Huntington Theatre Company's production of Hedda Gabler, at the BU Theatre, through Jan. 28

Vol. IV No. 18   ·   12 January 2001


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Studies and research by exercise physiologists have shown that regular exercise helps prevent premature death. Recently physiologists have turned their attention increasingly to muscle strength and power as opposed to overall aerobic fitness. A story in the Boston Globe January 2 reports on the "biological wall" theory, which states that people are born with all the muscle fibers they are ever going to have. According to SAR Associate Professor Roger Fielding, new research suggests that power may be even more important for maintaining daily activities than strength. Fielding and his team of researchers have completed a randomized study showing that muscles in older women can be trained for increased power. "The weight-lifting exercises are much like those used in strength training," says Fielding. "But in strength training, the emphasis is on lifting weights slowly, while in power training, the key is lifting weights very fast." The message emerging from such recent research: people have to keep exercising -- even just walking --if they want to maintain strength and prolong life.

With George W. Bush about to hang his hat at the White House, historians have the arduous task of ranking Bill Clinton among American presidents. The Clinton years were a time of unprecedented prosperity at home and peace abroad, but governmental gridlock, Clinton's disastrous relationship with a young White House intern, and an impeachment hearing dimmed his brightest hopes. Historians' reactions so far have been widely different. Some stress his political skills and talent, and some his personal weaknesses and scandals. CAS History Professor Robert Dallek says in the December 31 Dallas Morning News, "What will be focused on is that he did some very foolish things and acted unwisely. But in the final analysis, he didn't get ousted, nowhere near it." Dallek also comments on Clinton's move to the center, a move that upset Democratic liberals. However, historians as usual will have to wait before casting their final ballots. "It depends on whether George W. enjoys a successful eight-year run," says Dallek. "If he only gets four years and there's an economic recession, he and his father may be looked on as one-term presidents who couldn't measure up to Bill Clinton."

An editorial in the December 29 MetroWest Daily News praises Boston University's decision not to enter into an agreement that would have allowed a newly formed for-profit company to digitize and analyze data from the Framingham Heart Study. Aram Chobanian, dean and provost of the School of Medicine, which has administered the study since 1970, and Claude Lenfant, director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which has funded the study, wrote to participants of the study, "The success of the Framingham Heart Study over the past half-century has been based on mutual trust and an abiding commitment to the pursuit of medical and scientific knowledge." The editorial states that BU has demonstrated its sensitivity to concerns about protecting the heart study's reputation by ending the for-profit venture, and it urged Massachusetts political leaders in Washington to work to find the grants and funding needed to undertake the important computer-based analysis.

"In The News" is compiled by Mark Toth in the Office of Public Relations.


17 January 2001
Boston University
Office of University Relations