Travis Jank: Bitcoin and the 21st Century Gold Rush

August 28, 2014

Travis Jank’s interest in cryptocurrency, exchanging money through encrypted transactions, is an evolution of his earlier interests. “I’ve been into overclocking computers for a while, which is taking the fastest, newest technology and pushing it to its outer limits by cooling it with liquid nitrogen,” Jank said. “The computers need for cryptocurrency, like bitcoin, are…

Kyle Terry: Going dark on the net

August 28, 2014

For some, curiosity is as much a hobby as an instinct. Following a question down a rabbit hole can lead the investigator into some unsavory territory, and it can make one wonder whether they should have asked it in the first place. TEDx speaker Kyle Terry, a software engineer, likes having a place where he…

Following in the footsteps of Atticus Finch – TEDx at the Elsinore

August 19, 2014

When the speakers at TEDxSalem 2014 take the stage in September, they’ll become part of a lineage at the Historic Elsinore Theater that includes entertainers of every stripe. “From Bach to rock and ballet to Broadway, we’ve pretty much hosted it all,” said Stephen Martin, executive director of STAGE, the non-profit organization that runs the…

Richard Surroz: Tech and the death of missed connections

August 7, 2014

It doesn’t take much of a conversation with Richard Surroz to realize that he’s basically made a hobby of surprising people. After dropping out of high school at 17 to join the Army, Surroz later went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in software engineering and a master’s degree in teaching, which he continues to…

Accessing TED Talks for newbies (and veterans)

July 29, 2014

TEDxSalem might be a local audience’s first foray into the world of TED talks, but there are a number of ways to access ideas worth spreading, and most are available for no charge. The first stop on any tour of TED is www.ted.com. The site features all of the talks given a the preeminent TED…

Mark Frohnmayer: Toward a more equal vote

July 24, 2014

Mark Frohnmayer has set up a formidable task for himself as a TEDx speaker, he’s going to make math and politics interesting. However, he’s more than ready for the challenge. Frohnmayer is one of the faces of recent petition drives seeking support for equalizing the vote in Oregon through an open primary system. Such a…

Jefferson Smith: Questing for radio that’s more than nostalgia

June 29, 2014

  It would be easy to label Jefferson Smith a politician. He’s the founder of The Bus Project, a former Oregon state representative and a former candidate for Portland mayor. These days, he hosts a radio show, titled Thank You Democracy, on the Portland-based radio station KXRY 91.1. It might appear difficult to find the…

Danne Stayskal: Life through synaes­the­sia-colored eyes

June 19, 2014

A radioactive spider bit Peter Parker. Superman was strapped to a rocket and launched from a dying planet. Danne Stayskal has a better origin story than both of them. Stayskal was a teenager when her mother asked her to help her twin sister with her math homework. “It was plainly obvious to me that yellow plus yellow equals…