Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Check out Carl Zimmer's latest interview on NPR.  You can listen to it by clicking here.  

Or you can read it below:

The Promise In Unraveling The Mysteries Of Rare Diseases

Read Carl Zimmer's Atlantic piece "The Girl Who Turned to Bone."
As a child, Jeannie Peeper was diagnosed with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, an extremely rare disease that causes a second skeleton to grow inside the body. Peeper and science writer Carl Zimmer discuss the efforts of a small group to fund research to battle the disease.
Copyright © 2013 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. When Jeannie Peeper was born, she had 10 fingers, 10 toes, everything her parents expected, except her big toes were short and crooked. Later a bump appeared on the back of her head, then disappeared. Baby Jeannie couldn't open her mouth as wide as her siblings, either.
When her parents took her to a doctor, she was diagnosed with a rare bone condition. A second skeleton would grow inside her body and eventually lock her into stillness. Doctors didn't think she'd live to be a teenager and couldn't do much besides suggesting Tylenol.
In a piece in The Atlantic, Carl Zimmer writes: Rare diseases frequently go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years. Once people do find out they suffer from a rare disease, many discover medicine can't help them. Not only is there no drug to prescribe, but in many cases scientists have little idea of the underlying cause of the disease.
In Jeannie Peeper's case, that's changed. If you suffer from a rare disease, tell us what's going on with the research into it today. Our phone number, 800-989-8255. Email us, talk@npr.org. You can also join the conversation on our website. That's at npr.org. Click on TALK OF THE NATION.
Later in the program, recovering child actor Mara Wilson on the perils of fame, wealth and adulation. But we begin with Carl Zimmer, a science writer for the New York Times and a contributing editor at Discover magazine. His piece, "The Girl Who Turned to Bone," is in The Atlantic magazine this month. He joins us from a studio at Yale University. And nice to have you back on TALK OF THE NATION.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

News from Jackie Horne

Here is nice note I received from Jackie Horne:

Hi, Tim:

Hope all is well with you and yours. We were sad to miss reunion last year -- we were planning on coming, but my mother died the Friday before Memorial Day, and we ended up grieving with family instead of celebrating with old classmates...

Hard to believe our daughter Maddie is just finishing up her first year of high school at the Commonwealth School in Boston. The school is only a few blocks away from where the Marathon bombings took place, but luckily no one from her school was hurt.

Keith is still working as a Senior Engineer in the Advanced Technology Group at NetApp, and I'm working as an independent scholar and writer. Since last August, I've been writing a blog called ROMANCE NOVELS FOR FEMINISTS (romancenovelsforfeminists.blogspot.com), which analyzes the intersections between feminism and popular romance writing. Starting next month, I'll be co-chairing the Publications Advisory Board for the Children's Literature Association (childlitassn.org), which oversees the publishing program for the association, in conjunction with the UP of Mississippi. Any scholars out there studying books, films, computer and video games, or any other media for children, and who looking to publish their book-length work -- let me know.

Jackie C. Horne, ES 87

The Case of the Disappearing Penis

Check out Carl Zimmer's latest:

Bird Sex and Why It Matters: My New Column For the New York Times

No penis required. Google "cloacal kiss." Photo by PWIO via Creative Commons
No penis required. Google “cloacal kiss.” Photo by PWIO via Creative Commons [Photo linked to original]
Sex is intriguing in all its forms, and bird sex is particularly intriguing. Some male birds have giant corkscrew-shaped penises, but most have none, thanks to its evolutionary disappearance millions of years ago. For “Matter,” my weekly New York Times column, I take a look at the case of the disappearing penis, and why it’s important to study, despite what some cable news pundits may say. Check it out!

Jon Spurney is Musical Director for Upcoming Benefit

Check out the benefit concert that Jon Spurney is directing soon:

Heidi Blickenstaff, Caissie Levy, Gabriel Ebert and Amanda Green Join Lineup for Dory Previn Concert at Vineyard Theatre
By Carey Purcell
07 Jun 2013 

The Vineyard Theatre will celebrate the songs of Dory Previn in a one-night benefit concert June 17 at 7 PM.
Gabriel Ebert (Matilda The Musical), Malcolm Gets (Amour), Amanda Green (lyricist, Hands On A Hardbody, Bring It On), Veanne Cox (Company), Heidi Blickenstaff ([title of show], Now. Hear. This.), Michael Esper (The Lyons, American Idiot), Sarah Stiles (On a Clear Day You Can See Forever,Avenue Q), Caissie Levy (Murder Ballad, Ghost The Musical, Hair) and Phillipa Soo (Natasha, Pierre And The Great Comet Of 1812) will perform at the concert, which is part of the Vineyard's 30th anniversary celebratory season.

The evening will also feature the previously reported Michael Cerveris (AssassinsSweeney ToddEvita), Montego Glover (Memphis), Julia Greenberg (People Are Wrong!), Judy Kuhn(PassionEli's Comin'), Nellie McKay (Old Hats),Jessie Mueller (Nice Work If You Can Get ItThe Mystery of Edwin Drood, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever) and Stew (Passing Strange). Jon Spurney is the evening's musical director.

Dory Previn was an American lyricist, singer-songwriter who released six pop/folk albums of original songs and was the lyricist of several Oscar-nominated songs. She also wrote several works for the stage, including a musical adaptation of her album "Mary C. Brown and the Hollywood Sign" and several autobiographical works of nonfiction. She passed away in 2012 at the age of 86.

Tickets to the concert can be purchased by calling (212) 353-0303 or by visiting vineyardtheatre.org.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Read Lynn Oberlander's latest post on the New Yorker Blog

Here's the latest from classmate Lynn Oberlander from the New Yorker Blog:

JUNE 7, 2013


The Verizon Business customers who learned, this week, that the company had given records of every call they made within and from the United States to the National Security Agency might also have been surprised to find out that, under current law, the government did not need a warrant (or probable cause) to access that information. The records are not considered private, and all the government needed was an order from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court. That might sound like a safeguard against government overreach, but the court approved all but one of the five thousand one hundred and eighty applications submitted for surveillance and physical searches between 2010 and 2012. It is hardly what you would call a watchdog.
How could phone records—“telephony metadata,” as the order called them—not be considered private? As Jane Mayer has written, metadata can contain numerous revelations, not just about who we’re talking to and for how long but about where we are. The answer has to do with a case that dates back more than thirty years, and which the Supreme Court may be ready to reëxamine. Based on a reading of recent opinions, one of the key figures in such a reëxamination is likely to be Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

New York Times Profile of Classmate Jay Carney

Did you see the recent NYT piece about Jay Carney?  If not, click here.  Here's a sample of what you will read:

Reporter Turned White House Spokesman Enjoys the Hot Seat

Doug Mills/The New York Times
“For me personally, it has been a good week,” said Jay Carney, President Obama’s press secretary.
WASHINGTON — For the better part of a decade, Jay Carney sat slumped in his tiny chair in the White House briefing room, parsing, challenging and at times pillorying the words of an array of press secretaries.
Drew Angerer for The New York Times
Jay Carney poked fun at himself on Wednesday by showing a group of photos of himself from the previous day's briefing.

But over the last week Mr. Carney — the first reporter in a generation to move to the other side of the White House podium — has made his most emphatic and inextricable leap from reporter to reported on.
Cornered by a number of controversies — one of which swept in his own words — Mr. Carney has chalked up the criticism over the handling of the attack on an American mission in Benghazi, Libya, to partisan beefing, cast a tiny shadow of doubt on the I.R.S.’s targeting of conservatives, and defended the administration over its seizure of reporters’ phone records.
In so doing, Mr. Carney, 47, has fully embraced the sort of semantic jujitsu that might have made his reporter self choleric, “appreciating” tough questions, dodging others as “wholly inappropriate” to answer, boasting about an “unfettered” respect for the press that was being spied upon, and generally splitting hairs, obfuscating and testing his turbulent ties with the members of his former tribe.
If the incoming mortar fire is leaving wounds, Mr. Carney, the bespectacled, baby-faced press warrior, does not feel them. “Honestly, I find it enjoyable,” Mr. Carney said. “I find it challenging. It’s hard, but it’s better than 45 to 60 minutes of calling on reporters who are kind of sleepy and disinterested. For me personally, it has been a good week.”

Yale Class of 87 Leads the Way in Social Media

From news.yale.edu:

Yale College reunions break records on campus – and in social media

Yale’s tradition of engagement by alumni/ae reached new heights with Yale College graduates returning for their class reunions in record numbers over the weekends of May 23-26 and May 30-June 2.
This year’s reunions of Yale College classes graduating in years ending in “3” and “8” — from 1948 and 1953 down to 2003 and 2008 — saw the highest total attendance overall of any reunion cycle ever. Among the leaders were graduates of the Yale College Class of 1988, which set a record number of classmates, percentage of classmates, and total number of attendees for a 25th reunion class
Mark Dollhopf ’77, executive director of the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA), captured the spirit of alumni volunteers, attendees, and staff in an e-mail — titled, simply, “Wow!” — in which he praised the AYA team’s efforts, amidst some rather tough weather, to create what he described as “Fabulous reunions! A great success!”
Similar enthusiasm was evident on social media, too. This year saw the biggest reunion engagement yet by alumni/ae about reunions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
A good part of this social media growth is due to the efforts of volunteers from the Yale College Class of 1987, who have worked to facilitate use of Twitter to connect alumni of all classes during special events and non-event periods, having seen the benefits of even modest use of Twitter during their 25th reunion last year.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Theater Night for the Class of 1987 (and all Yalies)

Yale Alumni of all Classes,

The Class of '87 is hosting a general Yale Alumni event, Friday June 14, in New York: a night during previews of a spellbinding Off Broadway play. There's an optional prix fixe pre-show dinner.  We'll also go out for post-show drinks. 

One of the play's lead producers is a Yale graduate, Jim Landé Y'87, who arranged a Friends & Family ticket discount and will do a short Q&A on the production.


Tennessee Williams' The Two-Character Play at New World Stages Off Broadway 


The Stars
Amanda Plummer and Brad Dourif unite their white-hot talents in the long-overdue Off Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' rarely performed masterpiece, THE TWO-CHARACTER PLAY.  (Tony award-winner Amanda will be seen soon as Wiress in Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and was Honey Bunny in Pulp Fiction. Oscar nominee Brad is Gríma Wormtounge in Lord Of The Rings, Billy Bibbitt in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, and Chucky's voice in the Child's Play series.)

Reality and fantasy are interwoven with terrifying power as two actors on tour—brother and sister—find themselves deserted by their troupe. Faced by an audience expecting a performance, they enact The Two-Character Play. As they dip in and out of performance they find it difficult to differentiate themselves from their roles and reality from illusion. Equal parts Southern Gothic thriller, black comedy and psychological drama, it is a marked innovation from Williams’ earlier works, one he says was "my most beautiful play since Streetcar."

Friday, June 14:
8:00pm, New World Stages, 340 West 50th, NYC 10019

Pre-show Dinner Option:
Meet Yalies at 6:00pm
Churrascaria Plataforma Brazilian Steakhouse, 316 W 49th St, NYC, 10019
Prix Fixe Rodizio style Dinner: $62.95, Gourmet Salad Bar only: $49.95
* Please Rsvp for a restaurant headcount to: james.lande@aya.yale.edu

Friends & Family 25% DISCOUNT TICKET CODE:  CPFF513

Background Reading for studious types: (don't worry, there's no exam!)
  • http://on.fb.me/11yt0BP
  • http://on.fb.me/1333anI
  • http://on.fb.me/12iCLWq

WEBSITE:  www.thetwocharacterplay.com