Scholar's Notebook is published monthly September to May, and features information on speakers and topics for Monthly Meetings (open to the public), highlighting Study Groups, member achievements, and announcements of interest.
OPEN MEETING: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20TH AT 1:30 P.M.
HOW TO UNDERSTAND AND HARNESS THE FORCES OF NATURE
By: Christopher Wills, Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences
and Member of the Center for Molecular Genetics, UCSD
"My talk will be about the balancing forces, which I call green equilibria, that keep natural ecosystems diverse and healthy. It will draw on my own work and my visits to many terrestrial and marine ecosystems around the world. It will also show how similar balancing forces have shaped our own evolution and how we must be able to understand and harness these forces if we are to save our planet – and ourselves! The talk will be illustrated with many photographs that I have taken throughout the world.”
Room 111-A Chancellor's Complex, UCSD (Directions)
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS MONTHS' SPEAKER - SEE OUR SPEAKERS LIST
CELEBRATING OUR 30TH ANNIVERSARY YEAR
FROM THE PRESIDENT
TOPICS OF INTEREST: This is the inaugural month for a new but not entirely unfamiliar section of this website, "Topics of Interest." My earlier "From the President" columns frequently examined issues and ideas in depth. No longer. Such ruminations will henceforth appear under the "Topics of Interest" heading. This month its principal topic is civility and incivility of discourse. This is a "hot" subject these days. We dealt with aspects of it during our September SDIS panel discussion meeting. Many others have considered it too, and I've provided links to videos of a few. Do visit "Topics of Interest" now and regularly in the future.
THE FIRST EVER NORTH COUNTY SENIOR FLASH MOB FOR SDIS MEMBERS AND FRIENDS: What is the world might this mean? If you live in the north county, stay tuned for further word from Pat Fouquet. If you don't live in the north county and can't bear to miss out on an event with so interesting (intriguing?unnerving?oxymoronic?exciting?) a name, contact Pat at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you ask her with suitable deference, I'm told that she will grant you temporary permission to consider yourself a denizen of the north county for the duration of this event. With that build up, it should be fun. I'm told it will likely also include food and good conversation. I may contact Pat and count on her good graces to grant me temporary north county status.
The concept for the event originated at a good-time-was-had-by-all luncheon in Cardiff attended by our most northern member, Wayne Fanebust from South Dakota, his daughter, Pat Fouquet, Gerry Horwitz, Jean Mayer, and me. Wayne says he has just completed a new book, soon to be released. I'll keep you informed.
BARNSTORMER JIM: AND THE GOLDEN AGE OF AVIATION by Al Christman: A copy of this book has been donated to SDIS by Al Christman's daughter. Long a member of SDIS, Al passed away during 2011. The "In Memoriam," for him in the September 2011 Scholar's Notebook states, "It was Al's last wish that the book be published . . ." Fulfilling this wish, it has now been published. In it Al tells the story of his father, one of the barnstormers who introduced aviation to the nation.
CHRISTMAS PARTY IS COMING TO TOWN!!
The Colloquy Cafe
Our topic for September was “Power.” After quickly dispensing with “power in physics” and the other physical definitions of the word "power," we quickly agreed that it can have both a positive and a negative connotation. Of course, we discussed “political power,” and we also explored “personal power” as well as “powerlessness.” Several members made thoughtful comments about the "power of the internet and social networking.”
The Colloquy Cafe meets on the third Wednesday of each month, and again on Wednesday, October 17, 2012, from 1:30 to 3:30 p. m. Our topic will be "Conformity." For information on this Study Group, please contact M.E. Stratthaus at email@example.com.
The Culture Two study group will discuss chapter six ("The Case for Equality / John Rawls") in Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? by Michael Sandel on Friday, October 12 at 1:30 p.m. If you are interested in attending, contact Sam Gusman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Film Group
The Film Group will meet Wednesday, October 3 at 12:30 p.m. to view Of Gods and Men, a historical drama about the ordeal of French Trappist monks in the mountains of Algeria who are taken captive by Islamic fundamentalists. The monks had been aware that they might be in danger, but had assumed that if they were captured, they could reach common ground with the fundamentalists. Guests are welcome. Contact Barbara Heckler at email@example.com.
Our September selection, Brazil’s Central Station, was a nominee for Best Foreign Language Film in 1998, losing to Begnini’s Life is Beautiful. Director Walter Salles uses color to depict the changes that title character Dora goes through. At the beginning of the film, colors are monochromatic to show Dora’s narrow life. As Dora changes, bright colors appear everywhere – in homes, stores, gates, walls, clothes. Fernanda Montenegro is outstanding as Dora, an embittered ex-school teacher who writes (for a fee) letters for illiterate travelers in Rio’s main railway station. But she neglects to mail the letters. Montenegro received a nomination for Best Actress, losing to Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love.
Dora befriends a homeless boy and begins her journey of change. Some scenes show the faith and belief in God of the Brazilian people, rather than depicting any specific religion. Salles (who received acclaim several years later for The Motorcycle Diaries about Che Guevera) shows us the beauties of northern Brazil. His story about broken lives is really about the search for ourselves, for our roots, and about the possibilities of hope.
The Literature Group
Our next meeting will be held October 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Cathy Blecki's home. Marla Jensen will lead a discussion on the poetry of e. e. cummings (sic), a big change from Raymond Chandler's "The Big Sleep", which we reviewed last time. We are twelve in number and routinely all are present. Check with Harry Boyle, firstname.lastname@example.org, near group time, if you wish to come. Our meeting dates vary; we are brownbaggers and as a rule we start fresh with a text. We mostly address novels and poetry is a favorite as well. Perhaps, I might say we're on the lookout for a main question the artist struggles to clarify, and discuss what appears to be his or her success.
Have an interest in presenting projects to our Group? If so, please contact Donna Boyle at email@example.com.