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May 19, 2004

Explaining why we aren't dying the way we used to
  A U-M demographer is digging through dusty 19th century archives to get a clearer view of exactly why mortality rates have fallen sharply since 1880.
The history of ice manufacturing is a hot topic
"Iceman Cometh...and Goeth," an exhibition exploring the American ice industry from early New England pond ice harvesting to mechanical refrigeration runs at Clements Library June 8 - October 1.
You're never too old to lose surplus weight
  A study of 4,087 men and women age 70 and older showed that 46 percent were normal weight, 37.2 percent overweight and 13.5 percent obese. Researcher Kristi Rahrig Jenkins reports that obese seniors were twice as likely as their normal weight peers to develop health problems.
Longest federal educational reform has produced few achievements
 The federal government has spent 21 years in the longest education reform effort in U.S. history and produced "many ambitious programs but not too many achievements," according to a former U.S. Education Department adviser and current University of Michigan researcher.
Nominations for Neubacher disabilities award due May 31
  The U-M Council for Disability Concerns established the James Neubacher Award in October 1990 as a memorial to Jim Neubacher, an alumnus who was a Detroit Free Press columnist and an advocate for people with disabilities. In addition to the award ceremony, the annual Investing in Ability Week in October includes activities designed to increase understanding of disability-related issues.
Talking About Movies
When a documentary filmmaker makes us look at a person or subject up close for a long time, some of our initial impressions must often make room for contradictory emotions and interpretations, says Prof. Frank Beaver. A case in point: Robert McNamara in Errol Morris's The Fog of War.
Listen to Linda Gregerson read "The Day Breaking ...."
Listen to "The Day Breaking ..." mp3 (requires audio plugin)
Poet and English Prof. Linda Gregerson’s “The Day-Breaking If Not the Full Sun Shining on the Progresse of the Gospel in New England” is about the encounter in the 1600s between mercantilist, Gospel-spreading Protestant settlers and Algonquian Indian converts to Christianity.
U-M students mobilize the US Army
  Students in an information architecture course adopted the US Army Web site, a portal for news about the service for soldiers' families, the media and the public, as a classroom improvement project. The Army adopted seven of the group's 15 recommendations.
Listen to an excerpt from the new CD: A Close Embrace of the Earth
Listen to an excerpt mp3 (requires audio plugin)
Piotr Michalowski, professor of ancient Near Eastern studies, alumnus Mike Khoury '91 and Lenni Bukowski perform 11 collectively composed pieces of Free Jazz.
Michigan Today News-e is a monthly electronic publication for alumni and friends.

Talking About Words

'Data-mining' and 'deferred maintenance'
Prof. Richard Bailey says democracies have to explain themselves, while absolute power does not. But explaining has led to curious ('data-mining'), evasive ('please leave a message') and downright false ('deferred maintenance') terms.


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The U-M Japanese Animation Film Society holds a contest for art in the style of Japanese-originated animation called anime. Winner Sarah Cloutier '05, a biopsychology major from Mason, Mich., says her art (above) is for "sharing beautiful things, funny things, horrible things—things I want other people to see by any means available."


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