Balloons burst onto new television show

One thing Americans are sure to get suckered into is   reality TV. Whether it be following the lives of the super tan, party-hardy Jersey Shore cast or some quirky balloon artists on TLC’s  new hit show, The Unpoppables, Americans can’t take their eyes off the entertaining and unusual shows. Episodes are only thirty minutes long, but entertain viewers by   hopping cities and rushing to get all projects completed for different events. Sometimes projects will take 100+ man hours and thousands of balloons to complete. New Balloon Art is becoming more and more popular, and this team of talented artists astonishes clients (and all watching the show) with the most original and inventive figures ever. Addi Somehk, one of the most innovative balloon artists today, is self-taught. He’s known for his abstract creations and has been featured in Martha Stewart Living and In Touch Magazine. His career began before the TV series when he and photographer Charlie Eckert published a book, The Inflatable Crown, in 2001. Somehk is a natural humorist. He enjoys playing the balloon bass and balloon drums, which are instruments he created for his potential music career. There is never  a dull moment watching him on the show. His passions are evident: to create the most interesting balloon masterpieces ever and to bring out a smile in anyone he comes in contact with. The trio is complete with two other artists, Brian Asman and Katie Balloons. Asman was a former chef, and began twisting to earn some extra money at a farmer’s market in Brooklyn. His side hobby soon became the reason he quit the restaurant business and began working with the New Balloon Art team. He has   created life-size caricatures and countless towering clowns and monsters. Somehk and Asman don’t always get along, which makes for twists in the show, but in the end their talents pull together to blow clients’ expectations out of the water. The lone female   artist, Katie Balloons, yes, she legally changed her last name to prove her true passion for her dedicated time to sculpting, is one of the top balloon dressmakers in the world. She has only been twisting for five years, but no one would know it was that short of time by her detailed work. Balloon clothing is her trademark, and she has become known around the world for her intricate, fitted works of wearable art. Most times, Balloons concentrates too much on her work; therefore, she doesn’t sleep or eat much, which cuts her fuse very short. Somehk recruited Balloons because of her willingness to complete jobs, and he believes she is a prodigy in the balloon...

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Privacy matters with matters of the heart

Being a celebrity means having little, if any, kind of personal life. Depending on which entertainment show, magazine or tabloid is most popular at the moment, one specific piece of information always seems to have viewers and readers everywhere tuned in – divorce. Think about it. Ratings sky rocketed when TLC’s reality TV stars, Jon and Kate Gosselin of Kate Plus 8, finalized their divorce two years ago. Every detail up until the signing date was covered. Supposedly, break-ups qualify as news. No one is safe in the public eye. Depending on if one person is seeking attention or not, divorce can be an extremely personal matter, and major news sources see it as a growth opportunity to rack up more readers and viewers. Take Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston for instance. They said “I do” in Malibu on July 29, 2000. Soon, their marriage was on the rocks. Some sketchy photos were submitted to magazines, and only six years later Angelina Jolie became Pitt’s new wife. Every magazine stand by check-out counters was covered with cheesy headlines like “Brangelina” and “Jen vs. Angie.” Even young celebrities have their breakups displayed for the entire world to see and hear. No wonder so many of them are going through tough times; their whole lives are constantly being watched. Show some sympathy, people. Yes, Taylor Swift has written many bashing songs about her exes, but that’s her way of expressing her hurt — not pictures of her and Jake Gyllenhaal posted all over People and OK! Magazine. It is inevitable. Stars will never be out of the spotlight because of who they are. Paparazzi will continue to snap photos of every little detail in their relationships. Tabloids will always turn those photos into a story to make a dollar, and the most upsetting part of it is some of the public will believe everything they see, hear and read. Where does the line need to be drawn? Granted, these stars have chosen to live very public lifestyles (it comes with the job), but is it really readers’ and viewers’ business to find their miseries “entertaining?” As part of the public eye, it’s heartbreaking to know these people (who are just like us, but have more fame to their name) are experiencing a kind of hurt most of us can’t fathom. Breakups are one thing, but to end a marriage is another. If the temptation to catch up on the latest break ups and make ups is too much, take the time to be in their shoes. As humans, we are all going to mess up and make fools of...

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Slogan for high baseball prospects
Feb21

Slogan for high baseball prospects

Cru baseball is back in season, and the team is ready to “find a way.” Head coach Derek Dunaway is in his first year in this position for the purple and gold and is hopeful for a successful season. “When I got the job, I was sitting around one day thinking about things people were asking me, ‘how are you going to do this and that?’ and I said ‘we’re just going to find a way.’” That’s when Dunaway knew he was going to share the new slogan with the team. “When everything starts going bad, we’ll find a way,” he said. “We put it on the back of our shirts for a reason. It’s not just a cliche.” It’s early in the season, and so far the record is 1-5, but Dunaway and the Cru are not going to give up easily. “It hasn’t been good on paper, but in the long run, I think this will be a good experience for us. As long as we can stick together and keep doing the right things, eventually we’re going to start winning some games.” Junior sport management and finance major and pitcher Andy Evans is not going to let a rough start bring him down. “It doesn’t stop the excitement our team has,” he said. “There are a lot of good things happening beneath that 1-5 record. We are honing in to find the spark through our focus and hard work every day at practice.” Evans said they are “content with where they are and know what lies ahead of us,” and he is certain the team is capable of achieving it. They are a young team with “a lot of new faces,” Dunaway said. “We’ve got a pretty special group of guys this year,” he said. “We talk about team chemistry and being a family …. We’ve got that part going.” As head coach, he is pleased with how the team is functioning. “Guys care about each other. They’re playing for each other…. They’re playing hard and working hard.” Senior economics major and right fielder Ricky Brenek is thankful for “good team chemistry. Everyone has good work ethic, and we all pick each other up,” he said. “Things are not going our way right now, but I think working together and working hard will eventually turn things around.” The Cru will be on the road more than at home this season. The next trip is Feb. 25 to Mississippi College. Dunaway said, “No matter what it is, you can either find an excuse, or you can find a...

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Classic winter trend to keep warm: fashionable boots
Feb08

Classic winter trend to keep warm: fashionable boots

On Feb. 2 Mr. Groundhog didn’t see his shadow. Therefore, only a few more weeks of winter are left. So, gear up with the one fashion trend that is sure to stick around for the rest of the season — a good pair of chic boots. There are many different brands and styles that many women own, and are still searching for that perfect pair. Over the knee, ankle booties, fold down, flat bottom, heel, cowboy and faux fur boots are only a few choices from a long list of styles. Paired with leggings, jeggings, jeans or dresses, there are many styles to choose from. One popular choice seen around campus is the infamous Ugg boots. These are most comfortable when walking to class, and keep toes warm in the cold weather Senior computer graphic design major Kyla Williams enjoys seeing the different styles around campus. “Boots are a classic winter look year after year. They’re functional and cute,” she said. About the styles she enjoys, Williams said, “I like simple, clean lines without a lot of extra decoration and the higher the better. … I love over-the-knee boots.” Williams owns a pair of square-toed black leather boots, but after seeing the recent trends, she would like to own a pair of the popular brown suede style. For junior visual communication art major Lauren Cross, one particular pair of boots has a sentimental meaning. She said “I do” to her husband in December 2010, while wearing her white gown with cowboy boots. “I’ve been wearing boots since I was a kid,” she said. “And when I found out it was going to be raining on my wedding day, I was so glad I brought my boots for back up …. so I threw on those bad boys and got hitched.” Junior nursing major Jacquie Case isn’t fond of some fashion choices women make. “I must say I don’t like the look of boots with shorts, like some women wear.” Case prefers to wear her brown leather heel boots with tights and sweater dresses. She said, “They can be dressed up or down, and this is perfect weather for...

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Cru Knights becomes international
Feb08

Cru Knights becomes international

Spring semester this year is filled with many traditions such as Charter Day – the celebration of the university’s 166th birthday, Easter Pageant – the 72nd annual reenactment of Jesus’ resurrection, Stunt Night – a big dance-off competition between each class, and the one tradition that crowns the alpha male to represent UMHB – Crusader Knights. Eighteen contestants will be competing for the title Mr. Crusader Knight Feb. 18-19. One of those is senior computer science major Sheshan Ratnam, who is representing Gamma Beta Phi. Ratnam grew up in Kandy, Sri Lanka, which is about 1/4 the size of Austin. He attended Trinity College, a Christian private school and was active in playing rugby and cricket. Growing up in such a diverse culture, Ratnam knows many people with different religious backgrounds. “My friends include mostly Buddhists, Catholics, Muslims and Hindus,” he said. He and his family moved to Texas in the fall of 2009. “The weather is very much different, as Sri Lanka is a tropical island, but I guess I’m getting used to the weird Texas weather,” he said. Ratnam’s story differs from some of the contestants since he did not grow up in the States. “My dad is a pastor, and my parents have been missionaries with Hope for the Hungry,” he said. “He connected with an organization called WEGO (Worldwide Evangelical Outreach) when he was studying in Dallas a long time ago …. That’s how he (joined) with Hope.” Over the past 25 years, the Ratnams’ ministry has grown from a small pioneer church in Gampola, a suburb of Kandy, to eight campuses around the area. “My dad still travels around back and forth because we have several churches back home,” he said. “It has grown significantly because God has blessed it among much oppression.” With two years of college completed back in Sri Lanka, Ratnam said transferring to UMHB has been “quite an experience” for him. “I love it …. meeting new people and adjusting to college life.” Until recently, Ratnam didn’t know he was going to participate as a contestant in Crusader Knights. Like Miss MHB, the event has practices three times a week from 6 to 9 p.m. and sometimes even later. But Ratnam has been able to dedicate his time to the event, and it has been worth it. “It’s been pretty fun,” he said. “I’m not much of a dancer, and it’s my first time doing something like this.” Ratnam already has created memories and new, hopefully, long-lasting relationships. “I’ve made a lot of good friends and have learned how to work with a team and learn from each other …....

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