Thanksgiving and a Couple of Turkeys

The two main turkeys, Jake and Reggie

The two main turkeys, Jake and Reggie.

By Madi D.

Sure, Thanksgiving is about friends, family, and being thankful, but one thing that everyone thinks of is the food. You have stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, and beans. Oh wait, im forgetting something aren’t I? Thats right! The turkey.

    Everyone knows that the turkey is the main dish. Turkeys are born, stuffed with food, and die a happy, fat life lived, and then shipped to the store, and wait to get bought. But in the movie Free Birds, that doesn’t particularly happen.

    The main turkey, Reggie, has been warning his fellow turkeys of the worst. Thanksgiving. All of the other turkeys are basically DUMB. They think that when they get chosen by the farmer that they are going to turkey paradise. Eh, no. Reggie has warned his fellow turkeys over and over again but they just didn’t listen. Until the unexpected happens.

    A very special day happens for Reggie. He is the chosen to be the Presidential Pardoned turkey for Thanksgiving. Life is great for Reggie after that. He learns how to control the TV, he gets to eat pizza, and most importantly he has a family who cares for him.  Everything goes great, until Reggie is “birdnapped”.

Reggie is “birdnapped” by a turkey named Jake. Jake is a “ Buff “ turkey is is running free. Jake wants to go back to the first Thanksgiving to get turkeys off the menu. First things first. They have to get a time machine.

So basically, the next part of the movie is finding and getting the time machine. Once they are in outer space in the time machine it introduces himself. His name is S.T.E.V.E. Space Time Exploration Vehicle Enjoy. S.T.E.V.E. takes Reggie and Jake back to Plymouth colony in 1621. A couple days before the first Thanksgiving.

Reggie and Jake meet a Colony of turkeys who have been in hiding from the colonists and are living a happy life. Jake and Reggie gather the flock and they fight back against the colonists who want to kill them for thanksgiving. Of course in the end everyone gets along and they all have a happy thanksgiving while eating pizza.

Free Birds was an amazing movie. I was laughing the entire time. My little brothers had fun, and even my parents had a couple of laughs in there. I suggest everyone to go see the movie Free Birds. This movie is now in theaters.


Talks on Iran’s Nuclear Program Resume

By Roy Gutman
McClatchy Foreign Staff

GENEVA _ The United States and five other major powers met with Iran for the third time in five weeks Wednesday to work out the first stage of an agreement to rein in Iran's nuclear program in exchange for relief from crippling sanctions.
After the failure to reach an accord in talks less than two weeks ago, the signals were mixed Wednesday on whether the preliminary deal might occur this week or would take a fourth meeting.
A senior official on the U.S. negotiating team, which is headed by Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, said, "All arrived here with the commitment to do the hard work needed to reach an agreement" but "we're not in any rush to just get any deal done." The official spoke on the condition of anonymity at a briefing.
The more telling sign may be that Geneva's InterContinental Hotel, which hosts nearly all the delegations, told reporters that they had to clear their rooms Friday, when  Secretary of State John Kerry and his colleagues probably would arrive if there's a deal.
The initial meeting of the seven delegates, chaired by the European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, was brief and dealt only with how the talks would proceed Wednesday through Friday. Earlier, Ashton had a separate meeting with Zarif that European Union spokesman Michael Mann said was "good" and "positive."
The goal of the negotiations is to reach the first stage of an accord that would assure that Iran's program of nuclear enrichment has entirely peaceful aims and couldn't be used to build an atomic bomb. Iran now has a sizable stockpile of low-enriched uranium, as well as 440 pounds of uranium enriched to 20 percent purity _ enough, if it's purified further, to build a bomb, experts say.
Under the proposed interim deal, Iran would cease adding centrifuges that could turn the mid-enriched uranium into the grade needed for weapons, halt the enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity and expand access to its facilities for the International Atomic Energy Agency. In exchange it would obtain relief from some of the international economic sanctions.
It wasn't clear how the negotiators could overcome the dispute over whether Iran has the right to enrich uranium, as it insists, which the United States, France and other countries have resisted. One possibility is to finesse the legal interpretation of the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by allowing Iran to assert unilaterally that it will continue to produce low-enriched uranium.

Officials apparently are hoping to avert the drama of the Nov. 7-8 talks, when expectations rose after Kerry unexpectedly turned up in Geneva halfway through the two-day meeting. The talks failed when his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, said France wouldn't play a "fool's game" by supporting the deal on the table.
It turned out that Ashton, the convener of the negotiations, had invited only Kerry, and then all the other ministers turned up of their own accord. Fabius, who flew in from Paris, arrived ahead of Kerry, who was traveling from Israel after hearing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounce the talks.
"Lady Ashton asked Mr. Kerry to come to Geneva since there were some particularly American issues to discuss concerning sanctions," the senior U.S. official said. "Some others came as well."
Ashton's spokesman concurred. "She invited Kerry to come, and when others expressed their desire to come, they came," Mann later said.
The atmospherics before Wednesday's opening session were mixed.
President Barack Obama's drive to persuade Congress not to impose more sanctions on Iran appeared to have succeeded, and an agreement, even if just a first step, may give Obama the basis for maintaining the suspension of legislation to bring about new sanctions.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called Israel the "rabid dog" of the Middle East, a retort to Netanyahu's repeated denunciations of Iran. French President Francois Hollande, just back from a visit to Israel, said Khamenei's remarks were "unacceptable." But aides said France was still hoping for an agreement.

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GRAPHIC (from MCT Graphics, 202-383-6064): 20131120 IRAN NUCLEAR

Zuckerberg, Undocumented Immigrants ‘Hack’ for Immigration Reform

By Jessica Guynn
Los Angeles Times

SAN FRANCISCO _ Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg brought undocumented immigrants to Silicon Valley to "hack" for immigration reform.
Twenty immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children began taking part in a 25-hour "hackathon" Wednesday at LinkedIn's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters.
The young software programmers broke into small groups to spend all night coming up with new applications as part of an effort to put the spotlight back on what they say is an urgent need for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Silicon Valley tech companies are pushing for legislation that would overhaul the nation's immigration laws and loosen restrictions on visas for skilled workers such as engineers.
Zuckerberg called immigration "one of the biggest civil rights issues of our time."
"We are at a critical moment in the movement," he said. "It is really important to keep pushing ahead."
Despite the technology industry's efforts to put pressure on the Republican-led House to vote on immigration reform before the end of the year, observers say it's likely that the issue will spill over into 2014 and possibly 2015.
"The tech industry has made some headway but not nearly enough" to blast through the bottleneck in Washington, San Jose State University political science professor Larry Gerston said.
Zuckerberg and other young technology leaders who have put millions of dollars into an effort to reform immigration may be big fish in Silicon Valley "but not when they start swimming with the big boys over in the Potomac," Gerston said.
Joe Green, president of, Zuckerberg's lobbying group, said Silicon Valley is not shrinking from the challenge of getting this kind of legislation _ whether a comprehensive bill or a series of smaller bills _ through Congress. The House has refused to take up the comprehensive bill that the Senate passed in June.
One of' tactics is to influence the national conversation by showcasing enterprising young undocumented immigrants who surmounted steep odds to learn how to code, Green said.
Among the apps the hackers are building include one that will help high-profile people share their support for immigration reform with their fans and followers on social media and another that would educate undocumented immigrants on their rights using virtual game play.
"We didn't take this on because it's easy. But we think there is a lot of common interest in getting this done, far more than the headlines suggest," Green said. "Leadership from both parties have said publicly that they want this to happen. They need to get moving on it. But we do believe it will happen."
Technology veterans including Zuckerberg, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Dropbox co-founder Drew Houston were on hand to advise the young coders Wednesday.
Zuckerberg organized his first hackathon in his Harvard dorm room, and Facebook employees routinely pull all-nighters to build new products and features. borrowed the concept from Silicon Valley as a way to draw attention to young undocumented immigrants who call themselves Dreamers.
Justino Mora, a 24-year-old UCLA student, said his group would focus on building a mobile app to tell people who their representatives are in Washington, where those representatives stand on immigration reform and ways in which people can take action, either by signing a petition or sending a message to their representatives. has pledged to get the projects up and running.
"I am definitely frustrated with Washington, but I haven't lost hope," Mora said. "I have a lot of faith not only in the democratic system but in the American people and in the immigrant rights community."
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Colorado Proposes Reducing Methane Leaks From Energy Production

By Neela Banerjee
Tribune Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON _ Colorado proposed new rules Monday to reduce methane leaks from oil and gas operations, the first effort in the country to address emissions of the greenhouse gas that is a by-product of the domestic fossil fuel boom.
Carbon dioxide from the combustion of fossil fuels is the main driver of climate change, but while less methane is emitted overall, it is an even more potent heat-trapping gas than carbon. Emissions in the United States of methane dropped slightly from 2011 to 2012. But methane emissions from oil and gas operations have risen in Colorado and other states where energy production is roaring, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The state has rules in place to curb emissions of methane, the primary component of natural gas, during drilling. The new rules call for detecting and repairing leaks of methane throughout a company's infrastructure once a well is producing: at equipment at the well-site, above-ground pipelines and at compressor stations.
"The rules will help Colorado prepare for anticipated growth in energy development, while protecting public health and the environment," Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said in a statement. "They represent a significant step forward in addressing a wider range of emissions that before now have not been directly regulated."
The rules would also reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, an air pollutant that can be created from the burning of fossil fuels. Because high output of VOCs tracks with high methane pollution, the new rules base their monitoring requirements on the tons of VOCs companies generate annually.
Under the rules, the bigger the polluter, the more often it has to monitor its infrastructure for leaks, which must be repaired within 15 days. Companies must report their repairs and allow state inspectors to check facilities for leaks.
The proposed rules were drawn up in discussions between the state, the Environmental Defense Fund and three major oil and gas producers, Noble Energy, Encana and Anadarko. The state will be taking public comment on them for 90 days and a public hearing will be held on the rules in February 2014.
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California Diver Cited for Using Rubbing Alcohol to Capture Fish

By Bettina Boxall
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES _ When a California Department of Fish and Wildlife officer patrolling off the coast of Santa Catalina Island on Nov. 13 peered down through the clear water, he witnessed something he'd never seen before.
A scuba diver was squirting a liquid into rock crevices and then collecting the little orange, blue-stripped fish that emerged, according to the department.
After watching the diver repeat the process, the warden, equipped with only a mask and snorkel, descended, flashed his identification and ordered the diver to the surface.
The liquid turned out to be rubbing alcohol, which the department says the diver was using to drive bluebanded gobies into open water off the island's northeast coast.
"And then he would just scoop them up. How fair is that?" said department spokesman Andrew Hughan.
Identified as a 46-year-old Ventura County man, the diver was cited for two misdemeanor violations of the state Fish and Game Code: Use of a chemical while collecting marine aquaria and unlawful take of marine aquaria off Catalina Island.
Hughan said the diver informed wardens he was a licensed collector of aquarium fish, was paid $10 a fish by buyers and did not know that using a chemical or collecting off Catalina was illegal.
Although divers with permits can capture fish in ocean waters to sell to pet shops, the practice is banned around Catalina to protect local resources.
Wardens seized the diver's scuba gear, and he will have to appear in court. "He's not going to jail, but we're hoping for a significant fine," Hughan said.
The gobies, 172 of them and apparently unharmed, were returned to the sea.
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The Great Gatsby, Truly Great

“The Great Gatsby”, written in 1925 by F. Scott Fitzgerald, follows a middle class bondsman, Nick Carraway, (the most realistic, unreliable narrator I’ve met) in his confusing and interesting encounter with the mysterious Jay Gatsby. The book is brilliant, and that’s no exaggeration. Ofcourse, it’s not everybody’s cup of tea- I will admit. It requires a lot of analysis to get past the blatantly stated idea that people are foolish enough to believe is the main plot. ( That idea is that it is a love story- which it isn’t.)

A brief summary of the story:

It begins when Nick moves in next to Jay Gatsby,a wealthy “businessman” (a bootlegger, keep in mind this is post-prohibition period where they made as much as  s lawyer or a doctor, maybe more!). He had visited with Tom’s (Nick’s cousin Daisy’s husband) mistress in New York.

By now he had heard the name of Gatsby’s twice. He ended up being invited to a party and soon got close with Mr. Gatsby.  learned of his past with his cousin five year’s prior. Nick brought them back together, where it all boiled. Tom found out about Daisy cheating (Daisy knew about Tom’s cheating prior), Jay forced Daisy to admit her love to him, and in the end Nick was alone. I won’t bother telling  you how or why, because to me that’s one of the most powerful moment’s in the book.

What I enjoyed about the book was Fitzgerald’s gift of bringing you in connection with the characters. As I said before, the book may only catch your eye in the way it was meant if you analyze it enough. For instance Jay was connectable for being a victim of his own lust after the American dream, Tom for his hostility, Myrtle for her naive personality, Daisy with her innocence, yet somehow guiltiness, and the list goes on.

Another thing I found admirable for the book was the symbolism. All throughout the novel you encounter strange things that seem out of place.  For example, the green light across the bay may seem rather odd at first. “Why is he staring at a green light?” “Wouldn’t he be blind by now?” “Maybe he Eckleburgs glasses!” (that make sense, believe me). In the book it is a symbol of hope. Gatsby looked to that green light as a symbol for a grand ending. It’s a shame that hope went too far.

Another symbol in “The Great Gatsby” was the eyes of Doctor TJ Eckleburg ( often referred to as ‘the eyes of God’)  are a billboard. The eyes are of a forgotten oculist that “watched over the valley of ashes” (which represented  the moral and social decay that results from the uninhibited pursuit of wealth, as the rich indulge themselves with regard for nothing but their own pleasure.) The meaning behind it was that they seemed to be like God, watching down on the city and society and judging them harshly through the lenses.

These details are just examples why I say that it requires a lot of analysis to understand the book fully. While the symbolism plays an important part- possibly the most important, another is the literature. Now, you could go and watch the movie but it has a greater impact when reading. It’s the wording, the magic of giving life to the words that gives it it’s meaning.  Even the simplest of quotes take you back:

“Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.” (Meaning we shouldn’t waste time now when the ones we love could be gone tomorrow)
-Meyer Wolfsheim (Jay Gatsby’s boss in the bootlegging bussiness)

“If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him” (Meaning that he wa smae of many flawed moments and memories)
-Nick Carraway

I know I cried at least 4 times on the last two pages. But it was this quote alone that always hits me:

“He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning——

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”


Gatsby continued to chase the (American) dream, getting blinded by materialistic things and losing touch with reality- so often that he forgot of reality itself. However we continue to do it. We continue to dream, as people we can’t help it. That’s what made up the country we live in today- dreaming. Some of us live for the future, and some live in the past. But whatever it may be- we continue dreaming.

This paragraph in itself is the whole plot of”The Great Gatsby”. All of the love was a minor detail compared to the final page.

All in all, the book may not satisfy you if you aren’t one to get wrapped up in a world of interpretation or analyzing. It’s wonderful either way, but you may not be enchanted by the true idea. (However after this review, I think you could read it with the right mind of the true theme. No offense to people who don’t understand it, but saying it’s a “love-story” is like calling “Romeo and Juliet” a “romantic novel”)

5/5 green lights if yu like analyzing literature and symbolism

3/5 if you’re not fond of it

Let’s Celebrate Nontraditional Students

By Juleyka Lantigua-Williams
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

This is National Nontraditional Student Week, which is celebrated the first week in November to recognize millions of students who do not fit the standard college student mold. In fact, 75 percent of college students today are nontraditional, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics.
The official definition of nontraditional students starts with adults older than 25, and those returning to school while working, raising children or serving in the military.
I've spent the last four years working with this unique population as an English professor at a community college. These students represent the economic and social realities of our country today. Many of them overcame great odds to be in college. Often, they're the first to go to college in their entire family.
And every day, they make sacrifices just to get to class _ after dropping children off at school, or clocking out of a second shift or returning from weekend training at a military base. They bring such a high level of commitment to their education that they earn the respect and admiration of younger students whose biggest challenge can sometimes be setting the alarm for class. They also come into the classroom with a deep reserve of experiences, knowledge and skills that enable them to put thought to action and find practical applications for what we're learning in ways that surprise and enrich our community of learners.
Unlike the stereotypical college student, one at a private four-year college enjoying an intellectual vacation from the real world courtesy of mom and dad, nontraditional students are neck-deep under the folds of the real world. They get home to help with homework before sitting down to write papers and complete research assignments. They miss class when spouses and parents are sick, but drag themselves in even with fractured bones. They photocopy course materials from library reference copies because textbooks are expensive and utility bills can't be paid with financial aid.
Because they tend to have such full and complicated lives, 49 percent are enrolled part time, 38 percent work full time, and 27 percent have dependents. After college, they go into careers that constitute the backbone of our society _ in civil service, in education, in health care, in police work, in hospitality and personnel management. They emerge as eager entrepreneurs who set up small businesses in their very own neighborhoods, thereby multiplying the economic impact of their degrees.
Today's nontraditional students are breaking the cycle of poverty and opening the doors to opportunity for generations to come. They deserve our respect and gratitude.