Tuesday, September 30, 2008

If Batman went to Princeton, why isn't it called Wayne College?

One of the things that comes with being a Princeton student is becoming a Princeton alum and being asked for money by the University every year of the rest of your natural life. Below I imagine what a TigerCall conversation with Bruce Wayne/Batman might be like.

The phone is ringing. Frankly, he wishes it would stop. It’s distracting him and he has to concentrate on his work. Where is Alfred? The phone stops ringing, the answering machine starts talking, Alfred’s voice fills the cave: “You’ve reached Bruce Wayne. Kindly leave a detailed message with your name, purpose, and telephone number and we will return your call as soon as we are able.” Beeeeeeeep.

“Um, hi, this is Martha calling for Bruce…” a woman’s voice calls out. He has no idea who she is. Of course, given the exploits of Bruce Wayne, that’s not something entirely surprising, though he does think that perhaps he would remember a woman named Martha. Still, no point in having to answer the call later. He picks up.

“Hi Martha, it’s Bruce,” he says.

“Oh,” she seems startled that he actually picked up. “Hi Bruce, my name’s Martha, I’m a senior at Princeton and I’m calling from Annual Giving. How are you this evening?”

Annual Giving? He has no idea what that is. Probably something Alfred or Lucius take care of.

“Actually, I’m kind of busy at the moment,” he tells her.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” she answers, “I’ll just be a moment then. I just wanted to thank you for everything you do for Princeton—

“Wait, remind me again, what exactly do I do for Princeton?” he interrupts her.

“Oh.” The question seems to stump her. “Well, as an alumnus of Princeton you—

He cuts her off again. “You do realize that I never graduated?”

“Yes,” she says, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t part of the Princeton family; we just wanted to thank you for everything you and other alumni have done for the University over the years.”

“Is that all?”

“Well, no… actually, we wanted to see if you had thought of giving to Princeton this year.”

“Giving what to Princeton this year?”

“We wanted to know if you might be interested in making a donation to this year’s Annual Giving campaign.”

“Oh, so, you want money?”


“I’m not surprised… that’s what most people want from me.”

“Most people?” the girl sounds confused. “Wait, you’re not, the Bruce Wayne, are you?”

“I think so. You mean the one from Gotham City with Wayne Enterprises and the Wayne Foundation?”

“Oh my God! I’m so sorry Mr. Wayne, I had no idea!” she screams out in excitement. “It doesn’t say anything other than your name and class and contact information on my card.”

“It’s ok,” he reassures her. “And Bruce is fine. How much did I give last year?” he asks her because if all it takes to get her to let him to go back to work is a little money, that’s no problem.

“Actually,” she says, embarrassed, “you didn’t give any money last year. Or the year before. Or the year before that. Or ever, actually.”

“I see. Normally somebody else takes care of these things. I don’t know who it is. Maybe it’s my butler, but I don’t know where he is. What’s the recommended donation?”

“Well,” she seems unsure. Probably because she’s talking to a billionaire playboy who wants to know how much money she thinks he ought to give to Princeton. “We really would appreciate anything it’s in your heart to give. Most people give somewhere between $20 and $100, I think.” He’s not sure whether he’s going to give yet, but he wants to make sure that this is real. He takes the phone back to the Batcomputer and starts to put a trace on the call.

“Ok, so I can definitely afford that. But tell me, why should I give to Princeton? I mean, I dropped out, not under the best of terms, and I didn’t even get into the Woodrow Wilson School or Ivy. Actually, I had a pretty lousy time there.”

“I’m sorry to hear that Mr. W—Bruce. I assure you however that Princeton is now very different, and the Administration is constantly trying to improve student life. Just recently, we opened a new four-year Residential College which provides a great option for students who don’t choose to join an eating club. The Wilson School is still very selective, but most students who don’t get in find that they end up loving their majors regardless and really enjoy their independent work. Besides, it seems like you did ok for yourself regardless.”

He chuckles. “That’s true.” Of course, the girl can’t see him with his cape and pointy ears. “In fact, I could give Princeton a lot more than $100, but I already support many charitable causes through the Wayne Foundation. Why should I give money to Princeton? Doesn’t Princeton have enough money?”

“It’s great that you use your wealth to support worthy causes; it fits especially well with the Princetonian motto, ‘In the Nation’s service—and in the service of all nations.’ However, there needn’t be a conflict between giving to Princeton and giving to other charitable causes. And after all, most of the money we collect through Annual Giving goes to financial aid, so your contribution is going to help bright young people who might not otherwise be able to afford to go to college. Who knows. One of those people may end up finding the cure for cancer.”

“Ok then,” the Batcomputer has a trace on the call and he’s hacked into a government satellite to get a good look at the girl on the other end of the line. She looks extremely tired. It’s a feeling he can sympathize with.

“So how are you?”

“I’m ok. I’m tired. Trying to get my thesis done, study for midterms, get a job, you know. Hey Bruce, what’s your take on the financial crisis?”

“Wait, there’s a financial crisis?” he asks, pretending to be stupid. “Why didn’t Lucius tell me? I wonder how Wayne Enterprises stock is doing…”

“The stock market dropped 777 points yesterday.”

“Oh. Maybe I won’t be able to buy that yacht after all. I guess I’ll have to ask Alfred. Anyway, what’s your thesis on?”

“Oh, it’s about the Spanish Civil War. It’s really interesting actually, I’m building an argument around the painting Guernica—

“Don’t I own that one?” he asks, even though he knows he doesn’t.

“Um. I don’t think so Bruce.”

“Is it a nice painting?”

“It depends on your definition of nice. It’s a statement against the ruthless mass murder that occurred in Guernica and generally—

Suddenly there’s a beeping sound at the Batcomputer. There’s a crime in progress on Fifth and 86th.

“Right, right. Ok, Martha, was it? Listen, I really have to go, but it’s been nice chatting with you. Send me some information on Annual Giving and I’ll give it some thought. OR Alfred will. Or Lucius. I don’t know. Someone. And if you’re ever in Gotham give me a call.” Click, he was gone.

On the other end, Martha put the phone down in exasperation. “I had Bruce Wayne on the phone; I had him. I’m sure he was ready to give… and then, he hung up on me.”

She checked off a box—“Maybe” and filled out the card, moving on to the next Never Giver. Some guy named Alexander Luthor…

[Allegedly, it’s stated in Smallville that Lex Luthor went to Princeton too. I don’t watch the show, but it makes one wonder why we never hear about this…]

Disclaimer: Neither I nor the Daily Princetonian own Batman or Bruce Wayne. Also, This isn't what an actual TigerCall is usually like.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Runway to Street

Image provided by Style.com

Though I am normally not a big DKNY fan, I adore her funky Fall Collection this season. Thick, chunky sweaters contrast beautifully with delicate lace and bright tights. Don't forget a hat when recreating this style; it pulls the whole look together and gives it a distinctly Fall-like quality.
1) Cocktail Apron, heavenlyhosstess.com: $120
2)Orange Zest Top, alight.com: $29
3)Red Silk Mary Janes, natashascafe.com:$21
4) Cable Knit Hooded Sweater, wetseal.com:$26.50
5)Berkshire Opaque Tights, amazon.com: $8.95
6) Washed-Wool Newsboy Cap, jcrew.com:$50


Blog video: train from Princeton to New York

Prince columnist and photographer Michael Collins '11 produced this video, audio, and photo essay on commuters on New Jersey Transit riding from Princeton to New York:


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Let's take this new webmail for a test drive...

Yesterday, the USG announced a sorely-needed improvement to our antediluvian webmail system. Bless you, OIT! You guys are so cute. And so late. If this new development is rain in the desert, then it's falling on empty villages. We are 21st century students, here! We do not just sit around hoping that our webmail interface will improve on its own. Most of us nomads have already moved on to greener pastures, to extend an already tenuous metaphor, and we are not likely to return.

Despite my unwavering loyalty to Gmail, however, curiosity got the best of me. The new mail system is available to test until its release on the 14th, so I decided to check it out. Screenshots after the jump.

Exhibit A, a refresher: recall the days of IMAP.

It is an artifact of more primitive times, somewhat charming in its simplicity. A classic that functioned sufficiently when used for what it was -- a basic, bare-bones interface for sending and receiving email -- at least when it functioned at all.

The first thing you may notice when you go to log on to webmailtestdrive.princeton.edu is that this beloved staple of telecommunication at Princeton is still available, should you ever fall victim to nostalgia. Oh, sweet relief.
The next thing that stands out is that you can choose between two mysterious interfaces. There's "Simple (All Browsers)", and "Advanced (IE Preferred)". Curioser and curioser.

Finally, hidden under more options, there's also the option to choose your language. There's a nice assortment: no Chinese, but it includes plenty of other languages with difficult characters such as Arabic, Japanese, and Thai. The French looked okay when I tried it, but I'll leave the other languages to people who actually understand them.

Being a devout fan of Firefox, I naturally tried the Simple interface first. And it is just that: simple. It's cleanly designed, with a mild color scheme and a pretty sleek layout. The buttons in the corner are a nice touch, though the giant @ logo is a bit too much.

(In this screenshot and the next, the sender names were edited out for great justice. But have no fear, both interfaces do indeed display the sender name for each email. Note shameless GXC plug.)

It seems a little confused about Today (the GXC email was sent last night, for instance), but I didn't think that was such a big deal.

Satisfied that OIT had done a pretty terrific job, I took a deep breath, crossed my fingers, and grudgingly booted up Internet Explorer.

It crashed, of course, so I opened it up in an IE tab on Firefox. It wasn't really worth the effort.

First of all, the start page gives a list of your most recent email mesages. You press the triangle to expand the message, except all you get is an ellipsis. (I assume that this is something that they're working on.) When you click on the actual message itself, it opens in a new window, which is totally bogus. Luckily, there's an actual inbox that's actually normal, but it's nowhere near as pretty as the Simple version, which as we all know is an important criterion for email interfaces.

The folders menu on the left is great, but unncessary, especially considering you have another one on your right. I guess the login history is useful for making sure no one else is breaking into your account. Also, I was astonished to find that we actually have 1GB of storage! But that's not relevant.

They try very hard to make it look like a Windows Explorer window, but I don't really need the time and date on the bottom right, especially since Windows computers display the time and date on the bottom right of the screen. The toolbars look like they'd be adjustable (since they look the same as unlocked toolbars in windows), but they're not. I'm glad, because it already takes way too long to load (though maybe that's just IE being slow).

Finally, I am extremely amused by the Send/Receive button. Yes, it's one button. What does it do? It takes you to your inbox. That's great.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yee Haw!

Welcome to the first "real" post for SATS this year! Thanks to those who've sent their questions in, and keep them coming! Now, let's get down to business....

Can we see some photos please?

Of me? Well, the picture to the left is me, but as for more photos, that’ll have to be a negative. Isn’t everything sexier with a little mystery? ;)

My bf wants me to get on top during sex, but I feel awkward “up there”. Any tips?

Surprisingly, many women feel this kind of “performance anxiety” while in the Cowgirl or Reverse Cowgirl positions. Unlike the Missionary position, you have to take a more active, dominant role and for some, that can be intimidating. In my experience, pretty much all men love it when a woman just crawls on top and takes charge of the situation, and I’d say that it’s pretty difficult to fuck it up (no pun intended). Remember, your boyfriend wants you to do this, so you’re already halfway there. Just relax and get in a sexy mindset. Embrace the amount of control you’ve been given, and look at him as though you’re about to give him the ride of his life. Chances are, he finds you very attractive and quite sexy, so let go of any insecurities you have about what you look like from that angle and just give it to him! Start off with a gentle back and forth motion with your hips, and use your hands to explore his chest or play with his nipples if he likes that. Don’t jump up and down like a frog, it’s one of those things from porn that looks better than it actually feels. When you’re more comfortable, try sinking down and rolling your hips in circles to give him a different sensation. Most importantly, have fun with yourself. Play with your breasts, or rub your clit…give him a show to watch! Just take a chance. If something feels uncomfortable for him or turns him off, he’ll likely let you know, but 99% of the time, if you’re enjoying yourself up there, so will he.

I’ve been dating this girl for about 3 months, and we’ve been having sex for about 2 months pretty regularly. I like her, but she’s a bit of a “dead fish” in bed. At first I thought that it was just because things were new and she wasn’t totally comfortable yet, but now it looks like there’s no sign of change. It makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong, and sometimes it’s hard to even stay aroused because she’s so unenthusiastic. What, if anything, can I do?

The heartless bitch inside of me wants to say “dump her”, but I know that that is probably not the answer you were looking for. Honestly though, sexual incompatibility is a big deal. If you are unsatisfied with your sexual relationship, over time the resentment and frustration can eat away at the other parts of the relationship, and that’s never good. That being said, no one goes into a relationship knowing exactly what the other person wants or needs sexually, so don’t expect her to be able to read your mind. It’s important for couples to be able to tell each other what they want in an honest but pressure free manner.

Now to ponder, what’s with the Dead Fish Syndrome? Well, there are a couple of possibilities that come to mind: 1) she was brought up to think of sex as a dirty or shameful act, and is uncomfortable with the fact that she’s even having sex at all, 2) she is insecure about her body or her abilities to please you, so she just opts out and lets you do all the work, or 3) she really isn’t enjoying it, so she’s just letting you get yours. I’m hoping it’s either #2 or 3 for your sake, because #1 cannot be fixed by anyone but her (and perhaps a therapist). If you are at all serious about continuing in this relationship, I encourage you to have an honest conversation with her. Don’t talk during or directly after a sexual encounter; pick a time and place where you two can be relaxed and away from nosy ears. At first, approach the situation as if the problem is #3. Ask her if she is satisfied with your sex life and if there is anything else that you can do in order to better please her. If she offers you suggestions, take them! Odds are though, she’ll say no, to which you can reply, “Ok, that’s good. But I’ve noticed that while we’re having sex, you don’t seem very into it, and it makes it hard for me to enjoy myself when it looks as though you’re indifferent to what’s going on.” Hopefully, that will produce some useful dialogue, but if she appears to be shutting down, don’t pressure her and just let it go for the moment. If you think it’s more likely that she is insecure about herself or her abilities, make an effort to help her feel as beautiful an wonderful as you think she is. Assuring her that she’s attractive and sexy to you or otherwise giving her genuine compliments before, during, and after sex may boost her confidence enough to make her feel better about taking a more active role. However, as I said earlier, if things don’t seem like they will be making a change for the better, have an honest conversation with yourself about whether you can handle this lack of sexual satisfaction or not.

If you have a question to ask me about sex and/or relationships, send me an email at SexandtheStreet@gmail.com or leave a comment (anonymous, if you wish!). All questions will be kept strictly confidential so don't be shy!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

VIDEO: Citadel fans boo, chant slurs at PU band

Several videos have emerged from last Sunday's confrontation between the Princeton University Band and cadets at The Citadel, reported in the Prince and a column in the Charleston Post and Courier.

This video shows several fans at the football game chanting "faggots" repeatedly during the band's halftime performance, between the 3:00-3:07 minute mark. The overwhelming majority of the fans greeted the performance with hearty and sustained boos throughout the band's eight minute long show, but refrained from slurs of this kind that I can make out in the video. As someone who took a bus to the Yale game two years ago, this crowd does not seem that much louder.

The sound is especially loud because the video seems to be recorded right in the middle of the student section. Another Youtube video of the game from across the stadium records the boos as less loud so that the band's instruments and announcement can be heard.


NJ: Neurotic and Unconscientious

This Wall Street Journal study analyzes the 50 US states (+ DC) by personality. There's even a nice interactive graph tab if you don't feel like reading.

How to find New Jersey? That's easy - just sort by Neuroticism and look at the top, or click on Conscientiousness... and scroll to the bottom.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Charleston take on PU Band altercation at Citadel

Just to get the information out there for everyone following this story, Charleston Post and Courier columnist Ken Burger writes a column critical of the Princeton band that, like the Prince's news story, already has a heated debate through more than 50 comments on the article this morning. Not having been there or spoken to anyone involved, I'll just read the stories and pass on the links...

Update: Having scanned around other comments on this story, The Underside of Paradise has a negative reaction to Burger's Column.


No more I-Banks

"The Federal Reserve, in an attempt to prevent the crisis on Wall Street from infecting its two premier institutions, took the extraordinary measure on Sunday night of agreeing to convert investment banks Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Inc. into traditional bank holding companies." - The Wall Street Journal

Now What?


Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear It

The number one word heard at this year’s New York Fashion week was “optimism”. Literally looking into the future, designers were oft quoted saying they took their inspiration from the presidential election (see Michael Kors’ collection) and all the hope that it inspires.

Whatever happened to living in the moment? Fashion, by its very nature, is constantly looking ahead, making us dream big dreams of wearing bathing suits when we are packing them away in September, and fur lined hats when the only suitable accessory is a bottle of suntan lotion. After all, the present is bleak, and it is much more interesting to idealize the future, with fashion being the perfect means for doing so. Indeed, looking at Carolina Herrera’s luxurious reds and elegant cocktail gowns, who could really believe we are in a recession?

This season, more than ever, such blind idealism was magnified on a tremendous scale, as dazzling colors dominated even more than they usually do, and the future was not only bright, it threw the present day into oblivion.

Although some of these collections were complete flops- one Elie Tahari dress actually looked as if a wave had thrust her skirt into her underwear- there were still some well-done collections that managed to go beyond the clichéd message of a promising spring, and create something worthwhile.

L’Wren Scott, for example, though still playing on the Grecian theme, which for me at least, is getting a tad dull, created beautifully tailored and delicate pieces that at their best seem to be floating down the runway. My favorite was a tight-fitting white dress with black lace detailing, which managed to be both delicate and businesslike at the same time.

Diane von Furstenberg certainly bought into the whole optimistic scene, with long, flowery dresses that would be appropriate for a May Day celebration (the ribbons in the model’s hair didn’t help). Yet, there is still something very interesting in her designs, which conjure up not only the sanguinity of the hippies, but the circumstances in which they were fighting. There is a rebellious spirit in her dresses that makes them more than just pretty; they are positively subversive.

But the real stand out this season would have to be Marc Jacobs, who took a truly unique approach to the wide-eyed hopefulness that seems to have captivated designers this fall. His collection is artfully layered, and thus incredibly complex; it is not easy to pick out any one aspect of his designs, because each piece is completely connected to another. Like so many things in life, there is no easy exit. His collection is, essentially, a brilliant reminder that a bright future is not as easy to achieve as zipping up a sundress. Or making a campaign promise. 00050m.jpg

Images provided by Style.com


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Why you should apply to be a 'Prince' columnist

Last week, several of the Daily Princetonian's staff columnists (and a couple ed board members) traveled to New York to enjoy a catered lunch with Gail Collins, the famous and brilliant New York Times columnist. Gail told us about everything from how she writes columns to the two-party system to Maureen Dowd's hatred for everything Clinton.
Think you missed your chance to hang out in a precept-sized group with a famous New York Times columnist? Think again. Up next, David Brooks will be stopping by for lunch with the 'Prince' columnists in October. New columnist will already be on board by then, so check out our online application center. Apps are due next Thursday!
(This shameless plug brought to you by the Opinion editor.)


Friday, September 19, 2008

The New and “Improved” U-Store(s)

Before there was one U-Store. Now there are two. I’m almost certain that at some point, the administration must have spoon fed us the idea that two U-Stores where better than one. Well, either they were wrong, or they lied. The splitting up of the U-Store has so far had no noticeable bonuses, but it has been able to give me a splitting headache.

Let’s start with postcards. For the moment I’ll drop the fact that the best Princeton postcards were always available at Micawber. I had, until recently, never needed or wanted to buy a Princeton postcard. However, things change, and I needed not one, but three. So, of course, I went to the U-Store on University Place. I couldn’t find any, so I asked a sales associate. He told me they were all out, and that the postcards could be found on Nassau Street. Ok, it’s not like I don’t go to Nassau Street every day—I stopped by the second U-Store, and here indeed they did have postcards, very nice tiny ones that I might very easily stick on my wall to go with my collection of Princetonania. Not ones I would want to throw in the mail. So I asked another salesperson, “Don’t you have any photo postcards?”

“Oh yes, those are at our location on University Place.”

You see where this is going, right? So I went back to University Place and asked again, and yes, here were the kind of postcard one actually sends through the post. Unfortunately, what they had left was a less-than-thrilling selection. So naturally, I asked about when they would get their stock renewed. The very helpful lady told me to check out the Nassau Street selection.
It’s like a revolving door of doom.

But before I could ask this last helpful lady, I had to wait on line. They had no fewer than 3 registers open, and the line was still obscenely long. I don’t think I’ve ever had to wait on a line that long at the U-Store before. Even when buying course books before, I would just go on to another floor where there were more registers and almost certainly a shorter line. Now, there aren’t any other floors, and imagine trying to explain to Public Safety that you were just taking these things to the other U-Store because you figured the line might be shorter.

What else? The floor space is a mess, and everything feels cramped. Another complaint would be that I can’t buy my hoodie and my juice at the same store anymore. Oh, and I could go on and on about how having the books taken out of the U-Store has created that monster Labyrinth (it’s a Jekyll and Hyde sort of monster, as it does have some good points), but that is an old song and a story for another post.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

The death of a Princeton culture? NYT columnist on Princeton and I-Banking

NYT columnist Roger Cohen takes direct aim at Princeton (and other Ivy League) students in an Op-Ed today, arguing that the culture of seeking fortune through jobs in finance such as investment banking is at the root of the current financial crisis. The conversation that he describes is certainly one that I've had with my friends at Princeton, both who enter the financial world and who choose not to:

When I taught a journalism course at Princeton a couple of years ago, I was captivated by the bright, curious minds in my class. But when I asked students what they wanted to do, the overwhelming answer was: “Oh, I guess I’ll end up in i-banking.”

It was not that they loved investment banking, or thought their purring brains would be best deployed on Wall Street poring over a balance sheet, it was the money and the fact everyone else was doing it.

I called one of my former students, Bianca Bosker, who graduated this summer and has taken a job with The Monitor Group, a management consultancy firm (she’s also writing a book). I asked her about the mood among her peers.

“Well, I have several friends who took summer internships at Lehman that they expected to lead to full-time job, so this is a huge issue,” she said. “You can’t believe how intensely companies like Merrill would recruit at Ivy League schools. I mean, when I was a sophomore, if you could spell your name, you were guaranteed a job.”

But why do freshmen bursting to change the world morph into investment bankers?

“I guess the bottom line is the money. You could be going to grad school and paying for it, or earning six figures. And knowing nothing about money, you get to move hundreds of millions around! No wonder we’re in this mess: turns out the best and the brightest make the biggest and the worst.”

As the crisis deepens, and the list of major investment banks shortens to Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley (who have their own falling share prices and buyout rumors), where will this year's crop of Princeton seniors find jobs after graduation, or for juniors, internships next summer?

When I have the conversation about jobs and the future with my friends, I usually disagree with Cohen and the student that he quotes. They say that Princeton students enter finance because "the bottom line is the money."

While I have no doubt that money is a factor, I've always felt personally that Princeton students enter the private sector because they feel it will satisfy their sense of drive and the need to have a "prestigious" occupation. Until this year, unlike public or non-profit sector employers, financial firms could afford to hold the type of events and run the type of recruiting that attracts students seeking prestige and a sense that their work will prepare them for a meaningful and successful career surrounded by like-minded people.

Non-profit groups like Teach for America, which focus heavily on recruiting and have a dedicated staff, are able to fill this niche of satisfying ambition and drive as well, and as far as I can tell compete with investment banks to attract Princeton students despite lower pay.

In the whirlwind of classes, jobs, and thesis, seniors seeking a prestigious job may not have the time or energy to find a calling in the public or non-profit sector without heavy recruitment.

Is Cohen right that Princeton and other Ivy students opting for i-banking is a sign of a culture of greed that is now being forced to atone, or do Princeton students aim higher than money for prestige, but cannot find it in government or a non-profit who lack the resources to recruit and make their case?


Saturday, September 13, 2008

I've Shown You Mine, Now Show Me Yours!

'Twas a hot and crazy summer, but Sex and the Street is back and this time, I'm doing things a bit differently. While I loved sharing my own stories and experiences with you, what really interests me is what's going on out there in dorm rooms and secluded taproom corners campuswide. It's hard to find a place where one can ask questions about sex, hooking up, and relationships and get answers beyond what your mom or sex ed teacher would provide. I think that the best and most useful kind of sex and relationship advice is uncensored, informal, and honest: the kind your sex-obsessed best friend would give you. Think of me as that friend. Need help picking a vibrator that's right for you? Stuck in a missionary rut with your partner? Concerned about the size of your penis? Ask me! Send your questions to SexandtheStreet@gmail.com or leave a comment here. Everything will be kept strictly confidential, so feel free to ask me the things that you would never even dream of asking your friends. I look forward to reading your questions!

- Miss SATS


Adam Tanaka's Guide to Lawnparties Bands

(Lupe Fiasco: Not Kanye, but still pretty cool.)

Well, it’s that time of year again: out come the Ray Bans, pin stripes, and flip flops. And once again, the line up really isn’t anything to write home about. But I’m gonna write home about it anyway; or at least write to the Street Blog. Here we go, club by club, a run-down of the talented and not-so-talented who will be blaring loudly across Prospect in less than 36 hours.

CHARTER: Seemingly convinced that bringing U2 to Princeton wasn’t a bad enough idea, Charter club are roping in the appallingly named cover band 2U to provide some Irish luvvin’ Sunday afternoon. Expect the usual anthems – “Vertigo,” “Beautiful Day,” hopefully a tongue-in-cheek rendition of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” – and revel in the fact that you’re watching someone who not only likes Bono, but likes him enough to dress up like him. Fingers crossed for those wrap-around shades, and maybe a look-a-like Bob Geldof if we’re lucky.


COLONIAL: Over at Colonial we’ll have yet another cover band playing us some familiar classics, in this case a selection of the Dave Matthews Band’s back catalogue. So for those of you who like their Dave Matthews, 2pm at Colonial is the place to be. And hopefully they’ll play Dave Matthews’ early hit single “Ants Marching” as they watch the swarm of Princeton students marching on up the Street to see someone else.


T.I.: Having spent their entire annual budget on beer, T.I. has only been able to hire alumni band “Where’s Waldo” to play on Sunday afternoon. For those deluded (or drunken) few who aren’t over at Quad cheering for Lupe Fiasco, I wish you luck. And at least it fails to beat last year’s lawnparties band “Gonzo’s Nose” for ‘WORST BAND NAME EVER IN THE WORLD’ award. This is them at Cottage last year:


TOWER: The main performer at Tower this year will be singer-Songwriter Eric Hutchinson, whose greatest achievement was to have his song “Rock & Roll” featured on the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2” soundtrack. Now that is pretty darn cool. And surprisingly enough – considering the number of cover bands choking Prospect this year – that isn’t a cover of the Led Zeppelin song, but a breezy, reggae-tinged pop/rocker, quite pleasant but also instantly forgettable. Opening for Hutchinson at 12:30 will be Amanda Duncan, a folk-lite acoustic rocker who sounds rather a lot like Jack Johnson, if Jack Johnson was a woman. She also seems to be rather into recycling, and banjos, judging by her MySpace page.


IVY: Performing at Ivy are the Beach Bumz Band, whose choice of cover songs continues what seems like a deliberate trend to alliterate the letter B: the Beach Boys, Bob Marley, and Jimmy Buffet are apparently favourites. So, expect a nice mix of surfer songs, reggae classics and utter crap. Eeek:


TERRACE: An interesting riff on the word naysayer, New York Band Yeasayer describe their music as “Middle Eastern-psych-snap-gospel.” Whatever the hell that means. Anyway a brief Youtubing trip reveals a surprisingly poppy, Smiths-influenced sound, with hooky mix of high-pitched vocals and jangly guitar playing. And opening for them at 1:30 is the Philly rap group Plastic Little, whose single “Cheap Thrills” transforms MJ’s “Thriller” into a towering electro-rap anthem. Not that “Thriller” wasn’t a dance anthem already. But anyway, if you wanna rave it up, you better be there.


QUAD: And saving the best for last, we have this year’s main attraction, Chicago-based hip hopper Lupe Fiasco. Often referred to as the most lyrically talented rapper working in the mainstream today, Lupe deserves a big pat on the back for being able to bring nerdy hip hop back to the top of the charts. He raps about comic books, skateboards and hamburgers – among other, deeper issues – and even managed to make the line “the economic pecking order of relief distribution systems” sound good on his last album, “The Cool.” Point is, he is cool. So be there. And if you’re camping out for front row seats you’ll likely be treated to the folk-rock stylings of opener Matt Nathanson – if you recognise any of his songs, that means you’ve watched the “American Pie” movies a few too many times. According to his wiki entry, his song “Laid” has featured on two of their soundtracks. Sounds like a good song.


CLOISTER: Another lawnparties band, another terrible name. Performing at Cloister from 2 to 5 PM we have Fools and Horses, a four-man band who peddle a very glossy brand of anthemic rock. Seemingly intent on recreating the blandest mid-eighties hard rock – think Journey, or Foreigner – this is really nothing special. Expect some soaring choruses and crunching riffs, and a singer with the most irritating voice in the world:


COTTAGE: Performing at Cottage club Sunday afternoon are Sweetbriar, who seem to like drinking rather a lot, if their MySpace page is anything to go by – Jack Daniels and cocktails are featured in their profile pic, and their EP is called “The Hangover Sessions.” Well, sounds like they’ll be a perfect fit for Cottage – and with their utterly forgettable “country rock & soul” style, they’ll also fit in fine with almost every other band playing Lawnparties this year.



Friday, September 12, 2008

I came to Princeton for a week, and all I got to eat were burgers.

The title is not quite related to the post, because I tried to write a post about how all the dining halls during the first week of school, because they're closed/holding a BBQ somewhere, but it didn't get very far.

But here is one thing I am really excited for, the new Wilson tent. I mean, sure, our white tent is no Whitman Dining Hall (but pretty buildings in Wilson are rare anyway...), but all the food is being shipped from Whitman. (And really it's what is inside that counts.) And I've heard tons of rumors about it: that we'll be having lobster and steak nights (Is it pity or Whitman's leftovers?), sliding glass doors, and air conditioning.

It's only supposed to be up for a month, though I guess that's more wishful thinking than rumor.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seriously, how dumb do they think we are?

So, for the last couple of days I've been getting these rather suspicious emails. And all I can think is, "How dumb do they think we are?" After the jump, text of the email and an analysis of why these con men fail at life.

Dear User: princeton.edu
princeton.edu Engineer will be conducting a scheduled routine
maintenance To improve our services, please be informed that we are going to
upgrade our system in a couple of days from now, that may affect email
notifications on our transaction network. We would need the following
information to enable us preserve your account.



You are to forward the following informations to our helpdesk center.
We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you.
We assure you more quality service at the end of this maintenance.

We understand that, you need to be certain, your personal information will be
secure we take safeguarding your personal information very seriously.

Warning!!! Account owner that refuses to update his or her account within
Four days of receiving this warning will lose his or her account

Yours sincerely, princeton.edu Technical Support.
Thank you for using princeton.edu
Notification Code: WWP2H77JJAJ.
So the first giveaway, and the real reason this is a particularly unimpressive attempt at phishing, is that the email address isn't even from the US.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Welcome back, Point!

After a summer of server problems, Point is back online. Couldn't have started the school year without you! Time to sell my textbooks.