Senior House ranks high for underrepresented minorities, similar to New House in family income, new data show
The Provost’s office recently released data detailing student demographics by residence hall including race, ethnicity, gender (data from the registrar); family income (data from student financial services), and sexual orientation (data from a question in the enrolled students survey which had a 58 percent response rate).
Colors, commentary, and confetti
Half live music, half film screening, with bouts of audience interaction and Q&A throughout, this was the most oddly formatted music event we’ve ever attended.
6 quick things to do to prepare for CPW
Are you panicking about the avalanche of event preparations crashing down on your shoulders?
An open letter to classes that have psets and exams in the same week
No, no, I'm not dropping you, so don't freak out, but I really need the next few days away from you to process things.
9 lies MIT students tell themselves at the beginning of the semester
Whether you'll get used to it or not, you're probably waking up earlier than usual and hyping yourself up with some Positive Thoughts About The Semester. But some of them aren't true...
Do’s and don‘ts of Reg Day
Here are some do's and don'ts I've compiled over the years that might help you on your way to schedule mastery.
Engineers end January on sturdy note
MIT fencing, MIT track and field, and men's basketball came out on top in competitions this past week.
‘Excuse me sir ... I mean ma’am ... uh ... I mean ... sir?’
I'm at peace with who I am and how I express my gender, but it wasn't easy to get to this point.
The first contemporary dystopian series that didn’t make me cringe!
Red Rising is a well-written, original, and not too cliche dystopian novel with prose and story complexity that far exceeds The Hunger Games, but it is definitely less sophisticated than A Song of Ice and Fire.
What do podcasts and journaling have in common?
I want to be the kind of person who listens to podcasts, but I like music too much.
Engineers score victories across the board
Women's Track and Field (No. 2) won 12 events, defeating Bates and Colby Sat. Jan 13 in a tri-meet at Bates College. The Engineers earned 106 points, Bates 53.5, and Colby 28.5. Marissa McPhillips ’20 won the mile with a time of 5:07.41, which was converted to 5:04.40 and is ranked fifth in the country. Jacqueline Ahrens ’21 cleared 11 feet, 11.75 inches pole vaulting, putting her at the No. 2 mark in the country.
Second novel by Andy Weir, author of ‘The Martian’, falls short of expectations
The book has overarching themes of class and plot devices typical in a story where there are haves and have nots. There’s an interesting amount of detail about how the moon colony would function from an engineering perspective, which immediately engaged me.
My morning commute as an algorithm
I am a creature of routines, and being a Course 6 student has inspired me to algorithmitize (yes, that’s a made up word) my life when possible. For example, I do laundry every Saturday, sometimes earlier when my hamper is 75% full, or my favorite hoodie is in need of a wash. When I moved off campus, I was suddenly faced with a new daily decision: how to get to campus every day. Making an algorithm was the logical next step. Here’s my thought process:
18 things to do this IAP
Welcome back to campus! Figuring out what to do with yourself at MIT can be hard when you don’t have a schedule, set by classes and UROPs, to regulate your life. Here are some suggestions on how to spend your time this IAP.
Your IAP horoscopes brought to you by The Tech!
Freshmen in Senior House: Pilot 2021
The Pilot 2021 program will include cooking kits for $2,500 a year, in-house exercise classes, and “career exploration” programming.
Papers disappear, Tech Exec responds
No one joins The Tech because they are bored and looking for a way to kill time; no one at MIT adds an activity to their busy schedules under those conditions. We do it because we have a profound desire to serve the community, present and future, with and accurate, fair, and holistic records of the days we spend at the Institute. This week, nearly half our distribution was taken Friday, and this undermines The Tech’s mission of making timely news easily accessible to the MIT community.
A guide for course evaluations
You’ve probably gotten a deluge of emails asking you to fill out course evaluations. You’ve got a lot on your plate right now with finals and such, so here are a few things to ponder so you can optimize your subject evaluations. You’ve gotta make sure instructors and departments hear your feedback.
Good week for MIT basketball
Men’s basketball (8-1) defeated Rhode Island College 76 to 63 Thursday, Dec. 7. Cameron Korb ’19 scored a career-high 32 points and was 8-for-13 for three-point shots. This victory was the Engineer’s fifth in a winning streak.
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, to be 2018 commencement speaker
Graduate Student Council President Sarah Ann Goodman told MIT News that she is “thrilled that Sheryl Sandberg was selected as the Commencement speaker. The MIT community will benefit immensely from the insights of this trailblazing and resilient woman in the tech industry.”
How to adjust to winter break
This will be my sixth winter break at MIT, and I think it is high time I write down some useful tips for how to manage the adjustment from “hell week and finals week at MIT” to the so-stressless-it-is-actually-stressful time period: winter break.
MIT athletes finishing semester by smashing records and placing top in nation
Men's and women's indoor track and field sent five students to compete in the Boston University Season Opener Dec. 2. Marissa McPhillips ’20 finished the 3,000 meter with a number two time in the country with a time of 9:51.25. Katie Bacher ’20 finished with a time of 10:09.18 making her the fifth fastest in the country in the 3K. Josh Rosenkranz ’19 and David Walter ’18 both competed in the 5,000 meter and finished with times putting them in the top 10 nationally.
Help Cambridge decide how to spend $800,000 in participatory budgeting
The City of Cambridge has allocated $800,000 for participatory budgeting, a democratic process in which residents vote on various proposed capital expenditures meant to benefit the public.
Four-alarm fire damages MIT-owned apartment complex
A four-alarm fire damaged two apartment complexes in Central Square fire on Auburn Street and Magazine Street around 1 a.m. last Thursday.
After struggling to maintain business, MacGregor Convenience closes
MacGregor Convenience, which was managed by 660 Corporation on a year-to-year contract with MIT, will not reopen this fall.
Healthy Minds Study survey data informed 2016 Senior House decisions
The Healthy Minds Study (HMS) survey, administered to students in 2015, linked each participant’s responses to their dorm. The survey included questions about illegal drug use and mental health. However, survey participants were not informed that their residence information would be linked to their responses.
Plans of repopulation abandoned: Senior House to become graduate housing
Students accuse administration of collective punishment — but numbers don't matter, Barnhart says, if “the end result is that students living in Senior House wouldn't have a good experience.”
Senior House no more: community reacts with disappointment, fear, and anger
The decision to turn Senior House into a graduate dormitory, announced last Friday by Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart PhD ’88 to the Senior House community, has been met with condemnation from vocal MIT community members.
SH residents discuss concerns about admins’ review process
Senior House residents were informed April 20 of an impending “review process” which included voluntary interviews to investigate what the chancellor called “dangerous behavior.”
Administration decides to resettle Senior House residents, citing “unhealthy behavior” during last year’s turnaround period
Senior House will be mostly depopulated, and will instead house students in Pilot 2021, a new program for freshmen focused on “academics, personal development, and wellbeing.” Current residents will need to go through a “selective” application process in order to live in the dorm next year.
Students, alums respond to Senior House depopulation and Pilot 2021
Current students and community members respond
Nelson: LGBT services should be above-ground
LBGT Services and the Office of Multicultural Programs will move from Walker Memorial to the duPont athletic center in W31 this summer. The move is expected to be complete this fall.
Nearly a year after turnaround announcement, near-term future of Senior House is uncertain
Administrators have still not given word on who will be allowed to live in Senior House this fallwhether freshman will live in Senior House this fall. In particular, it unknown if freshmen, the current residents, or any undergraduates will be allowed to live there.
Steer Roast canceled due to ‘dangerous behavior’ during turnaround
The Chancellor’s office refused to comment on what dangerous behavior occurred, but the administration “has placed the Senior House community on probation.”
Executive order won’t change admissions process
Mahmoud Hassan, a Syrian student admitted to the class of 2021, told CNN he is worried that the order will prevent him from attending MIT this fall.
Trump blocks student’s return to MIT
MIT undergraduate Niki Mossafer Rahmati ’18 was denied re-entry to the United States because she is an Iranian citizen.
Students react to executive order
The Tech interviewed students and staff in Lobby 10 Wednesday afternoon to gauge campus reaction to President Donald J. Trump’s executive order on immigration.
How a nuclear missile and falling socket almost obliterated Arkansas
On September 18, 1980, Arkansas was almost obliterated when a mechanic dropped a heavy socket down a shaft, puncturing the fuel tank of a Titan II missile carrying a nuclear warhead. If nothing else, Command and Control will inspire engineers striving to build redundant, foolproof safety measures on their dangerous devices.
Updated help-seeking policy protects student organizations from alcohol, drug sanctions
MIT’s Good Samaritan Amnesty Policy now treats alcohol and prohibited substances equally. It also offers both students and entire student organizations protection from alcohol and drug sanctions.
Shakespeare meets Star Trek
The MIT Shakespeare Ensemble’s rendition of The Tempest was an infusion of the Bard and Star Trek. I’m usually not the biggest Shakespeare fan but I am a sci-fi nerd, and I enjoyed the many tributes to popular science fiction franchises throughout.
The dialogue leaves much to be desired, and the plot is about as predictable as it gets. The film is for children, but unlike some other kids’ movies, this one might be best left for the PG audience.
Ghostbusters remake is smart and hilarious
Ghostbusters is a hilarious action-filled remake of the critically acclaimed 1984 version. This one casts four women to compose the team of sharp Ghostbusting badasses. With Ghostbusters, MIT gains another notable fictional alum, Erin (Kristen Wiig), who sports a gold brass rat throughout the film.
Star Trek Beyond falls short of warp speed
In attempting to portray the Federation and Starfleet as anything less than a galactic utopia, Star Trek Beyond falls short. Director Justin Lin is clearly comfortable with breaking out of Trekkies' comfort zones (he destroys the Enterprise in the first act!), but he doesn't do enough to convince us that the Federation is actually vulnerable.
Kristen Covino to be new Associate Head of Senior House
Covino, who has experience working with LGBTQ groups, was unanimously endorsed by a committee that included Senior House student leadership, MIT administrators, and members of the Senior House house team.
Nelson begins tenure as VPSL
Suzy Nelson, new vice president for student life, began her tenure July 1. The former Colgate University dean felt welcomed on her first day and looks forward to working with students.
Students respond to announcement of Senior House turnaround
Since the announcement on June 10 that Senior House will not house freshmen during the 2016-2017 school year, students have expressed a wide range of concerns.
The Porch Yellers lament the "Dormpocalypse"
It’s official: we’ve entered the songwriting stage of the pervasive discontent among students about the state of dorm life on campus.
Barnhart addresses concerns about Senior House turnaround
The Tech spoke again with Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart PhD ’88 in order to address concerns about her data analysis, the ban on freshmen in Senior House, the future of GRTs in the dorm, and more.
Senior House turnaround will address low graduation rates
Chancellor Barnhart announced Friday that no freshmen will be housed in Senior House this fall, citing a comparatively low four-year graduation rate and ongoing problems with illegal drug use.
Interview: Matt Damon on technology, the film industry, and getting involved
The Tech had an opportunity to speak with Matt Damon before he gave the commencement address to the class of 2016. The actor discussed opinions on science fiction, the film industry, and how to get involved in solving global problems.
3,511 degrees awarded at commencement ceremony
Matt Damon urges graduates to "turn towards" global problems in order to help solve them. Senior gift breaks records once again.
New House to be assessed before decision is made about its future
MIT will assess corroded pipes and problems with the HVAC system in New House before making a decision about whether to renovate or demolish the dorm.
EECS announces new curriculum
The department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has announced a new curriculum that has been approved for EECS majors in the class of 2020.
New House faces possible destruction
New House will need to be “thoroughly repaired or demolished,” DormCon President Kate Farris ’17 said in an email.
Admins respond to students’ drug policy criticisms
There is no “vast difference” between the way that drugs and alcohol are treated under MIT’s Good Samaritan Policy, Kevin Kraft, the Director of Student Citizenship, said.
Over 100 emails urge CSL to extend Good Samaritan Policy
UA President Matthew J. Davis ’16 urged undergraduates to begin a letter writing campaign to share their opinions on the policy. He called for changing the policy so that it treats drugs and alcohol the same.
Freeman: historic number of minors added this year
Freeman said that each new major and minor was created in response to needs that the faculty identified. For example, he said, many students are interested in entrepreneurship, and faculty thought there were concrete things these students should know.
Schmill to head Student Financial Services
He will continue to oversee the admissions office as well, in his new position as Dean of Admissions and Student Financial Services.
Course 6 to offer CS Minor
Starting this fall, MIT will offer a minor in Computer Science.
A tale of hazing and hacking at MIT
For those unfamiliar with MIT, reading Geeks & Greeks will likely be an eye-opening experience, as the graphic novel quickly dispels many MIT stereotypes. In the first few chapters, we see that Greek life exists at MIT, and that students aren’t a bunch of overly serious nerds — they like to joke around, prank each other, and put large objects on top of buildings. I’m a campus tour guide, and you wouldn’t believe (and would maybe be a little insulted) by the number of tourists and prospective students who ask if MIT even has clubs, Greek life, and sports. The artwork is consistently pleasing throughout the novel, and certainly does a great job at bringing many unbelievable events to life. In this way, the novel is certainly a compelling read, filled with jokes that will please anyone with nerdier sensibilities and stories that are sure to inspire young readers to apply to the Institute.
Dean Randall responds to S^3 concerns on MIT Confessions
Associate Dean of Student Support Services David Randall has responded to several anonymous MIT Confessions posts about S^3, some of which detail negative experiences with particular deans at S^3.
Suzy Nelson, Dean of Colgate College, will be vice president of student life
Suzy M. Nelson has been named vice president of student life and will step into the position on July 1, 2016. Nelson succeeds Chris Colombo who announced his retirement last July.
SHAC, Chancellor clarify the committee’s role after students worry about its transparency
Refuting concerns that a decision on freshman housing is being reached in secret, which came along with concerns of general lack of transparency, Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart PhD ’88 unequivocally said that “any suggestions that decisions have been made are false.”
Suzy Nelson, dean of Colgate College, will be vice president of student life
Nelson currently serves as vice president and dean of the college at Colgate University. She has held positions at Syracuse and Cornell, and was dean of student life at Harvard until 2012.
Metropolitan Warehouse will not become dorm
The Metropolitan Moving & Storage Warehouse will not become a dorm. Instead, a new undergraduate residence will be constructed “from the ground up,” most likely in West Campus.
The Man in the High Castle
It wasn’t hard to make the decision to spend this past weekend on my couch recovering from Thanksgiving festivities by binge watching a new TV show. The real choice to make was deciding which series I should spend my precious long weekend devouring. Eventually, I settled on Amazon Studios’ new alternate history sci-fi series The Man in the High Castle. The show is based on a novel of the same name by Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner and Minority Report were also based on his work), was created by Frank Spotnitz (a writer and producer from X-Files), and has Ridley Scott (director of Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator) as an executive producer. From this line up alone, I expected a pretty epic series.
The Pearl Button would be better off as two separate documentaries
The Pearl Button promised to be a poetic and thought-provoking documentary about Chile’s 2,670 miles of coastline and the significance of water for indigenous tribes in Patagonia (a region that includes Chile and Argentina as well as several South American islands). I didn’t know much about the history of Chile or its native peoples, but I was eager to learn. The documentary, however, did not live up to my expectations, and I was rather surprised by how uninspiring I found much of the film. Its slow pace and low information density makes each scene drag on — I often expected a scene to cut minutes before it actually did. Guzmán incorporates voice-overs, photographs, interviews with tribal elders, grainy black-and-white clips, outer-space CGI (which felt supremely out of place), and long takes of coastal scenery (which were beautiful, and perhaps the best part of the experience). However, the documentary’s biggest weakness is that it is abruptly split into two seemingly disjoint parts.
Heroes Reborn offers a compelling second chance for disillusioned viewers
I was about 50 percent excited and 50 percent nervous about Heroes Reborn. I had watched the show here and there when it was in its first season back in 2006, but it wasn’t until sophomore year of college (when I bought my very own Netflix account) that I got hooked on the series. I spent a week binge-watching the first and second season, but I gave up on the third and fourth, understanding what people meant when they said the show was going downhill. I liked the comic-book feel to the show: overused tropes aside, who doesn’t like a story packed with superpowers?
Pilot episodes can be rough
I was incredibly excited to hear that Fox was premiering a TV spinoff of the futuristic sci-fi movie Minority Report (directed by Steven Spielberg, 2002). The series is appropriately (or perhaps, confusingly) called Minority Report. A quick summary for those who haven’t seen the film (I do recommend it!): fast forward to 2054, the government has future-predicting “pre-crime” tech that allows them to capture criminals before they commit (or even think to commit) crimes. Tom Cruise’s character, John Anderton, realizes that these methods are not completely reliable and can imprison innocent people. I enjoyed the movie version — I thought it was philosophically interesting and the plot was engaging and constantly thrilling. Minority Report, the TV show, however, leaves much to be desired.
Doctor Who returns with ‘The Magician’s Apprentice’
Fans awaiting the arrival of the ninth season of Doctor Who were subjected to quite the emotional roller coaster despite the fact that the season only just premiered this past Saturday. Before we even get to the episode we have the rumors and speculation. There has been speculation about impending regenerations (when The Doctor dies and regenerates into a “new” Doctor, and is consequently played by a new actor) and rumors about companion departures. Changing between Doctors and/or Companions is always a traumatic experience for fans.
Can I have the definition please?
I completely understood what director Hubert Hwang ’07 meant when he said that MIT students would probably really identify with at least one of the eight main characters in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The middle schoolers aren’t perfect, and while they have some impressive achievements under their belts, they have flaws, insecurities, and personal matters to deal with. We realize it isn’t fair to idolize them: admire them, sure, but don’t place god-like expectations upon them.
I go through music phases in bursts, and I make monthly playlists that reveal my brief obsessions. This past July, I went through a particularly angsty music stage — I was full of political discontent (I had just reviewed the anti-capitalist band Desaparecidos, so they were on this playlist too), I was working two jobs, and life was just, in general, monotonous. Needless to say, I identified with a lot of punk rock sentiments: desire to fight the man, weariness of the nine-to-five, eagerness to party (though my packed schedule and never-ending to-do list didn’t allow for it, so I had to live vicariously), and the simple need to do something just for fun.
A glimpse behind the curtains
At the beginning of every fall semester, the MIT Musical Theater Guild (MTG) takes the stage in Kresge Little Theater to deliver a charming musical performance. This summer, MTG has been working on a production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a musical comedy telling the story of six middle schoolers as they compete to become a spelling champion.
Steve Jobs: A study in contrasts
If you’re a fan of Steve Jobs, you probably won’t like this incredibly unflattering documentary about the iconic tech innovator. For full disclosure, I’m typing this review on a Macbook Pro and I have an iPhone in my pocket, but after watching Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, I have to say, I sort of resent myself for purchasing them. To be fair, this documentary is incredibly opinionated, but after watching it you will certainly get a feeling that Steve Jobs was not a very nice person, to say the very least.
Inmost Thoughts, a cautionary tale
This summer, the MIT Student Cable Club (Radical Rat Studios) put out an 11-part web series called Inmost Thoughts. The series was filmed on MIT’s campus and the setting has a sort of hackathon-project-presentation feel to it. The story revolves around a mind reading device, and the qualms privacy advocates have with such a technology. The story follows Vivian (Sally Guthrie ’14), Melanie (Carolyn Vasko), Daniel (Ari Smith ’14), and Wendy (Nicole Dalton). Vivian spends a good deal of the series trying to convince Melanie that the mind reading device will help humanity, and conversely, Melanie spends most of the time trying to convince Vivian that such a device is a huge breach of privacy (although Melanie’s feelings towards the device do seem to fluctuate between revulsion and mild interest). Overall, the series is a thought-provoking and humorous reminder of the morally gray areas that accompany cutting-edge technologies.
New Politics hits the mark with Vikings
I saw New Politics when they performed in Boston last fall, and of course I had already heard their viral hits “Harlem” and “Yeah Yeah Yeah,” but I wasn’t too familiar with any of their other work. However, the show really blew me away and inspired me to check out their other songs (many of which were just as catchy and still find their way onto my playlists). Near the end of the show, they promised that a new album would be released during summer 2015. New Politics released their first single for the album, “Everywhere I Go (Kings and Queens),” back in 2014, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Vikings since.
Don’t judge a taco by its tortilla
I’ve been walking past Naco Taco every day since it opened this past spring near Central Square. Its constantly-populated patio and brightly-colored-taco-truck exterior always caught my attention, and last week I decided I needed to give the joint a try.
Never Shout Never is back with Black Cat
I used to listen to Never Shout Never all the time in high school. I first discovered the band when I saw them live at a local music festival back home; they were just an opening act for some band that I can’t remember the name of. Ukulele and light acoustic guitar made up the base of their instrumentals, and that’s what really caught my attention — I was just learning guitar at the time, and their music was simple enough for me to play. I was excited when I learned that they were releasing a new album, Black Cat, this August.
Don’t you wish your last MRI was this much fun?
Self/less isn’t a boring film, but the trailer suggests a film more philosophically engaging than it ended up being. In fact, if you see the trailer, you don’t really have to attend the movie to know what it’s about, and most people will be able to predict each turn of events. Like I said, it isn’t boring — there are some exciting scenes that attempt to add mystery and thrill — but don’t expect to be too surprised. The film presents some entertaining (though mostly unoriginal) ideas, but ultimately doesn’t deliver. For example, the concept of transferring consciousness from one body to the next in an attempt to achieve eternal youth is pretty cool to think about. However, I was supremely disappointed with the lack of imagination regarding this process — apparently if you go into a huge MRI-esque machine with a strange net on your face, you can transfer your mind into another body. Make sure to bring your suspension of disbelief into the theater with you along with your smuggled-in candy.
A lighthearted take on John Green’s novel
It was about 1 a.m. the night before the screening, and I had just put down John Green’s Paper Towns. I had read his other books in high school, but for some reason, Paper Towns had evaded my bookshelf. Of course, reading the book could have been a huge mistake, biasing my view of the movie — after all, book fans seem to be set up for eternal disappointment at the theater. As expected, there were changes, additions, and some things that were integrated differently or left out completely. But John Green was an executive producer for the film, so fans can rest assured that the heart of the novel has been carefully transplanted from paper to the big screen.
This movie was made on an iPhone?
I know that “heart-warming” isn’t an adjective you’d usually associate with a movie set around the sex-trade industry in Los Angeles, but let me tell you, Tangerine is a heart-warming film — forgiveness and acceptance are key themes throughout the movie.
The Wolfpack: A chilling documentary that raises many questions, and even more concerns
Oscar and Susanne Angulo were terrified of living in New York City — terrified of the government, and terrified that their children wouldn’t learn to think for themselves and would be bullied into using drugs. Oscar forbade his children to leave the apartment or to have contact with anyone outside of their immediate family. He believed that employment would make him a slave, so the household’s only income was what Susanne received from the government for teaching her homeschooled children. Oscar imposed strict rules on the family’s life in isolation, going so far as to specify which rooms of the house the kids could occupy at any given time. In one particularly heartbreaking scene, Susanne hints that the rules were even more oppressive for her (if one can imagine such a thing), and the children reveal that their mother had suffered violent abuse at the hands of her husband. Perhaps the only thing the kids liked about their dad was that he brought thousands and thousands of movies into the home for them to watch and memorize (some of their favorites include Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and The Dark Knight).
Listen up United States, Desparecidos has a lot to say
It’s been 13 years since Desaparecidos released its first album Read Music/Speak Spanish, but fans can rest assured, Payola picks up where it left off. The lyrics are politically-charged, anti-capitalist calls to action, delivered with a sting that is to be expected from the band’s frontman, Conor Oberst (best known as the lead singer of Bright Eyes). Oberst simply isn’t having this generation’s apathetic attitude — he criticizes complacency and slacktivism (“Donate a dollar with my coffee and save someone / Calling all friends I loosely know / We’re a tight knit clique in the virtual”). The group released Read Music/Speak Spanish when the United States was just beginning to recover from 9/11, the economy was crashing, and the Iraq War was just beginning. It’s fitting that Payola was released just as candidates begin to announce their intentions to run in the 2016 presidential primaries.
Dior and I: A look into one of the world’s most renowned fashion houses
Christian Dior was a renowned French fashion designer who founded one of the world’s top fashion houses (named after himself). Dior and I follows the newly appointed creative director Raf Simons as he works under the pressures of the fashion industry and keeping up with Dior’s legacy. Everyone is familiar with image of models strutting down runways, wearing the latest designer fashions; this film offers a rare and up-close look at the work preceding the exhibition. We witness the stages of production: sketching, prototypes, modeling, right up to the big reveal on the catwalk.
Game of Thrones returns for season 5
It’s time to make good use of your HBO Go accounts — Game of Thrones season five launched this past Sunday, and if you haven’t had a chance to see the premiere, you have a couple of days to catch up before episode 2 airs. “The Wars to Come” picks up right where season 4 left off, reminding us of the events that nudged Westeros into a pit of chaos while hinting at the turmoil to come.
Marvel’s Daredevil: a Netflix original series
If you’ve seen House of Cards or Orange is the New Black, then you know that Netflix isn’t half bad at making awesome television series. On top of that, we all know that Marvel is pretty great too — whether you simply enjoy their movies or you’re a die-hard comic book reader, who can resist a good superhero story? Luckily for everyone eagerly awaiting Avengers: Age of Ultron or the next episode of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Netflix is here to save the day and satisfy your Marvel cravings.
Another disappointing adaptation of dystopian teen fiction
A cast full of teenage heartthrobs? Check. Based on a popular Young Adult dystopian book series? Check. Was the book better? Probably.
Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter: An unexpected spin on the adventure movie
I felt an overwhelming amount of empathy while watching Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter — both for Kumiko and the characters who interact with her. Kumiko is more than a little crazy, but she is brave enough to depart on a journey that most of us would only dream of. She is extremely depressed in Japan, so she leaves her job and her family behind in search of a hidden treasure she believes she will find in Fargo, Minnesota.
Of All the Flowers: Songs of the Middle Ages
This past Friday, the Boston Camerata performed at Walker Memorial as part of the MIT Sounding Series sponsored by the MIT Center for Art, Science, and Technology. The night’s program was specifically commissioned for MIT and included some of the first performances (in the past 600 years or so) of newly reconstructed pieces from 14th-century French and Italian composers Guillaume Machaut, Johannes Ciconia, Francesco da Firenze, and others.
What We Do In The Shadows: Twilight meets The Real World (in a good way)
I don’t generally go out of my way to see comedy flicks, but having grown up through an age of reality television and teenage vampire romances, I couldn’t resist. You know a movie is going to be interesting when “hipster vampire” appears in the description. But fear not: “Each crew member wore a crucifix and was granted protection by the subjects of the film,” so no humans were harmed in the making of this documentary, well, except for each course of dinner guests.
Human Capital: The Price of Greed
Human Capital is an Italian drama with an air of mystery. The film revolves around two families of very different social statuses as their lives are thrown together and torn apart by a single tragic accident. While the film certainly has the thrill and suspense of a whodunit mystery, make no mistake: this film is a socio-economic commentary through and through.
Broken Kingdom and Kingdom Come
Earlier this March, the independent film Broken Kingdom was released on iTunes. The film caught my eye because it was written and directed by one of my favorite actors, Daniel Gillies, who also stars in the film. The movie itself was fascinating — the story builds around two separate narratives, leaving the audience to wonder if these narratives connect. One follows a spiritually lost and self-loathing American writer and a poor teenage girl in the slums of Bogota, Colombia, while the other portrays the life of a Hollywood-based daycare teacher who suffers because she hides a tragic secret.
A conversation with John Lyons Murphy
The Tech interviewed John Lyons Murphy, producer of Broken Kingdom and Kingdom Come. Murphy spoke about his experiences with both films, as well as his thoughts on independent film as a whole.
The Tech interviews Leonard Nimoy
Over spring break I had the incredible opportunity to interview Leonard Nimoy. While he is perhaps best known for his role as Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, Mr. Nimoy is also a renowned and talented photographer. Mr. Nimoy shares his experiences with photography, his projects, and MIT. His photography is being shown at the Sherman Gallery at Boston University until May 9.
MIT Shakespeare Ensemble presents Twelfth Night
The MIT Shakespeare Ensemble’s performance of Twelfth Night was hilarious. The play tells the story of Viola, who pretends to be a man to get close to Orsino, whom she loves. However, Orsino loves Olivia, who falls in love with Cesario, who is really Viola — a confusing love triangle at best. For those of you more familiar with popular culture than Shakespeare, you may recall the movie She’s the Man, starring Amanda Bynes, which was based off of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. This production was as humorous as any Shakespearian comedy and was set in an interesting time — the 1960s or 1970s.
The Tech talks with cast from Divergent
Editor’s Note: This interview was edited for clarity.
MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble: Homegrown Portraits
The MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble played a charming ten piece set last Saturday night, highlighted by the world premiere of an original composition, “Solace,” by Adrian M. Grossman ’14 and the first performance of Charles Mingus’ “Portrait” (1963) as arranged by Peter T. Godart ’15. Mark Harvey took over as a guest conductor for two of his compositions: “De-Evolution Blues” (2005) and “Saxophrenia” (2002).
Henry Jenkins returns
Around the world Henry Jenkins is known as a prolific force in media studies and as a champion of fandom and fan culture. He has written thirteen books — canonical texts for media scholars — including Textual Poachers and Convergence Culture. At the Institute, Jenkins is known for establishing and directing the Comparative Media Studies program and for his time as a Senior House housemaster. Jenkins left MIT in 2009 to become the Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.
An adventure worth watching
Tolkien fans have been eagerly awaiting the release part two of The Hobbit, and that day has finally come. The Desolation of Smaug was as exciting, funny, and adventurous as to be expected from a Tolkien universe brought to life by Peter Jackson. The main cast from the first movie returns so this movie is as full of great actors as before. Of course the scenery is breathtaking, featuring incredible spans of mountains and forests — just as magical as Tolkien describes in his series.
Through the eyes of Death and a child
You know you are in for an interesting movie when it is narrated by Death himself. Death first sees our main character Liesel on a train, when he comes to take the soul of her sick and dying younger brother. He is intrigued by her for some reason he cannot place, and follows her life story as it progresses.
Alien invasion movie
My mother bought me a copy of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game when I was in the third grade — I have been waiting for this movie ever since. The story is set on Earth, many years in the future. The planet is recovering from a devastating attack from the Formics, an alien race that appeared to try to invade Earth. In order to protect humanity, the world government trains brilliant children at The Battle School, hoping they will become new leaders of the International Fleet and save the world from another attack. The Fleet is looking for their next legendary commander, and they think that this is to be Ender Wiggin.
Save your high expectations for something else
I had high hopes for this movie. Ridley Scott, Cormac McCarthy, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz? A-List all the way, right? I was so, so very disappointed. From just viewing the trailer, you pretty much get the entire movie minus the endless and mostly dull dialogue.
Pho real, you’ve gotta go to Le’s
You’ll find Le’s Vietnamese Restaurant inside The Garage in Harvard Square, and if you haven’t been, it’s definitely worth checking out. The atmosphere is very peaceful; the walls are warm colors, and paper lantern-like lighting hangs overhead. There is an extensive menu of Vietnamese dishes, but I have to say, if you go, you should try the pho.
A prison escape artist’s nightmare
When you go to see a movie starring Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and 50 Cent, you know you are in for an action-packed, blood, bombs, and guns style movie. This movie did not disappoint, but did add an unexpected and thoughtful plot.
Being mindful of your mind
The MIT Museum’s Soap Box lecture series kicked off last Wednesday with MIT Professor Matthew Wilson leading a discussion on “Sleep, Memory, and Animal Dreams.” This was the first in a series of 3 free neuroscience-related discussions being given at the MIT Museum. The way that a Soap Box discussion works is the following: the guest speaker gives a context to the audience, framing the discussion to be had and inspiring questions within the audience. Some time later, the audience breaks off into small groups to discuss the topic and to develop questions to ask the speaker via Twitter. Audience members reconvene after they’ve had ample time to fill the #MITSoapBox Twitter feed with questions and ideas. The speaker then tries to provide insight to as many questions as possible in the time remaining.
Overcoming failure to succeed, Pixar-style
Last Friday, I had the opportunity to interview Kori Rae, a producer from Pixar, about the upcoming DVD and Blu-ray release of Monsters University. Rae has been working at Pixar since 1993, and has contributed to films such as A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., Up, The Incredibles and Monsters University.
‘I think I’m gonna like it here’
Fangirls and boys everywhere have been eagerly awaiting the return of Supernatural, a show about two brothers saving people and hunting all things supernatural, creepy, and deadly. The show made its ninth season return this Tuesday, Oct. 8 on The CW, and, as expected, Superwholockians have already begun to flood Tumblr with GIFs capturing key scenes, new fanfiction, and speculation about what the new season has in store.