Sunday Night Wrapup: Nats Lose, Nicki Wins

With Dis-Orientation this weekend, it’s safe to guess that the senior class doesn’t have a clue what’s going on in the news. For the class of 2013 (and everybody else out there), here’s the Sunday Night Wrapup to bring you up to speed.

  • Prince Harry was confirmed safe in Afghanistan this Friday after there was a Taliban attack on an airstrip close to Camp Bastion, the base where he is currently stationed with the British Army. Sadly, two U.S. marines stationed at Camp Leatherneck were killed during the attack.
  • Unfortunately, the Nationals lost both of their games against the Braves this weekend, 1-2 on Friday and 4-5 on Saturday. However, the Nationals currently lead the National League East by 6.5 games.
  • New judges for American Idol were officially announced this Sunday! Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban, Randy Jackson, and Mariah Carey will be taking seats behind the judges’ table for season 12, which starts on Sunday.
  • With only a week until the Emmys, everyone should begin to plan their viewing party. Check out the nominations and see if any of your favorite shows are in the running. Who will win? Will there be any upsets? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Photo: heyshay.com

‘Dictator’ Commands Little Respect

Although the democratization of the Arab world continues to dominate the headlines of newspapers, brutal authoritarianism continues to plague the region, but one ruthless dictator in particular epitomizes degenerate power, Admiral General Aladeen (Sacha Baron Cohen). The only thing more brutal than Supreme Leader Aladeen, however, is “The Dictator” — and not in a good way.

Regardless of whether or not you aced Map of the Modern World, don’t bother searching for the Republic of Wadiya, the country which Aladeen rules, since this North African country doesn’t actually exist.

Following “Borat” (2006) and “Bruno” (2009), “The Dictator” seems to fall flat in attempt to succeed the critical acclaim earned by its predecessors. Cohen portrays Aladeen with all of the absurd qualities of a despotic tyrant. Having ruled Wadiya since the tender age of seven, Aladeen seems to live a life of constant relations with American celebrities (such as Megan Fox and Lindsay Lohan) and sentencing people to execution at a whim. After being forced to speak in front of the United Nations in New York City to prove that his country isn’t producing weapons of mass destruction — a blatant reference to the nuclear program in Iran — it becomes clear that one of Aladeen’s closest men is in a conspiracy to have the Dear Leader replaced with a lookalike in order to bring about an end to the dictatorship and bring about a democracy.

Although it comes at no shock that the plot is completely predictable, unlike the two former films, “The Dictator” is completely scripted — a quality that gives mockumentary-style films a certain height of excitement hardly attainable by totally scripted films. Along with the surprisingly unoriginal plot, Cohen pushes the envelope of shock humor too far with jokes that pertain to the terrorist attacks on 9/11, suicide and rape.

Cohen is known for shocking humor, from Bruno “putting a hit on Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.)” to Borat singing the “Kazakhstani national anthem” to the tune of “The Star-Spangled Banner” during a rodeo. However, “The Dictator” tries too hard to be what it’s not, a clever comedy and in turn, aims for shocking humor that, in the end, just disappoints and disgusts. Regardless of the funny scenes portraying Brooklyn, NY as hyper-liberal and absurdly vegan (read: hipster), Cohen doesn’t quite hit the mark. Rape is never funny.

Only a mere 83 minutes, “The Dictator” doesn’t have the opportunity to drag out too long. “The Dictator,” however, does share a particularly important quality with “Borat” and “Bruno:” Do not see this film with parents or anyone else who would be uncomfortable watching the birth of a child from the perspective of the uterus. “Are you having a boy or an abortion?” Aladeen asks his newfound American love Zoey (Anna Faris), it’s neither. “The Dictator,” a proves to be another mediocre film on par with “Scary Movie 2” (2001) and “Date Movie” (2006).

Where will you be this Saturday?

This weekend is sort of like a choose-your-own-adventure book (remember those?). It starts with a fabulous introduction, in the form of all-out Georgetown Day celebration and the second part is up to you. Will  it  be delightfully preptastic Foxfields or chill times at Sweeetlife?

FOXFIELDS

At this point in the week, you’ve probably already made your decision and that’s the first con against Foxfields.  You can’t just spontaneously decide the morning off that you’d like to engage in a day of garden party style debauchery. Everyone wants to party with a hat on but getting to this Charlottesville shindig requires weeks of preparation.

And let’s be honest, the bus ride is the most important part of the trip so if you’re not with a good group of your friends, it’ll be much less of a fun time.

But the whole premise of Foxfields is still genius. It’s a champagne brunch on wheels to a racetrack full of people all in the same mindset.  I think it’s pretty hard to go wrong with that recipe.

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A Look Into Hillary’s BlackBerry

Hey girl…Ever wondered what our Madam Secretary of State has been texting? The latest meme to pop up on everyone’s Facebook newsfeeds and Tumblr dashboards features the one and only Hillary Clinton.

The original photo by Diana Walker for Time magazine was for the cover story “Hillary and the Rise of Smart Power” back in November of last year. The photo was taken aboard a C-17 flight in Malta as Hillary took one last peek at her Blackberry before taking off for Tripoli.

Texts from Hillary, founded by Stacy Lambe and Adam Smith about a month ago, has made its way about the web. In fact, it has even come up on Hillary’s staff’s radar. And what does our beloved Hillary think about the site? Well, Hillz loved it.

She loved it so much that she sent in her own meme and made a personal appearance to meet with the co-founders. Word on the street is she’s embracing this new “inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food” look and has definitely taken a different approach to technology since her 2008 bid for president. Does this mean she’s back–harder, better, faster, stronger? Will we be seeing “Hillary for President” signs again in 2016? Hopefully!

One more word on these memes. I’m curious as to what she thought of Bill being in contact with Mon again. On another note, I’m having trouble choosing between her text to John Boehner or her response to Condoleeza Rice as my favorite one. Which one is yours?

You Should Really Branch Out

Still trying to find a  job or internship? Maybe our last round of advice didn’t work out for you (or maybe you’re just putting it off), but we have another helpful tip. A Facebook app called BranchOut  is a useful networking tool directly that can help you discover the work you’re looking for.

After adding this free app, you create a professional profile (think LinkedIn). You can then search for jobs based on industry, experience, tenure and location. The site was easy to use and navigate — you can quickly find a number of job opportunities. The most interesting aspect of this site was the ability to view the jobs of your Facebook friends (but only those who have also installed BranchOut). If you’re interested in a job at a company that a friend had worked for,you can message them to learn more about his or her experience at that company and ways to potentially secure a job there. It’s an easy way to create professional connections with Facebook friends.

Asad Esmail (MSB ’15) has been a marketing associate at BranchOut since February, and believes that the success of the site is due to the ability separate your professional and social lives. “Whenever you connect to your profile, even though it is attached to Facebook, none of your personal stuff is brought into it. No one has to worry about whether or not employees will see any of your photos or wall posts.”

I would highly recommend this site to any college student who is still seeking a summer job. It can’t hurt!

Photo: BranchOut

Make Way for Ducklings

View more videos at: https://nbcwashington.com.

Some cuteness for  your Friday afternoon. Earlier this week, NBC posted this video of a family of ducks visiting the White House lawn. The ducklings had some trouble following their mother over the concrete barrier, but some Secret Service agents were there to help out. They carefully lifted each duckling through the fence. It was adorable.

Now who’s excited for the Copley Lawn ducks to start having ducklings?

May the 74th Annual Hunger Games Begin

Bust out your bow and arrow and grab a loaf of bread, because The Hunger Games premieres tonight. If you’re not familiar with the books written by Suzanne Collins, they follow 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen in a dystopic future version of America called Panem, where the annual Hunger Games pit 24 teenagers against each other in a battle to the death (while the rest of the country watches on giant screens). There’s been a lot of hype surrounding the film and now that it’s finally arriving, we want to make sure you’re well prepared for the pop culture storm that’s about to hit.

The whole thing makes more sense if you read the books, trust me. While there’s a pretty long waiting list to take them out of Lau, ask around to see if you can borrow the books – at least the first one – before you see the movie. They’re aimed at a young adult audience, so they’re a pretty quick read (you can finish the entire trilogy in a day if you forsake all work and social interaction).

Already read all the books? Twice? It’s safe to assume that you’re going to the midnight premiere tonight, so why not go all out and dress up as your favorite character? For a subtle homage, here’s a tutorial on how to recreate Katniss’ signature braid. If you’re looking for something a bit more flashy, consider dressing up as someone from the Capitol – check out Capitol Couture for inspiration.

Find out where you would fall in the nation of Panem by registering for your District Identification Pass with the Capitol.

The movie’s soundtrack, featuring new songs by The Civil Wars, Kid Cudi and Maroon 5 among many others is available already. Check out Billboard’s track-by-track review. Some personal favorites are “Safe and Sound” by Taylor Swift featuring The Civil Wars and “One Engine” by The Decemberists.

Feeling inspired by Katniss’ archery skills? D.C. Archers offers introductory archery lessons. If Peeta’s baking and cake decorating is more up your alley, think about taking a cake decorating class in the city. Who knows, maybe your cake decorating skills will be able to save your life, too.

If you’re still not sure what exactly this whole phenomena is about or if the conversation about which of your friends would win the Hunger Games makes you uncomfortable, you might want to ease yourself into the world of Panem. Check out the trailers that have already been released here and here, and read some reviews of the movie – The Hoya’s own Katherine Foley reviews it for this Friday’s edition of The Guide.

And may the odds be ever in your favor.

Photo: Lionsgate

The City Beyond the Tournament: Explore Columbus

Now that our beloved Hoyas know where they’re headed for March Madness, it’s time for the most rabid of basketball fans to make their way to Columbus in time for Friday afternoon’s game against Belmont. While most of us will remain in D.C. (though we’ll glue ourselves to the television come 3:10 Friday), some may choose to indulge in Hoya Blue’s bus trip to Columbus or book an individual trip to Ohio’s state capital. But what do you do when 40 minutes of basketball is over? 4E — despite the fact that we’ve never actually been there — is here to help with some of the best things to do in Columbus this weekend (besides watch the Hoyas at Nationwide Arena).

It promises to be a beautiful weekend, with highs in the 70’s, so get outside. Enjoy the best zoo in the country — the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium (4850 W. Powell Rd. in Powell, just outside Columbus) — complete with 7,000 animals, a water park, amusement park and golf resort. Why is the zoo here so great? It’s directed by TV personality Jack Hanna. If you can’t make it all the way out to the zoo, try the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (1777 E. Broad St.)

Columbus is home to Ohio’s best ice cream cone — at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream (various locations, but the original is at 59 Spruce St. near the Nationwide Arena). Jeni’s ice cream is so good that it’s regularly profiled by news outlets like The New York Times and food magazines like Food and Wine Magazine. A quick Google search of Jeni’s revealed that her salted caramel ice cream seems to be the most popular.

Check out historical Columbus at German Village, one of the city’s first neighborhoods first settled by German immigrants in the decade after the city’s founding. German Village — just south of Downtown — used to be one of the city’s worst neighborhoods, but has since been revitalized to the city’s trendiest. Local restaurants, bars and breweries line 3rd St. and High St. in German Village.

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Still Looking for a Summer Internship?

I know what you did last summer. You worked at the Resident Housing Offices. Even though you basically got paid to watch trashy television and catch up on Dave Eggers or  Jodi Picoult whatever the kids are reading these days , you decided that this summer you’re going to do something different. You’re going to intern.

SAD TRUTH ALERT: If you haven’t figured out what you’re doing this summer, then it’s already too late.

Okay, that’s not 100% true but you should already have the ball rolling. Some crazy summer internships have their deadlines in November and December (CRAZY, AMIRITE. I mean its all like snowflakes and pumpkin pie at that time of year, not summer job hunt time!)

There is still hope for you if you get your act together within the next two weeks. But you’ve got to be aggressive and you’ve got to be determined. Say it with me: ‘No to RHO.’

Step 1: Explore the Interwebs

A really cool thing that people have started doing to help themselves find out stuff is called  ‘Google’. There’s like math and science and magic and WHAM – jobs galore. Apparently, this ‘googling’ phenomenon can be quite helpful.

In all seriousness, the internet is the best place to locate some potential summer jobs. The sites you visit most frequently are a tipoff to where you should think about interning. Are you always just clicking through Gawker? Toss your resume to some social media or entertainment upstarts. Basically any place that has a website, has an intern program. Papers like the Washington Post  usually also have job listings online that are worth perusing.

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The Girl from 4E – We Know Her!

We’re famous! While 4E doesn’t endorse any particular insurance company, we appreciate the shout out featured in this Statefarm commercial (it’s around the 0:20 second mark). Yes, we know it’s older than us. But we like to think that they knew that this blog was on the way. And that they knew they would want to hang out with its writers.

So thanks Statefarm! We like you more than geckos anyway.