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September 2009

September 3, 2009 - Bill Morse - Walking Through Minefields

Where others fear to tread, Bill Morse can be found defusing and clearing the implements of past wars which otherwise would continue to indiscriminately maim and kill innocent victims. Bill does not personally defuse landmines. He is in the field and stands over the shoulders of Khmers while they do it. The organization Bill represents helped organize the Khmers to do the work on their own. As Bill puts it, "It is run by Khmers, for Khmers." Bill has held landmines in his hands and has pushed the buttons that blow them.

Come spend the evening listening to first hand accounts of what it's like to perform this delicate surgery, where risking ones own life is the daily admission price so others might live without the constant fear of dismemberment or death. This is very much "off the beaten path," be sure to make you're reservations early for this "Explosive Subject Matter."

Bill Morse (number 1130) has been a member of the Adventurer's Club since 2007. He has spent most of the last 2 years in Cambodia working with ex-Khmer Rouge soldiers to find and clear ERW (explosive remnants of war) in small villages throughout the country. Bill's talk will encompass a bit of the history of the wars that enveloped this country for the past 60 years. He'll also discuss how mines and UXOs are cleared, the peculiarities of working in Cambodia and how he became involved, and continues to be involved in this, at times Quixotic, endeavor.

Bill served briefly as a US Army Military Police Officer, taught school and ran his own business until 2007. Currently he is the President of the Landmine Relief Fund and the International Project Manager for Cambodian Self Help Demining.

In October Bill and his wife Jill will be moving to Cambodia to continue their work.

Aki Ra Blog:

September 10, 2009 - LADIES' NIGHT

Sheriff Lee Baca - 9-11 and Its Effect on Law Enforcement

Sheriff Baca returns to the club for a timely talk.


Sheriff Baca commands the largest Sheriff’s Department in the United States with a budget of 2.4 billion dollars. He leads over 18,000 budgeted sworn and professional staff. The Sheriff’s Department is the law enforcement provider to 40 incorporated cities, 90 unincorporated communities, 9 community colleges, and hundreds of thousands of daily commuters of the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Rapid Rail Transit District. Over 4 million people are directly protected by the Sheriff’s Department.

The Sheriff’s Department also protects 58 Superior Courts and 600 bench officers. Moreover, the Department manages the Nation’s largest local jail system housing over 20,000 prisoners.

Sheriff Baca is the Director of Homeland Security-Mutual Aid for California Region I, which includes the County of Orange. Region I serves 13 million people.

Sheriff Baca incorporates innovative best practices into his leadership style based on pro-active, progressive problem solving.

His development of leadership qualities in all levels of the Sheriff’s Department have resulted in strong solutions to problems such as drug addiction, domestic violence, homelessness, gangs, illiteracy, at-risk youth, parenting, and the quality of life in neighborhoods. He also manages four non-profit Youth Athletic League Centers serving at-risk youth in after-school programs involving academics, sports, and cultural arts.

Sheriff Baca also developed the Office of Independent Review, comprised of six civil rights attorneys who manage all internal affairs and internal criminal investigations concerning alleged misconduct by Department personnel. This unique model of civilian oversight is a natural model of police accountability.

Sheriff Baca earned his Doctorate of Public Administration Degree from the University of Southern California. He is a life member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, USC Chapter. A strong advocate of education, he developed the LASD University in conjunction with 13 universities where over 950 members of the Sheriff’s Department are enrolled in Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree programs.

Sheriff Baca was elected Sheriff of Los Angeles County in December 1998, and was re-elected in June 2006 for his third term in office. He entered the Sheriff’s Department on August 23, 1965. He served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves.

Sheriff Baca Official Photo

September 17, 2009 - Richard Theiss

Adventures Filming the Great White Sharks of Isla Guadalupe

Richard Theiss Filmmaker Richard Theiss has spent the past five years getting up close and personal with the great white sharks that migrate each fall to Isla Guadalupe, Baja. He will engage you with the thrill and excitement of being in the presence of the ocean’s top predator, the important role they play in maintaining a healthy marine ecosystem, and the many challenges that threaten their very existence.

Richard Theiss has an extensive background in film and video, ranging from national commercials and motion pictures to great white sharks and the Arctic Circle. His work has been used by National Geographic, Google Earth, Discovery, the Aquarium of the Pacific, and many others. Richard’s company, RTSea Productions, is committed to capturing images that motivate viewers to appreciate and protect our natural resources – above and below the waves. His latest documentary, Island of the Great White Shark, is an award-winning look at Isla Guadalupe’s white sharks and the scientific research taking place there.

Web Site Links:
General web site:
Film web site:
Nature blog:

Richard Theiss filming a Great White Shark

September 24, 2009 - LADIES' NIGHT - Emory Kristof

"Ghost Ships and Sea Monsters" or "20,000 Bytes Under the Sea"

Adventurers Club member, Emory Kristof
National Geographic Biography Website:

A pioneer of innovative, high-tech underwater photography using robot cameras and remotely operated vehicles, Emory Kristof has been a National Geographic photographer since beginning as an intern for the magazine in 1963.

Kristof created the preliminary designs of the electronic camera system for the Argo vehicle, which found the Titanic. He led photographic surveys of the C.S.S. Alabama off the coast of France in 1992 and the 16th-century wreck San Diego in the Philippines in 1993. In 1995, he led an expedition to recover the bell of the Edmund Fitzgerald and produced the first deep-water images with high-definition TV.

Kristof's "Testing the Waters of Rongelap," published in National Geographic magazine in April 1998, recorded oceanic life in the nuclear weapons-contaminated waters surrounding the Marshall Islands. In August 1998, Kristof's pictures of the Titanic were presented in the National Geographic article "Tragedy in Three Dimensions." The pictures, recorded in 1991 using high-intensity lighting systems, appeared in unprecedented detail because of advances in 3-D computer video-editing.

Born in 1942, Kristof studied journalism at the University of Maryland at College Park and received a bachelor's degree in 1964. A National Geographic staff photographer from 1964 to 1994, he has produced forty-some articles for the magazine.

Kristof has earned many awards for both writing and photography, including the NOGI Award for Arts from the Underwater Society of America in 1988 and the Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Award for Underwater Exploration in 1986. That same year, Kristof and Robert Ballard received the American Society of Magazine Publishers Innovation in Photography Award for their photographic coverage of the Titanic. In 1998, Kristof was presented with the J. Winton Lemen Fellowship Award by the National Press Photographers Association "for being one of our profession's most imaginative innovators." In 2001 Kristof was named a contributing photographer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society.

Source: Steve Bein

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