Here & There


Prompted by the Japanese economic boom and bust, Charles P. Kindleberger, Ford International Professor of Economics emeritus, has written a third edition of his 1978 history entitled Manias, Panics and Crashes: A History of Financial Crisis. Other updates in the new edition are discussions of the US stock market crash of 1987 and the recent peso devaluation. "Kindleberger is a good writer and presents a lively and informative history," wrote the Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram in a February 24 capsule review.
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In a February 9 New York Times article about the potential problem of repetitive strain injury among college students who spend hours at the computer, Dr. David Diamond, an internist with the MIT Medical Department, details MIT's experiences with student RSI. While RSI is not a crisis at the Institute, he sees one to three students a week with the condition and estimates there are four to six serious cases a year, mostly among graduate students. "They've had to modify their course loads, change deadlines, think of alternative careers," he says in the article.

While universities can't monitor computer use as easily as employers can, Dr. Diamond notes that freshmen get training during R/O on how to avoid RSI. MIT has also formed an RSI committee among administrators and is buying ergonomically correct chairs and workstations for students.
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The Complete Works of Shakespeare, a Web site created by The Tech, came in for praise in an Orange County Register article about math, social studies, language arts, science and reference resources on the Web. "Not enough good things can be said about [the site]," the article said. "While reprinting the plays and sonnets in their entirety, this Massachusetts Institute of Technology site still makes the Bard as accessible as Cliff's Notes. How? By using hypertext, the ultimate footnote. Many difficult words and phrases are highlighted, allowing readers to simply click in order to find the definition or explanation."

The URL for The Complete Works of Shakespeare is http://the-tech.mit.edu/Shakespeare/works.html>.

QUOTES:

"It's always more exciting when something doesn't fit into theories; that means you're truly making progress. When I've seen new things, sometimes I've been so excited I just cheer out loud and kind of dance around the control room. It's that much fun."--Research scientist Heidi Hammel of earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences, on how she and other scientists look forward to more surprising new knowledge from the recently refurbished Hubble Telescope, in a February 19 article in the Ft. Lauderdale (FL) Sun-Sentinel.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 19, 1997.


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