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Minutes: The One with Einstein (05/30/12)

May 30, 2012

Invocation: Ed Flemming
Flag Salute: Ed Flemming
Raffle: Chris Baxter brought gift certificates to Elephant Bar and Renaud’s

Visiting Rotarians: Gretchen Falvo, Wend Schaefer

Guests: Amy Clemens, Brody Joy


  • Dana Goba announced that 30 Rotary Youth Exchange students will be visiting from Alaska. They will be here on Tuesday, June 12. We will go to the Endless Summer with them.
  • Julie Joy Stillwell became a Paul Harris fellow! What a lovely gift from Joanne Schoenfeld Orenstein.
  • Sign up for next year’s committees. The sheets were circulated. Club members were encouraged to sign up for something new.
  • Tuesday night rendezvous was attended by a few club members. Next week we’ll meet at the Shoreline Beach Cafe at Ledbetter Beach.
  • Rotary Lunch Lottery. No reports. The next match is E. Russell Smith and Jill Van Allen.
  • Andy Doerr, on behalf of the Fiddler’s Convention, presented a check to the Foundation for $1,500.  Another $1,000 was donated directly to the Foundation.
  • Rotary Future Vision. This Monday there will be a discussion with members from other Rotary clubs to discuss potential projects in Nicaragua.

Program:  Dr. Robert Picconi presented “Beyond Einstein”

  • Everybody can enjoy science even if you are not a scientist.
  • Albert Einstein was selected by Time magazine as the most important person of the 20th century, but he was seen as a failure until he was 30 years old.
  • He was slow to talk. He was expelled from the 2nd grade. He dropped out of high school.  He had the second worst grades from his graduating class from college. He was rejected from jobs in science. His Ph.D. thesis was rejected.
  • He never quit; he had great persistence. He managed to solve some of the most difficult problems in science. He claimed he simply stayed with problems longer than others.
  • In 1905, he published papers answering many open questions in physics. He had been working on these for at least 10 years.
  • No one responded with a job offer for years. He didn’t get his first job offer in academia until 1909.
  • In 1914, he was given the best job: great paychecks with no admin. Just think.
  • In 1921, he received the Nobel prize.
  • His discoveries include photo electronics, lasers, basis for the global positioning system, quantum mechanics, basis for all nuclear power
  • E=mc2 – There’s a relationship between mass and energy.
  • To produce 1 ton of energy, you need: 5 billion tons of coal, 2 billion tons of gas, 50,000 tons of uranium for nuclear fission.
  • In contrast, nuclear fusion would be exponentially more efficient, and make energy efficiently without pollution. A private company in Colorado may make this happen in the next five years.
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