Archive for the ‘Silicon Valley’ Category

R. Buckminster Fuller brings a creative mind to The SJ Rep

"R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE!"

My review of R. Buckminster Fuller is way late, but let’s be honest here, it’s because this amazing show just might have been too smart for me.  I didn’t understand every word Fuller said, and I can’t comprehend some of the concepts he was talking about, but I do know it was one certifiably entertaining show.

Let me clarify: I didn’t sit there stupidly wondering what was going on.  The show is profoundly interesting.  I often found my mind wandering while Fuller was talking, but I was just thinking more carefully about something he had said earlier.

Rick Lombardo is taking a risk by bringing R. Buckminster Fuller to the Rep because I don’t think the show is for everyone, but with great risk often comes great theatre.  This is not your typical show, and the show is not for your typical audience.  On the other hand, it may bring in a new audience to the theatre, which is always a good thing.

R. Buckminster Fuller was the science/philosophy/architecture/social science teacher you wish you had.  He was likely a genius, and not only ahead of his time, but ahead of our time as well.  His genius comes with a hypo-eccentricity, which perhaps made it difficult for people to take his ideas seriously, or at least see them to fruition.

I went into this one man show not really sure who Fuller was, only knowing that he had something to do with inventing the geodesic dome.  My mind is currently so crammed full of theatre shows, independant films, and trying to finish a stack of fat library books that I had a very difficult time trying to drum up interest in a show about science. But I have faith in Rick Lombardo, so I went in with the knowledge that Lombardo was likely going to knock my socks off.

I will say that instead, Ron Campbell knocked my socks off with his portrayal of the amazing Fuller.  Campbell is charming and engaging and makes this show more than a science lesson.  As Fuller, he tells the story of his difficult childhood, and explains how his brain works and how he came up with a lot of his ideas.  He was an amazing man, and the show is cerebral and enjoyable.  What better place to hold this forward-thinking show than in the heart of Silicon Valley? Our town was built by forward thinkers, on ideas that were ahead of their time, and concepts that most people could not comprehend.

Let’s not waste any more time here and get this published so you can buy your tickets.

R. Buckminster Fuller
Through February 23
The San Jose Repertory Theatre


Lake Cunningham Skatepark – Top 10 Skateparks in the World!

Wanna know something cool? San Jose is home to one of the largest skateparks in the United States.

Wanna know something else that’s cool? A Red Bull UK blog post identified the Lake Cunningham Regional Skatepark as one of the 10 best in the world.

You should check out the competition. San Jose is in good company.

You can read all about it in a blog entry called  Girls, Girls, Girls: Juliet’s Top 10 Skateparks in the World on the Red Bull UK blog.

For more information about Lake Cunningham Regional Skate Park, visit the official website.

Visit the official community activist website supporting the skate park at

Lake Cunningham Regional Skatepark
2305 S. White Road
San Jose, CA 95148

(408) 794-SKATe (7528)

The First Day of Summer (Summer Solstice) Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Here in San Jose, California summer means we will have nothing but bright sun shiny days.
A ride on the Farmers Airship Zeppelin would be an amazing way to enjoy our beautiful West Coast weather.

On October 28th, 2008 I was invited to go up in the Zeppelin. It was the most exciting experience!

Instrument Panel
Katharine Board – The only female Zeppelin pilot in the world.

Farmers Airship Zeppelin
Track the Ship – Current Location

Airship Ventures Gift Store

Zep Cam

Newpark Mall Food Truck Event

Two Fridays ago, I ended up swinging by Newpark Mall after hearing about the Street Eats event there with dinner service from 4:30pm -9:00pm.  I met up with Jonny, who I met through my various food truck adventures there.

The vendors that were there were there in attendance listed in no particular order:

When I got there, we made our way to check out Grillstars since I’ve never had them and Jonny told me they were really good, so we got in the line.  While in line, I ran into another food truck fanatic, Bill (@foodtrucknerd) who was nice enough to let me try his fried pickle from GrillStars.

Food Truck Buddy

Bill, one of my food truck buddies who I see all the time at events.

After placing our orders, we made our way to Mobowl to say hi to the guys there.  They’re always so cool and friendly, I always have to say hi to them just because they’re so nice all the time.  Who doesn’t like being around nice people?  I didn’t eat them today because we had eaten at their truck earlier in the week, but I always love supporting them.

Anyways, the GrillStars truck was pretty crowded especially since I think they’re one of the newest trucks on the scene, but the line seemed to go pretty fast. It was also pretty cute because it seemed to be family owned or run because there was a cute little girl helping the woman take orders at the front.

GrillStars truck...

The GrillStars truck

Jonny ended up ordering the BBQ chicken since the ribs were out by the time we got there and I ended up trying their BBQ Nachos.

I was pretty excited to get my order because the nachos were so big!  There would be no way I could finish that thing by myself, so I was glad I had Jonny there to help me. I was trying to hold the nacho plate up to my head to show how big it was…

Me and GrillStars Nachos

Me and GrillStars Nachos

Here’s some pictures of our food.  The chicken was good and the nachos were really good.

GrillStars Food Truck

Nachos and BBQ Chicken

I did want to try some cupcakes though.  So, we checked out the That’s Sweet Dessert truck.  There were so many options, Jonny and I decided to try a few of them.  We got the Salted Caramel, the Vanilla Strawberry and the Maple Bacon.  I liked the Salted Caramel and the cupcake consistency was good to where it wasn’t too sweet, but just sweet enough.  I ended up getting the Maple Bacon for a friend of mine who lives bacon/pork, but he said it was good as well.

How sweet

Maple Bacon Cupcake and Salted Caramel

Overall, not a bad event. It was crowded enough where all of the trucks were getting fairly good business, but not so crowded where the lines were overwhelming. We never waited more than 5-10 minutes to get our food at any of the trucks.  I definitely want to try to check them out in the future.  Not sure when the next event is, but if any of you guys find out, let me know.

Update: Info for the event and future times:

The NewPark Streets is every 2nd & 4th Friday. July,
however is a little different because of our Summerfest on the
9th&10th. Please check our website or Facebook/Twitter for the
latest updates on NewPark Streets. The next offical NewPark Street
Eats will be July 22nd.

I love Apple!

You can not believe how excited I am right now and how much more I love Apple.  I’m normally not one to become a fan of any particular brands or companies, but I can not get over how much Apple backs their products up with great customer service.

A few days ago, my iPad’s screen cracked.  I’m not even sure how it happened, but when I pulled it out of my purse (it’s in a targus case) it had a crack on the side of the screen.  You can not believe how sad I was when I saw the cracked screen.  I spent a whole day waiting in line for that iPad and have loved it since day one, so when I saw the cracked screen I nearly started crying.

I wasn’t sure what I could do at that point. I have dropped my iPhone a few times and have had the screen repaired, so I figured that the iPad could possibly be repaired as well.

I made an appointment at the Genius Bar at the Valley Fair Apple store and after a long night at work, I went home, showered really quick and then headed to the store.  Who knew they were open so early at 9am for appointments? The mall itself is almost eerie that early in the morning with all the stores closed and so few people walking around, but sure enough, when you reached the Apple store, the security guy at the door asked if I had an appointment and when I did, they let me in.

I checked in with a girl named Nicki and then she had me go to the Genius Bar where Toni helped me with my iPad.  She told me that unfortunately the iPad screens can’t be replaced easily, but they could swap it out for a certain price.  This was pretty disheartening, especially after I had just bought my iPad a few months ago and I just had spent a lot of money on my Macbook Pro.

Luckily, she said that she would see what she could do and then went in the back.  A short while later, she came out and told me that she could swap it out for free as a one time type of thing. I couldn’t believe it! Apple is so awesome! They have definitely made a fan out of me for life.

Now, my only question is anyone out there have tips on how to keep my iPad from possibly getting damaged again? Anyone out there find any great iPad 2 cases or solutions to keep their iPad safe?

“Inception” See it 4K and in a D-BOX Seat

I don’t get out to the movies as much as I used to, but “Inception” is one movie that I want to see on the big screen.

Camera 7 has 4K Digital Projection on their big screen. I asked Dominic Espinosa, Camera Cinemas District Manager, what was the advantage of 4K. Dominic explained that the old 2K resolution put out 2,000 pixels and that the 4K projector puts out 4,000 pixels. Double of anything sounds good to me. Camera 7 is also the first movie theater in Silicon Valley to have D-BOX motion effects seats.

Alejandro Adams, Camera 7 General Manager, had invited a select few of us to experience a D-BOX demo. After we got settled in the special bright red extra wide seats, we were given our instructions. A control is mounted on the right side of each seat. The seat motion is synchronized with the action of the film. The Settings: High – Medium – Low – Off.

As we viewed the trailers for “The Expendables”, “Tron: Legacy”, and an action piece from “Fast and Furious”, it was easy to adjust to the amount of seat motion intensity that I was comfortable with. I kept it on the highest setting for most of the time.  The seat motion effects did bring added excitement to the hard hitting scenes. The movement was not over done, distracting or annoying.

Thanks to Alejandro and Dominic I found the perfect theater. By going on the Camera Cinemas website I was able to purchase 2 tickets for “Inception” – $8 was added to the ticket price of each D-BOX seat.

Camera 7
Inception D-BOX – New this Week!
Now offering D-BOX Motion Effects Seating option! An $8 per ticket surcharge applies for this experience!
Daily at 12:15pm, 3:30, 6:40, 9:45

Buy Tickets

Camera Seven on twitter ~ see information about special events and promotions.

on twitter
on facebook
on YouTube

D-BOX flickr set.

“The Expendables” (plays with sound) and 3D “Tron: Legacy” (plays with sound) will be released with the D-BOX motion code.

25 Technical Girls Win Awards

The National Center for Women & Information Technology today gave out 25 awards to San Francisco Bay Area girls for their technical achievements. This is the first year for the Bay Area Affiliate group to give out NCWIT Awards for Aspirations in Computing. Girls who were honored in today’s ceremony at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View are eligible to compete for national NCWIT awards. More about the award:

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing honors young women at the high-school level for their computing-related achievements and interests. Awardees are selected for their computing and IT aptitude, leadership ability, academic history, and plans for post-secondary education. The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing offers both a national and local “affiliate” competitions to generate support and visibility for women’s participation in communities nationwide.

Today, girls from high schools in San Francisco, Fairfield, Oakland, Pittsburg, Palo Alto, Los Gatos, Mountain View, Cupertino, San Jose, Monterey, Carmel, Santa Cruz, and Watsonville were recognized for their technical achievements.  With five, San Jose had the most winners for any city.

A group of 18 men and women from business, academic, and non-profit companies, schools, and institutions worked for the last six months to create today’s event. Sponsors were: The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, Apple, ETR Assoc., Girls Inc., Google, Intel, Microsoft, MOUSE Squad, NSBE Alumni, Palo Alto Unified School District, San Jose State University, SDForum Tech Women’s Program, Techbridge, The Computer History Museum, The Tech Museum, and UC Santa Cruz. I lead the Application Review Team. We plan to distribute these awards annually.

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Images Copyright 2010 by Katy Dickinson

Robert Taylor at the Computer History Museum

Robert Taylor (r) interviewed by Guy Raz at the Computer History Museum

As part of the Computer History Museum‘s series, Net@40, NPR radio’s Guy Raz interviewed Robert Taylor, a visionary pioneer of the Internet from outside of engineering. Taylor was a program administrator with a background in psychoacoustics, who, at ARPA in the 1960’s, initiated the ARPANet program that later evolved into the Internet we know today. Later, Taylor joined Xerox PARC, where many of the interactive computing concepts we use daily were first developed (and famously left to other companies to bring to the mass market). Finally, Taylor worked at DEC (formerly Digital Equipment Corporation) where his organization created AltaVista, the first full-text search engine for the world wide web, predating Google by more than a year.

Taylor had some interesting ideas about what makes the internet what it is, particularly citing the difference between the interactive computing experience compared to the previous batch processing (think of taking a stack of punch cards down to the machine room, and coming back the next day for your output) as a formative development for internetworking. In his view, once timesharing computer systems were available, and direct interactions became possible with other users on the same computer, the idea of networking multiple computers together became obvious. Nonetheless it took many years for networking technology to develop from that starting point, and then many more years to become an every-day mass-market technology.

Look for video of the presentation to appear at CHM’s YouTube channel in 1-2 weeks.

TapToTalk has an App

TapToTalk App

I heard from Silicon Valley author and entrepreneur, Phil Bookman, about a new app. Phil is CEO of Assistyx LLC the makers of TapToTalk.

TapToTalk turns a Nintendo DS, iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch into a portable communications (AAC) device. It’s designed for non-verbal children with Autism and other developmental delays. TapToTalk is affordable and fun to use.

TapToTalk apps are free with subscription.

This post is not intended as a commercial for TapToTalk. I’m hoping to get the word out to families about this service and the new apps.

TapToTalk ~ site.

TapToTalk ~ Blog

TapToTalk ~ facebook

TapToTalk ~ YouTube

Favorite Falafel

Long ago when I was in college, I had a summer job selling falafel. This does not make me an expert but gives me enough experience to have an opinion on this delicious Middle Eastern fast food. I either eat falafel just as I used to serve it – in a pita pocket with salad and tahini sauce – or as part of a sampler platter with Hummus, Baba Ghanoush and other lovely stuff. Some of my favorite places to eat falafel in the Silicon Valley:

Ziba Persian Cuisine (4628 Meridian Ave., San Jose)

Golden Falafel (883 Hamilton Ave., Menlo Park)

Dishdash Restaurant (190 South Murphy St., Sunnyvale)

Chelokababi Persian Cuisine (1236 Wolfe Rd., Sunnyvale)

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Images Copyright 2010 Katy Dickinson

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