At MIT, engineers are taught that scifi is crucial to do good science

MIT is one of the premiere science and technology universities in the United States. And now students there are being asked to consider the consequences of their inventions — by reading science fiction in class. Over at The Atlantic, Rebecca Rosen has a terrific interview with the creators of this innovative course. » 9/20/13 3:40pm 9/20/13 3:40pm

See MIT do the famous "Monkey and a Gun" demonstration

Every physics class is hit, at one point or another, with the famous Monkey and a Gun problem. The idea is simple: A biologist has decided to shoot a monkey — let's say with a tranquilizer dart, The monkey is hanging on a vine when the biologist spots it. By reflex, it will release the vine the moment it hears the bang … » 6/21/13 7:00am 6/21/13 7:00am

Alfred Hitchcock is haunting the River Charles

You're looking at a photograph of the frozen Charles River, taken this morning at 9:35 local time from the Mass Ave bridge connecting Cambridge to Boston. Call us crazy, but we couldn't help but notice the profile of a certain Master of Suspense taking shape in the cracks between the river's ice floes. » 2/13/13 11:45am 2/13/13 11:45am

Dalek mysteriously materializes atop MIT computer science building

After CalTech pranksters adorned MIT with a runaway TARDIS a while back, it was only inevitable the Daleks would show up. And appear they did last week, atop MIT's Stata Center — a lightning rod for pranks — which houses the university's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Check out the below… » 4/27/12 3:30pm 4/27/12 3:30pm

This uncomfortable exoskeleton makes you feel 75 years old

If you thought the Mommy Tummy pregnancy simulator was hilarious, try this exoskeleton on for size. This is AGNES (Age Gain Now Empathy System), a suit by MIT's AgeLab that simulates what it's like to be in your mid-seventies. It's not recommended for fisticuffs with xenomorphs. » 12/28/11 6:40pm 12/28/11 6:40pm

How does one battle a blizzard? Borrow flamethrowers from MIT

On January 22, 1948, Boston mayor Mayor James Curley wrote this letter to MIT President Karl Compton asking for "a competent group of engineers [to] make an immediate study as to ways and means of removing the huge accumulation [...] be it by the use of flame throwers or chemicals or otherwise." Quite the modest request… » 2/02/11 3:30pm 2/02/11 3:30pm