The Flywheel

Program for September 5Th, 2008

The Universe in 20 Minutes

Astrophysicist and El Cerrito Rotarian Carl Pennypacker takes us beyond the heliosphere for a short review of the truly amazing universe as seen through the lens of the Hubble Extraterrestrial Telescope. 

For those of you who studied astronomy before 1965, “It’s a whole new universe”. 

MEETING OF August 29th, 2008

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Prez Mark welcomed the group.  Enos Johnson led the pledge and Herb Cole was unable to keep things clean with a joke about a rectum that our president did not take personally (“An a**hole is always in charge while others do the work”).

Visiting Rotarians

New ex-Richmond Rotarian (who now shows up more frequently than before moving to Mendocino) Rich Brandes claims that that Rotary club is actually considering making him a member. We wonder if he's been thoroughly vetted. And Pat (whose last name we failed to record--sorry) visited from Orinda.

Rotarians with Guests

Rafael Madrigal brought Barbara Diaz, who we may convince to join our group soon.


  • Mark Howe announced that the Peace Garden supported by our club was hailed as the best one visited!
  • Mark also reminded the group about the upcoming Masquers and Oakland A’s game events. Details and ticket purchase online.
  • A "pre-final" draft of the Rotary Peace Project got a most favorable reception from the Rotary Board. The RRPP team is working on finalizing one last project component.
  • Laura’s great looking flyer was circulated again for the Ghosts of Winehaven fundraiser. (Buy your tickets now to avoid the last-minute Halloween rush.)
  • Erle, Herb, Werner and Mark attended a District Seminar for the Foundation in Fairfield.

Special Events

The astoundingly handsome Josh Surowitz received his blue badge. (Just for that, no picture, Josh. -Nick)

Enos Johnson delivered his “Who am I”.  Enos joined the Richmond Police force 34 years ago.  He was born and raised in Richmond and grew up on the lower east side.  He and Glenn worked together there on the narcotics team, working some of the same neighborhood where they used to hang out as kids. 

Enos attended Peres as well as Richmond High, and later went to Contra Costa College and Los Medanos where he attended the Police Academy.  Enos once worked as a special agent on the Topeka railway, but didn’t care for it too much so came back to his old job in Richmond. 

He married his lovely wife Brenda, who he met in church. He has a 16 year old stepdaughter, Ashley, and a young daughter, Angela.  Enos is the Lieutenant in Charge of the Administrative Section in Richmond.  He has a few years left to go before he retires or moves on to greener pastures.


Elof celebrated his Birthday, as did Barbara M, Jon Lawlis, and Dan S.  Pam gave Glenn Daggs a poker shirt to make up for the one he “lost” playing poker and in celebration of his club anniversary. Jim Young also celebrated a club anniversary and Bill Dabney celebrated a wedding anniversary.

Happy and Sad Dollars

Running short on time, we only had time for one Happy Dollar announcement from Dan S., who was happy to have survived a contractor’s luncheon.

Raffle Results

Leigh Johnson drew the white ball.


All Things Extremely Small

Point Molate plan

Dr. Thomas Durden of the Berkeley Lawrence Laboratory visited Richmond Rotary to discuss modern electron microscope science. A Physicist from Germany, Dr. Durden first explained to the group how electronic microscopy came to be.  Even in ancient times, the earliest scientists noticed that when droplets of water formed on leaves, it bent light and magnified the details.  After a run down of prominent advancements over the past several centuries in microscopy devices, Dr. Durden explained various techniques for mastering lens aberrations, which is a key element for mature microscopes. 

Dr. Durden’s presentation included a historical perspective about significant developments in the modern age.  As we all know, Josef John Thomson discovered the electron in 1891, which earned him the Nobel Prize in 1906.  Numerous advancements ensued in the early 20th century, but the modern evolution of transmission electron microscopy has grown exponentially over the past few decades.  Today, even structural changes on the scale of individual atoms can be detected.

Dr. Durden’s “pet project” involves his desire to image subatomic particles without a lens so the lens aberrations can be avoided altogether.  He believes this can be accomplished through the use of software, and that alas, whereas modern electron microscopy devises are enormous and weigh tons, such a devise may be able to fit within the size of one’s fist.

- Your Rotating Editor, Josh Surowitz