A Cool Thing You Shouldn’t Miss: TEDxProvidence

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Feeling bored and uninspired by all that reading you put off until now? Or don’t know what to do with yourself other than obnoxiously brag to your worn-out friends about how early you’ve finished finals?

Whichever category you fall under, you should take advantage of the annual TEDxProvidence conference from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the RISD Auditorium this Saturday, May 11.

While Brown held its own TEDx event this past semester, the Providence conference boasts an impressive list of speakers with ties to the area, including Rhode Island state poet and Brown professor Rick Benjamin; Umberto Crenca, the founder of AS220; and Cassandra Lin, an RI high school student whose U.N.-recognized nonprofit works to convert kitchen grease to fuel and has offset over 2 million pounds of carbon emissions. Not that what you’ve been doing with your time isn’t important or anything. Continue Reading


WTF is happening on the Main Green? Students protesting Adidas labor practices

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Late this morning, students lay head to toe across the Main Green as part of Brown’s leg of the national movement to divest from sporting goods giant Adidas due to unfair labor practices. Otherwise known as “badidas” (get it?), this national movement, which has successfully led to divestment from Adidas at Oberlin and Cornell (with several more having agreed to cut contracts), was formed in response to Adidas’ refusal to pay $1.8 million in severance owed to workers in Indonesia, among other offenses.

According to the Brown Student Labor Alliance website, though University administrators have addressed Adidas about its violations of the University’s vendor code of conduct, Adidas has not made any changes, and no definitive action has been made to cut Brown’s contract.

Decked out in workout gear, students held up signs reading slogans protesting Adidas’ practices, and encouraging the University to take action and terminate its contract with the company. And while most students might have other things on their mind in this week of weeks, you can learn more about “Brown Cut Adidas” and take a look at its petition here.


“Romeo and Juliet” lays a fair scene

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If you went to high school in an English-speaking country, chances are you were forced to read  “Romeo and Juliet” at one point or another. If you haven’t read it, you’re at least somewhat familiar with one of the many great stage and screen adaptations of the play. Regardless of your previous exposure to Shakespeare’s work, you should make it to the Downspace this weekend to see PW’s production of “Romeo and Juliet.”

With a strong ensemble cast, and some interesting interpretations and directorial choices (for instance, turning ballroom scene into a pseudo-Renaissance rave with some comically raunchy dancing, a pretty homoerotic rendition of Mercutio and Benvolio’s relationship, and a mix of modern formal and punk costuming), “Romeo and Juliet” makes the difficult Shakespearean language come together in a relatable way and successfully tells the story of two young people in love under unfortunate circumstances. The earnestness, energy, and relatability of the performances, injected with humor at the right moments, makes the play both accessible and enjoyable.

The show begins with plumes of smoke covering the stage as Mercutio (Kerry Hall ’13) steps out and delivers the opening lines of the play’s prologue. The rest of the cast gradually joins him on stage, each beginning the prologue themselves as they enter. Their voices come together to form an entrancing, loud mesh that propels the play into action.

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WTF is happening by the Main Green? Students decorating statues for Divest Coal

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Wondering why every sort of statue in the general vicinity of the Main Green from Bruno the Bear to the creepy, hand-holding statues (a.k.a. “Circle Dance”) on the Waterman Street lawn were covered in party hats and cardboard signs today?

This random act was the latest public demonstration by Brown Divest Coal. To celebrate the fact that the university’s advisory committee has formally recommended that Brown divest from the U.S.’s 15 largest coal companies, members of BDC decorated statues across campus with slogans encouraging members of the corporation to vote yes to divestment at the corporation’s next meeting in May.

BDC may very well have reason to celebrate: to date, the corporation has always taken the advisory committee’s recommendations on divestment. If the corporation follows suit on this issue, whatever guerrilla artistic insanity Brown Divest Coal does to celebrate will probably be worth seeing.

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Make me a smoothie: A quest for the perfect Ivy Room smoothie formula

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Almost a year ago, as excited as I was to become a Brown student, I had resigned myself to the fact that both the food and housing here could be a little better.

Coming in with lower than low expectations, I was pleasantly surprised during my first trip to the Ivy Room, where the pretty decent food is complemented by a full-service(ish) smoothie bar. But just as it was intimidating to navigate the open curriculum for myself, I found my autonomy in smoothie options overwhelming—how was I to know how guava juice or peach would affect the taste of my smoothie? Like anyone else, I just wanted to find a combo that worked and stick with it.

So, all in the name of my demonic food lust  love of investigative journalism, I decided to set out in search of the formula for the perfect Ivy Room smoothie. But, given the endless number of combinations, I knew I would never get there by myself.  So I decided to ask the people who know the ways of the smoothie best, the BuDS staff.

For five consecutive nights, I went to the Ivy Room and gave the person behind the counter the ultimate “that guy” request to make me his/her favorite smoothie. Check out what I found after the jump. Continue Reading