The 2012 RANV Holiday Party will be Tuesday, December 11th at the QTH of W1SJ in Essex. Arrive at any time, AFTER 5:30, but no food guarantees are made if you show up very late! If you need directions, contact Mitch at firstname.lastname@example.org BEFORE Tuesday night.
This is a food-fest, first and foremost and we have a whole assortment of stuff planned, plus whatever everyone brings. See below for more information on this.
This ain't much of a party unless y'all come. So clear your calendar and blow off all those other boring parties on the same night (I'm already doing this). And make sure you bring family and friends - this is a family event after all. It is key that you let Mitch know how many are coming. If you haven't already, please let him know the number of attendees who are likely "definite" and the number of attendees who are likely "maybe." This information is needed right away so that the proper amount of food can be ordered. If you don't say anything, there will be no food for you!
If you plan on bringing something, let Mitch know that, too. If it's a main dish, you should come around 5:30. If you plan to arrive later, bring a dessert item. Miscellaneous suggestions include: soda, cider, pies, cookies, cheeses, dips.
The best way to pass all the above information along is by using the RANV Holiday Party form, found at:
www.ranv.org/partys.html. We look forward to seeing all of you at the Party!
Once again, the New Year is upon us, and once again it will open with a bang! Mark your calendars now and watch for further details in upcoming newsletters.
John Cohn, formerly WN5IAU
John Cohn is an IBM Fellow. He is well know for intriguing and dramatic scientific demonstrations.
For instance, you might have seen his flamethrower at the Makers Faire. n fact, he helped to organize the Makers Faire. John is active in "Vermont's Own MIT Club", also known as VOMIT.
His mission is to make engineering interesting and appealing, especially to those who are choosing careers. As his advisor said, "An engineer is a scientist with a job." In recent years, somehow social attitudes have improved, and now it is becoming somewhat cool to be a nerd. He showed us an Arduino processor, which sells for $19 and has an enormous amount of open source software available for it. Another nice sign of progress is web sites like instructables.com, where people show each other how to make remarkable things.
John also told us about taking part in a reality TV show called "The Colony." Without really knowing what they were getting into, he and a team of assorted people were put into an abandoned warehouse and made to deal with all kinds of survival problems. They had to live as if it were the aftermath of an apocalyptic disaster. As a highly educated inventor, it was "just like Gilligan's Island," with John as the professor.
Over about 60 days, John and the team ate rats and pigeons, purified water from a polluted river in downtown Los Angeles, built a flamethrower to fight off attackers, scrounged electronics and solar panels from a nearby building, and gasified wood to run an engine. He also built a crystal radio and a spark gap transmitter. Despite sending out calls for help (he still remembers Morse Code after many years), no one came to rescue them.
After his initial presentation, John demonstrated a Tesla coil he had brought along. Unlike most others, this one had a way to modulate the
strength of the spark. Instead of the usual loud buzz, it played the theme from Jeopardy and a few other tunes.