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Dec

2

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*Squeak!* The tax bill will make it much less affordable to attend grad school, a huge blow in the Republican war against intellectualism. *Squeak!*

Happening in the World: Protests in Honduras over what many citizens see as a fraudulent vote count in their presidential election have escalated into violence, prompting the sitting President to impose a curfew. Anyone found outside between 6 am and 6 pm could be arrested. (NYT)

Happening in the US: Senate Republicans have passed a 479-page tax bill with illegible handwritten notes that was finalized just hours before the final vote. The bill adds nearly a trillion and a half dollars to the deficit by 2018 and includes many provisions that disproportionately affect the rich, like a tax break for private jet ownership. (NYT)

Happening in NYC: A Fordham graduate student sequenced the genomes of rats from uptown and downtown and discovered significant genetic differences between them. He still has 200 frozen rat tails in a freezer somewhere, yet to be sequenced. (The Atlantic)

Happening on Campus: Today is your last chance to see Cold Whole Milk, NOMADS’s Fall 2017 Main Stage production, written and directed by Sarah Billings (BC ’18). Check it out!

Bop of the Day: 

Dec

1

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An Econ student, probably, hard at work on his Gulati problem set (2017, Colorized).

If you’ve crawled out of Butler isolation recently to check the news, you might have seen this rather interesting in-depth NYT profile of an American Nazi. In fact, the article inspired us here at Bwog to take a deeper look into one of the everyday faces of Columbia University: a Columbia Econ major. Bwogger Zack Abrams investigates

Eric Johnson arrived at Columbia University this fall. He got in early. On his shopping list were a Canada Goose jacket, a lint brush, and a set of sharpened pencils.

Ms. Johnson, his mother, was worried about activist groups protesting his arrival. Going to college is hard enough to plan when your son is not an expected econ major.

But Eric, in the days leading up to his arrival, was somewhat less anxious. There are times when it can feel toxic to openly identify as a center-right economist in the Columbia of 2017. But not always. He said the election of President Trump helped open a space for people like him, demonstrating that it is not the end of the world to be attacked as the free-market idealist he surely is: “You can just say, ‘Yeah, so?’ And move on.”

It was a weeknight at the local steakhouse in Scarsdale, a town in Westchester, a few weeks before move-in day. The Johnsons were shoulder to shoulder at a table, a family in love. He was in a gold-buttoned blazer, she in a Moncler puffer. She ordered the salmon. The going-away party would be small. Some of Ms. Johnson’s friends were going to be there. “A lot of girls are not really into the writings of Keynes,” she said.

At Columbia, amid the manicured lawns and vaping students, the pizza places and Shake Shacks, Mr. Johnson’s presence can make hardly a ripple.

Nov

29

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img November 29, 20172:15 pmimg 0 Comments

The man behind the screen

If you’ve ever had the absolute pleasure of reading Spectator op-eds, first of all, you and your loved ones may be entitled to financial compensation. Second of all, you may recognize the profile of Man With Axe, a frequent commenter with conservative viewpoints. When I went to his Disqus profile, I realized that he comments on many other college newspapers and blogs. So, I reached out to Man With Axe over email to talk about internet comment culture, the protection of anonymity, and the politics of college students. Some questions were omitted for conciseness. 

Bwog: Tell me about yourself. Are you currently a college student? Where are you studying / did you study? What are you studying / did you study?

Man With Axe: I was a college professor for 31 years, now retired. I have degrees in history, law, and business administration. My undergrad was from an Ivy school and my graduate degrees were from another highly ranked private university.

Bwog: You comment on just about every major campus publication. What are your favorites and least favorites?

MWA: My favorites are the Ivies, Stanford, Duke, and some of the major state universities, such as Michigan, Berkeley, Maryland, Texas, UNC, and Virginia. The only negative thing I would say about some schools is that they rarely print anything. For example, Ohio State doesn’t do much.

Bwog: Your comments usually come from a conservative social and political perspective. Why do you think fewer op-eds from college websites come from a conservative perspective? Is this an issue?

MWA: The fact that so few op-eds are written from a conservative perspective is why I comment as much as I do. I spent my life with college students, and I’m very interested in what they are thinking. I’m troubled to discover that they are receiving a partial education from their virtually all-progressive faculty. They seem to come to college already hell-bent on being progressive activists, and they don’t seem to realize that half the country disagrees with them. Or, perhaps they do realize it, but they believe that the half that thinks differently are all evil and/or stupid. And they thought this before the rise of Trump. This belief that the other side is evil leads them to adopt anti-free speech positions, to believe that violence is justified to silence their enemies. And then they go out and demonstrate these beliefs. “Your speech is violence, and my violence is speech.”

More ManWithAxe !

Nov

17

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img November 17, 201710:00 amimg 2 Comments

We’ve come a long way since… whatever this is.

Happening Around The World: The Nigerian women’s bobsled team is heading to the 2018 Winter Olympics after crowdfunding $75,000 for their Olympic bid and qualifying over several races. Feel free to make as many Cool Runnings jokes as you want in the comments. (ABC News)

Happening In The US: Minnesota Senator Al Franken has apologized after a photo surfaced of him groping a sleeping woman’s breasts, along with a testimonial by that woman about how Franken forcibly kissed her. He is now facing bipartisan calls for an ethics investigation. (Washington Post)

Happening In NYC: A 30-year-old Australian diplomat has fallen to his death off a Lower East Side apartment during a “trust game” while celebrating the ‘yes’ vote in Australia towards marriage equality. (New York Times)

Happening At Columbia: Today is the Day of Data! Come by Lerner today for a variety of panels, workshops, and events. I’m especially excited for “Data Driven Journalism,” which has two panelists from Buzzfeed!

Overheard: “You know there’s a guy with a very similar style to you… I think it’s because you both use drugs”

Bop of the Day:

Nov

10

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img November 10, 20172:42 pmimg 0 Comments

The very well-designed poster for the event.

Last night, Daily Editor Zack Abrams attended ISERP’s – the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy – event called “Coming to Terms with a Polarized Society: Professional Journalism, Polarization, Post-Truth, & Post-Trump.” What a mouthful. His review:

If you’ve been alive for the past two years or so, you’re probably aware of the many complaints against the media being lobbed by all sides, including the Executive Branch. Political polarization, or simply the idea that partisanship is driving people to surround themselves with supporting views instead of exposing themselves to the other side, is at an all-time high among college first-years. Many see the media as having a hand in this issue, especially as terms like “fake news” have become commonplace among discussions of politics and policy.

In this context, ISERP hosted Michael Schudson, a Columbia Journalism professor, to give a brief overview of how the media has handled objectivity and engaging with its consumers, while Leonard Downie, Jr. and Bill Keller, former Executive Editors of the Washington Post and the New York Times, respectively, provided commentary and answered questions from the attended guests.

Read about what went down below!

Nov

10

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img November 10, 20171:14 pmimg 0 Comments

See you at the Event Oval!

Tonight, GendeRevolution is presenting their annual “queer, body-positive underwear party” at the Event Oval on the first floor of the Diana Center. According to the Facebook event, “drag performances from Miz Jade, Lady Bedbug, and Lindsay Blowhan begin at 11pm, and WBAR will be DJ-ing in between sets.” As always, clothing is optional except for underwear. For a preview of the event, check out our coverage of a GenderFuck all the way back in 2013, which includes this hell of a quote:

At some point I stopped dancing long enough to hopefully think: this is what prom should have been like…but then I remembered that the teen pregnancy rate at my high school was bad enough without a clothing-optional dance.

See you there!

Image via Facebook Event

Nov

10

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img November 10, 20179:57 amimg 0 Comments

Also, ‘reputation’ is out today but if you want to stream it, you’ll have to wait a week.

Happening Around The World: A minor accident at a Russian nuclear facility caused a recent spike in radioactivity levels over much of Europe, though the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety says it’s harmless. Yeah, ok, call me when the superpowers start showing up. (AP)

Happening In The US: The Washington Post published shocking allegations by four women that the current Republican nominee for Senate from Alabama, Roy Moore, pursued relationships with them when they were teenagers and when Moore was over thirty years old. Roy Moore refuses to step aside from the race, even under pressure from more powerful Republican figures. (WaPo)

Happening In NYC: The New York premiere of I Love You, Daddy, a new film written and directed by Louis C.K., was cancelled following a Times article detailing allegations of sexual assault by several women against C.K. spanning several years. (AV Club)

Happening At Columbia: Haven’t you always wanted to use the observatory on the roof of Pupin? Well now’s your chance, with a public lecture and stargazing session! Be there at 7!

Bop of the Day: 

Nov

3

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img November 03, 20179:49 amimg 1 Comments

This image is sacred.

Happening In The World: The Islamic State has been ousted from their last major stronghold in Syria, according to state media. Though ISIS has been losing territory for a while, many are concerned that the group will revert to its guerilla roots as their caliphate shrinks. (CNN/New York Times)

Happening In The US: For eleven glorious minutes last night, Donald Trump’s Twitter account was deactivated. Twitter later stated that a rogue employee on their last day of the job terminated the account. I say we replace some of those confederate statues with one of the Unknown Employee, but that’s just me. (Washington Post)

Happening In NYC: Beloved local news sites DNAInfo and Gothamist have been shut down by their billionaire owner, Joe Ricketts, after a successful vote to unionize by the staff as well as many unprofitable months of existence. It’s gonna be a lot harder to fill out this section now… (New York Times)

Happening On Campus: The Columbia University Gospel Choir is hosting their mid-semester Open Mic night in Lerner tonight! There will be three choral performances mixed in with a cappella, poetry, and rap. Sounds like a blast!

Bop Of The Day: 

Oct

27

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“You can pick your nose, and you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose.”

Happening Around The World: In one of the weirdest news stories of this year, Australia’s High Court decreed that 5 members of Parliament were ineligible to run for their seats because they were all dual citizens of Australia and another country, and dual citizens cannot run for Parliament. Though some of the members didn’t even know about their dual citizenship, their disqualification from Parliament threatens the Prime Minister’s coalition majority. (The New York Times)

Happening In The US: Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency on Thursday, though his directive does not release any additional funding to aid medical treatment, research, or advertising preventing the overprescription or misuse of opioids. Meanwhile, The New Yorker took an in-depth look at “the family who built an empire of pain” off of the creation of Oxycontin. (The New York Times/The New Yorker)

Happening In NYC: The NYPD is tracking a “nose-picking masturbator” that has been spotted on several subway rides, upsetting the passengers, presumably with his nose-picking. Dude, gross.

Happening At Columbia: Tired of treating yourself and want to be tricked instead? Then check out the basement of Furnald which is now home to a haunted house, with free admission for one night only!

Overheard: “This orgo exam… is gonna eat me in the butthole.”

YOU CUT THAT OUT via Flickr

Oct

26

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img October 26, 201712:30 pmimg 0 Comments

Recently, I asked my roommate what he thinks some slang words and acronyms mean that he wasn’t familiar with. Here’s how you’d use his definitions in a sentence.

An artistic rendering of a verbal achievement.

FOMO 

My roommate’s guess: “Forming mozarella”

“Yeah, working at the pizza place is really fun. The dough spinning is easy but I’m having a lot more trouble with FOMO, so my coworker has to help me out.”

What it actually means: “Fear of missing out”

“Every Friday night I’m not at 1020 or EC I feel such massive FOMO that I just drink wine in my room until I pass out.”

Stan

My roommate’s guess: “Pakistan”

“Can’t believe we found Osama in Stan, dude.”

What it actually means: “Am obsessed fan / to obsess over something or someone”

“I stan Sunil Gulati so hard.”

fr

My roommate’s guess: “Free response”

“I think I aced the mc’s but the fr’s really meated my mondays.”

What is actually means: “For real”

No, man, yeah, fr, fr.

Softboy/Softboi

My roommate’s guess: “Someone who’s very plushy and… fat?”

“Baymax from Big Hero 6 is the ultimate softboy”

What it actually means: “Like a fuckboy, but more *sensitive*”

“I knew he was a softboy when I got to his room and saw the vintage record player.”

Oct

23

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img October 23, 20172:55 pmimg 2 Comments

It’s time for me to speak up. Then down. Then back up again.

We received this op-ed to our tips email. We’re not sure how it was sent, but we’ve decided to publish it anyway. 

It’s actually insulting. While the multi-altitudinal debate between the so-called “floor-fivers” and the elevated elites has made it to the pages of the revered Spectator op-ed section, no one has had the intuition to ask me, the only one who has all the facts needed to respond, about what I think. Me, the rightward John Jay elevator.

I may not be able to go quite as high as my leftward associate, and I am getting a bit slow in my old age, but I’ve been there for you during 4 am laundry runs and I didn’t even complain when the JJ’s smoothie you stole for a mixer sloshed all over my weathered floor. I’m doing my best, but frankly, I don’t get enough credit for it. When was the last time you thanked me for being right on your floor when you were late to your 8:40? Or taking an irrational route just to set you up with the cutie on JJ10 you always avoid looking at whenever they walk in? You think I don’t notice, but I do. Instead of petty squabbles over the elevator privileges of those on the lower floors, maybe you should take some time to appreciate me.

Read more of John Jay elevator’s testimony here.

Oct

20

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img October 20, 20179:58 amimg 0 Comments

“This next one’s called Wonderwall”

Happening Around The World: US-backed militants declared total victory over the Islamic State in the Syrian city of Raqqa. The pronouncement was made in the same dusty soccer stadium where the ISIS militants made their last stand earlier this week. (CNN)

Happening In The US: Famed white supremacist Richard Spencer (read his profile in the Atlantic here) spoke at the University of Florida yesterday enticing many protests, including a performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as the black national anthem, on the school’s bell tower. (CNN)

Happening In NYC: The Westin New York hotel in Times Square is preparing a return of its $1,000 bagel, previously available for a limited time in 2007. The bagel will feature white truffle cream cheese, goji berry-infused Riesling jelly and golden leaf flakes and is only a tad more expensive than the average Nussbaum schmear. (Pix11)

Happening At Columbia: As today’s date is, in fact, 10/20, Notes and Keys are holding their Midsemester Concert called “ThrowNAK: The (10)20’s” which is themed around “celebrating flappers, women’s suffrage, and our favorite local speakeasy, 1020!” Is it too much to hope for a surprise appearance by Lin-Manuel?

Overheard: “Wait, if we’re just gonna be prostitutes, why do we have to go to law school?”

Bop of the Day: Digital Witness by St. Vincent

Oct

13

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6-10 pm, Low steps. See you there!

Columbia’s Chinese Students Club (CSC) will be bringing their annual Fall Festival event to Low Plaza tonight, transforming the steps into an East Asian Night Market with two tents, hundreds of lights, several club groups, and performances by select groups! Be sure to pie your favorite RAs, eat some free food, and engage with the 40+ clubs that will have tables at the event. Admission is free, so be sure to get there while it’s still going on between 6 and 10 pm!

Oct

13

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Watch out, he’s already tasted human blood… and he likes it.

Happening Around The World: Authorities in Australia are hunting for a crocodile which may have killed and eaten a 79-year old grandmother. Can I major in crocodile hunting here? (Newsweek)

Happening In The US: Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) has announced that she will not run for governor in the state and remain as a Senator, in a time where her moderate decisions have stopped major Republican legislation from passing. (New York Times)

Happening In NYC: Austin Rogers, the Harlem bartender with a killer Jeopardy! streak who I wrote about in last Friday’s Bwoglines has lost to a homemaker from Tennessee. He won over $400,000 over 13 nights, which is just about enough for tuition (*wink*). (New York Times)

Happening At Columbia: Happening on College Walk today from 1-4 pm is the pep rally! Swing by for free t-shirts, desserts, and performances by the Marching Band, Kingsmen, and Uptown Vocal. See you there!

Overseen: The doors on the subway closed just as a woman approached, but she gave a stare of death to the conductor and the doors opened back up again. Iconic.

Bop of the Day: Don’t Take The Money by Bleachers

Announcement: In solidarity with Rose McGowan and other women from around the world, Bwog will be boycotting Twitter today to protest women’s voices being silenced.

Oct

10

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img October 10, 20172:40 pmimg 3 Comments

Update, 4:23 pm: Executive Vice President for Student Life Suzanne Goldberg released a statement via email to the Columbia community outlining that the University must, as a matter of learning and teaching, host speakers “whose views conflict so directly with our institutional values.” The full text is available beneath the jump.

Tonight at 8 pm in the Roone Arledge Cinema, Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, better known by his pseudonym Tommy Robinson, will address the Columbia University College Republicans about “Europe and mass immigration,” according to CUCR’s Facebook event.

This event is one of four planned speaker events for October; other invited speakers include Herman Cain, Mike Cernovich, and a panel of undisclosed individuals. The speakers plan to discuss topics such as “the disasters of ObamaCare and the American Dream” and “the rise of the new media.”

Several student activist groups have already shown an interest in resisting these speakers. For instance, Heven Haile, CC ‘21, previously helped organize a group of students from the class to write a statement in response to the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville that occurred earlier this summer. Now, in response to Tommy Robinson’s planned speech, Haile and other members of the class have met several times in order to coordinate protests against his Islamophobic values.

You can read more about tonight’s protests after the jump, as well as Suzanne Goldberg’s statement:

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