Article: Babysitting Co-Op forecasts economic recession

I started a babysitting co-op for fellows and their families today. Each family starts with five "points." You can earn points by babysitting other fellows' kids, and you can spend these points on other fellows babysitting your kids.
#points = #kids * #hours

You can also earn points by hosting/attending playdates. 
The host of a playdate receives [#points = #hours * #kids that attended]. 
The parents who stay at the playdate with their kids can also earn [#points = #hours] that they participated in a playdate. 
Parents who drop off their kids and pick them up later spend [#points = #kids * 1/2*#hours] that they participated in the playdate.

This article, from a fellow fellow, details the reasons why the babysitting co-op failed. Originally run by congressional fellows (young, intelligent professionals), people started to hoard the "scrips" (or babysitting currency). So the scrips went out of circulation.


Software: Data Visualization

Here's a review of data visualization tools from Randy Krum, who wrote Cool Infographics:

With his blog here: http://www.coolinfographics.com/

And some other bits and pieces to check out:
Tree maps
(From Carlos)

All pooled together with more resources on our AAAS Fellow FIRE Affinity Group website for Federal Innovation and Research Evaluation: https://sites.google.com/site/aaasfellowfire/resources

...blogging about good ideas. Data visualization makes light bulbs turn on inside our brains -- we start thinking down different connections.


Local: Autumn apple picking, pumpkin picking, and foliage

Article posted in our HoCo Kids 2012-2014 Facebook group, detailing the pick your own farms around the area, and a few spots for fall foliage:


More Fall Travel: Apple Orchards, Pumpkin Patches and Leaf-Peeping

Where to find the best fruit for picking and eating and great places to view the brilliance of fall.

Apple Orchards

Where to find the best fruit for picking and eating.

Butler’s Orchard: Butler’s is the place to go for fall fun, with pick-your-own apples starting in late August. They also have a Pumpkin Festival every weekend in October, which includes hayrides, giant slides, and a straw maze! 22200 Davis Mill Rd., Germantown. 301-972-3299butlersorchard.com.

Larriland Farm: This impressive Woodbine farm has a terrific selection of apples come fall. Check the pick-your-own harvest calendar online for a detailed guide of when to expect what type of apple—from Galas in late August to mid-September to Pink Ladies in late October to early November. 2415 Woodbine Rd., Woodbine. Tues.-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 410-422-2605pickyourown.com.

Milburn Orchards: Milburn’s apple season starts Labor Day weekend. Be sure to try their country-fresh pies, apple-cider donuts, and caramel apples, all made fresh in their Bake Shoppe. 1495 Appleton Rd., Elkton. Market hours: Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. You-pick hours: Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 410-398-1349milburnorchards.com.

Weber’s Cider Mill Farm: Kicking off with their Johnny Appleseed Festival the weekend of September 22, apple season at Weber’s Cider Mill Farm offers a great selection. Also, try their fresh-pressed apple cider. Weber’s is the oldest Maryland cider mill in continuous use, so they’re sure to get it right. 2526 Proctor Ln., Parkville. Sept.: 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Oct.: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. 410-668-4488weberscidermillfarm.com.

Pumpkin Patches

For baking or carving, there’s a great gourd for you.

Glade Link Farms: Glade Link’s fall season starts on September 15 with pick-your-own pumpkins, green beans, winter squash, and more. 12270 Woodsboro Pike, Keymar. 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Closed Tues. and Thurs. 301-898-7131gladelink.com.

Homestead Farm: Homestead has a huge selection of apples and pumpkins in the fall, with hayrides to the pumpkin patches on weekends in October. 15604 Sugarland Rd., Poolesville. Mon.-Sun. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 301-977-3761. homestead-farm.net.

Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch: With 15 acres of pumpkins, hayrides, a petting zoo, and a corn maze, Jumbo’s offers tons of family fun. 6521 Holter Rd., Middletown. Pick-your-own pumpkins and hayrides: Fri.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 301-371-6874jumbos.org.

Rodgers’ Farms at North Run Farm: In addition to pick-your-own pumpkins, the farm has one of the most impressive corn mazes around. Opens the third week in September. 1818 Greenspring Valley Rd., Stevenson. Fri. 12-6 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 410-241-3392northrunfarm.com.

Sharp’s at Waterford Farm: On weekends, this Howard County farm offers free hayrides to their pumpkin patches. 4003 Jennings Chapel Rd., Brookeville. Mon.-Fri., beginning Oct. 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sat.-Sun., beginning Sept. 29, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 410-489-2572sharpfarm.com.

Summers Farm: Starting September 21, this farm offers more than a pumpkin patch, with fun activities like pig races. 5620 Butterfly Ln., Frederick. Times vary. 301-620-9316summersfarm.com.

Leaf Peeping

Here are some great places to view the brilliance of fall.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park: Covering the intersection of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, this historic community offers hiking trails through former battlefields, museum exhibits, and much more. 171 Shoreline Dr., Harpers Ferry, WV, 304-535-6029nps.gov/hafe.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Museum, & Gardens: George Washington’s former home is host to four separate gardens spread over six acres of land, each serving a different purpose, from producing fruits and vegetables to growing flowers. 3200 Mt. Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mt. Vernon, VA, 703-780-2000mountvernon.org.

Patapsco Valley State Park: Come see the vibrant fall foliage, including oaks and red maple leaves, along the state park’s many hiking trails. 8020 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City. 410-461-5005dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/central/patapsco.asp.

Shenandoah National Park: With 200,000 acres of protected lands and 75 overlooks, one is sure to see the colors of autumn here. 3655 Hwy. 211 East, Luray, VA, 540-999-3500nps.gov/shen.

Strasburg Rail Road: Take the train across acres of Amish farmland in Lancaster County, PA, during the fall harvest. Rt. 741 East, Strasburg, PA. 717-687-7522strasburgrailroad.com.

Sugarloaf Mountain: See the leaves change colors from 1,282 feet above sea level. In addition to the spectacular view, Sugarloaf offers miles of trails, where visitors can hike or ride horses. 7901 Comus Rd., Dickerson. 301-874-2024sugarloafmd.com.


Tip: LinkedIn: How to deal with "Add All Connections"

LinkedIn -- it's now considered "essential" for professional networking, especially if you're looking for a job. Chances are that your connections won't know of a job, but their connections probably will.

...But what happens with the LinkedIn mobile app when you try to click on "add all connections"? I used to have an Android, which synced all of my Google contacts. This included anyone who had emailed me and anyone whom I had emailed for various groups (from my department to the Hopkins Imaging Conference to the Association of Women in Science). Some of these emails weren't even on behalf of my own name, but were sent from the email as the head of a group (e.g., "johnshopkinsimaging@gmail.com"). Needless to say, when my phone found all of these people's email addresses on their LinkedIn accounts, and then my finger accidentally brushed against "Add All Connections," and then there was no "Confirm" button.... a LOT of invitations got sent out.

Now, many folks accept everyone who's added them. This is a standard and encouraged practice for building a network. However, I'm a little uncomfy with being linked to just anyone, so I'll usually only accept or add people whom I've met in person. Or if someone sends me a personal message with their reason for wanting to connect, I'll consider accepting. So how to deal with this influx of random connections?

Well, you can go to all of the people who have accepted this blanket invitation (and there will be folks that accept your invite within the first few minutes of your sending it) by clicking on "Connections" --> "Recent" (described here: http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/49/~/removing-a-connection). However, this eliminates the ability for either of you to message each other unless you initiate a connection again.

Apparently, you can also go to your Inbox --> Sent, click on individual messages to "Join my network on LinkedIn," then "Withdraw" invitations that have not been accepted. To withdraw all pending invitations, you need to email LinkedIn's customer service through the "Contact Us" page on the forum (described on http://community.linkedin.com/questions/218617/how-do-i-undo-a-invite-all-to-contacts.html).

Very clunky. LinkedIn, you need an "undo" button. Or, at the very least, a "confirm add all contacts?" button.


Thought1: Blog Direction, Purpose, Goals

Blog formed on 2014-10-13, though 'twas really during the night of 2014-10-12.
Yes, I also have orange tickle, the gmail address.
In conjunction with Quirky Ink, LLC.

Possible directions for this blog:
  • Reviews (comparisons, links to Amazon reviews, app trials)
    • #review, #comparison
    • #app, #software, #product, #hardware, #appliance
  • Useful links
    • #url
    • #science, #policy, #education
    • #datavisualization, #bigdata
    • #parenting
  • Miscellaneous thoughts or reflections on life
    • #tips, #advice
    • #reflections, #pontificating
[More to come.]