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Convenient on-campus places to cram

The midterms are coming! The midterms are coming!

Week four is approaching, and with it comes the familiar stress of exams, essays and the struggle to find an available study spot. It doesn’t take long to learn that Powell Library, Ackerman Union, Kerckhoff Hall and even some of the study rooms on the Hill fill up fast during midterm season.

Mojo set out across campus to uncover a few lesser known study spots. Here are the top six:

Untitled Cafe – Broad Art Center

A few couches and a couple of small patio tables go a long way when you need a change of scenery. Added bonus: the revitalizing aroma of coffee. They also serve sandwiches, tapas and salads. Perfect for killing time before discussions in Public Affairs or Bunche Hall.

Charles E. Young Research Library – Upper floors

The newly renovated first floor of YRL is pretty crowded nowadays, but the upper floors remain neglected. Upstairs, there are cubicles aplenty and nice aerial views of North Campus. The downside? Sometimes it’s a little hard to find an electrical outlet.

Engineering IV – Third floor

North Campus students shouldn’t rule out the possibility of studying in South Campus buildings. Engineering IV is particularly close to the apartments, and each desk conveniently comes with its own electrical outlet. Also, the view of Ackerman Terminal is perfect for people-watching, especially as the day comes to a close.

Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library – Community Health Services, across from Botany Hall

Deep in South Campus, this library’s entry level has new study tables and chairs as well as another study room with windows. The upper floors are not as nicely furnished as the lower floors, but with 11 floors, you can almost always find a place. On a nice day (which, let’s be honest, is most days in Los Angeles) many students opt to study at the tables in the courtyard.

Arts Library – Public Affairs

Although its lower floors are a tad claustrophobic, the stools between stacks provide the perfect spot to perch while finishing reading or making those last few edits to a paper. Bonus: The architecture is somewhat reminiscent of the Titanic. If you make it all the way to the fifth floor, you’ll find a spacious little study lounge that overlooks Lu Valle Commons.

Music Library – Schoenberg Music Building

Like the Arts Library, at first, this place can feel a bit cramped. But there’s an airy seminar room you can visit upstairs, as long as class isn’t in session. The comfy blue chairs are a welcome change to the wobbly, wooden chairs of most other libraries on campus.

Have you studied in any of these spots? Comment below or tweet us your stories and recommendations @dbmojo.

With reports by Alessandra Daskalakis, Bruin contributor.

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Campus news

UCLA’s ‘Beatboxing Rhino’ of the night

If you ever find yourself walking across Wilson Plaza late at night, listen closely for the sounds of electronic hip-hop music.

At first listen, the music may sound pre-recorded, but you will quickly notice the absence of any speakers or boomboxes.

The synth-like music actually comes from the vocal chords of Moonsoo Jo, a first-year mechanical engineering student and self-proclaimed beatboxer “Beat Rhino”.

Jo practices in the plaza once, sometimes twice, a day, often preparing routines for Bruin Harmony, a campus a capella group he joined last year.

Mojo caught up with him on a chilly Sunday evening to film the impromptu performance (see below) and find out more about this beatboxing night owl – or should we say rhino?

First things first: The beatboxing sessions usually last between two to three hours. He begins each practice with a vocal warm-up, and then moves on to perfecting a routine or mastering a new sound.

Recently, Jo learned how to imitate the sound of the snare drum. Learning how to manipulate the voice, Jo said, is just like learning to play any other instrument.

“Take guitar, for instance – it’s just like tuning a guitar,” he said. “In your head, you have an idea of what it’s supposed to sound like, you play around with it for a while, feel it out.”

Jo said he receives a lot of quizzical looks from bystanders while practicing. Once and a while, people stop and watch him. Sometimes strangers join him, freestyle-rapping along to his beats.

But usually, it’s just him, a water bottle and the open air.

The spaciousness of Wilson Plaza is what initially drew him to the spot, Jo said.

“To free-style, I need the freedom to move,” he said. “Beatboxing is kind of like exercising – it takes a lot of energy and I can’t ever stay in one place.”

The unbounded, airy environment helps stimulate his creativity, he added.

“There’s no limit to what you can do in beatboxing,” Jo said. “There’s always something new to learn.”

Note: This is a continuation of a Daily Bruin feature series called “UCLA at Night.”

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Mojo Asks Students

How was your day without Wikipedia?

Ah, Wikipedia. “It’s not a source!”

Professors work hard to drum this mantra into students’ heads. But it sure is an excellent waste of time.

Unfortunately (at least for those of us who use Wikipedia to procrastinate), the site’s been unavailable for the past 24 hours.

The online encyclopedia, along with other popular websites such as Reddit, blacked out all access in an Internet-wide protest of two anti-piracy bills currently up for debate in Congress. The blackout began Tuesday at 9 p.m. and ended Thursday at 9 p.m.

The bills, Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual Property Act, target websites with pirated content, allowing government officials to penalize such websites and their affiliates.

(Check out today’s Daily Bruin story for more details, including professors’ and experts’ take on the online protest).

Mojo wanted to find out how students dealt with the black out.

  • Second-year undeclared student Samantha Peszek: “So many people were tweeting stuff like ‘How am I going to get my homework done today?’”
  • Frequent Wikipedia user and second-year material science graduate student Chiping Liu, who was a little desperate, figured out a way to get around the blackout through a Google search.
  • Fourth-year computer science student Rhys Yu heard about the online protest from a friend the night before – but still found himself on Wikipedia trying to look something up every few hours. “I’d forget about it and then when I saw the blackout page, I’d be reminded that issue was ongoing,” he said.

How was your day without Wikipedia and other blacked out sites? Comment below or tweet us your stories @dbmojo.

With reports by Kassy Cho, Bruin contributor.

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