Rome

The two days spent in Rome was dedicated to exploration. The more lively tourism meant congested streets and a constant lookout for petty pick pockets. These two days brought along some of the best learning experiences as our group explored the rich collection of art and the traditions of the Roman Catholic church. Let’s check it out.

During our two days of adventuring around the Roman side streets, we visited most of all the historically important destinations in the heart of Rome. There were a couple that particularly caught my eye. First, was the Pantheon.

Housed within great ancient monolithic Greek pillars, the structure was created as a temple to the gods of the planets. Even the architectural structure of the buildings was created to honor their gods. The pantheon was created to show how the clash between the circle and the square could come together in harmony. The building plays off the Vitruvian man who is superimposed between both a circle and a square to show the proportions of the ideal man. This ideal man and his position within the circle and the square is used in the architecture to show how the ideal man is place in the presence of his god. The idea back then was that man is the center of the universe and so it only makes sense to place them inside the two shapes and they look out upon the gods. Inside, the temple places even more importance on dialing in on the gods by its large open circular ceiling that acts as a portal to the heavens. Mans purpose here was to look up to the gods and the gods look back down on them with favor. This joining of the physical and celestial worlds shows why the building got its name, pan (all) theon (gods). Even more interesting was how the building served a dual function. With the open hole in the ceiling, the light from inside the pantheon helped to isolate individual droplets of water if it rained so that the viewer could marvel upon the gift of the gods. Then by good engineering, the water ran down the concave marble floor where it was drained into the Roman aqueducts.

Second, we found our way to the Forum for better understanding of ancient Roman culture. In this town center, gods, politics, military, treasury, women, and the law all had their place. Starting with the religious aspect was the use of large steps outside of the ancient churches that housed an alter on the steps for public displays of commitment to a god. Back in their time, connectivity with god was much different. For example, the emperor was believed to be able to achieve a godly form on earth. Further, they found that man could relate to gods because each god was sought to be in a bodily form. The political sphere was also important because politicians used the town square to gain support, study law, and pay tribute to the gods. The military aspect of the town square was an important one. Their thought back then was that warriors did not make good citizens and so, warriors marched into town, striped and bathed off the blood of war, and transitioned into fully functioning members of society. The treasury was one of the more important functions of the town center because as money made by the surrounding lands made its way to the city, the townspeople needed a way to sell, trade, and save their money. The creation of banks, currency, and accountants were all localized in the towns center. Even in their time, the women served an important purpose in the town square, they represented support for patrimony and even a building was dedicated to a school for virgins who were taught home making skills that made them eligible to be wed and to make a living through marriage if their family was not able to support them. Further, the law represented an important aspect in ancient Rome, housed in basilicas both civil and criminal law functioned in different quarters but were equally important to the development of culture and law and order in Rome. All of these important and interwoven aspects of the Roman culture worked hand in hand to support one of the greatest empires of all time.

Then, we visited the coliseum where we learned all about the ‘sport’ of their day. Created for the people, this stomping ground for circus, death, races, killings, and battles was the ultimate stage for entertainment. The stadium was brilliantly designed to allow for underground entrance through elevators and escapes through trap doors to amp up the excitement. Onlookers were seated similar to today. The ‘box seats’ or those closest to the action were reserved for the emperor and patrons. The next level up was for the half a percent of people who ruled over Rome. Then the third row was used to house Roman citizens and then dignitaries of other nations were placed above the citizens. Sadly, the use of slaves from all over the empire were sent to the coliseum to be slaughtered for sport and yet even some rose to gladiator status by becoming warriors and winning battles. Even though they were still slaves, they because similar to todays celebrities and idolized by the onlooking crowds. If ever pinned and at the sword of an opponent, the crowd was able to vote to save their beloved gladiator.

The conclusion of our trip took us to explore the Vatican City. Within its one mile radius of walls were some of my favorite sights. As we entered the museum of the vatican, we walked down a long hall that depicted the life of christ and the fruits of Rome in tapestry on either side. Then we went to the next hall full of maps. All of Italy was mapped out, hills and all. After the halls, one notable room was the paintings of Rafael. The four walls represented the four ways of thinkings. Philosophy, Law, Theology, and Poetry. In each of the paintings, Rafael depicted different artists of their craft as they studied or taught their preferred area of expertise. Shortly after, we entered the Sistine Chapel – the most important chapel in all of christiandom. Within its walls, the pope give easter mass and within the conclave the new pope is selected. The shape, width and depth, is as described in the book of Solomon. This chapel was made famous by the paintings of Michelangelo who wished to paint the coming to fruition of the old testament to the new testament. On the ceiling he depicts scenes from creation all the way to moses and on the sides are the life of Christ. The use of male nudes are used to show the hand of God in the creation of man and the centerpiece, the creation of Adam, add to this theme. The use of vibrant color and physical presence and movement make the piece come to life for the viewer and help us understand the beauty of creation. My only wish upon entering this space was that I could do it all by myself. Stripped of all the spectators and tourists, the room would have been much more of an experience.

Our last stop within the vatican, and one of my favorites, was St. Peters Basilica. Sitting at over 400 feet, the inside of the church is ominous to say the least. Upon entering I felt so small in the presence of such a holy place. However, this place helped me find insight into one of my most important revelations from the trip. As I walked through the doors into the house of God and followed the flow of dense tourists, I was reminded of the account of Christ in Mathew 21. When the Lord enters a temple, he is outraged by the selling of goods, exchange of money, and robbery that is going on all around him. He overturns all the tables and kicks out all the vendors. He says “It is written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer.’ But you are making it a den of robbers.” When I entered the basilica I saddened by all the robbing surrounding me. They were stealing the moment and its glory from Christ. They were being sold the lie that this was just another ancient building of the Romans. They were sold tickets into the house of God and yet they did not even pay tribute to the splendor of his house. Outside of the doors were vendors who sold trinkets and lies of who God really is. By becoming robbers, tourists and pilgrims alike missed out on the true splendor of the church. The opportunity to marvel at who God is and to understand how present he remains today. Through his gift of the Holy Spirit, we change from robbers to saints and do as Christ did. Utilize this space as a house of prayer and a house of healing.

After this insight into the life of Christ and getting to feel how he felt, we climbed to the top of the dome and overlooked Rome from above. I had a chance to reflect on my trip and to be thankful for what I had learned. More importantly, I had a chance to look over the city and enjoy the dreams that builders had strived for as they labored to build greatness.


Song of the Day:
On an Evening in Rome – Dean Martin

Photo of the Day:

St. Peters

KDD Scholarship 2016, San Francisco, CA

Congratulations Alexander: KDD Scholarship!
KDD Scholarship

Congratulations to Alexander Rodriguez for his recent KDD scholarship award.  The award is for the 22nd ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining in San Francisco, CA.   Alexander, who joined the Analytics Lab in the first of June 2016, won the scholarship through Broadening Participation in Data Mining (BPDM).  The BPDM workshop will be co-located and hosted along with KDD 2016.

KDD 2016 is a premier interdisciplinary conference that brings together researchers and practitioners from data science, data mining, knowledge discovery, large-scale data analytics, and big data.  The conference will be held in August with keynote speakers from Microsoft Research (graphons?), Stanford (information security), NEA (investing in machine learning), Google DeepMind (deep learning!), and Berkely (messy data!).  Additionally, the invited speakers are data scientist, engineers, and researchers from NVIDIA , Verizon, Uber, Netflix, Amazon, and Tencent.  With topics that include anything from autonomous cars and large-scale maching learning to profiling users and bayesian optimization.  Check out more details here: KDD 2016 Workshop.  And a list of the accepted papers is available here: Accepted Papers

The vision of the Broadening Participation in Data Mining group is to foster mentorship, guidance, and connections of minority and underrepresented groups in Data Mining, while also enriching technical aptitude and exposure. BPDM provides venues in which to encourage students from such groups to connect with junior and senior researchers in industry, academia, and government. They hope to create and help grow meaningful lasting connections between researchers, thereby strengthening the Data Mining Community.

This workshop should be of a great benefit to Alexander since he has just begun his Masters in Data Science and Analytics.  Alexander is quite active already and is currently started work on his first bit of publishable research in resilience optimization.  Congratulations Alexander on the scholarship!  Hope you enjoy the conference and San Francisco, California!

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“Prince of the French Dorm” by Coldplay ft. Rihanna

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Photos from Husayn Ramji

I cannot recall how many times I listened to “Princess of China” by Coldplay and Rihanna in my room in Clermont-Ferrand, France. I would come back to the room after a day in Norman’s sister city, sit on my bed, and start playing the song on my iPad. I would quietly sing along to the Chris Martin part, then take it up a notch for the Rihanna part, picturing the exotic cinematography of the music video.

I listen to it now that I’m home, and the only thing I picture is my small dorm room in Clermont-Ferrand.

I was in France, a country with its own culture, music, food, language, and yet the only thing I craved was Coldplay. I am not even big Coldplay fan. But at that time, it was a big piece of home, in my small room abroad. I think I listened to the song every night, picturing the same music video, mentally adding in scenes for ones I did not remember.

IMG_0139I listen to it now that I’m home, and the only thing I picture is my small dorm room in Clermont-Ferrand. My red suitcase on the ground touching my feet, revealing a pile of what was once a pile of organized clothes. There is a bag of “Poulet Roti” chips on a little shelf that extends from the desk where a box of Kinder Eggs lies next to the open window. There are some brochures and maps in French on my bed. The faint aroma of a bread, cheese, and aged wine is on my shirt. Then the song ends, and I see my backyard. IMG_7152 copy

Study abroad trips certainly go through phases—culture shock, honeymoon, homesickness, and others, not necessarily in that order. And every study abroad student has their own fair amount of unique experiences. But what are these strange Coldplay-moments we bring back? Memories? Jet lag? Longing for a place that was once foreign, but became home after three weeks? I don’t know, but I’ll think about it after this Rihanna and Chris Martin verse.

 

 

 


IMG_8093 copyHusayn Ramji is a junior Chemical Biosciences, Pre-Med major at OU. From Oklahoma City, OK. He’s a big fan of the Thunder and likes clouds and star gazing. He travelled to Clermont-Ferrand, France, with the College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Scholars.

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Neustadt in the News: June

 The Neustadt Prize feather

“Tesla owns the expertise on electric cars, Picasso on cubism, and the Neustadt Prize on casting a large net to evaluate international literature in unbiased fashion. And in so doing, the Neustadt Prize has reframed the field for everyone else.”

In his essay “The Neustadt Prize and the Framing Effect,” published in the May 2016 issue of WLT, William Marling examines how the Neustadt Prize sets itself apart, and how it has reframed the literary prize field for everyone else since 1970. 

Laureates

Adam Zagajewski has received the 2016 Lucas Prize honoring his literary work and political and social activities that supported reconciling Eastern and Western Europe.

The University of Texas’s Ransom Center will soon be home to the archive of Neustadt Prizewinner Raja Rao’s manuscripts and unpublished works.

These four interesting facts about Octavio Paz give insight into his literary influences.

The new owner of the Elizabeth Bishop House shares why she sees the poet and Neustadt laureate’s home as “sacred.”

The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative has paired Neustadt laureate Mia Couto with his protégé author, Brazilian Julián Fuks.

 

Recent Jurors

Via Poets.org, read and listen to “The Bed on the Wall” by poet and radio host Lauren Camp.

Translator and author Alison Anderson rounds up this insightful list of books about Russia for the Wall Street Journal. 

 

Recent Finalists

Caryl Churchill’s new short play Pigs and Dogs will premiere during the Royal Court’s 60th anniversary season, running from July 20 to 30.

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Light the Sky, Not Your House This July 4th

fireworks-home-insurance
Hamburgers, hotdogs, parades, and fireworks! The 4th of July is a great American holiday, and fireworks are a tradition the entire Yuba City community enjoys. But first, a word of caution: make sure you light up the sky, and not your home! 
Fireworks can reach as high as 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. The National Fire Protection Agency reports an estimated 17,800 structure fires and about $32 million in direct property damage in a recent year. More fires are started on the 4th of July than any other day of the year, with the majority started by embers from fireworks (specifically rockets) drifting and landing upon homes, as well as landing on and starting fires on other dry material.

Adults who are lighting fireworks on the Fourth should remember that your children watch you, and if you focus on fire safety, they are more likely to be careful themselves. Whether you are lighting a campfire, barbecue, or fireworks, be cautious and talk about the importance of fire safety with your children if you want to avoid the risk of injury, property damage, and costly repairs.

Does Your Homeowner Insurance Cover You for Fireworks?

If your home is damaged by fire and the fire was started by fireworks – are you covered? Fire can leave your home damaged beyond repair. A hot July leaves the structure tinder dry. One ember landing on the roof can burst into flame in seconds. The property damage can be extensive, and lead to costly repairs. If your family has a tradition on the Fourth that includes a private firework display, it is well worth your time to have your homeowners’ insurance policy reviewed.

Every city, including Yuba City, has laws associated with the use of fireworks. Ensure you understand what is legal and that your family understands that fireworks, although exciting, loud, and beautiful, are very dangerous. If you have a home fire and it is discovered that the local laws were violated, you may run into trouble with an insurance claim, as most policies have exemptions for illegal acts.

Talk to us at Oakview Insurance Services in Yuba City, California. The last thing you need to worry about on a day of celebration is a house fire, or causing an injury.

Leisman Students

Dr. Gilbert A. Leisman inspired many students during his career at Emporia State University, some as chair of their Master of Science thesis committee, some as sponsor of undergraduate research projects in his lab, and others as professor in their courses.

Below we have listed those students and their M.S. thesis titles that are known to us. Currently we know only about graduate students whose name appears on publications, or on trays or slide boxes containing specimens or peels that they used for their research and that we received as part of the transfer.

A more complete list will aid in our search for theses in the ESU libraries in which we will allow us to track down more data about specimens and coal balls. Please use the ‘Discussion’ tab above or email us at <paleobotany.samnoblemuseum@ou.edu> if you can offer any names or leads to theses.

Students (in alphabetical order)

Davis, Bill 1961 The interaction of idoleacetic acid and gibberellic acid on etiolated legume internode.

Frankenfeld, Robert 1969 The anatomy and morphology of an unknown structure from a Kentucky coal ball.

Graves, Charles 1963 Structure of the cone Bowmanites reeedae comb. nov.

Harms, Vernon 1959 The anatomy and morphology of certain Cordaites leaves.

Jantzen, Paul 1960 The ecology of Boggy Marsh in Stafford County, Kansas.

Mohta, Ratan 1968 A study of some Carboniferous marattialean fructifications.

Ohmart, Otto 1964. Observation on the morphology and anatomy of Linopteris pinnules.

Peters, John 1966 A study of a pteridosperm male fructification from the Middle Pennsylvanian of Illinois.

Stidd, Benton 1963 Observations on the structure of Spencerites moorei (Cridland) Leisman.

Withee, Kenneth 1968 On the structure of external ray traces on Lepidodendron and Calamites.

Leisman Publications

Leisman and his lab published numerous publications, including many abstracts at professional conferences. We are aware that Leisman and his students published the following publications:

1950s

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1952. The rate of organic matter accumulation on the Sedge Mat Zones of bogs in the Itasca State Park region of Minnesota: Minneapolis, MN, University of Minnesota, M.S. (Masters), 76 p.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1953. The rate of organic matter accumulation on the Sedge Mat Zones of Bbogs in the Itasca State Park region of Minnesota: Ecology, v. 34, no. 1, p. 81-101.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1955. A vegetation and soil chronosequence on the Mesabi Iron Range Spoil Banks, Minnesota: Minneapolis, MN, University of Minnesota, Ph. D. (Doctorate), 91 p.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1955. A vegetation and soil chronosequence on the Mesabi Iron Range Spoil Banks, Minnesota [Abstract]: Dissertation Abstracts, v. 15, no. (11), p. 1987-1988.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1957. Further data on the rate of organic matter accumulation in bogs: Ecology, v. 38, no. 2, p. 361.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1957. A vegetation and soil chronosequence on the Mesabi Iron Range Spoil Banks, Minnesota: Ecological Monographs, v. 27, no. 3, p. 221-245.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1958. Summer wild flowers: Kansas School Naturalist, v. 4, no. 4, p. 3-16.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1959. The vegetation of the Spring Lake Area: Saint Paul Institute Science Bulletin, v. 3, no. 4, p. 1-13.

1960s

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1960. The morphology and anatomy of Callipteridium sullivanti: American Journal of Botany, v. 47, no. 4, p. 281-287.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1961. Spencerites in Kansas coal balls [Abstract]: American Journal of Botany, v. 48, no. 6, Part 2, p. 541.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1961. Further observations on the structure of Selaginellites crassicinctus: American Journal of Botany, v. 48, no. 3, p. 224-229.

Harms, Vernon L., and Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1961. The anatomy and morphology of certain Cordaites leaves: Journal of Paleontology, v. 35, no. 5, p. 1041-1064.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1961. A new species of Cardiocarpus in Kansas coal balls: Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science, v. 64, no. 2, p. 117-122.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, and Spohn, Paul A., 1962. The structure of a Lepidocarpon strobilus from southeastern Kansas: Palaeontographica. Abteilung B: Palaeophytologie, v. 111, no. 4-6, p. 113-125.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1962. Spencerites moorei comb. nov. from Southeastern Kansas: American Midland Naturalist, The, v. 68, no. 2, p. 347-356.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, and Roth, Joerg, 1962. A reconsideration of Stephanospermum elongatum [Abstract]: American Journal of Botany, v. 49, no. 6, Part 2, p. 670.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1962. A Spencerites sporangium and associated spores from Kansas: Micropaleontology, v. 8, no. 3, p. 396-402.

Davis, Bill, and Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1962. Further observations on Sporocarpon and allied genera: Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club, v. 89, no. 2, p. 97-109.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, and Sudweeks, V., 1963. An assemblage of lagenostomalean seeds from southeastern Kansas [Abstract]: American Journal of Botany, v. 50, no. 6, Part 2, p. 628.

Taylor, Thomas N., and Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1963. Conostoma kestospermum, a new species of Paleozoic seed from the Middle Pennsylvanian: American Journal of Botany, v. 50, no. 5, p. 574-580.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, and Roth, Joerg, 1963. A reconsideration of Stephanospermum: Botanical Gazette, The, v. 124, no. 3, p. 231-240.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1964a. Mesidiophyton paulus gen. et sp. nov., a new herbaceous sphenophyll: Palaeontographica. Abteilung B: Palaeophytologie, v. 114, no. 4-6, p. 135-145.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1964b. Physotoma calcaratum sp. nov., a tentacled seed from the Middle Pennsylvanian of Kansas: American Journal of Botany, v. 51, no. 10, p. 1069-1075.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, and Graves, Charles, 1964. The structure of the fossil sphenopsid cone, Peltastrobus reedae: American Midland Naturalist, The, v. 72, no. 2, p. 426-437.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1965. The cone structure of Lepidostrobus takhtajanii and L. masleni: American Journal of Botany, v. 52, no. 6, Part 2, p. 637.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1965. A petrified Sporangiostrobus from the Middle Pennsylvanian of Kansas: American Journal of Botany, v. 52, no. 6, Part 2, p. 638

Baxter, Robert W., and Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1966. A new equisetalean cone with Elaterites triferens spores : American Journal of Botany, v. 53, no. 6, Part 2, p. 629.

Bucher, Jane L., and Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1966. Observations on some Pennsylvanian calamite cones: American Journal of Botany, v. 53, no. 6, Part 2, p. 629.

Phillips, Tom L., and Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1966. Paurodendron, a rhizomorphic lycopod: American Journal of Botany, v. 53, no. 10, p. 1086-1100.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, and Benton, M. Stidd, 1967. Further occurrences of Spencerites from the Middle Pennsylvanian of Kansas and Illinois: American Journal of Botany, v. 54, no. 3, p. 316-323.

Baxter, Robert W., and Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1967. A Pennsylvanian calamitean cone with Elaterites triferens Spores: American Journal of Botany, v. 54, no. 6, p. 748-754.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1968. A century of progress in paleobotany in Kansas: Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science, v. 71, no. 3, p. 301-308.

Schlanker, Charles M., and Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1968. The herbaceous Carboniferous lycopod Selaginella fraiponti comb. nov [Abstract]: American Journal of Botany, v. 55, no. 6, Part 2, p. 724.

Schlanker, Charles M., and Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1969. The herbaceous Carboniferous lycopod Selaginella fraiponti comb. nov: Botanical Gazette, The, v. 130, no. 1, p. 35-41.

1970s

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, and Peters, John S., 1970. A new pteridosperm male fructification from the Middle Pennsylvanian of Illinois: American Journal of Botany, v. 57, no. 7, p. 867-873.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1970. A petrified Sporangiostrobus and its spores from the Middle Pennsylvanian of Kansas: Palaeontographica. Abteilung B: Palaeophytologie, v. 129, no. 4-6, p. 166-176.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1970. Densospore variability as exhibited in the cone genus Sporangiostrobus [Abstract]: Geoscience and Man, v. 1, p. 134.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, Peters, John S., and Canright, James E., 1970. Rhetinotheca tetrasolenata gen. et sp. nov., an Aulacotheca-like fructification [Abstract]: American Journal of Botany, v. 57, no. 6, Part 2, p. 758.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1971. An upland flora of Upper Pennsylvanian age near Hamilton, Kansas [Abstract]: American Journal of Botany, v. 58, no. 5, Part 2, p. 470.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, and Bucher, Jane L., 1971. On Palaeostachya decacnema from the Middle Pennsylvanian of Kansas: Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club, v. 98, no. 3, p. 140-144.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, and Bucher, Jane L., 1971. Variability In Calamocarpon insignis from the American Carboniferous: Journal of Paleontology, v. 45, no. 3, p. 494-501.

Bridge, Thomas E., Leisman, Gilbert A., and Lockard, Walter, 1972. Vertebrate, invertebrate, and plant fossils of the Hamilton Quarry [Abstract]: Abstracts with Programs – Geological Society of America, v. 4, no. 4, p. 275.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1972. Coal ball fructifications and their spores [Abstract]: Abstracts with Programs – Geological Society of America, v. 4, no. 4, p. 284.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, and Heimsch, Charles, 1972. Linopteris in American Coal Balls [Abstract]: American Journal of Botany, v. 59, no. 6, Part 2, p. 661.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, and Rivers, Robert L., 1974. On the reproductive organs of Lepidodendron serratum Felix, in Compte Rendu – Sonderdruck aus Septième Congrès International de Stratigraphie et de Géologie du Carbonifère [Report from the Seventh International Congress on Carboniferous Stratigraphy and Geology], Krefeld, Germany, p. 351-365.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1976. An upland flora of Upper Pennsylvanian age near Hamilton, Kansas [Abstract]: Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science, v. 79, no. 3/4, p. 101-102.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, and Stidd, Benton M., 1977. Further data on Sporangiostrobus kansanensis [Abstract]: Miscellaneous Series Publication – Botanical Society of America, v. 154, p. 39.

Stidd, Benton M., Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, and Phillips, Tom L., 1977. Sullitheca dactylifera gen. et sp. nov.: a new medullosan pollen organ and its evolutionary significance: American Journal of Botany, v. 64, no. 8, p. 994-1002.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1978. The fossil lycopod cone, Achlamydocarpon varius, from Carboniferous coal balls of the Illinois Basin [Abstract]: Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science, v. 81, p. 159.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, and Phillips, Tom L., 1979. Megasporangiate and microsporangiate cones of Achlamydocarpon varius from the Middle Pennsylvanian: Palaeontographica. Abteilung B: Palaeophytologie, v. 168, no. 4-6, p. 100-128.

Stidd, Benton M., and Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1979. A new species of the pollen organ Condonotheca (Medullosaceae, Pteridospermales) from the Tonganozie [sic] Sandstone, Vigillian Series, Near Ottawa, Kansas [Abstract], in 9th International Congress on Carboniferous Stratigrapghy and Geology, International Congress on Carboniferous Stratigrapghy and Geology, Abstracts of Papers, p. 208-209.

1980s

Remy, W., Remy, R., Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, and Haas, H., 1980. Der Nachweis von Callipteris flabellifera (Weiss 1879) Zeiller 1898 in Kansas, U.S.A. [Evidence of Callipteris flabellifera in Kansas]: Argumenta Palaeobotanica, no. 6, p. 1-36.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1983. Coal balls: a key to ancient plants: Kansas School Naturalist, v. 30, no. 2, p. 1-16.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1984. Carnivorous plants: Kansas School Naturalist, v. 30, no. 4, p. 3-15.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, and Boles, Robert J., 1984. I didn’t know that!: plants: Kansas School Naturalist, v. 41, no. 2, p. 3-15.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, and Taylor, Thomas N., 1985. A fossil lauracean (Cryptocarya) wood from the Tertiary of Eastern Victoria, Australia [Abstract]: American Journal of Botany, v. 72, no. 6, p. 896.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1985. Spices: Kansas School Naturalist, v. 31, no. 3, p. 3-15.

Stidd, Benton M., and Leisman, Gilbert A., 1985. A new species of Condonotheca (Medullosaceae, Pteridospermales) from the Upper Pennsylvanian of Kansas: Compte Rendu – Congres International de Stratigraphie et de Geologie du Carbonifere [International Congress on Carboniferous Stratigraphy and Geology], v. 9, no. 5, p. 155-158.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1986. Cryptocaryoxylon gippslandicum gen. et sp. nov., from the Tertiary of Eastern Victoria: Alcheringa, v. 10, no. 3-4, p. 225-234.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, and Taylor, Thomas N., 1986. A lycopod megasporangium from the Hamilton Quarry of Kansas [Abstract]: American Journal of Botany, v. 73, no. 5, p. 702.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1986. A lycopod megasporangium from the Hamilton Quarry of Kansas [Abstract], in Kansas Academy of Science, Kansas Academy of Science, Abstracts, p. 28.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1987. A lycopod sporangium from the Hamilton Quarry of Kansas [Abstract], in Kansas Academy of Science, Kansas Academy of Science, Abstracts, p. 30.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1987. The mystery of flowering plants: American Horticulturist, v. 66, no. 12, p. 27-31.

Schrock, John Richard, and Leisman, Gibert Arthur, 1987. Wildflower in the spotlight: Yucca or Soapweed: Kansas Wildflower Society Newsletter, v. 9, p. 5-11.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1988. Plant megafossils from the Virgilian (Upper Pennsylvanian) near Hamilton, Kansas USA [Abstract], in Kansas Academy of Science, Kansas Academy of Science, Abstracts, p. 24.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, Gillespie, William H., and Mapes, Gene K., 1988. Plant megafossils from Hartford Limestone (Virgilian-Upper Pennsylvanian) near Hamilton, Kansas, in Mapes, Gene K., and Mapes, Royal H., eds., Regional Geology and Paleontology of Upper Paleozoic Hamilton Quarry Area in Southeastern Kansas: Lawerence, KS, Kansas Geological Survey, p. 203-212.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, Gillespie, William H., and Mapes, Gene K., 1988. Plant megafossils from the Virgilian (Upper Pennsylvanian) near Hamilton, Kansas USA [Abstract], in 3rd International Organization of Palaeobotany Conference, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, International Organization of Paleobotany Conference, Abstracts, International Organization of Palaeobotany, p. 16.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, Gillespie, William H., and Mapes, Gene K., 1988. Plant megafossils from the Hartford Limestone (Virgilian-Upper Pennsylvanian) near Hamilton, Kansas [Abstract], in The Geological Society of America, South-Central Section, 22nd Annual Meeting, Lawrence, KS, Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, Geological Society of America (GSA), p. 122.

Leisman, Gilbert Arthur, 1989. Plant fossils from the Wellington Formation (Permian) near Elmo, Kansas [Abstract], in Kansas Academy of Science, Kansas Academy of Science, Abstracts, p. 17.

Publications on Dr. Leisman’s material by other authors

Stubblefield, Sara P., Taylor, Thomas N. , 1983. Studies of Paleozoic Fungi. I. The Structure and Organization of Traquairia (Ascomycota). American Journal of Botany, Vol. 70, No. 3, pp. 387-399.

Stubblefield, Sara P., Taylor, Thomas N. , Miller, Charles E., and Cole, Garry T., 1983. Studies of Carboniferous Fungi. II. The Structure and Organization of MycocarponSporocarponDubiocarpon, and Coleocarpon (Ascomycotina). American Journal of Botany v. 70, no. 10, pp. 1482-1498.

“Southcliffe” and the Portrayal of a Journalist

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American culture will eventually have to make up its mind what it wants out of the information-providing professions. I would include “entertainment” in that group, since much of our understanding of culture comes through a combination of real and fictional storytelling. Our understanding becomes accessible in the “truth” of a particularly well-performed role, through a synthesis of real and not real.

The 2013 four-part series Southcliffe (Warp Films/Channel 4) included a central character of a journalist, David Whitehead, portrayed by Rory Kinnear. He’s a great actor to watch, between his moving presentation of The Creature in Penny Dreadful (2014-) (where his power and his vulnerability are performed at the same time), and his turn as Prime Minister Callow (subtle name, eh?) in the first episode of Black Mirror (2011). Callow, as it turned out, was a moment of fictional television getting a little too close to the truth, or perhaps a little too close to what people would like to be the truth but it really isn’t (now memed “Piggate”).

Southcliffe presents a journalist who is a great point for conversation. Reporter Whitehead is put on the mass shooting story because the location of the incident is the town where he grew up, and–as we learn–a place he hated and escaped from because of a personal childhood tragedy. So he covers the story because of the connection, but eventually becomes the story for related reasons.

I won’t spoil anything, except to say that the series made me think of how our expectations of journalists have changed, but not settled down. What difference does it make when a reporter covering, say, Orlando is LGBT? Or the reporter comes from a Muslim cultural background? Or what if the reporter’s dad was an anchor?

Perhaps the demands of “professionalism” would suggest one answer, but audiences seem to want something else. Perhaps viewers need to be clearer about what they want out of their non-fiction and fiction information sources. We watch Whitehead pursue the story about the mass shooting, feeling some disgust at his opportunism. But we are watching a series, knowing some of what it is about, in a way that makes us complicit in his actions. We live in a time where it is simply too easy to despise and discredit “the media” without ever feeling a responsibility to know and communicate what we want from it. And how we are going to sustain it.

I would be interested in what other media scholars make of this character in Southcliffe.

Summary of Learning

Our final assignment, what a crazy journey. As I sit at this quaint little Spanish cafe, I cannot help but connect my experience to my first two weeks studying abroad. I have had the most amazing first few weeks, but they were not without their difficulties. By difficulties I mean accidentally walking 20 miles in two days, spending 2 hours trying to find a cab, spending another 3 hours trying to get home, applying bandaids to blistered feet because you underestimated the value of comfortable shoes, trying to communicate with locals that speak no English, trying to order food that you can actually eat… Should I go on?

Trying to navigate a new country with a completely different culture is not easy, but despite bumps in the road, I have had the most incredible two weeks. Now, I can successfully make it too and from the city without hailing a cab in desperation, my blisters have healed and I have broken out the Birkenstocks, I know how to order food and speak broken Spanish, and meanwhile, despite the challenges, I have fallen completely in love with this city.

So what does this have to do with PR Publications? The journey was much the same. Highs and lows. For every assignment, there were challenges and there were accomplishments. It was the same way for each assignment, even the final assignment. I had to step back multiple times because of my frustration. And other times I was on a role, flying through the assignment. But through the whole process I was learning and improving, and I always ended up satisfied.

I want my infographic to mirror this process. To me, its like running a really long marathon. At times I feel weak and tired, and other times I feel strong and motivated. I would love to add some themes from my study abroad experience in order to better represent the journey.

The first step is finding a template to build my infographic upon. I may insert some images that I need to edit on Adobe, and do research on the design process. I will read some of the other student’s blogs to see what their design process was like. I first watch to sketch out a plan to build my design upon. I do not really have the luxury of time, so I will be as efficient as possible. My goal is to portray a process, and connect that process with PR Pubs.

My rocky (but rewarding) PR Pubs journey

I almost forgot how far I came since my first reflection post. I remember being completely overwhelmed listening to the initial tutorials, and feeling unsure about how I could complete the first assignment. Every project had its highs and lows. I would go through stages of confidence and moments of complete disillusion. But I always ended up feeling extremely accomplished, and with each assignment I developed my skills.

The first assignment, the business card, was my first real attempt at tackling adobe programs. I always had that initial “what now?” moment when I stare at the blank template. By the time I started the newsletter, I was used to this inevitable moment. But with the business card, I felt totally overwhelmed. But, like with every project, once I started diving into it and making progress, the work went faster. It was never smooth, but once I had a cohesive design in mind, my anxiety turned to motivation to complete a design I am proud of.

The first assignment set the tone for the rest. I understood there would be difficulties with each project; random text that won’t fit, fonts that weren’t quite right, colors that weren’t meshing, and told that were being fidgety. I accepted there were times I just needed to walk away from a project for a while to clear my head, and I realized it would never be perfect. But, the feeling of accomplishment was always there at the end.

The direct mailer assignment was by far the most challenging. I was comfortable with Indesign, so I figured Photoshop wouldn’t be much more difficult to tackle. Boy was I wrong. I dealt with the same high/low process as the other projects, but there were more lows than highs. I remember watching tutorials on almost every single design tool, and I remember staring at the blank template for much longer than other projects.

It really did feel like each week was a bit of a marathon. I would work on assignments for hours and get no where, and then hit some threshold and complete half the assignment.

I think the direct mailer was a turning point for me, because it forced me to get comfortable with Adobe. By that point, I had successfully completed designs on both Adobe programs, and I felt like I had accomplished so much.

I did not struggle as much with the rest of the assignments. I was able to focus more on design choices and target audiences because I was more familiar with the programs. For the first few assignments, I was just trying to put something together that looked good, and by the end, I was making actual choices that would best capture my design goals.

I am glad that I wrote reflection posts about each week, because it made me realize how far I have come since week one. I have thoroughly enjoyed this class, and I have learned valuable skills that I can apply to my professional career. My only worry is I will not maintain what I have learned without practice, so I will challenge myself to continue working with Adobe programs to maintain my skills.