Archive | February, 2012

Leap Year

29 Feb

Today is an interesting day because it only comes once every 4 years. This year is a leap year, a year in which February has 29 days instead of the regular 28. A Leap Year is a year containing one additional day in order to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical year. The Gregorian Calendar that most people live by normally has 365 days a year; however, the astronomical year (how long it takes the earth to revolve around the sun) is actually longer by about 6 hours. To make up for these lost 6 hours, we add an extra day to February every 4 years.

Famous People Born on the Leap Day:

Born 1976 – Ja Rule, rapper

Born 1972 – Anthonio Sabato Jr., model & actor

Born 1916 – Dinah Shore, singer

Born 1904 – Jimmy Dorsey, bandleader

Born 1792 – Gioacchino Rossini, Italian opera composer

Leap Day Traditions:

One interesting tradition for the Leap Day is women proposing to men. The story goes that in 5th century Ireland, St. Brigid complained to St. Patrick that women always had to wait for men to propose. Because of her complaint, St. Patrick finally relented and said that this day, February 29th, would be set aside as the day that women had the right to ask for a man’s hand in marriage.

A similar modern American tradition to this is Sadie Hawkins Day. A day to honor ‘the homeliest gal in the hills’, meaning that on this day, all the women are allowed to pursue and catch the most eligible bachelors in their town.

Now that you have an extra day in 2012, what will you do with your time?


March Movie Premieres

28 Feb

March is only one day away and with it’s arrival it brings the premieres of some highly anticipated movie premieres.

1) Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax – March 2nd

The Lorax is a well known children’s book written by the fantastic Dr. Seuss. It tells the story of a young boy who is searching for a gift to impress the girl of his dreams and along the way he learns the story of the Lorax. This movie has an all-star cast with Zac Effron, Taylor Swift, Betty White, and Danny DeVito as The Lorax.

2) Silent House – March 9th

Silent House is getting a lot of buzz lately because it was shot in one take. Normally, movies are comprised of many takes because that makes it easier to tell a story and edit the movie. Silent House, however, was shot in one, continuous, 78 minute take. It’s also getting a lot of buzz because it is starring Elizabeth Olsen, the younger sister of the Olsen twins. Elizabeth made a splash at the Sundance film festival this year for her portrayal of an ex-cult hostage in Martha Marcy May Marlene.

3)The Hunger Games – March 23rd

  Based off of the the hugely successful book series of the same name, The Hunger Games is about a world where the capitol chooses a boy and girl from each district to fight to the death on live television.

For a complete list of premieres in March, click here. is another great resource for information on these and other movies.


The Academy Awards

27 Feb

The 84th Academy Awards were held last night at the Hollywood and Highland Center in Hollywood, CA. ‘The Artist’, as expected, was the big winner of the night receiving five Oscars for best picture, best directing, best costume design, best original musical score and best actor. The other Oscar winners of the night were held no surprises either; for a complete list of the Oscar winners, click here.

The stars came dressed to impress last night with the men and women looking elegant. There were a number of fabulous dresses worn by celebrities and their guests last night. To see the beautiful dresses for yourself, click here.

To add a little comedy to the night, Sacha Baron Cohen (who was originally banned from the Academy Awards), came dressed as the character Admiral General Aladeen carrying Kim Jong Il’s ashes to promote his upcoming movie, ‘The Dictator’. And he made the night even more memorable by spilling the ashes from his Urn on E! announcer Ryan Seacrest. Watch the video of Cohen’s stunt below!

JK Rowling Writing New Novel

24 Feb

Author of the famed Harry Potter series, JK Rowling, is writing a new novel for adults. The book is to be published worldwide, but has no title or date of publication yet. Rowling states that her new book will be very different from the Harry Potter books. She is even choosing Little, Brown to publish her new novel, a different publisher from Bloomsbury, the publishing company who published the Harry Potter series.

It will be interesting to see how her new book turns out. The Harry Potter books were fantastic reads so I don’t doubt that Rowling’s new book will be great even if it is different from Harry Potter. Hopefully her new novel sells just as well as the Harry Potter series!

The Oscars…and Sasha Baron Cohen

23 Feb

The 84th Academy Awards will take place this Sunday, the 26th, at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles, California. In weird news, Sacha Baron Cohen has been banned from the ceremony by academy officials because he planned to attend the Red Carpet dressed as “The Dictator,” a character from his upcoming movie of the same name.


This isn’t the first bizarre thing to happen at the Academy Awards. Here are some of the more memorable events:

1) In 1974, Robert Opel ran across the stage naked while David Niven was presenting.

2) Cher wore this at the 1984 Academy Awards…and this during the 1988 awards.

3) The creators of South Park showed up to the 72nd Academy Awards in drag

4) In 1973, Marlon Brando sent Sacheen Littlefeather, a Native American woman, to accept an award on his behalf in protest of the “stereotypical treatment of Native Americans in the film industry.”

Ash Wednesday

22 Feb

We blogged about Shrove Tuesday yesterday when we talked about Mardi Gras, which is a day of celebration leading up to this day, Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent in the calendar of Western Christianity, and occurs 46 days before Easter. The day is generally celebrated in many Christian denominations such as Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians, and some Baptists.

Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent, a 40-day liturgical period of prayer and fasting to remember the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry. On this day, worshipers go to a church service and receive ashes on their forehead in the shape of a cross or receive ashes sprinkled on top of their heads. The ashes are typically gathered after the psalms from the pervious year’s Psalm Sunday are burned. After they are mixed with water or olive oil, to act as an adhesive, worshipers receive them as a sign of repentance and mourning to God for their sins. People wear their ashes until they wear-off.

In case you see anyone walking around with ashes on their foreheads, now you know why!

Mardi Gras

21 Feb

Today is Mardi Gras! Also known as Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras is a celebration before the fasting season of Lent which will begin tomorrow with Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras has morphed into a massive celebration spanning across many cities all over the world including Rio de Janeiro, Port of Spain, Quebec City, and New Orleans. Mardi Gras arrived in North America as a French Catholic tradition when King Louis XIV sent two brothers to defend France’s claim on Louisiana.

Since Mardi Gras is such an old celebration there are many traditions that surround it. One tradition is the King Cake, which is one of the most popular foods during the Mardi Gras season and is sold from January 6th to Ash Wednesday. Today’s King Cake is made up of braided Danish Pastries and frosted with the traditional Mardi Gras colors, purple (justice), green (faith), and gold (power). New Orleans Mardi Gras has become so popular that over half a million people attend each year.

Happy Mardi Gras everybody!

President’s Day

17 Feb

On every third Monday every February, the country celebrates President’s Day. Originally called Washington’s Birthday, the holiday not only celebrates Washington’s birthday, February 22nd, but also celebrates Lincoln’s birthday, February 16th. Some states, like Massachusetts, use the day to celebrate Presidents from their own states.

Many retail businesses remain open for special President’s Day sales (it’s a great day to go shopping!), however, smaller businesses and organizations will be closed. Boston Life is among the businesses closed on President’s Day, so there will be no classes on Monday!

Enjoy the long weekend!

Blueberries Blueberries

16 Feb

Today I thought that I would share one of my all time favorite YouTube videos. The video is a bit slow in the beginning but keeping watching and you’ll be glad that you did.

I’ve watched this video upwards of 20 times and it continues to make me laugh. With nearly 9 million views, this video reminds us that there is always an opportunity to make it big…on the internet.

Lady Gaga and Oprah to Harvard

15 Feb

On February 29th, Lady Gaga will launch her Born This Way Foundation at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. The foundation will address issues like self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring and career development through research, education and advocacy. This non-profit organization is partnering with the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The California Endowment and The Berkman Center at Harvard to explore the best ways to create a culture of kindness, bravery, acceptance and empowerment. The event will be featured on “Oprah’s Next Chapter” on the OWN network.