Technology

6th Blog Anniversary

6 yrs ann

Say what?

OK, this was/is my original platform and I haven’t used it much in the last year. But, that hasn’t kept me from blogging.

I am still here. I still think about Understanding, Optional every day. I look at those drafts sitting there and I think, “I should do something with those.” Yet, I can’t find in me to push publish.

Weird how that works, right? So, I find that my other blog (if you have payed attention in the past you already know about it…or you have time to dig through the archives here) has taken a bit more of my time since I do it nearly daily.

I’ll still publish here from time to time, so don’t “Unfollow.” This blog just has a different vibe to it and isn’t suitable for an every day kind of publishing.

Keep an eye out though, I’ll have something soon.

In the meantime, I think I’ll have a beer, perhaps a stout or a porter, to celebrate.

CHEERS!

Have you seen this?

My guess is – NO.

Big tech likely doesn’t want you to see it.

Why? Because a well respected, highly educated researcher has exposed them for subliminal manipulation, data suppression, and outright censorship.

It’s hard to argue with facts. Proof.

Do you find this information surprising, or does it already fit with your assumptions?

Google and Facebook are mentioned specifically in the video, but another source that could also be mentioned is the one where this very blog is hosted.

WordPress doesn’t appear to have a balanced approach to who or what it supports. It leans one way. They have a liberal agenda too. Have you found that it is difficult to find conservative voices or sites? Maybe, maybe not, but you really have to search for them. Have you noticed that the Discover tab on your Reader page rarely or never (never is actually more accurate) features a conservative viewpoint?

Is that on purpose? Hard to say, but it sure seems to be. Do they suppress the voices of those who they don’t agree with? Not that I am aware of. They allow for “free speech” and I haven’t heard of anyone getting shut down, but then I am not a researcher on this issue either. Just my impressions. They don’t however do anything to promote them in any way.

I am sure there are more companies out there doing the same thing.

This video is rather telling.

 

Headline commentary

Headline click bait

Which of these headlines is appropriate and which are just click bait with unnecessary, and inflammatory editorial? I would say two are click bait, two are borderline, and one is written correctly. What do you think?

Click bait. I’ve said it before and I am sure I’ll say it again.

Is it any doubt that people are frustrated with the media when you see headlines written like this? This is out of the Google News feed – “Top Stories.” I don’t know what algorithm Goggle uses, but it rather annoying to read the news every day and have to wade through garbage to find something worth a read. Admittedly, sometimes it is really hard to avoid the click bait because you have no choice based on what is given to you in the feed.

So, where does the problem stem from? Is it that journalism and writing isn’t being taught any longer? Is that journalist have little integrity left and are all about the clicks? Is it that news agency are requiring their journalists to create headlines and news stories that will garner more clicks & views? Are the news agencies at fault or is it the journalist?

What do you think? Is the distrust of the media warranted?

Superstitious View

I visited Arizona a couple years ago, again, and we were near the Superstition Mountains. These mountains brought back fond memories of a college backpacking trip during Spring break of ’94. Anyway, here are a couple of pictures I took and edited on my iPhone. Enjoy!!

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Do you have a favorite mountain or mountains? Do you visit them often or just admire them in a photo?

It’s time to go hiking again, I think. The weather is almost there…

Blog mile markers

I don’t have much substance to today’s post. It is just really a review of things that have taken place in the last couple weeks with my blogs, and a chance to stop and smell the roses. Oh, and I should probably say thanks too.

First, let me say thanks to all who have stopped and read (an assumption) and “Liked” a post or two around here. I appreciate it very much! As such, you have helped me get Understanding, Optional to one of those blog mile markers:

1000k UO

I started this particular blog just because I wanted to have discussion on topics that mattered outside of the classroom. Now that I am outside of the classroom, I still want to have to conversations that matter but sometimes it seems harder and harder to engage and audience that is more voyeuristic than anything. I guess a “like” here and there is at least acknowledgement that someone is stopping by on occasion.

The other thing I wanted to acknowledge is that my other blog, Piss and Moan, has also hit some blog mile markers. Strangely, it has taken less time but I also publish nearly every weekday there. Obviously, the topics are less serious but they do seem to engage more people in conversation. Is it weird how we all have similar complaints, irritations, and struggles? Probably not, because we’re human but it is still nice to put a voice to the challenges and commiserate with like minded people.

So, the blog miles markers are similar and different at the same time:

200 posts PM1000k PM

While it was never meant to be a serious blog, it has seemed to resonate with some people. It also seems to resonate with those “blog spammers” who want to sell anything and everything…maybe I need to write another blog on that…another day, another topic. If you want to help Piss and Moan hit some other blog mile markers, go take a look at it and give it a follow. I would appreciate it!

Anyway, all that to celebrate the life of two blogs and to say THANKS! You keep looking and liking and I’ll keep writing!

 

Should libraries be obsolete?

books on bookshelves

Photo by Mikes Photos on Pexels.com

Let’s get real for a sec, shall we?

Just yesterday I tried to download an audio book on an app that the local library uses. Sure, it’s been more than a year since I used my library card, but that shouldn’t really matter right? Nope. Turns out my library card has expired (it has to be renewed every year) and I can’t just do that over the phone. I have to show up and show them my picture ID. Really? Do we really need to be that rigorous in our library security?

That got me thinking? Should we really need a “membership” to access a library? I mean, in the practical sense, yes I understand they want to make sure books are returned and they can collect fees if they are not, but when it comes right down to it, is it really necessary? But I only consume audio-books and the only time I have stepped foot, literally, in a library is to renew the stupid card. That is absurd and impractical if you ask me.

There is a wealth of information on the internet and most of it is controlled by memberships via electronic registrations and whatnot. Can’t a library be like that also? Netflix, Amazon, Pandora, and a whole host of other companies/institutions have memberships all generated electronically and it seems like it is a fairly efficient way to deliver content to consumers. So why can’t a library do the same thing?

Does a library really need to be the gatekeeper for information access? I don’t think so. That’s why I have said many times in the past that libraries are kind of a waste of space. Sure, it’s nice to hold a book once in a while. Yes, it does take some getting used to consuming what is normally “printed” data via an electronic source. I get that some people prefer to do it the “old-fashioned” way.

So, readers? What say, ye? Do we need libraries or can we (better yet, should we) do away with them?

Brush with celebrity

person holding round smiling emoji board photo

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Every once in a while, you just feel special. Not because you did anything, but because you were in the right place at the right time. Not because a person you admire has done anything extraordinary (though some times they have), but because they took time to notice you when they didn’t have to.

I have had brushes with celebrity, to varying degrees. The encounters make me smile. The celebrity likely doesn’t remember the encounter or know that they even made someone’s day. But they did, and it matters to you.

I am sure that I will have more encounters, hopefully that is. I am also sure that I have probably had brushes with celebrities that I didn’t even know I had (someone becomes famous after knowing them or maybe I didn’t recognize them). But so far, these three are the ones that stand out, so I get to tell you about it because I can.

Buck Compton

That name probably doesn’t ring a bell for you, at least not right away. But, it will once I tell you more about who he is.

Buck was a real American hero (read about him at the link). A man of extraordinary accomplishments who was as humble as they come. He was just doing his job and that’s all it was. It just had to be done. He was one of the soldiers featured in the Band of Brothers series.

As a result of my time with Buck, I also got to meet other celebrities. The actors from the Band of Brothers series showed up at his 90th birthday party. It was cool to meet them too.

Unfortunately, I met Buck late in his life and I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with him. He came to my classroom and talked with my students. He knew my name and appreciated that I was a history teacher. We met a couple other times since he lived here locally and was accessible. He liked to tell me his experiences. I loved to listen.

Mike Rowe

I’ve never met him, but I admire him.

I ran into Mike on social media. Facebook, to be exact. It was a chance encounter. It was the result of a little podcast (not so little any more) called, “The Way I Heard It,” which he created along the lines of the genre that made Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story” iconic. I just happened to listen to episode 88, “The Missiles of December,” and loved it so much that I commented on his Facebook post regarding the podcast.

I never expected a response. He is, after all, a celebrity and doesn’t have time for me (though if you look at many of his posts he does respond to quite a few people). So, once again, my day was made and he doesn’t even know he put a smile on my face.

mike facebook

 

Beauty Beyond Bones

Finally, there is a blogger who has captured my attention. Not in a weird way, but in a way that slightly intrigues me because someone else is paying attention to me, or at least what I write.

She is a “celebrity” of sorts, though I have a feeling she would say she isn’t. She has over 40k followers, people who take notice when she speaks, when she shares, when she tells it like it is. The gets lots of comments, likes, and her influence is growing. She has lots of things going on in her life and she is doing pretty well at making people take notice.

I have never met her either. But, I can say that it brings me great pleasure when I see the notice below in my email box. She has “Liked” one of the posts from my two blogs (this one or the other shown below). Sometimes she even likes a post from each of them in the same day! Imagine that!?!

Here’s the thing, though. It isn’t just a “like” (at least I don’t think it is) because “likes” in social media are usually turned around so that you “like” their stuff and follow them, only to get ignored or “unfollowed” shortly thereafter. I truly believe she reads what I have written and she likes what I have to say. That brings a smile to my face as well.

It is something small, but it feels good.

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So, have you had a brush with celebrity? Tell me about it in the comments. Share your story!

Why isn’t this reality?

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For just a short minute, my car hit max fuel economy.

I bought a new car a little while back. Like, a brand NEW car. Not a car that is new to me. I have never had one of those before so I was kind of fun.

I did my research and though I probably could have gone out and gotten myself a “mid-life crisis car,” I did not. I was relatively responsible and tried to keep it affordable when it comes to fuel since I drive over, on average, 2200 miles a month. Fuel economy is kind of important. However, I didn’t get the most fuel efficient vehicle because I did want something that was more attractive than the last vehicle.

Anyway, it occurred to me in my search that perhaps a hybrid would be better than an all electric (thought Tesla is intriguing), mostly because places to charge your vehicle are limited at this time.

So, why a hybrid? Well, it seems to me that it is the best of both worlds. The fuel obviously is needed to help supply energy to the car. But the electric motors also help with lowering fuel consumption at the same time. So, after doing some research I decided on a vehicle that I thought was most attractive and relatively efficient – a 2018 Kia Niro.

Now, I am not going to go into a sales pitch. That isn’t the point of this post.

The point is the picture at the top of the post. Why can’t we get max fuel economy all the time? It seems to me that 99.9 miles per gallon should be the standard. I believe the technology is out there to make it happen, so why doesn’t it?

My guess is that the oil industry/lobby has a great say in the matter. Of course they are protecting their profits, who wouldn’t want to do that? But, at the same time, perhaps investing in or creating engines that maximized their products for the consumer would be just as profitable if the consumer had the option? Oh, I am being silly. I am sure the oil industry is or has already been doing that. But, at the same time, we don’t see fuel efficiency in vehicle continually going up so someone is holding or killing the tech to make it happen.

I guess I am preaching to the choir here. I know you all want the same thing too. Just imagine, a small tank of fuel (10 gal?) and 100 mpg. Who doesn’t want 1000 miles on a tank? I know I do!

What do you think? How do you feel about the issue?

1 year later: Branching out, er, expanding?

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It’s been a little over a year and the project keeps growing! More people have looked at the page and more people have joined me on Instagram so see what comes up next. Have you taken a look yet? Have you followed on Instagram yet? I bet you get a giggle or two if you do! Go ahead, grab a morning coffee, and go visit and take a scroll.


Just a quick note to have you take a look at the new page on the blog. You’ll find it up there in the top next two “Home,” “About,” and “Contact.” If you can’t figure it out from all the hints, try looking for “Stupid Board: Classroom Quotes.” There is an explanation about what it is and where to look as well.

Happy viewing, and I hope you will be intrigued enough to join me on Instagram as well!