Scholarship of things

first_imgAddressing an audience at the Harvard Ed Portal, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, the 300th Anniversary University Professor and a Pulitzer Prize winner for history, said that many objects in Harvard’s collections defy easy categorization.Consider, she said, the tortilla.“It’s one of my favorite objects in Harvard’s museums,” she said of the University’s 118-year-old tortilla, which is kept in the Harvard University Herbaria. “It’s a botanical specimen, or sort of a botanical specimen, that became an ethnographic object, but is now a historical document. It’s led our students on many adventures: not just into food history, but into the history of ethnic conflict, the history of immigration, the history of migration on both sides of the Mexican-U.S. border, and so on.”Harvard’s four centuries of history, together with the depth and breadth of its holdings, mean that many items reward a more up-close examination, yielding insights on world history and the University itself.That concept, Ulrich said, led her to create the “Tangible Things” undergraduate course at Harvard, which grew into the HarvardX offering of the same name. Ulrich said the main idea behind the course is that “any object can become an entry point into historical investigation. The shoes on your feet, the chair you’re sitting on, light fixtures in the room — common things have stories.”Laurel Thatcher Ulrich delivers her lecture on “Tangible Things.” Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerBut it’s easy to miss out on those stories. Some students never enter a museum during their studies, and those who do often experience only brief glimpses into Harvard’s vast holdings.“In the 19th century, many of the fields that our students study didn’t exist,” Ulrich said. “They grew out of the collecting of natural things. Anthropology developed out of collections, for example. By the end of the 19th century, you had very specialized museums — zoology museums, history museums, technology museums, and so on.”Ulrich has worked to break down those barriers and make connections among a large pool of items, and across all levels of campus life. “Our goals were to engage students with physical things and to break down categories between objects, to make people more aware about the world in which we live. We wanted them to think across categories, to pay attention to their own tangible world, but also to think about Harvard differently,” she said.Robert Lue, faculty director of HarvardX and the Ed Portal, and a professor of the practice of molecular and cellular biology, introduced Ulrich as “one of the stars in the firmament” of Harvard’s History Department.“When we think of the objects we see in a museum, we tend to think of things that are incredibly precious as the only things that have value and power,” he said. But Ulrich’s work shows that “from the perspective of history, any object is imbued with enormous power, and can teach us a lot about the world and about ourselves.”Samanntha Tesch of Watertown brought a group of friends to the event.“The presentation really made me think about the little tangible things that are around me every day: what they mean, and what future generations might think of them as artifacts of history,” she said. “There are things that, in a way, make me who I am. So I want to really see the things I experience around me, and think about what I want to preserve as my own history, too.”last_img read more

McIlroy maintains Palm Beach lead

first_imgRory McIlroy continued to head the field midway through the Honda Classic, with a second-round 66 maintaining his one-shot lead over the chasing pack. Press Association Behind Henley were two Britons on seven under, England’s Lee Westwood and Russell Knox of Scotland, with Welshman Jamie Donaldson one of three men on six under. McIlroy was struggling for form this time last year and hit a real low point at Palm Beach when he withdrew midway through his second round complaining of fatigue. “It’s a different end of the spectrum I guess,” McIlroy told “I wasn’t quite comfortable with my golf swing. I was still tinkering with equipment. I just wasn’t feeling in control of, you know, what I needed to be in control of. “This year is obviously a lot different.” McIlroy put his improved form in Florida this time around down to regaining his confidence. “When you hit a few good shots, your confidence can go up quite quickly but then you hit one bad one, it can sort of go down again and that’s where I was sort of most of last year,” he said. “Now I feel I’m happy with where my swing is, and even if I do hit a loose shot, I can get over it much quicker and much easier because I have the confidence in what I’m doing.” De Jonge, who carded eight birdies in his six-under 64, could have been level with McIlroy but for a bogey on his final hole, the par-four ninth. Knox was blemish-free as he sunk seven birdies in his 63, which matched the best of the day, while Westwood carded six birdies against a single bogey for a 65. Luke Donald kept up a good day for the British contingent as he moved into a share of ninth on five under with a 68, while further down the leaderboard compatriot Paul Casey just made the cut at level par, as did Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia. Among those falling just the wrong side of the line were Phil Mickeson and Angel Cabrera, with Padraig Harrington, David Lynn, Darren Clarke and 2013 champion Michael Thompson also among those who missed out. Among the early starters in Palm Beach on day two, the Northern Irishman recovered from two bogeys in his opening three holes to sink six birdies and move to 11 under for the tournament. That saw McIlroy, who held a one-shot lead at the end of the opening day, maintain his advantage, with Zimbabwe’s Brendon de Jonge the nearest challenger on 10 under, two clear of Russell Henley. last_img read more

Safety Tips for Homes with Kids and Prescriptions

first_imgFacebook17Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Thurston County Public Health and Social ServicesMany of us have prescription medicine that we no longer need or want taking up space in bathroom cabinets, or on pantry shelves and bedside tables. Kids of all ages are naturally curious, and it’s important to realize that access to medications can pose serious risks to children and young people.You can protect the children in your family by following two simple rules with your medications.Safely store the medicines you are using.Safely dispose of medications that are no longer in use.Opioids are in the news, but most of us don’t connect the idea of our current and leftover pain medications with possible opioid abuse. We may not even realize which medications are considered opioids. Prescription opioids have better-known brand names and generic names. If you have any of these, make them a priority for secure storage while in use, and for safe disposal when no longer needed:OxyContin, Percocet or OxycodoneVicodin or HydrocodoneDilaudid or HydromorphoneOpana or OxymorphoneSafely Store your Prescription Medicine For medicines that are currently in use, it’s important to store them properly. About 75% of opioid misuse starts with people using medication that wasn’t prescribed for them – usually taken from a friend or family member. The best way to keep medications out of curious hands, regardless of age, is to keep them out of sight and locked away. Learn more about safe medication storage at www.Getthefactsrx.comFor younger children, safe storage of prescription medication and proper disposal can prevent an accidental overdose or poisoning. The Washington Poison Control Center has more information to help prevent poisonings.Safely Dispose of Unwanted Medications for FreeLocal law enforcement has safe, prescription medicine drop-boxes all across Thurston County. They are free for the community to use. You can easily get rid of unwanted medications at the following places: Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, Lacey Police Department, Rainier City Hall, Tenino Police Department, Tumwater Police Department, Yelm Police Department and Walgreens in Olympia. These drop-boxes are secure, and look a lot like metal ballot boxes (see image). To find the addresses and hours for these sites and any others across Washington, go to: Yet another reason for safe disposal of medications is to protect our water supplies. Medications flushed down the toilet eventually make their way into our drinking water, lakes, rivers and into Puget Sound.As you can see there are many reasons to properly dispose of the medicines that you no longer need, as well as to secure the medications that you are currently taking. By taking some of these steps, you’ll be doing the right thing for those you love and keeping our community healthier too.last_img read more