2010-2011 Programs

Our 2011-2012 travelogue programs are scheduled for next season.  If you have not yet joined or renewed your membership, please send your check of $35 made out to “Vassar Brothers Institute” to:

Vassar Brothers Institute
P.O. Box 3342
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

Membership Benefits include:

  • Admission for two to all 10 Travelogues (Only $1.75 per show per person)
  • Free access to Video Library

Single Program Admission (non-member):  $5 per person

For Membership information and questions please call: (845) 462-7308

2010-2011 Programs

Travel & Adventure Programs at
Poughkeepsie High School Auditorium
70 Forbus Street, Poughkeepsie, NY

7:30pm (Doors open at 6:45pm)

November 3, 2010
Marlin Darrah
Cuba: From Havana to Santiago de Cuba

Take a road trip with Marlin across this fascinating island-nation. Take a walking tour of Havana’s historical old city, then on to the cigar tobacco fields of Pinar del Rio, the beautiful beaches of Matanzas, the colorful towns of Cienfuegos, Camaguey and Trinidad, the Bay of Pigs, and finally to the vibrant carnival city of Santiago de Cuba.

November 10, 2010
Mary Lee & Sid Nolan
The Pacific Wine Trail

Traveling the Pacific Wine Trail from Mexico’s Baja California to Canada’s British Columbia is a journey through scenes of historic events and natural grandeur. Enjoy the beautiful mountains, cathedral-like forests and dramatic coastlines, along with charming bed and breakfast inns, and of course delicious regional wines and cuisine.

November 17, 2010
Sandy Mortimer
Discovering the Dutch

Come along with Sandy and learn about the surprisingly diverse country of the Netherlands. Explore the vibrant city of Amsterdam on foot as well as by boat and bicycle. Experience the pastoral beauty and quaint charm of the Dutch countryside. Get to know the open and friendly Dutch people whose ancestors discovered and settled our Hudson River Valley.

December 1, 2010
John Holod
The Great Rocky Mountain Adventure

Travel with John along this “back-bone of North America”, from New Mexico to Montana. Travel on scenic old railroads in New Mexico and Colorado, including the world-famous Durango/Silverton Narrow Guage Railway. See the panoramic beauty of Bandelier National Monument, Rocky Mountain, Grand Teton, and Yellowstone National Parks and so much more!

December 8, 2010
John Wilson
Inside the Tuscan Hills

Witness a place where ancient traditions have never disappeared and get an insider’s look at the rich rural culture of Tuscany. Progressing thru Tuscany geographically, experience the region’s amazing diversity of landscape, arts and food. See how the Tuscans live, including master craftsmen, country cooks, rustic cheese makers while soaking up the singularly beautiful landscape.

Vasssar Brothers Institute Receives grant from Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union to sponsor Science Series

    Vassar Brothers Institute launched it’s 2011 “Science In Your Life” series on January 26th with a respectable attendance despite a major regional snowstorm.  The not-for-profit organization presents this public education forum each year with “The purpose to bring together scientists and the lay public in the exploration of topics of general interest and concern.”
Programs for the 2011 series include “Was Tutankhamen Murdered?” by Dr. Bob Brier,  Long Island University, “Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century” by Carl E Schoonover,  Columbia University, New York, NY, and “How the U.S. Navy’s Indespensable Destroyers Helped Win World War II” by David W. McComb, Destroyer History Foundation, Bolton Landing, NY.   All three programs are held at Our Lady of Lourdes High School Auditorium on Boardman Road in Poughkeepsie.
    2011 Science In Your Life series is made possible by a generous donation by Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union.  Kathryn A. Ferrusi, Senior Community Relations Coordinator, of Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union  presented a check to Vassar Brothers Institute President Maung Htoo at the first Science In Your Life program on January 26th.
    HVFCU is a community chartered credit union offering personal financial services to nearly 200,000 members.  The credit union has more than $2 billion in assets.  HVFCU currently serves its members through 17 branch locations in Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange Counties, four Dutchess County IBM branches, a nationwide network of 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs, Internet banking, online bill payment, and 24-hour account access by telephone.
Kathryn A. Ferrusi of Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union presents Maung S. Htoo, Ph.D., with check to sponsor series
 Science in Your Life – Jan. 26, Feb. 2, 9
7:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.

(Doors open at 7:00 p.m.)
Sponsored by
2011 Science in Your Life Brochure

Programs whose purpose is to bring together scientists and the lay public in the exploration of topics of general interest and concern.
Program Committee
Mary Louise Van Winkle, Chairperson
Maung S. Htoo
Stephen Friedland

Our Lady of Lourdes High School
131 Boardman Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

7:30pm (Doors open at 7pm)

Seating at Science In Your Life series is limited and is available on a first come, first served basis.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Speaker:  Dr. Bob Brier
Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus

The 1922 discovery of the tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamen made “King Tut” an instant celebrity and placed him among the most famous of Egypt’s ancient rulers. Tut died when he was about 18, having ruled for nine years and so is often called the Boy King. Tut’s death has been something of a mystery.  Several years ago Tutankhamen’s mummy was CAT-scanned by the Egyptian team of radiologists and Egyptologists led by Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities. The CAT-scans revealed a broken leg and their conclusion was that Tutankhamen died of a broken leg. More recently a DNA study of Tutankhamen’s mummy showed that he had malaria and this team concluded that he died of malaria. In this talk, Dr. Brier will present his own theory, the other theories, and explain why there are many theories for the Boy King’s death and then suggest which is the most likely.
Dr. Bob Brier is a Senior Research Fellow at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University. He has worked in Egypt for more than 30 years and is one of the world’s foremost authorities on mummies. He is the author of numerous  books  including  “Secret of the Great Pyramid” (2009), “Daily Life of Ancient Egyptians” (2008) and “The Murder of Tutankhamen” (paperback revised edition 2005). He has collaborated on numerous television specials and was the host of the Discovery Channel’s six-part series “The Great Egyptians”, the three-part series “Unwrapped, The Mysterious World of Mummies” and a series about his research called “Mummy Detective”.  He wowed the overflowing “Science in Your Life” audience last year with his talk on “Secret of The Great Pyramid”. He is a very knowledgeable and entertaining speaker.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Speaker:  David W. McComb
Destroyer History Foundation, Bolton Landing, NY

In World War II, the destroyers that formed the U.S. Navy’s front line proved to be among the most battle-tested and successful fighting ships of all time. Manned by a mix of veterans and volunteers, they operated from the tropics to the arctic. Combining technologies that dated from the earliest stages of the industrial revolution with tactics developed through hard experience, they answered every threat—from lethal enemy torpedoes in the Solomon Islands to suicidal kamikaze aircraft off Okinawa. This talk will describe the evolution of the destroyer and the innovations (from advanced steam propulsion to radar) that made it ton-for-ton the hardest hitting surface warship of its day. With photos of the ships themselves plus sites of key actions such as Guadalcanal, New Georgia, Bougainville and Leyte, this will be an evening for the lay public to enjoy.
David W. McComb is a Poughkeepsie native and son of long-time Vassar Brothers Institute trustee Arthur B. McComb. He is president of the consulting firm McComb Inc. and of the Destroyer History Foundation. After receiving his S.B. in Mechanical Engineering from M.I.T., he held multiple management positions before joining Arthur D. Little, Inc. There, with clients ranging from IBM to the Ford Motor Company, he became known as a specialist in business process development. In 2000, after thirty years as internationally-known racing sailor, Mr. McComb turned back to a childhood interest in US Navy destroyers. Beginning in 2005, he lectured on tours to the Pacific for World War II veterans groups. That year, on the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, he also organized an event at Pearl Harbor to thank the 240 destroyermen and family members who attended. Since then, he has continued organizing veterans events and speaking to both reunion groups and active duty commands. In 2010, he authored two books on the U.S. destroyers of World War II. He lives in Bolton Landing, New York.

Travel & Adventure Programs at
Poughkeepsie High School Auditorium
70 Forbus Street, Poughkeepsie, NY

7:30pm (Doors open at 6:45pm)

February 16, 2011
Denis Belliveau and Francis O’Donnell
In the Footsteps of Marco Polo

Join these two great adventurers as they recount their trek along the path Marco Polo took to China…on foot, horseback, camelback, in jeeps, trucks, boats and trains. See how they survived a deadly firefight and befriended a warlord in Afghanistan, crossed the forbidding Taklamakan Desert in a Silk Road camel caravan, and lived among cultures ranging from the expert horsemen of Mongolia to the tattooed tribes of Indonesia.

February 23, 2011
Chuck Liddell
Wings Across the Channel

We all enjoyed Chuck’s presentation on Catalina Island, past and present. Now Chuck is returning to tell us about Catalina Island’s historical relationship with aviation, especially amphibious. This is a tale of an island and a handful of aviation legends that forged a legacy and achieved many firsts in the world of aviation.

March 2, 2011
Tom Sterling
Superior, Land of the Woodland Drummer

Surrounding the great inland sea, called Lake Superior, is some of the most beautiful and exciting wilderness country in North America. Listen to the haunting cry of the loon, enjoy intimate visits with bald eagles, river otters, wolves and bears, and admire the magnificence of the moose of Isle Royale National Park.

March 9, 2011
Clint Denn
Egypt’s Treasures & Cruising the Nile

Visit fascinating sites in Alexandria and Cairo, including Pompey’s pillar, the remains of the Serapeum temple, and the Khan el Khalili Bazaar, then travel on to the pyramids of Giza, the Great Sphinx and the Giza necropolis. Cruise up the Nile and visit the incredible Temple of Luxor, ancient Thebes, the Valley of the Kings and so much more as you head to the Aswan High Dam.

March 16, 2011
Monty Brown
Wales: Land of Song

Think “Wales” and behold images of Celts, choirs, castles, Cardiff, coalmines, coastline and pastoral mountain valleys. Monty takes us on a journey through this small, enchanted country, visiting the town of Welshpool, a sheep and cattle farm at Foel, and viewing the picturesque bays and high, forested cliffs. Monty also explores U.S. – Welsh connections, particularly in Upstate New York.

Our Lady of Lourdes High School
131 Boardman Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

7:30pm (Doors open at 7pm)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Speaker:  Carl E Schoonover
Columbia University, New York, NY

The human brain is the most elusive, mysterious, and   maddeningly complex organ in the body. Prod by prod, glimpse by glimpse, scientists form theories about brain structure and function. Now, for the first time, the elegant methods applied to study the mind are revealed in a visual history of brain research. Carl Schoonover’s new book, Portraits of the Mind: Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century (Abrams), with a foreword by Jonah Lehrer, is a stunning visual history of the brain, from drawings by the earliest scientists to images produced by the advanced techniques used today. These beautiful black-and-white and vibrantly colored images, many resembling abstract art, are employed daily by scientists around the world, but most have never before been seen by the general public. This illustrated presentation will provide a brief account of the history leading up to our present era and focus on the cutting edge technologies deployed today in the service of research, diagnosis and treatment.
Carl Schoonover is a neuroscience Ph.D. candidate and National Science Foundation graduate fellow at Columbia University.  He graduated from Harvard College in 2006 and did research at Harvard University, the National Institutes of Health, University of Paris V, France and Columbia University. He is a member of  the International Society for History of Neuroscience, and co-founded NeuWrite, the Columbia Neuroscience Writing Group. He hosts a show on WKCR 89.9 FM, which focuses on opera, classical music and their relationship to the brain. His new book was published in November, 2010.

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