Category: Liv Conlon

Cold, Cold, and Still Cold by Liv Conlon

So why the heck is it STILL so cold out? We are just a week after spring break, and in the closing moments of March and beginning of April where, by all means, we should be shipping home the winter gear and opting for lighter jackets and short sleeves. Yet, a good portion of this week has been plagued with yet another snow storm.  Questions about our troubling weather patterns are being asked all around, and the New York Times attempts to give some insight as to what exactly is happening here in an article published earlier this winter, “Why So Cold? Climate Change May Be Part of the Answer”.

Not surprisingly, global warming has a lot to do with this global phenomenon.  The polar vortex, a frigid weather pattern normally isolated at the North Pole, has broken free and leaked out across the US, causing record breaking periods of cold temperature.  

While meteorologists can’t pinpoint the exact reasoning and process behind what makes this vortex move, climate change is a key factor in its displacement. The jet stream which keeps this vortex moving in a circle around the north point of the globe is weakening as global warming heats the rest of the world up. The weaker pull is probably the cause of movement, among other factors that influence day to day weather.

Hopefully the cold makes its way out in the next few weeks because, and I don’t know about you guys but, I am so over this campus doubling as an ice rink.  Fingers crossed for a few nicer days this week!




Fountain, Henry. “Why So Cold? Climate Change May Be Part of the Answer.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 3 Jan. 2018,


A Post about Books by Liv Conlon

Recently, quite a few of my fellow honors friends have shared similar complaints that they miss being able to read freely, but since coming to college there just isn’t enough time. And if there is time, we’re too exhausted to fully appreciate a good book anyway.

I empathize with them, and I’m in the same boat. I have a sky-high stack of unread books checked out from Morris Library, and a steadily growing guilt as, day after day, they sit there untouched. Something has to give here. I’m hoping that, maybe, if I bring one book along with me everyday, I’ll have a few moments between the craziness to get in a couple of pages. It’s not 4 hours straight of uninterrupted book time, but it’s a start. For anyone else missing their favorite novels – you’re definitely not alone.  

As this post is dedicated to books, I thought I’d share some particularly great ones that don’t require too much mental energy to follow. Something for future reference, if you are so inclined.

Carry On

Written by Rainbow Rowell, a fabulously spunky author, this novel follows a similar plot to Harry Potter, with a little more flamboyance. The story is meant to be a gay fanfiction from a novel featured in another of Rowell’s pieces. Carry On is amazing because it has almost as much magic and adventure as the Harry Potter series, but in a more manageable width. If that’s not enough, the adorable love affair should win you over.

Diary of An Oxygen Thief

This book is super intriguing for a few reasons. The author is anonymous for one, and he uses this book to detail his intrigue in setting his lovers up for heartbreak. Short, vulgar, and straight to the point; this book is one hell of a ride.

Lab Girl

Written by Hope Jahren, this geochemist’s memoir details her unusual childhood and how it helped her fall in love with the science of our environment. The imagery is beautiful, and easy to follow. Follow along with her stories and you’re bound let out a few smiles. While this is a great choice for anyone – science majors, I especially recommend this one to you. It’s a good pick-me-up if you want to remember what’s to love about the scientific field.

Hyperbole and a Half

This all time favorite is written by Allie Brosh entirely in colorful comic strips. Brosh’s chaotic childhood tales are relentless in the best ways. It’s a book that my close friends have passed around so many times, we could quote the whole thing. If you’re looking to laugh so hard that you’re gasping for air, this one’s for you.

The Art of Families and Thanksgiving by Liv Conlon

Welcome back to all of us lucky enough to have gotten a week’s respite from dorm life. And, if your break was anything like mine, I’m sure you’re glad to be free of the perpetual nightmare that was the excessive judgement of our family members. Sure, they don’t mean any harm, but that doesn’t mean Uncle Carl’s comparisons about his girlfriend’s daughter’s cousin, who’s pulling A’s in Harvard, aren’t going to sting a little.  

Even with a full course load and future plans for med school, it took 20 minutes of questioning before I was reduced to hiding out in the bathroom – just to escape the scrutiny over the practicality of my life plans, and how they add up to those around me.  

It shouldn’t be a surprise, but I have no idea how practical my future plans are. By the time I graduate, somebody may find the end all cure of every neurological disease and my degree as a neuroscientist will be altogether pointless. Maybe I’ll graduate and immediately be employed by a research university with unlimited funding. Or maybe, I’ll decide halfway through junior year that I’d rather write espionage novels for a living. As a freshman, with years upon years of schooling ahead of me, I shouldn’t have to have a perfected life plan paired with a powerpoint presentation ready for every family gathering.

Last year I was drilled with questions like what major am I declaring, where am I applying, am I taking the ACTs one more time JUST to see, etc, etc. This is all madness, and I don’t know about you, but I’d like to be at least 30 before I start losing hair and developing ulcers. While I can’t change their intrusiveness, I can change the way I respond.

I’m still new to this whole college thing. However, I’ve been here long enough to know that some of the brightest around here have no more clue than you or I of what they’re doing tomorrow, let alone 10 years from now.

So let’s do all of ourselves a favor and take each interrogation with a grain of salt.  Go to class, study hard, and try everything and anything that is even remotely interesting to you, because you don’t know where it may take you. The rest will follow. In the meantime, I’ve included a picture of my dogs enjoying their thanksgiving feast.

Freshman Food Fails by Liv Conlon

As expected, the newest additions to the Honors program are making great strides with the academic aspects of college. However, it’s the general feeding-oneself skill that seems to be a challenge. While you might think that Easy Mac or instant noodles would indeed be an “easy” and “instant” meal, you have yet to witness a particularly disgruntled freshman armed with a microwave and care package full of pre-packaged meals.

Easy Mac Started the Fire!

We open with a particularly interesting anecdote in which one of our own overlooked the importance of the great, universal solvent: water. Instead, she placed a plastic cup of DRY macaroni and POWDERED flavoring in the microwave expecting, two minutes later, to have a hot and EDIBLE dinner. Instead, smoke shot from the appliance with a vengeance, and the charred remains permeated the halls, much to the alarm of the other 600 unsuspecting students.  

Ramen Debacles

While Mac and Cheese was the near cause of the 2017 Redding burn down, ramen has proved itself to be a greater challenge. Thankfully, this brand of noodle seems to have a less severe failure consequence. A fifth floor student managed to successfully follow the package directions (including the correct amount of water) only to crash land the steaming bowl down the hall.  Based on witness accounts, his fall wasn’t much more graceful – featuring a Charlie Brown style crash, with limbs flailing.

I was lucky enough to witness one of my own floormate’s experience cooking for the first time with the classic chicken-flavored ramen and a skillet. The adventure had its complications almost immediately when my floormate couldn’t find a wooden spoon. He unwillingly remedied the situation with a plastic knife, much to his worry about melting the utensil to soup. As the flavoring packet wasn’t enough, he proceeded to dump a generous helping of tabasco into the boiling water and noodle mix. While this definitely added some heat to his dinner, it also set off a small tear gas explosion. Rather than letting all of this absorb into the noodle mix, he dumped the tabasco water down the drain and sprinkled his flavor packet on top. Mission accomplished…I guess?

In other non-noodle related news, an ambulance was nearly called for a student suffering from a poptart induced vomiting fit while another had a close call with a box of rotting fruit. Let’s hope we learn from our mistakes sooner rather than later.

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