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Week of 8 October 1999

Vol. III, No. 9

In the News

"I don't think of myself first as a disabled person," says BU's Office of Disability Services Director Allan Macurdy, who has muscular dystrophy. In the Boston Globe Magazine's September 19 "Interview" feature, he continues, "I have a happy life. The fact that few people can see that probably says more about what's wrong with the way we, as a society, look at ourselves than it is any indication of what my life is really like. We have this mythical idea about physical autonomy, physical perfection. We're the society of diet crazes and bizarre body consciousness. In terms of building your happiness in life, the outside package matters so little."

"There is no more complex profession than politics," says Kevin White, director of BU's Institute for Political Communication and a former mayor of Boston. He observes in a September 19 Boston Globe story, "There is no formula. You can say two and two are four, but you can never say that in politics, because you are dealing with the public, and the public was put by God on earth and are governed by no rules. They make the rules. Politics is fascinating because it doesn't bow to mathematics."

Twenty women poets are represented in the latest Oxford Book of English Verse, chosen by its current editor, Christopher Ricks, a professor in the CAS Core Curriculum program. Ricks says in The Independent of London September 19 that rather than making his choices on the basis of gender, "What most mattered to me in selecting a poem was whether it moved and delighted me and would move and delight others."

On Einstein Revealed, part of the PBS series Nova, on September 20, Robert Schulmann, director of the Einstein Papers Project at BU, offered his assessment of the physicist's character. "Those very traits that are exhibited in science -- the ruthlessness with which he is able to seize upon a problem, the very broad grasp of the literature, and homing in on what question is important and which questions have to be answered -- this same kind of restless ruthlessness, if you will, is, I think, exhibited on the personal side too, and it's not a coincidence."

"Do you want to have a better relationship with your customers? Build a better product? Make a project or sales process run more smoothly?" asks Thomas Davenport, an SMG professor of management information systems, in an article in Inc. Magazine's Tech 1999 No. 3 issue. "Once you decide what kind of knowledge really matters to you, you can ask yourself how you create it, capture the techniques and processes that work best, and then share them."

"In the News" is compiled by Alexander Crouch in the Office of Public Relations.