Terra Sigillata

Archives for May, 2008

Our quick post yesterday cited Jonathan Alter’s Newsweek essay this week on the sad state of cancer research funding in the context of Hamilton Jordan’s recent death and Ted Kennedy’s recent glioblastoma diagnosis. Like many areas of US federal research funding, cancer research support has been flat under the Bush administration and, in fact, declined…

While I tend to off-blog responsibilities, you may be interested to read this lovely essay by Jonathan Alter in the current (2 June) issue of Newsweek entitled, “How We Really Help Ted.” There was a time when mentioning Kennedy and Jimmy Carter (or Carter’s right hand) in the same breath would have meant a story…

Let me say from the outset that I am too close to this issue, in many ways, to be fully objective. However, this issue is likely to be of interest to those in the academic community and especially anyone who followed the now-discredited 2006 Duke lacrosse case. On 15 May Duke graduating senior and guest…

I missed this FDA warning in my e-mail box this week. But given the use of such products by breast-feeding women we know, I think this warning is worth publicizing here – chlorphenesin is a centrally-active skeletal muscle relaxant that is for some reason used in cosmetics but is not intended for oral consumption: FDA…

So here’s a bizarre convergence of the controversies surrounding cognitive performance-enhancing strategies and the end-of-grade (EOG) testing stress on teachers and students. Esther Robards-Forbes reports in yesterday’s Charlotte (NC) Observer that a third-grade teacher was arrested for contributing to the delinquency of minors by giving three students adult-strength multivitamin pills in advance of their EOG…

Another Wine Experience – Syrahs from Europe and the US By Erleichda We’ve been having so many of our wine dinners the past two years that the group has had to return to its favorite haunts. Such was the case one Friday evening as we set about to taste Syrahs from the US and Europe.…

Well, things have changed in my life that have begun to impact my posting frequency so I really appreciate the support of readers when I last spoke of this change of life (no, not menopause). I’ve even gotten so distracted that I have neglected to read the daily fishwrapper – that is until today’s recycling…

On 8 May after a six-month search by a 21-member search committee, 43-year-old chemistry professor H. Holden Thorp was named Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The search committee was unable to find anyone else nationally or internationally that could match Thorp’s promise in leading the university. Thorp is a pretty…

One last political post for a little while at least. We posted almost two weeks ago a note of thanks to the NC Democratic senate candidate, Jim Neal. The progressive candidate and friend of the blogging community (and blogger himself) lost to Kay Hagan, who will now face Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) in the November…

Terrible news out of Duke University Medical Center this week with the death of 63-year-old master steamfitter, Rayford Cofer, in a steampipe explosion under one of the university’s largest research buildings. Not just any man, but one of the best at what his did: Cofer, a Franklinton resident who began working with Duke’s Facilities Management…