Volume 7 Issue 5

The Dutchess Day School held a competitive science fair where elementary and middle school students examined the elements of science. Students in graders 5th to 8th competed a winner was selected at each grade level. Judges included former high school physics and health teacher Mike Hill, Sharpe reservation environmental educator Mary Borelli, science enthusiasts Fred, Trina Whitridge and Cary Institute Scientists Alan Berkowitz and Barbara Han.  

Fifth grader Noor Rahman proved that people learned by seeing connections.  In her demonstration she showed a photograph for five seconds, then showed other pictures in quick succession. People tended to remember better if there was a connection between the first photo and those that followed. Rahman used photos and words to prove that relationships enhanced memory. 

Second place went to Lauren Ben-Ezra’s "Does weight and arm length affect the speed of a throw?" and third place was Zacharias Shapiro, "The ultraviolet spectrum's effect on beeswax," in the fifth grade group.

Did you love the doyennes of Hollywood on their feet for women?  "You don't own me, I' m not just one of your many toys". Lesley Gore wrote the first rock and roll song for women in 1964.  Have you noticed how many special interest groups there are?  Saturn in the philosophical sign of Sagittarius is carrying the banner for the next two years.  We need rules.  The ones today seem to be in place only for ways for some to make money.  The structure of Saturn will keep us on our toes making and breaking the rules.  Let's raise the bar to embrace all the special interest groups.

If you know your rising sign, please read that too.

Please visit my website www.marymichele.org

Aries ruled by Mars 

You have your ruler in your sign all month.  All the energy you have stored up is finding its direction.  Remember chaos loves to wait out in the wings and redirect the wind.   Are you an action movie person?  You are Superman, the Green Hornet and Batman.  Heroes do see the venerable in the vulnerable.

Taurus ruled by Venus

The weekend of February 20-22, 18 Dutchess Day School 7th and 8th graders joined some 600 middle school students at William and Mary College in Williamsburg, VA for a Model United Nations event. The students participated in mock sessions of the General Assembly as well as historical, and crisis sessions. 

Each student was given a country and a position to represent. In some cases students were assigned to represent a particular person. For example, 8th grader Sabrina Goldfischer participated as McGeorge Bundy in the 1961 National Security Council.

812 The Moroccan delegates on the HRC, Emma Williamson and Elizabeth (name withheld)

Each of the 15 members of the council represented the positions of historical figures present in the NSC during the Cuban missile crisis. 

Instead of a research topic, William Leggat opted to serve on the UN Secretary General’s ad hoc committee. They were assigned a scenario from 1918 at the end of WWI. William represented Japan in a discussion about the break-up of the Ottoman Empire.

813 Dominic Pelosi reviews his notes before a vaccination debate in the CDC.

On March 1 Bard College Conservatory stepped off the beaten path to embrace the future, offering two premieres of compositions by students. The program opened with Samuel Barber’s first composition, entitled “First Essay for Orchestra” (1937–1938), which was premiered by Arturo Toscanini. Barber employed the term “essay,” which originally meant “attempt,” as if his short composition was a personal essay in the tradition of Montaigne’s inventive manner of writing. Like Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958) and Aram Khachaturian (1903–1978), Barber had no intention of tossing out the great Romantic tradition; he worked from that tradition, selectively appropriating dissonance and other developments in his aesthetic development.

 A letter from the Village of Millbook circulated to residents in the Millbrook Water District announcing that its water supply has been designated as “Ground Water under the Influence of surface water,” identified by the acronym “GWUDI,” sent alarms though the village population. 

“Not to worry,” said Mayor Hurley. The water is tested, the water is treated, nothing has changed. It’s the same water we have had since the 1930’s when the water plant was first established in Mabbettsville.  

After months of preparation, the Millbrook Drama Club’s much-anticipated performance of “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street” opened on Thursday, February 26, at the Millbrook High School auditorium. The musical continued on Friday night and Sunday afternoon.  

While the script has a dark plot, I felt like I was watching the real story unfold on the stage, it was so lifelike. Mike Laibach was astounding as Sweeney himself, producing amazing vocals through the entire show. Laibach became Sweeney Todd. He played a strong lead with plenty of chemistry on stage with his costars. He was jumping off the stage and then back on to hit a high note with the other leading character, Mrs. Lovett, played by Emily Houston. They both had great stage presence, a quality that infected the entire cast.

Advanced Placement courses have been offered to high school students since the 1950s. The program, created by the College Board, offers college-level courses and examinations to high school students in the United States and Canada. Students who complete AP courses gain college credits.  

Millbrook High School principal Sandra Intrieri gave a presentation on the International Baccalaureate Program, referred to as IB, at the Monday, February 23, board of education meeting. Intrieri said that high schools are moving away from the AP program and starting to adopt the IB program.  

As explained at its website, the International Baccalaureate (IB), founded in 1968, is a non-profit educational foundation offering four programs of international education that “develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills needed to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.” To offer any of the programs, schools must be authorized by the IB organization.

Worldwide, as of mid-December 2014, 3,968 schools had been accredited for IB programs. 

“Rivers on Drugs” was the topic of Dr. Emma Rosi-Marshall’s talk at the Cary Institute Friday. She is an aquatic ecologist who has taken on the formidable task of figuring out the environmental impact of the pharmaceuticals and other household chemicals, such as detergents and sun screen, when they enter the streams and rivers. She told the audience that there are 1,467 pharmaceuticals and an unknown number of personal care products, collectively called PPCPs, potentially entering aquatic ecosystems, and we don’t know what they are doing to our natural environment. She is trying to find out.

The compounds in PPCPs are typically not found in nature. Given the quantities involved and the pervasiveness of these man-made compounds, the questions take on a global dimension.

February 25—After several delays, documents for the final revised application for the Silo Ridge development were submitted to the Town of Amenia on February 17, but the submission was not made public until February 25 at a planning board meeting on that date. Pedro Torres, president of Silo Ridge Ventures, announced that the massive documents are available for viewing at Town Hall, at the Amenia Library and at his office on Route 44.   

The application is also online at siloridgeseqra.com. 

Norm Fontaine, planning board chair, stated:  “Silo has showed us a document which shows which areas have major changes. There should not be any surprises. There have been changes to the golf course, and we worked with Dr. Klemens on buffers and habitats.” Dr. Michael Klemens was present at the meeting.

A documentary film made by the British director Margy Kinmouth captures the monumental Hermitage collection of more than three million treasures in celebration of the two hundred fiftieth anniversary of the museum. The film was shown at the Millerton Moviehouse on Sunday, March 1. Kinmouth is something of a specialist in filming Russian treasures—her last films were on the Nutcracker and the Marinsky Theatre.

The story of the Hermitage reaches deep into Russian history. It was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great. Its main galleries in the famed Winter Palace house one of the largest collections of art in the world. 

The Hermitage has survived near destruction by fire,  revolution, relocation of its collections during the Siege of Leningrad, the sale of many of its best paintings in order to buy tractors under Stalin, years of neglect, and lack of funding, but it is now revived and again a showplace of great art in a royal setting. 

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