Winter 2009: Alumni Ink

Robert J. Davis 90MPH

Robert J. Davis 90MPH

 

Myth Buster

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By Franchesca Winters 10C

If you’ve ever wondered whether dark chocolate really lowers the risk of heart disease, or if sunscreen actually prevents skin cancer, then check out The Healthy Skeptic: Cutting through the Hype about Your Health (University of California Press, 2008). In this engaging guide, Robert J. Davis 90MPH, a health journalist who has spent twenty years reporting for outlets from CNN to the Wall Street Journal, delves into the science behind these ever-popular myths and tells it like it is.

Armed with the evidence he compiled after sifting through hundreds of medical studies and speaking with countless researchers, Davis provides an insightful look into why health myths are allowed to become established beliefs. One reason, the author argues, is that studies promoting certain products are often funded, marketed, and exaggerated by the companies that produce them. Davis also suggests that some scientists, like those who promote the use of sunscreen, fear that admitting a product only partially protects against a disease will discourage people from using it altogether—even though it does offer some health benefits.

Feminist Archeology

In the 1950s, Dame Kathleen Kenyon redefined scholars’ knowledge of the Neolithic period with her excavations at Jericho. A decade later, she discovered the original City of David. In Dame Kathleen Kenyon: Digging Up the Holy Land (Left Coast Press, 2008), Miriam C. Davis 86C chronicles these and the numerous other achievements that have defined Kenyon as the most influential female archeologist of the twentieth century. In addition to examining Kenyon’s career, Davis explores the archeologist’s personal side, delving into the lesser-known corners of her life from childhood to retirement.

Empowering Advice

After working with troubled girls as a public school teacher and mentor, Michelle Easley 95G teamed up with her mother, Deana, to write The Making of GEMMS: A Guide to Mentoring (Positive Push Press, 2008). With advice on issues like self-esteem and healthy dating, parenting tips and interactive activities, the guide provides information and inspiration to those wanting to make a difference in the lives of young GEMMS (gifted, elegant, magnificent, and motivated sisters).

Southern Surrealism

Blue Awesome Easterly dreams of becoming a hero in Blue Awesome Ascending (University of Tennessee Press, 2008), the debut novel by Hubert Whitlow 51C 56G. A thirteen-year-old with funeral-parlor-owning parents, Blue Awesome’s life gets turned upside down when his one-eyed aunt warns that he will be able to see into the past via mysterious flashes of light.

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