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KU events this week: Kevin Willmott on ‘Red Tails,’ meteorologist on ‘Twister’ and a Big Event

It's getting to be a bit late here on this Monday afternoon, but no need to worry that you'll be forced to wander around rudderless for the next several days: Here's your weekly KU events roundup.

• Kevin Willmott, the filmmaker and associate professor of film and media studies at KU, will discuss the significance of the Tuskegee Airmen through the lens of the 2012 movie "Red Tails" in an event at the Dole Institute of Politics. That's 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

• Also 7:30 p.m. Tuesday is an entry in a KU Honors Program lecture series on the Arab Spring revolutions of the last few years. This one is from a professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, Nathan Brown, and it's called "Can Egypt's Constitution Work?"

• On Wednesday is the fourth annual Security Conference held jointly by two KU centers and the Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth. The topic is "Russia and China: The Architects of a New Global Order?" More details are available on the event's Facebook page.

• It's getting to be storm season, and if that's the sort of thing that makes you excited, you can watch the movie "Twister" with a meteorologist on Thursday. It's 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the KU Natural History Museum, and it's part of a series where you can watch movies along with scientifically knowledgeable people called "Myths and Mayhem." Watching along with you would be Rick Katzfey, the chief meteorologist at 6News.

• Saturday is the day of KU's Big Event community service day. That might be of interest to you if you're one of the 3,200 or so volunteers who are signed up, organizer Lauren Reinhart told me. They'll head out to about 375 job sites around Lawrence to help people out.

As always, if I missed anything, let me know in the comments below. And, of course, don't forget Heard on the Hill Office Hours this week, from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday in the Media Crossroads at the Kansas Union. Come tell me what you really think of me, or just give me a story idea. If you can't make it, I suppose you can send me your KU news tips to merickson@ljworld.com, but you had BETTER have a good excuse.

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    KU students want volunteers, projects for April’s ‘Big Event’

    KU's "Big Event" is kicking into gear for its third year, though if it keeps growing at the rate organizers are hoping, it might have to change the adjective in its name to "massive" or "humongous" or something like that.

    The Big Event is a student-organized community-service project that aims to send hordes of KU students, faculty and staff out into Lawrence on one spring day to help with pretty much anything that needs doing. Organizers say it's meant to say "thanks" to the town.

    This year's day is April 13. In the event's first year, about 500 volunteers helped at 100 different sites around town. Last year, some 2,000 people helped out at around 200 different places. And this year, organizers are shooting for 4,000 volunteers and 400 sites.

    Registration — both for volunteers and for people asking for help — begins Jan. 22 at thebigeventku.com. It runs through March 31.

    The students behind the effort don't want you to be shy about asking for help with any sort of project or mess you might have. Last year organizers had to remind folks that help is open to absolutely anyone who might need it, regardless of age, financial situation or anything else. Some past projects have included painting, raking leaves, washing windows, garden work, moving heavy objects and a bunch of other stuff. The volunteers will help with any task, "within reason," says a release from the organizers.

    And, you know, something else you shouldn't be shy about is submitting KU news tips to merickson@ljworld.com. They don't even need to be "within reason," as long as they're true.

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