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A Sampling of Clips for September 13, 2011

* UCSD faculty and staff may obtain a copy of an article by e-mailing the University Communications Office

Tough Assignment for an Accidental Conductor
The New York Times, Sept. 2 -- Well before “Nine Rivers,” a major work by the Scottish avant-garde composer James Dillon, was given its premiere by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in Glasgow last November it had acquired a singular reputation. Interviewed in The Telegraph, a London newspaper, Mr. Dillon referred to his nine-part cycle as “the most canceled premiere ever.” Five previous attempts to mount it had been called off, casualties of its elaborate technical requirements, daunting difficulty and four-hour duration. The sixth too almost derailed. Just a week before the concert, meant to commemorate Mr. Dillon’s 60th birthday, the conductor withdrew because of illness. Just when it seemed that all hope was lost, an unlikely savior emerged. Steven Schick, a virtuoso percussionist long associated with the New York composers’ collective Bang on a Can and a faculty member at the University of California, San Diego, where he directs the percussion ensemble Red Fish Blue Fish, volunteered to conduct the premiere.

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Voice of San Diego, Sept. 6

Local Scientists Spot ‘Supernova of a Generation’
NBC San Diego, Sept. 13 -- Astronomers at UCSD helped to locate a supernova just as it was exploding using a telescope at the Palomar Observatory. Astronomers from around California shared the groundbreaking data using UC San Diego’s High-Performance Wireless and Research Education Network (HPWREN), which allowed them to digitally send their observations across hundreds of miles. “It shows how effective scientific discovery can be when researchers combine their expertise,” said Hans-Werner Braun, HPWREN’s director in a statement. More

As if Commercials Weren't Bad Enough Already
American Scientist, Sept. 9 -- After a two-year experiment, researchers at the University of California, San Diego, in conjunction with Samsung, have written a concept paper in the journal Angewandte Chemie explaining that they think it's possible to "generate potentially thousands of odors, at will, in a compact device small enough to fit on the back of your TV." More

Entrepreneurs Have No Choice — It’s in the DNA
San Diego Union-Tribune, Sept. 13 -- You all know what DNA is — the genetic code of life, the Watson/Crick double helix that you learned about in high school. If you can’t blame your life on your parents, then for sure, you can blame it on your Deoxyribonucleic acid. Now, an NDA is quite another matter. That stands for nondisclosure agreement, and it is what entrepreneurs often ask you to sign before they will show you their idea for the next big thing. As for teaching entrepreneurship, we try to do just that at the von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement at UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering, and what we say in the first sentence of the first class is that we cannot teach you to be an entrepreneur. What we can do is teach the principles of entrepreneurship. We can help someone to think in an entrepreneurial way. But the thing itself, we do not believe can be taught. More

Give Away the Ending of a Story? Are You crazy?
San Diego Union-Tribune, Sept. 11 -- No way. That can’t be right. Can it? The scientist who discovered that most babies don’t look that much like their mothers and that some people’s initials can shorten their lives has come up with another surprise: Spoilers don’t spoil stories. In a study that has tongues wagging from Bogota to Dublin, University of California, San Diego social psychologist Nicholas Christenfeld says that you don’t ruin a story simply by telling a person how it ends. A spoiler even enriches the reading experience for some. In fact, plotting and suspense could be a bit overrated. More

Guest Essay: Can Scientists Win the War Against Cancer?
San Diego Union-Tribune, Sept. 10 – Dr. Thomas J. Kipps, interim director at the Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego, says there are reasons to believe that, over the long term, scientists will be able to conquer cancer. More

Data Killers Addresses the Solid State Hard Drive End-of-Life Dilemma
San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 08 -- The growing use of solid state hard drives (SSDs) may leave technology professionals in a dilemma over how to best dispose of these high-performance, difficult-to-erase data storage devices. Data Killers, a data destruction specialist with experience in handling classified information, offers guidelines on how to destroy sensitive information on SSDs. In a recent 'white paper' release, Data Killers described the difficulties in erasing and re-programming these drives and reviewed the study performed on these drives at UC San Diego. More

A Winning Strategy to Defeat Prostate Cancer
San Diego Union-Tribune, Sept. 13 – In recent years, after decades of steadily rising, the death rate for prostate cancer has declined among American men. The reasons are not entirely clear, but are likely to be largely based upon earlier detection and improved treatment methods. Still, prostate cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death among males. More than 200,000 men are diagnosed each year; more than 30,000 will die. September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, an opportunity to remind men about the importance of screenings, diet and exercise in preventing and treating prostate cancer. We asked Dr. J. Kellogg Parsons, a urologic oncologist at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, to elaborate. More



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