CLASS OF 1961 | 2017 | ISSUE 3

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While enjoying an afternoon coffee at Wesleyan, Glenn Hawkes and his son, Jesse, conversed with Emil Frankel and Jack Mitchell. Glenn reports: “Both Mitchell and Frankel have somehow managed to retain their handsome boyishness while enjoying their long and successful careers: Jack with his fine and far-reaching clothing business and his book-writing, Emil with an amazing career in D.C. and his serving as transportation secretary for the State of Connecticut.”

Hawkes continues: “I came close to falling off my seat in the coffee bar when Emil shared with us his decision to become an Independent, thus abandoning a half-century of leadership and love for the Republican Party. I think it was when we roomed together, graduate school days at Harvard, that Emil created the Ripon Society. I’ve also since left the Republican Party, accomplished some decades prior to Emil’s jumping off the ship. I’m still struggling to fundraise school fees for about 40 Rwandan secondary school students, hoping that I’ll live until the last student earns a diploma. That would be in 2021. As always, I welcome any interest you (or perhaps a son, daughter or grandchild) might have in taking a trip to Rwanda, where my second family and I have a nice home and guest house.”

Foster Morrison regularly presents thoughtful insights that may interest classmates. He writes: “One thing that has been long known is that such things often can change rapidly and extremely with small disturbances. Stability often is achieved by resonances, such as the periods of Saturn and Jupiter being 29.65 and 11.86 years for a five to two ratio. Pluto and Neptune never collide, though they overlap, because of a resonance. The same side of the Moon always faces the Earth. God’s will? Maybe God knows how to build things that last, but man does not or doesn’t care.

“Climate change seems to be moving slowly, but Hurricane Irma may mark the shift to a new peak for the energy in such a storm. Complex nonlinear dynamical systems may be stabilized by resonances (ratios of frequencies being small integers), but if these are disturbed, rapid disintegration often occurs. So Irma may (or may not) be sending us a warning that the climate in the North Atlantic may be getting much more unstable and dangerous. I think I’ve heard about another dangerous hurricane (Jose) already forming. The general principle is that slow, gradual change may destroy a stabilizing resonance and it will be difficult or impossible to restore it. Most scientists and mathematicians, being specialists, do not seem to be aware of this. Politicians, economists, bureaucrats, and journalists don’t understand anything. Specialists in celestial mechanics usually have some awareness of this property of nonlinear dynamical systems. I started out my career with satellite orbits, many of which have helpful resonances thoughtfully designed.

“The general principle is that establishing stability in complex nonlinear systems is challenging, but now made much easier with high-powered digital computers. God has been doing this almost forever and now we have to do it too instead of destroying His creations with our ignorance.”

Respectfully submitted,

Jon K. Magendanz, DDS |
902 39th Avenue West, Bradenton, Fl 34205