Sep

24

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low it's fall

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.

Sep

24

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This is how people Netflix and chill at EC, right?

What would you rather do: “Netflix and Chill” or go to a filmmaking lecture about a Netflix show?

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

  • The Challenge to Avert Tragedy: “The Winter’s Tale” Refigured in “Vertigo,” “Phoenix,” & “Gone Girl”, 6 PM, 328 Milbank Hall – “Join cultural critic Elisabeth Bronfen as she takes us on a journey from Renaissance literature through contemporary cinema to explore the aesthetic and philosophical import of this mysteriously powerful literary trope of the dead woman’s return. Professor Bronfen, of the University of Zurich and New York University, is the author of the groundbreaking Over Her Dead Body: Death, Femininity, and the Aesthetic and, most recently, Mad Men, Death, and the American Dream.” – Free

The rest of the week is here

Sep

24

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Yeah, you can get a burger at 1am - but is it worth it?

Yeah, you can get a burger at 1am – but is it worth it?

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 Place Humidity: If ever you find yourself missing New York summers in the coming months, just swipe into JJ’s, where you’ll be greeted with an equally sweltering, and even more fragrant (!), atmosphere.
  • John Jay Health Services Wait Times: Raise your hand if you’ve ever had to choose between waiting to see a doctor and missing a class. That is all.
  • 8:40’s at SIPA: Truly unfortunate. Or, honestly, all 8:40’s in general.
  • Schermerhorn Extension: The bowels of this building are an indecipherable labyrinth. Do not try to find the bathroom. Do not “just see if it’s around the corner.” You will get lost, you will end up in Fairchild, and you will not find your bathroom.
  • Housing Lottery: Shirley Jackson’s sequel to “The Lottery,” except instead of being stoned to death you just have to be that one person in your Wallach suite who isn’t part of the friend group.
  • Midterms Within the First Month of School: False advertising, tbh.
  • Places on Campus With No A/C: Bonus points if it’s where you live!! Embrace the heat! Let sweat be your highlighter!
  • Open Dig Inn Containers in Butler: Such stank. Like, you can be that person, but just know that everyone smells your food and probably hates you.
  • The New Joe Coffee in Dodge: RIP buying snacks/coffee with Dining Dollars during your film class break.

JJ’s (sweaty) Place via Columbia Dining

Sep

24

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Construction of the tokamak (that might kill us all!)

Construction of the tokamak (that might kill us all!)

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.”

Where does this relativity come from? Where does it go?

Sep

24

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Imagine taking a video with these

Imagine taking a video with these

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

Sep

23

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PrezBo’s toupée wya

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.”

So what exactly was the problem of the Courseworks comments?

Sep

23

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Join SGA, and the Diana could be your office

Join SGA, and the Diana could be your office

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:

  • First-Year Class President: Rose Reiken
  • First-Year Class Vice President: Gabi Garcia
  • First-Year Class Treasurer: Celine Zhu
  • First-Year Class Secretary: Chantel Woo

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

Sep

23

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#RushBwog!!

#RushBwog!!

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 editors@bwog.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.

The Application:

About Bwog:

  • Tell us about one Bwog post you liked, one post you didn’t like, and why for both.
  • What is your favorite tag?
  • Come up with three sample post ideas that you would like to see on Bwog.
  • Draw Bwog.

About you:

  • Why do you want to join Bwog?
  • What do you think Bwog is?
  • You’re taking Bwog out on a date! What would you do? Where would you go?
  • What about Columbia might you be interested in writing about?
  • Send us a screenshot of the open tabs on your browser.
  • What three days work best for you to Daily?

Sep

23

Written by

a giving day coloring activity

If you color it all in, you’ll get… nothing, probably!

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

Sep

23

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LowIn 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.

Sep

23

Written by

Police Tape

do! not! cross!

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)

Sep

22

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Plimton 3D illuminated by christmas lights

Who needs flourescent lighting?

Once in a while, we come across a cool abode on campus and we feel compelled to share it with the world. This is one of those occasions.  Sports Editor and Senior Staff Writer Ross Chapman journeyed all the way to Plimpton to take a gander at this suite, which is surely a testament to the aesthetic excellence of these lodgings.

Have you ever tried to hang up a string of Christmas lights, only to find they don’t quite reach exactly where you need them to? Plimpton 3D does not have that problem.

About a week ago, we received a tip that this suite in Plimpton decided to hang a ton of lights in their suite lounge. After having been there, we can confirm that yes, they have, and yes, it’s glorious. The wall faces the door, so as you walk in you’re confronted by a huge curtain of light. You wouldn’t assume that all of the overhead lights were off, based on how brightly lit the lounge was, but these residents had made the pre-installed lighting entirely obsolete.

You might be asking yourself some simple questions about this room, like, “Why?” “How?” and “What will these residents do when their room inevitably catches on fire?” The first two answers are pretty simple. This room was inspired by Troye Sivan’s “YOUTH” video, but it turns out that white Christmas lights are a lot easier to buy and hang than multicolored ones. The inspiration was multiplied by the general suckiness of fluorescent dorm lighting. As for the “how”, this suite already had two strings of Christmas lights. It was just a matter of ordering ten more (which turned into 11 more at the last minute) and hanging them all up. The 13 strings each have 100 lights, and they’re all plugged into two meager outlets. When asked about fire concerns, one resident responded, “These things are normally attached to trees, so why would they be dangerous on a wall?”

A full gallery after the jump

Sep

22

Written by

megacities-compressorOn Wednesday night, Bwog neophyte Lexie Lehmann attended the Megacities ShortDocs NYC Festival, hosted by Columbia’s Maison Francaise. The festival, sponsored by Air France and the U.S. French Embassy, consisted of 15 mini-documentaries portraying megacities as well as the problems which plague urban citizens around the world.

It’s not every night that you get the chance to attend an international film festival, especially one just steps away from your Carman dorm. Yet last night, with suitemate in tow, I donned a funky dress and made my way to Columbia’s Maison Francaise to attend the Megacities ShortDocs Film Festival. Meandering up Low Steps, a couple of thoughts fluttered around my mind: what is a megacity? And, I hope I’m not underdressed….

Luckily, upon walking into the event, I was quick to pick up the casual, yet intellectual, vibe of the room. Once the showing began, a smartly dressed man introduced the Megacities ShortDoc competition. In major megacities around the world—cities with populations of over 10 million people—aspiring filmmakers and documentary makers submitted short, four-minute films about a specific problem plaguing their home cities and how local initiatives are responding to that problem. The goals of the competition were threefold: to showcase inspiring examples of megacities, to identify new and talented documentarians, and to raise awareness about the problems facing urban citizens.

Let’s watch some movies

Sep

22

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course-catalogue-1-1

Staff Writer Elana Rebitzer takes us back 100 years to the Barnard Course Catalogue of days long gone. Elana found much more than course lists, however. She shares with us tuition fees, the only residence hall on campus, and some eyebrow-raising course names. 

One-hundred years ago, many things that we now take for granted didn’t exist – there was no internet, women couldn’t vote or attend most universities, and most households did not have a telephone. But one thing was the same: Barnard and Columbia students were attending classes as usual.

To see what life was like for our collegiate predecessors, I found the Barnard course catalog from exactly 100 years ago in the Barnard archives, and pored over it to see what’s changed and what hasn’t in those 100 years. The small blue book doesn’t feel any older than a used textbook, and is actually in far better shape than most used books. I almost expected the course catalog to be handwritten, but it was typed – and much easier to navigate than the current registration system.

Just as it does today, the catalog included many unusual classes. At the time, the mandatory P.E. requirement was, “Lectures on Personal Hygiene, Elementary Dancing, Games, and Athletics.” These courses were taught by a Miss Beegle, including three sections on “elementary dancing,” “advanced dancing,” and “general athletics and swimming.” “Women in Gainful Occupations” was an economics class, and there was an entire Zoölogy department. Most confusing is “Blowpipe Analysis,” a laboratory class offered in the mineralogy department.

Read on for more gems from the catalogue

Sep

22

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A cute cover photo promises good things

A cute cover photo promises good things

What’s better (wayyyy better) than Columbia Homecoming? Student Organization of Latinos (SOL)’s Homecoming Picnic, tomorrow at 5 pm on Hamilton Lawn! Delicious food and snacks will be served. We don’t know the food specifics yet, but the red-and-white checkered tablecloth photo on the Facebook event page is appetizing. So is the promise of new friendships, with first years and beyond. We’ll be there. Will you?

The event goes until 7 pm. The memories could last forever.

Event photo via Facebook event page

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