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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



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



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



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?



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



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



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



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!



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:



img October 06, 20171:37 pmimg 0 Comments

“Not everything can be preserved.”

Last night, the Cuban Program Institute of Latin American Studies kicked off their semester-long lecture series, Cuba and Beyond, with former Belgian and European Union Ambassador to Cuba, Herman Portocarero. He came to discuss his book “Havana Without Makeup: Inside the Soul of the City” as well insights into the inner-workings of an island community with a rich culture and many contradictions. Staff writer Isabel Sepúlveda brings you the highlights.

Making the trek up to the 8th floor of the International Affairs Building with a couple minutes to spare, I sat with my notebook and free cookies and immediately noticed the casual Spanish conversation throughout the room. By the time people had settled into their seats and introductions were beginning, I came to the realization that I was quite possibly the only undergraduate in the room and everyone else seemed to have a great deal of background knowledge about the topic at hand. Though I was originally worried the conversation would go over my head, it ended up being one of the most enriching experiences I’ve had on campus.

Herman Portocarero opened the talk with a fifteen-minute overview of his views on the city of Havana, and Cuba in general, after years as a diplomat. He talked about the physical construction of the city, describing it as “the most beautiful ruin in the world” and discussing the history, such as the mass exodus of urban whites after the rise of Castro, that caused it to achieve that description. He talked about the soul of the city, which he believed to be in its authentic culture and people coming together, as well as the ethnic and cultural make-up of the people of Havana: largely white but with perhaps the strongest influence of African culture in Latin America. Having not read his book, I was not quite sure if these were the topics covered within, but nonetheless, it was interesting to see what he believed based on his extensive experiences.

He also touched on two key questions. The first: what makes Cuba so special? His answer was that it was a country of contradictions. The second: was it, meaning the Revolution, worth it? He believed, once again that in Cuba’s own region, the Revolution allowed it to escape many of the issues facing other Latin American cultures, such as high social inequality and high rates of citizen-on-citizen violence, though at an expense. He seemed critical of the system he viewed, but ultimately respectful of the culture he had been living in for so many years.

Learn more about the talk after the jump!



img September 27, 20173:13 pmimg 0 Comments

Probably didn’t even make it on their listserv

You sat through dozens of mandatory interest meetings, spent hours editing your application until it was typo-free, and woke up your roommate three times while practicing your audition monologue. In short, you thought acceptance in this club was basically guaranteed. Then, you get the email and read, “Unfortunately, we were not able to accept you at this time…” reminding you of every college rejection letter you’ve ever received. Joining this club was your dream, so what can you do now?

1. Wallow in self-pity. Cry your eyes out, call your mom, and buy a tub of ice cream to eat out of the carton while watching sad movies. Obviously, you deserved to get in and these people can’t see the genius that you could have offered. Make sure everyone you come in contact with is aware of that for the rest of the semester.

2. Show up to their meetings anyway. When they tell you that they don’t have your name on the list, tell them that there must be a mistake and see how long you can keep it up. If you’ve figured out, stand outside their meetings and sing old Hannah Montana songs loudly so they know you’re still there and still interested.

3. Curse them. Use all the free time you have now to learn the finer details of witchcraft and channel your rage into a good, old-fashioned curse. You’ll have learned something new and gotten your revenge, so basically, it’s a win-win.

4. Reach out and see if there are any other ways you can get involved. Some clubs have open meetings or practices anyone can attend.Theatre productions always seem to need an extra hand to help with make-up and sets. You’ll gain some experience (and some brownie points) that you’ll be able to point to if you decide to apply again.

5. Start your own rival club. Starting a club is quite possibly the easiest thing you can do at Columbia, according to every campus tour ever given. Obviously this school needs another a capella group or debate team, so grab a couple friends and start competing. By next year, their members will be applying to join your club.

You could call it the Buy Sell Undergraduate Law Review

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