Monthly Archives: November 2011

Italian economy has new hope

The new Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Monti, was sworn into office last Wednesday amid economic turmoil that has threatened to cause the Euro to tank. Italy took this new step under significant pressure from the international community, whose interests in Italy lie in maintaining the good status of the Euro.

Open pit mining utilizes optimization

Efficient optimization of open pit mining is possible, according to Marcos Goycoolea and Eduardo Moreno of Universidad Adolfo Ibañez in Santiago, Chile. The duo explained their research in this topic in their presentation, “Pushing Optimization to the Limit: Challenges in Open Pit Mining” at the Division of Economics and Business Seminar November 18.

Scientific discoveries this week: 11-28-11

Cambridge, Massachusetts – One strain of a species of worm appears to have the ability to distinguish between foods that are poisonous and foods that are not, similar to how humans avoid bad-smelling foods. This worm feeds on clumps of bacteria, and in the study the researchers gave several different strains a patch, or “lawn,” of a bacteria that is known to be lethal. The researchers observed that one strain of the worm avoided the bacteria, while the others consumed it and subsequently died. By studying this worm, they found that this ability to identify dangerous foods originates from the expression of one unique gene that was found to be mutated and basically inoperable in the other worms.

Headlines from around the world: 11-28-11

Islamists in Cairo have begun protesting the current military government which took over after the forced exodus of Hosni Mubarak nine months ago. The military and the Muslim Brotherhood initially had a truce dating back to the beginning of the civil unrest in Egypt over a year ago. But now that Mubarak is firmly out of power and the military has taken over, the Brotherhood wants Muslim involvement in the government and are protesting their exclusion.

Spudlympics full of potato filled pleasure

Those who ventured out of their basements were rewarded with a Saturday spectacle as Spudlympics made its Mines debut this weekend. The event, sponsored by ASCSM and Weekends at Mines (WAM), turned a typical Mines Saturday into an exciting, potato-filled event for spectators and participants alike. Spudlympics played on two weaknesses of college students – free food and explosives – to help draw in a pleasant Saturday crowd. A delicious baked potato bar and potato-cannon contest, as well as a variety of other events, set the stage for a day of potato-filled pleasure.

Exploring life with snippets

On July 24, 2010 approximately 80,000 people from 192 different countries all uploaded videos to a single YouTube page for the same purpose, to document their days. Academy Award winning director Kevin Macdonald had tasked the world to participate in what seemed to be a modern day time capsule. On the same day, all participants would film all or part of their day, answering a few questions if they felt so inclined. On first glance, it sounds like a terrible idea. There is nothing special about the 24 of July and, for the most part, the videos depict the monotony that no one on earth seems capable of escaping. However, when the 4500+ hours of footage is condensed down and organized into an hour and a half of edited film, the monotony turns into something that unites not just the 80,000 amateur filmmakers, but the entirety of the human race.

fun. rocks impressive beat

In February 2008, Nate Reuss’ band The Format was supposed to release a new album to follow up their sophomore album “Dog Problems.” Instead, the increasingly popular band broke up. The news devastated fans, but it was not long before lead singer Reuss debuted his new project, a band called “fun.” Despite an unfortunate name with awkward punctuation, the band’s first demo “Benson Hedges” featured the same powerful vocals and surprising instrumentals that had become The Format’s trademark, but whereas most of The Format’s song centered on a brooding Nate and his struggles with women, this single was more upbeat. The song featured gospel singers and fast paced lyrics about Nate’s desperation to get out of Arizona. The song is about moving on, and while it was clear that fun. would still have obvious ties to The Format, this was a different band.

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Cooking Corner: Spice up your rice

White rice is a staple in most, if not all, Asian homes. It is quick to prepare and can be eaten with almost any dish, and it is a “must-have” in the homes of college students. The shrimp in this recipe can be omitted or substituted with chicken, ham, tofu, or any other protein of choice. Fried rice can be made with freshly cooked rice or leftover refrigerated rice.

Modern Warfare 3 has lackluster debut

Among the most highly anticipated video game releases are those of Activision’s Call of Duty franchise, which recently released their latest installment in the form of “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” (MW3). Every year, these games break sales records and this year MW3 was no different. According to Activision, MW3 grossed over $775 million in its first week on the shelves, $125 million more than Activision’s previous sales leader, Black Ops. It is clear that MW3 has sold very well and has done better than its predecessors, but that does not necessarily promise a quality game.

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