Meet Eleanor. Her sleek, reflective body spans the length of nearly 16 feet — encrusted with over 580 silicon solar cells and capable of generating an estimated power output of 1200 watts. Her streamlined curves and futuristic design make her an instant star of any roadway, whizzing past other cars at speeds of up to a potential 90 mph and boasting a drag coefficient of only 0.11.
After nearly 42 hours of time-travel, riddle-solving, and very little sleep, team Metaphysical Plant found the much coveted Mystery Hunt coin, concluding the annual MIT puzzle competition. An estimated 1000 MIT students, alumni, and unaffiliated puzzle solvers formed the 37 teams who participated in the event.
“If you’ve ever been like super ridiculous caffeinated and drank two Rockstars and didn’t have anything to eat, sort of get that brain fuzz and can’t look at anything straight and everything is peripheral vision; that’s how being on Ritalin feels to me.”
The Initiative for Faculty Race and Diversity released its final report on the minority faculty experience at MIT last Thursday after a two and a half year effort. Stemming from an effort to understand why a disproportionately small number of MIT faculty are members of minority groups, the report found that there are inequities in the minority faculty experience.
Two colleagues admonished him once for drinking beer at his first faculty meeting, mistaking an energy drink for alcohol, he tells the interviewers. Another participant confesses that he deliberately places books in his office as evidence to visitors of his academic qualifications. Others complain that they are misidentified as custodians.
A week ago, Elizabeth Sheehan, the founder of Containers to Clinics, a nonprofit organization in Dover, Mass., was preparing to deploy the group’s first medical clinic overseas. Made from two shipping containers, it was to be sent to the Dominican Republic, where it would begin to fulfill the group’s long-term goal of building health care infrastructure in developing countries through networks of small container clinics in rural areas. Then, last Tuesday, a magnitude 7 earthquake struck the Dominican Republic’s neighbor, Haiti. Hospitals in the capital, Port-au-Prince, were destroyed or damaged, and basic medical care was practically nonexistent. Sheehan said her donors immediately started calling her. “They all said, ‘Why don’t you send it there?”’ she said.
In the summer of 2008, a shopkeeper in the Afghan city of Ghazni noticed a strange sight: a woman in burqa drawing a map. In a region where nearly all females are illiterate, he found it suspicious and called the police, according to an Afghan intelligence official.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday stepped into the middle of a fierce lobbying battle by reinforcing his support for an independent agency to protect consumers against lending abuses that contributed to the financial crisis. The president’s move also signaled a tougher line and a more direct role as Congress weighs an overhaul of banking regulation.
Scott Brown, a little-known Republican state senator, rode an old pickup truck and a growing sense of unease among independent voters to an extraordinary upset Tuesday night when he was elected to fill the U.S. Senate seat that was long held by Edward M. Kennedy in the overwhelmingly Democratic state of Massachusetts.
Meteorologists often describe snow as “wet” and “dry.” An example of wet snow is the kind we just got in yesterday’s storm. It tends to stick to tree trunks and street signs like paste, is hard to shovel, and makes good snowballs to pelt your friends or enemies with. On the other hand, dry snow is quite light and powdery, blows around easily, and makes for great skiing and snowboarding. There are a number of factors that determine whether we get wet or dry snow, but it generally comes down to the type of snowflakes that fall out of the sky and corresponding snow to liquid ratio that results.
Recently, the Boston Globe ran a piece entitled “The College Admissions Scam.” The author, Neal Gabler, seemed to reiterate what has been in the magazines since I started high school. College admissions is a game and the more money you have to ‘play,’ the easier it is to navigate the system. Thank you for your originality. You’ve done your research well. What really peeved me about his piece was his adamant statement that “the admissions system of the so-called ‘best’ schools is rigged against you…indeed, the system exists not to provide social mobility but to prevent it and to perpetuate the prevailing social order.”
Like many other MIT men, I decided to join a fraternity my freshman year. I spent a good part of Rush going from house to house, enjoying the steak and lobster dinners, go-kart rides, and other freebies. Eventually, someone at one of the houses took a liking to me and invited me back to his house multiple times.
In the beginning, it was nothing more than knee-jerk catharsis, drawn from the tattered, frustrated, and disenfranchised remnants of small-c conservatives and angry libertarians. It was disorganized and chronically off-message, defenseless against being used as a public soapbox by every ‘birther’ conspiracist and one-world-government loon that didn’t feel he had a large enough audience on the Ron Paul internet forums. It was derided as far-right fringe, dismissed as corporate astroturf, and joyfully mocked as latently homosexual.
There’s been a fair amount of hype over the new Terry Gilliam film, “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus.” Gilliam, a member of the classic Monty Python comedy troupe, is best known for his directorial pursuits of visionary plots and imaginative sequences. Early trailers promised such a classic Gilliam-style production, while Heath Ledger’s tragic passing generated significant buzz for the movie. And though the highly-anticipated film has its flaws, it presents a starkly original storyline coupled with some powerful performances.
It’s no surprise that in the opening moments of “Youth in Revolt,” the latest movie that relies on Michael Cera’s distinct charm, we are introduced to Cera as Nick Twisp, whose delicate last name is a testament to his obvious virgin status. You’ve probably at least heard of Michael Cera and the certain type of virginal adolescent he always portrays: gawky, soft-spoken and unintentionally witty. Like most teenage boys, Nick has only one thing on his mind and is constantly reminded of the lack of action he’s getting by everyone around him, including his divorced parents. Nick catches a break from the douchebag magnets who have previously rejected him when he meets Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday), a beautiful and cultured young woman. Needless to say, it’s love at first sight. But to woo her, Nick needs to trump her “perfect” boyfriend by becoming the racy badboy of her dreams.
Filling out this year’s spring weekend poll, I was, yet again, disappointed with the selection. The class of 2010 has yet to see a rock band that writes new music. The Ying Yang Twins in 2007: no need to comment; Third Eye Blind in 2008: unoriginal power-rock; Ben Folds played in 2009: at least we hired a decent musician that year, but if it weren’t for copying Jeff Buckley, who somehow copied Elliott Smith, Ben Folds would still be opening for no-name bands in the East Village.
The French musical collective Nouvelle Vague creates irresistible bossa nova covers of unruly rock classics, sung by a revolving cast of chanteuses. Their latest, 2009’s 3, features another set of outstanding tracks and guest appearances by Martin Gore of Depeche Mode and Ian McCulloch of Echo And The Bunnymen. The groups earlier releases, 2004’s self-titled effort and 2006’s Bande a Part include memorable versions of “Just Can’t Get Enough,” “Making Plans for Nigel,” “Dancing With Myself,” and “Heart of Glass,” all of which have been in concert rotation. On this tour, Nouvelle Vague continues to subvert cult classics by The Clash, Joy Division, The Specials and many others into sunny, wistful pieces of exotica. Nouvelle Vague will be at Somerville Theatre next Sunday January 24th - come join The Tech at the show and look out for Arts Editor S. Balaji Mani’s review next week. For tickets and information call World Music / CRASHarts at (617) 876-4275.
In its season opening meet, the MIT Men’s and Women’s Track & Field teams took on Bates and Colby Saturday afternoon.
MIT Skiing had its first weekend of slalom racing Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with a two-day carnival at Cranmore followed by the non-league Tecnica Cup at Gunstock. The new club team’s diligence in training has paid off; though the Women’s and Men’s teams again finished 10th and 9th in their respective divisions, every MIT finisher had the best or second best slalom race of their career this weekend.
I’m not precisely sure when the word “awesome” was first used to describe something indefinably spectacular and/or amazing, but it seems as if in recent years, it’s gone from the upgraded, superlative version of “cool” (itself a reissue of “groovy”) to the heavily-used catch-all adjective of our generation. I don’t have anything against the word “awesome” in and of itself, but I do have to wonder at what point we stopped demanding more than “it’s awesome” as justification for holding something in high regard.
During the first week of January, a class of 90 MIT MBA students traveled to Silicon Valley as part of the annual MIT Sloan Entrepreneurship and Innovation Class Trek. Our purpose was to cast a deeper glance at the entrepreneurial ecosystem on the West Coast by engaging entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in the Valley. We met with successful companies such as Genentech and LinkedIn, hot Web 2.0 startups such as Aardvark and Yammer, and premier venture capital firms (VCs) from Sequoia, Kleiner Perkins, Accel and more.