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Hair and Boobs

Zsofi Writes

On the morning of my 39th birthday, I was grateful for two things: my hair and my boobs.

There were other things too, of course – the way Sam buried his little face in my hair at 5:30 in the morning. The way he and Drew planned how to surprise me with breakfast and cake and presents.

But my hair and boobs were on my mind the most because in the week leading up to my birthday, one friend had to shave her head and another friend found out she might be losing her breasts.

I sort of hate to feel gratitude like this—it seems like such a selfish feeling. Like by being grateful I am saying that I am grateful that YOU have this horrible disease and not me. I am grateful that I have my hair, but too bad about yours. That’s clearly not what I want to…

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Paul’s Body Politic: Striving for Individualistic Unity

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The Internet of First Responder Things (IoFRT)

the Chief Seattle Geek blog

IoT-toasterThe “Internet of Things” or IoT is a common buzzword in the technology community these days.  It refers to the increasingly prevalent distribution of sensors throughout the natural world, and the connection of those sensors – as well as other machines – to the Internet.

The running joke is that IoT is about putting your home refrigerator, thermostat, washer, dryer, microwave, range, TVs, computers, smart phones and even toasters on the Internet, or at least connecting them so they can talk to each other.  Now what a toaster would say to a TV, or what the conversations between a washer and a dryer might include, could certainly make for a lot of talk show jokes and lists on a David Letterman show (should he return).

But clearly creating such an “Internet of Household Things” or IoHT would be quite useful.  Take, for example, the urgent water crisis in California and…

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Learning to Feed My Hunger

An Honest Mom

I will never let another pair of pants tell me I’m fat again.

This from the mouth of my friend Rachael, as she speared another piece of perfectly roasted cauliflower off of the plate in front of us. We met for drinks, Rachael and I, and as the fathers of our children readied our kids for bed, we ordered another cocktail.

I eyed that tiny plate of cauliflower with resentment. It was so good. And there was so little. What a tease tapas can be.

R’s declaration convinced me of what I already knew—I must go buy new jeans.

IMG_4217 Familiar, anyone?

Oh, the ever changing expanse of the post partum body. I’ve been rail thin with huge boobs to very squishy and everything in between. The rail-thinness was the product of exhaustion, depression, and breastfeeding in my first four months with Jo. I remember being stunned by the sight of…

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Going Rogue

undercoverBAT's Blog

playground

They’re not my kids anymore, but they’ll always be mine.

True, I don’t see them day in, day out like I did the year that they were in my classroom. But there are still snatches of time during the day where we can reconnect–a quick conversation as we pass each other in the hall, first thing in the morning when my classroom has more former students than current students.

In my mind, they’re just slightly taller versions of the child I saw every day for ten months, maybe with a few more teeth and a different hairstyle. But then I’m reminded that they’ve been thrown into a whole new existence.

The testing world.

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Is There Still Life in Sepp Blatter?

CitiBlog Milton Keynes

FOR many people, the arrest of high-ranking FIFA executives by a Swiss/US probe has signaled a horizon shift.

The last few years have seen football fans despair at FIFA corruption scandals, which have somehow managed to peak ever after the award of the 2022 tournament to Qatar. But with the organisation remaining as strong and, as John Oliver put it, “comically grotesque” as ever, it seemed like the gravy train was continuing to hurtle along at rapid speed. Sure, there were the odd scalps – including the noticeable one of former Vice President Jack Warner – but most of the time, it felt like FIFA had used them up and spat them out.

The fatalism had continued, with a number of opponents stepping down in the race to be FIFA President, leaving Jordan’s Prince Ali the only competitor to sport’s ultimate despot Sepp Blatter. This Friday (29/05) sees the election…

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Rick Delgado at Smart Data Collective contributed insights about potential hurdles for the Internet of Things.
Two ideas crossed my mind while reading this piece. First, Delgado makes the obvious-but-equally-important point that being able to take advantage of the wealth of the Internet of Things requires something we take for granted: access to the Internet. I’m not going to belabor a rural electrification analogy. Many do not have Internet connectivity, including in the developed world and the United States. It gets worse as ignorance abounds. Delgado writes:

While businesses may talk excitedly about the Internet of Things, consumers are largely unaware of it. In a recent survey of 2,000 people, 87% of consumers said they had never even heard of the IoT. While hearing about the Internet of Things doesn’t necessarily signify a consumer would not use an item connected to the IoT, the survey results show a lack of awareness and understanding about what can be gained from it. If this lack of knowledge about the IoT leads to lack of interest, a major driving force for widespread adoption will be missing.

In one of the worst tech predictions of all time, IBM President Thomas Watson stated in 1943: “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” Talk about punching in the mouth the possibility of disruptive innovation at IBM. Watson was misguided and incorrect, but hardly dumb. Whether we wish to believe it, Mr. Watson, I suggest, knew far more about his industry at the time than today’s experts know about the Internet of Things, which is in its infancy but growing fast. According to Gartner, there will be approximately 25+ billion sensors in the world by 2020. It’s not surprising that a whopping 87% of consumers are unaware of the billions of sensors around the world. What would (I would hope) be surprising is if we don’t follow in Google’s footprints to widen Internet connection worldwide. That would be a Tragedy of the Commons with a mean twist. We’re not depleting a resource. On the contrary, it grows daily because we feed it. Our “just” not sharing precludes a global race to the top of technology, which I’ll restrict here for the sake of argument to non-military uses. Now that’s a race we should all want to enter.
Tracey Wallace over at the Umbel blog (Truth in Data) writes about data-driven cities and the Internet of Things .

Wallace describes how each city is turning itself into a data treasure trove and using new technologies. Let’s look at a few:

Turning old phone booths into WiFi hot spots (NYC);

All household waste is sucked directly from individual kitchens through a vast underground network of tunnels, to waste processing centers, where it is automatically sorted, deodorized and treated. (Songdo, South Korea);

Wi-Fi provides city communities with hot spots that promote city services such as water meters, leak sensors, parking meter and other city services to operate on the same secure government network. (Dallas); and

There are no light switches or water taps in the city; movement sensors control lighting and water to cut electricity and water consumption by 51 and 55% respectively. (Masdar, UAE).

These initiatives are amazing. Think about what Masdar is doing. It’s like an automatic, energy-saving Clapper (“clap on, clap off”). Consider their savings and what it would mean for energy consumption if such a program were implemented to the extent possible around the world. Wow. There’s certain to be an enterprise wrapped around this as we speak. So . . . which of you will be the first to sit on a bench at the edge of a park and use a nearby phone booth across the street as your hot spot? That’s pretty cool.

Richard Boire at the Smart Data Collective poses the following question: The Demise of the Data Scientist: Heresy or Fact? The CEO of Williams-Sonoma certainly has an opinion.

Boire comments on an article by an “IT leader of a well-respected U.S. organization” whom he doesn’t name. Boire writes of this apparition:

[The author] hypothesized that data scientists will in the future become like switchboard operators: obsolete. The primary reason for this declining demand according to the author was that increased automation and operationalization of business processes will not require the technical skills of the data scientist.

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