Some of these are going to be Princeton students


Fifth? Or fourth circle of hell?

Admissions decisions loom over potential members of the Class of 2014. Tomorrow, April 1 at 5:00 pm Eastern, Princeton will inform a little over 26,000 students whether they will be able to attend.

Yikes. Maybe that sounds a little too grave.

(Also, April Fools seems like such a lousy date; I myself, in my initial stages of denial over the fact that I was rejected, might pray for at least 20 minutes that the school was just pranking me).

At any rate, a significant percentage of applicants seem to be tweaking out on online forums like College Confidential (see Princeton’s portion of College Confidential here). 

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IN PRINT: Barry Pavel Highlights Key Role of Interagency Work and Personality in Policy-Making

PavelThe military and international policy work currently so relevant to the United States on several fronts must be dominated by personality and interagency collaboration, National Security Council Director for Defense Policy Barry Pavel told the audience of students, faculty, and community members gathered in Princeton’s Dodds Auditorium on Monday, Mar. 21.

“Boundaries matter, but personalities matter more,” Pavel said. “You want to structure your organizational boundaries in a way that maximizes your advantages and minimizes your disadvantages, and so you have to work across the seam.”

Read more in the Woodrow Wilson School News.

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Picking classes just got way less annoying

[caption id="attachment_5146" align="aligncenter" width="515" caption="Ice, ice, baby - where were you freshman year?"]Screen shot 2010-03-31 at 2.12.02 PM[/caption]

You know when you’re picking classes and you found the perfect SA and an English class that looks awesome and you’re really excited, and then it turns out they’re at the same time? Or when you spend five hours trying to decide between ECO 101 and ECO 100? (Don’t do it if you don’t have to.)

Well it looks like Gyeong-Sik Choi ’10 is looking out for you, because he’s created the new Integrated Course Engine. Or ICE.

Besides having a sweet name, the searchable engine takes all the classes you’re thinking of signing up for, compiles reviews from the Student Course Guide and course descriptions in different panes, and lays them out for you in a neat little schedule.

Bam. Course-picking just got a little easier.

(image via Michael Yaroshefsky’s email to USG News subscribers)

iWant No More Kindles

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="280" caption="This could have been your Stan Katz reading, but no."]This could have been your Stan Katz reading, but no.[/caption]

Remember when Princeton gave us Kindles, and we were like, Frick, that’s awesome! But after a while we were like, Frick, these suck. And then we were like, Frick, told you guys.

Well Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania is one-upping us and giving all of their students iPads. You know, those kind of useless big iPhones. But who cares because they’re free, man.

Via Techflash:

About 2,100 students attend Seton Hill, so at the lowest retail price point of $499 (and not factoring in any possible bulk discounts) it would amount to just over a $1 million initial investment.

Come on Princeton. I bet you spend that money on toilet paper, or something.

At any rate, just a little jealous of these kids. Because, as you might remember, apparently the Kindle job sucked. Thanks Princeton.

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Health Care Examined, Woody Woo-Style


Ah, the good 'ole days of SHR: "I'm just a bill..." (source:

One week after the health care jump, and the Tea Partiers are all busy rallying their troops (to the extent that Obama publicly acknowledged the movement in an interview on the Today Show this morning).  As the rumors fly and rallying cries are shouted, it’s a relief to find a writer who outlines what the new health care actually does in a clear way.

Enter Uwe Reinhardt, Woodrow Wilson’s James Madison Professor of Political Economy. Reinhardt’s specialty is Health Care policy, and as such, he’s been everywhere this past week.  His most recent post on the NYTimes’s Economix blog (a site which is meant to “explain the science of everyday life”) helps demystify the process a great deal: read it here.

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Thoughts from the Mod, Vol. II: Of Memes and Other Demons



Any self-respecting FML reader is by now painfully familiar with the “Anna?” phenomenon. If you were (un)fortunate enough to miss the meme entirely, it’s not too complicated: commenters arbitrarily posted “Anna?” in response to any FML, ranging from sniffing of asparagus pee to dubious use of back massagers. Feel free to browse– there are seven full pages of Anna?-posts, dating back to January 14th.  (Apparently this was really amusing for a really long period of time.) But who is Anna? The Mod gave us the scoop. Straight from the horse’s (unicorn’s?) mouth:

I approved 80 “Anna?” comments [during midterms week]. For those of you who care to know, Anna is a friend of mine who knows my true identity. Her friends found out that she knew who I was, but she refused to tell them, so they decided to post her name as comments on amusing/embarrassing posts … Anna’s a real trooper though, and as far as I know, didn’t spill the beans.

Trooper indeed. And as you may have noticed, Anna wasn’t that week’s only meme.

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Two Former Princeton Architecture Professors Win Pritzker Prize

[caption id="attachment_5094" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Sejima and Nishizawa, feeling the excitement!"]Sejima and Nishizawa, feeling the excitement![/caption]

Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa will be the next recipients of the prestigious Pritzker Prize (pretty much the Nobel Prize of architecture). The pair currently work for the Japanese firm SANAA but used to lecture at Princeton, so we’re still counting this as a victory for Old Nassau. Full story here.

(image courtesy of SANAA)

Ready, Set, Trivia!

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If you can’t stand to type another word of your JP or thesis, fear no more. We’ve scoured the Internet for ways for you to procrastinate and, as this is Princeton, it’s trivia! Completely random trivia! No, like really, really random!

Ready, go!

When was each active eating club established?

Who are famous Princeton graduates?

Um…who are Charter Club’s 09-10 members?

Even more random questions about Princeton!

And yes, it’s possible, questions that are even more random!

On Worms and Princeton Entrepreneurship

The Red Wiggler on a compost bin, in case you were wondering what to look for. (image source:

The Red Wiggler on a compost bin, in case you were wondering what to look for. (image source:

Once upon a time, a 19-year-old Princeton student had a crazy idea: why not harvest worm poop, liquefy it, and package it in re-used soda bottles?

In 2001, while visiting some friends in Montreal over the Fall Break of his freshman year, Tom Szaky watched as his friends fed scraps of food to red wiggler worms in a composting bin. And suddenly it hit him – feeding organic waste to worms and using the results as fertilizer would be a perfect business model to submit to the Princeton Business Plan Contest.

And the rest is history. Szaky placed fifth in the contest, but he didn’t stop there. Soon he had emptied his savings account to invest in a worm gin, and he and his friend Jon Beyer were spending their days shoveling rotting food waste from the dining halls to deliver to the wigglers. Meanwhile, Szaky was camping out on the floor of a friend’s dorm room and eating what he could find in his dining hall adventures. His venture was saved by the contributions of Suman Sinha, a venture capitalist who saw promise in Szaky and his worm gin, and 20 Nassau St. became, um, home to worms and rotting food. Or at least to their administrative affairs. (Did they tell you that when you signed the lease, Ma Chérie Boutique?)

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Dream colleges and money woes

[caption id="attachment_5071" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Princeton Preview 2010"]Princeton Preview 2010[/caption]

Remember when you were a high school senior, waiting nervously for that acceptance letter from Princeton? Well, it’s that time of year again. On April 1st (that’s this Thursday), at 5:00 p.m. EST, Ivy League applicants will receive their acceptances and rejections.

So, what are high school students and their parents thinking about this admissions season?

The Princeton Review released its annual College Hopes and Worries Survey on March 24.

With the Great Recession ongoing, the major worry is money.

  • 86% of applicants and their parents said financial aid is “very necessary.”
  • 68% said that the recession has affected their college decisions.
  • Due to the economy, 51% said they were applying to “more ‘financial aid safety’ schools,” 25% to “schools closer to home” and 24% to colleges “with lower sticker prices.”
  • 39% said their biggest worry was that they “will get into first-choice college, but won’t have sufficient funds/financial aid to attend.”

But if money wasn’t an issue?  What would be their dream college? Princeton ranked 4th among students, behind Stanford, Harvard and NYU. Among parents, we did a little better, ranking 2nd only to Stanford.

21 Questions with…Professor Harris-Lacewell

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Name: Melissa Harris-Lacewell

Occupation on Campus: Associate Professor of Politics

Department: Politics

Hometown: Charlottesville, VA

Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real or fictional? My uncle, Wesley Harris. He was the first black man to receive a PhD in engineering from Princeton. He’s been on faculty at MIT for decades and he is my dad’s twin brother. My dad is also a professor. When they are together they are like carbon copies of each other. They crack me up. Uncle Wes is the best.

What is your greatest guilty pleasure? I read trashy gossip magazine, but only on the elliptical machine. It is my motivation to go to the gym.

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Ivy League NCAA Sports Redux

[caption id="attachment_5044" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="the boys in blue (source:"]the boys in blue (source:[/caption]

Cornell may have ended its historic March Madness run last night (read the NYTimes’s take on it here), but the Ivy League still lives strong in the NCAA. Next up: Yale’s hockey team is going up against North Dakota tomorrow afternoon in the Northeast regional semifinals. Yale was ranked No. 9 in the nation after an impressive season (20-9-3), and the game will be aired live on and Fox Sports Net North at 5pm ET on Saturday. So shelve that Tiger pride, take a much-needed study break, and cheer on your fellow Ivy! Enjoy the weekend, everybody.