Category Archives: cambridge

October Update: California, Lampoon, Creative Commons…

Its been a while since my last post, but not for lack of things to say. Instead, my bandwidth for online activity has been consumed by two other endeavors. First, I gave the Harvard Lampoon website a complete redesign using Drupal. Its still very much a work in progress, and considering my attention span, it may stay as such for a while. But check it out, as we plan to update the content quite frequently (including comics illustrated by yours truly).

However, despite what my recent contributions to the Lampoon may seem, I am not back in Cambridge. My love affair with California is still going strong and I’ve decided to stay in Berkeley for the semester. Peace out, Puritans. Hello, beautiful hippie people.

And what have I been doing out here? Besides making lots of friends, art, and sourdough, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been hired as a Business Development Assistant for Creative Commons, the awesome organization I interned with over the summer. I blog for them a couple times a week, so that’s definitely been eating into the energy I have for this site. More to come on what else I’ve been working on there, but for now I should mention that we just launched our Annual Fall Fundraising Campaign, and along with it, a slick site redesign. Those of you already familiar with the great work CC is doing, consider making a donation!

Support CC - 2007

For the uninitiated, this video is a pretty good introduction to what Creative Commons is all about:

What’s the Matter With College?

It usually pisses me off when old[er] people, particularly from publications like the New York Times, write about what’s wrong with the kids today. But despite a couple paragraphs of smug nostalgia in the beginning, Rick Perlstein’s essay What’s the Matter with College? strikes pretty close to my own experiences and observations.

Doug Mitchell was beaming, but his face fell when I told him about my conversation the previous evening with Hamilton Morris, a New Yorker finishing up his first year of college. His parents make documentary films. He attended a high school of the arts where “they sort of let me do whatever I wanted.” He is a filmmaker, painter, photographer, an experienced professional standup comedian. His life pre-college was exceptionally fulfilling, and he expected it to remain so here at one of the nation’s great universities. Then what happened?

“I hated it from the first day,” he told me. “People here are so insanely uncreative, and they’re proud of it.” His fellow students “had to spend their entire high school experience studying for the SATs or something and didn’t really get a chance to live life or experience things.”

What’s most harrowing was Hamilton’s matter-of-fact description of a culture of enervation – “that so many people hate it with a passion and don’t leave.” I heard similar things from several bright, creative searchers on campus – the kind of people in whom I recognized my own (and Doug Mitchell’s) 19-year-old self. I sat down with a group of them at the Medici Cafe, a campus fixture for decades, and they described college as a small town they’re eager to escape. “Everyone I talk to has that kind of feeling in their bones,” Mike Yong, a Japanese literature student, insisted. “Even if they’re going into investment banking.” Someone offered the word “infantilizing.” Murmurs of assent, then the word “emasculating,” to even louder agreement. One even insisted his process of political, social and creative awakening had happened, yes, during college – but not because of college, but in spite of it.

The Times is sponsoring an essay contest for students to respond. I don’t have much to say as, sadly, I pretty much agree with everything Perlstein says. On the other hand, I don’t see this as so tragic: My generation gets to have its “political, spiritual, and creative awakening” about 4 years earlier, and it happens for free on the Internet instead of inside the gates of exclusive campuses. Unfortunately, it seems like for many of my peers this awakening will never come, but that probably was always the case.

[via NYT’s Magazine College Essay Contest]

Come see my film & animation on Friday!

spacegirl screenshot

Its been nearly a month since my last post, and not without reason. Nearly all of my time has gone into two semester-long projects, a 16mm documentary film on the Salvation Army in Central Square and a hand-drawn cell animation, both of which will be screened Friday.

Friday 11:30am-3pm
Animation Party and Screening (bring friends for food + animation)
11:30am-1pm – Thai food on the first floor of the Carpenter Center
1pm-3pm – all animation from the spring semester classes will be screened

Friday 7pm-10:30pm
Screening of intermediate and thesis film, video, animation projects in the large theater in the basement of the Carpenter Center

Only my animation will be screened in the afternoon screening, while both of my projects will be shown in the first half of the evening program. The evening program is supposedly ticketed, but if you arrive on time you will probably get a seat even without one. Or let me know and I can try to get you a ticket.

Hope to see you there!

wear red today


Harvard Day of Dissent

Today, Tuesday, March 20

Over 3,200 U.S. troops and 655,000 Iraqis have died as a result of violence since the beginning of the war on March 20, 2003.*

This Tuesday, students all across the country are speaking out on the 4th anniversary of the war. You can be one of them.

Schedule of Events:

10:00-1:00 – Science Center – Stop by the display to pick up anti-war patches and posters. Wear/post/spread your dissent.

12:00-12:45 pm – Vigil for Peace at the Harvard Divinity School.

1:00 pm – RALLY & SPEAKOUT at the SCIENCE CENTER. Come voice your opinion and hear faculty, students, and veterans speak out.

2:00-9:00 pm – CANDLELIGHT VIGIL on the steps of Memorial Church. Reading of the names of 3,000 US soldiers and 3,000 Iraqis dead.

All day – WEAR RED to protest the continuing bloodshed in Iraq.

And get ready for another big protest March 24th in Boston Common

*Figures from Iraq Coalition Casualties ( and the Johns Hopkins study of Iraq mortality published in The Lancet:

Opening Up To Open Access

Free Culture talk this Wednesday:

Opening Up to Open Access Flier

Governments worldwide invest billions of dollars in research every year. Yet the results of this research— a treasury of medical knowledge— are mostly privately owned and sold only to those who can afford the costly article fees or journal subscriptions. While there have been several movements in the scientific community to fix this problem, solutions for the social sciences and humanities have not been explored in depth.

Opening Up to Open Access
A Discussion with Gavin Yamey, Public Library of Science

Wednesday, March 14, 2007
7:30 – 8:45 PM
Sever 202, Harvard University

Cookies, brownies, and drinks will be served.

Sponsored by the Berkman Center for Internet & Public Policy and Harvard College Free Culture

For more information about PLoS, please see


Plastic Approach

My friend & roommate, the lovely Karen Adelman, has an installation up this weekend. If you’re in or around Cambridge, you should check it out. I hear there will be tunnels.

an installation by karen adelman
in adams art space

OPEN Friday, March 9: 3-7pm
Saturday, March 10: 5-9pm
Sunday, March 11: 12-3pm

Adams Art Space is on Linden Street, but the gate is closed on the weekends so you have to enter through Adams House.