Murals and bar area removed on Burton Third amid new renovations
This summer, the third floor of the Burton side of the Burton-Conner dormitory, also known as Burton Third, saw renovations that included painting over murals and dismantling the bar area. Like two other floors which had similar renovations completed in last summer, Burton Third received new paint, had its walls repaired, and floor tiles replaced.
MIT Medical adds gender reassignment and autism therapy to employee plans
On Tuesday, Jul. 30, MIT Medical announced the addition of two new healthcare benefits to MIT employees who subscribe to an MIT medical plan.
Meyer is the new Course 6 undergraduate officer
Professor Albert Meyer will succeed Dean of Undergraduate Education Dennis Freeman as the new undergraduate officer in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6). As the undergraduate officer of MIT’s largest department, he is responsible for overseeing the undergraduate curriculum, handling MEng admissions, and maintaining the quality of education.
In Swartz case, MIT ‘hands-off,’ report says
A report released by MIT on July 30 found that the Institute maintained “neutrality” during the federal prosecution of the late Internet activist Aaron Swartz, missing a chance to show “leadership” in the two years before his suicide in January.
No more exams in Fall 3.091 class
Rather than take midterms and a final, freshmen in 3.091 this fall will earn their grades by answering a series of around 40 online questions spread out over the semester.
Dorm security will see enhancements
Residents of Baker, Masseh, McCormick, Next House, Simmons and the graduate dorms Tang Hall and Westgate will see changes to security this fall. As part of phase one of security updates, MIT Residental Life and Dining has hired professional desk attendants from security company AlliedBarton, instituted a visual verification for entering students and guests, and will install perimeter security cameras for the seven dorms.
MIT, JSTOR file motions delaying FOIA release
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 the day after.
Copyright lawsuit targets cover songs on YouTube
In the latest sign of friction over the licensing of online music, a group of music publishers has sued Fullscreen, one of the largest suppliers of videos to YouTube, saying that many of Fullscreen’s videos
Former President George W. Bush underwent a surgical procedure Tuesday morning in which doctors inserted a stent to open a blocked artery, aides said.
Taliban leader says it will sit out Afghan elections
KABUL, Afghanistan - Despite efforts to broker a peace deal between the Afghan government and the Taliban, the insurgent group will not participate in presidential elections next year, its leader said in a statement Tuesday.
Bloomberg warns labor costs could increase under his successor
NEW YORK — Warning of the fiscal danger if New York City fails to rein in its spiraling pension and health care costs, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on Tuesday challenged his would-be successors to take a tough line in negotiations with the city’s unions, while worrying aloud that whoever is elected will be too beholden to labor.
Utilities need to spend to beat cyberattacks, leaders say
WASHINGTON — To counter the growing threat of cyberattacks, power utilities must harness the same manpower, money and other resources that they throw at natural disasters, industry leaders said Tuesday.
The Justice Department sued Bank of America on Tuesday, accusing the bank of defrauding investors by vastly underestimating the quality of mortgage-backed securities.
Separatists kill 13 in southwestern Pakistan
ISLAMABAD — Baluch separatists on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the killing of 13 people who had been abducted a day earlier in a remote area of southwestern Pakistan.
Extreme heat subsides
The beginning of this week has seen a welcome respite from the scorching heat that has been recurrent during the first part of this summer season. While there were nine days with high temperatures of 90°F or higher in July, the temperature has struggled to breach 80°F so far this August. In fact, on Tuesday morning, the temperature in Boston dipped below 60°F for the first time since summer began— a streak of 47 days in total.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
I am writing to apologize for the terrible mistake I have made in 2007 while being a student. No question, I should have done it five years ago, but it’s better late than never. As a quick background, in December 2007, I sent an email to a group of LGBT students where I insulted them and threatened physical harm if they kept contacting me via emails. In February 2008, MIT’s Committee on Discipline expelled me from MIT, pending one more infraction on my part. Since I have complied with all the terms, the expulsion never became effective and I graduated in 2009. In April 2008, part of this story became public.
An article on the new backup child care program in the July 3, 2013 issue mistakenly indicated that the child care program was a “six-figure” program. The total cost of the program is less than $100K. Additionally, a previous version also did not specify that the 22 percent of graduate students citing child care as stressful and the 50 percent citing family obligations as stressful were percentages of those who responded to the specific survey questions.
Trite, but scary nonetheless
An old haunted house in a semi-deserted suburban area, squeaky noises in the night, clocks stopping always at the same hour, a naïve and helpless family deciphering tortuous supernatural clues, possessions and exorcisms — you’ve seen it all before. Even if your knowledge of horror movies is limited to the few ones that turned your childhood nights into never-ending states of sleeplessness and convinced you to stick with comedies, you will be able to foresee the outcome of every scene in The Conjuring. Don’t be fooled though, because this movie will have you screaming in your seat, or at least jolting out of the unrelenting anticipation in case you grew inured to the images of unsightly demonic figures.
I’m a business, man
Jay Z once boasted in a particularly memorable line on Kanye West’s “Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Remix),” “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.” Clever wordplay aside, he’s right. Besides being the rapper Jay Z (he recently dropped the hyphen), Shawn Carter is the definitive hip-hop mogul, brandishing a resume teeming with his various ventures and positions: head of record label Roc Nation, co-owner of sports bar chain the 40/40 club, co-creator of the Rocawear clothing line, and spokesperson of D’Usse, Bacardi’s new brandy product, just to name a few. This year, he even founded Roc Nation sports, because apparently that’s what you do when you’re the only rapper with a net worth of over $500 million. The man can sell anything — but even with all these other products, he hasn’t forgotten how to sell music. In a historic pre-album deal, Carter sold a million copies of his new modestly-named album, Magna Carta… Holy Grail, to Samsung for sale through an exclusive app. By doing so, Carter prompted the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to rewrite their rules regarding digital sales, and became the first artist ever to have an album go platinum before it even hits the shelves, making what sounds like an unbacked piece of rap braggadocio into a reality. With such pre-release hype, listeners were expecting a truly great album, one that could sit near the top of Jay Z’s massive discography. However, while Carter did deliver a highly enjoyable hip hop album, Magna Carta struggles to live up to the larger-than-life persona Carter takes on.
Excitement and comedy, Almodovar-style
Oh, Almodovar: It’s hard not to like you no matter what you do. While definitely not one of his best, I’m So Excited is as deliciously kitschy as bubble gum ice cream.
A child’s dangerous fiction
It has been a long time since I’ve seen a movie that squeezed my heart and had me gripping my armrest, suffocating in the knowledge that my voice can never reach the actor on the screen. And all through the brilliant acting of a psychologically infused small-town drama.
The secret is in the sauce
Boston is famous for its fantastic fish, clam chowder, lobster, crab rolls, and oysters, but I was raised on different sort of food. My home state, Texas, is famous for its Tex-Mex and BBQ. When I get homesick for Mexican food, there are plenty of restaurants that will sort of fill the void until I can go home. But when I’m craving real BBQ, when all I want is a brisket sandwich on jalapeño toast and drenched in sauce, I can only sigh, think of home, and move on. The other day, though, I happened to walk by Sweet Cheeks Q, a restaurant near Fenway proclaiming Texas-style BBQ. I had to stop in right away. What I found both delighted and disappointed me.
I don’t really care who you are
I love Jason Sudeikis. He’s one of my favorites in the SNL cast: I think he does a great Romney impression, and his Joe Biden is hilarious. I like Jennifer Aniston, too (I really do). And I like comedy movies (Meet the Parents killed me) and movies about drug trafficking (Traffic is among my favorite movies ever). So I was expecting to like We’re the Millers. You could even say I wanted to like it. But I didn’t. I am sorry to say, but I did not like it. Yes, I laughed a few times, but as a whole, as a package, the movie just didn’t fly for me.
See Denzel and Mark have fun with guns
Even though its A-list cast of Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg made me anticipate something along the lines of Man on Fire or Three Kings, it was clear five minutes into 2 Guns that, even though it would have lots of action and a maybe a pinch of drama, this movie was — plain and simple — a laugh-out loud comedy. So I quickly adapted my expectations accordingly, and I am happy to report that I had more fun watching it than any other movie I’ve seen in a long time. 2 Guns is a blast! It’s so honestly funny and packed with good, old action that I’d pay to see it again.
Just what it says on the tin
I convinced myself to go see Pacific Rim with the excuse that I’m a fan of its director, Guillermo del Toro. Both The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth blew me out of the water, so I said to myself, “I have to go see this.” But I think somewhere inside me I already knew that this movie would turn out to be what the banners and trailers advertised: a WWZ-like fighting fest of giant robots vs. giant monsters. Alas, my gut feeling was right.
Of orcas and corporations
Blackfish is, by far, the best documentary I have seen this year, and — I would say — it is in the top 10 best documentaries I’ve ever seen in my life. If you think I saying this because I am some sort of activist, think again. The reason I would recommend that you watch Blackfish has nothing to do with the any activism like saving the whales: it has to do with the truth, with the need that we as a society have for the truth, and with how interests converge to keep you away from this truth, in darkness.
“Radioactive” rockstars return to Boston
To my left, the stormy horizon was just visible from underneath the sweeping white canopy of the Bank of America Pavilion. The sun had just sunk out of sight, its last glow illuminating the clouds with dark red and orange colors. Before me, the stage lights followed suit, letting the stage sink into darkness. A cool breeze drifted in. Behind me, the voices of five thousand people faded to an expectant murmur…
A mournful and nostalgic musical experience
Making sentient albums and coloring them with distinct personalities that incite a vast range of emotions upon every listen is, if done successfully, a tricky, but rewarding artistic attempt. Some of these albums, like Planningtorock’s overlooked debut album Have It All, are extroverts — they reach out to you with their lovable eccentricities embodied in their lyrics and music, while giving their essence to you. Other ones, like Björk’s album Vespertine, are introverts — these absorb and isolate you with their slowly-unraveling and unreachable sounds, while luring your essence and then trapping it within their realm. And then there are those free-roaming spirits, like Anna Von Hausswolff’s newest album Ceremony, that simply take you on an unpredictable journey, enriched with both mysterious and tangible emotions, while offering you a taste of vicarious memories.
Mending Boston at MIT Museum
At the beginning of July, the MIT Museum hosted an afternoon of sewing-with-fabric artist Clara Wainwright. The project, Mending Boston, aims to bring community members together and “mend” their souls while collaborating on a fabric collage. Wainwright began Mending Boston after the Boston Marathon tragedy, spending many hours working on the piece with visitors to community centers and museums throughout Greater Boston, who wished to honor victims of the bombing.
We watched this film so you don’t have to
Dennis Dugan and Adam Sandler’s latest film opens with Lenny Feder (Sandler) telling a joke comparing his wife’s (Salma Hayek) Mexican mother to a moose that has wandered into their house. Then — and here’s the kicker — the moose urinates on him. If you are not falling out of your seat laughing by this point in the film, you’re in for a long 101 minutes.
New exhibitions of prints and drawings at the Museum of Fine Arts
Prints and drawings are two of my favorite art media. Something about them is deceptively simple — they comprise only a few dollars’ worth of graphite and paper, yet a priceless amount of artistic talent. For anyone who feels the same, or just wants to get out of the heat for an afternoon, three interesting new exhibits await you at the MFA.
On how Logan got his groove back
Within the X-Men universe Logan/Wolverine enjoys a privileged sort of position, comparable to that of Iron Man in The Avengers universe. After multiple X-Men movies with the whole cast, Hugh Jackman was itching to make a movie or two about Wolverine. On his own. And the promise, the potential, of grandeur was there. This potential has only been partly satisfied.
Don’t give up on your game, it won’t disappoint
When I was growing up, I had the privilege of listening to Dave Niehaus — the best broadcaster to ever call a baseball game — animate the ups and downs of the Seattle Mariners on long summer nights. I only realized how good I had it after I moved across the country, and had to rely on a virtual tool to provide game updates. As a pitch comes in, a red, green, or blue dot will indicate either a strike, ball, or ball in play. Balls put in play are followed by a neutral, and technical description of the action.