Monthly Archive: September 2017



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Elevator or spiritual portal?

One Barnard dorm’s elevators are not like every other dorm’s elevators. Do they contain a dark secret, or have they just not been renovated since the fifties? Senior Staffer Betsy Ladyzhets investigates.

Imagine – it’s 11:30 pm on a Sunday. I’ve got a mound of dirty clothes taking up space beside my bed and a hundred pages of reading due at 10 am the next morning that I haven’t started yet. So, I do the only logical thing: I grab a load’s worth of laundry and head out to the elevator.

But when I haul my clothes into the elevator and start going down, I realize a problem: the elevator button for the basement isn’t lighting up when I press it. Actually, it’s flickering, like a candle during a seance.

I breathe slowly, tell myself not to panic – it must just be a glitch, the elevator is fine. And it is fine, as far as it delivers me safely to… the first floor. The elevator is staunchly refusing to let me into the basement. I press the button a few more times, jamming on it as though breaking down a door, but it doesn’t give. Pissed, I drag my laundry bag out into the lobby, glaring around in the hopes of finding somewhere to redirect my malice.

What’s going on in this elevator?



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Artists from Italy, India, and more this week!

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.

On campus:

  • Monday night at Miller Theatre, Arthur Mitchell—the first African American lead dancer for the New York City Ballet and founder of the Dance Theatre of Harlem—is directing a show featuring dozens of professional dancers. The show will highlight Mitchell’s commitment and contributions to the world of dance. You can read more about the event, and how to get tickets, here.
  • Tuesday night, the Italian Academy is hosting the Momenta Quartet, a NYC-based string quartet that combines classical Italian music with the work of contemporary composers. The event is free, but register for your spot here!
  • On Wednesday night at 7:00 pm, the Glicker-Milstein Theatre is hosting Mallika Sarabhai—one of the most successful dancers and choreographers India has ever seen. She’s the founder of Darpana Dance company, AND she has a PhD in organizational behavior. Seating is first-come, first-serve to enjoy this incredible talk and demonstration.
  • This Friday is opening night for Revolt, Defiance, and Resistance in Prints!, a new exhibit of prints at the School of the Arts’ LeRoy Neiman Gallery. These prints are from a selection of diverse artists who all use printmaking as a way to challenge the status quo and resist oppression. The reception starts at 5 pm.

Off campus:

  • The Studio Museum of Harlem, just a few blocks away at 124th and Clayton Powell (right by the  125th 2-3 station), is currently hosting an exhibit titled FictionsThe exhibit showcases work from dozens of African American artists all over the US, discovering what black culture looks, feels, and sounds like to them. The show features countless mediums, from photographs to sculptures to video. The museum is free with your CUID.
  • If you’re one of those people in knitting club who sits in Lerner 510 right before our meetings every week, then this event may be for you: The American Folk Art Museum just opened an exhibit featuring quilts made out of British military uniforms. Each quilt brings together hundreds of small pieces of fabric into one beautiful design, representing how so many lives become interwoven in the face of war. The museum is even in the upper west side on W67th and Columbus (and admission is free).

Image via Wikimedia Commons



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Even Alma is excited!

After a slew of impressively professional Facebook photographs and extensive flyer-based marketing campaigns, we made it! CCSC, ESC, and SGA election results for first-years have arrived, and the below are the winners. The PDF at the end of post contains the full vote count for CCSC/ESC. Congratulations to the new leaders of the Columbia University Class of 2021!


2021 CCSC President & Vice President:
Prem Thakker and Skye Bork (LionRoar)

2021 CCSC Class Representatives:
Aja Johnson (‘21 SAVAGES)
Ramsay Eyre (‘21 SAVAGES)
Sarah Radway (Unaffiliated)

CCSC International Students Representative: 
Sim Mander


2021 ESC President:
Jaidev Shah (SEAS the Change)

2021 ESC Vice-President
Alina Ying (SEAS the Change)

2021 ESC Class Representatives
Nicolas Acosta (SEAS the Change)
Adheli Gonzalez (SEAS the Change)

ESC VP Finance:
Austen Paris

ESC Disability and Accessibility Issues Representative:
Adriana Echeverria

ESC International Students Representative:
Katherine Liu


(Fun fact: First-year election turnout was 60.9%, which set a new highest record!)

SGA First-Year Class President:
Sara Morales

SGA First-Year Class Vice President:
Tina Gao

Alma, Balloons, Background, and Glass via Pixabay



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img September 30, 201711:59 amimg 5 Comments

You fucked it up, Pulitzer.

Did you know that every seven seconds, someone drops out of Columbia? Did you also know that I just completely made up that statistic? But imagine dropping out of Columbia, then a few years later receiving a Columbia diploma in the mail like you never even left. This I didn’t make up. It’s a true story, one that happened to the one and only Leah Finnegan

I met Leah last year at a Young Media Weekend event in a swanky SoHo loft put on by our dear friends at NYU Local. The event was a panel discussion featuring prominent young writers in NYC who work for nontraditional media sites—places like Bwog, but a thousand times more legit. Leah currently works for The Outline as Features Editor. During the discussion, Leah casually mentioned the fact that she attended the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism back in ’09, but that she dropped out after a few semesters to accept a job at Huffington Post. But, in the spring of 2011, an odd letter showed up at her parents’ house.

It was a fucking diploma from Columbia. The administration screwed up so badly that they literally sent a diploma to someone who didn’t graduate.

Read more to find out what happened.



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Happening in the World: First an enigma, now deemed a full-scale attack. 21 diplomats at the US embassy in Cuba have contracted the same serious disease, with symptoms including hearing loss and other cognitive issues. Calling this a deliberate, targeted “attack,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to withdraw the majority of the embassy’s staff, with profound implications on current US-Cuba relations. (CBS)

Happening in the US: The Senate Budget Committee presented a 2018 budget plan yesterday proposing a ‘uuuuuuuge $1.5 trillion tax cut. In an analysis, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found that the top 1% of Americans would receive around 80% of the tax cut benefits. (CNBC)

Happening in NYC: To combat homelessness, a pilot NYC program will fund 12 months of rent for homeless families, as long as they live outside the five boroughs. With 17 apartments available in Newark, New Jersey, the initiative brought families to Newark this week to browse the apartments. (Newsweek)

Happening on campus: DACA, Hurricane Harvey, and the ramifications of both on US immigrants comprise the topic for a discussion tonight at 6-8 pm, hosted by an alliance of several student groups. Taking place in 555 Lerner Hall, the event, “Climate of Immigration: The Aftermath of Harvey and DACA,” will feature free food, interesting law professors, and dynamic discussion!

A Yahoo Answers question for your reading pleasure:

Overseen: A sad, lost little mozzarella stick perched outside Kent Hall. If this was you, you sick fuck, come retrieve your mozzarella stick NOW.

Poor Cheesi Boi :(

This truly is an emergency.



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Simone Dinnerstein and A Far Cry

New Bwogger and live music aficionado Zack Abrams attended the Miller Theatre last night for the show ‘Bach + Glass: Opening Night’ featuring pianist Simone Dinnerstein and Boston-based chamber orchestra A Far Cry who performed music by J.S. Bach and Philip Glass.

Last night, I jumped at the opportunity to cover the latest show from the Miller Theatre for Bwog. Entitled Bach + Glass, the show brought together two radically different composers with a peculiar chamber orchestra and a fantastic soloist.

The theater itself is warm and inviting. The small size means there are no bad seats in the house and no visible microphones or large amplifiers were necessary in order to hear each and every instrument perfectly. When I sat down, a concert grand piano sat patiently in the rear, while several music stands and only 3 chairs took up the front of the stage. The lights dimmed as the Executive Director of the theater, Melissa Smey, excitedly introduced the show.

The reason for the absence of many chairs was soon apparent; A Far Cry, the accomplished chamber orchestra which performed the first two pieces and accompanied guest pianist Simone Dinnerstein on the latter two, had no conductor, and every musician except the cellists stood for the duration of the performance. For each piece, the Boston-based group elects five musicians to jointly perform the role of the conductor, guiding the interpretation and execution of each piece. During the performances, the impeccably timed musicians communicated with swift glances back and forth and a shared musical language. I learned later that they have collaborated with several of my favorite artists in the classical genre, including Yo-Yo Ma, Jake Shimabukuro, and Roomful of Teeth.

Hear about the full program after the jump



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Anna Pei and Coco, who you can follow on Insta: @cocoatcolumbia

You’ve seen them happily playing with their owners around campus. You’ve wondered how to approach them while hurrying to make your 4:10. Now, Bwog presents the definitive guide to catching the attention of the coolest canines on campus (and their owners too, I guess).

  1. Make sure to walk around campus during peak activity hours, especially on sunny days. I usually find the hours from 10 to 2 to have good four-footed traffic, though if you’re into athletic types you can try the early morning joggers.
  2. Practice your barking and sniffing. Know the difference between “Hi! Can we play?” and “Your butt smells bad.” (I know it’s elementary stuff, but it bears repeating.)
  3. Carry a bag of dog treats around with you to discreetly attract the dog. Don’t forget to reassure the owner that they’re definitely not roofies and you just need to de-stress after reading 18 Odyssey chapters all in one sitting.
  4. Get a Barkr account so you can start swiping right on all the dogs you want to meet up with for puppucinos. If you ever swipe left, please stop reading this article and go think about your life choices.
  5. Talk to the owner and ask. If they deny a petting opportunity, invoke your Twenty-Eighth Amendment Right to free dog access. It’ll be ratified any day now…
  6. Be sure to bring your resume with dog walking experience, solid contacts, and the number of languages in which you can say “Good boy/girl!”
  7. Be prepared for tough interview questions, such as “Who are you and why are you holding my dog?” and “Hey, STOP RUNNING!”
  8. After you meet up, be sure to send a beautiful letter within 24 hours thanking them for the experience and communicating your enthusiasm for the encounter. Best to leave a lasting impression!



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Nixon visiting the Berlin Wall

Last night at the Deutsches Haus (German House), Paul Hockenos gave a talk on his new book, Berlin Calling, which focuses on subcultures in East and West Berlin during the Cold War. Staff Writer Abby Rubel attended this interesting, if slightly underwhelming, discussion of punk, poetry, and politics.

The event, “Berlin Calling: A Story of Anarchy, Music, the Wall, and the Birth,” was held in Deutsches Haus, a beautiful building across the street from the law school. Those of us who found our way there filled the small room in which the event was held. We were there to hear a talk given by Paul Hockenos about the subject of his recent book, Berlin Calling: subcultures in East and West Berlin during the Cold War and how they shaped the Berlin we know today.

The discussion was moderated by a professor from Columbia’s German department, who introduced Hockenos and mentioned that this book is the first one to discuss both East and West Berlin subcultures. Most books, she said, discuss only one or the other, but Hockenos discusses the development of subcultures, such as “punk”, in both cities. While Hockenos alluded to other subcultures, his main focus was on the punk scene.

He began his talk with David Bowie. Bowie’s arrival in West Berlin coincided with the arrival of punk, so in many ways, one can draw a line between the pre-Bowie and post-Bowie period. He clarified later that Bowie himself did not have much to do with that arrival, merely that he witnessed a dramatic shift in the city and that the city Bowie left in many ways reflected what he represented.

What else was cooking in Berlin?



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Satellite image of Hurricane Maria as it makes landfall in Puerto Rico.

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, Hurricane Maria, a powerful Category 4 storm, made landfall on Puerto Rico. Maria caused extensive damage and flooding, rendering the entire national electrical grid powerless. Today, Columbia’s Group for Experimental Methods in the Humanities, in conjunction with Columbia University Libraries, is launching a Mapathon for Hurricane Relief from 2-5 pm in Studio@Butler 208B. Bring your laptop and RSVP to Hope to see you there!



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This tweet aged like fine… milk

Happening Around The World: A planned referendum for independence in Catalonia, one of 17 autonomous provinces of Spain, is escalating into a constitutional crisis as the national government in Madrid tries radical measures to stop the vote from going forward. (New York Times)

Happening In The US: Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services, used military aircraft for multi-national trips at a cost of more than $500,000 to taxpayers. Overall, his use of private flights domestically and abroad has racked up over a million dollars in fees. (Politico)

Happening In NYC: Beyonce Knowles-Carter and her husband Shawn have sold their condo in Midtown for nearly $10M. I guess Rumi needs something a bit more roomy, though they are hanging on to their Tribeca property for now. (Curbed)

Happening At Columbia: Worried about the rise of populism in the United States? Join Professor Partha Chatterjee for his talk “Two Variants of Populist Politics: United States and India” at 2:30 in Lerner Hall room 569. See you there!

Overseen: A friend of a friend saw a woman masturbating in public outside Ferris on Wednesday. Yeah.

Bop Of The Day: Sober by Lorde



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The sun never sets on Group Doueh. Not even in their beloved hometown, Dakhla.

If electric guitars, authentic Saharawi music, or riveting cinematography excite the neurons in your body, this announcement just may be for you. Alum Cyrus Moussavi, CC ’09, is on an east coast tour with the legendary Group Doueh (pronounced “Doo-way”) from the Western Sahara. The band is playing tomorrow (September 29th) at (Le) Poisson Rouge at 7:30 PM. Tickets and more information of the event can be found here. Moussavi learned about this group and their label, Sublime Frequencies, while he was “procrastinating at Butler.” (So relatable, right?) Moussavi is also excited to announce that there will be a screening of the film that he shot while at the band’s home in Dakhla. The documentary will debut at the New School at 7 PM on October 2nd. For tickets and more details, click here.

It has been six years since the band was last in the States. Group Doueh has been active for over twenty-seven years in the Western Sahara and has never failed to deliver a vibrant and exceptional performance. Doueh is the group’s leader and a connoisseur of the electric guitar. Sublime Frequencies says that Doueh’s “sound is distorted, loud and unhinged with an impressive display of virtuosity and style only known in this part of the world.”

Moussavi traveled to Dakhla last summer where he stayed with the band and filmed the wedding of Doueh’s oldest daughter, Oulaya, with his partners from Sublime Frequencies. He hopes to see some friendly Columbia faces tomorrow night and next week!

Who would win, the Sun or 4 trillion lions? via Public Domain 



img September 28, 20174:22 pmimg 1 Comments

When you need a pick-me-up, but also are have a refined and dainty palate, Bwog’s got you covered. Here’s my ranking of the drip coffees at coffee shops on campus.

Disclaimer: Apologies up front for my very pretentious coffee descriptions–I got really into it.

Left to Right: Blue Java, UP, Joe’s

1st place: UP Coffee

Major notes: Sweet smell/pepper/cinnamon/astringent, but pleasant. How coffee should make you feel.

All in all, a very nice coffee experience. It’s served piping hot, and is the heartiest cup of coffee. It’s the only coffee that would be completely fine to drink black. I’m a fan.

The price: $2.72 with tax for 12 ounces, or about $0.23 an ounce. Not the cheapest, but it was the most Worth It for its price. 4/5

2nd place: Joe’s

Major notes: Smells great (best aromas by far, just go around sniffing this one and trying to absorb the caffeine through the air)/chocolate/strong aftertaste

This Joe’s was kind of a let down. Both their Dodge and NoCo cafes boast really lovely locations, but the coffee itself did not live up to the setting. It wasn’t a super strong coffee flavor, and was a little watery and thin. It did, however, have a nice progression, from initial taste to aftertaste, and wasn’t as jarring as some of the other cups (*cough Blue Java cough*).

The price: $2.18 with tax for 8 ounces, or about $0.27 per ounce. The most expensive of the coffees I tried.

Of note: If you go to Joe’s, I would skip the drip coffee entirely, and instead opt for their espresso drinks. They are almost twice as expensive, but if you’re making the trek out to NoCo for the view, I’d invest in a good cup of coffee. I can attest that the latte is fantastic. 2.5/5

3rd place: Blue Java

Major notes: Smoky/woodsy/bitter/burnt

I was not a fan of this cup of coffee. It somehow managed to be both watery and very bitter, two tasting notes that should cancel each other out but don’t. The location can’t be beat though, in terms of convenience. If you’re up late studying in Butler, leaving the library to get a cup of coffee just might not be possible. It does inject the maximum caffeine to the brain possible, but a drip from Java’s is a bumpy ride.

Price: $1.96 with tax for 10 ounces, or $0.19 per ounce. The cheapest of all the coffees. 1/5

Honorary mention: Dining Hall Coffee

If you’re really not feeling dropping any amount of cash on a cup of coffee, use one of your precious swipes to get into a dining hall and enjoy unlimited amount of very mediocre coffee. Ferris coffee was by far the blandest of the coffees I tried, but if you can get someone with a hefty meal plan to smuggle you out a thermos full of liquid energy, go for it.



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Bwog Staffers Zoe Metcalfe and Jenny Zhu trekked to Tribeca to check out the art and culture there on, you guessed it, Tribeca Art+Culture Night, an annual celebration for artists ranging from local to international. With over two dozen venues featured, there’s something for everyone. Read on to hear about their experience. 

Worth the long 1 train trip downtown, Tribeca holds some seriously incredible artwork and art exhibitions, many of which are currently open for free public viewing. While we hopped the Tribeca art galleries during the Tribeca Art+Culture night on Thursday, we highly recommend grabbing a couple of friends and visiting the upscale neighborhood for some quality viewing experiences during the weekend. If you do take our advice (as you should) and even if you don’t, read through our account of our experiences at the Tribeca Art+Culture night to get a peek of the Tribeca art scene.

Cheryl Hazan Gallery, 35 N. Moore Street

This one was the first gallery we went too, and it was extremely intimidating! There were NO snacks, and it was filled with a bunch of white, middle-aged men in a non-airconditioned room, milling around with glasses of lukewarm cabernet in their hands and they looked at extremely expensive art – which, to be fair, was very cool art.

Our favorite pieces included a large, abstract picture with yellow and blue, which we decided looked like a anthropomorphized moth, or a female deity (preferably both), and a silver sculpture hanging on the wall, which we deemed as representing a piece of satin in motion, or perhaps a soft car crash.

More galleries after the jump



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Happening Around The World: Iraqi Kurds overwhelmingly voted for independence in a referendum on Wednesday, with the election commission reporting that 93% of the 3.3 million Kurds who reside in Iraq supported secession. Will this matter to Baghdad? Probably not. Still, it can’t go any worse than Brexit is. (BBC, Telegraph)

You almost feel bad – no, wait. You don’t.

Happening In The US: Trump is now a LOSER after incumbent senator Luther Strange (R-AL), his preferred candidate for the seat left open by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, lost in a runoff to Roy Moore. Moore is a former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, an Evangelical Christian, and a hardline conservative. Of course, this doesn’t mean much change in policy making. As one NYT commenter put it, the runoff led to “a bigoted hatemonger defeating another bigoted hatemonger who happened to have the support of the bigoted hatemonger in charge.” Small victories, though. (NY Times)

Happening In NYC: Marquees have gone up and previews will soon start for Springsteen on Broadway, which is exactly what it sounds like. We can look forward to this: Instead of 50,000 drunk New Jerseyans coming through the Holland Tunnel, there will only be 1,000 – for five nights a week until February 3rd. Exorbitantly-priced tickets can be bought here.

Happening At Columbia: If you’ve been intrigued by the ad on Bwog’s own site, you’re in luck: “This is Sex” with CNN’s Lisa Ling is happening tonight at 5:30 in the Low Library Faculty Room.

Overseen: At the sundial, I came upon a bro in an “In Trump We Trust” hat, which is somehow even worse than #MAGA. As always, no points for creativity.



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We don’t just enjoy guilt trips. We run the travel agency.

Leo Bevilacqua, resident New York Jew, is back with a revamped edition of “The 7 Deadly Columbia Sins.” This month has given us a lot to be thankful guilty for! Without further a do, here’s the article brought to you by ‘Feh!’ and ‘Oy vey!’

In honor of the highest of high holidays, Yom Kippur (a.k.a. The Hunger Game for the Jews), Bwog is hear to explain why you might have missed the mark for ‘The Book of Life.’ For those readers who are not well versed in the various agonizing rituals that constitute The High Holidays, God apparently inscribes the name of all the good people of the world into a book so they may live out the next year. Unfortunately, even the good are subjected to all the screwballs and Gulati pop quizzes that life and Columbia seems to throw on the regular. In other words, “may the odds be ever in your favor.” In anticipation of the 25-hour fast, Bwog wants to give every student regardless of creed the chance to fess up their transgression in the spirit of ‘Jewish guilt.’ Tis the season to be sorry!

  1. Gluttony – Skipping class so that you can avoid the long line at Shake Shack, a.k.a over-priced JJ’s a.k.a why you currently (or will soon) live in sweatpants.
  2. Lust – Hooking up with that kid in your anthro class during the class trip to the Natural History Museum.
  3. Greed – Stuffing three Passion Planners into your backpack despite the long line behind you at whatever Diana Hall give-a-way you’re currently attending.
  4. Pride – Correcting a professor on a translation of a Greek/Latin word because your 11th grade Latin teacher at Exeter said so.
  5. Wrath – Filing a lengthy complaint against your seamless delivery guy because they could not find you in NoCo fast enough.
  6. Envy – Eviscerating a club that rejected you in the company of another friend that was accepted by said club.
  7. Sloth – Ditching your 2:10pm Film & Politics seminar so that you can nap, despite this being your only class of the day.
  8. *Despair – Getting featured on @sadcolumbiaboys and refusing to smile in any group picture because it “ruins your aesthetic.”

*According to the Greek Orthodox Church, there is an 8th deadly sin, which is quite possibly the most quintessentially Columbian.

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