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Good to Know Archives - ATX Fun - Austin-San Antonio Fun, Travel & Educational Opportunities

Unusual Way to (Maybe) Make $100 is a legitimate website, and it has a writeup on a way to make $100 from your easy chair.  The offer looks too good to be true, but I suspect that it is valid. Use at your own risk.

The idea is to purchase a particular type of coin from the U.S. Mint at exactly 11:00 AM Central on Nov. 14, then immediately ship it to PFS Buyers Club. PFS then will pay you $100 more for the coin than you spent for it.

It sounds weird, but the commenters on the Dans Deals website say it actually works.

Note that there is some preparation work to do before November 14, and you have to work online very fast and carefully at exactly 11:00:00 AM Central on that date. And, of course, PFS could go belly-up and you would be out your $86.90.

Purchase A Coin For $86.90 From The Mint And Get $200 Back!

Additional information:


Frequent Miler


Lifetime Learning Institute of Austin, A Valuable Resource for Persons Age 50+

LLI LogoLifetime Learning Institute of Austin ( has been in operation for over 40 years, providing economical classes on an eclectic range of topics. The primary group served is persons 50+.

Registration for the Spring 2019 semester opens on January 16, but it’s not too early to take a look at the classes that were offered in the Fall because many will also be available in the Spring.

Many LLI classes fill up within hours, so it pays to register as soon as possible. You can take a look at the list here to see which Fall classes filled (shown in red) and which still had room.

I usually take 2 or 3, sometimes 4, LLI classes each semester. My favorites are T’ai Chi (Taiji) and Qigong, and Yoga Fit. This time I enrolled in classes about American Comedy Films, Exercise for Men and Women, and India. My other recommendations are How to Listen to Classical Music, and Geology.

LLI is run as a non-profit by volunteers, and part of what keeps Austin wonderfully weird.

Austin Classes for Retired Seniors

Lifetime Learning Institute LogoAustin is home to to the Lifetime Learning Institute (LLI), which offers educational classes on a variety of subjects at the bargain price of just $20 per course. The Fall list of classes is out, and online registration starts tomorrow, August 15.

Lifetime Learning Institute runs on volunteer labor, as it has for over 40 years. The teachers are often retired UT professors or other educational professionals. With a few exceptions, each course consists of 8 sessions, one session per week. Classes are held in churches or similar locations that offer free parking.

Perhaps the most popular LLI class is “Hiking Austin Trails”, which meets Mondays at 9:30 AM.

You can see a simple list of the classes here, but it’s better to go to the actual LLI website and see full descriptions. Printed class catalogs are available in Austin libraries…look for the bright green cover.

We are so fortunate to have a resource like LLI in Austin! I take several classes in the Fall and also in the Spring.

Free Seminar for Seniors in Austin Next Tuesday (April 10)

Commission on Seniors

Community Interest Announcement

Livability for Longevity: A Symposium Connecting People, Process and Policy for Healthy Aging in Austin
Tuesday, April 10, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Bass Lecture Hall, LBJ School of Public Affairs
Located on the lower level of Sid Richardson Hall (SRH)
2315 Red River St.
Austin, TX 78712-1536
Free and open to public

Drones Drones Drones at Austin Forum Tonight (April 3)

Austin Forum LogoAustin Forum is a monthly gathering where an expert (often more than one) discuss a topic related to technology, medicine or society. Admission is free and open to the public.

“Drones: Changing Business, Agriculture, Security and More” is the subject of tonight’s meeting (April 3, 2018) in the downstairs room of the new Austin Public Library downtown. Craig Nehrkorn, formerly with DJI and IBM and now Drone Dynamics, is the presenter.

See the deets at

Expand Your Brain for Free at UT

UT’s Environmental Science Institute publishes a weekly email listing campus environmental science and sustainability events. To be added to the email list, just visit the website or email the Institute.

To show the breadth and depth of the topics offered, here is the list of events for this week:

Monday, March 19
IB Seminar
Peter Chesson, University of Arizona

Hosted by Caroline Farrior, Peter Chesson of the University of Arizona will give a talk on

“Replacing the Local Community Concept in Ecology”
Moffett Molecular Biology Building (MBB) Room 1.210 @ 3:00 – 4:00 pm

Wednesday, March 21
Otis Lecture: Environmental justice, racism, and health disparities
Sacoby Miguel Wilson, PHD
Environmental racism is a pervasive issue that leads to environmental injustice and health disparities. The social work profession is increasingly becoming involved in environmental justice issues as they are intrinsically connected with social justice. In the 2018 Otis Lecture, Sacoby Miguel Wilson will discuss the intersection between race, place, hazards, vulnerability, and disasters. He will also discuss how to use citizen-science approaches to help address environmental justice and health issues, and how to use community-engaged research to “inpower” populations impacted by environmental injustice.
Sacoby Wilson, PhD, is an associate professor with the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Maryland-College Park. Wilson has over 15 years of experience as an environmental health scientist in the areas of exposure science, environmental justice, environmental health disparities, community-based participatory research, water quality analysis, air pollution studies, built environment, industrial animal production, climate change, community resiliency, and sustainability. He works primarily in partnership with community-based organizations to study and address environmental justice and health issues and translate research to action.
UTIG Brown Bag Seminar
Dr. John Kappelman
Please join us for UTIG’s first floor seminar for next week’s Brown Bag Seminar. Dr. John Kappelman will be talking about the geology of Northwestern Ethiopia in a lecture entitled “Hard rock to soft rock and (nearly) everything in between: Explorations with drill, hammer, and trowel in northwestern Ethiopia.”
J.J. Pickle Research Campus 10100 Burnet Road, Bldg. 196/ROC Seminar Conference Room ROC 1.603 @ 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Thursday, March 22
Research Colloquium: Changes in Time Use and Their Effect on Energy Consumption in the United States 
Dr. Ashok Sekar presents, “Changes in Time Use and Their Effect on Energy Consumption in the United States.” Research colloquiums are a series of brown bag events held on Thursdays from 12:15-1:30 p.m.
Sid Richardson Hall (SRH) Room 3.122 @ 12:15 – 1:30 pm
IB Faculty Recruitment Seminar
Dr. Elizabeth Hobson, Santa Fe Institute 
Hosted by Mike Ryan, Dr. Elizabeth Hobson of the Santa Fe Institute will lead a talk on “Understanding the evolution of social knowledge through conflict.”
Norman Hackerman Building (NHB) Room 1.720 @ 2:00 – 3:00 pm
DeFord Lecture Series  
Jackson Geosciences Building (JGB) Room 2.324 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Dean’s Scholars Distinguished Lecture Series
Dr. Carole Baldwin
The Dean’s Scholars Distinguished Lecture Series is excited to welcome Dr. Carole Baldwin, renowned marine biologist and Curator of Fishes at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History!
If you could dive to depths below shallow coral reefs, what would you see? Do reefs and their inhabitants persist or do shallow reefs transition into deep-sea life? Join us as Dr. Baldwin describes her exploration of Caribbean depths down to 1,000 ft. using a state-of- the art manned submersible. Too deep to access using scuba gear and too shallow to be of interest to deep-diving submersibles, depths just below shallow reefs have been overlooked by science. Yet, they may be home to the most diverse underexplored ecosystems in the ocean.
Eight years into directing the Smithsonian’s Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP), Dr. Baldwin explores the biodiversity, eco-evolution, and long-term changes on Caribbean deep reefs, ecosystems that may play a significant role in the survival of declining shallow reefs globally. Through DROP, Baldwin and her team have discovered a plethora of new fish and invertebrate species and documented the first case of invasive lionfish preying on unknown biodiversity. Co-author of One Fish, Two Fish, Crawfish, Bluefish-The Smithsonian Sustainable Seafood Cookbook, Baldwin promotes making wise seafood choices, such as invasive lionfish, that are good for the ocean.
This event is free and open to the public!
Visitor Parking is available at the Brazos Garage, 210 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin, TX 78712
All minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Student Activity Center (SAC) Ballroom @ 5:00 pm

Friday, March 23
UTIG Seminar Series
David Talmy, MIT
David Talmy is a research scientist at MIT in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. He is a part of the MIT Darwin Project, an initiative to advance the development and application of novel models of marine microbes and microbial communities, identifying the relationships of individuals and communities to their environment, connecting cellular-scale processes to global microbial community structure. His talk is titled:
What controls virus dynamics in global ocean microbial ecosystems?
Viral infection in microbial ecosystems influences carbon and nutrient flow throughout the global ocean. In this presentation, simple biophysical and metabolic controls on viral interactions with bacterial and algal hosts will be considered. These insights will be used to explore virus dynamics in a microbial ecosystem model, embedded in a global ocean general circulation framework. The model predicts virus abundance patterns qualitatively consistent with large-scale variation in ocean color, and primary productivity. Results will be presented from a case study in the North Atlantic, exploring competition among viruses that infect the marine calcifier Emiliania Huxleyi. The coupled framework is a base on which to consider virus impacts on global carbon cycling and biogeochemistry.
J.J. Pickle Research Campus 10100 Burnet Road, Bldg. 196/ROC Seminar Conference Room ROC 1.603 @ 10:00 – 11:30 am
BBE Seminar
Elinor Lichtenberg, UT
Elinor Lichtenberg of UT will be giving a talk on “Alternative Food Handling Tactics and Exploitation of Pollination Mutualisms: Bumble Bee Nectar Robbing Decisions”
Moffett Molecular Biology Building (MBB) Room 1.210 @ 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Environmental Colloquium
Drs. Greg Okin & Paolo D’odorico
Dr. Greg Okin, UCLA: Professor with research interests in geomorphology, plant-soil interactions, arid environments, nutrient cycling, spatial modeling, and remote sensing. Professor Okin teaches courses in Physical Geography, Soils, and Remote Sensing.

Dr. Paolo D’odorico, UC Berkeley: Professor with research focusing on the role of hydrological processes in the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Through the analysis of the soil water balance he has highlighted important nonlinearities in the coupling between soil moisture dynamics and plant water stress, biogeochemical cycling, land-atmosphere interactions, plant community composition, and soil susceptibility to wind erosion.

Liberal Arts Building (CLA) Room 0.128 @ 3:00 – 4:00 pm

“Honey” Automatically Applies Promo Codes to Your Online Purchases

Le Chic Geek LogoEveryone who buys something online has seen the Promo Code box during the checkout process. If you know a code, you can type it in the box and save a few percent. But what is a good code?

Jeanne Marie Hoffman of Le Chic Geek blog has reviewed the Honey browser extension, which will automatically try out its list of promo codes and insert the one that gives you the biggest savings.

Honey only works with the Chrome browser, so it won’t help folks using Firefox, Safari, Edge or Opera. And, Honey watches every page you visit. But, it can save you real money, and the more you buy online the more you will save.

The blog post also reviews the Ebates browser extension, which uses a different method to accomplish the same goal of saving you money.

Austin Forum, Tuesday, March 6

Austin Forum LogoThe Austin Forum is a series of presentations about technical, medical, musical and social topics. Admission is free, nothing is for sale, and meetings are held in the ground-floor meeting room of the new Austin Public Library downtown.

The next meeting will be this coming Tuesday, March 6, 2018. The topic will be ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: HOW MACHINE LEARNING WILL CHANGE (ALMOST) EVERYTHING.

From the Austin Forum website:

Artificial intelligence has been a vision almost since the dawn of computing, but has been stymied by technology limitations, as well as lack of understanding of how human intelligence works. However, one approach — machine learning — has gained tremendous traction in the past two decades, aided by advances in our ability to collect digital data and in the algorithmic techniques of developing systems that learn from data.

More recently, the explosive upturn in digital data production and the exponential increase in computing power, enabled by computing processors, has enabled researchers to develop and optimize algorithms in deep neural networks on rich data to achieve astounding successes in AI.

From systems that can now recognize objects and speech better than humans can, to systems that can out-strategize experts in complex games such as poker, chess, and go, the new AI applications are exceeding human performance in many areas — and we’re at the very beginning of the revolution.Android

AI is considered by many to be the most the most important technology of our time, and will disrupt, transform, and accelerate almost every field, from healthcare to transportation, retail to finance, manufacturing to agriculture… everything. Come learn what AI, machine learning, and deep learning are, why they are so important (and will be even more so), and the opportunities for Austin to be a leader in the AI revolution.

Get the deets and register at

Hint: Follow @AustinForum on Twitter, so you will be eligible to win some very nice prizes at the presentation.

Not Even Past — An Excellent Website from the UT History Department

Not Even Past LogoThe History Department at the University of Texas at Austin has its own website named Not Even Past, filled with a variety of resources in text, video and audio formats.

One feature of the website is the series of “15 Minute History” podcasts. A recent podcast by Lauren Henley tells the story of the “Servant Girl Annihilator”, American’s first serial killer who happened to live in Austin, Texas.

Another is links to a “Faces of Migration” series of movies (free admission), shown on campus in the Liberal Arts Building.

The Not Even Past website also has downloadable documents, reviews of popular films set in the past, and a wealth of other information.

Not Even Past can be found at It’s definitely worth checking out!