Saturday, June 26, 2010

Family Matters - Turn Right, My Love -

This absolutely cracked me up.  We have two GPS systems – one in our minivan and one in our Buick.  The minivan voice is a bit relaxed.  Actually, more than a bit relaxed.  It sounds like she is about to say “Go down the road a bit.  I am going to take a nap.  Wake me up when you see the Dunkin’ Donuts.”  Our Buick is the opposite – she is demanding and a bit of a task master.  And, she is frequently wrong.  So, we end up arguing.  It’s like what I imagine a bad marriage might be.

So, if this sounds familiar, please check out Bruce Feiler’s New York Times piece.  (Bruce has been busy lately.)

Family Matters - Turn Right, My Love -

A Man of the Public – Dan Singer

Check out this profile of Dan Singer, which discusses his role as a member of the board of the Public Theater in New York.  Great stuff.  Who knew that Dan has been ranked as one of the best crossword puzzle solvers for the past 8 years.  Well done, Dan.  

A Man of the Public -

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer Institute of the Arts

I heard about a new project being sponsored by the Yale Black Alumni Association and the Association of Yale Alumni to be part of an enriching service opportunity this summer and I thought I needed to pass it on.  We have so many creative people in our class, there might well be interest in checking out what looks to be a fabulous program.

Register today to join fellow alumni and friends in providing arts programming to middle school students in the Bronx, NY, many of which have never had the benefit of music classes in their schools.

They need volunteers to:

Mentor -- Provide guidance and support throughout the day to students who may need extra help with the curriculum or who just need a positive influence.

Provide and/or Assist with Creative Workshops -- Are you an instrumentalist, singer, dancer, actor or all of the above? Do you have a creative workshop topic that might be a fit for 6th grade students? Please let us know as we are developing afternoon workshops led by Yale alumni to enrich the morning curriculum.

Field Trips/Chaperone -- Do you have ties to an arts organization, theater or museum that would welcome middle school students?

And if you just want to give back to your community, whether you are a concert violinist or don't know a whole note from a half note or the color blue from cerulean -- we need you! This is an opportunity to volunteer in the summer and maintain your mentoring connection with students throughout the year.

Click below to learn more.  It looks like a fantastic project that is well worth our support.

Home | Summer Institute of the Arts

Jane Mendelsohn Has a New Book

Classmate Jane Mendelsohn, author and New Yorker, has a new book – American Music – which was just recently released. The Washington Post wrote a very favorable review, describing Jane as a “captivating storyteller.” You can click the link below to learn more about Jane and her book.

If you're near NYC, you can hear Jane discuss her new book on July 7 near Bryant Park. Click here for details.

Jane Mendelsohn Home Page

Wall Street Can't Beat Its Nemesis at Treasury - BusinessWeek

And, it appears, that Wall Street’s nemesis is Yale Class of 1987 member, Michael Barr.  This is a really interesting read about a classmate who has been at the center of reshaping the future of the American financial system.  

Wall Street Can't Beat Its Nemesis at Treasury - BusinessWeek

This column will change your life: From alief to belief

Classmate Tamar Gendler is a Yale professor, as many of you know. She has also been busy writing a new book, which is entitled “Intuition, Imagination, and Philosophical Methodology” and which comes out this fall, and was recently featured in the Guardian, in an article you can read by clicking on the link below. (Tamar has also discussed the morality of video games.

Tamar is also involved in a philosophical project called Experiment Month, which encourages philosophers to develop and submits original ideas for new experimental studies.

Tamar, beginning in July, will also have the honor of being the first Yale alumna to be the chair of a Yale Department, when she takes the job of chairing the Yale Philosophy Department. Congratulations, Tamar!

This column will change your life: From alief to belief Life and style The Guardian

Congrats to two award-winning Discover Mag bloggers . . . one from the Yale Class of 1987! | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine

Classmate Carl Zimmer was recently recognized as one of the top science bloggers around.  Well done Carl!

Congrats to two award-winning Discover Mag bloggers! | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Robin Pogrebin's Podcast with Nancy Pelosi

Podcasts : New York Times

Classmate Robin Pogrebin sat down recently and spoke to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. If you click on the link above, you can listen to their New York Times podcast.

If I die, who will teach my daughters? -

CNN featured classmate Bruce Feiler in a piece concerning his most recent book, Council of Dads. As Father’s Day is tomorrow, I thought I would post this so that the parents in our class can reflect on Bruce’s story.

If I die, who will teach my daughters? -

Bruce is also featured on the Huffington Post, in a nice piece that includes a video of Bruce. Click here to see the HuffPo piece.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Father’s Day Weird Science

Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads in our class.  Classmate Dante Centouri was on TV this morning with some Extreme Science in celebration of Father’s Day.  Pretty amusing.  I particularly like the tie-dyed lab coat with matching glasses. | Cleveland, OH | Video

Obscure But Powerful Agency Gets New Leader . . . from the Yale Class of 1987

Classmate Suzanne Beddoe has now joined the ranks of the obscure but powerful.  She was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg to an important post as chief administrative law judge of a New York City tribunal that holds hearings on cases brought by city agencies.  Judge Beddoe is the fourth classmate I know of who has been named to the bench.  Congratulations Suzanne!

Obscure But Powerful Agency Gets New Leader - City Room Blog -

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Are You Ready to Publish Your Novel? - Paper Cuts Blog -

This year seems to be a most prolific one for our class.  Novel after novel from Y87 classmates are filling the shelves.  So, I thought those of you still working on your novels might find this interesting, particularly given the shout out the article gives to our very own Claire Messud.

Are You Ready to Publish Your Novel? - Paper Cuts Blog -

Op-Ed Contributor - The ‘Learning Knights’ of Bell Telephone -

This particular article really has nothing to do with our class at all.  But, I thought it was an interesting story, so I thought I would pass it on.  

Op-Ed Contributor - The ‘Learning Knights’ of Bell Telephone -

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I turned 45 last month. I have not dwelled too much on my last 20 or so birthdays. For some reason, though, this one got to me a little.

I started my birthday week by going to Detroit, where I grew up. That Monday afternoon, I learned that I will be recognized this fall for my place in the legal profession. I really wanted to call my Mom to tell her about it. She had wanted me to be a lawyer when I graduated from college. I needed to come to it myself, I guess. It took me five years to admit she had been right. I couldn't call my Mom, though, because she passed away a few years ago. She would have been so proud. I missed her.

That night, I had dinner with my Dad and my sister at one of the restaurants we used to go to when we were little. We joked about old times, remembered my Mom and my brother, and shared some laughs as we traded imitations of Ernie Harwell, the long time radio announcer for the Detroit Tigers. We used to listen to the Tigers together all the time; he was a big part of the soundtrack of my youth. After dinner, we visited our old neighborhood in downtown Detroit and then went out for a beer at one of my Dad's old haunts that I had always been too young to enter -- amidst a flood of fond memories of very good times I had long forgotten about.

The next day, my birthday, we attended the lunch I had flown to Detroit for - my father was among a group being honored for 50 years of service as members of the Michigan bar. This group of 40 or so men and women had been admitted to practice law in 1960. Over lunch, they looked back on their careers - and their lives – and discussed how the world had changed and what they had accomplished. Some boasted of awards they had won or honors they had received, but most seemed proudest of injustices (both large and small) they had corrected, or clients they had helped. There were some there, my father included, who had been politically active in Detroit in the 1960s. As the speakers discussed what positive change this group had seen in society, and as I heard about the positive changes many of them had helped bring about, I was humbled. Surprisingly for me, very few of them seemed interested in leaving the practice any time soon. (One judge, forced to retire due to age, had become a criminal defense attorney after decades on the bench.) I was left to wonder whether the instinct to stay involved was why this particular group was still vibrant and engaged 50 years into their careers.

The next morning I awoke to news that Ernie Harwell, the old Tiger announcer we had been talking about earlier in the week, had died. A friend pointed out a YouTube link that had Ernie's farewell broadcast on it. I used to think Ernie was the smartest guy alive. When a foul ball went into the stands, he would explain that it was caught by "a young man from Saginaw" or a "grandmother from Escanaba.". I was always impressed that he knew where everyone in Tiger Stadium lived. When I listened to his farewell broadcast, I was once again impressed with Ernie Harwell - because he approached his life with dedication and humility. As he looked back, he was able to say that he had been "blessed with a great journey."

So, I ended my birthday week reflecting on where life's journey has taken me thus far, and wondering where I would like life's journey to take me next. And, I have reflected on what I would like to be able to say when it is all said and done. If I am lucky enough to celebrate my 50th year as a lawyer, what injustice will I be able to say I have corrected? What positive social change will I have contributed to making possible? And, will my children be able to look back as fondly on their childhoods as I look back on mine?

I guess these are the sorts of things many of us are thinking about as we hit middle age. (There, I said it – we’re middle aged.) What have you been thinking about?

Classmate Kevin Berlin and his Art

I received an e-mail the other day inviting me to an art show.  Now, the last few art shows I’ve attended were wonderful . . . and involved the use of macaroni and bendy straws, among other media.  The truth is, I spend a lot more time doing art projects with our kids than I do at art galleries.  (You should see the amazing tie dye shirts that Lisa and I made with the kids the other day!)  So, I was not quite sure why I was getting this invitation.  Then I read a little bit about the show, and it turns out that the artist is the Class of 1987’s own Kevin Berlin.

Touring his website – – you will see that Kevin is prolific.  He has two shows in July at RVS Fine Art in Southampton, New York.  If you are out that way, or are interested in Kevin’s work, you should check it out.




Welcome to

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A new book from Joanne Lessner

Joanne Lessner writes in with some exciting news . . . she has joined the ranks of published Class of ‘87 authors. Her novel, PANDORA’S BOTTLE, is just out from Flint Mine Press.

The book is about a wine-loving financier who spends half a million dollars on a bottle of wine once owned by Thomas Jefferson that, through a quirk of preservation, might still be drinkable – and the waiter serving him drops it! We see how that event affects the financier, the woman he’s trying to impress, the owner of the restaurant, and the waiter, who is also a struggling actor. Joanne's story was inspired by an actual event that took place twenty years ago at the Four Seasons, only the way Joanne heard it, all the assembled wine aficionados dove to the floor and started licking the wine up off the carpet! That, apparently, was hearsay, but Joanne thought it was a hilarious image and it was what really hooked her on the idea.

It’s a small initial run, and right now, the book is availble online at, and Barnes & Noble online and through direct BN store order. Should be in the stores soon, and Joanne is doing a bunch of book signings this summer at wineries in the Hudson Valley, where part of the book takes place. She’ll probably do a launch party/signing in Manhattan in the fall . . . so stay tuned!

For more about Joanne and what she's been up to, you can visit her website at

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Missing e-mails from our class

We are missing e-mail addresses for many of our classmates. Here is another partial list. If you have any e-mails for those named here, please pass them along to me at

Here is part of the list:

Mr. Alan C. Lo
Mr. Ned Lochaya
Ms. Asusena Lopez
Ms. Jennifer Lundal Humayun
Ms. Sarah I. Lynch
Mr. Andrew J. MacGinnitie
Mr. Christopher J. Mader
Mr. Attila Mady
Ms. Susan T. Mahler
Ms. Andrea S. Majka
Ms. Katherine M. Malin
Mr. Rolando O. Marcelo
Ms. Lisa G. Margonelli
Mr. Russell C. Martin
Mr. D. Dean Mason, Jr.
Ms. Catherine Andrea Massey
Mr. Stefan N. Mattessich
Mr. Lewis J. Mays
Ms. Joan M. McCabe
Ms. Deborah McCann
Rev. Gerard H. McCarren
Ms. Lisa R. McClain
Mr. David L. McIntosh
Mr. Robert McMillan, Jr.
Mr. Winter K. Mead
Mr. Charles H. Melcher
Ms. Marlane E. Melican
Ms. Gillian E. Metzger
Mr. John M. Miles
Mr. Hugh Millard
Mr. Robert E. Minahan, M.D.
Mr. Oscar M. Molina
Ms. Esther Y. Moon
Ms. Rebecca L. Morgan
Mr. David D. Myerson
Ms. Priscilla A. Narvaez
Josephine T. Nguyen, M.D.
Mr. James P. Norum
Mr. Christopher G. Nugent
Ms. Alice M. O'Brien
Dr. William K. Oh
Dr. Maureen A. O'Leary
Mr. John J. Olshefski III
Mr. Paul T. Ormseth
Mr. Howe Ortiz
Mrs. Tracy Burke Ostrov
Mr. Wayne P. Pacelle
Ms. Suzanne Aimee Paret
Mr. Yuh-Chung Park
Anthony G. Patt, Esq.
Ms. Sara L. Paulson
Ms. Margo Pave
Ms. Alisa Rubin Peled
Mr. David A. Penney
Ms. Thea M. Petchler
Mr. N. Anthony J. Pillai
Ms. Andrea J. Pincus
Mr. Jack W. Pirozzolo
Mr. John F. Pleasants
Ms. Robin J. Pogrebin
Mr. John G. Pogue
Ms. Carmen Cavazos Pratt
Ms. Rachel E. Pray
Ms. Michelle D. Quash
Ms. Rosalinda Ramirez
Ms. Vernadette Ramirez
Ms. Katherine E. Ramsey
Mr. Philippe J. Rapaccioli
Ms. Jacqueline B. Raphael
Mr. Joseph D. Reed
Mr. Edward C. Reifenstein, IV
Ms. Mary Schulze Reisinger
Mr. Nathaniel Resnikoff
Mr. Edoardo D. Reviglio
Mr. Thomas P. Rielly
Ms. Rita Rique Pearson
Lourdes A. Rivera, Esq.
Ms. Leslie R. Roberts
Ms. Jenny M. Roberts
Mr. Ralph Rodriguez, Jr.
Mr. Marc E. Romano
Ms. Cynara L. Root
Mr. Alain Roy
Mr. Errol C. Rubenstein
Mr. Martin H. Rubio
Kathryn M. Ryder, M.D.
Ms. Rosa M. Sabater
Mr. Ira N. Sachs
Thomas A. Saenz
Charles H. Salem, M.D.
Mr. Bachar M. Samawi
Mr. Cameron H. Sanders III
Ms. Kelly Ashton Sant Albano
Ms. Suzanne Scheld
Mr. William E. Scheuerman
Ms. Kristen B. Schleifer
Mr. Daniel O. Schmitt
Rabbi Julie Schonfeld
Ms. Gabrielle A. Schuerman
Ms. Catherine Schulman Allyn
Mr. Devin R. Scruton
Dr. Mark A. Severtson
Mr. Douglas S. Shabaz
Ms. Varda Shapiro
Mr. Scott A. Sherer
Mr. Arloc Sherman
Mr. Robert F. Sherry
Mr. Ryan B. Shiotani
Ms. Laura Sices
Ms. Nancy Silk
Ms. Joan M. Silverstein
Mr. Douglas A. Simmons
Mr. Clarence C. Simpson III
Mr. Matthew A. Singer
Mr. Matthew E. Sloan
Mr. David A. Somers
Ms. Catherine M. Spain
Ms. Julie R. Spooner
Ms. Victoria Allen Stainsby
Ms. Dahlia S. Stein
Ms. Katharina Wolff Stern
Ms. Stacey A. Suecoff

# 231 in the list of things you can do with a Yale Physics degree

You cannot make this up. And, you won't be surprised by it . . . at all.

It turns out that Dante Centouri no longer has blue hair, but he is still into science. He is now Director of Creative Productions at the Great Lakes Science Center and is a frequent guest on tv shows in Ohio. He is one heck of an entertaining scientist, I have to say.

Here are some clips you should definitely watch. They made me laugh. Click here to watch Dante smash frozen roses, or here to see him crush an oil drum.

As one of the reporters said: "It wouldn't be Dante, if we didn't blow something up."

These are really heart warming videos, because they remind each and every one of us of a fundamental truth: we live in a country where a blue-haired, nose-flute playing comedian can apply his love of science for the greater good.

Please Join Us At Our NYC Class Lunches

We have a Class Lunch the second Thursday of every month at the Yale Club of New York. It is a wonderful event -- with great food and terrific conversation -- all for only $25. (You do NOT have to be a member to join us for lunch.) So, if you're in New York, please plan on dropping by. Our next lunch is next Thursday, June 10 from 12:30 to 2. (Because it is a buffet, you can drop in late or leave early.)

For more information, please e-mail me at happado@hotmail.

Hope to see you there!