Some idiot blogger!

He can’t recall now what provoked this outburst; but he won’t forget the comment. Pop-star had thought highly of this top rating financial analyst and journalist until then, but he did not like this derogatory comment on Sunday morning television. He had not long become a blogger himself. He certainly wouldn’t be subscribing to his newsletter now. Didn’t he realise that bloggers at least read their articles, and pass their views on to others.

Pop-Star is his sobriquet. When grandchildren started arriving the family consensus was that they should call him Pop or Poppy. He did not mind this. Poppy was a snappy name, friendly too. Poppy it was, until the two oldest boys, to their amusement, christened him Pop-star.  He suspects they didn’t think much of his star qualities. Never mind, he accepted the title good-naturedly.

How did Pop-star get into blogging?  He wasn’t entirely a computer novice. He had learned how to buy and sell his shares online, saving ever so much money on brokerage.  He also did his own research on the internet. He was wary of the social media, however, as was Mrs Pop-star (MPS).

She was horrified when after surgery, and obeying orders to stay indoors, he opened a Twitter account to follow the news as it unfolded. He started to add his own short comments, and make small contributions to public debates. The next step was to use Facebook to find out a little more about people in the news. It also proved wonderful for staying in touch with distant relatives.

Twitter limits comment to 140 characters. Not nearly enough to elaborate on issues. When he came across WordPress he thought “why not give blogging a go”? He looked at other blogs. Many were just spectacular. Could he at his age manage something like that? It wasn’t too expensive. He had long wanted to share with others his insights into life, and finance.

It hasn’t been easy. Even the basics were unfamiliar. He had to work out the differences between pages and posts, what META meant, and learn the jargon. Words like widget, Avatar and Gravatar. He had no end of difficulty trying to add media to his posts. It frustrated him when something he was working on just disappeared. He wasn’t sure whether he had committed some unpardonable sin, whether it was his computer freezing, or a problem with the server.  Wouldn’t it be helpful if there was automatic feedback to clarify the problem, and suggest a solution!

He had little earlier writing experience. He was aware of some of the pitfalls to avoid, but how do you avoid those clichés by coming up with some original expressions of your own? He had a struggle to avoid using the words and expressions of others and to always be original adding comment to a news report.

He had to research before he wrote, and make sure that his sources were reasonably reliable. He still has to learn how to format his references, and append a bibliography.

He had a dilemma deciding on topics. Should he persist with topics that interested him even if they were of limited interest to others, Did it worry him when there were few readers, and fewer comments, let alone positive feed-back.

Then there were questions of style. If it was a technical topic, how could he avoid jargon readers wouldn’t understand, and add enough explanation in the text?  He does not like pomposity and verbosity but found he was tending to do a bit of pontificating himself.

No matter how often he re-read his posts it seems he always found errors of one kind or another, or text that could be better expressed.  It was a challenge to his ego to get it as right as he could and he is still striving to improve.

Perhaps this is the reason he has become obsessive about his blogging.  It perturbs MPS how much time he is spending on his computer, and in the interest of marital harmony he must do something about it. With so much to write about it won’t be easy. Once he embarks on a post, he can’t rest until complete and posted.

Even if no one reads his blog, he thinks he will keep going while his health permits. All his life he has read the words of others. This is his opportunity to express his own ideas and thoughts. It is an absorbing interest. It gives him something to think and talk about instead of repeating stories everyone has heard before. He has a new role in life, and a feeling of relevance. He is contributing to public thought and debate.

It is a bit like having a baby; hours of labour but new life (of a sort ) at the end. Mind you he is not necessarily proud of what he has written. He is a bit embarrassed to confess that he is just another “idiot blogger”.

He likes what another WordPress blogger said about writing when life was coming to an end. He/she said they would just write faster.

Silver Pheasant

Photo Trap

Silver PheasantSilver Pheasant

The Silver Pheasant (Lophura nycthemera) is a species of pheasant found in forests, mainly in mountains, of mainland Southeast Asia, and eastern and southern China, with introduced populations in Hawaii and various locations in the US mainland. The male is black and white, while the female is mainly brown. Both sexes have a bare red face and red legs (the latter separating it from the greyish-legged Kalij Pheasant). It is common in aviculture, and overall also remains common in the wild, but some of its subspecies (notably whiteheadi from Hainan, engelbachi from southern Laos, and annamensis from southern Vietnam) are rare and threatened.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

View original post

December 17 1903 Wright brothers make first powered flight

Craig Hill Media and Consulting

Wright Brothers First Powered FlightOn December 17th 1903, the first successful flight of the Wright Flyer took place.

One of the biggest milestones in the evolution of commercial air flight, the Wright Flyer was the first powered aircraft, and the result of the Wright Brothers’ decade-long interest in aeronautical flight.

The Wright Flyer underwent two separate flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 14, and December 17.

The Wright Brothers created several gliders between 1900 and 1902, refining the process of flight control each time, until 1903 when they filed for a patent on the process.

In 1903, they created the Wright Flyer with a custom-made engine that had a high enough power-to-weight ratio in order to power an aircraft.

The engine mechanics borrowed heavily from their knowledge of bicycles, which they gained from owning a bicycle shop and their own brand of bicycles.

The flight on December 14 was piloted…

View original post 103 more words

Sandyhook Requiem

Maria's Musings

Friday 12-14-12 started as any other day

Dressing for school, hurried breakfasts, hugs, little ones at play

Dedicated, loving teachers there in the morning

As dedicated, loving parents hand-off their living treasures

Little beating hearts and chubby hands

Giggles and greetings, crayons and colored clay

Chaos and unspeakable violence breached the walls

Of an institution felt safe and warm

By one confused, angry and hurt

An invisible young man now a house-hold name

To the horror of a nation

Yes, even to the shock of the world

And the deep searing grief of the families

Precious lives now cruelly cut short

The aftermath of confusion and pain

The lack of understanding

What are we to do?

Who does this? Who?

Why? WHY?

No answers, only pain

For the children, for their teachers made heroes in one final act

For the mother who died alone in her home

For the father…

View original post 284 more words

Australian Winners of the Nobel Prize

English: Dr. John Robin Warren AC (born 11 Jun...

English: Dr. John Robin Warren AC (born 11 June 1937 in Adelaide) is an Australian pathologist, Nobel Laureate and researcher. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ten Nobel Prizes have been awarded to Australians: nine for science or medicine and one for literature:

William and Lawrence Bragg in Physics in 1915 for analysis of crystal structure by X’rays.

Howard Florey in Medicine in 1945 for developing penicillin, the first antibiotic.

 Sir MacFarlane Burnet in Medicine in 1960 for the discovery of acquired immunological tolerance.

 Sir John Carew Eccles in Medicine in 1963 for the discovery of the chemical nature of nerve synaptic transmission.

 Patrick White in Literature in 1973 for epic and psychological narrative art.

 Sir John Warcup Comforth in Chemistry in 1975, for stereo-chemistry of enzyme-catalysed reactions, and the biosynthesis of cholesterol from acetic acid

 Professor Peter Doherty in Medicine in 1996 for work in cell mediated immunity. He showed how killer T cells recognize and destroy viruses.

 Professor Barry Marshall and Dr Robin Warren in Medicine in 2005 for the discovery

of the causative agent of gastritis and peptic ulcer disease, the bacterium Helicobacter pylori.

 Elizabeth Blackburn in Medicine in 2009 for showing how chromosomes and the genome are protected from damaged by telomere sequences at the end of chromosomes, and by the enzyme telomerase.

 Brian Schmidt in Physics in 2011 for discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe.

Two other Australians have won Nobel Prizes but conducted their work overseas, Alesksandr Prokhorov, and Bernard Katz.

We can be justly proud of the standard of Australian scholarship and research, and of the men and women who achieved so much. I have added a photograph of Dr Robin Warren an Adelaide medical graduate who was in my year.