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June 2009 Archives

Imagine an epidemic that kills more than 300,000 Americans a year. A disease that affects more than 65 percent of the population, and whose incidence among children has tripled in the last three decades. One in which the health-related complications are greater than those of poverty, smoking, and alcoholism, and indirect costs include everything from rising insurance rates and lost work hours to a bump in airfare prices.

It isn't cancer or HIV; it's obesity. And it's a problem that is so multifaceted, with so many contributing factors, that some people have likened it to the crisis in the Middle East in terms of complexity of causes and possible solutions.

"The issue of obesity in our society is one of tremendous complexity," says Dr. Allen Levine. "There is a network of complicated forces interacting, and it's difficult to say any one of them is the root 'cause.' Biology, psychology, society, the government...they all play a role. It isn't as simple as 'nature or nurture.'"

coming up...July 2009

Each summer, the University's Curiosity Camp program offers daylong getaways designed to engage your mind and refresh your spirit. Check out one of the camps listed below, or visit the Curiosity Camp Web site for a full listing.

Blown, Painted, Slumped, and More: The Living Color of American Art Glass (Monday, July 13: 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)

Wine That's Found Its Time: Minnesota Vineyards (Wednesday, July 29: 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)

Take Me Out to the Ballgame (Tuesday, August 4: 2:30-9:30 p.m.)

David Kessler, the former FDA commissioner known for taking on Big Tobacco, has a new health concern in his sights: obesity. Listen to his 2007 Great Conversations appearance with Allen Levine, and hear about the Oprah episode that got him interested in obesity and his take on the American food industry. (Scroll down to the 2007 series.)

Mettle's tagline says it all: "Tough times don't last. Tough people do." Each year, students in the School of Journalism's Magazine Editing and Production class produce a full-scale magazine. This year's magazine, Mettle, takes an in-depth look at the current recession and its effect on the millennial generation. What's more, the printed magazine is accompanied by a robust Web site that rivals many professional sites. Check it out for a look at what's on the mind of this year's crop of University graduates.

MarkFischer_LL.jpgWhat’s the goal of financial planning? Not necessarily accumulating the most money possible, says financial planner Mark Fischer of Fischer on Finance (pictured at right).

“Figuring out what [people’s] passions are is one of the biggest challenges. It's not just about having more money, it's about having a better life,” Fischer says.

Strictly talking about money Fischer says, “is the wrong emphasis. It should be more on the ‘so what’—what are you going to get from it, what’s the point” of accumulating wealth.

On June 11, Fischer will offer a LearningLife financial planning workshop, Financial Planning for Life.

Unlike many financial planning seminars, Fischer says the workshop focuses on more than just accumulating monetary wealth. Instead, participants engage in a holistic approach to financial planning that begins with participants’ life situation; continues with their goals, life direction, and resources, both human and financial; and comes full circle to a financial plan for the life they want.

coming up... June 2009

Financial Planning for Life Learn a holistic approach to financial planning that incorporates your life situation and goals. (Thursday, June 11, 4:30-8:30 p.m.)

Blueprint for a Successful Retirement (Tuesday, June 9, 4:30-8:30 p.m.)

Your Next Chapter: Exploring Life/Work Options (Saturday, June 13, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.)

Legacies: The Footprints We Leave Behind (Tuesday, June 16, 4:30-8:30 p.m.)

On June 28, the Split Rock Arts Program kicks off its summer season of intensive art-making workshops and retreats. Check out a gallery of work by this season’s visual art and design faculty, or attend one of two readings given by members of Split Rock’s writing faculty at the University of Minnesota Bookstore.

First Lady fashion-watching has become an American pastime of sorts. Watch a video of U of M fashion historian Kathleen Campbell discussing the impact of the First Lady on the world of fashion, and how Michelle Obama is using fashion to communicate to the wider world.