June 9, 2011 - Mike Simmons - Astronomers Without Borders
President and Founder of Astronomers Without Borders, Mike Simmons will be discussing the global outreach of his organization and the passion that all countries share for the heavens.
For his outstanding achievements in the field of astronomy,
Mike has received numerous awards and has even had a "minor" planet named after him!
Astronomers without Borders has national coordinators from Argentina to Zambia.
Mike Simmons has been an astronomer for more than 35 years and loves sharing the sky with others.
Mike joined the Los Angeles Astronomical Society in the early 1970's and served in many capacities including two terms as President and ten years on the Board of Directors.
In the early 1980's, Mike was instrumental in founding the Mount Wilson Observatory Association.
He is the founding President and has served on the Board of Trustees ever since.
Mike's outreach in astronomy broadened in 1999 when he traveled to Iran for a total solar eclipse.
In Iran, he found an enthusiastic astronomy community lacking the resources easily found in the West.
He has since traveled to Iran several times and, in 2004, he led a group of Westerners to Iran to observe the rare Transit of Venus alongside hundreds of Iranian astronomers.
In 2006, Mike traveled to the Kurdistan region of Northern Iraq – bringing observing equipment donated by American astronomers to their enthusiastic but isolated Kurdish counterparts.
He has also assisted amateur astronomers and educators in many countries via the Internet.
Seeing astronomy as a universal interest that transcends cultural differences, Mike founded Astronomers Without Borders in 2006 where he now serves as president.
Mike is also a writer and photographer who has contributed to publications including:
Scientific American, Astronomy & Sky, and Telescope (where he is a Contributing Editor).
He regularly gives presentations (both in the United States and abroad) on his experiences and interests and on his outlook on international relations through astronomy.
In 2005, Mike was presented with the Clifford W. Holmes Award (an honor given annually by RTMC for a "Major Contribution to Popularizing Astronomy").
In 2009, Mike received the prestigious G. Bruce Blair (given annually by the Western Amateur Astronomers for "outstanding contributions to amateur astronomy").
Minor Planet Simmons was named in his honor in 2003 – in part for his "varied outreach activities in astronomy."
June 16, 2011 - Jim Dorsey - The Omo Valley of Ethiopia, Land Where Time Has Stopped
In September of 2010, Jim Dorsey, (#1081) made his fifth expedition to Africa, this time to the Omo Valley of Southern Ethiopia,
a place many anthropologists regard as the original site of the garden of Eden.
Traveling with only a local guide, he visited the Dorje, Dasenesh, Hammer, and Mursi tribes,
documenting some of the most remote and least visited of all indigenous cultures on the continent.
Because of their isolation, these tribes have evolved without any stylistic or linguistic connection to any other African cultures,
and remain to this day some of the most enigmatic and unpredictable people on earth, all heavily armed, and not used to outside visitors.
Tonight's presentation is an insider's look at cultures few people even know exist,
and will include a Hammer "Bull Jumping" ceremony that few western people have ever witnessed.
June 23, 2011 - Captain Woody - Circumnavigating the World
Captain Woody Henderson is a writer for the sailing magazine Latitudes & Attitudes,
Circumnavigated the world on his 33 foot sloop Low Key (Jan. 2003 – May 2005),
wrote a 224 page book about his adventure (aptly titled) Circumnavigating Low Key,
His certifications include: USCG Master of 100 ton vessels with sail and towing endorsements.
Scuba / Ham / CPR / First Aid / ASA certified sailing instructor / Ordained minister.
An incredible night of musical adventure as we are honored to have the "Lord of the Cello" Marston Smith speaking.
MARSTON performs worldwide on a unique 6 stringed electric cello of his own design mounted on Medieval Battle Armour.
His music is the embodiment of epic romanticism.
MARSTON has performed on the Tonight Show, Cirque du Soleil, International Jazz Festivals, Las Vegas Casinos
and he has recorded with the Back Street Boys, KISS, Barry Manilow, Rod Stewart
and films including Out of Africa and Officer and a Gentlemen and opened for the B-52's and Michael Buble.
MARSTON has performed for Rupert Murdock, Tony Blair, Clinton, Schwarzenegger,
and his corporate appearances include Google, ebay, Microsoft, Applied Materials, Intel, Toyota, General Mills, Universal/Segrams,
Warner Brothers, Disney, Fox, and his 14 CDs & DVDs are passionate tributes to his virtuosic capabilities and vision.
Marston made special appearances on television for QVC and for the openings of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.
His recent album, Peace of our Minds, is a collaboration with actor/pianist John O'Hurley and it reached number 13 on Billboard.
MARSTON tours with his own original staged productions, Cirque du Vampyre and A Xmas Fantasy.
Both live concerts combine a charming story with the fantasy of armoured heros and winged mythological creatures from Middle Earth.
He will appear live at the Kodak Theater for a NewYearsEve special for the 1.5 Billion people in China.
"Marston is the cello Master-Blaster" - Barbara Beckley LA Times
"Throughout my picture "Betrayed" Marston played his cello in the viola register. It was the most joyous sound I've ever heard, a delight and played constantly at my home."
- Bill Grahm, Director: The X-Files
"Marston Smith loves music and loves his cello--his playing proves it--listen to him today and bring substance and joy into your life."
- Michael Lewis, BBC