April 23 - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that the world economy will recover from the recession in 2010 after continued shrinking in 2009. Originally, the IMF had predicted that the world economy will grow in 2010 by almost 3.3 percent but it has since downgraded that prediction to 1.3 percent. Although the Chinese and Indian economies are predicted to grow 6.5 percent and 4.5 percent respectively, the economies of Western Europe and North America are expected to contract 3.8 percent to offset the gains in Asia. The report also predicts that unemployment levels will rise around the world before receding in 2010.
In the wee hours of Dec. 16, 1773, American colonists disguised as American Indians snuck aboard a British ship and threw overboard crates of tea to protest the new tea taxes.
Detroit, Mich. March 29 - General Motors (GM) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Richard Wagoner resigned under pressure from the Obama Administration. After panning GM for failing to turn itself around earlier this month, the administration asked Wagoner to step aside during a meeting on March 29. Former GM President and Chief Operating Officer Fritz Henderson will take over as Chairman and CEO of the struggling automaker. The administration has given GM 60 days to create a plan to prove that the business can be revived. If GM fails to come up with a viable plan, the government will stop giving federal money and allow the company to file for bankruptcy.
March 17 - Former left-wing president Mohammed Khatami dropped out of the Iranian presidential race and endorsed fellow reformist candidate and former prime minister Mir-Hossein Moussavi in an attempt to unite the left-wing faction in Iran. Khatami served as president of Iran from 1997-2005 before transferring power to current president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a staunch conservative. Ahmadinejad is widely regarded as the front-runner in the election, backed with support from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The election will be held on June 12, 2009.
President Barack Obama announced the nomination of Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D-Kan.) as Secretary of Health and Human Services and Nancy-Ann DeParle as head of the White House Office for Health Reform. Obama had earlier nominated former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) for both positions but Daschle withdrew over concerns regarding his failure to fully pay his taxes. If confirmed, Sebelius and DeParle will oversee a gigantic overhaul of the United States health care system and make many changes to government programs and agencies such as Medicare and the Food and Drug Administration. Obama has estimated that the cost of overhauling the system will exceed $1 billion.
Ah, springtime. The weather is warming up and the flowers are beginning to bloom - as is luuurve, hopefully. Sophomores Kirstyn Ross-Roach and Amir Gorjifard kick off this season of Blair's own dating game - will they bond over burritos or will your Blair Pair matchmakers need to find a new gig?
The Board of Education (BOE) unanimously amended the Fiscal Year 2010 (FY2010) budget on Feb. 23 to reflect the addition $21.4 million that Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) will receive from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
Italy Feb. 17 - An Italian court sentenced British lawyer David Mills to four-and-a-half years in prison for accepting a bribe from Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi during Berlusconi's corruption trials in 1997 and 1998. Mills, one of Berlusconi's consultants on tax havens, allegedly accepted £400,000 from Berlusconi to lie on the witness stand.
Feb. 3 - Former Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle (D-S.D.) withdrew his nomination as Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Obama cabinet after it was revealed that he failed to pay more than $100,000 in taxes from 2005 - 2007. He had paid back the amount he owed and an additional $11,964 in interest last month during the vetting process. In addition, questions regarding a potential conflict of interest were cited by political analysts as reasons that he withdrew his nomination. Since he left the Senate, Daschle had earned income from advising heath insurers and hospitals and speaking for health care interests.
County Councilmember Donald (Don) Praisner died on Jan. 30 after undergoing surgery to combat colon cancer at age 76. He joined the County Council on May 13, 2008 after winning a special election to fill his late wife Marilyn Praisner's seat representing District 4.
Jan. 28 - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that the world economy will only grow by 0.5 percent this year - the lowest percentage in 60 years - in the midst of the financial crisis. The IMF forecasted that Japan and the United Kingdom will experience the worst declines with both economies shrinking 2.6 percent.
The Blair Science Bowl team consisting of seniors Benjamin Shih and Charles Kong, juniors Anand Oza, Benjamin Shaya and captain Jacob Hurwitz won the Maryland State Science Bowl on Jan. 17 at the Rockville Campus of Montgomery College. They earned an all-expenses paid trip to compete in the National Science Bowl held in Chevy Chase from April 30 to May 5.
Jan. 7 - The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced in a report that the government will face a $1.2 trillion deficit for the fiscal year ending in September. In the same report, the CBO also announced that government spending this year will exceed government revenue by eight percent - the highest deficit since World War II. Experts predict the deficit will shrink as the economy improves, but also said that the decrease in the spending and revenue gap will be offset soon after by the sky-rocketing costs of providing Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to baby boomers when they retire. President-elect Barack Obama addressed the report in a conference soon after it was released and said that he would offer a specific plan to deal with the deficit when he submits his first budget proposal to Congress next month.
In the heart of suburbia, there are only a few restaurants that have great food, a fantastic atmosphere and impeccable service. For every good restaurant, there are five unimpressive chains like Buca di Beppo or Baja Fresh. In Kentlands Shopping Center, one of the few outstanding restaurants is Tandoori Nights. Nestled between a Bally's Total Fitness and a yet-to-be-opened barbeque joint, Tandoori Nights manages to serve delicious food while offering a warm atmosphere and attentive, polite waiters.
India Dec. 23 - Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh rejected the possibility of going to war with Pakistan over the attacks on the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai last month. Instead, Singh stressed the importance of putting international pressure on Islamabad to cooperate in the fight against terrorism. On Dec. 22, India released a letter to Pakistan composed by the only surviving perpetrator of the attacks in Indian custody, Ajmal Kasav, stating that he and the other planners of the attack were Pakistani. Pakistan's Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik denied Kasav's claims and said there were no documents that established the attackers' Pakistani nationality.
Dec. 6 - Riots broke out in the streets of Athens and other Greek cities after policeman shot and killed 15-year-old Alexandros Grigopoulos during a confrontation between policemen and a group of teenagers in a neighborhood known as a leftist hangout. Hours later, youth in other regions of Greece protested the shootings at demonstrations, which led to rioting in many places. Many political analysts have hypothesized that rising unemployment, anger at the Greek government and overall frustration were catalysts for the riots. The policeman who shot Grigopoulos has been charged with premeditated manslaughter.
Nov. 23 - The United States Government agreed to provide $25 billion of cash and $20 billion worth of capital to Citigroup, a banking and financial conglomerate, in its largest financial bailout to a single entity ever. The government also promised to protect Citigroup against up to $306 billion worth of loses. In return, Citigroup agreed to give $27 billion of preferred stocks to the government and allow more government oversight. Two days before the bailout was announced, Citigroup's stock plunged to $3.77 from above $50 last summer.
Musicians who write their own lyrics are incredibly rare in today's music industry, where hits are usually written by professional songwriters and altered to perfection by producers. But country music phenomena Taylor Swift, who famously walked away from a record contract at age 13 because the label did not allow her to pen her own songs, is one of the few artists who can truly write and sing from the heart. Swift's sophomore album, "Fearless," contains a huge range of songs about young love, from the cheery and sappy "Love Story" to the angry "Always and Forever" to the sad "You're Not Sorry."
Nov. 7 - A school collapse in Haiti killed at least 94 students and adults and injured at least 150 more. About 500 students were in the La Promesse School for a party when the three-story concrete block building fell. After charges of involuntary manslaughter were pressed against him, Fortin Augustin, the school's owner and builder and a Protestant preacher, turned himself into authorities on Nov. 8. If charged, Augustin could face life in prison.
Over 20 percent of Blair seniors did not meet the requirements for the High School Assessment (HSA) tests as of May 2008, according to reports released by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). The class of 2009 is the first class that must take and pass all four HSA tests to graduate.
Nov. 4 - Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) was elected the 44th President of the United States. Obama won 53 percent of the popular vote and 364 electoral votes to become the first African-American president. His opponent, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), won 46 percent of the popular vote and 163 electoral votes. Results in Missouri still have not been finalized. Senator Joe Biden (D-Del.) will become the 47th Vice President of the United States. In Congressional Elections, Democrats retained control of the House of Representatives and the Senate with a majority of 56 seats in the Senate and 254 seats in the House, including Independents who caucus with the Democrats. Three Senate seats are still undecided as results are too close to call and results may be recounted. Democrats are hoping to win all three seats so they can have a filibuster-proof Senate, as 60 votes are needed to end a filibuster.
Election Day is upon us. In 48 hours, Americans will go to the voting booths and decide who will lead this country for the next four years - one who will inherit a worsening economy, an increasingly polarized nation and many other not-so-great things. Some final thoughts as we all hold our breath...
Oct. 13: After days of losses, the Dow Jones Industrial average gained 936 points (11.1 percent), the largest one-day gain in history. After more fluctuations, the Dow Jones lost 733 points (7.87 percent) - the second largest one-day loss ever - on Oct. 15.
With the election almost just two weeks away, both sides (especially the trailing McCain/Palin ticket) are kicking it up a notch. And with that, we, the SCO News Editors, have decided to dedicate this blog to Obama and McCain's campaign strategies.
With Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) gaining crucial momentum heading into the month before Election Day, Senator John McCain (R-Ari.) needed a strong showing in this week's debate. After last Thursday's showdown between their running mates drew a record-breaking audience, sparks were expected to fly at the town hall debate. With the stock market sinking faster than it did in the Great Depression, the candidates, particularly McCain, needed to make a statement. Unfortunately, the only word to describe this debate was "lackluster."
Silver Chips Online has decided to implement blogging, a new feature that is intended to improve participation and interest in our publication. Every other week, two opinions on one topic will be written. Everyone is entitled to make their own opinions, so Silver Chips Online will recognize and appreciate of all of them; we expect you all as readers to do the same. The exchange of opinions creates a forum for discussion for students, fancy saying for "WE WANT YOUR OPINION." Do comment - fight, argue, agree and support. We want your ideas, but at the same time, we do not want any slander or personal attacks. Please remember that the clearest, most cohesive and decisive arguments will help us understand not only others, but ourselves.
Blair has received 82 Promethean Activboards and will receive four more in an initiative to install these boards in two-thirds of all Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) middle and high schools. The initiative is designed to engage more students in school by enhancing the learning process, according to Michael Cady, Director of the Department of Financial Operations for MCPS.
Sept. 7: In an attempt to stabilize the volatile financial and housing markets, the federal government seized control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two largest financial mortgaging companies in the United States. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson announced the move to restore confidence in the two mortgage giants who together control a majority of the housing loans in the country. The International Monetary Fund estimated that losses from the current financial crisis, partly caused by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, could be over $1 trillion.
Representative Al Wynn's 15-year career in the House of Representatives has been marked by a series of ups and downs. After winning the Democratic primary by a little more than three percentage points over challenger Donna Edwards two years ago, Wynn lost to her by more than 20 percent in this year's Feb. 12 Democratic primary. Instead of gracefully serving out the remainder of his term, Wynn sent shockwaves throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. by announcing in March that he would resign, effective last weekend.
The word Mediterranean conjures up images of sunny days, a light sea breeze and complete relaxation. Named after the "Levantine" region that comprises modern day Turkey, Greece, Lebanon and Israel, Levante's restaurant describes itself as a fusion of various Mediterranean cuisines on its website. But with its menu of fried appetizers and boring entrees often loaded with burdensome sauces and chunks of meat, Levante's is anything but light and airy.
When "Sex and the City" finished its six-year run on HBO in 2004, all four major characters finally had their happy endings. Set four years after the series finale, the much-anticipated movie adaptation of "Sex and the City" follows the lives of the four women and explores their seemingly perfect endings. Packed with the same wit and the huge repertoire of designer labels, the movie continues the drama from which the series left off with more emotion and an even more outrageous and exciting wardrobe.
May 25 – The Mars Craft Phoenix successfully landed on Mars, and is ready to begin looking for signs of life on the planet. Using a parachute and thrusters in place of the typical protective air bags, Phoenix was the first such successful landing using this technology since the Viking Missions in 1976. Designed to stay in place, Phoenix will use a robotic arm to dig into the soil and ice and search for organic material and other signs that life exists, existed or could exist on Mars. Because Phoenix landed further north than any previous missions, scientists think the lender's accessibility to frozen water on or near Mars's surface will tell if the minerals and organic compound needed for life are or were present on Mars.
School is almost over, but many Blazers still have exams to sit through before welcoming the heat and sunshine. Days of lounging by the pool and freedom from homework and tests are within reach. Fortunately, study breaks are the perfect opportunity to whip up a virgin Pina Colada and daydream about sandy beaches. Composed of only four ingredients, this recipe is easy to make and delicious to drink.
Since its debut in 2005, "Grey's Anatomy" has continued to attract viewers with its scandalous plotlines – intern affairs and unusual medical cases, such as a woman pregnant with twins by two different fathers, seem to be part of the daily routine at Seattle Grace Hospital. But ever since this season's premiere, the show has been flailing with sagging plots and dying character chemistry. Especially after Thursday's episode – the first new one since the writers' strike – the show is in need of a lot more than adrenaline if it wants to be brought back to life.
Long gone are the days of greasy Chinese food served in white take-out boxes. With a sizable Asian population, Montgomery County has many authentic Chinese restaurants, all with menus that go beyond the typical General Tao's chicken or mooshu pork. Nestled behind the Gaithersburg Square Shopping Center is Fu Shing Café, a traditional Chinese restaurant that serves up tasty authentic dishes but is plagued with sub par service.
At 7:20 – 10 minutes before the advertised show time – the auditorium is filled with chaos as sponsor Danyel Hartfield and students scramble around the dimly lit hall to ensure the night goes off without a hitch. Snippets of music emerge from the speakers and disappear a few seconds later. The spotlights sweep across the stage and illuminate the students frantically running from both sides of the curtain. Twenty-five minutes later, their efforts are rewarded as senior emcees Claire Kalala and Claudia Rivas walk across the stage to commence the 2008 Mr. and Ms. Blazer competition.
Around 860 of Blair's old computers will be replaced with new or refurbished computers this summer through the Technology Modernization (TechMod) program. Under this Montgomery County program, all Montgomery County Public Schools receive new or refurbished computers and have all computers' networks, operating systems and software updated every four years on a rotational basis according to Information Technology (IT) systems specialist Tim Hall.
As winter soon draws to a close with no snowstorm in sight, the next best thing is a spring tea party celebration! But scones were never easy to make and stale store-bought cookies just don't cut it. The answer to this predicament: ice cream cone cupcakes. Fun to make and eat, ice cream cones cupcakes combine two of the most beloved childhood desserts - ice cream and cake.
The Montgomery County Council unanimously approved funding for the North Four Corners Park renovation and expansion project on Tuesday. Because construction is scheduled to begin in 2014, the project will be reviewed by the Council every two years, but will likely proceed, according to Design Section Supervisor for the Department of Parks Patricia McManus.
The three members of the Montgomery County Council Planning Housing and Economic Development (PHED) subcommittee voted unanimously on Monday in support of renovating and expanding the existing North Four Corners Park. The Montgomery County Planning board approved the proposal on Jan. 31, and the full County Council will review the project for funding in March or April, according to Design Section Supervisor for the Department of Parks Patricia McManus.
It's been a rough year for Hollywood. The writer's strike has skewered most of the year's good television, "Epic Movie," was allowed to enter a public theater and golden god Heath Ledger died tragically in his Manhattan apartment. To generalize, the epics have been slumming, the romantic comedies have been trite and the action has been paltry — what's a cine-freak to think?
When former Olympian Dominique Dawes and then-Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend visited Blair on March 25, 2002, they were greeted by a red creature with black hair and silver horns — the Blazer. Luckily for the young gymnast, the figure in the Blazer suit was trying to flirt with her. But unfortunately for social studies teacher Lansing Freeman, men with red tails and horns probably were not her type.
Editor's Note: Mitt Romney dropped out of the presidential race on Feb. 7 after the Super Tuesday primaries.
Political Party: Republican Current Position: Businessman, Baptist Minster State: Arkansas Political Experience: Governor of Arkansas, 1996-2007
Political Party: Republican Current Position: Author, Speaker, Radio Talk Show Host State: Maryland Political Experience: Ambassador to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, 1983-1985; Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations, 1985-1988
Political Party: Republican Current Position: U.S. Senator from Arizona State: Arizona Political Experience: Director at the Navy Senate Liaison Office, 1977-1981; U.S. Representative from Arizona's First District, 1983-1987; U.S. Senator from Arizona, 1986-present
Senior Javier Vaca spotted the imposing white-columned Kennedy center after running for 10 miles, jogged past the limestone-and-marble Lincoln Memorial after 11 miles and passed the domed US Capitol after 13 miles. Tired, sore and with a cramp in his leg, when Vaca finally reached the finish line 13.2 miles later at Hains Point, he decided that finishing the 2007 Marine Corps Marathon was worth the endless effort and hours of training.
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Superintendent Jerry Weast revealed his $2.1 billion recommended operating budget for the fiscal year (FY) 2009 on Dec. 13 at Rockville High School. The recommended budget, which the MCPS Board of Education will vote on Feb. 5, called for a $110 million increase over FY 2008, the lowest percentage increase in 12 years, according to a Dec. 13 MCPS public announcement.
A debate between incumbent United States Congressman Al Wynn and his challengers Donna Edwards, George McDermott and George Mitchell will be held in the Blair SAC at 7:30 p.m. this Thursday. The candidates are running for the Democratic nomination to the House of Representatives for Maryland's 4th Congressional District, which includes areas of Silver Spring, Takoma Park and Prince George's County.
After a 5-7 season last year, the girls' tennis team was anxious to keep their Division I berth this fall. The Blazers met their goal, finishing 7-5 with wins against division rivals Richard Montgomery and Magruder and losses only to Division I powerhouses such as Churchill, Whitman and Walter Johnson, and hoped to be in the top five of the county playoffs.
In the ritzy, glitzy section of Bethesda, scores of restaurants featuring food from Italian to American line the picturesque streets. In the heart of these restaurants stands Green Papaya, a Vietnamese restaurant with a fantastic atmosphere but a disjointed menu that includes both mouth-watering and utterly bland dishes.
Blair administered the Measures of Academic Progress in Reading (MAP-R) test to freshmen and sophomores in on-level English classes from Sept. 10 to Oct. 5. This computerized test, given to both grades for the first time, will help teachers plan their lessons and determine a student's reading level, according to Karen Kranzer, MAP-R coordinator for Blair.
When senior Elissa Fischel walked inside the open, sprawling building for her first day of junior high, it was painfully obvious that she stood out in the sea of students. Whenever she walked in the hallways, people stopped and stared. She did not have a sign taped to her back or toilet paper stuck on her shoe; she was unique in that she was American, a foreigner to Brazil.
The Student Government Association (SGA) will add a new tutoring program to its fall agenda, which already includes homecoming, the Charity Challenge and the canned food drive. These events will be the SGA's main priorities for the fall, according to SGA sponsor Rondai Ravilious.
The girls' tennis team was left with plenty of spirit but no win on Monday, falling to county champions Walter Johnson 7-0. The more-experienced Wildcats team outplayed the Blazers with their powerful, low groundstrokes and strong volleys, leaving Blair with a 2-1 season record.
Girls' tennis kicked off its 2007 campaign with a bang, defeating Einstein 7-0 in their season opener. Though some Blazers were still adjusting to their new positions after a reordering by coach David Ngbea, straightforward shots and basic skills were sufficient against the Division III Einstein team. Singles players were especially dominant, dropping a total of only four games.
Six additional Blazers – Jessica Cutler, Jordan Fein, Kathleen Jee, Audrey Kubetin, Anjali Parekh and Joshua Yanovski – received college-sponsored National Merit Scholarships based on their academic accomplishments, according to a MCPS press release on July 17. Including these six, Blair's class of 2007 produced 21 National Merit Scholarship winners.
The age old question: money or love? That is the question asked again and again in "Becoming Jane," a fictional film that embellishes the real-life romance between a young Jane Austen and Thomas Lefroy, later a distinguished Irish politician and judge. Although the plot fits into the typical mold of a Regency-era love story, the unexpected plot turns, witty dialogue and intense chemistry between the two leads make the film anything but clichéd and sappy.
When Stefanie Weldon first entered the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in 1968, she was shocked. The atmosphere there screamed wealth and privilege, something Weldon was not used to. Yet she soon found a kindred spirit in a gentleman from Arkansas who came from a similar background. Twenty-five years later, her friend William Clinton was sworn in as the 42nd President of the United States.
The lamb Vindaloo arrives with a warning about its spiciness.
A basket of popad, thin lentil flour wafers, arrives with a trio of colorful sauces.
The tandoori fish is baked to perfection in a tandoor oven.
McSorley uses the boards in her daily lessons.
A student in Maggie McSorley's classrooms interacts with a Promethean Activboard.
The appetizer sample at Levante's, in Bethesda, is filled with fried foods.
The pides are essentially tomato-less pizzas.
The Bethesda restaurant is warm and welcoming and has great service.
Either coconut milk or cream can be used in this recipe.
Only four ingredients are needed for this simple recipe.
Relax and daydream about the tropics!
Fresh pineapple juice is best but canned juice also works.
Ice makes this drink refreshing!
Blend until smooth.
The Fu Shing Cafe's wooden interior theme strikes a perfect balance with its elegant ornaments.
The Fu Shing Cafe is situated behind the Gaithersburg Square Shopping Center.
Powerful computers, which will be replaced or upgraded under TechMod this summer, help run the Blair IT system.
The Blair server is housed in the back of the Media Center.
Numerous wires keep the school's computer system connected. TechMod will also upgrade software and network connections.
Eat and reminisce about the old ol' days of your childhood!
Let the cones cool off before icing or a sticky mess will ensue!
If you want, line the muffin tins with paper cups.
All the ingredients needed to make these simple and tasty treats.
Follow the instructions on the back of the cake box to make the batter.
Make sure to not fill the cones more than 3/4 of the way full, as the cake rises and expands.
Bo Luc Lac, Green Papaya's signature dish, is a perfect blend of beef and vegetables in presentation and taste.
Law teacher Stefanie Weldon smiling, as usual, in her office.