May 6, 2021
Westwood Village Rotary Club
Coming up on May 13th: Isabel Wang, The Bridging Tech Charitable Fund
This week's guest speaker, Isabel Wang, is the co-founder and executive director of The Bridging Tech Charitable Fund. Bridging Tech is a non-profit that was founded in response to the COVID-19 pandemic by Stanford University students passionate about educational equity. The organization is active in 15 cities around the U.S. Its mission is to bridge the digital divide for underserved children by providing laptops for at-home learning, along with long-term enriching educational opportunities. They strive to impact the lives of the children through ongoing tutoring and mentorship programs.

Westwood Virtual Rotary Club Meeting for May 6, 2021
Called to order by President Nancy at 12:30 p.m. Pledge of Allegiance by Tom Barron.Thought for the day by Marcia Hunt: She talked about some of the philosophy of Winnie the Pooh; being a friend is one of the best things we can all do. Go out of your way to help others, don’t wait for them to come to you. Today is National Prayer Day: be aware that I am not the wisest one.

Guests: Ed Tyler, has been President of Rotarians on Amateur Radio for nearly 3 years and a friend of Peter Moore; special guest David Stover; Sundra Croonquist, a new member; James Tran, a member of the Rotaract Club; special guest Benjamin Fisher; and Erica Clark, Dr. Mulchaey’s  associate.

Announcements: April’s Rotarian of the month: Aly Shoji. She has taken on the social media activities of our Club.

Belated birthdays: Richard Thompson and Carol Rosenstein
Other May birthdays: Eleanore Meyer, Lynn Rogo, Marsha Hunt, Sally Brant and Diane Good
Wedding Anniversaries: Tom and Margot Barron, 57 years; Mark and Lynn Rogo, 45 years.
Rotary Anniversary: Tom Barron, 14 years.
The Program: Tom Barron introduced Dr. John Mulchaey: the Director and Crawford Greenewatt Chair of the Carnegie Observatories, Pasadena’s oldest scientific establishment. Became a Director in 2015. His talk: “Eyes of the Universe: Southern California’s Leadership in Astronomy Today.”

The Carnegie Observatory in Southern California was founded in 1904 and has now become the world’s capital of Astronomy today. This came about through a partnership between Andrew Carnegie and George Ellery Hale, an astronomer from the University of Chicago. Hale was doing most of his work in Wisconsin, not the best place for that type of work. The weather was terrible. Hale encouraged Carnegie to choose So. CA (L.A.) for his astronomy project. He invested $22 million, which ended up making L.A. the "West Coast MIT." Cal Tech has since received 38 Nobel Prizes. Their telescopes were at Mt. Wilson (100”) and Palomar (200”) The JPL moved there in 1943. Their most famous astronomer was Edwin Hubble, who discovered the Andromeda Plate in 1923, which was further away from the Milky Way. This discovery put us on the map and revolutionized our understanding of the universe. They focus on Black Holes. Einstein spent a lot of time there.

In the early part of the 20th century, L.A. was a good place to observe stars; but as the population increased and with all the bright lights that this produced, it was harder to see the stars. Thus they built an observatory in Chile, the Companas Observatory, where they have a much greater ability to observe stars, like the Milky Way. This is where the Magellan Telescope is located. It is much better to do astronomy in the Southern Hemisphere. 
There is good astronomy work being done at UCLA also (but very little at USC). Andrea Ghez won a Nobel Prize recently, working at the UCLA Galactic Center Group, for her Black Hole discoveries.

Facts about the universe:
  • The Big Bang occurred about 13.7 billion years ago.
  • The sun is 8 light minutes away from the earth.
  • Every single image seen in the Hubble Telescope is a whole galaxy.
  • The universe is about 5 billion years old and is continually recycling its material to form new stars, creating new elements.
  • There are 4200 planets in the universe, some very rocky and some gassy.
  • The giant Magellan Telescope is 24 stories high.
  • The Black Hole: the gravity is so strong that nothing can exist in it.
  • The universe is expanding at an increasing rate.

He feels that the universe was really discovered at Cal Tech in 1904 when the program moved out here with George Ellery Hale.

His talk was followed by many questions and there was a general agreement to have Dr. Mulchaey back again to our Rotary Club. Next Spring would be a good time for this.

-- Commentary by John O'Keefe

WVRC 2020/2021 Leadership Team
President: Nancy McCready
Treasurer: Terry M. White
Youth/Vocational Service: Phil Gabriel
Director/Peace: PP Marsha Hunt
Foundation: PP Steve Day
Global Scholarships: PP Chris Bradford
Webmaster: PP Ron Lyster
Director/Merchant Minute: PP Mark Rogo
District Governor: Bette Hall
Immediate Past President: Diane Good
Secretary: PP Diane Good
Community Service: Aaron Donahue
International Service: Nevin Senkan
Program Chair: PP Tom Barron
Membership: PP Mike Newman
Director/Social Media: PP Aly Shoji
Windmill Editor: P Nancy McCready
Assistant District Governor: Michael Lushing