12 Days of Flogmas, Day Two: Cold weather behaviour

unnamedUnfortunately, December 1st has come and gone, which means two things: 1) the semester is ending soon, and everyone is entering finals mode, and 2) winter is coming winter has officially begun.

To be clear, winter weather has been present for some time, but now calendar-wise there’s no space to claim it’s still ‘fall’ and go about wearing shorts. There’s something about college— the lack of mothers around, probably—that makes people think it’s okay to wear flip-flops in 30 degree weather. It’s not. And we’re going to call you out on it (and other things that are no longer acceptable now that the temperature has dropped.) Here’s a FlogDailyHerald for all you cold weather fiends:

1. Shorts. Unless you’re going to the gym, are coming back from the gym, or are some sort of yeti, there is no reason to be walking around campus barelegged. (Also, I sort of think it’s not even that okay to wear shorts outside for gym-reasons; just change when you get there…) In the same vein, the female-presenting folk that walk around in shorts/skirts without tights: what are you trying to PROVE? Goosebumps flatter no one.

2. Open-toed shoes/shoes that don’t require socks. We love sandals as much as the next sartorially conscious phe, but spring/summer have come and gone. Let’s close that chapter until March April May. We promise that allowing your toes to bask in sunshine will be much more satisfying when they’re no risk for frostbite. [Insert joke about getting cold feet about your planned outfit here. Ha!]  Continue Reading

Sans Meal Plan: Puerto Rican-style rice and beans

Being off meal plan has really pushed my culinary boundaries. From making my way through the Smitten Kitchen cookbook to exploring the aisles of Trader Joe’s, I’ve tried it all. (Except maybe duck. I haven’t delved into fancy poultry.) However, when I don’t feel adventurous or I’ve had a hard day, there’s always one recipe I can fall back on: Puerto Rican-style rice and beans. It’s easy, it’s filling, and it reminds me of home. I could also eat it for a week straight and not get bored—an ideal recipe for any off meal plan cook.

Not pictured: the huge mess that is my kitchen.

Not pictured: the huge mess that is my kitchen.

What you’ll need:

  • A couple of tablespoons of olive oil
  • Half an onion, minced
  • 1/3 of a red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1/4 tablespoon of Goya seasoning (I use Cilantro y achiote, but any type works because Goya = food of the Gods.)
  • 1/4 tablespoon of oregano (I used thyme in this recipe, because I am a dorm room cook and I grab whatever herb is at arm’s length.)
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons (or 1 large spoonful) of white cooking wine
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of white vinegar
  • A can of Goya red kidney beans, drained
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: Half of a chicken bouillon cube. Because Puerto Rican-style rice and beans are not strictly vegetarian. Oops.

Phew, that was a mouthful. Now, to the recipe!  Continue Reading


Alums who do cool things: Susan Bennett ’71, aka the voice of Siri


Earlier this month, the Internet exploded when Susan Bennett ’71 revealed herself to CNN as the voice of Siri. Even if you don’t have an iPhone, you’ve surely heard of Siri, the always helpful and sometimes sassy iPhone application that answers all of your questions, from logistical to philosophical. Bennett, who works as a voice actress based in Atlanta, GA, was approached by a software company called ScanSoft in 2005 to record her voice for a new product. That product would become Siri, and the rest is history. Bennett took time out of Siri’s her busy schedule to answer our burning questions about Siri, her newfound fame, and how she envisions Siri IRL.

BlogDH: When did you record your voice for Siri, and how long did it take? What was the process like?
Susan Bennett: I did the initial recordings for what became the voice of Siri in July 2005 for a text-to-speech company—four hours a day, five days a week. I read hundreds of sentences specifically created to utilize every sound combination in the English language. I don’t remember them specifically, but some were pretty funny.  In addition to the initial recordings, I did some updates for close to four months in 2011-2012. Continue Reading

Mediocre Mixology: Apple cider sangria

Treat yo'self

TGI fucking F. After a long week, you retire to your apartment and take a deep breath. It’s time to unwind and prepare yourself for the weekend ahead. You open your fridge, and all you see is Wednesday’s leftover Natty. But no, you’re better than that. So you (attempt to) treat yourself to a nice cocktail—after all, isn’t that what real people do on a Friday night? Luckily, your friends at BlogDH are here to demystify the world of (amateur) dorm room/apartment mixology. Behold: cocktails you can make on a low budget with little time and limited resources. 

TGIF: It’s time to make apple cider sangria!

It’s fall, which means it’s time for all apple everything. If you haven’t checked your Facebook  lately, you should know that everybody and their mom has gone apple picking over the past two weeks. But what do you do when there’s still a half of bushel of apples to get through? Drank. Enter the delicious (and easy to make) apple cider sangria.

Things you’ll need:

Continue Reading

Brown Lecture Board opens Speaker Poll (and we want Mindy Kaling)

The Brown Lecture Board opened its Fall Speaker Poll today, overwhelming us with awesome choices like Bill Nye, fresh off a short-lived DWTS tenure, and Guy Fieri, who I guess is still relevant. However, I almost fainted when I opened the link to the poll and saw…

Screen shot 2013-10-04 at 2.51.01 PM

… which means my poll now looks like:

Screen shot 2013-10-04 at 2.38.24 PM

Continue Reading

RomCom Thursday: Love Actually

Screen shot 2013-09-22 at 10.09.07 PM

In our BlogDH staff meeting last Sunday, David pitched that he’d be writing his RomCom Thursday post on Love Actually. The majority of our staff lit up with excitement, but Ana was skeptical, especially after having read David’s piece on When Harry Met Sally last week and vocally disagreeing with his concerns with the rom-com. As Ana expected, David went on to explain that he hated Love Actually. The two decided to duke it out and go head-to-head over Love Actually on the site for your reading pleasure. Enjoy. 

David: Any proper post-2009 discussion of Love Actually must begin by mentioning Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, the American offspring of the UK box office success. These films, though perhaps less beloved, are peers to Love Actually in box office success (actually, V-Day was doubly more successful than the other two). And of course, the American movies ripped their entire structure and premise from Love Actually. But are they all that discernibly worse?

Certainly, I am not qualified to answer the question—I’ve seen neither Valentine’s Day nor New Year’s Eve. But I’m inclined to respond with another question—is it possible they could be that much worse? Because Love Actually is a slog. The Rotten Tomatoes consensus for Valentine’s Day—“Eager to please and stuffed with stars, Valentine’s Day squanders its promise with a frantic, episodic plot and an abundance of rom-com cliches”—could easily swap in “Love Actually” for “Valentine’s Day” and read just as well.

What does Love Actually actually offer that’s special? Continue Reading