Monthly Archive: September 2017



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We are the Uber Mensch.

Bucket List represents the intellectual privilege we enjoy as Columbia students. We do our very best to bring to your attention important guest lecturers and special events on campus. Our recommendations for this week are below, and the full list is after the jump. If you notice any events that have been left off the list, or if you have a correction, please let us know in the comments.


  • “Here/Say: Framing, Part 1 [Classification]” Monday, September 25, 7:00 – 8:30 pm. The Diana Center.
  • “Power Talk with Athena Distinguished Fellow Kavita Ramdas” Tuesday, September 25, 7:00 – 8:30 pm. Barnard Hall, Room 304.
  • “White Nationalism and Misogyny: The Intersection of Hate” Wednesday, September 27, 6:30 pm. Columbia Law School, Jerome Greene Hall.
  • “Berlin Calling: A Story of Anarchy, Music, the Wall, and the Birth” Thursday, September 28, 8:00 pm. Deutsches Haus.
  • “David Brown: A People-Centered Preservation Movement” Thursday, September 28, 7:00 pm. Ware Lounge, Avery Hall.

Monday, September 25

  • “Israel: Turning Liabilities into Assets” 1:00 – 2:00 pm. IAB Room 1512.
  • “‘Song in a Weary Throat’: Pauli Murray’s Life and Legacy” 6:00 pm. Event Oval, Diana Center.
  • “Ensamble, Hosted by GSAPP” 6:30 pm. Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall.

Tuesday, September 26

  • “What is Sickle Cell Anemia? A free educational health lecture on the diagnosis and treatment of sickle cell anemia” 5:30 – 7:00 pm. 390 Ft. Washington Ave, Ground Floor.
  • “Facade – 209 rue Saint Maur: Ruth Zylberman, 2017” 6:30 – 9:00 pm. Buell Hall, East Gallery.
  • “Complex Issues – South of Pico: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s” 6:30 – 8:00 pm. Lenfest Center for the Arts, The Lantern.

Wednesday, September 27

  • “Undergraduate Human Rights Program Student Panel and Social” 4:15 – 5:00 pm. IAB, Room 1302.
  • “LGBTQ Fall Open House and Stephen Donaldson Lounge Grand Opening” 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Schapiro Hall – Ground Floor.
  • “Cartoons for a New Gilded Age” 6:00 – 9:00 pm. Butler Library, Room 523.

Thursday, September 28

  • “Film Screening and Discussion: Minority Media in Taiwan” 2:00 – 5:00 pm. Butler Library, Room 203.
  • “Opening Night: Bach and Glass” 8:00 – 10:00 pm. Miller Theater.

Friday, September 29

  • “Undergraduate Talks with Professors: Partha Chatterjee on “Two Variants of Populist Politics: United States and India” 2:30 – 3:30 pm. Lerner Hall, Room 569.



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An annotated page from The Beauty Myth, featuring two large question marks around a central passage.

“??” (Click to enlarge)

Published in 1991, The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf discusses the societal pressures women face and the drastically negative effects those pressures create. These copies, originally housed in Barnard’s library, have found a temporary home on the fourth floor of Butler. Although we can only surmise that their weathered appearance comes from years of loving use by Barnard women, we’re interested in what Columbia and Barnard students alike have been writing in them. Staff Writers Maggie Moran and Abby Rubel schlepped over to Butler on a Saturday to take a look.

The vast majority of the annotations we found were in the opening two chapters of the book. Maybe this is because teachers only tend to assign the beginning (which, based on the skimming we did, contains most of the book’s main ideas), or maybe because students only bothered to read the first little bit.

It was clear from the annotation styles, however, that some readers pushed all the way through, and it’s always refreshing to be able to follow a reader’s journey from confusion to understanding. In the book’s first chapter, the very definition of “the beauty myth” is marked with a simple “??”. But as the concept becomes clearer in the following pages, the underlining becomes more prolific, hopefully indicating that this reader found their answer.

Another reader deemed an entire paragraph to be of note; it describes the way women often size each other up, with “a quick up-and-down, curt and wary…the shoes, the muscle tone, the makeup, are noted accurately, but the eyes glance off one another.” The passage must have struck a chord by conjuring up memories of rush weeks’ past.

Next up: “Is she black? Why isn’t she in Connecticut?”



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img September 24, 201711:12 amimg 0 Comments

Thanks Obama.

Happening Around The World: Germany is heading off a national election today. The main contenders are Merkel’s Christian Democrats, her coalition partner the Social Democrats, and the right-leaning Alternative for Democracy. Pray for your victor of choice. (BBC)

Happening In The US: NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, released a statement from the NFL to President Trump regarding the comments the President has made in relation to the NFL, ESPN, and the controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick. Regardless of your position, let’s all pray for the continued existence of American Football. (BBC)

Happening In NYC: If you happened to be looking up at the sky yesterday in solemn prayer, you may have seen a civilian drone collide with a Black Hawk military helicopter. Okay, you probably didn’t see it happen, since it happened in Staten Island, but it’s still pretty interesting. Let’s just pray for Staten Island, regardless. (Gothamist)

Happening At ColumbiaHere’s a schedule for the church services occurring today in St. Paul’s. We know you’re in desperate need of some spiritual reflection, as well as atonement for your various weekend sins.

Overseen: Two girls in a passionate embrace, kissing in the walled-off eastern end of Ref Room in Butler. While we’re all for spontaneity in romance, keep your romantic activities out of our gloomy library rooms, you dang kids!




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During a symposium at the New York Botanical Garden last week, senior staffer Betsy Ladyzhets learned about an site that allows users to play with the environmental conditions of New York City, and she found it cool enough to share here.

Have you ever wondered what NYC looked like what the first Europeans landed here in 1609? Or are you perhaps interested in how NYC could look in the future, if our city follows the lead of other, more sustainable cities around the world and implements policies to combat climate change? If either of those questions appealed to you, Visionmaker NYC is probably your next procrastination device.

Visionmaker NYC is a site developed by the Welikia Project at the Wildlife Conservation Society (the nonprofit responsible for running the Bronx Zoo, as well as other research and conservation projects around the world). This team of researchers worked on collecting ecological information on the history of NYC, starting with Manhattan, then working outward to the other boroughs. This research has focused on the city’s biodiversity; the researchers hope to find out what NYC lacks in plant and animal communities, and what we could be doing better in order to preserve the wildlife in and around the city.

One major piece of the Welikia Project is public education – bringing the information that researchers have collected to non-scientists of NYC.  The Visionmaker site is a major part of that educational message: it allows users to explore the NYC of the past (“Welikia” means “my good home” in Lenape) and create their own visions for NYC of the future, by adjusting general lifestyles, precipitation levels, and other pieces of the wider NYC environment.

I spent some time playing around with the site today, particularly focusing in on Columbia – we’re (literally) greener than many other parts of the city, but we clearly still have a long way to go.

See some photos of Columbia’s terrain after the jump



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Dungeons, dragons, and coffee – oh my!

Seemingly overnight, a new board game café sprouted up next to the Heights. This establishment is a testament to opposites. It’s an odd, irreconcilable mix of hipster coffee and nerdy décor, of gift shop and cafe. We sent Bwog babies Jenny & Hyonju to check it out. 

Upon first entrance, we were greeted by a wall of neatly stacked, packaged board games available for purchase, which struck us as jarringly gift-shop-esque. Opposite of this wall was the coffee bar, in which customers could order a range of drinks and baked goods. One of us bought a medium iced coffee with milk, priced at $3.50, while the other took advantage of the free iced water dispenser – a polite gesture that we appreciated. It only got more interesting from here.




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Get off campus this week! We believe in you!

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 from 7 to 8:30, stop on by the Diana Center for Here/Say: Framing, Part 1 [Classification]. Here/Say is a conversation series where students can discuss the relationship between art and current events. This is the first discussion of the series.
  • Head on over to the Maison Française on Tuesday night for a screening and discussion of Façade: 209 rue Saint Maur. This film, directed by Ruth Zylberman, documents the lives of generations of tenants in the same apartment building.
  • Thursday night at 8 pm is the opening night of Bach + Glass at Miller Theatre. A Far Cry, an orchestra from Boston, will be playing the music of composer Philip Glass while accompanied by Simone Dinnerstein.

Off Campus: 

  • The Columbia Arts Initiative is launching a new series of events titled Columbia Nights. These sessions give Columbia students the chance to visit various art exhibits and plays across the city, then sit down with the artist themself after. The first event is M. Butterfly on October 19, but tickets go on sale starting this Friday at 1 pm at the TIC.
  • This Wednesday night is Tribeca Art & Culture Night, a community art festival that happens every season. Head on down (after you RSVP) and explore dozens of local artists and designers.
  • Rodin is at the Met! This special exhibit will be there throughout the end of the semester, but go visit sometime soon and enjoy the weather in Central Park. Bwog tip: take the 1 down to 86, stop at Milk Bar on Columbus and 87, then walk through Central Park and go to the Met.

Photo via Bwog Staff



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img September 23, 201711:30 amimg 0 Comments

Bwog likes His Excellency’s enthusiasm!

Last week, a number of powerful world leaders flocked to Columbia’s campus to participate in the university’s annual World Leaders Forum. To continue our coverage of the Forum, we sent new staffer Megan Wylie to see the current president of Austria, Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen.

I went to His Excellency Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen’s speech for multiple reasons: I wanted to see PrezBo, to see something actually happen in Low, and to get free Columbia swag. I also went to hear the current President of the Republic of Austria discuss the current state of the European Union and the concept of togetherness in Europe today. According to a little Wikipedia research, President Bellen, a former member of the Green Party, made history when he defeated the far-right Freedom Party candidate, Norbert Hofer, by only 30,863 votes. While Hofer preached a message of European separatism, nativism and extreme nationalism, Bellen advocated for policies welcoming migrants and strengthening the bond between the European community.




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img September 23, 20179:03 amimg 2 Comments

what UP

Happening Around the World: Currently without power, a failing dam threatens Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. (BBC)

Happening in the US: A 71-year-old man with a raccoon-hunting headlamp was arrested after police discovered 1,700 marijuana plants on his property. (USA Today)

Happening in NYC: The MTA started a program that allows those who are pregnant or disabled to wear a button asking for a seat. It has had some success, but riders for the most part just don’t know about it. (NY Times)

Happening on Campus: The first event for the Andrew W. Mellon Sawyer Seminar in Global Language Justice is tonight from 6pm-9pm. Call the ICLS for more details: 212-854-4541.

Overheard: “I’m going to name my daughter McChicken”



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img September 22, 20177:00 pmimg 0 Comments

Neon ceramic and roses

Because Morningside Heights is always busting with cool art events, we often forget that we live in a city that busts even further with art. Just a couple blocks north is the Studio Museum in Harlem, where new Bwogger Zoë and not-new bwogger Amara headed on Thursday night.

While most students make the rounds at the Met or the MoMA for ArtHum or to class up their Instagrams, the Studio Museum of Harlem gets a little less student attention. The museum is free for Columbia students, and also stays open a lot later than other museums – you can check it out until 9 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. And it’s on 125th, which is totally walkable from campus (or only a $3 UberPool, which is what we opted for). The current exhibitions are worth seeing, especially Their Own Harlems. A celebration of the centennial of Jacob Lawrence’s birth, the exhibit explores the impact of Harlem on a variety of artists. Some of the art, like Lawrence’s own tempera paintings, date back to the 1950s, but other pieces were created as recently as 2010. All of it drives home a central point too often neglected by Columbia students: that Harlem has long been and continues to be a source of artistic inspiration and cultural resources.
We came to see Their Own Harlems, but ended up checking out the rest of the museum as well.

Click for pics




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img September 22, 20173:32 pmimg 2 Comments

What’s ur fave????

You’re heading out from your dorm for the night when your friend texts you, “Hey, can you pick up some cups before you get here?” We all know the dilemma: Where do you go? What cups do you get? Bwoggers Ross Chapman, Rachel Deal, and Jenny Zhu tested out 8 different cup varieties from various MoHi stores to let you know your best options around campus. The cups were evaluated based on price, stability, size, the feel in your hand, and pong-ability.

First up…the free cups:

Ferris Cups – 4.5/5
What’s better than free cups? Good free cups. The cold drink cups you can find in Ferris Booth Commons have the stability and feel to match up against any cup on campus. They feel sturdy, and will bend nicely without crumpling or scarring. These cups have the added benefit of discretion–“No, officer, this is just iced tea from the dining hall.” The lips are a nice touch, and the mouths of the cups are almost as big as Solo cups, making them a good choice for pong. Unfortunately, you’d have to plan ahead if you wanted to supply a party with these–you can’t exactly just use a meal swipe at Ferris at 11 pm and go pick up some cups.

Free from the dining halls

JJ’s Mediums – 3.5/5
It’s bold, loud, and a definitive fashion statement. From first glance, the most striking thing about this cup is the ridge design along the upper lip. Paired with a smooth exterior, the design of this cup is modern yet minimalistic, exotic yet classy. This cup is one that will catch the eyes of the party. But don’t worry, this haute couture is affordable, and in fact free at JJ’s. The only aspect in which this cup is lacking is its stability; however, its plastic material is flexible, making the cup unlikely to crack.

JJ’s Smalls – 2/5
Though free, and perhaps more stable than the other cup we tested at its size (the Dart cup), there’s no real benefit to taking this cup versus the bigger ones available at JJ’s. Save yourself the trouble and head for the large cups next to the soda machine, or save yourself the meal swipe and head to MoWil.

The cups that aren’t free after the jump!



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img September 22, 20172:56 pmimg 1 Comments

Bwoggers love cool city stuff, so we couldn’t miss out on Columbia’s exhibit on Frank Llyod Wright. Staffers Jack Treanor and Bella Tincher went over this week to ponder buildings, urban decay, and suburban ideals.

In 2012 the entire collected works, papers, and models of the famous American architect was turned over to Columbia and the Museum of Fine Arts. It was decided that Columbia would house the papers in Avery, Fine Art and Architecture Library and the models would be held by MoMA. Now the two institutions are presenting two concurrent exhibitions on the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. While the MoMA exhibit has understandably received far more attention, it would be a shame to not give ample attention to Columbia’s Exhibit currently on view at the Wallach Art Gallery in it’s beautiful new space in Manhattanville, the Lenfest Center for the Arts.

The exhibit Living in America: Frank Lloyd Wright, Harlem, and Modern Housing takes a unique approach to understanding Wright’s work. It contrasts and interweaves it with the concurrent public housing projects in New York City, focusing mostly on Harlem. Wright’s work and the housing projects present two distinctly different modernist housing movements. Both were new forms of housing never before seen, focusing on efficiency, form, and functionality. Despite vastly different contexts and missions these two forms of architecture share a particular time in architecture and are linked through motivations and perspectives. While an untraditional comparison it results in an incredibly rich and interesting exhibit. Visitors are privileged with an incredible wealth of information about both Wright’s work and that of the housing projects. The exhibit does a great job painting a full picture of each of the two focal points. Visitors should be able to leave with a fleshed out picture of Wright’s work and the development of public housing in New York and when viewed together they produce a rich understanding of the nature of housing in the mid-twentieth century.

Couldn’t make it yourself? Learn more after the jump.



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Editor’s note: “Too lit for Ancient Greece” is not a thing, Ancient Greeks were some of the biggest partiers in all of human history.

Going to classes is stressful. Having sudden responsibilities after a long, languid summer is difficult. To help with this, two new staff writers went to a session of Reacting to the Past while drunk. Here is their account of this adventure. Disclaimer: Bwog does not endorse or approve of underage drinking, alcoholism, going to class under the influence, etc. 

It’s not even about nerves, to be honest. It wasn’t just us trying to loosen up before anything important, life-changing, groundbreaking, etc. — we just get really excited about rum. So, we got day drunk in Reacting to the Past.

For context, it’s not the first time in our lives this has happened. There have been many a Thursday night when the proximity of the weekend has convinced us this is okay, ending with us hunched over in a cramped stall the next day, the consequence of last night’s activities catching up.

But this was a 3-shot drink taken in the 15-minute interval between classes, not last night’s buzz. We walk into our class ten minutes late on account of forgetting to print our speeches. While one of us effortlessly slides into her seat, the other haphazardly stumbles into not one, but two backpacks. The former begins the session with a persistent, antiquated Game of Thrones reference. Taking five minutes of valuable session time to make smug jabs at Socrates, we realize we are too lit for Ancient Greece. While the Greeks had their Bacchanal, the Pnyx was not the place for it. As the speech ends and the assembly continues, one of us cannot stop impersonating Quavo’s iconic “well, wrap it up den” while the other is seemingly the only person in class who understands the reference.

The session ended with mild disappointment that our session had not been more entertaining. Aside from other moments empowered by the rum-fluence — such as bouts of uncontrollable laugh-coughing, ft a perpetual cold — no one could even tell that we had partaken in a pre-Reacting kickback.

One thing is clear: Reacting is best done when you’re not on three shots of alcohol, but definitely not as tolerable.

Socrates’ head via Encyclopedia Brittanica 



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img September 22, 201711:55 amimg 3 Comments

repeat after us: fuck spec

We’ve been spotting mysterious “Fuck Spec” flyers around campus. We kind of wish it was us, but it’s not. We sent Staff Write Abby Rubel to investigate. 

Approximately eight days ago, a flyer appeared in the Hartley lobby promoting a new website: I immediately investigated, because nothing excites a Bwog writer more than someone who’s not us insulting Spec.

What I found was a minimalist website with just two links, one to a Spec op-ed about unionizing, the other to a page within that copied the op-ed, but provided snarky commentary via text notes. To read the commentary, I simply clicked on the yellow highlights or red strikethroughs. Several of the notes referenced how drunk the author was, which is understandable: I also need to be drunk to convince myself to read most Spec op-eds.

About a week later, the front page of the website changed and there were now links to a different op-ed, this time about campus discourse. The previous week’s article had disappeared and the url no longer worked. The snarky commentary on the second article was slightly less hilarious, but still got in several good shots at the self-righteous tone of the op-ed. is shrouded in mystery. The person (or group of people) behind it haven’t revealed themselves (yet), and my attempt to find out who had registered the domain name was futile. I do, however, have some theories.

Frustrated by the shortage of alcohol at parties, the Spectrum staff decided to quit Spec and vent their rage. The site hasn’t been active since late August, about the same time started…

The Lion: sick and tired of being the most ignored campus news organization other than Quarto, they decided to knock Spec down a few pegs.

Suzanne Goldberg–she probably needs something to do in between ruling over all she surveys and yelling at students.


Want to prove my theories right or wrong? Email



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img September 22, 201711:32 amimg 0 Comments

The face of the man that saved us all.

Happening in the world: Lots of natural disasters. In Mexico City, rescuers spent days attempting to save a little girl stuck in rubble, and the effort abruptly stopped when “Navy Assistant Secretary Angel Enrique Sarmiento said there is no missing child at the collapsed Mexico City school that has been the focus of rescue efforts” (NPR).

Happening in the United States: The GOP is scrambling to pass another Obamacare repeal by September 30, but even Jimmy Kimmel thinks the bill sucks. We aren’t exactly surprised. (Rolling Stone)

Happening in NYC: Amazon may be opening a second headquarters in NYC, expanding from its current home in Seattle. As if Columbia CS majors had any trouble getting jobs already. (New York Post)

Happening on Campus: Want to learn more about human rights reporting? There’s a talk in Kent Hall today from 1-2pm!

Overseen: Some girl using her flashlight to find her friend during the middle of this movie…rude.


Image via Wikimedia Commons





img September 21, 20176:20 pmimg 1 Comments

Even Homer can’t handle this bullshit.

After having been back at Columbia University for a few weeks, Bwog is once again struck by how little attention their classmates have paid to the assigned readings- or logic in general. Here, Bwog Senior Staff Writer Gabrielle Kloppers recounts a few choice excerpts.

“I know these are statues, but like…the Greeks…didn’t actually fight centaurs, right?” – regarding the Parthenon. Art Hum truly is illuminating!

“Plato’s use of censorship in the Kallipolis is like, totally like the core office picking only white men for the CC syllabus.” Yes, Plato was thinking of us.

“I thought this was Egyptian Architecture.” – Economy and Society

“Mencken would have been a Trump supporter.” Mencken would have decried the democratic system that allowed Trump to come to power.

Even more idiocy

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