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November 13, 2007

Reading by Eric Dregni, FYW Instructor

weirdMN.gifReading, Quiz, and Slideshow
by Eric Dregni
author of/ Midwest Marvels/ and/ Weird Minnesota/

7 p.m., Saturday December 1st, 2007
Test your knowledge of the must-see sites dotting the highways and byways of the Upper Midwest./ Weird Minnesota/ and/ Midwest Marvels/ are the fruit of years of searching for the scandalous, scary, immoral, disconcerting and, well, funny stories of our region. Only in the Midwest is civic pride measured by the size of a town's roadside sculpture.

In Audubon, Iowa visitors find a thirty-foot, forty-five ton, talking bull erected as a monument to the beef industry. In Minnesota a tourist can visit monuments to Paul Bunyan or the Spam Museum, and North Dakota boasts a 45-foot tower of discarded oil cans, trumped only by the World's Tallest Structure: a TV tower jutting nearly a half mile into the sky. Everyone is familiar with South Dakota's Mount Rushmore and Corn Palace, but less famous is the one and only Outhouse Museum. But only in Wisconsin can a couple get married in the mouth of a 145-foot muskie.

Born in the shadow of the World's Largest Six Pack in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Eric Dregni is a freelance writer for The Rake, Metro, and StarTribune. He is the author of several books including/ Minnesota Marvels, Weird Minnesota, The Scooter Bible, Zamboni, The Follies of Science/, and the forthcoming/ Art Cars: Museum on the Streets/.

Common Good Books, southwest corner of Western & Selby, St. Paul tel. (651) 225-8989

The event is free and will be held upstairs from the bookstore at Nina's Coffee Café.

November 2, 2007

Spotlight on Ph.D. student: Zoe Nyssa

ecuador.gifZoe was accepted into the Traveling Scholar Program and is taking doctoral seminars at the University of Chicago this fall offered through the Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science. The Traveling Scholar Program allows qualified doctoral students at CIC-member institutions to spend up to two semesters taking classes for credit (and at tuition parity!) at another CIC university (For more information: http://www.cic.uiuc.edu/programs/TravelingScholars/)

Over the summer Zoe was also in Ecuador for several weeks assisting the Santa Lucia Cloudforest Reserve, the flagship community-based ecotourism project of Rainforest Alliance, a UK environmental organization. Working with the lodge director and several of the guides, she is redeveloping and expanding all accompanying English materials (primarily the self-guided tours and some website content) to better convey the scientific and conservation work Santa Lucia is engaged in to the lodge's visitors.