A Typical Academy Double Bill – Our First Fall Forum of 2018

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A Typical Academy Double Bill – First we learned from each other and then we socialized.

An overflow audience of new and continuing members crowded into Room 5 for the first Fall Forum of 2018 – the ever-popular Presenting our Presenters. President Sharon Harris welcomed everyone and urged us to be inspired, but not intimidated, by the excellent presentations we were about to experience.  Indeed, all three were outstanding, in very different ways.

Susan Murphy led off with an inspiring talk entitled Not Just Cartoons: Poetry in the New Yorker, which discussed the later poetry of Australian-born TV personality and prolific author, Clive James.  She read aloud two poems, reflecting upon the end of life, that appeared in the New Yorker: “Japanese Maple” from his work Sentenced to Life, published in 2015 after a diagnosis of terminal leukemia,  and then “Season to Season” from Injury Time, written in 2017 when, to everyone’s surprise, he was still alive. Susan pointed out that the structure of this poem paid homage to Chaucer and found a parallel in the seven line stanzas to Shakespeare’s Seven Ages of Man.

David Kister followed with a presentation entitled Old Toronto in Pictures, from the works of F.W.Micklethwaite, 1849-1925, a prolific photographer of Toronto and the Muskoka area. David showed us some fascinating photos, often of fine buildings that were torn down in the name of ‘progress’  and such curiosities as a communal drinking fountain for people, horses and dogs. He pointed out ghostly figures that just happened to pass through the setting of some photos, during the exposure time. Since this was originally an interactive workshop, David kindly supplied his email address dhkister@gmail.com  and offered to send an annotated version of the presentation on request.

Finally, Jeff Biteen gave us an eloquent (but very low-tech, using only blackboard and chalk!) talk about the Father of Modern information Technology, George Boole, the self-taught English genius who won the first gold medal awarded by the Journal of the Cambridge Mathematical Society for proving that the one invariable is the speed of light. He later developed what came to be known as Boolean algebra or Boolean logic and is used in switching systems.  The search engine Google uses Boolean logic.  Jeff vividly demonstrated this theory using the example of a block of Neapolitan ice-cream.

Everyone present was then invited to join the Board in welcoming new members at a reception in the Rotunda. Members feasted on a delicious array of sweet pastries and cold beverages.

Thanks are due to both Talks and Special Events Committees for a most enjoyable afternoon!