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MIT student blogger Laura N. '09

MIT Nightlife, Part II by Laura N. '09

ABC, easy as duct tape, zip ties, Athena headers and packing tape.

Email lists can be the burden of my existence sometimes. I get all kinds of spam- the actual kind, telling me I need a degree from some on-line university (….hello, why would you send that to an at mit dot edu email address?), announcements from every group on campus promoting their events/shows/fundraisers, as well as all kinds of junk from fellow students who want to share their amusing weblink of the day with all their friends. Sometimes, it actually pays off.

In today’s Doonesbury column, Alex comments on the Stata Center. I personally appreciated the strip, considering I’m in the camp of people who thinks that Stata is the most hideous excuse for a building I’ve ever seen. And Ruth ’07 agrees with me.

Speaking of Ruth ’07, this is what she and I looked like as we headed off to the annual Burton Third “Anything But Clothes” party:

So hot, right?

If anything looks familiar, I kind of recycled what I wore last year. After I posted that, my entire extended family (all of whom read this blog) found it hilarious. Every once in awhile when I’m home for a break I run into another person who I haven’t seen in 2 years and they’re always like “OMG I saw that picture of you wearing duct tape and it was so clever!!!” The downside of being an admissions blogger- you can never escpae your past. I figure my reputation is already ruined for life, so what’s the harm if I continue to post pictures of me wearing duct tape clothing?

Anyway, Ruth’s outfit rocked pretty hard if I do say so myself. Side note about computing at MIT (which will be relevant in like 5 seconds, promise): Our campus-wide computing environment is called Athena. Everytime you print something to an Athena printer, it prints out a header page with your username on it so you can quickly and easily find your stuff in the big messy pile of the entire world’s computer printouts. This is obviously useful but very wasteful, so each header page has something useful printed on it in hopes that you’ll reuse it- like musical staffs or graph paper.

Most people leave their header pages in a recycling box in the cluster, so Ruth raided one of these and constructed her outfit entirely out of Athena headers and packing tape, which adds several “hardk0re”ness points to the project, in my opinion.


As for me, I had no time to make anything last week, so I brought the colored duct tape my parents bought me to commemorate the original duct tape outfit to Ruth’s room, where she went all Project Runway on me and helped me design my new and improved duct tape clothing. (If the modifications don’t look that cool, that’s because Ruth had all these ambitious ideas that I knew I wouldn’t be able to actually pull off…)


That’s me, doing the Vanna White move to point out my hometown on the map. Because…that’s what the person holding the camera told me to do. *shrug*

In other news, someone on my floor forwarded an email he got offering free dating service to MIT students. I followed the link and made this discovery (written by a Harvard undergrad), which I think is awesome and she be required reading for all male MIT students: Intelligent Turn-ons =P

Coming soon- answers to all your questions. Promise. (I say that a lot, don’t I?)

10 responses to “MIT Nightlife, Part II”

  1. Peach says:

    You know you can print without header pages, riiiight? Just add -h at the end of a printer command. Like:
    athena% lpr -Phomer2 -h

    There’s a more permanent way to do it, just type “setup save” at an athena prompt. It basically adds the -h automatically so you don’t have to.

  2. I actually tried the setup save command once on a cluster machine – it didn’t work. Anyway, I want the header page more than I don’t. Wasteful, but useful.

    Also, the dating tips seem a little over the top. I mean…
    Her: “What time is it?”
    You: “Until the 19th century solid blocks of tea were used as money in Siberia.”

    Somehow I feel like most guys would get smacked if they tried that. Or at least given funny looks.

  3. It’s still used. The point of the Athena Project was to create a computing environment that could be replicated on machines of different architectures and, in some cases, operating systems. The goal is still applicable.

    There are still a lot of machines that are Sun computers, although they don’t run Solaris like I think they used to. When IS&T replaces machines, they replace them with IBMs, and all the machines run Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

  4. Victor says:

    Heh, I might not go to MIT yet, but I certainly enjoyed the linked blog.

    “Are you differentiable? Because I want to be tangent to all your curves.”

    That line has made close to the top of the list of things I want to do/say before I die.

    ~Victor

  5. Conrad Frost says:

    Athena ?

    i don’t believe it, it still using the same name for compute cluster since i last graduated from MIT in 1990. At that time, Athena was more for Sun X-Windows / DEC clusters

  6. Chris says:

    “Are you differentiable? Because I want to be tangent to all your curves.”

    That’s gotta be the greatest pick up line i have ever heard in my life… AHHH too bad no high school girls will understand it… (darn bad calculus teachers)

  7. katelyn says:

    Are you kidding? I’m in highschool, and for about 5 minutes in physics today all the guys talked about was that pickup line, except it went: “Baby, let me be your derivative so I can be tangent to all your curves.”

  8. katelyn says:

    Are you kidding? I’m in high school, and for about 5 minutes in physics today all the guys talked about was that pickup line, except it went: “Baby, let me be your derivative so I can be tangent to all your curves.”

  9. katelyn says:

    Are you kidding? I’m in high school, and for about 5 minutes in physics today all the guys talked about was that pickup line, except it went: “Baby, let me be your derivative so I can be tangent to all your curves.”

  10. katelyn says:

    I wish my computer were faster so I didn’t accidentally post twice..
    Anyway, the point of the previous post is that I’m a high school girl, and I found it hilarious.