Smile Politely

Speakers in C-U, December 7 – 13

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.

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 Mondays.


WHAT: “Happily Ever After? Examining Narrative Form in the Latin Girl-Meets-Girl Story,” Colloquium with Dara Goldman, UIUC

WHEN: Monday, December 7 @ 8 p.m.

WHERE: 3rd Floor, Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois, Urbana

Dr. Goldman should be able to fill in the gaps in your spanish-speaking meet-cute knowledge.


WHAT: Illinois State Water Survey CAS Seminar: “Probabilistic Downscaling of 21st Century Precipitation Occurrence and Intensity,” Dr. Justin Schoof, Dept. of Geography & Environmental Resources, Southern Illinois University

WHEN: Tuesday, December 8 @ 2 p.m.

WHERE: Room 201, Water Survey Research Center, 2204 Griffith Drive, Champaign

It’s a subject tailor-made for a late-night monologue: the same folks who can’t tell you if it’s going to rain tomorrow are going to project how much it’s going to rain across the U.S. for the middle and latter parts of the century. Just kidding; I’m sure long-term trends are more able to be projected than instantaneous events. The event description sounds quite technical, but if you’re interested in whether the Midwest is going to become a Dust Bowl in the coming decades, this might be a good seminar to attend. (Note: this seminar was originally scheduled for last week, but was postponed because of illness.)


WHAT: Lifelong Learners: Hay-on-Wye, the British Town of Books,” Fred Christensen

WHEN: Wednesday, December 9 @ 10 a.m.

WHERE: Main Branch, Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green St., Champaign

From the event announcement: “Recently back from Britain, Fred Christensen will recount his visit to Hay-on-Wye, the secondhand book capital of the world, along with the pleasures of driving on the left, dining in pubs, and staying in B & Bs.” With the snow flurries flying, you may be dreaming of somewhere warmer than Hay-on-Wye, but it should be transporting, nonetheless.


WHAT: “Electroanalytical Eavesdropping on Cellular Communications,” Prof. Christy Haynes, University of Minnesota

WHEN: Friday, December 11 @ 4 p.m.

WHERE: 116 Roger Adams Lab, 600 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana

Man, I thought this was one of the few talks this week that would be of interest to the non-academic. Because who isn’t occasionally concerned about their cellular conversations being tapped? However, as I did more research about the talk (a lot of these departments really make you hunt), I realized that the cellular communications that Prof. Haynes is knowledgeable about are the ones between the cells in your body. So, yeah. It’s a great week to be a theoretical biophysicist or a nanotechnology designer, but as to the rest of us, I’ll see you in ’10.

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