Written by Bwog Staff
December 30, 20122:33 pm 18 Comments
Behold, the future
Several traveling tipsters have reported the awesome new MTA app will make your downtown ventures that much easier. The MTA Subway Time app basically displays the exact same information that’s on the overhead station clocks—the projected train arrival times, including any delays—except on your phone. As the helpful image to the right illustrates, you can see up to four trains in advance.
While the benefit of it being *on your phone* is enough to score a download, the eventually completed app would be particularly useful for those few stations that still don’t have the overhead timers (a.k.a all of the Brooklyn R stations ever). Station inequality aside, we can see this app actually being helpful in deciding how fast to sprint/powerwalk/stroll to the subway, although that implies a level of advance planning we never considered.
The test version of the app only has information for the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and S lines…but it’s not like Columbia students venture any farther than that. And to make this even more attractive to us, the MTA advertises the app as a motion towards “transparency,” proving that we’re not the only ones obsessed with the concept. We <3 NY.
Tags: here's an app for your new iphone, hooray for transparency!, mta, news about the subway that's good, now there is an app for that, the real question is 116th or 110th
December 29, 20122:00 pm 21 Comments
The new face of Courseworks
The next Mark Zuckerberg works in CUIT, and he’s created a social network exclusively for Columbia students. This isn’t your grandmother’s Courseworks, with its “graphical log-in.” This is a cutting-edge social network.
Every Columbia student now has a profile (just click on “Profile” under “My Workspace”). Here, you can list “Personal Information” (favorite TV shows, favorite quotes, links to other social networks), upload pictures, and post 140-character status updates. You can also add classmates as “connections” by searching their names—but only official Columbia names, so you’re William, not Bill—or shared interests.
Or you could take advantage of the site’s best new feature: “roster.” Roster lets you see the names of all the students in each of your classes—and you can do that now, by clicking “Next Semester.” You can also see their pictures if they’ve enabled that in Courseworks’ privacy settings–making finding your next date that much easier. (Unlike most networks, Courseworks’ default privacy settings are extremely strict: even your friends aren’t allowed to see your favorite TV shows or send you messages.)
Like all good social networks, Courseworks also has games, though there’s only one and it’s only for professors. CUIT says that course instructors can play “Facebook flash cards” (subtle, right?), which lets them view their students’ pictures and try to guess their names. It even keeps score, reminding professors just how many students never went to office hours.
Courseworks is so good that we figure it’s only a matter of time until the playboy venture capitalists come calling, whispering in CUIT’s ear that it’s not cool if the site only goes down a million times during finals. Until then, we’ll be uploading inappropriate pictures and friending everyone we know.
Tags: courseworks, cuit, Drop the "New." Just "Courseworks." It's cleaner., mark zuckerberg, social networks, we're all going to lose money on the IPO
December 28, 20125:10 pm 9 Comments
Update: Spec has returned from its time off/defeated the malware, and is no longer blocked by Google Chrome. At last, your endless cycle of Top Sites surfing is complete again.
Apparently not all Columbians appreciate the ideas of “break” and “being away” and keep coming back to check campus news like addicts to an opium den. We understand, trust us we understand, that you need your usual fix, but campus publications need breaks too! To give themselves the ultimate excuse to take time off, our pals over at Spec have been infected by malware. They’re working on clearing everything up, but for now you’ll have to skip their site in your BuzzFeed-Facebook-Reddit-Twitter-Bwog-Tumblr K-hole.
Tags: columbia spectator, did we just make an opium reference? time to reread The Ruby in the Smoke...or watch the BBC adaptation...or just watch Billie Piper in Doctor Who, go read a book or something, spectrum
December 26, 20121:30 pm 42 Comments
It may come as a shock, but the University of Havana (North) currently offers no philosophy class devoted to our patron saint, Karl Marx. Sure, half of the courses here analyze things “from a Marxist perspective” but there is no class that takes an in-depth look at Marx’s philosophy and its relationship to Hegel’s. But one group of ambitious sophomores are trying to change that. Vanguardists!
They’ve written a groveling letter to Professor Neuhouser of the Philosophy department, which somebody (lol) forwarded to Bwog. In the letter, the sophomores—”all of [whom] are professed Marxists or are at least very sympathetic to Marxism”—request that Professor Neuhouser create and teach “a semester-long seminar on Hegel/Marx, preferably either an entire course on the Phenomenology of Spirit and/or on Capital, Vol. I from a philosophical/historical perspective.” Because only professed Marxists ought to take such a class, or have a claim for one? Whatever, they’re Marxists, not liberals.
Professor Neuhouser has already offered to lead an independent reading group on Capital for these Very Young Hegelians, but they feel that they need a formal course as preparation to “fulfill what [Marxist philosopher Theodor] Adorno believed had been missed in his time: the realization of philosophy.” They’ll even promise Professor Neuhouser that they won’t sleep in class, sort of: “you won’t find any of us sleeping in such a class (okay, perhaps this may be an exaggeration; I personally sometimes have difficulty with my sleeping schedule).” Still, though.
It takes a while for a department to get a new course approved—remember “Occupy the Field”?—so the earliest this seminar could be offered would be next fall. But one thing’s for sure: if and when this class is eventually added to the syllabus, we’ll hear about it on Fox News.
Update: Professor Neuhouser has responded to the sophomores’ letter:
Next year I plan to teach Hist. of Phil. III and my Hegel lecture course. The latter especially would be good for students in your situation to take. I hope to be able to teach Eur. Social Phil. in 2014-15; when I teach that course we spend half the semester on Marx. (You could take that course even if you’ve taken it with Prof. Honneth, since the readings will be entirely different.)
Read the full letter
Tags: frederick neuhouser, hegel, karl marx, marxism, new courses, philosophy, University of Havana-North, vanguardism, very young hegelians
December 21, 20128:37 pm 23 Comments
Snow, sun, whatever – better than finals
Like the government trying to solve the extremely important problem of the fiscal cliff before the end of the year, Bwog is doing the responsible thing and going on vacation. We sincerely hope that you all have a relaxing break, whether you’re at home, actually on vaca, or hanging out in Morningside. Enjoy your time off, read books you actually want to read, and watch a shit ton of TV. Dream big.
Winter wonderland via Shutterstock
Tags: bwog on break, cya, fiscal cliff, lemon out, yum economy
December 21, 20126:33 pm 5 Comments
Hawkma would like more mice to eat
For Christmas, Bwog asked (once again) some of our favorite people–who make life easier at the very least more exciting–what they want for non-denominational end-of-the-year/world gift giving. See how you can make them so happy they could puke!
Ultimately, though, Bwog wants Justin Bieber to buy us a tiny LBD and kiss us under the mistletoe.
Majestic beauty via Wilson Ho
Tags: "happy holidays is what terrorists say", beliebers<33333, bieber, christmas, holidaze, juxtaposition of the earnest and the snark as always, no but really bwog just wants to be home with our cat, where are you christmas?
December 21, 20124:32 pm 19 Comments
His claim to fame also involves suspenders
Our last Actual Wisdom takes a radical leap from professors to other really cool people at Columbia. Dean Peter Awn discusses the merits of monasteries, socks, and gives you your daily dose of soul (music).
1. Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer.
Solon claims you’re not counted happy until you’re in an urn. Sorry Solon; nihil humani mihi alienum est, and that makes me a very happy man…now.
2. Your claim to fame (what makes you special?):
3. What’s your most valuable or unexpected college experience?
I was in a monastery, so I had no college experience, unexpected or otherwise. One of the humbler pleasures, perhaps, was when we didn’t have to speak Latin at dinner.
4. What’s the craziest student excuse/extension story you’ve heard?
My little sister ate the paper and had to be taken to the Emergency Room.
5. Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese?
Generally speaking, for men my age, you can’t ask whether to give it up unless you can get… your cholesterol checked regularly.
6. Back in my day…
There is no longer a homeless man living in the men’s bathroom in Kent who walked around naked when he was doing his laundry in the sink. I also miss being taken hostage on the 15th floor of SIPA during the anti-Shah protests in the late seventies. The hostage takers were more nervous than we were, which was touching. And then there were the years I could walk into class with a cigarette hanging out of my mouth……
7. Three things you learned at Columbia:
I never thought that I would be as passionate as I am about a Columbia education; that I would relish the privilege of being part of undergraduates’ lives at a time when they are putting their adult worldviews together; that you can walk out the front gates and have a life.
8. What’s your advice to students/academics/the human race in general?
The great philosopher, Aretha, hit it on the head: R-E-S-P-E-C-T. I am also a great promoter of the value of being offended. Hopefully challenging and, yes, sometimes offensive ideas will force you to expand and/or nuance your intellectual horizons.
The ever-eloquent Awn via Alan Orling/Columbia
Tags: actual wisdom, actual wisdom 2012, and we think the language requirement is rough, being offended, monasteries, peter awn, peter awn feeling sympathy for hostage takers
December 21, 20121:28 pm 1 Comments
Filling the void left by Dirks
…in the form of election to a search committee for the next Exec VP for Arts and Sciences aaaand Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences! The fifteen-member committee, chaired by Robert “Bob” Jervis was (about) half chosen by the Policy and Planning Committee of the Arts and Sciences. A majority of members are professors, with some alumni and one CC student–Daphne Chen, CC’14 and CCSC VP of Finance. Also on the committee is Terry Plank, genius and GSAS Convocation speaker. They will be picking the replacement for Nicholas Dirks (hope Cali sun is treatin’ ya well!) “by the close of the current academic year.”
Full email and list after the jump
Tags: are there any permanent deans left?, daphne chen, good riddance, merry christmas here's some responsibilities, MORE COMMITTEES!, nicholas dirks, terry a plank, the other half of the committee was chosen by a magical pony named Margaret, time to nominate yourself for dean
December 21, 20129:00 am 2 Comments
“This just in from NASA: there’s a giant asteroid shaped like the number ‘2012’ on a collision course with earth!”
The hour is nigh. Gird your loins, get out the bong waterpipe and come hide under our covers: it’s (supposed to be) the end of the world, motherfuckers.
Bwogline: In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last five years, according to the Mayan calendar (and a really bad action movie) the world is supposed to end today. Except not even the Mayans are convinced—not even the Mayans in Brooklyn. Neither is NASA.
Finals tip: When in doubt, quote the original language version of the text.
Procrastinate: Since the world is going to be obliterated soon anyways, look at pretty pictures of outer space.
Overheard: “I’m going to do all of the things that I don’t do here. Like play video games, and relax.”
Likely end of the world scenario via Shutterstock
Tags: 2012 = the end of the world, bwog in bed, dark night of the soul, dark night of the world, end of the world as we know it, end of the world maybe, final countdown, the final countdown, the mayan calendar, worst case scenario: the end of the world
December 21, 201212:42 am 5 Comments
Drink well, Columbia.
Tags: glam rock, the end of a plebeian obsession, the end of the semester, the end of the world, things that are convenient excuses to get drunk with other people
December 20, 20128:09 pm 10 Comments
In our penultimate Actual Wisdom (look out tomorrow night for a super special Dean Wisdom), Nathan Pilkington casually drops his language prowess, explicitly mentions his Southerness, and eschews Columbia lions in favor of another savanna animal.
To remind Columbia freshmen that they have reached the start and not the finish. To demonstrate that Rome was not the wonderful place it is sometimes imagined to be.
I am one of the few people at Columbia with an identifiable Southern accent. When necessary, I can impose it on any one of the other eight languages I speak.
A graduate fellowship. It has given me time and space to develop as a teacher and thinker.
In seven years, I have only had one student tell a lie for an extension. I have never had a student pitch a crazy excuse. I feel a bit left out here.
Tags: actual wisdom, actual wisdom 2012, but our tennis courts are underground...., nathan pilkington, southern accents, southern manners, wildebeest is probably the best description of college students ever
December 20, 201211:40 am 1 Comments
The perfect last minute present for home
It’s the last market week of the semester! Go and celebrate your last final/fortify yourself for your last final with hot cider, donuts with massive amounts of sugar, and other market-y, wintry things. The Columbia market is open year-round on Sundays and Thursdays and as always, accepts credit, debit, and EBT.
There is food scrap collection for compost every Sunday, from 8am to 1pm, and textile recycling every Sunday from 8am to 3pm.
The market will be OPEN Sunday, 12/23, for all of your last minute holiday shopping. Stumped on what to get your favorite foodie? Give him or her access to the foundation for every delicious meal: farm-fresh, local ingredients! Swing by Market Information to purchase Greenmarket tokens, which never expire and can be used at any Greenmarket location. Bwog recommends the pocket cookies from Meredith’s Bread. They’re like little bundles of sweet apricot/raspberry congratulations.
Homemade happiness via Wikimedia Commons
Tags: cookies are brain food too, greenmarket, last chance to get them apples, morningside almanac
December 20, 20129:00 am 2 Comments
Bwog getting ready for the apocalypse tonight
It’s now only a matter of hours until you can jump for joy and revel in the total freedom of winter break. Draw from us the strength to last one more day, and we’ll see you tonight at the party end of the world.
Bwogline: Although the Canadian video of a child being flown away by an eagle was proven false, records do show that a similar incident happened in 1901. Lesson: continue to watch out for menacing birds around toddlers. (NY Mag)
Finals tip: Spending a whole day thinking about what you’re going to write about instead of actually writing it totally equals progress.
Procrastinate: Get ready for your upcoming month of home-cooked meals by stocking up on your food porn, a.k.a the NYMag food diaries. Also the sex diaries.
Overheard: Two girls with priorities:
Girl 1: “I told her we just left the concert, do you wanna hang out with her in like 20 minutes?
Girl 2: “Yeah, let me just go change my underwear.”
Brit via Wikimedia Commons
Tags: baby on an eagle, bwog in bed, cleanliness is next to godliness, gratuitous children's series references, necessary britney spears references, the end is nigh
December 19, 20129:33 pm 14 Comments
Intense gaze wisdom
I don’t need to justify my existence–I wasn’t responsible for it. But since I’m here, I hope that by the time I’m gone I’ve written a few things and loved a few people well.
Oh man — no idea. I do have a good sense of humor, I think.
Listening to Borges, nearly blind, read in Low Library as several pigeons circled high above him.
A student who regularly missed class to hop trains told me that the reason she wasn’t in class was that she had a severe disability: irritable bowel syndrome.
Tags: actual wisdom, actual wisdom 2012, ahhhh nostalgic tv, back when low was a beautiful and real thing, stacey d'erasmo, there's no substitute for ibs
December 19, 20128:02 pm 20 Comments
They could very well have meant this Greece
Last night, Bwog procrastinated from its various papers by conducting another Bwog Asked on unsuspecting library-goers, this time asking the ambiguously ominous question, “What keeps you up at night?” Here’s a sampling of some of our results, along with an unexpectedly detailed conversation about grease.
And now for a completely different answer:
Tags: bwog asked, drugz, finals, inane 3 am conversations, interpretation
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