Here’s your Fall 2014 Brown Lecture Board speaker poll

We interrupt your summer recess for an important announcement: Brown Lecture Board has opened its speaker poll for Fall 2014! Mindy Kaling and Sir Ian McKellen, popular former bids, are joined by newcomers Kevin Spacey, Toni Morrison, and Jane Goodall.

Kaling is a prominent comedian on her show The Mindy Project and was on The Office. McKellen was nominated for two Oscars and has also been immortalized as Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, Magneto in X-Men, and this. Kevin Spacey stars in the Netflix political thriller House of Cards as the pure evil cunning Frank Underwood. Morrison is a universally acclaimed author and Pulitzer Prize winner. Her novel Beloved is a favorite of Professor Arnold Weinstein in the comp lit department. Finally, Goodall is famous as both a scientist and a humanitarian and is considered “the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees.”

The poll (found here) is complete with mini-bios for each speaker, and BLB really hopes that students will take the time to make an educated decision. Of course, we at BlogDH promise to keep you informed about all of the candidates as well. Let WWIII commence amongst our staff writers.

An important note: Remember that when you invite actors, you aren’t actually inviting their characters. Ian Mckellen cannot tell you what happens after the last of the elves sailed to Valinor, and as much as we would to love to see Wendy Schiller front and center in Salomon 101, this question is probably inappropriate for Kevin Spacey:


From BlogDH’s Facebook group. Nobody’s perfect.

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Ch-ch-changes: Brown Lecture Board

Amidst the excitement surrounding the spring lineup for Brown Lecture Board, you may have noticed that the organization is going through a lot (ch-ch-ch)changes this year. BlogDH sought out BLB President Kaivan Shroff ’15 to explain the recent alterations to the process. Here are the basics:

1. They’re increasing their use of social media as a way to further engage with the student population. Shroff described the shift as “a way for students to get more information, and for us to get input and feedback.” They have launched a Facebook page and an Instagram in the efforts to make the details of Lecture Board events more accessible. In the vein of getting input and feedback, Lecture Board has been hard at work on the internet to gauge campus’ reactions to their ticketing processes and events. This includes distributing a variety of surveys, as well as a Google moderator for the upcoming panel that has students submit questions and other students vote on those questions. Last semester, BlogDH hosted a vote for Fall Lecture Board speaker, which got over 1600 responses. Shroff explained, “There’s a trade-off between time and democracy. In the future, we are trying to get these polls up as soon as possible, so we can best represent what the students of Brown want.”

2. The ticketing system has moved online in a new lottery process. Shroff said that in the past “we would have the line circle around JWW, or a spiral in the Kasper Multipurpose room, but the spaces available at Brown for hundreds of people to line up are very limited.” The major goal of the lottery is to equalize the online ticketing process.” Bill Nye tickets literally sold out in 20 seconds… luckily, we could respond quickly to this and changed the distribution to a lottery system, accommodating people who could have slower Internet connectivity or a malfunctioning computer.” An important thing to note is that there will be a standby line for every Lecture Board event, although the number of people let in will vary depending on how close the venue is to capacity.

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Live simulcast of Bill Nye’s talk tonight in Salomon 001


Everybody loves Bill Nye. Well, not everybody, but at least we can agree that he has a lovable TV personality. His show, Bill Nye the Science Guy, aired from 1993 to 1998 on Disney and PBS, and enlightened a generation of children—and adults, perhaps—to love and appreciate science.

So it was not a surprise when just a few weeks ago, news of his visit to campus—scheduled for tonight at 7 in the Salomon Auditorium—erupted, as well as a fair dose of rapture among the student body. So fair was this dose that online tickets for the event sold out in seconds each of the first two days, and the remaining tickets were distributed in a lottery. One student is even reported to have said, “I would redo each and every one of my poor life decisions for the certainty of getting a ticket.”

Good news, student, and anyone else who wasn’t able to secure a ticket: you don’t have to redo your poor life decisions. Instead, you can watch Bill’s talk live on screen (“simulcast”) in Salomon 001. Students waiting in the stand-by line tonight who don’t get their numbers called will have the opportunity to go downstairs and have the eerie knowledge that the Science Guy is just above them, delivering his words of wisdom (and science).

Be sure to head over to Salomon before 6:45 tonight! Who knows, there may be a seat available for you, especially if you come early, and if not, there should be one downstairs. I’m sure that with all of our upcoming exams and whatnot, we could all use some Bill Nye in our lives.

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Bill Nye tickets will become available tomorrow


Brown Lecture Board has invited Bill Nye to speak at Brown on December 5th. Just so we can ensure the servers will crash (just kidding BLB), we thought we’d remind you that tickets will become available tomorrow, November 19 at 12 p.m.

To those of you who remember sitting in long lines waiting for tickets in Kasper Multipurpose Room, you’ll be happy to know that you can get your tickets online this time around. Go to this website then to ensure that you—and only you, since it’s one ticket per person—will have a chance to see the Science Guy in the flesh. And there’s hope if you don’t nab a ticket tomorrow. It seems there will be three separate sales: one tomorrow at noon, and then two more at the same time on Wednesday and Thursday.

You don’t need Blog to convince you to spend a couple minutes on a website to get the chance to see this man grace the Salomon stage. He is arguably the most recognizable living scientist in America, a country that rarely grants its researchers celebrity status. And more than any other generation, we grew up on him. “Bill Nye the Science Guy” ran on PBS  between 1993 and 1998 and was played in our grade school science classrooms for years after. Without Bill, we never would have known exactly how much science rules.

Know your Lecture Board Fall Speaker Poll candidates: Bill Nye the Science Guy

Upon learning that the Lecture Board  Speaker Poll was officially open, one of our writers sprung into action to proclaim that she planned to vote for Mindy Kaling. World War III erupted as both BlogDH staffers and readers alike disagreed with this preference. As such, several members of our team were inspired to action and decided to write pieces advocating for their first-choice speakers. Expect fleshed-out plugs for each candidate from now until the poll closes. It’s like All That‘s ‘Know Your Stars’… except not fake. 

First of all, I have to say Lecture Board did a PHENOMENAL job with this year’s candidates. Sure, Mindy Kaling is pretty cool; Arianna Huffington created one of the most popular news sites of our age, which is okay; Guy Fieri is ignorant about his ‘90s boy-band frosted tips, which is completely amusing; and Sir Ian McKellen was knighted, which I guess is kind of a big deal. But guys… BILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY.

Make your childhood-self proud.

Seriously, this guy.

Find the reasons why you should vote for Bill Nye the Science Guy after the jump. Seriously, go vote. Right now. Continue Reading

Time-waster of the Day: November 30, 2012

I feel like Bill Nye the Science Guy would be on one of those top 40 nostalgia wish lists that BuzzFeed puts out about the ’90s. Indeed, I do fret about a generation of children not learning from this guy. Fortunately, according to Reddit, Nye will be bringing his talents to a whole new generation via the iPad. It’s called AERO 3D Bird Flight, and its title is pretty descriptive: “AERO is a beautiful, open-world 3D bird-flight game that teaches the physics principles behind the power of flight.” Honestly, the game looks actually somewhat enjoyable as a study break, but it won’t ever come into existence without our help. Nye is using a Kickstarter to get the funding for the app (because he doesn’t have enough money right now??). As of 10:00 a.m. yesterday morning, 464 backers had pledged $6,580 out of the $100,000 goal. May the ’90s gods be in Nye’s favor; we want to see this app become a reality.

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