by Joseph Luna
A version of this article previously appeared on the blog The Incubator.
There’s much to see in the newly opened Welch Hall library. For some, it will be a wholly new introduction to such an important campus landmark, fully renovated for twenty-first century science. For others, heading into the new space will be like visiting an old friend, as the hall retains much of its original character. And yet for others, it’s a fitting place to honor a national hero. Since 2004, the portrait of founding RU scientist Hideyo Noguchi has graced the Japanese 1000 yen note, and since then, visiting the place where he worked has been on the itineraries of many Japanese tourists. Having now returned to Welch Hall from the RRB lobby, the bronze bust of Noguchi will no doubt continue to inspire in a more attractive setting. And if you know Noguchi’s story, you might just head over for a photo as well.
Picture yourself at the entrance of a prestigious laboratory in Philadelphia, where you hope to be a postdoc. You just arrived from a small village in Japan and you never went to medical school; you instead learned from textbooks (in self-taught English, French, and German) enough to pass the Japanese M.D. examination with pure hard work. On top of that, you’re without the use of your left hand due to a childhood fire accident. Perhaps you have a letter of introduction in your attaché case, but by all measures you’ve shown up out of the blue, and are hoping—no, praying—for a job. As you stand at the threshold, you become suddenly aware that you’re thousands of miles from home. Do you enter the building? Continue reading
by Carly Gelfond
On a recent evening in April, I sat in a bar in Brooklyn across from an old friend from college. She’d quit her job the week before, citing stress and a lack of career advancement. She’d also had a brief stint in the hospital for an illness she attributed to the stress. “Oh, and my parents are getting divorced,” she said, taking a long sip of her pink.
“Man,” I said, ever the one with words.
It was okay, though, she told me. Leaving the job was an effort to “create space,” as she put it. She wanted to get away from her ordinary routine, to break old habits, to make room for new people and new opportunities. Maybe she would move somewhere else. Take up a new hobby. Try some new activities and stick with the ones that made her most happy. Continue reading
by Daniel Briskin
A few years ago, I found myself sitting with friends before class. We were discussing the upcoming exam schedule and our study plans, when one of us pointed out an approaching three-day weekend. Quickly, we realized that none of us knew the cause of the school holiday; we only knew the ever-important fact that we would get a respite from classes. As none of us knew the holiday, we referenced our calendars and discerned that the event in question was Memorial Day. Answering this one question only led to others: who are we honoring? Soldiers? If so, how is Memorial Day different from Veterans Day—perhaps Veterans Day honors living soldiers and Memorial Day honors dead soldiers? This discussion, from three people born and raised in America, who had collectively celebrated the holiday more than 60 times, showed that our education in and appreciation of our national history was woefully lacking. Therefore, for those who are curious about the origins of Memorial Day (which this year will be observed on Monday, May 27) I have compiled some facts and data about the holiday. Continue reading
by Jerry Melchor
Read these two scenarios and note how you would answer the questions:
1) The Linda experiment: Linda is thirty-one years old, single, outspoken, and very bright. She majored in philosophy. As a student, she was deeply concerned with issues of discrimination and social justice, and also participated in antinuclear demonstrations. Which alternative is more probable? Linda is a bank teller. Linda is a bank teller and is active in the feminist movement.
2) The bat and ball question: A bat and ball cost $1.10. The bat costs one dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?
Both of these experiments highlight most people’s inability to reign in their intuition. In Thinking, Fast and Slow, an amazingly readable book from one of the founding fathers of Behavioral Psychology, Daniel Kahneman tries to explain the roots of the imbalance between System 1 (intuition) and System 2 (logic). Continue reading
This month Natural Selections interviews Amanda Martinez, Associate Director of the Women & Science initiative in the Development Office. Country of origin: USA.
1. How long have you been living in New York?
I have lived in New York for nine years.
2. Where do you live?
I live in Astoria, Queens.
3. Which is your favorite neighborhood?
My favorite neighborhood is Jackson Heights. It is the intersection of many different cultures. Astoria is a very diverse area as well, but in Jackson Heights this diversity is more pronounced. It’s great to walk around and hear the different languages, smell the different foods, and feel immersed in an international experience only a short subway ride away. Continue reading
by Jim Keller
In this installment, For Your Consideration kicks off the 2013 Oscar season with a look at the films to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. This year’s festival, overseen by Jury President Steven Spielberg, will open on May 15with Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, which will screen out of competition.As I’ve stated in the past, the festival serves as the first of a series of jolts to the Academy Awards race and unless you’re an industry insider or a celebrity, you won’t be getting in. So for those of us not in attendance, here’s a look at some of the festival’s films from the Official Selection. My list is comprised of highlights and films with considerable pedigree behind them, to wind up in the throes of Oscar come March: Continue reading
by Bernie Langs
When reading certain philosophers that are difficult to understand, those of us who were never formerly trained as students of the genre often ask, “Why am I putting myself through this?” But in the case of reading Confucius, I know why I put myself through the hard task of reading his works. Just as one exercises the body for the good of the overall person, exercising the mind has terrific benefits to the soul. Confucianism reminds oneself of the need to simplify one’s personal code of ethics and it guides one to live easily within a set of attainable moral principles. Confucius offers simple, yet subtly intriguing notes on behavior towards one’s elders, on living as a moral person, and on how to deal with and recognize governmental quandaries. His most famous saying is a kind of back way into the now famous Golden Rule: “Tze-kung asked, saying, ‘Is there one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life?’ The Master said, ‘Is not reciprocity such a word? What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.’” Confucius spoke often of the pursuit of learning throughout one’s life as a way of attaining virtue and wisdom. Continue reading
Tiptoe Through the Tulips by Jim Keller
Times Square by Elodie Pauwels – http://elodiepphoto.wordpress.com