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Spring 2010

The Summer issue

Some of you will not see the Summer issue of Washington State Magazine. Or so you say. I hope I can change your minds.

I’m referring, of course, to our experimental online-only issue made possible by recent budget cuts. When I first announced a couple of issues ago that we would be dropping, temporarily, one print issue this year, many of you wrote to express not only your disappointment, but your unwillingness to read your magazine online.

I can’t blame you. In fact, you can’t imagine how much I sympathize. Nearing my 60th year, I’ve been reading and producing print magazines for a long time. … » More …

Fall 2006

Blogger's world

Amelia Veneziano, a junior at Washington State University, has a weakness when it comes time to do her homework. When she settles in to her Pullman apartment and turns on her computer, instead of researching a paper or e-mailing a professor, she keys into her personal reflections and posts them on her blog.

Veneziano, “a virgo and a journalism student at wonderful wazzu” according to her internet Web-log page, spends at least five minutes writing about her latest crush, her deeds for the day, the results of the “What are you looking for in a relationship?” quiz she got from a friend, and, of course, … » More …

Spring 2003

One hot link: WSU’s Ownbey Herbarium website

[ Unfortunately, the current WSU Ownbey Herbarium website has depreciated the reference links discussed in this article. You can, however, still access these valuable pages via Internet Archive’s “Wayback Machine” by clicking on the backeted links below. ]


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“From Rainforest to Grassland,” on WSU’s Ownbey Herbarium website, takes you on a virtual tour of Washington plant communities, from Cape Flattery on the northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula to the confluence of the Snake and Grand Ronde Rivers at the southeastern corner of the state. Along the way you … » More …

Fall 2009

Interesting times, Part II

Having not been spared from Washington State University’s recent budget woes, we can think of no other way to absorb our share of the cuts than to drop one issue of the printed Washington State Magazine.

Now, before I go on, let me make a few quick points: 1) Don’t worry, I’m not asking for money; 2) I don’t see us dropping another issue anytime soon; and 3) Even though the budget cuts are permanent, we hope to restore that fourth print issue somehow.

There being no point in whining about the matter, we’re determined to approach that reduction as an opportunity. We will, in … » More …

Fall 2009

Virtually WSU

Swoop around Bryan Hall clock tower like Superman. Examine tiny details of the Sistine Chapel murals. Enter Tut’s tomb. Float in a cell next to the mitochondria. All within 15 minutes.

What sounds like a fever dream becomes a reality within the virtual three-dimensional world Second Life, a world now joined by a replica of part of WSU’s Pullman campus.

WSU joins hundreds of universities and colleges with a presence in Second Life. Many of these institutions have classes, conferences, experiments, art galleries, and innovative 3-D displays. The virtual WSU will host distance degree classes beginning this fall.

Second … » More …

Winter 2008

Meaningful glimpses

Little of what goes on at a university is the stuff of breaking news. The general formula for what gets reported about a university is pretty much the same as for politics and world affairs: money gained and lost, a result here, a conclusion there, a gaffe, a little scandal now and then. But the really interesting stuff, the stuff that matters, seldom gets much attention.

Yet on any given day here on campus, a reknowned herpetologist might, as Ken Kardong did earlier this fall, summarize his life’s work to a good-sized and feisty crowd of faculty and students. He demonstrated how over evolutionary time, … » More …

Spring 2008

FensePost (

When we were growing up, my best friend, Byron, and I would regularly head down to our local record store and browse through the new releases. Typically I’d pick out the ones that had the most interesting covers, and then read about the band. Byron would invariably find his band du jour, and explain why they were so great. Most of the time he was right (although his love of the band Flipper still confuses me). At some point we’d get to discussing what bands we liked and didn’t, and, eventually, why they were inferior to Judas Priest in some way. Point being, music for … » More …

Fall 2002

One hot link: Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections

Archives? Stuffy. Boring. Dusty. Right? Ah, then you haven’t logged on to Washington State University’s Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC) Website. This site packs in a ton of fascination.

For sheer quirkiness and creativity, for example, nothing beats the Frank S. Matsura Image Collection. A Japanese immigrant who lived in Okanogan, Washington, until his death at age 32 in 1913, Matsura broke all the rules of portrait photography in pursuit of his personal vision. In the process, he revealed the souls of his subjects, whose images speak to us after nearly a century with a sometimes unsettling immediacy. I can … » More …