[act-ma] Energy (and Other) Events

George Mokray gmoke at world.std.com
Sun Dec 18 20:10:55 PST 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


Occupy Detroit Occupies an Abandoned Neighborhood


No Energy (and Other) Events on Christmas Day or New Year's Eve.

Have a Happy X, Merry New, and Bah, Humbug.


Computational Biases in Decision Making
Monday, December 19
2:00 - 3:00pm
MIT, Building  E62-550, 100 Main Street, Cambridge

MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering Seminar
Vanessa Janowski, CalTech

Abstract:  Vanessa will discuss two studies focused on computational  
biases in decision making and an fMRI study on social decision-making.  
The first is an eyetracking study investigating the relationship  
between loss aversion and attention: she finds a correlation between  
how loss averse subjects are and how long they look at losses vs.  
gains when evaluating mixed gambles. In a second study using Mouselab,  
she will show how attention influences multi-attribute choice. She  
finds that the display of different attributes has a significant  
effect on search among those attributes and, ultimately, choice.  
Finally, she will present an fMRI study on making decisions for others  
vs. ourselves in which she finds overlapping areas of the vmPFC to be  
involved in both types of decisions, though decisions for others  
appear to be modulated by areas involved in social cognition.

Bio: Vanessa Janowski is completing the final year of a PhD in  
Economics at Caltech, with a focus on behavioral and experimental  
economics and neuroeconomics. She holds an MSc in Applicable  
Mathematics from the London School of Economics and a BA in Economics  
from Yale University.


Innovations in Clean Water Technology
Tues, Dec 20
Belmont Media Center, 9 Lexington St, Belmont, MA 02478 Phone:  

John H. Lienhard, MIT
Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations
Worldwide, the need for drinkable water is increasing while the supply  
is decreasing.  In some places water is simply too scarce; but in many  
areas there is plenty of water — it’s just not drinkable.  Where the  
supply is seawater or brackish water, one possible solution is  
desalination, the removal of the salt.  There has been impressive  
progress in this complex technology in recent years.   The lab of  
Professor John Lienhard at MIT is a world leader in this field and has  
developed a number of desalination technologies.   Professor Lienhard  
discusses these recent advances and how this technology can address  
the urgent need for drinkable water as the present natural supply is  
rapidly dwindling.

Professor John H. Lienhard V is the Samuel C. Collins Professor of  
Mechanical Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering,   
Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He is also the Associate  
Department Head for Education, and Director of the Center for Clean  
Water and Clean Energy at MIT and KFUPM.  Dr. Lienhard is an  
international expert on desalination  and has received many awards and  
honors for his work.  He serves on the editorial boards of numerous  
professional journals and has also authored two mechanical engineering  
text books.




Throughout January, MIT hosts the Independent Activities Period where  
anyone from a janitor to a professor emeritus can teach a course.  It  
is designed for the MIT community but, if they ask politely, members  
of the public can attend.  The full schedule is available at


Entrepreneurship for a Sustainable Planet:  Meet to network and  
discuss the solutions we need to be green & MAKE green!
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
6:30 PM
Kingston Station, 25 Kingston St, Boston



Sprouts/Microgreens class at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education  

Monday, January 9,    6-9 pm
It will cover jar method of sprouting, tray methods of microgreens and  
flax/chia, and show some simple raw food recipes.

To register:  contact CCAE at 617-547-6789 or via the web.


The GovData Project Winter Course

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
1:00 PM
MIT Media Lab (new building), 75 Amherst St, Cambridge

Want to:
Help make US Government data open and transparent?
Learn how to organize and visualize massive datasets over the web?
Develop your Python, MongoDB, Solr, GeoDjango, Javascript, and HTML5  
Join a team a high-impact open-source coding project?
Join us for the MIT-Harvard GovData Project Winter Course!
Open to the general data hacker community around Boston

RSVP at http://meetupbos.hackshackers.com/events/16288633/


The Socialization and Gamification of Health Behavior Change Apps
January Meeting: Tuesday, January 10
Evening Schedule:
6:30-7  Networking & Socializing over Tea, Coffee, Drinks, Food;  
Joining BostonCHI
7-8:30  Meeting
8:30-9  Dessert! ... And more Networking & Socializing
IBM Center for Social Software, 1 Rogers Street, Cambridge
Chris Cartter, General Manager, MeYou Health - the social well-being  
company (http://www.meyouhealth.com/)

Please register at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2607816048 if you  
plan to attend. While not required, it helps us and our hosts estimate  
how much seating and refreshments to provide. All BostonCHI meetings  
are free and open to the public, although we'd appreciate it if you  
joined. Annual membership is only $15 / year and helps support our  
great speaker series.

Abstract:  For decades, health behavior change programs have been fine  
tuned to guide participants through goal-driven, step-wise programs,  
highly tailored to the individual. Yet, even the best of these  
programs yield only modest participation, often heavily incentivized,  
hampering their ability to truly impact the public's health.  
Meanwhile, the dramatic rise of the social Internet and wildly  
successful online social games have transformed the landscape of  
what's possible. Facebook, with its 800 million users, creates an  
unprecedented social infrastructure developers can use to jump start a  
new generation of socially activated behavior change apps. Social  
network science can reveal patterns of social connection and  
influence, allowing us to create the first generation of health apps  
that engage not just an individual, but their real-world social  
network. User interaction patterns gleaned from successful games can  
be used to design realistic, genuine experiences that engage people in  
a personal journey towards well-being, not just a one-time interaction  
with an "intervention".

After the conclusion of this session, participants should be able to:
1. Discuss the importance of creating behavior change applications  
that leverage the real-world social networks of participants.
2. Explain how "game mechanics" can make the experience of using  
behavior change programs more fulfilling.
3. Envision a future where health programs are truly social and  
capable of engaging a mass audience in a collective journey towards  
greater health and well-being.

Bio:  Chris Cartter has worked in the areas of networking  
technologies, health and social change for over 25 years. He is  
currently General Manager at MeYou Health (MYH), a social well-being  
company and Boston-based subsidiary of Healthways (Nasdaq: HWAY).  
Before starting MYH in 2009, Chris was Senior Vice President of  
Internet Innovation at Healthways. He came to Healthways in 2006  
through the acquisition of QuitNet, an online smoking cessation  
company where he served as President & CEO from the time the program  
was spun out of Boston University (BU) in 2001. For eight years while  
at BU, Chris led the development of online services for Join Together,  
a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded substance abuse resource  
center at the BU School of Public Health. Earlier in his career, Chris  
worked for two international NGO's, Oxfam America and Grassroots  
International, which he co-founded in 1983.


Ignite Craft Boston 2:  Craft, Community, and 5 Minute Presentations

Friday, January 13th

6:30pm to 9:30pm (doors open at 6:30 and presentations begin at 7:00pm)

32 Vassar Street, room 123, Cambridge, MA 02140

The event is free; however, due to limited space at the venue you must  
RSVP at http://ignitecraftboston2-esearch.eventbrite.com/?srnk=17

Ignite Craft Boston 2 is an Ignite event with a crafty crowd. If you  
had five minutes on stage to talk about your crafty passion in Boston,  
what would you say? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated  
automatically after 15 seconds? Around the world folks have been  
putting together Ignite nights to show their answers.


What is MassChallenge?  When can I apply?
January 17, 2012
12pm - 1pm
Cambridge Innovation Center, 1 Broadway, 14th Floor, Cambridge, MA

Please join us for an information session and lunch at Cambridge  
Innovation Center
Pizza and drinks on us

RSVP at http://mcinfosessioncic117-esearch.eventbrite.com/?srnk=18

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Suggestions?
events at masschallenge.org


Challenges facing renewable energy technologies in 2012: A panel-led  
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
6:00 PM
CIC - (Cambridge Innovation Center) - 5th floor - Havana Conference  
Room, 1 Broadway, Cambridge

Initial details to hold the date while we wait for final confirmation  
from panelists /speakers.  This will be a lively group and panel  
discussion of the challenges facing renewable energies in 2012 - more  
details to follow as we get confirmations.

RSVP http://www.meetup.com/H2O-Boston-Water-and-Energy-Technology-Meetup/events/43917192/


Coping with climate change today: Insights from the past

Thursday, January 19, 2012, 7-8:45 pm

Cambridge Main Public Library, Community Room

By any measure, climate change is unprecedented. “The earth that we  
knew – the only earth that we ever knew – is gone.” (Bill McKibben,  
Eaarth, p. 27)

But the crisis of climate change, the human crisis, is an old one with  
many precedents that we can learn from as we confront climate change  
in our own lives.

If you are aware that climate change is real and is a looming threat  
to our way of life, the conditions that made human civilization  
possible, and possibly to human survival then you are confronted with  
the choice that defines the crisis:

Should I accept climate change as inevitable, and pursue my own  
happiness and profit as things fall apart, or should I join with  
others and fight it, even though we must live with the certainty that  
we can’t stop it? World War II confronted the French people with more  
immediate threats and similar choices. Shortly after the war, in 1947,  
Albert Camus, a Frenchman who had fought in the resistance, wrote a  
novel about life during the war and reached back to an earlier century  
for a precedent to the shock of the Nazi occupation of France. He  
found it in an outbreak of The Plague, which he set in a modern city  
in North Africa.

We have little living memory of the war that Camus had just  
experienced, yet his precise account of the timeless human condition  
in crises of the past can help us understand how to respond to today’s  




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 Success!

Young World Inventors (http://yinventors.wordpress.com/) finished  
their Kickstarter campaign (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1036325713/youngworldinventorscom 
) to fund insider web stories of African and American innovators in  
collaboration successfully.

New contributions, however, will be accepted.




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://www.BostonScienceLectures.com

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










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