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Spring-Summer 2000
Vol. 62, No. 3

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Rochester Quotes
Ottawa Citizen: "Between science and the press, we have confused a lot of people"--Thomas Pearson, Kaiser Professor of Community and Preventive Medicine, commenting on the "today-it's-good-for-you, tomorrow-it's-not" phenomenon fanned by media reports on diet and health.
  Pearson notes that some scientists seem bent on encouraging the boldest headlines for their research and get plenty of help from the reporters who interview them. "The probing question is, 'What does this mean?' But reporters don't want the usual blah-blah answer, which is, 'We really need more research,' " Pearson concludes.


Associated Press: "That's the problem; nothing goes through their head"--Jerry Rubenstein, associate professor of psychiatry, on why infuriated drivers commit violent acts on the road.
  Split-second decisions made by angry motorists defy rational thought. "People go from feeling to action. The only choices are fight or flight," Rubenstein notes. Road rage, he adds, frustrates law enforcement because it is impulsive, random, anonymous, and often committed by noncriminals.


Washington Post: "Providing additional incentives for shirking is likely to have a significant impact on the way a legislature operates"--Political scientist Lawrence Rothenberg, on why term limits may not be such a good idea after all.
  A study by Rothenberg and Mitchell Sanders quoted in the Post shows clear evidence that lame-duck members of Congress have a tendency to slack off in their remaining months in office, sluffing off committee responsibilities and ignoring constituents' interests.


New York Post: "The first time I saw his e-mail, I checked to see if it wasn't a hoax because he writes like a college professor"--A San Diego State University professor, speaking about 6-year-old prodigy Justin Chapman, who has been taking a course in Ancient World History as an unmatriculated student at Rochester. The Post reported that his biggest problem with the course was that he was too small to open the classroom doors by himself.


The New York Times: "[Some] might grumble that something must be wrong when a ballplayer earns more than 300 kindergarten teachers"--Economist Steven Landsburg, writing on high-salaried superstars.
  "Surely it's more important to mold a child's future than to entertain a baseball fan. But here's what the grumblers overlook: [Derek] Jeter's enormous salary comes to well under $10 per fan, while even the most poorly paid teacher earns well over $1,000 per student."


Christian Science Monitor: "After spending two years away at college, I have noticed that it is not uncommon to watch the pursuit of higher education and the pursuit of material things get easily confused"--Political science major Geoffrey Gray '01, writing on the changing "justification" for higher education.
  "If you believe what you read in the newspapers or hear in the dining halls, you might draw the conclusion that a quick, stable career is a lot sexier than eating rice and beans and reading about Henry David Thoreau walking around Walden Pond," he writes.

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