Posted in awareness, Books, Culture, Events, Quotes, Social Justice, Technology

Aspen Ideas Festival

No Idea Is So Outlandish That It Should Not Be Considered With A Searching But At The Same Time A Steady Eye

– Winston Churchill

Enjoyed this year’s invigorating Aspen Ideas Festival these past few days. Various leaders around the world engaged in a deep discussion of the ideas and issues across many disciplines that both shape our lives and challenge our times. It’s virtual and free to attend. Past videos from this weekend have been archived and ready for the public to view. For more information: https://www.aspenideas.org/attend/festival

Posted in awareness, Concepts, Technology, Volunteer Experiences

IBM World Community Grid

Hello everyone, hope you are well today! Inspired by a post I read on Tony Burgess’s post, “The Thing About: The Virus“, I thought about various efforts to help find a cure and treatment for COVID-19.

IBM’s World Community Grid allows anyone with a computer, smartphone, or tablet to donate their unused processing power to advance scientific research on various topics ranging from health, poverty and sustainability. I’ve been a member for several years. It’s neat when I take a step away to eat lunch or a jog, my computer is playing a part in helping perform calculations for AIDS research.

You can learn more about their current projects here: Active Research
You can learn more about their program here: About

Posted in Culture, fiction, poetry, Technology

#Elegy Poem – When Refrigerators Attack

Hello! Here is my take on BrewNSpew’s Word of the Week Challenge: Witty 🙂

Word of the Week – witty (adjective) – showing or characterized by quick and inventive verbal humor. synonyms – humorous, amusing, droll, funny, comical, clever, chucklesome, jocular, lively, waggish.

Eugenia @ BrewNSpew

When Refrigerators Attack

Oh refrigerator! My refrigerator!
Hackers have infiltrated your system
Developed a botnet to send thousands of malicious emails
How do we defend against my sudden rogue appliance?

My heart is at a loss!
The sudden ambush!
Defenseless with no warning!
Perishables are now vulnerable!

Oh refrigerator! My refrigerator!
You’ve been with me through thick and thin.
You offered a refreshing cool haven
after a hot summer day playing out in the parks

Savory dishes have lasted longer
Bacteria were kept at bay
Cold storage during transit
Meals can be prepared in bulk

A presentation at a conference with a witty name
“When Refrigerators Attack ” surprisingly offers some hope
promising a different future for smart refrigerators
In the wide world of Internet of Things

Recognition of new cyber defenses
Rejoice at the honeypots
Ice would soon dispense again!
Food no longer spoiled and sullied

Inspired by:

Posted in Books, Music, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Technology, Volunteer Experiences

Gratitude Scavenger Hunt: 8 Things

Hello everyone! I first saw this challenge on Winnie’s blog in which I enjoyed the beauty she explores. Sadje at Keep it Alive has found this scavenger hunt, and she invited her followers along. So, I decided to tag along as well!

Find something that makes you happy

Currently I’m feeling good as I am building a website for a church while listening to an enjoyable tropical deep house playlist. I’m learning so many concepts! I love coding with a programming language and creating something beautiful out of the lines of characters.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Something to give someone else to make them smile

I recently helped fund raise to help a friend build his own computer by selling books. It was a lot of fun to help him build it from scratch and a fantastic learning experience! It’s a tight squeeze, but slowly getting there. Once the zip ties are in place, we’ll wrap it up. 😉

Looks like a metal jungle in here!

Find one thing that you love to smell

I enjoy visiting the Pier 1 Import store. Colorful, bright, with a peaceful ambiance. I came across a lovely scent “Pink Champagne” as I stopped by the candle section.

Find one thing you enjoy looking at

I enjoyed viewing this fun pillow with flamingos. 🙂

Find something that’s your favorite color

Stopped by this dream of a store called Sam Moon’s! I was “window shopping” as I enjoyed checking out these fun, unique accessories. Tassels and pineapples are trending!

Find something that you are thankful for in nature

I bought two bonsai plants at a nursery for my brother’s college graduation and mom’s mother’s day gift. They both really enjoy plants.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Find something that you can use to make a gift for someone

It’s teacher’s appreciation week and my last day volunteering with the youth literacy group this year. I made gifts for the teacher and the two boys. Hopefully they’ll enjoy it!

Find something that is useful for you

This book caught my attention while hanging out at a friend’s place. The title stood out to me on the shelf, and my friend let me borrow it. According to Amazon, Mr. Kahneman’s book explores how we think and our cognitive biases in a nutshell. Something I will skim to explore why I make the choices I do! 🙂

Well that wraps it up! Much gratitude to all of you for stopping by! Hope you find pockets of gratitude in your lives! See you in a bit! 😉

Posted in Awards, Culture, Quotes, Technology

Sunshine Blogger Award #3 from A Guy Called Bloke

“Ô, Sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on Earth.”

― Roman Payne

Okay shades are out! 3rd nomination is from Rory @ A Guy Called Bloke and K-9 Doodlepip! Thanks Rory! Rory has created quite several interesting activities to keep us well entertained. You’ll see when you check out his questions! He shares interesting insights about variety of topics and recently about awards! Since I’m fairly new, I enjoy this sort of appreciation and recognition but I’ll engage in only questions this time. 🙂

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?
“The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.”

Once nominated, if you choose to accept, write a post where you:

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the Sunshine Award and link back to their blog
  • Answer the questions set by the person who nominated you
  • Nominate other blogs and give them questions to answer
  • Notify your nominees through social media or commenting on their blog
  • List the “rules” and display a Sunshine Award logo in your post

Why was he called Darth Vader and not Fart Fader?

How did Darth Vader’s name come to be?

I see you’re testing my geek credentials! To be fair, I’ve only watched the entire Star Wars movie series just last year during a experimental marathon my boyfriend’s friend created out of curiosity. According to him, there is old lore and new lore concerning the etymology of Darth Vader’s name. First, I’ll go into two reasons why he is not called Fart Fader!

Reason #1: A fader is an audio/visual device that adjusts the volume of sound or the intensity of light. It seems safe to assume that a “fart fader” is a device that adjusts the volume of farts.

Photo Credit: SolidStateLogic.com

The best fart scene that I think was fun for audio visual artists to fade in and out was from the movie The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) when everyone drinks a bottle of frobscottle, a green bubbly drink that “tastes like vanilla and cream with a faint trace of raspberries”.

Sophie standing in front of frobscottle
Farting royal dignitaries and pets

Now according to the American Bartenders School library, the Darth Vader cocktail is made out of STRONGER stuff! Even the bartenders knew of Darth Vader’s legacy and recognized that he needs to be taken seriously after all. Here’s the actual recipe!

Darth Vader Cocktail

Ingredients 
5 oz. Rum
5 oz. Vodka
5 oz. Tequila
5 oz. Gin
5 oz. Triple Sec
5 oz. Jagermeister
1 can Red Bull
Cherry for garnish  

Directions Combine the Rum, Vodka, Gin, Tequila, and Triple Sec into an ice filled cocktail shaker.  Cover, shake well, and pour into a Collins glass.  Add the Red Bull, stir well, float the Jager on top, and add a Cherry.  It’s strong. it’s tasty, and it’s from the dark side.  Enjoy your Darth Vader, and remember…May the force be with you!!!

Reason #2: In Swedish, “fart fader” means speed father. If you add the word Swedish word “hog” which means high in front, I think of the military term “High Speed Father” which means that someone is so prepared that they are able to react nearly instantaneously. (Credit: AwesomeDadGear) I just don’t think that Darth Vader was prepared to react instantaneously in some situations. He had an identity crisis and moments of doubt.

Photo Credit: Force Material

Now, as for the Darth’s name, I liked Robin Williams take on it in his article- The Origin of Darth Vader: The Name. In summary, Lucas was messing around with a combination of different names. Darth Vader doesn’t actually mean Dark Father as he led many people to believe.

George Lucas went to school with a Gary Vader who was a football player who was a year older than him. Robin suggested that George Lucas may have been bullied by Gary Vader leading Lucas to associate evil with Gary’s last name.

Lucas’ earlier choice for Darth’s name was Dark Water which could have dramatically changed the fighting style into water bending like in Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

What’s the worst pair of socks you have ever owned?

The year was 2006. Large red and orange autumn leaves covered the campus. I participated in a game of “Assassin” in my dormitory. Everyone who chooses to participate would receive their target assignments from the resident adviser and your weapon would be a pair of socks that you’ve rolled up into a ball. If you survived, your prize would be a $100 gift card. 30 students were highly motivated that year as many of us had tight budgets.

I had a pair of lime green socks that I loaned to my neighbor who didn’t own any socks because he loved to wear flip flops all the time. He told me he found his target, but then someone got him. Day by day, names were crossed off the list that was posted to the wall outside the elevator. It was the final round and five people were left. I randomly found my target while he was doing his laundry. I managed to stay alive.

teeturtle.com – Killer Bunny Socks

One day, I was in the computer lab working on my homework assignments. When I finished, I faced the only exit and found a young man smiling mischievously at me. There was no escape. My heart pounded and I screamed as he hurled a black and red sock ball at my chest. Game over! So, I’d say my lime green socks were the worst as they were turned into a weapon that year. Looking back at it, it makes me wonder about the state of humanity and what they would do for entertainment and money.

Do you think the older we get, whilst we become wiser to a certain extent we become dumber in so far as our faster progression of digital software and if so why and if not why?

A few of my classmates conducted a research study on how many of us have a reliance on tools that make our lives easier, yet we become dumb or perhaps lazy in a sense because we no longer exercise that particular mental faculty ourselves by letting the tool do the work for us. Spell check, for instance, is very useful, but it makes me feel that there will be less of an emphasis on learning how to spell correctly especially with the advent of increasing use of acronyms and slang usage among youth.

Calculators have been getting more advanced as well doing the heavy lifting of abstract thinking for us. Yet, I think our brains need training in reasoning through problems so that we can sense problems and tricks as they occur. Our intuitive senses are strengthened when we personally engage with it. This finger mathematics approach that some Indian schools have taught fascinates me. It might be a factor in all the strides that India has made in the engineering and technology sector which has a strong mathematical bent.

However, I participated in a field study where many participants have told me how technology has positively impacted their lives. Some immigrants have learned English more quickly to acclimate to living in a new area by utilizing various applications on their phones to help them learn languages. They don’t have to resort to attending classes at a certain time in a brick and mortar location as my own parents have done. Some have felt that their children are “smarter” as they seemed more plugged in and engaged with current events due to being on their phones. They’re exposed to many things with so much information available at their fingertips.

I don’t think that digital software replaces critical thinking skills. That’s an assumption that I think many have fallen for. Last night, I found out one of my younger coworkers was writing an essay last minute about whether or not the United States electoral college should be reformed. He was busy looking for the answers in various search engines online, yet I felt like he was quite lost as to what he was searching for. I looked at some of those answers, and they didn’t make any sense! I gave him some notes and keywords such as gerrymandering and populism, but was worried that he was going to take someone else’s word for it.

Another coworker didn’t question whether a video of a robot in Japan killed 29 scientists was real or not. It’s been debunked in case you guys are wondering about a real life terminator on the loose. 😉

What is the difference between an acquaintance and a colleague?

Interesting! I was always under the impression that a colleague was a classmate/peer/coworker, and an acquaintance is someone who you see occasionally, but is not a close friend. I’ve explored this a bit more in a video and some quotes below!

“An acquaintance merely enjoys your company, a fair-weather companion flatters when all is well, a true friend has your best interests at heart and the pluck to tell you what you need to hear.” 


― E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly,
Photo Credit: Etsy
Photo Credit: Chasity’s Blog

If nothing held you back in your confidence what would you cram into one day where the rest of life would be made easier because of the previous days actions?

I would use many daily hacks to make the most use for my day. I’d use the pomodoro technique to “power through distractions, hyper-focus, and get things done in short bursts, while taking frequent breaks to come up for air and relax.” Study hard for my certifications and graduate entrance exam which opens up different doors in the future.

On another note, I would probably be more in charge of my financial life rather than work for someone else. I would quit my job and start my own business. I would make wise investments in various companies that might be able to bring back hefty returns to stabilize my financial life. I would work on developing an invention, establishing my own artistic creations, compile a book, and market that publication.

All of that really scares me. Developing self-confidence in the midst of a government shutdown or a rough economy is a great trait. You guys inspire me. Thanks. 🙂

Of everything you do in a given 24 hours per day what takes up the most time?

Currently, it’s working and studying for school! I’d like some more freedom to travel. I cherish my blogging time immensely! ❤

If you could travel back in time and change 1 hour of your life knowing full well it will alter your current past, present and future would you do so, and if so what? If not, what prevents you from doing so?

I’m thinking of a variety of situations, and yet I’m hesitant to do this. I’ve met some wonderful people after I went through dark periods of my life that I desperately tried to avoid. I’ve learned so much during the time, that it would have been highly unlikely that I would have met them and live the life that I am engaging with right now. I have a greater appreciation after I went through those difficult challenges and became stronger in the process.

Ok, so we live each day, every second, every minute and every hour of every day, week, month and year, and at which point of any given day, week or month or year would you say you feel or have felt the most alive?

Mornings in the summertime when I’m fully engaged with my hobbies and interests outside the structure and expectations of school!

What’s more important to you? Your Phone or your wallet/purse/bag?

Photo Credit: Quotesgram

This is somewhat difficult! My purse has my ID and other various important documents. If that was taken, I would primarily be concerned about identity theft rather than the purse itself. Just imagining a doppelganger makes me wonder!

My phone is my lifeline. Even if someone stole my purse, I can still call the bank and close all my accounts. I can call the Federal Trade Commission and make a report. I can call for help if I get in an accident.

Both can get replaced as it’s not worth losing my life over. I increase security on my phone, protect myself by getting fraud alerts, and enrolling in Life Lock support in the case that it does happen.

I thought this debate was fascinating:
Here’s Why Apple Is Going To War Over FBI ‘Backdoor’ Order

Uh oh! You have died before your time and you are there standing with the Maker and discussing your available options, which are: Go back as a donkey, Go back as a walrus, Go back as a cockroach, Go back as a completely different person of 40, your choice of gender, Stay dead. What would you choose and why? If you chose the ‘stay dead’ option, why did you do that?

Art by Fiona Staples in Brian K. Vaughan’s comic series: Saga

Are you kidding me? I think I would like to go back as a walrus living in the arctic! I need to be a representative for the region if global warming continues to be an issue! I would be exploring a new terrain that I would probably never do as a human. Since I would be quite sociable, I’ll be sure to pose for National Geographic paparazzi! 😀

As always, thanks for reading or scrolling! Have a great day! 🙂

Posted in Events, flashback, Photography, poetry, Quotes, Technology

#Shape Poem – My First Love

“Love is like the wind. You can’t see it, but you can feel it.”
– Nicolas Sparks, A Walk to Remember

Melanie Franz
Melanie Franz – Watercolor Aerial Acrobatics Portfolio

It was a chance meeting.
I was going to be thrown into a lottery system.
There was a 50/50 chance that you would have said yes.
The name of your hometown enticed me: Advanced Technology.
The allure of having something advanced seemed forbidden and unreachable.
I was infatuated with something that seemed unattainable.
You kept me up at night and on my toes.
Then you accepted me.
I was excited!

I did somersaults in the air
Riding on a cloud of euphoria.
I didn’t know what I was getting into
when I first began working with you.
You were a great mystery that needed to be solved.
Tangled in the various pieces that make you who you are.
Each of them had their own distinct personality.
Your schematics gave me a map to build you.
Deciphering you became an adventure!

All of the sudden,
I felt like Pygmalion.
I honed in my concentration.
It was a steamy encounter when
Soldering the pieces to your circuitry.
I remember you gave me an electric shock.
You flirt, you enjoyed toying with me
I delighted in this dalliance
I was devoted to you.
It was intense.

Love came a few years later when
I knew you and your history inside and out
I became familiar with what made you ticked.
I could recite your pet peeves from the back of my mind.
I became your doctor with my multi-meter as a stethoscope.
I could listen to your pulse and troubleshoot your problems
I could diagnose a solution and that brought me great joy.
I thought I was going to be with you forever.
Through some unexpected cruel twist of fate
We had to part ways and bid each other adieu.
I began to see you through new eyes
Tormented by the agony.
I didn’t marry you
but I’ll never
forget you.

  • In response to OctPoWriMo2018: Day 9, 10, 11, 12 combined
  • Note: The poem is in the shape of a wave frequency that I could see on an oscillator, a device that generates electric currents and voltages. It’s also a poetic summary of my experiences of getting accepted in the Advanced Technology program and building the electric circuitry of an AM/FM radio for the first time.