Eric Hayes ’18 releases trailer for movie ‘The Observer Effect’

Official movie poster for The Observer Effect

Move over, Star Wars – this spring, Eric Hayes ’18 is bringing some sci-fi movie magic of his own to Princeton.

Hayes released a trailer for his film The Observer Effect a few days ago on Facebook.

The 35 minute-long movie follows a Princeton student who heads into senior year with his sights set on a finance career path that doesn’t interest him.

When he loses motivation and his grades drop, he’s offered the opportunity to work in a mysterious lab with a former professor for extra credit. There, he gets mixed up in a dangerous time travel experiment that forces him and the professor to confront the realities of their situations.

“Time travel may just be fantasy but a lot of the inspiration came from real ideas in physics [and] their philosophical implications,” Hayes explains.

Hayes, who is from Calgary, is majoring in physics and pursuing a certificate in screenwriting.

The central scientific concept and namesake of the film is the observer effect, which refers to the fact that observation of a phenomenon changes its original state.

Time travel also raises questions about the fundamental nature of the universe, Hayes says – do we have free will, or is the universe a determined set of events set in motion long ago?  Is there any real variability in the universe?

“I wanted to explore these ideas in an entertaining time travel-esque story, with familiar characters and settings,” Hayes says.

He describes the process of creating The Observer Effect as “rewarding but also very challenging” – he researched the concept and developed the script over the summer, and in September applied for and received funding from the Physics Department and Council on Science and Technology, among other groups.

The film was shot on campus over two months with the help of a cast and crew of Princeton students (and one faculty member).

[caption id="attachment_17725" align="aligncenter" width="744"]Cast photo, courtesy Kathleen Ma '18 Cast photo (Kathleen Ma)[/caption]

“Finding time for assignments and class was tough,” Hayes says – the first three days of shooting took place during midterms week.

He plans to premiere the film on campus and possibly in the Garden Theatre this spring as well as submit it to several film festivals and events for consideration.

Hayes is no stranger to filmmaking – he started making animated films and stop-motion films around ten years ago.

“When I discovered what it felt like to show something you’d produced to an audience I was hooked,” he says.

Before his senior year of high school he also started a business producing media, such as advertisements and music videos, for companies and arts groups.

However, his main passion remains telling stories and making films for the big screens. According to his photography and film Facebook page, Hayes’ short films and animated movies have been shown in 20 film festivals around the world.

Hayes says that filmmaking is “one of the most collaborative and immersive forms of storytelling and, in my opinion, the most powerful way to explore ideas, big or small.”

[caption id="attachment_17726" align="aligncenter" width="433"]Hayes on set; courtesy Kathleen Ma '18 Hayes on set (Kathleen Ma)[/caption]


6 Schoolbag Essentials to Survive the Winter in Princeton

Now that the autumn season is coming to a close and the red, orange and yellow leaves have shriveled to the ground, the winter trademarks of chilly morning air and cold toilet seats have finally made their way to Princeton. For many freshman students not native to the East Coast, the idea of cold weather has never been an issue before coming to campus. Now, however, the struggle to understand and adapt to this new type of weather has certainly proven to be a challenge for many of them. Some brave native Californians still make it a mission to wear sandals and shorts to class, while international students remain puzzled at why there is still no snow in December.

With unexpected rain and gloomy, gray clouds usually plaguing the skies, it seems hibernation is becoming an increasingly more viable option to avoid this winter weather. This is especially so when your book bag is filled with heavy textbooks and notebooks, making it that much harder to walk up the hilly Elm Drive. Instead of lugging all those textbooks and increasing your risk for back-pain before age 30, try carrying these small things in your backpack that are sure to help you survive this winter:

1. Hand Lotion

For those days you forget to wear gloves, putting your hands in your pockets seems like the only way to shield them from the frigid air and prevent them from achieving the consistency of sandpaper. Having a small bottle of hand lotion in your bag will keep your hands healthy and soft and absolutely ready for hand-holding action.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 4.20.08 PM     2. Hot Packs

Even with hand lotion, you’re bound to take your hands out at some point to take notes and ask questions in class like the good student you are. A handy hot pack is sure to give you that extra warmth to motivate you for the rest of the day. Just please don’t mix up your hot pack with a hot pocket.Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 4.18.06 PM

3. Tissues and Cough Drops

“Bless you” and “gesundheit” have easily become excellent phrases to strike up conversations with sick strangers. It seems almost everyone on campus, both teachers and classmates, has experienced some sickness, along with runny noses and sore throats. Carrying a packet of tissues and cough drops will not help your friends feel better but also make sure you have friends that make it out of winter alive. It also doesn’t hurt to pop a few cough drops for yourself to suppress any potential bugs you might catch from others on campus.Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 4.13.03 PM4. Cinnamon-Flavored Gum

Now that the sun is going down much sooner in the day and most of us have returned to our inconsistent sleeping patterns, the flat desks of classrooms and wooden lecture halls have transformed into unlikely places of unwanted slumber. Cinnamon-flavored gum, or any type of candy with a spicy kick to it, is a sure fire way to give you that much needed pep and wake you up for those really long morning lectures. When all of your classmates inevitably ask you for some, be sure to say you just “conveniently” ate the last one. After all, you can only be so nice.Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 4.18.26 PM5. Lip Balm

Much like your hands, your lips are bound to get dried out by the cold winds. While it is important to apply lip balm before going bed, having some handy lip balm in your bag will definitely save you from the discomfort of having chapped lips during the day. Since most of the student body will be busy studying for finals and stressing over finishing end-of-the-year assignments, that lip balm is probably the most lip action you’ll get until after finalsScreen Shot 2015-12-09 at 4.19.56 PM6. Travel-size Umbrella

Even when the weather app says there’s only a “10%” chance of rain, expect some spontaneous showers to come your way. Sometimes these showers can last as long as five minutes to several hours. Be prepared for any amount of rain with a travel-size umbrella at your disposal. Make sure it’s big enough to cover your backpack, and maybe big enough to accommodate another person so your trip back to your dorm isn’t so lonely. *wink*Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 4.19.22 PM

What’s the Deal with Fake Facebook Events?

Most online users are familiar with the dangers of the ‘Social Media Time Suck’. You go on Facebook with the intention of browsing casually through your newsfeed as a short study break, and next thing you know you’re stalking your ex’s girlfriend’s mother’s wedding pictures and two hours have flown by.

But no need to fear, because a new online phenomenon is here to drag you even deeper into the time warp – fake Facebook events.

Although at first they appeared sparsely throughout my newsfeed, as friends and family began attending the events, and even inviting me to them, I found myself caving into their appeal as well. But why? How did the trend begin and why are these events attracting thousands of attendees worldwide?

Sophomore Camila Novo-Viano said that she expressed an interest in these events because of their laugh-out-loud humor.

“I first attended a few of these fake events because I liked the jokes and puns and I thought it’d be funny when ‘Camila Viano is attending insert ridiculous event here’ would randomly show up on my friends’ news feeds,” she said.

The events are not only amusing because of their titles, but oftentimes social-media users will post polls, comments or videos related to the activity of the event.

“Become and actual potato,” an event that has attracted over 29,000 attendees, includes various polls such as “What is ur favorite thing to do as a potato?” Options include potate, hotline bling, convert non-potato infidels, fry and chill, and fly around your room.

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Resigning or expressing desperation about finals or school-related stress is a common theme among the events. General sadness or loneliness, especially doing things alone, also seems to be a recurring theme.

Some students have acknowledged that there could be some truth to these jests.

“I think people are genuinely stressed about school, and these fake Facebook events are a way of just decompressing,” freshman Kobi Tsesarsky said.

Sophomore Molly Plissner expanded on the use of the events as a way to transmit real feelings.

“It’s easier than posting a status because you’re not embarrassed, since it’s not as personal as posting it privately,” Plissner said.

Although many of the events may serve a positive purpose in allowing people to publicize their emotions and identify with the greater online community, some students have recognized that there are limitations to this form of comic relief.

“If this is a platform that people are actually using to deal with actual issues, then they shouldn’t make fake Facebook groups to fix their problems, because it won’t,” Tsesarsky said.

The events also highlight the superficiality of social media, where people can potentially create fake Facebook events while deceiving others into thinking they are real.

Nonetheless, so long as the fad continues to be taken lightly, we can continue to appreciate it as a valuable addition to one of our many options for procrastination.

Check out some of the trending events below, and if you’re feeling bold enough, you can even create your own.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 9.25.22 PM Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 9.28.19 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-14 at 9.27.25 PM Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 9.28.35 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-14 at 9.29.17 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-14 at 9.28.58 PM Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 9.29.58 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-14 at 9.27.46 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-14 at 9.29.39 PM


Wilson’s Hallways Weren’t Built to Prevent Riots

By Francesca Billington

There’s a rumor trapped in the winding hallways of Wilson’s ugly and inconvenient dorms–those hallways were built to prevent riots during civil unrest in the 60’s. Recently, student protests to remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from the residential college prompted us to straighten things out.

The idea behind the rumor is that the winding hallways prevented students from mobilizing. University Architect Ronald McCoy said it’s not true.

“The plans are definitely strange but I suspect they were an experiment in functionalist architecture of the time,” McCoy said. “The plans are very rational, functional and economical — all characteristics of the time.”  

Though the dorms were designed in 1960, student unrest on American campuses didn’t start until later in the decade.

The curvy halls were actually built to maximize space and create larger, economical dorm rooms. McCoy said that the architects also wanted to give the rooms natural light, so they placed the bathrooms in the center of the buildings, causing the corridors to wind around them.


“All single rooms and multiple-room suites in the dormitories open off the stairwells, eliminating the waste of long, hotel-like corridors,” ‘It’s Time to Finish the Job’, an article about Wilson dormitories said. “The result is greater living space per dollar and per student.”

The original dorm plans did not accommodate fire safety regulations. Soon after students moved into a suite on the third floor of the new 1939 Hall, they were even forced to evacuate and relocate rooms, according to a Daily Princetonian article, “5 Princeton Rooms Shut as Firetraps”. The winding hallways were added to the plan to create more fire escapes.

The floor plan of Dodge-Osborn Hall shows the curving hallways in grey.

In response, architects created more effective fire escapes, which required constructing winding corridors around the previously existing bathrooms, Jon Hlafter, University Architect Emeritus said.

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The new Wilson dorms received positive feedback from students. The University even introduced the “gizmo,” a furniture piece that combined a bookcase, closet, and fridge. There was also the “room-divider,” which housed a TV, fridge, and coat rack.

A page from a University magazine revealing the new dorms in Wilson College, which included the “room-divider.”

Fred Koetter, the architect hired to design 1927 Hall and Clapp Hall, said he decided on halls with short corridors and stairway entries to allow students to socialize more. The Ink doesn’t agree. Short corridors don’t help students make friends with each other because they never run into their neighbors.

All said and done, there’s definitely a lack of space for students to gather. Pretty funny that the administration tried to create buildings that would get students to interact more, but ended up doing just the opposite. Oops!


Chancellor Green Cafe: A Makeover In Progress

The Chancellor Green Cafethe underground caffeine haunt favorited by grad students, humanities majors and professors alikeis under wraps as it awaits a series of renovations. We nose around a little to find out what’s going on…

Cafe Construction:

On December 15th, I walked into Chancellor Green Cafe, a quaint eatery in the basement of East Pyne, to buy my daily coffee. To my dismay, I was met with a translucent curtain around a construction zone.


A sign in front of the curtain announced that the cafe was undergoing remodeling and would offer a limited menu over the coming weeks.

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 2.18.09 PM     Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 2.17.59 PM

The temporarily limited display of salads, sandwiches, and snacks

Fortunately for me, the cafe’s Small World coffee will remain on the menu during the remodeling process. I got my caffeine boost, but remained distressed about the future of the cafe.

I set out to find the full story.

The Investigation Begins:

December 16th, 8:00 am: I arrived at Chancellor Green Cafe as it was opening, where I met Maria Mastroianni of Dining Services. Maria informed me that although she has been at Princeton for two years, she only began working at the cafe this past September. Kathy, another worker, had been working at Chancellor Green since the opening of the cafe 13 years ago.

Maria expressed that part of the purpose of the construction would be to make food more easily visible to customers. The cafe intends to shift toward a self-serve model.

Maria: “It’s going to be a more hands-on location which I think is so important. This way, it’s just like shopping at a food store or a mall for clothing, people can look at something and pick what they want instead of waiting around.”

The Renovations:

Next, I met with Jim Sullivan and Keith Stickles, two Princeton facilities workers from the carpenter shop, as they were finishing up work at 8:05. Jim reported that they’d been there for a few hours already.

Jim: “We are right now having to come in at 5:00 am for noise and smellables, because the scents that we’re cutting are offensive to some people.”

Jim and Keith walked me through the construction process. I asked them what their official titles are.

Jim: I’m the cabinet guys and he’s the counter guy.

The hardest part of the job, Keith said, is figuring things out.

Keith: “You see here, this is a radius type countertop. There are three different components going into it with three different sizes, so you have to try to figure out how to lay them out to be most efficient.”

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 1.54.47 PM

The radius countertop twists around, with three new unit spaces undergoing renovation

According to Keith, the changes include remodeling the register and counter to increase accessibility for people with disabilities.

Keith: “We’re lowering the counter so that it’s ADA [American Disabilities Act] compliant for reach-and-go stuff.”

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 10.44.38 AM

An email from Grant Peatman, an architectural engineer of the Office of Design and Construction, describes the specific renovations:

“The project consists of new food service equipment installed in the existing cabinets, new food merchandise units and a relocated cash register,” his email read. “The renovations will provide the existing café with a more upscale appearance and permanent self-serve food options.”

“The work is planned to be completed between December 15th and January 14th,” the email added.

The Hotly Contested Cappuccino Machine:

Disagreements have arisen about the placement of the cappuccino machine. While the Chancellor Green staff want it to go under the middle counter, some of the construction workers believe it would be best by the refrigerator.


Keith: “There’s no conclusive decision as to the location of the cappuccino machine at this time”

The machine temporarily lives on the counter:

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 9.40.36 AM

Stay tuned.

The Iron Gate:

At approximately 8:30, Keith and Jim finished up their work for the morning so as not to interfere with customers during the cafe’s regular hours.

Jim: “We usually finish around 8 o’clock so people can start coming in to buy stuff”

As he spoke, rolling gates began to close around the counters under construction, nearly locking me in.


I managed to escape in time.

Customer Feedback:

Stephanie and Jill, two regulars at the Chancellor Green Cafe, arrived at approximately 8:30 am. Maria greeted them by name.

Stephanie and Jill work in the classics department. I asked them their favorite foods at the cafe.

Jill: Latte. Definitely the latte.

Stephanie: I usually get the baked goods.

Stephanie: Maybe we shouldn’t put that in the blog post

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Jill: “Mainly we come to visit the staff because they are so friendly and wonderful”

Make sure to check out the cafe’s grand unveiling on January 18th!


Princeton Sculptures or… what’s actually happening behind the Chapel?

During its over 200-year history, Princeton has acquired a wide range of statues and sculptures. While some of these campus landmarks are clearly labeled, explaining what they are about, others simply are not. The Ink brings you the proper context for some notable sculptures around campus:

Kent State Memorial: Abraham and Isaac


Probably the most misinterpreted sculpture on campus, this one is meant to commemorate the shooting deaths of four unarmed protesters at a Kent State University protest in 1970.  You wouldn’t know it though, because there’s no clear identification next to the statue. For many Princeton students, the statue, which depicts a man kneeling before another man with a knife, conjures up an entirely different story.


The artist, George Segal, who taught sculpture at Princeton from 1968 to 1969, said he wanted to use the biblical tale of Abraham and Isaac as a metaphor for the shooting. It was initially commissioned by Kent State, but the school rejected it because it was seen as too controversial. Princeton bravely accepted it, but didn’t make it too easy to tell that it was about student protest. There are two plaques on the wall of the chapel, about 20 feet away, and the one that references Kent State is barely visible.

The statue’s location behind the University Chapel was meant to strengthen the biblical allusion. The plaque on top gives the biblical text of “The Trial of Abraham’s Faith.”





Circle of Animals/ Zodiac Heads


Over the years, many have asked the question, “Why are there a bunch of animal heads next to Woody Woo?”

Brought to Princeton in 2012, the heads are the work of Chinese dissident artist Ai Wei Wei, one of the most influential artists today.

The piece is a direct reference to the zodiac statues that once decorated an important imperial building in China. However, after French and English soldiers invaded the country in 1860, the statues were looted, and five of the 12 were destroyed.

According to the Princeton University art museum, “Mr. Ai’s re-envisioning of the work represents an intriguing intersection of history and politics and is a reflection on the complexities of authenticity and derivation.” Thus, the location outside the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs is fitting.

Public Table


Students can often be seen studying on this atop this flat object, leading some to question whether or not it’s actually a sculpture.

It is indeed! Titled “Public Table,” artist Scott Burton designed the piece with interaction in mind. Burton said that “art should place itself not in front of, but around, behind, and underneath (literally) the audience.” He was known to have an obsession with furniture.

The piece came to Princeton in the late 90s, and is based off an identical sculpture, which was made, oddly enough, for the General Mills Headquarters in Minneapolis.

Oval with Points


Richard Nixon

And lastly, this thing. One of the most recognizable of Princeton’s famous sculptures, “Oval with Points” is modeled on the shape of an elephant skull. Of course, everyone has a different idea about what this statue is really about. Some believe it looks like two people embracing.

The artist, Henry Moore, wanted the sculpture to work in harmony with nature, and he welcomed different interpretations of the work. In other words, it’s up to you to decide the sculpture’s meaning! Here’s another angle.






That’s the short list – feel free to impress your friends with this bountiful knowledge about these works of art. However, this is no complete guide; there are many more sculptures across campus. Know any other information about a particular sculpture? Post it in the comments below!

The Ink’s Guide to Late Meal

Late meal is Princeton’s most fleeting treasure. So before quesadillas and mac-and-cheese bars become just a thing of our dreams, we ought to truly take advantage of late meal—by not letting a penny of our charges go unspent.

To help you out, The Ink has done some hard-hitting, investigative research to help you get the biggest bang for your late meal buck: here are five lunch* meals, for five types of Princeton students, that are guaranteed to leave you both physically and financially satisfied.

  1. Sugar rush:


For the student who is still basking in the pleasures of newfound culinary independence, Mom isn’t here to tell you not to have that second (or fourth) cookie. Princeton is not just a place to push intellectual boundaries; it’s a safe space to test out gastronomic ones as well.

Meal includes: Brownie; Doughnut; Chocolate chip cookie; Sugar cookie; Oatmeal raisin cookie; M and M cookie.

Leftover charge: $.05




  1. Snacks for later:


This student thrives on being practical. She did not come to late meal to make small talk. Late meal is not about socializing on the long, leisurely quesadilla line. It’s about thinking ahead, saving up for later and accumulating wealth (in the currency of pita chips), in order to ensure future security. Why else would you come to college late meal?

Meal includes: Stacey’s Pita Chips; Muffin; Dannon Yogurt; Apple

Leftover charge: $.05

  1. Fruity Fiesta



Rather be on a tropical vacation than in the C floor of Firestone? Wish you were knee deep in the crystal clear oceans of St. Bart’s, not face deep in textbook readings? Frist’s exotic fruits will transport you to a luxurious paradise.

Meal includes; Pineapple fruit cup; Orange; Banana

Leftover charge: $.30




  1. Protein power

There’s no place like late meal to post-game a workout. Muscle development depends on protein, making Frist the clear
destination for anyone looking to get ripped. This meal, low in calories but high in protein, is sure to make whatever half-hearted lifting went down in the Dillon weight room result in some noteworthy biceps.

Meal includes: Silk Soy Milk; Mueller Yogurt

Leftover charge: $.40

  1. Brain food

late_meal4Why bother pouring over econ notes when you could simply eat food to study? Research shows that leafy greens contain folic acid, which improves memory retention.

Broccoli is also a source of vitamin K, known to enhance cognitive function and improve brainpower. And lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes, helps ward off strokes. Get ahead of the game by skipping that review session and eating a salad instead.

Meal includes: Salad with tomatoes, broccoli and mixed greens

Leftover charge: $.05



*these meals were all catered toward the lunch meal option, which limits spending to $5.95. To convert these to dinner meals, where the price cap is $6.95, consider adding on a $.90 cookie, $.90 piece of fruit, or $.99 box of Pringles.

A new EIC for the Prince: Do-Hyeong Myeong

The Daily Princetonian elected its new Editor in Chief, anthropology major Do-Hyeong Myeong ’17, on Friday afternoon in the paper’s newsroom at 48 University Place.  A native of South Korea, Myeong will lead the Prince’s 140th managing board and select a team of editors starting next semester.

Unlike most Editors in recent history, Myeong fulfilled the role of associate news editor for only half of the traditional one-year term this semester. She replaced the original associate news editor, Jasmine Wang.

The current Editor in Chief, Anna Mazarakis ’16, served as head news editor for one full year before taking office. Both Marcelo Rochabrun ’15 and Luc Cohen ’14, the newspaper’s last two Editors, served a full year as associate news editors before starting their terms.

Associate Street editor Harrison Blackman ’17 originally announced his candidacy for the Editor position but dropped out before election day. Myeong ran unopposed, mirroring last year’s single candidate election. All current sophomore and junior staff writers who have worked for the Prince for more than one full semester are eligible to vote and to run as Editor.  Candidacies were announced on Nov. 8th.

“I’m so excited to announce The Daily Princetonian’s 140th Managing Board’s Editor-in-Chief, Do-Hyeong Myeong,” outgoing Editor Mazarakis wrote in a Facebook post on Friday. “I can’t wait to see the paper continue to grow and flourish under her leadership.”

48 University Place

48 University Place, or the birthplace of a new Prince legacy


A previous version of this post misstated Harrison Blackman’s campaign trajectory. Although he originally announced his candidacy, he withdrew from the race before election day.