Time-waster of the day: November 29, 2010

Still feeling that Thanksgiving food baby? Get back in shape with some CGI poodles and a woman in a terrifying poodle costume as they remake a classic aerobics video in “Mariko Takahashi’s Fitness Video for Being Appraised as an ‘Ex-fat Girl'”, created by Japanese artist Nagi Noda.

A plagiarist speaks out

An anonymous writer calling himself Ed Dante has caused quite the internet controversy over an essay he wrote for the Chronicle of Higher Education about his job writing essays for students who will pay hundreds of dollars to avoid them. Dante claims to make over $65,000 a year writing about everything from sociology and history to theology and ethics — with more than a dose of irony, we hope.

Naturally, we seized on the following paragraph:

I have become a master of the admissions essay. I have written these for undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs, some at elite universities. I can explain exactly why you’re Brown material, why the Wharton M.B.A. program would benefit from your presence, how certain life experiences have prepared you for the rigors of your chosen course of study. I do not mean to be insensitive, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been paid to write about somebody helping a loved one battle cancer. I’ve written essays that could be adapted into Meryl Streep movies.

We here at BlogDailyHerald aren’t naïve enough to think Brown students don’t cheat, despite the fact that in last year’s Herald poll, only 0.4% of you admitted to turning in someone else’s work as your own. But we have to admit we’re hoping that whoever “wrote” that Meryl Streep essay didn’t get in.

Have you ever paid someone to write an essay for you? Do you know someone who has — at Brown, or elsewhere? (Remember, comments are anonymous!)

WaterFire in Venice?


Venice: looking to Little Rhody for style tips?

Providence and Venice already have a lot in common. Both have a recent history of organized crime, controversial bridge projects, and really great Italian food. Soon, we’ll be able to add one more thing to the list: the Providence art installation WaterFire is coming to the Floating City.

The project was meant to go up this weekend, but it’s been postponed “indefinitely” according to the ProJo, which assures us it’s still going to happen. We’re proud but a little confused about why such a famous tourist destination would look to Providence for its public art needs. Were they seduced by WaterFire’s new-agey soundtrack? Or are they just looking for an excuse to make gondola rides even more expensive?

Watch out, Ruth

Visiting Fellow in Africana Studies Wyclef Jean
…there’s someone else at Brown with presidential ambitions.

Can’t wait for the next album by Visiting Fellow in Africana Studies Wyclef Jean (yeah, we still have fun writing that, too)? While If I Were President: The Haitian Experience isn’t set for release until early next year, according to his blog, Jean will release a six song EP version this December, called If I Were President: My Haitian Experience. We assume the pronoun change is a dig to election officials in Haiti, who refused to allow Jean to run in that country’s presidential election.

After the jump, listen to the single “Election Time” from the forthcoming record.

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Did you really read that Dean of the College email?

Focal Point website

Look how aesthetically pleasing!

If not, check your archive again.  The email announced a new web site called Focal Point, which provides brief information about concentration programs all on one page.  It’s primarily designed for underclassmen to explore their options, but we think it’s worth a look anyway–if only because it’s really, really pretty. The thumbnails above are taken from the departments’ own websites, and apparently lots of them study old buildings and fall leaves. If you’re an upperclassman wondering where your concentration might lead you once you graduate, check out the information about what recent grads are doing in the real world. (Spoiler alert: you’re likely to end up in academia or in investment banking.)

This Halloween, show us some spirit(s)

so sexy.

These men may just look stylish, but it's actually an ironic costume.

Halloween is your reward for getting through both midterms and Parent’s Weekend. Pay back the favor by celebrating it right: with a clever costume. Yeah, you could always reuse your “sexy Mickey Mouse” outfit from last year (or, sadly, your Sarah Palin costume from 2008), but why not try something different? After the jump, we suggest some alternatives. Feel free to leave your own ideas in the comments!

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