Sunday, November 20, 2011

Energy (and Other) Events - November 20, 2011

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 email


Occupy Green


Monday, November 21, 2011
Constructing Industrial Hazard and Pollution: The Nineteenth-Century French State's Vision
Speaker: Genevieve Massard-Guibaud, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales
MIT, Building E51-275, 70 Memorial Drive, Cambridge
Seminar on Environmental and Agricultural History Special Speaker
brown bag lunch

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): STS, History Office

For more information, contact:
Margo Collett


Monday, November 21, 2011
Glyoxal as a Probe of Atmospheric Oxidation and Aerosol Formation Processes
MIT, Building 54-915
Speaker: Frank Keutsch (University of Wisconsin)

MIT Atmospheric Science Seminar (MASS) Series

The MIT Atmospheric Science Seminar (MASS) is a student-run weekly seminar series within PAOC. Seminar topics include all research concerning the atmosphere and climate, but also talks about e.g. societal impacts of climatic processes. The seminars usually take place on Monday from 12-1pm.

Web site:
Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): MIT Atmospheric Science Seminars
For more information, contact:
Diane Ivy


Monday, November 21
12 p.m.
"A Media Lesson from the Financial Meltdown"
Diana Henriques, senior financial writer at The New York Times and the author of The Wizard of Lies.
Harvard, Taubman 275, 5 Eliot Street, Cambridge


EBE Seminar
Monday, November 21, 2011
12 pm
Boston University, BRB 113, 5 Cummington Street, Boston

Effects of climate and landscape change on butterfly population dynamics
Elizabeth Crone, Harvard Forest

Ecologists are increasingly asked to predict effects of changing landscapes and environments on biodiversity. Can simple ecological theories make meaningful predictions in the absence of detailed biological knowledge? I explore this question based on studies of butterfly populations and communities in Oregon, Massachusetts and the UK. Key results include climate-driven changes in butterfly communities of Massachusetts during the past 20 years.

Lunch to follow in BRB 117
Please contact CECB for questions or comments: /// 617.353.6982


Monday, November 21, 2011
"Fukushima Disaster Response" Robot Competition
MIT, Building 3-370, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
The students of 2.12, Introduction to Robotics, will be competing for the term project robot contest. This year's theme is "Fukushima Disaster Response". Please join us to see semi-autonomous robots that can enter a damaged nuclear reactor building, deliver cooling agent to critical spots, and shut down failed pipes.

Refreshments will be served.

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): Mechanical Engineering Dept.

For more information, contact:
Sucharita Berger Ghosh


Metro West Farm to School Initiative
Monday, November 21
3-5 p.m.
Weston High School Media Center, 444 Wellesley St, Weston, MA.

Please join us for the Metro West Farm to School Initiative on November 21: We will be hosting a panel discussion focusing on the supply and demand challenges and opportunities facing farms and school districts who are trying to bring more farm-fresh produce into school lunches in the Metro West area. Our panel of farmers, food service professionals and local government representatives will address questions such as:
Are there benefits to collective purchasing?
Can small-scale community farms grow specially for schools?
Can school gardens complement school efforts?

If you have any questions please email Please excuse any cross listings.


How Finance Went Wrong, and How to Fix it: Some Worthwhile Canadian Initiatives — A Special Seminar To Celebrate the Publication of "Re-Creating Canada: Essays in Honor of Paul Weiler"
WHEN Mon., Nov. 21, 2011, 4 – 6 p.m.
WHERE East Dining Room, Harvard Faculty Club, 20 Quincy Street, Cambridge
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION Business, Law, Lecture, Social Sciences, Special Events
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR Canada Program, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs
SPEAKER(S) Randall Morck, Stephen Jarislowsky Distinguished Chair in Finance, University of Alberta
COST Free and open to the public and off the record
NOTE This is a special seminar to celebrate the new publication of "Re-Creating Canada: Essays in Honor of Paul C. Weiler."


Monday, November 21 2011
4:00PM to 5:00PM
Refreshments: 3:45PM
Location: MIT, Building 32-G882 (Stata Center - Hewlett Room) 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge

How Can We Measure Social Life? New Approaches for Studying Social Interactions and Relationships from Everyday Conversations
Izhak Shafran, Oregon Health and Science University

For over 50 years, social psychologists and social scientists have relied on subjects' self-reported answers to carefully designed questionnaire as the primary tool for measuring social interactions, relationships and behaviors. While these tools are valuable in capturing subjects' perspective, they are notoriously unreliable, especially, in probing subjects' with cognitive impairments. Moreover, there are clear limitations on the temporal and contextual details that even high functioning adults can recall.

This talk will trace recent advances in developing complementary objective measures and will delve into our recent work whose goal is to study the relationship between social life of older adults and the rate of cognitive decline. In this preliminary study, we collected a comprehensive and naturalistic corpus comprising of all incoming and outgoing telephone conversations from 8 homes over the duration of a year. We utilize limited metadata to develop an automated score for characterizing the social nature of telephone calls from their content. To gain further insight into the nature of natural telephone conversations, we analyze our corpus from multiple perspectives. For example, we show that 30-words of openings are sufficient to predict the type of conversation. This is in comparison to 30-word closings, which were found to be no better than random segments -- a result contrary to what one might expect from prior assertion from social psychology that pre-closings differ significantly in personal and business conversations.

This work has wider applications in designing smart user interfaces in portable devices and in social network analysis where links can now be augmented with weights that relate to nature of social relationship.

Izhak Shafran is an Assistant Professor at the Center for Spoken Language Understanding in Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in Portland. His primary research has been in large vocabulary speech recognition. Recently, he began investigating novel methods for assessing cognitive and social abilities in the context of neurodegenerative diseases. Before joining OHSU, he was a research faculty at the Center for Speech and Language Processing in Johns Hopkins University and a research member at AT&T's Research Lab in Florham Park. He received an NIH Career Development Award in 2010.

Contact: Marcia Davidson, 617-253-3049,


Monday, November 21 2011
4:00PM to 5:00PM
Refreshments: 3:45PM
MIT, Building 32-D463, Star Conference Room, 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge

Internet of Things is around the Corner
Speaker: Yrjö Neuvo, Aalto University (formerly Helsinki University of Technology)

Future development of embedded systems can be seen as a one way street, we move towards more and more complex systems where embedded intelligence plays an ever increasing role. The systems will be more and more interconnected and cooperative. The Internet together with the very fast growth of wireless data speeds and coverage is the key enabler of this development. Car and smart phone are good examples of how increasing system interconnectivity enables innovative smart applications. Internet and embedded intelligence in home appliances provides significant savings in energy consumption. The low cost of wireless connectivity has made it possible to have even single light bulbs connected to Internet. Internet of Things has been around in science fiction style discussions for slightly over a decade. Interconnected large scale embedded systems are now making Internet of Things real. The role of Internet of Things in addressing our global scale challenges like energy and climate is significant.

Bio: Yrjö Neuvo received his Ph. D, degree from Cornell University in 1974. Currently he is Professor and Research Director at Aalto University (formerly Helsinki University of Technology). He was Chief Technology Officer and a member of the Group Executive Board in Nokia in 1993 – 2005. His responsibilities included managing mobile phones R&D. Before joining Nokia, he had a 19 year academic career as Professor of Signal Processing at Tampere University of Technology, as National Research Professor at the Academy of Finland and as Visiting Professor at University of California, in Santa Barbara, USA.
He has been Chairman of ARTEMIS Joint Technology Initiative Governing Board 2007 – 2008, Bureau Member of European Science and Technology Assembly (ESTA) 1994 – 1997. He was General Chairman of the 1988 IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems of the IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC 2001). Currently he is Member of Governing Board (and its Executive Committee) of European Institute of Innovation and Technology. He is also Board Member of two listed companies Metso and Vaisala as well as three high tech start-ups. He has received four honorary doctorates and is Life Fellow of the IEEE. Asteroid 1938 DN carries his name.

Contact: Mary McDavitt, 617-253-9620,


Heat Transfer
Nathan Myhrvold (former Microsoft CTO; co-founder and CEO of Intellectual Ventures; and author of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking)
When: Nov 21, 2011 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Where: Harvard, Science Center C, 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge

Speaker Biography:
Nathan Myhrvold founded Intellectual Ventures after retiring from his position as chief strategist and chief technology officer of Microsoft Corporation. He earned a doctorate in theoretical and mathematical physics and a master's degree in mathematical economics from Princeton University. He is author of “Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking,” was released in March 2011.
Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Contact: Christina Andujar


Monday, November 21, 2011


MIT Building 26-100


GWAMIT and WGS are very excited to announce that we will be hosting a screening of the documentary Miss Representation at MIT! The film exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media's limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average women to feel powerful herself.

The film premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival and has been showing at sold-out screenings around the country. There will be a screening and short moderated discussion afterwards about the film.

Web site:
Open to: the general public
Cost: FREE
Sponsor(s): Women's and Gender Studies, Graduate Women @ MIT

For more information, contact:


Population Aging and Its Macroeconomic Consequences Around the World
WHEN Mon., Nov. 21, 2011, 4:30 – 6 p.m.
WHERE Pop Center, 9 Bow Street, Cambridge
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION Health Sciences, Lecture, Social Sciences
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies
SPEAKER(S) Ronald Lee, Edward G. and Nancy S. Jordan Family Professor of Economics, professor of demography, director, Center on Economics and Demography of Aging, University of California, Berkeley


November 21, 2011
Austin East Classroom, Austin Hall, Harvard Law School, 1515 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
Free and Open to the Public; RSVP required for those attending in person at
Reception to follow
Intellectual Property Strategy
John Palfrey, Berkman Center Faculty Co-Director and Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at Harvard Law School
Special guests will include Terry Fisher, Eric von Hippel, Lawrence Lessig, Phil Malone, Jonathan Zittrain, and more

Entrepreneurs, corporate managers and nonprofit administrators should look at intellectual property as a key strategic asset. Most managers leave intellectual property issues to the legal department, unaware that an organization’s intellectual property can help accomplish a range of management goals, from accessing new markets to improving existing products to generating new revenue streams. In his new book,Intellectual Property Strategy (MIT Press), intellectual property expert, head of the Harvard Law School Library, and Berkman Center faculty co-director John Palfrey offers a short briefing on intellectual property strategy for them. Palfrey argues for strategies that go beyond the traditional highly restrictive “sword and shield” approach, suggesting that flexibility and creativity are essential to a profitable long-term intellectual property strategy--especially in an era of changing attitudes about media.

Join us for a discussion on the book and a demonstration of an iPad app that will offer interactive media features with leaders in the IP field, and showcase new ways in which innovative organizations and people can employ multiple intellectual property approaches .

The book is part of the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, which presents short, accessible books on need-to-know subjects in a variety of fields, written by leading thinkers.

About John
John Palfrey is Henry N. Ess Professor of Law and Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at Harvard Law School. He is the co-author of "Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives" (Basic Books, 2008) and "Access Denied: The Practice and Politics of Internet Filtering" (MIT Press, 2008). His research and teaching is focused on Internet law, intellectual property, and international law. He practiced intellectual property and corporate law at the law firm of Ropes & Gray. He is a faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Outside of Harvard Law School, he is a Venture Executive at Highland Capital Partners and serves on the board of several technology companies and non-profits. John served as a special assistant at the US EPA during the Clinton Administration. He is a graduate of Harvard College, the University of Cambridge, and Harvard Law School.


From a Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace: Dialogue about a world without nuclear weapons
WHEN Tue., Nov. 22, 2011, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
WHERE Rotunda, Taubman Building, Harvard Kennedy School, 5 Eliot Street, Cambridge, MA
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION Ethics, Exhibitions, Social Sciences, Special Events
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR Harvard Kennedy School India Caucus, Harvard Kennedy School Student Government, SGI-USA
COST Admission is free
CONTACT INFO Erendro Singh (, Michelle Dow Keawphalouk (, Teesta Jain (, Yumi Masui (


Tuesday, November 22, 2011
10 a.m.
Boston University, 8 Saint Mary’s St., Room 339, Boston
Refreshments will be served outside Room 339 at 9:45 a.m.

The New Silk Roads for Technology
Professor Fiorenzo G. Omenetto, Tufts University

The New Silk Roads for Technology
The use of silk as a material for technological applications has been introduced over the past few years. Silk is now finding new applications as a useful biocompatible material platform with utility in photonics and electronics, ranging from nanoscale optical lattices to metamaterials. Professor Omenetto will provide an overview on how purified silkworm silk can be reassembled, among other things, in a multitude of high quality, micro- and nanostructured optical and optoelectronic elements largely or entirely composed of this organic, bio-compatible and implantable protein matrix that truly opens a new silk road that brings together the biological and high-tech worlds.

For more information:


Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Rule Britannia: The Rise and Rise of UK Offshore Wind
Speaker: David Parkin, Head of Offshore Renewables at Atkins
MIT, Building E51-372, 70 Memorial Drive, Cambridge
MIT Energy Club Lecture Series

David Parkin, Head of Offshore Renewables at Atkins, a UK Engineering consultancy and a current student at Sloan, will tell the story of UK offshore wind. He will cover early projects and the introduction of the Crown Estate leasing process, which has resulted in the most ambitious development plan in the world with a planned capacity of up to 50GW. His talk will be broadly non-technical and will cover areas including the development process, engineering, construction, financing and the regulatory environment. He will conclude by looking at the challenges facing the industry in the UK, and drawing some lessons for the development of an offshore wind sector in other countries.

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): MIT Energy Club

For more information, contact:
MIT Energy Club


The Spanish Revolution & the Internet: From free culture to meta-politicsMayo Fuster Morell, Berkman Center Fellow
Tuesday, November 22, 12:30 pm
Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floor, Cambridge
RSVP required for those attending in person at
This event will be webcast live at at 12:30 pm ET and archived on our site shortly after.

From Mayo:

In the context of multiple crises – ecological, political, financial and geopolitical restructuring – large mobilizations are taking place in several countries.

In the Spanish case, we have seen some of the largest demonstrations since the country transitioned to democracy in the 70th with massive occupations of public squares, attempts to prevent parliaments functioning and citizen assemblies of thousands of people taking place in spring and autumn 2011. Furthermore, the free culture movement (FCM) played an important role in the rising and shaping of the mobilization. The campaign agents "Sinde Law" (on Internet regulation) in December 2010 and its afterworld meta-political derivation into "Don't vote them" campaign (referring to do not vote the parties which approved the law) are considered a starting point of the mobilization cycle. Additionally, FCM has influenced the agenda and organizational logic of the protest for a "True Democracy Now" (particularly in terms of the use of the new technologies); even if the mobilization has also caused an split between two sectors of the FCM itself.

The presentation will be based on a qualitative research analysis and aims to open up a debate on the similarities and contrast between the Spanish case and the mobilization that emerged in other places (such as Arab Countries, Iceland, Greece, Portugal, Israel, Chile or New York City).

About Mayo
Mayo Fuster Morell has developed research in the field of the Internet and politics; social movements (Global Justice Movement, Free Culture Movement and recent mobilization wave of "indignated" in Spain); online communities; common-base peer production; and public policies. She specializes in online methods and action-participation research.

Mayo recently concluded her PhD thesis (Title: Governance of online creation communities. Provision of infrastructure for the building of digital commons) at the European University Institute in Florence (2006-2010) under the supervision of Professor Donatella della Porta. She analyzed models of governance of common-based peer production and the relationship between governance, participation size and collaboration complexity. She combined a large N statistical analysis and case study comparisons (World Social Forum, Flickr, Wikihow and Wikipedia).


Tuesday, November 22

4:00–6:00 pm

MIT, Building E19-623, 400 Main Street, Cambridge

Blind children see and in turn teach us neuroscience.
Pawan Sinha, Associate Professor of Vision and Computational Neuroscience, MIT


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

4:00 PM (reception following),

MIT, Stata Center, Room 32-141, 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge

The next level of modeling social interaction: How to detect, quantify and utilize emotional influence . . . Abstract & Bio
Frank Schweitzer, ETH Zurich, and LIDS, MIT
Abstract: Models of (bounded) rational agents failed to predict, or even capture, recent collective phenomena in social and economic systems. Ranging from the current financial crisis to the Arab spring, social "ingredients" such as herding, (dis)trust, empathy, agression, or other forms of positive or negative emotions seem to play the major role in amplifying critical situations.

Do we have tools to detect and to quantify such emotions? Online datasets (written text from fora, microblogs, or reviews) can be used to apply sentiment analysis algorithms and to map the writer's emotions along the dimensions of valence and arousal. But what do we learn from that analysis, beyond the nation's mood in the morning? How do expressed emotions affect the response of other users in the cyberspace? Can we develop an interaction model of emotional agents to reproduce the stylized facts observed? Could we even manipulate cyberemotions? (and can I answer all these questions in less than one hour? -- I'll try at least)

Biography: Frank Schweitzer is Professor and Chair of Systems Design at ETH Zurich, one of the leading research universities in the world. Starting out as a theoretical physicist, he received a second Ph.D in philosophy of science, before turning his scientific interests on social and economic systems. Currently, he is a visiting professor at MIT.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Energy 101 : Oil and Gas
Speaker: Dr Dan Burns
MIT, Building 3-133, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
Energy 101 lecture series

Energy 101 presentation on the the oil and gas industry : scientific, technical and economical aspects.

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): MIT Energy Club

For more information, contact:
Aziz Abdellahi


Cultural Survival Bazaar
WHEN Fri., Nov. 25, 10 a.m. – Sat., Nov. 26, 2011, 6 p.m.
WHERE Cambridge College, 1000 Mass Avenue, Cambridge
NOTE The Cultural Survival Bazaar is a festival of Native arts and culture from around the world, featuring Native artisans, performers, and handmade products benefiting the livelihoods of artisans, fair trade, and Cultural Survival's nonprofit work throughout the world.
The bazaars will be every weekend from Friday, Nov. 25, to Sunday Dec. 18, at four different locations (many offering free parking).

Monday, November 28, 2011

Webinar: Start-Up Thinking: How Systems Thinking Helps Entrepreneurial Ventures Start, Grow, and Mature

Speaker: Sorin Grama, Founder and CEO, Promethean Power Systems; SDM Alumnus Sam White, Founder and Vice President for Business Development, Promethean Power Systems


Location: Virtual - registration at

MIT SDM Systems Thinking Webinar Series
The MIT System Design and Management Program Systems Thinking Webinar Series features research conducted by SDM faculty, alumni, students, and industry partners. The series is designed to disseminate information on how to employ systems thinking to address engineering, management, and socio-political components of complex challenges.

Soon after a business plan is hatched and long before manufacturing ramps up, start-ups begin to apply systems design principles to create their breakthrough products. It turns out that systems engineering, an art developed and perfected in large organizations, applies just as well to small entrepreneurial ventures. What can start-ups learn from the likes of Ford and Boeing? Sorin Grama and Sam White, who launched Promethean Power Systems just after Grama graduated from SDM, will discuss how systems thinking shaped their start-up journey and helped them address social challenges while developing their first product.

Open to: the general public
Cost: Free
Sponsor(s): Engineering Systems Division, MIT System Design and Management (SDM) Program

For more information, contact:
Lois Slavin


Monday November 28, 2011
Middlesex Lounge, 315 Mass Ave, Cambridge
In Central Square

Featuring Nerd-appropriate tunes by Claude Money

Talk 1. “On the vices and joys of machining at home: Blue collar aspirations of white collar men.”
by Tom Trikalinos

Talk 2. “What Art Can Tell Us About the Brain”
by Brandon Moore





OpenCourt: Transparency in the Court
Tuesday, November 29, 12:30 pm
Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floor, Cambridge
RSVP required for those attending in person at

This event will be webcast live at at 12:30 pm ET and archived on our site shortly after.

OpenCourt aims to create a model for judicial transparency in the U.S as envisioned by our Founders. This Knight News Challenge pilot project streams live daily coverage and posts it onto the Internet daily. The inherent tension in this project is between the First and Sixth Amendments -- the press’ right to free speech and citizens’ rights to a fair trial.

Our streaming and archive videos represent a firehose of information. How do we increase the value of this raw footage -- by helping people use it, by contextualizing the content and meta-data such as subject tags to better organize and increase access to the information gathered.

Other challenges we face are how to scale up beyond a single courtroom and how to make the project sustainable.

John Davidow, Executive Producer

John Davidow was named WBUR’s executive editor of new media in July of 2009, where he has overseen the growth of the award-winning John joined WBUR as news director/managing editor in 2003 after spending more than two decades as a journalist in Boston. John’s work has been recognized with national and regional awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Associated Press and UPI. He has also been the recipient of a number of regional Emmy Awards. Davidow graduated from Tufts University with a bachelor’s in economics.

Joe Spurr, Director

Joe Spurr is a multimedia journalist and a web developer. Before coming to WBUR, he was the staff web developer for San Diego’s NPR station, which he helped completely overhaul in 2009. He pioneered the station’s adoption of Twitter and Google “My Maps” which culminated during the 2007 California wildfires, built layered, interactive maps to help track the drug-related murder surge in Tijuana, and produced in a roving, three-person skeleton crew from the DNC and RNC in 2008. Joe is a Boston native, a graduate of Northeastern University, and a former freelance reporter at the Boston Globe.

Val Wang, Producer

Val Wang is an experienced writer and multimedia producer who has worked for Reuters Television, NBC News, and UNICEF in both New York and Beijing. She has also developed and produced documentaries airing on PBS, National Geographic Channel, and The History Channel. Val graduated from Williams College and has an MA from the Writing Seminars of The Johns Hopkins University. A recent transplant to Boston, she is excited to get an in-depth look into a unique corner of the city as well as into our nation’s judicial system.


Tech Tuesday: Meet the Rockstar Developers of Massachusetts
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
5:30 PM to 9:00 PM (ET)
MicroSoft NERD Center, 1 Memorial Dr, Cambridge, MA

MassTLC is hosting the region's colleges and universities for a night of networking and pizza with the area's hottest developers!
Registration Opens at 5:30pm. The event will start at 6:00pm sharp!
Register at

Moderator: Vinit Nijhawan, Managing Director, Technology Development Office and Lecturer School of Management & Director Enterprise Programs, ITEC, Boston University
Walt Doyle, CEO, WHERE
Eran Egozy, Founder, Harmonix Music Systems
Dharmesh Shah, Co-Founder, HubSpot
Jeremy Wertheimer, Founder, ITA Software by Google
We’re kicking off this unique night with a group of powerhouse developers who have successfully built companies and cool technologies that have powered a generation. We’ll discover the decisions that influenced the trajectory of their careers, from an idea through development, implementation and success. They’ll share their insights on triumphing and the lessons they learned along the way.

Next, developers from some of the region’s hottest companies will give a 20 second shout out on the cool technologies they’re working on and why you should learn more. Students will then get a chance to network with the developers and visit their demos.

This is a must attend event for students and developers looking to connect with amazing technology companies in Massachusetts – from start-ups to well established enterprise – the opportunities for students in Massachusetts are endless!

Did we mention give aways? We will be giving away two $150 AMEX giftcards to students only! Details to come


Harvard Fall Freecycle

Wednesday, Nov.30th, 2011
9am-10:30am: drop off items
11am-2pm: browse, take and celebrate

Harvard, Maxwell Dworkin, 1st Fl. Lobby, 33 Oxford Street, Cambridge

Freecycle is back! Don’t trash your office leftovers, freecycle them! File folders, cabinets, printers/cartridges, books, lamps and other office supplies. Please, NO: TVs, computers, large electronics, or large furniture. Save big items for Craigslist, the ReuseList or Harvie.

Please bring items to donate on the day of the event (9-10.30am). All leftover items will be donated to local charities.


“Winning the Clean Energy Race”: Dr. Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy
Wednesday, November 30, 12:00-1:00pm
Morss Hall, Walker Memorial
Lunch will be served following Secretary Chu's remarks.

The MIT Energy Club and MIT Energy Initiative are pleased to welcome U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu to MIT who will be giving an address on November 30, 2011 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm EST on "Winning the Clean Energy Race."

Registration is now open at and we highly encourage you register as soon as possible to guarantee a spot. The event is open to all MIT personnel, student and faculty from other neighboring universities, professionals, and other members of the community.

Speaker Biography

As United States Secretary of Energy, Dr. Steven Chu is charged with helping implement President Obama's ambitious agenda to invest in clean energy, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, address the global climate crisis, and create millions of new jobs.

Dr. Chu is a distinguished scientist and co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics (1997). He has devoted his recent scientific career to the search for new solutions to our energy challenges and stopping global climate change - a mission he continues with even greater urgency as Secretary of Energy.

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Chu was the Director of the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, where he led the lab in pursuit of alternative and renewable energy technologies. He also taught at the University of California as a Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology. Previously, he held positions at Stanford University and AT&T Bell Laboratories.


Noam Chomsky: Democracy in America and Abroad

Tuesday, November 29, 2011, 7:00 pm
Tufts University, Cabot Intercultural Center, ASEAN Auditorium, 160 Packard Avenue, Medford


Smart Grid Webinar Sessions on December 1st
11:00AM EST
12:00PM EST

Attend this complimentary event to learn from leading smart grid experts. Speakers will discuss DOE smart grid initiatives and share the latest research on how utilities should articulate the value of smart grid investments.

US DOE Smart Grid Perspectives & Implementation Experience

The Value of Smarter Energy: Making the Case for Orchestrating the Network
Dan T. Ton
Program Manager, Smart Grid Research & Development
U.S. Department of Energy
Bridget Meckley
Energy & Utilities Leader
IBM Center for Applied Insights


The Fate of Civic Education in a Connected WorldA "Fred Friendly" Seminar
Monday, December 5, 6:00 pm
Austin East Classroom, Austin Hall, Harvard Law School, 1515 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
Free and Open to the Public; RSVP required for those attending in person at

Featuring Professor Charles Nesson as Provocateur and Ellen Condliffe Lagemann (Bard College), Peter Levine (Tufts University), Harry Lewis (Harvard SEAS), Elizabeth Lynn (Project on Civic Reflection) and Juan Carlos de Martin (Berkman Center) as participants.

Civic education is the cultivation of knowledge and traits that sustain democratic self-governance. The broad agreement that civic education is important disintegrates under close scrutiny. As the social networks of individuals become less based on geography and more based on friendships and common interests, consensus on shared civic values seems harder to achieve. American education is under stress at every level, and schools and colleges must re-imagine their commitment to civic education. This seminar will probe tensions that make civic education difficult, for example:

What's the problem? Doesn't everyone agree that civic education is important? Is civic education being squeezed out in schools, either because of the demands of subject testing or the desire to avoid political controversy?
Does the connectedness of social media support or impair the sorts of connections that lead to active citizenship?
Every tertiary institution wants to be a "global university." What, if any, are the civic responsibilities of a global institution? What civic values are transnational? Should American students learn the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?
What about civic education outside of school--for adults, prisoners, and the home-schooled, for example?
Then there was model UN; now there are online simulations. Do they achieve the same ends?
Does civic education include instruction in civic activism, using social media for example?
With connectedness come instantaneity and constant interruptions. Is it even possible to maintain anyone's attention on understanding anything as subtle as the complexities of representative government?
This lively, "Fred Friendly" style seminar is timed to coincide with publication of two edited volumes: Teaching America: The Case for Civic Education (David Feith, ed.; Rowman & Littlefield), and What is College For?: The Public Purpose of Higher Education (Ellen Condliffe Lagemann and Harry Lewis, eds.)


Thursday, December 08 2011
7:00pm reception, program begins at 7:30 pm
1st Parish Unitarian Church, 3 Church Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge

An Update on Deep Energy Retrofits for Buildings - the Intersection of Human-Based and Energy Efficient Design
Henry MacLean (Timeless Architecture) & Friends

Contact :
The BASEA forums are held September through May, the second Thursday of each month, except as noted. The forums are free and open to the public.


Friday, December 9, 2011
9:00 am to 12:30 pm
Foley Hoag LLP, 155 Seaport Boulevard, 13th Floor, Boston

Renewable Energy-Related Transmission for New Englanders
Our 126th New England Electric Restructuring Roundtable focuses on renewable energy-related transmission for New Englanders. Utility-scale wind, hydro, and even solar must be sited in proximity to the resource, which is often far from population centers, thus necessitating the building of new transmission lines. The siting, cost, and cost allocation related to these lines is often no less (andsometimes more) controversial than the renewable energy resources they are built to transmit. At this Roundtable we will explore numerous, very current, renewable energy-related transmission studies and proposed projects.

Edward Krapels, CEO, Anbaric Transmission - leading independent transmission developer's just-announced (11/14) BayState Offshore Wind Transmission System, to be located 25 miles off-shore Massachusetts to carry up to 2,000 MW of off-shore wind to the NE Grid
David Whiteley, Executive Director for the Eastern Interconnection Planning Collaborative (EIPC) - the collaborative scenario planning analysis currently underway on transmission and renewables for the entire Eastern Interconnect (comprising 24 RTOs and over 40 states)
Robert Mitchell, CEO, Atlantic Wind Connection - lead developer of proposed transmission line (20 miles off-shore between New Jersey and Virginia) to facilitate off-shore wind development (aka Google line)
David H. Boguslawski, VP Transmission Strategy/Operations,Northeast Utilities - NU/NSTAR proposed Northern Pass Transmission Project to bring approximately 1,200 MW of mainly hydro power from Québec to New England thru New Hampshire
Kurt Adams, Executive VP/CDO, First Wind - Wind developer's perspective on transmission, including potential transmission projects in Maine

We are working on rounding out the morning with another presentation on a related and timely topic TBD.




Free Solar Panels for Houses of Worship

From a recent Mass Interfaith Power & Light ( email
"We've recently been talking with DCS Energy ( who has an unbeatable offer: if your site qualifies, they design and install the panels at no cost, don't charge you for any electricity, and donate the system to your house of worship after five years. Your only costs will be for a building permit, possibly a structural engineer to verify that your roof can support their weight, and any preparatory work such as roof work or tree removal. If solar panels are so expensive how can anyone give them away for free? First, there is a federal grant program that is only available until November that pays for 30% of the cost of the system. Then there is an accelerated depreciation option that gives certain kinds of investors another tax advantage. Finally, the state awards a special allowance called a "Solar Renewal Energy Credit" (SRECs) to owners of solar electricity systems which are sold at auctions to utilities who buy them to meet their requirements under the Massachusetts' renewable portfolio standard. DCS is betting that the price of these SRECs will remain high. Jim Nail, president of MA IP&L, has talked to DCS Energy and is currently having them prepare a proposal for his church, St. Dunstan's Episcopal in Dover. Jim says, "The references I've talked to have been quite positive about the program and the company has been very responsive. "If you think your site might qualify, contact Peter Carli,, with the address of your house of worship and your contact information. He'll take a preliminary look at your site and advise you if it meets their criteria."


Young World Inventors Success!

Young World Inventors ( finished their Kickstarter campaign ( to fund insider web stories of African and American innovators in collaboration successfully.

New contributions, however, will be accepted.




Massachusetts Attitudes About Climate Change – An opinion survey of Massachusetts residents conducted by MassINC and sponsored by the Barr Foundation found that 77% of respondents believe that global warming has “probably been happening” and 59% of all respondents see see it as being at least partially caused by human pollution. Only 42% of the state’s residents say global warming will have very serious consequences for Massachusetts if left unaddressed. The 18 to 29 age group is more likely to believe global warming is appearing and caused by humans compared to the 60+ age group. African-American (56%) and Latino residents (69%) are more likely than white residents (40%) to believe global warming will be a very serious problem if left unaddressed. The MassINC report, titled The 80 Percent Challenge: What Massachusetts must do to meet targets and make headway on climate change (, contains many other findings.


The presentations from the recent Affordable Comfort National Home Performance Conference are available online at

Lots of good information from what some call the best energy conference in the USA on Deep Energy Retrofits to Community Energy Challenges with details on insulation, heat flow, energy metering, ducting, hot water, and many, many other topics. If you are a practical energy wonk, this should make your eyes light up.


Free Monthly Energy Analysis

CarbonSalon is a free service that every month can automatically track your energy use and compare it to your past energy use (while controlling for how cold the weather is). You get a short friendly email that lets you know how you’re doing in your work to save energy.


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, contact

------------------------'s Guide to Boston


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

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