Internet Drinking Game Gains Popularity Among College Students

Ithaca College senior Molly Podell sat in senior Meagan Humphrey’s car in a vacant parking lot on March 3, its headlights flooding light into the bitter cold night. In the backseat, senior Jordan Mancuso pulled a nun costume and gaudy cross necklace out of his backpack and handed it to Podell. She quickly donned the costume in excitement, asking Mancuso how she looked before rehearsing her lines in front of her iPhone.

Mancuso stopped Podell before she continued her impromptu rehearsal.

“Who are you going to nominate?” he asked.

Podell was preparing for her neknomination, also known as neck and nominate, video. Neknomination is an Internet drinking game where a person, who was nominated by a previous participant, engages in a comedic skit and drinks a pint of beer, all while being recorded on a cellphone. The participant then nominates three other people after completing the pint, and those nominated must fufill the challenge within 24 hours.

While there is no consequence to whether or not the call is answered, college students across the United States have been participating in the popular trend and sharing their videos on their Facebook timelines.

Before creating her own video, Podell did some “Facebook stalking” to figure out why so many of her friends were posting the short clips. Soon enough, Podell was nominated by her two friends, seniors Eric Ankerud and Scott Walle.

“We’ve been friends since sophomore year,” she said. “I don’t know if it’s weird that I was actually honored to be nominated.”

Students run the risk of frostbite in snow-related “neknomination” videos

Senior Lindsay Kingston heard about the nomination videos from her friends in her hometown of Buffalo, N.Y. She said when she was nominated, Kingston chose to snowboard on her own property in a bikini and land in the snow with no clothing covering her bare skin.

“I did [the video] on private property, so I was not scared of ‘getting caught,’” Kingston said. “I was just scared of being really cold and possibly getting frostbite.”

Though Kingston didn’t participate in enough strenuous activity to send her body into shock once she drank her cold beer, she did put her skin in risk of frostbite. According to the Mayo Clinic, direct contact between snow and skin can freeze tissue, causing frostbite. However, Kingston did not sit in the snow long enough for this process to occur.

“Neknomination” videos may affect participant’s social media presence

Other than possible bodily harm, neknomination videos may affect a participant’s online presence. Senior Melissa Pezzello changed the privacy settings on her video so her family and other adult Facebook friends couldn’t view it. Podell said she has considered completely taking down her video.

“I haven’t taken it down yet, but I am thinking about it,” she said. “Having a video of me chugging a beer on Facebook may not be the best idea as a senior in college starting her job search.”

Despite some negative factors, the neknomination trend continues to be prominent entertainment on social media. Even risking her image among her Facebook friends, Podell said the experience was worth all of the hype.

“I don’t always get the opportunity to chug a beer in a nun costume, so that made it a very unique experience,” she said.

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Ben & Jerry’s New Ice Cream Is Delicious To The Core

The Internet blew up this past week about Ben & Jerry’s latest creamery creation — cores. Now, I know what you’re probably thinking. Cores don’t always get the best rap, but this kind of core is a game changer. Images of browned apple cores laying in the garbage often to come to mind. But stop right there! It’s time to appreciate cores, and here’s why.core

The Ben & Jerry’s Cores family has welcomed three new flavors: Hazed & Confused, Peanut Butter Fudge, That’s My Jam and Salted Caramel. The three heavenly pints include one or more original Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and a core of either fudge, caramel or jam. Some may say this is a gift from the gods, and I will readily agree.

As a longtime fan of the Karamel Sutra core ice cream, I can contest that these flavors are nothing but game changers. Ben & Jerry’s announced these decadent pints via Twitter, and boy did they get an overwhelming response with more than 3,000 retweets and 2,000 favorites.


All I have to say is this is not helping me look good in a bikini with spring break fastly approaching. But get them while you can! With all the attention they have been receiving, they are surely to be flying off shelves across the country.

Images: Victor Lamant/ Flickr, theimpulsivebuy/Flickr 

Collegetown Bagels Voted One Of The Best College Sandwich Shops

There comes a time in every person’s life when they meet their match. And by match I mean their favorite collegeCTB 2 food joint. Enter: Collegetown Bagels. This local bagel, coffee and, of course, sandwich eatery was recently voted by Thrillist as one of the 33 best college sandwich shops in the United States.

As if I couldn’t love the place enough, CTB was voted as a top shop because of it’s wide variety of goods — and it’s true! They offer bagels, sandwiches, a plethora of baked goods, hot and cold coffee drinks, smoothies and other fine, locally sourced goods. Thrillist writer Adam Lapetina especially enjoyed the Autumn Sky sandwich:

Almost everything is mouthwateringly good, but you have to try the Autumn Sky, which is the perfect blend of sharp, tangy, and sweet with smoked turkey breast topped with bacon, spinach, apples, cheddar, and whole grain mustard on sourdough.

Preach, Lapetina. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. My favorite sandwich is the Eggs Christina, eggs and ham CTB 3on a bagel of choice, with pepper jack cheese. To switch up the flavors, I love to get a spicy Italian or cheddar bagel. Considered yourself set for life if you live near either CTB or Ithaca Bakery, it’s sister shop, in the greater Ithaca area.

But if you are out of luck and don’t have the means of stopping by this “gorges” city, check out the other 32 shops on Lapetina’s list. Who knows, you may be surprised to find your own college town.

For more awesome news and updates about Collegetown Bagels, check out their Twitter and Facebook pages. They post fun photos and specials of the day, including their amazing soups (see the tweet below and try not to drool).


Images: Stephen Luke/Flickr

Local Organic Edibles Business Looks To Expand Brand Nationwide

About 13 years ago, Ian Gaffney became very sick and was later diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Because of his illness, he had to drastically change his eating habits.

“My diet had to take a complete 180,” he said. “I was eating the standard American fast food five days a week two times a day. It was really bad.”

But Gaffney soon cut out all unhealthy foods from his diet and instead sought food as a way to comfort and heal himself. He then learned new recipes from his peers about healthier alternative diets such as gluten free and how to incorporate raw ingredients into his dishes. This lifestyle inspired him to create a recipe for macaroons.

Ithaca residents meet and launch organic macaroon company

After moving to Ithaca from New York City and meeting Samantha Abrams, who graduated from Ithaca College in 2008, Gaffney said the two passed time by baking the macaroons in his mother’s kitchen. Little did they know, a business would soon come of their hobby.

“One night my brother was in town and he shot a video of us making the macaroons for my blog,” Gaffney said.

Emmy's Organics Lemon Ginger Macaroons

Emmy’s Organics Lemon Ginger Macaroons

“The next day I called Samantha and said ‘Would you want to go to business together?'”

Gaffney said the organic edibles are inexpensive to make and Ithaca is their ideal market. The two then launched Emmy’s Organics, named after Gaffney’s mother. The pair began with four flavors of macaroons and sold their products at the GreenStar Natural Foods Market and the Ithaca Farmers Market. After pursuing other stores, bloggers and companies, Emmy’s Organics began receiving major orders.

Abrams said they then moved their kitchen to a larger space located at 629 W. Buffalo Street, across the street from GreenStar. Emmy’s Organics products are now available in many locations across the United States and even in Canada. Locally, Emmy’s Organics can still be found in GreenStar, but also Wegmans, Collegetown Bagels, Gimme! Coffee, Ithacamade and Ithaca Bakery.

Slideshow: an inside look of the Emmy’s Organics kitchen

Macaroons — in flavors such as Lemon Ginger, Chai Spice, Chocolate Chili, Chocolate Orange, Coconut Vanilla and Dark Cacao — are also available on the college campus wherever food is sold. Senior Erica Palumbo, who was snacking on the mini Lemon Ginger macaroons, said she enjoys Emmy’s Organics because of their surprising taste.

“They are unlike any cookie or dessert I’ve ever had,” she said. “They are healthy for you, but they still taste incredibly delicious.”

Abrams said Emmy’s Organics is expanding their product line with their recent release of Super Cereals, which all contain Organic Sprouted Buckwheat Groats. The company also produces chocolate sauce and super-fudge, Abrams added.

Moving forward, Gaffney said he and Abrams have many future goals for themselves and the company.

“We would like to get to the point when we don’t play such an integral role in day-to-day operations,” he said. “We would like to expand our product line and serve the whole country.”

When Blogs, And Blogging, Saved The Day

As Dan Gillmor explains in “We The Media,” bloggers have taken over the Internet. Whether for journalistic purposes or pure entertainment, blogs allow us to connect to people from around the world. That’s some really amazing stuff.

But blogs, while maintaining these mentioned uses, acted in a way I least expected. On Monday, I experienced a traumatic family emergency. I was shaken to the core and all I wanted was to go home and be with my family. However, I couldn’t put classes and other commitments on hold until Friday. While the situation at home was being handled, I felt disconnected from my family and felt helpless.

Throughout the week I sought the support of my family and friends before heading home. But when there was no one to talk to, I began to browse blogs. And what I found helped temporarily relieve my stress. It’s amazing the amount of people who share their personal stories, like I just did, through writing about it online. All platforms house blogs containing inspirational stories, heartwarming photos or relevant GIFs — all of which were exemplary in relating to how I felt.

This is the beauty of the blogosphere. It isn’t just for hard news or mindless noise. Blogs can be powerful, important outlets in our lives. Sometimes, we just may not know how — yet.

7-Eleven’s New Doritos Concoction Is … The Future?

Released nation-wide in 1966, Doritos were an instant sensation when creators at Casa de Fritos in Disneyland took extra totrtilla chips, cut, fried and added seasoning to them. The corn chip giant is now a $4 billion a year product, surpassing the Lay’s Potato Chip — it’s less-colorful brother product under Frito Lay.

Doritos have always been one of my favorite chips, especially when I was younger and 3D Doritos were all the rage in the 90s. Fast-forward to March 2012 when Taco Bell unleashed the mother of all tacos — the Doritos Locos Taco, which featured a hard shell made of corn and seasoned with either the Doritos’ Nacho Cheese or Cool Ranch flavor.


Doritos Loaded

And then 7-Eleven happened.

The popular convenience store recently concocted the Doritos Loaded, a triangular mozzarella stick made from the iconic snack. The Doritos Loaded are only sold at select 7-Eleven locations in the United States and are priced at four for $1.99. Ryan Broderick of BuzzFeed said the latest cheese-filled invention is “the future.” An enthusiastic resident of Washington, D.C. and Doritos fanatic, Kevin Cobb, spotted the rare delicacies and told Yahoo, “They tasted like Nacho Cheese Doritos dipped in queso.” As if Doritos couldn’t get cheesy enough.

A spokesperson from 7-Eleven also told Yahoo that the Doritos Loaded are merely a product test and there is not much to discuss about it at this time. Test or not, many people took to Twitter to express their opinions on the newest addition to the Doritos family.

Curious as to what Doritos Loaded tastes like? Wait patiently because these munchies aren’t available anywhere else outside of the D.C. area. Until then, great creative by making your own Doritos-themed snacks.

Images: Kundl/Flickr, Kevin Cobb/

Alexandra Chang Dishes Out Helpful Social Media Advice

Alexandra Chang, a freelance writer based in Ithaca, N.Y., held a discussion about the do’s and don’ts of social achangmedia interactions for the professional journalist. Chang focused primarily on the use of Twitter, LinkedIn, Vine and blog platforms.

Having previously lived in San Francisco as a staff writer for WIRED, a popular technology publication, Chang has consistently used social media in her profession. Chang said that it’s important to watch what you tweet, but mildly showing your personality wouldn’t hurt.

Chang continued her discussion on the proper, and optimal, use of LinkedIn for journalists. She explained how journalists can find sources, connect with experts and even employers in the field.

As far as Instagram, Vine and other social media platforms go, Chang uses her accounts for personal reasons and doesn’t publicly promote her pages. However, she did give a fun example of how her friends use Vine and a blog platform to produce news-related shorts and post them online.

All in all, Chang’s talk was beneficial for both the students and herself.

Image: Hank Mitchell/Flickr, Alexandra Chang/