The Top 10 of 2010

The Top 10 of 2010

Yaamini Venkataraman

El Estoque recaps 2010’s best music, movies, food, television and more

 News: Top 5 Events of 2010

Natural and man-made disasters, emergencies, and a few internet sensations made the top headlines of 2010 for weeks on end. El Estoque looks back on some of the biggest stories from this year.

5. Bed Intruder: Antoine Dodson’s July 28 interview was just news for residents of Huntsville, Alabama—not a ground-breaking story until The Gregory Brothers “songified” the broadcast on YouTube. Dodson, who lived in the Lincoln Park housing complex, related how a “really dumb” stranger broke into his home and attempted to assault his sister, Kelly Dodson. Urging viewers to “hide yo’ wives” and declaring that “we gon’ find you,” Dodson has inspired Internet memes, T-shirts, an application for the iPhone, and numerous other spinoffs. The auto-tuned version now has over 14.6 million views now and has landed on the Billboard Hot 100 list as number 89.

The iconic images from some of 2010’s biggest news stories. Photo collage by Nona Penner.4. WikiLeaks: Freedom of information took a radical turn when WikiLeaks was created in 2006; a virtual library of confidential and secret documents, videos, and other media. The purpose of the site is to make government writing public in order to expose corruption and scams—a purpose that has been met with both scathing criticism and enthusiastic support. This year, WikiLeaks released the “Iraq War Logs,” a compilation of some 400,000 field reports that reveal details about the war. The U.S. government wants to limit access to WikiLeaks as much as possible, but the site has several hundred mirrors–different web addresses that link back to WikiLeaks preventing it from being erased from the Internet.

3. Chilean Miners: A mining accident entombed 33 men 2,300 feet below ground in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile on Aug. 5. Sixty-nine days later on Oct. 13, all of the trapped miners were safely standing under the sky. One might wonder how all these men survived more than two months with no water, no food, and in scarce oxygen supply (in contrast to the three New Zealand boys lost at sea). There were no bottles that read “Drink Me!” or tea parties down that rabbit hole, but once the miners were found, supplies were lowered down to them until the digging process began. Billions watched the rescue on television, and MVHS had its own tribute when the Science Department dressed as the Chilean miners for Halloween.

2. Haiti Earthquake Disaster: On Jan. 12, a violent seven magnitude earthquake near Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, turned buildings into dust and left more than a million residents homeless. Headlines worldwide showed photos of the devastation and continue to do so today. An international effort raised over one billion dollars to help out the victims of the quake, from the US government to donations like those collected by clubs at MVHS such as Robotics. Almost a year later, the recovery process proves slow, while Haiti accumulates more problems—rising crime rates, cholera, Hurricane Tomas, and the 2010 elections. Haiti will continue to appear in headlines long into 2011.

1. BP Oil Spill: Smoke rising from the damaged oil drill; a wave of brown water washing onto slick sand; pelicans drenched with oil. While British Petroleum fumbled with ways to stem the 100,000 barrel-per-day flow of oil into the Mexico Gulf, fishing and tourist industries were flushed down the toilet and spat out into the filthy waters of the gulf. After half a year of failed attempts to stop the flow of oil and a couple false successes, BP finally plugged up the leaking wells with cement in September—but not before people got the opportunity to parody apologetic BP commercials.




Video Games: The best of 2010’s video games

Hundreds of people lined up outside Target or Best Buy this year, but why? Only to buy the latest works of art in a gamer‘s quest to escape reality. 2010 featured a whole new level of big releases in the video game world. El Estoque reviews some of the most popular ones this past year.

Cover art for the top video games of 2010. Collage by Dominique Pieb.5. “Red Dead Redemption” was released on May 18 for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.  Developed by Rockstar Games, it has taken a very strong position within the sandbox adventure style capturing the attention of many gamers this year. Quite simply, “Red Dead Redemption” is “Grand Theft Auto” set in the Old Wild West with plenty to do from playing horseshoes to throwing dynamite. As usual, there is a wide range of downloadable content and add-ons, available with the recently released “Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare” featuring Nazi Zombies. Since its release, Rockstar Games has sold over 6 million copies.

4. “Mass Affect 2” was up for grabs starting Jan. 26 and features astonishingly realistic graphics, fun combat, and a very involved storyline. In the midst of all this are impressive dialogue cut scenes where the player decides exactly what they want to say, which ultimately affects where they get in the story. To pull some of this off, the developers hired 90 voice actors who voiced more than 500 different characters. Over two million copies were successfully sold within the first week of its release.

3. “Super Mario Galaxy 2”, the much-anticipated sequel to “Super Mario Galaxy”, was released by Nintendo on May 23 for the Wii. The sequel contains many more levels, secrets, Yoshis, power-ups, and more.  This is the overarching feature that has made it so popular with video game fanatics and dedicated Nintendo fans alike. As usual Nintendo does very well in the realm of platform games and has created another game that can only complement their many projects. “Super Mario Galaxy 2” was very well advertised, but let’s be honest, it’s Mario. He’s bound to be seen somewhere on top of the charts, or maybe in the sky.

2. Halo Reach developed by Bungie was released for Xbox 360 on Sept. 14. Within the first 24 hours of its release, it earned $200 million dollars. “Halo” itself is considered a classic in the FPS (first person shooter) category. And “Halo Reach” merely expands upon the story of the Spartans. The developers focused on the feedback from the gaming community to further progress “Halo Reach” beyond its predecessor. It had a strong backing of dedicated fans and Major League Gamers who made it another successful addition to the “Halo” franchise making it one of 2010’s best video games.

1. Call of Duty – Black Ops is another shooter in the “Call of Duty” franchise but is definitely not to be considered another “Modern Warfare”—it stands as a game of its own. It was released on Nov. 9 and managed to sell over 5 million copies: in the first 24 hours. The developer, Treyarch, used the public opinions of their customers to model the game into what made it so good. “Black Ops” now has several add-ons including Nazi Zombies, an all new campaign, and it’s ever popular multi-player mode. It beat its predecessor in sales, several box office movie titles, and ended up being one of the top entertainment releases of the year.

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Product Trends: The four biggest fads of 2010

Four major product trends of 2010 were (from left to right, clockwise) Old Spice, Vibram Five Fingers, Snuggies, and Silly Bandz. Collage by Hazel Hyon.

America is finally rising from the ashes of the recent economic crisis, and there are certain products that are sweeping the nation. From deodorant to kids’ fads, the product trends of 2010 show that consumers are willing to buy anything—you just have to know how to market.

4. Old Spice: This line of hygiene products for “real men” has been around since FDR’s presidency, but the company is experiencing a new high with YouTube—the company’s sales increased by 107 percent this year after releasing a series of advertisements featuring former NFL player Isaiah Mustafa, “the man your man could smell like.” Check out the clip below to see Mustafa’s mini-spiel.



3. Snuggies: Doing your math homework on a winter night can be painful, but at least Snuggies can solve your problem. First sold in 2008, this fleece blanket has sleeves that help you keep it on while you watch TV or read a book, an ingenious idea for those who wish to multitask and stay warm at the same time. The popularity of Snuggies culminated in breaking a world record in March, when 22,500 spectators donned them at a Cleveland Cavaliers game (the record was later broken at a Los Angeles Angels game).

2. Silly Bandz: Kids are constantly finding new fads, and Silly Bandz—silicone wristbands in the shapes of anything you can imagine, from animals to Buddha— aren’t too different from the rubber bracelets we’ve seen before. So why exactly did they cause a controversy at a New York elementary school? Maybe the school officials do have a point when they say that they’re “distracting”: the company just came up with Justin Bieber Silly Bandz, undoubtedly priceless to pre-teen girls all over the country. Widely seen even on the MVHS campus, Silly Bandz are the biggest phenomenon we’ve seen in schools since Pokemon cards.

1. Vibram Five Fingers: Forget the fancy Nike running shoes: research suggests that running barefoot can be better for your joints. And it’s completely possible with a pair of Vibram Five Fingers, a rubber-soled covering for your feet that look like warped gloves. The Italian company has raked in an approximate revenue of $50 million this year and cost from $75 to $125 a pair. Not bad for shoes that are supposed to reduce your injuries—and your hospital bills.


Technology: A look at 2010’s top tech tussles:

No matter how much we like to reminisce, we always find ourselves coming back to the future. In 2010, we expanded the futuristic frontier of technology. Being in the Silicon Valley, though, there are many companies looking to move into the market. If you thought the competition between the Saints and the Colts was fierce, take a look at 2010’s top technology tussles.

5. Electric Cars: Nissan Leaf vs. Chevy Volt
Both companies launched their electric, energy-efficient debuts. The Nissan Leaf was hailed the 2011 European Car of the Year, while the Chevy Volt was voted the 2011 Motor Trend Car of the Year. The Leaf and Volt take advances in green technology even further with electric engines that will have environmentalists excited. However, which car will people is more likely to be as efficient as it claims to be—a classic, all-American car that is a newbie to the world of fuel-saving, or a Japanese, fuel-efficient car that has already launched a successful hybrid? Next year will decide which one can go the distance.

4. Panasonic 3-D HD TV vs. Apple TV
Those of us who are tech-savvy have gone gaga over the HD-fication of television. Imagine it in 3-D, and you have a cosmic television experience. Stunning HD views combined with the theater experience takes the reality of television to a whole new dimension—literally. But if Apple is coming out with television, it could be big. Apple TV boasts a larger selection of movies at a packaged-up price of $99. At the end of the day, the bigger deal is probably the 3-D HD TV…until Apple creates something in 3-D.

2010 brought tech tussles from electric cards to e-readers. Collage by Smitha Gundavajhala3. Google Buzz vs. Facebook email
As we approach the completion of a decade, major changes are happening left and right. Many sites seek to compete for their readers’ attentions, and made major reforms to keep their site on top as the Internet grows larger. Two changes in particular, Google Buzz and Facebook email, seek to “borrow” from each other. Buzz is a social networking feature similar to Facebook, and Facebook is angling in on Gmail’s large email market. To put it briefly, Buzz flopped, but in Facebook’s wide user base lies potential for success.

2. Apple iPhone (Generation 4) vs. Motorola Droid
The iPhone has come a long way. In its fourth generation now, it claims to be bigger, bolder, and better than ever. However, it fails to surprise. There have been reports that the antenna doesn’t work, a fact Apple has tried to literally disguise with cell phone cases and covers. In addition, its biggest asset is FaceTime, which isn’t nearly enough to make non-Apple fans scrambling to get line for the Generation 4. The Motorola Droid, on the other hand, has made waves without the backing of a big name like Apple’s. Instead, they have the technology of another powerful company—Google. If Apple slows its progress in the phone department, other phones such as the self-proclaimed omnipotent Droid may take over. Already the Android OS interface bests that of the iPhone. We will see if Droid Does better than the Generation 4.

1. Amazon Kindle vs. Apple iPad
The Amazon Kindle came first—there’s no chicken-and-egg disputes there. The 2010 version is 21% smaller, 15% lighter, and has a 20% quicker refresh rate. With the arrival of the Apple iPad in April, though, the debates on the electronic replacement of paper books took an entirely different turn: who would be the one to do it. The iPad has been dubbed the dream device in many different ways—it’s ideal for people with less graceful fingers, for people who can’t read that darned tiny print, for people that like the workout of dragging around something that doesn’t need to be that big in the first place. But as far as the iLegacy goes, the iPad is actually a step backwards. It would have done much better as a computer.



Fashion: Trends of 2010

2010 fashion trends for women included blazers, rompers, and boyfriend jeans. Collage by Hazel Hyon

2010 was a series of crucial fashion moments—zeitgeist designer Alexander McQueen put a grim end to his life in February, while Lady Gaga shocked with her overwhelming meat dress. Here’s a list of what the world was wearing this year.

10. Eco-friendly: These days, “organic” doesn’t just describe food—your shirt can be all-natural too. Organic hemp, bamboo, and soy are just a few of the plants that can yield soft, durable fabrics without the use of carcinogenic pesticides. With actress Emma Watson’s organic clothing line People Tree making headlines in February, this breaking trend has been spreading slowly but surely—and will definitely continue into the new year.

Men stayed warm this winter in cardigans and scarves. Collage by Hazel Hyon.9. Men’s cardigans: Gone are the days when only Grandma and her friends wore cable-knits. Lately, men have been donning wool sweaters and cardigans, styling them with khakis and comfy loafers. Even Prince William, who proposed to his girlfriend Kate Middleton this month, is no exception—he wore a dusty-brown Bruno Cucinelli V-neck for his engagement photos.

8. Rompers: Originally made for children, these playsuits are said to be practical, comfortable, and stylish, often with bright colors and chic designs. Popular retailer American Apparel uses a broad spectrum of colors and fabrics for its rompers, widening their appeal. But wouldn’t going to the bathroom pose a problem?

7. Snoods: What do you get when you cross a scarf and a hood? A snood! These loops of cloth, also called infinity scarves, can be worn as versatile alternatives to conventional fringed scarves or as head-coverings. Spotted on celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Blake Lively, the snood is a huge trend this winter—let’s see if it comes back next year.

6. Wellington boots: No longer for just fishermen, colorful rubber boots helped us relive our childhood memories of splashing in puddles. The patterns range from leopard-print to plaid, encouraging fashionistas to add a fun touch to their rainy-day garb. With these boots, trend chasers will be begging for the rain to come again for days to come.

5. Jeggings: Either love them or hate them—there’s no in-between. This revolutionary hybrid of denim and leggings is a new take on the skinny pant and has been embraced—and hated—worldwide. Fashion seems to get more skinny-centric every year, and jeggings are no exception.

4. High-waist: When socialite Kim Kardashian wore high-waisted jeans earlier this year, critics questioned her decision to wear “mom jeans” in public. For moms or not, high-waists have been spreading like wildfire in the fashion world, whether they’re pants or skirts. They elongate the legs and are perfect for a formal or casual night out—what’s not to love?

3. Boyfriend: Roll them up, tuck them in, do whatever you have to do—because chances are, your boyfriend’s clothes are too big for you. When Katie Holmes stepped out in husband Tom Cruise’s jeans in late 2009, she propelled androgyny to a whole new level, sparking a launch of men’s style blazers, pants, hats, and more for women. But ladies, just make sure you ask him before you filch his clothes!

2. Military: Most of our troops in Iraq were withdrawn this year, but military style is not exiting the stage anytime soon. Olive green jackets and combat boots were must-haves for fall and were supplied by brands such as Urban Outfitters and Dr. Martens. Make fashion, not war.

1. Bright colors: Black was always the new black—until 2010. This year was all about loud reds and jewel-tone blues, omnipresent in dresses and skirts as well as sweaters and jackets. We had some dark times—can we ever forget the financial crisis?—but America is slowly recovering, and rising with it are fresh, vivid hues across the spectrum. It’s probably fair to say we closed the year on a cheerful note.


Television: Top 10 Shows

In the competitive world of television, shows either make it big or get cancelled. 2010 brought about the beginning and end to many newbie and old-time favorite shows. But which 10 made El Estoque’s list? Read on.

10. “FlashForward” (ABC): When the world blacks out and the whole planet loses consciousness, several people are able to see visions of the future.  Although cancelled in the end of May due to drops in viewership, no one could deny the eye-catchy plot line. Filled with an all-star cast (Joseph Fiennes, John Cho, Dominic Monaghan), it was a shame to see the first season finale become the series finale.

9. “Pretty Little Liars” (ABC Family): Got a secret, can you keep it? Pegged as one of 2010’s guilty pleasures, there’s no denying viewers’ interest in the lives of four not-so-innocent teenage girls trying to uncover the mystery surrounding their friend’s murder. “Pretty Little Liars,” the cross between “Gossip Girl” and “Desperate Housewives,” will have you secretly coming back for more.

Promotional posters for the top television shows of 2010. Collage by Anandi Somasundaram.8. “NCIS” (CBS): With numerous crime-solving shows on various TV networks, it’s easy to get overwhelmed while choosing the one for you. Well, search no further. “NCIS” will satisfy all murder mystery cravings and more. Hailed by critics for its comical elements and ensemble acting, “NCIS” is on its eighth season and going strong with more than 19 million viewers.
Honorable Mention: “Bones” (FOX)

7. “The Good Wife” (CBS): If your husband was a public figure and was embroiled in a scandalous affair and charged with corruption, will you stand by him? Alicia Florrick (Juliana Marguiles) does just that while juggling problems of her own as a litigator. Although not too well-known, this underdog has consistently been praised by T.V. critics. Be sure to watch as this good wife struggles to resist going bad.  
Honorable Mention: “Boardwalk Empire” (HBO)

6. “Dexter” (Showtime): Viewers find themselves in an awkward situation with “Dexter”—they’re rooting for the bad guy who is actually the good guy. Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) is your average forensic bloodstain pattern analyst/serial killer. While maintaining a life with his girlfriend, stepchildren, and son, Dexter spends his time killing the bad guys. Move over Batman—viewers have their new conflicted dark hero.
Honorable Mention: “The Walking Dead” (AMC)

5. “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS): Every list needs its quirky addition and “The Big Bang Theory” is just that. What could be interesting about two Caltech physicists and their equally geeky friends? A lot, actually. Viewers have fallen in love with this sweet comedy, which is currently CBS’ big bang hit.

4. “Gossip Girl” (CW): You know you love it, xoxo. “Gossip Girl” has been on television viewers’ minds since it premiered in 2007. Whether it’s breaking taboos or exposing the dirty side of Manhattan’s “elite” youngsters, this show is not going anywhere. And we don’t want it to.
Honorable Mention: “Mad Men” (AMC)

3. “House” (FOX): There’s a major appeal of medical dramas to viewers, but “House” stands above all. Dark and twisted, but also humorous at times, Hugh Laurie convincingly plays the misanthropic title character. Deep into its seventh season, the doctor is in the house.

2. “How I Met Your Mother” (CBS): There’s really no explanation needed for why this comedy is in the top 10. Consider it our generation’s “Friends,” with a good mix of comedy and romance. Critically acclaimed, the show has been nominated for and has won many awards. And who can deny the awesomeness of Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris)?

1. “Glee” (FOX): What once started out as a one-episode testing ground has now branched into a cultural phenomenon. There is no denying the catchy song renditions will have your feet tapping, Sue Sylvester’s (Jane Lynch) snappy dialogue will have you giggling, and the dramatic plot will leave you speechless. Don’t stop believing—“Glee” will always find a way to keep you captivated, and that’s how Sue Sees It.

And in case you’re wondering which fall shows were hits and which were misses, check out El Estoque’s fall television reviews.




Books: Popular novels from 2010

With the Harry Potter series long finished and Twilight growing stale, 2010 has new books that have gained popularity and novels from iconic American authors. With holiday break drawing nearer, consider some of these top-rated books from 2010 to read in the light of your fireplace while drinking a cup of hot cocoa.

Cover design for five of the top ten books of 2010. Image collage by Nona Penner.5. Jay-Z: “Decoded”
If one considers rap to be poetry, then Jay-Z has taken his literary art to the next level. Unlike Paris Hilton’s superficial autobiography, “Confessions of an Heiress: A Tongue-in-Chic Peek Behind the Pose,” “Decoded” is a memoir and compilation of stories that explain some of his most famous songs’ lyrics. Decoded is currently ranked number six on The New York Times Best Sellers list for hardcover nonfiction.

4. Jon Stewart: “Earth (The Book): A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race”
Can the entire history of the Earth be summarized in one pithy book? Some parts may be missing, but host of the Daily Show Jon Stewart and his team of writers have found a way to cover ground with chapters like “Earth” and “Society.” This number one on the the New York Times Best Seller list is a broad-sweeping narration of life as we know it.

3. Suzanne Collins: Hunger Games: “Mockingjay”
The premise: Boy meets girl. Girl meets boy. Girl and boy are forced to battle it out in an annual broadcast event called the Hunger Games, to show that the oppressive and much-despised government of the Capitol can make its subjects do anything it pleases. Suzanne Collins’ novel, “Mockingjay,” is the third installment of the trilogy and is preceded by “The Hunger Games” (2008) and “Catching Fire” (2009). How’s that for a literature essay on extreme dictatorship?

2. Stieg Larrson’s The Millennium Trilogy: “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a heavy-duty Swedish crime movie produced in 2009 based off of the late Stieg Larsson’s book by the same name. People who saw the film said it was not for the faint-hearted and easily disturbed. The American version, directed by David Fincher, will come out in 2011. But while you’re waiting, you can occupy yourself with the third installment of the Millennium Trilogy, “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest.”  Released on May 25, it is currently ranked number five on the New York Times Best Sellers list under hardcover fiction.

1. Stephen King: “Full Dark, No Stars”
From the author of around 70 novels (give or take), Stephen King has released yet another book—this time, a compilation of four dark novellas—“1922,” “Big Driver,” “Fair Extension,” and “A Good Marriage.” King’s surplus stories are currently ranked number four under the New York Times Best Seller’s hardcover fiction category, so dump “Ghostbusters” and sit down for a real quality tale of terror.

 



Food: The best and most memorable food fads of 2010

2010 brought crazy diet fads and hot culinary discoveries to the plates of food connoisseurs everywhere. Give your taste buds something to remember with these top five food picks.

Collage by Yaamini Venkataraman.5. Aarti Party: Winner of “Next Food Network Star Season 6” Aarti Sequeira now hosts “Aarti Party,” a series where Sequeira cooks up classic American foods with Indian twists. Her Sloppy Bombay Joes will have you coming back to the Food Network every Sunday at 12 p.m.

4. Htipiti: From the test kitchens of Southern Living in April came this delectable Feta cheese spread. This spread is in Southern Living’s list of best foods of 2010—and it’s no surprise why. Oregano, lemon juice, garlic, and dried crushed red pepper give the spread a classic Mediterranean taste that will have your mind going back to sun-kissed days of summer.

3. Sweet Passions Bakery: Red velvet, Carrot, Almond Amaretto. You name it, Sweet Passions Bakery has it. The newest addition to The Crossroads complex on Stevens Creek Boulevard can fulfill your sugar craving with at least two inches of frosting and moist cake. Know someone who’s getting hitched? You can get them some wedding cake as well.

2. Acai berries: We’ve all seen those ads floating at the top of the web page, telling some tall tale about a housewife’s miracle weight-loss diet. You can thank the acai berry for that. Turns out that these berries aren’t even berries—they’re just fruits. And they don’t have magic amounts of antioxidants either, so just kiss the crash diet goodbye and head to the gym.

1. Naga Viper: If you can’t stand this heat, don’t just get out of the kitchen—run five miles in the other direction. While your average jalapeno is around 2000 to 5000 on the Scoville Scale, the Naga Viper, measures 1,359,000, making it the hottest pepper on this planet. Created by British chili farmer Gerald Fowler this year, this bad boy is sure to pack a punch in your salsa.


Movies: The top-grossing films of 2010

Cinematography peaked this past year. Several anticipated sequels, such as “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1” and “Toy Story 3,” as well as first-time features, “Despicable Me” and “Inception,” hit the silver screen. But which ones had Americans reaching for their pocketbooks?

10. “The Karate Kid” ($117 million): This 1984 remake features Jaden Smith as Dre Parker, an only child thrown into the unfamiliar streets of China where his mother moves because of her job. But don’t worry, the young grasshopper soon learns how to wax on…and wax off.

Promotional posters for nine of the top ten movies of 2010. Collage by Yaamini Venkataraman9. “How to Train Your Dragon ($217 million): Hiccup, a hapless young Viking, and Toothless, a Night Fury dragon, star in this timeless tale of a friendship overcoming obstacles. As Hiccup discovers that there’s more to dragons than the Vikings think, he also learns about the dark truth behind their fiery breaths. You may think you are a little too old for this movie, but you should never deny your inner-child the fun of seeing aerial dragon battles.

8. “Shrek Forever After” ($238 million): Where my witches at? “Shrek Forever After,” the fourth installment in the Shrek movie franchise, turns Far Far Away upside down. King Rumpelstiltskin could ruin Shrek’s happily ever after—unless the ogres have something to say about it.

7. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” ($244 million): It’s official—our childhood is almost over. In what was probably the most anticipated release of the year, director David Yates showcases Harry, Ron, and Hermoine’s struggle to find and destroy one Horcrux in 146 minutes. Stay tuned, more to come in 2011.

6. “Despicable Me” ($250 million): Just like Agnes’ unicorn, this movie is so heartwarmingly fluffy. Gru, the bad guy who just isn’t bad enough, finds his life changed by three orphan girls: Margo, Edith, and Agnes. As Gru sets his sights on stealing the Moon, will his love for the children interfere?

5. “Inception” ($292 million): It’s the movie that had people complaining about mind-boggling experiences for weeks. Don Cobb, a dream thief, is preparing for his biggest assignment yet. Instead of stealing thoughts, Cobb and his team must plant an idea into a competitor’s mind. Viewers will be on the edge of their seats to see if Cobb and his team succeed or recede from the abscess of the mind.

4. “Eclipse” ($301 million): As if graduating wasn’t already hard enough. Bella Swan must now choose between vampire Edward Cullen and werewolf Jacob Black (wow, so difficult). Take a side and get ready for Team Edward vs. Team Jacob riots. “Twilight” fanatics everywhere will know once you make that choice for Bella—beware the screaming girls.

3. Iron Man 2” ($312 million): Tony Stark’s secret is out—he is Iron Man. But with a double life comes double trouble. As Stark faces pressure from all sides, new enemies are waiting to attack. They may not be as tough as the arsenic-eating bacteria of Mono Lake, but they’re out to eat iron.

2. Alice in Wonderland” ($334 million): Alice has fallen down the rabbit hole again. Now 19 years old, Alice must face the horrors of “Underland,” leading up to the Frabjous Day, when she is destined to slay the Jabberwocky and defeat the Red Queen—if she doesn’t, it’s off with her head.

1. “Toy Story 3” ($415 million): No toy gets left behind, except for Woody, Jessie, Buzz Lightyear, Mr. Potato Head, Barbie, and all of Andy’s other toys. Stuck in Sunnyside Daycare with snotty-nosed-little kids and a mess of other toys, these faithful toys are going to find their way back. Seniors, get ready to feel homesick without even leaving home.


Music: A closer look at the top 10 songs in 2010 and many other songs to look out for in 2011

It’s safe to say it’s been a crazy year. Well, for the music industry at least, like Lady Gaga’s meat get-up or Limewire getting shut down. Not only that, the top songs of 2010 are just as crazy. But as we look at the past, we always must look to the future.

10. “Right Above It”—Lil’ Wayne feat. Drake: Dear rap haters, you might like this song. Dear rap lovers, this was probably your song of the year. Not only is the chorus is karaoke worthy, the beat is actually danceable. The rapping portion is not extremely fast, nor bluesy.  Make no mistake, rap is not crap.

Review of the new: Drake feat. T.I. and Swizz Beatz—“Fancy”– One of those songs that are catchy and you don’t even know why—like Soulja Boy’s “Crank That” or Spose’s “I’m Awesome.” You’ll be singing “You fancy, huh?” all day long…and in your dreams. Count on it.

Cover art of nine of the top ten songs of 2010. Images taken without permission from (clockwise): Columbia Nashville, Cherrytree, Capital, Island, LaFace, J Records, Young Money, Interscope and Atlantic.9. “OMG”—Usher feat. Will.I.Am: All that matters is a sick, groovy beat. A number one hit is something to dance to, something to sing along to, and something to blast on the radio on the way to school.  Well, “OMG” is this number one hit. Although the lyrics are extremely repetitive, that can be easily be forgiven.

Review of the new: Usher—“More”– This dance-heavy song is not as repetitive as “OMG,” which gives the song less annoying points.

8. “The House That Built Me”—Miranda Lambert: The hidden jewel of 2010. Well, unless you are a fan of country music, you probably already found it. This critically acclaimed song has a relatable message about childhood memories that can make anyone cry.

Review of the new: Miranda Lambert—“Only Prettier”– Although this upbeat and not-as-catchy song is disappointing compared to Lambert’s previous single of “The House That Built Me,” so are many of her other songs.

7. “Like a G6”—Far East Movement feat. The Cataracs and Dev: All right, some Asians in the industry!  This song is classified as a pop song, but make no mistake—they can sure rap.

Review of the new: Far East Movement feat. Ryan Tedder—“Rocketeer”– The chorus is very catchy, and so is the beat…and so is the whole album. Given the majority of the school population is, you know, Asian, it’s great to have any Asian group in the industry. “Rocketeer” is in the same format as “Like a G6,”  but just a lot more sentimental. Just wait, it’ll be the biggest song in 2011.

6. “California Gurls”—Katy Perry: Let’s remember the good times we had at MVHS with this song: the Dance Team rally performances, on our iPods, and constant sing-a-longs from the girls in your lit class. It’s undeniable that this song has become a major summer-hit that has an unbelievably catchy bass line.

Review of the new: Katy Perry—“Peacock”– Again, let’s remember the time we had with this song: the Powderpuff cheerleader performances (not one, but two of the performances). Alright, hope you like the most provocative song ever by Perry as her 4th single.

5. “Rude Boy”—Rihanna: Hopefully your parents didn’t understand the message of this song when listening it to on the radio. They were probably captivated by the interesting instrumental of the song or catchy chorus. The song was hard to avoid since it was the number one song on Billboard’s Hot 100—for five weeks straight.

Review of the new: Rihanna—“S & M”– Another great single with a heavy dance beat to it by Rihanna that you do not want your parents to understand the meaning of. Why? Figure it out by yourself…emphasis on yourself.

4. “Cooler Than Me”—Mike Posner: Yes guys, there’s probably a special girl that crosses your mind when you hear this song. With interesting lyrics about a self-centered girl and very unique, electro beats, it’s no wonder this song was a summer-smash.

Review of the new: Mike Posner—“Bow Chicka Wow Wow”– A song that needs a few listens before you get extremely addicted to it. At first, the song sounds like a 80’s song gone wrong, but seriously—give it another listen.

3 (tie). “Just the Way You Are”—Bruno Mars: We all know this song, you know, the one where high-pitched squeals can be heard almost immediately after the song begins. Maybe it is because of the cute lyrics or the hypnotizing melody. No matter what the reason, it was a commercial success.

Review of the new: Bruno Mars—“Marry You”– Mars definitely has a message he wants to get through or he just want his girl fans to fall even more in love with him. With a catchy chorus, his mission is almost accomplished. Now he just needs a song about making babies, like Natasha Bedingfield.

3 (tie). “Dynamite”—Taio Cruz: We know how you feel Cruz; at every dance we go to, we definitely wear our favorite brands and throw our hands up in the air. It’s just a feel good song to dance to and no wonder it was a major hit during the summer

Review of the new: Taio Cruz feat. Travie McCoy—“Higher”– Again, he sings about going to the dance floor, and we are thankful for it. It’s his comfort zone—producing dance songs that make people feel good.

2. “Love the Way You Lie”—Eminem feat. Rihanna: Even better than the song was the video. Those who have seen it know why.

Review of the new: Eminem—“25 to Life”– A song similar to “Love the Way You Lie,” but for some reason it has a very religious feel to the song. Eminem strips down the hardcore rapping and stays with a raw, emotional rap.  A song to look for in the future in 2011.

1. “Tik Tok”—Ke$ha: No explanation needed of what this song is. Oh how we listened (and are still listening) to this song during our Sadie’s Dance, then Prom, then Winter Ball, then the Homecoming dance, and…you get the point—it’s become a classic song for school dances for years to come. With the new year in 2011, we are expecting Ke$ha to get a little bit freakier, but please, not as freaky as Lady Gaga.

Review of the new: Ke$ha—“Crazy Beautiful Life”– A near-perfect auto-tune masterpiece to look out for in the new year. If you like her talk-singing style, you’ll get “high off of this.”

Songs to look for in 2011 (who knows, these songs may just end up on this list for next year):
1. Adele- “Rolling in the Deep”
2. Avril Lavigne- “What the Hell”
3. The Cataracs featuring Dev- “Top of the World”
4. Lady Gaga- “Born this Way”
5. Nicki Manaj featuring Drake- “Moment 4 Life”
6. Taylor Swift- “Back to December”
7. Enrique Iglesias- “Tonight (I’m Loving You)”
8. Michael Jackson feat. Akon- “Hold my Hand”
9. The Script- “For the First Time”
10. Paramore- “Playing God”

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