Archive for the ‘Computers’ Category

06/30/2022 “TED Talks”   Leave a comment

I’m going to do something today that I don’t normally do. That is to make a recommendation to my readers. As much as I enjoy writing this blog, I enjoy something else just as much and that’s keeping up to date with technology and all things computer related.

I invested a few hours of my time this week listening to TED Talks. I’m not sure exactly how familiar most of you are with the TED talks program but let me explain. If you really and truly want to get caught up with high technology and the direction that it’s headed, you might want to do the following. Go to website www.ted.com and in the search box, look for talks on artificial intelligence. There are seven or eight speeches given by experts from all over the world on artificial intelligence, what it currently is involved with and where it’s headed. It might frighten you a little and it should. A.I.’s are slowly taking over many of the tasks that humans can’t do as quickly and accurately, and the number is growing by leaps and bounds. It’s becoming a serious issue within the scientific community but it’s just as important to us non-scientists. Some of the information put forth through the talks is a true wake-up call to everyone.

I’d advise anyone to listen to TED talks on any given day when they have a few minutes. Over the last 10 years I’ve listened to many dozens of talks on a myriad of topics, and I’ve learned more than I ever learned in any public school or college I ever attended. I recommend that you give it a listen and hear specific and accurate information you will never hear anywhere else. What can it hurt?

A.I.’s RULE . . . OR AT LEAST THEIR TRYING TO

06/28/2022 “Number Freaking Again”   Leave a comment

I thought for this post I would reintroduce Number Freaking. If you like statistics and far out and freaky explanations of numbers, this is it. I posted about it a number of months ago and the response was excellent. It just goes to show how many freaky people are hanging around out there reading this blog. Enjoy!

WEATHER

  • On average there are 40-60 flashes of lightning somewhere in the world every second. 1.58 billion lightning flashes are estimated to occur each year on this planet.
  • At any given moment there are an estimated 2000 thunderstorms occurring worldwide.
  • There are an estimated 5,844,000 thunderstorms that occur each year.
  • It is estimated that 695,000,000,000,000 (trillion) gallons of water are unleashed by thunderstorms annually. To put that into a better perspective, Lake Michigan contains 1300 trillion gallons, Lake Huron 935 trillion, and Lake Ontario 433 trillion.

TELEVISION

  • One of the most expensive pilot shows on American TV was Lost, costing $12 million and the plane that provided the wreckage on the beach cost the production company $200,000.
  • The total running time of the TV series Friends was 99 hours and 10 minutes (238 episodes). The final episode recorded 52.5 million viewers which is somewhere between the populations of South Korea and Italy.
  • And for those of you who love The Simpsons their total running time amounted to 139 hours and 35 minutes.

ANT INVASION

  • The total number of ants on earth is estimated to be in the area of 826.8 billion tons.
  • It is estimated that there are 300 million trillion ants on the earth (that is 300 quintillion – followed by 20 zeros).
  • The highest estimate of the total number of insects on earth is at six septillions. That’s 6 trillion trillion – followed by 24 zeros).

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Money depreciates in value over time. Allowing for inflation a dollar from 1867 was worth about $12.50 in 2005, and a dollar from 1624 at least $20.41.
  • In 1867 Alaska cost the United States, $7.2 million. In modern dollars this would amount to $90 million.
  • In 1624 the island of Manhattan was purchased from the Indians for $24. In modern dollars that would convert to $489.84.

Isn’t “Number Freaking” just the best. Its definition explains everything simply and it’s easy to understand. Number Freaking is something we do because we have a brain, it’s jazz math, the accountancy of the absurd, forensic speculation, surreal calculation, the art of playing with numbers just because we can.”

THANK YOU, GARY RIMMER

05/19/2022 Freaking Numbers   Leave a comment

You mentioned number freaking a few times over the past few years and it still fascinates me. The statistics and information compiled by number for readers boggles the mind or at least my mind. Their calculations are out there a little bit but interesting, nonetheless. Here are a few to tickle your fancy.

  • Theoretically you would have 4.72 sextillion bacteria in your body within 24 hours of being infection by a bug.
  • It would take 587 ticks simultaneously sucking to suck a man dry.
  • The average flow of water over Niagara Falls is 1,585,032 US gallons per second. It would take Niagara Falls 119 years, 293 days, to fill all five of the Great Lakes.
  • It is estimated that 45,000 Americans are injured by toilets every year. That calculates out to one injury every 18 minutes, 12 seconds.
  • A recent TV ad for a chain of optometrists claimed we each capture 24 million images with our eyes in a lifetime. Life expectancy in the US is approximately 77 years which calculates out to 101.2 seconds per image over the course of a lifetime.
  • There are about 109 million US households. The total amount spent by US advertisers every year is about $248 billion, of which the amount spent annually on TV advertisement is about $57 billion. That calculates TV advertising to approximately $522.94 household.
  • Approximately 152,467 square miles of the United States has been urbanized.
  • A wireless network across all of urbanized America would cost approximately 1 dollar per week per household. It would cost approximately $22.87 billion to operate such a network.
  • A golf course uses the same amount of freshwater as a town of 12,000 people.
  • On average a person will drink 31,996.52 quarts of water in a lifetime. With an average bathtub holding 528.34 quarts of water, you would be able to fill 60.56 bathtubs.
  • The land area in the United States, excluding lakes, is 3,536,294 square miles. If suddenly and without warning all of America’s convicted prisoners were to escape and disperse themselves equally across the country, each felon would require 1.66 square miles of land.

This is what happens when I have a slow news day and a lack of motivation to post. I’ll throw a few more of number freaking calculations your way as time goes on and I find some that are titillating.

ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND

03/03/2022 Dumb v. Stupid   Leave a comment

I think today I’d like to discuss with all of you a couple of terms that we all hear a lot of and never give much thought to when we do. The terms are dumb and stupid. Many people seem to think that these two terms are interchangeable and mean the same thing, but I disagree completely. I can’t tell you how many times in the course of my life that I’ve been called a dummy, a dumb shit, and a dumb ass. Many times, those words were used to describe me by some of my best friends and family members and were meant to be funny and sarcastic, and they were. I never took offense because I called many of them the same thing as well.

The term stupid was more derogatory than calling them dumb in my opinion. I save the word stupid for people who are no longer dumb but have moved into the stupidity ranks based on things they’ve said and actions that they’ve taken. Here are a few quotes from some relatively famous people who were anything but dumb but were exceedingly stupid if only for a moment.

“The day of the battleship has not passed, and it is highly unlikely that an airplane, or a fleet of them, could ever successfully sink a fleet of Navy vessels under battle conditions.” This statement was made by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 1922

“Atomic energy might be as good as our present-day explosives, but it is unlikely to produce anything very much more dangerous.” Statement made by Sir Winston Churchill, 1939

“That is the biggest fool thing we have ever done . . . The bomb will never go off, and I speak as an expert in explosives.” Statement made by Adm. William Leahy to President Harry S. Truman regarding the atomic bomb 1945

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home. Statement by Ken Olson, founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1972

I think I’ve made some kind of point here, but I’m not quite sure what it is. I guess it just means that incredibly smart and intelligent people caught at the proper moment can make dumb statements. I think calling them stupid would be unfair to most of them. Always remember though that in a pile of dumb people there could be a few sneaky stupid people just waiting to impress you.

BE VIGILANT !

12/10/2021 What Should I Insure ??   Leave a comment

We are deep into the Christmas season now and I’m sure that the great majority of people everywhere are spending and spending and spending. The holidays tend to put a strain on everyone’s purse especially those people with children. I thought I’d like to lighten the mood a little bit and tell you a few facts I happened upon in a book I was reading recently. As you also know I love writing about celebrities and alleged celebrities and all of their quirks and odd behaviors and that’s what I’m going to do today.

For those of us on the not-so-famous list, the following items might seem a bit much. Apparently in Hollywood their personal budgets are a touch higher than ours, and their interests are totally different. I insure my 12-year-old car, my house, my smart phone, and a sizable annual cost to protect all of my computers, tablets, and laptops. Let me now give you a list of some of your favorite celebrities, present and past, and the things they insure, it’s mind-boggling. Here we go . . .

  • American country and western singer and actress, Dolly Parton, insured her legendary boobs for $600,000.
  • Rolling Stones guitarist, Keith Richards, insured his right index finger for $1.6 million.
  • Australian cricket hero, Merv Hughes, insured his mustache for $38,000.
  • In 2006, soccer player, David Beckham, insured his entire body for $190 million.
  • German supermodel, actress, and singer, Heidi Klum, insured her legs for $2.2 million.
  • American actress, Jamie Lee Curtis, insured her legs for $1 million.
  • Lord of the Dance, Michael Flatley, insured his legs for $47.5 million.
  • American rockstar, Bruce Springsteen, insured his voice for $6 million.

I hope you don’t think this is anything unusual, because it isn’t. The habit of celebrities insuring body parts goes back many years. The numbers were a little smaller “back in the day” but at the time it was still a great deal of money. Here’s some oldies but goodies . . .

  • American dancer and film star, Fred Astaire, had his legs insured for $75,000 each.
  • British stripper, Frankie Jakeman, insured his penis for $1.6 million.
  • 20th Century Fox film star, Betty Grable, insured each of her legs for $1 million. Hence the origin of the phrase, “million-dollar legs”.
  • German cabaret artist, singer, and film star, Marlene Dietrich, insured her voice for $1 million.
  • American actress, Bette Davis, took out a $28,000 insurance policy against putting on weight.
  • American singer and actor, Jimmy Durante, insured his nose for $50,000.
  • Hungarian food critic, Egon Ronay, insured his taste buds for $400,000.
  • In 1964, the Beatles, were insured for $1 million on their first US tour.

There you have it folks. Be glad you only have to insure your house, car, children, smartphones, computers, and those pesky life insurance policies for you and your spouse. As you can see it could be a lot worse if you’re one of the famous people. I certainly don’t feel sorry for them and I’m pretty sure you don’t either.

14 Shopping Days Left

11/04/2021 Are You Old or Not?   Leave a comment

Are you old? Let me rephrase that. Do you think you’re old? That’s the question everyone knows is coming but nobody wants to deal with. Unfortunately most people who are old know it but again refuse to deal with the reality. Some people just can’t get past the fact that there isn’t one damn thing they can do to combat it. Plastic surgery works for some but eventually you’ll end up looking like a really silly cartoon character. Many have paid for a new young face, fake hair, fake boobs, butt implants, and still insist on wearing old people clothing. Old folks never quite get the hang of dressing properly because they keep sliding “fashion backward” to a time when they were young. They mistakenly think it still looks cool.

Well I’m not complaining about any of those things just willing to pass along some others you should be looking for if you’re worried about getting old. I’m old, I know I’m old, and I went through this list myself just for laughs. I’m not laughing now. In my head I’m thirty years old but this list kicked my elderly ass. If you are experiencing 50% of the things on this list you ARE really old. Have fun . . .

  • Your kids are becoming you and you don’t like them very much.
  • Going out is okay but coming home is better.
  • You forget names but it’s okay since no one remembers you either.
  • Your spouse is counting on you to remember things you don’t remember.
  • The things you used to care to do, you no longer care to do, but you really do care that you don’t care to do them anymore.
  • You spend a good deal of your day looking for things you hid so you wouldn’t lose them.
  • You can’t use more four letter words i.e. what?, when?, and where?
  • You notice everything sold in stores is “sleeveless”.
  • What used to be freckles are now age spots.
  • You constantly call your children and grandchildren for help with your computer.
  • You have three sizes of clothing in your closet (fat, fatter, and fattest) two of which you will never wear again.
  • You find yourself spending a great deal of time trying to have conversations with Alexa.
  • All of your favorite songs are now only heard in TV commercials.
  • You find yourself trying to remember what stories you told one person.
  • You miss the days when everything worked with just an “ON” and “OFF” switch.

Well how have you fared? Now that you’ve received a second opinion verifying what you already knew, welcome to old age. I’ve been here for a while waiting for all of you to arrive. Just between us, in a few days you won’t remember any of this anyway. I have to go now, it’s 3:30 PM and time for dinner at the IHOP. There’s a 10% discount for old farts so don’t forget your mask and your AARP membership card.

BOOMERS RULE

(Sarcasm Off)

06-21-2016 Journal – June Garden Update!   Leave a comment

It appears that summer is finally decided to arrive. We having much warmer weather during the day and at night and it shows. The garden has really taken off in the last week and things are looking up except for the ghost peppers which aren’t doing well at all. They seem to need hot days and hot nights with a lot of sun to flourish and they’re certainly not finding that here in Maine.  I don’t expect much production from the ghost peppers this year and I’ve pretty much decided to try them one more time next year but in a different way. I intend to plant them either in a cold framework or I’ll build a small greenhouse to try and keep the temperature is high as possible for as long as possible. If that doesn’t work then I’ll give up on ghost peppers entirely and just buy them online. Here are a few shots of the garden taken this morning.

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 The better-half’s flower gardens are also in bloom almost everywhere on the property. This could possibly  be the best year we’ve ever had with a diversity of colors that is amazing.

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We also had a special occasion last night. We harvested the first of the lettuces for this year and they were a perfect addition to our evening meal.

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That’s all for today.  I’m having serious computer issues that need fixing and I hope I’m successful. Microsoft is making my life miserable once again and as usual they’re not much help.

06-19-2016 Journal – Weekly Update!   Leave a comment

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Summer is finally here but it’s been a little disappointing so far.  It’s the middle of June and the nights remain chilly which is doing nothing to help my pepper plants in our garden.  Very disappointing but not totally unexpected, it is Maine after all.

This week I’ve been consumed by these designs that I’ve been creating.  Each day I become more adept at using the computer software to color my sketches.  It’s an interesting process but it’s very detailed and time consuming.  I sat for almost three hours yesterday totally focused on what I was doing and when I finally finished and stood up I was suffering from eye strain and legs that went a bit wobbly. Even with all of that the results were much better than I expected.  The work will continue today and I’m actually looking forward to getting back into it.

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Most people just don’t get it. They see my time spent doing these designs as wasted but they couldn’t be more wrong.  The hours spent in these tasks are the highlights of my day.  The focus needed to complete them is something I’ve grown to need over the years and I’ve looked forward to it since I was a young child.  It’s the best addiction I’ve ever had and I hope I never lose it.

I’m hoping to breakaway for a while this week if the sunny weather continues. I could use some quiet times in the woods taking a few photographs of my favorite subjects . . . dragonflies.  They should be swarming near the swamps in large numbers by now and I plan to make the most of it. Here are two shots taken in 2011 when there were huge numbers of them in the area.

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I’ll be disappointed if I can’t get a few pictures but these cool nights may delay their arrival just a bit. I may be forced to return to the swamp a few more times before I have any success at all. Thankfully I live close enough which makes things so much easier.

ENJOY YOUR DAY

06-13-2016 Journal–High Tech & Low Tech!   Leave a comment

Anyone who’s read this blog over the years realizes how addicted to the Internet I am.  I spend a great deal of my time roaming the Internet looking for odd facts on just about any subject.  With that thought in mind, I thought I’d share some tidbits about the Internet that I happened upon recently.  To me they’re interesting, but to you, maybe not so much.  Needless to say I’m posting them anyway, so here’s goes.

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High Tech

  • Russian Victor Yazykov, sailing alone in the South Atlantic, performed surgery on his own arm by following instructions from Dr. Daniel Carlin of Boston, relayed via e-mail from halfway across the world.
  • Cyberstalking: A man identified only as Roger was the prey in the world’s first live game of human hunting on the web.  It took a week to find him in a Berlin library, counting books.
  • In 1999, a NASA expedition set up the first Internet link to the North Pole and made the very first North Pole to South Pole conversation ever.
  • When a computer glitch occurred in Sydney, Australia, hundreds of programmed soda pop machines began dialing ambulance and fire emergency lines.
  • A company in San Francisco, California, has developed Internet software that is scented with a plug-in device for Web surfers called Smell-O-Vision.
  • The Vatican has considered recognizing St. Isadora of Seville as the patron saint of the Internet.  A clergyman during the sixth century, St. Isadora created a 20 volume encyclopedia, one of the earliest known databases.
  • A ferret named Misty was used by the US Space Command in Colorado to help rewire a new computerized command center.
  • In 1997, 67 million computer e-mail users in North America sent 2.7 billion messages.  Can only imagine how many are being sent these days.

I’m sure you were thrilled reading all of those useless facts but as we all know the Internet is the gift that keeps on giving. Now let’s move on to telephones because many of you anti-technology folks who really hate the Internet love old style telephones.

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Low Tech

  • A company in Japan developed false fingernails that glow when the wearer is talking on a cell phone.
  • Bob Prosser of Turtle Lake, Wisconsin, has a collection of 500,000 telephones, including an explosion proof military phone, a 14 karat gold Swedish phone, and a crank model used by the last Sultan of Turkey.
  • In Shoup, Idaho, there are no power lines, no televisions, and no stereos.
  • An answering machine in San Diego, California , created to take calls from Elvis Spotters has already received over 50,000 calls.
  • The Lazy E Ranch in Guthrie, Oklahoma, has telephones that are 6 1/2 feet above the ground, for use by cowboys on horseback.
  • The first telephone book was published in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1878, and contained only 50 names.
  • Albert Einstein never memorized his own telephone number.
  • The world’s smallest police station in Carabelle, Florida, is actually a phone booth.

I think that’s enough nonsense for today.  More trivia to follow as it becomes available. Fortunately there’s an endless supply if you know where to look.

06-05-2016 Journal – Miscellaneous Trivia!   Leave a comment

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I think it’s time for more trivia. I’m actually getting tired of talking about gardens and gardening. I need a break and I’m sure you do as well. They’ll be a lot more of that information coming your way this summer so there’s no need for more today.

These factoids will cover a number of categories but I’m sure you’ll find as interesting as I did.  Let’s get started.

  • Half of British women own more than thirty pairs of shoes.
  • In the US, half of children ages 4-6 have played video games, and a 25%  say thy do so regularly.
  • The most expensive age of your life is thirty-four.
  • Ten percent of people are left-handed and twenty percent are left-footed.
  • In the US, the lifetime cost to parents for rearing one middle class child is $1.43 million.

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  • In any conversation lasting ten minutes or longer, 20% of adults will lie.
  • There are a half million semiautomatic machine guns in Swiss homes.
  • Women are estimated to buy 80% of everything that is sold.
  • By late 2006, only 35% of Americans had sent a text message, compared to almost 100% of Brits.
  • Women in almost every culture speak in deeper voices than Japanese women. American women’s voices are lower than Japanese, Swedish women’s lower than American, and Dutch women women’s lower than Swedish.

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  • One third of all houses in Ireland were built in the last two decades.
  • The average American two-car garage is 25% bigger than the average Tokyo home.
  • In 2007 YouTube consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet did in 2000.
  • Spammers typically need to send one million emails to get just fifteen positive responses.
  • The total computing power of NASA at the time of the Sputnik launch in 1957 was far less than that available in a typical smart phone in use today.

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I guess that will do it for today. I never stop searching for this kind of off-the-wall information and you can be sure more facts will keep coming your way on a regular basis in the future.

GET OUTSIDE AND ENJOY YOUR DAY

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