Latest Articles


Berenice Abbott's miracle of science

Like Aaron Siskind and Harry Callahan, Berenice Abbott was inventing abstract photography. She combined Surrealism and a romance with modernity.

By GREG COOK  |  October 12, 2012
LosingControl film review

Review: Losing Control

Bostonians have celebrated the city's rebirth as a shooting location for filmmakers. Had they endured Valerie Weiss's locally made Losing Control , I suspect most would welcome another molasses disaster.
Valerie Weiss's locally made film
By MILES HOWARD  |  April 06, 2012

Review: Area Four

Area Four's Web site describes it as "Coffee, Bakery, Bar, Oven."
All-day delights near Kendall Square
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  March 16, 2012

As MIT expands eastward, Cambridge officials struggle to balance the allure of tech development with Central Square's gritty soul

A decade from now, the east end of Central Square will look nothing like the west.
Square roots
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  March 09, 2012

An evangelical chemist on faith and science

Chemistry professor Troy van Voorhis is a bit of an anomaly, an evangelical Christian — by definition, though not necessarily by social or political affiliation, as he is quick to note — working at that high church of science, the Massachusetts Institut
By RHEMA THOMPSON  |  February 24, 2012

Law & Disorder: The Best of Last Semester's Campus Crime Logs

Incident logs available online and/or at campus police stations display laundry lists of amateur-hour escapades and bike/backpack/wallet/gadget thefts. Here are some amusing, singular shenanigans and trends from last semester culled from public records
Best time of your life? Hardly. Behold these stunning antics, ripped straight from the campus crime blotters.
By BARRY THOMPSON  |  January 27, 2012


You gotta fight for your right

There are a lot of colleges in Boston, and they all have a lot of parties. I spent the semester trying to chronicle them for the purpose of science.
. . . to evaluate the quality of various college parties (and assign a grade accordingly)
By JOE DIFAZIO  |  January 27, 2012

The cost of open courseware

MIT's announcement last month of a new online certification program made national news.
MITx Files
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  January 20, 2012

Haacke and Piene at MIT

"Hans Haacke 1967" at MIT's List Visual Arts Center is a science museum presentation with the educational explanation stripped away, leaving just wonder.
Natural phenomena
By GREG COOK  |  November 18, 2011

Photos: Siemens Foundation High School Science Fair

MIT hosted the regional finals of the Siemens Foundation's high school science fair on November 11-12, 2011.  
  MIT hosted the regional finals of the Siemens Foundation's high school science fair on November 11-12, 2011.
By MIKE SPENCER  |  November 18, 2011

Extreme Science Fair

When I met them, Julia Crowley-Farenga and Patrick Loftus were hanging out in front of their science project, "Morphological Classification of Post-Starburst Galaxies."
Dept. of nerdery
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  November 18, 2011


Campus safe spaces offer comfy couches and open minds

Two months into freshman year, I was sitting in a friend's dorm room when Melissa, the broadcast journalism student who lived down the hall, burst into the room. She was near tears.
Safety in numbers
By LIZ PELLY  |  September 30, 2011

Autumn blossoms: Our 10 most anticipated art shows this fall

This fall is a season of celebrations and new beginnings as the Museum of Fine Arts opens its new contemporary art wing, the Institute of Contemporary Art turns 75, the Addison Gallery reopens after fixing its roof, and Brandeis's Rose Art Museum re
This season, the galleries are filled with light shows, monster rock and roll, and naked ladies
By GREG COOK  |  September 16, 2011

Music venue movement

For Cambridge's All Asia Café, the afterlife will feel a bit like Valhalla.
Rock and Relocation
By MICHAEL MAROTTA  |  September 02, 2011
Grass Widow in the zoo

How Grass Widow came to play a concert for a small group of great apes

Gigi was in her late 30s the first time she saw a rock band play. The concert took place outside her enclosure, at 8:30 in the morning, so it wouldn't interfere with Franklin Park Zoo's usual visiting hours.
Gorilla Theater
By BARRY THOMPSON  |  August 05, 2011
conservative elephant

Big conservative funders are making a new push at universities

Funders are working through official university channels to underwrite lecture series, conferences and colloquia, and centers geared for the general-interest student, all carrying university imprimatur.
Right turn on campus
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  July 15, 2011

This Week in Geek July 5-10: Get Your Con On

Post-holiday-weekend lag got you down? Did last weekend's boozing, barbecuing and fireworking set your expectations so high such that the prospect of a return the...
By Kelly Dickinson  |  July 06, 2011

The Week in Geek, June 21-26: Celluloid Supernova

Unmitigated crapfest that was Green Lantern got you down? Worry not, because we've got plenty to tide you over until Cars 2. That includes fantasy...
By Kelly Dickinson  |  June 20, 2011

The best of Boston's mobile cuisine

Summer in Boston traditionally means exploring the city, getting sunburned, and ironically (but totally seriously) drinking Mike's Hard Lemonade. But now that meals-on-wheels mania has put the boot on our fair city, it also means chasing down every foo
Truck nuts
By DAVID EISENBERG  |  June 10, 2011

Photos: MIT's Prom Dress Rugby Tournament 2011

The MIT women's rugby team takes their formal wear to the field for the Prom Dress Rugby Tournament.
"Where Beauty and Brawn Meet Brains"

Amphibious light orbs invade the Charles this weekend (Sat-Sun 7-10pm)

Hear those thunderclaps overhead? It's the sound of a zillion neurons being blown in Cambridge. Yes, it's raining science in People's Republic this weekend --...
By Shaula Clark  |  May 07, 2011


Review: Heaven + Earth + Joe Davis

Joe Davis is the type of character who begs to be profiled.
Cambridge’s own eccentric trash-spelunker
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  April 29, 2011

Oh, the Humanities

The data contained within the following illustration represents the most common words found in the titles of more than 150 doctoral theses in the humanities and social sciences published in 2010.
 A word cloud representing 6,574,357 hours of scholarship
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  April 29, 2011

Domo Arigato

When Czech playwright Karel Capek first used the word "robot" nearly a century ago, it was to describe a coldly calculating machine, evil in its perfection and scornful of human frailty. And so began our fascination with the possibility of humanoid mac
The robots are here — and they look nothing like we expected
By ERIN BALDASSARI  |  April 29, 2011

The Week in Geek April 11-18: Spam castles, Donkey Kong-a-thons, and Gelfling violence

Pants, magic pants.It's that time of year again when I cry every time I wake up, because the snow is gone and yet I still...
By Alec Ernest  |  April 11, 2011

The proto-web utopian consciousness of Stan VanDerBeek

In April 1966, sheriff's deputies were hiding in bushes, peering into a mansion that had been turned into a headquarters and commune for LSD guru Timothy Leary and his pals at Millbrook, New York.
Psychadelic, man!
By GREG COOK  |  March 25, 2011


Slideshow: ''Stan VanDerBeek: The Culture Intercom'' at the MIT List Visual Arts Center

Images from ''Stan VanDerBeek: The Culture Intercom'' at the MIT List Visual Arts Center.
Stan VanDerBeek | MIT List Visual Arts Center | Through April 3
By STAN VANDERBEEK  |  March 25, 2011
This week in the Phoenix: Singing robots, stoner aliens, and book squads with blast-freezers

This week in the Phoenix: Singing robots, stoner aliens, and book squads with blast-freezers

Looking for a little weekend reading? Here's what made its way into the fishwrap this week.[theater] Love and RobotsChris Dahlen's behind-the-scenes look at Tod Machover's...
By Ariel Shearer  |  March 19, 2011

Terpsichore's delight: Boston's Spring dance preview

Ballet, international dance, dance filmmakers, popular dance, and more -- there's something for every fan of dance in Boston this Spring.
Springing into dance
By DEBRA CASH  |  March 18, 2011

Preview: Love and Robots in Death and the Powers: The Robots' Opera

A third of the way through the opera Death and the Powers: the Robots' Opera , the leading man becomes a machine.
In Tod Machover's new opera, Death and the Powers , high technology meets high anxiety
By CHRIS DAHLEN  |  March 18, 2011