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Last updateWed, 28 Oct 2020 1pm

Entertainment

The Sims 4 Hits the Slopes

Sims 4 SlopesIt’s that time again for another Sims 4 expansion pack. The franchise just announced “The Sims 4: Snowy Escape,” which is expected for a Nov. 13 release date.

As the 9th expansion pack, it features snow-based activities for your sims to enjoy like snowboarding, skiing, sledding, and rock climbing. The Japanese-inspired snowy mountain town, called Mt. Komorebi, incorporates many elements of Japanese culture like new food items (sushi and shabu-shabu, a hotpot dish), kimonos, tatami mats, and even the vending machines seen all over Japan.

The expansion pack also introduces hot springs and bath houses, more important aspects of Japanese culture. It’s the perfect getaway for both you and your sims at a time when traveling in real life is at a halt due to COVID-19.

However, the most notable element missing from this pack are hotels and resorts for your sims to either stay in or manage while at Mt. Komorebi, a feature fans loved in The Sims 3: Island Paradise. If the game developers wanted to add this feature in The Sims 4, this pack would have been the perfect opportunity to do so.

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Adele Says “Hello” to SNL

Adele SNL “Hello” from 2015. After five years since Adele’s last album, 25, she has recently announced the release of a new album (finally). She hosted Saturday Night Live on Oct. 24, speaking about her weight loss and hinting at her new music.

NME quotes Adele’s monologue, saying, “[It was] the show that broke my career here in America, 12 very long years ago. See, I was the musical guest back in 2008 when Sarah Palin came on with Miss Tina Fey and so obviously a few million people tuned in to watch it and now the rest is history.”

Here, she indicated how much SNL helped her career. So, it was only right to return to the late-night show when she felt ready to be back in the spotlight.

There is no set release day or title yet for the album (basically we don’t know much), but we do know something is in progress and we could not be more excited. NME also reports the album is being worked on by Raphael Saadiq, a producer, as well as John Legend.

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Book Review: The Couple Next Door

Book ReviewWith Halloween comes spooky ghost stories, and suspenseful, mystery thrillers that will make your stomach churn or teeth grit. This year is a little different. Instead of going out to parties or handing out candy on your front porch, you may find yourself stuck inside, looking for a way to pass some time. Interested in a book that will have you on the edge of your seat until the very last page? Sunday Times Bestseller, The Couple Next Door, by Shari Lapena, was labeled as, “The most talked-about thriller of the year [2016]”, and it was for her ingenious array of motives stemming from each character within the heart-wrenching reality.

Fundamentally, the novel follows a loving relationship between couple Marco and Anne Conti. They have a wholesome bond, wonderful home, and a beautiful baby, Cora. One night, when the couple is at a dinner party next door, grief-stricken panic sets in when their baby is kidnapped. Detective Rasbach is a key factor in the case; setting suspicion upon every party involved, not leaving even the most innocent out.

The main characters of Lapena’s story grapple with the continuously-revealed secrets among the pair, and the magnitude of one decision. Leaving their baby home alone has now unraveled their family. Lapena’s tale is a one of chilling turns of events, deception, unfaithfulness, and incredibly unexpected moments you need to read to believe.

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Best Halloween Flicks For a Spooky Night In

Halloween FlicksIt’s that time of year again—Thirty-one nights of Halloween. There are many options for TV shows and movies to watch for a spooky night in the weekend of Oct. 31.

First, there are the classic Halloween movies that I consider a must watch. There’s Hocus Pocus, a movie full of surprise, comedy and drama. The audience gets to watch as Max and his sister Dani who just moved to Salem, explore the legend of the town witches with Allison, a local girl, and what happens when they learn that the legend is actually true.

Another classic, the Halloweentown series, is one that we all remember from when we were kids. The four films were released on Disney Channel in the late 90s and early 2000s, so we were able to grow up with the Cromwell siblings we watched through our TV screens.

In the first Halloweentown movie, we are introduced to the main characters and are taken on a journey of discovering their powers. These powers are then used to save Halloweentown, an alternate realm for creatures like vampires, werewolves, ghosts, etc.

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Alumni Perform at the Center for the Arts’ Virtual Concert Series

AlumuniMonmouth University’s Center for the Arts premiered a special alumni edition of the Virtual Living Room Concert Series on YouTube on Friday, Oct. 23, as a part of Homecoming weekend.

In conjunction with the University’s Office of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, the concert included pre-recorded performances by Taylor Hope ‘16, Carlos Morales ‘10, Gianna Cusanelli ‘17, Zach Gindi ‘19, Sharon Laster ‘81, Kellie Shane ‘09, Zack Sandler ‘20, and Natalie Imani ‘04.

“As soon as we knew we weren’t going to be able to host a traditional in-person Homecoming event, the staff on the Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving team put our heads together to brainstorm ways to engage our alumni and friends from the comfort of their homes,” said Laura MacDonald, Director Of Alumni Engagement. “We put a call out to alumni via social media and email and collected submissions.”

“We were thrilled to partner with eight talented alumni artists to put on this virtual showcase,” added Kristin Waring, Assistant Director of Recent Alumni and Student Programs.

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Book Review: Before I Fall

Book Review 2Have you ever made a mistake one day that haunts you when you go to bed that night? You think to yourself, “Why would I say that” or “I should’ve chosen to go somewhere else” or even “That wasn’t the right decision and I knew that.”

The thought of a decision you made aches in the back of your head, unable to shut off the persistent and lingering judgment you’re giving to yourself. Or maybe you didn’t even realize the impact of what you had done or said to outside parties.

Déja vu is defined as a feeling of having already experienced the present situation. It is the internal motion that one has lived through the specific situation and has “already seen” what is currently occurring. Popular high school senior Samantha Kingston knows this surreal experience all too well in Lauren Oliver’s young adult novel, Before I Fall.

Feb. 12, “Cupid Day,” was supposed to be a day of partying, roses and privilege for the ranking queen of the social pyramid, Samantha. However, that is until she dies that very night in a devastating accident. Darkness. Until the sound of the rhythmic alarm tone is heard in the background. She wakes up the next morning. And it’s Cupid Day. Again.

It continues to be this same day seven times over again, forcing Kingston to relive her last day until she realizes the faults she’s putting out into the world around her, the worth she didn’t know she embodied and the wrongs that she has the potential to make right, at her very fingertips.

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Books That Will Get You in the Spooky Spirit

Spooky SpiritWith Halloween just around the corner, we could all use some great horror reads to get us in the spooky spirit. Here are a selection of novels I’ve read that are the perfect combination of eerie and suspenseful.

Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder, and Revenge by David Lubar: This collection of short stories is a hidden gem in the horror department. This page-turner includes 13 thrilling tales: there’s the story of a tragic train ride, one about a group of students who get revenge on their cruel gym teacher, and one about a group of kids who stay in a haunted house overnight for a cash prize (we all know nothing good can come out of this).

Spooky Spirit 2

The beauty of this collection is that each story begins seemingly normal, but soon takes a dark twist. It’s such a quick, chilling read that you can breeze through all 197 pages in one day. The most frightening part of this book is the quote, “The pain you can feel in your flesh is nothing compared to the pain that rises from a horror you can’t escape.”

There’s The Dead Boyfriend, about a girl whose boyfriend keeps dying and then coming back to life; there’s Give Me a K-I-L-L, about cheerleading tryouts that end in murder; and there’s Can You Keep a Secret, about a couple who goes on a camping trip that ends in—you’ve guessed it—murder. Stine has been publishing these novels since 1989, so you’ll never run out of Fear Street novels to enjoy this October.R.L Stine’s Fear Street Series: The author of the popular Goosebumps series we all loved as children also publishes a series of young adult horror novels for older audiences. Each book centers around the same eerie setting, Fear Street, the hub for paranormal activity in the fictionalized town of Shadyside.

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Book Review: Pillow Thoughts

Pillow TalksWe are all humans, and we all feel a variety of emotions depending on what life is throwing at us at different times. Whether it is excruciating lows or sky-rocketing highs, we’ve all been there. And sometimes, it’s comforting to know someone else understands the pain or joy, the excitement or depression, you feel as well.

Courtney Peppernell, the Australian, LGBT author of Pillow Thoughts, captures the raw truth behind human emotions.

Pillow Thoughts is a collection of poetry and prose about heartbreak, love, loss, and self-worth. Peppernell divided this into ten sections, making it so simple to skip to the parts where you want to feel the most.

She submerges her words into all the aspects that come along when falling in love with somebody. She acknowledges the butterflies you may feel at first glance, the comfortableness and safety you feel within the companionship, the heart-wrenching sadness when things deteriorate, and the aching sadness when you can’t let go of memories you once clutched on to. 

Electronic musical duo The Chainsmokers said, “As songwriters, poetry has always played a special role in our lives. We discovered Pillow Thoughts, and it has been one of the most enjoyable books we have read in a long time”.

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Blue Hawk Records Prepare 17th Compilation Album

17th AlbumEven though the outside world is anything but normal these days, the show must still go on.

Monmouth University’s Blue Hawks Records is hard at work creating their 17th compilation album. Being a part of this year’s team, I can tell you first hand that it is going to be a good one.

We have assembled artists who vary widely in genres. We have a few full bands, solo singers, and rappers, so be prepared to switch up your vibe while listening to this album.

Last week, we hosted virtual and socially distanced auditions. Our students presented us with an abundance of talent and it was hard to narrow down to just six. Allow me to introduce you to our artists this semester: Nick Garrecht, Abby Garcia, Justine Ume, Hasan Chambers, Charlie Krause, and Gabe Garza.

Nick Garrecht has been playing guitar for five years and piano for three. Having been influenced by Led Zeppelin, Simon and Garfunkel, the Beatles, and Harry Styles, Nick and his band White Wing have written over 40 songs. Writing and playing professionally is their dream, and they aim to aid as many of their listeners as they can through their music.

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Bella and Edward Return In Midnight Sun

Bella Edward 1The year of 2005 created a divide between who was Team Edward and who was Team Jacob, thanks to Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series. The borderline between teen romance and obsession was tested. The fandom around a vampire-human love story blossomed.

Now, 15 years later, Stephanie Meyer has returned, publishing the fifth novel of the Twilight saga, coined Midnight Sun.

However, this book has a little twist that many die-hard fans may not be expecting.

Despite the four previous books in the series, Midnight Sun is now told from Edward’s perspective rather than Bella’s. Meyer did an incredible job of retelling a story that fans have been encapsulated with, without making it seem drawnout or overdone.

Readers and fans see a more intimate side of Edward and his infatuation with Bella than they ever have before. From first glance, to the first words spoken to one another, Edward’s internal feelings are both invigorating and unnerving, all same time.

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Are Livestreams the New Concert Experience?

Livestreams 1Since March of this year, the whole world has been turned upside down. So many of the things we love to do are now changed, maybe forever. Restaurants were only allowing people to eat outside. This was great in the summer, but now as we reach fall and winter, it may not be as desirable.

Concerts were all canceled and small venues were closed. Another option for concerts has been the livestreaming option. Artists can use social media or other streaming services to broadcast their shows to a big audience, but everyone can stay right in their homes- maybe even in their pajamas. Will this become the new “normal?” Do people even have interest in watching livestreams of concerts, let alone paying for these?

The New York Times wrote a story in July, examining the changing world of concerts. At this time, there were many examples of artists who had used the Instagram platform and the “live” feature to broadcast some music to their fans. It was a more casual feel, where artists were just strumming a guitar and singing. After more casual broadcasts, though, there is the question of concerts in a more traditional way- big stage, lots of lights, back up dancers, the works.

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu