Archive for September, 2008

The Black Hole Wars

This Wednesday physicist Leonard Susskind of Stanford University will give a non-technical, illustrated talk on The Black Hole Wars: My Battle with Stephen Hawking. No background in science will be required for this talk or having seen Disney’s The Black Hole.

For two decades, physicist Susskind battled cosmologist Stephen Hawking over the behavior of black holes.

Hawking’s theory is that when information falls into a black hole it is permanently lost to the outside; also, that black holes evaporate. It happens very slowly but the black hole does emit particles, and eventually disappears.

Susskind’s theory is that the horizon of a black hole (a two dimensional surface like a film) somehow stores all the information that ever fell into the hole. He also theorizes the photons and other particles carry away every bit of information during evaporation of the black hole.

Stephen Hawking now agrees that the information is not lost when a black hole evaporates.

This is a non-technical talk but how can you not be excited about particle physics, event horizons, quantum mechanics, and holographic principles?

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 theatre.

Smithwick Theater, Foothill College
12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills

Wednesday, October 1
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Admission: Free
Parking: $2.00


An overload of downtown events

Just collecting a few random flyers around downtown and SJSU and passing the info on to you. This stuff ranges from comedy to theater to nightclub events to ballroom dance lessons to talent shows to… well, you’ll see. There’s got to be something here you’re interested in. I’m also splicing in some events I found here on the San Jose Downtowner e-mail newsletter, and a couple of gems I saw on I wish I could do this more often. Alas, school.

Wednesday, Oct. 1

Comedy at the Improv: Komedy Kegger – San Jose Bar and Grill teams up with The Improv to supply top notch laughs and affordable drinks and appetizers.  Tickets are good for buy one get one drink at San Jose Bar and Grill after the show.  8 pm.  62 S. Second St.  $10, 280-7475 or

Thursday, Oct. 2

Groove Suite — An Open Turnatble Gathering: Every first Thursday of the month. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. at SFB Lounge, 420 South First St. All styles and genres welcome. Featuring a heavy monthly line-up of local and international guest DJs, live art, vendors, billiards, arcade/gaming area, food and drink specials all night. All sets are recorded live and will be available free to download at Resident: ThatGirl. Guest list free all night: Email for priority open turntable sign-up.

Ma’BOO’Hay Talent Showcase: In celebration of Pilpino History Month, Akbayan presents their 8th annual talent showcase. Pilipino artists from around the Bay Area perform for a night of great music and fun, with proceeeds going to Bantay Bata 163, a charity that serves sick and abused children. Sponsored by the Akbayan Filipino-American Organization of SJSU. Tickets are $8 presale and $12 at the door. Doors open 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7 p.m. Email for tickets or more information, or visit

Comedy at the Improv presents Henry Cho: (Thursday-Sunday) Cho is going to star in his own sitcom based on his life as a Korean-American born and raised in Tennessee.  He has also been featured on Comedy Central and several films like “Material Girls,” “Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation” and “Say It Isn’t So.”  8 pm Thurs; 8 pm and 10 pm Fri; 7 pm and 9 pm Sat; 7 pm Sun.  62 S. Second St. $16-$18, 280-7475 or

City Lights Theatre presents “Noises Off”: A funny story of an English acting ensemble that is touring a production of a farce called “Nothing On.”  Thursday-Saturday through October 19. 8 pm Wed-Sat; 7 pm Oct 5; 2 pm Oct 12 and Oct 19.  529 S.  Second St.  $15-$40, 295.4200 or

Friday, Oct. 3

South First Fridays: Downtown art venues are free and open to the public late into the evening, every first Friday of the month. You can also ride the new rickshaw service between galleries. See highlights, read about the venues and download a map at

Ballroom Dance: Take lessons every Friday from now to Oct. 24. This Friday and Friday Oct. 10 both focus on the Bolero. Oct. 17 and 24 teaches Salsa, Nov. 7 is the Foxtrot and Nov. 14 and 21 are East Coast Swing. No dance experience necessary! Cost is $25 for a semester or $3 for drop-in. Beginning classes are at 7:30 p.m. and intermediate is at 8:30 p.m. Visit the Ballroon Dance Club’s website at

SiliCon 2008: Through Oct. 5. The SiliCon 2008 Convention for Fans of Science, Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror features seminars covering hard science, science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres. Some of the topics covered include astronomy, robotics, and other scientific areas, as well as writing, painting, costuming, singing, model making, computer graphics, and film studies, along with diabetes education and outreach. SiliCon is a non-profit organization devoted to science education and raising funds and awareness for diabetes education and research. Info:

Death of a Salesman: October 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11 at 7 p.m., University Theatre, SJSU. Tickets are $10 students/seniors, $20 general admission. For more info or to order tickets online, go to

San Pedro Farmers’ Market: Fresh produce, food vendors and live music, takes place each Friday to Dec. 12 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. along San Pedro Street between Santa Clara and St. John streets.

WAIT! There’s 7 more events behind the jump! (more…)

Rock ‘N’ Roll 1/2 Marathon to shut down traffic

To the runners preparing for the Rock ‘N’ Roll Half-Marathon this Saturday, Oct. 5: Good luck!

To the motorists planning on driving through the city this weekend: Good luck! You will meet plenty of road closures, clogged freeway exits and a lot of athletic-type people running around. They get their exercise while you continue to pollute, which makes these traffic headaches even more guilt-inducing.

But never fear! Here’s a map to help you avoid running over those athletic-types with your SUV (click to enlarge, and notice I said AVOID):

And here’s more traffic information I got via the marathon’s Web site:

Freeway Information

No freeways will be closed on race day; however, expect delays on Highway 87 near downtown and Highway 880 near Bascom Avenue due to the close proximity of the race course to those roads.

Specific Access Routes
Fairmount Hotel / St. Joseph’s Basilica:

Due to close proximity to the finish line at Plaza de Cesar Chavez, allow extra time for alternate access and expect delays before the race starts (7- 8:00 am). Use the following access route during the race (8:00 am – 12 Noon): From San Carlos Street, use 1st and 2nd Street to connect with San Fernando Street. Hotel guests will be metered in/out on Market Street.

Hotel DeAnza
Please notify the hotel’s valet parking service on Saturday night if you will
be leaving between 7:00 and 10:00 am. The race organizers have arranged
for hotel parking on Notre Dame, between Santa Clara and Carlysle
Streets. From this parking area, you will be able to drive north on Notre
Dame, turn left on Julian Street, and access Highway 87/Guadalupe
Parkway. To access the San Jose airport, follow directions above to
Highway 87 north and follow signs to airport. Prior to the complete
reopening of Santa Clara Street/The Alameda at 12:30 pm, use Highway 87
to return to the Hotel De Anza before 10:00 am. From Highway 87, exit east
on Julian Street, turn right on North Almaden Blvd, left on Carlysle Street
and right onto Notre Dame Ave.

Cory Neighborhood
Residents between Newhall and Hedding, Monroe and Bascom, can use
Cherrystone Drive to exit this part of the route between 7:00-11:30 am.
Roiscrucian Neighborhood – YMCA, Calvary & Scientology Churches
Residents, YMCA patrons and church visitors can use Park Avenue for
inbound access and The Alameda for outbound access between 8:00 am
and 12 Noon.

For more assistance regarding road closures and alternate access routes, please
email Please provide as much information as pos-
sible, including your starting and ending destinations, so that we can more readily
assist you.

San Jose: In Your Neighborhood

We at Metroblogging San José write about what’s happening in the greater South Bay area. If you take a look at our blogroll – bottom of the page – you will notice that we link to several local neighborhood and community sites. A visit to them will take you back to the days of chit-chat over the garden fence.

Northside Neighborhood Association 

Willow Glen Extra

Willow Glen 2.0 is proclaiming: Help Your Neighbor Day.


Do you have a local neighborhood-community site or blog?

Banned books week

This week from Sept. 27-Oct. 4 kicks off an annual celebration of freedom of thought and speech — Banned Books Week.

Check out the American Library Association’s website on banned books here, check out a list of frequently banned books here and here, or become a fan of Banned Books Week on Facebook or Myspace.

The MLK library is already planning some activities:

Sat, Oct 4
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
150 E. San Fernando St. – Rooms 225/229, 2nd Floor
(408) 536-6046

Speakers Dr. Jim Schmidt, professor at the School of Library and Information Science, will speak on Intellectual Freedom, and Amy Sonnie will speak on her challenged book, Revolutionary Voices. There will also be games as well as people reading passages from their favorite banned or challenged books. For additional information contact Heather Devine (408) 536-6046. This event is sponsored by ALASC and LISSTEN.”


From the groups July 13 performance at the San Jose Obon Festival.

From the group's July 13 performance at the San Jose Obon Festival.


Hi everyone!

I’m Sarah, a new author for the San Jose Metblog. I’m very excited to contribute and to start off, I’d like to tell you a bit about myself (it’ll be short – I promise!)

– Journalism was my first love. I studied Journalism at SJSU, graduated with a degree in the fabulous subject in 2005, worked for local weekly newspapers for two years, then decided to leave the business. Not because I didn’t love reporting, but because I figured I should get out while I still had the choice. Anyone who’d like to have a conversation about the current state of Journalism in the Bay Area is absolutely welcome to leave a comment and let me know. :)

– I’m currently back at SJSU in the teaching credential program to be a high school English teacher. Yes, I left a poverty-inducing career where getting laid off is a possibility, to enter another poverty-inducing career that is also in danger financially. But what isn’t these days?

– And last, I love photography. I take photos around San Jose all the time, so I’m making it a mission to bring photos to each of my entries, starting with this one!

OK, enough about me. What I really want to tell you all about is the Spirit of Japantown Festival that is planned for next Saturday, Oct. 4. As a Japantown resident, I love telling people how much I love it here and how they should come by and check out some of the delicious food. Sushi Maru is my personal favorite, but Japantown has lots to offer.

The Spirit of Japantown Festival will go from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the heart of Japantown (Jackson and Fifth streets) and will be packed with activities for people of all ages. Shoppers will enjoy the Main Street full of Japanese fine arts, crafts, food for sale, as well as wares from other local merchants. Festival-goers will be able to enjoy entertainment that ranges from a hula to bellydancing on the Main Stage (Jackson Street between Third and Fourth streets), as well as Martial Arts demonstrations, free Anime movies, and other activities for kids. The San Jose Taiko group is scheduled to perform on the Main Stage, and I have to say they are a must-see. I’ve watched the group perform at the last two San Jose Obon Festivals and they are phenomenal.

While there is usually plenty of street parking in the area, during festivals, the streets fill up fast. However, those who are lightrail savvy will be interested to know that the Japantown/Ayer stop is just a few blocks away from the action. The stop is on First street near Jackson, so just a quick walk and riders can be in the heart of the action.

So if you’re interested, I’m sending you a personal invitation to my neighborhood to enjoy all it has to offer. See you at the festival!

For more information about the Spirit of Japantown Festival, visit their website.

Leonardo da Vinci at the Tech Museum

Leonardo's Flying MachineLeonardo: 500 Years into the Future represents the pivotal unity of art, technology and science of Leonardo da Vinci, Filippo Brunelleschi and the Sienese engineers of the Renaissance.

This is a world premier and exclusive U.S. showing at the Tech Museum beginning this Saturday September 27 and running through January 25, 2009.

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (1452 – 1519) was an astronomer, sculptor, geologist, mathematician, botanist, animal behaviorist, inventor, engineer, architect, musician, and painter. Leonardo is probably best known as the painter of the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. Leonardo’s formal training in the anatomy of the human body and skill as an artist allowed him to make more than 200 drawings of the human body, visible anatomical features as well as internal organs. As an engineer, he drew plans for the submarine, helicopter, parachute, human powered flying machine, toothed wheels, pulleys and pulley blocks, crankshafts, flywheels, springs, shock absorbers, scissors, and the list goes on.

The exhibition, covering 30,000-square-feet in Parkside Hall, has a plethora of exhibits including art, sculptures, drawings, architectural projects, machines and mechanisms, anatomy, and aviation.

The life-sized and scale working models are based on conceptual drawings and designs by Leonardo, Francesco di Giorgio, Mariano di Iacopo (Taccola), and others. These models recreated using tools and materials common in Leonardo’s time. Most of Leonardo’s machines were never built in his lifetime, as many could not have been built due to the lack of suitable parts.

On display is a model of Leonardo’s Flying Machine where the wings are driven by back pedals, which the flier operates with alternating leg motions. The effect of this thrust is amplified by the hand-operated crank, which powers a hoisting device. Bring your wide-angle lens.

There is a cool planetary clock designed by Lorenzo della Volpaia. A planetary clock is not to keep time but to show the position of the heavenly bodies relative to the Earth, so that astrological influences could be calculated with precision.

Two Renaissance paintings by Leonardo’s disciples are included in the exhibition – Leda and the Swan and The Virgin and Child with St. Anne.

The curator of the exhibition is Leonardo da Vinci expert, Paolo Galluzzi, Director of the Institute and Museum of the History of Science – Florence, Italy.

Advanced “timed” tickets are required. Allow a minimum of two hours for the exhibition, as there are numerous displays and multimedia presentations.

Advance ticket sales have already exceeded last year’s Body Worlds exhibit.

This is a must see for the entire family.

The Tech Museum of Innovation
September 27, 2008 – January 4, 2009 extended to January 25, 2009

Tickets and Operating Hours

Directions, Parking and Public Transportation

Click for photos…

Let The Children Play Music Festival 2008

The 2nd Annual Let the Children Play Music Festival, a benefit concert for Feed the Children and Milagro Foundation is this Saturday.

There will be continuous live entertainment on the main stage, a variety of food, arts & crafts, and numerous activities for the kids including games, activities, interactive booths, and prizes in the Radio Disney area.

Proceeds from this years benefit concert will help in the goal to feed a million meals and more to those in dire need in the Bay Area and in the U.S disaster relief zones.

Heart of Chaos artists will be creating a mural themed Feed the Children and collaborating with Heart of Kids artists on a separate mural themed Let the Children Play. Attending children are encouraged to participate in an open themed community mural. The Heart of Chaos and Heart of Kids murals will be auctioned off during the event. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to Feed the Children.

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm — Radio Disney Camp Rock Party
4:00 pm – 8:00 pm — Main Stage: Rose Royce, Con Funk Shun and Bobby Caldwell

Last year the event was free, this year it is $5.00 (children ages 12 and under enter for free).

2nd Annual Let The Children Play Music Festival
Guadalupe River Park, Discovery Meadow
W San Carlos Street and Woz Way, San Jose

Saturday, September 27
11:30 am – 8:00 pm

Admission: $5:00 – free for children ages 12 and under

VTA – Light Rail exit at the Children’s Discovery Museum Station or Bus Lines 23 or 81

Free Museum Day this Saturday

The Smithsonian Magazine is hosting a Free Museum Day across the nation this Saturday, Sept. 27. And plenty of Bay Area museums are participating, like:

All you have to do is fill out this card for your free admission.

I confess, I didn’t know half of these museums existed until just now, so if the Smithsonian’s sole goal is to expose the public to museums, it already worked.

There’s more on this California list of participating museums, including some heavy-hitters like the J. Paul Getty Museum in L.A. and Mission San Juan Capistrano. Or you can find other museums nationwide that are participating, including (obviously) all the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C.

It’s unfortunate to not see any San Jose city museums participating, but such is life. I know of at least one SJ museum that will be very busy this weekend.

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall

The September (Autumnal) Equinox occurred this morning at 8:44am, the time when the sun crosses the equator.

Equinox derives from the Latin words meaning “equal night” is either of the two times during the year that the sun crosses the celestial equator and appears directly above the equator that divides the earth into the northern and southern hemispheres. When this occurs, the length of the day and the night are approximately equal at every place on earth. Day and night during the September equinox is not exactly equal length. There is anywhere from six to more than ten minutes additional daylight. The sun appears south of the equator in the time between the September equinox and the March equinox.

At an equinox, neither Earth’s north pole nor its south pole is tilting away from or toward the sun. Both poles are more or less evenly illuminated. The September equinox marks the beginning of northern hemisphere autumn and southern hemisphere spring.

At least we usually have agreeable weather through October. A rainy winter would be nice to help do away with those drought concerns. Then, back to spring and summer!

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.