Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Top 10 Things I Observed While Sitting at The Claw

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

A couple days ago, I decided to break the time-honored tradition of napping until 9pm and actually spent my afternoon outside. I walked to The Claw and sat. Just sat and observed. And I sat on that stone bench for almost three hours, as sunlight, water mist, and teenage pheromones bathed my skin. Here are a few observations I made during that time:

10. There are a lot of BMX riders on campus

Things needed to do this: 1. helmet 2. shin guards 3. severe disregard for gravity

Does Stanford attract more thrill-seeking cyclists during the summer, or are they more visible because there are fewer people on campus? I saw a least 4 different BMXers pass through my perch outside the bookstore. Gnarly.

 

9. People run

This is nothing new; Stanford students can jog year-round, thanks to almost-perpetual sunshine and ample trails. But I’m not just talking about the running club (which I was inadvertently part of, as they apparently meet near where I was sitting), but random people. In jeans. One was running to the post office, ostensibly to mail a package before it closed. Another because–I’m not sure. It looked like he suddenly realized he could get places in less time by simply moving his legs faster. If time is money, and running saves time, then these people were coupons still ridiculous-looking.

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You Know You’re in Turkey When…

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

(An American of Turkish heritage in Turkey)

By: Peri Unver

*These observations are not generalizations but merely my own personal ones that I have made this summer.

1.  You take your life into your hands whenever you’re in a car as drivers think the middle of the
road is the way to go.  Also, it’s not a complete day until you’ve been honked at least forty times.

2.  You are greeted first by a hello, how are you, kiss on both cheeks, and a comment on how much
weight you’ve gained.

3.  You can fist-pump to the break-up songs.  At first, it’s hard to tell that the song is telling someone off and it’s unsettling to then hear “Shake your booty on the floor now” (inevitably in the remix).

4.  People on the street are gladly willing to help direct you someplace or help you get out of a
sticky parking situation.  However, smiling (especially in the grocery store) is seen as a sign of weakness.

5.  The food is mouth-watering good everywhere and hole-in-the-wall, home-food places are best
(as in New York).  Places to eat are so clean that even in the food court in the mall there are fresh, open salad bars and buffets.

6.  The color of the ocean simply cannot be replicated and it is easy to see why the name is
turquoise, or “Turkish blue.”  It is easy to scoff (especially when you’re from California) at those with surf boards asthere are no waves in Turkey.

7.  The understanding of making a line at a bank or another established location is a circle.

8.  The price of everything, from clothing to food, is negotiable.

9.  It is a prerequisite that you must be able to sing and dance in order to become a Turkish
citizen.  You must also know the lyrics to Turkish songs as questions about that are always asked on game shows.

10.  In almost anyTurkish home you enter someone will be able to read your fortune from Turkish
coffee grinds (“fal”).

11.  The concept of personal space is a foreign one in Turkey. Wherever you are, someone might be virtually sitting in your lap and not even notice it.

12.  When you are going to watch a show at night settle in because you’ll be there for the long
haul, at least three to four hours.  When asked if the show is still on the answer will always be yes.  (It’s no wonder when on the Turkish version of Wheel of Fortune one of the slots is “tell a secret” and song and dance breaks are taken frequently.)  Also, during commercial breaks, you can indeed make a sandwich, take a shower, visit a neighbor, and still be in time for the next portion of the show.

13.  The relatively new law (2005) requiring accessibility for people with disabilities unfortunately falls short, as I personally witnessed this summer as I used a wheelchair.  Almost everywhere is not
accessible and the ramps are of varying widths and scarily, angles.  (Places from the movie theater and even an orthopedist’s office have a hill of steps and no lifts, ramps, or even handrails.)

Even with all of its quirks, it is a beautiful country to visit with much history, nice people, and amazing food.  So hos geldiniz (welcome) to Turkiye!

#abroadproblems

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Major struggs.

Probably the most important aspect of the study abroad experience is the way in which you grow to learn and love a new culture and country.  Probably the most hilarious aspect is the constant slew of missteps and misadventures necessitated on this journey of cultural immersion.

Reflecting on my experiences and those of my friends studying abroad through BOSP, I’ve selected my favorite quotes from the amusing and humbling goof-ups we know all too well.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we do – add your own in the comments!

  • Telling a pregnant women she couldn’t sit down next to me on the S-Bahn because I didn’t understand what she said and I thought she was trying to sell me a book.  (Mark, Berlin)
  • New definition of success – crossing the street without dying  (Hannah, Beijing)
  • Walking onto the FKK side of the beach before realizing what FKK means….  (Maren, Berlin)
  • Wearing pyjamas or work-out clothes into an Oxford dining hall for breakfast  (Christina, Oxford)
  • 1. Acquire globe. 2. Apply to forehead. 3. Let the culture diffuse along the concentration gradient!

    2 weeks after coming to China, I started hella craving Panda Express  (Brian, Beijing)

  • Japanese people don’t like spicy food, and I am Mexican  (Christian, Kyoto)
  • Asking for the trash can instead of the check at a restaurant in Paris because your French is really rusty….  (Kristi, Berlin)
  • Waiting for the street vendor talking about you in Turkish to realize you also speak Turkish  (Deanna, Berlin)
  • “Excuse me, I have a question” and “please kiss me” sound way too similar, especially if your tones suck  (Brian, Beijing)
  • Ordering Soup as your “Hauptscheiße” instead of “Hauptspeise” at a restaurant in Munich  (Bailey, Berlin)
  • “So those sea cucumbers I ate mistaking them for fungi were plants right?… (wishful thinking)”  (Hannah, Beijing)
  • Getting carded in Germany… for buying BEER [you can legally buy beer in Germany at age 16 (Maren, Berlin)
  • Thinking YouTube is universal…   (Christina, Berlin)
  • When they run out of tomato sauce for pasta, they substitute with ketchup  (Brian, Beijing)
  • [editor’s favorite]  Toilet shelves.  Despair.  (Ashley, Berlin)

 

The 4th Annual Unabridged List of Suggested Dorm Themes

Monday, May 28th, 2012

As an RA this past year, I can tell you one thing: puns are hard. Coming up with a clever theme for your dorm is a lot of pressure, and can cause an unnecessary amount of stress (because heaven knows you won’t be stressed during the year). That’s where we at TUSB come in. Below, you’ll find perfectly useable themes for your dorm or house; upperclassmen, feel free to suggest them to your new house staff by emailing them nonstop and posting the themes you like on your houses’ Facebook groups. They really really like it when you do that. Trust me, I’m an RA.

This is the fourth iteration of the list (click to see the suggested themes from the first, second, and third), and the first without the guidance of the incomparable Josh Freedman, to whom I owe my career as a comedy writer (for the Robber Barons and TUSB), my ability to use WordPress, as well as my second-born child. Hope this lives up to your vision.

Special thanks to Jasmine Magbutay and the Robber Barons for your help and support; I cannot, in good conscience say that I thought up my personal favorite theme, and it makes me sad/so overwhelmingly joyful to admit that. Anyways, feel free to comment on your favorites, or suggest better themes for next year. Without further ado, here are the themes I am suggesting for the entire Stanford campus next year. RAs and house staff, let’s make this dream come true.

Arrillaga is so mainstream.

HipStern

LARKINSTAGRAM
SERRAMERICAN APPAREL
TWAINBLR
DONNIRONY
BURBAN(K) OUTFITTERS
ZAPATABLY NEVER HEARD OF IT…

Wilbur: Wilbur

SOTERO
OTERANCOS
TRANCSOTO
JUNIPERROYO
OKADARROYO
ARROYOTERO
CEDJRO
RINCOKADA

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How to Own the Stanford Housing Draw

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Okay, okay, I’m kidding. There’s no way to beat the draw. (I mean, it is just a random number that you have no control over. Sorry.) But you can do the next best thing: avoid it altogether. Put your housing out of the lottery system and into your own hands.

Disclaimer: This is written for those who want to live in a tier 1 or tier 2 house. If you’re into FroSoCo and the like (“FroSoCo and the like” meaning, uhm, just other tier-3 houses!), you can put your housing into pretty much anybody’s hands and you’d still be set.

French House is a Tier 1/2 house, but you just might be able to live here all 3 upperclass years...

So, let’s say you want to live in a tier 1 or 2 house all three upperclass years. You look at that recent Daily draw article and sigh. A 784 to get into Xanadu, a 1159 to get into Durand, and a 360 to get into French House… It doesn’t take a clairvoyant to see what’s happening if you get a 1500-3000 draw number: you’re not getting in. So what do you do? You don’t let it come to the draw at all. Here’s how:

1.      Staff (Tier 3)

Staffing is pretty much the sweetest deal ever. You get a single. You get paid. You get to plan what happens at your house (and have people listen to you, too). You get a leadership position for your resume. You get to brag to your friends about being on staff. You get to use tier 3, and still live wherever you want. Perfect, right? Right.

OK, there is a caveat – namely, you can apply for staff and not get selected. But there are so many houses, so many staff positions, and so many senior staff who have to be replaced that you probably will be selected. In fact, in my 2 years at Stanford, I’ve never heard of anybody applying for staff and not getting any staff position (but then again, I guess people wouldn’t exactly publicize that). But even if you don’t get selected, you’re not worse off than if you hadn’t applied for staff at all (well, ok, except for the bruised ego. But then just don’t tell anyone you were rejected and move on).

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The dreaded Stanford bike police…..(and how to escape!)

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Black and white, a terrorizing sight on campus!

They’re sly, they’re sneaky, and they give out tickets like nobody’s business! That’s right, I’m talking about the Stanford bike police. They’ve been out in force and recently I had the great honor of “chatting” with an officer as I was riding my bike at night without a light. As most Stanford upperclassmen know from experience and most freshmen and sophomores are learning the hard way, bike tickets seriously cramp everyone’s style! Expensive, time-consuming (if you choose to go to “ticket school”), and all around crappy. Now, if you follow the law (use a light at night, come to a full-stop at a stop-signs, don’t ride where you’re not supposed to, etc.), you should be fine and don’t need to read this. However, if you’re an anarchist bent on disobeying authority, this is definitely for you. Also, if you’re a regular Stanford student that makes a few mistakes now and then, you should probably keep reading.

DISCLAIMER: I do not endorse breaking the law, nor dishonesty. Use these tips at your own risk. If you get caught doing some of these your punishment will be far greater than if you hadn’t tried to be a bad-ass. Telling the officer that “Jesse said I could do it” will most definitely not work. Duh. The following tips are based on the experiences of myself and other undergrad Stanford students:

1.) Don’t be a dick

You have to realize that from the second a cop pulls you over, he has complete control. Even if you are completely innocent, I promise being rude will get you absolutely nowhere. In fact, just being rude may be warrant enough for the cop to give you some type of ticket. Sure, you may be able to get out of it down the road, but that doesn’t mean it won’t take a ton of your time and energy in letters and court appearances. Pulled-over? Suck it up, smile, and be polite.

2.) Be honest

Cops are not idiots. I promise. They give literally thousands of tickets a year, so your half-brained, split-second excuse is most likely not going to work. Depending on how crappy it sounds, it could end up with you getting a heavier fine/more unpleasant interaction. If you get pulled over it’s likely the first thing the officer will ask you is why you think he pulled you over. You have two options: tell him the truth (if you know), or tell him you’re not sure. Again with the whole idiots thing: if it’s super obvious (ex: blew a stop-sign where everyone else was stopped) and you say you’re not sure, that’s a pretty sure bet for a ticket. Oftentimes honesty can get you a long way with the police here, especially if you’re apologetic and polite. However, enforcement will rarely have mercy for bikers who don’t pay attention when they’re riding, and honestly they probably shouldn’t. In cases like these I recommend telling the truth, but putting your own spin on as to why you broke the law. Which leads me to point 3…. (more…)

Signs That Stanford Students Have a Sense of Humor

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Santa Teresa Avenue:

Tresidder Gym:

This Week in Stanford 3/19/12 – 3/23/12

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

This week is:

We’ll be back with Stanford news after Spring Break!

Pi Day, Pi Day, Gotta Get Down on Pi Day

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Stanford students get a little "irrational" about the pie generously provided by Stanford IEEE, producing a mini mob scene in the Packard building.

Got any nerdy pi jokes or factoids?  Share ’em in the comments!

Vicious Cycle

Monday, February 27th, 2012

[undeclaredcomics]

See also:  Why am I always tired?

 

Movies With Heart: Capping Off Valentine’s Day

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

As this Valentine’s Day is coming to a close why not wind down with a movie or two, or three?  Don’t worry, these aren’t the usual Nicholas Sparks picks.  Here is a quick list of movies, quirky and poignant, that won’t add to your toothache or your heartache.

“Lars and the Real Girl”:  Ryan Gosling is at his best (and his best is pretty darn good) in this touching, quiet movie.  This sleeper was overlooked and underrated.  Gosling plays a man who is painfully shy and must come to terms with being an adult with the help of his brother and sister-in-law, some kind friends, and a girl who is not entirely “real.”  One of the funniest parts is when Gosling quickly chucks a flower away in order for the girl he likes not to assume it was for her.

“Sense and Sensibility”:  “Pride and Prejudice” (the BBC version of course) is wonderful as well, but Emma Thompson arguably did a better job with “Sense and Sensibility” than Austen herself.  The cinematography is beautiful and sweeping, as is the soundtrack.  Kate Winslet and Thompson play Marianne and Elinor, sisters and best friends who are navigating the waters of upper crest society and marriage in a time when women were not able to even dream of becoming anything that they could call their own.  Elinor aptly states that it is “a bit bewitching” to think that one’s happiness rests on another person.  In this case, it is not hard to imagine and it is wonderful to watch.

“Once”:  This movie is a great surprise.  “Once” won the Academy Award for Best Song for the beautiful “Falling Slowly.” Falling Slowly, Once Lyrics The song could describe what one feels while watching the movie itself as two underdogs struggling to find their way find each other instead.  “Once” shows how we can indeed make a difference in someone else’s life, even if it is just through passing by.  Another strong aspect of the film is the music.  The lyrics are haunting, describing everything from heartbreak to discovery of self.

“Lost in Translation”:  Ships passing in the night seems to be a favorite subject in literature and films alike.  Sofia Coppola manages to do this subtly, though.  Scarlett Johansson (in her strongest role, possibly) and Bill Murray are two Americans who have trouble adapting while visiting Tokyo.  They both feel lonely in a city crowded with people and find some solace in each other.  These two have a connection right away even though the odds may not be in their favor.

“Roman Holiday”:  There has to be at least one classic pick, right?  “Roman Holiday” is full of fun and truths as well.  Gregory Peck (sigh) plays a journalist who believes he has landed a big story when Audrey Hepburn (playing a princess) lands on his doorstep.  In one day they find that they can relate to one another and learn to really care for each other.  The most memorable scene?  Watch it and find out (it is at the end). (more…)

Happy Stanford V-Day!

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

For all of those in the middle of recruiting season, or surrounded by people who are being recruited:

Special thanks to Roger Tran ’13 for the drawing.

Stereo Love: V-Day Playlists for the Lovers and the Loveless

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

I haven’t put a whole lot of thought into what persona I’ll be adopting for Valentine’s Day/Single’s Awareness Day (SAD) this year. I’ve done the couple thing. I’ve done the hating-on-anything-to-do-with-love-while-secretly-sending-myself-chocolate thing. At this point, I’m leaning towards ambivalence. As such, when I got inspired to do a playlist post by Kristi’s awesome article about failtastic lovesongs, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to go the “mushy” route or the “sardonically commenting on the absurdity of the holiday” route. So I went with both. One will make your significant other look deep into your eyes with misty longing or laugh whilst tenderly spooning. The other will make you want to a) key your ex’s car b) sit in bed with the  company of several pounds’ worth of Ghirardelli wrappers c) think to yourself “Heck YES I’m single and ready to mingle” or d) laugh uproariously at the concept of romantic love. Whatever you choose to jam out to this Tuesday, just remember that no one will love you until you learn to love yourself, you get 12 free condoms a quarter from Vaden, and that chocolate can stimulate all the serotonin you will ever need. Keep it classy, Stanford. (more…)

Fire and Brimstone Descend Upon White Plaza

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Stanford's latest expert in binary decision-making.

While White Plaza has a knack for attracting some colorful characters, a recent invasion by Bible-touting fanatics has now turned the space into an ideological battleground. With contradictory slogans like “You’re all going to Hell!” and “Jesus loves you!”, these fervent proselytizers have lately become a fixture amongst the 12 noon lunch crowd.

When I asked one of the demonstrators why he was presenting his particular message–“STUDY AND OBEY THE BIBLE JUDGMENT IS COMING”–he responded, “I want people to look at the words on this sign. Can you see this sign? It might not be big enough.” Aside from the missing periods, the letters did not appear to exhibit any size issues, at least to my untrained eye.

The demonstrators are by no means a uniform group, but they appear to be mainly white males in their late twenties and thirties. They are often quite muscular, and though they have not threatened any students, they have often shaken their fists at passing bikers in the midst of a jeremiad on the secular state of modern society. For instance, as I approached one of them, he bellowed, “You only die once. You don’t die twice. What does that mean?? You have little things in your ears…can you even hear me?!?”

A real American patriot.

For the moment, it appears that these screaming saviors have no intention of leaving. The administration has not made any moves to restrict their freedom of speech. Although they do bring back unflattering comparisons to the Westboro Baptist Church nutcases who visited campus two years ago, they at least have not succeeded in seriously offending anyone. However, for all of the non-believers, homosexuals, minorities, and supporters of tolerance who pass through White Plaza at mid-day, I would advise that you not only turn up the volume on your headphones, but also hold your nose. Some of these holy rollers could really use a shower.

The Unofficial Stanford…Memes?

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

I don’t know who’s responsible for getting the new Stanford Memes Facebook page going, but you’re amazing. My news feed was blowing up with NYU Memes a few days ago, making me hopeful for a Stanford one. Apparently I wasn’t alone– Stanford Memes has been up there for less than a day and already has a pretty big following. Check out Stanford Memes on Tumblr and Twitter, too! Here are a few gems…

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