Results tagged “news” from kwc blog

MacArthur Maze already reopened


I couldn't quite believe it when I read in the paper today that the MacArthur Maze is already re-opened. The contractor,C.C. Myers, had predicted this short of a timetable (and banked money on it), but it's been less than a month since the interchange collapsed. Somehow they (Caltrans, C.C. Myers) managed to cleanup the debris, test the damaged concrete and steel, put together a reconstruction plan, ship parts from Pennsylvania and Texas, and get it all assembled.

I once watched a video in engineering class where two teams raced against each other to each build a house in under 24 hours. That was plenty impressive, but there were test runs, much planning in advance, and amazing feats of spackling. Repairing a freeway interchange with no advanced notice in 17 days seems more impressive to me.


The news coverage on KRON 4 has me and d in stitches as the newscasters attempt to show how you can circumnavigate the current mess in the Maze. I believe their eventual advice was, "Good luck." (and a whole heap of BART tips)

The Chronicle also has its fun quotes:

"We're screwed, huh? That's going to be rough on everybody," said Joe Dorey, 55, an engineer who lives in Oakland.

Valentine's Day roundup


Pulled from The Examiner and elsewhere:

  • China Daily/AP: there is "fresh demand from couples who are going under the kinfe to get their noses and even their eyes done as a sign of their love for one another.... 'I suggested it as a way of celebrating our relationship and bringing us closer together with a special kind of bond,' Liu Yan, 24, was quoted as saying of the matching nose jobs for her and her 28-year-old boyfriend."
  • Headline from the Onion Radio News: "US Leads World in Pregnancy Test Scores"
  • More than one-third of the people on list eyes as their best feature
  • Davis Freeberg left me a link to his TiVo Valentine's Mixer summary in the comments
  • GIS data can find you love: MapInfo released some Valentine's demographic summaries, such as "Laredo, home to Miss Texas USA, topped the metropolitan area list as the best place for single men seeking single women, with 89 men per 100 women in the 25 to 34 age group." Odd that no one wants to advertise Sunnyvale as one of the best places for single women to find single men (8th highest male-female ratio in US in 2000). GeoCarta has more of the MapInfo stats.
  • Plan a date for your next flight: Airtroductions
  • Puppy monorail
  • Kazo, a 4-month-old African Lion cub, plays with her new canine friend Cairo, an Italian mastiff puppy, on Friday at the Wild Animal Park in Escondido, Calif. Cairo was adopted by the park after her mother was rescued through Operation Canine Rescue in response to Hurricane Katrina.
    Photo credit: Christian Calabria, Associated Press

Newsjunkie by keyword


PubSub lets you create virtual RSS feeds based on a search term. For example, you can subscribe to Nanotechnology, Stanford, or a search term of your own, and it will return articles from over a million blogs. Here's one I created for the mars rover.

If only Google News could add this feature to their search -- they have news alerts, but those are e-mail based.
(via Brad Choate)

Update: With Brad Choate (maker of fine MovableType plugins) showing up in the comments within 10 minutes of my posting, this made me realize that this is a powerful tool in support of Scalzi's Law of Internet Invocation. Instead of having to actively Google your name to find new mentions of yourself, PubSub will deliver all new occurrences of your name directly to your news reader within minutes of it being posted. Those Internet Spirit Summoning spells will work that much quicker now.

So long Vest


The head of MIT is expected to retire soon. I don't dislike Vest, but I don't like him either. In his tenure, he managed to quadruple the MIT endowment, but yet none of that went to student activities or improved student life, and athletics remained on a flat (non-inflation adjusted) budget the entire time I was there. Oh, a tuition went up ~$1K+ a year that I was there.

These two paragraphs near the end of the article are why I won't miss him.

He also dealt with enduring problems of student life like drinking and mental health. The death of a freshman, Scott Krueger, from an overdose of alcohol in 1997 after a fraternity hazing, highlighted the alienation many students felt at the university, largely because so many had lived in fraternities and independent houses around Boston and Cambridge, Mass., since the institute was chartered in 1861.

The death resulted in a $6 million settlement with Mr. Krueger's parents and the construction of three dormitories, along with a requirement beginning in 2001 that freshmen live on campus

I felt that he didn't protect the students against the giant overreaction in the wake of Krueger's death. Houses lived in a constant state of fear - if someone smuggled alcohol into your party, it was your fault, and you could end up kicked out of your house for a period of time. The social life on campus evaporated after this incident, and it was still recovering four years later when I left. I also think they set a bad precedent by settling with his parents - they were arguing that MIT was in loco parentis, and by settling it set this terrible trend that parents somehow rely on a large institution to be a better parent to their kid than themselves, nevermind the fact that the kid is now actually a legal adult, and if he couldn't proper decisions with his life only two months away from home, who shares the greater responsibility?

MIT feigns poverty


Maybe they want me to give them money, or maybe they want the joy of firing people for the holidays. Either way, even with $5.4 billion in the endowment piggy bank, MIT is in fact shutting down over the holidays. - MIT to shut down part of campus over holidays - Nov. 26, 2003
(thanks wu-tang)

MIT researchers are coming up with new ways of growing tissue, including building 3-D scaffolds to encourage specialization.
ScienceDaily News Release: MIT Engineers Report New Approach To Tissue Engineering

(via Ars Technica: The PC enthusiast's resource)

Coldest temperature ever