Author Archive - Guest Writer

About Guest Writer:

We've had a lot of writers in the past, so we've consolidated some of our alumni into a "guest writer" author account to make it easier to browse writers. The Guest Writer account is also the way in which we feature authors who have coordinated with our team to write a special piece. Enjoy!

The Red Couch Project: A Student-Run Production Collective for Independent Artists

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
The Red Couch

The Red Couch

Being an independent artist (read: not affiliated with a department) isn’t easy on this campus. Space and resources are  slim pickins, and even if you manage to know the right people to book a venue and get the right gear, it’s tough to get students to commit to come out. We’re all spread a little too thin, and sometimes you even have miss your best friend’s performance.

This is where the Red Couch Project (RCP) comes in. RCP is a student-run production collective that will handle this whole mess. Can’t find a venue to perform at? We’ll find it for you or we’ll work with you to create one (i.e. impromptu outdoor session – Stanford is a beautiful campus). Worried people won’t be able to make it? We’ll record it for you and spread the word online. We’ve been capturing performances of independent musicians for almost three years now, and we’ve accumulated more than 65 videos of Stanford-affiliated musicians performing their work. Check out our videos.

So where does the ‘Red Couch‘ component come from? To us in RCP, it’s an icon that symbolizes how performances should always feel – intimate, personal, informal – like you’re sitting in your dorm room playing for your friends. In the past, we’ve had artists perform on the Red Couch because of the symbolism and, well….because it’s kind of just hilarious. Currently, the Red Couch lives in a little venue called Do.Art Galleria in the Mission in San Francisco. We moved the couch to provide Stanford artists with an opportunity to meet and perform with city artists who are doing art (in various forms) full-time.

And in case you’re easily bored by the constraints of furniture, we’ve started new “Off The Couch” sessions. In these sessions, we hop off the couch and explore some unique and unusual collaborations rather than capturing live concerts. You can check out the latest one below – it involves a dancer improving to the music of a cellist and guitarist in an empty yoga studio. 

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YouTube Direkt

As we all know (but apparently the rest of the world doesn’t), Stanford is not just a tech-startup incubator with a football team. There are a ton of passionate and talented artists of all kinds on this campus, and RCP is here to support them in ways that the university currently isn’t.

Red Couch Project on Facebook

Wanna get involved with RCP? Contact Danny Smith at dsmith11@stanford.edu

Startups that Make a College Student’s Life Easier

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

“Baby, you can drive my car….” P2P car-sharing company Wheelz launched at Stanford last fall.

Kevin Hsu is a sophomore at Stanford studying electrical engineering. An avid tech enthusiast, he regularly reads technology blogs because they inspire him to think about how current technology can be applied in new ways.  Kevin writes for TheDishDaily.

Visiting home this Thanksgiving break has reminded me how grateful I am for my family and friends. Being a college student in an increasingly technology-driven world, I would also like to extend my appreciation to the following companies, for delivering on the promise of technology in making our lives easier:

1)     Spotify: I still remember the days when I manually managed my music libraries. The music-streaming program Spotify has made that a thing of the past. With Spotify, I am able to listen to almost any song I want for free, and the emphasis on playlists makes organization easy. I maintain different playlists for different moods I am in, like studying and relaxing. The ability to share and receive songs with friends, and discover new songs makes this the only music program I need. Because I usually have my laptop with me on a Wifi-blanketed campus, I am currently not paying for Spotify Premium. Over the summer when I was interning in the Bay area, I did subscribe for offline music during my commute.

2)     Amazon: Living on a college campus, I turn to Amazon for most of my shopping needs. I used to dread online shopping because of the long shipping times, but free two-day shipping has all but erased that. What started out as a student trial of Amazon Prime turned into a subscription, and I don’t regret it at all. I am able to quickly receive items without ever having to step foot off campus. The ability to create recurring shipments for my frequently used items is especially useful. I have snacks, tissues, and toothpaste automatically arrive once every few months; that’s one less thing I have to worry about.

3)     Wheelz: I don’t keep a car on campus, but for the times when I want to go off campus, I use Wheelz. This car sharing service enables me to rent a car and grab a bite or go on spontaneous adventures with friends at any time. My favorite thing about Wheelz is the variety of cars it offers. Sometimes, I like renting a Toyota Rav4 because I used to drive one, and it brings back nostalgic memories of outings back home. Other times, I try out a car I have never driven, or rent a larger car if I want to take more people. Good customer service, a well-designed mobile app with remote unlocking, and low prices make Wheelz my primary car-rental service.

4)     Lastly, I appreciate the companies working to bring futuristic technologies into today’s society. As technology becomes increasingly advanced, I believe that the future lies in unobtrusively integrated devices that make our lives easier. Google’s Project Glass and driverless cars, and a new wave of wearable sensor and home automation products from companies such as FitBit and Electric Imp, are doing just that, and they have me excited for what the future of technology holds. Maybe one day, we will be able to seamlessly interact with the vast amount of information on the Internet, or self-driving cars will completely eliminate traffic– now there’s a dream.

Freshmen, Welcome to the RED ZONE

Friday, October 5th, 2012

RedZone demonstration of the loud, proud first-down cheer.

Daniel Kozlowski is Vice Chairman of the Stanford Axe Committee, the student group responsible for the protection of Stanford’s most prized possession “The Stanford Axe.”

Welcome, freshmen. I hope you have enjoyed your first three weeks here at Stanford.  I remember this being an exciting time for me two years ago.  I was in a new, interesting, exciting, and fun place with some of the most articulate, intelligent, and friendly 18-22 year olds in the world (pat on back).  I had just turned in my first PSET and finally had a vague understanding of where my classes were.  It was also around this time that Stanford Stadium hosted its first football home game when school was in session.  It was a big game…not THE BIG GAME (that came later in the year, in which we clobbered that other school across the Bay 48-14 and got back the Axe).

Our beloved Cardinal were playing the University of Spoiled Children Southern California Trojans.  Stanford hadn’t beaten the Trojans in Stanford Stadium since 2000, a full decade prior; needless to say, the excitement was palpable.  A back-and-forth game between the two teams featured some heavy hitting (by a quarterback-turned-linebacker) and its fair share of drama.  The game came down to Stanford kicker Nate Whitaker, who earlier in the game had missed a PAT that stood as the lone difference in a 35-34 game.  Turning from goat to hero, Whitaker split the uprights and gave Stanford the win it had been waiting ten years for.  Fans, many of them students, came rushing onto the field as the Cardinal celebrated its victory.

Side Note: Since then, we have extended our win streak against USC to four (the longest ever) and won eleven regular-season games in back-to-back years (before 2010, we had never won more than nine games in a season), leading to two BCS Bowl appearances (2011 Orange Bowl, 2012 Fiesta Bowl).  Stanford has become a football powerhouse.

That game was Stanford’s closest (and most exciting) of the 2010 season, made all the more special because of the support of the RED ZONE (the student section), which can actually affect the outcome of games: loud crowds cause opponents to incur False Start and Delay of Game penalties; they also throw off the opponent’s rhythm and give the defense a tactical advantage.  Our alumni, awesome as they are, are not the best at being loud; sometimes, they need a push.  The RED ZONE gives them that push.  Here are some DOs and DON’Ts for the student section that will help our team win on Saturdays:

DO

  • Come to all the home games and the Big Game (which is at Cal’s newly-renovated-but-still-crappy Memorial Stadium this year). This week we have a home game against Arizona (Kickoff at 12PM on Saturday).
  • Attend the viewing parties on the Row and show that we support our team even when they aren’t playing at home.
  • Wear Cardinal Red (or some color in the red family) on game day.
  • Yell/cheer/make noise (bang on the seat backs, shake maracas, perform light construction work with a jackhammer, etc.) while we are on DEFENSE, especially on 3rd and 4th downs.
  • Be respectful of the opposing team’s fans. Stanford is a world-class institution and you, as students of the University, should represent it with pride and class. (more…)

The Rice is Right: Why We Should Follow the Ambassador’s Ideas for Sudan Policy

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

By Marloes and Judith Sijstermans, student anti-genocide activists

UN Ambassador Susan Rice '86 has followed through with the advice she gave at her commencement address. (Photo: L.A. Cicero)

When U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice (Class of ’86) returned to Stanford to deliver the 2010 commencement address, she urged graduates to work towards positive change in the world. This week, she has backed up those words.

When General Scott Gration, US Special Envoy to Sudan, proposed a policy towards Sudan that would sideline Darfur completely, Rice spoke out as the lone dissenting voice defending millions of Sudanese people. Activists around the country have joined Rice in standing against the proposed plan, which continues the use of only positive incentives rather than consequences in dealing with Khartoum. Anti-genocide activists, including us students, are calling for President Obama to live up to his promises and to make this critical choice a positive turning point in Sudan policy. He has said, “I don’t intend to abandon people or turn a blind eye to slaughter.”

But Gration’s proposed plan for Sudan does just that. This new policy proposal deemphasizes the genocide in Darfur and contains few solid consequences. Like the World War II era policy of appeasement, Gration supports positive incentives for the Sudanese government if the January referendum goes smoothly. However, negotiation with Khartoum has proven to be an ineffective method in curbing violence, genocide and, corruption.

This year’s April elections were neither fair nor free, reelecting Omar al Bashir through a flawed and corrupt process. The Sudanese government has broken peace agreements time after time, and the violence and destruction continues in Sudan.
(more…)

Dissertations Going Online

Monday, November 16th, 2009

The paperless trend has taken another leap forward at Stanford: doctoral dissertations, the lengthy piles of paper that culminate the work of Stanford PhD students, will now be published online.
Unsurprisingly, Stanford mega-start-up Google is behind the new idea, which makes Stanford “the first university to take the whole dissertation approval and publishing process electronic.” The new paperless plan also saves money (printing and distribution costs), space (our library is only so big), and makes it much simpler to view and read published dissertations.
The only problem: nobody really wants to read dissertations.

An Even More Unfortunate Letter to Have Gone Missing

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Stanford likes to outdo itself: as such, if the previous blog post of a Stanford typo was decently unfortunate, a recent typo in a Daily column by Shelley Gao makes it seem downright innocuous.
From her article The GAO Report (Beltway Edition): More Pantsuits in the Halls of Power (why is GAO capitalized? It’s not an acronym):
We can look to other institutions for inspiration. For the most part of this week, I was in Cambridge visiting Harvard. The Kennedy School of Government’s “Women and Pubic Policy Program” (WAPPP) is an ideal model, as it fulfils the gap in the gender discourse at Stanford.
Yeah, I didn’t notice it the first time I read the paragraph either. But as it turns out, The Kennedy School’s program suddenly seems much more appealing to me. Grad school, anyone?
Thanks to commenter “bubba,” the only person to comment on the article, for pointing this out.

Stanford-students’ FB app gets rid of coding for app-makers

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

It’s that time of year again…no not Thanksgiving…well, yes, but also….(drum roll) the Facebook fbFund competition! The competition is an opportunity for new entrepreneurs to receive funding for applications they have created. It may seem hard, but the purpose of this competition is to bring new depth to the incredibly deep pool of apps that already exist on Facebook. The 2nd round of the competition is going on right now between 25 apps that have been selected out of a group of over 600. The top 5 of these remaining apps that get the most votes by Nov. 30 will receive over $225,000 in funding.
I was browsing through the apps in this year’s competition — which range from apps where you can “give thanks” or create digital wedding books to those letting you browse wine lists or compare prices. One of the stand-outs this year is an application called Daikon. This app was made by Stanford students (surprise, surprise), and is in fact the only Stanford-submitted app in the competition (this surprised me, given all the application hype going on last year on campus). The basic idea behind Daikon is that it lets you build your own application without any coding or programming knowledge whatsoever. Think DreamWeaver but for Facebook. Yes, you can get your friends to add the app after you make it, and yes, you can publish it in the Facebook app directory so strangers can add it too.
In terms of functionality, the apps you create with Daikon can do a wide range of things: from selling t-shirts to promoting an event for a student group to even making a Hannah Montana fan club. What’s cool is that you can actually make useful stuff that helps in daily life (yes, Hannah Montana is important). The app interface is good, but I did have difficulty figuring out how to actually get my finished app published on Facebook. Fortunately the developers included a step-by-step wizard to help you when you get to this part. Overall I liked this app a lot, and would love to see it become a permanent fixture of FB. My advice to the makers –- add more widgets and templates to let people create more types of apps. I give Daikon a rating of 8 out of 10.
You non-engineering majors should check it out here (just kidding engineers — you can check it out too)
And vote for it in this year’s competition
Here’s the promo:

Daikon from Yuri Yamaguchi on Vimeo.

Are Oil Prices Rigged?

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Presented in TIME Magazine under the title Are Oil Prices Rigged?, the controversial Officer-Hayes Hypothesis claims that oil producers have artificially boosted prices by speculating in the oil futures market. It relies on the fact that the futures market is smaller than the physical oil market, so it is in an oil supplier’s interest to boost prices in the smaller, price-setting market.
In light of the realization that one firm did, in fact, control 11% of the oil futures market, Officer-Hayes has proved plausible.
Ari J. Officer studies financial mathematics Garrett J. Hayes studies materials science and engineering at Stanford.
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Your Housing Assignment

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

Friday, August eighth was a monumental day for the incoming freshman of the Class of 2012. Tears were shed in both glee and sorrow. Since the last mailing received on June 27th, the incoming frosh, including myself, have all been anticipating the day where yet another piece of information would be shared to bring us closer to New Student Orientation on September 16th. Rooming assignments haunted me since August began: would I be roomed near my Admit Weekend friends, in THE Branner, the dorm every incoming frosh seemed to be hoping for, near the library, or in the middle of nowhere? Nightmares seemed to occur each night, in which my roommate was incompatible with me and everyone in my dorm was rude, introverted, and unhygienic. Well, this message came rather rapidly, appearing in our stanford webmail inboxes. I immediately clicked on the link to see my future.

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ASES SUMMIT 2008 | Stanford University

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

http://www.stanford.edu/group/asessummit/webe-flyerasessummit2008.jpg
ASES SUMMIT 2008
APRIL 6-12, 2008

“Fostering a Global Entrepreneurial Community”
asessummit.stanford.edu | ases.stanford.edu
* Keynote and Speaker Events are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC *
Scott D. Cook
Founder, Intuit, Inc.

Monday, April 7, 2008
5:15-6:30PM | Building 320, Room 105, Stanford University
Link to map: http://campus-map.stanford.edu/index.cfm?ID=01-320
Daniel Walker Former
Chief Talent Officer, Apple, Inc.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008
6:00-7:15PM | Building 420, Room 041, Stanford University
Link to map: http://campus-map.stanford.edu/index.cfm?ID=01-420
Munjal Shah, CEO, Like.com Inc.
Vineet Buch, Principal, BRV

Wednesday, April 9, 2008
1:00-2:15PM | CIS-X Auditorium, Stanford University
Link to map: http://campus-map.stanford.edu/index.cfm?ID=01-370
Adeo Ressi
Founding Member, TheFunded.com

Thursday, April 10, 2008
6:00-7:30PM | Building 370, Room 370, Stanford University
Link to map: http://campus-map.stanford.edu/index.cfm?ID=01-370
Joel Peterson
Lead Director, jetBlue Airways

Friday, April 11, 2008
5:00-6:45PM | Building 550, Room 550A, Stanford University
Link to map: http://campus-map.stanford.edu/index.cfm?ID=02-550
ASES SUMMIT 2008 Stanford Directors: Christian Tabing, ’09; In Ho Lee, ’09; and Wen Qi Chin, ’09.

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iPhone Developer’s Kit Released to Third Parties

Monday, March 10th, 2008

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Last week, on March 6, Apple released the developer’s kit for the iPhone. With this kit, Apple has handed the keys of the iPhone to developers, opening up the device to third party applications.
This is a huge step in the evolution of the iPhone. Already hugely successful, the iPhone boasts sales numbers of 4 million units, second only to RIM, the maker of the Blackberry. With the release of the developer kit, the iPhone will be able to have expandability previously unseen. Up until now, all iPhone applications were web-based, or they were small fringe applications hacked together by a small community. Apple’s newly released developer’s kit allows programmers to tap into the iPhone and use its resources to their full potential.
With the addition of third party applications, the iPhone looks much more attractive. Many people held off on the iPhone because of its previous lack of third party applications, and understandably so. Often times, it is the third party applications that make a device useful or desirable, and without it, we would be stuck with what Apple wanted to give us. New possibilities are available now. AOL plans its instant messaging client for the iPhone. A PDA medical software company promises to create a application that allows doctors to identify pills with the iPhone. Also, several games have been ported, in just two weeks. SEGA’s “SuperMonkeyBall” and EA’s “Spore” have been ported in just two weeks. Both of these games use the iPhone’s built-in accelerometer for the controls.
Many iPhone owners, myself included, have been waiting the the release of the iPhone for the support of third party applications. The software update that supports third party applications will be released in late June and will also be available for the iPod Touch for a fee. The following months should be very exciting for iPhone owners…

Eating (or not) at Stanford

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

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I’ve been thinking about nutrition a lot lately. Academic-wise, there is Michael Pollan’s visit to Stanford today (“In Defense of Food: The Omnivore’s Solution” 7:30 PM in Kresge), dining room discussions of recent articles in the New York Times about stigmas associated with subsidized public school lunches and (separately) “drunkorexia”. On campus, we have Stanford’s “Be Well” initiative, my post about the deceptively high caloric meals at the Axe & Palm, Manzanita’s Week of Wellness, and Mirror’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week events last week.
Stanford seems to present a health goal for its students and staff. Be Well. Get $150. But this message comes at students in a very confusing way:

Stanford Dining Halls serve healthy food! Stanford Dining halls serve pizza! Pizza has fewer calories than the pasta dish! You are required to eat at Stanford Dining if you live in a dorm, even if you have many specific dietary needs! Be well! Eat vegetables! Stanford Dining vegetables are covered in sticky sweet “sauce”! Salad bar vegetables are unripe! Eat from the salad bar if you are vegan! Eat fruit – we have the same bananas, apples, and oranges year-round, but if you rush to Branner Dining when it opens you might even get some grapes from the garnish on the brownie plate! Check out the nutritional content online! Eat the high calorie protein entrées because you have no other dining option! Be fit! Exercise! Our facilities are conveniently open all day long, so you can exercise anytime of the day . . . or multiple times a day . . . or go at times when your RA and roommates aren’t awake to notice . . .

Oh yeah, and don’t have an eating disorder. Love your body?
Perhaps I’m being cynical, but these messages are thrown around everywhere, and it scares me. I spoke on the closing panel for the Manzanita Week of Wellness mentioned above. The attendance was primarily staff interested in the primarily staff-targeted Be Well campaign. While mingling before the event, Stanford Dining catering services brought out a standard arrangement of fruits, cheese, crackers, crudités, and cookies. The staff and student presenters snacked while talking, but it seemed that half of the staff discussion was on the food. Comments like “Oh you’re having a cookie – that’s not necessarily wellness, is it?” and “That cheese looks amazing, but I can’t allow myself to have any!” dominated about half of the conversation.
As the staff socially supported one another in avoiding, or eating half of, the cheese, crackers, cookies, and fruit, I felt horrified. These are the sorts of comments and behaviors I recognize in people with eating disorders. These are the comments I was supposed to interrupt and educate about when I worked at a youth center. These comments are being passed down through the Stanford Be Well Initiative, to staff, to the student presenters on this panel. RFs were either making these comments, or implicitly supporting them with silence.
When Stanford freshmen arrive with their not-quite-developed prefrontal cortexes they don’t necessarily get the right tools to make good lifestyle patterns. Set loose into this mixed-messages world with little or no experience in meal planning, they get sucked into either the trap of desperately avoiding the Freshman 15, or into the trap of assuming cafeteria food is healthy and gaining weight – both resulting in skewed ideas of how to lose weight.
Perhaps the recent obsession with food discussion here and elsewhere is the result of factors like the end of Lent approaching, diet resolutions from the new year failing, people concerned about looking good in a bathing suit, etc. But I think it isn’t the result of a sudden change in personal attitude and behavior. People are becoming more and more comfortable talking about their personal dieting patterns. Is this increased discussion and social focus on how to eat better helping or hurting the prevalence of disordered eating?

Queer (In)Formal

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

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Queer Formal, an annual dance held in Winter quarter, was on Friday at the GCC. I didn’t attend this year. I have attended in the past, but this year I had no desire to go. I didn’t really realize why until an hour before the event was supposed to start. My house threw a large happy hour as a preparty to the formal. The e-flyer for the formal said:

COME GET YOUR FREAK ON AND LEAVE TO DO THE HORIZONTAL HOKEY POKEY WITH SOMEBODY NEW (or old, or blue, or borrowed)!
*drag is highly encouraged*

So naturally the attire of all the people in my lounge en route to the GCC was . . . a strange mix of formal wear and “crazy fun drag wear”. Granted, there were a couple of fiercely beautiful queens in formal wear. But the overall feel was very much a freak show feeling to me – complete with straight guys in drag. I still don’t know how I feel about that co-optation of an element of queer resistance against a repressive straight society by straight people at a queer event. I’m happy when people fight gender roles, but I’m somewhat offended when it’s done by those who don’t understand the meaning and history – at a queer event, I suppose.
I guess what got me the most about Queer Formal this year was that it was marketed in a way that turned it from a formal into any other hypersexualized and freaky fun queer party. Don’t get me wrong, I love those parties, which is good because queers hold a lot of them. But Viennese Ball was also on Friday.
Viennese Ball, probably the most formal dance event Stanford holds, is a very romantic, fun, and formal affair. But just by the nature of the dance (tuxes and gowns, leads and follows, etc), the entire event is very gendered to fit a straight society, and I know lots of queer people who are hesitant to attend. Two boys (or girls) in tuxes dancing together at this event would stand out much more than at a Queer Formal. I know that it’s likely it wouldn’t be an issue for same sex or same gender pairings at Viennese Ball, but many people in the LGBTQ community are very nervous about attending these “very straight” events because of past incidents, current climates, etc.
So the only option for a guaranteed queer-friendly formal event at Stanford is Queer Formal . . . or at least it was. Now, as my friends who attended report, “It was just another queer freakshow.” Will we get more respect when we can demonstrate to the rest of the world that even we love romance, and getting dressed up to take out a sweetheart? Or will we be constantly doomed to prejudices of freakness or hypersexuality that we ultimately take up as a defensive measure?
I want a real Queer Formal. There is nowhere else to get this. I can wait until Genderfuk, Terra Parties, Queer parties, any weekend night in the Castro for tongue-in-cheek-drag and “horizontal hokey-pokey”. Perhaps I’m just old-fashioned.

Microsoft makes a $44.6 billion bid for Yahoo

Monday, February 4th, 2008

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On Friday, software giant Microsoft offered $44.6 billion dollars to buy enough stock to take control of Yahoo! in an effort to better compete with internet giant Google.
This makes me uneasy.
A Microsoft acquisition of Yahoo would remove a major player in the internet landscape, merging it into the ever spreading software company. This is just plain bad for us–the consumers. We benefit from Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo competing for our attention. As one company innovates, it pushes the others to adapt. And we get better services. Microsoft taking out Yahoo would lead one less reason for Microsoft and Google to develop better technology for its customers. We lose.
And why is Microsoft even trying to compete with Google? Microsoft is a software company at heart, not an advertising company like Google. They aren’t in direct competition. Microsoft’s recent foray into web search and advertising services can be considered as a hobby…at best. They can boast control of about 7% of the internet search market share. Google holds 65%. Microsoft should instead focus on what they do best–software.
Microsoft has had huge successes with its Windows operating system and its Office suite. They should stick to them. Microsoft keeps distracting itself with so many of these projects, resulting in a noticeable decline in quality in the rest of Microsoft’s products. Microsoft’s latest Windows Vista operating system, its main revenue source, is a blatant example. As Vista fails to satisfy customers due to its poor quality, Apple’s OS X and even Linux gain market share, chipping away at Microsoft’s iron grip on the operating system industry.
Microsoft acquiring Yahoo would not only create an increasingly monopolistic internet, but it would cause a thinly stretched Microsoft to deliver increasingly sub-par software to its customers. Microsoft acquiring Yahoo would not be bad new for Google, it would be bad news for us–the customers.

The Axe & Palm’s Hidden Calories

Monday, February 4th, 2008

Last year, Stanford Dining began publishing the menus and nutritional information of their dining halls on its website. Since I ate in Branner and Wilbur dining halls exclusively, reading the nutritional information of the foods Stanford Dining requires all dorm dwellers to purchase made me rather queasy. Each entree offered often approached 600 calories, and sometimes more. After totaling the calories and fat consumed during my average dining hall meal, I started substituting salads and cereal, resenting the fact that I was required to pay $10 each dinner to eat Raisin Bran.
I moved into a co-op this year and I thought my connection to Stanford Dining would be minimal, limited only to eating occasionally at Tressider, the Axe & Palm and Olives. After reading the Daily article about the Axe & Palm’s plans to renovate their menu with fresher alternatives, I wanted to look and see how healthy their menu truly is. After all, apart from the lack of vegetarian options, many of their salads, sandwiches, and breakfast items sound reasonably healthy and “Californian”.

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Looking at the nutritional chart was surprising. The Turkey Pesto Melt is deceptively over 750 calories and provides all of the protein you need in a day. A California Cobb Salad is 905 calories. Even not-completely-healthy menu items seem exorbitantly caloric. The Chicken Quesadillas are over 700 calories as well. The 50-50 Onion Rings and Fries Combo is reported to be over 1300 calories.
These food items, teamed with the many sweet offerings in the 400-800 calorie range, make a chain like Subway much more appealing. It’s possible that the caloric analysis of the Axe & Palm may not be completely accurate, but if this is the case, how can we be sure what truly is healthy?
What implications does this have for the students required to eat central to the Quad for classes? Is Stanford Dining irresponsible for offering such unhealthy food in the first place? Could this have implications for those with restrictive eating, or provoke this behavior in others by providing a sense that there is no such thing as a healthy meal at Stanford?