Friday Update

A look into the week’s newest trends, stories

News: Powerball, Friends reunion, Oscar Nominees and Rickman, Bowie died

'Friends' cast to come back together for reunion special.
‘Friends’ cast to come back together for reunion special.

After no one received the $900 million jackpot in the Powerball on Sunday, the jackpot got even bigger (a staggering $1.6 billion) on Wednesday. Millions of people spent the $2 per ticket fine to test their luck. Three people, one in California, one in Florida and one in Tennessee, had tickets with the winning numbers: 4, 8, 19, 27, 34 and Powerball 10, and will split the money.

Long-awaited by the sit-com’s huge fan base, NBC announced this week that a Friends reunion is in the works. The special is a tribute to director James Burrow who recently shot his 1,000th episode of television. Burrow directed 15 episodes of Friends, including the pilot.

The Academy Awards nominations were released this week. The Revenant received the most nods with nominations in 12 categories, including Leonardo DiCaprio’s fourth nomination for Best Actor. I hope that, for DiCaprio’s sake, he wins this year. This year’s main discussion, however, is not on who was included, but who was not included. Despite the public’s urging, the Academy has not diversified the nominations in any way, with no African-American actors receiving a nomination. Especially considering one of the most talked about movies of the year was Straight Outta Compton, which featured many young African-American actors, this seems like a gross misstep on the part of the Academy.

Famous musician David Bowie and actor Alan Rickman both passed away this week at age 69 from cancer. I was deeply saddened when I heard the news and hope these legends live on.

App update: Stop and Phhhoto

The typical screen on Stop.

The app everyone has been wasting their time on this week is Stop. It’s basically a two-player Scattergories. Each person takes a turn spinning a wheel for a letter, then five categories are randomly selected. You have a minute to think of words that fit into these categories starting with the letter you spun. (e.g. You spin the letter T and your first category is Oscar Nominated Movies. A correct answer could be Titanic or The Theory of Everything.) If you want to throw the other player off, however, you can stop the minute at any time, cutting the amount of time they have to play (and they won’t even know until they are cut off with a “Stop!” screen). The game is harder than it sounds, but there is something highly addictive about testing your ability to think of a fish that starts with a Q.

Phhhoto is a new social media app that allows the user to shoot “instant moving pictures.” You can shoot up to five pictures within two or three seconds and post them so that the pictures seem to come to life. This app is fun, but it begs the question: how many apps can we make that do almost the same thing?

 Movies: The Revenant

Leonardo DiCaprio plays Hugh Glass, a frontiersman in the South Dakota wilderness, in this “based on a true story” Oscar nominee. Glass has to make it back to civilization after getting attacked by a bear (an intense scene and amazing testimony to just how far CGI has come) and being left to die by his team. The scenery is beautiful, and the action, captivating. The movie could have been shortened by half an hour or so from the 156 minutes, but it is still a must-see for anyone who loves a thrill (or the Oscars).




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