Mr. Eastern of 2010 crowned

The crowd gathered, the Dining Commons were set, the pumpkins were ready and junior Shaant Shishmanian was in a dress.

 

Things got extremely interesting on Friday, November 5, when over 150 students packed into the Dining Commons to watch Mr. Eastern contestants strut their stuff for the ninth consecutive year.

 

The excitement was palpable as the judges took their places. They were looking for a talented candidate who was also interesting, creative and funny, possessing “overall awesomeness,” as Professor George Saba of the Psychology department said.

 

The contestants knew the competition was steep. Junior Timothy Wotring said he would need to impress the judges with a “cheerful personality and a willingness to do just about anything.”

 

The night started with an inspired dance number choreographed by members of the dance department. Junior Mike Giachetti, sophomore Steven Green, first-year Josiah Peffer, Shishmanian, first-year Andrew Whitehead and Wotring introduced themselves to the audience by shaking their butts to a medley of popular songs.

Competitors were then asked to don their Halloween costumes, which ranged from Green dressing as the suave Calvin Skinner to Shishmanian sporting a mini-dress as Minnie Mouse.

 

They were then required to paint pumpkins, showing the judges their artistic side which ended in a dinosaur for Whitehead and Disney’s “Doug” for Wotring.

During intermission, as the men readied for the talent portion, the audience was given a peek into the love story of the show’s emcees, junior Alleigh Riggs and senior Paul Charles. The proposal asked during the Variety Show this August was given a “yes”, and the wedding is set for summer. And while there will be no actual wedding bells heard in the near future for these two, the audience did enjoy their witty, banter and watching Charles squirming.

 

As the evening progressed, Whitehead took viewers “Down, Down” with a song from Fall Out Boy, Peffer reminded the girls of what to look for in a real “Manly Man” and Shishmanian made first-year Hannah MacLean turn scarlet as he serenaded her with Justin Bieber’s “Baby” in front of a crowded room.

 

During the Question and Answer portion, girls’ hearts broke as Giachetti told everyone how he took himself off the dating market, and now everyone knows about Wotring’s desire to be able to summon fruit at will.

The judges had a difficult decision to make: How would they choose a winner among so many sassy studs?

Ultimately, it came down to skin. Shishmanian’s skin to be exact. His bare legs had claimed the win. He is this year’s Mr. Eastern, taking the crown from last year’s winner, Dominic Baruffi. Wotring and Green took home second and third place, respectively.

 

When given the crown, Shishmanian was in complete shock. He had not expected it at all, “When I came here (to Eastern), I had no intention of getting involved in student life, so for this to happen to me is a big surprise,” he said.

Classy pizza at Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza

The sign above my head read “Warning! Our pizza is ‘Well Done’.” The crowded entryway proved that this was true.

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza in Wayne is a booming hot spot for friends and families of all social rankings. With a bar, a sit down restaurant and a takeout option, this casually elegant pizza place is great for everyone.

From jeans to pearls, baseball caps to high heels, the attire required for this restaurant is nothing short of everything. Families, couples and friends can all enjoy a night out at Anthony’s.

The pricing is appropriate for the menu for, indeed, their pizza is well done. Their thin crust, oven baked masterpieces are definitely worth the price.

The service is excellent, both friendly and speedy: on a busy Friday night, I counted six waiters, two bartenders, two hosts, two busboys and at least six other men whose only job was to make pizza as fast as people could order. I even observed that the manager would occasionally come out from the kitchen, give an encouraging pat to one of his employees and wipe down a table or two.

The turnover is quite fast, only a 20 minute wait for a table, even though the food is well worth the wait.

The restaurant is impeccably clean, and the atmosphere is comfortable. There are seven flat screen televisions hanging on the walls, but they’re not to be outdone by the magnificent display of vintage posters and signed photographs.  There is the perfect amount of space between the tables so, even when the restaurant is full, it doesn’t seem crowded. The playlist echoing from the speakers is a mix of classics and generation-friendly party music. The atmosphere is lively yet relaxed.

Anthony’s is a great place for a date or a dinner for a small group of friends. For larger parties, the take-out option is a great alternative.

Students “conquer the night” with praise and worship

Light fills the room as songs of praise are sung to the Most High. The spirit of those present illuminates the room in a way a light bulb could only dream of. The Spirit of the Lord is present.

Worship leader junior Danielle Craig speaks the words, “This is what we came here for. We came to worship you, Father.” With that, Conquer the Night is in full effect.

Every year, students, faculty, staff and visitors are invited to partake in a worship service that lasts from 10 p.m. on Friday night to 6 a.m. on Saturday morning.

The tradition of Conquer the Night began in 2004 when Theresa Noye, Resident Director of Kea-Guffin, took some students on a Spring Break trip to the International House of Prayer. The students were so moved by the idea of 24 hours of continual community worship that they felt it would be great for Eastern students to participate in.

“The night is when the deeds of darkness occur,” Noye said.

She goes on to explain that the time spent in worship is meant to counter the spiritual activity with Christ’s light.

“With spiritual light we are reversing the (plans) of the enemy with this time of prayer and worship; it’s very strategic,” Noye said.

A night to remember, Conquer the Night has had a profound impact on students. The worship experience can only be described as poignant in the lives of the student population.

“As a time that we as a community set apart intentionally for prayer, worship and contemplation, it is very powerful and has been healing in certain, unexpected ways,” senior Thomas D’Adamo said.

The contagious atmosphere of worship has the power to engage people, no matter who they are or how long they have been at Eastern.

“It’s amazing,” first-year Shantita Cooper said. “It is so cool to worship with other Christians and know that my worship is between me and God. I was closed minded when I got here but really happy that I came. It was a blessing.”

Through the ministry of Eastern’s own Chapel Worship team, Precious Movements, In The Silence Mime ministries and this year’s guest choir, Care View Community Church V.O.W. Ministry, many were given the chance to engage the Lord in community with fellow Christians who came with the intention of chasing after Christ and enjoying the freedom that he has offered them.

“…Reflect on what Christ has done for us,” senior Alexis Dunbar said.

With that intention in mind, the Spirit of the Lord was ushered in through the petition and praise of His people.

Humor and horror collide in “Monster Hunter Vendetta”

Just in time for Halloween, Larry Correia delivers another heaping helping of monster-slaying goodness with his latest novel, “Monster Hunter Vendetta.”

The sequel to “Monster Hunter International,” “Vendetta” picks up approximately six months after our hero, Owen Pitt, defeated Lord Machado and the Old Ones. While on assignment in Mexico, Pitt discovers that he’s been targeted for assassination by a death cult, The Church of the Temporary Mortal Condition, which worships the Old Ones. To make matters worse, the Condition is also going after his family.

And if things weren’t bad enough, the Federal Government’s Monster Control Bureau wants to use Owen as bait to draw out the Condition, which means that Owen gets to spend the whole story being baby-sat by his arch-nemesis, the hulking, monosyllabic Agent Franks.

Once again, Correia masterfully pulls action, horror and a healthy dose of comedy together into an epic fantasy adventure that even casual readers will find themselves unable to put down. The story is a wild roller-coaster ride that will grab hold of your eyeballs and not let go until you finally finish the book.

Part of the reason for this addictiveness is Correia’s incredible gift of language, which leads to some pretty incredible characters and objects. Where else are you going to read about an armored SUV with “a quarter-million horsepower engine that was forged in the fires of Mordor”?

The humor in “Vendetta” is no less side-splittingly funny than its predecessor’s, thanks to Correia’s knack for taking fantasy clichés and completely tearing them apart. As if the elves and orcs from “International” weren’t funny enough, this time around Correia goes after gnomes and trolls. Without giving too much away, let’s just say that these gnomes have been influenced by certain inner-city subcultures. And as for trolls… no, that’s too good to spoil.

In addition to being maddeningly addictive and funny, “Vendetta” also brings new depth to the series by delving into the backgrounds of many of the characters. Correia goes out of his way to explain the histories and motivations of several secondary characters, including MCB Director Myers, and surprisingly enough, Agent Franks. Yet Correia manages to integrate these deliberate inclusions seamlessly into the storyline.

That said, while I absolutely loved “Vendetta,” I did not enjoy it quite as much as “International.” As addictive as “Vendetta” was, it just wasn’t as unputdownable as its predecessor. Even so, I give the new novel a solid five out of five stars.

Another thrilling success

“Paranormal Activity 2” is not the usual gory, gut wrenching Halloween film that we are used to watching. So grab the girlfriend, a bag of popcorn and a drink because it is certainly worth every dime.

It is a hard task in making a low budget film that attracts an audience, but the original “Paranormal Activity” as well as its “prequel” did exactly that with its name, suspense and witty humor.

The humor throughout the film keeps your attention and really lets you soak in to every sliding door, loud noise and rolling toy. During the usual horror film you may have to look away from the screen, but in “Paranormal Activity 2” you catch yourself engaged, glued to the screen waiting for the next demon “attack.”

In this “prequel,” you meet Katie’s older sister, Kristy, as well as her family. She’s married to Dan and has a stepdaughter, Ali, an infant son, Hunter, and a dog. After an apparent break-in at the beginning of the movie, Dan installs six cameras in different rooms all over the house. Throughout the movie, they check these surveillance tapes and realize weird things are happening throughout the house.

The stepdaughter researches, and finds on a web site that their great-grandmother made a deal with a demon for wealth in exchange of the first born son within their family. Like the usual horror film, the parents ignore her and tell her she’s being ridiculous.

“Paranormal Activity 2” clears up any questions from the first “Paranormal Activity.” This bone-chilling movie, with a unique filming style, is sure to make you jump and squeal when you are least expecting it. However, anyone who has seen the first movie knows where the second is headed towards the end.

Paramount spent only $3 million to make the film and is expecting no less then $25 million in return. “Paranormal Activity 2” looks to be a sure success and is certainly worth the hour and forty minutes.

Students share their talent

The open mic coffee house, held on Oct. 1. from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., had a variety of students singing, reciting poetry and performing comedy acts. To compliment the excellent performances, the audience was offered s’mores, hot chocolate and apple cider. Many people enjoyed the snacks and drinks as they were entertained.

Photos and information compiled by Bryan Perkins/The Waltonian

The Social Network

Facebook: you can’t live with it, and you most definitely can’t live without it.  People all over the world – students, parents and even some grandparents – have been exposed to this social networking site and do not plan to stop.

The tagline, “You don’t get to 500 million friends

without making a few enemies,” was the foundation behind this story.  The newly released movie, titled “The Social Network,” takes audiences behind the scenes and exposes the lives and lawsuits between Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Tyler and  Cameron Winklevoss and Sean Parker, who all had a part in the creation of Facebook.

The movie begins with Zuckerberg and his girlfriend drinking a pint of beer in a bar near Harvard’s campus.  The scene then quickly moves to his dorm room after an all too cliché break up. An angered Zuckerberg begins blogging about his now former girlfriend and continues to publish multiple updates on his feelings for the world to see. The backstabbing “seed” has just been planted.

The plot continues on with the creation and attempted exposure of other less popular networking sites. The story then picks up with the start of what was originally known as “Thefacebook” and takes off from there.

Brenda Song made a cameo  appearance in “Social Network.” Considering the “good girl” roles she has played with other Disney stars, including Vanessa Hudgins, her “good-girl gone bad” role when she seduced a Facebook CFO in the bathroom of a bar was completely unexpected.

Justin Timberlake also makes an appearance as Sean Parker, creator of Napster and a Facebook business partner, and the amount of manipulation (and drugs, alcohol and sex) he gets away with is frightening. So much for the boy-band member of N*Sync we once knew.

Although it became somewhat difficult to sit still by the time the 90-minute mark approached, the witty and highly sarcastic humor of the movie held the audience’s attention.

The masterminding behind the whole process of Facebook creation, execution and backstabbing was all shown in this dialogue-based, yet awkwardly funny, film.  If it weren’t for the dry humor and bitterly sarcastic remarks made by the cast, “The Social Network” would not have been as big of a success as it was.

Local artists build a “nest” for their work

“80 percent of success is showing up,” Frahmand Kalayeh said in reference to Nestology, the store he and his business partner, Caroline Jones, have opened.

Nestology is a store located in the King of Prussia Mall which allows any artist to showcase his or her work, whether it is through fashion, photography or paintings.

Kalayeh, an Eastern alum, got the idea for this store when he realized that local artists are not as prominent here in the U.S. as they are in Europe.

“I always wanted to do something different… small craftsmen and local artists have no outlet for their work,” Kalayeh said.

With the hopes of helping emerging artists become more known in this area, he wants to show people how different a store like this can be.  “With a store so unique, no one can compete with current mass goods,” Kalayeh said.

Nestology’s one-year anniversary this October proves this optimism true. 

Not only does each artist have a 50/50 split on whatever artwork of theirs sells, but each artist gets his or her own “nest,” or section in the store. In each nest artists’ works – paintings, photography, jewelry and different types of clothing – as well as a short biography are displayed.

“There is always a reason for why we carry these,” Kalayeh said, gesturing to the walls of the store. “They reflect community and an ‘urban funk’.”

There are Vans Sneakers that have been covered with hand drawn images by an artist whose brand name is “DeadMeat,” 100 percent silk wedding gowns designed by a local woman and dresses and skirts designed by Philadelphia designer Zarah Saeed.

Another artist has his paintings displayed on the wall. “This one is a closet artist,” Kalayeh said. “He is a security officer during the day, but then he sells his art.”

Kalayeh and Jones believe everyone deserves an outlet for his or her work and a chance to sell it.  In order to continue with that mind-set, local musicians and clothing designers are welcome to either perform or present in front of the store about once every six weeks.

When asked how they found their artists, Kalayeh said, “We didn’t, they came to us.”  That has been proven true based on the abundance of artwork all over the store.

The prices in the store range from five dollars to about $3,000. Not only do Kalayeh and Jones have this store in the mall, but they also have another “Nestology” in the opposite building.

“This one here is for emerging artists, whereas the other one is for more established artists,” Kalayeh said.

It comes as no surprise that this store is such a success considering the atmosphere.

 Next time you go to the mall stop by and see if setting up your own nest could be the ticket to sharing your story with our community.

Out of this world!

Last weekend, I got the chance to land on Mars, check out volcanoes the size of the U.S. that erupt on the sun and caught an outsider’s view of the Milky Way Galaxy, and this was all before the documentary I went to see.

Eastern’s Julia Fowler Planetarium is currently showing “We Are Astronomers,” the internationally renowned film that demonstrates how progress is made in astronomy daily (or, technically, nightly).

“Astronomers are not looking through telescopes anymore,” said Steve Sanders, Observatory Coordinator in Eastern’s Astronomy & Physics Department.

Sanders’ hope for students is that after experiencing “We Are Astronomers,” students will leave with a more “in-depth understanding of what is currently happening in astronomy,” especially regarding the new advancements in outer space telescopes that use “very specific detectors to study the electromagnetic spectrum.”

Sound a little over your head?  That is, in fact, correct.  The planetarium is an overhead full-dome screen with a state-of-the-art digital projector, allowing you to view the heavens just as if you were outside on a clear night.

“We Are Astronomers,” produced by National Science Centre Creative, will have its final showings on Friday, Oct. 1 and Saturday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.  The cost is $5. To reserve seats, simply e-mail Sanders at planet@eastern.edu.

 

Also starting this October, Sanders invites students to look for news of a free planetarium show every third Thursday of the month. It will be an entertaining opportunity to ask questions and explore the universe using Starry Night, a software program that can send you light years away to galaxies you never knew existed.

Come and be astounded by the immeasurably vast, breathtakingly beautiful universe our God has created. And happy star-gazing!