AKABAS | Podcast with Psychology Professor David Pizarro

David Pizarro has taught Introduction to Psychology and a number of other seminars since becoming an associate professor in 2012, and his research on moral judgement and emotion has been published in countless places, including an article for The Guardian that he co-wrote last month. He was nice enough to be the guest for my first Cornell Daily Sun podcast, during which he discussed his research, shared his thoughts on robots, and answered ten “Speed Round” questions. Listen to the full podcast and check out the complete list of topics below. Moral Judgement
1:30 – “The Trolley Problem” and its relation to robots making moral judgements
10:55 – Why humans don’t trust others who make calculating moral decisions
15:00 – A fun variant of “The Trolley Problem”
19:10 – How close are robots to taking over decision-making roles in society? 23:10 – Robots replacing referees in sports
Disgust and Political Orientation
28:15 – The relationship between disgust sensitivity and political orientation
35:00 – Could political orientation be biological?

TRAVELIN’ WITH JACQUELINE | Spring Break NYC – Part 1: Food

Like most Cornellians, I find that during the school year, amidst all the prelims and deadlines, it can be hard to set aside some time to treat myself and take things slow, which is why I decided to indulge in food, museums, and strolling around when I spent my Spring Break in New York City. I won’t be writing about every experience I had – only the ones I found to be interesting and fun. Originally, I was going to dedicate just one article to Spring Break, but I’ve decided to split the piece into two parts (one on food and another on museums), since there were too many highlights!  

132 West 31st Street, NY, NY 10001
4 / 5 stars

Since I arrived in NYC on Friday night, I was able to spend the entirety of Saturday with one of my best friends from high school, James! We met up in the morning and got brunch at one of the Friedman’s in Midtown.

SUNSPOTS | Immediate Reactions To This Year’s Slope Day Artists

If you haven’t read the news yet, this year’s Slope Day headliners will be MisterWives and Big Gigantic, with Brasstracks and S’Natra also performing. Our writers share their immediate reactions to finding out the lineup.  

Gabe Ares ‘19

When I heard that the Slope Day headliners were about to be announced, I, much like the squirrel awakened from hibernation, dug into my stash of memes I had been hoarding since last Slope Day. I looked through my musical meme folder, from Andre 3000 to the Zac Brown band, only to realize I had no idea who these people were. At first, I felt short-changed by the fact that we didn’t get a superstar, but listening to the groups tells me they’re nothing to cry about.

SUNSPOTS’ IN ANOTHER TONGUE | Der Heidnische Christus

By virtue of the quality of the education we as Cornellians receive, our university is a profoundly international community, attracting students and faculty from around the globe. Step outside Olin Library, or keep your ears pealed in a dining hall, and you are guaranteed to hear good-natured chatter between friends and family in a language totally unfamiliar to you. Our current political climate might suggest that this is a weakness, but it is the total opposite. In our academic city on a hill, though English is the language of instruction and a requirement for admission, knowledge of another language, and the lived wisdom which comes with that knowledge, are a source of joy and admiration. To celebrate the depth, vivacity, and color of Cornell itself, we at Sunspots have undertaken to offer an outlet for those wishing to publish in languages other than English.

AKABAS | 24 Moonlit Memes

Last night, after discovering that his film had, in fact, not won the Oscar for Best Picture, La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz took the mic, reverse-Kanye’d, and immediately overtook Denzel Washington crying and Nicole Kidman clapping as the meme of the evening. In honor of Moonlight’s win for studio A24, and to thank the movie gods that Moonlight won after La La Land was announced and not the other way around, I created 24 memes to celebrate the occasion.  

There you have it: 24 memes. Let’s take a moment, though, to ruminate on Moonlight’s win. The storyline here isn’t The Academy finally choosing the best picture of the year to win Best Picture; I loved both La La Land and Moonlight, and I believe the former to be a near-perfect film, memorable and thought-provoking in its own right. The storyline isn’t The Academy choosing a movie about and made by African-Americans – 12 Years A Slave won just three years ago. 

The storyline is that The Academy selected a Best Picture that will actually have the most cultural significance and lasting impact decades from now.


The last two weeks have been rough. They have been really really rough. Trump has imposed the travel began, ordered the construction of the wall, appointed a Secretary of Education who favors “for-profit” charter schools, cozied up to Russia and signed more “law and order” executive actions. The list could keep going. I actually think the press has not done too terrible of a job covering these stories.

TRAVELIN’ WITH JACQUELINE | Portland – Part 2: Winter

As you all know, this week’s blog post will be focused on the winter portion of my trip to Portland, Oregon this past mid-December. For the sake of not being repetitive, I will gloss over the minutiae of how I arrived at the train station and boarded the train because the schedule was almost exactly the same, with the exception of my parents and I deciding to leave for Portland on a Friday as opposed to a Saturday. Unlike my first trip to Portland, I took so many more photos of the scenery the second time around because it was more stunning. Most of the ride mostly resembled what you see above–brown-green hills with slush near the tracks–but a third of the ride made me feel like one of those professional photographers that only shoots in black and white because the landscape was covered with snow as far as the eye could see:

I wish I could convey to y’all the elevation at which these photos were taken and the extent to which the snow covered all that land, but since (1) I have practically no idea how to take good photos, (2) the train was moving so quickly and (3) you have no idea how challenging it is to attempt to eliminate your reflection from a photo, these pictures will have to suffice. After the train had descended from the mountains back to civilization, we were getting closer to Portland.


From Tuesday to Saturday last week, Punkfest Cornell took place throughout Ithaca, and included panel discussions (one of which featured members of Pussy Riot), live band and spoken word performances, an opening reception in Kroch and a film screening at Cornell Cinema. Unfortunately, I was incredibly busy last week, so I was only able to attend the aforementioned opening reception, but I have a feeling that would have been the event I enjoyed most anyway. The reception was celebrating the launch of Punkfest Cornell: Anarchy in the Archives, a new exhibition from the Cornell University Library Rare and Manuscript Collections in the Kroch Library within Olin Library. As you can see from the image below, the exhibit will be on display in the Hirshland Exhibition Gallery until May 19, 2017, so you have plenty of time to mosey on down there. Admission, of course, is free.