• Your one stop for college news and resources!

Cynthia Martin

"American Idol" gets its twelveth winner tonight

Finalist Kree Harrison and Candice Glover learn their fate on tonight’s season finale

“American Idol” announces its 12th winner tonight, and according to judge Randy Jackson, it’s anybody’s game.

Kree Harrison, 22, and Candice Glover, 23, gave their final performances last night in Nokia Theater. Both sang their hearts out in order to win the most important prize for their lives.

“American Idol” producer Simon Fuller chose the first songs the women sang last night. Glover started with Adele’s “Chasing Pavements,” while Harrison got to stick with her country roots with Sarah McLaughlan’s “Angel.”

Randy Jackson chose Glover as the winner of round one. Jackson, who announced last week that he’d be leaving “American Idol,” also disagreed with the song selection.

“I love you, Simon Fuller, but I would not have chosen those songs,” Jackson said.

The second round gave the finalists the opportunity to show what a single from them would be like. Glover showcased her powerhouse voice with a ballad titled “I Am Beautiful.”

Harrison was declared the winner of the round with her country song, “All Cried Out,” that was filled with emotion.

For the final round, the women chose to reprise a song they had sung in a previous round of the “American Idol” competition. Harrison went with “Up to the Mountain” from the Las Vegas Auditions. But it was Glover’s a capella opening to “I Who Have Nothing” that swept the round.

“American Idol” is known to be a launching pad for undiscovered singers. Even those who don’t win go on to bigger things than they would have without the show. Previous contestants such as Chris Daughtry and Kelli Pickler didn’t even make the finals, and both have loyal followings and top hits.

“American Idol”s 12th season may be over, but it’s far from the end of the road for Glover and Harrison. For one of them, tonight will be just the start of everything.

Powerball still lacks a winner

A game redesign lets jackpots soar higher than ever

Powerball winners tend to be few and far between. And another week has gone by without a winner of the $360 million jackpot. That means next week’s drawing will be for a massive $475 million.

Wednesday’s numbers were 02-11-26-34-41, with Powerball 32.

It can be hard to match all six numbers needed for the Powerball jackpot, but a game redesign in 2012 supposedly makes it easier to win large prizes. Because of the $1 increase in price, new $1 and $2 million prizes make it much more likely that you’ll win something.

The redesign also makes the jackpot value grow higher, faster.

“It usually took a handful of months, if not several months, for a jackpot to reach this large amount,” said Mary Neubauer, spokeswoman for the Iowa Lottery. “Now it’s achieving that within a handful of weeks. I think the redesign is achieving exactly what we had wanted it to achieve, which is the bigger, faster-growing jackpot.”

Winners would likely agree that the redesign is working. Even though there was no Powerball jackpot winner, more than a dozen people in ten states won $1 million prizes. But even with the redesign, the odds of winning the jackpot are one in 175.2 million, according to Powerball.

A New Jersey man won last Powerball jackpot of $338.3 million on March 23. That was the fourth highest jackpot won from Powerball.

The highest Powerball jackpot win was $587.5 million in 2012.  It was also the second highest jackpot won from any lottery. The highest, $656 million, was also won in 2012 from the Mega Millions jackpot.

The next Powerball jackpot drawing will be Saturday.

24 hours of sun-splosions

Three major solar flares light up the solar system in the span of a day

In just 24 hours, the sun gave scientists something to think about on Monday. Between 10 p.m. EDT on May 12 and 9 p.m. EDT on May 13, the sun released three significant solar flares. Three in 24 hours is a rare occurrence by its self, but that wasn’t the only thing that made these flares special.

All three flares were classified as X-class flares. These are the sun’s strongest flares. The first peaked at X1.7. The following two were X2.8 and X3.2, respectively. The last one is the strongest flare of 2013, and the third strongest of the sun’s current cycle which began Feb. 15, 2011.

The region also showed two smaller M-class flares during the 24 hours. These are medium sized flares. C-class are the smallest flares.

Now you’re probably wondering what a flare is. A solar flare is when the sun releases a massive amount of radiation. They’re usually sent out from a relatively small area on the sun’s surface. The Earth’s atmosphere blocks the harmful types of radiation, so humans have little to fear from solar flares. But a powerful enough flare directed at Earth could penetrate the atmosphere enough to mess with communication signals.

These three flares emanated from a part of the sun that is not currently facing Earth. Which is good because the flares were accompanied by coronal mass emissions. These emission are made of solar particles and are capable of penetrating the atmosphere, potentially harming electronics in orbit, the air and on the ground.

Flares of this magnitude are not unusual for where the sun is in its cycle. Having three in 24 hours is. And the sun is not likely to let up any time soon. Instead, it’s expected to reach its peak sometime in 2013.

Disney princess redesign highlights beauty controversy

Opponents of makeover twist what should make someone feel beautiful

Disney had been thought to taking a step in the right direction. People believed that by recognizing Merida from “Brave” as the 11th Disney princess, they were finally accepting a new version of womanhood. But Merida’s “makeover” is raising some red flags.

When “Brave” entered theaters, people praised Disney for moving away from the traditional princess. Merida is feisty, adventurous, and independent. Everything that princesses like Snow White and Aurora are not. The film even opens with Merida’s refusal to be “won” in an archery contest, showing her disregard for the idea that a princess waits for her Prince Charming.

Many looked at Merida as the first truly feminist princess. Kids loved her because she wasn’t a size two with perfect hair and make-up. She was a “real girl.” And that’s what the world has almost been begging Disney to make. Now people see her as thinner, sultrier and with a lower neckline.

At least, that’s what people are saying. I do not see as much of a difference as people claim there is. In my opinion, it’s mostly the drawing style that’s making the changes feminists are so up in arms about.

Everyone has to admit that there is a difference in how Disney/Pixar movies are rendered and how normal Disney movies are rendered. Pixar’s have a much more 3D style of drawing. Changing something from 3D to traditional drawing styles is bound to emphasis certain aspects of the human body. The technique requires it.

But ultimately it doesn’t matter if Disney made these specific changes to Merida. The big issue centers on what message Disney is sending to young girls. Disney is so often condemned for promoting a specific type of “beauty.” But isn’t condemning the makeover doing the same thing?

Saying that Merida is now a poor role model because she’s thinner can be a huge slap in the face to girls who are small. All that’s doing is shifting the stereotype of what is beautiful. It doesn’t help girls of all sizes maintain a healthy body image.

Instead we should look at Merida’s makeover like we do any other makeover. It’s just an external change. Merida is still Merida at the core. She’s still independent and spunky. That’s what makes her inspirational for young girls. By focusing on the personality, we can change the entire concept of beauty. And that’s what needs to change, not the way Disney draws its princesses.

A man running from zombies gets five years in jail

Jerimiah Hartline pleads guilty after overturning a semi-truck he thought was covered in zombies

Zombies are everywhere. They’re on T.V., in books and clinging to big rigs filled with strawberries. At least that’s what one Tennessee man thought.

On April 6, Jerimiah Hartline, 29, stole a truck from a weigh station because he believed zombies were holding onto it. Hartline stowed away in the truck in Tennessee and rode it all the way to Temecula, Cal.

Hartline claimed that he was speeding and swerving to shake zombies off the truck. As a result, he overturned the semi, hit several vehicles, injured many and spilled strawberries all over Interstate 15. The mess took hours to clean up.

On Monday, Hartline plead guilty to assault with a deadly weapon, hit and run causing death or injury and vehicle theft. He could be in jail for up to five years.

The guilty plea came from a deal with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. The plea agreement dropped some more severe charges. Without it, Hartline could have faced 12 years in jail.

At least six people were injured in Hartline’s run from zombies. Three were reported to be in serious condition at the time.

It is unclear as to why Hartline believed that the walking dead were after him.

As for the strawberries? Most of the load was undamaged and was donated to local food pantries and nonprofits.

Daft Punk ends the wait for 'Random Access Memories'

A complete preview of the album streams on iTunes prior to it’s release on May 21

Daft Punk made fans wait eight years for a new studio album. Previews, leaks and teasers flooded the internet in anticipation these past few weeks. Yesterday iTunes released the ultimate preview: all 74 minutes of one of the most hyped-up albums in music history.

Fans can now stream the album, but they still have to wait another week to actually buy it. “Random Access Memories” isn’t being released until May 21. Only one single, “Get Lucky,” is currently available.

The new album comes as a welcome reprieve from Daft Punk’s past couple releases. Their last album, “Human After All,” was a lackluster experiment with improvisation. And their work for the “Tron: Legacy” soundtrack left critics question what they were thinking.

But “Random Access Memories” is receiving fairly mixed reviews. Most praise the duo’s new sound. The album moves away a bit from the electronic dance music that Daft Punk is known for. Instead, the Robots decided to mix electronic with live instruments and classic production methods.

Odds of a hit are stacked in Daft Punk’s favor. Producers of the album are some of the biggest names in music today, including Pharrell, Giorgio Moroder, and Nile Rogers. Rodgers’ has produced top albums like Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” and David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.”

So the album promises a great deal, but does it deliver?

Some believe it mostly does. The sound is a bit of a return to the music that originally inspired the duo. The song “Touch” attempts to get fans to focus on the simple things that made them who they are.

The simplified sound won’t be for everyone. Especially if you’re part of the Electric Daisy Carnival crowd. “Modern” club beats are clearly absent from the album. And while the experimentation doesn’t fall completely flat, it also doesn’t live up to the hype that’s surrounded the release.

Billboard calls it a “messy album, filled with passages that can be trimmed and one or two too many plodding songs.” Rolling Stone agrees, but adds a positive note, “Verses approach the banal; old-school-production treacle is laid on thick, but the creative soul is palpable.”

Radio stations will undoubtedly be playing singles from Daft Punk’s past, as well as the current album for months. Ultimately, the fans will decide whether the departure from traditional electronic dance music is welcome. But after eight long years, “Random Access Memories” gives no reason not to dance

You should also read: The Rebel Heart Tour review

HIMYM fans finally met 'The Mother'

Be aware that this article contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.

How I Met Your Mother has done the unthinkable: they’ve finally shown the mother. Not her ankle or her umbrella or her little knick-knacks, but her face. And it’s about time too.

This is the moment the show has been leading up to. Fans have spent the past eight years wondering if the mother would ever actually be revealed. It hasn’t been a question of when, but of if.

Last night’s season finale silenced all the speculation. Cristin Milioti, a Tony-nominated actress, is Ted Mosby’s (Josh Radnor) future wife. The reveal come at the very end of the episode, ending the season with a very good teaser of where the next will go.

And fans are not the only ones happen with the HIMYM reveal. Co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas said the cast and crew were also giddy to learn the mother’s identity.

“Neil [Patrick Harris] walked into the makeup trailer while I was just chatting with Cristin, she was getting make-up to go do this screen test with Josh,” Thomas said. “And Neil walked in and looked at her and his eyes widened and he sort of said, ‘Oh my God, are you the mother?!’ And he gave her this big hug and was like, ‘You’re the mother!’”

“Ultimately, when we were shooting the train station scene — this is actually fun — all the extras are staff from How I Met Your Mother,” Bays added. “They’re all there. It was really fun. I kind of felt bad for Cristin because it was really like Jesus has risen when she showed up on the set.”

Milioti is well-known in the entertainment world. The 27-year-old actress has done everything from Broadway to film to television. Her portrayal of the “Girl” in the Broadway version of Once garnered her a Tony-nomination last year. Her screen credits include the film Sleepwalk with Me, and roles in The Sopranos, The Good Wife, Nurse Jackie and 30 Rock.

Hopefully bringing Milioti into the cast will breath new live into the series. Critics and fans have not been impressed with recent seasons, and next season is set to be the final one. HIMYM deserves to go out with a bang.

HIMYM’s season finale also threw a couple more curveballs at fans. Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel) visits his family in Minnesota before he and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) move to Rome. While there, he gets a call offering him a judgeship in New York. The popular belief was that Segel and Hannigan would not be a part of next season, but a return could now be a possibility.

And Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) sets up his meeting with the mother by announcing to Lily that he’s moving to Chicago right after the wedding. Attentive fans will have realized that this decision is why he ends up on the train platform.

With all the unanswered questions, the final season of How I Met Your Mother has a lot of work to do.

Kim Kardashian flaunts her baby bump

The reality star ditches the baggie clothes while on vacation in Greece

Kim Kardashian makes headlines wherever she goes. Subtlety is not part of her vocabulary. And now that she’s pregnant, the paparazzi find her impossible to miss.

Since the reality star announced her pregnancy, she has received a lot of criticism for the way her body has changed. But Kim does not take the critiques lying down. She points out that calling her fat is not only disrespectful to her, but to all pregnant women.

“I think it’s a little bully-ish to call a pregnant woman fat,” she said. “I mean what do you expect? I hope I gain weight.”

While on a family vacation in Greece, Kim fully embraced her pregnant body by wearing a super-tiny bikini. And she chose the suit knowing full well that she would be film and photographed in it. The family was shooting for the upcoming season of Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Like all mothers-to-be, her new body shape was a huge adjustment. Her sister Khloe Kardashian said that, after experimenting for months, Kim is finally enjoying dressing her baby bump.

Kim and boyfriend Kanye West expect the baby to come in July. It’s the couple’s first child, so it’s understandable that Kim would struggle with dressing her new body.

But the changes she has been going through are completely normal. And being in the seventh month, the future momma looks amazing. Her pride in her figure reminds people that pregnancy is a beautiful thing. There is no reason she should have to hide or be ashamed of what she’s got.

Tim Lambesis might switch from "heavy metal" to "jailhouse blues"

As I Lay Dying’s lead singer arrested for allegedly trying to hire a hitman

Tim Lambesis is best known as the lead singer for As I Lay Dying, a heavy metal band that was nominated for a Grammy in 2007. On Tuesday, the singer may have created a different legacy for himself.

Police arrested Lambesis for allegedly trying to hire someone to kill his estranged wife. The couple had filed divorce papers last year, and, up until now, the split appeared amiable.

The change may have come when Meggan Lambesis expressed concern over Tim Lambesis’ ability to adequately care for their three children. She claims to have noticed her estranged husband being distracted by texts and phone calls, and even falling asleep while the kids played at the beach. Their children – ages 4, 8 and 10 – were all adopted from Ethiopia.

While Meggan Lambesis never expressed fear for her safety, there may have been warning signs in As I Lay Dying’s latest album. The band’s website describes the album as “far darker, more pessimistic.”  Lambesis claims it wasn’t intentional.

“On this record, I wasn’t purposefully trying to be negative, but I think sometimes we have to be honest with some of the darker and more difficult times of our lives to get back to that positivity,” the singer said. “While the lyrics do perhaps seem like a dark window into my soul, they’re written that way specifically because I want to move on and transcend those difficult moments in life.”

The arrest occurred after police received an anonymous tip.

“The information came to us late last week. We acted quickly on it. I believe that we averted a great tragedy,” a police spokesperson said in a statement.

Neither the singer’s family, nor his attorney has commented on the arrest.

The band’s record label, Metal Blade, released a statement to fans because of the band’s tour that is scheduled for this summer.

We’ll keep you informed as best we can,” the message said. “Our thoughts right now are with Tim, his family, and with everyone else affected by this terrible situation — and with our fans, whom we love and draw strength from.”

The band is often classified as Christian, but Lambesis has always wanted people to look past that label.

“Of course religion has some influence on the things that we write about, just like all of our life experiences do, but as a band, we want to be judged on the music rather than what our personal beliefs are,” he said.

Lambesis was scheduled to be arraigned today in Vista, Cal.

Jodi Arias could be sentenced to death

After being convicted of murder, Arias still faces sentencing this afternoon

Jodi Arias could face the death penalty after being found guilty of first-degree murder on Wednesday. After four long months, Arias may finally get what she’s looking for.

Arias, 32, was convicted of murdering 30-year-old Travis Alexander in his Phoenix home in 2008. Alexander was shot in the face, stabbed 27 times and slashed across the throat. His body was found in his shower.

The trial became a national sensation as gruesome details of the case were released. The media focused on the juxtaposition of the violence that was committed and the innocent-look of the accused Arias. The one-time waitress was often described as attractive and soft-spoken, both adjectives that seem to contradict the idea of a cold-blooded murderer.

Friends of Alexander spoke of their relief on hearing the final verdict.

“It just feels so good … to finally have the truth and be vindicated,” said Dave Hall.

Another friend, Clancy Talbot, spoke of its effect on Arias.

“Looking at Jodi’s face,” she said. “I think this is probably the first time in her life she has ever been held responsible for what she’s done, ever, and I think she’s in shock.”

Arias’ lawyers never contested the fact that she killed Alexander. Their case rested on the reason for his death. But in the end, the defense’s claim of self-defense was rejected. Jennifer Willmott, Arias’ defense attorney, Alexander was controlling, and psychologically abusive of Arias.

“Jodi Arias killed Travis Alexander,” Willmott said. “There is no question about it. The million-dollar question is what would have forced her to do it?”

The sentencing phase of the trial begins this afternoon. Jurors will look specifically at how Alexander died. If they see it as overly aggravated, premeditated, or extremely cruel, it is likely that Arias will receive the death penalty.

And that is just what Arias wants.

“I said years ago I’d rather get death than life,” Arias said. “And that still is true today. I believe death is the ultimate freedom, so I’d rather just have my freedom as soon as I can get it.”

127 inmates currently reside on Arizona’s death row. If sentenced to death, Arias would be the fourth woman on death row in the state.