News

SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program Partners up for Peace Day Dallas 2016

Dallas Morning News

Originally Posted: June 22, 2016

Peace Day Dallas 2016 will be bigger and better than ever, organizers announced at a kickoff event Wednesday at Dallas City Hall. The celebration will be from Sept. 16-21 and include events across the city.

Several partners have already stepped up, including Dallas City Hall, the Dallas Holocaust Museum, Jesuit College Preparatory School, SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program, Peace is Possible, the Zain Foundation and 29 Pieces.

Council member Adam McGough and wife Lacy will serve as chairs.

Mayor Mike Rawlings spoke at the kickoff before he signed a Respect Pledge.

“The spirit of the pledge is exactly what we need,” Rawlings said. “This will help with the terrible scourges in the United States and in our own backyard.”

He praised Karen Blessen of 29 Pieces for her involvement. Blessen introduced students who held round “Respect” posters that will be placed throughout the city as part of the celebration. Blessen also covered Dallas in “Love” posters during the city’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination.

To learn more, visit peacedaydallas.com.

Thomas Knock, History, interviewed about his book Rise of a Prairie Statesman: The Life and Times of George McGovern

New Books Network

Originally Posted: June 19, 2016

51luk8ax3RL._SL160_George McGovern is largely remembered today for his dramatic loss to Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential campaign, yet he enjoyed a long career characterized by many remarkable achievements. In Rise of a Prairie Statesman: The Life and Times of George McGovern (Princeton UP, 2016), the first in a projected two-volume biography of the senator and Democratic Party presidential nominee, Thomas Knock chronicles McGovern’s life and career from his Depression-era upbringing in South Dakota to his 1968 reelection campaign and emergence as a presidential contender. Knock describes McGovern’s transformation from a shy young boy into a confident debater who, after America went to war in 1941, volunteered for service in the Army Air Corps as a B-24 bomber pilot and flew 35 combat missions over Germany and Austria. Upon returning home, he embarked on a path that took him from the ministry to a Ph.D. in history and then the college classroom before he settled upon a career in politics. After serving two terms in the House of Representatives and as Director of Food for Peace in the Kennedy administration, in 1962 McGovern won a seat in the United States Senate, where he emerged as a prescient critic of America’s descent into the Vietnam War. In detailing his opposition to that expanding conflict, Knock not only shows how McGovern emerged as a national leader, but also demonstrates the relevance of his vision to the challenges our nation faces today. LISTEN

What we know about Hope Hicks, SMU grad and Donald Trump’s secretive press secretary

Dallas Morning News

Originally Posted: June 21, 2016

Donald Trump’s press secretary hasn’t shared much information about herself, and she’s rarely, if ever, available for comment.

But this week,  the public learned  more about Hope Hicks when GQ and Marie Claire magazines published pieces about the Southern Methodist University alum.

Since her graduation from SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences in 2010, Hicks, 27, has skyrocketed to the top of the Trump universe. The Connecticut native comes from a family of well-connected public relations experts.

Hicks routinely declines interview requests, unlike Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson, whose social media presence rivals that of Trump himself. READ MORE

Tower Center fellow Sionaidh Douglas-Scott discusses implications of a Brexit on UK law

Financial Times

Originally Posted: June 20, 2016

Tower Center fellow Sionaidh Douglas-Scott was interviewed for the Financial Times article “Untangling Britain from Europe would cause constitutional ‘havoc’” June 20. READ MORE

Dedman College Research Roundup

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Dedman College scientists continue to receive global recognition for their research. Check out some of the latest research articles from Dedman College faculty.

  • Long-term daily contact with Spanish missions triggered collapse of Native American populations in New Mexico. 

SWJM_oldboundary_8x11portrait-232x300“Scholars increasingly recognize the magnitude of human impacts on planet Earth, some are even ready to define a new geological epoch called the Anthropocene,” said anthropologist and fire expert Christopher I. Roos, an associate professor, Department of Anthropology, and a co-author on the research. READ MORE

  • The Moon used to spin on a different axis.

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“As the axis moved, so did the face of the Man in the Moon. He sort of turned his nose up at the Earth. These findings may open the door to further discoveries on the interior evolution of the Moon, as well as the origin of water on the Moon and early Earth,” said Matthew Siegler, adjunct faculty in the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, and lead author of the study. READ MORE

  • SMU seismology team response to March 28, 2016 U.S. Geological Survey hazard forecasts. READ MORE
  • Nearby massive star explosion 30 million years ago equaled brightness of 100 million suns. 

Deep blue space background filled with nebulae and shining stars

  • The massive explosion was one of the closest to Earth in recent years, visible as a point of light in the night sky starting July 24, 2013, said Robert Kehoe, SMU physics professor, who leads SMU’s astrophysics team. READ MORE
  • Could Texas’ dirty coal power plants be replaced by geothermal systems?

geothermal-map“We all care about the earth,” said Maria Richards, SMU geothermal lab coordinator, in welcoming the attendees. “We are applying knowledge that is applying hope.”                         READ MORE

  • SMU physicists: CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is once again smashing protons, taking data. READ MORE
  • Study: Humans have been causing earthquakes in Texas since the 1920s. READ MORE

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Scientists from SMU’s Department of Physics are among the several thousand physicists worldwide who contribute on the LHC research.

 

  • Early armored dino from Texas lacked cousin’s club-tail weapon, but had a nose for danger.

Karen_Carr_Pawpawsaurus_campbelli--300x197Pawpawsaurus was an earlier version of armored dinosaurs but not as well equipped to fight off meat-eaters, according to a new study, said vertebrate paleontologist Louis Jacobs. READ MORE

 

  • Wildfire on warming planet requires adaptive capacity at local, national, int’l scales.

house-1024x768“We tend to treat modern fire problems as unique, and new to our planet,” said fire anthropologist Christopher Roos, lead author of the report. “As a result, we have missed the opportunity to recognize the successful properties of communities that have a high capacity to adapt to living in flammable landscapes — in some cases for centuries or millennia.“ READ MORE

  • Giant sinkholes near West Texas oil patch towns are growing — as new ones lurk.

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The two sinkholes — about a mile apart — appear to be expanding. Additionally, areas around the existing sinkholes are unstable, with large areas of subsidence detected via satellite radar remote sensing. READ MORE

Two giant sinkholes in West Texas expanding, researchers say

Star Telegram

Originally Posted: June 17, 2016

A couple of giant sinkholes in the West Texas oil patch are apparently expanding, and might eventually converge into one gigantic hole.

The sinkholes are about a mile apart and sit between Wink and Kermit off I-20 west of Midland-Odessa. They were caused by lots of oil and gas extraction, which peaked from the mid-1920s to the mid-1960s, according to researchers at Southern Methodist University.

Satellite radar images indicate that the giant sinkholes are expanding and that new ones are forming “at an alarming rate” as nearby subsidence occurs, they report in the scientific journal Remote Sensing. One is 361 feet across, about the size of a football field; the other is larger, 670 to 900 feet across.

“A collapse could be catastrophic,” said geophysicist Jin-Woo Kim, who leads the SMU geophysical team reporting the findings.

In addition to Wink and Kermit (combined pop. about 7,000), there’s lots of oil and gas production equipment and installations and hazardous liquid pipelines in the area, Kim said in the report. The fresh water injected underground in the extraction process “can dissolve the interbedded salt layers and accelerate the sinkhole collapse.”

There’s something not too dissimilar happening in Daisetta, east of Houston.

Officials have fenced off the area around the sinkholes between Wink and Kermit and they’ll be monitored, but residents don’t appear to be worried about them.

“They’re a ways off from the highway; if nobody mentions it, then nobody is interested in it,” Kermit City Manager Gloria Saenz told the New York Daily News.

A preacher of the Apocalypse from Indiana had a decidedly different take, exclaiming on YouTube: “Here’s my concern. It’s like hell is being enlarged, and that without measure.”

Well, maybe not quite. READ MORE

Who Will Win?

SMU News

Originally Posted: June 17, 2016

Election 2016 with USA Flag in Map Silhouette Illustration

The 2016 presidential election has come a long way since the first presidential debates last fall and SMU’s election gurus have offered their insights every step of the way. Take an inside peak at the evolution of the election process through their eyes: READ MORE

Chemistry Professor David Son, his wife and children are the extended family of 170 students in an SMU residential commons.

SMU News

Originally Posted: June 16, 2016

DALLAS (SMU)– For SMU chemistry professor David Son, making the decision to move his wife and two children from their comfortable suburban Plano home to an apartment in a student residential hall on the SMU campus was a family decision.

David Son, his wife Heidi Son, Kaylee Son and Geoffrey Son“We had to consider the consequences of uprooting our children, moving them to new schools and raising them among college students,” David says. Son, his wife, Heidi, 10-year-old Kaylee and 13-year-old Geoffrey have lived on the SMU campus in Boaz Commons since 2014, when the David and Heidi Son became Faculty-in Residence there.

SMU introduced the Residential Commons model in August 2014 to 11 residence halls, integrating the academic, residential and social aspects of university life. Faculty members live in the residence halls, in addition to Residence Life staff. Along with student leaders, faculty-in-residence help plan study breaks, holiday celebrations and trips off campus to Dallas sites such as museums or performances. They also serve as on-site mentors. Three of the ll faculty members who live in residence halls have young children.

“Living on the SMU campus has been a positive experience for our family,” Son says. READ MORE

“I think we’re seeing some of the weaknesses of Donald Trump as a general election candidate, as opposed to a Republican primary candidate,” Cal Jillson, political science professor

USA Today

Originally Posted: June 16, 2016

At the one-year mark, Trump campaign faces crossroads

DALLAS — One year ago, Donald Trump rode down the lobby escalator at his midtown Manhattan office tower and launched the presidential campaign that upended Republican politics — a campaign that now may be facing a make-or-break crossroads.

“Who knew this was going to happen?” Trump told supporters Wednesday in Atlanta in celebrating his first 12 months as a presidential candidate.

Yet, while marking the anniversary with a Thursday night rally in Dallas, Trump continues to face criticism from Republican lawmakers and is now looking at a loss of support in the polls after his comments following the terrorist attack in Orlando. READ MORE

New study by geophysicists Zhong Lu, professor, Shuler-Foscue Chair, and Jin-Woo Kim research scientist, Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, finds massive sinkholes are unstable

Science Daily

Originally Posted: June 14, 2016

Geohazard: Giant sinkholes near West Texas oil patch towns are growing — as new ones lurk

Satellite radar images reveal ground movement of infamous sinkholes near Wink, Texas; suggest 2 existing holes are expanding, and new ones are forming as nearby subsidence occurs at an alarming rate

Two giant sinkholes that sit between two West Texas oil patch towns are growing — and two new ones appear to be lurking, say geophysicists. Satellite radar images reveal substantial ground movement in and around the infamous sinkholes near Wink, Texas — suggesting expansion of the two existing holes, with subsidence in two other nearby areas suggesting new ones may surface. READ MORE