Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all in the middle school, high school, and staff!

Some videos today to get you into the Thanksgiving mood (!):

(Man, I miss this great show...)

(This may be the single funniest thing that Adam Sandler has ever done...)

(A parody of Rebecca Black's "Friday")

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

(Even More) New Movies!

Today, the Media Center received another little shipment of movies to supplement the big delivery yesterday!

Not only did we receive "The Grapes of Wrath"...

But also the first "Hunger Games" movie as well...

You can come down and check out "part one" and watch it before heading to the theater for "Catching Fire"...a little marathon!

Monday, November 25, 2013

New Movies!

Here in the Media Center, we just received a new "shipment" of movies for your viewing enjoyment.  They include...

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief:

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe:

All the Harry Potter movies:

All three Lord of the Rings movies...

The first "Hobbit" movie:

Come on down and check them out!

Friday, November 22, 2013

50 Years Later...

In 1995 or thereabouts, my Dad (a Kennedy Assassination scholar) and I (just a youngster at the time!) took a trip to Dallas, TX, for him to see the sights that he so vividly remembered from 11/22/63.  

As such, I walked along the now-infamous Grassy Knoll, stood where Abraham Zapruder was while shooting his 16-mm video of the assassination, and looked out the same window of the Texas Schoolbook Depository where Lee Harvey Oswald was perched watching the Presidential motorcade wind itself towards him.

It was an experience I will never forget, so I am consistently intrigued by the coverage around this time every year.

Generally speaking, once something has its fiftieth anniversary it tends to fade away, as most of the "principal players" in the events have all passed away.  Thus, 2013 could be the last year that a "big deal" is made about this subject.

Also, here are a few things you might not have known or remembered about the events surrounding the assassination:

Enjoy your historic day.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Best Selling Book Gets A Movie

When it comes to the best-selling books of all-time, one would think that titles like Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, A Wrinkle In Time, The Chronicles of Narnia, or any title from Stephen King would be high up on that list.

Well, a lot of those are pretty high up on that list, but the #1 spot is reserved (and has been for quite some time) for this text:

I know, I know, that was kind of a trick question, as how does one actually classify the Bible?!

When something like this can tear up the Internet for a day... know that it is quite a hot-button issue.

That is kind of beside my point, though.

In March of 2014, the story of Noah from the Bible gets its own movie.  It has taken fire from Christians, Athiests, and pretty much everyone in between in how it will depict the biblical story, but whether you believe Noah and the Great Flood is fact, fiction, or somewhere in the middle, most people agree that the first trailer released for the film looks quite intriguing...

It really looks like director Darren Aronofsky is taking this seriously, as it contains a star-studded cast including the likes of...

Russell Crowe (playing Noah):

Anthony Hopkins (playing Methusalah, supposedly the oldest man who ever lived, clocking in at 969 years):

Emma Watson ("Hermoine" from Harry Potter fame):

It is still a ways away yet, but something to potentially look forward to!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Two Fun Things

Fun Thing #1:

Ran across this on YouTube a little while ago...

Just think, there was actually a time in our country's history where this was a campaign ad!  None of this negative, attacking, mudslinging junk that we have today.  Just a catchy jingle to promote a candidate.  Wow, what a concept!

Fun Thing #2:

Go to this website and take this very, very short political issues quiz:

At first I was skeptical of this quiz because it is basically sponsored by the Libertarian political party.  However, despite its simple nature, the quiz does seem to accurately portray a person's general political leanings.  I have had a few people take it and they all said it pretty closely matched what political orientation they figured they were.

See...politics CAN be fun!

Back-To-Back Double Feature of "Hunger Games"

For those of you who just can't get enough "Hunger Games", you might be interested in this:

The AMC theater in the Rosedale Shopping Center... offering a double feature of Hunger Games craziness:

At 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 21 (in either IMAX or regular theater, but I would strongly recommend the big IMAX screen!), the first "Hunger Games" movie will be played...

Followed (after a short break to catch your wits!) by the premiere of "Catching Fire", the sequel...

If you find yourself getting lost in the Hunger Games' unique little universe, than this could be EXACTLY the type of experience you are looking for!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

On This Date...

On November 19...


Christopher Columbus discovers Puerto Rico.


Lewis & Clark reach the Pacific Ocean.


President Lincoln delivers his "Gettysburg Address".


Baseball player Roy Campanella wins the National League Most Valuable Player Award.


The first Pop-Tarts were sold.


Impeachment hearings begin regarding President Bill Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

But perhaps most importantly of all (!):

Yours truly was born in 1985 at Unity Hospital in Fridley, MN!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Amazing What A Little Cleaning Can Turn Up!

When I first started here in the Media Center back in early October, one of my primary jobs was to clear out our back room.  Imagine your grandma's attic (but just with a lot more cords and books/papers instead of antique vases and ceramic cats)...

While I was cleaning, I stumbled across some Minneapolis Star and Minneapolis Tribune (before they merged into what is currently the Star-Tribune) newspapers from the days surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on 11/22/63.

In the coming days, I will photocopy some of these articles/photos and display them in the Media Center, as this Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the historic event.

If teachers would like to use the newspapers as well, just ask for them!

What 9/11/01 is to the current generation, that is what 11/22/63 was to those who lived it.  It deserves to be remembered.

Friday, November 15, 2013

"Kindle" Your "Fire"

So, unless you have been living under a very large rock for the past few months, you probably realize that this is coming out a week from today...

Of course, you waited until now to crack open the books, right?!

And then you discovered that they are really, really good and wanted to read them all.  Follow me so far?

Trouble is, we only have so many physical copies of the books here in the Media Center.  When they are gone they are gone and you'll be stuck waiting for a fellow student to turn them in on time (yep...because that ALWAYS happens...never any late books around here):

But, there is another way...

Here in the Media Center we also have a number of Kindle e-readers that contain the Hunger Games books (as well as a bunch of other popular titles).

In order to check out a Kindle, though, you first need to get a form here and take it home to your parents to sign (these things are a bit more expensive than your average paperback...!).

Once that is done, you are all set to enjoy Hunger Games on the Kindle!  Just another way to get that "book cramming" in before the lights go out and the previews start...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

On The Horizon...

Coming in March of 2014 (new trailer and poster just released)...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Are You Ready?

In a little over a week, the second Hunger Games movie "Catching Fire" will be released in theaters!

Have you caught up on the books?

In my opinion, after reading all the books and then watching the first film, this is the kind of series where "reading before watching" is highly recommended.

Yes, one could go in "cold turkey" without any previous knowledge and probably still enjoy the cinema experience, but having read the books will give you the "inside information" that all book-to-film translations inevitably gloss over due to time restrictions.

So, get reading!  We have all three books here in the Media Center, plus a book-on-tape edition as well.  We are also ordering a copy of the first Hunger Games movie too!

And finally, to whet your anticipation even further...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

JFK: 50 Years Later

Nearly 50 years ago (11/22/63), President John F. Kennedy was assassinated along his motorcade route through Dallas, Texas.

Because the supposed killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, was himself shot just days after Kennedy... this day there remains no definitive conclusion on the assassination case (though most plausible evidence points to Oswald acting alone).

Down here in the Media Center, we have some books on display to commemorate the death of President Kennedy and remember his hopeful presidency.

For a fictional look at what would have happened had the assassination attempt been thwarted, this effort by Stephen King is one of my favorite books:

A new movie just released entitled "Parkland" is an incredible dramatic re-telling of those fateful "Four Days in November" from a number of different points of view:

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Day To Say "Thank-You"

If you are related to anyone who served (or currently serves) in any branch of the Armed Forces, today is a day to say "Thank You" to them for their service.

My grandfather, Ray Koenig, served in the U.S. Army during World War II.  He was part of the Normandy invasion (parachuting behind enemy lines)...

And the Battle of the Bulge, where he spent long periods in a frozen foxhole trying to avoid enemy fire...

He passed away in 2010, but today is a day to honor his memory and the memories of all who gave their lives (or limbs or souls or families) in support of our great nation.

Even if it may feel uncomfortable (as veterans may not be all that open to talking about their wartime experiences), PLEASE at least just tell them "thanks".  Most of the time, that is all that is needed.

"What shall be our legacy? 
What will our children say? 
Let them say of me
I was one who believed
In sharing the blessings
I received
Let me know in my heart
When my days are through
I gave my best to you"

Thursday, November 7, 2013

"It's Thursday, Thursday..."

Enjoy the long weekend!

Make sure to tune in to the Vikings game tonight against the Washington Redskins:

Even though we stink this year, you never know when you might see a historic performance from this guy:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Easier To Look For Books!

We all hate waiting.  It's just that simple.

Now, when you come down to the Media Center we have not:


Computers that you can use to look up books!

As if you needed another reason to come to the Media Center (!)

By the way, on this day (Nov. 6, 1861) in history, Abraham Lincoln was elected President:

Whether this was before or after he turned into a vampire hunter it is difficult to tell.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dig Out Those "Lost" Books

A moment of brutal honesty: How many of you have a book from the Media Center that is overdue?

None of you?

Okay, I'm kidding.

In all seriousness, though, if you have a book or other material that is overdue, we would love to have it back before it gets marked:

There is no such thing as this...

And we are not going to fine you if you bring in a late book.  We're not quite THIS money-hungry:

We would rather just have our materials back then have you worry about penalties or punishments:

So, PLEASE dig out those books from lockers/bedrooms/cars/pockets for us...we would really appreciate it!

Monday, November 4, 2013

How Was Ender?

So, did you all go see "Ender's Game" in theaters this weekend?

It seems like you must have, because it pretty much dominated the box office:

Ender's Game Blasts To Top Of Weekend Box Office

If anyone who has seen the movie (or will be seeing it in the future) wants to write a review of the film, I will post it to this blog for all to see!

If you are interested in writing a review, please either let me know here in the Media Center or just send it to me at:  I would love to hear what the "target audience" (YOU!) think/feel about the movie.

For some examples of what movie reviews can entail, here is the website for the film.  It will give you some great templates of how reviews can be many different lengths/shapes/forms:

Ender's Game Reviews

Zach Koenig
Media Center Assistant