Author Archives: admin


I just thought of an idea, thanks to my grandma being in the hospital, and VERY ill. My idea is to get laptops into hospitals that have internet. They would be strictly for Skyping long distance family members. I think that seeing you loved ones face when they are EXTREMELY ill would be a nice touch. I’m gonna look into funding for this project. (Maybe Pepsi Refresh? Maybe the Hospitals?) But, there is a catch that the hospitals MUST have decent internet to stream video and they must have a WAP (Wireless Access Point). I would be incharge of managing the laptop(s), which would significantly reduce the cost. I’m also considering partnering with a local store (or our school) to obtain a few laptops to pilot my idea. I think this would be a VERY nice idea, like we could use it to skype with my grandma, who is VERY ill, instead of wasting precious minutes driving (Driving up to see her takes 3 hours. Who KNOWS what could happen in that time frame… 3 hours could mean the difference between life and death.
Thats it for now. It would be EXTREMELY nice if you could keep my Grandma and our family in your thoughts and prayers! -d (More later)

MWW/ESRI 4-H Ribbons made it!

4-H has a STRONG partnership with National Geographic’s MWW Campaign. We also have a EXTREMELY STRONG partnership with ESRI. I would like to personally thank MWW and ESRI for sponsoring 4-H youth. Every year, MILLIONS of youth are engaged in 4-H Activities. About 10,000 of those youth are youth that work with GIS and GPS. I don’t have the exact statistics, but I’m guessing 100,000+ man hours are contributed by the 4-H geospatial youth (in the US) at no charge to their communities. If you have a project that needs mapping, comment here, and I’ll see who I can hook you up with!

Abby Sunderland and Jordan Romero’s Dreams and Goals…

I personally know that goals and dreams are BIG! I’m also in the Education Technology Community. We all set our goals EXTREMELY high. We have NO idea what the outcomes are! We do know that we want the best for our kids. This is one of those things NOT to skimp out on. You are kids. You are teenagers. YOU ARE THE FUTURE! Parents need to be more lenient on the restrictions they set for their kids. Your kids have REALLY amazing ideas, but you need to LET THEM express it to you AND THEN say “OK” to them. Otherwise, your just putting their dreams and goals in a big hole, where your kids can’t get access to them until later.


Abby Sunderland

I’m feeling sad for Abby Sunderland. She is one amazing girl! She wanted to sail solo and circumnavigate the oceans! She failed though just west of Australia. I hope she will try AGAIN in a few months. I mean you can NEVER really leave your dreams and life goals just “half-way” completed, now can you? I  know MANY people thought this was crazy, but she knows her stuff. She has been on the water since she was a kid. I think Abby woke up the youth community to try to “sail” to their life’s dreams and goals. I REALLY hope she will try AGAIN, VERY soon! As with wildeyes, I don’t think she will ever forget her friend that she poured her blood, tears, and sweat into is gone. Team Abby has started a site asking for donations. PLEASE consider donating. Think about how much hard work, sweat, tears, and man power she poured into Wild Eyes.

UPDATE 6-16 @9pm: A reporter for the LA Times talked with Abby, and got more in-depth information then the media has covered. You can read his story here. I’m EXTREMELY proud that this reporter wrote this story. It comes from a 3rd party, and it is more believable then the family, and it backs the family up! Below are some quotes I found from it that I think are VERY inspiring.

UPDATE 6-16 @2am: I read an article on Abby from the AP Here. (I know, its a bit late but I was busy and didn’t notice this one!)

“I think my biggest regret is having to give up my dream, but I didn’t really have a choice,” she said. “I was definitely up for it and I definitely could have done it.”

“I still love sailing just as much as the day that I left and I’m definitely going to keep sailing and I hope to sail around the world someday,” she told the AP. “It’s been a dream or a goal of mine for years. I don’t know when or how I will, but I’m pretty sure I will one day sail around the world.”

UPDATE 6-15 @9pm: ABBY IS ON LAND! According to this caption and photo from the AP. She is on Kerguelen currently.

UPDATE 6-15 @2pm: It is REALLY SAD that they needed to release this post! 🙁 Oh well… (Sorry about being late, but I was busy!!)

UPDATE 6-15 @ 8:40am: Abby is nearing the Kerguelen Islands, where she will transfer to another vessel that will take her to Reunion Island, a French possession east of Madagascar. From there, in about a week, she will make her way back to California. 🙂

UPDATE 6-15 @ 12:15am: I have been talking to a Team Abby member on FB… “I’ve been meaning to write you. THANK YOU for your support for Abby’s journey. I’ve seen many of your posts. Trust me, Abby and her family appreciate supporters like you!!” They also told me “You’re pretty amazing too! I’ll consider you part of Team Abby!!” There really aren’t many words to describe Abby! (She needs to invent some new ones! – – “Amazing” just won’t cut it!! I’m now thinking too that Abby and Jordan are leading a REVOLUTION for youth to get off the couch and to do their goals and do their dreams! Keep up the good work girl! 🙂

UPDATE 6-14@11:30pm: Abby just accepted my friend request on FB! Gosh… This just made me think of something… She will NEVER have her regular life back for awhile (or ever again for that matter!)… I think this was her goal and dream still, otherwise I think she would have never gone. (Because of the privacy issue).

UPDATE 6-14@8:30pm: According to this post, they have cut ties to the production! The production company is SICK. They thought Abby would die at sea!!! 🙁 VERY SAD AND SICK! (and see… I guessed right! The mother was against it!)

UPDATE 6-14 @4pm: This is SICK! – – I can’t believe that something like this would come out RIGHT NOW! I KNOW NPR is a trusted source. I can’t believe that the parents would do something like this… PR NIGHTMARE! Here is a link to the information on the shows! This is another SAD article! 🙁 I think though that this had nothing to do with Abby’s voyage. Just LOOK how far Abby made it!! She would have NOT made it that far if she was part of a scam!!!!! I think this is mostly her father. If you NOTICED at the press conference, he seemed OK with letting her try again, while her mother wasn’t so sure…

UPDATE 6-14 @3pm: They have abandoned the thought of saving wildeyes. 🙁 I hope they will take my thoughts into consideration (Talking to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Google Foundation, and other Silicon Valley Companies…) HOPEFULLY someone will be willing to chip in BIG $.


A post from someone on Abby and their thoughts.

I have been following Abby Sunderland as she travels alone around the world in a sailboat. In the beginning I was concerned that her parents were not stopping her in this journey but actually encouraging her. I soon changed my mind. Abby is 16 years old and has been on the water since infancy. Her brother at age 17 went around the world last year successfully. I hear people talking about the cerebral cortex not even fully formed in Abby’s brain and thereby making it impossible for her to know risks or make thorough decisions. Not sure it applies to her. I started to wonder how much I would encourage my children, now grandchildren to explore uncharted waters and follow a passion at any age. What age is okay and what age is dangerous?

As I have followed Abby by her blog I realized that she is so well prepared and such a level headed teenager. She is different from the teenagers I have known. She has a gypsy in her that allows her to have the hubris to believe she can do something this difficult and survive. I know teenager think they are invincible but this is different. She has been challenged throughout the voyage, thus far ending with her a drift in the Indian Ocean with no sail and no communication satellite waiting to be rescued. As I look back over my life I realize that I never really tested myself to the limit. Sure I took risk but nothing of the magnitude of Abby. I encouraged my sons to be more adventurous and they traveled more than I had by the time they were 20. They married much later than I did. They explored life in a different way than I did. They quit jobs and started new careers in their 30’s. They followed passions which were harder than most. One jumped off a bridge with a bungy on his back. One was on TV for 7 years as a sports broadcaster (his dream from age 5) and then quit when he married and had a family and started a job that was commission only. I often thought I could sell shit to someone who had diarrhea but I never tried it.

With Abby facing daily challenges she has shown her might and her ability to remain calm in a storm (literally ) and continued to make choices by herself and with her team. Some decisions were made spur of the moment and in the middle of the night with waves knocking her sailboat to the side with sails in the water. She had her lucky charms but her real charm is in her desire to show real courage. She is not afraid and makes wise choices (like giving up the record and going a shore in Africa) because there were real harmful issues with her boat. She was eloquent in efforts to explain how and why she made those choices.

I am more than impressed with her and wish I could be more adventurous. I know my friends think I am more daring as I travel to third world countries by myself (but on a tour) and I paint and write but somehow, those passions don’t resonate with Abby’s. I tried as a mother to give my sons latitude in their choices and supported them when I felt able and dissuaded when I was anxious. But anxiety can’t rule your life. It ruled my 20’s thru 40’s but now in my early 60’s I am more out there than ever before and you know I like myself better than anytime in my life.

As I was waiting to hear if they would locate Abby last night I realized that if she didn’t survive she would have died doing what she loved and would rest in the ocean with the beauty and dignity that the journey commanded. How many of us can say that? She knew the risks, she prepared herself for them and as a rescue is now imminent she has done an amazing job.

I thought of her parents unconditional love, support and their faith that their daughter knew enough and was responsible and would survive yet another challenge.They were extremely worried, I know, but continued to believe in Abby. I think of her as wonderful example of courage and exploring this world in a unique and privileged way knowing all along it could end badly but having the love and passion from her family, team and the thousands who have traveled along with her on her blog. I think we will hear from Abby again whether she continues this journey or starts another one. She named her boat “Wild Eyes” and I truly believe it represents who she is and what stamina, courage, faith and the love of the ocean she has in her eyes and heart.

VIA Madge Stein Woods -


And yet, ANOTHER neat post from someone on Abby and their thoughts.

“I believe every human being has a finite number of heartbeats. I don’t intend to waste any of mine.” –Neil Armstrong, Omni Interview, 1988–

If you, like me, occasionally yearn for proof that there are still people who seek values, achievement and accomplishment, then you need look no further than Abby Sunderland, a 16-year-old girl who’s got more guts and glory in her pinkie finger than most people have in their entire bodies or lives.

Abby is the young lady who set sail last January in her 40-foot boat “Wild Eyes,” determined to circumnavigate the globe. Nonstop. Solo.

She ran into major problems in the middle of the Indian Ocean on Thursday (June 10th), however, and had her mast snapped by high storm waves and winds. Today, as of this writing, she was picked up safe and sound by a French fishing vessel.

In the wake of her failure, unfortunately, many are questioning Abby’s competence, her goals and her parents. As a fairly representative sample, consider this:

“If, at the age of 16, my daughter wanted to sail around the world by herself…I’d compliment her bravery and then lock her in her room, chain her to a tree or slip sleeping pills into her oatmeal.” (“Abby Sunderland: Brave girl, questionable choice,” Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times, June 11th.)

Not satisfied with domineering his child, however, Mr. Lopez believes Abby’s parents should do the same: “Where will mom and dad draw the line on around-the-world trips? Let’s hope they don’t have a 10-year-old who gets the bug next.”

But Abby’s father, who knows better, swept such criticisms aside: “Laurence Sunderland says he’d not only let her try again to sail around the world solo–he’d ‘absolutely endorse that wholeheartedly.’” (“Abby Sunderland’s dad: I’d let her do it again,”, June 12th.)

Mr. Sunderland knows what Mr. Lopez does not: that the response to your child’s dreams is to foster them and enable them to acquire the necessary knowledge and training to bring them about–not to “lock her in her room.” Way to go, Mr. Lopez! How long were you planning on leaving her chained to that tree? Forever? Or just until she’s 18, and hates your guts?

Nor is Abby herself daunted by her experiences: “I’m definitely going to sail around the world again, or at least give it another try,” she said, according to Australian broadcaster ABC.

Mr. Lopez, though, deadened as he is to the sheer magnitude of Abby’s aspirations, can only worry about who’s going to pay for her rescue: “I hope Qantas Airlines and anyone else involved in the search sends the bills to mom and dad in Thousand Oaks,” he said.

Have we become so alienated from honest attainment, so scornful of legitimate success, so derisive of striving for our visions, that the grandeur of this young lady’s greatness escapes us?

Yes, it can be dangerous to walk down an unwalked road. Since our rational faculties are not infallible, since our knowledge is not acquired automatically but through an act of mental effort, we can–and often do–make mistakes. Just because we can err in our thinking, however, is no reason to refuse to think; and just because we sometimes find ourselves temporarily at the mercy of forces beyond our control, is no reason to stop taking action.

Human existence, by its very nature, necessitates that we continue to grow, think and progress–to continue walking the unwalked road–even in the face of failure. Where would we be today if the people of the past had decided to “leave well enough alone”? Where would we be if Peter Cooper had never built the first steam locomotive; if the Wright brothers had never flown at Kitty Hawk; if Nikolaus Otto had never constructed the internal combustion engine? We would still be huddling for warmth in our caves.

It is a very small fraction of mankind who have the courage to challenge the unknown, and the culture around them, head-on; yet is this very small fraction that makes life for the rest of us possible. When such individuals seek their values they deserve rewards, not ridicule. Acclaim, not abuse. Encouragement, not enslavement.

To see the spirit that drives us all in the person of Abby Sunderland, 16-year-old girl, is a gift none of us have the right to expect. So, speaking for myself, I’d like to say: thank you, Abby, for proving once again that heroes and heroines still exist; and I salute you.

VIA Brad Harrington –


Jordan Romero

Jordan is ANOTHER teenager that is going BIG with their dreams. He made his goal with his father. He climbed to his dream! I’m VERY familiar with his goal. I have listened to many of Charlie Wittmack‘s talks. Charlie was the FIRST Iowan to summit Mount Everest! This was an AMAZINGLY hard goal. Jordan is only 13 YEARS OLD! He is planning on climbing again, but this time in Antarctica! I found out about Jordan, because he worked with ESRI to keep a webmap of where he was at on his journey.



BOTH of these teenagers are an inspiration to ALL youth (teenagers and kids). I KNOW some adults AND the media say “NO, that was VERY IRRESPONSIBLE! Their [Jordan and Abby] parent’s shouldn’t have let them do these unsafe goals.” but we NEED to change their thinking, so they then say “We need MORE of our youth to do stuff like this, do their life’s goals, do their life dreams.”!!!!! Parents who say “NO” RUIN their children’s life. It is an instant put down. I think  KNOW that both of these teenagers have inspired thousands, if not millions of youth (both teenagers AND kids) to reach their goals. Here is a news article on Jordan about people doubting him and his parents.

Update: Here is ANOTHER reason. Youth have NEVER done these “daring” dreams/ goals ever before, so this is another reason I think that adults say, “what BAD parenting.” But, I think that once more kids do these types of tasks, parents will be more ok with saying “yes” to their children. This is almost like Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier, but these kids are breaking the dream and goal barrier, showing ANYTHING CAN BE DONE!


“She dared and she who dares wins whether she made it or not.” – Bruce Clarke (FB)


**This is a post still in the works!**

Very Sad Day for Lane County 4-H

Lane County Oregon residents have voted ‘NO’ to keep 4-H and Extension Service in Lane County. Do the residents REALLY know how they use Extension, and who DEPENDS on 4-H and Extension? This is VERY SAD and VERY DEPRESSING. I picked this up on the National 4-H’s Facebook Page, someone had post it on there. This SHOULD NOT be happening. Thank goodness it is in only 1 county (for now). I know other STATES that have done away totally with 4-H! This was very close to me, because I have a friend who works for OSU Extension. EXTREMELY DEPRESSING and EXTREMELY SAD news releases here, here (article and video), here, here (article and video), here, here, here, and here.
**I know I’m from Iowa, but 4-H EVERYWHERE is VERY IMPORTANT to me. 4-H helps youth build life-long skills! 4-H also helps at-risk youth as well! 4-H is AMAZING!**
eXtension is here for EVERYONE! eXtension pools all the talents that you may need together in one place!

More links are here, here, here

Exciting map@syst project

I have been asked by eXtension map@syst to help pilot a project. I have a feeling the project is going to become something like a Ning group, but on the eXtension platform. I think this will be VERY nice, so youth in geospatial can ask the professionals when they need help, and also help each other out. They just asked me last night to do this, so I don’t know much more then that, not even what it looks like! I will be posting more as I know it here. I KNOW there will be some issue with confirming that the people who sign up are ACTUALLY youth. We had this issue when I was working to help plan out, the now dying, ACCESS 4-H. Although I LOVE how Iowa 4-H has done their Ning group, where they fwd requests to area personal, who can contact the counties to confirm membership.

Women in Technology

The facts about women in Technology is amazing.
57% of 2008 undergrad degree recipients were women. This is an amazing percent! Women take over the men in undergrad degrees!! This shows a few things, 1) Women are getting more educated then men, 2) If women were to continue on the path of education at this rate, more women would be more educated to take on higher jobs in the workforce. This means that, potentially, women have a chance to take men over in the work place. They could also push more people into the Science, Engineering, and Technology sector, which has been dominated by men for a while now.
18% of 2008 computer and info sciences undergrad recipients were women. This percent is a good percent to be at, but it needs to grow. I, personally, would like to see this percent to grow to be higher and more even. Women need to work harder to make this field grow!
56 % of AP test takers are female. This too, is also an amazing percent. Women are on top of men again!
51% of AP Calc test takers are female. This is a great percent to be at! This shows that women are advanced in the Math field. After the Math field, comes the Tech field. The percentage here is a good number, but it would be nice to see it rise. 17% of AP Computer Science test takers were female. This is a start women! You still have to keep on trucking! If the 17% graduate, this will add to the Tech field, which is a great sight to see!
28% of Computer Scientists (2008) were female. This is an AMAZING percent. Women hold almost 1/3 of the Computer Scientist positions! It would be extremely nice to see this number climb to 40 and 50% in the future.
Technology is a growing and very demanding field. I think that these statistics show that we ALL under estimated the number of women in the STEM fields. I would like to thank Sarah Cofer ( for providing the facts from NCWIT Summit on Women and IT (

Tedx Des Moines

Today was Amazing! I talked with some amazing people! Social connections is the KEY! I talked with Charlie Wittmack (Friend of my Cousin’s). He climbed Mount Everest. I guess he is going to be doing a world triathelon now! Another I talked to is the superintendent of Van Meter Schools, John Carver. They have implemented 1:1 laptop program that is going well. We hope to get one of those going here in Nevada as well. The first two were speakers. I also talked more with Leigh Zeitz. Leigh is an Associate Professor of the Instructional Technology Division – Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction at UNI. I also met up with a High School Junior from Cedar Rapids. Tanner is interested in futuristic technology where humans interact MORE with each other (face-to-face) with technology. I’m hoping to get Tanner a tour over at ISU’s VRAC and HCI. I think that Tedx and Ignite are GREAT ways to get your social network built up and interact with other’s who carry the same interest as you do! See my brief notes here. I’m hoping to rewrite the notes. I’m also planning to add in notes from twitter tweets.

Tedx Des Moines

2:18 pm: mike from raygun starts off tedxdesmoines
2:24 pm: John carver
– teachers are facilitators
– wikis, blogs, ning
– moved from consumer of info to creator of info
– quiet kids are
– direction came from the SCHOOL BOARD!
– challenged to become a GLOBAL school!
– every child is looked on individually
– laptops are like a chorus…
– 15 current school
– 30 schools next year
– sigourney has business classes that lend $2500 out to students to have start ups!
– 1 of 4 schools on the PLANET! ( 1:1 laptops and virtual reality)
– NOT Turning out teachers with tech stuff
– need to do a tech project to graduate!
– Setting up times next fall for visits
– we are creating a tech ready workforce
– used 1cent sales tax money or plant and something levy…
– lease so you can get most current tech
– students are in contact w/ engineers at mechdyne, Rockwell collins, universities
3:05 pm: Christian workplace 2020
(from his eldest daughter Emma – 8 born on same day as iPod)
– different looking plants
– flying cars
– different food
– blur monkeys
– different creatures
– digital natives & imigrants are going to be in the workforce (issues)
– by 2020, 76 m boomers will be retiring
– by 2020, 60 m new workers
– 16+ m. Jobs?
– challenges
– in 2020, 52% of workers will be older than 45
– nearly 13% of all us workers will be self employed
– health care – #1
– finance and it – #2
– science and tech – #1
– digital natives and immigrants
– skype, wave, Twitter
– tech will help
– humans work best face to face
– diversity
– skill set (set)
5:15 pm: the third space
– we spend so much time trying to find happy people
– graphs…..