Starting now, Synchronized Chaos will provide periodic updates on events and information involving our authors and artists! If you have an update you would like to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with Synchronized Chaos in the title and we will share your creative progress with the rest of the community.
First off, George LaCas, author of the poetic pool hustler epic The Legend of Jimmy Gollihue recently spoke with author and poet Laura Lascarso concerning his novel, live on authonomy.com with an appearance by James Hagen. Interview transcript available at the end of the post.
Also, Susy Flory, author of So Long Status Quo: What I Learned from Women who Changed the World will be hosting a book launch party at the indie bookstore Jordan’s Village Books on Saturday March 28th at 1pm. Jordan’s Village is a lovely little indie store in the Castro Valley shopping center near the BART station, near the Starbucks and the bike shop. I (Cristina Deptula) will be there…also she’s looking for suggestions of other women who have/are making a difference in the world for an upcoming blog/spinoff series. Here’s the Facebook invite: http://www.facebook.com/inbox/readmessage.php?t=1068481587713&mbox_pos=0#/event.php?eid=54896490938&ref=mf
* Right after Susy’s book launch, in San Francisco’s Women’s Building (3543 18th St. near the Mission/16th BART and Dolores/Guerrero Streets), Free Battered Women is hosting its annual art show/awareness event, Our Voices Within, from 3:30 to 6 pm. This event features artwork and writing by incarcerated domestic violence survivors whose crimes were related to abuse they lived through (i.e. self defense) and explores community-based grassroots strategies for safety, nonviolence-building, and alternatives to over-reliance on the criminal justice system. I know many of the organizers personally – they’re a great, creative, talented group of people and I encourage you to come.
* San Jose’s Poets and Writers’ Coalition is hosting our spring semester’s Four Minutes of Mayhem open mic (and still possibly looking for another featured reader!) Synchronized Chaos authors Dan White (Cactus Eaters) and Kate Evans (For the May Queen) spoke and read at events sponsored by the San Jose PWC…and we’re looking forward to finding more talent through that venue. Mayhem is open to all and features a diverse group every year…will be Thursday March 12th at the Market Cafe on the SJSU campus at 7 pm.
* Heads-up for a Food not Bombs benefit concert, featuring some of the musicians we’re going to interview in upcoming issues. Still working out the lineup based on people’s schedules, but the event is at Station 40 (in San Francisco’s Mission District, on 16th St. across from BART) on Sunday March 29th – will let you know the time when they decide. Some of the musicians we’re considering are simply amazing…all unsigned local talent but fun and worth listening to! Food not Bombs is looking for someone to host Saturday’s serving in the Mission too.
* Ashlee Rose Holland, author of a memoir on growing up deaf, Turn the Lights On, I Can’t Hear You! has made a community for her book on Facebook. Currently they’re having a contest where people can win free books and chat with the author! http://www.facebook.com/inbox/?ref=mb#/group.php?gid=47067223183
* The Northern California Science Writers’ Association, of which I’m a member and which includes many creative people with interdisciplinary projects, is hosting a dinner in San Francisco Wednesday March 25th at 6:30. The topic is the latest research into the function of glial cells in the brain – the matter which insulates the neurons.
You must sign up in advance and pay for the dinner (maybe $35 or so for non-members) but anyone can walk in to hear the speaker.
NCSWA Spring Dinner: What’s happening in the other ninety percent of your brain?
WHO: Neurobiologist Ben Barres
WHEN: Wednesday, March 25
WHERE: Helmand Palace, 2424 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
Practically all of brain scientists’ attention has gone to the study of neurons, which account for perhaps 10 percent of the cells in the human brain. But what about the other 90 percent – what are those cells, chopped liver? Nope, they’re glial cells, and their importance is only now beginning to be understood. Our guest speaker on Wednesday, March 25 will be Ben Barres, MD/PhD, award-winning scientist, chairman of Stanford University’s neurobiology department, and the proponent of a paradigm shift in brain research.
When neurobiologists talk about “brain cells,” they’re invariably talking about neurons, those glorified strings of fat that evolution has tarted up to convey the electronic impulses that add up to thought, memory, emotion, and action. But something like 90 percent of the cells in your brain aren’t neurons. They’re called glial cells, and until recently their function was believed to be somewhere between that of packing peanuts (filling space so our neurons don’t rattle when we run) and nannies (serving up nutrients to and picking up after those clever neurons).
We all know what happened with “junk DNA.” Once assumed to be little more than packaging for our genetic material, it’s turned out to be loaded with gold nuggets. Likewise, glial cells’ known roles are expanding to include not only metabolic support but also immune activity and such crucial tasks as creating and degrading synapses (those specific inter-neuronal connections, uniquely arrayed within each person’s brain, that shape thought, memory, feelings, and activity). Come and listen to what Dr. Barres, a pioneer in the burgeoning study of glial cells and a top-tier brain scientist, has learned about glial cells – what they are, how they interact with neurons, and which neurological conditions they may trigger when they act inappropriately. Dr. Barres will also let us know where he sees this research heading, why it’s so important, and how soon practical payoffs are in the offing.
6:30 Happy Hour
Please reserve your seat for the dinner by March 18. You can pay online through Paypal using your credit card by going to http://www.ncswa.org/dinner_03-09.html and scrolling down to the bottom of that file. A Paypal account is *not* required.
Please select your entrée when you pay. If you fail to select an entrée at that time, the default is the chicken. (Vegetarian options available.)
Transcript of the Authonomy interview with George LaCas, author of The Legend of Jimmy Gollihue: