News Briefs


Global warming study shows decrease in hurricane activity

New research by the Rosenstial School of Marine and Atmospheric Science suggests that increased wind shear in the Atlantic Ocean may inhibit hurricane development. This is unique, because previous studies have linked global warming to an increase in hurricane activity.

The authors of the study examined 18 different climate models and assessed the impact of human-related greenhouse warming on hurricane activity. Although researchers found that hurricane intensity may decrease in the Atlantic, the Pacific may see increased intensification.


Holocaust survivor slain at Virginia Tech

David Grant // THE Collegiate Times (Va Tech)

(U-WIRE) BLACKSBURG – Professor Liviu Librescu was slight of build and long of tooth, Stephen Schuler said. The sophomore engineering major (who had skipped Librescu’s class Monday morning) was shocked when he first heard that his professor had thrown himself at the door of his Norris classroom, instructing his students to flee out the windows while he held off Cho Seung Hui, the 23-year old shooter who police say terrorized the Virginia Tech campus Monday.

The 76-year-old engineering science and mechanics professor was one of the tales of heroism early Monday. He was also one of 32 fatalities.

For Caroline Merrey, a senior engineering major, the entire horrific sequence flashed by.

“We heard gunshots in the hall and as they were coming closer a student stuck his head out the door and saw what was happening. The next thing I know I’m leaning out the window and Professor Librescru was against the door,” Merrey said. “I really don’t think me or my other classmates would be here if it wasn’t for him.”

Merrey, who landed on her back after jumping from a Norris Hall second-story window, sustained only minor injuries.

The Jersualem Post reported that Librescu and his father were deported by the Nazis at the onset of World War II; Librescu was sent to a Russian work camp. Saved by local townspeople, Librescu, a Romanian Jew by birth, became a scientist but struggled under the oppressive regime of Nicolae Ceaucescu until his 1978 immigration to Israel. Librescu came to Virginia during a 1986 sabbatical. He never left.

“He’s a Holocaust survivor. He’s a man who survived one of the worst atrocities in human history only to be gunned down by somebody in his own classroom. It doesn’t make sense. I don’t even know if there’s a word for it. It’s one of these events that makes you think that life is unjust,” said Matt Frank, a junior interdisciplinary studies major and Hillel’s vice president of religion.

Tragically, Librescu lost his life on Yom HaShoah, the day on which Jews all over the world memorialize the Holocaust.

The local Jewish community honored Librescu, among others at a Yizkor, a Jewish memorial service for the departed, Tuesday night.


New Mandarin Chinese courses will be offered in the fall semester. The courses are designed to develop basic speaking, listening, and reading and writing skills, along with the phonetic system and basic grammar and conversation. Interested students should contact the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures (305-284-5585) to make an appointment in August for placement in this course.