In the news

Dumbing down

Daphne Ntiri, a literacy expert and professor of interdisciplinary studies in CULMA, comments about a recent study ranking Detroit 69th among 79 cities as a "reader-friendly" city of 200,000 or more citizens. The findings suggest that Detroiters can read, but are hardly making the effort. Ntiri says that an updated report, preferably compiled by local experts, might do a better job of balancing the cultural bent of Miller's piece. "I'm not one to guess whether the findings have changed. Detroit needs to do something to find out where the culture is," Ntiri says. "People might suspect we are dropping behind because of unemployment and family disintegration."

Math is key to jobs

Allen P. Kovacs, adjunct professor of mechanical engineering at Wayne State, says in a letter to the editor that math is the key to jobs. "Math is the language of science, engineering and information technology, and the United States is illiterate. "People, here, are taught to fear math and don't worry if they can't use it." Kovacs adds that "people in China are very good in math and have jobs making high-tech, middle-tech and even low-tech things, while people in the U.S. are learning what unemployment is all about."

Historian, philosopher to share $1 million prize

John W. Kluge, a billionaire philanthropist who immigrated to America from Germany in 1922, will award a $1 million prize at the Library of Congress today to historian Jaroslav Pelikan of Connecticut and philosopher Paul Ricoeur of Paris. The story mentions that Kluge was educated in Detroit Public Schools and attended Wayne State University. The John W. Kluge Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Humanities and Social Sciences recognizes those who excel in those areas. Kluge built his fortune as president of Metromedia.

Risk of Birth Defects Found in 2 Epilepsy Drugs

Dr. Gregory Barkley of Wayne State, chairman of the Epilepsy Foundation\'s Professional Advisory Board, commented on new evidence that two drugs used to control epilepsy, manage bipolar disorder and alleviate migraines, show a five-fold increase in the risk of major birth defects. An estimated 56 million prescriptions for anticonvulsants were filled in the United States in the last year. An estimated 12 to 15 million of them were to women of childbearing age, Barkley said. "The risk extends to a broad proportion of the population,\" he said.

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Research Coordination Center of Neurorecovery Inc., an Alabama Life sciences company, is moving into the TechOne building of Wayne State University's TechTown this month. Neurorecovery is a patient-focused pharmaceutical and medical delivery system company. It hopes to enhance drug delivery to reduce the misery of patients suffering from neurological injuries and diseases. "We are pleased to add Neurorecovery to the TechTown community,'' said Howard Bell, TechTown executive director.

TechTown welcomes new tenant

TechTown, the technology business incubator in the Wayne State University\'s research and technology park, is welcoming the research coordination center of Neurorecovery Inc. TechTown officials say NRI is establishing the research center in Detroit to take advantage of nearby educational and intellectual resources, including Wayne state University\'s medical research center. The new office will be about 1,000 square feet in size and employ eight people, TechTown director Howard Bell said.

Judge D'Army Bailey Speaks At Opening Of 14th Amendment Exhibit

The Chattanooga Regional History Museum is honoring the fight for the 14th Amendment with the new "Marching Toward Justice" exhibit. The exhibit highlights one of its most celebrated champions, Justice Thurgood Marshall, and his work both as a Supreme Court Justice and the chief legal council for the NAACP. This exhibit is courtesy of the Wayne State Law School, General Motors and the Damon J. Keith Law Collection of African-American Legal History and will run through Friday, March 4.