Harrison Herskowitz, a sophomore safety for the Dartmouth College football team, wrestles a tackling sled to the Memorial Field turf on Oct. 24, 2018. Undefeated Dartmouth hosts archrival Harvard on Saturday for homecoming. (Valley News – Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
🚨 Big 🚨 Game 🚨 Alert 🚨
Dartmouth College football is gearing up to take down visiting Harvard at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at Memorial Field in Hanover. There are a couple of factors that make this game one to watch:
1. It’s Dartmouth’s Homecoming Weekend (you might have heard there’s a big [safe?] bonfire tonight).
2. Dartmouth football currently is undefeated, having claimed victory in its last six games. The No. 20 Big Green also is 3-0 in Ivy League play. Archrival Harvard, meanwhile, is 3-3, 1-2.
Dartmouth says it owes its success to a bit of sheer luck: The team largely has managed to avoid injuries to its starters, according to Dartmouth sports reporter Tris Wykes. Let’s hope it stays that way this weekend. Fingers crossed!
And tbt to 2017, via Charles Hatcher for the Valley News:
John Brady, left, a staff supervisor for the annual homecoming bonfire build at Dartmouth College, hammers in a nail as Cam Wright, center, a freshman at Dartmouth, holds a ladder in place and Christian Murray, also a freshman, sets a nail on Friday, Oct. 5, 2017, at the college in Hanover, N.H. Wright and Murray said it will be their first year helping out with and experiencing the annual bonfire. (Valley News – Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to email@example.com.
That’s according to a news release from Dartmouth College officials, who say that Morphy the 15-year-old corpse flower is expected to bloom for a three-day period sometime next week (that would be the week of Oct. 28).
Of course, nobody knows the exact dates … except for Morphy! Whenever it happens, the greenhouse will post extended hours.
Morphy last bloomed two years ago, topping out at 7 feet, 6 inches and drawing 5,000 visitors. And although corpse flowers typically bloom only every seven or eight years, it seems that Morphy is bucking expectations and ready to party.
Why is Morphy blooming again so soon?
Kim DeLong, Dartmouth’s greenhouse manager, said this in an email:
It’s somewhat rare for a corpse flower to bloom so soon. But as a corpse flower corm matures, it’s more likely that it’ll bloom sooner in the life cycle. Uncertain on why. But when we repotted the corm in June, it was between 80-90 pounds, so both Terry (Barry), our greenhouse assistant, and I thought it might bloom again. All that energy in the corm needs to be expended on a flower.
Here’s what it looked like when Morphy started to bloom in September 2016, thanks to Valley News photographer James M. Patterson.
Sue Mescher, of Danville, Vt., looks up at the over seven-foot-tall Morphy, an Amorphophallus Titanum plant, which is in the process of blooming in the Dartmouth College Life Sciences Greenhouse Thursday, September 22, 2016. The flower is currently growing up to four inches a day and stands over seven feet tall. Mescher was passing through on the way to New York City and did not want to miss the opportunity to stop and see the flower. (Valley News – James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And here’s a photo of Morphy in full bloom, alongside Terry Barry, of the Dartmouth Life Sciences Greenhouse staff, later that month:
Terry Barry, Life Sciences Greenhouse staff, checks the plant temperature and answers questions in September 2016. (Robert Gill/Dartmouth College)
Plus, a close-up of the tiny flowers inside Morphy at that time:
Female flowers on bottom. Male on top, not yet pollinating. (Robert Gill/Dartmouth College)
Last but not least, here’s a time lapse video showing the whole bloom in September 2016, courtesy of Dartmouth College:
What all these visuals can’t do for you, though, is get across a sense of smell — which is one of Morphy’s main attractions, although the smell is not great.
In a world of packaged, homogenized, digitalized, photo-shopped, prettified, Snapchatted and Instagrammed experiences, a corpse flower in full blossom, or stench, is as unmediated and rare an experience as you can get.
Which is probably why hundreds of visitors a day are flocking to the Life Sciences Greenhouse at Dartmouth College to stare at Morphy the corpse flower, which began to bloom Friday afternoon. When it is fully open, it releases a scent that has been likened to rotting meat, decomposing flesh, urine and excrement — take your pick.
But, does the corpse flower smell like its name?
Worse, actually, said Kim DeLong, the greenhouse manager and curator. Before DeLong took the job at Dartmouth, she worked as a greenhouse manager at the University of California, Berkeley. As part of her studies, DeLong has been around cadavers; so she knows the difference between the smell of real corpses, and botanical imitators.
At a little more than 7 feet tall, Morphy is a prime, 13-year-old specimen of Titan arum or Amorphophallus titanum, which, said DeLong, translates roughly as “giant misshapen penis.”
So, there’s that. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
DeLong, the greenhouse manager, also said:
I really hope that people who missed Morphy’s bloom two years ago will get to see it this time. When Morphy bloomed in 2016, I was surprised by how much the odor shifted. At first, it smelled like a dead rat in your wall and then towards morning, it smelled more like dirty baby diapers. Given that the female flowers become fertile first, my guess is that the smell shifts as the male flowers become fertile, all of which may help attract different pollinators.
Good luck Morphy! Hope to see you blooming around Halloween. In the meantime, here’s other ways to check in:
The east side of Dartmouth College’s campus is seen from the Baker Tower on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. The college currently is working on developing a single, comprehensive policy to deal with sexual misconduct. (Valley News – Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to email@example.com.
Dartmouth College is in the process of developing a new sexual misconduct policy that will extend to all areas of campus life, according to a report published on Thursday in the Valley News. While specific policy details being considered by college President Phil Hanlon have not been released, the college has confirmed the new policy will apply to students, faculty and staff. From the story:
The campus already has a relatively new policy for students that is unified, in the sense that it applies to all forms of sexual misconduct. But (Geisel School of Medicine Dean for Faculty Affairs Leslie Henderson) said the campus also has various other, older policies on the books that address pieces of the puzzle. It’s time to align them, and bring them up to date, she said.
Students interviewed for the story largely seemed to be in support of a revised policy, which comes about a year after three professors in the school’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences were put on paid leave and barred from campus after sexual misconduct allegations surfaced. An internal review recommended that the professors — Todd Heatherton, Paul Whalen and Bill Kelley — be terminated; Heatherton retired, and Whalen and Kelley resigned as a result. The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, which also has opened an investigation into the allegations, said this week that the probe is ongoing.
Puzzle and game designer Todd McClary reports that The Inkubator plans to “feature twice-a-month publications of crossword puzzles constructed by women,” with Laura Braunstein — who, as Dartmouth digital humanities librarian and an apparent fan of ducks, has appeared in the Valley News and UV INDEX a number of times — and Tracy Bennett editing. A crowd-funding campaign is expected to launch later this month. Read more at McClary’s website, where there are also instructions on how to submit drafts and questions.
Laura Braunstein, of Lebanon, is the Digital Humanities Librarian at Dartmouth College and a fan of graphic novels and speculative fiction, for its “what-if” approach and engagement with politics, diversity and inclusion. “One of the things I like about a lot of the writers, especially writers of color and women is that they’re imagining a future with different social relationships,” said Braunstein at Baker Library in Hanover, N.H., Monday, March 5, 2018. (Valley News – James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.