Wednesday, September 25, 2013

We're Pretty Much Screwed Up All Around

Hello again,

First off, yes, I am still alive.  This blog may be dead (and blogging as a whole may be as well) but I'm still here.  I hope you are too.

Lets start off with a bang shall we?

Chris Miles from PolicyMic posted this amazing albeit tongue-in-cheek demographic displaying some of the more disappointing statistics our individual states are best (aka worst) at.  Enjoy.

For the full story including a listing of well researched statistic sources, go here.

Monday, December 17, 2012

I Think Therefore

Cogito ergo sum

Whenever abstract thinking leads a person to question their own existence, the reference to Descartes' famous statement comes to mind.  I think, therefore I am.  As a kid I was introduced to this statement as a child by some cartoon.  Possibly Bugs Bunny but I digress. "I think therefore I yam!"

I would daydream about many abstract possibilities.  Sometimes during bouts of self reflection but admittedly mostly out of boredom.  What if it is not I that is actually doing the thinking?

I would also daydream about the possibility of advanced alien civilizations.  What if they weren't "out there" in the sense that we hope and understand now.  Not out there in the cosmos but beyond it?

When I first learned that the universe itself had an end to it, like anyone else I couldn't help but contemplate what lies beyond that border.  Some THING MUST be there.  It wouldn't even necessarily have to be an object or material of mass as we understand it given the laws of matter in our universe.  But SOME-THING must be there or else how would a big bang...well, bang?

As the years went by I studied many different things.  Studied = feeble attempt to grasp the incomprehensible mysteries of the universe.  Purely out of entertainment and wonder.  Curiosity led me to many subjects that I felt were connected in some way.  Things from hard science and philosophy to the not so hard.  There are even lessons to be learned from the more mystical teachings of human society.  I've always made a conscious effort not to dismiss those lessons of even the most abstract branches of study simply because I don't devote my life or faith to them.

So I contemplated these many things and like many other people I came to a hypothetical possibility.  Emphasis on possibility without ANY inference of probability mind you.

I saw this photo of the Helix Nebula for the first time and thought "What if we are an experiment?"
As we live and breathe it is the goal of many human scientists to recreate the environment which first created the big bang.  Who says some others haven't also tried the same experiment and done so, successfully countless billions of years before us?  Is it not pompous of us to think that we are the only beings intelligent enough to consider it?

That led to some other avenues of recreational amateur research and I read a few books about the virtualization of life.  These books focused mainly on humanity and where technology would eventually lead us.  Keep in mind this was long before things like World of Warcraft or even Second Life where you can essentially aim to do these very things.

My imagination took me to fun concepts.  Perhaps we aren't who we think we are and this whole world we know as Earth is just a recreational escape.  Imagine our true existence as those very "aliens" we seek and the human culture we know is a purely evolved live social experiment.  The imagined connectivity between individuals being a real, physical connection in whatever realm we actually exist.

Many years later I saw a movie called The Matrix.  It kinda sorta touched on this but it was close enough that I was intrigued by the idea.

A virtual world would explain some the inexplicable mysteries and coincidences we encounter.  Mind over matter for example would play a very important role.  As time goes on and the mass intelligence grows rules are set.  Magic and miracles are "proven" (established as) impossible and a structure of society is built in the midst of chaos.

What better way to study life then to experience it first hand?

Sound like madness?  Sound abstract and impossible?  Well believe it or not, some scientists would like to test it.  If you read the article, please try to give the concept a chance and dismiss the ribbing the original poster immediately starts jabbing at the project.

Read it like a story concept.  Visualize it like a fantastic story and not an actual, or probable scenario.  I think the idea is just epic and amazing to contemplate.

If anything, it makes for a fun thing to discuss.  Story.

Monday, October 15, 2012

New Apple Product!

Does this attract women?  Does it show how tough you are?  Why is this a thing?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Please Wash Your Hands

(I have dozens of incomplete blog drafts.  This was one of them.  It was a concept I had and I know I will never have the time to flesh out so I just touched it up and posted it.  I hope you find it as informative and as I did.)

At home I probably wash my hands at least a dozen times a day.  At work, that just isn't possible.  So like many others I use hand sanitizer.  I don't know if you all feel the same as I do after using it, but it just doesn't compare to a good, clean and refreshing water and soap hand wash.

Even with the chemicals burning at your skin I just didn't feel as clean.  It almost seemed as if I applied a fresh coat of paint over a dirty wall.  The gross stuff was still there but just slightly sterilized.  So, I decided to do a little research and found some information.

A majority of alcohol sanitizers in the US use either ethanol or isopropanol or a combination of them.  Most brands also include a moisturizer because those chemicals tend to dry up and sometimes irritate the skin.  The alcohol in these sanitizers works by changing the proteins in the microorganisms which effectively kills bacteria and most viruses.  What isn't usually made clear is that proteins and fats on dirty hands will REDUCE the effectiveness of the alcohol as a sanitizer.

So what does that mean?  Well, if you have dirty hands this doesn't work well.  So it is important to know that these sanitizers don't CLEAN your hands, the only disinfect.  This seems obvious but in my personal experience is not the way people in general use these products.

So what are we supposed to do?  BOTH.  Hand sanitizers work best AFTER you have washed your hands.  So it should become an additional step when washing your hands, not an alternative.  The way it works is by stripping away a layer of oil on your skin and killing any present microorganisms.  It takes bacteria long time to repopulate.

For best results you are supposed to rub your hands with the sanitizer for 30 seconds.  If your hands are dry before that point, then you aren't using enough.  Hand sanitizers are NOT an alternative, they should be an accessory to, hand washing.

This public service announcement has been brought to you by your local resident OCD hand washer.

Source: EDIS

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Doing What I Do

I have a job.  I have a dream job.  They are not one in the same.

Unlike all those people trying to "make it big" on one reality TV contest or another I'm not looking for a cushy job.  I work hard and enjoy it.  I'm one of those guys that would probably keep working if I won the lottery.

The fact remains though that what I do for a living, is not fulfilling.  Not in the least bit.  I come home exhausted.  Not physically worn out mind you though there is quite a bit of cardio involved.  I just feel drained.  I have the kind of job that requires you to insert a proverbial square peg into a round hole.  Then when you miraculously make that work, you're given a isosceles triangle.  But I digress!

This is not a venting blog since no one in their right mind would want to hear that crap.  This is an excited blog post. :D

Many years ago, I applied for my dream job.  That experience was honestly one of the most exciting things I have ever done in my life.  Unfortunately things didn't work out.  I was the wrong person for the job that didn't know the right person that could get me the job.

At the time, I knew to the core of my being that I was PERFECT for that position.  I nailed the interview like I never have nailed an interview before.  I believe I am a humble person.  Making those statements doesn't come easy for a person like me.  But I know, beyond any shadow of a doubt that I would have done that job fantastically.  I had the right skill set, experience and drive.  Since I didn't get the job, I was severely disappointed.  I didn't let it affect my demeanor much but inside, it hurt a lot.  I was devastated and gave up on my dream.  The ONE time I tried.  Ignoring the fact that the ONE time I tried I scored an interview almost immediately for a highly sought after position in a VERY high visibility business.

Time moved on and 6 years later I feel motivated to try again.  I don't fear rejection.  I didn't fear it then but it still affected me.  This job isn't exactly the same but it is similar enough that I believe I would find a LOT more joy performing my daily duties than I do now beating my head against the proverbial wall of despair.

So why am I posting this?  I am excited.  I am feeling positive.  I am feeling hopeful and nervous.  Will I be overlooked again?  Will I land the job and not know what to do with it?

I have no idea.

The point is that I am taking a chance.  I feel a little alive again that I have an opportunity to do what I like and still provide for my family.  If I get this job it will mean making some EXTREMELY drastic changes.  It will really be a new chapter in my life.  One that hopefully will prove beneficial for everyone involved.

If there was anyone I could beg to for the opportunity, I would do it.  I'm hopeful and enthusiastic but most of all, incredibly nervous, hence the desire to post an irrelevant story on an unrelated blog.

So followers, if any of you are still there, I beg of you to please wish me luck, think positively or even PRAY that I get this job as well as for my families future.

COINCIDENTALLY This is my 333 post on the Silent Podium.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Two Many Updates

Over two years ago I posted a very lengthy blog titled, Too Many Updates.  It covered many things but was inspired by the conveniently designed, but terribly implemented consolidated update infrastructure.  This allowed all applications to be updated through one central source, Apple.

It seems convenient but it unfortunately seemed to exist almost completely unsupervised.  Updates would often remove critical features or crash the application completely.  This seems to have resurfaced but on a grander scale.  In the spirit of the new short-form blog instead of my typical commentary/banter I will instead post a link to the article which I believe you may find enlightening.

The Verge