The Game Theory of Love

Boys are like deodorant.

Boys are like deodorant. This unlikely equation came to me while I stood, as bumblingly confused as a pre-teen at a middle school dance, amid cosmetics and candy at the local drugstore. I was struggling to choose a new anti-perspirant.  The one I applied daily had ceased to make my underarms feel powder-fresh, and the rows and rows of deodorizing product that cluttered the shelves of aisle nine offered the elusive promise of product perfection. Boys are like deodorant. Deodorants come in as many permutations. . . Read more
Laura Zax
Fortune Tellers

In today’s economic climate, should Yale spend its endowment?

On September 26, 2007, a headshot of Yale’s chief investment officer and global investment god David Swensen graced the New York Times business section, accompanying an article about the Yale endowment’s 28 percent jump to an unprecedented $22 billion. On that same day, Washington legislators were also thinking about Yale’s endowment. In a morning hearing championed by the Senate Finance Committee’s Ranking Member, Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), a debate about college endowments was circling around one question: Colleges are earning a lot, but are they spending. . . Read more
Laura Zax
Mapquest

Where in the world of academia is geography?

You don’t have to know much about topography to imagine that fighting for geography education is an uphill battle. Study after study has desensitized the public to American students’ geographic illiteracy, showing that two-thirds of Americans aged 18 to 24 cannot identify Iraq on a map; that six months after Hurricane Katrina, 33 percent of Americans in that age range failed to locate Louisiana; that nine in ten high school graduates in the United States do not know where Afghanistan is. These figures are just. . . Read more
Laura Zax
Scene and Not Heard

Rock lives—or so I’ve heard.

Rock lives—or so I’ve heard. But let’s face it: Original rock ’n’ roll—and all alternative music, for that matter, from pop to punk, emo to electronic—is as good as dead on the Yale campus. Naming even a handful of Yale bands (or Yale rock shows, or Yale alternative music venues) is harder than getting into Yale. That’s not to say that Yale is a silent campus. Concerts featuring classical music ensembles and a capella groups crowd Yale’s extracurricular calendar. So whatever happened to rock ’n’. . . Read more
Laura Zax
Curl Talk

Hairdresser cuts hair and pulls legs.

Dickie and I are flipping through an old edition of Playboy when his next customer comes in. I start with embarrassment as the door to Dickie’s second floor atelier opens, but he continues poring over the pornography. He turns a glossy page with his right hand while beckoning with the other to the middle-aged woman arriving for a trim. “Take a seat over here and Nancy will give you a wash,” he says, and in the same breath asks me to guess the identity of one. . . Read more
Laura Zax
Gastronauts

Yale students explore an alternative meal plan.

How would you like your steak cooked?” asks an employee at Gastronomique, and though it’s a question you’d expect to hear pronounced in a French accent at a fancy bistrot du coin, the woman taking the order is communicating with her customer over the telephone. “Come by in about 15 minutes,” she adds before returning the receiver to its cradle. When the customer arrives to pick up his steak frites, the epicurean entree awaits him on the small countertop that comprises most of Gastronomique’s surface. . . Read more
Laura Zax