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2009-2010

Perceptual Experience and Physical Theory

11 February 2009
David Lund

We rely on sense perception for our knowledge of the world around us and of our own bodies as well. Many have held that all of our knowledge is derived from it. Unreflective common sense seems to assume that sense perception simply brings us into immediate contact with the material environment - an environment that really has the sensory qualities. Dr. Lund argued that this assumption is false, one reason being that it is conflict with contemporary physical theory. The external, public world is not as it appears to be.

The Road Less Traveled

24 February 2009
Donald Day

This lecture included discussion on the following: an American Indian man's journey living in two worlds; issues on cultural competency and cultural characteristics; why promoting diversity is important to Bemidji State University; how to stay on the "Red Road," the road of the warrior. Insights on resiliency were also presented.

Walking Machines: A Short History of Legged, Mechanized Locomotion

24 March 2009
Vincent Vohnout

A means of mechanical locomotion has been sought after ever since horses were displaced by the automobile. Legs have always been recognized as the superior locomotion element. No useful and practical means of control of mechanized legged locomotion was available until the development of the single board, digital computer. In the past 25 years, legged machine locomotion has made some remarkable steps and a few leaps.

Don't Stop Talkin' Bout Freedom: The Censorship of Rock Music in the 1960's & 1970's

15 April 2009
Michael Taylor

Rock music was the means by which counterculture philosophy was carried to the masses. It thereby provided the linchpin upon which popular protest against perceived injustice motivated action unparalleled in American history. As a result, the sinews of American society were being strained to the breaking point. Beginning with the election of Richard Nixon, the full authority of the government was unleashed to control rock music's obvious influence. An emphasis of this lecture was placed on the principles of censorship and their application against popular music.

From the Tomb to the Cathedral: The Roots and Traditions of Orthodox Icon Painting

29 April 2009
Natalia Himmirska

The ancient technique, called "encaustic," was the starting point of one of the oldest, deepest and most sophisticated aspects of Russian and Slavic culture: the painting of religious icons. Encaustic painting, which uses hot was as the medium to carry pigment, was first used in Greco-Roman Egypt from 100 B.C. to 200 A.D. The paintings from this era are known as Fayum portraits. In this lecture, Professor Himmirska illustrated the evolution of styles and the inner meaning of these faces that gaze at us in silence from Orthodox icons.

Coming Home: Veterans in History

12 November 2009
Tom Murphy

Veterans have been faced with these principle questions: How will society receive them? How will they adjust to civilian life? What opportunities await them? What scars will they bear? Veterans from different wars have been treated differently. WWII veterans were welcomed home appreciatively while in contrast Vietnam War veterans felt under-appreciated. This presentation focused on United States veterans but also included stories of other veterans, such as Germany after both world wars.

When the Wolf is at the Door

2 December 2009
Carla Norris-Raynbird

How vulnerable did Louisiana coastal parish officials feel prior to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005? How knowledgeable were local coast parish officials? How did this translate into coastal management decisions and preparedness? How did location within the coastal zone translate to ideas of vulnerability...or complacency?  What preliminary themes emerge from data collected in 2009? Dr. Norris Raynbird discussed finding obtained just prior to the hurricanes of 2005 that shed light on the efficacy of the Louisiana local coastal program in building local capacity in management decisions. Theses findings prompted a follow-up study funded by Louisiana SeaGrant which is currently underway.

Active Living by Design; The Built Environment, Physical Inactivity, and Obesity in America

 19 January 2010
James White

How we build and design our towns and cities directly influence our health. Can we build or remodel our surroundings to slow or reverse obesity trends? What role does having access to parks and trails and other green space play in health? Is physical activity being systematically engineered out of the average Americans lifestyle? Environments can be designed to promote active living and good health. Can we afford not to be physically active? The true cost of a sedentary lifestyle.

Coming Online in Samoa

 4 February 2010
Jeanine Gangeness

Dr. Gangeness spoke about a teaching experience in Western Samoa then discussed how cultural and socio-economic issues impacts the development and implementation of an online course. The Pacific Open Learning Health Net, sponsored by the World Health Organization, provides e-learning opportunities to healthcare professionals throughout the Pacific region. In an effort to expand the number of learning opportunities throughout its online platform. Registered Nurses have no access to continuing education once they have completed their initial university education and are employed in the villages of Western Samoa.

What Makes Fiction?

 23 February 2010
Lauren Cobb & Maureen Gibbon

What keeps a reader turning pages? What keeps them reading late into the night trying to finish a story or novel that they just can't put down? Professor Cobb and Gibbon read excerpts of their own work that is set in Minnesota. They then discussed the craft of creating conflict and tension in fiction.

Persons, Souls and Death

3 March 2010
David Lund

What are persons? What must be true of them for there to be any possibility of their continued existence after bodily death? Do they have a "deep" nature, logically distinct from the body, that might be properly characterized as a soul? How should the mind-brain connection be understood? Is it one of identity, or is it a casual relation? Is there a basis (independent of any appeal to religious belief) for believing that at least some persons have survived bodily death? If so, how strong is it?

Nuts, Bolts & the Cytoskeleton

 18 March 2010
Michael Hamann

When you think of a CELL, do you think 'Phone' or FUNDAMENTAL UNIT OF LIFE? Dr. Hamann presented how some of the organizing principles of the cellular cytoskeleton, but in particular, he focused on two specialized classes (i.e. the nuts and bolts) of cellular "machines" that provide a nexus for stimulating the assembly of cytoskeleton structures. He explained how these machines potentially become mis-regulated in certain diseases like cancer.

From Proclamation to Dialogue: The Colonial Press and the Emergence of an American Public Sphere

 15 April 2010
Larry Skillin

What is this thing called the public sphere and how does it affect our lives? Do you prefer it when authors appeal to your rationality and try to persuade you of a position or when they simply tell you what to do or believe? Those in attendance found out why their answer might determine if they should have set their time machine to 1650 or 1725. Bonus feature – Professor Skillin explained what it was like when Quakers behaved badly in early Philadelphia.