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3 years ago

American Magazine: August 2014

on campus NO CAMPUS

on campus NO CAMPUS GROUP IS CREATING A BIGGER BUZZ than the AU Beekeeping Society. Apologies for the pun, but as you’ll see, there are few things AU’s beekeepers appreciate more than a play on words. School of International Service professor Eve Bratman beegan the project in 2011 with one colony. Interest quickly beelooned, and now two hives on the roof of the Mary Graydon Center are tended to by dozens of students, staff, and faculty. “Bees are the most important pollinators, and without pollination, we wouldn’t have 75 percent of the food we eat on our tables,” Bratman says. “We don’t keep them on leashes, but we’re basically their landlord. We provide a safe and healthy home for the colony. We check the hives to make sure that the queen is alive and laying eggs, the bees are free from predators, and they have enough sugar syrup to have decent food supplies.” Buzzworthy Last year, the group harvested 90 pounds of honey from the hives, and used some of it to make lip balm that proved so popular it sold out almost immediatebee. Lindsay Booth, SIS/MA ’14, was a beeliever in the group from the start. “There are so many interesting facts: A queen can lay about 1,500 eggs in a day. Each chamber in the comb is exactly the same measurement. The bees talk to each other through dance,” she says. “And then there are the puns. We named our first hive Beeyonce. Others have been Lord of Stings, Bee Arthur, and Obeewon. Bee people are weird, what can I say?” ILLUSTRATION BY HEATHER HARDISON 4 AMERICAN MAGAZINE AUGUST 2014

expert 3 MINUTES ON . . . TV Series Finales Cristel Russell Professor, Department of Marketing, Kogod School of Business Everybody watches TV. You sit next to somebody on a plane and before you know it you’re talking about the shows you watch. But what happens when a TV show ends? Soap operas like General Hospital and All My Children aired for decades. Every day people would watch an episode, sometimes by themselves, but sometimes with their moms or grandmas. Viewers were devastated when the shows were cancelled. Part of it was ‘what happened to this character?’ They were in mourning; they were grieving. Other shows, like Entourage, ended well in the sense that people knew it was coming so they were able to prepare themselves for the death of the show. They were able to slowly disconnect. We call these shows narrative brands: the story being told is also a market product. They’re sold to the audience for commercial time. Lots of shows have product placements in them. If there’s a brand connected to a character that a lot of people are influenced by, the brand can suffer when the show’s killed. The brands of places can also be captured in shows. There’s a TV show made in New Zealand called Outrageous Fortune. It’s about a family of criminals trying to go clean. People want to visit places on the show in Auckland, just as they visited New York to see sites featured on Seinfeld. When a show’s killed, the brands of places can suffer. Similarly, if you watch a show with other people, when it’s cancelled you no longer have that connection. We studied a group of Sopranos fans who would get together religiously every Sunday night. They would have Italian food and watch the show. When it ended, they had re-run marathons, but it wasn’t the same. They tried to find another show that would give them that same kind of connection, but they never did. Now the friends no longer see each other regularly. It’s a lot easier to adjust if a show ends well. If the storylines are resolved and there’s narrative closure, then people are more at peace with the fact that it’s gone. The Sopranos was completely anti-climactic. There were a lot of unanswered questions. That’s never good—people want finality. Anecdotally, we do have evidence that people will buy DVD box sets to watch re-runs. Some buy it as a memento, like a tombstone, so that they remember it, whether they watch it or not. I think Breaking Bad was everyone’s favorite finale. It had everything you expected, and yet there were a few surprises. You knew Walter White was going to die, you just didn’t know how. It tied all those loose ends and provided narrative closure. It was brilliant. FOLLOW US @AU_AMERICANMAG 5