TED Talk by Joe Smith: How to use a paper towel

Joe Smith has a gift for teaching. He just makes you smile while you learn for 4 minutes and 28 seconds.  What a fantastic presentation!

Zippy The Wonder Slug - Chillin' in Denmark

A while back I left Zippy The Wonder slug in California. Zippy is a geocaching travel bug. For those that don't know what a travel bug is here's a slightly altered quote from geocaching.com.

Simply put, a Travel Bug is a trackable tag that you place in a geocache. The bug becomes a hitchhiker that is carried from cache to cache (or person to person) and you can follow its progress online. - Geocaching.com travel bug FAQ

Zippy was inspired by my business travel from Massachusetts to California over the past 10 years. Every few months I'd fly over the USA and spend a few days in conference rooms only to get back on a plane and fly back over the US.

On a trip to San Jose in March 2012, I dropped Zippy off at a local geocache with a mission, clearly stated on his web page, to visit all the states I've only seen from the sky. I was hoping he'd meet some nice people and get some cool picutes of all the stuff I've missed along the way. This map from Zippy's Travel Bug web page shows his progress so far.

As you can see, Zippy has taken a bit of a detour on his way to visit the USA. He's in Denmark. Even with the distraction of first meeting my wife in World Geography class, I'd managed to pick up enough to know that Denmark is outside the contiguous United States. Further checking Wikipedia has confirmed that Denmark isn't even being considered for statehood, and yet Zippy found his way there.

Having sent a slug on a cross country trip I assumed his travels would be slow going, but I was a bit surprised to see him fly across the Atlantic before he made it to even one other US state. So much for his mission.

Even though it hasn't worked out the way I'd planned, it's pretty cool seeing Zippy travel the world. I wonder where he'll head next.