What we’re reading

President Obama sat down with Bill Keller, Editor in Chief of the Marshall Project, to discuss the death penalty in America. The Marshall Project is a nonprofit news organization that seeks to inform the public about the injustices of the criminal justice system and incite reform through its work.

The Atlantic‘s “The Exemplary Narcissism of Snoopy” delves into the history of the Peanuts franchise, its author’s indignant nature, and the upcoming 3D animated movie. When the author Charles Schulz passed away in 2000, many thought the comic was done for, seeing as Schulz vowed that no new Peanuts strips would be produced. Fifteen years later, a feature-length movie is set to be released  on November 6th. Follow the evolution of the beloved characters throughout the decades in the piece.

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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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President Obama to speak at Rhode Island College


For Rhode Island Republicans, this Halloween might be especially spooky.

On Friday, October 31, President Obama will give a speech at Rhode Island College focused on the economy. He had previously been scheduled to speak on October 16 but canceled his visit “so he could continue to monitor the government’s response to the Ebola outbreak,” according to WPRI.

Barack isn’t the only Obama in the Ocean State this week, as First Lady Michelle Obama plans to head a rally for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo at the Juanita Sanchez School in Providence tomorrow.

Tickets for the general public go on sale today at 4 pm at the Rhode Island College Recreation Center (600 Mt. Pleasant Avenue, Providence). They are free of charge and will be disbursed on a first come, first serve basis…meaning the second you read this, you should probably hop on the #92 RIPTA and head on over.

You’ll have to be early for the speech, too, as the doors open at 7:30 am on Saturday. Obama’s remarks are slated to begin at 11:10 am. You can dress up as a hungover college student for Halloween that morning.

For more information on ticketing, click here.

Janet Yellen ’67 nominated as next Fed chair

Barack Obama, Janet Yellen, Ben Bernanke

This afternoon, President Obama nominated Janet Yellen to be the next chairperson of the Federal Reserve. Indeed, you probably already heard–this is big news in its own right. Yellen (if her nomination is approved) would be the first Fed chairwoman, and her appointment marks the end of Ben Bernanke’s eight-year tenure. What you probably haven’t heard is that Yellen is a member of the Brown University class of 1967.

The nature of our school could probably point you towards a few of her political beliefs–she’s a Democrat, and thus a proponent of a strong Fed stimulus program. After leaving Brown with a degree in economics, she headed to Yale to get her Ph.D. in–you’ll never guess–economics. Her extremely successful career in education and government reached new heights when President Obama nominated her as Vice Chairwoman of the Fed.

This Wednesday, the big promotion finally came. Brown should be proud to have such an accomplished, intelligent woman in our ranks. Here’s to hoping her appointment goes smoothly. Once she’s in office, she’ll need all the luck she can get.

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Art School(ed): We Think Alone


Art School(ed) is a column about all things arty (e.g., exhibits, printmakers, gouache, the Rhode Island School of Design, zines, Van Gogh, that Circle Dance sculpture made out of impenetrable tinfoil, contemporary photography, Woody Allen, etc.) penned by a real, live RISD student. 

Since July 1st, I have been receiving weekly e-mails from Lena Dunham and Kirsten Dunst. The ladies of Rodarte drop me a line every Monday as well. And Kareem Abdul-Jabbar… that guy just won’t leave me alone!

Unfortunately, these e-mails are not actually personalized for me. They are a part of Miranda July’s newest art project, where she implements e-mail as her medium of choice. July considers herself a filmmaker, an artist, and a writer. Her previous work appears in this litany of impressiveness: the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, two Whitney biennials, the Venice Biennale, The Paris Review, Harper’s, The New Yorker, the Sundance Film Festival, and the Cannes Film Festival. Swoon.

July’s e-mail project, entitled We Think Alone, compiles personal e-mails penned by people in the public eye. Each week, this collection of e-mails is curated according to a theme. Past themes include: an e-mail that mentions Barack Obama, a business e-mail, an e-mail to your mom, an e-mail that includes a dream you had, an e-mail with art in it, an e-mail about what you’re working on, an e-mail you decided not to send, an e-mail that includes a photo of yourself, and an e-mail with the phrase ‘I love you’ in it. Continue Reading

“War on Jesse Watters” continues

Let the saga continue! Apparently, our beloved Jesse Watters – we hate you too – made news this past week on POLITICO for, wait for it, supposedly giving $500 to, wait for it, President Obama’s reelection campaign. Yes, this is the same Jesse Watters who called Obama voters “zombies” and basically implied that all Brown students are atheist foot soldiers in the “War on Christmas.”

This honestly seems a little sketchy (and too funny to be true), but according to the FEC filing report, Watters, or someone with the same name, employer, and address, gave 500 dollars to the Obama Victory Fund 2012 in late September.

We would like to think that all of those times he came to Brown to harass talk with us inspired him to support the elected President before it was cool. Or maybe he just wanted to keep his job, by making fun of a President that he “doesn’t agree with” and by reporting serious and pressing news…like the “War on Christmas.”