Pollerbears: Cranberry edition


Cranberries-1024x801Regardless of whether you’re staying on campus or headed elsewhere, your Thanksgiving break has officially arrived!

Want to know what’s on our mind? Cranberries. In honor of Thanksgiving, we want to know all about your cranberry consumption. How will you be celebrating your break in ~cranberry style~?

How will you be consuming cranberries this Thanksgiving break?

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Know your Lecture Board candidates: Fred Armisen


If you’re ready to laugh, then vote for Fred Armisen for Brown Lecture Board’s spring speaker.

Armisen was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and moved to New York as a baby. Armisen dropped out of the School of Visual Arts to begin his career as a professional rock drummer. He started drumming with the hip 80’s band Trenchmouth (we just started listening and they’re awesome), but his interests soon switched to acting. In 2002, he became a featured player on Saturday Night Live, and in 2004, he was promoted to repertory cast member. His famous impersonations include Steve Jobs and the Californian Stuart.

In 2003, Armisen met his platonic soulmate Carrie Brownstein. In 2005, the two began producing the hilarious web series ThunderAnt. ThunderAnt became the basis of their hit show Portlandia (*inspiration for blog’s own Brunonia*). As its name suggests, the show is set in Portland. It is based around a variety of paired characters played by Fred and Carrie, including femininst bookstore owners Candace and Toni and “Fred” and “Carrie” themselves (genius). In 2011, Portlandia won a Peabody award, which is a prestigious award recognizing public service in radio and television. (Note: Armisen also won one in 2008 as part of the Saturday Night Live political satire cast. Could he be any cooler??)

In addition to Portlandia (sixth season premieres January 21, 2016), Armisen keeps himself busy as the current bandleader of the 8G Band, the house band on Late Night with Seth Meyers. He has a number of new projects coming down the pike, including “Blue Jean Committee,” a fake California-based band with buddy Bill Hader.


Now that we’ve described his career in mere words, we’re going to let his varied and hilarious work speak for itself.

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Crunchy leaves to crushing solo cups: Fall then and now

As we approach the final month of the year, I realized that I dislike months ending in “-ber.” When did this happen? What is the common denominator here?

Fall. Autumn. Whatever.

Join me as I take a good, hard, overly-critical look at some aspects of Fall and see how the beautiful process of maturing has ruined and/or devalued them.

FALLen Leaves:

Then: As a kid, you may remember watching your parents exhibit god-like levels of self-control as you would throw your youthful body into the piles of raked leaves aka the fruits of their labor. Grabbing armfuls of leaves and throwing them into the air/at your siblings was truly joyous. Stepping on a leaf and hearing it crunch beneath your mighty child-sized light-up Kmart sneakers was incredible. You are powerful! Walking is no longer monotonous now that there’s a goal (crushing) and a soundtrack (crunching).

Quick! Someone call AFV!

Now: Ah, yes let me propel my aging body, with all it’s odd aches and markings (all diseased, as per WebMD) into this pile of dead-tree scraps and possibly upward-pointed sticks. Wet leaves, various creepy crawlies, DIRT–who wouldn’t want to catapult themselves into nature’s dumpster??? I was wearing a V-neck the other day and a leaf flew down my shirt. Making eye contact with a passerby as you proudly reveal the leaf you removed from your nonexistent cleavage is just so freakin’ seasonal. Now whenever I wear my knockoff Birkenstocks (#confusingweather) leaves stick to my socks (don’t judge me). Deliberately treading on crunchy leaves? Eh, if you step on a littered Solo cup it makes the same noise.

I feel so young and alive!

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(Facebook) relationships are hard, and breakups are harder


Facebook is testing a new feature, which supposedly allows you to “manage your interactions with your ex.” What does that mean? Among other things, you can control how often you see your old flame in your newsfeed, message bars and suggested tags, all without them knowing. 

An electronic way to get over your ex on FB may sound stupid and childish, but admit it: things were way easier before you were basically prompted to follow their every move. If you have been constantly searching for and interacting with, say Christina Paxson, and then things go sour when you find out she’s married, Facebook won’t know that. Internet suggestions function on algorithms, so for all the website thinks, CPax and you are still tight. It will keep on asking you to tag her in stuff even though it is breaking your heart! Eventually, the algorithms would take into account your lack of interaction with her, and she would stop flooding your interface.

Now, instead of waiting for time to heal all stalking habits, FB and you can finally have the dialogue where you say, “Mark Zuckerberg, you just don’t get it, I can’t look at them right now.”

Sounds pretty great, right? Unfortunately, there’s a catch. This development is only at its testing stage for US mobile users, so the relationship had to have been FB official before the feature can be applied. Oh gosh, who has heard of someone’s relationship being sanctified by the grace of Facebook post the tenth grade?

For the sake of journalism (a BlogDH way of saying “an excuse for all of our dumb antics”), we knew what we had to do. Two random bloggers would have to throw it back to their early teens, enter a fake relationship on Facebook, publicly break up, and then explore this feature in first person, on their phones.


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Know your Lecture Board candidates: Brandon Stanton

Brandon Stanton, creator of the Humans of New York blog, with his camera February 22, 2013 across the street from Union Square in New York. Some like New York's skyscrapers, bridges, his energy, taxis or lights. But Brandon Stanton has set himself another challenge: photograph of 10,000 inhabitants for a blog now famous "Humans of New York." In two years, he has photographed 5,000 New Yorkers, children leaving school, tramps, fashionistas, New York with a bouquet of tulips, old lady with a cane, municipal employees, etc. And nearly 560,000 fans now follow his Facebook page.AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

If you’ve ever dreamed of having your photo circulate to millions of people on social media, this could be your chance (well, realistically, probably not, but still get excited). The Lecture Board has offered up Brandon Stanton as a candidate for Spring 2016, and this could be your chance to make it big. Stanton is the creator of Humans of New York, a blog that features photos of New Yorkers Stanton runs into on the streets, Started in 2010, the blog catapulted to success through the rise in social media use, and the HONY Facebook page now has over 16 million likes. In addition to running the uber popular blog, Stanton is the author of three books, one of which spent 45 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list.

“I’m trying really, really hard to be authentic. Sometimes I’m successful, but other times I overthink it and a lot of bullshit comes out.”

Posted by Humans of New York on Sunday, November 30, 2014


For those looking for an inspiration to follow a dream, Stanton is a classic example of someone who pursues their passion. Taking photos was not a viable source of income for a long time in New York, but he spent hours every day doing just that in an effort to share stories and connect New York. Stanton has become a type expert on interaction with strangers, with the ability to pull out intimate details of peoples’ lives in a comparatively short period of time. His ability to connect with strangers would create an interesting dialogue in a lecture setting, and Stanton could offer insight for finding commonalities among strangers within the Brown Community. Stanton has also closely interacted with Syrian refugees through a recent trip to Greece, Hungary, Croatia, and Austria. Given the current refugee crisis, Stanton might speak about the situation and offer insight on what it is like for Syrians to have to flee their country, often losing loved ones along the way.

“My husband and I sold everything we had to afford the journey. We worked 15 hours a day in Turkey until we had enough…

Posted by Humans of New York on Monday, September 28, 2015

Don’t forget to vote for Stanton or any of the other Lecture Board candidates here!

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Playing at the Cable Car Cinema: Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict


Perhaps you’re acquainted with Blog’s column, This Week at the Avon. Meet the Avon’s sulky, redheaded step-sister: the hip, closer-to-sea-level competitor, Cable Car Cinema and Cafe. Cable Car, located on seabreezy South Main Street, has recently been deemed “Best Art House Cinema in New England” by Yankee Magazine.

Last we spoke about the Cable Car, the year was 2014 and the theatre had extended Finding Vivian Maier’s run on their silver screen. This week, Cable Car has resurrected Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict in response to the wildly popular screening on opening night of the First Annual Providence Art & Design Film Festival, hosted by the RISD Museum. (As noted in Harper’s Bazaar, Guggenheim gave the RISD Museum one of her first Pollock drip paintings and one of her Jéan Helions, too.)

The film is directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, who gave us the exceptional movie The Eye Has To Travel about her grandmother-in-law, legendary Vogue editrix Diana Vreeland. (My grandfather recently watched the Vreeland documentary on Netflix and revered the “entertaining and informative” film for its “fantastic editing job.” Though our opinions may vary when discussing the filmic merits of Napoleon Dynamite, we both recommend that you add The Eye Has To Travel to your queue.) With her second film Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict, Lisa I. Vreeland has established that powerful women with cultural capital are her beat.

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