A&S in the News: September 6-12, 2020

Hurricane Season

South Carolina at greater risk of hurricanes in record-setting storm season: Bluffton Today – Sept. 5

Jason Senkbeil drives into potential hurricane strike zones to ask people what they’re thinking before the storm, to try to understand how they look at risk and hazards. An associate professor in the geography department at The University of Alabama, he asks people about their perception of a storm’s track and whether they’re more concerned about the wind, the storm surge, or falling trees.

Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra

TSO goes virtual for Fall half of 2020-2021 season: Tuscaloosa News – Sept. 7

One savings for this series: The University of Alabama School of Music, which houses the Moody, is donating the space, whereas it’s ordinarily a rental. Others stepping up to keep the TSO in the black during hard times include the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the Harrison Foundation, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, board members and frequent concert-goers.

Native American Festival

Annual Moundville Native American Festival will switch to online format: Tuscaloosa News – Sept. 7

Organizers of the 32nd annual Moundville Native American Festival have announced that this year’s event will be held online. The event, usually held over four days at The University of Alabama’s Moundville Archaeological Park in early October, attracts thousands of visitors each year. The festival traditionally features Native American artists, craftsmen and educators from around the nation.

Virtual Theatre and Dance

UA Theatre and Dance to produce in-the-process documentaries for all-virtual season: Tuscaloosa News: Sept. 8

Actors and dancers often train on stages with the belief that techniques, the basics of creating a character or performance, will translate to film when needed. This pandemic year has urged changes on The University of Alabama Department of Theatre and Dance, with more focus turning to performance for cameras, as its 2020-2021 season will go all digital.

Dark Energy

Inspiring future physicist while exploring dark energy: Mirage – Sept. 9

Doctoral student Victor Baules is spending his summer exploring the connection between dark energy and the expansion of our universe, but due to the pandemic, his research fellowship is more down-to-earth, taking place from his home in Alabama. Baules’ research trajectory in high-energy theory aligns with astrophysics research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), where scientists are exploring dark energy – which experts believe is driving cosmic expansion. The focus of Baules’ research fellowship is improving the ability to compare various models that seek to characterize dark energy. He is currently predicting the fundamental properties of dark energy that scientists may learn about through the upcoming Vera C. Rubin Observatory survey, expected to start in 2023. …Those plans changed when The University of Alabama reached out to him and invited him to apply for their doctoral program, which turned out to be a great fit for Baules.

Antarctic Expedition

UA, Auburn, others join for Antarctic biological research: Yellowhammer – Sept. 9

Twenty scientists soon embark on a 14-week voyage to study unexplored Antarctic waters to improve understanding of biodiversity undergoing rapid changes because of a changing climate.  The expedition includes researchers from The University of Alabama, Auburn University, Central Michigan University, the University of Alaska Anchorage and other institutions who will also train the next generation of zoologists in developing expertise on marine invertebrate animals using traditional and cutting-edge techniques.

Airborne Chemicals

Good vibrations: Environmental News Network – Sept. 9

Researchers at The University of Alabama are working with Army scientists to develop and use this chemical symphony to quickly detect dangerous airborne chemicals. The technology uses electrical signals to tune in to specific frequencies corresponding to chemical weapons, toxic industrial chemicals or explosives. These chemicals can be impossible for humans to detect on their own, and rapid detection is challenging.

Muslim Pilgrimage

The world’s largest Muslim pilgrimage site? Not Mecca, but the Shiite shrine in Karbala: Religion News Service: Sept. 10

Every year, Shiite Muslims mark the death of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Hussain with a mourning period that lasts a total of 50 days. Ashura, the tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharram, commemorates the day Hussain died. For millions of Shiites, this mourning period culminates in a pilgrimage to Karbala in Iraq. This pilgrimage has, in recent years, become the largest gathering of people in the world for a religious reason. Edith Szanto is an assistant professor of religious studies at The University of Alabama.
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Moody Music Building

Frank Moody Music building gets a new roof: Tuscaloosa News – Sept. 10

A construction crew is currently working to repair the fire-damaged roof of the Frank Moody Music Building on the campus of The University of Alabama. The building’s roof was heavily damaged in a fire on April 19 that appeared to have been started by a lightning strike.

COVID-19 Relief Bill

COVID-19 stimulus with a $300 unemployment boost was DOA. McConnell held a vote anyway.: NBC News – Sept. 10

By Regina L. Wagner, assistant professor of political science at The University of Alabama.What does the failed Senate vote on a Republican COVID-19 relief bill on Thursday have to do with an unsuccessful amendment put forward by Democrats in the Alabama state Legislature to criminalize vasectomies?

Paul R. Jones Museum

University of Alabama museum gets grant for future art exhibits: WVUA – Sept. 11

The University of Alabama’s Paul R. Jones Museum in Tuscaloosa is receiving funding from the Alabama State Council on the Arts for four future exhibitions. The ASCA awards grants each year to nonprofit organizations, schools and other community groups. The $5,600 award is the first ASCA grant for the Paul R. Jones Museum. Museum Director Daniel White said the grant will help bring future exhibitions to life.