Pop Chart

4 minute read
Claire Suddath, Kayla Webley, Megan Friedman, Feifei Sun and Megan Gibson




A Virginia Tech bot captured the top spot at RoboCup 2011–the World Cup for robot soccer players.


As the host and reigning champ of the Women’s World Cup, Germany was extra crushed by its 1-0 loss to Japan.



Android= 9 Points

Word nerds, rejoice: Scrabble, the popular game app long available for iPhone users, will now be downloadable on Google’s Android, the most popular smart-phone platform in the U.S. The best new feature? Android players aren’t limited to competitors on their operating system. They can also play against iPhone, iPad and Facebook users.


The Comeback Bears

American Greetings, which created the Care Bears in 1981 for a line of greeting cards, announced that the colorful ursine Samaritans would be revived for a 2012 CGI animated show–all the better for visualizing those magic belly tattoos.


To mark the 35th anniversary of his first individual collection, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is presenting “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier.” On display through Oct. 2, the exhibition features runway videos, sketches and 140 edgy ensembles by the French fashion designer.


‘I’d rather smoke crack than eat cheese from a can.’

GWYNETH PALTROW, actress and foodie, promoting her new cookbook on a British talk show; she did not offer her thoughts on crack from a can


What Big Ears!

Music sales are up 8.5% this year. And though digital has seen the biggest increase (singles are up 11%), even the traditional album has gotten a slight bump of 1%, the first uptick since 2004. Apparently, 1% counts as success.



Panic Driven

The City of Angels reacted with collective road rage at the announcement that a 10-mile (16 km) stretch of Interstate 405 would be out of commission for 53 hours starting July 15. With construction forcing the closure of the freeway from LAX airport to the San Fernando Valley, stressed Angelenos are calling the impending gridlock carmaggedon. Is shutting an artery that carries an estimated 500,000 cars per weekend a big deal? Sure. Is the over-the-top nickname confirmation of L.A. residents’ overreliance on both their vehicles and their disaster-movie tropes? Most definitely.



Abba Heads East

China has taken a chance on Mamma Mia! The Broadway hit, which opened July 8 in Shanghai, is the first Chinese staging of a Western musical entirely in Mandarin to tour nationally. But given the supercatchy Abba melodies, we don’t think much will be lost in translation.


‘I’m not saying don’t drink. Just don’t do 13 shots out of a bowling ball.’

DAVE ROBERGE, manager of O.A.R.; the jam band recently adopted a fan code of conduct, dubbed the “Don’t be that guy (or girl)” policy, after several concerts got out of hand


Norman Rockwell’s The Problem We All Live With now hangs outside the Oval Office. The White House borrowed the work for the 50th anniversary of 6-year-old Ruby Bridges’ integration of a New Orleans school.


Mondo Cool Posters

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences just became slightly less stodgy. The organization has partnered with Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse (known to readers of Pop Chart as the best cinema in America) to archive its hundreds of Mondo film posters, in which artists reimagine old movies. The prints range (left to right) from the minimalist to the ornate to the evocative.


Her OWN Boss

After spending decades in front of the cameras, she’s stepping behind the desk: Oprah Winfrey will become CEO of her struggling television network, OWN. Winfrey had initially taken a hands-off approach, but low ratings have spurred the mogul to assume control of the company that bears her name.


1. Netflix’s DVD-and-streaming-plan price hike.

That is, of course, unless you’re someone who likes to complain about paying for stuff.

2. Overdosing on Harry Potter.

Psych! It’s all you’re gonna hear about for a few more days.

3. Adam Sandler’s ego.

In Jack and Jill, he plays a man and his twin sister. That’s really all you need to know.

4. Ahnold’s postscandal career.

The Governator will return to movies, playing a border-town sheriff in the action film The Last Stand.

5. Pandora’s pre-eminence.

The streaming radio service just passed the 100 million-user mark.

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