The Weirdest Shrek Merchandise The Internet Has to Offer

By: Taylor Sarlo

Members of our generation are called “internet natives,” because most of us can’t remember a time in our lives where we didn’t use the internet. We also had to privilege of growing up in the Golden Age of Shrek. By combining the popularity of Shrek, and the prominence of the internet, we can find some crazy things. I’ve compiled a list and ranked  some of the strangest Shrek themed items the internet has to offer, so you don’t have to! You’re welcome!

Shrek Twinkies


We begin this list with Shrek Twinkies. Twinkies themselves are already a questionable food group, but now that the filling is “ogre green,” they become even more sketchy. The picture looks like the cream is a dollop of guacamole. Why is Shrek looking at me like that? Is $3.99 a lot of money for ten Twinkies? Why are they offering me a vacation? The longer I look, the more questions I have.

Weirdness Score: 7/10

Usefulness Score: 2/10 because Twinkies are BAD.

Shrek Mug


This mug has a lot of Shrek’s on it. The reason I’m counting it as “weird” is because it has too many Shreks on it. And they overlap, so you can’t even see the whole Shrek. Additionally, Shrek is a movie targeted towards kids, but kids don’t need mugs, right? Mugs are for coffee or tea, and whippersnappers are not the primary consumers of these caffeinated liquids. Or am I out of touch with the youth of today?

Weirdness Score: 4/10

Usefulness Score: 10/10

Shrek Fondue Fountain


Ah, fondue. The epitome of the elegant dining experience. And while one might describe it as fancy and decadent, would anyone use these words to describe Shrek? I would not. Is someone having a Shrek themed wedding? The room you can see in the background looks nice enough, someone here obviously has good taste, why throw in Shrek? What is coming out of the fondue fountain? Is it that Twinkie Guacamole again?

Weirdness Score: 8/10

Usefulness Score: 6/10

Shrek Nike Air Force Ones.


Complete with what I believe is a metallic Nike swoosh and little Shrek head ornaments. The only thing that could make these better is if they lit up every time you took a step. I really appreciate how Shrek himself holds out his hands, offering you, his loyal fans, his fancy shoes. I think I might be warming up to the Shrek merch a little bit.

Weirdness Score: 7/10

Usefulness Score: 9/10

Shrek Play Dough Root Canal Game


Okay, I take back what I said. This Shrek merch is insane. SHREK PLAY DOUGH ROOT CANAL? 1. Who thought a root canal makes a fun game? 2. That open, gaping mouth is the stuff of nightmares. 3. Someone has informed me that this game comes with BUGS AND GRUBS that hide in his doughy teeth. 4. Shrek can’t chew anything with those smushy teeth? Why are they that color? Is his tongue made of playdough too? I want to apologize to anyone who gets nightmares tonight after seeing this.

Weirdness Score: 11/10

Usefulness Score: -2/10

Shrulk Backpack


And the grand finale, The Shrek 2 backpack. Shrek looks a little different, maybe he was feeling under the weather during the photoshoot? Oh wait, that’s not Shrek, that’s the Incredible Hulk! And as incredible as Shrek is, he is not an active member of the Avengers. I want to know if this was intentional design choice or a big mistake no one in corporate noticed?

Weirdness Score: 9/10

Usefulness Score: 7/10

Did this list reignite your childhood love and devotion to Shrek? Do you like FREE FOOD and FREE GIVEAWAYS and FREE MOONBOUNCE ADMITTANCE? Then come to Late Night Shrekfest at Late Night Breakfast on Thursday January 18th at 10pm in The Festival Drum!






by Veronica Garcia

Okay, so here’s the deal: Cole Sprouse blocked me on Instagram. It has been about a month since I realized this and I think about it at least thrice a week (wouldn’t you?).


I know showing that I’m blocked through pictures is a bit difficult, but you’re going to have to trust me on this. When I’m able to visit his profile, Instagram claims that there are “no posts yet” despite there being over 700 posts. Some days I can’t even find his profile through search by typing in his username. Side note: I should start charging my phone

I feel the need to clarify that I’ve never met him, never @-ed him, and as far as I’m concerned I’ve never harassed him or any celebrity, nor do I plan to. Regardless, there must have been a reason for him to block me and, since getting an explanation from him is unlikely, here I present a list of possible explanations.

I’m boring. 

Like I said, we’ve never met. But maybe after stumbling on my page and reading my way-below-average captions he blocked me as a preventive measure. Can’t have me infiltrating his comment section with my boring contributions.

I didn’t forward that chain email that one time in 8th grade.

I knew I should’ve! Ugh.

I deleted an episode of the Suite Life from DVR before watching it.

Not gonna lie, I grew up without DVR (still don’t really get it). So, yes. this is 100% reasonable.

He’s secretly in love with me but is too PETTY to deal with his feelings.

I meaaaaaaaan. Understandable.

I stepped on a crack… now I can’t follow back!

Not that he ever followed me to begin with, but at least this is better than breaking my mother’s back!

I forgot to watch the Riverdale premiere.

I’m kicking myself for it, too. To be fair, he could have sent me a nice reminder. You think if I catch up now, I’ll redeem myself?

He was trying to block the author of the Divergent series, Veronica Roth, but got us confused.

Although blocking Veronica Roth, such a pioneering author of young adult books, seems unreasonable. PR move gone wrong? 😮

He was weirded out by, what he thought was, a Veronica Lodge impersonator

Except I’m not a Veronica Lodge impersonator. I am a real-life Veronica just trying to live life by appreciating celebrities through social media.

At least this makes the task of choosing my favorite twin easier.

Hint: my favorite twin didn’t block me on Instagram.



Netflix News: Scifi Edition

By Taylor Sarlo

Here are the latest and greatest science fiction shows you can find on Netflix currently! Of course, these aren’t the only stellar shows available, but they are some of the best.

The OA


“Having gone missing seven years ago, the previously blind Prairie returns home, now in her 20s with her sight restored. While many believe she is a miracle, others worry that she could be dangerous.”

This summary from IMDB doesn’t even come close to describing how epic this series is. If you’re looking for a show that combines all the best elements of Stranger Things, Criminal Minds, interpretive dance and Phyllis from The Office, this is the right show for you. Where was Prairie when she was gone for seven years? How did she get her sight back? How is Phyllis involved? The answers to these questions will have you SHOOK. SHOOK. The fast paced plot leads you on a series of twists and turns, that makes you anxious to start the next episode. Season two is being created currently, release date unknown, and once you watch the first season, the second can’t come soon enough.

Stranger Things Season Two


“When a young boy disappears, his mother, a police chief, and his friends must confront terrifying forces in order to get him back.”

Stranger Things is a national treasure. And it’s not too late to catch up on the first season before the second season airs on Netflix on Halloween this year. The show is funny, suspenseful, a wee bit spooky, and at times the fabulous Winona Ryder has been known to make the audience shed a tear or two. Stranger Things expertly combines the tales of kids on bikes trying to solve a mystery, otherworldly phenomena, and government conspiracy. Along with the 1980’s aesthetic, this series has literally everything. If you have a soft spot for cute kids with missing front teeth, you will LOVE Dustin. I love Dustin. Honestly I am still waiting for him to get his own spin off show, but that’s another story.

Black Mirror


A television anthology series that shows the dark side of life and technology.”

My Fitbit counted my watching Black Mirror as exercise time because of my increased heart rate. I just wanted to put that out there. This show is WILD. Each episode is a different story, some set in far off futures completely dictated by technology, others in more modern times. But they are all equally crazy. The show offers answers to questions such as what happens when people become too addicted to social media? How can technology make soldiers completely obedient? What happens when we’re given an option of what happens to our consciousness when we die? I’ll give you a hint: the answers aren’t pretty.

The 100


“Set 97 years after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization, when a spaceship housing humanity’s lone survivors sends 100 juvenile delinquents back to Earth in hopes of possibly re-populating the planet.”

The 100 is another spin on the young adult dystopian story that has become so common in entertainment lately. Luckily for you, The 100 provides a refreshing twist on the usual, overdone YA fad. One aspect that makes it unique is the variety of characters, and the amount of depth given to each. You really start to empathize with the characters, but it’s complicated because well, they’re criminals. You spend most of the time rooting for them and their survival, and then something happens to remind you that “hey, this kid’s a murderer! That’s why he’s here in the first place.” There are three seasons on Netflix and the fourth season is currently airing on the CW. It’s a great story, but often uses fighting to move the plot along. If you don’t have the stomach for gore, you may not enjoy this one very much.

Magic School Bus

“An eccentric school-teacher takes her class on wondrous educational field trips with the help of a magical school bus.”

Netflix is recreating a childhood classic, staring Kate McKinnon as the voice of Ms. Frizzle! I am particularly excited because the Magic School Bus was my absolute favorite show as a kid. It’s full of classic one-liners and bad puns that I still laugh at as a more grown up-ish kid. And now, we’ll be able to enjoy the next era of Magic School Bus splendor. Who knows where the bus will take the kids on their next field trip.

Look! They even visited dinosaurs, which you can do at Land Before Late Night Breakfast later this month!


How To Fake Your Spring Break

By Maggie Graff

Your professor’s just told everyone your next assignment is due in two weeks, right when you come back from spring break. Chatter commences while people are exchanging what airlines they’re taking, and all you’re exchanging are desperate looks to everyone in the room in hopes that you aren’t the only one who has -3 plans.

The kid with questionable hygiene who lent you his pencil two weeks back?


The girl who reminds the professor of the homework he assigned that he forgot about?


And that’s when you devise what’s arguably the best plan you’ve ever had; how you are going to fake your spring break.

Step One: The Blueprint


(see UPB’s Blueprint here)

“I’m going to go to Miami first flight out Monday morning,” you tell your Media & Politics 470 friend the next day.

“What hotel? I’m going to Miami too!” she says.

This is about when you start to sweat, but you cheerfully tell her, “The National Hotel! On Collins Ave. They have this rooftop bar that overlooks the pool!”

You did the website walkthrough, you’re no amatuer. You planned every detail out.

Step Two: Your first social media post


It’s the first weekday of Spring Break. You craftily place your two fingers in front of a google images beach photo from Miami, and add the National Hotel to your location in the instagram post. What’s the caption? You refer to your Blueprint. “Changes in latitude, changes in attitude.” Just the right amount of ambiguity for a first post.

Step Three: The Close Encounter of the Spring Break Kind


Your friend from class texts you asking to meet her at The Regent Cocktail Club 15 minutes away from your hotel. You hastily google it, and note they’re doing a $3 strawberry margarita special.

You reply, “Our concierge told us they were doing a $3 strawberry margarita deal!! Is that true? I’ll try to get my friends to leave the hotel pool!”

30 minutes later you tell her your friends wanted to go elsewhere, and that you should hang later in the week.

Step Four: Investing in an ultimately lackluster but suitable spray tan


It’s the weekend before classes, and you have to find means to sport all the Miami sun you got. Beach Bum Tanning & Airbrush Salon never seemed so ingenious until now.

As soon as you walk in, the lady winks and says, “So where did you go for Spring Break?”

You laugh, and divulge every trick and stealthy post you did. She tells you her daughter went to the Bahamas for the week, and that she’s going to keel over at your story.

Step Five: Reality Check


You’re back in class, and your professor asks everyone to go around and say what they did for spring break. The one girl reminds him of our assignment, and he graciously thanks her. She starts us off by talking about her spring break in the Bahamas, but then pauses, and begins to unravel the story of how her mom works at a spray tanning place in town, and that apparently, she met a girl who faked her ENTIRE spring break.


La La Land Costume Walk-Through


In honor of the Oscars this weekend, I thought I would share this costume walk-through.

After seeing La La Land on New Year’s Eve, I was enamored. Beautiful instrumentals, captivating cinematography, elaborate dance numbers, Emma Stone’s eyebrows, the list goes on. I was particularly drawn to the costumes; the contemporary take on old Hollywood glamour (the swishy skirts!) was magical.

The costume I liked the most?

Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 4.54.24 PM.png

Ryan Gosling with a keytar. I immediately wanted to do a couple’s costume of Mia and Sebastian from this scene. With months and months ‘til Halloween, and no news of an iconic duos party coming up, my boyfriend and I decided to play dress-up at UPB’s semiformal instead.

————————–Costume Break DOWN————————–


Red button up? Check. White tank top? Check. Mustard pants? Khakis will have to do. Clothes for this costume were easy to find without needing modification. The hardest part of Sebastian’s costume was the keytar.

Mini keyboard from Amazon
Flat bat or old guitar hero guitar handle from Goodwill
Red tape
A sharp knife lol 

After I got the mini keyboard, I went to Goodwill to try and find an old guitar hero guitar that I could smash the handle off of. This was as close as I got.


Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 5.14.12 PM.png

I think it’s for sports?!??!?!?!?!?
Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 5.14.02 PM.png

I cut out one of the sides of the flat bat, leaving a little C shaped cradle. After a ridiculously long time, I gave up trying to make it even and set the keyboard into the cradle.

Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 5.14.24 PM.png

I taped the keyboard into place using the red tape, then proceeded to cover the rest of the bat with the tape. I made a little angular handle out of the tape, too. Ta-daaa! This keytar is ready for playing.

Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 5.13.50 PM.png


Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 3.57.17 PM.png

Yellow dress
Black fabric paint pen
Needle and thread
Tacky glue

This outfit required more. Much more. I hate yellow, but it was the outfit that she wore in the scene. So it goes.

Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 5.14.54 PM.png

I thrifted this yellow dress at Goodwill for less than $5.00. I know it’s ugly! But I saw its potential in the color and length, and the way it swished! All it needed was a quick hemming, square neckline, chopped sleeves, and sketch-like, black flowers.

First, I put it on inside-out and had my roommate cut it at my knees, making sure to leave at least a quarter of an inch for hemming. I then drew a new square neckline with a crayon, and outlined the sleeves to be angular and short. I took it off, did the snipa-snip along the crayon lines, and tucked them under and secured it with tacky glue (since I was too impatient to sew it).

For the neckline, since the dress was a little big, I cinched it by sewing in and out sparsely and tied to secure.

After the cut was right, I got to work on the pattern. Using a black paint marker, I practiced the whimsical, sketchy flower design on Emma Stone’s dress. Once I had mastered it (enough), I started sparsely painting flowers on, making sure to stick a piece of cardboard to separate the layers of dress so that it didn’t bleed through to the back.

Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 5.14.45 PM.png

All done dress!


Blue and white paint
Glitter ($0.98 at Walmart)

Since Emma Stone wore blue heels at the party scene, I decided to transform shoes I already owned instead of buying completely new ones. I got these shoes from Plato’s Closet in the summer because I thought they had character, but I never wore them because the green didn’t go with anything I owned #impulseshopper.

I didn’t take before pics, but I quickly googled “green shoes silver point” and they immediately popped up. To preserve the silver point, I put some painter’s tape over them, then painted the body of the shoes white so that the blue would pop instead of being dull.

Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 5.14.34 PM.png

I covered the shoes with modge podge and coated it in glitter. After letting it dry overnight, I put a top coat of modge podge to seal them so glitter wouldn’t be all over the floor (because we can’t do that anymore!!).
Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 5.17.52 PM.png

There you have it! What a waste of a lovely night.

La La Land will be coming to Grafton the last week of March. 3/29-4/1 Go. See. It. I know I’ll be at every showing. Follow us on social media to see what’s playing this week in Grafton! 

Send movie suggestions to @harmlette on twitter with the hashtag #moviethriftre if there is a costume you would like me to make a walk-through for!

Written by Leigh Taylor Harmer


8 Thoughts About This Month’s Weather

By: Maggie McGowan and Makayla Cornwell

  1. Why am I sweating in February????

giphy (2).gif
THE BACK SWEAT IS BAAAACK! I’m supposed to be wearing 5 layers in February… what is happening? All I wanted to do was show off my new sweater and jeans that I got for Christmas but nope that just won’t work in this heat.

  1. When are we supposed to have snow days if it’s 70 degrees?!

I had big plans for this year’s snow days. Am I really expected to wait until next year to go sledding? Because that’s just not okay.

  1. So glad I wore shorts on this 30 degree day when I was told it would be in the upper 60s.
    giphy (3).gif

I was not prepared for this. SOS where is the warmth?! How am I supposed to know when the weather app is going to lie to me?

  1. Is it spring break yet?

sprang break.gif

Yes, I know I should be learning that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, but all I can think about is laying in my bed at home watching Netflix without feeling guilty.


giphy (4).gif

Let’s be real, this is honestly a blessing. Usually we only get the last few weeks of the spring semester to enjoy this free dog therapy, so this is the greatest gift anyone could ask for.



Was it necessary to repeat this? YES. It’s that important.

  1. My summer body is still under construction so I can’t be dressing for the warmth like this??!!!


Everyday is leg day at JMU, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m confident enough to show them off yet in those shorts. I was hibernating for the winter, sue me.

  1. The Earth is literally dying.
    giphy (5).gif

As wonderful as this weather has been, it’s hard to neglect the fact that climate change has caused this serious issue. We need to take care of our Mother Earth because once she’s gone, it’s over… THINK OF THE POLAR BEARS!!!


The Hidden Gem of Netflix

By: Jenny Lloyd and Claire Casalaspi



Are you bee enough to continue to read this blog post? The Bee Movie is one of those special films that allows us to connect with bees. Barry B. Benson proves to be not only our favorite bee of all time, but also the most relatable. We will  fly you through the 7  most relatable quotes that will have you “thinking bee”.

1. Are we koo-koo-kachoo kidding you? NO, we aren’t this is real, and you are reading this article.

2. When you like yellow and black but decide to wear black and yellow just to switch it up and so people don’t realize you’ve worn the same shirt that week already.


3. Trying to plan date night with bae like…


4. To those graduating this is probably the worst thing you have to do

raw (1).gif
5. What you wish you could tell your parents at the end of the semester

6. When you confidently shout out the wrong answer in class and everyone stares




7. Last but not least, the best pick up line since 2007

Now that we have you “thinking bee” go watch the movie… or see Fantastic Beeasts in Grafton tonight & Saturday at 7p & 9:30p



Valentine Gift Guide: Potato Products

It’s that time of year again. “Love day” or whatever. You have no idea what to get your Valentine without spending too much money or getting boring heart-shaped chocolate-filled boxes. You can try to be much as a sweet potato as you can, but sometimes an actual gift is the way to go. UPB’s got your Valentine’s gift guide ready… POTATO EDITION.


This is for a valentine you’re not too crazy about but would rather have someone than be alone. Minimal effort required, low commitment. Maybe you should do some soul-searching…


Ever a fan of the classics, you can’t go wrong with the good ole’ shoestring. If your Valentine has been complaining about not knowing how to accessorize their chicken nuggets, then you’ve found the perfect gift for them.


Waffle fries
This is the potato equivalent of an engagement ring, so only provide these to the valentine you’re ready to get serious with. Try pairing them with something saucy.


Does your Valentine wake you up in the wee hours of the morning with the noise of rummaging through your personal belongings? Then this is a great potato choice for your early bird.


Curly fries
This is the perfect gift for your unique Aquarius*. Perfectly seasoned with a fun shape, the curly fry will satisfy your valentine’s need for adventure without leaving the drive-thru!

*or whatever star sign you’re buying for


Baked Potato
You piece this one together.


This is a flirtier version of hashbrowns. Want to find them for free? Bring your valentine to Fall in Love at Late Night Breakfast and cop those free tots. Thursday, February 16th in Festival.

Written by Leigh Harmer and Katie Miller


Roy Wood Jr. on Diving into Comedy, the Super Bowl, Writing, and More!

Today I combatted my phone anxiety and called Roy Wood Jr. for a brief interview. Listen to the uncut version above, or read excerpts from some of my favorite responses below!

How are you? 

I’m doing good! It’s just another action-packed day in the life, packed with smiles and fun.

What’s your favorite part [of the day]? 

For me, the favorite part of all of this is writing. Cause to be able to sit down and craft a joke or point of view and present it to someone and have it connect, there’s no better feeling, you know? Laughter’s the best medicine. Humor is the one thing that connects us all. Laughter is universal in all languages. So to be able to connect with complete strangers on a train of thought, you know is completely awesome? And I get some people from time to time that I definitely did not connect with, in fact I opposite with connect with, I disconnect with, and that’s good, too. Because good content evokes emotion. So even if someone doesn’t like something I said on the show, or disagrees with something, I’m okay with it.

cinco cosmetics (2).png

What do you do when a joke doesn’t go well?
Write another joke! A joke doesn’t go good, that’s fine, I write another joke. If a joke goes well, you still gotta write another joke. No matter what, the one constant is writing. It’s the most important part of the process. If you look at your favorite sitcom… and you look at the actors. Look at the actors, and look at the writers of your shows that were on TV sitcom 20 years ago. And I promise you that there are more writers than actors still working. If you’re a writer, and youdo it well, you will be for a very long time.

cinco cosmetics (1).png

At what moment did you realize your comedy career took off? Like when did you decide “This is what I’m doing”. 

I probably, see I started at 19. So… it’s kinda one of those… I was naive enough to not know better about what I was doing. I just started doing stand-up. This is what I want to do, so I do it.

Do you have any advice for someone looking to get into comedy? 

Do it. Go to an open mic and watch. Comedy is not a swimming pool, you can’t tip-toe in. You just gotta run and canon ball.


Roy Wood Jr. will be performing in Wilson Hall on Friday, February 10th at 8p (doors open at 7p!).

Tickets for Roy Wood Jr. are available now HERE.

Photo by M. Kelly Wilt

Written by Leigh Taylor Harmer


9 Reasons Beyoncé is Not Coming to Convo

You’ve been wondering, so here it is! The abridged list of why we can’t bring Beyoncé to JMU.


  1. Queen Bey is a busy woman. From headlining Coachella, photo shoots, making best dressed lists on the regular and juggling her own family life. Speaking of family life…raw
  2. She’s pregnant!
  3. With twins! There are two babies in that stomach, let’s let the woman take some time off. giphy
  4. She’ll be at Coachella during JMU’s spring concert season. Sure we could try to drag her away, but those who’ve already purchased their Coachella tickets would NOT be pleased.
  5. Tickets would be crazy expensive. Some of her FormationTour tickets sold for 450 dollars. If you’re anything like me, you blew any chance of saving 450 dollars when you discovered Dunkin’ Donuts.
    giphy (1).gif
  6. Convo couldn’t handle the amount of people. Because let’s face it, if Beyoncé is coming to town, everyone and their mother is coming to that concert.
  7. JMU couldn’t afford it 😦 Beyoncé is in high demand, so her artist fee is outrageous. The University Program Board gets a certain budget, and once that budget is divided up among the various UPB committees, there is not enough to pay for a Beyoncé concert. Well, even if we cancelled UPB for a year, we still couldn’t afford a Beyoncé concert. We need more money!
  8. Convo doesn’t have and probably will never have fire cannons. Which seem pretty much standard for Bey’s concerts.
  9. I had Beyoncé’s phone number, but it was written on a sticky note and I lost it when I was doing my laundry. I tried calling Jay-Z and Solange but they haven’t responded to my voicemails.

So, those of you who are ride or die members of the BeyHive, we are sincerely sorry that Beyoncé won’t be coming to JMU anytime soon. All we can do is hope she keeps us in our thoughts as she takes America by storm. single-ladies-GIF-beyonce-38590601-500-215.gif

Written by Taylor Sarlo 


Follow us to learn about more events on campus!

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook