Posts tagged with Ku Natural History Museum

KU links: Comanche the horse, temper tantrums and more on online education

The calendar has flipped into May, which means folks at KU are no doubt quite busy with the semester's end approaching and a bit melancholy because they have only one more chance this semester to come to Heard on the Hill Office Hours (one week from today, 9 a.m. to noon in the Media Crossroads at the Kansas Union).

But here's something to distract you from all that (well, don't forget about the office hours part): your weekly-or-so collection of KU-related tidbits from around the Internet.

• CNN had a piece this week on the art of horse taxidermy, and alert readers might know immediately why there might be a KU connection there: KU's Natural History Museum is the home of Comanche, the legendary horse that survived the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876 and was preserved by Lewis Lindsay Dyche, who helped found the museum. CNN talked with Leonard Krishtalka, director of the museum and the KU Biodiversity Institute, about Comanche and taxidermy.

• Also at CNN, via Real Simple magazine, is this story about temper tantrums that has a good deal of input from Robert Harrington, a KU professor of psychology and research in education.

• The Wichita Eagle asked Scott Reinardy, associate professor of journalism, for his thoughts on the bid by Koch Industries to purchase the newspapers owned by the Tribune Co. (Update: This previously linked to a Kansas City Star story, but the Eagle is actually the publication of origin — my mistake.)

• The Daily Kansan today reports that students at KU who've received Pell grants have been less likely to graduate than other students, which is in line with trends around the country.

• Last week brought another update from Leobardo Espinoza Jr., the Topeka high-schooler blogging about his choice among KU and some other colleges for The New York Times. Sounds like he's largely narrowed his choices to KU, Yale and Amherst College in Massachusetts. It appears KU's not exactly a front-runner, but it's in consideration, and you can read to see why.

• And finally, I'll share two other NYT links that aren't directly related to KU but might be interesting if you'd like to read more about developments in online education after reading our update over the weekend on KU's strategies in that area. The two stories both describe how some universities and colleges are using free Massive Open Online Courses as tools in their on-campus classes. They're an interesting look at one of many possible ways forward for higher education as budgets tighten and online tools increase.

So there — if you took full advantage of that linkfest, you probably distracted yourself for a good 10 minutes or so. In return, take another 30 seconds to send a KU news tip to

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    KU events this week: Marrow drive, NPR White House correspondent talk, provost lecture on ‘big data’

    Your weekly KU events roundup, on a Monday during which, as I write, sub-freezing temperatures remind us that there's still another week to go before spring break:

    • As we told you last week, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at the KU Credit Union, 3400 W. Sixth St., is a marrow donor drive in honor of 2012 KU grad Laura Hollar, who's battling leukemia.

    • KU Provost Jeff Vitter is also a distinguished professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and he'll show off his computer chops in a lecture Tuesday called "Finding your Way in a Compressed World." The topic sounds intriguing: He'll talk about how humongous piles of information, used ever more these days and often referred to as "big data," can be compressed and searched in a manageable way. (The compressed version of the lecture's title, according to a KU release, is "&W$!h")

    This is his inaugural lecture, a tradition for KU distinguished professors, in his Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor post. The talk will be 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Alderson Auditorium at the Kansas Union.

    • Tuesday evening brings another date on the Dole Institute of Politics spring semester lineup: "An Evening with Scott Horsley." Horsley is National Public Radio's White House correspondent, and he'll sit down for a chat with Dole Institute Director Bill Lacy that you're permitted — nay, encouraged — to listen to. That's at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Dole Institute.

    KU-based Kansas Public Radio is also a host, as it celebrates its 60th anniversary. KPR has an entertaining Q -and-A with Horsley on its website to get you pumped up, in which he talks about the time he gave the president a piece of his mom's zucchini bread and other tidbits.

    In case you can't make it to the Dole Institute, the KU School of Journalism will also be broadcasting the event live on Knology or KU ResNet channel 31 and AT&T channel 99, as well as streaming it online at this link right here.

    • Also on Tuesday — this is shaping up to be a busy day — the KU Honors Program will serve up another entry in its lecture series on "The Digital Humanities": Kathryn Tomasek. an associate professor of history at Wheaton College in Illinois, will give a talk called "Oh My Dear Father! Uncovering Religious Networks through a Daughter's Journal." She and her students conduct digital research of the history of the college. That's at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in The Commons at Spooner Hall.

    • The KU Natural History Museum has another of its Science on Tap events, uh, on tap: Sharon Billings, an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, will discuss how plants and soil serve to regulate the climate here on Earth, and how humans are changing that. That's 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Free State Brewing Co., 636 Massachusetts St.

    • And, as you may have seen last week, award-winning author Edwidge Danticat will visit for a lecture 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Woodruff Auditorium at the Kansas Union, as well as an informal Q-and-A session 10 a.m. Thursday at the Hall Center for the Humanities.

    I've surely missed something someone feels is of interest. But on this wild and wonderful world of the Web, you have the power to share news with the entire world with a few taps on your keyboard. By which I mean you can just post any other events this week in the comments below. And send your KU news tips to


    KU events this week: John Adams, Nobel winner, new natural history labs

    Your weekly sampling of upcoming events around KU:

    • The KU Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Institute will show off its newly completed $3.5 million renovations during a reception from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday. Tours will show visitors all the high-tech stuff there that will help scientists and students expand their research, including the cryogenic tanks I saw last week, which I thought were pretty cool. The space at the event will be limited, though, so organizers ask that you RSVP if you want to go:, or 864-4540.

    • Historian Richard Norton Smith's second lecture on America's first presidents, on John Adams, will be 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Dole Institute of Politics. I checked out his talk on George Washington on Sunday, and he promised his Adams discussion would include the rise of the first U.S. political parties, which he said were far nastier than the parties we sometimes consider so polarized today.

    • From 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday will be my first-ever Heard on the Hill Office Hours at the Media Crossroads in the Kansas Union. Please come say hello and tell me what's on your mind.

    • A Nobel Prize winner will pitch "A Next-Generation Solution for Funding Retirement" in a talk at the Dole Institute at 1 p.m. Friday.

    • And an "It Gets Better" program featuring the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles will address youth bullying, 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Lied Center. Check out that link for some other related events during the week, as well.

    There are far more events than this, of course, and if there are any you'd like to add, chime in via the comments below. And get those KU news tips to

    Reply 1 comment from Matt Erickson

    KU events this week: Marrow drive, watch ‘The Birds’ with a scientist, timeline of timelines

    Here's something new we'll try out here at Heard on the Hill: A quick guide to KU-related events to start off your week.

    Here you go:

    • Here is something we wrote about a couple weeks back, but perhaps it's slipped to the back of your mind. A marrow donor registry drive is underway until 2 p.m. today in the Traditions area on the fourth floor of the Kansas Union. This was put together by Sharilyn Mathews — a KU student — in honor of her husband, Jonathan — also a KU student — who has battled both types of lymphoma. If you drop by and answer some questions to make sure you're eligible and get your cheek swabbed, you can put yourself on a registry where you could possibly help someone who has blood cancer.

    • KU's Natural History Museum announced its spring-semester schedule last week, and a couple of notable things are coming your way in the next few days. Tomorrow will be the latest installment of the museum's Science on Tap series of discussions at Free State Brewing Co. downtown. This one concerns how genetic clues could lead to better cancer treatments, and it's 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Free State, 636 Massachusetts St. And later this week the museum's student advisory board will launch a movie series called "Myths and Mayhem," which will combine films with talks and Q-and-A sessions by KU scientists. The first film is "The Birds" from Alfred Hitchcock, and you can see it at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the museum, in Dyche Hall.

    • Also on Thursday is a talk by a University of Oregon historian on a topic you might not have thought was a possible topic: The history of timelines. Daniel Rosenberg wrote a 2010 book called "Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline" that earned a lot of good reviews and explored how we came to represent stretches of time in linear form, a practice that did not take its modern form until less than 250 years ago. He has even produced a "Timeline of Timelines." His talk "Chronographics," sponsored by the KU Honors Program, will be 7:30 p.m. Thursday in The Commons at Spooner Hall.

    If you've got any other events you think folks might like to know about, list them in the comments below. And, as always, send your KU news tips to

    Reply 1 comment from Matt Erickson

    Learn about anatomy with life-size “Operation”-like game Saturday at Natural History Museum

    If you won't be among those jetting out of Lawrence sometime by tomorrow with the end of the fall semester, the KU Natural History Museum might have something for you Saturday, especially if you have children or are a child yourself (in which case I'm quite impressed that you're reading this blog; way to be aware of the world around you).

    From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the museum, you can check out "Science Saturday: the Body," the latest edition of its monthly Science Saturday events that began this fall.

    Visitors can take part in several activities and games while learning about what's in the human body. One game, "Anatomy Alex," is inspired by the board game "Operation" and includes a life-sized model that I can only assume contains body parts more scientifically correct than a "spare rib" or "bread basket." Or you can lob "pollen" balls into a giant nose (if it were a giant model of my nose, you would then need to duck to avoid the ensuing earth-shaking sneeze).

    KU human anatomy instructors will provide models and some actual organs for folks to inspect.

    Children and families are welcome, along with "curious adults," says a release.

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