Piano Stairs in Lerner

Yesterday, a bunch of pioneering SEAS students took over a flight of stairs in Lerner to simultaneously create music and annoy everybody trying to study. A Bwog staffer happened upon this magical set of stairs and made some pretty impressive music for your enjoyment; it was like that scene from “Big” but definitely worse. Unfortunately, the musical stairs were removed around 11 pm last night, but you can experience the music vicariously through this video:

Piano Stairs in Lerner from Bwog on Vimeo.

Bwoglines: Show Me The Money Edition

100 dolla dolla bills, yeah

Chinese e-commerce website Alibaba opened with the largest IPO in history at $25 billion. The fancy guys in suits who underwrote the stock sale will take home more than $300 million. (Yahoo!/Reuters)

A British finance guy bet 900,000 pounds that Scotland would choose to remain part of the UK. He was right. His reward? 1,093,333.333 pounds, or close to $1.8 million. Time to splurge.  (BBC)

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sold a combined 10 million times in their opening weekend, setting an Apple record. The iPhone accounts for 70 percent of Apple’s total profit, so your new device may crack tomorrow but Apple already has your money. (NYT)

Developer Glenn Straub bid $90 million to purchase and repurpose Atlantic City’s Revel Casino, which closed on Sept. 2. His vision? Another tower and a university for people who are “free, white and over 21.” Profit? We’ll have to wait and see. (Philly.com)

German pharma company Merck KGaA is buying American pharma company Sigma-Aldrich for $17 billion, the latest in a flurry of German-American mergers and acquisitions. Is this good for America’s economy, Germany’s or…both? (Bloomberg)

More than Columbia’s endowment via Shutterstock

Field Notes: Social Firsts And Social Vets
The new "spot"

Prime set-up for social gatherings

Third weekend of school and the weather is still nice enough to try new things or stick with your weekend routine. However (seemingly) blasé or out of the ordinary, we want to hear about how you choose to spend the next weekend at tips@bwog.com. 

Notes from those feeling socially adventurous: 

  • Tinder date went well. No shame.”
  • Ventured into Brooklyn for (embarrassingly) the second time. Had wine and cheese inside an expensive Clinton Hill apartment, made friends with a cat, and then drank the best Dark and Stormy I’ve had in a while at some cool little restaurant, vowing to myself that I have to live in Brooklyn someday.”
  • “Spent my first NYC roof party at my pal’s apartment in Columbus Circle with white wine. And her dad.”
  • Columbia faculty experimenting with Twitter: “OH! And my lit hum professor retweeted me which was a life goal.”

Notes from those doing the same old, same old:

  • The bartender at the Dam recognized me from knocking over a table last week and came and reinforced the table I was sitting at with a piece of cardboard…”
  • Smoking on the fire escape at a Ruggles party is always more fun than the actual party.”
  • Seems to be a popular trend: “Also smoked with friends on a fire escape. No party involved though.”
  • “First time going to Carman since NSOP – it was as if NSOP never ended… #freshmanforever”

The new “spot” via Shutterstock

2Girls1Snack: Brownie Edition

A Bwog tradition is back for the 2014-2015 year – and we’re kicking it off with a classic treat…and with new definitions of  the gender roles this title insinuates, because feminism. Foodies Ross Chapman (the champion male taking on this challenge) and Anastasiya Vasilyeva spent their weekend scouring our beloved Morningside to discern the best brownie around. 

Ah, the noble brownie. While its dense and flavorful experience combined with its relative ease of baking makes it a household favorite, it’s surprisingly hard to find in the sprawling MoHi neighborhood. The brownie loses in sophistication to the cake and falls in portability to the cookie, so the major institutions ignore our tasty friend. We will not let this stand. 2Girls (yes, we’ll still call ourselves 2Girls) ventured out onto cold, harsh Amsterdam Avenue to find the best the neighborhood has to offer.

Kitchenette, 123rd & Amsterdam ($5.45)

Kitchenette Cinderblock

It just looks… crusty

The overpriced cinderblock. The loud thump with which this thing hit its plate served as our first warning, but we battled on with our useless fork and knife. After filing away for quite a while, creating a pile of brown dust on the surface, we settled for brute force, which barely broke off a few pieces of this rock. Needless to say, this “brownie” did not stimulate the senses. It consisted of what seemed like pure cocoa butter with an overbearing number of stony chocolate chips. This thing’s large size might be redeeming, if it had tasted even slightly better than a piece of gravel. It didn’t. We suggest trying one of the other, seemingly much more appealing, dessert options at the charming, pastel kitchenette cafe. There’s nowhere to go but up.

2Girls Rating: 1 sad, crusty cinderblock out of 5

Brownie’s Café, Avery Hall ($2.35)

Isn't That a Redundant Title?

Something about it seems…unnatural

Did you know that there’s a café buried beneath Avery and Fayerweather? It looks a lot like a basement with its general lack of decor. The place takes neither credit cards nor Dining Dollars, but redeems itself with (relatively) low prices. The brownie (labelled with a “Kabir’s Bakery” sticker) seemed to worsen as we ate it. It felt pleasantly squishy and molten at first, but with our subsequent bites, the brownie became more reminiscent of a moist chocolate gel. The crust saved the texture a bit, but there wasn’t much of it. After a few minutes the brownie seemed to develop a shine at its sides. The taste was pretty bitter compared to everything else we had. In one word: artificial. All that being said, the texture did make it interesting to eat, and it might be better with walnuts or chocolate chips inside–other options available the café.

2Girls Rating: 2.5 unnatural chocolate gelatins out of 5

Potentially tasty treats after the jump.

The People’s Climate March In Pictures

Spent yesterday cooped up in Butler instead of marching the streets of New York? No fear, Bwog is here to bring out the activist in everyone! Fellow student Jo Chiang shares with us some snaps of her experience at the historic march yesterday, where an estimated 300 plus of the 300,000 plus total marchers were Columbia students.

IMG_9800   IMG_9817

IMG_9892   IMG_9919

IMG_9924   IMG_9787

Jumping Around (The World) With Nadia Eke
Senior Nadia Eke

Senior Nadia Eke – triple the jump, triple the skill

Triple jump aficionado Max Rettig met up with super track star among us, Nadia Eke, CC’15, to hear about her summer representing Ghana in various international athletic games. View her impressive track record (no pun intended) here. Go Lions!

Nadia Eke has been all around the world recently. You could call it study abroad if what she’s studying is how to compete against the best in the world in the triple jump. This past summer, Nadia competed in the Commonwealth Games, an international competition in several sports, one of which is track-and-field. She described the experience as the biggest competition of her career: “I learned a lot from that and I grew a lot too as an athlete.” Eke represented Ghana as one of 71 nations competing in the Games, held in Glasgow, where she faced “mostly Olympic athletes.”

Right after the Commonwealth Games, Eke went straight to Morocco to jump again for Ghana in the African Championships. Her silver medal performance there pushed her through to another, more recent (last weekend) competition in Morocco: the IAAF Continental Cup. The top two performers in each event make the Cup, so Eke is one of the best triple jumpers in all of Africa. She placed seventh overall in her event. “Being able to compete at such a high level in such a short amount of time this summer really made me mature much faster than I have in the last three years as an NCAA athlete,” Nadia said when describing her experience. “I’ve gotten a much better understanding of how to compete at a high level.”

Nadia started jumping when she moved from Ghana to the U.S. She previously played soccer, but “the way the U.S. plays soccer was a little different,” so she stopped. With her mom asking her what she would do next, Nadia joined the track team. “I became a triple jumper because no one signed up for it and the list for every other event was too full.” She taught herself how to jump, but soon found a coach in an 11th grade teacher. Eke placed third in a high school national competition.

“The thing about triple jump is if you want to be really good at it, as a female, you most likely would have to focus on only that.”  Nadia also competes in the long jump for Columbia, but sticks to the triple jump in international competition.

Don’t need to triple jump the screen to read more!

CCSC Members Give Their Next Steps On Sexual Assault Policy
Last Friday on Low

A recent Friday afternoon on Low

The lowdown of last night’s CCSC meeting brought to you by Bwog’s student-government-savvy Joe Milholland. 

At Sunday night’s Columbia College Student Council meeting, VP of Policy Sejal Singh and VP of Communications Abby Porter gave updates on the sexual assault policy. They went over what has happened so far – the change in the policy without input from survivors or activists (much of which the university is required by law to do) and the meeting with President Bollinger – and talked about future goals they have for sexual assault policy.

Specifically, they want to to work with Sexual Violence Response (SVR) on bystander training. They also want to change how the consent workshops function with GS and grad students, who get the same education as CC and SEAS students despite their different demographics (the current consent workshop apparently refers to all the participants as being “around 18”).

Singh also wants reforms to CPS to help sexual assault survivors. She wants survivors to get top priority treatment and not have to go through CPS’s extended 2-call system. She also wants more trauma counselors for LGBTQ student survivors (there is currently only one).

Singh also said that, according to Suzanne Goldberg, more sexual assault data will be released on Tuesday. Activists have asked for data on how long cases take to be adjudicated, what kinds of punishments are given, how many cases are overturned, and the percentage of respondents found guilty, but there are no specifics on what data exactly will be released, and since the administration has been reluctant to give out this data before, Singh “can’t promise anything” about what will happen Tuesday.

See more CCSC updates after the jump.

Bwoglines: Mattresses Edition
shutterstock_158494358

No “no sleeping” sign in sight. Score!

Be sure to order the new mattress heartthrob Ashton Kutcher claims to be comfy (via his generous investments). Does sleeping on the same latex bed product as him mean that you can brag to friends you’ve slept with Ashton? (Fortune)

Newest publication from a feminist American Canadian author Barnard women are sure to rave about! (New York Times)

Is your mattress topper not giving you the good enough illusion that you’re sleeping on something comfortable? Learn how maybe you made the wrong choice in August during that stressful Bed Bath & Beyond trip with mom. (The Telegraph)

CU’s mattress mayhem got some coverage over the weekend. (NY Mag)

Mattress Firm via Shutterstock

Overseen: McBain’s New Mascot!

McBain is barely capable of sustaining human life, let alone wildlife. However, falling ceilings and ridiculous renovations somehow didn’t discourage a curious raccoon from moving in. Earlier this week, an anonymous Bwogger sent in the following tip about Mc6′s new friendly critter:

“The McBain 7 & 8 renovations have seemed to displace a lot of creatures. They have found a new home on 6. Many mice have been spotted, but we now have a new pet. A small raccoon was spotted on the fire escape. Additionally, we found tracks in the girls’ bathroom leading from the window to the garbage can.”

Sunday Sports Wrap: Tennis Opens Season In Strong (And Secret) Showings
Hella Tennis Balls

The Lions hit at least this many balls this weekend

Bwog’s sports editor Ross Chapman brings us another weekend sports wrap-up. Volleyball is apparently rocking it this season, and the field hockey team is capable of crushing you under “an unforgiving stick.” Exciting!

This weekend marked the beginning of the season for Men’s and Women’s Tennis, who went off to tournaments hosted by Princeton and Mizzou, respectively. Headlining the performances was Winston Lin, who carried his national #8 ranking into the Tiger Draw, the most competitive bracket of the Ivy Plus Tennis Invite. Lin cruised through the tournament and eventually reached the finals against someone with an impossibly tennis-y name, Zack McCourt. The climactic final resulted in Lin taking 6-3 and 6-2 sets over the Princeton number one to claim his first title of the year.

In Women’s action, Columbia went fearlessly against teams from the Big 10 and the SEC, doing battle with Nebraska, Mizzou, and Mississippi State. Victories by our top three doubles teams over Nebraska highlighted day one, and the balanced effort led to five different players racking up three wins on the tournament. Alexandra Solovyev paced the team, going 4-1 between her singles and doubles play. The Lions had a pretty even showing in day two, with the doubles pairs winning three and losing three in total against Mizzou and Mississippi State. In the singles game, the Cornhuskers of Nebraska took the number one and number seven matches, but CU took every match in between, winning four of the five in straight sets.

But oddly enough, almost none of that information could be found on official Columbia resources such as GoColumbiaLions.com or the team Twitter feeds as of 2:30 pm today, when the last of the Men’s events ended. The new Columbia Lions app offered no information about either competition, even as it offers daily updates on other tournaments. These two teams are going to be exciting this year, and we hope that information about them becomes more readily available to the student body on a day-to-day basis. This is not meant at all to suggest some secret conspiracy against the evils of racket sports. It’s just a shortcoming early in the season that will hopefully find a remedy.

More results and medal finishes from the Ivy Plus Invite, and other sporting news, after the break

Only Two Candidates Show Up To Sandwich Ambassador Debate
Mikhail Klimentov (left) and Joshua Burton

Mikhail Klimentov (left) and Joshua Burton

Today was the official Sandwich Ambassador candidate debate. Bwog sent Joseph Milholland, Satow Room Chief and Sandwich Fan, to cover the event. It was less than exciting.

At the beginning of the scheduled half hour for the Sandwich Ambassador Debate, only one candidate, first-year Joshua Burton, had shown up in the Satow Room. Of the nine candidates, only one said he was not able to show up. The moderators, Abby Abrams and Joey Levy, gave Burton time to introduce himself and asked him the three questions they had prepared for the debate and asked for questions from the audience. Junior Mikhail Klimentov arrived halfway through the debate. The moderators went through the same process with him. At the end of the debate, the Sandwich Ambassador Candidates gave their closing statements.

Burton and Klimentov’s Statements:

Introductions

  • Burton said he is basing his platform on one event that would that would invite Morningside Heights restaurants onto Columbia’s campus where they would advertise and have “unabridged access” to students. In exchange, the businesses would give more student discounts.

  • Klimentov said sandwiches are not a “necessity,” but he doesn’t want them to be “cost-prohibitive.” He said he wants his campaign to focus on the people on financial aid who he has spoken to about financial obstacles. He also hopes that his changes will help the entire student body.

More awkwardness and more sandwiches after the jump

Bwog Meeting Tonight!
How Bwog meetings look

How Bwog meetings look

Do you remember the 21st night of September?

You will if you come to the weekly Bwog meeting tonight at 7 PM in the SGO in Lerner. Come share some snacks and pitch some ideas with all your favorite Bwoggers.

Sharing Secrets via Shutterstock.

Bucket List: Téa Obreht, World Leaders Forum

Bucket List represents the intellectual privilege we enjoy as students at Columbia. 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 have a correction, please leave them in the comments. World Leaders Forum Events with registration still open are included under Recommended.

Recommended

  • “The Writing Lives Series An Evening with Novelist Téa Obreht” Buell Hall, Tuesday September 23, 7:00-9:00 PM.
  • “His Excellency Bronisław Komorowski, President of the Republic of Poland” Low Library Rotunda, Wednesday September 24, 10:00-11:00 AM. Register.
  • “To End Poverty, We Need Peace” Low Library Rotunda, Thursday September 25, 1:30-2:15. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway.
  • “Children in the Age of Sustainable Development.” Low Library Rotunda, Friday September 26, 9:00-11:30. Queen Silvia of Sweden, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Helena Thybell, Jeffrey Sachs.

Click for more events

Reminder: People’s Climate March Today!
Bwog members united for climate change

Bwog members united for climate change

Finished that paper a day early with nothing to do today? Have a dying urge to see Mayor Bill de Blasio’s face? Simply need an excuse to break outside the campus bubble? Have no fear fellow Columbians, because Bwog has the solution. Attend the People’s Climate March today and show your support at the summit on climate change. Columbia students are meeting at 72nd Street and Central Park. The march begins at 11:30 AM, so make your way over!

Friendly rally-ers showing their support in unity via Shutterstock.

Bwoglines: Lines Edition
Bwog waiting in line for the iPhone 6

Bwog waiting in line for the iPhone 6

It’s what we’ve all been waiting for: the third phase of The High Line opens today for all the nature freaks lovers out there. (New York Times)

Ice Bucket Challenge gone wrong? A Kentucky firefighter was electrocuted from nearby power lines while helping out a university marching band. (Yahoo! News)

The U.S. coast guard offloaded over 719 kilos of cocaine, worth more than $23 million, in Miami Beach, Florida. (CBS Miami)

What’s the real reason behind those long iPhone 6 lines? Some people suspect the Chinese Mafia. (Gothamist)

Cute business people waiting for an interview via Shutterstock.