July 9, 2018
Prof. John Bush speaks with Popular Science reporter Dyani Sabin about the physics behind bending a soccer ball like a World Cup player. “The physics is rather complicated honestly, but there are simple ways to explain it,” says Bush. “The reason it looks mysterious is because you can’t see what the surrounding fluid, in this case air, is doing.”
The Wall Street Journal highlights a working paper co-authored by graduate student Charles Rafkin that shows how Americans with the lowest levels of education face a number of disadvantages. Rafkin and his co-author write that, “death rates for the least educated have dramatically diverged from death rates of other groups, in virtually all middle-age race and gender groups.”
Wired reporter Robbie Gonzalez highlights Prof. David Rand’s research showing that reasoning and critical thinking skills allow people to differentiate between real and fake news. Rand explains that he thinks “social media makes it particularly hard, because a lot of the features of social media are designed to encourage non-rational thinking.”
TIME reporter Precious Adesina writes that researchers from MIT’s Senseable City Lab have developed an algorithm that measures how many urban trees are seen from a pedestrian’s perspective. Prof. Carlo Ratti explains that in addition to lowering urban temperatures, increasing the number of trees in a city can be “extraordinary in terms of collective well-being.”
UPI reporter Tauren Dyson writes that MIT researchers have developed a coating that can reject up to 70 percent of incoming solar heat. “The film resembles transparent plastic wrap, implanted with tiny microparticles that contain water that releases when met with temperatures higher than 85 degrees Fahrenheit,” Dyson explains.
Prof. Jacopo Buongiorno speaks with Marketplace reporter Sabri Ben-Achour about MITEI’s study showing the potential impact of nuclear power in addressing climate change. Buongiorno noted that if costs can be reduced and more supportive policies enacted, nuclear power has the “potential to decarbonize the power sector on a global scale.”
WGBH reporter Esteban Bustillos highlights MIT’s football team, which is “having a year for the books.” Head coach Brian Bubna explains that sports can help augment a student’s college experience, noting that “there's a lot of stuff that you can learn on a football field about yourself that you can't learn in a classroom.”