IFC reinforces roof deck rules while limits stand
Faced with the possibility that assembly limits imposed on MIT’s Boston fraternities in October 2013 may continue through Rush week this September, the Interfraternity Council doubled down last week on a prohibition of the use of roof decks at all MIT fraternities in an attempt to ease tensions with the city of Boston.
An article about Senior House’s planned RLAD in the Friday, May 9 issue of The Tech incorrectly stated that Alina Kononov ’14 is a current Dormitory Council representative. She is actually a former representative, as well as a former Senior House president.
After divestment debate, GSC reps also dispute vote count
Confusion over how votes should be counted has left a Graduate Student Council resolution, which urges MIT to divest its endowment from big fossil fuel companies, in limbo.
God is not at your graduation
An “inclusive, secular invocation” will replace the traditional commencement prayer this year, according to an email from the Commencement Committee that was forwarded to MIT undergraduates by the UA president on Friday, May 9.
Civilians killed by the U.S. in Yemen tied to al-Qaida
SANAA, Yemen — The kidnappers pulled up in a pickup truck outside the Taj barbershop in an upscale neighborhood here in the Yemeni capital. One held an AK-47 assault rifle and the other carried a stun gun. As the men went inside, nearby shopkeepers heard shots.
Occupy Wall Street inmate visited by Russian protesters
NEW YORK — Most people disappear from the headlines into the gray anonymity of Rikers Island jail after they are found guilty in state court in Manhattan.
The three Detroit automakers announced vehicle recalls Friday, though they said none of the defects had resulted in accidents or injuries.
Disease of Pakistan’s poor now worries the affluent
KARACHI, Pakistan — Until recently, polio was considered a poor man’s problem in Pakistan — a crippling virus that festered in the mountainous tribal belt, traversed the country on interprovincial buses, and spread via infected children who played in the open sewers of sprawling slums.
WASHINGTON — In a rare venture into foreign policy, Michelle Obama on Saturday condemned the abduction of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls by terrorists and said that she and President Barack Obama had been personally touched by what she called an “unconscionable” act.
Pfizer continues to defend takeover bid for Astrazeneca
Pfizer on Saturday continued to press its case for a $106 billion takeover of AstraZeneca, the British drugmaker, in the face of mounting resistance on both sides of the Atlantic.
Two found dead after balloon catches fire
The authorities searched a wooded area in Virginia on Saturday for a third victim who was believed to have been killed when a hot air balloon caught fire Friday night and crashed at a festival.
Spring warmth pauses for chilly and cloudy weather
As you were heading out to campus this morning, you may have wondered why we’ve traded this weekend’s sunny skies and warm temperatures for today’s cool and cloudy weather. These unseasonably chilly conditions are thanks to what meteorologists call a “back door” cold front. Typically, cold fronts in the U.S. approach from the west or northwest. In the Northeast during springtime, however, it’s fairly common for cold fronts to approach from the north or northeast on the backside of a high pressure situated to our north. Winds behind such a cold front are from the east or northeast, allowing cool maritime air to filter in and replace warmer continental air. This is precisely the setup for last night and early this morning, which is why temperatures will top out at a mere 56°F (13°C) this afternoon.
An open letter from a graduating senior
Last Thursday, I had the immense honor of receiving the Compton prize, which is awarded to students for work that supports the welfare of the MIT community. I cannot even begin to express my gratitude for the people who have supported me throughout my time at MIT, as well as to the people who took the time to write letters nominating me for the award. However, something that President Reif said in his remarks, quoting one of these letters, gave me a pause. I want to briefly respond to it here.
It’s time for the Institute to divest from fossil fuels
I want to start off by saying I am not a member of Fossil Free MIT and don’t necessarily agree with the way that they have framed the issue of divestment. But as someone who is deeply concerned about future sustainability, and in light of Stanford’s recent announcement that it will divest from coal companies, I humbly submit a different perspective on the issue for MIT’s consideration. And I hope that MIT will realize: it is time to divest.
Edgy and elegant
It’s finals time, even in the ballet world. Next week, advanced students of the Boston Ballet School will give their end-of-year performance, and in two weeks the company wraps up its 50th anniversary season with Balanchine’s Jewels. Dancers don’t revert to grunge-mode like college students during crunch time, however. The Boston Ballet was at its finest last Thursday in Pricked. They made the audience laugh, cringe, and marvel in awe during the edgy, fun, and technically demanding performance. They earned a well-deserved standing ovation from the audience at the finale. I’ll long remember the performance.
Clan in Da Front: A Better Tomorrow
“I smoke on the mic like smokin’ Joe Frazier, the hell-raiser, raising hell with the flavor,” Inspectah Deck growled over the rugged beat of “Protect Ya Neck,” Wu Tang Clan’s first single, which they self-produced and released. They were chaos contained, ready to explode.
One of the benefits of attending a concert by a new-ish band is that you get to hear their whole repertoire. For Foster the People, this included songs from their second album Supermodel, their first album Torches, B-sides from both albums, and everything in between.
MIT cricket team battles it out in Ivy matches
MIT’s cricket team traveled to New Haven to take on Yale for the first time in their campaign this season. The conditions at New Haven were very different from conditions in the grounds that the team has gotten accustomed to. The prospects of a low-scoring game due to a wet outfield and slow, low pitch definitely dampened the spirits of the team. Winning a crucial toss, the Engineers decided to use the wet conditions to put pressure on the opposition, hoping the warm weather would bake the pitch and dry out the field by the time it was their turn to bat.
MIT taekwondo team has strong end of season
The MIT Sport Taekwondo team finished the season with a dominating performance at the last Eastern Collegiate Taekwondo Conference (ECTC) tournament, held at the University of Vermont on April 27. A series of intense sparring victories solidified the team’s second place in Division I, finishing with 451 points to Cornell’s 708.
THE NATURALIST’S NOTEBOOK: The birds, the bees, and the flowers
It’s a romantic night. A young male bee, just out of his pupa, is looking for adventure. He spies another bee in the bushes, and from her scent, discovers that she is a female. He falls in love, and within a matter of seconds they are having sex. Then, something strange happens: she hits him on the head with a lump of pollen. Confused, he wanders off, and immediately falls for another beautiful bee. They too make love, and his new partner takes the pollen off of his head.
Five surprises at MIT
At MIT, you can walk a straight sixth of a mile indoors through the Infinite Corridor. You can get a pirate’s license if you take the right classes, take a pirate oath, and sign a waiver. Starting from the beginning of freshman year, you learn that the MIT community is full of interesting facts such as these, and an array of adventures. However, looking back as I prepare to graduate in June, there are several things that stand out as major surprises about my MIT undergraduate experience. They feel so obvious in hindsight, but these five revelations took me by surprise one at a time.
Hidden in “plane” sight
I love MIT, having spent the entire decade of the sixties here. After graduating in 1963 (Course 6), I stayed on to get a Ph.D. in 1970, and I’ve remained active as president of the class of 1963. Shortly after I retired in 2003, at the end of a 33-year career in electrical engineering and computer science, I started working as a volunteer mentor for MIT’s Venture Mentoring Service (“VMS” – see http://vms.mit.edu/). As a result, I find myself at MIT several times a month.
Events May 13- May 19
Events may. 13 – may. 19 Tuesday (5 p.m. – 6 p.m.) 14th Annual Henry W. Kendall Memorial Lecture with Dr. Richard Alley — E15-070, Bartos Theater (7 p.m.) MIT Chamber Music Society — Killian Hall Wednesday (11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.) 2014 Bike Awareness Day — W20 steps (2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.) xTalks: Big Data Where Art Thou? — 32-155 Thursday (5:30 p.m. — 8:00 p.m.) MIT Enterprise Forum Innovation Series Event: How Will Drones and Other Flying Robots Shape Your Everyday Life? — Johnson Rink Friday (5 p.m.) Daniel Manesh Senior Piano Recital — Killian Hall (7 p.m. – 11 p.m.) Anime;Brain?Reset! — 3-133 Saturday (4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.) Celebrate Spring with Baby Animals: traveling petting zoo — Westgate (7:30 p.m.) MIT Ballroom Dance Club: End of Semester Social Dance — W20-La Sala Sunday (9 a.m. – 2 p.m.) Swapfest — N4 Monday (11 a.m. – 12 p.m.) xTalks: Carl Wieman on how to teach and learn expertise in STEM — 3-270 (1 p.m. – 2 p.m.) Can Crowdfunding Democratize Access to Capital? — E62-233 Send your campus events to firstname.lastname@example.org.