By Alexandra A. Chaidez, CRIMSON STAFF WRITER February 27, 2018
A foundation overseen by controversial libertarian billionaire Charles Koch has made several millions-dollar donations to the Harvard Kennedy School in recent years, prompting some debate within the school about the organization’s role and influence on campus.
In Dec. 2015, the Koch Foundation donated $2.9 million to the Kennedy School’s Taubman Center to support an initiative meant to boost education-related entrepreneurship. And in Nov. 2017, the Koch Foundation gave the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs a $1.8 million grant to launch “The Project on Grand Strategy, Security, and Statecraft,” a collaborative international studies program between the Kennedy School and MIT.
These grants follow about $10 million given to other institutions of higher education including Tufts University and the University of California at San Diego—both meant to foster research into foreign policy.
Given these recent donations, some Kennedy School students and outside observers have raised concerns about the clout they say the Koch foundation may wield at the school.
“They have a very clear libertarian, ideological, free-market fundamentalism agenda that they are pushing not only in the United States but also across the world,” Kennedy School student Jeff Rousset said. “When the dean says he is interested in bringing more conservatives voices to the Kennedy School, we have to ask, what are the voices in his head influencing those decisions?”
Kennedy School Dean Douglas Elmendorf recently said he is interested in bringing more conservative voices to campus.
As floods, heat waves, and other damaging natural phenomena increase, it’s important for developers and city planners to understand the effects. Jupiter offers incredibly detailed maps of a post-climate change world.
By Adele Peters3 minute Read
Anyone planning to build a new apartment building in Miami–or Houston, or Boston, or any other city with a growing problem with floods–faces a significant challenge. It’s hard to know if a particular site might be a safe place to build. Most FEMA flood maps are out of date; in 2012, the maps for many of the areas flooded by Sandy hadn’t been updated since 1983. The maps also don’t account for the impacts of climate change, despite the fact that the number of American coastal communities dealing with chronic flooding is expected to double in less than two decades.
A startup called Jupiter is offering developers, insurance companies, city officials, and anyone else who deals with urban planning in coastal cities a new “FloodScore” analysis that attempts to fill that gap. Using multiple models that consider everything from sea level rise and erosion to the impact of paving over wetland, data from satellites and sensors, and machine learning, the service can predict the risk of flooding on a specific block or at a specific address. It can also predict the risk of exposure to hazardous waste from nearby industry during a flood, as happened during Hurricane Harvey when containers at a chemical plant caught fire and exploded.
A Jupiter map of New York shows the potential for flooding during a storm surge. [Image: Jupiter]
“What we’re hearing from property developers is that they think this will impact their long-term insurance costs, the marketability of the property to existing and potential tenants, their capital investment in mitigation, their relationships with capital partners like sovereign wealth funds–the largest of which are increasingly focused on this issue–and a whole set of other issues,” says Jupiter CEO and co-founder Rich Sorkin.
Manufacturing Intellect: Documentaries
An exploration of the world’s most popular entertainment, from the boy genius who invented it to the RCA General who made it a reality.
Television became available in crude experimental forms in the late 1920s, but it would still be several years before the new technology was marketed to consumers. After World War II, an improved form of black-and-white TV broadcasting became popular in the United States and Britain, and television sets became commonplace in homes, businesses, and institutions.
During the 1950s, television was the primary medium for influencing public opinion. In the mid-1960s, color broadcasting was introduced in the US and most other developed countries.
The availability of multiple types of storage media such as Betamax, VHS tape, local disks, DVDs, flash drives, high-definition Blu-ray Discs, and digital video recorders have enabled viewers to watch prerecorded material—such as movies— at home on their own time schedule.
For many reasons, the storage of television and video programming now occurs on the cloud. At the end of the first decade of the 2000s, digital television transmissions greatly increased in popularity.
Another development was the move from standard-definition television (SDTV) (576i, with 576 interlaced lines of resolution and 480i) to high-definition television (HDTV), which provides a resolution that is substantially higher. HDTV may be transmitted in various formats: 1080p, 1080i and 720p.
Since 2010, with the invention of smart television, Internet television has increased the availability of television programs and movies via the Internet through streaming video services such as Netflix, Amazon Video, iPlayer, Hulu, Roku and Chromecast.