The circuit

Westward Ho!

Where's the population center of the United States? Try Edgar Springs, Mo., a rural town with a population of less than 200, according to the Census Bureau and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In making its calculation, the agencies assumed that the country is flat and rigid and that everyone weighs the same. Census determined the location and NOAA's National Geodetic Survey team and surveyors from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources selected the exact spot to place a marker by using Global Positioning System measurements and precision leveling observations that included connections to nearby existing geodetic stations in the National Spatial Reference System.

The system defines latitude, longitude, height, scale, gravity and orientation in the country and how they change over time.

In 1790, the center was about 1,000 miles east, near Chestertown, Md. But time marches on, and apparently people do, too.

Incognito Sort of

Seems that Secretary of State Colin Powell is just like anybody else on the weekends. No online buying for this man. No credit cards or PalmPilot, either. The high-profile Cabinet member was recently spotted at a CVS drugstore in McLean, Va., trying to be incognito.

With a baseball cap low over his forehead and wearing an old blue windbreaker jacket, he waited in line to buy $61 worth of toiletries and a small hair dryer. He paid cash. No one seemed to recognize him, or if they did, the folks in tony McLean were too polite to say so. Then he walked out to his spiffy gray Mercedes convertible with its top down and drove off. And not a security guard was in sight.

NASA's Green Efforts

NASA is apparently looking into how to use technology such as Extensible Markup Language to connect environmental law issues with geospatial data collected from its satellites. By using geo-referencing tags, NASA hopes to link the satellite data — as it relates to such things as emissions regulations — to support efforts in the environmental arena.

With all the recent attention on the International Space Station and civilians being launched into space, it's good to see that NASA technology is still being used to help solve problems back here on Earth.

Swing Time

Deirdre Murray, the group manager for market development at Sprint's Government Systems Division, received the Women in Technology Founder's Award this year for her outstanding leadership and accomplishments in the areas of mentoring, entrepreneurship and technology. But few people know that in her free time, Deirdre puts on her bobby sox and saddle shoes and goes swing dancing.

"If you want to do the dance, you got to learn to swing," says Sprint spokesman John Polivka.

Other winners of this year's WIT awards are Esther Smith from Qorvis Communications LLC, Paula Jagemann of eCommerce Industries Inc., Ginger Ehn Lew of Telecommunications Development Fund, TiTi McNeill of TranTech Inc., Ana Maria Boitel of Oldham and Partners/OPX PLLC and Eva Neumann of ENC Marketing Inc.

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