Notre Dame ReSources - August 25, 1999

Author: Dennis Brown

The following Notre Dame faculty are available for additional comment on these people and events in the news:
p. Iraqi sanctions : It has been nine years since on Aug. 6, 1991, Iraq invaded Kuwait, provoking the Persian Gulf War and, in the end, UN sanctions as part of the Iraqi surrender. George Lopez , professor of government and director of undergraduate studies in Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, says it is “time to acknowledge the successes and failures of these sanctions ? and to suspend them.” In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Lopez and David Cortright, president of the Fourth Freedom Foundation and a Kroc faculty fellow, write that the “same moral high ground which rightly argued for UN sanctions against Iraq now demands their suspension. Whereas its actions in 1990 warranted an ostracism from the international community via sanctions, the need now is to create the conditions necessary for responding to the tragedies that sanctions have wrought, and to engage Iraq again with the international community.” For further comment, contact Professor Lopez at (219) 631-6972. p. George W. Bush: The news media’s ceaseless pursuit of answers from Gov. George W. Bush on whether he ever used cocaine is troubling to Robert P. Schmuhl , director of Notre Dame’s Program in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy and professor of American studies. “The current controversy surrounding Gov. Bush’s past and possible drug use reflects, among other things, today’s post-Monica Lewinsky, anything-goes attitude in American journalism,” Schmuhl said. “Rumors and gossip now circulate in news reporting with increasing ? and troubling ? frequency. For the Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate, shifting from the high ground of saying nothing about such rumors to a partial, time-bound response quickly led to media quicksand ? and to the frenzy of reporters to know more. The real question becomes: Where do journalists draw the line?” *Professor Schmuhl can be reached at (219) 631-7316 or at

  • p. Earthquakes: The powerful earthquake in Turkey is another tragic reminder of how many lives can be lost when buildings are unable to withstand such catastrophic event. Two Notre Dame professors are at the forefront of the development of “smart buildings.” Bill Spencer , professor of civil engineering and geological sciences, and Michael Sain, Frank M. Freimann Professor of Electrical Engineering, are leading a research effort that involves shock absorbers containing magnetorheological (MR) fluid, typically an oil with micro-sized iron particles that respond magnetically to computer instructions to ‘stiffen up? or ’soften up.? These shock absorbers smooth building movements under normal conditions and control those movements under stress ? and they can adjust in a tiny fraction of time to catastrophic changes. “We believe that shock absorbers with MR fluids aboard will be in buildings within a few years,” Sain says. “They require very little power ? about that of a light bulb ? are fail-safe in their operations, and are expected to be relatively inexpensive in quantity. We think this is going to lead to great savings in lives, in equipment, and in the structures that hold them.” For further comment, contact Professor Sain at (219) 631-6538 or Professor Spencer at (219) 631-6247. p. Millennial movies: The upcoming wave of films with a millennial theme ? from “End of Days” with Arnold Schwarzenegger to the latest James Bond flick, “The World is Not Enough” ? is yet another example of moviemakers jumping on a cultural bandwagon, says Randy Rutsky , assistant professor of film, television and theatre at Notre Dame. “Hollywood has loved disasters and apocalypse ? and post-apocalypse ? for a long time now,” Rutsky told the South Bend Tribune. "So most of the Hollywood projects don’t seem all that unusual to me. My view is that Hollywood almost never leads on these kinds of issues. They follow what they hope is the gravy train." Professor Rutsky can be reached at (219) 631-8449. p. World War II: A new book written by Bernard Norling , professor emeritus of history at Notre Dame, focuses on the little-known bands of guerrillas that roamed the Philippine Islands during World War II. “The Intrepid Guerrillas of North Luzon” chronicles the activities of the largest of these groups, all of which gathered information for the U.S. commander of the Pacific, Gen. Douglas MacArthur. This is Norling’s fourth book on Pacific Theater veterans. “All of these books deal with men who were successful in the war,” Norling told the South Bend Tribune. “They saved lives and came out heroes. This book deals with eight or 10 smaller outfits in one of the most isolated parts of the world, even for the Philippines.” The books provide the history of a “small, minor aspect of World War II,” Norling says, “and they add quite a lot of detail to things that are passed over with a sentence in broader histories. I wrote all of these as serious history books and not just as adventure tales.” Professor Norling can be reached at (219) 631-6622. p. Life-long health: A new book coedited by Notre Dame psychology instructor Sally Coleman and published by Notre Dame Press provides a framework for holistic health as well as practical advice in the form of “legacy letters” from more than 50 national and international leaders. “Charting Your Course: A Life-Long Guide to Health and Compassion” is designed primarily for young adults but will assist people of all ages in their efforts to live rewarding, fulfilling and healthy lives. The writers of “legacy letters” were challenged to summarize the most important advice they could give to young adults. Among the participants were Notre Dame’s president emeritus, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Elie Wiesel, Jane Alexander, and Penn State football coach Joe Paterno. *For more information, contact Julie Dudrick at (219) 631-6346 or at . To contact Sally Coleman, call (219) 631-7336.

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