BREAKING: New dean of the College selected

10094Today, President Paxson announced that Professor Maud Mandel, the current director of Brown’s Program in Judaic Studies, has accepted the offer to become our next dean of the College. Professor Mandel, who has contributed important scholarly work in history and Judaic studies to Brown since 1997, will assume her new responsibilities on July 1st, 2014.

In her email to the members of the Brown community, Paxson commends Mandel’s commitment to academic advising as well as her contributions to advisory committees on important issues such as “faculty diversity, graduate studies, academic priorities, curriculum, childcare planning, preparations for outside reviews, and many faculty and staff searches.”

BlogDailyHerald would like to take this time to congratulate Professor Mandel on this appointment, and we look forward to seeing all that she will contribute to the Brown community in her new position.

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A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief: BlogDailyHerald, 5 years on

Though it might be hard to believe, the school year has come to an end. The libraries are empty, the Main Green is silent, and the Class of 2014 has marched through the Van Wickle Gates. Congrats to the seniors on your graduation! We’ll miss you dearly, but we know you will be all kinds of successful in life outside College Hill.

The end of the 2013-2014 academic year also marks the conclusion of BlogDailyHerald’s 5th year of production (do we even call it that?). It is sometimes hard to believe how young our web site is, especially given how far we have come in such a short time. The brainchild of some Brown Daily Herald editors back in 2009, Blog has become an organization unlike anything we could have dreamed of.

For the 2011 BDH Commencement magazine, former Blog editors David Winer ’13 and Matt Klimerman ’13 painted a pretty extraordinary picture of what the site’s early days were like. There were no Sunday evening meetings. Blog had “day editors” who handled all of the site’s content for a single day of the week. And edit board meetings? Try “run-ins on the street and in the Ratty.”

That year, Blog’s fearless first leaders revolutionized how the organization works. Our weekly writers’ meeting, daily time-wasters, and current managerial structure all came from these early days. Needless to say, we are all in great debt to the site’s earliest editors.

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Facebook becomes even more awkward with new “Ask” feature

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As of now, “Senior Scrambling” is not a relationship option.

In the prehistoric era of Facebook (circa 2010), many of us learned that we were better off keeping our relationship statuses private. We avoided lots of inadvertently-public break ups that marked the dark ages of early high school, and we also stopped getting ourselves into misleading “civil unions” with our BFFs. One negative aspect of this movement towards internet privacy: obviously, you can no longer tell if your prospects are single or taken. Sure, you could hardcore stalk their pictures and speculate whether the person they were cuddling with on Spring Weekend is in fact their lover, but you can’t be positive. Maybe, for just a second, you have wished that everyone’s relationship status was public again, like the “good old days” or like a traffic light party in the basement of Caswell. Hopefully, you then came to your senses and realized that someone else’s love life is none of your f***ing business.

Facebook, getting its main form of sustenance from things that should be private, has launched a new button next to any hidden personal information called “ask.” The ask button sends a notification to the person you are stalking curious about, notifying them that you have requested to see the answer to this unknown detail. You can send a message along with the request, like: “Hey, I know we haven’t spoken since high school, but I wanted to know where you live.” Because that is not creepy at all.

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When this person of interest receives this notification, they can choose to update this information, either publicly, or by default – only to you. The default option creates a really weird life event in their timeline that only you can see/comment on. The subject of inquiry also has the option to not update their info, and just send a message back, like: “Go to hell you nosy biotch.” Below is a screenshot of the private life event that came to be when I totally platonically asked my fellow staff writer about her relationship status: Continue Reading


PW presents: Bunny Bunny, Gilda Radner: A Sort of Romantic Comedy

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If you love Saturday Night Live, clowns, or faked orgasms, then Bunny Bunny, Gilda Radner is the show for you. Director Jenn Maley ’16 aims to make audience members laugh and cry with a script that pulls you deeper and deeper into an original world of SNL actors and writers. Filled with a cast of gag and character clowns, Bunny Bunny explores the relationship between SNL member Gilda Radner and narrator Alan Zweibel.

Years after their relationship, Zweibel, played by Marty Strauss ’16, reflects on his sometimes-friendship-sometimes-romance with Gilda. With limited narration from Strauss and tons of help from character clowns Sabrina Imbler ’16 and Marli Scharlin ’16, the play leads us through the ups and downs of a long friendship. The audience is taken on a journey from the moment the two meet in a waiting room, to their final moments together before Gilda dies from ovarian cancer. Though the story deceptively presents itself as a romantic comedy, it soon reveals its true self as a serious tale of companionship, trust, and dependence. Though the two never end up together in a romantic sense, the friendship they build guides them through both of their toughest times.

Natalie McDonald’15 plays the loud and spunky Gilda Radner whose effect on the life of Alan Zweibel inspires Bunny Bunny. McDonald expertly manages to perform the growth of her character, transitioning from a somewhat-carefree jokester to a grown woman with more wisdom and experience in the trials of life. Together, Strauss and McDonald make for a charismatic duo – Strauss charming us with his wry commentary and McDonald captivating us with her whimsical magnetism. A cast of clowns, which includes Brad Weekes ’17 and CJ Risman ’17, step in to fill in any missing pieces of the emotional and honest tale of the friendship between Zweibel and Radner.

The set of Bunny Bunny also adds to its charm. What at first appears to be the backstage set of a television studio later transitions into characters’ apartment buildings or even the greenery of Central Park. The various props displayed around the set, along with the number of wigs and costumes worn by the clowns, contribute to the overall playful aesthetic of the show. Though Bunny Bunny is by nature a boisterous comedy, the fluidity of the theater space allows it to become a home for quiet and intimate moments as well.

If you take anything away from Bunny Bunny, it is that comedy can sometimes be the best anecdote to tragedy. With a hard-hitting second act, audiences are forced to ask how one keeps hold onto their joy when the world crashes down on them. Through good spirits and the loyalty of friends, McDonald’s Gilda seems to grasp onto her happiness right until the end. The world Maley presents with Bunny Bunny, Gilda Radner relies on its characters’ resilient optimism and will to live, and yes, along the way there are some pretty funny jokes.

Bunny Bunny runs through May 24th. Tickets are available here or at the PW box office an hour before each performance. 

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Last Call: Haruko Hashimoto

As the semester progresses at the speed of light, the senior class is beginning to make peace with that fateful day in May: Commencement. Until the class of 2014 leaves us, BlogDH wants to highlight all the interesting things they’ve been up to. To this end, we’re (re)starting the series Last Call, which features seniors reflecting on their experiences at Brown. Each featured senior will tag another senior for the next installment. Find this year’s other “Last Call” chains here.

Then + Now

Then + Now

People might know me as… the girl who wears Pokemon t-shirts (a prospie once identified me like that). Or cat lady.

In my time at Brown, I am most proud of… that one time a professor said an underclassman looked up to me.

On a Friday night, you might find yourself… in my room alone and ugly crying over anime about high school cycling/baseball teams because they’re working so hard. Alternatively, sitting around with friends and reading horoscopes.

The best class/professor at Brown is… I’m biased in picking these, but there aren’t enough Asian/Asian-American cultural studies type classes hyped about on this campus, so take this amazing class: “Asian Americans in Higher Education” with Professor Liza Cariaga-Lo.  She drops so much knowledge you’ve probably never known, and has the truest heart, so it’s a real learning experience for anyone, from any background.

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BREAKING: New Provost selected

docpkg-1President Paxson just announced that Vicki Leigh Colvin, Professor of Chemistry and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (wow, that’s a lot) at Rice University, will become Brown’s 12th Provost on July 1st.

In an email to the Brown community, Paxson called Professor Colvin “particularly well-prepared to assume the role of provost at this important juncture in the University’s history.” She replaces current Provost Mark Schlissel P’15, who will become President of the University of Michigan.

Here’s a very succinct description of Colvin’s new job from President Paxson:

The provost is the University’s chief academic officer and is a leader and critical partner in advancing the University’s strategic agenda. Many of the University’s senior positions report directly to the provost, including the deans of the College, Graduate School, and faculty; the University librarian; dean of admission; director of financial aid; vice president for research; and chief information officer. The provost chairs a number of committees designed to establish and propel University priorities, including the University Resources Committee and the Academic Priorities Committee. The provost serves as the senior officer in charge of the University in the absence of the president.

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