“America: How We Look Now”, by Jessie Tromberg

The Fourth of July, the day we celebrate American independence, always makes me remember the old Saturday Evening Post magazine with its cover paintings of idyllic American life. Last month — on June 3, to be precise — I believe I actually lived one of those covers.

It was primary day here in California, and I had volunteered my services as a poll worker in my Irvine neighborhood. It sounded simple enough: Go to a three-hour training session, show up the evening before primary day to help set up the e-booths for the actual voting and follow all the instructions in our training manual — a very big book.

Read more…

SC 217: Topics in Science – Class presentation available.

This class is a collection of short presentations on science topics that are of interest to the general public. It is intended to be in plain English and easily understood, although some scientific principles will be presented.

Monday, June 2: The Dynamics of Sleep. Sleep, a fundamental necessity of animal life, has been the subject of a vast amount of research. Some of the features that will be covered in this talk include jet lag, sleep apnea, circadian rhythm, REM sleep, napping, sleep physiology and multiple hypotheses of why we sleep.

Presenter:  Jerry Florman, retired pharmacist and longtime OLLI Science Committee member, has presented classes on many diverse topics in science, art and philosophy.

Monday, June 9: Cholesterol and You. A gut check may someday soon become a superior way to access cardiovascular health. The stomach compound trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) has been shown to be highly associated with cholesterol distribution in the blood stream and risk for cardiovascular disease. Healthy intestinal bacteria also play an important role, and successful treatment of a debilitating intestinal bacterium has recently been achieved by a non-medical approach sometimes referred to as fecal transplantation. The medical findings involving the role of cholesterol will be discussed with regard to future impact on heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases.

Presenters:   Vern Roohk, Ph.D. in Physiology and Biochemistry, Postdoc in Bioengineering. He has been a biomedical device consultant for more than 25 years, and currently is sole proprietor of BioCor Scientific, a technical author and an OLLI Science Committee Member.

Barbara Pogosian, M.S., Microbiology, CSULB, California certificated Public Health Microbiologist, and retired Professor of Biology at Golden West College.

Class Presentation: Cholesterol And You by Vern Roohk and Barbara Pogosian

Developer:   Gary Oberts


Mondays, June 2 and 9

10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon

Location:      Woodbridge Onken Classroom



AH 103: The Phenomenon of Bob Dylan. Class presentations available.

AH 103             THE PHENOMENON of BOB DYLAN:

                                  CULTURAL WEATHERVANE

Dylan_Lecture_1Perhaps the best known American songwriter of the second half of the 20th century, Bob Dylan has had a deep impact on American culture. Named one of the 100 most influential people of the century by Time magazine, he continues to perform and produce new and vital music today at age 72, as well as branching out into other modes of artistic expression. Yet he himself remains an enigmatic figure. This course will expose students to his recordings, videos and — through live performance — his songs. His lyrics will be reviewed and discussed.

Presenter/Developer: Howard Mirowitz, MBA is retired from the world of high tech business development and venture capital and is now a community volunteer, amateur mathematician and musician. He has also taught at UCI and has presented seven courses at OLLI. A fan and follower of Dylan since the early 1960s, Howard has contributed articles to blogs and fanzines such as ISIS.

April 25: Introduction and showing of D.A. Pennebaker’s classic rock & roll documentary Don’t Look Back with the first music video ever made.

Class Presentation: Dylan_Lecture_1

May 2: Dylan through the 1960s; his influence on American culture and music and American culture’s influence on him; relationships with other musicians and culturally significant figures.

Class Presentation: Dylan_Lecture_2

May 9: Dylan in the 1970s and 1980s; his seclusion, divorce, Rolling Thunder Revue and born-again Christian conversion.

Class Presentation: Dylan_Lecture_3

May 16: Never Ending Tour. Dylan’s present relevance. A showing of the film, Masked And Anonymous, written by Dylan and Larry Charles (writer for Curb Your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld).

Class Presentation: Dylan_Lecture_4



Fridays, April 25, May 2, 9, and 16

10:00 AM -12:00 Noon


Location:   Woodbridge Onken Classroom

SC 213: Introduction to Meteorology, Part I. Class presentations available.


meteorology 3We are blessed in Southern California that our weather is so (relatively) predictable, except for the occasional mega-flood or hurricane. This DVD lecture series with discussion addresses such questions as: What causes California weather to be so different from that of most places in the world? What causes the weather? How can you decipher the charts and jargon that weather people use? What limits how well their predictions foretell the future? To understand our weather, we need to know what causes weather changes in general and how to become more conversant with the meteorological terminology. By the end of these eight lectures over two semesters you should be able to understand how to give or get answers to these and many other questions about the weather.

The classes are based on a Teaching Company DVD series presented by Professor Robert Fovell of UCLA. Each class will allow time for discussion of your questions led by members of the Science Committee. As a basis for class discussion you are encouraged to review each week’s lectures to clarify what it is that you may not fully understand. These lectures will be posted on the OLLI blog site at (www.olliuci.wordpress.com).

Wednesday, April 30: Atmospheric pressure, temperature and density—minimizing extremes

Class Presentation: Introduction to Meteorology-Atmospheric Pressure, Temperature  and Density

Wednesday, May 14: Clouds

Class Presentation: Meteorology-Clouds

Wednesday, May 21: Winds

Class Presentation: Meteorology-Winds

Jet Stream Winds

Wednesday, May 27: Sea breezes and Santa Anas—atmospheric moisture, evaporation and condensation

Class Presentation: Sea Breezes and Santa Anas

Presenter: Robert Fovell, Ph.D. (via Teaching Company DVD), Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of California Los Angeles

 Developer/Discussion Leader: John Bush

Location: Woodbridge Onken Classroom

Dates/Time: Wednesdays, April 30, May 7, 14, and 21

   1:30 – 3:30 PM


SC 209: MYSTERIES OF THE NEUTRINOS – Class presentation available

Neutrino Masses - Mixing of Mass Neutrinos into Flavor Neutrinos

Neutrino Masses Mixing of Mass Neutrinos into Flavor Neutrinos

Much has been learned about neutrinos and their oscillations into each other. Many experiments have been conducted and others are planned to learn more. The unknowns about neutrinos lead to new physics at much higher energy scales. This lecture series will cover these eras of the neutrino puzzles.


Monday, March 31: We will show and discuss a video on the history of neutrinos, the shortfall of expected neutrinos from the sun, and the neutrino oscillations that finally accounted for it. We will then present the role of neutrinos in the cosmos, particularly during the early seconds after the big bang, and including nucleosynthesis, as well as the neutrino’s impact on the Standard Model of Particle Physics

Monday, April 7: Dr. Silverman will first present more details of the dependence of neutrino mixing on the masses, the distance traveled, and the energy of the neutrinos. Next will come the differences between solar neutrino oscillations, atmospheric neutrino oscillations, and long baseline lab neutrino experiments. Then he will discuss the mysteries of the nature of the neutrino, the theories for neutrino masses and what may lie at much higher energies, and the possible differences between neutrino and antineutrino reaction rates.

Class Presentation: Neutrino Mysteries

Monday, April 14: Professor Sobel will discuss the experiments of the SuperK neutrino detector in Japan, on solar neutrinos, atmospheric neutrinos, accelerator neutrinos, supernova neutrinos, and reactor neutrinos.

Presenters/Developers: Dennis Silverman, Ph.D., a retired particle physics theorist at UC Irvine and a member of OLLI. He blogs on particle physics and energy at http://sites.uci.edu/energyobserver/.

James Boire, an operations research specialist with more than 40 years of experience in the aerospace industry.

Hank Sobel, Ph.D. a neutrino experimenter at UC Irvine and a leader of the Irvine contingent at SuperK, with many discoveries to his record.


Mondays, March 31, April 7, and April 1

10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon


Location:      Woodbridge Onken Classroom


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