-read story that captured its uniqueness.
Austin: Is there anything about Cathedral Prep in your book?
Dr. Clark: Yes, my 25th class reunion weekend was August 28,
2003. My plan was to attend a football game, meet classmates at
N E WS & F E A T U R E S
Franciscan Friars share life lessons with theology classes
By Joe Hampy, staff writer
Brother Lazarus
On Tuesday, Nov. 13, theology
class was different. Walking into
class fourth period I saw a man in
a robe with a beard. At first I was
surprised and was confused, but
as soon as Mr. Del Rio told us
what was going on and who they
were it all made sense.
One of them, Brother Lazarus was once a Division I baseball
player who had a full ride scholarship to Nebraska. His whole life
he had a dream to play Major League Baseball. While in college he
began to party, which began to set his studies off. Then when it
was too late he dug himself a huge hole. He dropped out of college
and decided to go to confession where it really hit home for him.
He thought long and hard, then made the decision to go to college
to study and learn more about God.
They were Franciscan monks,
members of a Franciscan order
called the Franciscan Friars of Renewal. They were founded in 1987.
They strive to live according to the
charism of St. Francis of Assisi by
living a life of poverty, chastity
and obedience and strive to promote the renewal of the Catholic
Church and fidelity to Church
Brother Lazarus was in a dark hole and felt dead inside, and it
wasn't until he let God fully into his life that he finally felt himself.
Lazarus and his brothers go around begging for food because the
saint which they follow, St. Francis, asked for everything and also
gave all they had to people In need. Lazarus inspired our class and
truly showed us what can happen when we open our eyes to God.
Also, he beat-boxed for our class showing off his skills. When I
asked student Andy Amendola about the experience he said, "It
was a unique experience. It was definitely not something I expected going into class that day."
teachings and to the pope.
Damion Terry said it was interesting listening to them hearing
their life stories and how they go about their lives. When I was
done asking students about their time with the friars I think the majority agreed that it was a great time and was a great way to spend
our class. We really saw a different meaning of truly devoting your
life to God. I hope the friars return sometime soon or come back in
later years so others students can
listen and learn to them as well.
N E WS & F E A T U R E S
Prep Fashion stands out from the
By Mike Squeglia, staff writer
As the weekends go on, I have realized one consistent thing among
the students here at Prep. That is their immaculate taste in fashion. The clothing choices of Prep students is far greater than those of students at McDowell, Mercyhurst, or
any other school in the county.
Another famous clothing style here at
Prep is the style used by Joe Marin. Marin
lived in the shadows of the Bloomstine
boys for two years, copying every article
of clothing they had ever worn. Now that
the twins have graduated, Marin has risen
as the king of this particular style among
Prep students. I have yet to see a student
outdo the preppy look coined by joe. The
American flag Chubbies shorts I've seen
Joe sporting on dress down days look like
something that would come right off a
fashion runway. As said by Joe himself,
"A great man once said, ‘sky’s out thighs
out.’ I try to live by that motto.”
The clothing style choice by senior
Bobby Oehling is one of the boldest
styles I have seen since the late 80s
and early 90s. This might have to do
with the fact that much of the clothing
he wears is 10 years older than him. I
don't even know where to start with
Bobby. During my four years here at
Prep with him I have seen him rock
everything from that gorgeous Coogie
sweater to the unforgettable coral
sport coat. I had an interview with
Bobby to give us insight on how to
really give that “wow” factor to our outfits. Bobby recommends
that fans of his clothing style should watch Boy Meets World because that is where most of the inspiration for his outfits comes
Unfortunately, there have been some students here at Prep that
haven't picked up the fashion gene quite yet. Blaine Bensur is
among these sorrowful students. One would think that after three
years here at Prep he would be able to wear matching clothes; however, he still insists on wearing those hideous neon yellow shorts. I
asked my assistant Calvin "Dollaz" Reed, a good friend of Blaine's
to explain to me why he continues to wear those shorts despite all
the criticism. He replied, "I believe Blaine wears those shorts as a
confidence booster. He had a lot of success with the women while
wearing them.” We'll find out this winter whether or not it really is
these shorts that give him the magic touch with the women. With
all that said, those shorts are a terrible style choice when it comes
to fashion, in my opinion.
I am continually reminded that Prep students have a spectacular
taste in fashion. I also wonder at times what is the next step for
these students. Should Prep administration consider adding a fashion design class to
their curriculum?
What is the next
step in pursuing
this widespread talent here at Prep?
N E WS & F E A T U R E S
Prep students discuss their
favorite iPad games
By Sean Taylor and Steve Bretz
Covering the lighter side of the news, two members of The Rambler, on-air interviewer Sean Taylor and “the man behind the camera,”
Steve Bretz spoke with several Prep students to find out what their favorite iPad games are. All video and audio used for these interviews
was captured using the student iPads.
N E WS & F E A T U R E S
Winter weather preparations
By Lewis Greco, staff writer
As winter weather approaches, it is important to remember to prepare for harsh road conditions and days. The most important thing
is to make sure you always have plenty of water. As much as it is
good to drink water during the summer to stay hydrated, it can be
just as much of an issue in the winter. Most people don't think
they need as much water during the winter because they don't
move around or sweat as much, which is exactly why it is difficult
to judge winter time dehydration. Not drinking enough water can
increase your chances of getting sick.
Another obvious issue pertaining to weather is to make sure you
get your winter tires on. Even if your car has four-wheel or allwheel drive it can still be very hard to navigate frozen roads and
highways. In addition to winter tires make sure you carry road salt
and some sort of dry non-adhesive material, such as cat litter or
gravel, in your car in the case of stalling or getting stuck on public
Last but not least make sure to wear layers and keep some sort of
small snack on your person along with your water or some other
drink. Staying warm and keeping from being hungry helps to stay
awake and alert while out and about. Whether you’re hunting, driving, playing sports, or working, make sure to be prepared and on
top of things. Don't let yourself be left behind and in need of someone else's help this winter.
Full coverage of Cathedral Prep athletics plus insights into college and pro sports.
Ramblers football playoff run
By Delton Williams, staff writer
The Cathedral Prep football team is now 13-0 after winning the D10 championship game last Friday over General McLane by a final
score of 48-14 and then beating West Allegheny this weekend.
From the looks of this season, the Ramblers have a chance of being
the best football team at Prep in a long time. Prep is looking to
make history with a big state championship ring, its first since
teams to win, football isn't for you. But this football team is ranked
first in the state and has come together to work hard to earn that
ranking. It is clear that the players and their coaches want this
state tittle.
Senior Joe Hampy, another important player on the team, also
said that if they work together anything is possible for the Ramblers. Every team Prep plays the rest of the way in the playoffs is a
good team. We know we have to take it game by game to be sure
that we get another week to enjoy football here at Cathedral Preparatory School. The last state title that was earned here at Prep
was in the year 2000. That was 12 years ago, and it has been way
to long for us. One more game after the game Friday against West
undefeated Bishop McDevitt. Roll Ramblers!
The Ramblers are focused and taking the season game by game.
Up next in the playoffs is Bishop McDevitt in the Pennsylvania
class AAA state final four. Prep will have just one more game left
until they receive the prize if they can win this Friday. Coach
Mischler has been down that road before and knows what it takes
with a group like this. With some of the best coaches around assisting him, the Ramblers are prepared and ready to achieve the goals
they set at the begin of the year. As a senior captain myself I will
do what I can to help the Ramblers do just that. So roll Ramblers,
roll, on to victory!
The words of quarterback Damion Terry, “Don't come into the
game worried. Just let it all come to you and play your game.”
When you worry too much, you do the wrong things because you
are nervous in the game. Being nervous can change the way you
play because you might be scared to get hurt or just scared, period.
a man’s game, so if you don't like hard work and battling other
CYO Rumor Mill
By Matt Hess, staff writer
This fall has had some major rumors swirling through the hallways
at Cathedral Prep. Some rumors I have heard are quite surprising
and others I expected to be true. Let's review the rumors from this
"He has some raw potential, but he has a nice lefty hook." Sean
Taylor is now trying to play for Cathedral Center this season.
Another news bit out of my former alma mater, St. George. Alex
"Geanakopolis" Geanous, the number one free agent this season
for CYO is actually playing CYO so he can play for Prep next year.
When I heard this, I was struggling to think about why, but I soon
figured it out. He believes that he can win a state title this year and
then start for the Ramblers the following season. Geanous said of
this chance to win a state title this year, "We have as good of a
chance of winning the state title as R. Kelly does staying out of
jail." Geanous is planning on reapplying to Prep next year and reclassifying as a senior again next year. He is planning on taking Intro to Painting taught by The Vicary next year as his only class.
The first major rumor that has been going through the CYO circle
is whether Eric "Steezy" Swanson will play CYO. The "Swan Man"
has yet to be approved by the Diocese of Erie. Currently Dan Bensur, the coach at St. Luke has one of the best recruiting pitches he
can use to bring in Steezy. He can give Swanson the starting center
position, which is currently one of the largest questions heading
into the CYO season. If St. Luke brings in Swanson, I believe that
they could challenge St. George at the top this year.
Some buzz is also being generated out of OLP. First off, according
to my sources, Coach Gerlach is very keen on Greg Coppola and
Kevin Bogniak this season. Coach Gerlach could make a surprising
move this season in playing both of them more than expected. This
could take time away from Anthony "Toni" "Zoboomafu" Siggia
and Brendan "Stephen" Klemensic, which would be a shocking
***Some of these rumors are untrue
Sean "Slagathor" Taylor has also officially thrown his name in the
CYO mix. He is trying to work a ploy to get into the CYO league.
He was trying to sign on as the St. Luke Crusaders' center in place
of "Steezy Swan," but Dan "Tubby Smith" Bensur simply does not
want him. When I talked to Coach Bensur he said of "Slagathor,"
Tebow time in New York?
By Calvin Reed, staff writer
The New York Jets are in a tough place at the moment. They are
currently 4-7 and their chances at making the playoffs are looking
quite unlikely. Nothing seems to be going right for this team on either side of the ball. Most of the blame falls on their pathetic offense that would struggle to gain yards on college teams. What
could help the Jets this late in the year?
The answer has been in front of them
all along. Tim Tebow! Tebow provides
much more to the offense and the
team than Mark Sanchez has or ever
will. So far this season Sanchez has
thrown for only 12 touchdowns along
with 10 interceptions. To make matters worse he also has 10 fumbles. Sanchez has a pitiful bottom five rating of
76. The Jets offense ranks in the bottom three in passing and middle of
the road rushing.
Tebow gives this team a spark in both areas of offense. He can
both rush and pass effectively. Teams are worried about his ability
to run the ball so they overload the box hoping to take away any
running lanes. When this happens Tebow can make them pay,
throwing downfield for long gains. That's exactly what he did
against the Steelers last year in the playoffs. If teams look to defend the pass then Tebow can scramble or call designed runs,
where he can shred the defense at will.
Tebow has many critics that say he cannot play quarterback in the
NFL, yet his stats say otherwise. Last year the Broncos started the
year off at 1-4. When Tebow took over the team went 7-4 and just
made the playoffs. Everyone remembers the playoff game against
the Steelers, where Tebow won in overtime on a play that still
makes Steelers fans curse his name. If leading your team to the
playoffs and winning games is a bad thing, then no wonder the analysts hate Tebow. That's all the man does.
Tebow does not always have the best stats, but in the end he gets
the job done. Most people can remember his late-game heroics last
season with the Broncos. It's not always pretty, but you can be sure
that Tebow will get his team the win. That is something the Jets
are in desperate need of. Tebow gives the entire team a spark when
in the game. He motivates his team and gets them fired up after
every big play. He knows what being a team is all about, something
Sanchez known little of. Recently some defensive players on the
Jetshave said that Tebow is an awful quarterback. It's funny because Tebow beat the same Jets defense last year with a final minute touchdown to secure a win. Maybe Tebow should be the one
pointing fingers at a poor defense.
Rex Ryan and the Jets organization brought in Tebow in hopes to
change to win more games. Clearly they are not winning games
and Tebow has been on the sidelines all year. I think it is clear the
Jets need to do something different. New York needs to witness Tebowing first hand. The solution is simple: bring in Tebow!
Major League Baseball free agent
By Dan Makowski, staff writer
It's that time of the year again, Major League Baseball's free agent
frenzy. Every year we see teams completely redo their rosters.
Some teams are going to build for the future and some want to win
now. We have already seen a lot of moves early, such as the Blue
Jays adding a ton of star power to become an early favorite. But
now here are the Top 10 MLB free agents:
7. Mike Napoli (C/1B/DH Rangers – Age 31): Napoli didn't have a great season last year (hitting
.227/.343/.469). He is starting to age now, and I feel
his best position would be as a DH, although he could
give a catcher or 1st base a day off.
Best fit: A's
10. Stephen Drew (SS Athletics – Age 30): He is
definitely the best infielder left in this draft class. He will
provide great defense to any team but his offense is lacking after only hitting .250/.326/.382 in 39 with the A's.
Best fit: Red Sox
6. Edwin Jackson (RHP Nationals – Age 29): Edwin may have had an ERA over 4.00 last year, but he has
shown in the past that he can pitch. I believe that we have
another 1, 2, 3 starting pitcher in Jackson. He is still
young and has shown great endurance and durability.
And let's not forget about his no hitter a couple years
Best fit: Orioles
9. Shane Victorino (OF Dodgers – Age 32):
Even though he is way past his prime, The Flyin' Hawaiian could definitely provide some outfield help to
anyone in need. Despite his career worst numbers last
year, you can always expect him to produce for your team.
Best fit: Yankees
5. Nick Swisher (OF Yankees – Age 32): Swisher
had a somewhat successful four-year stint with the
Yankees. Obviously his home run number increased
due to the fact that he played at Yankee Stadium, and
his postseason number were not good at all. I do believe, however, that he could provide a burst for any
playoff contending team.
Best fit: Brewers
8. Dan Haren (RHP Angels – Age 32): Dan
Haren could provide help to any team in need of an
ace or number two guy. He didn't have a great season
last year (going 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA), however, he
has shown his skill in the past.
Best fit: Angels
4. Michael Bourn (OF Braves – Age 30): Making the All-Star team last year, Bourn could be a catalyst for any team. He is always putting up great stolen base totals, is a good enough hitter to be in the
top of the lineup, and is possibly one of the best defensive outfielders in the game.
Best fit: Braves
3. B.J. Upton (OF Rays – Age 28): Upton may not
be the best average hitter, but his power numbers and
defense were the best they have been last season. At
28, he is still young enough to help out any team. He
too has plenty of speed which can help out any NL
Best fit: Braves
2. Zack Greinke (RHP Angels – Age 29): Greinke is
the only true ace in this year's free agent class. Last season he went 15-5 with a 3.48 ERA. Last season was his
best season since his Cy Young year with the Royals in
2009. Any playoff contending team would love to have
Greinke on their team.
Best fit: Angels
1. Josh Hamilton (OF Rangers – Age 31): By far
the best player in this year's class, putting up MVPtype numbers the past three seasons. The only thing
teams are being cautious about is his age and his injuries. He could however completely change any franchise.
Best fit: White Sox
Opinion & Editorials
Prep students have always had opinions on matters large and small. Now they have a space to share
them with the brand new opinion and editorials page.
Note: All opinions expressed in the Opinion/Editorials section are those of the published individual(s)
and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Rambler staff or Cathedral Preparatory School.
Share your opinions with
The Rambler
By Op/Ed staff
We want to here from you. Write us commenting about one of our
articles. Ask us a question. Share your opinion on an important issue, school related or otherwise.
Every month we will publish some of the best ones in the opinion
and editorials section of The Rambler. If warranted, your submission may even get a personal response from one of our editors.
All you have to do is send an email to [email protected]
It really is that simple. So go ahead, be a part of the new movement and help make the voice of the students heard.
My top-five albums of all time
By Lucas Buseck, contributing writer
I have taken on the task of listing and elaborating on my five favorite albums. This is not an attempt to list the five greatest albums of
all time but rather a list of my five favorite albums personally. This
list is not set in stone and definitely welcomes discussion and the
opinions of you, my fellow classmates. So, in no particular order,
here are my five favorite albums.
including "Come Monday," "Margaritaville," "Boat Drinks," and
"Son of a Son of a Sailor." Two great songs that are often overlooked on this compilation are "A Pirate's Look at Forty," and "He
Went to Paris," both depicting the trials and tribulations of a
man's journey through life. Whether you are at the beach, driving
on a summer day with the windows rolled down, or stuck inside on
a cold winter day, this album sets a great mood either way.
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
This album put Bruce Springsteen, "The Boss," on a straight and
narrow path to stardom. The album reached number one on the
U.S. charts upon being released in 1975. It's feature track, "Born to
Run," reached number 18 on the charts. Along with putting Springsteen in America's eye, the album features many of Bruce's greatest hits. "Born to Run" depicts two young lovers busting through
the trap of American society and features the best saxophone you
will ever hear. "Thunder Road," one of the greatest songs ever written, is a lyrical masterpiece. "Jungle Land" is one of the greatest
ballads to ever be recorded and "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" never
gets old. Bruce doesn't always get the credit he deserves, and
that's why he's here.
Joshua Tree by U2
U2 is one of the greatest bands to ever come out of Ireland. They
started their career in the underground industry playing in pubs
and clubs and have ended up selling out stadiums, most notably
on their U2 360 tour, which I had the privilege of witnessing in
Pittsburgh a little over one year ago. Along with a few decent supporting songs like "Bullet the Blue Sky," this album features three
of U2's greatest songs, "Where the Streets Have No Names," "With
or Without You," and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking
For." These songs could probably be performed well by just about
any person with a little bit of musical background, but with Bono's
vocals and The Edge's guitar, these three songs are unbelievable.
Boats, Bars, Beaches, and Ballads by Jimmy Buffet
What's better than Jimmy Buffet and an ice cold beverage? Buffet
is synonymous with island music, and when I head to the beach album is always in my bag, along with a portable boom box. This
isn't one album but rather a compilation of different songs from
many of Jimmy's albums. The album features many classic tracks
Come Around Sundown by Kings of Leon
The Kings of Leon responded to their first chart topping album
"Only by the Night" with this album. What at first seemed as a letdown to many fans because of the success KOL garnered from
their single, "Use Somebody" slowly grew on many, including myself. The band journeys back to their folk/southern rock sound
with songs like "I'm Going Back Down South Now." Excitement
over this album started when the single "Radioactive" was released,
but this isn't even the best song the album has to offer. Great riffs
and sounds can be found in all of the songs. My favorites are "The
Immortals," "No Money," and "Pony Up." If you haven't already,
give this album a second try.
Viva la Vida by Coldplay
This album, my favorite from Coldplay, was at the top of the U.S.
charts for many weeks. "Viva la Vida," the album's cover song, took
home Song of the Year. With a revolutionary theme and many different sounding songs, this is one of the few albums I can listen to
from start to finish in one sitting. There are many neat and original
sounds from this album that can only be described as "that Coldplay sound." Personal favorites include "Life in Technicolor,"
"Lover's in Japan/Reign of Love," and "Strawberry Swing."
My five favorite films of all time
By Sean Taylor, contributing writer
Note: These are not the greatest movies of all time, only my personal favorites. Also, I chose only films released during my lifetime
(1996 onward), meaning that the two films I consider as the best
of all time, Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused (1993) and
Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, are going to get the proverbial
shaft. Both are groundbreaking though, each detailing one special
day in a community. In Linklater's film it's a small Texas town on
the last day of school. In Lee's film it's the Bed-Stuy Neighborhood
in Brooklyn on the hottest day of the year. Both were ambitious
works that propelled their directors and stars into later prominence, and I recommend each highly. With that out of the way,
here is number five on my list.
They close their eyes, hold hands, and sink, sink into demise,
doom, despair, but do so calmly, surrounded by those they love. Of
course there is the deus ex machina, and they are saved, and all is
well because this is, in fact, a Disney movie. When I first watched
it, I was filled with a kind of resounding clarity. We (humanity) are
the toys, moving towards the smelting furnace of our own ends,
just at a different clip. All can hope for is some good friends to
keep us company before we do. Sorry for that deepness. The movie
is really, really good and highly recommended.
4. Fight Club (1999), directed by David Fincher
Reduced to its essence, Fight Club is about some very angry young
men, and their response to a sensitized world with no outlet for
their rage. The film has an absolutely corrosive sense of humor, is
visually stunning in a very grimy, decayed kind of way, and features a young Brad Pitt primed for superstardom. All this, and perhaps one of the greatest twist endings in the history of cinema.
5. Toy Story 3 (2010), directed by John Lassseter
Laugh if you must, but no film is more likely to draw a solitary tear
from my eye than 2010's Toy Story 3. If you've seen it you know
the part when the brave, indomitable toys, despite all their charm,
ingenuity, smarts, and luck are trapped in a pile of descending
trash, slowly moving towards a smelting furnace. There is a second
of devastating silence, when the toys look to Sheriff Woody, up to
this point in the series a man with an answer for any situation, no
matter how treacherous. Not this time though. At this moment
he's just as lost as the others. Rather than act in terror, or panic, or
attempt some ignominious attempt at impossible survival, Woody
extends a hand to his fellow toys, each one grasping in turn to
their neighbors--not for life mind you, but for comfort.
3. 25th Hour (2002), directed by Spike Lee
The second Eddie Norton appearance on my list (he also stars in
Fight Club), Spike Lee's 25th Hour is a powerful work, one that
finds the powerful in the small aspects of life and touches on a ridiculous amount of themes in its relatively short runtime. Norton
plays a convicted drug dealer, spending his last day of freedom
with friends and family before going in for a seven-year prison
stint. Lee's films are always bursting with ideas and energy, and
25th Hour might be the most representative of this (along with Do
the Right Thing (1989)). He sets the story in his city, New York
City, and uses its narrative as a framework in which to capture it as
it stood after 9/11, wounded but resilient. He succeeds.
2. High Fidelity (2001), directed by Stephen Frears
I would not go as far as to call John Cusack a good actor, but he certainly plays a specific character well, that of the self loathing, cynical, depressed, sad sack. (Also see: Better Off Dead, Grosse Point
Blank). In High Fidelity he applies his talents to the role of Rob
Gordon, an angry and lonely record store owner dealing with the
end of his latest relationship. Rob compulsively creates lists to organize and document his musical appreciation, and responds to his
girlfriend's leaving by creating a list of his top five breakups, revisiting each girl, seeking to understand why he cannot sustain a committed relationship. It is a clever movie with a great dry wit, as well
as being the vehicle for which Jack Black sprung to his relative stardom.
1. Mulholland Drive (2001), directed by David Lynch
There is no need for me to spoil any aspect of this film, not that I
could. Sporting an extraordinarily incomprehensible plot, odd, surreal characters and set pieces, and some of the best usage of sound
I've ever experienced in a film, it is truly a one of a kind picture. I
don't even know if I can truly recommend it. If you feel the need to
see it, make sure you've got time, not simply to view it, but to think
about it for the hours to come. Give it time to develop, let it wash
over you, and see if at the end of the viewing you aren't changed,
for better or for worse.
Skyfall movie
By Benjamin Deck, contributing writer
Just this past year James Bond fans celebrate 50 years of the franchise that started back in 1962 with Sean Connery. In order to celebrate this anniversary, a new film of the franchise, Skyfall, was just
released. This movie was probably one of the best James Bond
films I have ever seen. The story, the action scenes, everything was
excellent. In 007's new assignment, M, the Head of Britain's MI6
is haunted by one of the people of her past. When MI6 headquarters are attacked, M recruits Bond to go out and find the culprit of
the attack before her own life is at stake.
Daniel Craig has always done an excellent portrayal of the British
agent, while Judi Dench reprises her role as the stern and serious
M. Some new characters join the franchise such as Q and Miss
Monneypenny. Javier Bardem plays an excellent villain as Raoul
Silva. The film also included in a way the origin of James Bond, in
which I didn't know about before I saw the film, I will not spoil
more details. The film also has a clever sense of humor between
characters especially between Bond and M. Everything in the film
was excellent with a strong beginning and a surprising ending.
This film is probably recommended for those that are fans of the
James Bond franchise, people interested in the spy movie genre
and also for for fans of action film. I give this film a 9.8 out of 10
for its excellent action, story and characters.
The Rambler Staff
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