By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
The last “Harry Potter“ book came out in 2007, and the last movie was released in 2011. It’s hard to believe it’s only been about three years since new canon material was released. Yet, the fandom continues to live on.
Just last week, Entertainment Weekly readers dubbed the “Harry Potter” series “The Best Young Adult Novel of All Time,” beating out “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green. Even Green admitted to voting for Potter instead of his own novel, saying, “”Harry Potter” is the most important story for a generation of readers and is one of the central reasons that my career even exists, so it’s a bit silly even to be in the ring with it here at the end.”
Growing up, I remember pretending to play quidditch in my backyard with my younger brother, chasing each other around with broomsticks between our legs. I reread every single book and re-watched every movie until I knew them all by heart, dreamed of going to conventions like LeakyCon with hundreds of other “Harry Potter” fans, and died of happiness when I visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park at Universal Orlando Resort for the first time.
You could say I was (and still am) a bit of a dork. To me, and to many others out there, Harry Potter means more than just a series of books and a wildly successful film franchise.
But where will the fandom be, 10 years from now? After the release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the final installment of the series, J.K. Rowling stated that she would not write any new sequels in the future. Where does that leave the fans?
It’s unlikely that the world will ever see a complete resurgence of Potter mania like it did in the 2000s. With no new books or movies of the original series being produced practically every other year like they used to, how can one expect a mass of die-hard fans to get as excited as they once did, discussing theories on forums and writing endless fanfictions about their favorite characters?
The answer is: you can’t. But fans still have material to get excited over. It was revealed in September that Rowling and Warner Bros. would again be working together on a film inspired by “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” a short book Rowling wrote that takes place in the Potter universe. Though the new movie will focus on a wizard named Newt Scamander and his travels in New York City in the 1920s instead of on Harry, Ron and Hermione, fans still went wild.
The Potter fandom’s flame has been dimmed but it will not be extinguished forever. Entertainment Weekly’s poll has shown that readers still believe Harry’s story will continue to live on long after the series’ time in the limelight has passed.
Fans will no doubt read the books to their children, and their children’s children, and inevitable remakes of the films and further spinoffs such as “Fantastic Beasts” will continue to spark interest in younger generations.
And even if magic and fantasy aren’t the “in” thing by the time our grandchildren stumble upon “Harry Potter,” the series’ themes of good versus evil and the power of love will prevail for decades.
Fifty years from now, our grandkids will ask us if we’re still reading “Harry Potter,” even after all this time. And we’ll reply, “Always.”
By Devon Delfino, Staff Writer
According to a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, popularity in high school can have a lasting effect on how much money you make as an adult.
It all boils down to the summary statement: “We estimate that moving from the 20th to 80th percentile of the high-school popularity distribution yields a 10 percent wage premium nearly 40 years later.”
I really hope that this study is wrong; isn’t it the so-called geeks that are supposed to run the world after they’ve paid their dues in high school? But, it looks like “Revenge of the Nerds” is never going to happen if the nerds don’t learn how to better interact with everyone else.
However, the study is an interesting segway into the issue of social interactions and success. Perhaps it’s the sense of belonging which is most useful to the more popular students, maybe it’s simply the overall likeability which makes it easier for them to get what they want. But it begs the question: what about the outsiders? What about the nerds?
And, if the socially adept tend to be more successful, how do we explain the rise of more reclusive figures like Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs? Although, there do seem to be far fewer uber-successful people who are known for being less socially skilled.
Whatever the real reason behind the results of the study, it is important to note that it is simply a correlation and not conclusive fact which produces these results. So, there’s still hope if you happen to be more of a loner.
I’d like to think that being great at what you do is enough, but there is no denying the importance of being able to connect with other people.
By Brandon Lewis, Staff Writer
With Thanksgiving coming up next week, the holiday season is already in full gear. Kids all over the world are prepping their gift lists, attempting to be on their best behavior and asking their parents, “Is it Christmas yet?”
Last week, the Make-A-Wish Foundation put many of us into the holiday spirit by making a young cancer patient’s dream of becoming Batman come true.
Miles Scott, a 5-year-old from Northern California, was diagnosed with leukemia at just 18 months old and, after undergoing years of chemotherapy, is now in remission. The non-profit organization, along with the people of San Francisco, rallied together to transform the city into Marvel’s Gotham City and allowed the little man to roam the streets as Batkid.
Police Chief Greg Suhr called on Batkid do what Batman does best: fight crime. Batkid foiled the Riddler’s plans to rob a bank, rescued a damsel in distress from being struck by a cable car, and saved the San Francisco Giants’ mascot from being captured by the Penguin. But he wasn’t fighting crime alone: a Batman impersonator accompanied him on his crime fighting spree.
The day ended with the young cancer survivor receiving a key to the city from the San Francisco mayor, Edwin M. Lee, and a $10,000 check donated by an anonymous clothing company. Miles even got a shout-out from President Obama. And The San Francisco Chronicle circulated a special “Gotham City Gazette” edition in honor of Batkid’s heroics.
What an amazing day it was for both Miles and the city! The tireless work of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the support of the city of San Francisco both prove that something good can come out of something bad and together we can make the seemingly impossible possible.
By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
The end of November is approaching and that means one thing: it’s almost time to head home and spend some time with family and friends for Thanksgiving. Or is it?
If you’re hardcore enough to participate in Black Friday year after year, then you may be excited to hear this: according to a recent article by the Huffington Post, some retail stores such as Target and Best Buy are planning on opening even earlier this year for Black Friday.
Target plans on opening at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, an hour earlier than when it opened last year, and Best Buy plans to open even earlier at 6 p.m. The reason for these earlier openings is because of the peculiar way this year’s calendar is set – compared to last year, the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas are six days shorter.
Black Friday has traditionally been the day after Thanksgiving, when hundreds upon thousands of shoppers flock to major retail stores at the crack of dawn in order to snag the best deals and kick off the holiday retail season.
But with the increasing pressure on retailers to open even earlier than usual, some say the tradition is ruining Thanksgiving. These earlier openings mean less time to spend with family on a day meant for filling our bellies with delicious food, watching football and staying as far away as possible from that weird cousin lurking in the corner.
For some die-hard shoppers, the excitement of Black Friday is wearing off.
“Now that there is no longer that stress factor of having to plan out the best time to start lining up at stores, Black Friday isn’t as fun as it used to be. One year, I lined up at 4 a.m. at J.C. Penny with my mom in fifth grade. We even waited in the snow. But now that stores are opening sooner, the adrenaline rush is not really there.” Elly Hu, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences said.
“Black Friday shouldn’t get in the way of Thanksgiving, a holiday meant to share with family,” Hu added.
While it may seem like consumerism is taking over the holiday season, fret not. There is still some good in the world. Some retailers, such as Costco and Nordstrom, are choosing to stay closed on Thanksgiving Day.
Not everyone may feel the need to go shopping on turkey day, but the option is there for those who do. The lines between holidays are blurring, whether we like it or not.
By Devon Delfino, Staff Writer
I am just about the last person you would expect to love “Doctor Who” (or at least I like to think I am). Nevertheless, the show’s cult following and the ridiculous amount of fan-girls out there are sure to tune in for the 50th anniversary episode entitled “The Day of the Doctor”, which airs Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on BBC America.
The trailer, released this past Saturday, gives a glimpse into the truly comprehensive nature of the special. There are new doctors, old doctors and, of course, the re-emergence of Rose Tyler (a personal favorite of the many companions the Doctor has traveled with; how they will explain her crossing over from a parallel universe yet again is beyond me).
Now if only we could bring back the Doctor Donna…
If, like me, you only discovered the show relatively recently, as the new series started back in 2005, then Netflix is your new best friend, offering live-streaming for the first six series’ as well as a few specials. Unfortunately, that means missing out on the current season.
This is the dilemma of a Whovian with a Netflix subscription but without access to a television on a regular basis: should I risk the spoilers, or wait almost a year to see the 50th anniversary episode (and try to avoid hearing about it, a.k.a. no more Tumblr)?
If you watch the episode, be sure to check out the mini-episode ‘prequel’ to it, entitled, “The Night of the Doctor”. I’ve yet to decide, but, one thing’s for sure: it will be epic.
Watch the “Doctor Who” 50th anniversary episode trailer below:
By Brandon Lewis, Staff Writer
Twitter’s been on a roll as of late. Last week, “the SMS of the Internet” went public and witnessed its shares rise 73 percent above the offering price on its first day in the stock market. It was a pretty amazing accomplishment, considering Facebook flopped during its public debut last year. Facebook’s shares rose only 0.6 percent.
I’m pretty sure Facebook’s top guns have put this day in the back of their minds. Since Twitter now has something to gloat about, the rivalry between the two is definitely heating up.
Twitter and Facebook are currently fighting over celebrity attention. Both want to make it easier for celebrities to create profiles and interact with their fan base. They believe a stronger celebrity presence will not only attract more users, but also engage them.
It’s important that more people sign up for accounts with Facebook and Twitter but if they’re not engaged, these users aren’t going to stay.
Twitter is often credited with breaking down the barrier between celebrities and their fans. Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake and Nicki Minaj can connect with the world by re-tweeting and favorite-ing their fans’ tweets. They could make someone’s dream come true by simply hitting the follow button on their fans’ pages.
However, it’s a different story while on Facebook. Celebs don’t have many options to address fans because their public profiles have certain limitations. They’re attempting to change this.
According to an article in Yahoo!, it looks like Facebook is going to launch a feature allowing the Jay-Zs and Lady Gagas of the world to better reach out to their supporters. Facebook hasn’t released any details on the new feature as of yet. It’s been hinted that the feature will “step on Twitter’s home turf.”
I don’t really pay attention to celebrities on Facebook, but when it comes to Twitter, I follow them religiously. I feel more connected when they tweet about their normal lives than on Facebook when their posts are more glamorized.
It’s also entertaining to watch celebrity feuds pan out on Twitter such as the recent feud between Kanye West and Jimmy Kimmel. You would never see something like this on Facebook. I love Twitter.
I’ll give Facebook the benefit of the doubt and wait to see what its new feature will offer. Whatever happens, I’m still #TeamTwitter.
By Sabrina Katz, Staff Writer
The month of November kicks off the holiday season with every American’s favorite holiday: Thanksgiving. Now, imagine a world where your favorite winter holidays combine to form one super-mega-celebration!
Fortunately for every Jewish-American out there, it’s your lucky year. That’s because 2013’s first night of Hanukkah coincides exactly with Thanksgiving hence Thanksgivukkah. The festival of lights and the festival of face-stuffing have finally merged , which presents us with delicious harvest food AND eight days of presents.
Because Hanukkah follows the Hebrew lunar calendar, which has 11 fewer days that the standard Gregorian calendar used in America, there is no set date on our calendar as to when Hanukkah is coming.
As a result, every few years, an extra month must be added to the Jewish calendar so that spring holidays remain in the spring, fall holidays are celebrated in the fall, and so forth. This also explains why the holiday of Hanukkah shifts and can be celebrated anytime between November and January.
The one great question on everyone’s mind is this: how can we combine these two great holidays without diminishing one or the other? Several articles online suggest serving “fusion” foods for the meal, which means pumpkin pie rugelach, challah bread-pudding and horseradish mashed potatoes. Indeed, several traditional foods from each holiday overlap, such as potatoes (for Hanukkah latkes and mashed potatoes), meat (brisket and turkey) and apples (applesauce and pie)! So there’s really no reason one holiday has to outshine the other.
In order to be prepared for your first Thanksgivukkah (yes, it’s everyone’s first, and it won’t happen for over 50,000 years), make sure you light some pumpkin pie-scented Hanukkah candles, exchange gifts between downs in the football game and split decorations equally between hand turkeys and dreidels.
If you forget to buy a Hanukkah gift (because when is it ever this early?), worry not! Black Friday will certainly have something for everybody that won’t break the bank. Or, if you are too lazy to leave the house, wait until the next week for Cyber Monday because it will still be Hanukkah!
See? All your favorite holidays wrapped in one!
By Devon Delfino, Staff Writer
In a move reminiscent to the famous pact of “American Pie,” a London teen plans to lose his virginity next year, according to the UK edition of the Huffington Post. Here’s where it gets interesting: He plans to lose it in front of an audience of 50 to 100 people, all in the name of ‘art.’ The installment, “Art School Stole My Virginity,” will take place on Jan. 25.
But how can one make a life event like losing one’s virginity into art? What does that even mean?
For Clayton Pettet, the artist, the performance piece is a means of expression and the ultimate way of exploring the issue of virginity and share the experience in an once-in-a-lifetime installment.
On his Tumblr page, Pettet states, “The Idea of ‘Art School Stole My Virginity’ came around when I was Sixteen, when all my peers at school were losing their Virginity it was incredibly hard for me to ask why I was still a Virgin and why it meant so much to the people all around me. My piece isn’t a statement as much as it is a question. The whole aspect of Virginity was incredibly emotional for me and has been ever since.”
The controversy surrounding the piece points to the obvious as many have speculated that Pettet’s installation cheapens the right of passage by turning it into a spectacle rather than letting it remain a private affair.
But, perhaps this move is warranted; looking to the media, we are constantly bombarded with sexual displays; from Miley Cyrus groping Robin Thicke at the VMA’s, to incredibly sexually explicit music lyrics and videos, it seems that the creative world is already shrouded in a heightened sexual awareness.
Pettet’s goal is to stimulate discussion about the issue of virginity; with the coverage his installation is already receiving has already started that. After all, it has been said, “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”
By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
Just how far are you willing to go to find Mr. Right or the girl of your wildest dreams?
A controversial new dating app called “Carrot Dating” hit the market last week. Its website states: “Gifts are the greatest ‘ice breaker.’ Carrot Dating turns ‘fat chance’ into ‘why not?’ From flowers to jewelry, there’s a bribe for everyone’s budget. You can have anyone! All you have to do is dangle the right carrot.’”
Yep, you read right. Brandon Wade, creator of the app and graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) believes that in order to get someone to go on a date with you all you have to do is bribe them with money. Forget all those silly things that relationships are usually based off of, like similar interests and whether or not you and your partner have chemistry. All anyone cares about is the money you shower them with!
Originally repulsed by the idea but still somewhat curious, I decided to download the app for myself and see if it was as bad as it seems.
Spoiler alert: It is, but the outrageousness of some of the bribes is worth the laugh.
After logging in, the app gives you the option to say whether you’re male or female and allows you to input your sexual orientation by choosing if you want to find singles in your area who are either male or female. Then, it presents you with a variety of suitors to choose from and gives you the option to bribe them after choosing one of five categories: dining, activities, gifts, entertainment, or popular.
I decided to go with “gift.” Options ranged from a box of chocolates to plastic surgery treatment. Some of my personal favorites from all five categories include a sky-diving trip, a tattoo, a tank of gas, and even plastic surgery treatment.
Admittedly, while a sky-diving trip does sound awesome, it won’t be enough to get me to go on a date with you. Tempting, but no. Just no.
The concept behind “Carrot Dating” likens both men and women to greedy goblins (Halloween pun) who only want your money. It teaches us that if at first we can’t succeed with our natural charm, wit, and looks, try, try again – and this time, with bribery.
But even if you do manage to get someone to bite, how long do you expect your relationship last? Any relationship built on manipulation and bribery is probably destined for failure from the start.
Money can’t buy you happiness, and it certainly can’t buy you love, either – although if you’ve got the greens to spare and are that desperate to find someone to date you, I guess it’s always worth a shot.
By Brandon Lewis, Staff Writer
Remember when Michael Jordan decided to pursue baseball? It was back in 1993 when he decided to step away from the NBA, which was the first of his three retirements.
He signed a deal with the Chicago White Sox and played for their Double A-minor league affiliate for the 1994 season. His batting average was .202 with three homers and 51 RBIs. These stats weren’t bad for the NBA superstar but they were average compared to other minor leaguers fighting to be in the major leagues.
I’m sure Jordan received a great deal of respect for attempting to try another sport, but we were all relieved when he returned to basketball in 1995.
Lebron James, the current king of the NBA, recently revealed on Twitter that he too wants to pick up another sport: football. Well, not pick it up, but just play in one NFL game. Check out the tweet here.
Before becoming a dominant force in the NBA, James played high school football in Akron, Ohio. Many believe that he could have played in the NFL, but I guess being the first pick in the 2003 NBA Draft made it clear which sport to pursue.
Imagine being blessed with the skills to succeed in both pro basketball and football, two of the most body-abusing sports! Now, do you understand why he’s called King James?
Plenty other athletes have also showed interest in other sports. Charles Barkley, an 11-time NBA All-Star, is known for having a terrible golf swing and was featured on a reality show that attempted to improve his golf skills. Michael Vick, the Philadelphia Eagles’ current quarterback, was drafted by the Rockies in 2000 as a starting pitcher. Then there’s Dave Winfield. Before he embarked on his Hall of Fame baseball career, he was drafted by four teams in three different sports. He was picked up the San Diego Padres (baseball) and drafted by the Vikings (football), the Hawks (NBA) and Stars (ABA). That’s just unheard of!
Despite all the talk about James making an appearance in the NFL, it looks as if the Miami Heat star will return to the NBA to help his team win its third straight championship. His season begins on Oct. 29 when the Heat take on the Bulls.