Creators clash over Facebook debacle

By Amanda Millea

A&E Co-Editor

In a time before friend requests from strangers, before relationship statuses, before people knew what you were doing at every waking moment, there was an idea for a social network that would have all of these features, plus more. The question is who really came up with the idea for this social network? Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), a Harvard Undergrad and computer programming genius, claimed to have come up with a social networking site that allowed people all over the world to communicate.

At first, Zuckerberg started small, restricting the social network only to people who attended Harvard. This was where Zuckerberg’s first law suit came into play. The Winklevoss twins (Josh Pence and Armie Hammer) said that Zuckerberg had stolen their network idea, where anyone with a email address could join. Naturally, the “Winklevii” decide to sue for ownership. Somewhere in the midst of his first law suit, Zuckerberg gets hit with law suit number two, provided by none other than his best friend, Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield). Saverin was the one that provided the originally small company with the money it needed to expand. Saverin was supposed to be a cofounder of the company, originally known as “The Facebook,” but in the expansion process, Zuckerberg and Saverin’s ideas clashed. The clash began when Napster founder, Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) started giving Zuckerberg advice Saverin didn’t necessarily agree with. Eventually, Parker practically pushed Saverin out of the company and off of Zuckerberg’s real life friend list.

This movie was different in the way that it depicted not only one view, but three—three perspectives and three completely different truths to a story everyone assumed to be one-sided. Screen writer Aaron Sorkin adapted the screen play from Ben Mezrich’s book The Accidental Billionaires. Sorkin did an excellent job leaving most of this story to the imagination. The different perspectives leave the mind wondering where the truth lies, and will have people talking, even after the movie ends.

“The Social Network” takes a deeper look into the social networking world most teens visit on a daily basis. After the movie, the first thing I did was get on my Facebook. The movie opened my eyes to how truly addictive Facebook is. The movie itself proved to be equally addictive. Although it seemed long at times, the audience is immediately invested in the plot of the film. When the movie was over, I had mixed feelings about the actual ending. I was glad it was over because it was a rather long film, but the plot still seemed like it had so much more to it. By the end, my opinion on who had invented Facebook had not changed. Facebook was created solely by Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg’s character says it best, “If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you’d have invented Facebook.” If Zuckerberg was lying, all I have to say is well played, Zuckerberg. Well played.

First concert for the 2010-2011 A capella choir

Photos from choir concert on Tuesday, Oct. 12
Click on photos to enlarge.

Student battles phone fears

By Grace Runkel
Features co-editor

I suffer from telephobia. I was not always like this; I used to love to talk on the phone when I was young. I was excited when my parents finally taught me phone etiquette. I also have many fond memories of myself playing office and constantly answering my imaginary phone.

However, somewhere along the line, probably in those terrible tween years, I developed my debilitating phobia of the phone; as well as mottephobia, but that is another story. So what is it that is so terrifying about the phone for me? It is a pretty long list, but I could probably sum it all up in three words: it is… awkward.

I am okay when I am talking with my mom during one of her many “I’m just checking up on you” calls. I can even handle when a friend calls about a homework assignment, but if the conversation goes over five minutes I start to freak out. What do I do if I run out of things to say?

This is the worst possible thing that could happen because either the callers make very lousy small talk about the weather or some other minute topic, or have a very awkward silence. I am not sure which of these situations are worse since both make it clear that no one has an actual desire to talk.

Even simply dialing the phone gives me goosebumps. I started dreading this part after my friend and I tried to call another friend, only the number we were given was not actually hers.

We dialed the number three times, and each time a man answered and we were too freaked out to say anything. Not long after, we received a very angry phone call.

Now whenever I dial a number I have to check it three to four times before I actually make the call. However, speed dial has become a very close friend to me.

However I am making an effort to overcome my fears. No, I have not taken therapy sessions, but I have started using the phone.

Instead of having a long, drawn-out conversation via texts, I try to call people when I need to tell them something. Rather than e-mailing someone to contact them, I will pick up the phone and leave them a message.

It is a slow healing process, but I believe if I stay on my path to recovery perhaps one day I will be normal. Well, more normal.

Coordinators prepare for Harvest Homecoming

By Christina Belcher
Features reporter
For 43 years, hundreds of eager people flock to down town New Albany to partake in the fun fall festival at Harvest Homecoming. The 2010-2011 Harvest Homecoming Committee [HHC] president Kerry Nicolas plans the upcoming events taking place the first weekend in October.  


Bagpiper: What is new this year? 
Kerry Nicolas: “Our new event is the Riding Lawnmower Races for ages 18 and over, which is at the 4-H Fair arena on Sept. 25.  You can get details about the race or any other events on the Harvest Homecoming Committee website.  We also have a new souvenir this year.  It is a Harvest Homecoming keychain.  It will be for sale at the HHC Souvenir booth.”
BP:What are some of the traditions surrounding Harvest Homecoming? 
KN:”The Pumpkin Decorating event is our oldest event and a longtime tradition.  The Parade, the Balloon Race and booths days are definite traditions that many people look forward to.  There are many other traditions also: such as the kids events, our entertainment, etc.”

BP:Why is Harvest Homecoming so popular? 

KN:”Harvest Homecoming is so popular because it’s like a large community reunion with great food, craft booths, events and entertainment where people can run into someone they haven’t seen in years.”


BP:What is one thing someone should know about Harvest Homecoming if they have never been before?  

KN:”They need to know that Harvest Homecoming has something for everyone, no matter what age. We have many different food booths, craft booths, events and entertainment for everyone’s taste.”


BP:What’s your favorite activity to do at Harvest Homecoming?  

KN:”My favorite activity at HHC is eating lots of different foods and enjoying the entertainment .  I’ll go get a sandwich, etc. and go sit where there is entertainment to eat my food.  That’s if I have the time.”


BP:What’s one thing everyone should make sure to do at this year’s festival?  

KN:”Everyone should make sure they take advantage of what our different booths have to offer as well as our great entertainment and events.  There isn’t just one thing, there are many things they should do to enjoy the festival.” 


BP:What goes into planning Harvest Homecoming? 

KN:”We plan all year for the festival, starting right after the festival ends for the next year. The vice president meet ten times a year and the Board of Directors meet five times a year. It takes a lot of work and many hours, by hundreds of volunteers, to run the Harvest Homecoming Festival.”

What is your favorite thing about Harvest Homecoming? What is your favorite food?

Carmen Schreiber, Grade 11 I love selling chocolate covered bananas in a banana suit, and my favorite food to get is chicken and dumplings.

Courtney Wells, Grade 9, My favorite ride is called twister and my favorite food is the corn
Alex Lawsterer, Grade 11,My favorite thing about Harvest Homecoming is definitely the food stands and I always get a pork chop sandwich.Mathew Oser, Grade 10, I just walk around and talk to my friends. My favorite ride is the gravitron.
Mathew Oser, Grade 10, I just walk around and talk to my friends. My favorite ride is the gravitron.

Columnist speaks out against abortion

Garret Receveur
Forum Editor

I am pro-life. Always have been, always will be. Abortion is one of the worst crimes any human being can commit, up there with genocide. The victim is defenseless and does not know what is happening. My stance on abortion puts me more on the conservative side of the political scale.

More often than not, I find myself cheering on the Republican in the presidential elections rather than the Democrat. I like to think that I have no affiliation with any political party, but this obvious bias for Republicans says otherwise.

Yet, I do not always agree with everything a Republican president does during his term(s), nor do I always disagree with the Democratic president’s policies.

Take June 20, 2007 for an example. On that day, former President George W. Bush issued a veto, which overruled a measure attempting to remove Bush’s ban on embryonic stem cell research. Until that day, I had supported almost all of Bush’s policies on multiple occasions. But this was not one of those times.

His presidency ended sourly over a year later, due to the worsening economy and his ultra-conservative policies, which even a Republican like me could not stand.

Then Barack Obama was elected president of the United States. Those who know me know that I detest Obama, his policies, and his idea of radical change. The numerous bailouts will not fix the economy; the Obama-care health plan is completely unnecessary and socialistic. But that is another column.

Recently, Obama has started to move onto my good side, despite his ultra-liberalism. Perhaps most important is his removal of the stem cell research ban, a monumental decision, up there with his removal of combat troops from the Middle East.

The two most recent presidents passed groundbreaking laws about stem cell research, both of their positions loosely defining their presidency. So what is it about embryonic stem cell research that makes, or breaks, a presidency?

Stem cells are unique cells that we are all born with. They have the ability to transform into any kind of cell the body needs, whether it be a heart cell, a brain cell, or even a simple skin cell.

This is big news for the medical community. Is grandpa dying from Alzheimer’s? Transform a couple stem cells into brain cells. Is he struggling with diabetes? Generate some pancreas cells. The possibilities are literally endless.

However, the best kind of stem cells to harvest can only be harvested from embryos. And this is where the controversy starts.

More often than not, the embryos are killed when scientists harvest the stem cells. At first glance, this is a premature form of abortion and my pro-life self should not support it in the least. Why then do I support it?

Abortion is the killing of a living being before it is born. But I do not consider an embryo a living being. A living being must have the ability to perform complex actions, including but not limited to motion, production of energy, and transport of that energy throughout the organism.

This criteria means that embryos are not alive until about the fifth week of pregnancy, which is the time their brain and heart start to function. Until then, I do not consider them alive. Therefore, feel free to harvest stem cells from them until we find a better way.

There is a group of scientists out there who are working on a way to convert adult skin cells into stem cells, but it has not produced the same versatility. That is the magic of embryonic stem cells. It can be easily transformed into any kind of cell in the human body. Once an organism is born, the cells pretty much stay the same type of cells throughout the organism’s lifespan.

The best time to harvest stem cells is before the fifth week of pregnancy. Think of all we as a species could accomplish with access to a ready supply of stem cells. Debilitating diseases like stroke or Alzheimer’s would be a distant memory. Paraplegics or victims of muscular dystrophy would gain full use of their limbs again.

With all the promise of this field of research, it makes little sense for one to restrict it. I am pro-life and have never been in support of killing an unborn child, but the promise of major medical advancements and ability for numerous people to pursue a life of happiness is too great. Sometimes, you have to be willing to sacrifice one life to save millions.

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