Annual Meetings, Ocean Samplings, and More

Last week was an another eventful week for yours truly. The first event that occurred was the annual meeting of the San Diego Economic Development Commission, which took place at the Hyatt Aventine in La Jolla. The program featured speeches by the mayor and other featured dignitaries, including city council and county commissioners. The parting event was a speech by David Gergen, who flew out from Washington D.C. for the event. Gergen is a rather upbeat guy who has been an advisor to a number of Presidents, including President Nixon, who he said had both good traits and bad. Gergen at the present time seems to be aligning himself with Barack Obama, who he feels has the right kind of program and is outspoken enough to carry it off. I was frankly happy to hear other people besides me speak for a change. I only had to stand one time.

The second interesting thing that happened was I did my first ocean sampling on the boat on the way to Oceanside. We took water samples off Point Loma, Del Mar, and Oceanside. The results are being looked at by a friend of mine at the Venter Institute. Although my sampling techniques are crude, they should improve in time. I’m hoping we got at least three good results.

The third event was a barbecue that my son threw at his house in Del Mar on Saturday night, where the folks who work with him on the VACIS program were well represented and a good time was had by all.

I especially want to congratulate Mike Daniels, who recently received the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s Michael G. Devine Hall of Fame Award for his leadership and contributions to the region’s technology business community. Mike was instrumental in acquiring Network Solutions for SAIC and helping me get the support from the board to complete the purchase. As you know, Network Solutions had a contract for the administration of the embryonic Internet. Mike saw the potential where many others did not.

You might find the Journal Report on Energy in Monday’s (June 30, 2008) Wall Street Journal to be of interest. It covers a variety of energy topics including the future of nuclear power — the case for and against — and the status of solar, wind power, and even scum power (turning algae into fuel). Scum power is of course a topic Craig Venter is interested in, and he usually is right in his hunches. The future of natural gas is also discussed, along with Hawaii’s efforts to become an incubator for all sorts of renewable energy projects, and the possibility of reactivating many of the thousands of old oil pumping sites now that this approach is becoming economically feasible. Some concluding remarks are provided by Representative Roscoe Bartlett, former CIA Director James Woolsey, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander Karsner, and retired MIT professor and nuclear engineer Robert Hirsch on their concerns about the current energy crisis.

— Bob