Sep

22

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Neon ceramic and roses

Because Morningside Heights is always busting with cool art events, we often forget that we live in a city that busts even further with art. Just a couple blocks north is the Studio Museum in Harlem, where new Bwogger Zoë and not-new bwogger Amara headed on Thursday night.

While most students make the rounds at the Met or the MoMA for ArtHum or to class up their Instagrams, the Studio Museum of Harlem gets a little less student attention. The museum is free for Columbia students, and also stays open a lot later than other museums – you can check it out until 9 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. And it’s on 125th, which is totally walkable from campus (or only a $3 UberPool, which is what we opted for). The current exhibitions are worth seeing, especially Their Own Harlems. A celebration of the centennial of Jacob Lawrence’s birth, the exhibit explores the impact of Harlem on a variety of artists. Some of the art, like Lawrence’s own tempera paintings, date back to the 1950s, but other pieces were created as recently as 2010. All of it drives home a central point too often neglected by Columbia students: that Harlem has long been and continues to be a source of artistic inspiration and cultural resources.
We came to see Their Own Harlems, but ended up checking out the rest of the museum as well.

Click for pics

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Sep

22

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What’s ur fave????

You’re heading out from your dorm for the night when your friend texts you, “Hey, can you pick up some cups before you get here?” We all know the dilemma: Where do you go? What cups do you get? Bwoggers Ross Chapman, Rachel Deal, and Jenny Zhu tested out 8 different cup varieties from various MoHi stores to let you know your best options around campus. The cups were evaluated based on price, stability, size, the feel in your hand, and pong-ability.

First up…the free cups:

Ferris Cups – 4.5/5
What’s better than free cups? Good free cups. The cold drink cups you can find in Ferris Booth Commons have the stability and feel to match up against any cup on campus. They feel sturdy, and will bend nicely without crumpling or scarring. These cups have the added benefit of discretion–“No, officer, this is just iced tea from the dining hall.” The lips are a nice touch, and the mouths of the cups are almost as big as Solo cups, making them a good choice for pong. Unfortunately, you’d have to plan ahead if you wanted to supply a party with these–you can’t exactly just use a meal swipe at Ferris at 11 pm and go pick up some cups.

Free from the dining halls

JJ’s Mediums – 3.5/5
It’s bold, loud, and a definitive fashion statement. From first glance, the most striking thing about this cup is the ridge design along the upper lip. Paired with a smooth exterior, the design of this cup is modern yet minimalistic, exotic yet classy. This cup is one that will catch the eyes of the party. But don’t worry, this haute couture is affordable, and in fact free at JJ’s. The only aspect in which this cup is lacking is its stability; however, its plastic material is flexible, making the cup unlikely to crack.

JJ’s Smalls – 2/5
Though free, and perhaps more stable than the other cup we tested at its size (the Dart cup), there’s no real benefit to taking this cup versus the bigger ones available at JJ’s. Save yourself the trouble and head for the large cups next to the soda machine, or save yourself the meal swipe and head to MoWil.

The cups that aren’t free after the jump!

Sep

22

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Bwoggers love cool city stuff, so we couldn’t miss out on Columbia’s exhibit on Frank Llyod Wright. Staffers Jack Treanor and Bella Tincher went over this week to ponder buildings, urban decay, and suburban ideals.

In 2012 the entire collected works, papers, and models of the famous American architect was turned over to Columbia and the Museum of Fine Arts. It was decided that Columbia would house the papers in Avery, Fine Art and Architecture Library and the models would be held by MoMA. Now the two institutions are presenting two concurrent exhibitions on the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. While the MoMA exhibit has understandably received far more attention, it would be a shame to not give ample attention to Columbia’s Exhibit currently on view at the Wallach Art Gallery in it’s beautiful new space in Manhattanville, the Lenfest Center for the Arts.

The exhibit Living in America: Frank Lloyd Wright, Harlem, and Modern Housing takes a unique approach to understanding Wright’s work. It contrasts and interweaves it with the concurrent public housing projects in New York City, focusing mostly on Harlem. Wright’s work and the housing projects present two distinctly different modernist housing movements. Both were new forms of housing never before seen, focusing on efficiency, form, and functionality. Despite vastly different contexts and missions these two forms of architecture share a particular time in architecture and are linked through motivations and perspectives. While an untraditional comparison it results in an incredibly rich and interesting exhibit. Visitors are privileged with an incredible wealth of information about both Wright’s work and that of the housing projects. The exhibit does a great job painting a full picture of each of the two focal points. Visitors should be able to leave with a fleshed out picture of Wright’s work and the development of public housing in New York and when viewed together they produce a rich understanding of the nature of housing in the mid-twentieth century.

Couldn’t make it yourself? Learn more after the jump.

Sep

22

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Editor’s note: “Too lit for Ancient Greece” is not a thing, Ancient Greeks were some of the biggest partiers in all of human history.

Going to classes is stressful. Having sudden responsibilities after a long, languid summer is difficult. To help with this, two new staff writers went to a session of Reacting to the Past while drunk. Here is their account of this adventure. Disclaimer: Bwog does not endorse or approve of underage drinking, alcoholism, going to class under the influence, etc. 

It’s not even about nerves, to be honest. It wasn’t just us trying to loosen up before anything important, life-changing, groundbreaking, etc. — we just get really excited about rum. So, we got day drunk in Reacting to the Past.

For context, it’s not the first time in our lives this has happened. There have been many a Thursday night when the proximity of the weekend has convinced us this is okay, ending with us hunched over in a cramped stall the next day, the consequence of last night’s activities catching up.

But this was a 3-shot drink taken in the 15-minute interval between classes, not last night’s buzz. We walk into our class ten minutes late on account of forgetting to print our speeches. While one of us effortlessly slides into her seat, the other haphazardly stumbles into not one, but two backpacks. The former begins the session with a persistent, antiquated Game of Thrones reference. Taking five minutes of valuable session time to make smug jabs at Socrates, we realize we are too lit for Ancient Greece. While the Greeks had their Bacchanal, the Pnyx was not the place for it. As the speech ends and the assembly continues, one of us cannot stop impersonating Quavo’s iconic “well, wrap it up den” while the other is seemingly the only person in class who understands the reference.

The session ended with mild disappointment that our session had not been more entertaining. Aside from other moments empowered by the rum-fluence — such as bouts of uncontrollable laugh-coughing, ft a perpetual cold — no one could even tell that we had partaken in a pre-Reacting kickback.

One thing is clear: Reacting is best done when you’re not on three shots of alcohol, but definitely not as tolerable.

Socrates’ head via Encyclopedia Brittanica 

Sep

22

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repeat after us: fuck spec

We’ve been spotting mysterious “Fuck Spec” flyers around campus. We kind of wish it was us, but it’s not. We sent Staff Write Abby Rubel to investigate. 

Approximately eight days ago, a flyer appeared in the Hartley lobby promoting a new website: fuckspec.com. I immediately investigated, because nothing excites a Bwog writer more than someone who’s not us insulting Spec.

What I found was a minimalist website with just two links, one to a Spec op-ed about unionizing, the other to a page within fuckspec.com that copied the op-ed, but provided snarky commentary via text notes. To read the commentary, I simply clicked on the yellow highlights or red strikethroughs. Several of the notes referenced how drunk the author was, which is understandable: I also need to be drunk to convince myself to read most Spec op-eds.

About a week later, the front page of the website changed and there were now links to a different op-ed, this time about campus discourse. The previous week’s article had disappeared and the url no longer worked. The snarky commentary on the second article was slightly less hilarious, but still got in several good shots at the self-righteous tone of the op-ed.

Fuckspec.com is shrouded in mystery. The person (or group of people) behind it haven’t revealed themselves (yet), and my attempt to find out who had registered the domain name was futile. I do, however, have some theories.

Frustrated by the shortage of alcohol at parties, the Spectrum staff decided to quit Spec and vent their rage. The site hasn’t been active since late August, about the same time fuckspec.com started…

The Lion: sick and tired of being the most ignored campus news organization other than Quarto, they decided to knock Spec down a few pegs.

Suzanne Goldberg–she probably needs something to do in between ruling over all she surveys and yelling at students.

Bwog.

Want to prove my theories right or wrong? Email tips@bwog.com

Sep

22

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The face of the man that saved us all.

Happening in the world: Lots of natural disasters. In Mexico City, rescuers spent days attempting to save a little girl stuck in rubble, and the effort abruptly stopped when “Navy Assistant Secretary Angel Enrique Sarmiento said there is no missing child at the collapsed Mexico City school that has been the focus of rescue efforts” (NPR).

Happening in the United States: The GOP is scrambling to pass another Obamacare repeal by September 30, but even Jimmy Kimmel thinks the bill sucks. We aren’t exactly surprised. (Rolling Stone)

Happening in NYC: Amazon may be opening a second headquarters in NYC, expanding from its current home in Seattle. As if Columbia CS majors had any trouble getting jobs already. (New York Post)

Happening on Campus: Want to learn more about human rights reporting? There’s a talk in Kent Hall today from 1-2pm!

Overseen: Some girl using her flashlight to find her friend during the middle of this movie…rude.

 

Image via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Sep

21

Even Homer can’t handle this bullshit.

After having been back at Columbia University for a few weeks, Bwog is once again struck by how little attention their classmates have paid to the assigned readings- or logic in general. Here, Bwog Senior Staff Writer Gabrielle Kloppers recounts a few choice excerpts.

“I know these are statues, but like…the Greeks…didn’t actually fight centaurs, right?” – regarding the Parthenon. Art Hum truly is illuminating!

“Plato’s use of censorship in the Kallipolis is like, totally like the core office picking only white men for the CC syllabus.” Yes, Plato was thinking of us.

“I thought this was Egyptian Architecture.” – Economy and Society

“Mencken would have been a Trump supporter.” Mencken would have decried the democratic system that allowed Trump to come to power.

Even more idiocy

Sep

21

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Ah, youth

Sometimes, in our daily lives at Columbia, we see another student do something so inspiring that we feel compelled to share their story with everyone on campus. Managing Editor Betsy Ladyzhets had such an experience a few nights ago.

At first glance, she seemed unassuming. Just another student milling through the Monday night JJ’s rush, her blonde hair bouncing above her shoulders. Only some aimless first-year, seeking fried food and easy procrastination material before returning to some Lit Hum paper.

But then, I looked closer, and realized that this was no typical JJ’s patron. This student was not eyeing the curly fries, joining the omelette line, or even partaking in the slightly questionable salad bar. No, this girl had a goal. A desire. A purpose. She passed lines and snack stations alike in a beeline to one corner, where the popcorn machine stood red and gleaming in the low fluorescent lights.

There is something oddly poetic about the JJ’s popcorn machine. It doesn’t quite fit with the sleek aesthetics of the rest of the dining hall, seemingly pulled from an old movie theater or a country fair. But this student didn’t waste any time pondering the machine’s metaphorical ramifications – she simply pulled open the glass door, popped the top of the take-out tray she was carrying, and began to fill the entire thing with buttery popcorn.

Let me repeat: she filled an entire take-out tray with just popcorn.

An entire take-out tray with just popcorn!

Sep

21

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I’ll have the cava, please.

When most Columbia students hear the word “CAVA,” they immediately conjure up images of drunken freshman passing out in Carman. But not every call to CAVA is for a late night rescue! Sometimes, people at Columbia actually fuck up (while sober) and need some legit help. Here’s a brainstorm of some obscure injuries that might call for CAVA (not that I’ve experienced any of these…)

Falling down the stairs.

This one is real, y’all. One day you’re racing down the steep, uneven steps of your brownstone on your way to your 2:40 and then BAM! You trip and fall on your ass, bouncing thud thud thud down the stairs. Before you know it, you’re being hauled onto a stretcher and sent away to St. Luke’s where you’ll get an xray of your ass. It’ll be super painful and super embarrassing, but at least you avoided the ambulance fee if you would have just called 911.

Tripping on Low Plaza.

Ahh, another beautiful day at Columbia! It’s the late afternoon and students are crowding Low Steps enjoying the sunshine. From a distance you hear Bodak Yellow playing from someone’s speakers, and when you look toward Alma, your friends wave you over. As you skip in excitement to join in on the fun, all of a sudden SPLATYou’re on the ground. Twisted ankle. Bruised knees. Everybody stops and stares (even that fucking feet-bottle-throwing guy). A few minutes later and you see that familiar CAVA truck come scuttling down College Walk to your rescue. Note to self: walk slower next time.

More embarrassing injuries after the jump

Sep

21

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What ever happened to predictability?

Happening in the world: With allegations of tampering with the results of the Kenyan presidential election, the Kenyan Supreme Court ruled that the election be “re-run” within the next 60 days. The voting irregularities found convinced the court to dismiss the election results. This is the first time that an African country is redoing an election. (BBC)

Happening in the United States: Cities in California are suing oil companies for the environmental damage that is being inflicted on their cities. Both Oakland and San Francisco are seeking money to protect homes and city property from climate change. (Buzzfeed)

Happening in NYC: After being completed, the 2nd Avenue subway failed to finish the final steps of safety testing. Although the line is under a “temporary safety certificate.” Introducing an $800 million plan to fix problems with the overall subway system, Cuomo has been criticized for starting new projects instead of solving current problems. (NY Times)

Happening on campus: The President of Costa Rica is coming to the World Leaders Forum! If you’re unable to see His Excellency speak in person, Columbia is live streaming the event.

Overheard:

Person 1: “I’m more into the fruity ice cream, like sorbet.”
Person 2: “That sounds like gay ice cream.”

Person 3: “Sorb-gay.”

 

 

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Sep

20

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This past summer, the Columbia Daily Spectator was forced out of its old office space on Broadway between 11th and 112th Street. The publication has not yet found a permanent new home, but for the time being its staff has taken over a few rooms in Riverside Church. Whether or not this move uptown is part of Columbia’s Manhattanville gentrification expansion remains to be seen.

Since we learned of Spec’s new location, several Bwog staffers have made the only natural next step: attempting to infiltrate. We’ve bugged our friends (and our “friends”) in Spec, we’ve pleaded and cajoled, we’ve even gone to Riverside Church and knocked on the door a few times – all to no avail. Spec is keeping the insides of its new space more locked down than the buttons of their carefully pressed khakis. However, we did get enough information from our sources to develop the following artistic representation of the Spec office; we hope that this at least somewhat sates the curiosity of our readers.

Sep

20

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More stressful than any exam

Yesterday afternoon, Ken Burns himself visited Columbia’s hallowed halls to discuss his new documentary on the Vietnam War, along with co-director Lynn Novick, Dean Awn, and two veterans (one a GS alum who served in Vietnam and one a current GS student who served in Iraq and Afghanistan). We sent newly minted staff writer Abby Rubel to the event; her thoughts on both documentary and discussion are below.

Ken Burns is a documentary maker primarily known for his signature photo effect and secondarily for the thought-provoking, thorough documentaries he makes on subjects ranging from baseball and the national park system to the Civil War. His new documentary, co-directed with long-time collaborator Lynn Novick, covers the Vietnam War with a focus on providing perspectives from everyone involved, from the soldiers who fought it to the Vietnamese whose lives were destroyed by it.

On Tuesday, Burns and Novick stopped by Low Library for a forum focusing on one specific perspective on the war: that of veterans scarred by battle returning to college campuses hostile to the war. The panel consisted of Burns; Novick; Michael K. Heaney, JD, PhD, a Marine who served in Vietnam and spent a semester at GS; and Mark Franklin, GS ‘19, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. Dean Peter Awn (GS) moderated and President Bollinger made some brief introductory remarks.

In his introduction, Bollinger discussed the importance of the Vietnam War in shaping the worldview of his generation as well as the many ways in which it can inform us today. (Though he did not explain what those ways were.) He also discussed the importance of GS as an institution for veterans, a subject Awn also touched on briefly in his opening statement. Thankfully, these mentions were brief–there are few things more annoying than Columbia lauding itself.

What did the panelists talk about?

Sep

20

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We got acquainted with a new, highly diverse cast of characters in this week’s GSSC meeting

Each Wednesday, Bwog presents a recap of the General Studies Student Council (GSSC) meeting from the night before. Senior Staffer Alex Tang attended yesterday’s meeting and brings us the highlights.

Last night, the General Studies Student Council met for their second meeting of the 2016-2017 academic year. The main focus of this week’s meeting was on the introduction of nine new nominees for open GSSC positions. Having already applied and interviewed with the council, these nine GSSC students had been nominated for their respective positions. All nominees gave speeches briefly introducing themselves and their prospective goals for GSSC. During a closed vote by the council, all nine GSSC nominees were approved.

Without further ado, here are the new students we’ll be seeing in GSSC this year! Included in the descriptions below are interesting lines or tidbits from each of their presentations:

Click here to meet the new GSSC board members!

Sep

20

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Happening in the World: If you thought this summer’s season of natural disasters had finally ended, you’d be sadly mistaken – a 7.1 earthquake struck central Mexico yesterday. So far, at least 149 people been killed and hundreds of buildings have been destroyed. (LA Times)

Happening in the United States: A woman dubbed “the Mad Pooper” has been spotted defecating on the sidewalk in front of a family’s home in Colorado Springs. This isn’t an isolated incident; this jogger has allegedly pooped in this spot at least once a week for the past seven weeks. (Washington Post)

Happening in NYC: Hurricane José is expected to turn towards New York City this weekend. However, by the time it reaches the city on Monday, it will most likely be weakened to a tropical storm, resulting in a couple of inches of rain and some wind at most. (NY Post)

Happening on Campus: Barnard Student Life will host the third in a series of workshops on transitioning to college life today. Today’s event, led by two Writing Fellows, focuses on college writing (specifically, the differences between academic writing in high school and college), and will take place from 6 to 8 pm in Diana LL104.

Overseen: Someone braving yesterday’s rain in… socks?

This is about as far from rain boots as you can get

Sep

20

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Most bagels, when they turn twenty years old, grow stale and moldy, but not this one. Our own bagel is twenty years old and beautiful and thriving. She is a beautiful bagel and a perfect bagel in chief. Here is photographic evidence of her thriving. I found every single picture on my phone and computer that I could in my exhausted state. This is my favorite bagel and also my favorite titty. By my, I mean Bwog’s. Please wish her a happy birthday by texting her, messaging her, commenting, emailing tips@bwog.com, amara@bwog.com, editor@bwog.com, etc. Happy birthday, Amara! We Love You!!!

 

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