Science Tuesday: Pulling all-nighters doesn’t help you cram

By Sanah Faroke, Staff Writer
@sanahfaroke

When I took my core classes at the beginning of my college career, I pulled all nighters studying for my exams for days at a time. I made immense study guides, until my TA told me that my 32-page guide was equivalent to a grad student’s. My memorization isn’t the best (remember my issue with the Memory Game?) and I didn’t do too hot on my exams.

Turns out, according to a series of recent studies, like one presented at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society earlier this week, lack of sleep is detrimental to remembering things like test answers and where you put your keys.

Sleep, according to the study, not only helps us remember what we did in the past, but also reminds us of what we want to do in the future. Susanne Diekelmann of the University of Tübingen and her colleagues found that there are two ways to remember our intentions. One can be if we internally recite what we want to do, like repeating that “Parenthood” is airing tonight and you need to watch it, or you can store your intentions in the memory network. If it’s stored well enough, then you won’t have to internally remind yourself that your show is coming on later that day.

Diekelmann and her researchers made these discoveries through word pairing: half of the participants were told that they’d have to remember material later and then were either instructed to sleep for two full nights or were kept awake one night and were allowed to sleep the second night. Diekelmann found that the subjects who slept both nights performed better on the test.

I’ve always claimed to be a night owl, because it’s true — I work better at night. But it’s also true that when I don’t get enough rest, I bomb my exams. No amount of coffee could help me there (and trust, me, I’ve tried). So take a break, study with enough time, and make sure you get a good night’s rest. You’re going to need it!

Pop Culture Countdown: “Gone Girl” trailer and Biden joins Instagram

By Danny McCarthy, Staff Writer
@thedanosaurus

Hey there! How was your week? Did you do that thing? You didn’t? I can’t believe you, this is so typical. You always overcommit and then never fulfill anything. Well, I guess there is one thing you can do to redeem yourself. You can keep reading and find out what happened this week in pop culture!

7. Emma Stone got pranked over the Spice Girls:

Emma Stone loves the Spice Girls, and I love that Emma Stone loves the Spice Girls. In fact, it’s such common knowledge that when Emma appeared on “The Graham Norton Show,” the host couldn’t help but prank her. Although the Spice Girls have been mentioned quite a lot on the “Amazing Spider-Man 2″ press tour, like when she told Jimmy Kimmel she could forge all their signatures, Stone hasn’t met one in the flesh. “As you know Stone, it’s very rare for more than one Spice Girl to appear together for any reason at all,” teased Norton to the flair of a drum roll. “So, they’re not here.” And safe to say, Stone was heartbroken.

6. Gone Girl” movie trailer:

The trailer for the film adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s psychological thriller “Gone Girl” hit the internet this week. Now, I watched the trailer, and found myself wanting more. Obviously the trailer can’t give away the plot twists that gave “Gone Girl” its cult-ish, fervent following, but I still felt like it didn’t pack a punch in the way it needed to. What do you think? How do you set up the movie trailer for a psychological thriller without revealing the big twist? Are you going to see “Gone Girl”? Can we go together? (Disclaimer, I talk throughout movies).

5. Taylor Swift surprises a fan at her bridal shower:

Sometimes, Taylor Swift amazes even cynical old me. The Red singer showed up at the wedding shower of longtime fan Gena Gabrielle in Ohio. Gabrielle mailed Swift an invitation to her wedding as a long shot. Swift couldn’t make the wedding, but that didn’t stop her from stopping by the shower. Gabrielle had no idea, and I can’t imagine the shock and happiness the bride-to-be was feeling when her favorite singer walked in with presents. Swift has been stopping by to visit fans a lot recently. In March, she visited 17-year-old Shelby Huff, who has cancer. Swift spent 4.5 hours at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and 20 minutes with Huff. Thank you, Swift, for being a grade-A good person. I appreciate it.

4. Joe Biden joins Instagram:

Vice President Joe Biden has joined Instagram and immediately slayed all the competition. His first picture was effortlessly artsy, with a pair of Ray-Ban aviators front and center and himself blurred in the background. He also posted a selfie with President Barack Obama, and the world fell to pieces at the awesomeness of the moment. Biden already has almost 120,000 followers on the social media outlet, with no doubt of the number growing. And you know what? I’m not even mad. Rock on, Joe Biden. Rock on.

3. Lana Dey Rey’s new song “West Coast”:

Lana Del Rey debuted her new song “West Coast” at Coachella this year. The song will be on her upcoming album Ultraviolence, which was announced in December. “West Coast” is the second new original song for Del Rey to release. Her first, “Meet Me in the Pale Moonlight,” has since been taken offline. The new song is expected to debut in the upper half of Billboard’s Hot 100. Lana has been rapidly gaining followers, and her appearance at Coachella and anticipation for her new music whipping people into a frenzy for her.

2. Miley Cyrus gets hospitalized for allergic reaction:

Miley Cyrus has been hospitalized after a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics. Cyrus has taken to Twitter to express her displeasure over canceling Bangerz shows, but the star has rescheduled some of her canceled shows. The European tour is scheduled to go on as planned, but the U.S. tours are a little more touch and go. Cyrus is trying to keep in good spirits despite being hospitalized, posting tweets, hospital selfies and making jokes. The past month has been tough on Cyrus, and I hope she gets better soon!

1. Jay-Z and Beyoncé on a summer tour:

Could it be true? According to various sources, Beyoncé and Jay-Z are planning a summer stadium tour! The tour will go from June to August, taking them from Atlanta to San Francisco, with a few stops in Paris next September. Although not officially confirmed, the timing works out: Jay-Z finished his Magna Carta tour in January, and Beyoncé wrapped up her Mrs. Carter tour in March. The summer stadium tour could be the perfect thing to get them back into the tour-game. For the sake of all humanity, I hope this summer tour turns out to be true!

That’s all I’ve got! Tell me down below if I missed anything. What do you think? Will Emma Stone ever meet the Spice Girls? Will Taylor Swift and I become best friends? Will Cyrus ever get better? Will Beyonce and Jay-Z go on tour? Only time will tell!

Chipotle plans to hike prices

By Robin Ngai, Staff Writer
@bluebird1278

Your beloved burrito bowl cost a bit more from now on./ PHOTO BY Robin Ngai

Your beloved burrito (bowl) may cost a bit more from now on./ PHOTO BY Robin Ngai

As a California native, I’ve had my fair share of good and bad burritos. However, when I’m away from home, I’m a pretty big fan of Chipotle. It’s a five minute walk from my dorm room and to have a full delicious meal for under ten bucks is a pretty sweet deal.

This might not be the case anymore: for the first time in three years, Chipotle is hiking up its prices. They are said to go into effect in the next three to six months, and as a loyal customer (and broke college student), this saddens me.

The reason for the price hike is that their food products are rising in price. Avocados are just one of the many products that have risen dramatically in the past few years. With Chipotle’s promise to using fresh foods and having healthier options, it is hard for the chain not to add a couple dollars for their meals.

This may be the point where customers ask, “why doesn’t their owner McDonald’s just save them?” Despite the popular belief that McDonald’s is the parent of Chipotle, Chipotle actually has no ties with the fast food chain. Briefly in 1998, McDonald’s took a minority stake in the business but decided to quit soon after, predicting that the burrito chain would not make it big.

Oh, how wrong they were. People have grown to love the fast food burrito chain so much that it is predicted to still make sales even if the prices rise (watch this guy inhale four of them in three minutes).

I for one, will still be a customer to Chipotle. If the price hikes scare you, just use these handy tips that will make your trip (and extra bucks) worthwhile. Me and my roommates have created a tradition since freshman year to go there once a week, and it’s something that we won’t be giving up any time soon.

Just Touched Down in Londontown: Sharing Rome, my favorite city

By Margaret Waterman, Staff Writer
@mh_waterman

The Amalfi Coast in Italy is an amazing, relaxing escape from busy city living./ PHOTO BY Margaret Waterman

The Amalfi Coast in Italy is an amazing, relaxing escape from busy city living./ PHOTO BY Margaret Waterman

There is no photo or string of words that can properly depict how beautiful Vatican City truly is. Just one small part of an encompassing country, it’s a destination in and of itself. I’m no Catholic, but St. Peter’s and the surrounding streets are enough to render anyone speechless. The smallest country in the world certainly makes a big impression.

Rome has been my favorite city since my first visit here with my mom. It’s lively, it’s gorgeous, it’s filled with stunning works of art and architecture and it’s home to some of the best food in the world. I also love Italian culture. 

When my friends and I decided to take on Italy (both Rome and the Amalfi Coast) for our last break, I was really excited to come back and share my favorite city with them all.

I led us up and down the Tiber from Vatican City to Trastevere, making sure to return to my favorite restaurants and check out all the main sites like the Piazza Navona, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and (my favorite) the Colosseum. We trekked in and out of Rome’s winding, narrow streets, checking out different pockets of the city as we went. 

One of the strangest and best things about Rome is simply the idea of it all: the notion that my friends and I can hop on a plane and land in a city that’s been there, growing and changing for thousands of years — amid the coming and going of different populations — and just walk around and see it all. It doesn’t seem possible. It’s wild. 

After three nights in the eternal city with no major hiccups — other than a broken shower grate that flooded the apartment we rented, resulting in a heated argument between myself and our extremely Italian landlady — we made our way to Termini Station to head to the Amalfi Coast.

Our train snaked its way through the gorgeous southern Italian countryside. We passed mountains, farms, fields and dozens of colorful villages before reaching Naples. From there we hopped another train to Salerno and then got on a packed bus to Conca dei Marini, our vacation spot for the last three days of break.

The Amalfi Coast is gorgeous, rain or shine. Houses, restaurants and shops jut out of the mountains that rise above the shore. Roads wind for miles up above the Mediterranean. The house we rented was tucked away down a set of stairs in a sleepy village with a view of some neighboring houses’ red clay roofs and a slice of the sea — not a bad way to get away from the hustle and bustle of London.

Today, we spent the day exploring the village and walking down the stunning coastline to the village of
Amalfi, stopping along the way to grab lunch on the water and go to the beach in a secret cove we found. It has been amazing checking out two distinctly different parts of one amazing country for our last vacation abroad. 

K-Pop dance showcase miXxes it up

By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
@katreenz

/ PHOTO BY Katrina Uy

K-Pop has more of a following at BU than one might think./ PHOTO BY Katrina Uy

On Friday night the first Korean pop dance showcase, miXx It Up!, was held in Jacob Sleeper Auditorium with over 150 people in attendance.

If there’s an award for the club with the most interesting concept, it’s got to go to miXx, hands down: it’s currently the only dance group on campus that solely focuses on “K-Pop,” or Korean pop, a catchy musical genre that has taken the world by storm. Each month, the club learns the original choreography to dances performed by various K-Pop artists and makes music videos of each dance.

Whether you’re a K-Pop fan or not, the show was very high in energy and each and every performance was an explosion of fun, with audience members cheering performers on for two hours straight.

The club kicked off the show with a cover of the incredibly upbeat “I Got A Boy” by Girls’ Generation. Other memorable performances included covers of “Growl” by EXO and “We Are Bulletproof Pt. 2” by BTS. During a medley of “Animal” by Jo Kwon and “Dr. Feel Good” by RaNia, all of the male dancers turned up the heat in the auditorium by stripping down to booty shorts and taking off their shirts.

Although the group has performed at various events throughout the year, including Boston University China Care Fund’s So You Think BU Can Dance?, BU’s Relay for Life and cultural shows held by BU’s Filipino Student Association and Korean Student Association, miXx it up! was the first time the club had an entire show to themselves to show off all the dances they had worked on after seven months of practicing.

/ PHOTO BY Katrina Uy

The club learns the original choreography to dances performed by various K-Pop artists./ PHOTO BY Katrina Uy

Dondré Gumbs, president of miXx and a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, explained to the audience how the club first started: he and Trisha Briones, miXx’s vice president who is also a senior in CAS, began a K-Pop cover group of just five members in Japan while they were both studying abroad last year. When they returned to BU in the fall, they decided to bring miXx to campus and were astounded when over 100 people expressed interest and ultimately joined.

Though the stage in Jacob Sleeper Auditorium was small, performers often danced into the aisles, making for a more interactive show with the audience.

“Although I can’t understand the language, K-Pop music is always really catchy and fun,” said College of Arts and Sciences junior Michelle Chen. “A lot of time K-Pop includes choreographed dancing and it makes it hard not to be addicted to the music…Watching miXx’s show was just like watching K-Pop music videos. Everyone looked like they were having so much fun and I felt like I wanted to join in and dance with them. I could tell that they put a lot of work and effort into the show, and what was even more surprising was seeing how many members were in miXx,” Chen said.

It was an exciting and fun night shared by all, and audience members were seen leaving the auditorium humming along to K-Pop songs the group had covered.

The Muse: The Pizza Underground takes cover bands to a whole new level

By Hannah Landers, Staff Writer
@hannland

Macaulay Culkin's band "The Pizza Underground" is sure to leave you hungry for more./ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Samat Jain

Macaulay Culkin’s band Pizza Underground is sure to leave you hungry for more./ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Samat Jain

A famous actor or actress who also performs in a band is hardly a rarity these days. When he’s not saving women from being hit by cars or handing out free boxes of Girl Scout cookies, Ryan Gosling performs in his ghost-centric band, Dead Man’s Bones. And silky-haired Oscar winner Jared Leto actually spends more time fronting his band, 30 Seconds to Mars, than he does acting.

But the most outrageous of these celebrity band incarnations is no doubt Macaulay Culkin’s The Pizza Underground, which takes Velvet Underground songs and makes them all about — you guessed it — pizza. So instead of “I’m Waiting for the Man” and “Femme Fatale,” The Pizza Underground serves up “I’m Waiting for Delivery Man” and “Pizza Gal.” The band also features an unusual set of instruments, like glockenspiel, kazoo and, appropriately, the pizza box (although how one goes about playing a pizza box is beyond me). All this talk about pizza cover bands has got us over at the Muse hungry for more food-themed cover bands, so here’s a list that we hope some brave (or perhaps just out-of-work) celebrity will one day form.

The Meatles — These guys would only perform in special shows at butcher shops wearing bloodstained aprons. Just don’t bring your vegetarian friends to a show. Hits might include “Strawberry Veal Forever” and “Sa-La-Mi, Bo-Log-Na.”

The Black Peas — Not to be mistaken for The Black EYED Peas, the Black Peas would be a veggie-themed rock ‘n’ roll cover band for those too faint-of-heart for the Meatles. Hits might include “Chard Row” and “Lonely Bok Choy.”

Bon-Bon Iver — You’ll be begging for seconds after hearing the sugary sweet crooning of this bearded dessert-loving songbird. Albums could be baked into cookies and then sold to sweet-toothed fans. Hits might include “Not So Skinny Love” and “Halloween (Candy).”

The Peach Boys — The ultimate feel-good band of the summer would only be improved with a fruity touch! Each band member could wear those tall hats with all the fruit stacked on top. Hits might include “Wild Honeydew” and “Banana Ann.”

Dungeness Crab for Cutie — This band would only play on ships, wearing traditional sailor garb. They would be a huge hit on cruises. Hits might include “Eel Follow You – Watch Out, A Shark!” and “Shoal Meets Cod-y.”

The Rolling Scones — This one would probably work best with British band members. They know their teatime, after all. Hits might include “You Butter Move On” and “Paint It Red (With Strawberry Jam, Please).

LOLThursday: Worst “Wheel of Fortune” contestant makes viewers cringe

By Ann Singer, Staff Writer
@annmsinger

Is it possible to be one of the worst “Wheel of Fortune” contestants ever while bringing shame to all college kids around the nation?

Julian Batts, a freshman and honors student at Indiana University, achieved this feat during the College Week episode of the show. He managed to miss three easy puzzles, which his neighbor Shelby seemed to pick up right away.

You would think that after a lifetime of schooling one would know how to pronounce the name of the well-known mythical figure “Achilles,” yet even with the completed puzzle right in front of him, Julian managed to butcher it, costing him one million dollars.

His second slip-up was slightly more understandable, even though he was only missing two letters. But by the third round, he was definitely thinking way too hard and this time it cost him a car.

Pat Sajak is an absolute doll throughout, giving Julian the old uncle-who-chuckles-at-your-stupidity shtick.

Nevertheless, Julian still managed to go home with $11,700 and advance to the bonus round of College Week. He told the Indianapolis Star on Monday that he blamed his mistakes on nerves and adrenaline and that he still went home as the champion of the episode.

Anyway, his mistakes still make me laugh. Take a look:

Gender-bending portrayal of Disney characters offers a new point of view

By Kyra Louie, Staff Writer
@beammeupkyra

You're sure to look at these gender-bent Disney characters in a different light./ PHOTO VIA Wikimedia Commons

You’re sure to look at these gender-bent Disney characters in a different light./ PHOTO VIA Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever wondered what your favorite Disney characters would look like as the opposite sex? Well, look no further!

Sakimi Chan is a Canadian digital artist who “loves to draw fantasy, sci-fi and gender bending.” Her works include characters from Disney, anime and original content. She also does commissions for avatars from the popular forum and social network Gaia Online.

In case you didn’t know, “gender-bending” is when an artist switches a character’s gender. A bad example would be if Spongebob were made to have more feminine qualities. A better example would be to portray Nintendo’s Mario and Luigi as females and Princess Daisy and Peach as males. Most genderbent characters are very attractive and reflect the original almost spot on, but it’s weird to think how characters would act or be treated if they were the opposite gender.

Some people have attempted to gender-bend Disney characters using screenshots and Photoshopping the characters’ physical features to look more masculine or feminine, but Chan drew her pieces with the original personalities in mind, creating something more true to character.

Chan doesn’t always gender-bend in her art. Her other works include portrayals of characters like Jack Frost, Wonder Woman, Princess Mononoke and Link, as well as characters from the animated television show “Adventure Time.”

Personally, I love looking at gender-bent characters. It transforms my interpretation of the character and lets my imagination wander to what they would be like as the other gender. My favorite character out of the entire Disney set was gender-bent Hades. She is beautifully crafted and is on point with the original Hades. She is, in my eyes, perfect.

Check out Chan’s set of Disney characters here. Or if you’re interested in seeing more of her work or want to buy a print, see her DeviantArt page.

Spotlight: New Admissions Reception Center opens

By Stacy Schoonover, Staff Writer
@stacyscootover

Thinking back to when I was a prospective student trying to find the college of my dreams, I remember certain campus elements that I often compared: the dining hall, the library, the fitness center… and the admissions building.

While Boston University’s old admissions building is nice, I remember that when I visited there wasn’t enough space for the amount of prospective students and their families. The spot on Bay State Road where it resided was pretty, but it was further away from the George Sherman Union and the College of Arts and Sciences.

The new BU Admissions Reception Center relocated to 233 Bay State Road, which is a five-minute walk from the GSU and the School of Management. It’s next to the BU Castle, has a better view of the Esplanade and is a larger space that will accommodate more prospective Terriers.

This address used to be the Hillel House, but has since been renovated and enlarged. The building is now connected to the Castle, which provides restroom access and better transportation for handicapped guests. The interior was enlarged to improve circulation and to meet capacity regulations.

Not only was the interior of the building improved, but the sidewalks and plaza next to it were expanded as well. As the face of BU, the center gives the university a more modern vibe. Were I a prospective student this year, I would be very impressed.

How to Live to Senior Year: Tomatoes

By Sabrina Katz, Staff Writer
@sabrina_katz

Tomatoes are an excellent a wonderful source of nutrients./ PHOTO BY Sabrina Katz

Tomatoes are a great for nutrients./ PHOTO BY Sabrina Katz

To-ma-to, to-mah-to! This week, I’m focusing on tomatoes and showing you why they should be a part of your diet. Tomatoes are a wonderful source for nutrients and are featured in plenty of different world cuisines.

There are many different types of tomatoes: cherry, Roma, heirloom, and more! The smaller tomatoes, like cherry and grape, are a great go-to snack, while the other, larger tomatoes, like Roma and heirloom, work really well in salads and other dishes.

Why should you incorporate these lush, juicy tomatoes into your lifestyle? Tomatoes contain vitamins A, B and C, which are antioxidants that help your vision, blood and immune system. The presence of potassium and chromium also stabilize blood sugars and control cholesterol.

Lastly—and most importantly—tomatoes contain lycopene, which is another antioxidant that has been shown to reduce the risk for prostate cancer. Hear that, boys?

One thing to be careful of when eating tomatoes is eating them in the most natural form you can. That means avoiding ketchup and even some tomato sauces, both of which contain added sugars. Homemade salsa and tomato sauces are generally the healthiest because you know exactly what you put in them!

I know you’re dying to try a tomato recipe, so I’ve got one for you that incorporates some other foods I’ve blogged about before! Here’s my take on a dining hall Panzanella:

You’ll need:

  • 1 whole tomato, diced
  • 5-6 slices of cucumber, diced
  • 1 slice of whole wheat toast
  • Several slices of red onion
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Take the slice of whole-wheat bread and toast it in the toaster. Once it’s done, take it out and drizzle some olive oil on top. Next, slice the bread into small squares and mix it with the diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion slices. On top, drizzle some more olive oil as well as some red wine vinegar. Finish it off with salt and pepper and you’re good to go!