Monthly Archive: September 2018

Sep

30

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The eyeshadow almost makes it okay.

The Barnard dorms have gotten a lot of attention this semester because of the heat crisis. However, new Bwog Staffer, Elizabeth Burton, thinks that there are far more pressing problems – such as randomly appearing mannequin heads in her quad’s common room. After several weeks of confusion and (slight) discomfort, she decided to sit down (???) with the mannequin and find out what exactly was going on. 

Bwog: First off, what is your name? Do you actually have a name? 

Mannequin Head: Yes, it’s Viola.

Bwog: Interesting. Where exactly do you come from? 

Viola: This part is not exactly clear since I’m literally just a head sitting on a desk, but I am part of a long-standing summer camp tradition where bodiless mannequins like myself are used to scare young, unsuspecting children. Sometimes I scare counselors, too. I’ve found that most people tend to be at least a little bothered by a floating head staring at them.

Bwog: How did you end up at Barnard? 

Viola: After someone decided that string lights, posters, and plants just weren’t going to cut it for dorm decorations, I was shipped here. Since the Brooks quad rooms are small and narrow AF, I felt that I’d be more at home on a desk in the common room.

Bwog: Do you have a favorite spot on the desk? I hear you move around sometimes. 

ViolaIt took a little while to get adjusted, but I really like to be on the top of the desk so that my eyes peer into your soul when you walk into the room. My favorite part of the day is seeing someone come home and jump a little when they forgot that I’m still here and always watching.

Bwog: Since the rest of us spend so much time out of the room, is there anything you like to do when you have the suite to yourself? 

Viola: This isn’t Toy Story. I literally just sit here and pretend I can smell the Shake Shack outside the window and wait until the next time I get to scare someone. It’s not that exciting.

Bwog: What about during the heat wave? How did you deal with it? 

Viola: Since I am only a head, it didn’t bother me much. I hear it was quite the ordeal, especially for those privileged residents who had never experienced any type of discomfort before. By the time it started to cool down, everyone in the quad insisted on leaving their brand new tower fans running out of spite. I guess it made them feel better about having spent 100s of dollars, though.

Bwog: Is there anything else that you’d like readers to know? 

Viola: Use the side door if you’re visiting the suite.

Haunting your dreams via Bwog Staff

Sep

30

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learn how your brain processes britney spears in the narrative medicine talk on wednesday!

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.

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

  • India Global Design Challenge
    • Tuesday, October 2, 5:30pm, Davis Auditorium in Schapiro (kickoff to learn about actual upcoming design challenge, scheduled for Saturday, October 6th at 10am), more info here
    • Description: “Columbia Engineering is pleased to be working with Columbia’s Mumbai Global Center to launch a collaborative design challenge that will bring engineering, planning, public health, policy, business, and many other disciplines together… At the end of the Fall semester, three teams will be selected to travel to India in early January to further refine their designs. The winning team, which will be selected during the Spring semester, will have the opportunity to return to India in late May.”
  • Columbia Astronomy Outreach: “Slooh Your Way To The Stars”
    • Friday, October 5, 7pm, Pupin Hall, more info here
    • Description: “Slooh is an online observatory that livestreams telescope feeds for public viewing and use. We have a wealth of amateur astronomers discovering comets, tracking asteroids, and spotting supernovae. In this talk I will provide an overview of our technology and the unique ways our members are using Slooh telescopes.” Event followed by guided stargazing with telescopes (weather permitting)
  • Narrative Medicine Rounds: “Music and the Brain: How Our Lives in Sound Shape Who We Are” 
    • Wednesday  October 3, 5-7pm, Faculty Club of CUMC (Medical Campus), more info here
    • Description: “‘The talk will center on the ways sound processing in the brain is a reflection of brain health. How our brains respond to sound reveals each person’s unique narrative of their life experiences.”

Click here for dark matter and more!

Sep

30

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The 2007 masterpiece in question, available on BluRay if you’re interested in viewing

Bwogger Cara is back, this time not to cook, but to speak on behalf of another budding chef in Morningside Heights.

No matter what happens during the day, there’s always something I can count on while walking past Friedman’s on the way to Plimpton. On Amsterdam, in between 118th and 119th, I see the same rat every night—hiding under a Friedman’s chair, poking their nose through the chicken wire fence of the community garden, or just standing nonchalantly in the middle of the sidewalk like a renegade. For many Columbia students, this rat is one of the more reliable and comforting presences in their life. But what if this rat has more to offer than a direct campus-to-dorm escort? What he’s the one providing us with Friedman’s delicious farm-to-table offerings?

Yes, I am talking about a Ratatouille (Disney Pixar 2007) situation wherein a rat is responsible for the food produced a professional kitchen. For those of you that haven’t seen the film, Remy (voiced by Patton Oswalt), is a rat gifted with an exceptional sense of smell who works his way up the ranks at a prestigious French restaurant by controlling a human chef’s movements from inside his hat. The Friedman’s rat clearly parallels many of the characteristics exhibited by Remy in the 1 hour and 51 minutes of Brad Bird’s movie. Like Remy, the Friedman’s rat is clearly not fazed at all by human presence. He scurries up Amsterdam like they owns it. He’s dedicated—I’ve seen him every single night since the semester started. And he’s specifically chosen to make a home for himself in the rat-eat-rat world of a major city’s restaurant business.

Now, you may say I’m sullying the Friedman’s name by claiming that its resident rat is the one crafting their signature Friedman’s All Natural Angus Beef Burger with their paws. To those who question his talents, I would ask that you reflect on the words that Remy and his hero Chef Gusteau lived by: Anyone Can Cook. Can we really claim to uphold Columbia University’s motto, In Lumine Tuo Videbimus Lumen, In Thy Light shall we See light, if we do not uplift the talent of the scrappy young chef who is providing us with the best fried chicken in Morningside? Also, Friedman’s still has an A rating so clearly the rat is washing his paws.

The next time you’re walking up Amsterdam, please stop and tip your hat to my friend, the Friedman’s rat, who risks everything to follow his dream of being the head chef at Morningside’s number one favorite—okay, like number three favorite—brunch spot.

Photo via Flickr

Sep

30

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we feast at dawn

So, it has come to my attention that some people don’t like breakfast… I’m sorry, but WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM? It can be just as creative and multi-faceted as any other meal (sweet, savory, salty, creamy, crispy, etc) and can set the tone for the rest of your entire day. Or, if you are like me, can help end your day on a good note (I’m talking omelets and Nutella waffles for dinner, people). Anyways, in an attempt to convert all of you breakfast haters, here’s a fool proof recipe for classic French toast.

First, get out your bread. It should be somewhat stale, but at its prime, it was a fluffy loaf of glory with a nice crunchy crust. (French bread works great. If you were feeling really fancy, you could get some sort of bread with cinnamon raisin or marbled chocolate. Oooh– like chocolate babka from Bread’s Bakery.) Cut into thick slices. Then, whisk together two eggs, a cup of milk, a dash of salt, a dash of vanilla and some cinnamon in a wide bowl. Dip bread slices into the milky egg mixture until soaked through on both sides.

Heat up a pan and brush generously with melted butter. Cook bread on both sides until golden. Slather with more butter and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with fresh berries, maple syrup, Nutella, or whatever your heart desires.

breaking my fast the best way via Wikimedia

Sep

30

img September 30, 20181:52 pmimg 1 Comments

look how peaceful… but is it really?

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 week are below, and the full list is after the jump. If you notice any events that have been left off the list, or if you have a correction, please let us know in the comments.

Recommended

Masculinity, Nazis and more after the jump.

Sep

30

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we forgive you

Someone ate our grapes, and the culprit was quite the poet (sounds oddly like William Carlos Williams). Attached is the note from our resident Grape Grubber. If you want a taste of these highly prized fruits of the deciduous woody vine (we restocked!)— or you just love Bwog — come to our open meeting tonight!

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the green grapes
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for the Bwog meeting at 9pm in Lerner 510

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Image via Wikimedia

Sep

30

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vroom vroom bitches next stop carbon neutral

Bwog’s got a newsletter! If you love saucy details and salacious intrigue, you’ve come to exactly the right place. Sign up here!

Happening in the World: A magnitude-7.5 earthquake and tsunami struck the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia this past Friday, impacting 2.4 million people. The number of casualties has risen to 832 as of today, with hundreds injured and 17,000 left homeless. Recovery efforts in Palu, a nearby coastal city that was devastated by the disaster, have been hindered by lack of heavy equipment and rescue personnel.

Happening in the US: In wake of Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony and the national conversation on sexual assault, the Women’s March will be rallied again, this time scheduled for January 19, 2019. Organizers of the March hope to seize the momentum of resistance against Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination and the incoming 2018 midterms (are you registered to vote?) to make a strong showing for 2020.

Happening in NYC: The Port Authority board voted unanimously to raise NY and NJ airport workers’ pay to $19 per hour by 2023. Several years of negotiations between the Port Authority and unionized airport workers have led to implementation of the highest public sector minimum wage in the country.

Happening on Campus: Oh hello, sustainability. Columbia’s electric bus initiative is rolling out the zero-emissions squad at the Sundial this Tuesday, from 11am to 6pm. Stop by to learn more about the bus features!

Overseen/Overheard:

ochre is trending this fall creds sarah kinney

The College Walk trees took one sniff of autumnal air and just went wild. I mean, have you seen that yellow? It personally handed me a pumpkin spice latte.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tweet of the Day:

Image via Columbia 

 

Sep

29

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A poor quality photo to reflect our poor quality team

Were you at the football game yesterday? If you weren’t, take it from someone who sat through the whole thing: you didn’t miss much. The Princeton Tigers trounced your Columbia Lions, 45 to 10.

I’m not gonna lie, it was a little sad to see our boys on the field fumble one pass after another. It was a little sad to see the stands – so full of tipsy sorority girls and guys with “WE WANT BAMA” painted on their chests at the start of the game – empty out as everyone realized we had dropped the ball. And it was a lot sad to hear the Princeton Marching Band play their fight song approximately ten million times as their team kept scoring touchdowns.

But at the same time, it was nice to be on the losing side again. It was comforting. Like a warm sweater draped around my shoulders, ushering in the rest of autumn. It was as though some cosmic fissure, cracked when the team miraculously managed to win eight of their ten games last year, has now been repaired. We students can now be safe in our knowledge that we don’t go to an athletic school.

Also, as a member of the Marching Band, I only had to do thirteen push-ups the whole game.

yet still iconoclastic via Betsy Ladyzhets

Sep

29

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Who am I? That’s one secret I’ll never tell… You know you love me, xoxo

Disclaimer (added 9/29/18, 6:40 pm): This post compiles field notes from Bwog staffers over the summer and presents them in a Gossip Girl-style parody.

Hey Morningside Heights dwellers. Gossip Bwog here. And do I have the biggest news for you. I bet you’re wondering why it has taken me such a long time to upload but truth be told, I was taking some time away from the textbooks for some much-needed R & R. However, what would an Ivy League education be if we didn’t share secrets with our companions?

While Chuck, Serena, Dan, and Blair remain fiction, this is very much real. Just like the little birdies who have been (consensually — Gossip Bwog is very respectful of privacy) spilling their stories from the past summer months. You didn’t hear it from me, but it sounds like our resident Columbia students have been a somewhat active community this break.

The word on the street is that where there happens to be illegal alcohol consumption, questionable intellect and daddy’s trust funds, hedonism is always present. A big kudos to the Barnard girls for being autonomous and proving you can be a strong independent woman while owning your sexuality.

Although I’ve always had a preference for the ‘dating before mating,’ it appears some people don’t agree. What would a trip to New York City be without finding a Harvard boy in Koreatown and getting rather frisky in the backseat? More than anything, Gossip Bwog feel sorry for the driver! If you are in any way inclined to do the same, I can report her Uber rating is at a solid 4.87 so don’t worry about getting declined from your favourite late-night app ladies and gents.

Click for hot Milstein rooms near you!

Sep

29

img September 29, 20183:32 pmimg 2 Comments

we all know that one guy

Events Editor and lapsed black belt Isabel Sepúlveda still has not picked back up her favorite martial art. As such, she has to channel all her rage into something and she’s decided that’s going to be internet call-out posts.

Bwog’s bread and butter is archetypes: throughout our storied history, we’ve taken you on a whirlwind tour through the kind of people you meet in your Core classes, on Tinder, in EC, and in office hours to name a few. Because, while every Columbia student is unique, individual, and beautiful, we’re also all occasionally variations on the same theme. It just so happens that one of those themes makes me want to scratch my eyes out with a coat hanger: That Guy in your discussion section. (Though this is a concept that occasionally defies gender roles, in my experience, it’s a guy a solid 80% of the time, if I’m being conservative.)

There’s been countless thinkpieces on how men and women act in when in discussion with one another and I bet this person has read them all but taken exactly none of them to heart. He might have a “The Future Is Female” next to the Bernie 2016 sticker on his laptop, but the moment you give him the opportunity to discuss Hegel or Shakespeare or the Founding Fathers or some other (usually white and male) thinker, the rest of his classmates (especially the female ones) don’t matter. The only thing that does is his obviously brilliant insight that no one else has ever thought of before ever, even if it’s the most basic or misguided point you could make based off the text.

Hear more about how terrible this kid really is.

Sep

29

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This is your brain on imperialism.

New York City is packed with amazing culture and inspiring art, but sometimes it’s difficult to break the Morningside-bubble and experience it all first-hand. “Where Art Thou” is a weekly guide to interesting and notable lectures, events, and performances for the literary/musically/theatrically-inclined on campus.

On Campus:

  • Concerts, concerts everywhere! Looking for vocal acid jazz? Sahana Narayanan and the Faculty house have you covered this Wednesday. Prefer Latin jazz? Acclaimed musicians abound this Thursday at the Event Oval. Rather try something a little new, like groovy Brazilian choro? Regional de NY is performing next Saturday at the Miller Theater. Rather stick to the basics? The quintessential Julliard String Quartet would love to see you at the Broadway Presbyterian Church on Thursday. Check event pages for ticket information.
  • There’s a new art exhibit up at the Harriman Institute, and it involves baby Stalin. Head to the International Affairs building this Tuesday for an opening (yes, wine) and talk with Anne Bobroff-Hajal about her exhibit, Peasants, Clans, and Effervescent Absolutists. Her pieces explore how Russia’s ruling elites have exploited the population throughout history to retain power.
  • Third Wheel Improv sneaks in the first show of the semester this Friday, October 5th at 9 PM. Head to John Jay Lounge for Third Wheel Improv Finds its Real Dad to find out if you ARE or ARE NOT Third Wheel Improv’s father.

Off Campus:

  • Tomorrow at 5 PM, head to Common Notions publishing house in Brooklyn for a talk with Silvia Federici about her new book Witches, Witch-Hunting and Women. Federici examines the modern war on women in the context of 16th- and 17th century witch hunts, revisiting the themes of Caliban and the Witch.
  • Comic Con starts this weekend! Do you have your tickets? There’s no missing out on one of the world’s largest celebrations of comics, pop culture, art, cosplay and more.

Catherine the Great via the Harriman Institute

Sep

29

img September 29, 201810:35 amimg 0 Comments

here’s the saucy orbit asteroid Ryugu takes, now with 2 hopping passengers

Happening in the World: Japan’s Space Agency has successfully landed two rovers on the surface on Ryugu, an asteroid more than 200 million miles away from Earth. These two rovers stand at a whopping 3 inches tall. To get around the surface on the asteroid, these tiny, yet mighty asteroids hop around because any other movement would cause them to slowly lift upwards as soon as they start to move. By hopping, more control is gained and these ‘hops’ can last for up to 15 minutes, at 50 feet above the surface of the asteroids.

Happening in the US: On Friday, after an eleven-hour discussion amongst members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, by a party-line vote, have recommended Brett Kavanaugh to the full Senate, however on the condition that the vote by the full Senate must be delayed until after the FBI conducts a one week, “limited in scope” background investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against him. Trump has agreed to the terms, and the new deadline for the vote will be October 5th.

Happening in NYC: The mayor’s office’s proposal to erect a 40 story community jail complex at 80 Centre Street in Chinatown was met by protests from neighborhood residents and other officials. This proposal was meant to be part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to close down violence-ridden Riker’s Island. Residents say that the neighborhood already has one of the highest concentrations of courthouses and jails in the city, while the head of the of the Correctional Officer’s Benevolent Association opposes the proposal because he says the layout of the jail would not be effective.

Happening on Campus: Dr. Urvashi Sahni’s talk titled, Engaging Boys for Gender Justice was rescheduled to Monday, October 1 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. She will be discussing “how teachers can work to develop boy’s feminist consciousness using critical feminist pedagogy so that boys learn to re-think patriarchy and the gender injustice inherent in its structure.”

Documentary of the Week: NOVA: Super Tunnel. I know last week was also a NOVA special, but this one is seriously good too! Public transportation is complex to build, especially when trying to link it to existing systems. This documentary follows the construction of Crossrail, a new metro line connecting to the London Underground system. In the process of creating 26 miles of tunnel, they have to maneuver around tunneling where at the narrowest point is 8 inches below a crowded metro station.

Do you ever think, ‘Hey, I want all the info Bwog has to offer, but I don’t have time in my busy Columbia schedule to go through the effort of typing in bwog.com?’ If you do, Bwogletter is the perfect solution for you! Don’t have this dilemma? Still sign up for Bwogletter! Our new and amazing newsletter!

saucy orbit via Wikimedia Commons

Sep

28

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Robert Paul Wolff is an old and wise philosopher who taught at Columbia until 1971. He’s sort of back this year, commuting 500 miles from North Carolina every Tuesday to teach SOCI GU4600, Mystifications of Social Reality. Staff Writer Andrew Wang went to office hours to get smarter.

If Ethics is fiction, it therefore follows that all of CC is.

Do you remember 1968? Robert Paul Wolff remembers.

Back then, the Core Curriculum was younger than Lee C. Bollinger, Columbia cost $1900 to attend—$100 less than Harvard—and Buy/Sell was a farmer’s market.

More people did the reading back then, and Robert Paul Wolff was one of them. A professor of philosophy at Columbia, his life had been arguably more interesting prior to his hiring. Wolff began at Harvard at age 16, and by age 20, as a freshly-minted graduate in mathematics, he found himself in the fabled English manor of Bertrand Russell for tea. Russell had wanted information from the logic wunderkind from Harvard. Things went south, however, when Wolff replied, “Actually, I’ve been reading Kant’s Ethics lately,” to which Russell snapped back, “So you enjoy reading fiction, do you?” Office hours were do or die, and our dear Mr. Wolff did not do.

what about 1968?

Sep

28

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Secretary Albright speaking to the Columbia Community

On Thursday Afternoon, the Columbia community poured in to see the first female Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, speak about anti-communist, Czech President Vaclav Havel. Ezra Lerner, Staff Writer and political junkie, went to cover and provide belated coverage.

Columbia wasted no time getting the lead out for the World Leader’s Forum finale—a commemoration of the former playwright, anti-communist revolutionary, and Czech President Vaclav Havel, featuring Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. First to speak was the Dean of SIPA, Merit Janow. Her punctuated voice, practiced at storytelling, gave brief introductions of everyone speaking.

Up next was Professor Jan Svejnar to offer compassionate words about Havel and introduce Lee Bollinger. Svejnar talked about previously working for the Columbia President at the University of Michigan. Peppering his introduction with jokes, he set the event up for President Bollinger, whose pronounced steps were loud as he strode confidently onstage. Glasses firm in hand, Bollinger relayed his successful efforts to bring Havel to Columbia for a two-month residency in 2006. Transitioning to the Secretary of State, Bollinger spoke fondly about Albright’s former work, and current stature, stressing the need for her voice during these “trying times.” Then up came the former Secretary of State.

Former Secretary Albright spoke with a booming voice, polished and practiced at the art of public speaking. She painted her friendship with the late Havel as one of honesty, humor, and respect. The first introduction between the two former public servants began with Havel getting her name wrong. “You’re Ms. Fulbright?” “No, I’m Ms. Albright,” she explained, conveying the kind, brusque tone she clearly used upon meeting the former Czech President.

True to form as an American public servant, Albright’s tales of their work together gave way to an assessment of how Havel would see the current state of American affairs. (Though she was sure to note that she had “enough memories of Havel” to continue the conference “through the night.”) Albright expressed frustration with the “hyper-nationalism” that she saw in certain political circles today. Havel, she said, would have had “had no interest in the kind of political rhetoric that divided people into one camp or another.” The current American President was among those, in her view, responsible for such vitriol. Chastising Trump as someone who “scorns American democracy and the rule of law,” Albright said that Havel “would have been disturbed” by him.

Criticisms and questions after the jump!

Sep

28

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Staff Writer Vivian Zhou is starting a series on the Chinese food around Morningside Heights. This week, she hiked up the Broadway hill to La Salle Dumpling Room. Here are her thoughts. 

We all get homesick. For some people home is a literal 10-minute walk away. For me, home is more than 10,000 miles away, a 15-hour flight, and at least 500 dollars. La Salle Dumpling Room may basically be in Harlem, but it’s really only an 8-block hike.

The Chinese food selection in Morningside Heights is not extensive. There are the food carts, Junzi, and a few restaurants here and there. La Salle markets itself as a dumpling room and they have soup dumplings, which is exactly what drew me in when my homesickness kicked in during my first few weeks of college.

The restaurant has a very nice ambiance– they have old pictures from China, blue and white china plates on the wall, a huge red mural that says “dumpling house” in Chinese, and little bird cages hanging from the ceiling. The menu is extensive and offers dishes beyond authentic Chinese food: kimchi fried rice, a rice bowl featuring cheese and egg, and popcorn chicken. The dishes are on the expensive side, with starters at around $10, noodles at around $12, entrées at around $15, and dumplings at around $9. Cheaper than that $500 ticket though.

but wait there’s more

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