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Daily Archive: October 6, 2018

Oct

6

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A tricycle with an actual third wheel, for reference.

Staff Writer Henry Golub braved fierce Friday winds to watch Third Wheel Improv perform in John Jay. He brought cough drops, tissues, and hot water to keep his tuberculosis-like cold under wraps.

The nine members of the troupe (I think that they were missing one) stood in a line facing the audience and took turns making off-the-cuff jokes. They used open-ended skits to steer the humor in a general direction and took cues from the audience. When a skit felt repetitive, a lead member rushed forward and announced a new one. The formula worked.

Ice dancing is like figure skating, but less impressive.

My favorite skit was a game called “Sex with Me is Like.” In that skit, the crowd yelled out words ending in -ing and the troupe used those words to complete the phrase “sex with me is like.” A highlight: “Sex with me is like ice dancing; I make you wear a leotard.”

In another skit, the group interviewed a member of the audience and used his responses as material for improvised scenes. For instance, the interviewee mentioned that he has been to EC a few times. The troupe later turned that into a whole act about a run-in with Public Safety.
More sexual Olympics after the jump

Oct

6

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“Friday’s a free day. A woman’s day.”

Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Fun historical fact: The Milstein Center is actually the fourth Brontë sister

The door opens, I note with some surprise. It’s 8:03 am, and I’ve wended my way from my Schapiro double to the entrance of the Milstein Center, hereafter referred to as Millie. The objective: spend the next twelve hours in Millie. Already my plan hits a bump, since Millie closes at 6:00 on Fridays. The solution: camp out on the lawn for two hours after she closes. Come hell or high water, my physical presence is welded to this building for the duration of my Friday. Why? …idk.

Supplies: One (1) computer; two (2) linguistics textbooks; one (1) deck of cards, Bicycle brand; a cozy sweater; a friend’s short story (which I did not read. I have no excuse). I take my seat at one of the tables in the front of the building. I feel like I’m sitting in the lobby of a high-powered law firm whose receptionist has better health insurance than me. Here we go.

Letting the day go by, let the water hold me down

Oct

6

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Meet Melanie Sawyer, this week’s CU Women in STEM subject, computer scientist, and origami enthusiast!

Bwog Science is back with CU Women in STEM, where we highlight the amazing women in science at Columbia. Today’s profile is from Melanie Sawyer, SEAS ’20, a proud programmer and leader of ADI, a Columbia community of students interested in technology!

Major: Computer Science

What subjects are you interested in: I love so many different spheres of computer science: Arduinos are the coolest and I highly recommend learning some lower-level programming. I’ve recently gotten into data visualization and have dabbled in design. I’ve done a bunch of back-end web dev at my various internships. I’m also really interested in the intersection of CS/EE and earth science. Most recently, I built solar panels for my bike to charge my bike light batteries while I ride. I’m currently taking suggestions for my next bike/CS/hardware project.

How did you get interested in your subject? Can you remember the moment that got you hooked? My dad is an electrical engineer and he uses Matlab a lot to do signal analysis. I always thought that was the coolest part of his job. I really liked math in middle and high school, and I took some computer science classes in high school. I was lucky enough to do research at NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) after my senior year of high school, and was running these egregious brute force algorithms when I realized how incredibly powerful programming is.

Most important research/extracurricular experiences so far:

The summer after my freshman year, I was selected as one of 29 students in the hackNY Fellows program. I worked at a startup in Soho, lived with 28 other awesome computer science students from around the country, and went to talks every week from super influential people in the NYC tech community (Jonah Peretti, Amanda Cox, Sisi Wei, Camille Fournier, etc). I was still a young, lost, floating blob with little sense of how technology was changing our culture. and how I might fit into that, but after that one summer, I had a renewed sense of purpose and understanding. Also, since I was working at a relatively small startup, I got to break things and prod on an almost weekly basis. Good times.

Within the Columbia community, I spend most of my time outside class helping to run ADI, Columbia’s largest tech club. Last year, I was the director of DevFest, ADI’s spring hackathon. DevFest was one of the most stressful, intense projects I’ve ever embarked on, but it was so incredibly rewarding to see so many new and old members of the Columbia tech community come together. Working with ADI has given me more patience, charisma, and leadership experience than any course at Columbia ever could.

Click here for Melanie’s advice (and her opinions on Pupin Hall)

Oct

6

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Help me, Control Top, whoever the fuck you are, you’re my only ho

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:

  • This Thursday, 9 PM in the Glicker-Milstein Theater, Control Top fixes the MTA. It’s about damn time an improv comedy group did something about that.
  • This Friday, Oct. 12 is Chinese Students’ Club 2018 Night Market: Illuminate! Head to Low Plaza at 6 PM for a capella performance, lion dance, sketch comedy, bubble tea and food. Stop by CCSC’s table to win a cool shirt.
  • On Saturday, celebrated French actress Jeanne Balibar performs Les Historiennes at the French Institute, grappling with the lives and struggles of three historical women: Violette Noziere, a criminal, Delphine Seyrig, an actress, and Pascoa, a slave. But if you can’t make it to Midtown (or you don’t like subtitles), head to Buell Hall this Friday instead. “Women’s Voices, Women’s Stories” is a roundtable conversation with Balibar and the three historians who researched and wrote about the women she explores in Les Historiennes. They will discuss how to give life to women from the past, and the different kinds of emancipation those women experienced.

Off Campus:

  • Wednesday at 6:30 PM, 79-year-old lesbian artist Barbara Hammer comes to the Whitney for The Art of Dying. In this performative lecture, Hammer will ruminate on her experiences of making art while living with cancer. Free standby tickets will be available an hour before the start time.
  • This weekend at The Tank, it’s the premiere of The Amazing Story Machine, a play jam-packed with physical comedy, puppetry and live music. The Grimm family are about to reveal their new Story Machine when the device malfunctions, forcing them to find brand new ways of storytelling. Tickets $20, check site for dates.

Immortal words of Carrie Fisher via Bwog Archives

Oct

6

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WE LOVE A STRONG WOMAN IN PHYSICS!!

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Happening in the World: For just the third time in 117 years, and the first time in 54 years, the Nobel Prize in Physics has gone to a woman! Dr. Donna Stirckland, an associate professor of physics at the University of Waterloo (Canada), shares the prize with Dr. Gérard Mourou (France) and Dr. Arthur Ashkin. They were awarded the prize because of their work on high-intensity laser pulses. Their work has led to advancement in laser technology that is currently applied to Lasik eye surgery and hopefully can be implemented to accelerate subatomic particles. When Dr. Strickland got the call, she said she thought it was a prank and hung up.

Happening in the US: A Chicago jury has convicted Chicago Police Officer, Jason van Dyke of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery (one for each shot) in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald. The family of the victim said they were relieved that the jury found him guilty, however other Chicago community members were angered by the downgrade from a first-degree murder charge. Many though are hopeful that the guilty verdict will lead to a reform in the Chicago Police Department’s, which has been plagued by systemic racism for decades.

Happening in NYC: A “minor” derailment of one of the NJ Transit trains left commuters stranded in Penn Station with no way to get to New Jersey. Trains were delayed or canceled from Thursday night to Friday morning, leaving many frustrated at NJ Transit. FDNY states that there was one nonlife-threatening injury in relation to the derailment, which was cleared after 2 hours of the derailment.
Happening on Campus: The term fake news has become increasingly used in the past two years since the campaign and election of Donald Trump. Alejandra Matus, a Weiss International Fellow and award-winning journalist will be discussing fake news and the collapse of journalistic authority in the context of her native Chile. Journalism, Power, and Fake News: A Perspective from Latin America is being held Monday, October 8, at 6:30 pm.

Documentary of the Week:  Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom follows the 2013 Euromaidan Protests in Kiev, Ukraine against the oligarchical regime. This documentary’s beautiful cinematography combined with the fierce spirit of the Ukranian protestors makes this documentary a must watch and will rock you to the core.

physics goddess via Wikimedia Commons

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