Monthly Archive: April 2018

Apr

26

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ooooooooh brain cells

Bwog Staff Writer and wannabe clinical psychologist Riya Mirchandaney nerded out over some dope women scientists at the event “Neuroscience in Action: A Conversation About Early Life Trauma and the Brain.”

On Tuesday April 24th, Trauma-Free NYC—an organization with the goal of understanding and promoting trauma-informed policies in the city of New York—provided a platform for three impressive speakers (Dr. Noble, Dr. Tottenham, and Dr. Bernard) to discuss their cutting-edge research on the subject of the psychology and neuroscience of early childhood adversity.

The first speaker was Dr. Kimberly Noble (MD and PhD!), Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Education at Teachers College and Principal Investigator of the NEED (Neurocognition, Early Experience, and Development) Lab. Her research focuses on the way that socioeconomic factors shape brain development, specifically studying the relationship between poverty, family stress, cognitive ability, cortisol levels, and (s/o to FroSci!) the hippocampus.

The force of socioeconomic status on cognitive development is quite clear, noted Dr. Noble, as children of high SES with low early test scores improve their scores over time, whereas children of low SES with high early test scores show the opposite trend—essentially, socioeconomic status trumps early cognitive ability in predictive power for later performance. And brain structure plays a key role: Dr. Noble found that higher income is associated with greater volume of the hippocampus—a part of the limbic system linked to learning and memory.

More brain stuff after the jump

Apr

26

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Per annual Bwog tradition, we sent a top-secret Bwogger to infiltrate the Columbia Class of 2022 GroupMe and find out what next year’s Columbia freshmen are truly like. Here’s what we found.

A Budding Columbia Romance:

They Really Like Making Polls:

They Also Really Like Arman Azad:

 

Apr

26

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Betsy’s two new best friends

Yesterday morning, around 11 am, our fearless EIC sat down in Butler to begin work on a presentation which was supposed to be the culmination of several weeks of data collection and analysis, as well as a semester’s worth of self-led computer science tutorials. Naturally, she was set to give the presentation at about 10:30 am today. The following ensued.

11:15 am: Even though I’ve been up for a few hours already (thanks, Wind Ensemble obligations), I just sat down in Butler. Since I don’t study in this library much, when I do go here, I tend to guide my actions with the adage What Would Finn Klauber Do – which usually leads me to either the eighth floor or the sixth floor reading rooms. Right now, it’s the latter. The room isn’t too crowded, the natural light from the windows is nice, and I am… already procrastinating. I have 22 hours and 45 minutes until my 10 am class tomorrow, when this presentation is due. Let’s get down to business.

11:25 am: Actually, scratch that, I need to go to the bathroom again.

11:28 am: I was going to write something making fun of the girl sitting next to me who has three (3) “Friends” stickers on her laptop, but then I remembered that I spent a half hour of my morning reading an article on “the top 100 pairings on AO3, ranked” earlier, so I really have no leg to stand on here.

12:01 pm: Have installed approximately 15 R studio packages. Not entirely sure what all of them do or if anyone will be useful for my project, but uh… I have them?

1:20 pm: Figured out how to do one (1) successful thing. Still feeling very proud of myself. Going to take a lunch break.

2:50 pm: Lunch break turned into an impromptu covering a protest break. I love Columbia.

The lack of productivity doesn’t stop there…

Apr

26

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This entire building only has one good bathroom in it.

To the Butler 6 Bathroom:

I remember how I first met you. It wasn’t through a friend of a friend, or Tinder, or any of those superficial, stale mechanisms kids these days use to attempt to find love. All I needed was the right situation, a little bit of luck, and Bwog.

One day, while searching for a place to cry in Butler, I pulled up the Pooping in Pupin post and found a recommendation for the Butler 6 bathroom. I took the elevator upstairs, locked myself in a bathroom stall, and plugged in my earphones to listen to Camila Cabello’s “Real Friends.”

A profound sense of peace began to settle on me. Maybe it’s the bright white walls. The clean tile floor. The faint smell of sunscreen. The benevolent faces of grad students populating floor 6. Whatever it is, I’m convinced that you’re the most blessed bathroom in Butler, maybe even at Columbia.

You’re truly one of a kind. I mean, it’s really kind of hard to find good bathrooms at this school. To this day, when I’m studying in 209 and find all the bathrooms on floor 2 occupied or just plain stinky, I know I can always take the elevator to floor 6 and count on you, clean and reliable. Never change.

Love,

Anonymous Bwogger

Used to be a cynic before I met you via Bwog Archives 

Apr

26

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Cara’s blue and white plates return

If you’ve made the splurge on ~real maple syrup~ and not just the Log Cabin sticky goo, this is a perfect way to justify it– using it in a delicious, healthy dinner! The proportions listed for the sauce is a pretty rough estimate– taste away and see whether you want it sweeter/spicier/etc. 
Maple Soy Tofu, adapted from Bon Appetit

Ingredients

1 12-oz. block firm tofu
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 ½” piece ginger, very thinly sliced
A splash of sesame oil
Juice of half a lime
½ cup vegetable or canola oil.
Sliced scallions and steamed rice (for serving)

Drain tofu, then sandwich between several layers of kitchen towels to remove excess liquid. Cut into cubes.

Whisk soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, sesame oil, lime juice, and ginger in a small bowl.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. When oil is rippling across the surface, carefully add tofu so it doesn’t splash. Cook, undisturbed, until very crisp and dark brown underneath, 3–4 minutes. Carefully turn and repeat on opposite side. Holding tofu back with a spatula or slotted spoon, pour out oil into a small bowl.DO NOT POUR OIL DOWN THE DRAIN! I REPEAT, DO NOT POUR THE OIL DOWN THE DRAIN or you’ll ruin your sink!

With that aside, return the skillet to medium-high heat and add soy sauce mixture. Cook, reducing heat to medium until glaze is thick enough to coat a spoon, about 4 minutes.

Serve over rice and sprinkle with scallions! Look at you, you god/goddess of health!

procrastinate on your finals and make this via Bwogger Cara

Apr

26

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Throw out the whole website.

Happening in the World: The leader of the regional government in Madrid resigned after a video of her being detained for shoplifting was made public. 53-year-old Cristina Cifuentes had already been under pressure to leave her post after it came to light that she didn’t do all the coursework needed to receive her bachelor’s degree. A blow to the ruling part, this is also an important reminder to write your papers and study for your finals. (NYT)

Happening in the US: Because we live in the worst possible timeline, Donald Trump thanked Kanye West on Twitter for his public support, after the rapper returned to the platform two weeks ago. Among other comments, he said Trump shares “dragon energy” with him and posted a photo in a MAGA hat. (BBC)

Happening in NYC: Police are searching for a dog that bit a woman on the 4 train in Manhattan. The conflict started when she asked the owner to move the dog after bumping into her. An altercation ensued and she was bitten on the foot (NBC).

Happening on Campus: The Human Rights Program at Barnard will be hosting a panel discussion and Q&A on gun violence in America today from 6 to 8 pm in 307 Milbank. The panel features: Barnard Professor of History Matt Vaz; Vanderbilt Professor of Psychiatry, Jonathan Metzl; founder of Columbia Students Against Gun Violence, Nikki Shaner-Bradford; and CU Dems Lead Activist, Joanna Cohen.

World of the Day: Luz, the Spanish word for light. Here’s your weekly reminder that more than 33,000 people in rural Puerto Rico still don’t have power or adequate shelter, and have been relying on generators since Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit in September (CBS)

do you think god lives in heaven because he too lives in fear of what he created? via Bwog Archives

Apr

25

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This society is literally as old as our nation.

This evening, both Barnard College and Columbia College released the names of the remaining inductees for their 2018 classes of Phi Beta Kappa. Phi Beta Kappa is made up of 10 percent of the respective college senior class, chosen “based on the breadth, depth and rigor of their academic programs” (not necessarily the top 10 percent GPA-wise, but ya know, there’s a lot of overlap). The first two percent of each class were elected last fall, receiving the special honors of Junior Phi Beta Kappa. You can find CC’s fall list here and Barnard’s one here.

Behold! The 2018 class of Columbia College Phi Beta Kappa

Find out whomst made the list!

Apr

25

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These unionization struggles for healthcare workers come at a time when graduate students are similarly struggling for union recognition.

It’s been almost two years since the medical assistant workers in Columbia’s Primary Care Services voted to join 1199 SEIU, a union with over 5,000 members in New York City. Most of the union members 1199 represents work at the Columbia Medical Center uptown, in addition to more than 500 workers in dining and clerical services here on the Morningside Heights campus. So it wasn’t strange when the eight women who work in Primary Care voted to join the union. But a year and a half, and more than 25 bargaining meetings later, there is still no contract agreement.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Michael Ashby, Vice President of 1199 SEIU. Ashby represents the workers at the medical center and the dining and clerical services at the Morningside campus. He explained that the current situation does not reflect normal contract negotiation procedure. When the other workers on the Morningside campus voted to join the union just over three years ago, it took around four bargaining meetings between Columbia and the union to agree on language for the contract for over 500 workers, compared to 25+ meetings – and counting – for these eight workers. The demands haven’t changed. Columbia’s Director of Labor and Employee Relations for Morningside, Idina Gorman, hasn’t changed. So, what is causing such a different process this time?

When the eight medical staff voted to join the union, 1199 wanted to have them folded into the already-existing contract that they had with the Columbia University dining and clerical services employees. This was a standard decision: it was a small number of new members; the University had already negotiated and agreed to the conditions and terms in those contracts. But Columbia refused, instead electing to revisit every term and proposed benefit. According to Gwynne Wilcox, lawyer for 1199, “the University has disregarded this precedent in bargaining and has effectively ignored the other two 1199 contracts that the University negotiated.” Wilcox added that “it is rare for employers to act like this under these circumstances for eight workers where the Union and employer already have contracts with substantial other workers,” she continued. “In most instance[s], employers would have adopted the existing contracts.” In short, Columbia hasn’t made it easy. However, what no one seems to know is why.

Some of the healthcare workers have reported not getting a raise in two years. More after the jump.

Apr

25

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A member of the Liberation Coalition speaking to the crowd about changing the curriculum

On April 25th, Butler Library was briefly occupied by the Liberation Coalition, a collective focused on “decolonizing Columbia.” Bwog Staff Writer Megan Wylie was at the occupation, and had the chance to speak to members of the group to gain insight into their motivations for the protest. 

In the midst of the graduate workers’ strike, at about 1:25 pm on Wednesday, a group known as the Liberation Coalition gained access to Butler through entering with a prospective student tour group, and occupied the main stairway between the 2nd and 3rd floors for approximately 45 minutes.  Although an administrator who arrived on scene threatened to call the police and take protesters’ IDs, no IDs were taken and the police was not called.

The group was formed in response to CUCR’s speaker series earlier in the year, and is focused on ending what they see as Columbia’s relationship with white colonization and systematic racism. They claim that this relationship, which they outlined in speeches and a flyer they handed out to bystanders, is expressed through racist statues and names on campus, a curriculum centered upon white men and intrinsically connected to colonization, the gentrification of Harlem, and institutional biases against students of color marginalized by white supremacy. Their demands seek to combat this connection between Columbia and colonization.  These demands include: “Replace racist statues and names on campus with people of color who resisted oppression;” “Decolonize the curricula by centralizing and privileging the voices and knowledge of marginalized people;” “Stop gentrifying Harlem;” “Provide free tuition for Indigenous and Black students, especially those from the Lenni Lenape diaspora and Harlem communities;” “Allocate financial and legal resources in defense of all marginalized communities;” and “Divest from white supremacy, settler colonialism, military occupation, and fossil fuels.”

Although these demands are significant and wide-reaching, the protesters in Butler today primarily sought to disrupt the normal flow of Columbia life and educate students about their cause. The collective consists of both graduate and undergraduate students, and does not have individual leaders.

As they marched through Butler, they carried signs that referenced the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, as well as a large banner that said “DECOLONIZE COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY.” In response to their chants, several students began yelling at the protesters, calling them disruptive and obnoxious.

“You have acres of colonized land to study on,” one protestor responded.

How did this protest pan out?

Apr

25

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summer! so close but so far

Spunky young GSSC Bureau Chief Zoe Sottile brings you the latest and greatest from General Studies Student Council. As always, GSSC meets at 8:15 pm on Tuesday nights in the Satow Room.

This was the last GSSC General Body of the year! Lots of updates, lots of co-sponsorship requests, so little time. And, as usual, there was food.

Dean Rosen-Metsch

New GS Dean Lisa Rosen-Metsch made it a goal to attend GSSC once a month; last night’s meeting marked her fourth such visit. She gave shout-outs to GSSC’s success with the gala and encouraged students to take the Student Well-Being Survey.

Dean Rosen-Metsch spoke mostly about her efforts to improve GS’s financial aid and food security last night. She described financial aid as her “highest budget priority” and mentioned the setting aside of a budget next year specifically dedicated to alleviating student food insecurity. When a student asked what her highest priority was for improving student aid, she named GS’s endowment. She stated a desire to “ensure the financial viability of GS going forward” as well as ultimately “meet the full financial need of students”. GS is unique among the undergraduate colleges in that it doesn’t need to hire its own professors. Thus, essentially all of the profits of the endowment go towards increasing financial aid.

Dean Rosen-Metsch also mentioned her dedication to social justice issues, specifically naming the college’s partnership with the Center for Justice. The center is looking to create more educational opportunities for people who were formerly incarcerated; several GS deans are teaching or working at the center on that project and others.

(more…)

Apr

25

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In case you couldn’t tell from the drum circle on Low, the Graduate Workers Strike is in full swing. This subsequently means that us Barnumbia students are missing out on their quality time with 30-something grad students that live in Williamsburg or Astoria or Washington Heights. One Bwog Staffer fills us in on their saga to make a connection with their TA before it’s too late. 

It doesn’t get more millennial than protestors chugging La Croix

Somehow it’s taken me an entire semester, but this last minute stretch taught me that I need to go all out in my efforts to hook up with my TA. Once our final discussion was canceled, I realized I had to get my shit together. So I shaved my legs, threw on a dress, read up on the worker’s strike, and laced up my combat boots.

This is my LAST week to make my relationship with my TA blossom, and it’s really a testament to how committed I am, considering I’m trekking over to Low in an incredibly inappropriate outfit for a labor strike. In the midst of pots being banged and La Croix waters being handed out, I stood by and screamed “What’s disgusting? Union busting!”

But in the midst of me scanning a field of signs for my TA’s coiffed hair, I started overhearing chants and rants. The administration is doing what?? I can’t believe I almost crossed the picket line to support Columbia’s anti-labor, pro-Trump, capitalist scum agenda.

At that point I realized something: I had to join in on the fight against Columbia’s policies, not just the fight to get naked with my TA. I bent down and grabbed a sign and started marching with the crowd of protestors.

So at the end of the day, our love remains unrequited but I did become an avid supporter of graduate student workers collective bargaining. Now can Columbia just pay our fucking TAs so they can stop ignoring us (me)?

Apr

25

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Be wise, in a senior-ly way.

In the spirit of the intellectual and creative inspiration that is often imparted by wisdom, this important PSA will be told in the format of an acronym.

What are we looking for?

If there’s a senior you know who inspires you, nominate them to share some parting senior wisdom, so that we may all bask in their wise glory.

Speedy is what you have to be if you’d like to nominate someone, however, because nominations are due tonight!

Email tips@bwog with their name, email, and a brief description of why they deserve a nomination, or just fill out this Google Form.

(That is all. You’re welcome.)

Apr

25

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these are all Columbia blue

The sky is Columbia blue.

Happening in the World: Dressed in red, blue, and orange, thousands of demonstrators marched yesterday in Hollywood to demand that Turkey recognize the 1915 Armenian genocide, atrocities that caused the systematic killing of 1.2 million Armenians (LA Times).

Happening in the US: Rapper Meek Mill was released from prison yesterday, after a controversial sentence for violating probation. Hours after his release, Mill attended a playoff game supporting the blue-jersey-clad Philadelphia 76’ers (ESPN).

Happening in NYC: The blue whale exhibit at New York’s American Museum of Natural History got its annual cleaning yesterday. With a crowd of onlookers, exhibition manager Trenton Duersken vacuumed the 94-feet-long, 21,000-pound fiberglass whale model, while suspended almost 50 feet in the air (AMNY).

Happening on Campus: Other than the strike? Well, Columbia Health is encouraging students to wear blue denim for Denim Day, a campaign supporting survivors of sexual assault. More information about Denim Day can be found here.

Overseen/Overheard: “Jesus is the original rally…Blacked out on a Friday and woke up that Sunday.”

Blues clues via Bwog Archives

Apr

24

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Meet Briley Lewis, this week’s CU Women in STEM subject, who can answer any questions you might have about planets

Bwog Science is back with CU Women in STEM, where we highlight the amazing women in science at Columbia. Today’s profile is from Briley Lewis (CC ’18), astrophysics major and Pluto enthusiast!

Major: Astrophysics

What subjects are you interested in? Exoplanets and planetary science

How did you get interested in your subject? Can you remember the moment that got you hooked? When I was a kid, I always wanted to be a vet. But in middle school, when you have to dissect frogs and everything, I realized that I am INCREDIBLY squeamish – so, being a vet wasn’t quite an option, and I needed to find a new interest. One of my best friends ended up giving me the book Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries by Neil deGrasse Tyson, and I absolutely loved it. I wanted to learn more about space, and I just kept on learning until I got to where I am now.

Most important research/extracurricular experiences so far: I’ve been a part of two research projects as an undergrad, and both were incredibly important to me. First off, I’ve worked at the American Museum of Natural History for two years (since the summer after sophomore year) as a part of Dr. Rebecca Oppenheimer’s group; we work with an instrument called Project 1640, built at the museum and operated on the Palomar Hale Telescope in CA, which surveys nearby stars to discover new exoplanets through direct imaging. Secondly, I spent last summer at Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD, working with data of Pluto from NASA’s New Horizons mission.

What are your career goals? I want to continue pursuing research, earning my PhD and eventually either becoming a tenured professor or maybe a civil servant at NASA. At the same time, I hope to be actively involved in shaping policies about space exploration and astronomical research funding, and also to continue doing lots of outreach and teaching.

Favorite science building on campus? I totally have to pick Pupin; it’s basically where I’ve lived the last four years. Also, it may not have the best classrooms, but it TOTALLY has the best roof – go there when the department does public outreach events to see one of the best views!!

Click here for Briley’s advice!

Apr

24

img April 24, 20181:30 pmimg 1 Comments

Obama understands how awkward you feel.

Is your ability to get internships better than your ability to get a girlfriend/boyfriend?

Did cuffing season come and go, with you still being single?

Did your two best friends start dating, making you an awkward third wheel?

If so, you aren’t alone! Columbia is known for its hookups, and not everyone can be in a secure relationship. While it is important to be supportive of your friends’ relationships, not everyone is prepared to do this, especially if your cuffing season went from a hopeful start to a disgraceful end. To ensure that you’re prepared for your new role, I asked Columbia students for opinions on how to properly third wheel. Here are their responses!

  • Be well trained in how to take photos so you can take cute candids of them
  • Take advantage of them being distracted with each other and “steal some shit”
  • Talk to the person you know least thereby making yourself a fixture in the conversation
  • Drag a random chair in Butler over to a two person desk to be with them
  • Be happy for the couple!!!
  • Always have your phone around so you can scroll through Instagram while they’re making out next to you
  • Use the fact that they’re third wheeling you as an excuse for them to do nice things for you
  • Be proactive in planning their dates
  • Use it as an excuse to spend more time off campus (and escape the Columbia bubble!)
  • Stare at them until they feel uncomfortable
  • Tweet about their relationship
  • Act like a tricycle and not a spare tire
  • Stop being friends with them…it’s not worth it
  • Pretend the other two aren’t dating
  • Just cut your losses and have a threeway

If all else fails…you have a few other options. Why not break them up, so being a third wheel isn’t an option? Or, you can always find a significant other of your own…and make it payback time.

(Quick shoutout to two of my best friends, who inspired this post. If I have to be a third wheel to anyone, I’m glad it’s you.)

 

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