//Creating Bliss through Coding

Creating Bliss through Coding

Meeting for the week of September 30 – October 06, 2019

This Meeting at a Glance:

Program: Creating Bliss through Coding

Speaker: James Abela

Is this your first time to visit us? If so, welcome to our weekly online meeting! To complete our meeting, please continue reading from here to the bottom of this page.

Each Monday our week’s meeting is posted early in the morning, U.S. Pacific Time. These meetings are designed so that you can read and watch what we post anytime during the week. The entire meeting takes about 60 minutes to complete, with the video conference recording of the program being the bulk of the time.

Note that you can easily read this meeting with your favorite device, so feel free to take our meeting on the go with you. Please also make sure to complete the attendance form at the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!

To properly attend this meeting, please:

  1. Read and watch the content below in its entirety.
  2. Complete the attendance survey.

Everyone is also encouraged to leave a comment in the Disqus section at the bottom of the page.

Table of Contents


Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

Here’s a message from President Tzviatko:

Greetings Rotarians and Guests,

Happy October everyone! What fun activities do you have planned for this month? I will spend half the month in beautiful Cape Town and the other half visiting family in Chicago. Should be a great time!

This week’s speaker – James Abela – will tell us about his work in computing, and how coding can empower youth to think creatively and become more resilient.


President, Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley

Guests, we are happy to have you join us this week!

As we see it, our flexibility as an online, asynchronous club allows a special type of service to Rotarians around the world: we make it easier for anyone to strive for and maintain 100% attendance. That keeps you engaged with Rotary’s events and ideas, and provides a moment of inspiration for devoting your creativity, talents, and resources to good causes.

You are certainly not required to pay anything in order to attend our meetings. However, if you would like to make a small contribution to our service efforts, you are welcome to do so in our secure Happy Dollars section down the page. This could be what you normally pay at your own club’s meetings for lunch, for example. Any amount is welcome, but first and foremost, we’re happy you’ve joined us, and hope you will share with others who we are and what we do to help inspire Service Above Self.

And don’t forget to fill out our attendance form so you get an email you can pass on to your club’s secretary!

🎂 🎈 🎉 🎁 🍾
Happy Birthday!!

Celine Neal (Sep 30)

From around the world,
Wishing you all the best, on your birthday and always!

🎂 🎈 🎉 🎁 🍾

Members and guests, consider donating in their honor in our Happy Dollars section below.


Weekly Funny with the Lady of Laughter (LOL)

We believe laughter is an important part of life, and we should all make time to laugh a little. This segment of our meeting is meant to tickle you just enough. These funnies are curated by member Yvonne Kwan, our “Lady of Laughter!”

September 30 is National Chewing Gum Day! I’m not a huge fan of gum myself, there’s no need to blow that out of proportion.

Did you hear about the astronaut that stepped in chewing gum?
He got stuck in Orbit!

What do you call a train carrying a load of bubblegum?
A chew-chew train!

What do bees chew?


Weekly Inspiration

Every week we start our meetings with a short video highlighting innovation, inspiration, entrepreneurship, or social change.

How can you tell when service is in someone’s heart and soul. With this video from Green Renaissance, you’ll meet a woman in South Africa who knits, and you won’t forget her story anytime soon.


Member  Spotlight

This week’s Member Spotlight is Rory Olsen! Here is what he has been up to lately:

This week’s Member Spotlight is Rory Olsen! He will be sharing a wonderful story on “Living with Tonkinese Cats”

“Twenty years ago, my cat died. She was very nice and kind to me. Unfortunately, she viewed everyone else as a threat to her relationship with me. When she died, I decided to get a friendlier cat. After doing research, I decided upon a Tonkinese cat, who I named Dominique.

Dominique was every bit as warm and friendly as I had hoped for in a cat. She acquired the nickname of Boo Boo because she followed me around the house, much like Boo Boo followed Yogi the Bear in the cartoons.

After several years, I started to notice that Boo Boo seemed lonely when I came home, since my wife and I had been gone for eight hours or nine hours.

After consulting several books on Tonkinese cats, I reached the conclusion that the best thing to do was to get a second Tonkinese cat, since for some reason, the Tonkinese do best with other members of their breed.

We got a second Tonkinese cat named, Jazzmine. Jazzmine, or as I refer to her, Jazzy, had had a difficult kittenhood, being the only female cat in a liter of five cats. Her brothers picked on her. Poor Jazzy was the last cat from her liter to get a permanent home.

When we took her home, Jazzy spent her first night alone in a spare bedroom with me. All night she kept her distance from me. The next morning when I introduced Jazzy to Boo Boo, Jazzy warmed up a bit. A day or two later, Boo Boo and Jazzy were exploring the house together.

Several days later, I had come home early, before my wife. Our sofa was perpendicular to the TV, so I was just watching the TV news. Boo Boo appeared and talked to me. I petted her, while talking cat talk to her. Then Jazzy jumped up on the sofa and talked to me. I talked to her and petted her. When the petting was done, Boo Boo went behind me and started to lick my neck. Then Jazzy got behind me and did the same thing. As I understand how cats work, they had just inducted me into their family, known as a clowder.

Below you will find a picture of me with my two Tonkinese babes. I have been very fortunate to have known them.

Boo Boo passed away several years ago. Jazzy and I are still best friends. My life has been good.”

As an aside, please check out Rory’s website! https://roryolsenmediation.com


World of

Rotarians respond in the Bahamas

Learn more at https://blog.rotary.org/2019/09/10/rotarians-respond-in-the-bahamas/


Through a Rotarian’s Lens

Sometimes a photo can capture an amazing moment. In this section Member Keith Marsh shares his incredible photography!
If you’d like to submit a photo for this section please contact Keith.

On a recent trip to Chicago, I took this photo of the roof of the amphitheater at Millenium Park designed by Frank Gehry juxtaposed with one of the more traditional office buildings behind it.

The composition is a study of geometric shapes, lines and curves.


Learn Something New

This section is curated by members Shags Shagrin and Rushton Hurley and aims to teach our members and guests something new, fun and useful! If you have any ideas on a fun trick or skill you’d like to share please contact Rushton or Shags.

Finding More Great Videos

Here’s a tip that will help you use one great video to finding more great ones!

'19-'20 Tech Tidbit #4: Finding More Cool Videos


Coffee With a Rotarian

A natural part of Rotary is the networking and the fellowship you get out of meeting other Rotarians. Coffee With a Rotarian is a monthly program of our club where we match participating club members for one-on-one virtual (or in some cases in person) coffee meetings, so they can learn more about each other. This program is organized by member Tzviatko Chiderov.

This week we have Suzanne from Napa, CA, USA  reporting on a chat with Roger from Kamloops, BC, Canada

What fun it was to engage in CWR with Roger! The more I get to know Roger, the more I realize what a treasure he is. I learned about his childhood on a farm and how he credits those work habits with life skills. I learned about his love of gardening and his care for over 100 rose bushes. I learned that Kamloops really has only about 3 months of winter, and that most of that time the temperature is just below freezing. I learned that Roger is a lot of fun!

We encourage all club members to participate in Coffee With a Rotarian. You can sign up here!

Service Report

Tell us about service you’ve done recently in your community.
Click here to fill out The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Service Survey


On the first meeting of every month, we feature service reports from club members for the previous month. Thanks for your service everyone!

Club Announcements

Our Events & Projects

We hold our meetings online, but we do regular service projects and social events in the Silicon Valley! This section is updated every week with our upcoming events. We welcome guests to all of the events and service projects listed here.

Past Events:

September Online Social!

Thanks Carlos for hosting this fun online social, and thank you Rushton for the screenshot!

Upcoming Events:

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

District 5170 Events

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

More events coming soon! All events are open to guests, unless otherwise mentioned. Feel free to join us! If you ever have questions, please email [email protected]

Happy Dollars: Do Good by Sharing Something Good

Each week we ask our members to share stories with the club and toss in a few dollars to support our efforts. The primary goal of this section is to provide a fun way of getting to know each fellow members and guests, while giving back to a good cause.


Happy dollars is an opportunity to share something positive that has happened in your life whether it is personal or business. Think of it as your opportunity to brag a little, but also put a little bit into a karma jar. The money donated through happy dollars is put to charitable use, and the message that you leave for happy dollars will be posted in our online meeting the following week for the entire week for folks to see! (Pending that it’s appropriate!)

Here are the happy dollars contributions from last week!
This section is usually updated on the early hours of Saturday, so contributions made over the weekend may not be listed here.

Brian Liddicoat made a $20 donation.

Nan Herron made a $25 donation.
Because it is SO fun to be the featured video movie star!

MONIQUE ZIESENHENNE made a $20 donation.
TRF-Annual Fund. Trying to get used to the shorter days in the Northern Hemisphere…not fun during commute time!

Rory Olsen made a $20 donation.
All is well. Please apply my gift to Polio Plus.

Ferheen Abbasi made a $10 donation.
Happy birthday, Olukunle and Tatiana!
Also, I got a job! 🙂 The clinic I volunteered at decided to hire me part-time! Wooh!

Fill out my online form.

Selected Comments

Every week at the bottom of our meetings, there is a comments section for members and guests to tell us what they enjoyed about the meeting or to ask questions to the speaker. We select a few comments every week from last week’s meeting to be featured during this week’s meeting.


Here are the comments selected from last week’s meeting.

Raquel D. Juncal said:
Nan, thanks for sharing such an incredible project! Great presentation! 😀

Manuj Mittal said:
Keep it up Nan, Wonderful display of Community services!
I regret missing the social meeting, Wont happen again….

Heather Shaw said:
The content keeps getting better and better. Loved the cooking tips!
Nan what a great project! I am inspired to get more involved in those kind of projects. Thank you for sharing

Mahmood Khan said:
Nan, What a great service you provided to the Fiji communiy. Clearly we take our way of life for granted. It is such and eye opener to know how some have so many mysteries and difficulties dealing with simple things we don’t even think twice about!

Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this week’s meeting after you watch the program below, and perhaps you’ll see your comment featured next week!

Program: Creating Bliss through Coding

Speaker: James Abela

Every week we bring to you a new program on innovation, entrepreneurship, and education, and how those contribute to service to others. Special thanks to member Roger Plested for leading our club’s Programs Committee in finding us amazing speakers each week.

If you have an idea for a cool speaker, please feel free to reach out to them directly
or submit THIS FORM so our Program Committee can contact them!

James Abela’s passion is to give students the ability to think computationally, a skill that will enable them to program effectively, solve a wide range of problems, and make them much more resilient.

He has been working in computing since 1998, first in industry and now in education. Along the way he has published a number of books and journal articles, and written for Linux User. He spoke at the very first Raspberryjam at Cambridge University, and also at Scratch Day East, Google, BETT, EARCOS, and the 21st Century Learning Conference. James also arranges the KL Teachmeets.

James is a long-time member of Computing At School and chairman of Computing At School South East Asia (SEACSTA). He is a fellow of Mirandanet, an Apple Distinguished Educator, Raspberry Pi Certified Educator, Google Certified Teacher, and was the 2014 21st Century’s Teacher of the Year.

In his presentation, James will work to show how to create bliss through coding. He calls coding the perfect antidote to by-the-numbers teaching, and shows a model for how one can teach one’s own children, start a club, and encourage teachers to dare to give their children creative freedom, which will lead to deeper thinking, more resilience, and critical skills for the 21st century.

Members and guests, please welcome James Abela!

Creating Bliss through Coding with James Abela

Additional Resources

Share your thoughts or ask our speaker a question in the comments at the bottom of this meeting page!

Upcoming Program Recording Schedule

All of our guest speakers and programs are recorded live online over Zoom video conference. We welcome members and guests to join us in one of these upcoming recordings. Recordings are approximately 30 minutes long and are subject to change without notice.

Our online video conference room link for these recordings is always https://zoom.us/j/5104080000. You are welcome to join us! Please note the timezone listed for all recordings is US Pacific Time (San Francisco, California, USA).

If you can’t join the live recording, please send your questions for an upcoming speaker to [email protected]

You’re Almost Done! Please complete The Attendance Survey…

Thanks for reading and watching this week’s meeting. You have two last things to do before you’re done.

We have a very short attendance survey below for you to fill out to record your attendance.

Visiting Rotarians, this is how you can get an email receipt to pass along to your club’s secretary as proof that you’ve attended our meeting if you need it for makeups.

Non-Rotarian Guests, we would love to see who is dropping by our meetings! This part is optional for you. If you think you may want to join our eClub at some point in the future, we would strongly recommend you fill out the attendance form as it will improve your chances of success for your membership application.

For all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment in our comments area below. Tell us how you enjoyed the program. Ask this week’s speaker any questions you might have. Or just stop by and say hello and tell us where you’re from!

2019-09-30T16:45:25+00:00September 30th, 2019|0 Comments