Visiting Professors Start Spring 2008 Reading Series

Last Friday, Cornell kicked off its Spring 2008 Reading Series with a presentation from Denis Johnson, Mark Doty and Paul Lisicky, three new visiting professors in the creative writing program. The event was sponsored by two anonymous donors who are alumni of Cornell University.
The reading began with selections from the poetry and prose of Lisicky, author of Lawnboy and Famous Builder.
“I really enjoyed his poems about his mom and her memory,” Sarah Scoles grad said. “They were very touching.”
A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Lisicky won numerous awards from societies such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the James Michener/Copernicus Society, the Henfield Foundation, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center.

Cornellians and Locals Head Downtown for Chili Cook-Off

Chili Cook-Off and Iron Chef Competition video
Large crowds, eager to try the unique flavors of chili from local restaurants and chefs, bombarded downtown Ithaca for the 10th Annual Chili Cook-Off & Win­terFest this past Saturday. New this year was an Iron Chef-style cooking contest, “Chili Idol” karaoke, an air guitar competition and a people’s choice chili award.
Many vendors ran out of chili early due to the high volume of people at the event.
“I wish I’d known we’d have 1,200 people,” said Leslie Muhl­hahn, chef and owner of Just Desserts and Queen of Tarts. “We had the longest line for a while. That’s why we were out of stuff.”

Underneath the Surface: C.U.’s Tunnels Join Campus Buildings

As the weather gets colder and snow continues to pile up, the idea of an alternate route underneath the surface of the Cornell campus is very appealing. Coincidently, there are a few tunnels buried beneath the University’s grounds. Most of them, however, are inaccessible to the public.
“It all depends on your definition of a tunnel. There are things underground that you could crawl through, that have utilities and various other things running through them,” said Frank Popowitch of the Campus Planning Office. “But as far as the amount [sic] of tunnels available to the public on a campus of this size, there really aren’t that many.”

Senate Questions Financial Policies of Top Universities

As Cornell reached the halfway mark of its $4 billion Capital Campaign to strengthen the University’s endowment last week, the Senate Finance Committee questioned the large endowments of institutions of higher education. Last Thursday, the committee sent a letter to the 136 U.S. universities with endowments larger than $500 million, requesting detailed information on endowment growth and student financial aid.

Scientists Use Tree Rings to Date 3,000-Year-Old Volcanic Eruption

Within every tree lies a coded history to its past, and when stitched together with the information found in other trees, this record can span the past 10,000 years. Each year, a tree adds on a new growth ring to its trunk, preserving and reflecting the information about its surrounding climate and environmental conditions based in part on the width of that ring. Prof. Sturt Manning, classics, and Cornell’s Lab of Dendrochronology have been able to use tree-ring chronologies in combination with radiocarbon dating in order to place important events, such as the massive volcanic eruption at Santorini in the late 17th century B.C.