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THE TUCK SHOP

RESEARCH
PERISCOPE

Short Bouts of Exercise Better: For years we've been told that the best way to lose weight is through prolonged, strenuous activity--a schedule that's sometimes hard to stick to. Now a new study at Pitt has found that women who exercised for 10 minutes several times a day improved both cardio-respiratory fitness and their adherence to an exercise routine. "We found that women who exercise in multiple bouts per day had a higher level of exercise participation overall than women who exercised in one continuous routine," noted John Jakicic, a senior fellow in behavioral medicine at Pitt and the principal investigator of the study. Three Pitt Students Awarded Fulbrights: Jason Hagen and Lynn Swartley of Pitt's anthropology department won Fulbright Scholarships to conduct doctoral research in Colombia and Bolivia, respectively; Nicholas Zedlar of Pitt-Johnstown is using his Fulbright money to study Baltic foreign policy in Finland. Help for Jaw Pain: The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Pain Evaluation and Treatment Unit has been awarded $1.5 million from the National Institute of Dental Research for continued study of temporomandibular disorders (TMDs). The disorders, which cause pain in the jaw muscles used in chewing, affect millions of Americans. The grant will help researchers classify types of temporomandibular disorders, as well as test the effectiveness of various treatments.

Ain't Love
Grand?

Nestled among the "I love you, Pookie!" classified ads in The Pitt News' Valentine's Day edition was this heart-warming message:

To the South Oakland
Party King: You are insolent and disgusting.
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!
Much Love,
The South Oakland
Party Queen.

RUNNING LOW

This new brand of floss lets you know you're running low. Innocuous, small as a doll's valise, it rests on your bathroom sink; when you lift its plastic lid, your two startled eyes meet its one translucent blue--oblong, steady as a level-- Let me be your window in. You see then, the tight bobbin of your life winding down. Each time you pull the slender thread of it, each time you sever its pale throat on the sharp silver tooth. How can this be? You with the effervescent grin.
--By Marilyn Annucci. Annucci, who just completed her MFA in poetry in Pitt's English department, has poems forthcoming in Southern Poetry Review andYankee.

SECRET LIFE:
Birth of a Nerf

It was 1970. Skirts were short, hair was long. The Beatles broke up. And Fred Cox (Arts and Sciences '62) was in the midst of a record-setting 15-year career as a kicker for the Minnesota Vikings.

Then fate, as they say, intervened. A friend, John Mattox, approached Cox with an idea for a children's backyard kicking game. There was only one problem: What to use for a ball?

"John said you had to use something heavy so they can't kick it out of the yard," Cox recalls. "I said all you're going to end up with is a bunch of little kids with sore legs. What you need is something a little lighter, something on the order of foam rubber.

"It was kind of a fluke that I came up with the idea."

Unbeknownst to Cox and Mattox, Parker Brothers, the toy giant, had been trying for several years to produce a football to complement its hugely popular foam Nerf ball. The same sponge-like quality that made the round Nerf work as a faux baseball or basketball proved too light for a football. Imagine the hoopla when Cox and Mattox visited Parker Brothers' headquarters to offer their somewhat-heavier-but-still-light-enough-for-kids prototype.

Since the product was introduced in 1972, more than 50 million have been sold--the hottest selling footballs in the world. Placed end to end, they would stretch from Pittsburgh to Tokyo. (Not that anyone has tried...)

"It's amazing how few people know I was ever involved with it," says Cox, now a chiropractor in Monticello, Minnesota.

"Very few people I played with on the Vikings knew I invented the ball. Now they tell me they wish they'd invented it...." --Bob Fulton

POP QUIZ

Pitt anthropology professor Jeffrey Schwartz recently made headlines by discovering a new species. Well, he didn't exactly discover it: The small, cat-like animal had been minding its own business in Africa, only it had long been mistaken for a tree-dwelling animal called a potto.

Schwartz's study of what had been presumed to be potto skeletons proved that, in fact, another type of primate has existed all along--a species Schwartz dubbed pseudopotto.

In an in-depth, facetious investigation, Pitt Magazine has learned that the name pseudopotto was chosen over a field of other contenders, including:

Rosemary's Primate
Muffin
Port-O-Potto
newpotto@species.africa.org
Potsie (from HappyDays™, all rights reserved)
New Species on the Block
Potto2 ("The Deuce")

SCENE:
A few recent
visitors
to campus

George Bush, appearing at a Pitt Ambassadors' Scholarship Dinner: Now retired--with more time to golf--the former president confessed that one of his less accurate shots managed to bounce off a tree into the gallery, slightly injuring a spectator. When a reporter asked his wife, Barbara, for a reaction to the mishap, she said, "You'd think that there was enough violence on television without showing George golfing!" Leonard Marks (Law '38, Arts and Sciences '35), former director of the US Information Agency, at a lecture honoring the opening of Pitt's Center for International Legal Education: As a student here, Marks recalled, he was selected to escort millionaire A. W. Mellon in a tour around the recently completed Cathedral of Learning.

While walking outside the Cathedral, Mellon hailed a passing paperboy. He took one of the boy's papers, then turned to Marks and said, "Could you pay him? I don't have any money."

The paper cost three cents.

NEW NAME,
SAME GREAT
PRODUCT

Pitt's School of Library and Information Science is changing its name to the School of Information Sciences (SIS) with two constituent departments: the Department of Library and Information Science, and the Department of Information Science and Telecommunications.

"This change reflects the breadth of the school's programs in information science, library science, and telecommunications," notes School of Information Sciences dean Toni Carbo. "This is the only school in the world that is leading in all three areas to design, build, and manage the global information infrastructure."

The school's programs have continually ranked in the top of their respective fields.

The Master of Library Science program was rated fifth by US News and World Report. The Gourman Report of undergraduate programs put Pitt's information science program among the four best in the country.

Q&A:
How can you tell
when the spin
doctors are
throwing you a
curve?

"You can tell a curve ball by its rotation as it comes at you--it's an east-west rotation. A fastball is north-south. You have to have the kind of vision where you can pick up the rotation as soon as the ball leaves the pitcher's hand. Of course, if someone throws a good breaking ball, it may not matter if you know it's coming. You still might miss it."--
Mark Jackson,
head baseball
coach

BY THE WAY

August 22--Residence halls open.... August 31--Football opener: Pitt vs. West Virginia (BTW: Don't leave your seat for long. Pitt's incoming recruits share one thing in common. They're all really fast.)...September 7--Football: Pitt vs. Kent... September 10--Add/drop period ends. ("You mean I'm stuck with this class?")... September 13--School of Dental Medicine Centennial Closing Ceremonies...September 14--Football: Pitt vs. Houston... October 5--Football: Pitt at Temple. Homecoming. Kings, Queens, and keg rolls...'Round the Ides of October--'Round midnight. Pitt basketball officially begins pre-season practices. Madness reigns....October 31--Football: Pitt vs. Boston College. Trick or treat...November 1--Opening of theatre arts department's mainstage productions of Hamlet by You Know Who and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard. (BTW: The same actors play R & G in both productions. Talk about staying in character! )...October 31-November 2--University of Pittsburgh Jazz Seminar and Concert (BTW: A new CD set commemorating last year's 25th jazz gig is now available at the Pitt Bookstore. Featured artists include Grover Washington Jr., Patrice Rushen, James Moody, Abraham Laboriel, Randy Brecker, Idris Muhammad, Nathan Davis, and John Faddis. Faddis' composition, "War and Peace," performed at the concert, was written that day upon hearing that Yitzak Rabin had been assassinated.)... November 5--Election Day (BTW: Twenty years ago, political satirist Art Buchwald turned serious as he talked about Watergate to an SRO crowd at Pitt: "Two hundred million people were able to change presidents overnight without one bayonet being unsheathed," Buchwald is quoted as saying in the '76 Owl. "Any country that can do that can't be all bad.")

IN THE NEWS

New Engineering Dean named: Pitt professor Gerald Holder has been selected to succeed H. K. Chang as dean of Pitt's school of engineering. Holder, who previously served as associate dean of research and graduate studies, also chaired the school's department of chemical and petroleum engineering. Chang left Pitt to be vice chancellor and president of the City University of Hong Kong. Med School Lauded: Pitt medical school ranks as one of the top 20 research schools in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report. According to the magazine, in 1995 the med school received more than $115 million in research money from the National Institutes of Health. Corporate Law Expert Joins Pitt Law School Faculty: Douglas Branson, author of Corporate Governance and a leading figure in corporate law research, has been named to the W. Edward Sell Professorship in Business Law at Pitt. Branson will teach courses in corporations and securities regulation, among others. The Sell Professorship honors the law school's former dean, widely credited with securing key funding for the law school building's construction in the 1970s.


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