Harvard Hub

Neil Patrick Harris Was Harvard Hasty Pudding 'Man of the Year' and Here are Highlights: VIDEO


Late last week, Neil Patrick Harris was honored by Harvard's Hasty Pudding Club as its 2014 Man of the Year.

Hasty Pudding Club is the nation's oldest undergrad drama club and presents this award annually though this is the first time it has gone to an openly gay man. Honorees are generally made to do ridiculous things in a ceremony filled with drag and high-minded debauchery.

The group persuaded Helen Mirren to twerk publicly late last month as it honored her with Woman of the Year.

The group has just put out a hilarious highlight video of the event in which NPH motorboats a drag queen and spoons baby food to a baby-faced male student.

Check it out as well as a post-event press conference, AFTER THE JUMP...

And congrats to NPH on this well-deserved honor!


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Closeted Harvard Students Inadvertently Outed By Facebook

Apparently some Harvard students don't realize that everything you do on social networks should be considered public, because The Crimson just published a story about Facebook-using undergrads being inadvertently outed to their parents when friends and events post LGBT-related items on their walls.

FacebookAs The Crimson puts it, "Queer students, especially, have found that ‘the closet’ on the Internet does not provide a very good lock."

Understanding Facebook’s privacy settings can be challenging, particularly due to frequent policy changes. Because of incidents like these, students said that they have become more cautious when using social media sites.

What's more interesting though are the precautions that some Harvard LGBT groups take to help protect the privacy of their possibly-closeted members:

Most of the BGLTQ groups on campus have varying forms of privacy clauses in their constitutions that allow students to hide or censor their membership to preserve confidentiality.

“Some [queer groups] are especially focused on being safe spaces where people can kind of explore themselves and come to terms with themselves,” [Allison Gofman ’14, leader of the queer Jewish organization BAGELS] said. “It’s important that you feel free to have people to talk to without having that go out to the whole world.”

QSA, the largest queer student group on campus, goes to great lengths to ensure students’ privacy by instituting policies regarding posting photos or recording names of members who speak during meetings. They also allow club officers to go by aliases on their website.

The upside of The Crimson's tale is that the two students they interviewed ended up being happy that Facebook outed them, so there's that. But remember kids, everyone can see everything you do online forever. If you don't want your business to be known, don't go online.

What's more troubling is the rising trend of haters using social networks to locate and commit violence against LGBT people — scary stuff indeed.

Fantastic Video Highlights The Way People Say Things Across America: VIDEO


A fun new video from The Atlantic has been created to accompany a series of maps made by Joshua Katz, a student at North Carolina State University.

The maps, which highlight regions of the U.S. based on pronunciation and word choice, were originally conceived in conjunction with a 2003 Harvard study on the subject of regional dialects. The video takes the infographics one step further as interviewers call up people from various regions and have them answer questions as the maps light up. Unsurprisingly, and somewhat humorously, the Midwestern, Southern, and Northeastern regions of the country have the most varied answers.

What are your favorite regional differences? 

Watch the fun and enlightening video, AFTER THE JUMP... 

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Harvard Prof Niall Ferguson Apologizes for Economic Gay Bashing

Harvard Professor Niall Ferguson is apologizing after remarks he made that the economic philosophies of John Maynard Keynes are flawed because Keynes was gay and not uninterested in procreation or future generations.

FA reports: Ferguson

Speaking at the Tenth Annual Altegris Conference in Carlsbad, Calif., in front of a group of more than 500 financial advisors and investors, Ferguson responded to a question about Keynes' famous philosophy of self-interest versus the economic philosophy of Edmund Burke, who believed there was a social contract among the living, as well as the dead. Ferguson asked the audience how many children Keynes had. He explained that Keynes had none because he was a homosexual and was married to a ballerina, with whom he likely talked of "poetry" rather than procreated. The audience went quiet at the remark. Some attendees later said they found the remarks offensive.

It gets worse.

Ferguson, who is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, and author of The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die, says it's only logical that Keynes would take this selfish worldview because he was an "effete" member of society. Apparently, in Ferguson's world, if you are gay or childless, you cannot care about future generations nor society.

This takes gay-bashing to new heights. It even perversely pins the full weight of the financial crisis on the gay community and the barren.

Ferguson apologized yesterday on his blog, calling the remarks "stupid" and "insensitive":

I had been asked to comment on Keynes’s famous observation “In the long run we are all dead.” The point I had made in my presentation was that in the long run our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are alive, and will have to deal with the consequences of our economic actions.

But I should not have suggested – in an off-the-cuff response that was not part of my presentation – that Keynes was indifferent to the long run because he had no children, nor that he had no children because he was gay. This was doubly stupid. First, it is obvious that people who do not have children also care about future generations. Second, I had forgotten that Keynes’s wife Lydia miscarried.

My disagreements with Keynes’s economic philosophy have never had anything to do with his sexual orientation. It is simply false to suggest, as I did, that his approach to economic policy was inspired by any aspect of his personal life. As those who know me and my work are well aware, I detest all prejudice, sexual or otherwise.

Andrew Sullivan speaks in Ferguson's defense:

I am obviously an interested party to this. I’ve known Niall as a friend since we studied history together at Oxford. This has not deterred me from criticizing his public arguments on the merits, so I’m not a suck-up. But I have known the man closely for many years – even read Corinthians at his recent wedding – and have never seen or heard or felt an iota of homophobia from him. He has supported me in all aspects of my life – and embraced my husband and my marriage. He said a horribly offensive thing – yes, it profoundly offended me – but he has responded swiftly with an unqualified apology. He cannot unsay something ugly. But he has done everything short of that. I am biased, but that closes the matter for me.

And one other small thing: if he really believed gay men had no interest in future generations, why would he have asked me, a gay man with HIV, to be the godfather to one of his sons? And why would I have accepted?

But has Ferguson been linking Keynes' policies to his sexual orientation for years? Cambridge Professor and economist Michael Kitson and other critics point out that he has.

Harvard Business School Says It Gets Better: VIDEO


Out Harvard Business School students and the school's dean join the 'It Gets Better' video.

In response to the lack of women in the video, a commenter on YouTube notes: "There are no out lesbian students at Harvard Business School today. In the past we have had out women on campus but not this year. We are hoping more will apply."

Our tipster tells us there are five out lesbians who have been accepted in the incoming class.


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Lady Gaga Launches 'Born This Way' Foundation at Harvard: VIDEO


Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta launched their Born This Way Foundation at Harvard yesterday in front of an audience of students and guests, along with a panel that included Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and NPH partner and actor David Burtka.

The Boston Globe reports:

“The goal of the Born This Way Foundation is to challenge meanness and cruelty by inspiring young people to create a support system in their respective communities,’’ she said. “This is about changing . . . the school environment, and not putting the power in the hands of the teachers or the government.’’

While Gaga said the organization was not “an antibullying charity,’’ much of the talk yesterday revolved around bullying, both in person and on the Web.

Winfrey said she is lending her support because the foundation’s mission is in line with her personal values.

“What is exciting to me,’’ Winfrey said, “is that thought leaders have gathered together as one force to ask why does bullying and violence and hatred against young people continue in our society and what we can do about it.’’

Watch a few clips of the launch program plus Gaga's arrival on campus, AFTER THE JUMP...


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