The blog of The Harvard Crimson

Conan O'Brien and I are BFFs

Go best friend, that's my best friend
Andy's best friend dabs on 'em.
Conan C. O’Brien ’85 and I became friends on Friday. Like, personal, have-slumber-parties-and-swap-secrets friends. We laughed together, we cried together, and we took a selfie together. I swear I kept my cool. (Editor’s note: no, he didn’t).

Coco was in town to speak with University President Drew G. Faust about the importance of a liberal arts education in front of hundreds of students in Sanders Theatre. More importantly, though, he was in town to meet his new best friend: Me.

After a 30 minute discussion with Faust and almost an hour of answering questions from the crowd (he even dabbed at one point), Conan descended to the depths beneath Sanders. I and my fellow very cool student journalist friends/late-night TV show host groupies waited around and eventually, with the helpful guidance of a few Harvard staffers, gathered outside of Conan’s “green room.”

It’s common knowledge that Conan is tall—his Wikipedia page says he’s 6’ 4’’—but I am pretty sure international fame adds a few inches. Once his aides gave us the go ahead, we entered the Coco lair and met the man himself. Immediate impressions: he’s quite tall (did I already say this?), and if you stare at his (magnificent) hair for too long, you will become slightly dizzy. Also, he’s a really nice guy.

After taking some selfies with us, Conan sat down and answered questions for 15 minutes. Here at Flyby, we asked the most hard-hitting of hard-hitting questions: Does he have any tips for us at 14 Plympton for our ongoing prank war against the Lampoon, the semi-secret Sorrento Square social organization that used to occasionally publish a so-called humor magazine? (We are, admittedly, losing this war). Conan was the President of the Lampoon and a notorious prankster during his time here, so we hoped he might be able to trade some secrets with the other side.

“I would say: don’t be afraid to step it up a notch, you know. Maybe it’s time to move past 'We stole their chair, they stole ours.' Maybe it’s time to use explosives, I’m just putting that out there,” O’Brien said. “It’s time to take it up a notch, alright? That’s all I’m saying. It’s time to escalate.”

Here at Flyby, we’re taking Conan’s advice to heart. Well, maybe except for the explosives thing. But look out, Lampoon.

The Quad Walk: That Time I Almost Died

I haven’t had a good cry in a long time, probably five or so years. I’m not talking about just that small little tear action you get when you watch a kind of sad rom com or are stuck writing a paper in Lamont at 3 a.m.—that happens almost every week, at a minimum. I’m talking about real tears, like Niagara Falls-style.

However, this weekend I finally had a good cry. The reason? El Niño.

A few weeks ago I had the splendid idea to help out at this year’s Harvard Debate Tournament as a judge. The tournament took place this weekend and it sprawled across the entire Harvard campus. As an Adams House denizen, I’m never happy to learn that I have to walk all the way to the Quad, especially not for an extracurricular. I was doubly sad to learn that these rounds were slated to start at 7:30 a.m.

And oh, right, the windchill this weekend was minus 36 degrees. It was cold.

For reasons that are still unknown to me at the moment, I thought that it would be preferable to walk to the Quad (in the cold) than to wait for the shuttle (also in the cold.) This was a terrible idea. It was so cold I thought I had died, then somehow been resurrected as the White Witch Queen of Narnia, only to die again of hypothermia and sadness.

There's a saying that "real men aren’t afraid to cry." If that's true, then as of yesterday, I am now the manliest of men. I bawled on my walk to the Quad. My tears actually froze on my face. I wish I was kidding. It hurt.

So if you’re looking to learn how to combat this winter weather, all I can recommend is that you (1) don’t forget to bring a warm hat and (2) bring tissues. Lots of tissues.

Kanye's New Album is Just As Weird As You Would Expect

Kanye dropped an album yesterday and, as with anything that he does, we’re not quite sure how we feel about it. The first thing to note is that, unless you have Tidal (which we’re guessing that you don’t; broke college kids can only handle so many monthly music subscriptions and Spotify is clearly the move) you don’t yet have access to the album. Apparently Kanye wants Life of Pablo to be a permanent Tidal exclusive, so maybe start saving up now?

In true Ye fashion, he debuted the album via a trippy fashion show in Madison Square Garden on Thursday where his models, clad in a menagerie of… interesting clothing, stood in various states of hipster disinterest while his tracks played in the background. It was like a giant listening party with a staging that was reportedly influenced by a photo of a Rwandan refugee camp. Yeah—it’s super trippy.

The album itself was a giant divergence from his previous album, “Yeezus,” although there was a definite religious vein throughout this album too—from the very first song Ultralight Beam (which sounded like it was plucked straight out of a Chance the Rapper performance) to Low Lights.

Also overtly obvious was how much this album was a giant middle finger to the bad publicity Kanye’s been receiving the past few years. All of his songs had that vibe of “screw what my haters say, this the real Ye” which, quite frankly, is respectable. But then in the song “Famous,” Kanye flaunts his alleged extensive sex life (wait, isn’t he married?) and how much he would love to do the dirty with Taylor Swift. You know, the pop star who (allegedly) said that Kanye “made me famous” when he embarrassed her on stage at the VMAs. Not cool, Kanye.

We recommend the album, if for no other reason than it being a truly wild ride. Of course, there’s probably a million specific artistic comments that can be made about the album, but we’ll save that for true art critics.

How to Spot a Thesising Senior

We’re now in the home stretch of the year. We await the coming of spring, which will probably arrive by late May if we’re lucky. But also approaching very quickly (or slowly depending on who you are) are the deadlines for senior theses. Of course not all seniors will be trading in their social lives for some quality time with their laptop in the library this semester. In fact, there is quite a sharp distinction between your studious, stressed out, sleep deprived senior working on a thesis, and your checked out, never stressed non-thesising senior who seemingly never leaves the Dhall. Two very different breeds of senior who do not take being mixed up lightly. We’re here to help you spot the difference.

In their natural habitat, a senior who has decided to go on the journey called thesis will typically not be seen for months. This is because they’ll be at the same desk in Lamont Library for days in row. Or that cozy corner in the Starbucks until 1 am only to come back again when it opens at 5 am. A senior needs to find a place(s) to make his or her most coherent BS flow the best. And for most of them, this involves hiding out in some form of isolation with only the occasional Facebook stalking to them company.

In addition, often at their side would be at least one stack of books near them, though seven is more likely. It will never, ever be a neat stack. And you might wonder how they might be able to carry such a load from place to place. At its worst, a senior undergoing this mission will use a suitcase to shuttle the books they just decided to reserve from Widener. Be careful not to confuse this with students heading off to multiple consulting/finance final interviews.

But a way to differentiate those two would be the attire. A person going to said interview may already be wearing a suit/ dress despite the fact it actually occurs the next morning. The thesising senior will not be dressing up most of the time. They will wear the clothes that are easy to wear and will not waste any time they could spend actually outlining. So most likely sweats, greasy hair, and glasses will be your dead giveaway. In addition they might carry a smell that is a mix of old coffee, sleep deprivation, and of course, regret.

And finally if one gets very very close a senior, the best way to find out if there are doing a thesis is if they tell you. They will eventually talk excessively about each chapter of their thesis. Or how they did research for said thesis. And how they have their thesis advisor on speed dial. And just maybe, they will ask you for help naming it.

With these guidelines you should have no problem identifying, and avoiding at all costs, any thesising senior. If you should encounter one, please remember they often don’t have time for regular showers and thus should be admired from afar. Happy hunting.

I’m Not Gonna Write You A Love Song...I’m Gonna Give You a Playlist

Valentine’s Day is finally upon us and depending on your outlook, that’s either amazing or the worst thing that has happened since you found out Malan and Harvard are fighting over CS50. No matter what vibe you foresee this Valentine’s Day, the right choice of music will make all the difference in a successful evening of Valentine’s, Galentine’s, or solitude. Whether you’re looking forward to a hot night out with bae or an even hotter night in with Netflix, we’ve got just the playlist for you.

Single and Lonely

    You don’t have plans... make your own playlist.

Recently Broken Up and Angry

    Every Taylor Swift Song

    Girlfriend - Avril Lavigne

    Leave - JoJo

    Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood

    So What - P!nk

In A Loving Committed Relationship

    Friday I’m In Love - The Cure

    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours - Stevie Wonder

    The Way You Look Tonight - Billie Holliday

    My Girl - The Temptations

    God Only Knows - Beach Boys

In a Relationship With WAYYY too much PDA

    Marvin Gaye - Charlie Puth ft. Megan Trainor

    Your Body’s A Wonderland - John Mayer

    Love Me Like You Do - Ellie Goulding

    Birthday Cake - Rihanna

    P.D.A (We Just Don’t Care) - John Legend

Galentine’s Day

    Run The World - Beyonce

    Respect - Aretha Franklin

    Ladies Night - Kool and the Gang

    Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper

    Dancing Queen - ABBA

Single and “I don’t need anyone else because I’m a strong independent person who doesn’t derive happiness from those around me.”

    Love Song - Sara Bareilles

    Hollaback Girl - Gwen Stefani

    I’m Bringing Sexy Back - Justin Timberlake

    F*cking Perfect - P!nk

    I’m Coming Out - Diana Ross

Unrequited Love

    Every Breath You Take - The Police

    I Can’t Make You Love Me - Bonnie Raitt

    Dancing With Myself - Billy Idol

    Not Over You - Gavin DeGraw

    When She Loved Me - Sarah McLachlan

She Hath Slayed

beyonce singing
All hail the Queen Bey!

“She gon’ slay.”

We thought she was simply talking about her ever-booming career, the dopeness of her new single, or the publicity via tweetstorm that came in its wake. She warned us and most of us knew to be prepared for the glory that was Beyonce’s Super Bowl halftime show. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem like Coldplay was paying attention to the signs. We loved the energetic mashup of their old and new hits; it was beautiful, truly, but Beyonce’s performance was something more. It was a show fit for a king—nay, a queen.

In true Beyonce fashion, Queen B dropped her single “Formation” one day before she performed it at the halftime show and had every girl singing “come on ladies now let’s get in formation” and every guy that was just treated to Red Lobster patting himself on the back. (Sorry Harvard—we guess iHop is a comparable substitute?)

By the time the Super Bowl rolled around, we had watched the video at least seven times, and tweeted about it at least three times as much. She once again proved that she knows how to break the Internet; people have been tweeting about the song’s pro-black sentiment and arguing over the backlash it’s received since the song’s release.

If anything, she’s made us all realize that entrepreneurship comes in all shapes and sizes. We thought there wasn’t any way that she could get richer, but have you seen those ticket prices for her world tour? We gave the pre sale site a cursory glance and clutched our wallets in despair when we realized that tickets could run someone up to $1500 in debt. Sure, it’s Beyonce, but if she’s right and “the best revenge is your paper” then we’re going to have to keep our money for more important purposes like ordering room service hot chocolate from L.A Burdick's when this Polar Vortex hits us on Sunday.

And yes, we carry hot sauce in our book bags. #slay

Last Day to Fill Out Datamatch

Act now or risk being alone forever. That's right, Datamatch 2016, as launched by the Harvard Computer Society with collaboration from Satire V and Professor of Psychology Steven Pinker, will be closing 12:00 a.m. on Valentine's Day. That's tonight for all of you who have trouble keeping track of what day it is. Don't miss this opportunity to find true, algorithm-based love at Harvard and the chance to eat free waffles at Zinneken’s, paid for by HCS. Help Harvard contribute to income inequality and continue to be the elite breeding ground that it is.

As reported in the New York Times in early 2015, Psychologist Arthur Aron did research on closeness and created a quiz consisting of 36 questions intended to be answered with a complete stranger. You’re supposed to fall in love with said stranger by the end of the quiz. The thinking behind this is that the vulnerability created by these questions draws people together. It seems as if Datamatch follows a similar format, promising the perfect match through intimate questions such as this:

What's your favorite pickup line?

    - Did it hurt? When you tripped on the sidewalk because of Cambridge's notoriously dangerous ancient cobblestone walkways?

    - I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

    - [Hold up list of movies, bucket of ice, and smile]

    - 01100010 01101100 01100101 01100101 01110000 00100000 01100010 01101100 01101111 01101111 01110000


Now you can finally find the future investment banker significant other you deserve. Don't miss out on this opportunity to find your one true love, or at least eat a waffle, froyo, or Clover breakfast sandwich for free.

If the Presidential Candidates Were In Your Section

Classes are in full swing, and even the classes that spent the longest time figuring out sectioning *cough* Road to the White House *cough* have begun to truly dig into the materials. If you are anything like us here at Flyby, you have quite an interesting assortment of characters in your section. You have probably spent the last week trying to figure out how to describe them. Kids in section can at first be hard to characterize, so to help you do so, we find it helpful to liken them to 2016 presidential candidates.

Hillary Clinton - From the very first day of classes, it’s obvious that she is going to be section kid. She’s over eager, always is the first one to raise her hand when a question is asked, and is clearly not going to let this class stand in the way of her perfect 4.0. Oh and not to mention that it’s day two of class and she’s already BFFs with the TF. Whatever the case, she’s super intense, and for some reason she always gets really quiet whenever anyone mentions an email.

Jeb Bush - Jeb is the overtly nerdy guy clad in glasses and a scruffy sweatshirt. At a school literally chocked full of the nerdiest people from around the world, that shouldn’t be a problem. Unfortunately for Jeb, there’s just something about him that makes you want to pick him up by his belt loops and drop him in the nearest dumpster, glee-style. That, or steal his calculator when he’s not looking.

Bernie Sanders - Put simply, Bernie is the kid in section who, week after week, spends 20 minutes articulating his own opinion in front of the whole class. He certainly has no problem expressing his views, regardless of how radical they may be. You secretly agree with him, and will always admire his ability to bring the class off topic.

Marco Rubio - You want to like him, you truly do, but he has the tendency to aggressively repeat the same line over and over again. The first time that he said it, it was almost intelligent. the seventh time? Not so much.

Donald Trump - You know that arrogant student that saunters into class late every section? That’s Donald. He’ll boast all class long about his success on HCCG and his fondness for summering in the Hamptons. He has “yuuuge” plans, and he’s not afraid to let everyone in section know about them. Plus you can count on him to slip in the occasional offensive comment that will invariably lead to uproar.

John Kasich - You think he is a likable member of your section class, and you feel sort of bad that he is often talked over by some of the more brash members of your section.

Ben Carson - You don’t quite know what to think about this kid. He’s quiet to the point of almost not existing, and when he does speak up, he says something either completely unrelated to the topic at hand, or is way off the mark. It’s obvious that he hasn’t done any of the readings since the semester began and is getting by on the tid-bits that he hears his classmates discussing.

Ted Cruz - Whenever it comes to debates, you want to have this guy in your corner. Apparently he’s a big shot on the debate team? It’s a shame they lost to that prison team earlier this year, though it doesn’t seem to have done anything to deflate his ego. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but something about this guy is just downright terrifying.

Jim Gilmore - Who is he? Must be that guy that the TF always says is missing.

With classmates like these in your section, I hope you’re all gearing up for an exciting semester.

You Say Potato, I Say… Potato

Despite a growing number of new HUDS initiatives directed at offering students healthier and more well-balanced meals, we have been unable to escape the myriad varieties of deep-fried potato. HUDS offers the humble spud in a number of forms to satisfy your need for starch. These executions succeed to varying degrees.

So, if you're perpetually wondering if you should go for the rosemary-roasted potatoes or skip the mash, here is Flyby’s definitive ranking of HUDS potato dishes.

The Best
The Tater Tot: #tbt to your elementary school cafeteria. Plop a few of these onto your plate and pop a few more into your mouth while you’re waiting in line to get real food. With a golden crunchy coating and a soft luscious center, tater tots are consistent and determined to please.

The Middle of the Pack
The Curly Fry: One part fry plus one part curl makes a snack that is delicious to eat. Who would've thought that something Arby's and HUDS had in common could taste so good?

The Baked: We're always excited for baked potato day. What better way to pig out than to load all of our favorite toppings into one, starchy vessel? To be honest, though, we wish the baked potatoes weren't awkwardly lukewarm.

The Waffle Fry: They're no Veritaffles, of course, but we do love the crunch, perfectly fried deliciousness of HUDS waffle fries. (Yes, let the record show that we just used the words "perfect" and "HUDS" in the same sentence.) The only reason these babies aren't in the Best category is because we see them so infrequently.

The Roasted: These unassuming, rosemary-covered staples are the definition of innocuous. Sure, we're never thrilled to see them, but we can trust that they'll go fine with out Herb Spiced Chicken or "Catch of the Day."

The Mashed: We always have such high hopes for this comfort food classic. Unfortunately, despite being served from under heat lamps, HUDS mashed potatoes are always just a little bit cold, and always either lumpier or waterier than expected.

The Worst
The French Fry: the classic wouldn’t itself at the bottom of this list if it weren’t so readily available. HUDS doesn’t need to take up a place on the buffet counter with an item that is already available during every meal from the grille. The HUDS French fry has given a bad name to French fries everywhere, and deserves its place as the worst HUDS potato dish.

Malan and Harvard Need Couple's Therapy

Updated Thursday, February 11 at 9:50 a.m.

Apparently, there is trouble in paradise. But “trouble” is a trademark spat and “paradise” is the frozen wasteland of Cambridge. Specifically, David J. Malan ’99, the instructor of a certain popular class/form of torture, attempted to trademark “CS50” and “THIS IS CS50,” but Harvard had other plans. While FAS Dean Michael Smith claims Malan is upfront with his trademark goings-on, it is way more fun to imagine David Malan filing trademarks left and right and Drew Faust calling up her attorneys to protect Harvard’s trademark interests.

Since the timeline is a bit complicated and, let’s be serious, people do not give as much of a damn about CS50 as Malan would like to think, let us break it down for you.

2011: Malan attempts to trademark “CS50” and “THIS IS CS50.” His application is unsuccessful, maybe because he submitted it without an attorney (which is a low-key hilarious power move). He decides to incorporate “CS50 LLC.”

2012-2013: Malan tries to trademark “CS50” and “THIS IS CS50”…again. Once again, he doesn’t have an attorney. He’s more of a “DIY” kind of guy. Harvard requests an extension on the opposition period for his initial applications, and Malan withdraws his applications. Instead, Malan incorporates “50 LLC”. That’s right – David Malan now has two corporations, one of which is a course title and the other of which is just a number.

2015: CS50 LLC has not filed an annual report since 2012, so the Commonwealth of Massachusetts dissolves it. David Malan’s only corporate interest now is the number fifty. So sad. To rub salt in the wound, Harvard files applications to trademark “CS50” and “CS50x”.

In an alternate and more representative reality, Malan should have tried to trademark “sadness” and “THIS IS AN ALL-NIGHTER.” Then Harvard could have filed an opposition brief, claiming it had already trademarked both of those things along with “Lamont” and “Math 55.” At least in this fictional scenario Malan would have his limited liability corporation “Let’s See How Many Ivies Will Buy Into This Nonsense LLC”.

This post was updated for clarity regarding the timeline and causation of events.

"IVY," Wherefore Art Thou?

it's a tiara, not a crown
IVY, come back.
Now that we’re well-adjusted to spring semester—the third Monday has passed, two minor snowstorms have hit, and Beyoncé has just dropped another single sure to distract from any productivity—it’s a perfect moment reflect on the days of yesteryear. Ah, better days… The times when Dean Pfister sent emails on the regular about various fungi, or when the idea of changes to the system of Gen Ed was only a pipe dream. And, of course, the times when we eagerly awaited the next episode of “IVY.”

If you have been too busy actually paying attention in class or are just too young to remember, “IVY” was a look into the lives of five sophomores trying to navigate their lives at Harvard. It was “the first web series fully committed to detailing the intricacies and hilarity of the Ivy League undergraduate experience.”

And it had all one needed. Angst. Some artsy stares. And then more angst. But sadly, the last update of the Flyby acclaimed, short-lived series was its second episode, released December 21, 2014. And we still have questions: Are Harley and that guy still consciously coupling? Did anyone else threw up in the mouth of someone they were making out with? Was “IVY” ultimately better than “Absent,” which is also absent? Has anyone really gotten their stuff together? #probablynot.

It’s probable that we will never get a new update in the series. But nonetheless, we pray for its return. Having “IVY meant having more things to watch when you have binged everything on Netflix. It meant recognizing someone you met at a party or in section as a scene extra. Above all, it meant acknowledging the wonderful creative talents (and angst) of our Harvard peers.

Goodbye Ivy, we hardly knew thee.

[end scene]

The Scoop on the New Datamatch

Love is in the air

Love is in the air in the days leading up to Valentine's Day, or at least in the form of filling out 31 questions in a survey and praying that you get matched with that cute guy you always lock eyes with at Greenhouse Cafe–that’s right, Datamatch is back!

For the newbie freshmen as well as the upperclassmen who have been living under a rock, Datamatch is a matchmaking service the Harvard Computer Society provides every year in time for Valentine’s Day. All you have to do is fill out an online survey that supposedly probes into your soul, and you’ll be emailed a list of compatible matches (and their contact info, score) on Valentine’s Day. It is an indisputable fact that Flyby loves Datamatch, and word on the street is that Datamatch is back and better than ever this year, so of course we had to find out for ourselves what exactly was going on. We sat down with Raynor J. Kuang ‘17, the “Fearless Leader” of Datamatch’s development team, to get the scoop on this (read: feel every so slightly more hopeful that we will not be binge-watching low-quality rom coms alone in our room with a sippy cup of Franzia come Sunday night).

Flyby: What are some new changes to Datamatch this year?

RJK: One of our big initiatives was to partner up with Satire V, because in the past, I ended up writing most of the survey questions myself and we thought it would make more sense to reach out to a humor publication. Satire V agreed to write a bunch of questions in exchange for pubbing them and their new book. We also have new partnerships this year– [in addition to] our partnership with Zinnekens, we’re also partnering with Clover, El Jefe’s, and Pinkberry. We’ll have a system where you can pick what restaurant you want to go to [once you and your match both agree to go on a date]. We’re also paying for people to go on two dates this year, one with their topmost match and the other with their bottom match.

Flyby: So how does the algorithm actually work?

RJK: Obviously I can’t tell you everything, but in years past, it became a joke that it was just random. We realized that this joke was actually harming Datamatch and people didn’t take it seriously. This year, we really worked to make it so that the algorithm compares and contrasts people. We reached out to Professor Steven Pinker to learn about the psychology of affection and the way people communicate and match up with each other. I hope people trust that it’s really something that takes into account how you fill out the survey.

Flyby: Have you heard of personal success stories from Datamatch?

RJK: Yes! One of my blockmates got his current girlfriend as a match last year. Seeing their relationship develop, Datamatch probably wasn’t the obvious cause, but maybe Datamatch knew something about each other that they didn’t. Our hashtag is #trustthesystem.

Flyby: Does the Datamatch team also participate in Datamatch?

RJK: Of course. Look out for me, I will click the waffle button for everyone that gets matched with me.

Flyby: Have you read our Flyby Datamatch series?

RJK: Yes, I love it. It really shows how easy it is to meet up with people through Datamatch. I only hope that everyone on Flyby gets waffle button-ed back.

Flyby: So can you rig the system for us to get the best dates, obviously only for high-quality journalism purposes?

RJK: My on-the-record response is, I’m sure the people of Flyby are so great that you’ll get great matches. (Thanks for the compliment, Raynor, but does that mean you’re rigging the system or not for us?)

Flyby: Any tips for those filling out the Datamatch survey?

RJK: [When choosing answers], pick the one that first catches your eye–it’s the one you should pick, don’t really debate over whether it’s the “right” one or not. Also, fill out our new profile feature. Put a picture. Add a description. It’s nothing too probing and it creates a sense of humor. Don’t use the private setting so that friends can find you in the search bar. The hope in the search function is that you can find your compatibility with people you want to be matched with even if you don’t end up getting them.

Flyby: Any last words you want to tell people about Datamatch?

RJK: Around 2,300 people have signed up so far already, so be a part of the number and give into FOMO. The more people that do it, the more fun it is.

Finally, Kuang encourages love-seeking folks to reach out to with any questions. May the Datamatch odds be ever in your favor, Harvard.

ShondaLand is BACK

If you haven’t already reached the semester milestone of being notoriously behind on readings, then be prepared to have that procrastination hit you full force this Thursday. ShondaLand—Shonda Rhimes’ production company, and colloquially known as a block of time on Thursday when all three of her hit television shows run—is back this week. "Scandal," "How to Get Away With Murder," and "Grey’s Anatomy" all ended with breathtaking mid-season finales. If you even begin to think about skipping these premieres to go to the gym, do a p-set, or do anything evenly mildly productive, Flyby will find you and personally program your Philo account to run these shows on endless loop. Forever.

But seriously, ShondaLand is a big deal. Its return means that Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, who has been off solving problems in the show’s hiatus, will be back with a vengeance. Will she stay true to her decision to break it off with Fitz? Or will she find herself drawn inexorably back to the man who she just can’t seem to shake off? If the trailers released for the premiere are in anyway indicative of the rest of this season’s plot, it seems that fans who have been wishing for Olivia Pope to finally break away from her forbidden love will be in for a disappointing ride.

Tune into Grey’s Anatomy at 8 p.m., Scandal at 9 p.m., and How to Get Away with Murder at 10 p.m.

"4-D" Printed Flowers: The Secret to Valentine's Day Success?

In the not-too-distant future, there may be some relief for a forgetful Valentine. Any lovelorn lout who comes home without flowers will have a quick fix: they can print them.

Scientists at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have pioneered this new “4-D” printing technique, creating printed flowers that, like the real ones, swell and change shape and over time (the fourth of the “D’s,” for those of you who still haven’t taken an SPU) when placed in water.

What’s the secret to the printed flowers? A special kind of “ink.”

While traditional 3-D printing techniques uses plastic filaments, 4-D printing uses hydrogel composite ink to allow for the water saturation that happens to real petals, leaves, and stems. The work was pioneered by Jennifer Lewis, who was familiar with these new types of 3-D printing ink and wanted to see if they could use them to mimic flowers. She partnered with SEAS professor Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan to reverse engineer the way that flowers react to time and water.

Unfortunately, the printed flowers aren’t going to get anybody out of buying the real thing any time soon. According to SEAS and Applied Math Professor Mahadevan, the printed orchids are tiny: only millimeters wide.

While the flowers may be pretty, the techniques that researchers developed also have pretty serious applications. The research could be important for fields like biomedical and tissue engineering. This might explain why the Army Research Office and the National Science Foundation’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center were funding tiny flowers...but with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, maybe the Army is just hedging their bets.

Your Guide to Pizza in the Square

A wise man once said “Pizza is a major key”, and he wasn’t lying. If you’re anything like us, pizza of questionable quality in your home town was a staple that you consumed more often than you’d like to admit. Then you got to college and the Freshman 15 quickly evolved into the Freshman 30 as you scarfed down late-night boxes from ‘Noch’s and slices from Otto’s.

Depending on what corner of the world you hail from, pizza could mean something completely different to you than it does to others. Take the divisive deep dish vs. thin crust rivalry, for instance. For me, the dough is the key - for others, the sauce can be an instant deal breaker. There are a ton of pizza shops in the square that claim to be the best store in town. Ever the fact-checking journalist, Flyby's Brandon Dixon went to investigate (at serious detriment to his waist size).


Otto’s is an acquired taste, hinging mostly on what type of dough you love. Thin-crust lovers will devour box after box of this Portland-brand pizza, if they can get over the odd, grilled after-taste that Otto’s brand of cooking produces. The only thing Otto’s is missing is a significant side menu; seriously, I crave cheese fries with every slice of pizza I eat. Shout-out to their Ricotta and Basil pizza; many have tried to get that combination right and, like sophomores slugging through Orgo, many have failed.


Pinocchio’s is one of those Harvard staples whose reputation is carried by how integral it is to the Harvard experience. Honestly, their pizza is not the best, but it’s highly edible -- especially after midnight. They get major props for the disclaimer on their website: “Please note that when the undergraduate students are not in session we close on Friday and Saturday night at 1:00 am instead of 2:30 am”, which shows just how well they understand the audience that they serve. Still, their pizza slices are unnecessarily greasy, which is why I recommend buying only a couple slices at a time. PSA: do not try to pay with a credit card. They’ve got one of those weird thresholds where you have to spend an outrageous amount of money in order to do so. It’s the perfect trap for a cash-less drunk freshman who desperately needs a slice.

Just Crust

This was a little gem that I stumbled into one afternoon because I happened to be walking back from the rear of the Radcliffe Quadrangle. Again, the secret to their success is delicious thin-crust style pizza. Plus, their slices are humongous -- perfect if you ever want to throw a dorm debate-watch party, and you don’t want to order from dominos. Try their Margherita Pizza -- it’s legendary.


Speaking of dominos, I hate to say it, but they have very little going for them. Sure, they’re an American staple, but they fall prey to all of the failures of chain pizza stores. Their pizza doesn’t have a distinctive taste and can sometimes taste just plain nasty. Also, the service: I ordered cheesy bread sticks the other day and didn’t receive any dipping sauce (I paid for three). Seriously the most disappointing thing that’s happened to me since I saw my semester one Ec10 grade.


When in doubt, HUDS is a viable (though not favorable) pizza option. They’re not the best, but the Greenhouse Cafe’s pizza is clutch when your class runs through lunch. Watch out, though: too many Greenhouse pizzas and your BoardPlus will be depleted within the week.

Thank you, Harvard Square, for giving hungry college kids the pizza selection we deserve.

Chipotle Begs Forgiveness and Bribes People with Free Food

After the E. Coli and Salmonella outbreaks, Chipotle has realized it needs to pull its act together. All of its stores will be closed for lunch on Monday for a company-wide meeting about food safety. But fear not, the burrito chain will reopen at 3 p.m., and they’ll be offering free burritos this week to anyone who texts “RAINCHECK” to 888-222. (Read: Chipotle needs to remind people how much they love Chipotle by bribing them.)

Clearly, Chipotle has been keeping up with Mankiw’s book. After all, everyone knows that one of the Ten Principles of Economics is that “People respond to incentives.” But make sure you hop on this opportunity ASAP, because the website reads: “Offer available between 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Feb. 8, 2016, subject to change in Sponsor's sole discretion. Quantities are limited and offer is first come, first served, subject to availability.”

Upon texting the keyword, Chipotle will reply within a few days with a coupon for a free burrito. If you’re like us, and you’ve been eating at Chipotle despite the horror stories of disease spreading around their chain, this is great news for you. You can continue to fuel your addiction, but now without the downsides of draining your bank account and then disappointing your parents when you ask to borrow money.

Even if you’re a bit weaker and slightly less courageous, and you’ve been abstaining from the delicious goodness of Chipotle, you’re still a college student. Free food is free food, regardless of whatever microscopic pathogens come along with it. Besides, Chipotle had a Skype sesh with all of its employees during lunch to talk about food safety, remember? Clearly the problem is resolved.

Still not convinced? Based on the amount of money Chipotle lost as a result of no one wanting to eat contagion-burritos, we’re hoping that food safety now qualifies as a worthy investment. We suppose the answer will be clear this week, when everyone gorges themselves on free burritos… So, text away, and may the E. Coli odds be ever in your favor.

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