New Mass. lottery restrictions in place
State Treasurer Steven Grossman severely restricted yesterday the number of Cash WinFall lottery tickets any store can sell in a day, closing a loophole that has allowed a handful of high-stakes gamblers to win most of the prizes.
Barbecue gathers prefrosh, alums
A range of generations of the MIT community gathered at Sidney-Pacific for the annual barbecue of the MIT Club of Boston this past Sunday. Alumni, their children, current students, and incoming freshmen mingled amid food and activities under the hot summer sun. The club sponsored the event for prefrosh and MIT affiliates in the greater Boston area, providing activities for children as well as opportunities for alumni to reconnect with each other and to meet current students.
Massachusetts lottery woes
SUNDERLAND — Billy’s Beer and Wine sold exactly $47 worth of lottery tickets the day before Marjorie Selbee arrived, just another sleepy day for the liquor store in this tiny Western Massachusetts town. But from the moment the 70-something woman from Michigan entered the store early July 12, Billy’s wasn’t sleepy anymore.
Swartz indicted for JSTOR theft
Aaron H. Swartz is an accomplished 24-year-old by anyone’s standards. He co-authored the now widely-used RSS 1.0 specification at age 14, was one of three owners of the massively popular social news site Reddit, and recently completed a fellowship at the Harvard Ethics Center Lab on Institutional Corruption.
NEWS ANALYSIS Court rules for NIH in stem cell case
The latest battle over human embryonic stem cell research is over, and the National Institutes of Health has won — the research can continue. The war can still go on with appeals, potentially as high as the Supreme Court, but researchers are unlikely to face court-ordered prohibitions on research as that multi-year process continues.
New Building Services tool on MIT Mobile App allows for easy work order submissions
The MIT Mobile App service, available for the iOS and Android platforms as well as the most recent feature phones, has a new widget for the MIT Department of Facilities. The new Building Services tool allows users to easily report on-campus maintenance issues, such as problems with leaks, lighting, and locks. The widget can mark the problem site by detecting a user’s current location using GPS, or the user can select a building or area from a list. The user also has the option to upload a photo of the problem. The widget takes those data and submits a work order to the Department of Facilities. The new widget “allows our customers to report things as they see them,” said Ruth T. Davis, manager of communications for the Department of Facilities.
Debt ceiling bill becomes law, averting default
WASHINGTON — The Senate voted Tuesday to raise the government’s debt ceiling and cut trillions of dollars from its spending, concluding a long and fractious partisan battle just hours before the government’s borrowing authority was set to run out.
Trial of deposed Egyptian leader may alter region
CAIRO — The headlines of newspapers on sale in a subway station once named Mubarak, and now renamed Martyr’s, captured the moment Tuesday that could prove one of the most remarkable in modern Arab history: “The pharaoh in the cage of the accused.”
US worries about AAA, a rare rating in business
Hanging over the debt ceiling negotiations in Washington has been the threat of the U.S. losing its AAA credit rating, a coveted measure of the federal government’s financial strength. But in corporate America, the top rating long ago became an anachronism.
WASHINGTON — The success of Tea Party-backed lawmakers in defining the terms of the debt debate in Washington has further cemented the party’s identity as part of a conservative movement insistent on deep spending cuts, lower taxes and smaller government.
DENVER — Here is one measure of the nation’s lingering economic trouble and the political anxiety festering in state capitals over jobs and angry voters: 500.
US seeks more pressure on Syria, but options are limited
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is facing intensifying calls to punish Syria more forcefully for its bloody crackdown of protests, but officials say that without broader international support they have few options to increase pressure on President Bashar Assad’s government.
Rainstorms usher in cooler temps
After a passing low pressure system brought thunderstorms and torrential downpours to our area yesterday evening, a cooler air mass is now settling over the region. The cold front with which yesterday’s storms were associated has brought an end to the uncomfortably hot temperatures of the past few days. Instead, a more pleasant weather pattern will be in place for the remainder of the week, with overnight lows in the mid 60s, and afternoon highs in the mid to upper 70s. Skies will be mostly sunny, and an afternoon seabreeze will keep things from getting too hot.
Heat wave and fasting add to woes of Iraqis
BAGHDAD — Iraqis still live in a nation where bombings are a nearly daily occurrence, government paralysis is routine and corruption is de rigueur.
Capitalize smarter, not harder
Suppose for a moment that there are two farmers, Jim and Bob. Jim grows tomatoes, and Bob grows corn. Both crops take tractors to produce. Normally, corn and tomatoes are equally profitable, but this year, corn is expected to be 15 percent more profitable than tomatoes. Accordingly, Jim would like to loan out his tractors to a corn farmer and split the extra profits, while Bob is looking to borrow some tractors from someone else.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Buddy from the East
China has been compared to many things stereotypical: “a fiery dragon waking from its long sleep,” “a skyward-reaching bamboo growing towards prosperity,” and “a fortune cookie telling an everlasting fortune.” Okay — maybe I made up the last one. But many economists speculate too often that China’s market is on a meteoric rise. Although this prediction may be true, the recent debt debates blowing across Capitol Hill have presented themselves as a Great Wall for China.
Embrace, don’t shoot
Sorry, extremists — multiculturalism is no longer debatable. It is simply nonsensical to consider the 21st century world as something resembling a medieval kingdom of homogenous fiefs.
CAR REVIEW The Nissan Leaf: An improbable electric future
I’m a fan of Formula One racing, the kind of guy that has seen every episode of the BBC’s Top Gear … six times. My idea of wealth is having a 10-car garage. It is with a heavy heart that I recognize a sad fact of life: in order to allow the weekend indulgence of driving a fast, gasoline-powered car, we’re all going to have to start driving motors on the weekdays that do not consume fossil fuels. It is thus, ironically, that the widespread adoption of alternative-fuel vehicles will save the enthusiasts’ 500-horsepower sports car.
MOVIE REVIEW Harry’s ultimate sacrifice and the fans’ final farewell
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 starts right where its predecessor ended and provides an epic finale for the eight-part movie adaptations to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) are seeking the deathly hallows, artifacts that will help them defeat the evil antagonist Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) by allowing them to destroy his horcruxes. The horcruxes are soul stones that grant Voldemort immortality as long as they are intact. At the end of the previous movie, Voldemort had managed to capture one of the three deathly hallows, the incredibly powerful “Elder Wand,” from Albus Dumbledore’s grave, before Harry and his friends could get it. The final Harry Potter movie flows seamlessly from is predecessor by opening with the same scene.
RESTAURANT REVIEW A piece of North Africa in New England
Tucked discreetly beside Creation “N” Hair and Cambridge Auto, its modest black and white sign blending in with the other businesses, Baraka Café doesn’t stand out to the casual observer. But behind the door plastered with Yelp! and Zagat recommendations lies an authentic North African experience, one I would never have heard about without the recommendation of a friend from pika.
MOVIE REVIEW A-meh-rica
When you’re writing a script, conventional movie wisdom tells us that you can’t go wrong with Nazi villains — everybody hates them. And if you make your protagonist Captain America, then you’re practically set … right?
The MIT Women’s Tennis team will begin its 2011-12 season on Sept. 10 when it travels to Smith College for a match that will also begin NEWMAC Conference play for the Engineers, who finished the 2010-11 season ranked No. 22 in Division III. It will begin a fall season for MIT that includes a full slate of NEWMAC matches as well as the Conference Championships in October.
PREFROSH Celebrating different
As the perfect summer days slide by, I’m beginning to notice with mild dissatisfaction that I’ve been on autopilot. Have you ever habitually smelled or tasted something, only to be jolted out of the reverie by some unexpected new sensory feedback? Just about every day in high school, I drank chocolate milk with lunch; consequently, when I unconsciously brought golden apple juice to my lips one day, I was shocked by the thin, acidic taste. “Bleh, what happened?” was my instant reaction. It took me a couple moments to remember that the cafeteria had run out of milk.
MAY CONTAIN NUTS SPF: Sun Plus Fun
For as long as I can remember, the sun and I have not had the best of relationships. When I was five, my mother would devise every scheme imaginable to excuse me from outdoor gym activities. The reason? She was fearful that my then-alabaster skin would become the burnt-beech color it is now. The notes she attempted to send (I shredded them frantically on the bus) to the gym teacher were priceless. “She has allergy to the sun,” was one of the more ridiculous statements.
VIDEO GAME REVIEW Demon’s Souls: Turning boys into men
Fail to dodge an attack. Die. Walk into an “atmospheric” fire. Die. Fall off a castle wall. Die. Beat a boss, then walk into a dark tunnel and get ambushed by dogs. Die.
Institute Double Take
The roof of the Green Building (Building 54) offers a unique view of MIT, Boston, and Cambridge. The evening sun beamed light through the thick clouds, lighting the dome above Lobby 10 and creating a stunning view. The mountainous, green horizon separated the sky and the city. In post-processing, a graduated neutral-density filter was applied to balance the dynamic range.
Consumer Reports Best Sunscreen Buys of 2011
The following sunscreens were ranked as Consumer Reports Best Buys for 2011 in a May press release. They were ranked based on price, UVA and UVB protection, and protection while submerged in water. Prices shown are the retail prices from each distribution company. Descriptions are from their websites.