Archive for the ‘About Us’ Category

The Time Has Come….

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

Great sports come from happy Trees. Happy Trees come from California.

the Walrus said,

“To blog of many things.

“Of classes, dorms and making friends

“Of packing many things

“Of why the 650 is hot and how to spread your wings.”


The big, crazy packing list has gone out to the incoming freshman class.  And if I know anything about the pre-college prep process, this means they’re freaking out because they don’t know how to sign up for classes, when to sign up for classes, what to pack, who their roommates will be, or how to do their laundry.

Have no fear, fif-TEEN!!  TUSB is here to answer all of your burning questions.  From now up until the first day of class, the few, the proud, and the bloggily-inclined shall step forth to save the freshies in distress and prepare them for the first of the best four years of their lives!

With topics as diverse as crazy Stanford acronyms, decorating tips, and been-there-done-that pointers from the older and wiser, we hope to sate the Stanford appetites of the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  If you’re an incoming freshman, feel free to comment below with topics you’re interested in, and we’ll do our best to cater to all your questions.  In the meantime, have a fantastic summer!

the TUSB Staff

Join the Blog!!

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

If you join TUSB, you, too, can have awesome Photoshop skillz like mine.

We’re having an informational meeting tonight at 9:15 p.m. in Old Union 216D.  If you’re interested in writing anything ever about anything, we want you!!

Bring a friend and spread the word.  There will be food and awesome people.  What more could you possibly want in life?

See you there!

The Stanford Duck Syndrome and Stress Strain

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Apparently, this year’s crop of frosh are super stressed out.  That, it seems, holds for much of Stanford – it’s Week 5 and the bikes at Green already are filling the designated parking.  (That’s not typical, I think).

Civil engineers worry a lot about stress (the pounds per square inch type).  The classic graph of civil engineering, in fact, is the stress-strain curve.  When you put a piece of metal under tension, it gets longer.  We call that change “strain.”  As you increase the stress (the amount of force per area) on a piece of metal, it will strain more and more – linearly with the amount of stress.  That is, if you double the stress, it will stretch twice as much.  The fancy name for that is “linear elastic” behavior.  At some point, the metal breaks down and will start stretching even as you apply the same amount of stress.  We call that the yield point – it can be seen on the graph below as the point where the curve goes horizontal.  If you strain the metal still further, it will become tougher and resist more stress (for a bit).  That’s called strain hardening.  Past that point, well, it breaks.

The Duck Syndrome is Stanford’s take on stress – be stressed out, but don’t show it!  It’s popped up recently in the campus literary magazine, which ran a front cover knock-off of Edward Muybridge’s horse study…as ducks. Anyways, the stress-strain curve is a nice way of thinking about the duck syndrome.  You apply a lot of stress, but people don’t yield.  They’ve got a very steep stress-strain curve (to get technical, a very high Young’s Modulus).    They probably have a yield point and probably some sort of strain hardening (the “ah, screw it I’mma stay up and get this done” moment).  And, much like the steel in bridges, well, we hope they don’t go much beyond that point.

In black, a classic stress-strain curve for steel. Notable is the linear-elastic region (the straight bit), the yield point (where it goes flat), strain hardening (where it gets stronger as it yields) and, well, fracture (the end of the line). Same thing for the Duck Syndrome, weirdly enough...

The Upgraded Version of The Unofficial Stanford Blog is Here!

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

After going to the drawing board, having Kevin code some stuff, returning to the drawing board, having Kevin code more stuff, etc. for a long period of time, we present TUSB 3.0: the newest version of The Unofficial Stanford Blog. We think it’s easier to use, more functional, and just overall a whole lot better.

You can do captions, too!

You can do captions, too!

Over the next few days, we will work to finalize the new site for the time being and try to make sure it has limited bugs. Let us know if you see something that looks awry by emailing us at and we will send our crack team of investigators to take a look.

Here’s some of the new features of the site:

New toolbar across the top:  Your one-stop shop for easy navigation between the blog, the events calendar, features, about us, sign up, and our newest addition, the free stuff tab (coming soon).

New header: People hated the old header. People hated the header before that. There’s really nowhere to go but up. For those who are curious, the little upside-down man is our unofficial new mascot–it is a reference to the statue of Louis Agassiz that fell headless into the cement after the 1906 earthquake. We think it’s pretty nifty, funny, unofficial, etc.


Growing Pains–Comments Section Misbehaving

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Our commenting feature–which was working fine up until recently–seems to have started acting haywire and not processing comments. If you had a comment that did not appear, it’s not because we didn’t want it–it just seems to have been lost en route. We are working on fixing this issue as soon as possible!
In the meantime, hold on to your comments and comment away when our team of dedicated technology experts races in to fix the problem. And if you see any other bugs or errata, please email us at
UPDATE: Thanks to some basic logic from Kevin, comments are good to go. Go for it!

TUSB 2.0: Our New Look

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

new logo.pngFor the past few weeks, we’ve been working hard to upgrade our site to make it more useful, more functional, and more aesthetically pleasing. We hope the new site has achieved these three goals, and more, and we encourage you to give us feedback at
Enjoy these new features:
New masthead: That vectorized palm tree just had to go.
New tabs on the left-hand side: These tabs allow you to navigate easily around the site. Check out the ‘events’ tab (coming soonworking great!) for an up-to-date, inclusive events calendar so you never miss a cool event or performance; go to the ‘features’ tab for recurring signature TUSB posts (such as our pre-quarterly Course Guide or Charlie’s weekly TUSGraph); and join us or find out more with the ‘about us’ and ‘sign up to blog’ tabs.
Recent comments: Find out what people are saying right on the front page.
Social Media links: Follow us off-the-blog at Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Flickr, or get our RSS feed.
A Cleaner Interface: Enjoy looking at the blog while you read it. In particular, note the new drop-down menus for ‘archives’ and ‘categories’.
Student blogs: We want to highlight individual Stanford student blogs on our blogroll. If you have a blog you want to nominate for our ‘student blogs’ section, let us know!
Special thanks to KevinL and MikeL for working so hard on getting this whole redesign and running.
And finally, if you spot any bugs, email us as soon as possible, and we will fix that as soon as possible. Enjoy!

We’re on Twitter!

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Yup, you can catch us on twitter now. ( So if you aren’t on twitter yet, you should be!
Tangent: I was thinking about what could have improved Toby’s chances of winning the Heisman, and I found this. If Toby makes this video, he wins the Heisman….easy.

Read the Defense!

Come learn about being a part of TUSB!

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

We at The Unofficial Stanford Blog are holding an open information this Thursday (tomorrow) at 9 pm–come join us to learn more about the blog and how you can contribute. Or just come for some free food.
Come learn more about The Unofficial Stanford Blog at an open, non-obligatory, more-fun-than-doing-homework information session.
No matter what your interests are–be they writing or blogging or photography or videography or investigative journalism or web design or food or movies or famous professors or exploring the Stanford campus or any topic or medium, really–the Unofficial Stanford Blog has plenty of opportunities for you to create and contribute.
It will be held:
this Thursday, January 7
at 9 pm in Old Union Room 200.

Showing up will grant you access to: free food; cool people; answered questions; opportunities to create a voice for yourself on whatever topic you are interested in.
Questions? Email Josh at And check us out online at

Why Blog? The Unofficial Stanford Blog Manifesto

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

A spectre is haunting Stanford–the spectre of blogging. Hey–if Karl Marx can be melodramatic, so can I.
A bunch of people have asked me (and other bloggers) a very simple question: why blog? And more specifically, why blog on The Unofficial Stanford Blog (TUSB)? Unfortunately, there is not just one good answer–there are a whole slate of reasons, any of which can influence a particular blogger. So, since I can never seem to adequately give all of the possible answers to the ‘why blog?’ question when it is asked, I decided to write it down. Then, given the nature of the document, I really had no choice but to post it on the blog. And hey–if Karl Marx can write a manifesto, so can I*.
The following is a list, in no particular order, of all of the reasons why I believe people should not only read and access TUSB but also feel encouraged to actually blog. If you have any that I didn’t think of, please comment them–I’d love to hear your feedback.
Anyone and everyone can blog about (almost) anything: The blog is open-content, meaning that anyone at Stanford that signs up to blog is able to post: TUSB is based upon the idea that everyone should have a platform to express their voice and talk about the things that they want. Once you sign up to blog, you are able to post whenever you want: you will be provided with some simple instructions and tips, and then are free to blog as you please. TUSB will not tell you what to write about, or how to write about it, or from what angle to approach the topic as long as it has at least some tangential relationship to Stanford, student life, academia, the Bay area, or something along these lines.
On top of this, there is no specific “style” a blog post must conform to–it can be short (a picture and a sentence is plenty) or long (do as you so desire), funny or serious, profound or superficial. It can be a straight interview, it can be a theoretical analysis of abstract concepts, it can be a logical argument, or it can be a news report. The blog is an open canvas, and bloggers are free to post in whatever way makes the most sense to them.


Comments Section Fixed–Comment Away!

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

With some way-over-my-head computer know-how, JohnC has helped fix the comments bug and so commenting is back up and running. Comment to your heart’s desire–even if you want to criticize.
Also check out the sleek new tags at the bottom of the posts on the front page–much more space conscious and aesthetically pleasing.

Commenting System Temporarily Not Working; Will Be Fixed Soon

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Those who have tried to comment since we upgraded have been redirected to a Page Not Found screen–this is a bug in the system, and we are currently working on getting this sorted out. Never fear–the comments will be up and running shortly.
Special thanks to Charlie for pointing this out. And if you ever notice any sort of system bug or content errata, do not hesitate to contact us at Or you can comment on the relevant entry–but you’re going to have to wait for the comments section to be up and running again.
Have a great Thanksgiving!

TUSB Thanksgiving Upgrades and Renovation

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

While everyone at Stanford takes a much-needed break for Thanksgiving, we at TUSB are using this break as an opportunity for a little fall cleaning and rejuvenation.
Today, we upgraded our blogging infrastructure to Movable Type 4, which will make blogging much easier and more straightforward. This upgrade also includes a number of useful features, including picture placement (left/center/right), which we never had before unless we finagled the html by hand.
We hope to also make some very noticeable changes to the viewable parts of the site: we are trying to reorganize and expand some of the content on TUSB and make it a more accessible and valuable resource for anyone at Stanford. And we also want to make it look snazzy, so a general positive overhaul is in the works.
Have a great Thanksgiving holiday, and keep checking the blog to see the new makeover and plenty of new content before the quarter is over!

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Blogging Guidelines and Suggestions

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

The staff of TUSB has been working to develop a series of guidelines and suggestions about blogging on TUSB. After some deliberation, we have decided the following:
The major rules of blogging on TUSB are outlined in the blogging agreement.
Additionally, some tips and reminders about blogging on TUSB (list created November 2009):


Starting Off the School Year Right at TUSB

Friday, August 31st, 2007

Hello all!
We at The Unofficial Stanford Blog want to welcome you to September 2007 because it marks the beginning of some exciting changes for us. Want to know more? Here we go:
We are so happy to see everybody post to this blog and read it as much as they do. Please continue to do so! As the school year resumes, don’t forget to point your friends toward us as a place for campus discussion unlike any other. For example, who else will be streaming live events on the web (with or posting immediate dialogue on campus events as they happen? Just us at the blog!
If you are a Stanford community member (student or otherwise), we wanted to remind you that positions are still open to help lead the blog — and we welcome your help. If you’re particularly interested in the arts or sports, or if you’re a typepad and/or wordpress expert, please drop us a line (blogforstanford at gmail dot com). We’d love your help in supporting and guiding our blogging community.
Finally, we are moving to a new subdomain (location) on the Stanford Web. Our new address will be starting September 15, and all of our previous content will be coming with us. Along with our new address (update your bookmarks!) we are planning redesigns for parts of the blog. For example, check out our new logo at the top of this post! We will be making newer and better changes as we can, and we are considering a switch from Movable Type to Word Press.
You can always reach us at blogforstanford at gmail dot com and we would love for you to tell us what you think about our new changes.
We will be out in force at the Activities Fair on the first Friday of classes, signing up new bloggers and getting out the word about our group. We can’t wait to see you there.

Who are your favorite bloggers? Let’s invite them to campus.

Thursday, July 5th, 2007

Next year, we’d like to invite some influential bloggers to campus to speak. If you had your pick, who would you invite?