Archive for the ‘ABC Wednesday’ Category


It must have been about 1996, give or take a year. I was working as a librarian, for the same company I work for now, but three locations ago, and I was having trouble with my computer. (Historical fact: I ALWAYS have trouble with my computers; when the IT people set a schedule for replacement, my difficulties almost always exceed their expectations. I like computers, but they don’t always like me.)

So I ask one of the techies if he could fix my computer, which had frozen up. He said, “Did you reboot it?”, and I said, “Huh?” Up until that very moment, I had never heard the term “reboot”. I thought he wanted me to kick it, and if necessary, kick it again, which I was willing to do, though I doubted its efficacy.

That was not what he meant; he meant for me to turn the computer off and then to restart it, thus reloading the operating system. Years of being trained by IT guys now informs me that I don’t even go see them until I can honestly say, “I rebooted it, and it still doesn’t work.” Later, I learned the sometimes magic of Ctrl-Alt-Delete.

Now the term reboot has evolved into another meaning: “A term that comes from computer usage. To reboot a computer is to start it up again after a computer crash. Hence, “reboot” has the connotation of starting a process over again.*

This take on “reboot” is particularly popular with popular culture, such as motion pictures and television shows. The 2009 Star Trek movie, going back to before Kirk, Spock et al were on the Enterprise is a popular example. The 2010 Russell Crowe version of Robin Hood has been called a reboot, though it’s been remade about 287 times. 2010′s Karate Kid, with Will Smith’s son Jaden as the Kid and Jackie Chan in the Pat Morita role is a recent example, as is the 2010 version of Nightmare on Elm Street, without Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger. The 2010 fall TV schedule features Hawaii 5-0, a popular show over 30 years ago.

What is the difference between a remake and a reboot? I’m not quite sure.

I will opine that the revamping of this blog at the beginning of the month is NOT a reboot. It’s still the same person writing (me). It may be on WordPress rather than Blogger, but that’s like a show moving from one television network to another. I may now have my own URL, but doesn’t change much either.

In case you were wondering how this change came about:
Rose DesRochers, an “avid blogger, published poet and freelance writer” from Canada had a free blog hosting contest back in February. I wrote about it, and actually won six months of free service from VisionThisHosting.com. Shawn DesRochers, Rose’s husband, is the Web Hosting Administrator. I did nothing about it for a while, then probably made Shawn’s life miserable getting this site up.

Rose and Shawn have been going through some stuff recently, which I would not bring up except that Rose mentioned herself in her blog. Their 19-year-old daughter has just been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, which I’m sure affected not only Rose, but Shawn as well. Rose writes that, coincidentally, May is Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month.

So thanks, Rose, for the site. Shawn, thanks for your continued assistance. My good wishes to you both and for your daughter.
***
Oh, and happy birthday to my “baby” sister Marcia!


ABC Wednesday

* “reboot.” The American Heritage┬« New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005. 16 May. 2010. .


When I first heard the songs of the rock group Queen in the mid-1970s, I thought it was a very good group with songs such as:
*Killer Queen (#12 on the Billboard charts in the United States in 1975)
*You’re My Best Friend (#9 in 1976)
*Bicycle Race (#24 in 1978) – hey, I ride sometimes
*the rockabilly sensibilities of Crazy Little Thing Called Love (the group’s first #1, in 1980)
*Play The Game (#42 in 1980)
*the bass line-insistent Another One Bites The Dust (another #1, in 1980)
*the goofy fun of Flash (as in Gordon) (#42 in 1981)

Then Freddie Mercury died of AIDS in 1991 Read the rest of this entry »

Before I get started, a JEOPARDY! Daily Double from 4/14/2010:
ONLY ONE VOWEL $2,000: Though it has only one vowel in its name, this element’s periodic table symbol is 2 vowels.

It’s been a long time since I took high school chemistry. Check out, if you would, this nifty dynamic periodic table. If you put the cursor over a category, it will highlight those elements in that category. If you click on the category, it will give you an encyclopedic interpretation of the group. This is likewise true for the individual elements.
Read the rest of this entry »


You thought that when the closing ceremonies took place in Vancouver, BC at the end of February, the high-caliber athletes had almost all left town. But there would be, in March, a parallel “Olympics”, he Paralympics, coming to the Canadian city. This involves a number of athletes who compete at the highest levels despite their physical disabilities.

The Paralympics started in 1960 (summer) and 1976 (winter), and has its own governing board, separate from the IOC. Yet, since the Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea in 1988, the location of these games have paralleled the locations of the Summer and Winter Olympics. At least for the next Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, the Olympics and the Paralympics share a common organizing committee. I called the U.S. folks in the Paralympic movement to clarify the relationship between the two groups, but the public relations person was not available.

The summer and winter games include the following sports, governed by the IPC: Alpine Skiing, Athletics, Biathlon, Cross-Country Skiing, Ice Sledge Hockey, Powerlifting, Shooting, Swimming, Wheelchair Dance Sport, plus several sports regulated by international federations, and a handful of others under the jurisdiction of International Organization of Sport for the Disabled.

The Paralympics are not to be confused with the Special Olympics, founded by the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver. “For people with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics is often the only place where they have an opportunity to participate in their communities and develop belief in themselves.”

Not incidentally, this year is the premiere of the Youth Olympic Games;you can find more here.

Of course, there are the Olympics, which ran for about 1000 years, then was canceled for over a millennium, with a few furtive attempts to restart during that time. I’m not going to talk about the modern Games, which started in 1896, except for three things:
1) if I ever get to Switzerland, I MUST go to the Olympic museum
2) a really cool feature on the olympic.org site is feature that can retrieve all the Olympic results from 1896 through 2008; Vancouver is not yet represented.
3)Juan Antonio Samaranch, former IOC head, recently died. Got to say that he really modernized the financing of the games, though there were some issues over the Salt Lake City Games. And, except for American Avery Brundidge, he was the only IOC head I could name.


Sumi, the Paralympics mascot

ABC Wednesday
ROG


I have not traveled extensively. I’ve been to about 30 US states. Outside of the country, I’ve only been to Canada, Mexico and Barbados, only the former more than once. So I get to “travel” through a number of blogs.

One of the blogs I visit is Nik Durga’s Spatula Forum. Nik is “an American journalist who now lives in New Zealand with my kiwi wife and son.” Somehow, this led me to http://amerinz.blogspot.com/. Arthur is another American expat living in New Zealand, of longer tenure, who writes: “I moved to New Zealand from Chicago in 1995 to be with my partner. I’ve worked in the printing and publishing industries for about twenty years.” It’s possible I found Arthur through Nik’s appearance on Arthur’s podcast, but I don’t recall.

Regardless, Arthur celebrated the third anniversary of his podcast last month, March 28, to be precise. In honor of that, he posed 20 questions, for which he kindly also presented the answers, which people were supposed to send him in order to win a “Kiwi prize pack”; alas, I did not win. Being a tad librarianish, I decided to send along links with the answers, which was not required. It later occurred to me that those links could be the basis of THIS VERY blogpost.

The information will not be in the order that Arthur gave it, since his was intentionally all over the place chronologically.

The Waitangi Treaty was signed February 6, 1840. This “extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her royal protection, and imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British subjects.”

The First_Taranaki War, fueled by a land dispute between the Maori and the Europeans,
began on March 17, 1860 and ended on March 18, 1861.

The New Zealand Cross was created on March 10, 1869, important “because New Zealand’s local military were not eligible for the [British] Victoria Cross.”

“New Zealand became the first self-governing nation in the world where women had won the right to vote” on September 19, 1893.

The Brunner mine disaster took place on March 26, 1896.

New Zealand achieved dominion status on September 26, 1907.

There are 453 New Zealand World War I memorials.

An agreement of Australian-New Zealand cooperation was signed in Canberra on January 21, 1944.

The Wahine Shipwreck disaster occurred on April 10, 1968.

The Homosexual Law Reform Act was signed on July 11, and went into effect August 8, 1986.

The first Kiwi to win an Academy Award took place in March 1994, the 21st in Los Angeles, when Anna Paquin was named Best Supporting Actress for “The Piano”. Anna was born in Canada, but raised in New Zealand.

The Prostitution Reform Act was passed in 2003.

Nationwide elections in New Zealand are held every three years, “or earlier, should it be necessary.” At this writing, the ruling party is New Zealand National Party and the leading opposition party is the New Zealand Labour Party.

There are about 13200 km from Chicago, IL US to Auckland, NZ.

As at Tuesday, 20 April 2010 at 02:58:46 am (local time), the estimated resident population of New Zealand was 4,364,669.

Most of the questions Arthur got from New Zealand History online, which celebrated its 11th anniversary last month.


ABC Wednesday


ROG

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