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Volume 17, No. 5 - October 25, 2010

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 Writer's Index

Pedaling across America, for charity

By Talon Bronson in PORTLAND, Oregon, U.S.A.— In Western Missouri, a few days out from Kansas, the weather took a turn for the worse.

The pressure dropped in the area, the first sign of the beginning of a tornado, formed by the movement of a cloud close to the ground, rapidly rising, creating a mini vacuum beneath it.

A cloud has to be of just the right size to become a tornado, of course. If the cloud is too big, it will not precipitate uniformly, and so not rise uniformly, but rather, in sections. On the other hand, a cloud that is too small will not produce enough precipitation to create the pressure underneath needed for the formation.

On that day, it was Tom Foley Jr., Trey Meyer, and James Groeneveld’s luck that the clouds were just right.

The three university students had a range of luck last summer, when they spent nearly two months pedaling coast-to-coast across America to raise money to buy bicycles for Zambian children.

Foley, from Connecticut, and Groeneveld, of Brisbane, Australia, attend Harvard University, and Meyer, of New Orleans, is a Williams College student. They left Yorktown, Virginia’s Atlantic coast on June 22, and by mid-August, their wheels were wet with the saltwater of the Pacific in Astoria, Oregon.

But on this July day near Ellington, Mo., they rode along, on nearly 20-year-old bikes fixed up for their cross country trip. They were aware of the change in the weather, but too far out in the country for anyone to tell them of the imminent tornado.

It was when they peddled past a house beside the road that they got their real warning. Read whole story


  Read Samantha Perez's stunning journal of hope and survival during America's worst natural disaster.


Facebook movie status: great

By Talon Bronson in PORTLAND, Oregon, U.S.A. Stepping into the theater to see The Social Network, I found myself wondering if I was going to look at Facebook differently afterwards.

I looked at MySpace differently after reading a bio of its creators and I was expecting something of the same effect from the movie.

Though I doubted anything in the movie could make me stop using Facebook – because, as a character in the film says, ‘it’s extremely addictive’ – I did wonder if it would make me wary the way the back story of MySpace had.

It turned out, though, that The Social Network doesn’t really tell too much about Facebook, because it’s a character movie. Read whole story


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Under Cleopatra's spell at Hartford Stage

By Kiernan Majerus-Collins and Celeste Kurz in HARTFORD, Connecticut, U.S.A. Antony & Cleopatra, now playing at Hartford Stage, is a show filled with drama and top-notch acting.

Kate Mulgrew was tremendously convincing as Cleopatra, the demanding, scheming, self-centered Egyptian queen.

As originally penned by playwright William Shakespeare, the part of Cleopatra required Mulgrew to have an amazing ability to probe the mind of the privileged elite of the ancient world. Despite being surrounded by luxury far exceeding that of the common person, she still felt plagued by the ill fortune brought on by her own poor choices.

John Douglas Thompson’s adept portrayal of Antony delivered the character’s vast emotional fluctuations. He effectively switched between deep depression and near maniacal happiness in a matter of seconds. The scene in which Antony kills himself best showed his acting capability; such emotional range is not often seen.   Read whole story





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