While finals are still looming in the immediate future, it’s not too early to start thinking about how you’re going to reward yourself for getting through the week. There's an incredible amount of movies coming out in the next week, so get your planner out and start deciding which ones you want to go to.
Iron Man 3 – May 3rd
In the third installment of the franchise, Tony Stark is recovering from the events hat occurred in The Avengers by creating suit after new suit with more advancements in order to keep himself safe. After an attack on everything he knows by new enemy Mandarin, Tony is left to his own devices to protect all that he holds dear and to figure out whether he that makes the Iron Man suit or whether it is what makes & defines him.
The Iceman – May 3rd
Based on the real life contract killer Richard Kuklinski, the movie tells the story of his early days when Kuklinski killed over 100 people under the payment of the mob. While on the outside he seemed like the everyday normal husband, father, and pursuer of the American Dream, his inner self was a ruthless, cold, and calculating killer whose arrest shocked everyone who knew him.
And Now a Word From Our Sponsor – May 10th
Adan Kundle, who is a CEO of a major advertising agency, is found unconscious in front of a bank of TVs. When he wakes up in the hospital, he can only speak through advertising slogans. With nowhere else to go, he gets taken in by a friend from the past, Karen Hillridge, and through his occasionally inappropriate catchphrases, changes her relationship with her daughter. All the while, Adan’s business partner Lucas Foster is working to take over Adan’s company by blatantly attacking Adan’s mental capacity.
The Great Gatsby – May 10th
Based on the book by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the movie tells the story of Jay Gatsby through the eyes of his new neighbor Nick Carraway, a Midwesterner just returned from war. It isn’t long before Carraway is dragged into Gatsby’s world of booze, riches, darkness, obsession, and more than a fair share of tragedy as Gatsby becomes enraptured with Daisy Buchanan, the wife of an old-money Yale graduate, who he was involved with in the past.
Star Trek: Into Darkness – May 17th
In this installment of the rebooted Star Trek franchise, the crew of the USS Enterprise is thrown into a proverbial battle of good vs. evil after being summoned back to Earth, only to find that Starfleet has been demolished and that their planet has become a war zone. An incredibly powerful villain known as John Harrison is on a path of revenge and responsible for the outstanding amount of destruction.
The Hangover Part III – May 24th
The third and final act in the Hangover Saga, this movie has no wedding and no bachelor party. After Alan’s father dies, the group decides to take him to get help for his mental issues but things go, as per usual, awry. Doug is kidnapped and the pack must find Mr. Chow in order to trade the man to the gangsters that have taken Doug.
Man of Steel – June 14th
The Last Son of Kryptonite is back in a new movie that focuses on his childhood and his beginnings at The Daily Planet, as well as his burgeoning relationship with the journalist Lois Lane. When Earth is attacked by a force we are unable to defend against, Clark Kent must become Superman and fight to protect the human race, even though some try to stop him from doing so, wary of his powers that make him seem more like the one’s attacking us.
No more late night study sessions, papers to write or deadlines. No more rushing to class only to spend 20 minutes having to look for a parking spot. But let’s face it, how many carefree summers do you have left? Are you going to make the most of this one or will you opt out for the sloth route? (i.e. sleeping late, eating last nights leftovers for breakfast, stepping over a week’s worth of laundry to get to the bathroom, hangovers from hell…)
There are no excuses. Take advantage of this time to dig yourself out of a rut, make new habits, break old ones, be happy, and live hysterically. I have found in my own personal journey of improvement that it is never too late to begin and it’s always too soon to give up.
Just pick one activity per week from each of the categories below... and watch your summer of change unfold! Let’s get started:
"Make Yourself More Interesting"
What separates you from everyone else? You’ve got to keep in mind there are millions of other people out there who are living to the fullest. They constantly entertain us with their YouTube videos, tweets, risk-taking, talents, and etc. How can you differentiate yourself?
• Map/plan out your next big trip
• Make a bucket list
• Choose your ideal “last meal” and make it
• Make up your own signature cocktail • Watch an award-winning foreign or Sundance film
• Memorize a greeting like “hello” in 10 different languages
• Write out the opening lines for your hit movie
• Teach yourself the rules for a card game you’ve never played. Suggestion: Spades.
• Learn a party trick. Suggestions: learn a common rap (see “No Diggity”) or how to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew
• Fill up your social media profile with your interests. Find and “like” Beyoncé or Duck Dynasty, whatever your “thing” is
• Make a playlist of guilty pleasures and play it with friends. It’s also a good icebreaker!
Too often we just read about and think of ways we can make positive changes to our bodies. Turn these ambitious goals into reality; crave victory for yourself. Choose at least one challenge per week and watch these healthful tasks get easier to complete as the weeks roll on.
• Do 50 jumping jacks
• Complete an entire fitness video
• Ride a bike for eight miles
• Go meatless
• Juice the majority of your foods for a day
• Go on a five mile run/jog. Start slow, take breaks and pick up the pace as your endurance builds over time
• Have a substance-free day. Cut out things your body’s used to like caffiene, nicotine, energy drinks or study aids (Adderall, Vyvanse).
• Detox for a day - you can find all different types online from all-vegetable meals to a complete cleanse
• Try the Paleo (aka Caveman) Diet, based on the ancient diet of wild plants and animals consumed during the Paleolithic Era
• Focus on sitting up straight – posture is not only important for your physical appearance, but your confidence and back health, as well
• Attend a Yoga/ Pilates class (hot yoga is all the rage right now)
"Treat Yo Self"
Even if you’re balling on a budget, it’s important to be good to yourself. Don’t go through life penny-pinching just because you don’t think you’ve done something reward-worthy. Make an occasional splurge!
• Go to a spa or take a long bubble bath
• Wear your favorite frumpy outfit all day
• Buy yourself flowers
• Go see a live performance
• Enjoy McDonald’s fries or a gourmet treat from Cupcake
• Spend a gift card that you haven’t gotten around to using
• Go all out at dinner. Appetizer? Check. Salad? Yep. Entrée? Duh!
• Treat someone else. Chances are you’ll feel better about yourself, too
• Have a “Spanish Lunch” - one that lasts for two hours and allows you to really enjoy the company of people around you
• Buy that overpriced shirt you’ve been anxiously awaiting to hit the clearance rack
• Hit up a Happy Hour (Don't forget about Sonic’s 2-4 p.m. half-price drinks)
• Go to your favorite store, whether it is Bass Pro Shops or Target, and buy something
• Don’t set an alarm and sleep in until your body says it’s time to get up
Downsize your life by getting organized. Imagine how refreshing it will feel when you can actually see your floor. Try these small tasks and you will find not only more space in your room, but in your cluttered mind, too.
• Write a list of what you’re thankful for
• Get up early and watch the sunrise
• Organize your closet by color
• Block/unsubscribe from pesky, recurring emails
• Read an actual book with paper pages
• Learn how to make a meal that reminds you of home
• Throw away all of your old socks or underwear with holes in them
• Tackle a nagging task you’ve been meaning to accomplish for months
• Sort and fold the clothes in your dresser drawers (so they actually shut)
• Stay away from social media for a day. Try to remember what life was like before Facebook (if you can’t remember ask your parents).
• Focus on making yourself more naturally energetic and optimistic
When was the last time you were intentionally quiet? No, I mean really quiet. Try actually concentrating on your thoughts without distractions. Be still, be mindful and allow yourself to think before every action.
• Are there any mistakes from the past haunting you?
o Take this day to write them down
o Concentrate on letting them go
o Remember every day day is a new beginning
• Make a list of quotes that inspire you
• Focus on your breathing. There is power in disciplining yourself.
• Spending 30 minutes meditating
• List your greatest weakness and brainstorm ways to strengthen them
• Write out your greatest strengths (These may help at your next job interview) Be mindful of your negative thoughts and find a silver lining within them
• Try actually listening to others when they vent or confide in you. Don’t make it about yourself.
• Try not to lie, no matter how minor. You’ll be surprised how hard it is
• Get in touch with an old friend
...See the new you next Fall!
Every year around spring, when flowers begin to bloom and the weather becomes bearable, the topic of discussion on campus tends to get a little groovier. Lucky for us, with sunshine and summertime comes an abundance of outdoor music festivals. To get you started off on the right path, here is a guide full of help-ful advice, tips, tricks and resources to help you prepare for your next music festival adventure. Doing some research and deciding what you want out of a music festival is key to ensuring a successful trip. You should be aware and take advantage of everything the event has to offer—you are paying for it, after all.
Choosing the Festival
First thing’s first: find the right festival. Things to consider when making a decision include the date, location, tickets and festival line-up.
To find a festival, try searching online or visiting your favorite artist’s website to see their upcoming tour locations. Websites that provide information on a multitude of upcoming events make finding the festivals that interest you much more convenient. To jump-start your search, try some of these sites:
Once you’ve picked out a few favorites, weigh the pros and cons of each and choose the best option. Are you stuck, or can’t decide between two? Try listening to the set list on a music streaming web-site, you could find some new favorite acts.
Check out the music software Spotify, which allows festival pro-moters to upload playlists that feature music from artists playing at certain events.
Tickets come at a premium, especially for college students. The experience is worth the price, but planning ahead is important. Fes-tivals normally have different ticket price tiers and the earlier edition tickets are usually cheapest.
Volunteering at a festival is one way to off-set costs and possibly even pay for your ticket and entry. But be aware of what you are signing up for, as responsibilities can get in the way of fun time. Some festivals even require a down payment fee from volunteers. At the end of the festival, the money will only be refunded given all volunteer responsibilities are fulfilled.
A typical volunteer program functions as a work exchange pro-gram. If you work for “x” amount of hours during the festival, you are given a ticket and a camping zone (if applicable).
Information about volunteering can be found on music festivals’ websites. Applications are normally only accepted for a limited time so be sure to submit one early. Volunteering hours are an-nounced prior to the festival too, so you have time to decide what acts you want to see.
Once you’ve bought your ticket, the next step is finding transportation. Is the festival across the country or state? Do you want to drive? Is flying there a possibility? Transportation can be the most costly aspect of going to a festival, so finding the most reasonable mode is important. Many travel websites offer plane and train deals that are often paired with a hotel. Arranging a carpool between friends is the easiest way to cut gas costs and add a fun road-trip el-ement to your music festival experience.
Music festivals can take place in dense urban cities or barren, remote fields. Depending on the type of festival you chose, accommodations can vary from tent-pitching to ritzy city hotels. Sites such as couchsurfing.com and airbnb.com are great resources for find-ing free or cheaper local places to stay. Be sure to note if the festival allows for exit and re-entry, too.
What to Bring (or Not Bring)
The memory of my first music festival is still clear in my mind. The summer after my senior year of high school, my best friends and I planned a road trip to the Bonnaroo Music and Art Festival.
We gathered information for weeks, talked with friends who had previously attended and read articles we found online. We thought we had everything covered. Food…check, money…check, gas…check; however, what we were not anticipating was having half of the “fun” things we’d brought thrown away dur-ing a bag check as soon as we entered the grounds.
Festivals normally have strict security policies posted on their websites that you should be familiar with prior to packing. Upon entering most festivals you are subject to a search, which may include, but it is not limited to, your car, bags, coolers, tents and body.
Also, a cheaper and less gut-wrench-ing alternative to bringing your $900+ DSLR camera is bringing a few dispos-able cameras and passing them out to your buddies. Document your experi-ence on a whim, and don’t worry about quality of the shots. The ability to be less worried about your camera will help you get that “artsy” angle regardless of your equipment.
Even with all these tips and tricks at your disposal, things may not always go according to your plan. Believe me when I say that looking back on your festival experience, you won’t remem-ber how you missed Kendrick Lamar’s last song, but you will remember when your favorite artist casually waltzed by after his set as you awaited your turn at the port-o-potties. Music festivals tend to attract a wide variety of people but everyone is there for the same rea-son—good music. Embrace the people around you and introduce yourself to your neighbors. You never know, the guy you lent some toilet paper to on the first day may be the same person who saves your tent from blowing away in the wind later on.
Above all, remember the top three rules of music festivals: no matter what you end up planning, where you end up going, or who you end up taking, have fun, don’t stress and expect the unexpected.
DO's & DON'Ts
Once you have decided on a festival, bought tickets and nailed down remaining logistics, it’s time to start familiarizing yourself with some of the do’s and don’ts of music festivals.
Bring cash. Although there are usually ATMs staggered throughout festivals, they are usually crowded and you run the risk of them being out of order. And you have to pay a silly ATM fee. If you know you will be spending a lot of cash, try and have it with you beforehand. You wouldn’t want to miss getting to see your favorite new artists.
Use protection! Sun protection that is. A chaco tan may be cool but red and blistering shoulders won’t be fun to deal with while pushing through a packed crowd. Remember to reapply and use sun-screen with a high SPF. A wide brimmed hat and sunglasses are key items that you shouldn’t forget.
Water, Water, Water. (At least 3 cases) You don’t want to be in a medic tent with an IV in your arm while your friends are watching A$AP Rocky. Here’s a tip—if you buy a case of bottled water and freeze it a few nights before you drive they will keep your food supplies cold.
Food and drinks. There is usually plenty of vendor food, but sold at vendors prices…so bringing your own food might be a good idea.
Alcohol. Different festivals have different policies on this so check their websites.
Toilet Paper (trust me, you don’t want to run out of this and porta johns aren’t known for their reliability).
Prepare for the elements. Bring your rain gear and clothes that will dry easily, festivals don’t stop just because of a little H2O. Tip: Ziploc bags are a great way to protect your valuables.
Clorox wipes. At some music festivals, showering can become, well...optional. Not to mention, a cool and refreshing moist cloth is a great way to cool down during the heat of the day.
Garbage bags. Tip: baby powder deodorizes yourtrash.
Have a plan. Whether it is bad weather or losing your buddy in the crowd, set up specific locations and times to meet up throughout the day to avoid confusion.
Make your campsite or car distinguishable. Finding your tent after an intense day of raving, dancing, singing, and sweating can be a very difficult task, especially when your tent has a backdrop of 75,000 other tents. Make identifying your campsite or vehicle easier by giving it some flare and making it stand out. Building a flagpole of some sort is a common and easy way to go about this.
Also don’t forget to bring fold out chairs and shelter from the sun. Making sure you have a crash zone to power nap is crucial.
- Glow Sticks
- Glass Bottles
- Nice Clothing
- Rely on Cell Phones
As you're running from class to class and squeezing in study sessions at the library, it can be hard to stick to a healthy diet. These tasty superfoods will give you the energy and nutrition needed to tackle that mountain of assignments and tests and can easily be incorporated into your daily routine.
A nutritional powerhouse with loads of antioxidants, heart-healthy benefits and detoxifying nutrients, kale is an insanely healthy vegetable to add to any meal. Grill, sautee, have it as a side dish or add into pasta. Kale certaintly has versatility. Pick kale, go green!
2. Dark Chocolate
The darker, the better - so break off a piece of that chocolate bar. Cocoa is packed with disease-fighting antioxidants, and it can lower blood pressure. Select bars with a 70% or higher cocoa content.
3. Coconut Oil
You probably know about olive oil, but I bet you didn't know that coconut oil is also a healthy alternative to butter and margarine or that it has so many functions in your body. It helps trim your waistline, strengthen your immune system, absorb important bone-strengthening minerals, raise good cholesterol and control blood sugar levels.
Need a boost? Blueberries boost your metabolism and your immune system. Pair them with yogurt, cereal or granola for a quick and tasty snack, or put them in a fruit smoothie to take with you on-the-go.
5. Edemame Beans
Salt them up or keep them plain - either way, edemame beans are delicious and help build strong muscles because they contain little fat and a lot of protein. They're also antioxidant-rich and contain a lot of fiber to make you feel full longer.
Even when it's not cold out, you can embrace cinnamon's health benefits. Just the smell of this spice boosts brain activity. It also reduces headaches and migraines. During finals week, try adding a bit of cinnamon to your coffee or tea.
Vampires aren't the only things that garlic wards off. Garlic helps to lower the risk of heart disease and reduces the risk of prostate, stomach, colon, and breast cancers. Garlic can be sprinkled on fish, vegetables, bread and many other foods.
Feeling old? Add some mushrooms to your meal. The selenium and Vitamin E found in them work together to help protect cells and keep your skin looking young. They also contain potassium, which helps lower blood pressure. Mushrooms are a versatile ingredient and can be mixed into all kinds of recipes like salads, soups and sauces.
Next time you go out to eat, ask for a lemon with your glass of water. Just a few drops of lemon juice can do wonders for your immune system. Its high Vitamin C content makes it good for fighting infections and relieving illnesses like asthma, fever and tonsillitis. Lemon is also a detoxifer and aids digestion.
Sink your teeth into one of these! Use it as a spread on a sandwich or throw slices into a salad. This heart-healthy food helps improve eyesight and is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, avocado oil is often an ingredient in mouthwash because it's good for your teeth and helps prevent gum disease.
A healthy substitute for sugar, honey can pacify your sweet tooth. Try adding honey to a salad or even as a glaze. While honey is a yummy sweetener, it's also one of the oldest-known medicines. It increases your immune system and helps to keep away coughs and sore throats.
Tips to Live Healthy and Stay Fit:
- Ingredients matter. Look at the nutrition label on your food - if the list contains a bunch of words you can't pronounce, and you aren't sure what they mean, it's best to steer clear. The less processed, the better.
-Eat when you wake up to boost your metabolism after a night's rest. Pack snacks to munch on between classes to fufill your body's daily nutritional needs throughout the day and ward off any hunger attacks that might end at the vending machine.
- Cook at home. Controlling how your meals are prepared and which ingredients are used allows you to get the maximum health benefits. Boiling, grilling, steaming and baking are all healthy ways to cook.
- Cut down on portions. When out at a restaurant, splitting a meal with a friend is an easy way to make an ovesized meal more manageable.
- Carry a re-fillable water bottle with you to stay hydrated throughout the day. The USDA recommends drinking around 64-ounces a day. Water boosts your metabolism and is 100% healthy.
- Burn off the day's food as you snooze. Your body re-sets its metabolism while you're asleep, so the more you sleep, the more you'll burn.
OK Keyes: Most Likely to Empower Women Through Film
Third-year Film Studies and Media Arts student, O.K. Keyes attributes her inspiration for pursuing a career in cinematography to an island nation in the far east.“It’s Japan’s fault,” she explains. “I was getting frustrated with physics and on a whim, I decided to take Japanese, which introduced me to animation.”
That spontaneous shift in focus has served Keyes well, allowing her to showcase her passions through film. Seeking to produce nuanced portrayals of LGBT and female characters, many of Keyes’ films feature strong women in their storylines. Keyes even served as the di-rector of photography for USC’s official “It Gets Better” video, which came out last spring. Speaking about the experience, Keyes remarks, “I didn’t realize how support-ive President Pastides was of the LGBT community.”
This budding cinematographer’s work has not gone without recognition. Keyes’ films have won numerous awards, most recently, the Golden Tripod award for Cinematography at the 2013 Campus MovieFest. Her film, “Black and White,” which depicted racial tension through an exploration in innate rhythm, also won the 2012 Moving Image Research Collections’ Award for Creative Editing.
It is apparent that Keyes is motivated by her love for the craft. In her spare time, she works with local elemen-tary and middle school students to promote media and how it can reconstruct stereotypes. Trying to turn stu-dents, “from consumers into producers,” Keyes believes her work with students will teach them to fight cyber-bullying and overcome obstacles. As for what is coming next, Keyes says, “My dream is to be a cinematographer for a television series. I love awesome female hero char-acters, and there just aren’t enough on TV right now.”To watch some of Keyes’ work, visit USC’s “It Gets Better” video on YouTube.
Stephen Howden: Most Likely to Build Cars from Scratch
Imagine a car that is completely personalized and suited to your taste-from the way it looks to its handling and perfor-mance, it is designed by you from the bottom up.That dream may soon become a reality for third year Mechanical Engineering student Stephen Howden. Aspiring to construct his own cars, Howden began taking wielding and braking systems classes at York Technical College over the summer when he was 17. Now, nearly finished with a trike project that began in August 2011, he documents and features the progress on his YouTube chan-nel “Mechanical Attraction.”
His passion for constructing complex machines first arose as a child, building models of cars and planes. “Building cars has always been an interest of mine. Growing up, I wanted to be the one with the exotic car that people would pause and point at,” he remembers.
Putting that dream into action and serving as the project officer of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Howden is now trying to garner support for the construction of a Legends racecar. “I’m trying to get the club to take an outdated racecar, fix it up and possibly make it street legal,” he notes. “Hopefully we can get permission to park it in front of Russell House.”
Summarizing his passions and long-term goals, Howden interprets his love of construction as being part of larger inter-ests, stating, “I love to take an image in my head and make it reality. I also love inspiring people… I love to take part in other peoples’ interests, and understand why they enjoy them.” With those motivations, it is clear Howden is well on his way to building those visions a reality.
Wilyem Cain: Most Likely to Inspire Others
The sheer amount of passion and devotion that Wilyem Cain emits for representing underprivileged students in his commu-nity is enough to give you goose-bumps. A second-year Political Science student from Winnsboro, SC, Cain speaks openly and honestly about his background and how it has influenced what he hopes to accomplish in the future. “My great-grandma died and it devastated me. I became an angry black male and my mom told me I should take time and help kids. On the first day, a little girl asked me to be her friend, and you can’t be angry anymore when a little girl asks you that.”
At that moment, Cain transformed his anger into motiva-tion. Realizing his responsibility as a role model for the children he was helping through the Boys and Girls Club, he began to work harder in school and eventually earned a full scholarship to USC. Now the #1 motivational speaker for United Way, Cain has raised over $19 million to build a teen help center for his com-munity. Recognizing the hopelessness of his hometown and the troubling amounts of violence children are exposed to every day, Cain believes no child should have to go home feeling afraid, noting, “When you know someone cares, you do better. Every time I raise one dollar, I know I am helping someone who needs it.”
Cain cites his greatest influence as James Brown, the Vice President of the Boys and Girls Club. “He became really successful, and began to give back to the kids. That’s what it means to be doing the right thing and to be a good per-son,” said Cain. Planning to attend the USC School of Law after graduation, Cain hopes to one-day have the capacity to represent the people of his community and give them a voice. He states, “I want to go to law school and eventually work my way into politics. I want to represent kids and be a spokesperson for my community, even become a civil rights activist.” From the extraordinarily inspiring way he speaks of his ambitions, it is clear that Wilyem Cain is well on his way to achieving those goals.
Baz Luhrmann has really gotten The Great Gatsby fans all balled up as of late, and dag nabbit am I ready for all of this baloney to be over.
He not only ruined Christmas by moving the release date of his Fitzgerald adaptation from December 2012 to May 2013, but Luhrmann too squashed awesome rumors that Jay-Z was working on the score for the film.
He also used MY theme song, Jay and Kanye’s Watch the Throne track “No Church in the Wild” for his teaser trailers, which was just plain rude seeing as he didn’t ask me if that was alright.
In the words of Hova’s main squeeze, no one man should have all that power.
However, after announcing that Jay does in fact have an official connection to The Great Gatsby—he’s titled as executive producer of the film’s soundtrack—and revealing that the picture will open the Cannes Film Festival on May 15th, Luhrmann is beginning to gain back my trust.
This is great news for Leo, seeing as he asked me to the May 10th US premiere and doesn’t want any date-director drama.
If you’re looking for a Fitzgerald fix and have already read The Great Gatsby six times like me, two relevant (and incredible) books have gotten totally lost during the hype of this movie:
The Paris Wife, historical fiction and New York Times bestseller by Paula McLain, is set in Chicago, 1920 (of course). The novel narrates the whirlwind romance between Ernest Hemingway and Hadley Richardson—the power couple in the fabled “Lost Generation” that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and last but not least, F. Scott Fitzgerald. How casual.
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald is another historical fiction by Therese Anne Fowler, this time giving its readers an insight to the romance between her and F. Scott Fitzgerald (duh). Much like McLain’s novel, Fowler narrates both stories of the Lost Generation and of the years before Fitzgerald finds fame.
Image Source: http://www.impawards.com/2013/great_gatsby_ver6_xlg.html