And the Oscar Goes to...
Last night Ellen DeGeneres hosted the 86th annual Academy of Awards in Hollywood's Dolby Theater. Of course, aside from the above categories, people stayed up to watch the red carpet, one of the most important fashion events of the year. But the Oscars are more than an excuse to get dolled up. By singling out the different areas that work together to make each film (and forcing us to watch it during the first hours of the show), the award ceremony reminds us of the importance of teamwork.
Here's the breakdown:
Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Best Documentary Feature Screenplay: 20 Feet from Stardom
Best Original Screenplay: Her (Spike Jonze)
Behind every starlet is a team of seasoned professionals. As in any organization, the strength of the collective greatly impacts an individual's success. However, in today's highly competitive marketplace it sometimes seems that credit is only given to those who toot their own horn: "if you don't sing your own praises, who will?" goes the saying. By recognizing all of those who contribute to the creation of a film, the academy shines a spotlight on those who may otherwise go unnoticed. David Zweig from the Harvard Business Review has put together a piece celebrating those who, instead of seeking the limelight, prefer to focus on perfecting their craft, and thereby help make an actor's job look easier. Every now and again, back office folks should get a chance to come to the front too.
Political Small Talk
Last week the Ukraine was in the news for the hard won victory over former President Viktor Yanukovych, but the week-long government hasn't had much time to celebrate. Now, the situation has gone from euphoria in Independence Square to the "brink of war." Russia does not recognize the new government and is poised to invade the Ukraine. The heart of this conflict is the autonomous region of Crimea, a strategic outlet on the Black Sea whose citizens are Pro-Russian. The BBC has compiled an in depth analysis of the situation and its consequences.
With so many conflicts going on across the globe why does this one matter so much? Everyone is paying special attention; Secretary of State John Kerry will be visiting Crimea on Tuesday to see if he can assuage the situation. 7 Members of the G8 (United States, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Japan) are threatening strong sanctions on Russia in addition to boycotting the upcoming Sochi Summit. It's truly a cinematographic stand-off that some say can lead to an international conflict of epic proportions.
Start Your Week With A Smile – Especially on Tuesday!
One thing to be happy about this week is the drop in obesity among US Children – 43% since 2003/2004. Now that's something to celebrate!
The only kind of fat that's welcome this week is Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras starts on Tuesday in New Orleans. If you haven't gotten your tickets, you can watch online or download an app. You may think you don't have time for fun and games, but it's important to set time aside to let your hair down and relax. Taking care of your spirit and body are important for being able to give your all, and of course, to avoiding unnecessary pains and stress.
Tuesday also kicks off congressional elections, beginning in Texas. It's time to get to know your local politicians! This time around, the republicans have announced the launch of GROW an initiative to get more women elected to congress and to tap into a very under-utilized resource- women. Women have struggled hard to earn the right to vote, but even today have yet to gain significant presence in national politics. Exercising your right to vote is as important as ever.