Gorge Tech hosts ‘Complexity: A Guided Tour’

The Gorge Technology Alliance invites the community to a May 22 presentation by Professor Melanie Mitchell on “Complexity: A Guided Tour.”

Mitchell, professor at Portland State University and Santa Fe Institute, will share examples that illustrate how the interdisciplinary field of complex systems science is discovering common principles underlying different natural and technological systems.

Networking starts at 6:30 p.m. and the presentation around 7 p.m. at Springhouse Cellar Winery, 13 Railroad Ave., Hood River. There is a $10 entry for non-GTA members; appetizers are included.

Mitchell is the author or editor of five books and over 70 scholarly papers in the fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive science and complex systems. Her most recent book, Complexity: A Guided Tour (Oxford, 2009), won the 2010 Phi Beta Kappa Science Book Award. It was also named by Amazon.com as one of the ten best science books of 2009, and was long-listed for the Royal Society’s 2010 book prize.

According to Mitchell, as science probes the nature of life, society, and technology ever more closely, what it finds is complexity. The sophisticated group behavior of social insects, the unexpected intricacies of the genome, the dynamics of population growth, and the self-organized structure of the Internet are just a few examples of complex systems that still elude scientific understanding.

Comprehending such systems seems to require a wholly new approach, one that re-maps long-standing disciplinary boundaries, says Mitchell.

Mitchell is a professor of computer science at Portland State University, and an external professor and member of the Science Board at the Santa Fe Institute.

The Gorge Technology Alliance supports, connects and develops the technology community of the Columbia River Gorge. It meets each month with networking and educational opportunities.

For questions about the GTA, contact Executive Director Jessica Metta at (541) 296-2266 or Jessica

@crgta.org.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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