MIT Police embarrassed by the coverage of their colleague Joseph D'Amelio "who was apprehended ... in East Boston with more than 800
tablets containing oxycodone, and $16,000 in cash ... [and] ... has been
charged with drug trafficking and is in jail on $500,000 bail" tossed copies of the MIT student newspaper.
[T]wo MIT Police officers were suspended Wednesday after admitting that they cleared 300 Tech issues off the stands in the student center and put them in paper recycling late Tuesday night.
Tuesday’s Tech prominently featured an article and photograph about D’Amelio’s arrest. The Techreceived a tip late Tuesday night that police officers had removed copies of The Tech from stands in the Student Center.
300 newspapers were found in a recycling bin outside. Another 100
papers were found in a recycling bin at the east end of the Infinite
Corridor. The Tech filed a police report.
The worst part must be to get in trouble for something that probably had no effect on keeping the story quiet when they can only discard some of the paper copies. And then when you do get caught it just increases the whole scandal. But at least they recycled.
"The Wikipedia Revolution is the first narrative account of the
remarkable success story of the "encyclopedia anyone can edit." Andrew
Lih, a Wikipedia editor/administrator, academic and journalist, tells
how the Internet's free culture community inspired its creation in
2001, and how legions of volunteers have emerged to create over 10
million articles in over 50 languages. The book recounts colorful
behind-the-scenes stories of how obsessive map editors, automated
software robots and warring factions have come to shape a complex
online community of knowledge gatherers. Learn about the historical
underpinnings of Wikipedia, of how a Hawaiian vacation and a fringe
piece software from Apple Computer inspired the wiki concept, and
realized the original read-and-write capabilities of the Tim
Berners-Lee's World Wide Web. "
If you can't get over to the event, it will also be webcast.
Abby Goodnough looks at how the Isabella Gardner Museum is trying to overcome the legacy of Gardner's restrictive will and the devastating unsolved theft.
"[T]he museum has labored in recent years to shed its fusty image and
move past the theft that has, for better or worse, given it a
reputation of being “touched with evil,” as Douglass Shand-Tucci, who
wrote a biography of Gardner, once put it. Its latest goal, a
65,000-square-foot new building designed by Renzo Piano to sit behind Gardner’s century-old mansion, is the boldest yet.
Now, in a victory the Gardner had been awaiting for months, the
Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled on March 4 that the
museum can depart from the strict parameters of Gardner’s prickly will.
It called the expansion a “reasonable deviation” from the will because
it is in the public interest to protect the building from overuse.
to the will if the arrangement of any of the museum’s holdings changes,
the entire collection, the building and the land beneath it must be
turned over to Harvard.
Goodnough's article presents a museum that seems to labor under the legacy of a Jamesian secret history. Although the thefts are a subject of recurring interest they seem to have infused the museum with melancholy in this presentation.
It does seem too bad that very particular and eccentric museums like this have to be improved with the worst example being the plan to move the Barnes Collection. That said, the Gardner's plans to expand and bring in new blood come across as a form of exorcism here.
The New Yorker's profile of MA congressman Barney Frank talks about the financial crisis and Frank's increasingly important role as chairman of the Committe on Financial Services and his role as a gay pioneer for being the first congressman to out himself. Even the portrait illustration by Martin Schoeller (left) seems very serious.
But what is more interesting is that Frank is pretty funny, about sex:
... Frank no longer censors his ribald sense of humor. Not long ago, Paul
Begala, the political strategist, was speaking at a fund-raiser for a
gay-rights group and said, “When I told my father, back in Texas, that
I was speaking to an L.G.B.T. group, he said that sounded like a
sandwich.” From the audience, Frank called out, “Sometimes it is!”
and about food (and other things):
Frank speaks incessantly about food. In “Let’s Get Frank,” he complains
about the low-fat provisions given to Democratic members of the
Judiciary Committee during the impeachment debate. Referring to Dick
Gephardt, who was the Minority Leader at the time, Frank says, “They
got all this jelly-doughnut shit in there, and I gotta eat this stuff.
. . . Gephardt’s a sheygets—whaddaya expect from Gephardt?” Sheygets is Yiddish for a male Gentile, and thus one who cannot be trusted to provide acceptable snacks.
He must be a relief there compared to most people in Washington who seem boring at best.
Emily Hubley's first film The Toe Tactic mixes animation and live action and grief over the death of a parent and card-playing dogs. She'll be at the Brattle on March 1 at 11:00am discussing the movie.
The movie has gotten limited coverage (2 reviews at Rotten Tomatoes) so this kind of appearance is really a chance to see a move you won't get to see easily in a theatre.
The winds were 25-30 knots, the water temperature was 32 degrees, and
the air temperature was 28 degrees. With a solid 2-4 foot swell
running, all ingredients were there for another successful Eastern
Surfing Association winter contest.
There were also big wins from Cambridge and Boston residents.
In a big shocker, it was 70-year old Grand Legend, Kitty Pechet of
Cambridge, Massachusetts, charging to the win in the Women's Open
Final. Kitty picked off two solid rights, working them into the beach
for the title. Narragansett's Courtney Sutherland took the 2nd spot,
while Connecticut's top female rider, Sarah Lim finished 3rd.
New England's top body boarder, East Coast and Regional finalist, Pat
Redmond of Boston, continued to remain undefeated in competition, as he
"el rollo-ed" his way to victory in the Open Body Board Final.
In order to support the creative process, Willoughby and Baltic offers
a 6 month residency for two emerging artists. Each artist is granted a
free, non-living shared studio space and a small material stipend. The
studio is complete with free wi-fi and access to electronic assembly
tools and modelmaking equipment, a machine shop, and a woodshop. The
residency will commence on May 1st and end on October 31st, 2009.The deadline for submitting an application to the Artist-in-Residence program is March 31st, 2009.
This Thursday, March 5, is the 239th anniversary of the Boston Massacre.
The Boston Historical Society will have a reenactment of the Massacre and the subsequent trial with John Adams defending British soldiers.
Trial of the Century
11:30am – 12:30pm and 2:30 pm – 3:30pm
Watch John Adams defend the British soldiers accused of murdering
Bostonians. Self-defense or cold-blooded murder? You decide as audience
members are invited to act as jurors for this celebrated case. Program
led by rangers from the Adams National Historical Park. Free with
museum admission; in the Old State House.
Boston Massacre Reenactment 7:00 pm-7:45 pm
See the event that sparked the Revolution! Local reenactment groups
will portray the infamous incident outside the Old State House.
AXIOM Center for New and Experimental Media will be reshowing the 60-second films from the 1 Minute Film Festival on Feb. 19 at 7.30pm.
AXIOM is excited to present an hour's worth of 48 film selections from LUMEN ECLIPSE's 1-Minute Film Festival. The first annual 1-Minute Film Festival exhibited all varieties of 60 second films with the democratic proviso: none shall exceed one minute!
"If big films are the cathedrals of today, we sought artist's take on what a tiny and beautiful shrine might look like."
screened outdoors in Harvard Square in the fall of 2008, this selection
has also been included in the traveling motion design event MGfest.
presents contemporary motion art in public spaces. Using outdoor video
displays, social venues and the web, Lumen Eclipse initiates dynamic
interactions between artists, sites and audiences. We enrich public
space and everyday experience with free and innovative motion art.
ground floor level of the Green Street Subway ("T") station on the
Orange line, at the corner of Amory and Green Streets in Jamaica Plain,
(Images from a few of the films by AXIOM : [Top] Forestry Masato Hayafune, Air Plugs Elena Wen [Bottom] Dandelions Yves Geleyn, Crossing Times Square Sara Blaylock)
In another sign that the Charles River is becoming healthier otters have been seen in the Charles River near Needham.
They are not found in areas that are contaminated or polluted," said Norman Smith, director of the Massachusetts Audubon Society's Blue Hills Trailside Museum in Milton. Improved water quality and wetlands preservation have sparked a resurgence of river otters, which, at least in Massachusetts, are not on endangered or threatened lists.
A visit to the Lexington house constructed from discarded Big Dig materials, now under new ownership.
[T]he Big Dig House features a tour de force of reused material: steel
columns, beams, and concrete for its frame and floors from the
demolished I-93 off-ramps. A painted 27-inch wide girder from the walls
of Storrow Drive even helps brace the roof. Concrete roadway was reused
for the floor, and the home uses radiant heat which supplements modern
Runtal radiators. The home's strong steel and concrete frame can
support two roof gardens, including a Japanese garden with trees over
(Image: Single Speed Design, the house's architects, who have a lot of interesting information about the house on their site.)
Iconic New England poet Robert Frost supported himself and his family by raising chickens in New Hampshire for a time and began to write stories about them
[I]n 1900, Frost found in raising chickens an occupation that gave him money, time, and a landscape ripe with metaphors for the poems he had begun to write late at night when his wife and children were sleeping.
It's clear from the eleven lively stories Frost published in the trade journals The Eastern Poultryman and Farm-Poultry, from 1903 to 1905, that he was imaginatively engaged by the tragic things that can happen to a chicken. In "Trap Nests," a couple new to chicken farming employ a device "intended to catch and hold the hen until she was willing to purchase freedom at the price of an egg." The trap nests "savor of vivisection and the Inquisition"; the city-bred farmer finds himself taking "a growing satisfaction in ruthlessness, for such, he felt, was life." In another story, a farmer's "first hatches were so exceptionally fine that the gods fell in love with them, and they died young."
Above: One of Jim Clark's virtual videos of Frost reading "The Road Not Taken"
Buy a piece of revolutionary history: a document from 1782 detailing the soldiers who served at Castle Island and Governors Island and defending Boston Harbor from the British. The list is signed by The auction takes place on February 15. Apparently this document was last at auction only a couple years ago.
Boston 1775 had an interesting description of Burbeck at the time, noting that he was one of the most experience artillery officers in the Continental forces and that he was Boston's fireworks expert.
Description of the document from the auction house:
"1782 Revolutionary War Manuscript Document, Signed by William Burbeck, Very Fine. Revolutionary War Handwritten Manuscript document dated 1782, being an abstract of Massachusetts Revolutionary War non-commissioned officers and men who were raised for the defense of both Castle and Governors Island, under the command of Thomas Cushing.
Provincetown in summer is a nonstop party, a fashionable escape that draws New Englanders of every color, stripe and proclivity — the lone exception being frugal travelers. But Provincetown in the middle of winter — “the dark period,” according to one year-round resident — is a land of quiet bargains, where simpler pleasures emerge from the frenzy of summertime, while out-of-reach luxuries drop drastically in price.
Matt Gross, the Times' Frugal Traveler, spells out that while wintertime Provincetown is cheaper there is still a lot going on in contrast to some resort towns. And Gross takes his own photos of the trip (including the nice shot of snow in Provincetown above).
Celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth with a lecture by Darwin biographer Janet Browne.
Darwin at 200: Rethinking the Revolution
On February 12, cities and universities around the world will celebrate
“Darwin Day.” But what is being celebrated, the achievements of a
single individual or the acceptance of his controversial theory of
evolution? Harvard's Janet Browne, Aramont Professor of the History of
Science, will explore Charles Darwin’s cultural significance and what
he has come to represent over time: the idea of scientific progress.
Free and open to the public in the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street.
Thursday, February 12, 6:00 pm
JFK's overdue library book is finally being returned although it probably holds more interest as part of the Kennedy collection.
The Library of Congress book, "A. Lincoln" by Ross F. Lockridge, was found in Kennedy's pre-presidential papers. It has been listed as missing in the Library of Congress online catalog, and will be returned to its collection after the display. "It has just always been assumed to have been one of his books," said library spokesman Tom McNaught, but the library recently learned "it had been checked out since he was a senator and he had just kept it."
At least it was about Lincoln and not something embarrassing.
What would you do if, like Katrina Browne, you found out your family, the DeWolfs, made their fortune as the U.S.'s most prominent slave-traders? It's quite a revelation, particularly if your family is not from Mississippi but from Rhode Island, the Deep North as she calls it.
Browne looked into her family's history and made a film about it.
Leonard Lopate discusses the movie with Browne in the show above.
This month's Boston Post Mortem will be featuring games created by Boston teams for the Global Game Jam where teams around the world competed to create video games over a weekend.
This month's meeting of the Boston Post Mortem will be next Wednesday, the 11th, at 7pm at the Skellig in Waltham. Instead of a single speaker, we're going to be doing a showcase and post mortem of the games created last weekend at the Boston site of the Global Game Jam. For those of you who don't know, the GGJ was organized by the IGDA as a game jam happening simultaneously around the world, with over 1600 participants creating over 300+ games in 48 hours. Our Boston site was hosted by the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. All 300 games are on the official website, but you might particularly want to check out the six games that were made in Boston
They're all open-source, too, so feel free to take a crack at the code!
The event will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 11 starting at 7:00pm at the Skellig in Waltham.
Beautiful circles of ice form in some rivers including the Charles. With warmer weather the river ice might break up and and reform with chances to see ice circle. Although rational theories have edged out aliens as explanations there still seems to be uncertainty about
The lack of a clear explanation from the scientific community allowed conspiracy theorists to add the ice circles to the annals of “unexplained phenomena” until 1993 when MIT attempted to end the debate.
Ice circles began to form on the Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which runs through the MIT campus, prompting scientists at the university to study their formation.
David Ricks, an ocean engineering graduate, helped systematically rule out effluent from submerged pipes, down draughts from helicopters, alien activity, bubbles from decomposition and underwater springs.
He concluded that eddies from the Harvard bridge caused parts of the sheet ice to break away and the movement of the ice created circular holes which were filled by further ice formation. Other theories suggest that slow moving rivers can create eddies which spin the ice until it takes on a circular shape.
The New England Cottontail, found in New Hampshire and Maine, is facing a range of problems including habitat loss and competition from the rival invasive species, the Eastern Cottontail.
The Eastern cottontail was introduced into the Northeast in the first half of the 20th century, largely by hunting clubs, and is doing fine, largely because it seems better at spotting predators, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Free Agent Jungle is the reincarnation of my Free Agent Boston project that I ran 1999-2004. Beginning with the lunch on February 19th, we’ll once again be meeting for a networking lunch for Boston area free agents, freelancers and consultants the third Thursday of every month. The upcoming lunch is taking place at Tavern on The Square in Porter Square (Cambridge).
It seems like a good time to for this kind of thing as a lot of people are likely turning to freelance work to increase or replace income.
When an unknown perpetrator poisoned Tylenol capsules with cyanide the resulting deaths and fear caused national paranoia. The investigation into this 26-year-old product-tampering crime that killed 7 people is going on in Cambridge and Somerville.
Federal investigators said they searched a Cambridge, Massachusetts,
building that is home to James Lewis, who served 10 years of a 20-year
sentence for trying to extort money from Tylenol maker Johnson &
Lewis has denied he laced Tylenol with the cyanide. But the ex-tax
consultant, now 62, remains the only person ever linked to the crimes
by police in the unsolved case
Some investigators have said they still consider him a suspect,
while others have depicted him as nothing more than an opportunist.
Lewis admitted to sending an extortion letter to the company demanding $1 million to "stop the killing."
In addition, Somerville is also a site of the investigation.
It is suspected that the suspect used Somerville locations for either a
lab or storage area, the source states, noting the investigation has
spread to Somerville.
Although one argument was that they will be used to monitor evacuation routes in an emergency it is not clear why the cameras should be on in non-emergency situations. Another problem is that it would be impossible to tell how the cameras are being used.
The fox seems to get his living by industry and perseverance. He runs
smelling for miles along the most favorable routes, especially the edge
of rivers and ponds, until he smells the track of a mouse beneath the
snow or the fresh track of a partridge, and then follows it till he
comes upon his game. After exploring thus a great many quarters, after
hours of fruitless search, he succeeds. There may be a dozen partridges
resting in the snow within a square mile, and his work is simply to
find them with the aid of his nose. Compared with the dog, he affects
me as high-bred, unmixed. There is nothing of the mongrel in him. He
belongs to a noble family which has seen its best days, - a younger
son. Now and then he starts, and turns and doubles on his track, as if
he heard or scented danger. (I watch him through my glass.) He does not
mind us at the distance of only sixty rods. I have myself seen one
place where a mouse came to the surface to-day in the snow. Probably he
has smelt out many such galleries. Perhaps he seizes them through the
Revisiting all the fascinating stuff from the past through technology is a great part of this time.
By the way, Thoreau has an interesting bouffant/faux-hawk in this picture along with the classic neckbeard.
Banditos Misteriosos has revealed where you can exchange your found gift as part of their Freeform Gift Swap. The idea behind the swap is to discover an entertaining or whimsical item and turn it into to a gift to exchange by the most important part of presents, wrapping.
[T]he First Annual Boston Freeform Gift Swap will be taking place in
Copley Square, right in front of the church on the cement clearing. will be taking place in Copley Square, right in front of the church on the cement clearing.
Participants will be asked to arrive no later than 1:50pm.
Once at the area in Copley, you will see Banditos wearing blue
shirts and bandanas. Merely walk up to them and ask for a card. After
that, we will ask all participants to circle up around a marked, well,
circle, that will be chalked in.
At 2:00, instructions will be explained and trading will commence.
O'Reilly Media will be putting on another Ignite event in Boston in February. There are usually some good presentations and it is a good opportunity to see some of the interesting things people around the area are doing.
The fifth Ignite Boston will be Thursday, February 12, from 5pm to 9pm at The Hooley House in the Faneuil Hall area of Boston. There is no cover charge or any sort of fee. The event is free as in 'Free Beer'.
Since there is limited space at the Hooley House, you must RSVPhere
to secure a chance to attend. By RSVPing you will also have the chance
to win $300 worth of O'Reilly books of your choosing. You must be
present to win. There will likely be other items like tee-shirts and
other promo items for those who alert us ahead that they plan to attend.
From 5-5:45 pm, mingle and talk tech with your fellow FOOs, alpha
geeks, and techies from the greater Boston area. After the mingling and
social stuff, on to the select keynotes. Then, onto the lightening
Katherine French is trying to focus the Danforth Museum on local artists, a surprisingly neglected group in museum-rich Boston, as well as other artists outside the mainstream.
Just as the Boston Expressionists tended to be written out of art history as styles of abstraction gained the ascendancy in postwar American art, French believes many artists operating outside the main centers of art today tend to be overlooked by museums with national and international aspirations such as the ICA.
She wants the Danforth to be a place where people can connect with this alternative art history.
The museum has a strong - and growing - collection of work by Boston Expressionists. French has also organized a steady run of shows by individual artists associated with the group. (Currently on view is a powerful survey of paintings by Jason Berger called "Directed Vision.")
But French is also dedicated to showing work by younger artists with local connections, work that would not necessarily get a run in institutions like the ICA or the Museum of Fine Arts.'
At the same time she has to deal with financial problems more severe than more well-known Boston museums. (Image: Self-portrait by Jason Berger, one of the Boston Expressionists, part of a current exhibit).
In the last year some of Lippold’s most complicated constructions have undergone nimble-fingered repairs costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.Artisans at Newmans Ltd., a metal-restoration outfit in Newport, R.I., and at the Richard Lippold Foundation, a nonprofit or ganization in Locust Valley, N.Y., have been clambering around scaffolding to untangle, dismantle, polish and restring sculptures on miles of wire.
Lippold was an engineering genius, but we’ve been dealing with a piece that had reached the threshold of catastrophe,” said Howard Newman, of the Newport company. Working with a budget of $475,000, his staff is now rehanging a Lippold work called “Trinity”: about 215 aluminum bars on four miles of gold wires, spanning from floor to ceiling at a 1960s Benedictine chapel in Portsmouth, R.I.
“People’s mouths fall open when they see it going back up, like they’re watching a spider spin a web of blazing gold,” Mr. Newman said. “The more that goes up, the more exquisite it gets.”
Newmans Ltd. brought in a yacht-restoration company to sandblast corrosion off the aluminum sections and has wholly replaced the original filaments, which were cracking. The deterioration was partly because of miscalculations by the original construction team, led by the modernist architect Pietro Belluschi, said Michael J. DeMatteo, a senior associate at Newport Collaborative Architects, which is overseeing a $4 million restoration of the chapel for the owners, a monastery and a boarding school (Portsmouth Abbey). The chapel’s wood frame and stained-glass stripes were not engineered to withstand Rhode Island coastal conditions, Mr. DeMatteo said. “The building has leaked and twisted in the wind since the day it opened,” he added, causing uneven stress on the Lippold sculpture.
Willoughby & Baltic will be offering a course on designing urban games taught by Bonnie Shaw, a founder of Snap-Shot-City, the photo treasure hunt game.
The Urban Games & Adventure Design class will open your eyes to the playful possibilities of the world around you. Over 10 fun-filled weeks the class will teach you the tools to turn your city into a playground as you learn, design and play your very own Urban Game. This course will provide you with a basic tool kit to design and play your very own urban games and adventures. It will teach you the basics of urban game and adventure design by introducing the emerging trends in urban gaming, teach you new ways of viewing, understanding and analyzing the city, provide a grounding in community engagement and interactive theatre, and introduce emerging technologies, mapping and social media applications.
Through fun and playful individual and group exercises you will design a new Urban Game or Adventure to be played on the streets of Cambridge/Boston.
Find out what all the fuss is about and get into some city scale fun!
We've covered a number of urban adventures in Boston put on by people like Banditos Misteriosos so this sounds like a fun, if expensive ($500 tuition) course.
Knitters in the South End venture into public art. They've tagged the lampost outside their weekly hangout Flour Bakery with long knitted sleeve.
Snugly fitting the post and measuring about 3 feet long, the hand-knit sleeve features more than a dozen different colors of yarn woven into geometric shapes and complicated patterns, including a glow-in-the-dark skull and crossbones and a lime-green spider. At the bottom, swallows hold banners that read "South" and "End."
Although it evokes a sweater, the covering is actually a form of public art, according to members of the South End Knitters, a club that meets weekly at the bakery and constructed the project.
For the South End Knitters, the "signature" is celebrating the artsy South End. There were "no rules, just do," leading to the eclectic piece that the group attached to the lamppost with zip-ties on Halloween night (while forgoing a permit from the city).
Chewbacca throws out the first pitch at Fenway in 2005, part of GalacticBinder's Top Ten Star Wars Sports Crossovers.
Couldn't they do a better job of matching the head fur to the matted body outfit? The head looks like it just had a shampoo and blowdry and the body looks like the found it in a Lansdowne Street dumpster.
(via Metafilter) (Image: Jim Davis via GalacticBinder)
Adding to the the achievement of rescuing that US Air flight in New York is just how deadly birds can be to a jet. The most deadly took place at Logan when a flight hit a flock of starlings.
On Oct. 4, 1960, 62 people died when Eastern Airlines Flight 375
plunged wing-first into Boston Harbor after flying into a flock of
birds shortly after takeoff. It was the first commercial airline crash
in Logan Airport's history, the deadliest air disaster in New England
history at the time, and it remains the most deadly crash in US history
involving a bird strike.
The Burton snowboard controversy continues to the point that the Burlington City Council considered asking Burton to withdraw its designs. Burton's snowboard's became controversial when theThe Council backed away from censorship but have still annoyed the Burton founders.
We...make boards for 18-year-old guys...The fact that these boards don’t appeal to some people is not a surprise. The important thing is that the vast majority of young, core riders appreciates the graphics and does not take them so seriously or perceive them as a threat to society...While I do understand that some people’s feelings are heartfelt, the local reaction to these graphics has been hurtful and out of line."
Nice developing photo set by Tim Bean of Boston-area locations mentioned in David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. Each photo is matched to a passage and page. Bean's image above of the Mayflower ("Live Poultry Fresh Killed") Poultry Co. in East Cambridge is described in the novel as "A store in good old English advertising Chickens Fresh Killed Daily" for example.
We will also be meeting for dinner on Saturday two weeks from now, for those who can't make Mondays.
Potential topics of discussion: * Wikipedia and truth (and nonsense) * Wikipedia editing in Latin America (updates from Chile and Argentina) * Wikimedia chapters in the western hemisphere; forming US Wikipedia groups * Organizing Wiki-intros at local universities and libraries * Winter wiki-day with speakers from around the country * Other free knowledge projects underway : CK12, Derechos Digitales, resource.org * The million-book public library and wikibooks * Offline Wikipedia, OLPC, and implications for taking your wiki with you * Travel Scholarships to Wikimania 2008 in Buenos Aires
Beth Lipman's installation (through Jan. 18, at RISD Museum of Art) is primarily made up of clear glass -- blown and/or hot-sculpted with some monochromatic black and white glass here and there. Lipman is known for her blown-glass still lifes, usually inspired by or echoing real-life paintings. Returning the glassware in the paintings to their three-dimensional, glittery glory, paradoxically makes them less real, but also faintly scary.
Image: (Beth Lipman: Fruit on a Table (after the American School), 2001)
Some hope to disappear, some seem resigned to be caught and some intend to go straight and cover up the scam.
Most Ponzi schemes last a year at most, says Utpal Bhattacharya, an Indiana University finance professor. (Ponzi’s lasted just nine months.) So it seems likely that Mr. Madoff, an investment manager since 1960, started out legitimate or semi-legitimate. People in that position sometimes foolishly think they can hide a one-time loss with new investors’ money, and make up for it with a big gamble later.
In other words, Ponzi schemers don’t necessarily start out as such, and as sophisticated as they are, they may not consciously recognize that they have created one. They delude themselves into thinking the ploy is just a stopgap measure, an attempt to hide a loss until they can — once again — dream up something brilliant.
As it was being pumped from the Nara, the fuel flowed past a 10-inch seal valve located on Berth 3, which closed off a product receipt line from Berth 1. As a result of wear and tear, the valve did not close completely and leaked oil into the Berth 1 product receipt line.
ExxonMobil was aware of this defect, prosecutors charged. In September 2005, a contractor pressure-tested the value and informed ExxonMobil that it leaked. Nevertheless, ExxonMobil had failed to replace the valve by the time the Nara arrived in January 2006.
The Time Trade Circle is a Cambridge and Somerville group that barters time spent on tasks
The Time Trade Circle, serving the Cambridge/Somerville area, is a local bank – but we do not operate on paper money. We keep track of time. When you spend an hour of your time performing a service for somebody else, we credit you with one Time Dollar. You can cash in that Time Dollar on a service provided by another member of our bank. Whether you give a piano lesson, give legal advice, clean up trash in your community, or provide some much-needed company to an elderly citizen, one hour equals one Time Dollar.
One problem that might discourage participation could be the differing values of various tasks being bartered. An hour of legal advice might be more valuable than an hour of dog walking for example although time for time bartering prevents taxation.
The IRS has determined that 1) because an hour is always an hour, regardless of what is offered, 2) because they are backed only by a moral obligation and 3) because they are intended for a charitable purpose, Time Dollars are not taxable.
Despite the issue of differing value this seems like an idea that could become very popular in a recession when you might want to get something done but are concerned about laying out cash. And it could be very useful for people who are unemployed or don't have as much work as they want.
Harry Markopolos, the Boston-area investor who suspected Bernard Madoff years ago and wrote a report about his suspicions to the SEC.
Markopolos complained to the SEC's Boston office in May 1999, saying it was impossible for the kind of profit Madoff was reporting to have been gained legally.
But Madoff continued to thrive, even as Markopolos continued to pursue the case.
In 2005, he submitted a report to the SEC saying it was "highly likely" that "Madoff Securities is the world's largest Ponzi scheme." In the report, he says he knew his research could ruin people's careers and asked the SEC be discreet about circulating the report and his name.
"I am worried about the personal safety of myself and my family," he wrote.
The report highlights 29 "red flags" about Madoff's business, among them the returns of a third-party hedge fund managed by Madoff's firm which had negative returns in just seven on the 174 months Markopolos analyzed.
"No major league baseball hitter bats .960, no NFL team has ever gone 96 wins and only 4 losses over a 100 game span, and you can bet everything you own that no money manager is up 96% of the months either," he said.
The MBTA has now hired the students it was formerly suing for exposing the glaws in teh Charlie Card system
The lawsuit against the students was dismissed after a judge lifted a gag order in August that prevented the students from discussing their work. The students had planned to present their research at the Defcon hacker conference in Las Vegas on August 10, but canceled their presentation after a judge granted the MBTA’s request for an injunction the day before.
"This is a great opportunity for both the MBTA and the MIT students. As we continue to research ways to improve the fare system for our customers, we appreciate the cooperative spirit demonstrated by the MIT students,” MBTA General Manager Daniel Grabauskas said in a statement published on the Electronic Frontier Foundation Web site on Monday. EFF attorneys represented the students in their legal defense.
One of the students, Zack Anderson, was quoted as saying: “We’ve always shared the goal of making the subway as safe and secure as can be. I am glad that we can work with the MBTA to help the people of Boston, and we are proud to be a part of something that puts public interest first.”'
Too bad they couldn't have reached this stage without the pointless lawsuit.