Archive for November, 2012

Yakety-Yak!

November 30, 2012

‘Tis the season for parties and holiday gatherings where being a skilled deipnosophist can certianly hold one in good stead. Happy Holidays, now go forth and be the life of the party.

deipnosophist

\dahyp-nosuh-fist\, noun;

a person who is an adept conversationalist at table.

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The Apple of Your Eye?

November 29, 2012

Here is an infographic (courtesy of http://www.opencolleges.edu.au) that shows how Apple is winning the battle for technology in education/the classroom.  Enjoy.

Remote Area Number Nine!

November 28, 2012

This week finds us at the top of the world  in Canada on the tip of Nunavut territory.  The small village of Alert (5 year-round residents) lies on the Arctic Ocean just 500 miles below the North Pole. It is considered to be the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world (and also one of the most inhospitable).  Temperatures can reach 40 degrees below zero and because of its northerly location, the town alternates between 24-hours of sunlight (during the summer) and 24-hours of darkness (during the winter).  The closest town to Alert is a small fishing village about 1,300 miles away.

Monotype Added to Collection!

November 27, 2012

I have finally added a monotype to my art collection!  Monotyping is a type of printmaking made by drawing or painting on a smooth, non-absorbent surface.  The image is then transferred onto a sheet of paper  by pressing the two together (usually by way of  a printing press).  The monotype process was invented by the Italian painter/etcher Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione.  One of my favorite local artists (Anke Dodson) has been producing monotypes for several years now . . . but this one really “spoke” to me.  It is as if I can see, hear, and feel the wheat waving in the breeze.  Thank you Anke!
The artist: Anke Dodson, the title: Prairie Images XX, the medium: monotype . . . the collection continues to grow.

College Football 2012, Week Thirteen!

November 26, 2012

The Michigan State Spartans were on the road at the University of Minnesota this week!  The result: a win!  Despite squandered opportunities and a couple of turnovers, the defense was steller and the Spartans had just enough offense to pull out the victory and even up their record at 6-6.   With as many “close” games that we were unable to win (5 losses by four points or less), our 6-6 record could be a bit deceptive.  The defense is certainly for real, it is the offense that is a bit suspect.  Oh well, high hopes for next year.  By winning today though, the Spartans became “bowl eligible.”  Next up for the Spartans: a possible bowl game?    Go Green!  Congratulations to Notre Dame (and Ohio State) for their undefeated  seasons.  Next week: conference championship matchups . . . and then, bowl season! Surprisingly enough there were quite a few upsets (none of the top-ten) and close calls this week. But it was rivalry week, which made for some great football games.

The upsets this week included:
Clemson (#11) losing to South Carolina (#12).
Texas (#16) losing to unranked Texas Christian by only seven points.
Rutgers (#18) losing to unranked Pittsburgh.
Michigan (#19) losing to unranked [sanctioned, but undefeated] Ohio State by five points.
Louisville (#20) losing to unranked Connecticut by three points in triple overtime.
Arizona (#24) losing to unranked Arizona State by only seven points.
Washington (#25) losing to unranked Washington State by only three points in overtime.

Some of the close calls this week included (won by a touchdown or less):
LSU (#7) defeating unranked Arkansas by only seven points.
Oklahoma (#13) defeating Oklahoma State (#21) by only three points in overtime.
Nebraska (#14) defeating unranked Iowa by only six points.

Other ranked teams that were defeated this week (by a higher ranked team) included:
UCLA (#17) losing to Stanford (#8).
Florida State (#10) losing to Florida (#4).
Oregon State (#15) losing to Oregon (#5).

Fiftieth Anniversary!

November 25, 2012

We have come a long way, baby!  It has been 50 years since the LINC (Laboratory Instrument Computer) first began processing data to assist with biomedical research in an MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Techology) lab in 1962 . . .  thereby paving the way for PCs (personal computers).  In the beginning, the LINC was about 8 square feet, had 1 kilobyte of memory (1,000 bytes), and sold for $43,000.  Now, you can get a 2012 iPhone5 that is 5″ x 2″, has 16 gigabytes of memory (16,000,000,000 bytes) and sells for $199. Here’s an abbreviated timeline of the evolution of the PC.

  • 1965, the PDP-8 (Digital Equipment Corp.) — first minicomputer ($18,000).
  • 1969, Department of Defense establishes the first computer network ARPANet (later became the internet).
  • 1971, ARPANet transmits the first email.
  • 1972, Pong introduced by Atari, the birth of the video game industry.
  • 1975, Altair 8800 computer kit (256 bytes) advertised by Popular Electronics, MITS flooded with orders.
  • 1976, Steve Wozniak creates the Apple I.
  • 1977, the Commodore PET, Apple II, and Tandy (Radio Shack’s TRS-80) all debut.
  • 1981, IBM calls its minicomputer the PC.
  • 1982, GRID Systems releases Compass, the first laptop ($8,150)
  • 1982, Time names the computer “Machine of the Year.”  (Note the story was written on a typewriter.
  • 1983, Compaq Computer Corp makes the first PC clone, 100% compatible with IBM’s PC ($111 million in sales the first year).
  • 1984, Apple’s Macintosh debuts during a Superbowl commercial.  First successful computer to feature a mouse and user-friendly graphics.
  • 1990, birth of the World Wide Web; the first successful version of Microsoft’s Windows 3.0 launches.
  • 1995, Amazon and ebay both debut, revolutionizing how we shop.
  • 1998, Google and PayPal debut, transforming informational searches and financial transactions.
  • 1998, Apple’s iMac becomes the first success in their line of i-products.
  • 2007, Apple’s iPhone goes on sale (8 gigabytes of memory in a pocket-size phone).
  • 2008, Apple launches the iPad (sold more than 300,000 on debut day).
  • 2012, iPhone5 debuts.

Volunteering!

November 24, 2012

The statistics are not yet in for 2012, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the year ending in September 2011, the volunteer rate rose by half a percentage point to 26.8 percent.

Women led the way (29.9%) while the men came in at 23.5 percent.  Interestingly enough, women “volunteer at a higher rate than did men across all age groups, educational levels, and other major demographic characteristics.”

When looking at other demographics,

  • the age group most likely to volunteer: 35-44 (31.8%);
  • the age group least likely to volunteer: early 20s (19.4%)
  • ethnicity: whites continue to volunteer at higher rates (28.2%)
  • married persons volunteer more than unmarried (32.3%)
  • as well as married persons with children under age 18 (33.7%)
  • persons with higher education levels volunteer more (42.4% of college graduates versus 18.2 percent non-college graduates)

Additionally, our veterans are well-represented among the volunteer numbers.  When broken down by state, here are the states with the highest and lowest percentages of veteran volunteers.

Highest percentages:
Nebraska (35.9%)
Utah (35.4%)
Minnesota (35.0%)
Iowa (34.3%)
Virginia (34.3%)

Lowest percentages:
Kentucky (17.4%)
Arkansas (19.5%)
Nevada (19.5%)
Florida (21.1%)
Rhode Island (21.9%)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Volunteering in America

This Concert’s “In” The House!

November 23, 2012

I had the privilege last weekend to attend a concert that was positively awesome.  Salon – Classical House Concerts “brings gifted musical artists, their inspired music and insight, HOME for an intimate, up-close and personal music experience.”  Our hosts Margaret Sewell (voice) and Farren Mayfield (piano) have devoted their collaborative energies to bringing classical music to their audiences on a personal level — in a residential/parlor-type setting — for an absolutely intimate and inspiring experience.  These bimonthly concerts began in 2007 and now that I’ve been introduced, I hope to never miss another.

This month we enjoyed the musical talents of Maureen O’Boyle (violin) accompanied by Stuart Deaver (piano).  The program included several pieces composed by Fritz Kreisler (“Caprice Viennois,” “Schoen Rosmarin,” “Liebeslied”), Jules Massenet (“Meditation” from Thais), Isaac Albinez (“Tango”), Manuel Ponce (“Estrellita”), Sarasate (“Romanza Andaluza”), Gounod (“Meditation” based upon teh 1st Prelude of J.S. Bach), and Mozart (IV. Rondo from the “Haffner” Serenade in D Major).

Happy Thanksgiving 2012!

November 22, 2012

Here is a fun Thanksgiving infographic (courtesy of Viewpoints.com).  And while we a busily preparing our meals and sharing the day with family and friends, let us not forget that Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks!

T.G.I. the Weekend!

November 21, 2012

Wow, what a week.  And even though it was an extremely short week (only two days) leading up to the Thanksgiving weekend, I find myself having survived the work week only to discover that I’m caught in the depths of a personal hebetude.  A condition that the long weekend will rectify, I’m sure.

hebetude

\hebuh-tood-; -tyood\ , noun:

the state of being dull; lethargy.