Posts Tagged ‘wesleyan university’

Some Recent Photos From Around Middletown CT

February 14, 2010

First Year Hawk
First year hawk, most likely Red Tail, seen Coginchaug River vicinity

Wetmore-Starr House (1752)
The Wetmore-Starr House (1752) Washington St

Kid City Children's Museum
The Kid City Childrens Museum; Washington Street

Little House in the Graveyard
Graveyard scene; Vine Street

Wesleyan U. College Row fm High Street
College Row Panorama; High Street

Note: You may click on the photos for more information and image sizes; you will be redirected to my Flickr page.

Advertisements

Obama Here: More Hope, Change, Not Much Else

May 25, 2008

This will be a blog posting on the fly today. First a photo essay (a beautiful day for photography by the way) from Obama’s appearance at Wesleyan University in Middletown to give the 176th annual commencement address in place of the ailing Ted Kennedy. Following the photos there will be an 8 minute video of the event and later I will add some comments about the address and also about remarks by President Michael Roth.

Funny, Obama thought he was at Wellesley; listen at around 6:10 in the video. (Omitted from the Obama campaign official You Tube video posted on Wesleying blog) And the Courant’s blogger Melissa Pionzio thought she was at Palmer Field instead of Andrus Field (“Well, I’m here sitting under the trees on the side of Palmer field where the Wesleyan Commencement ceremonies will begin in about 45 minutes.”) She also seems alarmed by the obvious presence of heavily armed security agents:

“There appears to be sharp shooters of some kind atop the glass connection between the campus chapel and I think Judd Hall (home of the psychology dept.) They are in black, with their arms folded – looks like there are about four of them. A woman with binoculars behind me confirmed that they have rifles up there, yikes!!

The following video runs a little over 8 minutes:


Tags: barack obama at wesleyan,barack obama,ted kennedy,wesleyan university,middletown ct,wesleyan commencement,global warming,climate change,progressive politics,michael roth,wesleying,

This blog also appears today at http://conservacity.blogspot.com
and http://middletown.ctlocalpolitics.net

Feet to the Fire Festival: More Info….

May 8, 2008

The Wesleyan community will explore its environmental impact through an eco-arts festival called “Feet to the Fire” on May 10 that will feature food, music, art, theater and a premier by a world-renowned choreographer Ann Carlson (pictured above).

Running from noon to 5 p.m. at Veterans Park in Middletown, “Feet to the Fire” will combine the variety of arts performances, interactive exhibits and a farmers market with food from Connecticut vendors. Exhibits coordinated by the Jonah Center for Earth and Art will highlight energy conservation, sustainability and resilient communities.

Ann Carlson, award-winning choreographer, launches a new series of performance works, Planet Next, that envision life on a future earth. The first of these works, “Green Movement,” uses elements of humor and surprise while challenging the audience to intimately confront the realities of their present day existence.

“Feet to the Fire is an extraordinary campus-wide and community exploration of one of the most urgent issues facing our world today,” says Pam Tatge, director of Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts. “The idea that so many students, faculty members, community members, and artists have collaborated to make works for the festival is simply thrilling.”

The event will also feature a sculpture garden, labyrinth, theater, dance, music, poetry, art and performances by Art Farm’s Circus for a Fragile Planet, Marion Belanger, Tom Callinan, Electric Junkyard Gamelan, Green Street Arts Center, Independent Day School, Kalimba Liberian Group, Geoff Kaufman, Jesse Karlsberg, The Middletuners, Mixashawn, Noah Baerman Trio, Oddfellows Playhouse, RJ and the On-the-Spot Jug Band, Susan Romano, Sirius Coyote, Toussaint Liberator, Wesleyan students and more.

The festival is a part of “Feet to the Fire: Exploring Global Climate Change from Science to Art,” an 18-month project that includes research opportunities for a team of students and faculty to explore first-hand the effects of global warming, fieldwork studies in art and science, performances, pedagogical exchanges in existing courses, commissioning of artists and convening of experts.

“All of us working on the Festival are united in the belief that the arts have the potential to help us see and understand the impact of climate change while at the same time assist us in envisioning a sustainable future,” Tatge says.

The project is funded in part by a grant from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters Creative Campus Innovations Grant Program, a component of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Wesleyan’s grant is one of only eight grants given to challenge campus-based performing arts presenters to integrate their programs more organically within the academic environment.

The Festival is co-sponsored by Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts and Environmental Studies Program, the Jonah Center for Earth and Art and the City of Middletown, in collaboration with the Center for Creative Research and the Green Street Arts Center.

Feet to the Fire will take place from noon to 5 p.m. rain or shine. Admission is free and open to the public. The event is located at Veterans Memorial Park in Middletown, located off Newfield Street. For more information and directions call 860-685-3355.

Source: The Wesleyan Connection

Coginchaug River at Veterans Memorial Park (June 2007)….

Bird Song Studies and Human Speech Disorders….

April 21, 2008

Researchers at Wesleyan University (Middletown CT) and elsewhere are studying birdsong in an effort to better understand human speech disorders. Using Canaries and Zebra Finches as laboratory subjects scientists are using techniques such as MRI, deafening and botox injection to learn more about neuron addition when songs are being learned. One study described as:

…. the first functional MRI study to agree on how vocal sounds are represented within the brain of an awake zebra finch, a well-studied animal model of vocal learning. Because of many similarities between birdsong and human speech, this research could lead to an improved understanding of the cause of stuttering and other speech problems…..The vocal learning process in the zebra finch offers a model system to study the neural and behavioral mechanisms by which humans learn to make sounds. Songbirds such as zebra finches have specialized areas of their brains dedicated to communication. That is why they have been used as animal models to study speech disorders, such as stuttering. It is estimated that more than 3 million Americans stutter.

Prof. John R Kirn at Weleyan’s Biology Department was recently interviewed on the student run radio station WESU-FM (88.1) about his current study of birdsong in the Zebra Finch. A weekly radio program called Faculty Lounge presents each week an hour long interview with a Wesleyan professor. Those interested can download the entire interviews as podcasts. Prof. Kirn’s complete interview can be heard here. I have also made a 10 minute excerpt of an especially interesting part of his interview.

In an ABC story from late last year we learn:

Researchers at Wesleyan University are using botulinum toxin A, marketed under the name of Botox, to study how songbirds are able to pull off a unique miracle in the animal kingdom and regrow the brain cells that die as they age.

They are working under the hypothesis that the key to regeneration of neurons lies in singing, at least for the zebra finch, a small bird of Australian origin that spends its life trying to master the perfect song.

“We’re basically asking the question, is it singing a correct song that matters in terms of regulating this process (of neuro-regeneration)?” says John Kirn, associate professor of biology and chair of the neuroscience and behavior department at Wesleyan.

According to Prof. Kirn the Zebra Finch’s song is not particularly melodious and “sounds somewhat like a car that won’t start”. (short audio here)

Feet to the Fire Festival 2008: Help Wanted….

April 3, 2008

A Call for Volunteers

FEET TO THE FIRE FESTIVAL 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008, 12–5pm

Free admission

Veteran’s Memorial Park

Middletown, Connecticut

Located just off Newfield Street (Route 3)

Each of us has an impact on the world around us. We leave footprints and our footprints are changing the
planet. How can we impact these changes and imagine a sustainable future?

THE FESTIVAL

An eco-arts festival for the whole family featuring music, dance and theater performances, and a farmer’s
market with food from Connecticut vendors. Interactive exhibits will highlight energy conservation,
sustainability and resilient communities. This free festival is co-presented by Wesleyan University’s Center
for the Arts
and Environmental Studies Program, the Jonah Center for Earth and Art and the City of
Middletown with support from the Middletown Commission on the Arts and the Rockfall Foundation.

VOLUNTEER NOW TO BE PART OF THE FESTIVAL!

In the spirit of the Festival, volunteers will be asked to join the Festival team by assisting artists and
exhibitors, working on security, transportation, parking, promotion, documentation and other tasks to
create a pleasant, healthy and safe environment for Festival-goers to experience all that the Festival has to
offer. Shifts available to suit your schedule and jobs that will make a difference.

If you are interested in participating in the Festival as a volunteer, please contact Adrian Nieves at
anieves@wesleyan.edu or 860-685-2696 by April 15, 2008. We will hold a volunteer meeting shortly.