Daily Archive: April 16, 2018

Apr

16

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The official logo of the IRS (Internal Revenue Service)

Now that you’re saving/earning so much money budgeting, using your student checking account, and investing, Bwog Finance is going to teach you how to pay your taxes! Yep, that’s right, you don’t want the federal government auditing you for not paying taxes on all your earnings. You may owe the feds some money, but at least we can tell you how to file your taxes for free (bye, Turbo Tax). Remember: send any questions to finance@bwog.com for our next column!

Doing your taxes is notoriously hard, and you never know if you’re doing it right. Like, somehow, this year, instead of getting a tax return I owe the federal government money? Unreal.

Tomorrow is Tax Day. This column might be coming a little late, but I just learned about a hush-hush government-contracted nonprofit that will literally do your federal taxes for you for free (shoutout to fellow Bwogger Zack Abrams for listening to NPR and keeping me posted on the latest finance info).

If you still haven’t prepared your taxes for tomorrow, this nonprofit could help you out. It’s called Free File Alliance. It’s a coalition of 13 private tax prep companies (like the makers of Turbo Tax and H&R Block) with a contract with the federal government. It’s available to 70% of tax-paying Americans, or anyone making under $66,000. Even though it’s contracted with the government (or, maybe, because it’s contracted with the government) it’s not well-known: the IRS’ advertising/marketing budget is literally zero dollars, thanks to lobbyists. And the for-profit companies that make up the Free File Alliance have no incentive to offer their products for free, so they don’t. But they’re still there!

You can read more about the nitty-gritty details/politics behind the Free File Alliance here, thanks NPR. You can also learn more about the Free File Alliance from the reputable source howtogeek.com. Here’s how to use the service:

  1. Go to this .gov link to see all the free tax software available.
  2. Choose one of the software.
  3. Make sure you have all the necessary documents handy (social security #s, last year’s tax return, income forms, receipts).
  4. You will need to create an account in order to download/use the tax software. And then you can do your taxes for free! I’m not gonna do that part, because my taxes are done, so I’m finishing the how-to list off here. Plus, I feel like from there things are pretty self-explanatory. Good luck!

IRS logo via Wikimedia Commons.

Apr

16

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Thanks to that torrential downpour earlier this morning, some stations may be flooded, like 145th St. We hope your commute is safe. 

1: Downtown (South Ferry-bound) 1 trains are skipping all stops between 86th and 50th at night from 9:45 pm to 5 am, Monday through Friday.

2: No planned services changes this week.

3: There will be 3 trains only between 148th and 34th at night from 11:45 pm to 5 am, Monday through Friday.

A: 110th St Station is closed until September 2018. Downtown (Ozone Park/Far Rockaway-bound) A trains are skipping all stops between 116th and 72nd from 10 pm to 5 am Monday through Friday.

B: 110th St Station is closed until September 2018. B train service will end early at 9 pm from Monday to Thursday.

C: 110th St Station is closed until September 2018. Downtown (Euclid Ave-bound) C trains will skip every stop from 116th to 72nd in the evenings between 9:45 pm to 10:30 pm, Monday through Thursday.

D: No planned service changes around MoHi this week.

Subway via Bwog Archives

Apr

16

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Image of prospective students bragging about the 183 schools they got into, Colorized, 2018.

You know the drill. We do stuff over the weekend that may be fun, may be regrettable, or is just plain weird. We post them for you. Here is this weekend’s edition of Field Notes. If you have any stories that you think may be a good addition to this, email us at tips@bwog.com and we will add to it!

Bwog in the City:

  • Spent much of my weekend with my mom who was in town this weekend! Very wholesome.
  • Forgot to bring cash to the Guggenheim during their Pay As You Wish hours, so ended up giving 10 cents to get in.
  • Maybe secured a sublet for the summer, even though the rent mysteriously keeps increasing every time I talk to the owner?
  • Accidentally wandered into a Chelsea Clinton book-signing event in Union Square.
  • Saw Kyle Castlin at a party and resisted the urge to tell him how bad his writing in the tweet announcing he’s going to Xavier next year was.
  • Peed in the sand at Coney Island and felt like a wild creature.
  • Subway partied!!!! i asked a guy for his drink and then people just kept offering me more rip.
  • Went to my favorite Communist-themed bar, People’s Republik in Cambridge, MA.
  • Went to the subway party because a boy I like was there but didn’t get to talk to him because it was so crowded :-(
  • Got $50 in cash back accidentally at MoWi.
  • Froze my ass off for like 2 hours waiting for the Persian Parade to start.
  • Went on maybe-a-date to a cat cafe and it was one of the gayest, happiest moments of my life.
  • Saw Mean Girls on Broadway which greatly exceeded my expectations. Enjoyed some bonding time with my kickass cousin who is like an older sister to me.
  • Flirted with someone at 1020 who called me a “free spirit” bc he heard me talking loudly about my sex life.

Bwog and Alcohol:

  • Went to Key Foods to get more alcohol during a party, was amazed at the deals- $11 for a 6-pack of cranberry downeast cider! $2.99 pirates booty!
  • Got really really wine-drunk with my cousin and her friend on the rooftop of a high-rise in Koreatown; Ubered down to an Italian joint in Nolita and continued to travel down that prosecco-y path.
  • Bought a boy I barely know a 30-pack since he gave me shrooms last weekend.
  • Went to two different stores to get all of a boy’s very special favorite beers for his birthday.
  • Blacked out (again).
  • Drank. So fucking much.
  • Got wine drunk at the big band concert.

Prospie stories after the jump.

Apr

16

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C’mon, Mother Nature– where did that beautiful Saturday sunshine go??? To chase away those cloudy-day blues, whip up this super easy chocolate-tahini tart with sea salt from (yep, you guessed it) Alison Roman’s Dining In cookbook. It takes practically no time to prepare and sounds really sophisticated. Plus, you know, it’s DIVINE! Feel free to sub out the tahini with some other nut or seed butter- we know it’d be good with some classic Jif peanut butter, too.

Chocolate Tahini Tart with Salt from Alison Roman’s Dining In

It’s so glossy, it should be criminal!

The Crust
Ingredients

¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
½ tsp salt
½ cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350℉.
Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
Drizzle in melted butter and mix until combined (it should look like playdoh- do as you will).
Evenly press into a 9-inch tart/cake (just round!) pan.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until crust is firm and opaque. Let cool. Meanwhile…

The Filling
Ingredients
10 oz bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces (whether they be morsels, chips or squares, it doesn’t matter)
⅔ cup tahini/almond butter/peanut butter/any kind of nut or seed butter
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup honey
Flaky sea salt (not too coarse!) or any other kind of crunchy topping that you desire

Directions
Combine chocolate, tahini and salt in a medium bowl.
Heat the cream and honey in a small saucepan until simmering (do not let it boil!) and then pour it over the chocolate-tahini-salt mixture.
Using a spoon/spatula, blend until everything is well mixed, melted, and shiny.
Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and smooth the top. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt or other desired toppings.
Let this sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or until the filling has settled.

Images via Bwog Staff

Apr

16

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Not to start anything, but why hasn’t Bwog gotten our Pulitzer Prize?

Today marks the announcement of the winners of the 102nd Pulitzer Prize awards, an event held by Columbia University each year to honor excellence in the field of journalism. The announcement, held today at 3PM, occurred in the only suitable place for such an event – Pulitzer Hall.

The notable winners of this group include Kendrick Lamar with DAMN, the first non-classical or jazz album to receive the award, The Press-Democrat for reporting on the wildfires that ravaged Northern California, Ryan Kelly for his photography of the white supremacy protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the New York Times for their coverage of the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment case.

Below are all of the winners from each category:

Journalism:

  • Public Service: The New York Times and The New Yorker
  • Breaking News Reporting: Staff of The Press-Democrat, Santa Rosa, California
  • Investigative Reporting: Staff of The Washington Post
  • Explanatory Reporting: Staff of The Arizona Republic and USA Today Network
  • Local Reporting: The Cincinnati Enquirer Staff
  • National Reporting: Staffs of The New York Times and The Washington Post
  • International Reporting: Clare Baldwin, Andrew R.C. Marshall, and Manuel Mogato of Reuters
  • Feature Writing: Rachel Kaazdi Ghansah, freelance reporter, GQ
  • Commentary: John Archibald of Alabama Media Group, Birmingham, Al.
  • Criticism: Jerry Saltz of New York Magazine
  • Editorial Writing: Andie Dominick of The Des Moines Register
  • Editorial Cartooning: Jake Halpern, freelance writer, and Michael Sloan, freelance cartoonist, The New York Times
  • Breaking News Photography: Ryan Kelly of The Daily Progress, Charlottesville, Va.
  • Feature Photography: Photography Staff of Reuters

Letters, Drama, and Music:

  • Fiction: Less, by Andrew Sean Greer (Lee Boudreaux Books/Little, Brown and Company)
  • Drama: Cost of Living, by Martyna Majok
  • History: The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea, by Jack E. Davis (Liveright/W.W. Norton)
  • Biography: Prairie Farms: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by Caroline Fraser (Metropolitan Books)
  • Poetry: Half-Light: Collected Poems 1965-2016, by Frank Bidart (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)
  • General Nonfiction: Locking up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, by James Forman Jr. (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)
  • Music: DAMN., by Kendrick Lamar.

Give Bwog Best Coverage of Spec Hate via Recycled Images

Apr

16

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This image just resonates with me.

Sports Editor Abby Rubel stops tanning to bring you the latest from Athletics.

Baseball: The Lions (12-21, 8-4 Ivy) swept Brown (7-19, 3-9 Ivy) this weekend in Rhode Island. Columbia is now second in the Ivy League standings, a game behind Harvard. Brown remained in seventh place. The Lions dominated the first game 8-2. Brown attempted a comeback in the bottom of the ninth with the score 8-1, but only scored once. The second game was closer: a 5-4 win for the Lions. Brown took the lead in the bottom of the fifth partly thanks to a fielding error, making the score 4-1. But Columbia came back in the top of the seventh, scoring three runs to tie the game. A bunt from sophomore Julian Bury in the top of the ninth pushed a runner home and the Lions held the Bruins scoreless in the bottom of the inning to win the game. That trend continued through the last game, which Columbia won 2-0.

Men’s Tennis: Columbia’s undefeated streak ended Sunday with a 4-3 loss to Dartmouth, following a 4-1 victory over Harvard the day before. Columbia only lost the doubles point to Harvard, winning four of six singles matches. The other two were unfinished, including Victor Pham’s match. Pham also lost his match on Sunday in two sets, as did Jackie Tang. Columbia’s points came from doubles, where they won two of three matches, leaving the third unfinished. Junior William Matheson and first-year Austen Huang rounded out the Light Blue’s points, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Crimson.

Track and Field: The Lions were highly successful at both the Ocean State Invitational and the Metropolitan Championships. Although team scores are not available for the former, the Light Blue recorded a number of individual victories. Senior Nell Crosby came in first place in the 3000 meter steeplechase and the women had three other top finishes. Sam Ritz won the men’s mile race with a time of 4:03.45. Both the men’s and women’s team came in fifth out of a field of 13 teams. Highlights include victories in the triple jump and pole vault for the men and in the triple jump, long jump, pole vault, and high jump for the women. The triple jump and long jump wins both belong to sophomore Maryam Hassan. The Lions also took the top three spots in the women’s 100 meter hurdles.

Softball: won 8-2, 7-0, 5-3 at Brown
Men’s Golf: 10th place out of 12 teams at the Penn State Invitational
Men’s Lightweight Rowing: beat Yale and Penn
Men’s Heavyweight Rowing: beat Penn, lost to Yale
Lacrosse: lost 19-4 at Penn
Women’s Tennis: lost 4-3 at Harvard, lost 4-3 at Dartmouth

Photo via gocolumbialions.com

Apr

16

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CCSC is on it. Apparently.

Amid torrential downpours (and without an umbrella), Nadra Rahman dragged herself to the Satow Room, all to bring you the student government coverage you crave.

Printing quotas, gun control, and in case you missed it, President Nathan Rosin’s phone faithfully livestreaming everything from the back of the room—just a few of the things that livened up last night’s CCSC meeting. Let’s start off things with the climax:

Yes To Gun Safety

Two weeks ago, CCSC received a call to action on gun violence from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, causing the body to deliberate what its place was in the context of larger national conversations. Should they, as they had been asked to, write a letter to our local representatives to advocate for gun safety? Members brought up issues related to timing (why did the Parkland shooting, and not countless others, provoke this response?), the dubiousness of making a statement on behalf of a potentially divided student body, and the dimensions of their duties, which some contended did not relate to national politics.

To address these concerns, a working group put together a letter that would be explicitly signed by CCSC, not representative of the entire student body (in full below). The document addresses the connections between gun violence and school safety, but does not push for any specific policy; furthermore, it acknowledges the delay in entering the conversation, noting, “[We] regret that we and others did not raise our voices until a more privileged community was affected. Still, just because we did not speak before does not mean we cannot speak now.”

Was it as contentious as last time?

Apr

16

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Unless the Columbia administration agrees to begin bargaining beforehand, the Graduate Workers of Columbia will begin striking on April 24th.

This morning, the Graduate Workers of Columbia (GWC-UAW Local 2110), having just voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike, announced in a post on their website that they will go on strike April 24 at 10:00am if the Columbia University administration does not declare its intention to begin bargaining with the union before then. The union also noted that it had sent a letter with these demands to President Lee Bollinger. If the university “continues to defy both labor law and the democratic voice of its workers, and does not agree to bargain by that date,” the union writes in the post, it will begin striking immediately. This strike, if initiated, will last until the end of the day on Monday, April 30th—the last day of classes this semester. The union notes that this “is only the beginning;” if the university still refuses to meet graduate workers at the bargaining table following this strike, the union will call for another strike in the future.

The union notes that their decision to strike follows both a democratic vote (in which 1,832 out of 1,968 participants voted in favor of a strike) and over 1,000 organizing conversations across departments that have taken place over the course of the past few months. Department leaders will be reaching out to graduate workers this week to develop more detailed plans for the strike, and the union will be holding a general body meeting tonight at 7:00pm in Avery Hall 114 to answer questions about the strike. In their statement, the union calls, once again, on Columbia to begin bargaining immediately so that a strike isn’t necessary; however, because graduate workers “would like the opportunity to continue [their] work with all the security a contract provides,” they “are prepared to strike if Columbia makes such an action necessary.”

If the strike does take place, the union will be operating a picket line from 11:00am to 3:00 pm on April 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, and 30th. More information about how graduate workers can sign up for picketing shifts will be made available soon.

The full statement is available after the jump.

Read the full statement after the jump.

Apr

16

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mathematics hall, one of the many lovely buildings you might have a class in if you take one of our suggested courses!

We heard your requests! Bwog is back with Classes to Take Before You Die – specially for STEM students! Here are Bwog’s recommendations for STEM courses for the following semester, compiled from our, and our readers’, experiences, as well as CULPA.

Astronomy: Joseph Patterson, Theories of the Universe: Babylon to Big-Bang (UN1610)

“You get both a fascinating tour of the history of human understanding of the Universe, and fascinating insights into applying the science that was learned and developed along the way. It’s a great balance between the history of science and the application of science. And the professor loves teaching, he loves learning, and he’s relaxed, cool, and funny.” (No pre-reqs!)

Biological Sciences: Deborah Mowshowitz, Introductory Biology I (UN2005)

“OK, at times, it might feel like this is actually the last class that you will take before you die. Still, by the time you’ve completed the course, you’ll realize how much biology you really learned as well as how well it’ll stick with you, the way that the class was taught. Definitely one of the most memorable classes I’ve taken at Columbia.” (General Chemistry pre-req recommended)

Biological Sciences: Jonathan Snow, Cell Biology (BC3310)

“Cell Bio with Snow is the only 8:40 I have ever taken/would ever take. Prof. Snow is incredibly engaging; he explains difficult concepts/complex pathways so that they’re understandable, he comes up with metaphors that he brings back throughout the semester to connect concepts, he forces you to actually read and engage with current scientific papers, etc.  Beyond that, he really loves teaching and is always there for his students!! If someone needs to go over something, he’s always willing to talk after class, extend office hours, and hold an extra review session. What a dude.” (Pre-req of a previous BC biology course – see course directory for details)

Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology: Jill Shapiro, Human Origins & Evolution (UN1010)

“Every lecture was exciting – if you want a lecture where you aren’t going to fall asleep, take the class, even if you’re not interested in the subject. Her enthusiasm is contagious. Dr. Shapiro takes the time to learn each student’s name and actually teach the material really well.” (No pre-reqs!)

Computer Science: Adam Cannon, Computing in Context (W1002)

“Probably the best class I’ve taken at Columbia so far. Definitely not the easiest way to fulfill your science requirement for the Core, but I’d guess probably one of the most fulfilling/meaningful options available, especially if you’re someone who has little to no experience programming (as was the case for me).” (No pre-reqs!)

Click here for more computer science, math, and psychology!

Apr

16

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May the odds be ever in your favor.

Housing selection got you down? Haven’t thought ahead about finals? Too bad, because today marks the beginning of another way for you to regret your next semester choices before it even starts. 

Unless you’re a graduating senior, hopefully you have started to think about the classes you want to take next year because today marks the first day of registration for Fall 2018 classes! Rising seniors will have their pick today, followed by rising juniors tomorrow then rising sophomores on Wednesday. Check SSOL for your appointment times!

Having trouble figuring out what classes to take? Bwog has got you covered. Find out our class recommendations for the Fall here.

My registration time is actually decent this semester via SSOL

Apr

16

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Let’s hope this rain brings rainbows and sun back to campus soon!

Happening Around the World: Former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has stated that the current Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, may quit as soon as June after dealing with multiple scandals regarding corruption and cover-ups. (Reuters)

Happening in the US: Former First Lady Barbara Bush has notified media that she will not be looking for treatment for her illnesses that are continuing to progress. (NY Times)

Happening in the City: The city of New York will now require all of its workers to participate in anti-sexual harassment training. This will be required for any business with an employee roster greater than 15 individuals. (CNN)

Happening on Campus: Two big things are happening today that will determine your Fall semester experience! Housing registration times for online selection will go up on housing portals tomorrow, and registration for classes on SSOL will start with rising seniors in the morning!

Artist of the Week: After having the pleasure to visit the Guggenheim for the first time this weekend, I wanted to give a shoutout to Dahn Vo, who currently has an exhibition. Though it is not my favorite, his work spans across multiple mediums and themes, making it worth visiting!

Weather: Rainy with a high of 59 F / 15 C. Let’s hope this will bring more May flowers early! I miss the sun already.

Clouds and rainbows via Bwog Recycled Images

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