Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Confusers

Since I teach technology, and I blog, I'm at my confuser, I mean my computer, frequently.

It's a pretty handy tool, toy, and time waster.

"Well, Curious Servant, what do you do with your computer?"

I suppose the first thing I do is check, read, and send email. My dad is in Thailand and this is certainly the cheapest way to communicate with him. It's also a quick way to send little notes.

By the way... I believe in a certain etiquette in sending emails, so I follows these rules:

1. Short! Keep it short. People want to skim emails... leave the clever analogies, metaphors, illustrations, and anecdotes to blogging.

2. Keep it to one topic. If I need to cover several items, I make it a list or send multiple emails. Do not write paragraphs which move from topic to topic. This will help folks who like to sort email by topics and keep my message focussed for future reference.

3. No chain emails. Some folks like to do this sort of thing. I don't. This is my thing, so I don't tell others who send me such stuff that I delete it without reading them. That's what I do with spam, and I don't want to hurt their feelings. I'm just not into lucky emails, chances to win, or a believer in electronic petitions.

What else do I do with my technological window? I suppose after email is the news. Sure, I still read newspapers and magazines, but for brief tid bits about what is going on, it is the internet. There are several news sources for me.

1. Fox News. I find their writing terrible, their bias shows frequently, and they have rather superficial coverage, but it is quick, and pretty responsive to new developments.

2. CNN. Another quick source, but without the glitzy pics and other features.

3. The Source. Often I follow up a story by doing a little investigating myself. I will Google businesses, cities, all sorts of background info to find out more about a story than what I read. Once I found what I knew would have been a great investment... so much so that even borrowing the money would have been a smart move. My wife talked me out of it. Ah well... I'm really not the investing type.

4. Opposing views. I will often read what the other side has to say about something in order to get a clearer idea about a topic. Especially over heated topics. sometimes when reading about events in the Middle East I read Al Jazeera. They certainly have a clear bias, but they do report on topics western media does not, and frankly, they have some pretty good coverage.

Astronomical Picture of the Day

APOD is simply cool.

Here are some of my favorites over the past year:

A Blue Crescent Moon from Space

Mysterious Spokes in Saturn's Rings

A Mysterious Hexagonal Cloud System on Saturn (This one has me puzzled)

A Visit from Atlantis

Looking Back at an Eclipsed Earth

Shuttle Plume Shadow Points to Moon

Dust Sculptures in the Rosette Nebula (I've collected hundreds of nebula pics)

Sombrero Galaxy Across the Spectrum

Analemmas: Ukraine - Temple of Zeus - Of The Moon - The Tholos - Ancient Nemea - Mars

And today's: At the Edge of Victoria Crater (Go for it, you cute little robot!)

Bible Gateway

What a great reference tool! It is much faster than using one of my concordances, and give me the tools needed to reference scripture for blog posts.

Aside from the internet, I use computers quite a bit to create videos, music, and odd pictures.


I had an internet account in 1992 at Portland State University. I told a friend:

"The internet will never amount to anything."

I admit, I was wrong. At the time it was clumsy (the only browser I had available were Gophers, and the Mosaic came along and it got easier), and I believer there were only 350 or so sites available (mostly university catalogues, bulletin boards, and government sites).

I use computers a great deal for work... organizing my lessons, saving documents, writing proposals, keeping track of events and kids, and grades and all sorts of things.

But what I like to do the most is think with it. I use it to think out loud... to talk to myself and let folks like you listen in on my odd little ramblings.

I use it to pray "out loud" for myself, my family, and my friends. I use it to connect odd ideas together and to hone my writing skills.

And sometimes I just let myself ramble, like I am doing right now. It's a powerful tool, one that opens the world to new ideas, fresh information. It may well be the most democratizing force in the world today.

But, it also takes up a lot of my time... which reminds me... I've got to go check on Jeremiah now. Isaac is on his way to a Christian Youth convention in Florida right now, Life, and Mom's at work.

So enough of staring at this glowing screen for now... I've got to get back to being a dad.




8 comments:

Becky said...

great pictures C3PO unmasked

becky

Judas Hate said...

Have a great fourth, Will!

Coco said...

Yes, the internet is a great tool...and yes, it does take up our time, but it's now become a necessity of life!

Have a wonderful 4th, and a relaxing summer vacation : )

Blessings.

Jim said...

Happy 4th, CS.
I think you're hooked on the computers.
For good uses!
..

Judas Hate said...

Just now found time to actually come back and read the post.
Fantastic.

And thanks for all the work posting the cool links!

I love APOD. A friend turned me onto it last year.

Hope you all are doing well.

J.

Jada's Gigi said...

Ain't it the truth! :)

ukok said...

Oh how that last line resounds in my head...so often I have been guilty of playing around on the internet doing non essential stuff while my children have been arguing in the background over who gets the remote control. It's then that I draw a breath, switch off the TV and computer and say, 'hey, let's find something to do that doesn't involve using electricity!'.

God Bless you!

ame said...

YES!!! they ARE confusing!!! but i love them for the "community" i find out here. and i love them for the research and shopping - saves SO much time!!!