IMAGE:  December 2002 GRAPHIC:  University of Chicago Magazine
Volume 95, Issue 2
LINK:  Research
Original Source  
Next Generation  
Course Work  
LINK:  Features
The Complexity Complex  
Three Months among the Pyramids  
Index to a Canon

The Real Life Adventures of Pinocchio


LINK:  Class Notes
Alumni News  
Alumni Works  
C. Vitae  

LINK:  Campus News
Chicago Journal  
University News e-bulletin  

LINK:  Also in every issue
Editor's Notes  
From the President  

GRAPHIC:  ResearchInvestigations
The strategic logic of suicide terrorism
Robert Pape asks why the deadly tactic is on the rise and what can be done about it.
Television and newspaper reports show bloody images of the damage wreaked by suicide bombers, and we wonder how human beings could choose to give up their lives that way, using their bodies as weapons. Many believe religious motives, specifically Islamic fundamentalism, play a part, but the world leader in suicide terrorism actually is the Marxist-Leninist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which recruits from the mostly Hindu Tamil population in Sri Lanka. A certain demographic profile was once thought prevalent, but recent attacks have been committed by both the educated and uneducated, single and married, male and female, young and middle-aged.
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Brighter evidence of the Big Bang
As University of Chicago physicist Sean Carroll planned speakers for September's COSMO-02 workshop in Chicago, John Carlstrom, the S. Chandrasekhar professor in astronomy & astrophysics and the College, was not on the agenda. But nine days before the event, Carroll shifted the schedule so that Carlstrom could announce the latest results from the Degree Angular Scale Interferometer (DASI).
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Language families v. genetic relatives
When the Oakland, California, school board proposed recognizing African-American Vernacular English, or Ebonics, in its classrooms in 1996, it began a firestorm of controversy—largely because the proposal cited studies that "have demonstrated that African Language Systems are genetically based and not a dialect of English." Although the school board quickly put out a clarification saying the phrase "genetically based" was "used according to the standard dictionary definition 'has origins in'" and "not used to refer to human biology," the damage had been done. The public had a confused notion of how linguists metaphorically refer to languages as "genetically related" or belonging to "language families."
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No need for female Viagra
Aging women become sexually dysfunctional at only about half the rate of men, according to a 30-country study led by U of C sociologist Edward Laumann. The results of the survey, based on interviews last year with 27,500 men and women aged 40-80, were presented at the October meeting of the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health. Men reported increasing instances of erectile dysfunction—up to 50 percent among 80-year-old males.
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Original Source
Mesopotamia's true colors
Using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), conservators at the Oriental Institute (OI) correctly reidentified the pigments on this mud-brick wall fragment (at right). From Khorsabad, Iraq, the capital city of Assyrian King Sargon II (721-705 B.C.), the 6 x 10 cm fragment was probably part of a geometric painting that graced the palace walls. In storage since the 1930s, the fragile piece needed strengthening treatment before the OI Mesopotamian Gallery opens in fall 2003.
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Next Generation
Coming soon: molecular keyboard?
In the race for smaller and smaller electronic components, Man-Kit Ng, SM'97, PhD'02, and chemistry professor Luping Yu have made a gigantic leap forward. The pair created a molecular diode—an electrical component that conducts electricity in one direction—by chemically bonding two electrically opposed compounds made mostly of hydrogen and carbon, embedding them in a sheet only one molecule thick, and then transferring the sheet to a gold platform.
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Fig. 2
City of the low-tech schools
While 60 percent of the nation's urban public schools have Internet access in the classroom, only 32 percent of Chicago's do. This and other findings come from the U of C's Consortium on Chicago School Research, which reports that computer and Internet usage in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is rudimentary compared to that of other urban school systems.
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Course Work
Reading between the rocks
Susan Kidwell's stratigraphy course gives students a layer-by-layer view of geophysical history. The students—seven in all, both graduate and undergraduate—drift in for Tuesday morning class in early October and settle at desks like pebbles along a streambed. Some move sluggishly, still eating breakfasts of coffee and muffins; others whirl in briskly and, before plunking down, chat about the quarter's first meeting of the GeoUnion student group.
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