INTERESTING: Houses on stilts

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Powerful stories: TCNJ launches Hurricane Sandy project

By Kelly Heyboer | NJ Advance Media for

on May 24, 2015 at 8:47 AM, updated May 24, 2015 at 9:37 AM

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Building something bigger

The hurricane ripped a wall off the Beach Bar in Seaside Heights, the popular boardwalk restaurant where the Garofalos worked and owned the food concession. The owner of the building never rebuilt after the storm and the Garofalos remain involved in an ongoing legal dispute over their business losses.

The family opened a new business, Silver Bay Bagels in Toms River, and are still repairing the storm damage to their house. As they were interviewed for the oral history project, they were preparing to move out temporarily so the house could be lifted six feet and put on stilts, like many in their bayside neighborhood.

The Garofalos said the hardest part of Hurricane Sandy has been dealing with the red tape and bureaucracy as they navigated insurance claims and government programs to find money to rebuild. They said they hope their story shows historians the lasting impact of the storm on ordinary families.

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As I strolled around Seaside Heights, I saw many buildings being raised or completely rebuilt on stilts.

They are big robust “trees”.

My concern is “how long do they last”?

How long does a utility pole last and they are not under load?


Exposed to the weather?

My guess is twenty years. My house, that I affectionately call “my white elephant”, didn’t suffer any major damage due I attribute to being built on three rows of cinder block as a foundation.

It’s been that way for probably eighty years.

No way those “stilts” will last eighty years.

Than what happens.

Will it be it’s own version of Sandy as the house come crashing down?

I think that’s an interesting question.

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INTERESTING: Bear climbs tower for eggs

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cell Tower News: Tower bear 

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Bear climbs tower for eggs

We’re all doomed. The large hairy killing machines known as bears are now bringing their endless appetites off the ground and into the skies. O.F. Mossberg & Sons captured this surprising video of a bear that managed to climb an electrical tower to feast on eggs in a nest. In the video you can see the mother bird flapping around the bear, obviously unhappy about what is taking place.

While this isn’t the first time we’ve covered a bear on a tower site, that time the bear was on the ground. With this latest development it seems like only a matter of time before climbers are working on a tower and looking down to find a bear dozens of feet in the air after their lunch.

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Probably, like climbing a tree, but easier. 

A nest in a tree is, imho, harder that a nice regular tower frame.

Guess it’s just one more adaption that the bears have made.

Like the one in north Jerzey, that figured out how to open the ‘bear proof’ garbage cans by throwing them against the garage doors. Scratch one can and one grade door on EVERY house on the block!


And we think we’re so smart!

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INTERESTING: Better addressing

Saturday, May 16, 2015

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Better addressing will make the world a better place. A simple 3 word address can help people meet more easily, enables aid to reach those who need it most and ensures packages arrive and business are found. We are hugely excited to have created this platform and grateful for your interest. From time to time we will send you updates on how we are growing, features and new partners.

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Feel free to drop by foods.libraries.patio or filming.thanks.rearranged!


It is easy.

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INTERESTING: Does “diversity” include age?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Doing more on diversity
Posted: 05 May 2015 02:00 PM PDT
When we released the composition of our workforce almost a year ago, it confirmed what many people suspected: the tech industry needs to do a lot more when it comes to diversity. Since then, the question I get asked most is—so what are you doing about it?

You may have heard about some of the work we’ve been doing: embedding engineers at Historically Black Colleges and Universities; partnering with Hollywood to inspire girls to pursue careers in computer science; building local initiatives to introduce coding to high school students from diverse communities; and expanding our employee unconscious bias training.

But these programs represent only a sampling of all the work that is going on behind the scenes. If we’re really going to make an impact, we need a holistic plan. Today, we want to share our diversity strategy, which is focused on four key areas:

Hire diverse Googlers: In the past, our university-focused hiring programs have relied heavily on a relatively small number of schools. But, we know those schools aren’t always the most diverse. For example, while 14% of Hispanic college enrollment is at 4-year schools, Hispanics make up just 7% at the 200 most selective schools. In the past two years, we’ve doubled the number of schools where we recruit, to promote student diversity. This year, nearly 20 percent of the hires we make from a university are from these new campuses.

Foster a fair and inclusive culture: We want to ensure that we have an environment where all Googlers can thrive. We’ve raised awareness around unconscious bias—half of all Googlers have participated in our unconscious bias workshops—and we’ve now rolled out a hands-on workshop that provides practical tips for addressing bias when we see it. We’re also drawing on the idea of 20 percent time to enable employees to use their time at work to focus on diversity projects. In 2015, more than 500 Googlers will participate in Diversity Core, a formal program in which employees contribute—as part of their job—to the company’s diversity efforts.

Expand the pool of technologists: Making computer science (CS) education accessible and available to everyone is one of our most important initiatives. Our CS First program is designed to help anyone—a teacher, a coach, or volunteer—teach kids the basics of coding. And since research tells us that to inspire more girls, we need to show them that computer science isn’t just for boys, we started Made with Code—and we’re working with the entertainment industry to change the perceptions around CS and what it means to be a computer scientist.

Bridge the digital divide: We also want more underrepresented communities, including women and minorities, to share the benefits of the web, and to have access to the economic engine it provides. The Accelerate with Google Academy helps business owners get online, grow and drive economic impact.

With an organization of our size, meaningful change will take time. From one year to the next, bit by bit, our progress will inch forward. More importantly, our industry will become more inclusive, and the opportunities for currently underrepresented groups will grow. We’ll share our updated diversity data for 2015 soon. We’re gradually making progress across these four areas, and we’re in it for the long term.

Posted by Nancy Lee, Vice President, People Operations

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Note bene: doesn’t say anything about us old people!

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INTERESTING: Maybe there’s some money to be made in solar after all?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Tesla‘s Powerwall: Why You Should Care Even If You Don’t Have Home Solar
Greater energy independence at a smaller cost.

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The U.S Energy Information Administration says that the average American home consumes about 11,000kWh per year, or about 30kWh per day. So if an average user wants to get completely off the grid, it would only take three 10kWh Powerwall units—at a total of $10,500, not counting the cost of installation, solar cells and a pricey DC/AC inverter—for that to become feasible. It may sound like a lot of money on paper, but considering the long term energy saving benefits, it’s a steal.

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Interesting concept and idea.

Maybe for my shore house? 

Put the solar panels on the roof. It gets a lot of sun year round. If you can sell the power back to the township /JCPL, then maybe the old “white elephant” could pay for some of its “freight”.

Heaven forbid, maybe it could even show a profit?

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INTERESTING: Ancient Roman Concrete was better than today’s?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

4. Ancient Roman Concrete was Far Superior to Our Own

Scientists studying the composition of Roman concrete, which has been submerged under the Mediterranean Sea for the last 2,000 years, discovered that it was superior to modern-day concrete in terms of durability and being less environmentally damaging. The Romans made concrete by mixing lime and volcanic rock. For underwater structures, the combination of lime and volcanic ash with seawater instantly triggered a chemical reaction in which the lime incorporated molecules into its structure and reacted with the ash to cement the whole mixture together. Analysis of the concrete found that it produces a significantly different compound to modern day cement, which is an incredibly stable binder. In addition, the ancient concrete contains the ideal crystalline structure of Tobermorite, which has a greater strength and durability than the modern equivalent. Finally, microscopic studies identified other minerals in the ancient concrete which show potential application for high-performance concretes, including the encapsulation of hazardous wastes. “In the middle 20th century, concrete structures were designed to last 50 years,” said scientist Paulo Monteiro said. “Yet Roman harbour installations have survived 2,000 years of chemical attack and wave action underwater.”

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Who would have thought that?

Never was mentioned in my strength of materials class back in Ingineering Skrule!

Hmm, what else don’t I know that I don’t know I don’t know?

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INTERESTING: Execute the Fixler maneuver?

Monday, March 23, 2015

February 6, 2015
Pull a Fixler
Jesse Hertzberg

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Five or ten minutes into many meetings at Etsy, Eric Fixler, a senior software engineer at the time, would pick up his stuff and just walk out the door, mumbling something about not being useful here. If he had nothing to contribute, he went and found a better use of his, and our, time… teaching me a valuable lesson along the way.

There is no reason to sit in a meeting to which you add no value. Everyone invited should be there for a reason, and if you are there for a reason, you should be actively contributing, regardless of role or seniority. We hired you for your experience and insight, not to be a wallflower. If you can’t actively contribute to this particular discussion, there should be nothing wrong with leaving. We certainly don’t want to be wasting anyone’s time. Everyone at a startup has a million things to do.

Thus was born The Fixler, a simple and powerful rule: If you are sitting around a conference table and your presence isn’t necessary nor adds value to the others in the room, you may get up, say ‘Fixler’, and walk out without explanation or penalty.

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Astonishingly simple.

Like when I tried to decree that every meeting had to have roles assigned: Organizer, Facilitator, Scribe, Timekeeper, Wrangler, and Naysayer. 

(Note: the Naysayer was required to find and declare “it’ll never work”, “we’ve tried that before”, or “waste of time” ofter and loudly. Or any other absolutely negative comment.)

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