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September 2008

They Like Us, They Really Do

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the name of a new quarterly magazine that Cornell is going to begin publishing next month is quite flattering to this humble website. As reports the Chronicle:

Ezra, a new quarterly magazine, will make its appearance on campus in mid-October.

The magazine is being produced by the Cornell Chronicle and the Office of Publications and Marketing with assistance from the Division of Alumni Affairs and Development (AA&D). It is hoped it will become a vital news source for alumni, faculty, staff and students, as well as the Cornell community around the world.

Like traditional news magazines, Ezra will have a cover story and wide-ranging sections, reporting on research and scholarship, much of it interdisciplinary; on outreach that brings applied research and Cornell resources to people around the globe and solves real-world challenges; on the arts and humanities; and on Big Red athletics.

There's no word on how the magazine will be distributed. It will be available on-line, but will it also be mailed to all alums? Perhaps only alums who have donated to Cornell in recent years? Or will there be an explicit subscription price?

That said, it will be interesting to see how much of an independent voice (if any) Ezra develops. The Cornell Chronicle isn't exactly known for being anything other than an organ for Day Hall, to say nothing of Communique. I suppose the Chronicle at least accepts letters to the editor. Even CAM fails to pack an independent editorial punch in most issues -- there was nary one word of criticism in a recent article about Cornell's master plan, but we provided some.

So that really leaves The Sun and Kitsch with the type of journalism that can provide an independent, investigative critique of what is really going around on an intensely democratic campus -- and how we can make our alma mater better and stronger. To date, they seem to be doing a passable job. Kitsch has had an interesting article on ROTC on campus and an absolutely riveting one regarding a student wrestling with immigration issues. And the Sun had a very nice article this weekend on just how inaccessible a place like Cornell may be for someone with limited mobility or another type of disability.

But still, the additional information and writing on Ezra's University is always welcomed. Besides, we doubt that this will ever see the light of day.

P.S. Homecoming was grand. We attended a seminar in the PAM department, met up with long lost co-workers, frequented the Apple Festival on the Commons, dined at the Lost Dog Cafe, screened the presidential debate with students at Bailey Hall, entertained alums from the 1950s at the all-alumni reunion, cheered the Big Red team as they took the field in a heroic victory over the first-ranked Elis, said hello to Ivy League Player of the Year Louis Dale, hosted a dinner party at a house built by Ana Comstock, enjoyed the sounds of the Glee Club, roasted marshmallows under the stars, and fell asleep to the sounds of Cayuga Lake lapping gently against the shore not five feet away. But yeah, the weather was kind of awful.

Matthew Nagowski | September 29, 2008 (#)

MetaEzra at Homecoming

We'll be in Trumansburg, huddled up in a Cayuga cottage. Hope to CU there!

Matthew Nagowski | September 25, 2008 (#)

Re-Digitizing the Sun?

Most uber-Cornell dorks will tell you that one of the greatest resources on University history is the Cornell Library's digital collection of the Daily Sun. To date, the library has digitized 75 years of the Sun in a format that allows both searching and browsing, and the library continues to actively recruit more donors to help pay for the expenses of additional years.

But now it appears that we may have another option on the table:

Google marked another milestone in its ambition to organise the world's information last night, revealing an ambitious extension of its Google News search that will make millions of pages of archived newspaper content available for free.

The new scheme will see Google linking up with a series of major newspaper and magazine publishers to digitise their print archives.

Google will foot the bill for scanning the archived publications and, as it has done with out-of-copyright books for the Google Books archive, will generate revenue by placing ads alongside the content and splitting the income with publishers.

So can we get the Cornell Alumni Magazine and the Cornell Countryman on Google?

Matthew Nagowski | September 14, 2008 (#)

Carl Becker is Rolling in His Grave

Because I tend to be interested in such things, I recently found myself on the website for the Carl Becker House on West Campus. And what should I find, but a rather nice seal with a rather incorrect phrase on it:

You see, Carl Becker never said 'Freedom with Responsibility'. Hunter Rawlings did. Carl Becker always said that Cornell embodied 'Freedom and Responsibility'. While some may not see the difference, there is a rather important distinction made between the and and the with -- while the later is derivative and supplementary, the former is complementary and allows both ideals to stand on their own.

You may say we nitpick, but we happen to like Carl Becker and integrity in our history. Perhaps it takes a full reading of Becker's text to fully appreciate the meaning of the phrase.

Unfortunately, it only gets worse. Not only is the seal proudly boasting the wrong quote, but there is apparently a big stone plaque at the entrance to the House that espouses 'Freedom with Responsibility' and not the correct phrase.

Good grief.

Matthew Nagowski | September 03, 2008 (#)

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