Reaching for a Higher Orbit

December 15, 2017

The “Guru of Geek” Marlo Anderson is back in the studio with “Tech Geezer” Jim Walsh. It’s been about 3 weeks since the Guru was on the air, so he decided to plan an exciting show for this episode. Michelle Lucas, Founder and President of Higher Orbits, is here to talk about reaching for the stars through science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Special guests Nick “The Sheriff” Ressler and “Snoop Doug” Philp are also in the studio for the annual Halloween scare episode.

Reaching for the Stars

When Michelle Lucas was a little girl she was fascinated with science. Her childhood dream to work in the space field was made a reality as an adult when she had the privilege of working at NASA. Michelle spent over 10 years working at the Johnson Space Center as an International Space Station Flight Controller and Astronaut Instructor for Daily Operations. Her work has allowed her to work along side some of the world’s most amazing instructors and flight controllers while preparing over 250 astronauts for space travel. She has also worked with people at the Russian Space Agency (RSA), Japanese Space Agency JAXA and the European Space Agency. Today, Michelle runs her own company called Higher Orbits.

Higher Orbits is a nonprofit consulting company that encourages students to launch careers in STEM/STEAM. Partnered with the management company that works with retired astronauts, Uniphi Space Agency, the collaborating company’s teach students teamwork, communication and leadership skills to take them to the next phase in their scientific career choice. Higher Orbits created a program called Go For Launch! aimed at high school school-aged students that uses Space Exploration as a platform to encourage the use of STEM/STEAM. Michelle explains this 3 day program is presented by individuals who have worked in the space field from astronauts to engineers. Students are allowed to work with an actual astronaut during this 3 day program. A part from participating in a once and a lifetime experience, students receive one-on-one insight from professionals who have worked in the field of science. One of the activities that takes place during Go For Launch! is participating in a team exercise that allows students to define and design a space experiment. Michelle says that this is especially exciting for students who participate because the group that presents the best experiment will have the opportunity to have their experiment launched into space at the International Space Station. Listen in for a more detailed conversation about Michelle Lucas and Higher Orbits.

BOO!

Every Halloween season, the “Guru of Geek” visits the most current frightening technology scares in tech world. Today, Nick “The Sheriff” Ressler and “Snoop Doug” Philp are on board to discuss a few of the most common, yet terrifying things that are happening with technology.

Equifax Security Breach – Frightening news keeps popping up with the Equifax breach. The number of customers originally thought to have been compromised has increased significantly. The amount of information that was taken from customers of Equifax is more detrimental than some people realize. Simply put, people need to take this threat serious. If you haven’t already, contact all three credit agencies and take the necessary precautions to make sure your personal information is safe.

Skimmers  Skimming has become the new wave credit card theft for consumers. So much so that the “Guru of Geek” has fallen victim to the scam. The Balance describes skimming as a process where scammers use a small device to steal credit and debit card information during transactions. Basically, when a card is swiped through a card reader, the skimming device captures and stores details about the consumer through the magnetic strip on the card. Skimmers are frequently found in ATMs and gas pumps. The skimming devices have become so high-tech that it’s getting harder and harder to recognize them.

  • One safety measure that consumers can use is to get a card with a chip. Using a chip, rather than the magnetic strips, is safer and less likely allow a scammer to get personal information from your card.
  • Another good tip is keep a smaller balance on your cards and debits, while transferring money from a savings to the card on a need-be basis. Doing this allows card balances to remain low and less likely to have a large amount of money stolen from the card.
  • While traveling, it might be a good idea to get pre-paid cards and use those versus using your regular card. Again, keeping a small balance on the card and transferring money when needed will help you protect your funds.
  • Carry cash and avoid card usage all together. Sometimes cash is inconvenient, but it could save you the hassle of having your money stolen off your card.

Fake websites  – They’re everywhere! And, no place more prominent than on our social media feeds. According to “Snoop Doug” social media is the best place to spread fake news and open viruses. Social media was created to allow people to communicate with family and friends. Somewhere, it became one of the most widely used platforms to spread news stories and viruses. True, the advertisements and news stories look enticing, but isn’t that the point? To make viewers want to click and click and click? And click we do, even if we know it’s not true. The best way to avoid feeding into fake websites and news is to not click on anything. Instead, use social media for what it was intended for—to communicate with family and friends.

If you would like the “Guru of Geek” to do a product review for you and have it featured on The Tech Ranch, let us know! Leave us a comment on this episode or call 701-204-6674 for more information.

Join the “Guru of Geek” Marlo Anderson and “Tech Geezer” Jim Walsh every week for a new episode of the Tech Ranch.

Broadcast Date October 30,  2017  Episode 291

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