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 Michelle Jay, Multimedia Editor
Unlike last year’s fall office, this year’s fall e-board and associates group is more evenly balanced between guys and gals. This means No Shave November is a go in the FreeP office. Here’s our boys’ beginning stages.
Conor, Sports Associate
Our Southie boy, Conor matches his classic Boston accent with a nice start to his beard. Currently, he is in second for the best beard. Plus Clancy, his Boston Terrier, wins him some points.
Steven, City Associate
He’s yet another one who can grow a man beard. He’s on his way.
As for the ladies of the FreeP, our general opinion is that beards are not our favorite things. Rachel, campus associate, put it best saying, “A survey of Daily Free Press staff opinions reveals that while very few women staff members are turned on by facial hair, 99 percent of staff members, both male and female, would not walk away if J-Kraz [John Krasinski of "The Office"] leaned in at a bar.”
By Max Cohen, Staff Writer
The evolution of the entertainment industry has been due to a singular vision: a completely immersive experience. That is why hyper-realistic graphics, enormous screens and 3-D technology have flourished recently. They make the experience real.
But a new technology, the Oculus Rift, could finally bridge the gap between genuine and virtual realities. The product of a $16 million Kickstarter fund by developer Oculus VR, the Rift has already left industry veterans and curious consumers intrigued and impressed.
Outwardly, the Rift looks ridiculous. It is essentially a huge pair of goggles which, like night-vision goggles, aren’t even that noticeable on your face (that’s a reference to the movie “Stepbrothers”). The goggles contain two internal screens—one for each eye—which allow for actual binocular depth cues within games.
But the Oculus Rift works surprisingly well despite its clunky appearance. It hooks up to any PC display and transfers the PC graphics to the two screens. The Rift’s cameras move the screen as the user turns their head, essentially allowing for a virtual first person POV.
Unsurprisingly, a few developers have already used the intriguing technology in innovative ways. There is currently a spacewalk simulator, in addition to a first person horror game that puts you alone in a haunted house. It is wholly different to watch something terrifying or mystifying on a TV then to actually experience it.
If the Rift is perfected by its release, it may spell the end for entertainment as we know it. Home video could become obsolete; console markets would disappear; social gaming would be a completely new experience.
And you can get your hands on the Oculus Rift on Saturday. The Microsoft NERD center in Cambridge will be hosting a conference for the Oculus Rift which is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
The event runs from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will allow consumer demos of the Oculus Rift. The event sign-up page is https://oculusnerds.eventbrite.com/. Who knows? Maybe in 20 years, you’ll be able to rip the goggles off your kid’s faces for a few minutes to tell them how you were one of the first to ever use and Oculus Rift. Maybe they’ll even think you’re cool.
By Hilary Ribons, Staff Writer
It’s that time of year again. The month before Christmas when the faces of millions of normal American men become engulfed in mountain-men level facial hair.
No Shave November—The chagrin of women (and some men) everywhere.
I hate to break it to you, but copious facial hair: not sexy. Not even a little bit. Please, do us a favor, and shave your face on a regular basis unless your beard is sexy. It’s hard to nail, and few are.
It’s a long withstanding social movement that coincides with the infamous month. Movember, a word combining mustache and November, is a movement that takes advantage of No Shave November by making it into a way to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer.
“… these selfless and generous men, known as Mo Bros, groom, trim and wax their way into the annals of fine moustachery,” according to the charity’s website, Movember and Sons. “Supported by the women in their lives, Mo Sistas, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts.”
For No Shave November, you can’t shave at all. For Movember, however, a mustache is required. Therefore, your sideburns can’t touch your mustache, and your chin hair can’t touch it either because that would make it a goatee. This is difficult for most gentlemen.
Of course, hipsters everywhere have extended No Shave November to a year round event, pruning and shaping their mustaches or beards to levels not seen since the 19th century. Maybe they’re protesting the manufacturing procedures of razor producers. Maybe they’re protesting the mainstream clean-shaven look. But most likely, they are just trying to be ironic. We will never know.
But since it seems we can’t stop the onslaught of unshaven men, maybe we can at least attribute a cause to it. So if you are a guy (or a girl, no prejudice) participating in this phenomenon, at least try to raise money for an actual cause. At least Movember has some ground rules.
Enjoy an extreme case of beard, unfolding here:
By Ryan Galindo, Staff Writer
My obsession with snow began when I was very young. I always thought snow was essential to the Christmas season. Like, it just isn’t Christmas if there isn’t any snow. I remember my earliest Christmas memory. I waited and waited for it to snow. Screw Santa—I just wanted snow. But when Christmas flew by without a single snowflake, I was left disappointed.
Of course, now that I’m older I know better. But that yearning for snow never left, and experiencing four seasons was one of the top reasons why I chose to move to New England. Like I’ve said, Guam is sweltering hot, and I just wanted a change of scene. But deep inside, I wanted to play in the snow.
When I confirmed my enrollment to Boston University, I was so excited partly because I knew that I would get to experience that cold, icy, powdery substance people call snow in a matter of months. I wanted be in a snowball fight, make snow angels and build a snowman.
As you all know—and if you don’t, let me remind you—Nov. 7 marked Boston’s first snowfall of the season. Yes, I have that engraved in my memory because it was the first time I had ever experienced snow.
I was at my job at 100 Bay State Rd. I walked to work that day and it the rain was pouring. It was super freezing. Little did I know that those clouds pelting me with icy water would soon drop snowflakes and give me what I’ve been waiting for so long to try: snow. At 5 p.m., I looked outside the window and saw that everything was covered in white. It was amazing and I was in disbelief. Snow, really? Wow. I couldn’t wait to get off work that day. My body couldn’t contain my excitement.
When I got off of work at 6 p.m., I went out with my friend to take my first step out into the cold. It was a glorious moment, touching snow. It feels so soft. I can still hear the crunching of snow under my shoes. And I can still feel the numbness of my face as the hostile winds pelted snowflakes in my direction.
That night I threw my first snowball and had my first snowball fight. I was so enthused that I forgot to make snow angels and build snowmen. I also slipped on my butt a couple of times. Okay, so maybe it was a lot of times. But it was all good.
And call me crazy, but that evening I walked all the way from 100 Bay State Rd. to my dorm in West Campus. I still can’t believe I did that and neither do my friends:
“You walked all the way there?! And you’re from GUAM?!”
Despite the fun I was having in the snow, the biting cold finally got to me, so I called it a day and went to bed, excited for more snow adventures the next day.
But wow, was I wrong. Everything started to melt the following day. I mean, who would want to play in wet slush? No way am I making snow angels in that. And now, I look outside my window and see that everything is dry. It’s as if the Nor’easter didn’t happen at all.
What a tease. Oh well. I guess I can hold building snowmen and making snow angels until the next snowfall. After all, I did wait several years for my first. What’s a few more weeks?