Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hallow’s Eve Bullshittery

By Jeremiah Pratt (EE ‘19)

Though sought, we did, to make it to year’s end,
When grades be set and minds are put at peace,
Today we find a solemn sweet release,
In this, our spooky sweet game of pretend.
For quizzes matter not with costumes donned,
And essays, labs, all trivially be,
When hid in masks and hats and such are we,
And from the world of mortals we abscond.
A human needs a respite here and there,
From things that only humans suffer by.
No monster knows such stress to make them cry,
Or woes to cause the falling out of hair!
As such we revel with horrific glee,
From biggest horror momentarily freed.

Yes! Naught but joy is found on Hallow’s eve!
And naught but friends and fun exist today!
We meet in streets and houses prepped to play,
‘Til drunken rapture do we all achieve.
So shed your fears, though fears do be the theme,
And stuff your tums with processed sugared things,
And wear your devil horns and angel wings,
And post some spooky scary skelly memes!
Leave Mintchev quizzes for another day,
Put down your paper, pencils, stencils too,
Make all the school a kooky costumed zoo,
A haunted hellish gleeful cheerful fray!
To make the most of this, we all should strive,
For only once a year we’re so alive.

<3 happy halloween all my lovelies

Museum Review: The Merchant’s House Museum

by Gabriela Godlewski (CE ’19)

Front entrance of the Merchant’s House Museum, open everyday in the afternoon except Tuesday and Wednesday. Photo from Panaromio.

Located on East Fourth Street between Bowery and Lafayette, The Merchant’s House Museum is a perfectly preserved home of the Tredwell family, a merchant family whose last heir died almost a century ago. After the death of Gertrude Tredwell, a distant cousin of the family bought the home, thereby saving it from foreclosure and turned the estate into a museum with all the family’s possessions remaining inside. While it is a fascinating place based solely on the fact that it looks exactly as it did a hundred years ago, it is even more intriguing and fitting for Halloween because it is known as “New York’s most haunted house.” Legend has it that though Gertrude Tredwell may have died, she never left her former home. Knowing this, a certain Halloween enthusiast and I bought ourselves tickets for the Spooky Candlelit Ghost Tour  (the Super Spooky Tour was unfortunately sold out) and decided to check the place out for ourselves.

Our Spooky Lit Ghost Tour began in the basement of the house where our group watched a documentary detailing the history of the house an introduction of the haunts in the house. The tour led us through the dark hallways, bedrooms, and parlors of the house, illuminated only by strategically placed candles and the tour guide’s flashlight.

To add to the spookiness, the house was “dressed for mourning,” as wakes and funerals of family members took place in the house. Every mirror was draped with black cloth and the parlor was prepared for a wake, coffin and all. Even in the darkness, it was clear that all the furniture in the room was very old-fashioned but carefully preserved and in great condition. Some rooms also had mannequins dressed in the gowns of the Tredwell family. In each room, the tour guide relayed stories told by past visitors and shared audio from paranormal investigations that occurred in the rooms. She also showed us photos that appeared to show ghostly figures in them and pointed out the exact spots where the photos were taken. Though I unfortunately saw no ghosts, I did feel some distinct pokes along my left arm throughout the tour. Maybe (hopefully) those pokes were from the Tredwells saying hello.

This museum is a gem of East Village, unfortunately known to a select few. Not only is it incredibly fascinating as a historically accurate window of life over a century ago, but it is also located only three blocks from the school! The yearly Spooky Ghost Tours are $25 each, but daytime tickets cost only eight dollars with student ID. Though I enjoyed exploring a real haunted house at night, I highly recommend visiting the museum in the daytime. Not only are the tickets cheaper, but in the daylight more of the exhibits are visible, which include letters and trinkets from the family. Also, during the day, visitors can choose to either go on an accompanied tour or a self-guided tour, and from what the tour guides told me, most of the ghost sightings happen, in fact, during daylight hours. Most importantly, each floor in the Merchant House is open during the daytime, whereas only the fourth floor servants’ quarters are open to owners of Super Spooky Ghost Tour tickets. Though the Merchant House Museum is unknown to many at Cooper, its doors are always open to anyone who wishes to go on an adventure into the past without going too far from home. ◊

The Doors of Cooper

by Jeremiah Prat (EE ’19) 

Photo by Winter Leng (ChE ‘18).
Photo by Winter Leng (ChE ‘18).

When one door closes, the saying goes,
another one opens (hopefully more easily than doors into ROSE).

But what if that door goes around and around,
no beginning, no end, and no transfer of sound

‘twixt compartments of travel, so all conversation pauses
because no sound can travel from the mouths above our jawses

to the ear of our friend stuck 90 degrees to our right,
‘til we both cross the membrane from our school into daylight.

With no start and no stop this door’s stuck in a loop,
neither open nor shut, only swift passing through,
and halfway gets you nowhere but trapped in a box,
and too much brings you back where you already was!

Though your tireless revolving might just power the lobby,
your pushing and shoving’s a poor excuse for a hobby

(goes to show non-Cooper architects should just be renamed sub-parchitects).

Or what if door closes, but leaves quite the gap
(I’m referring to the stalls in the loo in the NAB)?

While it’s technically shut, its whole point is kaputt,
and your business is put on display way, way more than it should, so the door’s really no good!

Others still just stay locked, defended by a red-lit box,
and some are hardly doors at all, like a certain RA’s in the residence hall.

When it comes to doors we’ve got plenty,
and this great school opens so many,
though squeaky or rusty or inane they may be,
and for the time being they be far from free,
the journey’s important to you and to me,
and no number of doors, be it one, two, or three,
can keep us from being the best we can be!

Hold them open for your pal, let none stand in your way,
and be moving always forward, while those doors are here to stay.

Concert.fish team working. Photo by Wentao Zhang (ChE '19)

HackCooper

By Brandon Quinere (CE ’19)

There’s a scene in the TV series Silicon Valley where the gang at Pied Piper recruit a young programmer known as “The Carver” to configure their application to the cloud. After spending the night going through each line of code to fix an error, he crashes on the couch. “You said you could code for 48 hours straight.” An extremely lethargic Carver replies, “How do you think I do that? Adderall.” While there were no traces of Adderall at Cooper’s third annual student hackathon over the weekend, there was a whole lot of caffeine.

HackCooper was held over a 24-hour period in the NAB, opening the doors of our building to students eager to explore their maker side. Whether you were new to hacking or already adept at a programming language, all students were encouraged to register and participate in this weekend-long event in the hopes of winning from a selection of prizes.

Using the resources at hand as well as their own individual skillsets, participating students at HackCooper teamed up with one another to brainstorm through the night and develop an original project. “Cooper’s hackathon is all about giving students the time and resources to discover and explore work that really interests them,” said coordinator Zach Tzavelis (ME ‘19) on the goals of HackCooper.

Submitted team creations were evaluated by a judging panel and appropriately awarded in a number of categories including Most Technical Hack, Best Data Privacy Hack, and the biggie: Best Overall Hack. Prizes for each award varied, given the wide variety of sponsors supporting the event including Facebook, LinkedIn, Bloomberg, Viacom, and Autodesk.

Mentors from the sponsors were also available for mentorships throughout the night, allowing students to communicate one-on-one with industry professionals about their hack. In addition, various tech talks were given in both Rose Auditorium and classrooms. Furthermore, Major League Hacking, the official student hackathon league backing HackCooper, made available different software packages and hardware for teams to use in their projects. And of course, in typical hackathon fashion, there was much “swag” to be given out.

Virtual Reality. Photo by Wentao Zhang (ChE '19)
Virtual Reality. Photo by Wentao Zhang (ChE ’19)

Designated classrooms and labs were open for teams to use, allowing them to camp out in their workspaces and develop their creation before the submission deadline in the morning. Because this was an overnight event, student coders were aware of the imminent risk of sleep deprivation, but excessive caffeine consumption was definitely not encouraged. The onsite rep from Major League Hacking, Li Chen, put it best: “If you’ve never had a Red Bull before, tonight’s not the night to try it for the first time.”

By the morning, familiar classroom arrangements were left unrecognizable as teams tirelessly worked to submit their hacks on time. After a preliminary round of judging on Sunday afternoon, the participants and judges gathered in Rose to see the eligible teams present and demo their projects onstage. Winners were determined and announced shortly after these final demos. This year’s submissions can be found at: http://hackcooper2016.devpost.com/submissions

Best Overall Hack went to Concert.fish, a project made with the intent of making music listening more collaborative through listener feedback. Concert.fish was developed by the team consisting of Rafi Mueen (BSE ‘19), Michael Lendino (EE ‘20), Andrey Akhmetov (EE ‘20), Richard Yee (Art ‘18), and Michael Ossienov. The team was granted an all­-expenses-­paid trip to the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, CA to participate in Facebook’s own hackathon. ◊

Chris Watkins (EE '19). Photo by Wentao Zhang (ChE '19).
Chris Watkins (EE ’19). Photo by Wentao Zhang (ChE ’19).