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Simon Hoggart’s Long Lunch

March 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Simon Hoggart has been a familiar face at the CWA for over 20 years. As the political sketch-writer for The Guardian, Hoggart’s insights into the British Parliament and fluid mix of humor and politics have been a valued addition to the annual Conference.

This past fall, Hoggart released his memoir, A Long Lunch. He devotes a section of the book to his travels across North America, including his yearly trek to Boulder. The book has received rave reviews by the British media, including the Spectator, Sunday Telegraph and The Times. The New Statesman called it, “…the best journalistic memoir since the late Alan Watkins A Short Walk Down Fleet Street of a decade ago.”

Hoggart’s fascintation with Boulder and the CWA has not waned since first coming here in 1988.  He says, “The joy of the conference is that you meet people in fields you would never encounter anywhere else.” And as for Boulder, “I doubt if there is more beautiful scenery on earth.”

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Roger Ebert on missing the CWA

February 10, 2011 5 comments

The Conference has been a central part of my life for more than 40 years, and I will miss it terribly. Having lost the gift of speech, I can no longer participate in the ways that gave me such pleasure. The Cinema Interruptus sessions, so named by Howard Higman, taught me much more than I ever taught them.

I am leaving on a high point after bringing together Werner Herzog and Ramin Bahrani last year. Jim Emerson will carry on, and the audience as always will not let a frame pass unnoticed. Forty weeks is ten months, and that’s how long I lived in Boulder. I met so many good people and have so many good memories. Give my regards to Macky and to Daddy Bruce’s. And don’t be surprised if I turn up one year for the concert. I like that outboard aisle seat on the left, about six rows back…

-Roger Ebert

CWA to Host Molly Ivins Play

December 8, 2010 Leave a comment

The CWA plans to host a reading of the one woman play Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. The late Molly Ivins was a celebrated humorist and political commentator, who participated in the CWA over 25 years, until her death in 2006.

Celebrated Shakespearean actress Tina Packer has agreed to play Molly Ivins in the CWA reading in April 2011.  Packer’s recent work portraying Shakespeare’s Women of Will may turn out to bear some similarities to the role of the firebrand journalist from Texas, who was noted for her fiesty outspokenness.

Red Hot Patriot was written by CWA participant Margaret Engel and her sister Allison Engel .  Like Ivins, both sisters are journalists. Margaret was the managing editor of the Newseum in Washington, DC before leaving to become the executive director of the Alicia Patterson Journalism Foundation.  The play received rave reviews when it first appeared in Philadelphia with Kathleen Turner as Molly Ivins last spring.

More information about Red Hot Patriot here.

Download the official Molly Ivins Play Program

The Smiths go to Saudi Arabia

November 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Husband and wife General Jim Smith and Janet Breslin-Smith have been regular participants in the Conference on World Affairs since 2003. In June of 2009, Jim Smith was nominated by President Obama to be the United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and the couple has been serving in residence there for over a year.

The CWA is thrilled that the Smiths will travel all the way back to Boulder to participate in CWA 2011.  Conference audiences may look forward to hearing fascinating details about the couple’s experiences and the people they have met in Saudi Arabia.  Janet has been especially taken with the women there. When asked by a magazine for her impressions of Saudi Arabia, she responded:

“One of the highlights of our first few months here has been meeting such outstanding and impressive Saudi women. Whether it’s in education, medicine, or in business, these women are making such a contribution. I am especially impressed with the young women here.”

General Jim Smith being sworn in by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Janet Breslin-Smith is standing center

 

David Walker to Participate in CWA

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

David Walker will be back in Boulder this April for the 63rd Conference on World Affairs.  Walker served as the United States Comptroller General from 1998 to 2008.  He left that post to become the President and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, an organization focused on fiscal sustainability issues.

Walker’s expertise was highlighted this past April when he spoke on “Debt: Letting the Next Generation Clean up Our Mess” and “Comeback America: Turning the Country Around and Restoring Fiscal Responsibility.”

Bill Nack, Literature Gourmand

October 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Conference on World Affairs participant and celebrated sports journalist Bill Nack has devoted a significant portion of his career to following and writing about one very special animal.

Disney’s current release, the feature film Secretariat, starring Diane Lane and John Malcovich, is based on Nack’s biography on the most successful racehorse in history.

Nack’s Secretariat: The Making of a Champion was published in 1975.  Because of the film’s success, the 35 year old book as been making appearances on The New York Times best seller list recently.

Nack is a close, lifelong friend of film critic (and 40 year CWA veteran) Roger Ebert.  Nack admits he was curious to see if Ebert would disclose the friendship in the review of the film.  You can read that for yourself here.

Not only did Ebert review the film, but he followed that piece with a captivating tribute to his friendship with Nack.  Ebert describes introducing Nack to the CWA:

I also proposed him to the Conference on World Affairs at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he is beloved after a decade not only for his readings but for his participation on panels on all sorts of subjects, because at CWA you don’t lecture on your specialty but have conversations, ad lib, about ideas. That format sheds light on the beauty and complexity of Bill’s mind.

Read Roger Ebert’s entertaining tribute to his dear friend Bill Nack here.

A Boulder Homecoming

October 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Today he’s the national manager of advanced technology for Toyota Motor Sales USA, but years ago, Bill Reinert called the CU Boulder campus home,  earning his masters in energy engineering.

When Reinart first started with Toyota, he was in charge of the product planning team responsible for the current generation Toyota Prius.  He continues that work today as the coordinator of Toyota’s marketing, development and research related to alternative-fueled vehicles and other emerging technologies.

Reinert is known for his outspoken views on green technology and isn’t afraid to be upfront on the limitations of the current alternative energy market.  He recently covered the major players in the alternative fuel market in an interview with Automobile Magazine.

Q: Hopeful about ethanol fueled cars?

A: Using ethanol for fuel is like electing the dumbest kid in school as class president.

Q: Maybe plug-in cars are the way forward?

A: As for plug-in electrics, they’re just not plausible right now. Lithium-ion batteries are too expensive by at least an order of magnitude. They’re not energy-dense enough.

Read the full interview and profile on Reinert from Automobile Magazine.