Junior Science Fair Winner: Shruti Verma

Today we heard from our Junior Science Fair winner Shruti Verma.  Ms. Verma is a 14 year old 8th grader at Marshall Middle School.  She explored the influence that genetics and elements of the environment, such as TV viewing and computer time, have on the need to wear glasses.  She studied 423 subjects using questionnaires and interviews with friends, classmates and on the street interviews.  Her hypothesis was that if neither parent wore glasses, the subject had a 6% chance of needing glasses; if one parent wore glasses, the subject had a 25% chance of needing glass; if both parents wore glasses, the subject had a 40% chance of needing glasses. She discovered that heredity had an overwhelming influence on the need for glasses: If both parents wore glasses the subject had a 56.7% chance of needing glasses; if one parent wore glasses the subject had a 30.2% chance of needing glasses; if neither parent wore glasses the subject had only a 19% chance of needing glasses.  TV viewing had no influence but, interestingly, long periods of gazing at a computer screen correlated with a 4% increase in the need for glasses.  She also discovered that the earlier the parent started wearing glasses, the stronger the influence on the child.  If the parent started wearing glasses later in life there was no correlation.  Ms. Shruti plans to enter the Fair next year with a related project. Her parents are from India and her father is a computer engineer.  She received a check for $100 and we will send her plaque to her when we receive it.

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Guest Speaker: Robert Henning, Science Fair Winner

Time_domain_to_frequency_domainToday we were dazzled by our Senior Division Science Fair winner, Robert Henning, a junior at Mission Hills High.  Robert’s project is entitled “The Exchange iMproving Unit: An Auditory Device for Directional Filtering.  In layman’s terms, Robert has built a device which permits a hearing impaired person to select the source or sources of the sound he wishes to hear by filtering sounds for directionality when linked wirelessly to hearing aids.  To do this he uses a mathematical process called a Fast Fourier Transform which decomposes a function of time (a signal) into the frequencies that make it up.  His device is contained on a small circuit board and can be easily programed to receive sound only from selected directions. Robert has tested his device four ways: Quality of the sound vs noise, Speech recognition, Angle discrimination and Unidirectional microphones and it has passed all tests.  The device is especially useful in large crowded environments.  The user points the device in the direction or directions he wants to select and activates it.  Thereafter the device is not position or orientation sensitive because it contains both an internal compass and an orientation sensor which compensate if the device is moved.  In three weeks Robert will travel to Pittsburg as one of only six San Diego Science Fair winners to compete in the International Science Fair, and he is still working on improvements to his device.  Robert received a check for $100 from our club and will receive his plaque as soon as it arrives.  He is one sharp person!!

Bill Cowing:  I first confronted Fourier series or transforms in my third year of engineering school while Robert is just a high school junior.  I can testify to the problem he is working on.  My wife wears hearing aids and she has great difficulty determining the source of a sound even when she can hear it well.  The human ear is much more direction sensitive than is a hearing aid receiver.  

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Guest Speaker: Artan Kerleshi of National City Walgreens

Artan KerleshiToday we heard from two representatives from Walgreens, Artan Kerleshi, Store Manager, National City and Arne Lopez, Store Manager, Hillcrest.  Walgreen is the largest drug retailer in the world.  Artan and Arne spoke primarily about the inexpensive health programs offered by Walgreens.  They claim that Walgreens has the lowest copay for Medicare drugs and many locations offer free mail delivery.  They also offer onsite blood testing, blood pressure checks and immunizations.  Also offered is an extensive array of services for film developing, tape to CD conversions, etc.  We all went home with a gift bag of pamphlets and goodies.  Club members asked some entertaining questions and they were answered quite professionally.   Thanks to Artan and Arne for coming!   On another note..... from the desk of Lion Bill Cowing. I have started our 2015 United States flag etiquette and history program for the 4th graders in zip code 92103.  Yesterday I gave the program to 35 students at Florence Elementary and after today’s meeting I gave it to 69 students at Francis Parker Elementary.  After the presentation each student receives a 4” by 6” U.S. flag and a pamphlet indicating which star represents which state on the flag and other flag information.  The teachers obviously have briefed the students because they can answer many of my questions and they seem really interested.  Some of their questions are amusing.  Yesterday I was asked which star represented the Philippines and whether Francis Scott Key was still alive after telling the class he wrote the words that eventually became the Star Spangled Banner in 1814.

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Guest Speaker: Bernie Miles & Daundra Bembury

Today we were visited by Bernie Miles and Daundra Bembury from Episcopal Community Services (ECS) and heard about their “Friend to Friend” program aiding the homeless. Although the program focuses on the homeless, it also welcomes those who struggle with addiction which often goes hand in hand with homelessness. Those in the program must have entered it voluntarily. The “Friend to Friend” program serves the needs of the mentally ill and addicted homeless adults in central San Diego. Members may be eligible to receive services in the area of income, housing, and mental health with the goal of regaining independence. A unique component of the “Friend to Friend” Program is street outreach. They reach potential clients on the streets and visit other agencies to seek out existing or potential members to provide them with an array of social services and assistance intended to connect them with the services offered by the program. ECS operates a residential Safe Haven Program with a capacity for 28 adults designed to help clients stabilize and transition into affordable permanent housing. Of those in this program, 70% are able to successfully transition into permanent housing. The largest segment of the homeless population in San Diego consists of males in the 45 to 65 age bracket. About 60% of the homeless population have mental health problems. The “Friend to Friend” offices are located at 2144 El Cajon Blvd. San Diego, CA 92104, Tel: 619-955-8217, Fax: 619-955-5142. The ECS web site is www.ecscalifornia.org.

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Guest Speaker: Lee Bowman Club Member Entertains Us

Today we were entertained and informed by Lee Bowman and Duane Stevens who gave us a brief look at their life history. I couldn't keep up with note taking so if you weren't there you missed some good stuff. Lee led off and had us stand and stretch so we wouldn't fall asleep. He carried us through about “25” jobs he has had over the years. The poor boy simply couldn't hold down a job. He has been a LION since 1966!! Duane got started but ran out of time so he will continue next week.

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San Diego Science Fair March 25

sciencefairEach year approximately 12,000 students do science fair projects annually in San Diego, last year 600+ projects were invited to apply and compete in the GSDSEF.

Each year club members attended and judge the best sight/hearing-related projects from the San Diego County Science and Engineering Fair competition.  The club also presents the winners (relating to sight or hearing) of both the Junior and the Senior divisions with a plaque and cash prize.  Division winners are invited to present at a weekly club meeting.

It's always a fun event to attend!   It's just so nice to see young minds exploring science and engineering.  It gives joy to us to see so many intelligent and hard working youth who are passionate about science show us their projects.  It will always leave you amazed to see the projects these kids come up with.

I'll be there this year, hope you will be there too!

- Jeffrey Harding, Club Member

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Guest Speaker: David Surwilo, San Diego Police Department

Police-rep-SurviloBasic Guidelines:  Be Careful & Vigilant

Our speakers today were Officer David Surwilo, Community Relations Officer with the San Diego Police Department for downtown and the surrounding communities and Angie Law, Deputy City Attorney. Believe it or not, Law is her real name. Officer Surwilo spoke on safety tips for Driving, Shopping, Children, and At Home. The basic guidelines are to be Careful and be Vigilant. His handout is attached and it pretty much covers the subject. He told an amusing story of a call he received from a man reporting his laptop had been stolen out of his car. It turned out that his car had been parked unlocked overnight in his driveway with the laptop in plain sight. When advised to lock his car and keep the laptop out of sight, he indignantly stated that he didn't have to lock his car when parked in his own driveway. Angie Law explained how the City Attorney’s office is organized into two divisions, Major Crime and Neighborhood Minor Crimes. DOWNLOAD SAFETY TIPS

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Flag Permit Process Clears City Hurdle

The Hillcrest Lions Club is proud to announce that the City of San Diego, along with the major support of Todd Gloria's office has moved to officially approve our Flag Program.  For nearly six decades our club has been displaying American Flags during eight flag holidays.   This activity has been a major fundraiser for our club.  The funds we collect from businesses owners to display the american flag gets donated towards services for the blind. The Union Tribune posted a news article about our Flag Program.  You can see some of it below but follow the link to read the rest. HILLCREST — Large American flags will continue to wave and flap in Hillcrest on patriotic holidays thanks to a new city permitting process that ends several months of uncertainty about the longtime program’s future. The City Council approved nearly $2,000 on Tuesday to cover the annual fees for the new permits being paid by the Hillcrest-Mission Valley Lions Club and the Hillcrest Business Association. READ MORE>  

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Weekly Program: Rene Resko, Helen Woodward Animal Center

helenwoodwardToday we were visited by Renee Resko, Vice President of Development at the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe. Many will remember when Mike Arms, President and CEO of the Center, spoke to us several years ago. Renee spoke to us about the many programs run by the Center. Last year the Center was instrumental in 3100 placements, the majority of which were from the 40 facilities that partner with Helen Woodward. The Center runs a small animal hospital and new comers with medical conditions are treated before being put up for adoption. A new feature of this care is laser therapy which significantly shortens recovery time. The Center has over 100 foster care volunteers who help with animal recovery. A special program is the therapeutic riding program for severely handicapped children which significantly improves confidence and motor skills. There are roughly 50 clients and from 7 to 10 horses in the program at any one time. The pet therapy program sends animals, principally dogs, to a variety of facilities such as skilled nursing homes, children’s shelters, hospitals, psychiatric facilities, etc. The “Animeals” program partners with Meals on Wheels to deliver pet food along with the adult meals to clients who, in many cases, deprive themselves to feed their pets. The “Humane Education Program”, for kids 4 -14 and with 10,000 annual participants, teaches proper animal interaction and care. Since 1999, each year the Center has run a national “Home for the Holidays” adoption program in conjunction with Blue Buffalo pet food from October through December From humble beginnings the program now involves over 3500 shelter and rescue facilities in over 20 countries and has achieved over 10 million adoptions to date. Finally, the Center last year started the global adoption awareness program, “Remember Me Thursday”, remembering the millions of pets who lost their lives the past year without the benefit of a loving home and last year animal lovers from 138 countries supported the movement. To conclude, Renee showed a short video of dogs and cats awaiting adoption which tugged at heart strings. The Center is privately funded through fund raising and fee for service and with an $8,000,000 annual budget. I strongly recommend a visit to Helen Woodward but I warn you, you may well go home with a pet. Marcia is contemplating scheduling a Tuesday meeting at the Center.

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