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Today's word on journalism

May 8, 2009

The Last WORD


The Fat Lady Sings, Off-Key, Drools

At about this time every year, like the swallows to Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio, the WORD migrates to its summer musing grounds at the sanitarium —St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose.

The reason is clear, and never moreso than as this season —the WORD's 13th —peters out.

It's been a fraught year of high palaver and eye-popping transition, both good and not-so-much. An interminable presidential campaign saga finally did end, and in extraordinary and historic fashion. Meanwhile, the bottom and everything that's below the bottom fell out of the economy, with families, homes, entire industries and —of particular interest to WORDsters and the civic-minded —dozens of daily newspapers ("I don't so much mind that newspapers are dying--it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off." --Molly Ivins). . . all evaporating. What replaces them, from the individual to the institutional to the societal? Are we looking at a future of in-depth Tweeting?

As any newsperson or firehorse knows, it's hard to turn your back on day-to-day catastrophe --we just have to look at the car wreck. But even the most deranged and driven need a rest. As philosopher Lilly Tomlin once observed, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."

So this morning, as a near-frost hovered over northern Utah, the unmarked van pulled into the driveway and the gentle, soft-spoken men in the white coats rolled the WORD out of bed and into a straitjacket for the usual summer trip to St. Mumbles, where the blathering one will be assigned a hammock and fed soothing, healthy foods --like tapioca, dog biscuits and salmon --while recharging the essential muscles of cynicism, outrage, sarcasm, social engagement and high-mindedness, in preparation for the next edition.
Summer well, friends.

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USU research highlighted during fifth-annual Research Week

April 14, 2009 | Utah State University's Vice President for Research Office hosted the fifth-annual Research Week March 30-April 2. Research Week featured four days of events — each day highlighting one aspect of university research — for faculty, staff and students.

"Research is a cornerstone feature of Utah State, and Research Week helps to showcase the impressive projects of faculty and students across campus," said Brent Miller, vice president for research.

Student Showcase, a celebration of undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity, was the highlight of Utah State University’s Undergraduate Research Day, Tuesday, March 31, in the Taggart Student Center. Students gave oral presentations and displayed posters throughout the day, offering audience members the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about each student’s individual research topic.

"Undergraduate Research Day is about giving students an opportunity to share their research results," said Joyce Kinkead, associate vice president for research. "It encourages the development of communication and analytical skills among researchers. Dissemination of information is a key part of research, and I am happy to see so many students taking advantage of this opportunity."

The event originated in 1986 through the Honors Program.

KS
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