sealPurdue Story Ideas, Events

JOURNALISTS: Here are story ideas and a list of selected Purdue events during the next two weeks.

October 7, 2002

Story Ideas

1. Expert compares Cuban Missile Crisis to current global events
2. Protecting pets against insect-borne diseases

Purdue Events

Monday, Oct. 21 – University Senate to meet Oct. 21


Purdue colleague and former student can comment on Nobel Prize winner Vernon Smith

Vernon Smith, 2002 Nobel Prize laureate in economics, began his academic career at Purdue University's Krannert School of Management. He spent 12 years, from 1955-67, on the West Lafayette campus.

Smith began his pioneering research at Purdue in the non-traditional area of economics called experimental economics.

When he received an honorary doctorate from Purdue in 1989, he said: "What made Purdue so powerful an experience for me was that I really was free to do my own thing. It wasn't just the administration, but also my colleagues – who didn't for a moment think that, because I wanted to do experiments, my opportunities or resources should be limited."

Smith spent part of the 2000 school year at the Krannert School teaching and doing research. He team-taught a class with former student Timothy N. Cason, a Krannert School professor of economics who does research in experimental markets and environmental regulation.

Cason today (Wednesday, 10/9) said: "Vernon has made many of the most important contributions in experimental economics, and he continues to work at the forefront of the field. He is using the laboratory to design new markets where markets never existed. For example, much of Vernon's laboratory work in the last decade has focused on designing better markets for trading electricity and gas."

We are trying to reach Smith's colleagues from the era of his teaching at Purdue. For information, contact Mike Lillich, Purdue University News Service, (765) 494-2077,

CONTACT: Cason, (765) 494-1737,

Retail expert can discuss possible effects of dockworker lockout on Christmas shopping

Retailers are more worried about the effects of the dockworker lockout than the Grinch as they prepare for their biggest season of the year, says the director of Purdue University's Retail Institute.

Richard Feinberg, a professor of consumer sciences and retailing who puts out an annual Christmas retailing forecast, says the shutdown of West Coast ports makes it likely that an already difficult holiday shopping season will become a disaster.

"The holiday season accounts for 50 percent of retailers' annual sales and 40 to 50 percent of their profits, so anything that disturbs the flow of merchandise, sales and profits is critical to retailers," he says.

Feinberg predicts retailers will experience minimal effects if the lockout is settled within the next two weeks. If the dispute remains unresolved, the most affected will be the largest retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Target, Kohl's and Toys R Us, Feinberg says. These retailers get the largest percentage of their approximately 150,000 different types of merchandise per store from overseas.

Winning merchandise for retailers will be domestically produced or small goods that can be shipped by air and have a high price point, such as jewelry.

"The big winner will be the consumer," Feinberg says. "While selection may be a problem, the consumer will find low prices because retailers will price merchandise to move quickly."

CONTACT: Feinberg, (765) 494-8301,

Expert compares Cuban Missile Crisis to current global events

Not much thought is given to the anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, but this year's 40th anniversary is a good time to compare this Cold War crisis to the current American stand-off with Iraq, said a Purdue University professor.

Harry Targ, political science professor and author of "Cuba and the United States: A New World Order?" can talk about the crisis, as well as why the United States was so close to World War III in October 1962. Targ can compare how those events and the John F. Kennedy administration compare to today's situation and leadership.

"We don't live in a bipolar world," said Targ, who has an interest in United States foreign policy. "It's very dangerous to live in a world where 10 to 12 countries have nuclear weapons."

Contact: Targ, (765) 494-4169,

Protecting pets against insect-borne diseases

Dogs and cats are unlikely to become ill if exposed to West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes, according to Purdue University veterinarians. But it's important to protect them from insect bites because they can be infected with other diseases.

Owners should use pet-approved tick and flea controls and limit pets' exposure to areas infested by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas, said Lynn Guptill, Purdue small animal veterinarian.

Pets can become ill if sprayed with repellent formulated for people, she said.

"Though the most effective repellents for people are those with diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET), this can make pets sick," Guptill said. "Only use products approved for pets."

In addition, some flea collars, sprays and oral medications are specifically for a dog or specifically for a cat and can't be used interchangeably.

Although evidence of West Nile can be found in pets' blood, other illnesses, such as the tick-borne Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and other mosquito- or flea-borne diseases, such as heartworm, are the ones that sicken pets, Guptill said.

CONTACT: Guptill, (765) 494-1107,



University Senate to meet Oct. 21

• Monday, Oct. 21. 2:30 p.m. University Senate meeting. Stewart Center, Room 302.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page