Sunday, October 31, 2010

Energy (and Other) Events - October 31, 2010



Monday, November 01, 2010
Give Me Shelter Lecture Series: Steve Dietz
Speaker: Steve Dietz

Time: 7:00p–9:00p

Location: E15-070

MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology presents its Monday night lecture series, Give Me Shelter: Second Skin for Extreme Environments?

This series draws together speakers from different disciplines to discuss questions such as: How can bodywear function as an extension of the human body and support it under unusual conditions such as hot and cold climates? How can we expand our thinking about the boundary between body and environment? What kind of second skin would be required to survive walking through a volcano, or for living under water or visiting outer space? When does clothing become a contested cultural arena for endangered peoples and their environment?


Steve Dietz - Build your own world

Steve Dietz is the Artistic Director of ZER01 which produces the 01SJ Biennial, dedicated to inspiring creativity at the intersection of art, technology and digital culture. Dietz is a serial platform creator. He previously founded Northern Lights, and is the former Curator of New Media at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he founded the New Media Initiatives department in 1996, the online art Gallery 9 and digital art study collection. Dietz founded one of the earliest, museum-based, independent new media programs at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 1992.

Held at the MIT Bartos Theater (Lower Level of the Wiesner Building at 20 Ames Street)

Web site:

Open to: the general public

Cost: free

Sponsor(s): MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology

For more information, contact:
Lisa Hickler


Tuesday, November 2nd
Transportation@MIT and the MIT Transportation Club present:
Joseph F. Coughlin, MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics and MIT AgeLab:
"The Future is Gray, Small & Female: Disruptive Demographics and Transportation Tomorrow."
Demographics is destiny. The fastest growing population cohort throughout the industrialized world, selected Asian countries and China are people 50 and older – within that group adults 85+ are growing the fastest. Demographic transition from primarily younger to older populations is the result of people living longer and dramatic declines in fertility. The United States' fertility rate peaked in 1957 at more than 3.7 children per family compared to today’s rate of ~2.1 births per female – the minimum rate necessary to maintain the population. Moreover, aging is now a ‘home alone’ experience with nearly 30 percent of Americans age 60 and older living alone – most of them women. The future is gray, small and female. How will these disruptive demographics change the shape of transportation tomorrow? What are the new transportation and logistics demands of an older society living in smaller households comprised primarily of women? This talk will describe these demographic trends, their possible impact on transportation demand and related services; and, the likely shape of transportation tomorrow.:
Transportation@MIT and the new Institute-wide Transportation Club are pleased to announce the continuation of the Transportation Seminar Series on Tuesdays at 4:00 in 4-237. Our seminars are free and open to the public.


Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Deterring Military Acquisition: Polarity, Proliferation and Preventive War
Speaker: Nuno Monteiro, Yale University

Time: 12:00p–1:30p

Location: E40-496

SSP Wednesday Seminar

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): Security Studies Program

For more information, contact:


Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Are We Wet Yet? Modeling Storm Surge and Coastal Flooding

Speaker: Rick Luettich

Time: 2:30p–3:30p

Location: 48-316

Environmental Fluid Mechanics / Hydrology Seminar Series
weekly presentations from local and international researchers in the field of hydrology and environmental fluid mechanics.

As of 2005 approximately 153 million people (53% of the U.S. population) lived in the coastal counties of the United States. By 2015, over 60% of the U.S. population is expected to live in these areas. In the late 1990s, coastal infrastructure in the Gulf and Atlantic coastal regions alone was worth about $3 trillion. More than one-tenth of the nation?s annual gross domestic product and 16 million jobs are directly attributable to the industries located in the coastal zone. Yet, these heavily populated and economically significant regions are susceptible to some of the most destructive forces in nature, including tsunamis, floods, and tropical cyclones. The risk of living in these areas is even greater when factors such as global climate change, sea level rise and oil spills are taken into consideration.While considerable effort has been invested over the past half century in developing the computer models that underlie our current weather forecasting capabilities, predictive models of the waves, storm surge and flooding that are responsible for much of the damage associated with the most severe coastal storms are much less mature.

I'll discuss the coupled ADCIRC + SWAN storm surge and wave models, which have recently provided a major step forward in our ability to employ modern day, high performance computing capabilities to model coastal waves and storm surge associated with tropical cyclones and other strong coastal storms.

Open to: the general public

Cost: free

Sponsor(s): Civil and Environmental Engineering

For more information, contact:
Sheila Anderson


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Slip Sliding Away? Investigating Greenland Meltwater Routing and Ice Sheet Response

Speaker: Dr. Sarah B. Das, Dept. of Geology and Geophysics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Time: 4:00p–5:00p

Location: 68-180

EAPS Department Lecture Series

Web site:

Open to: the general public

Cost: $0.00

Tickets: N/A

Sponsor(s): Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

For more information, contact:
Jacqui Taylor


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Association of Energy Engineers - Energy Technologies and Services Show

Time: 5:00p–8:00p

Location: Doubletree Guest Suites Hotel in Waltham, MA

This annual show of the New England Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers will feature exhibitors showcasing the latest in energy technologies and services for commercial and industrial facilities. Attendees will learn more about how to lower energy bills and leverage efficiency incentives.

During Technology Breakout Sessions, attendees will have an opportunity to learn more about technologies and services.

The event includes hors d?oeuvres.

Web site:

Open to: the general public

Cost: $20 for those who register before October 27th. Late registrations/walk-in at the door is $30.


Sponsor(s): MIT Energy Campus Events, Association of Energy Engineers

For more information, contact:
Edward Young


Undergraduate Energy Club Meeting

November 03, 2010 7:30p–9:00p

If you are an undergraduate interested in energy at any level, attend this informal, informational, and social session next Wednesday! Come meet fellow interested students, discuss current energy topics, and learn how you can become more involved with the Energy club and other fun related energy events! Don't worry if you can't stay for the whole time, drop by and say hello! Food will be provided.

Category: MIT events/clubs: interest clubs/groups

Location: 4-163

Sponsored by: MIT Energy Club

Admission: Open to the public

For more information:

Contact Shreya Dave


Thursday, November 04, 2010

Communications Forum: Civic Media and the Law

Speaker: David Ardia, Citizen Media Law Project; Daniel Schuman, Sunlight Foundation; Micah Sifry, Personal Democracy Forum

Time: 5:00p–7:00p

Location: E14-633

Civic Media Series

What do citizens need to know when they publicly address legally challenging or dangerous topics? Journalists have always had the privilege, protected by statute, of not having to reveal their sources. But as more investigative journalism is conducted by so-called amateurs and posted on blogs or websites such as Wikileaks, what are the legal dangers for publishing secrets in the crowd-sourced era?

We convene an engaging group of law scholars to help outline the legal challenges ahead, suggest policies that might help to protect citizens, and describe what steps every civic media practitioner should take to protect themselves and their users.

Web site:

Open to: the general public

Cost: Free

Sponsor(s): Communications Forum, Center for Future Civic Media

For more information, contact:
Andrew Whitacre


Thursday, November 04, 2010

Energy Discussions: High-Speed Rail

Speaker: Regina Clewlow

Time: 6:00p–7:00p

Location: 56-167

Bringing high-speed rail to America has been promoted as a way to generate green jobs, promote economic activity, and reduce carbon emissions. Earlier this year, the Obama Administration made a down-payment of $8 billion to kick-start high-speed rail development in 13 corridors across the country. This discussion will provide an overview of the development of high-speed rail globally, its environmental impacts, and its interaction with air transportation systems.

Join members of the MIT Energy Club and the MIT Transportation Club for a discussion of the role of trains in our transportation and energy systems.

A light dinner will be provided. RSVP is appreciated but not required.

Web site:

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): MIT Energy Club, Transportation@MIT

For more information, contact:
Rebecca Dell




Homegrown Threat, Local Response: An Overview of the NYPD's Approach to Counterterrorism
Mon., Nov. 1, 2010, 12:15 – 2 p.m.
Fainsid Room, Littauer-324, Harvard Kennedy School
Lecture, Social Sciences
International Security Program
Rebecca Weiner, senior intelligence analyst, NYPD Intelligence Division, former research fellow, International Security Program, 2005–07


Tuesday, Nov. 2

Ashley Brown, HKS
“Issues in Implementing the Smart Grid”

Bell Hall, 5th Floor, Belfer Building, HKS


Our Microbial Organ: The Good and Bad Bugs of the Human Gut
Wed., Nov. 3, 2010, 7 – 9 p.m.
Armenise Amphitheatre
Harvard Medical School
200 Longwood Ave
Boston, MA 02115
Education, Environmental Sciences, Ethics, Health Sciences, Lecture, Science, Special Events
Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Medical School Division of Medical Sciences
Free weekly science seminars about today's hottest science topics.


China's Nuclear Fuel Cycle Program: Current Status and Long-term Strategies
Thu., Nov. 4, 2010, 12:15 – 2 p.m.
Belfer Center Library, 369-Littauer, Harvard Kenendy School
Lecture, Social Sciences
International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom
Yun Zhou, nuclear security postdoctoral fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom


HGSE Virtual Information Session: Technology, Innovation, and Education Program
Thu., Nov. 4, 2010, 7 – 8 p.m.
Online. On the date and time of the event, you can join the session directly…
Information Session - Online
HGSE Admissions
HGSE Admissions
Please visit the website above to RSVP and for details about system requirements for the web conference software.


A Conversation with Cecil McBee

Fri., Nov. 5, 2010, 3 – 4:30 p.m.
New College Theatre Rehearsal Studio, 10-12 Holyoke St.
Humanities, Lecture, Music, Special Events
Learning From Performers, Office for the Arts
Cecil McBee; moderated by Tom Everett, director, Harvard Jazz Bands. New College Theatre
Free and open to the public
A Grammy Award winner and recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts composition grants, Cecil McBee has been described by the Guinness Who's Who of Jazz as “a full-toned bassist who creates rich, singing phrases in a wide range of contemporary jazz contexts.”


Tova Speter: Environmentally Friendly Exhibit Reception
Sun., Nov. 7, 2010, 1 – 3 p.m.
Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum
Art/Design, Exhibitions, Special Events
Arnold Arboretum
Tova Speter
CONTACT INFO, 617.384.5209
Exhibit runs Oct. 24-Dec. 12. Call ahead for viewing availability.




Understanding Cyberattack as an Instrument of U.S. Policy
November 1, 2010
2:50 pm - 4:00 pm
Halligan 111B
Speaker: Dr. Herb Lin, National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine
Host: Joint Colloq with Fletcher School
Much has been written about the possibility that terrorists or hostile nations might conduct cyberattacks against critical sectors of the U.S. economy. However, the possibility that the United States might conduct its own cyberattacks -- defensively or otherwise -- has received almost no public discussion. Recently, the US National Academies performed a comprehensive unclassified study of the technical, legal, ethical, and policy issues surrounding cyberattack as an instrument of U.S. policy. This talk will provide a framework for understanding this emerging topic and the critical issues that surround it.

Dr. Herbert Lin is chief scientist at the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Research Council of the National Academies, where he has been study director of major projects on public policy and information technology. These studies include a 1996 study on national cryptography policy (Cryptography's Role in Securing the Information Society), a 1991 study on the future of computer science (Computing the Future), a 1999 study of Defense Department systems for command, control, communications, computing, and intelligence (Realizing the Potential of C4I: Fundamental Challenges), a 2000 study on workforce issues in high-technology (Building a Workforce for the Information Economy), a 2002 study on protecting kids from Internet pornography and sexual exploitation (Youth, Pornography, and the Internet), a 2004 study on aspects of the FBI's information technology modernization program (A Review of the FBI's Trilogy IT Modernization Program), a 2005 study on electronic voting (Asking the Right Questions About Electronic Voting), a 2005 study on computational biology (Catalyzing Inquiry at the Interface of Computing and Biology), a 2007 study on privacy and information technology (Engaging Privacy and Information Technology in a Digital Age), a 2007 study on cybersecurity research (Toward a Safer and More Secure Cyberspace), a 2009 study on healthcare informatics (Computational Technology for Effective Health Care: Immediate Steps and Strategic Directions), and a 2009 study on offensive information warfare (Technology, Policy, Law, and Ethics Regarding U.S. Acquisition and Use of Cyberattack Capabilities). Prior to his NRC service, he was a professional staff member and staff scientist for the House Armed Services Committee (1986-1990), where his portfolio included defense policy and arms control issues. He received his doctorate in physics from MIT. Avocationally, he is a longtime folk and swing dancer and a poor magician.


Near-Field Thermophotovoltaics
November 2, 2010
3:00 pm - 4:15 pm
Halligan 111
Speaker: Dr. Andy Walsh, MTPV, LLC
Host: Prof. Tom Vandervelde

MTPV, LLC is working to produce first product based on near-field thermophotovoltaics (TPV). The initial target market is industrial waste heat conversion but future applications are numerous and include solar energy conversion, co-generation of residential heat and electrical power, space-based radioisotope power generation, vehicle power generation, and portable power. In this talk, I will discuss the physics of near-field thermophotovoltaic energy conversion as well as the enabling technologies which have allowed us to fabricate the requisite nano-scale gaps over commercially relevant areas. I will explain the limitations of both thermoelectrics and far-field thermophotovoltaics and why only MTPV technology is capable of simultaneously attaining both high efficiency and high power density solid state conversion. Near-field TPV, by use of a vacuum gap between a hot emitter and TPV cell that is well below the wavelength of the blackbody radiation, couples an order of magnitude more power across the gap than is available in the far-field, maintains the requisite large temperature gradient required for efficient power conversion, and allows the conversion device to remain at or near room temperature. In addition, the strong electromagnetic coupling between hot and cold sides inherent in near-field TPV leads to extraordinary spectral control using a simple back-side reflector alone, i.e. without the need for 3D photonic crystals, Bragg reflectors, Rugate filters, etc. Near-field thermophotovoltaics will achieve efficiencies exceeding 30% and power densities over 10 W/cm2, depending on emitter temperature and nano-scale gap dimension, with a single junction design. In addition to industrial waste heat conversion at 5¢/kW·hr, near-field TPV will be a more cost effective solution for solar energy conversion than today’s photovoltaics and will be an enabling technology for co-generation of heat and electricity for decentralized power production.


Dr. Andy Walsh is a Senior Engineer at MTPV, LLC in Boston, MA. In addition to developing proprietary next-generation MTPV technology, Dr. Walsh works on thermophotovoltaic cell design, testing, and optimization as well as system-level optimization incorporating optical, electronic, and thermo-mechanical aspects of MTPV, LLC’s first product. Dr. Walsh attained his B.S. in Engineering Physics in 1992 from Cornell University. After a ten year career as a Naval officer and aviator, he attained his Ph.D. in experimental condensed matter physics from Boston University in 2008 where he probed exciton and electron- phonon interactions in carbon nanotubes.


Cross Currents: Water and Energy Challenges in the 21st Century

Thursday, November 4, 2010, 9am – 5pm

Winthrop Street Function Hall, 51 Winthrop Street
Tufts University, Medford Campus

The symposium is free of charge but we strongly encourage you to register in advance.
Register at

The important fields of water and energy policy are becoming increasingly connected. One emerging challenge is the provision of adequate water supplies to match the word’s growing demands for energy. This challenge is likely to be difficult both with traditional approaches to energy production such as thermal power plants, which require huge amounts of cooling water, but also for some renewable energy systems such as solar power, which need to be sighted in areas where sunshine is plentiful but water generally is not. A second major challenge is the fast growing energy needs of our water supply systems. These energy needs will continue to grow as we become more dependent on groundwater from steadily falling aquifers. A third emerging challenge is how best to manage the competing demands on our water systems, particularly with respect to how dams are managed for hydropower, agricultural irrigation and the protection of ecological systems. All these challenges are emerging at a time when there are increasing concerns over how climate change will affect the future reliability of freshwater supplies.

Our symposium will explore how these and other perspectives on water and energy can be assembled into a useful framework that can support the development of sustainable water and energy management policies in a changing world.




On Wednesday, November 3, 2010, at 7 p.m, join Prof. Sanford Levinson, Constitutional scholar and Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, in discussing how the Constitution limits self-government. Political parties and the media focus almost exclusively on elections as the source of the nation's governing "mandate." Why, then, don't elections make more difference in the policies and activities of our government? What is Levinson's take on the November 2 election results?

Based on Levinson's understanding of the Supreme Court, a primary focus of his scholarship , how does he view the recent Citizen's United decision? What will it take to reverse it? What Supreme Court reforms does Levinson advocate?

Sanford Levinson is a faculty member of The University Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas.

Cambridge Forum is recorded and edited for public radio broadcast. Edited CDs are available to the public by contacting 617-495-2727. Select forums can be viewed in their entirety on demand by visiting our website at and clicking on the Forum Network at WGBH.

Cambridge Forum
3 Church Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-495-2727

"Bringing People together to talk again . . ."


Thursday, November 4, 2010
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Cambridge Public Library, Main Branch (in the Auditorium)
449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA (a few blocks from Harvard Square)

Women on the Front Lines of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement
Judy Richardson
Janet Jemmott Moses
Barbara Brandt

will read from their memoirs in the new book
Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts of Women in SNCC
(U. Illinois Press, 2010)
Stories of 52 Black and White women who participated in the Southern Freedom Movement

With Q&A and audience discussion

FREE. All welcome.
Autographed books can be purchased at this event.


Nov. 6 from 1230 to 5 pm. 27 Avon Hill St. Sweet old parsonage with good
draft-reduction opportunities in the attic and basement.

Learn how to weatherize:

- old rattly windows
- bureaus built into the wall
- an attic hatch

Learn how to reduce your water and electrical bill.
Find out why homes with interesting roof lines (many gables, dormers, etc.)
tend to have high heating bills.

The Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET) is a Cambridge-based
co-op bringing neighbors together to weatherize our homes
and take the energy future into our own hands.


Museum of Science
Gordon Current Science & Technology Center

Saturday, November 06, 2010 | 11:00 am
Sunday, November 07, 2010 | 11:00 am

When it comes to renewable energy, wind turbines and solar panels are just the beginning — see what's on the horizon in this rapidly advancing field!

Get a sneak peek of emerging energy technologies directly from the people who develop and apply them. Hear guest researchers and innovators present their latest discoveries, and join in conversations about their visions for the future of clean, renewable energy. In addition, you can talk to local entrepreneurs as they display and demonstrate their newest technological solutions for efficient and sustainable energy use.

Featured speakers: Don Sadoway, PhD, John F. Elliot Professor of Materials Chemistry at MIT; John Miller, director of New England Marine Renewable Energy Center; and Charles Myers, president of Massachusetts Hydrogen Coalition and president of Trenergi Corporation.

The fair takes place on Saturday and Sunday and is bookended by energy-themed presentations on the preceding Friday and following Monday.


Editorial Comment: Your editor will be exhibiting simple solar and solar is civil defense displays.




To members of the Climate CoLab community,

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new Climate CoLab contest,
as well as a major upgrade of our software platform.

The contest will address the question: What international climate
agreements should the world community make?

The first round ended on October 31 and the final round runs through
November 26.

In early December, the United Nations and U.S. Congress will be
briefed on the winning entries.

We are raising funds in the hope of being able to pay travel expenses
for one representative from each winning team to attend one or both of
these briefings.

We invite you to form teams and enter the contest--learn more at

We also encourage you to fill out your profiles and add a picture, so
that members of the community can get to know each other.

And please inform anyone you believe might be interested about the

Editorial Comment: I played a previous version of this simulation.
This time around, I like the 350 plan which is as close to zero
emissions as the exercise will get.




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


Artisan Asylum

Sprout & Co: Community Driven Investigations

Greater Boston Solidarity Economy Mapping Project
a project by Wellesley College students that invites participation


Links to events at 60 colleges and universities at Hubevents

Thanks to

Fred Hapgood's Selected Lectures on Science and Engineering in the
Boston Area

Boston Area Computer User Groups


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 is the web version.

If you wish to subscribe or unsubscribe to Energy (and Other) Events

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