Smile Politely

Listen Up: February 20 – 26

WHAT:God vs. Gay?: The Religious Case for Equality,” Jay Michaelson

WHEN: Monday, February 20 @ 7 p.m.

WHERE: Illini Hillel at Cohen Center For Jewish Life, 503 E. John Street, Champaign


WHAT:The Impact of the Landless Workers Movement on the Development of Brazilian Activist Educators’ Identities,” Julio Emilio Diniz-Pereira, University of Washington

WHEN: Tuesday, February 21 @ 2 p.m.

WHERE: 101 International Studies Building, 910 S. Fifth Street, Champaign

From the event announcement: “The Landless Workers’ Movement (MST), one of the largest and most important social movements in contemporary Latin America, has struggled for agrarian reform as well as social and economic justice in Brazil. Education is also a quite important dimension of the MST’s struggles. This paper reveals, therefore, the complex mechanisms of the construction of an identity as activist educator and some of the main experiences in the landless movement that have made the development of this type of identity possible among the participants in this research.”


WHAT: “The Impact of the Media on Cyprus and Greece,” Alexis Georgiadis, Student, Department of Journalism

WHEN: Tuesday, February 21 @ 12 noon

WHERE: Lucy Ellis Lounge: Room 1080, Foreign Languages Building, 707 S. Mathews, Urbana


WHAT:Implications of Biofuel Water Footprint in Water Sustainability,” Dr. Yi-Wen Chiu, Argonne National Lab

WHEN: Thursday, February 23 @ 12 noon

WHERE: Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, One E. Hazelwood Dr., Champaign

From the event announcement: ” Biofuel water demand has gain increasing attention since the energy authorities emphasized the importance of reducing the national dependence on foreign energy. Water conservation has been a key factors in achieving sustainable biofuel production from agricultural residue and other advanced feedstock. In our latest study, we establish a standardized water footprint framework aiming to quantify blue, green, and gray water associated with second-generation and advanced biofuel at county-level resolution for the entire United States. We quantify the water footprint covering the hydrologic cycle, irrigation, process water use, and grey water discharge for the major life-cycle stages of the biofuels: feedstock production, feedstock transportation, and feedstock conversion. Five major types of feedstock are analyzed including corn, corn stover, soybean, wheat straw, and algae. We examine the effects of spatial resolution on shaping water footprint. To put biofuel water demand into perspective, we further compare the water footprint of the biofuel generated from each feedstock with local effective rain. The results indicate that green water use accounts for a significant portion of the water use in current cellulosic feedstock development though most of the past water conservation efforts were made to increase blue water use efficiency. Local water limitation should always serve as an important criterion while projecting future biofuel production potential.”


WHAT:From Structural Adjustment to the Post-Washington Consensus and Beyond: Paradigm Shifts in Development Aid,” Matthew Winters, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Illinois

WHEN: Friday, February 24 @ 12 noon

WHERE: University YMCA | Latzer Hall | 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign



You live near a major university and a community college. There are smart people that come here every week to talk to the general public about interesting topics. Perhaps you were not aware of this fact, or were overwhelmed by the sheer number of opportunities for possible enlightenment. If that’s the case, Smile Politely understands and is here to help. Here are several events going on in town this week. Check out one or more of them if you have time. Get your learn on, as they say, and join the cognoscenti. It’s free, you know. Plus, sometimes there’s free food, too!

If you have a community event, speaker, or film event that you’d like to see featured on Listen Up!, send the event information to joelgillespie [at] smilepolitely [dot] com by Friday the week prior to the event. Listen Up! runs on Tuesdays when classes are in session.

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