We sat down with Vic Vanni of Solis Winery of Santa Clara Valley to talk about how his family got into the wine business and also taste some wine from his winery. Vani remembers the good old days when they lived in the “Valley of Heart’s Delight,” which is now known as Silicon Valley. His grandfather had a cut flower business in Mountain View, which is now known for its hi-tech companies like Google and LinkedIn.

Vanni’s family moved to Gilroy when they bought a winery in the 1970s. His father bought a vineyard and started making wines. Today, Vanni and his brother along with their father grow a range of grape varietals and make red and white wine.

This interview was aired on TV in the USA.

You can subscribe to our podcast and  YouTube channel, where every week we feature new interviews.





Meet Mobot, an autonomous motorcycle-riding humanoid robot that I saw at the RoboBusiness in San Jose.

Motobot is a collaboration between Yamaha and SRI International of Menlo Park, CA. Think of it like the motorcycle equivalent of Google’s self-driving car. One of the objectives from the project is to improve safety of motorcycles.



Computer History Museum


Earlier this week I visited the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley. I got a guided tour from Chris Garcia, a curator at the museum. This is the place to see how  the  “Computing Revolution” started 2,000 years ago. The artefacts range from  primitive calculating devices to Napier’s Bones to the Enigma machine and the  first computers that were huge to the Home Brewers Club revolution and the advent of personal computers. And, let us not forget the World Wide Web Revolution and the advent of browsers that changed our lives for ever. This place is just not for geeks and nerds, but for folks like you and I, who are curious to find out and see how this whole computing revolution started.






Amy Love @2016


Meet Amy Love, who along with her parents is instrumental in girls being able to play for their soccer teams in the US. It all started when Love moved back with her family from Brazil to the San Francisco Bay area. She was passionate about baseball and soccer and qualified to play for her soccer team in the East bay. But, it turns out that she was banned from playing for her team because she was a girl. Why can’t I play soccer Love asked her parents. That resulted in the Loves filing a class action suit, which they won. That legal victory allowed Love and other girls to play soccer for their teams in the US.

We sat down with Love to find out about her love for her sports that eventually led her to founding a magazine for women called Real Sports. The magazine now exists on the web. Love currently works as the Chief Marketing Officer of Violin Memory, a publicly traded company in Silicon Valley.


This interview is part of our Women in Science and Technology TV series. You can watch the interview with Love here.

You can subscribe to our podcast and  YouTube channel, where every week we feature new interviews.

This interview with Love was sponsored by Zoho Corp.


Here are 3 more picks from me for this year’s 39th Mill Valley Film Festival that runs from Oct 6-16,2016.. These 3 films take you on a culinary and mediation journey across the world. In case you missed it, here are my first 3 selections of films from this year’s film festival.

The Last Dalai Lama? – Documentary Trailer from Mickey Lemle on Vimeo.

Mickey Lemle’s The Last Dalai Lama is a profile of the famous monk, who lives in exile in Dharamsala, India. The film starts off as  the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday celebration in New York and looks back at his life.  How did he prepare for his life as a monk? What was the role of his family? And will there be a next Dalai Lama? Or, will China chose the next Dalai Lama? Or, is he the last Dalai Lama are some of the questions explored in the film. What is emphasized in the film is the Dalai Lama’s thoughts on practicing mediation and cultivating compassion and empathy in our lives. His message that hatred does not solve anything seems fitting in today’s world.

Here is the link for tickets and information on The Last Dalai Lama.

My next 2 picks are about food and the people behind them, who perhaps help create the celebrity chef trend. There is a  new section in this year’s festival called Culinary Films that focus on well-known restauranteurs and chefs and their dedication and vision in creating new cuisinesand food experiences for their patrons. We travel with Ella Brennan to New Orleans, while  Jeremiah Tower takes us on a electic food journey around the world and then back to California and Mexico with a quick tour of Manhattan


Ella Brennan: Commanding the Table Trailer from Iwerks & Co. on Vimeo.

In Ella Brennan’s Commanding The Table we travel to New Orleans to find outvthe central role played by the Brennan family in shaping the culinary landscape of the city. This is a fascinating film about 90-year old Ella Brennan on how she got a start in her family’s restaurant business and broke out to establish her own restaurant called Commander’s Palace. Emeril Lagasse got his big break at this restaurant and Chef Paul Prudhomme brought his Cajun style of cooking into the restaurant. The film is directed by Leslie Iwerks.

Here is the link for tickets and information on Ella Brennan: Commanding The Table


We get a glimpse of the visionary and elegant chef Jeremiah Tower, who is credited with creating California cuisine and the art of using local, fresh ingredients in the restaurant.

Chef Tower studied to be an architect at Harvard University. It was serendipity that led him to become a chef. He first worked at Berkeley’s Chez Panise and then went on to open a swank new restaurant in San Francisco called Stars. The restaurant was a runaway success. Why did Tower leave Stars and disappear in the last decade of the 20thc? He moved to Mexico and lead a somewhat of a quiet life. A couple of years ago he came back to work at Manhattan’s Tavern on The Green. After a short stint at the New York restaurant, he went back to Mexico, which is where he spends most of his time now.

Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent is produced by Anthony Bourdain’s and directed by Lydia Tenaglia.

Here is the link for tickets and information on Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent


Meet Tom and Sandy Moller of Satori Cellars of Santa Clara Wineries. Tom is a techie-turned-winemaker, while Sandy is a yoga teacher and winemaker.

The Mollers started Satori Cellars over 10 years ago and have gone on to win awards for their wines. We spoke to them to find out how they got started with the winery and how they choose fun and unusual names for their wines.

The tasting room of Satori Cellars are open only on weekends. Please check their website for the timings.

Address2100 Buena Vista Ave, Gilroy, CA 95020

You can subscribe to our podcast and  YouTube channel, where every week we feature new interviews.


Stanford Theatre


Movie lovers are in for a 4-day treat of Vienna And The Movies at the historic Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto. The silent film series is curated by film historian David Thomson. One of the joys of watching silent films at the Stanford Theater is the opportunity to listen to the Wurlitzer organ. Dennis James will play the Wurlitzer organ for this film festival.

Vienna and The Movies features films by 3 well-known filmmakers, who made their mark in the silent film era. The directors are: Ernst Lubitsch, who discovered Greta Garbo, GW Pabst, a contemporary of Fritz Lang and Erich von Stroheim, a director and actor, who worked for 4 years with GW Griffith. As an actor von Stroheim captured our attention in Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard as Max. Parts of Queen Kelly are featured in Sunset Boulevard.

Here is the schedule for the film festival at Stanford Theatre.

Sept 22The Marriage Circle directed by Ernst Lubitsch  (1924) stars Adolphe Menjoy, Florence Vidor, Monte Blue and Marie Prevost. Screens at 7.30 pm with Dennis James playing the Wurlitzer organ.

Sept 23Pandora Box  directed by GW Pabst (1929)  stars Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner and Francis Lederer. Screens at 7.30 pm with Dennis James playing the Wurlitzer organ.

Sept 24Queen Kelly directed by Erich von Stroheim (1929)  stars Gloria Swanson, Walter Byron, Seena Owen and Tully Marshall. Parts of Queen Kelly are featured in Sunset Boulevard, which is a story about a fading Hollywood star played by Swanson. Screens at 7.30 pm with Dennis James playing the Wurlitzer organ.

Sept 25The Merry Widow  directed by Erich von Stroheim (1925)  stars Mae Murray, John Gilbert and Roy D’Arcy. Screens at 7.30 pm with Dennis James playing the Wurlitzer organ.


Operation Avalanche

Filmmaker Matt Johnson’s Operation Avalanchis set against the space race between US and the USSR during the Cold War period. The film is about the fake landing of Apollo 11 on the moon. The film was part of Johnson’s Masters project at York University in Canada. Johnson directs, acts and co-wrote the film with Josh Boles.

It took him almost 2 years to make Operation Avalanche, which made its debut at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. At one point Johnson thought he’d become a professor and that is why he went to graduate school he told us.

Johnson and Owen Wilson are Harvard graduates. who are recruited as  CIA agents. They are on a mission to uncover a Soviet mole in NASA and they suspect that it might be director Stanley Kubrick. Things take an interesting turn when they find out that America’s ambitious plans to land a man on the moon maybe in deep trouble. The duo come up with a brilliant plan of creating a fake documentary about American astronauts landing in the moon. This is where Johnson and Boles skillfully bring in all the different conspiracy theories about American astronauts landing on the moon. How they create this documentary makes for an intereting watch.

We spoke with Johnson about the making of Operation Avalanche and his penchant for conspiracy theory films. Why did he make the film? How did they shoot footage at NASA and Shepperton Studio,  where Stanley Kubrick made his films? Is there a parallel between the way software developers work and the way he works as a filmmaker when it comes to legal precedents? He takes a lot of creative clues from software developers he points out. We talked to him about what is fair use of archival footage? What does he have to say about working with lawyers for your creative projects?

While he does not believe that the American landing on the moon is not fake, it did not preclude him from making a film about it. There do exist conspiracy theories around Apollo 11’s landing on the moon.


While Johnson believes that the American landing on the moon is not fake, it did not preclude him from making a film about it. There do exist conspiracy theories around Apollo 11’s landing on the moon. It is the secret truths that draws him into conspiracy theories and to film like Oliver Stone’s JFK. He first saw Stone’s JFK as a teen and was instantly drawn to it. It looks like he has not lost an interest in them.

  • Running Time: 94 minutes
  • Status: Film Releases on Sept 23, 2016 in SF Bay area
  • Country: CANADA/USA


You can subscribe to our podcast and  YouTube channel, where every week we feature new interviews.


Vinod Dham

Silicon Valley-based Vinod Dham is an engineer, investor and an entrepreneur. He is perhaps best known as “The Father of the Pentium Chip.” Ever wonder how Dham got that moniker? We were curious to find out about it, and his journey to America and to Silicon Valley, where he initially worked for Intel for many years before working for other hardware companies that were eventually acquired. One of them that he worked for was acquired by Intel and the  second company Silicon Spice was acquired by Broadcom.


We spoke with Dham about how why and how he decided to come to America to study. After graduating from Delhi School of Engineering Dham went to work for a hardware company in Delhi and then decided to come to America for his graduate studies. He had to buy a map from Connaught Place to figure out where in America his school was located. He first worked for NCR in Ohio, and then came to Silicon Valley to work for Intel in the 1970s.

Dham went on to work for other companies, turned an investor and is currently the co-founder of an online learning company called Acadgild.

This interview was sponsored by Zoho Corp and aired on TV in the USA. You can watch the interview on our YouTube channel.

You can subscribe to our podcast and  YouTube channel, where every week we feature new interviews.



Gino Fortino of Fortino Winery in Gilroy talks about Charbono wine, which is made out of an Italian grape varietal. There are only 80 acres of the Italian grape varietal Charbono grown in California and Fortino’s grows some of them. “Cult wine,” is often a phrase used when talking about Charbono.

Fortino Winery was founded in 1970 in Gilroy by Gino’s parents – Marie and Ernest Fortino. The winery is part of Santa Clara wineries, one of the oldes wine growing regions in California.

Address: Fortino Winery, 4525 Hecker Pass Hwy, Gilroy, CA 95020

Tasting Room is open from  10:00am to 5:00pm Tuesday through Saturday and on Sundays it is open from 11.00 am to 5.00 pm.