January 2012

On grammatical precision

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To think clearly is to write clearly is to speak clearly. When it comes to the faltering standards of English language usage and practice, the evidence abounds and can seem overwhelming. All who engage as teachers, and at any level, really have their work cut out for them. All writers and speakers everywhere take their places on the front lines of this struggle simultaneously as well, providing examples for better and often worse. The importance of the power to say what you mean, to persuade, to re-enforce (not to mention to use poetry for higher ends) has remained constant.

Renowned paleontologist's lecture headlines Darwin Days

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Franklin faculty and guest speakers continue the important work of bringing science to the public.

World-renowned paleontologist Jack Horner, author of How to Build a Dinosaur, will discuss how he and his colleagues are developing the technology to create a real dinosaur at a lecture that is part of the annual Darwin Days celebration at the University of Georgia. 

Horner, who advised Steven Spielberg on Jurassic Park and is Regents Professor of Paleontology at Montana State University, will speak Feb. 6 at 4 p.m. in room 102 of the Miller Learning Center. His lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be followed by a reception in which copies of How to Build a Dinosaur will be available for signing.

Armitage features Gothic ghosts

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large_Armitage4.jpgUniversity Theatre will present "Armitage", a tale of murder, mystery and love, at the Seney Stovall Chapel Feb. 7-12 at 8 p.m., with an additional performance at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday Feb. 12.

Set in the Midwestern town of Armitage in the 19th century, the play relates the story of the Pendragon family.

Rosenbaum mural at the Russell Library, part 2

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This video is from my second of three planned visits with Art Rosenbaum as he works to complete his mural at the new special collections library.

Babb named Director of IAAS

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medium_babb_valerie.jpgProfessor of English and African American studies Valerie Babb has been named director of the Institute for African American Studies in the Franklin College:

“The IAAS is one of UGA’s premier units for engaging in the contemporary exchange of ideas across disciplines,” said Hugh Ruppersburg, interim dean of the Franklin College. “Dr. Babb’s scholarship in American literature and culture will be a vital contribution to the intellectual history that serves as the basis for the institute.”

The Impact of Drought

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Lee Shearer of the Athens Banner Herald reports on research by Franklin faculty on the recent drought:

 

But measured by its impact on people in the four counties served by the Bear Creek Reservoir, and how much it depleted water in area rivers, it was the worst on record, they say in an article published this month in the Journal of the American Water Resources Association.

“The smoking gun is pointing at population increases,” said one of the paper’s authors, UGA geography professor John Knox.

Shepherd elected president of AMS

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Marshall_Shepherd.jpgCongratulations to professor of geography Marshall Shepherd, who was recently voted president-elect of the American Meteorological Society:

Shepherd, who directs the university’s Atmospheric Sciences Program, will begin a one-year term as president-elect on Jan. 22 at the annual meeting of the society in New Orleans. In 2013, he will assume the presidency of the society, which was founded in 1919 and has a membership of more than 14,000 professionals, students and weather enthusiasts.

The Role of Sports

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large_uga football.jpgAs the NCAA meets in Indianapolis this week to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing collegiate athletics, it's a good time to contemplate the role of sports of in society. Not suprisingly, it's a question that goes back to Plato:

Sports are many things, and one of those things is an imitation of heroic culture. They mimic the martial world; they fabricate the condition of war. (Boxing doesn't fabricate war; it is war, and, to my mind, not a sport. As Joyce Carol Oates says, you play football, baseball, and basketball, but no one "plays" boxing.)

MLK Speech in Cleveland, 1967

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Little-known audio of Martin Luther King, Jr., at Glennville High School in Cleveland on April 26, 1967, a little less than a year before his assassination. 

Franklin Alumni Event in Washington, DC

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Lincoln.jpg

One of the Franklin College's distinguished experts on the Civil War will be featured at an event for DC-area alumni on Feb. 7. The lecture will focus on the Lincoln Marriage:

The Franklin College of Arts and Sciences will host a history lecture in Washington, D.C. on February 7. The lecture, entitled "Inside the White House 1861-1865: The Lincoln Marriage During the Civil War," will be given by UGA associate history professor Dr. Stephen Berry. Berry will investigate the Lincoln marriage in relation to Civil War Era Washington, revealing the private costs the couple paid in their attempt to secure the public good.

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