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Weekly Rochester Events #580 Starting Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Listening to Rick Dorschel Sell Cars at Thursday Thinkers
by Jason Olshefsky at 12:12 pm (add a comment)

I finally managed to get out of the house and get to The Kate Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) in time for Thursday Thinkers. Rick Dorschel was there to discuss, Where's My Electric Car? Imagine my disappointment when I found it to not only be a press conference (that is, "way to advertise for free"), but possibly the most ill-informed Thursday Thinkers I've ever attended.

He started out talking about the problems in the latest Toyota recall concerning accelerator pedals sticking. My dad said they showed a diagram of the mechanism on the news, and it was an affront to good design: even a cursory glance reveals to an engineer like him that the mechanism can easily bind. Dorschel, however, said the problem was related to the complexity of synchronizing 4 computers on-board — largely to meet efficiency and emissions standards (implying, in my opinion of his tone, that the days of carburated engines were far better, and further, that government interference in capitalism was to blame more than anything else). As a computer programmer and electronics designer, I can tell you flat out that synchronizing the behavior of 4 computers is not simple, but it is well within modern techniques to make it extremely reliable and to make it fail safely. Dorschel also said that the computer was designed to split user input on the accelerator and brake "50-50". What the shit is that? If you have an accelerator and brake system, if the user attempts to use both, you always pick the brakes! In these days of computer-controlled throttles, there is absolutely no reason to make the car behave like a 1960's muscle car.

He went on to reassure the audience that Toyota is still a quality car, and the problems they have encountered have been fixed. No drivers in the Rochester area have reported a stuck accelerator — it is, after all, rare. Alas, he did not say how the design process was changed to add checks to make sure such bad design decisions are not propagated to the public. I can only assume it's "business as usual" at Toyota until, and after, the next problem. Same as all car companies for that matter — there's no reason to buck the system when, as an amoral corporation, it can achieve such easy free publicity at the cost of a few dead customers. Heck, did you see the advertising they're doing about safety? Ride that publicity wave to profit, for that is all that matters.

But on to the actual topic at hand …

Dorschel starts out by referring to electric cars as "golf carts" that are street-legal. Way to kick things off with your GM-based logic — presumably referencing the literal street-legal electric golf-cart from Chrysler-owned Global Electric Motorcars, LLC. Anyway, his discussion was rife with inaccuracy. Dorschel is indeed good at selling cars. But on the topic of cars and transportation, not so much.

He referred to the future of electric cars as being hampered by the battery. In some ways, this is true: with today's technology, it is impossible to replace the quick-fueling internal combustion engine, and electric vehicles are essentially limited to (at best) a 300 mile daily range, followed by hours to recharge. However, he completely misses the boat that things are changing. Many people can get by without owning a car at all, relying instead on public transportation, bicycling, and walking for most trips, and using a car sharing or car rental service for when an automobile is most convenient. Considering the prevalence of car rental and sharing services, one could literally get by on a commuter car. Also, the notion of driving your own private vehicle to a far-away destination is a concept only possible after the middle of the 20th Century. The belief that all things that we have now will be available forever, and new things will only add to that is plain foolish.

He said that ethanol is a failure because it takes more energy to make than it produces which is true, but he went on to claim that hydrogen and the fuel cell is the answer. I had to pick my jaw off the floor on that one: hydrogen is, at present, a mediocre energy storage medium. It will always cost more to buy hydrogen than to buy energy some other way because it's one more step removed. In other words, energy is attained from one source (i.e. petroleum, coal, solar, wind, hydroelectric, or nuclear) and used to convert inaccessible hydrogen (like in water) into accessible hydrogen (like hydrogen gas). Therefore, hydrogen from petroleum will necessarily cost more than petroleum itself — it doesn't just exist in pockets below the earth like oil does. Another way to look at this is that ethanol produced from, say, corn is essentially energy from the sun; harvesting that energy takes more energy than you get out. Hydrogen is guaranteed to be the same way. His statement that we may someday use the hydrogen and fuel cell in our car to power our house may be possible, but it would be excessively costly compared to the energy systems we have now — for that matter, we can leave our car idling in the driveway and run an inverter to run our house today, but who's foolish enough to waste that kind of money?

He gave a sheepish shrug when he said that Americans want giant cars. Someone asked, "if Madison Avenue can make giant SUV's and pick-up trucks desirable, why not energy efficient cars?" He had no answer, but said that all he knew is that they have such a hard time with consumers because they demand big cars when gas is under $2/gallon and small ones when it's over $4. After a grumble of support for gas over $5/gallon, he claimed that it would be yet another way that government interfered with our freedom. I had enough and asked, "why, then, is it okay to pay property taxes to pay for roads, but not for that same amount to come from gas tax?" He said that he hates government interference as well, and we should probably start a tea party (I believe he was talking about the conservative-funded astroturf protest called the Tea Party movement.) I think it's funny that he thinks that subsidizing his industry is called "freedom" but taxing based on use is "government interference".

Alas, in the end, Rick Dorschel struck me as a stalwart buggy-whip salesman. The fundamental business model under which car dealerships operate is eroding as people migrate toward more reasonable, ecological, and debt-free solutions.

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JayceLand Pick At today's Thursday Thinkers lecture from 12:12 p.m. to 12:52 p.m. at The Kate Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.), Dr. Bruce M. Gilberg will explore Intergenerational Relationships: Crossing the Developmental Divide. [source: Friends of the Public Library flyer]

JayceLand Pick At Arnett Branch Library (310 Arnett Blvd.), there are Dogs in the Library! Oh My! — Children Reading to Dogs from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and again from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. I mean come on, how cute is this? The notice says they'll have a Sheltie, a Golden Retriever, a Golden Lab, a Mastiff, and more. [source: Friends of the Public Library e-mail] [all ages]

Today at 7 p.m. at The Asbury First United Methodist Church (1050 East Ave.) is a meeting of The Rochester Genealogical Society featuring Genealogy Consultations with Sharon Burch, Gregory S. Spacher presenting The American Female Gender vs. The United States: Legal Discrimination, and 100 Years of Reunions by Barry Hartley. [source: Rochester Genealogical Society website] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) is very good, experimentally-daring acoustic soloist Seth Faergolzia starting around 8 p.m. ... at least according to the notoriously wrong Boulder website. [source: Boulder Coffee website] [all ages]

Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) will be hosting The Eastman Percussion Ensemble starting at 8 p.m. [source: Eastman School of Music calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Where the Sidewalk Ends starting at 8 p.m. The Eastman House calendar summarizes the plot: "in a nightmarish noir scenario, Dana Andrews plays a brutal New York cop who accidentally kills someone while investigating a murder and then proceeds to cover his tracks." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at 10 p.m. is All Tomorrow's Thursdays... featuring Jay Repp, and A.K.A. Paul BurkeMySpace link at Sully's Pub (242 South Ave., formerly the Brickyard Pub). [source: Facebook]


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Top Pick Today from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at City Hall (30 Church St.) is the Black Heritage Month Food Tasting presented by employees of the city and area vendors. [source: City Hall press release]

JayceLand Pick For Happy Hour at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Teagan and the TweedsMySpace link will be performing. Then at 9:30 p.m., WalriMySpace link performs. [source: Abilene website]

Today at 7 p.m. at The Baobab Cultural Center (728 University Ave., formerly on Gregory St.), Malik Evans will facilitate a discussion titled Reggae as a Tool for Education following a film screening. [source: Baobab website]

JayceLand Pick Today at The Multi-Use Community Cultural Center (MuCCC) (142 Atlantic Ave.) is the start of an Arthur Bicknell Career Retrospective with a performance of What is Art? by Arthur Bicknell at 7:30 p.m. Tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. is the notoriously bad play Moose Murders: the Musical Revival, and concluding with "the off-Broadway hit" My Great Dead Sister on Sunday at 3 p.m. [source: MuCCC website]

Tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m., Village Idiots Present (VIP) present Director's Cut at The Pillar Theatre (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate, Suite #D106). [source: Village Idiots Present website]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Flying Squirrel Community Space (285 Clarissa St., formerly the Flower City Elks Lodge) starting around 8 p.m. is good high-energy punk-rock from The GrievantsMySpace link, PegacideMySpace link, and great, haunting noise-based loops and vocals from City Harvest BlackMySpace link. [source: Flying Squirrel Community Space website] [18+]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square) starting around 8 p.m. is The Michael Musillami Trio. [source: Bop Shop calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Tropa de Elite (Elite Squad) starting at 8 p.m. When the Pope visited Rio de Janeiro in 1997, the titular elite squad of police was dispatched to protect His Holiness from the criminals in the slum he was visiting. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]


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Today from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Mt. Hope Cemetery (1145 Mt. Hope Ave., the South Gate) is a Mt. Hope Cemetery Winter Tour. [source: City Hall press release]

Today from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Turning Point Park (260 Boxart St.) is a Saturday Hike in the Park starting at The Petten St. Parking Lot (Petten St. Exd., toward the south turn around) [source: City Hall press release]

Tonight at The Record Archive (33 1/3 Rockwood St.) is Andy Smash and the Rustbelt Hot RodsMySpace link starting around 5 p.m. [source: Record Archive e-mail]

Tracy GrammerMySpace link will be at The Rochester Christian Reformed Church (2750 Atlantic Ave., Penfield) starting around 7:30 p.m. [source: Golden Link website]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Missing Person starting at 8 p.m. with star Michael Shannon in person to introduce and discuss this modern noir update. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

Today at The Flying Squirrel Community Space (285 Clarissa St., formerly the Flower City Elks Lodge) at 8 p.m. is HER by Sistas Sayin' Somethin'. [source: City Newspaper] [18+]

Tonight at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is a Fundraiser for LGBT Equality starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

The All Hank BandMySpace link will be at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Abilene website]

The Lovin' CupMySpace link (Jefferson Rd. and John St. at 300 Park Point Dr., Suite 110) will be hosting Nick Bullock, and Josh NetskyMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Lovin' Cup calendar]

Tonight at 11:59 p.m. (a.k.a. midnight) at The Flying Squirrel Community Space (285 Clarissa St., formerly the Flower City Elks Lodge) is a screening and performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. [source: Flying Squirrel Community Space website] [18+]


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JayceLand Pick Today at 2 p.m. at The Flying Squirrel Community Space (285 Clarissa St., formerly the Flower City Elks Lodge) is CopWatch Training based on Berkeley CopWatch. [source: Flying Squirrel Community Space website] [18+]

The Second Winds Clarinet Ensemble will be at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) starting around 3 p.m. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Alice in Wonderland starting at 7 p.m., a peculiar gem from Depression-era cinema. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting Jesse Kilguss, and Josh NetskyMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]


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George Washington born 1732

Today at 7:30 p.m. is Wide Open Mic with Norm Davis at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) [source: Writers and Books calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick In theory, there is another Emerging Filmmakers Program tonight at The Little (240 East Ave.) at 9:15 p.m., but I haven't heard anything about it so your guess is as good as mine. As soon as I get the details I'll post the films.

Bored? Why not check out 1980's DJ night at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 11 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]


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This morning at 7:30 a.m. in the cafeteria overlooking the arboretum in Bausch and Lomb (140 Stone St.) is the Artists Breakfast Group meeting ... anyone interested in art or creativity is invited.

Top Pick Today at 10:30 a.m. in the Golisano Computing Center at RIT (One Lomb Memorial Dr., campus map), it's rumored that Richard Stallman (founder of GNU and The Free Software Foundataion) will be doing a lecture. Get there very very early if you are interested. [source: flyer]

Today at 7 p.m. at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) is 25 and Under hosted by Sally Bittner Bonn. [source: Writers and Books calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tusedays at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) starting around 8 p.m. is A.K.A. Paul Burke Presents featuring Paul BurkeMySpace link and other people, perhaps performing. [source: band e-mail]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Daigaku wa deta keredo (I Graduated, But...) and Rakudai wa shita keredo (I Flunked, But...) starting at 8 p.m. Of the first, only a small portion remains — it's about a college graduate who refuses a job that's "beneath him". The second is more complete and is a "comic romp about college goof-offs who cheat on their exams". [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9 p.m. is So CowMySpace link, The Threadbare OrchestraMySpace link, and Mandate of Heaven. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Interlock Rochester (1115 E. Main St., suite 42 of the Hungerford Building, door #1) has their Weekly Meeting at 8 p.m. [source: Interlock Rochester website] [all ages]


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JayceLand Pick The Record Archive (33 1/3 Rockwood St.) will be hosting Grey MarketMySpace link starting around 5 p.m. [source: Record Archive e-mail]

Tonight at The Tap and Mallet (381 Gregory St.) at 8 p.m. is a Beer Social for Sleeman Unibroue, Inc. (80 Rue Des Carrières, Chambly, QC) [source: Tap and Mallet website]

JayceLand Pick Solid rock with a Spanish flair from Night GalleryGarageBand linkMySpace link will be at Johnny's Irish Pub (1382 Culver Rd., still smoke-free) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Johnny's Irish Pub calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Martin Scorsese's excellent film Casino starting at 8 p.m. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Grey MarketMySpace link, AutoverseMySpace link, and excellent, superfast, synth-pop, novelty songs from Worm QuartetMySpace link will be at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Today at 12:00 p.m. is a meeting of The Brown Bag Book Discussion Group in the Literature Division's Study Room at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

It's Whirrly Wednesdays: Hooping, Drumming, and Grooving at The Flying Squirrel Community Space (285 Clarissa St., formerly the Flower City Elks Lodge) at 6 p.m. [source: Flying Squirrel Community Space website] [18+]

There's an Open Mic for Acoustic Music at Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) tonight around 8. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Tonight at 8 p.m. at Abeline Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) is an Open Mic with The Grand Canyon Rescue EpisodeMySpace link. [source: Abeline website]

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This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including nearby towns Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Victor, Henrietta, Gates, Chili, Greece, and Charlotte, and occasionally other places in Monroe County and the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, lectures, discussions, debates, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do. Music events are usually original bands with occasional cover bands and DJ's with musical styles including punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat." Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed. Although I'm reluctant to admit it, it is a Rochester blog and I'm essentially blogging about Rochester events. I also tend to express opinions, review past events, make reviews, speak of philosophy or of a philosophical nature, discuss humanity and creativity. Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.) It's also not to be confused with Jake's World or JakesWorld which is a site of a Rochester animator. While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, February 18, 2010 (Thu, Feb 18, 2010, 2/18/2010, or 2/18/10) Friday, February 19, 2010 (Fri, Feb 19, 2010, 2/19/2010, or 2/19/10) Saturday, February 20, 2010 (Sat, Feb 20, 2010, 2/20/2010, or 2/20/10) Sunday, February 21, 2010 (Sun, Feb 21, 2010, 2/21/2010, or 2/21/10) Monday, February 22, 2010 (Mon, Feb 22, 2010, 2/22/2010, or 2/22/10) Tuesday, February 23, 2010 (Tue, Feb 23, 2010, 2/23/2010, or 2/23/10) and Wednesday, February 24, 2010 (Wed, Feb 24, 2010, 2/24/2010, or 2/24/10).


JayceLand Pick indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.

Top Pick indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.

GarageBand link links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

MySpace link links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with bands.

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