[Currents headergraphic]

December 7, 1998

Making the News

Jean Fox Tree hit the media jackpot the first time out, making the "Science" page of the New York Times last week for her study of the conversational "goofs" we all make. Turns out that those ums, ohs, and false starts aren't as irrelevant as previously thought, Fox Tree discovered with graduate student Josef C. Schrock. By uttering "oh" midsentence, the speaker is actually subconsciously getting the listener's attention. The coverage in the Times triggered calls from National Public Radio's All Things Considered, Health magazine, the San Jose Mercury News, and KNTV-Channel 11 in San Jose.

A report on the origins of the Hawaiian volcanoes by earth sciences graduate student Sara Russell and professor and chair of earth sciences Thorne Lay led to articles in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Monterey Herald, the Los Angeles Times, and the Honolulu Advertiser, as well as extensive coverage on the World Wide Web. Online news outlets featuring the story included Discovery Channel Online, Yahoo! News, ScienceNow, and UniSci.

David Cope's EMI program was featured in the Chicago Tribune. The story gives an insightful look at the computer program that composes music in the style of other composers (including Cope) and touches on the controversial question sparked by Cope's invention: Is creativity a strictly human ability?

The dismantling of the blue whale skeleton at Long Marine Laboratory, which is being shipped to Florida for restoration work, received double coverage in the San Jose Mercury News, with a short article followed the next day by a photo feature showing technician Mike Hite working on the skeleton.

The San Jose Mercury News tapped the expertise of Daniel Press of environmental studies for its coverage of the burgeoning political movement geared toward curbing sprawl on the edges of metropolitan areas. Press has studied every environmental ballot initiative that has appeared on the California ballot.

Economist Michael Hutchison was interviewed by KPFA radio in Berkeley about Japan's banking crisis and the economic turmoil in East Asia. He also provided a background interview on the same subject for the staff of the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

Chancellor Greenwood's latest round of visits to local high schools made a difference to at least one 15-year-old. Ben Palone of North Monterey County High School had thought UCSC was a junior college prior to Greenwood's visit, according to a story in the Monterey County Herald. Afterward, Palone said he was impressed by Greenwood and what the campus has to offer.

An article on greenhouse gardening in the San Jose Mercury News featured advice from Arboretum director Ron Enomoto.

Anthony Pratkanis of psychology was interviewed by Metro Santa Cruz for a story about a local cult. He was also quoted in a story in Canada's news weekly, Maclean's, about telemarketing scams.

Jim Leap and Ann Lindsey of Agroecology were on KICU-TV's show Q&A. They talked about the center's activities and described some of the research that's taking place at the UCSC Farm. The segment will be rebroadcast on Friday, December 18th at 6 a.m.

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