Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life

Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 1:51 p.m.

State of the Union Drinking Game

Judging by President Barack Obama’s relaxed demeanor in the announcement of his final State of the Union address, he’s looking to have some fun tonight and you should be too. While past State of the Union speeches may have ended up putting you to sleep, Obama has promised his last one will be less conventional. With that promise in mind, we’ll try our best to predict what may be in store this evening so you can play along.

Take a drink:

– Every time Obama mentions the climate change talks in Paris

– Whenever the cameras cuts to Michelle Obama clapping

– Every time Vice President Joe Biden winks or points

– Whenever the camera cuts to a member of Congress on his or her phone

– Every time Obama says “refugees”

– Every time real estate mogul and Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump tweets during the speech. (So sad!)

– Whenever the camera shows the Supreme Court justices

– Every time Obama tells an anecdote about one of his invitees

Take a shot:

– (Or should I say, don’t throw it away) If Obama makes a “Hamilton” reference

– If Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg falls asleep again

– If House speaker Paul Ryan channels former Speaker of the House John Boehner and begins to weep

– If Obama makes a joke abut Ryan being less emotional than Boehner

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Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016 11:22 a.m.

Gwyneth Paltrow invests in Beefsteak

Chef José Andrés’s Beefsteak restaurant gained some new investors recently, including actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

Paltrow supports “Beefsteak’s mission to bring vegetables to the center of the plate,” according to a statement given to Eater from Andrés’s Think Food Group. Several other investors were venture capitalists. In total, the investors poured in $9.25 million, Eater reported.

Beefsteak opened on campus in 2015. Andrés was the University’s Commencement speaker in 2014.

The actress, who has preached about clean eating on her lifestyle website Goop for years and once said she’d rather die than let her kid eat a Cup-a-Soup, has a second cookbook coming out in April featuring healthy ingredients familiar to Beefsteak customers such as quinoa and avocado.

Beefsteak will open on the University of Pennsylvania campus soon, Eater reported.

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 Alumna and actress Kerry Washington will receive Harvard's Hasty Pudding's Woman of the Year award later this month. Hatchet file photo by Cameron Lancaster | Contributing Photo Editor

Alumna and actress Kerry Washington will receive Harvard’s Hasty Pudding’s Woman of the Year award later this month. Hatchet file photo by Cameron Lancaster | Contributing Photo Editor

Star of the hit TV Show “Scandal” and alumna Kerry Washington will raise high Harvard’s Hasty Pudding’s Woman of the Year award later this month.

As part of the acting society’s annual tradition, Washington will be paraded around Harvard Square by male Pudding members dressed in drag (hopefully in the chic white coats Olivia Pope favors). The festivities will take place on Jan. 28, Boston Magazine reported. Washington graduated from GW in 1998 and spoke at University Commencement in 2013.

Washington will also have to handle some embarrassment as part of the celebration’s tradition includes a roast. Past Hasty Pudding honorees include actresses Meryl Streep, Halle Berry and comedian Amy Poehler.

According to Boston Magazine, Washington is only the seventh black entertainer to be honored with the award since the tradition began in 1951.

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Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016 2:25 p.m.

Plan your 2016 year in culture

Going back to school in the bleak month of January can be a rough re-entry, so plan ahead. If you book tickets now to these five upcoming events, you’ll have more fun days to look forward to instead of dreaming about spring break. From concerts to book talks, we’ve got you covered with the best upcoming attractions to mark on your calendars.


Start your year of culture off with some intellectual insight from A. O. Scott, the film critic at “The New York Times,” as he visits the Politics and Prose Bookstore to discuss his new book “Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth.” You will enjoy this event if your favorite part of watching movies is discussing them afterwards.

Politics and Prose Bookstore
Feb. 11
Event is free, book costs $28

Get out of the February slump by enjoying some comedy from David Cross. Returning to the stand-up stage after a six year hiatus, you may know Cross from his roles on “Arrested Development” and “Mr. Show.”

Warner Theater
Feb. 19 $35


Spring break may be over already by this point but you can still have a fun night out in March at Rihanna’s Anti tour with special guest Travis Scott. Here’s hoping she will have released a new album by then.

Verizon Center
March 22 Prices starting at $35


You’ll need a final inspirational push to make it through finals at this time and what better person to deliver this to you than recent-tween heartthrob-turned-serious-adult-hitmaker Justin Bieber. With upbeat hits like “Where Are Ü Now” and “Sorry,” you can dance the finals stress away.

Verizon Center
April 29 Prices starting at $50


If you’re staying in the District this summer, give yourself a break from your internship and check out another former teen star turned adult hitmaker: Selena Gomez. With danceable songs like “Me & The Rhythm” and “Hands to Myself,” you are guaranteed to have a fun start to the summer.

Verizon Center
June 4 Prices starting at $30

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Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015 4:50 p.m.

Where to spend New Year’s Eve in the District

This post was written by Hatchet Reporter Dana Pilotti.

Forget Netflix and chill, it’s time to New Year’s Eve and party. With nearly every D.C. bar and nightclub hosting some kind of event for the big night, it may be difficult to decide which parties are worth attending. Here are some promising picks for where to be when 2016 arrives.

For the hipsters
Experience Adams Morgan nightlife and ring in the new year at Grand Central. This restaurant/bar/dance lounge will feature two disc jockeys, an open buffet and a champagne toast at midnight if you’re 21 or older. As one of the cheapest options in the District, this event sells out every year, so make sure to purchase tickets online.
Grand Central, 2447 18th St. NW. Doors open at 8 p.m. $20 for single ticket, $35 for couples ticket.

For the soul food fans
Head over to Eatonville, sister restaurant of Busboys and Poets and self-proclaimed “soul of Southern food” for their MOTOWN Soul Revue Bash. The event will feature a champagne toast, party favors and a four-course meal including shrimp and grits, a vegan gumbo and a pineapple “upside down” cake. Two-time winner of D.C.’s DJ of the Year award DJ Heat will be there to spin some tracks and keep the party going until after midnight.
Eatonville Restaurant, 2121 14th St. NW. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $53.

For the dance floor enthusiasts
The Rock & Roll Hotel knows how to throw the ultimate party with two dance floors, 10 DJs and an open bar all night long. The event also includes hors d’oeuvres, a complimentary photo booth, a midnight balloon drop and a heated outdoor deck/bar. Purchase tickets online before they sell out, as they have done for the past nine years.
Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $80.

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Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015 11:20 a.m.

What to see in theaters this break

If you’ve exhausted all your Netflix options this break, you can find plenty of new releases in theaters. With the glut of blockbusters and smaller indie films vying for Oscars, we’ve got you covered with what is and isn’t worth seeing in every possible category including:

Movies rebooting popular franchises that began in the 1970s:

Female lead edition: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

You all know what this is. Some of you have probably already seen this three times.

Male lead edition: “Creed”

You don’t have to have seen any of the original “Rocky” movies or even like boxing to enjoy this thrilling star turn from Michael B. Jordan.

Comedies featuring SNL alumni:

Ugh, Mark Wahlberg’s in this? edition: “Daddy’s Home”

Unless you’re Will Ferrell’s No. 1 fan, you may wish to avoid this tired comedy about a stepdad competing with his children’s biological father for their affection.

Best Golden Globe hosts ever edition: “Sisters”

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler play sisters hosting one last blow-out party at their childhood home before their parents sell it.

Movies based on real-life people uncovering corrupt organizations:

Bad wigs edition: “The Big Short”

Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Steve Carrell and Ryan Gosling play the oddball, outsider finance men who predicted the housing bubble collapse.

“Tell da truff!!” edition: “Concussion”

Will Smith plays a South African doctor who takes on the NFL for the damaging effects of the concussions players can suffer during games.

Investigative journalism for the win edition: “Spotlight”

Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo are part of a superb ensemble cast portraying Boston Globe journalists uncovering years of sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church.

Movies where the guys don’t get any, ahem, action:

Because the women want to stop gang violence edition: “Chiraq”

Legendary director Spike Lee’s latest film reimagines the Greek play Lysistrata, in which women go on a sex strike until men stop fighting, as set amid gang violence in Chicago.

Because the women are lesbians edition: “Carol”

Set in 1950s New York, Rooney Mara plays a young shopgirl who falls in love with an older married woman, played by Cate Blanchett, who is in the middle of divorcing her husband and fighting for custody of her daughter. Beautifully shot and scored, this subtle and nuanced film features two of the best acting performances of the year.

Jennifer Lawrence movies:

Obligatory David O. Russell-directed awards-bait edition: “Joy”

Russell gathers his favorite trio of actors, Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper, to tell the rags-to-riches story of Joy Mangano, the inventor of the miracle mop.

The J. Law performance that should actually be nominated for Oscars edition: “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 2”

Jennifer Lawrence, so often miscast in roles meant for women in their 30s and 40s, is best when playing the young heroine Katniss Everdeen in this satisfying conclusion to the beloved series.

Snowy movies from directors constantly trying to prove how macho they are:

Leonardo DiCaprio’s blatant attempt to win an Oscar edition: “The Revenant”

From Oscar-winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu, this film may be the most unpleasant moviegoing experience of the year. That is, unless you enjoy watching bear attacks and closeups of frozen snot as DiCaprio tries to survive in 1820s frontierland.

Less blatant attempt for Jennifer Jason Leigh to get an Oscar edition: “The Hateful Eight”

Quentin Tarantino fans will enjoy this tale of a bounty hunter, played by Kurt Russell, and his prisoner, played by Leigh, who find shelter in a Wyoming cabin filled with six other villains as they wait for a blizzard to pass.

Movies featuring actresses who will definitely be nominated for Best Actress:

Gut-wrenching tale of captivity edition: “Room”

Brie Larson delivers an astounding performance in this gripping, emotional tale of a young woman who has been held captive in her rapist’s garden shed for seven years. However, the real standout in this movie is Larson’s five-year-old son, played by Jacob Tremblay, who finally escapes to the outside world after having never left the shed.

Immigrant romance story edition: “Brooklyn”

You will swoon at Saoirse Ronan’s portrayal of a young Irish immigrant making a new life for herself in Brooklyn.

Movies about insufferable, misogynistic white guys:

iPhone edition: “Steve Jobs”

Set up like a three act play, fans of “The West Wing” will recognize Aaron Sorkin’s unique dialogue rhythms in this talk-y, backstage look behind three different Apple product launches.

Shaken martini edition: “Spectre”

Even skilled bad-guy portrayer Christoph Waltz can’t save this dull installment in the Daniel Craig James Bond series that brings none of the thrills of “Skyfall.”

Movies your parents will want to see:

Crumbling marriage edition: “45 Years”

Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay play a couple who have been married for, you guessed it, 45 years, when a figure from their past re-emerges and changes their life in unexpected ways.

I hear Eddie Redmayne is great in it edition: “The Danish Girl”

Redmayne, who your parents probably enjoyed in his Oscar-winning portrayal of Stephen Hawking in last year’s “The Theory of Everything,” plays transgender Danish artist Lili Elbe in this love story.

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Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015 12:39 p.m.

What to watch this break

This post was written by Hatchet reporters Crystel Sylvester and Grace Gannon.

With all the free time you’ve got this winter break, you can start a marathon of a new show and watch some classic movies.

Netflix – TV shows

Making a Murderer
If you like “Serial” or “The Jinx,” then “Making a Murderer” is for you. The documentary show tells the riveting story of Steven Avery, a man who was convicted of murder only a few months after serving 18 years in jail for a sexual assault crime he didn’t commit. The show is engrossing not only for the twists and turns in the case but also in its raw look at the justice system and the class struggles prevalent in Avery’s small Wisconsin town.

Master of None
As Aziz Ansari’s newest creation, this show is great for nostalgic fans of “Parks and Recreation.” The show follows Ansari’s lead character, Dev, an actor trying to make it New York City, as he deals with everything from romantic relationships to making a connection with his immigrant parents. More of a gentle and introspective comedy than a slapstick one, Master of None works well for a lazy day.

Nurse Jackie (coming to Netflix Dec 31st)
For those who enjoy a little drama, this show will serve well as a winter break timekiller. Seven seasons follow Jackie Peyton, a drug-addicted nurse navigating through a busy New York hospital.

The Great British Baking Show
If you enjoy cooking competitions on the Food Network or “Top Chef” but hate the time spent on bickering contestants, this show is for you. Like a mug of tea, this show is warm, gentle and inviting. No seriously, after a contestant is eliminated each week, the judges, hosts and contestants all gather around and give him or her a group hug. Instead of all living in one house together, the contestants, who are all home bakers, bake in a giant tent in a middle of a picturesque field every weekend. Whether you are interested in baking or not, you will be fascinated by the obscure British desserts and delighted by the charm and friendliness of all the contestants.

John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid
This comedy special riffs on everything from Mulaney’s newly-wed life to his French bulldog, Petunia, to the time he met Bill Clinton as a 10-year-old, all in Mulaney’s signature sharp comic style.

Netflix – movies

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
An 80’s comedy classic that everyone should see at least once, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” follows high school senior Ferris and his best friend and girlfriend as they parade around Chicago for a day of mischief.

To Kill a Mockingbird
You should revisit this classic book through film form before reading Lee’s controversial follow-up, “Go Set a Watchman.”


This critically acclaimed indie, which was shot with an iPhone 5, is the perfect new holiday classic. Set during Christmas Eve, ‘Tangerine’ tells the story of two transgender sex workers, Sin-Dee Rella and Alexandra, who set out on a mission of revenge against Sin-Dee’s boyfriend, who cheated on her while she was jail. A raw look at the transgender sex-worker subculture, this movie will make you laugh, cry, and feel grateful for your best friend.

Amazon – TV shows

Mad Men
A seven-season drama that ended earlier this year, “Mad Men” is set in the 1960s and follows the businesses of advertising agencies in New York City and the personal lives of its characters. One of the most critically acclaimed TV series of all time, this show is worth taking up when you’ve got tons of free time.

Based on creator Jill Soloway’s own life, this Emmy-winning show centers around the Pfefferman family, whose patriarch Mort Pfefferman has recently transitioned to become Maura Pfefferman. While the first season mainly focused on the reactions of Maura’s wife and three children to her transition, the second season widens its scope to delve into the identity struggles of all of the family members. Laugh at loud funny at times – you need to hear Jeffrey Tambor say “yaasss queen” – and visually stunning to look at, ‘Transparent’ is a show unique for its empathetic, honest portrayal of all of its many flawed characters.

The Man in the High Castle
This visually intricate Amazon original show imagines what the U.S. would be like if Germany had won World War II and taken over the East Coast while Japan controlled the West Coast.

A brisk six episodes, this romantic comedy features American stand-up comic Rob Delaney and Irish actress Sharon Horgan playing a couple who end up pregnant after a week-long tryst. Delaney and Horgan have a natural chemistry together, giving the show a lived-in vibe.

Amazon – movies

The Hurt Locker
This film is for those who enjoy watching movies that dig into real-life events. One of the most critically acclaimed films about the Iraq War, “The Hurt Locker” follows a three-man bomb disposal team.

The Bling Ring
Emma Watson fans will enjoy this satirical crime film based on a real-life crime ring made up of rich, bored California teenagers.

Toy Story trilogy
Revisit your childhood in your childhood home this break with the complete Toy Story trilogy, and laugh and cry all over again at your favorite toys and their adventures.

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Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015 10:34 a.m.

Sled down Capitol Hill this winter

Thanks to a new provision from Congress, the only thing holding you back from sledding on Capitol Hill this year will be the unseasonably warm weather.

The provision, which was tacked onto a $1.1 trillion year-end appropriations bill, lifts the ban on sledding that was originally in place because of safety and security concerns, Roll Call reported.

The provision comes after a group of neighborhood kids protested the ban last winter, standing up for the right to take advantage of the best slope in the District.

So if you don’t feel like slipping and sliding in ice skates this winter, grab a sled or a piece of cardboard and head to Capitol Hill instead to partake in a wintertime activity that requires absolutely no skill.

Or if the weather stays warm, take a sled to Capitol Hill anyway to protest for more action on climate change. If not for the sake of saving the planet, then at least for the sake of being able to race a member of Congress down a snowy hill.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Marissa Kirshenbaum.

Whether you can’t get enough of the cold-pressed juice trend or just want to start eating healthier in the new year, you now have a new option with Postmodern Foods. The organic food and drink company opened in Georgetown at 2920 M St. on Saturday.

From reusable glassware and compostable packaging to plant-based and vegan food and drink items, this restaurant is good for the environment and your body.

Postmodern Foods highlights food that has been minimally processed. Denise Hicks, the company’s owner, said in a video on her website that the food is “how we as humans were originally eating and how we’re designed to thrive.”

The menu features mostly raw and gluten-free items ranging from a blueberry chia smoothie ($12) to pad thai with spicy almond sauce ($10) to caramel apple cheesecake ($8).

PostModern Foods started in January 2013 with a location in Great Falls, VA. It also offers home delivery to customers in the D.C. area, charging a $4 delivery fee and requiring a $20 minimum on the order.

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Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015 5:47 p.m.

GW Chabad lights giant Menorah in Kogan Plaza

GW Chabad, the University’s chapter of the Jewish student life organization, celebrated the first night of Hanukkah on Monday night.

GW Chabad President Juliette Bergwerk introduces the menorah lighting event in Kogan Plaza on Monday night. Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor

Jewish Colonials Chabad president Juliette Bergwerk introduces the menorah lighting event in Kogan Plaza on Monday night. Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor

Students lit a giant menorah in Kogan Plaza.

“It’s very important that they get to celebrate their family traditions while they’re away from their family,” said Yudi Steiner, a rabbi with GW Chabad.

Video by Luca Silveira


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