IN PRINT: Princeton Basketball Season Preview @ Ivy Hoops Online

[caption id="attachment_11461" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Oh Hey There New Coach Mitch Henderson '98 Driving to the Hoop On the Cover of and old PAW issue"]Oh Hey There New Coach Mitch Henderson '98 Driving to the HoopOn the Cover of and old PAW issue[/caption]

We’re only a couple weeks away from the start of the basketball season, sports fans! With Doug Davis’ buzzer beater now firmly in the rearview mirror, what’s the year going to look like for the Princeton Tigers?

This season I’m going to be covering the Princeton basketball team for IvyHoopsOnline, and this week I take a look at what to expect from the upcoming edition of the men’s basketball team.

The short version? Harvard’s going to be tough to beat this year – they’re returning all their best players and add a pretty stellar class of freshman. But if Princeton can mesh quickly with the new coach (Mitch Henderson ’98, former teammate of Sydney Johnson), and if a few of the part-timers and role players of last year, when given a chance, find a way to elevate their game, the team still has a shot to play David to Harvard’s Goliath.

Read the full season preview at IvyHoopsOnline.

Where do you study?

Alas, it is that time of year again — midterms. If you’re not procrastinating at one of tonight’s great performances, you’re probably studying. And for that, Princeton has no shortage of spaces — libraries, residential college libraries, lounges… you name it. When I get stuck studying all day, I like to change it up a bit and find different study spaces every few hours. By at least breaking up the environmental monotomy, I give my brain the illusion that I’m not doing the same thing all day. And my latest favorite study space is the renovated Julian Street Library in Wilcox.

IMG_0118 IMG_0119

Renovated over the summer, I just discovered this library’s new look a couple weeks ago (as a senior from Rocky, who now lives in Spelman, I don’t go to Wilson much). Whether you want to work (or nap) on a couch or at a table, this place has you covered. And with the blueberry blue walls and couches, it’s hard to get too depressed about those midterms…

What’s your favorite study space? Let us know!

Weekend Arts Roundup: Midterms Procrastination Edition!

194706_2156284110133_1337370346_32164878_1349783074_oTime to venture forth from your midterms-induced insanity and hit the campus’s best arts events tonight! We’ve got music and theater aplenty–prime distractions from paper-writing and other assorted craziness.

  • Think on the bright side: your paper might be hellish, but at least your sociopathic wife isn’t making you kill your boss in cold blood! No one does schadenfreude better than Shakespeare, and Allie Kollaski ’13’s production of Macbeth has been getting wonderful word-of-mouth feedback over the past couple of days (just be sure to call it “The Scottish Play” if you decide to go…midterms week definitely isn’t time to tempt the Fates).  Today’s the last day: 2pm and 8pm performances in Whitman Theater, tickets $8, student events eligible.
  • Nothing soothes a stressed soul like classical music–and nothing energizes said stressed soul like a crazy marimba concerto, as Kevin Laskey ’12 will exemplify tonight at the Princeton University Orchestra’s first concert of the season.  Featuring the music of Sibelius and Verdi, along with the afore-mentioned Rosauro Marimba Concerto, it’s a great night of music–and, at under 2 hours total, it clocks in as a perfectly-sized study break.  8pm Saturday at Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall; $8 for students, but free with Passport to the Arts (it uses one of the random arts passes that don’t work for ANY other student events except for those in Richardson, so it’s definitely worth it).
  • If you’re an a cappella lover, tonight’s Co-Ed A Cappella Jam is just what the doctor ordered for midterms jitters. Featuring music from the Katzenjammers, Shere Khan, and Roaring 20, it’s bound to be a very fun event–and all of the proceeds go to Education Through Music, a terrific arts non-profit that serves students in New York and the San Francisco Bay area.  10pm Saturday in Theatre Intime; tickets $7 for students, $10 general.

Keep calm and carry on, everyone!

Cornel West: Out of Jail and in CVS

[caption id="attachment_11420" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="CVS on Nassau Street: Where civil rights figures get their cough drops."]Amateur Paparazzi on the Nassau St. CVS[/caption]

Apparently, Dr. West is back in Princeton, after getting arrested on Sunday for protesting on the steps of the Supreme Court in DC as part of the Occupy movement.(Certainly, not the first time this G’s been behind bars). No charges were pressed, but I’m guessing he’s lying low in Princeton for the time being.

West, who’s been on leave from his teaching post at Princeton this semester, has been very vocal about his support for Occupy Wall Street.

Without getting into a whole kerfuffle about #Occupy and the 99%–for interested students, Princeton’s ACLU is holding an event: #OccupyWallStreet: An Examination next Tuesday, October 25, at 4:30pm. Location: TBA– I will ask this: Is it just me, or does Cornel West only own one type of suit? Maybe he didn’t have time to change since his arrest.

IN PRINT: For students, blazing-fast lab work

Consider a device the size of a grain of salt that can process information a billion times faster than the human brain. Inspired by animal nervous systems, the “photonic neuron” uses light instead of electrochemical impulses to process information at lightning-quick speeds.

And in the lab of electrical engineering professor Paul Prucnal, it’s becoming a reality. “It’s a way of encoding more information and processing it more quickly,” Prucnal said.

Alex Tait ’12, one of the lab’s summer interns, has contributed a device that acts as the decision-making part of the neuron. It’s called the double ring enhanced asymmetric Mach-Zehnder interferometer. (Thankfully, it makes an easy acronym: They call it the DREAM device.)

But more on that later. Before there was a DREAM, there were meetings — and the occasional free pizza.

Read more at the Princeton Alumni Weekly.

Steve Carell to speak at Class Day

Actor and comedian Steve Carell will be the Class Day Speaker for the Class of 2012, according to an e-mail announcement from the 2012 Class Day team, which includes Gabriel Debenedetti ’12, Chris Green ’12, Erin Kiernan ’12, and Lindy Li ’12.

“We are thrilled that Mr. Carell will be joining us as we bring our Princeton journey to a close,” the team said in the e-mail. “National media have crowned him as the funniest man in America — we could not agree more.”

Carell is perhaps best known for his role as the inept office manager Michael Scott on NBC’s The Office, which the actor left last spring. He has also starred in films including The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Date Night, and most recently, Crazy, Stupid Love.

In the recent past, Class Day speakers have not been announced until late spring. In fact, in 2010, Charlie Gibson ’65 joked about his last-minute selection, claiming that celebrities from Lindsay Lohan to Sarah Palin had turned down offers to speak at Princeton.

But this year’s Class Day chairs began to work on bringing Carell to campus over the summer, Debenedetti said. Debenedetti, Green, and Kiernan served as the Class of 2012’s Class Day chairs.

“We’ve been pushing for him for a long time,” he said. “We felt like he was one of the more iconic comedians of our generation, and a lot of people in our class have grown up with his comedy.”

Can’t wait till June 4? Here’s a preview:

The Lowdown on Lock-Outs: Part 1

The squirrels got my key: how common is this?

The squirrel's got my key: how common is this?

It finally happened today — after almost half a semester of success with the old “trash-can-in-the-door” technique, I finally got locked out of my room. Considering my lock-out rate last year (thank you roommates), it’s pretty impressive I’ve made it this far. Drawing from my vast experience, I find the Top 3 most common lock-out scenarios are:

  • The BrB: the Bathroom Break. You don’t have your own private bathroom, and you really gotta pee, leaving your key. See also its more awkward cousin: the Shower Situation.
  • The Class Act: You pack your bags all ready for class in the morning. “Oh, I’m just gonna leave my stuff here and run down to get some breakfast.” You come back, and realize you did put everything in your bag — including your key. And now you’re gonna be late for class.
  • The NO-I-JUST-MISSED-IT: You walk out of the room, remember you forgot your key, turn around right as the door shuts (in Whitman, with a omnious “hisssss–chk.”)

While in the past, the punishment for lockouts was merely a slap on the wrist (or that awkward moment when you knock on every hall door in a towel looking for a phone), with the new Lock-Out Policy, calling Public Safety will cost you $30 each time. If you trek down to Housing more than 3 times, you will be charged and additional $30 and be sent to the dean for “further action.”

What is this ominously vague warning, “further action”? Angela Hodgeman of Undergraduate Housing explains:

Continue reading…

Weekend Arts Roundup: Parents’ Weekend Edition!

308459_10150865597375503_810590502_21378055_906888115_nIt’s that time of year again: let the 2015er parents descend upon the Bubble!  Whether you’re looking for quality bonding time or a way to hide your killer hangover behind quality distractions, there are some great events slated for the weekend. Here’s a handful of good bets–plus some great ones that you might want to go to sans adults.

  • Halloween comes early with the Chapel Choir’s annual silent movie-fest, where they perform alongside a scary movie with organ accompaniment. This year it’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame; it’s perfect for all ages (especially if you’ve got younger siblings coming). Friday 14 October at 9pm, adults $10 and student $2. University Chapel.
  • PSAT (The Princeton South Asian Theatrics Company) is always a blast; their newest show, Birds, Bees, and Biodata, is sure to be a great one. 8pm Friday and Saturday, Frist Campus Center Theatre; Students $7, general admission $10; Student Events Eligible.
  • On Saturday night, the University Concert Jazz Ensemble will present “In Case You Haven’t Heard,” their first concert of the year, which features pianist Jonny King (Princeton class of ’87!) with bassist Ed Howard and drummer Victor Lewis.  A great chance to show your parents beautiful Richardson Auditorium–while keeping them a safe distance from Prospect Street.  Saturday 15 October at 8pm, adults $15; student events eligible (so you can get in for free).
  • For sheer hilarious insanity, don’t miss Theatre Intime’s 24-Hour Play Festival, where students race against the clock to write, direct, and star in new plays over the course of a single day.  Heckling is encouraged, and it’s always a blast: one night only, Saturday 15 October at 8pm in Theatre Intime. Free (but definitely not the type of thing you should go to with your parents…unless they’re into raunchy college humor).
  • If it’s Sunday and the fam still hasn’t peaced out, The Richardson Chamber Players’ Art and Memory, featuring music by Ravel, Chausson and Messiae, is a terrific bet–not to mention a great-sounding chamber music performance. Sunday 16 October at 3pm in Richardson Auditorium, adults $15; student events eligible.

Spotted: Forest Whitaker, Stanhope-Bound

[caption id="attachment_11395" align="alignright" width="515" caption="Whitaker with Eddie Glaude, Department Chair for the Program in African American Studies, walking by Prospect House this afternoon. (Thanks to DJ Judd and Sarah Paton for the tipoff!)"]IMG00067[/caption]

We’re used to our fare share of celebrities here in the Bubble, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still get starstruck: Forest Whitaker, the Academy-Award-winning American actor of Last King of Scotland fame, was on campus today for a meeting at the Center for African American Studies. Sophomore Uchechi Kalu was lucky enough to be on the scene: “I was working at Stanhope Hall, and everyone was wearing business casual, so I knew something was up–and then this ray of sunshine walked into the office and shook my hand!  He’s just as kind and well-dressed as you’d imagine. Thank God I decided against sweatpants this morning!”  Definitely a memorable way to end the week.

21 Questions … Wokie Nwabueze


20110928NwabuezeW00080_162Name: Wokie Nwabueze

Campus title: University’s ombuds officer

Hometown: New York City

What is your favorite quote? Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay. ~ Sallust

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day? I listen, educate, coach and offer people a safe space to raise issues that are important to them and to the Princeton Community.

What is your greatest guilty pleasure? Candy.

What was your ‘welcome to college’ moment? This might be a welcome to Wellesley moment but it has to be wearing pajamas to class.

What was your ‘welcome to Princeton’ moment? When I saw a black squirrel on the grass outside of my office.

What are your goals as university ombuds officer? My immediate goal as ombuds officer is to raise awareness of the office’s existence and to invite and create opportunities to inform the community about the services that the ombuds office offers.  As university ombuds officer, I strive to be a trusted resource on this campus for individuals and groups needing assistance, for training and education around conflict management and for coaching and advice on the day to day challenges any of us can face in such a dynamic environment. Ultimately, I want the ombuds office to support the University towards its goal of ensuring that members of this community are treated equitably.

Where do you do your best thinking? Near water.

What are you pitching this week? The Ombuds Office, of course.

Describe your 8-year-old self in five words or less. Curious. Funny. Roller skating superstar.

What is hanging above your desk? Nothing yet. Decorating is not my strong suit.  Suggestions are welcome.

Where did you go for your last vacation, and can you tell us a story from it? My last vacation was to Sapelo Island off of the Georgia coast for a close friend’s wedding.  There are many, many stories from that trip but I’ve been sworn to secrecy.  The most memorable image for me however was watching a child, no older than 8, driving his grandmother to church on Sunday in a pickup truck.

What is the best place on campus? This is only my third week at Princeton but so far, the Fountain of Freedom.

Worst place? Washington Road during rush hour.

Last book you managed to read for pleasure? The very last book I’ve read purely for pleasure is Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss. I highly recommend it at every new phase of life.

What songs are you playing on repeat this week? All of Prince’s One Night Alone…Live!, Disc 2; ‘Avalon’ by Roxy Music;  ‘As’ by Stevie Wonder

What is the first thing you do when you wake up? The first thing I do in the morning is watch my daughters as they sleep.

Continue reading…

Princeton’s Christopher Sims and NYU’s Thomas Sargent Win Nobel Prize in Economic Science

[caption id="attachment_11374" align="alignright" width="130" caption="Christopher A. Sims (image source:, Denise Applewhite)"]Christopher A. Sims (image source:, Denise Applewhite)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_11376" align="alignright" width="130" caption="Thomas J. Sargent (image source:, NYU Stern)"]Thomas J. Sargent (image source:, NYU Stern)[/caption]

After almost four decades of work exploring the causal relationships between policy decisions and the economy, Sims and Sargent received the Nobel Prize this morning in recognition of their independent, but complementary, research.

While Sargent’s research focused on more long-term economic trends as inflation targets, Sims, the Harold H. Helm ’20 Professor of Economics and Banking, focused more on short-term economic developments. Through statistical analysis, Sims and Sargent investigated whether changes in economic policy cause these developments, or whether policy-makers anticipate these developments when shaping policy.

And although the Nobel Prize website has yet to post details about the research and the winners, congratulations have already begun to flow in from around the world, some more cryptic than others. A personal favorite? “go VIKINGS we fianlly [sic] won.” Surely somebody gets it…

In an interview with the New York Times this morning, Sims said that his research holds real and important implications for the current state of global economic affairs, and recovery from it:

The methods that I’ve used and that Tom has developed are central for finding our way out of this mess.

When pressed for a simple policy solution, though, he hesitated. Whoever finds one of those, it seems, will be in the running for the next Nobel.

How much energy do you use?

If you have wandered through the basement hallways of Bogle Hall in the past week, you might have noticed a new display screen. This screen may not be able to tell you how much energy you use individually, but it can tell you how much energy Butler College is using. And some funny patterns show up if you look at Friday.

[caption id="attachment_11351" align="aligncenter" width="515" caption="Butler College energy use in kilowatt-hours on Friday Oct 7, 2011"]Butler College energy use in kilowatt-hours on Friday Oct 7, 2011[/caption]

Notice any gaps? Perhaps between midnight and 4:00 a.m.? And then again between 4:00 and 8:00 a.m.? Apparently everyone in Butler went to sleep at midnight Thursday night …. or went to the Street. And came back around 4:00 a.m.

The main purpose of the display, however, is not to tell us what we already know: that students head to the Street Thursday nights. It is to give us real-time electric, heating and cooling data, and long-term electricity patterns for Butler. A similar display screen is in Frick. And there are some funny energy conversions:

On Friday, Butler used 3,161 kilowatt hours of energy. That equals:

  • 2,254 pounds of carbon
  • 90,312 laptop hours
  • 5,537 hamburgers