Interview with Benjamin Velani ’22

From investigating the changing bar culture to growing his own produce, Benjamin Velani ’22, The Sun’s dining editor, can always be counted on for food tips and advice! He shares what else the dining department has in store for readers — stay tuned and get excited!

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Interview with Boris Tsang ’21

Visual storytelling is an integral part of what we do. Photos taken by Boris Tsang ’21, The Sun’s photography editor, have appeared in over 700 articles at The Sun. His photos have also been featured in ESPN, CBS News, and the Cornell Chronicle. The newsletter team interviewed Boris on what it takes to capture those perfect moments.

President Martha Pollack at her office in Day Hall on May 10th, 2019.

The Sun Interviews Martha Pollack

At the end of the spring semester, The Sun had the opportunity to interview President Martha Pollack, touching on topics ranging from the expansion of mental health services, sensitivity responses to tragedies, Cornell Tech, food insecurity and Prof. Brian Wansink’s termination.

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GROSKAUFMANIS | Two College Students Walk into a Comedy Show

Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld, two of America’s most well-respected veteran comedians, won’t perform on college campuses. Their reasoning centers around the usual complaints about political correctness, assuming that today’s young people don’t appreciate, or maybe can’t even handle, the types of humor they tend to use in their sets. High-profile examples of clashes between college audiences and comedians are ripe for cherry-picking. Last December Nimesh Patel, a writer for SNL, was pulled off stage in the middle of a set at Columbia University after one of his jokes was deemed too offensive for the event: an example that fits snuggly into the idea that college students can’t take a joke. But in an op-ed in The New York Times that followed the incident, Patel himself acknowledged a complexity that this stereotype doesn’t completely capture, writing, “I do not think we should let the actions of a small group — actions that get blown out of proportion because they feed a narrative many people want to hear — paint college campuses as bad places to perform and paint this next generation as doomed.”
I talked to students who perform comedy at Cornell, at other universities and in cities across the United States.

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Talking with Electronic Musician Beau Mahadev ’18

On the surface, it might appear that Beau Mahadev ’18 spends their time wearing two pretty different hats: that of an engineering student on the one hand, and that of an active member of Ithaca’s sprawling DIY scene on the other. On the former front, Beau studies computer science here at Cornell; on the latter, they’ve immersed themself in the music of Ithaca on multiple levels. As an active volunteer for Ithaca Underground, as the Vice President of Fanclub Collective and as a burgeoning local musician and performer in their own right, Beau has carved out what might seem like a respectable side project apart from their engineering studies. But Beau doesn’t use guitars, drums, keyboards or anything else most people would associate with traditional instrumentation; Beau uses the tools of their trade. Crafting experimental noise music with synths, circuits and gadgets galore, Beau is part of a larger Ithaca community — itself a subset of an international experimental movement stretching back to at least Varese’s work of the 1920s — of noise-makers and barrier-breakers.

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Telling Truths: Semi Chellas Reveals Secrets from the Mad Men Writers’ Room

Of Semi Chellas’ numerous accolades, the one by which I was most impressed was that she was the writer of the first and only screenplay to ever be published by Cornell’s reputed Epoch magazine — and it was the first screenplay she had ever written. Perhaps this is an indication of someone who truly has an instantly-recognizable talent, a talent that, in Chellas’ case, propelled her towards becoming co-producer and writer for the brilliant, Emmy-winning Mad Men in its fifth season. Chellas talked about this experience in her Thursday talk, “Telling Secrets: Notes from the Writers’ Room.”

That’s what we — the die hard fans, the aspiring writers — wanted to know: what is the secret to a show like Mad Men? Mentioning the high level of secrecy surrounding the show, Chellas joked how strange it was for her to be revealing these secrets to us. Her informal, engaging talk was punctuated by short clips, mostly from Mad Men, which she used to illustrate larger creative processes or to explain what went into a particular scene.

I Predict a Riot!

Hey music lovers! Swine flu got you down? Never fear! We’ve got just the thing for you: Indie dance-rock maestros Ra Ra Riot, in concert at Castaways tonight at 9 p.m.! (Side effects may include head-bobbing, foot-tapping, uncontrollable laughing and crazy dancing. In some cases, these side effects may be severe. Please contact a medical professional for a foot-tap lasting more than four hours.) (Swine flu not included.)