Five Points – 2

Design Your Own Wrapping Paper —

Curious about the perfect gift this season? I’m not sure I can help.  Need awesome wrapping paper? Look no further.  My friend Anselm Levskaya built a design tool for creating beautiful arabesque and geometric patterns.

The name comes as an ode to famous graphic artist M. C. Escher merged with the popular children’s toy, Etch A Sketch.

You can experiment and fiddle with the application for free and then export to to apply the patterns you created to physical products, where Anselm will make a peanut ($) if you buy something. (Disclaimer: I receive no benefit from this.  I just think it’s awesome.)

Learn to Code / Teach to Code —

I read Fred Wilson‘s writings everyday.  He is a prolific investor and writer (everyday since 2003) and is incredibly generous with his knowledge and time.  For folks keen to learn some of the inner workings of the tech business in words that are easy to grasp, I encourage you to subscribe to his blog here.

This past week he shared this:

It is CS Education Week, which happens at this time every year to celebrate and energize the growing K12 CS Education movement.

The highlight of CS Education Week is the Hour Of Code, in which students, teachers, parents, and community members all do an hour of code during the school week.

I would like to encourage everyone in the technology business to find a school this week, maybe it is your child’s school, maybe it is the school building in your neighborhood, or maybe it is a school where a friend teaches, and volunteer to lead an Hour Of Code.

It is really quite easy to do this.

Here is a guide on how to help a local school

Here are some activities you can do for your hour of code

Here are some ways to volunteer

Bear Ears & Grand Staircase-Escalante Need Help —

This past week Donald Trump initiated legislation to significantly reduce the size of Bear Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, marking the largest elimination of protected lands in American history.

It’s wrong and illegal.

I’ve racked my brain to understand how he thinks this will enrich America, his constituents, or himself to no avail.

I am donating $100 to support defending these global treasures.

And I will match donations up to a total of $100 if you are keen to join me.  Just send me a note what you’ve contributed and we’ll make it happen.

Patagonia (Gear and Clothing) has the best list of organizations that can make a difference.

Wilderness Survival –

The end of the street I grew up on in Garner, North Carolina was the foundation of what has been a life long experiment with understanding how to interact with the forest.

Lately I’ve become fascinated with Dick Proenneke and his documentary, Alone In The Wilderness, of his time alone in the Alaskan wilderness.  A preview (10 min) can be viewed on YouTube here.

I also find myself entranced by the silent videos of David Malina – Primitive Technology, where he builds all kinds of things (baskets, animal traps, homes, etc) in the forest by hand.

Spoiler Alert Coming:  I’ve recently made a life change that will explain this new found study.

Congratulations Mom –

My Mom started working when she was 14.  She retires in a week.

Since May of 1984 she has been the Executive Director of Re-Entry, a public non-profit offering alternative sentencing to nonviolent adult and juvenile offenders in Raleigh, NC.  She started at the organization as an independent contractor and through a bizarre chain of events, found herself leading it within only a few short months.  And over the past 10 years additionally took over the day to day responsibilities for Teen Court, a program comprised of peer jurors for youth first offender misdemeanants.

Her board recently honored her contributions by creating the Louise A. Davis Youth Attorney Scholarship for the Raleigh Area Teen Court.

It was “Take Mom To Work Week” this past week as I traveled to Japan on business.  Here we are sending greetings from Mt. Fuji.  She was also seen impersonating the Emperor from Star Wars 🙂

I could not be more proud to call her my Mom.