Seeing Neptune, Faculty Filmmakers

Seeing Neptune

It's been more than 150 years since the planet Neptune was discovered in 1846, but it only recently completed its first full post-discovery orbit around the sun. In celebration, Harper College will host a special "Neptune Night" viewing allowing visitors to view the giant planet - it's four times as larger and 17 times more massive than the planet we call home - through the 14-inch main telescope in the College's Karl G. Henize Observatory. The viewing is scheduled for 8:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, August 20. Neptune, which appears as a small blue disc hovering in the night sky, will be at its closest point to Earth two days later, on August 22. Even then, it will take four hours for the sun's light to be reflected by Neptune - a planet 30 times farther from the sun than Earth is - back to us. "Neptune's discovery ranks among the greatest scientific achievements of the 19th century," Observatory Manager Joe Kabbes says. "It was a validation of the power of science in predicting unseen objects in our universe, and it's thrilling to again use science's powerful tools to view Neptune now, on the 'one year' anniversary of its discovery." Neptune Night is the latest in a series of free public viewings hosted by the College. Attendees can view the heavens through the main Observatory telescope or others outside on the lawn. In addition to Neptune, Saturn, the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy and more should be visible. More viewings will be available this fall.

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.

 

Faculty Filmmakers

Harper College Professor Kurt Hemmer and Media Productions Coordinator Tom Knoff spent a year turning footage from a campus visit by Beat Generation poet Ted Joans into a thoughtful documentary on his life, his work, and its effect on the plethora of artists who knew him. It paid off. The film recently earned the duo an Honorable Mention from the Los Angeles International Underground Film Festival; that honor follows a Platinum Best of Show title from the 2010 Aurora Awards in March and, last fall, the Grand Festival Arts Award from The Berkeley Video  amp; Film Festival. "We're really proud. We spent a long time working on this, and to have it recognized by our peers is just an outstanding feeling," Hemmer says. "This project was mainly intended to provide a more public look at the life of a fascinating person, and I think we accomplished that." Joans, who was born in Cairo, Ill. and died about a year after he visited Harper in 2002, interacted with a long list of respected names from his generation, Hemmer says - from Salvador Dali and Tennessee Williams to Malcolm X - and spent a great deal of time traveling the world. Footage from his Harper visit is at the heart of Hemmer and Knoff's documentary, but the film also incorporates photos, footage from a 1950s reading in New York, and scenes of Harper students performing pieces of his work. Hemmer and Knoff used funds from a Harper multicultural grant - intended to support work that promotes multicultural understanding - to help fund the project. The Joans film is the third that the duo has done together. Their next project, "Keenan," chronicles the legendary photographer Larry Keenan and will be screened at Berkeley in October. The documentaries are used in Harper literature courses.

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.



Wind Symphony Auditions

Auditions for the Harper College Wind Symphony will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, August 25 in the Performing Arts Center on the College's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. Local musicians are welcome to audition; enrollment at Harper is not required. Auditions will require two major scales and the performance of an etude. Music will be provided in advance. Sight reading may also be included as part of the audition. The Harper College Wind Symphony will rehearse from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday evenings during the fall semester. The group performs every semester in the College's Performing Arts Center. For more information, or to schedule an audition, contact Karen Stoessel, Department of Music Administrative Secretary, at 847.925.6568 or kstoesse@harpercollege.edu or Professor Gregory Clemons, Harper College Wind Symphony Conductor, at gclemons@harpercollege.edu.

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.

 

Fire and Magic

A fire-eating, straightjacket-escaping magician will highlight Harper College's annual fall semester Welcome Week with a free public performance at noon on Wednesday, August 24 in the Quad area of the Palatine campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. Brian Brushwood, who last appeared at Harper in 2009, is known for his high-energy, offbeat performances; his "Scam School" internet TV show was named the top podcast of 2008 by iTunes. At Harper, Brushwood will demonstrate his unusual repertoire of antics, including breaking a cinderblock over his head and - with a fire extinguisher at the ready - eating fire. He also promises to have a few new tricks up his sleeve. Welcome Week also will feature a Harper Hawks Pep Rally and ice cream social, at noon on Thursday, August 25 in the campus' Quad area. All events are free and open to the public. For more, call the Student Activities Office at 847.925.6242.

Press Contact: Terry Karow, Marketing and Public Relations Specialist, 847.925.6627, kpohl@harpercollege.edu

 

Photo Opportunities

Event: "Neptune Night" astronomy event and viewing
Date:
8:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, August 20
Location:
Karl G. Henize Observatory and lawn on the main campus
Press Contact
: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu

Event: First day of fall semester
Date:
Monday, August 22
Location:
Campus-wide
Press Contact
: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu

 

Event: Performance by magician and fire-eater Brian Brushwood
Date:
Noon on Wednesday, August 24
Location:
Quad area of campus, between Buildings L and D


Press Contact
: Terry Karow, Marketing and Public Relations Specialist, 847.925.6627, kpohl@harpercollege.edu