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16 July 1999

Vol. III, No. 2

In the News

"I think American adults have lost a fundamental truth, and that is that children don't come into the world civilized," says Kevin Ryan, recently retired SED professor and director of the Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character. Speaking on CBS This Morning on June 28 about etiquette classes for children, Ryan explains, "I think etiquette is really the important outward form, but what we're really talking about with good manners is developing habits of consideration, habits of responsibility."

The increasing use of the computer keyboard as a child's toy as well as an educational tool is causing the muscle cramps formerly associated mainly with data-entry workers. Posture can help, according to Karen Jacobs, a clinical associate professor of occupational therapy at Sargent College. In a July 5 U.S. News & World Report article she says, "There are all kinds of ways to easily modify posture, and the sooner kids learn how to do it, the better ingrained those good habits will be."

Trawling equipment used by commercial fishing boats can seriously affect the ocean floor, according to Les Kaufman, CAS associate professor in the Boston University Marine Program. On NPR's June 3 Ocean Report, he describes how his Seaing Eye Project opens fishermen's eyes to this damage. "We bring our reconnaissance equipment and methods out with fishermen who are dragging for cod or haddock or flounder off New England," Kaufman says, "and we show them with our cameras what the impact of the gear is on the bottom. Their eyes get as big as saucers."

The antitrust case against Microsoft is now in the hands of the presiding judge, who is expected to deliver a preliminary ruling this fall. Ronald Cass, dean of the School of Law, asks in the June 28 New York Times, "What has the government proved, other than its ability to tweak the tail of the tiger?" He concludes, "In the nine months since the Microsoft trial began, the government has no doubt shown that Microsoft is a very big company with very bad manners. But it certainly hasn't proved that Microsoft has violated the antitrust laws by harming consumers."

The political inner workings of art museums make news these days, including a major restructuring at the Museum of Fine Arts recently by director Malcolm Rogers, discussed in a July 8 New York Times article. One effect of the restructuring may be consolidation, says CAS Art History Professor Patricia Hills. "Malcolm Rogers believes in the corporate model for a museum, with one guy at the top who is in power making decisions and only looking at the finances and the marketing," she says. "The voice of the independent curator disappears."

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