Thursday, May 29, 2008

What's the deal with Science Olympiad?

Have you noticed a lot of extra children walking around GW's campus?

I’ve seen a lot of signs about Science Olympiad on campus lately but when I've mentioned the events to my friends I always get the same response. "What's Science Olympiad?" So, in an effort to find out, I did some research.

This weekend, GW will be invaded by more than just interns staying in DC for the summer, there will also be several hundred high school and middle school students coming to participate in the National Science Olympiad competition.

According to the Science Olympiad website, Science Olympiad is a series of events related to science for middle and high school students. Each team consists of 15 people from each school but events usually involve groups of two. For example, in the Electric Vehicle event students have to construct an electric car--while in Science Crime Busters, middle school students figure out who committed a crime using science. There are a lot more events that explore different scientific topics.

A lot of the events are open to the public. So if you have nothing better to do with your weekend, you might want to check out some of the contests. Even if you are too lazy to leave your room, you can also watch the opening and closing ceremonies via live webcast on your computer.

In a recent interview with the Hatchet Ed Caress, an organizer for event and former member of the GW faculty, explained what administrators hope to get out of this event.
"We have excellent science and engineering departments, but they are
smaller than those at other major research institutions. I believe this event
will display to the public and prospective students that we have truly excellent
departments, and we hope they will consider coming to GW to study science
and engineering."
Do you think that our science programs will be improved because this one event (let me know in the comment section)? I don't, but I guess it's worth a shot.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Round-Up & Open Thread

Interesting article at the Daily Colonial about good attire for interviews. (Fun excerpt: "J. Crew's Cha Cha Dot Pencil Skirt is preppy yet sophisticated.") The Hatchet's Jake Sherman won a slot in UWire's Top 100 college journalists - as did Emma Zayer from the Daily Colonial (congrats both). GWBlogspot's poll this past week indicates that commencement was pretty awesome.

Open Thread - what's on your mind?

Update: Thanks to reader "anonymous" for pointing out that a previously highlighted story at the Daily Colonial was three years old. (doi!)

Friday, May 23, 2008

J Street: Apology Accepted!

Ever since the early 1990's, there has been one definitive J Street -- the dining facility located in George Washington University's Marvin Center. This had gone undisputed...until recent times.

Earlier this year, The Nation magazine started a blog called J Street. They described J Street this way:
That mythical street between I and K represents all that should be in the nation's capital but isn't: voices marginalized or ignored, ideas too radical or unpopular for the mainstream, movements elided or dismissed.
Wrong, Nation! That place full of voices marginalized -- it's the GW student center. Get with the program.

Well, that's not all. A month or so ago an organization called J Street formed. It's a progressive online advocacy organization representing "Americans for Middle East Peace and Security." I don't object to that mission. I object to the blatant stealing of well-renowned J Street brand. They even took the Wikipedia entry for J Street.

On their website, they explain:
J Street is the political arm of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement.
Well, unless that political arm is outstretched--holding a salad and an over-priced soda--every member of the GW community should outraged about this issue. Well, until yesterday.

Yesterday, I had the good fortune to run into J Street's Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami at a political gathering. After exchanging pleasantries about world peace, I cut to the chase: "I'm here to demand your apology."

I explained the issue, and secured an admission that they indeed were aware of the esteemed GW dining facility before going forward with their organizational name. (Very honorable of him to own up to that fact.) Then, I re-stated that an apology was in order. He apologized. We then lined up in Clinton-Rabin-Afarat peace accord formation (suitable, given his group's mission), and secured the apology to the entire GW community via photo. Here it is:

Because of this honorable gesture, I officially say on behalf of the GW community: Apology accepted!

Next up: The Nation...

Monday, May 19, 2008

BREAKING: Sleep defeats friends!

After an early lead by "friends & family" in our week-long poll about things that are good about the summer, sleep (ironically) had a last minute surge and beat "friends & family" by nearly 2-to-1. So...take that, grandma!

Also, huge news in blogging world. In a recent poll of GW students asking what they most looked forward to this summer, "blogging" was in the top ten! Congratulations, blogging!

This week's poll is about Commencement....look left.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Commencement Predictions Open Thread...

This is an open thread for Commencement predictions. Will it rain or not rain? Will YAF go crazy or not? Predictions, predictions...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Battle Cupcake in Georgetown

Unless you've been living without any newspapers or conversation for the past few weeks, you've surely heard that a new cupcake bakery (or as I like to call them, cupcakery) has opened in Georgetown. It's called Georgetown Cupcake.

What they lack in creativity regarding naming, Georgetown Cupcake more than makes up for in hype (which takes place mostly on the DC-specific blogosphere). My roommates and I have had several endless conversations regarding Georgetown Cupcake. Finally, after hearing the hype and the praise and the "why stand in line for a three dollar cupcake", I had to try to it.

I've since been to Georgetown Cupcake twice. Both times, I stood in line for about 15 minutes. The first time I went, the flavors had pretty much run out, but on my second visit, I was innundated with flavors. I've had the vanilla vanilla (vanilla cake with white icing) and the bubblegum pink (chocolate cake with pink icing, though no bubblegum flavor). I've enjoyed both flavors. What Georgetown Cupcake has going for it is the icing. I personally don't enjoy icing that is too sweet, and I don't like tons of globs of icing on my cake. Georgetown Cupcake's icing is sort of globuous, and there is a lot of icing per part of cake. But the icing is based with cream cheese (or sour cream, I'm a few cupcakes away from figuring out the secreat ingredient). It is gloriously tasty and worth $3.15.

But alas, there is a competitor in Georgetown! A sneaky little cupcakery called Baked and Wired. Baked and Wired has actually been arund longer than Georgetown Cupcake. In the spirit of fairness, I tried Baked and Wired this weekend.

It was good.

Yes, it had the dreaded sweet-enough-to-launch-me-into-a-diabetic-coma icing. But the icing was not globbed on, and there was enough cake to balance the icing. The cake was also dense and moist. Yes, it hit the spot for $3.85.

So the winner of Battle Cupcake? For me, it's Georgetown Cupcake.

But, wait, there's a vegan cupcakery in my neighborhood? I'll have to stop in this weekend...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Verdict: Finals...not so cool.

After a week of voting, the verdict is in...

New poll is posted to the left...Sarah also has a fun poll below.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The most important question of our time

Some of you might know that I wrote my senior thesis on the internet, and political applications thereof. I turned it in last Wednesday. Before I turned it in, I spent lots of exciting time in the library, taking notes on every book in existence. One of the books I used a lot, Web Campaigning by Kirsten Foot and GW alum Steven Schneider, separated online political action into definitive, easily-applicable categories. It's a great book, and if you're looking to see how online political campaigns work, I recommend it.

But that's not why I'm blogging about it.

In the foreword of the book, Michael Cornfield -- a GSPM professor -- wrote that the internet has changed the way we communicate. Because so many opinion leaders use the internet and read things such as blogs, bloggers wield a disproportionate amount of influence. Or, as Cornfield puts it in the most awesome quote in the history of ever:
A voter does not have to know what a blog is, much less read one, to be affected by the ninja-style debates occurring in the blogosphere.
Now, clearly this quote is fantastic and needs to be spread far and wide -- hence why I'm wielding my disproportionate influence and posting it here. But there's a bigger issue at play here. Are bloggers really ninjas?

Bloggers, if we buy Cornfield's argument, are important to political discourse because they affect how people think about issues. They can put forward new information, or give a different take on an argument. In short, they're important because you know what they say. That doesn't sound like any ninjas I know. Ninjas are important because you don't know they're there. They're sneaky and deadly and generally, you know, secretive. Bloggers are boisterous. They use tough language, they boast about themselves, they use exciting and colorful graphics. In short, they're more like pirates than ninjas.

As everyone knows, the war between pirates and ninjas is one of the longest, most deep-seated rivalries in history. (And I say that as a Cubs fan.) If Cornfield's comparison is off-base, then he's just set himself up to get keelhauled. But if he's right, and bloggers are like ninjas ... well, I guess we wouldn't hear about it.

Is Cornfield right? Vote in the poll below. To give you some more background (make an informed decision! It's more democratic!), feel free to check out these videos of the guys from Mythbusters, in both pirate and ninja flavors. (How can they be both, you ask? Because they're awesome.)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Summer! Wait…summer?

So, as someone who is probably one of the first people to be home so far this summer, I came upon a realization. Doing nothing sucks! I’ve been home for 32 hours now, I haven’t brushed my teeth once and I haven’t left the house. Being the true GW student that I am, I have a problem with that.

What’s different for me than some other people is that I’m only home for two weeks. How can a GW student manage a summer away from the fast-paced Washington lifestyle?

Rising Senior Stacy Farrar from Chattanooga, TN said if she were home she’d

“work in this smoothie shop downtown, read a lot, and probably take bartending lessons.”

As a double major in international affairs and geography, her summer job with the American Association of Geographers in DC and her French class a GW suit her interests way more than a summer at home.

Rising Junior Seth McElroy sees the next few months a little differently than others. The Pennsylvania native will be working at Steps to a Healthier Fayette County, which as a public health major, is right up his ally.

“I’m sure I’ll be a little board, but looking forward right now, I feel like I can come up with a bunch of things to keep me occupied” McElroy said.

Graduating senior Erin Sousa reflected on her past summers while at GW.

“I went home between my freshman and sophomore years and it was nice at first. But after being at school, your parents asking where you are and such, gets old!” Sousa said. “You just have so much more freedom at school so although it's nice to go home on occasion, being able to be in DC and do everything you don't have time to do during the year is an amazing opportunity.”

With 12 more days at home, I’m content for now. But I’m excited about returning to DC for my second summer there. has their own summer suggestions and one girl tells her summer plan story in detail. I’m curious to know what you’ll be doing this summer? Home? DC? Abroad? Tell me about in the comments section.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

R.I.P Laser Show (and hopefully CI) for good

According to The Hatchet, GW administrators will make a dramatic overhaul to Colonial Inauguration (CI), the university's freshman orientation that takes place five times over the course of each summer:
The freshman orientation program will have fewer "bells and whistles" for the incoming freshman class and the savings will be reallocated to other programs designed for freshmen, said Robert Chernak, vice president for student and academic support services.
Well, this blogger says it's about time. Congratulations Chernak, I guess you're smarter than we thought.

What scares me is the fact that the old farts over in Rice Hall just caught-on. I'm shocked that it took said fogies more than 10 years to figure out that a $75,000 laser light show is not only unnecessary, but a completely ineffective way to attract students to their institution of higher learning.

I mean come on, a laser show? We're college students. There is not a doubt in my mind that students would have been more impressed (and had a way better time) had the money been spent on 1,875 kegs or at the very least, a second-rate band.

I'm glad to see that the carnival, formerly known as our humiliating excuse for a college orientation (or simply CI), will no longer include the "horse and buggy rides, caricaturists or free parent breakfasts" that have been offered in previous years.

Maybe next they'll realize how obnoxious and dizzying all the singing and jumping is. Until they do, GW is going to rot on the list of second tier universities. Get serious and spend my tuition money on what I came here for: an education.

Things a reporter should generally ask when covering a labor dispute

Although this may be old news for some of you, I've been busy with exams and lucky enough to ignore my least favorite campus news outlet - The Hatchet - for the last few weeks. Still, locked in Gelman for three days and getting seriously tired of presidential history and Snood, I started surfing the Web for something interesting to read.

With that in mind, you're probably asking why I would ever go to Well, as much as I agree, I decided I felt like hating on an extremely easy target.

So what's new and late-breaking in Foggy Bottom this week? Apparently workers in J street, GW's equivalent of a dining hall, are dissatisfied with their working conditions. They voiced their concerns in the form of a letter to their union:
The "Bad Taste" Petition also states that Sam Ramos, Sodexo director of operations at GW, verbally abuses and harasses workers.
I think I speak for everyone when I say this- J street dining is some of the worst customer service I've ever had. And I mean anywhere. Thus I naturally took an interest in the story.

I say good for Sam Ramos; somebody needs to whip the workers into shape. But that's not the topic of this post. After reading the story, I left with far more questions than answers.

Since I can only bash the Hatchet so much for its laziness and lack of substance, I thought I'd throw my questions out there and see if people share my interest. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a "real" journalist so my questions might be totally off-base. But something tells me they're just plain, old common sense. What do you think?
  • First, and I think most obviously seeing as how the Hatchet is a college newspaper, I think it's pretty important to get STUDENT INPUT on the matter. And I'm not talking about input from a liberal out of the mainstream student organization. I'm talking about real students who are forced by the university to spend their money on Wendy's with a serious side-order of sass.
  • Second, I think the Hatchet reporter should have given some indication where the dispute is heading next. Union organizers probably have a lot to say on the matter. Digging deeper and finding their plans to deal with Sodexho would probably be a good start.
Now, like I said: I'm not a journalist. But that doesn't mean I can't think critically. If there's some reason the Hatchet should not have reported this seemingly very obvious information and I'm not seeing it- let me know. I'm more than happy to listen.

Monday, May 5, 2008

PLEASE be careful!

It was just reported that there was a murder in downtown Washington, D.C. today.

A man from Philly was stabbed to death on Vermont and K in the Northwest. A second man was stabbed, but remains in critical condition.

Helen Kramer, a former ANC commissioner said,

"Crime is low in the area. We're very fortunate, most are petty thefts."

Still, it is important that we understand the dangers a city can have-especially at night. Even if it is a nice warm night, utilizing the 4-Ride should never be ruled out as an option for getting around campus.

For more information on this particular incident, click here. For more information on the hours of operations and standard procedures of 4-Ride, click here.

Just something I found funny

A seven year old boy stole his grandmother's SUV because he was mad.

The comments below the video are even more entertaining. It is amazing to see how people will argue over these such things. "Just slap him? You must be white", "Well, the white kids are just holding off thier anger till they get older to do school and collage shootings!!Shut the fuck up you sterotyping son of a bitch!!".

People must learn to be a little bit more respectful when posting comments. Comments such as, "Nigg**s" are not acceptable in today's world. Come on people, do we really need a refresher on Netiquette? (net etiquette).

As Aretha Franklin once said:

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means for me!

Not to mention, if he is going use slang such as "hoodrat" he should at least know what it means. In case you were wondering, here is the definition.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Complicated College Love Scene

No one that's in college or has even been to college needs to be told real world relationship rules don't apply to undergrads... there is an entire parallel system here at GW and campuses around the country that is defined by being undefined. Terms like "hookup," "open relationship," "exclusive" and "friends with benefits" are tossed around, there meanings are murky by tacit agreement (with the possible exception of that last one...). And don't even try to define "girlfriend".

Its really quite fascinating to watch and analyze, something the New York Times recently realized. They held an essay contest for college students to discuss what modern relationships (if you'll go along with that term) are like at universities. The first in the series ran this weekend and was a very interesting read. The author, a junior at Marlboro College in Vermont, opened,

RECENTLY my mother asked me to clarify what I meant when I said I was dating someone, versus when I was hooking up with someone, versus when I was seeing someone. And I had trouble answering her because the many options overlap and blur in my mind. But at one point, four years ago, I had a boyfriend. And I know he was my boyfriend because he said, “I want you to be my girlfriend,” and I said, “O.K.”

He and I dated for over a year, and when we broke up I thought my angsty heart was going to spit itself right up out of my sore throat. Afterward, I moved out of my mother’s house in Brooklyn and into an apartment in the East Village, and from there it becomes confusing.

The article's a good read and I look forward to the forthcoming entries. Since the Hatchet will not be churning out their articles and such things (or GW Date Lab) over the summer, you may just have to get your fix from

Feel free to post any comments you may have on the subject in the comments section... within reason.

p.s. for more information on terms we're using these days, go to the most *cough* authoritative source:

Job Crunch

Graduating seniors: whether you want a soul crushing desk job or something else, it appears the country's economic slow down is effecting the entry level job market. The Christian Science Monitor is reporting that students graduating this year are facing a much tougher market than last year's graduates.
"While the number of jobs available for college graduates this year increased by 8 percent and average salary offers rose by 5.3 percent, the signs of contraction are clear, reports NACE. The class of 2007 saw a 17.4 percent increase in job openings – one of the best markets since the late 1990s. This fall it appeared that the situation would remain relatively similar for the class of 2008, with a projected 16 percent increase. But by early spring that number had dropped by half."
The report goes on to say that finance and construction are the hardest hit industries with new positions decreasing by 7.5 percent and 2.8 percent respectively.

This news isn't that bad, sure we don't have it as easy as the class of '07, but the economy has net gained jobs. Also, if you like DC, the government is still hiring/spending like crazy. Be sure to check out if your interested... there are currently 2,808 opening within 25 miles of GW, many of which are entry level.

The government can be a great place to work. The benefits are awesome, pay is good at the entry level and the positions are very stable. This coming week is Public Service Recognition Week (May 5-11) and there will be dozens of agencies/departments with booths on the National Mall. It will be a great opportunity to talk to organizations you may be interested in working for if you're still in the market.

Of fires and fire drills

Kudos to the Hatchet for their continuous coverage of the fire in Schenley. I only heard about this after the fact, so it was really great to be able to go back and get the full story without relying on the people talking next to me in Starbucks.

Ian's post also reminded me of the fire in Thurston three years ago. In both cases, students reported not taking the alarm seriously at first, because -- well, I think we all know why. Everyone hates fire drills. They're inconvenient, they're annoying, and it always seems like they take way too long. Especially in cold weather. A lot of people I know will stay inside for a drill until they hear sirens (or just if it's cold, or rainy, or early.) I slept through one my sophomore year, which was all kinds of interesting. In general, I find fire drills irritating and needlessly time-consuming. Get everyone out, check the rest of the building, let people back in as soon as possible. I recognize the concern for safety, but -- well, I'm impatient. And I like knowing what's going on -- something that doesn't always happen when alarms go off unplanned. A few months ago, Ivory had a fire drill at around 7:30 at night on a Wednesday. The worst part -- besides being outside without a coat -- was the fact that nobody knew what was going on and UPD (and MPD) couldn't answer anyone's questions. Even a simple "Folks, we'll let you go back inside when we're done, which should be within the next hour" would have worked wonders on my mood.

Of course, part of the reason they take so long is that UPD has to sweep the building to yell at people who don't leave. But as the Hatchet wrote three years ago, all those drills and false alarms can have unintended consequences:
In November [2004], Alan Etter, a fire department spokesman, said safety is at risk when students experience a high number of false alarms and begin to assume that any fire alarm is a false one.

"There is a danger of building in a sense of complacency when they hear these fire alarms going off all the time and there is nothing," Etter said.


[Then-freshman] Ian Sullivan said that he "certainly wasn't rushing" when the fire alarm went off and said he knows that "a lot of people just sat in their room" until firefighters started banging on doors to let residents know they needed to leave.

Tracy Schario, GW's director of media relations, said she had heard complaints from students that the evacuation was not orderly. She attributed this to "a natural sense of anxiety."

"Just given the sheer numbers, there's a natural collection of large numbers of people trying to move down," Schario said.

"When you have a lot of people in the stairway in that situation, it's hard to overcome that natural anxiety," she continued.

Schario also urged students to always heed fire alarms in any building.

"Whenever you hear an alarm, you should always take it seriously, even if it's just a drill," she said. "That's an individual's personal responsibility."
Obviously, fire drills are necessary. Everyone needs to know how to get out of the building in a worst-case scenario, and, as this weekend proved, fires do happen. Thankfully, no one was hurt on Friday, and it seems like this is one area where GW knows what it's doing. While I wish fire alarms didn't go off so often (especially at six in the morning on a Saturday -- thanks, Ivory!), I'm glad the system seems to be working.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Schenley, Burning

The pictures pretty much tell the story. As mentioned in the Hatchet article about the event, the alarm was a bit hard to hear. I was on the 8th floor at the time, and the alarm sounded as if it was coming in through the window from a different building.

I waited a minute or two to see if the alarm would turn off, thinking it was a malfunction or a drill, then headed for the stairs at the persuasion of a friend. Looking down the stairwell, I saw a faint haze of smoke toward the lower floors, which got a lot thicker as I got closer to the lobby.

UPD was in a frenzy trying to make sure everyone was safely out of the building. Having never observed UPD acting in an emergency situation, it's comforting to know that they can spring into action and take control of situations quickly. Even though it wasn't the largest of fires, running up the smoke filled stairwell of a burning building isn't something I think I'd like in my job description, so I have a new appreciation for what UPD does for us around campus.

Blog verdict is in...

This past week, we had a poll up that asked, "What's the coolest GW blog?" The Colonialist won, so obviously it wasn't rigged by us. (Congrats, guys.)

But look who just happened to be rated cooler than the Hatchet. I'm not sayin' anything, I'm just sayin'...


Art in Foggy Bottom

Last week, I was on a good relaxing run through Foggy Bottom when a blast of neon light blinded me. On the corner of I and 25th, there was a huge contemporary glowing sculpture on somebody's lawn.

My first thought was, "Wow, somebody must really hate their neighbors." A girl across the street, apparently as confused as I was, asked her friend, "What the hell is that?!?"

However, over the next few days,other random sculptures (thankfully none of them NEON) started popping up in front of Foggy Bottom houses. I realized that that this wasn't one vengeful neighbor; the whole neightborhood seemed to be in on something. I was curious to find out what it was.

The Foggy Bottom Association announces that:
Foggy Bottom brings sculpture to the public with its inaugural Foggy Bottom Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit opening on Saturday, May 3, 2008. This six-month exhibit will showcase 12 area sculptors whose work will be displayed in the front yards of private residences in the Foggy Bottom Historic District.
Hmm. I personally like the historic feel of Foggy Bottom, and so the contemporary art is a bit out of place, but perhaps if the community is preoccupied with the sculpture show, they'll spend a bit less time complaining about GW students (not that we dont deserve it.)

For those who appreciate contemporary sculpture a bit more than I do, there will be free guided neighborhood tours to see the sculptures through October. If youre interested, walk over to 25th and I to pick up one of the new brochures.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Does this seem like a good idea to you?

I admit it -- I've been a little busy with school lately, and so haven't quite kept up with all the bureaucratic things I need to do for graduation. For instance, I just took the required graduation survey today. It was fun and exciting, as online surveys tend to be. However, it's what happened next that has me worried.

One of the reasons I'd put off doing this survey was that my printer's dead. That's fine (except for the papers I need to print on it...), but it does mean I tend to put off tasks that require me to print things. Since this survey said I'd need to print off proof that I'd finished it, I did it today at the library. The "proof" they were so intent on me having? An e-mail saying "yes, you've taken our survey." It wasn't more than five lines long -- not exactly a vital source of information.

And why did I need proof of this e-mail, anyway? To pick up tickets for my actual graduation ceremony, which is a separate ceremony from commencement. I checked out the website that lists pickup times and noticed something strange. Almost all of the schools are now allowing students to pick up graduation tickets. That makes sense -- what better way to encourage yourself to do well on finals than to have graduation materials staring you in the face? But for CCAS kids (so, me), pickup doesn't start until Friday the 16th. Given how many kids there are in CCAS, I'm kind of worried about this. My guess is the lines are going to be worse than Disney World. Columbian's website seems blase about the process:
Please allow time to pick up your tickets, as there may be a line.

There may be a line? Have they been dealing with students long? My guess is that this is going to be one long, frustrating afternoon.

Is this the way it usually is? Why is CCAS so late compared to all the other schools? Given that my family is getting in that Friday, and given that I've got other stuff going on that day already, I'm now worried that instead of being able to enjoy spending time with my family and friends one last time before I leave, I'll be in the midst of a bureaucratic nightmare.

The fact that I can't pick up tickets to my own graduation until the day before it happens is pretty unsettling. For the first time, I wish I had picked a different major.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Eating in Gelman is a crime? Starbucks is pseudo 24 hours!

So I skip out on my friend’s 20th b-day party. I skip out on a movie date with friends. I skip out on fun to spend a Saturday night in Gelman. Starving, I walk downstairs and the 24 hour Starbucks is closed! Then a guy next to me says “Oh crap, it’s only 24-hours Sunday through Thursday!” Why have the library open 24 hours a day and not have the Starbucks open on the Friday and Saturday before finals?

So, when I ordered food, the security guard wouldn’t let me take it into the library. Yea, there are rules to follow but here’s my argument for why that’s ridiculous

1) I pay $50,000 dollars to go here

2) My goal is not to destroy Gelman Library

3) I’m a big girl, I’m not going to spill

4) There are people doing way worse things than eating in the library

5) Everyone eats in the library

6) People are eating in the library as I write this

7) I PAY 50,000 dollars to go here, I should be able to eat a snack wherever I spend 12 hours studying!

In Eckles Library (check out their blog) on the Mount Vernon Campus, there is a student lounge where people can eat and drink in peace. Gelman, you’re twice the size! CafĂ© Gelman on the first floor is a lame place to eat. If students were allowed to eat in the 4th floor group study room, then people might eat there instead of sneaking food to various spots throughout the building.

The rule is if they see it, they have to confiscate it. I’d have that rule if I were a university, but UPD and company need at least one person with a brain who can implement it correctly. What if the food is in your bag? They’re gonna force people to hide the food until they see no more food. Yay they win? Nope because next time I order delivery, I’m whippin’ out the big tote bag and smuggling it in. So unless GW wants to search me, they’ll never see me with food again.

Point is, there should be more food options open late near Gelman. Why don’t we ask Starbucks why they were closed in my time of need! Call 202-994-0202 (no email available). Oh and my personal goal is to eat food in a different place in Gelman every time I’m there until they allow 4th floor eating or until I graduate.

I was the victim of a Facebook attack (and it could happen to you) - UPDATED

The night of Wednesday, April 30 was turning out to be a good night. I had just finished ended my Politics and the Internet class on a high note, with pizza, good discussion and free Google swag, and, after dropping some stuff off in my room, I was going out to celebrate a friend's birthday.

But when I got to my room, I found two of my roommates confused and wondering why I had posted particularly not work safe links on their Facebook walls. I logged on to my Facebook and found this on the walls of literally hundreds of my friends:

y0 dude, howdy ?? you wana see babes live on web cams ? i bet you want.. eheh ..
these chicks do whatever you say omg!!have a luk at [link to website removed]
I logged into my GMail account and saw that, within the previous hour and a half, I had received upwards of 30 wall posts from friends, wondering what was going on.

I had been the victim of a Facebook spamming.

Apparently, this isn't new - people have been reporting on Facebook spamming since at least last year, with other reports coming this year (there's also another scam using fake links to Facebook pages).

Based on my experience with this spam, here are some tips I have for anyone who finds themselves a victim:

1. Change your password IMMEDIATELY - according to Facebook, if this happens to you, you should "reset your password immediately. Ensure that you create a new password at least six characters long that contains numbers as well as a variety of characters and capitalization. Please also create a new password that is different than other passwords that you use on the internet." For that matter, you should change your password every couple of weeks or so for security's sake.

2. Don't click on the link and delete the wall post - duh and duh.

3. Contact Facebook - if you are a victim of spamming, or if one of your friends has "sent" you spam, send an e-mail to explaining the situation. Supposedly they'll get back to you within 24 hours - I e-mailed them last night and am hoping to hear from them today.

4. Change your profile picture and/or status - I changed my profile picture to text that basically said I had been the victim of a Facebook virus/spam and that I was sorry for all the wall posts people got. I also did the same for my Facebook status. This isn't really required, but it was a lot easier than trying to respond to 40+ wall posts and messages.

5. Take it with a grain of salt/look at the bright side -so my friends got some spam wall posts from me. None of my friends think I'm a perverted porn pusher (for the most part). In fact, a lot of the wall posts I got were: a) really nice "I'm sorry you got spammed, lets hang out soon!" messages; or b) were from people I haven't talked to in years that I am now communicating with. As bad as it may be, maybe spam messages are the new way of bringing people together on the Internet (I certainly hope not). But in any case, I suggest those that receive these messages from unwilling/unknowing friends treat them with the same kindness.

Hopefully these tips and the information above are helpful. If Facebook sends along any important information (i.e why this happened to me, or anyone for that matter), I will update when I get it, but in the meantime, beware and be safe.

UPDATE: I spoke with a friend of mine who works at ResNet, and she said that the GW e-mail network (and possibly the GW Facebook network) is incredibly infested with spam and viruses, and that affected computers are coming into ResNet by the dozens. So be careful everyone!