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February 12, 2021, 11:00 AM
Neolithic Stonehenge: The Sleeping Giants of Salisbury Plain
Presenter: Martha Hanner
Seminar: Europe Before the Roman Empire
The construction and purpose of Stonehenge have been debated for centuries. Now, archeological excavations and modern technology are revealing some of its secrets. I will describe some of the discoveries, including the source of the mysterious bluestones, 230 km away in Wales, the analysis of cremated bone fragments buried under the bluestones, the excavation of a nearby Neolithic settlement dating from 2500 BCE and how pig bones tell us when the workers feasted.
February 19, 2021, 10:00 AM
Otzi, Frozen Man of the Alps
Presenter: Jim Scott
Seminar: Europe Before the Roman Empire
On September 19, 1991 an astounding discovery was made high in the Alps. The frozen body of a man was found protruding from under a glacier. With the aid of modern technology vast information about this 5,000 year old man and the life he led as well as how he died has been revealed. This talk will explore some of these amazing findings.
February 19, 2021, 11:00 AM
Mary Anning and Ichthyosaurus
Presenter: Ruth Elcan
Seminar: Stones and Bones
Mary Anning, an uneducated 12 year-old girl enters the history of paleontology when she discovers and excavates the 17’ fossil of a reptile that thrived in the sea when dinosaurs dominated the land. You may find Mary’s true story more significant than the historically baseless version in the current film Ammonite!
February 26, 2021, 10:00 AM
The Eisenhower Years
Presenter: Joan McKelvey
The presentation covers his early years, overview of his career as described in his “Diaries”, his philosophy, policies, special leadership qualities, and major administration accomplishments. Finally, we look at the recently unveiled monument(s) off the Washington mall that were highly controversial in the conceptualization and design.
February 26, 2021, 11:00 AM
Social Media and the 2020 Election
Presenter: Rachel Borson
Seminar: 2020 General Election
The level of polarization and disinformation in the United States is unprecedented, and in no small part due to the influence of social media such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. This talk will focus on the back story of how social media creates distortion and “stacks the deck”, and how the US is particularly vulnerable to this influence.
March 5, 2021, 10:00 AM
The Radical Right’s Plan for America: The Role of ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council)
Presenter: Erika Hollister
The rise of Libertarianism and its influence on legislation in the USA. The influence of the Koch brothers with a focus on ALEC in undermine democracy.
March 5, 2021, 11:00 AM
Immigration to the U.S. from Haiti
Presenter: Susie Zeiger
This presentation will include some salient facts of Haitian history as well as the reasons Haitians immigrated to the U.S. Photos of the country and the people will be included.
March 12, 2021, 10:00 AM
Light Made Visible Through the Works of Contemporary Artist Dan Flavin, in Contrast to Japan’s TeamLab
Presenter: Miriam Whitney
Seminar: Making Light Visible
This is an overview of the works of contemporary New York artist, Dan Flavin, who mastered the artistic use of fluorescent light from the 1960s until his death in the 1990s. His work is contrasted with the current immersive light shows by Japan’s TeamLab.
March 12, 2021, 11:00 AM
The Narrow Corridor: States, Society and the Fate of Liberty
Presenter: Darcy Johnson
Seminar: The Future of Democracy
In their book, The Narrow Corridor, economist Daron Acemoglu and political scientist James Robinson examine state and society and the balance that is essential for liberty. This presentation highlights factors needed for the sustainability of the American system.
March 19, 2021, 10:00 AM
Canadian vs. U.S. Immigration
Presenter: Jane McMurrich
Seminar: U.S. Immigration
The populations of Canada and the US have historically similar roots, yet their immigration policies have led to different outcomes in terms of their appeal as destinations for emigrants, and the national origins of their citizens. This presentation explores the differences and similarities between the policies of the two countries.
March 19, 2021, 11:00 AM
The Code of Hammurabi
Presenter: Alan Armstrong
Seminar: Ancient Mesopotamia
Where some of our law came from: 1700 B.C.E. Mesopotamia and the Code of Hammurabi
Women, class, slaves, trade, trials, finance and punishments: laws governing life in Babylonia 4000 years ago.
March 26, 2021, 10:00 AM
The AIDS Epidemic
Presenter: Bruce Goldstein
Seminar: Pandemics and Epidemics
I cover the basics of the AIDS epidemic, but I focus on what it was like from the inside for gay men in the US. Along the way, I will point out similarities and differences between AIDS and COVID-19, lessons learned and not learned.
March 26, 2021, 11:00 AM
Presenter: Suzannah Fabing
Americans throw away some 40% of their food every year, despite growing rates of food insecurity here and globally. Fortunately, steps can be taken to reduce food waste, and Massachusetts is something of a leader. Learn about what is being done to get food to those who need it and to repurpose inedible food into biofuel.