Big questions

December 5, 2012

Cornell Hillel hosted its “Ask Big Questions Study Break: Cocoa, Cookies & Conversation” outside Olin Library Dec. 4. The event was moved outdoors to take advantage of the balmy weather. Ask Big Questions (ABQ) is an initiative of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. ABQ asks whether we can change the world through conversation and brings diverse college students together for conversations that help people understand themselves and others.

This month’s question: “What does the world need from you?”

Concrete oases

December 4, 2012

A little piece of the outdoors came inside this week, thanks to students from the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis (DEA).

Small sections of turf create grassy oases of calm in the lobbies of Olin and Mann libraries, as well as Duffield Hall and the Physical Sciences Building. Potted plants and comfortable chairs are placed around the grass, encouraging students to lounge during one of the most stressful times of the academic year.

DEA’s Ryan Allen-Parrot ’13 and Gilad Meron ’12 (a fellow with the Center for Engaged Learning) installed the projects, along with a “small army of people working with them,” said Eveline Ferretti, Mann’s public programs and communications administrator.

“Being in touch with nature helps people be calmer, and they feel refreshed and productive,” Ferretti said. “The library is the perfect place for it.”

Meron first installed a lawn in Mann Library last fall. “It’s great to see people willing to lay down in the grass and just relax there,” he said then.” The main goal is really to make people happy.”


December 4, 2012

Beginning in early 2013, Cornell University Police will begin wearing new uniforms, the first significant change in their official attire in 42 years.

The new look replaces the current nickel-gray shirt with a black uniform shirt with ventilated side panels. The shirt complements the multi-pocket black cargo pants the department switched to in 2010.

“The decision to change our uniforms came when our suppliers advised us they were phasing out our current uniform,” said Chief Kathy Zoner. “We also learned that our officers were in favor of a new look, and wanted to find a material that would provide them comfort and meet the seasonal extremes experienced in Ithaca.”

Let them eat pie

December 3, 2012

Watch esteemed Law School faculty Charles Whitehead, Dean Stewart Schwab, Brad Wendel and Michael Dorf vie in the Nov. 30 pie eating contest.

The rules? The men had three minutes, plus bonus seconds purchased by donors, to eat one cherry pie each.

With 968 grams of pie eaten, Dorf held onto his title as the reigning champion. Students raised funds for Love Knows No Bounds, an Ithaca-based charity helping victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Becoming bar mitzvah

November 26, 2012

Young Jewish adults often become a bar or bat mitzvah at the age of 12 or 13 as a way of declaring that they will accept and entrust in the Jewish tradition and law as a “son or daughter of the commandments.”

I decided to become a Bar Mitzvah at the age of 19 (with the help of Cornell Hillel and many others) because the opportunity had not presented itself earlier, and I felt that I could get more meaning out of the experience as an adult. My parents never forced me to regularly attend any sort of religious service so I always felt that I had the freedom to choose my own religious path.

I attended the high holy days services with some friends at Anabel Taylor Hall, and the opportunity to be a part of the Big Red Bar Mitzvah was announced. I decided to go through with the process, which consisted of an introduction to Judaism and the learning of Jewish morals and traditions, as a way of finding my spirituality and finding myself.

I feel that as an adult making the decision to do this was much more meaningful and powerful because I did not feel obligated to have a bar mitzvah, but rather I was doing it for my own personal beliefs. While I am now a bar mitzvah, I have only just begun my journey. I have found that by becoming a part of this religion, I am able to appreciate the values I have grown up with and grown to learn and understand more as an adult.

— Julian Montijo ’15

Let’s talk turkey (& chicken)

November 13, 2012

Move over, turkeys: Mann Library has launched a new online exhibition about the recent resurgence of interest in small-scale poultry-keeping.

Backyard Revival: American Heritage Poultry” delves into the history of raising chickens everywhere from private backyards to huge industrial operations. Individual breeds are pictured and catalogued, and digitized photographs, feed catalogs, book covers and more tell the story of the transformation. The exhibition also includes items from the Rice Poultry Collection, which is a major repository of information on current and historical poultry science.

Funding from the Mary A. Morrison Public Education Endowment made the exhibition possible; the original “Backyard Revival” exhibition, installed in November 2009, was funded through the Bondareff Family Fund for Mann Library.

Uncle Ezra is on sabbatical

November 12, 2012

The Dear Uncle Ezra website, created in 1986 as what may have been the world’s first online advice column, is temporarily closed for renovations.

“After heartfelt discussion we decided it was time for Ezra to go through a period of rest and recuperation and revisioning,” said Dave Vernon, special assistant to the vice president for information technologies.

The service was created to answer questions about Cornell rules and procedures and expanded to handle questions from “Why are hot dogs called hot dogs?” to how to mend a broken romance. Interested alumni and worried parents participated as much as students.

Now, Vernon said, Cornell information is available from an array of online sources. “We need to think through how Ezra can add a voice to what’s already there,” Vernon explained.

In the meantime, visit Uncle Ezra’s searchable archive of thousands of questions and answers.

- Bill Steele

Viva vegan

November 8, 2012

Cornell has made it to the final round of the Most Vegan-Friendly College Contest 2012. The contest site writes of Cornell:

“Between the Va-Va Vegan Bar, located in Keeton House; One World Café, an all-vegetarian café on campus offering popular dishes such as African peanut stew and a vegan Reuben; and the barbecued tofu with smoked tomatoes and watermelon at the Trillium Café, students at Cornell have good reason to want to re-enroll for as many years as possible. Other must-try dishes include the Tofu Kan delight, orange tamari grilled tofu steaks, dairy-free blueberry smoothies and vegan black-cocoa cake with vegan ganache.”

Click the image above to put Cornell over the top.



October 26, 2012

“Terra Nova,” a new exhibition in Mann Library’s gallery space, leads viewers through a landscape of desolate beauty.

Photographer Thibault Roland’s elegant, evocative photographs capture Newfoundland’s icebergs glowing in the dark sea, the sky hanging vast above the moors and the wind speaking in waves and clouds.

Roland is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute postdoctoral fellow at Cornell in biophysics. “Terra Nova” will be on display in the Mann Gallery through Oct. 28.

Man o Mann

October 23, 2012

Mann Library turns 60 this fall and Manndible Café turns 5.

Visit Mann Lobby at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, to celebrate the dual milestones with Manndible-made cake, giveaways and raffle prizes.

Those wearing 1950s librarian clothes and get a free cup of coffee.