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Kayley Loveridge

Nine Best Christmas Movies

On the ninth day of Christmas, CN gave to me, nine best Christmas movies!

Cozying up in bed is one of our favorite feats of the holiday season, and doing so with these nine best Christmas movies lined up to fill your days is even better! For the lovers of all-things-Santa, get into the festive spirit with these old and new, sometimes cheesy, sometimes tear-jerking, always wonderful festive classics and have yourself a very merry Christmas!

1. Elf (2003)

On a mission to find his real father in big old New York City, an elf travels from Santa’s grotto in the North Pole to find things aren’t quite the same in the big apple. With the protagonist (Will Ferrell) reminding us to have fun and release our inner child from time to time, Elf makes our list as one of the nine best Christmas movies of all time.

2. Family Stone (2005)

This festive comedy drama is set in the Stone household, a family of liberals, who are host to their uptight guest (Sarah Jessica Parker) who jolts the family out of kilter. Fun viewing for the holidays, why not give this one a go?

3. The Holiday (2006)

Done with men, two women from America and the UK exchange households for the Christmas period to get some much-needed alone time. Little do they know that these man-free zones are exactly where they need to be to find the true love they never imagined to exist. This uplifting film is high on our list of the nine best Christmas movies—a definite must-watch.

4. Joyeux Noël (2005)

The infamous tale of the Christmas truce of Christmas Day in 1914, WW1 sets the scene for this powerful film. Starring Daniel Brühl and Diane Kruger, prepare to appreciate the true meaning of Christmas with our fourth best Christmas movie.

5. A Christmas Carol (1938)

Well, it’d be rude not to have this Dickensonian classic make our list of nine best Christmas movies, wouldn’t it? When Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future on Christmas eve, his sudden generous and kind behavior is nothing short of a miracle to all in his town.

Set the festive mood with: Three Ways to use Lighting this Christmas with John DeCosmo

 

6. Polar Express (2004)

This stunning animation follows a group of children who board a mysterious train and have their beliefs in Santa Clause confirmed. Tom Hanks stars as the voice of several characters in this venerable film, including the conductor, narrator and Santa Claus. Get comfy and revel in this Christmas tale.

7. Home Alone (1990)

Making number seven in our best Christmas movies is this annual must-watch; a heartwarming drama about a boy who is left behind during Christmas while his family go on vacation. The untimate kids fantasy, Kevim can eat and do whatever he likes, but finds himself the protector of the house, inventing traps for a pair of doofus burglars.

8. The Chronicals of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

Did you ever read this book as a child? This screen adaptation takes its protagonists, four siblings, into a fantasy world through the wardrobe of a spare bedroom. They must save Narnia from the evil White Queen and its perpetual winter. This dazzling interpretation of the much-loved literature classic holds a special place in our best Christmas movies list.

9. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

A quintessential Christmas movie, Kris Kringle, a department store Santa, claims he is actually the real Santa Claus after all. Subject to abuse and disbelief, he must prove himself to New York City and a young girl who has lost the true meaning of Christmas in this perennial classic.

Did any of your favorite Christmas movies make our list? Tell us what we’re missing out on!

You might also enjoy: Seven Best Films to Watch on a Rainy Day

Trivium Release Rare Demo "The Storm" Weeks Before Ab Initio Reissue

Trivium are set to release a reissue of their debut, Ember to Inferno: Ab Initio on Dec. 7. The album itself would not only pavd a new sound in the metal scene, it would also set a precedence for the musical direction the band would take in the future. Teasing diehard fans across the globe, they’ve released a rare demo of the track “The Storm” to whet their appetites. College News talks to vocalist, Matt Heafy, about the track and the story behind this rerelease.

College News: Hi Matt! Trivium has just released instant-grat track “The Storm” from Ember to Inferno: Ab Initio; a very rare, early demo—why this track?
Matt Heafy:
Ab Initio is Latin for “”From The Beginning””. This compilation release is meant to bring listeners back to the very beginnings of Trivium up until the moments before Ascendancy was released. The first piece we released was “”Pillars of Serpents””, one that diehard old-school fans certainly will be familiar with. But with “”The Storm””, it was only available on the Blue Album—our local, unsigned album that is very rare—one that we recorded in 2002/2003. I felt this track would be quite an eye-opener to people unfamiliar with our early years.

CN: Where did the inspiration for “The Storm” come from? I get a sense of Shogun here!
MH:
You nailed it on the head! Since I’ve been revisiting each of the releases included on Ab Initio, I can absolutely see how “”The Storm”” is the blueprint and foreshadowing for what Trivium would be doing in the future with an album or a song like “”Shogun””. I am very happy to see the early days were such an appropriate indicator for what Trivium would be forever.

CN: What’s the thought process behind the decision to reissue Ember to Inferno: Ab Initio?
MH:
Ember to Inferno, when initially released, was almost unavailable anywhere due to not having proper distribution worldwide. When Lifeforce fixed its distribution, the album was then locatable, but soon the deal expired and I inherited the rights to the album back. I knew that I wanted to wait till just the right time to have Ember back out, but with unreleased material surrounding it that would show people the evolution of Trivium’s early years.

CN: Never heard-before tracks will be issued alongside Ember to Inferno—what can you tell us about these?
MH:
The Red Album is a three song album we tracked when I was about 15 years old, back in 2001. Even with these three classic, unheard-before songs, you can see the initial blueprint for what Trivium would be doing for the rest of its career. The Blue Album is a pretty damn good sounding “”demo”” that we did to sell locally at shows we would play while still unsigned. The four tracks on Blue that reappear on Ember I actually feel sound better on Blue than even Ember. The Yellow Album is the three-song demo that got Trivium signed to Roadrunner after Roadrunner expressed initial interest through hearing Ember to Inferno. 

CN: Ember to Inferno really put Trivium on the map as far as metal is concerned, and really inspired a new genre that would set a precedent in the alternative scene. Tell us about the creative process behind this album?
MH:
The secret to Ember’s writing was that we just made exactly what we wanted to hear. We didn’t think within the confines of appeasing or displeasing anyone; we had no fans so we just made the music we wanted to listen to. I allow myself to be inspired by everything—and Ember is obviously influenced by so much more than just one genre or a small handful of bands. 

CN: Would you ever play the whole album through in a future tour? Are you writing any new material at the moment and what can we expect from Trivium in the future?
MH:
I doubt we would play JUST Ember from start to finish, but we absolutely always have several Ember songs ready to go for a tour. Whether playing one or two in a set list, we have quite a bit of the tracks ready to go at all times. Right now, the only plan for Trivium is the upcoming European tour at the beginning of next year.

You’ll also enjoy: Megadeth Close Dystopia Tour

Two Alternatives to Christmas Pudding

On the second day of Christmas, CN gave to me, two alternatives to Christmas pudding!

The flaming alcohol-soaked pudding may be a spectacular centre-of-the-table event in families across the country, but we’d wager that there’s more of you who dislike the traditional Christmas pudding than would care to admit. For our second day of Christmas treat, we’ve got two alternatives to the traditional Christmas pudding and recipes to go along with it. Impress the family come Christmas break and get in that all-important Christmas table vote. We should warn you that these delectable alternatives to the traditional Christmas pudding are calorific (but delicious!) and while we’ve encouraged your healthy living this past year, if you can’t indulge during the holidays, when can you?

Mini chocolate Christmas pudding

Not quite ready to completely alter the Christmas aesthetic of the dinner table? Our twist on BBC Goodfood’s chocolate pudding dressed in traditional Christmas pudding clothing is the perfect deceit. 

What you’ll need
100g chopped dark chocolate
100g butter
150g soft brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
50g plain flour
Icing sugar
Cherry compote

How to do it
Melt the dark chocolate and butter in a bowl over boiling water and stir until smooth. Once fully melted, set the bowl aside for 15 minutes and allow it to cool down.

Mix sugar and eggs into the mixture one at a time, add the flour and then the vanilla extract before separating into 12 cake holders. 

Bake the mini alternatives to Christmas pudding in the oven for around 10-12 minutes to ensure the inside remains squidgy and chocolatey. 

Mix the icing sugar with water until the consistency is thick and pour over the puddings for a traditional aesthetic. Top with cherry compote for the perfect finish!

For more inspiration, visit: BBC Goodfood

You might also enjoy: 11 Ways to Celebrate Christmas 

 

Ice-Cream pudding with frozen fruits

This scrumptious delight is a colorful and adventurous alternative to the traditional Christmas pudding. Inspired by the Smiling Chef (Brendon), the non-conventional ice-cream pudding is topped with frozen fruits in a range of festive colors in-keeping with the traditional theme. Excite your guest’s palates with our fruity ice-cream pudding with frozen fruits.

What you need
A freezer-safe bowl and cling-film
1 liter of vanilla ice-cream (Brendon suggests to use whole-fat ice-cream as low-fat tends to have a lot of air pumped inside—meaning less ice-cream in your pudding after melting!)
125 grams of frozen strawberries (Brendan uses blueberries and raspberries)
125 grams of frozen kiwis
125 grams of crumbled chocolate brownie
100 grams of milk, dark or white chocolate (whatever you prefer)
Edible glitter (it’s Christmas, after all!)

We’d suggest prepping this ice-cream pudding the night before the big event to leave plenty of time for other festivities.

How to do it
Pull ice-cream out of the freezer for 15 minutes to allow it to soften.

Line the freezer-safe bowl with the cling film.

Pour softened ice-cream into the bowl along with crushed chocolate brownie and mix; press down with a spoon afterwards to make the mixture compact.

Leave in freezer and remove the next morning.

Drizzle the melted chocolate of your choice onto the inverted cake and pile on the frozen fruits.

Add some edible glitter for that festive aesthetic and you have the perfect alternative to traditional Christmas pudding!

To see what the Smiling Chef is cooking up this Christmas, visit: Cooking with The Smiling Chef

What are your favorite alternatives to the Christmas Pudding?

Get dressed for dinner: Holiday Fancy Dress

Four Basic Yoga Poses

On the fourth day of Christmas, CN gave to me, four basic yoga poses!

These cold months can play havoc with our muscles and they do nothing to inspire our workout routine, “why on earth would we want to practice basic yoga poses?” I hear you say. “We’d rather curl up under the covers with a hot water bottle, thank you very much.”

Yoga can help relieve stress after months of exam preparation, it calms the mind, body and soul and can be done right from the comfort of your own home. Committing to a yoga practice can be hugely beneficial. It is suggested that regular practice in yoga is advantageous for those with high blood-pressure, those who suffer from depression and for the relief of migraines, aches and pains. All great reasons for you to get on the mat!

In my quest to keep you warm, I’ve compiled four of my favorite basic yoga poses to release tension and keep muscles warm this winter. Combined, these poses make for a great mini yoga flow that can be mixed up with variations to set you up for the upcoming festivities. Still not convinced? Give these four basic yoga poses a try!

Basic yoga poses to try at home

 

Downward Dog
Adho mukha svanasana (better known as downward dog) is excellent for stretching and strengthening the shoulders and legs. This basic pose is a transitory pose and will come up in every yoga class at least once.

If you need any extra reason to give this a go, Rebecca Tung, MD, a dermatologist at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago says, “The added blood flow to your face and brain, combined with the requisite focus on your practice, add a boost in terms of a youthful dewy afterglow and calmer overall expression.” (Yay!)

Stretch arms up towards the ceiling and hold here for a few breaths. Roll the arms and spine down until your hands are touching the floor. Step one foot back at a time, hip-width apart, until you find yourself in a “V” shape, bum in the air. Ensure that the spine and legs are straight and push heels back onto the mat as much as possible, holding here for a few breaths.

To flow into the following basic yoga pose, lower and straighten your back into (the dreaded) plank pose before dropping your chest onto the mat.

Upward facing dog
This basic yoga pose’s traditional Sanskrit name is Urdhva Mukha Svanasana and is especially good for strengthening the arms and back and opening the chest—great for those who sit hunched over desks all day.

Moving from downward dog, root the tops of the feet into the mat, push your body up with your arms, keeping them straight. Push the chest out and lift so that your legs are floating above the mat. Hold for several breaths allowing your body to sink into this great backbend.

Mermaid Pose
The mermaid pose is as majestic as it sounds. This powerful basic yoga pose is traditionally called Eka Pada Rajakapotasana and it’s terrific for strengthening the core and lower back and expanding and creating space throughout the front of the body.

Remember when I told you that downward dog is a transitory pose? To get into mermaid pose from upward facing dog, tuck your toes under and push your hips up and back into downward dog.

Lift your right leg up and back then pull it between your hands bending deeply at the knee. Rest the top of your left leg onto the mat, straight and stretched back. Breathe here for a moment then bend the left leg upwards holding with your left hand.

Slide the left foot up inside the left arm until it finds a place in the elbow crease. Raise your right arm and reach for the left until your hands are holding in a bind. Release the bind and the left leg after a few breaths, push back into downward dog and repeat the motion with your right leg!

Chair pose
Chair pose—or Utkatasana—is a pose that focuses on strengthening the thigh muscles and stimulates the diaphragm, heart and abdominal organs.

To get into this basic yoga pose (you guessed it) push your hips up and back into the final downward dog of this sequence. Step your feet forward towards your hands and stand tall reaching your arms to the ceiling above your head.

Keeping your arms stretched above your head, bend your knees until into a right angle, keeping your back straight and hold here for a few breaths. Pull your hands down into prayer and twist your torso to the left and then right, looking up over your shoulder for a powerful spine-twist variation which will strengthen the back.

These four basic yoga poses will have a great impact on your blood flow, increasing alertness and feelings of energy if practiced regularly —perfect for the busy holiday season!

You might also enjoy: Winter Workout Routine

College Textbooks Make Way for College Tutor!

In the old days, carrying multiple thick and heavy textbooks in our rucksacks was close to breaking our backs. Money is a prime cause for concern for around 70 percent of college students in America. The cost of textbooks puts a strain on the finances of students, so isn’t it more financially viable to use e-text books, instead? Luckily for us and students for generations to come, the modern world relies on the use of highly accessible technology. Technology has changed the way we connect with each other, the way we socialize, the way we buy, and perhaps more significantly, the way we learn. Amelox brings you College Tutor, an online learning experience that acts as a supplement for studying.

Using the latest e-learning technology in the classroom breaks the traditional, passive model of learning into an interactive, engaging and encouraging one. The truth is, e-learning prepares the student for their career with the use of technology which has become integral in the workplace and the management of daily tasks.

Studies have shown that students tend to respond less favorably to traditional methods of study, including reading the text five times and highlighting paragraphs in textbooks. In fact, did you know that both methods have been cited as an ineffective way to study? Professor Dunlovsky, of Kent State University, published a study in Psychological Science. The study found that students who highlighted relevant paragraphs in a textbook actually only focused on one module point at a time, instead of integrating the information they learn into a “larger whole.” This hinders their entire understanding of the study material. The study also found that the recall of the material was low, around 25 percent.

This is where e-learning and Amelox’s impressive online program, College Tutor, comes in. Founded in 1989, Amelox’s reputation in the e-textbook industry is rising fast, proving time and time again its effectiveness for the success of the students who use it. Using College Tutor helps to ensure an optimum learning experience when using the included Universal Study Guide for effective learning.

Using a singular device with a program that is designed to engage its student, the College Tutor significantly reduces the risks of bad study habits and the number of expensive books one has to buy. The College Tutor is self-directed and low in price with no annoying extra-cost surprises. Written by knowledgeable professionals, College Tutor promises a 90 percent pass rate. Like carrying a personal tutor with you at all times, the program explores a range of topics for the student and academic alike to choose from. The College Tutor textbooks can be either supplementary, tutoring, or replace printed editions.

Covering a range of comprehensive subjects, College Tutor consistently updates and integrates new modules into their offerings to help ensure efficient learning. For students, it covers subjects for high school and college preparatory subjects, including calculus, biology, chemistry, and American history. Furthermore, College Tutor also covers career and license preparation subjects such as psychiatric mental health nursing, medical terminology, and real estate agent and broker license preparation.

An interactive e-learning experience, Amelox’s College Tutor is a must-have supplement to studying and a successful career. Flexible in nature, the program focuses on the end-goal as opposed to how much time it takes the student to get there. Learning at a pace beyond personal comfort is potentially detrimental to the learning experience and this program eliminates that when you follow the instructions in the Study Guide. College Tutor offers an invaluable try-before-you-buy experience that allows the user to try the product for free and then decide how this can help ace those difficult exams.
With a focus on quality, Amelox works closely with its programmers to ensure bug-free programs for convenient and trustworthy use. Amelox ensures its content is approved by such bodies as the federal states Common Core Standards (CCSS) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

So the next time you think about picking up that highlighter, or when you think that reading the text five times does the trick, or when you’re about to go buy those expensive heavy textbooks, think twice and go for Amelox’s College Tutor and take advantage of the competitively priced e-books!

Click here and learn more about Amelox and College Tutor. 

You may also enjoy: What to Do After Graduation

Get Confident with BakBlade

With school now in full swing, it’s time to look and feel your very best with BaKblade. You’ve tanned all summer and spent time working hard in the gym. You’ve worked all your life for that spot on the college team as an athlete. You are looking pretty good, if you must say so yourself! You are excited to finally have the freedom that you have been waiting for since you just moved into your new dorm and are ready to start off your college experience right. It’s that time that you and the guys have been looking forward to: it’s time to throw your very first fraternity party. Sorority girls, cheerleaders and the football team will be attending, the guests are beginning to arrive to your party and excitement is definitely in the air. 

The dreaded back hair

This is a new and exciting time and you want everything to be perfect. You’re about to go outside, you want one last look at yourself, flexing in the mirror turning from front to back and you see the unsightly thick hair all over your back. “OMG, this is not happening to me right now!” First impressions are everything and you don’t want to be “that guy” that reminds the girls of their furry pet back at home or the big stuffed bear sitting on their dorm bed. There’s no need to worry, this little problem can be taken care of quickly and in the privacy of your own bathroom with BaKblade. You’ve got this!

BaKblade is the product for you

Unfortunately, millions of men are plagued with unsightly back hair. This is no longer a concern with the BaKblade around. BaKblade is an affordable do-it-yourself back hair shaver that removes hair quickly, efficiently and without any pain. This painless solution is the obvious choice compared to waxing treatments and far more affordable than costly laser treatments. The BaKblade can be used while in the shower whether you’re wet or dry without the need for shaving cream, saving you money that you can spend with that date coming up instead. You don’t need the assistance of anyone else and it can be doubled up as a great backscratcher. Just hold the BaKblade back shaver with the teeth facing down towards the skin and lightly drag across the hair on your back.

The ergonomic design in which the handle is positioned allows the BaKblade to pivot over the shoulder and to your back with little effort. The unique patented blade cartridges leave a smooth shave and are designed to minimize the risks of cutting with blades specifically designed to shave body hair—which is less coarse than facial hair. This design controls the razor flexibility, allowing a lighter and less rigid friction between the razor and skin. The BaKblade blade cartridges can be removed with ease giving room to slide your new ones in. Completely battery free, the BaKblade uses our unique dryGlide technology, ensuring no effect on hair regrowth; your back hair won’t grow back thicker or faster. Just maintain your clean, smooth back area around once every three to four days.

You might also enjoy: School Essentials

 

Get Back in the Game 

BaKblade is now available on Amazon.com and is also available on our website: baKblade.com. After you have ordered your baKblade, it will arrive to you in discreet packaging meaning that your secret is safe with us. You have nothing to lose—except that unsightly back hair that’s not going to go away on its own! This essential product for the guys is one that promises not to disappoint. You’re all shaved and now you are ready to live out your college dreams, focusing on what is really important; back hair needn’t to be a worry anymore. Never let back hair get between you and your confidence again.

Visit BaKblade.com for more information.

Trivium Share Early Demo “The Storm” from Ember to Inferno: Ab Initio Reissue

Trivium are set to release a reissue of their debut, Ember to Inferno: Ab Initio on Dec. 2 via Cooking Vinyl. First released in 2003, the album itself would not only pave a new sound in the metal scene, it would also set a precedence for the musical direction the band would take in the future. Teasing die hard fans across the globe, they’ve released a rare demo of track “The Storm” to whet their appetites (see below). College News talks to vocalist, Matt Heafy, about the track and the story behind this rerelease. 

C​ollege​ News: Hi Matt! Trivium has just released instant-grat track “The Storm” from Ember to Inferno: Ab Initio;  a very rare, early demo—why this track?

Matt Heafy: Ab Initio is Latin for “From The Beginning”. This compilation release is meant to bring listeners back to the very beginnings of Trivium up until the moments before Ascendancy was released. The first piece we released was “Pillars of Serpents”, one that die hard old-school fans certainly will be familiar with. But with “The Storm”, it was only available on the Blue Album—our local, unsigned album that is very rare—one that we recorded in 2002/2003. I felt this track would be quite an eye-opener to people unfamiliar with our early years. 

“I am very happy to see the early days were such an appropriate indicator for what Trivium would be forever.”— Matt Heafy

 

CN: Where did the inspiration for “The Storm” come from? I get a sense of Shogun here!

MH: You nailed it on the head! Since I’ve been revisiting each of the releases included on Ab Initio, I can absolutely see how “The Storm” is the blueprint and foreshadowing for what Trivium would be doing in the future with an album or a song like “Shogun”. I am very happy to see the early days were such an appropriate indicator for what Trivium would be forever. 

CN: What’s the thought process behind the decision to reissue Ember to Inferno: Ab Initio?

MH: Ember to Inferno, when initially released, was almost unavailable anywhere due to not having proper distribution worldwide. When Lifeforce fixed its distribution, the album was then locatable, but soon the deal expired and I inherited the rights to the album back. I knew that I wanted to wait till just the right time to have Ember back out, but with unreleased material surrounding it that would show people the evolution of Trivium’s early years. 

CN: Never heard-before tracks will be issued alongside Ember to Inferno—what can you tell us about these?

MH: The Red Album is a three song album we tracked when I was about 15 years old, back in 2001. Even with these three classic, unheard-before songs, you can see the initial blueprint for what Trivium would be doing for the rest of its career. The Blue Album is a pretty damn good sounding “demo” that we did to sell locally at shows we would play while still unsigned. The four tracks on Blue that reappear on Ember I actually feel sound better on Blue than even Ember. The Yellow Album is the three-song demo that got Trivium signed to Roadrunner after Roadrunner expressed initial interest through hearing Ember to Inferno.  

“I allow myself to be inspired by everything”—Matt Heafy 

 

CN: Ember to Inferno really put Trivium on the map as far as metal is concerned, and really inspired a new genre that would set a precedent in the alternative scene. Tell us about the creative process behind this album?

MH: The secret to Ember’s writing was that we just made exactly what we wanted to hear. We didn’t think within the confines of appeasing or displeasing anyone; we had no fans so we just made the music we wanted to listen to. I allow myself to be inspired by everything—and Ember is obviously influenced by so much more than just one genre or a small handful of bands.  

CN: Would you ever play the whole album through in a future tour? Are you writing any new material at the moment and what can we expect from Trivium in the future?

MH: I doubt we would play JUST Ember from start to finish, but we absolutely always have several Ember songs ready to go for a tour. Whether playing one or two in a set list, we have quite a bit of the tracks ready to go at all times. Right now, the only plan for Trivium is the upcoming European tour at the beginning of next year.  

Listen to “The Storm” here: 

Read: Megadeth Close Dystopia Tour

You will also enjoy: Clutch with Lamb of God and the Rock N Derby

Chicago Cubs Win Baseball World Series

Major League baseball team, the Chicago Cubs, won the championship title last night for the first time in 108 years. The win came in against the Cleveland Indians after 10 innings and a close final score of 8-7. After an agonizing 17-minute delay during the game caused by the rain, the Cubs did not disappoint when they ran back onto the field where pitcher Mike Montgomery got the final out. Cleveland had been playing to win the crown since their last championship win since 1948.

The curse is lifted

Fans have half-joked about the “curse of the billy goat” finally being lifted from the team as they celebrated this monumental win.

“The curse of the billy goat” story story that alleges the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern, Billy Sanis, was kicked out of a Chicago Cubs game in 1945 after the foul odour of his pet goat was disturbing surrounded fans. Appalled and outraged, Billy cursed the Cubs, promising they would never win a world series game again.

The last time the Chicago Cubs were crowned champions in the world series was way back in 1908 where they beat the Detroit Tigers 4-1.

Chicago Cubs fans celebrate

Chicago Cubs’ first baseman, Anthony Rizzo, is reported to have said, “Chicago, it happened. We did it, we’re world champions.” The team’s fans gathered outside Wrigley Field in Chicago in huge celebration of this monumental win.

Among the team’s diehard fans included Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton who watched the game via an aide’s iPad in Arizona while Amy Schumer and Bill Murray were actually present at the game.

President Barack Obama took to twitter to congratulate the winning team, inviting them to the White House in celebration. His tweet said: “It happened: @Cubs win World Series. That’s change even this South Sider can believe in. Want to come to the White House before I leave?”

A congratulatory tweet also heralded from space station, NASA, who honored the champions with a photo of Chicago taken from space.

You’ll also enjoy: tailgating 101 with ESPN’s Mike and Mike 

How to Write a Cover Letter

Stand out from the crowd with our go-to tips

Searching for a job or internship isn’t exactly fun and writing an effective cover letter can be even less so. Many candidates bypass this essential feature to the application process, seeing it as a futile exercise. Writing a stellar cover letter or not, however, can be the difference between getting an interview and a resume thrown in the trash.

It’s actually very common for candidates to leave out the cover letter in an application, but the truth is, a resume is just not enough to cut the mustard.

Why writing a cover letter is important

Think of it like this: Potentially hundreds of candidates will apply for the same job. If, hypothetically, 80 percent do not include a cover letter, it’s the remaining 20 percent that will be taken notice of.

In her Linkedin post, Lauren Nelson, a principle consultant with Aesthetic Cogency, said “In most cases, it [a cover letter] can even help you overcome deficiencies in your resume or a lack of experience. I would rather have a determined, passionate individual with a strong work ethic on my team than an Ivy League degree without tenacity every single time.”

Writing a cover letter

The purpose of writing a cover letter is to highlight your ability, interest and curiosity for the role and to reflect your personality to the hiring manager. Using the cover letter as an opportunity to highlight the stand-out skills not already written in your resume will go a long way.

Research

Generic cover letters used for multiple applications is very obvious to a hiring manager, giving a sense that the candidate doesn’t actually care about the job. Each application, and therefore covering letter, should be treated and modified individually for optimum affect.

Starting a cover letter with “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To whomever it may concern” tends to convey a lack of research. Find out who you should be addressing within the company and if that information is unavailable to you, miss it out completely.

Research the industry and company you are trying to work for and sprinkle historical facts throughout the cover letter to highlight how well you know your industry. This emphasises curiosity and knowledge in your subject, deeming you appropriate for the role.

Read: How to Build a Resume the Right Way

 

What to include and what not to include

Omit sentences that say “My name is…” and “I am applying for the role of…”. Introducing yourself in the opening sentence of a paragraph not only wastes time, but indicates lack of experience. Get straight to the point—the hiring manager will already know your name and what role you are applying for.

A cover letter should be written with the intention of establishing a bond with the reader. Direct the letter to the company and discuss your specific skills and attributes emphasising your suitability for the role.

Avoid cliché buzzwords that everyone seems to write into their cover letter. These can include phrases like, “detail-oriented”, “hardworking” and “works well in a team”. Be creative and original. Think “enthusiastic” and “integrity”, for example.

Finally, don’t hesitate to follow up your application and cover letter with a call. Initiative is an attractive quality in a candidate, and you might be surprised to know that few candidates ever follow up in this way. Doing this puts you at the forefront of the hiring manager’s thoughts, and helps make you stand out as assertive, willing and right for the job.

For when you’ve landed that interview: 5 Invaluable Tips on Preparing for  Interviews 

Climate Change documentary by Leonardo DiCaprio Available Free

“Before the Flood” is available to watch for free until November 6

Leonardo DiCaprio is the executive producer of new documentary tackling global climate change issues, “Before the Flood” in association with the National Geographic. The highly acclaimed documentary aired globally on the National Geographic October 30. The documentary feature has been made available for free for a limited period of time and can be viewed via YouTube, Facebook and Hulu until November 6 (see beneath this article).

More than just the king of Hollywood, Leonardo DiCaprio is a United Nations Messenger of Peace. Having voiced his views publically, advocating positive change towards environmental and humanitarian issues, DiCaprio has devoted time and personal resources into tackling the issues that our planet faces.

“Clean air, water, and a livable climate are inalienable human rights. And solving this crisis is not a question of politics, it is a question of our own survival.”—Leonardo DiCaprio, 2014.

The 96 minute-long documentary follows Leonardo DiCaprio as he travels five continents in exploration of climate change around the world. Among these include exploring the issue of pollution in China, the climate change denial industry in America and sea-level rise in Florida.

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“Before the Flood” is a collaboration of some of the most respected minds in Hollywood. Besides DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese and Brett Ratner produce while veteran documentary writer, Mark Monroe, receives a writing credit. The powerful soundtrack is delivered by Trent Reznor Mogwai.

The documentary also features a conversation between DiCaprio and President Barack Obama, as they discuss climate change.

According to natureworldnews.com, “DiCaprio hopes his documentary will urge the public to actively join the fight against climate change as the consequences will affect every single human being on Earth in the long run.”

Climate change is a very real crisis happening so fast in our lifetime that we are watching its effects happen before our eyes. Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary, “Before the Flood”, highlights exactly that.

Watch the full documentary, via YouTube, here: 

Further reading: This isn’t the first time Pat Sajak has attacked “global warming alarmists”