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Email: lwcapristo@smcm.edu
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Said on Campus --- Quotes from recent lectures and talks at St. Mary's College of Maryland

Written by Barbara Geehan (contributors: Contributors: Lee Capristo, Flora Lethbridge-Çejku, Anne Grulich, Barbara Geehan

toys(Toymaker Louis) Marx perceived, without judgment, the underlying stories and impulses that fi red the popular imagination of Fifties America. In this sense, Marx toys were icons of icons:material embodiments of national selfimages. Westward expansion, scientific exploration, America’s moral example, the hum of commerce, industry, and agriculture – all were celebrated in playsets that taught children the same lesson that Marx gave his daughter: “You are an American. Do your best!”

– Jeffrey Hammond, English professor, Oct. 2, 2009, at the annual Reeves Lecture describing the impact the tiny plastic soldiers, presidents and Roy Rogers had on boys of the Fifties.

stewartbookOther countries have borrowed large portions of our Constitution for their own government. But no other country has adopted the Electoral College. It’s too whacky….Thomas Jefferson gets all the credit for writing the Declaration of Independence, but really, the Declaration of Independence was a rant! The Constitution was a much harder document to write….The Constitutional Convention was a bit like high school: George Washington was the football captain and the student body president; James Madison was the dweeb, taking notes.

– Constitution Day speaker David O. Stewart, author of “The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution,” Sept. 17, 2009.

mitcheatonWhen you think of Africa, it evokes such emotions…to see the world before it gets messed up. To see how humans lived for years in harmony with nature. The realities, however, are much more complex….African dwarf crocodiles (which grow four to six feet) have a slow metabolism. They can be kept in the kitchen without food for months. Then, in case the family does not find any other meat for dinner, or a child needs to go to the hospital, they can take it out like a piggy bank.

–Mitch Eaton Sept. 9, 2009, who has spent years tracking the endangered dwarf crocodiles in Gabon and in the Congo Basin, where he says 5 million tons of wildlife are harvested for food and sale every year.

It is interesting to look through the eyes of the object as a key to the subject….The function of realism is always changing and often surreal.

– Alexandra Gaba-Van Dongen, curator of historic design, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Sept. 29, 2009, referring to a 17th-century redware pitcher and bowl now displayed alongside artist Johannes Vermeer’s “The Milkmaid” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She explained how an artist plays with space to convey meaning in a painting, but objects are real.

(While playing sitar) a butterfly came into my room and kept flying til 3 o’clock. The next morning, it was on the ceiling, and when I started playing again, the butterfl y came down and sat. No one has studied the senses of the butterfly.

– Classical Indian sitar master Ustad Imrat Khan Sept. 25, 2009.

Is mathematics an invention or a discovery?...The Golden Ratio core concept was an invention. Fibonacci’s sequence is an invention. But the fact that the ratio of consecutive numbers converges to the Golden Ratio is a discovery. So, mathematics is a combination of invention and discovery…. Part of the reason I call my book Is God a Mathematician? is because the question at some level is more important than the answer.

– Dr. Mario Livio, astrophysicist at the Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore and 2002 Nitze Fellow at St. Mary’s College, Sept. 30, 2009.

Caged birds were the most popular and common pet from the 1700s to the 1930s. Why? There was no recorded music then; they were the boom box of their time.

– Pet historian Katherine C. Grier in her talk “The History of Pets and Why It Matters” Oct. 1, 2009, explaining the rst commercial pet food and medicine was for birds. Sixty-three percent of U.S. homes have pets today, up from 56% in 1988, including 71.1 million cats, 88.3 million dogs, 16 million birds, and 150 million-plus fish.

(Contributors Lee Capristo, Flora Lethbridge-Cejku, Anne Grulich, Barbara Geehan)

A panel of healthcare policy experts gathered at St. Mary’s Sept. 28, 2009, to dissect the heated national debate on healthcare reform and to answer community questions at “Beyond the Shouts: A Discussion of Health Reform in America.” Some of their points:

We can all agree that our health system is in need of reform; it’s not functioning properly….What will solve the problem?

– Todd Eberly, former health policy professional and St. Mary’s political science and public policy professor

The market has failed and healthcare is not a commodity to be marketed….We have plenty of money to cover everyone, but we don’t have a system
to put it into….Why are we tolerating so many people not having healthcare? It hurts all of us.

– Dr. Flowers

Having Washington dictate all the information for healthcare would be a disaster….What we have is third party payment [where] the patient doesn’t know who the doctor is working for.… Empowering consumers, I think, is the way to go.

– Greg Scandlen, founder of Consumers for Health Care Choices

Healthreform

Every penny that is spent on healthcare is your money and my money, and it should be spent on us.

– Greg Scandlen

Half of the uninsured are below the poverty line but don’t qualify for Medicare….We have to improve quality and value within our healthcare system.

– Karen Davenport, director of the Center for American Progress

We are 37th in the world for total healthcare service, but we spend the most….It’s time to stop trying to patch together what we know is not working.
– Pediatrician Margaret Flowers, a Congressional Fellow of Physicians for a National Health Program