Wednesday, February 23, 2011

8th Annual Pop Culture Trivia Night

Friday, Feb. 25th at 7p.m.

St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley Student Center Multipurpose Room
3400 Pershall Road in Ferguson
Doors open at 6:30p.m.
Single players: $15 in advance, $20 at the door
Students (with valid I.D.): $10, $15 at the door
Team of 8 players: $100, ($80.00 in advance for students)

  • 50/50 drawing
  • Silent Auction
  • Mulligans
  • Popcorn Provided (drinks and snacks allowed, but NO alcoholic beverages)
For more information, or to register, contact Tim Gorry at 314-513-4463 or

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mardi Gras: a History by Sheila Shafie

Some people say our Mardi Gras is almost as big of a celebration as the one in New Orleans. But, what most people don't know is--there is a ton of history behind all of those beads. 

The term Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday". Sounds like a funny name, but it refers to something a bit more serious. For many people, Fat Tuesday is the last night of eating rich, fatty, and (typically) un-healthy foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which is what we now know as Ash Wednesday. 

Lent is 40 days of fasting and abstinence, which may seem to be never-ending for those participating in it, who have given up their guilty pleasures. Did you know that the celebration of Mardi Gras goes all the way back to early Roman times? 

Nowadays, the most popular Mardi Gras celebrations take place closer to Mardi Gras itself. However, in the past, Christians traditionally began celebrating on January 6. They called it "Carnival". This day is known to Christians as the Epiphany. “Carnival” is Latin for "farewell to the flesh". On the Epiphany, people often indulge in a sweet, dessert-like bread by the name of King's cake. This dessert is often served around Mardi Gras. Some say that King’s cake used to be shaped in a circle to imitate the circular paths that the three wise men took to find Jesus when he was a baby. 

So, where does throwing beads come from? You would be surprised to know that it also comes from religious traits. As odd as it may sound, the beads are supposed to represent the gifts that the three wise men gave to Jesus. 

So, who invented Mardi Gras? Long ago, the Le Moyne brothers, Pierre and Jean, brought Mardi Gras to America. This was all the way back in the 17th century. King Louis XIV sent the brothers to this continent to claim "Louisiane", which is what we now know as the states of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. The brothers expedition started on the Mississippi River in March of 1699. They continued upstream for a while. Only a day later, the brothers arrived to a spot around 60 miles down the river from, you guessed it, New Orleans. It has been known for it's tremendous celebrations ever since.  The tradition of Mardi Gras only grew larger over the years. 

“Krewes” were soon formed, which planned the parades that are now affiliated with the partying all over our nation. So, why the colors purple, green and gold? Way back in 1872, the Krewe’s King (the king of the celebrators) gave Mardi Gras its colors. These colors represent justice, power and faith. 

So, there's just a bit of background information to think about before you head down to Soulard with your friends. If you plan on participating in Lent, make sure you get your last bit of indulging at Mardi Gras this year.

Puppies on Parade by Sheila Shafie

Charlie the dog cozies up to the camera as he is in the arms of Christina Winters.

Do you have a dog that you want to show off and socialize to other dogs? Bring your friendly canine to the dog parade. The parade is a yearly event held at Mardi Gras. It is free for every person and every pup. However, if you'd like to make a donation to the open door animal sanctuary, you are more than welcome. The dog parade takes place on Feb., 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but the actual parade is at 1 p.m.. Festivities like the wiener dog races will be going on sometime in between as well. This event is at the intersection of Allen and Menard in Soulard. For more info, go to

Looking for a unique way to celebrate Black history month? by Sheila Shafie

Honor it by going to see "Ruined", a play about two women that live in a small town that is in the middle of war-torn Democratic & Republic of the congo. This play is about two women who are taken away from their families and constantly struggling to survive. This play looks at the females ways of surviving the tough times they are facing with a constant threat of war. They are black women in a very difficult time, but they must make the most of it and embrace it.

Where:               Grandel Theatre
                           3610 Grandel Square
                           Saint Louis, MO. 63108

When:                Wed., Feb 16th- Sun., March 6th

Who:                  Open to the public

Cost:                  $17.00-$42.00 (depending on section)

More info:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

High School Students Explore Communications

     This year, high school students from the St. Louis area joined the Communications Explorer Post at St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley.  The students learn about the various career options available to them in the field of communications including broadcasting (radio and television), advertising, public relations, print and online journalism. 
     The Communications Explorers, sponsored by the Greater St. Louis Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, meet on a monthly basis at the Florissant Valley campus. Students got a taste of journalism during their February meeting while conducting interviews and taking photos of each other.

Clockwise: Steven Roach, Steve Bai, Jacquiline Danie-Bolden, Katie Grana, Richard Prymer
Photo by Renee Thomas-Woods

Hazelwood East junior, Steven Roach, has a passion for journalism and law.  He loves to help people and his motto is you can achieve any goal if you work your hardest. 
Photo by Richard Prymer

Hazelwood East Junior, Jacquiline Daniel-Bolden, wants to major in Media Arts in college.  She believes in the influence of media in the world and hopes to be a positive asset to the field and it’s evolution. 
Photo by Renee Thomas-Woods 

The Honor Roll is an achievement and a standard expectation for Richard Prymer, Hazelwood East senior.
Photo by Steven Roach

Steve Bai, Communications Faculty
Photo by Renee Thomas-Woods

Katie Grana, Learning for Life Executive
Photo by Renee Thomas-Woods

Friday, February 4, 2011

Inside look at how the Superbowl teams got there by Anthony Pickens

            On Sunday, February 6, The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers will face off at Superbowl XLV for what is sure to be a great matchup. The road was long and hard for both teams who battled numerous odds, and now one game away from possibly being named champion.
            Green Bay started out as the hot favorite by many people to win the NFC Football Conference before the season started. However, as the season progressed key injuries to many of the team’s star players, Ryan Grant, Nick Barnett and Jermichael Finley kept many people in doubt about the Packers.
The Packers struggled slightly during the season as they had a tough time trying to adapt to the departure of their key injured starters. With the help of players like quarterback Aaron Rodgers and outside linebacker Clay Matthews, the Packers were able to play well enough at the end of the season to not only make the playoffs, but find a way to make it to the Superbowl, as well.  
The Pittsburgh Steelers started the season strong at 3-1 with their star quarterback Ben Rothlisberger suspended for the first four games of the season. The Steelers have been one of the more consistent teams in the NFL since the 2010-2011 season started. With a strong defense led by star players James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu, the Steelers look to win their third Superbowl in six years.
The Packers and the Steelers are two historic NFL franchises with a lot of championship history, and this Sunday one of these two teams will add yet another championship to their rich history.
For more information you can go to about the upcoming game 

Fury Fall Short in Tightly Contested Game by Anthony Pickens

     The Florissant Valley Fury took on the North Arkansas Pioneers on Saturday afternoon at home.  They lost to the Pioneers in what was a close game. The final score was 74-67.
     North Arkansas’s 1-3-1 zone defense gave the Fury many problems in the first half. The Fury struggled to get any momentum going into halftime trailing 33-28. However, despite their slow start on offense in the first half, the Fury were able to regain their composure in the second half as they got off to a fast start on offense.
     In the end, the Fury gave up a lot of open three point baskets to the Pioneers and missed on a few critical transition baskets where a few-alley hoop attempts were missed.
    When asked about the things that the team needs to improve upon heading into the next game Coach Jamel Richardson replied, “We need to put together a rhythm where we play 40 minutes of solid basketball.”