UMass Lowell Professor John Shirley teaches Harmonica class to LIRA.

Winter 2015 Schedule

The 2015 Winter Intersession, given between semesters, offers to retirees and those semi-retired, a sample of LIRA’s almost year-round program and friendly community. The program is planned and much of it provided by the members themselves. The general public is invited to all Intersession programs. The time for these programs is 10 a.m. to Noon. Programs will meet at University Suites, Room 106A, 327 Aiken Street, Lowell, except for January 14, which will meet at the Campus Recreation Center, 292 Aiken Street, Lowell. You will need your UMass Lowell Photo ID to enter this building.  Parking for both is in the garage directly across the street from the Rec Center or in the Perkins Parking lot. Your ID is needed to enter the garage or lot. Please use your parking hangtags wherever you park.

December 12: Book Discussion - Toby Hodes*

12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Cascade by Maryanne O’Hara - Meet in the Chelmsford, Ma. Library.

January 7: Secret Life of Beryl - Jim Pecora

Pecora’s research into this presentation is extensive and provides an unknown perspective of the connections between the mineral Beryl and important industrial, political, and social aspects of the modern world.  Jim claims that the Beryl is the single most important mineral of the 20th Century and he makes a persuasive argument with many interesting facts & statistics.   Beryl was the sole resource for the important element Beryllium. Beryllium’s influence upon our lives has, for most of us, remained a secret.  This presentation will take you on a fascinating journey into the “Secret Life of BERYL,” and the key role Beryllium played in America’s Technological Innovations. Beryllium is crucial in 90% of the top 20 technological advances of the 20th Century, without which most everything we rely on today from satellites, to cell phones, to hand held computers might not have been made possible.

Coordinator: Bob Hanlon*

January 14: Tough Molls and Gumshoes: Hard-Boiled Detective Fiction Then and Now - Melissa Pennell

Pennell, Ph.D. will look at the origins of hard-boiled detective fiction, some of the classic authors/novels, and then some contemporary examples. There will be time for LIRA members to share some of their favorites.  She will bring in a few PowerPoint slides of magazine and paperback book covers.  They are fun to examine and definitely helped to sell the tradition. This program is at the Campus Rec. Center (address above) and you will need your UMass Lowell Photo ID to enter the building.

Coordinator:  Russ MacLeod*

January 21: Terrorism Then and Now - Neil Shortland

This talk will re-visit the evolution of terrorism since 9/11, identifying the evolution of the nature of terrorism and United States Counter Terrorism. This talk will cover evolution up to and after 9/11, as well as the current (and future) issues surrounding the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Coordinator:  Jackie Carr*

January 21: Book Discussion - Toby Hodes*

12:30 to 2:30 p.m.  A Natural Woman - autobiography of Carol King

January 28: The Hidden Treasures of Korean Art and Modern Korea - Kyung Pak

The Korean Spirit & Culture Promotion Project is a not-for-profit organization that was formed in September, 2005 to promote Korean history and culture to the wider world. The Korean Spirit and Culture Presentation is designed to provide a basic introduction to Korea’s long and rich artistic history, the spirit of its people, and its cultural values. The program will include the viewing of a DVD about Korean history and culture and modern industries.  Following the program, traditional Korean refreshments will be served. Works of art, including paintings, objects, and costumes, will be on display. 

Coordinator:  Sheila Pariseau*

February 4: What you need to know about GMO – Phil Jones from Jones Farm in Chelmsford, Ma.

February 11: The British Army in Boston and the Massachusetts Rebellion - Paul O’Shaughnessy

Many are familiar with the various episodes that ultimately led to the outbreak of war in Massachusetts in 1775 and the vital role of the Militia companies.  The nature of the British Army has remained less clear.  They are alternately described as a terrifying force to be reckoned with or as overly disciplined robots.  We will, through contemporary accounts, illustrations and artifacts, try to demystify and humanize these most important players in the opening phases of the American Revolution.

Coordinator: Dorothy Bromage*

February 18: Heroes Through History - Katharine Covina

“Heroes through History” explores the changing face of heroism through history.  Beginning with ancient Greece and progressing to the present day, the class asks recursive questions relating to the interplay between societies and their heroes.  Such questions include: How do societies define heroism?  How do those definitions change over time?  What are some of the different paradigms for heroes?  What is a hero today?

Coordinator: Russ MacLeod*

February 18: Book Discussion - Toby Hodes*

12:30 to 2:30 p.m.  Lawrence in Arabia, a biography by Scott Anderson

February 25: The World of Mechanical Music - Dorothy Bromage*

Music boxes and player pianos are easily recognized, but there are many more instruments that make music mechanically.  A video, “An Introduction to Mechanical Music,” will demonstrate some of these and show how they work.  Actual instruments will be enjoyed.

Coordinator:  Richard Grove*

*Member of LIRA