Archive for December, 2011

Meta | Dec. 25 5:11 pm EST

Occupy Spec

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Just kidding…but not really. Spec opinion is looking for new staff for the upcoming semester. We are literally looking for people to occupy space on the page and on Spectrum.

Applications are currently open for columnistsEditorial Board membersOpinion bloggers, and artists. Click the links above to apply.

All applications are due December 28 at 11:59 pm.

You can apply to all of them or just a few. Here’s a rundown of what each position entails after the jump: More »


Meta | Dec. 24 9:33 am EST
Out of town

We’ll be home for Christmas

And because of that, we won’t be updating the blog today or tomorrow. We’ll start posting again on the 27th. Happy holidays to everyone!


Spectrum | Dec. 24 1:11 am EST

…Christmas Eve? Wasn’t it September about 2 minutes ago?

It’s late. (I hope for your sake that) you’re (not) still up. It’s Christmas Eve, which means dealing with family, never actually kissing anyone under the mistletoe, and feigning excitement when someone gets you filler paper as a present!  Enjoy this Christmas Eve, because the crazies in the world seem to think it’s our last.

Straight from Columbia 2015′s Facebook page.

Sandya Sankarram/ Spec

A supercut of scenes from 40 different holiday-themed episodes, compiled so you don’t have to sit through hours of Christmas specials trying to convince yourself that Christmas Specials aren’t depressing.

New York Times published a timeline of “North Korea’s Nuclear Path Under Kim Jong-il,” which maps out his 17-year dictatorship.

Here’s how to say ‘Merry Christmas‘ in a bunch’o different languages. Go ahead, show off.

Try and cook this cupcake:

Celia Plender/ Uktv

Go to bed, it’s 1:14.


A&E | Dec. 23 9:53 am EST

Winter break reading recs, courtesy of your professors

Petits poemes en prose / Flickr

For the next few weeks, we’ll be free of syllabi and assignments. Sleep and rest are definitely in order, but reading (for pleasure) should be too. But what book to choose? Some Columbia professors—esteemed in their careers and loved by students—give their recommendations. No tests or papers required, just sit back and enjoy.

Richard Pious, professor of political science, says he’ll be forgoing poli sci readings for Lev Grossman’s “The Magicians.” Like the author, Pious hails from Brooklyn (so “it has to be good”) and his daughter also recommended it.

Eric Foner, professor of history, suggests that students read a short lively biography of a radical figure from the Progressive era, Vivian Gornick’s “Emma Goldman.” According to Foner, a century before Occupy Wall Street, Goldman brilliantly spoke up for the 99 percent against the depredations of the 1 percent.

More recs after the jump! More »


Spectrum | Dec. 23 1:11 am EST

Columbia gets spelled wrong again

You’re home, your whole family went to sleep at 9:30, and you’re up.

Being that you find yourself on the Columbia Daily Spectator website, I think you may be going through some Columbia withdrawal—who wouldn’t miss that surge of excitement you get when the bathroom in your dorm has toilet paper, soap, AND paper towels?!


To get the nostalgia going, I bring you a kind of “Columbia student problems” Twitter account.

My personal favorite: “Okay, listen. I’ll evaluate my courses when I’m not doing work for them, sound good? NOW STOP EMAILING EVERY GODDAMN MINUTE.” More »


Spectrum | Dec. 22 9:41 am EST

A look into Cornell’s plans for a Roosevelt Island campus

Courtesy of Cornell

As we reported on Monday, Cornell University, in partnership with Technion—Israel Institute of Technology, won $100 million from the city to build a new engineering campus on Roosevelt Island. Among the highlights of the proposal, from a press conference with Mayor Michael Bloomberg:

  • It’s not scheduled to be completely finished until 2037, but will establish an institutional presence offsite in 2012 and will open on Roosevelt Island in 2017, gradually increasing students and faculty.
  • When fully completed, the campus will house approximately 2500 students and 280 faculty members in over 2 million square feet.
  • The first academic building will be net-zero energy, meaning it will harvest all the energy it emits on-site. It is the largest such building in the eastern U.S.
  • Academics will be divided into “hubs” for different curricula and research in multiple disciplines, with initial hubs focusing on media, healthcare, and integrating applied sciences and architecture.

Columbia’s proposal looked to build the Institute for Data Science and Engineering in Manhattanville. The competition was widely seen as a legacy-defining investment by Bloomberg to rival Silicon Valley as well as to bring a new tech presence to New York; Columbia’s proposal played up its already existing presence in New York. Check after the jump for more on the proposal that beat it out. More »


Spectrum | Dec. 22 1:11 am EST
The one eleven

Santa Claus drops by Butler

It’s late. You’re up. It is now officially Dec. 22, which means that the day after tomorrow is Christmas Eve. So although exams suck, things are about to get a lot better. More »


Sports | Dec. 21 7:57 pm EST

Columbia graduate students work with American College Cricket

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Kalpesh Patel, a Columbia graduate student at SEAS, probably loves cricket more than you. Okay, that might not be fair—I have no idea how much you love cricket—but he’s sure done a lot for the sport and its exposure in America.

Patel pretty much established the first team to play in the first ever American College Cricket (ACC) season at the University of Miami. Since then, he’s seen the game spread itself across the US.

“I have seen the game grow from a league with only five American Colleges in 2008, to one with over 60 North American Colleges (in the United States and Canada),” he wrote in an email to Spectrum. More »


Spectrum | Dec. 21 3:54 pm EST

Rate your professors on CULPA

Classes are over, you’re almost done with finals, and the holiday break is drawing ever closer. There’s just one thing left to do before you take off: review your professors on CULPA. While we wait for open course evaluations, this is one of the only means that students have to find inside info on courses they’re considering taking. So take a minute and scribble a screed (or pen a paean) at this link.  Hint: bitterness goes down better when it’s wrapped in jokes.


Sports | Dec. 21 10:34 am EST
Coaching shakeups

Yale football coach resigns

Tom Williams, the Yale football coach whose claims about his academic record have recently drawn scrutiny, has resigned. Concerns that he had falsely claimed to be a Rhodes Scholar candidate, in interviews as well as on his résumé, were ultimately enough to push the embattled coach out.

One of Williams’ players, quarterback Patrick Witt, attracted national media attention earlier this year when he chose to play in his team’s last game against Harvard rather than attend his finalist interview for a Rhodes Scholarship. Williams found himself in hot water after commenting that he himself had been forced to make the same choice as a college football player at Stanford. “I followed my dream to play NFL football,” Williams said in an interview with Bloomberg News. “I have no regrets about it at all.”

Only two things were different about Williams’ decision. The first difference is that he missed his interview not to play against Harvard, but to try out for the San Francisco 49ers. The second difference is that he didn’t actually miss his interview, because he never applied for a Rhodes Scholarship. More »