Archive for April, 2014

Judy Chicago: A Butterfly for Oakland

The Oakland Museum of California presents a retrospective of artist, author, feminist, educator, and intellectual Judy Chicago’s work. Digitized images from A Butterfly for Oakland, Chicago’s 1974 site-specific installation on the shore of Lake Merritt, will be on view.

A Butterfly for Oakland was created using a combination of commercial fireworks and road flares. The displays were then lit by hand, resulting in a “painting” of colored smoke.

Photographers documented the display, the images have been digitized and a selection will be on view in OMCA’s Gallery of California Art.

A Butterfly for Oakland
through November 30, 2014

Oakland Museum of California
1000 Oak Street, at 10th Street, Oakland 94607
510-318-8400
888-OAKMUSE (625-6873) – Toll-free

Wednesday – Thursday, 11 am – 5 pm
Friday, 11 am – 9 pm
Saturday–Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm
Closed Monday and Tuesday

Admission rates
 —
$15 general
$10 seniors (ages 65+) and students, with current ID
$6 youth, ages 9 – 17
Free for children 8 and under and for OMCA Members.
Note: Admission is free the first Sunday of every month.

Enter the Museum parking garage entrance on Oak Street between 10th and 12th streets.
 Parking is $1/hour with Museum validation.
 Parking without validation is $2.50/hour.
 Take your ticket to the Ticketing booth on Level 2 for validation.

Electronic Waste Recycling

There are three electronic waste recycling collection events this Saturday, April 26, 2014, in San Jose from 9 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Booksin Elementary School
1590 Dry Creek Rd, 95125

Easterbrook Discovery School
4835 Doyle Road, 95129

Willow Glen Elementary
1425 Lincoln Avenue 95125

E-waste recycling including:
Computers, Monitors, Televisions, Printers, DVD/CD Players, Fax Machines, Toner Cartridges, Telephones, Cell Phones, Speakers/Stereo Equipment, Wire, Cabling, Printed Circuit Boards, Aluminum, Scrap Metal, Microwave Ovens, Batteries.

There may be a charge for Fluorescent Lights and Televisions over 50 inches.

Items will be recycled according to the rules and regulations set forth by the State of California.

Most e-waste collected is processed at GreenMouse Recycling for the purpose of creating local jobs.

50 percent of the revenue generated from E-Waste Collection Fundraiser Events are shared with the schools.


GreenMouse Recycling
529 Race Street San Jose, 95126
(408) 464-9999

Two New Exhibitions at OMCA


Oakland Museum of California presents two new exhibitions through July 27, 2014 —

With the 20th anniversary of the alternative art and culture magazine Giant Robot, OMCA features the exhibition, SuperAwesome: Art and Giant Robot featuring works by 15 contemporary artists who have been a part of the magazine’s social and cultural evolution.

The exhibition presents new and recent works by California and international-based artists affiliated with the magazine. A range of mediums, including mural art, sculpture, illustration, portraiture, large-scale installations, graphic novels, photography, and more.

The exhibition also features Giant Robot magazines, vinyl toys, custom vending machines, and the original Famicom Scion XB — a car-turned-interactive gaming station, enabling visitors to use the car to play video games.

The other exciting exhibition Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records explore the social and cultural phenomenon of listening to, collecting, and sharing records in vinyl.

In the gallery you will be able to: explore the history of album cover art with a film exploring the medium and an exhibit of notable album cover art; listen to a wide range of vinyl records; how to DJ with instructional videos and record players; much more.

The gallery features standalone listening stations with turntables and album art displays, along with comfortable, lounge-like, social gathering areas that allow visitors to control their own music experience.


Oakland Museum of California
1000 Oak Street, at 10th Street, Oakland 94607

510-318-8400
888-OAKMUSE (625-6873) – Toll-free

Wednesday–Thursday, 11 am–5 pm
Friday, 11 am–9 pm
Saturday–Sunday, 11 am–5 pm
Closed Monday and Tuesday

Admission rates
$15 general
$10 seniors (ages 65+) and students, with current ID
$6 youth, ages 9–17
Free for children 8 and under and for OMCA Members.
Note: Admission is free the first Sunday of every month.

Enter the Museum parking garage entrance on Oak Street between 10th and 12th streets.
Parking is $1/hour with Museum validation.
Parking without validation is $2.50/hour.
Take your ticket to the Ticketing booth on Level 2 for validation.

BLM Mustang Auction and Tack Sale May 3

Sorrel Mustang

“The Bureau of Land Management protects, manages, and controls wild horses and burros under the authority of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 to ensure that healthy herds thrive on healthy rangelands. The BLM manages these living symbols of the Western spirit as part of its multiple-use mission under the 1976 Federal Land Policy and Management Act .”

One of the BLM’s key responsibilities under the 1971 law is to determine the “appropriate management level” (AML) of wild horses and burros on the public rangelands. These animals have virtually no natural predators and their herd sizes can double about every four years. As a result, about 31,000 wild horses and burros roam BLM-managed lands in 10 Western states, a population that exceeds by about 3,500 the number that can exist in balance with other public rangeland resources and uses.

To help restore the balance, the BLM gathers some wild horses and burros and offers them for adoption or sale to those individuals and groups willing and able to provide humane, long-term care.

On May 3rd, 2014 you can see some of these wild horses up for adoption, and maybe even take one home from the Santa Clara County Horsemen’s Association. 20350 McKean Road, San Jose, Ca. 95120. The SCCHA Juniors will be holding a flea market sale on the same day, in case you need some new tack for that adopted horse!

If you can’t make it to the adoption at the SCCHA, you can see a list of adoption events here, or visit  the Litchfield or Ridgecrest Corrals Monday through Friday during business hours.   It’s a good idea to download and fill out your adoption application prior to arrival.  You can also fill out the adoption form at the SCCHA adoption event.

IMPORTANT NOTE:   Adoptions are open from 8 am to 5 pm on the day of the adoption.   For all adoptions, after the silent bidding has concluded, any remaining animals will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Highlights from the Spitzer Space Telescope

Astronomer Michael Bicay, Ph.D., of the NASA Ames Research Center, will discuss Lifting the Cosmic Veil: A Decade of Highlights from the Spitzer Space Telescope, an illustrated, non-technical lecture, Wednesday, April 16, at 7:00 p.m. in the Smithwick Theatre at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills.
Admission is free and the public is invited.

The Universe is continually radiating information to Earth, sending signals in wide-spectrum of light. However, not all of these messages reach the ground. Because our planet’s atmosphere blocks most radiation coming in from space.

The Spitzer Space Telescope was launched in 2003 to study the cool universe with waves that are invisible to the human eye. It was designed to probe the birth and youth of stars and planetary disks, and to observe some of the most distant objects in the universe.

However, Spitzer’s mission has since changed—the study of planets orbiting other stars. Dr. Bicay will describe the long road leading to Spitzer’s launch, and present highlights from the mission’s remarkable first decade of discovery.

The planned mission period was to be 2 and a half years with a pre-launch expectation that the mission could extend to five or slightly more years until the onboard liquid helium supply was exhausted in 2009. Without liquid helium to cool the telescope to the very low temperatures needed to operate, most of the instruments are no longer usable. However, the two shortest-wavelength modules of the Infrared Array Camera are still operable with the same sensitivity as before the cryogen was exhausted, and will continue to be used in the Spitzer Warm Mission.

Spitzer has been put to work studying exoplanets (planets outside the Solar System) by modifying its hardware. This included doubling its stability by modifying its heating cycle, finding a new use for the camera, and analyzing the sensor at a sub-pixel level. In its “warm” mission, the spacecraft’s passive cooling system keeps the sensors at minus 407 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dr. Bicay is the director of science at the NASA Ames Research Center, leading more than 400 scientists and technical staff conducting research in space, earth and biological science. He holds a doctorate in applied physics from Stanford University and his research interests include the properties and contents of galaxies and galaxy clusters, as well as the large-scale structure in the universe.

Smithwick Theater, Foothill College
12345 El Monte Rd, Los Altos, California 94022

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
7:00 pm

Admission: Free

Parking lots 1, 7 and 8 provide stair and no-stair access to the theatre. Visitors must purchase a parking permit for $3.00 from dispensers in student parking lots. Dispensers accept one-dollar bills and quarters; bring exact change.

The Tech Challenge 2014 – Harnessing the Wind

 

Hundreds of teams of students from grades 5-6 and 9-12 put their original innovations the test today, the first day of competition at The Tech Challenge 2014 presented by Cisco, the Bay Area’s largest youth design-challenge competition. The “Bad News Bears” team  of five from St. Martin of Tours first place for “Best Overall Solution” and emphasized perseverance and thinking big as keys to success, “No matter how big the challenge, if you work hard, anything is possible,” said Connor Hearney, 11. Teammate Michael Woo, 11, echoed the same sentiment, “Every problem has a solution.”

The two-day event concludes Sunday, April 13 when students in grades 7-8 take the stage and present their creative devices.

One of The Tech’s deepest beliefs is that everyone is born to be a problem solver,” said Museum President Tim Ritchie. “The Tech Challenge gives participants an opportunity to experience and show how innovative they can be.

Every year, the annual team design-challenge presents participants with a hands-on project geared to solving a real-world problem. This year’s challenge, Harnessing the Wind, saw students use the power of wind to move water to the people who need it most. Participants revealed their entrepreneurial spirits and tried their hand at utilizing the wind as a plausible solution to lowering the total energy consumption in the moving and processing of water.

The Tech Challenge, a signature program of The Tech, provides months of team learning in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and reinforces 21st-century skills of creativity, problem solving, design, teamwork, leadership, presentation, risk-taking, perseverance, and learning from failure.

The ingenuity and commitment exemplified by students at The Tech Challenge is extraordinary,” said Jessica Graham, Cisco’s Community Relations Manager. “Our Cisco volunteers here today welcome the opportunity to inspire the next generation of innovators.

In all, 1,200 students stepped up to the challenge to use the renewable energy source for this year’s competition now in its 27th year. Teams competed for several titles ranging from “Most Sustainable” to “Best Engineering Design” to “Best Prototyping.” Every participant also received a medal, T-shirt, water bottle, and team photo for their hard work, ingenuity and dedication.

For decades, The Tech Challenge has allowed some 13,500 young girls and boys throughout California and other regions to hone their creativity and innovation on a variety of scenarios including building devices to explore Mars craters, fight wildfires, rescue earthquake victims, collect samples in the rainforest, and last year to deploy instruments to an asteroid.

The top award – “Best Overall Solution” – was awarded to three teams in each of the 5th-6th and 9th-12th grade divisions. Best Overall Solution encompasses device performance, engineering and design, style and presentation, and the scientific process. AND THE 2014 WINNERS ARE…

5th-6th grade Division

1st Place

  • Bad News Bears
  • Team # 133
  •  St. Martin of Tours

2nd Place

  • FOuR the WINdz 
  • Team # 15
  •  John Sinnott Elementary School

3rd Place

  • iSolve
  • Team # 372
  • Carden Day School of San Jose, Hyde Middle School, and Kennedy Middle school in Cupertino

9th-12th grade Division

1st Place

  • H2I – Happy to Innovate
  • Team # 72
  •  Fremont Home School Team

2nd Place

  • The Airbenders
  • Team # 322
  • Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula

3rd Place

  • MEKTech
  • Team # 0
  • Head-Royce School

Other teams took home prizes for their achievement in Engineering Design, Spirit, Device Performance, Sportsmanship and Best Use of Cardboard and Duct Tape. View the complete list of winners.

For more information on The Tech Challenge, visit: thetechchallenge.thetech.org/

 

2014 The Tech Challenge sponsors

Presenting

  • Cisco Systems, Inc.

Innovator

  •  Aruba Networks
  •  SAP 

Founding

  • EMC2
  • Intel
  •  Motorola Solutions Foundation 

Principal

  • Fairchild Semiconductor
  • Lockheed Martin
  • TE Connectivity

 

About The Tech Museum of Innovation
The Tech is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The museum—located in the Capital of Silicon Valley —is a non-profit, experiential learning resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing applied technologies affecting their lives. Through programs such as The Tech Challenge presented by Cisco, our annual team-design competition for youth, and internationally renowned program to honor technology benefiting humanity, The Tech Awards presented by Applied Materials, The Tech endeavors to inspire the innovator in everyone.

 

 

Baseball fans flock to GAME ON at the San Jose Rep.

Dan Hoyle and Tony Taccone star in GAME ON

Let’s do full disclosure first, shall we?

1)      My interest in baseball on a scale of 1-10 is 0.

2)      My knowledge of baseball is maybe a 6.

3)      My interest and knowledge in fantasy leagues is 0.

Please don’t run me out of town or take away my citizenship.  I’ll happily cook up party food for every night of the World Series if you like, just please let me read a book during the game.

And I promise not to serve you bugs.  Or DO I????

That said, baseball fans think Game On is a home run.  Set in an upper class home in Los Altos (is there any other kind?) the story is framed by a televised game between the San Francisco Giants and the LA Dodgers.  Local fans are so serious about baseball that I heard several in the audience exclaim they were having panic attacks during the play by play for the game.  But the main storyline is about two men who desperately need financing for their new venture, the use of insects as a protein. This is a real thing, and I actually know more about the trend towards eating insects than I do about baseball.  But in real life as in the show, the hard part is convincing the American public that insects are good for you and tasty too.

They actually had samples of (deep fried?) insects in the lobby before the show started.  I did not try them.  I said I had knowledge of the idea, not that I had ingested any bugs.  However, my guest did try one of each of the four samples, and she said one of them definitely tasted “just like corn nuts.”  So there ya go.

Back to the show.

At just 90 minutes with no intermission, it is a fast paced show with only a few characters but non-stop conversation.  It starts out with tons of laughs about the game, the players, and their fantasy league, but due to my lack of knowledge I had a difficult time following much of it.  Eventually we hear about the company the two main characters are trying to get funded.  And finally we realize that while the buddies really believe in their cause, they also desperately need the financing for their own personal reasons, and the show’s tone gets a little darker.

There are a lot of laughs about the bugs, and there is a fantastic food fight later in the show that released a lot of the building tension and got the comedy back on track.  There are many references to local areas, but using “South Bay”, “Menlo Park” and “Redwood City” as punch-lines will not likely work outside of Silicon Valley.  This local audience was privy to the inside jokes however, and appreciated all the humor.

It felt a little to me like the playwright had a few too many ideas he was trying to cram all into one show, and the dependence on a local audience will prevent the show from being a national hit. But this local audience certainly appreciated and related to all the ideas and situations presented and everyone appeared to be having a fantastic time.  I definitely recommend the show if you are a baseball fan, and if they are still serving insects at the Rep, I heard the toffee mealworms over ice cream are delicious.  YOU should totally try them.

GAME ON
San Jose Repertory Theatre
Through April 19

Don Bugito’s edible insects

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