Reviewing ABC’s David Blaine: Real or Magic

David Blaine is a master of street magic and is included at the top of the list of the best magicians of all time, along with other greats such as David Copperfield and Criss Angel. He is mainly known for his incredible feats of physical endurance, such as holding his breath for 17 minutes and being frozen in a block of ice for three days. These stunts, which would most likely end in our demise, he makes look like normal feats of endurance. He is also a master of close-up magic, often frightening his viewers with unexplainable and mind-bowing tricks.

Close-up magic is what he focused on in his new TV special, David Blaine: Real or Magic. In this special which aired on ABC network on Tuesday, Nov. 19, Blaine wowed various Hollywood stars with his amazing illusions and close-up magic tricks. These stars included greats such as Will Smith, Harrison Ford, Kanye West, Katy Perry, and Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. The appearances of these stars really added to the overall quality of the program because seeing these familiar faces cringing with looks of fear and amazement was really amusing.

For some people, seeing all of these Hollywood stars in one show would be enough to amuse them, and while it was really cool to see all of them, I was looking for something more. I had heard about the amazing tricks David Blaine performs, and I was very eager to witness them for myself.

David Blaine failed to disappoint me. Every one of his tricks was very well thought out and perfectly executed. Some people have said that it is fake, or that the stars were in on the tricks, but I disagree. Many of the stunts would have been next to impossible to fake, and I’m pretty sure no actor could have faked their reactions. You could tell that they were truly amazed. While I know that many of the tricks are just illusions, it is still amazing that Blaine is able to deceive people to that extent. I don’t want to give too many of his tricks away, but one of the best was when he poked an ice pick through his hand and bicep without producing a drop of blood! This shocked and disgusted Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul as they struggled to watch but could not turn away from the amazing sight.

This special is not one to be missed and I urge you to experience this amazing program for yourself. You can see the special on YouTube, and re-runs will be aired on ABC.




What the staff of The Rambler is thankful for this Thanksgiving

Don't let their game faces fool you, the staff of The Rambler has plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Don’t let their game faces fool you, the staff of The Rambler has plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Steve Bretz
First, I am very thankful for my editor-in-chief, Lucas Buseck, for editing my articles before they are published. Without him I would look illiterate and most surely would be the laughingstock of the journalism crew. Secondly, I am thankful for my older bother, who passes on to me his wisdom and knowledge. When I am in doubt or in need of anything, I can always count on my brother for advice. He has helped me thousands of times in the past, and I’m sure he will help me a thousand more by the time I graduate college. Lastly, I am thankful for my parents, who are taking me on vacation this Thanksgiving, and as a result I will be missing swim practice. There is nothing worse than swimming laps in the pool, so I can’t thank my parents enough for taking me to Aruba as my teammates are hard at work.

Lucas Buseck
You may not be, but I am thankful for snow. Sometimes, snow gives me an excuse to do nothing. For example: “Hey Lucas, would you like to come over and chill with me?” “Naw, man, um, the roads, they’ll be, like, really bad and stuff and, uhh yea, I think it’s just a not good idea.” Conversely, snow also gives me something to do from time to time. For example: “Hey Lucas, wanna go skiing with me!? There’s so much fresh snow; it’ll be so sick!” “Oh, bruh, for sure! Gnarly!” Finally, snow is also aesthetically pleasing to my eyes. For example: “Wow, that snow is pretty.” So yeah, thanks, snow.

Eli Chase
You don’t know what you have until its gone, so I don’t know what I’m thankful for. If I had to say something about what I’m thankful for, I would say I was thankful for my friends and family. But I don’t know what it would be like without them, so having them around is just standard. Maybe if I lost them, I would realize how much I took for them for granted, but now, I don’t know. Truly I am thankful for my car, my warm clothes, my debit card, and my large house. It’s not what you want to hear, but I’m sure most people think the same.

Hayden Clarke
There is a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. Thanksgiving is a time when I like to thank God for everything in my life. He has blessed me with a loving family, a warm home, great friends, and all of the basic necessities I need to live a happy and comfortable life. This Thanksgiving I thank God for all of these things, but I especially thank Him for all of the opportunities I have in my life. So many doors have been opened to me thanks to God and the support of my family. I am especially thankful for the opportunity to attend Cathedral Prep because my experiences here have been amazing, and I will never forget all of the advantages a Prep education has given me. I hope to carry the lessons I have learned at Prep into a successful future. If I didn’t go to Prep, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to write for this amazing publication!

John Dill
I am thankful for many things in my life. One thing that I am thankful for which most likely everyone is thankful for is my family. My family means a lot to me, has a huge impact on my life, and will always be there for me. Some other things that I am extremely thankful for are the various opportunities that I have had in my life. One opportunity is to be able to attend Cathedral Prep for the past four years.The education that I have received here is tremendous, and it will genuinely help me not only in the near future when I am in college but for the rest of my life.

James Fleming
I am thankful for my grandparents. I am thankful for my grandparents because they adopted me. I am also thankful that they sent me to Prep and have gone out of their way to give me an enjoyable life. I am thankful for the opportunities I have been given. I am thankful for all of the things I have in life that the less fortunate do not. Lastly, I am thankful for the friends I have surrounded myself with.

Caleb Futscher
I am thankful for my parents and the fact that they sent me to Prep. My parents have made countless sacrifices to put me through private schools. I am thankful that I can trust my parents, and that they would do absolutely anything for me. I don’t know where I would be today if they didn’t send me to Prep. Things would be completely different. I can’t thank them enough for all they have done for me, and I am very appreciative of them.

John Hilbert
I am thankful for a million things, things that I don’t even find to be thankful for but I should be. I am thankful for my family, my friends, my talents, and my future. My family has always been there for me in times of need. My friends always know how to have a good time even when we have nothing to do. Being able to draw, play soccer, or being a leader is something I don’t take for granted. As of right now though the most important thing I am grateful for is my future. I have been accepted into Kent State and plan on majoring in entrepreneurship next year. My future is there and all I have to do is grab it, which I plan on taking advantage of because my dream is to change the world. Hopefully people will see their potential and realize they should be thankful for what they can do because everyone should be able to say, “I made it.”

Joe McCafferty
I am thankful for my mother. She is great, and I really love her with all of my heart. She makes my bed and does the laundry all the time, and I think that is super terrific. She is one person that I certainly could not lose and I am positive that if I did not have her in my life, I would be absolutely lost. My mom is my absolute rock, and everything that I look up to be. That is weird seeing that she is a female and I am a male but my mom is definitely my inspiration behind everything I do.

Jeremiah Ordos
Everyone is thankful for their parents, families, homes, lives, girlfriends, Ryan Gosling, etc., but what other things are people thankful for that they don’t usually express? For me personally, I am thankful for a lot of things, and I am able to express my thanks during the wonderful and aesthetic time of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving dinner is one of the things I’m most thankful for, duh. Once a year I am able to chow down on a meal around my family and not get made fun of. You have to take advantage of that. I’m also thankful for those random likes on Instagram I get from random people I don’t know. Thank you for boosting my self confidence, random creeper. While we’re on the topic of social networks, I am thankful for any time someone retweets or favorites my tweets. Thanks to anyone who has ever done so. Obviously I’m thankful for the little things in life too, such as lady bugs, thumbtacks, and stamps.

Ryan Signorino
As the Thanksgiving holiday nears, students like me are continually bombarded by teachers to write about what they are thankful for. Obviously there will be the canned responses like family, friends, and going to Prep. While I am thankful for those things, there are some things that get overlooked because they are so simple. Since we live in the U.S., we take some things for granted, like cell phones and food. So to skip over stuff that we all know that we are thankful for everyday, I think the one thing that I am truly thankful for is that I am getting a fantastic education that will prepare me for the future here at Prep.

Sean Taylor
I am thankful for my pancreas. The pancreas is a gland near the small intestine which regulates enzymes in the bloodstream, easing the digestion process. It mainly works to eliminate carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids. Without it, I would die. Thank you, pancreas.

Vinny Timpano
I am thankful for my friends and family. Without them I would have no one to go to when I needed help. I am thankful for my coaches for my various sports teams. Without them I would not be successful, and I would not be pushed to excellence. I am thankful for the teachers and staff at Cathedral Prep. Without them I would not be as successful in school, and I would not have gotten into the colleges that I desired to attend. I am thankful for Sean Taylor for being a good friend, and for always contributing a little humor to even the dullest of conversations. I am thankful for Mr. Hubert for making The Rambler possible and teaching us all the necessary techniques to write.

Conrad Weiser
What am I thankful for? It’s a question which is asked quite often at this time of the year with Thanksgiving coming up. Most people give the average answer about family and about the friends that they have, and I suppose that does apply to myself to an extent as well. Although there are more things that I am thankful for than those, something which I can actually strongly believe in. I know that a lot of other people who try to get “creative” are only half-hearted in their answers, and honestly, that’s their problem. Not mine.

I’m thankful for what my skills are. I’ve been very good with a few specific subjects and skills that other people do not reach at the age I am at, and I am extremely thankful for that. It’s something that sets me apart from others. I honestly don’t like people. I’ve always liked being alone rather than being with others. For this reason, I don’t have too many friends, and I absolutely hate social events. I’m proud of this though. I’m proud to be what I am today, although it may be looked on badly by some other people. I’m different, and I am thankful for being that way. I don’t want to be the mill of the crowd. I don’t want to be the same as everyone, and I don’t want to care about the things that people usually do such as sports.

*Connor Van Hove
Regrettably, Connor was not in school this week to contribute his Thanksgiving thoughts, but the staff of The Rambler figures he’s thankful to be somewhere warm this holiday season.




Eminem: Has he lost himself or is he back again?

eminem-mm2On Nov. 5, Eminem released his latest album Marshall Mathers LP II. This is supposed to be his comeback album. From talking to the students around Prep I have heard more positive reviews than negative, but I enjoyed this album because it wasn’t just one main idea of songs of old Eminem when he just raps about ridiculous things that no one understands why it goes through his head. This album was a mixture of all of his past albums and had more varieties of genres (if that’s the right word) to listen to. The songs that I felt were the best quality were “The Monster, Rap God, Berzerk, Survival, Headlights, and So Much Better.” These songs are just my opinion on the best songs from the album because these are the songs that I can relate to the best. Either the lyrics or the instrumentals attracted me.

“The Monster” is currently the biggest track from his album because it is the second time Eminem and Rihanna have joined up on a track. Their first hit was “Love the Way You Lie,” which is still a fan favorite for most listeners. “The Monster” is a more upbeat version of “Love the Way You Lie.” This is one of the songs that could fall under his album Recovery. This song isn’t just Eminem tearing apart some person, but it is a song that could be a hit this year.

“Rap God” was the third single he released prior to his album. This song is Eminem telling the world that he is a rap god. I enjoyed it because it was him just letting loose and singing about literally the most random things (about being a Zombie head, about Krypton, and about the misbehavior of Bill Clinton). I think that this was Eminem showing everyone he is back.

“Berzerk” was the the first single released from The Marshall Mathers LP 2. This song gets back to his roots. “Berzerk” is also a very catchy song though which makes it a mixture of his latest music. This song brings back the old Eminem that everyone had controversy with, but it also includes the new Eminem which can lead to the dislike or like of the song and album.

“Survival” was Eminem’s second pre-album release single. This is also the theme song for the latest game, Call of Duty: Ghosts. The song is a great song because it is all about surviving the hardships he faces as a rapper. It is a song that I can see many people listening to before sporting events because it is inspirational to bring out the hype within, and because Eminem goes off. This is a song that I can see being from Relapse because he is coming out of his me-against-everyone stage to a more singer/rapper.

“Headlights” is a song that is collaborated with Nate Ruess, lead singer of fun.The song talks about his life with his younger step brother Nate, who he now has adopted. The song is a song to his mother about how he is sorry, and that he really loved her but at the time he didn’t love his mother. Eminem has written past songs about how he hated his mother. Now that he has sobered up his music has to change in some ways because he is a different man.

“So Much Better” — The past two albums Eminem has come out with have had songs about how he hates this one person, or so it seems it. On this track, the person he is rapping about is actually his music career. “25 to Life” is about his rapping career and how it has destroyed him, but he has to do it because he has nothing else. The song “So Much Better” is the old Eminem that everyone seems to love. The refrain in the song is “I’d be so much better if you died,” and that is the controversial Eminem that young people love and old people hate.

Eminem is one of the most decorated rappers and should be considered among the Top-5 greatest rappers ever. As stated in his new song “Evil Twin”, “ExI’m top four, that includes Biggie, and Pac, and I got an Evil Twin so who do you think that 3rd and 4th spots are for.” Yes, some people don’t like him, but everyone has different tastes, and my taste has to be in some of Eminem’s music because I have the entire album. Eminem is back, and whether you like it or not he will shock the world with his return.




San Francisco’s heartwarming story of Batkid

It was a sunny day in San Francisco. There was a light breeze as the sun reached its peak. It was the perfect day for crime. A helpless woman was tied to a bomb on the cable tracks. It seemed as if her fate was sealed until Batkid came to save the day! The hero swooped in driving his Lamborghini Batmobile and diffused the bomb and got her off the tracks. The damsel in distress repaid the little man with a hug. Batkid’s day of crime fighting wasn’t over yet.

The crime fighter soon discovered that the Riddler was attempting to rob a bank. With little time to spare, the Batkid arrived on scene. A crowd of 20,000 people cheered as they watched him enter the building to stop the Riddler. The hero used his wit and trapped the evil villain within the bank. Once Batkid had cornered the evildoer and locked him inside the bank, he retreated and let the police take care of the rest.

He then received a notice that the mascot for the San Francisco Giants had been kidnapped by the Penguin! After he had saved mascot and conquered crime for the day, tens upon thousands of people gathered to thank him. He was then honored by the citizens as he received a chocolate key to the city.

The hero of this story is 5-year-old Miles Scott, who has just defeated the greatest villain of all, cancer. Miles had been suffering from leukemia, a type of cancer that affects the bones, since he was 2 years old. He went through three years of treatment, including chemotherapy, and is now finally in remission after a long and strenuous battle with the disease. Miles Scott is certainly a superhero for that.

Mile’s greatest wish was to be Batman, and this wish was granted by the Make-a-Wish Foundation with the help of San Francisco officials and citizens. The project cost the city $105,000. The city and foundation are hoping to make that money back through private donations. The San Francisco Chronicle released a special addition newspaper praising the young hero with articles written by Clark Kent and Louis Lane.

This small boy’s wish did wonders for people all across America. The beauty of this event restored all of our faiths in humanity and warmed our hearts. If you are ever having a bad day, just remember the story of Batkid, and think to yourself, anybody can be a hero.




Just what each team needed: Prince Fielder and Ian Kinsler trade

This past Wednesday, the first blockbuster deal of the baseball offseason took place between the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers. It was a very rare one-to-one team deal as the Detroit Tigers traded first baseman Prince Fielder as well as $30 million to the Texas Rangers for second baseman Ian Kinsler. Although the deal might come as a shock to both Tigers and Rangers fans it makes sense for both teams in the American League.

This is why the deal is smart move for the Tigers:

Last season, the Tigers had a very inflexible roster. They had three sluggers, Victor Martinez, Miguel Cabrera, and Prince Fielder, who needed to be in the lineup. However, Prince Fielder was a below average first baseman and Miguel Cabrera was a mediocre third baseman stricken by injuries. This weakened an already weak Detroit defense. Not to mention Fielder had a very below average season with his bat and failed to produce anything during the playoffs.

By acquiring Ian Kinsler the Tigers have strengthened their defense and allowed themselves some flexibility on both sides of the ball. With Kinsler at second base they now have an all-star caliber second baseman playing every day, who has a career batting average of .273. The trade also allows the Tigers to move Cabrera to first base where he won’t make as many errors and will suffer fewer injuries. As for third base, the Tigers can either put their backup Nick Castallenos there or search for a starter in free agency. Although Castallenos has been training for left field, he originally came up as a third baseman and is more than capable of playing the position.

Also, by getting rid of Fielder’s enormous contract, it will give the Tigers more money to sign Cy Young winner Max Scherzer next offseason as well as Miguel Cabrera the following year when his contract expires. Financially speaking, this deal was a very smart move for the Tigers, and will greatly benefit them in the future.

This is why the deal is smart for the Rangers:

Last year the Rangers struggled to find a power hitter in their lineup, despite their hitter friendly park. They had a roster filled with average hitters and Adrian Beltre batting cleanup. They also had a lack of left-handed hitters and too many middle infielders, including superstar prospect Jurickson Profar who just so happens to play second base.

Trading Kinsler for Fielder addressed all of the issues Texas dealt with last year. Fielder is a left-handed power hitter who will be able to produce career high numbers at the Ballpark in Arlington next season. One could say that the reason his slugging average had dropped with the Tigers is because of the size of Detroit’s ballpark. Now that he is in a smaller ballpark, his offensive production should greatly increase. The deal also allows the Ranger to utilize their prospect, Profar, who was ready to have a starting job last season.

Although initially the deal does not seem like a smart financial move by the Rangers, this is an investment they can afford. Due to the combination of their new national TV deal which will bring them $26 million a year and a bunch of salary commitments coming off the books, plus the $30 million they got from the trade, Fielder’s contract is not a problem.

Overall, the deal works out perfectly for both teams. While giving Detroit some salary cap space, it loosens up their batting order and strengthens their crippled defense. The Rangers acquire the power hitting left hander they need, and now Jurickson Profar has an everyday starting job. This trade has ultimately made better teams out of both of these clubs, and is just what each team needed.




Appreciating Boy Bands Through the Years

Jeremiah and I have courage. Not because we’re big and bad, but because we are choosing freely to write about the wonderfulness of boy bands. Pledging allegiance to the likes of One Direction, NYSNC, the Jonas Bros., etc. is not something we have a problem with; in fact we’ll adamantly admit to it. And the difference between Jeremiah and I, as opposed to others of our generation and gender, is simply this courage. Everyone enjoys boy bands, but not everyone enjoys admitting they enjoy boy bands. These boy bands use simple lyrics, catchy hooks, beats, tunes, and appeals to our emotions to draw us in, and it works. Whether you realize it or not, you, like everyone, love boy bands.

The only problem with all these great boy bands is it leads to multiple divisions among our society. Some prefer the boy bands of the 80s, some the 90s, and some the 00s. Jeremiah and I are a great example of this, too. However, acknowledging that all boy bands are inherently great, we’ll set aside our disagreements and instead of debating the topic, highlight all that is awesome about the boy bands of the 90s and today.

Boy Bands of the Nineties – Jeremiah Ordos

The Backstreet Boys' "Millennium" released in 1999 has sold more than 13 million copies

The Backstreet Boys’ “Millennium” released in 1999 has sold more than 13 million copies.

There it was perched up on my bedroom wall. I don’t even know how it got there. It had always been there. I actually thought it was painted on the wall because it was never moved. It looked so majestic sitting there, almost blank, all white with the word “Millennium.” So simple, yet so elegant. When I looked at it I was overwhelmed with happiness, and I felt tranquil as if nothing could harm me. The poster of the Backstreet Boys seemed out of place; it wasn’t in a teenage girl’s room, but mine, a toddler’s room instead. This is the way certain boy bands’ songs make us feel. We can argue forever on what constitutes a boy band, such as number of members, intended audiences, if they play instruments, etc., but we can all agree on one thing: boy bands make us feel special.

I could go on and on about the different groups of boy bands in different generations, and if you are the type of person who considers the Beach Boys, Jackson 5, or the Beatles as boy bands, I could go on forever about those groups too. For my own selfish purposes though, I will be focused on the 90s and early 2000s boy bands. The likes of the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, the one hit wonders LFO (Lyte Funkie Ones), O-town, 98 Degrees, heck, even Aaron Carter despite him being a one kid boy band, are bands which are unrivaled by any other of their time period. These groups were the bee’s knees, or the cat’s pajamas, and still are to this day.

NSYNC's "No Strings Attached," released in 2000 has sold more than 11 million copies.

NSYNC’s “No Strings Attached,” released in 2000 has sold more than 11 million copies.

My favorite boy band by far is NYSNC and even to this day they’re still my number one. Mostly because of Justin Timberlake, my love for the band has been strong, even since the day they broke up. So finding out in 2013 that they would make a reunion, albeit be it a short appearance together, I went wild. NSYNC’s return to the VMAs was supposed to be crazy, where our beloved boy band would set the stage for the award show. That didn’t happen though as JT scaled it back. Why would you do that to us, Mr. JT? I love you and all, but that was the only thing you have ever done that I didn’t respect you for. Perhaps you had personal reasons for doing so, but why play us all like that on national television?

A personal favorite song is “Summer Girls” by LFO, which is probably the only song that the common person knows by the group. The beat is impeccable, one of the best in any song I’ve ever heard. The lyrics, ooh the beautiful ring of the lyrics, “New Kids on the Block, had a bunch of hits / Chinese food makes me sick / I think it’s fly when girls stop by for the summer…” Indeed Chinese food makes everyone sick, and everyone thinks it’s fly when girls stop by for the summer. If these lyrics don’t relate to you and touch your heart, I don’t know what song will.

Hanson's "Middle of Nowhere" album released in 1997 sold just under 4 million copies

Hanson’s “Middle of Nowhere” album released in 1997 sold just under 4 million copies.

A Special Short on Hanson’s “MMMBop” by Sean Taylor

“MMMBop” is pure unadulterated 90s love. It’s so sugary sweet, diabetes is actually a risk. I have a theory that all major wars are just one loudspeaker playing “MMMBop” away from peaceful resolution. Taylor, Zac, and Isaac Hanson put it all in perspective, and with their incomprehensible onomatopoeic chorus they probably saved some lives. God bless you, Hanson. MMMBop, ba duba dop, Ba du bop, ba dubs dop, indeed.

Boy Bands of Today – Lucas Buseck

You were there, remember? You were with your sister, perhaps your brother, maybe even by yourself (which is all right, by the way). You were in front of the television that was tuned to the Disney Channel and between episodes of the Suite Life of Zack and Cody, That’s So Raven, or even Hannah Montana, a music video came on. There was a curly haired boy that looked to be about 14, and he could play the guitar and sing in a really catchy way. His two brothers were there, too, and you all went to the year 3000.

The Jonas Brothers' self-titled album, released in 2007

The Jonas Brothers’ self-titled album, released in 2007, peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 200.

Whether you realize it or not, the Jonas Brothers essentially brought boy bands back. The Backstreet Boys and NYSNC were things of the past by this time, and together Nick, Joe, and Kevin Jonas reintroduced us to and opened the door for boy bands to reemerge into the spotlight. Their songs aren’t masterpieces by any means. In fact, some would consider them atrocious, but they’re catchy nonetheless. There are reasons these songs stick in your head; its not just by coincidence. I’d be willing to bet that you sung to yourself the lyrics, “He said I went to the year 3000” somewhere around 3,000 times. You probably wondered how Kelly Clarkson was still relevant one thousand years later, and I bet you also wondered something along the lines of, “What the heck is a flux capacitator?” But yes, it’s okay, I still do as well.

After Disney Channel endorsed a boy band and made a movie centered around them, Nickelodeon decided to jump on the bandwagon as well with Big Time Rush. There was a show and plenty of music videos before and after commercial breaks. I don’t really remember any BTR songs, and this is mainly because my memory is filled with images of the boys and their great hair, perhaps the greater attention paid to their hair, their schemes to win over the hearts of attractive females, and a really funny looking, bald, round production manager guy.

One Direction's "Midnight Memories" was just released earlier this month.

One Direction’s “Midnight Memories” was just released earlier this month.

Finally, after all these boy bands were endorsed by television networks, one emerged to rule them all, breaking the mold along the way. Without any corporate sponsorship, One Direction exploded into the international spotlight. Though their music is generally catered toward the female populace between the ages of 12 and 16, the tunes they produce are catchy and relatable. We all know some girl that doesn’t think she’s beautiful, which conversely adds to her beauty. For most every guy there’s that special someone that has that one thing that they can’t really identify, but is that “one thing” nonetheless, and that same someone that, every time they touch, they get a crazy ru-u-ush. Lastly, I don’t know how you can even consider disputing that those dudes 1D are one of the greatest bands out there as they have the best song ever that anyone could dance all night to, aptly named “Best Song Ever.”

Until next time, Bye, Bye, Bye.

 




A look at Prep’s newest class: Microstation CAD

imageAs the 2012-2013 school year ended, students were once again faced with the arduous task of making their schedule for the next school year. Most students try to get at least one study hall so that they can do homework during the school day to decrease the workload. Last year changed up things a bit, as Prep moved from quarter classes to semester classes. While the school year is still separated into four quarters, all the classes now offered are either a full year or one semester.

This change made some of the normally one quarter classes into two quarters. For example, health and gym are now one class that is one semester long. Each class needs to be separated over the course of the week; however, since two classes must share the gym and the health room.

New classes that haven’t been offered before are also being added. One of those classes is Microstation CAD. If you are unsure as to what Microstation CAD is, you are probably in the same boat as many of the students who signed up for it. I am in the class and was unaware as to what it was when I signed up for it. I was just told that it was designing stuff on computers.

The class’s full name, Microstation Computer Aided Design, gives more of an idea as to what you do in the class. Microstation is sort of like an architecture program, and with it you can do things like designing houses or laying out floor plans, complete with measurements of rooms.

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The program itself is pretty overwhelming at first, but now that everyone in the class has been using it for over a quarter of the school year, people have the hang of it for the most part. The class takes advantage of the new computer lab, which houses tablet PCs, an external monitor for each, and a mouse.

The teacher of the class, Mr. Ng, says that he is very excited to be able to teach Microstation CAD at Prep. Usually known as being a math teacher, Mr. Ng put math on hold for the first semester of the year and is teaching other classes. He said that he has been wanting to teach the class for a few years now, but other teachers were unsure as to what exactly the class entailed. He is happy that he is now able to teach the class.

image[1]Although it is not the easiest class at Prep, it is by far one of the most unique, and it offers a different challenge than many of the other electives that are offered. There are currently three periods of the class, and each is pretty small since students were wary of trying out the new class, but I am sure by next year the class will be pretty full and will become one of the most sought after and well-liked classes at Prep.




Harry Markopolos (’74) addresses Prep students at Quarter Sessions assembly

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Harry Markopolos (’74) addresses the student body at Cathedral Prep’s Quarter Sessions assembly on Friday, Nov. 15

On Friday, Nov. 15, the first of three Quarter Session assemblies was held in the Cathedral Prep auditorium. The assembly is essentially a presentation of honors, a way to commend all of those students who have put forth extraordinary effort in the classroom. First honors go to students who receive a 90 percent or higher in all of their classes, and second honors go to students who received an 85 percent or higher in all of their classes.  Additionally, pennants and scholastic pins are given to the members of each class with the highest cumulative QPA for the quarter.

As with every Quarter Sessions assembly, a long list of names is rattled off by Mr. Murnock with the students listed going up on stage to receive their honor card and a hand shake from Father Jabo. After all awards are given out, a Prep alumni is present and gives a short speech. While all speakers are noted for being highly successful, this Quarter Sessions was special in that the speaker was someone famous with a name well known around the entire country.

The speaker at the first Quarter Sessions assembly of the 2013-2014 school year was Harry Markopolos, a Cathedral Prep graduate of the class of 1974. Markopolos is well known for his exposing of Bernie Madoff and the largest ponzi scheme in history. For his efforts, Markopolos appeared on 60 Minutes, had a book published, and is also featured in a documentary about the investigation.

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Fr. Jabo, president of Prep and Villa, alongside Markopolos

Markopolos was raised in Erie and attended St. Luke’s for grade school. He attended Loyola University in Maryland for his undergraduate studies and Boston College for his Master of Science in Finance. Markopolos credits Cathedral Prep for his excellent background in mathematics, in particular Mrs. Mullen, and also says he learned many valuable lessons at the school.

Now living in Boston with his three sons—two of which are identical twins named Harry Louie and Louie Harry—and his wife Faith, Markopolos slotted out a time to come to Erie over a year in advance. Along with speaking to students at the assembly, he also spoke to a sold out auditorium that Friday night.

Markopolos’s message was one of realism. While some may have expected the speech to center around his investigation into Madoff’s ponzi scheme, in reality, it only took Markopolos five minutes to realize what Madoff was doing didn’t add up. As he told me, “math is truth.” Instead, he gave many pieces of advice to the students at Prep.

One of Markopolos’s messages was that real life is a lot harder than school. Markopolos said that at Prep, we students are sheltered from much of the evil that does in fact exist in the world.  An example of this evil, said Markopolos, was Bernie Madoff. Ultimately, it was up to Markopolos to stop Madoff. When we are exposed to evil, we can either run from it or confront it. Markopolos was not paid for this investigation, and noted that the most important things we do in life we do for free. In the end, what will matter is not the grades we recieved, but rather what we’ve done for society.

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As a token of their appreciation, Cathedral Prep presented Markopolos with a Ramblers track jacket

Markopolos shared a few other bits of advice that were not related to the investigation. He urged students to pick a major and to stick with it, to always be street smart as opposed to book smart, and to get a master’s degree, as if we are devoted enough to something to pursue it in such a way, it is our true passion.  Markopolos told students that failure is a great teacher and that overnight success isn’t possible without years of failure. In order to succeed we must challenge ourselves continuously.

All the lessons shared by Markopolos were insightful and helpful, and Cathedral Prep is certainly lucky to have such a high profile alumni, especially one who is willing to venture back to his roots. It’s safe to say Cathedral Prep will not have such a high profile speaker at Quarter Sessions for quite some time.




Opinion: Incognito not only one at fault in Miami Dolphins bullying scandal

Editor’s Note: This article reflects the opinion of the writer James Fleming and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Rambler staff.

Most people have heard about the “bullying” problem in the NFL because of the recent Jonathan Martin incident. Allegedly Richie Incognito sent very vulgar voicemails and text messages to Martin during camp. Martin told the staff and showed them what Incognito had said. It looked pretty dry at first. It looked like Incognito was all wrong and Martin was a victim. Some other facts have been released, and now I believe that it wasn’t all on Richie Incognito.

If you asked anyone in the Dolphins locker room who Martin’s best friend was, they would have told you Incognito without even thinking twice. The two men were best friends before all of this came out. So Incognito must have just taken things too far with his voicemails, right? Not so much. Incognito showed a text message last week from before his voicemails from  Martin. The text said that Martin was going to kill his family. If Incognito took it too far, then what do you call that message? I think that was the nature of their friendship. Maybe Martin shouldn’t have made the jokes if he couldn’t handle getting them back.

There was one more theory that isn’t too far fetched. I read that maybe the Dolphins told Incognito to toughen up the rookie, Martin. Maybe it was Incognito’s job to make the rookie a little less soft. The Dolphins organization is currently being investigated for this. If Incognito was indeed told to toughen the rookie up, is this his fault?

I don’t think Martin should have told anyone about this. In my opinion, he is soft for the way he handled this and is still handling it. If he had a problem he should have taken it up with Incognito, not made this big fiasco out of it. I don’t think what Incognito did was right, but all of this could have been avoided if Martin wasn’t so soft.




College Football Top-25 Weekend Recap (Week of Saturday, Nov. 16)

Only one top 10 team went down this week. For a recap of all the action in college football’s top-25, read on.

#1 Alabama – 20
Mississippi State – 7

Recap: ‘Bama had its first real sluggish performance so far this season, but even that could not stop the top-ranked Crimson Tide in this bout of SEC foes.

#2 Florida State – 59
Syracuse – 3

Recap: This one was almost over before it started. By the end of the first quarter, FSU was already up four touchdowns. The Seminoles and the Tide looked to be on a collision course towards Pasadena.

#3 Ohio State – 60
Illinois – 35

Recap: Carlos Hyde and the Buckeye rushing attack led the squad in this one, piling up an astonishing 441 yards of total rushing in this one.

USC – 20
#4 Stanford – 17

Recap: One week after stunning Oregon, the Cardinal got stunned themselves by a last minute field goal in the raucous L.A. Coliseum.

#5 Baylor – 63
Texas Tech – 34

Recap: Bryce Petty used his 5 TD passes to overcome a slow start and lead the Bears to another rout in another conference game in what seemingly looks like their conference to lose.

#6 Oregon – 44
Utah- 21

Recap: Oregon rebounded quite nicely after their national title hopes were crushed last week in Palo Alto. Marcus Mariota returned to Heisman form after throwing 3 TDs and leading his Duck squad to victory.

#7 Auburn – 43
#25 Georgia – 38

Recap: Auburn had to use a late second miracle Hail Mary to avoid this upset against the Dawgs and keep their national title hopes alive.

#8 Clemson – 55
Georgia Tech- 31

Recap: Tajh Boyd left this game with an injury but not before launching his eighth ranked Tigers to a easy victory over the Jackets.

#10 South Carolina – 19
Florida – 14

Recap: South Carolina used the defense to win this one by blanking Florida in the second half and scoring 13 unanswered points to put away the Gators.

#12 Oklahoma State – 38
#24 Texas – 13

Recap: Clint Chelf soundly dismantled the Longhorns in this contest of Big 12 opponents. The Cowboys are now looking forward to a gigantic showdown with Baylor in what could decide the fate of the Big 12.

#13 UCLA – 41
Washington – 31

Recap: Myles Jack, primary linebacker for the Bruins, scored 4 times on the ground in this battle of Pac 12 opponents.

#15 Northern Illinois – 48
Ball State- 27

Recap: Jordan Lynch saved the day again for the Huskies as they used a 21-0 fourth quarter to run away from the Cardinals and lock up the MAC.

#16 Michigan State – 41
Nebraska – 28

Recap: Michigan State basically just had to play a B-caliber game in this one due to Nebraska’s turnover prone Saturday afternoon in this clash of Big Ten opponents.

#17 UCF – 39
Temple – 36

Recap: Quarterback Blake Bortles and his Golden Knights squad led a furious comeback to stop the upset minded Owls.

#18 Oklahoma – 48
Iowa State – 10

Recap: Bob Stoops tied the Oklahoma career wins mark with Barry Switzer in what turned out to be a total embarrassment of the Cyclones.

#19 Arizona State – 30
Oregon State – 17

Recap: Marion Grice’s 3 TDs and some good defense by the Sun Devils led to this decision in a battle of PAC 12 foes.

#20 Louisville – 20
Houston – 13

Recap: Although Teddy Bridgewater did not have a great game, the Cardinals rallied passes the Cougars to save their hopes for an AAC title berth.

#22 Wisconsin – 51
Indiana – 3

Recap: The Badger rushing attack combined for a massive total of 554 yards to put this one away early in Madison.

Duke – 48
#23 Miami (FL) – 30

Recap: Miami continues to fall as they finally will fall out of the rankings after three straight losses. The Blue Devil football program looks revived and ready to go.