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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Y is for YouTube


“The world is your bookmark.” 
- Joel Books


Do You YouTube?


Oh, come on.  You didn't think I would talk about myself again (Yeomans), did you?

When Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawad Karim founded YouTube in 2005 

there’s no way they could have predicted that they would change the world as we know it in 12 short years.

 YouTube has revolutionized everything from entertainment to education, 

opened new doors for talented individuals looking to be discovered, 

and brought people together from all over the globe. 


1.) IT IS A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL

 YouTube allows us to learn about places and cultures around the world from the actual people who live there.

From the last Shangri La, Bhutan

to the prettiest tour guide in Iceland

you can travel the globe in minutes.


2.)  YouTube IS TO BLAME FOR 
JUSTIN BIEBER!

 When Justin’s mom uploaded some videos of her son singing to YouTube 

to share with family and close friends she had no idea 

that it would lead to him singing before Obama.



3.) THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE

 Take the story of Neda Agha-Soltan

 who was killed in protests over the Iranian election of 2009. 

The world had no idea what was going on in Iran 

until a video of Neda being killed was uploaded to YouTube. 

 It spread like wildfire and soon the entire world jumped into action, 

doing what they could to stop the troubles in Iran and show their support.



4.) HOURS OF FREE ENTERTAINMENT


You can spend hours watching movies, reviews of movies and TV shows, 

clips from Ellen DeGeneras to snippets of Game of Thrones to Supergirl



5.) CYBER HANDYMAN

Need to find out how to change that ink cartridge or link up a sound bar to your Smart TV?

YouTube has dozens of tutorials to show you how.
 

HOW HAS YOUTUBE CHANGED 
YOUR WORLD?

Do you watch YouTube daily?  
Weekly?  
Or not at all? 

Friday, April 28, 2017

X is for X-RAY



“Though the doctors treated him, 
let his blood, 
and gave him medications to drink,
 he nevertheless recovered.”
- Leo Tolstoy

Do You Trust Doctors?

Did you know that surgeons in the fifties looked at their hands under X-Rays while they operated?

 Yeah.  It worked out just like you think.


 Then, there is Dr. Alice M. Stewart --

 an epidemiologist who first demonstrated the link between X-rays of pregnant women 

and disease in their children in 1956. 

Never heard of her?  Not surprising.  

The medical establishment did all they could to crush her.
 
Her finding that there was danger in receiving even such a low dose of radiation 

was met with outrage by doctors and the nuclear industry,

 and Dr. Stewart had difficulties obtaining financing for other studies. 

But by the mid-1970's, other scientists (male) 

had duplicated her findings on prenatal X-rays, and the practice ended.

Want to read more of this heroic woman?  

Read ''The Woman Who Knew Too Much: Alice Stewart and the Secrets of Radiation''

by Dr. Dr. Gayle Greene of Scripps College in Claremont, California.

Do You Trust The Medical Profession?

Thursday, April 27, 2017

W is for World Book Day


"A book is a dream you hold in your hands." 
- Neil Gaiman




Do You Know What 
World Book Day is?

Neil Gaiman wrote this book for World Book Day.

It is celebrated every April 23rd.

(It was started in Caledonia in 1923 to celebrate Miguel de Cervantes who died on that date.)

He and other authors wrote books for this day for nothing and publishers printed them for nothing.

They were sold for one pound each to children who had been given one pound tokens.

The whole thing exists purely to get children to read.

What a great concept, right?

Odd and the Frost Giants is one of my favorite Neil Gaiman books.

Have You Read It?

What Do You Think About World Book Day?

 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

V is for VINYL





"It was so exciting to go to the record shop,
buy a piece of vinyl
 and hold it,
read the liner notes,
look at the pictures.
Even the smell of the vinyl.”
Martin Gore
(founding member of Depeche Mode
and writer of the majority of their songs)

What Does The Comeback
of Vinyl Records
Tell Us About Ourselves?

Vinyl records are said to be an old and obsolete way of listening to music.  

But no one told the millenials who have bought more than 13 million vinyl records last year!

Vinyl records have a rawer sound than the digitized "perfect music" of CD's or digital downloads.

The grooves of the disc contain all the sounds recorded ...

 and the dust and scratches give the popping sound that somehow stirs us with evocative images of bygone times.

The comeback of vinyl is rooted in its distinctive lack of audio cleanness and perfection—

what fans call the “warmth” of the vinyl sound.

Life isn't perfect.  Life has flaws.  A perfect CD lacks the very life it seeks to exude. 

What does that say about us?

Perhaps, it says we yearn for the authentic, the pulsing pop and snap of real life in our entertainment.

What do you think?

Does this parlay to modern movies which seem so full of CGI 
that they lack any pulse at all?

       

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

U is for Ulysses


"We define our identity always by our success against that which oppresses us."
- Ulysses

"One must be cunning indeed to survive 
the wicked of this world."
 - Sherlock Holmes

 "A society which most values intelligence 
will create men of knowledge. 
A society which most values money 
will create scoundrels." 
- Mark Twain


Does Today's Culture Value Fame More Than Brain?

When reading as a child, 

I was drawn not to Hercules but to Ulysses

not to Robin Hood but to Sherlock Holmes,

not to Gunda Din but to Kim,

not to Superman but to Batman.




You see, I could not be born on Krypton, 

but I could mold my mind and body to think my way out of troubles. 


So I guess it is no surprise that with my Urban Fantasies

I created a modern Ulysses/Kim 

to outwit and tweak the noses of those who prowled the shadows of the French Quarter. 


Did Your Favorite Kind of Hero/Heroine In Your Childhood

Shape The Sort of Protagonist of whom You Write?

*

What Do You Think Your Childhood Heroes Said Of You?

Monday, April 24, 2017

T is for Twain



Is Mark Twain Still Relevant?


April 21, 1910 Mark Twain died.

In my historical fantasies, his death devastated his life-long friend, Samuel McCord.

The ghost of Mark Twain visits my blog so often that I should charge him rent.

Yet, does Mark Twain still 
speak to us today?


 Samuel Clemens is the great poet of America's longest river, 

while his quotes on politics and human nature enjoy a constant half-life as staples among speech-makers.

 "All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn," Ernest Hemingway wrote in 1935.

Most humor does not travel well over time, 

Yet Mark Twain's humor goes to the root of human nature which never changes really. 


Mark Twain's observations on War still resonate with many of us.

  Twain’s words in the following passage have a surprisingly familiar ring 

 to what political pundits were saying in protest to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:

 “We were to relieve them from Spanish tyranny to enable them to set up a government of their own, 

and we were to stand by and see that it got a fair trial,” wrote Twain. 

“It was not to be a government according to our ideas, 

but a government that represented the feeling of the majority of the Filipinos, a government according to Filipino ideas. 
 
That would have been a worthy mission for the United States. 

But now — 

why, we have got into a mess, 

a quagmire from which each fresh step renders the difficulty of extrication immensely greater. 

I’m sure I wish I could see what we were getting out of it, and all it means to us as a nation.”


Mark Twain also wrote a chilling piece called The War Prayer, 

illustrating how people who oppose foreign wars and government intervention are shamed into silence:

 “It was indeed a glad and gracious time,” Twain wrote, 

“and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness 

straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety’s sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.”


I have always been more fond of his newspaper articles, essays, lectures, and personal  letters than his fiction.


Do any of you still read Mark Twain?


Saturday, April 22, 2017

S is for SEX


“My fear of abandonment is exceeded 
only by my terror of intimacy.”
 - Ethlie Ann Vare


Has Casual Sex Destroyed Our Ability 
To Think Beyond Ourselves ... 
To Love?

Our generation centers more and more on an ever-expanding growth of technology.

Once girls wore letterman jackets of their boyfriends, 

exchanged love letters, and took long walks in the park hand in hand.

Now, lonely souls search Tinder, Facebook, and 

stare starry-eyed at tiny images on their iPhones, mistaking texting for touching.

So many of the young people you see staring intently at their smartphones are slightly dead inside, 

hollowed out by a complete lack of  real human interaction.

 Sigh.

Even talking on the phone has become foreign and uncomfortable to so many.  

We do not have conversations anymore.  

Texting is remote, less threatening, but ultimately less fulfilling.

To say "Good Bye" via Instagram is easy in all the wrong ways.

When couples meet, it is easier to let the hormones take over, 

engage in passion without purpose, 

and avoid the threat of true communication and its inherent danger of rejection of who we are as a person.

So many of us have become obsessed with the casual.  We don't want strings.

We want to drift where the currents of passion take us.

But a ship without a rudder soon becomes lost at sea.

Look at the faces of the models in the magazines:

Cool, Distant, Unobtainable

Those faces are icy.  

You could not imagine them uttering "I love you" and risk having another having power over them.

Funny.  

In this age of free sex so many are in chains of loneliness.

When you think of another person 

merely as an object with which you engage in external masturbation, 

you place your own desire for animal satisfaction above their dignity and worth as a person.

When you fail to see the humanity of another person, 

you lose a bit of your own humanity as well.

Do it enough times, 

and you become so hollow you start to ache inside without knowing why.

What Do You Think?