A lot of things went on outside the bubble of Tech in the past week. Here are a few important events taking place throughout the nation and the world.
Republican challenger Scott Brown defeated state Attorney General Martha Coakley in a special election to fill the Senate seat held by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who passed away last year from a brain tumor. With all the precincts counted, Brown received 52 percent of the vote, compared with 47 percent for Coakley. Brown’s victory gives the Republicans 41 members in the Senate, effectively ending the year-long supermajority held by the Democratic Party. This also gives them the ability to filibuster legislation put forward by the Democrats. More specifically, it gives them the option to filibuster healthcare reform legislation that is currently being considered in Congress. Brown has publically voiced his opposition to the legislation, which the late Senator Kennedy called “the cause of my life.”
The Chinese government has removed the 2D version of the Hollywood film Avatar from theaters. The movie had been showing at over 2500 screens across China. Chinese authorities insist that the decision was taken for commercial reasons, saying that the 3D version made up two-thirds of the ticket revenues. Critics however, claim that the decision was taken because of the fact that the plot mirrors forced land evictions conducted by the Chinese government within its own country.
In the movie, a corporation tries to forcibly evict the native people from their homes in order to mine the planet’s precious resources. Avatar is currently the highest grossing film of all time in China, bringing in over 520 million Yuan ($76 million). China restricts the number of foreign films in the country to just 20 each year. Avatar will be replaced by a state sanctioned movie, Confucius, about one of China’s most revered figures.