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A Bond for the Ages

Everyone who attended UWAA Member Night at “Skyfall” last weekend received a special bonus. We handed out a program featuring an essay that examined how each James Bond actor reflects our times and hopes about the future. The piece was penned by Andrew Tsao, head of the School of Drama’s BA program and host of UWTV’s Backstory: A Filmmakers Vision. Here is Andrew’s essay:

Andrew Tsao

As the Bond franchise continues to update itself, it is worth doing our own bit of detective work as we go along for the ride. What does the latest installment say about our times, and how does the man who plays Bond embody our own hopes and fears about the future?

Connery was a Scottish Bond, lending a roguish edge to the otherwise loyal servant to Her Majesty. To the English, the Scots have always been feared and loathed as barbarians from the north. Having Connery don the Savile Row suits was in itself a bit of social irony.

George Lazenby was Australian. An outlier from the frontiers of England’s cast offs. He was the Bond who lived through the loss of his wife and forever made Bond’s quest for justice personal.

Roger Moore was quintessentially proper, and embodied something shallow and self-absorbed about England, which of course mirrored the England of his Bond’s time (1973-1985) as it went from the anarchic Punk era to the Iron Lady’s cold hand of social Darwinism.

Timothy Dalton brought a brooding darkness to Bond in the late 80’s, perhaps presaging the crisis of purpose the character and England was going through then. Although the Falklands conflict was in 1982, it took the end of the Thatcher era to bring home the permanent decline of Great Britain as a world power.

Pierce Brosnan was Bond from 1995 to 2002. The Blair / Clinton world of micro wars and regional conflict where the enemy and the mission were both confused. He was a bothered Bond, often questioning his superiors and his own motivations.

There were of course other less well-known Bonds, including David Niven and Barry Nelson, on television.

Now we have Daniel Craig. The son of working class parents, he was raised in decidedly un-posh Liverpool. He brings a Stanley Kowalski-like roughness to Bond, yet seems to relish the finer things that are so much a part of Bond’s lifestyle. He is the post 9/11 Bond, and the films he has starred in are defined by an almost celebratory mayhem that continues to surpass itself with each film. Entire city blocks are leveled in chase scenes and massive destruction accompanies the dogged pursuit of villainy. It is as if the cataclysmic destruction we have now experienced in the west due to mass terror attacks has seeped into the Bond films as a kind of pop-catharsis. Craig is not ruffled by the chaos, however. He remains stoic amid the ruins, as if to say: “This is the world we live in. No use fretting about it, let’s just do what we have to do.”

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Astronaut and UW alum Bonnie Dunbar featured in UW 360 video

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While the Museum of Flight didn’t get a space shuttle, it’s still an amazing piece of Northwest culture.

Former astronaut and UW alum Bonnie Dunbar served as president and CEO of the Museum of Flight until April 2010. Visit Seattle’s Museum of Flight and hear from former astronaut and UW alum Bonnie Dunbar as they prepare to house the full-fuselage shuttle trainer from NASA.

UW 360 takes you on a tour of the Museum of Flight in this exciting video. Read more on Dunbar, the 2004 Alumnus of the Year in this 2004 article from Columns magazine.

Also in May’s edition of UW 360:

UW 360, a magazine-style show that takes you inside the University of Washington, airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on UWTV (channel 27 in Seattle). New episodes air the first Wednesday of each month with UW drama alum Samantha Rund as host.

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Budget woes all the talk in UW community right now

Cherry blossoms on the UW campus
The state legislative session is in full swing and there has been lots of coverage recently about the University of Washington’s budget woes.

On April 3, the Seattle Times reported budget cuts have forced UW officials to admit more out-of-state students this year, thus decreasing the number of in-state applicants who were accepted. The story, titled “Straight-A’s may not get you into the UW this year,” has generated an astonishing 700-plus comments on the Times website.

UW gives us what we asked for is today’s headline from columnist Danny Westneat, who argues the budget situation at UW is exactly what the state asked for when it demanded the UW do “more with less.” Westneat says declining state support strong-arms the UW into operating more like a business.

It’s clearly a critical time for all of us who love the UW. More information can be found on the new UW In Your Community map, and alumni can read UW Alumni Association President Colleen Fukui-Sketchley’s letter to members in the March issue of Columns.

Now, the happy return of Dawg Treats:

  • UW Lecturer Ali Tarhouni was named finance minister of the shadow government in Libya. In a March 16 interview with Voice of America, the former Foster School of Business senior lecturer said, “There’s no fear of Gadhafi and his forces. We know he’s gone. … The question is how many innocent lives he’s going to take with him.” Read more about Tarhouni from the Seattle Times.
  • Sadly, a 20-year-old UW sophomore was killed during an avalanche while snowboarding near Stevens Pass. A candlelight vigil was held for Riley McCarthy on the UW campus March 31.
  • Former Husky quarterback Jake Locker impressed NFL scouts at Washington’s Pro Day at Dempsey Indoor.
  • UWTV recently debuted two new shows that feature independent film making and contemporary performances from the UW’s Chamber Dance Company. UWTV also won three prestigious Telly Awards!
  • UW alum Joe Sutter, the famed chief engineer of the original Boeing 747, had his initials carved into the 747-8 that made its maiden flight March 20.

    Read more…

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New – Watch videos on the Columns website

Seattle Camera Club photo by Frank Asakichi Kunishige Betti, ca. 1924. Like Columns magazine? Like UWTV? How about the Seattle Camera Club story that ran in Columns in December and on UW 360 this month?

Then, we hope you’ll love this: Readers can now enjoy our Camera Club story, then watch UW 360′s fantastic episode on the club, all from the Columns website. Click here to watch the video and see the new feature!

This is just another look at how we storytellers are beginning to work together across the UW campus. I’m excited to see how this evolves.

Until then, check out the entire UW 360 February episode :

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UW 360: Law students exonerate innocent people

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This is an amazing story of redemption and hope.

In 1997, University of Washington Professor Jackie McMurtrie started the Innocence Project Northwest at the UW School of Law. Since then, her team of students has helped exonerate 15 wrongfully convicted people. One of them was released on Christmas Eve 2008 and spent the holidays with his family rather than in a jail cell.

UW 360 explores the Innocence Project Northwest in this stirring video. For more on McMurtrie and the Innocence Project, read this Q&A from Columns magazine.

Also in January’s edition of UW 360:

By the way, this is Blog Down to Washington’s 100th post. Thanks for reading!

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UW alum Samantha Rund hosts new UW 360 show

Samantha Rund has always had an active imagination. Growing up in New York City, that’s only natural. But when her family moved to Montana she found herself reading, writing and painting with a creative zest that changed her outlook on the future.

“I started out wanting to be a movie actress, opera singer, lawyer or Supreme Court justice,” says Rund, a 2006 graduate of the UW School of Drama and host of the new UW 360 show. “The first moment I recall being on stage and thinking, ‘This is what I want to do,’ was when I was playing Juliet in high school. Getting to do that was really a fork in the road for me.”

UW 360 debuted on Wednesday, Oct. 6 as part of UWTV’s new fall lineup. A magazine-style TV show that focuses on the wonderful things happening in our community, the first UW 360 show explored the renowned Lamborghini Lab, dental care for young children, neighborhood farmers markets and more.

Rund, who has her Master’s degree from the UW’s prestigious Professional Actor Training Program, says meeting new people and learning new things attracted her to the UW 360 job. When her agent called with the opportunity to audition, she jumped on it.

Read more…

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Media Space debuts on UWTV with Cheezburger Network CEO Ben Huh

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There is a lot happening at UWTV right now. Sept. 29 marked the debut of Media Space, a monthly series bringing the hottest issues of the digital age into focus. The show airs monthly on UWTV (channel 27) and you can watch the entire 30-minute debut above or visit the Media Space site on UWTV.org for more information.

Hosted by Hanson Hosein, an award-winning former TV news journalist and director of the Master of Communication in Digital Media (MCDM), the program’s first guest was Ben Huh, CEO of the Cheezburger Network and the mind behind the hilarious LOL Cats and FAIL Blog. They discussed the physchology behind user-generated content and humor, as well as the social impact of such websites.

Said Huh, “In order for things to go viral you need a surprise and a shock factor. It is very difficult for you to be new, to be fresh and unexpected over and over again. So, instead, what we focus on is quality content on a daily basis. If you come to the site and you enjoy it, you will come back again.”

Upcoming guests on Media Space include Elan Lee of Fourth Wall Studios, Kate James of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and web entrepreneur Monica Harrington.

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Huskies @ BYU pre-game checklist

Washington opens the 2010 football season Saturday at BYU. Kickoff is 4 p.m. on the West Coast. Here is a quick list of things to know heading into the big game:

College Colors Day
Every Friday is “Purple Friday,” part of the UW’s Real Dawgs Wear Purple campaign, but this Friday, Sept. 3 is extra special. It’s College Colors Day and it’s a national event with alumni and fans donning their favorite team’s school colors. For us, that means wearing purple and gold to work, to school, to the grocery store, to everywhere in between. Tell your boss, “I just had to show the Huskies some love!”

Sark on UWTV
Don’t miss Steve Sarkisian’s weekly press conference every Monday on UWTV. Straight from Sark airs live at noon (PST) from the Don James Center at Husky Stadium. Visit UWTV.org and click “Watch the Webcast” in the upper left corner. These press conferences give you great perspective on last week’s game and this week’s opponent. Plus, Sark is the most motivating guy you know!

BYU Buttons Ready
Each week, we’ll unveil a winner of our popular button slogan contest. The BYU slogan is ”COSMO-NOT!” and it’s a reference to the BYU mascot, Cosmo the Cougar. If you’re traveling to Utah for the game on Saturday, you can score a limited edition button at the Husky gathering in Salt Lake City on Friday at Squatter’s Pub Brewery. Click here for info on this special pre-game party.

TV Coverage for the BYU Game
A reminder that Saturday’s game is on CBS College Sports. It is channel 412 on Comcast or 633 in HD. It’s a pay channel so you may have to pony up a few bucks or head to a friend’s house to watch it. The game is also available via satellite on DirecTV channel 613 (Choice Xtra Package) and Dish Network channel 152 (America’s top 200 Package). There does not appear to be any way to watch the game online.

As always, follow Bob Condotta’s Husky Football Blog at The Seattle Times for the latest info on UW.

Photo by Otto Gruele Jr. – Getty Images

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