Snapchat Secrets

By Cara Winkley

Imagine if you could send funny, embarrassing, even dirty pictures to friends without them being saved or used as blackmail later in life. Well, there’s an app for that.

Snapchat is an app that allows users to send pictures and videos that are automatically deleted after they are opened. Senders can choose an amount of time anywhere from one to 10 seconds. Originally thought of by a fraternity member to solve the problem of regretting embarrassing texts or sexts, Snapchat is now used by 18.6 percent of iphone users in the U.S. according to Onavo’s App rank, an online ranking website.

Snapchat was created by 23 year old Evan Spiegel for a product design class. After presenting the idea to his class and seeing their reactions, he released the app to the public a few months after in September 2011. The app is available for iphone, and android users.

While students all over the country have embraced and have come to use Snapchat as part of their daily lives, many are worried about where those snapchats really go once they leave your phone.

Jaclyn Bitto, a senior from Chicago has her concerns about the app.

“Even though they say it gets deleted, I worry they might use it somehow,” Bitto said.

Students using Snapchat should know that unopened Snapchats are stored into the company’s Google cloud and remain there until they are opened and deleted. If the files are not opened, they remain on the company’s server for 30 days before being deleted.

Some students don’t use Snapchat because they haven’t heard a lot about it. Rebeka Luttinger is one of the students asked of the few who don’t have Snapchat.

“I don’t even know how it works,” Luttinger said.

Snapchat is different from other social media in that it is private. Snapchat does not store any history or information about its users like other apps like Facebook and Twitter. The company knows nothing about its users.

Alex Prather, a senior from Derby, Kan., uses Snapchat about once a day. She chooses to use Snapchat instead of other social media platforms to connect with new friends.

“Snapchat seems more personal than adding someone on Facebook or Twitter because you choose to send them pictures.” Prather said.

She likes that she doesn’t have to flood peoples’ Facebook news feed when she wants to share pictures with her friends. The fact that you can personalize your pictures makes it more fun.

While Snapchat can be fun and innocent between friends, many raise concerns about sexting, especially because a lot of Snapchat users are under the age of 18. Just recently, 10 boys were arrested in Canada for distributing explicit photos of teenage girls through the app.

“For our age, I say go for it,” said Bitto. “But for those under 18, that shouldn’t be allowed.”

Snapchat  is not just another iphone app fad. Spiegel recently turned down two billion dollar offers in hopes that he can continue to grow and expand Snapchat into his own empire.

“I’m excited for Snapchat’s future,” said Bitto. “I hope they continue to come up with cool ideas.”

Students Using Snapchat

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Christmas in France

By Cara Winkley

There is no better feeling than being five years old again waking up early on Christmas morning to rush down the stairs and see a pile of presents under the tree from Santa.

Christmas is a holiday celebrated all over the world, and while the main concept is the same, each country has their own way of celebrating.

The French start the celebration of Christmas on December 6th with the feast day of St. Nicholas. St. Nicholas was a man who sold what he had to give to the poor. One story is told about a man with three daughters who could not afford their dowries. On three separate occasions a bag of gold was found in their stockings hanging by the fireplace. Children began hanging stockings and putting shoes out in hopes that St. Nick would stop by their house and leave a little gift.

Christmas in France is called Noël. Noël comes from the phrase “Les bonnes nouvelles,” which means literally, “the good news” and relates to the good news of Jesus’ birth in the Bible.

Clarisse Barbier, a French teaching assistant at the University of Kansas, is from Besancon, France. When asked what her family does different from the U.S. for Christmas, she mentioned one of the most popular Christmas traditions in France.

“To be honest, the only thing different is the Marché de Noël,” Barbier said.

The Marché de Noël is a Christmas market. Most cities in France will have Christmas markets starting late November up until Christmas. These markets sell everything from food to Christmas crafts and usually surround a large decorated Christmas tree in the town square.

Many French do not put trees in their house but instead make a Yule log cake. This cake represents the tradition of burning a wooden log from Christmas Eve to New Years. The Yule log cake is called “Bûche de Noël.”

Families will attend Christmas Eve services, and then go back home and eat a Christmas dinner followed by the Bûche de Noël. Christmas meals differ in each region in France. In the West, the French eat fish or roast goose for their Christmas Eve dinner. In northern regions, crêpes are a popular dish. Down South, 13 desserts are served to represent Jesus and his 12 disciples.

After dinner, children open presents from parents and are sent to bed. Unlike the U.S., where Santa is the one who brings the presents, children in France are told that either “Père Noël” or Baby Jesus bring the gifts Christmas morning.

The next day, the children jump out of bed and race downstairs to see what new gifts this year will bring.

Top 10 Places to get Style Inspiration

By Cara Winkley

I asked 10 women to tell me a few places from where they get their style inspiration. Here are the top 10 places they came up with:

1. Pinterest

Created in 2010, Pinterest has become one of the top three Social Media outlets in the United States. People of all ages are able to find inspiration in any category including children’s, men’s and women’s fashion. Top styles on Pinterest include Chevron prints, boots, maxi skirts and knit infinity scarves.

2. Magazines

Despite the decline in circulation of magazines, three out of the ten women interviewed said they still get inspiration from magazines. Online versions of top fashion magazines are becoming more and more popular. They allow easy access to all the new styles and trends.

3. Instagram

Instagram is not only a form of social media where you post pictures and edit using fun filters, but it can be an easy way to follow fashion too. Top designers such as Zac Posen, Roberto Cavalli, Badgley Mischka, and Jason Wu all promote their lines using Instagram. Many designers and fashion magazines will give behind the scenes looks at new trends to keep you ahead of the game.

4. Campus

When you are strolling on campus moving class to class, take that time to look around and notice fun styles other students are wearing. Some popular styles on the University of Kansas’ campus include brown boots, oversize chunky sweaters and leggings. This would be a great opportunity to copy a “going to class” outfit you think is cute. Or, If you want something stylish, yet not like every other girl, then make note of styles you see over and over and try something completely different.

5. Friends

Friends are great resources for fashion ideas. If they are good friends they will even tell you what flatters your body type and what you should definitely not buy even if it’s the only skirt left and it’s your size and wait, look it’s on sale too.

6. Celebrities

Celebrities are the trend setters of our society. We see what brands they wear and we buy them. We see what outfits they put together and we copy them. Because celebrities are in the lime light all the time, they are pressured to look stylish everywhere they go and involuntarily become our fashion role models.

7. Movies and Television

Movies and television are great resources to get inspiration for everyday outfits. Costume designers put in a lot of effort to make the characters look perfect for their role. Fashion can sometimes be like playing dress up for a certain role. Use inspiration from movies and television to channel your inner chameleon and change up your look from time to time.

8. Online Boutiques and chain stores

Online boutiques and chain stores can show viewers what people are buying this season. A wide variety of websites allows you to find the style you want and compare costs, creating a practical and money-saving fashion resource.

9. Stores

Similar to online websites, stores can be a great place to browse popular seasonal fashions. Unlike websites, you are able to try on the clothes you like and mix and match outfits in the dressing room to see what you like. Just be careful not to get sucked in and spend too much money like I know I do when I shop.

10. Nature

Many designers get inspiration from nature for their collections. We can also use nature to inspire our daily outfits. Using earth tones like brown, olive green and burnt orange can compliment many skin tones and create a warm, inviting feel to your outfit.

Precisely Pinterest

By Cara Winkley

One step inside the red rustic barn and a warm glow hits your face. Strings of lights wrap around a white cloth canopy covering the ceiling creating a soft romantic atmosphere for guests strolling into the reception. Wooden tables are surrounded by twelve wooden chairs and are marked by numbers carved into a coaster-size cut wooden log laid out on the table. Blush pink flowers are placed in each corner of the room complimenting the soft lavender colors of the bridesmaid dresses as the bridal party walks across the barn taking their seats to eagerly await the newlyweds.

Valerie Whited, a recently engaged student at the University of Arkansas, started using Pinterest about two years ago. Like many girls, before her engagement, Whited had a dream wedding board where she pinned ideas for her future. Now, it has become a practical part in the planning stage of her wedding.

“It’s a fun tool to come up with ideas,” said Whited. “It is productive and inspirational.”

According to the Pinterest website, Pinterest was created in 2010 as a tool for collecting and organizing the things that inspire you. It is an online pin-board where users share ideas by “pinning” photos of anything from fashion and crafts to teaching methods and resume tips. Only a year and a half after launching Pinterest, it became one of the top ten social network services with eleven million weekly visits.

Despite the quick rise in popularity, Whited had her doubts about the website before she joined. She first heard about Pinterest from friends talking about it on other social media outlets. At first she disliked it because she thought it was materialistic and was just a way for girls to fantasize over things they want, but realistically will probably never have. After giving it a try, she thinks it is a great way to express yourself as an adult.

“It’s all about finding your personal style,” Whited said.

Pinterest is not only for personal use, but businesses can also benefit from creating a company account. Companies can upload pictures of products using different SEO words and hashtags to market and promote their merchandise or services. Businesses are able to view their web analytics and see how much traffic each pin gets. According to Bizrate Insights, a company that conducts customer surveys, 70 percent of online consumers use Pinterest to get inspiration on what to buy. In addition, 39 percent use Pinterest for special offers and coupons from retailers and brands they have pinned.

While Businesses and individuals can benefit from everything Pinterest has to offer, teachers are also benefitting from this social media god-send.

Ariel Puccetti, a recent University of Kansas graduate and current elementary teacher, has been using Pinterest for a little over two years. As a teacher, she uses Pinterest to find supplemental materials for centers, extra practice or creative projects. Teachers are able to share ideas on different teaching methods and classroom decorations through Pinterest.

“It is a great place to go to gather information and ideas from other teachers and from a variety of sites to incorporate creative and engaging activities in a classroom,” Puccetti said.

Though Pinterest offers many diverse pins relating to women and men, only 30 percent of Pinterest users are male. In 2012 alone, 1,255,225,000 minutes were spent on the Pinterest website from a computer, 720,973,000 on the Pinterest App and 120,486,000 on mobile web.

“It’s no wonder I’m always thinking, I know I pinned that somewhere,” Puccetti said.

Here’s a how-to Pinterest craft:

KU Students get left out in mad rush at Late Night

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By Cara Winkley

When the doors shut, I just kept thinking “What is going on and what are they doing?” We were packed like sardines outside the door waiting for them to open again.

Caycee Hatchette, a University of Kansas freshman from Lee Summit, got in line for Late Night around 11 a.m. Friday morning. She said there were about 200 people in line in front of her.

“The atmosphere at the beginning was actually fun.  We talked to the people around us and had a good time – until the doors were opened,” Hatchette said.

Allen Fieldhouse has a capacity of 16,300 and some students guesstimate they saw almost 25,000 people waiting in line to get into the Fieldhouse on Friday afternoon. As the doors opened that night, students in the back of the line rushed forward cutting in front of people waiting in line for hours, and ultimately taking their spot in the Fieldhouse.

Eric Turek, a University junior from California, was one of those students. Turek got to the Fieldhouse a little before 3 p.m. His friends arrived shortly before 5 p.m.

The doors to Allen Filedhouse were scheduled to open at 5:30 p.m. A few minutes before the doors opened Turek said he saw about 30 people begin to race toward the door. They were in a bird-like formation similar to what you would see in the sky. People standing at the back saw this and began to copy. Soon hundreds were all rushing toward the doors cutting people in front of them.

“A rush surged through me, and I realized that if I didn’t run, I wouldn’t have made it,” Turek said.

A University Athletics staff member describes the experience from the inside as a scary bullrush of people. He said the University had cattle guards to direct the lines, but people jumped or toppled them to get inside.

Small numbers of tickets to Late Night were sold for reserved sections, but the majority of the tickets were given out at the doors as people entered. An exact number of 16,300 tickets including reserved tickets were to be given out in order to control capacity. However, many people who rushed in pushed University staff out of the way limiting their ability to know how many people came inside.

“It was chaos,” said a University Athletics staff member. “We had to close the doors to get a handle on everything and reposition staff.”

Abbey Johnson, a senior from Vermont, was one of the thousands who was still waiting in line when the doors shut. She describes the crowd around her as angry, restless and upset. The line was more like a mob of people shoved up against each other back to front. She said she was standing next to a family with small children who had waited in line all day and didn’t want to leave in the small chance they might get let in.

After waiting for 30 to 45 minutes after the doors closed, students were alerted not by KU Athletics staff, but by a tweet made by the official KU Athletics Twitter account.

“A tweet saying sorry does absolutely nothing for me. I’m a student who pays thousands of dollars for out-of-state tuition, and I deserved to be one of the 16,300 fans in Allen Fieldhouse that night,” Hatchette said. “I’m disappointed in their lack of organization and their incompetence to do anything to stop the fans that rushed in. They have ruined that experience for me and for that, I don’t even want to go to late night in the future.”

French Students Say America is like a Dream

For many American students, going to school and working here in the United States is a part of our everyday lives. However, for many French citizens coming to America is a dream.

The number of French students studying in the United States has increased 17 percent over the past seven years according to the International Business Times.

Despite this increase, I had a tough time trying to find French students taking classes at the University of Kansas.

After emailing multiple University departments and contacts trying to find a French student taking classes at the University, I was told that many French students opted out of being contacted for University projects.

Shortly after, I received an email from Clarisse Barbier, a University General Teacher’s Assistant (GTA) from France, who was more than willing to sit down and answer my questions.

Barbier left her home in Besancon, France to become a GTA for the University French department. She arrived in the U.S. for the first time this August and is currently teaching French for Beginners.

Barbier came to the United States to move on and start a new life. In Besancon she received her Masters degree in English, but had not been able to use it. She took this opportunity to use what she learned while starting a new chapter in her life.

Even though she has graduated with her Masters, as a GTA at the University she is still required to take classes.

Many French students choose to come to the U.S. to study because the U.S. school system is more efficient and has more money than in France, said Barbier.

Unlike the U.S., public universities in France are free. Because school is more expensive in the U.S., students are more studious and the curriculums are more intense.

“It’s much more demanding than in France,” said Barbier.

Barbier only takes two classes at the University, but said she works harder for these two classes than she ever did for her Masters degree.

Like Barbier, Amadine Thevenet-Brown also has an English degree from France.

Thevenet-Brown is a kindergarten teacher at Academie Lafayette, a K-8 French Language Immersion Public Charter School in Kansas City, Mo. Thevenet-Brown, originally from Nevers, France, came to the United States for the first time in 2009. She had just completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Anglo-Saxons studies and English language and planned on teaching English in her home country. But before she started, she wanted to spend a year abroad in an English speaking country. It was her dream, like many other French students to come to the United States.

“After arriving in the U.S., I was even much happier than what I had expected,” Thevenet-Brown said.

French citizens have been influenced by American culture since they were very young. They watch American movies, listen to American music and even take required English classes at school. Many fantasize about coming to the U.S. imagining it like the setting of their favorite television show. For many it may be a fantasy, but for some their dream becomes a reality.

Francois Asal, a 21-year-old French student, spent seven months working as an intern at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

He said he has always been attracted to the U.S. Asal describes it as the land of the self-made man, big cars and skyscrapers.

While the United States is one of the larger English-speaking countries, two other popular places to go for French citizens looking to use their English include the United Kingdom or Australia.

Many French students travel to the UK and Australia, however most choose the U.S. because of affordable living and distance.

“England is really close and we can go there whenever we want to. It’s different with the U.S.,” Asal said.

Miley in the Media

By Cara Winkley

From her MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) performance, to her naked music video, Miley Cyrus can’t seem to stay out of the media.

Cyrus, after keeping a low profile for a couple years, is back in the spotlight. Her new video, “Wrecking Ball,” released just a couple weeks after her controversial VMA performance with Robin Thicke, has taken over entertainment news. This video shows Cyrus completely nude swinging side to side on a chain and wrecking ball.

This isn’t the first time Cyrus has been in the limelight for a controversial music video. Her video “Can’t Be Tamed,” which was released in 2010, though had no nudity, still received lots of criticism for being dark and racy, a video not age-appropriate for a 17 year-old.

Jean Johnson, a freshman studying elementary education at The University of Kansas (KU), used to be a fan of Cyrus when she was on Hannah Montana and came out with her earlier singles such as “Party in the USA.” She thinks people continue to follow celebrities to see their failures and demise in the media.

“Some people are just watching to see her fall,” said Johnson. “Plus, at the same time they are thinking what happened.”

As Cyrus’ music videos have become more and more provocative as each one is released, her live performances mirror her efforts to show her independence from her former role as Disney Channel’s child role model.

Trey Stafford, a senior studying geography at KU, describes Cyrus’ performance with Robin Thicke at the 2013 VMA’s as ridiculous and over-the-top.

“I think the performance itself is one of those things where she was trying to show that she wasn’t a child anymore,” Stafford said.

From her clean-line Hannah Montana Disney persona to her racy, twerking image now, she has captivated the media and influenced thousands of girls throughout America.

Shirley Hill, a sociology professor at KU, said that videos like Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” video have a negative influence on young women. She said that in today’s society there is a large push for gender equality. However, videos like Cyrus’ and other female artists are showing women in stereotypical manners.

“It counters a lot of the progress that we have been trying to teach the next generation,” Hill said.

Leonel Castro, a recent KU alumnus, said that as young women continue to watch celebrities like Cyrus in the media, they believe that this is the way you are supposed to act. Many young women are intrigued by the rich and famous lifestyle, so they think if they mimic these actions of celebrities, then they can live somewhat vicariously through them.

We may not know why Cyrus has been acting in this manner or why she continually repeats her over-the-top actions, but Gene Tuel, a KU Religious Advisor, has one idea.

“She doesn’t care,” Tuel said. “She is making fun of the fact that you care.”