Weekend Arts Roundup: “Red Herring” and more

Red Herring posterThe weekend is nearly upon us, ladies and gents! And with it comes the start of Theatre Intime’s 2010-2011 season.  For the newbs, Intime is Princeton’s principal student-run organization for “straight plays,” meaning those without song and dance.  Founded in 1920, the group currently runs out of the Hamilton Murray Theatre, a beautiful old space that’s adjacent to the University Chapel.  Intime is also conveniently attached to Murray Dodge Café, also known as the most heavenly place on campus: its freshly baked cookies, free coffee, and free tea from 10-12:30 every night have been solely responsible for getting many a Princetonian to graduation in one piece.

Intime opens its season tonight with Red Herring, an atmospheric piece set in 1952.  While the play depicts an America enmeshed in McCarthyism, nuclear threat, and Eisenhower’s impending presidential inauguration, the plot deftly toes the line between introspection and fast-paced humor.  The play’s director, Cara Liuzzi ’12, calls the play’s world one that is “colorful,strange, and darkly atmospheric; a fairy tale with blunt honesty.”

While Liuzzi did considerable research before embarking on “Red Herring,” she loved the immersion experience of working on the show.  “I loved reading a Time-Life book on the 1950s that I got out of the library: looking at the images in that book really helped me get a feel for the show.”  Everything in the show was meticulously done according to period, from the costumes to the music: “the music that punctuates the many blackout lines and scene changes in the play has the potential to add a lot of atmosphere, and also a kind of ironic commentary at times,” Liuzzi explained.

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“Productive” Procrastination ho!: NRC releases long-awaited grad school study

[caption id="attachment_7190" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Don't be afraid, little guy!"]Don't be afraid, little guy![/caption]

Seniors, rejoice! As the economic climate continues to worsen and Princeton in Asia begins to look like an increasingly viable career move, the powers that be are making it even easier to apply to (or, at the very least, research) graduate programs.

This Tuesday, the National Research Council released an exhaustive and long-awaited report comparing a number of doctoral programs in the United States, including data from over 5,000 graduate programs at 212 universities.
One of our very own, Dr. Jeremiah P. Ostriker, a professor of astrophysics at Princeton, chaired the committee; though he might have been able to put in a good word for the old orange and black, it was, in all likelihood, not a very specific one.

The Chronicle of Higher Education quotes Dr. Ostriker as saying, “There are many different sources of uncertainty in the data…We put them together as well as we could…. That means that we can’t say that this is the 10th-best program by such-and-such criteria. Instead, we can say that it’s between fifth and 20th, where that range includes a 90-percent confidence level. It’s a little unsatisfactory, but at least it’s honest.”

Words to live by.

To download the full report, click here.
Or, if you’re not in the mood to read 264 pages of pure statistical lovin’, you can use this snappy tool created by the Chronicle of Higher Education to find the real world evasion module that best suits you!

The Books Come to Princeton; Or, How Steno Got Its Groove Back

Until recently, there was in my mind no conceivable relationship between Hebrew stenography and funk. Then The Books came along and everything changed.

The Books are reading the books!

Hey check it out The Books are reading the books!

The Books are an experimental musical duo, and on Tuesday afternoon they delivered a hilarious and hyper-intellectual presentation as part of the Music Department’s Composition Colloquium Series. This is their second appearance at Princeton in the past year — they played a hypnotizing set at Terrace last fall — but this time around there was less “let’s play our music” and more “let’s talk about how we make our music.”

These guys are critical darlings of the indie world: unsurprisingly, they were greeted by a room chock full of flannel, stubble, and horn-rimmed glasses, largely of grad student origin. And when I refer to The Books as experimental I mean that very seriously. Together they gather bits of found sound and assemble minimalist “sound collages” — a process that cellist Paul de Jong called a “harvest, a social-cultural farming.” (Gotta love the hyphenated abstractions — no wonder so many grad students showed up for this talk.) His partner in crime, guitarist/vocalist Nick Zammuto, rattled off tons of vaguely scientific, consistently gorgeous metaphors for their composition process. But first you need to hear it to understand what he’s talking about. They write pop songs at heart, but they might challenge your standard definition of pop song, unless your standard definition of pop song includes “bits of old Black Panther recordings edited and manipulated beyond all recognition.” But they’re good, trust me! Give ’em a listen after the jump.

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Whitman calls someone “Dracula” in first gubernatorial debate

With a little over a month until election day in California, former CEO and President of eBay Meg Whitman ’78 and Democratic nominee Jerry Brown met to swap insults at the first gubernatorial debate. The showdown was held at the University of California at Davis and was the first of three scheduled in the race to succeed Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The NBC KCRA-TV channel in Sacramento, a sponsor of the debate, is calling Brown the winner, with polls showing a 57%-43% preference for the former governor and current California Attorney General.


Well, regardless of whether she actually could win or not, Whitman still threw some punches. Her most memorable zinger? Apparently, putting Brown in charge of the state’s economy when it is in such a wreck would be like “putting Count Dracula in charge of the blood bank.”

Which is… pretty hilarious. (No offense to Brown or anybody but, really? Dracula? That’s a keeper.)

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IN PRINT: Senior Citizens Battle to Preserve Community in East Windsor

Ever wonder what’s going on outside the Orange Bubble(TM)? Well while you’ve been frittering your time away, studying and making merry, a mere twenty minutes in East Windsor away a battle rages on over the future of an age-restricted residential community (i.e. you’ve got to be 55 or over to live there, no exceptions). A new state law says that developers can put anyone they want into developments originally zoned as age-restricted.

[caption id="attachment_7158" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="They want to put children in model homes like this! "]They want to put children in model homes like this! [/caption]

But the proposed East Windsor project has a sister community across the border in Hightstown, already full of old people! And they said they were promised that the new development would be age-restricted, too.

So what did the attorney for the East Windsor school district, David Coates, say about the merits of keeping the AR-zoned community child-free?

“Typically you have a population that isn’t going to go out and raise hell on a Saturday night,” said Coates.


The real story, obviously, is a little more complex – so read about the fight at NJ.com.

On Bison and Motel Rooms

If, like us, you’ve recently found yourself walking by Princeton’s art museum and wondering why a deer is shooting you furtive glances before opening the minibar and helping itself to a cocktail, or why a horse is standing in front of its bed watching another horse on TV, wonder no more.

Just one couldn't hurt. (image source: http://alaintruong.canalblog.com/archives/2010/07/31/18709768.html)

Just one couldn't hurt.

The deer, and the horse, bison, owl, and host of other migratory creatures featured via projector every night on the screen outside of the museum, are part of Doug Aitken’s video installation, Migration (Empire). The museum acquired Aitken’s work in May as part of a campaign to collect and display modern and contemporary art across campus, and, choosing a well-trafficked site, installed a projector and a custom-made billboard on which to display the 24-minute video between dusk and 11 p.m. every night.

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The New Film About Client No. 9: Eliot Spitzer ’81

More than two years ago, a prostitution scandal brought down former New York governor Eliot Spitzer ’81. Since then, both New York–now led by Gov. David Paterson–and Spitzer have struggled to regain their footing. Spitzer’s recovery, however, may seem somewhat more successful than that of his state (which passed one of its latest budgets ever this year), with a prime-time CNN news show in the works.

Client 9, a new documentary that features interviews with Spitzer himself, tells the story of how the former USG president–and later political rock star–fell from grace.

Recycling … CO2?

CO2_zoom_RTR1QBSNIs it possible? Could we actually make a carbon neutral fuel from carbon? For the past decade or so, scientists have been working on technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and store the gas underground in order to avoid climate change. But what if we took that captured carbon dioxide and turned it back into a fuel?

Assuming solar energy was used for the conversion, we would have a green energy source with no carbon footprint. And not only would we be reducing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but we would also be reducing our dependence on oil. This is precisely what chemistry professor Andrew Bocarsly has been working on since 2003.

Building on 1990s research from then-Princeton graduate student Lin Chao, Bocarsly and Emily Barton GS have discovered a way to convert carbon dioxide into fuel using solar energy.

“We take CO2, water, sunlight and an appropriate catalyst and generate an alcoholic fuel,” Bocarsly explained to Scientific American.

And voila — an easily transportable alternative fuel that does not require a whole new infrastructure.

If it sounds too good to be true, there is one catch: we don’t yet have the technology to produce such a fuel in massive quantities at a low price. But Liquid Light is a startup dedicated to creating that technology. Perhaps by the time you graduate you’ll be pumping your car full of recycled gasoline.

Watch how it works after the jump.

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Men’s Fall Fashion Tips

Here are three fashion tips for all the gents looking to get equipped with the proper menswear this Fall.

1. Out with the boat shoes. In with the loafer.Detail ImageI love boat shoes just as much as anyone, but the Fall breeze is coming soon, and a flimsy Topsider won’t be cutting it. This season, I’m really looking to swap in a penny loafer. It’s a little more durable, definitely warmer, and it’s the slightest bit more dressy than your dockshoes. And it’s a breed of dressiness that says you’re down to business, without being a stiff; I’d argue that a penny loafer actually feels just as fun and down to earth as the boat shoe — especially when paired with some quirky socks (like these from Smart Turnout). I’d recommend you equip yourself with a Bass Weejun (pictured) if you’re looking to buy something new.

2. Invest in some new pants.

James Wool Flannel Pant - Black Label - RalphLaurenAutumn — more than any other season — is about the texture of the fabric. In addition to some nice corduroys, look into wool, flannel, or tweed pants. They don’t have to be loud or ostentatious — a subdued charcoal flannel or brown tweed in a slim fit is perfect. Just try something different from your run of the mill jeans and khakis. You can pair your trousers with anything simple on top — even a white tee shirt goes well with some brown wool pants.

I usually start my trouser search with Ralph Lauren — but the price point this season is a little daunting. Be on your toes and try vintage shopping, as well as brands like J. Crew.

3. Look into some scarves.

princeton-scarf_1Scarves are a great way to accessorize and they can actually be pretty masculine when done right. Avoid loud colors: keep the hues relatively muted. Smart Turnout has about the best selection of collegiate wool scarves out there — even an awesome Princeton one.

The Scavenger’s Guide to Princeton

This could be you at your next study break!

This could be you at your next study break!

Princeton University commands an incredible set of resources. As an independent student/borderline freegan, I have discovered the fun way that most of them are edible.

Free food is all around you, just waiting to be discovered and scoopsed. With a little ingenuity and a total lack of shame, you, too, can survive at a first-rate university on third world personal resources!

A Few Helpful Tips For Releasing the Hunter Within

–Have diverse friends!

This is rule number one of the Ivy League hunter-gatherer: almost every ethnicity has its own cuisine, and, to go along with it, their own student group. Coincidence? I think not.

–Sign up for EVERYTHING.

Remember when you went a little crazy at the Student Activities Fair freshman year? Still receiving 30 e-mails a day from organizations that you have no intention of joining? Ever? Don’t despair! Those e-mails are a veritable crib sheet of potential raids. With a little insincerity and/or a lot of eye contact avoidance, you, too, can use people you peripherally know  for the calories that you so desperately crave.

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Weekend Arts Roundup: Movin’ Out to McCarter


Welcome back to the Ink’s Weekly Arts Roundup! For those of you who haven’t read it before, the Arts Roundup highlights a specific arts event in the Princeton area each Thursday, and also lists locations, dates, times, and ticket prices for other events that will occur throughout the weekend.

While this weekend is a fairly quiet one in terms of campus events, largely thanks to tonight’s final round of a cappella callbacks, McCarter Theatre offers a host of amazing performances for students and townies alike.  Originally built for Triangle back in the ’30s, the space is now privately owned–though it does still sport the Triangle logo on the end of each row of seats, which is pretty darn cool.  In addition to the Matthews Theater, Triangle’s original space, McCarter has expanded to include the smaller Berlind Theater, which it co-owns with the University.

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Meet the Press Club: An invitation to our open house

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="529" caption="UPC '25 -- we've expanded our membership's demographic since then (via PAW)"]UPC 25 -- weve expanded our memberships demographic since then (via PAW)[/caption]

Ever wanted to write for a real newspaper? Had the urge to dig around for a hot story? Have you ever felt the burning desire to contribute to this fine online publication?

Well, now’s your chance. UPC would like to extend an invitation to all freshmen and sophomores to come audition for membership in the University Press Club. But first, allow us a minute to introduce ourselves (since we do a lot more than just publish this here blog):

The University Press Club has provided undergraduate members with the opportunity to work with regional newspapers as stringers for the past 110 years. The Club has been a defining aspect of the Princeton experience for hundreds of its alumni throughout the century. These graduate members are actively involved in the Club’s development, and serve as invaluable resources to Club members. Our alumni include David Remnick ’81, Editor-in-Chief of the New Yorker; Mike McCurry ’76, former Press Secretary to the Clinton White House; Wendy Kopp ’89, founder of Teach for America; Todd Purdum ’82, National Editor of Vanity Fair; Adam Frankel ’03, speechwriter to President Barack Obama; and numerous other leaders of their fields.

As an undergraduate member, you’ll be working with professional editors at newspapers like the Trenton Times, New Jersey’s Star-Ledger, the Princeton Alumni Weekly, The New York Times, the Huffington Post; you’ll be compensated for your services; you’ll collaborate with us to produce “The Ink”; you’ll be paired up with one of our alumni in a mentor relationship; and you’ll have fun doing it. Promise.

Well, there’s the spiel.

If the Press Club sounds like something you might be interested in, come to our open houses, all in McCosh 64:

  • Tomorrow, Thursday, September 23, at 8:30 PM
  • Thursday, September 23, at 10:00 PM
  • Monday, September 27, at 4:30 PM

There’s a Facebook event, which is here. To learn more about us, check out our “About” page, read about our members here, and take a look at our really long history.

Remember, no prior journalism experience is needed to try out; our candidates’ period is a crash-course in writing, news style, and reporting.

If you have any questions about the Press Club but can’t make it to any of the meetings, shoot us an email at pressclb at princeton.edu.

With love,