Category: NYC

Photo Courtesy Columbia University/Zagster

Starting Monday April 4, Columbia University students, faculty and staff can ride around campus and beyond on brand new cruiser bikes as part of a new bike-share program through Zagster, Inc. The program is piloting with 14 Zagster cruiser bikes at three Morningside campus locations.

Following the leadership and success of the EcoReps bike-share group for undergraduate students and through Columbia’s recruitment of Zagster to campus, a bike-share program is now open to the entire University community.

“Columbia recognizes the many benefits of bicycle travel and is continuing its efforts toward growing a bike culture on campus,” says Jessica Prata, Assistant Vice President, Environmental Stewardship. “Bringing bike share to all Columbia members is part of the University’s commitment to a healthy and sustainable Columbia. Creating a more bike-friendly campus reduces traffic and parking congestion, improves the health of the University community, and offers an easy, alternative travel mode to and around Columbia.”

Zagster bike share is located on campus at:

–          Eastern entrance of Lerner Hall

–          Between Butler Library and John Jay Hall

–          Wien Courtyard

The bike share is offered through three different options, following standard guidelines of bike-share programs at other campuses: annual, monthly and one-day memberships, described below.

  1. Annual Membership

$20 membership fee billed annually

Trips under 1 hour are free; then pay $3/hour (up to $30/ride)

  1. Monthly Membership

$8 membership fee billed monthly

Trips under 1 hour are free; then pay $3/hour (up to $30/ride)

  1. 24-Hour Membership

$5 one-time fee

Trips under 1 hour are free; then pay $3/hour (up to $30/ride)

* Riders will be charged an additional $35 overtime charge for keeping a bike over 24 hours. 

In addition to Columbia, Zagster has bike-share programs at Ohio State, Yale, Princeton and more than 130 other colleges and communities across North America.

“Columbia sought out an opportunity to immediately make bike sharing available to the entire university community while Citi Bike, New York City’s largest and most recognized bike-sharing program, systematically expands northward in Manhattan,” continued Prata.  “We will monitor the usage and popularity of the Zagster bike share through this pilot initiative and look for opportunities to expand it, particularly in Manhattanville.”

The bike-share expansion to the entire Columbia community is one of several bicycle-friendly initiatives Columbia is leading.  Following the successful pilot of the bicycle parking enclosure in the Grove, a second enclosure has been installed in Wien Courtyard.  There are several workshops on bicycle street skills and traffic safety being offered to Columbia affiliates in conjunction with Bike New York.  Ride Your Bike to Campus Days are returning on April 13 at Morningside, and April 15 and a special Earth Day event on April 22 at the Columbia University Medical Center campus.  All bicycle-related information at Columbia has been centralized on the Columbia Transportation website at transportation.columbia.edu/bike-services-columbia.

The Columbia bike share features the Zagster 8, an award-winning bike known for its practical design, comfortable ride and easy handling. The bike includes a spacious basket that’s perfect for carrying groceries, takeout or personal belongings. And because rider safety is a priority, every bike includes automatic lights, a bell and full reflectors. An integrated bike lock enables riders to park and lock their bikes wherever they want during a trip, instead of being required to re-dock at a station, giving them greater flexibility to enjoy everything the city has to offer.

To join and ride, users can visit www.zagster.com/columbia, or download the free Zagster Mobile App, available for iPhone and Android. Each bike has a unique number that riders enter into the app to obtain a single-use code to open the lockbox on the back of the bike. (Alternatively, riders can obtain unlock codes via text message.) A key in the lockbox allows the bike to be locked and unlocked throughout a ride. After the rider returns the bike to a designated Zagster bike station, the rental ends, and the bike is available for the next person to enjoy.

About Zagster 

Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Zagster is the largest and fastest-growing bike share provider in the United States. Zagster works directly with over 130 communities across North America to make scalable bike-sharing programs available in areas where traditional bike share providers can’t reach. The company’s goal: To make the bike the most loved form of transportation. More information about Zagster and its programs can be found at  www.zagster.com.

Photo Courtesy Bradley Davison (CC ’17)

NOTE:

A few days ago, the ColorCode team posted a response in regard to a “RoboCop” assignment assigned to students in Professor Satyen Kale’s Machine Learning (COMS 4771) course. In response Professor Kale wrote a response on his website, which can be found here. In order to make sure that both ColorCode and the Professor’s views are visible to interested parties, we have shared his piece below:

The original task description (“Robocop”) was regrettably written in a highly offensive manner. It was not our intention to suggest that imitating the “SQF” practices (or any racially-prejudiced practices) in the future is desirable in any way. In fact, the made-up setting for the task in a fictitious, dystopian future was meant to be an ironic indicator of precisely the opposite sentiment. We are strongly against practices such as SQF. While the primary intention for the task was purely pedagogical—to give students exposure to using machine learning techniques in practice—we acknowledge that not providing proper context for the task was poor judgement on our part, and we sincerely apologize for that.

Two original motivations for using this data set were (i) to illustrate the difficulties in developing any kind of “predictive policing” tool (which already exist today), and (ii) to assess how predictive modeling could help shed light on this past decision-making. For instance, at the coarsest level, it is evident that very few of the cases where a subject is stopped actually lead to an arrest; this raises the question why the stops should have been made in the first place. Moreover, if it is difficult to predict the arrest decision from the features describing the circumstance, then it may suggest that there is some unrecorded aspect of the circumstance that drives the decision; such a finding could have policy implications.

There are critical aspects of the data set that make it highly inappropriate for use in developing any kind of predictive policing tool. First, the data only reflects the arrest decisions of past police officers, which are decidedly not what one would want to imitate. Second, even if the arrest decisions (i.e., labels) in the data set were appropriately modified (thereby altering the conditional distribution of the label given the features), the set of the cases there may only be representative of suspects that past police officers chose to stop, necessarily introducing biases into the distribution.

We originally thought that these challenging aspects of the data set would be of interest to the class. However, our formulation of the task was in poor taste and failed to provide adequate context. Because we can only objectively evaluate the predictive modeling aspects of the project that are independent of the context of the data set, we have decided to change the data set to one that is completely unrelated to the SQF data set.

A link to the Professor Kale’s original posting on his website can be found here. To respond to this piece or submit an op-ed of your own, email submissions@columbialion.com

As of today, Ollie’s has reopened at its new location at 103rd and Broadway. In an email sent to The Lion, an employee noted that there are no plans to return to their 116th and Broadway location.

 

The full message is attached below.

Joshua,

Our 103rd & Broadway location just opened today! Unfortunately we will not be returning to our 116th location.

Regards,
Billy

A link to the new location’s menu can be found here. The Lion team has also reached out for word on if/when online ordering will be available at the new store.

Happy eating!

 

Earlier this week, the Bacchanal Committee officially announced that Rae Sremmurd, Marian Hill, and Bibi Bourelly will be performing at this year’s Bacchanal.

Tickets to Bacchanal 2016 are available for the performance on April 2nd. As previously announced, EVELINE will also be featured during this year’s show.

We will update this post with more information as it becomes available.

 

 

Nearly a fifth of the operas appearing onstage this year at the Met were written by the 19th century Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti, and together, they all provide the opportunity to experience the broad range of his artistic mastery. Already audiences have been treated to two of three operas of the “Tudor Trilogy,” dramas depicting the trials of British royalty and this season starring Sondra Radvanovksy. This season in March, two of his mirthful comedies share the stage. L’elisir d’amore (“The Elixir of Love”) opens at the end of this week, while Donizzetti’s outlandish farce Don Pasquale returned last Friday in a revival of an exuberant production by director Otto Schenk.

Beneath an evening of hilarious shenanigans lies a fairly simple plot. The old bachelor Don Pasquale has promised to bequeath a small fortune to his pouty nephew Ernesto as long as he agrees to marry the woman Pasquale has selected. Ernesto refuses, and Pasquale, with the aid of the wily Doctor Malatesta, decides to cast out Ernesto and find himself a young wife instead.

Pasquale is beside himself when Malatesta offers him the hand of his docile sister Sophronia, but little does he know that this delicate bride is none other than Norina, Ernesto’s beloved, in disguise. Before the ink can dry on their false marriage contract, Norina turns into a demanding shrew and terrorizes Pasquale unceasingly until he abandons any hope of marital bliss. Eventually, the young lovers are ultimately reunited, everyone is reconciled, and all join in proclaiming the opera’s wry moral: Only trouble awaits the old man who weds a young wife.

As the curmudgeonly Pasquale, rotund Italian baritone Ambrogio Maestri returned to the Met after past triumphs as the scheming Doctor Dulcamara in “L’elisir d’amore” and the buffoonish title character in Verdi’s “Falstaff.” A “maestro” of farce, Maestri brings impeccable timing and telling facial expressions to every outsized character he plays and excels at patter singing, a hallmark of Italian comic opera during which long lines of text are declaimed at great speed.

Making an exciting Met debut, soprano Eleonora Buratto conveyed Norina’s dual sweetness and cunning with lustrous timbre and dynamic physicality. Early on, the top of her range tended to get away from her, but as the evening progressed, she focused her tone and offered pure, creamy singing. Hers is a voice that will undoubtedly become rounded and more secure with time, but even on this occasion, she managed to blend nicely with her colleagues.

Rising Mexican tenor Javier Camarena played Ernesto, lending his supple instrument to yet another successful interpretation of beloved Bel Canto character. In this repertoire, there is often a risk that a tenor’s bright tone can grate on the ear, but Camarena’s warm, heartfelt voice and masterfully fluid phrasing always ensure great lyricism. The prolonged applause he received after his Act 2 aria “Povero Ernesto” was well deserved.

Rounding out the ensemble, Levente Molnár brought spirited panache to his portrayal of Malatesta, not only matching his colleagues’ winning stage presence and rapid-fire singing, but also bringing a rich depth to more expressive moments. On the podium, conductor Marizio Bennini evoked spirited color and Italianate style from the orchestra and chorus, though his pacing often got ahead of the action onstage, forcing the singers to struggle to keep up with the accelerated tempi.

While we await the end of winter’s chill, the lovable antics of “Don Pasquale” should warm the hearts of Columbia students desperately seeking an escape from impending midterms.

Performances of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale continue through March 18, with this Saturday’s matinee performance being broadcast live on WQXR 105.9FM. More information can be found online at metopera.org