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Hi: Is this technology commercialized? Please let me know. Thanks

  • Chander Patil
  • West warwick

That's a terrific piece on alumnus Frank Viviano by Natalie White ("A Life on the Edge," June 10, 2009). Your readers might enjoy Frank's current reporting on world affairs, which appears regularly on our website: Sincerely, Dan Rosenheim, VP News, KPIX-TV, San Francisco

  • Dan Rosenheim
  • San Francisco

In your recent article on selecting a shoe for working out (June 2009), you cited Mr. Agbabian saying that one needs to know one's arch height to properly select a shoe. In a recent study by the US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine found that selecting a running shoe based on foot arch height does not reduce the risk of injury for soldiers entering basic training versus being assigned a standard shoe for "normal" arch height. (Article citation: Knapik et al, Journal of Strength Conditioning and Research, vol 23, no. 3, p685, May 2009.)) Furthermore, these results have been replicated for Air Force and Marine Corps basic training (in press). So although Mr. Agbabian is correct in recommending that shoes be replaced frequently for injury prevention, there is no indication that shoe prescription based on arch height reduces injury risk.

  • David Swedler
  • SPH
  • 2006
  • MPH
  • Baltimore

I just read Mr. Tobin's article The Great Raid (June 2009) with interest and enjoyed the pictures. My fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, is mentioned prominently. Obviously, things happening in 1931 are pretty old news. The contemporary fraternity at U-M, like ours, is doing great philanthropic work. We would certainly welcome Mr. Tobin writing a story about the Box Car Derby Phi Delts co-chaired this spring, which created wonderful neighborhood involvement, to raise funds for ALS research. For more information go to That is today's news.

JT (Tom) Buck, President, Phi Delta Theta Alumni Association

  • JT Buck
  • AB
  • 1977
  • LSA
  • Farmington

Re: Victors valiant (June 2009): Good Article - way to shout out the unsung heroes of Michigan athletics. They rarely ever make the media but they excel all the same - makes me proud to be a wolverine, go blue!

  • Freda Yawson

Re: Climate change driving Michigan mammals north (June 2009): This is certainly interesting. It is also consistent with patterns observed worldwide over many thousands of years. The Earth's climate is always changing. There is a significant amount of variation over both small and large scales of both time and space. There is, however, neither scientific analysis not scientific data that suggests that the earth's climate is doing anything other that what it has done for a very long time. The global warming/climate change story that the media has bought hook, line, and sinker is simply not true. There is not space here for details. However, I will refer you to an excellent, very readable book - The Deniers by Lawrence Solomon - and an excellent web site by Dr. Roy Spencer, a former NASA scientist now at the University of Alabama-Huntsville -

  • Robert s Scullen
  • PhD
  • 1967
  • Engineering
  • Eatonton

I enjoyed the video/slide show of Spring on the Diag (some things never change!) and the always changing Medical Center. Brought back many fond memories!

  • Judith Huntington Litherland
  • B.Mus.Ed.,
  • 1958
  • Music
  • Rock Island

Re: The great raid (June 2009): I have also heard stories that the Alpha Chi Sigma, ACS, American Chemical Society fraternity had a three story still on campus during prohibition. Is there any truth to that story? What is the rest of the story?

Readers...? What do you know? --Editor

  • John R. Adams
  • BS
  • 1970
  • Education, Rackham
  • Jacksonville

Re: Climate change driving Michigan mammals north (June 2009): I hope the chipmunks headed North avoid the feet of the deer headed south to my back yard in Howell.

  • William P. Lindhout,
  • BArch
  • 1950
  • Architecture and Design
  • Howell

Re: Choosing the correct running shoes (June 2009): Before anyone runs out and buys an expensive pair of running shoes, or any at all, I would recommend reading the following article from the Daily Mail:

Everything you think you know about shoes, feet and running may be wrong.

  • August Danowski
  • JD
  • 1998
  • Law School
  • Oxford

Re: Climate change driving Michigan mammals north (June 2009): mamels moving north do to global warming?!! for real, Prove it! That's what I thought. You call this science and then gave it credence by printing This BS. So, question. Explain, while on average the global temp has been falling sence 1998 and fell more than a half a degree last year alone, that this is still accuring, assuming global warming even exists. Oh, yes I challenge you on that as well.


PS don't print crap science!

Readers looking for complete data on the study can see the article abstract here and access the article from that site. —Editor

  • Gregg Schwab
  • Act. Math
  • 1986
  • LSA
  • Royal Oak

You, and everyone always omits the Men's Rowing Team, which swept the Club National Title in dominating fashion, winning every mens heavyweight 8 event and sweeping the Men's Team title.

  • Austin GIibbons
  • BSE
  • 2007
  • Engineering
  • Park Ridge

Thanks for bringing back some good memories.

  • Judy Partain
  • MSW
  • 1989
  • Social Work
  • West Mamphis

As I started to read this article, Frank Viviano's name jumped out at me. My father's name is/was Frank Viviano! While Mr. Viviano is NOT my dad, I am sure we are related. Is it possible for me to email something to him directly? I'm sure we are cousins somewhere along the line. THANKS!

  • Lisa Viviano
  • LSA Psych
  • 1978
  • BA
  • Naperville

Just a comment on reduplication (Woo-woo words, June 2009) in Polynesian languages. I lived on Maui for 10 years. Iʻm familiar enough with the Hawaiian language to know that reduplication has a purpose: to convey action, I think like our suffix -ing.

Oh, and I, too think the "re-" in reduplication is redundant.

  • Nancy Meeker
  • B.S.Pharm.
  • 1981
  • Pharm
  • Great Barrington

One fine day in the late '60's the student consciousness of the drawbacks of technology was demonstrated in a junkyard auto being towed to the center of the Diag...

As dozens rocked the car back and forth, the open doors threatened to cut off a foot or worse--but what did I do?--I unscrewed a spindle bearing nut, depositing a front wheel on the ground! Thankfully, no one was hurt,and the heap was towed back to its junkyard!

  • Rich Fairbrother
  • BSME
  • 1970
  • BSME1970
  • Portsmouth

91•86•90. What do these numbers mean? Why do they affect you? Why should you care? Steve Crower, an energy investment banker from Denver, CO, finds a creative way to present the underlying data of the world's petroleum supplies and why we should pay attention to it...

  • Steve Crower
  • BSCE
  • 1991
  • Engineering
  • Denver

Thank you so much for the interesting article on the glass blowers (Future tech, ancient art, June 2009) at the University. Having retired from managing hospitals, I embarked on a career in glass blowing. Not the industrial type, but glass art! What a wonderful medium. What a wonderful way to meet new and interesting artists. And what a wonderful way to express one's creative side.

Thank you for publishing the article and giving these valued members of the University family their proper recognition.

  • David Kolasky
  • M.H.A.
  • 1968
  • Public Health
  • Toledo

Hi! I read Corrie Feldkamp's article on choosing running shoes, but was surprised at its message. There was no mention of going barefoot or using a minimal shoe like the vibram fivefinger. For runners, this can be much healthier than using squishy padded shoes. In fact, Marti et. al., (AJSM 1988) showed that running injuries were correlated with higher shoe prices. As a barefoot running enthusiast, I'd be interested to hear the UM expert's opinions on *no* shoes as the appropriate choice of shoes.

  • Eric Jankowski
  • B.S.E, M.S., PhD
  • 2005, 2006, 2010
  • ChemE
  • Ann Arbor

Re: The great raid (June 2009): Gargoyle 1930-31 Editor Paul Showers devoted the March issue to The Raid. Here's what he had to say about it in his chapter in "Gargoyle Laughs at the 20th Century":

"Our March issue was devoted to this raid. We had short pieces, cartoons, all on the subject. For the cover we had to have an artist who could really draw. He turned up in the School of Architecture and made us a fine drawing of a very raunchy figure of blindfolded justice holding her scales, one side piled high with fraternity houses, the other balanced with a handful of liquor bottles. Another sell-out. We had requests for copies from alumni as far away as Arizona."

Showers was a journalist. After World War Two & service on the newspaper "Yank" he joined the NY Times & retired from his post there on the Sunday magazine. His March 1931 Gargoyle can be viewed at the Bentley Historical Library, North Campus.

John Dobbertin, Jr. President, Gargoyle Alumni Society

  • John Dobbertin, Jr.
  • B.A.
  • 1964
  • Chaseburg

Very interesting article about the challenges our football coach has overcome (No honeymoon, Nov. 2008), but the troubles with the program are not losses, rather disrespect for the history of the program. Also the lack of decorum the coaching staff has demonstrated in public, witness the embarrassment we suffered at the MHSAA meetings in Mt. Pleasant a year ago. I can accept losing in a good effort, but Don Canham said "You may not embarrass the university!" Gary Moeller, a good man and fine coach, was pushed out for this shortcoming. Whether or not we continue to suffer the worst football teams in the history of the University, I hope we will not continue to suffer the public embarrassment.

  • Thomas C. Goodsell
  • BS, DDS
  • 1978, 1982
  • LSA, Dent
  • Battle Creek

Re: Talking about science: what is plasma? (May 2009): I am amazed at the intelligence level that is required to understand what Alec Gallimore is saying, but somehow it made sense to me. I am former student whose science background is iffy, as they say. If Alec G. was a professor when I attended U of M, I'm sure I would have greatly improved upon my knowledge of science. Is he available to speak with young adults (high school students) for next school year?


  • Tia
  • BA
  • 1998
  • LSA
  • Inkster

Alison Aiello's article about Stopping Flu (May 2009) reminded me of my father, who graduated from Michigan with a Civil Engineering Degree in 1922. He told about the 1918 Spanish Influenza and its effect in Ann Arbor in his Memoir. He said that it was a terrible disease and many students became ill and died. There was a great shortage of help in the Ann Arbor hospitals. Since he was in the Student's Army Training Corp at the time, he was ordered to work as an orderly in the Saint Joseph Hospital. He wore a gauze mask. One day as he was talking to a sick student, the student asked for something to read. He went to the desk, and when he came back, the student was dead. I recall my father telling me that so many died each day that they could not make wooden caskets fast enough, and he could remember the caskets lined up at end of the street.(Do not rcall which street.) Obviously, he never got sick, but for those who survived, it was something they could never forget.

  • John Larson
  • B.S.M.E
  • 1959
  • Engineering
  • Hertford

As a frequent viewer of WFUM, and a former broadcaster, I am saddened but not surprised the University has decided to discontinue operating Michigan Television based in Flint.

According to University figures, at the close of the last fiscal year, WFUM had a net operating loss of $1.48 million on a total operating expense of $4.2 million.

Consequently, the 2008 financial statement, dated February 2009, came with with a cautionary "going concern" note by the station's independent accountants (PriceWaterhouseCoopers).

There are 173 public TV licensees in the United States. WFUM is among eight university public television licensees across the country currently assessed to be in "fragile" financial condition, and they are one of a total of 30 public television licensees in this category.

The search for the reason(s) for WFUM's disappointing, evolving, financial condition is not due to Michigan's soft economy. There are other factors:

  • Michigan Television never grasped "The Michigan Difference" in its programming and did not complement the broad reputation of excellence of the University of Michigan with the powerful medium at their direction- television;
  • Thus WFUM failed to build a station identity, embracing one of the renown giants of academia (U-M) who are also the owners of the station, on behalf of the citizens of Michigan.
  • Instead, viewers saw a steady diet of station break announcements over visual scenes from the U-M Flint campus or northern Michigan tourist areas. This is in stark contrast to a background of the recently built, modern U-M classroom buildings and the state-of-the-art laboratories in Ann Arbor.

I voiced my concern to WFUM station manager Jennifer B. White, and to her credit, she answered me immediately in defense of the station's programming and projects in production.

She pointed to a developing special WFUM program, as an example of the station's vitality, in conjunction with a management program at the U-M Flint.

I thought to myself, "No, Jennifer, no! The world's top minds in business theory and practice are available on the U-M Ann Arbor campu—not Flint—and represent the prestige of the Ross Business School!"

But the whole WFUM scene reminds me of these familiar words: "No one after lighting a lamp puts it under a bushel basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house."

(To their credit, the University furnished some blunt answers to some self-imposed questions.

  • Dale R. Leslie
  • LSA
  • 1971
  • Rackham
  • Ann Arbor

I just read the piece about Arthur Thurnau (For love of teaching, May 2009), which noted "His two years in Ann Arbor, over a century ago, were so formative that he repaid his alma mater with a tremendous gift to the University some 75 years after he left." It's not hard to understand. I went to a performance by the Women's Glee Club here in Traverse City last week, and when it came time to sing "The Yellow and Blue," the eyes were dripping and the throat was choked and I barely managed to croak out some words. If you have an effective institution, it generates loyalty.

  • Chris Campbell
  • M.A., J.D.
  • 1972, 1975
  • Rackham, Law

On a recent trip to Jamaica (April 24, 2009), a group from Ohio was preparing to participate on a zip-line tour through the trees in Ocho Rios. I spotted a young man with a Michigan t-shirt and as a Ohio State Buckeye fan, I joked with him that I had paid our guides to make his gear uncomfortable. As it was obvious I was joking, the four people in his group and seven in ours laughed. It was a nervous laugh as none of us had experienced zip-lining before and had no idea what lie ahead. That was an understatement. Near the end of the zip-line tour my wife fell while walking on a swinging bridge between two zip lines and cut her arm very deeply.

The UM foursome immediately informed us they were medically trained and one indicated he is an emergency room doctor. They offered any assistance we needed and the doctor offered to go to the local medical facilities and perform any surgical repair if we weren't comfortable with the local physician. Fortunately the local surgeon was available immediately, and after about an hour and several internal and external stitches, our group was able to return to our hotel. The stitches are now out and everything is fine, but I want to acknowledge the fine examples set by those UM graduates that day in Jamaica. In all the excitement I didn't get their names but I want to share their heroics with you and say I am one Buckeye fan that is grateful to have known these Wolverines.

  • Jack E. Hoffman
  • Boerne

Is the Hollywood crapola (Actor Montalbán's grandson pays tribute to grandfather, May 2009) such an established part of our culture that it deserves such recognition, such standing from a legitimate institution of higher learning? Or am I expecting today's "university" to have standards that are "outdated" now?

If I wanted to read this type of drivel, I'd get into the longest checkout lines at Ralph's [SoCal's Kroger].

And the thing on plasma (Quick classroom: What is plasma? May 2009)—this is science? For whom, third-graders?

You know, the nice thing about the old print media was the satisfaction you got from taking such as this and lining your birdcage with it, or, as we did in the UP, ripping into useable sizes for the outhouse at deer camp.

  • Dr. Barnxfield TMS, CPA

Richard W. Bailey's article on Obsolete words (May 2009) was very enlightening. I found a strange one too. You will not find the word "tralatitious" in the typical dictionary, nor even in some untypical volumes on word origins. Three cheers, therefore, for Roget's International Thesaurus and the likes of some more sophisticated literary magazines like the New Yorker, where I came across it and put it in my diary/notebook. Do we need such a word? Ninety-eight percent of the population of the English speaking world has never heard of this word. In case you might think it could come in handy abroad somewhere, forget it. It is not among the English words to be translated in Cassell's French or German dictionaries, for example. Who knew? My surmise is that when Cassell put together his foreign language dictionaries, he didn't gather up from each country the words most likely to be used in everyday French speech, or even in the literature in their own country. What he did was identify a long list of words common to English and then ask scholars in France and Germany to provide translations of these same words in French and German!

Check it out. The lists of English words to be translated into French in his French dictionary is roughly the same as the list of English words to be translated into German in his German dictionary. This suggests that the French people go through their daily routines talking about roughly the same things that the German people talk about during their daily lives. Can this be true? I doubt it, seriously.

The word "tralatitious" is not to be found in neither of these dictionaries. Personally, I like the word; it rolls off the tongue nicely. It purports to mean something meaningful. Roget has chosen to include this wonderful word in his Thesaurus, along with synonyms for tralatitious such as symbolical, typical, ironical, satirical, antithetical, tropical, flowery and a couple of weirdos like catachrestical and metonymical.

All of above sort of leaves each of us on our own as to which of these words you choose to substitute tralatitious for. Personally, I think I will reserve its use for some effort at poetry, where you can get away with using exotic words few know the meaning of, so long as they fit the meter, rhythm or free verse format. People will look up the meaning of words they don't know in poetry, but won't do it while racing through a novel or biography.

My advice, in sum, is that you forget I even raised the subject of the non-use and mysteriously illusive but real nice word tralatitious.

submitted by Richard J. Ward, author of "Grampas Are For All Seasons."

  • Richard J. Ward
  • M.A., Ph.D.
  • 1948; 1958
  • Rackham Grad School
  • Dartmouth

Sad as I was to read the article Toward the end of paper (Apr 2009), it described in vivid and compelling terms the changes and challenges that face the written word today. The newspaper became a part of my world when I delivered them as a kid in suburban Cleveland, OH, worked in the business after graduation from Michigan and read them my entire adult life. It is still a comfort to be able to hold a morning newspaper in my hand—not on my lap!

  • Courtland C Smith
  • BA—journalism
  • 1956
  • LSA
  • Pottstown

We've heard out here in CA. that the positive economic impact to the local economy from a film is $65 million. Can you confirm this in Michigan?

  • Dr. Bruce Getzan
  • Valencia

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