Monday, October 10, 2011

Sometimes U Think, Sometimes U Don't: Willamette U Brainpower on Tap

Two events, one past and one upcoming, show mental function and malfunction at work at Willamette University.

U Think

The monthly U Think lecture shows off fruitful collaborations between academics and ordinary citizens.

This month David Craig returns to talk about Citizen Science and Squirrels. You may recall him from his lecture on crows almost exactly a year ago.

This lecture, titled "Bright-eyed and Bushy-tailed about Citizen Science," takes place on Wednesday,
Oct. 12 at 6:30 p.m. in Brown’s Towne Lounge. Craig, whose research was featured in the PBS documentary “A Murder of Crows,” will discuss the Western Gray Squirrel, a North American species now threatened across most of the West Coast by an introduced species.

Craig will talk about squirrel behavior and why the Western Gray Squirrel population is declining. Also, he’ll discuss the development of citizen science and how you can participate.

“Nature photographers and backyard wildlife enthusiasts can contribute to scientific efforts to preserve our native, declining squirrel species,” says Craig. “There’s a citizen science project for almost every passion. At U Think, I’ll talk about squirrel behavior and how people can participate in related work, but there are ways to contribute to research just by lending your gaming system’s processing power when you are not using it.”
(Squirrel Taxidermy from Mac's Taxidermy)

U Think?

While we may not always be sober here at Capital Taps, we try not to be too snarky. But this particular keg blew.

At an alumni event on the Willamette campus recently we spied a mini-burma shave series.

Most of the signs were banal boosterism - but one leaped out!

This sign read:
Did you know?

During the University's first half-century, its land holdings were gradually sold to meet other needs, so much of the present downtown Salem is built on former University land.
It was good to read the correct use of it's/its, but there was a problem...

Wouldn't it be great to have Whole Foods, Henry's 12th Street Tavern, and the Brewery Blocks in downtown Salem?!

Who chose the photo? How could someone in Salem who works at Willamette possibly mistake a shot of downtown Portland for a shot of Salem? Did the alumni department outsource the sign project out of town or even overseas? Is this a prank? What's going on???

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