Sunday, February 28, 2010


The latest evidence that President Tilghman and former USG president Connor Diemand-Yauman '10 had a chummier relationship than Tilghman shared with previous student government leaders comes to us via Diemand-Yauman's profile picture on

After working together hand-in-hand all year — even issuing a joint call for the eating club task force — the presidential pair reunited for a photo shoot before Tilghman awarded Diemand-Yauman the Pyne Prize, matching orange outfits and fake-fierce faces.


An alternative to ‘higher’ education

Oaksterdam University and Med Grow Cannabis College, located in California and Michigan, respectively, seek to introduce its students to the cannabis industry in a legal fashion.
It is unlikely that the six-week course at Med Grow Cannabis College ($475 tuition) or the series of weekend seminars offered at Oaksterdam University ($150 tuition) can be transferred to Princeton for University credit.

Students at these institutions, ‘high’-minded in several ways, are free from the stress of midterms and finals — what can be considered as an ‘extracurricular’ activity at colleges across the nation is now the main focus of curriculum at these institutions. Still, there is no smoking in class, per se.

At the moment, 14 states allow the use of medical marijuana: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Act, signed by Jon Corzine this past January, will officially take effect on July 18, 2010. If New Jersey follows in the footsteps of California and Michigan, it may not be too long before we see our own share of cannabis colleges here on the east coast.

By Wonpyo Yun, staff writer for News


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Orange and Apples: Stanford

What do a tree and a tiger have in common? Nothing. But orange and red are closely related colors. Which is the better metaphor? Yvon Wang '08, a history major at Princeton, compares Princeton and Stanford.

For me, deciding to attend Stanford for history graduate school was affected not merely by the department's outstanding faculty and good reputation, but also by the university's similarities, at least on paper, to Old Nassau. A suburban campus with architecture that drives tourists wild, close to a major city but remaining quietly suburban, I thought, would satisfy both my need to get actual work done and my occasional desire for liveliness.

Actually, the Cardinal bubble and its orange counterpart are more like cousins than twins. Yes, both student bodies have that private school attractiveness --- or bourgeois indolence, depending on how one looks at it --- and the prestigious names make some of their students worry about how to answer with aplomb the inevitable "So where do you go?" But, as I discovered when I arrived in Palo Alto last year and have come to appreciate increasingly since, Stanford offers a very different experience. Let me name the ways with conveniently bolded headings.

Student body
It became obvious that if, heaven forbid, a massive civil war between the undergrads and grads began on the Farm, the former wouldn't stand a chance. With well-known professional schools in law, business and medicine, the number of "shady" people (exempting present company, of course) on campus is pretty vast: about 2,000 more than baccalaureates. This is not to say that undergrads are totally disenfranchised; it's merely that they are outnumbered. By comparison, Princeton's focus on its undergrads is both numerical and substantive. Judging by the exuberance with which they cheer on the Cardinals, I'm sure that Stanfordites adore their alma mater, but I'm still convinced that Princeton delivers more opportunities for its undergraduates.

Disciplinary distributions
Speaking of statistics, in contrast to the decidedly liberal arts bent at Princeton, Stanford's strength, as is well-known, lies especially in its engineering. Some friends intimate that this perception may be a result of mostly hanging out with fellow grad students, but instead of a proudly masochistic minority making daily early-morning pilgrimages to the mythically distant E-Quad, Stanford engineers represent 25 percent of the total student population and are housed in relatively centrally located buildings.

Finally, the two campuses differ considerably in their, er, physiques. Stanford is unabashedly enormous, and a bicycle --- or a skateboard for those too cool to wear helmets, or a Segway for those who enjoy making others seethingly jealous --- is virtually mandatory. Additionally, Palo Alto is mild and almost disgustingly sunny year-round. Mind you, it's anything but searing-hot and sunny: It's perpetually between 60 and 75 degrees. The only relief from the horribly nice weather is provided by the so-called "rainy season," from December through March or so.

To be fair, I must note that Stanford doesn't do the "snow" thing. No hillsides to sled down on dining hall trays, no romantic evenings drinking cocoa and cozying up in a window seat, and definitely no chances to bring out the woolen scarves unless one had circulatory problems or were a humanities grad student. Precisely because of this lack of real seasons, Stanfordites display a shocking lack of gratitude for their luck. While Tigers rush outside in early spring to unfold their lawn chairs on the still-dormant lawns (and to catch nasty head colds), Stanford colleagues often shrug when I express horror at yet another day cooped up indoors, because "it'll be perfect again tomorrow."

In conclusion, choosing between these delightful places must be like all things: to each his own. Wherever I am in the future, though, my own soul will always have stripes.

If you're a former Tiger who is now pursuing graduate studies elsewhere or a Princeton grad student who attended undergrad outside the Orange Bubble and would like to contribute a comparison send an email to


I've got the Krugman Blues

Professor of Economics and International Affairs Paul Krugman was the subject of a recent jam called “The Krugman Blues.” The song is written and performed by Loudon Wainwright III, an American singer and actor. In the tune, he bemoans that “Paul Krugman’s on the op-ed page. That’s where I get the blues.”

Princeton gets a shout out in the song when Wainwright sings, “Sometimes when he’s on the TV, in the background you can spot his school logo. Paul teaches at Princeton U, so Krugman ought to know.”

In case you want to catch more of the blues, Wainwright has an entire album of economy-related pieces called “10 Songs for the New Depression,” which includes “The Krugman Blues.”

By Sara Connolly, staff writer for News.


From these United States

The United States Constitution mandates that only native-born U.S. citizens, including those born abroad to parents who are both also U.S. citizens, may become the president of the United States.

Barack Obama is no exception to the rule. In fact, he was born at Kapi'olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. But Dr. Eric Wargotz, one of Maryland’s Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate, who describes himself as the presumptive GOP nominee, disagrees.

Wargotz is a graduate of Rutgers University, and he received his M.D. from Ohio State University College of Medicine. He completed his post graduate medical training at the Veterans Administration Medical Center of Washington D.C. and the George Washington University Medical Center, even receiving the Frank N. Miller, M.D. Award for Excellence in Medical Student Teaching.

In an interview about Obama, however, Wargotz noted, “I do not believe he was born in the United States.”

Since when did Hawaii no longer count as part of the United States?

By Annie Khoa, staff writer for News.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Diggin' In The Mudd: Princeton Circa 1900 In Images

Princeton was a different place in 1900. It inspired the following book of images and memories, published in 1898. These images show a side of Princeton most of us have never seen (Full length-dresses and hats on the street?) and are a great look into Princeton's past!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Orange and Apples: Cornell

Cornell may have beaten Princeton in Men's Basketball, but how do the two differ as educational institutions? Rob Berger '05, a chemistry graduate student at Cornell, offers a comparison.

I was a chemistry major in the Class of 2005, and recently finished graduate school at Cornell. I love both schools, and if you're trying to decide between the two, I don't think you'd go wrong with either. But they are different places in certain ways, and overall, I'd say I'm glad I went to the two schools when I did.

The most significant differences between the two schools are related to the fact that Cornell has about three times as many students as Princeton. Academically, both schools are great, and once you get to independent research and the higher-level courses in your major, the size difference doesn't matter too much. In some of the big introductory courses, though, the size difference allows the professors at Princeton to be more accessible to students. If you're someone who wants to have a running dialogue with your professors and wants them all to know you by name, that's something to keep in mind.

Socially, the size difference between Princeton and Cornell means the students at Cornell are a bit more spread out. At Princeton, all of the undergrads live on campus, and quite honestly, there isn't often a good reason to leave campus (though if you're a city kind of person, New York is an easy trip). I personally liked having all of my friends living in neighboring buildings --- it brings about a nice sense of community on the Princeton campus. At Cornell, most undergrads live on campus only for the first year or two, and then live in off-campus apartments around Ithaca. Ithaca is a cool town, albeit in the middle of nowhere, so this isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's largely a question of which setup sounds more appealing to you.

In my opinion, those are the most noticeable differences between the two schools. As with all schools, there are plenty of other little quirks that distinguish them --- eating clubs vs. fraternities and sororities, lousy weather vs. lousier weather, etc. --- which you won't have a problem adjusting to regardless of which school you choose. If I seem to be steering you toward Princeton, it's partly because it's the school I went to first, and I hope a Cornell undergrad would do the same for Cornell. They're both great. Best of luck.

Oh, and one more thing. Not that this should influence your decision, but Princeton puts on a much better show at Reunions. Can't wait for my Fifth this spring.

If you're a former Tiger who is now pursuing graduate studies elsewhere or a Princeton grad student who attended undergrad outside the Orange Bubble and would like to contribute a comparison send an email to


Monday, February 22, 2010

Naps and all-nighters

The nap culture at Princeton may be one of the "saving graces" of Princetonians after all.

A study conducted by scientists at Berkeley has shown that an hour of sleep in the afternoon boosts the brain's ability to absorb new facts.

The scientists discovered that a memory-refreshing process occurs during sleep when fact-based information is filed and cleared from the brain's short term memory storage and "sent to the brain's prefrontal cortex, the filing cabinet of the mind".

Matthew Walker, a professor at Berkeley, explained, "It's as though the e-mail inbox in your hippocampus is full and, until you sleep and clear out those fact e-mails, you're not going to receive any more mail. It's just going to bounce until you sleep and move it into another folder."

The results of the study also support previous research that found that "all nighters" can reduce one's ability to learn new facts by 40 percent. The short term memory, which is usually filed and emptied during sleep, fills up during such periods of sleep deprivation.

The message is clear for Princetonians: indulge in "afternoon siestas" and maybe you won't need the "all nighters" after all.

By Lavanya Jose, staff writer for News.


GWU admissions blunder

Last Wednesday, George Washington University (GWU) accidentally sent out acceptance e-mails to some of its Early Decision II applicants - applicants who had been rejected from the university just two weeks before.

After experiencing a heavy snowstorm that caused delays in delivering acceptance packets, GWU admission officers decided to send e-mails to accepted students notifying them of their admission to the university. These e-mails, however, were sent to around 200 students who were not admitted, and the university later had to send another e-mail apologizing for its mistake.

Many students were devastated and confused after receiving the e-mail, not knowing whether they were accepted, rejected, or deferred.

This isn’t the first time a university has mistakenly informed rejected applicants that they had been accepted. Last year, Cornell University’s Financial Aid Office sent 25 rejected applicants congratulatory letters, and the University of California at San Diego mistakenly sent all of its applicants, roughly half of which were rejected, acceptance letters.

By Grace Kim, contributor for News.


Foraging in Firestone: Money, Money, Money

Did you know that before 1909, there were no images of people on American coins? In fact, there was a bit of a scandal when Lincoln was placed on the first coin in 1909. Did you know that the dime does not display its value? You have to know intuitively that a dime is worth ten cents. I learned both these facts and much more when I visited the Princeton Numismatic Collection.

Princeton is one of three universities that has a comprehensive numismatic or coin collection. Located within Firestone Library, the collection consists of over 100,000 coins, the oldest of which is a Lydian coin from the 7th century BCE. The collection is taken care of by specialist, Alan Stahl, who — although an expert on medieval period — possesses a vast knowledge of the history of currency. During our discussion, he answered my questions about Ancient Greece, Elizabethan England, and the American Confederacy.

Image: This paper money was made according to a process designed by Benjamin Franklin to transfer the veining pattern of a leaf to a printing plate as an anti-countefeiting device.

The Princeton collection dates from the 19th century and was founded by a gift of an alum. Although Stahl does have a limited budget for acquisitions, most of the collection consists of bequests. An additional 40,000 coins come from an archeological dig Princeton conducted in Antioch in the 1930s.

While often overlooked, coins can serve as an important historical source. The average peasant in the Roman Empire never saw the splendors of the “Eternal City.” Instead, his conception of imperial power was based on the image of the emperor on the coin.

One of the collection’s most recent acquisitions, a Byzantine coin from the 7th century, is an important source for studying the debate over iconoclasm in the Byzantine Empire. This coin has an image of Jesus Christ on the obverse (see right), where traditionally the Byzantine emperors had chosen to represent themselves. This coin is the first instance of Christ appearing on currency. As a result, the emperor, Justinian, has moved himself to the back. As Stahl informed me, the Islamic caliph responded to the emperor’s bold statement by removing all human images from the coins. Thus, the coin allows scholars to study the conflicts over the depiction of humans in both religions from the point of view of a contemporary source. In contrast, most written records of these struggles date from a later period.

Amazingly, the numismatic collection is very accessible to undergraduates. Stahl does presentations for classes, one of which I recently attended. Along with my classmates, I had the chance to handle gold and silver coins from the 7th century. Stahl also employs students as catalogers and makes an effort to give them work within their academic interests. If you’d like to see a part of the collection for yourself, there will also be an exhibit on paper money from August through the fall which will incorporate Princeton’s large collection of American paper currency with an alum’s collection of international currency.

Image credits: Princeton University Numismatic Collection


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Orange and Apples: McGill

With the world focused on Canada for the Olympics, now is a perfect time to look north for a Canadian school for Orange and Apples. Rachel Parsons, a graduate student in Philosophy, attended McGill University and provides a comparison with Princeton.

I’m a Princeton grad student, and I hail from Montreal, where I attended McGill for both my B.A. and my B.C.L./LL.B., an analog to the J.D. here in the United States. If you’re trying to decide between attending Princeton or McGill for your undergraduate years, I hope to be able to offer some helpful information mixed in with an opinion or two.

First of all, it depends on what you are looking for. Do you want to find a sense of independence during your college years? Do you want to live in an interesting and unique city with incredible diversity? Do you want to be part of a rich academic culture that includes professional schools for law, medicine, dentistry and business? Then you should go to McGill.

On the other hand, do you prefer a small, secluded college experience, where you live in a very wealthy town, you are never alone, you have oodles of support, and things are made easier for you? Do you prefer to live on campus, always feel safe and spend every waking moment basking in the life that the university has tailor-made for you? Then you should go to Princeton.

These universities are like night and day. If I had to find some similarities, it would be that both places offer an excellent education and place a primacy on student wellbeing. An important difference, though, is that at Princeton the students are treated more like consumers: The university exists for its undergrads, and all resources are directly or indirectly devoted to them. McGill is highly devoted to its undergraduates and offers them all the same important advantages as Princeton, but one gets the sense that the institution exists primarily for something beyond them: Admitted undergrads are being offered an opportunity to partake in something that would somehow exist without them.

The end result in either case, so long as you work hard and are open-minded, is a second-to-none education, but depending on your personality, you might thrive better in one environment over the other. I think that, in principle anyway, Princeton students generally have more access to professors, partially because it's such a small place, and partially because professors often lead at least one precept for their class and generally tend to be more involved in student life and development. However, I recall the Arts Dean at McGill saying that her greatest wish for all the new students was that each would build a mentor relationship with at least one professor before they leave. This is certainly what happened for me. Thus perhaps a more stark example of the difference in environment is what happens when a student's grades are sliding and she or he is in danger of failing a course. At Princeton, all sorts of people will be put on alert, and someone will contact the student. At McGill this won’t happen, at least not as a matter of course, and if the student doesn't contact her professors she will likely end up on probation. There are committees that she can talk to after the fact to explain, document and rectify the situation --- e.g., if there was a death in the family, or the student was suffering from a medical condition, etc. --- so fairness is not comprised, but there isn’t the close-knit supervision of students that you will find at Princeton.

As for the social situations at each school, I lived with my family for some of my time at McGill, so I didn’t have the full social experience, but I get the sense that you will encounter less elitism at McGill than at Princeton. There are no elite "eating clubs" at McGill, though there are some small-time sororities and fraternities if you’re into that. Beyond that, there is room to find whatever you are looking for; students make friends in residence during their first year, and after that they live in apartments, cook for themselves and get involved by joining clubs and participating in SSMU activities (SSMU is the Student Society of McGill University, and it is extremely active). I loved my time at McGill, and from what I gather undergraduates love their time here at Princeton. So it’s all about what kind of experience you are looking for and what kind of environment you think you will thrive in.

If you're a former Tiger who is now pursuing graduate studies elsewhere or a Princeton grad student who attended undergrad outside the Orange Bubble and would like to contribute a comparison send an email to


Friday, February 19, 2010

Got a question for General Petraeus? *Updated

WPRB News is interviewing General David Petraeus GS '85 this weekend, and they're opening up the floor for questions. Send your questions via e-mail to

The conversation and a web special will air this week on The full show will air on WPRB 103.3 FM on Feburary 21 at 12PM. The Prince will also be posting the full interview on our website.

The show will be hosted by Naomi Nix '10, Nick Tagher '10, and Aaron Smargon '11. Naomi Nix is also a member of The Daily Princetonian multimedia staff. Andrew Saraf, associate editor for opinion at The Daily Princetonian contributed research.

*Update: The full interviews are now available on our website:

— Tasnim Shamma '11


Orange and Apples: Georgetown

Princeton students may be "in the nation's service" but how does this compare with being located in the nation's capital? Chad Priest '07, a religion major, explores the two schools.

I am a graduate of Princeton and am currently a second-year law student at the Georgetown University Law Center. It is difficult to compare my experiences in college and now in law school, but I will try.

In terms of academics, I had many great professors at Princeton, in many different departments. I have also had several outstanding professors at Georgetown, but on the whole they have not made themselves as accessible as the professors I had at Princeton. The precept system at Princeton was also a much more engaging academic experience for me than my 100-plus person first-year law sections. Overall, my law school education has been much more anonymous than my education at Princeton.

Second, the administration at Princeton is, by far, better than Georgetown --- I cannot emphasize this enough. At Princeton, facilities problems are fixed immediately, computer help is always available, official e-mails are proofread and contain concise, relevant information, and in general, everything proceeds in an unbelievably smooth manner. I did not fully appreciate this until I got to Georgetown. Without going into too much detail, I can say that in one semester alone two of my professors complained in front of class about how poorly-administered the Law Center is, and many students I know voice strident criticism.

Third, while it is difficult to compare the student bodies at the Georgetown Law Center and Princeton, in general I would say that Princeton is home to a more diverse and talented group of students. Certainly, the students at Princeton are more international, both in terms of background and focus.

Finally, the only advantage Georgetown might have over Princeton is its location: I have found living in Washington to be a welcome change from the sleepiness of Princeton. That being said, I really enjoyed the close-knit Princeton community when I was a student and did not feel like I was trapped while I was there. It is, after all, really easy to get to New York for the night or the weekend.

If you're a former Tiger who is now pursuing graduate studies elsewhere or a Princeton grad student who attended undergrad outside the Orange Bubble and would like to contribute a comparison send an email to


Olympic win

For all of the bad publicity and fortune that it has gotten in the past year, NBC finally has some good news. On Wednesday night, NBC’s coverage of the Vancouver Olympics beat “American Idol” in overnight ratings, garnering more than 30 million viewers to 18 million put up by the Fox show. “Idol,” considered unbeatable in television, had previously won the number one slot for its last 222 episodes.

NBC’s win can be attributed to the successes of some of United States’ Olympic biggest stars, including gold medal performances by Lindsey Vonn in downhill skiing, Shaun White in the snowboard half-pipe, and Shani Davis in 100m speed skating. Apolo Anton Ohno also made the semifinals in his 1000m short track race.

Though a huge upset, the news did not come as too big a surprise. Last night, a group of nearly 50 Princeton students gathered at Frist Campus Center to watch the Games.

Experts pointed out that Idol may again be beat by the Olympics, when ladies’ figure skating competition will come face to face with the American Idol time slot. Which will Princeton students choose? America’s grace on the stage or America’s best on ice?

By Sean Wu, staff writer for News.


That's why I chose Princeton

A month after the release of the 17-minute YouTube clip “That’s why I chose Yale,” the Princeton University Office of Communications has uploaded a 2-minute video “Year of the Tiger.” However, to those of you hoping to see University students lip-synching in high definition, be prepared to be underwhelmed.

The clip’s high point is arguably a montage of Princeton student organizations’ performances, which are spliced with pictures of tigers and an accompanying adjective. Apparently, “A Tiger is… Magnificent, Strong, Intelligent, Bold, Proud, Fierce, Graceful.” Clearly, you should come to Princeton.

In the Office of Communication’s defense, they do include clips of students and alumni doing the locomotive cheer at the end of the clip, and honestly, how can you say no to those blazers?


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Three-alarm dryer strikes Forbes

Three fire alarms at Forbes College in about 12 hours — including an alarm at 4:38 a.m. today that sent pajama-clad students into the cold — were caused by a faulty vent pipe in the laundry room, University Fire Marshal Bob Gregory said.

After the first two alarms, on Wednesday at 10:14 p.m. and early on Thursday, officials from the Facilities Department cleaned out lint and changed the heat detector that signaled the alarm. After the third alarm, on Thursday at 11 a.m., officials discovered that the vent pipe, which carries hot air out of a dryer, had come apart and had been blowing hot air on the detector.

The problem dryer has been taken out of service, Gregory said, and will be repaired. The fire department did not respond to Forbes because there were no reports of an actual fire, he said.

Alarms from laundry rooms, especially from faulty vents, are rare, he said. There were no laundry-related alarms in 2009 from Forbes, the Forbes Addition or the Forbes Annex.

Gregory emphasized that, in the event of an alarm, students should evacuate the building and head to safe assembly areas, which are indicated during fire drills. That way, he said, officials on scene can relay information quickly to students about the alarm.

By Henry Rome, staff writer for News.


Heading to the art museum

Well, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, And since we’ve no place to go, let’s head to the art museum.

This year has seen a renaissance in the Princeton Art Museum (PUAM). With the extending of the Museum’s hours on Thursday nights and a series of events planned over the first semester, more students have begun to take advantage of the University’s holdings in art and become engaged with the PUAM. Under the leadership of James Steward, the PUAM’s new director, and the organization of Elizabeth Lemoine ’09, the student outreach coordinator, these student activities, ranging from a scavenger hunt for a missing portrait of George Washington to a Nassau Street food tasting, have brought more students into the PUAM and begun to engage them with works of visual art.

During the coming spring, this interaction has the opportunity to grow even stronger as several exceptional exhibits arrive at the PUAM. The first two exhibits arrive this coming Saturday, February 20. The first exhibition, The Artist as Image, explores the representations of artistic identity in modern European and American art, highlighting works by Goya, Degas, Warhol, Chagall, and Cézanne. The Making of the Masterpiece: Nosadella’s Annunciation also opens on Saturday, providing students with an in-depth analysis of the artistic process that each work requires.

Later in the month, the PUAM features a show by Artistic Realization Technologies, which displays works by artists with physical disabilities and employs innovative techniques to help them express their creativity. Moreover, in early March, Architecture as Icon: Perception and Representation of Architecture in Byzantine Art will arrive at the PUAM. The first exhibition of its kind, this show will be devoted to the study of architectural representation in Byzantine art and challenges long-held assumptions in Western art history about the role and character of Byzantine art and architecture. Revolutionary in his reading of the formerly neglected architectural aspects of these works, Professor Slobodan Ćurčić of the Art and Archaeology Department curates this exhibit.

Building on the success of this fall’s student activities, these coming exhibits at the PUAM offer students the opportunity to expand their education and interact with some remarkable art within their own campus.

By Matt Butler '12, for Opinion.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Diggin' In The Mudd: 5 Things You Might Not Know About Princeton's (Early) History

Do you think you know all about Princeton's history? Here's a few things you may not know!

1. It was originally called The College of New Jersey and was situated in Newark, NJ. The trustees wanted more space and more buildings, so they decided to move the college to what was then called "Princetown"
-Board of Trustees Minutes 1752
2. Lotteries were used to raise money for the college.
Image Jan 16, 1750 from the Pennsylvania Journal. It was a popular way to raise money at the time.
3. President of College John Witherspoon played a major role in the American Revolution. He was at the Continental Congress and made this plea for independence:

(Probably more well known, there was also a Battle of Princeton during the Revolution)
4. Sports were not always part of the history of Princeton. Just look at this message from the faculty:
(For reference that famous "first football game" between Rutgers and Princeton didn't take place until 1869 and the first college baseball game (under 9-man rules) was played in 1859.)

5. In 1807 there was a "Great Rebellion" which consisted of a barricading of all the doors, among other things. A guard of citizens had to be brought in to protect college property.
125/200 students were suspended, about half returning. Later Aims McGuinness '90 wrote that questions about student's status, residential colleges and, "How to define someone who is neither a child nor fully grown? Or a place that is neither a family nor a civil society?" were the issues that caused the riots.

Images from Princeton Sketches: The Story of Nassau Hall/Public Domain


Beware of who you friend on Facebook!

Considering that it's still the season for summer internship and job recruitment/interviews, you may want to be especially careful about who you friend on Facebook.

A few weeks ago, I received a friend request from someone named Jasika Roberts claiming to be Princeton '10 and from the Princeton, NJ area. She and I had over 30 mutual friends. I accepted the request to see if her information would yield clues to how I or any of my friends knew her. I didn't find much, so I searched Princeton Facebook and the directory to discover that she didn't actually exist. The closest match I found was a Hilary J. Roberts who the directory has listed as "Undergraduate Class Withheld". (Some quick research led me to a Club Swimming page where she was listed playing for Harvard (not related to Jasika, but the University may want to follow up on that ... ))

This morning, I got another friend request from Chloe Barnwell (also claiming to be Princeton '10). She was friends with most of my friends from Charter, so I searched the faceboard and found nothing. Later, I did a general internet search, Princeton directory and Princeton Facebook search and found nothing as well.

I think this might be the an employer tactic to get access to your profile, spam, or just some market research group creating a fake identity (they know you won't deny a friend request from a pretty girl). She looks real enough, right? Interestingly enough, most of my friends who accepted Jasika's friend request were male, while Chloe, who didn't have a Facebook photo had an even number of my male and female friends accepting her request.

Though I doubt it, if you're not concerned about jobs or internships, this could also be a ploy by Public Safety or the Princeton Police Department to catch you drinking or serving minors in your pictures. Check out what they did only a few months ago (and are still doing?) over at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

— Tasnim Shamma '11


Oh my font color!

It seems our new-ish president, Michael Yaroshefsky, has discovered an exciting technological breakthrough that promises to revolutionize our inboxes — nay, our lives — as we know them. This innovation is known as font color, and it is already mixing things up.

Yaro’s latest USG email is titled “What matters to you?” and it suggests that we all take a survey because the student government can’t make “tough decisions” on its own. But apparently the USG is extremely capable at subterfuge — the colorful kind.

Down at the bottom of the e-mail, hidden in white letters, was the cheer “Huzzah, Huzzah, for Charter Club!” which could be uncovered by highlighting the text.

Just in case this little endorsement didn’t get noticed, Yaro later revealed himself triumphantly to the Charter Spam listserv:

“Word on the street is that the USG is cooperating with the soviets, and that secret messages are being passed covertly at the bottom of schoolwide emails. Be on the alert...” he wrote.

This was followed by a screenshot demonstrating the highlighting trick.

Oh, invention! How glorious it feels to be inspired! We don’t have the heart to tell him that Josh Weinstein was using it two years ago...


Fire in Fine Hall

Public Safety and the Princeton Fire Department responded to an alarm on the seventh floor of Fine Hall a little before 5:00 Tuesday night. University fire marshall Bob Gregory said that a recirculating pump from a water heater burned out due to an electrical malfunction, causing “a pretty significant smoke condition,” although there were “no actual flames.”

The Fire Department ventilated the smoke, searched the floor, and made sure everybody was out of the building. There were no injuries, and the only damage to the building was the pump. Gregory said that by tomorrow, everything should be “back to normal.”

By Jonathan Dec, staff writer for News.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Was that Barbie in COS 226?

Yes, Barbie is back in school. After many careers (126, to be exact), which have included everything from supermodel to surgeon to paleontologist, Barbie will now become a computer engineer.

But not just any computer engineer. Barbie, who is known for her characteristically pink attire and accessories, won't be changing her sense of taste — this programmer wears hot pink glasses, a pink computer, and a shirt decorated with 0s and 1s.

Some may wonder just how she'll pull it off; after all, 1992's Teen Talk Barbie was fond of the phrase "Math is tough." Well, she's conquered so many professions to date, one more certainly can't hurt: she'll just have to balance it with her ongoing career as a princess.

P-Rade Barbie, anyone?


An eye towards architecture: Peter B. Lewis Library

Opened in Fall 2008, the Peter B. Lewis Library was designed to be a library of the future. Designed by Frank Gehry and largely devoid of books, the building was intended to foster work and study and to focus on digital resources. So, how does it measure up?

When the Lewis Library first opened, I was thrilled. The library was delightfully close to all of my classes and could be used as a study space in between lectures. The deliciously bright colors a welcome departure from some of the University's other buildings which have more predictable color schemes.

The library itself has managed to acquire a comfortable feeling. The rooms are carpeted and squishy, colorful chairs and couches are abundant... actually, I take that back. Colorful, but not always too squishy. (I have a secret plan to grow gold locks and test out chairs and couches across the University.)

The rooms in the library make for particularly nice study spaces. The Treehouse and third and fourth floors are noteworthy. They're all thrillingly well-lit... by the sun... which especially lights up the fourth floor throughout the day, ocassionally blinding a student or at least melting a laptop.

I must say, I don't really have many complaints against this building, which has served me well until now. The north entrance is interesting because who doesn't want to walk up and down (or down and up) stairs unnecessarily when exiting and entering the building.

My only real concern is how the building will stand the test of time. As the weather warms, snow and ice falling onto the glass roofs strikes fear into the hearts of all those who can hear, especially those below. And for those who aren't aware, Gehry doesn't have the best track record on roof quality.

In brief: Love — Curvy ceilings, well-lit rooms, garish color choice, and the modern take on a library. Hate — That one time they couldn't figure out how to turn off the fire alarm (shout out to those who stood in the cold) and those unfinished cement columns with wood imprints not smoothed over. Verdict — Great place to study and excellent for group work. And barring any cave-ins, an exemplar of the direction in which libraries are headed.


Snow, snow go away?

Well, looks as though we may be in for another snow storm. Some students are already grumbling, and the snowfall has just begun. I must confess that the bouts of snow over the past two weeks have been both exciting and a nuisance. On the one hand, I'm from a northern climate and am more than well-acquainted with blizzards. On the other hand, New Jersey isn't.

Some friends and I like to poke fun at others' (friends from lower latitudes) reactions to the snow storms. It would take a lot more than a foot of snow to have caused a snow day at my high school... though once we had to shut down when the heating broke.

It seems that round these parts, there simply isn't the infrastructure to deal with lots of snow. Plowing was not too effective following last week's snow, resulting in a lovely build-up of ice on all the pathways. And heavy snowfall at the beginning of winter recess left many students (myself included) in the Newark airport.

So, what do you think? Has this winter been weak or exceeded your snowiest expectations?


Monday, February 15, 2010

Orange and Apples: University of Chicago

This year, applications to Princeton increased by a whopping 19%, however the University of Chicago greatly exceeded that, with a 42% in applications. How do these two schools compare once students make it through the doors? Carolyn Pichert '05, a master's student of International Relations and Public Policy at the University of Chicago, compares the two schools.

I like to say I got the best of both worlds when Princeton became an opportunity for my undergraduate education and the University of Chicago became an opportunity for my graduate education. As a tour guide at Princeton, I would tell visitors about the “undergraduate-focused” campus and experience that Princeton purposefully provided. In contrast, at Chicago, graduate students outnumber the undergrads, and certainly in many senses it is a grad student-centric campus. I think that both provide phenomenal educational experiences and networks to undergraduates and graduate students when they graduate.

I also made it a point to say to prospective students that they would likely have a great time at college no matter where they went, and that the most important thing is to find the best fit between the student and the school. For me, Princeton was a much better match at the time I attended than the University of Chicago would have been. In retrospect, I probably would have become an even more academically oriented person had I attended Chicago as an undergrad.

One asset that the University of Chicago has, in my opinion, is its diverse and urban campus. Chicago has a ton to offer as a city, and in this economic climate, more opportunities for jobs and internships, according to a recent article in Forbes magazine, than New York. Chicago is a place you can choose to stay after school is over, whereas not many choose or find a way to stay in Princeton, N.J.

As a grad student, I found professors at the University of Chicago to be as accessible as those at Princeton were to undergraduates. Only once did a Chicago professor offhandedly note that he had heard that Princeton undergraduates were not as intellectual and academically talented as the brilliant Chicago undergraduates. I think whether they are accessible to the undergrads at Chicago or not, the professors are, it seems, for the most part proud of the undergraduates’ abilities and reputations. As I recall, Princeton professors thought highly of most Princeton undergrads as well.

The University of Chicago's campus culture is probably more intellectual, on the whole, than Princeton’s. However, I know people who were undergrad athletes and improvisers at Chicago as well as incredibly intellectual Princetonians. Both universities benefit from having a large enough applicant pool that they can easily select well-rounded student bodies. Sometimes it seems like the University of Chicago prides itself on selecting the most unique and academic among applicants. (The unofficial campus slogan: “The place where fun comes to die.” The T-shirt seen at the student center: “Where the squirrels are more aggressive than the guys.”) But obviously someone has a sense of humor about it. I am personally a big believer that in many ways you can find your niche at almost any college campus as long as you are determined to learn, enjoy yourself and maintain a balance. For me, Princeton was the place where I felt I would be best equipped to find that balance, though I do think it's possible most places.

I do not know what the networking opportunities are for Chicago undergrads. As a grad student, I have found the job network somewhat Chicago-centric, which is fine with me because I wanted to stay here. Princeton’s various networks, funds (like the Class of 1969 Community Service Fund) and nonprofits (like Princeton in Africa) provided me with two internships and one post-graduation job. These Princeton programs are of immeasurable value to me personally and professionally. Since I do not know what the University of Chicago offers, I cannot make a full comparison, but the opportunities I received from Princeton will make me forever grateful, and unable to contemplate making a different choice almost 10 years ago.

If you're a former Tiger who is now pursuing graduate studies elsewhere or a Princeton grad student who attended undergrad outside the Orange Bubble and would like to contribute a comparison send an email to


Happy new year, tigers


Yesterday was the Chinese Spring Festival, better known as Chinese New Year. Gone is the Year of the Ox. We are now in the Year of the Tiger — so things should be looking up for students as Princeton.

The University homepage notes that 1746, the year in which the school was founded, was also a Year of the Tiger. ^_^

But be warned: The first day of spring occurred before the beginning of this lunar year, making it a "blind year." Marriage is thought to be unlucky in blind years, in case you were planning.


Kornblum GS '73 dies

Allan Korblum GS '73, who earned his Ph.D. from the Wilson School, died last week. He wrote his dissertation on ethics and corruption in the New York Police Department. Unusually, he served as an administrator while a student, becoming Director of Security in 1969.

Of particular note was his role in ending the "snow riot" of 1970, which some had suggested was a precursor to the Nude Olympics. Administrators, fearing that the crowd of semi-nude students could rapidly become a riot, had set up warm snacks in Dillon. Kornblum began chanting "Dillon! Dillon!" to entice students out of the cold and to break up the crowd.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

The 'ultimate' sport

Last week William Morrison, the man credited with inventing the Frisbee, passed away at age 90. Frisbees, which were originally empty pie dishes gained popularity among college students, including Princetonians, in the 1950s.

The New York Times recently re-published an old article on the Frisbee to commemorate Morrison's passing, and guess which university gets a brief mention. The article was originally published in 1957, when the Frisbee fad started to gain momentum: "The fad started in the Ivy League late this spring. One Princeton crew cut said that the gadget kept students so busy that they had no time for rioting."

Frisbees were originally called Whirlo-Ways, Flyin-Saucers (note the missing 'g'), or Pluto Patters (not quite sure where that came from). They were ultimately named for the Frisbie Pie Company, which, incidentally, supplied pies to Yale's campus for many years.

And speaking of things ultimate, the first intercollegiate ultimate frisbee competition was held in New Brunswick between Princeton and Rutgers. Over 1000 spectators attended the event, and Princeton narrowly lost to Rutgers by two points.

The sport was intended to be a combination of soccer, football and hockey — and thus the 'ultimate' sport.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Don't hate on our igloos!

(Photo by Habin Chung, Executive Editor for Photography)

A snow-squirrel built by one group of winners (Jessica Lander '10, Ben Barron '13 and Lenka Ilcisin '12) in yesterday's USG snowman competition.

In an e-mail from the Housing department:

"For safety reasons, please refrain from building any snow enclosures on campus. Specifically, the policy states:

Tents and Outdoor Furniture
Tents, igloos, or similar enclosures may not be present inside or on the grounds of any dormitory, without the written permission of the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students and the Housing Office.

Complete policy information can be found at"

I think this policy reminder was sent a bit too late considering the snow day was yesterday and classes have started up. Will anyone still be building "snow enclosures"? [Re: the picture of the snow-squirrel above, I realize snow-animals/men aren't enclosures, but it was too awesome not to re-post from our slideshow.]

— Tasnim Shamma '11


Orange and Apples: Penn

Wish you had another snow day today? If you were at Penn you would. Consider the positive and negative aspects of Princeton and Penn led by Diana Bonaccorsi '08, who studied Anthropology at Princeton, but is a Pre-Medicine student at Penn. .

Continuing my education at Penn has made me more grateful than ever to have spent my undergraduate years at Princeton. I cannot compare my specialized graduate program courses to the undergraduate courses I took at Princeton, but I can say that I am not pleased with the advisers, professors and facilities in my program at Penn. I can also safely say that Princeton’s focus is primarily on its undergraduates, whereas Penn’s law, medical and business schools, as well as their many Ph.D. programs, detract from the undergraduate experience.

Though Penn and Princeton are only separated by a 45-minute car ride, with regard to campus and social life, the universities are poles apart. Princeton, N.J., is a beautiful town with a great main street and square filled with quaint shops, good restaurants and the amenities of any city. If the need strikes to get away to the Big Apple, Philly or Atlantic City, it’s only a train or bus ride away. The University has a great relationship with the town’s community. I feel safe while jogging around the lake and outlying residences, as well as teetering back to my dorm on my way home from the Street, where all of the eating clubs are located. Penn’s campus is urban and located on the skirts of a notoriously unsafe neighborhood in Philadelphia. I feel uncomfortable walking three blocks off campus at night.

The social life at Penn is centered on Greek life with the occasional bar scene. While Princeton’s eating clubs are similar to Greek life in the party sense, they add another element of belonging. Upperclassmen join these coed clubs to eat their meals, study, party, play sports in the backyards, dance to live music and hang with friends. I loved the social scene at Princeton, because between the eating clubs, sports teams of all levels, philanthropic clubs, theater and dance groups, everyone can find their niche in more than one activity, leading to a student body that is diverse but interconnected.

I had the privilege of attending my first Reunion this summer, as well as witness Penn’s alumni gathering during graduation week. There is no comparison. Princeton has such a unique and dedicated alumni community that there is nothing to equate it to. Every year, thousands of Princetonians return to their old stomping ground with their families to congratulate the graduating class and reunite with old and new friends. It is the time of year I look forward to the most. During my four years at Princeton, I have developed such a connection to the town and university that I plan on returning every year to partake in the Reunion festivities and form lasting bonds with my fellow classmates. I wouldn’t trade my experience at Princeton University for anything.

If you're a former Tiger who is now pursuing graduate studies elsewhere or a Princeton grad student who attended undergrad outside the Orange Bubble and would like to contribute a comparison send an email to


Foraging in Firestone: Introductions

For most Princetonians, the vision of the stone building of Firestone Library and its shadowy caverns underground conjures up the memories of sleepless nights and half-finished papers. I have a love-hate relationship with the library. I have spent countless hours trapped in the Trustees’ Room or the Atrium making my way through piles of reading or toiling away over a research paper. On the other hand, I have a sort of grudging affection for the library. It’s my domain, the place where as a history major, I conduct the majority of my research.

I have worked at the library since my freshman year. As a result, I know the library. I understand its crazy cataloging system, a mixed-up hodge podge of letters and numbers. I take a secret sort of pleasure in the fact that I can find books within the library without a map. Faced with a book whose call number starts with B, I know to head to the philosophy section on the third floor, whereas a book whose call number begins with a C is deep below ground with the other books on history. I also know its secret spaces, from the graduate study rooms on the C floor to the professor’s office lodged in the tower above the third floor.

With special access to the collections through my job at Rare Books, I can go behind the scenes to take advantage of many of the library’s special collections. It doesn’t take much digging to find that our library houses everything from 3000-year-old coins to an original first folio. Throughout the semester, I’ll share some of what I come across on the Prox.

Find out more about Firestone's ancient coin collection on the next installment of Foraging in Firestone.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Closed locations at/near Princeton University

So there's been some confusion about what's open and what's not.

Here's a preliminary map of locations that have been confirmed as closed. Send an e-mail to multimedia [at] dailyprincetonian [dot] com to let us know if you discover any other locations on or near campus that are closed and we'll update the map. Thanks in advance!

View "Snowmageddon 2" Closings near Princeton University in a larger map

Locations listed above: U-Store, Chancellor Green, Twist, Panera, Small World, Starbucks, Tiger Inn, Ivy Club (TI and Ivy are closed for meals).

— Tasnim Shamma '11


Diggin' In The Mudd: Princeton Alumni Weekly

Princeton's pretty old. That's why we applied here. That's why we love it. That's why you can find and read Princeton Alumni Weekly's from the first decade of the 20th century. All in all things weren't too different in those days. See why under the cut.
They had the equivalent of the Princeton Review:
They were competitive with Harvard and Yale...
There were eating clubs...
There were advertisements (and vices)...
And there was Woodrow Wilson,

And, of course, there were football cheers,


Snow Day Hopes

Monday, February 16, 2003, marked a momentous day in Princeton history. After 21 inches of snow fell throughout central New Jersey, University officials canceled classes, leading to much rejoicing and many snowmen on Alexander Beach. Since that glorious Monday morn 7 years ago, Princeton community has not canceled classes for snow, and rumor has it that there had not a snow day for at least 10 years before 2003.

With Princeton’s campus already covered in white and the flakes falling throughout the night, one is left to wonder whether the University should cancel classes today and allow students to relive one of their greatest high school memories— a snow day. Such a cancellation, while preventing students from attending class and participating in some of the first precepts of the term, seems appropriate for today. It allows students a day of fun frolicking in the frost and perfecting their snowball throwing skills. For upperclassmen interviewing with banks and investment firms this week, a University cancellation of classes might spread to Career Services and save the interviewees from the embarrassment of showing up rosy-cheeked and dandruffed with melting snow.

A cancellation would save faculty and staff from unsafe road conditions. But even beyond safety considerations, a snow day would allow Princeton to seize one of the most esteemed honors in the Ivy League—having the fewest days of class. As noted in 2003, by canceling one day of class, Princeton reduced its total class days from 120 to 119, dropping below Harvard, which normally ties Princeton, for the fewest in the Ivy League. Now, that is a tradition worth fighting for…

By Matt Butler, senior columnist for Opinion.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Orange and Apples: Caltech

With snow already on the ground and a Winter Storm Warning in effect until tomorrow evening, you might be considering decamping from Princeton for warmer climes. Brandt Belson, a mechanical and aerospace engineering graduate student, provides a view of how attending school in sunny Pasadena, CA might differ from Princeton.

I graduated from Caltech in 2008 with a double major in mechanical engineering and business, economics and management, and now I'm a grad student here at Princeton. Both schools are terrific, but there are important differences.

Academically, I can only comment on science-related aspects, and the classes at both schools focus on fundamentals and theory. This is especially true at Caltech, where nearly every class is strongly based on understanding the "why." Both Princeton and Caltech do offer classes that are more practical. At Caltech, there are optional informal mini-courses that teach useful skills, while Princeton has a few full classes that are applied.

The names explain a lot: "Institute of Technology" vs. "University." In the first two years at Caltech, every student takes "core," which is a large set of math, physics and chemistry classes. Caltech's focus is clearly on science as it is truly a research institution. In contrast, Princeton is a leading authority in nearly everything, and it focuses on providing a more comprehensive liberal arts education. This means undergrads are a focus and can take classes on most any topic, from anthropology to Slavic languages.

With Caltech, it's pretty much mandatory to mention the workload. Caltech has three terms, and students take about five classes a term. At Princeton, there are two longer terms, and most students take four or five classes a term. In my experience, the classes at Princeton teach less material and assign less work. I'm sure you can do the math. So if you are up for the challenge, Caltech certainly offers the opportunity to learn at a blistering pace, but it's a blistering pace. Princeton classes teach plenty and efficiently without quite taking over your life.

Your potential fellow students are quite different, too. Princeton's undergrads (around 5,000 of them) have very different interests and personalities. There is a lot going on campus, and everyone has a role, or two, or three. There are athletes, writers, singers, actors and even partiers. It's high-paced, and sometimes I wonder how the undergrads do so much. Caltech's students (around 900 of them) are at Caltech because they love science, pure and simple. Their backgrounds differ, and while many play sports, write, sing, act and even party, everyone is a scientist first. If there is one thing I miss about Caltech, it's that every student was a brilliant analytical thinker.

To settle a few loose ends, if you're wondering which has better food, the answer is undeniably Princeton. Location and weather go to Caltech, with its SoCal beaches and sun. Housing is a draw, and each campus is beautifully located in a rich suburb. (But: Pine or palm trees?)

In the end, what led me to my decision was this question: Do you want to be a research scientist? If yes, then there is nowhere better to get started than Caltech. If you're not sure or enjoy other pursuits as much as science, then go to Princeton, where you will have the time and ability to explore, while in no way limiting yourself if you do choose to be a scientist.

If you're a former Tiger who is now pursuing graduate studies elsewhere or a Princeton grad student who attended undergrad outside the Orange Bubble and would like to contribute a comparison send an email to


Monday, February 8, 2010

Wild Animus: Get yours today!

On the West Coast many years ago, an unhappy and fictional Ransom Altman attended UC Berkeley. Evading arrest for drug dealing, he fled to Washington and later to Alaska, where he descended into LSD-induced madness, attempting to transform into an animal in the wilderness.

Intrigued? Based on summaries, you can expect all this and more in Wild Animus by Rich Shapero. For the past week, boxes containing this multimedia project — consisting of a book and accompanying CDs — have been handed out on campus. I got mine today.

Looking for a summary of the book? Then look elsewhere. I have no plans to go through the Wild Animus experience any time soon. My internet sources note, though, that the ending is revealed (and ruined) by the introduction.

The Wikipedia article about Shapero reveals that the University is not unique; the book has been delivered to campuses across the Northeast, but "most copies were immediately discarded."

You can get your very own copy if you loiter around Frist and the corner of Prospect and Washington. Hear others' opinions of the book after the jump.

The users at gave the book 65% 1-star ratings. Here are the most popular unfavorable and favorable reviews. I'll leave it up to you to decide which is which.

"This is easily one of the worst books I have ever read ... The dialog throughout reads like someone who has never heard a conversation, and has only read bad poetry in translation ... Please do not read this book."

"I, like many others, received this book for free. But unlike others, I found this book a delight to have around the house. It served quite well as a monitor riser for my LCD screen. My friend and I needed a book to add weight for a tofu press. Pages 200 to 225 made wonderful firestarters when covered in paraffin wax ... The cat ate pages 123 to 127 when we ran out of catgrass for him to chew."
Still curious about the book? Well hurry on up to Frist because this is one experience you surely don't want to miss.


Snow-mageddon 2010

So, snow-mageddon 2010 has passed, and all that remains is the vast amounts of snow dumped over campus. For the most part, it's effect was felt only in the closure of several stores on Nassau St. and the rumored temporary shut-down of the campus shuttles.

Nonetheless, studying in the Lewis Library this weekend, I was convinced the building would collapse. Slightly warmer (a relative term, of course) weather on Sunday caused snow and sheets of ice to start sliding off of those delightfully curved surfaces, and the sound they made crashing onto the library's glass roof was just short of terrifying.

I must confess, though, that the storm was somewhat of a disappointment. Prior to the snow, rumor had it that one-to-two feet of snow would fall: The reality was closer to one half foot. The panic prior to the storm can only lend support to the theory that residents of places with milder winters react more strongly to them.

I'll move on, and class continues as usual today. I suppose its time to retire my high-school snow-day dreams.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Orange and Apples: Cornell

A traditional comparison of Cornell and Princeton might start off mentioning Cornell's weather, but in the middle of this winter, it might not apply. Instead its up Corinne Kendall GS, who graduated from Cornell in 2006, to provide a deeper comparison

I am currently a second-year Ph.D. student in the ecology and evolutionary biology department at Princeton. For my undergraduate degree, I went to Cornell, majoring in biology with a concentration in ecology and evolutionary biology.

In terms of academic caliber and the quality of classes, I think Princeton and Cornell are very similar. Both also share a small-town location, though Princeton is considerably closer to big cities, like New York and Philadelphia, which is a huge advantage for those of us that like to get out of the college towns occasionally.

The biggest difference between Princeton and Cornell is size. Cornell has a huge student body, multiple colleges within the university, is partially state-run and partially private, and has a variety of professional programs attached to it, including a veterinary school and a medical school. Princeton is small. As a result, Cornell has a lot more classes, activities and clubs to choose from. For my interests in particular, Cornell had the advantage of a vet school to intern at and get some hands-on experience, as well as a raptor center, where I learned how to work with large birds of prey, something that has aided me greatly during my current research on vulture ecology. It also offered unique classes such as Naturalist Outreach, which allowed me to teach conservation biology in local schools, and Spider Biology, where I got to do a behavioral study of some local arachnids. The larger number of students also meant there was a greater diversity of students with different viewpoints and backgrounds, with whom one could learn and share ideas. The large size of the school, however, also meant that there was no one looking out for you. I rarely spoke with my adviser and had fairly limited opportunities to talk with faculty. Princeton has the advantage of being a much more customized experience, and I have been astounded at the individual attention that students get from faculty, advisers and TAs. In particular, undergraduate research at Princeton is considerably more independent as students design their own projects rather than getting lost in a huge research lab, where they will be asked to conduct certain experiments rather than their own. With its smaller student body, Princeton can also afford to offer more funding for their students to travel and conduct research.

Overall, I have greatly enjoyed my experiences at both schools. I think the choice between them would depend on one’s independence and aspirations.

If you're a former Tiger who is now pursuing graduate studies elsewhere or a Princeton grad student who attended undergrad outside the Orange Bubble and would like to contribute a comparison send an email to


Saturday, February 6, 2010

The sound of Broken Bells

While Spoon’s latest album sucked and Jay Reatard partied himself to death last month, there’s still reason for the Indie Community to be wicked psyched: in case you hadn’t heard, James Mercer (lead singer and frontman of The Shins) and Danger Mouse (of Grey Album and Gnarls Barkley fame) have formed a new collaborative project called “Broken Bells.” Their self-titled debut album is due out later this year, but for now, feast your ears (and eyes) on their early-release single, “The High Road”, and the associated music video here.

I’m not as big a fan of the single as I am of the Grey Album, New Slang, or Phantom Limb, but a permanent partnership of Mercer and Burton (Danger Mouse’s real name is Brian Burton) may prove to be a gift from the Indie Gods.

By Charlie Metzger, Columnist for Opinion.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Orange and Apples: University of Chicago

The University of Chicago and Princeton may seem to be two very different places on Thursday nights, but how accurate is that across an entire education? Matt Reid GS, who graduated from Chicago in 2004, explores the similarities and differences between the two schools.

When deciding where to go to college several years ago, my choice ultimately came down to the University of Chicago or Princeton. I chose Chicago and studied chemistry, but have since found my way to Princeton, where I’m a graduate student in civil and environmental engineering. There are some major surface differences between the two schools: One is a larger university in a big, sometimes gritty city, and the other is a rarefied Ivy League university in a pleasant town. These differences certainly influence the character of the schools, but since academics are the most important part of college, I’ll begin with what I’ve found to be the great similarities between Chicago’s and Princeton’s academic experiences.

Both universities feature rigorous and renowned undergraduate programs within larger universities, with outstanding coursework and research in nearly any field. The faculty at both schools are leaders in their fields, and many are dedicated teachers as well. The most important feature of Chicago’s academic experience is the core, a series of small discussion courses surveying the humanities and social sciences along with courses in calculus, foreign languages and physical and biological sciences. I loved the core --- it was one of the things that brought me to Chicago --- but for students whose interests are less broad or who may have already found their academic passion, the core can be a burden. Chicago is also a larger university than Princeton, with the resources of law, medical, business and other professional schools available to students who may be interested. Chicago does not have an engineering school as Princeton does, however, and Princeton’s strength in the applied sciences is an important aspect of its academic offerings. When I found that my interests were shifting to the applied sciences, Princeton stood out as a university with a strong engineering program alongside its programs in the basic sciences.

Where the schools differ most is in culture. While both are strong academically, Princeton seems to favor the scholar-athlete, while many Chicago students are more likely to have been on a quiz bowl team. You’ve probably heard that Chicago is "where fun comes to die," and indeed if a great party scene is what you’re looking for, then Princeton, with its eating clubs, might be a better fit. For many Chicago students, the city is the primary social outlet, and living in the city makes an indelible impact on many students’ lives, from what they do on weekends to where they volunteer and intern in the summers. I grew up in a small town and was ready for something bigger, and living in Hyde Park, the neighborhood in which the University of Chicago is located, provided both the positive and negative experiences of living in a big city. Princeton resembles parts of Hyde Park with its nice homes and leafy streets, but it is more quiet, and just beyond campus lies forested running trails and pastoral scenes that defy many a New Jersey stereotype. Princeton is a very pleasant place to live, though it can be too quiet for some. New York and Philadelphia are both just over an hour away by train, however, so it’s easy to get an urban fix when needed.

A degree from either Princeton or Chicago will serve you well in whatever field you choose to pursue. At both places, you’ll make friends, have challenging classes and have great opportunities for research or internships. Much of the difference comes down to wanting to be in a large city or a small town, at a school where social activities are dispersed throughout a city or one with a strong social life on campus. And before you get too stressed over your choice, remember that there are plenty of nerds alongside Princeton’s jocks, and that there are even frat boys at Chicago. And regardless of your individual interests, you’ll find people to share them with at either university.

If you're a former Tiger who is now pursuing graduate studies elsewhere or a Princeton grad student who attended undergrad outside the Orange Bubble and would like to contribute a comparison send an email to


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Whitman '77 accused of bullying competition

Meg Whitman '77, a candidate for the Californian Republican primary, was accused of trying to bully the competition earlier this week. Steve Poizner, who is also a Republican candidate for governor, explained that a member of Whitman's campaign team sent him an e-mail strongly urging him to run for senator in 2012.

Poizner has suggested that the contents of the e-mail constitute an illegal threat and has sent complaints to the F.B.I. and the United States Attorney's Office. The e-mail states that, if Poizner chose to run for the Senate in 2012, Whitman could ensure total party support.

The e-mail also notes that the competition between Whitman and Poizner in the primary would be an unnecessary waste of resources. The e-mail likely was not criminal, especially because it offers support and not money.

A California Field poll in January found that Whitman is leading with 45 percent support to Poizner's 17 percent.

Whitman graduated from the University with an AB in economics in 1977. In 2002, she donated $30 million to the University to build the eponymous residential college. Whitman served as president and CEO of eBay from 1998 until 2008, when she resigned to pursue a career in politics.

The primary election will be on June 8, and the governor will be elected on November 2.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Diggin' In The Mudd: Princeton Reunions Through the Ages

Mudd's online exhibit page is probably not one of the most clicked upon PU website pages. However, it's definetely one worth a look for history buffs and right now it has an exhibit that should be interesting to everyone who's ever seen a P-Rade (or walked in a Pre-Rade or for that matter plans to graduate this university): a slideshow of current and historical Princeton P-Rades.

It starts off with the class of 1882 where viewers can see this lovely photo of preparation for the P-Rade involving a large drum and a leopard skinned (?) covering complete with a tail. Lovely.

We go on to see, from the class of 1877 (in 1927's P-Rade) a very interesting count of the professions of their members of class. No black sheep! Go Princeton! I wonder how many of today's incoming classes would list their career goals as farmers or sky pilots.
The Class of 1901 was competitive in 1911's parade they announced they were coming next year by airship.

But the class of 1913 tried to beat them out in 1923, they brought a live tiger!
There are more serious photos of the P-Rades as well in 1983's P-Rade the Class of 1973 wanted to remind their younger counterparts that there was a time when women weren't allowed in Princeton's sphere.

And that brings us to today (image from 2001), the Princetonian Parade today is a little more diverse and perhaps a little less extreme (not to these guys!). However, the spirit and drive behind it stays the same- students, alumni, and families come together to express their class and university pride.

May it continue for a few hundred more years.

Images used with permission of Mudd Library.