The Weekly Blog: 11/1/06

NOTE: This post was originally published at princetonalumniweekly.blogspot.com/
 
Music for art’s sake
The Princeton Laptop Orchestra performs at the Arts Council of Princeton’s gala fundraiser, held Oct. 28 in the Carl Icahn Laboratory. President Tilghman received the council’s first Arts Vision Award, recognizing the University’s initiative in the creative and performing arts announced in January.
Photo by Frank Wojciechowski
 
 
Guthrie ’84 looks at information and the academy
What role will university libraries play in a world increasingly influenced by Google, Wikipedia, and other online research tools? Alumnus Kevin Guthrie ’84, the president of the online academic journal archive JSTOR, explained his take on the future during a “Lunch ’n Learn” seminar on campus Oct. 25, sponsored by the Office of Information Technology.

The academy and the networked information economy are on a collision course, according to Guthrie, who jokingly likened the situation to the 1950s sci-fi classic When Worlds Collide. While the academy nurtures the creation of knowledge, it does not always drive innovation, which he said is the “currency” of the networked information economy. The information economy thrives on a start-up mentality, but with new organizations rapidly growing and rapidly receding, it lacks the academy’s stability. As competing forces converge in academic publishing, Guthrie said that established practices like peer review are likely to remain, but printed journals might not have the same staying power. In the future, he expects to see libraries “transition from a world dominated by collections to one dominated by services.”

 
Football continues Ivy League title chase
After falling to Cornell in Ithaca Oct. 28, Princeton football dropped out of first place in the Ivy League standings. But the Tigers still can guarantee at least a share of the league title with wins in their final three games against Penn, Yale, and Dartmouth. The Tigers open that stretch against the Quakers at Princeton Stadium at 1 p.m. Nov. 4. Penn has lost its last two games in overtime, including a 17-14 loss to first-place Yale Oct. 21.

At Princeton’s midweek press conference, head coach Roger Hughes said that for the players, the Penn game is a rivalry in the same class as the Yale and Harvard games. Quarterback Jeff Terrell ’07 added that poise and patience would determine the Tigers’ success. “We trust our skill, and we trust our schemes,” Terrell said. “But we also trust that Penn is going to be prepared for what we have. We’re going to have to make adjustments and just play solid, mentally sound football.”

Three other Princeton teams face Penn this weekend as well. Field hockey hosts the Quakers Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. at Class of 1952 Stadium. Men’s soccer plays Penn in its season finale Nov. 4 at 1 p.m. at Lourie-Love Field, and women’s soccer faces the Quakers at 4 p.m., also at Lourie-Love.

 
Life on the links
Former Golf magazine editor George Peper ’72 bought a townhouse beside the 18th hole of the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland, in 1983. He rented it to university students and visiting golfers for years until 2003, when he and his wife decided to sell their New York suburban home and move to Scotland. In Two Years in St. Andrews: At Home on the 18th Hole (Simon & Schuster), Peper recounts his wife’s efforts at renovating their new home, playing golf on the Old Course, getting to know the locals, and adjusting to a new culture. Publisher’s Weekly wrote of the book: “Golf fans … will savor this walking-speed appreciation of their greatest shrine.”
 
Faculty in the news
On Oct. 30, The New York Times and the Associated Press published features about Robert Fagels, the Arthur Marks Professor of Comparative Literature, emeritus. He recently authored a new edition of The Aeneid, Virgil’s epic poem, which Fagels called “one of the saddest poems I know of in any language. It is hard, heroic, heartbreaking.” … The Philadelphia Inquirer explored the work of geosciences professor Gerta Keller, and her opposition to the theory that a meteor strike in the Yucatan peninsula 65 million years ago led to the extinction of the dinosaurs, in an Oct. 25 story. Science writer Tom Avril reported on Keller’s presentation at the Geological Society of America conference in Philadelphia, in which she explained data that disputes the connection between the meteor’s impact and the mass extinction of dinosaurs. … Emeritus philosophy professor Harry Frankfurt, author of a new book called On Truth, spoke about the search for truth in the Oct. 22 New York Times Magazine. “Recognizing truth requires selflessness,” Frankfurt said. “You have to leave yourself out of it so you can find out the way things are in themselves, not the way they look to you or how you feel about them or how you would like them to be.”
 
The little ghost of Cottage Club
At right, 3-year-old Sophie Neale, daughter of James Neale ’78 and Tamara Loomis, tests one of her Halloween costume ideas on the Cottage Club steps during an October visit to campus. The younger Neale is the author of her own blog, called Baby’s First Blog: Dispatches From an Outspoken 3-year-old, which is posted on the Web page of Cookie magazine. Loomis, a contributing editor to the magazine, plays the dual role of Sophie’s mom and scribe.
Photo courtesy of Tamara Loomis
 

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