Race and reality shows
Melissa Camacho, assistant professor of broadcast and electronic communication
arts, commented on the reality television show "Flavor of Love" in
an Oct. 14 Contra Costa Times article. "Bottom line, you may not
think you're having a discussion of race when you're watching the show,
but a racial discussion is, indeed, taking place," she said. "It's
being done visually and it's taking place in the back of your mind."
Research by Brian de Vries, professor of gerontology, was cited in an
Oct. 19 San Francisco Chronicle story on gay and lesbian seniors. The
story discussed the difficulties that aging members of the LGBT community
face as they reach a stage when they are in more need of health care
and other social services. To underscore that point, de Vries confirmed "his
research has shown that at least a third of gay, lesbian, bisexual
and transgender seniors have not disclosed their sexual orientation
to their physicians."
Chinatown still home
"Whether you're living in the Sunset or other parts of the city, you'll
return to Chinatown because that remains the cultural and political center
of the Chinese-American community," said David Lee,
lecturer of political science, in an Oct. 21 Associated Press article
that ran in
the San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Examiner and other newspapers
and newspaper Web sites.
An Oct. 25 story in the Hartford Courant featured comments by John
professor of journalism, on the contrast between how new and traditional
media handle explicit details in news stories. Burks said newspapers
have already defined themselves as family friendly and aren't likely
to change that approach. "I cannot imagine the mainstream news
media blowing its doors wide open, not even 'over their own dead bodies.'
For better or for worse, mainstream news media is locked in place,
certain of its correctitude," he said.
On Oct. 27, National Geographic News online featured an article and photographs
of fungi species discovered in Brazil by biology Professor Dennis
Desjardin and two colleagues in Brazil. They have discovered more than 10 glowing
fungi species -- four that are new to science -- in Brazil's tropical
forests. "Did luminescence evolve 16 different times in the genus
Mycena, or did it evolve only a few times and was lost hundreds of
times during the course of evolution?" Desjardin said. To find
out, Desjardin's research team extracts and sequences DNA from the
glowing mushrooms. They develop a mushroom "family tree" to
help determine when the glow came into sight in fungi.
Yiddish theater revival
The Oct. 27 edition of the j., Northern California's Jewish newspaper,
featured an article on the Theatre Arts Department's production of "Stars:
A Yiddish Theatre Revue in English." Researching archival material,
theatre arts Professor Joel Schechter found the long-lost 1937 play "We
Live and Laugh" by Joseph Bergren. Schechter and two Jewish studies
students adapted the original play into "Stars," a play within
a play in which various former Yiddish theater players discuss how
to save the genre. "For some reason, the students end up singing
better in Yiddish than in English," Schechter said. "Maybe
the Yiddish spirit lives, even if they don’t know it." "Stars" plays
on campus and at other San Francisco locations through Nov. 5.