Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
September 21, 2021


Hopkins is a diverse university where an incredible mix of cultures, academic interests and personalities coexist and thrive. Here is the section where you can publish your unique thoughts, ideas and perspectives on life at Hopkins and beyond.

How to cure your incessant comedy improv craving

It’s Friday night. You are home, sitting on your couch (or your bed, or the floor or your super sweet bean bag chair or, fine, maybe you are just standing). Your eyes are glazed over, as if two tiny blankets have tucked in your pupils for a long night’s rest. It has been months since you have smiled. Your ab muscles have grown weak and flabby from going long periods without laughing. A dust bunny floats across the floor in front of you, and you wonder if your life is meaningless.

Sans honey mustard, Potbelly’s turns the hungry masses into ... well, potbellies

Although Potbelly has already been getting sufficient attention with its opening week, we thought we’d head into the new sandwich shop on St. Paul’s to check out the food behind the balloons. Staff, wearing tie dye shirts and smiles, welcomed us into the swarming crowds of customers and guided us to the long line. We joined the herd and looked up at the menu — which includes originals, skinnies, salads, soup/chili, desserts and extras. Since committing ourselves to this article, we have tried: (drum roll please) A Wreck, roast beef, Italian, Mediterranean, T-K-Y and a mushroom melt. We’ve tried the broccoli cheddar and southwestern chicken soup. And also the chocolate chocolate milkshake and sugar cookie. Needless to say, we were pretty determined to get the full Potbelly experience.

Ms. Frizzle’s felony and other 90s anomalies

It’s no secret that those of us born in the 90s are some of the luckiest people around. We got to experience the greatest trends in fashion, music and, most definitely, television. In retrospect, however, there were tons of ambiguities in the cartoons and sitcoms that we hold so dear to our hearts. Here are ten questions from the shows of our childhoods that may never be answered:

Florida Gulf Coast #REPPIN

So I was feeling kinda baller and decided to enter an SGA March Madness Bracket. I felt slightly less baller when the first round of tallies went up on Facebook, but mind you, I don’t actually follow basketball, as much as I enjoy it.

Fresh perspective on the complaining culture

Welcome to #Hopkinstudentproblems, the column where the common complaints, sufferings, and troubles attributed to Hopkins Hell, or, The Dark Side, will be voiced by the awesome, all-knowing Carissa Ratanaphanyarat, judged from her perspective, and then published to join the myriad of other wretched Hopkins complaints harmonizing in the Brody Learning Commons 24/7. No, this is not Hopkins Problem Students Anonymous, nor are you reading a bi-monthly rant session by Debbie Downers that managed to take over advertising space in The News-Letter. Rather, as a Writing Seminars major — which, according to a recent BME grad, automatically earns me hipster status at Hopkins — my job is to complain about mainstream Hopkins complaints without acting like a mainstream Hopkins student. So, here is my “bang” as I start off by appropriately complaining in a column named #Hopkinstudentproblems.

Disclosure makes a novel yet nostalgic sound

Disclosure is a electronic music duo from the United Kingdom consisting of brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence. The siblings grew up in Surrey, a county just southwest of London. They released their first single, “Offline Dexterity,” back in 2010, when Guy was 18 and Howard was only 15 years old. Considering that most of their immediate family had done music professionally at some point of their lives, it makes sense that the siblings started young. The single was followed up by an EP, Carnival, which was released in July 2011. Their next single, “Tenderly/Flow,” was released in January 2012 and picked up the bulk of their national radio support. In June, Disclosure released their second EP, The Face, to critical acclaim. Their remix of Jessie Ware’s “Running” was very popular during the summer of 2012 and was even included on the annual edition on Annie Mac Presents, an electronic music show on BBC.

Unexpected culture shock in the Dominican Republic

Despite the cold weather, I am still on that Spring Break flow, so to speak. This past week I was lucky enough to go on a trip to the Dominican Republic with my family.  I flew in and out of Santo Domingo. I have to admit that I was completely disappointed in myself with my preparation for the trip. I had not read any literature about the culture, so everything was a shock to me.  People drive super fast and do not always adhere to traffic laws.  The types of living conditions I saw made me so upset that I do not even want to describe them here.  The place where I stayed was on the southeast portion of the island, which did not have as many tourists as I thought it would. Were they there but just did not go out and explore? The tourists that I did see, however, were mostly European.   People were from all over and spoke many languages. It made communicating difficult almost all the time. Somehow, however, the tourists blended well with the locals and although no one seemed to notice or care that the population in that small section of the island was so diverse, I though it was great.

My food-filled break in the Big Apple

Spring break has taken on a whole new meaning. It used to be seen as that one week where everyone would travel to a hot climate and show off their spring-ready bodies in next to nothing. Now, as I scroll down my newsfeed on Facebook, all I see are photographs from unconventional Spring Break destinations, spanning from cold Canada to just-as-cold Michigan.

13.5% Wine Bar makes a mean chocolate tart; shies from large portions

When in the midst of Hopkins’s midterms, we firmly believe that one great meal off campus is as essential to your survival as the copious large black coffees that we swear by on campus. So, we elected to treat ourselves to 13.5% Wine Bar in Hampden. 13.5%. Not 13.1%! THIS IS NOT A HALF MARATHON! Although running one before your meal might help you work up a healthy appetite. (Kidding! Be forewarned: the portions are small.) By the end of the night we even heard our neighbors calling it “ percent!”

AskMani: On Burnout

Dear AskMani, Is it too late to get some good deals for spring break? Sincerely, Frugal On Flights

Unknown Mortal Orchestra brings back 60s

The genesis of the lo-fi psychedelic rock group Unknown Mortal Orchestra stemmed from organic interest. Ruban Nielson, the main songwriter of the band, was originally in the New Zealand power pop group The Mint Chicks. They were active from 2001 to 2010, and after the break-up, Nielson decided to move his family to America and not do music anymore. However, in the spring of 2010, he released a track titled “Ffunny Ffrends” on his bandcamp profile, with no information on who created it. It became incredibly popular over the music blogosphere and was reblogged incessantly, in attempts to find who created it. Due to the amount of interest, Nielson finally claimed the track to as by his new project, Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

Celebrities we all want to have coffee with

One of my favorite things to do is pretend that I am friends with celebrities I admire.  I saw a lot of people I respect in the audiences of the recent awards shows.  Now that the shows are all over, a lot of people I have talked to have been analyzing the results.  It seems like all I can talk about with friends is the fact that so and so should not have gotten the Oscar, and such and such film should not have won the Golden Globe. But talking about those things cannot change what happened. Since this column focuses on the positive, I felt it was appropriate to talk about my favorite people. These are the first famous people I thought of from a long list of those whom I currently want to hang out with, hug and let know that they are appreciated.

Thinking back to the days when being naked was OK

It’s already March 2013. I repeat, March of the year 2013, and it feels like it was still yesterday that I was roaming around my Brooklyn apartment with a big baby doll in my arms. At that point, my older sister was trying to wean me into wearing pants, and when I say wean, I mean that she would yell that I needed to put pants on. Pants? I had panties on, wasn’t that enough? Remember when that was acceptable? As a matter of fact, let’s rewind to when full on nudity was the norm ...

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