THAT BUZZ ALL AROUND US! ... If you've ever doubted the ability of small people, or things, to make a difference, well, you've never been in bed with a mosquito, author and Web entrepreneur Arianna Huffington told a mostly female crowd of tech executives last week. Huffington addressed an awards gathering of the Palo Alto-based Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, a group aimed at promoting technical women at all levels. Honorees included Lila Ibrahim of Palo Alto, general manager of Intel's Emerging Markets Platform Group, and U.S. Undersecretary of Energy Kristina M. Johnson, who earned her bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Musing on leadership, "fearlessness" and the state of the world, Huffington warned that lack of sleep and too much multi-tasking have led us astray. "Do not plug in your devices near where you're sleeping," she advised. "When you wake up in the middle of the night, the temptation to look at your Blackberry or your iPhone is overwhelming. You might go back to sleep, but it's not the same."
'BETTY MELTZER HIGHWAY' SIGN UNVEILING FRIDAY ... A ceremony marking the official renaming of El Camino Real in Palo Alto the "Betty Meltzer Memorial Highway" will be held Friday, May 28, at noon at the entrance to El Camino Park. The renaming is to honor her work on behalf of planting trees along the state highway, prior to her death last year. The unveiling of the new sign will complete the dedication process, which will be commemorated by several speakers.
FUMIGATION ... Next year, the Main Library on Newell Road will receive a long-awaited facelift, thanks to a $76 million bond voters approved in 2008. But first, city officials will tackle a more pressing need: killing the termites infesting the popular library. This Memorial Day, a Terminix crew will set up a tent around the library and fumigate the building. The library will be closed May 28-30 and reopen June 1, following the holiday weekend. Library staff discovered the termite problem earlier this year, when they found "termite debris" falling from the ceiling in one of the library's staff areas. In February, Terminix inspected the building and found the wood-chewing pests. During the fumigation, the library's book drops, including the one in the parking lot, will be closed. No items will be due until after the library reopens. "Although the library will be closed for a few days, we will minimize the impact to customers by extending holds on books, adjusting due dates and encouraging use of our online catalogue," Library Director Diane Jennings said in a news release.