The Hot or Not List of 2013

HOT OR NOTWith only hours to go until the clock strikes midnight and our New Year’s resolutions become valid, month-long attempts at self-improvement, 2013 is drawing to a close. It’s been quite the year, Hoyas – let’s take a closer (and quirkier) look at 2013’s best and worst:

The 4E Hot or Not List of 2013

What was Hot:

1. SNL’s Obamacare-inspired sketches. I was laughing for days.

2. The basil mayonnaise now being served on the panini line in Leo’s. You can put it on anything.

3. Beyoncé dropping a surprise album. Also the phrase “I woke up like this” that came along with the album.Beyonce

4. Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fusing to create a mega-holiday: Thanksgivukkah! Latke-stuffing anyone?

4. Miley Cyrus riding both a metaphorical and literal wrecking ball.

5.  Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina becoming the 266th Pope and the first Jesuit Pope. He was also named Person of the Year by Time Magazine because of how incredible he’s turning out to be. And we’re all pretty proud of this sick pic:

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6. Wisey’s is delicious.

What Was Not:

1. The regular mayonnaise at Leo’s. Ew.

2. Georgetown lost our rival, Syracuse, as the Big East reorganized. What is a university full of rowdy basketball fans to do without someone to hate? (Actually, we still hate you, Syracuse.)

3. A sizable portion of Georgetown Confessions. Especially the ones that were so long that the “Read more” button was present. Keep your anonymous proclamations short and sweet, Georgetown.

4. Miley Cyrus riding both a metaphorical and literal wrecking ball.Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball

5. Democrats and Republicans still don’t agree on a slew of issues.

6. Lau still exists.lauvert

So Leo’s still reeks, Lau is still ugly and Wisey’s can still make you fat. 2013 brought its own list of Hots and Nots on the Hilltop and 2014 is sure to bring its own, too. But hot or not, the Pope likes us guys – he really likes us! 

Photos: Library.georgetown.edu, The Guardian, Georgetown.edu, saintheron.com

Poli Sci for the Average Guy: What’s the Deal with Iran?

In Tehran, Iran’s nuclear program was born and raised, in centrifuges is where it spent most of its days. Maxin’ out, enriching, playing it all cool, fooling inspectors and breaking the rules. When John Kerry appeared, he was up to some good, tryin’ make peace in the Middle East neighborhood. Iran struck a deal and Israel and Saudi Arabia got scared, they said, “Yo, John this new deal you got isn’t so fair.”

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On Nov. 24, the United States – together with the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany – struck a historic deal with Iran.

Since 1979, the United States has imposed sanctions on Iran in response to Iran’s nuclear program, which began in 1957. The United States, along with the other five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, perceived a nuclear Iran as a threat to international stability and the balance of power. Under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran is legally permitted under international law to produce nuclear material for peaceful purposes. However, Iran’s legitimacy in claiming peaceful purposes has often been called into question. Therefore, the United States and the United Nations imposed defensive sanctions against Iran to destabilize and cripple its nuclear program. (For those who don’t know, sanctions are national “time-outs” with tremendous economic repercussions.) In the case of Iran, sanctions caused the Iranian currency to drop 80% in value.

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This brings us to last week in Geneva, Switzerland – the home of indecision, chocolate and watches – where the United States and Iran struck an short-term, six-month deal to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons program in exchange for a “modest relief” from sanctions. Even more impressive, Iran joined other powerful nations at a negotiation table. “For the first time in nearly a decade we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program,” President Obama said.

Here’s the Dealio:

What will Iran do? Iran will lessen its stockpile of uranium – yellow powder that goes kaboom – enriched to 20 percent. Although uranium isn’t bomb-grade until it’s enriched to 90 percent, 20 percent is too close for comfort. The deal also requires Iran to stop all enrichment above 5 percent (enough to generate electricity from nuclear energy) and dismantle all accompanying equipment to ensure that remaining nuclear infrastructure is for peaceful purposes. Lastly, Iranian nuclear facilities will be subject to daily inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

What will the U.S., the U.K., France, Russia, China and Germany do? They will lift some sanctions formerly imposed on Iran, thus providing Iran with an additional $1.5 billion dollars in revenue … but that’s only a fraction of what is still frozen by sanctions. Ultimately, the ease in sanctions is “limited, temporary, targeted and reversible relief to Iran,” according to CNN.

Can we trust Iran to hold up its end of the bargain? Only time will tell.

 

Sources: NBC News, CNN
Images: Google, NBC, CNN

A 4E Guide to Doing Thanksgivukkah Right

ThanksgivukkahIn 1888, a miracle happened that lasted 8 crazy nights, Thanksgiving and Chanukah overlapped and all was alright.
Potatoes for presents and dreidels for dinner, the holidays fused and everyone was a winner.
This year the same fate happened again – Thanksgivukkah for everyone – and things were well with the world, among family and friends.
However, this rare Thanksgivukkah extravaganza will only return in 79,043 years, so I hope you’ve cherished this one with an extra round of cheers.

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The holiday mashup of Thanksgiving and Chanukah is clearly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so here’s a guide to know whether or not you’ve done Thanksgivukkah right … and have no fear: There are still six more nights!

1. Instagram a picture of your menorah next to your plate of Thanksgiving food.

2. Play Hanukkah music while grubbing on leftovers.

3. Play dreidel in order to gamble on which relative will pass out first after doing Number 2 (see above).

4. Go Black Friday shopping for the gifts you were supposed to give two nights ago.

5. Have a Thanksgiving brunch: bagels and turkey with cranberry sauce on the side.

With that, happy Thanksgivukkah to all, and to all a good night!

Photos: Prlimages, USA Today

Poli Sci for the Average Guy: Philippines & Filibusters

polisciWe realize that national and international political events play a crucial role in our education and dialogue here at Georgetown. We also realize how terrifying it can be when someone talks about a current political issue and you have no idea what that person is saying. That’s wherePoliSci for the Average Guy comes in.

PoliSci for the Average Guy is a recurring post that keeps you easily and entertainingly informed of the political issues that have most recently been making headlines. With help from PoliSci, you’ll be a little less stressed and a little more informed about today’s serious political topics and will be able to dive into the discussion yourself.

This past week has been filled with newsworthy stories, from a historic natural disaster in the Philippines to controversial political change in the United States. For your fill of what’s been happening, please read on.

On Nov. 7, a disastrous typhoon hit the Philippines, an island nation nuzzled in the waters off Southeast Asia. A typhoon is any tropical storm that takes place near the Indian or western Pacific Oceans. However, the typhoon that struck the Philippines on Nov. 7 – Typhoon Haiyan – was not just any tropical storm.

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The “super-typhoon” Haiyan put 25 million Filipinos in harm’s way with winds that averaged 315 miles per hour. According to CNN, “Haiyan was probably the strongest tropical cyclone to hit land anywhere in the world in recorded history.” The storm’s path of destruction encompassed two-thirds of the Philippines with its extensive clouds. Moreover, the category 5 strength natural disaster hit at a particularly inopportune time: Only one week before Haiyan wreaked havoc on the Philippines, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit the island nation, killing 222 people and displacing 350,000 people.

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Typhoon Haiyan took the lives of over 4,000 people and displaced 4.4 million others, taking an unprecedented toll in the Philippines. Of those who survived, approximately 5 million workers have lost their livelihoods either temporarily or permanently. Luckily, economic impacts of the disaster will be minimal because the affected regions account for only a small proportion of Filipino GDP. Nonetheless, Danilo Israel, senior research fellow at the Philippine Institute for Developmental Studies commented, “The loss in human lives, the loss of bio-diversity, the destruction of heritage sites, the loss of relationships — it’s difficult to put a value on these intangibles, which can sometimes have a big impact on economic growth.”

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If you’d like to support the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, click here.

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Meanwhile, as the world seems to unite through the tragic losses in the Philippines, the United States government is divided again, this time over filibusters.

On Nov. 21, the United States Senate voted 52-48, with all Republicans and 3 Democrats voting against, to terminate the use of filibustering on executive branch nominees and judicial nominees other than to the Supreme Court. A filibuster is a type of debate procedure that is used to delay or prevent a vote on a proposal. It’s like politicians doing a funny dance – or, in actuality, making a long speech – at the front of the room to distract their colleagues from what they were supposed to vote on. However, the dance often lasts far too long and creates inefficient decision-making.

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The Democrats, who led this historic change in procedure, argued that the need to change the rules was prompted by Republicans’ abusing their right to filibuster and unnecessarily delaying or blocking several Obama appointees. Meanwhile, Republicans argue that our “founding fathers” allowed for filibusters for a reason, a reason that sounded something like this: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that politicians were created unequal – some will do things quickly and others will just keep talking.” I kid, but I hope you’re catching my drift.

Now, after the recent vote, only a simple majority (50% + 1) of senators is needed to confirm federal judge nominees and executive-office appointments. (This is opposed to the 60% +1 supermajority that was previously required.) Therefore, the appointment process has become more direct.

Although this change seems like a blip in the timeline of American politics, it sends a message that the formerly “unchangeable” rules of politics are becoming changeable. Is nothing permanent in politics? More to come in my next installment of Poli Sci.

Images: Google

Parental Advice: Then and Now

Should I Still Listen To My Parents

Fun Fact: Parents aren’t always right.

Un-Fun Fact: We should still listen to them …

As college students, we are all (begrudgingly) managing the transition from childhood to adulthood. It’s time to substitute out juice boxes for cocktails, playdates for meetings and 8pm bed times for all-nighters. We spent our mischievous younger years Cool-Cute-Kids-Pics-by-cool-imagesoscillating between respecting and neglecting our parents’ advice but, in order to succeed as “adults”, we must take our parents’ advice with a grain of salt and choose for ourselves: should I still listen to my parents’ advice in college? 

Parental Advice #1: Don’t talk to strangers.

In college, this piece of advice turns from a harmless safety tip to social suicide. College is the time to spark a conversation with tons of complete strangers because otherwise you’re doomed to a life alone with one-too many cats. Meow.

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Parental Advice #2: Sharing is caring.

Have you heard of a little something I like to call mono? Beware, don’t share – especially if it’s a red Solo Cup.

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Parental Advice #3: Always use the buddy system.

In college, the safety mantra goes: never walk home alone. This is still valid: two is always better than one.

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Parental Advice #4: Do your homework.

Or don’t … and say you did!

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Parental Advice #5: Keep your hands to yourself.

College parties and 18+ clubs can get more handsy than a four-year-old at the Please Touch Museum. But please, respect others’ space. Hands where we can see ’em.

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Parental Advice #6: Ask anyway – there’s no such thing as a stupid question.

Don’t be afraid to ask a question in class, other people might also be confused. But do make sure you’re asking because you didn’t understand the teacher’s explanation, not because you weren’t paying attention. If that’s the case, just ask your friend Google or wait for office hours.

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Parental Advice #7: Manners matter. 

Amen. Can I get a please and thank you for holding that super heavy Lau door open for you?

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Parental Advice #8: You have to finish your dinner before you have dessert.

False,  dessert isn’t a “reward” for eating a balanced meal; it’s one of the major college food groups and something Leo’s consistently gets right.

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The examples above demonstrate that our parents’ advice can become antiquated as we get older but, in some other cases, their advice holds more true now than ever before. It’s up to us to choose whether or not to live according to our parents’ old advice. We may not be kids anymore, but we are still kids at heart. Which is why I have this gif of a cat for you to look at:

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Photos: Cool Images, Mashable, WordPress

Guess Who, Georgetown? The 4 Unknown Faces Behind Popular Campus Buildings

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Everyday we mindlessly walk into buildings on campus, whether to schmooze, complain, eat, socialize, procrastinate and, on rare occasion, to study. However, we rarely stop to think about the buildings we enter. Who is this magical “Leo” that makes cookies (and only cookies) so well? Who puts the “Lau” in Club Lau? And why is there a ‘Bunn’ on the ICC? These are the questions that haunt the hallowed halls of Georgetown.

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Meet Rafik B. Hariri, the namesake of the McDonough School of Business building. Mr. Hariri is well-known in Lebanon for serving as Lebanese Prime Minister – and for his uncanny ability to rock the ‘stache. During his later years as a philanthropist, Mr. Hariri’s son funded our beautiful business school because he believed education is the key to prosperity for all peoples.

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Next, meet this hunky alum: Joseph Mark Lauinger – namesake of the Lauinger Library. Mr. Lauinger died in Vietnam in 1970, only three years after graduating from Georgetown. It is unfortunate, however, that his name will now forever be associated with late-night CPS papers and Mordor.

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Meet Father Edward B. Bunn, the 44th Georgetown University President and the name above the entrance of the ICC. Father Bunn served his tenure in the aftermath of WWII, and  renamed our former foreign service program the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Thank you, Father Bunn, for the ultimate destination for hide-and-go-seek: the ICC.

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Oh Leo’s, our home away from home. Meet Leo himself, Leo J. O’Donovan, the 47th President of Georgetown University. Reverend O’Donovan was known for promoting the free speech of students, including the on-campus pro-choice group. Needless to say Reverend O’Donovan was a rebel, and so are we. Consequently, we take one too many apples from inside his dining hall.

So, next time you take a cross-campus stroll, stop and think: who’s looking back at me?

Photos: Google; Wikipedia