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img March 03, 20189:31 amimg 0 Comments

Who would have thought that this tiny ball of aluminum foil could start a trade war?

Happening in the World: Egyptian authorities have arrested an Egyptian mother who spoke to BBC about the torture and forced disappearance of her mother, detaining her for 15 days. She was arrested on suspicion of spreading false information, but she insists that her story is true. (BBC)

Happening in the US: In wake of Trump’s recent decision to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, fears of an impending trade war have caused the value of the US Dollar to drop. Regardless, Trump has said that “trade wars are good.” (Reuters)

Happening in NYC: Trump is pushing congressional Republicans to oppose funding for the construction of the Hudson Rail Tunnel, a tunnel between New York and New Jersey. The construction of this tunnel would expand rail service under the Hudson River, an area in which major infrastructure improvements are needed. (NY Times)

Happening on Campus: The CU Artist Society is hosting “Paint Day” today from 10 am to 12 pm in 401 Dodge Hall! Free acrylic paints, brushes, canvases, and more will be provided, and you’ll have the opportunity to paint a live model. Check out the Facebook event here.

Bacterium of the Day: Photorhabdus luminescens is a bacterial species that causes whatever it infects to glow! It can even infect human wounds, giving it the nickname the “Angel’s Glow” after the First World War, because it served as a signifier of the wound’s healing. Read more about it here.

Image via Wikimedia Commons



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img February 24, 20181:49 pmimg 0 Comments

This is what you would’ve seen from the Pupin observatory last night if the weather didn’t suck

How will new telescope technology allow us to find out more about the galaxy we live in? Bwogger Ramisa Murshed attended the Columbia Astronomy Outreach’s latest event in their Stargazing & Lecture Series, “The LSST Revolution: These Data Belong to You and Me,” to find out.

As I entered the lecture hall in which I would soon be learning more about telescopes on the fourth floor of Pupin, I saw a multitude of faces, varying from young children to undergraduates my age to older people who looked like they had PhDs. This was the first time I had attended one of the Columbia Astronomy Outreach’s public lectures. Volunteers were giving out surveys that asked audience members for their age, profession, affiliation with Columbia, and questions that would probably be used to gain an understanding of what kinds of people were attending the events. The most striking component of these surveys, however, was the question that asked, “Did you learn something new tonight? If you answered YES, what is one thing you learned?” It was clear that the sole purpose of this Stargazing & Lecture Series was to educate, regardless of the audience members’ level of prior knowledge.

The lecture was led by Dr. Federica Bianco, a professor at NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, the LSST Science Collaborations Coordinator, and the LSST Transients and Variable Stars Collaboration Chair. What exactly is LSST? Dr. Bianco began the lecture by explaining that LSST is an acronym for Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. It’s the newest survey telescope technology being developed, and it is said to be more powerful than any other survey telescopes that exist now. The survey is projected to run for ten years, from 2022 to 2032. The main idea of LSST is to take no compromises: it must be deep, wide, and fast. Dr. Bianco explains that there have been surveys in the past that have covered one or two of these aspects, but never any that have covered all three.

What does deep, wide, and fast actually mean?



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img February 24, 201810:00 amimg 0 Comments

Gothamist: “I bet you thought you’d seen the last of me. Surprise, bitch.”

Happening in the World: The International Committee of the Red Cross revealed that 21 of its staff members engaged in sexual misconduct within the last three years. This follows the report that Plan International, a children’s aid agency, confirmed six cases of sexual abuse or child exploitation by its staff members and associates. (BBC)

Happening in the US: Rick Gates, a former senior adviser to Trump’s election campaign, pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy and false statement charges in the special council’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. This marks a shift from Gates’ refusal to cooperate with the investigation. (US News)

Happening in NYC: WNYC has bought Gothamist, a New York City news site that was shut down three months ago. The relaunch was funded by a group of anonymous donors with the intention to integrate Gothamist, along with its satellite sites in Los Angeles and Washington, with public radio. (NYT)

Happening on Campus: MAKECU, Columbia’s undergraduate hardware hackathon, starts today and will go on through tomorrow afternoon. Check-in starts at 12 pm and hacking commences at 4 pm. Check out the website for registration and the schedule.

Song of the Day:

Image via Pixabay



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img February 17, 20189:55 amimg 0 Comments

It’s the year of the dog!!!!!!

Happening in the World: Following the Prime Minister’s resignation, Ethiopia declared a state of emergency. The Prime Minister’s resignation is said to be a result of growing tensions between the four parties in the country’s ruling coalition, which has been in power since 1991 and currently holds all 547 seats in parliament. (Reuters)

Happening in the US: After a new development in the FBI’s investigation of the 2016 Presidential election, 13 Russians have been charged with tampering with the election. Three of the thirteen Russians have been accused of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, while five have been accused of aggravated identity theft. Read more about the indictment here. (BBC)

Happening in NYC: A former teacher and his twin brother were arrested for allegedly creating bombs in their Bronx home. Several materials used for making bombs along with a diary detailing a plan entitled “Operation Code Name Flash” were found. (NY Daily News)

Happening on Campus: The Chinese Students Club is hosting the 40th Annual Lunar Gala in celebration of the Lunar New Year this Sunday from 6:00 to 9:30 pm. There will be performances and food! Get more information about the event and tickets through the Facebook event.

Image via Pexels



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img February 10, 20189:49 amimg 0 Comments

Yay sports!!

Happening in the World: The 2018 Winter Olympics kicked off in Pyeongchang, South Korea. This year’s Olympics are said to be the largest in history, with 92 countries competing. The opening ceremony also consisted of a historic handshake between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Yo-jong, the sister of Kim Jong-un. (NYT)

Happening in the US: Rob Porter, an aide to President Trump who was accused of domestic abuse, received farewell wishes from Trump after recently resigning. In response to the allegations, Trump stated, “We found out about it recently and I was surprised by it, but we certainly wish him well and it’s a tough time for him.” (BBC)

Happening in New York: When asked if he saw fare evasion as an indicator of poverty, Mayor de Blasio stated that he saw no evidence for such. “We see people who evade fares and have money, and we see people [who] evade fares and don’t have money.” (NY Daily News)

Happening on Campus: ADI is hosting DevFest, Columbia’s week-long hackathon and learnathon this week. Even if you don’t have any experience programming, there are lots of opportunities for you to learn and create things! Check out the Facebook event here and check out DevFest’s website for the schedule.

Overheard: At President Sian Beilock’s inauguration, “Sorry I made Spec and Bwog sit together; I know there’s a rivalry.”

Image via Pixabay



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img February 03, 20189:57 amimg 2 Comments

Venture out of the MoHi bubble and take a trip to the Brooklyn Museum!

Happening in the world: With new remote sensing technology, researchers were able to discover over 60,000 hidden Mayan ruins in Guatemala. The technology, called Lidar, allows archaeologists to find things that are invisible to the naked eye. (BBC)

Happening in the US: Russia recently developed a new nuclear-armed torpedo that could easily strike US coastal cities, prompting Trump to call for the US’s production of new nuclear arms, following his promises to strengthen the country’s nuclear arsenal. (USA Today)

Happening in NYC: A man was recently found dead in Riverside Park near W 158th Street and Riverside Drive. He was found lying on a stairwell, face-down. The cause of death is currently unknown. (NY Daily News)

Happening on Campus: The Ethiopian Eritrean Student Association is heading to Brooklyn to attend the Brooklyn Museum for Target First Saturdays: Black History Month! Check out the Facebook event here.

Overheard: “I just met you, and like, you seem so mean.” “OK, nobody tells this guy my name.”

Brooklyn Museum via Wikimedia Commons



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img January 27, 201810:00 amimg 0 Comments

New drinking game: Take a shot every time you find underwear in an elevator

Happening in the World: A devastating fire in a hospital specializing in care for the elderly in Miryang, South Korea has killed at least 37 people and injured about 130. The cause of the fire is currently unknown, but the owner and manager of the building the hospital is housed in were arrested for malfunctioning sprinkler systems among other safety violations. (BBC)

Happening in the US: Despite opposition from both the left and right, Republicans are beginning to express agreement with Trump’s new immigration policy proposal, with Congressmen like Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas calling it “generous and humane.” (US News)

Happening in NYC: Rebekah Mercer, a board member of the American Museum of Natural History, is facing pressure to step down from her position. Hundreds of scientists have endorsed an open letter to Mercer, a long-time donor of several climate change-denying conservative groups, encouraging her to resign. (NYT)

Happening on Campus: Columbia’s MFA Sound Art Winter Exhibition is happening today from 2 to 8 pm! The works presented in the exhibition feature a unique approach to sound, including performance, video, computer programming, and sculpture. Check out the Facebook event here.

Overseen: A pair of underwear in the corner of a John Jay elevator, pictured to the right.

Elevator goodies via Bwogger



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img December 07, 20175:37 pmimg 1 Comments

The JJ’s we know and love <3

You may know JJ’s Place as the dining hall that’s there for you with cheeseburgers, curly fries, and mozzarella sticks whenever you need them, but long ago, the space in the basement of John Jay that JJ’s now occupies was a bar that served alcohol to upperclassmen.

Opened in 1939, the basement of John Jay, then known as the Lion’s Den Pub, served as an important social hub for Columbia students. An article in LIFE from February 15, 1954 described the Lion’s Den as a place “where there is music and dancing, and a certain amount of beer, and a thick fog of tobacco smoke, and a sustained, genial noise.” Richard Goldwater (CC ‘63) said it was “small, but had the authentic beery atmosphere.”

The Lion’s Den – 1948

Barnard students would frequent the Lion’s Den prior to Columbia opening its doors to women, musical performances (including the Glee Club Quartet, which performed at the opening to the Lion’s Den), and even the Varsity Show would take place in the pub, and Columbia students didn’t have to leave campus to get a beer.

The Lion’s Den in John Jay soon closed its doors, and a new one opened in Ferris Booth Hall, what is now Lerner Hall, around 1962. The Lion’s Den in Ferris Booth Hall had a much more modern appearance, which, according to Goldwater “even in the sentimental glow of retrospect looks awful and sterile.” The Lion’s Den in Ferris Booth Hall closed in 1971. Later, in 1996, the basement of John Jay, then called “the Lodge,” became JJ’s Place.

The Lion’s Den in Ferris Booth Hall

When walking down the stairs of John Jay to get to JJ’s on a Tuesday night after a long day of studying, it seems almost unimaginable that the space where hungry college students devour thousands of calories once housed a focal point for nightlife. Although alcohol is no longer served and the sticky beer-permeated floors are now much cleaner, one characteristic of the Lion’s Den still remains in JJ’s: students love it.


JJ’s via Columbia Dining

The first Lion’s Den via Spectator Archives

The Lion’s Den in Ferris Booth Hall via Columbia College Today



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img November 01, 20173:45 pmimg 1 Comments

Maybe I’ll find a sad Columbia boy in here!

Have you ever wanted to stay in touch with your friends at other schools by sending them packages? Have any friends request that you send them something that you can only get at Columbia, but didn’t know what to get them? Well, here’s a preliminary list of unique Columbia items to mail to that friend from high school who won’t stop asking you for a taste of New York City.”

Vomit from Carman Hall: Relive your NSOP days and show your friends just what orientation was like for you!

A Bowl of Steaming Pasta from Ferris: Cold Ferris pasta just won’t cut it. Don’t worry about the pasta losing heat when being shipped to your friends since thermodynamics is just a social construct.

An Abandoned iPhone Charger from the Butler Ref Room: Because everyone is always forgetting to pick up their belongings (usually the smaller ones) after they leave Butler.

An Hour of Hygiene Time: From your two hours, of course. That leaves you with only an hour of hygiene time per week for yourself, but you can just compensate for it by tapping into your nine hours of free time.

A Barnard ID from the Front Desk at EC on a Saturday Night: This may be hard to get, but there are plenty to choose from!

A Ton of Fucking Pigeons: Your friends may have seen pigeons, but have they ever encountered Columbia pigeons? Those things are vicious, showing no mercy, not even to the most kindhearted of people.

A Sad Columbia Boy: This one is pretty self-explanatory.

Image via public domain



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img October 25, 20172:15 pmimg 0 Comments

Baby carrots + Butler = complete satisfaction

Midterm season is upon us, with the worst of it still yet to come. We know those sleepless nights in Butler are incomplete with an abundance of junk food, like chips, cookies, and cans of Red Bull with who knows how many calories. We all stress eat, but junk food is the last thing you want in your body as you’re cramming for your next midterm. Here at Bwog, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite healthy stress eating foods you can get on or near campus that’ll give you more energy, help recharge your brain, and make you feel less bad about skipping your daily cardio workout at Dodge.

Frozen Yogurt: A lighter alternative for when you’re craving ice cream. Cafe East has good froyo that many people don’t know about. If you ask for no toppings, it’s cheaper, and you get more actual froyo.

Grapes: At Bwog, we take pride in our weekly meeting grapes. You can get some at Morton Williams or if you’re willing to take the trek up, Westside Market.

Apples: All the dining halls have apples, although the ones at JJ’s are objectively the best. Additionally, putting almond or peanut butter on them gives them a nice texture and more flavor without adding on too many calories.

Sushi: Cafe East has the best sushi on campus, but if you’d prefer to use Barnard dining points, you can check out the sushi at Diana or Liz’s Place.

More healthy snack ideas below!



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img October 21, 20174:04 pmimg 1 Comments

Chef Mike before taking this photo: “Let me put my hat on first, I’m naked without it.”

If you haven’t noticed from the multiple advertising campaigns on Bwog’s homepage, Columbia’s Sexual Respect Initiative is required for all new Columbia students to complete by October 29. While the program offers a range of ways to fulfill the requirement, Bwogger Ramisa Murshed took a peek at one particular event that involved, you guessed it, teaching students how to set up the perfect dinner date.

When I walked into John Jay Dining Hall for Columbia Dining and Sexual Violence Response’s joint program called “Ingredients for Healthy Relationships,” I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting. The idea behind the event seemed kind of bizarre to me, but in the end, I’m glad I got to experience it.

The facilitators and participants of the program, including myself, congregated in the area around Chef Mike’s Kitchen, and the participants signed in, grabbed some recipes and SVR pamphlets, and sat down at two thoughtfully decorated tables. The tables were covered with brown tablecloths and had orange (a shade that was a mix of pumpkin and blood orange) napkins, utensils placed the proper way, and glasses filled with ice (with a lemon on top!) for each person. Each table was also topped with two blue glass bottles of Saratoga Spring Water.

More tips and food after the jump



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img October 20, 20175:37 pmimg 0 Comments

How do we find meaning in music?

The Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience kicked off this year’s series of seminars with “Music and Meaning,” a seminar designed to examine the ways we find meaning in music from an interdisciplinary perspective. Bwogger Ramisa was there.

The seminar began with a welcome from Pamela Smith, Professor of History and Chair of the Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience. David Freedberg, Professor of the History of Art and Director of the Italian Academy, then briefly took the podium to discuss the history of these seminars before handing the podium back to Smith, who introduced the moderators of the seminar, Jacqueline Gottlieb, Professor of Neuroscience, and Andrew Goldman, Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience.

Gottlieb began by introducing the topic of music and how it relates to neuroscience by providing two contrasting viewpoints. First, she stated, “Music is an essential part of our lives. Without music, life would be a mistake.” She countered this, however, with, “From my perspective as a neuroscientist, music should not exist.” She explained that nervous systems are adaptive systems to learn to increase biological fitness, and from this perspective, music and art are just signals that should be ignored like other stimuli that have little to do with biological fitness. Tying this topic into the idea of “meaning,” Gottlieb then defined meaning as what humans look for in everything; human beings have a drive for making sense of the world, constantly searching for predictability, which in turn becomes meaning. We, however, are struggling to find out what we find meaning in. Gottlieb left the audience with two questions. What do we find value in? And what makes things interesting and worthwhile to us? She then introduced how the speakers would address those questions.

The speakers address the question after the jump!



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img October 18, 20174:47 pmimg 0 Comments

Sara Ahmed and Prof. Tina Campt sit to discuss institutions with the audience after Ahmed’s presentation.

What is the role of diversity in large institutions? How does diversity work mold and change an institution? Staff writer, Ramisa Murshed, attended Sara Ahmed’s lecture on how “social justice projects require making usage into crisis” to find out.

As the Diana Event Oval filled up on Monday night with people eager to listen to Sara Ahmed’s lecture titled “The Institutional as Usual: Diversity Work as Data Collection,” Tina Campt, Director of the Barnard Center for Research on Women, welcomed the audience and introduced Ahmed, a feminist scholar who, in Campt’s words, “modeled and reshaped what it means to be a feminist activist of color.”.

Ahmed then took the podium and joked about her cold, saying that she hoped that her voice would be able to last through the evening. She then began to define the “institutional as usual,” providing the audience with an anecdote of a diversity worker’s experience with the institution: the diversity worker enters a room to find it occupied by several white males, sharing their memories of breakfast at the University of Cambridge. When the diversity worker, a woman of color, entered the room, the occupants of the room just kept talking to each other as if she was not there. The diversity worker, recalling the event, said to Ahmed, “I realized how far away they were from my world.” Ahmed used this experience to introduce the purpose of her lecture, to think about diversity and universities through use.

More details on the event below!



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img October 08, 20174:30 pmimg 0 Comments

if you want some gourmet cheese, Avery is the place to be!

Cheese is a versatile element of modern culinary living. It can be put on bread or crackers, inserted into a sandwich or burger, melted into a grilled cheese or quesadilla, or simply just eaten alone. Libraries are just like cheese: they have tons of uses and can foster a sense of community based on how much you hate a certain one (or love, but mostly hate). Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of libraries at Columbia as cheeses, so that you can choose your next study spot based on the cheeses you like, or so that you can choose your next cheese based on the libraries you like.

Avery (Brie): Walking into Avery, you’ll see a noticeably larger concentration of art students who are dressed better than you, diligently working on their next project. Just by looking at the people in Avery, you can tell that the mood is very sophisticated, as expected from an architectural and fine arts library. Brie, like Avery, is a sophisticated cheese (and tastes better with wine).

Butler (Sharp Cheddar): Sharp cheddar is objectively the most basic cheese. Everyone and their mother eats it. People pretend to love it, but they usually only eat it because it’s the most accessible cheese. Butler is specifically sharp cheddar because of how stressful it is, having a much harsher and distinct taste than just regular cheddar.

East Asian (Colby): Colby is physically similar to sharp cheddar, just as how the East Asian library and Butler are both physically beautiful. Colby, however, is much creamier, subtler in taste, and overall better than sharp cheddar, like how the East Asian Library is cozier, quieter, and better than Butler.

LeFrak Center/Barnard Library (Cream Cheese): LeFrak is nice and homey, and has a metaphorically creamy consistency. But just as cream cheese isn’t real cheese, LeFrak isn’t a real library.

Lehman (Swiss): Swiss cheese is good, but the holes in it remind you of how empty you feel inside, so you avoid eating too much of it. The Lehman Social Sciences Library is good for short periods of time, because staying for too long makes you realize how much you hate yourself when watching grad students laboring away at their work.

Mathematics (Blue Cheese): Everyone knows the Mathematics Library exists, but never really acknowledges it, like blue cheese. People who claim to have tried blue cheese and the mathematics library say they don’t like it, but the ones who actually have tried them know that they’re actually pretty good.

Science and Engineering (Feta): Often called the “healthier” cheese, feta is a lighter alternative to the more fatty cheeses. The glass-paneled design of NoCo allows a lot of natural light to pass through, making studying in the Science and Engineering Library during the day feel a little less stressful. The stress starts to kick in, though, when it’s late at night and you start eating feta as a midnight snack and can’t stop, cancelling out all the health benefits of it.

Image via Public Domain

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