The blog of The Harvard Crimson

Happy Reading Period!

Sorry kiddo, but just because you don't have classes doesn't mean you're free. Maybe you have a lot more time, but there is also a lot more stuff to do. The key to reading period is mapping out time. Making a schedule isn't the sexiest use of time, but it sure beats writing a paper worth half of your grade in one night because you didn't account for the fact that an eloquent sentence is difficult to produce hungover. 

Harvard Banishes CS50 TF to New Haven

It was bound to happen sooner or later. The day has come when even Yalies themselves admit that they want to to take Harvard courses, and Harvard is responding by loaning their best and brightest to charitably compensate for the lesser institution’s department.

Well, perhaps it’s not as dramatic as that.

It was recently announced that Harvard and Yale have each approved a joint-institution venture for Computer Science 50 to be taught on both campuses. Yale students will have the opportunity to take CS50 under Harvard’s instruction beginning Fall 2015 via livestream and recorded lessons on demand, as confirmed at the final 2014 CS50 lecture last week.

Of course, no announcement of any weight would be complete without the familiar and well-received antics of Sam Clark from “On Harvard Time” leading a tour of “actual Yalies” into gothic-architecture-free Sanders Theater. After explaining that Sanders would be the site of the livestreamed lectures for the new course, Clark and the Yalies posed for a humorous impromptu selfie with speaker David J. Malan ’99 before continuing on with the tour off stage.

Along with shared lectures, there will also be sections, office hours, and support staff at Yale to help students learn introductory computer science in tandem with Harvard, according to Malan. But perhaps the most noteworthy detail of this new joint venture between ivy universities is the new role of Harvard’s Jason C. Hirschhorn '15.

Hirschhorn will be sent to work full-time at Yale, working on the ground to establish the program and oversee the work of the other teaching assistants on Yale’s end.

While many people would (rightly) feel less than ecstatic about being assigned to live and work in New Haven, Hirschhorn described the effort as “an amazing opportunity to bring together students from two universities in an immersive and shared educational experience.”

Much as we love to display the (many) ways Yale cannot (and will never) match up to Harvard, you can’t begrudge the incredible opportunity at Hirschhorn’s disposal. After graduation, the enthusiastic Harvard senior will have not only a full-time job as an instructor, but also the chance to engage in work relevant to his thesis and interests

“I'm very much looking forward to helping form a community and culture among students in New Haven that meets (and maybe even exceeds) the exceptional one that already exists for students in Cambridge,” Hirschhorn said.

While Yale reaching Harvard’s standard of excellence is highly unlikely, you have to give him props for his good attitude.

Godspeed, Hirschhorn. We wish you well.

Sunrise in Lamont: Timestamped Observations of an All Nighter

Lamont’s 24-hour status means that knowledge is constantly being produced beneath its hallowed roof. I took the opportunity to imbibe 8 hours and 41 minutes of sweet wisdom. Below is a sampling of my observations from the illuminating night.

10:00 p.m.
I settle into Lamont Café. According to Google, the sun will rise at 6:41 a.m. In the intervening eight and a half hours, revelations are sure to come.

10:11 p.m.
A girl with thick-framed glasses that don’t look like they have an actual prescription exclaims “Kafka is my favorite!” excitedly. The learning begins.

10:53 p.m. 
“I love the fur, it’s real coyotes” says a girl extolling the virtues of Canada Goose coats.  

 11:31 p.m.
“The champagne is a farce. The mimosas are gonna be extremely strong. It’ll be blue raspberry vodka.” - Larista

11:30 p.m.
Someone comes in to conduct a psych experiment. It involves candy. I am not asked to participate.

11:58 p.m.
I decide that this video is immensely important.

12:04 a.m.
A man refers to the “Larista” as an American hero.

1:08 a.m.
“Why the fuck would I want to send money over Snapchat? Does it go away if I don’t use it in 10 seconds”

1:30 a.m.
It smells like stale cigarettes here.

1:40 a.m.
The Larista summarizes a Spongebob episode and fields trivia.

2:00 a.m.
The café has closed but the trivia continues. We are now on to Fairly Oddparents.

4:03 a.m.
Silence has descended on the café. A guy in a fedora who has been passed out for the past 3 hours has now shed his fedora in his never-ending quest for a comfortable sleeping position (for now he’s huddled in the fetal position in the chair)

4:30 a.m.
Completely new ideas for a paper that come after 4 a.m. are always good, right? Realizing the error of my previous ways, I walk briskly back to my dorm room to retrieve a necessary book.

4:36 a.m.
I get back from my dorm room. As I type fedora guy wakes up, dons his fedora and backpack, and leaves. I feel an immense sense of loss.   

5:54 a.m.
Work on my paper has long since stalled. I decide to take a stroll around the library that’s sure to be regenerative.

On my stroll I create an intricate, painstakingly crafted statistical analysis of who is asleep and who is awake.

Level B: 1 asleep, 1 awake
Level A: 0 asleep, 2 awake
Level 1: 3 asleep, 2 awake (excluding Larsen, and Lamont Café)
Level 2: 1 asleep, 2 awake
Level 3: 2 asleep, 1 awake
Total: 7 asleep, 8 awake

6:23 a.m.
The sun begins to rise. I can now make out Mem Church’s steeple quite clearly.

6:41 a.m.
The sun is up, the day has begun, and I write a witty, yet somehow beautiful and poetic ending to this piece. Then I go sleep till class.

Overheard at The Game 2014: Wizard’s Chess, Obama, and Yale Mooning Everyone

One thing I’ve learned here is that when people talk about “The Game,” they’re not necessarily referring to The Actual Game of American Football Between Harvard And Yale. Most of the time, “The Game” actually means tailgate antics, half-time pranks, and ridiculously hilarious signs.

Saturday, November 22 marked the 131st incarnation of The Harvard-Yale Game. This year in particular has been rife with practical jokes and Facebook wars, ranging from On Harvard Time’s newest “Harvard Pranks Yale” video and Yale’s uncomfortable video responses to the notorious Harvard-Yale mock debate during which current Yale student body president Michael Herbert made a surprise, visor-clad appearance.

Ultimately, Harvard reinstated tradition and won out against Yale with a final score of 31-24 (so close, Yale, so close), clinching both a H-Y victory and the Ivy League Champion title for the eighth consecutive time, which according to ESPN is the first time either school has won that many times since the 1880s.

Here are some overheard conversation highlights from The Game 2014, an afternoon of blue skies, freezing winds, and sweet, sweet, victory.

In response to Yale’s spontaneous stripping spectacle mid-way through the Game:
“The Yale kids are so done that they’d rather be naked than in Yale gear.”

(Shunella G. Lumas ’15)

Upon the Harvard University Band’s entrance onto the field:
They did.

(Melanie Y. F ’18)

“That was my top school.”
Girl. Girl.

During the game, students discussed the relative dangers of football and other sports.
“You know what’s really intense? Ping pong.”
“No, no, full-contact chess.”
“No—wizard’s chess!”
I’m not sure if we want to know what full-contact chess is. But you know what they say about wizard’s chess.

New love seemed to blossom at the game.
Maybe “Obama” will be our “Always”.

The appearance of several large sticks with a certain face printed on them led an elderly alumnus to ask, with heightening panic:
“Who is the head guy? Who is he? Do you know?”

(Melanie Y. Fu ’18)

During the raucous post-victory field-storming:
“Oh my god, let’s take a picture!... Oh my god, I’m bleeding.”
Oh my god, are you okay.

Students were deep in thought as they walked out of the stadium in the rosy pink sunset.
“I wonder how it feels to be second all the time.”
What a thought.

The moral of the story:
“Now I know why everyone likes athletes… They’re so cool.”
Love you too, bro.

Until next time, Yale!

Exclusive Investigative Report: Local Brussells (Spr)Outage

Warm, smoky, and cheesey with a little bit of crunch, the most popular sandwich at Clover, a local health-conscious restaurant chain, has a surprising hero.

Clover’s Brussels Sprout Sandwich, made with smoked cheddar and hazelnuts, is the eatery’s top-selling sandwich this time of year. Inspired by his lifelong love of the savory vegetable, Muir has been able to maintain Clover’s local commitment by buying the sprouts from regional farms. However, Clover recently posted on their company website that the sandwich’s run was coming to an end.

According to a blog post from last week,“Clover depleted our supply of local brussels. So with a heavy heart we must announce that we’re only going to have the Brussels Sprout Sandwich company-wide for another week (last day is [tomorrow] Wednesday 11/26).” Muir blamed the local shortage on the vegetable’s unsavory reputation and short growing season.

“We do things when the ingredients are in season and brussels sprouts have a short season,” Muir said. “It’s hard because people make fun of them all the time so literally the farmers stop growing them.”

Flyby wasn’t so ready to accept the facts without a comprehensive investigation. Muir said that Clover bought their Brussels Sprouts from Joe Czajkowski Farm in Hadley, Mass. I called up the farm and spoke with Mr. Joe Czajkowski himself, and he told me that in fact it has been a “magnificent” year for the sprout.

“We’re going to finish picking brussel sprouts in about a week or two,” Czajkowski said. “We have 15 acres of brussels sprouts and they were a nice crop and they sold very well but it’s not an easy crop to raise.”

Well, it seems like there are still sprouts left in the ground after all! Perhaps there was a mixup with Clover’s vegetable wholesale supplier? I got in contact with the Pioneer Valley Growers Association, who provides Clover with their brussels sprouts, to find out.

When informed that Czajkwoski’s farm still had some sprouts in the ground, Barrington admitted the possibility of a miscommunication, citing the fact that “the whole focus of the last two weeks has probably been more on Thanksgiving.”

Squash is great and all, but so is the brussels sprout sandwich! Was Clover deceiving its customers or was this all one great mix-up? When I told Clover’s Muir what I had learned, he said that the information came as a surprise.

“I’d been told that they were sending some brussels that weren’t from New England because they said they couldn’t get any more from Joe...we’ll tell them to fix that,” Muir said. “You might be responsible for the stay of execution.”

Looks like the brussels sprout sandwich has a chance at an extension thanks to this hard nosed journalist. You’re welcome, world.

Ten Ways You Could’ve Trolled Harvard Tourists

Now that the late autumn chill has settled in, tourists are at last getting fewer and farther between. Like many a polite Harvard student, you’ve probably kindly taken ten minutes out of your day to give directions to Agassiz House. But what if you hadn’t? Here are ten things you could have done to jazz up your daily tourist encounter:

Tourist: What is the Harvard Square?
You:  Special brownies they serve at the dining halls here. Good luck barging through Annenberg to get a bite.

Tourist: What’s the COOP?
You: Elite pen reserved for Harvard student fowl. Eggs are fifty dollars a dozen, or a hundred if embossed with Harvard shield.

Tourist: Can you take a picture with us?
You: Regrettably, selfie use in the Yard is reserved to ID holders only.

Tourist peeks into your dorm room window.
You: Advice on undergraduate room décor is a paid privilege. Cash or credit card?

Tourist: What is ze name of zis building ‘ere?
You: Désolée, je n’en sais rien non plus.

Tourist spots your Harvard ID bling: Are you a student?
You: Nope. I only do my grocery shopping here.

Tourist: How can I get to the Quad?
You: You can’t. It’s reserved for delinquents.

Tourist mom with overeager high school senior: What do you study here?
You: IBP (Interpretive Beer Pong) Honors candidate. That’s right, the admissions tour is held exclusively for advertising purposes.

Tourist asks about the antique pump in front of Hollis: What was this used for?
You: Decapitation of Yale students. We decided to keep the relic after the guillotine was outlawed in the 70s.

Tourist: How did you get in?
You: Oh you know, well-rounded like everyone else. Just published 25 manuals on how to write the Harvard Admissions essay, which I also translated in 200 languages, including Basque, Ibo and Sanskrit. Any questions?

'College GameDay' Does The Game

While much is at stake at any Harvard Yale game—from bragging rights (not that Harvard needs more) to Ivy League championships—this year’s meeting of the two rivals will feature an added twist. ESPN’s famous pre-game show “College GameDay” will broadcast from 9 a.m. to noon in the Dillon Quad.

For whatever reason, this will be only the second time “GameDay” has covered an Ivy-League game—the first was in 2002 when Harvard lost to Penn—and the first time Harvard will host the show.

Hosted by Lee Corso, Chris Fowler, and Kirk Herbstreit, “College GameDay,” or more completely “College GameDay Built by The Home Depot” (has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?) is famous for the signs students poke into the broadcast’s background and Lee Corso’s tradition of donning the headgear of the school’s mascot he picks to win. One can only wonder how he’ll pull this off when he inevitably chooses the Crimson to win (will it be a John Harvard-y hat? A bucket of crimson paint?).

Besides the battle on the gridiron though, the contest for television time and the best sign will be crucial for victory on Saturday. Though there is no formula for a clever College GameDay sign, here are some ideas to get the creative juices flowing:

-"Win or Lose, We Don’t Live in New Haven”

-"If you’re not first, you’re Yale”

-"Yale: The Pepsi of the Ivies”

-"It’s OK, Harvard had an usually high number of qualified applicants this academic year”

-"Yale: Sloppy Seconds since 1701”

-"I couldn’t think of a good sign, I only go to Yale”

And remember, Saturday isn’t just about winning a football game. It’s about humiliating Yale in front of a national audience.

The Lazy Student’s Guide to Food Delivery

The semester’s winding down, so odds are that you’re:

a) bedridden with the latest plague

b) melting into a study puddle of term papers and final p-sets

c) cursing Frozen’s romanticization of all things icy, or

d) some unholy combination of the above.

In any case, if you just can’t crawl out of bed for HUDS Beef Fajita Fettuccine (although we admire the ambition of Latin-Italian fusion), Harvard Square restaurants are here for you. Check out some of the best food delivery options for your sick/stressed/snow-dreading self.

1. Oggi Gourmet (minimum $15.00, no delivery fee, Crimson Cash accepted)
Don’t dismiss this charming eatery tucked within the Smith Campus Center. Go for the classy roasted pear salad, the reliable Steve’s egg sandwich, or the photosynthetic pineapple smoothie with chlorophyll.

2. Nine Tastes (minimum $15.00, no delivery fee)
If your experience with Thai cuisine is limited to a certain endangered whitefish (ahem…. swai...ahem...HUDS), expand your horizons with the ambiguously named Nine Tastes. You can’t go wrong with any of the six (!) varieties of fried rice, but the “Veggie Puff” and “Shrimp Blanket” appetizers win for creativity.

3. Sweet (minimum $15, no delivery fee, Crimson Cash accepted)
Listen to Donna and treat yo’ self to a seasonally appropriate pumpkin pie, French toast, or apple cider doughnut cupcake. Sweet also stocks vegan cupcakes on Mondays, if you want a side of moral righteousness with that chocolate frosting.

4. wagamama (minimum $15.00, no delivery fee)
You can only eat so much Lamont sushi ($65 worth, to be exact). Yes, wagamama is a British chain, and yes, its vendetta against capital letters is irritating, but the delivery is free and the chicken katsu is delightful.

5. Falafel Corner (mimimum $15, delivery fee 10% of order total)
Feel awful? Falafel. Or, channel your favorite Avenger and go for the lamb shawarma rollup (only six months until “Age of Ultron”!)

6. Insomnia Cookies (minimum $6.00, delivery fee $1.50, Crimson Cash accepted)
As if the phrase “Triple Chocolate A La Mode” doesn’t already inspire a bit of Pavlovian drool, Insomnia delivers to your dorm until 2:45 a.m. “The Sugar Rush” – 12 cookies for $16.00 – is ideal for powering through a group project or crying alone.

'Yale' Students Protest Yale Athletics

On Harvard Time’s annual video for The Game is up and this time they’re fighting for the greatest humanitarian cause of our generation: divesting from Yale athletics. Disguised in glasses, a beanie and a Yale scarf, Samuel B. Clark ‘15 and OHT took to New Haven, where they posed as Yale students protesting the amount of money spent on a poorly-performing football team.

“We are spending more on Yale athletics than is being spent in public works in the city of New Haven,” Clark says in the video. “And what does that even get us? Every single year we lose to Harvard.”

And the best part? Yale students actually agree. Just watch the video.

This comes of course after last year’s Fake Yale Tours video, and, more recently, Yale College Council President Michael Herbert’s cringeworthy counter-video in which, it seems, Yale challenged UC President Gus Mayopoulos ‘15 to a boxing match (?!). We’re not entirely sure what that was about, but it ranks high on the unintentional comedy scale. Though we sure learned a lot about Yale’s cinematography skills (otherwise known as iMovie). Gus put it best himself in his response video,

But apparently it wasn’t as easy this time around for OHT. According to the Yale Daily News, Yalies “found out” about OHT’s plans while they were “protesting.” President Herbert “approached the group on behalf of the Yale student body,” whatever that means.

During an interview, one vigilant Yalie even played last year’s video in an attempt to prove to Sam Clark that he was, in fact, Sam Clark. And not a Yalie.

To which Clark responded, “I get that so many times, I’ve gotten that from a lot of people.” So, here’s to OHT, and its intrepid journeys into the wastelands of New Haven.


A Quick and Easy Guide to the UC Election

Undergraduate Council Voting Season is upon us! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the plethora of posters that have suddenly appeared on every possible surface, or you are still trying to digest what happened at Crimson Crossfire, have no fear: we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for an overview of the tickets and their platforms. Remember that the outcome of this election lies with you. So vote! But do it before noon this Thursday, November 20, or it won’t count.

It's The Last Full Week Of Classes (Yes, Really)

Attention: we are in the midst of the last full week of classes of this semester. No, really. I have proof. With Thanksgiving and reading period to look forward to, just one week lies between you and having Harvard’s permission to do what you have spent the semester doing anyway — not attending the entire week’s worth of classes.

This final week brings some bittersweet last opportunities, and here’s how to make the most of them.

Attend all of your classes
Need motivation? Harvard may have just installed a video camera at your specific seat to monitor how often you and you alone show up to class.

Admit that you have a crush on your TF 
Maybe you shouldn’t admit it to your TF, but it’s about time that you admitted it to yourself.

Go to office hours
Pros: you might learn something, and you might even make new friends. Cons: you probably won’t learn anything, and you definitely won’t make any friends. Reality check: go for the recommendation letter. It will help you get a job in consulting one day.

Do your assigned readings
Just kidding. Don’t do your assigned readings. You’ve gotten this far in the semester without cracking open a single book, so why start now?

Happy class-attending, Harvard!

Yalies Are Terrified of Sam Clark

Leading up to last year’s Harvard-Yale football game, campus comedy group On Harvard Time surprised Yale with a wildly successful YouTube prank appropriately titled “Harvard Tours Yale.” For the video, Samuel B. Clark ’15 traveled to New Haven with OHT, posed as a Yale student, and gave tours to unwitting tourists. (Key phrase: “Gothic architecture.”) The video went viral, hitting Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and Forbes. And it was pretty damn funny.

It’ll be hard to live up to that feat, but this year, OHT is already attracting attention, even before they’ve uploaded their annual video. According to a preview they’ve posted to their YouTube channel, they traveled to New Haven again—this time, to advocate divestment from sports, according to the Yale Daily News.

And apparently, vigilante Yalies were not so unsuspecting. The YDN claims that OHT’s cover was “blown”; their student body president reportedly approached the group “on behalf of the Yale student body.” We’re not sure when Yalies became so scared of poser Harvard students, but we like it. 

Thanksgiving, Steve Ballmer, and 'U': UC Campaign Ad Gems

Undergraduate Council presidential campaign season has very much arrived, and with it comes a deluge of campaign posters and publicity stunts. Flyby picked out some of the gems—whether they’re the most ridiculous or the most predictable—and collected them for you here.

1. Happy Yang ’16 and Faith A. Jackson ’16: “Be Happy and Have Faith”

Ah, the name pun. Working names into slogans seems very middle-school-election, but we have to admit that Yang and Jackson’s names are pretty well suited to campaigning.

2. Meghamsh Kanuparthy ’16 and Ema H. Horvath ’16: #ThanksgivingFirst

Kanuparthy and Horvath’s campaign ads are telling Harvard to “Leave Thanksgiving alone.” Two questions: Is Thanksgiving in trouble? Are they trying to save it? We need answers.

3. Ava Nasrollahzadeh ’16 and Dhruv P. Goyal ’16: “The UC begins with U”

Here, we see the classic UC and “you” pun—the two other tickets above make a similar play in their own campaign ads. This ad lacks in originality, but it does add a pretty sick design.

4. Luke R. Heine ’17 and Stephen A. Turban ’17: the kiddie pool photo with Steven A. Ballmer ’77

Heine and Turban round out the list with an ad that’s as bizarre as it sounds. In the ad, the pair sit partially clothed in a kiddie pool with the former Microsoft CEO standing over them. We’re not really sure what this means, but it works.

Hold the (Red) Phone! How to Use Your Hotline

While Harvard stopped providing its students with build-your-own bomb shelters and an inescapable sense of dread decades ago, at least one Cold War relic has stuck around: the red phone. These crimson clunkers, lovingly placed in each room by Dorm Crew at the start of the year, go tragically underused. Luckily, we’ve come up with a few ways to warm up to your hotline.

1. Cockroach bludgeon. Pest problem? Smash away, but be careful: like a matador’s cape, waving the red phone around too much may further aggravate your roaches.

2. Double-sided spoon. Forgot to Annenburgle some silverware to go with those Frosted Mini Spooners? Your iPhone can't hold cereal like this.

3. An avant-garde accessory. It’s a real conversation piece.

4. Souvenir. Seniors, the red phone makes a great memento of your time at Harvard! Plus, you can pick up the line from anywhere in the world and hear HUPD demanding that you return it immediately.

5. Shower mic. Put down that bottle of shampoo, grab your red phone receiver, and belt out "Pocket Full of Sunshine" like you're at TD Garden and not in a three-square-foot stall. Note: do not plug the red phone in. 

6. Emergency health care. Sick between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.? Give triage a try – the red phone can get you (exactly none of) the help you need.

Wanted: 'Secretary' for Final Club Initiation

One Harvard sophomore is apparently having trouble juggling all-important final club initiations with other commitments. The anonymous student, who self-identifies as “a sophomore punching a Harvard final club,” has posted an ad on Craigslist soliciting a “secretary” to “deal with all my administrative work.”

“Anything from responding to basic emails, picking up dry cleaning, confirming appointments and turning in homework could be asked,” the ad requests. Reasonable, you might suggest: Wearing a yellow sweatshirt all week surely renders you unable to collect your laundry.

And this overwhelmed neophyte isn’t requesting help for nothing. Compensation, according to the ad, will be by hourly wage, provided that you submit your resume, any other “relevant material,” and sign a non-disclosure agreement “in order to maintain privacy.”

We wonder why this sophomore would want to keep this cry for help private. We’ve seen bolder calls on Craigslist, after all.

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