Cambridge, MIT, November 2014


walk-in flu clinic, mit (sonya kovacic)

walk-in flu clinic, mit (sonya kovacic)

The Spanish Influenza of 1918 - also known as the Great Pandemic- infected between 20-40% of the global population. Boston was the first city in the United States to be hit when in August of 1918, sailors in Boston became sick with influenza. From there, the virus spread quickly into the city and then to the rest of the state. From September 1918 - January 1919, approximately 45,000 people died from influenza in Massachusetts alone.

The particular strain of Spanish Influenza targeted healthy young adults and because of World War I, there were shortages of medical personal to treat the virus. For those reasons and because there were no vaccines nor antiviral drugs, the virus spread quickly. The first influenza vaccine wasn't licensed in the United States until the 1940s, when it was used to protect World War II soldiers.

Some perspective:

37 million people (both military and civilian) died in World War I. The total number of casualties from the Spanish Influenza was thought to be anywhere between 30 and 50 million. 
Approximately 320,710 Americans died from World War 1. Around 675,000Americans died from the Spanish Influenza.

The Boston Children's Hospital helped create "Flu Near You," a community driven flu tracking website offering real time information to the public. Check to see if your neighborhood is impacted by influenza and keep safe!

Cambridge, MIT, September 2014

mass ave

77 mass ave, MIT (sonya kovacic)

77 mass ave, MIT (sonya kovacic)

Massachusetts Avenue extends over 16 miles through 10 towns, and serves as a major thoroughfare for Dorchester, the South End, Arlington, and several squares in Cambridge.

It also played a major role in the Revolutionary War — Paul Revere, Samuel Dawes, and William Prescott rode along the avenue to Lexington and Concord on April 18, 1775 in their famous "midnight ride".

(At the time, the Mass Ave Bridge had not been constructed. Revere had to covertly row across the Charles River to reach Charlestown.)

Several years after the Mass Ave Bridge (real name: the Harvard Bridge) was completed in 1891, Harry Houdini jumped from it, shackled, into the Charles, before managing an underwater escape. Yes, there are pictures.

Cambridge, MIT, June 2014


mirror wall at mit  (sonya kovacic)

mirror wall at mit (sonya kovacic)

When the John Hancock Tower was completed in 1976, it was praised as an achievement in modern architecture. The building's reflective window panes – 10,344 in all – were designed to mirror the city's changing colors and weather patterns. It's been described as Boston's "architectural mood ring". 

The tower not only reflects the sky, but also its neighbors: the Trinity Church, the Copley Plaza, and Boston's two original John Hancock Buildings. Built in 1922 and 1947, the two "Old Hancocks" stand just across the street from the newer skyscraper. As architect Donlyn Lyndon explains:

"If you stand on the corner of Clarendon Street and St. James Avenue and look directly into the mirrored surface of the third Hancock, you will see reflected there the first two, aligned hierarchically in an ethereal family portrait."

Cambridge-based filmmaker Errol Morris has won dozens of awards for his documentaries, including an Oscar in 2004. His signature interview style – most recently seen in The Unknown Known – is due in part to a clever device involving two-way mirrors. He calls it the Interrotron.

Cambridge, May 2014, MIT


the stata center at MIT  (sonya kovacic)

the stata center at MIT (sonya kovacic)

The Stata Center at MIT is unlike any other building on Earth, and is considered by many an architectural breakthrough. Designed by famed architect Frank Gehry, the building's whimsical appearance and unusual geometry  were critically acclaimed when it opened in 2004.

The Stata Center (named after Ray and Maria Stata) also holds the distinction of being one of the first buildings designed using 3D software. In order to realize his unorthodox design, Gehry adapted a software that had previously been used to design airliners.

The Stata Center houses MIT CSAIL (the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory), one of the most innovative research programs in the world. In honor of their 50th anniversary, BetaBoston has compiled a list of 50 inventions with ties to MIT and CSAIL, including email, the spreadsheet, and the Roomba.

Cambridge, May 2014, MIT

aesop's fables

sculpture:  aesop's fables, II       by mark di suvero,      at MIT  (sonya kovacic)

sculpture: aesop's fables, II by mark di suvero, at MIT (sonya kovacic)

In addition to the sculpture at MIT, Boston also has a realistic Aesop-inspired public statue. The bronze sculpture, titled Tortoise and Hare, depicts the fable's characters racing through Copley Square. It was created in 1995 by Nancy Schön (the artist behind the bronze Make Way for Ducklings in the Public Garden) in honor of the Boston Marathon

Sculptors have been inspired by Aesop for centuries; you can view an 18th-century ceramic sculpture of The Fox and the Stork on display at the MFA, as well as on their website's virtual tour. View it in "European Decorative Arts" — one of many curated online galleries, which also include "Boston", "Fruit", "Motherhood", "Office", and "Dragons".