• Your one stop for college news and resources!

Danielle Olipra

Danielle Olipra is a DePaul University graduate with a degree in Creative Writing. In her free time she enjoys listening to music and comedy. Once she takes the world by storm with her pen, she plans to save the endangered species of the ocelot and record a soul album.

22 Year-Old Wins Survivor: South Pacific

Med student takes 23rd season of reality series

The CBS reality phenomenon Survivor recently crowned a 22 year-old med student from Willsboro, N.Y. the winner of the show’s 23rd season, says CBS News.  Sophie Clarke outlasted a cast including 39-year-old “Survivor” veteran Benjamin “Coach” Wade and 26-year-old high school baseball coach Albert Destrade, and took home the million dollar prize.

The jury made up of nine former players granted Clarke six votes, while Wade received three votes and Destrade earned no votes.  On the reunion special, Clarke said, “I had a feeling, but you never know.”

Clarke earned her place among the final three contestants through an alliance and winning three individual immunity challenges, including the final physical competition.  By winning that competition, she ousted 30-year-old “Survivor” veteran Oscar “Ozzy” Lusth from the 39-day survival contest.  Lusth later said, “I knew the only one that could beat me at a challenge – no offense, guys – was Sophie.”

At the end of the finale, the show’s host Jeff Probst announced that the 24th season would be titled “Survivor: One World.”  The season will feature two tribes competing against each other while living together on the same island. “One World” is set to premiere in February.

Read more about Clarke’s victory here.

Ellen DeGeneres Buys Brad Pitt’s Home

Ellen DeGeneres paid $12 million for the new digs

On Friday, the television host Ellen DeGeneres closed a deal on the coastal Malibu home that previously belonged to Brad Pitt, says Yahoo News.

The home is much smaller than Ellen and wife Portia DeRossi’s 15,000 square-foot mansion in Beverly Hills, which is listen for an incredible $49 million.

The property, on the coast of Malibu, is divided into two separate houses, which each have ocean views, lush gardens, and private beach access.  Together they measure about 4,000 square feet.  Brad Pitt moved into the home after his marriage to Jennifer Anniston ended.

Read more about Ellen’s new space here.

Duggar Family Healing After Miscarriage

Jubilee would have been the 20th child

Michelle Duggar suffered a miscarriage earlier this month, but she and husband Jim Bob won’t let it break their strength as a family, says The New York Daily News.

Michelle said in a recent interview with People that “a big part of the healing process has been taking the time to really recenter themselves and work together to get better.”  Michelle and Jim Bob have 19 children

The couple first learned that their unborn child, named Jubilee Shalom, no longer had a heartbeat on December 8th at a routine check up.

Michelle said her heart broke to tell her other children of the tragic loss, but the family will allow themselves time to heal from their devastation.  “Our calendar is cleared off, and we are going to take time to talk and pray and cry,” she said. “This is going to be a time for our family to just be together.”

Read more about the Duggar family here.

Scarlett Johansson Dating British Rocker

Johansson met Tribes guitarist while filming in London

Starlet Scarlett Johansson has recently begun dating rocker Dan White.  White plays guitar for the British group Tribes, who will be releasing their debut album next month, according to MSN News.

The musician and actress were introduced at a club in London while Johansson was there filming “Under the Skin”, where “they got on like a house on fire.”

Neither Johansson nor her rep has made any comments about the dating rumors, but the two have been spotted together and a friend of the budding couple is hopeful.  “They both have incredibly busy lives but are going to see where things go,” the source told a British tabloid.

Since splitting from her brief beau Sean Penn, the former Mrs. Ryan Reynolds has been linked to a number of male actors, including Kieran Culkin and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Read more about Scarlett’s new fling here.

Johnny Knox Carried Off Field

Chicago Bears wide receiver to have surgery

The Chicago Bears have some more bad news to swallow along with Sunday’s 38-14 loss to Seattle’s Seahawks.  Wide receiver Johnny Knox will be out for back surgery, says CBS News.

About four minutes into Sunday’s game, when Knox dove for the ball, he was hit by Anthony Hargrove and got bent backward.  He stayed on the ground for almost 10 minutes before being carted off the field.  He will have surgery on Monday to stabilize a vertebra in his lower to mid back.

The Bears said the injury is not career-threatening.  Coach Lovie Smith told reporters, “He has total movement throughout his body, has total use of all his extremities.”

Knox’s injury is another hole the team will need to patch up after also losing Jay Cutler to a broken thumb and Matt Forte to a sprained knee in recent weeks.  Receiver Sam Hurd’s arrest on federal drug charges in the days leading up to Sunday’s game also shocked the team.

Read more about the Chicago Bears here.

Deck the halls with an ugly sweater party!

How to throw your own ugly holiday sweater party

Whether they make you feel like a kid again, or make you want to throw up in your mouth a little bit, ugly Christmas sweaters are the best way to show your holiday cheer.
But be warned, hosting a soiree dedicated to both holiday and hideous is no small undertaking.

Where to Find Your Own Ugly Sweater

  • Consider yourself lucky if you can dig up an ugly winner from a family member’s closet.  As the popularity of these parties rise, the availability of the ugly withers. 
  • If your luck has run out, visit your local Goodwill or that thrift store you’ve always walked by but never entered because it looks like where clothes go to die.  Many local thrift stores now have sections dedicated to ugly Christmas sweaters.
  • eBay is also a great resource for all things ugly!

What Makes Ugly?

  • No ugly Christmas sweater can be your size. Too large or too small, whichever is farther off is what you should go for.
  • Ugly Christmas sweaters are not exquisitely made.  Gaping holes, unraveled hems, and missing sequins are all pluses.
  • Any 3-D element or animal imagery gives you an edge on the competition.
  • Ug-cessorize! Sweater vests, ties, socks, hats, scarves, mittens all come in shades of ugly.
  • Any tie or pair of socks that lights up or plays music is an appropriate ug-cessory.  But if your outfit has an On/Off switch, you’ve overdone it.


If you want your friends to bring the ugly, you’re going to have to start the trend, and hand-made invites are the way to go for that effect.  Break out your pre-K finger-painting ability, or your for better or worse inherited knack for scrapbooking – whichever is uglier!  If you consider yourself an artist, first of all never tell anyone that, secondly ignore it for the invite-construction process. You might include a picture of you in your own fabulously ugly sweater (which you’d better have ready) in order to set the tone.

Inevitably, someone will try to bypass the laws of ugly and show up sleek and chic to stand out.  Make it clear that this will not be tolerated. Perhaps state an ugly dress code required for entry on your invite. Redefine fashion and for one night, make ugly the thing to be!


Your decorations should be as tacky and ugly as you want your guests’ sweaters to be.  Don’t be afraid to disgrace your front lawn – it’s dead right now anyways!  Litter it with any plastic figurines you can acquire.  But the ridiculousness shouldn’t stop at the door.  Inside, string up any mismatching lights you come by and all your hand-made ornaments from grade school. If you’re in a DIY mood, revisit those popsicle stick and clothespin crafting skills to create anything holiday related.  Goodwill and thrift stores are often jackpots for hideous holiday décor. This presents an opportunity to perform crude alterations on your unseasonal decorations.  Dress up a scarecrow in Santa garb, or replace wise men with Easter bunnies and lawn flamingos at your nativity. 

Mistletoe is required, perhaps even multiples. What’s a good party without a gossip-starting smooch or two?


  • Some ideas for party snacks: Gingerbread men or other Christmas figures also donning ugly sweaters.
  • Pigs in a blanket – need to have something of substance.
  • One of those mysterious-looking gelatin molds like your cat-loving aunt used to bring over.
  • Whatever you decide to serve, just make sure it’s presented on an ugly vintage platter.


If you feel like venturing away from your keg and spiked eggnog, with a little extra effort you can treat your friends to some delicious holiday-themed beverages.

Party Punch: Cranberry Christmas Punch
Combine 2 cups vodka, 4 cups cranberry juice, 1½ cups lime juice, 2 cups water, and 3 tbsp sugar in a large punch bowl over ice.

Warming Drink: Pomegranate Mulled Wine
Combine 2 cups pomegranate juice, 1 cup brandy, 1 bottle red wine, 1 orange (sliced into rounds and studded with cloves), 3 cinnamon sticks, and ¼ cup sugar (to taste) in a large stovetop pot. Bring to a simmer, but do not boil. Serve when heated.

Holiday Cocktail: The Grinch
Pour 2 oz Midori, ½ oz lemon juice, and 1 tsp simple syrup into a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into glass. Add maraschino cherry for extra flavor and festivity.

Christmas Shooter: Santa’s Shot
Layer ½ oz. Grenadine, ½ oz. Green Crème de Menthe, and ½ oz. Peppermint Schnapps in shot glass.

Encourage…no, require pictures.

Even a small -and of course ugly- holiday backdrop in the corner can add a fun touch. Do your worst with tinsel and an ugly Christmas blanket tacked on the wall. Have people snap pictures there throughout the night. If you’re digitally gifted, make a quick slide show presentation or Facebook album for an awkward holiday photo contest later. If not, try to unearth your family’s old Polaroid for instant immortalization of these ugly moments.


Bad/ugly holiday gift swap: Take your worst gift from last year and recycle, or wrap up something silly.
Ugly Christmas sweater fashion show, followed by votes for various categories. The perfect grand prize? One ugly looking fruitcake.

Possible Contests/Awards

  • “Most Uncomfortable/Itchiest Sweater”
  • “Warmest Sweater”
  • “Most degrading to the Featured Animal Sweater”
  • “Best Accessory”
  • ‘Overall Ugliest Sweater”
  • “Most Awkward Christmas Photo”

Other Ideas/Tips

  • Check your thermostat prior to everyone’s arrival.  Remember everyone will be knocking ‘em back while in multiple layers.
  • Don’t leave out the pup/ugly Christmas sweaters for pets.
  • Sweater for sweater – each person brings one extra (not ugly) sweater, have a donation box.
  • “The origin of the ugly Christmas sweater can be traced to the back of your parents’ closets…”

Cyndi Lauper and MAC Team Up For LGBT Youth

Eccentric singer promotes MAC AIDS fund on World AIDS Day

Cyndi Lauper has worked with MAC Makeup’s Viva Glam collection for years, and this year on World AIDS Day (Dec. 1) she used the opportunity to promote the MAC AIDS fund, says zap2it.com

The MAC AIDS fund, supported by Lauper, Lady Gaga, and Ricky Martin, and other celebrities, has collected over $224 million to prevent HIV/AIDS and promote the search for a cure.  The proceeds from MAC Viva Glam lipstick go to the fund.

On World AIDS Day, Lauper worked at the LGBT Youth Center in New York City, where she handed out MAC goodie bags and discussed AIDS to youths who are considered at-risk.  She sympathized with the adolescents, explaining, “when you’re a teenager you’re self destructive.  But what seems terrible now won’t be terrible 10 years down the line…You’ll get through it. You are precious. Protect yourself.”

Lauper encourages parents to speak openly with their children on the subject of AIDS, and to use MAC as their tool.  “Give your girls lipstick, and remind them that every time they put their Viva Glam lipstick on and go out, to protect themselves,” she said. 

During her discussions that day, Lauper stressed that while AIDS is a disease that can impact anyone, half of new HIV infections appear in people under 24, and bisexual and gay men are at risk for the virus as young as 13 years old.

Read more about Cyndi Lauper and the MAC ADIS fund here.

Marilyn Monroe’s First Photos Auctioned Off

Early photos of the icon sold for $352,000

Images from Marilyn Monroe’s first photo shoot were recently sold at auction for $352,000, says CBS News.

The photos, which were taken in 1946 when Marylin was still Norma Jeane Dougherty, also came with their negatives and a rare right to sell and distribute them.  In September, a judge ordered that the photos be auctioned off to settle the debts of photographer Joseph Jasgur.

Caroline Galloway, the spokeswoman for Julien’s Auctions, said the images were the highlight of the event.

The Beverly Hills auction known as “Icons & Idols” also featured a Lady Gaga dress which sold for $31,250, and the prop gun used in her video for “Born This way” which went for $7,680.  A caricature John Lennon drew of himself and Yoko Ono in 1969 went for $90,000.

Read more about the photos and auction here.

Metallica to Perform in Prison

Rock group to perform in Danish prison

Metallica has recently announced their plans to perform their self-titled 1991 album, also called “The Back Album”, at a Danish prison, says zap2it.com. 

The concert is scheduled for June 2012 and will take place at the former site of Statsfaengsel in Denmark.  The jail used to house murderers and serial killers, but was closed in 2006. Projected attendance at the show is 40,000.

The metal quartet first performed in a prison when they filmed the music video for “St. Anger” from the 2003 album of the same name in the San Quentin State Prison, hundreds of inmates serving as extras.

“The Black Album” is Metallica’s most successful album so far. It has sold more than 17 million copies and features the popular songs “Enter Sandman” and “Nothing Else Matters.”

Read more about the future concert here.

Khloé Kardashian Sued For Assault

Transgender woman claims Khloé attacked her

Khloé Kardashian is being sued by a transgender woman who claims Kardashian “violently” attacked her, says People magazine.

The incident allegedly occurred outside a nightclub in Hollywood on Dec. 5, 2009.  Chantal Spears, formerly Ronald Spears, claims that Kardashian attacked her after she made a comment to Khloé’s husband Lamar Odom.

“All I was telling Lamar Odom is maybe he is too young to get married and all of a sudden I get this big push from this girl,” says Chantal.

The papers Spears filed state that after the incident, “the victim needed medical care and suffered from severe mental anguish.”  Spears is suing for unspecified damages.  Kardashian has not made a statement regarding the alleged attack.

Read more about the latest Kardashian drama here.