What we’re reading

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This past week, President Obama addressed the buzz about the Ebola virus in his weekly address entitled “What You Need to Know about Ebola” by saying that, “we can’t give in to hysteria or fear.” In the past few weeks, we’ve heard arguments for travel bans and other actions seeking to curb the spread of this virus to the United States. In Nate Silver’s “Why An Ebola Flight Ban Wouldn’t Work,” he maps out what a flight ban to West Africa would look like and why it would be ineffective.

On the topic of public health, have you ever thought about public wifi being a public health hazard? According to Mauritis Martijn, we might want to be more cautious when using a public Wi-Fi server. If you’re curious how a hacker can learn intimate details about strangers using public wifi or, like us, are terrified by the prospect of having some stranger looking at the last five things you googled, give “What we give away when we log on to a public Wi-Fi network” a read.

Another way to take care of yourself is to learn some serious hangover cures from some of the most famous heavy drinkers. Did you know that Zelda Fitzgerald’s hangover cure was to go for a morning swim? Or that Brenda Frazier would take a bottle of Coca-Cola, shake it, and then mix it with cold milk?

In education, two particular articles generated a great deal of discussion this week. The first being David Edwards’ “American Schools Are Training Kids for A World That Doesn’t Exist” which discusses what Edwards feels must change in our education system. He argues that we will have to shift from teaching students to “learn and then do” to a different framework that stresses discovery and adapting to an ever-changing world.

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Providence Coffee Shop Round-Up

Fall break is almost upon us. For those of us staying in Providence for the long weekend, this downtime is ideal for exploring new places in the area. While Blue State will always be near and dear to our hearts, it’s time to get off the Hill and see where else you can get a coffee buzz. See below for some of the best places in Providence to enjoy some down time and get your caffeine fix.

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White Electric Coffee

White Electric Coffee is a bagel-eating and coffee-drinking hipster’s haven. Located on Westminster street, White Electric’s menu includes a variety of breakfast and lunch items, including an impressive list of alternative bagel toppings that range from Laughing Cow cheese, to Tofutti cream cheese, to Nutella. The coffee is claimed to be “some of the best in Providence,” oh, and they make their own coffee stout.

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Sans Meal Plan: 50 Shades of Smoothie

For this round of Sans Meal Plan, we decided to take a more alternative route and make a variety of smoothies. You could even say we made a four-course smoothie meal. These can be enjoyed for breakfast, as a snack, for dessert, or really at any moment that you’re craving silky frozen goodness and feeling blender-happy.

While we’d love to report that all four smoothies turned out spectacularly, we’re in the business of honesty. That being said, we’ll admit that one was pretty *controversial*. We will leave it to you to try them all for yourself and let us know what you think!

1) The Green Smoothie

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This is a classic and is so, so easy to make. The addition of kale in any smoothie makes it automatically nutritious (and #trendy). Even your skeptical friends will find it delicious – honestly, you can’t even taste the healthy!

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 frozen banana (peeled and chopped beforehand)
  • 1 cup of kale or spinach
  • A generous splash of almond milk (for a thicker consistency, add less; for a thinner consistency, add more)
  • A spoonful of nut butter (we chose almond)
  • 1 date, if you prefer a sweeter smoothie

Combine all ingredients and blend. How is easy is that?! That’s why we <33 smoothies.

We messed up so you don’t have to: We started strong and didn’t actually mess this one up. It was delish. You can also add ½ an avocado for a creamier texture and more filling breakfast, or frozen blueberries if you prefer a more tart smoothie. Be warned, though, that the latter addition will result in a scary purply-black color.

2) The Creamy Pineapple Berry Smoothie (from Roxy’s Kitchen)

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We decided to try this smoothie a) because it sounded yummy and b) because it looked so freaking pretty on the food blog. Unfortunately, we were not ambitious enough to make the smoothie exactly as our good friend Roxy instructed us to (no, we don’t know her), but it was still quite refreshing and definitely worth a try.

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Kendrick Lamar drops a new single and we’re digging it

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As much as we’ve loved listening to songs from “good kid, m.A.A.d city,” using our Brown/Kendrick translation guide, and playing “Swimming Pools Mad Libs,”  it’s almost time to add some more Kendrick into our repertoire. Earlier today, Kendrick Lamar released his highly anticipated single “i,” which will be featured on his next LP (release date unannounced).

The single starts off with a man passionately exclaiming “he [Kendrick] is not a rapper, he’s a writer, he’s an author” and “if you read between the lines” of this song, “we’ll learn how to love one another.” The man closes by saying that we cannot accomplish this state of love “without loving yourself first.” At the end of the speech, the song abruptly transitions into a sample of The Isley Brothers’ 1973 hit “That Lady,” (read: that song from the Swiffer commercial). This is Lamar’s first solo single in almost two years, and it’s fair to say it’s a refreshingly new sound for Kendrick. Did we mention that the song is four minutes and twenty seconds long?

Dangeroo Kipawaa, CEO of Lamar’s record label Top Dawg Ent, tweeted:

 

If this song is for all men phes, prepare to start blasting this song on your walk to class, at the gym, or while you’re cranking out that paper so that you can celebrate your nearing Brown 250+ weekend right.

Also #tbt to that time that Kendrick Lamar came to Brown on April 20th, 2013. Remember??

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Live Blog: Student Panel on Palestine and Israel

 

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Note: The student panelists participating in this event asked that their names be withheld from this post. The following live blog will not include any names, but we have assigned a number to each panelist to make the discourse a little easier to follow. 

 

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Things We’ve Seen at A Better World By Design

A Better World by Design has taken campus by storm this weekend. We decided to experience it for ourselves!

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Thoughts on our morning panel…

We started our morning at a panel entitled “Youth Democracy and Design,” moderated by Jen Hetzel Silbert, the founder and curator of Learning 401, an educational non-profit in Rhode Island.

The panel featured Yesica Guerra, director of Crónicas de Héroes/Hero Reports, Sam Gilman ‘15 co-founder of Common Sense Action, and Sam Chaltain, a national educator and organizational change consultant. While the panelists took a few moments each to talk about the work that they had done in their respective fields to design solutions that provide a better platform for youth voice, participants spent the majority of the session asking questions, suggesting potential areas for intervention, and collaborating with one another to brainstorm.

One of the most interesting take-aways was the idea of understanding the delicate balance between individual freedom and group structure within the school system and how this balance can be deeply impacted by the tension that democracy and capitalism create in our public schools.

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So about those bubbles…

The multi-colored bubbles popping up around campus are the brainchildren of a RISD art collaborative named Pneuhaus, which began as a thesis project for 2014 RISD graduates Matthew Muller and August Lehrecke. Over the summer, they added Hunter Blackwell (RISD ‘14, glass) and Levi Bedall (Ohio State University, Architecture, ‘14).

Their mission, according to their website, is “focused around designing objects and spaces that require an active participation from their audience,” and their latest installation is no exception.

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