Short Observations on a Busy, Weird Week

The Last Few Days Have Been Long on the Sublime and the Ridiculous


Starting with the Easy Stuff

The Academy Awards

I have long found it increasingly harder to care at all about the Academy Awards. It seems a party of self-congratulation among people whose lives have zero relevance or connection to the rest of the world. But, hey, I have my favorite movies, too and and sometimes the outcomes are interesting. The Big News this time, of course was Will Smith slapping Chris Rock. Four VERY short observations:

  • Way too much has been written and discussed on this little dustup already.

Big & Little Things Noted Lately

Funny How Things Catch Your Attention. Here are a Few That Caught My Eye Today

 TV Interviews at Home

 One thing the pandemic made routine was people on tv being interviewed in their homes. We have been doing this for two years now, and some people are on tv regularly being seen from their homes.

For these repeaters, I am really surprised that we see that we are in their bedrooms, or kitchen, or some other space that looks unprofessional. By now, one would think they would put up a background screen or use one of the electronic backgrounds readily available,

Relooking and Rethinking the Arts

New Technologies and Approaches Lead to New Perspectives

The van Gogh Effect

Many of you are probably aware that something of a phenomenon launched last year with some high-tech based shows around Vincent van Gogh and his work. One such exhibit opened, finding much commercial success and attention. As such things go, several more variations opened all around the country. There must be at least a half-dozen of them now, with spin offs coming along built around other artists.

We were curious enough to sign up for one a few months ago in a city not too far away from us,

A Sampler of Some Fine Writing and Thinking

Enjoy These Varied and Well-Done Writings


Such a Buffet

As much as we all curse the internet (often with good reason), one has to admit it makes available to us an astounding volume and variety of information, thought, wonder, and amusement. Sure, a lot of what is out there is an embarrassment to our species. But there also is quite a lot worthy of our time and attention.

Allow me to share with you a few I have enjoyed of late. I hope you will as well.

Plants Communicate – A Lot

We have known for some time now that the plant world is no near as inanimate as once thought.

Tantalizing Tidbits of Technology

A Half-Dozen Technology Good News Stories


Checking Back in on Some Old Friends, and Some New Ones

From politics to climate to pandemics, we have no shortage of discouraging or downright scary reading. As I do from time to time, I thought we might all enjoy a little change of pace today. As regular readers know, this site has regularly dedicated space to hopeful advances in science and technology.

Often, I have cited promising new advances that are in the “we hope so, but too early to tell” category.

People are Confused About COVID Guidance?

 Really, Folks? The Guidance Has Been Pretty Consistent. Changes Match the Changing Virus

The Snivel We Hear

 OK, snivel is admittedly a snarky word to start off this conversation, but it really does seem to me that a lot of people, the media in particular, is regularly crying out that there is so much guidance from so many sources, always in a state of flux. As a result, people are confused and don’t know what is expected of them.

To which I say, Poppycock. Yes, there is a lot of information out there,

The King is Dead! Long Live the King!


This Week the Blackberry Died – A Lesson for Everyone

Remember the Blackberry?

By the time you read this, any Blackberry phones out in the world using the Blackberry operating system will have died a quiet and ignoble death. Effective January 5, Blackberry pulled the plug. They still have a few units out there using Android systems, but essentially, they are out of the smart phone business.

In the very earliest stages of enhanced electronic communications – what eventually became smart phones – the Blackberry was the top of the line by far.

What Would You Put in a Time Capsule?

The History of These is Fascinating


Why Do These Things?

They seem to have some popularity throughout the ages. One could even say they are… timeless.

Time capsules have been in the news lately. Not one, but two were found under a statue of Robert E. Lee that was recently removed in Virginia. Here in my hometown, one was unearthed a few months ago, also from a site that once hosted a statue of a civil war figure.

It is not hard to find news items and historical write ups around the world and through the ages of such capsules being implanted,

Let Us Reflect in Wonder & Hope for the James Webb Space Telescope

We’ve Never Done Anything Like Any of This” – A Project Engineer

Son of Hubble

The Hubble Telescope has been the most amazing, gratifying, useful thing of modern science. Off to a rough start with lenses imprecisely ground (an error resulting in one part of the team using meters, the other using inches. Imagine that.). But all was well once an equally amazing rescue mission was launched,  installing “contact lenses” on the telescope, with perfect results as an outcome.

I hit the Hubble web site and similar sites regularly, still amazed at the science and the beauty just waiting for you almost every day.

Why the Chip Shortage is So Important

This is a Vulnerability. It is Also a World-Class Opportunity


A Chip! A Chip! My Kingdom for a Chip!

All due apologies to William Shakespeare and King Richard III for the borrowed line above. It seems to fit exactly how a lot of people feel about this global shortage of computer chips we have all been hearing about over the last few months.

The shortage truly is global, in both geographical terms and in terms of what systems are affected. People are waiting for months to get a new car because automakers cannot get the chips needed.