Life and entertainment has been booming this year amid students and faculty at BYU. Let’s take a look and see some of the top events in 2013.
Orson Scott Card
In early November, science-fiction author and BYU alumnus Orson Scott Card watched one of his popular novels hit the screens for the first time.
“Ender’s Game” is the futuristic story of a society that trains genius children as soldiers in defense against a hostile alien race.
Prior to the release of “Ender’s Game,” Card answered questions from The Universe about the work and effort that went into the film.
“We’ve been working on this movie for many years,” Card said. “Chartoff Productions, with Lynn Hendee as the producer who worked most constantly with me, optioned ‘Ender’s Game’ more than 15 years ago. I wrote many scripts, with their counsel, and we took it to studios and possible producing partners many times.”
Card wasn’t the only one to make it big in the entertainment industry this year. Part-time BYU English instructor Dawn Meehan took second place on CBS’ “Survivor” in May.
Meehan and other participants lived on the remote Caramoan Islands in the Philippines, where they survived off the land for 40 days. Meehan lost 27 pounds during this time and picked up a coral infection in her foot, suffering physical and emotional stress. Upon her return, Meehan received treatment and took eight weeks to recover from the experience.
Meehan, a mother of six, received support from her family and friends, making her experience on the show possible.
“‘Survivor’ is more of a metaphor for this idea that you should challenge yourself,” Meehan said. “Even if something is difficult, push through. Even if you don’t win, push through. Even if it causes tears, push through.”
A story of trials and hardships was also released in early October when Provo theaters held special early screenings of the new LDS film “The Saratov Approach.”
The movie tells a heartfelt true tale of two kidnapped missionaries serving in Saratov, Russia, in 1998. There were elements of spirituality and hope shown throughout the film in an otherwise hopeless situation.
Writer and director Garrett Batty said his goal in creating the movie was to clear up misinterpretations people have placed on the LDS missionaries as well as the deep concerns every missionary mother feels.
“For a mother to send her son or daughter into a mission is an incredible leap of faith, and I felt like we had not seen that type of movie,” Batty said. “I also feel like Mormon missionaries are completely misrepresented in the media.”
‘The Sandlot’ crew returned
The boys of “The Sandlot” returned this summer to the original filming location in Glendale to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their popular film and dedicate the land.
Cast members Chauncey Leopardi (Squints), Patrick Renna (Porter), Shane Obendzinski (Tommy Timmons) and Victor DiMattia (Timmy Timmons) were welcomed by loud cheers of fans as the Utah Film Commission presented them and the director with a plaque honoring “The Sandlot” location as a historical filming landmark.
The cast and crew signed autographs following the dedication and stuck around for a Q&A session. The event concluded with an outdoor screening of “The Sandlot.”
America’s mood map
Rated as the number-one most agreeable state, Utah recently proved Mormons may just be as nice as we think they are.
A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, gathered over a 13-year period over 48 states, concluded that lines could be drawn in the U.S. based on personality.
Sam A. Hardy, an assistant professor in the psychology department, said two things can help explain why the country can be segmented regionally based on shared personality characteristics.
“One is that their personality predisposed them to pick a place to live,” Hardy said. “But also certain cultures of places influence lifestyle and personality.”
Netflix, Hulu Plus or cable TV?
Subscription services, such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, have grown increasingly popular among students throughout the year, resulting in a debate over the value of traditional cable TV.
Both media outlets come with advantages and disadvantages, and The Universe weighed the pros and cons of each.
Both Netflix and Hulu Plus have an advantage over cable by allowing students easy access to selected movies and shows through a plethora of outlets, including TV, laptops, gaming consoles and mobile devices. Unfortunately, movies and shows have limited availability. Netflix provides viewers with past versions of TV seasons, while Hulu focuses on posting current seasons.
On the other hand, cable is available for viewers who prefer live television or current shows. Cable is also a more secure medium because it does not require Internet connection.
As with the start of every new year, students often make a New Year’s resolution to hit the gym, but working out at the gym these days has changed from a time to break a sweat to a time to impress.
The importance placed on exercise apparel by the fashion industry is changing the way people look at physical fitness. Many athletes and personal trainers said there are several reasons why the expensive name brands may be worth the high price compared to the cheaper lookalikes.
Some athletes find putting down a little extra money for nicer gear and apparel can provide motivation and commitment to working out. Others turn to the more expensive brands such as Nike, Lulu Lemon, Under Armour and Adidas because of the higher quality.
But quality and price are trumped by some athletes due to an outright loyalty to a brand.
Sales and selections are continuing to grow, and students are becoming more fashionable with their exercise apparel.