Don’t believe the rumors: Amanda Bynes is NOT going to Syracuse University

This is a (clearly) Photoshopped picture of former actress Amanda Bynes wearing a Syracuse Orange hat.

This is a (clearly) Photoshopped picture of former actress Amanda Bynes wearing a Syracuse Orange hat, but you Otto know the truth: She’s not coming to SU.

Attention: Amanda Bynes is not enrolling at Syracuse University next semester, despite what a few Twitter users may believe.

It all started with a May 28 article on Yahoo! News by snarky The Atlantic writer Richard Lawson. It was recap of the starlet’s crazy news that week, including threatening to sue the NYPD for allegedly groping her during her arrest over a bong-tossing incident and claiming her many “you’re ugly” tweets were doctored.

Lawson wrote: “The Amanda Bynes saga continues, as it will until its inevitable end. (Meaning when she gets her act together, enrolls in undergrad at Syracuse, and then after graduation moves to Paris to study architecture.)”

It was a joke — but some are taking it seriously. There has been no other mention or report of Bynes considering Syracuse University in her future, except on social media.

In the past four weeks, there have been at least 50 tweets by people who think the former Nickelodeon star will attend SU as an undergraduate student. Most of the posts came this week and, thanks to the telephone game, some believe the rumors are now fact and she’s already enrolled:

  • “Sooooooo Amanda Bynes is going to be enrolled as an undergrad at Syracuse next year ‘if she gets her act together’…..” @MeredithLeigh93 tweeted June 30. This is the first tweet mentioning Bynes and Syracuse, clearly based on Lawson’s article.
  • “Bring out the dancing lobstahs everybody, Amanda Bynes is coming to the Syracuse University,” @selflesskid wrote Oct. 1.
  • “amanda bynes wants to get an undergraduate degree at Syracuse University? WUT girl bye,” @OhYeahCHELSEAA added Oct. 21.
  • “Amanda Bynes is enrolling in Syracuse? Is she All That? Or is she being a Big Fat Liar? Regardless, She’s The Man if she does go here,” @Arick_With_An_A joked in a serious of movie/TV title puns on Oct. 23.
  • “Hahaha what Amanda Bynes is enrolling in Syracuse??? Has cuse really lowered their standards THAT much?” @nicolearroyo questioned Oct. 23.
  • “If I don’t get into Syracuse and Amanda Bynes gets to go there I’m going to throw a bitch fit, because that ain’t fair,” prospective student @JackieAkerley griped Oct. 23.
  • “AMANDA BYNES APPLIED TO SYRACUSE THIS IS NOT A DRILL #newbestfriendalert,” @shelleykendall optimistically tweeted Oct. 26.

None of the tweets cited any official sources, save for a few people who linked to the Yahoo/Atlantic article. But the author has a habit of making outrageous throwaway jokes in his celebrity gossip articles. In one post last week, he sarcastically referred to Kim Kardashian as a “former NASA engineer who just left a visiting professorship at Cornell” and hypothesized various reasons for the Jonas Brothers’ canceled tour: “Joe is addicted to dolls — he likes the purple ones. Or Kevin has been having marital problems ever since that strapping fireman moved in next door and won’t stop mowing the lawn while shirtless. Or Nick thinks he killed her, he’s not sure, but whatever happened he’s gotta get this body out of this Days Inn and into a shallow grave somewhere. Problems like that.”

How do I know that Lawson’s Bynes comment can’t be taken seriously? Simple deductions and reading comprehension.

For starters, Bynes is not mentally fit to attend college anywhere. She’s been getting intense treatment in rehab facilities since late July, unable to even contact the public for the past three months. (Her last tweet? July 19: “drake is gorgeous.”) And despite making “great strides” recently, she’s also under her parents’ conservatorship until at least Dec. 17.

Further, Bynes hasn’t expressed much interest in higher education. She got her high school diploma in 2004, but the only quote I could find from her even discussing college (“I’ll play it by ear”) was from a PBS Kids interview when she was about 17 years old. (If you find anything more recent, please share.) She announced she was retiring from acting in 2010 at age 24, and three years later hasn’t done much except downward spiral into tabloid fodder.

And finally, if you read the entire May 28 article, you’d see Lawson later admits he doesn’t know what’s next for Bynes. No one does.

Could the former “The Amanda Show” star eventually go to college at Syracuse University or someplace else? Sure. Everyone loves a good comeback story, especially when it involves a troubled former child star. But don’t hold your breath for her to start wearing Orange gear and braving the winters on the SU Hill.

PHOTO: ‘Transformers 3’ star Rosie Huntington-Whiteley sticks her tongue out at Megan Fox

At left, 'Transformers 3' star Rosie Huntington-Whiteley poses for the June 2011 cover of Complex magazine. Eerily similar to previous 'Transformers' femme fatale Megan Fox's October 2008 GQ cover, isn't it?

Is Rosie Huntington-Whiteley sticking her tongue out at Megan Fox? I think so.

In October 2008, Megan Fox stuck her tongue out provocatively at GQ readers. And for most of the past three years, horny boys and perverted men have been obsessed with her. And it’s hard to blame them, because Megan Fox is pretty easy on the eyes. But let’s be honest — she was never talented, and she knew it. In that same issue of GQ, she admitted as much: “I’ve done one movie. And it’s not a movie I want to stand on as far as acting ability goes. I mean—I’m not going to win an Oscar anytime soon. I’m not Meryl Streep.”

So — and fanboys everywhere may hate me for saying this — I’m not too sorry to see her leave the Transformers franchise, no matter how good she looked when lifting the hood of a car or straddling a motorcycle. The second movie wasn’t as good as the first, and I think a big part of that was the wasted time on the drama between Sam (Shia LaBoeuf) being away at college and meeting other girls, including one who inevitably turned out to be a Decepticon with an evil metal tongue.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, a 24-year-old British model/actress who has just as little to her credit as Fox did when she starred in the first film, is a perfectly acceptable replacement. I have yet to see her acting ability as this is her first major role, but she seems a little more humbled (and less crazy) than Fox. “I’ve had nine years of working before this kind of movie happened to me,” she told Complex. “I’m really glad I’ve had struggles in my career. When success finally hits you, it helps put things in perspective. We’re so small. You see these kids get success straight away or they grew up with it, and I feel for them ’cause how do they gauge any sense of reality?”

“Kids who get success straight away” sounds like a subtle dig at Fox, doesn’t it? Yeah, she’s definitely sticking her tongue out at her.

And — in case you didn’t notice — Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who appears to be wearing nothing but a Julien MacDonald blazer on the Complex cover, isn’t bad to look at either. But who cares? Honestly, who’ll notice the difference when Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon hits theaters June 29? I’m in it for the toys cool cars that transform into kick-butt alien robots. Autobots, roll out!

The oddest early movie roles played by 19 of today’s biggest actors

It’s amazing that Johnny Depp can go from a random dude killed by Freddy Kreuger in A Nightmare On Elm Street to a major Hollywood star, earning $20 million for most movies these days. What other crazy first roles launched the careers of today’s biggest stars?

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Nominated for three Oscars (and won for Capote), Hoffman has a diverse filmography, but who would have guessed the tornado-chasin’ hippie in 1996’s Twister and high-school thug in the 1993 zombie satire My Boyfriend’s Back was secretly a great actor?

Sandra Bullock

Before she was Miss Congeniality or winning an Oscar for The Blind Side, she was a buck-toothed biochemist in Love Potion #9 (1992) and an ass-kicking futuristic cop in Demolition Man.

Matthew McConaughey

This southern charmer appears shirtless in just about every movie he stars in now, but in 1994, he was just an average baseball player who needed a little divine help in Angels In The Outfield (along with Adrien Brody).

Amy Adams

She’s been nominated for three Oscars?!? Wait, the same chick who played Kathryn in the horrible direct-to-video Cruel Intentions 2 sequel/remake?

Hilary Swank

This swanky actress won two well-deserved Oscars for Boys Don’t Cry and Million-Dollar Baby. In her first role, on the other hand, she and Kristy Swanson were cheerleaders in the original Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie.

Brad Pitt

Still hunky today and fun to watch on screen, Pitt followed his big break as a one-night stand in Thelma & Louise with, a year later, a cop protecting toons for 1992’s Cool World.

Kirsten Dunst

Sofia Coppola’s muse in both Marie Antoinette and The Virgin Suicides, Dunst is better known as Spider-Man’s girlfriend or a spirit-fingered cheerleader — but before that, she was the little girl in Jumanji and a bloodsucker’s jailbait in 1994’s Interview With The Vampire.

Jack Black

He’s appeared in more than 90 titles, which eclipses his music career (it’s easy to forget Tenacious D sometimes). When he started out, he must’ve auditioned for anything and everything — he was even a “smoker” pilot in Waterworld and a DJ at a party in the divorce comedy Bye Bye Love, both in 1995.

Gwenyth Paltrow

More famous for her relationships (engaged to Pitt and later married Coldplay’s Chris Martin) than her acting, Paltrow has a lot of variety in her career — Shallow Hal, Iron Man, Great Expectations, Duets, “Glee,” and an Oscar-winning performance in Shakespeare In Love. In 1991, she played young Wendy in Hook.

Robert Sean Leonard

Dr. James Wilson on “House” is a fantastic actor, but he’s sadly unrecognized for it. He delivered truly Oscar-worthy performances in Dead Poets Society (1989) and Swing Kids (1991, alongside Christian Bale).

Zooey Deschanel

The voice of She & Him, Zooey is perfect to star in anything that requires singing as well as being cute. She sang a duet with Will Ferrell in Elf, and played guitar in a high school funk band in 2002’s The New Guy.

Paul Rudd

The go-to guy for “bromances” today, people forget he was Cher’s stepbrother (whom she made out with, ew) in Clueless. Rudd also was a goofy college student on a road trip in 1998’s overlooked Overnight Delivery with Reese Witherspoon.

Rachel McAdams

Before she blew up on the scene as Regina George in Mean Girls and Allie in The Notebook, she switched bodies (literally) with Rob Schneider in 2002’s The Hot Chick.

Keanu Reeves

Alex Winter (Bill S. Preston, esquire) and Reeves (Ted “Theodore” Logan) both starred in 1989’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but only one survived with a career.

Meg Ryan

Even before she met Harry, the queen of romantic comedies in the 90’s was Goose’s wife in Top Gun, yelling “take me to bed or lose me forever!” (People also forget that the first Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan movie was the campy 1990 film Joe Versus The Volcano.)

Justin Long

He’s not a household name yet, but you know him from Dodgeball, He’s Just Not That Into You and the voice of Alvin in Alvin & The Chipmunks. (He’s also “the Mac guy.”) His first roles included a sci-fi fanboy in Tim Allen’s 1999 bomb Galaxy Quest and the nerd who tried to sleep with Britney Spears in 2002’s Crossroads.

Anthony Rapp

Also not a marquee name (unless you’re a Broadway fan – he played Mark in the original production of “Rent”), he’s been in a variety of movies but his first role was as a horny teenager in 1987’s Adventures In Babysitting.

Jennifer Connelly

Consistently sexy without looking slutty (unlike her younger doppelganger Megan Fox), Connelly won Best Actress for A Beautiful Mind and should’ve at least been nominated for Requiem For A Dream. She also starred in The Rocketeer (ha) and John Hughes’ underrated Career Opportunities, but her big start was opposite David Bowie in 1986’s The Labyrinth.

Elijah Wood

He may be most famous for playing a hobbit now, but Wood’s resume is pretty diverse. In 1989, the first time we saw him on screen, he only had one line: “That’s like a baby’s toy” in Back To The Future Part II.

What other fun, wacky first movie roles did your favorite actors play?

“Here’s looking at you, Kid-N-Play.” Play the #Oscars #Grammys #mashup Game!

"I'll get you my pretty, and your little Snoop Dogg too!" #Oscars #Grammys #mashup

Let’s play a fun game!

Since the Oscars were last night (and they were boring, from what I hear – I didn’t even bother watching) let’s play a game! Mashup your favorite movie quote with a famous artist! Here’s a few to get you started:

“Nobody puts Babyface in a corner.”
“Goonies never say Diana Ross!”
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could Missy Elliott.”
“I’m B.B. King of the world!”
“Here’s looking at you, Kid-N-Play.”

Share yours on Twitter with #Oscars #Grammys #mashup or leave a comment below with yours! If you include @deafgeoff if your tweet I’ll add them to this blog later :)

Was it just a dream? Explaining ‘Inception’ for once and for all.

Moviegoers went rampant in summer 2010 trying to explain Christopher Nolan’s mind-boggling Inception. Now the movie’s finally on DVD and you can watch it over and over, analyzing it again and again. But you still can’t figure it out. What the fuchsia happened?


Was it just a dream?
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My Top 5s of 2010 – the year in music, movies and more

I’m a firm believer in Top 5 lists. It’s a great snapshot of not only what a person likes, but what a person is like. Here’s what I liked in 2010:

Top 5 People to Follow on Twitter in 2010 (that you might not already be following)
1. Tracey Thorn (@Tracey_Thorn)
2. BT (@BT)
3. Kelly Lux (@KellyLux, @SyracuseU)
4. Chris Pinckney (@cpinck)
5. The Kirkegaards (@andCKsays, @RexyMamaK and @BabyRex)
Thorn is the voice behind Everything But The Girl (“Missing”) and still does solo albums, but her tweets are the cutest/funniest things you could expect from a 50-year old woman who loves posting about her kids, TV shows, her DJ husband (formerly the other half of EBTG) and how weird it is to hear remixes of her old songs played during group classes at the local gym. BT tweets about music, his beautiful daughter Kaia, spirituality and genuine positivity. Kelly Lux is the wisest lady in Central New York’s social media clique, and she balances sharing wisdom, interesting stories and local information (she also runs Syracuse University’s Twitter account). Chris Pinckney usually doesn’t post more than 2 or 3 times a day, but he’s always cracking me up with observations like “I wonder if bi-curious cats have to pay double for life insurance.” The Kirkegaards are the proud parents of the too-cute-for-words BabyRex and his Look Who’s Talking-esque inner monologue, but I get a kick out of what mom and dad add to my daily conversation, too.

Top 5 Albums of 2010
1. The Black Keys – Brothers
2. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
3. Scissor Sisters – Night Work
4. Tracey Thorn – Love & Its Opposite
5. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening

Eels put out two great albums this year, and I also loved the latest releases from BT, David Gray, Robyn, Bettye Lavette, and Ben Folds’ ambitious co-writing project with Nick Hornby. The most interesting music of 2010 had to be David Byrne & Fatboy Slim’s Here Lies Love, a double-disc mega-collaborative dancefloor-musical ode to Imelda Marcos.
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Netflix needs to offer subtitles on instant titles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing

Movie renting has changed dramatically in a short time. Video rental stores are a dying industry, and online viewing is surely the future of movie-watching as TV and internet continues to become more and more integrated.  One thing that will never change, however, is the need for deaf and hard-of-hearing people to be able to enjoy movies and TV shows the same way other people do.

Netflix, which lets you rent DVDs by mail, also provides “instant watching” – according to, 66% of its users used the instant watch feature in the third quarter of 2010.  Only 41 percent used it a year before, so that number will only increase (and could, conceivably, be the only way to rent movies one day).

According to, Netflix currently offers 11,619 titles to watch instantly.  That’s 11,619 movies and TV shows that you can watch online (with a computer, Wii, XBox or PS3) with a Netflix account.

According to this blog, only 300 of those titles offer English subtitles (also known as “captions”) for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.  The list gets updated often, and as someone who’s tried to watch numerous movies instantly on Netflix, I’d have to say it’s very accurate.

To put it simply – only 2.5% of the instant watch titles can be viewed with subtitles.  In other words, 35 million deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans can only enjoy 2.5% of the movies Netflix offers instantly.

Since 1993, the FCC has required all televisions to have built-in closed captioning readers. Federal law also requires American film distributors to caption all movies prior to their release. And don’t try and tell me that online streaming video is different. Last year, even YouTube started offering subtitles for its free video-sharing site including “automatic captioning” for users that don’t provide their own subtitles.

Netflix has promised to offer more titles with subtitles, but in seven months have only improved from 100 titles to 300.  Not good enough, Netflix.  2.5 percent of all movies and TV shows is an abysmal amount.

Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin posted a video on AOL asking the 35 million deaf and hard-of-hearing people in America to “make noise” and be heard. Matlin, among other roles, was the deaf tennis lineswoman in an episode of “Seinfeld.”

“If you see something isn’t right, if there’s a law out there that doesn’t make sense,” said Matlin, “do anything you can to speak your mind to it, don’t be alone… make yourself heard.”

I’m making myself be heard, Netflix.  If you’re going to offer movies as instant titles, you need to offer them in a way that everyone can enjoy them – with subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.  Thank you.

I didn’t hit the ‘like’ button for The Social Network. Did you?

This weekend, the net’s all a-twitter with the release of “the Facebook movie,” a.k.a. The Social Network, written by fellow Syracuse University alum Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, “The West Wing”) and directed by David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club, Panic Room).

According to imdb, the movie’s budget was $50 million and the movie’s pacing to make about half of that opening weekend, so it’s clearly not a blockbuster hit, but the professional critics love the movie.  There’s already rumor of it being nominated for awards.  And I’ve browsed various status updates from friends (and strangers) and it seems most people like the movie (although says only 47% have given it a thumbs up).  I just don’t get why.

>> Read my full review of The Social Network on

Am I crazy?  If you liked it, explain why.  Help me understand.