August 29th, 2014

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The McChicken

I had just passed my colloquium. It was an unseasonably cold day at the end of March (global warming, am I right?) but I was feeling victorious. I wanted to do something that would mirror my triumph over the much-dreaded colloquium (basically the defense of a thesis in the form of a two hour conversation with a panel of three faculty members) that all seniors in the Gallatin School for Individualized Study at NYU must complete in order to graduate. I needed to do something that would match my level of elation. That something was going to McDonald’s and buying myself two McChicken sandwiches and eating them in Washington Square Park, despite the cold (see above photo).

Many would chastise me for consuming such foul (literally fowl) food, but McChickens make me happy. I often call my predilection towards the McChicken sandwich a guilty pleasure but I always wonder to myself “why should I feel guilty about a thing that makes me happy?” That’s the big question. Should you feel guilty about your guilty pleasures if they make you happy?

My vegan friend thinks I should. We were once out one night at some bar in god knows where and I got a little tipsy and insisted that we just call it a night so I could go home, get my McChicken and go to sleep. As I was telling her my plan for the rest of the night, she had been sipping on her vodka martini, and she did a spit take where she found out I would be stopping before eventually going home. “You would really eat that garbage?” she said to me. “Do you know how inhumanely McDonald’s treats their chickens?” Fire was coming out of her mouth at this point. The truth is I didn’t.

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All Of The Technology To Help You Make It Through College

We definitely could not survive our world today without the help of our beloved, addicting technology. I’m sure not a day passes where you don’t use your laptop, smartphone, Xbox, camera, or something or other.  Whatever it is you’re most attached to, everyone’s got his or her favorite apps, and gadgets, and widgets, and plugins. I know my four years here at NYU wouldn’t have been possible with all of the tools I use to make my school/work life easier. So here are a few of my favorite productivity hacks:

Boomerang: As a student, emails are kind of like our lifeblood. Internship opportunities, meeting up with other students, teacher assignments, the list piles higher and higher. Boomerang is an organizational wizard’s best friend. You can schedule emails to bounce back into your inbox whenever you need them to, basically eliminating one more to-do reminder from your brain. You can also schedule emails to send at a later time if need be. Read more…

Studying Sucks, So Here’s A List Of Ways To Procrastinate

Study breaks are something we all have in common, whether we’re pre-meds, Sternies, or underwater basket weavers in Gallatin. Some of us watch Netflix, some of us cry into our ice cream, and still others snort more Adderall in the Bobst bathrooms.

Since it’s the last stretch before sweet, sweet freedom, and you might be running out of ideas for distractions, here are 15 slightly unusual study break suggestions, including some original ideas from NYU Local staff. Make the most of them!

1. One-man, five minute dance parties to Beyoncé in a Bobst bathroom. (Alternative: Re-enacting the elevator fight with two friends.) Read more…

Enjoy Summertime in New York The Obscure Way

The school year is coming to a close, and the sweet, humid freedom of summer is just over the horizon. And for those of us who refuse to go back to Mom and Dad’s house over the break, the opportunities for entertainment are nearly limitless.

Here’s are a handful of less quotidian things to do this summer in the time you’d usually spend reading NYU Local: 

May 18—Anthropomorphic Bunny Taxidermy Class: If you claim to have never wondered what exactly is the proper way to skin, stuff, and dress a rabbit in Victorian-era clothing, you’re lying. Even better, this class is eco-friendly: all carcasses are recycled discards from the feeder/pet food industry, naturally deceased, or discards from the food service industry. But remember that this course isn’t BYOC (bring your own carcass), so don’t even think about using this as an opportunity to keep the spirit of your dead pet bunny alive.

May 15 through May 31—Shakespeare in the Parking Lot’s Production of Hamlet: A parking lot adjacent to Bryant Park will be the stage in which The Drilling Company’s interpretation of Hamlet will be performed. Modified to reflect contemporary society, Gertrude is an alcoholic, while Claudius is a power-hungry business man. With performances happening Thursday through Sunday until May 31, this is an easy opportunity to get some culture for free.

May 29—McKellen Me Softly: A one-night-only celebration of queer icon and fangirl fodder, Sir Ian McKellen. The festivities will feature a raffle of McKellen-themed artwork, a so-called “geek party,” and a LGBTQ benefit, the proceeds of which will help support Geeks OUT, an organization established to support the growing community of the nerdiest members of the LGBTQ community. Read more…

If We Can’t Bond Over Football, We Can At Least Bond Over Our Turds

As we all know, shit happens, literally. Everyone releases hundreds of pounds of poop each year—and if you don’t, ingesting some MiraLax of flaxseed should help jumpstart that peristalsis.

The remnants of food our bodies reject, however, are rarely the subjects of conversation, partially because society has largely stigmatized poop, favoring less smelly/lumpy things to discuss at cocktail parties (like personal branding, probably). Or, as former art critic Simon Taylor put it, we’ve established a “bourgeois hierarchy of the body, which privileges the head and denigrates the lower bodily stratum.”

Not that anyone needs reminding, but it’s finals season, so it seems pretty timely that just when everything is turning to shit, yet another NYU-centric community page has emerged to reverse Taylor’s words. NYU Shitting Experiences, or simply NYU POOP, launched less than a week ago, and it calls for students to “Private message us your most heart felt, disgusting, filthy, and embarrassing shits at NYU!” The page then posts these narratives of nuggets, releasing the abject secrets to the world for commenting.

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Beat Summertime Sadness And Go To The New York State Fair

The “Great” New York State Fair that takes place in Syracuse is a veritable mess, a beautiful, beautiful mess of attempted state spirit, food that will bring about a premature heart attack and people wearing outfits that mix camo and spandex. However, it is a quintessential New York State right of passage, and one that will send you sprinting back towards the sanity and comfort of New York City. Seriously, one time I saw a vendor selling Confederate flag gear. Things get weird upstate.

The New York State Fair runs from August 21 to September 1, the week and a half before school starts, so if you need to validate your reasoning for living in New York City or if you want at least a couple crazy stories to share from your summer you should hop on the bus—it’s a measly four and a half hour ride—and bring yourself to real Upstate New York. Surviving the State Fair isn’t as easy as packing a lot of sunblock and wearing as little clothing as possible. Heads up: you can legally not wear pants at the fair for some reason; it’s all about a good plan of attack. Luckily, we’ve got you covered for the New York State Fair’s main events.

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10 People Who Are Having A Way Worse Week Than You

It’s Thursday, which means that if you haven’t thrown yourself into the fountain out of pure despair yet, you’re probably getting pretty close. Finals week—that bastion of tears and stomach-churning and teeth chattering—is starting to get the best of us.

But don’t let yourself go all the way to Crazy Town. Instead, take some time from that 10 page paper to bask in the strange, sad, and mysterious misfortunes of others. Because hey, why not feel a little better about the loss of your own mind for a while?

For your convenience, we’ve compiled the following list of people having way worse of a time than you right now:

1) A cab driver who pulled over to pick a person up and suddenly found himself chauffeuring a criminal.

A South Florida (OF COURSE) cab driver announced that “driving a cab is a dangerous job” after picking up a man who allegedly robbed a bank. Read more…

Local Stops: Obama Traffic, Eddie Huang, And Solange-Inspired Political Beefs


The traffic nightmares that come with the President being in New York for two days can only be categorized as an a(O)bomination.

Political beef explain by Solange and Jay-Z .gifs.

Check out the trailer for Eddie Huang’s new show, ‘Fresh Off The Boat.’

With the 9/11 Memorial Museum opening next week, the New York Times has a powerful interactive tour of the new exhibit.

Idea for post-final dance.

Photo of the day by Caleb Savage

Apple Might Have Dropped Major Bucks To Buy Beats, But Why?

Why would Apple spend $3.2 billion to buy Beats, a company best known for overpriced headphones and an underwhelming streaming music service? And does it even matter?

Even if you’re not a self-proclaimed tech geek who reads The Verge and Ars Technica every morning before tweeting at your toaster to make breakfast, you might have heard about the rumored deal between Apple and Beats Electronics, the company founded by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, which would give Apple ownership over the company to the tune of $3.2 billion. You might be wondering – what’s the big deal? Don’t companies buy other companies every other week?

To a certain extent, that’s true. Google bought (then sold) Motorola, Disney bought Marvel and Facebook bought WhatsApp, to name just a few recent big acquisitions. But while Apple buys small companies all the time, the rumored Beats deal would be the first time Apple buys a company for over a billion dollars. In fact, the rumored $3.2 billion figure dwarfs the next largest Apple deal, its acquisition of NeXT for $429 million in 1996. When Apple buys companies, they usually do so to acquire a highly specific technology or to poach people at the top of their fields.

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Procrastinate Through Finals with 2048 Graduation Edition

For your procrastination pleasures, we have created an edition of the addicting 2048 game featuring this year’s graduation speakers. Don’t recognize some of the faces? You’ll see them again at graduation, so scroll down to see their names.

… Except for the 2048 tile. The celebrity on that tile will remain a secret until the first person to beat the game reveals it in the comments section. The winner gets on last set of collegiate bragging rights.

Procrastination awaits you after the jump! Read more…