Nov

27

Science News That Fell Through the Cracks

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While you’re in Butler cramming — or simply shitfaced at 1020 — your university is actively engaging with that frightening specter beyond the 116th Street Gates: the wide, weird world. Below, Bwog presents some of the most recent (yet unheralded!) findings and goings on from the realm of science and technology to have occurred at Columbia over the last few days.


Seismic Shi(f)t Happens

When some seisometers placed by Lamont-Doherty researchers along the sea floor of the Pacific near the Mexican coast found themselves stuck in fresh lava flows 8,000 feet below underwater, the university’s bursars were surely shaking their heads in disbelief that they had surrendered any funds to a project advocated by the curious novelty of an “Earth Observatory” again. That is, until Lamont scientists Maya Tolstoy and Felix Waldhauser discovered that the seisometers were still transmitting, and became the first to closely record micro-earthquakes resulting from underwater eruptions. Good news, especially if it means Columbia research vessels won’t be returning to the area to install new devices and making enough noise to kill whales again.

Gateway Lab con Stile?

Italian artists Eva and Franco Mattes have two obsessions in life: Andy Warhol is one, the other is the virtual online community Second Life. Bwog has no doubt that if cultural critics had the time, the patience, or the lack of lives these two must in order to have endured a year in this hyper-aestheticised neighborhood of cyberspace, they would fall into paroxysms of glee before scribing fascinating tomes on this binarially-circumscribed subculture. Instead, we’re left with Warholesque portraits of the artists’ favorite virtual avatars. Oh, and they’re going on display at Casa Italiana. We get the Italian connection, but wonder if the location has more to do with Mudd being too crowded with Halo fans?

They Should Have Just Asked Our Commenters

According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, which is appropriately located here:

“Teens who frequently have dinner with their families are at a lower risk for substance abuse…frequent family dinners were associated with lower rates of teen smoking, drinking, and drug use. Compared with teens who frequently had dinner with their families, (five nights or more per week), those who had dinner with their families only two nights per week or less were twice as likely to be involved in substance abuse. They were 2.5 times as likely to smoke cigarettes, more than 1.5 times as likely to drink alcohol, and nearly three times as likely to try marijuana.”

Guys? We already knew that.

Surreptitious Sawdust Study = Stupid Satire

As if real controversy weren’t enough for us, one enterprising “Lee Edwards” has tried his hand at writing a fictitious Columbia scandal for TheSpoof.com, a sort of bizarre British fusion between The Onion and Wikipedia that lets anyone write fake news. Mr. Edwards uses the Columbia campus as the setting for a high-stakes government coverup of research that unmasked the connection between television viewing and the decay of brains into sawdust, a phenomenon that somehow becomes deemed a national security crisis. Why, Bwog is aghast such a brilliant premise wasn’t included in the latest airport bookshop thriller novel! With a 1.5/5 star rating, however, Lee probably isn’t rising up the ranks at TheSpoof very soon. He ought to learn from a true literary master how to make our quiescent campus simmer and sell.

-CJS

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4 Comments

  1. New Order

    I like these posts...

  2. thanks for citing  

    my comment about drinking too much and missing thanksgiving dinner as proof of the study. i feel loved.

  3. New Order

    Oh shit, I did that too! I was barfing all day Friday.

  4. wasp.  

    See, the study of family dinners doesn't work when you come from a line of WASPs who believe that no family dinner is complete without a glass of wine or a nice cold beer. I feel like maybe spending more dinners away from home would have gotten me out of the whole "substance abuse" environment. But... is it abuse if it feels so, so good?

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