Thursday, April 25, 2019

Boy wonder

I was never the boy wonder, but boy, I have always wondered.

I assumed for the longest time that everyone was thinking and wondering. My life has presented evidence that thinking mode is not universally engaged. In some cases it appears to have been completely disabled.

You certainly have heard about dumb criminals before. A recent one was a Tulsa man arrested on a burglary charge after firefighters pulled him out of a chimney at an east Tulsa business. I would have tempted to tell him the rescue will wait until his confession is heard. No reason to waste court time with that one.

Over time I’ve found the site Quora a great place to discover new knowledge on many subjects. Their accuracy in matching my interest is good. However, I’m puzzled about the background of a question or two on Quora. The following questions start my wondering. Not about the question but about the person or their state of mind at the time.

Found on Quora

  • What would happen if an icecube equal to the size of the sun would hit the sun?
  • If you plug in a power strip and then plug more power strips into each socket of that power strip, and then do the same for each new power strip, etc would you have infinite ports? Or does the energy get less and less with each power strip?
  • The bulb for fluorescent ceiling light has bust -- how do I get my landlord to replace it?
  • In detail, What would you do if you found out aliens unsuccessfully attacked Earth in past and now the few surviving aliens meet at AA meetings to talk about the good ole days and try and think about ways to conquer the world?
  • How do I control the output voltage on my DIY welder? I used 2 microwave transformers to step down 120v AC to 30v AC and upped the amps. The problem is, the amperage fluctuates from 15 (striking) to nearly 275 (stuck).
  • How do you smoke from a light bulb? (Ok I don't remember the timing of these last two questions but this guy should hook-up with the DIY welder)

Well I don't really care if people don't like to wonder. I just appreciate them thinking a little if their path crosses mine.

I woke last night to the sound of thunder
How far off I sat and wondered

(uh, you still there? 
Blog posts can be similar to newspapers or magazines in that their topics can lose popularity after just a short time. Yesterday’s news. There are stories that stay relevant over time. Here’s a post of mine from 2015 that still has relevance today. It was one of my few with a bit of Latin in the title, “non-sequitur thoughts”. )

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Never watched probably never will

I’ll gladly proclaim I’ve never watched Game of Thrones. I never plan on watching it either. While I enjoy some science fiction, I think (maybe I’m wrong) this popular cable series was more fantasy than science fiction.

I only mention that over-hyped series to compare it to the stuff I do watch. My wife and I mostly watch PBS shows. Some might say it’s an age related thing, but I would say if age has anything influence, it’s the added wisdom that comes with age.

Taken from article by National Post

I was working on a post about our digital life and the complications of storing the volumes of digital pictures streaming around our daily lives. That post turned into more of a rant. I like technology. The cutting edge tech of the 1980’s and 1990’s has gone dull now. It provided me a good career. Why should I rant about later advances that can be traced back to the stuff of my former career? Why rant about a first world problem?

Back to the shows I watch. I recently rewatched a NOVA program (Arctic Ghost Ship) about the Franklin arctic expedition of the mid 1800’s. A few years ago researchers found one the expeditions ships on the arctic sea floor.

While the NOVA program provides plenty of knowledge and topics to think about. I’ll focus on just one. One of the key pieces of information leading to finding the sunken ship came from Inuit oral history.

Storytelling is certainly a human tradition. Our western culture proceeded down the written path that can be connected over centuries to our digital world. I’m just amazed that the facts passed along over multiple generations of Inuits through storytelling could be a critical factor in finding a long lost ship. Maybe if I was an Inuit I would not be surprised at all.

What historical facts will future generations discover about our life today through the digital footprints we leave? Will the information be so accessible that people will not even find it interesting? Will the future culture be more interested in the next fantasy series on our ever changing cable services? 

Changes in our technology can create generational gaps. It seems the storytelling of oral histories binds the generations of those cultures together. The Intuit community now has the internet and many other modern technology. I hope it doesn't ruin their beneficial oral history tradition.

Monday, April 01, 2019

alligator lizards in the air

Well now I know, thanks to the wonderful internet of knowledge.

My last post inquired into “a pigeon from hell”. Now I bring up “alligator lizards in the air”. Is this a trend? I doubt it. I’m not a trend setter. My trends have all gone off the rails.

Being retired I have time to listen to lyrics and look them up for more analysis. Most any piece of lyric can be used to find the whole song. Just a google away (Not to be confused with a googly - cricket anyone*). The wonderful wikipedia not only helps identify the song but often the story behind odd phrases.

fish in the air

Ok if you are still puzzled about which song lyrics this comes from ( thanks for not leaving the blog to find out), it’s the band America’s song “Ventura Highway”.

'Cause the free wind is blowin' through
Your hair
And the days surround your daylight
Seasons crying no despair
Alligator lizards in the air

Most of the song makes complete sense. It’s talking about the better weather on our west coast compared to towns that don’t look good in snow. But what does a nice climate have to do with “alligator lizards in the air”?

The story according to wikipedia, explains that as a kid the song’s writer, Dewey Bunnell, was spotting shapes in the clouds with his brother while his father repaired a flat tire on the side of a California highway. It would be interesting to learn their father’s version of the story.

Dewey’s father was in the USAF which made the story even more interesting since I have been to a few of the Air Force bases mentioned.

* If I understand the slang term googly then a googly google would be a tough search for an answer.

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