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My sophomore summer, I took a class taught by the wonderful professor Michael Sateia called Psychology 50.04, “Sleep and Sleep Disorders.” The thesis of the class? Sleep matters. It matters a lot more than we think it does. It affects everything we do — our mood, our cognition, our digestion, our movement. Sleep impacts just about every area of our lives. The great irony of the class? Our professor drilled us on the importance of sleep for two hours every Tuesday and Thursday, but the grand majority of the class was clearly not getting enough sleep. They would roll into class exhausted and lethargic, trying to stay awake on little more than caffeine and pure determination.
According to language reference publication “Ethnologue,” Hindi-Urdu (or Hindustani) is the third most spoken language worldwide. The Swedish-language encyclopedia “Nationalencyklopedin” places Hindi, not including the significant number of Urdu speakers, as the fourth most spoken language worldwide by native speakers. Beyond being a beautiful language with a unique history, hundreds of millions of speakers and two different scripts, Hindi-Urdu is a strategically important language for Americans for reasons including scholarship, trade and national security. Why, then, does Dartmouth not have a Hindi-Urdu Program?
Don’t lie to yourself: At six years old, all of us secretly dreamed of being President of the United States. The grandiose ceremonies, the household name brand and, well, the power to help. What wasn’t enticing about that?
The National Football League is struggling and seems unable to get out of its own way. From controversies over national anthem protests to concussion research, recent public opinion of football has been far from stellar. The drop in ratings echoes this sentiment. However, one of the greatest impediments to the success of the NFL lies not in external factors, but within the very broadcast booths and media outlets which are supposed to foment enthusiasm for the sport. In their constant haste to render the game exciting through their commentary or discussions of the latest strategies or roster moves made by teams, these individuals have unwittingly managed to oversaturate the market with content. They have created an environment that feeds off of nostalgia, precipitating a sense of apathy that can explain many of the league’s recent quagmires.
Since the launch of the Virginia Slims’ cigarette campaign in the late 60s, feminism has sold in the mass market. Feminists today wear our pussy-hats to the grocery store, plaster our laptops with popular feminist witticisms, layer our “smash the patriarchy” sweatshirts over matching t-shirts and pin buttons printed with the female sex sign onto our backpacks. Our wallets bleed feminism. It soaks into the soap we buy, the makeup we wear, the tampons we carry. But in a market where feminism is thrown at us from all directions, it begs the question: Are we actually feminists, or are we simply buying a label?
What's a president to do when the government shuts down?
Politicians like to cast immigration as a partisan issue with stark alternatives and difficult trade-offs: open vs. closed, natives vs. outsiders, safety vs. liberty, efficiency vs. equality. But what if it was possible to give America the best of both worlds? The United States has a powerful set of core values that can lead this country to greatness if we have the courage and the ingenuity to apply them to the challenges of our day. With bipartisan immigration reform on the horizon, America has the rare opportunity to strengthen its economy and its democracy while answering the plea of the American worker.
I love America.
One recent evening I wandered around a fraternity, stupefied, as a small human tragedy unfolded. Familiar faces flashed before my eyes. I wasn’t in the condition to make small talk, and neither were they. We were conducting the social whittling away that is endemic to modern existence. This process takes on added significance during the winter of one’s final year at Dartmouth.
President Donald Trump’s mental fitness has come into question more than once. With his “bigly” vocabulary and “stable genius” behind the trigger of Twitter 24/7, individuals skeptical of the president feel that they have ample evidence to raise concerns. While many of my peers and I disapprove of the president’s actions and demeanor, is mental illness a just reason to remove Trump from office? The careless imprecision and accusatory tone we use surrounding the president’s supposed mental illness is frightening and further excludes those with mental illness from “normal society.” While one may not agree with or even disdain Trump, the reason for that opposition should not be his mental fitness.
The United States currently has a problem in the realm of academia, and for once it is not solely budget related. Instead, this particular issue stems from advanced placement courses, the likes of which have proliferated throughout the nation’s high schools. The dilemma is in the growing lack of curricular flexibility precipitated by their presence, which promotes adherence to a label rather than the pursuit of one’s interests.
The ninth issue of the ninth volume of “InfoWorld: The PC News Weekly” from 1987 was filled with what one would expect for a magazine targeted at IT professionals and computer geeks. The front page advertised the new Macintosh II, replete with one megabyte of memory sold for $3,899 for one floppy drive and no display (nearly $8,500 in 2018 dollars). One page featured a story labeled “Presentation Package Lets Users Control Look” by Scott Mace. Mace writes that “Forethough Inc. last week introduced PowerPoint, a Macintosh program that lets users create and manage business presentations “using overhead transparencies, flip charts, speaker’s notes and handouts” and concludes that PowerPoint will be a catalyst in the new computerized business market. What Mace failed to prophesize is that PowerPoint would become the bane of the civilized world.
Dartmouth is unique in that it has an unusually long winter break (appropriately called “winterim”), and I’m certainly not complaining. This chunk of time allows for productive activities such as a cappella tours, service projects abroad and training trips for athletic teams. It also allows for down time to unwind from the fall term. These activities are primarily student-directed, and the College remains relatively inactive during this six-week period.
Reflecting on New Years' resolutions.
If Richard Pryor was the godfather of comedy and Bernie Mac its uncle, then Dave Chappelle is comedy’s first cousin. He was cool when audiences first saw him back in the 1990s, as a 20-something cracking jokes on “Def Comedy Jam.” And as we got older, Chappelle got better. Slapstick humor meshed with racial and social commentary, setting the foundation for the highly successful but short-lived “Chappelle’s Show.” And we liked him. America’s older first cousin matured. Now in his 30s, he taught us more grown-up lessons in his sketches about George W. Bush-era geopolitics with “Black Bush,” and the nuances of America’s racial imaginary in “When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong.” Yet he retained the familiarity that made us love him in the first place, with some sketches whose chief aim was goofiness, like “A Moment in the Life of Lil Jon” and various sketches that followed the misadventures of crackhead Tyrone Biggums.
What, in your estimation, is the most widely-shared quote attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr. on the third Monday each January? Is it “I have a dream”? “Hate cannot drive out hate”? An excerpt about content of character, perhaps? It is certainly not what King wrote in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”: That “it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts ... because the quest may precipitate violence.” Your most conservative friend on Facebook will never post that freedom “must be demanded by the oppressed.” King’s declaration that America is the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” will not appear on any banners.
Questions about the effectiveness of the new house communities tend to elicit responses of hearty ambivalence. Students refer to the communities’ irrelevance, their failings and their lack of utility. It seems glaringly apparent that the houses have little to no bearing on students’ lives, that they already exist outside of the zeitgeist. In fact, it often seems that their only relevance is found in the brightly-colored shields emblazoned on merchandise and hung from the ceiling of Foco.
This past December, I spent some time with the Dartmouth Outing Club in Big Bend National Park, out in West Texas along the Mexican border. We hiked through dry washes and over plateaus and camped out along bluffs by the Rio Grande. Driving out on the morning of the last day, I saw the sky flare up red along the horizon, a stark beauty against the desert.
If you’re at all familiar with the niche meme community, you’re probably aware of the “I’m Not Like Other Girls” meme, which satirizes girls who go out of their way to distinguish themselves from traditional notions of femininity. “Starter pack” memes characterize these “unique” women as those who wear checkerboard pants, Kurt Cobain-esque clout goggles and Doc Martens. They identify “Lolita” as their favorite book or movie (a perfect combination of the ironic and subversive) and drink black coffee (black like their soul). Satirizing this behavior is an important critique of internalized sexism. Thus, it is also important to consider that some of the “feminine” characteristics that “I’m Not Like Other Girls” resists are actually worth resisting, and that there should be room for multiple femininities.
When was the last time you sat down with pen and paper and wrote a letter to someone in your own unique and imperfect handwriting? When was the last time you sat down with a cup of coffee and a print newspaper to read about recent events?