Tagged: @katreenz

LA Manager undergoes plastic surgery to improve selfies

By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
@katreenz

How far would you go to improve your selfies?/ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Rondo Estrello

How far would you go to improve your selfies?/ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Rondo Estrello

Just how far would you be willing to go to take better selfies?

Apparently, trying to take another one from a different angle or putting a filter on wasn’t good enough for Triana Lavey, 38, a talent manager from Los Angeles, who spent around $15,000 on cosmetic surgery solely to change how she looked in her selfies.

In an interview with ABC News, Lavey said she “didn’t like the face staring back at her in Skype chats or in Facebook pictures.”

Evidently, untagging unflattering pictures wasn’t enough to solve the problem. Lavey has been undergoing plastic surgery to change her self-image for the past two years, resorting to a nose job, chin implant and fat-grafting. She recently went under the knife for corrective surgery on her nose, along with regular Botox treatments.

Like the rest of the world, she loves taking selfies. Millions are taken every day, thanks to the rise of social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, and plenty are posted on other sites such as Facebook and Twitter as well. So are we as a society becoming more vain, or are selfies helping us create and maintain an online identity?

Lavey clearly thinks it’s more of the latter. In a video interview with ABC News last week, she said, “Your social media presence is just as important as your real-life presence.”

It sounds like she’s got a point there. After all, we can’t hear enough about employers deciding whether to hire an employee based on what they can find on their personal social media profiles, right?

“Today this business is moving at the speed of the internet [where] your selfie is your headshot,” Lavey  said. “You can reinvent yourself every single day with simply your iPhone.”

While these are all valid points, most people wouldn’t be willing to go to such great lengths to change how they look in their front-facing cameras — not to mention the price paid.

But hey, to each their own, am I right?

Boy Scouts shut down troop due to gay scoutmaster

By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
@katreenz

The Boy Scouts of America./ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Ted Eytan

The Boy Scouts of America cause controversy due to its new policies./ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Ted Eytan

Last week, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) shut down a troop in Seattle for refusing to get rid of its scoutmaster, Geoff McGrath, who is openly gay.

Pack and Troop 98 are sponsored by the Rainier Beach United Methodist Church. In late March, upon discovering McGrath’s sexuality, the BSA demanded that the church remove McGrath, but the church refused.

Just last May, the BSA decided to break its 103 year-old ban on allowing openly gay youth from becoming members. However, the ban (which was put into effect on Jan. 1, 2014) did not extend to its adult gay and leaders, leaving many (myself included) in confusion. It even caused some sponsors, like the Walt Disney Company, to cut off all funding to the BSA starting in 2015.

But how can an organization decide to open its arms to only openly gay youth but not its openly gay leaders? It certainly seems like taking one step forward and another step back in an endless waltz of discriminatory actions.

Despite the BSA’s controversial ban, Rev. Monica Corsaro, the minister of Troop 98’s host church, admits that the church and the troop knew about McGrath’s sexuality, and that choosing him as their scoutmaster violated the BSA’s policy.

In a statement, Corsaro wrote, “We didn’t choose Geoff McGrath as a political statement. We chose Geoff because he was the perfect person for the job, an Eagle Scout himself . . . [who] has mentoring and leadership skills that someone taking on this role needs… The Boy Scouts of America need to recognize the growing number of churches whose beliefs include all people. And by all, we mean all.”

Although the BSA has given the boys from Troop 98 the opportunity to be placed in other troops, Corsaro has said that they will continue to meet next week, whether they wear uniforms or not.

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.

LOLThursday: Girl sings “Let It Go,” gets video-bombed by dad

By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
@katreenz

By now, the birds are chirping, the warm weather’s finally kicking in, and we can more or less relax knowing that there probably won’t be any more snow until next fall. You’d think that all of the craze behind Walt Disney Picture’s latest movie “Frozen” would be over by now… or is it?

Maybe not. Just last week, a video surfaced on YouTube featuring one girl singing Disney’s hit song “Let It Go,” with her dad “video-bombing” his daughter and lip syncing to her voice while acting out Queen Elsa’s movements behind her.

Maybe it’s staged, maybe it isn’t – it looks like the person behind the camera definitely knew what her dad was planning to do but I don’t think the little girl did. In any case, this video makes for a solid minute of entertainment, because dang, this girl can sing! Not to mention her awesome dad putting the icing on the cake by dramatically taking his sunglasses off as she croons, “The cold never bothered me anyway!”

The success of the newest movie and especially its catchy soundtrack has inspired countless covers, including an Africanized tribal cover of “Let It Go,” as well as a hilarious medley of the movie’s songs performed and acted out by the a capella group Pentatonix.

Does this videobombing Dad do Elsa justice from the original Frozen scene? Are you 100% over hearing anything Frozen-related, or are you eagerly awaiting more news on it being turned into a new Broadway musical? Check out the video and comment below!

BU’s sixth annual Relay for Life

By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
@katreenz

The luminaria for the Relay for Life./ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Steve Beger

The luminaria ceremony for the Relay for Life./ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Steve Beger

It’s an overnight fundraising walk. It’s a way to remember and celebrate those lost to cancer and those who have survived it. It’s a great bonding experience to share with family and friends. And above all, it’s a way to fight back against the debilitating disease that affects so many individuals every day.

I’m talking, of course, about Relay for Life. Boston University’s sixth annual Relay was held from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Saturday night at the Track and Tennis Center and was run by BU’s Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) chapter, with over 1,250 people in attendance.

Relay for Life is a worldwide movement and annual event run by the American Cancer Society that more than 3.5 million people participate in and register for (in teams) each year. Over the course of 12 hours, members of each team take turns walking around a track, symbolizing the ongoing fight against cancer.

Every participant helps make a change in the effort to rid the world of cancer, whether it’s by fundraising, participating in the actual event, or simply spreading awareness about the disease.

I always wanted to participate in Relay for Life when I was in high school, but unfortunately I never got a chance. This year marked my second time joining my favorite student group’s Relay team. The most emotional and touching moment of the night, in my opinion, was the Luminaria Ceremony, where the Track and Tennis Center was slowly illuminated as people cracked glow sticks to honor those they knew who had lost their battles to cancer.

Andrew Mullins, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been participating in Relay for Life since his freshman year of high school and has served on the CAC Committee that plans BU’s Relay all four years of his college career.

“Generally, I relay to find a cure for cancer and to celebrate everyone who has survived and is currently battling cancer,” said Mullins. “Personally, I relay for my mother who survived Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and has been cancer-free for four years, as well as my grandmother and many aunts and uncles who have survived or lost the battle to cancer.”

Teams signed up for plenty of activities held throughout the night, some of which include a dodgeball tournament, Family Feud, Minute to Win It, and The Amazing Race. There was also a short Zumba session held at two a.m. to wake everyone up as the night progressed into the wee hours of the morning, along with a few speakers who were either survivors or had been affected by the disease who spoke about why they chose to relay and raise awareness about cancer.

“We had 103 teams register, which surpassed the committee goal! We also raised over $84,500.” Mullins said. “Everyone seemed to be having a great time the entire night, and I am extremely happy with how the event turned out. The activities, ceremonies, and speakers were all amazing.”

There might not be a cure for cancer yet, but one day there will be. To see such a large group of people come together for one cause only showed that together we are fighting cancer, one day at a time.

BU’s first spirit week is a promising start for school pride

By Ann Singer and Katrina Uy, Staff Writers
@annmsinger @katreenz

Quiz time for Mr. and Ms. BU contestants./ PHOTO BY Katrina Uy

Quiz time for Mr. and Ms. BU contestants./ PHOTO BY Katrina Uy

Boston University’s first spirit week took over campus last week, offering a wide array of activities including Residence Hall Association (RHA) carnival events, a pep rally and lacrosse game  and a Mr. and Mrs. BU pageant.

The RHA hosted a carnival on Thursday that consisted of nine separate events such as: pie your RA, mini golf, and popcorn and Polaroids, among others. The events were meant to foster a greater sense of community on campus and encourage school spirit throughout.

Some, like Gonzalo Zeballos, vice president of the South Campus RHA and host of the free henna and Ben & Jerry’s portion of the carnival, felt a need for such activities.

“…as you know, in BU there is not a lot of cohesion in terms of community,” said Zeballos. “We thought this was going to help people be more excited, and at the same time we serve as an envoy to tell other people what is happening because it’s really hard to get everyone at BU to know what is going on, when something is happening or not…we really want this to be a thing that’s going to increase more awareness and get bigger every year.”

Spreading the treats and the message quickly, RHA ran out of ice cream way before its scheduled end, revealing a general sense of good spirit and camaraderie.

Down the street at Warren Towers the Spring clothing swap was another event designed to boost school spirit. Residents were asked to donate clothes and for every article of clothing donated a ticket was earned to get a different article of clothing at the swap.

“I think it’s a really nice way to donate clothes for each other and for organizations like Goodwill,” said Joy Wang of the Warren Towers’ RHA. “I think [Spirit Week] is helping…You don’t have to be living in that certain place to go, and so you can get to know other people, and that’s a way to spread the spirit of BU,” said Wang.

Despite the low turnout, with about 10 people in the room at a time, those who showed up co-mingled and seemed to have had a good time.

The week’s festivities culminated with the Mr. & Ms. BU pageant on Friday night, held at the Jacob Sleeper Auditorium inside the College of General Studies (CGS). Couples from a participating colleges and student groups competed in a multitude of games, including a trivia game about Boston and a blind taste test hosted by BU’s Dining Services, as the audience cheered them on.

The night was all about fun and friendly competition, adding to the overall atmosphere of school pride. It was also the first year the Mr. and Ms. BU competition involved student clubs, instead of just school representatives.

“It was really fun, and it was my first time going to an event like this, where there was a lot of school spirit,” said Alejandra Cambonchi, a junior in the College of Engineering.

Monica Weitekamp, a junior in the College of Engineering, added, “I thought the skits at the end were really great, and I wasn’t surprised at all by the turnout at the event or the amount of spirit everyone had.”

The night ended with Bryan Cosca (ENG ’14) and Trisha Serquina (ENG ’15) of the BU Filipino Student Association winning the title of Mr. & Ms. BU 2014, with Cory Azmon and Sarah Jasper from the School of Education (SED) as runners up.

Even though a majority of students didn’t know what Spirit Week was, localized events like the Spring clothing swap and larger events like the Mr. and Mrs. BU pageant helped spread the word and change things little by little. Overall, it was a good start to foster school spirit.

Why upcoming Pixar movies may not be ‘incredible’

By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
@katreenz

Did Pixar sell out?/ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Theodore Lee

Did Pixar sell out?/ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Theodore Lee

Last week, news broke out that after more than a decade of fans begging for a sequel, Disney/Pixar decided to give the green light to The Incredibles 2, as well as a third installation of the Cars franchise. For parents of young children and maybe even for fans of Pixar, this may seem like fantastic news. But for me, not so much.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Disney/Pixar as much as the next person. I vividly remember first falling in love with A Bug’s Life when I was six years old. I would constantly watch it on VHS in our living room, even the short with the old man that played chess by himself in the park before the actual movie began. Years later, my dad took me and my younger brother to watch The Incredibles in theaters, and I remember my brother and I clutching our sides in tears when Mr. Incredible tried to squeeze through the conveyor belt but kept bouncing out because of all the weight he’d gained in his years off from fighting crime.

As I got older, I felt a newfound respect for all of Pixar’s original films, more so than its parent company, Walt Disney Studios.

The way I saw it, Pixar was gutsy and clever enough to create smart, witty films that were, yes, targeted for kids, but enjoyable enough for the whole family. But then Cars came out in 2006 and I think we can agree it all went downhill from there (I mean, really, Planes?).

News of the upcoming sequels to Pixar’s critically acclaimed films from the 2000s are just two among many of the studio’s line-up for the next couple of years. They now join the ranks of the most recent Pixar flick, Monsters University, a prequel to Monsters, Inc. (2001) that was released just last summer.

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think all of these sequels to Pixar’s beloved original films are necessary. What’s wrong with leaving perfectly good movies untouched and leaving what happens after the closing credits up to the imagination of the audience?

You could definitely argue that the company is clearly trying to target our generation with all of these sequels. We grew up with Andy from Toy Story, who goes off to college just as our generation is leaving for college.

While I will admit that I caved and went to see Toy Story 3 in theaters, and will definitely do the same for The Incredibles 2, I just wish that Pixar would stick to its roots and focus on creating more original and innovative stories for its audiences.

The studio announced in September 2013 that their lineup for the next few years will alternate between sequels and original films, starting with The Good Dinosaur and Inside Out in 2015, followed by Finding Dory in 2016, and many other untitled projects in the works right now, including an untitled project on El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), also scheduled for release in 2016.

Twitch Plays Pokémon: A Social Experiment

By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
@katreenz

After just 16 days, seven hours, 45 minutes and 30 seconds, thousands of players entering various commands into an online chat room simultaneously beat the Nintendo game “Pokémon Red” on the live streaming video platform, TwitchTV.

TwitchTV is a website where people can live stream video games. Someone decided to set up a stream for the Gameboy game “Pokémon Red”, but made it so that instead of him playing, it was the viewers that were actually controlling what was going on in the game.

For each Twitch stream there is a chat room where viewers can type comments. The anonymous user set up a bot that translates buttons said in the chat room into key presses that make the character move.

Sound a little insane yet?

Think about it. Tens of thousands of viewers were all entering in thousands of commands all at the same time, trying to control the same character, which can only mean one thing: chaos.

The Internet phenomenon, also known as “Twitch Plays Pokémon”, was meant to be a social experiment to see how a large group of people would interact with the common goal of playing a video game. Would it even be possible to beat it? How long would it take? Would people purposely try to mess the player up, or would they try to work together?

Aaron Lapena, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, was surprised how quickly they beat the game.

“I’m pretty impressed that they actually finished the game in about two weeks. What took them 16 days to do together could have been done by normal people playing alone in a few days, but since there are so many people typing commands, things don’t exactly coordinate well.”  Lapena said. “The player could end up walking in circles for hours, which is what’s happened.”

But there’s even more to the incredible Internet craze than just people playing Pokémon.

“The most interesting thing to me is the ‘religion’ that’s formed behind it,” said Thomas Nguyen, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. “Events that happen in the game explodes into memes and common phrases repeated online. An entire community is formed by a large group of people who have no direct contact with each other. They aren’t all playing their own game, it’s thousands of people playing one game together.”

Even though users beat “Pokémon Red”, the fun continues. They’ve moved on to “Pokémon Crystal”, a game in the next generation of the Pokemon series. If you’re curious and want to see how it all works or want to follow along this time around, check out the live updater feed on Reddit.

So what do you think? Does “Twitch Plays Pokémon” give you hope for humanity? Does it make you want to dig up your old Gameboy over spring break and relive your childhood memories of playing Pokémon? Let us know in the comments below!

Fusion Presents: ELEMENTS XIV Dance Competition

By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
@katreenz

UPro performs at Fusion's ELEMENTS XIV/ PHOTO BY Katrina Uy

UPro performs at Fusion’s ELEMENTS XIV/ PHOTO BY Katrina Uy

Static and electrifying – that was what the energy was like on Saturday night. The audience screamed their support as dancers threw themselves across the stage with flips and stunts.

Fusion, Boston University’s leading on-campus hip hop dance troupe, hosted ELEMENTS XIV, its annual dance competition in Metcalf Ballroom. Some of the best dance crews from all over the east coast performed, including The Mooks, Northeastern’s Kinematix, and UFP.

The night’s winners were Static Noyze, Capital Funk, and PROject Nailz. All three crews have competed at ELEMENTS before.

Using a blend of contemporary dance and hip hop, Static Noyze, a group known for its visionary themes and story-lines in its sets, earned first place with its unique telling of a power struggle between an Egyptian queen and king.

Capital Funk and PROject Nailz also performed sets that stood out from the line-up of competitors. PROject Nailz had arguably one of the funniest and most memorable sets of the night, and highlighted some of its dancers by dressing them as various characters from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”.

Many of BU’s own dance groups also competed. Aside from Fusion, who opened and closed the competition with two separate sets, Unofficial Project (also known as UPro), an Asian hip hop dance troupe that “combines elements of Asian and American hip hop culture,” and Vibes, BU’s only all-female hip hop dance group, also performed in the first half of the show.

Beau Fournier played host to the event once again this year. Fournier is a dancer and choreographer of the Los Angeles-based crew, Fanny Pak. His commentary and antics served as transitions between the competing crews’ sets.

In addition to Fournier, Vinh Nguyen, Pat Cruz, and James Alsop served as judges for the competition, all of whom are dancers and choreographers with stunning credentials. Alsop has even worked and choreographed for the Queen of Pop herself – Beyoncé.

Crazy impressive, right?

It was definitely a night to remember for the dance community. The atmosphere was so intense that even non-dancers were sure to have a good time. And if you missed out on getting tickets for the show, don’t fret. On Sunday, Nguyen, Cruz, Alsop, and Fournier will hold workshops all day in Metcalf Ballroom. Prices can be found on the ELEMENTS XIV Facebook event page.

Lol Thursday: Olympics go Mario Kart

By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
@katreenz

Speed skating is a dangerous, yet thrilling, sport to watch, but you know what would make it even better? Green shells, item boxes and banana peels. That’s right: Mario Kart.

In a video titled, “Sochi 2014 – Speed Skating Double Dash Final,” filmmaker Michael Shanks edits a speed skating race from this winter’s Olympics by adding some of the most infuriating weapons from the Nintendo’s franchise, and the result is pretty awesome.

Speed skating is one of those sports that require a mixture of skill and chance to succeed – crashes and falls from other skaters can make or break your chances of medaling. U.S. speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, arguably the face of short-track, won a silver medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics after the two South Korean skaters who were in first and second place at the time crashed. Similar instances are not uncommon.

So what better way to poke fun at the drama and high stakes of the Olympics than comparing it to Mario Kart? It’s genius. The best part is that Shanks’s video makes Mario Kart Olympics seem so real because of the risky nature of speed skating.

After all, what’s better than the bad-ass feeling of knocking out the guy in front of you with one clean hit of a red shell or lightning bolt? Anyone who’s ever played the game knows what I’m talking about. Don’t deny it.

Let out those maniacal laughs and go ahead and punch the air because you’ve landed sweet victory.