The Man Who Made Music

Tufts students Sam Poliquin, A14, and Ben Feuerstein, A14, recently wrote, produced, and directed a short original film called The Man Who Made Music. The story takes place in a world where all songs and artists are poets, and therefore all “lyrics” are simply read out loud over the radio like a poem. A recently fired radio host soon discovers that adding sound to the lyrics yields a new and exciting result – music.

According to Poliquin, the film was a final project for the Ex-College class Making Movies and took approximately four weeks to make. In terms of inspiration, Poliquin wrote;

I took the idea of a world with no music and ran with it, taking more influence from one of my favorite movies, the “Invention of Lying.”  This story is unique because it has a heightened degree of fantasy but nevertheless takes place in a normal setting (Lowell, MA).  I pitched the idea to Ben, who then added his vision of using black and white transitioning into color as music is discovered.  I think this worked brilliantly.  Overall, we had a funky, comical storyline that we knew would stand out from the rest.  Plus, we would be able to shoot it pragmatically in everyday life without any elaborate sets.

Poliquin and Feuerstein found their actors through casting sessions posted on craigslist, got their film equipment from the Experimental College, and edited the footage in Braker’s basement lab.

Check out their terrific short film, The Man Who Made Music:

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Interview with President Monaco

Ever wonder how President Monaco takes his tea (spoiler alert: he doesn’t like tea) or what it’s like to live in Gifford House? Before his first commencement here at Tufts on Sunday, check out this “Interview with President Monaco” and get a glimpse into the life of Tony Monaco and his first year at Tufts:

Note: Though recently posted, this video was filmed earlier this year.

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Tufts on Instagram

While both Tufts University and Tufts Alumni have started using Instagram to document life at Tufts, it’s always nice when students, staff, and visitors share their experiences of campus through social media. Here are a few great Instagram images we came across with the tag #Tufts. Feel free to follow the school’s accounts – TuftsUniversity and TuftsAlumni – and don’t forget to tag your photos so we can check out your time at Tufts!


Creating masterpieces in the dining hall #tufts @kaitlynhodgman



My school has the cutest mascot <3 #tufts #jumbo


#jumbo #tufts


@ECquidditch children playing at #tufts #playground #swings #akidatheart


In honor of @areyouwhoyouwanttobe, let's spend today in and around #Davis #square. #medford #Boston #Tufts #TuftsUniversity #subway #red_line #T #theT #MBTA #train #sign #map

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Balance Finals

With finals upon us, things like healthy food, sleep, and trips to the gym tend to get put on the back burner. It’s much easier to grab some late night take-out than to prepare a well balanced meal in your kitchen. But, the worst thing that could happen to you during finals is getting sick, so Tufts Department of Health Education has provided a list of easy steps to follow to ensure you stay sniffles-free during this hectic time. The most unexpected tip? Staying hydrated:

During periods of intensive brain activity, water serves as the primary media and reactant in the massive metabolic reactions going on in your body and brain. To maintain health and a high level of functionality, you need to watch out for dehydration.

Head to their blog, Balance Your Life, for steps 1-4, as well as for more tips on creating a healthier lifestyle that expands outside of finals period.

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Interview with a Professor

The Tufts Observer has begun a series of videos on their youtube page titled “Interview with a Professor,” hosted by Danny Weiner, A12, and Luke Pyenson, A12. Their series has included meetings with professors from a wide range of departments, from English professor Michael Ullman to Computer Science professor Ben Hescott. A recent video is an interview with Mary Glaser from the Mathematics Department and involves the three doing everything from listening to reggae music to eating donuts to attempting a math problem. If anything, it serves as a fun reminder to students that professors are more than just promoters of academia (Ex: Glaser discusses her dreams of being a rockstar). Take a look at the video below:

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Sam Sommers Theme Song at TEDxSomerville

Sam Sommers appeared as one of the speakers this past week at TEDxSomerville, a nonprofit dedicated to the spread of new and riveting ideas, and had the pleasure of being accompanied by his very own theme song.  Performers from Do Not Forsake My Darling, which includes Tufts librarian Sophia Cacciola, were hired to be the house band for TEDxSomerville, and created mini theme songs for each of the speakers.

The lyrics to his song reflect the theme of Sam Sommer’s book Situations Matter: Understanding How Context Transforms your World:

Hang around with the right crowd
Hang around in the right town
You are what you eat, you are who you meet
says Sam Sommers, context is everything
says Sam Sommers, context is everything

You can listen to Sam Sommer’s demo of the talk below.

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Digging for Answers

Tufts Geology Professor Grant Garven doesn’t want to just teach out of books. Instead, he wanted his students to have a hands-on experience of studying water under the Earth’s surface. Just for this purpose has created an outdoor labroratory, complete with a series of very deep and narrow holes in the ground on campus. Have you seen them? There is one behind the Olin Center at the highest elevation on Tufts’ campus and two more near the Campus Center and Powderhouse Circle! Each borehole reaches about 120 to 200 feet into the Earth. To check out the drilling process for a new well near Eaton Hall, check out this video!

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EPIIC on the Web

The 2011-2012 EPIIC symposium, a four day event that took place from February 22 to 26,  was comprised of lectures and panels discussing various aspects of this year’s subject, “Conflict in the 21st Century,” and was put on by the Tufts Institute of Global Leadership. While tickets to the full symposium could run up to $75 a pop (the price was largely discounted for Tufts students and alums), the IGL made it possible to stay in the know no matter where you were, both during and after the symposium. You can scroll back on their twitter account to check out great EPIIC quotes or see their Flickr albums for photos of the many events and speakers.

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Students Teach Professor a Thing or Two

While gazing at the Boston skyline from Tisch Library, some students may wish they could explore the city for the day instead of researching for that paper or thesis. History professor Ben Carp has a different take – being in the Boston area is perfect for research. He encourages students to take advantage of the historical resources around them, and was surprised by what they found. Check it out in the video below.

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Last December, Professor Carp hosted of the annual Boston Tea Party reenactment at the Old South Meeting House. His most recent book, which incorporates student research, is called Defiance of the Patriots.

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Cosplay Culture

Professor Susan Napier, director of the Japanese program at Tufts, sat down for an interview with Cosplayer Nation.

To learn more about Prof. Napier, read this profile of her from 2007.

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