Smile Politely

Speakers in C-U: Mar. 29—Apr. 4

WHAT: “Current Issues in Nuclear Proliferation: A Practitioner’s Perspective,” Dr. Byron Ristvet, Defense Threat Reduction Agency

WHEN: Tuesday, Mar. 29 @ 12 noon

WHERE: Armory, Room 356 (ACDIS Conference Room)

From the event description: “Dr. Byron Ristvet is Assistant for Nuclear Matters with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency of the Department of Defense. A geologist, he comes with over four decades of experience working on nuclear tests, test sites, and matters of nuclear proliferation. He will be discussing current issues in nuclear proliferation.”


WHAT: “Comrades and Conspirators: Jews and Jobs in Post-WWII Ukraine,” Elana Jakel, PhD Candidate,

WHEN: Tuesday, Mar. 29 @ 12 noon

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

According to the Jewish Virtual Library: “After World War II, under Nikita Khrushchev’s rule over the Ukraine, Ukrainian Jews who fled to Soviet Asia during the occupation slowly returned to reclaim their homes, possessions and jobs. The Ukrainians who remained in the communities were hostile to the returning Jews. The government, once again, refused to interfere in the conflicts between the Russians and the Jews. As a result, anti-Semitic sentiments surfaced everywhere – in the nation’s literature and art, and through political propaganda.”


WHAT: “Iran at Large: The Global Emergence of a Regional Power?” Joint Area Centers Symposium 2011

WHEN: Friday, Apr. 1, all day

WHERE: Lawrence J. Plym Auditorium, 134 Temple Buell Hall

This conference sponsored by the Joint Area Centers at the University of Illinois will examine the critical issues surrounding Iran’s interactions with various countries in different regions of the world. Because of its vast energy resources, strategic position in the Middle East, and the political stances of its government, Iran has become a significant player in the world arena. Over the past few decades, it has challenged the West, especially the United States, while developing new relations with many countries in the rest of the world. This strategy has been complex, entailing considerable tensions with some countries and economic and political alliances with some others. For complete schedule, please see:


WHAT: “Social Science Aspects of Sustainability and Climate Change,” Scott Butner, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

WHEN: Monday, April 4 @ 12 noon

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

From the event description: “While the sustainable use of natural resources certainly poses some tremendous technological challenges, many if not most researchers working in the area of sustainability will acknowledge that technological progress alone is not sufficient to bring resource demands and supply into a sustainable balance. Meaningful progress towards sustainable economies (especially in developed nations), or even simply meeting realistic greenhouse gas emissions targets, is expected to also require substantial behavioral change at both the business and individual level. These necessary changes are wide-ranging, affecting everything from personal comfort to commuting patterns and leisure activities.”


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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