Category: News

Recent Posts

“Wild times … we don’t know what’s going on”

Those were the words that signified the beginning on the “the new normal.” March 11, 2020 was the day the United States was truly introduced to the novel coronavirus, or as we came to know it, COVID-19. Diseases like this have come and gone around the planet before, but generally the United States has been geographically isolated from the worst of the recent past. With these words spoken by ESPN announcers prior to the NBA Utah Jazz-Oklahoma City Thunder game scheduled for that Wednesday evening, normal American life began to grind to a halt. And the desperate search for toilet paper was just about to get underway…

The NBA prepares to postpone the first game due to the pandemic.

When enough time passes, and we, as a society, take a look back on this event (“these interesting times,” “these uncertain times,” “these unprecedented times,” “the new normal,” “massive governmental failure,” and any other phrase you would like to add to this list…) I believe the postponing of this basketball game will be the singular event that got the nation’s attention: This situation is serious, we’ve never seen anything like it in almost a hundred years, and we don’t know what’s happening next.

To almost every extent, this uncertainty remains, over two months later. We’ve become familiar with words and concepts that are new to our modern society. Face masks. “Social distancing.” Pandemic. Wild times, indeed.

There is a lot of we still don’t know. There’s a lot to be sad about, a lot to be mad about, and a lot to be frustrated about. I’ve always tried to create posts on this site that inform, entertain or uplift. Honestly, I haven’t posted since the beginning of March because I don’t know what’s appropriate. But we still have lives to lead, and there are still things to say. And, as John Krasinski showed us for eight episodes during “these unceratin times,” there is still Some Good News…

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Featured, News, Technology

The Day of the ‘Challenger’

The ramblings of an adult remembering the shuttle accident through the eyes of a twelve year old.

So I remember that day quite well. In north-central West Virginia, January 28, 1986 was a snow day. No school in Harrison County. Those are the words every twelve year old loves to hear in January. Back then, we still had our summers, filled with basketball and music. (I always liked to type up the Top 40 tunes each week, as announced by Casey Kasem, on a typewriter. The red ribbon would be saved for the number one song!) Also, they didn’t keep extending the school year into the middle of June, nor start in August, to make up for missed snowย days, like today.

c-128-screen
A Commodore 128 BASIC screen. At the ready.

Anyway, that particular Tuesday morning, I was busy plugging away at a computer keyboard in my bedroom. I was (what do you mean, was?) one of those nerdy kids. Synchronized-watch-with-the-school-bell kinda nerdy kids. Yeah, I really did that kind of thing… That morning I was busy writing a basketball simulation program on a Commodore 128 computer. I don’t have a screenshot of that program or a copy of it anywhere, but I remember it well. It was a side-on shot of a basketball court and backboard. When you pressed the space bar a basketball would head toward the hoop and it would randomly vary a few pixels left or right, and occasionally you’d “make a basket.” Anyway, it was just the kind of thing I was likely to do on a snow day.

“Jay, come in here,” mom yelled from the living room. “The shuttle’s going up.” “Oh, yeah, that’s happening today,” I thought. So… pack it up on the C-128, and head into the living room.

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Internet, News

Google’s 2014 Year in Search

I look forward to these every year. It’s always amazing to look back and consider how our world is different this year than last. Google always provides us with a quick synopsis as to what people are thinking, what they are looking up on the Internet, and I think that as the years go by it will be interesting to see what was on the minds of those in 2014.

Related: A look back at 2013 from Google

Take a look at what we searched for over the past 12 months…


Featured, News, Politics

Adventures in Reverse Psychology

I like this. I like everything about this idea… I think that we should try something like this when the Harrison County voters get the opportunity to (or are “made to” depending on your point of view) vote on another school bond. A vote against a new school or a new library is a vote against your own children, and their future.

But sometimes it’s not best to present it in a direct way.

Here is just a little reverse psychology in action…


Books, News, Politics

BBC News – Why do people vote…

BBC News โ€“ Why do people vote against their own interests?

vote

The Republicans’ shock victory in the election for the US Senate seat in Massachusetts meant the Democrats lost their supermajority in the Senate. This makes it even harder for the Obama administration to get healthcare reform passed in the US.

Political scientist Dr David Runciman gives his view on why there is often such deep opposition to reforms that appear to be of obvious benefit to voters.

Very good article.ย  Read the rest of it hereโ€ฆ

The books referenced in the article are listed below:

What’s the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America

The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation

I may look for these on Kindle.

News

Haiti Earthquake Relief

One of the worst natural disasters in recent history struck Haiti on January 12, 2010.

From whitehouse.gov:

On January 12, 2010, a massive earthquake struck the nation of Haiti, causing catastrophic damage inside and around the capital city of Port-au-Prince. President Obama has promised the people of Haiti that “you will not be forsaken; you will not be forgotten.” The United States Government has mobilized resources and manpower to aid in the relief effort. Here are some ways that you can get involved.


To learn how you can help, click the image below:

Help for Haiti: Learn What You Can Do