Fwd: USG Unveils Shiny New Webmail!

Had enough of the clunky, buggy, bland webmail of old? There is hope yet. According to USG president Mike Yaroshefsky, OIT has a whole new site in the works — they’ve got a functional version up and they’re currently gathering feedback, says an anonymous tipster. The Ink took this new version for a little test drive, and I might actually be a webmail convert.

A godsend: the Reply function is now conveniently contained within the same window, so your screen isn’t constantly cluttered by pop-out windows. And although I don’t feel qualified to comment on any real technical improvements, there’s much to be said for aesthetics. Everything is a lot more readable, for one. Gone are the sterile whites and grays and blues, replaced by … markedly friendlier whites and grays and blues. (This theme is actually titled “Blue Steel.”) The spacing’s better; the font’s bigger. The trash bin is cuter. The buttons are nice and rounded in an endearingly pressable way.

Take a look for yourself after the jump:

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Take a tour of Princeton, circa 1962

There’s something about college tours that has always made me feel a little weird. Maybe it’s because I know that those college legends aren’t true (like that one about the bulldog on the chapel–if you don’t know it, you should probably take an Orange Key Tour). Or maybe because I’ve always wished that tour guides would just come out and say it: To your left is a terrible dorm, a dorm that no one wants to live in, where the nearest bathroom is three stories away and, seriously, there are mice. But it’s probably how easily they walk backwards. How do they do it?

Training. At serious meetings in Nassau Hall. Meetings with a dress code. Meetings that are preceded by the haunting, ringing music that plays in movies when the protagonist is having some kind of uncomfortable flashback to a past trauma. What? Oh, here’s an instructional video for Orange Key tour guides, circa 1962.

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IN PRINT: ‘Cool Genes’ Program Draws HS Science Teachers to PU

If you’ve found yourself losing sleep this summer, spending long, agonizing hours wondering what your beloved Princeton is doing with itself in your absence, read on.

[caption id="attachment_6845" align="alignright" width="515" caption="Sherry Davis (left) and lab partner Gail Turner-Graham swab their cheek cells for analysis in Princeton's Schultz Lab."]Sherry Davis (left) and lab partner Gail Turner-Graham swab their cheek cells for analysis.[/caption]

Contrary to popular belief, Princeton doesn’t exist in a September-to-May time warp. Princeton lives on! In a big way. And no, I’m not just talking about the hordes of high school athletes that descend on campus. Or the tech camp attendees who get, ahem, air-conditioned housing.

In fact, for anyone who went to sleep-away camp and wondered why the lobsters and sushi and chocolate fondue fountains only got rolled out on visiting day, this will make sense: summertime is Princeton’s visiting day. (Minus the A/C for non-tech-camp individuals and the constant fire alarms triggered by “careless cooking”). Construction, summer theater, festivals and fairs in town, weddings…campus is definitely alive and well.

And the learning continues! Click here to read about a 2-week, hands-on molecular biology outreach program for secondary school science teachers from all over the world.

Timelessness of Tigertown’s Prepster Chic

[caption id="attachment_6832" align="alignright" width="515" caption="Source: Teruyoshi Hayashida/PowerHouse Books, published at www.nytimes.com/style"]Source: Teruyoshi Hayashida/PowerHouse Books, published at www.nytimes.com/style[/caption]

As  we dredge hopelessly through the dog days of summer, with New York experiencing one of its hottest July weekends on record, it makes sense that we’re all getting a little back-to-school-fever.  Case in point: the front page of today’s New York Times Sunday Style section, which featured a story on the timelessness of Ivy League preppiness, complete with color picture of Princetonians in all their tiger-toned glory circa 1965.

[caption id="attachment_6833" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Nassau Steet parties like it's 1965; a spread from the newly-reissued "Take Ivy." (Photo: www.jcrew.com)"]Nassau Steet parties like it's 1965; a spread from the newly-reissued "Take Ivy." (Photo: www.jcrew.com)[/caption]

The occasion? As we announced to you back in March, Teruyoshi Hayashida’s classic book, Take Ivy, is coming to a retail store near you (as in, a short jaunt down Nassau Street) in just a few weeks.  The style classic, long worshipped by the powers-that-be at prepster labels like J.Press and Ralph Lauren, will be reissued by Powerhouse Books on August 23rd and sold by retailers like J.Crew.  What better way to spark up your post-Reunions, pre-move-in enthusiasm for Sperry Top-Siders and popped collars than to snap up a copy? Until then, you can preview the preppiness at your leisure in this NYT slide show, or read your fill about how this All-American Ivy look has taken over international men’s fashion here. Doesn’t it make you long to dash past East Pyne in a pristine letter sweater on a crisp Fall day?

Campus Masturbator hits Cornell

Princeton no longer has a monopoly on campus lewdness. Yesterday an email alert went out to all members of the Cornell community with the subject heading “lewd exposure incidents reported on campus.” For the past two weeks, students have reported three separate instances of exhibitionism. The email explains:

The first incident took place July 3 at approximately 12:15 p.m. A female reported that she observed a man exposing himself in a lewd manner near the stone bridge on Beebe Lake. The suspect was described as a middle-aged, white male with a stocky build.

The second reported incident occurred July 9 at approximately 3:30 p.m. when a male subject in a car pulled up to a female who was walking on campus and exposed himself. The subject called the female over to the vehicle and exposed himself. The subject was described as a tall, dark-skinned, white male, in his 20s to 30s. The car was described as an older, four-door vehicle, light in color.

The most recent incident occurred Tuesday, July 13, at approximately 4 p.m. in the Beebe Lake area. A male subject was observed exposing himself and acting in a lewd manner. The subject was described as a dark-skinned, heavy-set Hispanic or black male in his 20s to early 30s.

Five days after Princeton’s last act of lewdness, it seems we have a new competitor. Unlike the Ivy League title, however, this is one ball game we’re willing to lose.

Image source: http://www.evenbetterbasketball.com/images/basketball.jpg

Week in Review: Babies and Gravity Edition (July 5 – July 12)

Top of the agenda this past week: a really, really smart person says gravity is an “illusion” and LeBron James’s Princeton grad dad emerges from the mist. Wait, what?

Renowned babies scholar

Renowned babies scholar

First off: we pay our respects to Norman Ryder, a revolutionary Princeton sociologist who passed away at the age of 86. Ryder pioneered the “cohort” approach to demographic study, which analyzes a group of people of the same age as they “go through life and share similar experiences,” sort of like that movie about babies.

Speaking of babies, Ryder did a lot of massively influential research on fertility. He and another Princeton professor, Charles Westoff, co-directed the National Fertility Studies in ’65, ’70, and ’75, interviewing thousands of American women and eventually demonstrating, among other cool things, “that a drop in unplanned births accounted for nearly the entire decline in U.S. fertility following the post-World War II baby boom.”

And speaking of unplanned births …

This past week, LeBron James, one of the best humans to have ever touched a basketball, decided where he was going to bounce and shoot that basketball for the foreseeable future. For those who managed (somehow) to miss it, it was a big deal. The national media salivated, tongues lolling dumbly, as Mr. James managed to scientifically pinpoint himself as the center of the known universe (I don’t want to talk about it here it will get ugly I’m going to stop right now). It was a spectacle — and in the midst of it all a strange 55-year-old man decided to smack LeBron with a lawsuit, claiming to be his father and accusing his “son” of a fraudulent cover-up.

Is LeBron LeSon?

Is he really LeDaddy?

You may be wondering why I am talking about this. The fact is …

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Your Monthly Amazing Race Update, Part 1; Or, What We Talk About When We Talk About CDY

3045549519_a3dba04a38Even with the outcome potentially spoiled, CDY on the Amazing Race is just so fascinating to me.

In my pre-Princeton life I followed The Amazing Race as fanatically as some people follow football or baseball or the Academy Awards. I would flip out at the announcement of a new destination (“We’ve never been to Ethiopia before!” I’d exclaim, as if I were actually along for the ride instead of bouncing on a beanbag chair in my basement), bawl at the elimination of my favorite teams, and spend hours poring over game analysis on Reality TV message boards.

It was weird, I know. But when you’re a high schooler looking to use pop culture as the means of escape from your so-called teenage life, you really have to commit to your obsessions. Polite interest in a show or team or band doesn’t really get you anywhere – and me, I wanted to go everywhere, skip out of Delaware and cross the whole world three times over, preferably with a CBS camera crew in tow.

What I’m saying is, given this past obsession, the prospect of any old Princeton student on the show would be compelling to me.  But what makes CDY on the Amazing Race­ especially compelling – like I said, out-and-out fascinating – is that CDY wasn’t just any old student during his time at Princeton. He was one of our private college’s public figures – politically, at least, our big man on campus.

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Week In Review: Fourth of July edition (June 27 – July 4)

(Ed. Note: An earlier version of this post had a long meditation on Connor Diemand-Yauman and the popular reality TV show, The Amazing Race, which was a tad long for your weekly round-up. This rambling will be re-formatted and included in a new forthcoming post later today. Fun!)

Top of the agenda: This past weekend your uncle Sam got you drunk and made the sky explode with falling light.  When it was over he handed you a sparkle-stick and it was like the same thing (the sky-falling, not the uncle-drunking) but smaller.  It was pretty, too, but all of a sudden you felt empty and unsure.  You coughed and held the sparkler down away from your face.  What was the point of it all, the trails of light fading to tails of smoke?  What was the use?  And why was everybody around you dressed the same, matching reds and whites and blues?  Seriously ugly color combo, but still – they all looked so happy.  What did those people know that you didn’t?   Your uncle Sam said you just needed another drink.  Fine, you replied, but make sure it’s a real beer and not that awful low-carb stuff. He came back with the goods and you chugged it.  Then you doubled over and booted.

And then someone wrote a poem about it.

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The star in my
Hand is falling

All the uniforms know what’s no use

May I bow to Necessity not
To her hirelings.

  • Congratulations, you’ve just read something by W.S. Merwin ‘48, America’s next poet laureate (and, in case you haven’t get gotten hip to what the ’48 means ‘round these here parts – welcome freshmen! – a Princeton graduate from the Class of 1948).  According to the New York Times, Merwin, whose appointment was announced last week, is “an undisputed master” and enjoys composing his poems on paper napkins.
  • In my home state of Delaware there’s a man who sits in the Wilmington McDonalds and draws Mickey Mouse cartoons on napkin after napkin with a Sharpie.  He’s nice, albeit unlikely to ever hold a ceremonial post in the Obama administration.  I miss Delaware and I miss McDonalds.  Delaware I knew I’d have to leave behind once I went off to college, but McDonalds I figured would always be there.  Guess not. Thanks a lot, Princeton Borough.

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