Brown Lecture Board announces Jane Goodall as speaker


World-renowned primatologist Jane Goodall will be speaking at Brown on October 19th as Brown Lecture Board’s fall speaker, as reported by the Herald this morning. Tickets will be available via an online lottery, which will be held at 12 p.m. October 13–15.

Goodall is best known for her 55-year study of the chimpanzees in Gombe National Park in Tanzania. When beginning her work in 1960, Goodall had no formal training or education in the sciences. Her work studying chimpanzee daily life and relationships disproved many previously commonly-held beliefs, as she discovered the strong similarities between human relations and those between chimpanzees, as well as the latter’s ability to make and use tools.

Goodall, now 81, is also the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, which works on wildlife preservation. She has achieved celebrity status as the foremost primatologist in the world (can you name another?). She also guest starred on The Wild Thornberrys, which inspired this New York Times article about how great The Wild Thornberrys was. Relive your Nickelodeon-inspired dreams of talking to animals below – Goodall appears at about 2:36.

Past Lecture board speakers have included George Takei, Nick Offerman, Julie Bowen, and Bill Nye.


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Brown Lecture Board Presents: George Takei  


This week, the Brown Lecture Board hosted Mr. George Takei, renowned actor and activist, for a speaking event on campus. Most famously known for his role as Hikaro Sulu in the series Star Trek, Mr. Takei has recently emerged as one of the most prominent advocates for LGBT rights in the country and has garnered a massive following on social media.

The event was hosted in Solomon and began at around 7:00 pm. I arrived a few minutes before they opened the doors, so I was able to watch the slowly filling the lecture hall turn into a buzzing audience before Mr. Takei took the stage. Just a few minutes after the hour, Mr. Takei walked out to a big round of applause, bouncing as he walked up to the podium with a huge grin on his face, brandishing the trademark Vulcan salute.

Mr. Takei’s skills as an orator and an entertainer were clear from the beginning. He moved around, spoke eloquently and clearly, and held the audience at attention through his storytelling. Starting contextually, Mr. Takei began the lecture by saying that he had lived through a harrowing part of American history: the forced internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. The son of Japanese-American immigrants, at the age of 5, Mr. Takei was forced to leave his California home and relocate to a camp in Arkansas. Due to his young age, living in the camps became a normal part of life, and he even said he had fond memories of living in Arkansas. Having to take communal showers, line up for meals, and go through the routines of life in an internment camp became standard living practices. However, he would not be in Arkansas for long. Because of his parent’s principles, they refused to admit a former allegiance to the emperor of Japan, and he was forced to move yet again, this time to a much harsher internment camp.

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IFF presents: A (Skype) conversation with Jason Schwartzman

“I don’t like this whole Skype-speaker thing,” a friend told me, when I asked if they wanted to accompany me to see the IFF Q&A with Jason Schwartzman. “Like, it’d be better if they just got someone less famous, but in person, you know?”

I’m not personally a huge fan of Skype, so it surprises me that I actually strongly disagree. The quirky nature of these Skype presentations has worked almost perfectly for the speakers IFF has brought us via video chat. Last year’s Wes Anderson Skype Q&A, which was broadcast to two auditoriums because ticketing for the first sold out so quickly, was among the more memorable events I’ve been to on campus. Friday night’s chat with Schwartzman, who wore Beats by Dr Dre headphones and a scruffy black beard, followed suit.

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Projected onto the screen in Granoff Auditorium.

Listening to Schwartzman felt very familiar because his manner of speaking is so distinctive, and so similar to that of the characters he has portrayed (think: HBO’s Bored to Death). He integrates self-effacing humor, or just bizarrely specific details, into articulate and intellectual sentences. When asked for his favorite works, or those he draws the greatest inspiration from, he replied “Hmm, that’s a great question, like one I’d maybe liked to have in an email an hour ago…” and then proceeded to rattle off Paul Shrader’s Mishima, Francois Truffaut’s work (in particular Stolen Kisses), and Al Pacino as favorites. “I’m trying to think of books, but I’m so embarrassed to even talk about books because you guys have read so many more books,” said Schwartzman, with stacks and stacks of books piled around his office in the background.

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Former Senator Olympia Snowe to speak at Brown

Olympia Snowe

The Taubman Center has done it again, but this time perhaps with a little less controversy: the center is bringing Olympia Snowe, former U.S. Senator from Maine, to speak on campus on February 10.

A moderate Republican and three-term Senator, Snowe is known for her dedication to bipartisanship, particularly since the election of President Obama. Her voting record earned her a reputation among conservatives as a RINO — Republican in name only — but her leadership of the Senate’s “sensible center” was vital. She was the youngest Republican woman and the first Greek-American to serve in Congress. She also voted to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2010, served on the Senate Finance Committee, and was named one of “America’s 10 Best Senators” by Time Magazine.

Snowe will speak on “the impact of hyper-partisanship on Congress, and how we can help fix the stalemate in Washington.” We’re sure she will have more to say about last year’s government shutdown than another person with an H2O-based name.

The lecture, a Noah Krieger ’93 Memorial Lecture, will be held in MacMillan Hall at 4 p.m. on February 10. No tickets are needed, so you have no excuse not to go! Check after the jump for the event’s poster.

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His Holiness said what?

Those of you who were unable to attend the Dalai Lama‘s speech yesterday were probably very upset. After all, you missed a global hero, a worldwide leader, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner give our community, and members of our generation, some very moving and inspirational advice.

Oh, and the most awkward typo that ever happened.

Yes. As reported by national news sources, there was some confusion surrounding the Dalai Lama’s last words—His Holiness asked us to spread his message if we agreed with it, and, underlining his infinite humility, to otherwise “forget it.” In a bit of an inverse-Cee-Lo-Green-moment, the closed captioning at the Rhode Island Convention Center suggested that Dalai Lama said what we would assume to have been his first-ever expletive.

Hopefully, the mishap did not detract from the rest of His Holiness’ words for any of you, but instead served as another fun memory of amazing typographical blunders. My other hope is that the Dalai Lama himself saw the humor in this moment—in part because I want him to have enjoyed his time at Brown fully, but also because he really did have the most adorable laugh.

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