Pi Beta Phi earns residence
Last Tuesday, MIT sorority Pi Beta Phi (Pi Phi) received a bid from the MIT Housing Office to lease 405 Memorial Drive, the house previously occupied by the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. After occupancy terms are discussed between MIT and Pi Phi and a formal agreement is signed, the sorority will be able to move into the new house starting in Fall 2012.
Baker, Maseeh top summer lottery
MIT has finally finished the most complex housing cycle in recent memory. The 460-bed Maseeh Hall opened alongside a substantial overhaul of the Institute’s undergraduate dining system. Both Maseeh and the dining system were predicted to influence the choices freshmen make about where they want to live.
Fraternity Rush events
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM — Theta Chi Killian Kickoff
Resignations shake faith in Columbia Pres. Bollinger
NEW YORK — Several Columbia University professors said this week that the recent resignations of two high-ranking black administrators have shaken their confidence in the institution’s president, Lee C. Bollinger, and reignited concerns among their colleagues about other aspects of his leadership.
ILG Rush events
MIT welcomes Pfizer to the neighborhood
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced yesterday that it signed a 10-year lease with MIT for 180,000 square feet of space in a building to be constructed at 610 Main St. The site is just north of MIT’s main campus in the Technology Square area, several blocks up Main St. from the Kendall Square T-stop. Pfizer predicts they will move into the new building when it is completed by the end of 2013.
Class registration is stepping into the 21st century. This year, students majoring in courses 4, 14, 15, 16, 18, 21W, and 24 will take part in an online registration pilot program, which will eventually replace the current paper mechanism for class registration. This program is one of the first steps of MIT’s three-year “Education Systems Roadmap,” which aims to digitize, streamline, and centralize operations at MIT.
Discovery of zinc- and bromine-laden Mars rock excites scientists
It has been driving on and off for more than seven years, but this month it reached its new destination. Opportunity, a small exploratory rover that landed on Mars in 2004, has trundled to a crater called Endeavour.
In Irene’s Wake, Katia Strengthens
Just days after Hurricane Irene killed at least 54 people and caused widespread flooding in the northeast United States, another tropical cyclone is brewing in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. Tropical Storm Katia, which last night was downgraded from hurricane status, is expected to reattain that status today, and is forecast to intensify in the next few days as it moves westward toward the North American continent. In fact, Katia could become a major hurricane by early next week. Whether or Katia will threaten the U.S. will depend on the strength of the subtropical ridge several days out, which will dictate whether the storm turns to the north, or continues westward toward land. Still, Katia will not begin to near land for more than a week.
Libyan rebels extend deadline for Gadhafi forces to surrender
TRIPOLI, Libya — The Libyan rebels’ transitional government on Thursday extended by a week its ultimatum demanding the surrender of the loyalists of Moammar Gadhafi who control his hometown, Surt. Also Thursday, the fugitive Libyan leader released an audio recording proclaiming that Surt was now the Libyan capital.
When AT&T agreed to buy T-Mobile USA in March, the deal looked like a happy fate for a company that had been losing customers and facing declining sales.
U.S. is set to sue a dozen big banks over mortgages
The federal agency that oversees the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is set to file suits against more than a dozen big banks, accusing them of misrepresenting the quality of mortgage securities they assembled and sold at the height of the housing bubble, and seeking billions of dollars in compensation.
India and Pakistan exchange fire in Kashmir
NEW DELHI — Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged fire over the border that divides the disputed province of Kashmir late Wednesday night, military officials in both countries said Thursday.
Abortion is a fundamental right
The debate over abortion is plagued by misconceptions and misinformation. Just last spring I received a pamphlet from a campus pro-life group claiming that abortion raises the risk of breast cancer, yet if we can consider the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health as a trustworthy source, this factoid has been thoroughly debunked. On the flip-side, some pro-choice advocates still maintain that an embryo is not alive. Even without this surplus obfuscation the issue is complicated and delicate; both positions in the debate represent legitimate values on their own terms. In the interest of clarity, I will attempt to put forth a reasoned argument in favor of a person’s right to an abortion.
Why life trumps choice
The abortion debate centers on two rights fundamental to American society: life and liberty. The two sides say as much, with one labeling itself “pro-life” and the other “pro-choice.” In general, it is accepted that individuals are free to do as they choose as long as those choices do not harm others, society, or themselves, within reason. There is certainly some leeway here, as the boundary between “not harmful enough” and “too harmful” is often fuzzy. We’ve seen this in the implementation and subsequent repeal of Prohibition, the debate over the legalization of marijuana, and other differences between states’ laws.
GETTING OUT OF THE RED The crisis in disability insurance
Social Security is primarily made of three insurance programs: old age insurance, insurance against on-the-job injuries (workers compensation), and insurance against career-ending disabilities (disability insurance). Old age insurance, being the bulk of Social Security, is what comes up in conversation most often. But the remainder of Social Security is in dire need of reform as well, and if Congress paid a little more attention to Disability Insurance (DI) in particular, they might go a considerable way toward fixing the nation’s budget deficit.
Embracing Africa’s newest nation
After decades of brutal fighting that left millions dead, South Sudan finally seceded from the North on July 9, forming the Republic of South Sudan. Led by President Salva Kiir, the South has many serious obstacles to overcome, including vast poverty, ongoing conflict with the north, and internal tribal violence. Regardless, secession is a vital step on Sudan’s journey towards a long-awaited prosperity, and it is important that the United States not only endorses the split, but also extends support to the months-old nation during this critical time of development, when the South’s government can so easily unravel.
EDITORIAL Wear a helmet!
For most MIT students, a brain is their most prized asset. So for the subset of those students who bike to class or work, we have one simple message: Wear your damn helmet.
OPEN-AIR ART Viewer, artist, artist, viewer
Miranda July’s Eleven Heavy Things cleverly skirts the word “sculpture,” one of those ill-defined “things” that suggests a commercial object just as often as it does an artistic one. This installation, sculptural merely by virtue of the fact that it is three-dimensional, lets us in on the artistic process and blurs the lines between creator and observer. Eleven Heavy Things originally debuted in 2010 in New York’s Union Square Park, and its journey to Los Angeles this summer came in conjunction with the release of July’s latest film project, The Future. Although I have not yet seen the film, this exhibition has certainly whet my appetite for the wacky but strangely candid ideas that emerge from July’s head.
REXing the frosh
Hey, frosh! I hope you enjoyed this year’s REX, because you’re going to have to run it next time. And you don’t want to start planning from scratch when you’re running an event for hundreds of people and the reputation of your dorm rests on your shoulders. But fear not! From my experiences as one of the Senior Haus REX chairs, I’ve created a list of tips on how to ensure your REX is successful and less stressful.
Explore the Z-Center
MIT’s Zesiger Center is the center of varsity, club, intramural, and recreational sports. Serving around 2200 users per day across the four-building sports complex, the Z-Center is home to a competition-sized pool, fitness center, indoor track, and space that can be configured for nearly any sport. The Z-Center was voted “Best Gym” by Boston.com’s A-list in 2010 — even Mark Wahlberg has stopped by several times while shooting films in the area. Tim Moore, the director of recreational sports and fitness, gave The Tech a tour of Z-Center facilities.
THE MIT SCOOP ‘REX’PECTATIONS
It is our pleasure to bring you the first video in a new series called “The MIT Scoop.” The Scoop is intended to give you a window into what student life at MIT is really like. You’ll be able to follow with your own eyes and ears the daily escapades of MIT students. Ever wonder how many hours of studying a typical student does? Or how freshmens’ expectations match up with upperclassmens’ experiences? Now you can hear it directly from the people who are living it. The videos can be viewed by scanning the QR code to the right or by going to . So quit reading and start watching!
Institute Double Take
Artist James Ossi () has his art work, “Soap bubble machine sculpture” installed in Building 6. The machine pumps air into a soap chamber, producing bubbles between two large glass panes. Carefully placed bulbs reflect light off the surface of the soap bubbles, creating vivid, mesmerizing colors. This picture was taken with a macro lens oriented towards the glass plane such that the stray reflection from the glass plane itself is minimal, which would spoil the shot. The photographer also covered the gap between the lens and the glass plane with a dark cloth to reduce unwanted reflections. This trick comes in handy when a photo needs to be taken through a glass plane, such as from an aircraft window. Additionally, keeping the aperture large and getting close to the glass pane diminishes the visibility of any dirt on the pane.