Yearly Archive: 2012

Dec

30

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Behold, the future

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.

Dec

29

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oops cut off our forehead

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.

Dec

28

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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.

why didn't we think of it first?  then we wouldn't have to interrupt vaca to write this post...

Achtung, baby

Dec

26

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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

Dec

21

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SO BEAUTIFUL

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

Dec

21

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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!

  • Deantini is still hoping for that Ferrari 250 GTO (as last year Santa failed to deliver once again), but, more importantly, he wants to”figure out how to reduce the sense of stress that so many students seem to feel.”
  • KevSho wants “Ahi Poke, since I won’t be going home to Hawai’i for the holidays, and that everyone has a safe and restful break.”
  • Dean Martinez wants a quiet day by the fire with her family, a good meal, and a great wine.
  • Lorrie Edwards, Wallach security guard, wants to be able to spend more time with his family.
  • Claire Sabel would like “surprises! Especially alliterative ones. My suitemates surprised me
    with a salad spinner wrapped in a Snuggie, it was the best.”
  • Columbia Admirers is hoping for “a MASSIVE, Consensual, Safe Orgy on Low Steps with Alma.”
  • Columbia Insults really wants Columbians to take themselves less seriously.
  • @Butler_209 wishes for “a full day of sleep, i.e. 24 hours, and at least 2 passing grades.”
  • @barnlib wants–for the library–a second Data Librarian, a third Archivist, and offices to put them in.  And for herself, “books, cats, sleep & a little zine cataloging.”
  • Will Hughes is searching for “a percocet milkshake (just got my wisdom teeth out) or a slow dance with PrezBo.”
  • The man who works nights at the halal cart by EC (whose name Bwog drunkenly got and promptly forgot) is Muslim, but is looking forward to giving a few small gifts to his family.  (He then proceeded to fill Bwog’s container to overcapacity and threw in fries for free, saying we need to eat up to do well on exams.)
  • Bwog Tech Constituent 1 wants “to eradicate Columbia’s rape culture, have a higher Klout score than the rat bastard commie Ali S., and for vegetarians to be humanely treated.”
  • Bwog Tech Constituent 2 is singing for…
    • 6 Servers Spinning
    • 5 Backups Backing
    • 4 Writers Writing
    • 3 Designers Designing
    • 2 Techs Tech’ing
    • And beer.

Ultimately, though, Bwog wants Justin Bieber to buy us a tiny LBD and kiss us under the mistletoe.

Majestic beauty via Wilson Ho

Dec

21

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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?):

My socks.

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

Dec

21

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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

Dec

21

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“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

Dec

21

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Drink well, Columbia.

 

Dec

20

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Cheerful wisdom

Cheerful wisdom

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.

1. Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer.

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.

2. Your claim to fame (what makes you special?):

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.

3. What’s your most valuable or unexpected college experience?

A graduate fellowship. It has given me time and space to develop as a teacher and thinker.

4. What’s the craziest student excuse/extension story you’ve heard?

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.

(more…)

Dec

20

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The perfect last minute present for home

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

Dec

20

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Bwog getting ready for the apocalypse tonight

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

Dec

19

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ultra classy

Intense gaze wisdom

1. Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer.

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.

2. Your claim to fame (what makes you special?):

Oh man — no idea. I do have a good sense of humor, I think.

3. What’s your most valuable or unexpected college experience?

Listening to Borges, nearly blind, read in Low Library as several pigeons circled high above him.

4. What’s the craziest student excuse/extension story you’ve heard?

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.

(more…)

Dec

19

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They could very well have meant this Greece

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.

  • Boy constructing cheatsheet in 210: Wet dreams. Get it?
  • 209 A: Stimulants.
  • 209 B: Remembering how much work I have to do.
  • Girl on Facebook in 202: Thinking about all of the work I should be doing instead of sleeping. My sleep schedule is pretty reversed right now. I’m basically nocturnal.
  • Boy in 303 with a million papers in front of him: This is going to sound boring, but work.
  • Girl in 303 working on a lab report: Too much silence or too much noise. Either/or.
  • 303b alcove denizen: *taps coffee cup*
  • Two boys studying in 3rd floor hallway: 1: Caffeine. 2: Prospects of failing out of college.
  • Ref room A: I took a 4-hour nap.
  • Ref room B: I just work better at night.
  • 310 alcove A: Caffeine.
  • 310 alcove B: Studying.
  • Girl studying in stairwell: Finals.
  • Two girls in 4th floor study room: 1. Music and giggles. 2. Starbucks mocha frappuccinos and prayer.
  • Very sweet boy in 403: I have an exam tomorrow morning and a presentation in the afternoon, so I feel like I should stay up and prepare for it. How many finals do you have left?
  • 5th floor boy in a room all to himself: Just caffeine.
  • Very sweet girl in 504: (giggles) I’m almost failing everything! How about you?
  • Two 6th floor studious girls: 1. Coffee. 2. Having this due tomorrow!

And now for a completely different answer:

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