Cachers plan logically to celebrate irrational, extraordinary Pi Day

This Saturday (3/14/15) at 9:26 a.m. plus 53 seconds, Myles Villoria and other high-tech treasure hunters in Georgia will throw pies in each other’s faces. The event is Pi Day, the worldwide celebration of the mathematical constant expressed in the Greek alphabet as π, and the celebrants are geocachers, people who use GPS technology to find stashes of prizes and mementos hidden all over the earth.

Champs, chumps elude chomps in zombie escape teambuilding game

No matter how loud I sang about “the little silhouetto of a man, scaramouche scaramouche,” every five minutes the chain holding back the zombie loosened another foot. We were playing “Trapped in a Room with a Zombie,” and we were working (and singing) frantically with eight strangers to solve puzzles to find the key and escape the hollow-eyed monster, while locked in an otherwise nondescript office in a Tucker industrial park.

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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.


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?


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.

Over time, over easy: Waffle House melts into memories

Unlike the Southern cult(ure) that it represents, the Waffle House Museum in Avondale Estates is only open twice a year. Saturday was one of those special days. I drive by the museum all the time but, like the chain itself, it’s so much part of our landscape that who pauses to consider what it’s accomplished?

This day—the 21,642nd day of continuous Waffle House service—I paused to celebrate the kitschy regional eatery that has inspired country songwriters and served as a backdrop for movies.


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.

Happiness for free, courtesy of little ukulele

George Harrison once said the ukulele “is the one instrument you can’t play and not laugh.” No wonder he spent his last days on earth playing one together with close friends. As the days get longer and darker this time of year, laughter and lightness are harder for some of us to find. Enter the uke.

Before the weather recently turned cold, I heard a ukulele group perform live at Woodland Gardens in Decatur. It wasn’t just the tinkling sound of this small instrument that brought a smile.

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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.


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.


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.


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.