Bucky on stage

first_imgR. Buckminster Fuller, the self-taught architect, inventor, and futurist who coined the term “Spaceship Earth,” entered Harvard College in the fall of 1913. But by 1915, he had been thrown out twice — he preferred the term “fired” — and never returned for a degree.His first transgression involved using all of his tuition and board money to throw a party for dancing girls in New York City. The second, he recalled decades later, was because of “lack of sustained interest.”Still, Fuller returned to Harvard in 1961 to accept the yearlong Charles Eliot Norton Professorship of Poetry. And he is returning once more, this time as the character in a one-man play at the American Repertory Theater’s (A.R.T.) Loeb Drama Center.“R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe,” a two-act monologue performed by A.R.T. veteran Thomas Derrah, opens Friday (Jan. 14) and runs through Feb. 5. Director D.W. Jacobs, who began the script after the centennial of Fuller’s birth in 1995, saw him lecture in 1968. “Come whenever you can,” he recalled his brother telling him. “He talks all day.”Fuller, famously effusive as a speaker, rarely interacted with his audiences. They were hard to see (the nearsighted inventor started wearing glasses at age 4) and hard to hear (Fuller’s hearing was damaged during naval service in World War I). A monologue play was a natural fit, but Jacobs had to pare Fuller’s complicated ideas into about 100 concise stories.Music and video blooms behind Derrah as the play unfolds, said Jacobs, with sights and sounds streaming “like a wake behind Bucky’s ship.”And what a ship of ideas it was. Fuller’s admirers over the years called the polymath inventor “Leonardo-like,” a “cosmic surfer,” and a “poet of technology.” He popularized the geodesic dome, invented a streamlined three-wheeled, “Dymaxion” car in the 1930s, and throughout his life was a student of structures that gave materials their invisible tensile strength.In kindergarten, Fuller constructed a tetrahedronal octet truss out of dried peas and toothpicks, a precocious episode related in the play. In 1961, he patented the same robust symmetrical structure, dubbing it the Octetruss.At Harvard, Fuller declined to concentrate in math, dismissing it as “too easy.” He turned instead to literature and political science, subjects that ended up suiting him less, and that only accelerated his boredom with conventional studies.Fuller was restless with conventional thinking even as a boy at Milton Academy. When studying Euclidian geometry, he rejected what one biographer called the “fictitious objects” that notation required. But Fuller decided to conform — until he got to Harvard.It was there that the practical summers of his boyhood clashed most with the idea of conventional studies.“He saw that people gave up their initiative as soon as they entered school,” said Jacobs of Fuller. “They are natural-born problem-solvers, up to the point we send them to school. They can ask big questions, and suddenly that all gets delegated to the teacher.”Though he liked some of his Harvard professors, Fuller was the prototype of a restless, seeking, unconventional mind. That later made him wildly popular with counterculture audiences in the 1960s, including the young Jacobs, who said his own professors rarely embraced Fuller’s trademark attraction to the interdisciplinary. “In college,” said Jacobs, “people wake up from 12 years of [conventional] education, and begin to wonder: ‘Am I really studying what I want?’ ”Leaving Harvard, Fuller resumed what he called “his real lessons.” He worked as a textile mill mechanic in Canada, hefted quarters of beef (and learned management) with meatpacker Armour and Co., and served as a line officer in the Navy — the ultimate classroom for a generalist interested in applied technology.But Harvard gave Fuller a gift beyond academics, his biographers say: a lifelong preoccupation with human welfare, and the social, technical, and economic problems that vex the modern age.Fuller believed that technology was part of the answer, and that Spaceship Earth could handle its human burden if the right solutions were in place.During the turbulent 1960s, said Jacobs in a snippet of A.R.T. video about the play, “Bucky was kind of the calm at the eye of the hurricane,” a grandfatherly figure who acknowledged that the world had big problems, but none that couldn’t be solved.“He was a great teacher, really, to the world,” said his daughter, Allegra Fuller Snyder, in the same video. The former UCLA dance and dance ethnology professor will be in Cambridge Jan. 16 for one of 12 public talks related to the play.Others scheduled in the post-performance talk series Jan. 15 to Feb. 5 are: Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School, who was once Fuller’s chief engineer (Jan. 20); Donald Ingber, director of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, who discovered that living cells are structured according to the principles of Fuller’s “tensegrity architecture” (Jan. 25); the play’s production dramaturg Annie DiMario (Jan. 26 and 30); Antoine Picon, G. Ware Travelstead Professor of the History of Architecture and Technology at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, who has written about Fuller (Jan. 29); and Derrah, who channels Fuller in the play (Feb. 5).For more on the discussions, visit “Bucky and Me.”last_img read more

Greek socialist ex-minister Valyrakis, 77, found dead at sea

first_imgATHENS, Greece (AP) — Sifis Valyrakis, a former minister and resistance fighter against Greece’s 1967-74 military dictatorship who twice made daring escapes, was found dead at sea Sunday night, the coast guard has announced. He was 77. Arrested for a series of bombings during the dictatorship, he escaped from prison twice, the second time by swimming from the island of Corfu to neighboring Albania. A dedicated follower of socialist leader Andreas Papandreou, he strongly denied allegations made by U.S. officials that he was a member of the November 17 extremist group.last_img

Early admits visit campus

first_imgSome of Notre Dame’s early admission applicants arrived on campus Saturday as part of Notre Dame’s 13th Reilly Weekend, a visitation program for the top 1 percent of prospective students.Junior Adam Farchone, who is part of the student planning committee for the event, said the weekend aims to show prospective students the character of Notre Dame. The weekend’s events — which included a stadium tour, a visit to the Center for the Homeless in South Bend and a group mass — gave participants a feel for everything the University has to offer, he said. Participants will be able to attend University classes today.“Reilly, as it stands, is a visitation weekend for students in the top 1 percent of the application pool from Notre Dame,” he said. “But this year, it’s really been expanded to just beyond the top 1 percent academically.”Although the program has not changed much over the years, Farchone said the criteria for accepted students has been more holistic this year than it has been in the past.“While all the students that are attending Reilly will have stellar grade point averages, additionally there is an unprecedented focus [this year] on community engagement as well as extracurriculars in school,” he said. “… So while it’s still the top 1 percent of the application pool, it’s more of a holistic view of the applicants, whereas in previous years it had been almost entirely based on academic involvement.”Freshman and committee member Rachel Warne said Reilly Weekend gives high school seniors, who are choosing between a handful of great schools, the opportunity to see Notre Dame as an attending student would.“I think that [Reilly Weekend] is an experience of Notre Dame you wouldn’t get to have if you just come visit and go on a tour and kind of walk around campus,” she said. “It’s kind of like the full experience.“You really get to see a lot more than you would get to experience if you came with your parents for one day as part of a bigger college tour. So, it’s nice because they get to have this deeper experience with Notre Dame, and they get to really understand what it’s all about, rather than kind of just the surface view.”Although stadium construction for Campus Crossroads led to some adjustments in the weekend’s events, freshman and committee member Katharine Janes said the University was still able to show students all the best things it has to offer.“It really makes you think about why is Notre Dame really spiritually active, why are athletics important, why are academics important and how can we showcase that to prospective students?” she said. “And also, I think that recruiting a student body that really values those things is important, so you’re recruiting students who will be reflective of that mission.”Farchone said his experience at Reilly Weekend as a high school senior was what ultimately convinced him to attend Notre Dame.“Reilly was really a chance to experience the tangible offerings of Notre Dame, and it was a great way to differentiate the University from other options that I was considering,” he said. “It really highlighted for me the community aspect of Notre Dame and the familial atmosphere, as well as the focus on the faith life and service.“There was a moment on my Reilly [weekend] when I looked around and thought to myself, ‘These are the people that I want to spend the rest of my life with,’ and I couldn’t envision myself going to any other University besides Notre Dame. And that’s what we’re hoping to recreate for these students, to show them that in the face of a secular world, it’s not a disadvantage to have attended a Catholic university. In many ways it’s actually an advantage for your personal well-being and your holistic development.”Tags: Prospective Students, Reilly Visitation Program, Reilly Weekendlast_img read more

Croatia’s government-run utility plans major renewables investments

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Croatia’s state-run power utility HEP aims to boost renewable energy to 50 percent of its total capacity from the current 35 percent, investing 1 billion Croatian kuna ($153.96 million) a year on average until 2030, it said on Thursday.It will upgrade existing hydro power plants, as well as adding new ones, and invest in other renewable sources, HEP said in a statement.The company is currently running an open tender procedure for the construction of a 6.5 megawatt (MW) solar power plant on the island of Cres, which will be the largest in the country to date.Talks are also underway on the acquisition of two solar and two wind farms, it said, adding that a total of 600 million kuna will be allocated for these projects in 2019 alone.Croatia, the European Union’s newest member, imports 40 percent of its electricity, around 40 percent of its gas and up to 80 percent of its oil. It currently has 4,500 MW of installed power generation capacity with HEP controlling 85 percent of the electricity market.More: Croatia’s HEP to invest $1.85 billion in renewable energy by 2030 Croatia’s government-run utility plans major renewables investmentslast_img read more

Colombia and Honduras Work Together on Educational Issues

first_imgBy Colombian War College December 29, 2016 Major General Juan Carlos Salazar Salazar, president of the Colombian War College (ESDEGUE, per its Spanish acronym), and Brigadier General Jorge Arnoldo Fuentes Hernández, provost of Honduras’s Defense University, signed an academic cooperation agreement between both educational institutions in late November. The agreement was formalized on the principles of alignment and mutual support between the two Latin American countries. The joint effort calls for student and teacher exchanges, sharing scientific research, and other activities of common interest that may allow for the best use of human talent, infrastructure, and teamwork in educational, training, and specialization programs. It also deals with the exchange of information about graduate programs and the development of joint research projects and activities that may contribute to solving their shared national defense and security issues. In the official ceremony, the president of ESDEGUE recalled the transnational realities and threats common to the region, and emphasized the need to join forces to confront them. “No one is able to solve these problems alone. That is why we need each other,” he said. The provost of Honduras’s Defense University celebrated the signing of the cooperation agreement and highlighted the vast experience Colombia has in the field. “We know that accords are needed with other countries that are much more developed than Honduras. That is why this accord with Colombia is needed,” he stated. The mission of Honduras’s Defense University is to provide training and specialization to professionals in the military, aeronautical, and naval sciences, and to develop their leadership, technical, educational and administrative capabilities. It also includes providing them with a solid ethical and moral formation that will allow them to plan the defense of their homeland, the strengthening of their state, and the peace and stability of their democracy. The Colombian War College provides an interdisciplinary educational approach to training military strategy leaders, as well as national and international civilian leaders to face security and defense challenges.last_img read more

Hempstead Town Officer Gets Plea Deal in Theft Case

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Stephen CentoreA former longtime Town of Hempstead code enforcement officer has struck a plea deal to avoid jail time after being accused of stealing a laptop from his boss’ office four months ago.Stephen Centore pleaded guilty Friday at First District Court to attempted petit larceny. Judge Francis Ricigliano sentenced the 56-year-old Franklin Square man to 50 hours of community service.Centore was arrested and charged with felony grand larceny in March four days after authorities said he stole a Panasonic Tough Book computer worth more than $1,000 from the acting Chief of Public Safety’s office in town hall.The ex-town employee resigned after nearly three decades on the job when the allegations surfaced.He was reportedly suspended for 60 days in 2007 and fined $500 in county court the following year after pleading guilty to illegal use of a single family home.The case came to a close while Hempstead Town Clerk Mark Bonilla’s misconduct trial entered its second week, also at First District Court.A Hempstead town spokeswoman did not return a call for comment.last_img read more

Pair of crashes on Route 17 slow down traffic

first_img11:41 A.M. UPDATE: State Police say an investigation revealed that an 86-year-old woman was the driver of the vehicle and almost struck a tractor-trailer head-on, but the driver attempted to avoid the collision and was sideswiped. —– (WBNG) — New York State Police say troopers in Endwell responded to a report of a wrong-way driver on State Route 17E between exits 71 and 72. They say one of the vehicles was facing the wrong direction on 17E. A 12 News crew is on scene and says there are two crashes, one on 17E and the other on 17W. They say a number of emergency responders are at the crash on 17W. There is no updated information on the other crash. They say there are no injuries. At approximately 8:41 a.m., State Police responded to reports of a vehicle traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes on NY 17. (WBNG) — Traffic is at a stand-still on State Route 17 East and Westbound due to two crashes. The incident is still under investigation. Stay with 12 News as we follow this developing story. Stay with 12 News as we follow this developing story.last_img read more

Indonesian firm obtains US patent for organic fertilizer

first_imgAn Indonesian fertilizer producer has obtained a patent from the United States for its coal-based fertilizer production technique.The patent was granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on June 16 to R. Umar Hasan Saputra, an Indonesian citizen who owns Glogens Organic Micro-Carbon Fertilizer, according to the Foreign Ministry’s website.The patent allows the business to enter the US agricultural market, which currently is one of the largest in the world. The company will also be able to expand its investment by establishing a factory in the US to supply the country and the world market. Umar said the US patent would highlight the quality of his company’s product, which in Indonesia is marketed under the brand Futura by his company, PT Saputra Global Harvest.He added that the fertilizer was manufactured using low-calorie coal that could be found in many countries. The fertilizer is organic, ecofriendly and can repair the condition of the soil. It is easier to produce than chemical-based fertilizers and is therefore less costly.Read also: ‘It’s like the Pentagon’: New ministry’s control center to improve agriculture data collectionUmar said his company had been developing the product for 11 years before it was adopted by farmers in Indonesia. He said the fertilizer could increase the productivity of various types of plants. Umar said Glogens would apply for a license to sell the product in the US. The company was preparing a plot of land in California for a trial of the product on rice and a plot in Indiana for a trial on corn.Meri Binsar Simorangkir, the Indonesian Consul General in Chicago, said on Monday that the Indonesian Consulate General in Chicago and the Indonesian Trade Promotion Center (ITPC) would help the company get certifications needed in the US. The institutions would also help to promote the brand in the US market, especially in the Midwest, the breadbasket of the US, which produces significant amounts of soybeans, corn and wheat.“The Midwest is a potential market for Futura,” said Meri.His company is also cooperating with the government of Zimbabwe to procure land for research and development. Umar is considering marketing his product in Africa, particularly in Kenya, Zambia, Namibia and Ghana.The Indonesian government has expressed hope that Umar’s achievement will open other doors for the sale of coal-based fertilizer in Europe, Asia and Australia. (asp)Topics :last_img read more