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California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. yesterday declared this week as "Wildfire Awareness Week" in recognition of last week's devastating fires northwest of Los Angeles. His proclamation noted, "In an average year, wildfires burn 900,000 acres of California's timber and grasslands." Rains that moved into the area on Monday helped extinguish the fires that started last Thursday along US Route 101 near Camarillo Springs and Thousand Oaks, endangering some 4,000 homes. -- Lloyd Young ( 31 photos total)
A man on a rooftop looks at approaching flames as the Springs Fire continues to grow on May 3 near Camarillo, Calif. The wildfire has spread to more than 18,000 acres on day two and is 20 percent contained. (David Mcnew/Getty Images)     

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Neural Computation: Markus Meister at TEDxCaltech

Markus Meister is professor of biology at the Caltech. He studied physics in Germany and then at Caltech, where he received his Ph.D. (1987). After postdoctoral research at Stanford, Markus moved to Harvard University, where he held the Jeff C. Tarr Chair in Molecular and Cellular Biology until 2012. Last summer he finally followed the siren song of Southern California and returned to his roots. Markus has been studying how large circuits of nerve cells work. In particular, his research opened a window onto the sophisticated computations performed by the retina. His long-term goal is a framework akin to electronics by which one can understand how structure and function of the neural circuits are related. He received the Lawrence C. Katz Prize for Innovative Research in Neuroscience and the Golden Brain Award for Vision and Brain Research from the Minerva Foundation. In thespirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations) On January 18, 2013, Caltech hosted TEDxCaltech: The Brain, a forward-looking celebration of <b>...</b>
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Update Your Thinking About Communication: 4 Iron Laws: Dr. David Weber: TEDxHampstead

David Weber has worked in the field of organizational development since the late 1970s. At University of Southern California, he earned the MS degree in instructional design, and a Ph.D. in organizational communication at University of Denver. Career assignments and professional projects have enabled David to live and work around the world. During his career, clients have included Xerox, Disney, Frito-Lay, US Marine Corps, General Motors, US West, Hoechst, Waste Industries, Petro Viet Nam (the national oil company of Viet Nam) and many other large and small firms, in both the private and public sectors. He spent several years as an expatriate executive in organizational development in Iran, Indonesia, and Japan. Serving as an award-winning teacher and researcher at the university level since the 1996, David is currently a professor at University of North Carolina Wilmington, in the Department of Communication Studies, teaching courses there in applied organizational communication, consulting skills and organizational research methods. He has published in the business press and professional and academic media. In thespirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED <b>...</b>
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I Am An Artist: Gregg Visintainer at TEDxAmericasFinestCity

Gregg Visintainer is a self-taught artist. It takes Gregg on average about 60-80 hours to complete an art piece. His style has gained recognition throughout Southern California and in the action sports industry. In the last three years he has drawn freelance artwork for Element Skateboards, Volcom, DC Shoes, Dregs Skateboards, Skinit, Grateful Dead, Falken Tires and others. AboutTEDx In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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Lucien Vattel: Unboxing Education Through Gaming, Playing, and Making

Trailblazing education and game development visionary Lucien Vattel is at the forefront of a nationwide crusade to revolutionize learning in the classroom and beyond. As the CEO of the Los Angeles-based interactive curriculum creator and digital publisher GameDesk, Vattel is transforming the traditional school model into a hands-on, digitally-charged ecosystem for students to discover and nourish their greatest gifts, while embracing STEM skills through game-based learning. Founded to help at-risk students in low-income regions tap deeply into their intelligence and talents, GameDesk instills the value of learning through play, and empowers students to collaborate and be active producers of the content from which they learn. Building upon this methodology, Vattel founded PlayMaker, a next-generation, choose-your-own adventure middle school program designed to help teachers and students transcend the confines of textbooks and chalk boards. This is just the beginning of the GameDesk insurgence. Vattel recently secured the largest contribution in AT&T history to develop a national digital learning center and fully comprehensive online portal for educators. During the last 15 years, Vattel has spearheaded a variety of educational projects funded by the National Science Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Lockheed Martin, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Motorola, Sandia Labs, National Academies of Science, and others. Previously, Vattel co-founded and <b>...</b>
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Word has come our way of the passing of a beloved artist, instructor and animation professional, Jack Bosson. Bosson was a practicing fine artist and freelance illustrator for over 35 years and had taught drawing and painting at Cornell University, College of New Rochelle, University of Southern California, Otis College of Art and Design, Gnomon, and Woodbury University. He did background painting briefly at Hanna-Barbera and was hired as a trainer in Feature Animation at Disney in 1995. In 1999, he continued as a training consultant to Disney and taught at various institutions until he was hired to set up an Animation Department at Woodbury University, which he chaired for three years. He retired last spring after eight years at Woodbury, as Professor Emeritus.

There can be no better tribute to the man, than this video of Jack creating a creature with only pencil in hand – via Sketch Theatre.

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