Author Archive

Dec

17

img December 17, 201712:09 pmimg 0 Comments

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

img December 17, 201710:24 amimg 0 Comments

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

10

img December 10, 201712:11 pmimg 0 Comments

The hearts represent how much you’ll love Bwog if you show up.

It’s Sunday again, and that means it’s time for your weekly reminder that it’s still not too late to join Bwog this semester (big shock, I’m sure). Bring your pitches to Lerner 510 tonight at 9 pm to help us welcome our new editorial board, eat some good snacks, and hang out with the best group on campus. I promise it’ll be the best decision you make this weekend…or at least definitely not the worst.

I’m very hungry via Public Domain

 

Dec

10

img December 10, 201710:23 amimg 0 Comments

Let them have this. They’ll be sick of it soon enough.

Happening in the World: Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq has declared victory over the Islamic State, after three years of battles to regain parts of the country from the group’s control. Though this does not mark the end of the threat this group, or any other, poses over the region, this marks a new era of pride in the government and security forces, as well as an opportunity to begin rebuilding. (NYT)

Happening in the US: A winter storm brought snow to cities across the southern US, some for the first time in over the decade. Some areas Corpus Christi, Texas, which last saw snow over Christmas 2004, received upwards of six inches in some areas. Kids in the region described the experience as ““pretty cool” and, channeling their inner Los Angeles first year, reported building snowmen as tall as five feet. (NYT)

Happening in NYC: Famed toy store FAO Schwartz, which closed in 2015 , is reported to be opening a new location in Rockefeller Center. The new store will occupy 16,000 square feet (a slight downgrade from it’s former 61,000) and is scheduled to open in fall 2018. (NBC New York)

Happening on Campus: A capella group Nonsequitur presents their winter concert, NonseqWintur, today in Lerner C555 at 3:30. Come out if you appreciate a good pun or some good music and check out their Facebook event here.

Word of the Day: Nix: Latin for snow, because it sounds nice and I’m feeling deeply uncreative today.

a first year from LA via Public Domain

Dec

6

img December 06, 20175:34 pmimg 3 Comments

Is this you?

Staff Writer Isabel Sepúlveda braved the rain last night to attend the final reading for Writers at Barnard, featuring creative writing faculty, so you didn’t have to (though you definitely should have).

It was honestly the perfect atmosphere for a reading by two members of Barnard’s creative writing faculty, poet Saskia Hamilton and author Hisham Matar. The heavy rain and rushing traffic faded into a distant ambiance that set the tone perfectly for the intimate mood of the reading that was to follow.  This set-up was continued by the writers’ introduction, given by fellow faculty member Rachel Eisendrath. It was frankly a touching introduction that conveyed her love and respect for her colleagues. She stated that “ours is a brutalizing world” and that these works were a moment of happiness in said world. I would later find these words to be the perfect contextualization of what I was about to hear.

Saskia Hamilton, English professor and director of Women Poets at Barnard, was the first to read. She began by sharing a piece titled “Zwijgen,” the Dutch word for “to fall silent,” and she explained the meaning behind both the title and inspiration for the piece. I had read the piece shortly before arriving at the event, in an attempt to get a feel for what I was about to be hearing. Seeing the words on a page was nothing compared to hearing the writer give life to her own works, both in the explanation and the reading itself. She followed with a handful of selections from a project she is currently working on, before finishing with two translations, including one of an Anglo-Saxon riddle. Despite the range of the selections, Hamilton painted a delicate but detailed picture of the subject and really lived up to the promise of moments of happiness in a world that tends to find itself lacking in that department.

Find out about Hisham Matar below!

Dec

3

img December 03, 20171:13 pmimg 0 Comments

You aren’t going to write that essay anyway so you have all the time in the world to come to Bwog meeting.

It’s officially December and that means you’re running out of time to join Bwog this fall. But it’s never too late; just stop by Lerner 510 tonight at 9 pm and find out what you’ve been missing out on all semester! There will be snacks in exchange for your pitches so come on down and join us.

the clock is ticking via Public Domain

Dec

3

img December 03, 201710:48 amimg 0 Comments

Even the sky is celebrating Canada’s decision!

Happening in the World: Canada’s Supreme Court has unanimously ruled in favor of First Nations indigenous groups, stating that the Yukon territorial government cannot rewrite a plan to protect a vast swath of wilderness, as it was already agreed to by a joint indigenous-government committee. The court said that the government’s plan to open up more of the First Nations people’s traditional land to development than originally agreed upon violated 30-year-old treaties between the two groups. This marks a huge step forward for Canada’s efforts to reconcile with indigenous groups.  (NYT)

Happening in the US: A woman with a transplanted uterus has become the first person with the procedure to give birth in the United States. Previously eight other babies have also been born using this procedure, all in the same hospital in Sweden. This birth proves the procedure is not limited just to said hospital and opens up the possibility that other women in the US, and around the world, who were born without a uterus or had it removed for other reasons, could have their own children if they choose. (NYT)

Happening in NYC: One person has died and five were injured, one in critical condition, after a driver barreled through a group of people outside a bar in Queens early Sunday morning. Witnesses say there was a fight on the sidewalk that the group exiting the bar, where two people were also stabbed, attempted to stop when a car came rushing down the sidewalk, crashing into the them. The New York Police Department say terrorism is not suspected and authorities have one person related to the incident in custody. (CBS News)

Happening on Campus: Columbia Q&A (Queer and Asian) is holding a boba tea study break today from 7 to 9 pm in the Stephen Donaldson Lounge in Schapiro Hall. According to their Facebook event, it is “open to all queer or Asian people” so if that applies to you, be sure to check it out! (There will also be lactose-free boba!)

Word of the Day: Mamihlapinatapai: A word in the dying Yaghan language of indigenous population of Tierra del Fuego which captures the look between two people when both would like the other to do something, but neither want to do it. Or, the look you give your laptop when you have a paper you haven’t started and you wish it would write itself.

someone please take me to Canada via Public Domain

Nov

19

img November 19, 201712:22 pmimg 0 Comments

Thanks to Bwog meeting, you have an excuse to put off that essay for an extra hour tonight.

Come join Bwog at 9 pm in Lerner 510 to get an early start on your Thanksgiving break. We’ll provide a feast of epic snacks, you provide your best pitches. Honestly, it’s a win-win situation all around. Can’t wait to see you there!

 that background is wild via Public Domain

Nov

19

img November 19, 201710:45 amimg 0 Comments

I’m sure Robert Mugabe doesn’t look quite so bored after the week he’s had.

Happening in the World: After a military coup last week to stop Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe from installing his wife as his successor, the ruling party, Zanu-PF, has given Mugabe until Monday to resign or face impeachment. His former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who Mugabe fired two weeks ago, has been appointed in his place. (BBC)

Happening in the US: Co-founder of AC/DC, Malcolm Young, passed away yesterday at the age of 64. The songwriter and guitarist had suffered from dementia for several years, according to a statement from his family. AC/DC, which Young found with his brother Angus, is still wildly popular  selling more than 72 million albums in the United States and giving a wildly successful “Rock or Bust” world tour in 2016. (NY Times)

Happening in NYC: 2 senior officials in the New York Housing Authority have resigned after a scandal involving lead paint. The city’s Investigation Department found that the authority’s chairwoman, Shola Olatoye, knew that inspectors were not checking apartments for lead paint but still signed off on their reports anyway. Mayor De Blasio has jumped to her defense and it has been announced that a new department will be established to ensure compliance with regulations. (NY Times)

Happening on Campus: The Columbia University Wind Ensemble will be holding their fall concert, Childlike Wonder, at 1 pm today in Roone Auditorium. Come listen to a diverse range of selections, including Fantasy on the Theme by Sousa and the US premiere of Dylan’s Song. Check out the Facebook event and be sure to stop by; it’s free with your CUID! 

Word(s) of the Day: Strč prst skrz krk: A Czech and Slovak tongue twister that means “stick a finger through the throat” and more importantly, contains no vowels.

I think I make that same face in my 8:40 lecture via Wikimedia Commons

Nov

12

img November 12, 20173:17 pmimg 1 Comments

Sometimes, there are things your calculator just can’t teach you.

It happens to the best of us. Maybe you were super excited (or nervous) during move-in and missed everything your RA told you. Maybe no one ever told you. Either way, everyone has a moment when they wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat and realize we’re halfway through the semester and they still don’t know what the stacks are. Sometimes it’s about school, sometimes it’s about life in general, but Bwog is here to answer any and all of your questions, and we won’t judge you for not knowing it either. If we missed any of your burning questions, leave them in the comments! 

  • How do you do dining hall takeout? What is the dining coin I got when I moved in and how do I use it?: You can trade in the coin for a hard plastic takeout container at any of the dining hall desks. To get food in it, you just put stuff in like normal or hand it to the person like a plate. When you take it back to the dining hall empty, if it’s John Jay you put it on the conveyor belt and Ferris you put it in the big bin and you get the coin back! If you lose it you can pay $5 to get a new one. Otherwise, you can pay 50 cents per paper box for takeout.
  • I don’t know the names of anyone in my discussion section and it’s November: In class, you can normally just get away with saying “building off of his/her/their point” instead of actually referring to them by name. But if you’re having a conversation with someone and don’t know their name, try to be honest and say “Hey, I’m really no good with names and I only see you in this class, what’s your name again?” Pretend you need to form a study group (or actually form a study group), and get their phone numbers. They’ll have to put their names in your phone and you’ll be spared the embarrassment.
  • How do I use a Swiffer?: Take one of the wipe things, put it onto the rectangle part on the bottom (some use velcro, some have slots you push the corners of the wipe into), use the thing like a mop, then throw out the wipe.
  • What else didn’t we know how to do?

Nov

12

img November 12, 201712:34 pmimg 0 Comments

This might be you, unless you show up tonight.

Tonight, 9 pm, Lerner 510. We’ll bring our finest Trader Joe’s snacks, you bring yourself, your friends, and your finest pitches. It might be cold outside but Bwog meeting will warm your heart as you hang out with the best group on campus and stress-eat for your midterms somewhere other than JJs. Hope to see you there!

I hate the cold via Public Domain

Nov

12

img November 12, 201710:14 amimg 0 Comments

This elephant looks like he to understands what Lebensmüde really means.

Happening in the World: After two years of delays, an elephant in Colombian zoo finally received surgery that will save his tusks. Hundreds of people raised money for the procedure and it took thirty people over three hours to perform a root canal on a cracked tusk.  (BBC)

Happening in the US: A Trump nominee for a federal judgeship was recently approved to the lifetime post by the Senate Judiciary Committee, despite having never tried a case in his life and being unanimously deemed “unqualified” by the American Bar Association. If confirmed by the Senate, it’s time for all of us to question whether that unpaid internship is worth it, because if you don’t need experience for a lifetime judgeship, you shouldn’t need any at all. (New York Times)

 Happening in NYC: Six days after the tragic death of a toddler in a New York City preschool, 400 child care centers in the city received a letter reminding them of guidelines for children with food allergies. It’s believed that three-year-old Elijah Silvera was given a grilled cheese sandwich, despite a severe dairy allergy. (WaPo/NY Daily News)

Happening on Campus: Sigma Delta Tau-Gamma Tau is holding their sixth annual talent show, Quest for the BeSDT, tonight at 7pm in Roone Auditorium. Come out to see over 15 campus groups, including special performances by Onyx and Raw Elementz! All proceeds benefit Prevent Child Abuse America, so get out of Butler and go support a good cause.

Word of the Day: Lebensmüde: German word literally meaning “life tired,” used to describe the soul-crushing angst of Romantic poets and Columbia students after they walk out of their midterms

 What a majestic boy via Wikimedia Commons

Nov

3

img November 03, 20172:38 pmimg 0 Comments

Sound, video, and discussion combined to make this a memorable, if confusing, event.

Staff Writer Isabel Sepúlveda attended the recent lecture A History of Echoes Part 2: Sound of Trans Freedom, moderated by Michael Roberson, an adjunct professor at both The New School University and Union Theological Seminary.

To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this event. Part of a yearlong series of workshops put on by Columbia’s Oral History Master of the Arts program, the event’s description promised a shared listening experience of the oral history of the House and Ballroom Scenes in New York City, and what this meant for LGBTQ communities of color in the city. Ultimately, the discussion proved more far-ranging but I found myself leaving only slightly less confused than when I had arrived.

The discussion was moderated by Michael Roberson, who is, among other things, a public health practitioner and activist focuses on the health disparities of Black gay men and Black gay men in the house/ball communities. He also is a member of Ultra-red, an international sound art collective. It was obvious from the start of the event that Roberson was deeply passionate about what he was sharing with us and that those in attendance were equally excited to engage in what he had to say.

Read our summary of the lecture after the jump

Oct

25

img October 25, 20173:45 pmimg 2 Comments

Nothing is written on the notepad… same

Look, we get it. Midterms are a trying time for everyone; you’re running on maybe three hours of sleep over the last five days, trying to read every LitHum book you didn’t have time to earlier in the semester. With all this stress, it’s easy to forget the basic niceties that make our study spaces useful for everyone. Luckily, Bwog is here to remind you.

  • If you’ve got a bulky charger that takes up the space of more than one power outlet, try to plug it in so it takes up as little space as possible. Whether that’s at the end of the powerstrip or the bottom of the outlet, just try to leave some room for the rest of us if at all possible. Don’t be the person who plugs their giant Mac charger in the middle of the powerstrip and leave it there for three hours when the end is right there, waiting for you to use it, or I will personally challenge you to a duel.
  • In a similar vein, when your device is done charging, unplug it, especially when using a shared outlet or powerstrip. Your laptop will thank you for not overcharging and your table-mates will thank you for your kindness and consideration in this trying time.
  • I know that spot you’ve been staking out in Butler all day is very important to you, but there are literally thousands of students in this school and we all need somewhere to study. So if your excursion is going to take longer than around an hour, take your things with you. And think about it this way, if your spot isn’t there when you get back, you get the chance to try something new.

More friendly reminders below!

Oct

15

img October 15, 20171:56 pmimg 4 Comments

if only we could look this serene and comfortable in a Columbia elevator

It happens to the best of us; you’re running late to a class or a meeting and you realize that you need to make a choice. Either you have to run up twelve flights of stairs or wait for the elevator and try to cram yourself into a corner between a football player and your econ professor. Which is the best option? Well, as with most things on Columbia’s Campus, it depends on where you are.

1. International Affairs Building: Despite what the astrophysics unit of Frontiers of Science might say, I’m convinced these elevators are capable of faster than light travel. Step on the elevator, blink, and you’ll find yourself where you need to be. If only the other elevators on this list could be so efficient.

2. Lerner: A perfectly fine and functional elevator that will get you where you need to go. Just be sure to budget an extra 30 seconds for when you invariably use the wrong side when trying to get to the 8th floor.

3. Butler Library: Neither the fastest nor the slowest, you’ll get to your preferred study space or crying location with plenty of time to cram for the midterm you forget to study for.

4. Any elevator when you’re trying to put away something heavy: Somehow, elevators just know when you’re trying to lug something big and awkward up the stairs and act accordingly. If you’re trying to get that oversized package your mom sent upstairs or head to the basement the laundry you let pile up for the last three weeks, give yourself a few extra minutes for this minor inconvenience to work itself out.

But wait… wait… wait… there’s more:

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