Friday, February 26, 2010

"Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief" and Its Greek Roots

This movie, "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief," is based on the popular first book of the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series grounded on the concept that some Greek mythological characters live among us in places like New York City and Las Vegas, and would sometimes train in "Camp Half-Blood."

The main character is Percy Jackson, a demigod, son of Poseidon, born to his human mother. ("Percy" stands for Perseus.) Because Poseidon is the god of water; Percy also has power over water. (In Greek legend, Perseus is actually son of Zeus.) He's played by Logan Lerman.

In the story, gods like Poseidon aren't allowed to see their children, for fear that they might become human. The same holds true for Annabelle, feisty daughter of Athena.

Annabelle helps Percy on his quest to plead Hades for his mother for his kidnapped in mother the depths of Hell, a tunnel in the Hollywood Hills. Her archery and battle skills aid in the journey. Athena, goddess mother of Annabelle, is the goddess most famous for strategy and wisdom. She's acted by Alexandra Daddario

Another key character is Grover, a satyr sent to protect Percy. He is half-human, half-goat, played by Brandon T. Jackson.

Medusa is portrayed as a lonely menace who is slain by Perseus and later used as a weapon in the original Greek myths as well as in the movie's plot.

Furies, minotaurs, centaurs, and other elements of Greek mythology are incorporated into the story.

The movie could be a good source of Greek tales mixed in with its own story. It has gotten mixed reviews, and as always, the book that it is based has different details.

Read Rubina's story to see the movie compares to the original books.

By Brigette W.

Sources: "Percy Jackson & the Olympians : The Lightning Thief", official movie website, Greek myths

Dante's Inferno: The Game!

The poem by Dante Alighieri, called Dante's Inferno, has been made into a video game also called "Dante's Inferno."

This game is about a worrier from the 14th century, and he has to go through the nine circles of hell to save his love, Beatrice, from Satan. This game got a 9.5 review score from IGN, a game rater. As you go through the nine circles of hell, you battle monsters, beasts, and condemned souls.

Dante Alighieri lived about 700 years ago. He was a poet and Italy despised him for what he wrote about. He loved a women who he grew up with named Beatrice and she died very young, and she is the person who you are trying to save in the game.

Read With Your Kids, Especially on Lit World Day

Does your child enjoy reading? If not, there is a way people can change that "No." On March 3rd, 2010, there will be a read aloud at Books INC., in San Francisco from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Reading can help your kid fall in love with language. By this, your kids might bring you a book for you to read. Also, your child can be exposed with forms of language (like how to make good sentences and on grammar). This can help your kid in language at school.

Kids need to enjoy the way books are made. When kids enjoy books, it can help them with their actions. Did you ever think about how reading can build you and your kids relationship? Well, it can! As kids read, they can express their feelings. You can also deal with issues kids may be going through. Finally, kids can learn the power or strength of a story.

I would encourage parents to read with their children because it can bring happier lives into this world.

For more information about the book reading in San Francisco on March 3, click here.

To learn more, go to:

Girls Festival — Get Your Dolls Ready

Have you heard of the Girls Festival? If you haven't, parents and girls might want to read this.

The Girls Festival is celebrated March 3. It is also known as Hina Matsuri. This festival is a Japanese tradition. You start this festival by filling your house with dolls. You also pray for health and growth for daughters. You offer the dolls rice crackers and foods.

The tradition was started to ward off evil spirits. This festival began in the Edo period, which is from 1603-1868. The girls make their own dolls and if you don't put them away by March 4 your daughter will have problems getting married.

Did you know there is also a Boys Festival? It is celebrated May 5. It is national, while Hina Matsuri isn't. While celebrating you would fly carp streamers. Carps are fish believed to swim up river and turned into a dragon. You also eat rice cakes that are wrapped in oak leaves and are filled with bean paste also known as kashiwamochi.

The Toodala Ramblers Had a Show Again!

At the Randal Museum there was a show that was with the Toodala Ramblers. Mrs. Schmitt was the main singer, and she is the music teacher at Hillwood School.

The show was great, and the Toodala singers are Faryn, Jay, Oliver, and me, Rubina — all Hillwood students. The performance was for little kids. The band members were Gayle Schmitt on guitar. Ted Silverma on mandolin, Betsy Maudlin on the fiddle, Craig Fletcher on banjo, and Tom Drohan on stand-up bass.

To go to Gayle Schmitt's website click to Gayle's show was very nice. They had a lot of audience that was cheering. Most of the crowd were small children who came with their parents. There were two shows: one of her shows was at one o'clock the other was at three o'clock. One of the band members, the fiddle player, was not able to make it. The fiddle player who couldn't make it is named Liz. She couldn't make it to the show so she was replaced by Betsy.

Written by Rubina

"Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief" — an Introduction to Greek Mythology

Greek Mythology and High School Musical crashed (minus the singing) and created this spectacular movie. This movie can be described as an intro to Greek Mythology for kids.

Based on Rick Riordan's novel, "The Lightning Thief," this movie is about Percy Jackson, a troubled high school student, who is known to have ADHD and dyslexia. When in his Greek Class, he translates the Greek on the board but chooses to ignore it. One day, his class goes to a History Museum and he finds out his substitute teacher is a fiery, which is when he also finds out that his best friend is a satyr and his protector. His tour guide was a centaur. That's when they bring him to Camp Half Blood. This is a camp for demigods, which are half gods, half humans. Here he trains for battle and meets Annabeth Chase, the daughter of Athena, and Luke Castellan, the son of hermes. Together, they have to find the lightning bolt that was stolen and return it to Zeus.

I thought this movie was amazing for a PG rating and is good for an introduction to Greek mythology. Read Rubina's story to see how the movie compares to the books.

"Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief" Movie — a Review

The film "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief" is very good. Percy Jackson, Poseidon's son (which makes him a demigod) believes his life isn't great because of his dyslexia and ADD. Eventually, though, he finds out that he is Poseidon's son and he also learns that his best friend, Grover, is his protector. He is a satyr, who is half human and half goat. He also meets a girl at this camp for demigods named Annabeth. She is a demigod of Athena, god of wisdom and war.

Percy's mom was send to hell by a minotaur. Annabeth, Percy, and Grover set out to the underworld to save Percy's mother. They are helped by Luke, who's dad is Hermies.

This move was good because of the action, suspense, and mystery. I loved learning about all the gods and fighting scenes. I found it interesting learning the history and powers of all the god. Even thought some people gave this movie a bad movie review, it was still a great movie and you should go see it.

To see how the movie compares to the books, read Rubina's story.

"Percy Jackson and the Olympians the Lightning Thief" — the Plot

"Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief" is a movie based on a book about a boy named Percy Jackson, who lives with his mom in upstate New York.

Percy Jackson has a friend named Grover who goes with Percy to school. One day, when Percy's class went to a Greek Mythology museum; his substitute teacher MS. Dodds took him into a room and somehow got onto a high construction platform and turned into fury. Mr. Brunner came in and saved Percy and the fury flew out the window. After that Mr. Brunner gave Percy a pen, Percy and Grover went to Percy's house to tell her that they found Percy. So Percy, Grover, and Percy's mother went to a camp for demigods. When Percy went into the camp, a Minotaur came to destroy Percy, by Hades. Percy destroyed the Minotaur but the Minotaur took his mother. Mr. Brunner was a Sentar and was the councelor at the camp. The first thing Percy did at camp was play capture the flag. After that Luke gave Percy a shield and flying shoes. So they could save Percy's mom from Hades.

By Lance and Brandon

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Importance of the National Archives

The National Archives, hundreds of years old, is an important source of information for national records ranging from historical moments to family records.

America's citizens like Beverly Woods could find military records, immigration records, and family records on her great-grandfather. This helped her to discover part of her family's past.

Notable historical records stored in the National Archives include the internment of Japanese San Franciscans after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Survivors of the Japanese internment were able to sue the American government for consolation using information from these records.

The existence of the National Archives could also discourage influential people from lying or getting their information wrong.

The National Archives are open to everyone, like the one in Burlingame. Admission is free, but it would be a good idea to take the time out to plan your visit. National Archives sites also hold some public programs.

There is the Regional Archives in San Francisco where federal records on northern and central California, Nevada (except Clark County), Hawaii, American Samoa and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

The Foundation for the National Archives ally with the National Archives to create the National Archives Experience.

For more information, visit the National Archives website.

Sources: Discovery Channel, National Archives website
Photo source: National Archives

By Julien G. (notes and title)
Brigette W. (summary)

Movie Review: ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians The Lightning Thief’

On Friday, February 12, 2010, a movie called Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Lightning Thief came out. This movie was supposed to be based on the book written by Rick Riordan. Well, there are five books, and I read them, and the movie had only the plot in common with the book. It was only half of what happened in the book.

The filmmakers didn't make a lot of characters that were in the book. For some reason, they didn't even make the ending correct! And, I won't tell you what happened at the end of the book so I don't spoil the REAL ending of the book. Percy's swords name was Riptide. They never mentioned that in the movie! A lot of the people there didn't even fit the description that was in the book.

If you didn't read the book, then the movie was pretty good. It was made very well, and the plot remained and that made it very interesting to watch just in general. It wasn't an interminable movie of complete nonsense, it had the same plot, it had the same characters, except they didn't include one character. She didn't play a big role in the first book, but in the second book (The Sea of Monsters) she was one of the main characters.

Now, let's get to the descriptive part. Annabeth Chase was supposed to be blond. All three of them, Grover, Percy, and Annabeth were supposed to be twelve years old. And, in that camp, half-blood, there was supposed to be this grumpy teacher named Mr. D, short for Dionysus. He wasn't even in the movie! He was a main character in the book, though! Well, he wasn't the main character in the first book, but he was in the second and mostly in the last and third. And that girl who they didn't include, her name was Clarisse. She, as I said before, didn't play a very big role in the first book, but she played a big role in the second one. And all of the people in the movie had strange blue eyes. And Annabeth had to have gray eyes.

Thurman played Medusa! She played that role wonderfully. I think that she was the best actress in that whole movie. She is a great actress. There was this moment when they were going in the underworld, and on the way there, they got trapped by Cerberus. Annabeth began to play fetch with Cerberus and had to stay there and distract him. And they also had the chaos with the finding the "green" pearls. Those pearls were green! Well, OK, so in the movie they had to leave Grover in the underworld because they had only three pearls and there were four of them. There was this thing were to get out of Hades's realms you had to crush the pearls and think where you want to go and that was the only way to get out of Hell. So, instead of doing all of that leaving Grover in Hell part, they should have just done the part with Cerberus. There was also this part in the movie that was this great fight with Luke and Percy, which was not in the book. Well, maybe I said before that I would not spoil the end for you, well maybe I will tell you what happened at the end of the book. Well, as I said before, there was no fight with Luke and Percy, it ended all like this, Percy returned back to camp, and in the middle of the night Percy went out to the beach with Luke and only then did Luke tell Percy about stealing the lightning bolt, and he also had his pet scorpion go on Percy and bite him. Luke ran out of camp when Chiron and a bunch of other campers came to help Percy. And what I said was the END. ors

They also didn't to this scene with Procrustes. They, as in Annabeth, Grover and Percy. Well, when they were walking some where they came upon a store with water beds called "Custer's water beds." In that store he almost killed them, they never did that scene. And back to the characters, where was Ares? Well, they didn't have Clarisse and they didn't have Ares, Clarisse was the daughter of Ares. And last but not least, they had the confusion with the pearls and Luke and all of that stuff. First of all, Luke only gave Percy the flying shoes that Hermes had, second of all, he never gave them a magical map that showed where the pearls were, all three of the pearls were given to Percy when he fell off of this tower into a pond. I think they also left out the part with Echidna and her son the Neon lion disguised as a fat lady which was Echidna and a chihuahua as the Neon lion. They never did that part either.

Third of all, they never mentioned Thalia's tree that protected the camp half-blood. This is the history of the tree as it said in the book. Annabeth, Luke, Thalia, and Grover were running away from a minotaur that was chasing them. As you may know, Grover was a satyr and his job was to get half-bloods alive to camp half-blood. As he was getting Thalia, Luke and Annabeth a minotaur tried to stop them and Thalia sacrificed her self for them, then the minotaur tried to get her but since she was the daughter of Zeus, Zeus took pity on her and turned her into a tree, and they never mentioned that in the movie. Also, they never mentioned that Luke and Thalia both were trying to escape from monsters when they weren't found by Grover, and Luke and Thalia found Annabeth when she was running away from her home and she loved Thalia and Luke as her parents. Now, let's get to the small detail, when Percy found out that he was the son of Poseidon he didn't just find out he was claimed by Poseidon. When Percy was in the water he didn't get wet, he just wouldn't soak. Also Annabeth had to be blond, they all had to be twelve, and it said that they ran away from camp, that never happened, they didn't run away from camp, Chiron gave them the quest. The horn that Percy ripped out of the minotaurs head, he kept that horn for his whole quest. And Luke never died at the end.

Written by Rubina H.

How Well Do You Know The World?

Have you been to lizardpoint? Lizardpoint is a website that tests how well you know your maps.

Rubina H. helped me with a few of the tests. You can pick easy (the oceans and continents with 12 questions) or hard (Russia with 85 questions). I also tried USA with Rubina, and we got a score of 90 out of 150. When I tried World Oceans and Continents I got a perfect score of 36. On the top left corner of this blog post is a picture of the world.

How you take the quiz is: First, you pick what type of test you want. Second, you take the test by reading the question then clicking on the map where you think the place is. You then click next question last, and soon you will see your final score. Enjoy!

‘Percy Jackson and the Oympians the Lightning Thief’

Percy Jackson and the Olympians the Lightning Thief is about a kid who is named Percy Jackson. He finds out that he is half god, and he also finds out that his dad is Poseidon He is accused of stealing Zeus's lightning bolt. So he sets out on a quest with two of his friends who are also half god got with him to find the bolt before their is a war between Hades, Zeus, and Poseidon.

The upper-graders are all going to watch this film today. We will report back about what we liked and disliked about the film. Rubina has already seen the film and read all of the books. You can read her review here.

Building Your Own Kaleidoscope

A kaleidoscope is a continually changing pattern of shapes and colors. There are many sizes, colors, and shapes. There is a fun website called Build Your Own Kaleidoscope. You can build different shapes sizes and colors on this site.

I would recommend this site for grades kindergarten through fifth grade. I would recommend this site for ages five through eleven because I don't think sixth grade and up will be interested in this site. I wouldn't recommend this for ages four and under because I don't think they would get what to do, or what kaleidoscope's are.

Visit the site at Ze Frank.

King Tut

King Tut was 1341 BC at Egypt. He was best known as ancient Egyptian ruler and famous 20th century mummy. King Tut's real name is Tutankhaten. Tutankhaten means Living Image of Aten.

King Tut was the 18th dynasty king Rathotis. At the age of 19 king Tut died about 1324BC. At the age of 9, he took the thrown because of his father died.

In 1922, Howard Carter found King Tut's. When Howard Carter found king Tut's body. Carter just assumed that King Tut died for a weird reason. King Tut is important because he is the oldest genetic proof of how the boy king really died. (It was malaria, a disease that still exists today.)

If you want to see King Tut and his treasure go to the De Young Musuem in Golden Gate Park.

By Brandon

Pandora Radio, A Review and Comparison to LastFM

Pandora Radio is one of the many Internet Radio sites on the Internet. Your probably wondering, "What is Internet radio?" Well, Internet radio is exactly what it sounds like. It is an audio service transmitted via the Internet. It's also known as webcasting because it's music streaming the Internet. Internet radio sites are usually accessible throughout the world. Pandora launched a mobile version for Android phones and for the Apple IPhone and Ipod touch.

I think that Pandora is better than which is another Internet Radio site, because gives a wider variety of music which I personally don't like, even though is easier to use.

You can read my article abou here.

Why Lindsey Vonn Won Gold

Lindsey Vonn, forgetting about the pain on her her shin, aggressively took on the woman's downhill skiing. During a slalom run in Austria, she fell and bruised and swelled her ankle. She beat fellow American Julia Mancuso to be the first American woman to win gold win gold in the event. A 9,000 foot course known as fronzas run is the run that the woman's downhill competition took place it was also the same run that the men's downhill competition took place.

There is a video on The New York Times about how Lindsey Vonn won the competition on this webpage. This video isn't only a video, it is a infographic. An infographic is similar to a biography but on video. An infographic contains signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education. They help tell a story because they answer the five W's (who, what, when, where, and why).

Below is my Wordle about this story:

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Civil Rights Movement Remembered

February is black history month. In February, people remember Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Thurgood Marshall, and many others. Rosa Parks was the woman that didn't give up her seat in the bus for a white man. She was arrested and sent to jail, simply for not giving her bus seat up to a white man.

Montgomery, Alabama, is where this happened. Black people were forced to sit in the back seats of the bus, and if there were front seats available and a black man was sitting and a white man was standing, the black man had to stand up and give up his seat to the white man. If he didn't give up his seat, he would be arrested and sent to jail. That was what happened to Rosa Parks. She didn't give her seat up to a white man and was arrested for doing that.

Martin Luther King Junior heard about the incident that happened with
Rosa Parks and decided to launch a boycott on the Alabama buses. He, as you may know, spoke a famous speech called "I have a dream." He was mad that people were so racist to black people. He was shot when he was standing on his balcony, while presenting a speech. People found and caught the man who shot him but, but some people believe that some one else was behind the murder of Martin.

Last but not least, there is Thurgood Marshall. He was a civil rights lawyer. His most important case was Blacks v. Board of Eduction of Topeka. He was the first African-American Supreme Court Justice.

By: Rubina H.

Source: National Archives

Michelle Obama Starts ‘Let's Move’

First Lady Michelle Obama, has started a new program called Let's Move. She is trying to get people up and active. She said everybody needs to get off the video games, and go outside and play. Also, Michelle Obama thinks we should stop eating the chips, and go get an apple.

Michelle says school should provide healthier food selections but what kids will actually eat. Children eat about half of their daily calories at school. As families improve their healthy eating at home, Michelle works on helping the schools improve their food selection.

Children need at least 60 minuets of exercise each day. Normally, children only exercise about 30 to 45 minuets each day.

Photo and video source:

First Lady Leads Fight Against Youth's Obesity

The best shot at health care reform this year may not be coming from Obama's office but from the family dinning room. Michelle Obama set up a meeting with several secretaries and congressional committee members to strategize about a campaign against children's obesity. Obesity kills about 100,000 Americans each year.

Since Michelle started a vegetable garden at the white House she became interested in food and health. As a parent this is an issue to her and she has learned that there are many other parents around the world struggling with the same issue. Statements by first ladies can have powerful effects, for example before lady Bird Johnson's campaign against billboards and litter on the highway people used to throw trash out of their car window. In trying to stop child obesity, Michelle Obama is trying to stop the source of this national health crisis.

Health and Humans Services Secretery Kathleen Sebelius says that the first major federal investment will begin with a $1 billion fund. The first lady said the most focus will be on four things: improving health at school, increasing children's physical activities, improving access to healthy nutrition, and make it more affordable to poor children. She says the good news is that obesity is solvable.

By Lance

Who Was Rosa Parks?

Up until 1955, all places in America had separate places for blacks and whites: different drinking fountains, different restrooms, different sides of the buses, schools, and even different neighborhoods.

But on December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, a local black seamstress of Montgomery, Alabama, refused to give up her seat to a white man. She was arrested and fined that same day for breaking a "city ordinance." This incident led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., many black people in Montgomery refused to ride buses. They,instead, carpooled, walked, and took taxis. Because of the sudden decrease of bus riders, bus companies began to lose money. In order to regain financial strength, the law changed for all people to be equal and for non-segregation.

Rosa Parks' refusal of her bus seat led to the boycott which led to legalizing non-segregation. She remains important in our society not just because of her standing up to unjust laws, but also, Rosa Parks fought for civil rights and gave speeches to teach young children about the history of our country.

You can read Julien G.'s related story about Dr. Martin Luther King.

Watch this video about what happened on December 1, 1955.

White House Commemorate Concert to Civil Rights Movement

"Jazz speaks for life," said Martin Luther King Jr. at the Berin Jazz Festival. "The blues tell the story of life's difficulties — and, if you think for a moment, you realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph. This is triumphant music."

During difficult times in the Civil Rights Movement, people would often sing to give themselves a sense of hope.

As a part of Black History Month, to celebrate music's effect on the Civil Rights Movement, the White House held a concert: “In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement.”

Performers included Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Bernice Johnson Reagon with the Freedom Singers, Smokey Robinson, Jennifer Hudson, John Mellencamp, Yolanda Adams, Natalie Cole, the Blind Boys of Alabama and the Howard University Choir.

“The civil rights movement was a movement sustained by music was inspired by the movement and gave strength in return.” said President Obama, our first African-American president.

Sources:, NPR
by Brigette W.

How To Celebrate Chinese New Year in SF

In San Francisco, you can put tangerines all around the house for good luck. You shouldn't say any bad words around the time of Chinese New Year or you might get bad luck.

You might even get red envelopes around Chinese New Year. Put the envelope in your wallet for good luck throughout the year.

In Chinatown, there is a big parade with food and good luck charms. In the parade there is always a special event called the lion dance. In this event, there will be a bunch of people dressing inside a big lion costume. They do this every month because the lions scares the evil spirits. You can also eat cakes called moon cakes. If you are the year of an animals you get to be celebrated -- this year it is the year of the tiger. You also if you want to give food to the for the full moon.

Read Zach's story about what to do in San Francisco for Chinese New Year. Also, below is the parade route for the holiday parade.

By Brandon

Tempting Fate: Thrill Sport at the Olympics

Every Winter there is Olympic games. Skiers, snowboarders, figure skaters, and other sports that involving ice have been having a startling amount of injuries. Many athletes are staying back and taking care of their bodies like Kevin Pearce. He is recovering over a brain damage from trying a trick. But other people like Shaun White are still going to the Olympic games.

I think these sports are fun to play and watch. They have really helped with the sports industries. The sports are fun for all ages to watch and play. I think that even though there are a lot of injuries, the sport should still go on because every sport people get hurt and it is just natural

The New York Times has a related video that shows how interesting, thrilling and dangerous some of these winter sports can be.

Source: The New York Times

Doodle 4 Google

Last week, I did a report on Doodle 4 Google. Doodle 4 Google it is a contest kids kindergarten through 12th can enter. I would encourage you to enter because it is a good way to express your feelings and actions. Hillwood entered at the end of last year yet nobody won. Many people on to the finals. I think everybody was a winner!

You can read my article from last week here, as well as Julian G.'s story about Doodle 4 Google.

The History of Valentine's Day and More

Have you ever wondered about why we celebrate Valentine's Day? We celebrate it in honor of St. Valentine, and I'll tell you the history of Valentine's Day:

The legend has it that St. Valentine was a priest in third century Rome. Claudius II, the emperor, decided single men should fight instead of married men. He also made a law to go with that ruling in which no young men could marry. He did this so his army would be younger and stronger. Valentine found this unfair and secretly started marrying young couples. Once Claudius II found out, he put Valentine to death.

Another legend for Valentine's Day is that Valentine was an imprisoned man who fell in love with the jailer's daughter. Before he was put to death he wrote a letter to his love saying, "Your Valentine."

Cupid comes from Greek mythology. Cupid is the son of the god Venus and Venus is the god of love.

You can celebrate Valentines even without cards. Here's how to make a Valentine bingo.

  • Construction paper
  • Ruler
  • Magic markers
  • Two large bags of candy hearts
  • Small bag
Here's how make the bingo cards. For each card, cut the paper into a five-inch (12.7-centimeter) square. Use a ruler to draw five equally spaced rows and columns with the marker, creating 25 squares (see above). Each player counts out 25 candy hearts and writes the saying from each candy in a square. (It's OK if the same saying appears on several of your candy hearts.) Start playing. All players throw their 25 hearts into one bag. Pick one person to be the "caller." The caller shakes up the bag, then pulls one heart out of the bag at a time and reads the saying out loud. Using coins or extra candy hearts as markers, players mark the called sayings that appear on their cards. The first player to line up five hearts across, down, or diagonally yells "Bingo!"

Music on da Internet!

In 2002, an internet radio site was created. It was called "" It claims to have over 30 million users in more than 200 countries. It uses a system called audioscobbbler. lets you pick out artists that you like and compares similar artists and chooses a bunch of songs to create a radio playlist.

Internet radio is exactly what it sounds like. It streams music throughout the internet on websites like and others.

I think is pretty cool because it creates a good radio playlist for songs and I am going to use it in the future.

Friday, February 5, 2010

President Obama's YouTube Interview: A Focus on Education

While President Obama was delivering his State of the Union speech, the White House opened a moderator platform on YouTube so thousands of Americans could post their questions for the president in response to his yearly speech. The best questions were used to interview the president on January 30. The questions were not filtered by the White House and were not seen by the President prior to the interview with Mr. Grove at the White House.

The questions were mostly about health care, the economy, foreign relations, education, and renewable energy.

Being an eighth-grader, the part of the questionnaire that really stood out to me, was the part concerning education. The president proposes that "you will not have to pay more than 10 percent of your income on those loans; that after 20 years they'll be forgiven; and if you've gone into public service, they'll be forgiven after 10 years." The Pell Grant program will also be expanded.

President Obama also declared that by 2020, we will make it a goal for America to once again have the highest college graduation rate.

He explains that it is crucial to the economy to have an educated public of critical thinkers, good workers, and good citizens.

To promote higher graduation rates, the Obama Administration has initiated the Race to the Top Contest.

For more about the president's State of the Union speech, read this article. To learn more about the White House YouTube page and to read its blog, click here (you can read many of the questions submitted to the President).

Sources: White House Official Website
by: Brigette W.

Get Ready to Doodle 4 Google

Google is making a contest, called Doodle 4 Google, for people who are in grades K-12. If you are in those grades, you could customize the Google logo. If you win you get $15,000 for collage, a trip to the Google New York Office, a laptop computer, a T-shirt with their design on it, and a $25,000 donation to your school's computer lab from Google. And the top 40 designs would be on display at the Smithsonian National Museum.

Last year, Hillwood Academic Day School entered in this contest, but we did not win. This year we are thinking of entering again, to see how far we can get. This year, the subject for Doodle 4 Google is, what I want for the world.

Registration for the contest closes at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on March 17, 2010, and entries are due by March 31, 2010 no later than 11:59 P.M. Pacific Time. The winning picture will be featured on our homepage on May 27, 2010. For more information, read this page on Google. To look at some of last year's finalist, read and watch Camyrn's Herald post.

Doodle 4 Google

Doodle 4 Google is a contest that students in the U.S.A. can enter. The grades kindergarten through 12th grade can enter. All of Hillwood entered the contest at the end of the school year last year, but none of them won.

I have selected some of the finalist's drawings for you to view. The people who drew took their time and did as hard as they could. I think everybody did grea,t but there was a few that stood out from all of them.

I would encourage every kid [K-12] to enter, because it is a good way to fell good about your work and your self.

If you would like to know more about the contest and how to enter, read Julian F.'s article.

Lego Art made by Ordinary People!

Many people make art out of lego. Many photos are uploaded on Flickr so people can see the lego art that people make. This photo is a very famous piece of art work. If you look closely, you will see that it is an image of the famous piece of artwork Mona Lisa. But this Mona Lisa is made out of lego!

Now this is a group of pieces of artwork. The fifth one is Mona Lisa. They are all very famous pieces artwork. All of these pieces of artwork are made out of lego. Some of this artwork is on flickr, a site where you could upload your images. Many people upload photos of their lego artwork. A lot of people do lego art.

This is a photo that came from flickr. Flickr is a site where
you could upload your photos. Some people upload their art made out of lego. People upload their artwork to share it with the public. Most professionals, like Nathan Sawaya, are already known to the public so they don't need to upload images on flickr.

This photo was also on flickr. If you are interested in more of this lego art go to Flicker has many photos of lego art.

Nathan had a video of how he was making a cello out of lego. Why are so many people interested in lego art.
Nathan Sawaya was born July 10, 1973. Nathan is a artist who builds sculptures out of lego. Nathan was born in Colville, Washington, and he was raised in Veneta, Oregon. In my other post, I wrote this information but it wouldn't hurt to write it again. Nathan has created some of the best pieces of lego artwork since 2,000. He made a life-size tyrannosaurus rex! He made models of many characters from animations and cartoons including Curious George. Nathan is a very talented lego artist who made a very big amount of artworks. Nathan also made a very huge self portrait.

If you'd like to know more about Nathan's artwork, read one of my previous articles for The Hillwood Herald.

Written by Rubina H.

The Future of the Tiger — And What You Can Do

This year it is the year of the tiger, but it's not a good year for tigers. Tigers are losing their population really fast. They are losing their population from hunting and people using their fur for clothing and for special medicines. In South East Asia tigers dropped more than 70% in there population. There was at least 1,200 tigers in 1998. Now there are only about 350 there now in the last 10 years.

If this keeps going on the population of the tigers will plummet. But the organization WWF is helping save their population by making people hunt less for clothing and medicine. Instead they are using a substitute for the clothing and medicine like cotton for clothing and plants for medicine.

Hillwood students can help the tigers by helping the environment and when you are buying clothing see if it is impacting the tigers or other animal.

Below is an Animoto video that I made to help illustrate my story. You can also read more at National Geographic.

Pierre's Wetsuit Works

Pierre is a 25 year old penguin and the oldest penguin at the California Academy of Sciences. Since Pierre is the oldest penguin he is losing feathers and the feathers are needed to keep Pierre warm. So the people of Academy of Sciences ordered a hand made suit called a Wetsuit. Pierre got his Wetsuit in 6 weeks. When Pierre wore the suit he has gained some of his old feathers and gained a little bit of weight. (Click to watch the video of Pierre in the wet suit.)

The Academy of Sciences has Pierre both the penguin and the penguin cams, which show the penguins doing what they are doing. There is also a daily blog that tells you the penguins are up to at the Academy of Sciences. They are often climbing on the rocks and getting fed. The underwater cam shows them swimmng. You can look at the web cams and read the blog at the Academy's website.

The Ginger-Haired Dinosaur

Scientists from China and the UK have discovered that a dinosaur from 125 million years ago actually had ginger colored feathers.

The name of this dinosaur is the
Sinosauropteryx. They used a technique to find out what the colors were like. This showed the presence of microscopic colour-bearing cell structures known as melanosomes in the 125-million-year-old fossil's feathers.

Professor Mike Benton explains how he did it and you can listen to that if you click here.

Dog Rescued by Fisherman in Freezing Cold Sea

Baltic, a dog who floated 75 miles in the ice flow down Poland's Vistula River, has a new owner — the seaman who rescued him.

Adam Buczynski was named his owner because of the six owners who claimed him were rejected by the dog. The ship that Adam was on during the rescue is called Baltica when he rescued Baltic.

Read this news article from the Associated Press for more info about Baltic and his rescue.