Category Archives: Global 3D view

Hurricane Irma

Get accurate information on Hurricane Irma and downloadable videos here at NOAA:  view the damage https://storms.ngs.noaa.gov

You can select a location and the download is usually very quick.

NOTE: I find the best data from sources other than CNN and other news outlets that specialize in hype and hysteria to boost ratings. I found their coverage to be ill-informed, out of date and repeated without substance.  I have family in Houston and the Keys and I don’t need to be overwhelmed by fake news and neither do you.

Five Inconvenient Truths -Global steel industry

Interesting article, it discusses trade, overcapacity, raw materials, growth/slow down in building, and re-purposing of existing mills.  Maybe that is true. Read more here.

I must admit I am most intrigued by the existence of this group:

John Lichtenstein is a managing director for Accenture Strategy and the global lead of Accenture’s metals group.
The article did not discuss:  
  1. Changes in Environmental regulation. What if the total cost of an item was part of the selection process for materials (Aluminum vs. Steel)? What if LEED building specified LOCAL MATERIAL use or adding the effects of long distance shipping into the environmental degradation? What if shipping companies were forced to contribute money to the clean-up of the plastic gyre in the Pacific Ocean when shipping across the Pacific Ocean?  Unlikely, but possible and more sensible than carbon credits.
  2. Quality of the steel produced in China (I’d really like to know why the Bay Bridge is rusting with its low quality steel imported from China), coupled with the environmental devastation caused by converting raw materials to finished goods in a country that does not have strict environmental regulations and technologies.
  3. The main premise that global demand is slowing and will remain so, flies in the face of the greatest population being urban, and the population continues to expand. Housing in urban areas is made with steel, when it is high-density.

There is always room to learn more. I’ll be interested in Accenture’s next set of statistics.

There are many other Accenture articles; here is another from the same author.

Fainting Goats – Curious?

Image result for fainting goatsA friend of mine has a goat that goes catatonic when it hears a loud noise. If she sneezes or the screen door slams. ..Then it tips over. Amazing but not uncommon. I had to learn more!  They are classified as meat goats rather than milk goats…. but they might be better described as “pet goats”. Often selected as pets, due to their smaller stature, they are 17 to 25 inches tall and can weigh 60 lbs…. or more.

This ailment can be found in other animals, humans included.

A myotonic goat, otherwise known as the fainting goat, is a domestic goat that freezes for roughly 3 seconds when it feels panic. Though painless, this generally results in the animal collapsing on its side. The characteristic is caused by a hereditary genetic disorder called myotonia congenita. When startled, younger goats will stiffen and fall over. Older goats learn to spread their legs or lean against something when startled, and often they continue to run about in an awkward, stiff-legged shuffle.  Fainting goats have many other names, including Myotonic Goats, Tennessee (Meat) Goats, Nervous Goats, Stiff-leg Goats, Wooden-leg Goats, and Tennessee Fainting Goats….   – Wikipedia

References:  Fainting Goat Facts

 

 

 

 

 

World Environment Day June 5

What can you do? TIPS and HINTS

Energy:

  • Make your computer more efficient. Remove screensavers and turn on your computer’s power management features to save energy and extend the life of your battery.
  • Unplug. Devices like phone chargers and power adapters continue to draw electricity even when not in active use. So unplug these items when they are not in use to save energy and the environment.
  • Opt for the revolving door. Energy is wasted when we enter and exit a warm or cool building. Help us conserve by using the revolving door.

Use Less Paper:

  • Make your meetings digital. In the meeting invitation, let your colleagues know that the meeting will be paperless. Use projectors and monitors to display slides rather than printing handouts and encourage attendees to use their laptops for slide viewing and note taking.
  • Print responsibly. Make double-sided printing your default, purchase 100% recycled paper and reuse sheets whenever possible.
  • Transition to online banking. Take advantage of  many paperless banking options, which offer convenient and secure access for account holders while conserving resources and money.
  • Use Microsoft OneNote.  This is so much easier and better than a paper notebook! Take your meeting notes online, file them online and easily share them. This works so well for me!

Reduce Waster & Recycle:

  • Dispose of Electronic Waste responsibly. Never recycle it or throw it in the regular trash. There are many local recyclers in your area, Goodwill and community groups have recycling days.
  • Trade before you buy. Before you purchase something new, see if your friends family have what you need, or upgrade to get just the thing you need. Look on Craigslist.org for swaps and trades. Renting equipment, or using a renting/sharing app  works well for equipment that you seldom use: trimmers/hedgers, kayaks, canoes, wheel-barrows, cement mixers, tile cutters, nailers, floor sanders…. you know! …the stuff that can fill up your garage!
  • Take advantage of the recycling and composting facilities available near you. Protect the environment and save valuable company resources by sorting your trash correctly.

Save Water:

  • Refill and reuse. Conserve water when using a reusable water bottle or hydration backpack by reducing water used in producing disposable bottles and shipping containers to new locations.
  • Conserve energy. Electricity uses water. In fact, the energy sector is the single largest consumer of water in the United States, using 201 billion gallons a day to generate electricity. WOW!!! So, save two resources at once by being energy efficient.
  • Turn faucets off all the way. A steady drip can waste 20 gallons of water per day. And report any leaks as soon as you notice them in bathrooms, kitchens, gyms or any other locations.
  • When working out, make sure your fitness center knows you are environmentally minded by asking your fitness center staff about low volume shower heads. Post-workout showers: turn off the water while shaving, shampooing or lathering up.

Green your Commute:

  • Route your commute. You can find the fastest way to work using public transit — and other useful information — by using helpful websites like publictransportation.org
  • Combine your commute with exercise. Check out bicycle safety tips  from the CDC and facts and stats  from Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center to learn how you can commute by bike or walking and save yourself a trip to the gym.
  • Use more active transportation. Researchers looked at residents in Charlotte, North Carolina , before and after the city built a light-rail transit system (LRT). People who used the LRT reported they walked more when using the train than when they drove regularly. And they lost weight.

Get involved in your community and help with conservation, tree planting, beach clean-up and other eco-activities!

Geocaching and Letter-Boxing

On May 3 2000, Dave Ulmer, a computer consultant, wanted to test the accuracy by hiding a navigational target in the woods. He called the idea the “Great American GPS Stash Hunt” and posted it in an internet GPS users’ group. The idea was simple: Hide a container out in the woods and note the coordinates with a GPS unit.

The finder would then have to locate the container with only the use of his or her GPS receiver. The rules for the finder were simple:

“Take some stuff, leave some stuff.”

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices.

Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.

*A great summer activity.* Some helpful websites:

Geocaches can be found all over the world. It is common for geocachers to hide caches in locations that are important to them, reflecting a special interest or skill of the cache owner. These locations can be quite diverse. They may be at your local park, at the end of a long hike, underwater or on the side of a city street.

Maybe Geocaching is a little like Pokémon Go, but it has been going for a long time… even before GPS, when compasses were used for scavenger hunts. It is a fun way to explore and learn more about the local area that you live in!

Story of a Lost Boy from Sudan

A former ‘Lost Boy’ finds freedom and success; progress toward corporate social responsibility goals; more

Ateny Ajak, who was one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, who through a series of twists and turns ended up in Los Vegas, with a beautiful wife, 4 children and a job at Wells Fargo.

I know that when I bought my first home, I was thrilled to be part of a community…. It was in 1985 and the interest rate was over 15%, it was a struggle to get a loan approved.  I was working at a Federal financial regulator in SF and compliance was very strict. When I had the mortgage in my hand I was so happy. Giddy even.  – – the editor

Ajak’s joy at owning a home in the U.S. led him to a career that helps others experience the same thing, said Michelle Merced, executive director of Neighborhood Housing Services of Southern Nevada, a Las Vegas nonprofit that works with the LIFT program.

Enjoy Earth Day

Earth Day 2017
© herjua/Getty Images

Earth Day 2017

Saturday, April 22 — earth day started on April 22, 1970.

Dear Readers, There are no ads in Greeneroo blog posts. Why? I hope that we can share information, rather than pushing you to BUY something. I do like to let you know about really cool books, but I’d really rather have you go outside and have some fun!


Happy Earth Day!!  — the editor

Some activities:

Enjoy a meatless meal! Why? Pasture and alfalfa – the food for cattle to graze on are two of the highest water using plants. Save water, eat a veggie meal.

Plant a Tree! Why? Trees help keep soil in place, they provide homes for many animals and birds, they produce air for us to breath and they provide shade in the summer. A tree can absorb up to 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, remove harmful particulates in the air – wow!

Take a Walk! Why? Discover your neighborhood and meet your neighbors.  You’ll learn more about the history of the area, and what other people near you like to do. I often share mint from my garden with people that pass by.

Plant a seed! Why? You’ll learn more about how plants germinate (sprout) and grow. You’ll be responsible for watering and caring for your plant.  You’ll learn about how seeds really look different from one type of plant to the next.

Turn off your lights, Computer, TV, Washer, Dryer and think about walking/ biking rather than driving! Why? Trying out new methods of doing something are the first step of making a healthy habit. Use less energy, turn off the lights and other devices when you aren’t using them.

Don’t buy anything on Earth day! Why? We tend to buy what we want rather than what we need. This leads to throwing so much stuff away. Millions of pounds of clothing are tossed in the trash each year, by people who “bought it … but didn’t need it”!

Type “parks in California” in your computer browser (substitute your STATE for California or write in your Zip code)  Why?  You’ll get a list of parks. Get outside and have some fun! You’ll feel better and you may meet some friends that live near you.  Now that you have a list of places close enough to walk to and enjoy! I used the zip code and found 5 parks that are great and I can walk to each one!

Go to a Farmer’s market. Why? These open air markets are so much fun. You can taste things you have never tried, make friends with a farmer and buy local fruits, vegetables, nuts other stuff that is tasty and fresh. Remember to bring a reusable bag to put your purchases in.

For each of the suggestions, there are many more reasons to try out the activity. Can you think of other reasons to try something new or go outdoors and play?  I bet you can.

Some links to enjoy:

  • www.filoli.org  – beautiful estate and garden in Woodside, CA
  • parks.smcgov.org/san-bruno-mountain – San Bruno mountain is often ignored, commuters say they drive past it all the time. But they don’t stop. It has great hikes, picnic tables, views of SF and flowers to enjoy.
  • birding.sequoia-audubon.org – the audobon society has bird watching information and events everywhere!
  • www.discovery.com/…/1-top-10-most-amazing-hikes-in-north-america – take a hike, learn more!  The Sierra Club has many hikes.

Think Earth – Environmental Ed

Award-Winning Think Earth Environmental Education Curriculum

Now Available Free Online for K-3 Teachers Nationwide

Free teacher instructional guides, illustrated stories, practice exercises, videos, and more can be downloaded from www.thinkearth.org/curriculum in time for Earth Day.

Think Earth also has classroom lesson plans to teach environmental awareness to elementary and middle school students. An evidence-based program like the Think Earth Environmental Curriculum makes it easy for teachers and parents to teach children to conserve natural resources, reduce waste and minimize pollution. Each free instructional unit, available for kindergarten through grade 3, can be downloaded.

Included are lesson plans, posters, stories, videos and songs. The award-winning curriculum is aligned to Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.

Gas Taxes & Gas Prices in CA

California Legislature passed a bill (Thursday April 6, 2017) —  a  $52 billion transportation package- passed with a two-thirds vote. This is a 12 cents a gallon increase in gasoline prices and more. 

We often pass bills, and learn about the consequences later. More than that, I believe what DOES NOT WORK is continuing to raise taxes without showing progress.

Let’s face it. We have a lousy track record on roads.

It seems everything is getting squeezed in California.  Will small businesses simply leave CA?

  • How will CA really fix our roads? (Roads are still unrepaired in cities and highways, and we keep paying.)
  • How can we ENSURE quality infrastructure updates? (Remember, corroding Chinese STEEL in the Bay Bridge?) (Road extensions that cost triple the estimate?)
  • How can we get fair, competitive bids? How can we stop year over year cost over-runs?
  • Will we address FLOODING on our highways? and Road Safety?  It has been a mess this year!

Senate Bill 1, which would fix California’s pothole-ridden roads and unstable bridges by hiking gas taxes and vehicle license fees.

  •  It squeaked by in the Senate 27-11
  • In the Assembly – It passed narrowly, 54-26.
  • After passing, the Legislature’s Democratic leaders began lining up for FUNDING  transportation projects for their districts. (Pork Barrel politics)
  • We really need oversight here, let’s prioritize, road repair, safety and removing hazards RATHER than “let’s build a new ITEM in my district”.

More details:

The deal will hike gas taxes +12 cents per gallon and diesel taxes +20 cents per gallon, starting Nov. 1, 2017.  It will create a new vehicle license fees starting Jan. 1.

  • nearly half of California drivers whose cars are worth under $5,000 would pay a $25 fee each year (50% of the cars in CA are worth less than 5K – WHO made this estimate?)
  • vehicles valued between $5,000 and $25,000 — about 40 percent of drivers in the state +pay $50.
  • Drivers of luxury cars would pay as much as+$175 more.
  • +$100 per year, starting in 2020, for electric vehicles

The bulk of the money would  go to road repairs, though it also includes more funding for public transit.

WHO will this affect? Many small businesses and consumers because cost increases would be passed on to consumers.  Construction workers, Landscapers, Mail-order, Internet Businesses (Amazon!), Tesla, Toyota, Diesel car owners, even the Clunker cars would take on a $25 registration fee.

We already have gas taxes, but judging by the pot holes that can pop tires and break axles, there has not been much investment in ROAD SAFETY OR MAINTENANCE. I wonder where the last 5 years of gas taxes went? Seriously, have you seen improvements in our roads? At least, Bike riders were not considered or included in this bill to provide road repairs.

It is often said that Democrats main concern is for Climate Change. Does this reduce driving from the average 40 miles /day? Does a gasoline tax reduce the numbers of cars on the road or lessen pollution? Does it even create local jobs? As a state, we need to take a look at our lack of strategic planning, cost to workers, state budget. As a Sanctuary City, SF & LA might be doubly concerned over Federal Funding cuts due to non-compliance.

Governor Brown, heard angry protests on:

  • environmental justice for low-income /working-class communities
  • regarding the Late-night concession to the trucking industry (politics in action!)
  • communities impacted most by dirty air

I imagine that CA tax-payers are wondering where this huge PILE of money will go. Where is the oversight? We keep paying and paying and still and still hear the standard line: We Don’t Have Enough $$.  We haven’t added roads to CA recently, we can’t maintain what we have, and our mass transit is a MESS. Go ahead, ride BART after 8pm, you’ll see that BART doubles as our “Bay Area homeless shelter”.

Another Viewpoint:  More pain at the pump? a video by PragerU

AI for the Multilingual World

This is a fascinating subject, and we are lucky enough to have Catherine Havasi speak to us in April. So much of what I do is about plain and simple communication. You too? Bi-lingual teachers know, that there is an overwhelming need to teach in a way that profoundly REACHES the student; that student will be more engaged and more excited to learn. These new technologies are essential for medicine, finance, education, technology… everything really!


Hello World.

Introducing Natural Language Processing! It’s the way to discover the meaning behind the words.
It’s not just about the words.  Machines need to be capable of more than translating word-for-word in our multilingual world. Multiple examples exist of words and phrases that simply do not translate from one language to another. As businesses become more global, companies increasingly need to take into account feedback from people all over the world who are using their products, not just those who speak English. Teaching a computer to comprehend reviews in Spanish or Mandarin is much more complicated than just running a quick translation algorithm. The computer needs to be able to comprehend and analyze that language in its native tongue, including idioms and phrases, otherwise much of the meaning is lost. By leveraging the power of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence (AI) we can teach a computer to understand multiple languages in order to rapidly deliver insights to various parts of the business.

Dr. Catherine Havasi is the CEO and Co-Founder of Luminoso Technologies, an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based Deep Analytics Company in Cambridge, MA. Luminoso was founded after nearly a decade of research at the MIT Media Lab related to how NLP and machine learning could be applied to text analytics. For over 15 years she has been researching language and learning and was a research scientist in artificial intelligence and computational linguistics at the MIT Media Lab where she ran the Digital Intuition group. In the late 90s, she co-founded the Common Sense Computing Initiative, or ConceptNet, a big-data lexical resource used in over two thousand academic projects.