xkcd Guy to Speak at Princeton April 11

If you are anything like a certain Ink blogger who will remain unnamed, you spend your computing hours (known colloquially around campus as “lectures”) playing Dog Fight 2 and checking if your favorite web comics have updated yet today. In which case, we heard some very exciting news!

Randall Munroe, creator of xkcd, will be giving a public lecture Monday, April 11, at 8 p.m. in New Frick (full details here). And to prove Mr. Munroe has some insight into the world of higher education and standardized tests, here are some classic xkcd comics:

Weekend Arts Roundup: A Cappella, Asperger’s, and More

[caption id="attachment_9985" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Indie darlings Joy Formidable: coming soon to an eating club near you!"]Indie darlings Joy Formidable: coming soon to an eating club near you![/caption]

It’s our last weekend before all the 2015ers descend upon us, complete with orange lanyards and dazed expressions; breathe deep, take a short break from your theses, JPs, and other academic insanity, and treat yourself to one of these arts gems.

  • The biggest arts event on campus this weekend (albeit one that might have stolen my soul as stage manager) is Strange Faces, an original musical by Andrea Grody ’11 about children growing up with Asperger’s Syndrome and how they interact with their families.  Love, tears, laughter, amazing acting, and stunningly beautiful music–this show has it all, and more.  Free open dress rehearsal at 8pm on Thursday; performances Friday and Saturday at 8pm, with $10 student tickets. Events eligible.  Matthews Acting Studio at 185 Nassau.  Get tickets now, it’s selling out fast!
  • Speaking of big arts events, Terrace brings us indie powerhouse Joy Formidable this Thursday for one of the club’s most exciting concerts of the semester.  The night also features sets from Mona and The Lonely Forest, and it’s sure to fill up fast; get there early at 11pm to get in before the doors close.
  • 189775_10150115537936046_560851045_6948930_2696601_nThe premiere a cappella event of the month is Twenty-Something, Roaring 20’s semi-annual Jam concert in Richardson Auditorium and guest-starring the Georgetown Chimes and Quipfire.  It only happens once every two years, so come to cheer on your friends and hear some epic tunes!  Tickets are $8; student events eligible.  Saturday 4-5:30pm
  • There’s still time to see Brighton Beach Memoirs at Theatre Intime and House of Blue Leaves at the Berlind Theatre.  Both play Thursday-Saturday at 8pm; tickets are $8 for Brighton Beach and $10 for Blue Leaves, and both are student events eligible.
  • 208594_1765711416933_1063560131_31811728_6337267_nGot a craving for free classical music? Check out Classical Music Hour in the Rocky Common Room at 7pm on Friday, featuring performances from Princeton’s Sinfonia Orchestra.  A lovely way to kill some time after dinner!
  • Ballet Folklorico has its 9th annual show, Detrás del Sombrero (Behind The Hat), this Friday at 9:30pm and Saturday at 7pm.  Featuring traditional dances from Veracruz, Huasteca Veracruzana, Jalisco, Baja California Norte, Baja California Sur, Guerrero and Colima, it’s not-to-be missed.  Tickets are $8, student events eligible; performances are in the Frist Film and Performance Theatre.

Prefrosh Officially Freaking Out

The good old days, when admissions knew even Princeton kids couldn't think straight enough in that moment to understand anything other than YES!

The good old days, when admissions knew even Princeton kids couldn't think straight enough in that moment to understand anything other than YES!

D-Day is upon us. That would be Decision Day, when the fateful email arrives: in? or out?

You remember what it’s like to be there. I mean, this isn’t just any shot at acceptance, this determines the next four years of their lives – maybe the rest of their lives.

This year’s admission rate was a record low, with 2,282 class of 2015 hopefuls receiving offers of admission – that’s 8.39%, down from a previous low of 8.8% for the class of 2014. Right on schedule, College Confidential is blowing up, and seniors, for the next three hours you don’t have a monopoly on stress.

There’s a lot of the generic, “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH i can’t take it… i NEED to know NOW.” Some are stressing about the fact that their alumni interviewers sent a (stalkerish?) Facebook friend request – good news, or bad?

Others smugly ticked off the schools that have already deeded them worthy, sending those who weren’t so fortunate into a panic that a rejection from the University of Chicago has already sealed their fate.

And those minutes, or hours, of compulsively refreshing your inbox? One deemed Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” the only appropriate soundtrack, though another poster was slightly more optimistic: “I feel like I’m five again, waiting for Christmas … in a twisted kind of way.” Christmas morning, for better or worse, will never be the same again.

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Wiz Khalifa for Houseparties

[caption id="attachment_9963" align="alignleft" width="165" caption="photo via wizkhalifa.com"]Photo via wizkhalifa.com[/caption]

If Southern rap’s your thing, then Houseparties 2011 probably is too. Def Jam’s website for Big K.R.I.T. gives us high hopes — K.R.I.T. and Wiz Khalifa have a tour date on campus the Sunday of that glorious weekend. These two have collaborated several times before, including on “Glass House,” the hit song off the much-loved mixtape by Wiz Khalifa, Kush and Orange Juice.

Perhaps they have a penchant for all things orange, or maybe they just knew they had to come after seeing the “Black and Yellow”-inspired  “Black and Orange.” Whatever the cause of the duo’s visit, Khalifa’s a timely act: his debut album for Atlantic Records, Rolling Papers, came out today. Despite being a bit limited in his range of subject matter for album titles, Khalifa’s still one of the bigger names we’ve seen in a while.

[caption id="attachment_9964" align="alignleft" width="511" caption="Screen shot via islanddefjam.com"]Screen shot 2011-03-29 at 1.52.27 PM[/caption]

Sometimes, The World > My Grades

Orange Bubble Syndrome is something that many of us take for granted. We get stuck in a cycle of rotating between weekends at Prospect, weekdays at Firestone and occasional excursions for late meal at Frist. We micromanage our days in GCals of rainbow-colored sleep deprivation. We might stop once in a while to read something from the Prince UPC, complain about P-Safe’s lockout policy, scoff at Dean Malkiel’s dog or laugh at the bicker plans for Cannon Club.

Read the news? Uhhh. I'll pencil that in someday, okay?

Read the news? Uhhh. I'll pencil that in someday, okay?

But where is the globally aware citizenship that all the admission brochures advertised? Where are the scholars in the nation’s service and in the service of all nations (aside from sharpening their get-recruited-for-I-banking skills in Robertson or Tower, that is)? A Prince column earlier this week (okay, we do read them too) called for more campus dialogue on current events. The Middle East is erupting. Japan is in shambles. Basically, 2011 thus far has reached a point where I expect a new revolution or disaster every time I refresh the NYT homepage.

I know, I know. We’re busy. We’re tired. We work really hard. Sometimes it is easier to just sit in Whitman dining hall, discussing the merits of different types of fruit-cereal-froyo combinations (banana, Smart Start, vanilla. Win!) instead of debating the pros and cons of intervention in Libya.

In the last week or so, though, I’ve become increasingly convinced that it’s actually easier than you think to break out of the Orange Bubble. Meaningful campus dialogue can exist! Even when it’s not awkwardly facilitated by Sustained Dialogue! Here, I give you five reasons why we can and should think outside the bubble:


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Looking for Love?


Move aside, GolfMates, VeggieDate, and Equestrian Cupid.

E-harmony and Match.com? Psh. Fuh-get about it.

This spring marked the launch of the newest brand of niche online dating websites. Philipp Triebel and Beri Meric, both Harvard Business School graduates, created  IvyDate to connect students and alums of the Ivy League, MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge, and the London School of Economics. They claim that these schools crush the courtship tendencies of anyone in attendance:

“Exceptional singles often sacrifice romance for their careers and community. So we set out to create a simple, easy-to-use, members-only platform that makes outstanding romantic connections a reality for highly driven men and women who value intellectual curiosity, love of learning, drive, and determination.”

IvyDate succeeds Triebel and Meric’s former venture, DateHarvardsq, which garnered controversy last year for its model which required women to pay to access a pool of self-important Harvard men. After realizing “great success,” Triebel and Meric decided to expand such matchmaking opportunity to other equally discerning and sophisticated to-be doctors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs.

In other words, people like you and me.

IN PRINT: For many N.J. students, graduating from college means accumulating thousands of dollars in debt

Princeton University sophomore Ben Levenson still has two years before he gets his degree. But he knows what is waiting after graduation: $50,000 of debt.

Levenson, who wants to be a teacher, said his parents told him he will be responsible for the $50,000 in loans he estimates he will need to cover tuition and expenses at the Ivy League school.

“It’s kind of imprisoning when I think about it,” said Levenson, 20, of Morristown. “I don’t have any money, and I owe money to someone.”

For a growing number of New Jersey students, graduating from a four-year college means accumulating tens of thousands of dollars of debt, according to a Star-Ledger survey of nearly two dozen local campuses.

Read more at The Star-Ledger.

This is your future, Craigslist edition

This is you. (from Edsgonesouth.com)

This is you. (from Edsgonesouth.com)

Oh, hey, it’s the end of March! I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you’ve recently asked yourself what you’re going to be doing with the rest of your life.

Let’s try that.

Imagine your future. It’s looking good. The market’s bouncing back, and you’re not getting any of those accusatory glances when you tell people you work in finance–well, except for every year at Reunions, when you run into your Woody Woo classmates who are Just back for the weekend! before going abroad to help run elections in yet another small developing nation. But whatever, because things are going well for you! Waking up at 5 am? You were always an early riser! Working on Sunday? It’s not like you’re religious! Most importantly, you genuinely enjoy investment banking, and it’s just a nice plus that you’re making–we’re all friends here, let’s not be coy–$125K. LOL, yeah, you’re doing OK.


You thought about going to grad school, but you know what? What you really want to do is be a freelance writer. Sorry, Mom and Dad, you’re going to be poor, but on the bright side, you’re putting that English degree to use. And it’s going to happen for you, even if you have to eat soup made of hot water and crushed vitamins for a little while, and even if you have to spend the summer months living in a storage shed in the backyard of your friend’s house in East Williamsburg. OK, Bushwick. Whatever, man, you’re following your dreams! That takes sacrifice, and these crazy stories–Yes, you even went on food stamps, cuh-razy!–are just going to make your memoirs that much more compelling. In the mean time, you’ll do what you can to get by.

Like, dog-walking. That’s what one Princetonian is trying to do, according to his enthusiastic Craigslist ad:


Are you at the office 23 hours a day in a coke-fueled effort to squeeze every last penny out of your 20s and 30s?

Are you going out of town with your post-divorce trophy-girlfriend to visit your slave ship collection in the Barbados?

Do you work for a corporation that received TARP money?


The self-described “dopest, most swagged-out LEGEND OF THE UNIVERSE dog-walking champion of New York City” is offering his services to Upper East Siders for $15 an hour–while wearing a Princeton lettermen’s sweater, no less.

Full Craigslist post after the jump. (h/t Sarah Vitali)

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2015 Admissions Decisions near: Did you check for typos?

Hey, future class of 2015:

Decision Date (March 30) for Princeton and other major universities is drawing ever closer.

So, how are you feeling? Maybe you think you’re already set thanks to a good legacy background or some killer athletic prowess. Or maybe you’ll be sitting at your computer in four days, nail-bitingly paranoid: what if my school tells me I’m accepted but then realizes they rejected me? You mean like University of Delaware’s computer glitch this year? Or the colossal mishap of University of California, San Diego that affected 29,000 applicants?

Oops, yeah, don’t think about that.

Maybe you found some spelling mistakes in your college apps (personal story). Maybe your parents are already suing your pre-school for ruining your chances of getting into an Ivy League school.

But I’m here to tell you that it’s going to be okay. Take a deep breath. Do yourself a favor and don’t log on to College Confidential forums for a while.

And if it helps, the Princeton Tiger knows how you feel:

Weekend Arts Roundup: A Capella and Theater Galore

192732_10150123172839626_501629625_6134099_6315723_oA big weekend ahead for the arts at Princeton!  Give yourself a couple hours to relax after an epically long (and snowy…sigh) first week back:

  • In the mood for a (literally) epic evening of opera? Theo Popov ’11’s senior thesis with the Music department, called Nero Artifex, is an original chamber opera based on the life of the famous Roman emperor.  Written entirely in Latin by seniors Mariah Min and Veronica Shi (it has subtitles projected onstage), it’s shaping up to be an extremely exciting production, and has involved over fifty student actors, designers, musicians, and backstage hands. Thursday and Friday only, 8pm in Richardson Auditorium at Alexander Hall. Admission is free.
  • If family dramedy’s more your thing, check out Emma Watt ’13’s production of Brighton Beach Memoirs, a semiautobiographical play by Neil Simon about growing up Jewish in Brooklyn in the 1930s.  Not intrigued yet?  The play’s scenes about growing up (think two teenage boys desperate to see their cute girl cousin naked) are priceless.  Thursday-Saturday at 8pm in Theatre Intime; the show will also play next weekend. Tickets $8 at the door, student events eligible.
  • Nuns, mistaken identities, a psychotic wife named Bananas, sixties costumes that look straight out of Mad Men…John Guare’s House of Blue Leaves, featuring Brad Baron ’11 as his senior acting thesis for the Theater department, has all that and more.  This weekend and next; Friday and Saturday at 8pm in the Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center.  Tickets $10, student events eligible.

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From K-Pop & J-Pop to Princeton

Spinnin dat ill KP

Spinnin' dat ill K-pop

Generally, academia downplays its commentary on popular culture and music. Among advertised lectures and academic events at Princeton, those relating to [bio]ethics, politics and African-American studies certainly reign supreme (though recently one might make a case for Irish Studies). However, this weekend, discourse on contemporary music literally gets in the mix.

Enter K-Pop.

On March 25th and 26th Princeton hosts its own Asian Popular Music Conference, In The Mix: Asian Pop Music. This is like the March Madness of the East Asian Studies Department, the Lawnparties of ethnomusicology. The conference will feature panel discussions, research presentations, live performances and film screenings. Content will span genres ranging from indie rock and industrial noise music to hiphop, K-pop, J-pop, and the like.

Seriously though, professors and musicians are coming in from all around the world for this — some from the Orient itself, others from institutions like the London School of Economics and the Berklee School of Music.

We’ve begun digging through the jam-packed schedule and have picked some highlights in anticipation.

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Committee on Women’s Leadership Seeks to Bridge the Campus Gender Divide

When the Steering Committee on Undergraduate Women’s Leadership was founded by President Tilghman in December 2009, its stated goal was to address an increasingly evident and concerning fact: women at Princeton were, in some way, flying under the radar. The number of women involved in leadership roles and the number winning academic prizes took a nosedive beginning in 2000. Somehow, the experience of women at Princeton was fundamentally different than that of their male peers.

Screen shot 2011-03-22 at 12.04.23 AM

(From left to right) Figure 1: Representation of Princeton Undergraduates in Highest Profile Leadership Positions on Campus, 1970-2010, by Sex and by Decade; Figure 2: Winners of Pyne Prizes, 1970-2009, by Sex and by Decade

President Tilghman charged the committee to address “the critical question of whether women undergraduates are realizing their academic potential and seeking opportunities for leadership at the same rate and in the same manner as their male colleagues.” After a year of work in focus groups, committees, surveys, and conversations, here’s what the committee of 9 faculty members, 6 undergrads, and 3 administrators came up with.

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