Instance variable won't update using basic Ajax script

damn strait you can't do that

<div id="status">
<%= render :partial => 'status', :locals => {:traps => @trap} %>
</div>

:partial => status:

<table>
<% even_odd = 0
traps.each do |trap|
even_odd = 1 - even_odd %>
<tr class="background<%= even_odd %>">
<td><%=trap.datetime %></td>
<td><%=trap.description %></td>
</tr>
</table>

def update_data
        @trap = Trap.find(:all, :order => "datetime DESC")
        render :partial => 'status', :locals => {:traps => @trap}
end

thanks alot for the help Keynan...I NEVER would have guessed the syntax
on that. I googled this problem for hours and found no documentation
worth anything. I put in the code you suggested, but am getting errors.

I am gettting an error in my view:

         wrong number of arguments (0 for 3)

it doesn't like the following line:

      <%= render :partial => 'status', :locals => {:traps => @trap} %>

It might be a mistake on my interpretation of your instructions, here's
what I have in my config based on your advice:
------------begin view ---------------------------
<%= periodically_call_remote( :update => "status",:frequency => 2,:url
=> { :action => :update_data }) %>

<table width="100%">
<tr class="background0">
<td>&nbsp;</td>
</tr>
:partial => status:
<div id="status">
<%= render :partial => 'status', :locals => {:traps => @trap} %>
</div>
</table>
<table width="100%" border="0">
<% even_odd = 0
traps.each do |trap|
even_odd = 1 - even_odd %>
<tr class="background<%= even_odd %>">
<td><%=trap.datetime %></td>
<td><%=trap.desc1 %></td></tr>
<% end %>
</table>
----------------end view --------------------------
----------------begin controller ------------------
def update_data
        @trap = Trap.find(:all, :order => "datetime DESC")
        render :partial => 'status', :locals => {:traps => @trap}
end
---------------end controller-----------------------
I really appreciate the help on this....thanks.

jackster