Jan

20

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No, not this kind of kicking.

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

  • To kick off the semester, the Arts Initiative at Columbia has opened applications for Student Arts Grants. These grants fund non-curricular arts projects of all shapes and sizes! Applications opened last week and they close on March 2. For more info, click here or stop on by the information session on February 2. Best of luck!
  • Next Wednesday evening at 6 pm (Jan 31), stop by the Diana Event Oval for Art & EquityThis event is a discussion between Toyin Ojih Odutola and Mary Sibande on the role of art in the political sphere, focusing on “esthetics, gender, race, and justice.”

Off Campus

  • Looking for some art that isn’t at the Met or the MoMA? Head over to the Bruce Silverstein gallery in Chelsea before the end of the month to catch a beautiful exhibit of photographs by René Magritte. This intimate gallery offers a small scale alternative to the hustle and bustle of more mainstream NYC museums.
  • Opening today is a modern arts instillation in Madison Square Garden by Erwin Redl, Whiteout. The instillation, breathtaking in its simplicity, features hundreds of white glowing orbs suspended from a steel grid. Wander through the park at night for the best experience.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Jan

20

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Students sitting on the Low Library steps during a sunny day

Thinking of a warmer time

Many of us know that you can measure a cricket’s chirps to determine how warm it is outside. But did you know that there’s another way to scientifically estimate the temperature in Morningside Heights? When it gets a little warmer, you can use this one neat trick to figure out how warm or cold it is on everyone’s favorite fake beach, the Low Steps.

Materials

  • Outdoor temperature between 32 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit – Columbia students will not crawl out of their dorms in the freezing cold.
  • A view of the Low Steps – the South Lawns are an ideal location.
  • Thermometer (or, let’s be honest, a weather app)
  • Scratch paper

Procedure

  • Go outside to check out the Low Steps.
  • Pick either the left of right half of the lower steps, right underneath Alma Mater.
  • Count the number of people sitting on the Low Steps. Ignore anybody walking, as the extra motion can complicate counting.
    • If you would like to increase accuracy, count the second half and average the count of the two halves.
  • If a majority of students have laptops, multiply the count by 1.25.
  • Add 20 to the number of seated students. This will provide the approximate temperature in Fahrenheit.
  • To calculate the approximate temperature in Celsius, learn to use Fahrenheit instead.

Rumor has it that this formula was first found in a 1932 fraternity handbook. Try it out yourself when it gets a bit warmer! Deantini would be proud of your highly scientific estimations.

Jan

20

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Almost there…

Earlier this month, Dean Avis Hinkson informed students that the construction of the forthcoming Milstein Center would be moving to the lawn, temporarily closing the North-South walkway that has become Barnard’s main thoroughfare. Although Dean Hinkson stated that the closings should only last for a few minutes at a time, they’re still an inconvenience, as is the suggested route of going up and down Broadway to reach your classes at Altschul, Diana, and Milbank. To circumvent this, here are some proposed alternative routes:

  • Parkour off of Sulz Tower/rest of the Quad
  • Drones
  • Stealing the bulldozer and driving down Broadway
  • Pull an Uber driver and go down Claremont even though the GPS says Broadway
  • Apparate
  • Break into the tunnels
  • Naruto run

 

Milstein Center Update via barnard.edu

Jan

20

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Bwog does outreach in NoCo, an (alleged) gathering space for STEM students

Attention all SEAS students, pre-meds, bio majors, physics majors, students in FroSci who actually enjoy FroSci, and anyone at Columbia/Barnard who studies and/or is interested in STEM subjects:

Bwog is pleased to announce that, starting this semester, we will be featuring a greater amount of science-related coverage. In other words, we’d like to better represent the experiences and interests of Columbia’s STEM community.

Here are some new features that you can expect from Bwog this semester:

  • Science Fair: Similar in format to Where Art Thou and Bucket List, Science Fair will be a curated weekly list of STEM-related events happening on campus or in New York City. Examples of events might be talks by prominent scientists, research symposiums, or networking events with other scientists.
  • A regularly occurring advice column for STEM students: We get it. STEM subjects are difficult, and there’s a whole culture that STEM students are expected to assimilate into. Bwog will provide advice (gained from interviews with upperclassmen and professors) for topics such as getting involved with on-campus research, study tips for large science lecture classes, and life in graduate school.
  • Coverage of Columbia’s diverse STEM community: Bwog will be be exploring the various science-related clubs, research labs, and events around campus, and publish posts that introduce the broad variety of science life at Columbia. Such posts might be about the ground-breaking research that a specific lab at the medical school is involved in, one of the many free astronomy nights that the astronomy department hosts, or a club-hop. The idea is that all readers, science and non-science students alike, will be able to learn something new about science. You might even discover a new lab or club that you might be interested in joining!

Finally, Bwog is still recruiting writers who study science! We value the perspectives and experiences that STEM students will bring to Bwog, in terms of helping us cover science events and writing about issues that relate to STEM students. As a science writer, you’ll have the opportunity to get first-hand access to various events around Columbia, as well as practice and improve on your ability to write about science. No prior experience in journalism is necessary. If interested, please email science@bwog.com, or come to one of our open meetings at 9pm on Sundays in Lerner 510.

Jan

20

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Columbia’s next president?

Oprah’s possible candidacy for the presidency got us thinking about what celebrities would be fit to take over from PrezBo when he finally retires to a fancy Caribbean island with his Audi. 

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen: Prepare for trouble & make it double. Could teach two classes per semester instead of just one.

Shailene Woodley: Protested at Standing Rock. Prepare for an even #woker Columbia.

Tom Hanks: Would make Columbia the most likable school in the Ivy League.

Beyonce: She’s amazing at everything, so why not being Columbia’s president?

Timothée Chalamet: Columbia dropout. Hollywood’s next big thing. Donating his salary from Woody Allen movie to charity. That’s good enough for us.

Kate McKinnon: As a Columbia alum, she’d have firsthand knowledge of what Columbia needs to reach its true potential. Plus imagine how great her speeches would be.

Paul McCartney: Sure, he’s not at all qualified, but imagine how cool he could make Bacchanal.

Photo via flickr

Jan

20

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In these trying times, we need more cute dogs.

Happening In The World: Yesterday, Turkey’s defense minister announced that the Turkish army would begin attacking US-backed Kurdish militias in Afrin, in the north of Syria. These attacks could further destabilize an already war-torn region. (New York Times)

Happening In The US: The federal government has shut down after a temporary solution failed to clear a 60-vote threshold before midnight last night. Congress will reconvene today to try and prevent the shutdown from extending into Monday. (Washington Post)

Happening In NYC: There is a second women’s march today, starting with a rally in Central Park at 11:30 am. About a year ago, 400,000 people marched in protest of Trump and the hateful ideologies he represents. Today’s march seeks to continue that momentum. (Pix 11)

Happening On Campus: Both men’s and women’s basketball will play their conference home openers. Both games will be held in Levien; the women’s at 4:00 pm and the men’s at 7:00 pm.

Overheard: “Chekhov plays are all the same.”

Cute YouTube Video Of The Day: Watch a Golden Retriever compete against a German Shepard in a spaghetti eating contest.

Photo via Pixabay

Jan

19

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The men’s and women’s teams will play their first home conference game tomorrow! Sports Editor Abby Rubel gives a preview of the season ahead. Spoiler: prepare for disappointment.

Looks like she’s a GOAT to me.

Men’s basketball (3-12, 0-2 Ivy) ended last season on a bitter note. After winning four of their first six conference games, the Lions had just one victory in the back end of the season to finish at 5-9, good enough for fifth place in the league but just missing qualifying for the post-season tournament. Going into the final week, there was a slim chance the Lions could still have qualified, but a loss to Yale and a Penn victory over Harvard precluded any tie-breaking scenarios.

So far this season, the Lions have continued their poor performance, going 3-10 in non-conference play compared to 6-7 last season and losing to three teams the team had previously defeated. But seven of these losses were by 10 or fewer points, which could indicate that the Lions have just been experiencing a streak of bad luck. (Although this is unlikely given how prevalent the problem is.) More promisingly, the Light Blue opened their season with a valiant performance against powerhouse Villanova, proving that they’re better than the play we’ve seen from them recently.

Tomorrow’s game against Cornell will be the Lions’ third conference game, following losses to both Princeton and Penn last weekend. Neither of these losses are necessarily surprising. Princeton was undefeated last season (though they did lose three key seniors). Columbia split against Penn last season, but the Quakers went 9-5 in non-conference play this season, perhaps thanks to their older team.

More basketball after the jump.

Jan

19

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You shall not pass (until you show your ID)

You’ve seen them. You’ve walked past them. You’ve talked to them, albeit briefly. The Public Safety officers who work the Barnard main gate have a hard life, sitting out in the cold for hours on end and bothering drunk students to show their IDs before they can get back to the quad. Betsy Ladyzhets imagines what an eight-hour shift might look like handling this tough job. Please note that Bwog does not condone underage drinking, Sudoku, or wearing flip flops in below-freezing weather.

9:55 pm

Time to start my shift! I’ve got two full cups of coffee, a bag of hand-warmers, and a book of Sudoku to pass the time. What could possibly go wrong?

10:12 pm

I try to start a Sudoku puzzle, but it’s honestly really hard. I scroll through Twitter for twenty minutes instead. Nobody seems to know what’s going on with the Kardashians, which is weird considering there’s an entire TV show about them.

10:36 pm

Bathroom break number one. Maybe I should’ve only had one cup of coffee instead of two.

11:04 pm

The gate into the quad closes at 11 pm. It always has closed at 11 pm, and always will close at 11 pm. The group of angry first-years to which I am politely explaining this information don’t seem too happy about it, but they eventually show me their IDs and stomp on through.

11:47 am

I try to work on a Sudoku puzzle, but whenever I get close to figuring out one of the boxes someone comes up to the gate and I need to check their IDs. Maybe this is a sign that I’m not meant for solving Sudoku puzzles. I’m meant for something greater. Or something involving much less math.

Two hours down, six to go

Jan

19

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Artistic activism by women of color?? Sign me up

Last night, SisterSpit, “a night of storytelling and poetry” hosted by Barnard Student Life, kicked off the semester with powerful performances from students and guests alike. Staff Writer Zöe Sottile attended the event and wrote about her experience there.

As its contribution to MLK Legacy Week, Barnard Student Life hosted its third annual SisterSpit yesterday. Though unfortunately student MC Vanessa Chadehumbe was unable to make it, the other MC, Kidd Mathews, brought a rousing sense of energy and community to the event. Kidd described the night in Sulzberger Parlor as an “event for self-identified women to express themselves, to engage in artistic activism, to engage with the community, to be here and be present”.

The evening consisted of performances by six women of color, whose work considered issues of activism, equality, sexuality, and racial justice. Four students began the night with incredibly brave and personal narratives. Phanesia Pharel, BC ‘21, for instance, first read a poem about Haiti, her parents’ home country. She spoke eloquently about the insecurity of being trapped between two worlds, feeling like an outsider both in Haiti and America. She then recited two poems by Haitian poet Danielle Legros Georges: “Intersection” and “A Dominican Poem”, which both contemplate nationality and fragmented identity. She closed her portion of the night by reading one of her own poems about her mother, immigration, and the complex ways that we inherit experiences and identities.

Read about more student poetry, as well as two featured performers, below the jump.

Jan

19

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Our former ESC Bureau Chief hard at work

Some Bwoggers cover theater events. Others write comedic shortforms. Still others conduct interviews with interesting students or dig deep into polarizing issues at Columbia. The best and bravest of us, though, are those who take on the ultimate challenge: covering student government.

Bwog has four Bureau Chiefs, one for each of the four undergraduate student councils (CCSC, SGA, ESC, and GSSC). These reporters attend weekly meetings of their respective councils, then describe the meetings in posts that go up on Bwog the next day. This can sometimes mean sticking with CCSC for three hours, parsing through polite debates between SGA and the Barnard administration, or explaining why Legos are just so important to Sid Perkins. Whatever the student councils are discussing, covering their meetings is a noble duty, bringing news of the slow progress of student government to the rest of Columbia. And being a Bureau Chief is an easy entry point both into writing for Bwog (because as long as you take good notes and write clearly, it’s hard to go wrong with student council coverage), and into the Columbia community at large (because you’ll learn a great deal about events and initiatives on campus through the position).

This semester, we have openings for two Bureau Chiefs: ESC (Engineering Student Council) and GSSC (General Studies Student Council). ESC meets on Monday evenings at 9:30 pm, and GSSC meets on Tuesday evenings at 8 pm. You don’t have to be a member of a school to cover their student council (our last ESC and GSSC Bureau Chiefs were both CC students, for example), although sometimes it helps.

No formal application is required for these positions; simply email editor@bwog.com with the student council you would like to cover and why you’re interested in the position. You should also attend our open meeting this Sunday to talk to our current CCSC and SGA Bureau Chiefs, ask questions, and learn more about the roles.

King of the Satow Room via Betsy Ladyzhets

Jan

19

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Snitzer sandwiched between a bubbling friendship

On Wednesday, Barnard’s Diana Event Oval hosted the women behind some of the most iconic visuals and sounds of last years Women’s March. Bwogger and Bwog photographer (Bwotographer?) Aliya Schneider attended the event and got the scoop on what it means to be a modern-day artist-activist.

Joan Snitzer (Co-Chair and Director of Visual Arts, Art History Senior Lecturer) sat between two ambitious and creative women with an undeniably inspiring friendship in the Diana Event Oval on Wednesday night. Krista Suh (BC ’09) is the founder of the Women’s March “pussy hat” project, and the first person with whom she shared her idea was her best friend MILCK, who wrote the song that became the anthem for the Women’s March last year. Suh said that she was the friend watching MILCK perform in hotel lobbies and knew she was “way too good for this.”

MILCK’s original idea was to ask people if her group of singers could sing to them, but Suh pushed her to sing out at the march. “Krista helped me think bigger than I could at the time,” MILK said, talking about how the two women egg each other on. Suh recounted a “Prankster” group that used to have a presence on campus, who would sing out of the blue during finals week in Butler. She found the interruption inspiring, and added that inspiration can come from anybody, including those in Butler library.

Learn about pussy hats and not keeping quiet (with a photo gallery!) after the jump.

Jan

19

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2017, in more ways than one.

Happening in the world: 2017 was the second-hottest year on record, according to NASA. It is behind only 2016, most likely due to the La Niña phenomenon, which cool the Earth down. The globally averaged temperature of 0.9˚C, or 1.62˚F, is more than halfway to the 1.5˚C limit that the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement sought to establish. (CNN)

Happening in the US: Republican and Democratic Senators are at loggerheads, with a vote today determining whether or not the government will shut down at midnight. Republicans are pushing a short-term spending bill which Democrats are resisting unless concessions on immigration, aiding Puerto Rico, and attending to the opioid epidemic are secured. Negotiations have been rocky especially since last week, when President Donald Trump made racially incendiary remarks about Haiti and unspecified African nations during a meeting in the Oval Office. (New York Times)

Happening in NYC: A panel created by Governor Andrew Cuomo will submit a report to Cuomo and the NY Legislature suggesting that drivers in New York should pay up to $11.52 per car trip, in order to control congestion in busy areas and generate revenue for system upgrades for the subway system, which is controlled by the state. (New York Daily News)

Happening on campus: The undergrads who took part in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) will be talking about their experience in biology research, and the program in general, from 12 to 2 pm at Low Library. A “light lunch” will be provided.

Overheard: “2018 is going to be all about aligning myself with the world and the larger, physical universe.”

Antibop of the day: Do yourself a favor and avoid the new Justin Timberlake song, “Supplies,” at all costs.

Burning earth via Pixabay

Jan

18

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The cover of a book, featuring a painting of a French soldier looking off into the distance.

♪ Things just ain’t what they used to be… ♪

Nostalgia, the longing for a return to home and past, was not always just something to be exploited by Facebook pages. When physician Johannes Hofer introduced the term in 1688, he referred to a psychological illness, a meaning the word kept until the start of the 20th century. Nostalgia affected (mostly white, mostly male) patients on three continents, and its effects could be deadly. In a book talk, author and Columbia Assistant Professor Thomas Dodman discussed his book and the history of nostalgia with Columbia Professor Emmanuelle Saada and Princeton Professor David Bell.

The event took place in the Maison Française, and the two Columbia professors were members of the French department. It shouldn’t surprise, then, that the discussion focused on how nostalgia ravaged the French military at the start of the 19th century, one of the case studies for nostalgia in Dodson’s book. French soldiers were particularly at risk, first because of their long separation from home (nostalgia was also called maladie du pays, or homesickness), and second because of the alienating, dominating nature of the organized military. Nostalgia came to be understood as a particularly French illness, one which English and American soldiers and citizens were relatively immune to.

How did people die from nostalgia? That’s what one audience member, a doctor, wanted to know. If someone died of nostalgia today, how would it be diagnosed? Nostalgia was more of an umbrella term, which encompassed modern concepts such as psychic trauma and depression. Two people undergoing nostalgia (whose French military treatment was a three month’s home leave) could be under very different circumstances. Suicide was common among victims of nostalgia, and nostalgia was even used as a handwaving diagnosis to ignore addressing larger concerns in the military, in industrializing cities, and in slave and settler colonies.

The transformation of nostalgia to an emotion is after the jump.

Jan

18

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Always.

There are two things Bwog can never get enough of: green grapes, and Staff Writers. While Dailies are the backbone of our structure, Staff Writers are the backbone of our content – they pitch ideas for articles, attend events, and generally keep our creative juices flowing.

Staff Writers can be anyone from first-years looking to dip their toes in Columbia journalism to seniors who have a little too much free time their final semester, and anyone from art history majors procrastinating on reading about columns to biology majors who come up with weird conspiracy theories when they’re peering into microscopes for hours. Staff Writers are “required” to write ten posts per semester. This spring, Bwog is particularly hoping to recruit STEM-minded staffers, as we have big plans for expanding our science coverage – email science@bwog.com to learn more about those plans.

If you’re interested, come learn more about Bwog and bring your biggest, baddest pitches to our first open meeting of the semester this Sunday. Then, if you like what you see, fill out the application below.  Applications should be sent to editor@bwog.com by 11:59 pm on Friday, January 26 in the form of a Google doc or .PDF document titled “*First Name* App.”

About Bwog:

  • Tell us about one Bwog post you liked, one post you didn’t like, and why for both.
  • What is your favorite tag?
  • Come up with three sample post ideas that you would like to see on Bwog.
  • Draw Bwog.

About you:

  • Why do you want to join Bwog?
  • What do you think Bwog is?
  • You’re taking Bwog out on a date! What would you do? Where would you go?
  • What about Columbia might you be interested in writing about?
  • Send us a screenshot or list of the bookmarked Favorites on your browser.

Those grapes were green before we de-saturated them for printing purposes, we swear via Betsy Ladyzhets

Jan

18

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For some reason, professors insist on giving us paper copies of the syllabus even when it’s available online. Senior staffer Abby Rubel has some ideas for what to do with the extra paper.

At least your desk won’t be this cluttered (probably).

  1. Burn it to stay warm. Our radiators are hot, but not hot enough to keep us warm in this weather. Use your extra syllabi to compensate.
  2. Learn origami. If you have enough paper to cut it into 1,000 pieces of paper, fold cranes! Then wish to pass all your classes because you wasted all the time you could have spent studying folding little bits of paper into bird-like shapes.
  3. Display them on your wall. Nothing says home sweet home like a wall reminding you how much reading you have.
  4. Use them as wrapping paper. Hey, it’s expensive, and you’re probably still behind on your holiday gift-giving. If it’s a small gift, an 8 ½ x 11 piece of paper will do just fine.
  5. Recycle!
  6. Let them sit in your backpack until they inevitably become crumpled and unreadable, then finally recycle them when you get home for the summer. It’s the ultimate in procrastination.

Photo via Bwog Staff

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