Much like its students–many of whom are finished with their totally awesome life-changing (important), lucrative (really important), resume-enhancing (most important) internships at McBainMorganWater & Sachs of America Madoff, Inc.–Old Nassau, it seems, is sort of vegging out the rest of August. You see, nothing crazy or absurd occurred this past week.
But still, there were some gems, including a Princeton alumnus who funneled beers with Stephen Colbert on Monday’s Colbert Report! Ch-ch-check it out!:
- The media was given its first look at the new Butler College, which was designed by the famed architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. (The same folks also designed Spelman and Friend Center, though Henry Cobb was the lead architect for both the new Butler and Friend, while I.M. Pei did Spelman.) The new four-year residential college looks pretty cool, and we’re being sincere! The two C-shaped complexes do a good job of tying in Wu Hall with Bloomberg and Scully, and the rooms will be among the largest on campus. Each suite will have its own private bathroom, and each single will have a shared one. But none of this really matters, because apparently 14 varieties of sedum–which look suspiciously like normal weeds–have been planted on the green roofs, and they will solve global warming and cure cancer, or something.
- In other news, democracy sucks. Electronic voting machines are still susceptible to hackers. Maybe people would trust these machines more if Princeton folk would just stop hacking into them and telling the world that election results can be corrupted! I mean, what’s the big deal? Khamenei says it’s okay!
- Do you ever get frustrated when you’re trying to pack for school, and you can’t fit all of your clothes in two bags, and you’re stressed out that the mean airline representative at the check-in counter will make you play a gazillion dollars and force you to take shoes from one bag and shove them into the other? Well, that has nothing to do with this, but two Princeton researchers have beaten the world record of how much a specific shape can be packed into a sphere. The problem, first posed in 1611, was solved in 2005, and since then people have been trying to pack more shapes into the space. Professor Salvatore Torquato and graduate student Yang Jiao figured out how to use tetrahedra to fill a volume to 78.2% capacity. This beat the previous record of 77.8% that was set last year, and they also pwned the legendary John Conway, with whom Torquato set a world record in 2006 by filling 72%. This latest discovery will be very useful, apparently. And cure AIDS.
- Woody Woo professor Jim Leach ’64 (and former Republican congressman and Obama endorser) was confirmed by the Senate to become head of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
- Professor Paul Krugman bought a nice new Manhattan apartment on Riverside Drive for himself and his wife. The $1.7 million co-op had been on the market for over a year and was originally listed at $2.5 million. That’s so smart! A Nobel prize-winning economist would totally do that! What else did we learn? Krugman and his wife, Robin Wells, likes to decorate their home with “Danish modern” furniture. So elitist!
- A preseason poll picked Princeton’s football team to finish fifth in the Ivy League this season. We weep.
- A New York Times blog discussed the emergence of the phrase “Princeton Plan,” which refers to a recently proposed international carbon emissions cap that the Princeton team says distributes the burden more equitably between developed and developing nations (here’s the PDF file of the report). Instead of capping emissions on a national or per capita level, the Princeton Plan would identify the top one billion least “emissions-inefficient” people in the world and set national caps based on how many of the top one billion people live in a country. As the all-important December Copenhagen talks approach, the Princeton Plan will probably be seriously considered, especially by developing countries that want developed countries to bear a larger burden.
- Newly elected Democratic congressman Jared Polis ’96 from Colorado was on last night’s Colbert Report, as part of the show’s on-going “Better Know a District” series. (Did you know he is the first openly gay person non-incumbent man to be elected to Congress? Ever.) When Colbert quotes Polis as once saying that working in Congress was like going back to college (a.k.a. Princeton), he challenges Polis to funnel some Coors Light. So fratty! Polis doesn’t seem to be very experienced in beer funneling (like, aren’t you supposed to pour in the beer first before funneling it down?), but it’s hilarious. Here’s the clip:
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Even Better-er Know a District – Colorado’s 2nd – Jared Polis|
(image sources: princeton.edu)