Posts Tagged: Women

Tidbits for Palm Sunday

The Snow, it is falling and falling this weekend in Mammoth
Sun. 04.09.17 – The Snow, it is falling and falling this weekend in Mammoth – photo by Ms. Jen with her Lumia 950

Tidbits for a Sunday afternoon’s reading:

The Art and Design of End Papers

The beautiful choral music of Suor Leonora d’Este

Thinker, tailor, soldier, spy: The extraordinary women of Ghiyas-ud-din Khalji’s harem

Erica Wilson, The Julia Child of Needlework

Which led to the Queen’s Coronation Gown and her Maids of Honor, then and now:

A book review that is a good read in and of itself:The Souls of China by Ian Johnson – the resurgence of religion after Mao

“Johnson spends weeks with Taoist musicians, whose ritual performances bring the deceased “over to the other side”. He attends an unregistered Christian church in western China that challenges the party’s claim to be moral arbiter of society. He dines with celebrity Zen Buddhists, who dispense wisdom to real estate developers, the offspring of party aristocracy, executives and bank managers. He practises qigong – religious breathing exercises and meditation – with a master in an apartment block reserved for once-persecuted party elders rehabilitated after Mao’s death. With nicely understated irony, Johnson weaves the political rituals of the self-proclaimed atheistic CCP through this calendar: its conferences held in the Great Hall of the People, a communist temple saturated with legitimising ritual symbols; the intensely ritualistic departures and ascensions of communist leaders. “Like a Taoist priest,” he observes of Hu Jintao anointing a successor at the 18th party congress in November 2012, “Hu emulated an immortal … dyeing his hair jet-black to make himself look ageless, and surrounding himself with propaganda banners conferring immortality on the Communist party.””

Note to Self: Go on one of these UK walks
It’s blooming spring! 22 great UK walks

After spending so much time in Arizona the past two years, this article on living in Arizona is spot on.
Mike Powell : Why I live Where I liveZonies: Part 7
with a link to Walter Percy’s Why I Live Where I Live

Unusually strong April storm headed for Northern California this week : This storm was fun. I spent it up at Mammoth. My Instagram documents: 1, 2, 3, 4

Who Said Girls Can’t Jump?

From the NYTimes Sunday Magazine, “Who Said Girls Can’t Jump?“:

The resistance to women in ski jumping makes frustratingly little sense when you recognize what female jumpers can do. “The gap between men and women in ski jumping is so small, you can’t believe it,” Bernardi told me. “Every year, with girls like Sarah, the girls are flying better, better, better.” Today, he said, there might not actually be another sport in which, at the superelite level, the differences in male and female capability are so minimal. “Maybe there is something with horses? Equestre? But even there it is half the horse.”
Van said she believed that this is also the reason women have been excluded from the top competitions in the sport for so long. “If women can jump as far as men, what does that do to the extreme value of this sport?” she asks. “I think we scared the ski-jumping [establishment].”
There is so little difference between women and men in the sport because lightness and technique count just as much as muscle and power. A jump can be separated into four sections: the in run, where balance is crucial as the athlete pushes off a start bar and goes down a track; the jump, where within a tenth of a second the athlete transitions from rushing down the track to a hard-push takeoff; the flight, where skis are kept in V-formation, and the ideal model for the body is a kite, paper thin, but with enough surface to catch good air; and finally, the landing, which is often done in telemark style, meaning one ski in front of the other. A ski jump is measured by judges for both distance and style. Women are allowed to start from a higher point on the jump because of their lighter weight (for heavier women, this can be an advantage).

Girls can ski jump. Girls can code. Girls can do math. Girls can be astronauts. Girls can be pro photographers. Girls can be pro surfers. Girls can jump. Girls can do it.
Read the article.

Ada Lovelace Day: Year 2, I Nominate Caitlin Kilroy & Victoria Chowney

Today is the 2nd Annual Ada Lovelace Day, in where I am to blog about a woman in technology that I admire.
After reading Vikki (aka Victoria) Chowney’s Ada Lovelace Day post this morning, I decided that I would like to write about two kick ass twenty-something women that I know personally who are both very influential in persuading others to engage in technology: my cousin Caitlin Kilroy and Ms. Victoria Chowney.
On Sunday morning, I had a lovely breakfast with my cousin Caitlin and her mother Robin. During the course of the breakfast, I found myself explaining to my (now ex-) aunt that Caitlin was very influential in getting more than a few of her friends and relatives to join and engage in Facebook. Robin was at first baffled, but when I asked her, knowing what the answer was, how she joined Facebook and now has it logged in and turned on all day every day, she said that it was to keep track of Caitlin on her big adventures.
Last year, Caitlin a tall willowy then 24 year old blonde, announced that she was going to take a year to travel from California to South America via the Transamerican Highway. The family erupted in calls of No Way! I cried bullshit to most of them. If Caitlin were a 24 year old boy cousin, no one would say a damned thing but would instead brag how cool he was to travel through some interesting terrain, but because Caitlin is female there was a big hew and cry.
Luckily, Caitlin did not pay attention to them and just went. Good on her. The family was at first shocked, then my sister and I noticed that Caitlin was posting updates and photos from her adventures to her Facebook account. Then I noticed over time that family members and various friends of Caitlin joined Facebook and started to get over their own fear of technology and Caitlin’s choice of travel route to cheer her on via her Facebook Wall and photo comments.
When my grandma or mom would ask if anyone knew where Caitlin was now, my sister Allison & I could give a report due to Caitlin’s intrepid use of Facebook no matter the location. As I explained to Caitlin’s mom at breakfast, Caitlin is a technology influencer, as folks who previously did not use Facebook to interact are now using it daily because of Caitlin’s big adventures and using Facebook to report on same said and connect back home.
Caitlin is currently in LA to get her certification to teach yoga before returning to Peru to teach yoga there. She just assumes that no one will worry as she is just a click away on Facebook.
My other favorite mid-twenty-something kick ass technology lady is London’s Victoria Chowney. Vikki in her own Ada Lovelace post details out her own involvement in the technology world via an early career in tech pr, but a cursory read under estimates her depth and breadth of knowledge of the digital and technology spheres as well as her passion for the intersecting worlds of technology, community, and communication.
In late September 2009, Vikki invited me to the launch party of Reputation Online, web community to further deepen the interstices and encourage connections between new & social media & technology with older media and more traditional public relations. Vikki is the editor of Reputation Online and has put a great deal of effort into making the site into a great resource for best practices in social media and new media public relations, as well as expanding the knowledge community in the fields of communications and technology. Vikki’s passion and drive to further push the communications field into the 21st century is truly awe inspiring.
So, to my two favorite young women in technology the future is yours, ladies, thankfully. Go forth and kick ass.
My post from last year’s Ada Lovelace Day :: Cousin Lynn

Ada Lovelace Day :: Cousin Lynn

Cousin Lynn
Photo by Ms. Jen at the family Easter lunch 2007.

For Ada Lovelace Day, I would like to celebrate the achievements of my Cousin Lynn and the other women of her generation in tech.
According to family lore, in the early 1960s, Cousin Lynn (aka Lynn Langtry), age 19, took a administrative position at a company in Los Angeles. The company needed people to help punch out cards that ran the programs on the computer and Lynn volunteered, punching cards turned into learning how to program the computer.
From this fortuitous beginning as a programmer, in 1970, Lynn took a position with Computer Sciences Corporation, contracting for the US government, programming computers in such exotic locations as Hawaii, Alaska and Iran before the fall of the Shah.
As a child, I knew that my mom’s best cousin was an adventurer and lived a secret classified life. As a teenager, when Lynn returned to California, I knew her as my mom’s super cool cousin Lynn who had a job that no other woman I know had. Lynn worked for NASA! But it wasn’t until I started to get involved in the web in 1994-96, that I really got to talk to Lynn about programming, tech, and computers.
One of my favorite conversations with Lynn about programming was about 2000, she was grousing about how tediuos XML seemed, in a class she was taking. She, the woman with nearly 40 years of programming experience, asked my opinion on XML. We both agreed that it was a good data structure, but felt that all the hype of the time was just hype.
Lynn has been a big supporter of my choosing a career in tech and whenever we get together at Easter or Thanksgiving we talk about what is up in the web world, even though she has been retired to a serious “career” in golf and the like for the last 5 or so years.
Given how hard it has been to take up web development and programming as a woman in the 1990s and 2000s, I greatly admire Lynn and her whole generation of women (& men) who pioneered the computer programming field, who worked hours on end in windowless basements in government buildings in Alaska, who worked programming in Tehran, who had opportunities to create a new field.
Thanks, Ada. Thanks, Lynn. Thanks to all the thousands of other women who are programmers and have been an encouragement to many women.