Tag Archives: science

Balboa Park To Host Art, Science Festival

A celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, or STEAM., is on tap this Sunday in Balboa Park.

Organizers expect more than 10,000 people at Balboa Park’s seventh annual STEAM Day.

Free STEAM-themed crafts will line the park’s Prado. And the museums will admit kids under 12 for no charge if they are with a paid adult.

Ashanti Davis from the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center said people forget that science can be stranger than art.

“These things are weird, there are parts of them that are involved in everything that we do and there are parts that are very strange and bizarre,” Davis said. “And we want to know more because we want to know where its going and where its going to take us next.”

Angela Bacon from the San Diego Model Railroad Museum said they hope the event brings joy to science education.

“Because a lot of time when kids think about science and math all they think about is statistics and numbers and it might drag them down a little,” Bacon said. “And this is a fun way to engage people and to learn that science and math can be fun.“

To see the complete list of all that’s going on for everyone at STEAM Day, go to balboapark.org/STEAMday.

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Educators at STEM Symposium Work to Bridge Achievement Gaps

“More than 3,000 educators have come to San Diego for the second annual STEM Symposium. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. The Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation is hosting the event for its second year.

This year’s theme is closing the gender achievement gap in STEM studies and professions. According to Education Week, boys and men still far outnumber girls and women in STEM studies and professions.”

For more go HERE.

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AM Briefing from Bowlersdesk.com for May 27, 2014

Two sentencings of note today

First at 9:00 this morning the San Diego company Pacific Tank Cleaning Incorporated is being sentenced in federal court. Yes you heard me correctly a corporation is being sentenced. Three years ago some acid spilled out of one of their facilities forming a puddle near an elementary school. The company says that an employee told management about the spill, however the National Response Center wasn’t told. Pacific Tank Cleaning’s production manager Jorge Luquin pleaded guilty to unlawful discharge of pollutants and admitted that he didn’t try to contain the spill at all.

In San Diego’s downtown courthouse 73-year-old Leland Ernest Clyde will hear his fate for gunning down his neighbor at the R.V. park he was living in. Clyde, a felon with long record, was living in the East County Ma Tar Awa Campground in Alpine. He and his 56-year-old neighbor began fighting. Clyde then shot his neighbor in the chest with a shotgun. The victim fell to ground and Clyde walked up to him, stood over him, reloaded and shot him twice more. Clyde’s criminal record goes all the way back to 1959.

18-year-old Eric Chen, a senior at Canyon Crest Academy, is showing off his science project at the White House’s Science Fair today. Chen researched new flu treatments. Some think his work could lead to new class of drugs for treating flu outbreaks, slowing possible pandemics, thus allowing more time to make a vaccine.

13-year-old Allison Grace Grygar is in National Harbor Maryland representing San Diego County in the National Spelling Bee. Grygar is up against 280 spellers from all over the country.

And finally at 9:30 this morning the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics kicks off with a torch lighting. The run starts at Chula Vista Police headquarters and goes all the way to San Diego Police headquarters by 11:15 AM and then to Carmel Valley Road at North Torrey Pines Road by around 4:00 this afternoon. Over 400 officers participate in the run that raises money for the San Diego Special Olympics.

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AM Briefing from Bowlersdesk.com for Memorial Day May 26, 2014

San Diego is remembering its veterans at several events today.

First at 7:00 AM the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Warrior Foundation 5-K run starts over at Naval Training Center Park.

In Lakeside at 9:00 AM the 68th annual Memorial Day Reading of the Names at the Carter-Smith Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

At 10:00 AM there is the dramatic looking Memorial Day service at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

In Oceanside also at 10:00 the Veterans Association of North County is hosting its service at their headquarters at 1617 Mission Avenue.

On board the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum at 10:00 AM radio stations 100 point 7 Jack FM and KFMB are hosting an all-day blood drive.

At 10:30 the Kensington Social and Athletic Club is hosting the annual Kensington Holiday at Home Parade in the historic San Diego neighborhood.

And in Encinitas at 11:00 AM the American Legion Post 416 is hosting its Memorial Day remembrance.

Those are just a few of the events from all over San Diego County. The beaches are sure to be filled and almost all government offices are closed.

And finally this afternoon at 4:00 the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is looking for your opinion on some new exhibitions ideas. They are hosting some focus groups. Today’s group is for adults without children.

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AM Briefing from Bowlersdesk.com for May 2, 2014

At 9:00 AM in San Diego courthouse’s Department 53 the public will comment over placing sexually violent predator Terry Stone in the far East San Diego County community of Borrego Springs. 63-year-old Stone is a diagnosed pedophile and has been convicted three times for lewd and lascivious acts against five victims. His victims were all between 6 and 11-years-old.Stone has been in a state hospital since 2003 and a judge ruled that he can safely be released. The question now is where.

Also in San Diego’s courthouse this morning at 9:00 … three sentencings.

Number One: Alvaro Regalado and Juan Arriero pleaed guilty to multiple robberies and to shooting a 16-year-old visiting from Arizona during one of the robberies.

Number two: Joseph Ragland, Jamarious Porche, Askia Toure and Michael McGinnis spent about two weeks robbing and pistol-whipping people.

and Number 3: Rafael Felipe Solano stabbed a man during an argument over meth.

At 1:30 this afternoon Julio Cruz is being arraigned in Vista’s courthouse. He is a wanted fugitive that led authorities on a chase through North San Diego County.

Nearly 300 women are going to pitch in on building a house for Habitat for Humanity in Imperial Beach starting at 9:00 this morning. It’s all part of National Women Build Week.

At 10:00 AM the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s new ship will be commissioned. The $75 minion dollar 208-foot long vessel will be named after oceanographer Reuben Lasker and be based in San Diego. It’ll be used to collect info on the sea life in the Eastern Pacific.

In San Diego’s Old Town Historic State Park starting at 11:00 AM the annual Fiesta Old Town Cinco de Mayo party is kicking off. They’ll have 40 bands, ballet folklorico and more.

And finally at 4:00 this afternoon the University of San Diego is giving out its fourth annual Social Innovation Challenge award. College students proposed solutions to social, economic and environmental problems to get a $73,500 grant.

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AM Briefing from Bowlersdesk.com for March 27, 2014

San Diego State University Aztecs Men’s Basketball faces the University of Arizona Wildcats in a sweet 16 showdown. The Wildcats are heavily favored but many think that’s way overblown and the Aztecs are going to trounce their overconfident foe. Game starts at 7:17.

73-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease went missing yesterday afternoon and San Diego Sheriff’s Department wants you to keep an eye out for her. Her name is World Luz Loper, she’s five foot one inch tall, weighs about 100 pounds, has brown hair, and short white hair done up in a Mohawk. Sheriff’s Departments says that Loper likes to wear a trash bag when its raining and that if you ask her how old she is she’ll smile and say “Sweet 16” Anyone with any info is asked to call 858-565-5200.

One sentencing and an arraignment worth mentioning today.

At 8:30 this morning in San Diego’s courthouse Aaron Franklin will be sentenced for murdering a member of his own gang.

Then at 1:30 this afternoon in El Cajon’s courthouse Ernesto Dominguez is being arraigned and accused of breaking into a Spring Valley home.

At 11:00 AM Sweetwater Union High School District Board of Education President Jim Cartmill and Superintendent Ed Brand are talking to the press about the contract talks with teachers union. This board of education has been plagued with problems. One of its board members was convicted on corruption charges earlier this year. This week the board canceled a meeting for the second week in a row. They were supposed to talk about the teachers’ contract. So everyone is very curious what President Cartmill and Superintendent Brand will say.

San Diego County Treasure and Tax Collector Dan McAllister is talking to the press at 11:00 this morning about the approaching property tax deadline.

Then at 11:30 San Diego State Political Science professor Mikhail Alexseev, a Ukrainian native, is giving a talk about what effect the Kiev protests have had and what he thinks is going to happen in Ukrain’s future.

Habitat for Humanity is celebrating 10-years of working with the AFL-CIO this morning at 8:15.

Then at 9:15 the North County Transit District and San Marcos Fire Department is practicing rescuing people from a train stalled on a bridge. So if you see fire trucks at the Rancheros Road and Woodland Parkway rail bridge that goes over the 78 in North County, don’t freak out.

Long term parkers at San Diego’s airport are getting one of their lots back this morning at 10:00. The 2000 space lot just north of Lindbergh Field is re-opening, it now has some space set aside for a new rental car center that’s supposed to open in 2016.

At 10:30 the Scripps Institution of Oceanography is hosting a meeting about how the oceans affect human health. They’re talking about the molecular processes behind global marine pollutants, human exposure to methyl mercury, oil oxidation following the Deepwater Horizon disaster and much more.

And finally … how pirates have helped to advance the progress of science is the topic of a talk at University of California San Diego at 7:00 tonight.

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AM Briefing from Bowlersdesk.com for June 10, 2013

[youtube:http://youtu.be/mkkKRvSobxU%5D

This afternoon at 1:30 two men accused of selling meth at a Mission Bay Sports Center, that hosts youth camps, will be arraigned in San Diego’s downtown courthouse. 32-year-old Spencer Nicholas Edmonds and 41-year-old Vincent Manuel Garcia are accused of dealing meth along with seven other people. There bail is set at $500,000

Also at 1:30 half of a pair accused of stealing computer equipment from an elementary school will be arraigned in El Cajon’s courthouse today.

Regional politicos will be busy today.

First at 9:00 AM the San Diego County Board of Supervisors is listening to the public about their proposed 4 point 97 billion dollar budget. The new budget increases spending by two and half percent.

And this afternoon at 2:00 the San Diego City Council votes on its 2 point 75 billion dollar spending plan. The new plan includes revisions from the Mayor and a five-year labor agreement.

Then this evening at 5:30 the San Diego Association of Governments, or SANDAG, is talking about construction for the Mid-City Bus Route and trolley expansion to La Jolla.

This morning at 10:45 Democratic Congressman Scott Peters is announcing he’s going to donate eight percent of his monthly income to the non-profit Senior Community Centers. Every month $1,300 will go to the non-profit that helps feed San Diego’s senior citizens. That means he make $195,000 a year

This afternoon starting at 1:00 thousands of San Diego Unified School District high school students are graduating.

And finally tonight at 6:30 at the Birch Aquarium Charlie Kennel the former Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography is giving a talk about the future of manned space travel. Kennel is now the chairman of the National Academies Space Studies Board.

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AM Briefing from Bowlersdesk.com for May 9, 2013

[youtube:http://youtu.be/H4zSB2bgSUk%5D

San Diego’s City Council is continuing to examine Mayor Bob Filner’s budget proposal. This morning they examine the pension, Housing Commission, and Civic parts of the budget. This afternoon they look at the Convention Center funding.

In a related story … Just yesterday San Diego’s Independent Budget Analyst said that the Convention Center has over 31 million dollars of backlogged maintenance.

Mayor Filner is meeting with the press today at noon. It’s all part of his regular question-and-answer sessions. He’s open to talking about anything the press wants

At 10:00 this morning California state firefighters will open California Wildfire Awareness Week with a press conference. All week officials from Cal Fire will remind us about being prepared for a wild fire. The statewide series of events ends Saturday

In court this afternoon Tim Lambesis, a former Christian Rock star and current heavy metal’er will be arraigned for trying to hire a hit man to kill his ex-wife.

And this evening the San Diego County Taxpayers Association is hosting its 18th annual Golden awards dinner. They recognize what they see at the best and worst of government spending. The festivities begin at 7:00 PM at the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina.

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AM Briefing from Bowlersdesk.com for May 6, 2013

[youtube:http://youtu.be/UWHrn_mhaKg%5D

It is a rainy day in San Diego … sporadic showers and drizzle is making the AM commute a hassle.

Jury selection in the second trial of the man accused of shooting at people on the freeway is today. Stephen Dragasits is accused of shooting at random cars driving along some of San Diego’s freeway injuring a 21-year-old. That begins at 9:00 AM in San Diego’s downtown courthouse.

Also at 9:00 this morning San Diego’s City Council is continuing to review Mayor Bob Filner’s proposed budget. Budget items on the agenda for today are police, fire, libraries, and parks.

This afternoon at 3:30 Sweetwater Union High School District’s first annual Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math or STEAM Summit starts. They are showing off how student and teacher use iPads in class and in their robotics program. Also showing off is the Mayor’s Cup Cyber Challenge, Visual and Performing Arts projects that use art, music, and technology. It’s all free and open to the public at Otay Ranch High School.

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President BRAIN Initiative Has San Diego Ties.

[youtube:http://youtu.be/slQ8ELULNP0%5D

Today the President announced a major initiative program to map the human brain, and San Diego’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies will play a major roll.

The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative will get $100 million out next year’s budget.

Salk researchers are aiming to map the brain’s neural networks with the hope of better understanding how the brain works.

“We have the chance to improve the lives of not just millions, but billions of people on this planet,” said the president, “It will require us to embrace the spirit of discovery that made America—America.”

Terrence J. Sejnowski chairman of the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute was with the President in Washington, D.C.

“This initiative is a boost for the brain like the Human Genome Project was for the genes,” says Sejnowski, the Francis Crick Chair and head of the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory at Salk.

“This is the start of the million neuron march.”

In a press release the Salk Institute says …

Neuroscientist Terry Sejnowksi attends White House announcement collaborative BRAIN Initiative

Newswise — LA JOLLA, CA—-Salk neuroscientist Terrence J. Sejnowski joined President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C., on April 2, 2013, at the launch of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative-a major Administration neuroscience effort that advances and builds upon collaborative scientific work by leading brain researchers such as Salk’s own Sejnowski.

“We have the chance to improve the lives of not just millions, but billions of people on this planet,” said the president, “It will require us to embrace the spirit of discovery that made America—America.”

In his introductory remarks, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, dubbed Obama the “Scientist in Chief,” and said, “Asking the people in this room to delay innovation would be like asking the cherry trees to stop blooming.”

Obama compared the BRAIN Initiative to the Human Genome Project, which mapped the entire human genome and ushered in a new era of genetics-based medicine. “Every dollar spent on the human genome has returned $140.00 to our economy,” the president said. Instead of charting genes, BRAIN will help visualize the brain activity directly involved in such vital functions as seeing, hearing and storing memories, a crucial step in understanding how to treat diseases and injuries of the nervous system.

The BRAIN Initiative is launching with approximately $100 million in funding for research supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the President’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget.

Foundations and private research institutions are also investing in the neuroscience that will advance the BRAIN Initiative. Along with the Salk Institute, they include The Allen Institute for Brain Science, the Kavli Foundation, and The Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

“This initiative is a boost for the brain like the Human Genome Project was for the genes,” says Sejnowski, the Francis Crick Chair and head of the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory at Salk. “This is the start of the million neuron march.”

The BRAIN initiative and its focus on leveraging emerging technologies dovetails with the Salk Institute’s Dynamic Brain Initiative, a neuroscience initiative focused on providing a better understanding of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system. The Salk Institute itself is home to several pioneering tool builders, among them Edward M. Callaway, already famous among systems neuroscientists for using a modified rabies virus to trace neuronal connections in the visual system.

“Scientists have known since the time of Galileo that new tools can open up whole new lines of research,” says Callaway, holder of the Audrey Geisel Chair in Biomedical Science. “But for us, tools aren’t just mechanical instruments, they can be viruses, genes, chemical dyes, or even photons.”

Tools are also mathematical, explains Sejnowski. “When you are trying to understand the electrical and chemical interactions of millions of brain cells, you are looking at a multi-dimensional problem, which can only be solved by computational modeling,” he says. “My lab has as many mathematicians and physicists and engineers as it has biologists.”
Summing up his excitement over the promise of BRAIN, Sejnowski says, “Imagine how it must have felt to be a rocket engineer when Kennedy said we would reach for the moon. You know there’s an almost unimaginable amount of hard work ahead of you—and yet you can’t wait to get started.”

The initiative builds on discussions between a group of leading neuroscientists and nanotechnologists from around the country, including Sejnowski. The scientists published an article on the topic in the March 15 issue of Science, in which they noted that the Human Genome Project yielded $800 billion in economic impact from a $3.8 billion investment—and that a similar neuroscience initiative could expect to produce similar returns.

President Obama emphasized the impact of the genome-mapping project in his February 2013 State of the Union address and the importance of neuroscience for addressing human diseases. “Today, our scientists are mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to Alzheimer’s,” he said. “Now is the time to reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the Space Race.”
Sejnowski says BRAIN could ultimately help reduce the overwhelming costs for treatment and long-term care of brain-related disorders, which Price Waterhouse Coopers estimated at $515 billion for the United States alone in 2012.

“Many of the most devastating human brain disorders, such as depression and schizophrenia, only seem to emerge when large-scale assemblies of neurons are involved,” says Sejnowski. “Other terrible conditions, such as blindness and paralysis, result from disruptions in circuit connections. The more precise our information about specific circuits, the more we will understand what went wrong, where it went wrong, and how to target therapies.”

Computational neuroscience, a field Sejnowski helped establish, will be a central avenue of research advanced under the new Initiative. One of only ten living individuals to have been elected to three branches of the National Academies—National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and Institute of Medicine—Sejnowski co-authored 23 Problems in Systems Neuroscience, a foundational book that lays out many of the questions BRAIN is aiming to answer.

Computational neuroscience focuses on understanding how a circuit of hundreds to thousands of brain cells, which includes neurons, as well as associated cells, such as astrocytes, allows us to do something as simple as reaching out a hand or as complex as processing rich visual information. The only way to fully understand systems, such as olfaction or vision, is to map and probe the entire circuit, which is exactly what the BRAIN proposes to do.

“We’re not jumping in and mapping the entire active human brain,” says Sejnowski, “But we are at a point where we can develop the tools to map entire circuits, first in invertebrates and eventually in mammals.”

In fact, part of the reason that the neuroscience field is now gaining momentum is that advances in engineering and physics are allowing scientists to develop incredibly tiny tools to explore the molecular world of living cells. It is no accident, says Sejnowski, that the Science paper included a cadre of nanotechnology pioneers as coauthors. “It’s like wishing for a faster car, and finding out that engineers from Bugatti and Lotus are offering to help,” Sejnowski says of the cross-disciplinary collaboration.

New tools that will be developed under BRAIN will push the cutting-edge even further, enabling scientists to look at the brain with better spatial and temporal resolution, as well as analyze the millions of bits of accumulated data.

About the Salk Institute for Biological Studies:

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is one of the world’s preeminent basic research institutions, where internationally renowned faculty probe fundamental life science questions in a unique, collaborative, and creative environment. Focused both on discovery and on mentoring future generations of researchers, Salk scientists make groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of cancer, aging, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and infectious diseases by studying neuroscience, genetics, cell and plant biology, and related disciplines.

Faculty achievements have been recognized with numerous honors, including Nobel Prizes and memberships in the National Academy of Sciences. Founded in 1960 by polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk, M.D., the Institute is an independent nonprofit organization and architectural landmark.

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