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Daily Archive: February 11, 2018

Feb

11

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This reminds me of a nightmare I had once.

Bwog Arts Editor Riva Weinstein has experience in many fields of art. Avant-garde amateur film is, unfortunately, not one of them. Still, she tried to make the most out of the Yugoslav Experimental Film Symposium, which was held this Saturday in the Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies at Columbia.

Listen, what’s the point of college if you don’t go to at least one or two Eastern European experimental film symposiums? At least, that’s what your pretentious liberal arts cousin, Michael, keeps telling you. He tells you this without looking up from his thrice-annotated copy of Finnegan’s Wake. God, Michael is such an asshole. And now your other family members are looking at you expectantly: yeah, why haven’t you been to any Eastern European experimental film symposiums? Are you trying to drive them into an early grave?

Luckily, Bwog is here to help. We attended the third panel of the Yugoslavian Experimental Film Symposium at the Harriman Institute, “Vukica Djilas & Davorin Marc” (if your family isn’t Yugoslavian, that’s pronounced VOO-keet-sa JEE-las and DA-vo-reen MARTS; if your family is Yugoslavian, please give up now).

Defeat your cousin with more cinema knowledge after the jump

Feb

11

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Definitely the best-dressed presidential candidate we’ve ever seen

On Thursday evening, the Russian community of Columbia came out in high numbers to listen to and challenge Ksenia Sobchak, one of the opposition candidates running against Vladimir Putin in the upcoming Russian election. Betsy Ladyzhets, EIC and interested party whenever someone challenges Putin, was there to take copious notes and write belated coverage.

When I stepped into the Kraft Center on Thursday, I momentarily thought I had stepped into Moscow. I saw Russian newspapers, heard Russian voices, and sat in front of Russian TV cameras. Although the event, a conversation with Russian presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, was sponsored by the Harriman Institute and NYU’s Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia for the ostensible purpose of increasing conversation about Russian policy issues in the U.S., it felt more like a campaign stop for Ms. Sobchak. She spoke in English and referenced American issues, but the most powerful moments of her talk were her addresses to Russian members of the audience, and her responses to their questions.

Ms. Sobchak is, in her own words, an “unusual candidate.” She first entered the public eye in Russia by hosting a reality TV show, Dom-2, then went on to host several more reality shows and act in a few movies before creating her own show, Sobchak Live, on which she challenges the dominant political opinion spread by the Kremlin’s intense media control. She is also a successful businesswoman, with her own fashion lines, and has been called “Russia’s It Girl.”  She has never run for office before this current presidential campaign.

Many Russians are skeptical of Ms. Sobchak’s campaign, suggesting that she is only allowed to run as a distraction against Alexei Navalny, the leader of Russia’s Progress Party and one of President Putin’s biggest critics. Mr. Navalny has not been allowed to run in this year’s election. Ms. Sobchak, critics believe, is only in the race to increase voter turnout and maintain the illusion of democracy.

So what did she say at Columbia?

Feb

11

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Add these events to your week to spice it up!

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 sparsely populated reading week are below, with no specifically recommended events. If you notice any events that have been left off the list, or a correction, please leave them in the comments.

Recommended:

  • Transparency in Postwar France, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM, Buell Hall, Monday
  • Promoting Democracy and Tolerance in the Former Soviet Space: Experience from the Front Lines, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM, International Affairs Building, Tuesday
  • Being the First: The Pulitzer Prize Edition, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Barnard Hall, Tuesday
  • CCS Grantee Event: Harlem Chamber Players 10th Annual Black History Month Celebration, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Off Campus (Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture), Friday
  • Cultural Heritage in Conflict Zones: Protecting the Past for the Future, 2:30 PM -6:30 PM, Italian Academy, Friday

Monday, Feb 12:

  • Transparency in Postwar France, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM, Buell Hall
  • Rivigo Founder Deepak Garg on the Relay Economy and Technology, 6:15 PM – 7:30 PM, International Affairs Building

Tuesday, Feb 13:

  • Promoting Democracy and Tolerance in the Former Soviet Space: Experience from the Front Lines, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM, International Affairs Building
  • Being the First: The Pulitzer Prize Edition, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Barnard Hall

Thursday, Feb 15:

  • Breastfeeding Basics: For Home and Work/School, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM, Low Library
  • Get Out – Film Screening and Discussion, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM, Millers Library
  • Susanne Reber: The Changing Landscape of Radio, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM, Pulitzer Hall
  • Faces Places (Visages Villages), 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM, Buell Hall

Friday, Feb 16:

  • CCS Grantee Event: Harlem Chamber Players 10th Annual Black History Month Celebration, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Off Campus (Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture)
  • Cultural Heritage in Conflict Zones: Protecting the Past for the Future, 2:30 PM -6:30 PM, Italian Academy
  • Subverting Surveillance: Strategies to End State Violence, 4:00 PM, The Diana Center

Peppers via pexels

Feb

11

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Let’s make Earth our valentine forever and always! (stop global warming)

We’re back with Science Fair, Bwog’s weekly curated list of interesting STEM-related talks, symposiums, and events happening on campus. For science and non-science majors alike, our list will bring you events that will satisfy your scientific curiosity for everything from astronomy to zoology, and everything in between. (Also, if you’re part of a student-led STEM club at Columbia and want your event advertised on Science Fair, let us know at science@bwog.com!)

For anyone, related-majors and non-majors alike:

EIA Annual Energy Outlook 2018

  • Tuesday, February 13, 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM, Pulitzer Hall (World Room), register at the link above
  • “Please join the Center on Global Energy Policy for a presentation by John Conti, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, of the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2018. The Annual Energy Outlook provides modeled projections of domestic energy markets through 2050, and includes cases with different assumptions of macroeconomic growth, world oil prices, technological progress, and energy policies. CGEP Fellow John MacWilliams will moderate the discussion following the presentation.”

Data Science Institute Talk: “Data For Good,” presented by Dr. Sharyn O’Halloran, Columbia University

  • Friday, February 16, 12:00-1:30pm, CEPSR 750 (Costa Engineering Commons)
  • “For all the hype, “big data” and machine learning do hold immense promise to better people’s lives, whether in education, energy, healthcare, or the environment. But data-driven decisions can be bad decisions, and many people are developing and applying data analytics with little consideration of the ethical implications. This spring, we invite you to join us for a series of one-hour talks in which distinguished speakers will grapple with the challenge of ensuring data science serves the public good.”

“The Politics of Search and Rescue Operations: A View from the Mediterranean,” presented by Dr. Craig Spencer, Columbia Medical Center

  • Thursday, February 15, 12:15 PM – 1:30 PM, IAB 1219
  • “Craig Spencer MD MPH is the Director of Global Health in Emergency Medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. He divides his time between providing clinical care in New York and working internationally in public health. He has worked as a field epidemiologist on numerous projects examining access to medical care and human rights.”

Click here for chemistry, physics, and computer science!

Feb

11

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Social Media Editor Youngweon Lee valiantly sacrificed herself as a guinea pig to test out this Harvard-created online dating site (?) to write a review. Tl;dr – Bwog’s verdict is to stick to Tinder. 

The worst holiday of the year, Valentine’s Day, is inevitably coming around the disgustingly pink-themed corner. This year, this stench of late-stage capitalism disguised as “the season of love” was tinted with the scent of computer science nerds from…Harvard. Somehow, this month got even worse. (No offense to other computer science nerds, though, or the rest of Harvard.) So this thing called “Datamatch,” which was initially available only at Harvard since 1994, could not contain its monstrous tentacles and spread to Brown, Wellesley, Columbia, and Barnard. Other schools apparently wanted Datamatch’s matchmaking services, but only these four “wooed their way to the top… Everyone else, sorry booboo.” Arrogant pricks. Very typical of Harvard. Why the hell did they even pick Columbia? (Don’t answer that. It’s a rhetorical question.)

If you’re asking that you’d “like to bring Datamatch to [insert institution for make people much smart here]. How do?” They answer that “Ooh! Ooh! We did that! And maybe we could do more of that! Sharing the joy of Datamatch is a high priority for us…Preferred modes of communication include telegram and snail mail (use of real snails encouraged).” I see that they’re trying to be funny and clever with their “snail mail” bullshit and intentional use of incomprehensibly warbled grammar, and I see them failing. The “Ooh! Ooh!” is a sad, pathetic attempt at being cute. I almost feel bad shitting on them like this.

At Columbia, they seem to have some sort of partnership with Jester Humor Magazine. Between Jester and Datamatch Harvard, we received no less than three emails about this asking for a post about it since they launched on February 7th. That’s an average of one a day. (Datamatch and Jester – I hope you’re reading this and that you’re finally satisfied!) The last one was titled “Okay Look, You’re Funny, We’re Funny. Why’s it been 5 minutes without a reply?” First of all, no, you’re not funny, Datamatch. Second of all, calm down. This email also referred to Datamatch as “the greatest thing to hit the Columbia dating scene since the invention of the penis.” They told us that as of Saturday afternoon, over 600 students from Columbia signed up on Datamatch, and they were mostly women. They apparently chose to reach out to Bwog, because our “readership is off-the-charts horny.” (Guys, is this true?) Outside of Columbia, as of 1:13 am on February 11th, 2018, 6,600 people in total “trust Datamatch” (i.e. registered on this God-awfully pink site).

It gets worse after the jump

Feb

11

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Join now! Bwog is, after all, your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite.

(Wide shot of a beautiful meadow. Closeups of: a rabbit twitching its nose; a butterfly landing on a flower; a bead of dew hanging from a blade of grass.)

NARRATOR V/O: Everyone has… a purpose. Something which gives their life meaning.

(Wide again on the meadow. Nearly bird’s-eye view. We see a young woman wading through the grass.)

NARRATOR V/O: Some people want…… to make art. To help their communities. To work the land. To learn as much as they can.

(As the narrator speaks, we see flashes of what she describes: a potter sculpting a bowl; a woman operating a pop-up soup kitchen; a man standing in a field of marijuana; a girl sitting at a desk reading a book entitled GERMAN MODERNISM.)

This, but not imperialist or associated with the military in any way.

(Shot of the young woman, spreading out a blanket on the grass. Shot over her shoulder as she sits cross-legged and opens up a laptop. As she speaks, a timelapse montage of various campus buildings plays.)

NARRATOR V/O: I wanted to get in touch with people. I wanted them to read my writing, what I had to say. I wanted them to know which floor of Lerner corresponded to which book in the Lithum syllabus. I wanted them to read my review of a student production of A Streetcar Named Desire where every role was gender-swapped. I wanted them to know about events happening all over Columbia. More than anything, I wanted to eat grapes crisper and fresher than the air of a New York autumn.

(Shot of the young woman facing us while typing. On the back of her computer is a blue, square sticker which reads “FUCK SPEC.”)

(Shot of the young woman facing camera. She’s smiling.)

NARRATOR: That’s why I chose Bwog.

(Screen cuts to black.)

Bwog WANTS YOU

LERNER 510

9:00 PM

SNACKS PROVIDED

BRING YOUR PITCHES

 

Recruitment via Pixabay, Uncle Sam via Wikimedia Commons.

Feb

11

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Please stay alive until forever.

Happening in the world: In a retaliatory move after one of its jets was brought down during a raid, Israel has carried out its “most significant attack” against Syria since 1982. The strike was carried out against both Syrian and Iranian targets within Syrian territory. Experts say the loss of the fighter jet (though the pilots safely escpaed) is a “serious escalation,” even if Israeli airstrikes in Syria are “not unusual.” (BBC)

Happening in the US: Two important Trump stories today. Though the House Intelligence Committee unanimously voted to release the Democratic memo rebutting the Republican memo (nicknamed the “Nunes memo”after the HIC chairman) which alleged corruption within the FBI, the President has refused to declassify the response, and sent it back to the committee for “changes.” Accusations of a partisan double standard have been swift and condemnatory. Secondly, Trump tweeted yesterday—after the resignation of staff secretary Rob Porter following public accusations of physical and emotional abuse of his former wives— that “Peoples [sic] lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation.” Trump similarly called the late Fox executive Roger Ailes a “very good person” back in 2016 after allegations rose against him, and endorsed alleged pedophile Roy Moore in the Alabama senate race. So… yeah. (CNN, video autoplay warning; Washington Post, soft paywall)

Happening in New York: To combat the rising deaths caused by the opioid epidemic, city officials are considering the possibility of safe injection facilities— places where drug users can take drugs under medical supervision so as to prevent overdose. Last year, $100,000 was given to the city health department to study the potential uses of the facilities, and its report will be released soon (according to Mayor de Blasio). Debate is raging about the idea of the facilities, one of which has been operating successfully in Vancouver, British Columbia. It also may be against federal law. (New York Times, soft paywall)

Happening on campus: If you aren’t going in person (it’s also very much sold out, and it may be available to alumni only), the She Opened The Door Women’s Conference is live streaming the conference’s keynote address, given by none other than Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Law ’59). The conference is a tribute to Winifred Edgerton Merill (Columbia’s first female PhD graduate in 1886).

Overheard: [about applying for an internship] “I’ve been Law of Attraction-ing this shit since my mom told me about it last summer.”

Sunday Song Suggestion: 

Patron saint of the law via Wikimedia Commons.

Feb

11

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Guess what I got on this test

Guess what I got on this test

No, it wasn’t just you. Yes, last semester was really bad. You’ve been trying to get a fresh start this time around, but with the specters of past failures, drunken encounters, and mishandled emails hanging over you, how is anyone to move forward? Below, our guide to banishing bad vibes—with literally no one knowledgeable’s approval or input.

Materials

  • A Blue Book from the last final you did badly on
  • Sea salt
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon and assorted chewy seeds your mother sent you to keep your breath fresh
  • An anthropomorphic figurine (to symbolize Alma) (in this case, St. Francis)
  • A mirror
  • A camera, the older the better (this is what my parents used in the ’80s)
  • Water and a small tray (not pictured)

The Ritual

Obviously, the best place to channel your energy is the building that has, without complaint, housed your 8:40s and swallowed your many sighs. For many of us, that’s Hamilton, which is by large a benign building, cheerful even when we enter at 10 pm. Others might prefer sinister, vaguely foreboding Butler. But since we’re in Hamilton, let’s go all the way up to the 7th floor.

From here on, the steps are simple.

  1. Place your Blue Book on the surface before you.
  2. Sprinkle salt, signifying earth, at each corner of the book.
  3. Place your fake Alma at the center, and then surround her with the various fragrant seeds and sediments you have in your possession.
  4. Pour your water (symbolizing, well, water) into the tray and place it on the Blue Book, above fake Alma.
  5. Then, breathe on the mirror—make sure it fogs up. Place it on the Blue Book, below fake Alma. This represents air.
  6. Finally, sweeten your mouth with honey.

Read more after the jump

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