Greetings from around the world!

first_imgGreetings from around the world! While most Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students are braving the chilly winter weather in South Bend, hundreds of our peers are studying across the globe. Through this “Observer Passport” blog, members of The Observer’s staff will be able to share their experiences exploring new cultures, food and languages.Studying abroad is an opportunity for students to step out of their comfort zones and learn about life outside the United States. We hope you will use this blog to travel with us and get a better idea of what Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students are experiencing around the world.Below are the staffers who will share their international experiences over the course of this Spring 2014 semester:Maddie Daly is a junior from McGlinn Hall majoring in English and French with a minor in business economics. She is studying abroad in Angers, France, where all her classes are taught in French. She looks forward to improving her French language skills and becoming more fluent. You can follow her adventures at Hartnett is a junior from Carroll Hall majoring in marketing with a minor in journalism, ethics and democracy. He is currently studying in London, England, and is looking forward to exploring many European countries. He hopes to meet a member of the royal family, figure out why football (soccer) is more popular than American football and become a regular at a London pub. You can follow his study-abroad adventures at http://london2014blogdotcom.wordpress.comColby Hoyer is a junior from Pangborn Hall majoring in anthropology and film, television and theatre. She is excited for this new opportunity to study in London, England, for the semester. With Europe at her doorstep, she can easily be in a different country every weekend. She is excited to travel freely, even if it may break her bank account. If you would like to follow all the trials and triumphs of her life abroad, check out her blog at http://colbyhoyer.tumblr.comKiera Johnsen is a sophomore from Regina Hall majoring in political science and communications. This semester, she is studying in Maynooth, Ireland, and is excited to live outside of her comfort zone and grow as an individual through different experiences and adventures with people outside the United States. To follow her adventures, visit http://irishstudyabroadadventures.blogspot.ieMeredith Kelly is a junior from Walsh Hall majoring in political science. This semester, she is studying in Perth, Australia, at the University of Western Australia (UWA). When abroad, she is most excited to — yes, you guessed it — travel. She plans to travel throughout Australia, as well as to neighboring countries, such as Indonesia, New Zealand, Thailand, Singapore and possibly Vietnam. Kelly is also excited to immerse herself in the Australian culture through living at UWA’s dorm with local Australian students and other international students from around the world.Tags: observer passport, study abroadlast_img read more

Publication features student’s chemistry findings

first_imgMany scientists spend their careers dreaming of the day their work gets published. For Saint Mary’s senior Kate McMahon, that dream became a reality.McMahon was published in the “Acta Crystallographica Section E: Crystallographic Communications” in July for studies completed in her Advanced Lab Course, where she worked towards synthesizing a new chemical. Earlier this year, she succeeded. “The compound can be used in a variety of reactions,” she said. “It is one more piece to a bigger puzzle.” McMahon credits her success to the professors who helped her along the way.“The chemistry department as a whole is really good about advocating for us students and giving us the opportunities we need to do well,” she said. “Dr. Dominic Babbini worked with me directly on my research, but I can’t pick one that has helped me the most. They have all helped in different ways.”Two other students — fifth-year student Madison Sendzik and junior Erica Slogar — also had their undergraduate research published this year, and all three women presented their findings in Washington D.C. at the American Chemistry Society (ACS) National Meet and Exposition, which took place from Aug. 20 to 24.Slogar said in an email her Saint Mary’s education empowered her to make the most of this opportunity.“I was nervous about presenting at first, but the atmosphere of poster presentations at the conference is very informal,” Slogar said. “It is more of a time to discuss what you learned to other scientists. I got to learn new ideas from chemists who knew different ways to analyze the data I collected.” Sendzik explained that presenting her research introduced her to the field of professional chemistry. “It was an excellent opportunity for networking and meeting other students and professionals who are interested in the same type of research as I am,” she said. “I’m really grateful that I could attend what will hopefully be my first ACS conference of many.”McMahon said Saint Mary’s has helped develop her love of chemistry, which she discovered during high school.“I took it because the class was required, but I fell in love with it,” she said. “I thought it was cool to be able to take the small parts of our reality and turn them into something meaningful. I love how I can apply chemistry to my everyday life.” McMahon said she will continue to work with various faculty members and the administration to expand research opportunities on campus. She is in the midst of applying for fellowships but hopes to study abroad for a year after graduating. Following that, she will pursue graduate school.Tags: American Chemistry Society, chemistry, researchlast_img read more

Notre Dame awards honorary monogram to Condoleezza Rice

first_imgNotre Dame awarded an honorary monogram to former Secretary of State and member of the class of 1975 Condoleezza Rice, the University announced in a press release Monday.According to the release, Rice joined former President Gerald Ford and former President Ronald Reagan as an honorary monogram recipient in a “surprise ceremony” Sept. 1. The ceremony took place after Rice spoke at the unveiling of University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh’s Forever stamp.Director of athletics Jack Swarbrick presented Rice with the monogram after she spoke with the Notre Dame women’s basketball team, which Swarbrick said Rice represents.“This is a program that achieves at a very high level,” Swarbrick said of the women’s basketball team in the press release. “They have an important symbol of when they have success. When they succeed in the classroom and when they succeed athletically, there’s a very special and unique honor they earn that they want to share with you.“You represent the philosophy of our coach and this program so well. You said once, ‘We have to move past the idea that women can become leaders to the expectation that they will be leaders.’ That is what this program is built on and that is what these young women represent. They would officially like to make you a Notre Dame monogram winner.”According to the release, the Notre Dame Monogram Club only bestows honorary monograms upon those who “have demonstrated a commitment to the betterment of Notre Dame athletics and the development of Fighting Irish student-athletes and graduates.”Rice achieved this status by acting as a member of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees from 1994 to 2001 before moving on to serve as national security advisor and then secretary of state for former President George W. Bush, the press release said. She was the first African-American woman to hold this position.In addition to her honorary monogram, the University presented Rice with an honorary doctor of laws degree at the 1995 University Commencement Ceremony, for which she was the Commencement speaker.Tags: Condoleezza Rice, honorary monogram, Notre Dame Monogram Clublast_img read more

Jamestown’s ‘Turn the River Green for St. Patrick’s Day’ Event Canceled

first_imgImage by Justin Gould/WNYNewsNow.JAMESTOWN – The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce says due to the Governor’s ban on events larger than 500 people the annual ‘Turn the River Green for St. Patrick’s Day’ event, which was scheduled for this Saturday at the Riverwalk in Jamestown, has been canceled.Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img

Boxers or Briefs? Watch Bryan Cranston Go All The Way With Colbert

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on June 29, 2014 Star Files All the Way View Comments Related Shows Bryan Cranston Well, this conversation quite literally heads south rather quickly. Emmy Award winner Bryan Cranston took a break from portraying Lyndon B. Johnson in Broadway’s All The Way to discuss the play on The Colbert Report. At least, that’s how it starts before Cranston reveals the nickname of a certain body part of the late president (Johnson’s Johnson, if you will.) Take a look, and learn the answer to the age old “boxers or briefs” question for Breaking Bad’s Walter White, Malcolm in the Middle Dad Hal and Mr. President himself.last_img read more

Lessons of the Week! Bruce Willis, Jessie Mueller & More

first_img Jessie Mueller It’s Friday, and you know what that means—pause The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for a sec, because it’s time for the Lessons of the Week! We’re recapping all of the weird stuff that happened on Broadway over the last seven days, from those clumsy Von Trapp kids to Tom Cruise’s obvious desire to become a Dynamo. Ready? OK!Broadway Is Holding Bruce Willis CaptiveWe’ve always been Bruce Willis’ number one fan, so we’re thrilled that he’s decided—um, yes, that’s it, decided under his own free will to star on Broadway in Misery opposite Elizabeth Marvel. We’re so thrilled, we’re making him a huge meatloaf with a top-secret special ingredient just for him (Spoiler alert: it’s Spam. And possibly blood.) So excited to have you on Broadway, Bruce!Death, Dying and Disease Are Super FunOn a lighter note, Erika Henningsen and the new stars of Les Miserables couldn’t be more psyched to catch diseases, have crazy death scenes, and of course, watch all of their friends get violently murdered in the new revival. Oh, that works out great, because we’re psyched to see you guys in the show! And also see Ramin do this again. But mostly you guys!Oprah Don’t Do SadnessSpeaking of death (wow, this week is depressing), Oprah isn’t going to be starring in Night, Mother after all because she doesn’t want to spend six months thinking about suicide. Totally understandable, O, as long as you still make your Broadway debut opposite Audra McDonald. Why don’t you take a field trip to Eggfartopia so you gals can figure this one out?Hedwig Is a Lady Who LunchesWe’ve always compared Hedwig to glam rockers like David Bowie and Iggy Pop, but apparently she’s much more like Elaine Stritch. This week, Hedwig co-creator John Cameron Mitchell told us the transgender rock star’s journey is a lot like Stritchy’s solo show At Liberty. Everybody rise (to get spit at)! Rise (for a gummi bear)! Rise (for a glittery car wash)!Jessie Mueller Needs Some CashGuys, Jessie Mueller is no longer a “Natural Woman.” Sigh. She’s departing the cast of Beautiful on March 6—but don’t worry, she says she’ll still be keeping in touch with the cast…to ask them for money. Jessie, what did you do with all that sweet Dollar Friday cash you won? Don’t tell us you spent it all on peanut butter cups.Laura Benanti & Jeremy Jordan Can Fly…Well, sorta. The Broadway duo will appear on CBS’ Supergirl, with Jeremy Jordan as Supergirl’s IT whiz co-worker Winslow “Winn” Schott and Benanti as Supergirl’s mom, Alura Zor-El. We assume Supergirl’s mom and Supergirl’s co-worker sing a bunch of really awesome duets together, right CBS? Right?!? (Don’t make us break your ankles with a sledgehammer.)The Von Trapp Kids Were KlutzesIn honor of The Sound of Music film’s 50th anniversary, made a list of 50 fun facts about the movie, and it seems like almost half of them are about the Von Trapps falling out of gazebos (how do you even fall out of a gazebo?), toppling out of boats, tripping in the mud and otherwise getting injured during filming. Maybe y’all shouldn’t “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” after all.Kelly Clarkson Is Ready For Her Close-UpIs Miss Independent is trying to tell us something? First, she hinted that she’d been wanting to star in Funny Girl ever since she was a tyke. Then she did some jazz hands with Jennifer Nettles backstage at Chicago. Now she’s gushing over Bernadette Peters. Kelly, is it true? From Justin to Kelly: The Musical is coming to Broadway?! Finally!Kelli O’Hara Had Sex at the ImperialSpeaking of Kellys (well, Kellis), we’ve always assumed the prolific star of The King and I spends her offstage time vocalizing and sipping Throat Coat. But in reality, she’s gettin’ it on! The Broadway sweetheart admitted to doing the nasty at the Imperial Theatre with her hubby while starring in Nice Work If You Can Get It. New Les Miz stars, don’t worry about christening those dressing rooms, Kelli’s already gone ahead and done that for you. You’re welcome.Tom Cruise Is a Super TrouperNope, Rock of Ages isn’t the only musical Tom Cruise is into—apparently he also loves ABBA, because Chilina Kennedy spotted him in the front row when she was starring in Mamma Mia! on the road. We’re marking our calendars: Only 10 years until Tom can play Sam, Suri can play Sophie and a young, attractive Hollywood starlet can “audition” to play Donna. Star Filescenter_img View Commentslast_img read more

Your Top 10 Fave Performances from Fox’s Rocky Horror Picture Show

first_img“Don’t Dream It” “Touch A Touch A Touch A Touch Me” Ooooh, Rocky! Fox’s highly anticipated Rocky Horror Picture Show aired on October 20, and between all the red lips, fishnets and insa-a-a-a-ane sets, we wanted to ask the fans which performances they loved the most. The starry cast included Laverne Cox, Annaleigh Ashford, Ben Vereen, Reeve Carney, Tim Curry, Staz Nair, Ryan McCartan and Victoria Justice. Did the 40-year anniversary re-vamp do the original cult classic justice? The classic songs seem to stick out in the fans’ top 10 below! Take a look! “Dammit, Janet” “I Can Make You a Man” Photo: Steve Wilkie/FOX “Over at the Frankenstein Place” “Rose Tint My World” “Sweet Transvestite” “The Time Warp” “Hot Patootie” “Science Fiction/Double Feature” View Comments Star Files Ryan McCartanlast_img read more

An Inspector Calls’ Barbara Marten on Soggy Costumes, a Collapsing Set & Her Show-Biz Marriage

first_img View Comments Barbara Marten in ‘An Inspector Call'(Photo: Mark Douet) Barbara Marten is a veteran presence on stage and screen with a sizable range of British TV credits that include a series regular on The Bill. The actress has returned to the West End to give a scorching performance as the imperious Sybil Birling in two-time Tony-winner Stephen Daldry’s legendary production of An Inspector Calls, the 1940s J.B. Priestley play that is back for an encore London run, this time at the Playhouse Theatre. Marten spoke one recent afternoon about the enduring appeal of a play set in 1912 that speaks to us now and of acting in the rain and on a set that collapses (on purpose!) eight times a week.Were you surprised to find yourself part of a production that was first seen at the National Theatre in 1992, before transferring to Broadway and, many times over, to the West End?I’d seen the Alastair Sim film [from 1954] and another adaptation for TV several years ago, but I actually hadn’t seen this particular production—even though it’s only been around for 25 years! In a way, that wasn’t a bad thing: I was quite glad to come to [the play] completely fresh.Was it difficult finding your way into so high-concept a production [the production conceives the Birling family home as a sort of doll house on stilts, surrounded by a dank, gritty landscape]?Stephen’s take on the production is all about music, setting and the sheer size of the piece all making a difference across three acts that we perform without an intermission, so it was a question of finding my way into that. What I discovered is that it’s a beautifully simple idea—the way, in our staging, the Birling family are people of privilege and responsibility who quite simply don’t see the lower classes; they regard them as a class apart as if they’re not quite people.How do you interpret the set, given that the house sits at a precarious angle toward the back of the stage before it all comes crashing down?What’s so amazing about the design is the way the Birling family are almost drawn down by the Inspector from their eyrie, if you will, so that he can get at them and drive through his mission—which is to get them all to state their case and defend themselves.Do you ever get vertigo?There is, in fact, a slight feeling of vertigo when you first come out and we have had one cast member bump their head on the set already. The task for my character is all about navigating her extraordinary dress down the spiral staircase. I have to grab hold of it almost as if it’s another character. My first thought was, what am I going to have to do to get through this eight times a week, but I’ve found it quite energetic, really.How do you respond to the onstage rain?I get wet—sometimes very wet. I have two costumes because it does get fairly soggy, and we have had two cast members off with tonsillitis. I tend to be all right because I’m wrapped in a blanket, but I do have drawers full of remedies. What do you respond to in Sybil Birling—the family matriarch—as a part?As it happens I grew up in County Durham and have lived in Yorkshire, where our play is set, for 25 years, so I know the industrial landscape with the cobblestones and terraced houses that our production draws upon. But I wanted not to play Sybil as a Yorkshirewoman but a representative of her class, so that we could be in London just as well as Yorkshire. The arc of the part is interesting in that I have quite a quiet time in the final act, really. It’s the central section of the play that is the most high-powered for Sybil, really. She’s the one the Inspector has to crack who seems to be the least sympathetic and the most defensive—until such time as she is broken. Is it fun playing the power she at least thinks she has?It’s terribly good fun! I will say that it took me a while to adjust to the size with which you’ve got to pay her because she really is quite heightened; you can’t get all naturalistic with it. But the fact is her attitudes are who she is and I like exposing those. It’s intriguing, however briefly, to feel that power. Have you been surprised to see so many young people at the play? I attended a sold-out matinee that consisted largely of schoolchildren.Well, [the play] is a set text on the British curriculum at the moment, so we have had a lot of school parties, but what’s great is how connected they are to the story. They really see Mrs. Birling for what she is, which is that she’s appalling, however, glamorous she may seem.Why do you think young audiences connect so well to the enduring message of the play, about civic responsibility and belonging to society?BR> I just think younger audiences have a very keen sense of justice and that, of course, changes as you get on in life. One becomes more selfish almost by necessity as you get older because one has to find one’s way, but our audiences may not yet be aware of that.Were you worried that it might seem at all message-laden?In fact, as you know, the remarkable thing is that it really isn’t. Priestley obviously has something to say but he’s done it via a dramatic, enthralling detective story where an inspector who seems to come from another realm [the aptly named Inspector Goole] interrogates each member of a particular Yorkshire family quite vigorously. [The play] is highly theatrical and dramatic and also full of unexpected thrills: the story takes you on quite a journey where people really don’t know what is happening next.Does the production have a pertinence to today?When Stephen first did it, the relevance was all to do with what we now see was the end of the Thatcher era and her famous comment that there was “no such thing as society.” Now we have this situation in Europe and across the Middle East where we have this community of the dispossessed and have to ask how much are we really stepping out to help people? In the play, the Birlings don’t really see Eva Smith [the unseen factory worker whose fate drives the plot] as anything beyond factory fodder, just as we don’t see what is going on the third world. What’s it like being in a show-biz marriage? [Marten’s husband is the writer Mike Kenny, whose plays include the long-running London hit The Railway Children].There are always moments where, for instance with The Railway Children, I will hear that Mike has written a great part for me and then I find out that [the play] is going to be on during the summer holidays when our three sons are home. I’m sad that I never got to do that particular play because it’s a lovely piece and is coming off now in January, but there’s been talk about repositioning it in India on the railways there which would be quite something. Did you find recompense of sorts in being in last season’s West End sensation People, Places and Things, for which leading lady Denise Gough [soon to be seen in the National’s Angels in America] won an Olivier? I loved doing that play. In terms of naturalism, that was almost diametrically opposed to Inspector in that it was all about making those characters as real as we could, and that was very much led by Denise’s performance, which was so uncompromisingly true.Was it a challenge to keep pace with her performance?Particularly in the psychiatric scenes [Marten played the Gough character’s mother, doctor and therapist] I found her power quite daunting because the doctor didn’t have anything to say to equal it. But we developed a good onstage relationship that meant I was very much there alongside her. Doing that play with Denise was like watching someone grow up.last_img read more

Control Mosquitos

first_img Asian Tiger mosquitos are one of the most prevelant types of mosquitos in Georgia. Mosquito control is very important in stopping the spread of disease. Photo:Leonard Mustermann As spring arrives, Georgians treasure the amazing azaleas and dogwoods but dread those menacing mosquitoes. After last year’s outbreak of West Nile Virus in Georgia, many are fearing the biting problem.”The 2001 mosquito season was one of the most eventful mosquito seasons in recent memory,” said Elmer Gray, a University of Georgia Extension entomologist. West Nile Virus Ready “The rapid and widespread occurrence of the West Nile Virus this past summer,” he said, “is one of the most interesting and unique occurrences in the entomological field in a long time.”Since its discovery in the New York City area during the summer of 1999, WNV has spread from Ontario, Canada to the Florida Keys, most places in between and some beyond. While many experts predicted the disease’s spread, it would have been hard to predict how fast it would spread last summer.Fortunately, the Georgia Department of Agriculture had already begun the Georgia West Nile Task Force before the disease arrived, Gray said.”The task force had members from most of the primary parties that could and would end up being affected by the disease,” he said. “Little did any of the participants realize that Georgia would become a focal point for WNV by midsummer 2001.”Main Mosquito-borne DiseasesBefore WNV showed up in Georgia, the state’s main mosquito-borne diseases had been Eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis and LaCrosse encephalitis.”While each of these diseases can be serious, debilitating and even deadly, they’re fortunately relatively rare,” Gray said.Since 1964, Georgia has had only 41 confirmed cases of Eastern equine encephalitis (23), St. Louis encephalitis (5) and LaCrosse encephalitis (13).The latest figures show that seven people died from West Nile Virus in 2001 in the United States. One of them was in Georgia, where six cases were reported. In three years nationally, the virus has killed 16 people, or 11.5 percent of the 139 human cases reported.Horses have been severely affected, with many U.S. cases and a mortality rate of about 23 percent. A vaccine has been rushed to market that should help reduce the risks to horses.”Considering these numbers and the fact that there were six human cases of WNV in Georgia in 2001, it may pose a more serious mosquito-borne risk than we have had before,” Gray said.”Unfortunately,” he said, “the surveillance and reporting of all of these diseases has been inconsistent and poorly supported during the time frames reported. With the arrival of WNV into Georgia, it’s more important than ever that the accurate and timely reporting of all mosquito-borne diseases be conducted.”Integrated Mosquito Control ImportantThe risk of WNV and the other mosquito-borne diseases can be reduced if everyone supports comprehensive and integrated mosquito control, he said. This includes education, surveillance, source reduction and, when warranted, using insecticides to kill larvae and adult mosquitoes.”Often, mosquito production occurs around our homes and properties as a result of a lack of information or diligence,” Gray said. “Mosquitoes develop in standing water. By reducing the amount of standing water, the number of adult mosquitoes that could possibly transmit disease can be reduced.”No one knows what this year’s mosquito disease season will hold.”But considering the lengthy drought Georgia has had,” Gray said, “when normal rains return, increased mosquito populations are sure to follow. Considering the new threat presented by the WNV, suppressing our state’s mosquito populations has never been more important.”For the latest information on mosquito control, contact your county Extension Service office.last_img read more

Peanut weather

first_imgBy Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaGeorgia’s cool, wet spring has delayed the growth of some crops. But the days are heating up just in time to help Georgia’s peanut crop.In May, temperatures across south Georgia climbed steadily into the 80s. Soil temperatures jumped by as much as 10 degrees, reaching the mid-70s at 4 inches deep.This is good news for peanut farmers ready to plant this year’s crop, said John Beasley, an agronomist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Around April 20, he said, soil temperatures around the peanut growing region were in the mid-60s, almost too low for proper seed germination. Soil temperatures are usually around the mid-70s at that time, which is ideal for germination.It should take a peanut seed about seven days to germinate and emerge from the ground as a young plant. But some earlier-planted peanuts took 15 days to start growing in the cooler temperatures, he said.It’s important for peanut seeds to germinate quickly and come up at the same time in fields, Beasley said. Research has shown that this helps reduce the risk of tomato spotted wilt virus, which causes millions of dollars in damage each year to peanuts and other Georgia crops.Peanut farmers have to deal with TSWV every year. But if farmers can get into fields and begin planting peanuts soon, their risk for the disease will be lower. “In the next two to three weeks,” he said, “there will be a lot of farmers trying to get peanuts planted.”They’ll be planting more, too, said Nathan Smith, a UGA Extension Service economist. Georgia farmers are expected to plant 750,000 acres, 130,000 more than last year.Right now, prices for row crops like corn and cotton are low. Fertilizer costs are high. And an economically damaging soybean disease has been confirmed in Georgia.Peanut prices, however, have been good in recent years, around $400 per ton. And the demand for peanuts for food has climbed by about 20 percent in the past two years.This has all made planting peanuts look like the safer bet for many farmers this year, Smith said.If Georgia farmers have an average production year with the extra acres, there could be an oversupply around harvesttime in late summer, he said. This could lower prices.”Even with the strong consumer demand,” Smiths said, “it would be tough to use up that large a supply.”last_img read more