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Lex WilliamsAdam Alpert (stage name, Lex Williams) is a first year CC student who creates and produces his own music. You can find his first album, Not a Word, on his Bandcamp here, and he has plans to publish more EPs soon. The first part of this interview is taken from a larger conversation and will cover his music: both creatively and technically. 

Bwog: Okay, Adam, where exactly are you from? Because it says on your profile, your Bandcamp, that you’re from Detroit so—?

Adam: Yeah, I’m not actually from Detroit. I’m from Farmington Hills, Michigan. But, you know, the whole NSOP thing got me in the vibe of saying I’m from Detroit because nobody knows where Farmington Hills is. I didn’t actually go to high school in Farmington Hills, I went to a private school in Birmingham, Michigan.

B: Really? Why was that?

A: It was a school my parents chose for me when I was three years old, and I’ve been going ever since. It was predominately white, has a lower school, an elementary, and a high school, so I was just at the same school the entire time.

Wait, wait, there’s more



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Even better than a date on Valentine's Day

Even better than a date on Valentine’s Day

Last week, we sent Bwoggers Jessa Nootbaar and Jennifer Nugent to cover the CU Vegan Society’s second meeting of the semester. In keeping with Bwog’s tradition of foodie ClubHops (second culinary club of the spring semester and going strong!!), this week we’ve decided to go abroad: to France. Columbia University French Cultural Society invited us to learn how to make – and then, more importantly, eat – our very own crêpes. How could we refuse? Daily Editor Lila Etter got the chance to check out the club – and the crêpes. You may have missed the event, but hopefully the skills she picked up can help you make some crêpes of your own.

On Friday afternoon, after a long day of sleeping in and no classes, I really deserved a break. Lucky for me, I had been promised a real treat. The Facebook page proclaimed:

“Valentine’s Day sucks and you want lots of cheese and Nutella this Friday. Alternatively, you don’t know what to do with bae, so you take them to this romantic French crêpe workshop and win points. Learn more about one of the most famous culinary traditions of Brittany by joining us on Friday this week to make your own delicious savory and sweet crêpes. We will feature two French families’ signature recipes and have a variety of toppings for you to choose from, including ham and (of course) cheese for the savory crêpes and bananas, nutella, and jam for the sweet ones—and, of course, cider to go with the fruits of your labor and conversation with your fellow workshop-goers.”

We freaking love crepes



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tbh this is bwog and you tho

Disappointed by Valentine’s Day? Don’t worry: the arts will always love you!

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. “This Week in the Arts” is a weekly guide to interesting and notable lectures, events, and performances for the literary/musically/ theatrically-inclined on campus.

Monday, February 15

  • Playwright Talk: Mahesh Dattani, 4:00 PM, Knox Hall in Room 208 –  “An Indian playwright’s perspective on theatre making in India.” Author of plays such as Dance Like a Man, Final Solution, Thirty Days in September, Brief Candle, and Gauhar.

Tuesday, February 16

  • Pop-Up Concert: loadbang, 6:00 PM (doors open at 5:30 PM), Miller Theatre – loadbang is a quartet of “lung-driven” musicians (baritone, trumpet, trombone, and bass clarinet) and will be performing a repertoire of Taylor Brook’s Ouaricon Songs: Volume 2, Adam Zahller’s Ledascape, Evan Johnson’s my pouret and goyng ouer, Guillaume de Machaut’s (arr. Gavett) Messe de Nostre Dame: Kyrie, David Lang’s Waiting for the Man, and loadbang’s own Andy Kozar’s Mass: Kyrie.

Wednesday, February 17

  • Mid-Day Music featuring Dongwon Lee, 12:00 PM, Garden Room at the Faculty House – Columbia University and Juilliard School pianist Dongwon Lee will be performing Schumann Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13, Schubert Sonata No. 20 in A Major, D. 959, I. Allegro and IV. Rondo. Allegretto, and Scriabin Sonata No. 5, Op. 53 as part of the Mid-Day Music recital series.
  • “I Can’t Define Love Like It Should Be. . . And That’s Alright. –Stevie Nicks”, 7:00 PM, The LeRoy Neiman Gallery (Dodge Hall) – “Join us for the closing night of the LOVE 2016 exhibition. The evening will feature artists Paul Legault and Natasha Ochshorn, as well as MFA candidates from the Writing Program at Columbia University School of the Arts, reading selections of poetry on the topic of love and eros.”

Thursday, February 18

  • The Remaking of Aleppo under Nur al-Din and the Early Ayyubids, 6:00 PM, Schermerhorn Hall in Room 612 – Part of the lecture series on titled ‘Islamic’ Art: Disrupting Unity and Discerning Ruptures that will focus on the city of Aleppo from the medieval to the contemporary this semester, this event is hosted by the department of art history and archaeology and will feature independent scholar Yasser Tabbaa.
  • Chapter & Verse: Screening + Conversation, 6:30 PM, Miller Theatre – A screening of Jamal Joseph’s film Chapter & Verse, followed by an interdisciplinary conversation on race, justice, and the carceral continuum. (Free, but must RSVP here.)

Friday, February 19

  • An Aesthetic of Indifference: Poems/Photos/Graphs, 4:00 PM, The Heyman Center in the Common Room – Professor of American Literature and Literature Theory Walter Benn Michaels of the University of Illinois at Chicago will speak, “developing a problematic at work in figures like the poet Stéphanie Mallarmé and the photographer Robert Frank” and extending “some of the arguments about the political economy of form developed in Michael’s recent book, The Beauty of a Social Problem.

Saturday, February 20

  • Jazz: Miguel Zenón Quartet, 8:00 PM, Miller Theatre – “Pairing his love for the folk music of his native Puerto Rico with a strong, innovative style, saxophonist Miguel Zenón was awarded a MacArthur “genius” grant for “at once reestablishing the artistic, cultural, and social tradition of jazz while creating an entirely new jazz language for the 21st century.” Zenón is an artist who thinks and listens. The voice of his sax—soaring over the band’s rhythmic pulses—tells a musical story that resonates with all jazz-lovers.” (Tickets: $7 with CUID or BCID)

Broken Love via Aslysun/Shutterstock.com



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You somewhere along your “career path”

Before everyone freaks out: Internships are a great way to gain experience in a field of interest, help bulk up a resume for future employment, and cross a potential career path off your list. This is merely the argument that there are other, equally valuable ways to spend your summer. Those of you who’ve already snagged your super impressive spots at Goldman Sachs, go forth and conquer.

But, for those of you who maybe feel like there’s another way you’d rather spend precious time outside the classroom and fear the backlash of your hyper-competitive peers: fear not. You are a totally reasonable human being. (Especially if you’re a first-year. Seriously, calm your shit).

The thing is, you worked your ass off to get to Columbia University (or maybe not, that’s cool too), so you’re surrounded by incredibly accomplished people all vying to be the most successful versions of themselves as soon as possible. And with that comes a lot of pressure, judgment, and determinism with how to spend your time over the summer. But it’s time to get out of our stressful little bubble and realize you might be doing better things for yourself by not getting an internship this summer.

I was recently talking to some friends who all attend different universities across the country, each of whom was doing something totally different for the summer. One was actually taking time to relax (I KNOW), another was using saved up money for a backpacking trip across Southeast Asia, while the other was going abroad to volunteer for two months. For me, it was a slap in the face.

More on the daze of Columbia Careerism after the jump.



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Sarah and Abina

Are you real enough for them? (Sarah – L, Abina – R)

Name, Year, School, Major: Sarah, 2019, Barnard, Undeclared

Preference: Gender is a social construct hahahah!

Hometown: Newton, MA

Your nightmare date in seven words or fewer: JP Licks in any suburban Boston community

What redeems you as a human being? I have a bottle of Percocet from my wisdom teeth surgery.

Library room of choice: Butler 604 (Papyrology, Epigraphy, and Paleology Reading Room)

Beverage of choice: The Hangover smoothie at Nuss

Which dating apps have you been active on? (be honest) All of them!

Where can you usually be found on a Saturday night? The 17th Floor

Historical Hottie: William James


Name, Year, School, Major: Abina, 2019, Barnard, Undeclared

Preference: girl for guy

Hometown: Cambridge, MA

Your nightmare date in seven words or fewer: Tom’s milkshakes and chill

What redeems you as a human being? Surviving the April 2015 earthquake in Kathmandu

Library room of choice: Butler 202 (Rosencrantz [spelling?] reading room)

Beverage of choice: Chai… like actual chai from India or made by Indians

Which dating apps have you been active on? (be honest) Tinder, Bumble

Where can you usually be found on a Saturday night? Clubbing or smoking that loud

Historical Hottie: Che Guevara



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NYC Condom

Classy Condoms

This weekend’s Central Park Ice Festival was cancelled because it’s too cold. That’s right! It’s too fucking cold for ice! (New York Times)

Back in the day, NYC used to discard old subway cars in junkyards. The abandoned cars were super creepy, so it made for some sick art. (Mashable)

UWS drivers are very upset that they can no longer make a slight left onto Broadway from Columbus. Because what else is there to be angry about? (CBS New York)

NYC is giving out “classy” sex kits to hold condoms, lubricants and birth-control pills. Plus, they’re pocket-sized! (NY Post)

2007-era condoms via David Sim/CC-BY-2.0



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Ptolemaic queens Leila (L) and Britt (R)

Ptolemaic queens Leila (L) and Britt (R)

Name, Year, School, Major: Britt, 2016, the College, Chemistry

Preference: Girl for guy with cool glasses.

Hometown: Omaha, NE.

Nightmare date in seven words or fewer: Tinder date at Hungarian.

What redeems you as a human being? Self-flagellation (psychological, not physical).

Library room of choice: Ref Room

Beverage of choice: Coffee

Which dating apps have you been active on? Tinder, but only in Nebraska, for the pheasant hunting pics.

Where can you be found on a Saturday night? Re-reading St. Augustine’s Confessions.

Historical Hottie: Galois

Check out Leila’s Personal after the jump!



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The post-it says "H".... H for Hookup?

The post-it says “H”…. H for Hookup?

Our fearless and sex-lovin’ Bwogger has returned to let you in on a well-kept CU secret: the hookup potential of the Microform Room.

It’s getting cold this weekend, even getting into the single digits Saturday night. We’ve showed you some unconventional ways to stay warm, but what about the most conventional way to stay warm: sex in weird places?
“No,” you protest, “I, a stellar student, will be keeping warm by staying inside my favorite library and getting ahead on that midterm studying.”
You don’t have to go far to take an invigorating study break. In the lowest level of the C.V. Starr East Asian Library lies a special Valentine’s oasis for you and your significant other… the Microform Room.

Step 1: Gaining Access

Getting to the Microform Room is as simple as a slow, shaky elevator descent. (If the elevator breaks, fear not: you’ve just created your own hot new hookup location- at least for half an hour or so before FDNY rescues you.)
The entrance to the Microform Room is approximately 4 feet away from a study carroll. If you’re lucky, this carroll will be empty. But if it holds a diligent student, fear not. Just put on your best, “I’m majoring in the study of Chinese microfilm” face and walk purposefully into the Microform Room.
The door is wide open, beckoning you into the dark, silent room. Unfortunately, the door cannot be locked. A tiny pink post-it over the handle reads “Please do not lock the door! :)” and, because Columbia students can hardly be trusted, the door’s lock has been rendered ineffective with tape. However, the room appears to not be surveilled.

Now, you’ve got to set the mood…



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No one's better at embodying the sound of music than Maria!

No one’s better at embodying the sound of music than Maria!

What with Bacchanal fast approaching and the impending release of Kanye’s seventh LP, “The Life of Pablo,” Columbia’s students are rightfully excited about new musical developments. But yesterday evening, the Heyman Center for the Humanities hosted a symposium-style exploration articulating another reason why we should get excited about music: musical embodiment.

Yesterday’s second annual workshop on Embodied Cognition focused primarily on the interplay between music and movement with regard to embodiment, examining first how music can be embodied through the listener. Mariusz Kozak, an assistant professor of music at Columbia, started the symposium by positing that “we think and act the way we do because we have particular kinds of bodies,” extrapolating from this to support how music serves to regulate the ways in which we both think and act. In this regulatory function, Kozak argued music is both an expression and an extension of human cognitive capacity, leading into a larger question: “What does how you hear reveal about what you hear?” As anyone who learned the recorder in elementary school would know, music is made up of “musical objects”: various pitches, harmonies, and rhythms. Much of Kozak’s research into this question has been dedicated to examining how people react to music that lacks one of those distinct objects of music, tracking movements and patterns of responses to musics that have no set pattern or rhythm. His findings indicate that people, sometimes, can apply a pattern to completely un-rhythmic music. Working this back around to the concept of musical embodiment, Kozak argued that maybe we, the listeners, can find musical objects that don’t exist in sound but rather only in our own bodily resonance; listeners embodied music through movement.

Is this just hippie-dippy music talk, or something more?



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A Bwogger's bedroom + clothes

A Bwogger’s bedroom + clothes

Columbia laundry machines are dirty…and/or fire hazards…Barnard laundry machines cost money and break constantly. Dry cleaning gets expensive rulll quick. Hand-washing in  your dorm sink is a hassle. What to do now that mom’s not around to clean your clothes? Try Parachute! This is not an ad, but a review, of the new campus laundry service, written by hygienic Bwogger Sarah Dahl.

I first heard about Parachute after one of the company’s ubiquitous campus reps, also known as Pilots™ slipped a flyer under my door. Then my friend, a Pilot, texted me a code for a $1 load of laundry. Hot!!! If I used her code they’d give her $5. Sounded like a win-win. Plus, apparently they’d stopped paying her and she needed the cash.

The online sign-up process was super easy. They didn’t even ask for my social security number! All I had to give them was basic name, address, and credit card info. I opted for a low-use time slot, so my load ended up costing just $0.54!

How did the clothes turn out?



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Forbidden love...

Forbidden love…

Donald Trump might have made a miscalculation in thinking that the Mexican government would pay a few billion dollars to build a wall designed to keep its citizens out of America. Remind us, how is this guy still in the presidential race? (Quartz)

Nineteen years later, and Harry Potter & Co. are back, this time in play form! Potterheads everywhere, keep your eyes peeled for a continuation of the magical story this summer. (LA Times)

Bernie was back in the ‘hood this week–the candidate grew up in Brooklyn, and he toured his old haunts this week with a CBS news anchor. So close, yet so far… (CBS)

SOS science has gone too far… San Diego Zoo scientists successfully bred a “tree lobster,” which looks as horrifying as it sounds. (Epoch Times)

Cartoon by Jody Zellman for Bwog



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Hello, it’s me.

Every semester, CC, SEAS, and GS students enter a lottery to attend Prezbo’s Fireside Chat. The chosen few get to dress up (or dress in “Prezbo Casual,” as one attendee put it), eat delicious hors d’oeuvres, and, if they’re lucky, ask Prezbo their burning questions. Bwog’s Managing Editor, Maddie Stearn, covered the evening’s activities, and reports back on what did (not) happen. 

Within 1 minute and 59 seconds of the event’s start we were on the subject of the Global Centers. As someone who had predicted that all questions would lead to the Global Centers (do I win a prize for being right?), I was still shocked. Reviewing the previous minute and 58 seconds, I can confirm that none of the topics connected to the Global Centers. The first question was about Prezbo’s music tastes (classical with a little bit of rock, and no he will not curate a playlist), and the second was about student contributions to financial aid packages. The evening was almost magical in the sense that only supernatural powers could transport us from the subject of financial aid to the Global Centers that quickly.

In Prezbo’s defense, he was not (entirely) responsible for the derailment of the conversation, and he did eventually answer the financial aid question. When the other administrators in the room introduced themselves, Janelle Davis, University Chaplin and Associate Provost, provided some impromptu information about the Global Centers, since “there [weren’t] going to be a lot of questions from [students].” This was because Prezbo announced at the beginning of the event that he would be asking some questions. Acknowledging that this was “a little unfair because [the students] should be able to ask questions first,” he said that the audience could ask “four or five questions” before he took his turn. How generous.

But what about the Global Centers?!



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RAM (1)

“Visualizing your vulnerability”…oh yay.

This week, Van Epp hosted a lecture addressing the golden question: Why do we fall in love with jerks? Bwog is a little frantic to find some answers. Luckily, newly-initated Bwogger Maryam Badran attended the event, and reports back on what we’re (apparently) missing.

I went to “Learn to Follow Your Heart Without Losing Your Mind” with the desperate hope that attending could provide answers to my pressing questions: Could it be possible for me to spend this Valentine’s day doing something other than crying into a box of chocolates alongside texts from my ex? Could I actually learn, in an hour and a half, how to stop pursuing jerks?

Van Epp, President/Founder of Love Thinks and author of How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk, started out by explaining how and why he wrote his book. After 25 years of counseling individuals in confusing and relationships in a private clinic, he was inspired. Fueled by these poor idiots, he decided to work on writing “a road map for singles that they could use to help navigate through the fog of relationships”. But what he realized was that so many relationship guides often detailed abstract words and concepts: trust, commitment, whatever. What he felt was missing was how to actually select a partner. So, he answered this question in his book, a sort of procedural guidebook for the frustrated spinsters out there. According to Van Epp, it comes down to this one basic idea: “The reality is some people are jerks”. Citing a study that stated 70% of today’s college students scored higher on narcissism and lower on empathy than 30 years ago, he concludes, “it’s hard to find somebody that is a relatively healthy person to date nowadays”. But it’s not impossible. We have more freedom in our romantic relationships than any other generation in history—but with great power comes great responsibility, and we’re throwing that away by choosing jerks. It comes down to us, and only us, to choose the normal person over the one that takes gym selfies.

Oh god we’re not responsible enough for this



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Is it really an important scientific discovery if Neil deGrasse Tyson isn't there to announce it?

Is it really an important scientific discovery if Neil deGrasse Tyson isn’t there to announce it?

One hundred years ago, Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves with his General Theory of Relativity. For years, Columbia researchers, including Prof. Szabi Marka, Dr. Zsuzsa Marka, and Dr. Imre Bartos, have been involved in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, a group of physics institutes and other research groups dedicated for the search of gravitational waves. And this morning, those researchers announced that the LIGO group has detected gravitational waves from two black holes that merged about a million years ago.

This detection marks a tremendous achievement for the field of physics research, as it provides conclusive evidence for the Theory of Relativity. As Prof. Ivana Hughes wrote in an email to Frontiers of Science students, this discovery has “opened up a whole new way to look at and study the Universe.”

And, as though that isn’t already enough to be excited about, Neil deGrasse Tyson made an appearance at this morning’s announcement! Bwog wasn’t lucky enough to snag an interview, but it was easy to tell that he was thrilled.

For a more in-depth explanation of the significance of this discovery, look after the jump for a quote from an email a physics professor Thomas Humensky sent out to his students yesterday about the event.

The physics hype continues after the jump



Make sure nobody knows you're a dog on the internet

Make sure nobody knows you’re a dog on the internet

The United States has had its own share of issues with stringent government oversight and overreaching of private corporations into both private and public internet spaces. Turns out, India has had just as many problems. Bwogger Gabrielle Kloppers reports on Nikhil Pahwa, famous Indian internet activist and journalist, and his attempts to secure Indian net neutrality.

I filed into Davis Auditorium still mildly unsure as to what Net Neutrality actually meant, but I left with passionate and vocal ideas on the topic, partially due to an introduction regarding the struggle to find live cricket scores online in India.

Nikhil Pahwa, Editor and Publisher at MediaNama, as well as the leader of the Indian citizens’ movement to save net neutrality, appealed to an idea we all hold dear: the freedom to peruse all corners of the Internet without censure. That includes pornography, which he specifically used as an example of what would be lost if Net Neutrality didn’t prevail in India.

Did Pahwa succeed in his aims?

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