Building a Right Cool Server Array

I’ve specked out a set of servers with some really cool services…

I’d like to build a couple of these in parallel with my own for other owners…. Can’t guarantee anything but it looks like I can pack a pair of WordPress Multisites, an IPFS, a Mastodon, and a Diaspora server plus a really neat Ad Server. That’s the makings of a business of some sort.

I’ve been running the two multisite WordPress systems for a couple years for myself… One of those is the multisite multinetwork setup while the other is a standard multisite and I’m considering database sharding to try to boost performance just a tad with the databases on the opposite servers. The reason I have two multisites is to run the simpler multisite on cheaper hardware… else I could have just done that part of things with one WordPress.

The Diaspora and Mastodon servers are reflections of my interest in the Federated Indieweb networks. The WordPress systems run the Federation plugins also.

The IPFS server is something else I’ve been playing with. I’m starting to learn blockchain but the monetary ‘coin’ side of blockchain just isn’t all that interesting to me. IPFS lets me use my newly acquired blockchain knowledge as I go along. There are some pretty cool IPFS usages that I want to look into.

I’m right delighted with Cloudflare so expect me to make use of Cloudflare for domains, proxy services, and DNS. With Cloudflare helping with the SSL stuff that seems to be a no-brainer for me.

So here’s the deal, I figure it will take me a year to explore all this stuff… The extra bit of time needed to support two or three more systems will probably expose me to a few use-cases I’d not see otherwise. But I imagine about $750.00 dollars of work will be needed for each one.

If you think something in this would help you further your goals to the tune of a $750.00 investment then maybe you’d like to spend that money with me and encourage my efforts that way.

I also have a reseller relationship with GoDaddy through their Wild West Domains. Surely there’s something here to interest you. and maybe further your objectives. Give me a call if you want to bounce some ideas around.

I’m interested in hiring out, building for a set amount of cash, partnerships for the right person or company, other ideas. etc.

Jeff Hawkins 1-(540)-247-1936 EST. I’m in Middletown, Va., retired, and I don’t drive much anymore so don’t expect me to attend meetings or want to work in your shop. But I’m real interested in your ideas.





Green Ski-Wax?

I read with interest the following article.

Afterwards? I thought come on… it’s two planks about 4 inches wide and about 6 ft long each. How much ski wax could that possibly leave on a mountain?

Maybe a measurable bit but really? This just doesn’t seem all that important…

Come to think of it,  I don’t really remember ever waxing my skis once I bought them. Maybe once but I wasn’t that kind of skier anyway. Just having a bit of fun on them things maybe 6 or eight times a year.

I think the damage I probably did to the environment would have been more like a cigarette butt here and there and maybe I dropped an inadvertent candy wrapper but I don’t remember ever seeing anything I dropped on the next pass so that impact was probably negligible.

Ski Wax? Yeah, most of it is probably petroleum-based but I can’t imagine that being a problem.

But go ahead… buy that stuff if it makes you feel good. I don’t think that will ever hurt anything… either way.

I’m playing with an Idea

I’m thinking about building a WordPress website astride a pair or trio of VPS…

My thoughts are the website itself on Multisite WordPress… the MySQL database sharded across the three servers, an IPFS file server, Diaspora, Mastodon, and a Nginx proxy for the website.

I’m anticipating a second multisite to run the backend offloaded RSS and content editing tasks…

I’m thinking of dropping all the paperwork and a laptop to admin the whole system into a  briefcase. That laptop would have all the tools I use to run a website including a set of backup files. a local host for testing purposes, a copy of HTTrack, the guided Tour files, and remote MySQL for maintenance.

I’m toying with the WordPress itself being static and headless, with a CDN to serve up files and Cloudflare.

This would be a great multifaceted social networking site with the Diaspora and Mastodon twins, a really nice website to tie this all together and enough tools and horsepower that the new owner could run a WordPress based webhosting operation off the system.

The servers would most likely run a VestaCP control panel to ease some of the chores and I’m thinking package the whole with some sort of domain resellers hosting so the whole operation could offer a one-stop shop operation.

Maybe formed up as a LLC would make it easy enough to sell off once I’m satisfied with it.

I’m interested in your thoughts…

Fiber Optic Internet

I was reading something yesterday about how America needed a strong Fiber Optic Network policy.

That sounds so very cool and I really would like to have Fiber Optic Internet and the speeds it promises but… Fiber is an upgrade to what we have… it’s not the answer. I’m thinking we need more connectivity and multi-homed routing within our homes, schools, shops, and offices.

My vision is Internet connectivity via the power lines that serve any building that is ‘on the grid’. If you have commercial power and an appropriate router then you’ll have the basic Internet. You’ll have a static IPV6 internet address. It might not be fast but it would be available normally.

I’m also thinking DSL should be available wherever someone would want a telephone on the ‘POTS’ system… the regular dialup system supplanted by DSL. With that power line router now being multihomed with both the powerline and the DSL connection.

So, a home or office would have a basic power line Internet connection and, if they wanted a phone, they would have a faster, multihomed Internet connection making use of that powerline Internet and the phone line’s DSL service.

I’m thinking the power company would provide the Internet connection for free to any consumer who has an account in good standing. The router would be leased for a very low fee and possibly provided for anyone with a student of any sort for free. There could be upgraded routers and plans to create a secondary business for the power company or their designated subsidiary or contractor(s).

Those people opting for a DSL service would then return the power company’s router and make use of the phone companies router with a supplementary powerline connection. (You need power for the router anyway, so adding a simple Powerline Internet interface to the DSL router shouldn’t be that difficult.

A further option would be the use of any cellular bandwidth available when the cell subscriber is home… The cell phone(s) would be placed in a charging cradle that would multi-home the cell phone’s internet connectivity with the power company’s and/or the DSL router(s).

A hierarchal system of connectivity payments would then pay the power company a small fee for providing the lowest level of internet service where the basic Internet connection resides.

The next level above cellular would be the cable router for those people who opted for a cable company service. That router would replace any powerline, cellular, or DSL router. A system of trickle down payments would compensate the lower level providers for the enhanced services and bandwidth they might offer.

So how would it work? You’d fire up your PC and immediately have the Internet via the powerline connection. That would be a basic level service which could actually be fine for most users.

Next level would be that DSL service if the subscriber opted for a landline.

Next up would be the ‘cradled’ cell phone connections sitting in the charging/docking routers.

After that might be the broadband cable modem… There’s then that fiber Optic service and any other technologies.







There are Two Major Kinds of WordPress

There are two major kinds of WordPress

  1. WordPress dot com – Free and paid WordPress in a turnkey hosted package
  2. Self-hosted WordPress – Sometimes called WordPress dot org (but that causes a good bit of confusion)

The two kinds of WordPress can be further divided into Several Kinds of WordPress

WordPress dot com – Free and paid WordPress in a turnkey hosted package

  1. WordPress Dot Com – The Free WordPress Hosting Service – This is a great place to start out with WordPress… A free account at WordPress will help you later if you move up to self-hosted WordPress! Especially if you wish to run Jetpack and Akismet
  2. WordPress Dot Com – The Paid and ‘VIP’ Hosting Services – You might like this product from WordPress Dot Com as you’ll get a high level of support and at the same time you’ll have WordPress with a safety net where you don’t need to worry much about the Day to Day maintenance or update duties.

Self-hosted WordPress – Sometimes called WordPress dot org (but that causes a good bit of confusion) – let’s just call it self-hosted!

  1. Self Hosted – On some server account somewhere
  2. Locally Hosted – On a server owned by the individual or
    company involved in using it
Self-hosted and Locally Hosted WordPress can be further divided into
  1. Single Installs
  2. Multisite
  3. Multiple Installs
  4. Multinetwork/Multisite

Alternatives to WordPress dot com

WPEngine – A fine hosting service that’s well worth the money

WordsRack – Another fine hosting service that’s well worth the money and is closely coupled to Cloudflare

GuidedWP – My own service where I specialize in solutions and working myself plum out of a job! I’ll work closely with your choice of webhosts.


International Film Festival to Stream “Sorry We Missed You”

actors in the film Sorry We Missed You

“Sorry We Missed You,” by acclaimed director Ken Loach, is a stunning drama about work in the lower reaches of the gig economy and its effects on family ties.  Focused on a delivery driver, a home care nurse and their two children, it raises questions made ever more urgent by the COVID-19 crisis about essential workers and the challenges they face.

“Sorry We Missed You” is Available on YouTube Now…

From the Original Article at Source: International Film Festival to Stream “Sorry We Missed You”

Not forgotten – Raleigh Marshall (’05) discovers his great-great-great-grandfather, Paul Jennings

By Jazmine Otey (’20)

Raleigh Marshall (’05) recalls being surrounded by history since elementary school. Coach lamps that once belonged to Founding Father James Madison were mounted on the wall in Marshall’s basement.

There were also nearly a thousand black-and-white photos scattered about, many of which were taken by Addison N. Scurlock, a prominent photographer in Washington, D.C.’s African American community. Within the collection was a photo of Marshall’s great-grandmother, Pauline Jennings Marshall.

But it wasn’t until 2008 that Marshall discovered the significance of the family heirlooms within his ancestral home. Through his great-grandmother, he is the great-great-great-grandson of Paul Jennings, an African American enslaved attendant to James Madison and his family.

Elizabeth Dowling Taylor, a researcher, author and former director of education at Montpelier, Madison’s estate, invited Marshall to Montpelier to participate in a reading of the preamble of the U.S. Constitution, along with collateral Madison descendant Madison Iler Wing.

Madison banner 2018

Read More – Source: Not forgotten

Board Votes to Rename School of Business

Shenandoah University will remove the name of Harry F. Byrd, Jr. from our School of Business.

The decision, effective immediately, came on Wednesday, June 10, after a unanimous vote from the university’s 38-member Board of Trustees (present for the vote) to remove the name from our business school and board room in recognition of the school’s ongoing commitment to be a welcoming and inclusive institution for all.

At Shenandoah, we encourage the best, the brightest, the inspired, to come learn with us, in the spirit of equitable access for every one of our students. This decision today about the business school is reflective of our commitment to continuing efforts toward racial justice and equality for all.”

Board of Trustees Chairman Rob Frogale

This important decision is one of several steps we have endeavored to and will continue to take against racism and to establish a culture that is unequivocal in its commitment to Black lives and antiracism. The university is committed to deeply and continuously reflecting on our strategic plan and mission to foster a campus culture of “compassion, responsibility, advocacy, and justice, which graduates are inspired to replicate in communities beyond Shenandoah.”

The School of Business will join the School of Health Professions, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the Shenandoah Conservatory by not carrying an individual’s name.

In 1984, the Board of Trustees of Shenandoah College and Conservatory voted to honor Sen. Harry F. Byrd, Jr., a former state and U.S. senator, by naming the Shenandoah School of Business Administration after him. Byrd, a Virginia native and resident of Winchester, went on to become a distinguished lecturer at Shenandoah, where he spoke about his experience in government and being the first person in history to be elected to the Senate twice as an Independent. Byrd died in 2013.

While the Senator shared with many individuals later in life that he had changed his mind with regard to educational access, Byrd’s belief in the segregation of schools in the 1950s and his actions as a Virginia state senator on behalf of the Massive Resistance effort in Virginia run counter to our strategic plan and its mission of establishing a campus culture that fully embraces inclusion and diversity.

The board and I understand that we cannot be an institution that serves all students equitably when our business school still holds the name of an individual who denied full integration of schools. Although we cannot change history, we have the power to build a better future in which everyone is treated with respect and receives the same opportunities, regardless of race or ethnicity. With life comes experiences, relationships and education that illuminate historical injustices and help us better understand the injustices in our world today. That is what has happened here at Shenandoah. It is during this time in our national history, in which Black individuals continue to experience daily and systemic acts of racism, that we must stand up and act swiftly in order to move forward to a more fair and equitable future.”

President Tracy Fitzsimmons, Ph.D.

To that end, we’ve denounced racial injustice and are enacting several measures, including the establishment of an anonymous system to report discrimination, a review of our curricula to ensure that academic programs reflect and support the diversity of history and society, additional diversity and inclusion training for all members of the university community, and the establishment of a diversity scholarship to support recruitment and retention of students of color in underrepresented programs. Along with these actions, the university is committed to maintaining a posture of listening and learning from our Black students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

A virtual forum was held earlier Wednesday titled “Past, Present & Future: An Open Forum on the Naming of the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business.” Hundreds of Shenandoah students, staff and faculty members, alumni, and members of our Shenandoah community joined online to express their thoughts and concerns about the name of the university’s business school.

Source: Board Votes to Rename School of Business

Tourism class organizes virtual conference on the impact of technology on hospitality

June 9, 2020   /   by Anna Stolley Persky

In March, when Shawn Lee’s classes went online amid the coronavirus pandemic, he realized he’d have to make some changes to keep his class connected with the industry leaders. Lee, who teaches a class on hospitality, tourism and event management information systems at George Mason University usually brings speakers into his classroom. But with classes in the virtual realm, that was no longer possible.Lee decided to make the most of the new circumstances and assigned his 30 students a project in which they organized a virtual web conference about the impact of technology and coronavirus on hospitality. The event, held May 4, featured eight tourism and hospitality experts who shared their insights about e-tourism and gave advice to students about the skill sets they’d need for the new economy. The class also invited professors and students from other schools, such as Virginia Tech and George Washington University, to attend. About 58 individuals attended the conference, Lee said.

“The event turned into a great way for us to showcase Mason’s innovation,” said Lee, an associate professor in the College of Education and Human Development. “People from other schools could see that when there are hurdles, Mason students go over them to get to their learning experiences.”

In general, Lee said, he likes to include hands-on projects in his classes to encourage experiential learning. For the virtual web conference project, he divided his students into smaller groups to research potential speakers, send them formal invitations, coordinate their attendance and ensure the speakers had what they needed to make their presentations. Some industry experts who spoke waived their normal fees given the circumstances and in support of this student-led conference.

“The students learned that not only could they organize a virtual conference, which is widely considered as new norm of many business meetings, they also found that if they reach out to professionals, they might be surprised about how many people are willing to participate,” Lee said.

Mason senior Uomna Shoura, a tourism and events management major, said she enjoyed working on the project.

“It basically reemphasized the idea that there’s always something new happening in the industry, and people find ways to adapt to it,” she said.

Source: Tourism class organizes virtual conference on the impact of technology on hospitality

Carnegie Mellon Tackles the Digital Divide, Connects High-Need Students to Wi-Fi

Image of people on a roof with an antenna

When Kristopher Hupp started teaching high school social studies in the Cornell School District in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, his classroom had a chalkboard and a PC with a floppy disc drive.

Twenty years later, he’s the district’s director of technology and instructional innovation, responsible for leading the transition to remote learning in response to the spread of COVID-19. While all of Cornell’s classrooms have fast and reliable internet, not every student has a device like a Chromebook, and many lack reliable internet access at home.

“My stress level was through the roof,” Hupp said. “Lots of waking up in the middle of the night, trying to stay on top of all of the email and phone communication with families and trying to find devices, and making sure they got wirelessly connected.”

And the Cornell School District isn’t alone. According to Pittsburgh Public Schools, 46% of homes in its district don’t have access to reliable Wi-Fi. A 2018 survey found that as many as 60% of some Pittsburgh neighborhoods have no internet access, and many other urban, suburban and rural homes lack connectivity.

“Many of the most underresourced learners can’t get online,” said Ashley Williams Patton, director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Computer Science Pathways program.

To support the transition to remote learning, CMU CS Pathways is partnering with Pittsburgh-based nonprofit Meta Mesh Wireless Communities to provide free access to Wi-Fi in high-need communities across the Greater Pittsburgh Area, starting with a pilot program in Coraopolis.

Source: Carnegie Mellon Tackles the Digital Divide, Connects High-Need Students to Wi-Fi

A Dramatic Shift

Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama‘s transition to remote learning is opening up new opportunities to connect students with industry professionals and providing fresh approaches to courses that typically rely on face-to-face interaction.

Alumni from the school — including actors on Broadway, film and television; costume, sound and lighting designers; and stage managers — and industry veterans — including playwrights and casting directors — have guest lectured courses to discuss the crafts of singing, acting and design, life experiences, and the entertainment business. They also have led workshops — providing professional feedback on skills that could serve students through their careers.

Catherine Moore, teaching professor of movement and option coordinator of acting and musical theater, said the transition has been challenging. These crafts typically rely on actors and singers working together in the same room, feeding off each other’s physical energy and hearing one another in real time. But the new format has provided unexpected bright spots.

Moore teaches physical approaches to actor training, which focuses on how actors use their bodies to express behavior and communicate. For lessons in stage combat, Moore brought in CMU alumni Aleyse Shannon and Patrick Wilson. Shannon, a 2018 School of Drama graduate who acted in the movie “Black Christmas” and the television show “Charmed,” spoke about the differences between doing her own fight work on film versus television and described the experience of going from being a new graduate to working on set. Wilson, a 1995 School of Drama graduate, told students about filming fight scenes with Liam Neeson in “The A-Team,” wire work with Jason Momoa for “Aquaman,” and how his training in swordplay at CMU helped prepare him for the film adaptation of “Phantom of the Opera.”

Source: A Dramatic Shift

Gibbons Will Receive ACM’s Kanellakis Award

Phillip Gibbons

The Association for Computing Machinery has announced that Carnegie Mellon University’s Phillip Gibbons, professor in the Computer Science department and the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, will receive the Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award.

Gibbons will share the award with Noga Alon of Princeton University and Tel Aviv University, Yossi Matias of Google and Tel Aviv University and Mario Szegedy of Rutgers University. The award recognizes them for their seminal work on the foundations of streaming algorithms and their application to large-scale analytics.

In a series of papers published in the late 1990s, Gibbons and his colleagues pioneered a framework for algorithmic treatment of streaming massive datasets, the ACM said. Their algorithms remain the core approach for streaming big data and constitute an entire subarea of the field of algorithms. The concepts they introduced are routinely used in a variety of data analysis tasks in databases, network monitoring, usage analytics in internet products, natural language processing and machine learning.

Gibbons joined the CMU faculty in 2015. He previously had been principal research scientist at Intel Labs Pittsburgh and was the principal investigator for the Intel Science and Technology Center for Cloud Computing. He was a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories from 1990 to 2001.

The Kanellakis Award honors specific theoretical accomplishments that have had a significant and demonstrable effect on the practice of computing. Previous CMU recipients include faculty members Edmund M. Clarke, Randy Bryant, Daniel Sleator and Gary L. Miller and SCS alumnus Kenneth McMillan.

Source: Gibbons Will Receive ACM’s Kanellakis Award

Nothing in Particular…

I run an Auto Post Blog…

It is ‘Nothing in Particular’ as everything is ‘A Go’ in general.

I do exercise some restraint in Language and the suitability of content as I want this to be a place of adult conversation and knowledge but nothing that would offend anyone, young or old, as to the coarseness of talk. I’d like it to be a place where my grandchildren can visit and be entertained and enlightened. I sure wouldn’t want their grandma to chide me for the color of speech within.

Many of the sites I follow here are considered ‘Old School’ or well-established blogs. None of this Auto Blog is created for anyone but me. If someone else finds it interesting then that’s fine but this one blog is my creation for myself first. I use it to direct my own attention and help chart my own course through the rest of the web.

There’s podcasts, music, homesteading, animals, railroads, lighthouses, Space, Oil and Gas, Books, Outdoors, cooking, Science, paranormal, and other works mentioned here. Those are things I find interesting. Those may be of interest to me because a friend finds them interesting.

This is the one place where I feel ‘me first’ is best forward. My other efforts are for others. This one ‘me first’ locus may actually be my best contribution to the whole.

Do Enjoy. It helps if you’re into Fuller with a bit of Joe Bageant for balance.

Autopost Blogging

I’m not going to give out all my secrets here. It’s taken me several years to figure all this out and I build these sites for myself and others… I’m not about to write an article to compete against myself. But I’ve received requests over time asking how I do what I do.

The sites are powered by WordPress…

I host most of the sites on a GoDaddy Shared Hosting Account from my own where I’m a reseller. GoDaddy provides everything you need to get started but their database is somewhat small for a site that might grow huge after running for a time. I run my databases from a VPS to have the larger databases and unload some of the ‘stress’ from the shared host.

I also build at least two more sub-sites on a multisite server placed on a second GoDaddy shared host. The three accounts and/or servers together run about $40.00 per month. You can combine all of this into one if you need to save some cash but be warned… if this takes off you’ll need the bigger database and the two subdomains are ‘where things really happen’. They will require more horsepower if things become lively.

The two sub-sites import my RSS Feeds I use Feed WordPress which should be fine for all import tasks. The first subsite is considered an offline accumulator while the second is considered a holder.

The main site also runs Feed WordPress and XMLRPC.php. The main site uses it’s Feed WordPress to pull feeds from the ‘accumulator’ via RSS while the ‘holder’ account pushes new posts via Syndicate Out. The ‘holder account’ and/or the main site run the Press Forward system via their plugin.

Finding Feeds:

First, do several searches in your target niche markets. You’ll be looking to pull RSS Feeds into your blog via the accumulator sub-site. Once you find a suitable feed you’ll want to add that feed to the accumulator’s RSS Feed importer. You’ll need to tweak the setting of the accumulator to only import around 50 words of the syndicated site.

TIP: When nominating an article via Press Forward’s ‘Nominate This Bookmarklet’ you can also have Press Forward add their RSS feed to Press Forward’s feed import abilities. You can relegate Press Forward to your ‘holder tasks’ and let the holder account act as a secondary feed accumulator also.

TIP: You can use the API at YouTube to create YouTube RSS Feeds also. Your mileage on this may vary widely. I don’t use these much but I’m not really crazy about videos. Your site and market may dictate other results.

Note: The site called ‘holder’ is for feeds that need manual intervention and or editing. You’ll add those feeds to the RSS Feed Importer there. One thing you’ll want to do is set your importer to ‘manual posting’ by importing to ‘pending’ status.

The Syndicate Out Plugin used with the holder sub-site triggers on published posts. Edit the posts as you see fit and publish. If Syndicate Out is configured properly it will fire and upload the new post to the main website.

With accumulator, the main site will pull an RSS feed from the accumulator to itself and import the posts automatically. You can opt to import those feeds as pending and then use the Autopost plugin to post these on a wider schedule. I’ll leave that as an exercise to you, the reader.

There are other plugins I use with this setup. But these are the ones that make autoblogging happen. Here’s a list of the rest from my Guided WP website GuidedWP – Essential WordPress Plugins and Tools list.

You may at times find sites that get upset about you pulling their content for syndication… I’ve been doing this for five years and only had two requests or comments in that time.

One was early on from someone who said I was going to get sued immediately and the second was a complaint from someone who couldn’t understand why I pulled other feeds from sites like his but ignored him. It was a simple manner to add his feed and then reassure him all was working and well. He was delighted.

If you’re at all worried you might want to consider forming an LLC and also consulting with an attorney.

Respond promptly to any complaints explaining how this is a service aimed to benefit the niche market, the businesses and the vendors within the market you’ve chosen. Include instructions on how to OPT out (which should be your first action and already done anyway) and how to block the site from pulling further Feeds via IP.

Don’t pull feeds more than every two hours (even less is good). And only use the Title and about 30 to 50 words max. I always set my titles to the permalink of the contributing site.

Tip: Be very careful with images and videos. Some images are from sites that charge fees to use their images. You need to know they can come back on you with a sizable bill. Most proprietary images are watermarked but not all.

Same with videos. Don’t embed videos but instead provide a link to the video only. This is one of the reasons to have the holder account.

The holder isn’t auto published to the internet. Holder shouldn’t ever be linked to from the front end of your website. Neither should the accumulator sub-site be linked to.

A Note on Monetization: I use the Ebay Partner Network and LinkShare. You’ll want advertisers who provide RSS Feeds if you can find them.

Feel free to ask me for any other info. I may choose to expand on this and answer that way. I may choose to not answer due to a conflict of interests.

There’s much more to this than what I’ve covered but for the most part, a WordPress user should be able to read the docs and figure this out.

I’m considering covering other options to this such as using forums, ad servers and advertising, Press Foward, Buddy Press, eCommerce Store Fronts and possibly even CBOX with all the above.

Your positive comments and requests may drive further info.

The Satellite Shelter – Integrated Innovation Institute – Carnegie Mellon University

The Satellite Shelter

How can we help protect the homeless population against severe winter weather conditions?

In 2014, the city of Pittsburgh’s homeless population was estimated at 1,500, while its shelters only contained 375 beds.

Carnegie Mellon students addressed this concern during the College of Engineering’s Impact-a-Thon, part of the Innovation Palooza event that took place in early October 2014. Student teams that participated in the competition were given less than a week to research the problem and come up with temporary and economically viable shelters that could be erected during cold weather.

The Solution

Satellite Shelter is an affordable, easy to use temporary shelter that provides protection from life threatening hypothermia to people sleeping out in urban environment.

Source: The Satellite Shelter – Integrated Innovation Institute – Carnegie Mellon University

‘This is grind time’

Richard Xu (’18) and his team collect medical supplies for hospitals during pandemic

By Jazmine Otey (’20)

For the last three weeks, 23-year-old entrepreneur Richard Xu (’18) has stayed up all night sending emails and making calls to request medical masks from vendors in southeast Asia. After the masks arrive, free samples are distributed to labs and doctors’ offices in need of them. If they’re satisfied with the supplies, medical workers can place an order at a reduced price.

So far, Xu and his team have worked collaboratively to distribute more than 100,000 masks to assist medical facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everybody wants to be an entrepreneur, but no one wants to grind for it,” said Xu, a former Dukes football player. “Sacrificing a couple hours of sleep to protect a couple hundred doctors’ lives, I’ll do that any day. I’m trying to help these people out. It doesn’t matter if I lose a couple of hours of sleep. This is grind time.”

The overall process has been a team effort. The idea to help source masks for medical facilities manifested during a Zoom video call with Xu and a network of individuals with connections nationwide. The group met mostly through JMU X-Labs, a transdisciplinary program that encourages students to resist easy solutions and be fervent about innovation.

Many of the contributors are also a part of Xu’s hardware startup business, Vulcan Machine Co.

Read More – Source: ‘This is grind time’

Is AutoBlogging right for me?

Feces withe A Face: A Virtual Poem for #clmooc #poetryport

A promised made
to keep the poems
more physical
to find Pinksy’s history in
Meaning in the mundane
now tasked to describe virtually
I wonder
where is the
the line?
Asked since 1959
Do we taste and feel
in our online spaces?
The faces

Then I remember poop is virtual too!
What does it mean for poetry
When our feces has faces?

Source: Feces withe A Face: A Virtual Poem for