Monday, October 20, 2014

Why John Oliver is the Broadcast Journalist of Your Dreams

by Laura K. Garrison

John Oliver shines on his own show.
You probably first remember seeing John Oliver as the Harry Potter-lookalike correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Between his adorable British accent, adorable British mannerisms, and adorable dimply smile, Oliver was a favorite on the popular fake news show. When Jon Stewart briefly left The Daily Show in 2013 to direct Rosewater, his first film to be released on November 7, Oliver stepped in to helm the show for eight weeks. And while reviews of Oliver’s hosting of The Daily Show were mixed, he’s certainly hit his stride as the star of HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

After watching its premiere in April, Last Week Tonight became a necessary staple of my weekly television-watching. Smart, funny, and appropriately profanity-laden, Oliver strikes a balance between borrowing from his experiences at The Daily Show and pushing fake news to its hysterical - and poignant - best. Like its Comedy Central predecessors The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, Last Week Tonight is a half hour-long show broken down into segments like a typical network news program. Oliver focuses heavily on international affairs, ridicules the abysmal state of broadcast journalism, and covers lesser known issues that aren’t receiving the media attention they deserve.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Ultimate Halloween Movie List

by Clarke Wheeler

October is an exciting month for many reasons, among them being the beginning of sweater weather, the changing colors of leaves, and the delicious hot drinks that suddenly appear. But without a doubt, the main reason October is so exciting is Halloween, arguably one of the most important days of the year. Preparation for Halloween shouldn’t be limited to brainstorming costume ideas; watching Halloween movies is an essential part of the October experience. Here is a categorized list of some of the best movies to get you in the spirit (Those that are on Netflix are labeled). Enjoy!

High School


The Craft (R) (1996) 
 Netflix 

This 90’s movie is a horrifying twist on the classic “new girl at school” story. The new girl joins a trio of high school witches, and things quickly get out of hand. Watch for Fairuza Balk’s amazingly disturbing performance.


Donnie Darko (R) (2001)
 – Netflix 

This isn’t Easter, but there’s a bunny rabbit involved. In fact, Donnie is manipulated by a large bunny rabbit, Frank, to commit a number of crimes. A series of violent events happen over the course of October, and culminate around Halloween. This supernatural thriller received mixed reviews upon its release, but has since garnered a cult following. Check out this film starring Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, and Drew Barrymore.

Scream (R) (1996) – Netflix


Have you ever wondered if your life was actually movie? In this film, characters find themselves living in a horror movie as a murderer terrorizes their small town. The first in the Scream trilogy, this movie received several awards and nominations, as well as a largely positive critical and box office response. Make sure to check out a young Drew Barrymore in this classic.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Practicing a Little Self-Love

by Gaby Marraro

Getting off campus and reading a nice book
in a coffee shop could be just what you need
With midterm season upon us, it is easy to let the stress of academic, extracurricular, and personal commitments overwhelm us. It is so important to set aside time to practice some simple self-care rituals to ease the stress. Here are a few things I like to do when everything seems too much to handle.

1. Take a nice, long shower, and enjoy every second of it. Promise yourself to clear your mind for those 20 minutes. Commit yourself to feeling the beautiful warmth of the water and the refreshment that comes from feeling clean and new.

2. Eat a meal alone, and be proud of it. There is no shame in eating alone in a dining hall. Take one day to grab dinner by yourself. Go at your own pace, go for that dessert you might not have let yourself have had you been surrounded by people, and enjoy the time you’ve allowed yourself to reset and relax.

3. Start a journal. People have always told me how healing journaling can be, but I never listened until a few months ago. Since I started writing on a regular basis, I’ve felt such a release. There are things that are hard to say out loud, even to a best friend, and a journal is a place where you can be totally unrestricted without judgment.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Review of Broadway’s “Lady Day”

By Clarke Wheeler

Audra McDonald is now the only actor or actress
to win all four acting categories at the Tony Awards. 
The moment Tony Award-winning actress and singer Audra McDonald walks onstage as Billie Holiday, AKA “Lady Day”, you feel as though you have been transported to a different time and place—specifically, to a small bar in South Philadelphia in 1959. For an hour and a half, you are transfixed with McDonald’s impossibly accurate vocal imitation of Holiday, the wonderful musical accompaniment, and the story of Holiday’s tumultuous and celebrated life. “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill”, which ran from April 13th to October 5th, earned Audra McDonald her sixth Tony Award; she now has more Tony Awards than any other actor or actress. After seeing the performance for myself, I am not surprised by this accomplishment.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Saturday Night Live Turns 40

by Tori Fourman

How excited are you for the 40th season of SNL?
I’ve been a fan of SNL forever, so I was more than excited when the show kicked off its 40th season on Saturday, September 27 with Andy from Parks and Rec, Chris Pratt, the star(lord) of Guardians of the Galaxy, and musical guest Ariana Grande. The show underwent some significant changes this summer, and while the premiere wasnt totally spectacular, I think it showed promise for this upcoming season.

First off, we noticed a change in announcer. Don Pardo, announcer for all but one season of SNL since 1975, passed away in August. He was replaced by former cast member Darrell Hammond. Hammond did alright as announcer, though I found the change initially unsettling.

Monday, October 13, 2014

It’s Taco Time!

by Aisha Hasan

Coming from the south, specifically Houston, Texas, I was raised with any type of Tex-Mex available to me in all ranges.

Almost as good as tacos from Texas. 
When moving, a small concern of mine was losing access to food that I considered essential to me whenever undergoing stressful moments. Remembering that my new home was NYC, a cultural melting pot, I decided to scope out the best foods that I could. When my friend suggested going to Cascabel Taqueria on 108th and Broadway, I decided to give it a try.

After a short walk, I was welcomed by a waiter at the door who seated us immediately and brought us some water before giving us a few minutes to take our order.

Friday, October 10, 2014

What is Yik Yak?

by Gaby Marraro

If you haven’t already heard, there’s a new app popular among college students called Yik Yak, a sort of anonymous Twitter with other people in your area.

Once you open the app and activate location settings, you are able to see the posts of anyone else within a few miles of you. You can up-vote, down-vote, and reply to each Yak in your feed. Anything you post is completely anonymous.

It’s particularly fun to use when you’re on campus. There is always a flood of posts around lunchtime when the package center line is ridiculously long and at night when Butler is full of all the students who’ve put off doing their work until the very last minute. Some even use it as a replacement for Columbia Admirers, an anonymous way to profess your love for someone you passed by in a dining hall or on College Walk. The more you post, comment, and vote on Yaks, the higher your “Yakarma” is.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Upcoming Concerts in New York City

by Erin Low
Do you want to see Alt-J perform this semester?
There really is no excuse for feeling bored in New York City. Along with the Broadway musicals, museum trips, film screenings, poetry readings, and everything else you mentally promised yourself you’d hit up, here’s another ball game for you to consider: concerts. Still dawdling? These are the artists you’ve already missed: Lily Allen, The Black Keys, Jay-Z, Broken Bells, Enrique Iglesias, Wu-Tang Clan, Iggy Azalea…

No worries though, the lineup of musicians performing in NYC this fall is promising, and ripe for your picking. Here’s a list of noteworthy concerts coming up, and all of the relevant details too. If you spot your favorite artist in here, be sure to check out the venue’s website, to see if similar artists would be playing there. Don’t forget to snag a ticket ASAP though!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bring Back our Burgers and Jamba Juice!

By Laura K. Garrison

To where can Barnard students now turn for Jamba Juice?
Barnard, a grave injustice has been committed against us. Several weeks ago, Barnard students were alerted to the fact that they are no longer welcome to eat at JJ’s Place, Columbia’s beloved burger joint that serves up the best comfort food on campus, including chicken wings, omelets, fro-yo, and unlimited Jamba Juice. While an online petition has been created to garner support for a change in policy, there’s something not quite right about this situation.

The first time I ate at JJ’s was halfway through my sophomore year in late 2012, when I was told that Barnard students could use meal swipes at JJ’s but were not allowed to swipe into the mysterious basement dining hall after 8pm. Because Hewitt Dining Hall provides a Late Night option from 8:30pm to 11pm, JJ’s was not open to Barnard students after 8pm, though students who had already swiped in were allowed to stay. This rule, to my knowledge, has effectively been in place for the past two years, and not once did I have an issue swiping in for a meal at JJ’s.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Women’s Wear in the Gaming World

by Jessica Gregory

The armor doesn't even protect her from the wind she's making
I willingly admit that some of the free time I have between work, clubs, and class is spent playing video games. I love them. I have lots of them. They are great. What’s even better is that many video games in this day and age have strong female characters. We’re still working on bringing women to the forefront as the main character instead of what I like to call the ‘powerful sidekick’, but we’re making steps in the right direction.

However, it’s kind of difficult to appreciate our feminine heroes if they are clad in little more than a gold plated bikini. Take Janna from League of Legends. League of Legends, developed by Riot, is rife with powerful women with not so powerful clothing choices, and Janna is no different. This formidable wind-sorceress would probably be my character of choice, if she were clad more like her male counterpart who actually gets to wear an outfit as opposed to, say, a loincloth that frames his nether regions perfectly. He looks like the warrior he is, while she looks like eye candy. Though there are multiple ladies in League who do seem to have clothing as badass as their persona, the game often provides extra “skins” for the character that strip them right back down to basics. I should also add that the first black character added to League of Legends comes with a skin that makes him white.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pizza Vinoteca

by Mariah Castillo

Last Friday my friend and I, wanting to catch up after three months of separation and not wanting to do homework, decided to eat dinner together. We went to Pizza Vinoteca at Union Square, as I wanted to get out of the MoHi area and she wanted pizza. To put things concisely, I was so glad to have gone.
Pizza is always good, but this pizza was AMAZING.

Upon entering, I was surprised by how inviting the restaurant was. The lighting was warm, more on the dark side, and the two floors (which were fairly small spaces) were filled with patrons of all ages. Everyone seemed to be having a good time.

Pizza Vinoteca stands out among other great pizza places through its setup. While the traditional waiter is part of the experience, you order everything through an iPad. The whole concept might seem a little pretentious, but it actually wasn’t; the staff was very nice and ready to help us when we had some trouble with ordering. The “app” first asked us to type in a name or alias, and because my friend’s nickname was “Ruby,” she and I decided to type in “Emerald” and “Sapphire,” respectively. We then chose from the starters/ sides, pizzas, drinks, and desserts, which were all divine.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fall Movie Preview 2014

by Tori Fourman

Fall's most anticipated film is out today!
With summer blockbuster season over, we can now eagerly turn our attention to Fall’s store of much-anticipated dramas, thrillers, and comedies. Here are just a few films you won’t want to miss during the next few months. Don’t forget to pick up discounted tickets at the Barnard Box Office!

SEPTEMBER 19
Pride: Based on the true story of an unlikely alliance, this drama focuses on the aid provided to English coal miners in 1984 by the young members of the LGBT community.

OCTOBER 3
Gone Girl: Ben Affleck plays a husband suspected in the disappearance of his wife (played by Rosamund Pike). Based on Gillian Flyyn’s novel.

OCTOBER 17
Birdman: With a dash of irony, former Batman Michael Keaton plays a washed up former superhero actor named Birdman, who struggles to put on a Broadway show and get his life together in the process.

Fury: Brad Pitt leads a crew of soldiers through Germany during the second World War in a tank called Fury. Co-starring Shia Leboeuf and Logan Lerman.

OCTOBER 24
St. Vincent: When a divorcee (Melissa McCarthy) and her young son move into the neighborhood, a grumpy war veteran played by Bill Murray finds himself in the unlikely role of babysitter.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The People's Climate March 2014

by Mariah Castillo
Hundreds of thousands of people marched through NYC


Sunday 21st September 2014 was a historic day in climate change policy. With over 400,000 people in attendance, the People’s Climate March became the largest march on climate change in history. I arrived at Central Park before 11:30, and even on the subway, I could tell it was going to be huge.
I was coming there from Queens, and I saw people wearing shirts with logos of organizations promoting climate change policy and holding signs on the E train. By the time we got off at 53rd Street to transfer to the D train, the subway was mostly packed with Climate March goers. Many of the subway riders got off at 72nd Street-Central Park, causing a blockage going up the stairs - no one could go to the station or get out of the station for a couple minutes while dealing with the sheer volume of protesters.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

DUMBO Arts Festival 2014

by Clarke Wheeler

Art pieces like this and many more could be found
at the DUMBO Arts Festival!
This past weekend, the DUMBO Arts Festival returned for its 18th year of art exhibitions, installations, and performances throughout the waterfront neighborhood of DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), Brooklyn. The massive, free and public festival calls attention to Brooklyn’s role in the arts community by presenting everything from local to international art in collaboration with hundreds of artists and galleries, for thousands of visitors over three days. As soon as I heard about the festival, and read the word “free” in the description, I knew I had to see it for myself.

I went to the festival as soon as it opened on Friday evening. Having never been to DUMBO, I was amazed by the number of things to do in the area as well as the beauty of the neighborhood, particularly at the waterfront. The waterfront is gorgeous, with an incredible view of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline alongside the historic Jane’s Carousel. For pizza lovers, Grimaldi’s, the famed pizzeria, is on the way to the waterfront from the Clark Street subway stop. And for all you Gossip Girl fans (not excluding myself) DUMBO is home to Lonely Boy, Dan Humphrey!
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