Smile Politely

Speakers in C-U, May 3 – 9

WHAT: “Sustainability seminar — Water Use in Ethanol Plants,” Kishore Rajagopalan, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

WHEN: Wednesday, May 5 @ 12 noon

WHERE: Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, One E. Hazelwood Dr., Champaign (in South Research Park)

From the seminar announcement: “The conversion of biomass to energy, under the current state-of-the-art processes, requires the use of copious amounts of water. Recently constructed dry grind ethanol plants utilize 3 to 4 gallons H2O/gallon EtOH. Even this level of water usage for bioethanol production can place an undue burden on local water supplies. In some instances, the competition for water among various end-uses, including biofuel production, is sparking debate on the merits of large-scale bioenergy production. This talk will present preliminary results from an ongoing investigation at an operating ethanol facility to identify opportunities for water reduction. Opportunities identified include improving the efficiency of RO operations, recycling of filter backwash, reuse of cooling tower blow down as well as feasibility of using treated municipal effluent. The talk will also address other considerations that may impact feasibility and extent of water reuse.”

WHAT: “Religious Studies Student Association — 3rd Annual Religious Studies Student Symposium

WHEN: Monday, May 3 @ 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Lucy Ellis Lounge, 1080 Foreign Languages Building

Presentations: Jay Geyer, “Appearance Claims and the Evidential Problem of Evil;” Maggie Dunleavy, “Constructing the Religious Slave: A Study of the Enslaved Black Subject from Du Bois to Raboteau;” Bradley Johnson, “Hal Lindsey and Left Behind: Understanding Bible Prophecy in America;” and Craig Kreutzer, “Worldviews and Views of the World: Personalism and Pedagogy.” Moderated by Emily Ansusinha, president of the Religious Studies Student Association.


WHAT: “Understanding the 1994 Rwanda Civil War,” Professor Allan Stam, University of Michigan

WHEN: Tuesday, May 4 @ 3:30 p.m.

WHERE: Engineering Hall — room 106B1

From the event description: “Based on an examination of a new database on Rwandan political violence (Davenport and Stam), I will present an animated GIS analysis of the 1994 fighting which shows that three distinct zones of political violence existed during the 1994 civil war: 1) those killings that occurred under government (FAR) jurisdiction, 2) those where government and rebels are engaged in fighting each other (i.e., the battle-fronts or front lines) and 3) those under rebel (RPF) jurisdiction. The majority of killings take place in the zone under FAR/Rwandan government control (accounting for approximately 90% of deaths). They are the ones proximately responsible for almost all of the political violence though culpability varies tremendously for any individual episode of killing. I will also show that estimating the intensity of the violence requires making empirical assumptions that in other settings would be considered Herculean. Depending on one’s priors, plausible posterior estimates of the killing range from 200,000 to 1,000,000. Except for estimates based on the most restrictive priors, Hutu victims account for the substantial majority of total deaths.”


WHAT:Singlet Fission — Could it be Useful for Solar Energy Conversion?Prof. Josef Michl, University of Colorado

WHEN: Tuesday, May 4 @ 4 p.m.

WHERE: 112 Chemistry Annex

Well, could it? I’m guessing Prof. Michl will have an answer, and it may BLOW YOUR MIND.


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 Mondays.

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