“When greed is seen as acceptable even praiseworthy there is clearly something wrong with our collective value system.” Dalai Lama Beyond Religion, Ethics for a Whole World.
“All matter has condensed out of energy, all changes are driven by energy conversion, and all structures originate from energy fluctuations.” Reiner Kummel, The Second Law of Economics, Energy, Entropy, and the Origins of Wealth. … Continue Reading
“No other site that I have visited made such a ghostly impression on me as Rano Raraku, the quarry on Easter Island where its famous gigantic stone statues were carved. To begin with, the island is the most remote habitable scrap of land in the world.” Jared Diamond, Collapse.
In his book Collapse, Jared Diamond describes several failed human societies and civilizations. One that stands out is Easter Island. When it was first discovered and inhabited by Polynesians it was a veritable paradise, a resilient community. There was a thick forest to supply material for dugout canoes and homes and plentiful marine life in the oceans accessible by canoe to feed the islanders. Unfortunately, the trees were exploited, mined rather than harvested, if you will, in a wholly nonrenewable fashion. These trees were not just cut down to supply the needs of the islanders, food and shelter, but also to quarry the gigantic stone statues for which the island is famous and haul them for miles to the beach rolling them on fresh cut logs. … Continue Reading
Will Stewart is an electro-mechanical engineer trained in the design of energy generation, HVAC, and solar applications. He designed the passives solar aspects of his current home, as well as the photovoltaic system that powers it. He also is an enthusiastic gardener, fruit and nut tree landscape designer, shepherd of a flock of Finnsheep, an avid bike commuter, and all-around supporter of a wide variety of sustainable practices. He is a former president of Sustainable Loudoun and an Enterprise Architect.
Bothered by steadily increasing impacts from global warming? Ever wonder what Bush meant when he said “America is addicted to oil”? Want less ‘globalized’ food and more local healthy food choices? Want a local economy that is resilient enough to withstand sequestrations and national/global economic disruptions? On June 8 at 1:00 p.m. in Oatland Plantation, you can find out what you can do to make a difference in these areas… … Continue Reading
“This whole Big Shebang got started just a bit over 13.5 billion years ago. The trials and errors, painstaking observations and brilliant insights that have led to this answer amount to one of mankind’s most impressive intellectual accomplishments.” David Weintraub 
Astronomer David Weintraub explores the history of our discovery of the age of the universe in his appropriately titled book “How Old is the Universe.” From the nascent science of the ancient Greeks such as Aristotle and Eratosthenes to the mature science of present day astronomers and their space telescopes he describes how humans have tackled this question. Based on the most recent observations using the Hubble space telescope, the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe and the Cosmic Background Explorer in combination with our theoretical understanding of the laws of nature such as quantum mechanics and the general theory of relativity scientists have estimated that the universe is between 13.5 and 14 billion years old. This estimate uses four independent methods based on white dwarf (a type of star) cooling times, the ages of star clusters, the physics of the expanding universe and measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation. … Continue Reading
“Some years ago, as Your Serene Highness well knows, I discovered in the heavens many things that had not been seen before our own age. The novelty of these things, as well as some consequences which followed from them in contradiction to the physical notions commonly held among academic philosophers, stirred up against me no small number of professors—as if I had placed these things in the sky with my own hands in order to upset nature and overturn the sciences. … Showing a greater fondness for their own opinions than for truth, they sought to deny and disprove the new things which, if they had cared to look for themselves, their own senses would have demonstrated to them. To this end they hurled various charges and published numerous writings filled with vain arguments.” Galileo Galilei 
Galileo wrote these words to a patron, Madame Christina of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany in 1615, complaining about professors who attacked his proof of the Copernican heliocentric solar system. While the facts and eventually history sided with Galileo, he was subject to house arrest and his less fortunate contemporary Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake . … Continue Reading
March 21, 2013Columns, Sustainable PlanetComments Off on Mission to Our Home Planet, a Future with No Landfills and Some Fine Music!
Loudoun County Regional Science and Engineering Fair Energy and Environmental Sustainability Awards Results and Ceremony Announcement
Every year REHAU, Inc. of Leesburg Virginia along with Sustainable Loudoun sponsors four awards for the Regional Science and Engineering Fair. The name of the award is the Energy and Environmental Sustainability Award. The presentation ceremony will be on Wednesday April 24 at REHAU’s North America headquarters at 1501 Edwards Ferry Rd. in Leesburg. The students will display their winning projects and be available to discuss them at 6:00 p.m. Between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. entertainment will be provided by the Potomac Falls High School (PFHS) Guitar Quartet sponsored by Sand Energy. The formal program begins at 7:00 p.m. with a talk by NASA astrophysicist Dr. Michelle Thaller. Dr. Edgar B. Hatrick, III, Superintendent of Loudoun County Public Schools will present the awards. Refreshments will be provided by REHAU. This event is free and open to the public. … Continue Reading
“[F]ive meters of sea level rise … is at the low end of what we should expect and is now almost certainly locked-in. We may be able to slow it down but it is highly unlikely that we can prevent it from happening.” Tony Noerpel 
I based this assessment on evidence from the recent paleoclimate record including two previous interglacials in the Pleistocene Epoch: the Eemian (about 125,000 years ago) and the Holsteinian (about 400,000 years ago) and the mid Pliocene Epoch (about three million years ago). While there is considerable evidence going back over the entire Cenozoic Era which includes all Geological time since the dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago, the Earth was a different place much older than the beginning of the Pliocene Epoch, 5.3 million years ago due to plate tectonics. The Isthmus of Panama land bridge between North and South America formed about 3.5 million years ago modifying the ocean currents and heat transport from the tropics to the polar regions. It therefore seems a reasonable assumption that extreme climates after this time may be good analogues to the current climate event since the locations of continents and ocean circulation have been the same. The caveat is that human emissions are increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide at a rate ten to hundred times faster than during any other identified event in Earth history during the last 300 million years with the exception of collisions with asteroids such as the one which slammed into the Gulf of Mexico 65 million years ago, killing all the dinosaurs. Climate Scientist Andrew Glikson pointed out that: “asteroid collisions result in instantaneous release of carbon dioxide from the impacted, melted and vaporized target rocks, including carbonates and shale, and so release carbon dioxide much faster than the rate of human combustion of fossil fuels.”… Continue Reading
“In so far as a theory can be said to have assumptions at all, in so far as their realism can be judged independently of the validity of predictions, the relation between the significance of a theory and the realism of its assumptions is almost the opposite of that suggested by the view under criticism. Truly important and significant hypotheses will be found to have assumptions that are wildly inaccurate descriptive representations of reality and, in general, the more significant the theory, the more unrealistic the assumptions.” Milton Friedman .
I first read this remarkable passage by Milton Friedman a few years ago in Steve Keen’s book Debunking Economics . Keen is one of only twelve economists to have predicted the recent great recession  so he is entirely credible. Still I’m a skeptical person and with due respect to Friedman I had to read the original paper. Even assuming Keen’s quote is accurate and it is; it may have been taken out of context, and it is not. I found Friedman’s remark so outrageous that I had to comment on it, and apparently so did a whole lot of other people. I came across the original paper along with several critiques by other economists, including Paul Samuelson, and philosophers, including Ernest Nagel, in Bruce Caldwell’s book Appraisal and Criticism in Economics, A book of Readings . Economic methodology is an esoteric subject even for economists but the selections in the book are interesting and expose us to yet another example of how not to think. … Continue Reading
“We now live in a culture in which it is entirely possible to live the vast majority of one’s life inside a[n] ideological bubble.” Slaughter and Gutenson 
“Right action trumps right doctrine and even legally correct ideology when all is said and done.” Slaughter and Gutenson 
“The problem that faces our societies is that we have developed industries and policies that were appropriate at a certain moment, but now start to reduce human welfare, like for example the oil and car industry. Their political and financial power is so great and they can prevent change. It is my expectation that they will succeed. This means that we are going to evolve through crisis, not through proactive change.” Dennis Meadows 
A year ago I read the book Hijacked; Responding to the Partisan Church Divide, by evangelical pastors Mike Slaughter and Charles Gutenson . It made a deep impression on me and has been a topic I wanted to address but was fearful of appearing overly critical. So let me state up front that I enjoyed the book and highly recommend it. Additionally, I admire and respect both authors for their good works (right actions) and their commitments to social justice. Hopefully, my comments will be considered conversational rather than argumentative. … Continue Reading
Happy Holidays and a Review of a Few of the Year’s Important Climate Papers
“Rates of sea level rise reached at least 1.2 m per century during all major episodes of ice-volume reduction.” Grant et al. 
Several recent papers have compared the climate projection of the International Panel on Climate change (IPCC) assessments with the subsequent historic record. These include Brysse et al. ; Rahmstorf, Foster and Cazenave ; and another paper by Frame and Stone . David Frame and Daithi Stone compare the projections from the first assessment report published in 1990, more than 20 years ago, with the climate history to date. They conclude that “the climate is responding to enhanced levels of GHGs in accordance with historical expectations.” Climate in this context is averaged surface temperature. … Continue Reading
“There is a new normal of new extremes and we have to be prepared for it. And the reason we have this new normal of new extremes is because global climate change is happening and is real. And we’ve tolerated the deniers for far too long in this body. But we have to face the fact that the deniers are wrong. They are just plain dead wrong. And we have to deal with that, and I think some of the courtesies that we have given to one another collegially really have to yield to the fact that some of the things that are being said in the Senate, and occasionally regrettably in this committee chamber, are just plain wrong.” – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), November 29, 2012
It is a pleasure to read that we have at least one honest politician. Thank you Senator Whitehouse. And speaking of honest politicians, former Vice-President Al Gore sponsors an organization called Climate Reality which trains volunteers to give a presentation on climate change. I’ve seen it three times. It is a visceral description of all of the climate related disasters humans have experienced over the last few years. I recommend attending if you get the chance. Too often we are only aware of those disasters which impact us directly or which impact the United States without realizing that climate change disasters are a global phenomenon. … Continue Reading
“A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
After spending a record amount of money (about $50 per voter in combined Democrat and Republican campaign spending) , Republicans are conceding that they suffered a devastating loss on Election Day. Republicans are questioning their “messaging”, strategy and tactics. Some of the party faithful are questioning the choice of “messenger”, whether Romney was too moderate or too far to the right. According to the Washington Post  however, they are not questioning their “message”, or the philosophical underpinnings of the party. … Continue Reading
(Presented to the Board of Supervisors February, 2017) “The last three years have demonstrated abundantly clearly that there is no change in the long-term trends since 1998. A prediction from 1997 merely continuing the linear trends would significantly under-predict the …
By Samuel Moore-Sobel “If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” – a simple phrase uttered in an acclaimed musical that helped birth a star. The movie’s Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) catches his attention so completely that Don Lockwood (Gene …
By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Dr. Mike, Our 15-year-old son is out of control and we don’t know what to do anymore. He smokes pot and drinks, disobeys us left and right, is truant from school often, comes home whenever he …
Beginners and billionaires alike should refresh their knowledge of these basic estate planning terms and concepts. The word “estate” tends to conjure up images of billionaires and aristocrats, but estate planning is not just for the wealthy. It’s widely believed …
I used to wonder why – after an assignment to visit the interior of this place, I’d return feeling exhausted – both mentally and physically worn out – as if I’d been carrying an extra couple hundred pounds or so …
By Nicholas Reid Ever since the presidential election last November, there has been a lot of talk about the “two Americas”: coastal and continental America. The many differences between these two sections of the United States are numerous and oftentimes …
“Corals are marine magicians. As colonies of the tiny ocean organisms grow, they transform the calcium that circulates in seawater into enormous limestone reefs. These reefs—which can extend for more than 1,000 miles and provide homes for crabs, eels, sea …
Woodgrove High School’s Class Of 2016 Graduation – By Amanda Clark On June 16, Woodgrove’s Class of 2016 was the 5th graduating class to walk the stage and accept their diploma. The ceremony was filled with anticipation as the chorus, …
Molly Buckland, D.O., graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine with a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine on May 28. While at WVSOM, Dr. Buckland received the Dr. Roland P. Sharp President’s Award and the James R. …
Lt. James Adams, from Sterling and a Potomac Falls Halls Graduate, earned the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Adams is a Navy Week and Executive Outreach Planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tennessee. U.S. Navy …
Utilizing a chair for modifications to make yoga accessible to people who lack the mobility to move easily from standing to seated to supine positions. (Pre-Registration Required) www.LoudounValleyYoga.com
(All ages) Celebrate the Year of the Rooster, wear the lucky colors gold, brown and yellow, enjoy arts and crafts, solve Lantern Tiger Riddles and enjoy refreshments and entertainment. This program is also a reception to celebrate the opening of our yearly Youth Art Show. 263717-01 $10.00 per person 263717-02 $35.00 – family of four or more
(Ages 16 & up) Performance group BITWC ” Imagine That!” presents “Moonlight and Magnolias”- 1939 Hollywood is abuzz. Legendary producer David O. Selznick has shut down production of his new epic, Gone with the Wind. It’s just not working. So he sends for screenwriter Ben Hecht and pulls director Victor Fleming. He locks the doors, closes the shades, and on a diet of bananas and peanuts, the three men labor over five days to fashion a screenplay that will become the blueprint for one of the most successful and beloved films of all time.
Utilizing a chair for modifications to make yoga accessible to people who lack the mobility to move easily from standing to seated to supine positions. (Pre-Registration Required) www.LoudounValleyYoga.com
Impress your loved one with an evening to be remembered at Breaux Vineyards Annual Valentine’s Day Dinner. Sip on a delicious sparking and enjoy hors d’oeuvres before indulging in a 3 course delectable meal paired with our favorite Breaux wines selections. Menu expertly composed by Chef Author Clark. In addition to wine & food live music will entertain you during dinner, as well as get you and your loved one dancing the rest of the evening in our beautifully decorated Grand Acadia Room. Joining us again (3rd year in a row) by popular demand is a local performer, Frank Lombardi, who sings songs from the American Standards Songbook in the styling of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Harry Connick Jr. amongst others.
Sip, dine, and dance your night away with your sweetheart at Breaux Vineyards.
On Sunday, February 12, 2017 The Community Music School of the Piedmont will welcome famed cellist, Amit Peled, to the Ballroom at Barton Oaks for our 10th annual Candlelight Concert Fundraiser. Mr. Peled is an internationally-known Israeli musician and on faculty at Peabody Conservatory. He will play the famous 18th century cello that Pablo Casals played in all of his performances.
The program will feature works by Bach and Schubert and others. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call 540-592-3040 or visit www.piedmontmusic.org. Tickets are $125.
(Ages 16 & up) Give your Muse a night on the town! We’ll respond to fun, innovative writing prompts and experiment with different forms of poetry, fiction, and memoir. Creating safe space for tender new works of art is a priority, and sharing is optional. All writers, both novice and experienced, are invited to join the party! Leaders: Lisa Colburn and Sue McCollum are certified Amherst Writers & Artists facilitators who lead writing workshops in Loudoun County. To learn more, visit www.marketstreetwriters.com and www.writingfordiabetes.com
(Ages 2 & up) Long ago and far away when folks wanted to proclaim something as silly, ridiculous or just complete nonsense, they would shout out the phrase “Dragon Feathers”! This production is filled with silly, ridiculous and nonsensical dragons doing all sorts of hilarious things!
(Ages 3 & up) The Rainbow Fish is used to being the most beautiful creature in the ocean. So when the other fish ask her for some silver scales, she refuses. How can she sacrifice the one thing that makes her so unique? ArtsPower has turned Marcus Pfister’s bestselling book into a delightful and touching musical about the value of sharing true friendship with others.
Our wine & soup weekends have been such a hit, we’re introducing another way to warm you up this winter: wine and chili!
On the third weekend of January, February and March, we’ll be serving up a hot bowl of chili with a glass of wine - bring your family out of hibernation this winter and savor the warm atmosphere of the winery!
Glass of any wine and a bowl of chili together are $16 ... available on the advertised weekends while supplies last, on a first come, first serve basis
BALLET THEATRE OF ASHBURN AND EDGE PERFORMANCE COMPANY: MALONE BENEFIT CONCERT Join us for an inspiring evening of contemporary dance with the performers of the Edge Company, the Ballet Theatre of Ashburn of dance’s resident contemporary dance company, committed to artistic excellence. The Edge Company is sponsoring a non-profit organization dedicated to recognizing the artistic talents of students through scholarships. For ticket reservations call 703-723-8089
February 18 is Comedy Night at Bogati Winery! Your ticket includes admission and a glass of Bogati wine.
Doors open at 7 PM - this is a great way to get out of the house, sample the best wine in Virginia, and laugh the night away with friends both new and old!
Comedian Tyrone Davis has entertained audiences all over the Country. His high energy and "Take No Prisoners" attitude has made him a Standout among Stand-ups. Whether he's talking about his family, or politics, you never know where he's going until he gets there. But, you will enjoy the ride! Some of his credits include TV and Radio; and shared performances with the likes of Todd Yohn, Spanky Brown, Killer Beaz, Bruce Bruce and many more. He has also traveled to entertain our troops in Kuwait and Iraq. A "Must See", the One and Only, Tyrone Davis.
Come enjoy one of our favorite monthly events, Fourth Fridays! On this Friday we will have live music with Jason Masi. We always have great wine specials, delicious food to enjoy, as well as live musical entertainment!
Kick-off Mardi Gras a few days early with your Cajun cousins at Breaux Vineyards! Our annual Samedi Gras Celebration takes place on Saturday February 25th in our NOLA style tasting room. Samedi Gras is a Saturday celebration of the traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras, and a festive and lovely event not to be missed. Space is limited and we encourage tickets in advance. Enjoy fun dancing, festive beads, masks, king cake, costume contest, and your favorite Breaux wines. Live music with the infamous Dixie Power Trio begins at noon! We’ll also be selling delicious Cajun cuisine- menu coming soon!
$15.00 per person
(If you are a Cellar Club Member click here to purchase your ticket)
Ticket includes: admission, live music, wine tasting, bead, king cake sample
All tickets will be held at the door– when you arrive you will check in with our host. Make sure you have your ID ready. Under 21 are permitted but not encouraged. We do not permit outside food in our indoor spaces, and please leave your pets at home.
(All ages) Don’t miss this hilarious show full of laughs for the entire family. A group of talented performers take suggestions from the audience to create wacky scenes and funny improv games. If you like Whose Line Is It Anyway? you’ll love Last Ham Standing…the other comedy meat! www.franklinparkartscenter.org
Mardi Gras celebration will be held in Hillsboro on Saturday, February 25 as a benefit for the Old Stone Schoolhouse. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. Hurricanes and New Orleans drinks, as well as Old 690 beer and local wines will be served in the Garden District Bar. The Cajun Cafe will feature New Orleans cuisine, including King Cakes. …
The Mosby Heritage Area Association will hold a talk featuring a panel of four young historians who will discuss turning points in the Civil War. The talk will be held at Unison Methodist Church, 21148 Unison Road, Middleburg, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 12. Tickets will be sold at the door or online at www.mosbyheritagearea.org/events for $15 …
Americans exchange hundreds of millions of cards on Valentine’s Day, February 14. The National Retail Federation estimates that we will spend some $20 billion to mark the day and demonstrate to friends and family how much we love them – on what marketers call “Love’s Holiday.” Love. It’s a big deal.
Appointment Shocks Many On January 3 Supervisor Tony R. Buffington Jr. (R-Blue Ridge) nominated Tom Priscilla for the Loudoun County Planning Commission to represent the Blue Ridge District. Priscilla was …
Tia Walbridge announces her run for the District 33 seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. Walbridge is a wife and mother of two daughters and an active member of the Round Hill community. “Like many people in our district, my family has found its prosperity in a Virginia-based small …
Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the newly renovated state building located at 202 N. 9th Street on Capitol Square in Richmond (currently known as the 9th Street Office Building) will bear the name of civil rights pioneer Barbara Johns. The building, which reopened last year, houses the Virginia Attorney General’s …
Signed into Law in Her First Term Rep. Barbara Comstock, who serves the 10th congressional district in Virginia, recently reviewed the achievements of her first term in office, identifying 17 legislative initiatives that she supported that were adopted. She said: “My staff and I have met with stakeholders, local elected …
Two Woodgrove High School gymnasts have qualified to advance to the Virginia State Championships Saturday, February 18, at Patriot High School in Nokesville. Sophomore River Stone placed fourth in the all-around competition at the 1A-5A North Regional Gymnastics Championships at Park View High School on Wednesday, February 8, which earns …
The Woodgrove High School Gymnastics team for placed first at their home meet. The team competed against squads from Loudoun Valley, Park View and Riverside high schools. Seniors Kaycee Delitta and Sarah Snare were honored at the event for their contributions to the team. The Wolverines excelled in individual competition …