Dec

17

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With just two games left in the non-conference schedule, men’s basketball has been disappointing fans left and right. Staff writer Abby Rubel analyzes what they can do to improve over winter break. 

We miss you, Connor!

There are few things more frustrating for a Columbia men’s basketball fan than watching Quinton Adlesh steal the ball, make a fast break down the court, and flub the layup. When the Lions lose the game by a narrow margin, you find yourself wondering if that layup could have made the difference or if it was just bad luck.

The Lions have certainly been experiencing their share of bad luck this season. As they wind up their non-conference schedule, the Lions stand at 1-9. Two of this season’s losses, against Stony Brook and Quinnipiac, were victories by more than 10 points last year.

Their dismal record is partly a result of a tougher schedule. Matches against undefeated Villanova and 8-3 Penn State came early as part of a seven-game stretch on the road. Despite that, the Lions are performing at basically the same offensive level as last season. Last year, they produced an average of 71.9 points per game; so far this season they’ve scored an average of 73.7. Field goal completion varies by a tenth of a percentage point.

Specific areas for improvement after the jump.

Dec

17

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Ben, Doug, and guests Gabby and Yasmeen recording an episode

When new EIC Betsy Ladyzhets learned about StarBites, an astrophysics podcast run by several space-minded Columbia undergrads, she knew she had to interview them for Bwog. StarBites was started by Douglas Grion, CC ‘20, Ben Hord, SEAS ‘18, Andy Tzanidakis, GS ‘18, and Brian Smallshaw, CC ‘19, but its episodes (of which there are ten so far, although only four are currently up on SoundCloud) feature several other members of the Columbia astrophysics department, discussing space-related topics from E.T. to women in STEM. In this interview, the podcast’s creators explain how they started StarBites, how episodes are put together, and their plans for future expansion.

Bwog: What is StarBites? Give me a short summary.

Ben Hord: It’s a podcast about space for people who love the cosmos,.

Doug Grion: It explains stuff about astronomy that we think is cool in a way that other people will be interested in it.

Andy Tzanidakis: We want to give the perspective that, as undergrad students in astronomy, we can explain things to other people that are maybe a bit simpler to understand, while also going in depth enough to make things interesting.

Brian Smallshaw: When we say “astrophysics,” it’s a pretty daunting subject for most people, but when you break it down subject to subject without the math, it’s pretty easy to understand. So, the podcast is a way for us to have fun and talk about stuff we like to talk about with each other, and also for us to show other people what those conversations are like and what we do.

Bemoaning the size of a Schapiro single, nearly burning down Pupin, and more after the jump

Dec

17

If you come to Bwog meeting, you too can be this happy.

Hey, look. We get it. This is a very stressful time and you have three finals, six papers and a group project to get done. But you have to emerge from your chosen study cave eventually, and what’s a better place to go than Bwog meeting tonight at 9 pm in Lerner 510? Trick question: there isn’t one. So come on out, share our wonderful snacks and bring some pitches (or not), as we all stave off our sense of impending doom.

it’s beginning to look a lot like christmas via Public Domain

 

Dec

17

I think we should let this guy live in ButCaf.

Bwogline: On Saturday, a shadowy Pentagon program that investigated UFOs was revealed. The program, which began in 2007 largely under the request of Senator Harry Reid, was discontinued in 2012. Its backers say it is still in existence, without its $22 million a year in funding. I guess my dream to live in The X-Files isn’t dead after all. (NYT)

Study Tip: If you need something to listen to while you work, but can’t handle music, try finding a noise generator to block all the annoying people breathing in Butler. I recommend this website, which has everything from rain to white noise to Gregorian chants.

Music: The movie wasn’t the best but the soundtrack is super relaxing and quite possibly my favorite study music of all time.

Procrastination: Call your mom (or dad, best friend, sibling. whomever)! They’ll appreciate hearing from you and you’ll have a good excuse to step away from your books for a while and catch up. Or, if no one will pick up, go through your Facebook and get rid of all the gross people from high school you promised to unfriend the day after graduation.

Overheard: “I think with Columbia’s endowment we should get…a kitten. To live somewhere.”

this picture is my favorite thing via Bwog Archives

Dec

16

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Manhattan Brew & Vine on 109th and Columbus

Shortly after midnight last night (around 12:30am, Dec 16th), a man was fatally shot on the corner of 109th Street and Columbus Avenue in front of Manhattan Brew & Vine. He was pronounced dead at St. Luke’s Hospital with multiple shots to his torso. The police investigation continued late into this morning. The victim, 48-year-old Damian Ramirez, was the owner of Manhattan Brew & Vine.

Around 7pm on the same night (Friday, Dec 15th), an innocent bystander was grazed by a bullet on 103rd Street and Manhattan Avenue, and was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital. He told the police that he heard the gunshot, then felt a pain in his ear and realized he had been shot.

Despite the fact that both shootings happened extremely close to Columbia’s campus in one night, public safety did not issue an alert for either one of them. To put things into perspective, the fatal shooting on 109th and Columbus happened 2 blocks away from 1020 during peak hours on a Friday night. There are also Columbia-owned apartment buildings around the immediate vicinity of the shootings. Regardless, the Columbia community did not receive any public safety alerts of any form about either incident.

Manhattan Brew & Vine via Broadway World

Dec

16

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Our home for the next week.

At the end of every semester, things in Butler get a bit…freaky. Sure, there are those people who don’t shower, those who do shower (in the Butler 2 men’s bathroom), and those who think it’s okay to talk loudly in study spaces. Tangentially, if you do hold a conversation in a Butler room which isn’t a reservable room or Butler Cafe, you are literal human garbage and you should be banned from the library. Ahem. Now that that’s out of our system…without further ado, here’s our beloved end-of-semester catalogue of the weird, strange, and sometimes hopeful library room reservations.

Sad Girls And Sad Boys

The Saga Of The Emperor

See more strange reservations here

Dec

16

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Bwog does math too!

Looking for ways to get out of finals? Bwog checked to see if finding a new world altogether was possible. Bwogger Victoria Arancio trudged through the snow to see this gravity talk, because she’s that desperate. 

Every few weeks, the Columbia Astronomy Department hosts its Stargazing & Lecture series. As a part of their public outreach,  the department hosts talks on Fridays that discuss current scientific understanding of our Universe. Whether you’re a student, professor, or just someone who somehow found their way into Pupin, the talks are engaging and relatively easy to follow. I was able to attend the department’s last two talks; although very different from each other, both helped better my understanding of astronomy and also made voluntarily sitting in a lecture hall enjoyable.

Two weeks ago, the department hosted a book talk, focusing on the life and work of Jill Tarter, an astrophysicist and astrobiologist. Sarah Scoles’ Making Contact: Jill Tarter and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life, investigates not only the technology that may one day detect life elsewhere in the Universe, but this biography sheds light on the life of a woman struggling to be taken seriously in a field dominated by men. Jill Tarter is responsible for the SETI project, scientific research that looks for life elsewhere by detecting electromagnetic signals from other parts of the Universe. The weather was even nice enough so that the public was also able to observe through telescopes on the roof of Pupin!

Science is cool!

Dec

16

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sunset

The sun is literally setting on this semester, so get crackin!

Whether you are simply heading home for winter break, feeling nostalgic in your senior year or getting ready to leave Columbia and return (like me) from a study abroad program, this is a list of all the things you absolutely must do before you go – so forget about your GPA and get cracking.

1. Take cute insta pics from Low and Butler

2. Climb Hamilton. (Like Everest but the 7th floor is duller)

3. Get over 1000 likes on buy sell memes a.k.a become an icon

4. Get into 1020 without being carded

5. Have an awkward encounter with a Tinder match

6. Befriend someone in EC (if you’re a Barnard student)

7. Sign in a bunch of Barnard students and feel immensely powerful (insert Gandalf joke here)

8. Take a festive picture with Alma

7. Call Hartley Hospitality for at least one minor inconvenience

8. Dedicate a draw to all the free merch you have collected here at Columbia (from NSOP to tree lighting, you know you still have those t-shirts)

9.  Eat a jumbo slice at Koronet past midnight

10. Stick to the floor of at least one frat’s basement

11 through 20, coming right up after the jump!

Dec

16

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I’m dreaming of a milk-and-cookies Christmas.

Bwogline: Trump officials have banned CDC officials from using a list of seven words, including “transgender” and “fetus,” in official documents for next year’s budget. (WaPo)

Study tip: If you find yourself getting bored with your usual spot in Butler, change up where you’re studying! Cognitive scientists have found that studying in different settings helps memory recall. Bwog has handy lists of the best non-crowded study spaces on campus, as well the warmest places on campus to study.

Music: To ease yourself away from finals sadness and towards holiday cheer, here’s a Christmas instrumental study playlist compiled by yours truly. You got this!

Procrastination Tip: Read! If you haven’t already read the very smart, very Bwog-approved New Yorker story Cat Person, I would also recommend this super interesting NYT feature on New York’s new subway chief, Andy Byford.

Overseen: A broken bowl outside JJ’s. RIP little guy.

 

My wet dream via Pixabay

Who even smokes in JJ’s via Bwogger

Dec

15

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I guess these turtles are getting all the way down.

Ah, 2017. It’s been an amazing twelve years since the start of 2016, so to celebrate this impossibly long year, we at Bwog decided to give out awards every Friday until the new year. Our first installment, which you should totally check out, was the Top Ten Best Worst Comments. This time, we’re taking a look back at the best titles for the best daily post everyone loves to ignore, Bwoglines!

Is Bobsled Short For Robertsled Edition

There Is No Essence, Just A Bunch Of Turtles Edition

Trump Fiddled While New York Burned Edition

Hey Man, Rush Beta Edition

Our Brains Are Fried But We’re Happy To Be Here Edition

Taxes, Easter, And Homosexual Tendencies Edition

Everything Is Shit, But We Know That Already Edition

Comme Des Hell Down Edition

Power, Pantsuits And Puerto Rico Edition

Let’s Just Make It To The End Edition

 

Dec

15

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We really appreciated the toasty warmth of Butler Library.

Ah, Orgo Night. As revealed by CUMB at 11:30 pm, this year’s Orgo Night was back in Butler 209, despite administration previously barring them from performing in the library. If you missed the memo, don’t fret: as per Bwog tradition, we sent Bwog froshies Jenny Zhu and Zack Abrams to review this year’s Orgo Night. 

This year’s Orgo Night advertised that it would be “Back in the But,” and it delivered. Just as the clock struck midnight, CUMB members rose from the ashes, put on their iconic Columbia blue long sleeves, and began playing “Roar, Lion, Roar!” in (yep) Butler 209. Spirits were high, as chants of “Orgo Night! Orgo Night!” filled the air.

We saw this in the script, and it made us physically uncomfortable. Who the heck writes “Netflix” as “NetFlix”? And why do they hate themselves?

As demonstrated by the multiple Public Safety officers stationed inside Butler lobby, Columbia administration had expected Orgo Night to take place outside this year, yet CUMB somehow was able to surreptitiously smuggle all their instruments (including a toilet seat) and members inside 209. While at first administration closed off 209 and refused to allow any students to enter past midnight, they relented by 12:10 pm, with cheers heard as new students started filtering in.

CUMB began their 209 comeback tour by likening the recent new chain openings in Morningside Heights to some student stereotypes that you might see at Columbia itself. Their first target was the oh-so-beloved, yet oh-so-overpriced Shake Shack, which they compared to a Columbia fuckboy: “You know they’re no good for you, and they’re not even that good; but sometimes, you just need a nice… hunk…of underwhelming meat.”

CUCR, Barnard, Photos, and more after the jump

Dec

15

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Let us know which album defined your semester in the comments!

The Bwog Staff discusses the albums that defined their semester. For some of us, it was our first semester on campus adjusting to the frantic pace of city life. For others, they were celebrating some of their last time on campus. We hope you enjoy our selections.

Jenny Zhu
Lorde’s Melodrama. Do I even need to explain??? Pure pop perfection. Lorde has this magical quality that makes the album colorful, witty, and youthful at the same time.

Victoria Arancio
Broods, Conscious. I saw them at the meadows this year and I really liked their set. I listened to them more as semester continued. They’re really good for a chill night in your dorm, or if you’re wanting to feel a lot of emotions.

More albums after the jump!

Dec

15

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Earlier this afternoon, Barnard students received an email from President Sian Beilock describing the progress made by the Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion and announcing the creation of a senior position devoted to diversity and inclusion, as well as an effort to make more diverse hires in general.

Other substantial steps taken include the creation of a permanent email address (diversitycouncil@barnard.com) and an anonymous form on the Diversity Inclusion website to facilitate communication between the task force and the student body. There will be more conversations in the spring.

In her email, Beilock stressed the council’s emphasis on communicating with the student body and ensuring that the task force could serve the community’s needs. To this end, she said, the council has been having conversations with faculty and students to ensure that the council can take the most appropriate steps towards creating “a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community.”

She also discussed the need for more inclusive pedagogy, including describing a recent faculty workshop, the results of which will be assessed soon.

Beilock closed the email by writing, “We are committed to ensuring that everyone at Barnard is able to work, think and develop to their fullest potential in a community that respects and supports difference.”

Read the email after the jump.

Dec

15

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After we found a fly in the fruit salad, we don’t know why you’d even want to swipe in.

Ferris has tried taking measures in the past to prevent people from sneaking in, but now they’re cracking down. Ferris recently instilled a new process in which students must sign out with the desk attendant in order to leave and sign back in to re-enter instead of just leaving their IDs at the front desk.

After typing up a rant, which you can read below, I decided to reach out to Columbia Dining about the new, what I called, policy, and this was the statement I was given on behalf of Columbia Dining:

There is no change to the policy. Students can still leave and return to Ferris during the same meal period. The process has been adjusted to reduce the risk of losing IDs and make the process more efficient for the staff at the register. Rather than leave their ID if they intend to return, a student simply signs a log at the register.

As this new process logistically makes sense, when I was at Ferris today, it was not executed so simply. The commotion of the desk attendant tracking students down who were unaware of the process-change held up the growing line of people trying to swipe in.

Read the rant below

Dec

15

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Wheee large corporate mergers can be fun!

Bwogline: With all the drama of the vote to repeal net neutrality protections yesterday, you may have missed the news that Disney bought most of 21st Century Fox for a cool $52.4 billion in stock. Hopefully, antitrust regulators aren’t distracted by the fact that Anastasia is now a Disney Princess and stop the deal that many see as Hollywood becoming too much under the control of a few giants.

Study Tip: If you’re having trouble concentrating for long periods at a time, I’m a fan of this chrome extension which uses the Pomodoro technique of scheduling short breaks and long breaks to maximize your productivity.

Music: 

Procrastination Tip: If you’re a fan of flash games and absurdist humor, try out Frog Fractions. If you need a hint on how to progress, swim down. Enjoy!

Overseen: 

Just like wet concrete, only colder and more ephemeral.

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