The blog of The Harvard Crimson

Skating Through a Winter Wonderland

Yay, ice skating!
Yay, ice skating!
There’s no shortage of winter activities (or snow) in New England. If you’re not up for leaving the Cambridge area for skiing or snowboarding but still want to have some frosty fun, you’re in luck. Harvard Skate is back for another season, and manager Harrison Choate ’17, an inactive Blog editor, promises that this will be the biggest year yet.

 “I didn’t know about Harvard Skate before coming to Harvard,” Choate told the Crimson. “It adds a lot of life to campus during the winter, especially since the activity in the Science Center Plaza tends to die down after the fall. It’s a big draw for students.”

Harvard Skate was founded in 2012 as part of the Harvard Common Spaces Initiative and is currently staffed through Harvard Student Agencies. Last year, Harvard Skate received a new rink, but this year has seen some great improvements to the space. Two wooden decks, fire pits, and curling lanes with synthetic ice are now available as part of the Harvard Skate experience.

Harvard Skate is open from 12 to 9 p.m. everyday, and lessons are offered Friday afternoons, first come first served, at 3:30 p.m. Hot chocolate and s’mores kits are available for purchase for a warm winter treat. And on Wednesday, February 4th at 12 p.m., there will be a special event featuring figure skater Christina Gao ’17. Though the snow will be here until April, don’t wait to stop by Harvard Skate!

Super Bowl Recap

On February 1, the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX. That’s the boring version of things. Try this: THE PATS WON, CUE THE DUCKBOATS. TB12 IS THE MOST HANDSOME MAN TO EVER WALK THE EARTH. Yes, this Recap is being written by an admittedly biased Pats fan, but your team didn’t just win the Super Bowl so deal with it. Here are a few things to note:

Groundhog Day Scandal

Charlotte is dropped!
Charlotte is dropped!
It’s Groundhog Day, which means we find out whether we’ll be living in a tundra for 6 more weeks, or we’ll be seeing happier and sunnier times. While there are many top groundhogs to watch for accuracy, Punxsutawney Phil of Pennsylvania apparently saw his shadow so he predicts 6 more weeks of winter– wait, really? Isn’t it snowing like no other right now while we trudge to classes? But weather aside, the real deal on Groundhog Day is the scandal Staten Island Chuck of New York and New York City mayors have been involved in.

Throwin’ it back to Groundhog Day 2009: former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg used a cob of corn to lure the beloved Staten Island Chuck out of his wooden home, when Chuck apparently bit his hand, piercing through the then mayor’s leather gloves. Someone was annoyed. 

Then, on last year’s Groundhog Day, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio accidentally dropped “Chuck.” But the story gets worse, because “Chuck” was then announced dead a week later due to “sudden death injuries” and the “exact cause of the injuries could not be determined,” according to the Zoo. Hmmm.....

Except the story goes on. While everyone was mourning the death of Staten Island Chuck, it was actually revealed that the dead groundhog was in fact Charlotte, a female counterpart that replaced Chuck after fears that he would repeat Groundhog Day 2009 and bite Mayor de Blasio. Literally what is going on?!

So this year, to make Groundhog Day a little bit friendlier and safer between Mayor de Blasio and the real Chuck, Chuck stayed in a roomy glass enclosure, raised into it by an elevator called the “Chuck-a-vator.” He did not in fact end up seeing his shadow, so Mayor de Blasio announced that spring is coming (#blessed). “I think we finally understand each other,” the mayor said to Chuck this year.

Super Bowl Pro Tips for the Bandwagoners, Internationals, and Seahawks Fans

The 49th Super Bowl is about ready to kick off. Maybe you’re too busy studying for next month’s midterm or trying to figure out your schedule for next year (if so, take a step back). Otherwise, odds are you at least got invited to a study break watch party, or are amped to see if this year’s commercials can top this fantastic list, or maybe you’re psyched to see Frozen’s Princess Elsa sing the National Anthem, hoping that John Travolta will be announcing her name. Regardless of why you’re watching the game, there’s always a chance your crush will be there watching with you, in which case you want to know your ish. So, step by step, inch by inch, read this post to learn a little something about football and what teams are actually playing.

THE BASICS

1. What is football?

It’s not soccer, so enough jokes from all you Brits, because the term “soccer” originated in England. In fact, the term “soccer” preceded the singular word “football” by about 18 years in describing the world’s most beloved game. So, jokes on you. Football is the game with a Hey Arnold head-shaped ball. There are touchdowns, field goals, and hot quarterbacks.

2. What is a “Super Bowl”

Super Bowl Sunday, for lack of a better definition, is the best day of the year. You wake up smiling, eat some chicken wings, watch some football, see who wins the ring, and hopefully smile some more, unless you’re a Pats fan circa 2007, when we went 16-0, got a little cocky, made a remix to Flo Rida’s “Low”, then lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl. 

3. Who is playing?

Figured this would be a nice transition, since, once again, the New England Patriots are in the Super Bowl. They currently have three rings, but there's always room for a few more. The Pats will be playing the Seattle Seahawks, who got their first ring last year.

THE IMPORTANT STUFF

 1. Tom Brady.

G.O.A.T. QB for the Pats. Married to Gisele Bundchen. Uggs Model. Objectively very sexy. Arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks ever. Call me biased (sorry, I’m from Boston), but let’s talk statistics. Today, he will be the second player in NFL history to appear in six Super Bowls. He holds the record for most playoff wins by a quarterback with 20. He holds the record for most playoff games started. He broke Joe Montana’s record for most postseason touchdown passes. What’s most impressive though? He’s one of the best football players out there, yet Gisele makes three times as much money as he does.

2. Russell Wilson

Before I get too biased, there is no way I can avoid the talent that Wilson holds as QB for the Seahawks. Not only can he throw touchdowns, but he isn’t afraid to get hit. Unlike Brady, who’s known to slide on the turf before he would ever take a chance at running, Wilson swept QB records in 2014 with 849 yards paced.

3. The Halftime Show

Get ready for some Fireworks, California Gurls, and maybe even a Roar. Katy Perry will rep the halftime show this year.

4. Who should I root for?

If you’re from Boston, New England, or go to school in Cambridge, it might get a little awkward, but who’s to judge? Basically, if you know nothing about football, go with the team with most attractive players (read: Rob Gronkowski). Or pick the best uniform. Or whoever’s winning. But, let’s be real, the winning team hosts a parade. TL;DR: If the Patriots win tonight, there will be a parade in Boston. Tom Brady will be there and so will I. It will be rowdy.

HUPD Police Log: While You Were Away…

For many students, winter break is a time to flop on the couch and watch TLC unapologetically while eating old Halloween candy enjoy time with family and write a strategic business plan for another startup. But for HUPD, the crime-fighting never stops.

Winter is Coming: Snowmaggedon 2015

Easter Island Head
Harvard freshmen sculpted an Easter island head behind Grays Hall during the snow storm that hit Cambridge on Feb. 5.
With forecasters predicting that the Boston area will be obliterated with up to 3 feet of snow this, starting now and lasting through early into Wednesday, administrators all over Massachusetts are preparing for the end of the world. The national weather service issued a blizzard warning from this evening through Wednesday, Massachusetts governor Charles D. Baker ’79 declared a state of emergency, and Harvard’s very own executive vice president for snow Katie Lapp sent an email alerting us that the University “will suspend all but core operations” this Tuesday.

School’s cancelled wooh!!! A special congratulations to all those Californians who will finally learn the joys of a snow day. However, Harvard students clearly earned this much needed break. After an awesome first day of shopping period—waking up, coming to class, taking notes—a day off! For those of you in the quad, think about taking two days off for the roads to clear. Remember you can never watch too much Netflix.

What'd You Miss Over Break?

Welcome back! What happened around Harvard Square while you all fled to different cities, states, or countries? Well, for one, Massachusetts turned into a Siberian tundra for about a week and it was so cold that local schools closed, very realistically fearing that their students would literally turn into ice sculptures before the buses warmed up. And there’s finally snow on the ground for all the Californians to marvel at until they realize how annoying semi-frozen water is to walk around in all day. But in terms of newsworthy happenings...

If Boston gets the 2024 Olympic bid, some events will take place at Harvard: You probably heard that Boston got the U.S. Olympic bid and now has to duel other countries in a Hunger Games-type scenario for the right to host the Olympics (I think that’s how it works?). But did you know that Harvard would host events ranging from aquatics and tennis for the Olympics to football and wheelchair fencing in the Paralympics?

Harvard’s federal funding drops following sequestration: Oh crap! Federal funding fell 5 percent this year...who knows the effects this is going to have on research in important fields like STEM, medicine, and...oh nevermind, non-federal funding increased 12 percent so it’s probably fine.

Chris Pratt named Hasty Pudding’s Man of the Year: Andy Dwyer from Parks and Recreation joins his boss Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), who was named Hasty Pudding’s Woman of the Year for 2014 (and also Ridgley Hall Room 52 Woman of the Year). There will be a celebrity roast on Feb. 6. Unlike federal funding, people actually care about humor and celebrities, so this is huge news.

On a serious note, Michael J. Davidson, an assistant professor of surgery at the Medical School, passed away from a gunshot wound suffered on January 20th after a shooting at the Brigham and Women's Hospital. Flyby would like to express its condolences to his families and loved ones.

While the break may be over and even though there’s snow on the ground (and we’re apparently in for way more), happy spring...semester, everyone! 

 

HONY Fundraises for School Trips to Harvard

"Humans of New York" photographer Brandon Stanton's portrait of Paul Lisker '16
Thanks to fundraising efforts by photojournalism blog Humans of New York (HONY), the class of one Brooklyn middle school is set to tour Harvard– and for years to come. Along with HONY creator Brandon Stanton, educators from Mott Bridges Hall Academy in Brooklyn raised enough money to integrate a Harvard trip into the school’s curriculum.

For those of you who’ve yet to experience the ultimate form of procrastination that is scrolling through dozens of HONY’s touching pictures, Humans of New York is a popular (and we mean over 11 million likes on Facebook) blog that posts portrait shots of New Yorkers, complete with a short interview.

It’s a heart-warming story that began when Stanton posted a photo of a boy from MBHA last Monday. The unnamed boy credited his principal as his biggest influence, specifically recalling a time when “she made every student stand up, one at a time, and she told each one of [them] that [they] matter[ed]." The post exploded on the internet– even Harvard’s own Facebook page liked it!

But the story didn’t stop there. Stanton tracked down the principal, whose full name is Nadia L. Lopez, and visited the school, located in Brownsville, Brooklyn, a neighborhood with the highest crime rate within New York City according to Stanton. There, Lopez, Stanton and another teacher conceived of the idea to create a fund that would provide each incoming 6th grade class a chance to visit a “new place,” which, it was decided, would be Harvard.

“I want every child who enters my school to know that they can go anywhere, and that they will belong,” said Lopez in her interview with Stanton.

Though the original goal was to raise $100,000, the fundraiser has already received almost $500,000, which Lopez hopes to use for an educational and safe summer program for her students.

And to make things even better, Stanton himself is visiting Harvard in February! Who doesn’t want to revel in all of his artistic and philanthropic glory in person?

 

“Fashion Police” Host Rocks Harvard Shirt

Harvard scored some major pop culture points this Wednesday when comedian Kathy Griffin was spotted hiking in Hollywood while rocking a Harvard t-shirt. Though we at Flyby don’t fully understand how it’s possible to hike in Hollywood, we’re still jazzed that the current host of E! network’s “fashion police” would even consider wearing a Harvard shirt while accomplishing this. 

Perhaps more impressive than Griffin’s matching “plum red” lipstick is the fact that she didn’t even have to buy the shirt. Harvard University, and the reigning world’s chillest former interim Dean of the College Donald H. Pfister, presented it to her back in 2013 in recognition for her work with veterans.

Although Griffin never went to college, instead choosing to study comedy with a troupe in L.A., she hasn’t been held back by her lack of a formal degree. From writing a best-selling novel to dating Apple co-founder Steve Wozniack, she’s done things Harvard students can only dream of.

Amy Poehler Named Ridgley Hall Room 52 Woman of the Year

Well this is awkward. I was going to announce it later, but it looks like the Pudding beat me to it. Amy Poehler, you are the Ridgely Room 52 Woman of the Year (WOY)! What a coincidence!

Amy, you should be honored. Room 52 is even more prestigious than the Hasty Pudding Club. We only have two members, and my roommate is out of town a lot, so it’s basically just me!

There won’t be a roast, or a pudding cup. And while I can’t throw you a parade, we can walk up the five flights of stairs to my room (there’s an elevator, but you don’t want to do that). And if you want a party, we can throw you one! I have a ton of mints from the dining hall, and we’re right above Insomnia Cookies (talk about prime real estate)! I can get booze too, although I already have a nib of something called Kinky, and a bottle of 2011 Charles Shaw.

I will invite all of my blockmates and estranged linkmates, so my common room will really feel full. “What’s a linkmate,” you ask? Don’t worry, we can spend most of the night going over Harvard lingo. Also, bring a pen! I have a book for you to sign. We just have to be done by 11p.m., because the 29th is a Thursday, and it will be quiet hours.

Amy, consider this your official invitation to Ridgley 52. I’ll be in my room all night, waiting, with the cookies.

Please come.

 

The Best of Flyby in 2014

Flyby 2014!
This is how we blog #goviral
2014 was a great year here at Flyby. You laughed, you shared it with your friends, and then you laughed some more. In no particular order, here are some of the highlights that you won’t want to miss reading (or re-reading):

1. Hollywood at Harvard I & II
It turns out more than a few Harvard students have already reached levels of stardom through familiar faces and posts in their FB class group. This two-part series features both freshman facebook celebrities and campus celebrity lookalikes. (Spoiler alert: Dean Dingman and Dennis Quaid?!)

2. Fifteen Coldest Freshmen
You’ve read about the fifteen hottest, but with Boston’s icy winters, Flyby knows what you really care about: which freshmen are freezing in the yard.

3. Roving Reporter: How Do You Spell Pforzheimer?
Flyby reporters did some groundwork, asking students to spell out the name of one of the Quad House often abbreviated as “Pfoho.” Hilarity ensues.

4. Reasons You Shouldn’t Go to Harvard
There are definitely some cons to being a student at Harvard. Class of 2019, read these reasons carefully before making a final decision (Yes, the Annenberg toaster really is that far away).

5. Kirkland Did What?!– A History of Harvard Presidents
Flyby often finds hidden gems about Harvard’s history, but this post on the namesake of each House takes the cake. (So Kirkland was the one who came up with sectioning and grades!)

6. Questions You’ve Got About Harvard’s New Sexual Assault Policy, Answered
Despite the controversy surrounding Harvard’s sexual assault policy, many students are confused over what exactly is the policy. Read above for a concise rundown on the new policies and procedures.

7. Freshman v.s. Senior: The Older the Wiser?
Giving some harsh truths about a student’s evolution throughout college, here's an infographic that encapsulates the differences between freshmen and seniors– having no qualms about neglecting your readings for Netflix and calling the walk to Tasty Burger a workout are some key differences.

8. Living Larista Loca at Lamont
Flyby interviewed a Larista for all the details about working at Lamont Cafe, including a thief (!), the most popular drink order, and the busiest times of the day (or night).  

9Illegal Pets: Beatrice the Cannibal Hedgehog
Pets aren’t allowed in student dorms, but this fall, Flyby conducted an Illegal Pets series (here and here), complete with anonymous interviews of those who have furry friends, perhaps even carnivorous hedgehogs, in their rooms.

10. What Do Harvard Students Do for Fun?
It’s no secret that Harvard students care about their extracurriculars, so here's a quiz testing your knowledge of student organizations—you may have a bit of trouble telling whether Harvard Financial Analysts Club, Veritas Consulting Group, or Harvard Investing Club is the real deal.

11. Young Joe Biden Was a Hottie
Joe Biden gave a speech at the Institute of Politics last October. Therefore, we thought it was only fitting to provide you with a #tbt pic of the VP, as well as some lesser known facts about him (skinny dipping, what?!) Note: He also may have more in common with 2014’s UC VP, Sietse K. Goffard ‘15, than you might think.

12. Wanted: 'Secretary' for Final Club Initiation
A Harvard sophomore put up an ad on Craigslist asking for an assistant to deal with the student’s “administrative work,” such as “picking up dry cleaning” and “turning in homework.” #literallywhat

13. Listen Up!: The Love Edition
Dev A. Patel ‘16 and Steven S. Lee ‘16 took over the popular Listen Up! column on Flyby this year to enlighten Harvard with some advice on finding love, housing arrangements, and even disposing of a dead body.

14. Fox News Thinks We Are a 'Threat to the Gene Pool'
Who can forget Fox News’ odd interpretation of Harvard students’ views on ISIS? Flyby broke down Fox’s response, picking out the most absurd comments.

15. Dining Delights
Regardless of whether you’ve been tired of HUDS or just afraid of making unhealthy choices (aka the "940 calorie" blondie brownie controversy), we give you a few delicious and easy-to-follow recipes that can all be made in the dhall– tofu tortilla, anyone?

16. Exclusive Investigative Report: Local Brussels (Spr)Outage
Everyone loves Clover's brussels sprouts sandwich and when the future of this sandwich was jeopardized, Ivan B.K. Levingston '17 rose to the occasion. 

Love these posts? (Of course you do). Like us on Facebook for some more great posts like this in the new year! And incase you miss us, we’re also on Twitter and Instagram.

"IVY" Episode Two, As Told by GIFs

Nine months later, the second episode of “IVY” finally came out. But it was worth the wait.

When “IVY” last left off, the first episode introduced its main characters: five sophomores who are all roommates at Harvard. It was essentially a look into their lives, covering everything from awkward TF meetings, nameless hookups, some drug dealing, concentration interviews, and deep conversations.

Episode Two, titled “Harley,” focuses specifically on (as the title implies) one of the five main characters, Harley, played by Juliana Sass ‘17. This episode continues to showcase the drama of an Ivy League education. And while sometimes, you might find yourself groaning at the over-stereotyped college student, more often than not you might relate to some of the day-to-day life.

For one, it seems to adequately convey the true attitude of a Harvard student.


And no worries, it also contains just as many awkward moments (read: makeouts) as the first episode.
This time there's even an incredibly awkward hug (basically reminiscent of one of those unexpected hugs with an acquaintance en route to class)!
Bonus points for some feminism thrown in there! Even if it’s drunk feminism.
Most importantly however, it conveys the Harvard angst that the first episode so accurately conveyed.
I found myself torn between thinking “IVY” is entirely inaccurate but also entirely accurate of Harvard life. No matter your opinion, you might be tearing up a little bit at the end because you realize how corrupt our silly Harvard lives are. But thanks to “IVY,” you can pretend like you’re crying over a television show and not your actual life.

Let’s keep ‘em coming, “IVY.” (Please, please don’t make us wait another nine months. We can’t handle the suspense. As you've depicted, our lives have enough angst. Don’t add to our pile of troubles.)

 

New Year's Resolutions: Expectations vs. Reality

Happy New Year, everyone! Chances are, you’ve been busy these past couple of days washing Wednesday night’s glitter out of your hair and more importantly, coming up with ways to “better yourself” with your New Year’s resolutions. To avoid the crushing disappointment you’ll experience when you inevitably break those highly unrealistic goals two weeks into the semester, we’ve compiled a list of your resolutions, along with the ways that they’re doomed to play out. Because at the end of the day, the best New Year’s resolution is to stop making New Year’s resolutions.

Working Out
Expectation: You tell yourself that this is going to be the year that you finally get into tip-top shape. You lay in your bed dreaming of your soon-to-be chiseled abs and toned arms, and the hot people you’re going to meet at the MAC and Hemenway during your daily trips to the treadmill.
Reality: You will go to the MAC once. It will be at 9 a.m. during shopping week. You will shortly realize that losing two hours of sleep is not worth running alongside old people that you have never seen before. You will soon revert back to telling yourself that your daily walk from the Yard to the Science Center is sufficient exercise.

Eating Healthy
Expectation: You picture a world full of whole grains, cold-pressed juices, and leafy greens. You promise to frequent the salad bar from now on, and to limit yourself to one bowl of Marshmallow Mateys per week.
Reality: You will abandon this goal as soon as the semester’s first Sunday Sundaes rolls around. People who say “nothing tastes as good as healthy feels” have clearly never tried chocolate ice cream coated in hot fudge and Oreo pieces.

Waking Up Earlier
Expectation: The early bird gets the worm, right? You figure that doing your laundry and getting extra work done at the crack of dawn are both good ideas. You promise to set your alarm t0 8 a.m. every day and experience the “whole new world” that your roommate is always talking about.
Reality: Why did you ever think that was a good idea? After two terrible days of slugging yourself to Annenberg for lukewarm scrambled eggs, you come to your senses and conclude that there is no reason to be up this early until your 9 a.m. final 15 weeks from now.

Being A Cleaner Roommate
Expectation: There was a little bit of tension last semester, but 2015 will be the year that you bury the hatchet for once and for all. You’ll greet your roommate after break and exclaim that they’ll never have to see your entire wardrobe on the bedroom floor ever again. You even arrive with new storage bins from The Container Store to shelve all of your useless crap.
Reality: You will actually try really hard with this one, and will more or less succeed until your first load of laundry. After that, your mess of clothes and papers and trash from Tasty Burger and Au Bon Pain will spiral into oblivion. You will feel bad, so you will surface clean once every few weeks to temporarily hide the fact that you’re a disgusting slob.

 

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