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From The New York Times:
For the last time: Archimedes did not invent a death ray.
But more than 2,200 years after his death, his inventions are still driving technological innovations — so much so that experts from around the world gathered recently for a conference at New York University on his continuing influence.
The death ray legend has Archimedes using mirrors to concentrate sunlight to incinerate Roman ships attacking his home of Syracuse, the ancient city-state in the southeast Sicily. It has been debunked no fewer than three times on the television show “Mythbusters” (the third time at the behest of President Obama).
On June 19 the Amiercan Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) released the report of its Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences, a group formed over two years ago in response to a request from members of Congress for a report that would respond to the following question: What are the top ten actions that Congress, state governments, universities, foundations, educators, individual benefactors, and others should take now to maintain national excellence in humanities and social scientific scholarship and education, and to achieve long-term national goals for our intellectual and economic well-being; for a stronger, more vibrant civil society; and for the success of cultural diplomacy in the 21st century?
Louis Cabot, Chair of the Academy Board, described the report in the following message to Academy Fellows:
I am pleased to announce that the Academy's Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences released its report The Heart of the Matter on Capitol Hill this morning.
The 2012-2013 Placement Service Year will end on June 30, 2013. During the next few weeks, we will perform maintenance on the Placement Service Portal Page to prepare it for 2013-2014. If you plan to enroll with the Service for 2013-14, PLEASE WAIT for our announcement that will state when enrollment is open for the upcoming Placement Year. If you enroll prior to our announcement, you will not be issued a refund.
After more than 30 years, the AIA has chosen to terminate its participation with the APA in the Placement Service. For more information, please visit http://apaclassics.org/index.php/apa_blog/apa_blog_entry/4171/. If you are currently an AIA member, and you plan to enroll with the APA Placement Service in 2013-2014, you will have to pay the higher, non-member fee (USD $55.00) to enroll. The APA Member’s fee to utilize the Placement Service is USD $20.00, and you must pay dues for 2013 before the end of June if you wish to register for the Service in July. Payment may be made online. The APA welcomes all students of the ancient world, and its members advance the study of the classical antiquity in all its aspects.
Adam Blistein recently sent a message to all members inviting you to volunteer to stand for election to Association offices and to serve on APA committees. The required form may be accessed here, and you may find full information about what is involved in serving in the various positions here.
Why do we send this message every year, and why is it important that we have members respond?
The New York Times makes a case that Hollywood learned about the wisdom of producing sequels, prequels, etc. from - among others - ancient Greek tragedians.
In high school, Joshua D. Sosin had two favorite subjects: Latin and biology. "In the end I decided that my Latin teacher was cooler, and if I, too, wanted to be cool, I should do Latin," he says. That led to a concentration in classics, philosophy, and religion at what is now the University of Mary Washington, where he studied not only Latin but also Greek and Egyptian Coptic. He got a Ph.D. in classics from Duke University in 2000. "At no point did I consider what I would do with any of this," he says.
What he did was go on to a career as a papyrologist and epigraphist, a scholar of inscriptions. Now Mr. Sosin, who is 40, is about to put that training to fresh uses in a job configured unlike any other at Duke. In July he will become director of the Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing, a new digital-humanities unit of the Duke University Libraries.
Read more at The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The World Languages Department at Wenatchee Valley College announces a new web site to support its Latin program as well as spoken-Latin activities in the Pacific Northwest. "Boreoccidentales" provides a forum for the events and activities of the Circulus Latinus Seattlensis ("Seattle Latin-Speaking Club") and the Conventiculum Vasintoniense/Septimana Californiana. The web site also houses Cataracta, an online journal, with works by modern Latin authors. Inclusion in the online journal is open to anyone, world-wide! For more information, please contact Dr. Stephen Berard through the "Contact Us" web form.
All APA and AIA members, be they Grizzled comic veterans or Dewy-eyed tiros, are invited to participate in The 12th Annual Staged Reading of The Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance (CAMP): Plautus’ Rudens, directed by Alison Futrell (University of Arizona) and John Given (East Carolina University). This is the journey of a plucky young woman, kidnapped, torn from the arms of love, shipwrecked, waterlogged, epiphanied, menaced and manacled, to be bound again at last by the salty ties of tender devotion! This is the rambunctious musical production populated by pimps, piscatores, prostitutes, pirates, peons, and paramours! This is the rope-y tug-of-war to tug your heartstrings and tease your toes to tapping!
Rudens aims to be an uproarious extravaganza. There will be singing. There will be dancing. There will be silliness. We need actors able and willing to play big, even in small roles. We also need costumers and other off-stage crew. We need you!
The Rudens performance will take place on the Friday evening, January 3, 2014, at the APA-AIA Meetings in Chicago. Rehearsals begin two days prior to the performance, on January 1. (Travel on December 31 may be necessary.) Actors are expected to familiarize themselves with scripts in advance, though memorization is not required. Acting experience is not required, but is not unwelcome.
I am sorry to announce that the AIA has terminated its participation in the Joint AIA–APA Placement Service. This unfortunate decision dissolves a partnership that has lasted for more than three decades. We at APA discouraged this step because we believe it will put an additional burden on many candidates and institutions both at the joint annual meeting and throughout the hiring process. In moving ahead, we are determined to continue to offer an excellent Placement Service to our registrants, even as we work on upgrading what has been offered in the past.
In 2011 the APA independently commissioned the creation of an online system to handle Placement Service registration, the immediate posting of new position listings on a private web site, and the scheduling of interviews at the annual meeting. During the current academic year, Information Architect Sam Huskey and his colleague Alex Ward made several improvements to this System, including programming that issued an e-mail notification to registered candidates on the day following the posting of a new position. Sam and Alex are now at work on further improvements for 2013-14, particularly some steps to make the registration process easier for both candidates and institutions.
The Academy /Vivarium Novum /is offering ten full tuition scholarships for high school students of the European Union (16-18 years old) and ten full tuition scholarships for University students (18-24 years old) of any part of the world. The scholarships will cover all of the costs of room, board, teaching and didactic materials for courses to be held *from October 7, 2013 until June 14, 2014* on the grounds of the Academy’s campus at Rome.
Application letters must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 15 in order to receive consideration.
A good knowledge of the fundamental of Latin and Greek is required.
The courses will be as follows:
1. Latin language (fundamental and advanced)
2. Greek language (fundamental and advanced)
3. Latin composition
4. Roman History
5. Ancient Latin literature
6. History of ancient Philosophy
7. Renaissance and Neo-Latin literature
8. Latin and Greek music and poetry
9. Classics reading seminars