Reese Witherspoon joins Amal Clooney as speaker at Watermark Conference in San Jose

Reese Witherspoon, a leading Time’s Up proponent who has remade her Academy Award-winning career as an actress into the powerhouse producer of “Big Little Lies” and other series, will join Amal Clooney as part of a formidable lineup of keynote speakers at the Watermark Conference for Women Silicon Valley Feb. 23. Amal Clooney at the European Court of Human Rights in 2015. (FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images) Alas, the conference to be held at the San Jose Convention Center is sold out. It is expected to draw more than 6,500 attendees, making it the largest of its kind on the West Coast. Witherspoon will be among the lineup of speakers whom the… Read More

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Age of Enlightenment Orchestra brings the love to Oakland

Benedetti plus Beethoven = Bliss As part of its new Oakland series, Cal Performances welcomes the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment for a special one-night-only performance. Violinist Nicola Benedetti joins Britain’s superb period instrument ensemble in an all-Beethoven program featuring the composer’s Violin Concerto and Symphony No. 4. Now that’s a Valentine treat. Details: 8 p.m. Feb. 14, Paramount Theatre, Oakland; $37-$86; 510-642-9988; www.calperformances.org. …read more Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

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There’s a new DNA test for babies that can check for 193 genetic diseases

Forget counting fingers and toes — new parents may soon be able to analyze their baby’s genes. MIT Technology Review reported Wednesday that the health information company Sema4 has developed a DNA test that screens babies for almost 200 genetic diseases. The test, which costs $649, is intended to expand on existing screeners recommended by the U.S. government, which only flag roughly 30 genetic disorders. With the ability to identify a greater number of abnormalities in their baby’s first days — including ones that otherwise may not yield accurate diagnoses for years — parents can “get a better understanding of the health of your child,” said Eric Schadt, the CEO… Read More

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Winter Olympics viewing primer: All your questions answered

You don’t have to possess the stamina, quick reflexes and strategic savvy of an Olympic athlete to navigate your way through the blizzard of coverage of the Winter Games. But those traits certainly wouldn’t hurt. From alpine skiing to speed skating and everything in between, NBC doesn’t plan to miss any of the action from PyeongChang, South Korea. In order to keep up, you’ll need a decisive plan of attack. That’s where we come in. Here are the answers to all your burning questions about the 18-day marathon. Let the games begin. I want to see every second of Olympics coverage. Should I call in sick? Um, good luck with… Read More

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Top concerts of the week: Diet Cig, Phish’s Mike Gordon, John Oates, Tobymac

There are a bunch of cool shows going on in the Bay Area this week, including offerings by Phish’s Mike Gordon and the pop-punk duo Diet Cig. Here’s a look at some of the top concerts. Diet Cig: What was the top pop-punk/indie-rock album of last year? For our money, it was Diet Cig’s “Swear I’m Good at This.” The duo, which hails from New Paltz, N.Y., features vocalist-guitarist Alex Luciano and drummer Noah Bowman. Diet Cig performs Feb. 14 at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco and Feb. 15 at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz. Great Grandpa and The Spook School share the bills. Details: 8 p.m. Feb. 14;… Read More

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10 things: Darlene Love — a star at last — comes to Stanford

A heralded backup singer who’s now a star, Shakespeare’s “First Play,” a silly Gilbert & Sullivan classic and terrific San Jose singer Ren Geisick top my list of 10 things to do in the Bay Area. 1 Darlene Love: The singer spent years as an important and largely invisible ingredient in the development of mainstream rock and R&B. She was a key singer in Phil Spector’s influential “Wall of Sound” and contributed uncredited leads and background vocals to such classic hits as “He’s a Rebel” “Da Doo Ron Ron,” Frank Sinatra’s version of “That’s Life,” “Be My Baby” and even “Monster Mash.” Now Love is getting the adulation she deserves,… Read More

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