Alums Who Do Cool Things: Remy Fernandez-O’Brien ’12

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Bonnaroo is on a mission to find Bonnaroo’s Funkiest Dancer. The winner of this competition will have the opportunity to perform their funky moves live at the music festival. Brown alum Remy Fernandez-O’Brien ’12 has made his way to the top ten contestants. Remy F’s entry shows him rocking out to Robert DeLong’s “Global Concepts.”

According to his contestant description on the contest website, “Remy started dancing when he saw the gecko do the robot in a GEICO commercial. In his life as a performer, he’s been a life-sized puppeteer, a stilt dancer, a clown in a haunted house, and a Michael Jackson impersonator.” Check out Remy’s submission and the all of the top ten contestants’ submissions. Voting closes in two days so be sure to watch Remy, and some other funky dancers, break it down while you get the chance!

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Student Group Spotlight: Brown University Beard Appreciation Society

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Those of you who frequent Morning Mail may have caught the announcements for the Brown University Beard Appreciation Society (BUBAS). Needless to say, we were intrigued by their announcements and wanted to learn more. Past messages have included promises of discussing President Lincoln’s beard to appreciating beards in film. We reached out to Elliot Grossman ’17, the Morning Mail contact, to find out some more details about this club. Here is a Q&A with Elliot telling you everything you need to know about the Brown University Beard Appreciation Society:

BlogDH: So, how did this idea to create a beard appreciation society come about? Who was involved in starting it?

Elliot: One night, the idea to form this club came to mind, so I looked around for bearded people and polled whether or not they would be interested in participating in a beard-related club at Brown. The response was unanimously in favor of creating such a club, so I set to work. I completed the paperwork and requirements of creating the Beard Appreciation Society with help from my co-founder, Mike Petro ’17. He was instrumental in planning what the club would actually do.

BlogDH: And now that you’re a club, what does a typical meeting look like?

Elliot: Meetings take place every other Sunday at 5:00 pm for about 45 minutes to an hour, so we call them “5 o’clock shadow meetings.” We begin by critiquing a famous beard, whether it be historical or contemporary; then we move on to the topic of the day [e.g. beard styles, shaving techniques, beard theory (possible future styles), beard stigma, etc.]; followed by current events that relate to the club; and finally plans for the future of the club, either possible events or in general.

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What to do this week: April 28 – May 2

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Ongoing events:

Event: Phone Banking For Climate Change
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
Location: Urban Environmental Lab

The RI Student Climate Coalition will be phone banking for their Climate Action in Rhode Island Rally this Saturday.

Monday, April 28: 

Event: Israel/Palestine on Campus: A Conversation
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Location: The Underground

A community discussion on the relationship between “American universities, on-campus, activism, and the Israel-Palestine conflict,” Director of Middle East Studies Beshara Doumani and Director of Judaic Studies Maud Mandel will both speak on the topic. There will then be an hour of facilitated discussion.

Event: Kula Flow with Benn Rasmussen
Time: 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Location: Brown RISD Hillel

Benn Rasmussen, a Brooklyn based yoga teacher, will be teaching a Kula Flow style yoga class at Brown RISD Hillel. The class is free and open to the public, but there is a suggested donation of $3.

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Senator Sheldon Whitehouse will be on campus tonight

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One of the awesome things about going to school in a small state like Lil’ Rhody is the unbelievable access we have to our politicians. Tonight, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse will be on campus to speak about his work in Washington, D.C. and the current state of various pieces of national legislation. According to the Brown Dems’ Facebook event, the Senator will also talk about how young people can get involved in politics. The event is hosted by the Brown Dems and will take place at 8 p.m. in Wilson 101. It’s not every day that a Senator comes to our hill to talk about his work on The Hill, so if you’re around, consider checking it out.

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Six things you might not know about “Freeway” Rick Ross

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This past Wednesday, the Political Theory Project, in collaboration with Students for a Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), brought “Freeway” Rick Ross to speak on campus (don’t you dare confuse him with the rapper). In a lecture entitled “Drug Kingpin Turned Reformer,” Ross spoke of his belief that he, and other former drug dealers, must play vital roles in ending the War on Drugs and enacting sensible policies that would target the massive rates of hyper-incarceration and drug recidivism in our country. Ross eloquently echoed messages of education over incarceration, highlighting the importance of giving every individual a chance to grow and develop his or her innermost talents. While these are all messages that seem to fit under the title of this lecture, those in attendance also had the pleasure of learning some interesting facts about the former leader of a massive drug empire:

 1. Rick Ross is helping Nick Cassavetes create a movie based on his life. If you don’t know Nick Cassavetes as the director of The Notebook or Alpha Dog, you probably know him as Dietrich Hassler in Face/Off, Tattoo Joe in The Hangover Part II, or the most notable Adonis Papadapadopounopoulopoulos in Farticus. Apparently Nick Cannon will be playing Ross in the film and, according to this YouTube video, Ross had wanted Cannon to play him “since ’96.” Needless to say, we’re not quite sure what to expect here.

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2. He has a t-shirt line. At his lecture, Ross wore a shirt which said, “The Real Rick Ross is not a Rapper.” He told us that he first started selling his t-shirts out of the trunk of his car and by going from door-to-door trying to sell his product. Check out his shirts here.

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12 Days of Spring Weekend: Ms. Lauryn Hill

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Now that we know our killer Spring Weekend lineup, it is time for BlogDH to give you a crash-course in all things Ms. Lauryn Hill.  While you may have not heard her name since your finer elementary school days, you can be sure that this Saturday night headliner will not disappoint. Prepare yourself for a confident and passionate performer who will elicit a sea of snaps from an inebriated empowered crowd. This creative artist has helped mold the world of hip-hop and we could not be more excited that she is coming to Spring Weekend. (Mis)Educate yourself on the rap, R&B, and hip-hop goddess that is Lauryn Hill:

Singer-songwriter, producer, actress, and all around badass, Lauryn Noelle Hill was born in South Orange, New Jersey in 1975. According to Hill’s MTV bio, she grew up listening to her parents’ “multi-genre, multi-generational record collection,” which fueled her passion for music. Even from a young age, Hill was apparently a natural performer and occupied the stage of Harlem’s noteworthy Apollo Theater at the age of 13. Some other famous artists who got their start at the Apollo theater include Billie Holiday,  James BrownThe Supremes, ,Marvin Gaye,  Stevie WonderAretha Franklin, and Mariah Carey. Hill also made an appearance in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit and gave her some greater recognition for her musical talents.

In high school, Hill met Wyclef Jean’s cousin Prakazrel (Pras) Michel. Pras asked her to join his band called The Tranzlator Crew, which later became The Refugee Camp, which developed into the Fugees, playing on a derogatory name often given to Haitian-Americans. The Fugees got a record deal with Ruffhouse Records and recorded two albums. Their album The Score, released in February 1996, contained their hit-single, “Killing Me Softly” and went multi-platinum.To this day, The Score is one of the best selling hip-hop albums of all time.

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