Hear VALIS, an Opera Based on Philip K. Dick’s Metaphysical Novel

≡ Category: MIT, Opera, Sci Fi |1 Comment

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Image by Pete Wesch, via Wikimedia Commons
Philip K. Dick died in 1982. His distinctive, some say visionary brand of psychological sci-fi literature, however, has lived on, proving its endurance in part by taking new forms.

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Free M.I.T. Course Teaches You How to Become Bill Nye & Make Great Science Videos for YouTube

≡ Category: MIT, Online Courses, Science, YouTube |2 Comments

If I had my way, more academics would care about teaching beyond the walls of the academy. They’d teach to a broader public and consider ways to make their material more engaging, if not inspiring, to new audiences. You can find examples out there of teachers who are doing it right.

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MIT’s Introduction to Poker Theory: A Free Online Course

≡ Category: Economics, MIT |1 Comment

If you google my name, spelled in the unconventional way that I spell it, the first search results won’t having anything to do with me. They’ll reference another Dan Colman who, in the past year, has made a good chunk of change playing poker — including winning $15.3 million in one tournament alone.

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MIT Creates Amazing Self-Folding Origami Robots & Leaping Cheetah Robots

≡ Category: MIT, Technology |1 Comment

Last Thursday, MIT released two staggeringly cool videos. And I don’t think I’m being hyperbolic in saying that. Above we have a robotic cheetah that’s “trained” to “see and jump over hurdles as it runs — making this the first four-legged robot to run and jump over obstacles autonomously.

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The Historic LSD Debate at MIT: Timothy Leary v. Professor Jerome Lettvin (1967)

≡ Category: History, MIT |3 Comments

On May 3, 1967, Dr. Timothy Leary, that high priest of hallucinogens, faced off in a debate with MIT professor Dr. Jerome Lettvin about LSD in MIT’s Kresge Auditorium. Leary spent the debate in the lotus position, dressed in a white gown, beads and bare feet. The very picture of a counter culture icon.

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Turn Your Bike into an Electric Hybrid with MIT’s “Copenhagen Wheel”

≡ Category: MIT, Sports, Technology |4 Comments

Bonaverde’s “Roast-Grind-Brew Coffee Machine” seemed like one of the cooler inventions I’ve recently stumbled upon. But then I came across this: The Copenhagen Wheel. Originally created by researchers at MIT, the Copenhagen Wheel “transforms ordinary bicycles quickly into hybrid e-bikes.

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MIT Teaches You How to Speak Italian & Cook Italian Food All at Once (Free Online Course)

≡ Category: How to Learn for Free, Language Lessons, MIT |8 Comments

At MIT, Dr. Paola Rebusco usually teaches physics to freshmen. But, on behalf of the MIT Experimental Study Group, Rebusco has devised an appealing course — Speak Italian with Your Mouth Full — where she combines teaching two things many people love: learning to speak Italian and cooking Italian food.

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“Wear Sunscreen”: The Story Behind the Commencement Speech That Kurt Vonnegut Never Gave

≡ Category: Graduation Speech, Literature, MIT |6 Comments

On June 1, 1997, Mary Schmich, Chicago Tribune columnist and Brenda Starr cartoonist, wrote a column entitled “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young.” In her introduction to the column she described it as the commencement speech she would give to the class of ’97 if she were asked to give one.

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Google & edX to Create MOOC.Org: An Open Source Platform For Creating Your Own MOOC

≡ Category: Google, Harvard, MIT, MOOCs |1 Comment

Almost exactly a year ago, we told you about Google’s release of Course Builder, an open source platform that would let you build your own online courses/MOOCs for free. This week, Google has a new announcement: it’s joining forces with edX, (the MOOC provider led by Harvard and MIT), to work on a new open source platform called MOOC.org.

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Stephen Colbert Tries to Make Sense of MOOCs with the Head of edX

≡ Category: Comedy, MIT, MOOCs |Leave a Comment

Last week Anant Agarwal, President of edX (the MOOC consortium launched by Harvard and MIT), paid a visit to The Colbert Report. And it didn’t take long for the host, the one and only Stephen Colbert, to ask funny but unmistakably probing questions about the advent of Massive Open Online Courses. “I don’t understand.

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