Drunk/Sober/High: Ladd Observatory

drunksoberhigh ladd observatory

Drunk/Sober/High is a series started at New York University’s blog NYULocal. It sends a drunk person, a sober person, and a high person to all go enjoy (and endure) the same experience together. We love it, so we thought we’d give it a try. 

For this edition of the post, three of our writers visited Brown’s Ladd Observatory in various states of mind. The Observatory houses a refracting telescope used for research and stargazing, and it is open to the public on Tuesday nights from 7-9 p.m. We recommend checking it out at any level of sobriety. Here are our thoughts from our trip:

Getting to the Observatory

Drunk: It’s a Tuesday night and I’m drunk. I make my friends bring their Blue Room sandwiches to my room so that they can watch me get drunk alone on a Tuesday night. I’ve either made it big or hit rock bottom. I meet High at a location that is conveniently located near both of our dorms and we walk to find Sober. High tells me that his friends asked him, “who the fuck would get drunk on a Tuesday night.” Oops. The walk to the car is cold, but I have a nice alcohol blanket keeping me nice and snuggly. I’m giggling a lot and feeling excited to see some planets and stuff.

Sober: On the walk to the car, Drunk and High start calling me mama. I didn’t realize how big a responsibility I was taking on here. As we are waiting to cross the street, Drunk yells (about High), “He’s a shapeshifter! He was here and now he’s there!” High never moved. We make it across the street and High sees a lit-up building and philosophizes, “That looks like a dystopian version of heaven. You’re like, this is how I imagine heaven, except then you go in and it fucks you over.” It’s going to be a long night.

High: The car is freezing and Sober barely knows how to use the A/C. It’s cold. At least I called shotgun (Drunk is a sucker), so I’m that much closer to all the hot air that isn’t coming out. I’m not really sure where we’re going. To see stars, maybe?

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Brown selected for CubeSat mission


Providence isn’t generally regarded as a hub of space travel (for now), but the engineers and astrophysicists of College Hill are nonetheless set to leave their mark on the stratosphere with NASA’s recent announcement of its CubeSat Mission candidates. The mission — an initiative to launch a class of nano-satellites aboard rockets scheduled for 2015, 2016, and 2017 — will use satellites designed and constructed by fifteen educational and research institutions, including Brown. Read the details here.

If there’s one thing the film Gravity taught the world, it’s that poorly constructed satellites are a big no-no. With the sturdy designs of Brown’s astrophysicists up in orbit, George Clooney and Sandra Bullock will hopefully run into fewer difficulties while at work.

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Study break: Solar Eclipse

k-bigpicLooking for a good-luck omen during finals period? Look no further than the sky… in Australia.

At 4:25 today, you can watch via SOOH’s live video feed the annular solar eclipse happening in the Southern Hemisphere. Since the moon is at its furthest point from the Earth while passing in front of the sun, it’ll form a particularly bright halo called the Ring of Fire.

And if you missed it? The next solar eclipse will be in our backyard will be this November 3rd.

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The aurora is coming, the aurora is coming!

Not just for the polar bears.

Not just for the polar bears.

Or so we think. We always knew that Providence was pretty far North—hello, winter went on for forever—but we didn’t realize that this was an Arctic kind of deal.

A solar flare that occurred at 2 a.m. Thursday is estimated to reach the Northern states at… well, 8 p.m. tonight. That’s in less than an hour. Vibrant colors are expected to show in New York, the Dakotas, Washington, and possibly as far South as Pennsylvania. We’re definitely in range.

Go outside. Seeing the Northern Lights has always been on my bucket list. It’s time to cross it off.

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