Bwoglines: Weird Animals Edition

Just look at that focus

A goat on the loose. (Miami Herald)

A squirrel on the loose. (Sioux City Journal)

A chicken on the loose. (NBC News)

A dead dog. (Today)

And this guy. (Huffington Post)

A really serious squirrel via Shutterstock

Orchesis Embraces Animalistic Tendencies

Skin-tight Lycra in its natural habitat

While you may recognize her name from the captions of innumerable Bwog illustrations, Louise McCune expresses her artistic appreciation of a more sensual form in her review of Orchesis’ new show.

If you could only get your hands on the program, piece titles like “Bird Girl,” “Feral,” and “Late Anthropocene” should give you a clue to the subject of the MaMa Project’s Unearthed, showing tonight and tomorrow at 8 PM in Lerner’s Black Box theater. As presented by Marie Janicek (BC ’12), both choreographer and lead dancer in Orchesis’ latest production, the show is about reclaiming a “survival instinct” that civilization has denied. Ultimately, she says, to uncover our animal consciousness is empowering– it allows us to tap a latent ability to be “fully present” and embodied. It’s a heady undertaking, but rest assured the event is not as taxing as it may sound. Go!

The theme is an appropriate one to showcase the physical and theatrical talent of this dance troupe. The challenge to “reconnect with [their] inherent animalism” is well articulated by a choreography that ranges from the purposeful march of automatons to fits of halting convulsions that are tiring even to watch. Bwog wondered why dancers were dressed in a bold palette of Lycra that seemed anything but earthly until it realized that the unitards were probably protective: there’s a lot of sliding, falling and jumping going on and we can’t imagine that the floor of the Black Box is a friend to kneecaps. The range of character in the ensemble’s movements is reason enough to attend Unearthed. To watch the cast shift in and out of their feral instinct, especially in ensemble numbers toward the beginning of the show like “The Air,” was worth the price of the ticket ($5 at the TIC!).

Read the rest of Louise’s review after the jump

Bwoglines: Animal Planet Edition

A gratuitous laughing panda for your viewing pleasure

Ivy League schools are under fire for animal abuse in their laboratories. Try to treat the subject of your next dissection with a little more kindness, k? (SFGate)

Working Muppets of All Countries, Unite! (Slate)

Thanks to some mice, we’re one step closer to developing a vaccine against the Ebola virus.

NYPD officers are in hot water for their Facebook comments about the West Indian American Day Parade: “They called people ‘animals’ and ‘savages.’ One comment said, ‘Drop a bomb and wipe them all out.’” (NYT)

According to some fancy film formula, Gremlins is, on average, the highest-grossing, best-received holiday film since 1981. (The Atlantic)

A Chuckling Ailuropoda melanoleuca via Wikimedia Commons

Bwoglines: Exotic Discoveries Edition

A discovery

This morning Libyan forces claim to have captured Muammar Gaddafi, who was hiding in a hole. (BBC)

Update 12:15 pm: Some are reporting Gaddafi dead.

According to an ancient Greek manuscript dating back to 100 AD, wrestling is the oldest sport. The text was presented to the Columbia Rare Books and Manuscripts library on Tuesday, and will be the central text in next year’s GymHum. (USAToday)

A group of 56 exotic animals “that included wolves, monkeys and 18 Bengal tigers,”  escaped a private reserve in Ohio yesterday and have all been shot or captured by police. (NYTimes)

Animal lovers upset by the news can console themselves by answering New Zealand’s call to knit sweaters for penguins. (Gothamist)

State tax collections, while up from the same time last year, are struggling to meet the Cuomo administration’s targets. (WSJ)

Animals at Barnard

Barnard has announced the theme for its 22nd Annual Medieval and Renaissance Conference, which will take place December 4th. It is titled “Animals and Humans in the Culture of the Middle Ages and Renaissance” and claims to provide “an interdisciplinary conference exploring the many ways in which the human-animal connection and divide was imagined, employed, figured and explained in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.” Lecture titles include “Fowl Intimacies and Fishy Issues,” “Barbarian Dogs in Early Medieval Legal Sources,” “Werewolf Love and Cyborg Law in William of Paleme,” and “Cats Have Fie Words: Animal Language and al-Jahiz’s Theory of the Human as a Microcosm.”

Tickets are $35 for the public and $10 for students. Lunch is an additional $15. You can register online here.

A Squirrel, Squirreling

Crafty squirrel outside of Carman, preparing to consume a juicy tomato. You can look, but don’t touch!

QuickSpec: Father, I Hunger Edition

And I’m not eating until Columbia changes the names engraved on Butler Library!

Meetings with Professor Philip Kitcher and the Committee on CC vs. not eating. Yup, similar tactics.

There are people starving in Africa who aren’t getting so much media coverage.

In case you’re not hunger-striking…

Animal house!

A Fall From Grace

Bwog was passing by the Barnard gates when something caught our eye. A baby squirrel tumbled off of the top of the gate and onto the pavement. Two security guards rushed over and picked up the little guy. His nose was bleeding and he seemed to be in shock. Efforts were made to put him back on the side of the gate, so that he might be able to climb back up. At press time, the squirrel was still on the ground, the men were still trying to help it back to its home, and Bwog is terribly, terribly depressed. Sighs.

Wild Turkey Chase!

The greatest narratives involve the pursuit of the unattainable. While Captain Ahab had Moby Dick, Bwog daily editor David Iscoe has a more humble aim: Befriend the turkey that lives in Morningside Park. Here, he recounts his foray into the wild.

“Hey, what kind of bird is that?”


A man pushing a hand-truck down Morningside Avenue calls through the fence, staring up at the large bird walking slowly down the hill. “That’s a turkey,” I reply.

“Whose bird is it?”

“Nobody’s. It lives in the park.”

A turkey?

A turkey indeed. A wild turkey lives in Morningside Park, and I decided to get to know her more intimately.

Not this kind of Wild Turkey

According to Brad Taylor and Jacquie Connors of Friends of Morningside Park (founded by Columbia alum Tom Kiel in 1981) surprise is a common reaction for first time turkey-spotters, but locals have come to know and love the bird. The Friends informed me, however, that the current resident may not actually be the same one who lived in the park before she went missing in 2006; in fact, they are convinced she’s a different one, and refer to the pre-turkey-knapping bird as “the first turkey.”


Gossip: Really Wild Animals Edition

Everybody is talking about animals now, according to three separate things that three separate people said. IT IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE THAT THREE OF ANYTHING MAKES A TREND!

First, a pair of professors:

“Sex with animals…it doesn’t seem like something we might do today. But in a rural world, it does happen!”

- Professor Alfred MacAdam, Latin American Literature in Translation, on One Hundred Years of Solitude

“Everyone here loves camels. They are beastly, beastly mean animals.” 

- Professor George Saliba, Contemporary Islamic Civilization, on the Safavid Empire

…and then, a student continues the trend:

“… and that would be fine, except that I’m allergic to scorpion blood.”

- Girl in McIntosh in between bites of (hopefully scorpion-free) sushi

Overheard by Juli Weiner


QuickSpec: Catching Up Edition

First-year Neha Shende killed in car crash. R. I. P.



Edwards one block away from Columbia (satisfied, commenters?), uses MLK Day event to rip Bush, cynicism

15 GS students attend gay outreach party; few are gay

CTV’s Gates retools: copies 80s, Spanish telenovelas… and wins lots of money

Your dog doesn’t love you, but it sure looks cute when its c-fibers are stimulated


QuickSpec: raised eyebrow edition

ooze‘Primordial Ooze’ Blessed by Church, and Reindeer; Bwog, However, Wants to Know Where Bwog Can Buy Its Very Own Screeching Piglet

University Administrators, Luminaries, Quip, Joke, Tease Their Way into Trustee Pocketbooks

“It’s Easy to Blame That Man-Slut For Fucking You Over”

Columbia Lends Hand to Estonia, Spec Opinion Hopes Estonia Will Lend Hand Back. Soviet Union No Longer in Tact

And in Sports, Aggressive Defense is the Only Way to Win, But if Only It Wasn’t for That Stagnant Offense!

Columbia Makes Top Ten List!

In animal cruelty, actually. The eminently reasonable, not-shrill-at-all People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has ranked the Worst 10 College Laboratories, and Columbia comes in 10th, behind places like Harvard and Johns Hopkins (well, we beat Yale). At least the Columbia monkeys have people on their side, (watch out for the ominous voice of Alec Baldwin as you enter the site) which is more than can be said for animals languishing in cages at the other nine schools.

Thanks to California Bwog reader Anna Couturier, CC ’10 (!), for the tip.

I Died and Went to Morningside

horse small

116th and Amsterdam may never have seen this many farm animals since, well, there were farms here. Throw in picnic food, facepainting, raffles, toy and clothes sales, and one giant inflatable firetruck, and you might just forget about that 20-page paper due on Monday.

Sorry for reminding you. More photos after the jump.


Another Example of how Columbia is Maybe the Most Awkward Place on Earth

Overheard near Hamilton: A young girl, and a grown man with a dog.

Man with dog: Hey, how are you?
Girl: I’m good, how are you?
Man: Fine.
Girl: What’s your dog’s name?
Man: Chloe.
Girl: Hey, Chloe! [girl pets dog]
Man: Say hi, Chloe. [dog is quiet] Come on Chloe! Say hi!

[Dog does nothing]

Man: She’s not in a very good mood today.
Girl: Why not?
Man: She just found out she has cancer.
Girl: (awkwardly) Oh?
Man: Yeah.


Girl: Well…talk to you later!
Man: Ok, see you!