Monday, June 19, 2017


2 0 1 2  -  2 0 1 7

It's hard to believe that it has been five years since I began this blog.  It was on June 19, 2012 when I posted my very first entry here.  It dealt with a case in Texas in which an elementary school teacher dealt with bullying, taking a six-year-old into her classroom and having her students line up and hit the child.  (A misdemeanor conviction for "official oppression" was overturned.)

It wasn't long after that initial post that I was writing about a myriad of topics.  Some of the topics were the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting, illegal immigration, the Dead Sea Scrolls, same-sex marriage, Barack Obama winning his second term in office, the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, the death with dignity movement, the Boston Marathon bombings, and (at the time) the beginning of peeling back of voting rights for minorities.

And that was just the first year!

My initial intent was to have the "of the Day" title to always be simply the Word of the Day, although sometimes, the title has been Words of the Day.  That one-word title didn't last long, as my first Phrase of the Day post ("Connecting with the Past") was within the first month.  (There have even been Phrases of the Day posts.)  Weeks after my first Phrase of the Day, my first Term of the Day ("Same-Sex Marriage") appeared.  Two years ago, the affliction known as Meniere's Disease was the first Name of the Day.

B.B. King's passing was the occasion for the only Title of the Day ("King of the Blues"); the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, was the focus of the only Measurement of the Day ("Parts Per Billion"); and the only Question of the Day ("When Is This Crap Going to Stop?") was in response to the massacre at the Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and all of the shootings of black individuals here in the United States.

There have been several multi-part postings over the past five years.  There were, however, two occasions where the title was not "of the Day", but "of the Week".  The first was a seven-part post ("To Protect and to Serve") about the killings of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Eric Garner by police.  Just last month, the second posting ("Treacherous") was a five-parter that addressed U.S. President Donald Trump.

Sometimes, the posting has been a Film/Movie of the Day, where I have shared some interesting documentaries, ranging from the Iraq War and 9/11 to Blues music and Halloween.  For these entries, I have always tried to choose documentaries that have had major theatrical releases as well as those that have been shown strictly on television.

My New Year's postings have changed over the years.  My first one (January 5, 2013) dealt a little bit with the Mayan "prediction" about the end of the world in 2012.  On January 2, 2014, my focus was on New Year's resolutions, including my belief that not making any New Year's resolution is, in an odd way, a resolution itself.  Beginning with my third New Year's post (January 1, 2015), I began the tradition of posting a video of a song as a kind of goodbye to the year gone by and hello to the new year ahead.  The first song was Dead Man Fall's 'Bang Your Drum'.  (I also recalled my elbow surgery in the summer of the previous year.)  I featured Greg Holden's 'Hold On Tight' in my fourth New Year's posting (January 1, 2016), while talking about friends getting me through some tough times in previous year.  This year's posting featured Elvis Presley's classic 'If I Can Dream'.

And yes, I already have a song picked out for my 2018 New Year's post.

As any regular reader of this blog will note, and as I have said in the past, I do not post every day, every week, or even every month.  My postings can be described as coming in fits and starts.  I like to post when I feel I have something to say on a topic.  Most of the time, it's in one post; sometimes, posts run over several days.  That is not to say there is very little that happens in the world that grabs my attention or makes me feel anything.  To the contrary, many things grab my attention or make me feel something, but my intent is to create post that is, hopefully, worthwhile to you.  I know it makes it difficult to maintain a steady audience, but I am not a fan of writing lines of words merely for the sake of writing lines of words.  (I went through that in grade school and high school.)

As this blog inches toward 10,000 views, I must be doing something right.

My thanks to all of you, my dear readers, for finding something of value here.  If you are a long-time reader, an occasional reader, or a new reader, keep hanging in there with me.  I can promise you that I will continue to do my best to provide you with something of value in these pages.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Word of the Day: HACKED

There has been much talk about hacking for many years.  Such is the nature of computers and relative technologies.  We've seen hacking of companies' files of customers' information.  We've seen hacking of personal computers.  We've seen hacking of elections.  

However, the hacking being addressed today is quite different and the most pervasive.

The short film below does, I believe, express this kind of hacking quite well.  It comes from English animator and illustrator Steve Cutts. [website]

In his well-known novel 1984, author George Orwell includes the following quote...
        "To hang on from day to day and from week to week, spinning out a present that
        had no future, seemed an unconquerable instinct, just as one's lungs will always
        draw the next breath so as there is air available."
                                 [pt 2, ch 5]

It certainly feels that way from many, many people -- not such much intentionally ignoring, but mere acquiescence.  There is, however, another kind of ignorance that falls under self-absorption.  The following quote from a stage adaptation of Orwell's novel is quite appropriate for today:
        "The people will not revolt. They will not look up from their screens long enough
        to notice what’s happening."

Thus, misdirection is the means; apathy is the end.  

In short, the greatest hack of all time is right in front of us because it is us.