Month: December 2014

Centennial Students Continue to Excell in Math

Words: Giana Han

Centennial students competed  in the University of Maryland Math Competition along with over 2,000 other students.

The school was represented well when Centennial students clinched both first and second place, with Erik Metz in first and Jason Zou following behind in second.  They will both receive a full scholarship as well as all expenses paid to the University of Maryland. In addition to the scholarship, Metz will receive $500.00 and Zou will receive $400.00.

Another notable name is Siang Tseng who earned an Honorable Mention.

Information provided by Claire Hafets.

The Great Indie Christmas Playlist

 

Words: Amanda Krew

If Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra just aren’t your cup of eggnog.

Dr.Dog- Oh My Christmas Tree

This EP, released just last year, is packed with Dr.Dog’s signature harmonies and low tech mastering. This album features jokey lyrics found in Christmas Party, quickly contrasted by the classic Christmas sentiment in Rejoice. If you need to escape the usual Deck the Halls and Jingle Bells, these new Christmas tunes should be topping your list.

The Last Bison- Sleigh Ride

This EP is an acoustic/folk spin on holiday classics like Sleigh Ride, Deck the Halls and Oh Holy Night. If you are perfectly content with Trans- Siberian Orchestra’s Carol of the Bells, stay away, but if you like witty banjo plucking over lulling cello bowing, gather ‘round.

Sufjan Stevens- Songs for Christmas

Sufjan (Suhf-yan) Stevens is notorious for releasing awesome Christmas albums, why not bundle them up into a 42 song super album? These lyrically heavy tunes are full of quirky instrumentals found in Come on! Let’s Boogey to the Elf Dance! and Get Behind Me, Santa!. Stevens also has innovative covers of the classics that don’t stray too far from the original if you need your fill of Little Drummer Boy and We Three Kings this season.

She & Him- A Very She & Him Christmas

You may know the lead singer of She & Him from New Girl or 500 Days of Summer, but you may not have known that her band released a Christmas album in 2011. Zooey Deschanel’s unmistakable rockabilly swing makes this holiday album an instant classic, covering songs like Sleigh Ride and a beautifully minimalistic I’ll Be Home for Christmas.  Just be careful playing this album at your family holiday party, they may just mistake Deschanel for Loretta Lynn!

Los Campesinos!- When Christmas Comes

If you want more rock ‘n roll than “rockin’ around the Christmas tree,” Los Campesinos!’s When Christmas Comes is the album for you. Los Campesinos! mixes electric guitar with the twinkling of jingle bells in their original song, Kindle a Flame In Her Heart.  In this EP of original songs, Los Campesinos! does manage to fit in an acoustic version of The Holly and the Ivy, a far throw from what you will find on the radio this season.

 

Boys’ Basketball Wins Close Game Against Howard

Words: Giana Han

Photos: Sabrina Han

Centennial boys’ varsity basketball beat Howard in its first close match of the season.

The game started out slow, and by the end of the first quarter, the score was only 11-10 with Howard in the lead.

However, by the second quarter the Eagle’s were able to pull ahead.  Coach Chad Hollwedel substituted several players off the bench in as he looked for the right dynamic.  Some of the senior starters stepped up as well.

Senior Chad Strothers had several key three pointers, and senior Kevin Wilson helped minimize the number of second chance points from Howard with big defensive rebounds.  By the end of the half, the Eagles were up by one basket, 25-23.

Both teams came out of half time with a lot of energy, each team battling to gain its next points.  The game got physical fast.  By the beginning of the fourth quarter, the teams were shooting one and one (seven team fouls).

All through the second half, the Eagles and the Lions were neck and neck.  With 2:54 left in the game and Howard up 42-41, a double technical was called, and one of Howard’s starters was sent out of the game for committing his fifth foul.

The Eagles caught up with a made foul shot, and then senior Isaiah White made two more to gain the lead of 44-42 with 35.6 seconds left. The Lions quickly scored two of their own to send the game into overtime.

Seniors I. White, Strothers, and Wilson, along with junior Tom Brown and sophomore Elijah White played out the extra four minutes.

For 1:54, neither team was able to score until I. White was able to break the tie with a lay-up.  Within a few seconds, E. White stole the ball back and passed it to Strothers for another lay-up, putting the Eagles up 48-44.

Howard returned with a jumper, and Centennial called a time out.  12 seconds within returning from the time out, I. White scored again, but a foul gave the Lions a chance to bring the game within two again.

Again, Centennial scored with a lay-up from E. White and Howard answered.  However, after I. White scored the next points, a block from E. White prevented the Lions from closing the gap.  The Lions had to resort to fouling to stop the clock.

Unfortunately for Howard, I. White and Strothers both made all their final foul shots, and Howard’s final three pointer from Patrick O’Malley was not enough to tie the game.  The Eagles were able to finish the game out with a final score of 57-53.

“It was a confidence booster,” said I. White.  “It was proof that we can close a game out.  If we continue to play together, we’ll be fine.”

Centennial emerged victorious with impressive performances by many of its players.  Brown contributed seven points and seven rebounds while Strothers put up 15 points and 5 rebounds.

In addition to scoring an impressive 27 points, blocking 4 shots, rebounding 7 balls, and getting one steal, I. White was also awarded the Player of the Week award from former Washington Bullet, Phil Chenier.  Chenier attended the game to make a public announcement and gave I. White two tickets to the Washington Wizards’ game on Sunday.

“It was a little bit of pressure.  People who had never seen me play before wanted to see why I got it,” said I. White.  However, by topping the stats charts for points, rebounds, and blocks, I. White was able to show those spectators why.

50 Facts for 50 Years of Rudolph

 

Words: Nathan Stitely, guest writer

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of everyone’s favorite holiday special about the importance of accepting misfits for whom they really are and fixing dolls teeth, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. And to help celebrate this amazing milestone, I present 50 little-known facts about the animated classic! Enjoy!

1.  The first, original broadcast was on December 6th, 1964 at 5:30 PM on CBS.

2. If you look closely, Sam the Snowman’s pocket watch never changes time throughout the show. It always reads 2:00.

3.  Yukon Cornelius discovers a peppermint mine on his third prospecting attempt. No. Really. That actually happened. Look it up.

4.  All of the elves in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer have 4 fingers. It seems 4 was the magic number.

5.  Yukon Cornelius’ dog sled is pulled by 5 dogs: A Collie, a Dachshund, a Cocker Spaniel, a Saint Bernard, and a Toy Poodle.

6.  In 2008, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was restored for Blu-Ray. Enhancements were made to both the audio and picture, including the removal of scratches and artifacting.

7.  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer featured 7 original songs that written for the special. They are, in order: “Jingle-Jingle-Jingle,” “We are Santa’s Elves,” “There’s Always Tomorrow,” “We’re a Couple of Misfits,” “Silver and Gold,” “The Most Wonderful Day of the Year,” and “Holly, Jolly Christmas.”

8.  The Santa model stood 8 inches tall.

9.  Santa’s sleigh is pulled by 7 reindeer at the end of the special. But really, there are actually 9 reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and, of course, You-Know-Who.

10.  In 2006, the original Rudolph and Santa models were auctioned in an episode Antiques Roadshow. Pre-renovation, they were valued at $8,000-$10,000!

11.  There are 11 voice actors credited for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. They are: Burl Ives, Larry Mann, Billie Mae Richards, Paul Soles, Stan Francis, Alfie Scoop, Janis Orenstein, Paul Klingman, Carl Banas, Corine Conley, and Peg Dixon.

12.  Rudolph’s famous red nose was made with a 12v light bulb painted red.

13.  In 1998, a deleted scene was uncovered featuring an instrumental break in “We are Santa’s Elves.” It has been included in the special ever since then.

14.  Though he appears quite big on screen, the Bumble Snow Monster model stood 14 inches tall.

15.  Janis Orenstein was only 15 years old when she voiced Clarice.

16.  “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” has been sung by Bing Crosby, the Jackson 5, The Wiggles, The Simpsons, and many others.

18.  In the 1965 broadcast, the song “We’re a Couple of Misfits” was replaced with this song, “Fame and Fortune”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7pwTZgeJk0&index=95&list=LL12e44yTOCRNl6l-wLsY1xQ

19.  Production for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer took place in the United States, Canada, and Japan.

20.   There are 20 bells that make up Donner’s sash.

21. Rudolph did not revisit the Island of Misfit Toys in the original broadcast. The scene was added a year later after a letter writing campaign.

22.  22 Sets were built for the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer production.

23. Sam the Snowman was voiced the legendary Burl Ives. By 1964, Burl had 23 film and television credits to his name.

24. It took 24 frames to create one second of filmed animation for the show.

25.  Hermey is the only elf without pointed ears.

26.  All of the characters in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer were built with joints so that any part of their body could be moved, including the eyes, mouth, and ears.

27.  The song “Silver and Gold” was originally going to be sung by Yukon Cornelius (Larry Mann). Sam the Snowman ended up singing it when Burl Ives was brought on board.

28.  The first draft of the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer script was finalized on October 28th, 1963.

29.  The same actor provided the voices for Donner and Coach Comet.

30.  There are 30 teeth that make up the Bumble Snow Monster’s mouth. Before Hermey yanked all of them out of course!

31.  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer had been recorded in English, Spanish, French, Japanese, and Dutch.

32.  In one of the original drafts of the story, a stork delivered Rudolph to his parents.

33.  The writer for the special, Romeo Muller, also wrote many other Rankin/Bass holiday classics including “The Little Drummer Boy,” “Frosty the Snowman,” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

34.  Rudolph’s nose glows in 33 shots in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

35.  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was originally shown as a part of the General Electric Family Hour. At that time, Rudolph characters were also featured in GE commercials.

36.  Producers Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass worked together for 35 years and were responsible for many hit specials including “Mad Monster Party,” “The Little Drummer Boy,” “Frosty the Snowman,” and “The Year Without a Santa Claus.”

37.  An instrumental version of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” can be heard during the Reindeer Games scene.

38.  The opening sequence features newspaper headlines from New York Herald Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Daily Mail, Daily News, and San Francisco Chronicle.

39.  The voice for Boss Elf, the elf dressed in green, changes dramatically from his normal, gruff voice to a whiny, SpongeBob-like voice during the Elf Practice scene. It is believed that a line was added late in production and was voiced by a different actor.

40.  Jon Favreau, director of the movie Elf, took different inspirations from Rudolph. Most notably, with Buddy’s costume design.

41.  Gene Autry was only 41 years old when his single for “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” first hit the charts.

42.  Rudolph was actually voiced a woman named Billie Mae Richards. Although her name was misspelled as “Billy” in the end credits.

43.  There are 43 animals featured in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: 1 fish, 2 rabbits, 2 raccoons, 2 owls, 2 squirrels, 2 bird, 3 baby birds, 3 polar bears, 3 seals, 5 dogs, and 18 reindeer.

44.  The yearly broadcast for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer runs 44 minutes long.

45.  Sam the Snowman was originally envisioned as roly-poly, Guys and Dolls-type character. Sam became a more “folksy” narrator when Burl Ives was brought on board.

46.  During the end credits, the Train with Square Wheels on his Caboose gets dropped out of Santa’s sleigh without his famous caboose. Also, the Bird who Doesn’t Fly but Swims actually learns to fly without an umbrella parachute when dropped out of said sleigh in said credits.

47.  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer holds the record as the longest running Christmas television special.

48.  During “The Fairly OddParents” special, “Channel Chasers,” one of the TV shows the characters get sucked into is the world of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, with the reindeer pooping on Cosmo and Wanda! No. Really. That actually happened, too. Look it up.

49.  Rudolph’s name is mentioned 48 times in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

50.  Inspiration for the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer special was from a story by Robert L. May and the song by Johnny Marks.

51-? Every one of the beautifully decorated Christmas trees seen in the opening credits is now available as flooring at Home Depot. (Okay, okay! So I made that fact up!)

My sources:
-Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 50th Anniversary DVD
-The Fairly OddParents: Channel Chasers DVD
-YouTube

Winter Spectacular Wows Audiences Once Again

 Photos: Martha Hutzell and Shalini Malhotra

Words: Meghan Moore

On Dec. 4 and 5, Centennial hosted its annual Winter Spectacular in the auditorium from 7:00 to 9:00.

The Winter Spectacular is a showcase of the fine arts department. The two hour long show is full of amazing performances by Centennial’s most talented. The Winter Spectacular featured Madrigals, Color Guard, Musical Theatre, Drill Team, Junior and Senior Dance Company, orchestra, and Jazz Band.
The show was full of amazing choreographed dances, beautiful musical solos, and overall enthusiasm by everyone who was involved. The Dance team choreographed a number to “Let It Go” as well as other winter classics, and the Madrigals performed classic holiday songs such as “Ding a Ding a Ding,” “Bagels and Biscuits,” “Deck the Halls in 7⁄8,” and “Jingle Bells.”

The show had a few bumps in the road, but all performances do. Overall, it was an amazing show and the passion of the performers really came through. If you didn’t get the chance to go this year, make sure to check it out next year! It gets better each year!

 

Jingle Bell Banquet Welcomed the Holiday Spirit

Words: Amanda Ali

Over many years at Centennial High School, the SGA has hosted an event called the Jingle Bell Banquet. This year, the annual service event was held on Dec. 4 in the school’s cafeteria.

The SGA invited senior citizens living in senior homes in the community to have a holiday meal and of course, dessert. They then treated these seniors with the first showing of the Winter Spectacular, as well as a decorated scarf for each of them. Not only does the SGA have to check scheduling conflicts and budget their money, but they also have to work with local bus companies in order to provide the seniors with transportation.

The Fine Arts Department is greatly involved in the banquet when it comes to giving the seniors discounts on admission to the Winter Spectacular, and the SGA invites Centennial performance groups to put on a show during the feast. This year, Centennial’s Drill Team was asked to put on a holiday number, and danced to “Jingle Bell Rock” for the seniors.

The SGA dedicates much of their time into running this event, but they enjoy every moment of it. Senior SGA Vice President Julia Zhen stated, “This was my fourth consecutive year volunteering for [this event]. It’s definitely up there as one of SGA’s favorite events we do all year because we get to directly help out our community during the holiday season.”

“Lots of our guests this year remember the Jingle Bell Banquet from year’s past, and they love the Winter Spectacular!” said Zhen. “It really just helps to cultivate a great reputation for Centennial.”

Zhen and the rest of the SGA achieved their goal in making this banquet a success yet again, and Centennial cannot wait to see what other events they plan throughout the year!

10 Things to Do to Make the Holiday Season Brighter

Words: Ashley Berry

Miracle on 34th Street (Baltimore)

Drive down to the 700 block of 34th street in Baltimore to witness some of the most amazing Holiday Decorations you have ever seen. Dating back 67 years, the residents on this block of 34th street put up hundreds of lights and decorations for the public to enjoy! This annual “Miracle on 34th street” display draws thousand of visitors each year. Jump in your car and see this special display of Holiday Spirit!

Symphony of lights

Celebrate the season with the Symphony of Lights. This astounding drive-through display with more than 70 larger-than-life animated light creations is held on the grounds of Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia. The cost is $20 for a single car or van and all proceeds from the display go to the Campus Development Plan for Howard County General Hospital.

Shopping in Old Ellicott City

Stressing about finding the perfect gift and getting your Holiday shopping done? Tired of paying for parking? Howard County has waived parking fees in all the historical district lots through the holidays. Now there is one less hassle for you to worry about. Until January 1, all parking is free!

Breath-Taking Train Display

Have you ever seen a 24 x 10 foot train display with eight moving trains and tons of detailed decoration? If you haven’t, or even if you have, stop by the Ellicott City Fire Department’s annual holiday train garden located at Fire Company #2 on Montgomery Road. Admission is free, but don’t forget to bring an unwrapped toy to donate for children in need. Every year a breath-taking train display is set up for people and their families to enjoy.

National Christmas Tree in Baltimore

Many people set up and decorate Christmas trees in the comfort of their home but those trees cannot compare to the stunning National Christmas Tree, which stands 60 feet tall. Embark on a journey to Washington, DC and be amazed by this holiday tradition dating back to 1923.

Christmas Village in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

Up until Christmas Eve, the holiday spirit will be alive along the waterfront of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The Christmas Village, a traditional German Holiday Market, is once again open for business. European food, drinks, ornaments, jewelry, arts & crafts, and holiday gifts will be sold by vendors in over 60 different booths.

Polar Express 4D Experience at the Baltimore National Aquarium

Have you ever watched the Polar Express and wished you were on the train as well? Now you can be! The National Aquarium in Baltimore invites you to be a part of the journey. The Polar Express 4D Experience is a 20-minute show, which takes you on an extraordinary adventure this holiday season. It combines the drama of a 3D film with special sensory effects, so climb aboard the Polar Express anytime from now through January 1. Tickets are $5 with general admission.

Washington Harbour Ice Rink

Yes, the skating rink in New York City’s Rockefeller Center is amazing but what about the rink at Washington Harbour in DC? At 11,800 square feet, the new Washington Harbour Ice Rink is the largest outdoor skating rink in the country. It is the perfect place to take family or friends and show off your amazing skating skills.

Downtown holiday market in DC

The gorgeous Downtown Holiday Market in Washington, DC is now open. This market has more than 150 regional artisans, crafters, and boutique businesses of ethnically produced goods. Hundreds of different holiday gifts will be offered by 60 exhibitors each day. Running every day from noon to 8:00p.m., the market is just waiting for  more and more customers.

Winter Spirit Week Next Week

Words: Giana Han

During Eagle Time in Dec. 11, the administration voted on what spirit days to celebrate next week.

The week will be the last full one of the year, and students will now be able to celebrate with a week full of spirit.

Monday will be Pajama day, a day where students can be cozy in their most comfortable clothes.

The next day, Tuesday, will be Winter Sports day. In addition to the school’s winter sports of basketball, wrestling, and bowling, students may wear any of the gear of the winter sports celebrated during the winter olympics.

Wednesday is Holiday Dress Up day, and students can wear their holiday outfits to school.

On Thursday, the school will have Season Switch day. The winter day will be transformed to a summery one as a respite from the cold.

Finally, on Friday, Centennial will have Ugly Sweater day! A classic holiday tradition, Ugly Sweater day allows people to wear their ugliest sweater without shame.