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March 2009

The Archives




  • Simon

    Week’s end

    20.03.09 | Permalink | Comments Off on Week’s end

    What happened this week on the Teen Blog? Not a lot, actually, but a lot happened the week before and we didn’t summarise that week, so it can all go in here.

    We talked about the NZ Schools Photographic Competition, and how you could win a camera and a trophy.
    Funny bus advertising which made me chuckle.
    Jack threw together a playlist and made a proverbial cup of tea.
    Get some writing tips from YA author, Patrick Ness.
    The rather horrifying skeleton of a vampire was unearthed in Venice, and we wrote some puns.
    Solar Day is announced. It’s tomorrow, by the way, so do come to Civic Square to check it out.
    Loads of new books (and two DVDs).
    We remind you to register for the Almost Amazing Race, and it seemed most of you did.
    Jack posted the third Almost Amazing Race video clip for your viewing pleasure.
    Earthday is only a week two weeks away.
    An underwater volcano erupts and is captured on film.
    Jack’s latest playlist, crafted by hand.
    More new books and DVDs.
    We win an award!

    If you’ve registered for the Almost Amazing Race and you haven’t received your registration pack yet, you should get it tomorrow (or Monday at the latest).

    Have a nice weekend.


  • Simon

    The coolest blog I ever know

    20.03.09 | Permalink | Comments Off on The coolest blog I ever know

    Create Readers, the National Library’s fantastic blog for kids and teens, has awarded us with a Butterfly Award! That’s the award image to the right. We are very honoured to have received this award and for being recognised by Create Readers.

    The rules for the award are:

    1. Put the logo on your blog.
    2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
    3. Award up to ten other blogs.
    4. Add links to those blogs on yours.
    5. Leave a message for your awardees on their blogs.

    We will do #3-#5 next week, after careful and considered consultation with the other Teen Blog writers in the secret underground Teen Blog HQ.


  • Books, DVDs, Exclusive academies for rich kids who form cliques, Fantasy, New, Simon

    New Books for the week

    20.03.09 | Permalink | Comments Off on New Books for the week

    There aren’t too many new books this week. So sorry!

    The Anachist’s Angel, by Gareth Thompson (232 pages) – Samson, scarred by a farm accident and teased by everyone he knows, takes to hiding in an ancient charcoal-burning hut in the woods. He meets and befriends a beautiful gyspy girl who sees past his appearance.

    First sentence: ‘I came round to the noise of a grim reaping machine.

    Evermore, by Alyson Noel (306 pages) – Sixteen-year-old Ever Bloom (that’s her name) is in a car accident that takes the lives of her family. Afterwards she is able to see people’s auras, read their minds and know their life story. Sounds quite useful, but for her it’s a nightmare. She meets another, similarly gifted teen, Damen, who is able to help silence the noise in her head, and she falls in love with him. But who is he really?

    First sentences: ‘”Guess who?” Haven’s warm, clammy palms press hard against my cheeks as the tarnished edge of her silver skill ring leaves a smudge on my skin.

    Bones of Faerie, by Janni Lee Simner (247 pages) – Liza’s mother disappears, and Liza travels through to Faerie – which was once at war with humanity, a war that has left both sides devasted. Liza herself begins to exhibit abilities and powers that only a faerie should have, and her quest may be the key to healing both worlds.

    First sentences: ‘I had a sister once. She was a beautiful baby, eyes silver as moonlight off the river at night.

    Tribal Ash : Chronicles of Stone book 3, by Vincent Ford (239 pages) – Having survived the warring tribe of the North, Trei makes his way back home, leaving his twin sister Souk with the Northmen. After struggling through snowy mountains, he is taken in and looked after for a time by the sea people, before he heads off again on his journey to find his own tribe, the People of the Canyons.

    The first book in this series, Scorched Bone, is one of the NZ Post Book Award finalists in the teen category.

    First sentence: ‘The Mountain Tribesmen travelled silently, the dark stain of their tattoos blending into the growing night.

    Oh look, two new DVDs!

    Junkers Come Here (PG) – This is an anime about a young girl, Hiromi, whose schnauzer (that’s a breed of dog) named Junkers who can speak, and whose friendship with Hiromi will help her through her parents’ divorce.

    Wild Child (M) – Sixteen-year-old poppy is a rich and spoilt American girl, whose father sends her off to an English boarding school to sort her out. She tries to get herself expelled, and in the process learns some responsibility (and meets Alex Pettyfew’s character). Stars the late Natasha Richardson.


  • Jack, Music, New, Playlists

    This New Music We Have

    20.03.09 | Permalink | Comments Off on This New Music We Have

    Three new CDs this week. If you want them, now you can issue them. Yay!

    First is Old Skool Summer Jams, a 2 disc compilation of classic hip-hop and R&B tracks with a summery feel from 1988-2002. Included are The Fresh Prince, Naughty By Nature, TLC, Coolio and a bunch of other stuff to help squeeze the remaining fun out of the pretty much over summer.

    Sound Of The Overground is another compilation, this time from 2004-2008. It’s a mix designed for dancing to and includes tracks by Ladyhawke (whom I adore), Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and many more.

    We also have Lily Allen’s new album It’s Not Me, It’s You. Expect more of her tongue in cheek pop cheekiness and hit after hit. I just listened to it and it’s ace. We also have her previous one here if you haven’t already listened.

    20/03/2k9


  • Science!, Simon

    Smoke on the water

    20.03.09 | Permalink | Comments Off on Smoke on the water

    You probably have heard that an undersea volcano has erupted off the coast of Tonga – luckily the tsunami warning has since been cancelled, although Wellington would probably have been okay. Earlier tsunamis to hit Wellington tend to be from local earthquakes or from seismic events in South America.

    Footage of the volcano (Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai) erupting off Tonga can be seen at the Guardian website. So impressive! There are also some fantastic shots here.


  • Environment, Happenings, Prudence

    Earth Day

    17.03.09 | Permalink | 1 Comment

    VOTE EARTHOn Saturday the 28th of March is Earth Hour. To take part in this global event, all you need to do is to switch off your lights at 8.30pm for an hour. Which is pretty easy! There is more about Wellington’s efforts for the day here.

    (I initially said that it was this Saturday, which is wrong, although you could still turn your lights off for an hour if you wanted to.)

    Read about Earth Hour here, or watch some of the Youtube clips below.


  • Almost Amazing Race, Jack

    Almost Amazing, Almost Here

    17.03.09 | Permalink | Comments Off on Almost Amazing, Almost Here

    You know how in the post below it says there will be another Almost Amazing Race video up soon? Well how soon is now?

    Thanks this time to me for doing all the running and Ella for the direction/camera work. Remember to sign up soon, because places are filling up fast!


  • Almost Amazing Race, Edna Welthorpe

    Almost Amazing Race Registration Almost Posted

    12.03.09 | Permalink | 2 Comments

    Thanks to everyone who has registered for the Almost Amazing Race – your registration packs will be sent out tomorrow or early next week.

    It’s not too late too register, but you may want to be quick! There are already loads of teams and individuals registered.

    (A new Youtube video will be released soon. You can view the first two here.)


  • Books, DVDs, Espionage, Exclusive academies for rich kids who form cliques, Fantasy, Horror, Movies, New, Nostalgia, Sci Fi, Simon

    Beautiful new books & DVDs

    12.03.09 | Permalink | 2 Comments

    Remember This, by S. T. Underdahl (282 pages) – Lucy’s looking foward to summer. But she embarrasses herself when trying out for the cheerleading team, ends up dating a boy she previously disliked, and has to watch her grandmother suffer from the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

    First sentences: ‘Remember this: I love you. It was the special saying my Nana Lucy and I had for each other, ever since I was tiny.

    Sword : A Novel, by Da Chen (232 pages) – Martial arts expert Miu Miu turns fifteen and is told by her mother about her father’s violent death. Miu Miu is asked to avenge her father, and to find her fated true love, all in the faraway city of Chang’an. The Emperor has ‘other plans’.

    First sentence: ‘On the morning of Miu Miu’s fifteenth birthday, her mother did not arrange a visit by a matchmaker, as all the mothers of Goose Village did when their daughters reached marriageable age.

    The Bloodstone Bird, by Inbali Iserles (326 pages) – Sash finds a riddle in his father’s study, which leads him – and his enemy, Verity – on the search for a magical bird. Their search takes them to a dazzling new world.

    First sentence: ‘“In the beginning, Aqarti was a lush paradise surrounded by endless sea.”

    Sharp Shot, by Jack Higgins and Justin Richards (297 pages) – Twins Jade and Rich are kidnapped and find themselves at the centre of a deadly plot, involving the first Gulf War and explosives. This is the third book in a series.

    First sentence: ‘John Chance raised his powerful binoculars and focused on the low building on the other side of the sand dune.

    The Other Side of the Island : A Novel, by Allegra Goodman (280 pages) – Honor and her family move to Island 365, where the weather is always nice, there’s no unhappiness or violence, and everyone prays to Earth Mother and her Corporation. Honor and her family don’t fit in, however, and she meets Helix; together they uncover a terrible secret about the island.

    First sentence: ‘All this happened many years ago, before the streets were air-conditioned.

    Crushed : A Year in Girl Hell, by Meredith Costain (137 pages) – It’s Lexi’s first year of high school and life is changing fast. Her friends split up and Lexi has to choose between her old friends and her new, cooler friends. And she develops a crush on Jack, one of the cool kids. For younger teens.

    First sentence: ‘“Lexi, can you hurry up please?”

    Undiscovered Country : A Novel, by Lin Enger (308 pages) – Seventeen-year-old Jesse is out hunting with his father in Minnesota on a cold, wintery day. His father is shot; and it looks like he had killed himself. His father’s ghost begins to haunt Jesse, and he soon uncovers family secrets and his own, new responsibility. This book is a ‘bold reinvention’ of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

    First sentence: ‘As I write this, I am sitting in the kitchen of the small house where we’ve lived now for a decade.

    Fouth Comings : A Novel, by Megan McCafferty (310 pages) – This is the fourth Jessica Darling book and it will be very difficult to summarise in my usual two or three sentences. But if you’ve read the others you will be hanging out for this (I know Grimm will probably be first to read it).

    First sentence: ‘”Waiting sucks.” The voice was male and came from behind my right shoulder.

    Bliss, by Lauren Myracle (444 pages) – Bliss has grown up in a Californian commune, and is sent to live with her strict grandmother and to study at Crestview, an exclusive school for the rich with an old, dark history. There she is targetted by Sandy, a girl obsessed with the occult. A ‘contagiously creepy tale of high school horror.’

    First sentence: ‘Grandmother won’t tolerate occultism, even of the nose-twitching sort made so adorable by Samantha Stevens, so I’m not allowed to watch Bewitched.’

    In brief:
    The Beginner’s Guide to Living, by Lia Hills (248 pages)
    A Small Free Kiss in the Dark, by Glenda Millard (225 pages)
    Dead is a State of Mind, by Marlene Perez (175 pages)
    Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote, retold by Martin Jenkins and illustrated by Chris Riddell (347 pages)
    Saving Sam, by Susan Brocker (192 pages)

    New DVDs:
    Skykids (Rated M) – Two friends sneak aboard a plane for a look and it takes off. They discover a bomb and then – to compound the dire situation further – realise that they’re the only ones left on board.
    Grange Hill Series 1 & 2 (Rated PG) – Grange Hill was a British drama series about a group of kids at a high school. It lasted from 1978 until late last year. This DVD collects the first two series. Very retro. Maybe.


  • Happenings, Science!, Simon, Space: The Final Frontier

    Solar Day

    12.03.09 | Permalink | Comments Off on Solar Day

    Join the Wellington Astronomical Society and Wellington City Libraries on Saturday 21st March as we explore the sights, stories and secrets of our sun. Using telescopes and special equipment we will observe the sun in safety, with sunspots, flares and other features on show from 10am–4pm in Civic Square (on the City to Sea Bridge). There will also be activities celebrating the sun and its place in cultures all around the world as we mark Race Relations Day, and further displays will also be held inside Central Library, including live links to viewings of the sun.

    Come along and explore, wonder and discover as we celebrate the International Year of Astronomy 2009!

    If you are passing the Central Library, take a look at the telescope on display in the foyer. It’s massive, and was built in 1930 in Auckland by Robert Bruce. It’s the oldest refractor telescope made in NZ! I took some photos but, eh, they’re not too good – you can’t see how big it is.

    See our other post about IYA2009, the International Year of Astronomy, here.


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