Of regional importance: Bloomberg will remain neutral in the upcoming mayoral elections. “I want to make sure that person is ready to succeed,” he said. Now look at his expressions on Google Images and try to take him seriously. (NY Times)
Meh: While we’re all for taking pictures of strangers, Bwog resents not being a good enough artist to attempt these Snapchats. (Buzzfeed)
Actually what everybody looks like because you shouldn’t be awake via Shutterstock
We’re bigfans of This American Life at Bwog—remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery—so we were delighted to learn that this past week’s episode, “How I Got Into College,” mentions Columbia. Specifically, how insanely difficult it is to get in here.
“At Columbia University in New York City, 33,000 people applied; 31, 000 were rejected. That is fewer than 7% getting in. And the students who did get in, the students who made it here, they still wonder how they did it. You know, it was so hard to get here. What was it that worked? It was so difficult to get in,” explains host Ira Glass. “They have their theories.”
Bucket List represents the unbelievable intellectual privilege we enjoy as Columbia students. We do our very best to bring to your attention important guest lecturers and special events on campus. Our recommendations for this week are below and the full list is after the jump.
“Putin’s Russia and the Upcoming Elections” Monday 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm, Garden Room 2, Faculty House, Nikolay Petrov, Maria Lipman, Alena Ledeneva, Konstantin Sonin, Yulia Latynina, and Timothy Frye
“Concert: Gift of Instruments” Monday 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm, Miller Theatre, Carter Brey, Alan Gilbert, Victor Goines, Marcus Printup, Aaron Diehl, Yasushi Nakamura, Marion Felder, Joyce Yang, and Simone Porter
“Anarchy is a Choice: International Politics and the Problem of World Government” Tuesday 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, 1501 IAB, James Fearon
“CJR’s 50th Anniversary Conversation on Journalism: How the Past Guides the Future” Tuesday 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm, World Room, Journalism, Vivian Schiller, Michael Shapiro, Connie Schultz, Robert Lipsyte, Justin Peters, and James Marcus, RSVP by emailing email@example.com
“Fiction and History Conference: Day 2″ Wednesday 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Faculty House, E.L. Doctorow, Mark Carnes, John Demos, Jane Kamensky, and James Neal
“Discussion with Filmmaker and Installation Artist Isaac Julien” Thursday 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Miller Theatre, Isaac Julien, followed by reception, registration
“How Can Democrats Win Back the House?” Friday 8:00 pm, 417 IAB, Congressman Steve Israel, free tickets
Public radio nerds, light your torches and sharpen your pitchforks (this, not this)—Ira Glass’s honor is under attack. The mastermind and host of WBEZ Chicago’s “This American Life” is the star of a celebrity sex tape, Public Radio Nerd No. 1, Austin Williams, explains.
Well, sort of. Julian Joslin, (also older brother of CC junior Isabella), and Michael Grinspan, both CC’09, created a brilliant 11-minute parody episode of TAL in two acts (including a closing credits Torey Malatia joke) in which Ira decides to make a sex tape, on air, with Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. Joslin’s take on the icon’s nasal delivery and writing style is spot on. It’s good enough that we’re willing to bet at least one person now believes they’ve heard their favorite radio host’s coital noises. The video is ridicule born out of love, of course; you don’t mimic Ira Glass that well unless you’ve listened to a whole lot of his show. That may have been lost on the man himself, though, who couldn’t even make it through a complete listen.
“I’ve listened to about three minutes of it. His imitation of my writing and delivery are so dead-on, it was hard to keep listening and I stopped. If I had to articulate why, I think it was because hearing his version of me, made what I do on the air seem kind of dumb. And the impersonation was so good, I couldn’t really pick a fight with it. So I had to decide, do I want to see myself as kind of trite and dumb? Seemed better to stop. Maybe I’ll go back sometime.”
Buck up Ira, we love what you do. (Check out the Blue and White interview with him from way back when). As for the other voices, Huffpo explains Julian trolled NPR footage and spliced Terry from nine different “Fresh Air” episodes. And to TAL devotees, watch at your own risk: listening to the podcast while folding your laundry on Sunday mornings will never be the same.
While Ira Glass refuses to admit that he has adoring fans or that he is a journalist’s icon, it’s hard to prove otherwise. Named best radio host in America by TIME Magazine, Glass hosts NPR’s This American Life, which is broadcast on over 500 stations nationwide to some 1.8 million listeners. In his weekly interviews, Glass has covered a lot of ground – from cattle ranches to a cruiser somewhere in the Arabian Sea, and everything in between. From the new issue of the Blue and White (on racks near you soon), contributor Mark Hay met up with Glass at the show’s Chelsea studios.
The Blue and White: What is your approach to storytelling and interviews?
Ira Glass: Stories on This American Life are narrative stories. That’s the way they’re different from a lot of things on TV or in journalism. That is, there’s a character, the character’s in a situation, there’s a plot, things happen to that character and they learn something from their experiences—or at least their experiences drive them toward some thought or some thought about the world that then they share with the audience. It’s very old school… it’s the most traditional way of telling a story.
B&W: In the past you’ve shied away from run-of-the-mill headline news stories. But I recall you in a recent episode saying that you felt bad for sitting out Kosovo.
IG: [Laughs] Yes. Well, I felt bad as a news consumer. At the beginning I didn’t get the characters straight and, “Wait, who’s who and which one is the one we like and which is the one that we’re not supposed to like?” And I kept waiting for the big New Yorker piece that was going to explain it all to me and, in fact, there even were a couple pieces like that, but then I didn’t get around to them. And I think people don’t generally talk about what our experience is as consumers of the news, but at least for me I know for sure there are entire news stories that seem too hard, and I just think, “I’m never going to figure that out.” And so I just sit it out. (more…)
The big problem, according to Jacobs, is her major: “A history major like me doesn’t come with many specialized skills besides research. These days, it’s difficult to convince people to take a chance on an entry-level hire,” especially when the competition has “master’s degrees and years of work experience.”
She admits that the process, including getting three rejections in one week, has been frustrating. “I’m not questioning my abilities,” she says, “but I have been questioning my choices, knowing students with engineering degrees are still finding jobs. And many of the positions I am equipped to fill are disappearing.” Score one for SEAS.
Bwog was particularly delighted by today’s re-run of “This American Life” on NPR. A feature on personal recordings, it showcases the famous “Little Mermaid” ROLM message which swept Columbia in the early 1990s (documented in the Blue and White’s own “The Decline and Fall of ROLM”) – a message which featured a mother suggesting her son and the Little Mermaid do certain unspeakable things. For those of you who haven’t heard or even heard of the call, the audio of “This American Life” can be found here.