Sunday, January 14, 2018

Unraveling the Confusion About Blockchain Technology and Bitcoin

Over the past several years I have paid interested, but half-hearted attention, to the topic of Bitcoin and the Blockchain technology it is built upon. It has been very confusing to try and decipher, but seemed important enough to stay attuned to as we head into the future.

I recently bought a copy and read a copy of the book ‘Blockchain for Dummies’ published in 2017. A great book that is a must read for all managers who are going to be around for the next 20 years. The book finally explained and clarified for me, what Blockchain and Bitcoin are all about.

The following is a very high level management overview of Blockchain based on what I learned from the book along with selected links you might want to check out.

Blockchains are a novel approach to the creation of a distributed database that incorporates a number of existing technologies that can now be used in new, innovative ways by individuals and independent organizations to more securely create, transmit and store seemingly permanent records of a wide variety of data transactions.

The ‘Dummies Guide’ mentions three types of Blockchains: Large public blockchains like the Bitcoin network, permissioned blockchains like Ripple, and a growing number of smaller private blockchains typically used by a consortium of trusted members. All three types of blockchain solutions are decentralized peer-to-peer systems that make use of cryptography, secure wallets, smart contracts, protocols, tokens… To better understand the key components you’ll need to do some further study on your own.

Bitcoin – This term is confusingly used to refer to the public blockchain Bitcoin network, as well as to the cryptocurrency token used by the system to exchange value when a financial transaction takes place. Don’t get caught up in the ridiculous obsession about the value of the Bitcoin token.

The open source Bitcoin network was the first and most famous of the blockchain systems to emerge. However it has many limitations and several other prominent blockchain systems have emerged. The key ones include: Ethereum that has a built in programming language and uses a cryptocurrency token called ether; Ripple, that uses a cryptocurrency called ripples; and Factom Inc., which has built a variety of useful tools and apps.

Some of the major companies and organizations working on blockchain networks and solutions for industry include Microsoft, Cisco, Google, Hyperledger, IBM, Intel… and they are working with major financial organizations like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JP Morgan. They are also now branching out into the healthcare, insurance, real estate and many other industries – including the government and ‘smart cities’.

The coming decades are going to be very exciting as blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, robots, and the Internet of Things (IoT) come to pass.



Selected Links





Saturday, January 13, 2018

Information on Flowers and Plants across the South

Do you love Gardening? Do you live in Summerton or around nearby Lake Marion in South Carolina? Then perhaps you ought to consider joining a local garden club.

The PinkDogwood Garden Club is located in historic Summerton, South Carolina. It was first organized back in 1937 and is open to both men and women who have an interest in gardening, plants, and wildlife. The club is a member of both the National Garden Clubs and the Garden Clubs of South Carolina.

Garden clubs are an organized group of people with a shared interest in gardens, gardening, and plants. The first and oldest organized garden club in the US was the Ladies' Garden Club of Athens, Georgia, that was started in 1891.

As we head into 2018, it seemed appropriate to take a look at some of the more recent published articles focused on flowers and plants across the South. Here are some of the selected articles we thought you might want to read from a variety of sources:

In addition, you might also want to check out these free online databases of flowers and plants that we have found useful:

For more information about Southern gardens, flowers and plants, take the time to visit the PinkDogwood Garden Club web site.



Friday, January 12, 2018

Learn more about the Pink Dogwood Garden Club in Summerton, S.C.

Do you love Gardening? Live in Summerton or around nearby Lake Marion in South Carolina? Then perhaps you ought to consider joining the Pink Dogwood Garden Club.

Garden clubs are an organized group of people with a shared interest in gardens, gardening, and plants. The first and oldest organized garden club in the US was the Ladies' Garden Club of Athens, Georgia, that was started in 1891.

The PinkDogwood Garden Club was organized back in 1937. It is located in historic Summerton, South Carolina. The club is a member of both the National Garden Clubs and the Garden Clubs of South Carolina. The goals of the organization include:

  • the advancement and understanding of gardening,
  • the beautification of the Town of Summerton, and
  • the improvement of ourselves, our homes, and our communities.

Horticulture is the science and art of growing plants – e.g. fruits, vegetables, flowers. It covers the fields of plant conservation, landscape restoration, soil management, landscape, garden design, and more.

The following is a list of just some of the major projects and activities of the Pink Dogwood Garden Club:

  • Annual Arbor Day Program
  • Summerton Downtown Beautification Program
  • Memorial Day Program at the Pink Dogwood Mini Park in Summerton
  • Veterans Day Program at the Pink Dogwood Mini Park in Summerton
  • Backyard Wildlife Habitat Certification Program
  • St. Matthias Montessori Pre-School Landscaping and Playground Cleanup
  • Magazine Collection and Distribution to the Local Hospital and Nursing Homes.

If you are interested in joining the garden club and need more information, please go to the new Pink Dogwood GardenClub web site or contact the current club President via email at beverlymoberg@yahoo.com









Get ready for the 21st Annual Great Backyard Bird Count

Launched back in 1998 by the National Audubon Society, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time. Today, more than 160,000 people of all ages and walks of life worldwide join the four-day count each February to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds.
 
For at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, February 16-19, simply tally the numbers and kinds of birds you see. You can count from any location, anywhere in the world, for as long as you wish. That means you too can participate from right here in Summerton. The GBBC event will take place between February 16-19, 2018. Don’t forget to use the new eBird app designed to help you count and share your findings with the global ‘birding’ community.
Don’t forget to read Bird Watching Around Summerton, Santee, and nearby Lake Marion, S.C.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Rocket Girls Exhibit at 4 MAIN in Summerton SC - Update

‘4 MAIN’ in downtown Summerton, in community partnership with Scott’s Branch High School Junior ROTC, presents the International Women’s Air & Space Museum Traveling Exhibition starting on January 23 [new date after snow storm] through February 28, 2018.

The ‘Rocket Girls’ educational exhibition from Cleveland, Ohio, highlights a number of female astronauts from the Space Program who helped push the gender boundry to serve as role models for future generations. In addition, ‘4 MAIN’ will also feature an exhibit from the South Carolina Airplane Museum.

The opening ceremony for the ‘Rocket Girls’ exhibit will be held on January 9th at 8:30 am in the Cultural Arts Center at 12 South Church Street in Summerton, SC. The guest speaker will be squadron pilot Capt. Kayla Hill of the 437th Airlift Wing stationed at the Joint US Airbase in Charleston, SC. The ceremony will also include a slideshow presentation by retired USAF Colonel George Summers, a resident of Summerton.

For more information on the exhibit and directions to 4 MAIN, call the Town of Summerton at 803-485-4385.