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🗺️ The HERstory and genius behind GPS

Yep! Navigation software was invented by a Black woman

WOW, We are so overwhelmed by the massive support lately. The word about Pchy and the work we are doing is spreading and it’s organic and authentic and it really puts us in our feels. 🥹

We cannot wait to let you in on what we have in the works! Soon soon! And you, our dear Ripe community will be the first to hear it.

In the meantime, thank you for being here. Thank you for sharing our newsletter.

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What else is in the newsletter today?

  • The origins of navigation software (This will probably surprise you)

  • Don’t use dating apps in Columbia

  • 10 Things that women couldn’t do just 30 years ago

The Origins of Navigation Software

And yep, you can thank a Black woman for that! 🖤

In our modern age of exploration and adventure, the Global Positioning System (GPS) stands as a beacon of innovation, guiding us with unparalleled precision across the vast expanse of our planet. But what exactly is GPS and how does it work?

At its core, GPS is a space-based radio-navigation system designed to broadcast highly accurate navigation signals to users on or near Earth. Imagine a constellation of satellites- 24 main satellites in 6 orbits-circling our planet every 12 hours, each one acting as a celestial guidepost in the vastness of space. These satellites, collectively known as the Navstart GPS, form the backbone of the GPS system, providing essential data to users worldwide.

You may or may not remember a world before GPS was in our pockets, but for many of us, our first road trips were planned out on a paper road map with highlighters and pens.

Okay but how does GPS pinpoint our exact location? 

The secret lies in the principle of triangulation- a mathematical marvel that allows GPS receivers to calculate their positions based on signals received from the satellites. When you use a GPS receiver, it measures the time it takes for radio signals to travel from at least four satellites to your location. By precisely timing these signals and factoring in the speed of radio waves, the receiver can determine its distance from each satellite, creating a network of intersecting spheres that pinpoint your longitude and latitude, AND altitude.

Pretty wild, right? And who was the pioneer that laid the foundation for such transformative technology?

Dr. Gladys West of rural Virginia. Born in 1930.

Raised in a time and a community where opportunities for Black girls were scarce, Gladys discovered her passion for learning amidst the fields of her family’s farm. Despite the predetermined paths laid out before her, she seized the chance for education, earning a full scholarship to Virginia State College. With resilience and determination, she pursued a degree in mathematics.

Joining the U.S. Naval Proving Ground as a mathematician in 1956, Gladys made history as one of the institution’s few Black employees. Her keen intellect and analytical prowess quickly earned her recognition, leading her to become a trailblazer in the realm of computational mathematics.

It was through her work on Seasaat that Gladys laid the groundwork for her most enduring contribution: the development of GPS. By leveraging satellite technology and computational algorithms, she played a pivotal role in creating a system that revolutionized global navigation.

As we reflect on Dr. Gladys West’s remarkable journey, may we continue, in her honor, to push the boundaries of possibility and pave the way for a future where all women can boldly chart their own paths.

And can we also say, make sure to thank a Black woman today!

Don’t Use Dating Apps in Columbia

Okay, we don’t want to tell anyone what they can and can’t do. The point of Pchy is to help you make informed decisions, but it’s still your decision to go wherever or do whatever you want to. 💪

Let's uphold the spirit of adventure tempered with prudence, ensuring that every step taken is a step towards safe and memorable experiences.

With that in mind: recent incidents in Colombia, particularly in tourist hotspot Medellín, have prompted the U.S. Embassy in Bogota to issue a security alert for American travelers warning travelers to not use dating apps.

In the past two months, eight suspicious deaths involving U.S. citizens have occurred, raising concerns about involuntary drugging overdoses and suspected homicides.

The rise in crime isn't isolated to Medellín alone. Across Colombia, there's been an uptick in reports of druggings, robberies, and even fatalities, often involving foreigners lured through dating apps. This troubling trend underscores the importance of exercising caution, whether in major cities like Cartagena or Bogotá.

To mitigate risks, the U.S. Embassy recommends prudent measures for travelers. When using dating apps, prioritize public settings for meetings and steer clear of private residences or hotel rooms. Establish protocols with hotel staff for visitor verification, and always share details of your plans with trusted contacts.

In instances of potential danger, trust your instincts and prioritize personal safety above all else.

10 Things Women Couldn’t Do 30 Years Ago

Thank you to The Female Quotient for the hard gut check about just how far women have come in the fight for equal rights.

For example:

  1. Women weren’t allowed to wear pants on the Senate floor until 1998!

  2. Women in the US couldn’t refuse sex with their husbands until 1993!

Check out their Instagram and/or TikTok for the full list. (We would put it here but we want to follow, support, credit, creators and businesses that depend on views and likes and follows).

Share Ripe so we can send you cool stuff!

It’s so easy. Click “Click to Share” and then spread the word. Share your unique referral link and earn stickers and mugs and beanies and more.