Thursday, October 28, 2010

Princeton's WiFi Perfect for Facebook Hacking

By Tim Koby '11

Wireless networking at Princeton was never that great to begin with. Slow speeds, dropped connections, and weak signals have kept me tied to my Ethernet cord in my dorm. But what if you are in class and receive a really important email? Or want to check your Facebook in the moments before class begins? It may come as a shock to some people, but you’re exposing your Login sessions to everyone in the room.

What does this mean exactly? No, they don’t get your password and can’t login after you log out. But while you’re logged in, anyone on the same network can steal your “cookie,” a piece of information that flies unencrypted over our networks and lets sites know that you’ve already logged in. Once the hacker has that, they have full access to your account.But isn’t Facebook secure? Gmail? Blackboard? Yes and no. They encrypt your Login information, but once you log in, the content is delivered without encryption. So while people can’t directly get your password, access is just a click away.

This has always been a problem with the networks. The problem has become especially relevant after the release of a Firefox extension, Firesheep, which requires no technical knowledge of Internet security. Just press start and wait for someone to log in. In seconds, you can be reading that guy on the other side of the room’s love letter his girlfriend just sent.

Of course, use of this program is against the code of conduct for our Internet use at the university, so no one should be using it. However, we know that this doesn’t stop all illicit activity, and since this snooping is pretty much untraceable, it’s not a stretch to assume it will be used.

To protect yourself, the easiest way is to plug into Ethernet when possible. This is an almost completely secure way of accessing these sites. But when wireless is necessary, you’re pretty much out of luck until either a) websites start encrypting their cookies and content in addition to logins or b) OIT secures our network. In my humble opinion, we shouldn’t wait for all websites to do this. OIT can make our network much more secure by establishing a 802.1X server to let us log into the wireless network with our netID and password. This is a mild inconvenience, but worth it in the security it gives us.

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A Sick Man's High: Why I Love Midterms

By Joey Barnett '12

Around the time that most students are considering dropping out of Princeton, I’m all about the holiday spirit. That’s right: I love midterms. When I think of midterms, I think of freshman year, when four of my friends and I holed ourselves up in a Frist classroom, nodding off beside empty cans of Redbull and piles of reading that should have been done three weeks earlier. When I think of midterms, I think of delirious laughter, falling out of chairs, and the occasional snore. When I think of midterms, I think of the countdown to Princeton Halloween, and the minute we all step out of our last traumatic exam and run toward Prospect. Call it masochism, but to me, this is the life.


This probably has something to do with the fact that I am an anthropology major, whereas most of my friends are in the economics or engineering departments (disgusting, I know). While they are going to office hours and stressing about problem sets, I have been found recording and transcribing dinner conversations, or reading all about Bollywood for my JP. Midterms are the one time of the year when all of us are on the same schedule—while they are frantically studying for their econ exam, I am banging out a 12-page paper on honky-tonk bars for anthropology of sound. All of us are in the same place: screwed.

This is one of those few times of the year when solidarity is at a max, and I would sacrifice my 8 hours of sleep any day—well, maybe 4 of them, and even then, for only those 14 days out of the year—to get that feeling of mutual hysteria and contempt for the system all over again.

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NBA Bans New Sneakers to Commemorate their 25 Year Anniversary of Banning Air Jordans


By Jenna McCarthy '13


According to a recent press release, the NBA has banned certain shoes due to "unfair competitive advantage." Apparently, Athletic Propulsion Labs' Concept 1 shoes increase a player's vertical leap in an unfair manner. No player will be allowed to wear the product in games for the upcoming 2010-11 NBA season. This ban is happening, coincidentally enough, on the 25th anniversary of the NBA's ban on Nike Air Jordans. However, that ban was for their colorful appearance rather than unfair vertical issues. The creators of APL's Concept 1 shoes said they weren't surprised by this ban. Biomechanical testing showed that the shoes deliver increases in vertical leap of up to 3.5 inches as compared to regular shoes. I gues this is a step up from those "moon shoes" that were all the fad a few eons ago when we were kids.

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Sam Page '98 on Gossip Girl

By Nava Friedman '13

Sam Page ’98, a star of the hit AMC show Mad Men, has added another NYC love affair to his repertoire. He is currently appearing on the CW series Gossip Girl, where he first showed up in the episode, “Goodbye, Columbia,” which aired October 11. Page’s character, Colin, is a successful businessman currently engaged in a liaison with Blake Lively’s Serena van der Woodsen. "Easy J," the second episode in his arc, airs tomorrow at 9 PM.


Page is best known for his work as Dr. Greg Harris, husband of sultry head secretary Joan Harris, on Mad Men. His character on that show is currently serving in Vietnam and his fate will likely be revealed next season.

Page graduated with an A.B. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and his thesis about the mating habits of female mosquitofish was eventually published in a scientific journal. His
first role after graduation was as a regular on the CBS legal series "Shark," and he has appeared in a host of television series including Desperate Housewives, Greek, and CSI: NY.

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Jane Soars on Roller Blades...but Tyra Still Has Beef with Her

By Morgan Jerkins '14

On this week’s episode of America’s Next Top Model, famed New York designer Zac Posen was the featured guest. For the first assignment, the remaining ladies had to model one of Posen’s lines, Z Spoke, alongside veteran models. Unbeknownst to the contestants, the veteran models were to act catty and rudely towards them. During the show, Posen commented on Jane Randall ’12 as “gorgeous in the face.” However, he did note that he needed to see the “natural fierceness” in her body. Unfortunately, the compliments that he bestowed upon our beloved tiger was not enough for her to win this mini-competition. Randall’s luck began to change for the remainder of the segment. Nigel Barker directed a commercial for which the contestants had to showcase a drink, have credible chemistry with a male model, and skate! Despite Jane’s confession that she had not skated since the age of three, the judges unanimously agreed that she looked relaxed and believable on the screen. During deliberation, Posen added that Randall was “very commercial looking” and Tyra did in fact say that she could see Jane on the runway. Tyra, however, felt an aversion to Jane’s personality. Really, Ty Ty?

Though Jane suffered a couple downfalls on the roller blades, she really soared this episode, winning first runner up for best commercial. Saved from elimination once again, Esther was sent home.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tigertones to Sing Anthem at Chargers Game

By Ben Kotopka '13

The Tigertones will be performing the National Anthem at the San Diego Chargers’ game Sunday to kick off their fall tour, which will take them through the San Diego and L.A. area over fall break. The University’s a cappella groups have performed on big stages before – the ‘Tones have performed at Carnegie Hall and the Nassoons have performed at the White House – but the Chargers and Tennessee Titans fans at Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday will be the Tones’ largest audience to date.

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NJ Anti-Bullying Bill


By Cerena Chen '13

In the aftermath of the Rutgers student suicide, New Jersey lawmakers introduced on Monday the “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights.” In addition to requiring that school officials complete anti-bullying training and agree to identify harassment as “good cause” for the suspension or expulsion of a student, the bill asks public colleges and universities to include an anti-bullying policy in their student codes of conduct. The Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities guide addresses bullying as an issue under “Respect for Others,” stating that “abusive or harassing behavior” is subject to “University disciplinary sanctions” and suggesting methods for resolution, although it does not specify the consequences for such behavior to the degree posed by the bill.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Self-Segregation Runs Rampant on Campus, Foiling the Wonders of Diversity for All

By Christopher Troein '12

A few days ago, amid a furious debate over integration of Germany’s large number of Muslim immigrates, the chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, declared multiculturalism a failure. Their debate focused on whether immigrants, especially Turkish Muslims, actively participate in the wider Germany socio-cultural landscape. I naturally assumed Princeton had made multiculturalism work, but inspired by Merkel to rethink the matter, I am no longer so sure.The University’s many dance companies alone show large cultural variety. Dance groups on campus perform in styles from Urban to Indian to Belly Dancing to Ballet to Mexico Folk to Ballroom. All these groups reflect highly upon a campus open to other cultures, and as the talented performances by these groups show, this diversity directly benefits students. Yet, the multiculturalism of Princeton reeks of failure.

Imagine if the University’s Texans stayed together as a distinct group on campus, dominating the same line dancing group, and feeding into the same dining option. Imagine if this tight-knit group of Texans stayed tight-knit, with only a token Canadian being interested in the group. Now imagine if this group of Texans was uncomfortable reaching out to non-Texans.

Sound familiar? To varying degrees, the same tale is repeated across the University’s many cultural groups. And with exception to the last line of that paragraph, I see no problems with individuals favoring their own cultures. But feeling uncomfortable in other cultures is a worrying problem.

And so I pose a simple question to think about: Is this merely an error of observation bias, or are individuals self-segregating by ethnicity due to a discomfort in reaching out to different people? If the latter is true, then the University is failing to show its own students the benefits of diversity.

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How to Clear Out Your Sacred Study Space

Tired of irritating little dweebs with the buzzing laptops from 1992 infiltrating your super secret sacrosanct study spot? Usually a nasty enough look can do the trick...but for those cretins who insist on inviting themselves right into your little corner of Fine Library this midterm period, here are a few tips on how to non-confrontationally take care of the situation: (We all know it'd be too easy to drop a few F bombs or dust off that Hello Kitty taser your brother bought you for your birthday).


1. Crack fingers loudly. Over and over again.
2. Cough, sneeze. Over and over again.
3. Groan and moan. Think Bubonic.
4. Start crying.
5. Talk on your cell, even if it's to nobody.
6. Crush your water bottles in a loud, offensive manner.
7. Start undressing. Don't stop until the perpetrator leaves. Or asks for your number.
8. Burp.
9. Mutter to yourself incessantly.
10. Pick your nose and flick the boogers.

I find myself in these situations time and time again, and these tactics have yet to fail. With especially hard cases, employ a combinational approach. Tactic 4 has proven especially effective. Remember, if at first you don't succeed, cry, cry again.

Happy midterming!

~The Blogstress

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Quidditch Gets Competitive

Women's bowling was the most recent sport to gain National Collegiate Athletic Association status. Could Quidditch be next? The NCAA says that typically 40 to 50 schools must sponsor a varsity sport before they will consider sponsoring it. Quidditch is getting there. Over 60 colleges and high schools are registered to compete Nov. 13 and 14 at a Manhattan park.


Quidditch was founded at Middlebury College in 2005. People run around with broomsticks between their legs and shoot balls through hula hoops. At Middlebury, the Snitch is usually a cross country runner dressed in gold.

It's midterms and I'm in an uncharacteristically tolerant mood, so my vote is yes for granting Quidditch NCAA status. Or perhaps I just want to see how Quidditch would influence recruiting here at Princeton. "But Dean Rapelye, I know his SATs aren't quite up to snuff, but just look at his quaffle blocking record." Seems as fair a basis for judgment as any.

-The Blogstress

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Rush Holt Wins a Fan

By Prihatha Narasimmaraj '14

When I saw the words “Holt is a true friend of Israel” splashed all over the leaflets handed out at Democratic Congressman Rush Holt’s visit today, I was confused. Sure, Israel is an international issue, but is it really the sort of thing politicians advocate on election platforms? Wondering if I had accidentally stumbled into some CJL event, I anticipated an hour-and-half of discussion on something that I knew absolutely nothing about.


Turns out, Holt only brings up the issue because his opposition (Republican Congressman Scott Sipprelle) attacked him on it in the past. Makes slightly more sense. But Holt’s visit to Whig Senate Chamber—and Holt himself—turned out to be a lot more interesting than I expected.
For a politician, he’s remarkably straightforward.

When one of the audience members, a graduate student, stood up and asked Holt to look into granting immigration rights for same-sex partners of American citizens, Holt launched into a long-winded rant about how we need to give rights to LGBT individuals, etc. (all nice things, but so typical of an ideological politician). But when a lady in the audience asked him why he hadn’t really answered the question, he immediately explained that he would help the man and vowed to talk with him after the meeting. Cool, right?

He’s also very small-townsy in a Mr. Smith-Goes-To-Washington way. He keeps a Constitution in his pocket and refused to talk at the podium during the meeting. He admits to going door-to-door and talking to cute old ladies about ObamaCare. I even shook hands with him before the meeting when he introduced himself to random crowd members. Call me gullible, but I was impressed.

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Jlo Pimps Out Her Babies

By Pritha Dasgupta '13

Apparently, it’s never too early to start pimping your children out to ad agencies. Take a page out of the book of Miss Jennifer Lopez, who has okay-ed her 2 ½-year-old twins to be the “spokesbabies” for Gucci’s new children’s line! (So, so many things wrong with that sentence.) The clothing line features items that range in price from $80-&1600, for the child who learns brand names before learning the alphabet. To make this further destruction of childhoods all across Tinseltown admissible, Gucci is donating $1 million to UNICEF.

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The Urge to Splurge- What to do with our $14.4 billion Endowment

By Brian Lipshutz '12

Good news number one: Princeton’s endowment earned a 14.7% return for FY 2010, outstripping all but two private university endowments that were valued at over $5 billion in 2010.


Good news number two: Princeton was ranked by Campus Grotto as the 100th most expensive school in the country based on tuition and room and board. Here, we outperformed many of our peer schools (including Yale), but not all (including a certain school in Boston).

And now a good idea for consideration: Let’s keep using the endowment to ease the pain of Princeton fees until the economy makes a stronger recovery. Despite the Obama Administration’s now embarrassing promises of a “Recovery Summer,” the economy is not exactly humming. Unemployment is down, but still above the level when the “stimulus bill” was passed. GDP growth is positive, but tepid. In other words, we’re not out of the woods.

I should give credit where credit is due. The University has managed to limit increases in the total cost of attending Princeton to record lows over the past two academic years while also increasing the financial aid budget in order to continue meeting all demonstrated need.

But the endowment now stands at $14.4 billion. Based on Princeton’s online estimate of approximately 7500 total students, you get about $1.92 million per student. The University – prudently from its standpoint – is planning to move endowment spending back within its target range of 4 to 5.75%. Last year’s spending was 6.1% of the endowment. But maybe we could splurge for one more year.

Perhaps the University would be willing to continue last year’s percent-of-endowment spending levels to expand financial aid, in recognition of the hardship faced both by families who meet our current definition of need and those who may fall just above that line. Or perhaps we could put that money towards holding down fee increases as much as possible.

It’s just an idea. But it would certainly be good news for Princeton students in a year of bad economic news.

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Jilly's Metal Free Challenge. Day 4. Plus an Explanation of Purpose.

By Jilly Chen '13

Just to clarify, I went metal free without buying anything new. Purchasing a bunch of clothes would defeat the purpose. The challenge is about working with and around what I have, not showcasing a shopping spree.

I went metal free not only because it pushes me to add fresh dynamics to my wardrobe, but also because it illustrates the importance of one small component of clothing. It's about giving up something that I took for granted. Now, it's at the forefront of my attention. I chose fashion to display my epiphany, but imagine living one week without something that impacts your life everyday.

That said, going metal free severely limits my choice of pants. I fought the compulsion to throw on some denim shorts with this outfit, but held fast in favor of the rules. I might face some backlash from the "leggings are not pants" constituency, but it's a risk I'm willing take, especially after slipping on Day 2.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Jilly's Metal Free Challenge Day 3

By Jilly Chen '13

Today I went for the monochromatic trend, incorporating several shades of gray. Before, I never cared that my gray jeans had plastic buttons, but they really came in handy for the challenge. The metal free restriction has increased my outfit originality. I can't fall back on jeans and a T-shirt because jeans, with their zippers and buttons, are strictly off-limits. Even my favorite t-shirt has a little metal tag on the bottom. Without my staples, I'm combining pieces in new ways and compensating with ingenuity. Funny how limits foster creativity, at least in fashion. Apparently, there was a movement where participants only wore six items of clothing for an entire month.

I'm pretty sure that already happens on campus. It's called "not doing laundry."

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Education Week and a Student's View on Disproportionate Punishment of Black Male Students in Delaware

By Morgan Jerkins '14

From October 11th to 16th, the Students for Education Reform, Teach for America, and the USG co-sponsored Education Week, a weeklong campaign to raise awareness of current issues in American public education. These associations used documentaries, teaching and leadership workshops, lectures and study breaks to encourage undergraduates to take active roles in education reform.

Soon after the week ended, I stumbled across an article about a public education issue in Delaware that I thought might pertain to the Princeton community. Investigators are questioning whether or not black males are punished disproportionately in certain school districts in Wilmington and Newark. I interviewed Briyana Davis ’13, an aspiring sociology major who intends to explore inequalities in the education systems of the U.S.

• Q1. How has this article made you feel as an Ivy-League student and an African-American?
• A. This article wasn’t really surprising to me, though I still believe it is an obvious issue that needs to be solved. This is just one more situation to add to my list of reasons why I need to somehow change the world.
• Q2. Do you have any ideas on how to equalize this supposed bigotry in school districts?
• A. I think more understanding on the part of individual teachers and administrators could be a start. In the Delaware case, I think the policies regarding discipline need to be revised. I think the potential causes of this disparity should be identified and educators should be aware of them so they can avoid stereotyping and punish students more appropriately.

Though one cannot say that racism fueled this particular case in Delaware, at least the government is aware of a problem that is very prevalent in specific school districts. This particular type of awareness can trickle down to undergraduates students like Davis who can one day strengthen the system with impartiality and empathy.

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Is this Physics Major Dunkin' Donuts' Ultimate Fan?

Ever wonder who enters random video contests? Ever contemplate entering one yourself, but then let your dignity get in the way? Well shove that foolish pride aside, because video contest entries are making a comeback on campus!

When taking a break from the search for the Higgs Boson, Tim Koby '11 drinks Dunkin' Donuts coffee and aspires to be Dunkin' Donuts' Ultimate Fan. Click here to vote for him!


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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jane isn't the Model (Modeling) Student...Does She Last Another Episode of ANTM?

By Morgan Jerkins '14

After a few flirtations with elimination, Jane Randall ’12 survived into tonight’s episode of America’s Next Top Model. Contestants had to embody iconic fashion designers and ultimately impress featured fashion photographer, Francesco Carrozzini. Jane emulated Marc Jacobs, who has his own self-titled line and also serves as the Creative Director for Louis Vuitton. During the photo shoot, Carrozzini demanded that Randall show “more attitude” though he admitted that imitating a man is difficult. This didn’t stop him from bashing our Jane for not having a “clear idea” of how to model effectively. During deliberation, Nigel Barker commented that Jane needed “more action in the body.” He also described Jacobs’ personality as “down-to-earth and gritty,” which precisely clashed with Jane’s portrayal. Andre Leon Talley took another swipe at Jane, saying, “As a Princeton girl, she has not done her homework.” Ouch! Yet still, Jane was not eliminated! Instead, Kendall was sent home for her unconvincing, stiff imitation of Vera Wang. Leave it to Jane to beat CDY and Schwartz for who can last longest on reality TV shows. Until next time!

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Day 2 of Jilly's(Almost) Metal Free Challenge...Just Because...

By Jilly Chen '13


I woke up to a soggy morning, and so I reluctantly donned the buckle-bound boots because they're my rain shoes. Typical of New Jersey weather, the sun came out later and I lost my reason for wearing a metal-incorporated item. In my defense, every other piece complies with the challenge, but maybe I should start checking the forecast the night before. You can call my challenge lost, but I prefer to think of it a slight setback.

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Bobst Hall: Installment 1 of the Obscure Buildings on Campus Series


By Jilly Chen '13
Ever heard of Bobst Hall? It's located next to Charter and is home to the Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for International Peace and Justice and the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. For what is sure to be an obscure time, go check out 83 Prospect Ave.!

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

British Invade Princeton-Brown Football Game

By Ashwath Rabindranath '14

If it isn’t bloody England already mate! Yes, 'tis true. The rumours (spelt with a proud U, mind you) are true. THE BRITS ARE COMING (or, rather, they came). More precisely, the Children’s BBC, filmed the season finale of Trade Your Way to the USA during the Princeton-Brown “American” football game (Yes, I can say it at last) last weekend to see which three-person team of British children aged 12-14 could sell the most cookies and candy in the stands. The two teams advanced to the final by coming up on top among 14 three-person teams in the competition held in England. The crew arrived in the USA earlier last week and toured NYC. They came to campus on Friday to film segments with the cheerleaders and the marching band before heading to the game on Saturday.

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Jilly's Metal Free Challenge


By Jilly Chen '13

I’m going metal-free in my wardrobe. Why? I don’t hold a grudge against the Steelworkers’ Union. I’m not protesting third-world labor practices. I’m just curious to see if I can pull it off.

I participated in an fMRI experiment this weekend and I couldn’t have any metallic traces on my body. As I went through my clothing options that morning, I found the task harder than I expected. And so, I decided to challenge myself to a metal-free week. My inspiration also partly stems from The Uniform Project, in which a "pilot" pledges to wear one dress for 365 days to promote a cause.

The first picture is me on "Day O." I wore this outfit for the fMRI experiment.

Today marks Day 1 of my experiment, and here are some ground rules:

1) No metal on any clothing item

2) No jewelry

*3) Purse and watch are excluded

Let's see what happens this week...

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Monday, October 18, 2010

No Means Yes, at Least at Yale

On Youtube this week, a pledge ritual for Yale's chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon went viral. The frat walked through campus chanting "No means yes!" and essentially turning rape into a joke. For a better joke, I prefer the one about Beethoven and the chicken.


Why did Beethoven kill the chicken?

...

Because it kept going BACH! BACH! BACH!

That's my favorite joke. Use it well.

-The Blogstress

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Poetry Professor Named National Book Award Finalist


In ENG 200, Introduction to Poetry, Professor James Richardson '71 took his class on a journey through poetical time, starting with Caedmon's Hymn, the first known poem, and ending sometime around William S. Merwin. Along the way, Richardson introduced us to Keats, Yeats, and even the Beats.

The greatest disappointment of the class was that this very modest man never acquainted us with his own work. Even though it has been two years since ENG 200, I still remember how passionately Richardson made us feel for Yeats and his unrequited love for Maude Gonne. Now that Richardson is taking his place among the greats, at least we can say we learned meter marking from the best.
More insight into Richardson as a poet can be found in his collection, By the Numbers, for which he was recently announced a National Book Award Finalist. The National Book Foundation describes the collection as "striking for its range of line and movement, for is microlyrics, crypto-quatrains, “ten-second essays,” and the twist and snap of aphorisms." For a taste of his poetry, here is "End of Summer."

-The Blogstress

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CDY and Schwartz Stopped at the Norwegian Border...The Conclusion of the Amazing Race for the 08544

By Morgan Jerkins '14

For this week’s episode of the Amazing Race, contestants traded in Ghana for Kiruna, Sweden. Because this part of the country has snow on the ground for eight months out of the year, it seemed appropriate for the first challenge to be at an ice hotel. From there, each pair had a code etched in Swedish in a block of ice. Once natives deciphered the code, contestants went on to the next location. At this time, our lovely Princetonians, Jonathan Schwartz ’10 and Connor Diemand-Yauman ’10, were in fifth place and dropped to sixth once their next task began with the snow dogs.

Contestants had to race these dogs down rugged terrain while grabbing flags along the way. If a person missed a flag at a certain checkpoint, he or she had to do a penalty lap around the specific area. Afterwards, Jon and Con drove to Vassijuare Train Station, where Jonathan struggled to sled down a hill in under 1:54. After several, failed attempts and a time of 4:54, the team decided to surrender and go on to the next location.

All teams had to build a tent, ignite a fire within it, and get the “okay” from a nearby indigenous group, the earliest descendants of Scandinavian nomads. Pretty cool. But as our boys were building their own tents, they noticed a few other teams doing the same, which filled them with both hope and defeat.

By the time Jonathan and his plus one reached the Norwegian border where they would find out where they placed, they walked slowly to the host while humming “Pomp and Circumstance.” It was the end of the road. However, they were not sore losers for they compared Amazing Race to graduating from Princeton—both worthy of praise. The twosome sang an a cappella song where one of the most memorable lines was “We are the best team to arrive…”. And that you are, guys.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

STDs Eradicated on Campus and Birth Control for Entire Student Body

By Morgan Jerkins '14

The 2009 Trojan Sexual Health Report Card, which judges the sexual health of a campus based on condom availability, health center hours, access to STD testing, and student opinion, put Princeton in 61st place out of 141 colleges and universities across the United States.

The 2010 Report Card boosted the University to eighth place. The GPA does not, however, take into account sexual activity on campus or commonness of sexually transmitted diseases.

Introducing sex into a cordial conversation with Princeton students does not always result in people running away (unlike one of my chosen interviewees). My interviews with several students on the topic produced comical and blatantly honest responses.

I asked male and female students about this exciting news. At the beginning, my questions about condom availability and the whereabouts of these condoms were one-sided. All of them praised the accessibility of the Trojans and cited their RCAs and/or McCosh as great sources to get them—for free.

But when I asked how nervous one was to actually and go and ask for one, the group was divided into females and males. The females expressed reluctance while the males considered shopping for condoms hardly different an experience than buying shampoo.

Then I asked how each one felt about the ranking with regard to Princeton’s social scene. One freshman female responded, “Yes! Now I feel like I can go to the Street and hook up with any guy and not get an STD.” A male responded, “It’s probably a little inflated to be honest, unlike our damn grades.” So unlike their grades, students seem content with what is given for sexual precautions.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Some Ivies Report Endowment Returns, Columbia Sees Huge Increase


By Claudia Park '13

In light of the fragile state of the nation’s economy, universities find an increasingly pressing need for sturdy endowment foundations. This leads to more focused and rigorous endeavors to increase investment returns.

With the conclusion of the fiscal year on June 30, the Ivies have started releasing reports on their endowments. The universities include Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and University of Pennsylvania. Today, Princeton reported that its endowment investments had returned 14.7 percent during the 2009-10 fiscal year, a higher rate than all the Ivies except for Columbia.

Across the board, the fiscal year of 2008-2009 proved particularly trying for the Ivies; the universities suffered significant drops in endowment, resulting in reactionary measures such as tuition increases, layoffs, and temporary freezes in construction efforts. Happily enough, all Ivies experienced increases in endowment this past fiscal year.

Harvard, traditionally with the nation’s largest university endowment, reported an 11% increase after its critical loss of 27%. Yale announced an 8.9% incline from its 24.6% loss. Outstripping Harvard and Yale, University of Pennsylvania gained 13% in funds following its 15% drop, and most impressively of all, Columbia marked a 17.3% rise compensating for its 16.1% loss the previous year.

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Academia Lashes Out Against Woody Woo


By Beth Zak-Cohen '13

We all love to love Woodrow Wilson, especially those of us in Wilson College. But the New York Times reminded us this week that not everyone is involved in as torrid a love affair with Woody Woo. The NYT asks why Wilson continues to be so high on the list of presidents hated by conservatives. Why, they add, is this criticism of Wilson, amping up in the current political climate?

The Times asked professors from across the country this question. Jill Lepore, a Professor of American History at Harvard, claims that conservatives want to turn the word ‘progressive’ into an insult. Conservative writers and Tea Party supporters such as Geroge Nash highlight the similarities between Wilson and Obama as points of criticism. Thomas G. West, a professor at the University of Dallas, further bashes our campus hero, saying that big, unconstrained government was his ideal.

Some professors, however, are standing firmly by Woody Woo in the face of this recent backlash. John Milton Cooper, a Professor at University of Wisconsin and author of Wilson’s most recent biography, defends Wilson, saying that other presidents deserve the same scorn. He also emphasizes Wilson’s extreme devotion to religion, which fits the values of many of the conservatives trying to tear him down. Michael Lind, author of “Up From Conservatism," calls the demonization of Wilson an “accident.”

Whether Wilson really was the New Jersey devil reincarnated as Obama or is simply an easy scapegoat, this is really just too much, too soon. Wilson did no wrong. How could anyone criticize the inventor of the preceptorial system?

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Republicans Make Stronger Argument, but Dems Still Win Whig-Clio Debate

By Prihatha Narasimmaraj '14

At dinner, I heard someone say, “I don’t like politics because of the Republicans.” I laughed, but the statement reminded me of liberals who rag pointlessly on the Republicans, just because they’re Republicans. I consider myself a moderate, so I vowed to observe the Whig-Clio debate tonight (Resolution: This House welcomes a Republican majority) as objectively as possible.

Highlights:
*Noticing that there were more Democrats. Then realizing that the Republicans were louder. Also, the realization that the entire Republican side was male.
*Cute phrases, courtesy of the Republican side, like “knocking down a house to build a new roof” and “God willing.”
*Democrats attacking Republicans about abortion with the claim that Republicans want Americans to make lemonade out of pregnancies.
*Republicans bringing up the (inevitable) topic of labor unions and arguing that teachers and firefighters are overpaid.
*Democrats jumping on this last point and making it into a pathos argument. “So you want our country to burn down?”
*Republicans making too much noise. Democrats making noise at the wrong times.


The debate essentially boiled down to a couple of issues, all of which were entirely anticipated. There was the oil spill; ObamaCare; Obama; Bush; unemployment; the deficit; more Obama; and some Reagan, Truman, and Madison (thrown in only for the sake of an alumni shout out). But I wasn’t sold on either side. The Democrats were weak in their defense, singing the merits of civil rights without addressing the recession, and the Republicans were quick to criticize them on this issue.

To see the rest of the debate, click the Jump!

And then there were the Republicans. I have to give them points in the style and solidarity department. They all seemed so convinced that their ideas were perfectly sound, and presented them convincingly. I almost wanted to understand where they were coming from. But their thinly-veiled disrespect for the Democratic platform, their grins when the opposition faltered, and their general air of self-satisfaction didn’t help their cause. They refused to consider the other side, while many of the Democrats shifted uneasily in their chairs.
But it still came as a bit of a surprise when the Democrats beat them soundly in the vote, 30-18. I won’t say that it was a Democratic victory, because the Republicans brought forth a much stronger argument, and universities are notorious for being liberal anyway. But if the Republicans had been a tad more reasonable themselves, they could have run with their lead.

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Jane's Not So Plain Anymore- A.N.T.M. Episode 6

By Morgan Jerkins '14

My, oh my, have the tables turned for our beloved tiger Jane Randall ’12. The biggest and most important assignment for this episode was a photo shoot on Rodeo Drive. The featured fashion photographers were Lori Goldstein and THE Patrick DeMarchelier, who has also photographed Kate Moss, Christy Turlington, and Naomi Campbell, to name a few. Jane, Kacey, and a male model were linked together for the first shoots and later the contestants took individual shots. DeMarchelier commented that Jane was a “bit too commercial” for his taste yet found Randall to be attractive.The worst contestant this episode happened to be Ann, who suffered under the weight of her own insecurities. When the best shots were shown, Andre Leon Talley remarked that Jane looked “extraordinary” and like a “French supermodel-actress.” Completely altered in his views concerning Jane also, Nigel Barker added that Jane was “superb” and “looked great.” However, in her single photos, Randall appeared to be “stiff,” according to the judges at deliberation, and performed better in group photos. Overall, Ms. Randall improved tremendously from last week’s episode. Either that, or Tyra really took the last Prox post to heart. Jane came in as runner-up for best photo and was saved from elimination while Kacey had to hit the road. Until next time!

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

'09 Alums Freeing Our Water, One Bottle at a Time


Justin Seidenfeld '09 and Robert Barnett '09 formulated the business plan for FreedWater, Inc. during their college days. The idea behind the business is that water should be free, so let advertisers pay for it. Seidenfeld and Phillip Rosenberg '09 launched the company last summer. Instead of our bottles bearing Aquafina and Poland Spring labels, we'll soon (hopefully) be guzzling from plastic wrapped in an eclectic mix of advertisements funding our drinking habits.

While I carry my Fiji water bottles like I would a Coach purse, I can never fully suppress that twinge of embarrassment that comes along with humoring price tags that far exceed an item's actual worth. While I might cling more tightly to my (hypothetical) Coach, I'd rather be a walking billboard for random advertisers rather than Dasani. Thanks to Seidenfeld and Barnett, water encapsulated in plastic may soon be free on campus!

"What we are trying to do is no less than revolutionize bottled water and advertising in the United States. We're combining two of the most important industries in the country: advertising and beverage distribution," Barnett said. "This is the final frontier of advertising."
Seidenfeld explained that FreedWater faces some challenges getting started on campus. "We are not allowed to market it competing with Dasani. Trying to get involved with campus events without competing with the University policies has been difficult," he said.

FreedWater will be distributing free water at Homecoming next week and will be at other campus events, but Barnett said he is unsure the company will be able to compete with the University's anti-free water policies. "The University is basically kowtowing to corporate America and stifling the creativity and entrepreneurship of their alumni," he said.

But FreedWater has come a long way since Seidenfeld and Barnett first entered their idea into business proposal contests on campus. "This is an idea that sprang out of entrepreneurship at Princeton and now we're poised to make major inroads into the Princeton community and into the U.S. at large," Barnett said. He added, "Speaking as an unemployed alumnus who is ill able to afford bottled water, I would love to be able to have free drinking water."

FreedWater also plans to support recycling initiatives on campus. They plan to make recycling an easy opportunity at social events such as tailgates and Lawnparties.

Today in Frist, Seidenfeld presented me with my very own bottle of Freedwater for only a small fee: A handshake and encouraging smile. And two dollars. Just kidding.

-The Blogstress

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Prof. Llosa, New Nobel Laureate, Addresses Students at Chancellor Greene


By Claudia Park '13


I just returned from attending the reception in the Chancellor Greene Rotunda honoring Professor Mario Vargas Llosa, this year’s recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. I am still fighting an overwhelming sense of wooziness from having just observed history in the making. As I stood listening intently to Professor Llosa’s words, I could only marvel at how beneath his humble, sophisticated demeanor, there exists this remarkable internal landscape of profound wisdom, astute intelligence, and unbounded passion. Professor Llosa is the embodiment of an individual who dares to exercise the freedom to think independently and to follow the pathway paved by his ideas, as evidenced in his writings on freedom and his decision to run for the Peruvian presidency in 1990. In witnessing Llosa speak of the importance to read with a voracious appetite, I was moved by the profound power of ideas. Llosa described reading as one of the greatest pleasures life affords us. To carry on the message, propitiously in time for midterms but also for life: read on, tigers, read on!

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GIRL WANTED

By Jilly Chen '13

Take a stroll by Cuyler Hall and you’ll notice the “Girl Wanted” sign in one of the windows.
As a girl, naturally, I felt qualified to find out more.
“It’s just a joke,” the guy said hastily as I stood in his doorway. He was probably mortified to discover that the sign actually worked. He loosened up once I revealed that I was merely a curious blogger.
“There’s a funny story behind it,” he said, as he scribbled the netID of the owner, his roommate, on a scrap of paper.
Soon, I met up with Patrick Wasserman ’12 and learned the back story. I guessed that he ordered it online or even created it himself as a joke.
The true answer yielded a surprising plot twist.
“The story is probably a lot shorter than you expected,” Wasserman said. “My mom snuck it in my bag for college.”
Perplexed, I grilled him for more information. After a text to his mom, we discovered that she bought it at a gallery. He refrained from postulating as to why it amused his mother so much, but a few of his female friends didn’t share his mother’s sense of humor.
A few weeks ago, two girls were waiting outside Cuyler when one of them noticed the sign. “I am never going in there,” she said. Shortly, Patrick appeared by the window. Awkwardness ensued. Coincidentally, the girls turned out to be good friends of Patrick and couldn’t believe that the “Girl Wanted” room was Patrick’s.
“I think the sign actually fends girls off,” he explained. Clearly, I was an exception.

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CDY + 1 Win Leg of Amazing Race (but make Princeton Look Bad with Lack of Geographical Knowledge)


By Beth Zak-Cohen '13

When Connor Diemand-Yauman '10 and Jonathan Schwartz '10 start in sixth place leaving the last pit stop in Ghana, I’m not too optimistic. The two manage to pass another team by singing to their taxi driver, but will the a cappella really get them that far? Boxing training is the first task, which doesn’t quell my skepticism.

But CDY takes the task and completes it without incident. His friend yells encouragements like, “Just do it normally!”. They’re catching up! Next, the teams rush to a supply depot (CDY + 1 pass another team on the way). Here they have to deliver wheelbarrows full of supplies. (“Not a big wheelbarrow guy,” says Connor). They complete the task and the Tigers are in first place! The next task is finally something that their Princeton education might help them with- an African geography quiz.
Never mind. Neither can place Ghana on a map. “It wasn’t our major!” they protest. They finally find it saying, “Princeton is a good school, I swear.” Adds the other, “There’s an African Studies major!” Despite the geography blunder, our team is still first.
For the next task the duo can choose a hoop rolling or language arts and choose the latter. They have to find some symbols on a giant map, which looks ominous, but the other teams are all messing up on the wheelbarrow task so it’s looking good.
This part is where the Princeton training really helps. The other teams make fools of themselves trying to figure out how to solve the code. Our two finish the code quickly enough (adorably hugging one of the little schoolkids) and head to the pit stop. They might actually win this one.
And they do! “Connor and Jonathan you are team number 1,” Phil says. They win $5000 dollars each. How do they say they’ll spend it? “To buy maps of Africa!” And then I changed the channel because we all know we’re only watching for the CDY anyway.

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Woody Woo "free" food not actually so free

Woody Woo’s food coffers might not be as limitless as we once thought. Or, the school may just be trying to break another echelon of selectivity in light of the comprehensive review it’s undergoing.

An e-mail sent to school’s undergraduate listserv last Monday scolded the budding private consultants and I-Bankers for their lack of self-control around displays of free food:

"Regarding food for events at Robertson Hall- Students can’t have food until the organizer says they can have it. Two different events this past week had students taking food even when the organizer said it wasn’t available. One student in particular walked along the table poking their finger in the food after being told no."
Now, we know we’re trying to teach you how to live on the cheap, but this might be taking it a little too far.

To be fair, the sender even sounds a little uncomfortable with the e-mail, saying: “I have no idea if they were our students but I was asked to let you know.” (Read: A disgruntled Woody Woo rejectee with an ax to grind.)

So, independents, it might be best to look elsewhere until this blows over. We checked -- Point's got your back on this one.

(Full e-mail with even more scolding after the jump.)



----- Forwarded message ----------
From: [Redacted]
Date: Mon, Oct 4, 2010 at 1:19 PM
Subject: FW: couple of things
To: wwsugrads@princeton.edu

Dear Students,

The Administrator of the Robertson Hall Business and Facilities office asked me to send the below message to all Undergraduate students.

Regarding food for events at Robertson Hall- Students can’t have food until the organizer says they can have it. Two different events this past week had students taking food even when the organizer said it wasn’t available. One student in particular walked along the table poking their finger in the food after being told no.

The other thing is the doors on Washington Road were found propped open early Saturday morning. Probably from Friday night. Fortunately nothing was taken and no damage was done to the building. Students must remember that when they see doors propped open they need to close them. It not only keeps the building safe but it also keeps them safe.

Your cooperation is much appreciated.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Tony Marx '90 Named New Librarian in Chief

By Pritha Dasgupta '13


Yesterday, the New York Public Library announced that
Tony Marx GS ’90 would become its new president next year. Marx, A native New Yorker and a graduate of both the master’s program at the Woodrow Wilson School and the doctorate program in the Department of Politics, will succeed current president Paul LeClerc.
Currently the president of Amherst College, Marx has spent his entire life in academia. In his early twenties he founded Khanya College, a university preparatory school in South Africa. Also a published author, Marx later taught at Columbia University, where he spearheaded several public school improvement initiatives.
The NYPL, currently boasting record-high influx of users despite funding cuts, has found in Marx a champion for free information and community-sponsored learning.
“I am…eager to pursue its ideals of wide access to information and ideas—ideals I want defining my children’s lives,” Marx said.

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Yale Tries to Cut Back on Carbon Emissions Too


By Pritha Dasgupta '13

On Monday, Oct. 4, the Office of Sustainability at Yale revealed a three-year "sustainability strategic plan," an initiative designed to help Yale realize its "vision of being a sustainability leader."

The 25-page plan not only details the increased restrictions on everyday consumption and disposal practices, but also addresses the current sustainability challenges of the institution and presents potential resolutions. Goals outlined in the sustainability plan, similar to those in Princeton's own, include tapping more energy from renewable sources, using green cleaning products in all builings and reviewing methods of food transportation. Like Princeton, Yale hopes to greatly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in the next decade--to 43 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Jane Takes a Beating but Makes Another ANTM Cut

By Morgan Jerkins '14

They may as well have called this episode "Let's Pick on Jane Even More than Usual," as that was the most apparent theme for yesterday's America's Next Top Model. If Tyra can't get over Jane's background's failure to mesh with the prototypical sob story, why did she let her on the show in the first place? This week, the contestants’ first assignment was to model on a moving conveyor belt while wearing four-inch heels. As Jane was being prepared by the several make-up artists who surrounded her, she said that she had a tough time walking without a conveyor belt…and she had an even tougher time performing the duty set out in front of her. J. Alexander said that Jane is “academic in the face [and]…not confident in what she can deliver.” Well Miss Jay, what do you expect? She goes to Princeton for Pete’s sake! Of course, she is going to look “academic”….right? The criticizing comments did not stop there.

The next and final assignment was to step into the rink with Mexican wrestlers a la Nacho Libre and Jane struggled to follow the photographer’s directions to pose like a rocker chick with the devil’s horns. After her turn was over, Jay Alexander told the cameras that Jane is detached from the modeling and “couldn’t commit to what she is doing”. Even Tyra had something to say at deliberation since even the best shot that the photographer could capture of Jane was branded “easy”, as in not cutting edge or impressive to the judges. Vogue’s Editor-at-Large, Andre Leon Talley, dubbed Jane “Plain Jane” and Victoria’s Secret Model, Karolina Kurkova, said that “she needs to work on her personality.” All these negative remarks landed Randall in the final two but luckily---she was saved! Until next time!

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