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Articles by Davie Rolnick

April 9, 2015
Try telling a wordless story in five minutes that inspires your audience and distills reality. At the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT), this art is perfected by a team of performers as graceful and poetic as they are energetic and assured. Billed as a “ballet”, Alvin Ailey is refreshingly accessible and attracts a more diverse audience than the typical “Nutcracker” or “Swan Lake.” While generally following the forms of classical ballet, the show includes contemporary music and costuming, and small gestures like jazz hands or waving goodbye help turn dancers into relatable people.
January 14, 2015
It’s generally frowned upon to do a somersault in a research presentation, but this was an exception. As the music started, the students leapt onto the stage and wordlessly described their topic in a series of graceful pirouettes, dipping and weaving around each other while seeming to be propelled by their arms. “Motion of Bacteria through Flagella,” the program said.
May 13, 2014
It’s a romantic night. A young male bee, just out of his pupa, is looking for adventure. He spies another bee in the bushes, and from her scent, discovers that she is a female. He falls in love, and within a matter of seconds they are having sex. Then, something strange happens: she hits him on the head with a lump of pollen. Confused, he wanders off, and immediately falls for another beautiful bee. They too make love, and his new partner takes the pollen off of his head.
April 25, 2014
As part of Earth Week at MIT, we’ve looked at a few labs that are working to build a brighter and more sustainable future.
January 31, 2014
Assorted small rocks
January 29, 2014
“It’s like a Charlie’s Angels pose with stuffed animals”, says the director. “Remember, you’re the spokesdryad.”
January 15, 2014
Poor naked wretches, whereso’er you are,
December 3, 2013
Assorted small rocks
November 12, 2013
Apparently, it’s now November, since it is already dark when I get out of class. In the birdwatcher’s calendar, this cold, wet season is the time to go out and search for a dozen species of sparrows and thrushes. These birds are all small and brown and go by the informal name of Little Brown Bird (LBB for short). A typical sighting goes like this: “Look, something moved in the grass! Oops, I scared it, it’s flying away.” “It’s gone. What was it?” “Oh, an LBB.”
October 29, 2013
Ants are one of the underappreciated wonders that you can find in your own backyard. In many ways, they are like humans: They have complex societies, agriculture, and war, and are powerful enough to shape the environment around them. There are also a lot of them — about ten quadrillion in the world, making ants far more populous than all of mankind. Ants are deceptively diverse. Besides black, they come in vibrant colors, from red to green to glittering blue, and they vary in size so much that the smallest ant species could build its nest inside the head of the largest.
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