Vice President Highlights Georgetown in Summit Speech

Joe Biden

At Thursday’s White House College Opportunity Day of Action, Vice President Joe Biden stole the show with four shout outs to Georgetown in his half-hour long closing speech.

While these mentions had no relevance to the day’s goal of discussing ways of increasing college opportunity, his rambling anecdotes ensured Georgetown was included in the major higher education summit.

The first nod to the Hilltop came as Biden discussed his son, Hunter who started Yale Law School after getting his B.A. at Georgetown. According to our Vice President, a Georgetown degree could mean you’re smarter than someone with an Ivy League PhD.

“My son Hunter is a very very bright young man. He’s a grown man now with three beautiful daughters. I remember when he got into Yale Law School he said ‘Dad, you know, 69 in my class have already their PhDs. It’s going to be hard.’ And he went to a great school. He went to Georgetown before that. I remember he had a court competition and after it was over he came out and went to a phone booth. And I know where this phone booth is. And he whispered and said, ‘Dad, I won.’ And he said, ‘Dad, you know, I’m as smart or smarter than a lot of these guys.’”

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Joe Biden with son, Hunter.

Less than two minutes later, Biden highlighted how our expansive mass schedule saved him in an embarrassing family moment.

“Two years ago at the convention, Michelle and Barack and Jill and I were standing waiting to go out to be introduced, this is a true story. And you’ve got to see Michelle. She is an incredible, incredible first lady and incredible mother. As is the President. As a matter of fact, one of the great byproducts and a point of personal privilege, their two daughters and two of my granddaughters are each others’ best friends. They vacation together, spend time together. I told my granddaughter last year we’re going to 10:00 mass, and she said ‘Pop I can’t.’ And I said, ‘Oh, this is your grandfather. You’re going to 10:00 mass.’ She said, ‘I can’t. The President’s picking me up in five minutes.” Well what am I going to say? The good news is that I have one son that went to Georgetown and I said, ‘They got a 7:00 mass at Georgetown.”

It is still unclear how a speech on education policy evolved into a discussion of time at mass, but thanks anyway, Vice President.

Photos: thepoliticalinsider.com

Georgetown Reacts to the Ferguson Ruling

ferguson

On Nov. 24, a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson, Mo. police officer Darren Wilson for his August shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch announced the decision in a press conference around 9:20 p.m. that Wilson will not face criminal charges of any kind.

Despite urges from Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and President Barack Obama for people not to protest, Ferguson erupted with riots, invoking a police response of smoke and tear gas in an attempt to clear the protesters. In D.C., people marched from U Street to the White House. Georgetown students, who have previously travelled to Ferguson and marched in the streets, and professors, who have led conversations among the campus community about the shooting, responded on Twitter to the decision.

Professor Responses

Sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson drew national attention on Sunday for his debate with former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani about race relations and police brutality on “Meet the Press.” Dyson challenged Giuliani’s criticism of the protests about the shooting of Brown. Giuliani claimed that there was not as much focus on black-on-black crime, to which Dyson responded, “Black people who kill black people go to jail. White people who are policemen who kill black people do not go to jail.”

Dr. Marcia Chatelain

Dr. Marcia Chatelain is an assistant professor in the department of history. She started the hashtag, #FergusonSyllabus as a way of getting people to share information, articles and resources that related to the societal issues surrounding the Ferguson protests.

Student Responses

https://twitter.com/YupitsTate/status/537070684996788224

https://twitter.com/crookedcrown_/status/537069393604509696

It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Cheesy

Cheese DayMany Georgetown students were probably attentively listening to President Obama’s State of the Union address tonight, but here at 4E, we’re counting down the minutes to something that is far more important than any silly speeches: the White House’s virtual “Big Block of Cheese Day.”

“West Wing” fans, you probably just let out a chuckle. But for those of you who aren’t ’00s television aficionados, here’s what you need to know about “Big Block of Cheese Day” (which is tomorrow) and how it will affect you.

What is “Big Block of Cheese Day” and where did it come from?

Andrew Jackson, mozzarella maverick.
Andrew Jackson, mozzarella maverick.

On Feb. 22, 1837, President Andrew Jackson opened the White House doors to the public for the first ever “Big Block of Cheese Day.” He had recently received a 1,400 pound, 2-foot by 4-foot block of cheese from a farmer in upstate New York, and though Jackson had quite the “kitchen cabinet” (history pun, ha), he couldn’t eat all that cheddar himself. So he invited the public to carve some for themselves while chatting about current issues with White House staffers and cabinet members.

A little over 150 years later, the next “Big Block of Cheese Days” were held by fictional “West Wing” President Jed Bartlet. The television White House invite occurred in two episodes of the famous political drama, which aired from 1999 to 2006. (FYI: President Bartlet’s daughter, Zoey Bartlet, was a Georgetown grad. Hoya Saxa, Zoey!) See the “West Wing” clip below to catch up to speed:

That sounds gouda. But what is tomorrow’s “Big Block of Cheese Day” and why is it virtual?

On Jan. 24, the White House announced that “with a nod to history (and maybe the TV show the West Wing),” it would be holding its first-ever virtual “Big Block of Cheese Day.” In other words, the actual cheddar is gone, but the invitation to interact with White House officials is not. All day on Jan. 29, officials will be taking real-time questions from the public via TwitterFacebookTumblrInstagram and Google+ Hangout. Concerned about the economy? Foreign policy? The Affordable Care Act? Now is the time to ask the big cheeses themselves. (If you’d like to participate, be sure to use the hashtag #AsktheWH.)

As part of its “Big Block of Cheese Day” promotion, the White House even teamed up with “West Wing” cast members Bradley Whitford and Josh Malina in this “cheesy” video:

Now I’m craving cheese. What do I do?

Go to Wisey’s. And while you’re walking there, think about what questions you’re going to ask the White House tomorrow.

Photos: biography.com, thekitchenskinny.com

Michelle Obama Birthday Preview

michelle-obama-dances

Tonight there will be a not-so-secret birthday dance party just a few miles from our very own Hilltop. Who exactly is the birthday girl, you might ask? None other than the first lady herself, Michelle Obama.

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Nifty, nifty, look who’s fifty!

For her 50th birthday, which was actually on Friday, Michelle has invited her guests to enjoy “Snacks & Sips & Dancing & Dessert” tonight and has asked them to wear comfy shoes and eat before they arrive.

While those of us at 4E would suggest adding some more food to this soiree – a Wisey’s sandwich, perhaps – we certainly love to bust a move, and we feel this party is certain to be a hit. Over the past year, rumors have circulated that singers like Adele and Beyonce have agreed to perform at the bash.

Beyonce side note: Queen Bey especially has a great relationship with the Obamas. She was with them at almost every momentous occasion during President Obama’s two terms, including President Obama’s swearing-in at the Inauguration.

Beyonce. White House. The Obamas breaking it down on the dance floor. Need I say more?

For a little preview of what this night has in store, take a look at the birthday girl here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq-URl9F17Y

Photo: @WhiteHouse Twitter Account, www.theblaze.com/blog

The White House is in Boiling Water With PETA

LobsterFor many Americans, the White House stands as a beacon of hope and democracy – a symbol of American peace and prosperity. But to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the White House is a place of torture. More specifically: lobster slaughter.

According to DCist, PETA has asked White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford to use a device that would stun and kill lobsters, crabs and other shellfish, instead of killing them in the conventional method – by placing the live lobsters directly in boiling water. The device, aptly (and quite whimsically) named the “Crustastun”, zaps crustaceans and kills them instantly, unlike the boiling water method which, according to PETA, can take up to three grueling minutes to kill lobsters (talk about a slow and painful death!)

Lobster has recently been featured on the White House menu: It was served at this year’s inaugural luncheon and also at the 2011 State Dinner.

We can’t say we at 4E are too surprised at PETA’s request. Though if Comerford and White House chefs take the group seriously and start zapping shellfish, we – much like the lobsters – will be stunned.

Oh, and just for good measure: Court dismissed. Bring in the dancin’ lobstahs!

Photo: Mobile-Cuisine

MARCH MADNESS: Georgetown Traditions Round 2

See full bracket and results heregeorgetown day running to the white house

Emerging victorious from last weeks matchups, two of Georgetown’s most hallowed traditions will face off for a chance to progress to the Final Four. Who will win the glory and honor that accompanies the title “Georgetown’s Favorite Tradition”? Who will fade from Hoyas collective memory as a second-tier ritual? It is up to you, voters, to decide the result of this contest, so for your consideration we present the Round Two Pregame Report:

Imagine yourself in 30 years. As you gather your children and tell them stories of your glory days, are you really going to tell Junior about the time you were so drunk at 11 am you fell asleep on Wisey’s curb?

wiseys

 Hmm…much better to inspire your offspring with tales of a patriotic run to the White House, of being present for history in the making, or of having your screaming face on CNN for 2 seconds.

White-House-Party

Although the White House Run requires actual physical fitness…

Usain Bolt

…the quick 3 mile jog pales in comparison to the marathon of day drinking that is Georgetown Day.

daydrinking Running to the White House has obvious Instagram-able benefits: you get to look patriotic and show off to high school friends who decided to go to school in Iowa instead of DC at the same time.

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But Georgetown Day comes in strong for profile pic potential with a dress code of sleeveless shirts (suns out guns out), neon colors (make the most of your late-spring tan) and cheap sunglasses that scream “I like to drink alcohol whilst having fun with friends and also I might be in a frat.”

sunglasses

Both traditions require dedication, perseverance, and herculean feats of endurance, all of which are well repaid in priceless memories and golden photos to document them (or supplement the blurry parts. we’re not judging.) Its hard to imagine a Georgetown Day upset, but then again, I hadn’t even heard of the wart on the face of higher education that is FGCU two weeks ago.

Let the Voting Begin!

Georgetown Traditions Round 2: Georgetown Day or Running to the White House?

Photo: flickr.com, npr.org, guardian.co.uk, newyorker.grubstreet.com, annoytheleft.wordpress.com, frattoys.com

Best Bets: Study Style

Well, Hoyas, we have good news and bad news. The good news is classes are done. The bad news is that finals haven’t even begun. That means that it’s time for papers, coffee, studying, (raging?), Lau, Lau, and more Lau. If you happen to surface out of your reading hole and into the real world in the coming days, here are some of our Best Bets for the weekend, study style.

Saturday:
If you have a free moment (read: free afternoon), mosey on down to Washington Harbour (a.k.a. the Georgetown waterfront) and spend some time at the brand new 11,800 square foot ice-skating rink. For $9 entry and a $5 skate rental, you’ll get bang for your buck at the rink—did we mention it’s bigger than the one in Rockefeller Center? Skate your way to happiness, kids.

Free at night? Don’t forget to stop by the Gonda Theater in the Davis Performing Arts Center to catch the final performance of A Civil War Christmas. It’s wintertime fun without even having to step foot off campus. Only $8 for students.

Sunday:
Didn’t see the Christmas tree lighting in Dahlgren Quad? Excited about Christmas trees in general? Stop by the Prez Rez at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and check out The White House Christmas Tree, a 40-foot Colorado blue spruce that has made D.C. its home since 1978. Also be sure to check out the nearby Pathway of Peace,” 56 smaller, decorated trees representing all 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia. Traveling to see these trees will definitely “spruce” up your study days. “Fir” sure. It’ll be “tree-ific.”

Sorry not sorry about the tree jokes. We hope to see you out in the coming days. If not, we’ll see you at Lau. Sadly.

Photo: Washington Harbour

Make Way for Ducklings

View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.

Some cuteness for  your Friday afternoon. Earlier this week, NBC posted this video of a family of ducks visiting the White House lawn. The ducklings had some trouble following their mother over the concrete barrier, but some Secret Service agents were there to help out. They carefully lifted each duckling through the fence. It was adorable.

Now who’s excited for the Copley Lawn ducks to start having ducklings?

Marshmallow Cannons and More at the White House

by Michelle Cassidy


Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President Obama hosted a group of young students yesterday at the second White House Science Fair, where they showed off some inspired projects, according to InTheCapital. The innovations being featured at the event would have blown my entire grade school science fair out the water. Projects ranged from a device that removes ink from paper to a sugar packet that dissolves in hot water (eliminating a significant amount of waste) to alternative energy sources for cars.

More than 100 students from different science competitions nationwide attended the event and presented their award-winning projects. Obama urged students to pursue higher education in science, math and especially engineering:

We need more people, who can do math, design software, and create new applications for machines that have yet to come into existence. If we choose not to engage in fundamental research—not to pursue new technologies and systems, not to discover new properties of numbers and atomic structures,not to explore the oceans and outer space—we leave that work to others, to emerging countries, who have seen from the outside what science and technology can do for a society.

Other notable guests at the fair included Bill Nye the Science Guy (remember him?) and Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame.

Our favorite part? The pictures of Obama firing the marshmallow cannon designed by Joey Hudy of Phoenix, Arizona across the State Dining Room. The Washington Post has a gallery featuring more pictures from the event, and the White House blog has a video showing some more of the projects.

Update 12:04 p.m.: We have video!