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Paula Poundstone says open mic night at a comedy club is the classroom to learn how to be a standup comedian. She says standup is about the relationship with the audience, “you can’t teach that in school.” 

With 40 years of standup experience Poundstone calls herself “a proud member of endorphin production industry.” She will perform at the Tibbits Opera House in Coldwater on Thursday April 11th.


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Tim Bartik says employers should go beyond thinking of job training as a one-time program. The Senior Economist for the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research says if workers can stay on the job, companies won’t have to take on as many costs that come with job turnover. 

Bartik and Senior Researcher Michelle Miller-Adams are two of the authors of the Upjohn Institute’s report called Building Shared Prosperity: How Communities Can Create Good Jobs for All. Bartik says job coaches can help find resources for workers to address problems like child care and transportation. Miller-Adams says large employers have their own people to do that, but she says employer resource networks can help spread out those costs for small and medium sized businesses.


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Author Kevin Young says P.T. Barnum didn’t invent the hoax, but he came close to perfecting it. The author of Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts and Fake News says Barnum provided people with a good show. But Young says some the acts are troubling “when you look at his shows up close.” Note: This interview was originally published in January. 

Young will speak at Western Michigan University Thursday March 28th at 7:00p.m. in room 2452 of Knauss Hall. His appearance is sponsored by the University Center for the Humanities and Western’s English Department. The event was scheduled for January, but was rescheduled due to weather. Young says hoaxes are not about the thin line between fiction and fact. Instead, he says they are about the deep divisions between people.


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The Founder of the Dangerous Speech Project says it’s fear, not hatred, that often inspires acts of violence. Susan Benesch studies the type of speech that causes people to commit, or condone violence. Benesch will deliver the annual Winnie Veenstra Peace Lecture at Western Michigan University. Her address called Social Media and Mass Violence begins at 6:00p.m. Monday March 25th in the Bernhard Center. 

Benesch says dangerous speech can lead to violence when people are afraid. The fear may be of another racial group or of immigrants. She says political leaders can inspire violence with dangerous speech. Benesch says it can also be a celebrity or religious figure.


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Western Michigan University Biological Sciences professor Tiffany Schriever says she and a group of students walk the trails down to wetlands from spring to fall. They use nets and water chemistry equipment to test the waters near the Great Lakes coastline.

Schriever will be among the presenters at Western Michigan University’s Spring Convocation on Tuesday, March 26th at the Fetzer Center. She says they have found great diversity in wetlands, even those that are relatively close together.

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