If you didn’t read our post heralding the arrival of Autumn yesterday, this question might serve as a seasonal shock. Well, it might serve as a shock, regardless. Fall color, after all, is so blasé—just like all the people responding “pumpkin spice”. There’s no other way to describe the complete and utter dominance of consumerism in our “culture”.
“Pumpkin spice lube.”
“McDonald’s apple pie. Oh, and hotdogs.”
“You guys are all naming scents. Mine? Mine is cinnamon.”
“Apple cider mimosa.”
“Flavor? Hmmmm those new Starbucks flavors are good.”
“A chili vodka margarita I had the other night.”
Written by Finn Klauber
Bucket List represents the intellectual privilege we enjoy as Columbia students. 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 a correction, please leave them in the comments.
Somebody famous once said “For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a day of sabbath rest”. We here at Bwog agree wholeheartedly, and not just because we follow all 10 or 613 or whatever number of commandments govern our lives—not that we even consistently follow any religious strictures. Our nights at 1020 give record to that….
But we do think a day away from work and stress is a good thing. And given the stress knot forming in the American Ship of State’s rigging due to tomorrow’s Presidential Debate, we think such a great idea has never been more important. So we’re here, for you, at Lerner 505 starting at 7:00 PM for some good old fashioned, Symposium-esque activities and celebrations. It’s gonna be a mirthful time.
Lighting up via Nacsama / Public Domain
The latest iteration of a ceasefire to the Syrian conflict fell apart, again, this week. After “accidental” bombings by the American Air Force, a successful thrust at ISIS’ last major position in Iraq, and the alleged use of chemical weapons, this oft-troubled region is sinking back into despair. (NBC)
Yesterday, the National Museum of African American History and Cultured opened on the last available spot in Washington D.C.’s National Mall. Presenting the dramatic story of African American history, the Museum is a beacon of peace and accomplishment in such a troubled time. (CNN)
Russia once again granted Vladimir Putin’s party to control of the Duma among low voter turnout and accusations of election fraud. Despite winning close to half the votes, Russia’s broken governing structure awarded Putin’s United Russia almost three quarters of Parliamentary seats. (WSJ)
A horse from Flagler County, Florida, was restored to her family after falling into a septic tank. Mercy, a 24 year old mare, was lifted from the tank after 2 hours of work by a veterinary response team and fretting by her friend and owner. Sometimes, it’s the smallest joys which mean the most. (CNN)
Sure, the Official First Day of Fall was on Thursday, but the oppressive heat has finally broken (and it probably won’t be hot again for the rest of the school year). Temperatures will be in the mid-60s for the next 10 days, though it is supposed to rain a lot, so enjoy the cool in sunlight while you can.
Written by Gowan Moïse
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. “Where Art Thou” is a weekly guide to interesting and notable lectures, events, and performances for the literary/musically/ theatrically-inclined on campus.
Tuesday, September 27th
Written by Sasha Mutchnik
Inspired by Hillary Clinton’s recent statement that many Trump supporters belong in a “basket of deplorables,” Senior Staff Writer Sasha Mutchnik has compiled a list of Columbia’s own basket of deplorables. If you thought you were escaping horror by distancing yourself from your more “misguided” family members, you’re wrong.
JJ’s (sweaty) Place via Columbia Dining
Tags: deplorables, housing lottery horror stories, if you have an 8:40 you actually enjoy pls send us a tip explaining how, raise your hand if you've already had a midterm, rip old dodge cafe, schermerhernermernerhorn, we generously didn't include spec on here, we've spent more time trying to find the bathroom in schermerhorn extension than we have paying attention to class in schermerhorn extension
Written by Betsy Ladyzhets
In some very specific conditions, electrons (you know, those tiny negatively charged subatomic particles) can run away. But how does this happen? Where do they go? Are they dangerous? We sent Senior Staffer Betsy Ladyzhets to the Plasma Physics Colloquium yesterday afternoon to find some answers.
Shortly before 1pm yesterday, I ventured into the depths of Mudd to find my way to room 214 – a small lecture hall in the physics department, full of old wooden chairs and pictures of people whose accomplishments I would need at least two more physics classes to understand. The room was about half-full, mostly with students in the physics department, a couple of other professors, and alumni.
After a brief skirmish with the projector, physics professor Allen Boozer (the presenter and a well-known theorist in the field of particle physics) launched immediately into his presentation. He described ITER, an international project to build the world’s largest tokamak, a magnetic fusion device that theoretically may be able to prove that fusion can be used as a large-scale energy source. 35 nations and thousands of scientists are involved in ITER, and it is the most expensive scientific device ever built.
But, as Prof. Boozer explained and as over 150 papers in the past twenty years have examined, this enormous project has an enormous potential flaw. Tokamaks (such as the one built in ITER) require a plasma current to produce energy. If the electrons in this plasma current are transformed into relativistic electron carriers which can escape the current – and, essentially, “run away.” These relativistic electrons can be dumped into the wall of the device, creating what Prof. Boozer called a “very unpleasant situation.”
Tags: ap physics will not save you, are the electrons running away because they hate their parents?, lecturehop, raise your hands if you know what a magnetic surface is, raise your hands if you know what physics is, the capitalism of of particle physics, there's nothing 'simple' about vector calculus, where do the electrons come from? where do they go? where do they come from cotton eye joe?
The CEO of Snapchat is releasing a pair of sunglasses that record video from the perspective of the person wearing them. The glasses (called “Spectacles”) will be available next fall in black, teal, or coral. (Wall Street Journal)
Former Presidential candidate Ted Cruz has announced his support for Donald Trump. He failed to mention the insults Trump hurled at him during the primaries. (NY Times)
A recording of Allegiance, George Takei’s musical about Japanese internment camps during World War II, will be playing in movie theaters for one night only on December 13th. Tickets go on sale in November. (Advocate)
Tomorrow, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will both meet (separately) with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The meetings will take place in New York, but no details about what will be discussed have been released. (CNN)
In 2004, a Californian man went missing. Yesterday, his body was discovered, packed with Styrofoam in a wooden crate at the Locust Point Marina in the Bronx. How he got there (and how long his body has been in the crate) remains a mystery. (DNA Info)
The newest camera upgrade? via PD Pics
Written by Rachel Deal
USenate discussed a controversial topic today: a possible endorsement of UChicago’s Report on Freedom of Expression. Editor-in-Chief Rachel Deal went to check out the meeting.
At today’s University Senate plenary, President Bollinger was a no-show, there was no mention of graduate students unionizing (despite being on the agenda), and the divide between students and faculty was especially prominent in the Senate’s talk about freedom of expression in academia.
The majority of the meeting was devoted to discussing a proposal from the Faculty Affairs Committee to support the University of Chicago’s Report on Freedom of Expression. The proposal was introduced by FAC Chairs Letty Moss-Salentijn and Jim Applegate, and they gave a confusing explanation to why they felt the need for the resolution–Professor Applegate said that the proposal was “pretty closely tied to complaints about faculty” through the forum of anonymous evaluations on CourseWorks that had triggered Title IX investigations, and he believed supporting UChicago’s report would reaffirm that students must “listen respectfully” and “engage in respectful debate about ideas.”
Daniella Urbina, the Vice Chair of the Student Affairs Committee, immediately asked why the faculty felt the need to make such a statement. As students, she said, the SAC did “not believe freedom of expression being threatened at Columbia,” and she wondered what the ramifications would be of supporting a report that led to an alienating letter sent to students. Senator Grace Kelley of the Nursing School agreed, saying that supporting the report would imply support of the letter’s attitude toward “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings.”
Professor Applegate, who admitted that he had never had to deal with teaching controversial topics as a member of the Astronomy department, had a lot to say about how “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” hinder the teaching of controversial topics at the University. He pointed out that the UChicago report did not contain either of the two terms, but he did say that the ideas of “trigger warnings and safe spaces did cause the problems of the Courseworks comments.”
In a recent email to the Barnard student body, SGA announced the winners of the First-Year Class Council. 45.7% of the Class of 2020 voted – a higher turnout than in the past two years. The email praised the “successful, innovative and productive campaigns” of all of the candidates.
The new Barnard First-Year Class Council is:
There are still more SGA positions open, though: Barnard first-years can get involved as First-Year Representatives, as well as on committees for Academic Advising, Food and Dining, Sustainability, and other special interests. Applications for these positions will be released at midnight tonight and will be accepted until Thursday, October 6 at 11:59pm.
Sink into one of those red chairs via ArchDaily
Written by Mia Lindheimer
If you haven’t sent in your application for Daily Editor yet, now is your last chance to #RushBwog (in this capacity, at least)! Apply by 11:59pm tonight to be considered for the position. Daily Editors have a fantastic opportunity to start a career at Bwog with a real leadership position–you’ll essentially be in charge of scheduling and helping to create content for our site, one day per week. This role is a critical role on Bwog, because we truly couldn’t function without our “dailies” (as we call them).
We are looking ideally for first-years and new students. If you’re interested, send your application (questions below) to email@example.com by 11:59pm tonight, September 23 2016 and you’ll be in the running to be one of this semester’s dailies! We look forward to hearing from you all.
Written by Ross Chapman
We don’t know if you’ve heard, but Columbia loves money more than Mr. Krabs. They love it so much that, five years ago, they manufactured a holiday specifically around money! Giving Day is Columbia University’s annual effort to suck dry the wallets of all their alumni. To be fair, it’s pretty effective – last year, they raised $12.8 million in the span of 24 hours.
We understand that universities need to make money, considering that without donations, Columbia would be left to succeed with only their $9.6 billion endowment. But the Giving Day website is an exceptionally silly way to go about soliciting funds. It’s bright, it pops out at you, and it looks more like a kickstarter page for a new waterbottle/flashlight combo than an advertisement for a distinguished University. It’s too busy, it’s too dynamic, and worst of all, its bottom bar color is #c0ddea, which isn’t even one of the previously discovered species of Columbia Blue.
Now, you might be thinking, “It sucks that the alumni get to have all the fun and donate! Why is there nothing for me, the social-media-savvy student to do to help my favorite university?” Worry not, because Columbia was kind enough to “fill-in-the-blank selfie signs” and “some new, interactive Columbia downloads.” So go ahead and download a photo of Butler Library quickly turned into line art by a Photoshop extension. The university suggests that you print it out and color it as creatively as you like! Then you should share it on Instagram and Facebook with the hashtags #ColumbiaGivingDay and #MyColumbiaMoment and… that’s it. No contest or anything. The last step of this coloring book’s instructions are to go online and donate on October 26th. They just expected that you would do the coloring because, you know, donating hundreds of dollars to Columbia gets you really pumped up.
The website also lets you sign up for email reminders (if you don’t have a calendar), become a Social Ambassador, and “join the Giving Day Insiders.” If you don’t feel like donating, you can feel free to browse the social media wall and check out how much money everyone was spending 11 months ago. All in all, we recommend everyone check out this page and donate. There’s nothing more fun than giving Columbia more money!
Fun and interactive coloring pages via Columbia University Giving Day
In looking at the proposed agenda for the University Senate plenary scheduled for this afternoon, Bwog noticed one particular proposed resolution that stood out. As part of new business, the senate plans to address a proposed resolution affirming the University of Chicago’s report on freedom of expression.
It is important to note that this report is not the letter that UChicago sent out to its class of 2020 on the topic of not supporting trigger warnings, nor the open letter the faculty wrote in response to the former letter. Instead, the report was issued by the Committee on Freedom of Expression at the University of Chicago, a separate entity that was appointed in July 2014, long before either of those letters were sent.
That said, the question remains why Columbia would choose to affirm this statement instead of crafting its own in response to the discourse surrounding the implementation of safe spaces and trigger warnings on campus and in the classroom.
Here is the text of the proposed resolution:
WHEREAS, freedom of expression is essential for what a university is and does, and
WHEREAS, Columbia University has long been a strong supporter of freedom of expression, and
WHEREAS, that support is expressed in the Affirmative Statement in the Rules of University Conduct, and
WHEREAS, freedom of expression on college campuses has come under attack in recent years and has become a contested national issue, and
WHEREAS, the University of Chicago’s Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression is a balanced approach to the issue,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Columbia University Senate subscribe to the principles in the University of Chicago statement.
The report by the University of Chicago committee can be found following the proposed resolution. The plenary to discuss the resolution will take place at 1:15 PM this afternoon in 1501 International Affairs.
Updates on the plenary to come.
Update (9/23/16, 2:34pm): While this resolution was discussed by the University Senate at the plenary, no vote was made. The resolution is still open, and will be discussed further at later meetings. Full coverage of the plenary to come this evening.
Yahoo announced that, two years ago, hackers stole data for 500 million user accounts. This info included passwords, phone numbers, and addresses, so… watch your back (and change your passwords)? (New York Times)
Hillary Clinton made an appearance on Zach Galifianakis’s “Between Two Ferns”, where she continued her quest to appeal to millennials. We’re not saying it worked… but we’re not saying it didn’t, either. (LA Times)
Gigi Hadid was attacked by “serial prankster” Vitalii Sediuk after a Milan Fashion Week show, where she used her well-practiced kickboxing skills to elbow his jaw outta whack. Shoutout to badass women fighting back! (Huffington Post)
An unnamed Chinese journalist was suspended from her job for inappropriate accessories (namely, an umbrella to shield from sun and sunglasses) as she interviewed hardworking volunteers at a typhoon relief site. We’re torn between skin protection goals and lack of relatability on this one. (BBC)
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