Everyone loves a good Mean Girls reference, duh.

Students who do cool things: Leonard Cooper ’17, Teen Jeopardy champion

Brown students are intelligent. Jeopardy contestants are often super-intelligent. Some really awesome people have Facebook pages dedicated to them. Leonard Cooper ’17 is bright enough, bold enough, and has an afro large enough to fit into all of these categories, making him one of the sharpest tools Brown has in its shed. Leo is the epitome of “one who does cool things”—he won Teen Jeopardy last year. And he didn’t only win, but he won $75,000—way above the average yearly income for a post-grad with a liberal arts degree. Way to go, Leo! We sat down with Leo to chat about his wild ride from a small town in Arkansas to a big studio in LA where all of his wildest dreams came true.

BlogDailyHerald: Why did you go on the show?
Leonard Cooper ’17: I was watching the show in February last year and they put on a commercial for auditions and I decided I wanted to be on the show. I’d been watching the show for a while and saw the commercial.

BlogDH: Did you study for the show?
Leo: [Really casually… like too casually.] No.

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Students who do cool things: Noah Fradin ’15 and Punch

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While there are definitely benefits to staying connected with people on social media, our networks are often cluttered with people whom we may be connected to, but with whom we don’t have genuine social relationships. It’s hard to sift through the clutter and find out what are closest friends are up to on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and mass texting can be a real pain. Noah Fradin ’15 and Isaac Blankensmith RISD ’13 saw the need to stay connected with large groups of people in real time, and started working to address that need. Together, they created Punch, a brand new app that allows you to connect and meet up with groups of friends instantaneously. The app has absolutely blown up and earned a huge following on campus since its launch, and can change the way you go about communicating with friends. BlogDH sat down with one of Punch’s co-creators, Noah Fradin ’15, to learn more about how Punch is revolutionizing the app world. Check out the interview after the jump. Continue Reading


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Students who do cool things: Clara Beyer ’14 (a.k.a @FeministTSwift)

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“I’m sick and tired of… what?”

Clara Beyer ’14 is in her uncle’s New York apartment, thinking about Taylor Swift’s “Tell Me Why.” She’s lying on the couch, brainstorming her next tweet. There’s no process to it: sometimes, the idea comes first and then the lyrics, and sometimes, she starts with the song. “I’ve got no one to believe in … role models!” She finishes her message, rereads it, and hits “Post” to publish it for her over 100,000 followers.

Welcome to the life of the author of FeministTaylorSwift, the latest Twitter sensation. If the name Clara seems familiar, that’s because it’s not the first time the rising senior has gone viral. She’s part of the team behind Cosmarxpolitan, Tumblr’s go-to source for 50 steamy ways to throw a revolution. (Seriously, though, you should check it out). Fellow Cosmarxist Kevin Carty ‘15 encouraged Clara to pursue her single-purpose Twitter idea, and helped her compose the first couple of 140-character bites of heartbreak, young love, and gender role deconstruction.

Since starting the parody account on June 13, FeministTaylorSwift has blown up on the Internet and has been featured on BuzzFeed, Washington Post, HuffPo, and TMZ (not to name names or anything). BlogDH had the chance to sit down with Clara over Blue State iced coffee to talk about her process, Taylor Swift’s brand of feminism, and how it feels to go viral overnight.

BlogDailyHerald: So this idea came to you like a random burst of inspiration, or had you been thinking about something like this?
Clara Beyer: I was walking home from work, and I was listening to Taylor Swift. I have this idea, “idea for single-purpose Twitter: Feminist Taylor Swift.” And I tweeted it, and I thought that was it, I’ll never think about it again. And then I get home, and I get a phone call from my friend Kevin Carty ’15, and he’s like, “Clara, you need to do this.” And so he and I talked about it for 10 minutes, and brainstormed, and it happened.

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Students who do cool things: Caroline Sagalchik ’13

An AT&T New Media Fellow, Caroline Sagalchik ’13 spent this past winter and semester creating a documentary called “Of Sand and Fur” (above… and you should definitely check it out) about the Russian-Jewish immigrant community Brigthon Beach, Brooklyn. Brighton Beach is one of the largest Russian-speaking immigrant communities in the country. Through the fellowship, Caroline was able to interact with the community in Brighton Beach and reach her audience by engaging with the topic of assimilation.

The documentary was recently featured on the Watson Institute’s website.

The project was especially meaningful because she had grown up with exposure to Russian and American cultures. Here’s a bit on the experience in Caroline’s words, after the jump. Continue Reading


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Students who do cool things: Clyde Lawrence ’15 welcomes back Emma (who?)

Clyde Lawrence ’15, the soulful musician behind “Wake Up” and a filthy cover of “Toxic” (really though), is at it again. This time, he’s debuting his soon-to-be-viral music video—take notes, BuzzFeed et al.—titled “Welcome Back Emma” right here on BlogDH.

Without giving too much away, it seems like a certain sophomore was really, really, really looking forward to a certain British actress’s return to Providence this January. The guy put together a super romantic dinner in the basement of Olney House (!!) and even feels a little bad that we made Emma cut her hair. We particularly like the idea of renaming the Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies after a Watson with a little more… name recognition. Maybe someone who has a bit more “magic” to her.

Clyde also has a new album out titled Homesick. You can check it out on Spotify or on his YouTube channel. “Emma,” you should check him out too.


BTV premiere tonight! Interview with BTV Director Yotam Tubul ’14

With BTV’s spring slate of shorts ready to premiere tonight, BlogDH sat down with Yotam Tubul ’14, the director of Afterlife Sentence, the longest of the four films. He had plenty to say about life, love, and movies (minus life and love).

Kevin Kelly ’15 in Afterlife Sentence

BlogDH: Tell me about the BTV Premiere and why people should go.

Yotam: It’s Monday night in Salomon, which is really cool because it’s the biggest venue we’ve had for it and it’s a big screen and it’s right on campus. [Then he talked a lot about BTV logistics, info you can probably find somewhere on this website.] It’s a lot of people’s work over the course of a semester gone into one night, four short films. It’s a testament to really cool group efforts and hopefully really good filmmaking.

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