You know, we're less than a month away from KU's commencement, and I'm getting emotional because on Wednesday morning will be the next-to-last Heard on the Hill Office Hours of the entire semester. So if you'd like a chance to talk to me about our KU news coverage or want to say bye before we all go our separate directions this summer (well, I'll still be here, I guess), you've only got two more chances. I'll be at the Media Crossroads in the Kansas Union from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday.
And here's your list of other KU-related things going on this week:
• Today is Earth Day, and appropriately enough, two speakers will be visiting campus this week to talk about climate change. First up is former Congressman Bob Inglis, who'll give a talk called "The Environment and Energy: The Role of Free Enterprise and the Government" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Dole Institute of Politics. Inglis, a Republican, served in Congress from 1993 to 1998 and again from 2005 to 2011.
Then, coming on Thursday will be David Orr, a distinguished professor of environmental studies and politics at Oberlin College. His talk will be called "Finding the Political Will to Reverse Climate Change," and it will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Kansas Union. Orr has written seven books and some 200 articles and other pieces, and he's part of several environmental efforts.
• On a somewhat related note, the KU Energy Club will put on its third annual KU Energy Conference on Thursday at The Oread hotel. The keynote speaker is Greg Rorrer, a former director of sustainability for the National Science Foundation. More info is available at this site. Attendance is free for KU students, faculty or staff and $50 for others. Either way, you'll need to register ahead of time at that link.
• On Wednesday and Thursday are two forums about KU's master plan, which is being formed right now. I went to the first two forums on the subject and learned some interesting stuff about a number of topics, including what times during the week the most KU classrooms are in use.
• At 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center is a three-on-three basketball tournament that will raise money for the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a program for undergraduates planning on health-related careers that will send a "Medical Brigade" to Panama in May to provide some health care there. Registration is $30, and there's a $300 prize. There will be brackets for both students and alumni, and teams are co-ed. You can register online right here.
• People use the word "unique" too much, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say this event will truly be unique: A percussion quartet comprised of four doctoral students in the KU School of Music, called Ad Astra Percussion, is performing a concert that intrigues me. The group will perform a premiere of a piece it commissioned from composer Dave Hollinden, but what's most interesting for me, at least, are the instruments they'll be using: nine tom-toms, nine skillets, nine flower pots and nine things they call "boos," which are wooden contraptions the students built themselves. A "boo," which they play by striking it with mallets, looks like this:
That concert is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Swarthout Recital Hall, inside Murphy Hall.
It's entirely possible that I've missed something of interest, but if that's the case, just add it in below in the comments. And seriously, you guys, the days left in this school year are slipping away, and don't let it end without coming to see me at my Office Hours. In the meantime, you can send your KU news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jen Humphrey with the KU Natural History Museum jumped in below to add that there's another one of the museum's Science on Tap events at Free State Brewing Co. downtown tonight (Tuesday). Appropriately enough for an event taking place at a brewery, the topic will be how microbes in your gut interact with alcohol.