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T Stanford Daily The
THURSDAY May 24, 2012
An Independent Publication
Volume 241 Issue 67
Turkish President talks leadership, innovation
Gul emphasizes responsibilites and burdens of leadership
By NATASHA WEASER
IAN GARCIA-DOTY/The Stanford Daily
Abdullah Gul, president of Turkey, spoke Wednesday afternoon in Cemex Auditorium on leadership traits and skills. He also addressed the ascendancy of Turkey within the Middle East and identified social media and technology as forces for the 21st century.
“Effective leaders must love to learn, change and expand,” said Abdullah Gul, president of Turkey, to a packed Cemex Auditorium Wednesday afternoon. “If you are not learning, maturing, changing or expanding, then you cannot expect the people to believe in you and follow you.” Gul’s speech — titled “Leading Change by Reform, Commitment and Innovation: Reflections on Leadership by the President of Turkey” — was part of the Graduate School of Business’s (GSB) “View from the Top” lecture series, a student-run program that brings prominent figures to campus to share their in-
sights on effective leadership. Prior to being elected president in 2007, Gul served as Turkey’s foreign minister from 2003 to 2007 and prime minister from 2002 to 2003. He is a member of the Justice and Development Party in Turkey, a center-right party currently holding a strong majority of seats within Turkey’s parliament. “The next decade is likely one where Turkey plays an increasingly important role bridging economic, geopolitical, cultural boundaries,” said GSB Dean Garth Saloner as he introduced Gul. Gul focused his talk on leadership traits and skills, which he applied to examples from his
Please see GUL, page 5
ASSU leaders discuss student influence
By JULIA ENTHOVEN
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
Zimbroff advocates cooperative approach toward University
Recently elected ASSU President Robbie Zimbroff ’12 said that he believes the 2012-2013 ASSU representatives should adopt an approach that is more cooperative and less politicized than that of previous representatives when interacting with University administrators. “Honesty and openness is a good policy,” Zimbroff said. “I don’t think that hiding your cards, or trying to be overly political, is a function of student government.” “I think student government is something different than politics,” Zimbroff added. “You’ve got to understand [that] there are ways to
make solutions mutually beneficial or mutually productive rather than distributive.” This contention was challenged, however, by former ASSU Executive Michael Cruz ’12, who said that while student representatives generally preserve a cooperative relationship with the University, sometimes senators and members of the Graduate Student Council should adopt a more adversarial approach. “It’s actually, in many times, more beneficial to utilize the frame of an adversarial role as opposed to a cooperative one . . . because of the constrained nature of working as a Senator or as a member of the [GSC],” Cruz said. “Most of your change that can be implemented is through the legislature, and legislation, especially when presenting an opinion, is naturally adversarial.” Shahryar Abbasi, external affairs
vice president of the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC), endorsed the adversarial process of debate and said that at Berkeley, partially due to its culture of activism, students have extensive influence on almost every administrative decision. “On no decision do we agree 100 percent,” Abbasi said of the ASUC’s response to University policies. “We critically think through everything, and if there is too much agreement, there is probably something wrong.” ASUC functions as an independent 501(c)(3) corporation, receiving no funding from the University, and lobbies policy makers on both internal and external affairs, according to Abbasi and the ASUC’s current and past advocacy agendas. Moreover, students serve on ad-
Please see ASSU, page 2
SPEAKERS & EVENTS
Ingrassia links cars, US history
Pulitzer Prize-winner sees automobiles as cause, effect of American experience
By AARON SEKHRI
OLLIE KHAKWANI/The Stanford Daily
M.J MA/The Stanford Daily
Stanford team explores hypersonic flight theory
By FELIX BOYEAUX
The possibility of hypersonic flight — offering endless potential in air and space travel but also posing numerous engineering challenges — recently became the domain of Stanford engineers. The Stanford Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program (PSAAP) received a five-year $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to investigate the sub-
ject virtually. The DOE awarded grants to five universities interested in researching and developing solutions to overarching problems as varied as the hypervelocity impact of metallic projectiles and the atmospheric reentry of space capsules. The Stanford team chose to tackle the challenge of hypersonic flight, which could potentially result in speeds of up to 15
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Ingrassia spoke to a packed audience Wednesday evening at the Stanford Automotive Innovation Facility on the subject of his new book, “Engines of Change,” which provides “a cultural history that explores how cars have both propelled and reflected the American experience.” The event was hosted by the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS) and the Revs Program, and featured Ingrassia, deputy editor in chief of Reuters News, in a casual and humorous discussion. R.B. Brenner, a visiting communication lecturer and fellow Pulitzer Prize winner, moderated the event. Throughout the discussion, Ingrassia maintained that particular cars in American history have either defined or have served as apt reflections of the cultural zeitgeist. From the Model-T Ford to today’s Toyota Prius, Ingrassia argued that cars tell us a great deal about ourselves and can even influence the way we live and behave. “Engines of Change” examines 15 quintessentially American vehicles in the context of their time, assessing each on their influence and place in history. Beginning with the Model-T Ford, Ingrassia described how the manufacturing practices established by Henry Ford created the notion of mass manufacturing and essentially “ended the rural peasantry.” He continued to describe how the 1920s’ LaSalle, a General Motors creation, was a harbinger of the “roaring ’20s, a time of increasing wealth when cars meant more than mobility — they meant social mobility.” Ingrassia reviewed both the Cadillac and
Researchers develop bionic eye implant
By ALEXIS GARDUNO
Please see FLIGHT, page 2
Please see INGRASSIA, page 2
Researchers at the School of Medicine have invented a light-powered retinal implant — or bionic eye — that may someday restore sight to those blinded through certain degenerative eye diseases. According to a recent study in the journal Nature Photonics, the treatment, which stimulates visual neurons with high resolution, could restore sight for people suffering from retinal pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration, with only minimal surgery. The implant combines infrared video-projection goggles with a small photovoltaic chip implanted inside the retina to replicate normal eyesight. Images from a miniature camera mounted on the goggles are processed and projected onto the goggles’ screen, before laser pulses of near-infrared light beam the images to the chip’s photoreceptors. Researchers had to overcome the obstacle of determining how to deliver a lot of light without causing pain for the user. “If we used visible light, it
would be painfully bright,” said Daniel Palanker, professor of ophthalmology and the study’s senior author. “Nearinfrared light isn’t visible to the naked eye, though it is visible to the diodes that are implanted as part of this prosthetic system.” The research team initially tested the photodiode arrays on rat retinas in vitro, allowing the team to demonstrate that the photodiodes could convert visual images to electrical signals in a situation similar to that induced by degenerative eye diseases. Those signals would in turn be transmitted to the brain via retinal neurons. “The photoreceptor cells are dead and gone; all that is left are the (light-insensitive) signal processing neurons,” wrote James Loudin Ph.D. ’11 P.D. ’11, the study’s co-first author, in an email to The Daily. “Without something that electrically stimulates them (which is our photodiode array), they will simply not see any light of ANY frequency.” Loudin emphasized the number of technological obstacles to developing the elec-
Please see EYE, page 2
Index Features/3 • Opinions/4 • Sports/6 • Classifieds/7
2 N Thursday, May 24, 2012
The Stanford Daily
Stanford offers green energy certificate
By THE DAILY NEWS STAFF In response to an increasing emphasis on addressing rising global energy consumption, Stanford has started to offer a new professional certificate program in renewable energy. The online program, Energy Innovation and Emerging Technologies, aims to examine emerging renewable energy technologies and their practical application, as well as guiding the development and marketing of new technologies. “Determining which technologies work and can be brought to market mass-scale is an urgent challenge for engineers and businesses,” said Michael McGehee, associate professor of materials science and engineering and the program’s academic director, according to Enhanced Online News. “This is an exciting time to be in the energy field.” Faculty from the schools of en-
gineering and earth sciences will lead course instruction. Participants will attain a professional certificate through the completion of four courses from a portfolio of six or more courses, covering topics such as biofuels and shale gas. The program is offered by the Stanford Center for Professional Development, Stanford’s principal outlet for distance learning.
— Marshall Watkins
Obama makes Bay Area fundraising trip
By THE DAILY NEWS STAFF President Barack Obama arrived in the Bay Area Wednesday for a two-day fundraising trip, during which he will hope to raise at least $3 million in campaign donations for the upcoming presidential election, according to the Wall Street Journal. The president attended a fundraiser Wednesday evening at a private Atherton home. The $35,800-a-plate dinner was attended predominantly by Silicon Valley fins on cars as indicative of the growing influence of marketing and a carefree post-war boom mentality. “The ’70s were not a good decade in America,” Ingrassia said. “We had oil shocks, a humiliating loss in Vietnam, Watergate, stagflation. Enter Honda, who, 30 years to this year, opened its first factory in Ohio, marking a watershed moment in American automotive industry, and brought globalization over here.” Ingrassia subsequently focused on companies’ efforts to tap into different generations of drivers, arguing that certain vehicles arrived at seminal moments that ensured their success and place in automotive industry. “Chrysler, with its minivans, was able to tap into the babyboomers when they had grown up, cleaned up, taken a shower, gotten serious, gotten jobs, gotten married and had children,” Ingrassia claimed. The BMW by contrast defined the notion of luxury for a generation “of yuppies whose whole understanding of luxury had shifted from ornamental and ostentatious to comfort,” a sentiment to which the German manufacturer, according to Ingrassia, obviously appealed. “Personal journeys and auto-
executives, as well as some prominent figures from other industries, such as actor Don Cheadle. The President subsequently attended a larger event Wednesday evening at Redwood City’s Fox Theatre, before continuing his campaign schedule today in San Jose. His trip marks the first time that Obama has visited the Bay Area since September, and may — according to an invitation for yesterday’s event — “be his last visit there this cycle.” Obama’s trip comes amidst concerns that Silicon Valley executives have lost faith in his administration and have instead donated heavily to Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Obama has raised $2.6 million from the technology industry this election cycle, as opposed to $3.5 million at this point in 2008. By contrast, Romney’s experience in venture capital appears to have won over some technology executives, a fundraising inroad he will hope to reinforce with a West Coast fundraising trip scheduled for next week.
— Marshall Watkins
Continued from front page
trical system, including “fabrication processes that had never been tried before, data analysis techniques for hundreds of gigabytes of data, infrared projection systems 1,000 times brighter than had ever been tried.” Retinal implants have been successfully trialed in the U.K., with two men who were completely blind subsequently able to perceive light and some shapes. However, Stanford researchers asserted that compared to other retinal prostheses requiring a battery connected to the implant, the Stanford device’s use of near-infrared light and lack of large power-consuming hardware makes surgically implanting and then maintaining the chip more straightforward. “The surgeon needs only to create a small pocket beneath the retina and then slip the photovoltaic cells inside it,” Palanker
said. Utilizing photovoltaic cells on the retinal implant would also allow the insertion of multiple arrays selectively positioned to create a wider field of vision at a higher resolution than comparable implants, according to researchers. As development continues, however, researchers have begun testing the effect of implants on live rats, analyzing electrical spikes to measure whether light perception has changed. “We recorded the response of their retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) to our stimulation. When successfully stimulated, a RGC will cause an electrical ‘spike.’ The strongest response is thus the one that produces the most spikes,” Loudin wrote. Thus far, researchers have determined that the implant’s visual signals are successfully transmitted to the brain in blind and normal rats alike. However, human trials remain an ultimate, if distant, ambition. Contact Alexis Garduno at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continued from front page
the Corvette and discussed the Volkswagen Beetle at length. “I always find it funny that Hitler’s car became the hippie icon,” he remarked, referring to the Volkswagen’s troubled history. Initially, the Beetle was sold in America simply to bring hard currency to German automakers’ coffers, but “the combination of breakthrough marketing practices and a steady counter-culture [movement] against excess and conspicuous consumption propelled the car in the American market.” Ingrassia went on to claim half in jest that the 1960 Chevy Corvair “changed the outcome of the 2000 presidential election.” Ingrassia argued that Ralph Nader’s excoriating book “Unsafe at Any Speed,” which featured the Corvair heavily, contributed to Nader’s popularity and siphoned off votes from Al Gore in the narrowest of recent U.S. presidential elections. Ingrassia demonstrated links between American history and car design and production, most memorably with a discussion of
motive journeys intertwine,” he said. “Think about it. We went from hippie to yuppie and from Beetle to Beamer. That tells you something about us.” He went on to discuss the influence of the pickup truck as political statement and the Toyota Prius as an environmental one, repeatedly pressing the point that cars are salient representations of culture. Speaking to The Daily after the event, Ingrassia framed the subject as not “a uniquely American story.” “There is something distinct about cars here, the wide open roads . . . but this can be seen all around the world,” he said, recalling observing a similar passion and thrill for cars in India on a recent trip. With regards to the future of cars, Ingrassia said he sees “autonomous cars as disruptive, in the long term.” He retains the belief, however, that “cars can be practical or they can be for the joy of driving them, which means that different functions will change the way we approach future cars.” And what does he drive? “A red BMW,” he said with a smile. Contact Aaron Sekhri at asekhri@ stanford.edu.
Continued from front page
visory committees to every major administrative or policy-making body, and Abbasi said that the University chancellor very rarely disregards the students’ advisory opinions. “The way the culture is [at Berkley] is that you never say no,” he said. “The University will try to take this power-wheedling stance sometimes, and we just don’t accept it. It’s very much a push-back relationship.” “It’s an amazing association, and never before have I seen this much regard for student opinion,” Abbasid added. “The students are so involved in the decision-making. When I’ve spoken to my colleagues at other institutions, I would say it is unparalleled.” The ASSU, with a mission to “advocate[s] on behalf of Stanford students on issues such as cost of living, diversity, student life and student activities space,” garners authority through its constitution, a contractual agreement between the University, the Board of Trustees, and the student body (the Associated Students of Stanford University, of which all students are members). Additionally, it distributes annually between $2 and $3 million of independent funding from its endowment and student fees to student activities, according to Cruz. The ASSU also theoretically has jurisdiction over the Office of Judicial Affairs (OJA), which oversees all judicial procedure on campus. It is ostensibly required that the Undergraduate Senate and the Graduate Student Council (GSC), in addition to the President of the University, approve any amendment made to the Judicial Charter before it can go into effect. However, the ASSU constitution explicitly states that “nothing in this Charter limits or contravenes the authority of the President . . . to promulgate and enforce regulations governing student conduct,” and that, “in extraordinary circumstances,” he or she may alter judicial procedure without input or consent from the Senate or GSC. While Zimbroff expressed confidence that the administration and the student body generally want the same things, Cruz said that student advisors often disagree with University officials, particularly in areas such as investment responsibility, where Trustees oversee the investment and management of endowment securities. Cruz said that he believes that the influence of student voice is vested predominately in the student appointments made by the Nominations Committee to over 40 University committees every for a longer amount of time,” Moin said. “Most tests have failed, and the few who succeeded lasted for only a few seconds.” The problem, Moin said, is that at hypersonic speed air flows into the combustion chamber of a scramjet engine at speeds up to Mach 15. The time in which the combustion has to occur is infinitesimally short, and mastering such a reaction is the main challenge of the project. “The equations are all wellknown, but they are very hard to solve,” Moin said. The team’s extensive collaboration with the Computer Science Department, and the use of some of the world’s fastest supercomputers to model hypersonic flight, is a direct consequence of the equations’ complexity. “We are heading towards exas-
I think student government is something different than politics.
— ROBBIE ZIMBROFF,
year, similar to the structure of student input at Berkeley. Cruz said, however, that because of the Nomination Commission’s gradual loss of prestige and its disconnect from the ASSU representative bodies, the student body’s voice has been weakened. “The role of sitting as a member of the Nominations Commission is not one that is particularly lauded on this campus, and thereby the accessibility metrics between the elected bodies of the association — and thereby the students — and the Nominations Commission tends to be strained,” he explained. “Linking it more directly to students and more directly to elected student representatives greatly improves the ability of students to feel like they’re having a say in the governance of the University.” Cruz said that he feels these problems would have been alleviated by the establishment of the centralized Nominations Commission outlined in a revised constitution proposed at the end of winter quarter by the Governing Documents Commission (GDC), which was chaired by Cruz and ASSU Parliamentarian Alex Kindel ’14 and chartered last year by the 13th Undergraduate Senate. Due to strong opposition from Graduate Student Council members and ASSU alumni, however, the drafted ASSU constitution was not placed on the spring ballot in time for the student body to approve its passage, despite support from most current ASSU representatives. “The University’s relationship with students and student representation would greatly improve,” Cruz said of the aimed consequences of a new constitution. “As it stands . . . each of the Nominations Commissions that I’ve had the privilege to oversee has faced significant hurtles in filling all of the nominated positions . . . There would have been mandated greater oversight over these nominees, thereby ensuring that student input is more directly linked toward what nominees are saying or voting on.” Contact Julia Enthoven at email@example.com. cale computations, with more than one quintillion flops [floating-point operations per second] and one million cores running simultaneously,” Moin said, explaining that the coding and handling of such supercomputers has required extensive Computer Science involvement. The breakthroughs the Stanford PSAAP team has already made and anticipates making in researching hypersonic flight are likely to impact many other fields. “We now know how to simulate very complex flow dynamics,” Moin said. “This very technology can also be applied to automobiles, wind turbines, new energy conversion technologies and in environmental science.” Contact Felix Boyeaux at fboyeaux @stanford.edu.
IAN GARCIA-DOTYThe Stanford Daily
Paul Ingrassia, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and deputy editor in chief of Reuters News, spoke Wednesday on the role of the car in American culture and history. Ingrassia framed the automotive as a reflection of the prevalent zeitgeist of a period and detailed its impact in areas as diverse as politics and sociology.
Continued from front page
times the speed of sound. “We considered many applications for our predictive science program before submitting our final proposal,” said Parviz Moin M.S. ’75 ’78 Ph.D. ’78, professor of mechanical engineering and PSAAP faculty director. “We finally settled with hypersonic flight as we thought it would be a project we would have fun with and enjoy working on, and it was a technological grand challenge.” The project also allows for multidisciplinary cooperation between the Computer Science, Aeronautic and Astronautic Engineering, Mechanical Engineer-
ing and Mathematics departments, as well as Stanford’s Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering. “An overarching problem like this one is the best catalyst to promote interdisciplinary research,” Moin said. “Thanks to the combined work of these departments, we have already pushed and developed new numerical techniques, physical models and computational platforms that are paving the way for predictive science.” Stanford is at the cutting edge of research in the discipline, according to Moin, having even pioneered a new science known as uncertainty quantification. “Uncertainty quantification allows us to assess uncertainties in our numerical solutions,” Moin explained. “We can back
up our predictions with data about the error bounds.This might be the most important topic in the future of computational science.” Moin also highlighted the impact of the DOE grant on the program’s operations. “We have essentially been able to create a new mini national laboratory,” Moin said. “We have a large cadre of postdoctoral fellows and graduate students who interact in a way that has never been seen before. It has been a paradigm shift in the way we do research.” The “large cadre” of faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students is necessary to tackle the challenges of hypersonic flight, according to Moin. “Nobody has been able to sustain hypersonic flight propulsion
The Stanford Daily
Thursday, May 24, 2012 N 3
KICK-STARTING TO SUCCESS W
By AARON SEKHRI
ONLINE PLATFORM FUNDS CREATIVE PROJECTS
hen Thomas Pauly ’12 and Rebecca Hecht ’12 needed funding for their senior project, a theatrical production titled “The Ones Left Behind,” they took an unconventional approach to raising the funds. After receiving a generous but insufficient Angel Grant — a $3,000 grant provided by Undergraduate Advising and Research (UAR) to assist students in producing public creative works — the pair created a project on Kickstarter, a popular “crowd-funding” platform that allows individuals to seek funding for creative projects. Although the company was founded in 2009 by Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler and Charles Adler, the Kickstarter concept had been in Chen’s mind since 2002, when he backed out of hosting a concert at the New Orleans Jazz Fest because of the financial risk. After conversations with the others, a philosophy emerged that the service would target artists and entrepreneurs who do not have traditional access to financing or publicity. Kickstarter representatives, following current company policy, declined to comment for this article. The mechanics of the website are simple, defined by two words: “creative” and “project.” Creativity on Kickstarter is less a descriptor and more a prerequisite. The variety of Kickstarter projects is vast, with endeavors ranging from filmmaking to design to manufacturing. The finite quality of a creative project is crucial to Kickstarter’s standards. “A project is something finite with a clear beginning and end,” reads the Kickstarter website. “Someone can be held accountable to the framework of a project — a project was either completed or it wasn’t — and there are definable expectations that everyone can agree to.” Each project must have a defined fundraising aim, an allotted time span and rewards for users who pledge money to the project. Projects also must not violate Kickstarter guidelines, such as straying from Kickstarter’s defined categories. As of May 2012, over $175 million has been raised on the website. On May 18, a Palo Alto-based project Pebble, which is developing a smartwatch that wirelessly connects to smartphones to alert the wearer of messages and calls, closed a round of fundraising that exceeded $10,000,000 in backing, despite a goal of only $100,000. The platform is designed for specific and finite projects, and diminishes risk for both investors and the producers. Unless the total is reached, no money changes hands. If a fundraising total is raised, the group behind the project does not need to commit any of its own money. This presents an ideal situation for those without traditional access to finance or investment capital — particularly students. Tom Cohlmia M.S. ’13, a student in the
M.J MA/The Stanford Daily
Stanford Design Program, took advantage of Kickstarter for his final assignment as part of a Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school) class, StoryViz. His unique sculpture designs, which make use of etched crystal fragments, are part of a project he has been developing since high school. The designs proved a perfect product to market on the website and Cohlmia reached his total in a matter of days, ultimately raising $15,000 — more than four times his goal. Cohlmia’s project marks an expansion of the types of projects Kickstarter first hosted, projects such as music performances, art pieces and independent films. “I honestly think that Kickstarter is most compelling for things, tangible things,” Cohlmia said. “Kickstarter forces you to prove your ability to do something, and so when you have a video showing what you can do and you’re just asking for money to make more of the thing, it’s much more compelling.” Cohlmia went on to challenge the notion that Kickstarter is a democratized plat-
form, where everybody has an equal shot at fundraising, or that good products will achieve their fundraising totals regardless of their marketing and presentation efforts. “Kickstarter is just a smaller scale of the real world,” Cohlmia said. “Salesmanship, timing, the quality of your video, are all just like if you were selling the product conventionally.” His advice for aspirant “Kickstarters” is to demonstrate “a combination of technical expertise with a compelling story behind the product.” Rahul Bhagat, head of operations at Pebble, also gave his thoughts on how to establish a quality campaign — salient advice coming from the organizers of the most successful Kickstarter project to date. “One of the keys we found was to convey use cases through the video,” Bhagat wrote in an email to The Daily. “Sure, the technology is interesting but most people just want to know how the device or service will fit into their day to day lives.” Interestingly enough, Pebble saw Kickstarter as “a plan B . . . after having had
limited success with the traditional venture capital route.” The fallback route turned out far more successful. “[The platform] gives you knowledge of how many people are interested in your product, feedback from potential consumers and raises capital without giving away equity,” Bhagat said. The first of Pebble’s watches will debut in September. Given the success of funding projects involving the development of hardware — projects different from the more traditional artistic projects that Kickstarter initially intended to support — Kickstarter may prove more useful to parties interested in funding hardware development. “It’s clear that the platform has the potential to support massive hardware and software projects,” Bhagat said. “It is up to the folks at Kickstarter to decide if they want to continue to support these avenues.” Contact Aaron Sekhri at asekhri@stanford. edu.
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4 N Thursday, May 24, 2012
The Stanford Daily
Finding my religion
Established 1892 Board of Directors Margaret Rawson President and Editor in Chief
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HERRY HILL, NJ. Standing next to my dad under the watchful eyes of the sculpted Jesus I remembered well from childhood church services, I resolutely censored a mental curse. I hadn’t attended Catholic Mass regularly in years, and while I was embarrassed by my stumbling responses to some recently reworded portions of the service, I was still absolutely certain of profanity’s sacrilege during this particular Sunday hour. Whenever I’m home for a visit, I’m reminded of religion’s formative importance during a childhood that included attending weekly Mass and religion classes, singing in the children’s choir, and, later, lectoring during services. Although my parents are very spiritual people, both are scientists by training and liberals by nature. Their beliefs often diverged from the Church’s teachings when reason suggested a more logical alternative. Perhaps because my dad is Lutheran, I never believed the Pope was infallible. As a family, we agreed that the Church shouldn’t refuse to distribute condoms that could slow the spread of AIDS in Africa. And my mother always bit back the urge to confront the anti-abortion campaigners that periodically fundraised after Sunday services. For the most part, though, I identified myself as a Catholic. That is, until I became acutely aware of the role of conservative Christianity in politics. Could I, now a young adult, stand with a religion whose conservative social tenets I more often rejected than accepted? Probably not. And after leaving home for college, I found myself drifting farther and farther away from religious practice. If anything, though, my spirituality grew stronger. I worked for a summer in the Pacific Northwest, finding new cathedrals atop glaciers and amid towering Sitka Spruce. I frequented New Jersey’s cedar swamps and winter coastline when I needed a quiet respite to gain perspective. I realized that, whatever I might believe about the existence of God or the rightness of any one religion, the works of evolution would always inspire my sense of awe, leaving me with a sense of being encompassed, absorbed, by something mysterious, something greater than myself. Simultaneously, I learned about the myriad threats human activity poses to the natural world. Some threats, like the production of smog or poisoning of waterways, are obvious, and have been to some extent controlled. Others, though, are longer-term and therefore harder to detect and address. And it’s these problems — like climate change, ocean acidification and nutrient pollution — that will be left in the hands of our generation. Back in the 1960s, a scientist named Lynn White argued that, in part, our penchant for environmental degradation stemmed from a sense of entitlement promoted by the very religions that shaped the Western world — and shaped my own childhood. Christianity and its sister monotheistic religions set humankind apart from the rest of Creation, White wrote, authorizing us to exploit
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After leaving for college,I found myself drifting away from religion.
any and all of the Earth’s resources that could be useful to us. In a way, even traditional descriptions of environmental issues — as negative human impacts on a world that is most “natural” in our absence — promote this dichotomy. And by seeing ourselves as separate from the natural world, we both lose sight of the very natural biological drivers behind our behavior, and distance ourselves from the idea of living “in tune” with nature. Perhaps, though, there may be something to that old Christian separation between man and beast. Biology is full of examples — E. coli on the Petri dish; lemmings on the tundra — in which organisms over-exploit their resources, leading to catastrophic population crashes. Depending on your reading of the data, humanity is on the brink of, or is already, exceeding sustainable consumption rates, though we have yet to hit our catastrophic breaking point. If being human means circumventing that crash by choosing to scale back before we reach the point of no return, then I’m happy to draw the line between humans and “beasts.” So, too, are a growing number of Christian environmentalists. Sometimes led by local leaders like pastors and bishops, sometimes organized into national campaigns like the Evangelical Environmental Network, even members of the otherwise ultraconservative Religious Right are citing biblical passages in which God charges humanity with stewardship over the planet. And the Christian Bible is certainly not the only holy text to carry such a call. As religious groups increasingly partner with environmental activists to call for action on climate change, biodiversity loss and other global issues, I can’t help but fantasize about a day when all 2.2 billion Christians take up their God-given mantle to protect the Earth. Not only could such a global phenomenon transform our hopes and fears about the future, but for me, it could also bring a reunion, on new ground, with a family from which I’ve long been estranged. Send questions, comments and prayers for Holly’s sanity to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Does Thinking Matters matter?
ou’ve probably heard that Introduction to the Humanities is being replaced by a one-quarter requirement called Thinking Matters. In a prior Daily article, IHUM chair Russell Berman was quoted as saying that the new program is intended to help students transition “from high school thinking to college thinking.” Another major goal of the overhaul is to give freshmen more space in their schedules to explore different academic areas, as the requirement will be completed in one quarter rather than the three quarters it takes to finish IHUM. It has also been generally admitted that some students intensely dislike IHUM, and of course everyone hopes that Thinking Matters will be more popular. The phrase “Thinking Matters” could be read as “matters about which to think,” but I assume most people will read “Matters” as a verb. The implicit message to incoming students will be
that this class is designed to teach them that thinking is important. Wait a second — isn’t that a little condescending? Does anyone believe the fact that thinking matters is news to Stanford students? The people who become Stanford undergraduates start out as some of the most academically elite high school students in the world. Every year, the number of applications rises and the admit rate drops a little lower, making it ever harder to impress an admissions committee that is used to seeing perfect grades, near-perfect test scores, and significant Advanced Placement coursework from its applicants. More and more freshmen are coming in having already done college-like research projects, whether by working in biology labs or pouring through historical archives. Isn’t it condescending to introduce these people to college with a course titled “Thinking Matters,” as if they don’t already know that? If Stan-
ford admits know one thing, it’s that thinking has mattered a lot in their lives. There are few groups in the country that are less in need of hearing this message. I really do not mean to attack anyone with this column. I don’t know how Thinking Matters got its name, but I’m sure that no one intended the name to disrespect the abilities and accomplishments of incoming freshmen. It’s not easy to come up with a name to tie together a broad general education requirement that can be fulfilled with a variety of seemingly unrelated courses, and I personally haven’t been able to think of another name. I just hope decisionmakers will think more about the connotations of the current title because I want Thinking Matters to succeed. When a requirement has a patronizing name, it is asking to be disliked, regardless of the value of the course material. In an absolute sense, future freshmen are almost guaranteed to like Thinking Matters more than their predecessors liked IHUM, because they will be taking it for just one quarter instead of three. But will they truly enjoy Thinking Matters? After all, it is possible to be educated without enjoying it. The goal of general education requirements is not to force students to memorize any specific body of knowledge, but rather to encourage critical thought. For students to experience intellectual growth in Thinking Matters, they will have to engage with the material and be inspired by it, which means they will have to like it. If the requirement is instead subject to general derision, then the few who choose to engage in class will likely suffer a “Thinking Matters kid” stigma. In my opinion, students would feel freer to get excited about the material if the course had a more intellectually serious title. For Thinking Matters to matter, it might need a new name. Jeff’s last column is next week! Email your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Thursday, May 24, 2012 N 5
Continued from front page
own life ranging from his childhood in the town of Kayseri to his path to the presidency. Kayseri is “renowned for its entrepreneurs,” according to Gul. However, he recalled that when he was a child, he failed to effectively market and sell his grandfather’s sodas. “If that very failure would not have happened that day, most probably I would not be the president of the Turkish Republic today,” Gul said. “Of course, had I been successful in selling sodas, I would be much richer now — a lot like most of my fellow Kayseri businessmen,” he added in jest. Gul also discussed the eternal question of whether leadership ability is innate or acquired. “Good leaders must, to be sure, also possess God-given traits,” Gul asserted. “However, I believe, in most cases, leadership is a nurtured phenomenon rather than a gift of nature.” Gul emphasized other key leadership qualities in his talk, including the abilities to inspire, take decisive steps, adapt to a rapidly globalizing world and follow through on a clear vision. Gul lauded progress in advancing democracy around the world — citing Egypt’s Tahrir Square protests and the Occupy movement — but criticized an alleged lack of bold decision-making by global leaders, particularly in Europe and the Middle East. “The current situation in Europe is a telling example of how the lack of visionary leadership could adversely affect the lives of millions,” he said. “Another area where we witnessed a tragic failure of leadership is in the Middle East, where leaders have long been out of touch with their people.” Drawing a connection between Stanford’s culture of innovation and ongoing regime change in the Middle East, Gul highlighted the importance of technology and social media in popular movements. “Because of your innovations, no regime today has the luxury to govern its people behind iron curtains,” he said. Gul also highlighted the need to be a risk-taking leader, citing his own visit to Armenia in September 2008 as an example of a time when he took an unconventional approach to the strained relations between Turkey and its neighbor. “Risky as it was, I did the right thing by visiting Yerevan,” Gul
said, denying any regrets about the visit. “If it is necessary, a good leader should also be able to make difficult decisions and painful concessions.” Shifting his focus back to Turkey, Gul emphasized how reforms implemented at the turn of the century have positively benefited Turkey both politically and economically, emphasizing that Turkey remains the second fastest growing economy in the world behind China. However, while Gul argued that, “Turkey today is more pluralistic, inclusive and tolerant than ever before,” he conceded, “we are under no such illusion that our task in improving democracy is over.” In addition to democracy and human rights, Gul emphasized Turkey’s continuing objective of scientific and technological development, noting that Turkey has the fourth largest number of Facebook users globally. “No nation, however self-sufficient or strong it may be, is capable of coping with the complexities of today’s world alone,” Gul said, stressing the need for strong collective, as well as individual, leadership. Additionally, Gul emphasized the need for a leader to simultaneously adhere to his or her principles while embracing reality and opportunities. When presented, however, with conflicting choices, Gul emphasized, “my instinct always goes with the principle, and I will fight for principle to the end.” He ended his speech by imparting leadership advice to assembled students. “All I can leave with you today is the strong but simple advice that you never shy away from taking responsibility and that you lead when you can,” he said. “Graduating from Stanford, you will already be equipped with the necessary tools to succeed as leaders.” Gul’s talk was followed by a question and answer session moderated by former Secretary of State — and current Stanford faculty member — Condoleezza Rice. Questions ranged from the Syrian crisis to Turkey’s rocky relations with Israel following Israel’s 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship in which nine Turks died. “The Turkish people are majority Muslim and are free to practice what they believe,” Gul said in response to a question from Rice on the integration of Islam and democracy.“That’s why Turkey has become a source of inspiration for many countries in the Arab world.” Contact Natasha Weaser at email@example.com.
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Richard C. Ersted/ Stanfordphoto.com
By GEORGE CHEN
Seven NCAA titles. 72 NCAA individual champions. A 243-40 overall regular season record. 31 consecutive Pac-10/Pac12 championships in one of the most competitive and talent-filled conferences in the nation. The list goes on. Most collegiate swim programs have never come close to reaching these recordbreaking heights. These kinds of achievements could take an elite program more than a century to earn. But the Stanford men’s swimming and diving program has amassed these prestigious accomplishments in just the past 33 years. And all of it has come under the helm of head coach Skip Kenney. Last week, Kenney officially announced his retirement after coaching the Cardinal for 33 years. “Thirty-three years, age 70 and an Olympic year. Three pretty good reasons for retiring,” Kenney said. “The last couple years were just a little more difficult, so it
was a good warning sign. Now my goal is to drive Route 66. It’s something that people in my age group either have done or look forward to doing. So that’s my first goal.” Kenney ended his career as a three-time Olympic Coach, six-time NCAA Coach of the Year and 20-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year. The coaching legend was also inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2004 and the American Swim Coaches Hall of Fame shortly the following year. But for Kenney, his prestigious career isn’t mainly about the numbers or the accolades; it’s about the swimmers he’s coached and the relationships that he’s built with them. “It’s been a heck of a run,” Kenney said. “My proudest accomplishment is helping kids build team chemistry and teaching them how to contribute. For a team to be successful it takes a lot of good athletes and a lot of good leadership from those athletes. I think it’s hard for a 20-year-old to be leader on a team because you’re among your peers. It takes someone a lot of confidence to handle that. And Stanford is just
an unbelievable place. The guys here made it easy for me to come to morning practice and to be enthusiastic about it.” The coach’s close relationships with many of his swimmers have gone far beyond the pool and even far beyond Stanford. “I have a real respect for [the swimmers I’ve coached],” Kenney said. “I respect that they’re Stanford grads and successful in the business world. They’ve carried their experiences as athletes into the real world.” Given Kenney’s reputation as one of the greatest swim coaches in the world, his background in the sport is a bit surprising. “I never swam competitively and I don’t know if I could’ve,” Kenney said. “When I first started coaching, I went to more clinics and talks than anyone else. I think a lot of swim coaches don’t hear anything at these things because they’ve already heard all of it. But I was writing down things as fast as I could and I learned a lot from them.” What Kenney lacked in personal swimming experience he made up for with his other unique experiences that not many coaches have. Kenney served in the
Marines and was in combat in Vietnam for over a year, spending four months of his time as a sniper. “Leadership,” Kenney said. “That’s what I learned from my experience [as a Marine]. In combat, you see things that make you realize that the human body is amazing. It can do amazing things if you let it. That’s what I’ve tried to apply to some of the guys at Stanford. You can start out as a walk-on, but end up an Olympian.” Kenney wasn’t exactly handed a powerhouse when he took over in 1979. During his first stint as head coach, Stanford went 3-6 in the regular season and could only muster a sixth-place finish at Pac-10’s. “First year at Pac-10’s, we didn’t win a single event,” Kenney said. “So my goal for the second year was to just win one event at Pac-10’s. And we won exactly one event. So I said, ‘Well, here we go.’” That proved to be the only launching point that the Cardinal needed. In the following season, Kenney led the team to a Pac-10 title along with a third-place finish
Please see KENNEY, page 7
New Luck endowment a good sign
n Tuesday afternoon, the Stanford football program officially jumped the shark. How exactly did the Cardinal leap from the land of the normal to the realm of the ridiculous? Because on Tuesday, an anonymous donor elected to endow the position of offensive coordinator for the Stanford football program and to forever call the job “The Andrew Luck Directorship of Offense.” Although all of Stanford’s 85 football scholarships are endowed (and therefore named after the people who endowed them), and David Shaw is officially titled “The Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football,” I was left scratching my head at the new “Andrew Luck Directorship of Offense.” Frankly, I didn’t know what to think, other than “I guess it’s kind of nice to have something that isn’t named after Arrillaga on this campus.” But I was left with one thought that stood out above all the others: This is the kind of move that only happens at a football-mad program. This stuff only happens at places like SEC schools, where everything is named after somebody. At places that are monuments to college football, absurd tributes become normal. For example, Oklahoma has bronze sculptures of the Sooner players that won the Heisman Trophy. Alabama has its own bronze sculptures of coaches that won national titles with the Crimson Tide. Tim Tebow’s speech to the media (“You will never see a team play harder than we will the rest of the season. God Bless.”) after losing to Ole Miss in 2008 is already immortalized on a plaque next to the entrance to the Florida weight room. But something like this is utterly bizarre for Stanford. Naturally, Luck and company said all the right things about the Directorship, even though the endowment is, at best, peculiar. Really, who on earth would choose to endow the offensive coordinator position — a coach that certainly makes a couple hundred thousand dollars a year — and name it after a player who hasn’t even graduated yet, no matter how good he was?
Klahn keeps rolling
SENIOR WINS IN FIRST ROUND
By MARSHALL WATKINS
IAN GARCIA-DOTY/The Stanford Daily
Junior Mallory Burdette (above) won in dominant fashion in the first round of the NCAA singles tournament on Wednesday. She joins teammate and No. 3 seed Nicole Gibbs in the second round.
Gibbs, Burdette advance
By CHRISSY JONES
Please see BLANCHAT, page 7
The NCAA singles tournament kicked off with singles play yesterday in Athens, Ga., where juniors Mallory Burdette and Stacey Tan and sophomore Nicole Gibbs represented Stanford in the first round. Burdette and Gibbs, both top-five seeds, moved into the second round with easy wins, while the unseeded Tan fell to Rice’s Natalie Beazant. Gibbs, who recently won the Pac-12 individual title, is the tournament’s No. 3 seed, and she continued to display her dominant play of late with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over the No. 22 Emily Fraser of Virginia on Wednesday. This may not be Gibbs’ last meeting with Fraser, though. Both women are participating in the same half NCAA doubles draw as well, which kicks off today. For now, Gibbs will concentrate on her second round singles match against either No. 59 Hanna Mar of Duke or No. 21 Joanna Mather of Florida. Burdette cruised through her match against No. 120 Maria Craciun of South Carolina State, defeating her 6-1, 6-1. “I played a really solid match today,” Burdette said. “I did a great job of making first serves and returns as well as building points.”
Burdette will now play Washington’s Denise Dy in the second round. Dy, seeded No. 22, defeated No. 41 Marianne Jodoin of Fresno State, 6-4, 76 (3) in the first round. Burdette has played Dy before and described her style of play as consistent. “She is a very good defender and she will definitely get a lot of balls back,” Burdette said. Tan wasn’t able to capture a victory, instead stumbling against the unseeded Beazant. Tan, who earned an at-large bid to the tournament and is ranked No. 25 nationally, lost 7-5, 6-2. It is Beazant now who will face No. 4 Robin Anderson of UCLA, who defeated No. 33 seed Courtney Collins of Memphis, 6-3, 6-0, in her first round matchup. Though Tan’s run at the singles title has ended, she will appear tomorrow in the first round of doubles with freshman Ellen Tsay. They will play Kristy Frilling and Shannon Mathews of Notre Dame. Gibbs and Burdette, the No. 2 doubles team and Pac-12 runners-up, will begin their quest for a title as well Thursday against Princeton’s Hilary Bartlett and Lindsay Graff. The action continues with the second round of singles and first round of doubles today at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. Contact Chrissy Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Stanford men’s tennis team enjoyed mixed fortunes on the first day of the season-ending NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships, as senior Bradley Klahn upset No. 4 seed Jarmere Jenkins of Virginia in straight sets, while senior Ryan Thacher fell to Texas Tech’s Gonzalo Escobar. The result leaves Klahn, an atlarge entrant into the tournament, as the Cardinal’s sole representative in the singles tournament. However, Klahn is gaining momentum at just the right time to make a run at the same singles title he claimed in 2010 on the same University of Georgia courts. Klahn’s match against Jenkins was the second time in four days the pair had faced off — when the Cardinal fell to the Cavaliers in the team tournament quarterfinals on Sunday, their match was abandoned with Jenkins up by a set. Klahn again started slowly on Wednesday, conceding a break early on to fall behind in the first set. However, Klahn stepped up his game when it counted, rallying to take the first set 7-5. With the match’s momentum having clearly shifted, the second set offered fewer tests as Klahn clinched a 7-5, 6-3 victory. Although Klahn’s season has been disrupted by injury and shifts in the lineup, his recent singles performances confirmed his history of rising to the occasion in the postseason. Of his last 14 singles matches, Klahn has lost just twice, both times to the two-time defending national champion, USC’s Steve Johnson. Having now knocked out Jenkins, the top seed in his quar-
Please see KLAHN, page 7
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ter of the draw, Klahn will hope to go deep in the tournament once again. For Thacher, meanwhile, the
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result marks a second disappointing year in the singles event, having last year pushed No. 4 seed Blaz Rola of Ohio State to the brink before losing in three sets. This year, Thacher was favored against Escobar but started slowly and never regained momentum en route to a 6-3, 7-6 (5) loss.
Klahn will next face Remi Boutillier of Fresno State in singles today. Klahn and Thacher will also pair up for doubles play today, facing Andre Dome and Matt Fawcett of Cal Poly in the first round. Contact Marshall Watkins at email@example.com.
Wanted: Two Stanford Students to develop business ideas and apps based on existing patent covering a new and efficient method of interconnecting a system of nodes. New topology relevant to social networks, system-on-chip and other complex network problems – software or hardware. See patent #5,734,580. Hourly comp plus bonus for success. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Got a deadline? Write Strong! Marshall Scholar, Phd. Can help with projects great and small. Good humored, patient. Free consult. Contact Elizabeth Chapman: email@example.com, 650-380-2466
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ALISA ROYER/The Stanford Daily
Senior Bradley Klahn (above) upset No. 4 Jarnere Jenkins of Virginia in the opening round of the NCAA Singles Championships in Athens, Ga. Klahn is the only Cardinal player left in the tournament after fellow senior Ryan Thacher fell, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in his first-round match against Gonzalo Escobar of Texas Tech.
Continued from page 6
at NCAA. Under his steady guidance, Stanford would see a national title three-peat twice, from 1984-1987 and 1991-1994. Kenney won his final NCAA title in the 1997-1998 season, making him responsible for seven of Stanford’s eight national titles. Kenney will continue coaching until the 2012 Olympic trials in July, which means that he will still hold his annual summer swim camp for age-group swimmers. Of the 32 swimmers on the Stanford team, 31 will be competing at the Trials, battling for an all-coveted spot on the U.S. Olympic team. Despite announcing his retirement just a couple months before the trials, Kenney notes that his swimmers are still very focused on preparing for the big meet. It might be best to understand Kenney’s extraordinary impact on his swimmers by hearing a swimmer’s perspective. Kenney shared with The Daily an email he received from Adam Messner,
who swam for Stanford from 1997-2001 and captained the team his senior year. Messner finished his impressive collegiate career as a two-time national champion in the 200 butterfly. “Your motivational speech before our 1998 NCAA win is something I will always remember,” wrote Messner. “You spoke about how all the work was done, how we needed to take the fight to Auburn in their backyard. At the meet and many others, I wanted to swim through a brick wall for the team and for you, because you gave me the confidence that it had to be done and more importantly, that I could. “At times, when I made selfish or stupid decisions, you would set me straight on how my decisions might ‘feel good’ at the time, but that the aftermath could affect the team,” Messner continued. “That type of team-first mentality is something that makes even more sense now that I am a Dad and a business owner. It’s still hard to live by, but I can more clearly see that being selfish works for a little while, but you’ll never feel truly fulfilled only pleasing your self. Skip, you
helped build that self-awareness in me at Stanford and this still helping me in my life today.” Maybe this is what makes Kenney a legendary coach, distinguishing him from the many other great coaches across the country. You can count championships. But there is no number that can adequately quantify the special relationships that Kenney has built with his athletes. He has influenced the daily lives of hundreds of swimmers long after they’ve left the pool. Like with Messner, Kenney has taught them life lessons that are still significant decades later. In a few months, there will be a new head coach standing on deck at the Avery Aquatic Center, writing workouts and timing swimmers as they log God-knowshow-many yards at 7 a.m. practices. For the first time in 33 years, that person won’t be Coach Kenney anymore. While his impact on the program and the swimmers he’s coached is here to stay, you might just find Kenney himself enjoying his retirement, cruising down Route 66. Contact George Chen at gchen15@ stanford.edu. games. Thankfully, Stanford is a place with a little less ferocious perspective than the citizens of footballcrazed Alabama. All in all, though, I think that this “Andrew Luck Directorship of Offense” is a sign of good things to come for the Stanford football team and its fans. People are taking Stanford football seriously again (maybe a little too seriously), and the program is reaping some benefits. I know I’ll be pleased if the University maintains its commitment to having a good football team well into the future because it’s made my (rapidly expiring) time here incredibly fun and memorable. So even though Stanford football might be entering a wild new domain of boosters pouring money into the program, I’m not afraid of the consequences. And who knows, maybe someday I’ll have enough money to endow a position in my own name — ”The Jack Blanchat Grand Czar of Defense” does have a nice ring to it. Jack Blanchat memorized every word of that Tebow speech. Send your thoughts to the Arkansas native at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @jmblanchat.
Continued from page 6
And yet, despite the craziness of its all, I think this endowment says promising things about Stanford football, and particularly the fans of Stanford football. At those big football schools, donors line up year after year to contribute in any way possible to the continued success of the program, and it’s encouraging to see fans doing that now. Just a few years ago, it was hard to get people to show up for games against top-15 opponents. Now, they’re packing the stands (more than one sellout a year!) and serving up lavish endowments. It’s exciting that fans are becoming engaged with the program in a way like never before. However, this kind of crazed fanhood isn’t all good. For example, sometimes these big donors/rabid fans will go too far in exercising their authority, like back in 2008 at Auburn University. After the hated Alabama Crimson Tide crushed the Tigers en route to the 2009 Sugar Bowl, boosters called for the firing of head coach
This is the kind of thing that only happens at a football-mad program.
Tommy Tuberville, who had compiled an 85-40 career record with the Tigers and taken Auburn to eight straight bowl games. You read that right — an 85-40 record still wasn’t good enough to stop the boosters from doing their best impersonation of the Queen of Hearts from“Alice in Wonderland.” That said, I don’t ever envision that happening on the Farm — it would truly shock me if Stanford boosters demanded a coach be fired after making eight straight bowl
8 N Thursday, May 24, 2012
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