March 2011 Archives

Thank God It's Friday

Rebecca Black, 13, has become an internet sensation for her song, "Friday".

The song and video were part of a package deal purchased by Black's mother for $2,000 from Ark Music Factory, a Los Angeles record label that provides prewritten songs and professional production work to aspiring musicians, according to an article from The Boston Herald.

"(The song) is about having fun with your friends and being a teenager. I thought it was different because it's not indecent," Black said on The Tonight Show.

The song became extremely popular on YouTube and iTunes. The video has more than 34.5 million views on YouTube and has hit as high as No. 19 on iTunes, according to The Boston Herald.

"Friday" has sparked many negative comments towards Black. She initially cried at the comments, but now finds the popularity funny, Black said during her "Tonight Show" interview.

According to her profile on Ark Music Factory's website, Black has been in many school musical and theatrical productions. Besides singing, her other passions are modeling and dance.

Local Retired Major General Dies

Maj. Gen. Raymond Charles Bonnabeau was a physician who dedicated much of his career to caring for military veterans, according to The Star Tribune.

This was not all he did, though. He was also a husband, father, grandfather, Franciscan, explorer, actor, photographer, disc jockey, and friend, according to The Pioneer Press.

Bonnabeau died February 26, at the age of 77, from cancer, according the The Star Tribune.

He earned his doctorate in surgery from the University of Minnesota, went on to do medical work, and served nearly 30 years in the military, according to The Star Tribune.

Among these accomplishments, Bonnabeau had a mountain in Antarctica named after him. In 1960 he traveled as a physician for the University of Minnesota Geological Expedition and discovered the Jones Mountain Range. Bonnabeau Dome was named for him, according to the Star Tribune article.

After his retirement from the military and until his death he was a physician at the Minneapolis VA Hospital and loved the veterans, saying it was a privilege to serve them, according to the Pioneer Press.

"He respected the vets tremendously," said Raymond, Bonnabeau's son. "He treated the vets with the respect they needed and deserved. Being a doctor was a vocation for him. It wasn't just punching the clock."

Between a Rock and a Hard Place for 127 Hours

Aron Ralston's story is a great one - great enough that it has recently been made into a movie worthy of six Oscar nominations. "127 Hours," starring James Franco, tells the story of Ralston, who in an act of desperation, was forced to cut off his own arm.

Ralston was negotiating a ten-foot drop between two ledges when an 800-pound boulder shifted above him. He snapped his left hand out of its path in time, but his right hand was smashed between the rock and the sandstone wall, according to Outside Magazine Online. He was stuck for 5 days before he finally broke the two bones in his arm and cut away his hand.

The story touched so many that Danny Boyle, the director, decided to make it into a film. "I read his book, in 2006, so I had a very strong reaction ... in terms of the way I wanted to make it--you don't often get that, but I knew that I wanted to make it a very immersive, first-person experience ... because I think it's so extraordinary what happens at the end of the film," said Boyle in a "Vanity Fair" interview.

Ralston agreed that the end was the most important time. "My experience of watching the film for the very first time was incredibly intense, I was in an audience in a theatre watching it and I was crying from about twenty minutes into the film all the way through to the end. And not because of a pain that I felt, but because in a lot of ways it reminds me so effectively of what was so important that I got out of that canyon for," Ralston said, in an interview for the website "Flicks and Bits".

While the story made a huge impact on the nation, the impact stays with Ralston also. Ralston has reevaluated his life after surviving such an ordeal. We wondered was he "doing what I really needed to be doing with this story and with me having been given this glorious second chance had I actually learned anything? It started to recalibrate me around that time," he said.

Now with even more light shed on his story, has his life changed even more? He is no longer focused solely on hiking. Ralston claims, "With my life today the big adventure is as anyone who's a parent can attest to, the biggest adventure in life is being a parent."

Tsunami/Earthquake Affect Japan

Japan was hit with the 5th biggest earthquake the world as yet seen this past Friday.

According to an article from the Associated Press, it was the fifth-strongest quake in the world since 1900 and the most powerful on record ever to hit Japan, but not the deadliest.

The earthquake, that measured at a magnitude of 8.9, has left more than 10,000 people dead, many thousands homeless and millions without water, power, heat or transportation, according to an article from the New York Times.

Japan prepared heavily for an event such as this. The country has an earthquake warning system that feels the type of waves produced by faults and alerts the people about 15 seconds before they actually feel shaking. This also allows alerts to be broadcast on television allowing people to prepare themselves, according to the Associated Press article.

Though this system helps, death tolls are still rising. Searches are starting on the rural communities. Some have death tolls of over half the community and some are completely washed away, a senior police official told the New York Times.

According the the New York Times, Japan's economy is also greatly affected by this natural disaster.

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