[act-ma] Energy (and Other) Events

George Mokray gmoke at world.std.com
Sun Aug 7 13:46:01 PDT 2011

Energy (and Other) Events is a weekly mailing list published most  
Sundays covering events around the Cambridge, MA and greater Boston  
area that catch the editor's eye.

Hubevents  http://hubevents.blogspot.com is the web version.

If you wish to subscribe or unsubscribe to Energy (and Other) Events  
email gmoke at world.std.com


Monday, August 08, 2011
Anomalies or Leading Indicators? Recent System Failures in IT  
Security, Manufacturing, and Natural Resource ExtractionSpeaker:  
Steven J. Spear, Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management,  
Senior Lecturer, MIT Engineering Systems Division, and author, The  
High Velocity Edge
Time: 12:00p–1:00p
Location: Virtual -- see url below for registration link.
MIT System Design and Management Program Systems Thinking Webinar Series
The MIT System Design and Management Program Systems Thinking Webinar  
Series features research conducted by SDM faculty, alumni, students,  
and industry partners. The series is designed to disseminate  
information on how to employ systems thinking to address engineering,  
management, and socio-political components of complex challenges.

In recent months, we've been awash in major system failures -- BP,  
Toyota, a host of IT security breaches at the International Monetary  
Fund, Apple, Sony, Citibank, and elsewhere.

The purpose of this webinar is to explore two alternative explanations  
of why so many complex operating systems have failed so significantly  
in rapid succession The webinar will also offer insight into how  
complex operating systems can be managed for far greater success.

Web site:http://sdm.mit.edu/news/news_articles/webinar_080811/webinar-spear-system-failures.html
Open to: the general public
Cost: Free
Tickets: See url above
Sponsor(s): Engineering Systems Division, MIT System Design and  
Management Program

For more information, contact:
Lois Slavin
lslavin at mit.edu


Monday, August 08, 2011

Intelligent Narrative Generation: Creativity, Sense-Making, and  

Speaker: Dr. Mark Riedl (Georgia Tech School of Interactive Computing)

Time: 4:00p–5:00p

Location: MIT, E14-633

Storytelling is a pervasive part of the human experience---we as  
humans tell stories to communicate, inform, entertain, and to educate.  
Indeed there is evidence to suggest that narrative is a fundamental  
means by which we organize, understand, and explain the world.  
Regardless, computers are not known for their ability to create novel,  
fictional stories. What could a computational system do with narrative  
generation capabilities? It could write a fictional book, generate a  
movie or comic, share its own personal experiences, direct interactive  
dramatic experiences, direct personalized scenario-based training  
experiences, or generate a personalized computer game. In this talk, I  
present research on artificial intelligence approaches to automatic  
generation of narrative structures. Specifically, I present AI  
planning algorithms specialized toward solving narrative generation  
problems. I show the application of these algorithms in a variety of  
practical applications and discuss future research directions.

Mark Riedl is an Assistant Professor in the Georgia Tech School of  
Interactive Computing. As director of the Entertainment Intelligence  
Lab, Dr. Riedl's research focuses on the intersection of artificial  
intelligence, virtual worlds, and storytelling.

Open to: the general public

Cost: Free

Sponsor(s): Media Lab, Cognitive Machines

For more information, contact:
Karina Lundahl
lundahl at media.mit.edu


Green Block movie night:   Story of Stuff and No Impact Man
Mon, August 8, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Where  Sedgwick St, Jamaica Plain

dinner will be served - RSVP with preference for meat or no meat: alihaight at yahoo.com 


In the midst of summer, the idea of "unplugging" is an appealing one.  
However, there is no time like the present to learn about and plug  
into social media tools that are helping to promote and advance  
sustainability in business.

July Growing GIBN Conversation
Social Media Tools for Sustainability in Business

Date: August 9, 2011
Time: 2pm ET
Call-in information: (760) 569-9000, Code: 160031#
Please join us by sending your RSVP to info at digin.org

Today's social media outlets are not only expanding rapidly; they're  
also appealing to a new crowd. Innovative, sustainable business groups  
are gaining presence on sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. On this  
"Growing GIBN" call, we will discuss helpful resources and the  
benefits of tapping into social media for resources and connections to  
sustainable business practices. We will share some of the ways that  
GIBN is utilizing social media to support its members and we'll  
encourage your questions and insight into this growing mode of  
communication and collaboration.


Harvard/Cambridge Walk for Peace
WHEN  Wed., Aug. 10, 2011, 12 – 12:20 p.m.
WHERE  John Harvard Statue
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION  Ethics, Social Sciences, Special Events,  
Support/Social, Working at Harvard
NOTE  Nearly 10 years of war. Thousands of American lives, hundreds of  
thousands of Iraqi and Afghani lives, trillions of dollars. Come  
remember, mourn, and protest.


Friday, August 12

10 am

"A Decision Analysis Framework for the U.S. Nuclear Fuel Cycle."   A  
thesis defense.

Lara Pierpoint

MIT, E19-319


Friday, August 12

2 pm

"The MQ-9 Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft: Humans and Machines in  
Action."   A thesis defense.

Timothy Cullen

MIT, E40-298




Wednesday, August 17, 2011 1:00 pm

Eastern Daylight Time (Indiana, GMT-04:00)
Cut the Crap:  how to Develop Greener, Lower-Cost Products Webinar

register at



Boston GreenFest 2011
Boston City Hall Plaza
Thursday, Aug 18   5 pm - 9:30 pm  (Performers/Food)
Friday, Aug 19       noon - 9:30 pm  (Exhibitors/Food/Vendors/ 
Saturday, Aug 20    11 am - 8 pm  (Exhibitors/Food/Vendors/Performers)
The EcoParty Continues Every Night at the Hard Rock Café Presented by  


- Native American Drum Ceremony
- Green Fireworks and Light Show
- Transportation Tomorrow Today!
- Over 200 Exhibitors
- 200 Live Performances
- GreenSouleStage
- Great Escape with Alexanderia!
- EcoSalsa Fashion Show
- Jambalaya and Samba Dancers
- YMAA Kung Fu Demonstration
- NESA Gymnastic Presentation
- Tap Off with Boston Tap Company
- Green Entrepreneur Small Biz Forum
- EcoCafé, EcoGallery, EcoBazaar
- GreenFilmFest
- EcoFashion Pop-Up Shop
- One Gallon ChallengeTM
- EcoTimeTunnel
- BPS EcoPhoto Contest
- EcoPoetry with Seitu
- Boston GreenFest Quilt
- Fun for Kids!


Don't miss Boston's annual bike tour showcasing the work of many to  
strengthen Boston's local food system.

The 2011 Tour de Farms is Saturday, Aug 20, leaving from Franklin Park  
and visiting Allandale Farm, Newton Community Farm, The Neighborhood  
Farm, Brookwood Community Farm and the Roslindale Farmers Market.

For more information and to register, see: http://www.zerve.com/AdvenTours/TdF



Date: 8/26/2011 - 8/30/2011
Location: Microsoft New England R&D Center, One Memorial Drive,  
Cambridge, MA 02142
Time: 9:00am - 7:00pm
Audience: Students and faculty from the Boston area and around the  
country working on ventures for the developing world
Description: Please note that this is a week-long workshop: August  
26-30, 2011

VentureLab Sustainable Vision is a 5-day intensive workshop for  
students and faculty working on projects and ventures for the  
developing world. Students from Boston University, Northeastern, MIT  
(including Legatum fellows) Harvard and Tufts will meet and work with  
students from other programs around the country, to develop strong,  
sustainable business models that create products or services for the  
benefit of people living in poverty.





AC Swap – The Cambridge Energy Alliance’s window air conditioner swap  
program is in progress.  Residents can obtain a voucher for $125 if  
they swap an inefficient window AC unit for an Energy Star rated  
model  This is a limited time offer.  Go to the CEA website for  
participation details: http://cambridgeenergyalliance.org/resources/a-c-swap


Free Solar Panels for Houses of Worship

 From a recent Mass Interfaith Power & Light (http://mipandl.org/) email
"We've recently been talking with DCS Energy (http:// 
www.dcsenergy.com/) who has an unbeatable offer: if your site  
qualifies, they design and install the panels at no cost, don't charge  
you for any electricity, and donate the system to your house of  
worship after five years. Your only costs will be for a building  
permit, possibly a structural engineer to verify that your roof can  
support their weight, and any preparatory work such as roof work or  
tree removal. If solar panels are so expensive how can anyone give  
them away for free? First, there is a federal grant program that is  
only available until November that pays for 30% of the cost of the  
system. Then there is an accelerated depreciation option that gives  
certain kinds of investors another tax advantage. Finally, the state  
awards a special allowance called a "Solar Renewal Energy  
Credit" (SRECs) to owners of solar electricity systems which are sold  
at auctions to utilities who buy them to meet their requirements under  
the Massachusetts' renewable portfolio standard. DCS is betting that  
the price of these SRECs will remain high.  Jim Nail, president of MA  
IP&L, has talked to DCS Energy and is currently having them prepare a  
proposal for his church, St. Dunstan's Episcopal in Dover.  Jim says,  
"The references I've talked to have been quite positive about the  
program and the company has been very responsive.  "If you think your  
site might qualify, contact Peter Carli, pete at dcsenergy.com, with the  
address of your house of worship and your contact information. He'll  
take a preliminary look at your site and advise you if it meets their  


Young World Inventors (http://yinventors.wordpress.com/) has started a  
Kickstarter campaign (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1036325713/youngworldinventorscom 
) to fund insider web stories of African and American innovators in  
collaboration, whom Diane Hendrix will be following with her camera  
from June 23 to August 2 in Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania. They are  
building a community and raising funds for production and editing.

One of the people she will be following is Bernard Kiwia, a Tanzanian  
inventor who teamed up with MIT grad Jodie Wu to start Global Cycle  
Solutions in Arusha, near the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro.  They are  
starting with ten insider stories of innovators (high and low tech) in  
East Africa on a new interactive site, with collaborators who'll help  
distribute stories, such as AITI, who who led us to some fascinating  
projects (see our intro to AITI on YouTube).

Editorial Comment:  I too have met Bernard Kiwia and am deeply  
impressed by the variety of projects and collaborations happening  
between Africa and the USA. Bernard's bicycle cell phone charger is  
only one of the many innovative ideas coming out of young African and  
American imaginations and expertise these days.


What you need to know: The Staples Youth Social Entrepreneur (YSE)  
Competition is a global competition created by Staples Foundation and  
Ashoka to recognize exceptional young people using innovation and  
technology to advance social change and improve their community and  
the world.

Who’s eligible?: Young people (age 12-24), living anywhere in the  
world, are eligible to apply.

Dates and details: Apply online between June 22 and September 19, 2011.

For more information:  http://ashokayouthcompetition.org/
Laura Sampath
MIT International Development Initiative
77 Mass Ave, 10-110
Cambridge MA 02139

Sign up for the 2011 Yunus Challenge Facebook page: yunus2011 at groups.facebook.com




Massachusetts Attitudes About Climate Change – An opinion survey of  
Massachusetts residents conducted by MassINC and sponsored by the Barr  
Foundation found that 77% of respondents believe that global warming  
has “probably been happening” and 59% of all respondents see see it as  
being at least partially caused by human pollution.  Only 42% of the  
state’s residents say global warming will have very serious  
consequences for Massachusetts if left unaddressed. The 18 to 29 age  
group is more likely to believe global warming is appearing and caused  
by humans compared to the 60+ age group.  African-American (56%) and  
Latino residents (69%) are more likely than white residents (40%) to  
believe global warming will be a very serious problem if left  
unaddressed.  The MassINC report, titled The 80 Percent Challenge:   
What Massachusetts must do to meet targets and make headway on climate  
change (http://www.massinc.org/Research/The-80-percent- 
challenge.aspx), contains many other findings.


The presentations from the recent Affordable Comfort National Home  
Performance Conference are available online at

Lots of good information from what some call the best energy  
conference in the USA on Deep Energy Retrofits to Community Energy  
Challenges with details on insulation, heat flow, energy metering,  
ducting, hot water, and many, many other topics.  If you are a  
practical energy wonk, this should make your eyes light up.


Free Monthly Energy Analysis

CarbonSalon is a free service that every month can automatically track  
your energy use and compare it to your past energy use (while  
controlling for how cold the weather is). You get a short friendly  
email that lets you know how you’re doing in your work to save energy.



Boston Food System

"The Boston Food System [listserv] provides a forum to post  
announcements of events, employment opportunities, internships,  
programs, lectures, and other activities as well as related articles  
or other publications of a non-commercial nature covering the area's  
food system - food, nutrition, farming, education, etc. - that take  
place or focus on or around Greater Boston (broadly delineated)."

The Boston area is one of the most active nationwide in terms of food  
system activities - projects, services, and events connected to food,  
farming, nutrition - and often connected to education, public health,  
environment, arts, social services and other arenas.   Hundreds of  
organizations and enterprises cover our area, but what is going on  
week-to-week is not always well publicized.

Hence, the new Boston Food System listserv, as the place to let  
everyone know about these activities.  Specifically:
Use of the BFS list will begin soon, once we get a decent base of  
subscribers.  Clarification of what is appropriate to announce and  
other posting guidelines will be provided as well.

It's easy to subscribe right now at https://elist.tufts.edu/wws/subscribe/bfs


Artisan Asylum  http://artisansasylum.com/

Sprout & Co:  Community Driven Investigations  http://thesprouts.org/studios

Greater Boston Solidarity Economy Mapping Project  http://www.transformationcentral.org/solidarity/mapping/mapping.html
a project by Wellesley College students that invites participation,  
contact jmatthaei at wellesley.edu


Bostonsmart.com's Guide to Boston  http://www.bostonsmarts.com/BostonGuide/


Links to events at 60 colleges and universities at Hubevents   http://hubevents.blogspot.com

Thanks to

Fred Hapgood's Selected Lectures on Science and Engineering in the
Boston Area  http://fhapgood.fastmail.fm/site02.html

Boston Area Computer User Groups  http://www.bugc.org/











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