Evidence of greatness

first_imgIn the entrance to Harvard Law School’s Langdell Hall is a marble statue of long-ago professor Joseph Story, who is reputed to have saved legal studies at the University from an early demise. Only one student was enrolled at the Law School for the 1828-29 academic year. Story himself — who arrived in August 1829 as the first Dane Professor of Law — claimed there were none. At the time, Harvard Law School (HLS) — founded in 1817 — was barely a decade old.So it is for a good reason that generations of students have rubbed the forward left toe of the marble statue for luck. Without Story, a charismatic teacher and a sitting Supreme Court judge, the story of Harvard’s school of law — so celebrated today — would have been a short one.This fall, visitors to Langdell Hall have an opportunity to take a deeper look at the professor who saved a School. “A Storied Legacy: Correspondence and Early Writings of Joseph Story” is an exhibit of letters and manuscripts on display through Dec. 7 in the Harvard Law School Library’s Caspersen Room. (The room is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.)Viewers can read a few original letters in Story’s neat, compact hand. The missives relate to the law, but spill over into political commentary. “We are falling on evil times,” the jurist wrote in 1837 to John Pittman, a Rhode Island judge. “I greatly fear we are approaching a dissolution of the union … if our present state of hostile feeling continues.” It was a prescient look at the coming Civil War — but Story was already an old hand at the underlying issue, having delivered an anti-slavery speech in 1820.Viewers can read a few original letters in Story’s neat, compact hand. The missives relate to the law, but spill over into political commentary.Exhibit-goers can also look at two open pages from an astonishing enterprise he began in 1808, while still in his 20s: a digest of items from American and international law. It came at a time when — as one scholar wrote — Story was eager to describe “an autonomous science of law.” In the tiniest of script, the future jurist summarizes precedents, doctrines, opinions, and statutes under headings like “Admiralty,” “Poor,” “Slaves,” and “Merchant.”Story drew on the three resulting volumes, completed in 1812, for the rest of his life. They were a touchstone for his prolific legal writing. (By the time of his death, Story — a best-seller in his day — was making $10,000 a year just from his books.)The Caspersen Room exhibit, in two long glass cases, is modest. But it is a material entry point to a much larger collection, the Joseph Story Digital Suite. Internet visitors can’t rub a statue’s marble toe, or peer at the reality of Story’s precise handwriting. But they can access the three-volume digest of law he labored over until a year after joining the Supreme Court in 1811, at age 32. (Story was the youngest judge ever to be named, a record that still stands.)The digital suite also includes Story’s official papers (1796-1845) and his 21-year correspondence with Pittman, a federal district court judge. That fruitful spate of letters offers a rare glimpse into the workings of these early federal courts. (In Story’s time, Supreme Court justices oversaw these courts, and rode the circuit twice a year. Story’s circuit included Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island — states he used as laboratories of legal reform, according to the exhibit.)There are other digitized images of Story in the suite too — from the Art and Visual Materials Collection at the Harvard Law Library, from Special Collections at the Harvard Fine Arts Library, and from the Portrait and Clock Collections at the Harvard Art Museums.Rare books curator Karen S. Beck, manager of the library’s Historical & Special Collections, assembled the digital suite, along with Curator of Digital Collections Margaret S. Peachy. The two look forward to the Story digital suite growing — augmented by a reader community that adds tags, transcriptions, and personal collections of Story-related material.  (The creation of the digital suite is also credited to Steve Chapman, project manager, Digital Lab; Andy Silva, Web developer; Lindsay Dumas, digital projects assistant; and Ed Moloy, curator of modern manuscripts.)Still, the exhibit — with its real paper and ink and red stains from sealing wax — has power. If you go, look to the left of the cases to see a Gilbert Stuart portrait of a very young Joseph Story. Most images of him show a bespectacled and balding older man. Stuart seizes a moment when Story looks brash and athletic, and has a full, smooth, ruddy face and a strong jaw.The exhibit — with its real paper and ink and red stains from sealing wax — has power. If you go, look to the left of the cases to see a Gilbert Stuart portrait of a very young Joseph Story. Most images of him show a bespectacled and balding older man. Stuart seizes a moment when Story looks brash and athletic, and has a full, smooth, ruddy face and a strong jaw.It was painted not long after Story went through the fire of legal studies himself — a period he recalled with horror. Story graduated from Harvard College in 1798 and moved back to his native Marblehead, Mass., to read the law with a practitioner. He broke his head on “Coke on Littleton,” the first volume of a stodgy but seminal 17th-century legal treatise on the common law by Sir Edward Coke, who was hardly known as a stylist. “I took it up,” recalled Story in an autobiographical sketch, “and after trying it day after day with very little success I set myself down and wept bitterly.”Story was admitted to the bar in 1801, but fancied himself a poet as well as a lawyer. The two sides converged in “The Power of Solitude” (1804), a two-part poem with careful summaries and copious footnotes.Luckily for Harvard, Story fell in love with the law. A motto over the mantelpiece in the grand Caspersen Room gets to the core of the Story story, and the power the past can still have in the present. Ironically, it’s from the pen of Sir Edward Coke. “Out of the ould fields,” he wrote, “must spring and grow the new corne.”An engraving of Joseph Story by John Cheney.last_img read more

‘DNA clock’ can help predict lifespan

first_img Read Full Story Scientists have found a biological clock that can provide clues about how long a person might live. The researchers found that people whose biological age was greater than their true age were more likely to die sooner than those whose biological and actual ages were the same — regardless of other factors such as smoking, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.Researchers looked at nearly 5,000 older people over a 14-year period and measured each person’s biological age by studying a chemical modification to DNA known as methylation.The research, published online January 30, 2015 in Genome Biology, was led by scientists from the University of Edinburgh in collaboration with researchers in Australia and the U.S. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health scientists involved in the study included co-senior author Andrea Baccarelli, Mark and Catherine Winkler Associate Professor of Environmental Epigenetics, and co-lead author Elena Colicino, a research fellow in the Department of Environmental Health.“Epigenetic age — fortunately for some and unfortunately for others — is often different from our real age,” said Baccarelli. “We are currently evaluating what causes this epigenetic clock to tick faster or slower and whether diseases typical of older people are predicted or associated with having a faster clock.”last_img read more

Group discusses campus safety

first_imgThe members of Campus Life Council discussed on-campus safety at its meeting Friday afternoon. While crime numbers are not high or increasing, student body president Brett Rocheleau said students are still often afraid to walk around campus alone at night. “We should try to minimize that fear,” Rocheleau said. Multiple campus resources are aimed at keeping the grounds safe and comfortable, he said, but the student body does not have a widespread awareness of their presence. “Whatever we do or whatever we have, it’s publicizing it [that is the issue],” Howard rector Margaret Morgan said. She said students need to know Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP), the Quad Squad and Safewalk protect the campus. Rector Maria Hinton of Cavanaugh said the Quad Squad consists of several officers who are assigned to monitor the various quads. “They walk constantly, all night long,” she said. “Their shifts run from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. and they stop in the halls and check their basements.” Night monitors were also recently reinstated in all women’s halls this year. Morgan said these officers sit in the lobbies of the residence buildings in order to instill a sense of security. An additional safety device is the blue light phone. These emergency phones are located in various areas of campus, such as near the lakes and along the edge of campus by Stepan Fields. But chief of staff Katie Baker said NDSP does not advocate the phones as a strong form of crime prevention. “They don’t get used really and don’t deter crime,” Baker said. Rocheleau said one way to perhaps deter crime would be to expand the number of video cameras on campus, although Notre Dame already has several located on buildings overlooking the parking lots. Another idea to improve campus safety was to increase lighting around campus. Junior James Slaven, Student Union Board director of publicity, said the construction area around the Morris Inn is a safe walking area. He said the constant, bright lights allow students to feel safe at night, but the downside is the annoyance they cause to nearby dorms. “We need to find a balance between no lights and floodlights,” he said. Areas specified for increased lighting included God Quad, the crosswalks leading to Saint Mary’s and the paths around the Pasquerilla East and West areas. Baker said these locations deal with a large amount of student traffic even at night. “We mentioned putting reflectors on those crosswalks so they stand out more,” she said. Walsh Hall senator Veronica Guerrero said the issue of safety also requires common sense. For instance, students should not go on midnight runs around the lakes. “You have to be aware of your surroundings,” she said. In order to be fully aware, Rocheleau said it is also important to notice large sidewalk cracks and flooding around campus. Although the climate makes it difficult to maintain quality sidewalks, Rocheleau said the university acknowledges the problem and is trying to address it. “They’ve asked us to talk to people and get a list of specific areas,” Baker said.last_img read more

O’Connor to start for Australia

first_img Press Association Folau has been in stunning form at full-back for the NSW Waratahs, but has been chosen on the right wing by the Wallabies with Digby Ioane, who has recovered from knee surgery, lining up on the opposite flank. With Beale deemed not ready to start against the Lions following his return from alcohol-related problems, Deans has opted for O’Connor at fly-half with Berrick Barnes taking the number 15 jersey. It will be only the second time O’Connor has played a Test at 10, with the other appearance taking place alongside Will Genia against Wales in 2011. Scrum-half Genia and the selection of Adam Ashley-Cooper were the two certainties in the Wallaby backline, with the presence of Lealiifano one of the main talking points in the build up to the team announcement. The 25-year-old playmaker also features at fly-half for the ACT Brumbies and has edged the more defensive Pat McCabe to form a centre partnership with Ashley-Cooper. Lealiifano’s inclusion indicates the Wallabies are seeking to play a more expansive game against the Lions. Australia team to face the British and Irish Lions at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, on Saturday June 22: B Barnes (NSW Waratahs); I Folau (NSW Waratahs), A Ashley-Cooper (NSW Waratahs), C Lealiifano (Brumbies), D Ioane (Queensland Reds); J O’Connor (Melbourne Rebels), W Genia (Queensland Reds); B Robinson (NSW Waratahs), S Moore (Brumbies), B Alexander (Brumbies), K Douglas (NSW Waratahs), J Horwill (Queensland Reds, capt), B Mowen (Brumbies), M Hooper (NSW Waratahs), W Palu (NSW Waratahs). Replacements: S Fainga’a (Queensland Reds), J Slipper (Queensland Reds), S Kepu (NSW Waratahs), R Simmons (Queensland Reds), L Gill (Queensland Reds), N Phipps (Melbourne Rebels), P McCabe (Brumbies), K Beale (Melbourne Rebels) The starting XV picked by coach Robbie Deans features three debutants in full-back Israel Folau, flanker Ben Mowen and inside centre Christian Lealiifano. Folau is competing in his first season in professional rugby union, having already represented Australia at rugby league and played in the AFL. center_img Australia have picked James O’Connor at fly-half for Saturday’s opening Test against the British and Irish Lions at Suncorp Stadium with Kurtley Beale included on the bench.last_img read more

High Court halts dismissal, redeployment of workers

first_img– orders consultations with workers’, unions firstBY EDWARD LAYNEThe High Court on Friday issued an interim injunction, barring the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) from dismissing or redeploying hundreds of sugar workers attached to the Wales Sugar Estate, without first consulting with their unions, Guyana Agriculture and General Workers Union (GAWU) and the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE).The court action, brought by GAWU and NAACIE was heard by Justice William Ramlall and Madam Justice Diana Insanally was seen by this publication.The judges granted an interim injunction, restraining GuySuCo from proceeding to implement their decision “to sever the employment of workers of the Wales Estate, Wales, West Bank Demerara, and rendering them redundant unless and until they hold consultation with the Applicants/Plaintiffs (unions and GuySuCo) in accordance with the letter and spirit of section 12 of the Termination of the Employment and Severance Pay Act Cap. 99:08, until the hearing and determination of a Summons returnable in Chambers”The action was brought after GuySuCo began discussions with individual employees of the Wales Estate to negotiate severance packages, without informing or involving the unions.The date was January 20, 2016, at a meeting between GuySuCo and the unions, where the corporation revealed its intentions to close the operations at Wales Estate.The unions, in the court documents seen by this publication, accused GuySuCo of not keeping its promises regarding the future of workers of Wales Estate.It was stated that the unions were promised that in due course, they will be inform of the new venture that will be established at the Wales Estate, Wales, and the names of the workers who will be re-deployed to Uitvlugt Estate, West Coast Demerara; and those who will be rendered redundant.It stated that while GAWU was informed on March, 22, 2016, of the employees who have opted for redundancy, and NAACIE is still to be so advised.“The course of conduct embarked upon by the Respondent as expressed in the letter referred to in paragraph six above is in flagrant violation and contravention of section 12 (3) (b) of the Termination of the Employment and Severance Pay Act Cap. 99:08 which mandates the Respondent to consult with the Applicants before any such or similar decision can be lawfully made,” the unions stated.They noted that unless restrained by the Court, the corporation will continue to treat with the workers without any consultation whatsoever with their trade unions.“…when the trade unions are excluded from this process, the workers are not receiving the best available option, terms and conditions,” the unions argued.They reminded that the right of trade unions to participate in and be part of negotiations involving employee and employer is “a sacred and sacrosanct right” fought for and won by workers after centuries of struggle.“We verily believe that the Respondent is deliberately excluding us from negotiations so that they can exploit and manipulate the workers,” the unions pointed out.GAWU and NAACIE are also seeking damages in excess of $1 million for breach of statutory duty owing under the Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act, Cap. 99:08, Laws of Guyana.The unions are represented by Attorneys Mohabir Anil Nandlall, Euclin Gomes, Sase Gunraj, Manoj Narayan and Sasha Mahadeo.One legal luminary explained that the corporation is legally bound to hold all negotiations relating to workers and their welfare, with their recognised unions, in this case GAWU and NAACIE.It was explained that negotiations should not start with severance pay, but rather, examine all the possible options in the best interest of workers and to agree on which option best suits the interest of the affected workers.If it is agreed that severance is the best option then negotiations on the severance package, inclusive of its calculations will commence and must be done between GuySuCo and the two unions, the legal expert explained.The closure of the estate by yearend will affect some 1700 workers directly and thousands of persons in the Wales and surrounding communities indirectly.last_img read more