Sunday, January 08, 2012

Energy (and Other) Events - January 8, 2012

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


What Facebook Knows About You
Occupy Detroit Occupies an Abandoned Neighborhood
Anthropocene: Past, Present, and Futures,-Present,-and-Futures
Three Hours with Chris Hedges


Fusion Energy 101
Mon Jan 9
MIT, Building NW17-218, 175 Albany Street, Cambridge

Jeffrey Freidberg
A presentation of the basic principles of magnetic fusion research, including the role fusion might play in the world's energy supply, and the surprisingly difficult scientific and engineering problems that must be overcome. The talk will conclude with a status report of the world’s current fusion research program, and how fusion might likely compete economically once the technical problems are solved.

Contact: Paul Rivenberg, NW16-284, x3-8101,
Sponsor: Plasma Science and Fusion Center


Mon Jan 9
12-1:00 pm
MIT, Building 54-915
Atmospheric Field Studies: Atmospheric chemistry field experiments from UAVs to stratospheric aircraft
Mark Zondlo Princetown University

Contact: Vicki McKenna, 54-911B, x3-3380,
Sponsor: Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences


Poor Economics
Mon Jan 9
MIT, Building E51-315, 2 Amherst Street, Cambridge

Abhijit Banerjee

Contact: Linda Woodbury, E52-251, x3-8885,
Sponsor: Economics


Sprouts/Microgreens class at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education (CCAE):
Monday, January 9
6-9 pm
It will cover jar method of sprouting, tray methods of microgreens and flax/chia, and show some simple raw food recipes.

To register: contact CCAE at 617-547-6789 or via the web.


The GovData Project Winter Course
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
1:00 PM
MIT Media Lab (new building), 75 Amherst St, Cambridge

Want to:
Help make US Government data open and transparent?
Learn how to organize and visualize massive datasets over the web?
Develop your Python, MongoDB, Solr, GeoDjango, Javascript, and HTML5 skills?
Join a team a high-impact open-source coding project?
Join us for the MIT-Harvard GovData Project Winter Course!
Open to the general data hacker community around Boston



Understanding Home Energy Training Credentials
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EST
Webinar, register at
Following up on ACI’s successful Home Energy Trainer Conference recently held in Charlotte, NC, this webinar continues the dialogue about industry certifications and accreditation. IREC/ISPQ credentialing has provided a tremendous framework for the expansion of high quality renewable energy and energy efficiency/weatherization training. Through its partnership with the U.S. Dept of Energy and the recent development of National Worker Certifications, IREC/ISPQ credentialing has established a critical avenue for validating the quality of your training organization or you as an individual trainer.

BPI’s nationwide certification program is also important to home energy trainers, especially as it moves toward accreditation by ANSI for its personnel certifications under ISO 17024. It’s more important than ever to understand the different roles that IREC and BPI play in the training landscape. Don’t miss this opportunity to interact with key people from these organizations.

By attending this webinar, participants will:

Understand how home energy training credentials are critical to growing the workforce

Become familiar with the process and requirements of becoming accredited by IREC

Learn how the expansion of BPI’s nationwide certification program, and meeting the ISO 17024 standard, will affect industry trainers and examiners.
This webinar qualifies for 1.5 BPI CEUs


Responsive News
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
7:00 PM
Boston Globe, 135 Morrissey Blvd., Dorchester, MA

Responsive design is changing the way stories are told. Complicated data visualizations, which used to be planned for the desktop, now need to be planned so they can work for mobile, tablets, and desktops.

Different devices mean different looks for visualizations, which changes how the data is consumed.
Three ingredients make up responsive web design: flexible grid-based layout, flexible images and media, and media queries. But these three elements are just focused on layout, not content management and story-telling within a responsive design. We’ll show some of the code (what makes the grid flexible, the images responsive, media queries, etc) as well as talk about what we've learned so far, in terms of :

Content/editorial best practices, editorial flexibility and guardrails
Datavis, interactive graphics, multimedia presentations

Miranda Mulligan is the digital design director for The Boston Globe. She is a designer and educator with over ten years of professional experience in print and web design, photography and information graphics reporting. She has also worked for The Virginian-Pilot, interned with The Sun-Sentinel and The Philadelphia Inquirer and volunteered for Online News Association, Virginia Press Association, the National Press Photographers Association and the Society for News Design.
Mat ‘Wilto’ Marquis is a freelance designer and developer based out of Somerville, currently contracted full-time by Filament Group Inc., a Boston-based design studio. Mat specializes in building accessible, responsive websites that adapt to the many contexts in which people use the web. Mat is a contributor to jQuery Mobile project, active member of the open source community, and enjoys a complicated relationship with the now-defunct HTML5 “dialog” tag.’


Center for Nanoscale Systems at Harvard Conference: "Synergy Between Experiment and Computation in Energy – Looking to 2030"
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 8:30am - 5:00pm
Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 8:30am - 5:00pm
Friday, January 13, 2012 - 8:30am - 5:00pm
Contact Name: Michael Stopa,, 617-496-6932
Maxwell Dworkin G115, 33 Oxford Street, Cambridge

Yu Morimoto (Toyota Central R&D Labs., Inc.)
Mark Mathias (General Motors R & D)
Peter N. Pintauro (Vanderbilt)
Thomas Zawodzinski (UT-Knoxville, ORNL)
Sergio Granados-Focil (Clark)
Daniel G. Nocera (MIT)
Matthew Kanan (Stanford)
Bart Bartlett (Michigan)
Mircea Dinca (MIT)
Ted Betley (Harvard)
Bradley Olsen (MIT ChemE)
Juan Jose de Pablo (Wisconsin)
Alfredo Alexander-Katz (MIT)
Alan Aspuru-Guzik (Harvard)
Tim Kaxiras (Harvard)

Oral and poster presentations now being accepted: send abstracts to
Registration is free but limited to 100. (entry without registration will not be allowed). ONLINE REGISTRATION is open at:

Synopsis – Society’s ceaseless demand for clean, renewable energy resources, as populations grow and as poorer nations undergo increased industrialization, will remain one of the prime motivating forces of research for the foreseeable future. Much of this research relies on both experimental and computational studies, and the synergy between them. In addition, many of the current studies focus on physical effects at the nanoscale or at multiple length scales including the nanoscale.

The National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network Computation Project (NNIN/C), as part of its continuing mission to provide frequent forums on rapidly developing areas of nanoscale computation, will hold a conference on energy research, experiment and computation. The conference will be based around the four focus topics: fuel cells, catalysis, self-assembly and organic photovoltaics.


Leveraging the Internet and Social Media for Marketing
Wed Jan 11, 18, 25, Feb 1
MIT, Building 3-370, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

Keith Griffis, Maggie Sullivan
Social Media, Mobile Technology, and the web have changed how we interact, consume content, and interact with companies. How can businesses, startups or individuals leverage these new technologies and their effect on consumers to drive business goals? In this series we will examine how to create Epic Content, use social media channels, and mobile technology to drive customer action and build your brand.

Contact: Maggie Sullivan,
Sponsor: Mechanical Engineering


The revolution will be well-informed: Creating the A- Z Library at Occupy Boston
Thu Jan 12
MIT, Building 4-145, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

Heather McCann
Shortly after the Occupy Boston encampment was founded, a group of intrepid librarians and an activist bookstore owner came to Dewey Square independently with the idea of creating a library. They quickly joined forces, and the Audre Lorde-Howard Zinn (A-Z) library was born. This talk will describe how a fully-functioning library was created from scratch within a few days and how it continues to live on despite the eviction from Dewey Square.

Contact: Heather McCann, 7-238, x3-7098,
Sponsor: Libraries


BASEA Forum: Weather in a Changing Climate
Thursday, January 12
Doors open at 7:00 p.m.; Presentation begins at 7:30 p.m
First Parish in Cambridge Unitarian Universalist; 3 Church Street, Harvard Square

We have all heard a lot about climate change: rising sea levels, melting ice at the poles. But, climate is a long-term average. What happens on a day-to-day or seasonal basis is the weather: the rain, sun, wind, or lack of those, that we depend upon for food, for agriculture, for water, for the essentials of living a predictable life.

What creates our weather? Why is there a jet stream, and what determines its behavior? How might the circulation patterns that we have built our world upon be affected by changing temperatures at the boundaries of these patterns?

We have just lived through a year of "weird weather", with a record dozen plus disasters causing over $52 billion in damages, and more than 2,000 deaths -- and this is just in the U.S.. The Globe and other media have written that weather is just "unpredictable", a period of "bad luck", an exaggerated El Nino: are they right? Is the weather unpredictable? Or, is it a pattern that we all need to better understand and appreciate?

Clearly, it is time to become more aware of the consequences of the changes that we are making in our atmosphere and oceans, and to start with a better understanding of how our weather is created.

We are delighted to have Martin Singh, from EAPS at MIT to help us gain this understanding and answer some of these questions. Climate change is one thing; perhaps climate changing -- and the consequences -- is the real danger.

Martin Singh is a graduate student in the Program in Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate in theDepartment of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at MIT, in the Paul O'Gorman group.

His research focuses on the general circulation of the atmosphere and the large-scale processes that maintain it, specifically in how the atmospheric circulation changes in different climates, and whether we can construct simple conceptual models for these changes. Currently his work is concerned with understanding the upward shift in circulation features that is seen in many models of contemporary climate change.

Mr. Singh completed his undergraduate studies at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, in atmospheric science and mathematics. His honours research was an investigation of the behaviour of convection in a single column climate model, under the supervision of Christian Jakob.


Quantum Money from Knots
Friday, January 13, 2012
MIT, Building 6-120, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
Edward Farhi

Money, either in the form of bills or information on a computer, should be impossible to copy and also verifiable as good money when tendered to a merchant. Quantum mechanics may make this possible to achieve with far greater security than can be achieved without quantum mechanics. I will discuss Quantum Money generally and present our scheme which uses ideas from Knot Theory. Quantum Money may be the basis of E-commerce on a future quantum internet and would not require communication with a central server such as a credit card company or PayPal.

Web site:

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): Physics IAP, Physics Department

For more information, contact:
Denise Wahkor


Ignite Craft Boston 2: Craft, Community, and 5 Minute Presentations

Friday, January 13th

6:30pm to 9:30pm (doors open at 6:30 and presentations begin at 7:00pm)

32 Vassar Street, room 123, Cambridge, MA 02140

The event is free; however, due to limited space at the venue you must RSVP at

Ignite Craft Boston 2 is an Ignite event with a crafty crowd. If you had five minutes on stage to talk about your crafty passion in Boston, what would you say? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 15 seconds? Around the world folks have been putting together Ignite nights to show their answers.




What is MassChallenge? When can I apply?
January 17, 2012
12pm - 1pm
Cambridge Innovation Center, 1 Broadway, 14th Floor, Cambridge, MA

Please join us for an information session and lunch at Cambridge Innovation Center
Pizza and drinks on us


Questions? Comments? Concerns? Suggestions?


Challenges facing renewable energy technologies in 2012: A panel-led discussion
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
6:00 PM
CIC - (Cambridge Innovation Center) - 5th floor - Havana Conference Room, 1 Broadway, Cambridge

Initial details to hold the date while we wait for final confirmation from panelists /speakers. This will be a lively group and panel discussion of the challenges facing renewable energies in 2012 - more details to follow as we get confirmations.



Coping with climate change today: Insights from the past

Thursday, January 19, 2012, 7-8:45 pm

Cambridge Main Public Library, Community Room

By any measure, climate change is unprecedented. “The earth that we knew – the only earth that we ever knew – is gone.” (Bill McKibben, Eaarth, p. 27)

But the crisis of climate change, the human crisis, is an old one with many precedents that we can learn from as we confront climate change in our own lives.

If you are aware that climate change is real and is a looming threat to our way of life, the conditions that made human civilization possible, and possibly to human survival then you are confronted with the choice that defines the crisis:

Should I accept climate change as inevitable, and pursue my own happiness and profit as things fall apart, or should I join with others and fight it, even though we must live with the certainty that we can’t stop it? World War II confronted the French people with more immediate threats and similar choices. Shortly after the war, in 1947, Albert Camus, a Frenchman who had fought in the resistance, wrote a novel about life during the war and reached back to an earlier century for a precedent to the shock of the Nazi occupation of France. He found it in an outbreak of The Plague, which he set in a modern city in North Africa.

We have little living memory of the war that Camus had just experienced, yet his precise account of the timeless human condition in crises of the past can help us understand how to respond to today’s crisis.




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

Arts and Cultural Events List

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