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The only girl in a room of coders

Atlanta is home to 13,000 technology companies, and the Metro Atlanta Chamber says the tech sector will invest $1 billion in Georgia the next five years. It’s a rosy picture for young people who are learning to code.

Unfortunately, too few are girls. Those who are trying to break into the boys’ club are facing a pioneer’s uphill, often lonely climb. They are the “rainbow unicorns,” said local mom Caroline Busse, whose sixth grader Madeline is learning to code.

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Lights, garden, action: Is personal change possible in 2015? 

At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, you put down that second slice of deep dish apple pie and start the diet, or tip the foot of the champagne glass skyward and swallow what you vow will be your last sip of alcohol.

Or maybe you pledge to quit the mill where you work or learn a new language or read a book a week. Or perhaps you make no resolutions at all. After all, what’s the point?

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Forging a new future for GSU Holiday Iron Pour

The Iron Age of Atlanta ended Saturday night at 184 Edgewood Avenue. The 43rd annual Holiday Iron Pour, held at a makeshift foundry operated by Georgia State University sculpture students and professors, marked the end of an era and an uncertain future for this tradition of making one-of-a-kind items from molten metal.

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Getting a strategy to cope with holiday (diabetic) stress

Ding dong merrily on high. Welcome to my nightmare. For a Type 2 diabetic and compulsive overeater like me, visions of sugarplums, figgy pudding, gingerbread, wassail, eggnog, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding fill me more with dread than desire.

I am one of 29 million diabetics in the U.S. – 9.3 percent of the population – according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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From CHOA to the White House, via NASCAR

Andrew Childers nearly died playing high school football in Atlanta in 2002 and appeared far removed from the sports fame that earns the highest national accolades. And yet this year he and his team were guests at the White House, where President Obama complimented his team’s athleticism.

Childers got to the White House using his strength and speed from football to help change tires as the jack man for 2013 NASCAR champion driver Jimmie Johnson.

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Incorporation pushes unwanted marriages on DeKalb neighborhoods

In north-central DeKalb County, my home is among thousands in the crosshairs of cityhood movements and proposed annexations. Count me among the otherwise sensible DeKalb County residents who rightly worry that a new city we’ve never heard of is going to take us over, or even worse, ignore us.

No one wants to be an unincorporated island surrounded by cities. But lots of us are in a pickle. Our zip code (30033) is Decatur, but we’re not in the city proper, and it doesn’t want us anyway.

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The Ray Barreras era ends in Atlanta

When Renaissance man Ray Barreras recently departed Atlanta, the city’s fabric lost a stabilizing force.

For 50 years here, he made the complex look easy, from teaching organic chemistry at the Atlanta University Center and Morehouse School of Medicine, to manning the WABE pledge drive for decades, to a gender-busting, prolific hobby of quilt making. That list only scratches the surface of his service, mostly behind the scenes and without pay, that helped Atlanta diversify.

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If you parent a teen, listen to this expert on Georgia law

To celebrate turning 18, J. Tom Morgan walked into a tavern, purchased and downed a pitcher of beer and a pile of oysters. It was all legal back in 1972.

Today, an 18-year-old who did that in Georgia would face arrest, and if convicted, likely sentenced to six months probation—or 18 months if a fake ID was involved. There would be a fine, community service and drug and alcohol evaluation. The clerk who sold him the beer would likely get arrested too.

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At Georgia Tech, a quiet start for bitcoin

Georgia Tech likes to say that its students are “equipped for success in a world where technology touches every aspect of our daily lives.”

At Tech’s football game last weekend, the question was how equipped they are for the latest revolution in financial technology: bitcoin, a controversial form of virtual currency used for electronic transfers.