Monthly Archives: January 2011

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By: Ted Berkowski ‘12, Page Editor“


Rating: ★★★★★

Photo courtesy of 127 Hours tells the breathtaking tale of Aron Ralston's miraculous survival

With his arm pinned by a boulder in a Utah canyon, Aron Ralston found himself alone with low supplies, little food and water, and knowing that not a single person knew his whereabouts. As his life slipped away after days being stuck there, the climber managed to cut his arm off with a cheap pocket knife.

And this isn’t the end of it: now free, the dehydrated and bloody man had to escalate a 65 foot wall and walk eight miles to get help. 

This movie, a true story, constantly gets the viewer thinking, “What would I have done? Could I have made such life saving decisions without losing it?”

The viewer hardly ever feels too comfortable during the 94 minute run time, not really able to sit back and enjoy their popcorn. The movie is at high intensity from start to finish. It is, after all, a life-or-death scenario, evident by gruesome scenes as Ralston works to break the bones in his arm and then saw it off.

That doesn’t mean the movie isn’t entertaining. For one, the plot is a fascinating one. The fact that it’s true and that Ralston lived to tell his story makes for a classic storyline told by the director of “Slumdog Millionaire,” Danny Boyle.

Furthermore, James Franco, who played Ralston, did an excellent job with the role. He made the movie more than just “some guy trapped between some big rocks.” Franco is able to express the strong emotions Ralston experienced in real life, adding a deeper dimension to it all. At a few points, Franco offered comic relief at seemingly dark moments. 

Under a limited release, the movie, which is  rated R, cannot be seen at the Star Gratiot or MJR. The Birmingham 8 theatre in Birmingham, however, is currently playing the film.

Additionally, keep in mind that preceding the movie’s production, Ralston penned an autobiography detailing his ordeal entitled “127 Hours: Between A Rock and A Hard Place.”

This is definitely a worthy experience you should not miss out on.

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Photo courtesy of Maja Stamenkovska '12. This is the auditorium where State qualifications were held for DECA. South had 75 members qualify for States and earned a total of 186 medals.
By: Ava Lux’12, Online Clubs Editor


DECA members tested their knowledge of business as they competed to qualify for states on Saturday, Jan. 15.

Photo courtesy of Maja Stamenkovska '12. This is the auditorium where state qualifications were held for DECA. South had 75 members qualify for States and earned a total of 186 medals.

Students were assessed in two categories: multiple choice and role play, DECA adviser Bill Cayo said. Out of 89 DECA members competing 75 met the qualifications for states and earneda record of 186 medals.

Through classes like marketing, economics, and accounting, students were able to prepare for the competition, Cayo said. Others not enrolled in the class prepare on their own with the guidance of study packets and online reviews.

“It’s my 16th year of DECA and I think I only had one year where I had more qualify for states,” said Cayo. “Usually it’s around 60. It’s a good group of students, and I’m excited and hopeful that many will qualify for internationals.”

State competitions will be held for the first time in Grand Rapids on March 18-20.

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By: Mike Esse ’11, Managing Editor

After starting off slow with only 12 first half points, the boys varsity basketball team came out hot in the second half erasing a 17 point halftime deficit against arch rival Grosse Pointe North to get the score within two points in the closing seconds of the game.

Photo by DeMarco Havard '12. Varsity basketball center Alex Bedan '11 prepares to take a free throw against Grosse Pointe North with seconds remaining in the game. He missed both free-throws and South lost the game 47-49.

Alex Bedan ‘11 backed down a defender with less than 10 seconds remaining in the game and was fouled on his attempt for the game tying basket. Bedan was put on the free throw line for two shots with 3.6 seconds remaining. The senior center’s first shot from the charity stripe was too hard off the left side of the heel of the rim, forcing him to intentionally miss the second shot.

Bedan’s second shot hit off of the right side of the rim bouncing into the hands of Victor Mattison ’11. Mattison shot a fade-away15 footer with less than two seconds remaining. The shot banked off of the backboard, fell in the rim and bounced out, and the Blue Devils’ hopes of a miracle comeback were erased in a devastating fashion.

Photo by DeMarco Havard '12. Members of the varsity basketball team express grief as South looses to North. Once again South lost to North by just a thread as they did last year.
Mattison led the team with 17 second half points and Corbet Conroy ’11 added 14 second half points. Rebound leaders were Bedan and Brandon Barkley ’11 with six, but in the end none of this could help wipe out to their slow start in the beginning of the game.

“Our slow start was a combination of North’s defense and our lack of execution on offense,” said head coach Dave Grauzer. “Second half, after a spirited discussion at half time, the seniors took it upon themselves to step up and take the fight to the other guy rather than let the fight come to them.”

 The Blue Devils will play North again on February 11 at North. Their next game is today at Cousino at 5:30.

Photo by DeMarco Havard '12. Molly Mecke '11 bites into the Hellburger at Tom's Hog And Dog. Mecke and Dan Gallagher '11 took the Hellburger Challenge to report on its recent popularity.


By: Molly Mecke ’11, Social Coordinator

Until a few days ago, I had no idea what the Hellburger was.  When the idea to video tape the Hellburger challenge arose, my naïve self volunteered. This would be funny!

I was told no girl had ever attempted the challenge, so I was about to make history. I even roped Dan Gallagher into the fun, so I was ready. Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011 was the day. I was calm, cool and collected, laughing when people asked me if I was nervous. I really did not comprehend the difficult task that was ahead. It seemed like something fun to do; as Dan said, “just making some memories.” Well, let me tell you, memories were definitely made.

Staffers take the challenge (video)

The Hellburger Challenge from Tower Pulse on Vimeo.

I walked into Tom’s Hog and Dog and looked at the wall of past participants. Out of about ten, only four had succeeded, some in only three minutes! At this point, what I was about to do still hadn’t sunk in. When Tom sat down and explained to us that we had to sign a contract in order to participate, I started getting a little nervous. As he explained the rules- no dairy products during the challenge, time limit of seven minutes and 30 seconds, gloves must be worn, etc. — I began to realize just what I was getting myself into. But, of course, I accepted the terms with a smile and signed the paper in anticipation of this burger.

After a few minutes of waiting, a HUGE burger was set in front of me. A bun, two patties, cheese, a secret spicy sauce, and an endless amount of jalapeno peppers were all that encompassed the burger.  As my eyes widened, the countdown of seven and a half minutes began. The second I took a bite, the heat took over my body. My face and chest instantly turned bright red and my eyes started watering. The heat was so intense, I could hardly handle the pain. After only two minutes and hardly five bites, I had to give up. The gloves were stripped off of my hands and I proceeded to chug milk as fast as I could.

I couldn’t believe what I had just done. My mouth literally felt like a five-alarm fire was going on inside of it, and the milk couldn’t soothe my roaring mouth fast enough. After 10 minutes and four tall glasses of milk, the screaming in my mouth began to slowly disappear. As I looked around the room at the smiling faces of all of my friends, I realized that I had achieved my goal. Sure, I hadn’t finished the dreaded Hellburger, but I managed to make some history and provide a few laughs.

So, if you’re brave enough to try the Hellburger Challenge, more power to you. My only disclaimer: it tastes a whole lot better going down than it does coming back up.

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Prioritizing longer display time of the hard work put into homecoming, as well as cutting costs, members of both the Student Association and class councils met as a committee to revise the current homecoming procedures.

Although much of South is resistant to change, the revisions made by the committee make some necessary changes with minimal tampering of South’s homecoming tradition.

Cartoon by Emily Dawson '11.
Cartoon by Emily Dawson '11.

Finding a way to please those who wanted to leave posters up for the entirety of spirit week and those who wanted that aura of their classes specific spirit day: each class will have a section of the cross hall to display posters all week, while on each classes’ spirit day posters will be hung up in the morning, although on a slightly smaller section of the main hall. This will allow for greater appreciation of the class’ work as well as keeping the tradition of each class’ special day.

Although the décor of the indoor banners in the gym will be missed, the artwork was often the work of a single student and not representative of the class as a whole. It became a competition between four students, not four classes, and the elimination of the banners will help cut costs of the homecoming celebrations.

To simplify judging, as well as emphasize overall participation, the committee also grouped categories. The rock and the outdoor banner now form an Outdoor Decorations category, and the showcase and posters combine into an Indoor Decorations category. Similar to the Indoor Banner, the showcase and the rock often displayed the work of a small group of people, and by grouping them into a larger category, overall class participation can be emphasized.

Changes to the design of standard South homecoming shirts typically worn on Friday were also discussed. To help students earn more value out of the shirt, the design would not mention the year’s homecoming, and instead be a more generic shirt that could be re-worn to any South event. However, many students wear the homecoming shirt throughout the year regardless. To suit the needs of students who want the homecoming shirt, as well as students who may not be able to afford it, students should instead be given the option of buying the homecoming shirt. A generic South shirt could be sold in the school store for a similar price to suit students interested.

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