Daily Archive: September 23, 2017

Sep

23

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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

Sep

23

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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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Sep

23

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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

Sep

23

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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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Sep

23

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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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