Cornellians Hit Number 2 On iTunes

For the last two weeks or so Cornell’s campus has been abuzz with conversations that go something like this:

“Did you hear that song that those dudes in SAE produced?”
“No. What? What song?”
“Go on iTunes. It’s like the number 2 song and Eminem’s in the remix!”

The conversations are all referring the B.o.B. song “Airplanes” featuring Hayley Williams of Paramore and more importantly, featuring a chorus written (not produced) by two Cornellians (only one of which is an SAE bro).

Alum Jeremy Dussolliet and senior Tim Sommers, who go by the stage names Kinetics & One Love, respectively  have given Cornellians something to gush about. The hit single has got the student body equally excited and surprised that two of the Big Red’s own are behind one of the chief tracks on the charts right now. And by a quick glimpse at Kinetics’ & One Love’s Facebook profiles, both guys seem similarly awed via their statuses filled with thankfulness and a bit of gloating:

The duo are signed on as songwriters for Warner Music Group, so now we all know at least one senior whose not playing the unemployment tango come G-day. As for the Cornellians who are facing unemployed at the end of May, you probably have a few mutual friends with the guy whose song will be playing in the background all summer as you scour for places to send your resume… if that makes you feel any better.

Why Is Bob Saget At Cornell Right Now?

Outside the window from where I’m doing work (check out my zoomed-out Photo Booth pic) Bob Saget is being filmed and slowly amassing a crowd behind Uris Library, above the cocktail lounge.

I can’t leave my desk, but what the heck is he doing here? Readers… please share!

UPDATE: Helpful commenter Michael has clued me into Saget’s upcoming A&E series Bob Saget’s Strange Days “which busts down barriers to investigate some of America’s most fascinating and mysterious worlds.” And an anonymous tipster hanging around Willard Straight Hall informed me that the mysterious world which Saget is exploring at Cornell is Seal & Serpent Society, a fraternity currently known for its lacking membership and odd name.

Mystery solved!

2nd UPDATE: Former IvyGate writer and Seal & Serpent Society (despite it’s name it’s actually a fraternity) alum Max Wasserman has got the inside scoop on Bob Saget’s presence in Ithaca. In an email he wrote,

Well as you said, he’s filming for his new A&E show about interesting subcultures. So the specific subculture he’s covering at Cornell is fraternities and the plan is that he will actually go through initiation. The reason why he’s in Ithaca following Seal & Serpent  is that the producers approached national fraternities about filming, but the national chapters were reluctant to have their secret rituals filmed at any of their houses. The producers then decided to look at independent fraternities as they don’t have to deal with national chapters. They approached S&S (oldest independent fraternity in the country) who agreed. The producers were present at the frat’s initiation dinner a few weeks ago.

So that’s why Bob Saget is at Cornell. He’ll be there through the weekend when I believe he will go through initiation himself (though I could be wrong). There also may be another going-on at the frat related to the filming, but I’m not sure about that yet. UPDATE: Saget is there to showcase American fraternities, with S&S as the example, as they are a stereotype breaker. While he’s in Ithaca, S&S will hold a philanthropy event, a party, and a formal.

So there you have it. Cornellians, keep your eyes peeled over the weekend as Mr. Saget roams the campus. Maybe he’ll even make an appearance in Ctown (fingers crossed!) because I would totally appreciate him yelling profanities at the drunk girls with their dresses hiked up to their vaginas standing by CTP when the bars close.

The Website Review with Justine Fields: Cornell Sun Redesigns Website, Saves Journalism. J/K.

Yesterday the Cornell Daily Sun printed this as their front page.

It was all part of a plan to “promote the shit” out of their redesigned website, as Editor-in-Chief Keenan S. Weatherford so eloquently put it in a brief phone interview last night. However, on a more articulate and explanative note, Mr. Weatherford wrote in yesterday’s Sun that “This fall will mark The Sun’s 130th year of informing Cornellians and the Cornell community, and we intend on sticking around for another 130, at least.”

So how does the Sun plan on saving journalism for the next 130 years? Well, the updates to CornellSun.com include a most popular articles list, a live Twitter feed, featured slideshows and an iPhone app available for free on iTunes. Plus, there’s that whole shiny, pretty, new website thing that screams “I <3 NYTimes.com.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Harvard Prof Is Obama’s Pick To Run Medicare

For the soon to be unemployed or poorly-paid Ivy Leaguers, there was one glimmer of hope when the health care reform passed. The new legislation lets America’s future leaders remain on their parents’ medical coverage until the age of 26. So now you can feel way less guilty about working that unpaid, potentially illegal, enslavement internship post-graduation. Even better: one of the League’s own is probably going to bat for the low-income grads as the head of Medicare and Medicaid. Harvard’s own pediatrics and health-policy professor Donald Berwick is Pres. Obama’s top choice to oversee the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Although the position hasn’t been occupied for more than three years, we’re sure Berwick’s going to up the ante; he definitely has the time on his hands.

Of course, this is all just hearsay and Obama still needs to actually announce Berwick as his pic… then the Senate has to approve Berwick, and thennnn maybe the prof can clear his busy schedule. Until then, Harvard can quietly celebrate the probable-to-extreme-likelihood of having themselves a stake in health care history.

Cornell Secret Society Would Like Your Opinion

It’s Secret Society tapping time at Cornell! And while the only thing I’d personally like to tap is a keg, some vaguely important people are gathering in their towers and other assorted secret places to decide who will be the next batch of elitists to prance around campus wearing pins on their collars.

Now before the commenters rip me to shreds, I’m gonna let you in on my own not-so-secret. I ran the Cornell Concert Commission in 2009––a position that is normally welcomed into these organizations and allowed to view Slope Day from a higher vantage point. However, someone or other didn’t like me and so I was shut out of the club.

In fact, I was rejected by the lesser secret society too. Yet despite being given the negative nod by them, the Sphinx Head Society needs my help. Into my mailbox yesterday afternoon I received the message below from the 119th Tapping Chair (but shh – it’s a secret!).

from            ****** <[REDACTED]@cornell.edu>
to
date            Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 1:32 PM
subject            ************* nomination
signed-by            gmail.com

hide details 1:32 PM (11 hours ago)

Hello,

You are being contacted because *********** has been nominated for membership in the Sphinx Head Senior Honor Society and you have been identified as a reference for him/her. Though *********** has already been identified as a candidate, we are still in need of a letter of recommendation to complete his/her nomination. If you are interested in writing a letter of recommendation for him/her, we would greatly appreciate it. The letter does not have to be long, we are just looking for a glimpse into the nominee’s leadership and character from someone who knows him/her well.

We will be reviewing all nominations starting Monday, so we will accept letters until Sunday at 9pm.

Thank you for your help,
******************

Sphinx Head Tapping Chair, 119th Tapping Class

Read the rest of this entry »

Ivy Players Shoot For The NBA

Jeremy LinThere’s about a 10-percent chance that an Ivy Leaguer is headed to the NBA next year. Senior Jeremy Lin of Harvard, along with Seniors Jeff Foote and Ryan Wittman of Cornell have all accepted invitations to compete in an NBA pre-draft invitational tournament at which 200 NBA managers and scouts will be watching closely.

The tournament, which originated in 1953, will be taking place April 7-10 at Churchland High School in Portsmouth, Virginia. Suitably, it’s called the 2010 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. For four days, the players will compete in a 12-game tournament while simultaneously crossing their fingers behind their backs, searching for four-leaf clovers and rubbing rabbits feet. In the past, the tournament has kick-started the professional careers of players like Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen. Last year six players from the tournament were selected in the draft; so basically Lin, Foote and Wittman will only have to be better than the 58 other amazing basketball superstars to get the job they’ve always been dreaming of. Well, good luck, boys!

Cornell Prof Turns Blockbuster Movies Into Math

Cornell Professor James Cutting released a groundbreaking discovery out of Ithaca this week: Hollywood Blockbusters follow a pattern. Pretty nifty for an Ivy League Prof., right?

In all seriousness though, Prof. Cutting analyzed 70-decades worth of 150 high-grossing films made between 1935 and 2005. He discovered that since 1935 shot lengths have more and more often come to correlate with a mathematical pattern based on the human attention span. This pattern is known as 1/f fluctuation, or pink noise, and it says, “attention spans of the same length recur at regular intervals.” So Cutting essentially asserted that movie shots of the same length recur at regular intervals, especially in recent big blockbusters. [Full text of the paper here, if you’re into that sort of thing].

In order to secure precious Cornell moneys to watch movies and make such assertions, Cutting built off of the original 1/f research done in the 90s at the University of Texas in Austin. He expanded the pattern to include the fact that modern smash hit movies obey the same 1/f fluctuation –– A formula which Cutting believes to “resonate with the rhythm of human attention spans.” Interestingly enough, this pattern has also been found in the annual flood levels of the Nile River, in air turbulence and in music.

But before going to press, Prof. Cutting wanted to make it very clear that despite researching 150 Blockbusters, one shouldn’t overlook his taste. His favorite genre is Film Noir and you’ll be reassured to know that such high-brow art does not follow the 1/f law common to movies for the masses, like Star Wars Episode III, “which Cutting considers to be ‘just dreadful’.”

However, this still leaves one question unanswered: Is this Cornell-polished mathematical formula good enough to save the Film department from the administration’s mass budget cuts?

Cornell Police Prepare To Go Berserk On Visiting Deadheads

On May 8, 1977 one arm of Cornell University, the Cornell Concert Commission, did something that made Cornell look really damn cool. It was on that date that the Concert Commission sponsored the Grateful Dead in Barton Hall, resulting in the recording of famous Barton Hall 77 tapes.

But back to the point: Grateful Dead. Cornell. <3. Super famous concert. (Soooo famous the 2007 Ithaca Mayor declared May 8thGrateful Dead Day”!)

Well, thirty-plus hippie dippie years later and the Concert Commission is at it again –– minus Jerry Garcia. This go-around, founding Grateful Dead members Phil Lish and Bob Weir are returning to Cornell’s Barton Hall this Sunday with their new band, Furthur, which means that by weekends start, a lovely batch of Deadheads shall inhabit Ithaca.

But Sgt. Mospan from the Cornell University Police Department will have none of it. He’ll be doing everything in his power to ensure that every building on the Cornell campus is locked so tight that not even a spec from a Deadhead sneeze can enter. Read his wigged out letter after the jump:

Read the rest of this entry »

Unsatisfied Simply With Dominating Academia, Ivy League Seeks to Conquer World Sports Scene

This coming Friday marks that rare event when you break out your interest in figure skating for the first time in four years and cross your fingers that the Jamaican bobsled team will actually take home the gold. You’ll obviously be doing all of this because, as NBC has making it clear with those 5 rings in the corner of everything they air, it’s the 2010 Winter Olympics. Surprisingly, though, Ivy Leaguers may find some brethren to support.

While the wickedly helpful Ivies in China blog does not appear to be returning for the Vancouver trip, we’ve done our best to gather the stats on who, if anybody (hello, Columbia, Penn and Princeton?) the Ivies will be sending to the games.

Dartmouth wins the gold (see what we did there?) with ties to nine athletes: from biathlon competitors (Laura Spector ’10 and Sara Studebaker ’07), skiers (Tucker Murphy ’04, Patrick Biggs ’06, Ben Koons ’08, Andrew Weibrecht ’09 and Tommy Ford ’12) and ice hockey players (Gillian Apps ’06 and Cherie Piper ’06) headed to Canada –– So when they’re not fighting to for the right to binge drink, it seems that the Big Green is cultivating Olympians, which is apparently no huge surprise since

Dartmouth has sent representatives to every winter Olympics since the Games’ founding in 1924.

The Harvard Crimson took the Ivy silver with ties to five females who may potentially be going head to head against one another as the women are divided by their home countries of the U.S. (Angela Ruggiero ’04, Julie Chu ’07 and Caitlin Cahow ’08) and Canada (Jennifer Botterill ’03 and Sarah Vaillancourt ’09) to battle it out in the hockey arena.

Cornell held down the bronze with three links to athletes who will all be representing different countries. There’s one woman (Rebecca Johnston ’12) joining the Ivy ranks for Canada’s ice hockey team, one male (Douglas Murray ’03) representing Sweden in ice hockey and one male (Jamie Moriarty ’03) bobsledding for the gold, although he used to dawn the Big Red as a football player.

Yale and Brown each boast one Olympic bound alum (Natalie Babony ’06 and Becky Kellar ’97, respectively) with the Yalie rostered to play for Slovakia and the Brown grad adding to the Ivy saturation of Team Canada’s ice hockey line up.

As for Columbia, Penn and Princeton: the interwebs lack the typical bragging rights about sending any of you up to Vancouver… so we’ll just have to assume you’re hoping for better luck in 2014? Or maybe that you’ve just sent your admissions officers up there to hunt out some stellar Class of 2014 crop?

Grade Deflation Makes Princeton Students Unhappy and Jobless (Or Proves That They Are Just Dumb)

Six years ago Princeton started deflating grades because professors were giving out too many As. (And it wasn’t just because Princeton kids are so much smarter than those at other schools!) Profs were told that only 35 percent of grades (down from about 50 percent in 2004) were supposed to be A-plus, A or A-minus. The 3.46 mean GPA of the Princeton class of 2003 dropped to a 3.39 in the 2009 class.

Princeton senior Daniel E. Rauch told The New York Times about his major trepidation:

The nightmare scenario, if you will, is that you apply with a 3.5 from Princeton and someone just as smart as you applies with a 3.8 from Yale.

(Applies where? We’re guessing Goldman Sachs.) An undergrad survey confirmed this sentiment establishing that 32 percent of students felt the grading policy was a top source of unhappiness.

But if Princeton really wanted to do a disservice to their students, they could have gone the Cornell route and started indicating class median grade averages on transcripts. So when you get a C-minus in ‘Human Sexuality,’ employers will not only know you’re bad in bed, but also that you’re flat out dense, since the median of everyone else taking the class was a B.

Instead, Princeton took a higher road and tried to calm doubts by doing some follow up research. They “studied the effects on admissions rates to top medical schools and law schools, and found none.” The administration also took some precautionary action by sending every transcript with a statement about the policy.

However, the students aren’t grasping the hard facts. The panic trickled up to The Daily Princetonian and in December the editorial board firmly stopped supporting the policy, citing fears that “the policy is hurting the prospects of Princetonians in both the job market and graduate school admissions.”

Yet that concern has already been squashed by the administration. So the clear inference to draw from this issue: today’s Princetonians are actually just dumber than ones of the past. The proof is in the GPAs.