Brighten: 2015’s most adorable app

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There is something about the last two weeks of school that makes you want to curl up in bed and sleep. Or pull out your phone and scroll endlessly through the deep recesses of social media. Chalk it up to a combination of looming finals, the 4:30 p.m. darkness (wtf), or the mysteriously gross plague hitting everyone, but overall, it’s clear that motivation is at an all-time low. 

So on a nicer note, are you the kind of person who enjoys small tasks that lead to mega rewards? Interested in the idea of making someone’s day without getting off the couch? There’s an app for that.

Brighten just hit the app store and is already sweeping across college campuses. Its goal is simple: to provide an outlet for friends to say nice things to each other. On this app, you can follow your friends, like and comment on their posts, and send your own messages (called “brightens”) to those you care about. Adorable, right? Austin Kevitch, the app’s founder and CEO, explained that Brighten is “the first social app based on positivity and the easiest way to make your friends smile.”

According to the Brighten page, “anonymity can be used for good.” Each commenter has a color, but that’s it. Although “brightens” can be sent to anyone in your contact list, your name will never be shared. Instead of reading nasty Yaks or those (occasionally) freaky Brown Bear Admirers Posts, Brighten exists for friendship vibes only. Hate speech is not tolerated and romantic posts are definitely the exception, not the rule. 

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uhhh… no thanks?

During this final stretch, small acts of kindness can go a crazy long way. What’s more, there is scientific evidence that making your friends happy actually boosts your mood. Amazing. 

Good luck on finals, everyone! Remember you are so, so loved.

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How Not to be a Freshman: Let’s just be friends

About a month ago, readers, a fling of mine ended.  Now, this courtship lasted a month, which is pretty good for me considering my less than ideal track record.  I have no hard feelings towards this guy and we even decided to “just be friends.” Now, I’ve had guys say that to me before but, it always means something different.  I’ve even used that line once or twice and not meant exactly what I said. Anyways, it got me thinking, What does that saying mean? 

“Let’s just be friends…because I don’t want to feel like a complete jerk.”  Aaah, yes.  I’ve even been guilty of using those four little words as a way to ease my own conscience.  Rejection, as we all know, sucks.  It sucks when you’re rejecting someone and it’s a bummer when you’re rejected.  Pulling the “friends” card enables us to lighten the burden of breaking a heart.  It’s an easier way of saying goodbye.

“Let’s just be friends…because I want to still keep my options open.”  This is an ulterior motive if I’ve ever seen one.  If your significant other is unsure of his/her feelings but does have a genuine interest in you, saying those four words enables him/her to explore their options while keeping you close by. How convenient. To me, this is basically an “open relationship” and we all know those never turn out well. Continue Reading


Blog Cooks Things: Quinoa edition

We are Brown students. Brown students love to eat. In order to eat, we need to cook things. Enter Blog Cooks Things, a new series in which we share the yummy things we cook with you.

One cold October night, three bloggers got together to cook up every Brown student’s favorite grain: quinoa. The best thing about quinoa: it’s versatility. The worst thing about quinoa: deciding which version to make. We considered several recipes in our quest to create the best batch ever (!), and our cooking crew decided on “toasted quinoa with mushrooms and Asian flavors.” With an abundance of scallions, mushrooms, and broth, not only was this batch of quinoa easy to make, but it was also delicious. Like, the best we’d ever had.

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