Climate change, poetry, “MythBusters” and the joys and sorrows of everyday life will be topics in the 2007-08 University Lecture Series (ULS) at California State University, Fresno.
The popular series will kick off Oct. 2 with broadcast journalist and Fresno State alumna Jan Yanehiro and two co-authors of their “This is Not the Life I Ordered: 50 Ways to Keep Your Head Above Water.”
Other speakers on the ULS calendar are New York Times best-selling author Tim Flannery; “Mythbusters” co-hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman; and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa.
All programs begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Satellite Student Union, 2485 E. San Ramon Ave.
Here are the details:
Oct. 2 – “This is Not the Life I Ordered.” Joining Yanehiro will be Jackie Speier, former assistant pro tem of the California Senate, and entrepreneur Michealene Cristini Risley. They, along with Deborah Collins Stephens, wrote about their life experiences in the book. Meeting monthly for more than a decade, the four women shared their lives and encouraged one another. Their therapeutic kitchen table conversations became a collection of lessons, stories and wisdom they believe can help any woman turn life’s misfortunes into joy-filled opportunity.
Prior to her current jobs of hosting “Everyday Angels” on Comcast Cable TV and as executive producer of Pacific Fusion TV, Yanehiro pioneered the TV-magazine format as co-host of “Evening Magazine.” A 1970 Fresno State graduate, she was named one of the 2001 Outstanding Alumni by the Fresno State Alumni Association.
Oct. 30 – Climate change. Acclaimed scientist, author, conservationist and “Australian of the Year” Tim Flannery is on a mission. He believes that human activity is drastically altering our climate and soon will have a devastating effect on life on this planet. He wants to mobilize the social and political will to address this issue before it’s too late. His book “The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth,” debuted on the New York Times best-seller list. His newest book is “Chasing Kangaroos.”
Feb. 12, 2008 – “Mythbusters.” Hosts of the Discovery Channel’s popular “Mythbusters” show, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman are equally well known for their work in special effects for the entertainment industry. They’ve managed the production of models and special effects for hundreds of commercials and movies, and constructed everything from spaceships to Buddhas.
Savage also teaches advanced model making, most recently in the industrial design department at the San Francisco Academy of Art. His sculptures have been showcased in more than 40 shows. Hyneman created M5 Industries Inc. eight years ago, fabricating unusual or problematic theatrical props, especially those involving animatronics or robotics.
March 13, 2008 – Poetry and prose. Yusef Komunyakaa, is the author 12 books of poetry, among them “Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems,” which won the Pulitzer Prize. His “Thieves of Paradise” and “Talking Dirty to the Gods” were finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Other honors include a Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the William Faulkner Prize from the Université de Rennes, the Hanes Poetry Prize and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.
He is a professor and Distinguished Senior Poet at New York University and served as a chancellor for the Academy of American Poets from 1999 to 2005. His most recent book is “Gilgamesh,” a verse play (concept and dramaturgy by Chad Gracia), published by Wesleyan University Press in November 2006.
The University Lecture Series is a program of the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, with additional support provided by Coke and James Hallowell, the University Student Union, the Associated Students, Piccadilly Inn Hotels and KJWL-FM. Special programs may be planned, supported, or jointly sponsored by University and community organizations.
Advance tickets are available at the University Student Union Information Desk. Tickets are $10 general admission; $6 Fresno State faculty, staff, Alumni Association members and seniors; and $2 Fresno State and University High School students. Prices on the day of the event increase by $2 for general admission, faculty, staff and Alumni Association members.
For more information or tickets, call 559.278.2431 or visit www.csufresno.edu/universitylecture.