The sixth annual Black History Soul Luncheon will be held Feb. 6 at Plaza Cafe in Revelle College and will feature the first black firefighters to serve in San Diego. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature speakers, dancers, music and art exhibits.

    At noon, retired black firefighters will speak to those in attendance. Among the speakers are Joel Bowdan, Alwin Holman, Warren Jones and Charles Robinson. Fire Chief Robert Osby will also be in attendance.

    A show will kick off the festivities and will include performers from the UCSD chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho, with featured speakers to follow them. At 12:30 p.m., the UCSD Gospel Choir will perform, including a special solo by freshman Kristina Wolff.

    Black artists will also be exhibiting their work at the event.

    Admission is free to the public. In the past, more than 1,000 people have attended.

    Wednesday’s luncheon is co-sponsored by UCSD Housing and Dining Services, Revelle College Council, Revelle Cultural Awareness Network and the Revelle Dean’s Office. For more information contact Jessica Birchler at (858) 534-1580.

    UCSD to set up tech center in San Diego neighborhood

    UCSD will be opening a new Community Technology Center in San Diego’s Chollas View neighborhood that will serve to provide computer access to area residents while also developing computer education and academic achievement at Gompers Secondary School.

    The facility is made possible by a $280,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to UCSD’s Student Educational Advancement office. UCSD undergraduates will serve as tutors as part of the project. Also, Qualcomm employees will serve as volunteer computer science tutors at the facility.

    The facility will be physically located at Gompers with additional services and classes available at other Chollas View sites.

    UCSD has used tutoring via webcam and interactive software at Gompers since early 2001. The university claims that the program has significantly increased students’ motivation in mathematics and science while also improving their math skills.

    Chollas View residents are expected to benefit from the center by preparing for college entrance exams, using online job referral databases and learning how to use age-appropriate educational software with their children.

    The project is part of an ongoing partnership between UCSD, San Diego Unified School District, Gompers Secondary School, California Student Opportunity and Access Program, and the Youth@Work program.

    Berkeley-NASA satellite project ready for launch

    After an extended delay, the launch of a satellite that will analyze violent explosions over the surface of the sun is scheduled for Feb. 5. The study is a joint venture between UC Berkeley and NASA.

    The project entails use of the High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager, which was developed by a panel of international scientists based at Berkeley. The HESSI will embark on a three-year mission, where it will examine high-energy x-ray and gamma ray emissions from gigantic explosions in the sun’s atmosphere called solar flares.

    While there have been satellites capable of observing flares by means of x-ray and gamma rays, HESSI will be the first project to take pictures using gamma rays and the highest-energy x-rays.

    The total cost of the HESSI mission is about $85 million. HESSI is the sixth Small Explorer spacecraft in NASA history and was originally scheduled to depart in July 2000. The mission has suffered delays due to damages to the satellite during vibration tests, as well as several instances of launch vehicle failure.

    Scripps starts ocean acoustic research project in Hawaii

    Scientists with the Northern Pacific Acoustic Laboratory at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography began a project to study the large-scale acoustic thermometry last week discovered off of the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

    The project will also serve to analyze the behavior of sound transmissions in the ocean over long distances, as well as the possible long-term effects of sound transmissions on marine life.

    NPAL’s research will require the use of a sound source installed on the ocean floor about 8 miles off shore. The project will also utilize aerial surveys to track the distributions and quantities of humpback whales and other marine life that could possibly be affected by underwater sound transmission.

    The study is in conjunction with the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory and is funded by the Office of Naval Research. For more information visit

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