What’s Next for Humanity?

On July 20, 1969, Mission commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin became the first human beings to land on the Moon. Since that time, there have been six manned U.S. landings, and to date, the United States is the sole country to have completed successful manned Moon missions.

It was thought at the time of the first lunar landing, that human beings would certainly be colonizing the solar system by now, but here we are in 2017, still securely fastened to Earth. Furthermore, if we look at the current state of the U.S. space program, it would seem as though we’re actually moving backwards.

We’ve survived the great man-made threat to human civilization that was the Cold War, and outside of the current U.S. President ticking off one of the seven other nuclear weapons states with his lack of filter or decorum…the threat of a nuclear war has quelled

So, if we haven’t exactly advanced, but, we still haven’t destroyed ourselves yet, what’s next?

“What’s next?” is the question explored by Physics major, Daniel James Barker on the “Next Steps” episode of his science based podcast, The Uncertainty Principle. It’s an interesting listen that immediately pulls you in, and doesn’t let go until the very end, check it out below:

 

Smart Technology to Aid Human Trafficking Victims

Twin Sisters America and Penelope Lopez at Cal State LA

Mexican American twin sisters, America and Penelope Lopez were teenagers when their aunt was abducted and sold into a human trafficking ring while crossing the Mexico-US border.

Although their aunt managed to escape her captors by crawling out of a public bathroom window, the girls were deeply affected by the event, and smart enough to realize most girls and women aren’t so lucky, so they decided to do something about it.

America and Penelope, dubbed “The Cyber Code Twins” are in the process of developing “Beacon of Hope,” a tracking device that can turn a tampon or pad into a distress signal; here’s how it works:

The tiny devices are meant to be hidden inside tampons and sanitary napkins, where the victim will be able to stow it away inside her purse or pocket. Once activated, the device will send a signal that will alert law enforcement, who will then be able to track the victim’s location.

The beacons will be available in women’s public restrooms, because human trafficking victims often report this is the only place they are allowed privacy, if only for a few moments.  The goal would be to make these devices available at restrooms in gas stations, highway rest stops, stadiums, and casinos.

The devices use Gimbal’s iBeacon technology, along with the technologies of IBM Watson, AT&T Smart Cities, Intel Edison and AT&T Flow Designer. At the time of the writing of this post, the Lopez sisters are working to make advancements to the functionality of the devices.

America and Penelope Lopez were raised in the Ramona Gardens Housing Projects in East Los Angeles, and they graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School. They now attend Cal State LA, and they aspire to careers in technology via their own start-up, as well as to be role models for other Latinos interested in tech. Check out their website to learn more: Cyber Code Twins.

 

Why You Should Learn WordPress

If you’ve thought about starting a business to make money on the Internet, starting a brick and mortar business and building a website for branding purposes, or creating a blog or website for personal purposes, you should learn to use WordPress.

WordPress is a content management system (cms) that allows anyone to create a blog or website without actually knowing how to code. If you can create a PowerPoint, you can build a site or blog with WordPress.

Some of the top brands in the world use WordPress, from Sony and Disney, to Google and Facebook. Here are some reasons why you should learn to use WordPress:

– WordPress is open source or free software

– WordPress has thousands of themes and tens of thousands of plug-ins

– WordPress has a large, supportive community of users

– WordPress is notoriously easy to learn

– WordPress is versatile, you can use it to create a blog or website

– WordPress is safe

– WordPress is SEO friendly

– WordPress can handle all types of media; text, video, audio, etc.

Back in the day, WordPress used to be the “go to” software for blog creation, and it still is, but it can also be used to create fully functional websites.

Another reason you should learn how to use WordPress has to do with strengthening your skills and portfolio for a web design/development career. For me, learning how to code is a huge goal.  I’ve been playing around with code since before I knew what I was doing, back in the days when I manipulated the “stuff behind the scenes” to customize my Myspace page…

I’m interested in front-end development, and learning to build a web site from scratch, with HTML, CSS and Javascript is my main goal. I also want to master WordPress, because it powers some of the most beautiful sites and blogs on the web, and it takes the heavy lifting out of site creation.

I believe having the ability to hand code, as well as knowing a content management system like WordPress will allow me to be versatile and more employable. But, there are many WordPress ninjas out there getting paid to create killer sites and blogs with absolutely no idea how to write a single line of code.

If you want to learn WordPress, one of the best resources to use is the Team Treehouse WordPress training course.  Check it out and let me know what you think.