What started as a report of a convenience store robbery near the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last night has sprawled into a chaotic manhunt for the perpetrators of the recent terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon
The deadly pursuit, involving a policeman's murder, a carjacking, a violent chase with thrown explosives, and the death of one suspect
, has resulted in Governor Deval Patrick
ordering an unprecedented lockdown of the entire Boston metropolitan area
as an army of law enforcement searches house by house for the remaining gunman.
The Associated Press has identified the duo as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev
, who remains at large. Both are immigrants
from wartorn Chechnya
in southwestern Russia.
The Guardian liveblog is good for quick updates, and Reddit's updating crowdsourced timeline of events
that has often outpaced mainstream media coverage of the situation. You can also get real-time reports straight from the (Java-based) local police scanner
posted by Rhaomi
on Apr 19, 2013 -
The Cambridge University Library houses the world's largest collection of Charles Darwin's letters: more than 9,000 of the 15,000 letters he is known to have written and received in his lifetime. They've been posting them online since 2007 (previously on MeFi)
, in the Darwin Correspondence Project
, where we can now read and search the full texts of more than 7,500 letters, and ﬁnd information on 7,500 more -- all for free. This weekend, they added nearly all of the Darwin-Hooker letters
: Over 1400 pieces of correspondence between Darwin and his closest friend, botanist Joseph Hooker. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Mar 31, 2013 -
"People haven’t been fascinated by this book because the translation is mellifluous or beautiful,” said Michael F. Suarez, a professor of English at the University of Virginia who directs the Rare Book School there. “People haven’t been attracted to this book because the presswork is beautiful. It’s not.”
Instead, the Bay Psalm Book
is treasured for being the first surviving piece of printing
done in the British North American colonies. Only 11 copies, many incomplete, today survive. Remarkably two of those copies belong to the same owner, Boston's Old South Church
. This month, the church made the controversial decision
to sell one (the first such sale in 65 years), and it could bring as much as $20 million for the church's endowment.
posted by Horace Rumpole
on Dec 25, 2012 -
Revolutionary hardware backdoor discovered in China-made military-grade FPGA chips.
Claims were made by the intelligence agencies around the world, from MI5, NSA and IARPA, that silicon chips could be infected. We developed breakthrough silicon chip scanning technology to investigate these claims. We chose an American military chip that is highly secure with sophisticated encryption standard, manufactured in China. Our aim was to perform advanced code breaking and to see if there were any unexpected features on the chip. We scanned the silicon chip in an affordable time and found a previously unknown backdoor inserted by the manufacturer. This backdoor has a key, which we were able to extract. If you use this key you can disable the chip or reprogram it at will, even if locked by the user with their own key. This particular chip is prevalent in many systems from weapons, nuclear power plants to public transport. In other words, this backdoor access could be turned into an advanced Stuxnet weapon to attack potentially millions of systems. The scale and range of possible attacks has huge implications for National Security and public infrastructure.
posted by scalefree
on May 27, 2012 -
The 158th Boat Race
between Oxford University Boat Club
& Cambridge University Boat Club
last Saturday was perhaps the most eventful in the event's 183 year history
. The race was stopped after a protestor, Trenton Oldfield, swam out out the course and was narrowly missed by Oxford's blades. After a 20 minute delay, the race was restarted. Thirty-five seconds in, the Oxford cox was warned for steering into Cambridge's line, and then initiated a blade-clash that broke one of Oxford's blades. Cambridge rowed on to win by four and a quarter lengths (Official race report
). After finishing the race, Oxford's bowman collapsed, and was taken to hospital; the traditional presentation ceremony was abandoned. The OUBC medical officer stated
: "The sudden and premature stopping of the Race when concentration and exertion were at their peak was bad enough, but when the Race had lost its equal footing for having lost an oar, the psychological response was to try even harder. Oxford drove themselves to the limit to try to contain the damage. Alex Woods rowing at Bow reached the finishing line and found he had expended all reserves of energy; in my view he had rendered himself hypoxic, and this was the cause of his collapse"
. He has returned home to recover. [more inside]
posted by James Scott-Brown
on Apr 9, 2012 -
"The Cellar Tapes" (1982) (part 1
, part 2
, part 3
, part 4
and part 5
) is a televised version of the revue
show originally performed in 1981 by the Footlights
- a group
of comic writers-performers at the University of Cambridge. It is performed by Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, Tony Slattery, Paul Shearer and Penny Dwyer.
posted by severiina
on May 17, 2010 -
Ten years ago today, Mark Sandman
died on stage during a Morphine concert at the Giardini del Principe in Palestrina, Italy. His music and its impact has not always received the type of attention normally given to rock stars tragically struck down in their prime, let alone one this brilliant. [more inside]
posted by allen.spaulding
on Jul 3, 2009 -
§7. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.
is such a contradictory figure that there are, in professional philosophical usage, two of him
. Wittgenstein I had solved every philosophical problem in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus
(1921); having nothing else to do, he went home to Austria and became, unsuccessfully, a schoolteacher. In 1929, Wittgenstein I returned to Cambridge, where he began his transformation into Wittgenstein II. He was no longer confident in the Tractatus
, his certainty
in any answers less firm. Wittgenstein II's great, posthumous, work was the Philosophical Investigations
. But Wittgenstein the living man was one, not two: musician
, reader of mysteries
. "If philosophy has anything to do with wisdom," he once wrote, "there's certainly not a grain of that in Mind
, and quite often a grain in the detective stories."
posted by nasreddin
on Sep 7, 2007 -
: on the 9th of September three Cambridge engineering students launched
a balloon equipped with a camera and tracking devices. It reached a height of 32km and took 857 photographs
during its three hour flight, some
showing the curvature of the earth. You can also download a KML file
to follow the balloon's flight path in Google Earth.
posted by jack_mo
on Sep 23, 2006 -
Massive, ongoing project based at Cambridge University, devoted to putting Newton's MSS on the Web. At present, the digitized materials available range from journals to scientific MSS to theological speculations.
posted by thomas j wise
on Nov 1, 2003 -
'Cambridge Students Beaten by Israeli Army'
Three of my fellow students spent their Easter vacation on the West Bank as unofficial international observers. In the course of accompanying Palestinian medics to a refugee camp, with medical supplies and food, they were allegedly stopped and beaten by Israeli troops.
While their actions are undoubtedly noble and brave ("we are doing the job the UN should be doing"), the Israeli embassy suggests that "whilst the intentions were geniune, (their) actions have been misguided."
I can't decide what to think. (more inside)
posted by chrismear
on Apr 27, 2002 -