By Danny McCarthy, Staff Writer
Welcome to Monday! It may have been a rainy weekend, but it’s all toasty warm in pop culture land! So kick up your feet and settle in for a while as we talk about everything that you might’ve missed in the last week!
6. Chris Martin & Gwyneth Paltrow selling their London home:
In the aftermath of going public with their split, Gwyneth Paltrow and husband Chris Martin are reportedly selling their $7 million London home. The pair have been working on their marriage for roughly a year, and despite rumors swirling of infidelity on the side of Paltrow, they insist the break-up is amicable. Paltrow also announced that she will be taking time off from Hollywood to be with her children and deal with the effects of the split.
Looks like Selena is being dragged into Justin’s legal mess! The beautiful brunette was served with court papers. She will testify in the lawsuit centering around Bieber’s alleged assault on a paparazzo while on a date with Gomez. However, Gomez could be grilled on more than just that one incident. Possible topics include Bieber’s use of illegal substances and any incidents of violence or anger.
Jupiter Ascending, starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum, released a new trailer, and it’s drawing me in! With the scenes of a vast galactic empire and some pretty sick fights — involving a wolfish Tatum — I’m excited for the film to be released in July. The film was directed by the Wachowskis, who brought us the Matrix films. It centers on Jupiter, played by Kunis, who is the next in line for a celestial throne, and the great battle to achieve her birthright. Pretty cool, right?
Zoe Saldana is having one hell of a year! The Star Trek actress will be involved with the “Avatar” sequel, a NBC adaptation of “Rosemary’s Baby,” and now she joins the likes of Blake Lively and Lea Michele as L’Oreal Paris’s newest spokesmodel. Saldana was humbled by the offer, and credits her success to her family’s work ethic. We can’t wait to see the gorgeous L’Oreal pictures featuring the beauty!
If it were possible for the entire world to love Beyoncé more, it would be this moment. At her last show of 132 shows on her Mrs. Carter tour, Beyoncé humbly thanked her fans for giving her a career and lifting her up every time she fell. It is amazing to see a celebrity of Beyoncé’s stature acknowledge the power and special place of the fans in the making of fame. The past year of the tour has been a huge step for Beyoncé: the growth of her daughter Blue Ivy, and the release of her secret fifth album, BEYONCÉ.
1. Emma Watson “Noah” premiere; graduation in May:
Okay, full disclosure: this is my number 1 because I’ve been re-obsessed with the “Harry Potter” series lately and Emma Watson is my British queen. At the “Noah“ premiere, Watson revealed that she is due to graduate from Brown University in May, and she couldn’t be happier! She finished her degree in five years, balancing both the pressures of schoolwork and cinema. Emma says that graduating will free up her time considerably and, after filming her new movie “Regression,” she would love to break out on Broadway. Congrats, Watson!
Okay, so that’s all for this week! If there’s anything I missed, or anything you want to chime in on, feel free to comment down below!
By Robin Ngai, Staff Writer
Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if the Boy Who Lived could recite every word of Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” heartbreak anthem? Well, thanks to the editing magic of YouTube team SilvaWare Productions we know exactly what that sounds like.
Just in case you forgot or don’t know who Harry Potter is (or you just want to relive the story), AVbyte did a fantastic “Draw My Life” video that will answer all of your questions. Also, because everyone needs a little more Harry Potter in their lives, check out this short clip depicting what it would be like if the boy wizard came to life.
While avoiding writing an essay, I stumbled upon a video that includes two of my favorite things: Harry Potter and Taylor Swift. This three minute video strings together clips of the cast saying words from Swift’s song in ways that will make you wish you had these editing skills.
Harry, Hermione, Ron and the rest of the gang come together to create the musical number. It even features Draco, who demonstrates how his seemingly menacing voice can actually churn out a beautiful melody. It’ll bring a good chuckle while you reminisce on scenes you’ve forgotten from Harry Potter.
So muggles, take a break from studying for your midterms (or procrastinate for another few minutes), and enjoy the wonderful voices of the wizarding world.
By Danny McCarthy, Staff Writer
Remember when I wrote about men’s fashion? I was so good at that, right? (Just agree with me.) Well, now I’ve decided to foray into the great wilderness that is pop culture, armed with only a dream and access to the Internet. Join me as we count down the top seven things that you might have missed this week in pop culture!
7. “Full House”:
Apparently there is a “Full House” reunion in the works! The iconic television show, which ran from 1987-1995, was almost a religion in my household, and its ongoing popularity has proved that it probably held the same position in the lives of others. According to an interview John Stamos did with CBS News, the project will be “sort of reunion-like, not with the full cast.” So who do you think will be in the Full House reunion? Let us know in the comments below!
My world is coming to a halt because J.K. Rowling, in a new article (in which she was interviewed by Emma Watson — perfection) announced that she isn’t quite certain that Ron and Hermione should have ended up together. The author instead wished that she had put Harry and Hermione together instead. Personally, I can see Hermione and Ron not working out, but Harry and Hermione just seems…weird. Whose team are you on? Ron or Harry?
As per usual, Beyoncé was flawless at the Grammys. Using only a chair, smoke and her own perfection as props, she gave a sultry, strong rendition of “Drunk in Love”, a song from her new self-titled album, BEYONCÉ. Her husband, rapper Jay-Z, joined the performer later in the song. Despite the song being censored live, parents are in an uproar about the duet, citing it to be a little too risqué for children. What do you think? Was Beyoncé’s dance too sexy for the Grammys?
4. The “Midnight Memories” music video:
I had to put this in here. One Direction, the boy band that’s sweeping the nation, nay, the world, released the music video for the titular song of their album, Midnight Memories. The video, which has over 8.5 million views on YouTube, features the boys hanging out with old ladies and generally getting rowdy, while making it seem like the most fun thing in the world, as only One Direction can.
3. Miley Cyrus, “Unplugged”:
Miley Cyrus had complete creative control over her MTV program, “Unplugged”, taking a decidedly Southern twist on her breakout album Bangerz. The artist, glowing in a platinum pixie cut and bedazzled cowboy gear, had Madonna on as a guest performer, but made it clear that she had originally wanted Dolly Parton to join her. And if there is no other proof that Miley is the new Queen of Pop, there is the fact that Madonna was her second choice. Sorry, Mads.
2. “The Fault In Our Stars” movie trailer:
This one dances close to my heart. The trailer for “The Fault in Our Stars”, adapted from John Green’s New York Times bestseller, premiered on Wednesday, already racking up eight million views on YouTube. Whether you have loved the book since its release, or fell in love with Augustus Waters’ lazy smirk, you know that this is one movie you have to see. With Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort leading an amazing cast, hopefully “The Fault in Our Stars” can live up to the beauty of its source material.
1. “Same Love” marriages:
Keeping up with all the feels, I had to double up on Grammy love this week. 34 couples, gay and straight, were married during the Grammys after a rendition of Macklemore’s groundbreaking song, “Same Love.” Making Grammy history, the occasion proved that music isn’t just for topping billboard charts or making money: it is, has been, and hopefully always will be, a vehicle for change. And it makes for a kick-ass wedding story!
That’s all for this week, if there’s anything I missed, or anything you think should be included in the Pop Culture Countdown next week, sound off in the comments below!
Margaret Waterman, Staff Writer
A week into my semester abroad, I still feel like it’s not really real yet.
I’ve been to Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Big Ben, Parliament, pubs (so many pubs) and clubs. I took a boat cruise down the Thames and even visited “Platform Nine and ¾.” Everything is gorgeous and so old and historical. It has been so fun sightseeing; we’re off to the Tower of London today. Still, though, it feels like I’m on vacation with a bunch of friends — except, on a budget.
One of the hardest things to adjust to — besides learning to look the “wrong” way when crossing the street — has been living completely on my own. Last semester, I had an apartment, but I was always at The Daily Free Press or my restaurant job and rarely had time to cook real meals for myself. Here, though, it’s been all home-cooked, all the time. We really can’t afford anything else with the exchange rate (which sits at almost two dollars for every one pound) and with our estimated travel budget. So, it’s been chicken and veggies pretty much every night for dinner.
My roommate and I have pooled our spending and split everything from trips to the grocery store, to cooking and dishes. It’s been a great system but definitely has been a big adjustment, along with sharing a kitchen with 14 other girls, all of whom live in my flat.
Before I got here, I decided one of my main goals would be to travel. I’ve been looking forward to seeing all parts of Europe since I can remember and realize this is the perfect opportunity. We’re going to Dublin next weekend, where luckily enough I have a friend there we can stay with for free. We’ve got a bunch more trips planned, too — all around the U.K., Ireland and the Netherlands, for now, with our bigger trips still up in the air.
I think what has struck me most about London is how massive and how international it is as a city. Every place we’ve been, we’ve met people from all over the globe. Other Americans, a ton of French people, Lithuanians and — my personal favorite — two businessmen from Copenhagen we met on a pub-crawl. It’s been much harder to meet Brits than I figured it would be, but I think that’s because of the neighborhood we live in (South Kensington). It’s very expensive and not home to too many locals. I’ve set another goal for myself this week to meet more people from in and around London. There are a bunch of local universities around that we might go check out.
All and all, it’s been an amazing first week and I couldn’t be happier with my choice to study abroad in London. As far as classes go, I’m taking a British media and culture class and a class focused on foreign corresponding. I can’t wait for those to begin next week!
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 Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Staff Writer
The muggles of the world are having a mild aneurism over the new discovery of Butterbeer Frappuccinos and Steamers at Starbucks, but the secret gem of the holiday season are the warmer alternative: Butterbeer Lattes.
Butterbeer, in the Harry Potter books, is a foamy, warm beverage that tastes “a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch.” Until now, Butterbeer was only sold in the wizarding village of Hogsmeade (don’t you dare tell me it’s fictional), but now you can have every Potterhead’s favorite drink in the form of a Frappuccino or latte.
As a self-proclaimed Potterhead who may or may not have made a Hogwarts dream journal at age 10, I felt obligated to adapt the various recipes for Butterbeer-themed drinks into the perfect concoctions for the holiday season.
Although Butterbeer was consumed cold in Harry Potter when served in bottles, I think that Butterbeer lattes are optimal for the cold weather. However, for those who are interested in something chilly, here is my adapted recipe for a Butterbeer Frappuccino:
BUTTERBEER FRAPPUCCINO (Grande):
- Crème Frappuccino Base
- 3 pumps of caramel syrup
- 4 pumps of toffee nut syrup
- 1 pump of cinnamon dulce syrup
- Whipped cream
So, how does this equal Butterbeer? Easy: caramel is made by heating sugar until it breaks down, and then adding heavy cream. Toffee, on the other hand, adds butter. The alleged “butterscotch” flavor of Butterbeer would require the combination of caramel and butter. The cinnamon-dulce syrup cuts the sweetness of the cream and adds a little bit of magic to the mix.
This adaptation varies from the main recipe circulating online, mainly because they suggest three pumps of each flavor and none of the cinnamon dulce syrup. Having evenly distributed syrups results in a muddled, sweet cream Frappuccino. Plus, the toffee should be more prominent than the caramel: the process of making butterscotch is closer to that of toffee than caramel, mainly because butterscotch requires butter (duh).
But in the freezing cold winter winds of Hogsmeade (or Boston, I guess…), a young wizard like yourself needs something warm and tasty to drink. With finals coming up, you can’t afford to take a trip to Starbucks without pounding down some caffeine. This adapted Butterbeer latte recipe will re-energize you for another round of studying. Who doesn’t need a little magic to get through midterms?
BUTTERBEER LATTE (Tall):
- 3 pumps of caramel syrup
- 2 pumps of toffee nut syrup
- 1 pump of cinnamon dulce syrup
- Whipped cream
Again, the main recipes recommend equal distributions of syrup, but for an enchanted latte like this one, you need to go full engorgio on the caramel and chill out on the cinnamon dulce. Because the espresso already cuts the sweetness of the toffee nut and the caramel, the cinnamon dulce should be less prominent than the other syrups. Also, the caramel syrup should be more prominent in the latte, because the chocolatey quality of the coffee mimics the flavor the toffee nut when combined with the caramel.
Overall, there should be less syrup in the latte than the Frappuccino, because the chilly shake has a higher water content with the addition of ice.
Make sure to accio some Butterbeer as soon as you can — you can only knock back this Hogsmeade classic while the toffee nut flavor is in season.
By Samantha Wong, Staff Writer
Most muggles do not have magic on the brain. ‘Muggle’ is the term J.K. Rowling uses to describe non-magical folk within the Harry Potter series. Of course, according to Rowling, most muggles don’t think about magic because they have already refused to accept that it even exists.
However, the Harry Potter Alliance and Boston University’s chapter, Dumbledore’s Army, prove that magic doesn’t have to be spells or curses to be practiced. Within the community, average muggles like you and I, can practice a less literal magic that wows. In this case, magic can be the simple thought of giving back to the community. Most people are amazed by the effects giving back can have.
Giving back can be something as small as donating books to others or selling free trade chocolate in the shape of chocolate frogs. Even getting together a group of people with a common interest in a character can be life changing for others.
What I never considered was that Harry Potter, other than being a great wizard for vanquishing the dark lord Voldemort, could be more than a character. It had not occurred to me that a book, which became a series loved by millions, could be something other than a book. Harry Potter’s name now stands as a symbol for hope. Harry Potter inspires change for the better.
As J.K. Rowling remarks on the Harry Potter Alliance website, “I am honoured and humbled that Harry’s name has been given to such an extraordinary campaign, which really does exemplify the values for which Dumbledore’s Army fought in the books.”
By Heather Goldin, Staff Writer
Let’s be honest. We all have our favorite British television show, whether we care to admit it. Why do we fall head over heels for these shows over our own American reality television shows? Is it the creative plot lines, or is it their brilliant British slang? Blimey! You would have to be a wanker not to love British TV. Whether its “Doctor Who,” “Sherlock,” “Misfits,” “Peep Show,” the list of our favorite British shows go on and on. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) always gives us a reason to watch.
However, our love of Great Britain spans far beyond TV. Take into account the famous “Harry Potter” series, written by British novelist J.K. Rowling. As you probably already know from BBC’s Twitter feed, the world of British television is colliding with popular British novels, courtesy of BBC’s decision to adapt Rowling’s newest novel ‘The Casual Vacancy” as a television series. Set to debut in 2014, the show is sure to join our list of British television favorites. Despite some poor literary critics’ reviews, possibly holding a grudge against Britain for their tyrannical history, the novel still ranks high on the New York Times best-seller list. Rowling will be working closely with the BBC network to make sure her literary vision is successfully translated to the television screen.
Keep your eyes on the telly for the premiere showing of “The Casual Vacancy.” I’d be gobsmacked if the show were anything short of bloody addicting.
Confused by some of my language? If you ever find yourself in Britain, this online dictionary of British slang might be useful. And if not, you can always talk like a Brit for fun!
By Heather Goldin, Staff Writer
What can a group of students do with brooms, partially deflated dodge balls, volleyballs and hula hoops? If you think this is a trick question, think again. This is all the equipment you need to play Quidditch, and Boston University’s Quidditch team has six years of experience. If you are a fan of Harry Potter, competitive sports or avoiding homework on Sunday afternoons from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., then checking out the team may be worthwhile.
When I first got to the team’s practice location behind Sleeper Hall on West Campus, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Instead of starting to understand how the game was played, I became more confused by the second. However, talking to College of Arts and Sciences junior Katrina Bossotti helped. She’s on the Quidditch e-board and a captain of one of the teams.
According to Katrina, there are a few main rules that have been adapted from the game portrayed in the best-selling Harry Potter series. There are seven players from each team on the field at one time: three chasers, two beaters, a seeker and a keeper. The goal of the game is for the chasers to throw the quaffles (volleyballs) through the hoops while avoiding the bludgers (partially deflated dodge balls) that are thrown by the beaters. If you are hit, you must go back to the hoops on your side. Katrina explained that this is supposed to simulate “falling off your broom, since we can’t actually fly.”
The game seems difficult to pick up, but the main thing to remember is that the seeker has to catch the snitch. The snitch is usually a cross-country runner or wrestler with a tennis ball in a sock tucked into their pants. He or she has no boundaries, and they can do pretty much anything to avoid getting caught. Once caught, the game ends and the team with the most points is the winner.
School of Management senior Joe Barkus explained to me that while there are seemingly no limits to Quidditch (no field boundaries at all!), you can only catch the snitch with a single hand, and yellow and red cards are issued for fouls. There are four teams at Boston University that practice together, but there is a single tournament team of 21 players that compete in official tournaments on a local and regional scale. Just this semester there are three different tournaments, and in the spring there is the World Cup.
I chatted briefly with College of Communication sophomore Brett Engwall, who plays the position of seeker. Brett began his Quidditch career last year, and he played on the tournament team. When I asked what kept Brett playing, he responded that he was surprised at how athletic the sport is.
“We also form close friendships, especially on the tournament team,” he said.
I learned that the tournaments are even more intense than the practice I witnessed last weekend, highly competitive and violent, but also extremely fun. At the end of a vigorous Quidditch game, the opponents can be seen hugging each other and congratulating their enemies on a good game.
If you are wary of trying something so new, take the advice of College of General Studies freshman Marianne Walters. When she couldn’t join a soccer team at BU, she said Quidditch seemed just as interesting. Marianne heard about the team through splash, and she loves playing. Competitive sports aren’t for everyone, but what good is a sport if there are no fans to cheer them on?
And let me emphasize again that this game has NO boundaries. It’s best to watch this game from a distance because the players are not afraid to blow right past you to keep playing!