Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Hi Safarians! Just thought I'd post all my collected quotations from the speakers before our Stanford Mag stuff is due. I plan, at some point, to combine my list with Shruti and Janelle's, eliminate the overlapping ones, and get them up on our Google site. I made the funnier ones green. Enjoy...

Stanford Safari 2008 Sophomore College Quotations

University Organist Robert
“I tent to avoid organists. They’re very boring people.”
-On whether there are groups of organists that meet for conventions

University President Gerhard Casper
“An authority with very little authority” who’s responsible for everything.
-On describing how the university president is like a major CEO

“It is a ridiculous process—and you can quote me on that.”
-On faculty appointments

“All impressions are first impressions, and they are often the only impressions.”
-On giving speeches

“Poor Hennessey… He has to worry about appearing on YouTube.”
-On describing the changes in how public figures are judged

“That’s saying to a group of people, ‘I’m not your president.’”
-On what happens if you take a side on an issue

“In the end, what matters is teaching, learning, research... Everything else is just ‘fluff.’”

Peter Bing
“The Holy Triad.”
-On protecting the three most important trustee responsibilities

Protect the institution as a “marketplace of ideas.” “Represent the best of a free society.”
-On the duties of a trustee

“It’s fun to get involved.”

Isaac Stein
“When we need to, we can change quickly.” (But usually no…)
-On the Board

“Remembering to think long term.”
-On the most challenging thing to do as board member

Coach Harbaugh
“If we could, we’d all be sittin’ around a campfire. Naked.”

“We support no other cause than the greatness and excellence of Stanford football.”

Doug Osheroff
“You don’t change, they change.”
-On seeing old friends at high school reunions

“Ahh… So many uses.”
-On gunpowder

“Chance will give you opportunities. The question is, what will you do with those opportunities.”

Kenneth Arrow
“My handwriting was very very bad.”

“Universities will be here for a long time, and they don’t become non-functional.”

“I realized economic forecasting wasn’t much worse than weather forecasting.”

“He should have understood that academic freedom is for professors, not for university presidents.”
-On Summer’s comment at Harvard

President Hennessey
“The Band is a unique Stanford tradition.”

“Occasionally, people do really bad things.”
-On the worst part of his job

“Talking to people about Stanford.”
-On the best part of his job

“Government is not going to solve any problems that are researched-based.”

“You ridiculous SOB! … You can’t do that, you can’t do that.”
-On limiting what you want to say sometimes as president

-On how he spends his summers

“Something that has pasta in it.”
-Favorite food

Favorite places: The Quad when it’s quiet, Mausoleum, Cactus Garden, Angel of Grief, Cantor

Larry Kramer
“When we went to Michigan, my first wife discovered it wasn’t Chicago she hated.”
-Most depressing quotation of the trip

“The difference between the students who want to do good, and the students who want to do well.”

“It’s like pornography: you’ll know it when you see it.”
-Quoting someone else

“Law is more like an art than a science.”

“You’re joking! What, you think you’re going to get mugged by a squirrel?”
-On the crime problem in the parking lot, after coming from NYC

“What, are they all drunk inside their rooms? With the door open.”
-About campus seeming dead on a Saturday night

Favorite place: New Guinea Sculpture Garden

Mark Mancall
“The Dalai Lama once said to me…”

Rich Skalski, Pest Control
“The whole attic was filled with raccoon poop. It was the grossest thing I’d ever seen.”

Maggie Kimball
Likes chocolate.

Dean Shaw
“We make judgments about admitting students because we believe they can be successful here. Period.”

“In fact, this process has a heart.”
-About accepting students from adverse backgrounds

David Demerest
“Out of the blue, I get a call from Debra Zumwalt.”

“And this is one of the best jobs I’ve ever had.”

“My job revolves around advancing and protecting Stanford’s reputation.”

“Any time a campaign is talking more about campaign strategy than issues… they’re having problems.”

“Reputation is whether you kept the promise.”
-On the reputation of a great university keeping the promise of a great education

David Harris
“Mistake? Mistake is wearing brown shoes with a black suit.”
-On how the Vietnam War can’t be sidestepped like a mistake

“Well, that’s fine talk for a guy who burns babies for a living.”
-What he said to David Packard, who worked in defense, at a Board of Trustees meeting

“So much of what the sixties was about was learning to take risks.”

“At some point you have to reach out and claim your life.”

“Look, I’m giving you four million dollars each year by not being student body president.”
-What he says to people calling from SU asking for money

“The first and foremost challenge we have as human beings is how to be our own person.”

“The scary part about Stanford for me is how it’s all so goddamn corporate.”

“The first step towards liberation is organizing yourself.”

“I couldn’t believe God could take these kids, so I thought it was the Devil.”
-On the children’s hospital in the NYC ghettos

“The power of institutions over the individuals in them.”
-Brief description of the Stanford Prison Experiment

Dr. Richard Saller
“We’re no longer the subordinate of Cal. We even win football games.”

Phillip Pizzo
“Rather than learning it all, learn a roadmap to help you get there.”
-On how practices change so constantly

“At Stanford, we are not trying to just train physicians, we are trying to change the world.”

“Pick something inspirational for you.”

“This incestuous relationship with industry only makes it worse.”
-On pharmaceutical companies and the Med School

Cantor: Sally and Anne Katherine
“And then the cadavers got in there…”
-About the history of the old anatomy building

David Rasch
“I don’t become their lawyer… I lay out their rights.”
-On his job as University Ombudsman

“Find someone you can talk to if someone’s bothering you.”
-Advice; it’s important to at least be able to say what you want, even if you don’t succeed at getting it

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Wonka Family

Some history on Warren G. Wonka and his sis Wendy Wonka came up in the Sandstone & Tile in 2002.  I think its fabulous!  Check it out!!!

~The Other Wendy :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Did anyone else notice this?

While we were biking on the way to the law school I spotted a lady in a catwoman outfit outside of Bing Wing. Just an observation.


Beware of local folklore!

Ok so last night I snuck away for dinner with my grandparents and the waiter tried to claim that his great grandfather (I believe), Harry Mosher, designed/built the quad.  Well, being a newly saturated wealth of information regarding Stanford, I knew instantly that Olmstead did all that incredible designing but I humored him.  He went on to tell us about how there was a street named after him, etc. (which there is...kinda like we heard from Chris Berka and the Marguerite, which everyone now thinks is named after the horse because of a newspaper article that may not be entirely correct).  As soon as I got back to the dorm I looked up Mosher and even though the waiter was slightly confused as to his relative's relationship with the university, Mosher appears to have been a fairly prominent figure in his time...in the chemistry department.  Shruti and I went on a wild goose chase through many fascinating Stanford websites (including the Sandstone & Tile on the 1906 earthquake, very relavant to Leslie Bone's presentation yesterday) and I highly recommend you check them out...and watch out for the Palo Alto claim to fame through Stanford...they won't get it by anyone in the safari :)


Monday, September 8, 2008

Popular Particles

So I was checking out The Onion's AV Club, and check out what video is tops for the week in list of its popular videos? That's right, the Large Hadron Rap. I guess we all watched it enough times to make an impact....

Rock on, Safari!


A Day In the Life of President Hennessy

Hey everyone. I'm preparing my introduction for Pres. Hennessy right now and I remember at the beginning of the class, some of us were interested in what a typical day for Stanford's president entails. Here's an interesting account of a day in the life of our president, John Hennessy: http://www.stanford.edu/dept/president/inauguration/hennessy_bio.html


Stanford Safari Quotes!

Hey all!

So Janelle and I (Shruti) have been collecting random quotes from our great speakers- funny, inspirational or whatever so we decided to put them together here. If any of you all have any you should put them up here too!

Robert Morgan
- "Churches come, churches go. Organs Remain."
- "I tend to avoid organists; they are very boring people."
-"The organ was louder than the violin." (on why he switched from violin to organ)
-"So yummy!" (in that cool Welsh accent...)

President Lyman
-"You have to remember to define what a university is really about."
-"Well, everyone likes being the head guy. It's kind of like, the buck stops here." (on what was most fun about being President)

Howard Wolf
-"The best part about this place are its stories. I was talking to someone and he said, 'Let me tell you about how this place changed my life.'"

President Casper
- A student to President Casper: "I was trying to find myself",
President Casper: "I advice against it. You might succeed!"
- "One is a celebrity to some extent"
- "Anyone who wants to govern the country, has to entertain it."
-"The job of college president...was the only job I really didn't have."
-"I became an expert on baseball bats (wood vs. aluminum)." (on chairing the PAC-10 conference...)
-"I was expected to provide sex for the students, parking for the faculty, and football for the alumni." (or was it in a different order...?)
-"There was a joke that I was appointed President because I was the only one who could pronounce the university motto."

Peter Bing
- "There is an emotional epoxy that attaches us all to Stanford. We're all in this together. It is fun to get involved."
-"We have to protect this institution that means so much to us."
-"Unless you have an open marketplace of ideas, you have nothing to fight for."
-Magazine article quoting Dianne Feinstein: "'I wanted to be the (ASSU) President, but in those days they would've elected a monkey before a woman.'" (Ouch)

Bob Reidy
- "The sense of place is really important. It is all back to the support of the academic mission"

Persis Drell
- "If you have an opportunity to have children, I highly advice that you have them"

Isaac Stein
- "If you have money, they ask you for it"
-"Managing a university is like herding cats. You have to move the cat food."

Coach Harbaugh
- "As human being, we are lazy, Thats the way we are built. If we could, we would be sitting around a camp fire all day. Naked."

Doug Osheroff
- "It was August 1st. August 1st is my birthday by the way. I like orange cakes."
- "People started calling me THE BRAIN. That is social death."
- "Gunpowder is really great stuff!"
- "I know two Nobel laureates who have fingers missing from experiments with gunpowder."
- "Being a nice guy and being a nobel laureate- an oxymoron."
- "After 45 years, people change. You dont change, but they change."
- "blah, blah, blah... and I don't want any of this appearing in the Estonian newspaper!"
- "I tell all my grad students, it is OK to call me at 4 in the morning. But it better be good!"
- "I don't know if anyone loves Caltech; they survive Caltech."
- "So I was outside waxing my car, and I saw her. So I quickly invited her to the most romantic event of the season- the Physics Department Picnic."
- "You have to give the grad students an opportunity to fail. In the lab I mean, not forever!"

Donald Kennedy-
- "When someone comments about LSJUMB I say- "Would you rather have them march in paramilitary outfits?", when they say yes, I dont know what to say."

Dean Pizzo
- "I have never gone to work"

Dean Saller
- "We are uniquely multi-disciplinary... So is the Univ of Milwaukee. Uniquely disciplinary yields 1,60,000 searches on google."

Rick Shaw
- "By bringing people together from all walks of life, I think it will contribute to world peace"
- "I was at Berkeley too many 100 years ago"
- "On high school transcripts, C's are a kiss of death"
- "A loner, kinda wandering around and bumping into trees"
- "The Draw- that whole experience is a bummer!"

Rich Skalski
- "They dont think about pest control when they make these buildings!"

Larry Kramer
- "You dont pick between Stanford Law school and Harvard Law school. You pick between Stanford University and Harvard Law school"
- "You cant become a rabbi or a hairdresser without a clinical education- but you can become a lawyer!"

President Hennessey
- "I like an early morning phone call when the Nobel Prized are announced"
- "We have a lets-go-try-it, take risks kind of culture"

Ken Arrow
- "I am very careful about what I write. I was born with a bad handwriting"
- "Economic forecasting is not much worse than weather forecasting
- "Academic freedom is for Professors, not University Presidents"

BOB quotes
- "So...Whats new in ancient Roman History?"

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Stanford Hospital etc

Hey Guys!

Here is a bit about the Stanford Hospital rebuilding over the seismic laws incase you guys didn’t know about it! Debra Zumwalt was talking about it.



Here are some interesting facts about the Google Book Project. Each book is gone for an average of a month! I didn’t know that.




Tuesday, September 2, 2008

LHC Madness

If you thought SLAC [I mean, SLAC (meaningless): Home of The Pinofsky Linear Accelerator Center?] was really baller, here's more info about the Large Hadron Collider. Click on the link to the picture album from Boston.com--it's pretty stunning.



Monday, September 1, 2008

The Real World: Zimbardo

So I've been reading The Lucifer Effect while also living my life (doing my thang, you know how I do). Not surprisingly, the two have intertwined like a well-cooked casserole, and I often find myself relating Zimbardo's theories to the actions and events in my daily activities. Here are two of my musings about the SPE and the applications I have found; note, though, that these are just theoretical relations and I could be totally off the mark.

This summer, I worked at a web site. One of my responsibilities was to monitor what people are saying--people are supposed to follow the "Be Nice Policy," but, well, a bunch of them don't. There are a whole host of [insert expletive here]s on the Internet writing comments that are so blatantly in violation of social mores that it would be hard to imagine anyone even considering acting this way in person. But on the Internet, they do.

And then it dawned on me: I don't know who these people are, and they don't think I know who they are. Their real self is disguised under a username and avatar, and they are essentially anonymous. (What they don't realize is that site administrators can track IP addresses and find fake accounts and lock/disable anything they write.) The theory about anonymity backed by Zimbardo and all of the research he cites--evil kids' Halloween party, guards with stunna shades--looks to be the exact cause of evil users. Given their prevalence, it only makes sense that some/most of them are normal, probably decent human beings. But on the Internet, they're assholes. Is the anonymity of the world wide web giving them cause to act in evil ways? Perhaps I'll ask Prof. Zimbardo and see what he thinks. Hmmm. Discuss.

Secondly, I thought about one of the prisoners' statements that it was the loss of control that really got to him. However, I also went on a rafting trip (which was most fun when the rapids beat the hell out of our boat) and went biking down a hugenormous hill with crappy brakes. And those were both really fun and exciting experiences--mostly because in those cases, I/we had very little control of the situation. The less control I had, the more fun it was. If I were in complete control, they would have been highly unmemorable situations.

But we all want control of our lives, right? And a lack of control drove some prisoners crazy. Is there a controlometer that determines what levels of control are aggravating and which are exciting? Does said controlometer fit conventiently into your pocket? How can lacking control be entertaining and painful?

Discuss. See you all tomorrow (well, today, but that's not important)!


Collection of newspaper articles from this summer...

I'm not really sure why I didn't post these earlier but I've been paying special attention to the Bay Area section of the SF Chronicle this summer...

Jude Shao, a Stanford alumnus, (whose story was discussed in Cream of the Crop) was arrested in China about 10 years ago for "allegations of tax evasion" and given an unfair 15 year sentence. Stanford alums help create a website (freejudeshao.com) for him and he was finally freed last month.


Stanford is building a new hospital! It is going to be 7 stories, cost about $2 billion, and hopefully be completed by 2015. What interested me most about it is its "creative" design. They've designed it so that the interior walls can be moved around to accommodate new technologies, patients with cancer and bone marrow transplants can be in positive pressure nursing units ("units will have higher air pressure so the air flows outward, which will prevent bacteria and other contaminants from entering"), and hospital visitors can enjoy outdoor views and even a spa.


And finally, a Stanford professor's view on gardening...


and the Stanford garden website to go along with it- I used it last year to learn about the cactus garden...



Sunday, August 31, 2008

Rumors about the expensive upkeep of the palm trees on Palm Drive

So I don't know about you guys but I've definitely hear a ton of people talking about how much Stanford spends to keep the palm trees on Palm Drive alive and well. I was actually just telling my sister about it a couple days ago and I was looking for an exact figure online when I found a Daily article discrediting the rumors. Apparently all this talk about the expensive upkeep of Palm Drive is just a bunch of exaggerated rumors (Sorry if you already knew this but I didn't so I'm writing about this anyway!). The article quoted Herb Fong, manager of the grounds service dept, stating that the palm trees are serviced once ever 3 to 7 years costing $400 per tree (There are a total of 200 trees). Fong also continues to talk about how the majority of trees are donated from local sites, and that they would be demolished if the University did not rescue them. The article even claims that the upkeep of the palm trees is cheaper than that of most conventional trees.

All the talk about the ridiculously expensive upkeep of Palm Drive is just rumors and we can now officially enjoy the beauty of the palm trees without the fear that our tuition money is being used for unnecessary maintenance!

Alright well I'm gonna get back to packing now and I can't wait to see you all tomorrow!


The Sex Lives of Stanford Students

So I finally figured out how to post on this thing. The wonders of technology.

So all summer I've been working on research for the Feminist Studies Department. I worked under Paula England, who is teaches the My job was to basically read about people's sex lives. One really interesting fact I learned was that Stanford has a higher rate of virginity than other colleges: a 30% of Stanford seniors are virgins, compared to the national average of 20%. So despite the fact that we're pretty smart, we're not exactly having roaring sex lives. Good or bad, I'm not too sure.

I also found that Stanford students are involved in hookups and dating more than long term relationships. I also found that a lot of students complained about how small the student population was, which leads to rather awkward situations when it comes to sex. I read about how Person A hooked up with Person B one night, then Person A hooked up with Person C another night, and it turned out B and C were best friends, which led to the two of them fighting over A, which led to A getting angry and quitting the whole hookup scene all together...it was all a very messy, messy affair. I also read about similar accounts of how frustrating it is that everyone knows everyone else's business. I'm not sure if this is solely a Stanford thing or a small university thing, but I found it pretty interesting.

I suppose this is all related to this concept called "Stanford Dating" that I frequently came across while doing my research but never explicitly explained. I'm guessing it has something to do with the prioritizing of school ahead of more carnal desires, and hookups take less time than actual relationships. After some Google searching, I found this amusing 2002 Daily article on Stanford Dating.


So yes, the dating scene here is rather bleak. Hopefully your sex lives are much more successful.

Stanford in Rankings

Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
The Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University ranks us as number 2 in the world in 2007. - http://www.arwu.org/rank/2007/ARWU2007_Top100.htm

The US news rankings rates our universities as 4th in US rankings itself. - http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/college/national-search

The Times Higher Education World Universities Rankings rates us 19! - http://www.topuniversities.com/worlduniversityrankings/results/2007/overall_rankings/top_100_universities/

Obviously, there has to be some reason for these discrepancies. It is probably because of the differences in criteria for all three. However, for us to rank #19 after being 2 and 4 in other rankings is pretty shocking. To me it sort of implies that something that other universities have is essentially missing from Stanford.

The Times rankings are done by the following Criteria-
I can only guess that we miss out because most other universities have more international students (Stanford is at 9-10%, universities such as University of Pennsylvania and Imperial College London have much more and are thus ranked higher on the list) than Stanford.

See you guys soon!

- Shruti

Stanford in Peru

Hi everybody!
I just got back from Peru this week, where I had an amazing experience excavating at the archaeological site of Chavín de Huántar. Seeing as it was Stanford-funded and headed by a Stanford professor, I thought I'd give a rundown of what we were up to (in case any of you would like to apply next year).

The site itself consists of the ruins of several large stone temples, many beautifully constructed labyrinthine galleries, the Square and the Circular Plazas, and Rocas, the extensive underground network of a stone canal drainage system. Site dating is a contested subject, but it was probably in its height around three thousand years ago. It's located in the Andean highlands, about a bumpy ten hour bus ride outside of Lima. For over a decade, Professor John Rick has been taking students to live in the small nearby town of Chavín for a summer and work at the site.

Our excavations this year were severely postponed due to a late approval by the Peruvian government, but once we got started, we worked in two areas: the North Atrium, an area near the Circular Plaza, and under the Circular Plaza in Rocas, the drainage canal. I worked in Rocas, which I absolutely loved and explored to the utmost extent: tiny, dark, humid, stone passages (but in an area without bats, thank goodness). And I mean tiny--we excavated in as little as 24cm of space.

Typical finds were ceramic sherds, animal bone fragments, and crude stone tools. Things got really interesting in Rocas right before we had to stop excavations--we found seven human skulls (probably from about 500BCE) within one meter of muddy sediment.

I highly recommend anyone vaguely interested in archaeology to check it out--let me know if you want more info. And the VPUE grants mean that it's a completely free trip to Peru (minus the shopping). I know there are a handful of other sites where Stanford goes, including Turkey and Italy, so it's worth a look.

P.S. You can check out my Peru pictures on Facebook...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'd like to buy a, uh, life?!

So our dorm politics chat list is going mad right now, of course sparked by Palin, but the issue of health care came up.  This is a very interesting article from Time magazine on the price Stanford economists put on a human life.  How you could even begin to convert moments to money is beyond me, but I guess it packs a little financial kick behind the old saying, "get a life," huh?


Friday, August 29, 2008

So the Synergy house website provides a pretty detailed account of the history of the co-op. Interestingly, the concept of the co-op seems to owe its origins to the ambitions of several students, as well as the capitalist philosophies of Leland Stanford. Sen. Stanford’s idea that “cooperatives” allowed workers to “organize, operate, and own their own industries” translated into the 1891 establishment of the Stanford University Cooperative Association, which functioned as the university’s first bookstore. During WWII, the co-op philosophy extended into student housing, when the Walter Thompson Co-op became the first housing cooperative. Before this, the house served as the campus’s Japanese House, and following the bombing of Hiroshima, the entire co-op was terminated. Housing co-ops on campus were finally revived in 1970, with the creation of Jordan House and Columbae. However, Stanford’s co-op renaissance was mainly due to housing co-op success at other universities like UC Berkeley—by now, the Leland Stanford co-op philosophy had largely been forgotten.


See you all very soon!


White plaza redo

I stayed a few days after the end of exams last year to see my sister graduate and saw the beginnings of the renovations to White Plaza. It was already totally torn up just a few days after graduation, making me wonder what they were planning to change. I haven't been on campus yet to see the progress this summer, but I found this presentation that shows the architects' plans for redoing White Plaza. It's pretty interesting to see the ideas behind the changes, and it'll be cool to get to see it (hopefully almost done) when we start SoCo next week!
I'm not sure if you can attach things to the blog, so I just went ahead and emailed it to everyone. Check it out!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

ROTC at Stanford??!

Hello everyone! I'm itching for SoCo to get started, but first...

Ever wonder why many of the cream-of-the-crop universities in the US - including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, and Columbia - aren't affiliated with Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) programs? In many of these institutions, the decision to shun the officer commissioning program has been the byproduct of historical clash(es) between militarism and academia.

Stanford cut its ties with ROTC about 40 years ago, when the US public was trembling in fear of a potential World War number 3, and when renowned Stanford alum Herbert Hoover was publicly voicing his pacifist ideals. Not all of the Hoover clan, however, shared Herbert's feelings. Herbert's older brother Theodore, for one, actively supported the presence of ROTC on campus. Theodore Hoover was a miner-turned-dean of engineering at Stanford who went as far as to include the following sentence in the curriculum of one of his classes (Mining and Metallurgy 101 - ever heard of this course?):

"The human race develops by war, and succeeds in war in proportion to its use of metals; races perish in peace. Culture in increased by invention of new weapons. The pacifist errs in assuming that peace is desirable. Emerson said everything we have must be paid for. We Americans are living in unpaid luxury and must pay in the future by blood and hard work.”

Whoa...hold on there tiger. These spartan words were met by even a more gutsy response from a certain Robert Speers, the student editor of the Daily at that time. Speers contended that the sentence be removed from the course curriculum, adding that such degree of blatant militarism was inappropriate to an elite institution's humanitarian environment. Not too surprisingly, the older Hoover and his proponents immediately retaliated, spitting threats of expulsion of Speers. The fiery exchange between the student and the faculty was eventually deemed...embarrassing, and the matter was put to an end with ROTC being banned on campus for good.

So where is the ROTC today? It's at San Jose State, Santa Clara University, AND good ol' UC-Berkeley, but its presence is missed- either sorely or thankfully- at Stanford. Stanford's ROTC students are forced to commute hours to get appropriate training, but aren't given any credit for the hours of work they put into that training. The administrators' defense against these students' complaints? The ROTC classes simply do not meet Stanford's academic standards, and their Department of Defense-driven causes are incompatible with the University policy.

Whether you're siding with these adamant administrators or sympathizing with the ROTC-less Stanford students, it's interesting to peek into the pages of history that explain the censorship of ROTC at Stanford and other elite academic institutions.

Feel free to read these Daily articles for more info!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kinda creepy...

Hey guys! Can you believe that we're meeting in less than a week already?! Crazy stuff! I can't wait.

I've been at Stanford all summer and I like to go out for runs at night, so last night I went out for my usual jog around campus. I used to be able to run through the Quad past MemChu at late hours, with no problem at all, but that was before I played the Branner Game during Spring Quarter. The Game was about the real 1974 murder of Arlis Perry inside MemChu. Maybe I was just extra freaked out because of my serious lack of sleep at that time, but what really got to me was that she was reportedly last seen alive walking around campus at night before her body was found. MemChu looks really cool lit up in the dark, but I can't help but get a few chills every time I think of that murder!
I found an article in the Daily about Stanford murders, including Jane Stanford's mysterious death: http://daily.stanford.edu/article/2007/9/28/inCardinalBlood.

See you guys soon!
<3, Janelle

P.S. I'm sending the Exec Summary of the White Plaza construction to the stanfordsafari@gmail account (since I can't figure out how to link it here...) It even has sketches of how everything's supposed to look when the construction's all done.

California Pacific Railroad: An Account of the Last Spike

An interesting account of the hammering in of the golden spike in Promontory, Utah on May 10, 1869, from the Utah History Encyclopedia:

It turns out that Leland Stanford himself was unable to actually hit the spike with the hammer.

Can't wait to see you guys!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tree Auditions!

Hellooo everyone! I can't believe that, in less than a week, we are going to be diving headfirst into the COOLEST 2008 soco! YAY. Alright, down to business. I think most of us would agree that the Tree contributes a ton of awesome wackiness to our beloved Stanford atmosphere. I couldn't believe some of the stories I heard this year about stunts that past Tree candidates have pulled in hopes of scoring that crazy costume (climbing Hoover Tower, eating live snakes, submitting oneself to being beaten with lightbulbs). I'm sure a good number of the alleged stunts have been blown out of proportion over time, but it's still entertaining to hear the legends! Here's some stuff I found in online Stanford Daily articles...

Erin Lashnits (2005) claimed, "I successfully hurled myself off a slip-n-slide from the 10 meter tower while on fire, conducted a marathon all-girl moonbounce bra-and-panty tickle fight and had sex on a tightrope strung from the birdcage in White Plaza. Pretty hot."
Adam Monroe (2005) said that for their first task, each tree candidate had a jellyfish placed on their face and had to eat through it.
In 2004, the Tree apparently got a kidney or appendix removed.
One Tree tried to land on Hoover Tower at the end of a skydiving adventure. He also was shot out of a cannon into Lake Lag (thankfully, the lake was full that day!).
One candidate dressed up as a deer and hurled himself at the current president's car.

Is this normal behavior for smart kids? I'm guessing not. But I for one think our student body's abnormal ways of playing hard really set us apart from the other colleges that work hard.

Ciao! *Anna*

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Get excited!!!

Is it bad that this still looks totally scifi even though I've gone by it a million times???

this is fun:

:) Wendy
check out this awesome birding site:



Saturday, August 16, 2008

Jane Lathrop Stanford

I confess. I killed Jane Stanford.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Interesting windows..

Hi everybody! I was just going through a bunch of pictures my dad took of campus when he was visiting and I saw this one-

This is a picture of I think the Gilbert Biology building. I find the windows really interesting. I want to know why they are made curved like that, what would be the function of windows like that in a biology building? I tried looking it up online, but I can not find anything.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Stanford Fountains

Since we all love Stanford's waterworks, inside and out, I pulled up an old Daily article that briefly talks about three of our favorite watering holes :)

The Claw

The Claw, located in front of the Bookstore, was designed by the sculptor Aristides Demetrios in 1964 to accompany the dedication of White Plaza.  Demetrios was commissioned to design the fountain in 1963.  Funded by the White family in honor of their two sons who died young, the bronze and copper sculpture can sprout water from 80 jets, though most go unused.

The Red Hoop Fountain

Though this fountain, located between Green and Meyer Library, often draws attention and has been assigned an assortment of strange names, the Shumway Fountain - the official name for the popularly dubbed "Red Hoop Fountain" [I've heard the Toilet Bowl too]- was actually designed by a landscape firm that specializes in water elements.  Tony Sinkosky, one of the principal landscapers responsible for Shumway, also designed a hotel in Munich and a Boeing training center.  While creating quite the artistic impression, Shumway is one of the only fountains not sculpted by an artist.

Water Clock Fountain- the "Timetable"

Located at the end of Serra Street, down the road from the Tanner Fountain in front of Hoover Tower, the water clock fountain can be found adjacent to the Electrical Engineering Center.  Designed by Maya Lin, who is also responsible for designing the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., the fountain was completed along with the extension of Serra Mall.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

A faded gingham dress and a homespun threadbare suit

I’m not sure how many of you have heard Malcolm Forbes’s version of our university’s founding but it’s certainly new to me. A little lengthy, it goes like this (taken from http://lighthousepatriotjournal.wordpress.com/2007/04/15/myth-blaster-founding-of-the-stanford-university-or-dont-judge-a-book-by-its-cover/):

A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in a homespun threadbare suit, stepped off the train in Boston, and walked timidly without an appointment into the Harvard University President’s outer office. The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard & probably didn’t even deserve to be in Cambridge.
“We’d like to see the president,” the man said softly.
“He’ll be busy all day,” the secretary snapped.
“We’ll wait,” the lady replied.
For hours the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away. They didn’t, and the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president, even though it was a chore she always regretted.
“Maybe if you see them for a few minutes, they’ll leave,” she said to him.
He sighed in exasperation and nodded. Someone of his importance obviously didn’t have the time to spend with them, and he detested gingham dresses and homespun suits cluttering up his outer office. The president, stern faced and with dignity, strutted toward the couple.
The lady told him, “We had a son who attended Harvard for one year. He loved Harvard. He was happy here. But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed. My husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus.”
The president wasn’t touched. He was shocked. “Madam,” he said, gruffly, “we can’t put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery.”
“Oh, no,” the lady explained quickly. “We don’t want to erect a statue. We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard.”
The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, then exclaimed, “A building! Do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs? We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical buildings here at Harvard.”
For a moment the lady was silent. The president was pleased. Maybe he could get rid of them now.
The lady turned to her husband and said quietly, “Is that all it cost to start a university? Why don’t we just start our own? “
Her husband nodded. The president’s face wilted in confusion and bewilderment.
Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford got up and walked away, traveling to Palo Alto, California where they established the university that bears their name, Stanford University, a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about.
You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them. —-
A TRUE STORY By Malcolm Forbes.

Of course, with the not-so-light summer reading on Stanford’s history that we’ve been given, we should easily recognize this story as a myth, merely demonstrative of the arrogance of one Ivy League school. Consequently, I was a bit surprised to see the rather serious efforts that Stanford makes to dispel this myth on the school website—there’s a full section under “Stanford University History” devoted to it, which clarifies Leland Stanford Jr. having never attended Harvard nor ever being “accidentally killed.”

Looking into the popularity of this legend, I found that many websites note its truth, which has sparked other websites to assist in dispelling the myth. Apparently the tale first made its appearance on the Internet in 1998 as a story to warn against making appearance-based judgements, rather than as a factual account of Stanford’s founding. Also, the story is attributed to Malcolm Forbes, founder and publisher of Forbes magazine, who died in 1990. According to one site, “Obviously, the hoaxer was seeking to authenticate the fabricated tale by putting a well-known person’s name as the author.”

How interesting that a “don’t judge a book by its cover” story would implicate the “misfortunes” of our own university founders!


Monday, July 28, 2008

Some interesting things about Stanford's history

So even though Stanford was founded co-ed, there was a limit on female enrollment till 1933 by Jane Stanford because she did not want it to be called the "Vassar of the west".
Between and 1933, there was a policy in place limiting female enrollment to 500 students and maintaining a ratio of three males for every one female student. By the late 1960s the "ratio" was about 2:1 for undergraduates and much more skewed at the graduate level, except in the humanities. As of 2005, undergraduate enrollment is split nearly evenly between the sexes, but male enrollees outnumber female enrollees about 2:1 at the graduate level.
(from wikipedia)

After the 500 rule was lifted, the number of women on campus increased greatly, which increased demand in sororities, but the number of sororities did not change. Moreover, sororities were much stricter back then, requiring women to sign out and inform when they would be back. Behavioral issues increased and some women asked for sororities to be banned so that women could be unified.

In 1944, the board of trusties banned sororities but not fraternities. In the late 1970s, students demanded that the University allow sororities back on campus. The resurgence in sorority interest was partly due to Title IX, which was passed in 1972 and prevented inequality in education. As a result, the ban on sororities was lifted in 1977, but Sororities did not regain housing for another 20 years.

Here is the Stanford Daily article on it- http://daily.stanford.edu/article/2004/11/12/greekLifeHistoryOfFraternitiesAndSororities

Thursday, July 24, 2008

New Parking Structure

I went back to campus the other day to check my mail (I had, with an extreme lack of foresight, instructed people to send me packages there) and I walked across Wilbur field. It was awesome. The field, on top of a newly-created underground parking structure, replaces the old Wilbur field that none of us ever got to see or use.

I had been anticipating the completion of this project the entire year--not only was I excited to have a field outside of my dorm (of course, I don't live there anymore) but the project seemed to be an extremely efficient use of space. Both field space and parking are needed in that area, especially with the construction of the Munger residences, and this allows for both of them to be there at once.

I heard at some point that the underground structure cost 3x as much as a similar above-ground structure, but unfortunately I can't find the source to back that claim up. But I did find some cool information about the project. I saw a PowerPoint Presentation entitled, "The Green Roof on Stanford: Parking Structure Six"--google 'stanford parking structure six green' and it will be your first entry--that describes how the roof works. There are a number of
elaborate drain systems to ensure that the garage doesn't flood if it rains/when the sprinklers turn on (which, as we all know, happens about every three minutes). The entire field is also slightly sloped to also help drainage and support.

You can also see a bunch of pictures of the project at http://mungerhousing.stanford.edu/gallery_new.html. If I had a car on campus, I would totally park it there.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Wender & Co. vs. HIV

Sorry about not posing until now, everyone! I've been out-of-the-country, but I'm now back in the States, and finally have free internet access.

I'll dedicate my first post to summarizing a research done recently by Stanford professor Paul Wender and his research group. I remember spring quarter when, upon logging onto a computer at Green library, I saw Dr. Wender's face headlining the Stanford website. Back then, I was so swamped with worrying about chemistry in my own life that I avoided interacting with chemistry at all costs when I didn't have to. Now that I'm finally free from the shackles that was chemistry, I have attempted to read up on Wender and his Co's accomplishments.

HIV, perhaps one of the most deadly and infamous diseases known to man, has consumed more than 25 million lives in the past 25 years. The virus can cause AIDS upon transfer of bodily fluids between two or more people, and often attacks helper-T cells of the human immune system. In the past, scientists have encountered trouble dealing with HIV when it enters the helper T cells for refuge. There, the virus could remain dormant for years, before resurfacing to cause more pain and damage to its human victim. This is where Wender comes in.

Wender and his Co. have discovered a way to synthesize prostratin and DPP . Prostratin and DPP, which occur naturally in plants, have shown potential to activate dormant HIV, forcing the virus to become vulnerable to antiviral attack. Unfortunately, these useful compounds have been difficult to obtain in large quantities, and have been resistant to essential structural modifications given their natural origin - that is, until Stanford chemists successfully synthesized the compounds in their laboratory. With the newfound knowledge and ability to synthesize prostratin and DPP, their full therapeutic potentials could finally be reached through molecular and chemical engineering. In the near future, these compounds could play a monumental role in eradicating HIV, AND they could be easily accessible to anyone in need.

Whether or not you like chemistry, you gotta appreciate all that researchers like Wender are doing to better and save human lives. ;) If you'd like detailed report, feel free to visit http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2008/may7/samoahiv-050708.html. Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer thus far! Can't wait 'til early Sept~


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Stanford athletes in the Olympic trials!

I know this happened a while ago, but I was reading the Stanford magazine and saw the huge numbers of current and former Stanford athletes that were participating in the Olympic trials and wanted to learn more about it:

For a full list of the Stanford athletes in the trials, look in the most recent issue of Stanford magazine or see http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/2008/julaug/features/contenders.html.

After seeing the large amount of press they were getting, and as a former swimmer myself, I was especially interested in the Stanford swimmers at the trials.

The swimming trials took place in Omaha, Nebraska, and the results are pretty extensively documented on gostanford.com, where I got this information. Ben Wildman-Tobriner, who just graduated from Stanford, was the only Stanford male to qualify for the Olympics at this year’s Trials after he placed second in the 50 free. 12 other men competed in the Trials, with several advancing to the finals of their events. The women were even more successful than the men, with two swimmers heading to Beijing. Two juniors, Elaine Breeden and Julia Smit (not to be confused with fellow Stanford swimmer Julie Smith ‘11, who I don’t believe competed). Breeden won the 200 butterfly and got second in the 100 fly at the Trials! Julia Smit placed third in the 200 free and the 400 IM (individual medley), and will be part of the 4 x 200 freestyle relay in Beijing and possibly the 4 x 100 free relay. A total of 10 Stanford women competed in the Trials.

In fact, Breeden and Smit make Stanford the only college program in the country with two female swimmers going to the Olympics this year!

There’s a great article here: http://gostanford.cstv.com/sports/w-swim/spec-rel/070808aad.html on the Go Stanford site that does a great job of explaining the impressive legacy of Stanford women’s swimming and gives the results from all the women at the Trials.

If any of you also get the Stanford magazine at home, or want to check it out on the website above, there was a great article following up with several Stanford alums who are planning on going to the Olympics this year and chronicling their injuries, setbacks, and comebacks.

Be sure to keep an eye out for Stanford athletes in all sports as you watch the Olympics this August!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"Pests" on campus

So I found an article online that was written in 1993 about the vermin on campus which lists the following -

Ants, bees, cockroaches, flies, birds, bats. cats, coyotes, possums, raccoons, rodents, squirrels, skunks and snakes..

There are attracted to the campus mostly because of the steady supply of edible garbage.

Many years back, bats roosted in the roof of Meyer library and regularly entered the library. 

I found this really fascinating and now am even more excited to meet the campus pest control guy!

- Shruti

Saturday, July 12, 2008

While perusing the Stanford Alumni website, I came across two special alumni awards that I hadn’t ever heard of because their names are unique to Stanford. The first is the “Degree of Uncommon Man and Uncommon Woman Award.” Created in 1953, this award is presented to “those men and women who have rendered unique and outstanding service to the University.” Its ‘uncommon’ name comes from a statement made by Stanford’s own Herbert Hoover: “We believe in equal opportunity for all but we know that this includes the opportunity to rise to leadership in other words, to be uncommon.” Though the award is not given at determined intervals, some of its recipients include Lloyd Dinkelspiel (Posthumous), Frederick Terman, and Cecil Green. (Sounds like you too could be the next recipient if a library or auditorium is built in your name.)

The second award I thought was interesting, primarily for its name’s history, is the “Gold Spike Award,” given to alumni who display “exceptional volunteer leadership service in development for Stanford.” It was created in 1969, exactly a century after the original gold spike—which lends the award its name—was driven by Senator Leland Stanford at Promontory, Utah, joining the Central Pacific and Union Pacific rails and connecting the nation’s East and West coasts. That gold spike is 17.6 karat gold with “The Last Spike” engraved on its head. It is on display at Cantor so go have a look!




Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hey guys,

Sorry it took me so long for me to post... I've been vacationing in Europe (London, Paris) and just got back...

Seeing the amazing churches in Europe inspired me to look up some information on our very own MemChu. I just finished reading a really great book on Google Scholar (I'd recommend using this site to look up cool Stanford info) called Stanford Memorial Church: The Mosaics, The Windows, The Inscriptions by Willis Hall and learned some really interesting facts.

The most interesting aspect to read about was definitely the mosaics that adorn the museum's front facade. At the time that it was complete, the mosaic was the largest in America! It was designed by Antonio Salvati, a famous Venetian artist, and the tiny tiles that, when pieced together form the images, were pieced together by Lorenzo Zampato (it took him 4 years!) One of the walls is a mosaic reproduction of Soimo Roselli’s Last Supper from the Sistine Chapel in Rome. It is the only copy ever permitted to be made of this famous mosaic. Interestingly, Jane Stanford herself was responsible for a large part of the building project, and her influence is felt in that there are far more depictions of women throughout the church than in most churches. Finally, it makes perfect sense for the façade to be in mosaic, because, unlike a painting, the colors of the tiles are unfaded by weather conditions. I’ll definitely see MemChu from a different perspective after reading this book…

-Alex Fialho

Can and will Lake Lag ever be filled?

Students have wanted Lake Lag to be, well, a lake, for years now, especially when then hear stories from old alumni who used to be able to windsurf there!  

It seems that a few years ago some students started a petition which said:

To: President John Hennessy
 Stanford University Touts its on campus lake, hereafter referred to as "Lake Lagunita," as one of the many amenities available to to students and affiliates of Stanford University.  We, the undersigned, find this particularly misleading: it is a fact that Lake Lagunita has not been filled for at least two full years now.  Prospective Freshmen, hereafter referred to as "Prospectofros," have a right to know that the campus they are considering does not actually have any discernable body of water other than the oft-mentioned fountains which so delight the hearts of all.  Many official documents, including the application and website, mention the nonexistent lake, and it is high time that somebody points out this egregious misrepresentation to both Prospectofros and the campus at large.  There is no lake.  There hasn't been for quite some time.  It has been whispered that there may never again be a lake. This is very disturbing, but the undersigned do believe that there is a solution.  There are two ways to correct the current misrepresentation: destroy all mention of Lake Lagunita in future documents, or fill the lake an fulfill the promise of the University to countless generations of students.  We believe that Lake Lag should be restored to its former glory- if a few bacteria-ridden fountains can bring the campus so much joy, imagine the joy that an entire lake riddled with diseases and students from all walks of life will bring?  The collective spiritual health of the University demands that the lake be filled, lest we continue to perpetuate a pervasive aura of dishonesty and iniquity that stems from the crushing weight of the vast emptiness that is the giant ditch behind Roble Hall.  Return legitimacy to the West Lag name and restore Stanford University to the proud institution that it once was by filling the lake once and for all!

The Undersigned

President Hennessy's Response:

Dear Mr. Kanard:

Thank you for your e-mail of February 25, 2005.  I appreciate you and the members of the Coalition to Fill Lake Lag (CFLL) taking time to share your concerns regarding the water level at Lake Lagunita.  As I am sure you are aware, Lagunita is filled by winter rains and runoff from the foothills; therefore, insufficient seasonal rainfall may cause the lake to go unfilled.  In fact, the online Introduction to Stanford Guided Tour and other web sites openly state this information.

Stanford University shares the CFLL's enthusiastic interest in nurturing the collective spiritual health of the university.  Your concern for Prospectofros, also known as ProFros, is especially commendable.  Because university resources are currently directed toward other important projects and initiatives, the CFLL may wish to consider encouraging Prospectofros and other Lagunita visitors to B.Y.O.H2O.  In this way, Lagunita visitors desiring a full lake will be able to personally and collectively participate in restoring  the pride of Stanford University.

Thank you again for sharing your concerns, and for your well-written petition.


John L. Hennessy

There had been rumors that the lake couldn't be filled due to the threatened species of tiger salamanders that dwell there but apparently the real reason is that the dam is not considered safe.  Now the lake was semi full this year but how hard would it be to fix the dam?  President Hennessy said that they are using university resources for other projects but perhaps an enthusiastic group of alumni would be willing to donate time and money to repair the dam...I guess there used to be a boathouse out there...if the dam could be repaired and the boathouse rebuilt, maybe there can be ANOTHER Arillaga building on campus :)  
Anyways, maybe I'm bias toward west campus after living there last year and again next year and was ecstatic when the lake was a semi swamp instead of just a barren meteor scar, but legitimately full would be amazing.

Here are some article from the daily on the subject too:

Ok sorry for the long post but I'll be out of town for the next few weeks and this has been on my mind :)


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Marguerite

Hey guys! Sorry its taken me so long to post! I was on the Marguerite website last week trying to figure out how I could get to campus (I had to work softball camps) and I found some interesting information about the history of the Marguerite.

The Marguerite has been around since the beginning of the University, and the form of transportation has just changed throughout the times. In the 1880s, Leland Stanford himself ran a horse and buggy service, seating 12 people, from the train station across to El Camino Real. In 1909, the horse and buggy was replaced with electric streetcars. In 1929, the streetcar tracks were removed when El Camino was widened, and a private bus service took over the route. The city of Palo Alto decided to subsidize the bus' cost in 1963, and by 1973 Stanford expanded the services to include free service around campus in addition to the train station and downtown Palo Alto. Also, the Marguerite is named after the horse that pulled the carriage of "Uncle John" Andrews, shuttling people from Palo Alto to Stanford. Apparently, Marguerite was Andrew's favorite horse! :)

I don't know about you guys, but I love the Marguerite, especially since I didn't have a car this past year!

Here's the link to the site I found this information from: http://transportation.stanford.edu/marguerite/AboutMarguerite.shtml

Hope everybody's enjoying summer!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More About the 1906 Earthquake

Hey Josh,
It's funny that you ran across that website. The centennial was during my junior year of high school and I did my final research paper for AP US on the 1906 earthquake in the South Bay. While there is tons of information about the earthquake's destruction in SF and the East Bay (where I'm from), there is very little information about earthquake and the South Bay. I had to visit Stanford and multiple libraries/museums in the area to find enough information to write a 10 page paper. In my research I discovered that Stanford tried to conceal information about the earthquake's damage in order to preserve its reputation. Supposedly they did this in the May 1906 Alumni Magazine. It would be really interesting if we could try and find it... 

Here are a few snippets from my paper (it's my junior year writing so I am a bit embarrassed...)  

Many people are unaware that the 1906 Earthquake had any impact on the South Bay, but the Santa Clara Valley was well established by 1906 and felt the effects of the earthquake just as much as San Francisco did. By 1906 the Santa Clara Valley was mainly composed of small agricultural towns inhabited by European and Asian immigrants. San Jose was the largest city in the Santa Clara Valley and California’s fifth largest, with 25,000 inhabitants. San Jose was a modern city, complete with public works buildings, schools, parks, three daily newspapers, a business center and water, gas, and electrical systems. Leland Stanford Junior University, located in Palo Alto, had a reputation as one of the finest educational centers in California. St. Agnew’s Insane Asylum, as previously mentioned, was located in the small town of St. Agnew’s Station, a part of modern day Santa Clara. (Its Our Fault Too. Branson 145)  
Palo Alto, the city adjacent to Stanford University, experienced some of the worst structural damage in the entire South Bay. Every single business building in the city experienced at least some damage; the new $30,000 Thiels Building and Fuller’s Building fell to the ground. Almost every chimney in the city fell and St. Patrick’s Seminary was badly damaged. The damage at Stanford University was much worse. At the time of the earthquake Stanford was a young school, of less than twenty years, and many of its buildings were seriously damaged. The structural damage amounted to over $2 million dollars as the new, unfinished neoclassical gym and library collapsed, far beyond repair. The 10-story memorial arch lost a corner, the Quadrangle’s front entrance was destroyed, and the sandstone gates at the entrance of the school completely collapsed. The sight of the destroyed Memorial Church devastated many students, and the damage was so severe that it took seven years to repair. (Curran 6. How Stanford Fell in Heaps. Its Our Fault Too)

Only two lives, a student’s, Junius R. Hanna, and a workman’s, Ottto Gerdes, were lost. If the earthquake had occurred during the day as students were out and about on campus the loss of life would have been much more significant. Initially following the earthquake, President Jordan announced that school would restart the week after the earthquake, but after the damage was ascertained, school was postponed until the following fall semester. (Bartholomew 59)  

Stanford students’ responses were mixed but many experienced fear and had a desire to help. Georgina Lyman, a junior English major at the time, wrote a letter to her family in Arkansas describing the initial damage.  

At first the destruction didn’t impress me for I was so thankful there had been no great loss of life. But after we had walked around the buildings and fully saw the church. It is too dreadful to describe. I can’t dwell on it. I could not stand it longer when I turned from the Memorial church and looked out through the memorial court… Everything is twisted and wrecked. The top grill from the arch—all, all is destruction. Even if I had the power of the greatest writer on earth, I could not describe it. (Bartholomew 58)  

This letter expresses the initial response of a student and demonstrates how severe the damage from the earthquake was, even though there was no fire. Students were housed in tents for weeks and many students received passes from President Jordan and ventured to San Francisco to help with the relief effort. (Bartholomew 61)...  

Many people do not know of the earthquake damage at Stanford University because the University itself tried to conceal the damage. The damage to Stanford University was extreme, and the University dedicated their May 1906 Alumnus magazine to try and suppress the rumors of damage to maintain its reputation. The University asked its alumni throughout the country to spread the word that Stanford was not devastated and to try to rebuild its reputation. This May Alumnus edition may be one of the reasons why the damage to Stanford University seems hidden in media coverage of the 1906 earthquake, but the destruction of the earthquake was very severe and exemplifies how serious an earthquake, without a fire, can be. (Bartholomew 59)  


PS- If you are interested in the earthquake look into the stories about St. Agnews Insane Asylum.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Summer Changes

I came back to Stanford last weekend to start my summer work and classes, and it's been pretty interesting seeing the changes that the campus is undergoing. The construction in White Plaza is kind of crazy; having nearly the entire area dug under and fenced off makes me appreciate its contribution to campus aesthetics (lol) a LOT more. There are also many more tourists and kids from different campus running around campus, which creates a rather different atmosphere around here versus when it was filled with college-aged kids during the regular academic year. Oh, the CoHo is back, too! So far everything I've had there has been yummy, and though some people say that a new CoHo doesn't necessarily resurrect the spirit of the old one, I think it's admirable that Stanford listened to students' desires to bring it back. I also heard about the HSM 3 filming. Apparently that was going on in the Quad. I didn't get to see it myself, though.

Basically, these are just a bunch of random observations, but my point is on how so many different factors blend together to create a really unique vibe to the campus. It's essentially the same campus now during the summer, but it feels very, very different with everything going on...


Future of residences on campus

A while back President Hennessey spoke in Branner Hall. One of the residents asked him if its true that in the future Branner is going to become graduate residences. I think he responded that Stanford's long term plans in terms of housing are that basically as freshmen we all have the same kind of housing instead of the discrepancies we have now, so Branner wont remain all frosh anymore. Wilbur and Stern will be broken down and along with Crothers will become UG housing. Im not so sure about the rest. But they are planning a lot of changes to deal with the increase in numbers of the freshman class. 
It is weird to think that maybe 10 or 20 years from now, the dorms we live in might not be there at all!


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Stanford in the College World Series

I don't know how many people followed the baseball team through the CWS in Omaha these past few days but we had some pretty exciting games!  The most notable being the ninth inning against Florida State when we scored 11 runs in one inning, tying the CWS record for team runs in an inning. Unfortunately, yesterday we lost our second game to Georgia putting us out of the series.  There was a great comeback at the end but it wasn't enough to put Stanford back in the game.  So, just in case you missed it those are the big highlights!  Here are links for more details about those specific games if you're interested :)  
Oh, and what is this about High School Musical 3 being filmed on campus this summer???


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

1906 Earthquake

In 1906, a destructive earthquake hit the San Francisco area, causing enormous damage to the Stanford campus. I came across this interesting and very thorough site about the quake in relation to campus: http://quake06.stanford.edu/centennial/index.html.

There are a couple of extremely interesting parts of the site. First, the gallery of pictures of buildings shows us that, before the earthquake, a) some buildings we see today were different, b) some buildings were destroyed completely, c) and the layout of campus was not the same as it is now.

Differences: Memorial Church had a huge gothic spire and the front of the Quad had an enormous arch that needs to be seen to be believed. While the arch looks ludicrous to most of us, it had a very intricately carved frieze around the top that depicted the "Progress of Civilization in America." Destroyed: The Old Chem Building survived, but its neighbors the Gymnasium and the Library didn't make it. The architectural style of these buildings was much more classical than the Spanish style that prevails on campus. Layout: All of these buildings surrounded the Oval, indicating that the Oval was more of a campus hub than it is today. Also, original blueprints of the university (on this site as well) show that the original idea included two smaller quads directly adjacent to each side of the main quad.

Secondly, the gallery of pictures of people gives us more information about those involved in the quake. Two people died in the quake: a student in Encina Hall, the male dormitory (now home of the Political Science department) and the fireman, who went to cut power to campus to prevent a fire. Also, we can see all of the people who were involved in making decisions regarding the reconstruction of campus.

Lastly, there is a detailed walking tour that takes you through everything around campus through and after the earthquake. Check it out.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

McGilvray & MemChu

Hey everyone!

I don’t know how familiar you all are with some of the architecture around campus but I found some information on Stanford’s first stone contractor, John Duff McGilvray. McGilvray was born in Scotland in 1847. While my sources provide different information about when he first came to America to learn his trade (looks like it was sometime around 1868-1870), he didn’t start working for the Stanfords until 1898. At Stanford, McGilvray built the original Memorial Church and its post-1906 earthquake reconstructed version, the Outer Quad, the Chemistry Building, and the gymnasium (across Palm Drive from the museum; destroyed in 1906.) But his legacy isn’t invoked only when you’re biking by MemChu: some of his other California projects included one of the early San Francisco opera houses, the current San Francisco City Hall, San Francisco’s Flood Building, and the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange. How cool!



Dreams Die Hard

Hey all!

I've been reading Dreams Die Hard, and highly recommend that you at least read the first few chapters—they deal a ton with the history of Stanford.  Specifically, there's much discussion of Stern hall, which in the early 60's was considered the lamest of alternatives to living in a fraternity.  Allard Lowenstein, who is one of the major characters in the  book, played a big role in trying to change the perception of Stern hall on campus.  It's really interesting stuff.

I did some quick browsing online and found a helpful university-run webpage that gives short descriptions about the role that Stanford's presidents played in the development of the university.  It's pretty interesting stuff: http://stanford.edu/home/stanford/leader.html#Sterling

Hope all is well, and that the beginnings of summer have found you well-rested!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

hopkins marine station

hey all, don't know if you've started reading 1891, but one of the people that starts figuring in the plot around pg 130 is timothy hopkins, the adopted son of a railroad magnate. founder of palo alto and namesake of our marine station in monterey, he's a pretty cool guy!