SMU history professor/time expert Alexis McCrossen explores the evolution of New Year’s celebrations

SMU News Originally Posted: November 30, 2017 DALLAS (SMU) – Before fireworks displays, the Tournament of Roses Parade and champagne toasts, New Year’s Day in the United States was a time to pay respect, reflect and render accounts. The revelry came later, says Alexis McCrossen, SMU professor of history. Ironically, the holiday’s deeper meaning and purpose would get lost in the annual bacchanalia. Thousands of Americans in 1927 lined up outside the White House to attend a reception hosted by President Calvin Coolidge. The tradition began with George Washington's presidency and continued through the presidency of Herbert Hoover. Photo courtesy the U.S. Library of Congress. “There’s something deeply symbolic about the new year,” McCrossen says. “Historically it’s been when individuals and communities made sense of [...]

By | 2017-12-04T10:54:54+00:00 December 4th, 2017|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, History|Comments Off on SMU history professor/time expert Alexis McCrossen explores the evolution of New Year’s celebrations

Various opinions from SMU professors

SMU News Originally Posted: November 29, 2017 Following are links to a sample of opinions written by SMU professors that have appeared recently in various publications. They represent the independent thoughts of their authors and appear in the order in which they were published, the most recent being at the top. Trump should try quiet diplomacy By Jeffrey Engel Director of the SMU Center for Presidential History at SMUTwenty-five years ago this week, Americans rejected a far different man than the one in power today. Self-confident where Donald Trump is thin-skinned, well-mannered in a way Trump considers weak, George H.W. Bush is remembered a quarter-century out of office as an elder statesman whose call for a “kinder and gentler” nation appears quaint in retrospect.  Read [...]

By | 2017-11-30T11:27:02+00:00 December 1st, 2017|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, Philosophy, Political Science, Tower Center|Comments Off on Various opinions from SMU professors

Do Those Blue Light Filters on Devices Really Help You Sleep?

KQED Science Originally Posted: November 27, 2017 If you’re losing sleep over the blue light coming from your phone, there’s an app for that. In fact, there are now lots of apps that promise to improve sleep by filtering out the blue light produced by phones, tablets, computers and even televisions. But how well do these apps work? There haven’t been any big studies to answer that question. So I phoned a couple of scientists who study the link between blue light exposure and sleep. My first call is to Lisa Ostrin, an assistant professor at the University of Houston College of Optometry. Ostrin owns an iPhone. And every iPhone comes with an app called Night Shift that lets you filter out blue light. So [...]

By | 2017-11-29T07:24:54+00:00 November 29th, 2017|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on Do Those Blue Light Filters on Devices Really Help You Sleep?

How Would a Tax Code Overhaul Impact North Texas Charities?

NBC 5 Originally Posted: November 27, 2017 After Cyber Monday comes Giving Tuesday, part of a national call to encourage people to give to their favorite charities during the Christmas season. At the same time, Congress is back to work trying to overhaul the U.S. Tax Code before the end of the year, and some wonder if the current plan could cost charities. Under a plan presented by House Republicans, charitable giving is still tax deductible, but fewer people may end up using the deduction. In an effort to simplify the tax code, the standard deduction would nearly double so that fewer people would need to itemize deductions and would instead just take a standard deduction. But if there is less of a need to [...]

By | 2017-11-29T07:22:16+00:00 November 29th, 2017|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Economics, Faculty News|Comments Off on How Would a Tax Code Overhaul Impact North Texas Charities?

Hurricane Harvey: Can Trump nudge Texas to dip into its rainy day fund?

E & E News Originally Posted: November 22, 2017 The Trump administration is trying to get Gov. Greg Abbott and the rest of Texas' GOP leadership to do something they've tried to avoid: tap into a $10 billion stockpile known as the rainy day fund. "We feel strongly that they should step up and play a role and work with the federal government in this process," White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said last week. Sanders was defending a $44 billion aid proposal aimed at helping Texas and other areas in the aftermath of 2017 disasters (E&E Daily, Nov. 17). That's less than the $61 billion Texas alone requested for recovery and mitigation in light of Hurricane Harvey, which struck in late August and caused [...]

By | 2017-11-27T07:58:48+00:00 November 25th, 2017|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, Political Science|Comments Off on Hurricane Harvey: Can Trump nudge Texas to dip into its rainy day fund?

Oil and gas industry is causing Texas earthquakes, a ‘landmark’ study suggests

Washington Post Originally Posted: November 24, 2017 An unnatural number of earthquakes hit Texas in the past decade, and the region's seismic activity is increasing. In 2008, two earthquakes stronger than magnitude 3 struck the state. Eight years later, 12 did. Natural forces trigger most earthquakes. But humans are causing earthquakes, too, with mining and dam construction the most frequent suspects. There has been a recent increase in natural gas extraction — including fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, but other techniques as well — which produces a lot of wastewater. To get rid of it, the water is injected deep into the ground. When wastewater works its way into dormant faults, the thinking goes, the water's pressure nudges the ancient cracks. Pent-up tectonic stress releases and the ground shakes. But for any [...]

By | 2017-11-29T07:27:21+00:00 November 25th, 2017|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on Oil and gas industry is causing Texas earthquakes, a ‘landmark’ study suggests

SMU Geology Professor Neil Tabor to go to Antarctica

Omaha World Journal Originally Posted: November 15, 2017 Former Omahan Neil Tabor has embarked upon a journey to the geographic end of the world to study a past end of the world (of sorts) in hopes of preventing a future end of the world. The Central High and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate — now a Dallas-based geologist and professor at Southern Methodist University — is bound for Antarctica on a project funded by the National Science Foundation. He’ll be stationed for about 2½ months in a tent camp on the frozen continent’s east side studying rocks so old they predate the dinosaurs and even the existence of the planet’s formation of the seven continents as we know them. His job in Antarctica won’t be measuring [...]

By | 2017-11-22T08:34:19+00:00 November 22nd, 2017|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on SMU Geology Professor Neil Tabor to go to Antarctica

Lynn Stokes, Statistics, selected as part of scientific team conducting independent abundance estimate of red snapper in Gulf of Mexico

Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium Originally Posted: November 17, 2017 A team of university and government scientists, selected by an expert review panel convened by the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, will conduct an independent study to estimate the number of red snapper in the U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico. “American communities across the Gulf of Mexico depend on their access to, as well as the long term sustainability of, red snapper,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “I look forward to the insights this project will provide as we study and manage this valuable resource.” The research team, made up of 21 scientists from 12 institutions of higher learning, a state agency and a federal agency, was awarded $9.5 million in federal funds for [...]

By | 2017-11-20T08:26:21+00:00 November 20th, 2017|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, Statistical Science|Comments Off on Lynn Stokes, Statistics, selected as part of scientific team conducting independent abundance estimate of red snapper in Gulf of Mexico

James Hollifield, Tower Center, NAFTA talks resumed recently with tariff-free auto parts on the table

Dallas Morning News Originally Posted: November 17, 2017 MEXICO CITY -- Officials for Canada, Mexico and the United States will renew talks here Friday, amid a cloud of uncertainty  and animosity that hangs over negotiations to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement. As the talks drag on, now expected to continue through March, the possibility of any real gains are likely to become even slimmer as elections loom for the three countries, particularly Mexico, which holds presidential elections in July. Crucial midterm congressional elections are in November in the U.S. NAFTA could muddy the campaign waters even more, experts say. “The window of opportunity is fast closing in,” said Tony Payan, director of the Mexico Center at Rice University’s Baker Institute, which hosted a top [...]

By | 2017-11-20T08:32:37+00:00 November 18th, 2017|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, Political Science, Tower Center|Comments Off on James Hollifield, Tower Center, NAFTA talks resumed recently with tariff-free auto parts on the table
Load More Posts