Muse: the magazine of life, the universe, and pie throwing June 2010
You may not have heard of Carl Woese, but his discovery shook the very roots of biology. At a time when scientists believed all life on Earth could be divided into two categories, Woese (rhymes with “rose”) discovered a third. He persevered in the face of strong opposition, and ultimately triumphed. In the process, he opened our eyes to the vastness and diversity of the world of microbes.
The words “librarian” and “celebrity” are not often used in the same sentence, but in the case of Nancy Pearl, it happens often. Not only has Pearl, a librarian by training, written three books, she is a regular guest on National Public Radio and hosts a Seattle television show. To top it all off, she was the inspiration for a librarian action figure and is quoted on one of the Starbucks coffee cups.*
Janice Harrington’s recent success as a poet, author and college professor is deeply rooted in her more than two decades as children’s librarian and storyteller, where her work fostered a powerful ear for vivid rhythm and imagery.
If Michael B. Johnson ‘88 ENG were a Pixar movie character he would be Sully, the large, furry, green-with-blue-spots star of Monsters, Inc. Like Sully (voiced by actor John Goodman), Johnson’s voice is deep and resonant; he is a hail-fellow-well-met; modest in an “aw-shucks-just-doing-my-job” way; and he is all about giving credit to others.
Bruce Fouke, a sedimentary geologist, started his academic research journey in a fairly conventional way; integrating sedimentology, stratigraphy, geochemistry and paleontology to reconstruct the Earth’s environment during the deposition and secondary alteration of sedimentary rocks.
Civil engineering is not the most traditional route to tissue regeneration research, but that is how chemical and biomolecular engineering professor and IGB researcher Hyun Joon Kong began his journey.
How do you tell the story of a man whose career with the CIA is classified information? A man who subsequently suffered from locked-in syndrome, a condition in which the patient retains all cognitive function but cannot move most of his muscles, not even to speak?
“‘Ma, … how do you really feel about the blacklist? Angry? Frustrated? How?’”
“That needed to be answered, and I thought about it a lot. Angry? No. To me, anger is a futile emotion. I think I can sum it up in two words: deep sorrow. Not for myself - I’ve survived, and my life is full of joy - but a deep sorrow for [my husband] Larry that will be with me in my heart for the rest of my life.”