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Chicago's home on the Web

Congratulations on setting up an electronic mail (E-mail) address. I'm certain that the vast majority of future alumni-that is, current students-already use E-mail; the rest of us won't be too far behind. Alumni and other readers with World Wide Web capability might also like to know that the University maintains a World Wide Web (WWW) server at "" The day of having the Magazine totally on-line might not be that far off, after all.

Barry D. Bayer, AB'64
Homewood, Illinois

For more information about the University's Home Page on the World Wide Web, see "Chicago Journal," page 12.-Ed.

On higher ground

Thank you for an inspired editorial re Owen (October/94). I have, however, known Eric Hamp for about 30 years, and thus I don't believe that his explosion was "gutteral"-he wouldn't have condescended. More likely, I suspect, it was "guttural."

Thomas A. Sebeok, AB'41
Bloomington, Indiana

The power of ... editing

I was so dismayed by such original admittance essays ("Imagination's Kitchen," October/94), I reached for my Diet Coke....How awful mine on graduating valedictorian in a rural Minnesota class of 34 students must have been! When I realized, however...they were edited, I felt better and resumed cleaning the kitchen chrome....

Kenneth I. Taylor, PhD'74
Millersville, Pennsylvania

Our measurements are dinosaurs

While I enjoyed Andrew Campbell's interesting, informative "Adventures in Dinosaur Hunting" in the October/94 issue, it would have been more meaningful to me had SI units been used for all measurements.

I am sure that most readers of the University of Chicago Magazine understand a few of the common units of the modern, efficient International System of Units such as kilograms, meters, and degrees Celsius. Those who don't should be making an effort to comprehend SI units, because they are used by the citizens of all other nations.

Louis F. Sokol, SB'46
Boulder, Colorado

A collector's defense

Allow me to comment on the letter from Ms. Diane L. Schirf, AB'83 (October/94) re my collecting butterflies and removing certain individuals from the gene pool. I have long maintained that the average American catches more butterflies in the "tin net" of his automobile in a weekend than I could do with my butterfly net in the rainforest.

The story of Karner's Blue is indeed a sad one; it speaks of human greed-and a bit of media hoopla disguised under some self-righteousness.

Let me remark finally that I never considered myself a real, seasoned, professional collector. I am not in the commercial trade. In all probability, I winnowed the more stupid butterfly individuals from the gene pool, thus improving the overall future stock of their colony.
Can do more harm
Than city slickers
On a farm.
-Burma Shave-

Paul B. Moore, SM'63, PhD'65
Professor of Geophyisical Sciences

Uniform respect

In light of my own experiences, I find the letter from Richard O. Niehoff, PhB'33, AM'34 (October/94) on Chicago's role in the GI Bill both disturbing and ironic. In June 1987, I graduated from the College and began my career as a United States naval aviator. In the seven years since, I have had several opportunites to visit campus in uniform. I can only describe my reception by the U of C community as appalling.

I remember the College taking great pains to teach about the value of freedom. I also remember receiving instruction on tolerance of other viewpoints. It continues to disturb me that those who sacrifice so much for the defense of freedom find themselves reviled by those who most profit from that sacrifice. I count several Chicago-based military members as friends and associates. All of them are furthering their education under the modern-day GI Bill. None of them were made to feel comfortable at the U of C. As a result, all of them chose to attend other local universities.

Perhaps a story should be written about the source of this pervasive disdain for individuals who have chosen to personally participate in the American military. Meanwhile, I will continue to remember Tim Hanesen, Paul Miller, Tom House, and Bill Rull-friends who died in the line of duty. Meanwhile, I will continue to honor those who at this moment are at sea, far from home. Meanwhile, I will continue to question the attitudes of those who profit so much from, yet risk so little for, the liberties they enjoy.

Arie S. Friedman, AB'87
Lieutenant, United States Navy

A pleasure to read about pleasure

It was indeed a pleasure to read "Untamed Scavengers!-To let off steam, students go to extremes" (June/94), the profile piece on the 1994 Scavenger Hunt. At last, the Magazine has provided ready documentary evidence to refute the notion that the University of Chicago student body consists of so many grim academic galley slaves, chained to their desks and growing steadily paler due to prolonged sojourns in the bowels of the Reg. The University suffers from an image problem, and it is high time that the Magazine chose to highlight the ways in which U of C students take a few precious moments from their studies and have fun-albeit certainly in our own slightly warped way. At a time when the University is described in the New York Times as "a cross between Bell Laboratories and a monastery," we need to focus renewed attention on the indisputable fact that yes, we do indeed occasionally decide to do something foolish and fun just for the sake of the sheer absurd thrill of it all.

With the demise of Sleep-Out and the more distant passing of the notorious Lascivious Costume Ball, it is all the more impressive that U of C students preserve some large-scale occasion in which they are free and frivolous. We can only hope that the Scavenger Hunt will remain a vital campus activity and may in some small way help to amend the popular image of the University of Chicago as a Gothic repository of humorless drones.

As the article reminds us, Aristotle, Adam Smith, and Rousseau all have their place on the collegiate landscape-but so, too, does filling your shoes with Cheez Whiz for the amusement of your friends.

Edoardo M. Kulp, AB'91
Scavenger Hunt '91 Chief Judge
San Francisco

Peter R. Goldstone, AB'91
Scavenger Hunt '91 Grand Marshall
Somerville, Massachusetts

Jazz in the key of memory

The letter in the June issue of the Magazine from William A. Pryor, PhB'48, SB'51, on jazz in the post-War years was interesting, but my memory is somewhat different.

I was a student in the history department from 1947 to 1953. One of my colleagues in the department was Ellis Johnson, AM'51, PhD'55, who was one of the best guitar players in the country, both jazz and classical. Many of my experiences hearing jazz in that period were with Ellis.

Fifty-fifth Street in those days was a rather seedy area (before President Lawrence Kimpton brought about renewal). The Beehive was a bar at 55th and Blackstone, with a small bandstand behind the bar. It's hard to believe Charlie Parker ever played there. Surely, I would have known about it and would have heard him.

The most famous jazz club was the Blue Note, on Madison. There I heard Louis Armstrong, Red Norvo, and Stan Kenton. Most memorable of all: a quintet that included Charlie Shavers on trumpet, Louis Bellson on drums, and Terry Gibbs on vibes. The other outfit on the program was the Hal Otis Trio. My friend Ellis Johnson was the guitarist. Down Beat magazine ran a review that compared Ellis to the legendary Django Rheinhardt.

Well, those were the days. My recollections are somewhat different from those of Mr. Pryor, but he's absolutely right in saying that it was a great time for jazz in Chicago.

Duke Frederick, AM'50, PhD'66
Evanston, Illinois

The University of Chicago Magazine invites letters on the contents of the magazine or on topics related to the University. Letters for publication, which must be signed, may be edited for length and/or clarity. To ensure the widest range of voices, preference is given to letters of no more than 300 words. Address letters to: Editor, University of Chicago Magazine, 5757 Woodlawn Ave., Chicago, IL 60637. Internet:

Go to "Investigations"
Go to feature, "Virtual TV," about a campus theater group that blends improv and situation comedy.
Go to feature, "Doctor, Lawyer, Agency Chief," a profile of FDA Head David Kessler, JD'78
Go to feature, "The University Goes Downtown," a photo portrait and day-in-the-life of the new Downtown Center
Go to feature, "Will the real McKeon please stand up," about philosopher Richard McKeon.

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