Pub Crawl: The classy Critical Review

Blog on Pubs debuts this semester with a significantly cooler (and punnier) name: Pub Crawl. At Brown there is, if you haven’t noticed, a healthy abundance of student publications. While you’re already reading one of the very best, this series aims to highlight other noteworthy pubs that may have otherwise escaped your valuable attention. (Email if you’d like your current student pub featured!) 

Still deciding between that hyped-up lecture and that apparently interesting but obscure seminar? During shopping period, you might feel overwhelmed by the tyranny of choice. Sure, you can turn to faculty/peer advisers, friends, crowd-sourcing comparison on Best of Brown (launched last semester and since updated), rando-stalking, or a Magic 8-Ball, but when it comes to real talk re: profs and assignments, first-years will quickly realize and Brown returnees should know by now that nothing beats Critical Review.

Since 1976, CR has compiled anonymous student responses to questionnaires distributed in participating classes at the end of each semester. It’s basically Zagat for Brown academics. Conveniently, you can search the site for courses and/or instructors, which is handy when you want to try out different sections. The written review covers curricular content, prereqs, teaching style, workload, and suggestions to shoppers based on collective opinion. Continue Reading

Incognito man is watching you

Stalking Period

Incognito man is watching youBecause I’m a Banner demigod, I have absolutely no classes on Friday (yeah, that’s right, be jealous). But rather than sleep in or nurse a hangover, I decided to take the ultimate shopping trip: find a random person, go with them to class, repeat.

Here are the field notes, observations, and petty rants of shopping period.

9-9:50: ECON0110, Principles of Economics

8:59: Oh, freshmen. They’re still eagerly introducing themselves. Hi Carol and Jack! I remember doing that a year ago way back when. Now I bolt for the nearest spot open next to someone I vaguely know.

9:02: First thing the professor asks: “Who wasn’t here Wednesday?” She’s onto me.

9:04: Content of computer screens in the third row: MS Word, MS Word, MS Word, Spotify, Facebook, MS Word, Stickies, Gmail.

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Let’s Cyber (Monday)

Never heard of Cyber Monday? That’s okay, you’re not alone. Like Grandparent’s Day and other Hallmark holidays, it’s an event created by large corporations to convince you to spend lots of money on things you and or your relatives probably don’t actually need. But of course I need a refrigerator with a built-in television! you’re probably telling yourself, How else am I supposed to keep myself entertained while getting ice from the fridge?

 Luckily, there’s an upside to all this gross consumerism. Instead of buying grandma and grandpa some Sea-Bond Denture Glue to show how much you love them, this time it’ll be you who gets to reap the rewards of this artificially-manufactured holiday. Think of Cyber Monday like the cheap love child of Black Friday and the Interwebz — a glorious day when large retailers slash their online prices for 24 hours in the name of turning a profit. Hooray!

In case you’re looking to develop an online shopping addiction, or you’re just bored and looking for a means of procrastination, here are two links to some of the best deals on the web:

 Gizmodo’s Guide to Cyber Monday 

Daily Beast’s 15 Best Cyber Monday Deals

Now whip out mommy’s credit card and enjoy!

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Alums Who Do Cool Things: Ryan Charles ’02

From Brown ID picture to sweet formal headshot.

If you missed the time-waster from a couple weeks back, Ryan Charles ’02 is a Brown alum who does a cool thing. That cool thing is Consmr – a website that lets you finally cement your feelings toward Quaker Oatmeal and any other consumer packaged good with a 1-5 star rating. Yup, shitty healthy breakfasts of yesteryear can finally get what they deserve and you can get Flair  (like this, except it only exists on the Internet). Anyway, we contacted Ryan by e-mail, because that’s just what blogs do, and heard more about the cool thing he does. Interview and Ryan’s Brown favorites list after the jump. Continue Reading

Seven things you don’t want to hear in class today

Shopping period classes are kind of like pilot episodes of television shows. In the first forty minutes you’re exposed to the characters of the course (professors, TAs), the mood is set and you develop a general understanding of what you’re getting into for the next 13 weeks. But, just as with a bad TV show, there are some red flags that indicate that the course (or professor) may be an absolute dud. Check out the seven signs that your class is more Cavemen than Mad Men after the jump. Continue Reading

Finals Procrastination: YouTube and Facebook launch new ventures

The computer: helping college students procrastinate since 1990.

Attention Brown Students: It’s about to be finals period, and chances are, you’re looking for a new way to put off writing those 10-15 page final papers and contributing to group Google Doc exam study guides. As if they knew it was crunch time on college campuses, according to recent articles from the New York Times’ Bits blog and The Wrap, YouTube and Facebook —probably some of the most frequented procrastination sites–are both about to expand their services by launching new ventures that may look somewhat familiar.

According to the The Wrap, YouTube has plans to offer instant movie streaming services, much like Netflix Instant or Apple movies. Depending on how it goes, our Netflix Files may be turning into YouTube Files.   Continue Reading