Brown Mythbusters: The Bio-Medical Center exhaust vent

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There is a distinct yin and yang vibe surrounding the two concrete structures on the north patio of the Bio-Medical Center. The eastern stack takes outside air in. The western stack pumps inside air out. Today, we are only concerned with the output stack, whose overhead cover and continuous output of warm air offers refuge from the cold for some, but evokes a sense of danger in others, who believe toxic chemicals from the research center are dispelled through the vents.

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Professionally-rendered diagram of air flow.

“I always hold my breath when I walk by there,” says Erik Danie ‘18.

So by basking in a few seconds of warmth, do you run the risk of exposure to hazards such as carcinogens and possibly even byproducts of top-secret biomedical experiments? Or is the exhaust safe to inhale? Or does it even matter?

Phase 1: Unlike the CIT shower investigation, this myth only required one step to solve. We spoke with a representative from facilities who assured us that the air is, in fact, perfectly safe to breathe. All exhaust that escapes the concrete structures—which serve as both fire stairwell egresses and ventilation output—comes from classrooms and meeting rooms in the building. This air is kept separate from the lab ventilation and output from fume hoods, which exits through the top of the building.

Although the idea of easy access to toxic fumes from the biology/medical labs could be appealing to those seeking new freaky superpowers, the only thing remotely dangerous about the air under the western ventilation stack is the second hand smoke coming from the guy standing next to you.

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Brown Mythbusters: The CIT shower

10727108_10152578442312529_1544607490_o It’s no secret that Brown is full of urban legends. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, you have to admit the Hay’s human skin-bound books are enough to give anyone the heebie-jeebies. Granted, you may not be losing any sleep thinking about all the mysteries floating around campus, but where there is a myth, there must be a busting. To ease into this series without any explosions or having to step on the Pembroke Seal, BlogDH investigated the question plaguing CS students for years: is there a shower in the CIT?

Phase 1: Field research began in the Sunlab, where we first got an anonymous tip about “the shower upstairs.” Immediately there were so many questions: Is the notion of CSers living in the CIT more than hyperbolic? Who has access to this VIP shower? Is there also an accompanying gym in the CIT? Do I have to put a shower in TASafeHouse?

Phase 2: We began asking around, and started with the TAs. Either they had no idea about the shower’s existence or they lied to protect its exclusivity. It was clear we would have to go higher up in the CS food chain, so we went straight to the top–Google. Consulting Google about the shower will get you confirmation of its whereabouts from the Brown Daily Herald and, explicably, Andy van Dam’s Wikipedia page.

Phase 3: To find the shower, we needed a key-holding member of the CS society to get to the fourth floor, plus a personal tour-guide to navigate us through the labyrinth. After minutes of searching, there it was: the CIT shower in all its glory and absurdity. IMG_4854.JPG Phase 4: The shower-head was still dripping and it smelt like Irish Spring Soap–how recently did someone use this?IMG_4857.JPGWhile it was certainly not the day-spa we had hoped for, the water pressure must be good enough to keep people coming back. The room comes equipped with a little hand-held mirror, a chair, a drying rack, and whatever the hell this sign means. Untitled So, yeah: This myth is confirmed. As a humanities concentrator, I would recommend going to the CIT for free food before the free shower, but hey, any shower is better than none. Untitled

Images via Albie Brown ’16, Julia Elia ’17 and via.


Where to Cry at Brown, Pt II

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Two years ago, we gave you a comprehensive list of places you could cry at Brown. They were the classics and while the compilation seemed timeless, times have changed and so has our campus. After recently coming across another school’s article on places to cry, we realized that it has been too long. Despite us not having any trademarks on tears, and considering the original post in question is apparently hardly original, we still felt jealous. In fact, we felt like we wanted to cry.

It is time to end the drought in your eyes, so here it is: more places where you can cry at Brown.

The construction site in front of Barus and Holley

Because buildings used to be there… and now it’s a pile of rubble that won’t be finished until after you graduate… and life is just changing so fast! Also, if you were an Urban Studies Major, feel free to cry because they legitimately knocked down your house.

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Brown builds a new facility and expects you to not cry in it? Unlikely. Look at these beautiful hard wood floors! *sobs*

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Since it’s freakishly warm outside, treat yourself to crying outside. What to cry about? Your own mortality or maybe the beauty of those cherry blossoms that should definitely not be in bloom right now. Or, because climate change is really depressing and some people don’t believe it’s happening. Continue Reading


Sextion: How to have shower sex in college

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Have you ever tried to have shower sex, but then had the whole situation turn into an absolute disaster? Were you freezing cold because your partner was hogging all of the warm water? Did your mom come home while the two of you were in the shower? Did you fall down and have to get 7 stitches on your left knee? Wait. No. Why would you remember that? That was me.

Anyway, despite this disastrous encounter with shower sex, I still maintain that it is fun. And yet, living on campus, it seems almost unattainable due to a potential lack of privacy, cleanliness, the proper partner, etc. But don’t worry, it is certainly possible to get away with this sneaky, playful, and adventurous sex act on campus. Here’s how:

Step one: Find someone who wants to have sex with you.

Bonus points if they are someone you feel extremely comfortable around. Showering together is intimate, raw, and definitely a little awkward/fumbly/silly the first time you do it with someone, so it’s best to choose a partner who can laugh with you.

Step two: Pick an appropriate shower.

Appropriate showers include:

The single-use, gender-neutral bathrooms that many dorms have. They have showers, and, more importantly, doors that lock (!!!). 

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These showers are as good as it gets for college shower sex in terms of privacy and comfort. Also, you could definitely get pretty sexually imaginative with the benches in them.

Iffy but doable showers include:

Any hallway-style bathroom with multiple shower stalls, such as those in Andrews, Keeney, Miller, Metcalf, Slater, Hope, most of the dorms on Wriston, etc.

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Frosh-cessities: How to avoid getting sick

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There are several facts of life that everyone must accept. For example, death is inevitable and college students can be–and are–gross. From the latter stems a great problem: the epidemic of flus and colds at Brown. For those of you who are specifically avoiding the post hook-up cold, Blog has you covered here. For those of you who refuse to get sick, or those who are refusing to believe you are actually sick, here are a few tips.

1. Get your flu shot.

Health Services will be offering free flu shots for students starting on October 14. They will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday in the lower level of Faunce.

2. Avoid Keeney at all costs.

Keeney is a swarming hub of germs. To be fair, it can’t be blamed. There are a lot of people in tight quarters and soap isn’t always stocked. So, to play it safe, avoid Keeney. Don’t worry if you live there, though! BlogDH has already listed the warmest places to hide. I strongly recommend the mysterious vents in front of Bio-Med.

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If the libraries were pop singers, who would they be?

The age-old question of which dining hall matches up with which rapper has at last been settled. Recently, a new comparison arose in my mind: what about the Brown libraries and pop singers? See below for the final ten pairings. [Ed’s note: We have ten libraries?!]

The Rock = Taylor Swift

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“I’ve got a blank space, baby, and I’ll write an essay in absolute quiet.”

The Rock is always there: dependable, eclectic, the “America’s sweetheart” of libraries. It could only possibly be paired with the adorably inane TSwift. Sure, it’s about as easy to complain that you’re spending way too much time at the Rock as you do listening to Taylor. Yes, after a while it begins to seem like they’re both just the same thing over and over, but stay away from either one and you’ll return to find something new and interesting, whether it’s a bloodthirsty new music video or a shelf entirely filled with strange sexual practices across history. In fact, the Rock might even be a bit more predictable than Swift, since you can generally count on the Rock to not have bangs, and to not suddenly remove all of its songs from Spotify. (Side note: They both, permanently or temporarily, reside in Rhode Island.)

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