What we’re reading

In possibly the most shocking web content of the week, The New York Times sought to answer how a middle-class, private-school-educated Egyptian boy ended up joining ISIS. The result: a nine-minute video entitled “Three Friends, One Jihadi.”

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The Atlantic also aimed to elucidate the disturbingly opaque terrorist group with “What ISIS Really Wants.” The piece posits that in order to stop ISIS, one must understand their motivations, desires and goals, no matter how abhorrent they may seem.

And then there’re the domestic battles: firstly, the origins, implications and stakes in the fight over the AP U.S. History curriculum in Oklahoma are clearly laid out in Politico‘s “AP U.S. History controversy becomes a debate on America.” Then, this week’s edition of racially coded comments about President Obama, brought to by Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani, who accused Obama last week of not loving America, has received his fair share of backlash, none better articulated than New York Magazine‘s “If Giuliani’s Obama Smear Wasn’t Racist, What Was It?”

In lighter news, Vanity Fair (as well as Lady Gaga) pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music with a delightful interview with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.

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WSJ shoutout to Spring Weekend foam party

In an article appearing in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, a few Brown events were mentioned as creative, alcohol-free alternatives to the traditional binge-drinking infused college parties the media tends to report on:

At Brown University in Providence, R.I., an alcohol-free “foam party,” a dance with the floor flooded with bubbles, draws about 600 students during Spring Weekend, a series of student-run events to celebrate the near-ending of the school year, when drinking is higher than usual, says Erin Hannen, a junior at Brown.

Others, however, are up-front. At Brown University, an “Art Gallery Mocktail Party” at fall orientation for the past two years has drawn 20% of incoming freshman,” says organizer Halie Rando, a senior at Brown.

While this is possibly the first time the phrases “alcohol-free” and “Spring Weekend” have been mentioned in the same sentence, it is nice to see a News Corp subsidiary highlight something nice about our University as opposed to trashing our “pure debauchery”.


Ted Turner ’60 never technically graduated from Brown, but the billionaire mogul is cool with it. According to Turner, he’s OK with having had financial trouble end his tenure at the University. In a Wall Street Journal article yesterday, he boasted, “I did everything I did without a college degree. … You can be successful without it.” While that may be true, he also was expelled from Brown after he was caught living with his girlfriend. Scandalous.

He didn’t need no Brown BA to recently take about 100 bison from Yellowstone Park. I guess he didn’t hear that Brunonians no longer use wild animals as mascots anymore.