The planners of next year’s haunted trail might want to take note: all it takes are certain types of imperceptible “low frequency vibrations” to instantly create a sense of terror in a person’s mind — along with hallucinations of ghost-like specters.
These “infrasounds”, which can be unintentionally generated from any number of sources, like pipe organs or malfunctioning heating ducts, might explain accounts of supposed hauntings in buildings and other locations. Cracked.com has the whole Scooby-Doo-Meets-CSI-story:
They did an experiment where acoustic scientists sneaked in low frequency sounds at a live concert. Since scientists love nothing more than inducing feelings of fear and terror in unsuspecting citizens, most of the concert goers had no idea what was going on. As a result one minute they were enjoying some sweet tunes while the next a feeling of dread invaded their hearts, crushing all hope and happiness. At the end of the experiment approximately 22 percent of the people involved in the experiment reported feelings of unexplainable dread, chills and depression when infrasound was blasted into the crowd.
Why would it have this effect? It may be evolution. It doesn’t take a mad scientist mind control device to create infrasound — mother nature is creating this type of low frequency vibration all the time. Volcanos, earthquakes, strong ocean waves and even winds hitting the hillside in just the right spot can create infrasound. Even animals can create it, and tigers are particularly well known as a source. Thefrequency of a tiger’s roar is around 18Hz — right in that range we mentioned earlier.
All of the things that create the sound are huge, powerful and dangerous. Evolution might have taught us that this sound means Bad News.
Not only do they have unnerving psychological effects, but the vibrations can cause people to perceive fuzzy floating objects due to the vibrations of their eyeballs:
After one particularly strange experience when a gray shape sat next to his desk for several minutes, Vic Tandy was determined to figure out what the hell was going on. Being a man of science, he was going to skip the part where he had an exorcist come and bless the facility.
After eliminating gas poisoning and rogue equipment, Vic realized that the ghostly apparitions seemed to almost always occur in a certain section of the lab. He also realized that if he put a metal sheet in a vice, it would spontaneously vibrate uncontrollably for no apparent reason. Poltergeist, right?
No. Just infrasound.
Specifically, a “silent” exhaust fan was sending out low frequency vibrations that bounced back and forth on the lab’s walls until they formed a powerful wave at… 18.9Hz. Right at the top of the panic range.
And, according to a NASA study, it was powerful enough to resonate with the average human eyeball, causing “smeared” vision. This is a phenomenon where the eye vibrates just enough to register something static — say, the frame of your glasses or a speck of dust — as large, moving shapes
I wonder how practical and effective it would be to apply this process to some kind of “haunted” attraction. Read the whole story here.
If you are a diehard basketball fan like I am, then there is no doubt that the current NBA lockout is getting extremely old at this point. With two weeks of the regular NBA season already cancelled, and most likely more on the way, the question that arises is when is all of this going to end?
The NBA players and owners have been in heated negotiations over how the revenue collected from different avenues of the NBA, also known as basketball related income (BRI), should be shared since early July and there seems to be no end in sight. The player’s association, headed by the Los Angeles Laker’s own Derrick Fisher, wants the players to receive a portion of the BRI as compensation for all of their hard work and dedication. NBA Commissioner David Stern and many team owners, however, strongly disagree. The blame for the stoppage of the NBA season thus far seems to fall largely on the shoulders of the owners and the commissioner and their inability to compromise with the players. The player’s association has made several offers pertaining to how the revenue should be shared in a way that is fair for both parties, but the people higher up still say no deal.
This isn’t the first time the NBA has seen a lockout. The 1998-1999 NBA season was shortened to only 50 games and the All-Star game was cancelled over circumstances similar to our current lockout. This year marks the fourth lockout that the NBA has ever seen. Most fans would hate to see a repeat of the ’98-’99 season, but the way things are going that might just happen.
Both sides of the argument stand to lose greatly in the long run. Obviously the players won’t be paid due to the fact that games are cancelled and the owners lose money with the absence of ticket sales and other game related income but the effects are even greater than that. About 70 players have signed limited time contracts with teams overseas until an agreement can be reached. And what about the veteran players in the league? With any sport the athletes have a short time to play and be successful; for those older players in the NBA their time is running out. Think of Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Derrick Fisher, and Ray Allen. All these successful NBA players have dedicated over a decade to the NBA and only have a few good years left. This lockout is unfairly shortening the time they have left to play and potentially win a championship. Further, some teams in the NBA have been struggling for several seasons financially due to their losing record. It’s a strong possibility that this lockout could be the financial breaking point for these teams and they could end up going under. But all that still isn’t even considering what the lockout means for NBA fans.
NBA fans, much like a fan of any other sport, are with their teams through thick and thin. They tune in and support their teams whether they are at home or on the road. For every free throw, timeout, and buzzer beater NBA fans are there, but now they are being robbed of the game that has become such a huge part of their lives for so long. I am personally disgusted by the amount of greed both the Commissioner and the owners have shown. I grew up watching basketball my whole life. I can’t even begin to describe in words how much the game of basketball has meant to me. It is much more than just a game. The NBA players step out on to the court and amaze us with every play and make it look easy, but believe me, it most definitely isn’t. The simple fact is that the NBA would be absolutely nothing without the players that hit the court night after night, so why not share some of the revenue acquired from all of their hard work in a way that is profitable for both sides. It just seems to me that the fans and their interests are being ignored all for the sake of the almighty dollar. Fans like me all across the world and the players themselves are missing out on a sport they love over the senseless squabbling of rich team owners. Whatever happened to the love of the game? It seems that NBA no longer stands for National Basketball Association. It now means Not about Basketball Anymore. Hopefully a deal can be reached soon so we can stop all of this foolish arguing and get back to game we know and love.
Walking into LSF 144, the smell of something delicious would tingle anyone’s nose; that smell being something rich and flavorsome. Soothing acoustic sounds played live at the front of the room filled all the ears present. A show-case of beautiful Peruvian jewelry items enticed those who walked into the room. This was just a small taste of El Sabor Latino 2011.
On Monday November 7th, the Multicultural club and the Spanish club invited anyone who wanted to join them in celebrating the Hispanic culture with a mix of food, fun, and Latin American rhythms.
The thing that stood out the most at El Sabor Latino 2011 was that every food item that was prepared was provided by club members, as well as students and faculty. The relaxing acoustic melodies were performed by Pancho and Carolyn Rodea.
El Sabor Latino 2011 is an event sponsored by the Multicultural club and the Spanish club. Co-coordinator Kenneth Kincaid points out the coming together of these two clubs to create something so successful and fun for everyone. “This is the first year the two clubs have come together to put on this event” Kincaid added, “and we are looking forward to joining together again for future El Sabor Latino events.”
Co- coordinator Assen Kokalov reassures students and faculty that “anyone can become involved with El Sabor Latino or join either clubs; it is available to anybody. The only thing you need is a passion for the culture and willingness to know more.”
If you are interested in knowing more information on these two clubs or would like to become involved with future events like El Sabor Latino, you can contact Kenneth Kincaid at firstname.lastname@example.org or Assen Kokalov at email@example.com.
This year was the third annual Biology Fair at the pond with an amazing turnout. Over 60 people attended with the purpose of introducing themselves to fellow Biology majors in hoping to find similar interests and develop friendships over the harsh major at hand. The faculty and staff also showed in appearance, introducing themselves to the students and conversing over the festivities. In developing these friendships, it is easier to handle classes because study groups and get-togethers are formed.
This year, more than enough food was provided by the Biology department for the faculty, staff, and students who attended. As a biology major, preparing for the festivities is always a favorite of mine because I am able to do this for others. Hot dogs were grilled, chips and pop were provided, and desert was also available. Every year, it is mandatory to buy corn on the cob and grill it as well. Everything was amazing and rest assured, my stomach agreed too.
In past years, games and competitions are usually done throughout the day, but because of it being chilly and later in the year, it was decided to do a “club competition”. In the biology department, there are four science based clubs; Delta Sigma Science Club, Ecology Club, Pre-Med Club, and Pre-Vet Club. The competition was to see how many people would show up to the biology fair from each club. Delta Sigma was declared the winner with 10 representing members signing in.
The other competition that took place was the “kayak races.” Every year, the kayaks are pulled out of storage and taken for a ride by those who brave the pond. As everyone knows, the pond water is very mucky and smells horrible, but those brave enough to try do not feel bothered by the ponds conditions. The kayak was to be sent out into the middle of the pond, maneuvered around the statue, and brought back. Ten people decided to master the kayak, but only one winner was declared. Times ranging from 50 seconds to 5:00 minutes, with one falling in; Robin Scribailo was declared the 2011 winner of the kayak races and now has his name on the kayak paddle in Schwartz 121. After a couple hours of fellowship and fun, the festivities wrapped up and many had complimented on the days turnout.
Walt Disney said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” This quote is something that embodies a student here at Purdue North Central. This student is Katie Hines. Katie is a sophomore majoring in Elementary Education and the student leader who initiated and formed the Circle K Club at PNC. After a great involvement in Key Club at Washington Township High School and the many opportunities and experiences she was granted, she decided to grace PNC and its students with this great International Organization. As a matter of fact, Circle K International is the largest collegiate international organization. Circle K International is a community service based organization and sponsored by a Kiwanis Club on a college/university campus. Circle K works with 4 international service partners; March of Dimes, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Better World Books, and Students Team Up to Fight Hunger (STUFH). Circle K blends community service and leadership training with the opportunity to meet college students from all over the world.
Of course, Katie could not do this by herself, she has a great team of her peers and mentors to help her out. Ms. Hines holds the position of President, Kara Moon is the Vice President, and Treasurer/Secretary is Caitlin Young. Amanda Martin is the Faculty Advisor and Carrie Higgins is the Professional Advisor. They receive great guidance from Carol Kurmis and Reggie Syrcle from the Noon Kiwanis Club of Valparaiso. This team collaborates to choose a service partner and focuses a lot on that organization each year. Although, Circle K still takes part in various activities with their local Kiwanis club throughout the year.
Since Circle K was established at PNC during the Spring 2011 semester, they are still working diligently to become the fully functioning club that Katie and her team know it will be. PNC’s Circle K must meet the international qualifications and among the many, they are striving to obtain 20 serious members. They are extremely close, but are still looking for a few great students who would like to join in on the priceless experiences that this club will offer. Once they are officially chartered, our Circle K Club will work with the Boys and Girls Club of Valparaiso, Hours for Ours in Michigan City, and YMCA in LaPorte. Their official partner will be the March of Dimes, and they will be participating in the International Service Week from April 15-21, 2012.
The Circle K President, Katie Hines, has been involved in Kiwanis for 6 years and loved every minute of it. She states, “Being a part of the Kiwanis family gets you out into your own community, working on projects that benefit all different types of people, as well as getting to know so many different people.” Now she is inviting you to be a part of this journey with her. She and her team fully understand the trials and tribulations of starting a club on campus, but they know that anything can be accomplished if you put your mind to it and display resiliency.
Circle K is having an event on Thursday, December 1st in Tech 160 from 12-1 pm. They will be offering free pizza! They strongly encourage you to stop by and find out more about Circle K and their upcoming initiatives! This event is sponsored by the Noon Kiwanis Club of Valparaiso, as well as the LaPorte Kiwanis Club. If you cannot make this event, feel free to email Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org, she is eager to hear from you and hopes you will become engaged in Circle K’s fun service projects.
Too many times Purdue North Central goes unnoticed by our students that our campus is such fertile land for your dreams to be planted and allow them to flourish. Katie Hines and her team have noticed and taken advantage of these resources and began achieving their dreams at PNC by bringing the Circle K Club. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the courage displayed by Katie and her team to pursue this dream. This is why Katie and Circle K embody Disney’s quote, the dream of Circle K is coming true and now it’s being presented to you. Now the opportunity is knocking at YOUR door, what will you do?!
Sunday was a day of nostalgia if you are a fan of the Chicago Bears. There was no 300 yard, 4 touchdown passing day by Jay Cutler. Nor was there any eighty yard run by Matt Forte, the Chicago Bears offense was nothing special Sunday afternoon versus the Detroit Lions. Why? They did not have to be, because the Chicago Bear’s team of past championship contention showed up to play. The score ended up being 37-13 in favor of Chicago, yet it wasn’t even that close.
We were treated yesterday to a Bear performance that is reminiscent of their usual formula for success. The defense was mean, nasty, and suffocating while special teams posted a couple of spectacular plays. Jay Cutler and company did not turn the ball over, while Matt Forte sprinkled in an opening drive touchdown on an otherwise lackluster performance.
If you’re a Detroit fan, the level of optimism for this game lasted probably a whopping two minutes and fifteen seconds. That is the amount of time it took before DT Julius Peppers punched out a fumble on WR Calvin Johnson which the Bears recovered. With a short field and a shot of adrenaline by the home crowd, Matt Forte scooted through the middle of the Lions defense on route to a 7 yard TD. Things did not get better on the next Lion’s offensive possession. With 8:20 left to go in the first quarter, Tim Jennings decided he wanted in on the fumble fun. The Chicago safety, after previously being beat on the pass completion, showed true tenacity, not giving up on the play, he forced and recovered Detroit’s second lost fumble in as many drives. And so was the beginning of a long day for anybody wearing blue and silver.
There was another Devin Hester sighting as well, the now legendary Bear return man received a punt at his own 18 yard line and then magic happened. Hester zigged and zagged through player after player, doing a nice tight rope dance on the far sideline on his way to an 82 yard punt return for a touchdown. The twentieth of Hester’s career, he pads on to his own record for the most punt returns in NFL history.
Ok, personal rant time. Why? Why do teams continue to kick anywhere in the same zip code as this man? I think that any special team’s coach or punter that decided to put it anywhere close to number 23 should have to do five hundred up-downs the following day. As a fan myself, I enjoy watching another 23 making magic happen in his sport, yet as somebody that also enjoys critiquing the game itself, this is a no brainer. Simply enough, do not kick the ball to Devin Hester, bad things happen for your team.
Chicago went into the half up 20-6, blowing a couple of opportunities for an even bigger advantage. Detroit QB Matthew Stafford however provided help for the Bears, throwing interceptions on back to back drives that were run back for touchdowns. With 11:24 left to go in the third quarter, Chicago was up 34-6 and the route was on. Little happened of great significance the rest of the game on the actually football side of things. However, the entire game was layered with a feeling of animosity. The Bears came into this game looking for revenge, after being embarrassed in their Week 3 meeting against the Lions. Chicago played like a team that wanted to get nasty. These were the Monsters of the Midway, Chicago fans hunger to see on a weekly basis. Popping of pads echoed throughout Soldier Field for the full sixty minutes of game play, even when the score had become irrelevant. A few skirmishes broke out after questionable hit after questionable hit. The look of this game was still of Chicago being the bigger, more ferocious team. Linebacker Lance Briggs punctuated that when he lowered his shoulder into Calvin Johnson, subsequently knocking Johnson flat on his back.
Chicago finds itself 6-3 for the season and clearly in the driver’s seat when it comes to the NFC Wild card. Victories now over four teams that could possibly be in the mix come the end of the season, as well as a schedule that looks favorable. They will get a taste of the entire AFC North division in the next month, a division in which is a toss-up of mediocrity. Between the four teams, it would be hard to name a clear cut “best” team. In fact, the show down against Green Bay is the only “real” hard game the Bears have left to play in my opinion. Of course, anything can happen as the NFL has proven to be a “week to week” league this season. Still, this is a great time to be a Bears fan folks. Chicago is playing like a team that knows what it needs to do to win, and is getting better at it. Personally I foresee a 5-2 finish to the season which would give them an 11-5 overall record. This will most likely give them the first wild card spot in which they will be a dangerous out for any other NFL team. Get ready Chicago fans, Da Bears are back and hungry!!!
Pickups of the Week
As we close in on the final few weeks of the fantasy season, we are all looking to either make that trade that will put our teams over the top or pickup that last minute waiver wire that will provide us with the needed ammo to win the league. Here are some guys that may be worth some risk in the upcoming weeks, leading up to the playoffs.
Tim Tebow- Not a very good QB in the NFL, but for fantasy purposes he puts up solid stability each weeks with his rush and pass yards.
Denarius Moore- Emerging WR that seems to have both caught the eye of new QB Carson Palmer and developed a good chemistry. Should continue to be a big part of the passing game.
Roy Helu- Have been raving about him for weeks but uncertainty on how much playing time he will get. He is the best back in Washington but Shanahan never listens to what the fans want.
Jacoby Ford- Along with Moore, he seems to have revived his season with the coming of Palmer.
Earl Bennet- Played his college days at Vanderbilt with his buddy Cutler. Now he finds himself back on the same team as his buddy and their chemistry doesn’t seem to have gone away over the years.
Jason Hill- Probably the best passing option that the Jags have and has caught a TD in 3 of his last 4 games.
Lindsay Lohan may have found a solution to her money despairs and her struggling career: Posing nude for Playboy.
The 25 year old actress made a $1 million dollar deal, after refusing to agree to the initial offer of $750,000, to pose completely nude for Hugh Hefner’s magazine. TMZ broke this news Monday, the day after they photographed Lohan entering the Playboy mansion.
Compared to her harsh reality at the Los Angeles County morgue, scrubbing toilets and washing clothes, this high-money offer may be Lohan’s solution for getting back to fame.
When asked if the reports were true, Lohan’s rep told ABCNews.com, “We are not confirming reports that Lindsay is posing for Playboy magazine.”
But her mom, Dina Lohan, seemed to let the news slip when she told X17online, “The photo shoot went well.”
Could this really help repair her career?
This is not Lohan’s first time posing nude. In 2008 she posed as a Marilyn Monroe icon for New York magazine. Although the magazine’s online traffic radically increased, Lindsay’s career did not have much to show for it, and her already-negative rating for celebrity likability went up.
Posing for Playboy will absolutely relieve Lohan’s financial issues, but whether or not her fans will back her up is unknown.
What do you think? Will Lohan’s decision to pose nude for playboy benefit her career?
Looking for something fun and frightening to read for the Halloween weekend? Granted, there is a lot of trash fiction out there, with thin story plots and characters so see-through that cellophane looks opaque. But there are gems that make spending the hours reading worth it. As R.L. Stine wrote in his Goosbumps series, “Reader’s beware, you’re in for a scare.”
One series to check out is Katie Alender’s “Bad Girls Don’t Die”. If you’re looking for something fresh, creepy, and involving, her series may be one you want to read with all the lights on. Alender has two books in the series so far, the other From Bad to Cursed, and a third titled As Dead As It Gets, set to come out in May of next year.
The series’ first book, Bad Girls Don’t Die, centers around anti-establishment, pink-haired Alexis Warren, and her little sister Kasey. All in all, things seem okay for Alexis, until her sister begins to act even weirder than normal.
Kasey has an obsession with collecting dolls. After Alexis has a strange vision of a little girl’s death, the major horror of the house begins. Kasey’s behavior turns threatening and homicidal, and her eyes flash emerald green whenever she gets angry. Alexis starts to question what’s really affecting Kasey. Possessed by the angry spirit of one of her dolls, Kasey has taken a turn for the worse and it’s up to Alexis to save her sister or watch the ghost destroy everyone and everything Alexis loves.
This novel differs from YA fiction in several ways. First, it’s very maturely written with an understandable plot that doesn’t get bogged down by detail after random detail. Alender has an excellent gift for making her character’s reasons and actions logical without leaving you confused as to what happened. In short, everyone has a reason for what they do that doesn’t leave a gaping plot hole. Second, Alexis is a logical character that is well rounded and takes the time to think through her actions. Unlike heroines in other series that claim the lead is smart, plucky, and brave, Alexis actually is. She has her flaws but that is what makes her more realistic than some heroines that I’ve read about in other YA novels.
The writing is creepy, fast-paced, and intriguing. While there are certainly moments that make you quickly check over your shoulder for mysterious shadowy figures, the story is ultimately a mystery. It holds you in place and lets you go at the end a little shaken and disturbed at how easily an innocent 13 year old girl was manipulated into almost committing murder. While it is set in high school, the character’s experiences, aside from a homicidal ghost seeking revenge on their killers, speak to the same pains and frustrations we all have growing up. While the romance in the novel seems a little too quick to occur and maybe a tad unrealistic, the rest of the book is solid in its pacing and story.
For a fresh take on the ghost story genre that has an admirable lead character that you can’t help but like and mixes horror with funny sarcasm, try Bad Girls Don’t Die. Remember to keep the lights on and your closet door firmly shut. Happy reading!
Washington Nationals starting catcher, Wilson Ramos, was kidnapped and abducted earlier this week in his own country.
Ramos, 24, just ended his rookie season with the Washington Nationals. According to the Washington Post, he returned home to play in a baseball winter league for the Aragua Tigers. Upon arriving to his hometown of Valencia, Venezuela, he enjoyed a beach outing with his friends and family. Hours after spending the day at the beach, Ramos vanished.
Two armed men snatched Ramos off the front porch of his mother’s home on Wednesday. His family and friends prayed that he would return while they met with Venezuelan officials all day.
Venezuela had 895 reported kidnappings last year. Kidnapping involving ransom has become common for these types of criminals. Ramos’ family said they were never contacted by anyone wanting ransom money. According to ESPN, since 2004, at least three major league players from Venezuela have had relatives kidnapped.
According to ABC News, Ramos was taken to a house where he huddled under a bed fearing for his life. “I didn’t know if I was coming home alive,” Ramos told ESPN in an exclusive interview.
Later, government officials raided the house and rescued Ramos. Venezuelan officials flew into a mountainous area by helicopter and took off on foot to rescue Ramos in the house where he was being held. Ramos was rescued nearly 50 hours after being abducted.
“These were people I don’t know and they kill for money… to think about this made my spirits go down and I was worried,” Ramos told ESPN. “I do not wish that experience upon anyone.”
When Ramos is feeling better, he plans to still play for the Aragua Tigers in Venezuela this winter.
On Saturday, Oct. 22, the Purdue North Central Women’s Association (PNCWA) hosted the fall luncheon and interest group fair at PNC. Lunch was included at the fair and a speaker, Lorelei Weimer, presented information about the Dunes. There were many women present at the event.
The PNCWA was established in March of 2001 to serve the faculty and students of PNC as well as women in the community. Women of all ages are welcome to be a part of PNCWA. The group takes part in many educational projects that allows it’s members to learn from one another.
The current interest groups that are part of PNCWA are: Gardening/Nature, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, International Friendship Group, and Sew Be It Quilters. These groups were all present at the fair are all looking to add new members. These groups are gathered together by common interests and hobbies. These women in these groups build close friendships and learn from each other.
The PNCWA members are involved in many activities such as the World Smile Bake Day Sale fundraiser, the Fall Bus Trip, Fat Tuesday Bake Sale Fundraiser, Spring Luncheon and Annual Meeting, and Spring Bus Trip. Annual dues for PNCWA are $15 and allow members to attend general programs, participate in Interest Groups, receive the Association’s newsletter, and sell tickets for special events.
In case you haven’t seen the previous two, the “Paranormal Activity” movies are a community experience in theaters. Everyone goes to get the snot scared out of them, and then laugh about it with total strangers. The films achieve this effect mainly through Jumps: a sudden startling image, a loud frightening bang. The door slams shut, people jump, scream, and then laugh.
PA 1 took place in October 2006. PA 2 covers what happens before, and immediately after the events of PA1. Set in 1988, Paranormal 3 is a prequel, showing Katie and Kristie’s messed up childhood, and the origin of the events that befall them as adults. There’s really not a lot to say that’s different here than the first two films. Pesky business happens. Cameras are set up to catch the action. They capture more than intended, etc. In all three movies, the characters always invite demonic activity, through Ouija boards, “Bloody Mary” and the like, but the third film suggests that the activity was cast upon them.
Chronologically, camera work seems to have deteriorated from 1988 to 2006. Paranormal 3 features an oscillating camera set on a broken fan, set up in the living room by the girls’ father. This makes for almost a game for the viewer: the camera only shows portions of the same room at any one time, and suspense is achieved as the audience waits to see what has changed, been moved, or is moving in the room. It seemed like the camera remained in a certain position long enough before oscillating again to present the best shot in the film. The special effects are solid as in the previous films: no visible strings moving any objects here. Doors slam and furniture moves all on its own. I’m 100% astounded as to the one shot in the film I could not explain.
What really sets part 3 above the others is its finale. The last 10 minutes of the movie are like one slap in the face right after another. I was clutching my hat so tightly in my hand I thought I would break my knuckles. The suspense and disturbing images of the film’s climax are so heart-stopping, fans of the original two films are sure to enjoy the third film for what it is. As the screen cuts to black, the audience is left sitting, in shock, with questions, once again. Only this time around, the experience feels much more rewarding. 3.5/5
MPAA: R / Dir: Ariel Schulman / Running time: 84 minutes / Release: 10/21/11 / Screened: 10/20/11(10 PM exclusive pre-screening) at Cinemark Valparaiso / Review: 10/21/11 by Chris Landis
In February 2009, Blink-182 appeared onstage together for the first time in five years. Travis Barker, the group’s drummer said “We used to play music together, and now we’ve decided we’re going to play music again,” with bassist/vocalist Mark Hoppus excitedly shouting “Blink-182 is back!” Over two and a half years later, “Neighborhoods,” the band’s first disc in 8 years,” has finally released. Here’s a track-by-track review of the deluxe edition.
Ghost on the Dance Floor
It goes without saying that many of the tracks sound like Angels and Airwaves, since Tom DeLonge manages guitar and vocals in both bands. Hearing his voice again is a bit reminiscent of Angels. But “GOTDF” is a strong opening track for the record, and with a theme everyone can relate to, remembering someone when you hear a song. This is a step in the right direction. 8/10
The song is about still feeling distanced from someone after extended exposure. It has one of the catchiest choruses on the album: “So let me go, go, so let me go.” The tapping guitars, which are so familiar for an Angels track, sound great over the punk rock drum beats, which brings a fresh new sound to Blink. 8/10
Up All Night
If you wanted to read this review, chances are you’ve heard this track already. It was the first single off the album, and therefore, was the first track the band released for merciless scrutiny from fans and critics alike. Mark and Tom sing back and forth in the verses, after which, the song returns to a musically-unsettling chorus riff that you still want to hear over and over. 9.5/10
This track is basically the “I Miss You” of the album. Based around Travis’ opening drum beat, its a ballad, and a cheers to the long nights. 8/10
This is a track you’d play loudly, maybe to show off the dynamics your sound system, but not much else. Tom sings “Good girls like to sin” repeatedly, without telling us how he feels about that. Biblical references aren’t as cool as you think they’d be, which might be the reason this track was taken off the standard edition of the album. 6/10
Heart’s All Gone – Interlude
A good instrumental track that was probably only named as such because the last 2 seconds lead into the main song. They’re musically and rhythmically different, and its main guitar riff is the main riff of a different track. Still good. 7.5/10
Heart’s All Gone
Easily one of the best tracks from the album. It starts off with a blazing drum beat that’s technical, precise, and FAST. We’re talking “Josie” fast, here. This is the closest to 19 year old Blink potty humor that the die hard older fans will get, and its only by way of tempo. It’s a lament and a kiss off to a failed relationship, in the same track. 10/10
The opening sounds from this track seem borrowed from Angels’ album “I, Empire.” When Tom sings “La- da- da- da- da,” you might even forget it’s Blink. But in this case, it’s okay. 7.5/10
Mark sings “I can dance to anything you want to sing.” Musically, this is one of the finer points of the album. Everyone’s on the same page, and the song flows really well. 8.5/10
This Is Home
Another great track, about the times in everyone’s lives that they never forget, and what you should do to hold onto them. A synth sings out in the pre-verse, as Tom sings about those nights. 8/10
Once the offical tracklist was released, rumors surfaced that this song was in reality, “Anthem, pt 3.” They were only half true, because the song presents both the pros and cons of the teenage years. Originally titled “Hold On,” this track features the coolest lyric on the disc: “Stop living in the shadow of a helicopter.” 8/10
Love Is Dangerous
This slower song works as a solid finish to the Standard edition of the album, but here, it doesn’t offer much. Its title speaks for itself, but its lyrics don’t really want to line up with its music, especially in the chorus. 5.5/10
Fighting The Gravity
Over a good third of this track is an instrumental opener which would be a killer song intro live. The parts of the song which aren’t introductory are pretty good, too, and feature the obligatory “Just drive” lyric. The sounds in the intro made me think of “The Fallen Interlude” 7.5/10
Even If She Falls
The last track on the album talks about what ISN’T dependent on love. Its chorus is catchy, and its a solid closer to the album. 7.5/10
Final verdict: 8/10. Blink proves they can come back after 8 years, and produce some VERY good tracks, though one would not be missing TOO much by snagging the standard edition of the album. Travis says the album is “a logical progression from their 2003 self-titled album.” It pretty much sounds like Angels and Airwaves, with Travis’ signature and technically complex drum tracks added. Musically, the album is near perfect. Lyrically, it’s reminiscent. It’s not without its flaws, but many of them are in the ear of the beholder.
Top five tracks off the record
5. This Is Home
4. After Midnight
2. Up All Night
1. Heart’s All Gone
“If you were a casino game, you’d have the best chance!”
“50/50” is dirty, heartwarming, and truly hilarious, all in one. The movie takes its viewers through the complete cycle of a cancer patient.
As my companion and I sat down in our theatre at an early 5:30 PM showing, we noticed we were the only viewers under 21. That didn’t mean that we didn’t get Doogie Howser, M.D. references, or share in the laughs as 27 year old Adam Learner (Joseph Gordon Levitt) struggles to understand and deal with his illness. I read a report by Roger Ebert, a cancer survivor, on how the movie clearly isn’t “for the dying, so much.” A few of my fellow viewers were even senior citizens, and they definitely appreciated the movie. When I saw the first trailers, I thought: “Cancer is no laughing matter,” — especially not when you’re 27 years old. But when you have 50/50 chances and Kyle (Seth Rogen) for a best friend, the laughs are sure to come. It was similar to my screening of the original Hangover: the laughs were so loud, we couldn’t hear the lines that followed.
As Adam’s terribly insensitive doctor tells him, the arrival of this type of cancer is almost spontaneous. It comes in the form of a large tumor running down the length of his spine, and obviously, gives him 50/50 chances of survival. “The more syllables your diagnosis has in its title, the worse it is,” Adam’s friend from chemo tells him. His therapist (Anna Kendrick), an eager woman of 24 working on her doctorate, wants to know him on the inside. His girlfriend seems supportive, and his mother worries as mothers do. She really has a right to more credit than she’s given, although Adam really just wants to be left alone. You can’t really blame him, either.
Almost more than anything else, the movie is real. While it’s funny where it needs to be, it’s also realistic and sad when it should be — there is no sugar coating here. Throughout the film, the actors are accurate and powerful in their shocking portrayals of these characters and how they deal with the situation presented to them. 4/5.
MPAA: R / Dir: Jonathan Levine / Running time: 90 minutes / Release: 9/30/11 / Screened: 9/30/11 Review: 10/02/11 by Chris Landis