What we’re reading

unnamed4This year marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta–perhaps simultaneously one of the most cited and most often forgotten documents in legal history. The New Yorker‘s “The Rule of History” examines the document’s relevance throughout history and its lasting legacy in Western society, particularly the United States.

As China continues to urbanize and works towards its goal of having 60 percent of the country’s population living in urban centers by 2020, many citizens have been fighting to maintain their old way of life. The Atlantic‘s photo essay, “And Then There Was One,” documents several cases of “nail houses,” buildings whose owners have resisted selling their land to the government. The pictures show lone houses standing in the middle of construction sites, a phenomenon that can be seen all across the country.

Netflix has had one hell of a year so far, having just launched Daredevil, its 17th original series of 2015 (!). The company plans to air over 320 hours of original material in 2015–a threefold increase from last year. The New York Times explored the future of the company and the changing nature of television programming with Reed Hastings, Netflix’s chief executive.

With the recent leak of the first four episodes of the latest season of Game of Thrones, many fans are wondering what the show would be like if it were released all at once a la Netflix. Though this doesn’t seem likely anytime soon, we can read about one phe’s quest to watch seasons one through four in one sitting. Vice News’ Allie Conti goes through all of the ups and downs, one episode at a time.  Continue Reading


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(Pre-Frosh) What to do this week: ADOCH 2015

Admitted students from the Class of 2019 will descend on College Hill this week, from Tuesday, April 21 to Thursday, April 23 for ADOCH 2015. If you are one of them, here’s what you should do this week:

3Tuesday, April 21

Event: Brown Welcomes the Class of 2019
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.
Location: Main Green Tent

President Christina Paxson and Dean of Admission James Miller ’73 welcome members of the Class of 2019 to College Hill.

Event: Speed Friending
Time: 11:00 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Location: Alumnae Hall

Like speed dating, but platonic (?). Meet other students visiting for ADOCH and current Brown students.

Event: Arch Sings
Time: 11:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Location: Wayland Arch and Morris-Champlin Arch

#socollege. Enjoy performances by Brown’s a cappella groups. The IGCAC (Intergalactic Community of A Cappella) performs in group Arch Sings during fall orientation and ADOCH in the spring.

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What to do this week: April 20 – April 26

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Monday, April 20:

Event: The Undeground Coffee Shop opening party
Time: 7 – 10:00 p.m.
Location: The Undeground

The new student-run non-profit coffee shop will be celebrating its grand opening tonight with food, live music, and of course, caffeine.

Thursday, April 23

Event: Borges y Yo: Maria Kodama discusses her life with Jorge Luis Borges
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Pembroke Hall 3rd Floor

María Kodama will be here to talk about life with, and the works of, her late husband, literary master, Jorge Luis Borges. The lecture will be conducted in Spanish.

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Brown, meet the Underground Coffee Shop

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The Underground, that space directly under the Blue Room whose name you might have forgotten, has a storied history. Evidence of its past as a key player in Brown social life is on display today. Take the bar on the room’s wall: do you think that was just for show? Nope. Back in the Wild West days of legal drinking for all those 18 years of age and older, there was a genuine bar down there. Indeed, the Underground might be worthy of its own Ra Ra Brunonia post. It has been the host of everything from Funk Nites to IFF screenplay reads, with a few desperate last-minute study breaks in between.

On Monday, however, the Underground will take on a new role. Just in time to revive Brunonia from a crippling post-Spring Weekend group hangover, a group of students will be launching a coffee shop that has been months in the making. Katie Murphy ’16, Yousef Hilmy ’16, and Viktor Gavrielov ’15 have been working with SAO, the Blue Room, and even President Paxson to radically reimagine the space.

The grand opening is on Monday at 9 a.m., and they’ll be serving until 2 p.m. Though Opening Day will only be 5 hours long, Hilmy promises they will eventually be open for “long hours.” If you can’t make it to the Underground before the early closing, don’t fret, because there will be an opening party from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. that night. You can find more information about the Underground Coffee Shop on their (freakishly popular) Facebook page here.

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This week is Earth Week!

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Spring is finally in the air–the sun’s out, the Main Green is actually green, and people are talking about the great weather we’ve been having instead of living in perpetual fear of more snow. Basically, it’s time to get outside and celebrate the wonderful planet we inhabit.

In that spirit, Brown’s annual Earth Week is happening from April 20th to April 26th. The week is jam-packed with a ton of fun and exciting events, so make sure to check them out! The full schedule for the week is below:

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There are so many events happening that everyone (even you!) has an opportunity to take some time to give back to our planet. And, of course, outside of the events, this week provides the perfect backdrop for taking the initiative to be more eco-friendly. Whether it’s going on the Blackstone Bike Ride, taking a shorter shower, or going to the Earth Day Dinner, join campus by getting in the green spirit and celebrating Earth Week 2015!

Images via Paul Wojtal.


Stop thinking and go watch Furious 7

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Yes. That is a car flying between two buildings.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead!

On a superficial level, it’s fair to call the The Fast and the Furious franchise just another action movie franchise. Indeed, it has grossed over $3 billion at the box office, and the several sequels have ridiculous, incongruous titles (why did they go from Fast Five to Fast & Furious 6 to Furious 7??). The latest installment, Furious 7, has made a record breaking $801 million since it’s release just two short weeks ago. So if ticket sales and sheer longevity are good indicators, The Fast & Furious franchise is certainly a hit.

But there’s more to these films than just the mindless explosions; indeed, at their heart, these are street racing films, centered around unadulterated vehicular chaos. Furious 7 continues in this vein, with a new slew of cars that range in quality from American muscle to Japanese agility to… I guess we can call it a tank.

The film opens up with a nostalgic nod to The Fast and the Furious‘s “Race Wars,” which seems to be the Burning Man of quarter-mile races. Positioned in the middle of the desert, it’s almost exactly what it sounds like. There are women in bikinis, men with too many tattoos, and, of course, a diverse and jaw-dropping ensemble of gorgeous cars. And Iggy Azealea, because this is actually the type of place she would hang out.

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