Granny’s so metal: Granoff wins architecture awards

Metalmag has joined the New York Times in giving mad props (but sadly no medal) to the Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts. The 38,815-square-foot, three-story art house recently won a 2012 Metalmag Architectural Award in the Metal Buildings category for its overall design and innovative use of metal—in particular, its eye-catching pleated zinc skin.

Quoth a jurist on the starchitecture: “This is not only the best metal building, this is the best entry period […] It creates a new architecture.” And another: “You look at it, you look at it again, and you keep staring at it […] you’re left scratching your head as to how you can possibly do this with metal.”

MetalArchitecture also granted it a 2012 Design Award (Judges Award) this summer, citing the “quiet simplicity to the massing.” Yeah, whatever that means.

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Spotted on the MBTA: The latest crustacean celeb

If you’re getting home after finals by way of the commuter rail anytime soon, keep an eye out for a special rider: a lobster chillin’ in a cooler.

what if lobsters were mobsters?

Calvin (but no Hobbes)

They say a leopard can’t change its spots, but a lobster’s might save its life. Calvin the calico lobster was caught in Maine and discovered by a chef in his Cambridge restaurant‘s tank. (Fun fact: Though now a pricey food, lobster meat was seen only as fertilizer, fish bait, or a mark of poverty until the mid-19th century in North American society.) His shell’s spots got him out of a tight spot. Noticed for his strange coloration, Cal was spared being boiled or steamed alive and thrashing… or after having been placed in the freezer or stabbed between the eyes, or dying in some other more humane way, that is, if the chef had been concerned that he could feel and remember pain. Apparently, calico lobsters, 1 in 30 million, are the second rarest type of lobster in terms of color after white, estimated at 1 in 100 million.

The lucky crustacean is currently in quarantine at the New England Aquarium and somewhat of a celebrity. And you know what, lobsters are actually a lot more interesting than you might think if you’re procrastinating on studying for finals. Indeed, “they are tranquil and serious, and they know the secrets of the sea,” according to French poet Gérard de Nerval, who had a pet lobster named Thibault. Like snails and spiders, they have blue copper-rich blood, can flee backwards at up to 11 mph, and don’t show signs of aging(!). This means that, protected from injury, disease, and capture, Calvin might live to like 100 years once he gets to his new home at the Biomes Marine Biology Center in North Kingstown, Rhode Island where he will be displayed for school field trips and other educational purposes. Road trip, anyone?


I eyed you… responding to an important student need.

As reading period approaches, a word of advice to those kidding themselves trying to avoid new forms of procrastination: Beware the Eyeds of Brown!

The correct grammar is appreciated, really, but why isn't it, "Whom did you eye?"

The latest campus anonymous site Eyed at Brown is truly a sight for sore eyes, or at least for those wishing for a Spotted at Brown replacement. Despite its kind of weird name — seriously, what’s wrong with Seen or Sighted or even Noticed at Brown? — and somewhat creepy eye URL icon, E@B is already  racking up a promising collection of posts, not to mention its comments feature (which for some reason automatically posts your city location), lack of censors, and clean, minimalist design. No search function or polls yet, but hopefully Eyed will be less prone to spamming and hacking, so we can all express ourselves online in peace. Or something.

Happy eying!


I spotted you… taking too long to respond. Is Spotted at Brown gone forever?

I must confess: I was, from its inception during finals period 2009, quite the avid reader [read: compulsive checker] of Spotted at Brown. Even when I kind of hated it, I may have managed to read every post. For the multi-tasker, Spotted was an ideal way to satisfy idle anthropological curiosity concerning casual campus observation procrastinate. Originally inspired by I Saw You Harvard, Spotted at Brown came to be its own, anonymously ranting beast. With its cast of recurring characters, it was at once an online lonely hearts club, a bulletin board, a philosophical forum, a meme generator, an infinite abyss. (It was no BlogDailyHerald, though.) Where else could you go to read about classroom crushes, orgo frustrations, neighborly passive-aggression, Spring Weekend speculation, and Uncle Ned’s exploits?

But one fateful Thursday evening just before spring break, I clicked on the bookmarked link and found that Spotted was down — and, alas, this time for good. Continue Reading


Did you see this? There’s no place like Providence Place Mall

Less-than-ideal housing lottery number got you down? Afraid of getting stuck with summer assignment? No worries, just be a little resourceful and design your own digs like Mike Townsend RISD ’94 did… when he built a secret apartment in the Providence Place Mall parking garage as a getaway back in the noughties.

they should have gone on MTV's Cribs

Home, sweet mall.

For him, PPM Christmas radio ads enthusing about how great it would be to live at the mall really hammered the message home. Taking the idea to heart, Townsend — founder of Providence public art collective Tape Art — and seven of his criminal connections friends created the fully furnished 750-square-foot dwelling, complete with china hutch, cinderblock wall and inconspicuous door. Starting in 2003, they lived in it for up to three weeks at a time, gettin’ cray watching TV on the sofa, playing video games on a PlayStation (which a burglar ended up stealing), and using the mall bathrooms (which surely can’t be worse than the ones in Keeney). A PPM spokesman described it as only “an area with stuff in it,”  but it sounds like he was just jealous of the raddest clubhouse ever. Embracing their hidden lifestyle, the eight squatters later called themselves “the Trummerkind” (German for “children of the ruins”).

The decked-out storage space included a passageway that allowed private access (#mischiefmanaged), which Townsend noticed during mall construction, but the entrance and architectural-anomaly-turned-loft was eventually busted in 2007. Townsend was arrested, charged with trespassing, and exiled from PPM. But man, it was worth it. After getting kicked out, he attracted press attention and turned the four-year clandestine installation into a project “out of a compassion to understand the mall more and life as a shopper” and to explore “what a home means.” Something to keep in mind as you do your ResLife research. Otherwise, there are always the rather spacious Keeney tunnels …


BruKnow-It-All: Bear in Mind — How did Butch Bruno become Brown’s mascot?

Finally, Brown’s most pressing mysteries and “bruin” controversies solved and settled. Ever wondered about the origins of our mascot or the exact physics of the SciLi wind tunnel? Well, dear reader, BruKnow-It-All is here to answer your questions and satisfy your inquiring minds with all the Brunonian trivia, timely campus news explanations, and silly speculations seriously researched investigations with which to impress and/or annoy your friends. Sure, curiosity killed the cat — but who likes cats anyway?

Have you seen CPax’s new paws-worthy scarf? (Weak pun? Bear with me.) It features a sleuth of bears, of course. But why not a parliament of owls or an array of hedgehogs? How did we end up with the largest land-based predator as our beloved, chromatically appropriate, and very alliterative mascot?

Every superhero has an origin story, and Bruno's no exception.

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