Just in case you haven’t gotten sick of it yet, this week’s Social Media Roundup  a chronicle of the rise and fall of all of Princeton’s contributions to the Harlem Shake.

TI-what started it all:

Cloister-claiming to be the first Shake on the Street:

Colonial-props for not burning the club down:

Equad-grad students can be cool too:

Late meal:

Princeton Shakespeare Company-London Shake:

But actually…

Time for some real Harlem Shake. (You know, from Harlem.)

Men of Thesis Beard

What’s harder: writing a senior thesis or growing a nice beard?

Since early February, seniors Will Harrel (whom you might know as the guy who put President Shirley Tilghman in a snuggie) and Daniel Song have been on a mission to chronicle the day-to-day progress of their senior independent work and their facial hair with As we speak, they are on Day 19.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="539"] No sleep, no shave, until it’s done.[/caption]

I’ll be following these two around and checking in with them periodically for a Princeton Alumni Weekly video project on Seniors and their Theses Rituals (btw, hit me up if you have a tip of your own!), but here’s a quick preview profile of the men of the Bearded Thesis:

Name: Daniel Song ’13
Major: Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Thesis: How tribalism in Kenya shapes the way people view HIV/AIDS.
Facial Hair Problem Areas: Mustache won’t ever connect to chin beard. Also, his girlfriend, who says she is “neutral” on the beard, can’t help but cringe near it.
Thesis Problem Areas: Almost losing all his audio transcripts (thank god for backups!)
Longest Previous Record For Not Shaving: Several weeks during his time in Kenya.


Name: Will Harrel ’13
Major: Operations Research and Financial Engineering
Thesis: Game theory analysis of unanimous verdicts in 12-person jury trials.
Facial Hair Problem Areas: Mustache also won’t connect to beard. Gazing longingly at the razor.
Thesis Problem areas: Overnight coding turned up no solution! Oh no!
Longest Record for Not Shaving: Two weeks, so he’s now headed into unseen territory.

Good luck, guys!

If you or your senior friends are doing interesting theses (or interesting things in lieu of your thesis) and would like to be featured in a Princeton Alumni Weekly video, please email Vivienne Chen at vc[at]

One Last Look at Old Frick

20 Washington Road

It’s been two years since it was closed, but 20 Washington Road is still littered with remnants of what made it the former Frick Laboratory.

When the Department of Chemistry moved from 20 Washington to the new Frick Lab, the old building was closed. According to the Campus Plan, the University plans to renovate the building to host the Department of Economics and various international offices, but the proposed renovations haven’t been approved by the zoning board yet. At best, 20 Washington Road could reopen in the fall of 2016.

Incomplete chemical equations are still scrawled on chalkboards.Names remain mounted on office doors. An improvised paper sign reads “There is NO COMPUTER CLUSTER HERE,” directing students to the then-new Lewis Library.

In the middle of a changing campus, 20 Washington Road stands still. It’s a huge, historic building, but entire classes of students will never set foot in it. Take a look inside this building in stasis:

For more pictures of ‘Old Frick,’ check out this slideshow of the building during its last days.

Course Evaluations: Sucks to Be Physics, Poetry is Life


While shopping period has already come to an end, it’s still never too early to take a look at the course evaluations from last semester and start planning for the fall (okay, perhaps it’s a bit too early). Luckily, if you were basing your class decisions on our post from last year, not much has changed with the latest batch of course evaluations.

The Highest Rated Department:

East Asian Studies once again, garnering an average score of 4.55 for the quality of its courses.

Lowest Rated Departments:

Physics (3.33) has now dropped below Economics (3.46) to take the spot of lowest rated department in terms of average course quality. Also joining them in the bottom three is Civil and Environmental Engineering (3.46). 

Student Happiness by Department:

Humanities students are still the happiest, with most humanities departments garnering scores over 4.00, resulting in an overall average of 4.18. On the other hand, only one natural science department (Molecular Biology) had above a 4.00. But B.S.E. students seem to be happier than a few years ago, with the department coming in second for the quality of their courses at 3.82.

Some classes to avoid?

CHM 305: The Quantum World (rated a dismal 1.82)
EGR 191: Integrated Introduction to EMP: Math (2.16)
PHY 101: Introductory Physics (2.72)

On the other hand, small seminar classes fared well, most notably:

HIS 448: History: An Introduction to the Discipline (a perfect 5.0)
CLA 336 / LIN 336: Introduction to Indo-European (4.85).
DAN 209: Introduction to Movement and Dance (4.93)
CWR 201: Creative Writing Poetry (4.73).

As one enthusiastic student wrote about CWR 201, “Absolutely take it. The world will open up and speak to you, and you’ll learn how to tell others about it. Poetry is life.”

21 Questions With … Luc Cohen ’14


Name: Luc Cohen
Age: 20
Major: Wilson School
Hometown: New York, N.Y.
Eating Club/Residential College: Terrace / Whitman

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day?
Delete the massive amounts of spam comments the ‘Prince’ website gets. Distinguishing between a bootleg Gucci salesperson and an average ‘Prince’ troll is harder than it may seem.

What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
Skins. UK version.

What are your plans for the ‘Prince’?
To enhance our online strategy and make sure we’re prepared for the launch of our redesigned website (!!) later this year. Also, to improve long-term, enterprise reporting in all sections of the paper.

What were you doing right before you started filling this out?
Twiddling my thumbs waiting for my 21 questions to arrive, as I have been since I was elected in December.

Favorite thing about yourself?
I can hacky sack pretty well.

Chocolate or vanilla?
Vanilla, for ice cream. Chocolate for candy or anything else.

What is your biggest fear?
Missing a good story, or learning of it too late.

Top three things on your Princeton bucket list?
Go to the Grad College tower, eat a late-meal quesadilla at least one more time, and publish important stories that people wouldn’t have heard otherwise.

If your life were a movie, what would be the theme song?
“No Surrender.”

What’s the most dangerous thing you’ve done in the past year?
Probably getting on a motorcycle taxi through a neighborhood in Rio with steep, windy roads. Isaac Lederman ’15 was on the one in front of me, and his crashed into a car. He was fine though, and he got his 2 reais back.

Are you a morning person?
What’s a morning?

When was the last time you cried?
When Andy Roddick lost to Del Potro in the U.S. Open last year, his last match ever.

Role model?
See above.

Favorite movie?
Pirates of the Caribbean.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten at Princeton?
Terrace Mexican night, every Friday.

What’s hanging above your desk and/or bed?
The front pages of the ‘Prince’ Homecoming issue, the Election issue, the Tilghman issue, and the issue with the Michelle Obama article.

If you could receive any gift, what would it be?
A lifetime supply of hummus, and anything (carrots, Wheat Thins, etc.) I can dip in it.

What are your pet peeves?
People who respond to the question, ‘Where are you from?’ with ‘Near New York City.’

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned at Princeton?
That the CIA considered contracting the mafia to carry out the Bay of Pigs operation. Buried in a memoir I was reading for my JP last semester.

In 25 years, you will be…
Elated, because the Mets will have won a World Series in my lifetime.

What makes someone a Princetonian?
The ability to direct a lost tourist from the depths of the junior slums to the art museum.


Princeton’s Famous (Fictional) Alumni

We’ve all heard about Woodrow Wilson, Michelle Obama, and Brooke Shields at Princeton. But what about all of the fictional characters who have matriculated at this great, ivy-bathed institution?

It seems the University can’t get enough of our fake alumni:

DID YOU KNOW: Princeton has a Program in Linguistics, but contrary to what you may have seen on TV, “30 Rock” character Jack Donaghy was never employed there to read every English word to canonize the language in his perfect American accent.

– Princeton University’s Official Facebook, 2011

While Alec Baldwin’s big-time network executive character doesn’t seem like an unlikely character you might meet at Reunions, The Ink has decided to weigh in on how some of Princeton’s other faux-alums stack up:


Bruce Wayne, revealed in Batman Begins
Plausibility: High. Just think about the donations the Wayne family could give to the endowment.
Major: Economics with a Certificate in Laying Chicks, I suspect.

Sam Seaborn, from The West Wing
Plausibility: A high-powered speech writer and political guru – sounds about right.
Major: Woody Woo
Trivia Point: His Secret Service codename is “Princeton.”

Doogie Howser, M.D., from Doogie Howser, M.D.
Plausibility: Questionable, but not unlikely. He’s a child prodigy who supposedly graduated from Princeton at age 10. In 1983. (But he’s white and not a woman, so he might have fit in with the lil’ old boys’ club.)
Major: Whatever gets kids into med school these days.
Fantasy Senior Thesis: “Riding Unicorns: How I Met Your Mother and Fooled Her into Thinking I Was Into Her”

Will Smith, from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Plausibility: Well, the proof is in the interview. (Just imagine Janet Rapelye in this situation.)

Major: ORFE, assuming they can all solve Rubik’s Cubes too.

Dr. Manhattan, from Watchmen
Plausibility: VERY High. (Blue is diversity points.)
Major: Atomic Physics, World Destruction
Probable Senior Thesis: “Tachyons: Not a Plot Point”

Princess Mia Thermopolis (aka Anne Hathaway), from Princess Diaries 2
Plausibility: Unlikely. Just because Princeton has castles does not make it the appropriate place for every Disney princess.
Major: The movie says Woody Woo. But maybe she only picked it because it was still in its heyday of selectivity?

Sam Montgomery (aka Hilary Duff), from A Cinderella Story
Plausibility: See above on princesses. Queens, however, we accept.
Major: Comp Lit
Trivia Point: “RaspberrySmoothie” gets hilariously upset in this College Confidential chatroom about how unfair it is that Princeton admits Duff’s character:

I can’t believe she got into Princeton! Nowhere once in that movie did I see her studying, working, or doing anything but moaning about how much her stepmother sucked. And she wasn’t even geographically diverse, a legacy, award-winning, or a minority. What a slacker.

Amory Blaine, from Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise
Plausibility: High. The character is based off of Fitzgerald, a Princeton graduate drop-out himself.
Major: Literature or Philosophy. He would deem anything else too vocational.

Fred Flintstone, from the Flintstones
Plausibility: Based on this episode, the University was appropriately named “Princestone” in Fred’s time. Just ask John Nash, he’ll remember.
Major: Wheel and Fire Engineering (WAFE)

Some other non-canonical alumni include: Charlie Epps from “Numb3rs,” President Charles Logan from “24,” Paul Kinsey from “Mad Men,” and Angelina Jolie’s Russian spy character in that one movie no one watched called “Salt.”

Can you imagine how crazy Reunions would be with all these characters?

a collaboration by Oren Fliegelman ’16, Vivienne Chen ’14

Harlem Shake: Late Meal Gone Wild

If you didn’t happen to be walking through Frist this afternoon, we didn’t want you to miss out on the fact that, well, this happened (without the necessary music, but we figure you’ll be sick of hearing it):

Princeton has lost no time in jumping on the bandwagon with this latest internet craze.  Since it was brought to campus last week by the fine men of Brown Hall (see social media round-up), Cloister Inn has also come out with an original edition.

While you’re on Youtube, the underwater and puppy versions are worth searching for…  and tip us off if you’re planning to make one of your own! Maybe flash mobs could be the new late meal thing?

The Great Jewish Food Debate: Moderated by Shirley Tilghman

debating jewish food since ever

The Center for Jewish Life and Whig-Clio hosted the annual Latke-Hamentaschen Debate this afternoon in the quest of answering the noble, eternal question of, you guessed it: Latkes or Hamentaschen?

Two traditional Jewish foods: fried potato pancakes vs. triangular pastries made with sweet fillings. Originating in 1946 at UChicago, The Latke-Hamentaschen Debate is an academic, yet hilarious debate concerning the merits of these two unusual foods.

Moderator: President Shirley Tilghman

Team Latke: Visiting psych professor Yarrow Dunham and Quipfire member Jake Robertson ’15

Team Hamentaschen: Philosophy professor Gideon Rosen and Quipfire member Amy Solomon ’14


The Best (out-of-context) Quotes of the Night: 

Shirley T: “She likes to claim she was being prescient, but I suspect she was just stoned.”

Amy Solomon:  “You may be asking how can Jake be defending a latke if he is basically a human hamentaschen: he’s in Triangle, he’s sweet…see though, he’s not filled with poppy seeds or cherries, but simply filled with shit.”

Shirley T: “The most interesting thing about this debater [Rosen], is that he has a dog named Harvey. Harvey Rosen.”

(Apparently, later on when Econ Professor Harvey Rosen got a dog, he named him Gideon. Cute.)

Gideon Rosen: “There’s good music and then there’s Britney Spears.”

Shirley T: “Rosen graduated from Columbia and majored in the metaphysics of Jewish food.”

Jake Robertson: “My mother has a theory that my grandmother is lying and is Jewish.”

Yarrow Dunham:  “The Cardinal Virtues of The Latke.”

Gideon Rosen:  “The latke is down at the bottom with prime matter. Latke is fried prime matter. ”

Yarrow Dunham:  “Which is closer to the type of food served at Hoagie Haven? The answer is latke.”

The winner in the end? Team Hamentaschen.


First week of classes, lost gloves, and bicker. Here’s what Princeton has been up to on the interwebs this week:

Res college listservs:

Subject: Panda buttsex gloves
Date: February 5, 2013 10:51:50 PM EST

Hey Forbes,

I apologize for the disruption, but I seem to have misplaced a pair of gloves. The gloves depict twopandas having buttsex, and they were a gift from my roommate. I’d greatly appreciate it if, should you happen upon them (is that a saying?), you returned them to me. (Email me!)

That’s two pandas having buttsex, as in a total of two panda couples (a pair on each hand).

Peace and blessings,

Oh cute panda gloves! What?!

Tiger Admirers:
PrincetonFML :
When “that guy” in your new precept doesn’t look like he’d be “that guy”:


Is there something we missed? Add it in the comments!

Introducing Old Nassau: Bicker Edition

Throwback time! The Ink proudly presents Old Nassau, our weekly walk down the orange-and-black tiled memory lane. We get it already. Princeton’s old. We love to flaunt our legends, lore, and ridiculous traditions like cane spree, our school song, and the more-than-slightly uncomfortable hand motions that accompany it. But who doesn’t love looking at baby pictures?

Each week, we’ll be showcasing some of Princeton’s baby photos with the help of the photo archive at Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, so you can laugh at how different (or eerily similar) Princeton was back in the day.


bicker (v): To prostrate oneself before the members of one of Princeton’s selective Eating Clubs, for the purpose of gaining admission.  To do so, the goal of moving up the social hierarchy must be held as a higher priority than dignity. 

1954, unidentified club: Bickerin’ in style.  Trenchcoats (note the popped collar) are a bicker must.

[caption id="attachment_13992" align="aligncenter" width="515"] Photo courtesy of Princeton University Archive[/caption]

1888, Cannon Club: Nice hats, guys!

[caption id="attachment_13993" align="aligncenter" width="515"] Photo courtesy of Princeton University Archive[/caption]


Date unknown, Colonial: Unclear what is going on here.

[caption id="attachment_13994" align="aligncenter" width="515"] Photo Courtesy of Princeton University Archives[/caption]


1995, Terrace: Yes, this seems right.

[caption id="attachment_13995" align="aligncenter" width="515"] Photo Courtesy of Princeton University Archives[/caption]


1897, unidentified club: 116 years later, some things never change.

[caption id="attachment_13996" align="aligncenter" width="515"] Courtesy of Princeton University Archive[/caption]

Citation: Bicker; undated; Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series, Box SP13, Box MP151; Princeton University Archives, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.

Stuff Professors Say On The First Day Of Class

While Day 1 is usually just handing out syllabi and making awkward “name-year-major” introductions, sometimes professors get a little bit colorful with their intros on the first week of classes.

Sam Wang (NEU 101): “Please, no tattoos or unremovable piercings above the waist in the fMRI. Otherwise those piercings… will become removable.”

Darcy Steinke (CWR 304): “Let’s go around the room and say our favorite sandwiches. I’ll go first–mine is the egg sandwich.”

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="147"] Pictured: “Ladykiller” Rosen.[/caption]

Harvey Rosen (ECO 100): “There are no laptops allowed in lecture. I’ve found that I can’t really compete with internet porn. Unless you’re into middle-aged economists. In that case, you’ll be squirming in your seats all semester.”

Matthew Salganik (SOC 204): “I’m going to teach this class as if it were a class at a law school. I’ve never actually been to law school, but this is how I think it would work.”

Rob Schapire (COS 402) after a visiting appearance by Noam Chomsky: “He was very even-handed in the way that he insulted absolutely everybody in the room.”

Keiko Brynildsen (PSY 317) filed under #psychology: “So discussion of ethics aside…”

Janet Monge (ANT 308): “I mail human remains all the time.”

Gary Bass (POL 380): “Osama Bin Laden, I hate that guy. I’m glad he’s dead.”

Andrew Conway (PSY 251): “Does anyone know what percentage of a textbook you can PDF before it becomes illegal?” (Disclaimer: Prof. Conway is not to our knowledge engaging in any illegal PDF-making.)

Got more off-the-wall quotes from your profs? The week isn’t over yet! Send a tip to pressclb[at]

Princeton Pounce Beats the Waitlist

What do you do when that precept you really, really, really wanted is closed? Now with Princeton Pounce, you can automatically receive an email or text notification when a spot in that precept (or class) opens up. No more crazy SCORE checking necessary!

Jeremy Cohen ’16 and Zach Koerbel ’16, the creators of the site, were originally inspired to write the script after being locked out of a COS 217 precept they wanted. Over winter break and intersession, Cohen and Koerbel worked on turning their script into a website, a process both described as fairly simple.

According to Cohen, they were not the only ones who wrote such a program–several of their friends had similar scripts as well– but they were the first to share their script with other (less comp-sci minded) students through a public website.

“Despite the fact that some people might use it for classes we want, there’s tons of classes we would never dream of taking where people are in the same situation,” Koerbel said.

Since they began publicizing the site last Sunday night, there have been over 500 subscriptions and over 200 notifications. The most requested classes?

1. SOC 204  – Social Networks (70 subscriptions)

2. COS 126 –  General Computer Science (46 subscriptions)

3. COS 226 – Algorithms and Data Structures (40 subscriptions)

4. COS 217 – Introduction to Programming Systems (36 subscriptions)

5. PSY 101 – Introduction to Psychology (35 subscriptions)

Plans have already been made to include Princeton Pounce on TigerApps (Cohen is a member of the USG IT Committee). While the site has already been approved by the committee, Cohen is unsure when they will officially open the website on TigerApps.

In the meantime, go visit their website and start pouncing!