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Teens Create Contest!

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

Feeling creative? Teens Create Button

Be sure to check out our new Teens Create website. From now until May 15 if you submit a piece of writing, photography, art or even a video to the website, we will not only post it online, but enter you into a draw for prizes!

If you have any questions about the contest please feel free to email us at

When Steam Gets Fed Up With the Establishment

by Alexandra May - 1 Comment(s)

Steampunk is kinda like cyberpunk, only steamier, but not steamy as in romance; more like stLeviathaneamy as in steam engines, but not steam engines like in historical fiction; more like steam engines as in science fiction, which doesn't have many steam engines, which is why there's steampunk. Got it? Good...

Like a lot of genres and sub-genres steampunk isn't exactly new, (it's arguable how long it's been around) but there are always new entries and new people (like you!) to discover the old ones. Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan, Kenneth Oppel's Airborn series and of course Fullmetal Alchemist are some of the more recent and popular examples of Steampunk which combines historical settings (usually 20,000 LeaguesVictorian) with technology beyond what was available at the time. For example, a steam powered airship or... even more steam powered airships! (there's a lot of steam powered airships). Sometimes the plot is set in an alternate world, or sometimes just an alternate reality, but in either case it's always fun to see the ways in which society is reinvented through this clanky, gear driven, yet futuristic technology.

The roots of this genre go very deep, as such classics as H.G Well's War of the Worlds and my personal favourite, Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues UFull Metal Alchemistnder the Sea (giant squid vs. submarine what's not to love?) can be regarded as inspiration for Steampunk as they introduced extremely advanced technology into a Victorian setting while actually being published during Victorian times! (1898 and 1867).

Will similar genres emerge about our own time? What would we call it? Gasolinepunk? ipunk? e-punk? Let's hope so... or not... but check out one of these titles in what is definitely a quirky, imaginative and very fun genre.

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by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

So, I was reading the encyclopedia the other day when I stumbled across a...

Let's start that again.

So I was looking something up in the encyclopedia the other day, because I had to, not because I read encyclopedias for fun or anythiDictionary ng, when I found something interesting in the Britannica online. A dictionary of quotations!!! I know awesome right? Well if you still need convincing then check this out:

"People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us" -Iris Murdoch

After reading oh... about 30, some of which were great and some of which were... to quote my old home-ec teacher: "just awful," I starting wondering about what makes a quote worth remembering. (Words from the wise, baking powder and baking soda are not interchangeable)

"You know everyone is ignorant, just on different subjects" - Will Rogers

The quotes in Britannica’s dictionary come from an interesting variety of sources. There are authors, comedians, tyrannical dictators, musicians, people I've never heard of so I don't know what they do, religious leaders and politicians. Some of them are funny, some of them not so funny, some are inspirational and some serve as warnings. In fact the only thing which seems to unify the quotes we choose to remember (or at least write down in gigantic quote dictionaries) is their ability to sum up a big idea, very succinctly and with style.

"The person who knows “how” will always have a job. The person who knows “why” will always be his boss." - Diane Ravitch

Twitter Wit
Great quotes are great to add into great essays to make them greater. Especially if you have trouble expressing an idea without using the same word four times in the same sentence. Quotations are also great if you have to write a speech and you need a little extra zing to emphasize your point.

"It is only the wisest and the very stupidest who cannot change" - Confucius

So the next time you're writing a paper, or a speech, or an ad for your used rollerblades on Craigslist check out the Merriam Webster's Dictionary of Notable quotations or one of the great quote books in our collection. You might find something you can use.