Travel

Action Items from Blogging While Brown 2014

The Blogging While Brown conference, now in its 7th year, is a great place for bloggers of color to convene, learn, and have fun.  I attended for the second time, and while it was fun to return home to the New York area, I wanted to leave with some action items to implement.  I'm going to make the list public so that I can be held accountable - feel free to call me out!

  1. Develop a writing schedule
    • Currently aim for weekly content, but I'd to do something more concrete.  I'm going to start writing 30 min on Mon, Wed, and Fri  - even if that means only one blog post goes out a week. The end goal is to have 2-3 posts a week.
  2. Investigate STEM freelancing opportunities
    • Begin pitching article ideas to publications that I'm already reading.  Even if I'm rejected several times, I'll still gain valuable pitch writing skills.
  3. Provide STEM services for local businesses
    • Starting with the local Chamber of Commerce, I'm going to create a list of small businesses that may benefit from someone with a STEM background.  Eventually I'm going to increase the range from Milwaukee to Chicago
  4. Increase Science / Math tutoring opportunities
    • Get list of existing tutoring opportunities in libraries, churches, community centers, etc that fit the hours of 6-8 on weekdays or anytime on the weekends.
    • Consider starting my own tutoring service
  5. Speak at a conference
    • Create a speaker link on the site, which will borrow content from the Press section. The section will include a list of topics I can speak on, and video / photography of me speaking.
    • After the section is created, I can refer to it when apply to science related conferences for speaking.

 

 

Houston, We Have A Shareef

I'm in Houston, and I'll be reporting live from another one of my favorite events - NASA socialAs usual, I'll be tweeting from @ShareefJackson using the #NASASocial hashtag - check it out!  I'll bring the latest news even though I'm surrounded by the wonders of Whataburgers and various BBQ places. I even drove past a place named Hot Biscuit ... hmmm ...

This time, I'll get to speak with the crew of Expedition 36, who will be heading up the International Space Station in May of 2013 via the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Image above: Pictured on the front row are Expedition 36 Commander Pavel Vinogradov (left) and Flight Engineer Fyodor Yurchikhin. Pictured from the left (back row) are Flight Engineers Alexander Misurkin, Chris Cassidy, Luca Parmitano and Karen Nyberg. Photo credit: NASA

Image above: Pictured on the front row are Expedition 36 Commander Pavel Vinogradov (left) and Flight Engineer Fyodor Yurchikhin. Pictured from the left (back row) are Flight Engineers Alexander Misurkin, Chris Cassidy, Luca Parmitano and Karen Nyberg. Photo credit: NASA

I'll also get a behind the scenes view of Johnson Space Center, including Mission Control and the Robonaut lab. There are autonomous robots that help NASA with many tasks, including one on the space station itself!

Robonaut ISS Checkout

Mission Control is where they coordinate flights once they have been launched, and of course we all know "Houston, We Have A Problem"

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for the latest updates!

Crappy Wireless Internet? Bring Your Own

Chilling with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1"), a great tablet with mobile wifi to boot.

Chilling with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1"), a great tablet with mobile wifi to boot.

Starbucks. Amtrak. Barnes & Noble.  All of these place offer the promise of free WiFi so that customers can freely browse questionable internet sites at their leisure. However, what always happens? The signal is crappy! Too many people are on it! It's too slooowwwww.

One way to get around this is to carry around your own WiFi signal. Most cell phone and tablet devices such as the Apple iPad or the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1") pictured above contain an option that allows the device to broadcast its own WiFi signal. Confusingly, this can be called different things - Apple calls it Personal Hotspot, Verizon calls it Mobile Hotspot, and Windows Phone calls it Internet Sharing. 

This may be an additional charge to enable mobile WiFi - AT&T charges me an extra $20/mo for my iPhone to share a WiFi signal. The price is worth it when I'm stuck somewhere with a crappy WiFi signal and I need to get work done. However, it WILL eat up your battery and drive up your data usage and potentially cost even more, especially if you're connecting using your laptop and visiting data heavy sites such as YouTube and Netflix. I've definitely been hit up with a bill that was significantly higher than I was used to because I didn't watch my data consumption.

BrothaTech also has a great piece on mobile hotspots last year - check that out by clicking here.

Shareef Does Like It ... Rock The Space Station

Shareef surfing Galaxy Tab 2.png

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I spent Wednesday in downtown DC at the latest NASA Social event. The main part of the event was televised, and I've embedded the video below. It includes a Q&A session with astronaut Don Petit dealing with the process of turning urine into drinkable water (or "yesterday's coffee into today's coffee" as he put it".  The coolest part has to be when we were able to speak directly to astronauts, including social media maven Chris Hadfield, that are currently in orbit inside of the International Space Station. Skip to 1:29:00 to see yours truly asking a question about engineering safety to Dr. Tara Ruttley!

If you can't see the video below, please click here

I live tweeted the event and the details of the lectures - please see below!.

They're Trusting Me With the International Space Station

T  he International Space Station is featured in this image photographed by an STS-134 crew member on the space shuttle Endeavour after the station and shuttle began their post-undocking relative separation. Undocking of the two spacecraft occurred at 11:55 p.m. (EDT) on May 29, 2011. Endeavour spent 11 days, 17 hours and 41 minutes attached to the orbiting laboratory. Source: NASA
The International Space Station is featured in this image photographed by an STS-134 crew member on the space shuttle Endeavour after the station and shuttle began their post-undocking relative separation. Undocking of the two spacecraft occurred at 11:55 p.m. (EDT) on May 29, 2011. Endeavour spent 11 days, 17 hours and 41 minutes attached to the orbiting laboratory. Source: NASA

I'm currently on an Amtrak train headed for DC for my first NASA social meeting at NASA headquarters. I'm joining a bunch of fellow space enthusiasts meeting with astronaut Don Petit and joining a Q&A with NASA astronauts Kevin Ford and Tom Marshburn, and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield aboard the space station. Finally, we'll speak with the Associate Administrator for the Human Exploration & Operations Mission Directorate and experts discussing science aboard the orbiting laboratory.

I'll be tweeting like a mad man so make sure to follow me there - @ShareefJackson! I promise, I won't cause a software glitch with the space station!