Profiles | May/June Contents | Gazette
Quiet on the Set!
And No Vacuuming, Please
The audience won't hear the vacuum cleaner roaring in
the background of My Engagement Party, the new romantic comedy
written and directed by Christopher Heisen C'91. But Heisen knows it's
there, along with other extraneous noises made by the family in whose
home the independent film was shot. Continued...
Penn alumni will need a large quantity of popcorn
to go with all of the new movies created by their classmates. Here's
an undoubtedly incomplete list of current films with Quaker connection.
CLASS OF '91
Feasts Fit for a Writer
Ernest Hemingway's fictional characters typically met
unhappy endings, but like their creator, they at least ate and drank
well along the way -- dining on woodcock flambé in Armagnac in
a Milan hotel room in A Farewell to Arms, sipping manzanilla
and snacking on garlic olives in a Madrid tapas bar in The Garden
of Eden and warming up the Spanish Pyrenees with hot rum punch in
The Sun Also Rises. Paying tribute to the well-traveled writer's
adventurous appetite for life -- and food and drink -- Craig Boreth
C'91 has created The Hemingway Cookbook (Chicago Review Press).
Wired for Speed
It began with an argument. Late last year, Elie Seidman
EAS'97 and John Possumato W'82 L'85 were at a get-together in the office
of a mutual friend. The group began debating the most efficient way
to provide businesses with high-speed Internet access. Seidman favored
wiring entire buildings for Ethernet -- which allows for Web browsing
at speeds dozens of times faster than current modems, but at a cost
of several thousand dollars per month -- and then running connections
to individual offices. Possumato, though, claimed that an evolving technology
called DSL (Digital Subscriber Line, a method of providing lightning
fast online access over conventional phone wires) was capable of offering
businesses the advantages of Ethernet at a fraction of the cost. The
two agreed to stay in touch. Continued...
His Sail Near Over, Chanteyman
Enjoys Music of the Sea
Howard Hornstein D'67 was a pediatric dentist who delighted
in gathering with friends to sing sea chanteys -- work songs made popular
aboard 19th-century sailing ships, and later on land, along railroads
and in lumber camps. At festivals the Ancient Mariners Chanteymen brought
audiences to laughter and tears with their salty tunes and mournful
Collection Reveals Richness
of Puerto Rican Culture
As Puerto Rican legend has it, a farmer named Gerardo
González was about to be gored by a bull one day in 1599, near the southwestern
village of Hormigueros. He called upon the Virgin of Montserrat for
protection, and the animal immediately fell to its knees. This miracle
is depicted in a colorful, wooden devotional carving, or santo,
of a dark-skinned Madonna and child, seated above a man and a kneeling
bull. With Catholicism established as Puerto Rico's official religion
in its early years of colonization by the Spanish, but few Catholic
priests around at the time, rural families created their own religious
traditions, and one of those was the worship at home altars covered
with santos like this one. Continued...
A Neighborhood's Revolutionary Revival
More than two centuries ago, George Washington's troops
outmaneuvered the British along the banks of the Assunpink Creek. Today,
the same Trenton, N.J., neighborhood, known as the Mill Hill National
Historic District, is the site of a more peaceful revolution. Under
the leadership of architect David Henderson C'81, houses which had fallen
apart during the city's economic decline are being returned to their
earlier elegance. Continued...
Modeling Corporate Success
"You'd be surprised how many people don't realize
that you're supposed to wear a suit for a job interview," observes
Erica Skala C'94. "Or that you're supposed to have an alarm clock
to get to work on time." Many welfare recipients and low-income
workers trying to enter or move ahead in the job market lack role models
from which to learn such behaviors. Skala, a financial analyst for a
Manhattan investment bank, cofounded a not-for-profit organization two
years ago which she hopes will help fill that void while providing practical
job skills and computer training. Continued...
Profiles | May/June Contents | Gazette
Copyright 1999 The
Pennsylvania Gazette Last modified 5/5/99
Though the Africanized "killer" bees
adorning his face may look menacing, Matt Vespa C'95 reports that
he was not in that much danger while modeling this bee
beard during his stint as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay.
A swarming bee colony, already less aggressive because it has
no hive to defend, is first lured into a box and fed honey. As
a result, the bees become so bloated that they can not contract
their abdomens to sting. Smoke is then used to confuse them and
disrupt their communication system, which relies on odor. "After
these precautions are taken, the queen is identified, placed in
a small mesh cage and tied around the chin," Vespa writes.
"Where the queen goes, the colony follows, and within a couple
of minutes, a bee beard is created."
According to Vespa, beekeeping is an excellent,
non-polluting source of additional income for subsistence farmers
in Paraguay. He did not explain the value of bee beards.