May Rambling: Faraway fire; faux news; second chances

Chuck Miller has taken on the task of promoting the work of his “fellow Times Union community bloggers, until that day when the Times Union itself will restore the ‘Best of Our Blogs’ feature to the print edition of the paper.” And one of those “well-written articles” was mine. Merci, Chuck.

The specter of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory looms over the garment factory that collapsed last month in Bangladesh, killing more than [1100] workers…. But the world is smaller than it was 102 years ago. Tragedies of this sort in the Third World aren’t engendered only by forces in their proximity, and they won’t be averted unless the responsibility for change is embraced globally. Also, Is Rana Disaster Bangladesh’s Triangle Fire? I wrote about the Triangle fire HERE.

Meryl’s quite reasonable concern: ‘truth’ is becoming ever-more illusive with advancing photoshop technology and our modern vehicles of ‘news resources’ and communication. Related: Since Twitter hasn’t built a correction feature, here are 3 things journalists can do instead. And Who’s The Biggest Liar?
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A librarian’s nostalgia

I don’t think of myself as a particularly nostalgic person. Sure, I play the music of the 1960s through the 1980s a lot. That’s not rooted in historical recollection, though; I’m OFTEN playing music of that period. I’m playing Beatles a couple times a year, at least.

Whereas how we did reference where I work as a business librarian has changed radically in the 20 years I’ve been there. What sent me down memory lane was the loss of power our building experienced last week. The librarians had these paper vertical files we hadn’t added to since 2005, since we now deal with digital documents. Finally, with little better to do, we started the process of dumping the paper documents, and it was the correct thing to do.

Once upon a time, we did not even have an Internet connection Continue reading

You thought they knew everything about you?

Did you see see 60 Minutes recently or read the story ‘Say goodbye to anonymity’?

Lesley Stahl, CBS News 60 Minutes: Facial recognition is already in some of our home appliances like TVs. In our mobile devices, PINs and passwords are giving way to faceprints. And the technology can single us out in real-time as we go about our daily business, often without us ever knowing.

Joseph Atick, one of the first scientists to develop facial recognition software: What’s unique about face recognition is the fact that you can do it surreptitiously, from a distance, and continually.
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T is for Cicely Tyson

I had mixed, though mostly positive, feelings when I saw the 2011 movie, The Help. However, I was unabashedly thrilled to see Cicely Tyson as one of the older maids. I’ve been watching her for nearly 50 years.

The first time I knew her by name was in the 1963 television series East Side, West Side. It was, as I vaguely recall, a gritty and realistic show, which starred George C. Scott (Emmy nominated) as social worker Neil Brock, and Tyson as the secretary Jane Foster. The series lasted only 26 episodes, but my recollection was that it was great having Continue reading

Memorial Day, 2013: WWJD

I’m in my church book study a couple months back. We are reading Jesus for President, VERY slowly, for it has much to offer.

Much to my surprise, I get really ticked off, though not at anyone in the room. It was the re-realization that the war in Iraq, indeed many wars, are in stark contrast with Christian ideals. Yet Christianists seemed to have embraced war as some sort of Christo-American manifest destiny.

It surely didn’t help that this was around the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war, when I was also reading about: Continue reading

The Lydster, Part 110: vacation homework

It’s been a LONG time since I was in school, but I don’t recall having homework in third grade at all. And I’m fairly certain that I didn’t have homework during school vacations. Things are different, however, for MY third grader.

These days, they gave to read chapters from a book, and then write a REVAMP. Revamp, of course, means to renovate, make new, patch up, redo.
Thus, she and her classmates must:
R READ a section of text, note the page numbers
E ENCODE the text by telling the gist (main idea) of your reading in your words
V VISUALIZE the text by drawing a picture of your reading
A ANNOTATE the text by writing down important details, ideas, words, or quotes
M MAKE CONNECTIONS by telling your personal experience or what it reminds you of
P PONDER the text by asking questions, making inferences, or predictions

For the winter break Continue reading

Taking the time to see

see?

I was waiting for the bus after work. Ofttimes, I’d pull out a magazine or newspaper to read, and I almost ALWAYS have something to read. But on this particular day – and it was a particularly lovely afternoon – I just didn’t feel like it. Using my backpack as a pillow, I lay on this granite slab in front of my work building and just observed. My goodness, the New York State flag is REALLY frayed, much worse than the US flag. I had never even noticed this before.

I tend, I think, to observe more than the average person, some of it Continue reading

Dream: In hot pursuit


This is an actual dream of mine from a few months back:

Two guys are driving around when they spot something interesting in some bushes by the road. It turns out to be a couple cameras on the side of the road, expensive equipment. They see a name on one and decide to take them to the local police station, which is in an area of open spaces, not an urban setting. But as they approach the station from the rear, they see Continue reading

Breakfast post: the weather, my niece’s new Kickstarter album

My friend Dan has more than once labelled Ramblin’ with Roger as a “breakfast blog.” I still don’t know what that means, precisely. But I think the following post is more in keeping with what he’s talking about.

It was weird: the death toll in the Moore, OK tornado went from 37 to 51 to 91 to…24? I was watching a live feed on the Tuesday morning after the event from the OKC NBC-TV affiliate – the magic of the Internet – and they gave the 91 number, based on info they had gotten from the medical examiner’s office. Saw a lot of comments on Facebook how the media was ghoulishly upping the numbers. I’ve often criticized them. but I don’t think that happened here, just a lot of multiple recordings of the same decedents by someone – the M.E.’s office perhaps. Then I get to see, Thank goodness, “ONLY 24 dead;” THAT is weird to read.

It’s interesting, too, that I actually worried a bit about people I don’t even know, such as Cheri and Dustbury, who are both fine.
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Forecast in Albany Tuesday was for severe weather. I was at Corporate (frickin’) Woods at the northwest edge of Albany and saw nothing. But people downtown were chatting about downpours and hail; we’re talking a distance of three miles away. I HAVE seen that before Continue reading

The popcorn story

By demand from Island Rambles. I mean Shooting Parrots asked for it, but IR INSISTED!

When I was forced to get rid of my microwave by my lovely bride after we got married and moved in together, one of the things I most missed was making microwave popcorn. Now Carol would say, “Oh, you can make popcorn on the stove.” Well, no; maybe SHE could, and occasionally/rarely she did, but I could not, unless you considered creating a smoky and scorched pot, oddly filled with burnt popcorn AND unpopped kernels, “making popcorn.” I used the oil, even moved the pot as instructed but to no particular success, unless the goal was to make a mess without having a satisfactory culinary outcome. It’s OK to mess up a lot of pans if there’s a payoff, but without one…

I must have mentioned me missing this appliance at a gathering of her birth family, around Thanksgiving or Christmas of 1999. When we all got together for Mother’s Day the next year, they brought ME a box of microwave popcorn, which I accepted graciously. This was just the wrong response for them.

What I was SUPPOSED to do is kvetch, “But we don’t have a microwave! What am I to do with this?” At that point, they were going to then give us a microwave, which we could use in the new house, where we were going to move into the following week, and there would as room for it. Instead, I figured to just use the microwave popcorn at work.

Finally, the following weekend, they brought us the new microwave, as a first anniversary/housewarming present, disappointed that they did not have a little fun at my expense. Indeed, inadvertently, I had some fun at THEIR expense, and I wasn’t even trying.

AND, after very little practice, I almost NEVER burn the popcorn.

LISTEN: Buttered Popcorn by the Supremes