Year of Twain

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Lee Capristo
Director of Publications
Email: lwcapristo@smcm.edu
Phone:240-895-4795
Anne Arundel 100

Said on Campus --- Quotes from recent lectures and talks at St. Mary's College of Maryland

Written by Lee Capristo, Daniel Green ’11, Anne Grulich, and Barbara Geehan

Let me dispel the myth that Maryland is a blue state. It is not as blue as commentators think. A lot of those Democrats will vote for the right Republican. Or let me put it another way, they will vote against the wrong Democrat. Although it is 2-1 Democrats, there are a lot of Democratic votes that are up for grabs.
− Political expert Theodore F. Sheckels offered his take on the political makeup of Maryland in his October 21 lecture on the O’Malley/Ehrlich rematch.

 

sunriseGo out on a place where you’ve got a nice flat long space when the sun is rising early in the morning. You will see a halo of light around your shadow. …You can only see the halo around your own head; other people sitting around you cannot see the halo above your head, but they will see one above their heads.
− Charles Adler, associate professor of physics and the Steven Muller Distinguished Professor of Science, Sept. 8, “The Atmosphere Exposed: Optics of the Rainbow and Other Natural Phenomena.”

 

 

 

Michael ChurchI had no ambition to get a serious job, so my buddies and I conceived this idea to ride our bikes as far as we could, through central Asia. … We live in a jet set world, we’re used to hopping on a plane and going wherever we want − that was an inspiration to us to look into other modes of travel. … When I told my mother I was going to ride my bike across Syria, she cried. … A man convinced us that instead of getting back on the highway, we should take a shortcut through the desert. So he put our luggage in his jeep and rode with us. We could tell that he was getting frustrated with our slow pace. At some point, he ciemptied our stuff out of his jeep; I was the first to catch up with him. He pointed off into the distance and said, “turn right at the mountain; not the little one, but the big one.” We vowed to never do that again. And two days later in Egypt we did the exact same thing.… We encountered incredible poverty in many places we traveled. It was a constant struggle to rationalize and justify our travels in the face of seeing all these people.
− Alumnus Michael Church ‘04 talks about his experience biking across Europe and Asia, Sept. 21. Church also helped to establish an elementary school in rural Nepal.

Gitmo– Ironically, Dr. Batarfi was actually relieved when the Afghan soldiers turned him over to American authorities for a bounty.
– They were in tiny, small cramped cells, large enough for a fold-down cot and a bathroom unit that consisted of a sink and a urinal and little else. … Since the Obama administration has taken over, conditions have improved quite a bit. There has been some greater recognition that there are basic minimums that the Geneva Convention requires for holding prisoners. And those basic minimums are now being adhered to. But it’s not a pleasant place. And the meals were not deluxe.
– I think it is conceivably true that people who have been held for eight, nine years might have some hostility towards the people who have been holding them, particularly if they were being held without cause. I think it’s an intractable problem. I do not believe in the notion of indefinite detention. I do understand the reasons why there is a reluctance to release people who might turn out to be the next terrorist attacker.
– The Department of Defense is not my favorite agency, let’s put it that way. … I received a week ago, a response to a freedom of information act request that I filed with the Department of Defense more than five years ago. The Defense Department, like every other agency of government is required to answer those in 60 days. Now I got the answer five years late. I got a little CD filled with documents about my client and they wanted to bill me $262 for the efforts they had taken to get the documents.
− Attorney William J. Murphy, who secured the release last year of a Yemeni surgeon held at Guantanamo Bay for seven years for being an enemy combatant, Sept. 16, “Habeas Corpus at Guantanamo Bay: The Case of Dr. Ayman Batarfi."

cilantroIt’s fascinating how tied the senses are. You know how you can’t taste when you have a cold? Well, how about cilantro, some love it, some hate it. And the reason is genetic, and not because of your tongue but because of your nose. Cilantro oils were put into a gas chromatography machine to separate the smells. Those who hate cilantro smelled an oil at minute eight. Those who loved cilantro never smelled it.
− Chrissy Moore ’96, curator at the U.S. National Arboretum, on growing and teaching about culinary herbs in the National Herb Garden, September 29.

 

“Since food is ephemeral, how do we represent foods in museums and archives? Bodies are the true museums of food. An heirloom seed is a
museum in itself.”
Jennifer Cognard Black, associate professor of English, “Mutton Mouths and Butter Bodies: Recipes as Culture and Memory,” September 28

“There was no script known to exist for this film, so we used the novel as a frame of reference (when writing the dialogue that carries through the
film) and then tried to ‘Twain them up’ to make sure they sounded right.”
− Anthony L’Abbate, preservationist for the Eastman House in Rochester, New York, on restoring the only surviving copy of William Desmond Taylor’s 1920 silent film, “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” shown on campus October 4.

Jan GrossBy reconstructing how these murders were conducted, there are a number of literary narratives exhibiting common characteristics; we can make a leap toward a general understanding of the phenomenon. … This is why, even in the absence of firm knowledge of the distribution and frequency of peasant murders of Jews, we can still tell that they were an accepted social practice, from close analysis of a discrete number of episodes.
− Jan Gross, Princeton University, explains how eyewitness testimony can be used as a legitimate source, in his October 26 lecture, where he states that Polish Jews were killed by their own neighbors.