Congratulations, Dr. George R. Rossman!

Congratulations, Dr. George R. Rossman!  It is quite an honor to be selected as one of six lecturers on mineralogy for the Mineral Collecting Symposium 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  Dr. Rossman has been head of the mineralogy division at the California Institute of Technology for many years, and received The Richard P. Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2004.  He continues a life-long interest in minerals through his research, which includes studies of the color and spectroscopic properties of minerals, poorly crystalline minerals and the effects of high level ionizing radiation on minerals.  Dr. Rossman has written or co-authored more than 100 articles in the field of mineralogy.  He has served as associate editor of the journal American Mineralogist and is on the editorial review board of Gems and Gemology.  A rare form of pink tourmaline was named for him(rossmanite) in honor of his many contributions to spectroscopy.  He has a special web site devoted to mineral spectroscopy:

I had the honor of interviewing Dr. Rossman about twenty years ago for my book The Magicians of Form.  As an amateur mineral collector, I was excited to learn about specific minerals and their often surprising properties.  Many of the crystal forms  that Dr. Rossman described were portrayed in dramatic fashion by Southern Oregon artist, Dodie Hamilton, who, although in her nineties, is still painting, and giving art classes in her Medford studio.  Dr. Rossman’s interview is published in full without drawings by Axis, the on line journal of The Mineralogical Record.

Dr. Rossman’s lecture is on a DVD 2 disc collection, which also contains a lecture by Dr. Barbara Dutrow of Louisiana State University.  Dr. Dutrow is the co-author of a popular mineralogy textbook.  This wonderful set of six lectures may be obtained through Blue Cap Productions, which has produced many films highlighting various aspects of mineralogy.

A Funny Episode From Pete And Gladys

Several nights ago I saw a very funny episode from the 1960-1962 sitcom Pete and Gladys.  The show co-starred Harry Morgan(Bratsberg) and Cara Williams(Bernice Kamiat).  As is well-known, Cara was an irascible redhead, jealous of others’ success, and, in general, a difficult person to work with.  However, there is no denying the lady had talent.  In several episodes she displays her talent, but she is at her best in the episode”Sleepy Time Wife.”, which deals with the fear of a dentist.  There is certainly nothing novel in this theme, but there is in her portrayal of it, which borders on the surreal.  If you’re looking for unbounded laughter, this episode might be your answer.  You may find this through Nostalgia Merchant.

More About German For Reading

As stated in an earlier post, German for Reading by Karl C. Sandberg and John R. Wendel is an excellent book for improving your literary knowledge of German.  In many respects, the first chapter is the most important one since it deals with recognizing cognates, which are plentiful in German.  Be sure you study this chapter carefully as it will save you much dictionary use in the future.  The limitation of this book is that there are no excerpts from German newspapers or magazines, which employ a different kind of German than one finds in literary passages.  I recommend to the authors(assuming they are considering another edition) that they include excerpts from Der Spiegel, and German newspapers to better prepare the reader.

A New Year’s Tradition In Russia.

Just as we have our holiday films:  “The Sound of Music”, and “It’s a Wonderful Life”, the Russians have their film, “Ирония судьбы” or “A Twist of Fate.”  In 1975 this film made for TV had its debut, and has become a New Year’s tradition in Russia ever since.  The plot is a simple one, and involves a surgeon ending up in someone else’s apartment instead of his own.  The address is exactly the same, but the city is different; he is no longer in Moscow, but in Leningrad.  He was due to spend the New Year with his fiance, Galya, but ends up spending it with an unknown lady.  Alcohol is the cause as it often is in Russian films.  This film, which features two of Russia’s greatest actors:  Андрей Мягков, and Юрий Яковлев, includes a Polish actress for its heroine, Barbara Brylska.  Though the film lasts three hours it is never boring, but weaves an intricate psychological drama between three people:  the surgeon, the unknown lady, and her fiance.  Some beautiful songs are included, especially the moving “Я спросил у ясени”, which is my favorite Russian song.  There is an excellent version dubbed in English that is easy to obtain.  The film is directed by Eldar Ryazanov.