Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ivy League Basketball: 'Outside the Limelight'


As the men's basketball team starts its last game of the year --- it's playing Wagner at Jadwin Gymnasium right now --- it's a great time to consider Ivy League basketball. Kathy Orton, a sports reporter at The Washington Post, has just come out with a new book, "Outside the Limelight: Basketball in the Ivy League," and she spoke with The New York Times on Tuesday.

Orton explores the difficulty in attracting good players to the Ivy League, noting that while there are the players with both the grades and the skills to attend, they would often rather go where they can earn an athletic scholarship. Also, as the Tigers get ready for the start of Ivy League play, it's interesting to note that Orton says, "Many believe the Penn-Princeton dominance has ended. I’m not so sure ... Penn and Princeton have strong traditions of success and too many inherent advantages that make it unlikely that they will stay down for long."

The article also includes an excerpt from her book about the Princeton-Penn rivalry and the 1999 game in which Princeton came back from 27 points behind at the beginning of the second half to win, 50-49. Orton described that game as one of best she has ever seen.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Princeton Professor Profiles Strike Back: Tienda and Nash

Last week, the New York Times looked to the politics department for a professor profile. This week, it's the Newark Star-Ledger and the sociology department's turn. Professor Marta Tienda was the subject of a long profile yesterday, which discussed her childhood as a migrant worker, her research on immigration in the US and motherhood. The profile also reports that she, "still goes to school, "because I have more to learn,"" which is good to know for all of Tienda's future students

Math professor emeritus John Nash GS '50 was also the focus of a one on one interview earlier this month with Riz Khan, a journalist on Al Jazeera English. The interview cover's Nash's personal history, battle with schizophrenia, and "A Beautiful Mind."

"I very much like the idea of doing some advanced math after many years of not working" Nash said.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The New York Times profiles Robert George

The New York Times published a weighty profile this week of our very own Robbie George. A professor of politics and jurisprudence, he’s probably known to most of you in his Constitutional Interpretation class (POL 315) as the guy who makes you attend double precept and tote around one of the longest textbooks known to the University. Yet George has quite a reputation on the political stage as well: According to the Times, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said George was one of “the most-talked-about thinkers in conservative legal circles.”

Regardless of what you think about the whole NOM/Manhattan Declaration/Anscombe platform of George’s politics --- or perhaps for that very reason --- the article is worth a read, if only to take a closer look at the man and his views without the campus politics.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Princeton: Tourist Destination?

Courtesy of Courtney Dressing

You may think of Princeton as a place where you have to go (because that's where your classes, dorm and source of food are), but people from around the world travel to see this town. The New York Times has suggested Princeton as a tourist destination before, but did you know that the town is receiving money from the state to fund the Princeton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau and promote the Princeton region? The $105,000 grant is going toward improving the Princeton Region tourist site, advertising Princeton for people traveling on NJ Transit trains and online marketing.

What does visitprinceton.org, the Princeton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau website, recommend on campus? Well, you might see:
  • the Lewis Center for the Arts
  • the Princeton University Art Museum
  • Prospect Gardens
  • McCarter Theatre
  • Princeton University Athletics
  • Princeton University Tours
  • Communiversity
And to think, you've been at a tourist destination this whole time.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

More photos from snowy Princeton






Jason Chua :: Photography Editor

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

'Snowpocalyse 2009'


"Snowpocalyse 2009" appears to be over in Princeton, but now is the time to reflect on the adventure (especially for the many Princeton students who made it home in time and can "reflect" from afar). Central New Jersey received as much as 18 inches of snow, and Princeton Township declared a snow emergency.


Courtesy of Brad Kern

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

MLB pitcher Ohlendorf '05 interns for the feds

Every summer (or offseason), thousands of Princetonians fan out across the globe to complete unpaid internships.

The competition can be fierce, so you have to put your best foot forward. One would think that a 3.8 GPA, 1520 SAT score and ORFE degree might just get the job done, no?

Now add your 95-mph fastball into the mix.

That's the resume that Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Ross Ohlendorf '05 sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture when he applied for an unpaid 10-week internship, where he logs 20 hours a week behind his desk at the department's D.C. headquarters.

ABC News produced a package earlier this week on Ohlendorf's internship, which began in October. ABC's reporter? Fellow Princetonian (and former 'Prince' editor-in-chief) Rick Klein '98.

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Holiday Procrastination

Finally those nights that pile up right before winter break filled with problem sets, essays, and exam studying galore (‘tis the season) have come to an end. So what’s left for those Princetonians (cough, Type A personalities, cough) who have a problem with just sitting around to do?

1. Sit around and do nothing BUT while catching up on all the T.V. that you’ve missed or tuning in to the Christmas movie marathon (ABC family… don’t pretend like you’re too old)
2. Scour Princeton FML/Princeton good crush to your heart’s desire without feeling guilty about it
3. Sporcle.com (once you’re on, there’s no going back)
4. Elf yourself and your roommates
5. Create your own Jackson Pollock
6. http://www.stumbleupon.com/

And finally for those of you who are already stressing over upcoming exams… just don’t. In case you really just can’t help but be productive:

1. Do the readings you skipped over during the semester
2. Create a list of the key concepts the class went over
3. Start looking over old tests and problem sets
4. Gather books and articles for your research paper and start writing it
5. Look over lecture notes

Happy holidays! (And if you want a truly happy holiday I’d recommend that you just skip the 2nd list).

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Friday, December 18, 2009

History of the Defunct Eating Clubs

The eating clubs and their relationship with the university’s administration was recently brought to the attention of the student body with the announcement of a student task-force. This relationship, however, has a long and important history.The ten eating clubs which currently line Prospect Avenue are but a brief teaser of the clubs’ past and their role in Princeton’s physical expansion, academic growth, and social evolution.

Of the approximate 20 clubs that have existed throughout the course of the years, three have had their clubhouses demolished. The site where Gateway & Prospect Clubs once stood is now the location of the Center for Jewish Life. Arch club was torn down to give way to the Woodrow Wilson School’s Robertson Hall. Others have seen their buildings sold, renamed, and partitioned to the University’s academic programs. The recently inaugurated Carl A. Fields Center for Equality & Cultural Understanding used to house Elm Club, just as Dial Lodge was purchased by the university and converted into the Bendheim Center for Finance. Both Key & Seal and Court Club were destined to a similar fate when they were sold to the university and used as a dining facility for upperclassmen, but Stevenson Hall (as it came to be called) was converted into the Bobst Center for Peace & Justice.

As we all know, Campus Club was transformed into a university-run social space following its donation by the alumni board. Finally, the oh-so-mysterious Cannon Club –which was sold to the university in the 70’s and converted into Notestein Hall, the Office for Population Research— is currently owned by an alumni association. Despite of efforts to reopen the club by February of 2008, Cannon Club remains inactive.

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Because the one thing NYC needs is Beast

As everyone knows, Princeton is the highlight of nightlife, one that would make New York City jealous. Luckily, for all those Princetonians who move from campus into the city, the blog Guest of a Guest, which is aimed at young professionals in New York, has provided a guide on "How to Recreate Princeton's "The Street" in NYC".

Step one: Start with generalizations about each club. Some are more on the mark than others.

"Tiger Inn is the closest The Street comes to a Beirut and beer bong-centric frat house."

"Princeton alum F. Scott Fitzgerald described “literary Quadrangle in This Side of Paradise. We’re going to assume not much has changed."

"Princeton engineering wonks are occasionally unchained from the library and head to Charter."

Step two: Find bars and clubs that match each generalization.

Glasslands, Union Pool or Galapagos for Terrace

Mara’s Homemade, Great Jones Cafe or Brother Jimmy’s for Cottage

Step three: Madison Ave 10?

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Flash Mob, Princeton style

Yesterday, if you were in Frist at 2:20 you may have had the opportunity to see something exciting...a Princeton flash mob.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Diggin' in the Mudd: What was Brooke Shields '87 like in college?



One cool feature of Mudd’s online database is the senior thesis catalog where you can look up the thesis of anyone who ever went to Princeton. As we all know (and some of us like to brag about) some famous people went to Princeton. So, the senior thesis catalog is actually a pretty cool way to get a glimpse into the college lives of some of the famous alumni at Princeton. Here's just a few of the many cool theses cataloged in Mudd and available for perusal upon request at the library. I've listed some by well-known alumni as well as some by people you may not have known graduated from PU from a variety of different majors/fields. The title of the thesis follows the name/description.













Brooke Shields '87 (actress)- The Initiation: From Innocence to Experience: The Pre-Adolescent/Adolescent Journey in the Films of Louis Malle, "Pretty Baby" and "Lacombe Lucien"

Jodi Picoult '87 (author of "My Sisters Keeper", recently made into a blockbuster movie)- Development

Wentworth Miller '95 (star of network TV show "Prison Break)- Doubling and the Identity Construct in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper," Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea, and Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

Lisa Halaby '73 (Queen Noor of Jordan)- 96th Street and Second Avenue

Ralph Nader '55 (presidential candidate)- Lebanese Agriculture

James T Aubrey Jr. '41 (president of CBS and MGM)- Fielding's Debt to Cervantes and the Picaresque Tradition

John Katzman '81 (founder of the Princeton Review)- The Dead Tree Gives No Shelter.

Bill Bradley '65 (Basketball Hall of Fame, former Senator)- "On That Record I Stand" - Harry S. Truman's Fight for the Senatorship in 1940

Charlie Gibson '65 (ABC World News Tonight host)- The Land and Capital Problems of Pre-Famine Ireland

A.B. Krongard '58 (CIA director under Bush)- The Nature and Meaning of Religious Propositions

You can interpret this information a lot of ways. It definitely seems to prove what Princeton's always trying to tell us- that majors (and theses) don't necessarily equal career choices. Or maybe the people in this selection were just especially lucky. Overall, it's definitely an interesting look into Princeton's past and a lot of figures who made major contributions to the history of America and the world.

Miller Photo:


Shields Photo:
Nader Photo:

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Ivy League halts new construction

A tough financial environment for us may mean that Poe field lies fallow for lack of a new academic building, the Dinky and the Wa remain where they are, and the Psychology department stays in Green Hall.

But at Harvard, the recession means that large swaths of Boston neighborhood remain eerily deserted. Harvard purchased 350 acres of land in Allston in anticipation for building a science neighborhood and other academic buildings, but is postponing the plans as a result of the recession.

The New York Times reports that Harvard just announced that it would suspend construction on part of the expansion indefinitely: plans for a four-building science center, originally slated to open in 2011, will now be put on ice.

Alston residents are none too happy at the empty storefronts lining their streets, which Harvard owns and refuses to sell. The Boston Globe quoted Allston resident Molly Adelstein as comparing Harvard to a suitor standing up a date.

"Our relationship with Harvard is an abusive one. Harvard has shown that it can slap us around," Adelstein said.

Matters are not much better at Columbia, where a court has ordered their eminent-domain-backed takeover of buildings in upper Manhattan illegal.

Yay for being in suburbia!

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Complain, complain


Complain, whine, complain, whine, bullshit, complain… and on it goes, such is the verbal existence of many Princeton students.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to complain. My favorite is the classic “I’m so tired.” On Monday I gave it a twist by adding a dash of “today felt like a week!” And yes, if you’re wondering, when some probable curve-wrecker wrote “Stop complaining, work harder” on the blackboard near the Rocky-Mathey library, I responded with a chalky “Fuck you :)!”

During lunch at my eating club a few days ago, however, I realized things might have gone too far. I was chatting with someone about the things I had due in the next few weeks, no complaints intended, when the MOL major sitting next to me felt the need to butt in and emphasize the intensity of his work load.

I’m a history major and all my friends are either pre-meds or engineers. I get it already: humanities majors never do any work/have no job skills/should be beaten with lead pipes, whatever. But this didn’t feel like a regular bashing. It was the ugliest and most obnoxious form of complaining: “the monopoly on suffering.”

Acting like you’re the one with the worst lot is not only self-centered and reeking of bad social skills, but an insult to people in the world who have to worry about than a couple of nights with a few hours sleep. I think we can all agree that everyone here works hard, even those of us without problem sets. Beat me with a lead pipe, I’m biased.

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Time magazine honors Fed chief Bernanke

Time magazine announced its Person of the Year this morning, and for the first time since at least 2006 (when "You" won), the winner is a Princetonian.

Our "mild-mannered economic overlord," Ben Bernanke, former economics professor and current chair of the Federal Reserve won, beating out Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the Chinese worker, US Forces Commander Stanley McChrystal, Olympian Usain Bolt and President Barack Obama. TIME managing editor Richard Stengel '77 announced the finalists on the Today Show Monday.

In 1999, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos '86 won the honor.

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20 (minus 10) Sweet: Christmas Movies

New holiday flicks come out every year, and you could say there's an endless supply of them...but honestly, who can change the channel when there's a Christmas movie marathon underway? With 9 days left before Christmas, here are 20 Sweet's top 10 (I didn't want to have to let in stragglers like "Fred Claus" or "Christmas with the Kranks") Christmas movies...it'll be a tight movie-watching schedule but you can squeeze 'em in. Enjoy.

1. Love Actually (2003)
2. A Christmas Story (1983)
3. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
4. The Santa Clause (1994)
5. Home Alone (1990)
6. Elf (2003)
7. Scrooged (1988)
8. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
9. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
10. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fishman '78 sworn in as U.S. attorney, by Alito '72

Today, a Princetonian swore in another Tiger for his former job. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito '72 traveled to Rutgers to swear in Paul Fishman '78 as the new U.S. Attorney in New Jersey. Alito served in the same position from 1987 through 1990. The U.S. Attorney acts as the the federal government's representative in U.S. district courts and courts of appeals.

Fishman was a politics major whose thesis topic was "Constitutional Protection of the Family." After leaving Princeton, Fishman attended Harvard Law School, and he later served as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey and Washington at the Justice Department before moving into private practice.

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Busy and Productive at Firestone

If you are a student who relies on BoredatFirestone.com to get you through the long afternoons and evenings on the C-floor, unfortunately there is nothing to distract you now (other than PrincetonFML.com, Princeton.goodcrush.com and the old stalwart, Facebook.com). Jonathan Pappas, the founder of the site, has temporarily shut down all the Bored at sites because of a large number of racist and offensive posts. According to his informational message placed on all of the Bored at site, he is working on coding to prevent "hate speech or racist comments" to be self moderated by the boards.

Racist comments are a difficulty facing a variety of online communities. For example, comments on The Daily Princetonian's story on December 5's fight at the Carl A. Fields Center lead 60 students to protest yesterday.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Ivy Watch: Dartmouth may get bigger as Yale's staff may shrink


Brown:
The Brown Daily Herald has already stopped publication for 2009.

Columbia:
Housing may go gender-neutral
Columbia College Student Council has proposed changing the housing policy to allow for students to live together irrespective of their gender.

Cornell:

The Cornell Daily Sun has already stopped publication for 2009.

Dartmouth:

With early decision admits, Dartmouth explores increasing class size
Dartmouth accepted 461 early admission applicants for the Class of 2014, 60 more than accepted for the Class of 2013. Dartmouth also received 23 more applicants for early admission than last year. Their acceptance rate was 29 percent.

Harvard:
Science Complex Construction To Halt in 2010
Harvard will stop the construction of the Allston Science Complex early next year after the foundation has been completed. This decision was based on "altered financial landscape of the University" according to a letter by University President Drew G. Faust.

Penn:
November crime declines 28%
Crime on Penn's campus has declined by 28 percent in November 2009 compared with November 2008 according to a report by Penn's Division of Public Safety. Violent crime has increased, however, with 19 incidents reported in November 2009 over the seven incidents that occurred in November 2008.

Yale:
University may cut more staff
Looking to close a $100 million budget gap, Yale may cut further staff. Since Yale's endowment fell 24.6 percent between June 2008 and June 2009 Yale has delayed new faculty hiring and laid off around 100 people.

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Stimulus Funding: MOL, CHE, COS win big



Early this year President Obama signed into law American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), a stimulus bill. Of the $787 billion, $8.9 was to be spent on scientific research in the next 18 months. Now, 10 months later, awards have been announced and the University has received $23 million in research funding from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) for over 60 projects. Prior to this, the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab received $15.6 million.


The big spender was the NSF, which funded 64 percent of the projects. The big winners, on the other hand, were the Molecular Biology, Chemical Engineering and Computer Science Departments, whose members received the most funding. By far the biggest project is that headed up Professor Ilhan Aksay of the Chemical Engineering Department. His group received $2.9 million to study the impact of nanocatalysts on hydrocarbon jet fuels.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Figures of Speech: Last Week of Classes!


One more week of classes, and then we will all be done (for only two weeks...)! Some of you will be gliding through the last week, having finished all majors assignments; for those of you who are in a slightly more unfortunate position like I am, good luck surviving.

In any case, here are some highlights of cool events this upcoming week.

Davis Projects for Peace Competition
Monday, Dec 14, 5:00 PM – – Other

Princeton undergraduates are invited to participate in the fourth annual Davis Projects for Peace competition, sponsored by philanthropist and internationalist Kathryn Wasserman Davis. A grant of $10,000 will support successful applicants’ projects developed with the aim of building world peace. The competition encourages creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Individual projects can take place anywhere in the world and should focus on achievable, grassroots action.

The competition is open to all undergraduates, including seniors. The application deadline for the summer 2010 competition is Monday, December 14 at 5 pm, EST. Projects to be implemented during the summer of 2010 may be proposed and undertaken by individual students or by a group of students.

For more information, see http://pace.princeton.edu/projectsforpeace. Please direct all questions to the Pace Center at pace@princeton.edu , 609-258-7260.

Frist Campus Center Winterval
Wednesday, Dec 16, 3:00 PM – 2 hours – Other
Frist Campus Center

University students, faculty, staff, and their families are invited to celebrate the winter season and the end of the fall semester at the annual Frist Campus Center Winterval. Participate in fun activities and enjoy delicious refreshments. Cosponsored by the Frist Campus Center, Dining Services, International Center, and LGBT Center.

Sinfonia Concert
Thursday, Dec 17, 8:00 PM – 1 hour, 30 minutes – Arts/Performance
Richardson Auditorium

Diverse concert featuring Mozart's Overture to "La clemenza di Tito," Debussy's Petite Suite, Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 2, "Little Russian," and Mozart's "Misera, dove son!" with Margaret Meyer '05, soprano. Ruth Ochs conducts.

$5 general admission

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Fighting Masturbation In Bathrooms Nationwide

This fall, Princeton seems to have set off a nationwide trend about efforts to combat masturbation in bathrooms.

For those of you who haven’t read the October 11 Prox post about the prank letter posted by an Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Student Life “Dick W. Anker” in some men’s bathrooms around campus, it announced that masturbation in showers was a violation of the honor code and caused serious problems including clogged shower drains.

It seems that some people at Harvard, the University of Michigan, and San Jose State University think along the same lines.

The FlyByBlog of the Harvard Crimson reported on December 7 that a suspiciously similar sign had gone up on some men’s bathroom doors stating that "masturbation in the bathrooms is a Harvard University Honor Code Violation.”

The next day, The Michigan Daily posted a blog entry about an almost identical flyer that has been circulating on the web.

A city guide website sanjose.com also posted an entry on December 7 with a link to another flyer of the same sort.

Now if only they’d follow us on grade deflation…


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Students Getting Paid For Passing Classes

So where exactly is the money from last winter’s 787-billion-dollar economic stimulus package going?

If you’re a student at Fort Hays State University in Kansas getting grades of C or higher, it’s going straight into your pocket, according to an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Fort Hays State started a program last August paying its on-campus students $5 for each credit hour in which they earn a grade of C or higher.

The university decided to spend a third of the money they received through the stimulus on tuition mitigation, which they chose to distribute to passing students. They’re spending the other two thirds on deferred maintenance.

The administration is hoping that the new program will offset the $6.85-a-credit-hour increase in this year’s tuition.


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Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Facebook Fuzz

If you attend University of Wisconsin at La Crosse and you are drinking before your 21st birthday, don't accept a Friend Request from a girl you don't recognize. The local police department decided to take advantage of Facebook to crack down on underage drinking. After becoming friends, "Jenny Anderson" had access to her new friends' photos which, in many cases, showed underage drinking. As a result, students have been called to the police department and ticketed although "Jenny Anderson" has since disappeared.

Will knowledge of this technique alter your drinking or Facebook habits? Do you think this is an appropriate way for police departments to fight underage drinking?

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Missed Connections

Recently, Princeton has come on board with various internet fads: Princeton FML and a new Facebook group, Overheard at Princeton, which entails submissions of all the bizarre and entertaining things Princeton students are overheard saying. In keeping with this trend, Harvard has a new website, I saw you Harvard. The site is essentially missed connections. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, it's when two people cross paths but don’t have the chance to converse: “I saw you... in Eliot D-hall reading what looked to be an essay. I love how you're always wearing a black scarf and your adorable British accent. I know you must be hella smart since you're on that special fellowship I wish I knew your name...” However creepy it may be, I think it’s worth it to get on the bandwagon Princeton!

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Altman '11 responds to 'Confidential USG campaign memo'

Yesterday, The Prox posted excerpts from a USG campaign memo that was found in a Little Hall printing cluster. While we did not attach any candidate's name to the document, USG presidential candidate Jack Altman '11 sent in a response, posted below.



Hey,

If you read the Prox last night, you probably got a good laugh at how big of an idiot I am. To be honest, I would laugh at me too. Who wouldn't love to know someone else's most absurd, private thoughts? It's the same reason diaries are stolen and creepy middle school teachers make their students read love notes aloud to the class. Still, it hurts when it's me.

Obviously, my campaign was aided by the efforts of a lot of people, and this document was no exception. That said, this is ultimately my campaign and I take full responsibility for everything in here. I know the voting is over, and I know no one looks foolish here but me, but I'm going to have trouble sleeping if I don't at least try to explain myself.

Here are my reactions to our newspaper's "favorites:"

1. "Not sure what to use these people for, but..."
Following the ellipsis was basically a list of my friends. I guess the verb "use" could have been chosen more thoughtfully but these were rushed notes I jotted to myself. Special apology to Astrid's Boyfriend Mike and Astrid, you guys are the best.

2. "CJL - TOWER"
I also want to apologize to my eating club and my religion (yes, I had a bar mitzvah) for hyphenating CJL and Tower. I just love these organizations so much that I always feel the need to write them in caps.

3. "Black vote? -- black forbes friends -- ...what about the black sorority?"
Sigh...how many times can I say the word black in one sentence? I must have thought there was some sort of competition. One of my greatest intentions is addressing racial concerns on the street. Still, I understand how ridiculous this makes me look. I guess there's nothing I can do here but laugh at myself.

4. Kappa -- "girl from my precept"
I definitely wrote this. No explanation, just embarrassed.

5. "Weirdo groups yaro/Trevor will get" - "chess club, math club, ping pong club, Juggling Club
, Tae Kwon Do, Ballroom dancing"
Here's the one I am most upset about. Like I said, this is my campaign and I take full responsibility. But I want these groups to know that I would never call them weirdoes. I have no idea where this came from -- like I said, this was compiled by a group of people helping my campaign. All I have to say is I have participated in chess club and ping pong club and these are my favorite games alongside poker and Warcraft. One of the coolest people I have met at Princeton is the president of the chess club, and I play at least 20 games of speed chess online a day. I was the captain of math club in high school, and I don't even know what Tae Kwon Do is. These are the people I feel most sorry to, and I hope more than anything that you will believe me when I tell you -- I would never say this.

6. "softer toiler paper"
Apparently toiler is a word, so spell check didn't help me out. But come on, Prince, give me a break! There are other hard words to spell besides toilet, like the last name of the guy who wrote "Crime and Funishment."

7. "the usg's first and only objective is to set things done for students. We can't run it like a business or take ourselves too seriously"
Yeah, that's true.

Look, I don't think anyone was shocked that campaigns have things like this, but knowing it exists is worlds apart from actually reading it. I hate to be crude, but for lack of a better analogy, it's kind of like the difference between knowing how your parents made you and seeing how your parents made you. I wish no one had taken my most unfiltered thoughts out of a printer and dropped it off at the Prince, but, hey, was it really all that bad? I don't have anything to hide.

Princeton is the greatest place I have ever been, and I would love to be USG president. I hope more than anything that I didn't hurt anyone I care about, and I Hope that people will be understanding and cut me some much-needed slack. If you have anything to say to me, please e-mail me. Support, hatred, ridicule, advice, whatever. My number one priority is to listen to the student body. I may as well start now.

- Jack Altman '11

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How Good Is That Song for You?

Last week a teen panel of the Boston Public Health Commission released a list of the top 10 songs of 2009 with “Unhealthy Relationship Ingredients” and another list with “Healthy Relationship Ingredients.”

Unhealthy:

1. Break Up (feat. Gucci Mane and Sean Garrett) by Mario
2. Blame It (feat. T-Pain) by Jamie Foxx
3. Paparazzi by Lady Gaga
4. You’re a Jerk by New Boyz
5. Baby By Me by 50 Cent
6. Best I Ever Had by Drake
7. One More Drink (feat. T-Pain) by Ludacris
8. Be On You (feat. Ne-yo) by Flo Rida
9. Hotel Room Service by Pitbull
10. Bad Romance by Lady Gaga

Healthy:

1. One Time by Justin Bieber
2. Miss Independent by Ne-yo
3. Replay by Iyaz
4. Say Hay by Michael Franti
5. Knock You Down by Keri Hilson (feat. Kanye West)
6. Only You Can Love Me This Way by Keith Urban
7. Her Diamonds by Rob Thomas
8. I’m Yours by Jason Mraz
9. Fallin For You by Colbie Caillat
10. Meet Me Halfway by Black Eyed Peas

These teens attended a seven-week “Healthy Relationships Institute” where they learned to look at teen relationships and messages sent by the media, so obviously they’re qualified to pass judgment on the songs we listen to. The lists did open my eyes, however, to the meaning behind some of the song lyrics (“You’re a Jerk” is about more than a popular dance?), but as to their impact, the ratings won’t change what I listen to. If anything, I find it amusing that some of my favorite songs are labeled as “unhealthy” and “healthy,” and that Ne-yo can be found in both lists.

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Writing Seminar Reviews

Image courtesy of http://papercastlepress.com

Ah, the writing seminar – a staple of the Princeton curriculum that every student must endure. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re a good or bad writer – chance are, you’ll struggle. On more than one occasion, my roommate has stated that he will “stand up in the middle of class, walk over to --------, and punch him in the face,” gaining the applause and undying gratitude of everyone in the class. How much vitriol and bitter resentment it can stir within the freshman class! To prove my point, I’ve included a few gems from the Student Course Guide, where students can vent about the injustice they’ve suffered over the past few months. To provide a modicum of decorum, professors’ names have been eliminated, but are easily findable should you wish to learn the names of those who cause so much suffering. Enjoy:

“I don't even know where to start. Throughout the term, I would say as much class time was spent in awkward silence, the students looking around at each other, as it was spent doing anything productive. -------- managed to take some fascinating subject material and just butcher it in general by avoiding any substance within the text and instead trying to focus on some imaginary goal he had for his course. I never found out what this goal was, and I don't think even ------- knew where he was going with it. His outline, seemingly organized, was thrown out the window virtually after the first week as any semblance of unity within the course disintegrated into a thousand screaming hellions of bullshit […] I suspect he purposefully doesn't give honest feedback during draft meetings so he can ruthlessly mark you down on the final draft, gleefully chuckling as he scribbles his graffiti corrections on what a student thought was a genuinely good paper.”

“Don't be surprised when you don't learn anything about writing, as grammar and conceptual ideas are not discussed in class. You will not become a better writer, and furthermore, will not even learn interesting material in this class. Complete and utter waste of your time.”

“Most of the general horribleness comes from the Professor, who lets the class dissolve into blatant awkward silence for minutes and minutes on end. His grading is absurdly without any hint of basis, handing out generally whatever he seems to please to whomever he has taken a fancy to. His advice always comes too late, usually after he has handed you a poor grade, and the ‘draft meetings’ are the most useless garbage I have ever attended.”

And finally, this peculiar tidbit:

“A number of people in the class wrote papers with theses like ‘black people are inherently inferior swimmers’ (because there's tons of citable bull shit for this claim) […] Don't waste the effort on honest writing for this course. You won't be rewarded, and you won't really learn anything. Any kind of writing is always good practice, but this kind of argument can defend almost any kind of waste of time.”

My favorite fact? The first three all come from the same class. Looks like someone left a bad impression on his students…

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A Very Princeton Auction


You are the Wilson School. You have an image as an exclusive, elitist institution (even by Princeton standards).

Your mission: Demonstrate your everyman status by hosting an community service event to benefit the Greater Donnelly Neighborhood Institute. The Greater Donnelly Neighborhood Institute is a non-profit that works in an underserved area of North Trenton and offer "gang resistance and youth enrichment programs that are part of after-school, summer, athletic and arts programs."

There's only one hitch. Your choice of community service is a "Public Service Auction" which will feature center court seats to a Knicks game, a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne, a case of Feudi di San Gregorio Aglicano Rubrato wine and, of course, "special rum and cigars from a nearby Caribbean island nation." Nice, Woody Woo. Nice.

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WhitmanWire gone Haywire

Witness a cyberbattle, where Whitmanites' mailboxes are the chosen field of combat.

One must commend the collegians for their political activism. Subscribers to Whitmanwire have been inundated with promptings to call NJ state senator Shirely Turner (no, not Tilghman, Turner) in support of the upcoming vote surrounding gay marriage. And we're talking detail--phone numbers, talking points, step-by-step instructions.

The inundation of such instructions, however, caused another Whitmanite entered the fray:


"The long-standing (if three years counts as long-standing) position of Whitman is that Whitman College has no politics. There are many wonderful uses for Whitmanwire, but political advocacy is not one of them. Let's pursue political goals, whatever they may be, actively and passionately, but also in the appropriate forum."

The gay marriage supporters were undeterred, however. Less than one hour after the harrassed pleas crossed cyberspace, the gay marriage supporters responded, with even more detailed instructions, in case the prior ones weren't enough. Just in case fill-in-the-blank was necessary, Whitmanites got it.

Waiting for a counterattack...

The latest response to harangued Whitmanite:

Thank you so much for your concern. To my understanding, Whitmanwire is actually a self regulating network with no specific policy about what is appropriate or inappropriate, including political advocacy. I might be wrong, and if I am, I would love to see that policy in writing.

I can see how you think that Whitmanwire is an inappropriate forum for political advocacy, and we can agree to disagree about that. I believe that a grassroots information sharing network like Whitmanwire is the perfect place for advocacy. We can both agree that putting undo pressure on Whitmanites to vote a certain way would be completely inappropriate, but I think informing people about the best way to get in touch with their senator is a neighborly service akin to sharing stamps and sending flyers for fan club meetings. I won't contact you again through Whitmanwire to give peoples inboxes a break, but I hope to hear back from you.

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20 Sweet: Christmas Songs


Some people go to malls or coffee shops the day after Thanksgiving and scoff at the Christmas wreaths, Christmas lights, and Santa Claus decorations that seemed to pop up overnight. Perhaps this commercialization is a little over-the-top, and maybe they should just wait until December at least, but there’s one thing I love about the whole deal.

Christmas music—it’s suddenly everywhere. Sure, some of the tunes you hear are a little rough – formerly hot boy bands trying to get a hit on the charts by any means necessary, or overly modernized, butchered versions of classics – but I still love it. Here are some of those guilty-pleasure Christmas favorites…enjoy, and feel free to post your own song suggestions.

1. Christmas Song – Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds
2. Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt
3. 2000 Miles – The Pretenders
4. Merry Christmas Baby – Otis Redding
5. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town – Bruce Springsteen
6. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – Jack Johnson
7. River – Joni Mitchell
8. Christmas Time is Here – Vince Guaraldi Trio
9. The Christians and the Pagans –Dar Williams
10. Little Saint Nick – The Beach Boys
11. Christmas is All Around – “Billy Mack” (from Love Actually)
12. Las Christmas – Jimmy Eat World
13. Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney
14. Winter Wonderland – Jason Mraz
15. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
16. All I Want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey
17. Frosty the Snowman – Fiona Apple
18. Feliz Navidad РJos̩ Feliciano
19. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow – Dean Martin
20. Happy Xmas (War is Over) – John Lennon

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Procter Blotter: November 2009

Crimes reported to or caught by the Department of Public Safety during November 2009.


View November 2009 Crime Map in a larger map

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Found: Confidential USG campaign memo

Spotted in a printer cluster in Little Hall: someone's game plan for “representing you.” The Daily Princetonian acquired this document from a campus printer; it appears to list potential contacts and campaign themes for a USG campaign.

The polls may be closed, but judge these for yourself. You can check out the last page for yourself on the left.

Some other favorites:

1. “Not sure what to use these people for, but…”

2. “CJL - TOWER"

3. “Black vote? — black forbes friends — …what about the black sorority?”

4. Kappa - "girl from my precept"

5. “Weirdo groups yaro/Trevor will get” - "chess club, math club, ping pong club, Juggling Club, Tae Kwon Doe, Ballroom dancing"

6. “softer toiler paper”

7. "the usg's first and only objective is to get things done for students. We can't run it like a business or take ourselves too seriously"

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this post included four scanned pages listing student organizations and certain members. Those pages have been removed.

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IvyGate is back!

Fear not! Recent rumors of IvyGate's demise have proven false.

The blog, which had been quiet since Nov. 18, returned from its 19-day dormant spell on Dec. 7 with a story about pranksters recreating the plot of Outbreak on Yale’s campus.

In a direct response to our previous “IvyGate died” post, IvyGate reassured all its readers of its longevity and also used the opportunity to take a dig at The Prox.

IvyGate’s most recent post describes Inside Higher Ed writer Scott McLemee's disapproval of the latest book penned by Cornel West GS '80, “Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud.” McLemee says of West, “Self-knowledge has been taken hostage, and amour propre curdled into self-infatuation.”

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Found in the Labyrinth Basement…

Ralph Nader ’55 stopped at Labyrinth last weekend to promote his new book. It’s worth noting that he visited the New Haven neighbors to talk about the book several weeks before visiting his own alma mater. Ouch.

From his visit, we get that Nader, at 75, is a little out of touch with the youth demographic. On his agenda of things to bash included several items that students hold dear, like texting, Facebook and basically all types of non-physical communication.

Good luck reaching out to prospective agitators and organizers.

The latest tome, a lengthy work of fiction that easily doubles as a telephone book, is called “Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!” We’re left to wonder whether visiting an alumni gathering was next on his list of places to visit.

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Changing the nature of the debate -- to the call of nature

Just when I thought USG elections couldn’t be more of a joke, toilet paper managed to become the most covered platform issue of the entire election.
The USG elections process is no stranger to absurdity. Compared to the squirrel burning, miscounted or uncounted votes, elections manager resignations and suspect endorsements, this year, where the biggest controversy seems to be the printing of note cards, is relatively tame.

But the real shame of this year’s election is in the issues. A year and a half ago, then-USG president Josh Weinstein wrote in a guest column in the 'Prince' that “to suggest that toilet paper is at the top of the USG's holistic focus … is to promote a gross misconception.” That, unfortunately, seems to be changing. I remain convinced that this was a brilliant hijacking of the election on the part of Brian Edwards '11 and Jack Lindeman '11, but the joke, apparently like the toilet paper on campus, is wearing thin. In a year when the USG has actually, finally accomplished something with a meaningful affect on student life – P/D/F reform – all three presidential candidates have made toilet paper one of the most prominent election issues.

Maybe it’s time for the candidates, and the USG as a whole, to focus on issues that can’t be solved by individual students shelling out a few bucks at CVS. P/D/F reform was a good start, but let’s not stop there. How many of us really want to spend break with the specter of exams hanging over our heads?

Oh, and seriously? Whoever keeps posting those toilet paper FMLs on PrincetonFML really needs to stop. The attempt at a viral campaign isn’t cute. Its just annoying.

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Chemical Engineering No More

The Department of Chemical Engineering is facing its last year at Princeton.

Not to be too worried, though, since starting July 1, 2010, the department will officially be known as the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

Richard Register, chair of the Department of Chemical (and Biological?) Engineering, noted that the fields of chemical engineering and biology have had everlasting ties, citing specifically the fact that fermentation processes were “discovered millennia ago.” In any case, this will be the department’s first name change since the department was established 80 years ago, in 1930.

“Adding ‘biological’ to our name makes a public statement,” Register added.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wreck the Halls: Why you can't celebrate the holidays at Old Nassau

Watch out, jolly Tigers. Absolutely nothing in this picture is allowed according the to 2009-10 Dorm/Annex Residential Living guide. Why? According to its website:

“Flammable holiday decorations such as live Christmas trees (cut or balled), wreaths made from pine boughs, and untreated bunting are not permitted in University housing units. Inspectors will remove and dispose of pine bough wreaths and other flammable decorations found in the dormitories. A fine of $25 is assessed for every live tree, wreath, bunting, or garland found in a dormitory.”


What even is bunting? But at least Fire Safety nitpicks across the denominations. No menorahs, no St. Lucy's Day headdresses, no Kwanzaa Kinaras.

“Candles/incense are not permitted in any dormitory room or common space at the Graduate College or in any areas within the annexes. If a candle cannot be easily removed from its holder/container/receptacle, all parts will be confiscated and disposed of.”

And actually, don’t even bank on keeping warm over the holidays:

“Unauthorized space heaters are not permitted. They will be confiscated and a fine of $50 per heater assessed for the first violation; $100 per heater for the second violation. No warning will be issued before fines are levied.”

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Ivy Watch: Real Long Distance


Brown:
Early applicant pool grows for Class of 2014
The number of early applications to Brown rise 21%. November 1 saw 2,850 applicant up from 2,343 last year. There was also a 27 percent increase in the proportion of applicants who plan on receive a Bachelor of Science degree.

Columbia:
Court says no to eminent domain in Manhattanville
The New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division ruled that the states seizure of land under eminent domain to be used to expand Columbia's Manhattanville campus was illegal and in violation of the Takings Clause in the U.S. Constitution.

Cornell:
After 1,628 Probable Swine Flu Cases, Gannett Looks Ahead
Cornell, which had a H1N1 outbreak during September with 103 probable H1N1 cases diagnosed in one day, has had over 1,500 probable Swine Flue cases this school year. It continues to diagnose 20 to 25 probable H1N1 cases a day.

Dartmouth:
College to consider distance learning
Dartmouth considers offering distance learning opportunities through the Tuck School of Business, including executive education or MBA programs, to raise raise additional revenue.

Harvard:
Family Sues Harvard Over Son’s Suicide
Parents of John Edwards, Harvard student who committed suicide in 2007, sue Harvard College and two professionals at University Health Services. Edwards seen by a nurse pracitioner and prescribed Prozac and Wellbutrin, although he was already taking Accutane, an anti-acne drug that can increase risk of depression and suicide. The lawyer for the Edwards family argues that he was not given sufficient attention and should not have been placed on so many medications by a nurse practitioner without the input of psychopharmacologist.

Penn:
Westboro Baptist protests at Hillel
Protestors from the Westboro Baptist Church, an congregation based in Kansas and known for its anti-Semitic views, converged at the Penn Hillel Monday. They were met by a student organized counter protest and "Acceptance Barbecue."

Yale:
Despite policy change, plagiarism cases up
The number of cases of academic dishonesty tried by the Executive Committee rise despite an increased focus on education about plagiarism.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Nutcracker, Abridged

How appropriate it is that as we enjoy our first snow of the season, our very own sugarplums of Princeton University Ballet (PUB) prepare for their first "Nutcracker." As a ballet-lover myself, my childhood Christmases always included an annual trip to the theater to enjoy this Tchaikovsky ballet. A two-act fairytale, "The Nutcracker" tells the story of a young girl who travels to the Kingdom of Sweets with her prince, the former Nutcracker. Is it a little cheesy? Yes, but you can't help but smile and enjoy the tradition that this ballet represents. And with the end of the fall semester fast approaching, aren't we all in the mood for a little light-hearted fun?

Read the full review here...

--Margaret McNamara

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(Still) Wanted: New vice president for campus life

Looks like the 11-member search committee charged with finding a successor for Vice President for Campus Life Janet Dickerson hasn't found who they're looking for yet.

At least not according to the job opening still posted online and last updated on Dec. 2.

It sounds like a pretty sweet gig: A staff of roughly 260; annual operating budget of $31 million; oversight of the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students, University Health Services, the Department of Athletics, the Office of Religious Life and the Pace Center.

It looks like the money won't be bad either. Dickerson's pay — including her $256,042 salary as well as $38,318 in benefits and deferred compensation — stood at $294,360 in the 2007-08 academic year.

Dickerson is set to retire in June. In October, administrators said they hoped to have her successor announced "by the spring semester." Clock's ticking.

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Interview with Bill Tierney

Coach Bill Tierney's resignation last June was the biggest Princeton related sports news of the summer. The coach, who led Princeton to 6 NCAA championships and posted a 238-86 record over his 22 seasons at Princeton, left to coach the University of Denver's team. Tierney's decision and its impact for the lacrosse world led Lacrosse Magazine to name him Person of the Year and to write a five part series about his career last week.

Thursday's piece focused on The Princeton Years and provides an interesting look at Princeton laccrosse's path from a poor program to last year's 13-3 and what it takes to make a sucess story.

"There's not many sports in the Ivy League that you can win a national championship in. You're not going to win in basketball. They're too stifled...Once we convinced them that we could -- with the help of Cornell and Penn being in the final four; Brown was good; Harvard was good -- not only win an Ivy League championship, but win in the tournament, they looked at me and said, "OK, well, let's win a few games first."

We did that, and it just happened so quickly."
-Bill Tierney

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The Smartest Princetonians

Last week, in the 'Princetonians on cool-sounding lists' department, we brought you Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers. This week, we present The Daily Beast's 25 Smartest People of the Decade. The Tigers included:


(12) Jeff Bezos '86 - Amazon CEO and Founder (and 2010 Baccalaureate speaker)
(13) Kwame Anthony Appiah - Philosophy professor
(18) Gen. David Petraeus GS '85 — commander of the U.S. Central Command (and 2009 Baccalaureate speaker)


Also, at #22 is the namesake of Bloomberg Hall: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, father of Emma '01.

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Brodie '12, Fisch '11 tie for CJL presidency


It doesn't get any closer than this. Obviously.

There was a TIE in the three-way race for president of the Center for Jewish Life. Kerry Brodie '12 and Mendy Fisch '11* finished on top with the same number of votes, and will serve as co-presidents of the CJL board starting on Jan. 1.

Rebecca Scharfstein '12, who came in third, will serve as vice president, while Sarah Lux '12 will be Treasurer.

Here's to a scandal-free election, guys.

*Fisch is also a senior writer for The Daily Princetonian.

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Photo of the Day: First Snowfall


Zach Ruchman :: Photography Editor

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Health and Higher Education


Today, after pressure regarding equal treatment of its students Lincoln University dropped a new requirement that all students on campus with a Body Mass Index score of over 30, the definition of of obese, take a fitness class. This historically black college had launched the policy to try and address the health of its students especially considering the high rates of obesity and diabetes in African American Community.

Similarly, universities around the country are banning smoking on their campuses. The University of Kentucky banned cigarettes and other forms of tobacco on their school grounds several weeks ago and Columbia University's Morningside campus is also considering a smoking ban.

Should Princeton have mandatory fitness classes of ban all smoking on campus?
What is a university's proper role in protecting the health of its students?

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Friday, December 4, 2009

With a name like GJ 758 B

Is it a bird? Is it a planet? Is it a failed star? Its GJ 758 B. Princeton researcher Michael McElwain, a fellow in Princeton's astrophysics department, was part of a team that captured a picture of a large object, either a planet or a failed star, orbiting a star similar to our own sun. This is the first time such an image has been captured.

We haven't found a sister solar system, however. The planet or failed star here is actually 10 to 40 times the mass of Jupiter and is as far away from its star as Neptune is from our sun.

The pictures were taken in May and August at the Hawaii-based Subaru Telescope. So, what did you do over your summer vacation?

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1,000-Point Challenge

So I first got word of the 1,000-Point Challenge from an e-mail sent out to the Princeton University Band (which I’m not really a part of, but I promise to return the flute to you guys). Basically you have to do 1,000 minutes of exercise in five weeks, which equates to 200 minutes per week or about half an hour every day. I’ve always been meaning to exercise but never really got around to it, but with such prizes as a T-shirt, pedometer or water bottle, how could I resist? I’m going for the T-shirt, because it’d be cool to walk around with “I did the 1,000-Point Challenge” emblazoned across my back, and 1,000 is just an awe-inspiring number.

It started Monday, Nov. 16, and runs until Sunday, Dec. 20. (That's the week before Thanksgiving break until the end of the year.) I sort of came late in the game though, filling in my first entry on Sunday, Nov. 22. Thanks to my good friend Katie and the promise of a T-shirt, I ventured outside the gates to take a run through a trail around Lake Carnegie. It was remarkably refreshing, as we got to run past trees holding up brilliant yellow leaves and jump over puddles on the ground as if they were hurdles. Sweaty and ruddy-cheeked, I went down to Stevens Fitness Center to get 60 minutes signed off.

The next day was spent down in Stevens: 30 minutes on the elliptical, five on the treadmill until I got bored, and the rest of the hour doing random workouts and stretches. Already distraction was getting the better of me, and I was exercising only to fill up time. Two hours down, 880 minutes to go in four weeks.

Then the week of Thanksgiving break hit. I think I got in a good amount of anti-exercise.

With the third week of the 1,000-Point Challenge upon me and little to show for it, I went to badminton practice yesterday for the first time in more than a month. I came in for the last hour and then spent the next half hour crashing Sympoh practice. Yes, doing handstands against a wall counts: 210 minutes down, 790 minutes to go in two and half weeks. At this rate, I need to exercise a little more than 300 minutes per week, which isn’t bad considering that it’s only about five hours a week, but which is bad considering how I’ve been doing 84 minutes a week on average.

As much as I would love to run outside more, the onset of rain is a bit of an inconvenience. But I’ve never been one to go to the gym and run on treadmills, as I hate the feeling of running and going nowhere. How’s a sedentary person to complete the 1,000-Point Challenge? I’d love to hear about what you guys are doing, or how far you’ve gotten, and what incentive is motivating you to do 1,000 minutes worth of cardio and squats.

Link: http://www.princeton.edu/campusrec/stephens-fitness-center/special-events/HF-Ev-Web-1000PointII.pdf

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Gay marriage legislation proposed in New Jersey

State Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) just announced that New Jersey will be the latest state to vote on whether to legalize gay marriage. Not coincidentally, the decision comes less than a month after Republican Chris Christie, who has vowed not to sign the bill, was elected governor, and two months before he will take office.

With this appointment, prepare yourself for the latest battle of the bands --- Anscombe v. LGBT Center --- as both groups, known for their outspoken activism, are virtually guaranteed to begin postering, e-mailing, web-updating and Facebook-inviting to their hearts' content.

Given the cliched apathy of the campus, though, it will be interesting to see how many Princeton students know, much less care, about taking an active stance in the issue. Such a nationally significant issue carries the potential to reach down to all levels of society. Even in our Orange Bubble, professors like the philosophy department's Kwame Anthony Appiah are centered in the ideological maelstrom, and every year undergraduate students exercise their prerogative to marry whom they choose.

But the number of Princeton students who engage politically in New Jersey is startlingly low. One only has to look at the recent Borough Council race of Mendy Fisch '11 to see the exception that proves the rule. Because let's face it, in the wake of weekly problem sets, papers and exams, who has the time to, well, pay attention to the news, much less act on it.

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Simple Course Enrollment Strategy

Today was course registration day for juniors, and with Princeton FML newly landed, you'd think that that site's just gonna be absolutely flooded by comments about kinda feeling you gotta haul that ass out of the bed at 7 in the morning. Or probably a few minutes before, just so you have enough time to wipe the crud out of your eyes and actually be able to see the site crashing.

SCORE, boi, why you trippin' like that? You think 'cause you trickin', you get it just like that?

Wait a minute.

So why was there was one, and only one, SCORE post on Princeton FML as of, what, 9:06-ish p.m.? There were things on the usual academic gripes, shirt-sleeve weather in December, finding out your insurance just ain't gonna cover that wild night when you had to be PMCed, pretending that bottle of yellow liquid by your bed is lemon-lime Powerade when it's some other kind of man-juice and accidentally calling President Tilghman a dude --- hey there, Shirley Dawg, wazzup? But only one SCORE post. Why?

I think it's because some juniors have simply begun to figure out one of those great secrets of life at Princeton: You just don't have to wake up that early to get into classes you want to get into.

I tried this strategy out this morning, after I woke up at 7:24, and said, "Oh my gosh, I'm late for this shit, but fuggetaboutit, whatever, I'mma back to sleep." So I wake up again at 10 a.m., and everyone who had tried to do SCORE was either off to class or back to a broken sleep. That meant no one was clogging up the tubes. For the first time here at Princeton, I registered for classes in two minutes. No kidding. There was zero hanging, zero worry, just smooth sailing.

Of course, that strategy's not good for people trying to take small classes. It also epic fails if you want that lab day or precept for a humongo-tastic class. But if your class isn't popular or if it doesn't post course limits, like that Harry Potter class they're teaching, well, don't sweat it. Last I heard this afternoon, 324 people were in that class, and sophomores and freshmen haven't even enrolled yet. Princeton Chapel, do I see you as the only classroom large enough for the Harry Potter class? The Gothic architecture there will fit the course nicely, don't you think?

Wake up later, do us and yourself a favor by not overloading SCORE, and just sleep. Hey, it's Princeton.

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