By Brandon Kesselly, Staff Writer
What comes to mind when you think of Kanye West? Do you think of “Stronger” or “Gold Digger”? The time he criticized President George W. Bush for his supposed lack of efforts for the victims of Hurricane Katrina? The Taylor Swift incident and the ensuing memes? Or maybe you really enjoyed South Park’s portrayal of him.
Monday marked the 10th anniversary of West’s debut album, “The College Dropout.”
The title was blunt and true: West did drop out of college in order to pursue his dream of music. The album’s tracks detailed his story of struggles with work (“Spaceship”), his dance with death (“Through the Wire”), and his cynical criticism of the college system through a series of humorous — albeit, in your face — skits. West also explored his socio-political side with tracks like “All Falls Down,” “We Don’t Care,” “Never Let Me Down” and “Two Words.”
It is hard to imagine that it has been only ten years since West entered the limelight. Many people who don’t listen to hip-hop or don’t know West’s music tend to ask: “What’s so great about Kanye West?”
Let me tell you: “The College Dropout” changed the genre.
Released roughly one year after 50 Cent’s debut, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” “Dropout” was different: it was not an album glamorizing blatant criminal activity like a majority of the genre’s high profile artists at the time. West had crafted a project that told stories appealing to the masses, discussing the struggles of a man trying to make his dreams come true despite going against the grain of society.
Dropout paved the way for artists like Drake, J. Cole and Wale to find success, and for artists like Common to return to the spotlight. In short, nothing was the same since “The College Dropout” dropped. Congratulations, Mr. West.
By Sanah Faroke
More often, we notice people holding hands as they walk down Newbury Street or sneak kisses while waiting for the T. Either you’re disgusted by it or you’re the one snogging up a storm. We didn’t see it coming, but Valentine’s Day is nearly here, and just like that, love sneaked up on us.
It was that spark that started it all, right? Both of your favorite foods are sandwiches? He saw your blue eyes and it reminded him of the ocean. The list goes on and on
I hate to break it to you sweetheart, but love doesn’t just happen out of nowhere, and it actually has more to do with your brain than your heart.
Those feelings of fluttering butterflies in your belly could be love (or that you ate too many cookies). It’s a little depressing, I know – especially for me because I really like those Girl Scout cookies – but the science behind love works in our favor. According to Helen Fisher, a researcher at Rutgers University, there are three stages of falling in love: lust, attraction and attachment.
I’m not gonna lie, one of the best parts of the Super Bowl was the ad where David Beckham takes off his shirt and runs around. Why is he running? Who knows? But let me tell you – no one is complaining. Sex hormones aren’t limited to just men. These hormones are a main component for a woman’s sex drive, which create our lust factor for David Beckham and his sculpted figure.
Then comes the phase where you can eat, sleep, think and talk about involving this other significantly amazing person. This is also the phase where your roommates will probably want to tape your mouth closed. In other words you’re on basically cloud nine.
Well, come back to reality for a bit because neuro-transmitters called ‘monoamines’ are the reason why you’re on this high. They’re practically like drugs that your brain produces. Dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin are all chemicals that create the whole love-stuck experience. Dopamine is also activated by cocaine or nicotine. Norepinephrine is basically adrenalin which causes our hearts to race and serotonin is one of the most important chemicals in love — it’s the one that drives you bonkers.
After you’ve both decided that you like one another, it’s time to have “the talk.”
Let’s talk about ‘us.’ What are we doing? Can I change my Facebook status? Actually, don’t ask that one even though you want to define the relationship because, well, you’re finally attached. You want the commitment of the other person for fear that they’ll find someone else. It’s all because of two hormones released by the nervous system.
Oxytocin creates the strong bond and also is released when two people have sex, which is why people swear that the more sex you have, the deeper the relationship is (but remember, it’s just a theory)! Vasopressin, another chemical, is released after sex and is said to create a bond. A word to the wise, don’t go around sharing your Oxytocin with just anyone!
While you’re in your 20s, don’t feel too ashamed to still be in that awkward phase of coffee dates and not knowing what your “type” is.
So how much chemistry do you really have with that gorgeous person you see around campus? Did you look at him by accident? Did he stare back? Did you both smile at each other but nothing happened? Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so step it up! Who knows when the next straight one is going to come along.
And just in case things don’t go as planned, there’s always Ben and Jerry’s.
But, on a positive note, always remember — love never goes as planned. Just look at Amy and Sheldon’s relationship on “The Big Bang Theory.” There’s a weird (lack of) sexual tension from misguided dirty talk, yet, I’m in love with them. As soon as you find your lust factor, there are only two steps left to love anyways, right? Go get ‘em tiger.
By Vitalik Schafer, Staff Writer
Businessweek is calling the Sochi Olympics the most expensive in history, topping out with $51 billion spent. As you can tell from the high cost, Russia invested more than what it would cost to just build a venue for the winter sports.
Recent news stories about the Olympics have not been about the athletes, but rather about the corruption, security and political issues, not to mention the funny hotel picture tweets from journalists.
Typically, the Olympics are an opportunity for the host nation to show off their art, culture, infrastructural feats and athletic stars. And, as President Putin has said, “build bridges.”
By heavily investing in the relatively unimpressive Russian south, Putin had hoped to turn an outdated Soviet style resort into a destination where people would want to come back. Supposedly, Putin chose Sochi as the location for the games because it is the favorite vacation spot among Communist elites. The $51 billion price point makes sense when you consider that 85 percent of Sochi’s infrastructure had to be built from scratch.
For Russia, this facelift on Sochi is an investment in its future. Russia is hoping to achieve the same success that Salt Lake City had with its resorts, which experienced a 37 percent increase in profits since its 2002 Olympics and turning it into a billion-dollar industry.
This tremendous investment however is a big risk for Russia. It’s unlikely the government will recoup the ludicrous amount spent. It is also difficult to compare Sochi to any other Olympic host cities: Sochi is the only host city that had to start from scratch, a complete opposite from the last winter games in Vancouver (whose $7 billion price tag boosted the city’s tourism and afforded a face-lift to several resorts).
Sochi, however, is $46 billion more expensive, and its success will rely primarily on people seeing the resort as one of the most elite in the world. That is the big gamble here, what image will people leave Sochi with?
By Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Features Editor
Teatime is upon us: When the cold weather rolls in with the turn of the semester, there’s nothing like grabbing a fuzzy blanket, opening your laptop and curling up with a hot cup of tea.
Tea is a magical product. It can wake you up or calm you down. It can make your stomach ache go away or relieve your headache. And unlike its cousins, hot chocolate and apple cider, it happens to be calorie-free. One sip and you’re off to your happy place.
We’ve compiled our favorite teas of the season for any tea-worthy occasion, from breakfast to bedtime. So whip out your favorite mug and start brewing.
1. French Breakfast Tea
Brand: Mariage Frères
Tip: Mariage teas are loose-leaf, so make sure to steep using a tea strainer. Spitting out little twigs will ruin your morning zen.
2. Darjeeling Tea
From: United Kingdom
Tip: Let this tea steep for five minutes and then remove the bag. Otherwise, it will become too strong. Also, don’t add milk – it will cloud over the delicate flavors of this classic blend.
3. Earl Grey
Brand: Kusmi Tea
Type: Black (also available decaffeinated and infused with citrus)
Tip: Make sure you buy this tea in bags – they use the old-fashioned method with mesh bags, which is as close to loose-leaf you can get without the hassle.
4. Yorkshire Gold
Brand: Taylors of Harrogate
From: United Kingdom
Tip: Make sure you let this bold tea hang out for five minutes and then add just a splash of milk. It can hold up against a little bit of cream and it will taste just smashing.
5. Chai Tea Latte Concentrate
Tip: Heat up a cup of this Portland classic with just a bit of milk: It’ll taste a bit like the Chai Latte you pick up at Starbucks.
6. Gypsy Rose Organic Tea
Brand: Zhena’s Gypsy Tea
Tip: Rose and honey are naturally a nice pair, and a simple spoonful will mellow out the bite that comes from over-brewing black tea.
7. Raspberry Quince
Brand: The Republic of Tea
Tip: Even though this tea is technically black, it tastes milder and more robust, like a red tea. With just three minutes of brew time, you’ll have a very mild, easy-to-drink tea.
8. Cinnamon Spice
Brand: Harney & Sons
From: New York
Tip: This tea is available for purchase with convenience points at the Barnes and Noble bookstore. Its complexity of flavor comes from orange peel and licorice, paired with the aforementioned cinnamon.
9. Peppermint Tea
Brand: Celestial Seasonings
Tip: No need to add additional sweetener to this peppermint tea – mint has natural sugars which mature as the tea steeps. It tastes particularly delicious with a cookie, however, and it happens to be Girl Scout cookie season!
10. Sleepytime Vanilla Herbal Tea
Brand: Celestial Seasonings
Type: Blend (decaffeinated)
Tip: Sleepytime tea, which combines chamomile, lemongrass and vanilla for a sweet, mild flavor, is perfect for curling up at bedtime. Feel free to leave the bag in – this tea hardly ever gets too strong.
By Stacy Schoonover, Staff Writer
With the spring semester going so fast, summer plans are in the back of our minds. Want to get a head start on summer preparation? Finding a storage company for all your college belongings is a great way to start. Below are some of the most commonly used services by Boston college students.
BU alum Jason Kaplan is the cofounder for an app called ‘Cubbyhole’ that finds nearby homes with extra space to store boxes, objects, luggage, etc. Storage can last one day, one month or even one year. Different rate plans are available, starting at $15.
The most popular usage of the service has been college students leaving for the summer or one-day travelers needing a place to store luggage before a flight.
Cubbyhole asks users to login with Facebook and then after determining his or her location, finds storage options nearby.
Users can also be hosts, offering space from a drawer size to an entire room. Hosts keep 70% of the fee, with the remaining 30% going to the Cubbyhole company.
Students can save up to 15% and even get the first month free for using the service Cubesmart where users select a location, choose a cube size and then reserve a unit. Prices for students start at $79.90 per month.
On Sparefoot, users can enter their location and get results for different storage services nearby displaying prices from lowest to highest. Storage space size varies from a 5’ x 5’ cubicle to 10’ x 30’.
Fetch storage picks up the items to be stored, stores them and then returns them. Prices start at $3 for a small crate and then escalate to up to 70 cubic feet for $62 per month. Fetch also offers a cheaper rate to buy boxes and rent crates.
By Chris Lisinski, Staff Writer
Question: Who is the best superhero?
You’re wrong. It’s Batman.
I know, I’ve heard all the arguments about how he doesn’t have superpowers, but doesn’t that make him more interesting? Watching Superman punch baddies over and over again without any threat gets boring. Batman is vulnerable and from this world, and that makes him easy to connect with.
Speaking of his human side, he’s also a role model for those of us with comic book inclinations, and expert boomerang-maker Victor Poulin has taken one step closer to becoming Batman: he successfully created a Batarang that actually circles back around when you throw it.
Poulin has already made some pretty fascinating products, including a tomahawk-looking boomerang and one that is almost as tall as he is, but he unveiled his recent bat-related throwing device in this Jan. 24 video on his YouTube account:
In the video, Poulin is standing alone in a snowy field. I like to imagine that field as high in the Himalayas near the secret hideout of the League of Shadows (unfortunately, Liam Neeson is nowhere to be found).
The batarang in the video is quite large, measuring a full 25.25 inches from the left edge to the right edge. It is made of 10-ply Finnish birch, and Poulin put in the effort to paint it black like the eternal night in which Batman resides.
It disappears for a bit, and then BANG! It’s right back in his hand, albeit not from the flight pattern he quite expected.
It’s quite a fascinating process all made possible by science. Most returning boomerangs fly in a circular process away and back to the thrower, and they are essentially wings with the same design properties as you would find on plane wings.
Two of the edges of the boomerang are rounded off and the other two are flat, which is known as an airfoil. The curvature of the wing causes the streamlines of the air to curve, and this lowers the pressure on the top of the wing.
If you remember anything from high school science — air flows from high pressure to low pressure (just as heat moves from high temperature to low temperature), so when the air flows from the high-pressure area below the wing to the low-pressure area above the wing, it causes lift and allows flight.
But why does the boomerang turn around and come back? It wouldn’t be so prudent a weapon if Batman had to restock every time he used a batarang, even if he is filthy rich.
When you throw a boomerang properly, the “top” wing, or top half, actually flies through the air at a higher rate of speed because it is spinning forward in addition to flying forward, according to a HowStuffWorks article on the subject. This creates a “constant force” on the top of the boomerang, and, long story short, when there is a constant force on top, it is actually felt 90 degrees to the side, which forces the boomerang to turn constantly.
In case you were wondering/looking for a birthday gift for me, Poulin sells a smaller 7-inch batarang on his website. It will only set you back about $55, which, let’s be honest, is the most worthwhile expenditure you will make in your entire college career.
By Ross Hsu, Staff Writer
If you’re not already excited for Boston Calling, you can go ahead and get out of my face. For the upcoming festival this May, they’ve extended the festival from two to three days, which is awesome enough in that the fun will last longer. But the real benefit of the additional day is that more bands will be there!
The announcement was made via “Find the Vinyl,” a scavenger hunt that started on Monday, Jan. 27 at 8 p.m. and ended on Tuesday, Jan. 28 at noon. The acts were listed on 10 vinyl records (neat!) hidden around the city, and hints were distributed via Facebook and Twitter the day before. The winners scored three-day general admission tickets to the festival, as well as the jealousy of their entire city.
Admittedly, the announced acts are slightly underwhelming compared to September’s varied mix of indie rock and electro-pop and last May’s procession of alternative sweethearts.
And would somebody explain how Jack Johnson takes top billing on a list featuring Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros? How does that even…screw it, who can stay mad when the next two names are Death Cab For Cutie and Modest Mouse?
The top of the poster should actually read “A Festival For Kids Who Were in Middle School During the Early 2000s.” There are plenty more obscure artists, too—alongside the dynamite live acts already mentioned are newcomers The Neighbourhood and The Head and The Heart, as well as the eclectic Tegan and Sara, the ever-soulful and mysterious Cass McCombs and a tantalizing banner that reads “Announcing Soon!” Who could it be? I’m on edge of my seat, holding my breath in anticipation.
Boston Calling will take place May 23-25 in City Hall Plaza. Tickets are available via the festival’s website.
By Stacy Schoonover, Staff Writer
Interested in architecture and want to learn more about it? Here are some ways to get involved with architectural opportunities at Boston University!
The Architecture Club
BU’s Architecture Club is the first club dedicated to enjoying and learning more about architecture. The club acts as a resource for students interested in architecture programs by providing seminars on furthering education and portfolio development.
BU Chapter of the US Green Building Council
The US Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non-profit organization that focuses on sustainable design and construction. The student group aims to raise awareness for sustainability and promote interdisciplinary interaction. The club sees sustainability as a non-exclusive field that inherently involves the joining of many facets of society and academia.
The Global Brigades
The Global Architecture Brigade is part of the world’s largest student-led health and sustainable development organization called Global Brigades. Each year, Global Brigades mobilizes thousands of university students around the world to participate in nine different skill-based programs to improve the quality of life in under-resourced communities. The Architecture Brigades work with engineers, designers and community members to meet local educational and health needs by designing and constructing schools and health centers.
Upcoming Event: “Asia and the City” Forum
What: A forum on the changing nature of the Chinese capital between the late imperial and contemporary periods. Speakers include Ya-chen Ma from the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan and Shuishan Yu from the School of Architecture at Northeastern University.
When: Wednesday, February 5th from 5-7pm
Where: 154 Bay State Road on the 2nd floor in the Eilts Room
If you’re interested in becoming involved in the Architectural Studies Program at BU, contact Keith Morgan, the Director of Architectural Studies, at email@example.com.
By Sanah Faroke
Whether you’re jamming out to Kendrick Lamar while getting ready for a party, or taking it easy with some tunes from Xx, your music typically reflects your mood and what you’re doing. A lot of the time, to prep myself for a long day, I listen to fast-paced music and it gets me in the zone.
What if songs were automatically streamed to you based upon what you’re doing? Spotify is trying just that.
Using your heart rate, Spotify will soon be able to deliver music geared to what it thinks you’re doing, whether it be biking, running or sitting. This new technology Spotify is trying to conduct can even help listeners feel warmer on cold days, something I’m not opposed to at all. If it could make me feel like I’m in Miami when it’s 10 degrees outside, I’d probably be indebted to Spotify for life.
So how is this possible?
Well, Spotify hopes to eventually use sensor data, possibly with the motion sensors on smart phones, or even a temperature sensor. Hopefully this idea can be put into effect soon! Although I’m a big Pandora fan, I might eventually switch to Spotify if it can send some Martin Garrix or Calvin Harris through my Beats headphones (you know how you like to walk to class like you own the place). Maybe Spotify can be the next game changer in the music world.
Either way, it’s always good when music makes want to dance like Lena Dunham in this scene out of Girls:
By Emily Overholt, Staff Writer
It’s cold, the T is running slow, you have a big lecture with no attendance and it’s too early in the semester to really miss anything important. Don’t pretend like you don’t want to skip.
But before you turn off that third (or sixth in my case) panicking alarm, think about the price of that class.
This year’s tuition is $43,970, and I know what you’re saying, one class does not equal $40,000 (we’re getting there).
So one semester is $21,985. You’re taking four classes, so each class is costing you $5496.25. There’s 16 weeks in a semester, so that’s $343.52 per week.
Here’s where it get’s tricky, if you are in a class that meets once a week, get your butt in class. The equivalent of dollars for that class could put your butt in this super sweet chair.
Your class meets twice a week and you’re considering blowing it off? That’s $171.75. You could be taking notes on this sweet tablet for that price, or watching Netflix. Yeah, definitely Netflix.
Three times a week? Conceptually I forgive you because who takes a Friday class willingly, but still $114.50 is going down the drain because your thirsty Thursday got out of hand. You could be trotting around in these Unicorn shoes for that price, think about it.
Now go back to sleep, sleepy kitten. Sorry if your dreams are nightmares of losing your wallet.