PSA: Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 classes are up on Banner

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 3.41.36 AMWith all of the hype surrounding the announcement of BCA’s SW 15 lineup, some pretty exciting news slipped by: all classes for next year are up on Banner. Don’t panic, though, you have plenty of time between now and April 14th, the beginning of pre-registration, to figure out your cart. Freshmen need to get their advising PIN at some point between March 30th and April 10th in order to have a smooth and successful pre-registration; sophomores have the more intimidating task of declaring their concentration before April 1st in order to be able to pre-register.

Since our minds are already on vacation, there’s no need to sweat it before spring break [Ed’s note: Unless you are a sophomore who has no idea what you’re going to declare and has told no one about it — then maybe contact your advisor ASAP!]. Freshmen and sophomores, just keep your potential concentration requirements in mind and you’ll be good. Juniors, start planning the rest of your time at Brown. Soon the days of constant streams of midterms, Providence weather, and summer planning will be long gone, and we’ll be looking for a little fix of Brown.

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What we’re reading

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On Saturday, the world celebrated Pi Day. This year’s celebration, on 3/14/15, was particularly special because even the year corresponded with the first digits of pi: 3.1415. But what does it all mean? The New Yorker essay, “To Pi and Beyond,” attempts to demystify the infinite nature of pi and explores some new discoveries concerning the recurrence of prime numbers.

In Egypt, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is planning on building a new capital city from scratch. The Atlantic reports that the estimated $45 billion plan will be carried out by Capital City Partners, a Dubai-based private investment fund, which constructed Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. Cairo has been the capital of Egypt for over 1000 years. The proposed new capital is leaving people wondering what the future will bring.

The New Yorker‘s “Richer and Poorer: Accounting for Inequality” gives us an in-depth analysis of income inequality in the United States. Jill Lepore previews and reviews upcoming and recent literature discussing American history in terms of inequality.

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What we’re reading

On Saturday, President Obama spoke in Selma, Alabama to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” a day in which Alabama State Troopers attacked over 600 non-violent protesters marching for voting rights. Obama spoke of the progress that the United States has achieved in race relations since Selma, also emphasizing how far the nation still has to go, citing the Justice Department’s recent report on Ferguson. The Atlantic‘s report entitled “The Gangsters of Ferguson” breaks down the findings, mainly that the City’s policing focuses on revenue, which discriminates against African Americans and further increases racial disparity. Obama expressed hope, however, in the youth of America today, saying:

You are America. Unconstrained by habits and convention. Unencumbered by what is, and ready to seize what ought to be. For everywhere in this country, there are first steps to be taken, and a new ground to cover, and bridges to be crossed. And it is you, the young and fearless at heart, the most diverse and educated generation in our history, who the nation is waiting to follow.

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What we’re reading

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One of the most hard-hitting questions of our time has now been answered: “Why Is The Dollar Sign A Letter S?”

The New Republic’s “Labor Pains” discusses the disproportionately negative effect outdated maternity leave policies have on women in the job market. Most shocking is a chart outlining the amount of time guaranteed for maternity leave and the percentage of salary compensation during maternity leave by country. The U.S. doesn’t fare too well…

President Obama sparked debate with his comments at the National Prayer Breakfast on the historical role of religion in justifying conflict. Ralph Peters wrote “Jihadis 14, Crusaders 2” for the National Review Online criticizing Obama for his comments and suggesting that everybody “try reading a book or two on the subject.” The Atlantic published “The Foolish, Historically Illiterate, Incredible Response to Obama’s Prayer Breakfast Speech,” a response to Peters which hits close to home on the topic.

Looking to get your SNL fix? Check out Gotham‘s interviews with the current cast of the 40th season of the show.

And if you think same-sex marriage is only the beginning of the gay rights movement, you’re definitely in agreement with Frank Bruni, the Times columnist responsible for “Do Gays Unsettle You?” The article is a look at whether or not cultural mores are keeping up with the rapid pace of same-sex marriage legalization.

Finally, if your summer job search isn’t going so hot, consider going into sports betting–it seems to be working out pretty well for Billy Walters. “A Life On The Line” goes in-depth into the life of perhaps one of the most famous and controversial sports bettors to ever live.

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We sat down with American Politics Professor Wendy Schiller to discuss House of Cards

Recently, we interviewed Wendy Schiller, Professor of Political Science, to discuss the latest season of Politics 101 House of Cards. Her Introduction to the American Political Process and The American Presidency courses are favorites among the student body, and she has numerous years of experience working in Washington D.C. with real Frank Underwoods, Doug Stampers, and Jackie Sharps. She first started watching the show after her students raved about it in her various classes. After some Spring Break bingeing, she was ready for the interview. Her wealth of knowledge made for an enlightening and slightly terrifying interview.

Be forewarned: SPOILERS LIE AHEAD. If you haven’t finished the second season, well, I don’t know what you’ve been doing with your life. But also avoid the following interview if you are as emotionally invested in the show as most of its viewers. Without further ado, BlogDailyHerald presents to you an exclusive interview with the one, the only, Wendy Schiller:

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12 Days of Spring Weekend: Cloud Nothings

Hailing from good ol’ Cleveland, Ohio, Cloud Nothings are an up-and-coming indie-rock band founded by singer Dylan Baldi. In 2009, Baldi enrolled at Case Western Reserve University. During his first semester, he went home on the weekends to produce music, single-handedly recording his own vocals and instruments. Baldi used his homemade music to make different bands on Myspace (yeah, old school) and see which got traction. From there, Cloud Nothings was created.

Later that year, Baldi’s music was picked up by Bridgetown Records, and the first EP, Turning On, was released. Due to the success of the EP, Baldi was invited to perform in New York City, but was advised to find a band for the performance. In came drummer Jayson Gerycz and bassist TJ Duke. Their performance was such a success that Baldi dropped out of college, informing his parents through a seven-page email. (Now that is dedication.)

Their fourth studio album, Here and Nowhere Else, was a success right from its release. Pitchfork gave it an 8.7/10 rating and the title of Best New Music. NPR Music described the album in saying, “[It] threads the needle just right, tightening and brightening Cloud Nothing’s sound in ways that never numb its blistering, careening forcefulness.” Top hits from the album include “I’m Not Part of Me,” “Now Hear In,” “Psychic Trauma,” and “Pattern Walks.”

Check out their music before you head to the Main Green at 3 p.m. today!