Why do we want our photographs taken? In this world where time inevitably passes, it is impossible to keep anything but a vague memory of the things that are not happening to us in the moment. We don’t even remember the exact taste of the last meal we had, or how we felt five minutes ago. When exactly were you happy in the past month? Hanging out with friends on some couch of some common room of some floor, a walk under clear skies, seeing that beautiful tree with its leaves half-turned that was spared by the storm — these moments may as well have been imagined, so distant we are to them.

Thanksgiving is coming up and in terms of shopping, this means one very important day: Black Friday. Traditionally the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday is a time where everyone is out in droves hunting for the best deal. Some people, however, are better than dealing with this shopping madness than others. Infamous for creating long lines and all-night waits in front of stores, Black Friday can either be a great gift or a time to avoid.

Too often, we all get caught up in a routine. An over-scheduled, hectic routine, but a routine nonetheless. Of course, it’s easy to fall into this pattern. Of course, the activities we choose are fun. Considering, however, all the great organizations and clubs on campus, I suggest for you to try something new. Be spontaneous.

Voice control is not new. In 1961, IBM constructed a computer called the Shoebox that could perform mathematical functions using spoken digits as input. But to watch Apple’s iPhone 4S release and to read reviewers’ accounts of Siri, you would think this new generation of voice control is the next killer app. And, as surprising as that conclusion is, it might just turn out to be accurate.

John Edgar Hoover took over the post of Director of the Bureau of Investigations in 1924 (they wouldn’t add the “Federal” until 1935), when an Amherst graduate sat in the White House, the Chicago Cubs hadn’t won a World Series in 18 years and race riots, union strikes and anarchist bombings made Occupy Wall Street look like child’s play. Hoover would remain in his office until the day he died 48 years later, when Tricky Dick ticked off entries on his enemies list, the Vietnam War just kept raging and the Chicago Cubs hadn’t won a World Series in 66 years.

You can tell a lot about a person by the subsections they divide their time into when asked to sum up their lives. Time spent sleeping versus time spent awake, time spent exercising versus time spent relaxing, time spent thinking about that boy or girl you like versus, well, nothing. But for the typical Amherst student, the distinction that we make is pretty clear. It is study time versus literally everything else we do in our lives. That’s a pretty fair representation of what life here is.

In turning my attention to writing about music, something I must confess I am new to, I was unsure of what to write about at first. I thought to myself: there must have been something released in the past year that means something to me. Something new that I would want to talk about. Something new that I feel an uncontrollable desire to tell everyone I meet to go out and listen to. Something relevant to a modern audience. After pondering this option, I thought, why bother?

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