Burlington, VT, May 29, 2012 — What started as a way to make unique Christmas gifts for family and friends has grown into a passion to admire and preserve some of the rarest writing systems in the world.
For the last few years, Burlington writer Tim Brookes has created handmade wood carvings in an attempt to help save alphabets at risk of vanishing. Brookes is an accomplished author who directs the writing program at Champlain College. While there are thousands of spoken languages worldwide, Brookes says there are fewer than a hundred alphabets, and many of them are threatened with extinction.
Tim Brookes will take some of the carvings in his "Endangered Alphabets" art and literacy project on the road again this summer. He spoke with Todd Moe about the reasons why written letters and symbols are disappearing, and his memorial to them. Go to full article
Oct 28, 2005 — SARS was the first epidemic of this century. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome also arose in chicken flocks in Asia -- China and Hong Kong. The new virus spread from chickens to humans, and then made the jump to human to human transmission. At first, everyone who came down with SARS died. The outbreak began with one case in China in November 2002. It spread from China to Europe, the US, and, notably, Canada. There were travel bans and quarantines, people wore masks on the streets of Toronto. The outbreak lasted about 6 months. In July 2003, Toronto was officially declared SARS-free. Since then, there have been a handful of cases. Afterward, the American Public Health Association asked Burlington writer Tim Brookes to write a book about the epidemic. It's called Behind the Mask: How the World Survived SARS. It's gained new attention as fears of the new avian flu have built. The book is good reading. It traces the emergence of SARS beginning in 1997, then its spread, and eventual containment. Brookes visited health officials, hospitals and survivors in China and Ontario. They were overwhelmed. Martha Foley spoke with Brookes yesterday. Tim Brookes is the author of books on asthma and hospice. He's also a commentator for National Public Radio, and this radio station. He's director of the professional writing center at Champlain College in Burlington. Go to full article