What we’re reading


On Saturday, the world celebrated Pi Day. This year’s celebration, on 3/14/15, was particularly special because even the year corresponded with the first digits of pi: 3.1415. But what does it all mean? The New Yorker essay, “To Pi and Beyond,” attempts to demystify the infinite nature of pi and explores some new discoveries concerning the recurrence of prime numbers.

In Egypt, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is planning on building a new capital city from scratch. The Atlantic reports that the estimated $45 billion plan will be carried out by Capital City Partners, a Dubai-based private investment fund, which constructed Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. Cairo has been the capital of Egypt for over 1000 years. The proposed new capital is leaving people wondering what the future will bring.

The New Yorker‘s “Richer and Poorer: Accounting for Inequality” gives us an in-depth analysis of income inequality in the United States. Jill Lepore previews and reviews upcoming and recent literature discussing American history in terms of inequality.

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Sextion: “That is sooo heteronormative…”


Most of us are aware of the plethora of “Brown buzzwords” that circulate on campus. They’re words that are perhaps used more frequently here than at our friends’ schools: hegemony, discourse, unpacking, spectrum, and social construct, to name just a few. Not only do they set us apart from other schools, but they make a wicked set of Halloween costumes, as we saw from this year’s costume contest.

One of the many words in the quintessential Brown vernacular is heteronormativity. Heteronormativity is the belief system that assumes heterosexuality to be the norm and rejects or ignores individuals or relationships that do not fall into the strict man-woman paradigm. It also, according to Karen Lovaas and Mercilee Jenkins in their comprehensive book Sexualities and Communication in Everyday Life: A Reader, assumes “that there are two sexes and therefore two genders” and therefore “requires that all discussions of gendered identity and opportunity be framed strictly in terms of this dichotomy” (98). We inclusive Brown students openly reject this notion.

But how inclusive are we as a whole? How much does each of us truly know about the LGBTQ community? Probably not as much as we think, considering that the acronym is much longer than that! The acronym, as I know it now, is LGBTQQIAAP2S. So click on the image of the Sporcle quiz below to test your knowledge of the entire acronym, and then read below for a description of each of the components!

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Brown ranks 4th in list of top 10 LGBT-friendly colleges

HuffPo published its list of LGBT friendly colleges yesterday via Unigo, and Brown came in at a fabulous number 4.

Let’s be honest: Nobody’s really surprised.

We have a rainbow flag hanging on the Main Green. We counter-protest. We’re the school with a badass Queer Alliance that throws SPG, hosted IvyQ last year, and generally makes the campus a delicious alphabet soup of queer activism.

It is nice to get the recognition, especially since this is up from last year’s Daily Beast rating, which put us at a paltry 9.

(Plus, we’re the only Ivy to make the list. While we shouldn’t be petty—suck that, New Haven!)

­And by the way, HuffPo, it’s LGBTQ. Let’s be inclusive here.

Photos from Tuesday’s “Color Me Queer” Paint Fight

“Come Out” to the Main Green at 12:00. Bring food coloring.

I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but I’ll give you the basic facts. National Coming Out Day is today, October 11. Come out and celebrate on the Main Green at 12 pm. Paint/food coloring/squirt guns are encouraged; nice clothes are not. Look for the people running around throwing colored water at each other inside some cones, and please, please, please don’t get me wet.

Image via.

Newsweek totally wants us.

Typical Brown student.

Typical Brown student?

The news magazine just released a list of the “most desirable” American universities, and Brown ranks at number 10. We’re also #9 on the list of schools for “brainiacs”, which is based on some weird calculus involving our number of Nobel Prize winners (1) and acceptance rate (14%.)

Brown was also praised as diverse (#2, just behind Penn) and gay friendly (#14).

One list we didn’t make? 25 Great Schools with Great Weather. Way to be temperature-and-precipitation normative, Newsweek.