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Friday, 31 July 2009

The university administration will explore the idea of subsidizing distribution of Cornell Alumni Magazine to all alumni, said President David Skorton during his July 23 online discussion with some 70 alumni. The magazine (and this associated website) is owned and published by the Cornell Alumni Federation, and it is distributed only to those alumni who pay for a subscription either through class dues or directly. This means it reaches only a small percentage of Cornell alumni, unlike the alumni magazines of the other Ivy League schools, which are sent to nearly all of their domestic alumni as well as many living overseas.

When President Skorton was asked by Larry Eisen '66 if he would consider altering this situation so more alumni could be engaged via the magazine, Skorton promised to explore the issue but cited cost constraints, noting that Cornell has ceased printing some of its publications and is relying more on electronic communication. "We're trying a variety of experiments," he said. "The only way we're going to know if they work is by your feedback. Write to me directly -- This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ."


Bill Gates Puts Feynman Lectures Online Print E-mail
Wednesday, 15 July 2009

According to a July 15 report in the New York Times, Microsoft founder Bill Gates has purchased the rights to videos of seven lectures that famed physicist Richard Feynman gave when he was teaching at Cornell. The lecture series is entitled “The Character of Physical Law” and was intended for freshmen. The lectures are being posted at a website that enhances them with related digital content.

To the Moon, Alice Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 July 2009

Cornell will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon mission with a special program on Saturday, July 18. Apollo 11 was launched on July 16, 1969, and its lunar module landed on the moon on July 20, 1969.

The celebration will be held from 1:30 to 4:30 PM in Kennedy Hall on the Ag Quad. It is free and open to the public. Events will include a panel discussion with Steve Squyres, the Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy and principal investigator for the Mars Rover mission; Jim Bell, professor of astronomy; Peter Bilson, senior research associate; and Elizabeth Bilson, who served as the Department of Astronomy's administrative director during the Apollo years.

There will be activities for children that include building an air-powered rocket, designing lunar landing devices, and learning about weightlessness. For more information, check the official announcement.

Stolen Computer Puts 45,000 at Risk for Identity Theft Print E-mail
Friday, 26 June 2009

On June 23, Cornell posted an announcement that a university-owned computer with personal information for 45,000 students, faculty, staff, and alumni had been stolen. E-mails were also sent to the affected individuals. The information on the computer included names and Social Security numbers, putting the affected individuals at risk for identity theft. The computer was being used by a CIT employee who was troubleshooting data-transmission problems.

According to the Daily Sun, the files were not encrypted and the laptop was left in a physically unsecure environment, which violates University policy. Cornell spokesman Simeon Moss '73, BA '82, told the Sun that the stolen computer had the Social Security numbers of 22,546 students (10,597 of whom are alumni) and 22,731 faculty and staff members (of whom 4,284 are retirees or separated employees). All of the individuals at risk will be provided credit-protection services at University expense. State Police Investigator Aaron Lewis told the Sun that there is a chance that the person who stole the laptop does not know that it contains the personal information. So far, there is no indication that any of the information has been abused, although Lewis cautioned that now that the theft has been publicized, the perpetrator may realize that the computer has this information.

Former CU Goalie Charged with Rape Print E-mail
Thursday, 25 June 2009

Former Cornell hockey goalie David McKee '07, who left school after his junior year to sign with the NHL's Anaheim Ducks, has been charged with rape after an alleged 2006 incident in Newport Beach, California. According to a June 25 article in the Ithaca Journal, McKee pleaded not guilty on June 5 to charges of rape of an unconscious person and rape by intoxication. It is unclear why the charges were filed so long after the alleged incident, but McKee's attorney, Allan Stokke, termed it "highly, highly unusual."

Playing for the Big Red in 2005-06, McKee set school records for consecutive games played and career shutouts, and he was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, college hockey's highest honor. In his last game in a Cornell uniform, he made 59 saves in 1-0 loss to Wisconsin in the NCAA tournament.

The OC Register of Orange County, California, reported that the alleged incident took place on July 12, 2006. McKee, who was attending an NHL hockey camp, went to a bar in Newport Beach to drink with a friend, where he met the 25-year-old victim, prosecutors said. McKee, along with a group of both men and women, went back with the victim to her apartment. The victim went into her bedroom alone to go sleep. He then went into her room and sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious, prosecutors said. The victim woke up during the alleged attack, and called police.

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