About one hundred Cornell graduate students gathered outside the Cornell Health Center on campus Wednesday afternoon. They were calling for an external review of the mental health services at the University. Students shared their own mental health struggles. They described not being taken seriously by faculty and having to go off campus to find therapists. They say getting appointments is difficult unless they are in crisis, suicidal or in academic trouble.
Composer Hugh McElyea talks about his work ‘Tenebrae: The Passion of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’. This theatrical work uses the ancient service of Tenebrae to tell the story of the last hours of Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer who could have fled Germany during the Nazi regime, but whose faith compelled him to stay and face imprisonment and eventual execution just days before the war ended.
What does a maize geneticist do? Explore the growing season of maize, and how scientists study the plant’s genetic diversity and connect it to the phenotypes they observe. Maize needs lots of sun and warm weather to grow. Seeds are usually planted in spring, in marked rows to identify each plant by its pedigree and genotype. In the mid-summer, when the plants are ready, scientists begin crossing the varieties of maize.
Maize—or “corn”—has a history dating back to the beginning of agriculture, and today is used for everything from livestock feed and human consumption, to the production of starch, sweeteners, corn oil, beverage and industrial alcohol, fuel ethanol, and plastics. Maize is grown on every continent save Antarctica, and is the most widely grown grain in the world. Maize is also one of the most genetically diverse crops, allowing for selection from an incredible array of grain qualities and environmental adaptations. Maize is an excellent example of domestication—evolution in action—and researchers compare current varieties of maize with its wild ancestor, teosinte, to illustrate this principle. Maize was first domesticated from teosinte approximately 9,000-10,000 years ago.
Photo by Karel & BOGette. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Red-tail Hawk we have to come love named Ezra has died. As some of you may know, Ezra has not been seen on the Cornell Hawks cam or on the Cornell campus for the past several days, and worries have been mounting. We are extremely sad to have to share the news with you that we learned this evening that Ezra has died. On Saturday, March 18, the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center received an injured Red-tailed Hawk who we now know was Ezra, and who had been found near the A. D. White House on campus.
Ithaca College professor Mark A. Radice speaks about the life, music, and long-lasting influence of the late composer Karel Husa. Husa never intended to be a composer, but his legacy goes far beyond his compositional output, extending to mentoring composers, and even to his work with high school musicians. Professor Radice shares some of these stories. http://www.wskg.org/audio/karelhusa.mp3
Among the winners in New York’s Regional Economic Development awards last month were colleges and universities. Binghamton University, Cornell University and Broome Community College combined to win nearly $700,000 through the economic development grants. The money will be spent on research labs, manufacturing and start-up business incubators. Amanda Knarr works for the American Institute for Economic Research. She said this kind of investment creates jobs.
A jumping spider. Credit: Gil Menda and the Hoy lab
Science Friday airs on WSQX Fridays 2-4 p.m.
Encountering a jumping spider might give some people a start, but researchers are interested in these agile arthropods, especially their ability to plan and execute complex behaviors. Scientists are studying how jumping spiders coordinate their eight eyes to track fast-moving prey, and how these earless animals can pick up noises from across a room. Arachnologist Paul Shamble discusses the sensory systems of jumping spiders and how scientists go about measuring the small creatures’ neural activity. And ecologist Eric Olson discusses why these predators might enjoy a vegetarian snack now and again.
Cornell University presents ‘Technologies of Memory’ on Thursday, September 15 at 8pm in Sage Chapel on the Cornell University campus. Composers Julia Wolfe and Michael Gordon present chamber works for choir, string quartet, amplified rock ensemble, and the premiere of Wolfe’s duo for cello and double bass by John Haines-Eitzen and guest bassist Tomoya Aomori. They speak about the works on the program, and about their renowned music ensemble Bang on a Can. Ms. Wolfe won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in music for her oratorio ‘Anthracite Fields’. http://www.wskg.org/audio/wolfe.mp3