Sunday, August 05, 2012

Energy (and Other) Events - August 5, 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

Monday, August 6

Safety characteristics of ITER - First fusion machine undergoing full nuclear license
Monday, August 06, 2012
MIT, Building NW17-218

Speaker: Carlos Alejaldre, ITER Deputy Director-General
Plasma Science and Fusion Center Special Seminar

After "Fukushima" the safety of nuclear installations is being revisited all over the world, following the principle of "imagine the unimaginable." ITER, classified in France as a "Basic Nuclear Installation," is no exception; it is undergoing a strict process of technical and public examination in order to get its nuclear license. In this talk the licensing process of ITER, the safety characteristics of ITER (and by extension of fusion) will be presented with a particular emphasis on the identification of risks and their possible impact on people and the environment, as well as the status of the Project.

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): Plasma Science and Fusion Center

For more information, contact:  Paul Rivenberg

Tuesday, August 7

Energy, the Environment and IBM
Tuesday, Aug 7, 2012 
9:30am until 10:45am 
BU, 24 Cummington St. (103), Boston

Who  Admission is free
More Info  Cynthia Brossman
Contact  Earth and Environment  Suchi Gopal, 508-397-1220
Background reading:


AUGUST 7, 2012
6:30 pm
THE SOCIAL CENTER, 68 Central Square, East Boston

Are you worried about:
High Water Bills
Shut-off Notices
Water Quality
Price Rises?

This event is organized by Massachusetts Global Action, Union of Minority Neighborhoods, Peoples? Decade of Human Rights Education, Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, Human Rights City - Boston & Beyond, Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, Casa el Salvador, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, Survivors, Inc., Green Rainbow Party (Boston Chapter).

For more information:  call 888-400-1225 or visit

Look out for our upcoming conversations in Dorchester and Roxbury.


Background Info:


Green Tech Entrepreneur Forum & Brainstorming
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
7:00 PM To 10:00 PM
Eastern Bank, 647 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge
You can see into the conference room from the street

The Agenda is:
We will introduce ourselves and tell about our interest, expertise or work (1st hr)
You can give a ~3 to 5 minute elevator speach about your startup if you would like. (We will divide the 1st hour by # of people.)
What stage is your ideas or startup?  What is your goal?
Tell what personnel or additional expertise, funding, etc. you are seeking,
Discussion and Brainstorming on (2nd hr)
ideas for viable moneymaking startups,
methods of collaboration, networking, forming teams & partnerships etc.
marketing, media, social media, ideas that have worked well for publicity
Agencies, websites, companies that assist startups
Boston Greenfest & Gov't opportunities.
What would you like to see in future meetups?


Wednesday, August 8

Hubway Expansion Rolling Launch Party
Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
9am: Brookline Town Hall: Ribbon Cutting with Selectwoman Jesse Mermell
10am: Somerville City Hall: Ribbon Cutting with Mayor Curtatone
10:30am: Riders depart from Hubway stations at Somerville City Hall and MIT toward Cambridge City Hall
11am: Cambridge City Hall: Remarks from Mayor Henrietta Davis, MAPC Executive Director Marc Draisen, officials from MassDOT and FTA. Postmaster Katherine Lydon will unveil a new bicycle stamp. Coffee and snacks provided by the Central Square business Association.
12pm: Ride from Cambridge City Hall to Harvard Square for a lunch celebration sponsored by Harvard University and the Harvard Square Business Association.
12-1pm: Boston Bikes celebrates with “High Fives and Helmets” at a new station on Boylston St. and Washington St., giving away free helmets to the first 25 people on bikes or with a Hubway key.
4:30-5:30pm: Boston Bikes gives out more High Fives and Helmets at a new station at South Bay Plaza.
Please post your photos of you at a Hubway station in Brookline, Somerville, and Cambridge, and one of the new stations in Boston, to be entered to win a FREE 1-Year Hubway membership. Photos can be submitted to Hubway's Facebook wall at or by emailing them to You must have all four municipalities clearly identified in each photo along with yourself included in each photo. 
We'll pick the top four winners at random and the fifth FREE membership will go to the person who shows the most creativity and spunk. 

Using Computational Tools for Piecing Together Small Trees into the Large Tree of Life
Wednesday, August 8 2012
1:00PM to 2:00PM
MIT, Building 32-G449, Kiva, 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge

Speaker: Sagi Snir, University of Haifa, Israel
The reconstruction of evolutionary trees is a fundamental task in Biology. The increasing amount of available genomic sequences over thousands of taxa, gave rise to the task of large scale phylogenetic reconstruction. Since accurate reconstruction is limited to few dozens of taxa, the supertree approach, aims at accurately reconstructing small trees over overlapping taxa sets and subsequently amalgamate these trees into a tree over the full taxa set. Perhaps the simplest version of this task that is still widely applicable, yet quite challenging, is quartet based reconstruction. This problem lies at the root of many tree reconstruction methods and theoretical as well as experimental results have been reported. Nevertheless, fundamental problems such as dealing with conflicting quartet trees or even with arbitrary congruent quartet trees remain problematic.

In a series of works we have developed a graph theoretically based approach for the supertree task. Our approach is based on a divide and conquer algorithm where our divide step uses a semi- definite programming (SDP) formulation of MaxCut in a graph representing relationships between the organisms. We devised an extremely fast SDP-like heuristic that allows us to extend the input data from several thousands of quartet trees over few dozens of species to tens of millions of quartet trees over thousands of species. These results are promising in the realm of large scale phylogenetic reconstruction.

Based on works with Satish Rao and Raphy Yuster. The talk is self-contained and requires no prior knowledge in Biology. 
Host: Manolis Kellis, MIT CSAIL
Contact: Teresa Cataldo,

Bag It 
Wednesday, August 8th 
6:30 pm
Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway Cambridge
Free movie
bag it   Is your life too plastic?
Cambridge Green would like to invite you and your kids to a truly inspiring film.
What started as a documentary about plastic bags evolved into a wholesale investigation into plastics and their effect on our waterways, oceans, cities and even our own BODIES. Join the bag it movement and decide for yourself how plastic your life should be. 
Seating is limited so come early.
The Screening is at 6:30pm (the film is 65 minutes long and unrated but is suitable for young kids)
Go to to see the trailer or read about the issues or find out how to take action!
Thursday, August 9
WYSS LECTURE: Magnetically-and-Bacteria-Actuated Mobile Micro-Robots
WHEN  Thu., Aug. 9, 2012, 2 – 3 p.m.
WHERE CLSB, 3 Blackfan Circle, Room 521, Boston
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University
SPEAKER(S) Metin Sitti, Ph.D., NanoRobotics Lab & Center for Bio-Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University.


Energy Bar August: Moving On Up
Thursday, August 9, 2012 
5:30 PM to 8:30 PM (EDT)
Greentown Labs, 337 Summer Street, Ground Floor, Boston

Event Details
We're movin' on up, to the 2nd Floor!

Join us on Thursday, August 9th for our bi-monthly EnergyBar event. This month we are celebrating our expansion, new member companies, and several new partnerships! In addition to our ground floor, mezzanine, and basement levels, we have now taken a lease on 2nd floor, allowing us to bring on a number of new clean energy companies.
Come and meet our newest members, do some clean energy networking, and find out the details about our new partners.
Drinks and eats will be served somewhat promptly around 5:30pm.  Suggested dress is business casual. Please RSVP to help us plan for food and beverages. Hope to see you all there!

About Energy Bar

EnergyBar is a bi-monthly event devoted to helping people in clean technology meet and discuss innovations in renewable and advanced energy technologies. Entrepreneurs, investors, students, and ‘friends of cleantech,’ are invited to attend, meet colleagues, and expand our growing regional clean technology community.
Our attendess typically span a variety of disciplines within energy, efficiency, and renewables technology. If you're looking for a job in cleantech, trying to expand your network, or perhaps thinking to start your own cleantech company this is the event for you. Expect to have conversations about issues facing advanced and renewable energy technologies and ways to solve our most pressing energy problems.

August 9, 2012
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Harvard University, 29 Garden Street, Cambridge

Join us for a night showcasing metaLAB’s summer projects and propositions, experiments and explorations.
Digital Ecologies
Feral Copyright
Library Observatory
Paper Machines
openLAB is a platform for experimentation and innovation. Migrating from site to site, ranging from local galleries to public spaces to Harvard arts venues, the openLAB series provides a forum to share everything from recent hacks and projects in progress to ad-hoc spectacles and polished productions. openLAB participants include core metaLAB members and other artists, scholars and technologists engaged in exploring new modes of practice, exhibition and knowledge design.
Friday, August 10
The Muddy Megawatt Hour
Friday, August 10, 2012
MIT, Building 50, Walker Memorial, Muddy
Starting this week we're bumping the start of the Muddy Megawatt Hour back to 4 pm and will have a new official Energy Club Muddy Megawatt Hour Flag marking our space. Don't miss this great weekly opportunity to chat with people from the other side of campus about what they are working on here at MIT. In the first month, we've had great discussions around the Solyndra scandal and DOE loan guarantees, startup company financing, this year's Energy Conference topics and opportunities for storage technologies to make an impact. Come see who you will meet and what part of the energy world you will learn more about while informing others about your work and interests. Come early, come late, stay as long as you can on the hallowed ground where the Energy Club started.
Open to: the general public
This event occurs on Fridays through October 7, 2012.
Sponsor(s): MIT Energy Club
For more information, contact:
MIT Energy Club 
Devil’s Tango (how I learned the Fukushima step by step)

Joan Ecklein’s house, 14 Sterling Street, Newton
Potluck •6 pm

Book talk by award-winning author Cecile Pineda
Sponsor:  Boston Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

Organizer: Joan Ecklein 617.244.8054

Saturday, August 11

Saturday, August 11, 2012
6 pm to 10 pm
Union Square, Somerville

Event Description The Hungry Tiger Street Festival, now it it’s second year, transforms Union Square into a night market like those of East Asia or Europe. Local restaurants selling small street food and fire throwers draw in a big crowd. We’ll keep the fun alive with face painting, buskars, interactive booths, face painting, and more.

Somerville Arts Council Call: Craft Vendors Wanted! Hungry Tiger Street Festival A Festival of Food and Culture in Union Square Saturday, August 11th, 6-10pm Application Deadline: Friday, August 3rd, 2012

What we’re looking for you to add is a unique spin on craft vending. Specifically items a customer can wear or carry with them (think masks, hair accessories, fake moustaches, buttons, maybe bags or purses, and especially anything that lights up). This is a really fun night market, we look forward to some interesting applications!
Contact Meagan O'Brien,  ArtsUnion Coordinator Somerville Arts Council at


Venezuelan Urban Agriculture Program
Saturday September 11th
46 Bennington St., East Boston (Take Blue Line to Airport Station)

The Venezuelan Urban Agriculture Program started in 2009 with about 200 productive units; this year it reached 22,000 units, producing more than 20,000 tons of organic food per cycle.   Government support and a network of grassroots organizations are the backbone of this project.

Martha Bolivar is the architect of this initiative. She is the president of CIARA (Foundation for the Training and Innovation to Support the Agrarian Revolution),  a division of the Venezuelan Ministry of Land and Agriculture which promote innovative and environmentally sustainable initiatives to support the growth of the agricultural sector (rural, peri-urban and urban) and aquaculture.

Sponsored by the Consulate of Venezuela
Venezuelan food and soft drinks will be served.
617-2669368 ext 201

Monday, August 13

The Boston Wikipedia Meetup Group Monthly Meetup
Mon Aug 13
7:00 PM
Clover Food Lab7 Holyoke St., Cambridge

Tuesday, August 14

Comparing Boston v. SiliconValley & NYC w/ Social Media APIs,TextMining (Group1)
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
6:30 PM To 7:30 PM
Microsoft New England Research and Development Center, 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge
Price: $5.00/per person
Refund policy
The $5 fee will first go to pizza (50%), then charity as described below (25%) and some O’Reilly books (25%) to be given away to the group.  The fee is towards reducing no-shows which range anywhere from 30-50% of rsvps when there is a free event.  Please note there is a no-pizza, $2.50 for charity, session #2 at 7:45.

Boston's Meetup Tech and Business scene has grown stronger; however Silicon Valley and New York City have both higher adoption and scale.  What might Boston do to improve its Tech and Biz community landscape?

Social Network Analysis and Machine Learning are used on data pulled from Meetup's API.  The talk will cover the application-side, analytics using R, and some on pulling data via an API.

This talk is a follow-up to the "Utilizing Meetup to Analyze Boston, Silicon Valley and NYC" presentation I gave back February. This extension includes additional Social Network and Machine Learning analysis towards addressing questions such as "What specific Meetup Groups would be helpful for Boston towards improving its tech and biz scene relative to Silicon Valley and NYC?"
There are two main layers of the presentation:
(1) Regional Comparisons:  Silicon Valley, not surprisingly, has a higher percentage of tech and business groups than either NYC or Boston.  NYC is slightly above the national average; whereas Boston has an on-par tech scene, though lower than average percentage of business groups.  This will be explored in more detail.
(2) Analytics:  Social Network Analysis and Machine Learning as a means to describe different communities.  "R" (tnet and RTextTools libraries among others) was used with data originating primarily from the Meetup API.
Please note the talk is low on hardcore Computer Science, i.e. there is not going to be discussion of achieving 99.999% accuracy using 20 different models ensembled together ala Amazon or Netflix.   Please refer to Stanford's Online Learning website ( which has a great ML course; and both Coursera and Udacity have upcoming Social Network Analysis courses.  It would be great to have a 2-hour ML event; however this is not the time for it.
The fee, which is to reduce the no-shows/waitlist, will partially be given to charities.  One thought is to have the donations given to a local non-profit for whom Meetup could be a benefit (much as it has shown to be in tech and biz communities). Interestingly, this brings up a different set of questions including "What is the adoption rate of Meetup in inner cities?"   As of this time I don't know which organization; however there's time to explore this before the event, and I may be able to go back into the Meetup data and local economic data to see if those sources can be helpful.  If you are interested in helping out in identifying a non-profit organization, then please let me know.

Sponsor:  Boston Predictive Analytics


Creative Economy Roundtable
Thursday, August 16
8:30 am
BSA Space, 290 Congress Street, Boston
Register online at
Governor Patrick’s Creative Economy Industry director, Helena Fruscio and the Boston design community
You may also be interested in the fall 2009 issue of ArchitectureBoston on Creative Economy
Boston GreenFest
Thursday, Aug 16   5 pm - 9:30 pm
Friday, Aug 17       noon - 9:30 pm
Saturday, Aug 18    11 am - 8 pm
Sunday, Aug 19    10 am - 5 pm
Featuring: The Movement Festival!

Boston City Hall Plaza, One City Hall Square, Boston


Thursday, August 23, 2012
7 to 9 pm
Artisan's Asylum, 10 Tyler Street, Somerville

Uncover What's Next for the Creative Economy
CreativeNEXT is a series of 21 state-wide events held bythe Massachusetts Creative Economy Council, an advisory Council to the Legislature and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, and a variety of local partners. The MA Creative Economy Council is tasked to develop a statewide strategy for the enhancement, encouragement, and growth of the creative economy in Massachusetts. Working with the Creative Economy Industry Director this listening tour will help to guide the future priorities of the Council. The greater Boston event, co-hosted by the Artisan's Asylum and Union Square Main Streets, will take place on Thursday, August 23, 2012 from 7 to 9 pm at the Artisan's Asylum, 10 Tyler Street, Somerville. Join colleagues in a discussion on furthering the visionary growth of your business and other creative industries across the state. Who should attend? Businesses, Organizations, and Individuals working in: Marketing: Advertising and marketing agencies and professionals Architecture: Architecture firms and architects Visual Arts + Craft: Museums, galleries, theatres and curators, artists, + artisans Design: Industrial, interior, graphic, web, fashion firms and designers Film + Media: Film, TV, animation, and radio businesses and talent Video Game: Companies, programmers, and individuals producing games Music + Performance: Venues, producers, and performers Publishing: Content creation, editors, writers and distributors What's on the agenda? You are! We want to hear from you, about you, as we explore future opportunities for like-minded businesses within the creative landscape. Through a round table discussion we hope to gain valuable insights concerning the growth and sustainability of your business within the state of Massachusetts.

For more information and to register your space:


National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance
8/23/2012 - 8/27/2012
9:00 am - 8:00 pm
Microsoft New England R&D Center, One Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02142

Audience: Faculty and students from New England and throughout the country working to commercialize ventures for the developing world
Description: Sustainable Vision VentureLab is an intensive, five-day, highly experiential and immersive workshop designed to enhance the success of base of the pyramid ventures. Students from Boston University, Northeastern, MIT (including Legatum fellows) Harvard and Tufts will meet and work with students from other programs around the country to develop strong, sustainable business models that create products or services for the benefit of people living in poverty.

$100 per team
Register at


Save the Silver Maple Forest nature hike
Saturday, August 25
meet at Alewife Station on the Red Line (passenger pick-up area), Cambridge

The Silver Maple Forest, an urban forest adjacent to Alewife Reservation in Cambridge, is slated to be cut down to make way for housing development.

This walk will introduce people to the Reservation and Silver Maple Forest so they can understand the importance of this urban wilderness and join activists and concerned citizens working to preserve it.

In this walk we will learn to identify some of the wild plant foods and medicines found here.

Leading the walk is Jules Kobek, co-founder of DIO (Do-It-Ourselves) Skillshare and knowledgeable forager.
call 617-492-2340 for more info about walk

Heavy rain cancels (call if not sure)
Be prepared for rough ground and possibly mud, mosquitos, and ticks (I strongly recommend wearing long pants tucked into socks and long sleeves)

for more info about the Silver Maple Forest, check-out these websites:
Coalition to Preserve the Belmont Uplands:
Friends of Alewife Reservation:



Where is the best yogurt on the planet made? Somerville, of course!

Join the Somerville Yogurt Making Cooperative and get a weekly quart of the most thick, creamy, rich and tart yogurt in the world. Membership in the coop costs $2.50 per quart. Members share the responsibility for making yogurt in our kitchen located just outside of Davis Sq. in FirstChurch.  No previous yogurt making experience is necessary.

For more information checkout.

Boiler Rebate
If your boiler is from 1983 or earlier, Mass Save will give a $1,750 to $4,000 rebate to switch it out for a new efficient boiler that uses the same fuel (i.e. if you have oil, you have to continue to use oil) so long as it is installed by July 31, 2012.

Call Mass Save (866 527-7283) to sign up for a home energy assessment or sign-up online at  and HEET will receive a $10 contribution from Next Step Living for every completed assessment.

This is a great way to reduce climate change emissions for the next 20 or so years the boiler lasts, while saving money.


CEA Solar Hot Water Grants
Cambridge, through the Cambridge Energy Alliance initiative, is offering a limited number of grants to residents and businesses for solar hot water systems.  The grants will cover 50% of the remaining out of pocket costs of the system after other incentives, up to $2,000.

Applications will be accepted up to November 19, 2012 and are available on a first come, first serve basis until funding runs out.  The Cambridge grant will complement other incentives including the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center solar thermal grants.  For more information, see


Cambridge Residents: Free Home Thermal Images

Have you ever wanted to learn where your home is leaking heat by having an energy auditor come to your home with a thermal camera?  With that info you then know where to fix your home so it's more comfortable and less expensive to heat.  However, at $200 or so, the cost of such a thermal scan is a big chunk of change.

HEET Cambridge has now partnered with Sagewell, Inc. to offer Cambridge residents free thermal scans.

Sagewell collects the thermal images by driving through Cambridge in a hybrid vehicle equipped with thermal cameras.  They will scan every building in Cambridge (as long as it's not blocked by trees or buildings or on a private way).  Building owners can view thermal images of their property and an analysis online. The information is password protected so that only the building owner can see the results.

Homeowners, condo-owners and landlords can access the thermal images and an accompanying analysis free of charge. Commercial building owners and owners of more than one building will be able to view their images and analysis for a small fee.

The scans will be analyzed in the order they are requested.

Go to  Type in your address at the bottom where it says "Find your home or building" and press return.  Then click on "Here" to request the report.

That's it.  When the scans are done in a few weeks, your building will be one of the first to be analyzed. The accompanying report will help you understand why your living room has always been cold and what to do about it.

With knowledge, comes power (or in this case saved power and money, not to mention comfort).


Free solar electricity analysis for MA residents


HEET has partnered with NSTAR and Mass Save participating contractor Next Step Living to deliver no-cost Home Energy Assessments to Cambridge residents.

During the assessment, the energy specialist will:

Install efficient light bulbs (saving up to 7% of your electricity bill)
Install programmable thermostats (saving up to 10% of your heating bill)
Install water efficiency devices (saving up to 10% of your water bill)
Check the combustion safety of your heating and hot water equipment
Evaluate your home’s energy use to create an energy-efficiency roadmap
If you get electricity from NSTAR, National Grid or Western Mass Electric, you already pay for these assessments through a surcharge on your energy bills.  You might as well use the service.

Please sign up at or call Next Step Living at 866-867-8729.  A Next Step Living Representative will call to schedule your assessment.

HEET will help answer any questions and ensure you get all the services and rebates possible.

(The information collected will only be used to help you get a Home Energy Assessment.  We won’t keep the data or sell it.)

(If you have any questions or problems, please feel free to call HEET’s Jason Taylor at 617 441 0614.)




Sustainable Business Network Local Green Guide

SBN is excited to announce the soft launch of its new Local Green Guide, Massachusetts' premier Green Business Directory!

To view the directory please visit:
To find out how how your business can be listed on the website or for sponsorship opportunities please contact Adritha at


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.


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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