Tag Archives: Dylan Diamond

Roundup: Sunrise Rotary, Dylan Diamond, Wildfires, More


Every year, Westport’s Sunrise Rotary raises nearly $100,000 from 2 events: The Duck Race, and a wine tasting gala.

Eighty percent of the proceeds are donated to organizations that serve the health, hunger, safety and education needs of adults and children from Stamford to New Haven. The other 20% funds disease prevention, health, peace promotion, education and economic development across the globe.

COVID -19 forced the cancellation of both fundraisers.

To partially fill the gap — and provide safe, fun activities that may also attract new members — Sunrise members collaborated with the Remarkable Theater. They showed “School of Rock” on the Imperial Avenue parking lot screen. The famous yellow duck — and a duckling — were there, welcoming movie-goers.

More events are planned. To learn more about membership, email
info@westportsunriserotary.org. To support charitable giving, send a check to
Westport Sunrise Rotary, PO Box 43, Westport, CT 06881-0043.

Nothing is wrong. The convertible’s driver adjusted its hydraulics, for a comfortable viewing spot at the Remarkable Drive-In.


As a Staples High School student, Dylan Diamond made frequent appearances on “06880.”

At 15, he built an app that allowed classmates to view their schedules and grades — then rolled it out nationally, with hundreds of thousands of downloads.

He followed up with apps that helped skiers find buddies on the slope, and let users book everything from babysitters and yardwork to concert tickets.

Now Inc. has taken notice. He and Wharton School classmate Max Baron have gone all-in on Saturn, a calendar app.

Inc. says “they are working to build community around the calendar in high schools, with a big vision fueling them: to own the time layer of the internet.”

To hear Inc.’s podcast — in which the two discuss “why retention is social, how living together has given the co-founders an ‘always on’ mindset, and what they learned from their early work experience at Tesla and Havas” — click here(Hat tip: John Dodig)

Dylan Diamond, in San Francisco. While still a Staples High School student, he scored a coveted invitation to Facebook’s F8 conference.


How bad are the wildfires out west?

Peter Gold notes that Connecticut has 3.548 million acres.  As of Saturday, over 3.2 million acres have burned in California this fire season alone. In addition, 900,000 acres burned in Oregon, and over 600,000 more in Washington.

“It’s hard to imagine an area almost one-and-a-half times the size of Connecticut burned in just 3 states,” he says.

Battling a blaze in California.


Jane Mansbridge is a professor of political leadership and values at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

A recent Harvard Gazette story traces her “jagged trajectory” from her youth in Weston, and years at Staples High School (Class of 1957) to her current role as one of the world’s leading scholars of democratic theory.

She loved growing up in a small town. But, she says, she was bullied in Weston and at Staples for being “bookish and a smart girl.”

Realizing that not everyone liked the kind of person she was, or the values she held may have contributed to her later drive to find out more about people who were not like her, she says.

Click here for the full story. (Hat tip: A. David Wunsch)

Jane Mansbridge (Photo/Stephanie Mitchell for Harvard staff)


The porgies are in! This was the scene yesterday, at Sherwood Island State Park. Of course, fishermen always observe social distance.

(Photo/Roseann Spengler)


And finally … On this day in 1814, Francis Scott Key watched a British bombardment of Maryland during the War of 1812. Inspired by the sight of an American flag still flying at daybreak, he wrote a poem. “The Defence of Fort M’Henry” was later set to music. In 1931 “The Star-Spangled Banner” became our national anthem. One of the most famous versions was sung by our wonderful neighbor, Weston’s Jose Feliciano, before Game 5 of the 1968 World Series in Detroit. It was controversial at the time; no one had ever delivered such a non-traditional rendition.

His performance nearly ended his career. But 42 years later — in 2010 — he was invited back to Detroit, to perform it again. This time, the crowd roared.

Dylan Diamond Does F8

“On the internet, no one knows you’re a dog” — that’s the classic New Yorker cartoon, showing 2 canines at a computer.

No one knows you’re a high school junior, either.

Not that anyone should care. Staples’ Dylan Diamond designs user-friendly apps that fill folks’ needs.

Dylan Diamond, at San Francisco's Fort Mason earlier this month.

Dylan Diamond, at San Francisco’s Fort Mason earlier this month.

His myHAC allows students and parents nationwide easy access to school schedules and grades. It’s been downloaded 85,000 times.

Ski With Friends helps skiers find buddies on the slope.

His current project, Saround — with fellow Westporter Adam Goldberg — lets users book anything from babysitters and yardwork to concert tickets, by priority.

Next up: an app to expedite food purchases in school cafeterias.

So it’s no surprise that Dylan snagged a coveted invitation to Facebook’s F8 conference this month.

Or that Facebook covered the entire $800 registration fee too.

Dylan Diamond, with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Dylan Diamond, with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

The hands-on, collaborative event — held at San Francisco’s Fort Mason — is huge. It draws developers and entrepreneurs from around the globe. Facebook engineers interact with attendees. They share ideas, teach each other, and return to their offices (or schools) ready for the Next Big Thing.

Dylan made the most of his time. He saw Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, standing on the conference floor. Dylan walked up, introduced himself, and told her about his apps.

Dylan also hung with Mike Schroepfer, the CTO. He sat next to the CEO of Oculus Rift, the biggest name in virtual reality.

Dylan and those heavy hitters talked about Facebook’s new Messenger bot — unveiled at F8 — as well as analytics.

He got advice on startups. Attendees examined his code, and answered his questions about how to do more, be more efficient, and design better tools.

Dylan Diamond was up close for Mark Zuckerberg's keynote address.

Dylan Diamond was up close for Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote address.

Mark Zuckerberg was there too, of course. His keynote address was one highlight. Even better: His announcement that everyone at F8 would received a free Oculus headset.

(Dylan used it on the plane ride home. His fellow travelers were quite impressed.)

There were a couple dozen high school students at F8, like Dylan. They become good friends. After the conference, he and 2 others drove to Cupertino, to check out Uber and Apple headquarters.

“Everyone there was super-passionate,” Dylan says. “They really opened  my eyes to new ideas.”

Dylan does more than develop apps, of course. He handles the school paper Inklings’ website. He’s also on the ski and cross country team.

That last activity came in handy at F8. A  long line of attendees waited to get into the building to hear Zuckerberg.

Dylan outraced the others, and had one of the best seats in the house.

Dylan Diamond's VR selfie.

Dylan Diamond’s VR selfie.

Dylan Diamond Makes The Grade

Back in the day, students learned their grades 4 times a year: the end of each quarter, when report cards came out.

Today — isn’t technology wonderful? — kids can access their grades any time they want. Some check them many times a day.

Almost as often as their parents do.

But — isn’t technology a bitch? — until recently, Staples students (and their parents) were frustrated by Home Access Center. That’s the website that works well on a desktop or laptop, but is very hard to view on a mobile device.

Sometimes — this is a true First World problem —  it doesn’t even load. Grrrrr!

Dylan Diamond

Dylan Diamond

Into that frustrating breach rode Dylan Diamond. Only a freshman  — who apparently didn’t get the memo that he shouldn’t start freaking out over grades for a few more months — he developed a free iPhone/iPad app. 

Called “MyHAC” — a clever play on “hacking” and the Home Access Center acronym, while paying homage to Eric Lubin’s very popular “My Staples” schedule-and-time app — it solves every Home Access website problem.

Staples and middle school students — and their parents! — can easily view all grades, class assignments and transcripts. It lists grades from previous marking periods. And a “Remember Me” feature means that (unlike the website) you don’t have to log in each time.

Up next: push notifications, for new assignments.

This is not Dylan’s 1st app. Last year at Coleytown, for a science assignment, he created “MyMoonPhase.” Showing the current moon phase, with a description, it’s been downloaded 3,000 times, all over the world.

The MyHAC screen shows Dylan’s grades. He had a 97.91 in Biology Honors.

The MyHAC screen shows Dylan’s grades. He had a 97.91 in Biology Honors.

“My HAC” has been out for just a few weeks, and its relevance is limited to Westport. But it’s already recorded 600 downloads. (And that’s just for iOS devices. There’s no Android or Windows phone version.)

Dylan — who is also a cross country and track team member, and worked on lighting for Staples Players’ Thoroughly Modern Millie —  is largely self-taught. He took a course in New York last summer on app development, but most of what he knows comes from research on — of course — the internet. He enjoys creating apps, because he has the freedom to do whatever he wants; the process is creative, and the final product helps people.

The toughest parts of creating “My HAC,” Dylan says, were making the app fully compatible with Westport’s servers, and ensuring that all data was secure. Once he figured that out, it took just a couple of weeks to finish.

Dylan can’t use the Westport Schools’ logo. But school officials — and his computer teacher, Nate Dewey — think it’s great. As do all those students checking their grades. at this very moment.

And their parents.