Help yourself to some more newsy musings from Bwog’s cluttered Columbia Bureau desk. We proclaim this edition loosely linked by the theme of exploring.

Baxter Wood “drives around in a big truck,” listens to free university lecture podcasts and blogs about his “reeducation.” It’s learning for the sake of it! Recently Wood reviewed a lecture from Richard Bulliet’s History of the World to 1500. “Blerg,” says the cynic, “why shell out tuition when I can get it all for free?” It’s about the experience, man.

Robin Hood: also an adventurer

The latest in Lokomotion: The drink that once fueled your drunken debauchery will now literally be fuel. MXI is recycling and converting unused Four Loko into ethanol. It seems our favorite endlessly chronicled drink is trading up from party machines to actual machines.

Ever since Bwog saw that Hey Arnold episode about the sewer king, we’ve been weirdly obsessed with mole people and tunneling. Columbia alum Steven Duncan explored “the wilderness below your feet” in a five-day tour of the NYC’s subterranean skeleton. The Urban Spelunker even stopped by his alma mater—not for the hallowed halls but for the treacherous tunnels. Spelunkin’ Duncan and his cronies headed to Avery for some much needed sleep: “we descend to the basement and crawl through a narrow tunnel lined with steam pipes. Fifty feet on, a ladder rises to a dirt-floored boiler room. Damp heat, clanking steel. We spread our bedrolls, say good night. Voices overheard—sounds like a French class.” What a badass.

This may be the first time Butler goggles have led to true love, but remember we have a pretty good track record with the Vows section. Bwog’s heart is warmed.

A year on from the devastating earthquake in Haiti, two Columbia professors from the School of Public Health comment on the country’s transitions in a feature from Scientific American: “There has been a massive influx of international volunteers and organizations… But those actions are largely short-term, and what will make a real difference is jobs and governance.” says Richard Garfield, a professor of clinical international nursing. Sandro Galea, chair of the epidemiology department remarked that “the central public health concerns are in many ways the central reconstruction concerns.”

And to top it all off…Nicole Bleuel, SEAS ’14, and her freshpeople friends made this for the Heifer International video contest. Bwog bump: “Like” her video and help her win a summer trip to Latin America, Eastern Europe or Africa!

Image via Wikimedia