Monthly Archive: January 2018

Jan

19

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2017, in more ways than one.

Happening in the world: 2017 was the second-hottest year on record, according to NASA. It is behind only 2016, most likely due to the La Niña phenomenon, which cool the Earth down. The globally averaged temperature of 0.9˚C, or 1.62˚F, is more than halfway to the 1.5˚C limit that the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement sought to establish. (CNN)

Happening in the US: Republican and Democratic Senators are at loggerheads, with a vote today determining whether or not the government will shut down at midnight. Republicans are pushing a short-term spending bill which Democrats are resisting unless concessions on immigration, aiding Puerto Rico, and attending to the opioid epidemic are secured. Negotiations have been rocky especially since last week, when President Donald Trump made racially incendiary remarks about Haiti and unspecified African nations during a meeting in the Oval Office. (New York Times)

Happening in NYC: A panel created by Governor Andrew Cuomo will submit a report to Cuomo and the NY Legislature suggesting that drivers in New York should pay up to $11.52 per car trip, in order to control congestion in busy areas and generate revenue for system upgrades for the subway system, which is controlled by the state. (New York Daily News)

Happening on campus: The undergrads who took part in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) will be talking about their experience in biology research, and the program in general, from 12 to 2 pm at Low Library. A “light lunch” will be provided.

Overheard: “2018 is going to be all about aligning myself with the world and the larger, physical universe.”

Antibop of the day: Do yourself a favor and avoid the new Justin Timberlake song, “Supplies,” at all costs.

Burning earth via Pixabay

Jan

18

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The cover of a book, featuring a painting of a French soldier looking off into the distance.

♪ Things just ain’t what they used to be… ♪

Nostalgia, the longing for a return to home and past, was not always just something to be exploited by Facebook pages. When physician Johannes Hofer introduced the term in 1688, he referred to a psychological illness, a meaning the word kept until the start of the 20th century. Nostalgia affected (mostly white, mostly male) patients on three continents, and its effects could be deadly. In a book talk, author and Columbia Assistant Professor Thomas Dodman discussed his book and the history of nostalgia with Columbia Professor Emmanuelle Saada and Princeton Professor David Bell.

The event took place in the Maison Française, and the two Columbia professors were members of the French department. It shouldn’t surprise, then, that the discussion focused on how nostalgia ravaged the French military at the start of the 19th century, one of the case studies for nostalgia in Dodson’s book. French soldiers were particularly at risk, first because of their long separation from home (nostalgia was also called maladie du pays, or homesickness), and second because of the alienating, dominating nature of the organized military. Nostalgia came to be understood as a particularly French illness, one which English and American soldiers and citizens were relatively immune to.

How did people die from nostalgia? That’s what one audience member, a doctor, wanted to know. If someone died of nostalgia today, how would it be diagnosed? Nostalgia was more of an umbrella term, which encompassed modern concepts such as psychic trauma and depression. Two people undergoing nostalgia (whose French military treatment was a three month’s home leave) could be under very different circumstances. Suicide was common among victims of nostalgia, and nostalgia was even used as a handwaving diagnosis to ignore addressing larger concerns in the military, in industrializing cities, and in slave and settler colonies.

The transformation of nostalgia to an emotion is after the jump.

Jan

18

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Always.

There are two things Bwog can never get enough of: green grapes, and Staff Writers. While Dailies are the backbone of our structure, Staff Writers are the backbone of our content – they pitch ideas for articles, attend events, and generally keep our creative juices flowing.

Staff Writers can be anyone from first-years looking to dip their toes in Columbia journalism to seniors who have a little too much free time their final semester, and anyone from art history majors procrastinating on reading about columns to biology majors who come up with weird conspiracy theories when they’re peering into microscopes for hours. Staff Writers are “required” to write ten posts per semester. This spring, Bwog is particularly hoping to recruit STEM-minded staffers, as we have big plans for expanding our science coverage – email science@bwog.com to learn more about those plans.

If you’re interested, come learn more about Bwog and bring your biggest, baddest pitches to our first open meeting of the semester this Sunday. Then, if you like what you see, fill out the application below.  Applications should be sent to editor@bwog.com by 11:59 pm on Friday, January 26 in the form of a Google doc or .PDF document titled “*First Name* App.”

About Bwog:

  • Tell us about one Bwog post you liked, one post you didn’t like, and why for both.
  • What is your favorite tag?
  • Come up with three sample post ideas that you would like to see on Bwog.
  • Draw Bwog.

About you:

  • Why do you want to join Bwog?
  • What do you think Bwog is?
  • You’re taking Bwog out on a date! What would you do? Where would you go?
  • What about Columbia might you be interested in writing about?
  • Send us a screenshot or list of the bookmarked Favorites on your browser.

Those grapes were green before we de-saturated them for printing purposes, we swear via Betsy Ladyzhets

Jan

18

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For some reason, professors insist on giving us paper copies of the syllabus even when it’s available online. Senior staffer Abby Rubel has some ideas for what to do with the extra paper.

At least your desk won’t be this cluttered (probably).

  1. Burn it to stay warm. Our radiators are hot, but not hot enough to keep us warm in this weather. Use your extra syllabi to compensate.
  2. Learn origami. If you have enough paper to cut it into 1,000 pieces of paper, fold cranes! Then wish to pass all your classes because you wasted all the time you could have spent studying folding little bits of paper into bird-like shapes.
  3. Display them on your wall. Nothing says home sweet home like a wall reminding you how much reading you have.
  4. Use them as wrapping paper. Hey, it’s expensive, and you’re probably still behind on your holiday gift-giving. If it’s a small gift, an 8 ½ x 11 piece of paper will do just fine.
  5. Recycle!
  6. Let them sit in your backpack until they inevitably become crumpled and unreadable, then finally recycle them when you get home for the summer. It’s the ultimate in procrastination.

Photo via Bwog Staff

Jan

18

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This Wednesday, Daniel Raimi, senior research associate at Resources for the Future, and lecturer at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, spoke for the launch of his new book, The Fracking Debate. The book, published by the Columbia University Press as part of their Center on Global Energy Policy Series, offers considers the complex impact of the shale revolution. Raimi spoke about several of the issues raised in his book and then engaged in a panel with other fracking experts moderated by CGEP Founding Director, Jason Bordoff. Staff writer Zöe Sottile went and learned some things.

A bleak future or a victory of innovation?

Up until this lecture, all I knew about fracking was what I had gleaned from the plotline on Bojack Horseman where Mr. PeanutButter runs for governor. Luckily, now I’m basically a fracking expert. Daniel Raimi started his talk by discussing semantics: what is fracking, exactly? He explained that those who oppose shale oil – oil derived from oil shale rock fragments – often use “fracking” to describe all activities related to the oil and gas industry. The more narrow definition, however, describes the injection of water, sand, and chemicals at high pressure into shale or other rock sources, a process formally known as “hydraulic fracturing”. Fracking is often associated with high environmental costs. However, as Raimi highlighted in his talk, real communities in areas impacted by fracking often have diverse and unpredictable opinions.

Find out more after the jump…

Jan

18

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Not actually in Pyeongchang, but you get the drift.

What’s Happening In The World: The two Koreas are making history at February’s Winter Olympics by walking together in Pyeongchang. The decision will be finalized by the International Olympic Committee today. (Korea Herald)

What’s Happening In The US: Immigration crackdown continues. The Department of Homeland security has blocked the temporary H-2A and H-2B visas for Haitians, very soon after President Trump’s alleged comments referring to Haiti and other nations as “shithole countries”. (CNN)

What’s Happening In NYC: If you think you fight with your roommate, just hope it doesn’t get this bad. A Brooklyn man died over his dispute over bathroom use at their apartment in Coney Island. (NY Daily News)

What’s Happening At Columbia: At Riverside Church, Columbia’s 13/13 series continues with a discussion titled “How do the views of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Hannah Arendt shape revolutionary views?”, with speakers from CU and Yale University. The Church is at 490 Riverside Dr.

Overheard: “I’m just gonna tell you upfront: I make fun of France and New Jersey a lot. If you’re from there, I apologize in advance.”

Jan

17

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We will have to resort to going to the Heights for our margaritas now

Another beloved MoHi staple, Amigos, closed at the end of the last semester. Since its opening in 2013, Amigos has provided Columbia students with amazingly mediocre Mexican food, potentially poisonous margaritas, and many fond memories. Students and alums shared their favorite memories of Amigos with us that will live on forever in our nostalgic recollections. (Disclaimer: Bwog does not endorse or condone underage or irresponsible drinking.)

  • When they let our new sports editor drink soda instead of margaritas when everyone else at the table ordered a margarita special
  • When David refilled a senior staffer’s margaritas until she was wasted, even though she and her girlfriend initially went there for one drink and a dinner, and when she forgot that Amigos has two restrooms
  • When our new managing editor pregamed an Amigos birthday party and spent the party stuffing her face with guac and telling her friends she loved them. She added that she didn’t go to Amigos many times this year, but every time she went, she spent quality time with the people who meant the most to her.
  • Matt Neky commented on Facebook, “The time that Kara Kupferberg and I bought shots and the bartender also poured himself one and screamed ‘salud y amor’.”
  • When our Alma “Bagel” Bwogger used a caution wet floor sign as a percussion instrument at her Amigos birthday party as David rolled out infinite vodka and tequila shots
  • When Bwog’s friend Howard worked there
  • Various variations of “fishbowl”
  • @ARM_Y on Twitter said, “[$3] margs at lunch, [tipsy] at afternoon classes. The spot for heavy handed drinks, I went alllll the time with my sister.”
  • David
  • @gross_raisin on Twitter said, “I remember going to Wednesday unlimited quesadilla and marg night when Amigos first opened and staying for four hours. The next week they had a two hour limit. #RIP. May it join Campo, Il Cibreo, Deluxe, and so many others in mediocre MoHi restaurant heaven.”
  • @Chris_Szablewski on Twitter replied to the above, “Of the three restaurants at that location in my four years there, it was by far, my most adequate.”
  • @KeyesLuv tweeted, “A recent 2017 grad here. Amigos was THE place for my friends and I. In my 4 years at CU, I’ve (attempted to) down too many fish bowls, danced in the middle of the floor to salsa and had too margaritas with the salted rim for my own good […] Amigos will surely be missed.”
  • @NickChalk4 on Twitter once had a few margaritas and threw up so subtly on the table that none of his friends noticed.

RIP Amigos!

Amigos via Bwog Archives

Jan

17

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“Do the Lit Hum reading for once.”

“New year, new me” – Every Instagram caption for the month of January. New Year’s resolutions are an amazing chance to turn over a new leaf–and students aren’t the only ones who are committing to a few this year! Our favorite campus buildings are getting in on the fun by deciding to leave a few things in 2017. The most-mentioned? Less throw-up and faster elevators.

• Milstein: Be finished.
• Carman: Don’t fall apart. And no more getting thrown up in.
• Diana: Be nicer to men.
• Lerner: No more getting caught in the middle of rowdy protests. Too stressful, especially for a building with so much glass.
• EC: Drink less alcohol.
• Ruggles: Quit smoking.
• John Jay: Leave me out of your terrible Spec op-eds. Unrelated: also get faster elevators.
• The Quad: Grow at least two sizes.
• Hamilton: Do the Lit Hum reading for once.
• Butler: Spend less time on Facebook.

Hamilton Hall via Bwog Archives

Jan

17

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The city awaits you…

Are you one of the many that have successfully avoided the harrowing shopping period? Bwog’s got some things that you can do during the light and early weeks of the semester. 

  • The obvious one: binge-watch Netflix without guilt.
  • Try to meet up with all of your friends before the semester makes you flaky.
  • Leave the MoHi bubble and explore a new part of the city.
  • Visit the Michelangelo exhibit at the Met and the fashion exhibit at the MOMA.
  • Start saving money now. Put some to the side to have a good time, but remember: it’s a long road to May.
  • Go to all the INSIDER food video places you’ve always wanted to go to (Chick’nCone, Brodo, Bar Pa Tea).
  • Treat yourself to a manicure in the name of self-care.
  • Prepare a nice dinner with your friends. If you’re the unfortunate one that has to cook the whole meal, have a friend equipped with a large bottle of whatever to keep you in good spirits.

Waste more of your time after the jump

Jan

17

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SGA <3 vegans

Our SGA Bureau Chief Dassi Karp summarizes what happened last semester in SGA to start a fresh new semester. 

I’m excited for a new semester of Barnard SGA meetings, because who doesn’t love sitting through hours of administrative guests, policy arguments, pointless votes, and occasional discussions of the work that’s actually getting done behind the scenes? Alas, Rep Council has not reconvened yet, so there’s no meeting to cover this week. But that can’t stop us from checking in with our revolutionary Reps! At the end of last semester, SGA released a mid-year report about what they’ve accomplished, and what work they hope to continue this spring. Here are the highlights:

Under the keen guidance of President Angela Beam, SGA greatly improved its meeting structure this semester. Instead of inviting guests at seemingly random intervals to have unproductive discussions, as they have in past years, many Rep Council meetings have centered on bringing together student leaders and administrators to start meaningful discussions that produce actionable items (there were exceptions, of course).

Rep for Food and Dining Services Sarah Broniscer, along with Beam, worked to establish an ad hoc committee on food insecurity. The committee will start its work in the coming weeks, and hopes to find “tangible solutions to combating food insecurities on campus.” This semester, Broniscer was also successful in increasing Barnard dining’s Halal, Kosher, vegan, and allergen-friendly options. That’s a lot of options!

In a move that increased transparency with astonishingly few technical malfunctions, VP Communications Rhea Nagpal spearheaded the decision to livestream all SGA meetings on Facebook. SGA reports an average of 320 views per meeting, which is impressive. I doubt the representativeness of that number (someone needs to only tune in for a few seconds for Facebook to count it as a view), but still. If you combine that number with the number of people who read Bwog’s reporting on meetings, that’s about 322 people who know what’s happening in their student government!

The student academic advisory community, under the brilliant guidance of former Rep for Academic Affairs Shoshana Edelman, worked to increase communication between administration and students about course offerings, major options, and academic diversity. Because of their bizarre handling of appointments at the end of last semester, there is currently no one filling this position. My prediction: SGA will try to spend another few hours of meeting time trying to pull this off at the beginning of next semester. By the time whoever they pick joins the council, the semester will be too far over for any meaningful work to get done. Prove me wrong, SGA–do something reasonable for once.

The Seven Sisters Committee, led by Rep for Seven Sisters Relations Julia Pickel, has a really detailed and complex subcommittee structure. There are almost as many committees as there are Sisters, which is just an impressive feat of bureaucracy.

The class councils did all of the normal class council stuff. There’s been an interesting trend of the first-year class representatives tending to focus on programming and discussions that explicitly center on diversity and inclusion of under-represented groups. This is true to the platforms of both FY President Sara Morales and Vice President Tina Gao, who won their positions in elections with a record-breaking turnout this fall.

To summarize this summary: the SGA did some things, and didn’t do others. Overall, meeting structure and timeliness has improved, though actual results seem similar to past years. So far, I’m generally impressed with our student leaders, who all seem to genuinely want to make Barnard a Better place to Be. Here’s to another semester, SGA. I’ll be watching you.

Check out the report here to learn more about what SGA did last semester.

Vegetables via Bwog Archives

Jan

17

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Become a Daily and receive nice comments like this one!

Daily Editors are the backbone of Bwog. They assemble our Bwoglines, they write our tags, they keep our site running when the rest of our staff is slacking. Without Dailies, we would be merely a group of forty students crammed around a table in Lerner, shouting dumb pitches at each other. And this semester, we need new people to fill these esteemed positions. (Exact number of new Dailies needed is TBD; it will be announced at Sunday’s meeting.)

Each Daily Editor is responsible for managing Bwog on one day each week. This includes sending out a lineup the night before, writing Bwoglines, announcements, and breaking news posts, editing and scheduling posts by staff writers, and cross-posting to Facebook and Twitter. Yes, it means you get to write the tags. Dailying is a great position in particular for first-years who haven’t yet sold their soul to any particular student group and are looking to get more involved at Columbia; through the position, you would learn a great deal about what’s happening on campus.

If you’re interested, fill out the application below and send it to editor@bwog.com by 11:59 pm on Friday, January 26 in the form of a Google doc or .PDF document titled “*First Name* App.” But before you do that, you might want to come check out our first open meeting this Sunday, January 21 at 9 pm in Lerner 510.

Here’s the application:

About Bwog:

  • Tell us about one Bwog post you liked, one post you didn’t like, and why for both.
  • What is your favorite tag?
  • Come up with three sample post ideas that you would like to see on Bwog.
  • Draw Bwog.

About you:

  • Why do you want to join Bwog?
  • What do you think Bwog is?
  • You’re taking Bwog out on a date! What would you do? Where would you go?
  • What about Columbia might you be interested in writing about?
  • Send us a screenshot of the open tabs on your browser.
  • What three days work best for you to Daily?

Poster via former Daily Betsy Ladyzhets

Jan

17

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Hope y’all find some Jesus in the new year

Happening in the world: Shortly after Youtuber Logan Paul uploaded a video of a dead body hanging from a forest in Japan and was dropped from the platform’s Google Preferred tier, Youtube has promised more human oversight of its top-tier videos and better management of unsavory ads that show up next to content. (NYT)

Happening in NYC: Nusret Gökçe, the Turkish chef more widely known to the internet as Salt Bae, will be opening a restaurant in NYC this week. It will open in the CBS Black Rock Building in midtown Manhattan.  (Grub Street)

Happening on campus: Lots of theater and music groups on campus are having auditions today, including a cappella, CMTS’ productions, and KCST’s Hamlet. Check out a list here.

Overheard: “Damn boy, I gotta get a Bible.”

Fun fact: If you lift a kangaroo’s tail off the ground, it can’t hop.

The correct edition of the Bible for LitHum and CC via This Lamp

Jan

16

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img January 16, 201810:12 pmimg 2 Comments

Get it… like… field?

With break having come and gone, syllabus week is the perfect time to reflect. Our little time without school work and obligations gave Bwog the perfect opportunity to have some fun. Here’s some of the highlights from Bwog’s break!

Bwog gets sick

  • Had to go to the ER (not alcohol-related).
  • Got destroyed by the flu on the last day of break.
  • Got CAVA’d the weekend before classes start (i.e. this past weekend). Great way to start off the semester.
  • Ate a Baconator from Wendy’s and was sick for 4 days after.
  • Threw up in a billionaire’s tennis-themed bathroom before helping cater their new year’s eve party (cause unknown).
  • Got all my drinks paid for on New Year’s; woke up with strep the next day.
  • Threw up in my mouth on the LIRR. Was wedged in-between two people talking loudly on the phone.
  • Hyperventilated and threw salmon up into the ocean.

More field notes after the jump

Jan

16

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This is the first week of campus, which means both an abundance of syllabi and an abundance of performing arts auditions. If you were at the CUPAL kickoff last night, you heard representatives from all of the groups talking about these auditions in person, but if you missed it, Bwog has your back. Find out everything happening in Hamilton this week below.

  • A CappellaSeveral of Columbia’s premier a cappalla groups are seeking new members this semester; these groups include Bacchantae, Clefhangers, CU Sur, Gospel Choir, Jubilation!, Kingsmen, Metrotones, Nonsequitur, Sharp, Uptown Vocal, and Vivace. Auditions will take place Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, from 8 to 11 pm, in Hamilton 304.
  • Bach SocietyThe self-described “fun, funky, and fresh” Bach Society seeks new singers and instrumentalists. Auditions require one solo work, not necessarily written by Bach, and possibly sight reading. Auditions will be on Friday at 2 pm and Saturday at 11 am in Lerner 572; interested performers can sign up here.
  • Black Theater Ensemble: One Act Festival: Each spring, the Black Theater Ensemble hosts a one-act festival; this year, the festival will perform four student-written plays on the theme of Afro-futurism. Auditions will be next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (January 25 to 27) from 7 to 10 pm.
  • CMTS’ Spring Season: Into the Woods and a 24-hour production of the Sound of Music: CMTS (Columbia Musical Theater Society) is putting on two shows this semester. Into the Woods will be put on in a normal, humane schedule, while the Sound of Music will be put on in 24 hours. Auditions for Into the Woods and interviews for both shows will take place Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, from 8 to 11 pm, in Hamilton.

Even more audition information after the jump

Jan

16

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img January 16, 20184:25 pmimg 4 Comments

Mmm whatcha say

If you’ve been living under a rock (or inside a concrete bunker) for the last few days, you may not have heard about the fake missile threat that was accidentally activated in Hawaii, prompting a notification on everyone’s phone. That got me thinking about how I would have no idea what to do in that scenario if I was on campus. Here’s what I came up with:

Burn your LitHum books on Low Beach

In the last few minutes of existence as a body and not as a dust of microscopic particles, it’s always best to give in to the most animalistic of human urges. A good ol’ fashioned book burning is always fun, so show the cisheteronormative patriarchal core how you really feel about its bullshit. Leave Sappho out of it, though.

Get lit with your professor in office hours

Societal structure always breaks down in apocalyptic scenarios; therefore, there’s nothing stopping you from partying away your last few minutes with your favorite professor or your favorite TA. Choose your playlist wisely, you don’t want to spend your last time on earth listening to Ed Sheeran.

Actually find shelter, if you want to fight off radioactive zombies

Look, I just don’t have the work ethic to survive in a post-apocalyptic environment; some days I’m too lazy to literally take an elevator downstairs and eat food that’s just waiting out on a table. But, if you think you have a shot, maybe try prying open some of the doors to the hidden tunnels or figuring out how to get to the Manhattan Project levels beneath Pupin. Athletes, beautiful people, Walking Dead fans: I suggest this option.

Binge-watch Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix at 863x speeds

There’s 301 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, with each being around 43 minutes long. Therefore, in order to watch them all in 15 minutes, you’d have to speed each of them up to 863 times their normal speed. So experience love, loss, grief, and… doctor stuff, I guess, in the time you have left. (Author’s note: I have never seen an episode of Grey’s Anatomy)

Grab the nearest person and head to the Butler stacks

You gotta. Enough said.

 

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