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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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