Another wonderful mini-series about this miraculous planet: this time focusing on how humanity has upset the balance, and how humanity might save it. I so admire the inspiring leaders in this effort; such great minds, big hearts and brave souls.
Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category
INT. FITTS HOUSE - RICKY'S BEDROOM - MOMENTS LATER ON VIDEO: We're in an empty parking lot on a cold, gray day. Something is floating across from us... it's an empty, wrinkled, white PLASTIC BAG. We follow it as the wind carries it in a circle around us, sometimes whipping it about violently, or, without warning, sending it soaring skyward, then letting it float gracefully down to the ground... Jane and Ricky sit on the bed, watching his WIDE-SCREEN TV. RICKY It was one of those days when it's a minute away from snowing. And there's this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it, right? And this bag was just... dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. That's the day I realized that there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid. Ever. A beat. RICKY Video's a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember... I need to remember... Now Jane is watching him. RICKY Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it... and my heart is going to cave in. ~ from American Beauty
I’ve pooh-poohed the Mac proseltyzers for some time now, thinking my PC was perfectly fine. I could browse the same web, write the same verse, listen to the same music; what was the big deal? Then I bought a MacBook Air and… I don’t know, there’s just something about this stupid machine. It’s frickin’ awesome.
I wasn’t wrong: I don’t actually accomplish anything different – same work, same words, same banality or brilliance, depending on the day. But it’s in the doing, somehow. This machine is just more fun to use. It’s stupid, I admit it, but little things – like using a 3-finger swipe to go back a webpage rather than clicking on a back button – somehow they MATTER.
Which leads me to life. It is easy to focus too intensely on the “big” things as a means of enjoying/growing/changing/living our lives – your relationship, your professional goals, that mystical month-long voyage in Bali. But then you have these little things – whether you buy the red rug or the brown, go for a run or eat a cupcake (or both), turn on the tv or light a candle. (Light a candle.) It’s easy to dismiss these small realities – as unimportant, as not likely to have an effect on your being or your outlook.
But they are. And they do.
Interesting, if unsurprising, article by Matt Richtel in The New York Times online about a pet topic of mine: how overstimulation from the trappings of modern society (in this case digital stimulation from emails, texts, the web, etc.) may be limiting or damaging our mental faculties, including the ability to pay attention and the ability to ponder. Five neuroscientists unplug on a river in Utah.
This quote is prominently and professionally carved into the base of a picnic table in China Camp State Park north of San Francisco.
A bit unusual. The first thing that came to mind was that it was some kind of negative critique of Apple Computers. I was deeply saddened when I realized, instead, that it is a direct quote from one of my favorite poems from my favorite poet, Robert Frost. How did I not recognize it right away?
Maybe I’ve been here too long.
“One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.”
I just discovered the ability to use ClearType to make text look smoother and beautiful on the computer screen. If you use an older PC like me, do yourself a favor and turn it on. It’s like switching to HD for text, and I can’t believe it’s been hidden from me for so long.
Another beautiful secret menu item is the 30-second fast-forward button on the Comcast remote control (which you have to program yourself). Almost as wonderful as the not-so-secret but oft overlooked instant replay button.
Now for a burger, animal style extra toast with some well-done fries.
The inability to stop yourself from thinking about what you’re doing in the third person and wondering if it’s interesting enough to post on Facebook.
E.g. As Josh picked a large ball of lint from his belly button, he thought to himself, “Josh is picking a large ball of lint from his belly button.”
Highly recommend this site for eCards for all occasions (“when you care enough to hit send.”) Be warned, however, that many of their cards are very R-rated.
Near my childhood home there were thick woods, impenetrable in summer and close enough even in winter to block out whatever might lay beyond them. And there was the rub – what lay beyond them. I had no idea. For all I knew, those woods stretched for hundreds of miles. You might venture in and never come out, or you might stumble right into another world. It was a great mystery and, as such, would always inspire awe and joy in me. Especially in summer, and especially at night, when forests get their magic on.
Until Google maps. Now I see from the satellite image that, after just a few hundred feet, those woods stop at an office building. And a parking lot.
I suppose it’s nice to know there’s a shortcut to the drugstore. Too bad they had to kill my magic forest to find out.
I’d probably have to go with the Instant Replay button on my Comcast remote control. Punch it and you instantly jump back about 10 seconds.
Perfect for sports highlights caught with just the corner of your eye or indicated only by the roar of the crowd as you look up from your HungryMan to see you missed it. It’s also an excellent solution to otherwise ill-fated attempts to hit the “Play” button at exactly the right time after fast-forwarding through commercials.
In fact, it’s so good, I find myself reaching for it when I’m not even watching television, wishing I could apply it to the car radio, conversations, that image of the cute girl getting on the bus…