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  Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2999

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Forum is the Sunday Service weekly lecture/discussion forum in the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh in Shadyside.

Forum considers the broad weft and warp of topics that engage our heads and our hearts. Our speakers are often from local universities, organizations, church members, or government institutions. The format is a short presentation (20 to 40 minutes) followed by a vigorous discussion for another half hour. We usually have an audience of about 20 to 40 people. There is a digital projector and screen for PowerPoint and video presentations.

ForumForum is open to all and is coordinated by Michael Lotze [lotzemt@upmc.edu] and a committee of interested individuals including Ernesto Aravena, Barry Farkas, Roy Frye, Joan Harvey, Ali Masalehdan, Audrey Geer Masalehdan, Kathleen Parker, Suzanne Powell, Jane Steranko and Vikram Iyengar. Ralph Gurley serves as our Treasurer and Cinematographer.

Past Forums are available on loan in the 1st Church Library for viewing at other times. We have instituted a Program to allow our speakers to present their material uninterrupted except for clarification until the question and answer period.


March 23. Grown Ups: When Adult Adoptees Look Back. Marianne Novy. Hosted by George Merrick.

 novy2Precis: Apart from short-term publicity about  reunions, most discussions of adoption focus on adopted children and their parents.

Abstract: But how about adopted adults? What sort of things do they say about their experiences of adoption, the nature vs. nurture controversy, having two families, etc.? Marianne will draw on her reading of memoirs and other research as well as her own life. The occasion will be particularly topical because the Pennsylvania Senate Youth and Aging will have just held a hearing, on March 18,  on a bill to restore the equal rights of Pennsylvania-born adult adoptees to access their original birth certificate.

Bio: Marianne Novy was adopted domestically when she was a month old, met her birth family while in her 30s, and maintains a relationship with them (as well as with her adoptive family). She is a professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh and has taught courses on adoption in literature as well as on Shakespeare, women novelists, and many other topics. Her most recent three books are Imagining Adoption: Essays on Literature and Culture (2001); Reading Adoption: Family and Difference in Fiction and Drama (2007); and Shakespeare and Outsiders (2013). She has organized or helped to organize five international and interdisciplinary conferences on adoption and culture, one of them in Pittsburgh, and brings speakers and films on adoption here  through the Pittsburgh Consortium for Adoption Studies. She is a member of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer

March 30. Cameron, Judy L jcameron@pitt.edu Exercise and Aging. Hosted by Roy Frye.

April 6. Andy Norman. The Origins of Ethical Behavior (?) Hosted by Joy Reinhart.

April 13. Edward Gerjuoy. Global Warming. Hosted by Barry Farkas.

Precis: Although unanimity is lacking, there is no doubt the vast majority of knowledgeable scientists agree that global warming is taking place, and that this warming—especially if continued—may produce disastrous climate changes.

Abstract: What is meant by the term “global warming”? Dr. Gerjuoy will detail the evidence that global warming is occurring; and to fully explaining why carbon dioxide emissions result in global warming.   The talk then will go on to describe the climate changes predicted to result from continued global warming, as well as the uncertainties in those predictions.  If time permits, the talk will close with a discussion of the disagreements with the foregoing embodied in what is called the “Global Warming Controversy”.

BIO: Edward Gerjuoy has a 1942 Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of California at Berkeley, and a 1977 J.D. degree from the University of Pittsburgh.  Presently he is Professor of Physics Emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was appointed Professor in 1964 and became Emeritus in 1982.  He has been a member of the Pittsburgh Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) for many years, and now serves as a member of the GASP Board.  This service exemplifies his lifelong interest in public policy issues involving physical science.  This interest also is illustrated by his active legal career (1981-2003), wherein he specialized in environmental law.  In particular, he has been: a member of the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (1981-86), ruling on appeals from actions of the Pa. agency now known as the Department of Environmental Protection, the Commonwealth counterpart of the U.S. EPA; a consultant (1987-2003) to several major Pittsburgh law firms on environmental law litigation; Editor-in-Chief (1981-1986) of the American Bar Association (ABA) Journal of Law, Science and Technology; and a Member (1986-1992) of the National Conference of Lawyers and Scientists, a joint committee of the American Bar Association (ABA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) charged with seeking solutions to problems arising at the interface of law and science.  He terminated his legal activities in 2003, however, and since then has been devoting his full time to research on quantum computing/information theory, a subject on which he has spoken to this Forum (June 27, 2010).  In addition to the many invited talks he has given at physics departments, as well as at physics and legal conferences, he is the author of over 100 papers in the physics literature, and more than 40 non-technical publications on various legal, physics and public policy topics.

April 20. Easter. Canceled

April 27. Do you need a physical exam? Danforth Lincoln, MD. Hosted by Joan Harvey.

May 4. Canceled. Pittsburgh Marathon

May 11. Pilates: Contrology to Get Fit. Kim Francis. Hosted by Michael Lotze.  300-bw-kim

Precis: Pilates  is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, and popular in many countries, including Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom. As of 2005, there were 11 million people practicing the discipline regularly and 14,000 instructors in the United States alone.

Abstract: Pilates called his method "Contrology" (from "control" and Greek -λογία, -logia).

Pilates is a body conditioning routine that may help build flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance in the legs, abdominals, arms, hips, and back. It puts emphasis on spinal and pelvic alignment, breathing, and developing a strong core or center, and improving coordination and balance. Pilates' system allows for different exercises to be modified in range of difficulty from beginning to advanced. Intensity can be increased over time as the body conditions and adapts to the exercises.A 2013 systematic review found only inconclusive evidence that Pilates was beneficial to people with lower back pain.

Pilates was designed by Joseph Pilates, a physical-culturist from Mönchengladbach, Germany. During the first half of the 20th century, he developed a system of exercises which were intended to strengthen the human mind and body. Pilates believed that mental and physical health are interrelated.

In his youth, he had practiced many of the physical training regimes available in Germany, and it was from these he developed his own work. It has clear connections with the physical culture of the late Nineteenth Century, such as the use of special apparatuses and claims that the exercises could cure ill health. It is also related to the tradition of "corrective exercise" or "medical gymnastics" as typified by Pehr Henrik Ling.

Pilates published two books related to his training method: Your Health: A Corrective System of Exercising That Revolutionizes the Entire Field of Physical Education in 1934, and Return to Life Through Contrology in 1945. In common with early twentieth century physical culture, Pilates had an extremely high regard for the Greeks and the physical prowess demonstrated in their Gymnasium.


Kim Francis is a PMA-Certified Pilates Teacher who began Pilates lessons with Dilla Mastrangelo in July 1999, entered the Core Dynamics Teacher Training program two years later, and completed the comprehensive Pilates teacher training program in June 2004. In addition to Harmony Studio, Kim has taught Pilates at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and Wellspring Studio. Kim studied with master trainer Sebastian Plettenberg of Manhattan and completed the certification program in December 2005. Kim holds masters degrees from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. She has worked in clinical research since 1993 and served as the Clinical Research Coordinator for the UPMC Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Division of Sports Medicine for 10 years before transferring to the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Medicine, Division of Pediatric Rheumatology in January 2010.


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