Thursday, March 4, 2010

Chamber of Commerce Weather/Vegetable Report/She invented "debug"

The jet stream will be riding about 1/2 way down the US over the next week or so...bringing weather mainly through the middle states as small waves moves west to east along it. Coolest area today will be Great Lakes and northeast with highs in 30s. Lots of 40s and 50s for the northwest and middle of the country with 60s and 70s in the south. Some thunderstorms in Utah...a few showers for New York and Boston. Some winter weather advisories for the highers elevations in Utah and Wyoming.

Definitely Chamber of Commerce weather for Houston area next couple days. Cool mornings and mild afternoons with sunshine and low humidity. Some clouds over the weekend and a few showers later half of Sunday with some rain on Monday...not a big washout though and then more pleasant weather in the coming week. I think Spring has arrived. Highs will make it to 70 starting this weekend. Thursday and Friday, highs will be in the 60s.

Let's do invent or inventar, pronounced ehn-vehn-TAR. How would you like to inventar something? Find out about a woman who changed all our lives through her inventions? A hint...she came up with the term "debug". See the AND MORE section to learn more.

The woman described in the AND MORE section was good at math and worked with computers. Research shows that children who learn more than one language score higher on standardized math and science tests. Help your children learn to love language by ordering our award winning DVDs, Let's Learn Spanish with Frank & Paco. They are on the shelf (in the education section) at Barnes & Noble stores or you can order them from,,,, or Our ESL (English as a Second Language) version can be found at

I tell you what...having a 2nd grader in the house is an educational experience. Sarah is a voracious reader and we go to the library often. She especially loves reading biographies. I picked up one about Grace Hopper. I don't believe I had ever heard of her...had you? Well she was an extremely important computer pioneer. Born in 1906, she was the first woman to earn a doctorate in math from Yale. At the age of 37 (considered too old), she got special permission to join the Navy in 1943 because she wanted to help with the war effort. She graduated 1st in her class. She worked on the Mark I computer which was used to aim naval guns in various kinds of weather. She invented the term with debug when she literally retrieved a moth that shorted out a computer. She worked on the term which developed the Univac I computer. She also created the first compiler to allow English terms to program computers...ultimately helping to create the business programming language Cobol. She was forced to retire from the Navy but then they needed her so much that they made a special allowance to bring her back in and she stayed with the Navy until 1986 (retiring at the age of 79, she was the oldest officer in the Navy). She was a Rear Admiral when she retired. So there you have it...someone who impacted all of our lives and probably most of us did not know who she was.

For more about Grace Hopper, check out this Wikepedia link:

I also got some of the information about Grace Hopper from the book Grace Hopper Computer Pioneer by Joanne Mattern.

The photos at right are from my vegetable garden. The rain has really gotten things going. We are looking forward to a crop of sugar snap peas and broccoli (2 of my favorites). We have already been enjoying some spinach salads from the spinach plants.

This week's warmer weather has me thinking about spring. And I noticed that we have another time change coming up on Sunday, March 14th. So, enjoy this "full length" weekend, because next weekend we are going to spring forward and lose one hour.

You only have today left to participate in our poll about taxes...have you finished your's yet? If not when will you work on them?

Saw my aunt last Sunday and she was definitely showing signs of her regular self...animated, smiling and wanting to get up and get going. I think that can be harder on the caregivers in a way--they have to keep your resting so you can heal fully. A long time ago, I had some surgery where I was in the ICU and the doctor asked me if I might be feeling good enough to go home. They had never released anyone that quickly from the type of surgery I had, but he thought I was up to it. Well, I didn't like being in the hospital one I said "oh yes. I can go home". They released me and I soon realized I was a bit premature because I felt pretty bad for a couple days (thinks to lots of TLC from Mom and family, I got through it and was soon back to work). God bless everyone who is ill. Good health is such a blessing!

In my last blog, I mentioned that 2004 tsunami caused about a 1 foot rise in the water levels for the upper Texas coast. I learned about this at The John C. Freeman Weather Museum where they have a 3D globe which illustrates all kinds of weather including how the tsunami affected water levels around the world. The museum offers many educational opportunities including the upcoming Forensic Meteorology course (and lawyers can get continuing education credits by attending) on March 29. Check out all the offerings:

Have a great weekend everyone!
Cecilia Sinclair
Wonder Weather Woman

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