The new year brings a spirit of adventure and discovery, a willingness to try new things in our lives.
So in 2013's first installment of Trending With TX., we're highlighting some of the things our staff members are loving as the new year gets underway. From vlogs and webcomics to hot fashions and couch-worthy TV shows, here are seven picks to kick off a fresh start.
Lizzie and Mr. Darcy
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."
So begins Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice," published nearly 200 years ago. This may perhaps be the most famous sentence ever penned by the well-known and beloved author, who wrote a number of classic novels.
Now, a new adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice" is introducing the story to a fresh audience. "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries" is a modern rendition of the classic story, told in the style of a vlog. Ashley Clements stars as Elizabeth Bennet, an opinionated grad student who begins producing her own video blogs. She is aided by her friend, Charlotte, and her sisters, Jane and Lydia. Through Lizzie's videos, the audience enters these girls' lives and gets an exclusive look into the unfolding love/hate relationship between Lizzie and the enigmatic Mr. Darcy.
"The Lizzie Bennet Diaries" does a remarkable job of adapting the popular story to a modern setting, modifying certain plot points to make them fit into current society while retaining the essence of Austen's story. Fans of the book, in particular, may be delighted to see elements drawn directly from the novel; the very first episode, for instance, begins with the opening line of the book.
One of the most innovative elements of the series is its use of social media in developing the plot. All of the primary characters have Twitter and Tumblr accounts, enabling fans to interact with the story itself and gain insight into the minds of particular characters. The audience is no longer idly observing, but has become an integral component of the story.
"The Lizzie Bennet Diaries" is available on YouTube. New episodes premiere every Monday and Thursday.
-- Kalli Damschen, Clearfield High
Out of all of the flash-deal clothing websites out there, HauteLook tops my list. HauteLook was created in 2007 and total sales on the website increased 30 percent in 2012 alone.
HauteLook is a website where virtually every store and brand of clothing, accessories, beauty products and home decor come together to sell their products for insanely low prices. The sales only last an average of two days and the vendors don't feature all the products they offer normally, but the deals are great and you can find some hidden gems.
Stores like American Apparel have several sales per month on HauteLook. Higher-end brands like Betsey Johnson, Calvin Klein, Urban Decay and Stila have also had a few sales in the year period that I have been a member of the website. And yes, they do sell menswear.
HauteLook is free to join and I expect it to become even more popular in 2013. I'm also expecting the site to draw in even more well-known brands in the new year, being able to offer something for everyone.
-- Savannah Rice, Weber High
The Internet is full of fun, time-killing websites, from social networking (Facebook and Twitter) to blogging (Tumblr) to pictures or videos (Flickr and YouTube). But there are also so many web pages on the Internet that no one has visited because no one knew they wanted them until they found them.
Enter StumbleUpon, a website that pulls up other websites depending on your interests, until you literally stumble upon one you like and can spend hours on.
Topics range from books and relationship advice to cars and physics. My personal favorites to stumble are music, humor and fashion photography. This is a great website because it can bring previously unknown URLs to your attention. From StumbleUpon, I've unexpectedly learned how to clear a stuffy nose in 10 seconds without medication, seen the list of the top 100 books for college-bound students to read, and downloaded a song someone made of all the Skrillex songs being played at the same time.
The only downsides to StumbleUpon include some user un-friendly facets, like the fact that the only subjects you can search are predetermined ones, a tendency to see the same sites if you keep stumbling the same topic for too long, and of course, the hours you'll waste using it.
-- Minna Wang, NUAMES
'Pretty Little Liars'
"Pretty Little Liars" is the hit ABC family series based off of the books written by Sara Shephard. The show premiered in 2010 and is now in its third season. With the winter premiere just around the corner, we're all wondering what surprises are in store for the so called "American Teen Dream" show.
The show is centered on four girls whose clique falls apart after the disappearance of one of their friends. When the friend's body is found a year later, the girls begin receiving mysterious and threatening text messages from 'A.' Throughout the series it is revealed that there is an 'A' team who is tormenting these four girls' lives.
In the world of "Pretty Little Liars," 16-year-olds are facing murderers, untrustworthy cops and problems way beyond their years all while maintaining their "it girl" statuses. If there is one lesson that can be learned from "Pretty Little Liars" it's that no matter how attractive someone may be you just don't know what goes on behind closed doors.
After the cliffhanger summer finale and the teaser of a Halloween special in October, it can be expected that the Tuesday, Jan. 8, winter premiere is a date no teenage girl should miss. This season has promises of many surprises including the fact that those who are dead may not be dead. So brace yourselves, if you watch "Pretty Little Liars," it will definitely be a whirlwind of a new year!
-- Caitlynn Kindall, Ogden High
According to Style.com, this upcoming spring is the time for new beginnings in fashion. Five new trends have been brought to us by designers like Marc Jacobs, Miucci Prada, Gucci and Roberto Cavalli. So, get your closets ready!
* The art of contrast: It's nice and hip to mix and match your patterns this year. Stripes and checkers, plaid and floral. Be bold!
* Veiled looks: Silk chiffon, organza and mousseline fabrics are the thing. Flowing transparent designs create a feather like beauty and fit.
* Alpha males: It sounds like men's fashion, but it is speaking more of women's independence. Women's fitted pant suits are encouraged for the upcoming season with splashes of colorful scarves or jewelry.
* Every flounce counts: Ruffles are in! Skirts with ruffles, shirts with ruffles. Get lots of ruffles, but don't put them all together.
* Collage degree: Patchworks and animal prints are being brought together. These two have to be worked carefully, though. Don't put two bold patterns together. A simple pattern with a bold print or vice versa can be done really well.
Remember, you can rock any fashion you want if you stay confident and work it!
-- Krystal Ruiz, Weber High
In reality, Charles Babbage was a mathematician and inventor who designed but never built an early version of the computer, while Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron's manic-depressive daughter, was the first computer programmer but died at age 36.
But in the wonderful webcomic "The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage" these two team up in an alternate universe to build the Difference Engine and fight crime, if you define crime as "street music," as Babbage notoriously did. The comic has gorgeous artwork and madcap, utterly hilarious plots, in which the duo battle street organists, the Panic of 1837, and computer bugs.
For the historically minded, the artist, Sydney Padua, includes references to primary documents such as Babbage's autobiography and Queen Victoria's journals.
It probably helps that the real-life Lovelace and Babbage had such engaging escapades; for instance, Babbage once descended into Mount Vesuvius and set his walking stick on fire, inspiring a brief comic involving the Salamander People who inhabit Vesuvius in the alternate universe.
The supporting characters are so entertaining they sometimes threaten to steal the show from the protagonists -- but what more can you expect from figures such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the irritable engineer of the Great Western Railway, Charles Wheatstone, inventor of the concertina, and Queen Victoria, who intends to take over the world? Updates at http://sydneypadua.com/2dgoggles/ are erratic but well worth the wait.
I recommend this witty comic to steampunk fans, history buffs, fans of science fiction in general, and just about everyone.
-- Angelica Previte, Weber High
I found myself sucked into the never-ending race for the fastest and hottest electronic devices when I received a tablet for Christmas. To be honest, I wasn't sure why tablets were causing so much hype when a laptop seemed to work fine, and do everything I needed. But as I experimented with everything a tablet could do, I found myself becoming addicted.
I love the compact size, to start with. It's easy to carry around, and doesn't take up hardly any space, so you can take it just about anywhere. I also love the apps; I know everyone jokes that there is an app for anything you could dream of, but there really is everything you could need on an app. There are plenty of free ones, just as good as the ones that cost money, which is nice if you're on a budget.
The downside is the battery life of a tablet. It's relatively short, which makes it a pain to have to charge constantly, especially if you use those addicting websites like Pinterest. The other downside is when the screen can't seem to tell which way you're holding the tablet, so it switches between horizontal and vertical screen shots constantly until it makes up its mind. However, don't all electronics have their problems at one point or another?
Overall, I'd suggest getting a tablet. It's worth the investment early on, and although bigger and better ones may come out within the next few months, it's nice to have the simple, basic ones. Who knows? With as many updates as there are, tablets may replace computers, and it won't be long before laptops are as common as those VHS tapes.
-- Meghan Jones, Bonneville High
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