Monday, December 8:
Event: Pricing Carbon Pollution
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Smitty B
The Taubman Center for Public Policy hosts this lecture by Scott Nystorm, economist at Regional Economic Models. Nystrom will speak about a study on the impacts of a national tax on CO2 content of fossil fuels. The lecture is free, plus you know what is more important than your finals? The environment.
Event: PW Presents: Broken Zipper
Time: 8:00 – 10.00 p.m.
Location: PW Downspace
Broken Zipper is an original play, written and directed by Russyan Mark Mabeza ’15. Tonight is the last performance, and although tickets are sold out online, there are tickets available at the door an hour before the performance.
Event: Brown Concert Agency Speakeasy
Time: 7:15 – 10.30 p.m.
Location: McCormack Theatre, 70 Brown St
Featuring three student bands (richard, Sad Family, and Butter), tonight’s speakeasy will previewed more in-depth on Blog later today. But the summary is: cool kids playing cool music in a cool speakeasy-format. Plus, free!
Tuesday, December 9:
Event: Library Pizza Night in the SciLi
Time: 9:00 p.m.
Location: See above
To make spending all night in the library bearable, Brown has a really lovely tradition of giving out FREE PIZZA in both libraries during Reading Period (and let’s not forget, free donuts via naked people, but there’s no FB event for that…). See Rock Night below.
Event: Late Night Waffles in the SciLi
Time: 9:00 – 11:00 p.m. (also Wednesday, Dec 10)
Location: Sci Li lobby
Wow, Tuesday night in the Sci Li = a really great food night. While not free, the profits from these waffles (with nutella, whipped cream, maple syrup or chocolate chips!!) will go to GlobeMed‘s partner in Nairobi, Kenya.
Event: Holiday Midnight Organ Concert
Time: 11:55 p.m. – 1.30 a.m. Location: Sayles Hall
Despite the deceptive title of the event, this is actually an a capella concert of epic proportions – fourteen of Brown’s a capella groups will perform, along with a student organist. (Yes, we have more than fourteen a capella groups). Grab a blankey and enjoy a musical study break with your friends.
It’s official: Brown absolutely loves birthdays. This weekend, the Rock celebrated the big 5-0, and instead of a typical 50th birthday party with fancy wine and adults making small talk, the library threw perhaps the punniest party in the Brown’s history. Here are ten things you missed if you didn’t rock out at Rock at the Rock:
10. Food from the Ratty, after 7:30 p.m.: Rock at the Rock was a catered event, complete with soda, hot chocolate, and the full hummus bar straight out of the Ratty’s Roots and Shoots section.
9. A chance to say thanks to the librarians: Almost the entire library staff was at the festivity. Since they are the secret superheroes of Brown — and are in the midst of important contract negotiations with the University — they deserve some serious appreciation. You could always chat them a nice note.
8. Cupcakes that looked like rocks: Rocks aren’t necessarily the most appetizing-looking minerals, but cupcakes are always a plus.
In celebration of the inaugural Harris Collection Literary Award this past Thursday, the Brown University Library organization awarded and interviewed author George R.R. Martin and publisher Tom Doherty. While Tom Doherty, founder of Tor Books, is renowned in the world of fantasy novel publishing, it was Martin who attracted crowds of students and Providence residents alike.
Martin, a plump man with a friendly face, talked about his upbringing in Bayonne, New Jersey and his childhood love of comic books nearly as often as he mentioned the famous book series that has launched him to international fame. Yet his reputation and popularity were clear; the Salomon auditorium was approaching full capacity thirty minutes before the event and the following reception was crowded with fans.
That famous book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, which began in 1991 and has gained a resurgence in popularity since the arrival of its HBO television adaption, Game of Thrones, was the hot topic of the night. Not unlike the comic books he loved so much as a child, Martin’s book series has become a franchise in its own right, producing not only a television series, but action figures, pop-up museums and board games.
Yet Martin does not consider this franchising to be a slight on his product, even going as far to say “Fitzgerald would’ve sold it in a minute.” He spoke on his conditions of approvals and notes before the releasing of a franchise product, even mentioning early disputes with HBO over such rights that could have endangered the television show.
The book series, along with Game of Thrones, has become famous for its unexpected deaths and atypical storytelling techniques. Martin has been compared to J.R.R. Tolkien, though he expressed his resistance to reusing the Lord of the Rings author’s images and tropes unlike many other fantasy writers.
Instead, he utilized techniques picked up from his screenwriting days during which he worked on shows such as Beauty and the Beast and Twilight Zone. “Each chapter leaves you wanting more,” Martin said of his novels, which are lauded for their usage of numerous point-of-view characters and usage of suspense.
If you’ve had one too many existential crises in the Rock or are too perplexed by the bizarre pod couches in the SciLi to get any work done, there is a whimsical alternative hiding right down College Hill — the Providence Athenaeum.
The Providence Athenaeum (pronounced ath-uh-ney-um) is located on Benefit Street, a block down College Street past the Rock. The Athenaeum was preceded by two earlier libraries, the Providence Library Company, founded in 1753, and the city’s Athenaeum, founded in 1831. These two libraries joined their collections in 1836 to establish the Providence Athenaeum.
The Athenaeum continues to function today as a member-supported, independent library (you have to be a member to check out content, though there is a student library card rate), and is open to the public as a reading space, historical site, and a place for cultural events and programs. Renovations in 1978 added a children’s wing and the Philbrick Rare Book Room for the library’s special collections.
The stoic, Greek Revival building houses over 150,000 books, periodicals, movies, and other content. Perhaps reminiscent of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, accessible by a catwalk-like second floor, extend through the library, forming mysterious nooks and corners. Desks are hidden away within these alcoves, creating secluded study spaces. Below the library is a reading room with tables and seating.
If you’re tired of studying, spend some time wandering the creaky corridors and catwalks, browse the contemporary and historic collections (with works ranging from Faulkner and Dickinson to the modern classic Fifty Shades of Grey), flip through the old card catalog, or just enjoy the old-book smell that wafts through the library.
Only a short stroll from campus, the Providence Athenaeum is too close to not check out at least once. Whether you drop in for an afternoon of studying and exploring, or even just for that prime Insta opportunity (make sure to caption it with #libraryporn, #nerdalert, and/or #imquirky), the Providence Athenaeum is a great addition to any study spot rotation!
The Athenaeum is open from 9a.m.–7p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9a.m.–5p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1p.m.–5p.m. Sundays.
Image via Kenji Endo ’18.