Tell Me Why The Sky Is So Blue Today

By cjohnson | April 15, 2006 9:57 am

john brodie That title is the first line from a poem that is quoted in this newspaper article (Rutland Herald) on physicist John Brodie, who died accidentally in January, at age 36. John wrote the poem to his father. John was such a sweet person, so softly spoken and good-natured.

I found the Rutland Herald article on Not Even Wrong. There was also an obituary which appeared in the Washington Post and in the Baltimore Sun. The Rutland Herald article takes the oppoortunity to go into more detail on John’s life, and the tragic circumstances of his death. An extract about his education:

Brodie had the look of an All-American — blue eyes, blond hair, a tall, toned body and a wide smile — but he was no “big man on campus.” Personable yet humble, he won acceptance to medical school, only to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from Cornell in, respectively, 1991 and 1992.

Taking a year off to tour Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe with nothing but a backpack, the son of Quaker parents turned to Eastern religions and shoulder-length hair. But soon he was back to the books, earning a doctorate in theoretical physics from Princeton University in 1998.

And on his family background:

For Brodie, science was a family tradition. His late grandfather, Herbert Hartley, was an organic chemist who helped develop the polyurethane industry and was honored by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill for designing the antitank hand grenade used in World War II.

His father, Harry Brodie, is a retired organic chemist who developed the first estrogen-biosynthesis inhibitors now used to treat breast cancer.

His mother, Angela Hartley Brodie, is a University of Maryland researcher who last year became the first woman to receive the $250,000 international Charles F. Kettering Prize for “the most outstanding recent contribution to the diagnosis or treatment of cancer.”

On John’s research:

He went on to study the theory at Stanford University and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ont., and published more than a dozen research papers in peer-reviewed journals. (The Journal of High Energy Physics, for example, ran his article on “D-branes in Massive IIA and Solitons in Chern-Simons Theory” in 2001.)

I had a lot of fun talking physics with him, when I saw him at Stanford, and later at Perimeter, and I got a lot from those conversations. A sad, sad loss for the field.

-cvj

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Academia, Personal
  • http://www.woodka.com donna

    This story touches me so personally. I have bipolar myself, I’ve been in those dark places John traveled, and in those bright brilliant moments – it makes me so sad, so angry at our society for not understanding, for not being able to help him.

    I’m so sorry for all his family and friends, and for everyone who knows the loss fo someone – physically or mentally – to this disorder. It is so tragic.

  • spyder

    For some inexplicable reason i have been surrounded in my life by people who suffer from bi-polar problems. And as such, i have much too often been given the assignment, by their families and friends, to make contact with one or another, when they stop taking their meds. It is a vicious cycle, and i praise donna (#1) as well as her family and friends, for staying with life, as it spins around and around. All of the dozen persons i know exhibit profound creative brilliance and at times have provided solutions to problems that were provacative, unique, and efficacious.

    The cycle is brutal for everyone: diagnosis after some series of incidents, both manic and depressive; success, after trials, of taking the proper medications and correct dosages; feelings of doing so much better (particularly in the manic stage) that stopping medication is the most obvious thing to do; manifesting ever more psychotic behaviors that require immediate intervention; going back on meds and becoming suicidally depressed because of both the disease and the treatment (the realization that one must take meds the rest of their life to just be okay); and then the return to the place of well being. It takes persistent and attentive family and friends to insure that their loved ones do not fall into the catch-22 traps of this. You loss Clifford is all of ours. Thanks for sharing.

  • Moshe

    This is such a shock, I expected to see John’s name in the news but not in such an awful context. I met John, like so many others in our age group, in TASI 1996, and many times since then. It was always such a pleasure talking with him, he was such a well-rounded and pleasant person. I will miss him.

  • http://www.woodka.com donna

    Well, the “wonder drug”, if there is such a thing, for me is lamictal. I talked my shrink into prescribing it as it wasn’t even approved for use in bipolar then. It is the one drug that works for me with zero side effects. I am so thankful for it, and several of my bipolar friends have started using it since I told them about it and are doing really well.

    I really think bipolar will turn out to be a seizure-related disorder. I don’t think it relates to the serotin levels at all, as it is usually treated and as it is often misdiagnosed in depression. There is something else that goes on with bipolars, espeically in that manic cycle where no matter what you do, the thought cycle simply does not turn OFF. I still use xyprexa occassionally for this, but don’t need it very often anymore. I also take Effexor just to keep me a bit more “up” than I would otherwise be. But you have to be careful with Effexor since it can set off manic cycles, which is what happened in my one manic episode before I was diagnosed bipolar. Before then, I had only been treated for depression, even though, looking back, I can certainly see all the manic phases I had that were undiagnosed. It is indeed a very cyclical disease, and the problem is, when you feel “good” you often don’t think you need medication.

    The great thing with lamictal is since it has no real effect on my overall mood other than to keep me stable, it gives me choices that aren’t influenced by mood. That’s why I recommend it so highly.

  • http://eskesthai.blogspot.com/2006/04/on-gausss-day-of-reckoning.html Plato

    A sad story.

    Brodie lived to explore different questions. At the service, someone read a poem he once wrote his father:

    “Tell me why the sky is so blue today/I love you as I said before and anyway/Can you see above the lumine of the sky/When we will see each other at the end of time.”

    A mind “enlightened” having to struggled with the words of acceptance, by, and for, from the father?

    Even such brilliance does not take away all those things we humanly struggle with. Why we are still all so much the same, in these emotive struggles?

    He was developing, searching for, and trying to be a better human being, as I continued to read of him.

    My condolences.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/clifford/ Clifford

    Donna,

    Thanks for making your comments (and post on your own blog) on this matter, and thanks for framing it with your own knowledge of the disorder. It helps us all a lot to understand what happened, in this case and others.

    Best,

    -cvj

  • http://www.jumplive.com chimpanzee

    “We shall go sliding down the razor blade of life”
    – Thomas Lehrer

    [ I liken genius-types to Formula 1 race-cars..which are termed "knife edge" cars. Very twitchy, unstable..incredible performance, at the expense of risk: crashes, sometimes fatal. "Normal" people are regular street-cars. BTW, it was a quote out of my HS yearbook, written by a guy who ended up at SLAC, & is now a particle physicist @U Mass/Amherst ]

    “Danger [ "living on the edge" ] & Delight [ great intellect ] grow on
    the same stalk”
    — Scottish Proverb

    I was discussing the suicide of Dr. Misha Mahowald, profiled on
    Discovering Women” (M. Franklin/Harvard was also profiled, there were
    6 episodes) with a geologist friend of mine. He told me “some of the
    most brilliant people are right on the brink of insanity”.

    I have some inside information from a former Caltech grad-student colleague (his Dad was a famous Caltech Nobel Laureate, who used to hike up Mt. Wilson w/Feynman & M. Gell-Mann). She developed Schizophrenia, & jumped in front of a train in Switzerland. Nobody knows this except a few people..now everybody knows. She was sexually harassed @Caltech, dropped out for a time, needed group counseling with a women-in-Science support group. In her PhD thesis (very famous, was published as a book), she stated:

    “thanks to [ names ] for saving me from myself

    Pretty ominous, there are connotations of suicide.

    Here’s another high-profile suicide Iris Chang, she went to the same “famous HS” I did (has a number of suicides). Another link here. That 1st URL creeps me out: [...snip...-cvj]

    “When you believe you have a future, you think in terms of generations and years. When you do not, you live not just by the day — but by the minute. It is far better that you remember me as I was — in my heyday as a best-selling author — than the wild-eyed wreck who returned from Louisville… Each breath is becoming difficult for me to take — the anxiety can be compared to drowning in an open sea. I know that my actions will transfer some of this pain to others, indeed those who love me the most. Please forgive me. Forgive me because I cannot forgive myself.”

  • Cynthia

    This tragic story surrounding the life of John Brodie should serve as a wake-up call to us all. Our society needs to take a more proactive stance in preventing/treating mental illness. I am deeply saddened that this most precious (yet, delicate) member of society had to suffer and to die at the hand of mental illness. My heart breaks to hear the fall of this highly fragile (yet, highly significant) human being. Thanks for sharing this “eye-awakening” post.

  • citrine

    My deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

    Yes, mental illness has not received the attention it deserves. Many people discount it/ push it under the rug especially when the person who suffers it is brilliant.

    My best friend in HS is a case in point. She was one of the most versatile and intelligent people I’ve ever met. She read unabridged translations of Dante when she was 13, was involved in producing award winning plays for her HS and college AND did brilliantly in her chosen field of study – Chemistry. She got into Princeton (after scoring 99% on the verbal, quantitative and Chemistry GREs). Unfortunately her illness took a turn for the worse a few years school into grad school and she dropped out. Now she’s at home being taken care of 24/7. In her case, the culprit is clinical depression. What is most ironic about this situation is that her dad was the director of a medical research institution, but didn’t think it necessary for his golden girl to seek psychiatric help.

  • http://www.jumplive.com chimpanzee

    Some more datapoints from my “famous HS”. I found all this out, since I did a *study* of my class (& other classes). One gal was clearly gifted (arguably a genius, both her parents were professors), her talent in Mathematics was spotted in 2nd year, & started taking university math classes. She told me she really liked Real Analysis. She became an International Securities Lawyer (big name firm in Houston), but my HS president told me she came down with some debilitating chronic fatigue syndrome & is basically retired. I think she burned out. Which was what happened to me, to some degree.

    I think this case is illustrative, this & the above cases are NOT mental illness, but simply *breaking down* after going TOO Hard, TOO Fast.

    “Harder, Faster”
    – from offroad racing

    “You know I say, pressure busts pipes. And, you know he [ Bill Parcells, football coach..very similar to Bobby Knight, a relentless disciplinarian/tyrant ] wants to see if you’re gonna be the pipe that busts”
    — Curtis Martin, played 4 seasons for B. Parcells

    THIS is what’s going on. America has a hyper-competitive culture (“America likes a winner, hates a loser” from the movie “Patton”), & whether its Academics or Sports there is this INCREDIBLE pressure to win. Bill Parcells, Bobby Knight were both “old school” guys, who became good friends at West Point. The latter explains their focus on extreme discipline.

    “Winning isn’t Everything, it’s the ONLY THING”
    – Vince Lombardi, legendary football coach, GB Packers

    I was going to meet w/Caltech President & both Provosts (physicists) to tell them that they NEED to teach a course on Moderation. I’m seeing their students (& some profs) imploding. I point to that quote I’ve used repeatedly from Formula 1 “In order to PUSH the limits, sometimes you have to EXCEED the limits”. The avg SAT score of Caltech undergrad is 1500, so all these kids are really bright & driven:

    “Superior Minds, breed Superior Ambition”
    – Spock, “Space Seed” (the followup episode was TWOK, “The Wrath of Khan”)
    [ famous Trek episode, Khan & other superior minds ended up taking over the world. They became brutal dictators, & were thrown out..put into a ship & sent into space ]

    I believe the *perceived* mental illness, is simply a nervous breakdown due to overwork. That’s what happened to Iris Chang, she developed clinical depression after driving too hard & getting massive sleep deprivation.

    I mean, Come on! These people who are high-performance are pushing hard..of course they will “break” & suffer the effects. The brilliant work of John Brodie, Iris Chang (& others) comes at a price. “You have to pay the price” is a famous quote from Sports: meaning, you have to put a LOT of dedication into training, & years of work (minor leagues, in the case of Baseball).

  • Richard

    Chimpanzee said:

    She became an International Securities Lawyer (big name firm in Houston), but my HS president told me she came down with some debilitating chronic fatigue syndrome & is basically retired. I think she burned out. Which was what happened to me, to some degree.

    Chronic fatigue syndrome is not merely a state of being burned out. It usually manifests itself as an unusual complex of severe symptoms including extreme fatigue, short term memory loss, joint and muscle pain, swollen glands, etc. I was extremely ill and misdiagnosed as having CFS for years until it was finally discovered by an immunologist that I actually had a severe antibody deficiency (subclass of primary immune deficiency). Now after many years of intravenous immune globulin, I’ve returned almost to normal, and I can actually do math again! Although what causes CFS is still controversial in general, I now know from their discussions that many of the people in my old CFS email list probably actually had an immune deficiency and weren’t properly diagnosed.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/joanne/ JoAnne

    John was a postdoc at SLAC for 3 years. He was pretty quiet and kept to himself, but when engaged in a conversation was clearly a thoughtful, extremely nice, human being. The planet is at a loss by his untimely death.

  • http://www.jumplive.com chimpanzee

    Get a load of this data-point.

    On the way back from LAX to Pasadena (Egypt solar eclipse), I shared the van ride with the Caltech Bursar..a nice lady. I brought up the issue of “knife edge students” @Caltech (& my HS), & mentioned my concern & desire to meet with Caltech brain-trust. She told me they had built-in programs to *look for* problems, & address them. That’s “talk-the-talk” (lip service), I wonder about “walk-the-walk” (really doing it). I mentioned how Harvard had made such adjustments, after a crisis of suicides many yrs back.

    She then mentioned that a 13 yr old girl was admitted as a GRADUATE STUDENT, who was a math whiz (both her parents are Math profs @UCLA).

    Oh no..here we go again! I don’t question her academic capability, but the “social/emotional” aspect. How does she expect to fit in with people almost twice her age? I expect some kind of rejection, which will no doubt cause stress.

    [snip snip....-cvj See below]

  • http://www.jumplive.com chimpanzee

    [snip snip...-cvj see below]

  • http://www.jumplive.com chimpanzee

    Competence

    I like what I see in the brain-trust of the blog. Sean, CVJ, Joanne, Mark, Risa are obviously “the cream rises to the top”.

    [ Bush administration (& politicians in general) adheres to the Sewage Plant model of bureacracy: "the turds rise to the top" ]

    I had my brief fame as a grad-student, when I led a breakthrough in my field (rare, but sometimes happens).

    The case-studies of J Brodie, Iris Chang, M Mahowald, William Cottrell (Caltech grad student sentenced to Federal prison for Environmental Terrorism) bring to light the issue of CONTROL. I.e., “Power [ great Intellect ] without Control [ COOL IT ]..is USELESS”. This is a quote from Drag Racing, referring to tire-spin: racers adjust the engine + clutch combination (based on track conditions) to minimize wheel-spin at the start-line.

    [snip, snip.....-cvj see below]

    I’m getting feedback that I need to tone-down the length of my posts, so I’m starting the above blog as an “enclosure”

    http://cosmic-variance.blogspot.com

    to act as a depository of my verbose analysis. I tend to overanalyze things, that’s just the way I’m wired.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/clifford/ Clifford

    chimpanzee….. thanks. have snipped length of last ones too. Please feel free to post the bits I emailed back to you on your own blog.

    -cvj

  • Inez

    I just finished reading this blog and the comments that go with it. This blog talks about my best friend John.

    I met John when he first came to the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, and John attended Ouaker Meeting in Kitchener. We quickly became friends and soon became very close friends. I spent the last 3 to 4 years of his life being his trusted friend or confidante.

    The comments on your blog sadden me, because most of them seem to focus on ‘mental illness’. I sincerely believe, that is exactly why we are looking at John’s untimely death… John did NOT represent or embody ‘mental illness! If there was any ‘mental illness’, it was that of our society. It’s society that is ILL, not the person that needs help on occassion. Unfortunately we are only willing to help with pills and restraints, which is really the same thing. Very sad indeed…. What ever happened to listening to people without judgement?? The circumstances of John’s death are bizarre: a door bell being rung by John and it goes unanswered, BUT!! the cops were called!! What harm did John do that would warrent calling 911 ??? Who’s crazy here?

    I had very close contact with John, especially in the past 2 years. I talked to him on the phone for an hour and a half that very morning on the day of his death. He had asked me to come to Brattleboro the following Tuesday. He wanted to have my input to help him buy a house he had spotted there. Yes, he was ‘flying high’ that morning, in the mental ‘heath’ lingo it would have been called ‘manic’. But that is neither here nor there, when John was ‘flying high’ he did not change one little bit. He continued to be this very sweet and nice person. Harmless is what he was.

    I believe it is society and psychiatry that would not let John live any longer than he did. John was this most amazing man, he had a lot to offer to this world – and I’m not talking theoretical physics here – he wanted a better world, but the world was cruel. The world failled John.

    John was suffering from a deep seated pain that manifested itself in him needing compassion more than anything at times. The ironic thing is that John was a very compassionate person, but there was NO compassion for John that night. Psychiatry seems to be sold on this ‘chemical imbalance’ in the brain fraud, instead of investigating and healing the root causes of emotional distress. But, hey, that takes time… Labels and pills cost a lot less, so psychiatry and their cohorts think, but they are wrong. In far too many cases it costs lives.

    I was devastated when I learned about John’s death almost a week after he had drowned. His mother called me as soon as they had recovered his body. I went to all three of John’s Memorial Services. I thought it might help me heal, but it’s a slow process.

    To me John did NOT accidentally drown, he was driven into the water by all of us! We all lost a very special person when John died. That seems to be the way, we don’t seem to be able to hang on to people we need most. Crazy world!

    Peace,

    Inez

  • http://home.earthlink.net/~wilmerding John Wilmerding

    http://www.timesargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060409/NEWS/604090407/1002/EDUCATION05

    /OR/

    http://tinyurl.com/j7c5h

    [text from article already linked from the main post has been deleted -cvj]

  • http://home.earthlink.net/~wilmerding John Wilmerding

    A brilliant Quaker theoretical physicist, and peace and social justice activist, has died near Brattleboro, Vermont, under questionable circumstances. I spoke today with Kristi Ceccarossi, the Brattleboro Reformer journalist who wrote the initial story. She says she intends to write a follow-up, and is trying to arrange to interview the police officer, who allegedly was the last person to see John Hartley Brodie alive.

    As I read Arena Israel’s letter just now while reformatting it, I suddenly realized that I had met John Brodie and spoken with him at some length. At 57, I must be getting old, for he struck me as looking quite a bit younger than 36.

    John and I had heard one anothers’ witness in Meeting for Worship.

    John had come to Friends Meeting a few times, and I had heard him give vocal ministry there. I remember that some of his witness was about Jesus Christ. I believe him to have been a person of deep belief and faith. I said hello to him in the supermarket as well, where, like my son, he had taken a job bagging groceries. I felt that in some sense, he was lonely. I felt he had found a home here; he expressed that he enjoyed my own ministry in meeting.

    I remember looking across the room at John while he spoke in meeting for worship, and remarking that to me, he looked like Jesus might have looked. My sense of his witness was that he had become ‘tender’ in the classic Quaker sense of the word … that he was doing his best to live a Christ-like life, which for a Quaker, is a very high calling indeed. I believe he had given himself to G-d.

    I knew nothing of John’s illustrious career in academia. Like others here in Brattleboro, I was totally surprised to learn of some of the exotic and unusual paths he had already walked at his young age.

    This is a great loss.

    – John Wilmerding

    http://www.reformer.com/Stories/0,1413,102~8855~3234558,00.html

    Letters to the Editor

    Remembering John Brodie
    by Arena Israel

    John Brodie, the man from Brattleboro who ran from a Hinsdale police officer and drowned in the river, was not an anonymous recluse as the article in last Friday’s Reformer implied. John was a brilliant, creative, and deeply spiritual person who lived a rich, full, and courageous life in spite of his struggles with bipolar mental illness.

    John had a doctorate in physics from Princeton University and a post-doctorate degree from Stanford University. An online search turns up many links for his work in this field.

    John had traveled the world and lived and worked in third world countries. He loved to hike and had explored portions of the Appalachian Trail. Like many of us living here, he was drawn to Brattleboro because of its liberal, creative and spiritual counter-cultures. He was seeking a small town that fostered the freedom and openness that felt crucial to his inner growth. He was making the rounds of this area’s diverse meditation, self-awareness and ecological groups. When I asked John which groups he thought were good, he responded that he liked them all. He found something useful in each group and did not discriminate among them.

    More than anything, John reminded me of a modern day wandering Sadhu. He had been inspired by the life of Peace Pilgrim, who had walked this country without possessions, promoting world peace. Like her, he had a dream to walk this country. But like the sages in India and China, he wanted to do it barefoot. In our culture sages and madmen tend to be lumped together and condemned, rather than revered. But it would behoove us to understand more clearly the connections and fine lines between geniuses, sages, madmen, and saints. The lines are thinner than we think.

    John was a very genuine and heart-centered person. He allowed himself to be vulnerable, sharing openly of himself and his struggles. He had taken a job at Price Chopper because he felt that the simple, basic work would be of help to him. He wanted a change from the complexities that the realm of physics presented. He spoke with humility and humor about how his job at Price Chopper turned out to be anything but simple. Even when bagging groceries he entered into a competition with himself. He strove to be the best and fastest grocery bagger. He then felt humbly relieved to realize that he was just an ordinary bagger like anyone else. John recognized what was most essential: our common humanness.

    I only knew John for too brief a time. However, each encounter I had with him was meaningful, because of his openness, honesty, and humility. I admired his courage to be vulnerable and exposed in a culture where those qualities are not typically safe to express. There was some ineffable quality about him that inspired me, and yet at the same time made me want to reach out and protect him. His eyes radiated light, and his soul seemed to burn with a religious fire that was very gentle and respectful of others, and did not seek to convert anyone to anything.

    My heart goes out to the police officer involved in John’s death. However, in a small town with a large Brattleboro Retreat hospital, it is imperative that we have police officers specially trained to gently handle people exhibiting signs of mental illness. For me, John is an example of a type of endangered human species. May we as individuals, and as a community as a whole, come to respect and value the more courageous, vulnerable and gifted among us before its too late.

    Arena Israel

    Divers Recover Body of Vermont Man
    by Kristi Ceccarossi

    Hinsdale, New Hampshire — Friday, February 3, 2006 — A Brattleboro, Vermont man was found in the Connecticut River on Thursday morning, ending a five-day search for his body.

    John H. Brodie, 36, was found near Route 119, about a mile and a half south of the bridges between Brattleboro and Hinsdale. Divers from New Hampshire Fish and Game said he was 120 feet from the shore, submerged in about 20 feet of water.

    Brodie lived on South Main Street. Neighbors described him as reclusive, according to Hinsdale Police Chief Wayne Gallagher. They told police they couldn¹t recall seeing any visitors at his apartment.

    He has no known family in the area. His parents, in Fulton, Maryland, were notified, Gallagher said.

    Police had been searching for Brodie since Saturday night, when he ran from an officer and into the river.

    Around 11 p.m., Saturday, Hinsdale Officer Dean Wright approached Brodie, who was riding a bicycle, on Route 119. Police received a call that a man was walking around the neighborhood, ringing doorbells.

    When questioned by Wright, Brodie admitted he was ringing the bells and said it was because he was “running for president.”

    The officer asked for identification. Brodie gave him a valid Canadian health card. Wright returned to his cruiser to run Brodie¹s name. When it came up clear, he left his cruiser to return the ID. But before he could get to Brodie, he said Brodie ran down an embankment toward the river, screaming.

    Wright said he chased him, but was unable to reach him before he hit the water. Brodie took off his shirt, socks and shoes and jumped into the river.

    Wright said he tried to coax him back to shore, but after saying the water was cold, Brodie reportedly slipped below the surface.

    The average temperature of the river this time of year is between 35 and 37 degrees. At that temperature, hypothermia sets in quickly.

    The dive team from Brattleboro¹s Fire Department aided in the search over the last several days. New Hampshire Fish and Game found Brodie around 10:47 a.m., Thursday.

    An autopsy will be done on his body in Concord, where the state¹s medical examiner is based.

    Obituary

    John Hartley Brodie

    Brattleboro, Vermont — John Hartley Brodie, 36, a theoretical physicist, accidentally drowned on January 28, 2006, near Brattleboro, where he was residing.

    He was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, attended Society of Friends (Quaker) services in Sandy Spring, Maryland, and graduated from Atholton High School in Howard County, Maryland, where he became an accomplished pianist and lacrosse player.

    He went on to receive his B.S and M.S. degrees from Cornell University in physics. He then took a year off from his studies to travel around the world, mainly to the Far East, where he developed an interest in Eastern philosophies and religions.

    He returned to continue his studies at Princeton University, where he received a Ph.D. degree in theoretical physics in 1998. His dissertation was on gauge and string theories. He went on to do research on string theory, first at the Stanford University Linear Accelerator, and then at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

    Physicists call string theory the “theory of everything” because it attempts to integrate diverse forms of energy into an overall concept. Brodie published a number of research papers in peer-review journals on this subject.

    In 2004, Mr. Brodie took a leave from his research to teach at the Monteverde Friends School in Costa Rica. While there, he traveled to Nicaragua to help Habitat for Humanity construct housing for poor inhabitants.

    Over the years, Brodie became an avid environmentalist, supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and, not surprisingly, a strict vegetarian. He also opposed the current war, and was active in the peace movement.

    His avocations included playing his guitar, hiking, camping, cycling, yoga, and meditation.

    Survivors include his parents, Harry and Angela Brodie of Fulton, and a brother, Mark and his wife Amy and their two children of the Los Angeles area.

    Funeral services were held on February 11 at Friends Meeting House in Sandy Spring, followed by a reception in the Community House.

    A memorial service will be held at the Putney Friends Meeting at 2 pm on Saturday, March 4. The meetinghouse is located on Route 5 just north of the Putney village center.

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Cosmic Variance

Random samplings from a universe of ideas.
ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »