Disaster-struck Japan faces power gap for months
TOKYO — The term “rolling blackouts” has become shorthand for noting one way Japan is trying to cope with its national calamity.
Referendum exposes dining dislike
From March 16 to March 17, students cast ballots not only to elect the next Undergraduate Association’s (UA) president and vice president, but also to respond to the dining referendum sponsored by UA Senator Shuang Chen ’13 of Simmons Hall. A vast majority elected Allan E. Miramonti ’13 and Alec C. Lai ’13, the only official running ticket, to the presidency; likewise, a majority of students expressed mild to strong disapproval of both the new dining plan recommended by the House Dining Advisory Group (HDAG) as well as the process by which HDAG proposed recommendations for the plan.
Medical panelists may have financial conflicts of interest
Doctors with private financial conflicts of interest dominated some of the panels that wrote guidelines on cardiovascular health in recent years, according to a medical journal study released Monday.
Researcher’s post goes viral
As the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in the Pacific brought the world’s third-largest economy to its knees, millions of people around the globe watched with baited breath to see whether Japan’s damaged nuclear reactor, Fukushima I, would be the next Chernobyl. Two days later, a blog post entitled “Why I am not worried about Japan’s nuclear reactors” went live on , a site which was registered that same day. Only hours later, Jim J. Cramer of CNBC’s Mad Money called the post — after it was reproduced at — the “best piece on the nuke issue,” via Twitter. The original author of the post? Josef Oehmen, a researcher at MIT’s Lean Advancement Initiative (LAI).
Ethnic clashes fuel debate over US plan to leave Iraq
KIRKUK, Iraq — Many in this divided city want U.S. troops to stay longer than President Barack Obama’s administration has said they will, and a tense standoff last week showed why. Kurdish troops from the north were in positions on the outskirts of Arab neighborhoods.
Due to editorial deadlines, a March 18 opinion column about the nuclear reactors at Fukushima includes a timeline of events only through March 15. Developments between March 15 and March 18 are not reflected in the column.
MIT dominates USNWR graduate science and engineering rankings
MIT took the top spot in nearly all science specialties and many engineering specialties in U.S. News and World Report’s (USNWR) recently-released 2012 graduate school rankings. MIT was ranked first in overall engineering and ranked third behind Stanford and Harvard for business.
UA might see drastic changes
Three bills proposing major restructuring to the UA was presented to the Senate last night. Two of the bills, one submitted by Vrajesh Y. Modi ’11, current President of the UA, and the other submitted by Jonté D. Craighead ’13, current Speaker of the Senate. Both offer competing solutions to the problem of fragmentation among the five undergraduate governing bodies: UA, IFC, DormCon, Panhel, and LGC.
UA and Class Council Spring 2011 Election Results
Allan Miramonti ’13 and Alec Lai ’13
Student shuts down laptop thief
Yesterday at 12:30 p.m., a suspected laptop thief was caught and handcuffed in the Stata Center after CSAIL researchers chased him down. Wesley D. Graybill G said that he saw the suspect making a dash for the exit, jumped in front of him, and slammed him into the wall. The suspect slipped by, but Graybill chased him down and was able to pull him to the ground. The researcher caught up and held down the suspect until the Campus Police arrived.
Facebook prepares for lobbying push in Washington
Facebook is hoping to do something better and faster than any other technology start-up-turned-Internet superpower.
DAMASCUS, Syria — The political crisis in Syria deepened Monday as the armed forces in the restive southern city of Daraa fired live ammunition in the air to disperse hundreds of pro-democracy protesters.
Libyan rebel advance halted outside Gadhafi’s hometown
BIN JAWWAD, Libya — The Libyan rebel forces’ westward charge was repulsed Monday by a barrage of tank and artillery fire from forces guarding one of Moammar Gadhafi’s most crucial bastions of support, while the U.S. military warned on Monday that the insurgents’ rapid advances could quickly be reversed without continued coalition air support.
Indiana Democrats end standoff and return to State
CHICAGO — The political standoff over union rights and school vouchers in Indiana ended Monday as House Democrats returned to the Capitol almost five weeks after they fled the state.
Pleasant week ahead, temperature set to rise
The huge snow pile on Briggs Field has started to melt and sports practices have moved outside, but if you just came back from somewhere tropical you might have noticed that Boston weather remains a bit chilly. Temperatures will linger below the springtime average but gradually increase over the next few days. A stationary high pressure system will keep the sun shining and the clouds at bay at least through Thursday. Get outdoors during the week if you can because a significant rainstorm may head our direction over the weekend.
Blast at Yemeni arms factory follows government’s retreat
SANAA, Yemen — Yemen’s political crisis deepened Monday when an explosion tore through a crowd of looters at an abandoned government weapons factory in the south, killing at least 110 people and underscoring an ominous collapse of authority after six weeks of rising protests.
Michigan, whose unemployment rate has topped 10 percent longer than that of any other state, is about to set another record. Its new Republican governor, Rick Snyder, signed a law Monday that will lead the state to pay fewer weeks of unemployment benefits next year than any other state.
Egypt’s military confirms Mubarak travel ban
CAIRO — Egypt’s military command said on Monday that the ousted president, Hosni Mubarak, was banned from leaving the country, and that it would soon lift a detested emergency law, among a number of announcements seemingly intended to shore up diminishing support for the armed forces’ council ruling the nation.
Think you know the Muslim Brotherhood?
The 2011 Egyptian revolution was staged by two parts of the Muslim Brotherhood. One old. One young.
EDITORIAL Lessons learned from dining
The UA’s referendum on this fall’s dining plan is an unproductive stunt that only serves to prolong the often acrimonious debate on an already decided policy. To be sure, the referendum confirms what most undergraduates have known for some time — given the costs, a majority of students do not support a mandatory, all-you-care-to-eat meal plan at dining dorms. But at best, that data amounts to an “I told you so” from the UA to the administration; it accomplishes nothing, and will only weaken the UA’s standing as a serious organization.
Congress: do not take a hatchet to foreign aid
President Obama is receiving harsh bipartisan criticism for his handling of the economy, and his approval ratings are at an all-time low. Many are calling for the U.S. to reduce foreign aid and to pursue isolationist policies in order to save money. However, it is not in our best interest to take a hatchet to foreign aid. Instead, we need to carefully evaluate where our resources are allocated abroad so that U.S. interests and safety can be best secured.
First Solar, an American company, makes the best solar cells on the face of the planet. Their devices, while still an eternity away from being cost-competitive with conventional sources of power, are staggeringly far ahead of the rest of the photovoltaic field. The reason for their considerable lead is an innovative new technology for harnessing photons, using cadmium telluride (CdTe) in lieu of traditional crystalline silicon. Theirs is a story of American ingenuity and inventiveness. It is also a story about how we will not “win the future” through innovation.
UPCOMING HOME EVENTS
Tuesday, March 29
Cycling races in Philly
The MIT cycling team traveled to Philadelphia this weekend for the third race in the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (ECCC) road-racing season. The weekend opened with the first team time trial (TTT) of the season. The TTT is generally MIT’s strongest event, as the teams make it a priority to practice together often — and the practice certainly paid off. The women’s A, men’s B, and men’s C teams won the event.
Party like it’s 1875? Red Sox ready for 2011 season
At 1:55 p.m. on Friday, April 8, military jets will streak across the sky to kick-off a baseball season that, to a vast swath of New England, no superlative can adequately describe. If you tune into WEEI 850 AM, you will hear caller after caller proclaim that he or she has truly found the best baseball team in the world. Not only that, you can be part of the excitement on Opening Day at Fenway Park, for just $100 on the secondary ticket market (seat not included)!
Lacrosse gets conference win
Following a shaky start, the MIT Engineers were able to overpower Smith College 9-3 on Saturday to win their first New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) lacrosse game of the season. A little over three minutes into the game, Smith’s Becky Bracken put the Pioneers on the board, giving them a 1-0 lead which stood for ten minutes, until MIT’s Kaitlyn L. Nealon ’14, assisted by Erica W. Little ’11, managed to tie the score.
The MIT Women’s Softball team defeated Smith College in both games of a NEWMAC doubleheader on Saturday afternoon. With the 9-1 and 3-1 wins, the Engineers improved their conference record to 3-3.
MIT wins NECVA title
The nationally-ranked No. 10 MIT Men’s Volleyball team wrapped up regular-season play with a hard-fought 41-39, 25-20, 25-17 victory over North East Collegiate Volleyball Association (NECVA) New England Division foe Wentworth Institute of Technology on Friday night. The Engineers finished the New England Division standings with a ledger of 15-1 and an overall mark of 28-6 to earn their first NECVA New England title since 2007.
Women’s Tennis sweeps Mills College in California
This past week MIT Women’s Tennis traveled to California for their spring break trip. The Engineers played Mills College on Caltech’s courts because their match against Caltech was canceled due to rain and Caltech’s traveling schedule. The team returned home with an official win of 9-0.
Meet the comics
Name: Ronan K. McGovern G
Events: Mar. 29 - Apr 4
CORRECTION TO THIS ARTICLE: This events calendar indicates the incorrect time for a talk by Jonathan E. D. Richmond PhD ’91 on corruption in developing countries. The talk will begin at 12:30 p.m., and lunch will begin at 12:15 p.m (W20-307). This calendar also incorrectly states that LSC will show The King’s Speech this weekend; Good Will Hunting will still be shown on Friday and Sunday.
Hacking the curve: do less, but do it better
I step into the office of MIT postdoc Calvin C. Newport PhD ’09, and his dog Bailey greets me with a couple of excited, energetic yips, prancing back and forth between the open door and the room’s strange intruder. Newport watches with amusement from behind a thermos full of coffee. So here’s the man behind How to Win at College, written while he was still an undergraduate at Dartmouth, and Study Hacks, a study skills blog () with over 19,000 readers. Here’s the man who preaches “less is more, even when it comes to school,” and I get the sense that he applies this generously to his own life. He pursues his interests passionately, saying, “My friends and I had an N64, so we tried to master every level of Mario Kart.” He gives himself enough free space to create an enjoyable life.
Afterhours with John Gabrieli
John D. Gabrieli is known by many as the 9.00 [Introduction to Psychology] professor. He also heads up a lab in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, which seeks to understand the organization of memory, thought, and emotion in the brain and how experience can alter brain function. After giving me a brief tour of the MRI machine in the Martinos Imaging Center in Building 46, Gabrieli explained why tired people cheat and why children who can make themselves wait to eat a marshmallow end up being more successful later in life.
MAY CONTAIN NUTS Kickin’ back
I entered the Rotch Library to a sea of coffee cups, books, laptops, and heads bent in intense concentration. As I took a sip from my own coffee cup, I realized that my life had evolved into this regimented schedule of sleep, work, extracurriculars, more work, food in between, and then back to sleep. I had no time to relax and from what I saw of my peers in the library, they didn’t either.
MIT’s funniest stand ups, in competition
Eight MIT students — Vanessa C. Bowens ’12, William D. Drevo ’13, Paul G. Hlebowitsh ’11, Michael T. Lin ’11, Ronan K. McGovern G, Matthew R. Rodriguez ’11, Jacob S. Sharpe ’11, and Xindi Song ’10 — will be competing in the Regional Rivals event against Tufts University in the 4th Annual National College Comedy Competition this Thursday at Mottley’s Comedy Club. The eight students were chosen by a preliminary competition held at MIT last month. This is the second year MIT has participated in the competition, which is sponsored by TBS and Rooftop Comedy. Thanks to the team’s performance last year, MIT was invited to compete this year, along with 31 other schools from across the nation.
Cheat Sheet aka that random stuff that never shows up on the test
The Tech: If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Institute Double Take
Dazzling earthlings with a stunning view of the moon, the Boston skyline glittered with its jewel. Occurring every 18 years or so, an astronomical event called Supermoon (or more accurately, Perigee-Syzygy) was witnessed on March 19 around 7:20 p.m. in Boston. The Earth, Moon and Sun are in line, and the Moon is in its nearest approach to the Earth, thus appearing about 14 percent larger in size, and reflecting about 30 percent more light.