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Lee Capristo
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Email: lwcapristo@smcm.edu
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Said on Campus: Quotes from Talks on Campus

If it's dead, I study it....Bones give you very personal information about their life, not just their death , but their life....[School children] learn about John Smith. But I can show them people who served under John Smith, people who knew John Smith.

- Doug Owsley, division head of physical anthropology at the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History, speaking March 21 about the Smithsonian exhibit "Written in Bone" that focuses on what Owsley calls "the two premiere archaeological sites in North America - Jamestown and St. Mary's City."

venusTextiles are older than pottery, stone building, older than everything except maybe flint knapping.

- Elizabeth Wayland Barber, Occidental professor emerita of archaeology, March 25 to talk about "Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years," part of the Women's Studies Colloquium. Barber went onto theorize that the missing arms of the marble statue of Venus de Milo are positioned to indicate she could only be spinning!

One of the things I learned from seeing the 3,000 secrets from strangers is that we all have secrets that can break a heart.

- Frank Warren, creator of the PostSecret web site and 2009 Commencement Speaker, on campus Feb. 20 to meet with the seniors at a President's reception, as told to The Point News.

Being funny? It's like having brown hair. You never think you're going to make money off it.

- Humorist and author Firoozeh Dumas, lecturer for the Mark Twain Lecture Series on American Humor and Culture Feb. 13.

smealI have spent my whole life fighting the obvious....We have had a lot of victories, and a major one is in education. Whereas 3% of women were in law schools, 8% in medical schools, and 1% in dentist [schools], and we were 20% of college students, today we are the majority; roughly half of those in law and medical schools are women. We have sued, we picketed; nothing just happens....People ask me how I can keep going on, don't I get tired? I get tired! I get sick and tired. We should be making so many more advances. I go on because it is so interesting and so needed.

- Feminist Eleanor Smeal, who has been on the front lines of the fight for women's equality for more than two decades. She was given the College's Margaret Brent award March 7 for "distinguished public service" among women.

Almost since putting pen to paper for the first time on his massive four opera cycle, "The Ring of the Nibelung," in the late 1840s, Richard Wagner came to realize that he would require a special performance venue for a work that placed unprecedented demands on both performers and audiences alike....Perhaps the most remarkable feature of the opera house, however (and certainly the one for which it is best known) is the placement of the orchestra. Rather than occupying a large amount of space between the audience and the stage, most of the orchestra is in fact underneath the stage, placed on descending terraces below the conductor. This serves to muffle the sound of the huge orchestra, so that it does not so readily overpower the singer, a constant danger in Wagnerian opera.... After several years of rehearsal, the Ring was finally performed for the first time in Bayreuth in August 1876, by which time it had garnered considerable attention in international circles, and not just musical ones.

- Sterling Lambert, assistant professor of music, describing Wagner's groundbreaking efforts March 9 at a college Faculty Seminar.

treeThe forest canopy only began to be studied the last two to three decades when we figured out how to get up there. If I were to bring you up there, you would experience a very different place, like an open field with more sunlight and wind....I cut a section of the epiphyte mat (the thick fertile growth on tree bark), thinking it would grow back quickly because it is so lush. I came back the first year, nothing, the second year, the third. It was not until years later that a green scuz began on the bottom. It took 20 years to spread across the top....This is what florists harvest to tuck in their pots.

- Nalini M. Nadkarni, biologist at Evergreen State College, who studies cloud forests in Costa Rica and the temperate rainforests in Washington State, speaking March 25 as part of the Natural Science and Mathematics Colloquium.

The Chesapeake Bay is worthy of your efforts. It's been called the crown jewel of the world's estuaries.

- William Baker, president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Feb. 12 as told to The Point News

singerSomething big is going on today in the overall history of war, and even humanity. The U.S. military went into Iraq with just a handful of robotic drones in the air and zero unmanned systems on the ground, none of them armed. Today, there are over 5,300 drones in the U.S. inventory and another 12,000 in the ground. These are just the first generation, the Model T Fords and Wright Flyers, compared to what is already in the prototype phase....When historians look back on this period, they may conclude that we are today at the start of the greatest revolution that warfare has seen since the introduction of atomic bombs . . . . Is our generation going to make the same mistake a past one did with atomic weapons, and only take these issues seriously after Pandora's box is open? ....When you open a Valentine's card and it sings a song, that has more computer technology than the entire Pentagon had in the 1960s. A robot's revolution is at hand, a revolution in warfare will rewrite the rules of the game...

- Author and senior fellow at Brookings Institution P.W. Singer speaking Feb. 25 on "Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century."