The Foreign Service Journal - November 2014 - page 61

number of projects using Trinket continues
to grow, and this book is an introduction to
some of the possibilities.
The book steps through basic projects,
working up to more challenging circuits
and code. All of the code for the examples is
supplied in the book and online. Familiar-
ity with electronics and project assembly is
helpful but not required for later projects.
Diagrams illustrate point-to-point wiring of electrical circuits and
use of a solderless breadboard makes the project easy to complete.
An engineer, maker and innovator, Mike Barela is a member of
the Senior Foreign Service with the Department of State. A gradu-
ate of both Whitman College and the California Institute of Tech-
nology in electrical engineering, he worked at Hewlett-Packard,
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Boeing before joining the
Foreign Service. Barela has traveled the world providing security
to American embassies, and is currently division director of the
Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s Countermeasures Program.
tion, this book is the culmination of about as perfect a match of
author and content as comes along in the publishing world.”
Marjorie Ransom joined the Foreign Service in 1962 and
resigned in 1965, according to regulations of the day, to marry
FSO David Ransom. The couple’s first post was Yemen. She
rejoined the Foreign Service in 1974, when the rules about mar-
riage changed, and the couple was posted to Yemen from 1975
to 1978, the first State Department tandem in the Arab world.
Mrs. Ransom was nominated as ambassador to Yemen in 1999,
but was one of 26 FSOs denied a confirmation hearing by Jesse
Helms, then chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Commit-
tee. She retired from the Foreign Service in 2000.
Princess Bella’s Special Summer:
The Summer Mommy Had Cancer
Shannon D. Behaj and Isabella Behaj,
CreateSpace, 2013, $14.99, paperback,
29 pages.
“Princess Bella is a sweet little girl. She
likes to play, sing, dance and whirl.” But
one summer, she is confronted with an
extraordinary challenge: her mother is
diagnosed with cancer. This book does not explain the disease
or its treatment. Instead, it traces Bella’s experience with vivid
illustrations, capturing the memorable moments shared among
a family struggling through a serious illness in a simple, straight-
forward way that is readily accessible to young children.
“Sometimes it is helpful to see ourselves and our loved ones
reflected in the stories we read,” notes author Shannon Behaj, who
wrote and illustrated the book with her 6-year-old daughter. “No
jargon, no explanations, no reasons, and no deeper meaning …
simply an awareness that we are not alone on these difficult paths.”
Because they found so few inspiring, nonclinical books to
help their own daughter in such obviously difficult circum-
stances, Shannon and Isabella have written the story for others:
“We hope this book brings you the rare smiles it brought to us
during those emotional times, when we needed it most and
found it was waiting to be written.”
Shannon D. Behaj is a member of the U.S. Foreign Service.
Getting Started with Adafruit Trinket: 15 Projects with
the Low-Cost AVR ATtiny85 Board
Michael J. Barela, Maker Media, Inc., 2014,
$26.99/paperback, $9.99/Kindle, 273 pages.
The Trinket microcontroller offers designers custom program-
mability in a size and price range suited to modern projects. The
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