SEE THE CHERRY BLOSSOMS…From Lau!

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How is the 3rd hour of your study session? Where is that study break you intended to take?

You’ve somehow found yourself trapped in the unforgiving walls of Lau 2, wondering if the room is really full of talkative people or if it’s all just a dream? You somehow have only been living within the confines of this book filled, fun sucking metropolis, for the past week and have missed out on all of the friendly tourist filled cherry blossom hype?!

Whatever your pity story, 4E has good news: you can see the cherry blossoms from Lau!

Here’s how:

1. Enter the building.
2. Flash your card at the security/student guard while complimenting them on their shirt choice (especially if it’s uniform).
3. Rather than go to Lau 2 head to the basement, not Lau 1, the basement.
4. Find a cubicle farthest away from all windows (if there even are windows down there).
5. Sit down.
6. Try and cover the top of the cubicle to block out all light.
7. Put on your weirdest playlist to set the mood for any of other Lau-basement-ers that might be in your company.
8. Once you’re in this position you’re in a great spot for cherry blossom viewing! Just click here and enjoy.

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If this isn’t quite what you had in mind maybe you should check out: New Jersey… Is this home?! Or Dubai… check out this water park while in Lau! Or this panda down the street, this egg hatchery or spot cute couples lounging by the ocean (ahh awkward) in St Croix!

Too bad there isn’t a view of campus to offer up- you could creep on your friends and all things going on while you continue to sit there alone in that cubicle and procrastinate.

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Happy Studying,

<3 4E

Photos/Gifs: giphy.com; http://washington.org/

What’s the Deal with the Cherry Blossoms?

Cherry+Blossom+Path_forWebArguably one of the best things about going to Georgetown is being able to experience Washington in the spring. The birds are chirping, Healy beach lawn is bubbling with excitement and D.C.’s cherry blossoms are beautifully bursting into in full bloom. At least you think they will be.

With the strange wintry weather we’ve been experiencing lately, you might be wondering how the cherry blossoms are going to be affected … and if they’re even going to bloom properly at all. Here at 4E, we’re all licensed cherry-bloom-ologists, and we’ve got the scoop on everything you need to know about how the recent weather will affect the cherry blossoms. Here are 3 questions you wanted to know about the D.C. cherry blossoms but were too afraid lazy to ask:

1. What’s the deal with the cherry blossoms? Are they going to bloom in this weird weather?

Yes. They might just be a little bit late. As we’ve already explained here on 4E, cherry blossom bloom dates are determined by temperatures. Basically, the colder the spring temperatures, the later the cherry blossom bloom dates. Check out this nifty graph to see the correlation:

bloom-chart

Every Hoya can attest to the wacky cold weather we’ve experienced this spring, and for that reason, this year’s bloom is projected to be one of the latest in recent history. The Capital Weather Gang at the Washington Post even revised their peak bloom date projections from April 9 to April 13.

2. Will the snow affect the blooms?

No. Like we explained above, cherry blossom blooms are affected by temperature, not precipitation. The blooms would only be affected if there was so much snow that tree limbs would be damaged, and – thankfully – we haven’t had that much.

3. Is there anything positive about this weather?

Yes! Believe it or not, cold weather actually makes cherry blossom blooms last longer. Warm weather can cause the cherry buds to burst quickly and limit bloom times to around 4-5 days. Cold weather, on the other hand, can double peak bloom times, making for beautiful spring sights that last around 2 weeks.

In other words, things are about to get beautiful – and stay beautiful – around here really soon. Stick it out for a few more days, Hoyas. Spring awaits!

Photos: The Washington Post, strawberrymilkevents.com

Simply Science: Cherry Blossom Chem

As Spring cometh, it brings with it the beautiful Cherry Blossoms of DC (and allergy attacks). This weekend marks the last days of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

What many people may not realize is how relatively late these famous flowers bloomed this year. We saw their peak in the past few days (April 6-April 10), which is defined as when 70% or more of the Blossoms are blooming. The peak can last up to two weeks, and this year’s is the latest in recent memory. (Last year’s was on March 20, and the latest ever was on April 18, 1958). But why is this year’s so late?Travel Cherry Blossom Festival

Many of us understand that it is because of the cold spring that late blooming occurs — but many of us aren’t really sure why this is true. It is no secret to my close friends that chemistry is my favorite science, and it is precisely because every living thing is driven by it (including Cherry Blossoms). A general rule is that chemical reaction rates double for every increase in 18ºF, due to an increase in particle interaction. The blooms are driven by chemical reactions and are highly affected by temperature. Blooming times can even vary depending on where you are in the city.

Cherry trees are able to survive the unforgiving DC winters (unlike some of my SoCal friends) and are brought out of dormancy by rising temperatures. I’m sure you’re aware that our Spring weather hasn’t been very typical. But, there may be an upside to the delayed blooms! If a cherry blossom is exposed to high temperatures it will immediately bloom and last 4-5 days. However, prolonged colder temperatures may slow blooming times and nearly double the length of blooming times. Yay!

So get out there, Hoyas, and enjoy the last days of the Festival. See the beauty of science bloom right before you eyes.

Source: ouramazingplanet.com

Photo: katu.com

Simply Science is a reoccurring post that aims to make recent scientific discoveries accessible and applicable to the Georgetown student.

Best Bets: A Wiz and A Boss

It’s the last weekend before many of us leave campus for Easter break so Best Bets is here to make sure that you find something exciting to do with yourself  before heading home.

Friday:
Go to the Spring Concert with Wiz Khalifa featuring DJ Earworm tonight from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. You don’t even have to leave campus – just walk right over to McDonough Gym. If you haven’t purchased your ticket yet, there will be approximately 300 tickets available at the door ($25 for GU Students with a GoCard, $40 for Non-Students without GoCard). Even if you are one of the many who only know the lyrics to his well-known song, “Black and Yellow,” it is sure to be an awesome time.

Saturday:
If you are planning on seeing the beautiful Cherry Blossoms this weekend, make sure to check out the Blossom Kite Festival from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Kite enthusiasts compete to win awards in a variety of categories, and top prizes include the Theme Award, People’s Choice, Family Trophy and Highest Overall Score. The event takes places on the grounds of the Washington Monument so the most convenient Metro stations would be the Smithsonian or the Federal Triangle. If the weather’s nice, try Capital Bikeshare.

Sunday:
This Sunday Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will be playing at the Verizon Center, one more stop on the band’s spring U.S. tour to promote the their new album, “Wrecking Ball,” which was released on March 6. The concert starts at 7:30pm, and, although tickets are officially sold out, check out sites like StubHub, TicketLiquidator and Craigslist. They might be pricey, but you do what you have to when the Boss is in town.

Photo: aquariumdrunkard.com

Fun fact about the photo featured here: it’s from when Springsteen played Gaston Hall back in March of 1974 – you can check out a recording here.

Sunday Night Wrapup: Still Hungry

From the premiere of the Hunger Games to the opening ceremony of the Cherry Blossom Festival, this weekend has been exciting and full of activity. But in case you didn’t have the chance to keep up with the news, Sunday Night Wrapup has got you covered.

  • Thousands of fans dressed up as their favorite characters from the Hunger Games on Thursday night to sit in crowded theatres all over the country to see the much anticipated film adaptation of the best-selling novel. The movie made over $150 million in its opening weekend, the third biggest opening three-day weekend of all-time.
  • On Saturday afternoon, demonstrators rallied at Freedom Plaza to show support for Trayvon Martin, an African-American teen who was shot and killed by a neighbor volunteer, George Zimmerman, a month ago in Sanford, Florida. This event has sparked rallies against racism all over the country.
  • Gaston Hall was alive on Saturday night for the Spring Charity Fashion Show, Into the Wild, which featured many gorgeous models and performances by the GU Bindaas, our very own Tate Tucker, and Groove Theory. All proceeds benefited the Roslin Orphanage in West Timor, Indonesia. Congratulations to all of the amazing performers, models, and the dedicated staff for all of their hard work!
  • This Sunday marked the beginning of the Cherry Blossom Festival, a five-week celebration to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Japan’s gift of cherry trees to the United States. The opening ceremony took place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and was headlined by Grammy award winner, Sara Bareilles.

Photo: The Washington Post

Best Bets: Spring Has Sprung

Spring seems to be in full swing here in D.C., so sitting through classes is even tougher than usual these days. Thankfully, the weekend is here, so 4E has some suggestions to make the best of your days off.

Friday:

Go see The Hunger Games! The highly anticipated movie opened at midnight, so buy tickets before the shows sell out. Theaters all over D.C. will be playing it, the most convenient theater for us is the AMC Loew’s Georgetown, which even features IMAX screenings. We’re as excited for this year’s most anticipated movie as everyone else is.

Saturday:

We know no one was ready to stop celebrating St. Patty’s Day last weekend, so lucky for you, this Saturday is SHAMROCK FEST at RFK Stadium. This festival includes 50 bands and DJs, 10 stages, food, party areas, and lots of beer! This year’s performances feature Gavin DeGraw and the Dropkick Murphys. Make sure not to miss one of the best Irish celebrations of the year.

Sunday:

While the Cherry Blossoms are already in bloom, the National Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony is this Sunday from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Headlining this event is Sara Bareilles, but other performers include MISIA, Hideki Togi, and the Children’s Chorus of Washington. Also at this ceremony, you can hear the story of how the Cherry Blossom has gained its big reputation here in D.C. The event will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Doors open at 3:30 p.m., and admission is free! What better way can you welcome springtime to D.C.?

Photo courtesy: sushicam.com

Surviving Tourist Season in D.C.

The cherry blossoms are set to peak today. The National Cherry Blossom Festival began yesterday. It’s officially springtime. All of these events coinciding in one week typically mean only one thing in D.C. — tourists. Late March and early April is peak tourist season in Washington. And it’s no steady flow of tourists, rather a groundswell of Rocket Power-style shoobies. Luckily for those of you heading out around town, we’re looking out for you. Follow these tips on making this year’s tourist season as stress-free as possible.

1. Pick a different running route. Yeah, I know, the monuments are beautiful with the cherry blossoms around the tidal basin. And that breeze coming off the river cools you down during your warm afternoon run. But, large families with strollers, people walking slowly and giant tour buses will get in the way of your normally stress-relieving run to the monuments. So, pick a different route. Jog along the Capitol Crescent trail, through Rock Creek Park or along the George Washington Trail across the Key Bridge.

2. Avoid 33rd Street between M and Prospect. More tourists means more customers at D.C.’s most famous cupcake establishment.  Somehow there are more customers lining up outside of Georgetown Cupcake with queues that may extend all the way up 33rd and around the corner onto Prospect. If you need to go to M Street, just avoid the queue and take 34th. If you really need a cupcake, hopefully you know by now that  there are plenty of other cupcake establishments in the neighborhood.

3. Take this opportunity to explore other parts of D.C. The Mall, Capitol Hill, and areas around the White House may be overcrowded, but the same isn’t true for Adams Morgan, U Street or Dupont Circle. Check out our own Kyle Short’s D.C. Ramblings series for more ideas on exploring these less touristy areas.

4. If you do plan to visit the monuments and museums, be knowledgeable about the area. Bathrooms and water are in short supply outside. Lines are long. The museums are more crowded than ever. So, make sure that you know where all of the necessary amenities are. It’s helpful both for dealing with tourists’ questions and for knowing where to go yourself when nature calls.

5. Respect the District. As DCist reminded us, many tourists (and residents) do not. Set a good example for those who are visiting the District for the first time. AKA – don’t do what the kids in this post’s picture are doing. PLEASE.

6. Look happy for Georgetown tour groups. More visitors to the District means more visitors to our lovely campus. We go to a great school. It’s beautiful outside. (Hopefully) you’re having a blast in your college experience. Show that to potential future applicants.

7. Look for alternative modes of transportation. Tourists love the Metro, and, especially during the Cherry Blossoms, gobs of them will be getting off at the Smithsonian stop. If you, too, want to go there, look at less popular modes of transportation — Metrobus and Capital Bikeshare are great choices (and they don’t take you underground). If you’re going to Metro, make sure you have a fully-loaded SmarTrip Card in order to avoid the lines at farecard stations.

Photo credit: DCist 

Sunday Night Wrapup: Back to the Grind

Put some aloe on that sunburn, pack up your skis and give up hope on that missing flip-flop – spring break comes to an end tonight. But hey, the weatherman says that it’s supposed to be in the 70’s all week, so it’ll be easy to pretend you’re still lounging by the pool (plus, you know, homework). If you’re looking to procrastinate just a little longer before classes start back up, here’s the news that you probably missed over the last week.

Photo: Flickr user Lyra Jaye