GLANZEL | Let Silicon Valley Thrive: Part I

Silicon Valley is quickly becoming the beating heart of the American economy. The American tech industry is rapidly developing the capacity to touch the economic, social and political infrastructure of every major nation across the globe. The immense potential contained by Silicon Valley demands that government create an environment in which the tech industry can grow. This article is the first in a two-part series in which I will look at the steps the federal government should take to help foster growth in America’s rapidly expanding technology base. Before delving into the specific policy actions the government should implement, I want to emphasize one major point: Silicon Valley is good.

RUSSELL | Seeing Stars

Over the summer, I heard an old Drake song that mentions star projectors and soon became fixated on the idea of buying one myself. I think the appeal comes from childhood memories of seven-year-old astronaut-wannabe me, sprawled out on the carpet flooring of a friend’s bedroom, staring up at a fake version of the night sky as if seeing the real one when I went outside wasn’t enough. When last semester began, I made my pilgrimage to the toy section of a department store and bought a new star projector, for old times’ sake. Oddly enough, it feels deeply profound to lay on my hardwood bedroom floor and stare up at colorful light-shapes on the wall. It’s introspective and placid and energizing, all at the same time.

RUBASHKIN | Disney Gets Greedy

Despite the recent standout successes of films like Spotlight, La La Land and Moonlight, the past several years have been dark times for cinema. Last summer, droves of Americans willingly spent a collective $176 million to see a movie titled Ant-Man, not because of any particular affection for either ants or the second-tier superhero who obtains their powers, but because we were compelled to do so as a part of Walt Disney Studios’ master plan. See, a standalone film about a man who can shrink himself to the size of an ant probably wouldn’t do so well, regardless of how unassuming and charming the actor playing him was (and Paul Rudd is about as unassuming and charming as they come). But a film about a man who can shrink himself to the size of an ant that happens to be part of a larger so-called “cinematic universe”? Instant blockbuster.

WANG | The Seven Degrees of Cornell

“Hey, Adrian?”

“Yeah?”

I’ve stopped in my tracks now, and I’m looking back at the Arts Quad. It’s a typical Monday afternoon during dry December, and the streams of people flooding into the center of the school has gotten me doing mathematical gymnastics in my head. “How many people did you say were at Cornell?”

He pauses for a second. “21,000, I think, if you count grads and professors.”

I cock back my head in surprise: no seriously? But he was right.

REDDY | Why Affirmative Action is Necessary

Everyone has dreams, and a college degree has always been seen as a crucial means to reaching them. As a result, more people than ever are trying to obtain higher education, and they have good reason to believe that the quality and prestige of the college they attend can have a significant impact on the quality and prestige of the work they do after graduation. Controversy arises when it’s deemed that certain groups of people have an unfair advantage in the admissions process. I have listened to engineers — male engineers — lament the school’s allegedly lower standards for female applicants. They had to work extremely hard to gain acceptance to Cornell’s engineering program, while others, they claim, just “walked in” because they “have vaginas.” Despite the misogyny conveyed by this language, however, unqualified girls in engineering are the least of our concerns, when one considers the apparent injustice done when black and Latinx applicants with credentials inferior to those of white applicants are given what those white applicants deem preferential treatment in college admissions.

BANKS | To Whom I Owe My Artistic Wanderlust

No one other than James Baldwin could have ever hoped to deliver a proper eulogy to James Baldwin, but I find it incredibly ironic that my namesake ended up accepting the mantle. Amiri Baraka was an embattled and deeply flawed artist, and in reading his work, I have often found myself rapidly vacillating between vehement disapproval and mesmerized admiration. What he had to say about the man I aspire to be like, though, elicited neither of these responses. “Jimmy Baldwin created [contemporary American speech] so we could speak to each other at unimaginable intensities of feeling, so we could make sense to each other at higher and higher tempos,” wrote Baraka. For most anyone else, words like these would serve as poetic and profound excerpts from a worthy homage.

HAGOPIAN | Democracy, Morality and Hookup Culture

Last year I participated in an activity as part of my training to become a peer counselor. All the trainees stood up and answered questions by moving to either the “yes’” side of the room or the “no” side. One of the questions was, “is it okay to have sex with people you don’t care about?” I was one of the few who went to the “no” side. As a follow-up exercise, one person from each side was asked to share the reasoning that led to their answer. The “yes” representative spoke primarily about consequence.

SEX ON THURSDAY | Watch me Please, Please

There’s something oddly exciting about anonymity. Albeit it’s extraordinarily difficult to be completely anonymous, with IP addresses and all, the simple act of covering your face in the midst of a lewd act is enough to excite me all over. Yes, I’m talking about public, but not so public, masturbation. It all started quite early for me. My best friend Alyson and I were sexually adventurous and we would do anything for attention.

SEX ON THURSDAY | What’s the Worst That Can Happen During a Blowjob?

It’s a question most girls, and probably most guys, wonder. I’ve always thought of myself as a bit of an anomaly when it comes to oral sex — I really like it. I’ve always liked it. I think that’s because my first time giving a blow job was so casual —  I asked a friend to teach me and it turned out great. Ever since then, I’ve always felt good making other people feel good.

MALPASS | Clean Money

Environmentalists really seem to get a bad rap. I’m not talking about eco-terrorism or the occasional highly offensive PETA advertisement —  I’m talking about image. No matter who you talk to, liberal or conservative, their idea of an environmentalist always seems to be the peace-sign-throwing, carrot-munching, Yusef-Islam-AKA-Cat-Ste­vens-looking hippie. I suppose it’s partly our fault; after all, I do have a few tie dyes kicking around in my closet. But generally speaking it’s always the same story: someone brings up clean energy, and the politicians and public roll eyes because another old beatnik took a moment between blunt hits to talk about how we’re all connected to nature.