One advantage to working on a university campus is that there are lots of educational talks all the time that aren’t actually aimed at us working stiffs, but if they say they are “free and open to the public,” then they can’t really stop us from going. I used to work at a place where they did a lot of brain research, and those were some really interesting talks! One speaker had been a well-known record producer before becoming a neuroscientist, and he gave a talk on a disorder that causes some intellectual impairment but, for reasons nobody can yet explain, enhances musical ability. I asked if these kids had sharp senses of humor, since in my experience more musical people are more quick-witted, and he said he hadn’t noticed that with these particular kids, but it did seem to be true back when he worked in the music industry. “Stevie Wonder was the funniest guy I ever met!” he declared. Then when I worked in an area that dealt with critical care medicine, they had some really fascinating talks, although I always felt like they kind of looked at me askance for going to them when I wasn’t an MDeity. Now that I work in a language department, the talks are right up my alley – linguistics! Today they had one about how motion is perceived differently by speakers of Russian and English, since in Russian the verb has a marker to denote whether the motion is in one direction or not. So one person walking or two people walking the same direction would have the unmarked verb, but two people walking towards each other would have the marked verb describe their movement. I had no idea! Apparently this aspect of Russian is very hard for native English speakers to grasp, since we have nothing like it. Just a head’s up in case you were thinking of studying Russian.