Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Japan America Society Sponsors Sushi Class

"Roll Your Own: Sushi for Beginners" will be offered thrice by the Japan-America Society of Indiana.

The chefs at Ocean World Restaurant will offer the introductory class from 2 to 4 p.m. 11 January, 21 February and, again, 22 March, in the restaurant at 1206 West 86th Street, Indianapolis.

Priority is given to JASI members, but nonmembers are welcomed. Cost for nonmembers is $40, with children under 12 at $20.

There's more information and a registration form here.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"35 Years of Photography"

An exhibition of "35 Years of Photography" by Antonio Turok continues through 9 January in the Galería América of the Institute for Latino Studies in McKenna Hall at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend.

Hours are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. each day, and admission is free. (Pictured is his 1994 photo, "La Hormiga landscape".)

Turok is an internationally known documentary photographer who has worked in Central America, Mexico, and the United States covering the human condition of the people of Mexico.

For more information, contact Tom Davis, 574:631-3326.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Dow Mideast Venture Called Off

The Dow Chemical Company, which owns Indianapolis-based Dow Agrosciences, has announced the cancellation of a joint venture in Kuwait, reports Inside INdiana Business.

The company says it has been informed by the Kuwait Supreme Petroleum Council that the council has reversed its decision to approve K-Dow Petrochemicals. The new company would have been a 50-50 joint venture with Petrochemicals Industries Company.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Learn German in 2009

A good place to learn German before heading off to Europe on your next vacation is the Athenaeum (it wasn't named Das Deutsche Haus back in the 1800s for nothing). Two courses begin next month.

The first session of an eight-week course in "Beginning German Conversation" will be held 26 January from 6 to 7:30 p.m. "Intermediate German Conversation", also eight weeks, begins a few days earlier, on 21 January, also from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Classes are held in the Athenaeum, 401 East Michigan Street, Indianapolis; cost is $90 per person or $160 per couple. For information and registration for either course, contact Claudia Grossman, Claudia Grossman, 317:274-3943.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Three Women "On a Mission"

Jayne During, Donna Thomas and Molly Lawton were profiled in December's issue of Indianapolis Woman by managing editor Rebecca R. Bibbs.

During, a native of Ghana, has created Kuaba Humanitarian Foundation to benefit the people of Zimbabwe. Thomas has helped build churches through Christian Vision Ministries of Carmel in Mexico, China and India, and has visited 75 countries. Lawton works with Carmel-based Mission to Ukraine Crisis Pregnancy Ministry.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

German-American Day Essay Contest Winners

Julie Martin of Oldenburg (Ind.) Academy took home first prize in this year's German-American Day Essay Contest sponsored by the Indiana German Heritage Society. Other winners were Melissa Riggio, Fishers (Ind.) High School, second prize; Kristen Giesting, Amy Malin and Chris Collins, all of Batesville (Ind.) High School, runners up.

This year, Indiana high school students submitted essays researching and discussing the lives of three to five German-Americans. Each submission was to be in PowerPoint format.

Julie's entry profiled John Peter Zenger, Joseph Pulitzer, Lisel Mueller in her discussion of freedom of speech and the press.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Chinese New Year Spectacular in Indianapolis

Inspired by the spirit of an ancient culture, Divine Performing Arts brings to life classical Chinese dance and music in a gloriously colorful and exhilarating show coming to Indianapolis' Murat Theatre next month.

The New York-based company, including dancers, singers and musicians, performs at 2 and 7:30 p.m. 31 January. You can see video highlights of a performance here.

Tickets range in price from $20 to $120. They're available by phone at 317:239-1000 or 317:239-5151, at the Murat Theatre Box Office or any Ticketmaster outlet. The performance is sponsored locally by the Indiana Falun Dafa Association.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hansel and Gretel Never Looked Like This!

"Hansel and Gretel: Never Eat a House" is the theme for an exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, 340 North Senate Avenue, Indianapolis.

In the classic German fairytale from the Brothers Grimm, a hungry Hansel and Gretel are lured to the witch’s house in hopes of a meal.

Until 10 January, iMOCA will feature fresh interpretations of characters from the fairytale from The New Yorker and by contemporary artists including Roz Chast, Ian Falconer, Ana Juan, Ed Koren and William Wegman from a New York show curated by the Gallery Met at the Metropolitan Opera.

The exhibition is part of collaboration with the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library and the Indianapolis Opera. iMOCA’s portion consists of modern takes on the dark tale.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Brazilian-Born Artist Exhibits at Harrison Center

Brazilian-born Emma Overman’s exhibition “Symphonies and Dirges” stages its opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. 2 January in the Harrison Center, 1505 North Delaware Street Indianapolis. (Pictured is her "Chance Encounter".)

She says it's "a collection of works based on life’s highs and lows, from simple pleasures and trivial inconveniences to great successes and hardships", according to

Emma Overman was born in Sete Lagoas, Brazil, in 1975 and raised in Union City, Tenn. She was graduated from Hanover College in 1997 and completed the Post Baccalaureate program at Maryland Institute College of Art a year later. Now living in Indianapolis, Emma divides her time between illustration and mural painting.

Friday, December 19, 2008

New Sister City in the Works for Indy

The Mayor of Indianapolis is hoping a new sister city in China will create more economic opportunities in Indiana, reports Inside INdiana Business.

Greg Ballard announced the agreement with Hangzhou during a recent trade mission to China. He says it is part of an overall economic development strategy to bring jobs to Indianapolis.

Ballard also plans to look at other areas for similar partnerships. That includes the possibility of cities in Brazil because of energy self sufficiency issues and the United Kingdom for a motorsports relationship.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

AP Bureau Chief from Tokyo Heads to IU

Longtime foreign correspondent Joe Coleman (pictured), who is the bureau chief for the Associated Press in Tokyo, will join the faculty of the Indiana University School of Journalism beginning in spring 2009, reports the IU News Bureau.

Coleman, who speaks five languages, has reported from Asia, Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, and most recently has been based in Paris and Tokyo.

Coleman will serve as the Roy W. Howard Professional in Residence, which is named for the longtime leader of Scripps Howard and an ardent believer in the importance of international reporting. (Roy W. Howard grew up in Indianapolis, delivering the Indianapolis Star and Indianapolis News as a boy.)

The School of Journalism has a long-established relationship with the Howard family. It oversees the Roy W. Howard Archives and cosponsors the Roy W. Howard National Collegiate Reporting Competition, which takes top student journalists nationwide to Japan and Korea each year.

Coleman, who has a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University and a bachelor's in English literature from Vassar, began his career by traveling to Bogota, Colombia, in 1989 to cover the drug cartel war against the Colombian government.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Terre Haute 'n' Foreign Trade

Members of the Terre Haute International Airport-Hulman Field Authority Board could decide tonight whether to join the Indianapolis Foreign Trade Zone, reports Inside INdiana Business.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Want to Participate in IU's Latina/o Leadership Conference?

The Indiana Latina/o Leadership Conference committee is inviting Indiana University student organizations and college and high school students across the state to participate in workshops or to submit papers for its 10th annual conference in 2009, reports the IU News Bureau

The committee is seeking proposals for workshops related to the theme, "Sleeping Giant? From Invisible to Invincible." The conference, which will be 28 February in the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Campus Center, is being organized by students at IU Bloomington, IUPUI and Ivy Tech Community College.

Proposals must be postmarked by 24 January. Workshops and presentations must be one hour in length and should be relevant to Latino high school or college students and serve to promote education, leadership, social awareness or culturally relevant information.

Additional information about the requirements for the proposals may be found here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

International Reading Assn. Honors UIndy

The University of Indianapolis’ Elementary Education Program will receive a Certificate of Distinction from the International Reading Association at its conference next May, reports the UIndy news bureau. The certificate honors outstanding preparation of future reading teachers.

In its announcement of the award, the association praised the UIndy program for having “an exemplary commitment to personal and professional support for teacher candidates that continues well after graduation.”

The International Reading Association is a not-for-profit professional organization with 85,000 members and councils and affiliates in more than 100 countries.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire: It's Not What You Think

A gem of a movie is playing in a few Hoosier cities this week. Taking place (mostly) in Mumbai over a period of about 15 years, it recounts the tale of Jamal Malik, an illiterate Muslim "slumdog" who ends up (in 2006) on the Indian version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire".

It's told in an intricate intercutting of present-day and flashback. The director, Danny Boyle, "uses this extraordinary premise to paint a kaleidoscopic portrait of a society built around survival of the fittest, where betrayal is commonplace and greed and corruption lie just around every corner." (TIFF'08)

To quote from a review in the Los Angeles Times, "As Jamal describes the specific incidents that led to his being able to answer each of the quiz show questions, he is simultaneously telling several stories, tales of the link between brothers, the never-ending battle with poverty, the lure and pitfalls of crime and the rapid modernization of India."

If you want a little insight into the horrific incident in Mumbai a couple of weeks ago, not to mention a glimpse of a vibrant city that one of the lead characters calls "the center of the world", see Slumdog Millionaire now; don't wait to rent it when it comes out on DVD! One of the places it's playing this week is Keystone Landmark Theater in Indianapolis.

UPDATE (11 January 2009):
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – "Slumdog Millionaire" lived up to its underdog theme at Sunday's Golden Globes, sweeping all four of its categories, including best drama and director for Danny Boyle....
"Slumdog Millionaire" also won best screenplay and musical score, firming up its prospects for the Academy Awards. The film features a generally unknown cast in the story of an orphan boy in Mumbai who rises from terrible hardship to become a champ on India's version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," all the while trying to reunite with a lost love from his childhood.

See the whole story here.

UPDATE (23 February 2009):
A ‘Slumdog’ Kind of Night at the Oscar Ceremony
The New York Times
Published: February 23, 2009
“Slumdog Millionaire” won eight Academy Awards, including the prizes for best picture and director.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ningbo Staff Visits Purdue

A group of nine professors and administrators from Ningbo University in China are visiting Purdue University through Sunday (14 December) for a training program in university administration, reports the Purdue News Bureau.

Purdue and Ningbo have nurtured a relationship since 2005 through an endowment from Purdue alumna Anna Pao Sohmen, who received her bachelor's degree in liberal arts in 1966.

Sohmen's endowment has enabled 80 students from Purdue's colleges of Liberal Arts and Engineering to visit Ningbo University for study abroad programs since 2005. At the same time, Purdue has had 11 students from Ningbo University for one-semester exchange programs.

Ningbo University, which was established in 1986 by funds donated by shipping magnate Yue-Kong Pao, father of Sohmen, consists of 19 departments and colleges and offers 65 bachelor's programs and 56 master's programs. The university has 23,000 full-time undergraduate students, 700 postgraduates and a teaching and administrative staff of 2,400.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Indiana's Toyotas Headed Overseas

As reported by Inside INdiana Business, Toyota Motor Corporation has announced that it will export the Sequoia SUV made at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Princeton to the Middle East and South America.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Corporate Social Responsibility in the Middle East

Barbara Ibrahim will discuss "Corporate Social Responsibility in the Middle East: Citizen Business Leaders" during a 4 p.m. presentation today (10 December) in the Lilly Auditorium of the University Library at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis.

The event is sponsored by the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy at IUPUI. Ibrahim, Director of the John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement at American University in Cairo, has spent the fall semester with the Center on Philanthropy as a visiting scholar.

An Indiana University alumna and former program officer with the Ford Foundation in Cairo, Ibrahim is an expert on international philanthropy, especially philanthropy in Arab nations, nations with strong Islamic communities, and diaspora philanthropy among Muslims in the United States and elsewhere.

Monday, December 8, 2008

International Science Technology Events

Some of the world's leading experts in scientific computing are in Indianapolis this week for two international e-Science events, reports Inside INdiana Business.

The Microsoft e-Science workshop and the International Conference on e-Science are being held at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

And, Speaking of the French...

Indianapolis-based Liberty Fund publishes Considerations on the Principal Events of the French Revolution by Germaine de Stael this month.

De Stael (1766-1817) was a novelist, critic, political thinker, sociologist of literature and autobiographer. She experienced first-hand much of the French Revolution. Her work is edited by Aurelian Craiutu, associate professor of political science at Indiana University Bloomington, who also provides an introduction.

Liberty Fund is a private educational foundation established in 1960 to encourage study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Indy Events à la Française

Butler University students will sing Christmas carols in French during the annual party sponsored by the Alliance Française d'Indianapolis from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. tomorrow (7 December).

Guests are welcome to join in the fun in the Diversity Center, Atherton Hall, Butler campus in Indianapolis. Cost for non-members is $5. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Eloise Sureau, 317-924-3878.

"A Christmas Tale", one of the standout hits of the Cannes, Toronto and New York Film Festivals,opens 19 December at Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis (it's in French with English subtitles).

"A Christmas Tale" is Arnaud Desplechin's dazzling, big-hearted and brilliantly black comedy. In the role that garnered her the Special Prize at Cannes, Catherine Deneuve is Junon, the family matriarch, who greets the news of her life-threatening illness with calm equanimity.

Desplechin regular Mathieu Amalric gives one of the best performances of the year as the black sheep of the family who returns home after being banished for six years. Crowded under the same roof again, solidarity quickly, and hilariously, devolves into feuding, drunkenness and bed-hopping, as everyone struggles to make sense of the mysteries of family, life and what lies ahead. Desplechin's masterful narrative has the breadth of a sprawling novel and the nimble wordplay of a classic comedy.

Then, in January, the Alliance Française d'Indianapolis stages its annual Galette des Rois Celebration 11 January. It'll be held from 2:30 to 5 p.m. at the International School of Indianapolis. Tickets range in price from $4 to 12, depending on age and whether one is a member of the Alliance Française d'Indianapolis. Children under 10, however, get in free.

The invitation form is here, or send an email for more information.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Valpo President Headed to China

Valparaiso University President Mark Heckler (pictured) will travel to China 6-11 December at the invitation of the Chinese government, according to the Valpo News Bureau.

He will participate in the third annual Confucius Institute Conference, a gathering of hundreds of international delegates and Chinese officials who will examine global education and building relationships with China. Heckler’s travel expenses are being paid for by the Chinese government.

During his time in China, Heckler also will meet with representatives of China Agricultural University, Beijing Jiaotong University and North China University of Technology.

Valparaiso’s Confucius Institute focuses on the development of exchanges between northern Indiana and the province of Zhejiang – which became Indiana's sister province in 1989.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Dow AgroSciences Partners with Swiss Company

Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences has entered into a new research and development agreement with Switzerland's Syngenta, reports Inside INdiana Business.

The companies will work together to evaluate current and future Dow AgroSciences compounds for incorporation into Syngenta's seed treatment portfolio.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ganguly to Observe Elections in Bangladesh

Sumit Ganguly (pictured), director of the India Studies Institute, professor of political science and holder of the Rabindranath Tagore Professorship in Indian Cultures and Civilizations at Indiana University, will be an official observer of parliamentary elections for the People's Republic of Bangladesh on 29 December.

According to the IU News Bureau, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), an organization chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, invited Ganguly to be among 36 election experts, regional specialists and political leaders from Asia, Europe and North America.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wildlife and Oceans Benefit from Chocolate

Indy-based Endangered Species Chocolate, which donates 10% of its net profits to help support species, habitat and humanity, will partner with African Wildlife Foundation and Ocean Conservancy next year.

Monday, December 1, 2008

IU Prof to Study Amazon Deforestation

The effects of Amazon deforestation where agriculture production has been ramped up through increased mechanization will receive further study by an Indiana University anthropology professor thanks to a $2.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, reports the IU News Bureau.

Emilio Moran (pictured), an IU distinguished professor of anthropology and director of the university's Anthropological Center for Training and Research on Global Environmental Change, said the funding will allow researchers to hopefully answer the controversial question over what are the best types of economic development in certain environmental settings.

The five-year study will follow small scale farm owners and focus on how they are impacted when externally-capitalized, large scale farm owners bring highly-mechanized processes to the region.