Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Of Orcs and Men

Game Review: Of Orcs and Men By Matthew W-A

I feel really conflicted writing this review. The concept and the trailer for the game looked fairly promising, and I enjoyed the final product. I didn't have any problems finishing the game. I never felt bored, or wanted to close the game and do something else. On the other hand, Of Orcs and Men has enough issues that I am not entirely sure it's actually a “good “game.

Of Orcs and Men is a game about an orc with serious anger management problems (Arkail) and a foul-mouthed sarcastic goblin (Styx) who are off on a quest to kill the human emperor before he can meet with envoys from the elves and the dwarves to stamp out the orcs once and for all. The orcs have been pushed to the brink by the genocidal human empire, and this is a final act of desperation. The two main characters are multidimensional and interesting (especially the goblin), and are just all around well animated, voice acted and written. Unfortunately, everyone else has the collective depth of a sheet of rice paper. Every NPC feels like a poorly animated cliché, which is made much more noticeable by the quality of Arkail and Styx. The animations for all of the human characters just look stiff and unnatural more often than not, and the character models come uncomfortably close to the uncanny valley. I also saw a lot of animations being reused in conversations, like Arkail's shoulder shrug, and Styx's full body  head shake/finger wag...

Of Orcs and Men

What I’ve been listening to lately by Adrian G

I have just begun listening to albums from the record label Stax/Volt. Stax
and the subsidiary label Volt were one of the main proponents of Southern Soul in
the 1960s. Founded by two white conservative country musicians, but supported
by primarily black artists, the label helped solidify the notion that black and white
people can work together. It was one of the first independent labels to challenge the
predominate labels like Columbia. It also brought upon the world the force that is
Soul music, a powerful mix of gospel, blues and rock and roll.

FYI: What’s the ERB? By Amanda R

The ERB, Educational Records Bureau, is a standardized test that goes through grades fifth and twelfth. Though it occurs for students once or even twice, a year, it does not count for the students grades at all. It is used to be compared throughout the United States using tests from children all around America. However, the test  doesn’t count toward our grades. So why do we take it? Well, it gives each student an opportunity to practice taking standardized testing. The test also serves as an external measurement for the school to identify strengths and weaknesses in the curricular program. Also, if needed, it gives the teachers a sense of where you are and your strengths, weaknesses, etc..

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Polar Bear Café by Elanie F.

While October is bringing a large wave of new animes, some of the currently broadcasting ones are still popular enough to be mentioned. The Polar Bear Café is generally accepted as the cutest anime of the year since April. This anime introduces a world of mostly animals and a few humans; just like the name, the story is about the daily life happening around this café owned by a the polar bear, and his frequent customers include an emperor the penguin, a the panda and many other animals such as llama and sloth. The three cute main characters have done a great job making this anime relaxing and funny.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Junior Retreat by Jacqui B.

Last week, during “wellness week” the juniors celebrated being done with PSATs by going away for two days with each other for a “Relationships Retreat” (or sex camp, but really- the “relationships retreat”). The focus of the two days was more on healthy relationships, and less unpleasant STD talks, than what the sophomores on campus “retreat” during wellness week. We heard valuable information from very interesting outside speakers as well as having discussion times in smaller groups. I’ll save the details of what we talked about for the underclassmen to find out for themselves, but it got us talking about important topics with each other. While maybe considering deeply about relationships was not our ideal choice for a trip, it was nice to get away, hang out with friends that normally there’s not enough time during a crazy school day to, eat good snacks, and the Aldersgate retreat center was beautiful.

Oppa Gangnam -- What?! By Janine K. (Special thanks to Roy L.)

We are all singing and dancing to it. It has become part of our culture and spirit here at OES. That's right, 'it' is PSY's "Gangnam Style." But, as I do not speak Korean I felt sort of strange [trying my best at] singing alone whilst having no idea what was going on. So, without further ado, here is BBC's Gangnam Style translation. Special thanks to Roy L. For finding it for us!

Why Peter Langley and I Need a Rematch By Grace C.

So here’s the scoop on why Peter totally annihilated me on stage during Trivia on Wednesday morning. Last weekend, while I was drowning in my homework, I was listening to some beautiful music by Jason Mraz on Spotify, when out of whim I started to whistle along with his song, “I Won’t Give Up”.  I had learned how to whistle at a young age, imitating my dad who actually whistles through his teeth rather than his lips.  I was getting so into my whistling and because I was procrastinating on Twitter (as usual), I sent a tweet to our trivia master Georgia...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mark of the Ninja Review by Matthew W.A

Mark of the Ninja is a really good game. I'm not saying that because the developer Klei sent me a review copy (although they did. Thanks Klei, you guys are awesome), but because it really is. Mark of the Ninja is about a ninja clan that has survived until modern day, but is suddenly attacked by the forces of a man named Karajan. To protect the clan, an unnamed ninja is given a tattoo using a toxic ink that grants him special powers but will also drive him slowly insane. From there on out, he goes on a globe trotting adventure to assassinate Karajan, only things don't go exactly as planned. The story is really well told, and becomes surprisingly emotional at times. There are a few cutscenes within the game that are beautifully animated, but most of the story is told through gameplay, which as far as I am concerned is the best way to do it. I found the story to be engaging, so I'm going to do my best not to spoil it here.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Baked Goods by Jacqui B.

 For all the baked goods lovers out there, this is about the time of year where your sweet tooth suddenly decides it likes pumpkin better than anything else, and the baking urge just start to take over.

Here are some dangerous recipes- for you to either bake yourself, (or if you just like to eat them) you can beg your mom or a super nice friend to make them for you:

Pumpkin Bread- my personal favorite thing to bake for fall and it’s pretty simple, tastes even better with chocolate chips in it, and it’s pretty amazing for breakfast with some cream cheese
( From
Makes 3-7x3 inch loaf pans
1 can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf plans.
2.     In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water, and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
3.     Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

This link has TONS of different variations on pumpkin bread, with even a video on how to make it:

Pumpkin Streusel Cheesecake Bars

Cookie Base:
1 pouch Betty Crocker oatmeal cookie mix
½ cup crushed gingersnap cookies
½ cup finely chopped pecans
½ cup cold butter or margarine

2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons whipping cream
2 eggs

1/3 cup chocolate topping
1/3 cup caramel topping

1.     Heat oven to 350 F. In large bowl, stir together cookie mix, crushed cookies and pecans. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or fork, until mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1 cup mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture in bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool 10 minutes.
2.     Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add remaining filling ingredients; beat until well blended. Pour over warm cookie base. Sprinkle with reserved topping.
3.     Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until center is set. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled.
4.     Before serving, drizzle with chocolate and caramel toppings. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

Also- here are some more unique one’s if you get bored:

Pumpkin pancakes
(The pumpkin pancake mix from Trader Joe’s is pretty amazing as well)

Blondie Brownie Reese’s Bars

Caramel Apple Bars

Pumpkin Butterscotch Nutella Bread

And a way to make home made pumpkin spice lattes:

Go crazy!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Congratulations Women's Soccer! By Janine K.

Sydney Y. was a star player in the OES vs. Catlin game. Photo by Grace C.
Congratulations to the Women’s Varsity Soccer Team, who played Catlin at the action packed Catlin Homecoming game last Friday night, which ended in Aardvark favor (2-0). So far this season, the OES Women’s team has been ranked first in the OSAA 3A ranking, which is not surprising as the team was named the 2011 3A/2A/1A Champions in the State of Oregon after defeating the very same Catlin Eagles in a 3-0 match last year.

Filling in the Void: The Masthead by Grace C

Our new Blophish website has gone through some cosmetic changes.  As you see we have injected our new fonts with some color, the sidebar is donned with a slideshow of pictures and a twitter feed, as well as a link to the lunch menu. Our background is a nice oasis of fresh water that reminds us the summer to come…in 8 months.  The articles that the Blophish staff is writing have never been matched before. We publish a plethora of articles like original video skits by Spencer S. a continuation of our last editor in Chief, Chad D.’s video game reviews by Matthew W.A and some delicious autumn recipes by Jacqui B. 

However, there is one huge thing missing. The masthead.   You might have noticed that the top of our blog is unadorned. Some may call it simple and clean, maybe even Zen to keep the good chi running through our blog, but what’s Blophish without a picture of the mascot?

Our wonderful teacher leader, Kara T. has drawn us this cute cartoon of our official (and original) mascot.  If you see a picture of this hanging around the HS campus, write in a caption and we’ll use the best ones to rotate as our masthead. More than one caption is allowed in each speech bubble. Fill them in!


Games You Might Not Have Tried Yet: Mirror's Edge By Matthew W-A

Screen Shot by Author
There are two types of failures in the games industry: games that fail because they are simply generic and mediocre, and games that try something interesting that don’t quite work. Some of the latter can even be brilliant in their own limited ways. Mirror's Edge definitely falls into the second category. There is really nothing quite like it. Mirror's Edge is a first person game that discards most of the tropes of first person games for something entirely different. Are there enemies? Yes. Do you have to kill them? No. Are there guns? Yes. Do you ever have to use one? Aside from a single sniping section near the end of the game, no.

OES Weekly Update. October 10, 2012 by Spencer S

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Anime By Elanie F.

If you follow Japanese Anime, you must be excited about October 2012! Although January, April, July and October are all big months in terms of new anime releases, October is considered to be the best. For example, in October 2012, we have Code Breaker, K, Magi, Bakuman the 3rd season, etc. Among them, Bakuman the 3rd season is probably the best one for all age groups.

Bakuman is written by Ooba Tsugumi and drawn by Obata Takeshi, and has been animated twice before 2012. The story is about two high schoolers chasing their dream of being animators. “Baku” in Japanese means a legendary animal that eats dreams, which implies here that the boys are aggressively reaching for their goals.

The narrator, Mashiro Saikou, receives a note from his classmate Takagi Akito, saying “let’s draw comics together!” Drawing comics is Mashiro’s dream as well, but he does not want to follow in the footsteps of his animator uncle who died tragically. Ashiro turns Takagi down at first, he soon changes his mind after realizing the girl that he has had a crush on since middle school loves comics. Mashiro and the girl make a promise that they will get married when Mashiro becomes a professional comic drawer. In order to achieve both his dream and the girl he loves, Mashiro and Takagi think about stories, draw comics, and send their products out to different magazines. On their way towards becoming professionals, they encounter a lot of obstacles: rivals, pressure from the editors, lack of inspiration, and so on. But Mashiro and Takagi, having combined their names to form the pen name “Ashirogi,” use teamwork as their strongest weapon. Will they achieve their dream and become popular comic drawers? Will Mashiro be able to marry his girlfriend? The Bakuman comics already ended in 2012, but the third TV season is new!

The second season ends when the “Ashirogi” pair finds out that one of their classmates in middle school is drawing comics as well, as her comics are competing for popularity. The 3rd season is going to continue showing the challenges and how the two boys are overcoming adversity. Of course, there are also some dating scenes included as well! Overall, this is a fun anime to watch, as it is very relatable. The boys are normal high schoolers; they laugh, resolve issues, care about their girlfriends, and never give up on their dreams.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sam L. Participates in Cultural Exchange Program by Adrian G.

Many Americans have difficulty understanding the Muslim culture in the Middle East.  With the recent publishing of a video mocking the Muslim prophet Muhammad by an American extremist group, relationships between Americans and Muslims in the Middle East have been particularly unstable.  Fortunately, students from both Iraq and the United States are reaching out to strengthen ties between Iraq and U.S. by engaging in peaceful cultural exchange programs.  OES student, Sam L., was selected to participate in the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program, a program working to cultivate leadership skills in young Americans and Iraqi’s and ultimately a stronger future for Iraq.  The program is put on by the U.S. Department of State, but also has funding from the Iraq government through the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

OES Homecoming: Well Played by Janine K.

Photo by Grace C.
At this point, we all feel like we know OES pretty well. Our community is so heavily laced with tradition, which made this year’s Homecoming events seem all the more unanticipated. Over 1,300 dinners distributed amongst the spectators made this the biggest sporting event OES has hosted. It was another great day to be an aardvark homecoming night as we faced off against Riverdale and Corbett, rising victoriously in both the Women’s (vs. Riverdale, 3-0) and Men’s (vs. Corbett, 6-0) Varsity games.

Feeding The Masses by Jacqui B.

Last Friday the area by the OES field was strangely crowded with excited people. For the first time since I can remember it was hard to walk from one end of the field to the other. Thanks to a lot of planning, and the constructing of a new fancy announcement tower and snack shack, our homecoming games this year became a huge event, which meant a lot of people. And to the Bon Appetit staff here at OES like Kelly Cowing, the Food Service Director, Chef Christian, and Catering Manager Lindsay, it meant a lot more people to feed. “A lot more” meaning there were 1300 RSVPs compared to last year’s 500.

The Bishop Dagwell Hall by Elanie F.

Having done the Oral History Project twice has taught me a lot of interesting facts about the OES history. It is well-known that OES was called a girl school Saint Helen’s Hall in downtown, but much fewer people were as familiar with Bishop Dagwell Hall as St. Helen’s Hall. Luckily, many alums have chosen Homecoming in the past week as an opportunity to revisit OES campus and talk about their experience with Bishop Dagwell Hall.

OES Weekly Update. October 3, 2012 by Spencer S.

OES's new weekly online newscast. Comment and share!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Movie Review: Dredd 3D By Matthew W.A

I really like Judge Dredd. No, not the god-awful train wreck of a film starring Sylvester Stallone, but the original comics that were part of the weekly comic magazine 2000AD that started in 1977 and continues to be published to this day. The comic focused on a combination of sociopolitical  commentary, black humor, and ultra-violence. Thankfully, all of these themes remain intact in the new movie simply titled Dredd starring Karl Urban, or Dredd 3D if you are into that sort of thing (more on that later).

Games You Probably Played: Alpha Protocol by Matthew W.A

 Games You Probably Haven't Tried Yet: Alpha Protocol By Matthew W-A.
Have you ever wanted to be James Bond? “Of course not!” I say, as I get into my missile-equipped doom mobile and drive off to my volcano fortress, where my lieutenant is busy feeding a uncooperative minion to my genetically modified pet sharks as an example of why you do not assume that the last MI6 agent is dead just because you shot him and he fell off the top of a waterfall. If, on the other hand, you are the type of person who enjoys ruining my fun, Alpha Protocol is the perfect game for you.