Category Archives: LIFE

Fascinating and fun stories that educate and entertain

The 20’s Roar Again!

Michael Breton’12| Staff Writer

From this year’s fall to next years’ spring and summer, the 20s will roar. From fashion to the stage, what’s obsessing right now is the prohibition age where everything was sober, green($$$) and golden and clear that life was good, unlike America today.

This December, Australian film director Baz Luhrmann (“Moulin Rouge” and “Australia”) will premiere his much-awaited new film about a lovesick social climber called “The Great Gatsby”, which is based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most famous novel of the same name published in 1925. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby and Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan. An exciting new chemistry one couldn’t wait for.

Speaking of “The Great Gatsby”, back in September during New York Fashion Week, American designer Ralph Lauren, who designed the costumes for the 1974 Gatsby film, designed his whole spring 2012 collection around the 20’s WASPy elite, Hampton’s extravaganza with fluttering sequined and feathered dresses to the most glamorous day looks ever. Very Mia Farrow.

“Luhrmann’s costume designer wife, Catherine Martin, is in charge of the clothes for the new movie, but Mulligan and her female co-stars need look no further than Lauren when it comes to red-carpet sparklers for the premiere circuit,” said Nicole Phelps of Style.com

Not only are the 20s’ inspirations making it’s way back into American Culture, the “golden twenties” of Europe shines again. For this season, Milan’s Prada was a sea of a pale, pinkish, sequined, checkered, snaked-skin, fur fantasy, a perfect wardrobe for a wild-card aviator heiress flying a jet across the Atlantic or the most fabulous paillette evening dresses for the war wearied House of Windsor after WWI.

For the French cinema, a groundbreaking ovation is the new French film “The Artist”, a black and white silent film getting a lot of attention here in the U.S. This not only portrays the rise and fall of a 20s silent film star, butt it is literally bringing back the glamour of silent silver screens which means no dialogue, only music. Will silent movies make a comeback?

Even our very own McNamara flapped for a 20’s musical comedy for the first play of the school year. “Anything Goes,” set sail during the fall season and met rave reviews from the audiences.

The question is, why the 20s for 2011? While there is no real, specific answer, it seems that with so many dilemmas of our time that are unremitting, like the economic downturn, people just want to escape to a world when life seemed Jazzy, glamorous, shiny, and rich.

La Tasca Restaurant Review

Elise Nagy ’12 |Editor

If you are looking for something with spice, then go to La Tasca. La Tasca is an authentic Spanish restaurant located on 7th street in Washington, D.C.

La Tasca is perfect if you don’t want to limit your meal and try new things. Tapas are dishes served in small proportions; ranging from seafood tapas to poultry tapas to vegetable tapas, each tapas is flavorful.

Brocheta De Pollo is one of the tastiest dishes and is perfect if you do not want to try something strange, but still try something new. Served as a Kabob, 5 pieces of chicken on a stick grilled, sounds simple right? What makes this dish so tasty is the Andalusian spices and red pepper.

Each Tapas range from $6.50 to $7.00. so if your tired of the turkey and holiday cookies, make a trip to La Tasca.

Calamares or simply just Calamari is a perfect starter for your meal served with a side of Cilantro dipping sauce. Some Calamari is almost too rubbery, or too crunchy but at La Tasca, the calamari is fried and battered where its just crunchy enough, and the wait for the dish is bearable.

The restaurant itself is uniquely decorated with two floors connected with beautiful spiral staircases. Special events are held, including Salsa dancing on Thursdays and Fridays.

This restaurant not only gives you a different style and taste of eating, but also provides a beautiful environment and a friendly staff to serve you.

A Special Interview with Tara Ferry

Michael Breton ’12 of The Stampede recently interviewed Tara Ferry, the 21-year-old face of Burberry’s Spring/Summer 2011 campaign. His interview was published in VMAN Magazine, where it made the front page of their website.

Tara Ferry is the 21-year-old face of Burberry’s Spring/Summer 2011 campaign, and a rock musician.

You can read the interview here:
http://www.vman.com/blog/a-special-interview-with-tara-ferry/

TV Preview: ‘New Girl’ and ‘Secret Circle’

Christin Coleman ‘12 | Staff Writer

'New Girl' Zooey Deschanel is described as "simply adorkable" in the show's tagline.

With new shows premiering weekly, it is hard to guess making it hard to distinguish between which shows will grab and keep your attention, and which shows are going to have you wishing your teachers had given you more homework. Well, don’t fret: I’ve done the dirty work for you ! I’ve watched and followed two of the most anticipated shows of this fall. Here is my take:

New Girl: This show stars Zooey Deschanel as the very sweet and quirk, filled Jess. After her sudden break up with her boyfriend, she seeks residency at an apartment with three male roommates that she found on Craig’s List. By helping Jess get through her break-up and receiving her advice with their own matters of the heart, they begin to accept and bring in their new roommate as “one of the boys.” New Girl offers short and spontaneous, yet still original musical numbers by Jess, random dancing, and heartfelt moments that will have you smiling against your will. Nothing short of witty, charming, and downright hilarious, you’ll want to tune into New Girl every Tuesday at 9 on FOX.

Secret Circle: If your preference lies within the suspense or mystery genre ,I highly suggest “The Secret Circle.” When Cassie’s mother suddenly dies in a fire that was no accident she is sent to live with her Grandmother in the town where her mother grew up. Cassie, ignorant to her mother’s past and her own true identity, encounters many strange occurrences in her first days in the new town that eventually lead her to a group of teenagers called The Secret Circle. The Secret Circle is made up of young witches, and Cassie happens to be one.This show will leave you wanting more and more and counting down to the next episode.

Halloween Horrors

Activities we can all enjoy for the Halloween season

Gabriella Taylor ‘13 | Staff Writer

Most people go trick or treating, or have a costume party on Halloween. After you turn fourteen, it gets a bit old. Some people might want to branch out this Halloween, and we have the perfect ideas for you.

Fright Fest

Instead of roaming around a dark neighborhood, begging for candy from adults that don’t even want you to have any, why not come to Fright Fest? Fright Fest at Six Flags is one of the most popular events for teens in the Fall. This year, there are many new attractions, the most popular being DJ Ghoul and the Gang, the Backwoods Bloodshed, and the Carn-Evil. The Carn-Evil is a show full of freaks, frights, and maybe a demented clown or two. The Backwoods Bloodshed will have you walk through the ominous foggy woods, passing cemeteries and terrifying demons. Lastly, DJ Ghoul and the Gang is a group of monsters ready to thrill you with mind blowing dance steps and choreography. You also might run into men with chainsaws, axes, and jack hammers, woman with only one eye reaching out towards you, and other various ghouls.

Of course the regular rides, such as the Superman, Jokers Jinks, Roar, and Mind Eraser, are still there; always the favorites for most people. Every single attraction, ride, and restaurant in the park is decorated in order to have the full Halloween effect. Ticket Prices and parking fees have gone down this year too. Juniors under 48 are $36.99, Parking is $15.00, and the 2012 season passes are $59.99 each. Fright Fest is open from October 1st to the 30th, so you better go before time runs out!

13710 Central Ave
Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

Halloween Haunt

Already been to Fright Fest? Why not go to the Halloween Haunt at Kings Dominion? There’s costume contests, multiple corn mazes filled with monsters, and lots of food. The most scary attraction at the Halloween Haunt is the VooDoo swamp. It’s almost exactly like a haunted house, but it’s in the open. As you walk along a dark and eerie path, monsters and ghouls jump out at you, dressed to look perfectly like corpses. This is open Friday from 7pm – Midnight, Saturday from 10:30AM – Midnight, and Sunday from 10:30AM to 10PM. General Admission is 48.99, but you can buy a Season Pass for much less.

1600 Theme Park Way
Doswell, VA 23047-1918
Phone: (804) 876-5134

Bennett’s Curse

There’s also Bennett’s Curse, a haunted house in Baltimore that was ranked as one of the greatest haunted houses in America. Open 7-10pm, this haunted house is the place to be if you’re looking for a scare. The three main attractions are the House of VampYres, which explains the downfall of the Bennett casle, Zombie Kingdom in 3D which is a haunted house inside of the haunted house, and the Sanctuary of Insanity which will put you inside of a maze that will melt your brain. On this psycological trip, you will run into goblins and illusions, ghosts and ghouls that will make you rethink your sanity. General Admission is from $30 to $40 depending on the day you decide to go. More information can be found at http://www.bennettscurse.com.

8024 Max Blobs Park Rd
Jessup, MD 20194

Blood Lake

Blood Lake, located in Richmond VA, is a annual haunted house that is one of the scariest and most thrilling houses in the area.This year it has moved to Windy Hill Sports Complex at 16500 Midlothian Turnpike and is completely outdoors. It’s open Friday through Monday on the 29th through the 31st of October. It opens on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm- 11:00 pm, and on Sunday from 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm. On Halloween especially, it’s open from 7:30 to 10:30 pm, so you still have time to get home and have a party before it’s time to go to bed. Kids under 9 years old will not be admitted to the party and kids under 14 must be accompanied by an adult and will pay $8 at the gate. Everyone over fourteen years of age pays $10. Groups over 12 people will get a 20% discount, but oddly, no more than 10 people can enter the trail at one time. The trail is approximately 25 minutes.

16500 Midlothian Turnpike
Midlothian, Virginia 23113
Phone: 804-794-0010

Review: The Reckoning by Needtobreathe

Matt Nunez ‘12 | Editor-In-Chief 

In the world of popular music, it can be pretty difficult to overcome the massive amount of stereotypes that come with being a Christian band. The artists feel restricted in their lyrical choice and are less willingly picked up by radio stations. So after Needtobreathe gained national respect as Christian artists after their second album, they didn’t hesitate to emphasize that they were and always had been a rock band, and a rock band only. On their fourth release, ‘The Reckoning,’ the boys from South Carolina break their Christian roots and put all of their energy into their music and show why they are one of the most creative bands around right now.

Coming out of rural South Carolina with a father as a preacher, brothers Bo (guitarist) and Bear (singer) Rhinehart were determined to show the world their cultural upbringing. Their first album, ‘Daylight,’ was released in 2006 and followed along the alternative-rock path set forth by groups such as Snow Patrol. With their sophomore release, ‘The Heat’ (2007), Needtobreathe saw some more critical acclaim for their new, more acoustic gospel focus. “Washed by the Water” reached #1 on the Christian charts and helped propel them to Group of the Year at the annual Dove Awards. As the Christian community slowly started to pull them in, they quickly broke out with ‘The Outsiders’ (2009), a record that highlights the Southern roots of the band and adds some true rock & roll flare to their setlists. “Something Beautiful” became the band’s largest hit to date and became a standard on SiriusXM Top 40 radio. The rest of the album included extensive banjo use (title track) and even honky-tonk piano on “Girl From Tennessee”. After making a name for themselves touring as supporting artists for Train and Taylor Swift, Needtobreathe decided to take their creative skills to the next level with The Reckoning, which was released on September 20th.

Mandolins, bagpipes, trumpets, and of course banjos all contribute to the musical context of the new album and make ‘The Reckoning’ Needtobreathe’s most ambitious project to date. The first track of the album, “Oohs and Ahhs”, begins as an acoustic bass line but builds into a raucous blend of distortion and drums that sets the energy of the album. The loud noises are soon complemented by the acoustic patterns of “White Fences”. The first single from the album, “Slumber” comes a few tracks later and is driven by a powerful melody and even blend of acoustic and electric guitars. The next song, “The Reckoning” is the band’s reflection on growing out of obscurity and is the biggest anthem on the album. “Able” is an experimental piano ballad that sounds an awful lot like the band’s contemporary counterparts Mumford & Sons before breaking into a more “country road” reflection. The calm demeanor of the song is soon forgotten once “Maybe They’re Onto Us” begins. “Wanted Man” comes next, with a musical texture that rivals OneRepublic’s “Good Life” for feel-good song of the year. The true Needtobreathe sound is reflected later in “Devil’s Been Talkin,’” a banjo-inspired tune that features a deep, rich context of musical variety and an incredible chorus of voices. The album ends on a more reflective note with “Learn to Love,” a duet with Ella Mae Bowen, a solo country singer. It is the perfect end to an album that captures the highs and lows of being a traveling band who is built off of Christian roots, which although less obvious, are still prevalent on the album.

By a mere creativity standpoint, Needtobreathe is miles ahead of their generation of musicians, who are more inclined to have others write their songs and provide generic beats to sing along to. Although hearing such sounds as a banjo, mandolin, or trumpet along with Christian lyrics, it is unmistakable after hearing them that Needtobreathe is a true rock band. Lead singer Bear Rhinehart’s powerful voice is without a doubt the driving force in the band, a quality that has been passed through only a few other rock artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. The band is currently touring as the supporting act for Taylor Swift and is playing in some of the biggest stadiums in America. On September 14th, they also made their national network debut with a guest performance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Rumor has it that they will be heading out for a solo tour next Spring so keep your eyes pealed for signs that Needtobreathe is coming to town. If I were to guess, I would say that they’ll become much easier to spot over the next few months.

College Sports Ban Vitamin Water

NCAA puts ban on certain flavors of Vitamin Water

Anthony Brown ’12 and Taylor Parker ’12 | Editors

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has banned or considered some flavors and ingredients in the sports drink Vitamin Water. An “impermissible” nutritional supplement product that contains ingredients that do not comply with the NCAA Division I and Division II bylaws on nutritional supplements. The NCAA lets the student-athletes know beforehand that they’re responsible for what they consume.They’re told what the banned substances are so they can eat and drink responsibly.

According to the NCAA’s website, they also advise that the student-athletes look over the product and its label with their athletic departments for a few reasons:

  • The dietary supplement could cause positive drug tests because they’re not properly regulated
  • Players have lost their eligibility because they tested positive for performance enhancing drugs while using the dietary supplements,
  • There are contaminated supplements that have banned drugs not found on the label

If the athletes choose to consume these supplements, they’re taking a risk. Varsity girls’ soccer coach George Hunt said he remembered when it first came out and he thought it was great to have a non-carbonated sports drink. Bishop McNamara High School’s Athletic Director Anthony Johnson said students should Just drink Gatorade or Powerade. He doesn’t think student-athletes would favor a sports drink based on taste. He believes it’s easy to just drink Vitamin Water but If Gatorade were found to have illegal substances, it would be more of an issue.

According to the University of Alabama athletics website, the banned or impermissible Vitamin Water flavors and ingredients are the following:

  • Energy Tropical Citrus (Caffeine, guarana seed extract),
  • Rescue Green Tea (Caffeine; green tea extract and ecgc or Epigallocatechin Gallate),
  • Power-C Dragonfruit (Taruine),
  • B-Relaxed Jackfruit Guava(L-theanine),
  • Vital-t Lemon Tea-Rooibos(Rooibos tea extract)
  • Balance Cran-Grapefruit(glucosamine).

The NCAA did however, approve flavors of Vitamin Water which include:

  • Revive (Fruit Punch)
  • Essential (Orange-Orange)
  • XXX (Acai, Blueberry and Pomegranate)
  • Focus (Focus Kiwi Strawberry)
  • Formula 50 (Grape)
  • Multi-V (Lemonade)
  • Charge (Lemon Lime)
  • Endurance(Peach-Mango)
  • Defense(Raspberry Mango)

It wouldn’t be wrong to think that since Caffeine is a banned substance by the NCAA, student-athletes can’t have soda, coffee etc. but according to Darryl Conway Assistant Athletic Director of Sports Medicine for the University of Maryland, drinking a cup of coffee or having a soda won’t get a player banned. People wouldn’t think that any illegal substances are in sports drinks like Vitamin Water, and probably don’t think about because they just want to get something to drink or if your an athlete, you’re just worried about getting your energy back and getting out on the court or the field. It’s great that the NCAA brings awareness to this because if not, college athletics would be under a microscope due to the fact that so many players are testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.

So it’s pretty clear what flavors the student-athletes should drink, the question is, will they drink those flavors? It’s pointless to drink the flavors of Vitamin Water with the illegal substances in them because you can into trouble and now a days, no matter what sport you play, your college career can make or break you.

College Professors who also Teach at BMHS

Ms. Treichel and Dr. Van der Waag tell what makes high school so irresistible and college so indispensable.

Katherine Fry ‘12 | Staff Writer

Ah, high school, a goulash of diverse personalities, spiced generously with the seasoning of laughter and tears. Who would ever want to leave? Certainly not our beloved Ms. Treichel and newcomer Dr. Van der Waag. College professors they may be, but high school still holds an undeniable draw for them.

“I love the kids, the energy. They keep me young,” Ms. Clare Treichel says, “If I had to choose one level only, it would be high school. ” Casually dressed in a burgundy polo and matching cardigan, some simple khaki pants, and the sandals that have become one of her trademarks, Ms. Clare Treichel says she began her teaching career in high school, although college called to her as well. And, undoubtedly aided by her time at Prince George’s Community College, she has acquired so much information about her higher-level love that, as high school senior Marina Kuykendall says, “She just wants to help us get into college.” Some more of her wisdom: college professors and students are more equal, and graduate students are more mature than other students.

On the college students, Dr. Van der Waag, who comes to us from Georgetown University, says, “You’re making your own choices about what type of adult you want to be in college.” He also believes that hopeful college-attendees should take their admissions essays and interviews seriously, and that they should actually do well in college, not just scrape by with C’s.

Despite his experiences in higher learning, he lauds the lower level, saying, “High school teachers are a really dedicated group.” They also see students grow up, something Dr. Van der Waag likes to see. But, most importantly, he believes that the school’s mission is alive and well in the day-to-day.

“Beauty in the Spaces”

Fred Hughes Jazz Trio performs in BMHS FADE Colloquium

Matt Nunez ‘12 | Editor-In-Chief

On the evening of Monday, September 26, Bishop McNamara Students had the opportunity to learn a new language, and watch a jazz band while doing it.

As the first part of the 2011-12 FADE series, the Fred Hughes Jazz Trio performed to a full theater of McNamara students and parents. The two major themes for the night were music as a language and the use of spaces (not playing) within jazz to complement the time spent playing.

“This [soloing] is always a conversation that we’re having,” explained Fred Hughes, pianist of the three part band, “I’m always trying to improve my voice and language.”

The three musicians – pianist, bassist and drummer – took time to answer questions and discuss their musical lives between songs. The students in attendance were eager to ask about improvisation, pursuing music in college, and even closing one’s eyes while playing. To the last question, drummer Frank Russo responded, “I just wanna close my eyes and feel it.” Hughes added on to that saying, “It’s allowing the creativity to flow.”

When asked about the influences on their music, each responded with jazz greats of their respective instruments. For bassist Keith Mohler, the inspiration came from Charlie Haden; for Russo, the great drummer Elvin Jones. Hughes claims that he is constantly inspired by jazz pianists but his favorite “depends on what I feel the deficiencies in my music are at the time.” Although not giving a clear answer, Hughes cited pianist Johnny Mandel as an influence before breaking into Mandel’s own “Theme From M*A*S*H”.

The music throughout the evening encompassed a few different types of jazz, but kept mostly to the standard swing beat. Several originals by Hughes were played with a few cover songs thrown in such as Mandel’s composition as well as “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck. Between songs, Hughes would address the musicians in the crowd specifically by asking them to look for certain rhythm changes as well as pay attention to the “spaces” between notes.

“The music you make is in your ears, your head, and your heart,” explained Russo, “Music is sound and it’s silence and sometimes the silence is just as important as the sound.”

The performance was the first in the series of FADE Colloquiums hosted by Bishop McNamara. FADE (Fine Arts Diploma Endorsement) is an arts program that recognizes dancers, singers, or musicians for their artistic achievements at McNamara by a special note on the diploma received at graduation. FADE students are required to attend a certain number of performances each year.

Fred Hughes was raised as a musician and began performing at twelve years-old. He currently performs at the Gaylord Hotel at National Harbor and has played, taught, and conducted music his whole life. He joined the US Army Band and after a service in Korea, came back to America and devoted more time to his professional life as a musician.

To see a more pictures from the performance, head over to ZOOM On McNamara