MIT loses Noam Chomsky to Arizona

The Tucson Sentinel reports the University of Arizona has signed up longtime MIT linguistics professor (now emeritus) Noam Chomsky to teach there.

Chomsky will arrive on the Tuscon campus this month and will teach starting in the spring semester.

Chomsky is quoted as saying he's looking forward to teaching undergraduates again - and to the balmier Tucson weather.

Yet again, another effort by the MBTA

What's now missing here?

to "maximize " non fare revenue has apparently failed. Waiting at North Station tonight, I noted that the overhead LED billboards have been removed, and that the backlit post-mounted ones have had the ads removed and are shut off.

Wonder if the new GM has already figured out it's a futile effort to hire a contractor that sells ad space to companies (Qualcomm and Shire) to promote products that your patrons can't directly buy.

Or perhaps he knows that selling your ad space through a third party is not the way to maximize revenue. Hope he takes a hard look at the leases with Clear Channel for using the T's land in Somerville then.

Descendant of one of the Southerners who died on Georges Island says tear that Confederate memorial down

A Floridian who spent some time in Boston in the 1980s discovered one of her ancestors was a coal shoveler on a Confederate steamer who was captured and sent to Fort Warren on Georges Island, where he died. She writes today why she thinks the now covered-up memorial to him and 12 other rebels should be taken down:

For starters, it was put up under the auspices of the Daughters of the Confederacy, and the less you have to do with those myth-making coots, the better.

But more importantly, the monument is injected with the same poison that blights our fate as a country — the conceit that God had any part in the foul business of the Confederacy, and the insinuation that there was anything remotely honorable or noble about “the cause” it represented.

So take it down, Massachusetts. You have the blessing and encouragement of this descendant of the dead. But more importantly, you have the moral imperative of the living, and a responsibility to those yet to be born.

The cost of connecting North and South stations

Harvard Kennedy School researchers tried to figure out the cost of a North-South rail link, find it would be between roughly $3.8 billion for a single-tunnel, two-track layout and $5.9 billion for a higher-capacity system with two tunnels and four tracks.

Sounds like a lot, but compare to the MBTA's 2003 estimate of $9.4 billion to $15.8 billion for the work (the Harvard researchers say a key factor is the dramatic decrease in the cost of tunnel boring over the past 15 years). And moving the postal-service facility and building new tracks and platforms at South Station - the state's current official preference, won't be cheap, either.