Irene slams East Coast, but MIT mostly spared
Last Friday, Governor Deval L. Patrick declared a state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and called 500 National Guard troops in preparation for the landfall of Hurricane Irene, to be joined by 2000 more on Saturday. The City of Cambridge activated Code Red phone alerts — which sent pre-recorded messages warning of the threat to all landlines and to opted-in cellular phone lines — and email and text messaging alerts were sent out to the MIT community announcing the Sunday closure of MIT and encouraging the community to stay indoors.
Saturday Morning Breakfast at the ’Tute
Applause erupted in the standing-room-only 6-120 yesterday at 3:58 p.m. as Zachary A. Weiner, creator of popular webcomic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (SMBC), entered the room for a Q&A session packed with questions touching on topics from fellow web comic artists to the merits of Star Wars vs. Star Trek (for the record, Weiner prefers Star Wars). The free event, sponsored by the MIT Lecture Series Committee, concluded with a signing session of the new SMBC compilation, Save Yourself, Mammal!: A Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal Collection, and went an hour over its anticipated 4–6 p.m. runtime.
The start of 2011 Freshman Orientation and Residential Exploration (REX) marks the third year in a row that a REX/Rush/Recruitment agreement between the Dormitory Council (DormCon), the Interfraternity Council (IFC), the Panhellenic Council (Panhel), and the Living Group Council (LGC) has not been signed.
Obama taps jobs expert as top economic adviser
WASHINGTON — In tapping Alan B. Krueger on Monday to chair the Council of Economic Advisers, President Barack Obama has picked an economist well known for his studies of labor markets just as the president is about to announce a renewed push for job-creation policies as early as next week.
Gadhafi wife and relatives leave Libya for Algeria
TRIPOLI, Libya — Algeria said Monday that it had allowed a two-vehicle caravan of Moammar Gadhafi’s relatives, including his second wife and three of his children, into the country. The flight of his relatives provided powerful new evidence of surrender by the Gadhafi clan as rebels consolidated their hold on Tripoli, the capital.
Battered by a weak economy, the nation’s biggest banks are cutting jobs, consolidating businesses and scrambling for new sources of income in anticipation of a fundamentally altered financial landscape requiring leaner operations.
Wikileaks leaves names of diplomatic sources in cables
WASHINGTON — In a shift of tactics that has alarmed U.S. officials, the antisecrecy organization WikiLeaks has published on the Web nearly 134,000 leaked diplomatic cables in recent days, more than six times the total disclosed publicly since the posting of the leaked State Department documents began in November.
Finance Minister chosen as Japan’s next prime minister
TOKYO — Japan’s governing party elected Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda to become the next prime minister on Monday, choosing a relative political unknown to lead this shaken nation’s recovery from the tsunami and nuclear accident in March, and revive its moribund economy.
Airlines resume service after storm, but snarls remain
Under clear skies, airlines that serve the New York City area and other Northeastern cities started to return their planes to service Monday, but many warned that travelers whose plans were thrown into disarray by Hurricane Irene could still face scheduling problems and delays through the week.
MOSCOW — President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday set a Dec. 4 date for a parliamentary election that will almost certainly be dominated by the ruling United Russia party and will set the stage for a presidential election early next year.
Weather: Impacts of TS Irene on New England
After making landfall near Cape Lookout, NC on Saturday morning with sustained winds of 85 mph (gusting to 115 mph), Hurricane Irene moved up the coast, bringing heavy rain to much of New England throughout Saturday and Sunday. Irene made her final landfall as a tropical storm with sustained winds of 65 mph in Brooklyn, NY around 9 AM on Sunday, before quickly moving north through New England into Canada. Irene caused near record high tide levels of 9.5 feet at the Battery in NYC, as well as high storm surge on Long Island. In New England, the main impacts were power outages (over half a million people were without power in Massachusetts) due to trees toppled by the strong winds, and flooding due to heavy rain.
If I were President
Having grown up in New York City, I follow the New York Times religiously. Nowadays, I don’t follow the local news (though interestingly chaotic), but rather opinion articles from columnists and bloggers. Recently, a piece caught my eye: “If I Were President” by Jesse Kornbluth. His work drew professors, C.E.Os, astrophysicists, and experts from all over, to answer: “What would you do if you were president?”
Why Senator Brown is wrong
In an August 13 op-ed in the Boston Globe on controlling the debt, Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.) echoed the disgust many feel with the bickering in Washington, stressing the need for bipartisan policies to control the debt. Having voted for Senator Brown myself, I was hopeful that the proposals he outlined might indeed represent the type of bipartisanship he ran on during his campaign. I was sorely disappointed to find that his idea of reaching across the aisle was the same as Speaker John Boehner’s: unwilling to accept anything less than 98 percent of his demands.
GETTING OUT OF THE RED The 1.5 MRC Force
In the parlance of military planning, the U.S. wields what one would call a “two-MRC force.” That is to say, as structured, the armed forces should be able to fight two “major regional conflicts” (Iraq-sized wars), simultaneously. The logic behind this sizing is simple: should the U.S. choose to fight in one region (say, the Korean peninsula), it doesn’t want to find itself without a free hand in dealing with other regions (say, the Persian gulf). Two MRC’s worth of military might gives the U.S. the strength to conduct big stick diplomacy with troublemakers even while taking action against another rogue state.
An August 3 article about the MIT Mobile application incorrectly stated that the software was available for the “most recent features phones.” The application is only available on Android and iOS devices, but the MIT Mobile website () can be accessed from any internet device.
UPCOMING HOME EVENTS
Thursday, September 1
Hockey, tennis, soccer: Summer 2011 in sports
This past summer was an eventful time in professional sports. From the French Open in June to the PGA Championship in August, champions were crowned in everything from tennis to soccer to golf. Here’s a summary of some of the notable results from the past three months.