Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.
• One thing KU students are apparently pretty good at? Traffic Bowl, evidently.
So what exactly is Traffic Bowl? It’s a Jeopardy-style competition for Institute of Transportation Engineers student chapters.
KU’s team won the regional competition, earning them $1,000, plus $2,000 in travel expenses to the national competition on Aug. 16 in St. Louis.
Questions, according to a KU statement, “are based from the contents of three professional traffic manuals, which cover everything from street signs and pavement markings to road construction standards and highway capacity considerations.”
Curious to know if I could find a sample question, I did enough poking around on the Traffic Bowl website to find this:
“Clue: The MUTCD 2000 provides guidance that pedestrian clearance time should be based on this normal walking speed.
"Response: What is 4.0 ft/s (1.2 m/s)?”
I’m not too sure what the MUTCD 2000 is, but I do know that I wouldn’t be able to come up with that answer.
So good luck to the team of Cheryl Bornheimer, Lenexa; Benjamin Alexander Mugg, Shawnee; Sara Rae Mallory Thompson, Salina; Huanghui Zeng, Zijin, China; and Xiaoxiao Zhang, Beijing, China, at the national competition.
• I spotted an interesting blog post from a KU law student who traveled to summer institute to study something I’d never really thought about — fashion law.
No, said second year law student Lauren Luhrs, she’s not like Reese Witherspoon’s character in “Legally Blonde.”
But she did have an undergraduate degree in apparel marketing and public relations, and was interested in fashion law, and traveled to New York to attend a summer intensive program on the topic.
The law intersects fashion quite a bit, it seems. Luhrs described a bit about the program, saying its students “explore the diverse areas of the law that affect the fashion industry and are at the heart of the Fashion Law Institute, including intellectual property, business and finance, international trade and government regulation, and consumer culture and civil rights.”
She also got this Marc Jacobs tote bag out of the deal, which might be something important in the fashion world, but might not.
You shouldn’t ask me about fashion. I own about 10 work shirts, about half of which are maroon, which gets me maligned by fellow reporter Shaun Hittle on a regular basis.
• Two KU professors are among those receiving funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation to support digital documentation of nearly 50 endangered languages from around the world.
Arienne Dwyer, an associate professor of linguistic anthropology, received two grants from the NSF, one for $174,609 to establish "CoLang: Institute for Collaborative Language Research," and another for $259,220 for "Interactive Inner Asia: documenting an endangered language contact area," for $259,220.
In looking at the more than $3.9 million in funds given to the cause, it’s interesting to see the kinds of languages that are being studied.
Lizette Peter, associate professor of curriculum and teaching, also received $41,795 for “Collaborative Research: Documenting Cherokee Tone and Vowel Length.”
• Once Carolyn MacKay of Ball State University finishes her dictionary of Pisaflores Tepehua, I might try to write an entire column in that language. If you have better things for me to write about, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.