Volume III, Issue 5: February 2011


The dude abides: Bill Tomlinson's favorite flicks

Bill Tomlinson
Bill Tomlinson

Ask Bill Tomlinson to list his all-time favorite movies, and he quickly responds with a dozen films ranging from "Apocalypse Now" to "The Big Lebowski," as well as an accounting of his go-to YouTube videos (including one by his sister). Tomlinson is something of a media jack-of-all-trades, serving as associate professor of informatics at the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences, working as a researcher and animator (his film, "Shaft of Light," screened at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival) and even teaching a class cross-listed in the drama department (interactive media). For a quick pick-me-up, check out his YouTube fave "Big Orange Cat Takes on Kitten." You'll go from zero to LOL in just 10 seconds.

Feature films ("in approximate order from darkest to least dark," Tomlinson notes) and their directors:

  1. "Apocalypse Now," by Francis Ford Coppola
  2. "Blade Runner," by Ridley Scott
  3. "Brazil," by Terry Gilliam
  4. "Armageddon," by Michael Bay
  5. "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, by Peter Jackson
  6. "Microcosmos," by Claude Nuridsany and Marie Perennou
  7. "My Neighbor Totoro," by Hayao Miyazaki
  8. "Groundhog Day," by Harold Ramis
  9. "The Big Lebowski," by Joel and Ethan Coen
  10. "Monty Python & the Holy Grail," by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones
  11. "Spies Like Us," by John Landis
  12. "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure," by Stephen Herek

Favorite YouTube videos (also from darkest to least dark):

  1. "More"
  2. "Balance"
  3. "The Little Girl Giant"
  4. "The Chemical Brothers: The Salmon Dance"
  5. "A Glorious Dawn"
  6. "Daft Hands: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger"
  7. "Big Orange Cat Takes on Kitten"
  8. "Keepon Dancing to Spoon's 'I Turn My Camera On'"
  9. "Ram v. Dog"
  10. "Frog Harmony" (by my sister, Lynn Tomlinson)
  11. "Charles Has a Licking Problem"
  12. "World of Warcraft: Dancing"

Geological society selects Famiglietti as distinguished lecturer

Jay Famiglietti
Jay Famiglietti

Earth system science professor Jay Famiglietti has been named the Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer for 2012 by the Geological Society of America's hydrogeology division. The award is granted annually by a panel of former lecturers. There are no applications; the winner — who gives 40 to 50 talks worldwide — is chosen based on research excellence and ability to communicate. "This award is a great honor and is in recognition of your outstanding research achievements in modeling and remote sensing of the terrestrial and global water cycle," wrote previous winner Susan Hubbard in a letter notifying Famiglietti of his selection.

Famiglietti honored »

Four UCI professors named AAAS fellows

Frank LaFerla
Frank LaFerla

For distinguished contributions to their fields, UCI professors Diane Campbell (ecology & evolutionary biology), Hamid Jafarkhani (electrical engineering & computer science), Frank LaFerla (neurobiology & behavior) and Bert Semler (microbiology & molecular genetics) have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society. They and about 500 other new fellows will each receive an official certificate and a blue-and-gold rosette pin during the AAAS annual meeting Feb. 19 in Washington, D.C.

Elizabeth Cauffman awarded $3.8 million to study juvenile offenders

Elizabeth Cauffman
Elizabeth Cauffman

Elizabeth Cauffman, UCI associate professor of psychology & social behavior and education, has received $3.3 million from the MacArthur Foundation and $500,000 from the federal Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention to evaluate juvenile offense cases and determine which future offenders to channel into the justice system and which to divert from formal processing. The study will follow 1,200 male offenders between 13 and 16 — with varying degrees of justice system involvement — for 36 months post-arrest. The goal is to develop guidelines for juvenile justice professionals that serve the best interests of the community, taxpayers and delinquent youths.

Elizabeth Cauffman video »

Tony Smith earns Bailey Award for LGBT paper

Tony Smith
Tony Smith

Charles Anthony "Tony" Smith, assistant professor of political science, has garnered the 2011 Bailey Award from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Caucus of the American Political Science Association. The award is given each year at the annual APSA conference to the author of the best paper on an LGBT topic presented at the previous year's conference. The winning paper, titled "Gay Rights & Legislative Wrongs: Representation of Gays & Lesbians," was co-authored by Benjamin Bishin, associate professor of political science at UC Riverside. The award will be presented at the association's 2011 annual meeting in Seattle on Sept. 1-4.

Touraj Daryaee wins BRISMES book prize

History professor Touraj Daryaee has won the 2010 British Society for Middle Eastern Studies book prize for Sasanian Persia: The Rise & Fall of an Empire. Established in 1973, the BRISMES prize recognizes the best scholarly work on the Middle East each year. Daryaee's book focuses on the Sasanians, the last of the ancient Persian dynasties and the largest empire to espouse Zoroastrianism before the Islamic conquest of Persia.

Book prize »