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Nov 11
2010

Almost Scientific

Posted by Bruce Robinson in speaker , Science , Santa Rosa , nonprofit orgs , gadgets , events , energy , design , art

Bruce Robinson

alanRorie071508_1There's a lot of genuine science built into the kinetic creations of "Almost Scientific" artist Alan Rorie. That doesn't necessarily mean that his mechanisms comply with the natural laws that govern our world—although they might.

neuron-chamber

From an early age, Alan Rorie knew that he wanted to study science. So he did. But as he neared completion of his Ph.D., his interest in making art eclipsed his passion for research. But he's found that there's really no separating of the two interests.

The dramatic photo above is a device Rorie called a Neuron Chamber. See it in action in this video: [video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvZmc--qVnk 360x240]

time_machine

While his post-graduate training in neurobiology has informed his art, Rorie says he also has found his education as good training for learning the new skills he's needed to develop to create his art.

 Alan Rorie will offer alive demonstration of his  Uira Engine Tuesday evening, Nov. 16 at 6:30 pm as part of the current Mad Science exhibit at the Sonoma County Museum. Here's a preview:

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yq5sZNmQKs 360x240]

Aug 02
2010

20 years of ADA

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wheelchair , transportation , rights , public safety , policy , lifestyle , legislation , jobs , Ideas , history , Health , government , environment , employment , education , disability , design , Congress , California , activism

Bruce Robinson

Since the Americans With Disabilities Act was enacted by Congress 20 years ago, it has changed much more than building codes.

When the ADA passed, it took some time for the law’s new requirements to have a visible effect. But Anthony Tusler (left), founder of About Disability, a Penngrove-based advocacy office, observes that there were some notable changes in the public media landscape almost immediately.

 Most adult Americans with disabilities were cheered and empowered by the passage of the ADA in 1990, but Tusler acknowledges there were a few who felt threatened by the changes the bill would bring, and opposed it.

Despite their gains in other areas, most disabled Americans continue to struggle to find meaningful employment. Tusler suspects some employers manipulate the hiring process to avoid dealing with the ADA.

 

 

This is one of a series of photos taken in April, 1977 by Anthony Tusler at the demonstration and picketing at the U.N. Plaza in front of the Federal Building in San Francisco. The group then entered the offices of HEW and refused to leave. It was the longest occupation of a Federal Building by any group. Demonstrations were also held at other Federal Buildings across the country. Because of the political pressure of these actions Secretary Califano signed the regulations in May. A more complete history can be read at 504 Sit-in: Historical Articles and Eyewitness Accounts.

Jun 23
2010

Revisiting the Running Fence

Posted by Bruce Robinson in West County , Sonoma County , Sonoma , recreation , politics , planning , ocean , media , land rights , journalism , history , farms , families , events , environment , design , coast , California , art , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

Thirty-four years after Christo’s  Running Fence snaked across the North Bay’s coastal landscape into the Pacific, the unique and short-lived artwork is still fondly recalled by most of those who played a part in its creation.

The large and unexpected projects envisioned and executed by Christo and Jeanne-Claude may not fit some conventional definitions of art, says documentary filmmaker Wolfram Hissen, but they certainly strike a chord with a huge number of people.

Some of the friendships that developed during the Running Fence project proved to be deep and enduring, Hissen discovered, despite the broad differences between the artists and the ranchers.

After the Running Fence was taken down, each landowner got to keep the materials that had been part of it. Some used the poles and  hardware in other construction projects, while the thousands of yards of while canvass was generally harder to reuse. One exception ot that was this jacket, made by Amelia Bruhn, and shown at the 33 year anniversary gathering in 2009 that became a substantial part of Wolfram Hissen's new documentary. See the trailer for the film below:

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBVpgN4JAsE 360x240]

In addition to the showing tonight in Occidental, The Running Fence Revisited will also be screened on the evenings of June 24 and 25 at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa.

 

Jun 21
2010

Innovation Hub

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , technology , speaker , Sonoma County , research , planning , nonprofit orgs , jobs , Ideas , Green , go green , gadgets , employment , economy , design , construction , carbon , California , business , alternative energy

Bruce Robinson

The Business Cluster at Sonoma Mountain Village, an incubator for green entrepreneurs, is getting a boost from the state's Innovation Hub (iHub) initiative for  new companies intended to become a prime source for new, local jobs.

Sustainability looks beyond energy use and building materials, adds Geof  Syphers. He notes that part of their systemic focus at Sonoma Mountain Village, the former Agilent campus on the southern edge of Rohnert Park,  is on water.

The business cluster at Sonoma Mountain Village was one of the first elements of their 200 acre redevelopment project to get up and running, in part because it could make use of existing buildings there, explains Chief Sustainability Officer Geof Syphers. But he is also looking ahead to the new residential construction that will dramatically transform the site.

One of the eye-catching aspects of the event yesterday was a demonstration module for Pix2o, one of the start-ups in the Business Cluster that Executive Director Michael Newell says is closest to bringing their product to market.

The full roster of Business Cluster members is available here.

 

 

 

 

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