On Thursday, July 18, MIT filed a motion intervening in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit by Wired editor Kevin Poulsen against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, filed on April 12. Poulsen had requested the release of any Secret Service documents regarding the late internet activist Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide in January following a federal indictment in July 2011 for using MIT’s network to download millions of JSTOR documents. Filed in the U.S. District Court of Washington, D.C., MIT’s motion asked the court to allow MIT to review and propose redactions, and will delay the release of the documents. JSTOR filed a similar motion on Friday.
Nadeem Mazen ’06 has announced his candidacy for the Cambridge City Council. If elected in November, he will be the second MIT alumnus to serve on the council after Leland Cheung MBA ’10, who is also running for reelection. Mazen’s campaign is focusing on the issues of affordable housing, zoning, term limits for city councillors, dedicated spaces for arts, and opportunities for mentorship in K-12 education.
Starting on July 1, 2013, undergraduate and graduate students with children were able to pre-register for the new subsidized backup child care program. The new program provides students with access to caregivers on a short notice through Parents in a Pinch, a national vendor for child care services. The program will run as a pilot until June 30, 2014, when it will reexamined for renewal.
On Tuesday, Adam McCready, assistant director of fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups (FSILGs), alerted FSILG officers to an individual attempting to trespass onto FSILGs in the Back Bay. According to McCready’s email, the black male, 5’9” and in his 40s-50s, claimed he was told to come to houses to inquire about being a cook. McCready said that Sergeant Cheryl N. Vossmer, of the MIT Police, reported that this is a “common ruse used by criminals to scope out properties prior to an actual theft … looking for easy access points.”
BOSTON — A federal grand jury here issued a 30-count indictment on June 27 against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect, charging him with using a weapon of mass destruction that killed three people and injured more than 260.
Two weeks ago, MIT Housing announced that six undergraduate dorms will be undergoing a temporary housing increase for the fall semester. MIT Housing sent an email to each student living in the affected dorms listing the specific rooms in their dorm that will have increased occupancy.
Increased security measures are in effect for this year’s Fourth of July celebrations in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. Several road closures take effect starting at 4 p.m. in contrast with 4:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. closures last July Fourth. Most notably, the Harvard Bridge will not be accessible to pedestrians or vehicular traffic from 4 p.m. until approximately 2 a.m. on July 5. Other 4 p.m. closures to vehicular traffic include Main Street between Third Street and the Longfellow Bridge; Ames Street between Main Street and Memorial Drive; Land Boulevard from Binney Street to the Longfellow Bridge; Charlotte’s Way; and Amherst, Wadsworth, Hayward, Carleton, and Dock Streets.The Longfellow Bridge will remain open to pedestrian and bicycle traffic after 4 p.m. only on the inbound (Cambridge to Boston) side.
WASHINGTON — In a pair of major victories for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court ruled last Wednesday that married same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits and, by declining to decide a case from California, effectively allowed same-sex marriages there.
A broad high pressure system located off the East Coast has brought warm, moist conditions to much of the Eastern United States for the past few days. The southwesterly flow associated with this system has created a train of showers and thunderstorms stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to New England. Here at the Institute, this has resulted in a pattern of hot, partly cloudy days punctuated by the occasional passing shower or thunderstorm. Fortunately for those who like this kind of weather, the strong Atlantic high pressure system is expected to persist for the foreseeable future, meaning the pattern of heat and storms will continue at least through the beginning of next week.
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it would delay for a year, until 2015, the Affordable Care Act mandate that employers provide coverage for their workers or pay penalties, responding to business complaints and postponing the effective date beyond next year’s midterm elections.
BEIJING — They are exemplars from folklore that are familiar to Chinese schoolchildren. There is the Confucian disciple who subsisted on wild grass while traveling with sacks of rice to give to his parents. There is the man who worshipped wooden effigies of his parents.
Edward J. Snowden, the fugitive former U.S. security contractor, appeared to break his silence Monday for the first time since he flew to Moscow eight days ago. WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group, issued a statement attributed to Snowden that denounced President Barack Obama for revoking his passport, opposing his asylum requests and leaving him a “stateless person.”
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that the United States and Russia were still working toward holding an international peace conference on Syria and agreed that it should take place “sooner rather than later.”
BEIJING — Chinese authorities tightened their grip Tuesday on the far western region of Xinjiang, where two clashes left dozens dead last week, by confiscating knives and offering rewards for information about possible separatist attacks, according to state media.
The premise of The Heat is a simple one — an unlikely pair of detectives is forced to team up in order to take down a ring of dangerous drug dealers. With Sandra Bullock playing an FBI agent angling for a promotion, and Melissa McCarthy as a Boston police officer with anger management problems, The Heat begins to sound a little too much like Miss Congeniality 2 meets 21 Jump Street. But while the movie is predictable, it is far from stale — director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) steps back to let Bullock and McCarthy unroll their comedic chemistry.
I never understood the Kanye West mania — not because I’m some music snob who does not appreciate rap and hip hop, but because I have enough guts to follow my instincts and speak up when over-hyped contemporary music is worthless. I am not a connoisseur of rap music, and I may not be able to recognize all the nuances of hip hop, but when I do listen to these genres, I am certain that I listen to praiseworthy artists. For example, I love OutKast and I think that every bit of their acclaimed success was well deserved. During the summer before my senior year of high school, I spent most of my afternoons listening to The Roots’ How I Got Over on repeat. If you play Missy Elliott’s “Work It,” I will (mostly unsuccessfully) rap along. And, while I am not their greatest fan, I love listening to Q-Tip, Nas, Mos Def and Talib Kweli when I get a craving for some good beats.
The Scottish synth-pop band Chvrches (usually stylized as CHVRCHES) released their first EP Recover this March to very positive reviews, and just recently embarked on their first U.S. tour. Taking the London-based musical project Still Corners along with them, the band paid Boston a visit last month to play some of their acclaimed songs and present forthcoming album material.
From June 21 to 23, Cameron Valier Cogburn G competed in Oregon’s Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and walked (or rode) away in first place with the yellow jersey. He came into the final stage of the four-stage race weekend in fourth place overall and 40 seconds behind the leader. Cogburn made up significant time on the last climb of the race to finish eighth in the stage and win the professional men’s category by six seconds.
Rafael Nadal of Spain entered Wimbledon 2013 with great confidence after winning his record-setting eighth French Open title at Roland Garros, having defeated top-seeded Novak Djokovic in a grind-out five-setter in the semifinals. Nadal suffered from a partially torn patellar tendon during the middle of 2012, which caused him to withdraw from the 2012 London Olympic Games and stay sidelined for nearly a year after his second round loss at Wimbledon 2012. Despite this long hiatus, Nadal returned and displayed a championship performance during this year’s French Open. However, the fifth-seeded Nadal did not have as much luck last week during his Wimbledon first round match against Belgian Steve Darcis, who is currently ranked 135th in the world. Darcis upset Nadal in a tight three sets (7-6 (4), 7-6 (8), 6-4) to advance to the second round.
I originally wanted this article to show that graduate students can kick back, relax, and stave off the insanity that is just a stone’s throw away from the genius we all aspire to achieve. However, as I wrote the title, I realized this may actually convince you of the opposite, that graduate school does in fact drive graduate students off the deep end. So, throwing caution to the wind, I am sharing two tales of the silly, the frivolous, and the fun that I’ve experienced this summer.
“In the United States and Europe, around half of those who gain doctoral degrees in science and engineering are female — but barely one-fifth of full professors are women. Women are not invited in significant numbers to sit on the scientific advisory boards of start-up companies. A scientific conference at which half of the keynote speakers are women stands out simply because of that. Why has progress stalled? Child care is one major factor that blocks the career of many women.”
My history with music reads like an I Saw You MIT post. “I heard you, ten second music video clip of ‘Feel Good, Inc.’ on a TV commercial.” “I heard you, midi version of ‘Diary of a Madman’ on a web 1.0 Johnny the Homicidal Maniac fansite.” Yet it was only recently that I started explicitly looking for new and classic bands to listen to, and educating myself in good music.