The Oscars: Bad Ratings Despite Good Intentions

By Sarah Rovinsky

The Hollywood award system and the Academy have become hopelessly detached from movie goers. In the midst of the disappointment, awards dispersed in unpopular directions. This time last year, the Oscars received roughly 43 million views. Unfortunately, last weekend the Oscar broadcast on ABC drew about 36.6 million viewers, down 14.9 percent from the previous year, making it the lowest-rated Oscars since 2009.

Film studies librarian at Michigan University Phillip Hallman told the New York Times, “It’s sad, but most people have to finally accept that the Oscars have become, well, elitist and not in step with anything that is actually popular… No one really believes anymore that the films they chose are the ones that are going to last over time.”

Spectators openly rooted for Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper which was based the true story of war veteran Chris Kyle. The motion picture took in about $320 million at the domestic box office from nearly 40 million viewers. Box office analysts predict it will easily make it to number one film released last year. But American Sniper, one of eight Best Picture nominees and with six nominations overall, walked away with nothing but a sound-editing statuette. The second-ranked film among the best picture nominees, The Imitation Game, with $84 million in sales from 10 million viewers, had similar results. It won one out of eight nominated categories.

The Best Picture win went to Birdman. A film seen by fewer than five million ticket buyers but raked in about $11 million in sales from the time it was nominated to Sunday. In the least offensive way to the producers, actors, and staff of Birdman, how does this happen?

It wasn’t supposed to be this way: In 2009, Academy officials increased their field of best picture nominees, from five to a maximum of 10, to embrace large, world-spanning films. The intentions were to shift the Oscars towards relevancy and most of the winning films would also be popular with the audience as well. However, the larger group of potential winners has only brought in more little movies which became incredibly obvious. For example, Whiplash won three awards but has been seen by perhaps 1.4 million people since it was released over four months ago. As result, ratings drop as the audience drifts further away, probably watching their beloved award less movies.

Pixar is Passionate for Romance

 

by Sarah Rovinsky

Pixar president, Jim Morris, hinted at a new story line for the next Toy Story. The director of the first two films, John Lasseter, will be returning for the fourth movie in the series set to be released in 2017.
“It will be a romantic comedy,” Morris said, according to reports from Disney Latino.

He also added that the film will not put much emphasis on the relationship between toys and children. The franchise is headed in a new direction. It will not be a continuation of the massively successful third installment, which earned over $1 billion worldwide and was nominated for a best-picture Oscar. He also exclaimed that Pixar only makes sequels that they’re passionate about, not just because they’re practically guaranteed to be big in the box office. But do people want another box office hit or what Pixar is passionate about? “Toy Story 4” will be in theaters June 16, 2017.

 

Author Terry Pratchett Dies at 66

By Kate Barton

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Terry Pratchett, a famous fantasy writer, died on March 12, 2015. Pratchett was diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2007. The announcement of his death was released on his Twitter account.

Sir Terry Pratchett, knighted in 2009, wrote over 70 books throughout his life, the arguably most popular being his series Discworld. Pratchett became very famous selling over eighty-seven million books and made world-wide book- signing tours. He had fans of all ages; his writing could reach and impact children and adults.

He won the  annual Carnegie Medal for The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents in 2001 and  the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 2010.

Terry Pratchett wrote about the frailties of humanity with compassion and humor. One of his most famous character was “Death” in the Discworld series, who was used as a parody of many popular personifications of death.

REST WELL SIR PRATCHETT.

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7 Life Changing Hacks That Every High School Student Should Know

By Emily Bunsold

  1. Having trouble waking up?
  • This might be a hard one, but putting your alarm clock (or phone) across your room will force you to actually get out of bed to hit the snooze button.
  1. Need to stay focused while studying?
  • Research has shown that music with lyrics does more harm than good to you while studying because your brain can’t comprehend two things at once like listening to rap music while trying to read a book. Listening to classical music from YouTube or Pandora should really help you stay focused and get your homework done without sitting there in complete silence.
  1. Need help remembering information for a big test?
  • Chew a certain flavor of gum (that you normally don’t chew on regular basis) while studying the specific subject. Then when it’s time to take the test, chew the same flavor of gum you did while studying. It may be just a placebo effect, but from personal experience this does help me remember stuff that I studied.
  1. Starting a new semester and keep forgetting your schedule?
  • Take a picture of the original schedule and set it as your background on your phone.
  1. Writing an essay or research paper?
  • After you finish it, copy and paste it into google translate and have it read your paper out loud to you. This will allow you to fix any errors you might have missed.
  1. Need to charge your phone faster?
  • Plug it in like you normally would, but put your phone on airplane mode.
  1. Teacher talking too fast for you to take notes?
  • Record them using the voice memo app on your phone. This way, you can pay attention while the teacher is talking and take notes afterward.

Oh No! It’s Already Spring?!

By Harmony Takhar

The amazing thing about spring is it’s wham but not scorching hot like in the summer. Students have school during this time, but for one sweet week, they get to enjoy this majestic season that we know as spring break. Spring Break has started for some and is right around the corner for others. Did you forget to make plans or have no idea what to do or where to go? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

There are tons of places you can go, but the only issue you may have is finding a place to stay. Many nice hotels require a reservation, and by this time all the good ones are basically booked, but you don’t won’t have a great time anywhere you go if the place you’re staying at isn’t to your liking. There are plenty of travel sites you can turn toward, but the best are Hotwire, Trivago, and sometimes Expedia. That should help if you need rooms for any place you want to go. Expedia can even get plane tickets and transportation arranged.

If you can’t go anywhere and are stuck in your hometown, then I have a few ideas that can help keep your break memorable and a good time. There’s always amusement parks that aren’t too far away from home. If you live in the west side of Ohio, then you could go to Kings Island or Cedar Point, but some parks may not be open at the time of your break.

Then there’s the pool (if it’s warm enough), either community, but many people prefer their own home pool or their friends’ pool. To make it even more enjoyable, you could even through a pool party. If it’s in the day, then make sure to decorate it to make it looks fun, maybe have some pool noodles or something with some music and make sure to invite plenty of people to make it a good time. Your party could also be at night. You can get some glow sticks, throw them in the pool, and string lights up everywhere (my personal favorite are Christmas lights). To really get the party going, you’ll need a plentiful amount of tasty snacks and drinks and some music everyone can listen to and would put them all in a good mood, to maybe even dance.

Another fun activity is to have a movie screening. Simply choose a movie, grab some popcorn, and start the movie. You could do it inside in either a theater room or a TV, or could take the projector to cast on some bed sheets hung up and watch the movie outside at night.

Something I’ve done is go to a simple park with swings and slides and monkey bars. You could play on the play sets (you’re never too old!) or bring some sort of ball to pass around with your friends. If you’re going around the afternoon or evening, then why not bring some snacks? Or better yet, pack a picnic! Make sure you bring a very big picnic blanket, because the bugs will come as soon as they see food!

There are plenty of things to do during spring break, whether you’re home or on vacation, but whatever you do, make sure it’s fun and you have a great time!

University of Oklahoma Fraternity Shut down after racial chants

By Rachel Heinz

A video surfaced the web showing members of the University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity chanting racial slurs on a bus traveling to a formal event. The students’ chants mentioned lynching and that they would not accept any African-American members into their organization.

According to CNN, the Greek letters were removed from the SAE house immediately and a statement from the school president, David Boren, was given, “I have a message for those who have misused their freedom of speech in this way. My message to them is: You’re disgraceful. You have violated every principle that this school stands for.”

The National Office of SAE in Illinois planned to expel all of the members of the Oklahoma chapter from the organization. The school announced today that 2 students have already been expelled from University of Oklahoma for their leadership roles in this racist act.

The Oklahoma football team and their coach, Bob Stoops, joined in walking with protesters on Monday. These protests came during the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march in Selma, Alabama.

According to USA Today, about 2/3 of the 30,000 students who attend UO are white and about 5% are black.

UD Flyers Basketball Overcomes Adversity

By Maria Gerbic

The University of Dayton Flyers Men’s Basketball team is wrapping up a successful regular season with a 23-7 record. Under leadership of head coach Archie Miller, Flyers overcame major adversity when two of their star players, Devin Scott and Jaylin Robinson, were kicked off of the team for what has been revealed as multiple campus thefts. Both players had already been dealing with issues dating back to the beginning of their career at UD. This left little hope that the Flyers would have a successful season.

A few games after Scott and Robinson were kicked off, the Flyers felt another blow as fifth-year senior transfer Ryan Bass suffered a career ending concussion. This left the Flyers with only 6 scholarship players and no players over 6’6″.  While most teams have a roster of 9-11 players, UD was left with only 6, with the addition of walk-on Bobby Wherli. The team started league play with five straight wins until falling to eventual league champion Davidson. After a buzzer-beater defeat by George Washington, the Flyers went on to win 4 out of 5 games going into a monster match up against 21st ranked Virginia Commonwealth University. VCU was packed with rowdy and mean fans, but this hostile environment didn’t faze UD. They overcame an early deficit and eventually won by 4. The flyers split a pair of games to end the season, defeating Rhode Island and falling at La Salle by two.

The Flyers will enter the Atlantic Ten Tournament in Brooklyn, New Jersey, March 15 as the second seed, one of the highest seeds that the Flyers have had. The team is led by First Team All Atlantic Ten Player Jordan Sibert. Sibert, a senior, is a transfer from Ohio State and lead the Flyers, averaging 16.6 points per game. Deshaun Pierre has also had a major role averaging 13 points per game, and was  recently recognized by the A10 with Second Team All A10 honors . Sophomore Kendall Polard was awarded most improved player in the Atlantic Ten and is the third flyer to average double figures at 12 points per game. The Flyers are poised for another post season run under Archie Miller, who is a finalist for Naismith Coach of the Year. The Flyers are predicted by many bracket-ologists to be a 9 seed in the NCAA tournament. No matter the outcome of the tournament games, the Flyers will return with 6 of their 7 players next year along with promising recruited UD prospects.