Useless Rankings: Brown tops BuzzFeed’s “Sexiest, Smartest Colleges” list

Yes, BuzzFeed went there and we emerged victorious. Click to enlarge.

Yes, BuzzFeed went there and we emerged victorious. Click to enlarge.

Think you’re sexy, cute and fucking smart to boot? BuzzFeed has now confirmed your hubris. According to an index derived from useless rankings from Forbes and DateMySchool, Brown is the Sexiest, Smartest College in the United States of America. With 5th place hotness and 19th place academics, Brown crowded out several other Ivies (including Harvard and Princeton) and the notoriously sexy-smart (?) Carnegie Mellon for the top spot. Take a stomp around the Main Green and breathe in the sultry intelligence that is the Brown student body. Raise your eyes from your computer in the AQR and check out the nubile nerds that populate its silent space. And tonight while you’re making love to a stunning coed, recite some of Plato’s Symposium for good measure.

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Netflix to part with Viacom, 90s kids shudder


Netflix, a platform with which we are intimately acquainted, has a way of messing with the hearts and minds of its customers. Qwikster was a debacle and the recent Cartoon Network additions are a win, but a couple days ago the streaming giant slipped a veritable atom bomb into a letter to its investors. No, they didn’t decide to push Arrested‘s release date (or the streets might be running Netflix red with cancelled subscriptions). Instead, the ‘Flix opted to break hearts by not renewing its contract with media giant Viacom’s television networks, which is set to expire next month. This means goodbye to countless shows from MTV, Comedy Central and…gasp…Nickelodeon. BlogDailyHerald loves Nicktoons and it is almost unfathomable that we won’t be able to watch boatloads of Spongebob, Ren & Stimpy and Hey Arnold! as we procrastinate studying for exams. Guess we’re gonna have to settle for Jake the Dog and Finn the Human…not that there’s anything wrong with that.

It’s 4/20 tomorrow, but don’t expect a spark on stage

Despite a lead single about “women, weed and weather,” Kendrick Lamar will likely not spark a blunt when the clock strikes high during Saturday’s concert. See, way back when Lamar was Kendrick Duckworth he unintentionally smoked a joint laced with PCP (hence M.A.A.D aka “My Angel’s on Angel Dust”). For anybody who has seen Training Day, you can imagine what a profoundly unpleasant surprise that must have been. Though a point of debate on the kanyetothe forum (check it out if you like forum beef), Kendrick’s weedless lifestyle is a confirmed fact. While many rap artists swear by the chronic, Lamar insists that “it was never a dependent for [him]” and that he no longer bothers with it. So hold your joint high at 4:20 p.m. tomorrow, just don’t be discouraged when Lamar fails to join the festivities. The true letdown, however, is that Dr. Dre’s claim that he “pass the blunt then pass the torch” to K.Dot is really just speech in the rap vernacular and not an account of any actual blunt-torch passing.

hey at least he's not wearing that ridiculous fedora in this one

Spring Weekend Artist Profile: A-Trak

hey at least he's not wearing that ridiculous fedora in this one

A list of Alain Macklovitch’s countless achievements as a DJ, producer, performer and entrepreneur would make for a pretty substantial profile—but Liam has already noted many of these in his great piece “Why A-Trak is the best choice for Spring Weekend’s electronic musician.” So curricula vitae aside, what is A-Trak going to bring to the table (besides perhaps the most suitable dance track for describing what far too many students will be doing on Friday, April 19)? A great goddamn DJ set. That’s what. Although I’ve left my EDM obsession in 2010, A-Trak’s surprise set at Ed Banger’s 7th Anniversary remains one of my top concert memories. Mixing turntable prowess (prowess might even be an understatement) with a deep knowledge of all genres of dance music, A-Trak provides a unique experience that’s impressive to diehards and dilettantes. Familiarize yourself with some of his production work and treat yourself to an exemplary set after the jump. Continue Reading

Professors who do cool things: Seth Rockman

While Gordon Wood (the subject of this squabble) and our beloved Michael Vorenberg continue to hold it down in Peter Green, a trendsetter has emerged from the History Department’s Sharpe House. According to a recent article in the New York Times, capitalism has become the fashionable topic for historians across the country and Brown’s own Seth Rockman is part of the vanguard. Professor Rockman, an early Americanist, has focused his research on slavery and the elaborate economic machinery that kept the peculiar institution running—incredibly interesting for history nerds, but not quite exciting for the student masses.

In a textbook case of historical contingency, however, Rockman noticed that emphasizing a trendy topic such as capitalism in his course might attract more students from other disciplines to his lectures. Subsequently, as the Times notes, Rockman’s course enrollments jumped up when he changed its title from “Capitalism, Slavery and the Economy of Early America” to “History of Capitalism.” Naturally, the lure of big ideas and power relation exploration—the opiates of undergraduate study—attracted students in droves. Capitalism, additionally, will provide the organizing theme for his introductory U.S. survey class next fall. With a couple of books in the works (including one entitled Slavery’s Capitalism: A New History of American Economic Development), there is little doubt that Rockman will remain a key player in this emergent wave of capitalist historians. And long as there are new hegemonic relationships to “explode,” Brown students will be along for the ride.

Lessons in the ‘Girls’ Lexicon: Finale


Syd: Well, here we are, at the end of what I consider to be one of the most unpredictable and emotionally confusing seasons of TV in my long career as a television viewer. I would absolutely love to have a face-to-face meeting with Dunham to try to figure out what the hell is going on inside of her head, but unfortunately I’m neither nearly well-connected nor cool enough. So, in place of real facts, I’ll give you my opinion (you lucky dogs!).  Season 2 didn’t necessarily suck, rather it was a huge and surprising departure from Season 1. Dunham moved away from somewhat fluffy, inoffensive “white girl problems” (i.e. Shoshanna’s virginity, Hannah being cut off from her parents, Jessa’s sexual dalliances, and Marnie’s struggle to cope with a lackluster boyfriend) and decided to use Season 2 to tackle some really complex issues. We witnessed parental abandonment, drug abuse, sexual assault, and really scary case of OCD.  Needless to say, it was a difficult season to watch—not because it was bad, but because I expected one kind of show and received something completely different. While I could use up this space to shit on all the things that went wrong in Girls Season 2, I’ve instead decided to have a discussion with Blog writer and fellow Girls enthusiast Sam Levison.

Sam: Girls‘ third episode, “All Adventurous Women Do,” concluded with a rather endearing scene. Hannah Horvath, having fully established herself as lovably awkward and aimless by this point, is listening (or jamming out, rather) to Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own.” Marnie comes home from work, giggles in the doorway and joins her in the bedroom disco. Hannah’s no longer dancing on her own—GET IT!? If Girls continued to rest solely on such “relatable” contrivances it might have made for some fleeting fun—but real life isn’t always a bad day and a rejuvenating dance party. Season 2 has expressed this notion in all its dark, cringeworthy truth. For lack of a better metaphor, one might view it as a Funny People for Season 1’s The Forty Year-Old Virgin. Here on Blog, there’s been a tendency to lament the show’s changes. I’d respectfully disagree and argue that this season, while ostensibly less funny, is a triumph (I’ll elaborate on this below).  Sure Season 2 is difficult at times, but so is life.

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