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In the Works – Potential Topics

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We'd like your thoughts on these and other topics you are interested in seeing or maybe presenting. Send your thoughts via email to or contact John Rudy, Peter Albin, Bob Primak, or Steve Isenberg directly – Thank you.
This list last changed 2021.02.18 15:09

  • ?? Discovery platinum compound for radiation therapy
  • ?? Search for life on other planets (research in progress; Cindy Bares doing research).
  • (Charlie Holbrow to followup) Dan Kleppner: I was planning to suggest a talk that I think would mesh with the group’s interests. The subject is Fixit Clinics. These are hands-on clinics that were started at MIT perhaps fifteen years ago, and presented during IAP. They are the brainchild of Peter Mui, an MIT graduate (full disclosure: Peter is my son’s brother-in-law). The rationale is fundamentally conservation- he is appalled by the enormous waste of usable appliances. The issue of right-to-repair arises in these clinics: many appliances are intentionally unfixable. Fixit clines have gained in popularity and he has put them on them in many venues in the U.S. and also abroad.
  • (Peter to fup with Jonathan Goode) Actual accomplishments of things in the Frontiers of Science.
    a) has quantum computing ever solved a problem?, b)
    has blockchain produced a cost effective solution for anything?,
    c) has the Large Hadron Collider advanced science or provided the real confirmations the string theorists were looking for? (John Rudy knows someone named Harvey might fit)
  • (Peter to fup with Jonathan Goode) A revised explanation, in an intuitively satisfying way, why do airplanes fly? This was presented earlier using incomprehensible equations that seem unsatisfying and suspicious. Can planes really achieve level flight upside down?
  • Ocean Trash (plastics, etc) (need speaker)
  • (GeorgeB to fup) Recycling (what happens when you put trash out; computer or lightbulb return to BB or Staples) (Bodoin/Harvey & What Lex Does? How to separate recyclables?)
  • (Peter to fup) A NOVA on DaVinci (Peter- I’d love to get Nancy Alimansky to participate and comment on it –John Rudy)
  • Cacelia Payne-Gaposhkin would have received a Nobel prize for figuring out what stars are made of, in a fairer world. (John Rudy) from wikipedia: a British-born American astronomer and astrophysicist who proposed in her 1925 doctoral thesis that stars were composed primarily of hydrogen and helium. Her groundbreaking conclusion was initially rejected because it contradicted the scientific wisdom of the time, which held that there were no significant elemental differences between the Sun and Earth. Independent observations eventually proved she was correct.
  • most recent Nobel Prizes in Physiology & Medicine, Physics, and Chemistry - maybe a half hour on each with discussion. I have a background in Physics, Chemistry and Molecular Biology so the topics are not foreign to me. I could also discuss the Economics Prize, since I've recently become interested in economics, but someone else in the group may be more knowledgeable about this prize which was on auction theory. Another topic I could talk about is the discovery of the platinum containing compound that has been used for decades in chemotherapy of cancer. This talk would be from the same perspective as our last speaker (Harry?) in the sense that I was there as the discovery was made. This discovery is a great example of how basic science research really happens. (Dick Wagner)
  • Women in Science, Scientists in Other Cultures (Charlie ask Dan for suggestions; GeorgeG to ask CAAL; Harry to ask Indian Association; for speaker possibilities) (Need contact with Black Americans – Harry to search)
  • Advances in Surgery (Jerry?)
  • Solar Panels, Solar Technology. Mark Sandeen (Harry to fup); Frank van Mierlo, owner of solar technology company, explains science of solar panels (GeorgeB to fup)
  • Discussion of Blockchain (enhanced from earlier presentation; including encryption; and uses) (SteveI)
  • iRobot and associated technologies (Peter to investigate)
  • idea: Telescopes (JohnR; huge telescope being decommissioned)
  • Ignoble awards 2020
  • idea: ISO-NE webinar being presented by the Attorney General's office; JohnBrown to see if it is recorded and if it's good for the group [20201125 email b/JohnR & JohnB]
  • Iron Mountain: History. (Carl Lazarus; 20mins +/-) Potential potpourri topic.
  • Why Craters are Round (Neil deGrasse Tyso explains; need to turn out the “comedian”) [~14min]
  • CERN and the Hadron Collider. [originally scheduled for 12/9/2020, canceled on 12/4] History, Why It Was Built, Hoped Outcomes, Discovery of Bison, What is Next (Harvey Newman, professor Cal Tech). Harvey will introduce the status and outlook for the LHC, its past and present and near term outlook, and provide a panorama of the future including some of the leading programs. read more
  • Video on Quantum Computing; has lots of math. 1.5hr (suggested by GeorgeG)
  • BBC Horizon video, “Pluto: Back from the Dead” 1hr (PeterA)
  • BBC Horizon video, “Britain's Next Air Disaster? Drones.” 1hr (PeterA)
  • Other Mark Rober youtube videos (he did Squirrel vid)
  • Bees. I was an amateur beekeeper for fifteen years. (Howard Cohen)
  • short talk on the changes in dentistry due to technology. Starting with digital x-rays and the automation of the molding of teeth, to maybe simulation of orthodonture. [wording: John Rudy] (David Brother)
  • Chris Hess: Musicians record themselves at home on their phones. They send me their files and I build virtual video performances in software. We've done a couple dozen virtual ensemble pieces at First Parish since the lockdown started. I work on a PC, with tools in the Adobe Creative suite. If that's of interest, I could do an introduction to the process and tools and then do some Q&A. Zoom isn't directly relevant, although we do stream the stuff I make over Zoom at virtual Sunday services at First Parish.
  • Election security, allegations, concerns, why is it so hard to have a closed and secure system? Securing mail-in voting; how states got it to happen. Involve Town clerk or rep to participate? (GeorgeB to follow-up)
  • Revisit Cloud Storage Options (update from December 2019, steveI)
  • The first LASER of 2021 explores the relationship between humans, DNA, and data, featuring media artist and TED speaker Refik Anadol in conversation with Dr. Robert Grass from ETH Zurich, and Christine Choirat from Harvard and the Swiss Data Science Center. (90 min)
  • Big Dig A super presentation at the library in January. First part is history, rest is engineering.
  • This might be a good filler for an open spot at our meetings. The Mars landing with this helicopter aboard is happening today (2/18/21). (Larry Wittig)
  • Topic ideas without speakers
    • home theater, camera monitor, media player
    • Linux or other O/S
    • Headsets and cameras for Zoom; auxiliary microphones?
    • Your experience with Raspberry or other tiny computer
    • Troubleshoot your Internet connectivity
    • Utilities, for a utilities meeting
    • Shelly Lowenthal: Total Commander, Irfanview
    • Al Sherman: “Everything” from
    • Al Sherman: “Advanced Renamer” from (NOTE Al can be recorded off-line for replay on Weds.)
lctg_in_the_works.txt · Last modified: 2021.02.18 15:09 by smismi7