Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fanny Wang headphone review

There’s been a recent trend in the world of headphones- funky means fresh. But more often than not, music lovers are forced to sacrifice good sound for good looks.

Fortunately, a company called Fanny Wang has built a solution.

Fanny Wang 1003 headphones feature an on-ear design that is not so unique; they look similar to Solo Beats by Dr. Dre. But what distinguishes them from other headphones, what will have people turning their heads to get a better look, are the wild colors offered by Fanny Wang.

I am currently sporting a pair of 1003’s that are a bold minty turquoise color. People stare at them when I wear them walking to class.

While the cans are a thing of beauty, they’ve also got brains and brawn.

The chord alone is extremely functional. There is a built-in splitter that makes sharing your favorite music a snap. And the other end features an inline remote with volume rocker, play/pause button, and a microphone so they can be used with an iPhone. The chord itself detaches from the left ear cup and can be used as an auxiliary chord.

Another great aspect of the 1003’s is how solid they feel. Under the hard plastic is a metal skeleton. This should comfort buyers looking to invest in the cans. When spending $175 on headphones, durability is essential.

The best part, and the most important part, is how great these headphones sound. I own a pair of Bose headphones, and after listening to some select songs with the Fanny Wangs, I heard sounds on familiar tracks that I never knew existed.

After a session of listening to hip-hop, rock, jazz, and one viewing of Die Hard, I am convinced these headphones can handle anything. They easily surpassed my sound quality expectations.

If the Fanny Wangs have a single drawback, it’s comfort.

Perhaps my head is larger than the average Californian’s (where Fanny Wangs are designed), but after about an hour of wearing the 1003’s I am ready to take them off. With that said, I do not think this would be a problem with the company’s around-ear model.

I consider myself as a touch critic when it comes to audio equipment, and the Fanny Wang 1003’s are quality headphones that I would recommend to my friends and family, but I may not refer to them by name around my grandmother.

— by Jordan Montgomery

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Where to soak up the sun - Spring Break 2012

If you're one of the lucky kids who gets to escape the bi-polar Midwest weather we've been having for the next week, you're most likely going to somewhere with a lot of sun, sand, and sangria. Here is a line-up of the top picks of Spring Break hotspots (based on an unofficial survey of Facebook statuses, tweets, and random bragging overheard by friends and acquaintances).

1. Panama City Beach (PCB)

Let's be honest — if you're going to PCB, your ready to over-consume in every aspect of the word. Too many shots, too much tanning, and too much sloppy smooching are likely on the to-do list. This is the perfect place to escape all of the stresses of school, work, and real life in general. But beware, it's also a great place to get alcohol poisoning, or crabs.

2. Las Vegas

If you're feeling lucky and have some spare cash, Las Vegas is the place for you this spring break. It may be a pricier trip than others, but the risk may be worth the reward if the Blackjack table is hot. Vegas has a lot to offer from the casinos, to the poolside drink service and one of a kind nightlife. For the college student Vegas-goers this spring, the chance of a Hangover remake is always possible. Consider yourself lucky if you come back richer, and for the rest — remember: what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

3. Florida/Arizona (obligatory grandparent visit)

And then there are the spring break trips that are actually relaxing and highlight the word "break." These are also some of the most cost and health efficient trips. Weather you're visiting grandpa for a golfing trip in Naples, or going to lounge by grandma's pool in Tuscon, taking a family trip does have its perk. You might not rage hard, or meet a hot fling for a week, but some good R and R never hurt anyone.

-Hannah Kramer

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Don't Look At Meme!

Students at the University of Iowa have caught meme fever and it's spreading like strep throat at a beer pong tournament.

Yesterday a Facebook page entitled University of Iowa Memes was created, and today nearly 5,000 people have liked it.

One look at the page and you'll find it is easy to see why so many people are drawn to it. What's not to like about seeing your fellow students exercise their sharp wit to poke fun at the university.

Here are some of the highlights of the quickly growing archive:

Do you like these memes?

Do you have other personal favorites?

Let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

And the nominees are...

Another January rolls around and the red carpets roll out.

Award season is a much anticipated annual occasion for Hollywood stars, socialites, and fashionistas alike.

In case you haven't checked out this year's Academy Award nominees, I'll catch you up to speed.

Best Picture:

The Artist

Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
War Horse
The Decendants
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Help

Actor in a Leading Role:
Demián Bichir
George Clooney
Jean Dujardin
Gary Oldman
Brad Pitt

Actress in a Leading Role:
Glenn Close
Viola Davis
Rooney Mara
Meryl Streep
MIchelle Williams

Well there are the head hanchos for you. Obviously, the nominations go on much farther than that -- with nominations for everything from costuming to Sound editing. See the full list of nominations here:

Now that I'm sure you are all beside yourselves in anticipation of who will win the coveted golden figurines, I must tell you to be patient. The award show will not take place until Sunday, Feburary 27 at 6 p.m. CST.

-by Hannah Kramer

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Your Second Semester in the Arts

With a new semester just getting underway, many of the local venues are starting to promote their events for the semester. Whether that includes theater, music, or dance performances, these performing arts spaces have the community in mind while picking the most talked about events for the start of 2012. Here's a list of just a few of the events that you don't want to miss as the semester continues.

•L.A. Theatre Works, "The Rivalry"
Thursday, February 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Englert Theatre

•Lucky Plush Productions, "Punk Yankees"
Thursday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Space Place Theater

•Dave Pietro
Thursday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Englert Theatre

•The Gizmo Guys
Sunday, May 20 at 2 p.m.
City High School, Opstad Auditorium

•Iowa Opera House Project Featuring Sam Knutson
Thursday, February 9 at 8 p.m.
Englert Theatre

•Hot Tuna (Acoustic Show)
Thursday, March 8 at 8 p.m.
Englert Theatre

•Mason Jennings
Friday, April 6 at 8 p.m.
Englert Theatre

•Romeo and Juliet
Thursday, April 26

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Misson Creek 2012 announcement

Earlier this week, the coordinators of the Iowa City Mission Creek Festival announced the dates of the 2012 event.

When: March 27-April 1, 2012
Where: venues and art spaces in downtown Iowa City
Featuring: The Magnetic Fields, David Cross, Sharon Van Etten, & Bowerbirds

The DI Arts staff talked with Mission Creek's founder Andre Perry about what visitors can expect at the 2012 festival.

Perry said the upcoming festival will include some new additions including food appreciation and an artist-in-residency series.

The artist in residence series was started by Mission Creek producer Christopher Wiersema in an effort to get visiting acts more involved with the community and the culture of Iowa City. Perry said that some of the performing artists with collaborate with local, Luke Tweedy to record music in Iowa City during their visits. They will record in Tweedy's Flat Black studios. Perry confirmed that at least three of the acts coming this spring will record music in Iowa City while they are here. One of these bands is Dirty Beaches who will complete a split release with local band, Wet Hair. Perry said this is a way for musicians to commemorate their experience in Iowa City for the Mission Creek Festival.

Perry said that Mission Creek is a special event in the Iowa City arts scene because it runs a wide spectrum of performances, appeals to various demographics of festival-goers from students to residents, and takes advantage of local geography to engage artists with the community.

All-Access Passes ($115) can be purchased online at Midwestix and the Englert Theatre Box Office.

More information about performing acts and venues will be available in January 2012. Check back with the Daily Iowan at for festival updates.

-by Hannah Kramer

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Santa likes gingerbread, I swear!

When I was a little girl, I used to set out cookies and milk for Santa on Christmas Eve. As usual, we would have tins upon tins upon tins filled with homemade cookies that my mother so lovingly baked with her four little monsters, or Christmas elves as I liked to think.

Choosing what to leave out for Santa was always a struggle! Does he like sugar? gingerbread? almond crescents? or my Dad's famous "birds nests"...

Well one year I left out Gingerbread boys and when I came down in the middle of the night to see if Santa arrived...he had! and he left a note! There was hay all over my front walkway from the reindeer, a note from the Jolly old fella and a BRAND NEW BIKE under the tree.

So, in my experience Santa loves gingerbread! Leave him a taste and you might be extra surprised this holiday!

Here are the two most scrumptious cookie recipes for the holidays to share with your family and friends.



  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly milled black pepper
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 large egg

  • Royal Icing (recipe follows)
    • 1 pound (4 1/2 cups) confectioners' sugar
    • 2 tablespoons dried egg-white powder
    • 6 tablespoons water
    • Position the racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, salt and pepper through a wire sieve into a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer at high speed, beat the butter and vegetable shorteninguntil well-combined, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat until the mixture is light in texture and color, about 2 minutes. Beat in the molasses and egg. Using a wooden spoon, gradually mix in the flour mixture to make a stiff dough. Divide the dough into two thick disks and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours. (The dough can be prepared up to 2 days ahead.)

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature until just warm enough to roll out without cracking, about 10 minutes. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Using cookie cutters, cut out the cookies and transfer to nonstick cookie sheets, placing the cookies 1 inch apart. Gently knead the scraps together and form into another disk. Wrap and chill for 5 minutes before rolling out again to cut out more cookies.

Bake, switching the positions of the cookies from top to bottom and back to front halfway through baking, until the edges of the cookies are set and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on the sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire cake racks to cool completely. Decorate with Royal Icing. (The cookies can be prepared up to 1 week ahead, stored in airtight containers at room temperature.)

Have a safe and happy holiday season and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Fashion Don't

After watching the Victoria Secret fashion show last night, it made me realize that I probably shouldn't go for that second piece of chocolate that I'd been eye balling all night.

It made me sick to my stomach to watch this year's Angels walk the runaway, and yes unlike them I actually do have a stomach. While all the girls watching this are commenting on how unhealthily skinny all of the models look, the guys watching the show can't keep their eyes off of their chest. It shouldn't surprise me I know, but if that's what girls have to look like in order to get some attention, then count me out. I wouldn't be surprised if every one of those girls had some type of eating disorder. It's one thing to be in shape, but the Angels were scary skinny. I'd hate to see what happened to those of them who might have gained two pounds over Thanksgiving.

Aside from the girls bodies, the costumes were interesting this year. It seemed like super heroes and angel wings were the most consistent costumes throughout the show. They were gorgeous don't get me wrong, but it wasn't exactly the typical lingerie that someone would buy at Victoria Secret. Obviously, these were strictly for the runway.

Musical performances by Maroon 5, Nicki Minaj, and the duo of Jay-Z and Kanye West added some more entertainment to the show.

It was worth taking an hour out of my night just to see what these girls looked like, but can someone please get them a hamburger?

-Sam Gentry

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Good eats for Turkey Day

Every Thanksgiving the calorie counts, fad diets, and concern for looking thin are put on hold for the annual holiday when we give thanks by stuffing our faces - how becoming of American society.

Because plain old turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie are getting a bit dull after 22 years, I thought I would offer some new (and healthier) recipe ideas for readers to try this year.

Use these tasty new ideas to surprise your families this year. I'm sure the "ooo's" and "yumms" will make you smile (or annoy the crap out of you when they never end.)

-Hannah Kramer

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Things I’ve Decided I Need for the Cold Weather Months

1. A Cape

Because, why not? I will feel like the ravishing and mysterious heroine of a beautiful and tragic French film. I will probably start wearing a lot of red lipstick and berets. Although, first I will need to learn how to place the beret in a jauntily askew way on top of my head. I don’t know how. And it will keep me toasty and be roomy, so even when I’m bloaty, I can still be ravishing and mysterious.

2. Furry Earmuffs

I’m thinking grey because for some reason I feel like that makes them less obnoxious.

It doesn’t really though. These do have headphones inside though, so maybe that gives them some cred...

3. A Cool Mug

I just realized that the only cool mug I own is my plastic Queen Amidala mug, and you can’t put plastic in the microwave.

I have a couple of mugs that I’ve painted at paint-your-own-pottery places, but they have sentimental value, so I don’t want to use them.

Maybe something like this:

To keep my drinks tough and toasty.

4. Roller Skates

This has nothing to do with the cold weather, but maybe winter is the perfect time to start training, so I can finally realize my dream of being a roller derby all-star.

Look for me roller skating around Iowa City in my cape and earmuffs, sipping coffee from my brass knuckle mug. I don't think I'll be too hard to find.

-Julia Jessen