This Week In
Published: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 31, 2013 02:10
On Friday, to the enjoyment of both parents and students, a piano fell six stories from an MIT dorm-room roof in the name of tradition. This annual event has characterized the last day students are able to drop classes for the past 41 years. This year, the Baker House Piano Drop was moved to signal the kick-off of family weekend so parents could participate in the fun as well. Parents, students, and alumni packed Memorial Drive to hear a “Bruno,” the MIT-termed unit of volume that results from “a piano falling six stories onto Amherst Alley from the roof of the Baker House,” named for the first student brave enough to push a piano off of the Baker roof. This year, in an effort to create a new tradition, the doomed piano was filled with Halloween candy, becoming a pinata-esque trick-or-treating preview.
Last Monday, Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis announced his resignation after seven years of service. Davis gained national recognition after his involvement with the investigation of the Boston Marathon bombings and local praise as the city saw a 30 percent decrease in violent crimes during his time as commissioner. Davis’ explanation was a simple need for change, both for him and the city. He plans to pursue a fellowship with the Harvard Institute of Politics, which aims to encourage and further careers in politics and public service, where he will both teach undergraduates as well as take courses. Though there are rumors that Davis’ name may be in the running for the leadership of the federal Department of Homeland Security, he said that he has no intention of leaving Boston at this time. His official resignation will occur within the next 30 to 60 days.
This week, Starbucks has brought the capabilities of social media to a new level by announcing its latest program: “Tweet-a-coffee.” Now Twitter users, after syncing to a Starbucks account and linking that to a credit card, can send five-dollar gift certificates to their friends and followers through social media. In order to promote “Tweet-a-coffee,” Starbucks is giving gift certificates to the first 100,000 users who link their accounts with Visa cards. Though this seems like a convenient way to correct the occasional forgotten birthday wish, the app allows Starbucks to access the entirety of the user’s twitter account. This includes the ability to both read and send tweets, view followers, and update the user’s profile. Starbucks has yet to announce how extensively this opportunity will be used, however, it can be expected to only account for a few promotional tweets or follows.
On Tuesday, New England-headquartered ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s teamed up with Anchorman to release a new flavor based off of the movie’s infamous news anchor, Ron Burgundy. The latest pint, “Scotchy Scotch Scotch,” is butterscotch ice cream with butterscotch swirls. It promotes Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, which is set to premiere Dec. 20. Beyond simply adorning ice cream flavors with the public’s favorite celebrities, Ben & Jerry’s uses the proceeds from pints of “Scotchy Scotch Scotch” to promote environmental sustainability and a commitment to EPA-regulated practices. The company is involved with various local and global efforts to promote holistically better production processes including dependence on small, Vermont dairy farms as well as support of fair-trade efforts.
On Sunday, less than an hour after the New England Patriots beat the Miami Dolphins, Miami center Mike Pouncey, 24, was served with a grand jury subpoena by the Massachusetts State Police. The subpoena surrounds the ongoing investigation into Aaron Hernandez’s involvement in two July 2012 murders. This questioning is not unprecedented: in 2007 they, along with Pouncey’s twin brother and other teammates, were both involved in and questioned about an altercation-turned-shooting in Florida. Authorities are also investigating Hernandez’s participation in interstate gun trafficking in three states. Though the extent of Pouncey’s involvement is currently in question, police do have reports of extensive transactions between him and his former teammate. Both a Dolphins spokesperson and Pouncey declined to comment on the situation, and he traveled back home with the team on Sunday night.