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Amy Poehler Roasted Her Hasty Pudding Roasters Right Back and It Was Glorious

At the Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year roast, the Parks and Recreation star gleefully mocked Harvard’s elitist tradition.

Everybody’s favorite feminist unicorn, Amy Poehler, was presented with the Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year award at Harvard earlier today. Perhaps more delightful than the wacky parade she led around Harvard Square was the roast that followed. No, not the roast of Amy by students, Amy’s comeback roast. The Parks and Recreation star called the Ivy League club out on its sexist traditions, lack of diversity and more.

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What if Simply Playing Soccer Could Power a Whole Village?

Uncharted Play's Soccket balls ingeniously turn kinetic energy into electric current.

Photo coutesy of Love Green via Flickr

Usually when a few soccer balls are donated to a rural Mexican town, it doesn’t warrant press coverage. Yet last March TV trucks rolled into Puebla state to watch the distribution of 150 new balls. The cameras were on hand because these were no Adidas or Nike products. These were Uncharted Play’s Soccket balls, built to turn the kinetic energy of play into electrical current. When enough charge is stored up, the ball can be used to power various electrical devices. Since rolling out last year, the Soccket ball has stirred up a great deal of interest, attracting the attention of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, among others, as a potentially powerful tool to bring light to regions of the world where power grids are unreliable or unavailable. Like most early technologies, Soccket is far from perfect—some accounts claim it’s quite buggy. But if comparable products tell us anything, those kinks may smooth out over the next few years, allowing Soccket to lead the way as yet another powerful off-the-grid tool for rural development.

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Microchips Could Replace Animal Testing Around the World

How a smartphone-sized gadget could free over 100 million animals

Illustration by Tyler Hoehne

According to German biologist Uwe Marx, microscopic artificial organs may soon eliminate the need for animal testing. Marx led a keynote speech and presented his company’s newest “human-on-a-chip” prototypes at last week’s ninth World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences. His company, TissUse, develops microchips made up of circulatory networks, living human cells, and tiny pumps that simulate the architecture and activity of human organs. The technology can be used to test medical treatments and substances without using animals.

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Nearly Half of Harvard Government Class Is Suspected of Cheating

A massive student plagiarism scandal rocks Harvard. Is there an epidemic of cheating in our colleges?

There's not a school in the world that doesn't have a policy against cheating and plagiarism but they never seem to deter some students from taking a dishonest shortcut to a good grade—not even students attending the oldest and most prestigious university in the country. Indeed, the Harvard Crimson reports that the the school's "disciplinary board is investigating nearly half of the 279 students who enrolled in Government 1310: 'Introduction to Congress'" (oh, the irony!) "last spring for allegedly plagiarizing answers or inappropriately collaborating on the class’ final take-home exam."

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Harvard and MIT Team Up to Educate a Billion People Online

The new online learning platform edX will bring a Harvard and MIT education to the planet.


Last December MIT took its decade-old Open Course Ware initiative to the next level when it announced the launch of MITx, a nonprofit online platform that would allow students anywhere in the world to take MIT classes for free. Now MIT has joined forces with its neighbor, Harvard, to launch a new online learning platform, edX, that aims to share knowledge with an even greater number of learners.

Harvard provost Alan Garber says MITx was such a game changer—over 120,000 students from around the globe signed up for the first class, slightly fewer than the total number of living MIT alumni—Harvard knew they wanted to be a part of it. As a result, the schools are investing $30 million each to jumpstart edX as an umbrella organization that will oversee MITx and the just-announced HarvardX.

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Did a Harvard Economics Class Cause the Financial Crisis?

Some students say a prominent professor's bias drove the creation of policies that foster economic inequality.


Harvard grads frequently go on to highly influential jobs on Wall Street, at think tanks, and in government. Did the principles they learned in their alma mater's most popular class cause America’s financial crisis and growing wealth gap? That's the view of a group of approximately 70 students who walked out of professor N. Gregory Mankiw's Economics 10 class this week in solidarity with the Occupy protests happening coast-to-coast.

The students say the conservative slant of the economic theories taught by the prominent professor are driving policies that create inequality. According to their open letter to Mankiw—who advised President George W. Bush and now Mitt Romney—the free market, laissez faire capitalism he teaches to nearly 700 students every semester deprives students of "an analytic understanding of economics as part of a quality liberal arts education."Mankiw's academic influence also extends well beyond Harvard. His textbook, Principles of Economics, is widely used in introduction to economics classes nationwide.

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