Category Archive – Randomness

Wow…so, time – I hear it’s relative

by Vee  | Category: It's here!, Must-Read Fiction, Pop Culture, Randomness, Reading Lounge, What's Going On

spark of vivacity184 Photo

Welll laa dee daa!  Wowzer, time has been freaking FLYING by!!!

I hope you guys are all enjoying your summer vacation thus far???  I’m guessing a bunch of you are actually doing a summer semester, aren’t you?  Lol, I was so surprised the first summer I worked up in Maple and found out how many of you were willingly (and not be necessity!!!) attending summer school..Ah well, to each their own =P (I tease, I tease)

Sooooo, as you probably have been noticing, the Vortex has been more or less  bombarded with some pretty wicked reviews that YOU have been writing!!  *sniff* I’m just so proud of you guys *sniff*  Haahaa!

Now, seriously, for those of you who’ve been wondering ‘What’s up with that??!?!?” basically, we’ve had a TON of people sign up for Teen Book Reviews, which is one of our volunteer programs that we offer year-round here at VPL.  Feel free to create an account and comment on any of the reviews – maybe you have a question for the author, or maybe you want to say how much you loved (or hated) that book, too!

Annnnnd, because apparently it wasn’t common knowledge, Guess what guys?!?!??!  YOU can post your own random musings whenever you want!!!  That’s right, this whole site is for you, the teens (or maybe even a few pre-teens) of Vaughan.
Now,  posting on the blog is not a volunteer program, so you’d be just doing it for fun or to share stuff if you fee like it, just in case that was unclear.   To see a full listing of all the volunteer opportunities that are offered check this out here.

Ok, now back to the other stuff – the Teen Summer Reading Challenge!!!!  
That’s right guys, the TSRC is back once more for another year of online contests and – you guessed it – the Challenge.  This year’s contests include Book Trivia, Guess the Covers, and Who Said It – each correct answer gets your name in the draw that we’ll be holding at the end of the summer.  And for the Challenge, we have prizes for the top THREE readers in Vaughan, so, if you’re a keen reader and think you’ve got time on your hands this summer, sign up!!!

If anyone has any questions, give me a shout.
Stay Classy guys,
V

The Dean’s Teen List: Rebel Without A Cause

by Sarah  | Category: Movie Madness, Pop Culture, Randomness

Rebel without a cause

With all the hype that has been building around the up-coming dramatic teen flick The Fault In Our Stars it is time to take a look at some of the big blockbuster teen films that were created over the past seven decades. These films were designed to bring all aspects of the trials and tribulations of adolescences to the big screen and give a voice to what was really going on with the up-and-coming legions of young adults. You will be surprised at what you discover when you look back on by-gone generations of “teenagers” with the picks from The Dean’s Teen List.

Who is The Dean?

One of the most iconic and long-lasting impressions of modern teenage rebellion has to be the pensive outline of an up-turned collared James Dean with a cigarette in his hands. Ever heard the saying “Live Fast. Die Young. Leave a Good Looking Corpse”? Well, it’s attributed to this actor. Even though he did not say the quote it has long been associated with him due to the fact that he did just that. A young hot-blooded Hollywood star on the rise ended up dead at 24 in an automobile collision. The film that he is most known for was released after his death and launched his memory into pop culture history.

Rebel Without a Cause is a story about middle-class suburban teenagers during a time when emotional turmoil, misunderstanding, and the rise of the Young Adult was trying to claw itself away from the old school regime of the pre-war parental generations. When Jim Stark, a rebellious teen with a troubling past, moves into yet another new town he finds that his problems cannot be out-run. Clashing with the neighbourhood toughs, enthralled by the girl next door who has her own dark issues to deal with, becoming the unwilling father figure to a emotionally fragile outsider, and doing his best to avoid trouble when all trouble wants to do is find him leaves Jim to deal with life in the only way he knows how. Fight back or die trying.

An explosive and emotionally charged hard-hitting movie that still hammers home the truths about the challenges of self-discovery makes Rebel a must see and have-to-own film that still holds its ground after 59 years.

 Adolescence can be tough no matter what the generation gap.
james dean saying

Music Minute: Nightwish Dreams

by Sarah  | Category: Randomness

Bugs Bunny Music Minute'Allow me to introduce to you all a Finnish Symphonic Metal band that has clawed its way up to becoming a Heavy Metal power player. Nightwish is not the typical run-of-the-mill metal band. Nightwish is as only Nightwish knows how to be. Something beautiful that continually evolves and reinvents itself. They have done everything from cover songs to creating their own fully fledged film (which sadly is not available to order in Canada) and each album that is produced is more “epically inclined” than the last.

The thing to know about Nightwish is that its sound is defined by its leading ladies. So far three women have figure headed the band, each with a unique spin that has shaped the way the band has created music. The first singer was Tarja Turunen who brought forth an ethereal operatic quality that just cannot be matched in any field of metal music or its sub-genres.Nightwish leaderThe second singer was Anette Olzon who had a spunky urban sound that was full of sass. The third and current singer is Floor Jansen who joined the band mid-2013. So far on tour she has brought power and rock to the stage so it will be interesting to see what a future album will sound like.

But don’t kid yourself. The brains behind the operation is Tuomas Holopainen, musician, songwriter, composer, musical puppet master, and die-hard Disney fan. Among his many achievements Tuomas has recently collaborated with Disney to create a solo album based on the Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. Leading Ladies may come and go but the heart of Nightwish is cemented by Tuomas’ keyboard, Marco’s massive bass, Emppu’s lead guitar, and Jukka’s crazy drum kit.

The First Era – Operatic Nightwish

The Second Era - Sassy Nightwish

The Third Era - Anything is Possible Nightwish

So if you like what you hear and want more than just a little taste of Nightwish try giving these albums a listen:  Dark Passion Play, Imaginaerum, and Showtime Storytime. At the moment VPL does not have any of the albums with Tarja’s vocals however stay tuned and keep those eyes peeled on the online catalogue. It is well known that items have a way of mysteriously appearing on the listing when least expected. (*gives a knowing look*)

So until next time music lovers, Happy Listening.

In a Heavy Metal Band? Smiling is not an option.
Nightwish

Animation Station: Flying High With Dragons

by Sarah  | Category: Movie Madness, Randomness, Reading Lounge

So, Disney took home the Oscar this year for Best Animated Feature with Frozen.

*cricket chirp*

Imagine the “so not surprised/amused in the slightest” look on my face right now. Then draw a suave mustache on it.

You may have already heard that this year there is a Non-Disney-Princess-Heads-Up-Pixar film that’s set to swoop into theatres and knock audience members for a loop come June. This animation lover is keeping fingers and toes crossed that it blasts away any and all competition for 2014. After all, it has dragons in it. So many dragons.

How To Train Your Dragon 2 is the sequel to DreamWorks ground-breaking animated Oscar nominated epic How To Train Your Dragon and is the second movie of the planned trilogy. Loosely based off the novels by Cressida Cowell Dragon 2 picks up a few years after the first film. The main characters have grown up a bit, it totally shows, and more dragons have joined the party on the Viking island of Berk. A new diabolical plot, a mysterious stranger, and incredible flight segments that will knock the current bar of visuals excellence right out of the park.

Another thing to look forward to is the film’s soundtrack. The How To Train Your Dragon soundtrack created by composer John Powell was a runner for the Soundtrack Oscar in 2011 for best original score. Some of the songs have such a powerful push to them that the only thing to do is to add them to your “Music to Inspire” workout playlist and up the volume for maximum impact. Here is just a taste of how heart-pound the music from the soundtrack is.

The one downside to Dragons 2 is the wait. June feels like an eternity away. But, like all things in life, there are hacks to help deal with the situation at hand. Two of them to be precise. Dragons: Riders of Berk. Part 1 and Part 2, Dragons: Defenders of Berk. Part 1and Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury are fully animated features that contain more action, adventure, and hilarious dragon moments to help tide fans over until the new movie. I had no idea they existed until last month and now I am hooked watching them nonstop. I seem to have grown fond of the slap-stick toilet humour of the dunderheaded twins Ruffnut and Tuffnut and of course there is always Toothless. How can anyone not love that plasma blasting unholy offspring of lightning and death itself?

Without a doubt, dragons are incredible.

How to train your dragon 2

Bullies…a word to the wise

by Vee  | Category: Pop Culture, Randomness

spark of vivacity182 Photo Hey guys,

So as I am home feeling sick as a dog (what an odd expression…I’ve never seen a really sick dog that equivocates the physical expressions/manifestations of how I’m feeling when I’m sick as said dog….seriously though, I hope this is the last cold this year – I’ve been practically plagued with them!), I came across this clip from none other than the king of childhood nerds, Will Wheaton!

Those of you who don’t know him by name, he was the child of the good Dr. Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and from there went on to doing numerous equally nerdy endeavours in his adult career. Anywho, here he is at the Denver Comicon last summer and all I can say is kudos to him. What an answer! And I know we’re all older than this girl who posed the question, but bullies never really go away entirely, they pop up time and again throughout our lives, but how we deal with them and how we allow them to affect us changes as we grow. And so, without further ado…