This Week In
Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 21:02
Northeastern University gathered a committee of students and faculty last month to discuss transforming Northeastern into a smoke-free campus, according to BostInno. With 800 campuses already smoke-free, the proposal would follow in well-established footsteps. Suggestions for a smoke-free campus were met with mixed reactions from the committee and community as a whole. Terry Fulmer, dean of Northeastern’s Bouve College of Arts and Sciences, said that she cares what the community thinks of smoke-free campus initiatives. Some believe that a smoke-free initiative is in the best interests of the community’s health, but others fear that it ostracizes smokers and recommend that other alternatives be explored, such as proposals by the Students for Sensible Drug Policy to create programs to help smokers quit.
Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the nation’s oldest undergraduate acting troupe, has chosen to honor Kiefer Sutherland as its Man of the Year. Hasty Pudding celebrated its choice of Woman of the Year, Marion Cotillard, last week. Sutherland, who played Jack Bauer in the hit television series 24, which ended in 2010, will be celebrated by Hasty Pudding in Harvard Square tomorrow. Afterwards, according to Boston Innovation, he will be roasted in Harvard’s Farkas Hall. A Golden Globe winner, Sutherland now stars in the television series Touch, in which he plays a widower who lost his wife on Sept. 11 trying to raise his mute, emotionally disturbed son. Sutherland takes the title of Man of the Year from Jason Segel, Hasty Pudding’s Man of the Year in 2012.
In a press release from the office of Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, it was announced that Menino plans to institute new initiatives to better prepare the city for storms like Hurricane Sandy.
“The government and private sector need to be proactive in planning for a future with rising sea levels and future storms like Sandy,” Menino said. “The steps that I am announcing today will help make our waterfront and the rest of Boston better prepared to handle future storms and get the city back in business as quickly as possible.”
Initiatives will include the Boston Redevelopment Authority checking all buildings, including MBTA stations, for storm preparedness, as well the drafting of a Wetlands Ordinance to prepare for rising sea levels. The Office of Emergency Management is to conduct an overarching review of emergency planning.
Banned in Massachusetts since 1984, largely as an effort to reduce the devastating effects of drunk driving, “Happy Hour” was given a second chance in Boston alongside the new casinos preparing for development in the area. According to Boston Innovation, a provision in a state law will allow casino owners to serve free drinks. Officials considered extending the privilege of selling discounted drinks to all licensed establishments so that smaller establishments would be able to compete with the gambling facilities, but the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) will likely try to stop this movement, for fear that a reinstatement of “Happy Hour” would encourage over-consumption and risky drinking. The ABCC cites the “deterious impact on public safety” that a revamping of “Happy Hour” would possibly bring about.
Twitter bought Bluefin Labs in its biggest acquisition to date, according to BusinessInsider. Bluefin Labs, a Cambridge-based company, is a television analytics company founded in 2008 that uses social media sites to gauge audience responses to advertisements and television shows. Co-founded by Michael Fleischman and Deb Roy, the concept for Bluefin Labs first began developing in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab’s Human Speechome Project. Twitter cites a strong connection between television and discussion on social media sites as a purpose for its acquisition. This is the second Cambridge company that Twitter purchased in recent weeks, with the social media company having purchased Crashlytics last week. Crashlytics is a mobile company that helps prevent device crashes for iOS and Android.