A Cool Thing You Shouldn’t Miss: ‘Strandbeest’ workshops for Theo Jansen’s upcoming visit

Theo Jansen, Dutch artist and all around badass, is coming to College Hill this month. Merging art and engineering, Jansen is known for building large, kinetic mechanical animals out of PVC—”Strandbeests,” as he calls them. Jansen’s Strandbeests walk down beaches in Holland on their own accord, with spindly legs that are powered by wing-like sails.

Some of his creatures, such as the Animaris Percipiere, are able to capture and store air pressure in plastic bottles to continue to move without wind. Without any electronic components, the Strandbeests can navigate between soft and hard sand, and some can even detect and change directions if they encounter water or can anchor themselves in the ground if they sense a storm is coming.  Using recycled bottles, pumps, and valves, Jansen is able to equip the beasts with a muscular and neural system of sorts. Jansen is coming to Brown and RISD this month to talk about his Strandbeests, delivering a speech Friday, November 21st in the RISD Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Before his talk, you can create your own version of a Strandbeest. Continue Reading


A Cool Thing You Shouldn’t Miss: Ken’s Ramen grand opening

10628138_318078545053448_2698897662559797103_n

Supremely delicious noodle shop Ken’s Ramen will be celebrating its official grand opening on Halloween. Though the restaurant has been running a soft opening for a while now — to rave reviews — Friday will mark its official debut. And how should one ring in any major celebration? With champagne, of course. The restaurant is offering free champagne with the purchase of ramen/a side (for those 21 and up, obviously). No word yet, however, on how Moët pairs with Hell Paitan ramen.

In addition to the bubbly extravaganza, Ken’s Ramen promises to unveil four new dishes on Friday, according to their website. One of them is probably pumpkin spice themed. Their noodle dishes no doubt make for a great start to your Halloween partying, especially if you’re dressing up as a member of the Ramen Cartel.

Image via.


Winter [read: George R.R. Martin] is coming to Brown

10410468_10152735570972603_4668682296848302060_n

If you know me at all then you know my not-so-secret secret: I am obsessed with Game of Thrones. In fact, I was so depressed after the culmination of Season 3 that I read the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series. And for that reason I tell you with great reluctance that the series’ author George R.R. Martin is bringing his mass murderer self to Brown on October 23. He will appear, along with distinguished publisher Tom Doherty, to receive the Library’s inaugural Harris Collection Literary Award. The presentation and subsequent interview will occur in Salomon 101 at 7 p.m.

Why would I be reluctant to tell you this, you might be wondering? Am I not excited? That’s just it. I am so excited that as I write this I hope no one reads it so that no one thinks to get tickets. Then maybe I’ll get quality time with G.R.R.M. so I can ask him all my burning questions. (What does the R.R. stand for? Why do you kill all of my favorite characters? Is there any chance you can give my resume to the producers of Game of Thrones?) Maybe if I tell you guys not to go, then you’ll listen. So here goes nothing…

You should definitely not go to this link on Monday, October 6 at 12 p.m to reserve your spot. It will certainly not be amazing nor will the Q&A be enlightening. Seriously, you really don’t want to go. Don’t get tickets. In fact, forget this post even happened. Please.

Image by Jason Hu.


A Cool Thing You Shouldn’t Miss: A Better World by Design

better worldA Better World by Design, or the only conference clever enough to advertise in the middle of a crosswalk, is back for its seventh year and is cooler than ever. Founded by Brown’s Engineers Without Borders in 2008, A Better World by Design seeks to “bring a global community of innovators to Providence” to create a powerful exchange across fields to “build a better world.”

The three-day conference is packed with lectures, panels, and workshops intended to get you thinking about how passionate individuals and teams can change the way we look at the world through innovative design. Events will take place this weekend, September 19-21, mostly on College Hill and spread across Brown and RISD’s campuses. This year’s theme is “wayfinding” or “a collective design process used to solve social changes,” so expect programs drawing from the fields of “mapping, interactive art, design policy, and DIY biology.”

You’ll have the opportunity to hear a ton of influential speakers and attend programs that cater to nearly every interest. Seriously. This year’s program offers lectures ranging from “hearing colors” to effectively redesigning public policies to lessen social disparities. Needless to say, this conference offers programs that go way beyond our normative definition of design.

Continue Reading


A Cool Thing You Shouldn’t Miss: WIB presents WhatWeWearWhere

1450774_567358463329618_1772459958_n

Wear Where will you be tonight? Join Brown Women in Business (WIB) at 8 p.m. in Kassar for an event hosted by a mother-daughter duo. Kelley Harrison ’13 and her mother, Kathy, co-founded the fashion app and wardrobe guide WhatWeWearWhere!

Wait, what does your startup WhatWeWearWhere do? Basically, it’s an Instagram for those who never know what to wear, curated by those who always know what to wear.

WhatWeWearWhere allows you to see what people are actually wearing at different colleges, workplaces, restaurants, and events and where they bought their outfits. Yeah, you can even see what people wear to The Whiskey Republic because, well, you probably forgot. More popular categories include “Brown University,” “financial analyst,” “charity event,” “wedding,” and “4th of July.” If you’re really struggling, there’s even an “at home” category. Basically, anyone can share photos of their unique style and see what others are wearing.

Continue Reading


A Cool Thing You Shouldn’t Miss: The 2014 SEEED Summit

1017735_691873504184267_210409465_n

Next week, from April 25 through 26, Brown will host this year’s SEEED Summit. SEEED (Social Enterprise Economic Ecosystem Development) is an conference that aims to discuss what is needed to build an effective social enterprise ecosystem that can drive economic development. One of its main goals is to promote a business model that is not only successful economically, but also focuses on sustainable profit that accelerates social change.

Over 500 people are gathering on Brown’s campus for a two-day summit to discuss and formulate strategies. Some speakers include investors, policy makers, academics, and business leaders. The summit also boasts a very accomplished group of keynote addresses. One of them will be delivered by Ira C. Magaziner, a Brown graduate and Rhodes Scholar. He is the Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). He is also the Chairman of the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) and is on the board of the Clinton Hunter Development Initiative. You definitely will not want to miss this opportunity to hear new ideas and policies about social change that actually will be implemented.

If you are interested, more information about the summit, speakers, workshops, and accommodations can be found on the SEEED Summit website. Registration for the conference is available online (Brown students get a discounted rate of just $45!). Don’t miss this unique opportunity to hear a wide range of ideas and policies about the future of business in America. 

Image via.