Daily Archive: December 3, 2016

Dec

3

img December 03, 20168:23 pmimg 1 Comments

An incredibly realistic image of a party at Carman

An incredibly realistic image of a party at Carman

Recently, Senior Staff Writer Gabrielle Kloppers was lucky enough to have the opportunity to offer a survey to her close list of 800 Facebook friends. The survey concerned alcohol and drug use at Columbia, and their affect on GPA. The results were surprising.

I know, I know. What a played out survey topic, right? We see the exact same survey on the Class Facebook page every week. But this time is different- this time it is mine, and I can see the results of the survey. Below are my revelations.

Columbia students drink way less than I thought they did.
At least during my time here, it’s generally been pretty uncommon for a friend to turn down a weekend (or weekday) drinking session. Although Columbia has the stereotype of being a bunch of nerds who stay in Butler all Saturday night, I thought we had broken the mold. I was wrong. Columbia students generally report that they drink between 1-2 times a month and 1-2 times a week. This number was surprisingly low to me, and a lot of people completely abstained from drinking.

Columbia students smoke far less pot than I thought they did.
Apparently, around 45% of Columbia students never smoke pot. From the smell in Carman every Friday night (or always), one would disagree but it is the statistical truth! Columbia is not a school of stoners, just Adderall-poppers and Xanny-munchers. I think. Maybe I’ll do another survey and this assumption will be broken too.

More surprising stats after the jump

Dec

3

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Yum?

Yum?

You know what time of year it is. No, not cuffing season. Or Christmas. It’s crunch time, which means (for some of the riskier folk)  d r u g s. It can be hard to know whether to buy at all. And you may not know what to buy, especially if your doctor forgot to prescribe it to you. Don’t worry. Bwog’s got you covered. In this week’s Back-of-the-Envelope, we’ll tell you the ins-and-outs of campus dealing, and whether that guy from Spanish class who’s offering you Adderall is actually worth it. Disclaimer: Bwog does not condone the use of illicit substances, do not try this at home, etc. etc. 

  • Assume 75% of students on campus have ADHD, ADD, depression, anxiety, or another medical issue. These figures are based off actual data about the sharp increase in mental health diagnoses, as well as accepted fact that Columbia is a rich-ass school full of people who’ve been hip to the therapy trend since its beginning (and are also prone to root canals and wisdom teeth surgery that endow them with magical painkillers).
  • Assume 60% of those students are prescribed drugs, and 55% of them actually get the prescriptions filled (what about the other 5%? you’re wondering why anyone would be crazy enough to NOT fill their xanax scrip? well, my friend, try waiting in the basement pharmacy line at Duane Reade).
  • Assume 40% of these students have excess drugs that they are willing and ready to sell.

That 40% market saturation rate can be broken down into drug types. Let’s look at some common ones: Xanax and Klonopin are anti-anxiety pills, and can either make you feel high or sleepy. Adderall and Ritalin are stimulants, you want these for your all-nighters. Percocet, Vicodin, and Tylenol with codeine are painkillers.

  • Assume 40% of the prescriptions are for Adderall, Ritalin, or similar. Assume 30% are for antidepressants like Prozac or Abilify that can’t give you the instant gratification you need during exams. Of the remaining 30%, assume 20% is Xanax and Klonopin, and 10% are painkillers.

The Weeknd has a great song about Percocet, and it’s also commonly prescribed for wisdom teeth surgery. But it also might make you fall asleep. Is this really what you want (or need)? We’ll also assume the hazy qualities of Xanax and Kpins aren’t what you’re looking for during study time. So, let’s zero in on Addy. The above fractions leave us with a relatively low rate of availability for second-hand stimulants.

  • Assume average Adderall street price: $10/20 mg
  • Assume average (generic) Adderall prescription price with insurance: $40/month

Okay, so you’re going to pay a lot more on the street. Maybe you can get the homie price. Either way, do you think you’ll abuse the drug? Do you want to? Let’s assume no to both. In that case, if your level of exam desperation if 10^1 or higher on a scale of 10^2, and if Spanish class boy is offering you one pill for $10 or less, go for it. Just don’t end up like this Adderall-addicted lady in the New York Times.

Cheers!

Dec

3

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Godspeed, Jae.

Godspeed, Jae.

On Thursday, December 1st, the ill-frequented, rarely-updated developer blog for bored@butler announced its “30 day notice before b@ will go offline”. After almost 10 continuous years of servicing the greater Columbia community—with a few notable breaks earlier on—the pseudonymous online hangout now finds itself at death’s door. The site’s creator, Jonathan Pappas CC ’06, known affectionately on the website by his pseudonym “Jae Daemon” or just “Jae”, offered his reasoning on the developer blog, highlighting the site’s monetary and time commitment, his own distancing from the board, as well as potential safety liabilities present in bored@’s upkeep.

Bored@ is notoriously hard to explain, label, or pin values upon. The vast majority of users prefer to remain anonymous, hesitating to create and maintain pseudonymous accounts—”personalities”—with which to link their thoughts and opinions. Despite this, a healthy and unique internet culture flourished on the site. For every inside joke losing relevance, each meme fading into the Internet, and every power user who inevitably graduated and moved on with their life, bored@ remained very much alive. So much so that in a Blue and White investigation, the magazine wrote of bored@’s collective voice as “a more intelligent sort of 4chan-speak that is strongly influenced by social anxiety, privilege, gender, and pretension”. And this, in a way, is true. The front page of the website (as of the time of writing this article) includes depressing comments on the Columbia sex life, Columbia copypasta, lyrics, poetry, altered Biblical verse, personalities referencing each other, and, of course, quite a few shitposts. The site’s users take very literally the words emblazoned above bored@’s post box—”What’s on your mind?”

But for all the creativity and entertainment which colours the site’s culture, the anonymous nature of bored@ often attracted a nasty and brutish manner of thought. As in any anonymous forum, there were endless opportunities to herald socially-unacceptable, distasteful, and downright hostile comments. For bored@butler, these included every comment under the sun about Columbia, Barnard, General Studies, race, religion, specific campus figures, specific administrative figures, both campus and international media, and politics. In some ways, bored@butler represented the only true space of free thought at Columbia, where those who were most socially, politically, and culturally alienated could carve out a small area of the Columbia community for themselves. To paint the site with such romanticisms, however, betrays a long history of scandal and hostility.

After returning in October of 2009 from a financially-induced break, bored@ shut down in December due to a proliferation of “slanderous and racist comments.” The site, which had grown to encompass a variety of schools within the Ivy League, was suffering from an assailment of “racial slurs [and] the most offensive things you could possibly come up with” posted via proxy servers. Despite returning to—and remaining at—Columbia since 2010, the site suffered from a number of scandals involving other participating universities. Most infamously, the Dartmouth division of the site, named bored@baker for Dartmouth’s Baker Library, grew more rapidly than any of the other schools’ boards, developing a very unique and aggressive online culture. Bored@baker found itself involved in a series of distasteful scandals, as when users of the board launched threats and insults at Dartmouth activists protesting “homophobia, sexual assault and racism during the 2013 Dimensions of Dartmouth program,” or when a 2014 user posted a “guide on how to rape a specific member of the Class of 2017.” Nevertheless, the Dartmouth contingent of the board tenuously returned earlier this school year.

More recently, a seemingly explosive growth in the “alt-right” online culture has heralded bored@butler’s decline. In some ways, bored@butler grew unpalatable to a large window of the Columbia student body, often oppositely polarized to the standard rhetoric and discourse on campus. To many users, the board was the only place in a campus like Columbia, in a city like New York, to indulge in socially and academically dangerous viewpoints, while further hoping to discover they were not, in fact, alone with such ostracized ideas. To others, though, “alt-right” trolling served a means for entertainment and humour, and users would often bemoan the conflation of the board’s identity with intellectually vapid figures like Milo Yiannopoulos simply because “outsider” “normies” consistently forgot to not “feed the trolls.”

Regardless, the board is a very different place now than it was a year ago, and as it was a year before that. To decry Pappas’ decision as an act of defence against virulent ideas and speech would fly in the face of bored@’s 10 years of even allowing such ideas to be stated, argued, and amended—especially given the massive financial drain on Pappas personally. However, we don’t consider it melodramatic or romantic to remember the site as the truly last frontier of uninfluenced and entirely free intellectual space at Columbia, where personalities found friends and social groups, anonymous users presented socially unpalatable opinions, and campus journalists picked up breaking news. What will happen in the wake of bored@butler’s death, we cannot say. But if only for the decade of Columbia students who found some sentiments of community and belonging, we wish bored@ and Jae a fond farewell.

Chat via boredatbutler.com

Dec

3

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Even though there's no snow outside, let the arts bring you holiday spirit!

Even though there’s no snow outside, let the arts bring you holiday spirit!

New York City is packed with amazing culture and inspiring art, but sometimes it’s difficult to break the Morningside-bubble and experience it all first-hand. “Where Art Thou” is a weekly guide to interesting and notable lectures, events, and performances for the literary/musically/theatrically-inclined on campus.

Sunday, December 4th

Tuesday, December 6th

  • Curtis on Tour Chamber Ensemble, 6:00 PM, Miller Theatre– “The orchestral nature of Brahms’s G minor piano quartet, No. 25, along with its irresistible Gypsy-style final movement, makes it one of the finest of the genre. Emerging stars from the Curtis Institute of Music perform alongside their mentor, Ayane Kozasa, as they take on this multifaceted piece in our final Pop-Up Concert of 2016.” – Free tickets here.

What about the rest of the week?…

Dec

3

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Smiling through the pain

House Speaker Paul Ryan has sat down with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss the U.S. Constitution and his plans during his presidency. Ryan and Trump have acknowledged their differences, but the two are openly speaking about some of Trump’s ideas that appear unconstitutional such as losing citizenship for burning the American flag,  and banning Muslims from entering the United States. Ryan stated, “We’re not looking back. We’re looking forward.” (Huffington Post)

By Sunday, an estimated 2,000 U.S. veterans are expected to show their support for Standing Rock oil pipeline protest in North Dakota. Some veterans have promised to act as “human shields” to protect protesters from law enforcement. (NBC News)

The Mall of America, the nation’s largest mall, has introduced their first black Santa. The co-owner of the Santa Experience at the mall was searching for a diverse Santa when they found Larry Jefferson, the only black Santa out of the 1,000 applying for the position. (ABC News)

Bee and butterfly populations continue to die off which could have a massive effect on the human populations. Scientists estimate that pollinators created a crop output worth $314-722 billion and $1.4 billion jobs depend on bees and butterflies. Scientist claim that a decrease in pollinators could potentially be a “dire threat to human welfare.” (News.com.au)

Another Trumpdate via The Huffington Post

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