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The Dahod Family Alumni Center Opens for Business Year-plus restoration of historic mansion, formerly the Castle, complete

In total, more than 800 donors contributed to the renovation of the Dahod Family Alumni Center, housed in the 103-year-old mansion known for decades as the Castle. Photo by Cydney Scott

Arguably BU’s grandest and most stately building, the new Dahod Family Alumni Center—housed in the 103-year-old mansion known for decades as the Castle—looms over Bay State Road and Storrow Drive, with its stone gargoyles, peaked roof, and leaded Gothic windows.

But age had taken a toll on the century-old Tudor Revival building. The exterior was covered in soot, and inside, years of piecemeal renovations hadn’t managed to adequately squash leaks and electrical issues. And the mansion, which was called upon regularly to host dinners, lectures, and weddings, wasn’t fully handicap accessible.

Now, thanks to a major 15-month restoration, which included a scrubbing of the exterior of the gray edifice to restore the original sandstone color as well as extensive interior work, the building is starting off the new school year with a new look. And it officially reopens this weekend during Alumni Weekend, September 21 to 23. First floor space will now have a faculty dining area and be used for programs run by Events & Conferences. The second floor will house facilities and gathering places for alumni and the Alumni Relations offices, and the third floor will be staff offices and meeting spaces. And the improved BU Pub, which was closed during the construction, is reopening.

The construction cost of the top-to-bottom restoration, designed by the Boston firm Finegold Alexander Architects, Inc., was $10 million, much of it paid for through the generous support of BU alumni, starting with the naming gift of $2 million from BU trustee Shamim Dahod (CGS’76, CAS’78, MED’87) and her husband, Ashraf Dahod; $1 million from former trustee Sid Feltenstein (COM’62), whose name appears on the first floor of the building; and $1 million from former trustee Ed Fuller (Questrom’68) and his wife, Michela Fuller, whose donation transformed what had been known as the BU Pub into Fuller’s BU Pub. In total, more than 800 donors contributed to the building’s renovation, says Steve Hall, vice president for alumni relations.

“It started with the vision of having a recognizable place on campus that alumni could call their home,” says Walt Meissner (CFA’81), BU associate vice president for operations, who oversaw the LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) project for the University. “The other thing that drove the project was the practical need. This is a highly sought-after, recognizable event space, with at least 175 events last year. So this was a complete renovation, with new systems and amenities, but we wanted it to look and feel the same.”

Balancing old and new

The mansion at 225 Bay State Road was built by businessman and author William Lindsey, Jr., in the early years of the 20th century for what was then the staggering sum of $500,000 (the equivalent of $11.6 million today). The house was modeled on Britain’s stately Athelhampton Hall, and the exterior’s elaborate stonework was carved by the sculptor who worked on Copley Square’s Trinity Church. English craftsmen built the interior’s large hooded fireplace, sweeping dual staircase, and dark mahogany walls. After construction was completed in 1915, the house was a private home for several years. BU trustee William Chenery (Hon.’38) purchased it and donated it to the University, and BU Presidents Daniel Marsh (STH’08, Hon.’58) and Harold Case (STH’27, Hon.’67) and their families lived there during their tenures. In addition to hosting BU events and galas, the house has also attracted Hollywood. It can be seen in films such as The Proposition (1996), 21 (2007), The Social Network (2010), and Ghostbusters (2023).

As part of its complete rehab, the Dahod Family Alumni Center’s exterior masonry, original windows, and slate roof have all been restored. Gone are the window AC units, and in their place is a building-wide HVAC system.

“When a building has that kind of cultural significance to the collective memory of an institution, it’s always going to be both a wonderful opportunity and a particularly strong challenge to an architect to preserve the aspects of the building that contribute to its historical significance,” says Rebecca Berry, a principal with Finegold Alexander Architects, “while at the same time doing work that enables the building, built 100 years ago as a house, to function as a modern event center.

“The complexity of this project was far greater than the scale of the building.”

One of the architectural team’s biggest challenges—making the mansion fully handicap accessible—began several years ago, when the Alan and Sherry Leventhal Center, home of BU Admissions, was being built next door. The two buildings are connected through a wall.

“Provisions were made at the time to enable the eventual cut-throughs, so those in a wheelchair could enter the Castle through the Leventhal Center,” Berry says. To make the building compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the team had to take into account “things like door hardware, and stair handrails, and very small, subtle things that blend into the historic detailing that no one is going to notice except for the design and construction team,” she says.

Next Monday, guests will be able to dine in the new first floor Faculty Dining Center and in Fuller’s BU Pub, which now has an enclosed year-round patio, a new chef and commercial kitchen, a new menu, 16 beer taps—and yes, the return of the Knight’s Quest. (BU Today will publish an in-depth story about Fuller’s BU Pub next month.) “When people return to the Pub, clearly it’s going to be different—it’s nicer, but it shouldn’t be unfamiliar,” Hall says.

Alumni will be among the first to get a glimpse of their new center this weekend, when the building hosts several Alumni Weekend open houses and private events.

“Many alumni have told me that they are hugely impressed with the fact that the University has dedicated such an iconic building to be our Alumni Center,” says Mary V. Perry (CAS’79, GRS’80, LAW’83), president of the Boston University Alumni Association. “It says great things about the importance of BU alumni: much more than using words, our University leadership is showing us how much we are valued. The Dahod Family Alumni Center will not just provide us a home, it will provide a draw to come home to BU.”

The Dahod Family Alumni Center Grand Opening is being celebrated this weekend during Alumni Weekend. Find a list of events and registration information here.

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Global Citizens Return To Bu Campus For Alumni Weekend 2023

Global Citizens Return to BU Campus for Alumni Weekend 2023

Alumni Weekend

Global Citizens Return to BU Campus for Alumni Weekend 2023 University honors four with Distinguished Alumni Awards

At the 73rd Best of BU Alumni Awards (from left): Erika Jordan, BU vice president for alumni engagement; Anthony Harrison (COM’81), president of the Boston University Alumni Association; Lawrence Carter (STH’68,’70,’79), dean of the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College; Tijjani Muhammad-Bande (GRS’81), permanent representative of Nigeria to the United Nations; Priyanka Naik (CAS’10), vegan chef and cookbook author; Kathleen McLaughlin (ENG’87), Walmart, Inc., executive vice president and chief sustainability officer and president of the Walmart Foundation; Shoshana Chatfield (Pardee’88), US Navy rear admiral and president of the United States Naval War College; and Robert A. Brown, BU president. Photo by Doug Levy

One year after BU’s Alumni Weekend festivities went online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, alums returned to campus for an unprecedented celebration. Nearly 1,000 people registered for in-person events, hundreds more logged on remotely from around the world, and the Class of 2023 finally had the Commencement ceremony they’d awaited for 17 months. Festivities included wine and cheese at the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, events at many of the schools and colleges, a cruise on the Charles River for Golden Terriers, and the BU Symphony Orchestra’s first live performance in nearly two years.

“It’s just so exhilarating to see people in person,” BU President Robert A. Brown said to the audience gathered for the 73rd Best of BU Alumni Awards. “I look forward to this event annually, because it shines a bright light on the exemplary service and transformative accomplishments of our alumni.”

This year’s honorees came from radically different professional backgrounds, yet all four spoke of a common goal fueled by their time at BU: working toward a greater global good. Each was presented with a 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award, the most prestigious honor conferred by the Boston University Alumni Association.

Lawrence Carter (STH’68,’70,’79), dean of Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College, recalled the highs and lows of his time at BU. King (GRS’55, Hon.’59) had inspired him to come to Boston, and Carter prayed, in tears, in Marsh Chapel the night he learned of the civil rights leader’s assassination. He credited the same educational environment that nurtured King with turning him into a “moral cosmopolitan,” with a concern for global human rights. “No philosophy counters American racism, and potentially environmental injustice, more powerfully than the one Martin Luther King studied at Boston University,” Carter said.

Shoshana Chatfield (Pardee’88), a rear admiral in the US Navy and the first woman president of the US Naval War College, recalled signing up with an ROTC recruiter upon arriving on campus for her first year. “Here, I began my habit of lifelong learning,” she said. “Here, I decided to serve my country…. And here was where I decided I wanted to be thought of as kind and competent and a global citizen.”

Among the Alumni Weekend 2023 events, which were held September 29 to October 3, were a cruise on the Charles River for Golden Terriers, a Young Alumni night, and an alumni lunch. Photos by Dana J. Quigley

Kathleen McLaughlin (ENG’87) studied engineering before moving into corporate philanthropy. As executive vice president and chief sustainability officer at Walmart and president of the Walmart Foundation, she has helped direct more than $1 billion to global causes. “By so many measures—average life expectancy, reduction in extreme poverty, access to clean water and education—there has never been a better time to be alive on the planet than today,” she said. “And yet, while humanity has flourished, we’ve gone past the boundaries of our planet, in terms of climate and nature…. The challenge of our time is one of regeneration. How do we renew and rewire our societal systems in service to people and planet? How do we create a more just and sustainable world?”

Tijjani Muhammad-Bande (GRS’81), permanent representative of Nigeria to the United Nations and former president of the United Nations General Assembly, talked about the influence of BU political science professors like Howard Zinn and Murray Levin. They were “unsparing in terms of scholarship, but equally passionate about social justice issues,” he said. “Scholarship unconnected to social justice is really a dangerous thing.”

Also during the event, Priyanka Naik (CAS’10), a vegan chef, television personality, and cookbook author, was presented with a Young Alumni Award.

While the distinguished alumni reflected on the values they developed during their respective eras at BU, a symposium about racial and health disparities during the pandemic, held one day earlier, suggested that those ideals are as strong as ever on campus.

“We have to get to a point in which we’re trying out big, bold solutions to seemingly intractable racial problems,” said Ibram X. Kendi, the University’s Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and founding director of BU’s Center for Antiracist Research, which hosted the event. “We have to move from a period of awareness to action.”

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Bu Talks Climate Action At The White House

BU Talks Climate Action at the White House Pledges to reduce its carbon emissions by 35 percent

More than 2,000 students attend sustainability@BU’s annual Earth Day Festival. Photo by Jackie Riccardi

Boston University pledged yesterday to reduce its carbon emissions by 35 percent in four million square feet of building space by 2023, adding to the 35 percent reduction in carbon emissions it has already achieved in many existing facilities. The news came as two BU student leaders took part in the White House American Campuses Act on Climate day-of-action.

At a private roundtable discussion, sustainability@BU intern Lindsey Chew (Questrom’16) and student government president Andrew Cho (CAS’16) joined university presidents, White House and US Department of State officials, and other college students in brainstorming ways college campuses could promote sustainability and address climate change. The White House officials hope the talks will influence world leaders, who are set to convene later this month at the 2023 Paris Climate Conference (COP21). The 21st conference’s mission is to reach agreement on a plan that would reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the storms, floods, droughts, and other catastrophes linked to global warming. The goal of the conferences is to keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, which many scientists say is the key number to keeping the crisis in check.

Chew says she was especially inspired after hearing from Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy. “McCarthy called on students to energize their communities with education and awareness efforts,” Chew says. “I appreciated her emphasis on immediate solutions, because we need to move past climate change as a political issue and act as quickly as possible.”

Cho, an environmental analysis and policy major who regularly tweets about BU’s sustainability efforts, says he wishes more students could have attended the event. “Students were by far the minority of the group,” he says. “I wanted to bring more attention to social engagement and the need to connect sustainable actions to healthy and fulfilling lifestyles.”

Other students from across the country were invited to tweet about the climate day-of-action using the hashtag #ActOnClimate. On campus, sustainability@BU hosted an hour-long discussion at BU Central to talk about climate change and then live-streamed a special conversation between McCarthy and YouTube star Emily Graslie.

Chew says that BU’s environmental efforts caught the attention of the White House after she and fellow sustainability@BU interns became involved in the University’s Chevrolet Campus Clean Energy Campaign last year. The automaker identified BU as a regional leader in clean energy and asked to buy some of its carbon credits to retire them permanently.

During the campaign, the sustainability@BU interns asked students to share, on a huge chalkboard in the George Sherman Union, the ways they could help BU reduce its emissions. They also spearheaded a social media campaign using the hashtag #CleanEnergyU. That campaign has been a big success and is still going strong: since October 2014, #CleanEnergyU has gained more than 23 million impressions on Twitter and hosted 7 tweet-a-thon Q&As with CEOs, mayors, authors, and executives from nonprofits like the Climate Group and the National Wildlife Federation and from businesses such as Google and Starbucks.

The Pledge

More than 200 colleges and universities signed a climate pledge at yesterday’s White House day-of-action. In addition to cutting carbon emissions, BU also committed to reducing energy consumption by 10 percent by 2023 and to supporting climate change research.

The University is especially committed to reducing carbon emissions, Chew says. Between 2006 and 2014, BU reduced its energy consumption by 4 percent and its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent, while at the same time increasing overall facilities’ size by 14 percent. This was achieved by reducing the University’s average energy use intensity (EUI) 16 percent through renovating heating plants, upgrading heating and cooling systems, recommissioning buildings, switching to cleaner burning fuels, the greening of the electrical grid, and replacing traditional lighting controls and lamps.

“We were pleased to be invited to this event and to have the opportunity to send students to participate,” says President Robert A. Brown, who was unable to attend the White House event. “We have demonstrated that it is possible to meet the energy needs of a growing and technologically sophisticated campus while significantly reducing carbon emissions and overall energy consumption. We are committed to continue these efforts by seeking energy efficiencies and moving to cleaner energy sources and a higher proportion of renewable sources.”

The text of the pledge, written by Dennis Carlberg, director of sustainability@BU, and signed by Brown, follows:

Building on our progress in reducing the University’s carbon footprint, creating new knowledge through climate-change research, and engaging our community in solutions, Boston University pledges to:

Reduce carbon emissions by 35 percent in four million square feet of building space by 2023, building on the 35 percent reduction in carbon emissions we have already achieved in one million square feet of existing facilities.

Reduce energy consumption between 2012 and 2023 by 10 percent.

Prepare the University for the impacts of rising seas, higher temperatures, and more frequent and intense storms through climate resilient building standards such as those in place for the 170,000-square-foot Center for Integrated Life Sciences and Engineering (CILSE) now under construction.

Support academic research to better understand the factors that influence climate change and the strategies to mitigating climate change.

Lead by engaging our peers in higher education through the Green Gigawatt Partnership, an initiative designed to encourage institutions of higher education to source large-scale renewable energy and collectively reach a goal of one gigawatt of green power development by 2023.

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Bu Soccer Launches A New Season In A New Conference

BU Soccer Launches a New Season in a New Conference Men’s, women’s teams play doubleheader at Nickerson tonight

Women’s soccer head coach Nancy Feldman (left) has a 236-108-30 (.673) record at BU as she enters her 19th year leading the Terriers. Men’s soccer head coach Neil Roberts has guided the Terriers to 25 winning seasons and 13 NCAA tournament appearances. Photos by Steve McLaughlin

The Terrier men host nonconference rival Boston College today at 5 p.m., followed immediately by the women’s squad taking on nonconference foe South Carolina. Both games are at Nickerson Field and kick off with a Terrier Tailgate, featuring games, prizes, and free food.

America East, invoking its bylaws, banned Boston University sports teams from participating in the conference tournaments last year after the University announced that it would be joining the Patriot League in fall 2013. As well as BU, the league comprises Army, Navy, Holy Cross, Colgate, Bucknell, Lafayette, Lehigh, American, and Loyola Maryland.

Men’s soccer

Men’s head coach Neil Roberts, now in his 29th season at BU, says his team is looking forward to the challenge of facing new opponents. “It’s not going to be any easier,” Roberts says. “They are good teams that have been successful over the last 10 years, so it’s going to be a battle.” The Terriers open conference play on September 28 at Navy.

Cocaptain Anthony Ciccone (CGS’12, SAR’14), a preseason All-Conference midfielder, says the team is “excited to travel to new schools and experience different styles of play” this season. “The transition to the Patriot League should not be a problem as long as we play our style and brand of soccer,” he says. “We are always up for a new challenge, and we will embrace this one.”

This year’s team includes 18 returning players, among them standout goalkeeper Nick Thomson (CGS’13, SAR’15). Thomson started all 18 contests last season, posting a .755 save percentage and allowing only 1.21 goals per game. He shut out the opposition 11 times over his first two seasons.

The British native is one of 10 international students on the 2013 roster. His defensive lines will be bolstered by the return of 2011 America East Defender of the Year Kelvin Madzongwe (CGS’12, COM’14), who missed nearly all of last season with a leg injury.

While the Terriers lost four-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Region honoree Michael Bustamante (CGS’10, MET’13), now playing with Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls, to graduation, they are still flush with talent. Madzongwe and Dominique Badji (CGS’13, CAS’15) were chosen for the preseason All-Conference team along with Ciccone. Badji, a skilled forward from Senegal, was named the 2011 America East Rookie of the Year after tallying five goals and three assists.

Plagued by multiple injuries, the Terriers finished 6-8-4 in 2012. It was only the third time in Roberts’ tenure as head coach that the team failed to finish with a winning record.

“We have had a little drought the past couple of years, falling short of the NCAA tournament,” acknowledges Ciccone, who says expectations remain high for this season. “Anything short of an NCAA bid would be an unsuccessful season,” he says.

Women’s soccer

While the men’s team is poised to make a run at the league title, the women’s squad is the Patriot League preseason poll favorite to win the conference title. The Terriers hope not only to win their first PL championship, but capture their 11th NCAA tournament bid.

Beginning her 19th season as women’s soccer head coach, Nancy Feldman calls the team’s number one preseason ranking an honor. “Certainly it’s nice to be respected as one of the top teams this year in the Patriot League,” says Feldman, whose team will begin conference play at Navy on September 20.

“If you look at the history of the champions in the Patriot League, there are four different ones in the last four years,” she says. “I think that’s telling, and that’s not been the case in the America East.” The fact that four different teams have claimed number one status over as many years may indicate, she says, that “there are a deeper group of teams that are competitive” in BU’s new league.

Players like midfielder Emma Clark (COM’14) say they are eagerly anticipating the chance to play new teams. “We have a fresh slate to work with,” says Clark. “It’s exciting to play a whole new set of opponents, and we look forward to seeing what conference play will look like.”

The women’s team began the 2012 season ranked 37th nationally, but finished with a 12-6-1 record, capturing its sixth straight regular season America East title, with an 8-0-0 conference record.

The Terriers lost two players to graduation, 2012 America East Defender of the Year Jessica Morrow (SMG’13) and starting forward Brea Hewitt (COM’13), but 22 players have returned—16 upperclassmen, and 4 of the top 5 goal scorers. Forward Madison Clemens (SMG’14) led the Lady Terriers with eight goals last season and was voted the Patriot League’s Offensive Player of the Year in preseason polls. The team also welcomes back Emma Clark (CGS’12, COM’14), the 2012 America East Midfielder of the Year and a preseason All-Conference honoree.

That defense has looked promising in BU’s first two games, allowing one goal in a 1-0 loss to Boston College on August 25 and holding Dayton scoreless in a 1-0 victory in the home opener on August 23.

Feldman remains optimistic despite the split in the two early nonconference games. “There are a number of teams that should feel pretty confident about being competitive enough to win the conference,” she says, “and I feel like we are one of those teams.”

The BU men’s soccer team takes on Boston College at 5 p.m. today, Friday, August 30, at Nickerson Field, 285 Babcock St. The women’s soccer team hosts South Carolina immediately after. Admission is free for all BU fans; $5 for the general public. Gates open at 4 p.m. for the Terrier Tailgate.

Nate Weitzer can be reached at [email protected].

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Apollo For Reddit Ios App Gains Family Sharing Support, New Icons, Much More

The popular Apollo for Reddit iOS app has received a solid update today with support for Family Sharing, following users, a range of new icons, open links on clipboard, and much more.

Apollo for Reddit offers a fantastic experience on iPhone and iPad and today’s 1.10.6 update offered a host of new features and improvements.

First up, Apollo Pro or Ultra subscriptions now work with Family Sharing. This was a big request from users and developer Christian Selig has delivered!

Other great changes include new icons for Apollo, the ability to follow users like celebrities or other notable Reddit accounts, tweaks to better show snoomoji (Reddit’s emoji), Share as Image improvements, and a privacy nutrition label for the App Store.

Apollo for Reddit is a free download from the App Store with Pro and Ultra subscriptions going from $0.99 a month. The app has an impressive 4.8/5 star average rating on over 120,000 reviews.

Check out Christian’s full notes on the release below:

Hey all!

Been hard at work on this update for awhile now. It’s been tricky to split my time between the upcoming iPad version (takes a lot of work!), chipping away at a Mac version, while also keeping the App Store version pumping with requested features and bug fixes, but I’m up for the task! 

This update includes a bunch of requested features over the last little bit that should make Apollo even more delightful to use. 

Family Sharing

A big one many have requested is that Apollo now works completely with Family Sharing, so if you have other family members on your iTunes account you can pick up Apollo Pro or Ultra as easy as could be. And if you don’t have Apollo Ultra or Pro, family members can get together and chip in to buy whatever you desire and all reap the rewards. You’re going to want to for the next feature!


A bunch of new icons! Who doesn’t love icons? (If you don’t keep scrolling there’s lots of other stuff too :P) This is the biggest single update in terms of added icons in Apollo’s history. There’s two new Ultra icons, both made by the incredibly talented Matthew Skiles, called Space Shanty (a beautiful rendition of our dude in space), and Roary the Dragon, a beautiful rendition of the Apollo icon as a dragon, which nicely coincides with Chinese New Year which is pretty cool. In addition, there’s two new icons in the Community Icon Pack, by u/berrymetal and u/johnnysilverpaw, featuring an absolutely shocked version of the Apollo mascot plus a beautiful canvas painting rendition. And lastly, for our Pro users, there’s a bunch new secret icons. A bunch of them are based on some video content creators I (and a lot of you) like so I thought it’d be some fun easter eggs, so happy unlocking those, I won’t say anymore. 🙂 Apollo Ultra obviously gives you all of the above icons, so it’s the best way to do it, but they’re available a la carte as well.

Following Users

You can now follow users easily within Apollo. For those of you wondering what that means, if a particular Reddit user (say, a celebrity) has interesting content they can post it to their own profile. It’s kind of a hybrid between a subreddit and a user. So now you can follow that user and posts made to their “own subreddit” will show up just like any other subreddit in your feed.

Little Reddit Experiments Share as Image Improvements Includes a “Privacy Nutrition Label”

Apollo now has a cute little “privacy nutrition label” on its App Store page (you know, one of those many things Facebook is in a tizzy over) so you can get an overview of Apollo’s privacy practices at a glance. Spoiler: it’s not very exciting as I don’t want your info. Apollo used to have Firebase integrated for some analytics (what percentage of people use dark mode, most popular home screen icons, etc.) and crash reporting, but in order to slim down and simplify this nutritional label even further I even excluded those. If you want more info, Apollo’s privacy policy page is a pretty easy read too. 

This was a popular feature pre-iOS 14 that I temporarily removed because iOS 14 added the awesome (honestly! I really like them) alerts when an app is reading your clipboard and some people were understandably getting confused with Apollo. 

Basically this feature lets you copy a Reddit link to your clipboard to offer to open in Apollo the next time you open the app, say if a friend messages you a funny Reddit link and you want to read it in Apollo. 

Lost of other stuff!

Read the full changelog below for an overview of everything in this update, as well as all the juicy bug fixes y’all were kind enough to report to me.




Everyone upvoted a bug with a GIF of a fluffy dog in it so I fixed that bug too. Not going to lie the cute dog distracted me a little but I think it was something to do with GIF progress not updating in crossposts.

Fixed bug where you couldn’t fully disable “tap to collapse”, so now you can!

Fixed bug where subreddits in subreddit listing in dark mode had slightly lighter background color

Fixed some issues with video playback

Fixed crash that could occur when downloading some GIFs

Fixed background color of inbox boxes in dark mode

Fixed occasional crash that could happen with opening videos in media viewer

Fixed bug where haptic touch context menus would be reversed for subreddit and user

Fixed bug with moderators setting flair where custom flair wouldn’t get set

Fixed bug where when refreshing your Inbox some messages could randomly disappear for a second or cause the badge count to be incorrect

Fixed another crashing bug that could occur with formatting dates (calendrical, not the fruit)

Some other tiny bug fixes and tweaks and tidies that make everything just a little bit spiffier


I would have had even more juicy things in this update, but as mentioned I’ve been splitting my time between the “main” version as well as the others versions you have been begging me to build, so I appreciate the patience while I polish the diamond that is the iPad app, and eventually a Mac app as well. Can’t wait to show you more on the iPad app front soon, got some teasers in mind. 🙂

Oh, two apps I really love came out with two awesome updates as well recently that if you’re a fan of the indie app space I think you’ll really enjoy. CARROT Weatherhas a dope new update and the UI is gorgeous and mega customizable, and similarly Tweetbot, one of my most used apps, has a really great new update with some UI tweaks and new features that I’m digging. 

Thank you as always for the support. I will continue to work hard for you!

– Christian

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Le Nozze Di Figaro, “The Perfect Opera,” At The Bu Theatre This Weekend

When the College of Fine Arts presents Le nozze di Figaro at the Boston University Theatre tonight through Sunday, audiences will be able to enjoy “the perfect opera,” says David Paul, the production’s internationally known stage director. Sung in Italian with English supertitles, Figaro, from its joyous, foot-tapping overture to its spirited arias, is a feast for opera aficionados and novices alike, and the uninitiated are likely to be surprised by how much of the music is familiar (the score has been used in countless films and television commercials).

“Every year we follow something new—this year it was Emmeline, based on the Judith Rossner novel—with something from the treasure chest,” says conductor William Lumpkin, a CFA associate professor of music and artistic director of the Opera Institute and Opera Programs. CFA hasn’t staged a production of Figaro since 2001, and Lumpkin says it was time. The production is cast with students from the Opera Institute, and CFA students are performing in the orchestra and helming costume and set design.

The opera, which debuted in Vienna in 1786, is set in 18th-century Spain and sung in Italian with an original libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte, who later collaborated with Mozart on Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte. Unfolding on the wedding day of Figaro and the wiley Susanna, servants of Count Almaviva, the plot is a tangled web of lust (the philandering count has his eye on Susanna, whom he plans to bed on her wedding night), revenge (Figaro’s foiled scheme involving a feigned romantic ambush of the count, with the countess, his wife, on board), and the complications of an unpaid debt that threatens the union. And when it turns out that Figaro, abandoned as a baby, is not of the servant class as he’s assumed to be, the plot thickens, and thickens, until everyone—including the wronged countess and the adulterous count—offers forgiveness and regret. Identities and allegiances are sorted out, and the nuptials cleared to proceed. As in Shakespeare’s comedies, all turns out fine in the end.

“It’s the closest opera to the works of Shakespeare, with its complexity of characters,” says opera, theater, and film director Paul, whose most recent directing credit was Salome for the Los Angeles Opera. Despite having directed Figaro several times previously, he says he never tires of its depth, its unforgettable music, and its examination, although wrapped in comedy, of class and gender, a daring endeavor at the time it was composed. For this production, Paul has reset the opera, with a double-cast Figaro and Susanna, in 1960s California, against a backdrop of shake-ups in views of class and gender.

Da Ponte’s libretto was based on one installment of a trilogy written in 1778 by Pierre Beaumarchais that was considered so politically daring in its time that some say it foretold the French Revolution of 1789. While the play takes solid aim at the aristocracy, “the opera is more optimistic,” Paul says. “In opera, the bad are forgiven, and empathy wells up in the end.”

Le nozze di Figaro runs tonight, Thursday April 20, Friday, April 21, and Saturday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 23, at 2 p.m., at the Boston University Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave., Boston. Tickets are $20 for the general public, $15 for BU alumni, WGBH members, Huntington Theatre Company subscribers, and senior citizens, $10 for CFA members, and $5 for students with ID. Members of the BU community can get two free tickets with BU ID at the door on the day of the performance. Purchase tickets here or call 617-933-8600. Take the MBTA Green Line to Symphony station or the BU Shuttle to the Mass Ave. stop.

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