Sunday, 12:03 am

Miss the SciLi already? Become its friend!

Though it's unlikely the SciLi will get down with you over break, now might be a good time to reconnect.

Thursday, 2:24 am

From the mouths of the people:

Wednesday, 20:16

Apparently everyone else's Spring Break is starting days before mine because it is pretty empty here in 25 decibels. This has allowed me to have a computer facing out into the basement, but not such that anyone in a study room can watch me rampantly gchatting...

Mixed blessing?

Tuesday, 12:53 pm

Awkward hour (noun) --
A phenomenon that causes students to flood the SciLi basement to print reading and check their e-mail, because there's little else they can get done between classes.

Example usage: I went to the SciLi during awkward hour, and none of the computers were free. I lurked by 50 decibels until someone finally got up and left.

Sunday, 7:27 pm

Why is there a doorbell of some sort in the Science Center? And WHY does someone keep ringing it?

Sunday, 10:54 am

Sketch comedy group Out of Bounds pays homage to everyone's favorite fortress in "SciLi State of Mind."

"Concrete building that's made of concrete / There's nothing that's fun here / You're in the SciLi"
In typical fashion, Brown-Secure is unable to handle an upload of the full video. So click here for more.

And don't think the beloved Frisc didn't get a few shout outs … "If your work is like dayum / Open till the A.M."

Monday, 2:59 pm

Ah the ominous neon sign. Just what you hope to see on the PawPrints card reader at 2:52 pm, as you and the seven people in front of you on line recall that document you needed to print for a 3 pm seminar.

Sunday, 3:05 pm

Though this is arguably the only source you should ever look to for Friscobservations, a few other Web sites are worth referencing, if only for the fact that they confirm many of the theories found here.
  • "The new Friedman Study Center in the SciLi has made going to study there so social, loud and, frankly, impossible that you might as well be going to a frightening 1970s nightclub."2007 opinions column in The Brown Daily Herald
  • "I am looking at the northwest corner right now and there is enough open floorspace for a 20 person yoga class. Maybe more furniture will be coming soon. ... One of the new types of chair is rather uncomfortable. ... An area in the middle of the basement that is sectioned off with dividers made of metal slats. I like the idea of dividers but they are ugly and look like jail cell bars. Also, the entire area is poorly lit, which is too bad, because it is one of the few places in the study center with lots of chairs. ... There is still only one toilet in the bathroom."angsty blog posting, circa 2007
  • "There’s only one bathroom for each sex, so there’s always a long line. Someone’s always talking on his or her cell phone, despite the posted decibel levels. And there’s often a shortage of available computers in the clusters." —blog post about lovable libraries

Monday, 12:29 pm

I feel like I'm cheating.

As a self-proclaimed Frisc expert and lover, I feel the need to justify my current location. Yes, I am in the Rock. And yes, I am enjoying myself.

When the new study space opened on the first floor of the Rock last year, complete with comfy chairs, classrooms and outlet-equipped tables, I was curious as to how its usage would impact the Frisc. For the first few weeks, the open, airy room was jam-packed and exceeded appropriate volume levels. But now, a year later, it is quiet, respectful and seemingly productive — a stark contrast to my usual haven.

In order to best explain the difference between the Frisc and the Rock study space, I would like to draw a parallel. The Frisc is to the Ratty as the Rock is to the V-dub.

Let's begin with location. The Rock and the V-dub require deliberate redirection. Both are located on the outside perimeter of campus, and unless one has a strangely located, oddly timed class, chances are — attendance requires conscious thought. With both the Ratty and the Frisc, it's hard to walk to any academic buildings on campus without being at least near to them. Entrance is often not a decision, but a gravitational pull.

The lack of thought is connected to the second key difference: intention. While the Ratty is filled with students doing homework, "food shopping" and eating oddly timed meals and snacks, the V-Dub exists solely for mealtime. Similarly, the Frisc is filled with students napping, talking on their cell phones, socializing and eating all types of meals and snacks. Maybe there is some work happening, but in the Rock room, that is the only thing happening.

An added factor is sheer availability. In both size and hours open, the distinctions are evident.

Ambiance is also key. Both the Frisc and the Ratty have a batch-processing feel to them at times, while the V-Dub and Rock appear like a real living space. The former institutions are nearly windowless (Zen gardens do not count), while natural sunlight streams into the Rock and the front of the V-Dub.

The Rock and the V-Dub have a more exclusive feel to them — smaller populations inhabit the institutions, and the users tend to have common traits. The Ratty and the Frisc, despite its scientific intentions, serve as locations of use for just about every type. As a result, every group has its own haven — social maps of both institutions could be easily drawn. Comparatively, the Rock room has a feel of togetherness. (Except that it's far more likely I would be glared at for attending to my vibrating cell phone…)

At the end of the day, the greatest comparison to be made is the reluctant love we feel for the Ratties and Friscs of the world. Empirically, the other institutions should seem more attractive. We complain that the Rock and Frisc are too loud; we gripe about the food served; we express frustration at the number of people present and yet, the title of this blog says it all — there's no place we'd rather be.

Wednesday, 00:33

Spotted in 25 Decibels: Female student wrapped in white-and-red comforter. If the basement is Brown's living room, apparently this student thinks the computer table must be its couch — the one you always fall asleep on while watching TV.

Monday, 11:23 pm

Turns out we're not the only ones creeping away in the Frisc. Don't get spotted napping.

Monday, 21:11

It's freezing in the stacks today. Must get some tea to warm up. Simple enough, right?


At 8:42pm, I hit the elevator down button from the 13th floor. Dealbreaker #1: I am literally standing and waiting for the elevator until its arrival at 8:47pm. SERIOUSLY?!

5 minutes for the elevator. Isn't this exactly why there are THREE?! (And yes, there are three working right now, the PSA is no longer in effect). That's at least 100 words of my fieldnotes transcription for Ethnomusicology or a couple of flashcards for my upcoming midterms. But no, the SciLi Gods would rather have me spend that time staring at my feet and listening to elevators go up down up down, teasing me with every floor-arrival ding that echoes through their shafts.

Once I acquire my tea, I am once again back in the elevator headed for 13. Dealbreaker #2: Two girls are already on from the basement level headed for the mezz (why aren't you walking?). Dealbreaker #3: A hipster boy, fresh from his smoke break (no but really), gets on at the last second and presses 8. He then proceeds to squeeze past the girls and lean against the back wall of the elevator directly next me. Indeed, space is at such a premium that he is TOUCHING ME. Dealbreaker #4: Upon our arrival at floor 8, he is so impatient to get off the elevator that he tries to open the admittedly slow-opening elevator doors with his hand.

Saturday, 4:16 pm

Public service announcement.


Thursday, 11:18 pm

Friscers, I award you serious respect points right now. For a Thursday night, coming off of the tail end of crossover hour, the noise level is as it should be and there are actually open chairs and desks. Thursdays have never quite followed the rules of weekday traffic patterns, but it is nevertheless shocking to see the study center being used for, well, studying.

In other news, the severe weather conditions (and therefore wet footwear) have led numerous users to shed their shoes and traipse around barefoot, but hey — socked feet are quieter anyway.

Tuesday, 2:33 pm

The Frisc has always grappled with the fact that words have specific meanings — "study center," "quiet," "100% wireless" — but the "library" seems to have hit a new low. Tomorrow is the Science Center's Grand Opening, but your friendly Friscapologists — and half the immediate world — have been using it for over a month.