Music Monday: A one hit wonder – Oh, Oh, Oh It’s Magic

Posted By on July 15, 2019

Heard this one-hit-wonder this past week and thought it would make a great addition for Music Monday. The once Bay City Roller members, David Paton and Billy Lyall, formed the group Pilot in 1973 and in 1975 “Magic” hit the charts.

Book: Moondust – In Search of the Men Who Fell to the Earth

Posted By on July 14, 2019

As we approach the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon in 1969, I’ve been enjoying both television anniversary shows, articles and the book Moondust – In Search of the Men Who Fell to the Earth. The Andrew Smith book, in particular, has been enjoyable as it blends events from the author’s memory as a young boy at the time with the historic challenge of landing a man on the moon.

Smith’s memories as a kid reminded me of my life and my thoughts as a young boy in 1969. I can still remember sitting in the sun porch with my parents and grandmother (my grandfather died 4 months earlier) watching the small round-cornered console black and white television as the blurry men in spacesuits bounced around on the surface of the moon. It was an amazing achievement for the time … and considering we’ve never returned to the moon since the 1970s, it stands amazing to this day.

One of the points in particular that hit me (even today when reading this Space.com article), were the thoughts and logistical obstacles Michael Collins had as he orbited the moon. He waited alone and was responsible for the rendezvous with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin when they returned from the surface aboard the LM (Lem) to the Command Module.  He contemplated returning alone in the event something went wrong. Collins in Moondust remarked that the Lunar Module’s limited 3500 pounds of thrust had to rocket the Eagle, 2-men and “moon rocks” (my addition) back to the rendezvous altitude. Collins pondered that he could orbit only to about 50,000 feet, but that any lower would be too risky considering that the highest mountain on the moon is over 35,000 feet (Mt Everest on earth is 29,000 feet).

All in all, if you are looking for a great book about the astronauts “who fell to the earth” and a few of the authors’ memories of the time as we near this month’s 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, you will like this book.

Art: “Inner Beauty” can mean different things #stingray

Posted By on July 13, 2019

StingrayArt

Tropical Storm Barry expected to make landfall as a Hurricane

Posted By on July 13, 2019

TSBarry190712As of Friday night 7/12/2019, Barry is a slow moving tropical storm baring down on the US Gulf Coast. According to projections, the wind is not the primary concern, although it is expected to be at hurricane strength as it makes landfall. The bigger problem is the already high "near record" Mississippi River height with an expected storm surge of up to 9 feet and drenching rains adding more water. If I were anywhere near Barry’s landfall, I’d be seeking somewhere dryer to wait out the storm. It is going to be a very wet weekend from Texas to the Florida panhandle.

Tech Friday: The challenges of policing speech on social media

Posted By on July 12, 2019

Social media communication concept

There are challenges from users and governments facing several of the companies who make money advertising to the millions of eyeballs and the marketing of users personal data. We all want “free services,” but most people dislike the collection and selling of their personal data or having to sift through advertising … especially when it emulates a news or personal feed. BUT … besides the privacy issues associated with high profile social media sites like Facebook and Google, there is the recent mandate that they step-up their game when it comes to what users share on their platforms. Google’s YouTube component has been hammered with what shows up “next” in “kids” feeds to the point the company has moved to create a “playground” if you will of kids safe videos. The plan is that questionable content would not show up on a YouTube stream (good luck with that considering the billions of videos with embedded content – the algorithms better be good). This entire screening has taken on “policing speech” duties for supposedly non-biased employees who write the code to automatically screen and for “people” to make judgmental decisions.

Since I’m primarily only on Twitter, I’ve noticed the pro-active efforts that might be succeeding, but also has created a outrage when screeners without notice or anytwittericonappp arbitration have locked out users (their prerogative I suppose?). To understand the challenge would be to know and notice some of the high profile users who have lost their privileges. It has been heavily skewed towards provocative conservative speech, but for Twitter’s part they claim their evolving rules are protecting people, classes of people and groups from “hateful conduct” (a fairly broad and encompassing term).

Twitter’s recent update focused on dehumanizing speech around religion.”

“After months of conversations and feedback from the public, external experts and our own teams, we’re expanding our rules against hateful conduct to include language that dehumanizes others on the basis of religion,” the company wrote on its Twitter Safety blog.

(more…)

Twitter is a dead bird at the moment …

Posted By on July 11, 2019

I tend to use Twitter $TWTR as my daily newsfeed and choice of social media comment platform, but on Thursday afternoon this week, it is not working. For me, it is no big deal, but for reporters and politicians, it is the way they communicate nowadays. It will be interesting to hear what caused the outage.


Click image to see if Twitter is back up and running

Beautiful early morning summer driving in Ohio

Posted By on July 11, 2019


For decades I drove the Cincinnati to Cleveland/Akron/Warren Ohio drive at 4AM each week, but in recent years business has changed and the drive is no longer a regular thing. Part of me misses that early morning trip, but the other part that remembers snowstorms, construction and traffic delays does not. This past week I did enjoy the morning sunrise on my bug spattered windshield. 🙂

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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