There’s almost nothing I love more in life than hating to love — to hate — to love to hate The Oscars. There’s nothing quite like hundreds of old rich white guys dressing up in tuxedos to award themselves little gold statues. When you consider what the Oscars are about — ranking our favorite movies of the year — they should really be a lot more fun. So let’s drop some boring categories (I’m sure everyone would be absolutely devastated if we got rid of Best Song and Best Makeup and Hairstyling), and add some fun ones, like Best Practical Effects, Best Low Budget Picture and Does Your Picture Have a Blind Man Wearing Red Pajamas and Playing a Flame-Throwing Electric Guitar on Top of a Moving Truck? I think the most interesting new category would be Best Scene.
In 2006, a film called Crash took the Oscar for Best Picture home, prompting a surge of outrage. It is now best remembered as the punch line of jokes about unwarranted Oscar-winners and is perhaps more reviled than is necessary. Is it a bad film? No. But while it is only somewhat clunky and rough around the edges, it is not — in my humble opinion — superior to Capote, Brokeback Mountain, A History of Violence and even Cinderella Man.
Cornell’s world-class faculty has continued to garner accolades, as six professors were recently recognized for their teaching and research. Three faculty members received Early Career Development Awards through the National Science Foundation, while three other young faculty were recognized as Sloan Foundation Research fellows.
Every year since the Grammys’ inception 51 years ago, they have been a crap shoot of controversy. Following convoluted nomination metrics of artistic merit and commercial success, the Recording Academy never fails to surprise (and confuse) with its subjective selection of nominees. And while this year’s leading nom-getters are surprisingly mainstream — Lil Wayne earning top nominations with eight, followed by Coldplay garnering seven, and Jay-Z, Ne-Yo and Kanye West each earning six nods — there are bound to be some upset selections when the winners are revealed. As Lil Wayne rambled on his Weezy YouTube blog, “I think they [the Academy] thinks it’s enough just to nominate me,” going as far to predict he will get shutout of all categories.
While most victims of armed robbery quickly put the incident behind them, John Bruno ’08 turned his own unsettling experience into an inspired research proposal that won him a Fulbright Scholarship.
“I was robbed at gunpoint the first time I visited my family in Guayaquil, Ecuador. After this eye-opening experience, the Fulbright seemed like the perfect opportunity to actually contribute to a critical issue facing Ecuador and immerse myself in my ancestral heritage,” Bruno said. A Sociology major while at Cornell, Bruno chose to study delinquency and problems surrounding the “revolving door” of the prison system for 10 months in Ecuador.
Last week, five faculty members were added to the list of yearly recipients of the Provost’s Awards for Distinguished Scholarship in recognition of their outstanding research and scholarship and the hope of keeping them at the University.
The sum of $30,000 was awarded to this year’s winners: Professors Charles Brittain, classics and philosophy; Carlos Bustamante, biological statistics and computational biology; Jonathan Kirshner, government; Hod Lipson, mechanical and aerospace engineering; and Michelle Wang, physics.
According to Provost Biddy Martin, every year the deans of the academic units nominate faculty members, and the provost’s staff makes the final selections.