IN NEWS: The ninth annual Tufts Energy Conference (TEC), to be held on March 8 and 9, will address “pressing energy issues in developing markets.”
IN FEATURES: The homepage for Sound of Boston, a recently established online music publication, provides a modern, professional introduction to the local Boston music scene, and the publication has a special connection to the university.
IN ARTS: A prominent visual artist, Softic’s work is currently on display at the Tufts University Art Gallery in her “Migrant Universe” exhibit. The exhibition is something of a meditation on themes of exile, national identity and memory.
TODAY’S EDITORIAL: A reflection on Greek life and its growth at Tufts.
The Academy Awards is my favorite event of the year, hands down. Like, my birthday doesn’t even compare. It’s because I love movies a ridiculous amount, more than some members of my family, probably. I’ve been rather disappointed by the Oscars ceremonies in the past few years. The hosts have been really meh since Anne Hathaway and James Franco a few years ago. Fortunately, Ellen DeGeneres was freaking awesome as host this year, and this show was one of the funniest, most enjoyable Oscars I’ve seen in my young life.
Let’s start by talking about how rad Ellen is. She’s known as being a little ditzy and very sweet, but Ellen brought the sass to the Oscars. She called out the pretentiousness of the event with snarky jokes in her opening monologue, proving that Seth MacFarlane isn’t the only one with claws. But her fabulousness didn’t end with the monologue: she brought spark and humor throughout the show. The highlight of the night (and probably my life) is when she ordered pizza for everyone there. When Ellen and the pizza man started handing out slices to celebrities, I nearly died of laughter. Also, Ellen succeeded in breaking Twitter with the most retweeted (and star-studded) selfie of all time. Bravo, Ellen. You are a goddess amongst mortals.
The greatest selfie in the history of ever. Photo courtesy of Ellen DeGeneres.
As for the winners, I couldn’t be happier. I’ve been raving to everyone I’ve ever met about how phenomenal 12 Years a Slave is, but I and many famous critics were convinced that Gravity would win Best Picture. When the suspiciously youthful Will Smith announced 12 Years a Slave to be the winner, I literally gasped from happiness. The film is stunning, heartbreaking, and incredibly impactful, and I’m so happy it got the recognition it deserves. Now you don’t have an excuse not to see it!
Matthew McConaughey won Best Actor, shocking no one, and proceeded to give the most complicated speech I’ve ever heard. It made me wish I had skipped out on an hour of the Oscars to watch “True Detective,” my current obsession. If I wanted to hear Matthew McConaughey say crazy crap, I’d watch that instead. All jokes aside, I’m happy for the guy, and hope that the McConaissance continues. Cate Blanchett, feminist queen, gave an excellent albeit long speech for winning Best Actress. Galadriel, I knew you had it in you.
Lupita Nyong’o made me cry in her accepting speech for Best Supporting Actress, especially when she said that “No matter where you’re from, you’re dreams are valid.” I want that tattooed on my forehead. Jared Leto remains prettier than I can ever hope to be.
All of the performances were very enjoyable as well. I was dancing to Pharell’s “Happy,” and was eternally jealous of his sparkly red sneakers. Idina Menzel—or as John Travolta called her, Adele Dazeem—crushed it with “Let It Go.” Pink even gave a beautiful homage to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in honor of The Wizard of Oz’s 75th anniversary. Pretty solid night for singing.
What else? Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez gave the cutest speech accepting the award for Best Song for “Let It Go.” The show was filled with super weird montages that I nevertheless enjoyed. (What are the Avengers and Footloose doing in a montage together?) Basically, it was an awesome night. Someday, children, I will be in the Dolby Theater, and you will see me on that screen. Until then, I’ll settle for laughing over Ellen in the comfort of my dorm room. Seriously, I’ll be watching clips of her for days. Now go watch 12 Years a Slave!
Check out this beautiful and very meaningful event, Jumbos! On Sunday March 2, Cancer Outreach Society partnered up with Pantene Beautiful Lengths Program to host a donation event in honor of Vivien Lim, a Tufts ’13 student from Singapore who passed away last September from a rare form of salivary gland cancer. This partnership will not only fundraise donations for Vivien Lim’s research fund, which focuses to find a cure to the rare type of cancer that Vivien unfortunately had to battle with, but also collect hair to create wigs for women fighting cancer. What made this event so valuable was that a student’s participation has helped both causes.
Students gathered in Carmichael Lounge to support the cause and also their friend, Rhiannon Chou Wiley, who was kind and brave enough to go for a short haircut (and let me say an awesome transformation) and who is going to be revealed in the next picture.
I’ve previously written a blog post about ‘The Tufts Bubble,’ but this one is a bit different. I’d first like to preface this post by saying that I spent the past weekend in New York and I honestly had an incredible experience. The last few times I left Tufts to go to New York I was with friends from Tufts, so in essence, I didn’t really leave the Tufts bubble. This weekend however, I went to New York to meet some family, so I was really detached from the world of Tufts and its bubble.
The reason I thought about writing this post is because this past weekend, in New York, has been one of the most productive weekends I’ve had for a long time. The problem with being a freshman at Tufts (or any college for that matter) is that you end up wasting a lot of time during the weekends. You wake up late, party, and drink. Unfortunately, this doesn’t leave much time to do the work you told yourself during the week that you would do over the weekend.
Well, guess what? The past 60 hours in New York couldn’t have been more productive for me. I don’t know what it is, but getting away from Tufts allowed me to do a lot more work. It’s not that I don’t do work at Tufts, but it’s just that having a change in scenery was able to clean my mind. I didn’t have the pressure of being on campus, but had the freedom of being with family. I got to eat good food, I was able to do whatever I wanted in my own room, and I didn’t get tired walking up and down hills.
I know it’s not feasible for everyone, but I highly recommend leaving Tufts for a while (a weekend, if not a semester) if you can. Even if you can’t make it to New York, or back to wherever you call home, you should try leaving Tufts for a weekend. If you can’t leave Boston, try just getting off campus for the entire weekend. I know this sounds a bit strange, but getting off campus and removing yourself from the world of Tufts is an incredible way to clear your head and get caught up with all of your work.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean that you have to ignore your friends and stay away from society! By all means, still keep in touch with your Tufts friends, and even go meet other friends if you want, but honestly, try staying away from Tufts and see for yourself the magic it brings.
Tonight’s awards for excellence in film has gone by several different names over the years, and its famed golden statuettes have transformed with them, as well. But no matter the movies that were recognized or just how “subjective and random” they are, like Best Leading Actress winner Cate Blanchett said, the 86th Academy Awards ceremony was an experience to watch.
First, please join me in thanking God for creating Ellen DeGeneres, the hostess of this year’s awards. She roasted Hollywood’s favorites, handed out lotto tickets to Bradley Cooper, and took this year’s most important selfie to commemorate Meryl Streep’s 18th Oscar nomination with a few other stars (which forced Twitter to crash). Her comic genius and satirical pitchfork brought laughter to everyone in the Dolby Theatre and to millions of viewers watching from home. The hostess also ordered pizza and served it on paper plates. Making everyone feel at home?
The most important selfie of the year. Courtesy: Ellen.
While there were few, if any, shockers of the night, the biggest surprise was perhaps the social justice push by the night’s winners. Jared Leto, who won Best Supporting Actor for his (somewhat problematic) role in Dallas Buyers Club, gave a shout-out to Venezuela and Ukraine, and the Makeup and Hairstyling Designers from the same movie spoke out about AIDS in ‘85. Ellen also played her part when she slipped in a small swipe at the Oscars during her opener: “Possibility number one, 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture. Possibility number two, you’re all racists.” Give Ellen a bit of credit for toeing the line of social justice warrior with panache and class. (Spoiler: it won Best Picture).
Tonight’s biggest and most deserved win went to Lupita Nyong’o of 12 Years a Slave for Best Supporting Actress, making her the seventh black woman to win an Oscar in its history. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Kenyan actress’s full-bodied, courageous, and tear-evoking performance as Patsey would win. On the awards trail, Lupita stole critics’ and audiences’ hearts alike with her iconic block print style and sincerity. Her acceptance speech, both modest and inspirational, reminds us that there are actually good people in Hollywood. With her outcry of “Yes!” the star received a most well deserved standing ovation.
Like a true winner, Lupita said that her Oscar should, “…remind me and every little child, no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”
In Features: Almost a year and a half after the derecognition of the evangelical student religious group Tufts Christian Fellowship, the heated debate over qualifications for student leadership positions for religious groups came to some resolution with a new policy from the Committee on Student Life.
In Arts: “Non-Stop” centers on air marshal Bill Marks (Liam Neeson), whose characterization in the movie’s first five minutes involves sighing wearily and staring off into the distance.
Today’s Editorial: We are told to focus on the global periphery and not told that our domestic problems and international problems often stem from the same inter-connected systems. We are told to care, but in very specific ways that uphold colonizing systems, about everywhere.
In Sports: In a season filled with accomplishments, the women’s basketball team reached its most impressive milestone yet Sunday by capturing the program’s first ever NESCAC title and securing a perfect season in conference play with its 62-46 victory over second-seeded Amherst.
The past month has featured some pretty wacky superhero movie news, and I’d like to discuss it in a segment we will call “The Good, the Bad, and the ?????” (as there is not yet a word that so perfectly describes the confusion and apprehension of five question marks in a row.)
Zoe Saldana is really making a habit of playing female badasses with weirdly colored skin. Photo courtesy of Marvel/EW.
Okay, this kind of goes in “?????” territory as well, given the nature of the story, but I’d say that the new trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy looks kind of awesome. It’s certainly not taking itself seriously, which is a positive. If you’re going to show a ridiculous story set in space, you had best not try to make it somehow profound. That was the mistake that the ill-fated Green Lantern reboot made. No, Guardians of the Galaxy seems to be cheeky and action-packed. The trailer is certainly well-made, and it looks like the film will be taking advantage of Chris Pratt’s comedic skills. It will be fun to see Andy from “Parks and Recreation” as an action hero. Plus, Vin Diesel is the voice of a giant tree and Bradley Cooper of a tiny raccoon. Let the naysayers naysay, but I think it looks pretty fun.
It looks like winter has decided to come back for Round Two, so it may not be time to frolic in the sun just yet. Until then, you can bide your time inside a movie theatre, away from the slippery slopes of campus, watching these movies.
1. The LEGO Movie
Yup, The LEGO Movie is once again the number one movie in theaters. It grossed $31 million last weekend, which may not be much compared to its previous weekend numbers, but, hey, who would turn their nose at that much dough? It may be a children’s movie, but it has some pretty impressive endorsements (for example, Elon Musk, the real-life model for Tony Stark, tweeted his love for it a couple weeks ago).
2. Three Days to Kill
This action-thriller starring Kevin Costner came in second in the weekend box office after premiering on Friday. The movie has a 29% on Rotten Tomatoes, but may be good if you just want to see a movie where a lot of stuff blows up.