2A - Wednesday, November 10, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
2A - Wednesday, November10, 2010 The Michigan Daily - michigandailyconn
In Other Ivory Towers M
According to Linguistics and Near
Eastern Studies Prof.Jeffrey Heath, being.
a linguist can get a bit scary.
Recalling his experiences while
researching in Israel years ago, Heath
explained how he was forced to stay on
his toes during his frequent encounters
with a subject's "nasty" Great Dane.
"You have to be ready for anything," he
While pursuing his Ph.D.at the Univer-
sity of Chicago, Heath moved to Australia
to study aboriginal languages in the field.
Lookingback, he said that while develop-
ing his research skills, he was required to
look beyond what he had studied during
"Ilearned very quickly thatyou havecto
go out there and find out things for your-
self," he said.
Heath's interest in language began
early in life. A memorable trip with his
family to Spain sparked his interest in
studying diverse dialects. Today, Heath
could easily be labeled a researchveteran,
Photos of the Week
with years of projects under his belt and a
passion for discovery.
Heath said he is grateful to have the
opportunity to relocate to the African
nation of Mali starting next semester to
continue one of his research projects on
the Dogon languages.
The project - which Heath calls "excit-
ing" - involves documenting and sharing
the approximately 20 Dogon languages in
an online encyclopedia format.
Heath said he hopes thatan online ency-
clopedia can provide more opportunities
than a print reference book for a variety of
groups - including native speakers, biolo-
gists, and linguists - to interact with the
languages inunique ways.
"We're especially interested in what
people are talking about and how they
phrase things," he explained. "The Inter-
net gives us opportunities to disseminate
information in ways that aren'tpossible in
Documenting the languages takes a
great deal of time, he said, and though
Professor Jeffrey Heath examines scorpion specimens in his office, a hobby of his.
he acknowledged there are few "eureka"
moments in his research, workingtoward
the end resultkeeps him motivated.
"You get something done everyday," he
said with pride. "There are no dead ends."
Looking to the future, Heath said he's
going to stay focused on the challenge of
completing the Dogon languages project.
According to his team's research website,
they hope to have documentation and
analysis of the languages completed by
"(The project) is really quite revolu-
tionary,"he said. "We're slowly beginning
to realize what itspossibilities are."
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Children's center Backpackhat
fence damaged and gloves swiped
WHERE: Townsley Center WHERE: Duderstat Building
for Children WHEN: Monday at 5:15 p.m.
WHEN: Monday at 9 a.m. WHAT: A backpack was stolen
WHAT: An 8-foot-by-6-foot from a male student, Univer-
section of fence was pulled out sity Police reported. He left
of the ground from the south- his backpack unattended for
west corner of the center, Uni- approximately 45 minutes. A
versity Police reported. There textbook and a hat and gloves
are no suspects. were in the backpack. Cur-
rently, there are no suspects.
TP dispenser Vehicles suffer
covered in slurs minor damage
CAMPUS EVENTS & NOTES
'Gabfest' comes LGBT mixer
to Ann Arbor
WHAT: A panel featur-
ing Emily Bazelon, John
Dickerson and David Plotz
of Slate Magazine will
discuss midterm election
results and more asa part
of their "Political Gabfest."
WHO: Slate Magazine
WHEN: Today at 6 p.m.
WHERE: Hutchins Hall,
WHAT: Judge Bruno
Simma of the International
Court of Justice and Law
School Prof. William W.
Cook will talk about cur-
rent issues in international
and comparative law.
WHO: Center for Interna-
tional & Comparative Law
WHEN: Today from 4 p.m.
to 5:15 p.m.
WHERE: Hutchins Hall,
WHAT: A social recep-
tion for LGBT graduate
students, faculty and staff
to meet members of the
Faculty Pride Pages.
WHO: Spectrum Center
WHEN: Tonight at 5 p.m.
WHERE: Rackham Gradu-
ate School Conference Room
WHAT: Cellist Martin
Torch-Ishii will perform
his first dissertation
recital as a free event.
WHO: Martin Torch-Ishii
WHEN: Tonight at 8p.m.
WHERE: The E. Moore
Building, Britton Recital Hall
0 Please report any
error in the Dailyto
A recent study from Case
Western Reserve Univer-
sity School of Medicine has
found a connection between
teenagers who text frequently
and their greater use of drugs
and alcohol, the Associated
School of Art & Design
Prof. Joe Trumpey is
building a house out of
straw bale hay in an effort to
reduce his impact on the envi-
FOR MORESEE THE STATEMENT, INSIDE
A British man and woman
are seeking to be recog-
nized through a civil part-
nership instead of a marriage,
The Associated Press report-
ed. In Britain, only same-sex
couples, not heterosexual cou-
ples, can be legally recognized
WHERE: University Hospital
WHEN: Monday at 3 p.m.
WHAT: According to Uni-
versity Police, a toilet paper
dispenser was defaced. The
dispenser inside the stall was
carved with ethnic slurs,
WHERE: Huron Street
WHEN: Monday at 12 p.m.
WHAT: Two vehicles suffered
minor damage on the roadway,
University Police reported.
One car was rear-ended, Uni-
versity Police report. There
were no injuries reported.
In Indonesia, Obama discusses
U.S. standing with Islamic world
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Friday, November 12
In first visit in 40
Obama returns to
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -
In the Muslim nation that was his
boyhood home, President Barack
Obama acknowledged today that
U.S. relations are still frayed with
the Islamic world despite his best
efforts at repair. He urged all
sides to look beyond "suspicion
and mistrust" to forge common
ground against terrorism.
Forcefully returning to a theme
he sounded last year in visits to
Turkey and Egypt, Obama said: "I
have made it clear thatAmerica is
not and never will be at war with
Islam. ... Those who want to build
must not cede ground to terror-
ists who seek to destroy."
Beaming with pride, Obama
delivered perhaps the most
intensely personal speech of his
presidency, speaking phrases in
Indonesian to a cheering crowd.
of more than 6,000 mostly young
people who claimed him as their
own. It felt oddly like one of the
campaign speeches Obama had
been giving in the U.S., with
music blaring over speakers
inside the auditorium.
For Obama's standing abroad,
the speech was closely watched
and consequential, an update on
America's "new beginning" with
Muslims that he promised last
year in Cairo.
"Let me begin with a simple
statement: Indonesia is part of
me," he said in Indonesian at the
University of Indonesia.
He praised the world's most
populous Muslim nation for
standing its ground against "vio-
lent extremism" and said: "All of
us must defeat al-Qaida and its
affiliates, who have no claim to be
leaders of any religion. ... This is
not a task for America alone."
Seeking to cement relations
with fast-growing Asian trading
partners, Obama also paid tribute
to the economic dynamism of the
region at a time of global financial
"America has a stake in an
Indonesia that is growing, with
prosperity that is broadly shared
among the Indonesian people
- because a rising middle class
here means new markets for our
goods, just as America is a market
for yours," he said.
The speech came ahead of a
meeting of the Group of 20 major
economic powers that begins this
evening in Seoul, South Korea,
expected to be marked by trade
tensions between the U.S. and
major exporting nations such as
China and Germany.
Earlier Wednesday, Obamavis-
ited the Istiqlal Mosque, the larg-
est in Southeast Asia. He noted
that it was under construction
when he lived in Indonesia as a
boy from 1967 to 1971.
"Because Indonesia is made
up of thousands of islands, hun-
dreds of languages, and people
from scores of regions and ethnic
groups, my times here helped me
appreciate the humanity of all
people," Obama said.
The president's brief but nos-
talgic visit lent an unusually
personal tone to the speech, a
portion of which was he devoted
to his childhood here. Obama
reminisced about living ina small
house with a mango tree out front,
and learning to love his adopted
home while flying kites, running
along paddy fields, catching drag-
onflies and buying such delicacies
as satay and bakso from street
vendors. He also spoke of running
in fields with water buffalo and
goats, and of the birth of his sis-
ter, Maya, who is half Indonesian.
Obama, a Christian who was
born in Hawaii, moved to Indone-
sia as a 6-year-old and lived with
his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham,
and Indonesian stepfather, Lolo
Soetoro. He attended public and
Catholic schools while in Indone-
sia and returned to Hawaii when
he was 10 to live with his grand-
parents. Obama said in the speech
that he is a Christian; back home
in the U.S., he is fighting errone-
ous perceptions that he is Mus-
The president's homecoming
had been twice-delayed - first
because of the health care legis-
lative battle and then because of
the BP oil spill. "We had a couple
of false starts," he noted. This trip
was to be cut short, too, so Air
Force One could depart ahead of
a big ash cloud from the erupt-
ing Indonesian volcano Mount
After the speech, Obama shook
hands with some in the audience,
including several former class-
mates seated in the front row.
others screamed as if Obama
were a pop star.
Reaching out to the Islamic
world, Obama said efforts to
build trust and peace are show-
ing promise but are still clearly
"Relations between the United
States and Muslim nations have
been frayed over many years. As
president, I have made it a prior-
ity to begin to repair these rela-
tions," Obama said.
He said both sides have a
choice: either "be defined by our
differences and give in to a future
of suspicion and mistrust" or "do
the hard work of forging common
ground and commit ourselves to
the steady pursuit of progress."
. Obama praised Indonesia for
having "made progress in rooting
out terrorists and combating vio- 4
Noting that the path from colo-
nial rule to democracy had been
a rocky one, Obama said democ-
racy "is messy." And, a week after
seeing his own Democratic Party
suffer bruising midterm elec-
tion defeats in the U.S. Congress,
Obama added: "Not everyone
likes the results of every election.
You go through ups and downs.
But the journey is worthwhile."
On the Middle East, Obama
noted the "false starts and set-
backs" in getting the peace pro-
cess between Israel and the
Palestinians back on course. But
he said the U.S. will "spare no
effort in working for the outcome
that is just and that is in the inter-
est of all the parties involved: two
states, Israel and Palestine, living
side by side in peace and security."
A reminder of that difficult
road awaited Obama when he
landed in Indonesia yesterday.
Israel's decision to build more 4
apartments in east Jerusalem, a
disputed territory claimed by Pal-
estinians, had already earned a
rebuke from American diplomats
before a tired, traveling president
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