DOH! ‘SIMPSONS’ PRODUCER TO SPEAK AT WAKE FOREST
Mike Reiss, producer of “The Simpsons” and co-creator of “The Critic,” will speak at Wake Forest University at 8 p.m. on April 9. Reiss has won three Emmy Awards for his work on “The Simpsons,” which earned Time magazine’s vote as the greatest television show of the 20th century. Reiss has produced 150 episodes and written a dozen scripts during his seven seasons with the show. The event, sponsored by the Wake Forest Student Union, will be held in Benson University Center’s Pugh Auditorium. It is free and open to the public. To arrange an interview with Reiss, contact the News Service.
EXPERT ON MEDIA ETHICS AVAILABLE TO COMMENT ON TELEVISED EXECUTIONS
The May 16 scheduled execution of Timothy McVeigh has again raised questions about the value of televised executions. Should the families of victims in the Oklahoma City bombing be allowed to watch the execution? Wayne King, associate professor of English at Wake Forest and an expert on media ethics, says no. “The good that the televised execution would provide for society is debatable,” he says. “The principle involved is simple revenge. We have to decide if the families deserve such vengeance, and if that vengeance has such a value that it justifies society allowing it.” King teaches “Journalism, Ethics and Law” at Wake Forest. To arrange an interview with King, contact the news Service.
WAKE FOREST PROFESSORS REVEAL THE TRUTH BEHIND LYING
Phillip Batten, an adjunct assistant professor of psychology at Wake Forest, says kids start to lie at age six or seven. “You see kids around that age realizing that they can lie and Mom may not know the difference,” he says. “If they have to do their homework before going outside to play, telling her that it’s finished before it actually is gets their desired outcome quicker.” It isn’t until much later, Batten says, that we learn the long-term outcome of lying is worse than the short-term payoff. Michael Hyde, the Distinguished University Professor of Communication Ethics at Wake Forest, says the motivation may be simpler. “Lying is one way to achieve acknowledgement, and every human needs acknowledgement to survive,” he says. Batten and Hyde are two of five Wake Forest faculty and staff members participating in a lunchtime discussion, “To Tell the Truth: So Why Do We Lie?” in Benson University Center on April 10. Representatives from the religion and philosophy departments and Campus Ministry will add to the discussion. To arrange an interview with Batten or Hyde, contact the News Service.
FRIDAY THE 13TH UNMASKED
If black cats in your path and walking under ladders give you the creeps, next Friday could be a bad day. Why has Friday the 13th become such a superstitious date? Eric Carlson, an associate physics professor at Wake Forest and president of the Triad Area Skeptics Club, says it can be traced to Christianity. “Friday was associated with Frigg, the goddess of fertility, who in Christianity came to be associated with witchcraft,” he says, “So, Friday was Sabbath of witches. The number 13 was the number of people at the last supper, and therefore unlucky. Since Friday and the number 13 were separately believed to be unlucky, the combination was extremely unlucky.” Carlson’s skeptics club often holds events on the date to dispel superstitions. Carlson is available for interviews on Monday, April 9. Contact the News Service to arrange an interview.
PROFESSOR CAN COMMENT ON CHINESE AIR COLLISION
Wei-Chin Lee, professor of political science, is available for interviews about the current controversy over the recent midair collision between a U.S. surveillance plane and a Chinese F-8 interceptor. Lee is an expert on Chinese government and international politics.
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