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Aqua Cremation
Deon Strommer

Dean Strommer discusses Aqua Cremation, a flameless process that uses water instead of fire, produces no emissions of harmful gases, saves energy, and has one-tenth the carbon footprint of cremation by fire. Mr. Strommer is a Funeral Director and owner of First Call Mortuary Services in Portland, Oregon. He helped bring Aqua Cremation to the Northwest in April 2018.

The Fermi Paradox
Erasmo Acosta

Erasmo Acosta discusses possible solutions to the Fermi Paradox. In 1950, physicist Enrico Fermi asked “Where is Everybody?” He was referring to the size and age of our galaxy, and to the fact that a civilization only a few million years older than ours should have already completely colonized the Milky Way. So where are the aliens? Mr. Acosta was raised by an atheist family in Venezuela. He came to the U.S. in 1996 as a software engineer. He currently works in cyber security for an Israeli software firm.

The Pioneer Childhood of Dr. Esther Lovejoy
Amy Khedouri

Amy Khedouri shares exciting and amusing stories, in Dr. Lovejoy’s own words, of her early years in a remote lumber town, and how a girl with little formal education became one of the first women doctors in the state of Oregon. Ms. Khedouri is a second generation Humanist and a frequent visitor to our group. She worked for Dr. Lovejoy as a child and as a young woman. She has recently published an ebook about Dr. Lovejoy’s pioneer childhood.

Russian Astronomy in the Nineteenth Century
Michael Meo

Michael Meo tells the story of the rise and the fall of Russian astronomy during the nineteenth century. Here was the first astronomer to observe stellar parallax, the predicted direct evidence of the earth’s orbit around the sun, sought for since the days of Galileo. Michael Meo earned a B.S. in astronomy from Cal Tech in 1969, took an M.A. in the history of science from U.C. Berkeley in 1970, and then served as museum technician at the Smithsonian Institution in 1975 to 1977.