Feb

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Laura and collaborators collecting musings on love from New York commuters for her project Conversation Hearts.

Laura and collaborators collecting musings on love from New York commuters for Conversation Hearts.

A pretty daunting (and equivocal) title, eh? Strange titles don’t intimidate us! Last night we sent new staffer Raji Ganapathy all the way to Knox Hall to check out this art talk co-sponsored by the Columbia Center for Oral History Research and the Oral History Master of Arts Program. Here are her thoughts.

As I power-walked the the four blocks to Knox Hall, armed with a Chai Tea Latte in one hand and a croissant in the other, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this event. Land art? Urban canvases? Brooklyn? What did it all mean? I continued to ponder as I found myself sitting at a round table in a sweet little room populated mostly by oral history graduate students and the friends and family of the two guest speakers.

As the lights dimmed, Laura Barnett, an artist and grad student in Columbia’s oral history program, introduced herself and began to present some of the art she has created over the past decade or so, so that we could understand “her background and what experiences she [was] coming in with.” Laura’s art seems to center on the theme of sharing stories and memories in a public, urban space. She stated that she emphasizes themes such as shared authority and the coexistence of multiple perspectives in her work, and as she described some of her favorite projects to the audience, I saw the essence of these themes captured quite meaningfully.

The first piece Laura shared was Memory Kit, an art exhibition featured at Union Theological Seminary in 2014 which gave viewers their own “memory kits” filled with acorns that they could use to mark significant or beautiful moments in their lives. Another piece she shared was Conversation Hearts, a collaborative poem that includes the voices of unrelated individuals from all of New York City’s boroughs. As someone with little experience examining or creating performance art, I found Laura’s work quite fascinating. She was able to take some very private aspects of human interaction, such as emotionality and sentimentality, and translate them into artwork that was accessible, collaborative, and highly interpretative. By involving her audience in the creation of her pieces in such a fundamental way, Laura was able to portray very basic but genuine human interactions as “art.”

Discover land art after the break

Feb

5

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wow i'm bad at ms paint

Two seniors with everything to prove face off

Columbia and Yale have been held down for far too long. These two teams haven’t been to the NCAA tournament since the 60’s, but are now both 4-0 and will face off tonight at 5 p.m. in New Haven. The winner of the match will have the inside track to securing the Ivy League title, an opportunity Columbia hasn’t come close to in over twenty years.

Columbia comes into this match only a slight underdog, but the preseason projections can’t capture the totally different historical trajectories of these two teams. Columbia, historically, has not done well in men’s Ivy basketball. Since 1993-94, the Lions have only had one winning season. Even following a successful 2013-14 campaign (8-6), the Lions were unable to maintain their momentum due to injuries and an inability to close out games.  Yale, on the other hand, hasn’t had a losing season since 2009-10. Just like in the academic polls, Yale has consistently found itself a #3 to Harvard and Princeton throughout the 2010’s. Last season, the Bulldogs came within seconds of finally securing their first NCAA bid since 1962, but crumbled in the final seconds of their final two games. The Lions, if they continue their run this season, will look to earn their first spot in the tournament since 1968.

Both teams have a remarkable senior class which hasn’t been wholly together until this year. For the Lions, Maodo Lo leads the team in points, 3-pointers, minutes, and steals, as he has become the star of the team since his buzzer-beating shot against Valparaiso in the CIT two years ago. He temporarily dethroned Alex Rosenberg as the Lion in the spotlight when Rosenberg went down with a foot injury and missed last season, but now that Alex has a buzzer-beater of his own on the highlight reel, they’re both once again big men on campus. Grant Mullins is our resident sharpshooter, and Isaac Cohen, battling through some injuries, is the rebounding and assist machine through which the offense loves to run. Yale, meanwhile, has their own star in Justin Sears, a forward who’s dominated most Ivy squads for the last two years. Their seniors also include Jack Montague, a 3-point shooter who has a history of burning the Lions, and Brandon Sherrod, the Whiffenpoofs singer who’s hit 25 straight field goals.
Viewing party and channel info after the break!

Feb

5

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Dave's brownies + birthday wishes at ButCafé.

Dave’s brownies + birthday wishes at ButCafé.

Remember when Bwog turned 10? Remember when we changed our logo, posted a lot of cool articles, and reminisced about the beginning of the internet? It was great, and to perpetuate the nostalgia, here’s a Bwog Asked from patrons of ButCafé on what they think of Bwog now. The staffer who gathered these responses noted: “These responses are still better than some of the things my brother has written in my birthday cards tbh.” Alas.

“It’s alright.”
“I think the senior wisdoms are really funny.”
“Spec has better articles.”
“Mostly gossip.”
“I hate Bwog.”
“I don’t know I don’t read it often .”
“I like how it’s always been a good place to get quick campus news? Yea Bwog is alright.”
“It used to be funnier.”
“Is Bwog the one with the crown?”

Image via Bwog

Feb

5

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The Hamilton knows what's up.

The Hamilton knows what’s up.

Two weeks ago, we finally acknowledged how fucking cold it was. Now we don’t know what’s happening with the weather. Is it snowing? Cloudy? Sunny? Windy? Raining? Since it’s only the beginning of February, anything could happen. But have no fear! The Bwog Staff has compiled a list of ways to stay warm for the rest of winter – ways you might not have considered before.

  • Put your coat on the vents at John Jay Dining Hall while eating
  • Or just spend your entire day in the back room of John Jay Dining Hall. It’s a sauna in there.
  • Spend a lot more time in the Hamilton elevator (excess body heat)
  • Walk over subway vents on Broadway
  • Stand on that vent behind Butler
  • Stand on that vent in front of Butler (like all the international smokers do)
  • Stand on that vent outside of the law school on 116
  • Stand on any vent?? Why are there so many vents on this campus?? We don’t question it. We love it.
  • Put ur gloves underneath your thighs while you’re sitting (then when you put them on your hands will be warm)
  • Win Ham4Ham
  • Stand outside Dig Inn for as long as you can before fainting from the overpowering scent of grilled chicken

More ways to keep toasty

Feb

5

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Our pal Bill

Our pal Bill

Did ya catch Obama’s State of the Union the other week? NYC’s very own mayor, Bill de Blasio gave a similar address last night, titled “State of the City.” Watch here! (NYC.gov)

Democratic presidential candidates Bernie and Hill debated each other last night on NBC! Both refused to answer the question as to what issues they would prioritize if they became prez. (NY Times)

Conspiracy theorists have introduced the idea that an ancient Greek sculpture depicts a laptop computer. Time travel is real! (Daily Mail)

North Korea sent balloons filled with cigarette butts to South Korea. Wheeeeee. (Esquire)

To end with some hope, “rich nations,” including ours, announced Thursday that they would pledge more than $10 billion to help refugees. (NY Times)

Bill de Blasio via By The office of Public Advocate for the City of New York/Wikimedia Commons

Feb

4

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Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Columbia/Barnard Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) recently united to form a new student activist group on campus called Columbia University Apartheid Divest. The group hosted their first event tonight in order to educate the Columbia community about their campaign, Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS). The event as well as the group sparked conversation on campus in the past few days. You can find live coverage of the event, known as BDS 101, below.

Feb

4

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Killing it with those socks

Killing it with those socks

Every Wednesday, the Music Performance Program celebrates dedicated and committed students with an hour long concert every Wednesday in the faculty house. Jazz enthusiast Amara Banks stopped by yesterday to check it out.

My love for live jazz cannot be shaken by pre-hurricane winds or unforgiving cold (yes, 50 degrees still reminds me of the Grinch’s icy heart), so I happily walked an inconvenient distance to East Campus. Given the talent found within the Columbia community, I am not surprised with how worthwhile this walk ended up being.

This week, I had the treat of hearing Evan Tarrh and and Jack Aylor. The two performed piano and bass duets, with occasional solos from Evan. When I arrived, I noticed that Evan’s feet were clothed in socks that also had pianos on them– the ultimate sign that the show was going to be great. And of course, I wasn’t wrong. The sounds were reminiscent of Blue’s Clues instrumentals, or a Saturday in Nordstrom when they hire a live pianist. Although the audience was rather anemic, (ten people was likely the peak of their crowd) those who attended enjoyed their performance. Their music triggered different emotions that, when coupled with the rain outside, could make one feel as if he were in a Drake video. But not just any kind of Drake video: when Evan and Jack played piano-bass duets, audience members were in a Headlines-Tuesday kind of video, or maybe even his HYFR bat mitzvah. But as soon as Jack rested his fingers from plucking the strings, we were at an intersection of Marvin’s Room and an interlude for a girl with a big booty, like Cece or Bria. Nonetheless, the two artists are amazingly talented, as demonstrated by how influential their music was on my mood. I left the showcase feeling empowered, reflective, and like I wanted to text my ex.

Feb

4

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Surprisingly, not all vegans look like stock photos of salad-eating blondes!

Surprisingly, not all vegans look like stock photos of salad-eating models!

Shopping period is over, which means your schedule is finally complete and (if you’re lucky) not a complete mess. But that’s just your academic schedule. What about those extracurriculars? Don’t you wanna get involved with something? Meet new people? Since the Activities Fair is only held in September, joining new clubs during the Spring Semester can be difficult. Fortunately, Bwog sent Staff Writers Jessa Nootbaar and Jennifer Nugent to cover CU Vegan Society’s meeting this Tuesday, bringing you the first ClubHop of the semester.

We entered the meeting hesitantly. Having received emails from the society encouraging us to participate in their activism, we feared we might be out of place. While both having been vegan for over four years, we had been applauded by our meat-eating peers as “chill vegans.” In other words, we don’t have much interest in telling you what you should and shouldn’t eat. We’ll just sit here eating our side salad and quietly taking our B12 supplement (although next time, please submit your restaurant selection to us for vegan-friendly approval).

As we slid open the door to Lerner 505L, we didn’t find the white dreads and patchouli oil we had anticipated. Instead, the sixteen students squeezed around the table represented a diverse gamut of people: all four colleges, all genders, all places of origin, and all types of eaters (vegan, non-vegan, and “transitioning”). They even looked normal.

We went around the table, introducing ourselves by name and favorite food, the answers ranging from “roasted cauliflower” to “pizza” (vegan, of course). Every comment was met with a series of affirmations and excitement, and the two of us began to entertain the idea that we had found a community of like-minded individuals.

The meeting soon turned to more structured, serious discussion. The topic had been chosen by popular vote a few days prior, they said. We whipped out the Notes apps on our phones, journalists that we are, thinking that this would be the moment when they finally revealed themselves to be the militant vegans we had feared. Imagine our disappointment when the leaders announced the topic: vegdating.

Find out what the heck

Feb

4

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Maybe it's... performance art?

Maybe it’s… performance art?

In the latest investigation into WTF the first years are doing now, we present to you: the Furnald Screamers. Known campus-wide as the tamer, more peaceful dorm, Furnald has largely lived up to expectations as a place where the less-wild things are—save for, of course, the screamers. In time, we will need a better term for the Furnaldian wildlings (Note: we’re working on it), but for now, such is the term for those responsible for this dorm’s bizarre yell-fest.

It all started late last semester, when students began to sporadically scream in the Furnald elevator in the hopes of (supposedly) alleviating the immense amount of stress plaguing their lives. What started as a humorous exercise in anxiety management soon devolved into a larger, weirder problem. As time went by, the screams got more and more frequent, and began to target the seventh floor; every once in a whilst, bursts of emotionally repressed save-me-from-myself shrieks would be heard as the elevators would pass the seventh floor and day-to-day scream routines could be heard coming from one of the rooms. Naturally, the response from most was a resounding WTF, partially because there’s still a fair amount of disbelief that of all places, this is happening in Furnald. Having myself given into some spontaneous stress-yells last semester, I decided to ask some other Furnald residents about what was happening, in the hopes of understanding how a haphazard game between friends turned into a bizarre staple. How had the cult of screamers grown? (We definitely need to find some other name for them).

More on this bizarre phenomenon after the jump

Feb

4

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Vegans, you ready for this?

Vegans, you ready for this?

The most exciting news of the week: Ben & Jerry’s released a series of vegan ice creams! In flavors like Coffee Caramel Fudge, Chunky Monkey, and Peanut Butter & Cookies, the almond-milk treats could very well end global warming, bring about world peace, and get Bernie Sanders elected as President. They look that good. (Ben & Jerry’s)

In case you haven’t sniffed out Bwog’s hidden Vegan Agenda, here’s another veg-friendly piece of news: people who eat lots of leafy greens may be less likely to develop glaucoma, a debilitating eye disease! Insert eyes emoji here. (Reuters)

No one knows how, but Donald Trump was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize (???). Luckily, this allowed for many snarky op-eds and hilarious satirical pieces like this one. (The Guardian)

We tried to think of a funnier way to introduce this article, but the byline speaks for itself: “Martin Shkreli, Pharmaceutical Executive Discusses Feud With Ghostface Killah During Radio Interview.” His exact words were “If he were here right now, I’d smack him right in the face.” Okay, Martin! (Power 105.1)

Soft Serve via Shutterstock

Feb

3

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Some institutional memory for 'ya

Some institutional memory for ‘ya

It looks like Columbia’s Kappa Alpha Theta chapter is at it again. At this year’s bid night, Columbia’s ever-so-problematic group of srat girls said “hasta la vista” to the racist mixer outfits, and instead took their offense to Hollywood!

Earlier this morning, Bwog received an anonymous tip alleging Theta had shown a video to their new members during this Monday’s bid night containing disparaging comments towards Columbia’s Delta Gamma sorority. The video allegedly contains clips of two executive officers of Columbia’s Delta Sigma Phi fraternity exclaiming “Fuck DG!”, at which point another alleged member of Delta Sig responds off camera, “don’t worry, I already fucked half of them.”

New and existing members of Theta were told to deny the existence of the video. Despite this suggestion, multiple members of Theta (who wish to remain anonymous) have confirmed the existence of the video to Bwog.

According to our tipster, the video has been taken to the Greek Judicial Board, and members of Theta’s executive board have expressed concerns about getting their charter revoked if their national officers find out about this incident.

We have reached out to IGC, IFC, Panhell, and Columbia Greek Life, and have received no comment on the handling of the matter. Additionally, Theta and Delta Sig have yet to respond to our request for comment.

Feb

3

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A demonstration of his effortless cool

A demonstration of his effortless cool

Yesterday afternoon, Prof. Timothy Frye, CU political science professor and director of the Harriman Institute, presented his new paper about the popularity of infamous president Vladimir Putin – or, more specifically, whether or not this popularity was real or a trick of the Kremlin. Bwog writer and popularity seeker Betsy Ladyzhets was in attendance to document the lecture.

Vladimir Putin: fearless leader of the Russian Federation, slayer of tigers, victor of wrestling matches, subject of musical satire, banner of memes, and, perhaps surprisingly to many Americans, far and wide the most popular politician in Russia. Despite opposition from numerous foreign politicians and Russian activists, Putin’s approval ratings in Russia have remained high; the most recent poll results show that about 80% of Russians claim to approve of Putin’s political activities.

But that can’t be true, right? Putin is a dictator who squashes opposition, controls the media, and does whatever is necessary to stay in power, right? It’s impossible that so many Russians are able to ignore his faults—either they must be brainwashed by their country’s leaders, or they must be too scared to admit their true sentiments. Right?

This question was precisely what Professor Timothy Frye sought to answer in his presentation yesterday. Despite the lack of free food at the lecture, the room it was held in, up on the fifteenth floor of the International Building, was still nearly full. (It appears that, although Putin’s popularity may be false, the popularity of the concept of studying his popularity is definitely real.)

Okay, but, for real, is Putin’s popularity real?

Feb

3

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Invisible to the student's eye--or at least hard to see

Invisible to the student’s eye–or at least hard to see

We are constantly being surveilled, which should come as no surprise to you. Even as you stand on the downtown-bound platform at 116 Street – Columbia University (in the City of New York), awaiting the rumbling, forceless approach of the 1 train, you should feel a prickling on your neck. And when you notice the security camera screens above your head, the prickling should intensify.

Ordinarily, such TVs are placed so that people on the platform can view the security footage with relative ease, although few people care to do so. That isn’t the case here; you can’t see the front of the screen without climbing down into the tracks. And the people on the other platform are too far away to catch a glimpse of it—so what’s the point? Who is watching these screens? 

We have a few theories:

  1. Columbia parents who are finding it difficult to let go. As they view the livestream, they wipe away the tears the sight of you has wrought. “Wow,” your parents murmur, gazing upon your club-going gear as you drunkenly pose with the wooden chair on the platform. When you throw up on the yellow line, they reach for their phones and send out a text: “R you okay, honey?? Call back soon.”
  2. The MTA, as it carefully calculates the best time to delay your train, make you late for your job interview, and derail your entire career.
  3. Frats and srats, which cross you off their list of prospects as soon as they overhear you’re going to Queens or Staten Island, arguably the least fun (and most mysterious) boroughs.
  4. U.S. News, which will come up with a new index for schools, ranking them from coolest to lamest. We will predictably come in at the middle of the pack.
  5. Deantini, just trying to understand the kids. He’s cool and hep, but needs more help being cool and hep!
  6. CCSC, also just trying to understand the kids.

One question remains: who is watching the watcher?

Orwellian via Bwog Staff

Feb

3

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At the panel on Monday

At the panel on Monday

Demands for Barnard’s divestment from fossil fuels have been increasing, as evidenced by impassioned protests and SGA’s recent referendum on the topic. In October, the Barnard Board of Trustees announced they would consider divestment and other possible sources of income—now, in an email to the Barnard student body, President Spar has announced the launch of the Presidential Task Force to Examine Divestment, which will be accompanied by a panel discussion on Monday, February 8, from 4:00 to 5:30 pm in the James Room of Barnard Hall. In a discussion moderated by DSpar, students will be able to ask questions of the panelists, all of whom have expertise in the fields of energy, sustainability, and economics (or just one of those).

Is this the beginning of the end for Barnard Divest? While it is an encouraging sign, no action has been taken yet.

Read the full text of the email below

Feb

3

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We are so excited to be mentored!!

We are so excited about being mentored!!

Intrepid new Bwoggers Romane Thomas and Jennifer Nugent ventured into the depths of bureaucracy at the latest GSSC meeting, where branded staplers, website updates, and breathless anticipation for Valentine’s Day were in abundance. Here’s their report.

After a Student Council retreat last Saturday and last week’s forum/town hall meeting, the General Studies Student Council (GSSC) progressed on a number of projects and channeled the initiatives discussed into new projects.

New mentorship program

Before the official start of the meeting, an upperclassman in the audience presented his project for a new mentorship program for GS students. Beyond academic and administrative help, the mentor (a third- or fourth-year) would introduce the mentee (a first-year) to their social circle, major, and extracurricular activities, with the aim of helping the mentee integrate into the GS community. Students would be paired up based on major and background. More information on signing up should be available soon.

Constitution Amended

A motion was made by Veteran Students Rep Michael Neier to amend the Student Council Constitution; he wanted to move the representatives of niche populations at GS (including the International Students Rep and Veteran Students Rep, among others) from the Campus Life pole to the Policy pole. University Senator Katharine Celentano pointed out that this was a logical change due to the need to hear the voice of all GS students regarding policy. A divided Student Council passed the motion.

More updates (especially on that website) after the jump!

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