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'The Fonz' warns against negative thinking 
“I was the king of negative thinking,
"I can’t,’ ‘I won’t,’ ‘I’ll never’ – if you finish a negative thought, it becomes a paragraph, and that paragraph becomes a thesis of negativity.”
Henry Winkler, actor and author, speaking to a crowd this week at the Schwartz Center about his career, his early struggles and the power of positive thinking. 

'The Fonz' warns against negative thinking

“I was the king of negative thinking,

"I can’t,’ ‘I won’t,’ ‘I’ll never’ – if you finish a negative thought, it becomes a paragraph, and that paragraph becomes a thesis of negativity.”

Henry Winkler, actor and author, speaking to a crowd this week at the Schwartz Center about his career, his early struggles and the power of positive thinking. 

Music faculty, grad win commission from Chamber music group

A Cornell music faculty member and recent graduate have been awarded a 2014 Classical Commissioning Grant from Chamber Music America, to support the creation of a new piece for cello, percussion and electronics. 

Michael Compitello, percussionist and lecturer, won the award with partner Hannah Collins, who make up the cello/percussion duo New Morse Code. They will partner with composer Christopher Stark D.M.A. ’14  on the piece, which will be premiered in 2015-2016. 

Stark’s piece, The Language of Landscapes, “will leverage the unexpected and unique sonic terrain of cello and percussion to transform real and imagined landscapes into compelling musical spaces,” according to a release from Chamber Music America. The group will develop the piece by generating and refining musical material in a series of residencies, gathering field-recordings and objects and developing a set of custom-built live electronics.

Chamber Music America, a national network of chamber music professionals, was founded in 1977 to develop and strengthen an evolving chamber music community.

Three free concerts for the weekend

The Department of Music present three concerts this weekend, including alum John Funkhouser and his quartet on Friday. All are free and open to the public.

  • John Funkhouser Quartet, Friday, 8 p.m., Barnes Hall, features John Funkhouser, piano, keyboard; Phil Sargent, guitar; Greg Loughman, bass; and Mike Connors, drums. Funkhouser has performed at clubs and festivals all over the world, including the Blue Note, Birdland, and Dizzy’s in NYC, as well as the New Orleans Jazz Festival and Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center. 
  • Mysore Manjunath and Mysore Nagarajm, Saturday, 8 p.m., Barnes Hall, features violinists Mysore Manjunath and Mysore Nagaraj playing Indian classical music, accompanied by mridangam and ghatam players.
  • Annette Richards, organ, Sunday, 7 p.m., Sage Chapel, "The Bach Legacy" features music by J. S. Bach, Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Liszt.

More details.

Lace up your shoes for National Run@Work Day this Friday

The Cornell Wellness Program and Cornell Transportation Services challenge you to Walk or Run Two Miles.

Complete the challenge, enter the prize drawing, and you could win several prizes! Details and prize entry information can be found at wellness.cornell.edu or here

Share your 2 mile experience! Tell us where you are going! Post a picture! Tweet your participation and accomplishment!  #CUWellnessRocks

Run@Work Facebook page

*National Run@Work Day is a Road Runners Club of America annual event.

Prof. Lisa Kaltenegger Seeks Life on Other Worlds

Are we alone in the universe? The question has captivated humans for thousands of years. Yet only now are the tools necessary to answer that question becoming available, according to new faculty member Lisa Kaltenegger, associate professor of astronomy, who’s featured in this Cornell Daily Sun story.

Kaltenegger came to Cornell in July after working at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany and the Harvard Center for Astrophysics. She has been appointed Director of Cornell’s new Institute for Pale Blue Dots, dedicated to the investigation of life outside our solar system. The Institute, named in honor of a well-known phrase of Cornell’s own Prof. Carl Sagan, is expected to open in 2015, according to Kaltenegger.

To date, there have been no official findings of life outside our solar system. According to Kaltenegger, one of the major challenges in the search for life is the sheer distance between our Sun and the next star.

“If you shrink our solar system to the size of a cookie, then the next star is two football fields away,” she said. “So we’re not talking about satellites going and landing there. What we really need is something that life breathed in and out, that leaves a fingerprint in the planet’s atmosphere.” 

Music Professor David Yearsley sings the praises of Ithaca’s Carriage House Café in this piece about the Sept. 7 performance of saxophonist James Spinazzola and his band. 

Yearsley says the venue “provides space and encouragement for musical sprezzatura.” (Studied nonchalance, in case you didn’t know.) He adds that “this was music full of spikey humor and irrepressible joy — a sunny contrast to the interwar Viennese angst that clings to the tone rows Spinazzola drafted into jazzful service.” Read the full review. 

An aerial view of Posiva Oy’s prospective nuclear waste repository site in Olkiluoto, Finland. (Posiva Oy)

Envisioning Landscapes Of Our Very Distant Future

“It was December 2011, and I was moving to Finland to conduct anthropological fieldwork among experts developing what might, in the early 2020s, become the world’s first operational geological repository for high-level nuclear waste,” writes Vincent Ialenti, a graduate student in anthropology, for this piece on WNYC about his 2½ year stint in the country.

“As an anthropologist, my goal was to examine how these experts think about the future, how they conceive of the world around them, and how they relate to themselves and to their colleagues.” See what he found.