Posted by alice on 05.21.13

Teen Film Fest
 
So it's not exactly summer yet, but you can feel it in the air, right?  We're finally putting away our coats and boots and bringing out the shorts and sandals!  But, you ladies and gents probably know better than most that summer isn't just about the nice weather.  It's also about all the extra free time you get to do things!  This might mean finally reading that book, trying out that recipe, visiting a friend who lives far away, or writing the first pages of the next great American novel.  
 
Well, I come bearing good news!  Add making a film to that list of things you can finally do!  Whether you're a full-on aspiring filmmaker or are curious but a little hesitant about filmmaking, you should take a chance, create a film, and submit it for the Arlington Heights Teen Film Fest!  We are seriously excited to see what you can create — especially after seeing all the great short films in the festival last year.  
 
So summer is on its way, and hopefully it'll inspire you to create something great!
 
Check out some of the highlights from last year's Teen Film Fest in the video below!
 
 
 




Posted by alice on 05.14.13

You probably read the title of this post and thought, "What?!" and "Typo?"  Nope, that's not a typo.  Believe it or not, that craziness you see in the title is actually a sentence... and it's grammatically correct!  Crazy right?
 
So what does it all mean?
 
Well the sentence utilizes 3 different uses of the word buffalo.
 
1) This little guy...
 
 
2) This place in New York...
 
 
 
 
3) A verb meaning to bully...
 
So what does it all mean put together?  Honestly, it's pretty difficult to describe.  Something about buffalos in Buffalo being bullied by other buffalos?
 
Check out this link.  They actually explain it a lot better than I do.
 
So yeah, the English language is crazy!  Just wanted to let you all know.




Posted by alice on 04.30.13

 
First there was Angry Birds way back in 2010 (or a million years ago in app times), then there was Cut the Rope, Draw Something, and now comes Candy Crush Saga to ruin my life.  
 
This has always been the case with me.  A little puzzle or word game takes over my life and I find that I haven't seen or spoken to anyone for hours or days.  When games started showing up on phones, starting with my super old Nokia that featured The Snake Game, this problem only became worse.  Do I regret it?  Was my time spent poorly?  Maybe...I guess...probably.
 
But that doesn't mean that game apps on phones are completely a bad thing!  I say...if you need a little break from your homework or are just bored out of your mind, go ahead and download the Candy Crush Saga app.  It's a puzzle game that's similar to Bejeweled, but with candy and fun characters.  To sum it up, this app is cute to look at, has a hilarious voiceover man, and is highly addictive.  So as long as you don't fall into the same trap as I do for games like this, you'll be fine. 
 
But yeah, play at your own risk!
 




Posted by alice on 04.23.13

Most of us have probably only experienced outer space through books, movies, and Angry Birds Space, but that doesn't make the real thing any less awesome!  Sure it's super cool to imagine what's out there, but the reality of outer space is even more mind-bending sometimes, in my opinion.
 
Check out this video of what it's like to wring out water from a washcloth in space.
 
Spoiler alert: It's nothing like it is here on our home planet.
 
 
I want to go!  Anyone want to lend me $200,000 so that I can?
 
cool, space




Posted by alice on 04.16.13

Raven Boys Book Cover
Have you ever been to a psychic?  Well, I've only been once, and it was a very surreal experience.  You go in, and if you're a skeptic like me, you try and not believe anything the psychic tells you.  I mean, are they really for real?  Really?  Really?  With the internet and Google Glass becoming a reality, what if the psychic is just doing some crazy web researching while you're sitting there?  Skeptic or not, it really is a thrilling experience and you get chills if anything the psychic says rings even close to home.  (You're right, I do know a person named John Smith!)
 
Well, in the world of The Raven Boys, psychics are real.  Like real.  Real.
 
No one knows this better than Blue Sargent, a high schooler who comes from a family of psychics.  Her mother is a psychic, her aunt is a psychic, but Blue doesn't seem to have the same third sight as the rest of her family.  That doesn't mean she doesn't know what's coming for her though.  She's told some pretty bad news: "If Blue was to kiss her true love, he would die."  Serious bummer.
 
When her mysterious aunt comes to town, she tells Blue some even more troubling news: "This is the year you'll fall in love."  Double bummer.
 
Blue initially isn't so worried by these dark omens.  I mean, obviously she wishes it wasn't the case, but she basically resigns herself to live a life without falling for anyone, and definitely not to kiss anyone she thinks she's falling for.  But things get difficult when she befriends a group of wealthy boys, known as the Raven Boys, from the local swanky, private school called Aglionby.  She quickly comes to realize that it's definitely fate that brings her and these boys together, which may mean the end of one of their lives.
 
The Raven Boys is an eerie story full of mystery, unsettling coincidences, and magic.  It isn't just a story about Blue and the love she may or may not kill either!  Each of the Raven Boys has an interesting backstory that makes you realize that money is something, but it isn't everything.  Some of these Raven Boys are born with privilege, some make themselves privileged, and some will do anything for privilege.
 
This book is the first in a series and the twist ending will leave you antsy for the second one!




Posted by alice on 04.09.13

 
Chicago has a lot of names: The Windy City, The Second City, Chi-Town... but I like to call it home.  
 
Now even though you may not live in the city limits, you know as well as any person who lives in the suburbs that when you go on vacation you always tell people you're from Chicago.  It's just easier, right?
 
Well this slightly warmer weather of late got me driving down Lake Shore Drive, and it was glorious!  The weather was beautiful (what I like to call sweatshirt weather) and it was approaching dusk so all the city lights were beginning to turn on.  It just made me appreciate living in this beautiful city.
 
If you're feeling love for Chicago, I would check out these links.
 
A photographer who takes some really wonderful shots of Chicago.
 

A documentary where quintessential Brit, Stephen Fry, goes on a cross country road trip throughout the states.  The video above shows the portion where he visits Chicago, but the whole series is really worth the watch.  You can find it here at the library!
 
Rocco Buttliere, a teenager from Buffalo Grove, builds amazing replicas of the city's most recognizable buildings!
 
Image Credit: Nick Gerber




Posted by alice on 04.02.13

 
Ho hey! (Good song!  But I definitely prefer the Chickeneers version!)

Have you watched the new The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie? It’s the one starring Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller, Nina Dobrev, and Emma Watson.  It came out on DVD and Blu-Ray recently, and I just had the opportunity to watch it over the weekend.  This may not sound like a big deal, but it was a big deal.

Like many movies that come out lately, this one is based on a book.  The book is called (whaddyaknow) The Perks of Being a Wallflower written by Stephen Chbosky.  Now why was it such a big deal to watch this movie based on this book?  Well… it’s because I love this book.  You know the feeling, right?  If not, see below.

You love a book when:
1. You instantly click with the main character in the first few chapters.
2. You feel like you really know the people in the story by the middle.
3. You wonder what happens to them after you read the last page.

I love this book like that.  And, I didn’t want questionable acting or crazy amounts of added action to ruin the story as it was.  But since the film was written and directed by the author of the novel, I knew that there was a possibility that it would be ok.  Just… maybe.

Verdict?  The film did the book justice.  Some scenes were changed, some scenes were taken out, and some scenes were exactly as I imagined them.  If you go to high school in the suburbs, I think you’ll find certain sets like the football game and the cafeteria eerily accurate.  And if your high school experience is like mine was, you'll definitely feel for Charlie as he tries to dance awkwardly at homecoming.  All in all, the spirit of the film was spot-on with the spirit of the book.  More than that, you could tell that making the film was a labor of love.  And, as one would say here on the internet, “It gave me all the feels!”
 
So yeah, it's kind of a relief.  I can live happily knowing that one of my favorite books has a great movie counterpart.  Now I'll just have to worry about the The Fault in Our Stars movie!
 




Posted by alice on 03.26.13

Hi there!  How is everyone’s spring break so far?  This winter weather is seriously not conducive to spring breaking.  I’m just going to go ahead and say it— Punxatawney Phil is a liar!

If you’re looking for a way to keep in touch with your friends during your week off, try out this new app called Voxer (http://www.voxer.com).  It basically turns your phone into a walkie talkie by recording a snippet of audio and sending it to your contact in real time.  Not only can you talk to your friends in walkie talkie fashion, but you can also send pictures and text through the app too.

The best news about the app is that you can use walkie talkie lingo and pretend to be a pilot!  Below are just a couple of walkie talkie codes you may want to use.

Breaker 1-9  I want to start a transmission
10-4  Okay
Big 10-4  Yes
Roger That  Understood
Over and Out  I’m done talking
Negatory  No
Affirmative  Yes
Do you copy?  Can you hear me?
Copy that  I heard you
What’s your handle?  What’s your nickname?
Got your ears on?  Are you on air and listening?
What’s your 20? Where are you?

The second best news about the app is that it’s free for both Apple and Android.

Also, while you’re here, make sure to vote on what you think is the best app!  The poll can be found to the right of this post. 
 
Over and out!