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img March 06, 20185:00 pmimg 4 Comments

1878 called and it wants its goddamned wooden death trap back.

It was once said that all great designers, whether they design skyscrapers or artwork, challenge themselves to design the perfect chair: beautiful when seen, yet invisible when in use. I’m pretty sure I heard that on a podcast at some point. In any case, Columbia clearly didn’t recruit any “great designers” when considering which chairs they should use to populate the campus. Save a select few, all the chairs are wrong.

Take John Jay dining hall. The chairs are uncomfortable to sit in and take up so much room, from their thick handles to their round-seated design. This makes it tough to navigate around the dining hall; the spaces between chairs are so small you either have to squeeze between them, possibly spilling your food and invading the personal space of others, or take a lap around the entire dining hall, searching for an inch of space you can use to your advantage. Their thick design makes them durable, but bulky. It’s safe to say the chairs are wrong.

The study desks in Pupin have the opposite problem; they’re made out of a low-grade plastic, with a tiny piece of laminated wood to use as a desk. Besides blowing away in the wind, the biggest problem these chairs have is the unappealing tilt of the desks which, when combined with the smoothness of the “wood”, makes it unsafe to put anything on them lest it slide off seconds later. Their lightweight composition also causes the desk to swivel easily; more than once I’ve rested my elbow on the side of the desk, only to have it flap up and crash back down in the middle of someone saying something about Dante and capitalism or whatever. The poor quality makes these chair-desks unsubstantial and unusable. These chairs are definitely wrong.

The Butler chairs, as seen in the image above, combine the worst of both worlds: uncomfortable design and lightweight materials.  After a long day pretending to be productive, my back always aches from the un-ergonomic backrest composed of wooden rods. More than once I’ve been tempted to smash the chair over my knee, which would probably take as much strength as pulling a tissue out of a tissue box. While the chairs may be right given the context (all students in Butler give off the appearance of quality with no structure underneath), they are unequivocally wrong.

Unless you’re pulling off an Inception-style dream-dive, you don’t need to occasionally experience the stomach-churning feeling of freefall, sorry not sorry.

Don’t even get me started on these Library Tycoon wannabees. What possible justification could you have for wanting chairs that tilt back a little bit, other than wanting to scare students half to death? My current theory is that in order to increase membership rates into the Bloomingdale Insane Asylum, they stashed these chairs in cafés nearby to induce people into insanity. Then they gathered the chairs back up when they opened Columbia. No one has ever actually had the thought “Hm, you know what I’d love right now? If my stomach went from a solid to a plasma” while studying. Also, the softness of the cushions juxtaposes badly with the hardness of the wood. These chairs are wrong.

Do you have a least favorite chair? Yell at the person next to you about it or maybe put it in the comments.



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img March 01, 20182:10 pmimg 4 Comments

This Bwog article is *not* brought to you by

Deputy Editor Zack Abrams always has voices inside his head but he’s pretty sure he’s not crazy; he’s just a podcast addict! Here are his recommendations for a good podcast to listen to when working out, commuting on the subway, or generally trying to avoid other people. Sources say if you like enough of his Tweets, he’ll give you a personalized suggestion. 

Anything ending in the word “Studies” : S-Town

Created by the producers of Serial and This American Life (which you should listen to no matter your major), this podcast tells the story of a “Shit Town,” and the intriguing man who gave it that title. It’s one of the best narratives I’ve ever listened to, and I was hooked instantly. Listen to the first episode below.

Economics: Planet Money

From NPR, Planet Money discusses how the economy actually works in our lives by telling compelling stories. They’re short, sweet, and with 800+ episodes to catch up on, you’ll never run out of new content. Listen below to an intriguing episode on capitalism in North Korea.

Plenty more recommendations after the jump!



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img February 24, 20186:20 pmimg 1 Comments

Students are planning a nationwide school walkout on April 20th to protest gun violence, agitating some administrators.

In a statement released by the official Columbia Admissions Twitter account today, Admissions clarified that students facing disciplinary action for peaceful protests will not be “at a disadvantage in the Columbia admissions process.” This statement comes in the wake of many schools promising the same, including MIT, Brown, Yale, and several others.

The Needville Independent School District, located outside of Houston, Texas, has promised that any and all students who participate in a school walkout protest, such as several being planned to protest gun violence, would be suspended for three days. Other districts have also made similar threats to the chagrin of gun control and First Amendment activists. These walkout protests are being planned after a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left seventeen dead on February 14th.

Columbia has joined a growing list of schools that have promised that students who are suspended or otherwise disciplined for peaceful protests will not be judged by admissions, whether they have already been accepted to the school (the biggest protest is planned for April 20th) or if they wish to apply in the future. In a letter to students, Stu Schmill, Dean of Admissions at MIT, said they made the choice to “articulate the importance of responsible citizenship.” Many schools also released statements following the publication of that letter via Twitter.

Columbia Admissions clarified that the decision only applies to Columbia College and SEAS. At the time of publication, Barnard Admissions has yet to make a statement.

Update, 2/26/18, 5 pm: Barnard Admissions has now made a similar statement, stating that Barnard will “support the First Amendment rights of all students to engage in peaceful protest.”



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img February 17, 20185:15 pmimg 0 Comments

The Dastardly Dabber himself.

Paul Ryan recently tweeted (‘n’ deleted) about a whopping $1.50-a-week raise for a high school secretary as a result of the tax bill. In anticipation of the money raining from the sky, I decided to treat myself to a $1.50 shopping spree around MoHi. Here’s how it went.

With a light heart and a heavy wallet, I set out from the Columbia gates with my mind on my $1.50 and my $1.50 on my mind. However, my stomach was empty, so I decided to head to Community for some gourmet food. Except, I took a look at the menu. Forget food, the $1.50 wasn’t even enough for some fresh juice. I would need to wait three weeks to afford a single glass of orange juice, without tip. Ah well, brunch is for people on TV anyway.

Every restaurant I checked was way too expensive for my budget, so I walked south until I hit Panda Express. The average meal would take me ten weeks to save up for, about the same as Chipotle, so that idea died quick. Even Koronet’s and Famiglia were a no-go; I couldn’t even get garlic knots with my $1.50.

At this point, I was feeling really drained, but then I remembered that Walgreens is expecting $200 million dollars in savings from the Republican tax bill this year!  Though they haven’t announced any plans to share the savings with its employees, I knew that the wealth would eventually trickle down, so I laid down in the fifth aisle and waited for the sweet, sweet crumbs dribbling from the corners of executives mouths as they feast.

Six hours later, I checked my wallet and I still had the same $1.50. Oh well, I’m sure they’ll get around to trickling down soon anyway. My last stop of the day was Ivy League stationers. After using my student discount and spending a few hours finding loose coins on the sidewalk, I was able to walk away with a shiny new pen. It’s not a ballpoint, but it’s still… functional. It’ll work perfectly when I go to the polls in November.



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img February 09, 20181:30 amimg 3 Comments


He would probably stop eating Deantini. He also would fit in his Audi.

PrezBo via Bwog Archives



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img January 31, 20182:51 pmimg 5 Comments

PrezBo never knew what hit him.

Deputy Editor and frequent FiveThirtyEight reader Zack Abrams has created a site so HTML-heavy that he had to throw the whole Bwog away and host it somewhere else. Go here for the full experience or scroll down for an overview of the site. Note: use Google Chrome to see the preview, but the site itself works on any browser.

Last week, I went through 100 posts on everyone’s favorite meme group, Columbia Buy/Sell Memes, and collected data on the original poster, time, topic, reactions, and a few other categories. Using that data, all of it from December or this January, I threw together some graphs and pretty much learned HTML and JavaScript, all for the sake of the memes. Fun bonus fact: though Rafael Ortiz posted 11 times out of the 100, he only got the third highest reactions-per-meme among repeat posters. If you liked that fact, you’ll love the whole site. Check it out here or scroll down for an embedded preview.



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img January 31, 20189:37 amimg 0 Comments

The face you make when you hear about the Bruno sweep.

Happening in the World: Cape Town is about to run out of water. ‘Zero-day,’ the day the taps turn off, is April 16th after drought and overuse have drained the city of its water supply, and citizens have little hope of a way out.  (NPR)

Happening in the US: Trump gave his State of the Union address and managed to stay on script the entire time, prompting the usual descriptors of “presidential” and “finally making a change.” (NYT)

Happening in NYC: Mayor De Blasio was prevented from attending the Grammy’s due to “ethics rules,” probably because he would’ve had a duty to report the robbery of awards from Lorde and SZA. (New York Post)

Happening on Campus: Columbia, in an email sent out to the student body today, declined to bargain with Columbia graduate student unions, prompting a strong reaction from the unions, which are planning a protest this Thursday.

Bop of the Day: 



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img January 22, 20182:35 pmimg 0 Comments

Pianist Simone Dinnerstein returned to the Miller Theatre for a performance of works by Franz Schubert and Philip Glass

Deputy Editor and live music aficionado Zack Abrams attended the Miller Theatre last Thursday for the show ‘Glass + Schubert,’ a solo recital by pianist Simone Dinnerstein who performed music by Franz Schubert and Philip Glass.

After an enjoyable experience at the Miller Theatre last semester, I was once again excited to see Simone Dinnerstein perform classical works by Philip Glass, this time accompanied by works by Franz Schubert as well. The single performer made for a less dynamic performance than last time, but there was still much to be appreciated in the nuance of the pieces, which meshed together far more interestingly than the works of Bach and Glass at the first show.

The stage was set to amplify the presence of the single grand piano; a row of fake candles lined the edge of the stage, flickering in their electronic regularity. Soon after I sat down, the lights dimmed and Dinnerstein entered wearing flowing red silk over a sequined dress. Her dramatic solitude, as there was no sheet music and therefore no need for a page-turner, enhanced the melancholy tone of many of the pieces.

Click here to hear about the music!



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img January 16, 20184:25 pmimg 5 Comments

Mmm whatcha say

If you’ve been living under a rock (or inside a concrete bunker) for the last few days, you may not have heard about the fake missile threat that was accidentally activated in Hawaii, prompting a notification on everyone’s phone. That got me thinking about how I would have no idea what to do in that scenario if I was on campus. Here’s what I came up with:

Burn your LitHum books on Low Beach

In the last few minutes of existence as a body and not as a dust of microscopic particles, it’s always best to give in to the most animalistic of human urges. A good ol’ fashioned book burning is always fun, so show the cisheteronormative patriarchal core how you really feel about its bullshit. Leave Sappho out of it, though.

Get lit with your professor in office hours

Societal structure always breaks down in apocalyptic scenarios; therefore, there’s nothing stopping you from partying away your last few minutes with your favorite professor or your favorite TA. Choose your playlist wisely, you don’t want to spend your last time on earth listening to Ed Sheeran.

Actually find shelter, if you want to fight off radioactive zombies

Look, I just don’t have the work ethic to survive in a post-apocalyptic environment; some days I’m too lazy to literally take an elevator downstairs and eat food that’s just waiting out on a table. But, if you think you have a shot, maybe try prying open some of the doors to the hidden tunnels or figuring out how to get to the Manhattan Project levels beneath Pupin. Athletes, beautiful people, Walking Dead fans: I suggest this option.

Binge-watch Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix at 863x speeds

There’s 301 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, with each being around 43 minutes long. Therefore, in order to watch them all in 15 minutes, you’d have to speed each of them up to 863 times their normal speed. So experience love, loss, grief, and… doctor stuff, I guess, in the time you have left. (Author’s note: I have never seen an episode of Grey’s Anatomy)

Grab the nearest person and head to the Butler stacks

You gotta. Enough said.




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img January 16, 20181:39 pmimg 0 Comments

Now that’s one hot TA.

In the beginning, there was class. Out of the chaos, professors materialized and said ridiculous things in order to keep your attention. Like the Greek myths of old, a professor’s opening lecture is meant to enthrall you and make you believe in something larger than yourself. However, unlike those Greek myths, these opening remarks were probably contemplated over a Panda Express tray rather than delicately crafted through centuries of oral tradition.

Bwog wants to know all the delightfully weird remarks that professors throw out during syllabus week, from red flags to random anecdotes. Send them in to, or carve them into the would-be marble of the comments section below.



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img January 16, 20189:52 amimg 1 Comments

It’s the spring semester! Remember this image when your ears are frozen and you’re praying for sun.

Happening Around The World: Danish inventor Peter Madsen has been charged with the murder of Kim Wall, a journalist and Columbia Journalism School alumnus. (CNN)

Happening In The US: Two of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s children spoke out against President Trump, who has claimed to be “the least racist person you have ever interviewed.” (New York Times)

Happening In NYC: If you’ve been craving the taste of forearm-salt, you’re in luck because beloved Internet meme Salt Bae, real name Nusret Gokce, has opened a steakhouse in NYC. (NBC)

Happening At Columbia: Good luck to everyone on their first day of spring semester classes today!

Bop of the Day: 




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img December 20, 20175:24 pmimg 3 Comments

Pictured: The Perfect Specimen (See? Jenny isn’t the only Shitty Photoshopper on Bwog!)

I’ve been through a lot with my laptop: endless Netflix binges and college applications, unfortunate spills and learning new skills. The laptop is the extension of the self, and your choice in decoration says more about you than your search history. Here’s what your laptop stickers say about you. 

No Decoration

If your laptop isn’t decorated at all, it can mean a few things. Maybe you’re waiting to settle down with the right sticker. Maybe you’re just a fan of brutalism (hopefully not). Maybe you just see a laptop as a cold, austere machine not deserving of human love. In any case, you probably need to spend less time on schoolwork and get out more. The world is waiting for you to paint it with your own colors, just as your laptop is waiting for you to decorate it. Also, this isn’t your laptop. You took the wrong one when you left Butler at 4 am last night.

Stickers From Startups/Corporations

What up, my blockchain! It’s been so long since I’ve gotten to synergy with you. Free markets. Anyway, if you’ve got a lot of Y-Combinastic stickers on your laptop, it probably means you’re a tech- or business-oriented youngster waiting to take out your Tesla and take on the world. The humanities are garbage. VC you on the flippity-flop!

Body-Wide Cover, Especially The Ones With A Marble Or Wood Texture

Ugh, sorry you had to read that STEM part. As a distinguished scholar of the humanities, you balk at the idea of gaudy decorations like the ones on Achilleus’s shield and instead go for a more refined, yet unique look, the kind that makes other people say “I’ll have a Venti Macchiato, please.” Keep working on your novel!

Body-Wide Cover With Stickers Underneath

Barista in the streets, freak in the sheets.

Politics/Media Stickers

Because it’s not enough that you mention [Hillary Clinton/Bernie Sanders/Donald Trump/Your Local Congressperson Or State Representative] to your friends both online and off every five seconds during election season, you deserve to immortalize your devotion and broadcast it to the world. You didn’t phonebank as much as you could’ve, but I’m sure the $5 from that sticker purchase went much further in the hands of those Russian agents. Every vote counts!

Pop Culture

Woah, you watch The Office too? It’s like my favorite show! Prison Mike, am I right? Haha. Just a Jim looking for my Pam. Central Perk! I’m such an April but I wish I was a Leslie when it came to schoolwork! This choice of decoration is legen…wait for it… dary! These are all substitutes for a personality! Save me! Please save me! Note: We do not want to read your fanfic. 

Fuck Spec Sticker

You are the epitome of desirability. You downloaded Tinder once but your phone literally overheated from the number of matches rolling in. You never have to search for a seat in Butler, people nearly trip over themselves giving you prime real estate. Whenever you walk by the farmers’ market on Broadway, free samples are literally hurled at your head. Does it take a lot of effort being that effortlessly perfect?




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img December 15, 20179:07 pmimg 1 Comments

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




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img December 15, 20175:14 pmimg 2 Comments

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!



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img December 15, 201710:10 amimg 0 Comments

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.


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!


Just like wet concrete, only colder and more ephemeral.

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