View January-February 2017 DMA Newsletter PDF File.
It has been a great beginning to the 2016-2017 season of the DMA. Our focus this year is on increasing member participation in our activities, and you, our members, have answered the call. We have inaugurated a new activity, pickleball, which has enjoyed an enthusiastic reception. Our last hike had 18 people in attendance—a record—and an earlier hike had 14 participants, exceeded only by our initial hike in 2013. Our November trip to the Yale Center for British Art sold out bus capacity two weeks in advance. Undaunted, four persons drove to New Haven on their own to join the group.
The Book Club has grown and now is our most popular activity. Two members have stepped forward and are planning to introduce a new activity, about which you will hear later. Our hope was that greater member activity would lead to growth in membership, and this has been the case. You have brought a large number of guests to our meetings, and 19 have elected to join the ranks of new members in the first four months of this season. This compares with 26 in all of 2015-2016. In addition, existing members have renewed their membership earlier and in greater numbers than last year.
Attendance at our weekly meetings is up, as the Program Speaker Committee continues to attract excellent speakers. The directors and officers of the DMA wish to express their appreciation for all you do to make our club more successful. We hope you had a happy and safe holiday season, and we wish you a healthy and successful new year.
Scott Hutchason, president
Dave Shafer, a local photographer and internationally recognized designer of optical systems, will present “A Humorous Guide to Better Photography.”
Asked to describe his talk, Dave said, “When Snow White sent her film to be developed, she said, ‘Someday my prints will come.’ ” He noted that times have changed. Film is gone now, and we need to refresh our picture-taking skills. The most valuable asset in photography is your eye, not the camera. He will show ways to improve your photos by using some classic methods about picture composition. Many examples will include visual humor. If you have not taken any pictures since your old Brownie camera, you still can enjoy the stories in his talk.
His main claim to being a humorist is that after 51 years of marriage, he still can make his wife laugh. But that is only half of Dave’s story. He has spent the last 50 years designing camera lenses, telescopes and microscopes and now operates a one-man optical design and consulting firm. All of today’s state-of-the-art computer chips for cell phones, computers and tablets are made using a unique optical system invented by Dave 10 years ago. He has more than 125 patents for optical designs. One of his unusual telescopes went to Saturn a few years ago aboard the Cassini spacecraft. Another device took photos of the asteroid Vesta. And a spacecraft using his telescope was launched with the goal of landing on a comet. He also designed a specialized stereo-viewing device for Salvador Dali.
Arranged by Tom Lom
Dave slides are at A Humorous Guide to Better Photography
WINNER OF THE 2016 PULITZER PRIZE FOR GENERAL NONFICTION
“A Best Book of 2015”—The New York Times
In a thrilling dramatic narrative, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Joby Warrick traces how the strain of militant Islam behind ISIS first arose in a remote Jordanian prison and spread with the unwitting aid of two American presidents. Drawing on unique high-level access to CIA and Jordanian sources, Warrick weaves gripping, moment-by-moment operational details with the perspectives of diplomats and spies, generals and heads of state, many of whom foresaw a menace worse than al Qaeda and tried desperately to stop it. Black Flags is a brilliant and definitive history that reveals the long arc of today’s most dangerous extremist threat.
Recommended by Harris Hester
Discussion leader: David Mace
Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson’s revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens. What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail? In his masterly saga, Isaacson begins with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s. He explores the fascinating personalities that created our current digital revolution, such as Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, J.C.R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee, and Larry Page. This is the story of how their minds worked and what made them so inventive. It’s also a narrative of how their ability to collaborate and master the art of teamwork made them even more creative. For an era that seeks to foster innovation, creativity, and teamwork, The Innovators shows how.
Discussion leader: Gary Banks
The Electoral College:
– Why was it created?
– How it works.
– Is it still relevant?
Discussion Leader: Jim Phillips
Ed McLaughlin and Wyn Lydecker will talk about becoming an entrepreneur: how to start, fund and grow the right business.
Co-authors of the book The Purpose Is Profit: The Truth about Starting and Building Your Own Business, they will discuss why distinctive competence trumps passion when starting a business. They also will talk about where to get funding without losing control and why a startup should factor profit into every business decision.
Over the years, Ed “Skip” McLaughlin founded four businesses and today runs Blue Sunsets LLC, a real estate and agent investment firm. His first business grew into an Inc. magazine 500 company that later was sold to a Fortune 100 company, where Skip became CEO of Global Workplace Business for the Americas. He was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young in 2001. He is a member of the Tufts Medical Center board of governors, where he founded the David E. Wazer Breast Cancer Research Fund.
Skip graduated from College of the Holy Cross and is a member of the board of trustees. He lives with his wife in Connecticut, has three adult children and is active in philanthropy.
Wyn Lydecker is founder of Upstart Business Planning and works with entrepreneurs to develop plans that answer the questions investors ask most often. Previously, she was managing director of Business Plan International in New York City and co-director of the Small Business Resource Center, Norwalk Community College. Wyn has a B.A. in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an M.B.A. in finance and marketing from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She helped found the nonprofit At Home in Darien and serves on the board. Wyn lives in Connecticut with her husband and has two adult children.
Arranged by Tom Lom
Michael J. Nyenthuis, president and chief executive officer of Americares, one of the country’s foremost disaster-relief non-profit organizations, will talk about distributing $500 million a year in donated medicines and medical supplies to people around the world who otherwise would not get treatment.
Michael leads a global health and emergency response organization that increases access to medical care in more than 90 countries, including the United States, El Salvador, India, Liberia, Nepal, the Philippines, Sierra Leone and Tanzania, plus free health clinics in Connecticut. Americares helps local health workers do their job better: Through the effective use of technology, the organization helps get medicine and supplies to the right place at the right time.
Michael is a global health professional with 20 years of experience who previously served as president and chief executive officer of MAP International. He received a B.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, and an M.B.A. from Emory University.
Thanks to Bob Baylis.
OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS
|First Vice President||Thomas Lom||Program Committee|
|Second Vice President||John Wolcott||Program Committee|
|Asst. Secretary||Sunil Saksena|
|Asst. Treasurer||Bert von Stuelpnagel|
Obituary: Robert Birney Crane, Darien High Class of ‘36, life-time competitive sailor
By Darien Times on December 6, 2016
Robert Birney Crane of Darien, CT crossed the bar on Wednesday November 30th, 2016. Born to Albert Eli Crane and Florence Luray Overton Crane on February the 8th 1920 in Plainfield, N.J. , Bob thoroughly enjoyed life for over 96 years. He moved to Darien with his family at the age of 8. Bob attended Miss. Thomas’s School and Saint Luke’s Academy before graduating from the Darien High School in 1936. Following his graduation Bob attended Middlebury College and New York University graduating with a BS Degree in Engineering in 1942.
We wish you a wonderful holiday!
If you enjoy researching and discussing current affairs then you should join the DMA Current Affairs Discussion Group.
The Current Affairs group meets on the third Thursday of each month (Sep-Jun) at 8:15AM in the Lillian Gade Room on the second floor of the DCA.
The structure is as follows: With input from the group, the Current Affairs Coordinator will maintain a list of potential discussion topics. At the end of each meeting, a topic and discussion leader is chosen for the next meeting. The discussion leader will (i) define and articulate the topic; (ii) assemble and have posted on the website background materials; (iii) lead the discussion. All members are encouraged to share information they find informative and relevant. The topic will be posted on this website.
We are not debating so the focus is on being better informed. The discussion leader will maintain this focus and allow everyone the opportunity to summarize what they have learned from the articles and what struck them as meaningful.
We hope to see you there.
Ideas for future discussion topics:
Block Chain. Enthusiasts promote blockchains as breakthrough technology for secure and distributed applications in healthcare, finance and the food chain. Data can be changed but a record is kept of exactly who did it and when. We’ll discuss exactly what blockchain is and if it can deliver the advantages over traditional database technology.
Microbiome – the trillions of bacteria in your gut and organs. New research indicates the microbiome is critical to your health. But it is extremely complex how it works. The microbiomes’ ecosystem can be disrupted by use of antibiotics and disease. Conversely, it can be “seeded” with new bacteria. Understanding the microbiome could be as significant as genetic medicine.
Artificial Intelligence. Companies and governments are investing enormous sums into AI research. It is one of the most sought after specialties for new graduates. There are positive promises for AI – self driving cars, better search, medicine, cyber security, smart cities, … But there are also threats – citizen surveillance, job destruction, …
Ten Years After the Global Financial Crisis, is the System Safer? More than 10 years ago, Lehman Brothers collapsed, and the world witnessed one of the worst financial crises in global history. In the United States, the stock market plummeted, unemployment soared, and the economy was thrown into a recession. And many other countries faced a similar fate. Has the world learned its lesson?
CRISPR – gene editing. It’s like nuclear energy – very powerful but very dangerous. How should it be regulated? If you could “fix” an ovum of some awful disease, for the person and their descendants, should you? A scientist in China just did so. How about making a super race?