Mount Hood

4 Podcasts You Should Be Listening To



By Nathaniel Dunaway
Entertainment Editor


Ideally, winter break is a time to sit back, relax, and let all the stress and worry of fall term just melt away. It’s also a great time to grab a nice cup of cocoa or eggnog, pop in some earbuds, and listen to some podcasts. If you aren’t already a fan of podcasts, you should give them a shot. They can help you learn a language, cook a meal, or study for an exam. Podcasts can make you smarter, and they can make you happier. The following is just a handful of podcasts you should give a try this winter break.

  1. “The Truth”


Described as “movies for your ears,” “The Truth” is a frequently improvised story podcast that serves as a form of dramatic audio storytelling. Ranging in tone from hilarious to deeply emotionally affecting, the stories that unfold on “The Truth” are always full of heart and, well, truth. The first episode, entitled “Moon Graffiti,” was inspired by the speech Nixon wrote in case the 1969 Apollo moon landing had failed.


  1. “Thrilling Adventure Hour”



Staged live in the style of old-time radio stories of the ‘40s and ‘50s, “TAH” is a wonderful little podcast that’s perfect for the listener who’s looking for long story arcs and plenty of recurring characters. One series, called “Beyond Belief,” chronicles the paranormal investigations of socialite couple Frank and Sadie Doyle. Another, “Sparks Nevada,” tells the ongoing tale of the heroic marshal of Mars. Nathan Fillion makes frequent appearances in the latter series, as the Mayor of Mars, Cactoid Jim.


  1. “Stuff You Missed in History Class”


A spinoff of the “Stuff You Should Know” and “HowStuffWorks” podcasts, “SYMiHC” covers unique or little-known historical topics such as “5 War Dogs of History,” “Is there a real Macbeth curse?” and “Mary Anning, Princess of Paleontology.” It’s an incredibly informative podcast that is always fascinating and engaging. Each episode is only about 25 minutes long, so in just one afternoon you can learn an incredible amount.


  1. “The Moth”


Much like the similar podcast “StoryCorps,” “The Moth” is dedicated to the art of storytelling. Unlike “StoryCorps,” however, these stories are told and recorded on stage in front of live audiences. These first-person tales are often heart-wrenching and beautiful, and they help us to understand the importance of recording stories, as well as give credence to the adage that everyone has at least one great story to tell.


Watsky Destroys Portland

George watsky is the recipient of the youth speaks and brave new voices poetry slam awards. PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIPEDIA


By Declan Hertel
 Staff Writer

I feel music on a spiritual level. My belief in the power of
music is the closest thing I have to a religion.

The philosopher Kant called music “the quickening art”; it changes moods and minds and brings life back to the lifeless.

Music is the one thing I believe in wholeheartedly, and as such it has become my religion in a way.

If music is my religion, then live performances are my church. And boy, do I love going to church. I had the privilege Dec. 1 of hearing a sermon delivered by the reverend Watsky, an alternative hip-hop artist from San Francisco.

I have been a fan of Watsky for a long while and tonight was the first time I had ever seen him live. He did not disappoint.

Watsky played the Wonder Ballroom, a great little Portland venue, on the final leg of his North American tour supporting his stellar new album “All You Can Do.”

After excellent opening performances by Anderson Paak and KYLE, both of whom have a new fan in me, Watsky stormed out of the gate with the raging anthem “Bet Against Me” from his new record. He immediately had the entire crowd screaming along with him, and they didn’t stop for the entirety of his hour-thirty set.

He blazed through old songs and new, occasionally offering some of his brilliant spoken word poetry, flawlessly and passionately delivering his intricate lyrics as his backing band tried their very best to match his energy (they succeeded).

When he stopped to talk to us about things he cared about, he was very genuine and kept wide of condescension. He closed the main show with “Whoa Whoa Whoa,” a song showcasing the incredible speed at which Watsky can rap with a chorus so catchy it ought to be criminal.

After a deafening chant of his name from the crowd, Watsky and his band returned to the stage to play the title track from “All You Can Do,” and ended the night with “IDGAF,” a song from his first album that once again had the crowd bellowing the profane chorus. It was reckless, joyful and immensely inspiring.

Folks, please, please go see live music. It is an experience like no other. You become part of something greater than yourself; at a show a community is born and then lives spectacularly and dies with an explosion all in the space of three hours. And it is beautiful.

The volume of the show made me near deaf. My throat hurt from screaming along. My entire body ached from jumping around all night. But I had the time of my life.

Review: Cartoon Network’s “Over the Garden Wall”

by Declan Hertel

The urge to gush about how much I love this show is one I must repress. If you have ever enjoyed a cartoon in your life, you owe it to yourself to seek out and watch Patrick McHale’s “Over the Garden Wall,” a 10-episode miniseries that aired on Cartoon Network earlier this month.

A deceptively simple tale of two brothers trying to find their way home after stumbling into The Unknown, the series strikes an excellent balance of childish (and adorable) slapstick comedy, old folk tales and a deep sense of dread and uncertainty.

All the performances are spot on. Elijah Wood (“The Lord of the Rings”) very effectively plays the older brother Wirt, a young man stuck between his sensitive, artistic nature and the realities of the world.

The younger brother Greg, played by Collin Dean (“Hotel Transylvania”), is a perpetually optimistic goofball whose nonsensical songs and interactions with his never-really-named frog will bring a smile to even the most heartless of viewers.

The brothers join up with a bluebird named Beatrice (Melanie Lynskey, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”), an angsty teenage bluebird with a serious attitude who claims she can get them home.

Christopher Lloyd (“Back to the Future”) plays the delightfully creepy Woodsman, and John Cleese (“Monty Python”) plays an eccentric aristocrat with a ghostly paramour.

Speaking of creepy, this show is seriously unsettling at times. Where some episodes are lighthearted affairs, others are very dark and even scary.

The show never struggles with these mood changes, often jumping back and forth between them multiple times. They use their characters to this effect well, ping-ponging between threatening and amiable from moment to moment.

These moments of dread and fear are perfectly balanced with the moments of heartwarming and silliness mostly provided by Greg with his optimism and gung-ho approach to the world, not to mention the candy in his pants.

This is to the credit of the writers and animators, who have created a plethora of strange characters to populate their world.

The series is dripping with a distinct early-20th century Americana aesthetic that will make you long for a time and place that never really was.

The muted autumn color palette gives the show its folk-tale feeling, and all the characters are costumed in archaic garb.

This story feels like one that could have been pulled out of an old children’s book.

The music is phenomenal, from polka to sweet piano tunes, and further establishes this fully formed and delightful universe the characters inhabit.

“Over the Garden Wall” is absolutely worth the entire hour-thirty it takes to watch the whole series.

While I’d very much like to visit The Unknown again, the length and content of this miniseries was perfect.

After watching the complete series three times, I assure you that it gets better each time.

“Over the Garden Wall” is a wonderful tale that will stick with you after its all-too-brief runtime, and make you wish for more.

A Touch of the Supernatural



Students got a new take on Halloween, and a taste of the supernatural, as they wandered down the halls of Todd and Campbell Hall in search of ghosts. Professional ghost hunter Ross Allison visited Western Tuesday night and presented on what it means to hunt the supernatural to over 100 students.

Allison gave students a brief history on ghosts, and paranormal activity, shared his experiences of work he performs on a daily basis.

After his speech, Allison took students through Todd Hall, Campbell Hall and The Cottage in a ghost hunt, which provided students a hands-on experience of what he does for a living.
According to Allison, he is the only full time ghost hunter in the Pacific Northwest, and is the founder of A.G.H.O.S.T. (Advanced Ghost Hunters of Seattle-Tacoma).

He teaches students Ghostology 101 at the University of Washington and Tacoma Community College. Examining the unknown has allowed Allison to travel around the world and be featured on several television programs including The Learning Channel’s “America”,

MTV, CMT, CNN, A&E, The Discovery Channel and many more. He is planning to write several books and Western will be featured in one of them.

“I have always been curious about this kind of stuff and I believe there is something out there; people just need to keep an open mind,” Allison said. He said his main focus and goal while being a ghost hunter is to always be honest and follow “PDP” (Passion, Dedication, Patience).

He also allowed students to use his equipment, which included EVP Recorders (Electronic Voice Phenomena). This type of equipment detects human – sounding voices from any unknown source.
Throughout the night, Allison gave students the opportunity to interact with the unknown and ask questions.

“I really enjoyed being part of the ghost hunt, and getting to try something I would’ve never thought about doing,” said first year- David Hoover.

“There was definitely something interesting here at Western, and I would love to come back with my team and take a better look.” Allison said.

Movie Review: The Best of Me

by Haunani Tomas, Managing Editor


My friends and I decided to watch “The Best of Me” twenty minutes before show time on a Friday night. In other words, there was no time for some pre-movie plot research and I did not read the Nicholas Sparks’ novel.

I was unprepared and completely blindsided for assuming this movie would be a romantic tale comparable to other cliché chick flicks like “Titanic” and “The Notebook”. But, if you liked those movies even the slightest bit, you’ll be head over heels for this heartbreaker. Side note: I am not one to cry in movies or grovel at the cuteness of couples but this movie was an isolated incident.

Dawson Cole (James Marsden) and Amanda Collier (Michelle Monaghan) return to their hometown in Louisiana after receiving news about the passing of their mutual friend, Tuck. Tuck’s will requests the two to fulfill his final wishes together: pack up his belongings and spread his ashes at his cabin

Key word: together.

Flashback to a high school Dawson (Luke Bracey) running away from home, after refusing to help his family with a drug deal, to meet a young southern belle named Amanda (Liana Liberato) for a first date.

Dawson wanders aimlessly to find a place to sleep for the night. He comes across a garage and falls asleep in a sweet classic car.

Tuck finds Dawson the next morning, recognizes that he is the only good Cole in the family and takes him in without hesitation.

The Cole family, notorious for their drug and criminal activity, is the polar opposite of the Colliers: a Kentucky Derby-esque pedigree.

Mr. Collier attempts to bribe Dawson into leaving his daughter. Although we understand Mr. Collier’s desire for his pride and joy to be unaffiliated with the white trash clan that is the Coles, Dawson is an extraordinary exception.

Although they hail from opposite sides of the tracks, Amanda and Dawson are perfect for each other in the way that Mondays are for football and chips are for salsa. They are the type of couple that single sorority girls regard as their (high) relationship goals.

They literally bring out the best in each other.

Obviously, something happens that prohibits this exemplary high school sweetheart love, which will not be discussed.

Fast forward 21 years: while spreading Tuck’s ashes at his cabin, the old couple realize Tuck’s tacit final wish is to bring Amanda and Dawson back together despite their prolonged disconnect of two decades.

“The Best of Me” reminds us of the depth of a first love, the desire that arises when it is disallowed and the beauty of a feelings that ascend a decades.

All Hallow’s Read



Halloween is upon us again, and with it comes one of the newest traditions associated with the holiday celebrating all things spooky: All Hallow’s Read. Created by author Neil Gaiman in 2010, All Hallow’s Read asks participants and horror lovers to give books on Halloween. Whether it’s to a friend, a child, or a complete stranger, the only rule is that the book must be scary.

“I propose that stories by authors like John Bellairs and Stephen King,” said Gaiman “and a hundred others change hands- new books or old or second-hand, beloved books or unknown. Give someone a scary book for Halloween. Make their flesh creep.”

To help readers get into the spirit of All Hallow’s Read, a few members of The Journal staff have given their picks for horrific books you should get for your friends or family this Halloween.


“Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Ray Bradbury

This just might be the quintessential “October” book. While leaning more on the side of fantasy than horror, there are plenty of creepy and unnerving passages and scenes to warrant giving it to a lucky friend as an All Hallow’s Read gift. “Something Wicked” has all the ingredients for a classic Bradbury story: a small Midwestern town, protagonists leaving childhood and entering adolescence, and dark, otherworldly forces. Plus, there’s a traveling carnival in October and a carousel that can alter the rider’s age. Check it out.

-Nathaniel Dunaway, Entertainment Editor


“John Dies at the End” by David Wong

This book is seriously wacky. It is unlike anything I have read before, but I enjoyed it so much. “John Dies at the End” is fun, ridiculous, and freaky in the strangest ways. The conglomeration of creepy-crawly and nightmarish other-dimensional creatures throughout the book make it a well-suited Halloween read. Any friend interested in the bizarre and the hilarious should get a real kick out of this book. If you love it, check out the sequel, “This Book is Full of Spiders.”

-Shannen Brouner, Photo Editor


“It” by Stephen King

“It” is a book that literally had me checking behind doors and shower curtains when I was finished reading it. It resonated within me even months afterwards; this book is definitely not one that should be read alone in a dark house at night. Keep your lights on when you read it, folks. You’ll regret it otherwise. But as scary as it was, “It” was phenomenal and a great novel to read during Halloween. If you like deranged, psychotic thrillers that twist and warp your mind, this book is for you.

-Jennifer Halley, Campus Life Editor



“Obedience” by Will Lavender

This book is probably one of the weirdest books I’ve ever read. It’s about a group of college kids in a Logic and Reasoning class, and their assignment becomes disturbingly real about a murder that may or may not have actually taken place. It was a great book that made me slightly paranoid the whole time I was reading it…and kind of scared to go to college.

-Amanda McMasters, Copy Editor