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Throwback: Humans Have Been Weird All Along

A lot of things happened last week:

  1.  Two llamas ran free on the streets of Sun City, Arizona.
  2. The apparently blue and black dress broke the Internet. (I’m still convinced it’s white and gold.)
  3. The Conservative Political Action Conference took place in Washington DC.
  4. The war in Syria still went on.

It’s likely, of course, that the first two were widely popular and overshadowed the latter two; absurdity and stupid things attract human attention.

People like to claim that our generation is the anomaly, a group that cares more about llamas and strange dresses than it should. I wouldn’t give us all that credit, though. Stupid trends are a lot bigger than our generation–they accompanied mankind for a very long time. Here’s the evidence:

 

Pole-sitting:

It all started in 1924 when a man was dared to sit on a flagpole. He sat there for 13 hours and 13 minutes. Not long after that, everyone was drawing up a pole in their backyards and sitting on it. This was supposed to be the cool thing to do. People sat and poles and waited to become heroes in society. It was a form of entertainment apparently. The 1920s record for sitting on a pole was 21 days. However, this trend didn’t die with the 20s. Peggy Townsend sat on a pole for 217 days in 1963, and actually received a marriage proposal while she was still up there. H. David Werder sat on a pole for 439 days in 1983 and broke her record.

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Goldfish Swallowing

I thought it was quite disgusting when Jonah Hill swallowed that goldfish in “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Turns out that the act has a longer history than that scene. In 1939 there was a weird college fad. It entailed students swallowing live goldfish and chasing them with different things such as mashed potatoes, mayonnaise, ketchup, soda pop and orange juice. It is claimed that this started with a $10 dare at Harvard. Goldfish swallowing quickly became a way for colleges to compete and the title of “Intercollegiate Goldfish Swallowing Champion” was fairly prestigious. Someone at Clark University swallowed 89 fish! This is just another reason to be grateful we weren’t around to witness 1939.

 

Panty Raids

Back in the 50s male students would assemble and then march to female residences in the pursuit to steal undergarments. The first panty raid happened at the University of Michigan in the 1952. Campus authorities and college newspapers sided with sanity – they were against it. UCLA participated in panty raids back then. The Daily Bruin proposed that book raids from the library should replace this trend as a symbol of the transition from desire for panties to the desire for knowledge. Go Bruins?

 

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Office Hours

Useful Pitches for USIE Seminars

Source: Undergraduate Student Initiated Education
Source: Undergraduate Student Initiated Education

March 4 is the last information session to learn more about the Undergraduate Student Initiated Education program. USIE allows interested juniors and seniors to design a one-unit lower division seminar to teach to other UCLA students. That’s right, you, an ordinary UCLA student, could add “teacher at the 12th best university in the world” to your resumé. Past seminar topics have included “Comic Books as Literature,” “Sociology of Facebook and Online Social Networks” and even “One Course to Rule Them All: Exploring J. R. R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings.’” In case you’re dying to create your own course but blanking on what your topic should be, here’s some suggestions:

1. Navigating the Endless Staircases of UCLA

Aimed at the newest additions to the Bruin family, this course teaches the skills needed to tackle the hills of campus. Learn the proper breathing techniques to use while powering through the last two flights of the classic Café 1919 “death stairs.” Analyze the proper geometric angles to position your legs, so you look like less of an idiot going down the “awkward stairs” by Covel. Discuss the proper icing procedures to soothe your newly enlarged calves. Explore alternative routes that cut down on staircase usage. You may have to allot more time for walking to class, but you’ll avoid the signature freshmen “I can’t believe I just climbed 250 stairs to get here” sweaty and distressed look.

2. The Science of Creating the Perfect Tinder Profile

Made obvious by the plethora of creepily too-close selfies and overused quotes, some people just don’t know what they are doing on Tinder. The class would be broken into small groups to evaluate the profiles of each individual student. Once you determine your strengths and weaknesses as a potential match, experts would come in to give guest lectures on a range of relevant topics like the “Do’s and Don’ts of Group Photos” and “How to Convey You’re Looking for Something Causal Without Coming Off Like a Creep.” By the end of the 10 weeks, you’ll have so many matches, you won’t know what to do with yourself. Be warned: you’re on your own for the actual date.

3. The Sport of Binge Watching

It is hip to claim to be a Netflix fanatic, but does everyone really know what it takes to watch an entire series in three days? One of the more active seminars, this class tackles the athletics behind laying down for hours on end. Students will be taught various exercises and stretches to avoid common injuries, such as eye strain and hand cramps. The second half of the course will highlight the essential food groups of a binge watcher’s diet: candy, chips and cookies. Final assessment includes watching 15 episodes of the student’s choosing while exhibiting all of the techniques learned throughout the quarter. This course really does bring a new meaning to “survival of the fittest.”

If you are inspired by any of these ideas, or have a few of your own, swing by Ackerman Union Room 3516 Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. to hear more about the USIE program.

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Nine Reasons Aahs!! is Your New Favorite Convenience Store

Located in the middle of Westwood Village, Aahs!! The Ultimate Gift Store is where many students find themselves in before costume parties or birthdays. This store is basically the Costco (minus the wholesale part) version of gift stores. You can find everything from everyday necessities like utensils, stationery and clothing items to random hoarding objects like heart-shaped rocks, finger puppets and glow-in-the-dark test tubes. Here are nine reasons why this superstore is your new favorite convenient store, despite its initial black hole impression.

Don’t believe us? Just watch (read).

1. You won’t ever have to awkwardly speak your mind. 

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… because these socks are doing the job for you. It’s even aided with visuals – a small child with a magical white horse in a field of flowers!

2. You’ll become dark and mysterious.

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Have a dinner date at home? Bring out these suckers and you’ll have your date hooked. It’s basically stated in the instructions manual. It’ll be a great conversation starter or a quirky conversational transition: “Will you pass the white doll head please?”

3. You’ll become a romantic over night. 

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These three words have been idolized in society and especially Hollywood as being a big part of relationships. They mark your acceptance of not only your partner but also of yourself. This saying isn’t thrown around lightly, and that’s exactly why Aahs!! is here to help. Here’s a toast to your future endeavors!

4. Aahs!! is a fan of bacon. 

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If you don’t use bacon-flavored toothpicks after a residual meal, you’re doing life wrong.

5. It endorses adult throw blankets. 

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Aahs!! is here to provide what Snuggies never could do. Spiderman-print adult blanket throws. BRB – planning a Marvel Snuggie party.

6. You’ll be able to be a cat.* 

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*Magical cat with blue, starry eyes. This sleeping mask is for all the cat people out there.

7. You’ll be trendy. Jane Austen-trendy.

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Everyone has gone through that mid-life crisis-esque situation where they can’t decide whether to get a “Mr. Darcy” tattoo or a silhouette of Jane Austen on their lower back. Don’t fret! Aahs!! has been incredibly considerate and provided these in stock. Good thing these tattoos are temporary so you don’t have to #commit. Your dreams have come true. You can finally have Austen’s favorite word, “imprudent,” and Mr. Darcy’s hat tattooed on your back.

8. No, like super trendy. 

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This gal is a Renaissance woman. From tattoos to Band-Aids, I personally would like to declare Jane Austen as my “woman-crush Wednesday.”

9. You’ll be the coolest kid on the block. 

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When was the last time you saw these on stands? Yeah, never. This is possibly the coolest item created ever since Ziploc bags. With this in your dorm, your floormates and RAs will be begging to hang out with you. Better start penciling in all those play dates!

Have another reason why Aahs!! is the best? Comment below or Tweet us at @dbmojo!

 

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Office Hours

The Paper Process

The quarter is coming to its final weeks, you’re feeling good because midterm season is winding down, and BAM: The professor drops the dreaded words, “Your paper will be due in two weeks.”  You sink a little in your chair thinking about the six pages that you will, no matter how badly you don’t want to, eventually write.  Everyone has been there, so don’t feel alone. Here are the relatable steps of the grueling paper writing process:

Step 1: Denial

The paper gets assigned and you cringe; this is going to throw your stress-free plans for a loop. But, you shove the assignment sheet into your bag and push it to the back of your mind. “That’s so far in the future,” you think. “I have so much time, it’s all good.”

Step 2: Realization

About two to three days later, you finally realize the implications of this dreaded assignment. Your next week flashes before your eyes: hours at the computer, writer’s block, probably some tears and definitely a loss of sleep.

Step 3: Procrastination

But, nonetheless, you still decide there is all the time in the world to write this paper. I mean you still have 10 days; what’s the fuss about? So, you watch an entire season of “How I Met Your Mother,” have a Harry Potter marathon, pretend you’re as good a dancer as Beyonce, do anything you can think of … except your paper.

Step 4: The “One Week Left” Freak Out

Then finally after your week of blissful ignorance, you find the assignment sheet and have the classic “one week left” moment of panic.  You can’t help but feel stupid for not thinking about the assignment at all.  So you finally take a moment to look at the assignment prompt and do an outline of the paper.

Step 5: More Procrastination

You feel better about yourself for writing that outline, so you reward yourself with EVEN MORE procrastinating time.  AKA reruns of your favorite shows on Netflix.

Step 6: The Struggle

You get down to business finally when you’re three days out from the due date.  Your brain just doesn’t seem to work, but you still force yourself to sit there trying, just so you can say that you tried.

Step 7: The Intensely Motivated Stage

Two days to go. Enough said.

Step 8: Proof Reading and Complete Exhaustion

At this point, your paper is written, you’re exhausted, you’re on the 24-hour countdown and it’s a matter of perfecting those pesky citations and checking to make sure you sounded literate when you were on a roll (see step 7).  You gotta push through and get that paper perfected, which calls for a lot of caffeine.

Step 9: Celebration & Relief

After weeks of hardships and stress, you have done it!  You’ve conquered the battle of the paper.  This calls for celebratory dance and a sigh of relief.

Step 10: The Promise to Never Procrastinate Ever Again

…LOL, it so will happen again.

 

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