Sunday, March 31, 2002

Monday Events: "Demystifying the D-Plan" 7 P.M., Tindle Lounge--Fun with the Deans Office Student Consultants.

"World Week in Review" 6 P.M., The Dickey Center--Dinner served.

"Dartmouth Vegetarian Alliance" 7 P.M., the Pavillion.

"Monday Night Vigil" 8:45 P.M., steps of Collis--Join the Greens for the "National Week of Student Action" against the death penalty. "Learn more about this all-important topic." Hopefully this will be a silent protest.

Special: Hunter Safety: April 3 is the last day to sign up for the April 27 hunter safety course. All equipment supplied. Contact "Outdoor Programs."
Monday Event: James Nachtwey '70, War Photographer: James Nachtwey is a war photographer whose work has been featured in Time (see especially Shattered, photos from the aftermath of 9/11 in NYC), Life, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Paris Match, and Salon. His recent photography on view at Dartmouth's Hood Museum is from Rwanda, the Sudan, the Balkans, Chechnya, and Afghanistan. His talk on Monday (4 P.M. at the Cook Auditorium) will concern his career in photojournalism and his experiences in Afghanistan.

Nachtwey will be a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth from April first to fifth; his work is on exhibit at the Hood Museum (hours) to May 12.

Also: Nachtwey interview from NewsHour, a highbrow interview from Camera Arts Magazine, two audio interviews from the Newseum, and Nachtwey's book Inferno out from Phaidon.
Drinking in New Hampshire: The Manchester Union leader reports that the state of New Hampshire is expanding its efforts against drunk driving this year by adding patrols to the roads around extant checkpoints. There are sixteen checkpoints in the state, in the following cities and towns: Allenstown, Berlin, Concord, Dover, Hampton, Hillsboro, Hudson, Keene, Laconia, Londonberry, Manchester, Merrimack, Moultonborough, Nashua, Portsmouth, and Salem. Also, the state Highway safety Agency is offering to purchase breathalyzers for all patrol cars in the state. Last year, the checkpoints yielded 105 drunk driving arrests. NH drivers face a .08 BAC limit, compared to .10 in most states.

The Union Leader also reports on proposed changes to New Hampshire's underage drinking law now under consideration in the state senate. House Bill 1433 would allow police to prove "constructive possession," rather than actual possession, when dealing with underage suspects. Currently, police may only arrest those who are in possession of an alcoholic beverage, leading many to simply toss cans and bottles by the side before being confronted by police--a fruitful and sound device for now. Under the new law, however, such practices would yield no benefit, as "constructive possession" may be proven by a BAC of .02 or higher (although BAC testing is voluntary). Claire Ebel, of the NH Civil Liberties Union, reminds state residents that refusing a breathalyzer test subjects the driver only to loss of his license administratively; passengers refusing such tests face no such penalty.
Dartlog Update: Dartlog.net is now the official online home of Dartmouth's Weekend Update. Watch for new editions on Thursdays and updates on Fridays and Saturdays.
Also, check out our new mailing list, which now actually works. Subscribers receive all DartLog postings in a once daily digest.
Corporate Reparations: Today's Boston Globe reports that a class action reparations lawsuit has been filed against several corporations that may have profited from slavery, including Aetna and FleetBoston. Slavery reparations suits against the federal government are problematic enough (see TDR), but this suit is, if anything, even more questionable. Are the current stockholders of FleetBoston really morally or legally culpable for the actions of a "predecessor bank" in 1808?

Saturday, March 30, 2002

For those who haven't seen it, the Atlantic's interview with Tulloch and Parker's teacher in jail.
Also from the Atlantic, Ron Powers's The Apocalypse of Adolescence, constructing a social context for the Zantop murders.

Friday, March 29, 2002

A few entertaining Dartmouth items on eBay (all prices as of the current moment):
A Dartmouth College "tobacco leather" with a building etched in (Webster Hall, perhaps): $8
A copy of The Dartmouth Phoenix from 1857 before the Daily D began publication, with several fraternities cited: $9.99
Some Dartmouth "fine art" with the Indian mascot, the school penant and some banned songs: $15
Some bronze Dartmouth bookends from yesteryear: $106
And a very lovely Wedgwood china plate depicting the President's House at Dartmouth: $35
Hmmm... anyone up for a little skeet shooting?
Dartmouth Libraries, way back when:
In 1779, the Dartmouth Library was open from 1-2 PM, Monday and Tuesday. Now the hours are a little more extensive.
On the Road Again: Known well around Hanover for his work at Stinson's, ever-presence at the 5 Olde bar, and myriad eccentricities, "Baltimore Jack" Tarlin set off yesterday for another hike of the Appalachian Trail, his seventh in recent years.
For those who don't know, Jack graduated from Hampshire College, received his masters (in history, I think) from Johns Hopkins (thus "Baltimore"), and is at work on a book about the Trail.
"The ratio of men to women on the Trail's about seven to one," Jack told me the other night at 5 Olde, explaining the sexual dynamics of the Trail. I'm not sure how we got onto the topic, but, according to Jack, most people think the Trail's "like Woodstock, but you go to bed somewhere different every night." But, given the ratio, given the type of people who hike, and given the conditions, opportunities for romance (aside for couples who've set out together) are the exception.
And, of course, Jack's been that exception on at least one occassion. During his last hike, he met a recent college graduate from the UK. She was unsure of her next step in life, and he was on his annual trek. Soon they were hiking together.
One morning, the two of them came upon a group of middle school students. Jack's companion underwent what through-hikers call "Twenty Questions" from two polite and curious schoolgirls: what do you eat, how heavy is your pack, how far have you gone, etc. Finally, one asked, "How can you spend so much time with your father?," and gestured at Jack. Her girlfriend ribbed her: "That's not her father; he's her boyfriend."
Jack, some feet away, heard the first girl's response clearly: "Ewwwww, gross!"
(Photo: Baltimore Jack at a Dartmouth fraternity with knife in hand)
Dorm Locking Delayed: Starting next fall, all College dormitories will have an electronic door locking system which will require students to carry "proximity cards" to gain entrance. In today's Daily D Dean Marty Redman says that he is "100 percent sure" the system will be functional by the fall. The project was initially scheduled for completion in the fall of 2001. "People initially had a very aggressive timetable," Redman said.
The debate over door locks had gone on for a number of years. That changed, however, last February when Redman announced his plan to lock the dorms. Students received the decision with much dissatisfaction. Alex Wilson explains why the decision was a mistake.

Thursday, March 28, 2002

Today in 1942: The Stanford Indians beat the Dartmouth Indians 53-38 for the NCAA basketball championship.
Some game and season stats here.
Sex for One: Women's Resource Center favorite Betty Dodson, "noted" sexologist and author of Sex for One, a guide to masturbation (available at the WRC), has been written up this week in Salon. Is it for her forthcoming book, the title of which we won't even print here? Not exactly. The news is that Dodson, 72 and a well-known denunciator of "codependent partner sex" (i.e., sex with another person), has been dating her 25 year old business manager.
No quotes from Dodson or her partner here; common decency prevents it.
Common decency also requires that I warn readers about the picture accompanying Salon's article: no, it's not racy but troubling nonetheless.
In Concert: Denver indie-pop band Dressy Bessy will play at Dartmouth's Collis Center on Friday, with opening act Death Ray Davies hitting the stage at 9 PM (and these Collis events tend to be more punctual than those at other venues). Wrote one Dartmouth professor (from the economics department, no less), "They sound like Apples in Stereo if the Apples listened to the Ronettes instead of all that time spent listening to Pet Sounds." And that similarity isn't so surprising; Apples guitarist John Hill plays with the band and is dating singer/guitarist Tammy Ealom. Expect simple pleasing tunes with a Sixties pop sensibility.
Now, if only we could get Anton Newcombe out here...
Harvard Lite: Why is it that every grand new idea the College comes up with to "ensure that Dartmouth remain an institution at the forefront of � teaching and research in the United States" is taken directly from the Harvard-Yale-Princeton crib sheet? Granting university-wide professorships to "distinguished" scholars is the pinnacle of the huge research university model of higher education. Essentially they'll be hiring big names to teach a few interdisciplinary classes of dubious academic merit in between talk show appearances, all in a desperate quest for institutional prestige. Has the entire notion of Dartmouth offering a unique educational experience based on the teaching of undergraduates been rejected in the new strategic plan?

On the bright side, if you're all very lucky, maybe Cornel West's next rap CD will be produced right there in Hanover.
Ben Stein's Dartmouth Diary: In today's Daily D TV gameshow host and writer Ben Stein makes another appearance at the College. Responding to the March 1 Daily D article, Stein names his preferred brand of shoe�Simple�and describes Novack Cafe as "fine" in this letter. Obviously, he didn't spend much time at Novack.
While Stein's presence apparently shocked the Dartmouth community, students should have been expecting him. Why was he in the area? Stein was staying at the Hanover Inn while visiting his son at the nearby Cardigan Mountain School.
Late last year in his "Ben Stein's Diary" column in the American Spectator, Stein writes about sending his son to boarding school, and, although he does not mention the school by name, he does mention its proximity to Dartmouth. Although Stein will surely not become a fixture in the Upper Valley, this may not be the last that students see of him.

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Earning their pay: Speaking of inane studies, a team of Dartmouth Medical School researchers recently linked movies to teen smoking. Apparently, teens who watch movies with many depictions of smoking are more prone to tobacco use than teens who do not view the movies. Nevermind that many of these movies are rated R and PG-13�restrictions that should keep these kids from watching them in the first place. But that's the subject of another study. Dartmouth, however, has hyped this seminal work despite its obvious flaws. Check out Darren Thomas' analysis.
Why Dartmouth researchers find these anti-tobacco studies so appealing is anyone's guess�perhaps they ran out of ideas concerning tanning beds.
Reparations at Brown: Harvard's Charles Ogletree and author Randall Robinson say that their Reparations Coordinating Committee will sue universities that may have benefitted from slavery. For now, Brown, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and the University of Virginia are targets. Brown University had no comment for this article in the Brown Daily Herald, though it does contend that it never owned slaves or used slave labor.
Matthew Tokson reports here on Ogletree's speech at Dartmouth last term.
In a meeting with Greek leaders yesterday, Deborah Carney announced that Greek Life Committee student monitors must start accompanying Safety and Security officers on house walkthroughs. Under the current GLC policy one Greek student is supposed to accompany the S&S officers when they conduct their walkthroughs of houses holding "tier III" social events. This policy was largely ignored during fall and winter terms of this year. Carney, however, said that she would not register any parties until the student monitor system was back in place.
Researchers from the Dartmouth Medical School have finally discovered what most people already know, namely that children emulate what they see on television and movies. Read all about this ground-breaking study.
In the D: In an inane editorial for the Daily Dartmouth, Matt Soriano argues for a change in the way Oscar winners are chosen, specifically that the voting population be "a sort of three-fifths system where the Motion Picture Academy allows Internet voting to count for about 40 percent of the Oscar race."
To begin with, this is the Acadamy Awards, in which the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honor one another. If one wants public choice, he need only turn to the MTV Movie Awards, the Golden Globe Awards (put on by the dubious Hollywood Foreign Press Association), the Screen Actors Guild Awards (with 96,000 members, the S.A.G is hardly "inside Hollywood"), or, indeed, the People's Choice Awards. Anyone who's ever watched this latter gala will agree that the public-at-large has no place choosing winners outside the box office (recent winners, e.g., include Mel Gibson, Tim Allen, Sandra Bullock, Ricky Martin, Celine Dion, Adam Sandler, and--proof in the pudding--Christina Applegate).
And so far as Internet voting is concerned, one need only read Fark for a week to know that Wil Wheaton or Christopher Walken would sweep.
None of this is to say that the Academy always or often gets it right, but A Beautiful Mind, e.g., has more of a claim to recognition than, say, Shrek or Pearl Harbor (the Peoples Choice "Best Picture" winner and runner-up, respectively).
Why so many weak columns lately? Does the D forbid its writers from expounding on dorm locking, the Women's Resource Center, its own coverage of Zeta Psi, and other campus nuisances? Maybe by throwing topical and humorous Fred Ware out of its pages, the D's editors have made their priorities known clearly enough: "drivel, drone, and deadlines."
Kiewit Public's gone; now its replacement, Berry Public, may soon be a thing of the past as the College transitions to a new printing system, GreenPrint. Under the new system, already installed on public computers around campus, users print documents as usual. After navigating the standard print dialogue, a new window appears in which the user is asked to specify a username and password for his print job. These are entered again at print stations around campus, at which the job is printed instantly.
At least, that's the way it's supposed to work. For now, users of operating systems other than Windows and the MacOS are out of luck. Also, as print stations are scattered around campus (for now, there are only a handful in Berry and one in the McLane dorm), breakdowns may become a problem, especially with no employees nearby to remedy them.
There are convenience issues as well. The ability to print out many or lengthy documents prior to pick-up is diminished. How long will it take, for example, to print twenty or thirty single page jobs? Charging library-bound friends to pick up documents will be, at the least, more difficult than it is now and may well stretch the tenacity of friendships. And imagine the lines during exam periods, as students print out term's worths of class notes, final papers, and research materials. Staggering, most likely. No mention has been made of what will happen to color printing, for now free in Berry.
And all this assumes that students will even use GreenPrint at all. The College's instructions for installing the necessary software is comlicated and tedious--twelve steps on a Macintosh. One step, for example, requires the user to use software from another company that may not even be on his computer.
The College's webpages for GreenPrint claim that the old printing system will be phased out when one-half of printed documents are channeled through the new system, and the College predicts that this will occur around the third week of this term. If students are coerced into using the new system, this timetable will inevitably be met, especially as old-style print windows other than Berry's are shut down.
The goal of the new system--to reduce waste paper from cover pages and unclaimed jobs at public print stations--is laudable and will surely be met, though at a cost to students far outstripping this benefit. More students will be driven to purchase their own printers for convenience's sake, wasting money and resources (electricity and paper) in a duplication of effort. Students would probably be far more likely to recycle wasted pages at public print centers, where appropriate bins are omnipresent, than elsewhere on campus. Overall, cost saving and environmental benefit are not assured, though the College's accounting (only measuring public printer output) will seem to indicate otherwise.
Given a choice, some students will use GreenPrint and others would continue to use the old-style system for its myriad conveniences. So long as it receives significant usage, the College should maintain the old-style print system. Time and convenience are not to be discounted, or, as appears to be the case, discarded, in the face of environmental correctness (not to be confused with real environmental gain). GreenPrint will be a good alternative for some students; it should remain that, an alternative.

Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Hmmm... this from a site about Samson Occum and Long Island History

The Hill Winds of the Hamptons: Dartmouth Almost Founded on Long Island

"Samson Occum felt strongly enough about educating Indians that he traveled to England in the mid-1700s to raise money to establish a college. He and his supporters first thought the college should be built in a farm field in Southold. That site -- called "Corchaug Pond" in the oldest records of the town -- sat just west of what is today the hamlet of Southold, and south of Route 25. It was set aside as an Indian reservation in 1685; later, records show, local officials talked of relocating the Montauketts to the site. In 1767, a minister named Nathaniel Walker, a friend of Occum's, wrote to a supporter about creating an Indian school on the site. The letter reads:

Mr. Occum tells me that there is a large tract of land on Long Island on ye North Side not far west of Southold ... which he thinks may be procured for a small sum which is handy for fish oysters clams, so that much of the youth's living might be obtained therefrom ... Will it not be worth while to look after that land ...? You know the good temper of Long Island folks.

The college envisioned by Occum was not built in Southold for reasons that have never been made clear. It was built in New Hampshire and was named Dartmouth College. Today, students remember Occum by smoking clay pipes at graduation time and ice-skating during the winter on Occum Pond, which is, of course, next to Occum Ridge."
TOTAL DISCONNECT: So Sports Illustrated, in a method TDR pioneered in 1984, recently conducted some novel reporting on the question of �offensive� Indian mascots: They talked to actual Indians. SI and the Peter Harris Research Group surveyed 351 Native Americans and published the results in the magazine�s March 4 issue. The poll, reports SI, discovered �a near total disconnect between Native American activists and the general Native American population on this issue.� In fact, Native Americans overwhelmingly support the use of Indian mascots in high school and college sports (81%) and in professional athletics (83%). Activist Suzan Harjo, no stranger to Dartmouth, dismissed the findings out of hand: �There are happy campers on every plantation,� she insisted. Yet somehow I doubt that slavery was ever that popular among American blacks.
Dartmouth physics professor Marcelo Gleiser "puts his eclectic resume to good use in this exploration of how religious and scientific views of life and death come together in the skies," writes Kirkus Reviews of Gleiser's forthcoming book, THE PROPHET AND THE ASTRONOMER: A Scientific Journey to the End of Time, out in May. Gleiser continues where he left off with his previous book, The Dancing Universe: From Creation Myths to the Big Bang (1997), which attempted "to bridge the gap between the spiritual and the scientific by focusing on how men and women of religion and of the laboratory have explained the origins of the universe to themselves and others," and focuses on stellar phenomena that may have effected the origins of religion.
Expect a forthcoming TDR review.
College admissions are drawing to a close for the year with most letters being sent out this week, reports today's USA Today (link, anyone?), and Dartmouth College sets the standard for follow-through with admitted students. The article describes one prospective student, from L.A., as having been "showered with attention from Dartmouth College ever since she learned she was admitted a few weeks ago." Says the student, "It's a refreshing change in the anonymous world of college admissions... It has definitely increased my interest." The article cites such "ramped up marketing" by colleges as a response to shaky admissions amidst a weak economy and "fears about travel and security."

Monday, March 25, 2002

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