#sometimes bwog is your mom
Overly Attached Girlfriend, Meet Overly Attached Computer

This is an important document

We all have that one friend, that girl who keeps texting her boyfriend, tweeting her boyfriend, screen shotting posts by her boyfriend, and generally just scaring the crap out of her boyfriend.

Now, there’s Overly Attached Computer.

Remember that time you needed to bring a resume to that interview for that internship with that company that never called you back? You probably printed it from a Columbia printer, and used a Columbia computer. Guess what? The computer saved a copy.

Remember that time your mother emailed you a copy of your passport for that fun trip/mandatory detox in Paris?

The computer saved that too.

In fact, computers at Columbia University, (with those at Carman Hall reviewed specifically), are gold mines of information that should probably be private. Bwog has found addresses, birthdays, telephone numbers, and of course pictures, in these public documents.

So the next time you print something out, such as a copy of your passport, double check the documents saved on that computer. You just might find a copy available for public use.

Because Overly Attached Computer is overly attached.

What not to leave for public consumption via Shutterstock

In Case You Haven’t Noticed…

This February 1st feels an awful lot like springtime and we ain’t protesting (for once).  We hope you got to enjoy this weather today – only Punxsutawney Phil knows if it will last.

our school is so pretty

Beautiful panorama shot by Andrew Goldin

Meanwhile, you may have gotten a kind, personalized email from Columbia Housing.  In case you skipped this one, we give you a brief abstract:

Hotter than usual in winter. Can’t turn off heat or turn on AC. It will be hotter than usual inside, not just outside. Deal with it. Why did we send this email?

Open your windows, kiddos.

Full email after the jump

More Safe Storefronts in Morningside
safe haven

If you're ever in trouble, seek out one of these

Public Safety has informed us that several new stores in the Morningside Heights area have been added as Safe Havens. As you may know, Safe Havens are essentially places to run when you feel like you are in trouble—this means the business owners have agreed to provide shelter and safety to students in danger while they notify the proper authorities.  Look for the red lion decal to identify them, and never hesitate to duck inside one if you feel threatened out on the street.

Image via Public Safety

Find the full list of new locations below

Bwoglines: Don’t Lose Your Head Edition

Coming soon to a Starbucks near you?

Remember when puppies came to Columbia? So does Bwog. Some of Columbia’s more unorthodox study break tactics—including the biannual Primal Scream and therapy dogs bringing furry comfort—were chronicled in a spot on various schools’ stress relief methods. (NYT)

In more somber news, be careful with the late-night antics when there’s a 13-minute wait at the subway station: there have been a startling number of subway-related deaths in the past few days; most notably on the L train. Please remember to stay behind the yellow line, guys. (WSJ)

Times when you wish you went to school in Georgia: select Starbucks locations in Atlanta and California plan to add wine and beer to their menus this year so people can “unwind and connect.” Next expansion, 114th street location? We do deserve it, based on the rise of Starbucks prices in Manhattan. (Reuters, NYT)

Maybe John Jay’s festive decorations yesterday were on to something: recognition of the Lunar New Year is being fought for in New York in order to make the day an official holiday, citing the 15% of Asian American students in the city’s schools. Now all New York students can come to John Jay brunch to celebrate!  (Gothamist)

And finally, the 2012 Oscar nominations are being released at 5:38:30 AM Pacific Time. That’s…right now! Time to go find the synopsis for The Artist. (LA Times)

Wine snobs everywhere via Wikimedia Commons

A Break From Break

Barry Kane, voice of the registrar, emailed all undergrads on Friday last to remind us about the upcoming winter registration period. Accordingly, most of us have all forgotten already.

So, here’s your last-minute get up tomorrow morning for 9:30 am registration (or later if you live out in the periphery) reminder. Sophomores, this is a BFD. You have, like, twelve hours to figure out what you might want to major in. For now. Full email after the jump.
Read the email here.

Get Outta Here

Thanksgiving means getting out of the city while literally a bajillion other people are trying to do the same thing! It’s not as bad as the zombie apocalypse, but still. It’s gonna suck. Fortunately, old man Bwog has been flying the friendly skies/riding the rails/cruising down the open road to get outta here for many a holiday season. Find out how to skip town like a pro, below. And don’t forget to charge your gadgets.

Unfortunately, this airline doesn't offer online check-in.

Planes

  • Before you leave, check if your airline offers online check-in. This service allows you to check in to your flight before you even arrive at the airport. Most major airlines, including  UnitedContinentalJetblue, US AirwaysSouthwestDeltaAmerican AirlinesAir Canada, and British Airways offer this useful service.
  • Early morning flight? Bring your own snack, because Au Bon Pain won’t be open yet.
  • To get to the LGA by bus, you can take the M60 for only $2.25—but expect lots of humans and travel time, so bring a book and leave at least an hour-and-a-half before your flight time. Bonus: there are luggage racks!
  • You can swiftly reach JFK by taking the E to AirTrain, a monorail that drops you off right at your terminal. Be sure your MetroCard has $7.25, though, cause AirTrain is $5. Supply and demand, you know how it is.
  • If you want to travel by cab but don’t want to take too big a hit to your wallet, use ESC’s service Carsplit. You share a cab with other Columbians headed to LGA, JFK, or EWR who need to arrive at the same time. And maybe you’ll make a friend!
  • If you’re flying out of Newark, shun the GWB, and take NJ Transit from Penn Station to Newark AirTrain.
  • To avoid being that pesky person who takes forever at security, wear comfy moccasins or other shoes you can slip right on and off.

(more…)

Traffic Accident at 118th and Broadway

There was a pretty bad smashup at 118th and Broadway, just outside the Barnard gates. Police were on the scene helping the taxi driver out, who was parked in his car when the van behind smashed into it. An ambulance has been called.

Purportedly, the white van swerved to avoid a large car making a U-turn at 118, and crashed into a line of parked cars. Be careful when crossing at these intersections, look both ways as well as straight ahead!

Sexual Assault in Morningside Park

As reported by DNAinfo, a female Harlem resident was sexually assaulted in Morningside Park during the early evening this past Sunday. The incident happened around 6pm and police are currently interviewing witnesses. As Brad Taylor, a board member for the group Friends of Morningside Park observes, the attack “was alarming because it occurred while it was still light outside.”

The suspect is described as a black man in his 20s who is roughly 5’8″ tall, and was reported to be wearing jeans, a black skull cap, and a dark hooded sweatshirt at the time of the incident. The New York Post has a surveillance video of the perpetrator.

Bwog urges you all to be cautious as you travel about the city. Morningside Heights is a safe place, but as is true in any urban environment, it’s always necessary to keep an eye on your surroundings, especially when traveling alone. If you ever suspect danger, there are lots of options to protect yourself:

  • If there is an immediate threat, call Public Safety at 212-854-5555, or the NYPD at 911
  • Be familiar with the locations of the emergency call boxes
  • If you feel unsafe walking, take the evening shuttle or call the escort service at 212-854-SAFE
Winter is Coming

Be not deceived by the sunshine, it is a chilly 56 degrees outside.

Bundle up!

Update: Though this is a little pre-emptive, Bwog has decided to endorse this message as well.

Checking In With the Life Savers at CAVA

During the tumultuous 1968 riots, a few dedicated Columbians organized a ragtag crew of untrained medical volunteers. When an angry suspended student shot the dean of Columbia College four years later, the small team mobilized and rushed him to St. Luke’s Hospital. The dean recovered, and the students became campus legends. CAVA was born. To transport patients, the life savers refurbished an old station wagon with a light and rotating piece of paper for a siren. Fast forward 40 years: CAVA (officially CU-EMS) owns a $150,000 ambulance.

Bwog finally got to talk to CAVA director and superman incarnate Alex Harstrick, CC’12, after two emergencies whisked him away. (Oh, and he’s an ambulance driver, rescue diver and ski patroller. Yes, we feel inadequate too). We’re embarrassed to admit we had our own misconceptions about CAVA (It really is free!!). Below, we clarify some things.

  • CAVA isn’t just the older brother you call to pick you up when you’re shwasted and sprawled on street. Only 15% of all calls are alcohol related. That said, if you’re drunk and fall on your head, CAVA wouldn’t consider that a pure alcohol case. But they still handle cardiac arrests, strokes and the like. “A lot of times people will think, ‘I don’t want to call FDNY, I’ll call CAVA’ They don’t see the two as being synonymous,” Alex explains. Three EMTs drop everything to attend to whatever you need. If you decide after CAVA checks you out that you don’t want to go to the hospital, then that’s fine. But if you never intended to go to the hospital in the first place, then you shouldn’t call an ambulance service.
  • You can be CAVA’d as many times as you want without paying. “I’ve taken people more than five times, Alex says, “we will never charge you.”
  • Last weekend, they got twenty calls, up from their average 16 per weekend. And CAVA responds faster than any other EMS agency in New York City. “We got a call while we were in the middle of another call,” Alex remembers, “so they dispatched FDNY because it was relatively serious—a guy who fell off his bike was was lying in the street. By the time we finished our current call and then got to the scene, FDNY still hadn’t arrived.” We’re not sure if that’s good news for CAVA or just looks really bad for FDNY, but impressive nonetheless. Response time is 6 minutes on average. (more…)
First Night Footnote

For some, the first night of college can get a little too cray. Don’t hesitate to call CAVA, Columbia’s trusty EMS service, if your new friend falls ill. There’s a Good Samaritan policy, so no one will get in trouble. Your health is first priority. 212-854-5555. Program it in your phone. Better yet, memorize the thing.

Another pro-tip: while lots of upperclassman may joke about that awkward NSOP hook-up, others genuinely regret their one night stands. It’s easy to tell yourself you’ll be cautious when you’re chuckling at a “consent is sexy” lecture, but things get more slippery with alcohol. You may have just met that girl (or dude!) down the hall. Still, it’s better to risk coming off as unnecessarily paranoid and check with her before she heads off with some rando, than leave her alone.

Also, it’s completely acceptable to just chill with your floormate in your new digs. One bwogger fondly remembers spending the whole first night of college talking to a girl down the hall. Some other people wandered in and out, and invited them to nearby parties, but the pair declined their offers. They became fast friends and roomed together for the next 3 years.

That said, the night is young and you live in New York City. Bwog wishes y’all a splendiferous evening! L’Chaim!

Making Your Cell a Home: Roomhop Highlights

In our RoomHop feature, Bwog indulges its dream to host an HGTV show. We hope these pics from past rooms inspire intrepid designers. You can totally get more original than that Audrey Hepburn poster. Observe! Click the links to read the full RoomHops.

Will Hughes, CC’13, John Jay:

To offset the hodge-podge aesthetic of his walls, Will created striking clean lines running across his ceiling by randomly stringing and taping blue and red yarn. “I really like the shadows you get when the light is on,” Will says, as he flicks on the lamp that he rescued from a street corner.

Patrick Han and Shao-Wen Ang, Watt

While most people throw away Clementine peels and old tea bags, Patrick and Shao-Wen choose to feature them. They unhinged their window guards and weaved fruit peels, playbills, and photos through the diamond slits. “The window covering is a useful way to hold things,” says Patrick.

(more…)

Purse Snatching Incident on Campus

Disconcerting news: about an hour ago, Ella Wagner, CC’13, witnessed a purse snatching incident by the side entrance to Butler. “I was sitting at one of the tables outside Jay when I heard a yell,” she reports. “I turned and saw a woman chasing what looked like a white guy with dreads, yelling ‘Stop, thief!’ etc.” The pair ran off through the West 114th gate. Wagner diligently called Public Safety.

“I guess they had just found out as well because I heard some commotion and they put me on hold for a couple of minutes, then listened to my story and took my information. A few minutes later I saw the woman walk by again with two men who I assume were Public Safety. It looked like she was carrying a purse, so hopefully the attempt was thwarted. Pretty scary that it happened in broad daylight and right on campus though.” Word. But it’s good to hear that Public Safety was on top of things, and kudos to Ella for being a responsible citizen. While Bwog’s in full mom mode, we remind you to keep the Public Safety emergency number in your phone: 212-854-5555.

‘Cause We Live on an Urban Beach

Your epidermis is showing!

Despite today’s icky weather, the sun is certainly alive and well—just hidin’ behind a few clouds. This means you’ve still gotta keep your skin safe from those nasty UV rays! SPF it up!

But in case you’ve been neglecting your skin, the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Road to Healthy Skin Tour is offering free, full-body skin cancer screenings on College Walk today from now until 5 pm. Screenings are first come, first served. A certified MD will be conducting the screenings, so you’ve really got nothing to lose and everything to gain. We promise it’s way less awkward than going to Health Services.

Plus, if you’re only into free stuff, the good people of the Skin Cancer Foundation will also be distributing free sunscreen samples, coupons, and complimentary copies of Fitness magazine. Sounds good to us!

Scientific-Looking Diagram via Wikimedia Commons

Share a Moment That Will Last To the End

Just you and that map near the 115th Street gates by Lerner—the one you haven’t looked at since it was NSOP when your parents left through that gate and you almost started crying, kind of like when James Blunt got stoned and stared at that chick on the subway.

That warm, fuzzy feeling? It's community.

Pick-me-up by Mike Rady, CC ’13