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No more victims: Student life at Smoky Mountain Self-Defense

Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Feature Slider, Features | 0 comments

The students of Smoky Mountain Self-Defense shuffled nervously as Roy “Hoot” Shields entered the training room, slapping a baseball bat against his open palm. Shields is the founder of Smoky Mountain Self-Defense as well as the head instructor, a martial arts master, and a former member of the U.S. Military and Federal Services. Shields raised the bat and slowly ambled through the room, pointing at students. “Eenie,” he said. The next student, “Meanie.” The next, “Miney.” Then, “Moe.” The act was a nod to a recent episode of the TV series, “The Walking Dead”. An unearthly hush fell over the room. For a single slice of time, breathing was almost inaudible. Someone subtly swallowed. Another person twitched, most likely involuntarily, then froze once more. “Not funny,” a woman in the back said. Shields laughed with the class and stopped...

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Meido kissa: Behind the doors of Japan’s maid cafe industry

Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Features | 0 comments

The meido kissa, also referred to as meido kafe or the westernized “maid cafe”, is a subcategory of cosplay restaurants predominantly found in Japan. In meido kissas, foreigners will find waitresses dressed in maid costumes who act as servants and treat customers as masters or mistresses in their own private home instead of a customer at a restaurant. Cure Maid Cafe was the first permanent maid cafe. It was established in Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan in March 2001. Meido kissas are becoming increasingly popular and have even expanded to China, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, Mexico, Canada and the United States. The maid costume varies from cafe to cafe, though most are based on the French maid costume, consisting of a dress, a petticoat, a pinafore, a matching hair accessory (frill or bow)...

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Live Like a Local: Spain Edition

Posted by on Oct 26, 2016 in Perspectives | 0 comments

Ana Gonzalez-Tablas is a translation/interpreting major from the University of Murcia in Spain. Speaking of home, Gonzalez-Tablas said, “There are many different regions . . . So many things to do.” One of the first things she recommended were the malls Centro comercial nueva Condomina, Thader and El Tiro. There are many ways to get to the malls and around the city: walking, buses, trams, taxis and trains. Tickets cost between 125 and 145 euros. For a night out, on the weekend, Gonzalez-Tablas suggested Las Tascas around the Animated Forest. It is an area full of bars and pubs, perfect for a night of drunken wandering with friends. For those interested in Spanish nightlife there are also the bars Menos Quarto and Bosque Animado, one of Ana’s favorites. Bosque Animado features indoor and outdoor seating with multicolored lights hanging...

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Founder of Crawford House said to be haunting Mountain Challenge

Posted by on Oct 26, 2016 in Feature Slider, Features | 0 comments

“So,” I said. “Why do you think there’s a ghost in here?” “Stay right there,” said founder and director of Mountain Challenge Bruce Guillaume as he stood, walked across the room and traversed the Crawford House staircase. His journey up the stairs was followed by a series of echoing bangs and disconcerting rattling, all of which faded into the subtle slither of his hand on the stair railway as he came back down a few moments later. “Hear all that?” asked Guillaume. I nodded and began writing. The sources of rattling were the upstairs windows that were originally erected when Crawford House was built in 1876; the noise can only be produced when someone is walking on the second floor. In the nearly 30 years of Guillaume’s work in Crawford House, the strange rattling has occurred six times without...

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The boy’s and girl’s guide to getting the hell out of here: Live like a local

Posted by on Oct 12, 2016 in Perspectives | 0 comments

I want to give you some tips for living like a local in Nantes, France. For this, I interviewed Neyla Tabore, a French exchange student from the University of Nantes in the Institute of Administration and Enterprise. The following is a list of her recommendations for the Nantes tourist. Nantes is in the western part of France on the Loire River. It is the sixth largest city in France and the capital of the Pays de la Loire region. Visitors can use trams to navigate the city. A one-hour ticket costs 2 euros, and a 24-hour ticket costs 8 euros. Unlike the typical American Friday night out, Nantes locals start their weekend jaunts on Thursdays. The place to be on a Thursday night is A L’adb Cafe, a pub with outdoor seating and live music. It opens at 5...

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