What we’re reading


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The New Republic’s “Labor Pains” discusses the disproportionately negative effect outdated maternity leave policies have on women in the job market.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!

5 things I learned from WORD! and Ramya Ramana


A few weeks ago, WORD!, a slam poetry group founded to provide an open forum for oppressed voices, invited the 2014 Youth Poet Laureate Ramya Ramana to come to Brown. What ensued was a series of amazing performances by Brown students, followed by Ramya performing a few of her poems. Ramya, 18, is the winner of the New York Knicks Poetry Slam, a student at St. John’s University, and an activist for equality. She has been traveling the five boroughs of New York to engage with her peers and emphasize the importance of civic engagement. She is an extremely accomplished, yet humble person who not only moved the crowd with her work, but was also moved by the poems of Brown students. Basically, she’s awesome. The performances were enlightening to say the least. Here are the five things I learned from WORD! and Ramya:

1. Nothing is off limits. The poets explored a vast range of topics in their performances.  The ten female Brown poets discussed deeply personal issues, societal problems, and comedic situations. Poems about the destruction of one’s hometown in a foreign land were followed  by poems of tantalizing love. A performance about the oppression of women in Indian society was followed by a tragicomic poem about regret. Poems of racism were followed by poems describing the vulnerability fostered by living in oppressive environments. The depth and breadth of topics covered was refreshing. It gave every audience member a lot to ponder as they wandered off to their Friday evenings.

2. Don’t be nice. Before each performance, poets would stand center stage, taking in one last breath before sharing their thoughts with a crowd full of strangers. Before they would start, audience members and fellow WORD! poets would yell “Don’t be nice!” This event was truly a safe space in which individuals were encouraged to ruthlessly analyze, criticize, and engage with their topic of choice. They shouldn’t let the fear of insulting or offending others stop them from truly expressing themselves. The sentiment behind these words was not controversial, but genuine. As long as poets spoke from their hearts, their messages would be well-received. It was a call to be honest. It is this honesty that made the poems so powerful. I learned that open communication does wonders for conveying a difficult message and for hopefully creating progress.

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(Campus)Lifehacker: Wireless printing to PAWPrints

Long gone are the days of waiting in line to use the printing station in Faunce. Apparently, we’ve been able to print wirelessly to PAWPrints all along. All it takes is a download or two, tweaking your system preferences, and, voilà, wireless printing is a go. Check out the high production value videos (see below) and written instructions to find out the full details. Now, every printing excursion can be stress free, that is, unless the printer’s broken…

Overheard at Brown: House of Cards edition


Ladies and gentlemen, the time is upon us to indulge in another season of the political behemoth that is House of Cards. Before embarking on your Valentine’s Day binge, prepare yourself for yet another round of chilling quotes. The first season was chock full of ‘em. To recap (in a spoiler-free way), I’ve decided to give some of the most memorable quotes a more Brown-centric context. BlogDH presents to you Overheard at Brown: House of Cards Edition:

  1. “I love that woman. I love her more than sharks love blood.” Most frequently heard after students interact with Gail. Hiiiiii!!!
  2. “I feel like I met the ‘real you’ for the first time right now.” Most common sentence said during the FYS “Who Am I?”
  3. “There is no better way to over power a trickle of doubt than a flood of naked truth.” Uttered by Julian Assange supporters in the Blue Room. Continue Reading