Future of the ATO house is unclear
For the better part of the winter, a couch and two mattresses have marked the location of 405 Memorial Drive, the fenced-in property sandwiched in-between Kappa Sigma and Delta Kappa Epsilon. Upperclassmen will remember this now-shuttered house as the former house of Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) — the fraternity expelled from MIT in September 2009 — but new plans are being developed for a possible fall opening. Before anything happens, the house will require extensive renovations that are not expected to be completed until after this summer.
Student input halts Orientation proposal
In response to strong student opposition to proposed changes to the Orientation 2011 schedule, administration and student government officials announced last week that no significant scheduling changes would be seen this year. Freshman Pre-Orientation Programs (FPOPs) and International Orientation events will be changing, but in ways that minimize their impact on orientation programming like REX.
Medical receives a makeover
MIT Medical recently unveiled new daytime-only operation hours for its Urgent Care Service and redesigned its inpatient facilities to become the new Community Care Center. New hours came into effect on Dec. 22, 2010.
NOAA scientists cleared of misuse of climate data
An inquiry by a federal watchdog agency found no evidence that scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration manipulated climate data to buttress the evidence in support of global warming, officials said on Thursday.
Last Friday, an opinion column on hospitals and social media incorrectly stated that Southcoast Hospital tweeted daily updates on disaster victims’ conditions, or if discharged, their treatments, also including patient information like phone numbers. Southcoast Hospital tweeted information aggregated from 120 patients to keep the community updated on the event and the type of injuries that were treated. They never tweeted information on individual patients, which would be a violation of federal and state privacy laws.
Harvard, Princeton back to early action
Harvard and Princeton each announced Thursday that they would revive their early-admission programs, allowing high school seniors who apply by next Nov. 15 to get a decision by Dec. 15 without having to promise to attend the college if admitted.
Stanford v. Roche at high court on Monday
Patent licensing is complicated, and a new chapter of that complexity — as it applies to universities and other federal contractors through the Bayh-Dole Technology Transfer Act — will hit the Supreme Court on Monday.
Increased snowfall raises costs by 250 percent
MIT’s budget has taken a hit as a result of the heavy snow this winter: The Department of Facilities has already spent 2.5 times more money clearing snow this year than was spent on the task all last winter. The bulk of the increase comes from the cost of removing snow from campus parking areas to an off-campus site, according to Facilities Ground Services Manager Norman H. Magnuson Jr.
DETROIT — Floor mats and accelerators continue to plague Toyota.
Libyan rebels repel Colonel Gadhafi’s forces near Tripoli
BENGHAZI, Libya — Rebels seeking to overturn the 40-year rule of Col. Moammar Gadhafi repelled a concerted assault by his forces Thursday on cities close to the capital, removing any doubt that Libya’s patchwork of protests had evolved into an increasingly well-armed revolutionary movement.
Gay marriage seems to wane as conservative issue
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s decision to abandon his legal support for the Defense of Marriage Act has generated only mild rebukes from the Republicans hoping to succeed him in 2012, evidence of a shifting political climate in which social issues are being crowded out by economic concerns.
General said to order effort to sway U.S. lawmakers
WASHINGTON — The American commander in Afghanistan will order an investigation into accusations that military personnel deployed to win Afghan hearts and minds were instructed over their own objections to carry out “psychological operations” to help convince visiting members of Congress to increase support for the training mission there, military officials said Thursday.
Discovery space shuttle leaves Earth for the last time
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — With seconds to spare after a last-minute glitch, the repaired shuttle Discovery, grounded since November because of vexing fuel tank cracks, rocketed into orbit Thursday on its 39th and final flight, setting off for the International Space Station to deliver supplies, equipment and a final American storage module.
Resurgent General Motors posts 2010 profit of $4.7 billion dollars
DETROIT — General Motors, which nearly collapsed from the weight of its debts two years ago before reorganizing in a government-sponsored bankruptcy, said Thursday that it earned $4.7 billion in 2010, the most in more than a decade.
Responding to criticism that tenure gives even poor teachers a job for life, Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, announced a plan Thursday to overhaul how teachers are evaluated and dismissed.
Active Weather Ahead
The high pressure system that has brought us sunny, dry weather for the last week has finally moved off the coast, allowing a sequence of storms to impact our region over the next few days. The first system comes through today, bringing heavy rain and blustery conditions. The rain should taper off by the evening, but could be quite heavy at times this morning and this afternoon. We should receive 1.5–2 inches of rain. As for the wind, the southeast winds of the morning will weaken and shift as the low passes in the afternoon, before shifting to strong northwesterlies on the backside of the low. Gusts of up to 55 mph are possible tonight. Saturday will be mostly quiet before a shortwave trough brings a chance of snow showers on Sunday morning. The next major system moves in on Monday; right now it looks like it will be mostly rain, but some sleet and freezing rain could be mixed in.
How America aided the Egyptian disaster
The United States has delivered, on average, $2 billion in aid to Egypt every year since the peace treaty with Israel was signed in 1979. This corresponds almost exactly to the start of Hosni Mubarak’s presidency; after serving as vice president of Egypt since 1975, Mubarak became president in 1981 and remained in power until the recent revolution. Egypt’s economy has declined steadily since Mubarak took the reigns of government.
The battle for Wisconsin’s soul
Paul R. Krugman PhD ’77’s recent article “Wisconsin Power Play” in the New York Times is a revealing look into the liberal derangement over the ongoing public sector union battle in the Badger State. In his article, our esteemed alumnus claims that unions must be defended because they are a bastion against undemocratic forces. And against what undemocratic forces are they arrayed? The Republicans, of course. And how do we know that Republicans are, as Krugman says, trying to turn America into a “third-world-style oligarchy?” Because they oppose unions.
Don’t settle for settlement condition
Last week, the United States vetoed a U.N. resolution condemning Israeli settlements as illegal, and rightly so. Israeli settlements in the West Bank are by no means the main obstacle to peace, and peace can only be achieved as soon as a genuine and willing partner takes Israel’s outstretched hand. It is important that the Obama administration continues to correctly pursue a foreign policy that allows Israel to negotiate a peace agreement for herself.
DANCE REVIEW Explosion of color and flying acrobatics
Shen Yun Performing Arts troupe dazzled its Boston audience at the Citi Performing Arts Center’s Wang Theatre in three evening performances from Friday, Feb. 11 to Sunday, Feb. 13.
The King’s Speech ... and more
This year’s group of nominees for Best Picture will provide a tough challenge for Academy voting members. The tight race will most likely come down to The Social Network and The King’s Speech. Though many fans view Black Swan and True Grit as strong contenders, they are more likely to take awards for actor and actress, with Natalie Portman practically already holding the Oscar for Actress in a Leading Role. Despite the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed The Social Network, The King’s Speech should win the Oscar this year. Between the impressive directing and cinematography and the brilliant performances by Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, and Colin Firth, the film is a standout among the contenders.
Crushes, confessions, things that thud in the night A short review of the Oscar-nominated shorts
The Confession (Tanel Toom)
FILM REVIEW Heroes and villains in True Grit
The latest film by Joel and Ethan Coen, True Grit is the second adaptation of the 1968 novel by Charles Portis about a tough U.S. Marshal helping a stubborn young girl find her father’s murderer. John Wayne starred in the 1969 adaptation as U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn. True Grit is has been nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor (Jeff Bridges). Fifteen-year-old newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, who was chosen among 15,000 other competitors for the role of Mattie Ross, was nominated in the category Best Supporting Actress.
Arts staff place their bets for 2011 Oscar wins
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Colin Firth in The King’s Speech
Upcoming Home Events
Friday, February 25 Men’s Swimming and Diving - NEWMAC Championships 11 a.m., Z-Center Pool Squash vs. University of Washington 7:30 p.m., Z-Center Courts Saturday, February 26 Rifle - Alumni Match 9 a.m., DuPont Range Men’s Swimming and Diving - NEWMAC Championships 11 a.m., Z-Center Pool Sunday, February 27 Men’s Swimming and Diving - NEWMAC Championships 11 a.m., Z-Center Pool
Men’s Track & Field wins twelfth NEWMAC title
Twenty-four teams traveled to Springfield, Mass. last Saturday to compete in the New England Track and Field Division III Championship. MIT arrived as one of the two heavy favorites, the other being Williams College. Based on past results and expectations, MIT and Williams seemed to be evenly matched. As Coach Halston W. Taylor said aptly in the pre-meet meeting, “It’s going to come down to who wants it more.” And it did.
Swimming takes conference crown
For the first time in school history, MIT took first place at the NEWMAC Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. With this win, the Engineers put an end to Springfield College’s 10-year reign as league champions. Over the course of the weekend, nine NEWMAC Championship records fell at the Mount Holyoke College Natatorium.