Advice From A Crusty Alumnus

This afternoon we received an email from a self-titled “rapidly crusting alum,” who has imparted some special words of counsel. With a full Spring semester ahead, we share this timely letter.

From: Anonymous
Subject: Crusty alum advice

Hi Bwog,

I am a rapidly-crusting alum writing you from the office. And at the start of this spring semester I have some advice I was hoping you’d run as an open letter. It’s brief. Here goes.

It is the spring of ’15, you have 0.5-3.5 years of college left. During those remaining years, strive to “hold fast to the spirit of youth.” By which I mean do two things as much as is possible and responsible for you: get laid as much as you can and read as much as you can.


The Blue And White Needs Techies!
The Blue And White Wants You!

The Blue And White Wants You!

Attention! Are you good at website design or coding? Interested in online illustration? Trying to find an extra-curricular to fill the gap of that four point class you just dropped?

The Blue And White, also known as our parent in print-form, is Columbia’s monthly undergraduate magazine. The magazine is looking for people to assist with website tech.

Students interested in joining can visit their website, FacebookTwitter, or email for more information!


Columbia-themed political propaganda via Shutterstock

Bwog Meeting Tonight—Join Us!
Our faithful defender of all things good

Our faithful defender of all things good

The world is full of three two types of people: the good and the bad and the ugly. At Columbia, we know that those people are Bwog and Spec and the Lion.

There will be a time in everyone’s life when they must choose between white wine or red the light and the dark. That day is today.

Join us tonight at 7PM in the SGO on the 5th floor of Lerner at Bwog’s first meeting of the year! Snacks and beverages will be provided. All are welcome to attend!


Taylor Skywalker via FaceInHole

Bucketlist: Art, Poetry, And Hip-Hop

Bucket List represents the intellectual privilege we enjoy as Columbia students. Welcome to our first Bucket List of the Spring Semester! 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 a correction, please leave them in the comments.


  • “Black Odysseys: Artists in Conversation” Low Library. Wednesday January 28, 6:30-8:30 PM. Elizabeth Alexander, Marilyn Nelson, Rowan Ricardo Philips. Registration Required.
  • “The Nonfiction Dialogues: Wayne Koestenbaum” Room 501 Dodge. Wednesday January 28, 7:00 PM.
  • “Exhibit Opening: The Dreamer from the Northern Lights” IAB Harriman Atrium. Thursday January 29, 6:00-8:00 PM. Andrey Bartenev, Natasha Sharymova.
  • “The Cultural Politics of French Hip-Hop” Buell Hall East Gallery. Thursday January 29, 6:00-7:30 PM. Felicia McCarren, Barbara Browning, Madeleine Dobie.

Monday, January 26

  • “What’s Next? The Ukraine Crisis in the Global Context.” IAB 1501, 5:00-7:00 PM. Alexander Cooley, Valery Kuchinsky, Kimberly Marten, Jack Snyder.
  • “The Politics of Russian and Western Responses to Refugee Displacement from Eastern Ukraine” Sulzberger Parlor, 6 PM. Raphi Rechitsky.
  • “Whose Modernism? El Greco and Art’s History.” 612 Schermerhorn, 6:00-8:00 PM. Charles Barber.
  • “Film Screening: The Unvanquished.” IAB 1219. 7:30-9:30 PM.

Tuesday, January 27

  • “How to Run for an Office: the Art of Campaigning.” IAB 1201, 1:15-2:30 PM. Anna Matukova.
  • “Front Propagation in Population Dynamics and Combustion” Applied Mathematics Colloquium. Mudd 214, 2:45-3:45 PM. Christopher Henderson.
  • “Book Talk: Whither the World: the Political Economy of the Future.” IAB 1512, 5:00-6:30 PM. Grezegorz Kolodko.
  • “M.S. in Sustainability Management Information Session.” Faculty House, 6:30-8:00 PM.

Read more after the jump!

Weekend Sports Wrap: An Evening Of Missed Opportunities
Looking for the open shot

Looking for the open shot

Aspiring sports journalists Ross Chapman and Max Rettig bring you the latest coverage of all things basketball (and other sporting festivities).

Preseason Ivy League basketball favorite Harvard fell to Dartmouth yesterday, 61-70. 2013-14 runner-up Yale only barely beat Brown, 69-65. And Columbia found itself in a position to change the Ivy landscape and assert itself as a major contender for the conference title. A win against Cornell would have put the Lions at 2-0, in front of the Crimson and tied with the Bulldogs, ahead of a crucial showdown next week. But the Lions couldn’t shake their shooting demons and lost to the Big Red, 47-57, squandering a huge chance to control their own destiny in an Ivy season in which every game matters.

The Lions led for much of the first 20 minutes, but never comfortably. After about 14 minutes, Cornell got its first lead at 18-17. Then, in the waning minutes of the half, first-year Kyle Castlin notched a fast five to put Columbia back in front, 23-21. But Cornell’s Dave LaMore netted a buzzer-beater tip-in on a ball that was about to roll out, and the Big Red led 27-25 as the college players left the court and the pee-wee players took over as halftime entertainment.

The Lions were within easy striking distance—a trey would put them ahead. Then they got shut down by a high-pressure Cornell defense for the first seven minutes of the second half. Maodo Lo ended that drought, but Columbia’s offense stagnated again shortly thereafter. Shonn Miller and Co. charged ahead with under five minutes on the clock to put the Lions in as much as a 13-point hole they would not climb out of, gaining only three more points the rest of the way.

While they hung right with Cornell for the first half, the Lions shot a meager 27 percent from the floor in the second half, a result of poor shot choices and conservative play. Several potential breakaway opportunities ended when the Lions held on for too long and allowed all of the Big Red defenders to get in position. Usually a mild scoring threat at best, Isaac Cohen led the Lions’ effort with 13 points on 6-10 shooting, and senior center Cory Osetkowski collected 13 boards, a game-high total. Maodo Lo again was tamed. For Cornell, who shot close to 45 percent, Shonn Miller excelled, notching 18 points, nine rebounds and four of Cornell’s nine blocks. Galal Cancer added 16 points on 7-of-12 from the floor.

On a night when Cornell remedied its mistakes from last week’s slopfest, Columbia simply did not. The Lions still shot abysmally (32.8% on the game), Maodo Lo couldn’t get started (11 points, 3 fouls), and the offense again fell victim to a high-pressure, in-your-face defense, a trend the Lions will have to buck if they hope to meet, or surpass, their high expectations from last season. Though they squandered a critical opportunity to join Yale at the top of the standings, the Lions (9-7, 1-1) are still only one game back of the Bulldogs. This makes the Lions’ next matchup against Yale on Friday at 8 pm in Levien Gym especially important. A Columbia win would even out Columbia and Yale (and probably Harvard) as Ivy leaders at 2-1. If you can’t make it out to Levien to jeer at the Elis, you can catch the game on TV on SNY or on the air at WKCR 89.9 FM.

But Columbia still found ways to win yesterday…

Bwoglines: Shocking Edition
Bwoglines so shocking it's like 19,000,000 V to the chest

Bwoglines so shocking it’s like 19,000,000 V to the chest

If you’ve been anxiously awaiting RiRi’s new album like the rest of us, get ready for the highlight of your month: Rihanna, Paul McCartney, and Kanye West on a new track titled “FourFiveSeconds.” (EOnline)

Is it possible there might be a ninth tenth ninth planet out there between Mars and Jupiter? We’re about to find out. This March, a small robot named “Dawn” will land on the asteroid Ceres, an asteroid that is also quite small, for the first time ever. (Popular Science)

“Ban guns! Give everyone tasers and mace!” yelled the north-easterners seeking a less-lethal tactic to stopping crime. Apparently they were wrong. Turns out tasers are just as lethal as guns. (Star Tribune)

Is it possible everyone’s favorite mile-high publication is going out of business? According to the interwebs, SkyMall has just filed for bankruptcy, ending its monopolistic reign of literature available to travelers in the sky. (The Verge)

Shock the world via Shutterstock

Overheard: Dinner Plans
Happily wondering where his next meal is coming from

Happily wondering where his next meal is coming from

A tipster overheard the following exchange between two students in line for an advising appointment:

Junior: What year are you?
Where you trying to go after this?
Oh, uh, John Jay I guess.
For what?




Blissful shortsightedness via Shutterstock

CUSS With Us

Are you a talented, shining star? Have you ever wanted to go catfishing in Butler or get drunk on a piano? Is getting lost in the Teacher’s College or wearing a giant pumpkin head up your alley? If you’re enthusiastically nodding right now, today is your lucky day!

CUSS (Columbia’s only Bwog’s favorite video sketch group) is looking for comic actors to join its talented ensemble. Auditions will be held tomorrow (Sunday, Jan 25) in Hamilton from 6-9. Signs with the exact room number will be posted in the Hamilton Lobby on the day of auditions. Come prepared with a comedic monologue of your choosing (2 mins or less) or read from one of the sides provided.

CUSS Season 1 Trailer from Bwog on Vimeo.

More questions? Check out the Facebook event or email for more info.

Nobody Asked Tats: Recruitment Edition
A "candid," as the youths call it.

A “candid,” as the youths call it.

Need bad advice? Interested in seeing your life go up in flames and down the drain? Never fear — our trusty editor Tatini Mal-Sarkar is here to save you from yourself your worst nightmare. Notorious for poor life choices, who better to guide you through the trials and tribulations of the college years? This session, we bring you our handy-dandy guide to that timeless question that likely had even Aristotle scratching his head: what should I wear for rush?

Dear Tats,

Literally all I have ever wanted in this life is to be a sorority girl – or a srat, as they are colloquially known. Next week is rush recruitment, and I’m quivering in my boots at the prospect of impressing a room full of beautiful, polished young women. Such gleaming, styled locks of hair! So many statement accessories! So much coral! So tell me, dear Tats, o proprietor of savory fashion advice, what exactly should I wear for this most perilous of events?

Sincerely, What’s Wrong With Bodycon?

More, more, more!

Bwoglines: New Millennium Edition
Leap into something new

Leap into something new.

The National Institutes of Health awarded Columbia Professor Karolynn Siegel and her team $432,000 over two years to study participants’ arousal when using gay hookup apps like Grindr. (The Washington Free Beacon)

Airline staple SkyMall‘s parent company, Xhibit, has filed for bankruptcy. The firm blames the popularity of electronics for its rapidly declining sales figures. The magazine’s biggest creditors are, strangely, Delta and American Airlines; you’d think they’d have seen this coming. (USA Today)

The Jamaican senate is about to consider a bill to drastically relax the nation’s marijuana laws. The bill would decriminalize possession up to two ounces and legalize its use for medicinal and religious (i.e., Rastafarian) purposes, as well as open the doors for the creation of a legal ganja farming industry. (Guardian)

Meanwhile, President Obama said that he expects states to continue to experiment with marijuana legalization and that the federal government will try to stay out of their way. (Washington Post)

The source of a strange blue glow that appeared in the ocean near Hong Kong has been identified as Noctiluca scintillans, a toxic and destructive organism that reproduces rapidly when it comes in contact with farm runoff. At least we have pretty pictures. (AP via National Post)

The march of life via Shutterstock

We Tried The Peter Bailinson Diet
Only slightly less glamorous than our own correspondent.

Only slightly less glamorous than our own correspondent.

What better way to understand the minds of the great than through a diet consisting entirely of symbolic representations of their lifestyles? Inspired by this article at New York Magazine, we decided to apply the technique to true greatness: relatively well known Columbia campus celebrities. Correspondent and celebrity connoisseur Rachel Deal lived a (short) week on the Peter Bailinson diet and reaped the rewards. 


Since Peter is an RA (my RA) and therefore still on the meal plan, I decided to eat my first dinner inspired by Peter at Ferris. Unfortunately, all the tables were full (too early in the semester to order Seamless every night?), so I ended up at a table outside the room on Lerner 5 where CCSC meets. I ate a salad and an apple, and I took a picture of my meal, but I decided that maybe that was something Peter wouldn’t actually do (his Instagram has 0 posts, after all) and quickly deleted it.

I like to imagine that Peter unwinds after a long day by drinking wine and eating popcorn à la Olivia Pope, so I put on my dad’s ratty L.L. Bean sweatshirt (since Peter is from Maine) and drank Diet Coke (ugh, life’s hard when you’re writing an article that your RA will definitely be reading) and ate Costco-brand pop chips.


I woke up late and decided to skip breakfast because I thought maybe Peter would be too busy with meetings to eat. I planned to wear my Bean Boots (New England!) but I realized I had forgotten to bring them back to school with me.

For lunch, I ate a salad and some tortilla soup at John Jay. For dinner, I tried the Indian food at Ferris. I then “de-stressed” again by drinking some “soda” with friends and eating a trail mix granola bar (I feel like Peter would like hiking).


I woke up early to go to a meeting (was chugging coffee during it) (I am basically as busy as Peter), and afterward I ate some Nutella toast and Cheerios at Ferris because Peter told me that he actually does eat breakfast every day.

Peter said he’s been eating a lot of Vine recently, but for lunch I was kind of in a rush, so I settled for some spicy salmon sushi from Café East. For dinner, I headed over to Hewitt (a more low-key atmosphere for a campus celeb like Peter) and had chicken tikka masala and a lemon bar.

That night, I hung out in my Carman double with a few pals (Peter was chilling in his own room only a few doors down!!). I listened to a little bit of Taylor Swift (My favorite song from 1989 is “I Know Places.” Peter, please text me your favorite, thx) before heading out to various late-night Morningside Heights establishments. I ended the night by chilling in the floor lounge with my friend from across the hall and scribbling something on Peter’s white board about wanting to drink wine with him.

Your life, on the Bailinson diet, via Shutterstock

Beat Cornell (And Other Schools) This Weekend
wait they don't look like they're on the same court

Maybe if you ask nicely, you can get their autographs

If you couldn’t tell from the basketball cupcakes in Ferris today, or the advertising in Dodge, or the Facebook event, or the mass e-mail sent from Roar-ee the Lion’s comfortable Florida home, Columbia basketball will have its home opener tomorrow. The women (6-9, 0-1 Ivy) will tip off at 4:30 pm against Cornell (10-5, 1-0 Ivy), while the men (9-6, 1-0 Ivy) start their game against the Big Red (8-9, 0-1 Ivy) at 7:00 pm. The Lions encourage you to come to both games, and they will likely enforce that enthusiasm by handing out all 300 “Beat Cornell” shirts prior to the early game.

The women have already won as many games this season as they did all of last season. The offense, ranked second in the Ivies, is led by sophomore Tori Oliver (17.9 ppg) and freshman Camille Zimmerman (15.1 ppg), who are second and sixth in the league, respectively.  The team also leads the league in rebounds, with senior Amara Mbionwu pacing the team’s physical board effort with 9.6 rpg. The team has reveled in drama this season; they won two games in a row in November in overtime and have traded double digit leads with the opposition in multiple games. Expect the Lions to excel in Levien – 5 of their 6 victories have come in Morningside Heights.

The men’s story, contrary to simplification, is not one about life without Alex Rosenberg. Neither is it about life without Meiko Lyles, Zach En’Wezoh, and Grant Mullins. More inspiring is how those missing 90 minutes per game have been made up. Junior Maodo Lo has rocketed to Ivy stardom since his buzzer beater last postseason, commanding the Lions offense and becoming the primary stealing threat in the league. Freshman Kyle Castlin has become a consistent driving threat, posting a 50% field goal percentage, and senior Steve Frankowski has staked his claim as one of the most reliable perimeter shooters in the Ivies. This team didn’t just hang around with #1 Kentucky – they scared the hell out of them. If they play like they did in Lexington, they win any game, anywhere, on their schedule.

Swimming and Wrestling will host competition this weekend, too!

Student-Faculty Advisory Committee On Race In Education Announced

President Bollinger has just announced in an email to Columbia students that a student-faculty advisory committee is being formed to focus on issues of “race, ethnicity, and equal justice in our society.” The committee will be headed by Suzanne Goldberg, the new Executive Vice President of student life. The full text of the email is shared below.

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

This week’s national holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. arrives at a troubling time for America, at a moment of national reflection on the realities of race in our society. The present cause may be the response of the judicial system to the deaths of black citizens in encounters with the police, including in our own city, but those issues only touch on a far wider set of societal problems and concerns. The simple and hard fact is that, for all the real progress in the nation since the march from Selma and the passage of historic civil rights and voting rights legislation, we still as a country are afflicted by the profound and tragic legacies of a long history of invidious racial discrimination on the bases of race and ethnicities.

I have personally been involved with, and written about, the inequities in our public education system and the responsibilities and hopes of our universities in light of the past and present. Far from living in a supposed “post-racial” society, there is a pervasive re-segregation of our schools, so that many systems today, North as much as South, are as racially segregated as at the time of the landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, more than sixty years ago. We do, indeed, have a long way to go.

Now, the question for a great research university like Columbia, whose students, faculty, and alumni have long played such monumental roles in the quest for civil and human rights and social justice, is: what can we do in the ways of research, teaching, and public understanding to contribute to the fundamental changes that still must occur if our nation is finally to transcend the past and live up to its founding principles?

To help answer this question I have asked our new Executive Vice President for University Life, Suzanne Goldberg, to convene a student-faculty advisory committee to develop a slate of programs to add to those that naturally occur on our campus which consider issues of race, ethnicity, and equal justice in our society. We should have discussions across campus to help us understand these critical issues better than we do. To be at Columbia is to experience the wealth of knowledge and expertise we have in these areas of our national life, and it would be enormously beneficial for us all to draw on that wealth and see what we can learn collectively.

Let us use these months ahead to apply the intellectual power and passion for improving our society in ways that not only make Columbia better, but also to realize the promise of our nation’s core principles and, as Dr. King memorably said, to bend the arc of history towards justice.


Lee C. Bollinger

Party Themes Advisable To Avoid

As you prepare yourselves for that rare weekend fueled by life and excitement (instead of the more typical desperation and pent up rage), take a moment to consult the following guide, lest you find yourself featured in our pages next Monday. Whether we have reached an age of new enlightenment, or have just discovered political correctness offers new outlets to express our clear intellectual superiority, cultural dickery just isn’t cool any more. So whether you are throwing a party, considering attending a party, or just sitting in your room resenting your lack of a social life, remember that the time of dinosaurs (and sluts) is past.

  • Jezebel/feminist journalism
  • Taco Tuesday
  • Cops and Robbers
  • Colonial Bros and Navajos
  • Black and White Party or alternatively BLACKOUT
  • White Party
  • Ghetto Fabulous
  • Morning After (Pill)
  • Hoe Down
  • Dinosaurs and Sluts
  • Raise the Roofie
  • Cupid’s Chokehold
  • Cinco de Mayonnaise
  • Eskihoes
  • 1% (Sorry St. A’s…)
Bwoglines: The Youth Claim The World Edition
Clearly qualified to run the world. Look at the selfie game.

Clearly qualified to run the world. Look at the selfie game.

Begin your day by considering the new cultural standard. Thanks to the design of a new hook-up app,  individuals, even regions, can now be graded on their skill at online dating. Enjoy that Manhattan received an A.  Enjoy that the Bronx received an F. Enjoy that this is the world now, thanks to you, the youth. (New York Daily News)

A discussion on this world and the issues it faces was streamed live on YouTube yesterday, held by those figures of greatest influence: our YouTube stars. President Obama was also there. (The White House Blog)

In an appeal directly to the youth, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei released a letter over Twitter yesterday asking young Americans and Europeans learn about Islam from original sources before passing judgement. (New York Times)

Chasing after a market borne of the insatiability of data hungry consumers (read: the youth), Google is entering the wireless service industry. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Finishing your morning off with the reminder that youth need not apply only to individuals and demographics, but to governments as well. Meet the Houthis, who have only just yesterday overthrew Yemen’s government.  Crazy kids! Welcome to the world stage! (Washington Post)

Eminently punchable youth via Shutterstock