Campus mourns passing of Mark St. Louis ’15

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Yesterday morning, President Paxson sent out an email recognizing the passing of Mark St. Louis ’15. St. Louis was involved in many facets of campus life, including BrainGate, a project that seeks to create technology to assist individuals living with neurological disorders, and Brown’s Ultimate Frisbee team. We at BlogDH send our best wishes to the St. Louis family and to all who knew Mark.

BlogDailyHerald is taking submissions from loved ones, friends, and family for a memorial to Mark. Please send photos, messages, or artwork to blog(at)browndailyherald(dot)com. We will publish the submissions on our site.

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What’s been happening at Brown (and in Providence!)

Summer got you feeling a little homesick for good ol’ Providence? Curious about what has been going on since you left? BlogDH is here to help. Keep reading for the low down on recent happenings on and around Brown’s campus.

Brown and RISD students compete at Solar Decathlon Europe 2014

A group of Brown, RISD and University of Applied Sciences in Germany created a house that produces more energy than it consumes.

The designers describe the structure, named the “Techstyle Haus,” as rural architecture that “not only preserves but reconstructs its natural environment.” The house utilizes solar cells embedded in a textile roof. Gone are the days of solar-paneled roofs; the 800-square-foot house has wedded form, function and style, integrating modern style elements and innovative design.

Brilliant architecture isn’t cheap. Materials needed to make the house cost $500,000. But if revolutionizing environmentally friendly design and gaining international acclaim isn’t enough of a payoff, Techstyle Haus was also featured in the New York Times earlier this month.

It is one of 25 projects on display through July 14 at the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 in Versailles, France.

Wings and Things closed

:’( (Ed: Did anyone ever actually eat there?)

Kennedy Plaza construction

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The blueprint for the new Kennedy Plaza.

Beginning today (Saturday, July 12), bus stops will be moved away from Kennedy Plaza to make way for a six-month construction project aimed to transform the plaza into an efficient and functional public space in the heart of downtown Providence. The renovation is in conjunction with improvements in RIPTA service, which will include devices with screens showing real-time arrival updates.

The project, which will cost about $2.4 million, is paid partially by the city and partially by RIPTA. The center of Kennedy Plaza, which is now home to bus terminals, will be replaced by a tree-lined space. Bus stops will be located on the perimeter of the plaza.

This is the beginning of RIPTA’s even more ambitious plan to expand mass transit in Providence. Due to the construction, there is a new bus schedule, available here.

Brown and Naval War College sign agreement

Brown and the Naval War College signed an agreement on June 6 to promote collaborate research and teaching between the two institutions.

The Naval War College in Newport, RI is the staff college and “Home of Thought” for the United States Navy. Paired with the Watson Institute and their own research teams, they hope to address challenges to international security, including cyber security, nonproliferation and environmental change.

The agreement includes an annual distinguished lecture series and visiting status at each institution.

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Here’s your Fall 2014 Brown Lecture Board speaker poll

We interrupt your summer recess for an important announcement: Brown Lecture Board has opened its speaker poll for Fall 2014! Mindy Kaling and Sir Ian McKellen, popular former bids, are joined by newcomers Kevin Spacey, Toni Morrison, and Jane Goodall.

Kaling is a prominent comedian on her show The Mindy Project and was on The Office. McKellen was nominated for two Oscars and has also been immortalized as Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, Magneto in X-Men, and this. Kevin Spacey stars in the Netflix political thriller House of Cards as the pure evil cunning Frank Underwood. Morrison is a universally acclaimed author and Pulitzer Prize winner. Her novel Beloved is a favorite of Professor Arnold Weinstein in the comp lit department. Finally, Goodall is famous as both a scientist and a humanitarian and is considered “the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees.”

The poll (found here) is complete with mini-bios for each speaker, and BLB really hopes that students will take the time to make an educated decision. Of course, we at BlogDH promise to keep you informed about all of the candidates as well. Let WWIII commence amongst our staff writers.

An important note: Remember that when you invite actors, you aren’t actually inviting their characters. Ian Mckellen cannot tell you what happens after the last of the elves sailed to Valinor, and as much as we would to love to see Wendy Schiller front and center in Salomon 101, this question is probably inappropriate for Kevin Spacey:

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From BlogDH’s Facebook group. Nobody’s perfect.

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BREAKING: New dean of the College selected

10094Today, President Paxson announced that Professor Maud Mandel, the current director of Brown’s Program in Judaic Studies, has accepted the offer to become our next dean of the College. Professor Mandel, who has contributed important scholarly work in history and Judaic studies to Brown since 1997, will assume her new responsibilities on July 1st, 2014.

In her email to the members of the Brown community, Paxson commends Mandel’s commitment to academic advising as well as her contributions to advisory committees on important issues such as “faculty diversity, graduate studies, academic priorities, curriculum, childcare planning, preparations for outside reviews, and many faculty and staff searches.”

BlogDailyHerald would like to take this time to congratulate Professor Mandel on this appointment, and we look forward to seeing all that she will contribute to the Brown community in her new position.

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A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief: BlogDailyHerald, 5 years on

Though it might be hard to believe, the school year has come to an end. The libraries are empty, the Main Green is silent, and the Class of 2014 has marched through the Van Wickle Gates. Congrats to the seniors on your graduation! We’ll miss you dearly, but we know you will be all kinds of successful in life outside College Hill.

The end of the 2013-2014 academic year also marks the conclusion of BlogDailyHerald’s 5th year of production (do we even call it that?). It is sometimes hard to believe how young our web site is, especially given how far we have come in such a short time. The brainchild of some Brown Daily Herald editors back in 2009, Blog has become an organization unlike anything we could have dreamed of.

For the 2011 BDH Commencement magazine, former Blog editors David Winer ’13 and Matt Klimerman ’13 painted a pretty extraordinary picture of what the site’s early days were like. There were no Sunday evening meetings. Blog had “day editors” who handled all of the site’s content for a single day of the week. And edit board meetings? Try “run-ins on the street and in the Ratty.”

That year, Blog’s fearless first leaders revolutionized how the organization works. Our weekly writers’ meeting, daily time-wasters, and current managerial structure all came from these early days. Needless to say, we are all in great debt to the site’s earliest editors.

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Facebook becomes even more awkward with new “Ask” feature

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As of now, “Senior Scrambling” is not a relationship option.

In the prehistoric era of Facebook (circa 2010), many of us learned that we were better off keeping our relationship statuses private. We avoided lots of inadvertently-public break ups that marked the dark ages of early high school, and we also stopped getting ourselves into misleading “civil unions” with our BFFs. One negative aspect of this movement towards internet privacy: obviously, you can no longer tell if your prospects are single or taken. Sure, you could hardcore stalk their pictures and speculate whether the person they were cuddling with on Spring Weekend is in fact their lover, but you can’t be positive. Maybe, for just a second, you have wished that everyone’s relationship status was public again, like the “good old days” or like a traffic light party in the basement of Caswell. Hopefully, you then came to your senses and realized that someone else’s love life is none of your f***ing business.

Facebook, getting its main form of sustenance from things that should be private, has launched a new button next to any hidden personal information called “ask.” The ask button sends a notification to the person you are stalking curious about, notifying them that you have requested to see the answer to this unknown detail. You can send a message along with the request, like: “Hey, I know we haven’t spoken since high school, but I wanted to know where you live.” Because that is not creepy at all.

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When this person of interest receives this notification, they can choose to update this information, either publicly, or by default – only to you. The default option creates a really weird life event in their timeline that only you can see/comment on. The subject of inquiry also has the option to not update their info, and just send a message back, like: “Go to hell you nosy biotch.” Below is a screenshot of the private life event that came to be when I totally platonically asked my fellow staff writer about her relationship status: Continue Reading