Posted by Trixie on 08/25/14

You may have noticed the Ice Bucket Challenge that went viral over the past few weeks. Well, the Hub's staff was challenged. Naturally, we accepted.
 
 
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease) is a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. Degeneration of motor neurons, leads to weakness and muscle atrophy throughout the body, eventually leading to difficulty with walking, swallowing, and even breathing. Most diagnosed with this disease die from respiratory failure.
 
We've put together this list of resources to help you understand ALS. Before you take the plunge, learn about the disease that's been brought into the spotlight with clever marketing.
 
 




Posted by emather on 08/21/14

This book review is by Max B. All summer, we had teens submit book, music, and movie reviews for a Left Brain challenge. Max's was chosen as the best submission all summer, and in addition to winning a tablet, we're posting his awesome review here. He's got a great book to recommend!
 
Ashfall, an apocalypse novel by Mike Mullin, surpassed all of my expectations, yet fell short of being a truly great read.
 
Alex Halprin is an introvert living in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Alex’s family goes to visit his uncle in Warren, Illinois, leaving Alex behind. Everything is going fine until a super volcano underneath Yellowstone National Park erupts.
 
Alex leaves Cedar Falls to find his family, and along the way he meets Target, an ex-convict that is taking advantage of a lawless land. He also meets the Edmunds family, most notably Darla, who soon bonds greatly with Alex. Alex and Darla set off together to find Alex's family and chaos ensues.
 
There are two broad ways to describe the book: Ashfall the apocalypse novel and Ashfall the stand-alone novel. Mullin did an amazing job writing Ashfall as an apocalypse novel. The words are well thought out, the tone is consistent, and though the overall plot is good (if a tad cliché,) it’s the plot arcs themselves that are unique and well done.
 
On the other hand, Mullin didn't do nearly as good of a job writing Ashfall as a stand-alone novel. It is poorly written, and most of the dialogue follows the same pattern with excessive amounts of arguing and thanking. The relationship between Alex and Darla turned from a promising friendship with hints of a relationship in the future into a sappy, poorly written and unnecessary romantic subplot.
 
Although Mullin didn't spend too much time on the romance, the time he did spend on it simply wasn't well done. It wasn’t so much the romance that bothered me, but rather the deviation and lack of consistency. The novel was presented as an apocalypse story, but with how often it deviates from that format it stops being so.
 
Most parts of Ashfall are unique, interesting and most of all genuine. When apocalypse stories are made, there is a factor of irrationality that turns it into a joke. However the threat within Ashfall is realistic and could be viewed as a valid concern.
 
As far as apocalypse novels go, Ashfall is one of the best; as far as novels in general go, it falls as hard as the ash within the novel.
 
 




Posted by alice on 08/20/14

 
Best Overall
Dementia: Resurrection by Robert Kraybill
 
 
 
Best Comedy
Math is Fun by Nick Szubart
 
 
 
Best Documentary
World Premiere by Molly Mensch
 
 
 
Best Action/Drama
CLASH by Daniel Carpenter
 
 
 
Best Experimental/Animation
Dumming it Down by Garrett Strother
 
 
 
Best Music Video
You Make Me by Stephanie Spalding
 
 
Congrats to all our winners and a big thanks to everyone who submitted a film! You can watch many of the 43 films submitted for the 8th Annual Teen Film Fest here!
 
Remember to keep those cameras rolling. Next year's Teen Film Fest will be here before you know it, and we'd love to see what you can create!