April 18th, 2014

Local Stops: The Aliens Are Here, Old Spice (Girls), And Outed Porn Stars


What happens when you come out as a porn star? Vox takes a look.

The Secret Service once threatened to kill Mr. Met. We’ve all been there, guys.

Your favorite Spice Girl just turned 40, and you’re old too now, and we’re all going to die one day.

Adult kickball players: Just like college students.

Photo of the day by Caleb Savage

Horse-Drawn Carriage Drivers Tell De Blasio And His Proposed Ban To Clip-Clop To A Stop

Horse-drawn carriages have drawn tourists to Central Park like flies to horse poop since at least World War II. Mayor Bill De Blasio, however, has been galloping towards ending the industry since the early days of his campaign on the grounds of inhumane treatment and animal cruelty. But four months after being sworn in, De Blasio has yet to pony up any legislation.

In a Google Hangout (can you believe that’s actually the technical term?) on Friday, De Blasio said he expected the ban to go into effect sometime this year, saying that “a humane society doesn’t do that to animals.” 

But despite De Blasio’s vow to pass ban within the year, the proposal seems to continuously stirrup (Get it? Stirrup? Like on a saddle?) controversy. 

In response to the claim that the industry was inhumane, longtime carriage driver Joe* said, “That’s a malicious, hallucinatory lie.” Read more…

College Students Everywhere Mourn As New Study Says Naps Will Kill Us All

As college students, we’re constantly being told we need to get more sleep. We’re told that if we don’t, our brains won’t function as quickly or retain information, we’ll gain weight, and our immune systems won’t function as well, to name a few.

Indeed, there are a lot of repercussions to not getting sufficient shut-eye. But let’s be honest: Unless you’re in Tisch and have no real homework to slave over, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything we need to do and get an adequate amount of sleep. We end up adopting an “I can sleep when I’m retired dead” attitude and compensate for our lack of slumber by spending our life-savings on caffeinated drinks from Starbucks.

To compensate, we take naps. Lots of them. But according to a recent study by researchers at the University of Cambridge, this might end up killing us in the long run.

Read more…

The Reynolds Changemaker Challenge Happens Every Year And You Should Take Advantage

The NYU Reynolds Changemaker Challenge (CmC) is an annual opportunity for undergraduates to propose and develop social impact projects with support from experts in the field of social entrepreneurship.

Selected teams are awarded up to $1000 seed grants and the winner of the grand prize is awarded up to $10,000, additional Reynolds-sponsored resources, and the snazzy title of “The NYU Reynolds Best Overall Venture.”

The Reynolds Program is a cross-university social entrepreneurship initiative housed in Wagner and funded by the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation. It was established eight years ago and the Changemaker Challenge has been running since 2006. Read more…

Crowd-Funding Can Make Your Dreams Come True

Do you ever dream of turning that ingenious app idea you’ve had for years into a reality? Are you struggling to finance your latest film project or solo hip-hop album? Maybe you want to conduct a ground-breaking investigation of who really invented Margherita pizza and you need to travel the world to make it happen. Whatever your personal mission may be, money could make or break its execution.

There are scores of ways to raise money to get your project on the road.  The most popular one to date has been to first seek out initial or seed capital from “angel” investors, individuals who provide capital to nascent companies in exchange for stakes of ownership. The next step is typically to turn to venture capital funds (VCs), or private equity firms that invest in companies to stimulate growth so that they can gain returns on their investment.

If you wanted to go a more personal route, you could ask friends and family to donate to your project, enabling you to retain full ownership of your venture. But things could go sour if they expect you to pay them back in full one day, you end up not being able to, and you’re sentenced to a lifetime of awkward holiday conversations about how you “owe them for life.” Yikes.

Luckily, it’s 2014 and there’s a better alternative. So if you’d rather not call Grandma, harass your friends or slave away at an earnings projections spreadsheet to impress investors before you even have a finished product, try a much simpler (not to mention explosively successful) online alternative: crowd-funding.

Read more…

Ditch The Popcorn Fare For These Sophisticated, Food-Centric Films

As if eating wasn’t enough (it’s not), we’ve been compelled many a time by so-called “food movies” to watch beautiful people stuff their faces. While food is often displayed in films just to make you hungry, it sometimes has a deeper purpose: to subtly communicate a hidden message. For all the movies that tempt our impressionable taste buds, there are a few that will make you set your popcorn aside with disgust. It’s not all fun and games and cute rats who cook gourmet french cuisine. For your potential viewing pleasure, here’s a list of “food movies” that will certainly make you think a bit more about your next meal.

Read more…

Why NYU Secrets Is A Community (Even Though People Are Mean)

Earlier this month, when an international student posted to NYU Secrets that he didn’t understand America’s tipping system, the comment section filled with insults.

“GTFO out of america,” Josephine Elle wrote, not mincing words. She wasn’t alone, though—the students who post to NYU Secrets are often astonishingly cruel both to the secrets’ authors and to each other. When others jump in to moderate the fray, the cruelest commenters seem unfazed. In November, a discussion got so heated that the students began posting comments asking that others back off. “We are not overreacting,” Jordan Sutphen responded. “We just have a variety of insults to spew at a woman we do not respect.”

Callous insults are the life blood of most unmoderated internet forums, but NYU Secrets is so preoccupied with creating a school community that the spiteful comments are surprising. The page’s stated mission is to give NYU a community, and the students interviewed for this article agreed almost unanimously that it has done so. Why do students consider a page that isn’t about empathy, camaraderie, or even school spirit an NYU community? Read more…

Hey NBA, Give Us The Playoffs We Really Want

The NBA’s regular season ended last night, and, subsequently, seeding for the 2014 NBA Playoffs is now set in stone. The first round begins this Saturday, but the quality of series varies heavily depending upon which conference you’re looking at.

On the West Coast, the schedule is an NBA fan’s dream. It starts with San Antonio and Dallas, who slid into the eighth seed after losing the Memphis Grizzlies last night. Tim Duncan vs. Dirk Nowitzki, two of the best modern, big men? I’ll take that. Then there’s Oklahoma City and Memphis, two teams that have gone at it before in the playoffs: OKC pulled out a tough second round series that went seven games in 2011, and the Grizzlies won in five games in the second round last year after Russell Westbrook was injured. It’s going to be fun to watch these two go at it again. The other two series are the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State (Paul vs. Curry!) and Houston versus Portland AKA the We’ve-Never-Seen-This-Many-Points series.

The East playoffs? I wouldn’t exactly refer to them as “enticing,” or “good” for that matter. There’s Indiana-Atlanta (the series that you couldn’t pay me to watch), Miami-Charlotte, Toronto-Brooklyn, and Chicago-Washington. The Raptors and Nets might put on a decent show with the youngster from up north and the wily veterans in our favorite hipster borough going at it, but that’s literally the only storyline you can squeeze out of this set of series. Read more…

John Sexton Provided His Son With University Housing

If you’re a Tisch graduate looking to make it on Broadway, or just someone aspiring to be an actor in the Big City, you may be concerned about finding affordable housing. Finding convenient living spaces in New York can be a bit of a hassle, especially if your paychecks aren’t exactly reliable. Fortunately for Jed Sexton, a former aspiring actor and son of NYU President John Sexton, housing was provided for him by a certain benevolent university.

In the early 1990s, our lovable, huggable, controversial figurehead John Sexton pulled some strings and scored his son an apartment at 240 Mercer Street, a NYU-owned building that was supposed to function as housing for NYU faculty and law students. Jed Sexton (the world’s other J-Sexy) lived in his own apartment at 240 Mercer until 2002, when he married Danielle Decrette. The two then moved into a newly renovated duplex (also at 240 Mercer), where they lived until 2007.

NYU Vice President of Public Affairs John Beckman explained, “In the early- to mid-1990s, the law school had a real problem filling its housing, so they took a number of steps to address the high and problematic vacancy rate.  The steps included renting units to students from other law schools (New York Law School, Cardozo Law School, and Brooklyn Law School); converting some of the residential space to office space; renting units to the family members of faculty—one of whom was Jed Sexton—and to law school administrative employees.” Read more…

How We Really Feel About Easter Candy

Easter is an important holiday. With it comes eggs (real and candy-versions) and springtime (or so we thought). But most importantly, as with every holiday, Easter is probably mainly about all of the sweet, delicious, jumbo-sized bags of candy sitting on the shelves of convenience stores nationwide.

From Cadbury Creme Eggs to Starburst Jellybeans, there’s just a lot going on in the world of Easter-themed candies. Have you seen those massive chocolate bunnies? And of course, we can’t forget one of the most disputed Easter sweets, Peeps. Peeps are kind of a “love them” or “hate them” thing, like candy corn.

Also, in the spirit of Easter, comedian Billy Eichner did a “Billy on the Street” episode this week where he dressed as the Easter Bunny and asked people how they felt about Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ.” To get our staff in a similar Easter spirit—but mostly to get people’s opinions on candy—we asked them about their feelings on various bunny-themed treats. Here’s what they had to say about it all: Read more…