Four Things I Learned From Ichiro Fujisaki

Ichiro Fujisaki, Japanese ambassador to the US, rolled into campus today to give a talk on Japan’s current state of affairs.

Sometimes these lectures can be hit-or-miss. For every Scotsman giving an impassioned rant there’s a Leslie Chang talking about the book you didn’t like. Thankfully, Fujisaki delivered with interesting content and a playful presentation. For those who missed it, here’s a quick list of what I took away from his talk:

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10 honorary doctorates on May 29

Morgan Freeman accepts honorary degree at last year's commencement /

Last week, the University announced this year’s ten-person list of honorary degree recipients, which includes esteemed film actor Jack Nicholson, National Medal of Science winner (and professor emeritus of mathematics) David Mumford and HuffPo’s own Arianna Huffington. While none of the honorees will actually speak during the May 29 ceremony, several of them (predictably the more academic types) will be participating in other Commencement Weekend events.

According to Encyclopedia Brunonia, the University has been awarding honorary degrees since the first commencement ceremony 1769 — though the practice has seen some major changes since its inception. The first class of recipients consisted of male graduates from other institutions who received the awards “at their own request” (but maybe they won them for effectively negating the meaning of ‘award’). While the University initially kept the names of the award-winners secret, the custom of pre-ceremony announcement began in 1963 and now the whole school can eagerly anticipate the arrival of NYT op-ed columnist Nicholas D. Kristof.  A fun fact about each of the five best-known recipients-with requisite commentary-after the jump. Continue Reading

Ivy Film Festival: Getting to know Aaron Sorkin

Anne Simons / BlogDailyHerald

Aaron Sorkin, screenwriter/object of worship for political science and MCM concentrators alike, spoke at 2 PM today to a packed crowd in the Salomon DeCiccio auditorium.  Sorkin, writer of the Oscar-winning film The Social Network and the acclaimed television show The West Wing gave Brown students an inside look at his writing process, his views on social networking, and the differences between writing adaptations and original scripts.  In case you missed the event or weren’t able to get a ticket, never fear!  BlogDailyHerald is here with a condensed list of the top five things you should have gotten out of the Q&A.

1. There was only one draft of the script for The Social Network. Yup, you read that right.  According to Sorkin, David Fincher (the Oscar-winning director of the film) requested that the production process for The Social Network be streamlined, meaning that the studio executives at Sony had very few opportunities to tamper with Sorkin’s original words. A collective gasp reverberated through the auditorium when Sorkin revealed this little factoid.  This blogger overheard at least one nearby whisper of “He. Is. God.”   Continue Reading

Goodbye, EmWats

While there have been rumors swirling that Emma Watson ‘13.5 was planning to transfer to another university (cough, NYU) for a while now, it appears now that they are true.

Multiple news outlets have reported Watson’s spokesperson saying today that Watson will be transferring to another university in the fall. Although Watson has “absolutely loved her time at Brown,” she wants to pursue studies not offered at Brown, the spokesperson said.

This statement follows Watson’s announcement on her website on March 7th that she was taking time off to work on other projects.

A Thousand Words: James Franco fan club

Line to get into the talk reaches the George Street Main Green entrance as Salomon 101 fills up to capacity.

A capella fame: the real kind

Eric Stonestreet (who some of you may know as Cameron from the ABC show Modern Family) posted a picture of the Higher Keys, one of Brown’s coed a capella groups, on his twitter feed today.  The Keys, while on their winter tour in California, apparently were lucky enough to meet a true acting talent: