Technology Is Beautiful, When It Works

One of my favorite sayings is “technology is wonderful when it works, when it quits working life suddenly becomes horrible. A couple of weeks ago I experienced a failure of the connection between my phone and my ears. We sent a man to the moon and recently landed an unmanned ship on Mars, but we are still unable to produce a hearing aid that works effectively. My aid is made by Siemens, a German company the size of General Electric. Their products are world renown for reliability. One of their most reliable products is jet engines. Yet, when it comes to the lowly hearing aid it lacks something. Probably because everything they make is the size of a locomotive and the hearing aid is the size of a pea. The hearing aid I currently used is a now called Signia. Siemens finally decided to break off the hearing aids from their parent company and to let it stand on its own. That is common is big business. Cut it loose and let if fly on its own.

Bluetooth technology is separate from Siemens, and most likely Siemens has a license agreement with Bluetooth to connect their hearing aids to the rest of the world and to my ears. It is Bluetooth that allows my phone to be piped into my ear. For a hearing impaired person that is a miracle. Listening to a phone conversation over a common phone or a device like the iPhone is not a pleasant experience. First, if I hold the phone too close to my ear I get a shrill feedback. Second, If I accidentally touch my cheek against the touch pad I readily disconnect myself in favor of some app on my phone. Third, phone companies today cut the amount of energy and effort it takes to transmit real sound over the airwaves. They conveniently cut frequencies that they deem unnecessary for people to hear a conversation. To a hearing impaired person these missing sounds contribute to their handicap. When I get the sound piped into my ear directly, it is a thousand times more effective. The same holds true for televisions and radios. With the Blue Tooth device sending the sound directly into my ear the experience is enjoyable. As opposed to listening to a program via tinny-television speakers into a tiny hearing aid microphone located behind my ear and then piped into my ear canal through a tiny hearing aid receiver. I love my Blue Tooth, except when it stopped working.

My trusty Bluetooth pendant has hung around my neck for three plus years without any disruption in service. Each night I plug it into a charger and in the morning I rehang it on my body. The necklace is really an antenna it uses to transmit signals. If I take the necklace off I no longer get sound piped directly into my ears. I made an appointment with my audiologist to have it fixed.

Siemens Easy Tech Pendant for Bluetooth

In the past year I have had a couple of problems with my hearing aids and have had to take them in for service. Because of COVID I could not enter the building. I called when I arrived and they came out to my car to learn what the complaint was. This time, I called thinking the routine is the same. It changed. They now allowed me to enter and I was able to sit opposite the technician and explain my problem. I asked him where Dr. Laura was. He said she no longer works for us. I know she would have been able to resolve the problem much quicker but she wasn’t there any more. Mike as he is called honestly told me he has never seen a device such as mine. After all it is three years old and technology changes rapidly. He found a number on the device and called it. Luckily, the other end knew of this model and told him it is repairable for a fortune. Visions of spending a fortune to have this device repaired and then my hearing aids crash. This is the third set I have owned and each has failed at three years and a few months. Regardless, it is only money so I went for the repair. Hopefully, the aids will last long enough to make it worthwhile.

Technology is beautiful when it works, but when it doesn’t I want to stomp on it.

PSA-210224-Unobtanium

I have posted many articles about the need to utilize hydrocarbon fuels over the past few years. Today, I received a video from a cousin which very eloquently posits that wind and solar alone won’t do it for us.

Which path do you believe is the correct one?

Vote for as many as you want.

WIND

SOLAR

COAL

HYDRO

OIL

NATURAL GAS

#################################################################################

The most correct answer is that we should use all of these forms of energy until we have actually found Unobtanium, Super Man’s Cryptonite, or Star Trek’s Lithium Di-sulfide Crystals.

PSA-210207-Geography Lesson

I love maps and geography. One can learn much from the study of World maps. This set of informative maps was sent to me by fellow book club member Ron.

maps-that-will-make-you-view-the-world-i
Size Comparison Between Australia And the United States  
   


Tracking Of An Eagle Over A 20 Year Period

Blue States Have A Smaller Population Than Los Angeles County

50 Percent Of Canadians Live South Of The Red Line
The Biggest Non-Government Employer in Each State  
Each Section Has 10% Of the World’s Population
The Red and Orange Sections Have Equal Populations
All The Nations That Have To Be Combined To Be Equal To Brazil’s Annual Homicides

These Two Areas of Africa Have Roughly Equal Populations
Light Pollution From Coast To Coast 
Passenger Railway Network 2020
An Image Of GPS Tracking Of Multiple Wolves In Six Different Packs Around Voyageurs National Park Shows How Much The Wolf Packs Avoid Each Other’s Range  
How Much Snow Does It Usually Take To Cancel Schools?  
You Can Fit the Entirety of Poland Into Texas And Still Be Able To Drive Around It 
Out Of Service Railways–I’d say that railroads are dead in America.
Every State Ranked by Healthiness
World’s Smallest Country vs. Largest Building 
List of Countries Mentioned Or Referred In The Bible 
Most Common Country Of Birth For Foreign-born Residents In The US, Excluding Mexico  
Japan, How Big It Is in Reality?

Green New Deal-Dream to Reality

While driving north on interstate 355 this week I passed a familiar air inflated dome on the East side. My mind was racing through many wild thoughts like a newsreel gone wild. Flashes of ideas burning their way through my brain. It seemed like the wheels on a slot machine whirling through waiting to settle on something. Then the images stopped just as the dome came into view. Emblazoned across the balloon was the name “Bo Jackson’s Elite Sports.”

What if we were to enclose the entire country under one giant humongous air building like Bo Jackson’s? We might actually be able to achieve the dream of the Green New Deal? Without any dirty air coming at us from different parts of the polluted world it could be possible. Constructing the cocoon over America would be easier than convincing countries like China to cut their emissions. We could definitely control the air inside our cocoon. Or could we? Then, the practical aspects of living in a balloon began to spin in my slot machine idea generator. How would we cover the mountains? Building the fence between Mexico and the USA was a large enough task, but it would be declared a piece of cake compared to covering the Smokies and the Rockies under a balloon. The idea generator began spinning again, and a new picture developed. What if we merely covered the cities and towns all around the States? In other words, just put balloon buildings where people live. That way they can breathe absolutely 99.9999% pure air and be allergy and asthma free. The town balloon can be connected by balloon tunnels between. Oh yeah, well what about all the emission you generate inside the balloon? Not a problem with electric vehicles. Where will you get the electricity? Also not as big a problem when all the balloon structures are also encased in photovoltaic cells generating as much power as needed. Also, it will be without the unsightly acres and acres of solar panels.

When millions of people are enclosed within a limited air building they will generate tons of exhaled carbon dioxide which will have to be dealt with, how? Well we could just displace the carbon dioxide with pure filtered air without pollutants. In nature, the trees and vegetation do that work for us by using the carbon dioxide to power photosynthesis. But still, we will have to dispose of the tons of exhaled carbon. Where? How about we build a balloon chimney to blow the needed carbon into the space beyond our stratosphere? One novel idea proposed by science is to convert the carbon into coal. Isn’t that where all this began? Coal? My idea generator stopped spinning at two cherries and a lemon. Thankfully, by this time I arrived at my destination and my mind was forced into thinking about other matters like lunch and where to buy gasoline.

PSA-210129-Did You Know?

In George Washington’s days, there were no cameras. One’s image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are ‘limbs,’ therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, ‘Okay, but it’ll cost you an arm and a leg.’ (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint)   

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As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October) Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn’t wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term ‘big wig.’ Today we often use the term ‘here comes the Big Wig’ because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.
   

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In the late 1700’s, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The ‘head of the household’ always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the ‘chair man.’ Today in business, we use the expression or title ‘Chairman’ or ‘Chairman of the Board..’

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Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee’s wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman’s face she was told, ‘mind your own bee’s wax.’ Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term ‘crack a smile’. In addition, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt . . . Therefore, the expression ‘losing face.’

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Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper and dignified woman, as in ‘straight laced’. . Wore a tightly tied lace.

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Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the ‘Ace of Spades.’ To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren’t ‘playing with a full deck.’

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Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV’s or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars. They were told to ‘go sip some ale’ and listen to people’s conversations and political concerns.. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. ‘You go sip here’ and ‘You go sip there.’ The two words ‘go sip’ were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term ‘gossip.’

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At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid’s job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in ‘pints’ and who was drinking in ‘quarts,’ hence the term minding your ‘P’s and ‘Q’s 

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One more and betting you didn’t know this!

In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem…how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a ‘Monkey’ with 16 round indentations.

However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make ‘Brass Monkeys.’ Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled.

Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, ‘Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.’ (All this time, you thought that was an improper expression, didn’t you.
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