Sunday, January 16, 2011

Energy (and Other) Events - January 16, 2011


Monday, January 17, 2011
Renaissance Project - Hope for Haiti
Time: All day
Location: 9-Lobby
This exhibit represents the work of Professor Jan Wampler and his architectural students in the Haiti Workshop and shows more detail of the structures for the Village designed for Archahaie, Haiti. This design is for a Village that willhouse 1000 people and a school that will educate 400 students. It includes housing, classrooms, community facilities, dormitories, commercial facilities and a farm to financially sustain the community. Energy for the village will be provided by solar panel and wind turbines; the buildings will be constructed primarily out of bamboo and other local materials.

Open to: the general public

This event occurs daily through May 1, 2011.

Sponsor(s): School of Architecture and Planning, Department of Architecture

For more information, contact:
Scott Campbell


Introduction to Nuclear Power
Benoit Forget, Paul Romano, Jacob DeWitte
Tue Jan 18 thru Fri Jan 21, 10:30am-12:00pm, 4-149

Enrollment limited: first come, first served
Limited to 50 participants.
Participants requested to attend all sessions (non-series)

Course 1: Historical perspective of nuclear fission; Overview of radioactive decay and nuclear fission; Basic concepts of a nuclear power reactor. Course 2: Introduction of nuclear reactor safety. Discussion of reactivity and feedback mechanisms. Overview of defense in depth concepts. Discussion of Chernobyl accident. Course 3: Overview of the fuel cycle; From mining to waste disposal, this course will discuss ore processing, enrichment, spent nuclear fuel and long term disposal. Course 4: Overview of closed-fuel cycles possibilities such as Pu recycling and Minor actinides recycling. Introduction to fast reactors.

Particularly geared for Freshman.
Contact: Benoit Forget, 24-214, (617) 253-1655,
Sponsor: Nuclear Science and Engineering


Plasma Science and Fusion Center IAP Series
Peter Catto, Abhay Ram, John Rice, Paul Rivenberg
No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)

This series introduces plasma physics research and areas of related interest at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center. See URL below.
Contact: Paul Rivenberg, NW16-284, x3-8101,
Sponsor: Plasma Science and Fusion Center

Using models to study climate
John Marshall
An approach to the study of climate that emphasizes modeling hierarchies, but based on a common set of modeling tools. Prof. Marshall will illustrate some of the science that such models facilitate in the context of paleo climate (focusing on the past 50 million years), exploring, for example, whether more than one stable climate might exist for a given external forcing.
Tue Jan 18, 11am-12:00pm, NW17-218

Climate change, nuclear proliferation and fusion energy
Rob Goldston, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Tue Jan 18, 03-04:00pm, NW17-218


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wind Resource Assessment Demonstration

Speaker: Wind Energy Projects in Action

Time: 4:30p–6:00p

Location: 32d-507

Presentation and demonstration on wind resource assessment and wind farm layout using matlab.

Web site:
Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): MIT Energy Club
For more information, contact:
MIT Energy Club

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Human Rights on the Web: dinner discussion with Ethan Zuckerman

Speaker: Ethan Zuckerman

Time: 6:00p–7:30p

Location: 4-145

Can the internet be used to promote human rights and to take down oppressive regimes around the world? Or do new technologies actually empower the authoritarian states that activists seek to challenge? Journalistic accounts of the recent turmoil in Iran suggest that new media played a key role in organizing and inspiring activists, but other evidence shows that the regime used the same tools to to harass, identify, and imprison protesters. Finally, what implications do these questions and stories have for the development of new web technologies for social change?

Join Amnesty International and Ethan Zuckerman, co-founder of the global citizen media network, Global Voices, and senior researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, for a theoretical and empirical discussion on the interface between the web and human rights. A recent paper, co-authored by Zuckerman, on the topic can be found here (

Please RSVP to by Sunday January 16 so I know how much food to order.

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): Amnesty International, UA Finance Board

For more information, contact:
Karen Li


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tour of the MIT Cogeneration Plant

Time: 10:00a–12:00p

Location: 42

Join the energy club on a tour of the MIT Cogeneration Gas Fired Plant that supplies power and steam for heating to MIT.

This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the history, technology and operations strategy behind the MIT Cogeneration plant. The tour will expose you to the cutting edge technologies employed in the cogeneration plant, the real-time operational issues involved in running the plant and the various power equipment - from steam driven chillers to high performance turbines - installed in the facility. There is limited space available.

To sign up for this tour, use the following link:

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): MIT Energy Club

For more information, contact:
Daniel Apo


Fifty Years of Fusion
Dale Meade, Fusion Innovation Research and Energy (FIRE)
Wed Jan 19, 11am-12:00pm, NW17-218


Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Father of Chaos: The Life and Times of Edward N. Lorenz
Speaker: Prof. Kerry Emanuel, Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, MIT
Time: 12:00p–1:00p
Location: 54-915
This talk is part of series that celebrates the 150th anniversary of MIT, founded by a geologist, William Barton Rogers by highlighting accomplishments of EAPS faculty and students. The series features talks by current and past members of the EAPS community to cover topics about the major discoveries in the Earth and Planetary Sciences and contribution from EAPS scientists.

Web site:
Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
For more information, contact:
Roberta Allard


Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Noon - 1:30p.
"IT-Enabled Electricity Services."
Marija Ilic
MIT: E51-145


Inspiration from Nature: Biomimicry Design Competition Preparatory Lectures
Kachina Gosselin
Wed, Fri, 19, 21, 26, 28, 01-03:00pm, 66-160

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants requested to attend all sessions (non-series)

Have you ever marveled at the swiftness of a cheetah? The adhesive ability of gecko feet? The coherence of a flock of birds? Nature has an amazing ability to solve challenges that seem at first glance to be insurmountable. Peer into the design of natural systems and perhaps glean insight into solutions to the pressing problems facing our civilization. Compete to contribute to solving the greatest challenges of our generation.

Coordinated with The Biomimicry Institute and with guest lectures in topics from engineering to design to business development, this course will introduce you to basic biomimicry tools and concepts,encourage you to approach engineering problems from a systems thinking perspective, and help you create technically novel solutions with the simple elegance that nature inspires. This is a preparatory course to prepare students for a new biomimicry design competition to be held in the spring.

Sustainability is all around us, we just need to learn how to emulate it.
Contact: Kachina Gosselin, (617) 893-1988,
Sponsor: Mechanical Engineering


Two Nuclear Lectures
Dr. Kosta Tsipis
Enrollment limited: first come, first served
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)

Dr. Kosta Tsipis will present two nuclear lectures:
Jan. 19, 2010, 2-3PM, room 5-233: Nuclear Proliferation
Jan. 20, 2010, 2-3PM, room 5-233: The Origin, History and Accomplishments of "Pugwash"
Contact: Dr. Kosta Tsipis, 3-435B, 253-2228,
Sponsor: Mechanical Engineering

Nuclear Proliferation
Dr. Kosta Tsipis
Wed Jan 19, 02-03:00pm, 5-233

The Origin, History and Accomplishments of "Pugwash"
Dr. Kosta Tsipis
Thu Jan 20, 02-03:00pm, 5-233


An Alcator chronicle, or What happened to Alcator B?
Ron Parker
Wed Jan 19, 03-04:00pm, NW17-218


Wednesday, January 19, 2011
UN Climate Roundtable: What should we expect from the UN climate negotiation process? A Discussion of International Climate Governance
Speaker: Rebecca Dell
Time: 3:00p–4:00p
Location: 5-231
The international community unanimously resolved to "prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system" at Rio Earth Summit in 1992. In the 18 years since then, we have achieved one binding international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions--the Kyoto Protocol--but global emissions now exceed the worst case scenario outlined in the 1990s. Many have found the international process slow, confusing, and uninspiring, but there is no viable alternative framework for addressing a truly international problem like climate change.

Please join us for a round-table discussion on the UN climate negotiations process, where we will try to clarify how the UN is addressing climate change, what are some of the key sources of conflict and obstruction, and where the UN is making progress (because we are making progress in some areas). The discussion will be lead by Rebecca Dell, a PhD student in climate science and the MIT student delegate to the recent meeting of the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cancun, Mexico.

Light refreshments will be served.

Web site:

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): MIT Energy Initiative

For more information, contact:
Jennifer DiMase


The challenge of fusion burn and ITER
Steven Cowley, Culham Center for Fusion Energy
Thu Jan 20, 11am-12:00pm, NW17-218


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tour of Energy Features of Sloan E62

Speaker: Peter Cooper, Frank Higson

Time: 1:00p–2:00p

Location: E62-Lobby

Energy efficient features of the new Sloan Building (E62) will be visited and discussed on this tour conducted by Department of Facilities' Engineers. Sloan is the most efficient building of its kind on the MIT campus. Features incorporated to achieve this will be shown, and the integrated design process that was employed will be described.

For more information about this building visit:

RSVP to Damaris Colono by 1/17/2011 4:00 pm

Web site:
Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): Department of Facilities, MIT Energy Initiative
For more information, contact:
Damaris Colono


Museum of Science Wind Lab Tour

January 20, 2011 2:30p–4:00p

tour of the the wind turbine facility on the roof of the museum of science
- rsvp to Maraian Tomusiak

Category: MIT events/clubs: interest clubs/groups

Speaker: Marian Tomusiak, wind turbine lab analyst

Location: MOS

Sponsored by: MIT Energy Club

Admission: Open to the public

Tickets available from email Marian Tomusiak


Recreating deep interior states of planets and stars in the laboratory
Rip Collins
Developments in inertial confinement fusion have led to new ways of exploring highly compressed materials, such as those found deep inside giant planets and low mass stars, where the crushing force of gravity makes matter extremely dense. Recent experiments show that such compressed materials have rather exotic properties; and some fundamental rules of condensed matter, chemistry, and plasma physics break down.
Thu Jan 20, 03-04:00pm, NW17-218


Friday, January 21, 2011
Wind Grid Integration Workshop
Time: 9:00a–7:00p
Location: 26-100
The Current Status and Future of Wind and the Grid

Friday January 21, 2009
9am - 5 pm, MIT Bldg. 26-100
Registration Required!!! - Sign-Up Today!
Wind energy contributes to an ever-growing percentage of electricity generation worldwide. While places like Denmark, Spain and Germany have already reached aggressive levels of wind adoption (contributing to near 20%, 10% and 8% of their respective electricity generaiton needs resepectively), the US has had far less development on a national scale. However, on a regional scale, wind development in midwestern states, Texas and California has also been considerable. The increased overall percentage of electricity generation that comes from this intermittent resource has led to a lot of discussion over the last decade on the furture development of the grid and the impacts and implications of large scale wind energy development. This workshop will bring several experts in the area of wind-grid integration to MIT for a full day workshop that will explore issues from short-term grid code specificaitons to long-term capacity expansion planning and policy.

The MIT Energy Club's Wind Energy Group and MIT Wind Energy Projects in Action are proud to bring you this workshop which will feature the below agenda as well as an informal post-workshop networking reception.

Web site:
Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): MIT Energy Club
For more information, contact:


MIT study on the future of natural gas
Daniel Cohn
Use of shale gas has created a large increase in the availability of low cost natural gas, and with it new opportunities for reducing CO2 and oil dependence. This talk will discuss the MIT interdisciplinary study on the future of natural gas.
Fri Jan 21, 10-11:00am, NW17-218


Diagnosing plasma turbulence in tokamaks
Anne White
Scientists have made great progress in understanding and predicting turbulent transport in tokamaks, but challenges remain. Future fusion reactor development depends on using fluctuation diagnostics to monitor plasma turbulence, and comparing the results with advanced theory and simulations. This talk considers recent advances in diagnosing turbulent transport in tokamaks, and the path to predicting transport in ITER.
Fri Jan 21, 11:15am-12:30pm, NW17-218


Tour of Alcator C-Mod and the Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF)
Tour guide TBD
Visit the Alcator C-Mod tokamak, a well-tested approach to fusion research that has direct applications to ITER, the world's largest tokamak, currently under construction in France. Compare this to the Versatile Toroidal Facility, a small student-built tokamak used to explore magnetic reconnection, the process observed in solar flares.
Fri Jan 21, 01:30-02:30pm, NW17-218


Friday, January 21, 2011

Starr Forums: Gaza featuring Noam Chomsky

Speaker: Noam Chomsky, Nancy Murray

Time: 4:00p–5:30p

Location: E51-Wong Auditorium

Noam Chomsky addresses the ongoing crisis in Gaza followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience. Joining Chomsky is Nancy Murray, the director of education at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts. She is the author of Rights Matter: the Story of the Bill of Rights. Nancy holds a B.Phil. and Ph.D. in modern history from Oxford University. She has experience as a teacher, scholar and social activist in Great Britain, Kenya, and the Middle East as well as the United States, and has written widely on the themes of civil liberties, civil and human rights.

Web site:
Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): Center for International Studies
For more information, contact:


Friday, January 21, 2011

Smart Innovation calls for Smart People

Time: 5:00p–6:30p

Location: 6-120

Focus on projects in France's two most ambitious innovation campuses.

Open to: the general public

Cost: free

Sponsor(s): Center for International Studies, MISTI, MIT-France

For more information, contact:
Erin Baumgartner




Rethinking Malaria: The Science of Eradication Symposium
Thu., Jan. 20, 2011, 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School
77 Avenue Louis Pasteur
Boston, MA 02115
Conferences, Health Sciences, Lecture, Science, Social Sciences
Harvard Institute for Global Health
Free and open to the public
Brenda Rodriguez:
This symposium will provide an in-depth discussion of current control and eradication efforts. It will also serve as a forum to discuss recent scientific and policy advances, challenges and new approaches to encourage interdisciplinary research in malaria. It will feature presentations and an expert panel discussion session. This will be the perfect setting for networking with faculty, students, researchers, and invited guests.


Imagining War and Keeping Peace? Military Cultures and Peace Operation Effectiveness
Thu., Jan. 20, 2011, 12:15 – 2 p.m.
Belfer Center Library, Littauer 369, Harvard Kennedy School
Lecture, Social Sciences
International Security Program
Chiara Ruffa, research fellow, International Security Program


Restoring the Power of Unions: It Takes a Movement
Thu., Jan. 20, 2011, 4 – 6 p.m.
Harvard Faculty Club
Law, Lecture, Social Sciences
Labor & Worklife Program, HLS
Julius G. Getman, professor of law, University of Texas




January 21, 2011, Alex Stanković, Tufts University
Friday, January 21, 2011 at 3:00 PM
Photonics Center, 8 St. Mary’s Street, Room 901

Alex Stanković
Tufts University

Smart Grid and Other Desiderata: A Future for Electric Energy
The area of energy processing, which includes power electronics, electric drives and power systems, is at crossroads. Its challenges are both external (contribution to climate change, nonfunctional markets) and internal (inability to integrate renewable sources and efficient loads). The promise of energy processing comes from a growing array of potentially transformative technologies that currently exist in energy components, power electronics, distributed sensing, and embedded control.

The first part of the talk will review available energy technologies, and outline salient features of the existing energy systems. The second part of the talk will present a more personal view, and introduce the dynamic phasor approach to modeling and analysis of transients in high-power electronic converters and electromechanical systems. Some recent extensions involving filter banks will also be presented. The third and final part of the talk will outline desirable future developments in electric energy systems with an emphasis on interconnection of networks with different energy carriers.

Alex Stanković received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 1992 after earning his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Belgrade in Yugoslavia. Alex’s research interests include analytical and experimental work involving modeling, control, and estimation in electric energy processing for power electronics, power systems, and electric drives. His work uses electronics to efficiently condition energy sources for practical uses. Alex has been appointed as the first Alvin H. Howell Professor in Electrical Engineering at Tufts in 2010.

He is a Fellow of IEEE and has served from 1997 to 2010 as an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, IEEE Power Engineering Letters, IEEE Transactions on Control System Technology, and IEEE Circuits and Systems Magazine. He has held visiting positions at the United Technologies Research Center (sabbaticals in 2000 and 2007) and at L’Universite de Paris-Sud and Supelec (in 2004). He is a coeditor of book series on Power Electronics and Power Systems for Springer.

Hosting Professor: Michael Caramanis and Yannis Paschalidis
Student Host: Michael Rahaim




On January 21, 2011, the Northeastern University Law Journal will host its annual symposium: "From Seed to Stomach: Food and Agricultural Law." The symposium will focus on recent legal developments in the areas of food and farming law, including intellectual property and genetically-modified foods, sustainable economic farming, and food labeling and obesity. Experts on food and agriculture policy from around the nation will be in attendance.

Admission is free, but registration is required. Please visit to register and to check out the list of speakers and panels! Flyer attached.



The first Nerdnite of 2011 is at a special time and place – January 17 at the A.R.T Oberon Theater in Harvard Square
We’ll return to the Middlesex on the last monday of February

The next Nerdnite:
Monday January 17, 2010 — 8pm at the Oberon
2 Arrow Street, Cambridge
In Harvard Square
$5 at the door or in advance from the Oberon website

Click to buy advance tickets
The lineup:

Talk 1: “R. Buckminster Fuller: Prototype of the American Nerd”
by D.W. Jacobs

Talk 2: “Derivatives Work: The Brief Histories of “Happy Birthday” and “Who Let the Dogs Out”
by Ben Sisto


GreenPort Forum:
Growing Community-Scale Energy in New England: What Vermont's District Heating Efforts Could Mean for Cambridge
with speaker Ralph Meima, Board Co-Chair, Brattleboro Thermal Utility, Inc.

Ralph Meima is Program Director, MBA in Managing for Sustainability, Marlboro College Graduate School, Brattleboro, VT. Until he joined Marlboro College in 2006, Ralph Meima was Assistant Professor of Organizational Management at the School for International Training. He has written books and articles on environmental management and policy. Other research interests include simulation design, experiential education, CSR, and sustainable development. Meima serves on the board of the Vermont Environmental Consortium, and is Co-Chairman of the Board of Brattleboro Thermal Utility, which is developing a biomass district energy system. Meima began his career as an IT industry engineer.

Brattleboro Thermal Utility's mission is to create a community energy system for the Town of Brattleboro, Vermont generating both electricity and thermal energy, using biomass as a fuel, for the benefit of multiple stakeholders and the town as a whole. Their long-term aim is to eliminate Brattleboro's dependency on fossil fuels (primarily oil and natural gas) for heating, and obtain most of its electricity from renewable local sources.

District energy could have direct applications in Cambridge, as the most efficient means of delivering heat and energy to our homes.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Cambridgeport Baptist Church

459 Putnam Av, Cambrige

(corner of Magazine St. and Putnam Av)

For more information, contact Steve Morr-Wineman at


January 2011 Tech Meetup

Jan18Tue 7:00 PM
Microsoft New England Research & Development Center (NERD)
One Memorial Drive
Suite 100
Cambridge, MA 02142
How to find us: "We will be in the Horace Mann conference room on the 1st floor."

First Boston Tech Meetup under new management! Join us at Microsoft NERD to see what's new and cool on the local tech startup scene. Doors open at 7, presentations run from 7:30-8:30.


Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology Invites You To Celebrate Ben's
Birthday and to meet our new President. George Chryssis

Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 6-8 p.m.

"Building a Good Life in the Digital Age - Reflections from Ben Franklin &
Other Great Thinkers:" A Conversation with William Powers, author of
Hamlet's Blackberry, and the British Consul General, Dr. Phil Budden,
moderated by Xconomy's William A. Ghormley.

for full details on our website.

Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, 41 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA


*Skillshare: Art of the Schmooze - Thursday, January 20 from 6PM-8:30PM*
The NonProfit Center, downtown Boston
This highly interactive, fast-paced skillshare hosted by Robbie Samuels will help you make the most out of Connecting for Justice the following week. Forming and cultivating relationships is at the heart of any successful fundraising campaign, volunteer drive, committee effort or community building activity. This workshop will give you the confidence to pursue your personal goals. Learn how to get in and out of conversations smoothly, how to create a welcoming space by considering yourself a host and the
difference between croissants vs. bagels.
*RSVP:* and *spread the word:*

Lets Talk about Food events at Museum of Science

Forum [Return to listing page]
Museum of Science
This presentation is part of the ongoing series Let's Talk About Food.
Friday, January 21, 2011 | 7:00 pm

Free, but seating is limited; advance registration is required.Take a new look at how something as fundamental as food can become very complicated. Is food a human right? Why are there so few locations to buy fresh food in cities? How do we address the economic inequities of those who do or do not get healthy food? And how can we make healthy, fresh, and safe food products more affordable?

This forum is part of the Food for Thought series, encouraging conversation about what we can do to improve how we grow our food and feed our bodies.


It is now possible to order tickets for "R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE" in Cambridge, MA. Performances start on Jan 14th and run through Feb 5th. During previews (1/14 - 1/18) all tickets are $35 (for A and B sections). After previews tickets are from $25 - $65 (the $25 tickets are for the last two rows in the theater).

You can take advantage of a special offer to see the Saturday, January 22nd 2:00pm or the Sunday, January 23rd 7:30pm performance by using the Promotional Code THIRTYVERTI for $35 tickets (Normally $50-$65) for those two specific performances. This discount can not be combined with any other offers such as Student, $25 advance or Senior Discount and are subject to availability.

Tickets are on a first come, first served basis, so please order your tickets for the play now.

Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 617.547.8300, or in person at the A.R.T. Box Office, 64 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.

Please register for the event on-line at

Jan 22 Special Exhibit
====== ======= =======
After the Saturday, January 22nd 2:00pm performance, the Synergetics Collaborative, Foundation for New Directions (FND), Museum of Mathematics (MoMath), and American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) will present an exhibit featuring a special geometry activity led by George Hart of MoMath. Synergetics Collaborative, MoMath and FND will have people on hand to discuss, explain, demonstrate and engage participants with the displays. Some displays will be hands-on.

Jan 23 Discussion/Seminar
====== ==================
On Sunday, 23 January from 10am to 4pm, the Foundation for New Directions (FND) will host a discussion seminar on "Building on Marvin Solit's Work". We plan to break in time so that interested participants can go to the theater to see the Dymaxion Car #4 presentation (see next item).
Please either bring a potluck or pre-register and bring $15 so we can provide enough food for lunch and snacks.

Jan 23 Special Presentation
====== ======= ============
After the Sunday, January 23rd 2pm and 7:30pm performances, the Synergetics Collaborative and American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) will present a special presentation by Thomas T. K. Zung on Lord Norman Foster's Dymaxion Car #4. Thomas T. K. Zung was Buckminster Fuller's long-time architectural partner, editor of the book Buckminster Fuller: Anthology for a New Millenium, and a Distiguished Fellow to the Stanford University Libraries.

Anyone with a ticket stub for a performance of the A.R.T. production of R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE will be able to attend the special events at the A.R.T. by presenting their ticket stub to gain access. The special events are scheduled for 4:30pm after a matinee performance and 10pm after the evening performance.

Please register for the event on-line at

More details are on the event web page at

Editorial Comment: I have met the writer and director of this play and friends who saw it last summer in Washington DC enjoyed it. I will most definitely be at George Hart's presentation, having attended a couple of his presentations, learned a lot, and had much fun building geometric sculptures of his design.

If you want to see my own geometric modeling, you can watch this video at


Steampunk Meetup, January 23, 2010

Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation, 154 Moody St, Waltham
Join the Museum on, Sunday, January 23rd, from 1 to 3pm, for the New England Steampunk Meetup. Gather with other steampunkers, exchange stories, show off your latest projects and find what what other steampunkers are up to.




MIT Independent Activities Period
January 3 - 28

IAP is a month-long celebration of learning where anyone at MIT, from a professor emeritus to the cleaning staff, can present a course or lecture. It is primarily for the MIT community but if you don't make a scene you can partake of the educational banquet too.


Income Inequality in America
Frank Levy
Mon Jan 24, Tue Jan 25, Wed Jan 26, 10-11:00am, 9-450A

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants requested to attend all sessions (non-series)

In 2008, the top 1 percent of households received about 21% of all income, twice its income share in 1990 and roughly equal its share in 1929 at the end of the Gilded Age. Average household income in the top 1 percent doubled over these years (adjusted for inflation) while income of the average household grew by 5 percent.

This activity will consist of three sessions reviewing what we know about the causes of income inequality including immigration, technological change, the growth of the financial sector and international trade. We will also devote some time to discussing what is known about the consequences of inequality for national life.
Contact: Frank Levy, 9-523, x3-2089,
Sponsor: Urban Studies and Planning


MIT Physics Lecture Series:
Exoplanets and the Search for Habitable Worlds
Professor Sara Seager
Mon Jan 24, 01:30-02:30pm, 6-120

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)

For thousands of years people have wondered, “Are we Alone?” With about 500 planets discovered to orbit nearby stars, the existence of exoplanets is firmly established. Astronomers are now able to routinely measure planetary sizes, masses, and atmospheres for a subset of hot, big exoplanets. The race to find habitable exoplanets is on with the realization that big Earths orbiting small stars can be both discovered and characterized with existing technology. Professor Seager will answer the four questions she gets asked most often: “What could aliens see, looking at Earth from afar?”; “When will we find another Earth?”; “Can we go there?”; “If we cannot go there, why look?”
Contact: Nancy Boyce, 4-315, 253-4461,
Sponsor: Physics


January 24-27 (MTWR), 2:30-4:00pm in MIT Bldg E52, Room 175
Dr. Jean-Pierre Hansen


No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)
Prereq: Introductory economics helpful. Interest in electricity.
Contact: Tim Heidel, E19-439A, (617) 715-4551,
Sponsors: MIT Electricity Student Research Group, MIT Energy Club
More Information:
Light refreshments will be served.


The translation between economic theories and real-world practice is not always straightforward in the energy industry. This lecture series will explore how a few select economic theories can (or cannot) be applied to real-world situations. Jean-Pierre Hansen (full speaker bio below) will draw examples from his long career in both industry and academia to help students navigate the sometimes confusing and counterintuitive world of energy economics. This lecture series is designed to complement other energy economics classes at MIT.

A background in introductory economic theory will be helpful for students but is not required. (Each lecture will start with a review of the basics.)

Speaker Bio: Jean-Pierre Hansen managed Electrabel, one of the leading European electricity companies, for 20 years. He has also been Chairman to a number of energy companies that operate at an international level (30 countries). He is currently a Member of the Executive Committee of GDF SUEZ, the world’s second-largest gas and electricity Group. He is a Professor of Economics at the Catholic University of Leuven and the Ecole Polytechnique (Paris). Jean-Pierre holds a degree in Economics and graduate degrees in Electrical Engineering.

Session Details:

Session 1: Mon Jan 24
Did you say “Market”?… (How) Does it (really) work for electricity

The move to a market system is not all that simple! Amongst other things, if we wish to replace a regulated electricity system with an electricity market system, we must consider the three elements that determine an exchange, i.e. a market: the product, the time and the place. How does it work for electricity, given the so-called forgotten hypotheses of microeconomics…?

Session 2: Tue Jan 25
Ricardo’s nuclear power plants: why should a manager know the Theory of Rent?

The general theory of rents explains several major problems in electricity economics. For instance, differential rents (or infra-marginal rents), which manifest in the operation of optimal generating facilities, are often called windfall profits. However, it is shown that such rents are necessary in order to (re)build optimal generating facilities and therefore cannot be taxed. The issue of “Missing Money.”

Session 3: Wed Jan 26
Market Power: how can it be measured – proved?

95% of economic and legal literature regarding the reform of the electricity sector concerns “Market Power”. This is both surprising and logical all at once: its definition, its calculation and its analysis foil all of the traditional indicators: Lerner, HHI, and “Pivotals”. So? How can the CEO of a company define his policy?

Session 4: Thu Jan 27
From C. Adams to Averch-Johnson… and many others: the myth of perfect regulation.

Origins, theories, paradoxes and practices of regulation: the true story and “everything you have ever wanted to know about regulation, but never dared to ask”.



The Return of Ulysses
Decapitalization Circus

Reducing the proceedings of the historic dramma per musica to 75 minutes, brazenly updating the Baroque accents and adding two timely prologues, (Peter Schumann) labelled his marvellous mishmash a "respectful truncation?."
["The Return of Ulysses," , Dec. 6, 2010]

Boston Center for the Arts
January 24 through January 30

presented in partnership with the Boston Center for the Arts as part of the Cyclorama Residency Series

(Boston, MA 02116) Bread and Puppet Theater presents ?The Return of Ulysses? and ?Decapitalization Circus? : two separate performances presented in partnership with the Boston Center for the Arts as part of the Cyclorama Residency Series. Performances, Art Exhibit, and Cheap Art Sale run from January 24 through January 30. All held in the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts (BCA), 539 Tremont St., South End, Boston. Wheelchair accessible. Tickets for the performances available for purchase [cash or
check only] in the Cyclorama one hour before each performance. For advance tickets, log onto
or call 866-811-4111 (toll free). For detailed information regarding the week?s events, call the BCA's Bread and Puppet Theater information line at
617-800-9539 or log onto

Detailed listings information:

Evening Performances [recommended for ages 12 & older]:
Bread and Puppet Theater: The Return of Ulysses
Jan. 27-Jan. 30, Thurs.-Sun., 7 pm
$12 general admission [$10 students, seniors, & groups of 10 or more]
Description: This "respectfully truncated," rough-hewn, and bold DIY adaptation of Claudio Monteverdi's opera was first developed this past June by Bread and Puppet in collaboration with the Theatre Department of Concordia University in Montreal and the Montreal Baroque Festival. The production was initially performed as a dress rehearsal in the DB Clarke Theatre at Concordia and then presented as a festival performance in the plaza of the Centre Mondial. During July & August in Glover, VT (Bread and
Puppet?s base of operations), the opera was pared down to approximately 75 minutes, including 10 minutes of prologue. The performances have been conceived to include 20 volunteer puppeteers and 15-20 volunteer singers and instrumentalists in the chorus and orchestra with Peter Schumann playing the role of Penelope. Schumann describes the plot as follows: "In order to commit genocide on their competitors, the Trojans, the tricky Greeks employ their multitalented sky, full of custom tailored divinities, to justify the
crime, just as we employ our Judeo-Christian sky, occupied by a divine air force and permitted by the in-god-we-trust court system, to justify our atrocities in Afghanistan, Palestine and elsewhere. By order of Jove, the boss, and with special help from his daughter Minerva, Ulysses finally returns home, where he has to murder 100 evil suitors in order to be happily reunited with wife and property." The piece includes two prologues, "Modern Sky" and "Antique Sky." For Boston, The Return of Ulysses will be performed
by Peter Schumann and the Bread & Puppet Company, along with a large number of local volunteer puppeteers and musicians. Informal talk back with the artists follows each performance. Sourdough rye bread will be served and cheap art will be for sale after each performance.

Family-Friendly Matinees:
Bread and Puppet Theater: Decapitalization Circus
Jan. 29-Jan. 30, Sat.-Sun., 4 pm
$10 general admission [$5 students, seniors, and pre-school children (2 & under free)]
Description: The family-friendly "Decapitalization Circus" demonstrates in numerous death-defying stunts the fantastic effects of the capitalization of life in the U.S. and citizens? courageous efforts of decapitalization. The performers represent the whole scale of the social spectrum from benign billionairism to despicable homeless anti-social-elementarianism. All the acts are FDA and FBI certified displays of patriotic correctness and defy all imaginable forms of terrorism. The Possibilitarians, a multi-instrumental variety ensemble, provide the appropriate-inappropriate sounds for the Circus. Performed by Peter Schumann and the Bread & Puppet Company, along with a large number of local volunteer puppeteers and musicians. Take note that some of the circus acts are politically puzzling to adults, but accompanying kids can usually explain them. The audience is welcome to examine all the masks and puppets after the performance. Cheap art will be for sale after each performance.

Visual Art Exhibit:
Bread and Puppet Theater: NOLANGUAGE, visual art installation created by
Peter Schumann
Jan. 24-Jan. 30, Mon.-Sun.
Free and open to all.
Description: Bread and Puppet Theater Artistic Director Peter Schumann?s most recent visual art exploration, ranging from very large paintings to very small string booklets, which depict matters that concern us all.
Exhibit details:
--Mon., Jan. 24, 6-9 pm: opening reception, with refreshments, an art talk given by Schumann, short skits performed by the touring company, and live music performed by the Boston Typewriter Orchestra ( ) and the Dirty Water Brass Band ( ).
--Tues.-Fri., Jan. 25-28: regular Cyclorama hours: 9am-5pm [Thursday & Friday hours extended up to and after the evening performance].
--Sat.-Sun., Jan. 29-30: one hour before and after each matinee and evening performance.

For this residency at the Cyclorama, the Bread and Puppet touring company includes Schumann, along with Maura Gahan, Greg Corbino, Maryann Colella, Susie Perkins, among others. Both the evening and matinee performances will be performed by the company and a large number of local volunteers and musicians, including the popular Somerville-based Second Line Social Aid & Pleasure Society Brass Band (, who is the host band for the yearly HONK! Festival (
) held in Davis Square.

In addition to Peter Schumann?s NOLANGUAGE art installation, the Cyclorama will also be decorated with the unique Bread and Puppet collection of powerful black-line posters, banners, masks, curtains, programs and set-props. All pieces are created by Schumann, including sculpting and painting all the major masks and puppets, with input from the company. After each evening performance there will be an opportunity to savor Schumann's famous sourdough rye bread, smeared with garlic aioli; and there will also be many opportunities during the week to purchase the theater's legendary "cheap art."

For more information on the Bread and Puppet Theater, log onto


The Boston Center for the Arts is a not-for-profit performing and visual arts complex that supports working artists to create, perform and exhibit new works, builds new audiences, and connects art to community. Visit for more information.


Thursday February 3rd @ 5:30-8PM
The Democracy Center
45 Mt Auburn St in Harvard Square
* *presented by theMOVE * | *Free Admission*
*more info @
A CSA share is a weekly box of fresh/delicious/natural veggies (and sometimes meat/fish) delivered by local farms to convenient pickup spots within our community. We're bringing all the CSAs together in one place -- to get you the info you need to get signed up! Meet the folks who grow your food, and bring your checkbook to reserve a share!

*Delicious pizza will be on sale (by donation) courtesy of Zing Pizzato benefit theMOVE
* Co-sponsored by NOFA/Mass + Somerville Climate Action
* Arlington will also have its own CSA Fair! on Thursday February 24th @ 4:30-7:30p


Request for Help


The Somerville Winter Farmers Market is beginning its first year! It will be Saturdays 10-2 at the Armory on 191 Highland Ave in Somerville, MA. January 8th through March 26th. Please spread the word to your friends, family and coworkers.

ALSO----We are looking for musicians, as well as people interested in leading skillshares and workshops on a variety of topics having to do with food or
sustainability in general. It would be great to collaborate!

Please email me at with suggestions, leads, or contacts.


Adrianne Schaefer
Market Manager
Somerville Winter Farmers Market




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