Tag Archives: Adam Clevenger

SHANGHAI BOY IS EXCELLENT AMERICAN FOOD

December 12, 2003

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by Adam Clevenger

Where can you get moo shu beef with a side of fries or have a fortune cookie after your double cheeseburger? At none other than Shanghai Boy, the only fast food restaurant in Lee’s Summit to serve both Chinese and American cuisine.

Housed in the old Burger Boy on Third Street, just a few miles east of the Longview campus, Shanghai Boy provides just the right mix of east and west. The menu is obviously quite diverse, with beef, chicken, pork, shrimp and tofu Chinese dishes, soups, a long list of appetizers and several American-style sandwiches for the less adventurous. Prices are extremely affordable and quite friendly to the college student’s pocketbook.

Upon entering, I was helped right away, and service was exceptional as long as you don’t mind ordering and receiving your food at a counter. Being a coward when it comes to Chinese food and especially eating at new Chinese restaurants, I went with my old standby, sesame chicken, thinking, “No one can mess up sesame chicken.” Thankfully, I was right, and quite pleasantly surprised. The food was just as good as, if not better than, any other Chinese restaurant in the area.

While I’m no expert on local Chinese eateries, those who know me well will testify that getting me to enjoy any type of foreign food is no small feat. The meal left me with such a good feeling that I had some ice cream afterwards, which was also quite tasty. My only complaints about Shanghai Boy would be that the portions are a bit small and the dining room isn’t up to par with other Chinese restaurants in town. The food is served ready to take out, so the dining room isn’t really much of an issue.

I can honestly say that Shanghai Boy isn’t the best place to get a burger in town, and probably won’t be the best Chinese you’ve ever had, but it is the best Chinese and American fast food joint in town.

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REVIEW: THE VESPA

November 21, 2003

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by Adam Clevenger
Missouri College Media Award: Second Place, Entertainment Review

On a 40-degree day, if the wind is blowing about 45 mph, the wind chill is somewhere around four degrees. This is where I found myself while test riding the new Vespa ET4 at Vespa of Kansas City on a cold November day.

People may say that getting to test ride the newest and best in motor scooters would be a great job. Tell that to my chapped lips. My 20-minute ride on the ET4 was long enough to make me want to take a permanent vacation to anywhere between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, but it was also long enough for me to answer the question: Why buy a Vespa?

Why, indeed, I found myself asking before visiting the dealership. They’re small, under-powered and to buy one would be shamelessly giving in to the hip trend of the minute, right?

Wrong. I found the Vespa to be comfortably sized and quite torquey for a scooter. As for submitting to pop culture, that’s more of a personal issue.

Vespa makes two scooters, both made of durable steel, just the same as when the company first started in 1946. The ET2 has a 50 cc, 2-stroke engine that is good for about 30 mph. The ET4 has a 150cc, 4-stroke engine that will cruise at about 65 mph. Both scooters have classic styling reminiscent of the original Vespas and would look right at home in front of a small Tuscan cafe. The steel construction makes for an extremely durable scooter, a higher quality product than any of the scooters that Japanese makers produce. The ET4 is a well balanced vehicle, with agile handling and a comfortable ride, even over the bumpy parking lot where I test rode. No shifting makes for an easy ride, but bikers beware, the handle that typically engages the clutch operates the rear brake. The 150cc engine and automatic transmission are coupled well, with the right amount of get-up-and-go and ease of operation.

Although it won’t make it up any rocky mountain trails or win any drag races, the Vespa is very capable on its own turf. And it has fun while doing it.

Bottom line? The Vespa is about as much fun as one can have in an Overland Park parking lot on a 40-degree day. While the price tag may drive college students away (nearly $3,000 for the ET2 and $4,000 for the ET4), the hip styling and environmentally conscious movie-star image should endear them to the Vespa. I highly suggest taking one out for a test ride … next July.

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Column: Pink Alert!

October 31, 2003

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by ADAM CLEVENGER

In these days of red alerts, amber alerts, pink alerts and chartreuse alerts following (yes, I’m going to say it) September 11, it is crucial for the Longview student to be familiar with the Metropolitan Community Colleges Emergency Procedures Manual.

For the sake of this article, I will shorten it to the MCCEPM because I’m a huge fan of ridiculously long acronyms like NAFTA, USSR and OU812, which isn’t really an acronym, just a really good Van Halen album. I prefer shorter acronyms like NRA and NFL- -they’re just easier to understand.

But I digress. The MCCEPM is a very important book and every Longview student should know its contents forwards and backwards. The MCCEPM starts out with a letter from the chancellor, who everybody knows is Wayne E. Giles, not to be confused with J. Geils of “Love Stinks” fame. He states that, “The information in this book was prepared with the sincere hope that it will never be needed.” In the case of media inquiries and mail handling, I hope it will be needed. It would be bad if they didn’t open any transcripts or didn’t get hold of me when Tom Brokaw calls for an exclusive interview regarding my blossoming music career or my Pulitzer Prize for this article. In the case of death or suicide, I hope no one ever needs to use it.

Speaking of death and suicide, the third thing MCCEPM says you should do after calling 911 and public security is, “address the victim in a calm and soothing manner.” Personally, if I were dead, I wouldn’t care how someone addressed me, because I would be dead. If there is a hostile intruder, one should “Explain that you are willing to help.”

Imagine that you are in the Longview bookstore when a very angry hostile intruder comes in with a gun:

Hostile Intruder: Everybody get down! This is a stick up! I am a very angry, hostile intruder!

Innocent bystander (in a clear quiet voice): Why are you so very angry, hostile intruder?

Hostile Intruder (flailing arms like a crazy person): My Introduction to Economics book just cost $400 and I must rob this bookstore so I can feed my children!

Innocent bystander (still in a clear and quiet voice): Is there anything I can do to help?

Hostile Intruder: Yes, please hold my gun while I bust open the register! Now that I have the register open, hold this sack so I can shovel money into it!

Innocent bystander: Here’s your gun. Did you know that the safety wasn’t on? Oh, wait. Don’t forget your money. If you still have to pay your tuition, you might want to rob the cafeteria also.

Hostile intruder: Why, thank you, innocent bystander. It’s always good to practice gun safety even when robbing a bookstore! I’ll be sure to stop by the cafeteria. All this holding people up has made me hungry and, with inflated tuition prices, I’ll need the extra cash!

Innocent bystander: Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Hostile intruder: I could use a getaway car!

Innocent bystander: Here, take mine. Mommy and Daddy will just buy me a new one. Have a nice day!

At this point, Hostile Intruder exits and Innocent Bystander becomes a willing accomplice. A clerk calls the police and public security (whoever that is).

As you can see, this book could save your life if you ever find yourself in a dangerous situation. If you ever play the role of Hostile Intruder, this book could help you get away with a lot of cash.

It is important to note that I am only covering a few of the situations contained in the MCCEPM, and to get the full effect and achieve the optimum level of safety and readiness, you should read through the whole manual. Ask your teachers to go through it in class. Have role playing activities so you can get practice. Have brainstorming sessions to think of way to improve the emergency procedures.

You could come up with more things to listen for and more questions to ask the next time you receive a phoned-in bomb threat. Instead of just asking the usual boring questions about a bomb like: Where is the bomb? What will set it off? What is your address?

Instead, have some fun with it. Ask the caller pertinent questions, like: What is your name? What is your quest? What is your favorite color? You might as well enjoy talking to a crazed maniac on the phone because if there really is a bomb, you’ll probably be dead soon, with people addressing you in a “calm and soothing manner,” and it’s not every day that you get to talk to the unabomber.

One last important thing to pay attention to when you receive a bomb threat is background noise. For example, if you hear music in the background and it’s J. Giles singing “Love Stinks,” you never know who it might be- maybe the chancellor is just checking to see if we’re on our toes and hoping that we don’t have to use the manual. Or Tom Brokaw may just be calling from the Unabomber’s phone trying to reach me for an exclusive interview about my newest single, entitled “Pink Alert.”

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Do something different

October 31, 2003

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Get into the groove

Starting next semester in the rec center there will be a dance class. The class will be taught by Susan Rieger, artistic director at Ah Ha dance company. Rieger states that, “The class is meant to touch on a wide variety of dancing styles to find out where interest lies.” The course will be a survey course covering most styles of dance including ballet, jazz, modern and even some tap. Rieger has heard of some interest in the class from students in the music department that are looking to get involved in musical theatre. This class will be a beginner’s course with no prerequisite, but be warned some of the dancing may be physically demanding. When asked if she could teach a tall lanky white boy with no rhythm like myself to dance, Rieger responded quite enthusiastically, “Of course!” Sounds like a winner to me.

-Adam Clevenger

Bowl a game

The earliest recorded incident of bowling goes back 7,000 years to ancient Egypt, where a round object and marble bars were found in a boys grave located in the ruins of a pyramid, according to http://www.bowl-nj.com.

Students can learn this and more by registering for PHED 141 – Bowling I next semester at Blue Springs Bowl, through Blue River Community College.

The class focus on the history of bowling and the development of individual skills and techniques. Facilities, etiquette, equipment, league organization and unabridged rules will also be covered.

Already taken this one-credit course? Bowling II will further your performance skills, techniques, form, rhythm and coordination. Individual bowling and league games will be played.

-Michelle Anthuis

En garde!

Prises de fer, the taking of the opponent’s blade and coup de temps, a counter-offensive thrust made that deflects an opponent’s thrust, is only part of an exciting class that Longview offers – fencing.

But don’t be expecting to see those highly choreographed, leaping from balconies and hanging from the chandelier type of fighting seen in various movies. Instead, it will be like an extremely fast dance on a six-foot by 40-foot strip.

PHED 135; Fencing I, teaches the basic skills, history and etiquette of foil fencing. Practices of techniques and strategies of this infamous sport will also be the highlight of this course.

Advance your skills by signing up for Fencing II.

-Michelle Anthuis

Make a map

Intro to Geographic Information Systems is a new and interesting three-credit course that will be open to register next semester with professor Carl Priesendorf.

This class will be covering many different elements of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Primarily, the objective is to investigate interactive GIS applications rather than develop expert users.

Students will also study spatial information, real-world applications, map creations and analysis.

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Africa’s first republic nation continues to wage a never ending war and falls into economic crisis

October 10, 2003

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by ADAM CLEVENGER

Situated right on the Atlantic Ocean between Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast in Western Africa is Liberia, one of the darkest and desperate countries in the world. In a country not much bigger than the state of Tennessee, nearly three and a half million people have been living in a state of chaotic civil war and repeated coups for more than a decade.

In 1816 the American Colonization Society was established with the mission to provide freed slaves and recaptured Africans a colony on the African continent. According to americanhistory.allinfoabout.com, early attempts made in 1820-1821 failed in Sierra Leone due to tropical diseases. A later attempt in 1825 was successful and the Colony of Liberia was established. The colony was in the Cape Mesurado region on land purchased from native tribes. The American idea of private land ownership and the fact that the settlers were mostly Christian caused some tension between the settlers and the native tribes.

Trade relations with America and Europe also caused problems. The natives, who already had trade relations with American and European companies, saw the new settlers as a threat to their trade. The natives set up blockades keeping the settlements from getting the supplies they needed.

In 1843 the United States Navy was sent to break up the blockade. On July 26, 1847 Liberia became the first republic in Africa. Until 1980, when a tribal leader seized power during a violent coup, American-Liberians were the sole rulers in Liberia. Since 1990 coups and rebellions too numerous to count have kept Liberia in an almost constant state of civil war.

According to the CIA World Factbook on Liberia, http://www.cia.gov, 43.4% of the population is age 14 and under. Death and destruction is all they know. An article in October 2003 Vanity Fair tells of multiple rebel groups that recruit those old enough to hold a gun but much too young to kill, initiating the young by forcing them to kill their parents or participate in other horrific acts. Tactics of systematic amputation, regular drug use and cannibalism are commonplace for these brutal rebel groups with leaders named Captain Kill Easy and General Die. Government militia groups work for no pay, just looting rights. They will often incite street fighting in neighborhoods to make looting easier.

Much of the chaos and instability can be traced back to Pres. Charles Taylor, who was elected in 1997, mostly unopposed. Taylor won the 1997 elections by threatening to continue the then eight-year old civil war if he wasn’t elected. He was supported by 85% of the population. Although following his election there was a brief lull in fighting, economic and social deterioration has since then caused the country to slip back into a dark state of civil war.

Liberia also supports the rebellions and civil wars in other west African countries including its neighbors to the west, Sierra Leone. Liberia’s economy is so severely damaged to the point that rebuilding is almost impossible. Liberia’s gross domestic Product is deteriorating at a rate of 5% while inflation is rising at a rate of 15%.

In a report posted on allafrica.com Sept. 23, 2003 Lyefu Adoba stated that on October 1, 2003, the UN peacekeeping force is scheduled to take over power from ECOMIL, the current ruling rebel group. Nigeria will be heading up the force of 15,000 soldiers and 1,000 policemen. Malam Saidu Samalia, minister of state for foreign affairs said that trade and commerce can not flourish in a nation without peace and stability.

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