Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
After all, as a New Yorker cartoon once proclaimed, on the Internet nobody can tell you're a dog. However, this becomes a problem when cyber pals decide to meet in real life. Unlike one of my favorite movies, You've Got Mail, these meeting don't always go well. This story from Jim Connolly's blog is about one such encounter.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I went out on the porch, to retrieve the Christmas tree my wife and I were finally going to put up before Santa arrives, and was greeted by my favorite form of precipitation - snow. Since most people think of me as Russian, I like to tell them that my fellow countrymen invented Winter. This may not be true, but it sure felt that way when I was a kid.
When I was a kid, I would go to bed on November 3oth in anticipation of the wonderful sight that would be outside when I woke up the next morning. Back then you could count on the snow because the snow would not disappoint. This was before the so-called global warming sent the climate into a tail spin resulting in cold Winters completely devoid of snow. Winters that remind you of the inside of a walk-in freezer.
I am not sure how accurate these thirty-year-old memories are, but I know that back then snow made me happy. And now remembering that happiness and childlike wonder at the sight of first snow on the ground makes me proud that my ancestors invented Winter.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
But there is a better way to spend that $5. You can put it to a good use and sponsor a 1lbs. package to send to our troops in Iraq of Afghanistan. Or you can even put a box at your work place an collect Christmas cards for the troops. Every little bit helps. Especially this time of year, when the troops stationed overseas need a pick-me-up more than ever.
This card and package drive is called Holiday Love Campaign and is the brain child of eMail Our Military (eMOM), a Miami based non-profit organization. Check out their blog, for more information about Holiday Love Campaign.
Friday, November 28, 2008
This kick off of the Christmas shopping season is called Black Friday. And today it lived up to its name. A crowed at a Long Island Wal-mart trampled a 34-year-old store employee along with a 28-year-old pregnant woman. The store employee later died and the woman is in the hospital for observation.
What happened was a tragedy, but not an unexpected one. Several years in a row reports of somebody being trampled nearly to death at a Wal-mart store would appear on Black Friday. One cause for this is the low quantities of the Black Friday merchandise the retailers have in stores. This creates a sense of urgency which then causes otherwise rational human beings to stampede like cattle killing people in the process.
This is consumerism at its worst. And that makes me sad because it cheapens Christmas. Maybe it's time people started to think about the gifts they are going to give instead of just buying things because they are on sale at 5 AM.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I am not going to delve into the age before newspapers because information back then was quite unreliable and got from place to place at the pace of a comatose tortoise. Unless something happened at the next town, it might be weeks or even months before you heard the news. And by then it might already be too late to do anything.
Eventually this situation was rectified by the invention of the printing press. This, in turn, lead to newspapers which covered various events and got these reports out to people somewhat quickly. However, these same newspapers still took a while to get from city to city. So, if you did not reside in a metropolitan area, by the time you read the paper it was already ancient. Also, not all the news made it into the paper.
Fast forward a little bit and telegraph along with railroads arrived on the scene. Now the distances that were impossible to traverse quickly no longer seemed so impossible and did not stand in the way of the news. A reporter, who was able to roam freely, could cover a story and then send it, using the "wireless," to his editor. And after the newspaper was printed it could be delivered to the readers by rail. So, if you did not reside in a metropolitan area, by the time you read the paper it was no longer ancient, merely old.
The next technological development that altered the news business was the invention of the radio. This was a huge step forward because it lead to stories being covered in real time by reporters right on the scene. An infamous example of this is the Hindenburg crash at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station in 1937. But, despite the invention of live coverage, the newspaper business continued at the same pace as before.
This brings us to the invention of television which gave us the ability to see the story instead of just hearing about it while a reporter commentated the events as they happened. Another byproduct of television was the nightly news, a recap of the day's news that was broadcast several hours before newspapers could even hit the stands. Despite these developments the newspaper business continued, at a lesser pace perhaps, but it continued nonetheless.
The televised news lead to the birth of the twenty four hour news channels and now you could see the world in action. The reporters were scattered around the globe covering it like a blanket and bringing stories from all over right into your living room. And yet the newspapers remained in business. Somehow, with all the news that was fit to be shown live, there was still room for articles, columns, and photo spreads. Somehow the people who had the news piped into their living room still wanted to read the newspaper.
And now we are in the age of the Internet which gave rise to blogs allowing ordinary people to publish their own take on the news instead of being force fed the thoughts and opinions of the pundits, columnists, and talk show hosts. These so-called Citizen Journalists are now giving the newspapers a run for their money because as a solo reporter/publisher a blogger can cover the story and then put it on the Web without first getting it approved, or even turned down, by an editor.
Newspapers also face huge competition from blogs and bloggers because they have not embraced the Internet the way they ought to in order to stay competitive in this instant age. Majority of newspapers simply have a website on which they display an electronic version of their printed copy without embracing all the wonderful things a newspaper can do on the web.
One thing that a newspaper can do to enhance its site is to have staff blogs hosted on it. This will draw people to the site and provide content other than the already outdated stories. Another is to create a discussion board for the readers so people can comment on the news and post their opinions. This can even replace letters to the editor which would free up space for more advertising.
There are a lot more ways a newspaper can embrace the Web and thereby provide something other than a paperless version of itself, but the important point here is that in the Web 2.0 age newspapers need to evolve beyond the stagnant state they have been in since they have been invented. Sure there have been technological improvements which made the newspapers better and faster, but now they are at a point were, if major changes are not made, they could become obsolete.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
It wasn't too long ago that the same Time magazine declared us, the people who create online content, person of the year. So why such a sudden change? Did we all of a sudden fall out of favor with the publishers of Time?
I have no idea why Time's opinion of bloggers suddenly changed, but I think that there is room for everybody out here on the World Wide Web. Not every blog out there is dedicated to politics or sports or technology. There are bloggers who have a large readership and some that don't, but regardless of whether of the number of readers their message is still important.
I would not consider myself a blogger with a large following, but I would like to think that what I have to say is worth reading. The content I provide is usually well thought out and thoroughly edited. But I guess unless you work for Time magazine you should not have a blog. Oh, wait! Time just fired a whole bunch of their reporters. So, it seems, it's a good thing that I don't work for Time.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
This, of course, takes time. Sometimes, it takes a lot of time. Quite frequently this is the time I should dedicate to more noble pursuits like beating back the army of dirty dishes in the sink, making a heroic last stand (for the millionth time) against the invading hoard of my daughter's toys, or climbing Mount Laundry in search of its clean, white peak.
Instead I sit in front of my computer pondering my web based navel. I know that I need to be more productive and more organized. And lately I have been doing much better at this task, but, like with everything else in life, there is still plenty of room for improvement. So I intend to work on this problem with all the dedication I can muster. But I wonder if it's too early to start on my New Year's resolutions.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
But as much as I love their shows, I love their movies even more. Life of Brian is by far my favorite because it makes fun of all the things Judeo-Christianity holds most scared. The gentlemen behind Monty Python have not made a movie in years, but now they bring snippets of their shows and movies to YouTube.
Yes, now there is a Monty Python YouTube channel. Please watch the following announcement.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Personally I use it to keep up with breaking news which are delivered to my cell phone by CNN via Twitter. Also Twitter is great for first person accounts of various natural disasters such as the current California forest fires. When a story breaks, you can always find somebody on Twitter who is right in the middle of it
Now, it seems, the idea of using Twitter for business is sprouting wings. A YouTube search for this topic resulted in 945 results. Here is one of these videos. It was made by O'Reilly Media and it's called Twitter for Business.
Friday, November 14, 2008
But, having said all that, I also have to say that Christmas can be ruined by being overdone. Here is a perfect example. Yesterday, Lili and I went to a local supermarket in order to restock our rather depleted grocery supplies. The first thing we saw when we entered this warehouse of food was a display of poinsettias. Later, we went to the little cooler that usually contains Turkey Hill iced tea of different varieties in half gallon jugs only to find that it was filled to the brim with eggnog.
On a recent visit to Wal-mart we were bombarded by Christmas music while being surrounded by wreathes, bows, and ornaments. I am not a strong person, I am not able to let this Christmas overkill not bother me. It drives me crazy that all these companies which are only out to make a dime, since making a buck in this economy would be a miracle, are ruining a holiday that has been a favorite of mine since before my daughter was born on Christmas day in 2006.
So, to all of the people who have already put up their Christmas decorations, I say Bah Humbug! Christmas season does not start until Black Friday. Until then I will be figuring out what we're doing for Thanksgiving.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Sunday, November 09, 2008
On the last day of our trip to Florida we went to Ft. Myers Beach, where we sat on our beach towel and ate hot dogs surrounded by seagulls. Eventually the Sun set and we left the beach and returned to the hotel to pack, but not before I took this picture.
This the view from Heitman House in Ft. Myers, FL where my friend Andy's wedding reception took place. We missed the reception site the first time and ended up driving across this bridge with Carl, Andy's brother and best man, in tow. I always wanted to drive across one of these Florida bridges and now I have.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
I have my wife, who loves the Food Network, to thank for this. But I have to admit that it is fun to watch people cook dishes you have no desire or ambition to even attempt. Although, maybe watching Ace of Cakes is a better idea than watching a horror movie. Since watching one late at night is similar to eating right before bed because both will give you nightmares. And who wants to have nightmares on Halloween. :-)
But since it is Halloween, this post should include something related to this wonderful holiday. So, here is a little Monster Mash for all you ghouls. :-)
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
As a somebody who is looking for a full-time job, I can relate to what these people are going through. I am worried that the economy will take another nose dive and the $700 billion bailout package will not be sufficient. But I also hope things will turn around soon. We'll see.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
And it's hard to find a bigger underdog in all of sports than the Cubs. Compared to the winless century, the Red Sux 86 year winless streak is nothing to write home about. And now it might be 101 years before the Cubs win another World Series, making this the longest slump in the history of sports.
On the other hand, the LA Dodgers who eliminated the Cubs were led this season by Joe Torre. His old team, the Yankees, didn't even get into the postseason which it has done repeatedly with Torre at the helm. I wonder if Steinbrenner will replace the current manager after such a dismal performance this season. Also, with all the controversy surrounding baseball lately, I am looking forward to next year for more sports and less soap opera. Let's see what happens.
Friday, October 03, 2008
But in the end, no matter what was said about what was said, only the voters themselves should decided who won this debate. Because in a month, when you stand in that voting booth getting ready to put your $0.02 down on a presidential candidate, all the pundits and analysts won't matter. You won't even remember what was said and by whom.
If you want to know what I thought, I will tell you. I thought that Palin did a good job keeping afloat. She didn't answer any questions to my, or my wife's, satisfaction. She insulted every beer drinking American by calling them "Joe Sixpack" and that folksy "you betcha" just made her sounds like Tina Fey doing a really bad impersonation of a Canadian on Saturday Night Live.
She also refered to herslf as a "hockey mom" which is a wonderful thing to have on your resume when you are running for PTA president at your kids' school, but it doesn't even come close to cutting the mustard where being Vice President is consurned. If McCain is elected President, this woman is going to represent the US throughout the world on official state visits. This idea is scarry considering her only foreign diplomatic experience is beign the governor of a state that has a border with Russia.
If I were to use the same logic, I should be the Secretary of State in McCain's cabinet simply based on the fact that I was born, and spent half of my life, in Russia. And if that is not enough, I should be Secretary of State because I could actually find Israel on a map.
I could tell you who I thought was the clear winner, but I wouldn't want to influence anybody or start an arguement. But what I am going to tell you is that with a month left until the election you need, no you must, pick a candidate and soon.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The Japanese have always been early adapters of new technology partly due to the fact that Japan is a major developer of new technology. It would be interesting to see if these cellphone novels would become popular in other parts of the world, like Europe for example, which are massive text message users.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
The truth, however, is far different than the Photoshopped official portraits and messages approved by the candidate might suggest. The truth is that she believes mankind coexisted with dinosaurs and that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. Despite what the religious right may want you to believe, there is no room for such ideas in government because such ideas are insane. And we, having had eight years of prime, grade "A" ignorance in the White House, can not afford four years of sheer insanity. I believe that everybody's opinion has merit, but ideas like this have no more room in the 21st Century America than the ravings of an Austrian failed artist who attempted to reshape Europe sixty years ago.
We neither need, nor can not afford leaders who will pray for a solution in a critical situation instead of thinking of one. In case the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street didn't serve as a wake up call or a hint, this country is in deep trouble. Besides a two front war we are waging, the economy is slowly taking a trip back to the 1930s. I am not an economist and can not predict if we're heading for another not-so-great depression, but it sure feels like the ship of state soon will not be able to afford the fuel it runs on and run aground.
In this situation we don't need to be told to vote for somebody simply because they are a woman. We need to be told the truth. The truth is that she is wrong for the McCain presidential campaign, for the Republican party, and, most of all, she is wrong for America.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
However, this is not the money I am willing to spend helping out the people whose incompetence and/or greed got them in this situation in the first place. If each taxpayer gives Wall Street $2,000 there is no guarantee that they will not blow the save and find themselves in this exact situation again.
So the best solution in this case is to turn the ownership of these troubled financial institutions over to the taxpayers themselves after the bail out. If the government, who officially will be bailing out Wall Street, does not like this idea, they need to take these banks over. This is the only way anybody will see a return on their investment.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
I was checking Twitter before leaving to go pick up my wife from work and saw this post:
BreakingNewsOn : Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin tells ABC News that war may be necessary if Russia invades another country.Reading that made me nervous because the idea of a potential Vice President who supports a war with, or rather against, Russia scares me more than the idea of war with Russia. So I, upon arriving at my wife's work, proceeded to tell her about this gem of a news story. As somebody who is familiar with Russian history and its military I was convinced we're all doomed if Sarah Palin gets to be the second banana.
After we got home I sought out the article which would back up the quote I read. My search lead me to a number of videos I did not want to watch and then to a story that answered all my questions. The quote, it turned out, had to do with Georgia joining NATO and the US defending George in case of another attack by Russia. Palin was talking about defending one's ally which is a completely rational reason to go to war against a nation such as Russia.
I am really glad that I did not get on my little soapbox, waved my banner in the air, and proudly thumped my chest declaring for one and all to hear that the Republicans made a huge mistake with Plain as a running mate and that she, if elected, will upgrade this smoldering world wide conflict into global war.
So, like the title says, read before you leap. You'll be glad you did.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
To discuss MTV in general, and this incident in particular, Sanchez called upon Rachel Campos-Duffy, a former Real World cast member. Campos-Duffy, a conservative blogger and mother of five, proceeded to say that MTV has gone down hill in the years since she appeared on it. It's nice to hear Campos-Duffy have such nice things to say about her former employer. Especially since she owes her career to the appearance on Real World: San Fransisco and several subsequent MTV shows.
But what bothers me the most about this situation is that CNN, a serious news agency, considers the comments of a comedian on an irrelevant awards show worth reporting on. This is sad, very, very sad.
Monday, September 08, 2008
I like receiving these updates because when you live in a small town like Bloomsburg, it's very easy to forget about the greater world that lies beyond the county line. Also I don't usually watch CNN or other news channels, but I like to at least try to stay informed. And this allows me to stay informed to a degree.
Now I am following Rick Sanchez, a CNN anchor who incorporated Twitter into his show recently. And even though I have not watched his show yet, I am not surprised by this move because using Twitter makes it faster and easier to communicate with the audience then the more traditional email.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
After my daughter turned 20 months old in August, I started to wonder where the time has gone. I quite vividly remember her birth and her first birthday celebration, she opened all her presents herself. But now I find myself wondering where the time went and, more importantly, what to get her for her second birthday which will be here in four short months.
As my daughter grows, she develops new and astounding, at least to me, skills. Yesterday, for example, she climbed into her high chair by herself. This is like climbing Mt. Everest without oxygen in terms of toddler accomplishments. As I watched her perform this incredible feat, I was both extremely scared and extremely proud because it was something she attempted all by herself and succeeded.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Monday, September 01, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
One such maneuver is the alley dock which is a very straight forward, or straight backward rather, bit of driving which requires you to put a truck into a box outlined by four cones without hitting them. If you miss backing the truck into this box, you are allowed to pull up, straighten out, and attempt to back into the box again.
This is not a difficult thing to do, as my classmates demonstrate repeatedly, yet I have not found my key to getting this procedure under control. The instructional designer side of my brain tries to figure out how I can explain the alley dock to myself in terms and concepts that will make the most sense.
I know that everybody learns differently and that simply presenting the material to a learner and telling them to learn it is a lousy way to teach and is bound to fail. I also know that this class did not benefit from the use of such staples of instructional design as the ADDIE model, so I can not expect the pedagogy to adopt to my own learning style (which would be ideal in any teaching situation because it would result in a higher rate of success on the part of the learners, but also would be impractical since teaching the same material using different approaches would not be cost effective) and yet I seem to have a hard time putting the steps together in a successful sequence.
There is one more week of class before the CDL test and by that time I need to figure out how to solve the instructional design problem that lies before me. Whatever the outcome, being both the instructional designer and the learner is proving to be very difficult.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Here is that list:
- Polo - There are simply not enough horse events in the Olympics. There is already Water Polo which means that the regular, or Land Polo, game should also be represented. Besides, if we send multimillionaires to represent the US under the guise of the Men's Basketball Team, why not include some of the super rich, too.
- Bocce - This is a game that combines elements of both bowling and curling. Variations of this game are played throughout the world which means that there won't be a shortage of players. And the best part is: it's really old, the Ancient Romans had a game like Bocce.
- Street Luge - Winter Olympics have Luge, which is not as dangerous and as exciting to watch as Street Luge, so Summer Olympics should have Street Luge. And the host city won't even have to build a venue for this event. All you need is a steep downhill and a lot of hay bails, or used tires, to stop the racers from impacting nearby buildings.
- Shuffleboard - This is a game mainly played by older people. Since 30 is too old in some sports, and people are living longer these days, including it in the Olympics would increase the age of the Olympians. If Shuffleboard is included we might even see an octogenarian gold medalist.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
And when I wasn't busy with that I was watching the Summer Olympics. During the opening ceremonies it dawned on me that I have been watching various Olympics for the last 28 years. I can't remember if I watched the 1976 Summer Olympics since I was only three at the time, but my memory of watching the opening ceremonies of the Moscow Olympics four years later is quite vivid.
There are a couple Olympic issues, such as the Chinese Girls Gymnastics team and the new extra innings rule for baseball, I would like to address, but at present I do not have the time so I will focus on them later. Please stand by.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Friday, August 08, 2008
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Saturday, August 02, 2008
My front door is open
but I can not hear the street
that usually flows outside
Its flow has ebbed
on this Summer Saturday and
all the people who travel
Along this street have
gone elsewhere for the moment
leaving an empty quiet
behind them like a wake
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Both of these places serve coffee of better quality than Starbucks at a lower cost. But fear not, coffee lovers. If you desire a cup of Starbucks coffee you will be able to find it in Bloomsburg atop College Hill, on the first floor of the Bloomsburg University Library. It seems that the twentysomethings who inhabit B.U. can not survive between classes without infusions of overpriced coffee.
But, to quote Lenny Kravitz, what I really want to know is what does a character from the original Battlestar Galactica has to do with coffee?
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Lili likes to get her toys out and spread them out in the living room. Today she decided to get into the box that used to contain her toys.
I have read a few entries and found that they are well written. The part that made me want to read this blog again was that it is written from a stand point of a fan, a fan with really good season tickets, but a fan nonetheless. While I expected to find the ravings of an armchair GM with a Hollywood sized ego, I found a baseball fan who used to watch the Yankees on her father's lap.
The only thing that surprised me the most about Touch 'em All is the name of its author. But, in large part due to that name, I will add Touch 'em All to my blog list.