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Re: Who Is Michael York?

Question: How has geography shaped you?

Michael York:  I was born in England near Oxford and grew up in, mostly in southern England.  So that very much shaped the way I speak and my culture.  And went to school there, went to Oxford University and then you know, in the profession I chose, I very luckily got to work in the States.  I married an American and have lived here since the early '70s.

Question: What inspired you to become an actor?

Michael York:  Well you know, I keep puzzling about this, the actor's role.  As a young person I was enormously impressed reading things that Lawrence Olivier said, that the actor's function in society was as important as a psychiatrist, because he took it back to the old Shakespearian thing of holding the mirror up to nature and allowing people to understand what made people tick and how they related and so on, in a very user-friendly way of the drama, you know.  And then if you want to be really pretentious you take it back to you know, to Ancient Greece, what was happening there.  And this impressed me, also the fact that I found I had a facility for performing and enjoyed it.  And then in particular I was very lucky to live near London, in the suburbs.  And in the late '50s when I was about 16, a remarkable man called Michael Croft started the Youth Theater, which became over time, the National Youth Theater of Great Britain, very well respected and an integral part of English culture.  And there's hardly an actor of note, who hasn’t been through the Youth Theater.  I think of contemporaries Dame Helen Mirren and there's Daniel Craig and Derek Jack-- I mean everyone.  And this was important because at the age of 16 I was performing Shakespeare in Paris.  I was representing my nation, you know.  And so this, it became very heady and as I said, Oxford University was a great unofficial drama school because it was happening on every level from classical you know, culture to experimental theater to also comedy, particularly up in the Edinburgh Festival up on the Fringe.  You know, there was a great tradition of taking you know, a show.  And my contemporaries at Oxford were one half of the Monty Pythons, Michael Palin and Terry Jones.  And so we were doing that kind of comedy stuff.  They had the genius to take this and put it out into the wider world.  And God bless him for it.  So even at university I wasn’t sure that this was you know, what I wanted to do.  But I'd met so many academics who I felt had somehow had this interest in the drama, but had sort of stopped short of plunging into the unknown world of show business and had stayed in the familiar territories of academy and somehow were vicariously fulfilling their interest in the theater through their students.  I didn’t want that.  I thought well, I'll do it.  I don't want to live my life knowing I could have done it and hadn’t dared.  So I became an actor and I thought I'd see what you know, what happened.

York became an actor because he knew he could succeed.

Remote learning vs. online instruction: How COVID-19 woke America up to the difference

Educators and administrators must build new supports for faculty and student success in a world where the classroom might become virtual in the blink of an eye.

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Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • If you or someone you know is attending school remotely, you are more than likely learning through emergency remote instruction, which is not the same as online learning, write Rich DeMillo and Steve Harmon.
  • Education institutions must properly define and understand the difference between a course that is designed from inception to be taught in an online format and a course that has been rapidly converted to be offered to remote students.
  • In a future involving more online instruction than any of us ever imagined, it will be crucial to meticulously design factors like learner navigation, interactive recordings, feedback loops, exams and office hours in order to maximize learning potential within the virtual environment.
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Has science made religion useless?

Placing science and religion at opposite ends of the belief spectrum is to ignore their unique purposes.

Videos
  • Science and religion (fact versus faith) are often seen as two incongruous groups. When you consider the purpose of each and the questions that they seek to answer, the comparison becomes less black and white.
  • This video features religious scholars, a primatologist, a neuroendocrinologist, a comedian, and other brilliant minds considering, among other things, the evolutionary function that religion serves, the power of symbols, and the human need to learn, explore, and know the world around us so that it becomes a less scary place.
  • "I think most people are actually kind of comfortable with the idea that science is a reliable way to learn about nature, but it's not the whole story and there's a place also for religion, for faith, for theology, for philosophy," says Francis Collins, American geneticist and director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). "But that harmony perspective doesn't get as much attention. Nobody is as interested in harmony as they are in conflict."

Signs of Covid-19 may be hidden in speech signals

Studying voice recordings of infected but asymptomatic people reveals potential indicators of Covid-19.

Ezra Acayan/Getty Images
Coronavirus
It's often easy to tell when colleagues are struggling with a cold — they sound sick.
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Octopus-like creatures inhabit Jupiter’s moon, claims space scientist

A leading British space scientist thinks there is life under the ice sheets of Europa.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute
Surprising Science
  • A British scientist named Professor Monica Grady recently came out in support of extraterrestrial life on Europa.
  • Europa, the sixth largest moon in the solar system, may have favorable conditions for life under its miles of ice.
  • The moon is one of Jupiter's 79.
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Supporting climate science increases skepticism of out-groups

A study finds people are more influenced by what the other party says than their own. What gives?

Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new study has found evidence suggesting that conservative climate skepticism is driven by reactions to liberal support for science.
  • This was determined both by comparing polling data to records of cues given by leaders, and through a survey.
  • The findings could lead to new methods of influencing public opinion.
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