Our April 20, 22 meeting was a bit lightly attended- 18 people in person, 3 on Zoom. 
 
Sam soloed on guitar and led us through the Welcome Song and 4-Way test song.
 
He repeated his double duty by also being the Joker- reading a few more unfortunately worded but real Church announcements – examples- “At the evening service tonight the sermon topic will be, “What is Hell?” come early and listen to our choir practice.”  “Irving B and Jessie C were married on October 24 in the Church.  So ends a friendship that began in their school days.”  “The 8th graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 pm.  The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.”   Reminds your author, who got his degree in journalism, of some fabulously amiss headlines: “China may be using sea to hide submarines”; “Bodies Found at Morgue”; “Feds Raid Gun Shop, Discover Weapons”;  “Tiger Woods plays with own balls, Nike says. “
 
Constantine was our only non-speaker guest- noted that he has a better attendance records than most of our members.
 
Keith invited folks to show up a bit early to the Cinco de Mayo party at his house this Sunday May 1st to help set up.  As an incentive- he promised that the bar will be open by then.
 
Bill Witmer announced that we reached 100% member contribution to the Rotary Foundation- we are one of the few clubs to do that.  Thanks to all the members and to Bill for his powers of subtle persuasion and thinly veiled threats.
 
Graham announced that several new members have not been formally inducted via their presentation to the club and receipt of their red badges.  If you are one of those folks please contact Ken or Graham.
 
Kendra reminded everyone that this Thursday’s meeting (April 26)  AND next Thursday’s meeting (May 5) will both be at Michael’s On Main in Soquel, regular start times.  If you don’t know where that is- WTH have you been?  In-person attendance is strongly urged since we will evaluating moving our meetings to Michael’s. 
 
Detective Win asked questions and provided informative information about Easter, including the origins of the Easter Bunny and colored eggs, and some disturbing statistics on the number of jelly beans and peeps Americans eat at Easter.
 
Our guest speaker was Megan Durham, a Piatt Scholarship recipient.  She is a 28 year old UCSC student who was born and raised here. She spoke and presented a slide show on her research which involves detecting cancer-causing mutations.  She does DNA sequencing to locate cell mutations at splice sites where the exons are skipped, called incorrect RNA splice sites.  Cells that skip the exons in the DNA/RNA sequencing are suspect for cancer-causing. She grows cells and observes their viability- cancer-causing cells survive much longer than normal cells.  Her research has confirmed her theory and located specific mutations that in turn can be treated with currently-available medications.
Her research is specific to lung cancer cells.  There are 2.1 million lung cancer cases reported worldwide each year, 1.8 million are eventually fatal. 
 
Megan is a very effective speaker- highly intelligent (obviously) but able to bring the discussion somewhat down to our level.  She is also very personable.  It’s obvious that the Piatt scholarship money has been well used. 
 
Megan was introduced by Dr. Peter Biehl, the dean of her department at UCSC.  Dr. Biehl spoke glowingly about education in the USA (he is originally from a small German village) and the influence of clubs like ours.  His story of being the first one from his village to graduate from high school, let alone college, was inspirational.  He was accompanied by Almut Wolf, who is the Assistant Director of Foundation Relations at UCSC.  She is also from Germany and, though she didn’t speak to the club, had some very pleasant and informative conversations at the table.  After the meeting Megan, Dr. Biehl and Ms. Wolf stayed for a bit and told us how much they actually enjoyed our club- we were so much fun, in addition to actually paying attention and asking informed questions.  Yes, we rock.
 
They suggested a field trip to their lab, which seems like a great idea.
 
Please respond to the head count!
 
See everyone at Michael’s (2591 S Main St, Soquel, CA 95073) Thursday and Keith’s on Sunday!