A&S in the News: October 18-24, 2020

Spring Break

Students and professors mourn loss of spring break: Crimson White – Oct. 18

While the amount of off days are technically the same, some students are concerned about how their mental health will fare after about 15 straight weeks of class. “While I do understand the need for something, I truly think this is a terrible way to make sure the student body is taken care of,” said Rayne Ward, a junior majoring in microbiology. “Having an extra week in the winter will be nice, but it won’t make up for having that break where we need it most. I personally don’t know what the best solution would be. I think more time should have been taken to find one considering it was made months before the semester ended.”

Food Myths

25 food myths you shouldn’t believe: MSN.com – Oct. 18

Celery is a negative-calorie food Wouldn’t it be great if there were such a thing as a negative-calorie food? You know, the kind that burns more calories when we eat it than it has? Sadly, there is no such thing, even when it comes to something as healthy as a piece of celery. “Regardless of the [calories] in the food, you’re always going to be able to get something out of it,” says Stephen Secor, a professor of biological sciences at The University of Alabama.

Public Ageism

‘Coffin dodger,’ ‘Boomer remover’ – ageism has flared during the pandemic: Deseret News – Oct. 21

Research published in the Journals of Gerontology in July noted that “name-calling, blame and ‘so-be-it’ reactions toward age vulnerability were commonplace” not just in America, but also in the United Kingdom and Australia. Researcher Bronwen Lichtenstein of The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa said public ageism in all three countries “erupted over the social and economic costs of protecting older adults from COVID-19.”

American Conservatism

American conservatism at a crossroads: The American Conservative – Oct. 22

What about the immediate future? Assuming President Donald Trump is reelected – not a safe assumption at this writing – the road is uphill. His successful campaign four years ago rested implicitly, and at times explicitly, on a rejection of American Exceptionalism. Why is he avoiding this strategy this around? He shouldn’t, implies University of Alabama political scientist George Hawley in his essay, “Republican Voters and Conservative Ideology.” Hawley amasses survey data pointing to American Exceptionalism as past its sell date. One study, published in 2008, found that only 7.4 percent of potential voters defined themselves as “strong conservative” and “strong Republican.” Hawley writes, “The public’s conservatism, as the conservative movement understands the term, is more symbolic than substantive.” That’s how Donald Trump was elected president in 2016. The deciding factor was supporters who could have cared less if he was a “true conservative.”

Halloween Havens

Elaborate displays turns homes into Halloween havens: U.S. News – Oct. 24

…Some Tuscaloosa Halloween aficionados might trend that spending curve downward. At the Druid Hills front lawn of dance therapist Loretta Lynn, and University of Alabama biocultural medical anthropologist Christopher Dana Lynn, and their three sons, the bones seem to be bursting from the ground. Flagstone piles form cairns. With the exception of a couple of purchased skulls, it’s basically all formed from found art.
The Washington Times
The Sacramento Bee
Houston Chronicle
…and many more

UA Arboretum

UA Arboretum holds ‘ArBOOretum’: WVUA – Oct. 25

The state of Alabama is the most bio diverse state in the country. So this Halloween, the arboretum showed all the spooky unique critters and nature that can be found in Alabama. Owls, bugs and Venus fly traps oh my. Alabama is home of the most unique nature in the country. “Alabama is one of the most biodiverse states in the country…”