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Articles by Michael T. Lin

March 16, 2010
A few weeks ago, I had the chance to hang out with one of my favorite bands. My friends can attest to how much of a fan I am of acoustic guitar duo Ryanhood, probably while rolling their eyes and sighing. As it happens, I’m not the only person in the Greater Boston-Cambridge metropolitan area who considers himself a devotee of the band, which recently had a show in the area. Caitlin Mason and Chris Chiampa in Malden, unable to make it to the concert in Boston on March 6, opened her apartment to Ryanhood the next day for some Beatles: Rock Band with band members Ryan Green and Cameron Hood. Luckily for me, a few other fans got to come along for the ride, myself included.
March 2, 2010
What Boston rain lacks in intensity, it seems determined to make up for in persistence. Even if downpours are few and far between around here, three straight days of halfhearted rain will turn a grassy field into a swamp and a sidewalk into an archipelago of vaguely connected islands. Avoiding pneumonia being the reasonably high priority that it is, after submitting psets on time and a full eight minutes of sleep every night, it only seems intelligent to dress appropriately for the occasional minor flood.
February 23, 2010
When you spend as much time indoors as an MIT student during a Massachusetts winter, cabin fever isn’t the only ailment that’s likely to break down your immune system’s barricades. Just the other week, several staffers at <i>The Tech</i>, including me, were beset by some of the nasty bugs that have been floating around campus as of late.
February 9, 2010
The other night, I was with some friends and watching a Looney Tunes marathon (3 DVDs from four-disc set, $3 at the thrift store), when the question arose of why we, one of many generations who grew up on cartoons, aren’t more messed up than we are. What went on television when we were young would have today’s parents up in arms and at the doorsteps of the production companies before you could say “That’s all, folks!”
January 27, 2010
I’ve never been very good at grocery shopping. For one thing, I’m constantly snacking, which means that walking down the chips and cookies aisle is just asking to load up on more munchies. For another, there’s so much variety in products that I can’t tell what’s inexpensive and what’s a ripoff. Music and movie shopping are easy by comparison — anything under fifteen dollars is a bargain (except perhaps <i>Plan 9 From Outer Space</i>), anything under five dollars is a steal — but groceries are a different beast altogether. Even considering that I’d watched <i>Supermarket Sweep </i>as a child, I was much more interested in the “run like a maniac around the supermarket” than the expected retail prices of anything. For instance, the Oreos at Shaw’s are in yellow-tag Purgatory, meaning that it’s always the same price every time I go, and seemingly have been for the past three years. Whether that means they’re actually never on sale or perpetually on sale, I leave to you to decide.
January 20, 2010
I’m not precisely sure when the word “awesome” was first used to describe something indefinably spectacular and/or amazing, but it seems as if in recent years, it’s gone from the upgraded, superlative version of “cool” (itself a reissue of “groovy”) to the heavily-used catch-all adjective of our generation. I don’t have anything against the word “awesome” in and of itself, but I do have to wonder at what point we stopped demanding more than “it’s awesome” as justification for holding something in high regard.
December 1, 2009
If you asked me what possibly could have compelled me to stay up until five in the morning to trudge through Cambridge for a Black Friday sale, I would have given you exactly two reasons. One is the age-old excuse, “my friends were doing it.” The other is that I managed to justify it to my nerd self by going to the electronics store first. A few DVDs, a set of Rock’em Sock’em Robots, and more self-restraint than any human should ever have to exercise later, here I am pondering the significance of the experience.
November 17, 2009
In last week’s edition of “Frivolous Dissertations on Breakfast,” in which I discussed my thoughts on the ideal cereal shape, it occurred to me that one edition simply wasn’t big enough to contain the sheer mass of frivolity on the subject that I wanted to share. More than that, it seemed terribly prejudiced of me to assume that cereal was the only breakfast food worth talking about. After all, non-college students eat breakfast, too (I think) and if I expect to be taken seriously in debates on the subject of breakfast, I should have an informed opinion on more than just the issues that matter to me.
November 13, 2009
The MIT Musical Theater Guild opened their Side Show (book and lyrics by Bill Russell, music by Henry Krieger) last weekend, and in keeping with a long-standing sideshow tradition, offered an experience that was different and unforgettable. Of course, the metaphor collapses when you realize that, contrary to being the stuff of nightmares, MTG’s Side Show is not only enjoyable but is one of those rare musicals that elicits drama without resorting to character death (not that there’s anything wrong with that, Mr. Whedon) or deux ex machina.
November 10, 2009
The idea of the “frivolous conversation about everyday subjects”, experienced by all and popularized by sitcoms, remains one of the few ways in which we can connect with new acquaintances and sometimes complete strangers without being invasive or sketchy. Just yesterday, I briefly discussed Cheetos and dental hygiene with the lady next to me in line at the pizza parlor. Several months back, it was carbonated drinks with Ingrid the Shaw’s Cashier. Last week, the pièce de résistance was an interchange at length over bagels and cake on the subject of breakfast food, with cereal (specifically cold and served with milk) as the centerpiece.
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