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Kane Weathers the Storm: Cornellian Vanquishes Superhero, Advances to Semi-Finals

After a long holiday hiatus, the MIT/Cornell fictional feud was back in action this week and featured two characters of very different film fame. For MIT, it was Sus Storm, the invisible woman who is as famous for her time in the “Fantastic Four” as she is in her fantastic costume. As for Cornell, the Big Red were represented by Charles Foster Kane, a cinema icon who isn’t afraid to be lonely at the top as long as he can have his childhood sled when it’s all said and done. Certainly, both of these characters would have something to offer as a housemate. The MIT alumni community argued Storm was the obvious choice because her superhero powers would make living with her fun and exciting, not to mention the people she associates with would be fun company. Cornell focused on the luxury and influence that would come with living amongst Kane’s wealth and power. Both schools made compelling arguments for their fictional fellow alumnus, but in the end, it came down to who our Columbia University judge would select. Here’s the verdict:

There are several good points about why Sue Storm would make an idea roommate: she’d kick butt, has hot friends and can easily disappear. And cool MIT co-eds are rare, as noted. But you have to compare her against Charles Foster Kane. Rich. You’d have an amazingly stocked wine bar and have expensive parties. And when looking at Sue Storm, she is not the first superhero you think of. When you think of great movie title characters, Charles Foster Kane is on the top of the list. And look at the legacy you’d have if one day you said your roommate was Charles Foster Kane. He has been an icon for 70 years. And 50 years from now, you can say your roommate was Sue Storm and you’d probably get a “who?” Charles Foster Kane will still be great 50 years from now.

The gavel has been lowered and it’s Cornell’s Citizen Kane that enters the semi-finals. Here’s a look at a few highlights that convinced the judge to side with Rosebud:

It is no contest. Have you seen the interior designing that Kane enjoyed at Xanadu. He would bring such luxury and accommodations to any house he inhabited. What privacy would someone have with Sue Storm who can hide herself in any location at will? Also, if she mismanages her powers, she could cause many of her housemate’s things to become lost as they would disappear from sight while she was near them. She would want to be able to have her friends and family visit. Does anyone think that a house would withstand a weekend with both Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm visiting. The house would become structurally unsound or ablaze within a matter of hours of both being there. Kane’s one quirk? He likes to keep a rickety old sled in the corner. Vintage chic anyone? – Aaron

Kane works 20-hour days. He would pay his share of the rent and never be home. That makes him an ideal housemate as long as you’re not also looking for a friend. He’d never notice if I borrowed his sled. He’s not really attached to that thing, is he? – David

As ZZ Top says “They come runnin’ just as fast as they cancause every girl is crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man.” Charles Foster Kane gets my vote! And frankly, what good is a genetics researcher as as housemate? Does she do windows? – Elizabeth

MIT certainly made several good arguments for Sue Storm, including this gem from Hal:

I vote for Sue Storm. Several reasons: 1. When I was an undergrad, the male-female ratio was 17-1, so, from a housemate point of view, I’m in favor of improving that demographic. Also, a good housemate ought to enhance social events in the house. Sue has this really great party trick (where’d she go?) that is sure to delight visitors. Plus, she’s a very talented scientist, and would likely help a lot with problem sets. And in contrast, Kane is a yellow journalist, much more prone to sensationalism than well documented facts in his papers, and I suspect that would conflict with my engineer mentality. SO, when can Sue move in?

The Big Red win means it’s an even field for the semi-finals as both schools have two people remaining in the tournament. The final four is here and it all begins Monday as MIT’s space-obsessed scientist Ellie Arroway, collides with cartoon Cornellian Side Show Mel. It’s science vs. slap-stick and you can bet these respective alumni communities are ready to drop the gloves…


Week 8: Cornell’s Kay Scarpetta vs. MIT’s Sue Storm


To vote, simply answer the following question:

Which person, if real, has the potential to offer the greatest contribution(s) to society?

Cast your vote three ways:

  • Submit your answer in the comments of this post
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Need some inspiration? Learn more about Kay Scarpetta and Sue Storm.

Representatives from the Cornell and MIT Alumni Associations will be looking for posts that are clever, witty, absurd, and downright ridiculous. The more entertaining we find your comment to be, the more likely it will tip the scale in favor of your alma mater. Voting ends each Friday at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Levinson Lays Down the Law: MIT Win Streak Hits Three

In Independence Day, “cable repairman” David Levinson flew into orbit to vanquish Earth’s oppressor, but in the Cornell/MIT Fictional Alumni Tournament, defeating his opposition required far less effort.

Cornell’s Mitchell Pritchett may have no trouble when it comes to convincing a jury of his peers, but when it comes to overall contributions to society, saving the Earth from impending doom carries more weight than defending habeas corpus.

Most pro-Levinson responses revolved around a central theme: he saved the world. Even with Perry Mason, Matlock, and Johnny Cochran by his side, Pritchett Esq. would have had a tough time making a case for himself.

If there’s one thing the judges have learned throughout the course of this tournament, it’s that Cornellians, no matter how daunting it may seem, can come up with a defense for their brethren:

Mitchell Pritchett all the way. We need a man from a modern family that understands the modern world we all live in. #MITCU – Allen

Levinson only thought of the computer virus idea because of his father, otherwise he would have kept drinking himself into a coma and the aliens would have taken over. Mitchell is a devoted father, successful attorney, and a shining example of how to succeed despite society’s prejudices and narrow perception of family values.- Keith

I vote Mitchell – he makes us laugh every week, and showed great ingenuity using the placebo effect on his dad this week. Must have taken Psych 101 at Cornell… – Julianna

Even MIT alums found some fault with Levinson:

Sorry fellow alumni, Levinson’s use of a Powerbook (pre-OS X no less!) is a huge knock to his geek cred. Contrast with Mitchell’s awesome Spider-Man costume (and wall-clinging ability!), and I’ve got to give this round to Mitchell. – Todd

Saving the world was the popular point made by the Engineers, but some chose to stray down the path of ridiculing Mitchell’s profession and his…delicate sensitivities:

Definitely Levinson. He’s got a cuter spouse, he whines marginally less, and he’s not a lawyer – Doug

No contest—-the only drawback to David Levinson is that he did not truly save the world by having the dinosaurs refine their diets to attorneys such as Esq. Pritchett. – Jeffrey

David Levinson went from cable guy to world-saving hero in the span of a few days (thanks to his MIT education). Mitchell doesn’t even come close. Plus, how would he save the world from certain annihilation given his crazy fear of birds?… – Kirpeep.com

In the end, this was a battle between a man of science and a man of the law. While the justice system is an important part of maintaining civility, science is what advances society and sometimes, rescues it from a race of aliens who have the ability to build massive spaceships and fly across the universe, yet didn’t have the foresight to install Norton Anti-Virus on the mainframe computer of the mother ship.

Hero Over Hotels: Stark Wins Arrogance Bowl

They say money can’t buy you happiness, well, apparently it can’t buy you a victory in the Fictional Alumni tournament, either. Though, money aside, what chance did a slimy heir to a hotel chain have against a dashing super hero? Answer: none. Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man, made it two wins in a row for MIT and gave the Engineers a 3-2 edge over Cornell in what is being called “the most exciting thing to happen to fictional alumni since the ‘Revenge of the Nerds’ cast got their own Broadway spin-off [UNCONFIRMED]!”

For most of the Big Red faithful, this was a battle not worth waging. In every skirmish there are pawns and Cornellians seemed very comfortable with sacrificing the toxic Neil Kellerman and save a more respectable alumnus to fight another day. Though, to their credit, some did make a case for why the over-privileged jerk offered more to society than the mighty Iron Man:

“As much as this pains me, here’s my attempt: Neil is on his way to running a successful resort, which will bring joy and relaxation to all who stay there. Tony Stark is a weapons dealer. Make love, not war: it’s the Cornell way.” –Marcela

MIT Alumni seemed genuinely skeptical that Stark vs. Kellerman was actually the matchup of the week:

“for serious? is this really a contest? tony stark is FRIGGIN IRON MAN!” – @tdohz

“Neil who? I think someone rigged this fight, there’s no one over in the Cornell corner.” Joe

“Who the f— is Neil Kellerman? We all know Ironman and Ironman 2. Cmon!!” – @dd0ck

“We sub in the dorky engineer who died in the Fast and the Furious I and we’d still win this one.” – Chun

There were some MIT alums that played nice and delivered a more “concrete” argument for why Stark should prevail:

“Stark built his own flying suit & protects the world. Did Neil even graduate? No contest, Stark wins” – @mit1987

“Thanks to iron man, we have advanced in the areas of super-powered exoskeletons, artificial heart implants and small high powered energy sources.”- Lynne

There is no question this was the most lopsided matchup of the tournament. What remains to be seen is can Cornell rally back from such a monstrous defeat and pull even with their counterparts from MIT? Will Cornell “lay down the law” or will MIT field another “world saving” hero to crush the Big Red spirit? Check back Monday afternoon to see the next matchup!

  • Congrats, Tony Stark!

    Tournament brackets

    Click to enlarge. See full brackets below.

  • What's at stake?
    The winning school will take ownership of the soon-to-be-constructed Social Media Cup trophy.

    The losing school will be forced to produce a video that pays homage to both the tournament winner and his or her alma mater and promote the video on their own Facebook page.

  • Check out the complete brackets

    Tournament brackets

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