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.
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.
With all the well-deserved hype around the events of this weekend’s Better World by Design, now in its eighth year, it was easy for many students to forget about the newcomer to the already-ample lineup of fall conferences at Brown: Startup@Brown. Organized and run by Hack@Brown (Valentin Perez ’18 is lead organizer for both) and the Brown Entrepaneurship Program, Startup@Brown was a weekend-long conference in Alumnae Hall and Smitty B focused on connecting students with startups. Through a series of speeches, fairs, office hours and workshops taking place from the 26th-27th, Startup@Brown gave students a crash course in entrepreneurship. Blog checked it out to see just what exactly startup culture is all about, and whether its correspondent’s idea for a chain of nightclubs inside giant floating zeppelins could make it to an initial seed round.
The conference opened with a keynote by Eveline Buchatskiy, director at Techstars Boston, on the general path of beginning a startup, and was followed by lunch and the general startup fair. At the fair, roughly 20 startups and startup-related firms gathered to speak with students and recruit potential candidates for internships and jobs.
The general atmosphere was one of enthusiasm. According to Jason Miller, a representative from data software firm Cloudera, “the fact that [Startup@Brown] was selective was really special. It was branded well, and it makes sense why the companies you invited are here.” Miller also emphasized the extent to which Brown alums and students are enmeshed within startup culture across the country. At Cloudera, “two of the core engineers went to Brown, and about almost a third of our entire data science department is Brown-educated.”
This recurrent theme — Brown’s close relationship with the technology industry and startup culture — often helped make the event feel like less of a professional networking event and more of a gathering of friends and former fellow students united by an interest in entrepreneurship. Brown student and Startup@Brown attendee Hans Wang ’17, a CS and Economics dual concentrator, noted that he’d “seen a lot of former TAs here with the companies.”
Event: Shakespeare on the Green presents: Spring Awakening
Time: 8:00 p.m, Thursday — Sunday, and 2 p.m on Saturday and Sunday
Location: Rites and Reasons Theatre, Churchill House
No, Spring Awakening was not written by William Shakespeare. But SotG still wants to bring us this cool rock musical about adolescence and sex and stuff. Directed by Jenn Maley ’16, this play is likely to be pretty popular, so be sure to check the Facebook page on Tuesday at midnight for tickets.
Event: S&B Presents: Twelfth Night
Time: 8:00 p.m, Thursday — Sunday, and 2 p.m on Saturday and Sunday
Location: Brown Stuart Theater
This one actually was written by Shakespeare! Re-imagined by Jane Nichols, a renowned clown teacher, the play is set in a 1930’s “Hopper-esque” world, so not just another Twelfth Night. You can get tickets here, and remember that time slots are the same as Spring Awakening‘s if you’re looking to go to both!
Event: PW Presents: Quitters Never Win
Time: 8:00 p.m, Wednesday, Thursday; and 6 and 10:00 p.m on Friday
Location: PW Upspace
This logically titled play is directed by Spencer Roth-Rose ’17, and based on the event info, it involves cake… Tickets will be released at the door, 30 minutes before the show.
Monday, February 23:
Event: GRAD0100: Introduction to Grad School
Time: 8 – 9:00 p.m.
Location: BERT 130
Attention upperclassmen: as you know, the Rest of Your Life is approaching. If you’re thinking you’re not ready to leave the learning behind yet, come to this Q&A panel discussion on graduate school, featuring administrators from the Dean of the College’s Office, Brown’s Graduate School, and other student support services.
There are plenty of things to be thankful for this holiday season. We can be thankful for points, teachers canceling class, Blue Room muffins, study rooms in the Rock, BlogDailyHerald (shameless self-promotion), seasonal facial hair, peppermint mochas, holiday cheer, home cooked meals, hockey players, and most importantly…STEFON’S RETURN TO BLOGDH. SNL’s Stefon (or me pretending to be Stefon) is back to give you a heads up about all the hottest parties and gatherings that you must attend over Thanksgiving break. Don’t call it a comeback, because Stefon never went anywhere. Cue the music, plug in the disco ball, turn off the lights, and embrace Stefon as he (me) drops some serious holiday knowledge.
The hottest spot this Thanksgiving is…your grandma’s house. This spot has everything: passive-aggressive comments about your lack of significant other, a woman asking “what is Brown again?”, your weird uncle asking if you are gay yet (I AM NOT GAY UNCLE RICKY), that random person who always shows up with an already half-empty bottle of wine, the smell of moth balls, your great-grandfather’s war rifle named “old lucky,” and water-drowned food so everyone at the table can chew it. It is a great time, especially if you are looking for a place to butcher saying grace in front of your religious grandma who doesn’t remember that you still can’t do it right: “Bless us…uh…like…O Lord…and for like these uh your dope gifts and whatever, which we are like gonna receive from your…bosom, I mean bounty, hahaha lol. Through you, Jesus guy, our Lord, amen dude.”
The hottest spot this Thanksgiving is…your local underage bar. What better way of setting the tone for a holiday about giving thanks than puking in the back of bar. You, your friends, and your fake ID’s that all say you are 28 and are from North Dakota must head down to grab a drink like adults do! This bar has everything: a pervy bouncer who makes every girl kiss him on the cheek, a kid who looks like Charlie Sturr, a bartender who hates his life, bar mitzvah music, your mom texting you “where are you?,” those kids from your high school who you HATE so much but with whom you pretend to be best friends, that one girl who takes a selfie with everyone, and the smell of Bud Light and sadness. Do not miss out!
Who is Stefon?
Stefon, played by Bill Hader, is a reoccurring guest from the Weekend Update portion of SNL He is a sharp diva, with a dark edge, and hilariously quirky side. He is plugged into (what he thinks are) the best parties in NYC. His plans are odd, unique and always out there. If you do not know him already, watch the video below to get a glimpse of the genius of Stefon, or watch the video below because you love him already. Why aren’t you watching this already? If Stefon were to describe the freshmen party scene at Brown, this is what we think he’d say:
Brown’s hottest party is…Metcalf 2nd floor lounge. If you and your friends are looking for an unsanctioned, rowdy time, hit up the lounge. To get in just say the password: your SAT score. The party starts at 8:45 and gets shut down at 9:15 by DPS. Don’t worry, just get there early. There is watered down Vodka, beers someone stole from their dad, and some oregano that someone is pretending is weed. Show up fashionably early, and leave fashionably…early?