Veterans Day

“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.” – Abraham Lincoln

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Einstein’s Blunder Undone: The Runaway Universe

Albert_EinsteinHarvard University astronomer Robert Kirshner, Ph.D., will
discuss Einstein’s Blunder Undone: The Runaway Universe, an illustrated, non-technical lecture Wednesday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. in the Smithwick Theatre at Foothill College. Admission is free; however, seating is first come, first served.

Einstein invented a new theory of gravity called “General Relativity” and applied it to the study of the universe as a whole. He introduced the Cosmological Constant, a factor that would guarantee the entire universe itself was static—neither expanding nor collapsing. Astronomers showed the universe was not static at all, but expanding, and Einstein banished his constant, even calling it his greatest blunder.

Dr. Kirshner will show the methods used to discover the cosmic acceleration and present the evidence that we live in a universe that is only 4 percent matter like the atoms of the periodic table, with the balance divided between dark energy, speeding up the universe, and equally mysterious dark matter, drawing things together.

Dr. Kirshner has been a leader in the use of supernova explosions to chart the expansion history (including the acceleration) of the universe. He is the author of The Extravagant Universe: Exploding Stars, Dark Energy, and the Accelerating Universe.

Parking lots 1, 7 and 8 provide stair and no-stair access to the theatre. Visitors must purchase a parking permit for $3 from dispensers in student parking lots. Dispensers accept credit/debit cards, as well as one-dollar bills. Campus Map (PDF).

Smithwick Theatre
Foothill College
12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, 94022
(650) 949-7888

November 11, 2015
7:00 p.m.

Admission: free
Parking: $3.00

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2015 Heroes 5K Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run

heroesOn Saturday, November 7, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office and the Valley Medical Center Foundation will be out again for a family-friendly 2015 Heroes 5K Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run at the Cupertino Civic Center.

Prizes are given for the best kid’s costumes and best family costumes (Dress as your favorite hero/super hero, optional).

Deputy Jeremy Jones: “I have been with the County Sheriff’s Office for over five years. A few years ago, I responded to a call that involved a mother and small child. The mother was suffering from a mental illness while caring for her nine-month-old son. Due to her illness, her son was lacking proper care and was admitted to Valley Medical Center. I was the Deputy to chaperone the child while in the hospital. As hours passed, I held this little boy and became emotionally attached. I spoke with the staff at Valley Medical and learned that they are one of the largest pediatric centers in California and was in dire need of improving their kid-friendly atmosphere. I visited the center and met children who had sustained injuries that no child should ever have to endure. No matter their circumstances, each child smiled as I walked around to each of them asking who their hero was. One child responded that cops and firefighters were because they kept him safe…and they drive cool cars. I realized at that moment that the children were the true heroes. This experience has left a lasting impression on my life and a passion to help children. Shared experiences like these are the reason the Heroes Run was created.”

Register here

Registration Types:

5K Run/Walk (all ages)
Sales End Nov 4, 2015
Price $30.00
Fee $2.64

Fun Run (ONLY for children Ages 2-7)
Sales End Nov 4, 2015
Price $15.00
Fee $1.82

Heroes 5K Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run
Cupertino Civic Center

Saturday, November 7, 2015
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM (7:30 AM Race Day Packet Pick Up Opens)

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Fall Back 2015

StandardTimeThis weekend we turn our clocks back an hour as we return to Standard Time, Sunday morning November 1 at 2:00 am.

Don’t think you will get an extra hour at your favorite pub/bar, they close at 1:59 am.

Year Spring Forward Fall Back
2015 November 1
2016 March 3 November 6
2017 March 12 November 5
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Shaping Sound proves they can dance!

photo courtesy Shaping Sound

Photo courtesy Shaping Sound

We had the pleasure of being invited to review the Shaping Sound show at the Flint Center last weekend. And seriously, what a show it was!! Along with a fully packed Flint Center and such a positive, excited energy from the entire crowd.

Shaping Sound, under the artistic direction of Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance and Kyle Robinson, is an evocative collaboration by diverse artists who describe themselves as ‘visual musicians’, i.e. their dance gives shape and form to sound. If the names sound familiar it’s because the launch of their dance company was followed during the Oxygen show “All the Right Moves.” And the dancers and directors have been all over your television: “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Dancing With the Stars,”, “Glee,” “American Idol,” “The Voice” and “The 2013 Prime Time Emmy Awards.”  Besides choreographer Travis Wall, and SYTYCD Season One winner Nick Lazzarini, you will likely also remember dancers Ricky Ubeda, Kathryn McCormick and Jaimie Goodwin from SYTYCD. Unfortunately Goodwin had been injured and was not able to dance on Sunday, so most of the dances focused around the beautiful McCormick.

The first act was a lively set of dances, many arranged in a speakeasy type setting, set to music such as Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. No music list was provided so I’m going off my memory and what this writer recognized. The first dance, called “Broken in Chaos,” used full company but there was one standout right away: Mountain View’s native son Nick Lazzarini.  Let me clarify, I never saw SYTYCD Season One, I have no idea who Lazzarini is. But my eyes couldn’t leave him in that first set, and then my guest turned and told me it was Nick. So I was legitimately impressed. The final set of the first act, “Rouge Lounge”, was a really high energy dance with the entire group that had the audience screaming for more.

But after intermission is when things got REAL good.

The first set in Act Two is set to Bohemian Rhapsody, and it was FANTASTIC.

The men of Bohemian Rhapsody dance "Escape from Reality"

The men of Bohemian Rhapsody dance “Escape from Reality”

All the men stood under spotlights and I wish I had dance language to tell you what was going on, but the loud music along with the fantastic lighting effects, and the dancers themselves had the crowd going WILD.  I LOVED it.  I wish I had a video of that dance, I’d play it over and over and over again. No one in the audience will forget that number. And Act Two just kept on with the entertainment and we were really impressed that most of the crew were dancing the entire time. Those dancers have a LOT of energy.

But my second favorite dance was almost at the end, “The Light”, and it was a duet with Ricky Ubeda and Travis Wall. Excuse me if duet is not the correct word, I really don’t know the dance language. It was a beautiful contemporary dance showing so much love and affection and tenderness, it brought a big smile to my face even up to the very last movement. Thank you for that one, Ricky & Travis.

I’m so sorry that there was only the one show in the Bay Area, so you will have to wait until the next tour to see it. But if you are a fan of SYTYCD, or of dance itself, or you just look forward to a couple hours of great entertainment, I recommend watching out for their next tour and then getting tickets early – the entire Flint Center was sold out!

Good luck to all the dancers on the rest of their tour, and get well soon to Jaimie Goodwin!

Tour Schedule
Nick Lazzarini on Instagram
Shaping Sound on Instagram
Shaping Sound on Facebook

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Winchester Mystery House Flashlight Tours

Tour the rambling mansion at night with only the moonlight and a souvenir flashlight on October 23, 24 or 25.

It is recommend you purchase your tickets ahead of time as these events will sell out.

There are also Flashlight Tours in months with Friday the 13th.

Winchester Mystery House
525 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose
(408) 247-2101

Friday (23) & Saturday (24) 6:30 pm to 12 am
Subday (25) 6:30 pm to 11:30 pm

Tickets $49.95

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San Jose Sharks

Joe PavelskiThe National Hockey League season begins Wednesday.

The Sharks named Joe Pavelski as their new captain. Joe Thornton and Logan Couture were named alternate captains.

Also, Raffi Torres received a 41 game suspension, the longest suspension in NHL history for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

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Free Ice Cream Cone Day at Häagen-Dazs

icecreamconeJoin participating Häagen-Dazs shops for free cone day this Tuesday MAY 12, 2015 from 4:00 – 8:00 PM and get one free kiddie size ice cream in either a cup, sugar cone, or cake cone.

Participating shops:

Valley Fair Mall
2855 Stevens Creek Blvd. Suite 2458
Santa Clara, CA  95050-6709
(408) 260-8882

Oakridge Mall
925 Blossom Hill Road, Store #1744
San Jose, CA  95123
(408) 281-8646

Stoneridge Mall
1144 Stoneridge Mall Rd, #B-120
Pleasanton, CA  94588
(925) 468-0293

San Francisco Premium Outlets
2774 Livermore Outlets Drive
Livermore, CA  94551
(925) 243-9908

If your area is not listed above, check here.

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Follow us on Facebook, Linkedin, Google+


“Like/Follow” San Jose Metblogs on Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, Twitter and we are on Plurk

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A Magical Evening at Opera San Jose

Well, I was at the afternoon matinee, but still. It was one of the best times I’ve had at the opera, and I’m so happy that there is still time for you to see it. The Magic Flute is a show for adults and children, oldies and newbies, opera and theatre lovers. And it includes a majestic dragon!!

The dragon attacks Tamino in The Magic Flute. Photo credit Pat Kirk

The dragon attacks Tamino in The Magic Flute. Photo credit Pat Kirk

This may not be the best show I’ve ever seen at Opera San Jose, but I still enjoyed it so much and it is a great show for other Opera Novices and Newbies.  As always, the performances were incredible, the story was great, the music was beautiful, the costumes were gorgeous, …but there are some stand-outs that make this a show you should not miss.

1.  This is a great opera for Newbies and families with children.  The Magic Flute is sung in German but has spoken words in English. It always throws me off when an opera is not entirely sung, which is probably the only issue I had with this show, but for newbies and children this is a great plus and makes for an easy introduction to opera.  As always, the lyrics (and spoken lines) are projected in super titles above the stage so you can follow along.  The show has children involved, though they are not the stars, and there were many children in the audience. Although I wasn’t sure they would be able to follow the story entirely, there was not a peep from any of them during the entire three hours.

2. Chris Salinas, Daniel Ostrom and Winter Felton-Priestner are three very young men who can now add “Soprano, Opera San Jose” to their resumes and I don’t think they’ve even hit middle school yet. This certainly trumps my own resume and I might be a tiny bit jealous.

3. There are a couple scenes with children silently wearing beautifully painted animal masks, and the animal-like choreography was riveting. Kudos to both the choreographer and the kids for nailing each of their parts and creating a magical tableau whenever they were on stage.

4. The show is often very funny, usually thanks to Matthew Hanscom as hapless Papageno.  Papageno just wants a wife to love him, but how will he find a woman who wants to marry a poor bird trainer?

5. Isabella Ivy (soprano) is breathtaking as the Queen of the Night.  Two of the songs she sang were so intricate and complicated that any Newbie could see these must be some of the most difficult pieces in opera.  Even more amazing, she sang one of these very complicated pieces in the upper ranges of the scale, while kneeling down, and as she stood her foot got tangled in her skirts. She not only calmly untangled herself, but she never missed a beat or a note in one of the most amazing sections of music I have ever heard. Every jaw in the theater was hanging open. She was incredible.

6. THE DRAGON.  The dragon was simply the most beautiful prop I have ever seen. It was huge and graceful and gorgeous and majestic.  Its wings moved, it spouted smoke from its mouth (the kids in the audience LOVED this), and for me it was the star of the show.  During intermission I voiced my hopes that the dragon would make another appearance, and it did when everyone came out for a bow. That dragon earned its ovation, and so have the operators, the designers and creaters of that piece.  More dragons like that need to be in opera!!

When the entire thing was over I realized that I had had a really fun time. I haven’t always enjoyed every opera I’ve attended, and it has taken me a while to appreciate some parts of opera. But ever since Madama Butterfly, Opera SJ has been drawing me in. I may still be the Opera Novice in most aspects, but I am also quite certainly becoming an Opera Lover.

Recently I have noticed the shows have not had two casts, and are instead having one cast do a shorter run of each show. I don’t know if this is a financial decision (or just a coincidence), but I can say that the performers have upped their game, and the performances are tighter than I’ve ever seen. Try if you can to make one of the last performances (I have heard they are close to selling out all shows) but if you don’t make this one, mark your calendars quickly to get seats for next season. It starts with Puccini’s Tosca, and after that come The Marriage of Figaro (YAY!), Carmen (YAY!), and then A Streetcar Named Desire. That is going to be one amazing season and this Opera Novice is looking forward to it more than ever.

The Magic Flute
Opera San Jose
Thru May 3

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100 Years of Einstein’s Relativity

Albert_EinsteinJeffrey Bennett, Ph.D. an astronomer from the University of Colorado, will discuss 100 Years of Einstein’s Relativity (and How It Underlies Our Modern Understanding of the Universe), a free, illustrated, non-technical lecture Wednesday, May 6, at 7:00 p.m. in the Smithwick Theatre at Foothill College.

2015 marks the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s completion of his General Theory of Relativity, the comprehensive theory of space, time and gravity.

Albert Einstein developed the general theory of relativity along with quantum mechanics.

Dr. Bennett is the author of college-level textbooks in astronomy, astrobiology, mathematics and statistics, as well as the popular books “What is Relativity?” and “Beyond UFOs: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life.”

Dr. Bennett will sign copies of “What is Relativity?” after the lecture in Appreciation Hall (Room 1501).

Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Arrive early to locate parking.

Parking lots 1, 7 and 8 provide stair and no-stair access to the theatre. Visitors must purchase a parking permit for $3 from dispensers in student parking lots. Dispensers accept one-dollar bills and quarters; bring exact change.

Smithwick Theater, Foothill College
12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
7:00 pm
Admission: Free
Parking: $3.00

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Northern California Botball Tournament 2015

2015 Northern California Tournament this Saturday, April 18, from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm at NASA Ames Research Center. FREE to watch.

The robot compete by performing various tasks which are judged for speed and accuracy: however, during the head-to-head competition, the robots can be programed to sabotage their competitors.

Event Schedule:
8:00 AM – Registration / Open Practice

10:00 AM – Seeding Rounds Begin

1:00 PM – Lunch Break

2:00 PM – Double Elimination Rounds Begin

5:30 PM – Awards Presentation Begins

NASA Ames Research Center, N152 Conference Building, Room 171
Moffett Field, CA 94035

April 18, 2015
from 10:00 am
FREE to watch

Event Directions:
Go on US 101 freeway to the Moffett Field exit, then:
Show your drivers license to the guard at the gate, and say you are attending the Botball Tournament in the NASA Conference Center, N152. Drive straight, down Clark Road to just before the Shuttle model, turn right on Wescoat Road, then in a couple blocks, turn right on McCord Ave, and in one block, stay right at the ‘Y’ (note sign to N152) to Dailey Road for another block and you’ll see N152 on the right. The parking is on the left, across the street.

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Free Drive-In Movie Night

Free Drive-In Movie Night at the Capitol 6 in San Jose this Thursday, April 16, 2015 – gates open 6:00 pm

Capitol 6 Drive-In movies include:

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Paddington with The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water with Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 with Paddington

Capitol 6 Drive-In
3630 Hillcap Ave., San Jose

Gates open at 6:00 pm. Films start at dusk
Admission is free

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Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 from Noon to 8:00 pm is Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry’s.

Participating Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops in the Bay Area are opening their doors from noon to 8 pm to serve up a free scoop of any flavor of your choice.

Since 1979, it’s Ben & Jerry’s way to celebrate and say thanks to their fans for another year of support.

Participating locations:

115 East San Carlos
San Jose

2130 Center Street
Suite 102

475 Jefferson Street
San Francisco

170 O’Farrell St.
Macy’s Department Store
San Francisco

505 Embarcadero West

1480 Haight Street
San Francisco

Pier 41
Pier 41, c/o Chatzka’s Inc. The Box
San Francisco

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Encountering the First Dwarf Planet

Marc Rayman, Ph.D., the mission director for NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft, will discuss Encountering the First Dwarf Planet: The Dawn Mission to Ceres, a free, illustrated, non-technical lecture Wednesday, April 8, at 7:00 p.m. in the Smithwick Theatre at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills.

The Dawn Spacecraft is now in orbit around Ceres —the largest asteroid in the asteroid belt and also the first dwarf planet to be discovered. Ceres was discovered January 1,1801 by Giuseppe Piazzi of Italy. As big across as Texas, Ceres’ nearly spherical body has a differentiated interior – denser material at the core and lighter minerals near the surface.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the Dawn mission. It is the first NASA exploratory mission to use ion propulsion, which enabled it to enter and leave the orbit of multiple celestial bodies.
Ion propulsion is a technology that involves ionizing a gas to propel a craft. The gas xenon is given an electrical charge, or ionized. It is then electrically accelerated to a speed of about 30 km/second. When xenon ions are emitted at such high speed as exhaust from a spacecraft, they push the spacecraft in the opposite direction.

Dr. Rayman is both mission director and chief engineer for Dawn. He has worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 1986, designing instruments for space telescopes, Mars measurements, the search for planets around other stars and laser communications with spacecraft.

Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Arrive early to locate parking.

Parking lots 1, 7 and 8 provide stair and no-stair access to the Smithwick Theater. Visitors must purchase a parking permit for $3 from dispensers in student parking lots. Dispensers accept one-dollar bills and quarters; bring exact change.

Smithwick Theater, Foothill College
12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills
(650) 949-7888

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
7:00 pm

Admission: Free
Parking: $3.00

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