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Too long since the last flying car post.

A newer, slightly more plausible flying car project. Some people take it more seriously than the king of vaporware skycars, whose designers are now working on a vaporware landspeeder(PDF). If you want something more available, keep your car and check out the Cessna SkyCatcher, no assembly required.
posted by StrikeTheViol on Nov 30, 2007 - 29 comments

Gehry/MIT Throwdown

The Stata Center for Computer, Information and Intelligence Sciences, a provocatively designed building on the campus of MIT by "starchitect" Frank Gehry, is falling apart. MIT is suing for negligence.
posted by billysumday on Nov 6, 2007 - 60 comments

Robot Post Mk. II

A better article about robots. More interesting robots than I posted about last time. Cute, tiny transforming robots. And for those of you less interested in real robots, 2-XL, the toy that got me obsessed with the whole thing as a kid.
posted by StrikeTheViol on Aug 5, 2007 - 14 comments

MIT reverses autism in mice

MIT researchers can reverse some symptoms of autism and mental retardation in mice by suppressing a specific enzyme. The research, conducted at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, is due to be posted on PNAS Online some time this week. Here is the MIT article. The specific symptoms reversed included hyperactivity, purposeless/repetitive movements, attention deficits and learning/memory challenges. The research was funded by the FRAXA Foundation, the Simons Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the National Institutes of Health. According to the CDC, the genetic causes treated by this particular technique (called FXS) affects one in 4,000 males and one in 6,000 females of all races and ethnic groups. I would be interested in hearing about reactions that might be taking place in the various autism-related communities.
posted by christopherious on Jun 26, 2007 - 25 comments

Swindled!

A contrarian documentary on climate change produced by UK Channel 4 called "The Great Global Warming Swindle (Google Video) has been making the rounds in the internets. Prominent among the scientists featured in the documentary is one of the most highly regarded physical oceanographers active today, Carl Wunsch (MIT). Unlike his colleague Richard Lindzen, though, it seems that Prof. Wunsch is not exactly pleased with being cast as a global warming skeptic. It turns out that selective editing made him seem to be saying exactly the opposite of what he was hoping to convey. Wunch is pissed.. Also, reviews of the documentary: Real Climate, The Guardian (Monbiot).
posted by bumpkin on Mar 23, 2007 - 37 comments

KSJTracker

Knight Science Journalism Tracker is a new-ish blog (project of a program at MIT and Charles Petit) that follows science writing and reporting in a very wide range of publications. It's a good way to learn about how science news is reported, and an efficient way to keep up with the news itself. [some recent examples]
posted by grobstein on Feb 7, 2007 - 4 comments

I wonder if it's in NP?

Blood, guts, and glory in no holds barred MIT number fight.
posted by Alex404 on Feb 3, 2007 - 14 comments

It's all smoot...

"364.4 Smoots plus one ear" is the official length of the MIT bridge between Cambridge and Boston. In 1962, pledges to an MIT fraternity were ordered to measure the bridge using the shortest among them, Oliver R. Smoot, as a measuring stick. Since then, members of the fraternity have repainted the marks on the bridge twice a year. Oliver Smoot's daughter Sherry, eventually went to MIT but was not used to remeasure the bridge since she was shorter than her father. Her brother Stephen, also an MIT student, was too tall. Oliver, of course, was just right. He eventually went from being a unit of measure to controlling units of measure: in 2001 he was chosen to be chairman of ANSI and in 2003 he was selected to be president of ISO.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste on Sep 9, 2006 - 53 comments

The Audio Pad and other fun things to do with your hands

James Patten creates interactive works in diverse media with themes including performance and social commentary. Projects include Tactile Photography and, most impressive to me, The Audio Pad.
posted by dobbs on Aug 1, 2006 - 4 comments

Not only do you have to water cool this thing to over clock it, you have to use WD-40 and KY in a 1:2 ratio

If you've always wanted to build your own computer why not do it with some tinker toys? This ought to give future archaeologists many years of discussion.
posted by bigmusic on Jul 25, 2006 - 9 comments

Parameterized query fragments are embodied as physical tokens.

Direct physical manipulation of data. PDF & you should see the Video. via information aesthetics.
posted by signal on Jul 22, 2006 - 17 comments

Mapping wireless technology at MIT

iSPOTS is a project that maps the dynamics of the wireless network on the MIT Campus in real-time. The Intensities map is very nice indeed.
posted by tellurian on Jul 19, 2006 - 7 comments

SIMILE Timeline

MIT SIMILE Timeline — a unique AJAX-based scheduling manager with a unique Google Maps-like graphical interface
posted by Mr. Six on Jul 1, 2006 - 17 comments

smart people

This class has surprisingly readable (albeit few) and informative reports about scientific principles and devices.
go into a folder and open the .html file. its old school style.
posted by dminor on Jun 26, 2006 - 3 comments

New browsers and tools

Revamping the browser Browser add ons such as Browster for IE and Firefox or entirely new browsers such as Flock (limited info) promise to rework the way browsing has been done during the IE only years from 1997 to 2004. More inside...
posted by hockeyman on Jun 12, 2006 - 38 comments

MIT Hawk Cam: The Second Season

The Return of the Hawk-eye. The Hawks of MIT are back for a second season. Will Little Chirpy get some food? Will Preener finally reveal himself as the Mysterious Doctor Wing? Tune in now to find out! Previously.
posted by robocop is bleeding on Apr 27, 2006 - 11 comments

Caltech Hacked Again

Howe & Ser Moving Company has completed its latest job: moving a Spanish-American War cannon from the pits of Pasadena, CA to sunny Cambridge, MA. The cannon arrived with one addition: a giant Brass Rat, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology class ring. In the past, the cannon graced the front yard of Caltech and took a brief vacation to Harvey Mudd College.
Last year, students from Caltech attempted to start a hacking war with MIT, with little response. This small delivery has drastically changed the score. More pictures.
posted by breath on Apr 6, 2006 - 37 comments

MIT researchers play Borg God

New hope for blind hamsters. According to the Guardian, scientists at MIT have repaired brain damage and restored eyesight to rodents using nanotechnology. In the study, minute particles were injected into damaged parts of the brain, and subsequently arranged themselves into a "scaffold" gel throughout the damaged area. The scaffold allowed severed nerves to regrow and form new connections. 75% of test animals' injuries were improved with the new technique. (The article did not note if the test subjects offered any resistance to the therapeutic measures.)
posted by rob511 on Mar 14, 2006 - 18 comments

"And therefore I forbid my tears"

Hamlet on the Ramparts is a public website designed and maintained by the MIT Shakespeare Project in collaboration with the Folger Shakespeare Library and other institutions. It aims to provide free access to an evolving collection of texts, images, and film relevant to Hamlet’s first encounter with the Ghost. More inside.
posted by matteo on Feb 28, 2006 - 11 comments

DSpace digital repositories

Well over 100 universities around the world have set up searchable digital repositories to make available journal articles, datasets, theses and other academic materials using the DSpace repository system. DSpace at MIT alone hosts over 11,000 theses. Also, the software running the sites is freely available and open source.
posted by cog_nate on Feb 22, 2006 - 12 comments

Tin-Foil Hat Effectiveness

Do you spend a lot of time worrying about government mind-control satellites? New research from MIT indicates that your tin-foil hat may be less effective than you think.
posted by GuyZero on Nov 10, 2005 - 28 comments

Dishmaker

MIT Media Lab's Counter Intelligence Group, which develops innovative kitchen designs, has created a machine that makes dishes on demand and recycles them after diners have finished a meal. The dishes are made from food-grade, nontoxic acrylic wafers, which are shaped into cups, bowls and plates when heated, then resume their original wafer shape when they are reheated and pressed.
posted by Shanachie on Oct 15, 2005 - 14 comments

Archimedes Death Ray: Idea Feasibility Testing.

Archimedes Death Ray: Idea Feasibility Testing. Ancient Greek and Roman historians recorded that during the siege of Syracuse in 212 BC, Archimedes (a notably smart person) constructed a burning glass to set the Roman warships, anchored within bow and arrow range, afire. The story has been much debated and oft dismissed as myth. TV's MythBusters were not able to replicate the feat and “busted” the myth. MIT students rock!
posted by mrkredo on Oct 11, 2005 - 52 comments

Me too!

Make some science. Take a survey.
posted by WolfDaddy on Jun 27, 2005 - 9 comments

Time Traveler Convention

We are hosting the first and only Time Traveler Convention at MIT in one week, and WE NEED YOUR HELP! Anyone plan to attend?
posted by Ricky_gr10 on May 2, 2005 - 64 comments

The lookaside buffer might not be the panacea.

MIT students pull prank on conference. "In a victory for pranksters at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a bunch of computer-generated gibberish masquerading as an academic paper has been accepted at a scientific conference." The paper's title? "Rooter: A Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy."
posted by adrober on Apr 14, 2005 - 24 comments

Brilliant.

Clocky. An MIT student has designed an alarm clock with built-in wheels and motion sensors. Upon hitting the snooze button, Clocky will roll of your nighttable, bump around your room, and hide, forcing you to have to get up and look for him instead of hitting the button again.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Mar 29, 2005 - 38 comments

Is my self-healing quilt body still under warranty?

MIT Media Labs' concept car project - redefining automotive design and thought, overseen by William J. Mitchell and Frank Gehry [PDF]...via Don Norman's Concept Cars essay...
posted by tpl1212 on Feb 9, 2005 - 20 comments

The MIT microturbine rotor has to turn two million rpm--more than 20,000 revolutions per second.

The MIT microturbine rotor has to turn two million rpm--more than 20,000 revolutions per second. Here's some current efforts. Micro Electric Machines (MEMS)pdf, the future of Aerospace Power Projection? Further interesting reading. pdf A couple of articles are a year-year and a half old, but still current in the analysis of "tiny technology". I find the concept of dime-size turbines to be fantastic!
posted by codeofconduct on Dec 10, 2004 - 7 comments

Fun!

Woman controls blender by making noises at it. Is it wrong that I find this strangely erotic? [sfw, via]
posted by adampsyche on Nov 5, 2004 - 30 comments

Share the Wealth

MIT's OpenCourseWare project. Course materials for over 700 classes offered at the school, including syllabi, reading lists, related educational links for the self-learner. Get your knowledge on!!
posted by archimago on Jun 21, 2004 - 15 comments

Blog survey results

MIT's blog survey results are in. Some highlights: 55% of respondents use their real names on their blog, 63% of respondents are male, 36% of respondents have gotten in trouble because of things they've written, and almost no one has a good idea of who's reading their blog.
posted by Vidiot on Mar 18, 2004 - 5 comments

Black ships and Samurai: Japan and the US, 1853

Black ships and samurai In 1853 four ships under Commodore Perry anchored off the coast of Japan against the wishes of the Japanese. According to historian John Dower, "This initial encounter between the United States and Japan was eye-opening for all concerned, involving a dramatic confrontation between peoples of different racial, cultural, and historical backgrounds. We can literally see this encounter of "East" and "West" unfold through the splendid, yet little known, artwork produced by each side at the time." This beautiful exhibition includes many examples of this artwork, juxtaposing scenes of the encounter from Japanese and American artists' points of view. (Part of MIT's open courseware initiative.)
posted by carter on Mar 14, 2004 - 18 comments

The MIT Gallery of Hacks.

The MIT Gallery of Hacks. Good-natured creative pranks by MIT students. The pinnacle was possibly 1999's Great Droid, with the Great Dome made to resemble R2D2's head to mark the release of some film or other at the time. In the spirit of the tradition, students left detailed instructions for the safe removal of the decoration.
posted by nthdegx on Jan 4, 2004 - 12 comments

cool information design from ben fry

cool information design from ben fry at MIT (via newstoday.com)... anyone else have any links to share of particularly good information designers/design? merry x-mas all.
posted by specialk420 on Dec 25, 2003 - 10 comments

Portable and off the grid

Necessity Is the Mother of Invention. (NY Times, reg. req.) Amy Smith teaches MIT students about the politics of delivering technology to poor nations and the nitty-gritty of mechanical engineering and helped start the IDEAS competition; she herself designed (among other things) a screenless hammer mill suited to third-world conditions and using "materials available to a blacksmith in Senegal."
Smith's entire life is like one of her inventions, portable and off the grid. At 41, she has no kids, no car, no retirement plan and no desire for a Ph.D. Her official title: instructor. ''I'm doing exactly what I want to be doing. Why would I spend six years to get a Ph.D. to be in the position I'm in now, but with a title after my name? M.I.T. loves that I'm doing this work. The support is there. So I don't worry.''...
Likewise, the inventors who most inspire her will never strike it rich. ''There are geniuses in Africa, but they're not getting the press,'' she says. She gushes about Mohammed Bah Abba, a Nigerian teacher who came up with the pot-within-a-pot system. With nothing more than a big terra-cotta bowl, a little pot, some sand and water, Abba created a refrigerator -- the rig uses evaporation rather than electricity to keep vegetables cool. Innovations that target the poorest of the poor don't have to be complicated to make a big difference. The best solution is sometimes the most obvious.
A rare optimistic story for these downbeat times.
posted by languagehat on Dec 3, 2003 - 18 comments

Seven hot technologies

Seven hot technologies that we'll soon see on the market, according to MIT's Tech Review magazine. The spam blocker sounds like it might work. But the babelfish?
posted by iffley on Nov 30, 2003 - 14 comments

LAMP

LAMP is an on-demand music service offered to the MIT campus through its cable TV network. The NYTimes mulls the copyright implications.
posted by liam on Oct 27, 2003 - 7 comments

open-source education

This year, MIT is free. Well, not really -- you won't get the degree, and you won't get to talk to the top minds in science or stay in a really cool dorm. But OpenCourseWare provides, as Wired puts it, "Every lecture [sometimes on video, sometimes only the notes], every handout, every quiz." Curious about Psycholinguistics? Urban Transportation, Land Use, and the Environment? Non-linear Programming? Cognitive & Behavioral Genetics? String Theory for Undergraduates? They are in Kenya.
posted by Tlogmer on Sep 4, 2003 - 14 comments

Corporate fallout detecter

From MIT's Media Lab: "The Corporate Fallout Detector reads barcodes off of consumer products, and makes a noise similar to a gieger counter of varying intensity based on the social or environmental record of the company that produces the product"
posted by sharksandwich on Jul 25, 2003 - 18 comments

Missile Defense and Theodore Postol

It's about Time this guy was recognized with accolades as the premiere whistleblower in the US. Just think of all the tax money that could be saved if everyone learned what Postol already knows!

Is NMD more theology than science? It would appear so.
posted by nofundy on Jan 3, 2003 - 9 comments

House of the Future

Where will you be living in the future? Las Vegas' metro area is the fastest growing community in the nation, but we still build houses the old fashion way. MIT looks at what the homes of the future will provide and also gives an interesting review of what the homes of the future were like in the past, including my favorite future house of the past. What do you want in your next home?
posted by IndigoSkye on Dec 3, 2002 - 12 comments

Alien Equipment

Alien Equipment
Turning immigrants into cyborgs. A small video monitor and loudspeakers are installed at the center of the instrument and in front of the user's mouth. The monitor and the loudspeakers replace the real act of speech with an audio-visual broadcast of pre-recorded statements.
posted by riley370 on Nov 6, 2002 - 13 comments

A professor of vision science at MIT understands that life isn't just black and white, even though we often see it that way. This amazing illusion proves it, and these slick, fast-loading, Flash demonstrations of lightness perception show how it's done. (My favorite is the "Koffka Ring".) White paper here, for deeper background.
posted by taz on Sep 27, 2002 - 29 comments

I just read that MIT will be offering free education via it's OpenCourseWare project (starting September 30th). This makes me very happy. Are there any other universities that offer similar services?
posted by Rattmouth on Sep 22, 2002 - 16 comments

MIT's R&D for the US Army of the future appears to be based on a comic book.
posted by dchase on Aug 28, 2002 - 31 comments

Lying with video.

Lying with video. Researchers at MIT have created videos of people uttering sentences they never said that consistently fool viewers and are accepted by them as real. Once upon a time, it was a lot harder to be false with film, but whether the medium will be in any way trustworthy going forward seems doubtful. What will it mean when you can't even believe your own eyes?
posted by zoopraxiscope on May 15, 2002 - 17 comments

Was MIT or her parents to blame for a suicide?

Was MIT or her parents to blame for a suicide?
Challenging NYTimes article on the suicide of Elizabeth Shin, an over-acheiving college student. With the increasing focus on student achievement from earlier and earlier ages, it's clear that children can be deeply affected. How do we, as a society, raise children to standards that we expect without pressure-cooking them to damage or worse?
posted by gen on Apr 27, 2002 - 54 comments

Teflon: The biggest accidental invention of the 20th Century.

Teflon: The biggest accidental invention of the 20th Century. I was wondering how if nothing sticks to Teflon, then how does it stick to the bottom of a frying pan? This search lead me to a really cool site, MIT's Inventor Archives. Organized alphabetically by inventors' last names and also by invention, it's a great jumping-off spot for research information and observing the interconnectivity that keeps research going.
posted by Mack Twain on Apr 26, 2002 - 11 comments

The US army selects MIT for $50 million superhuman exoskeleton project.

The US army selects MIT for $50 million superhuman exoskeleton project. Includes nanomaterials, invisibility, superhuman strength, protection from ballistics, and a built in kit for autonomous treatment. Will this be the soldier of the future?
posted by Aikido on Mar 14, 2002 - 37 comments

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