CRACKING THE CODE: A screening and discussion of “CodeGirl,” a documentary about teams of high school girls all over the world who develop apps to solve problems in their communities, is among the upcoming events at the Princeton Public Library’s History of Science series.
It was a chat with her uncle, who happened to have been her middle school science teacher in upstate New York, that gave Princeton Public Library’s Humanities Programming Coordinator Hannah Schmidl the idea for a series of events focused on the history of science. more
Susan G. Komen Central and South Jersey is hosting an educational event focused exclusively on metastatic breast cancer on Saturday, April 9, at the Hyatt Regency Princeton. Cancer Treatment Centers of America sponsor the session, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The agenda will include presentations on advances in metastatic treatment, social and psychological issues affecting metastatic patients (including stress reduction), and diet and nutrition. more
“If it takes a village to raise a child, it’s going to take a village to save them,” Michael De Leon, founder of Steered Straight, former drug addict and prison inmate, told the audience of about 120 in the Princeton High School Auditorium last Wednesday night.
“Don’t believe it’s not your kid,” said Mr. De Leon. “Don’t believe it’s not your family. Don’t believe it’s not in your backyard—because it is.” more
Princeton University Professor Imani Perry pleaded guilty in municipal court Tuesday, March 8, to speeding and driving while exceeding her out-of-state driving privileges. On February 6, Ms. Perry was pulled over for driving 67 miles per hour in a 45 mile-per-hour zone on Mercer Road, and was arrested because of an outstanding warrant. more
New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno spoke to a packed house at The Nassau Club of Princeton last Wednesday. “Go, pitch, fight” is her motto to promote economic development in New Jersey. She convinced Subaru to build their new headquarters in Camden and has visions of the city becoming the next Jersey City. more
On Saturday, March 12, Howell Living History Farm’s big workhorses will be drafted for pony ride duty.
Riders will not sit on saddles or ride bareback, but will sit atop a fully harnessed, three-quarter-ton workhorse. The horses won’t mind, according to the farmers, since giving rides is easier than pulling the plows and wagons used to run the 130-acre “living-history” farm. more
Mark Doty will be the featured speaker at the People & Stories/Gente y Cuentos annual benefit, “Notable Words: An Evening Honoring Keith Wheelock” on March 11. The evening of readings will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Nassau Club, Princeton.
Proceeds from the event will go to the reading and discussion program, which is offered in English or Spanish for adults and young adults who have had limited opportunities to experience the “transformative power of great and enduring literature.” more
Patrick K. O’Donnell, a bestselling military historian and the foremost authority on America’s elite fighting units, will discuss his new book, Washington’s Immortals (Atlantic Monthly Press $28) on Monday, March 14, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at a benefit for The Princeton Battlefield Society at Princeton’s Metro North Grill, 378 Alexander Rd.
For $50 per person, guests will receive an autographed copy of Mr. O’Donnell’s newly released book, appetizers, and a complimentary ticket for wine/beer. The author will talk about his book and answer questions. The novel is seen through the eyes of the Maryland Regiments, whose actions at key battles from Brooklyn, Trenton to Princeton, and from Cowpens to Yorktown, “changed the course of American history.” Grounded in “an unprecedented access to unpublished primary sources and personal accounts,” Washington”s Immortals presents, “for the first time, a Band of Brothers-style account of the Revolutionary War.”
O’Donnell is a bestselling military historian and the critically acclaimed author of 10 books, including Beyond Valor, Dog Company, and First SEALs. He served as a combat historian in a Marine rifle platoon during the Battle of Fallujah. An expert on espionage, special operations, and counterinsurgency, he is a frequent contributor to several prominent national publications. more
From a gang land point of view, it makes more sense to put a body in the Pine Barrens than in the Hudson River. — John McPhee
I’m beginning a column about Mickey Spillane (1918-2006) with a quote from John McPhee to note the fact that yesterday, March 8, the author of The Pine Barrens celebrated his 85th birthday. While it may be difficult to imagine two writers with less in common, I have no doubt that McPhee could sit down tomorrow, do a month of research, and produce an essay or even a book that would stand as the go-to work about pulp fiction, the mass market paperback revolution, the McCarthy Era, and the author of Kiss Me, Deadly, who once admitted he’s not sure which side of midnight 1918 he was born on (he went with March 9).
Reading McPhee, who grew up in Princeton, you are in the company of a renowned master of non-fiction prose. Reading Spillane, who grew up in Elizabeth and made his fortune writing about the world of buried bodies, you are partaking of an experience that has been compared to eating take-out fried chicken. He himself once used a beloved American snack to tease “those big-shot writers” who “could never dig the fact that there are more salted peanuts consumed than caviar.” Besides creating Mike Hammer, the last word in brutal, sex-crazed private eyes, Spillane sold the equivalent of 200 million packs of “salted peanuts” worldwide, and as of 1980, seven of the top 10 all-time fiction best-sellers in America were written by him. more
“THE SEASONS”: “June, or What I Thought I Knew,” the oil on linen featured above, is one of the works by Deborah Rosenthal included in the solo exhibit “The Seasons” at the Rider University Art Gallery from now through April 10.
The Rider University Art Gallery’s exhibition titled “The Seasons,” featuring the work of Deborah Rosenthal, is on view now through Sunday, April 10. An artist’s talk will be held in the gallery on Thursday, March 10 at 7 p.m. Admission for all events is free. more
FIRESTONE’S PHOTOGRAPHY AT PEAC: Pennington photographer Arthur Firestone will have his photos on display at PEAC Health & Fitness for the month of March as part of their monthly Art on Display program. His above photograph, “Greek Columns,” was shot near the Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis in Greece.
As part of its Art on Display program, PEAC Health & Fitness will display original works of art from Pennington photographer Arthur Firestone for the month of March 2016. more
Each year, the Princeton University Orchestra holds a concerto competition, allowing student performers to select their own repertoire and challenge themselves for a chance to perform with the orchestra. Some students might play it safe and choose music of the old masters, but not this year’s winners. Soprano Solène Le Van, violinist Jessie Chen, and pianist Evan Chow selected works of the 20th and 21st centuries, showing musical diversity and a deep range of curiosity. Led by conductor Michael Pratt, the University Orchestra presented these three winners this past weekend in Richardson Auditorium. more
Grammy-nominated mandolinist Avi Avital presents an adventurous program at McCarter Theatre on Sunday, March 13 at 3 p.m. Accompanied by accordionist Ksenija Sidorov and percussionist Itama Doari, Avital will perform works spanning from Bach concertos to Bulgarian and Turkish folk tunes. To purchase tickets, call the box office at (609) 258-2787 or visit www.mccarter.org. (Photo by Harald Hoffmann/Deutsche Grammophon)
Les Noces de Jeannette (Jeannette’s Wedding Day) is a two-person opéra-comique composed by Victor Massé in 1853 to a libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré. The opera, which some consider to be Massé’s best work, revolves around the wedding ceremony of Jean and Jeannette, two villagers in 19th-century France, that goes horribly wrong when Jean runs from the altar, leaving Jeannette as the laughing stock of the village. more
On the second day of March it seems reasonable to read signs of spring in the mellow light falling on the Princeton University Chapel. Though no one mentions it in this week’s Town Talk on favorite museums, our local treasure, the Princeton University Art Museum, open free of charge six days a week, is only a short walk away. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)
A TWO-WAY STREET: An inmate at Albert Wagner Correctional Facility in Bordentown works towards his GED in weekly sessions under the guidance of a Princeton University student tutor as part of the Petey Greene Prison Assistance Program. The program has expanded rapidly over the past eight years and now boasts 120 student volunteers from Princeton and many more throughout New Jersey and beyond. (Photo Courtesy of Petey Greene Prison Assistance Program)
The United States has more people in prison than any other country in the world — upwards of 2.2 million, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. And the experience and consequences of incarceration leave formerly imprisoned people even more likely to remain poor and marginalized.
Although the U.S. spends more than $86 billion on corrections each year, it provides limited resources to facilitate re-entry. Ninety percent of incarcerated people will be released, but 40 percent will return to prison within three years. High recidivism weakens families and communities, perpetuating social and economic equalities. more
In the fall of 1969, as a sophomore, I walked into the Princeton University Office of Teacher Preparation to investigate the possibilities for a career in teaching. Mrs. Swain was presiding. Last week, a 41-year teaching career behind me, I walked into the Teacher Prep Office again. Mrs. Swain is still presiding.
The Office has moved, from West College to William Street. The program has seen five different directors, many changes in personnel and about 1000 University students gaining New Jersey Teacher Certification. Jacqueline L. Swain remembers, and has helped, all of them. “She is Teacher Prep,” said current program director Christopher J. Campisano. “If you want to know, Jacqui’s the one to talk to. She’s the heart and soul of the program. It’s the extraordinary program it is because of her work, because of Mrs. Swain. Anybody who walks through that door, regardless of whether they’re graduating or they were here 10 or 20 years ago, Jacqui will know their name.”
Jacqui Swain was born in Princeton, where her parents, grandparents, and great grandparents lived in a rambling old house on Clay Street near Witherspoon. Her parents moved to Rahway, where she went to school. She attended Rider College, graduated with a degree in Commerce and returned to Princeton, where she still lives. more
Labyrinth Books will host a discussion of two new books at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9: Noriko Manabe’s The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Protest Music After Fukushima (Oxford 2015) and Jonathan Pieslak’s Radicalism and Music (Wesleyan 2015).
According to Michael K. Bourdaghs, University of Chicago, “Contrary to widely held stereotypes, Japan has a long and loud history of public protest. As Noriko Manabe shows in her important new book, the massive demonstrations in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster belong to this tradition but also have produced their own distinct soundscape. Her detailed ethnographic and musical analysis of the parts numerous musicians have played in the movement vividly captures the sonic dimensions of this latest chapter from the history of Japanese street democracy.”
In Radicalism and Music (Wesleyan 2015), Jonathan Pieslak discusses music’s transformational impact on the radicalization, reinforcement, and motivational techniques of violent political activists in four radical groups: al-Qa’ida, racist Skinheads, Christian-affiliated radicals, and eco-animal rights militants.
Benjamin J. Harbert, co-editor of The Arab Avant-Garde: Music, Politics, Modernity, calls Radicalism and Music “a well-argued foil to the notion that music is a universal language that brings people together. The subtheme of music and its relationship to the Internet provides important groundwork for thinking of music as a particular ‘information technology’ without divorcing it from its ritual function.” more
The Garden Club of Princeton, member of Garden Club of America, Conservation Committee recently constructed a “Solar Suitcase,” a stand alone complete solar electricity system that fits into a rugged, weather and dust proof plastic suitcase suitable for travel to remote destinations, to help provide electricity to women at a birthing home in Sierra Leone.
The entire club supported the endeavor, allocating civic project funds to purchase the suitcase kit from the We Share Solar program. We Share Solar typically provides the kits to schools around the country, enabling students to learn about the science of solar electricity and international philanthropy. It also chooses and is responsible for delivery to communities without access to reliable electricity, which include schools, orphanages, community centers, and libraries. more
“BEAUTY AND THE BEAST”: This photograph by Olivia Nini, grade 10 — Ken Lockwood Gorge, High Bridge, New Jersey is part of the “Beauty and the Beast — the Fall and Rise of the Raritan River” exhibit at the D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Olivia Rainbow Gallery on view through March 30.
D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Olivia Rainbow Gallery presents “Beauty and the Beast — the Fall and Rise of the Raritan River,” fine art photography by Princeton Day School students of Eileen Hohmuth-Lemonick, head of Upper School photography. Focusing on the historic Raritan River, the images are on view through March 30, 2016.
The “Beauty” section evokes the river’s course through stunningly beautiful New Jersey locations, home to many species of birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and mammals — many threatened and endangered. The “Beast” segment of the exhibit chronicles effects of the river’s use for transportation; as an energy source for crucial industries; and, tragically, receptacle for toxic wastes.
“We have canoed and photographed the Raritan from New Brunswick to Edison,” says Hohmuth-Lemonick. The Raritan is New Jersey’s longest river and includes the state’s largest contiguous stretch of wildlife habitat. D&R Greenway was founded to preserve land adjacent to waterways such as the Raritan River. more
EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING: Diana Weymar’s “Telegraph Creek: Tanning a Moose Hide” is part of the Arts Council of Princeton’s new exhibition, “Every Fiber of My Being,” on view in the Taplin Gallery, March 5 – April 17.
The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) presents Every Fiber of My Being, a group exhibition featuring textile and contemporary embroidery. Visitors can expect original works from artists Maira Kalman, Amy Meissner, Cassie Jones, Diana Weymar, Caroline Lathan-Stiefel, Danielle Hogan, and Katie Truk.
Every Fiber of My Being is curated by the Arts Council’s 2016 Spring Anne Reeves Artist-in-Residence, Diana Weymar. Growing up in the wilderness of British Columbia, Diana learned the importance and practical value of a vivid imagination. In her artwork, she is interested in how to interact with existing materials — photographs, clothing, text — to address issues of storytelling, identity, narrative, and documentation. more
“London, Waterloo Bridge” by Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980)
To D.H. Lawrence, who died on March 2,1930 at 45, a “painted landscape is the background with the real subject left out.” It’s also where “the English exist and hold their own.”
Clearly, this is a novelist speaking, as well as a poet, philosopher, essayist in many realms, revolutionary, and a painter for whom landscape is the “background to an intenser vision of life.”
Some Serious Fun
As I make my way to the Princeton University Art Museum, I imagine Lawrence by my side looking the way he did to the doctor he hosted for tea and toast only weeks before he died, “a colorful figure with bright blue coat, red hair and beard and lively blue eyes” who “made the toast himself treating the operation as though it were a serious matter and at the same time great fun” — which is how I’d like to treat the subject of this column and the current exhibit, “Pastures Green & Dark Satanic Mills: The British Passion for Landscape.” more
When Mary Pat Robertson and her husband Michael came from New York City to Princeton in 1980, she thought she’d be retiring from her dance career. But the town, where the Robertsons moved so that he could pursue his doctorate at Princeton University, turned out to have a lot more dance to offer than she expected.
It wasn’t long before Ms. Robertson began teaching at Princeton Ballet School. Six years later, she was named the school’s director. In June, she will step down after 35 years teaching and administrating hundreds of students, some of whom have gone on to professional careers.
“I’ll miss the kids,” she said during a telephone interview last week. “But it’s time. I’ll probably do a little private coaching, and I look forward to getting back to choreography. I’ve been doing a lot of public speaking and I hope to expand that. I’m even contemplating writing a book for parents about what to look for in a ballet school.”
While ballet has played a major role in Ms. Robertson’s long career, contemporary dance has also been a focus. Before becoming the ballet school’s director, she co-founded the company Teamwork Dance and did a lot of freelance dancing and choreography. In New York, she studied the techniques of José Limón, Merce Cunningham, and Martha Graham. more
National Youth Art is celebrated during the month of March. Cranbury school student artists will be featured at the Gourgaud Gallery at Town Hall in Cranbury. The show will run from March 6-25.
Stacey Crannage, art teacher at Cranbury School, has selected art pieces from kindergarten through eighth grade to be showcased. Criteria used for selecting the Gallery artwork included technique, originality, and showcasing the student’s unique strengths and talents. Student artwork will include paintings, drawings, and sculpture, amongst others. more