Historical Social Media

There has been much interest in the President’s use of social media the last few years.  Donald Trump is known for using twitter in particular to express his opinon.  I was coming across headlines about it today, and It reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend a long time ago.

Back when Farmville was a big thing on Facebook, the two of us starting joking around about the Founding Fathers and what they would be up to.  Somehow Thomas Jefferson was immersed in his own virtual farm whilst in Wiki-Thrall.  At the time we figured out what some of the others were doing, but Thomas Jefferson was the only one I remembered now.

It makes you wonder what kind of uses would historical people have used social media for?  Would Martin Luther have had a blog about his religious convictions?  Would Confucius use Twitter to share his wisdom?  Would FDR have fireside Youtube videos?

I’m interested in what you think would be likely.

May is…

May has a lot of observances and awareness connections.  I decided to write about some of them.  There are of course many other observances during May, so here is the list from Wiki if you want to explore more.  I am by no means an expert on any of these, so please research more on your own if you find yourself interested.

Awareness Month

May is set aside for the awareness of several diseases and causes.

Celiac Disease

Celiac (or Coeliac) disease is a autoimmune disease where the small intestine can not properly digest gluten.  It causes damage to the lining of villi, which help digest nutrients.  It can range from discomfort to great pain and other health problems.  This disease is probably getting more known due to gluten-free diet trends.  Gluten can be found in wheat, Rye and Barley.  It is a genetic disorder as well, so it runs in families.

More information:

Celiac.Org

Beyond Celiac.Org

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis is a serious genetic disorder that effects the major organs, particularly the lungs.  It is caused by a recessive gene mutation, which causes secretions like sweat, digestive fluids and particularly mucus to become thicker.  There is no cure for Cystic Fibrosis, just treatments to treat the symptoms.

More information

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Cystic Fibrosis – Mayo Clinic

Cystic Fibrosis (Wiki)

Mental Health Awareness Month

Awareness of Mental Heath issues is very important.  Misinformation, ignorance of treatment and other factors have led to people not getting the treatment they need, or choosing to refuse treatment because they don’t’ want to be treated poorly for having a mental health issue.  While societal views on mental illness have improved over the last few decades,we have far to go till its treated like any physical illness.

More information

Mental Health America.Net 

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Month Observances

National Pet Month  (US)

National Pet Month is basically a month to recognize the benefits that pets bring to our lives.  It is observed in April in the UK and in May in the US.  It also promotes pet adoption, and animal health.

National Pet Month.Org (UK)

Flores de Mayo

Flores de Mayo is a month long celebration in the Philippines.  It has its roots in Catholic devotions to Mary including daily offering of flowers.  On the last day of the month a pageant is held called the Santacruzan which honors events in Catholic history.  In particular, it celebrates the finding of the true cross by St. Helena.  Young women search for a hidden cross after attending a mass and the one who finds it is designated as Reyna Elena (St. Helena).

Flores de Mayo (Wiki)

Flores de Mayo & Santacruzan – Catholics & Cultures

Single Day/Week Observances

Cinco de Mayo (May 5)

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican-American holiday.  In Mexico, it is a day of observance on a a military victory over French Occupation.  It is usually observed with military parades.  In the United States however it has become a day to celebrate Mexican-AMerican culture.  There is debate on the ethical points of Cinco de Mayo in the United States, however, due to the fact that it was originally a Mexican holiday and the US celebration has nothing to do with the original Mexican.  Also it has a tendency to promote stereotypes and racial issues.

International Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Day (May 12)

Chronic Fatigue affects many people, though many go undiagnosed.  Sometimes it is a side effect of another illness, but it can be an issue on its own.  It is often hard to diagnose as there is no blood or lab test that can detect it.  Awareness and research can bring more answers to the cause of Chronic Fatigue

CDC- Chronic Fatigue Awareness Day

Mother’s Day  (May 14 in US)

There are several countries that celebrate Mother’s Day, and its on several different days of the month.  However, since I live in the US I choose to note the date that the US is celebrating.  I’ll be posting a separate post about this one when the day arrives.

Endangered Species  Day (May 19)

Endangered Species day is a day to recognize the efforts that are out there to protect the wildlife on our planet.  Many species have been lost in the last few decades alone, and there are many organizations out there trying to prevent more species from going from endangered to extinct.

US National Fish and Wildlife Service

Ramadan (May 26-June 25)

Ramadan is a religious observance by Muslims, and this year will start May 26/27.   I am by far no expert on Islamic traditions, so I do recommend googling Ramadan and finding out more on your own.  Ramadan is a religious rite that occurs for a month.  It involves daily fasting and focusing on the Quran, their holy book.

Ramadan (wiki)

BBC Religions: Ramadan

It’s Gonna Be – er, It’s MAY!

Some of you may have noticed that in April, there were very few posts.  Mostly this was because of time management and Camp Nano.  However, during that time I figured out some new posts that will be coming in May, so there should be a bit more regularity to my posts this coming month.

But for now, I’m going to talk about Camp Nano.  Camp Nano is an offshoot of the NanoWrimo event in November.  They have two sessions, one in April and one in July.  During Camp Nano, unlike its more well known November cousin, you can choose a word count of your own choice.  I choose 30,000 as there was alot I needed to do this month and Writing was going by the wayside for a little bit.  I think I almost got there, but not quite.

I plan on doing the second session in July, and hopefully to greater success.  If you enjoy writing, I reccommend it.  Its really fun, and it allows you to create cabins where you can interact with other writers.  You can let them choose for you, or you and a few of your friends can build your own.

To read more about Camp Nano, you can visit their website here. I linked directly to their FAQ page for convenience.  It’s a really fun experience.  Like Nano, I recommend this to any writer, both the professional and the casual.

My project was finishing up a fanfiction I’ve been writing for several years yet never finished based on Marvel movies Thor and Avengers.  Its completely AU now, but I still am determined to finish it.  I made good progress but still not to my goal of actually finishing it by the end of the month.  But the end is in sight, and hopefully I can say it was completed before May is out as well.  Then perhaps I can work on some of my original writing projects.

Which brings me to some of my other May Projects I’m also looking into some recycling/Upcycling projects to help decrease the clutter around my house and being environmentally friendly.  Its spring cleaning time, and if anyone has some recommendations, I’d love to try them out.  I might even write about a few of them that I do try.

I’ve got a essay series coming up this month for those of you wondering where my history rambles went to.  Its nearly complete, and its on the Articles of Confederation.  Hopefully you’ll enjoy that.

And I’ve got at least two book reviews to add to the Book it list.  I’m far far behind, so hopefully more books will be read.  I have such a large pile, both physically and electronically.

I hope everyone has a great month of May, and may Spring (or Fall if you are in the Southern Hemisphere) be good to all of you.

Happy New Year

new-years-day-1927663_640
Source: Pixalbay

So we have moved past the difficult year that is 2016.  A general sentiment is it was just a bad year, between divided elections,  several terrorist attacks, an uptick in reported hate, and people being generally unpleasant about politics.  There was also so many legends who died this year (and I’ll be doing a memorial post on Debbie Reynolds in the coming days).

Needless to say, many are glad we are at a new year.  It feels like a fresh start.  It even starts on the first day of the week so its a new year, new week, and new month.  Everything is new and maybe 2017 will be a more hopeful year.  Where in our focus will turn to the uplifting stories, and people who have been disappointing us this past year will somehow turn out to impress us by living above our expectations.

On a personal level, I’m hoping to bring my life under control.  I want to be able to start saving, as well as deal with some ongoing health issues.  I want to have a clean space that is not cluttered, I want to be able to more of the fun stuff I love to do.  I want to start making progress with the things I used to love before anxiety took over my life.

The good things about 2016 were that my health improved on the anxiety issue, I got a new job which had a pay increase, and I welcomed a nephew into my life.  I’m going to try and focus on those things then the not so good things that seemed to overfill 2016s borders.

I’m going to make 2017 the year I look at the bright side of things.  Both in myself and in world events.

As for this blog, I have a few things planned.  First is the schedule of posts as I discussed in December.  I’m hoping to post at least every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.    In the next couple of weeks you should see some of the following:

  • Debbie Reynolds Memorial post
  • Continuation of the Constitution series
  • Bookit 2017 Starter post  (and reviews!)
  • Review of Rogue One
  • Writing exercises and updates of the progress in writing my original novel

Here’s looking forward to a happy and uplifting 2017!

General Update

For those of you who follow me regularly, you may have noticed large amount of time between posts.  This is for a couple of reasons.  November was an very busy month for me, and “real” life had to get prioritized.  There was Nano, which I had meant to write four posts about, one a week, but ended up doing none of that.  There was also the fact that early last month I got a new nephew, who arrived a month early.  So part of my time was helping out my sister while she was in the hospital by watching my older neice.

But now its December, and I’m hoping to get back on track with a few of the things I want to do, one of which is to post more regularly on this blog.  I’ve started a Posting schedule in order to help me track my posting so I know what I’ve already posted, and what I need to post.  This way I don’t forget to finish post series, like the one on the constitution I was doing prior to the election.

Primarily the posts on this blog tend to be about either history topics or book reviews, with Writing in third.  It’s going to continue that way.   There is going to be a lot of book reviews in the near future as I try to catch up and meet my bookit goal of 52  (I’m at 39 really, though Good reads will tell you I’m at 40).  I believe I did a post like this in October, so its basically a recommit.

This a part of my plan to do my new Years resolutions now, instead of waiting for January.  In January I can recommit to my goals for the year.  And unlike the last time, hopefully I’ll actually keep to them.

So thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy the posts to come.

 

July Goals

Its that time of the month again where I go over my goals sheet from the start of the month, see if I accomplished anything I set out to do, and start to make a new goal sheet for the next month.  I’m posting some of them here to basically feel more accountable for them since other people know of them.

THis month didn’t go so well as I ended up not doing ANY of my goals.  So many of July’s goals will be roll overs as I try once again to accomplish them.

Assisting me this month as far as writing is Camp Nano, which I talked about last night so hopefully I will actually achieve the 50,000 word goal for the month.  This should also help me with my goal to catch up with the drabble prompts from a challenge I am doing.  I also hope to finish alot of various fics.

And now t hat recap of last night’s post is over, I also am rolling over some health goals.  I want to reduce my sugar intake (less pop, resist the temptation that is 99 cent cake slices) and also start doing pilates regularly to perhaps ease some of my back pain and help me be healthier.  Maybe start using my phone health app a bit more regularly to track my meals to see what exactly I am eating.  (A good bet is not enough of the right stuff, too much of the yummy but not good stuff)

I also plan on continuing to try daily drawing goals, and to take classes on Lynda to assit me in bringing back my motiavation and actual follow through with graphic design.  I feel like my artistic muscles are atrophying.

I also hope to update a few of my websites that I run, try and get them spruced up.  Partispate more in my creative online communities, and read a few more books.  I’m at the halfway mark for my goal I think (either 25 or 26, I need to check my record), but I need to keep up with the reading because not only is it a relaxing activity for me and helps me keep my stress levels within dealable boundries but also because I’m determined to reach that goal this year.

I’ve got Hunger Games queued up next (among the other 5 books I’m in the process of reading). I’ve already read it, so I’m not sure if I’m going to review it, but I might make some Hunger Game themed posts as I read through the series.  One you might see this month is a post on my changing thoughts about Gale Hawthorne.

And maybe I’ll start posting that rewatch series of Gilmore Girls since the new season is approaching.  (I’m excited yet afraid…)

 

 

Brofixes. A Pet Peeve.

I wish Male-focused Marketing would stop renaming things.  They make it sound like men need to be told that its manly to be able to enjoy thigns.  It drives me nuts, even more so when I get an unnecessarily gendered product geared for women  Like Bic for Her .  Its a pen. I don’t need to say Lady or be in pastel to know I can use it.  But do read the customer reviews, they make its existance almost worth it.

But lately I keep seeing things that have prefixes added on to them to make them more palatable to men.  Bronuts (That would be donuts, which I’m pretty sure I saw men eating long before someone thought to make money making it bro), Brogurt (that article annoys me on several levels beyond the brogurt name),Man bun, Man braids, and most recently Man Perm.

Its a freaking Perm.  Learn to enjoy what you enjoy and not let it effect how you few your gender expression.  If you want to braid your hair, go ahead and do it.  If you want to eat healthy and get a yogurt, go ahead and do so.  But please don’t do so because somehow adding “Bro” or “Man” to it suddenly makes it socially acceptable to be seen doing.

I also find it hard to believe, going back to brogurt category, that people think women wouldn’t like bigger containers of yogurt.  So I feel no threat to my femininity to go out and purchase something that says bro- or Man as part of the title.

Mainly I think this is an excuse to charge people more money, and fed on social norms to do it.

But seriously, stop calling things “Man-”  just to take a thing done all the time and make it more suitable because you are a guy.  Its a braid, a perm or a donut.  Enjoy it.

There is way too much unecessarily gendered products out there.  And I feel marketing has just continued to push gender seperation to get us to pay more just because it makes you believe that something is more feminine (the so called woman’s tax on bathroom and personal products) or masculine (the urge to rename ordinary items to make it more palatable to men).

On a happier note, there is a bronut I will happily consider, and that is Bronuts a company that makes donut holes that was founded by a pair of brothers (so the name actually makes sense and has less to do with who eats them as much as who made them).

Also I learned not to click on the Urban Dictionary links because sometimes there are completely different answers on the page and some of them I really wish I could unsee and also makes me detest the terms .

 

 

And now for something completely Different

Well, at least from my usual posts as of late.  Its come that time of the election cycle when everything seems to be about politics. News stories outside politics and the brief glimpse into world news (which is usually politics also) are slim to be seen.  And my blog has gotten alot of government commentary lately too.

So I decided to take a break today and cover some interesting stories that have nothing to do with Trump, Clinton, Sanders or stupid choices being made in foriegn policies.

  • Hubble Space Telescope Aniversery

The Hubble telescope was launched into space on April 24, 1990.  As of tomorrow it will be 26 years old. That’s pretty old for a piece of technology when people regularly are told to trade in their computers every 3-7 years. NASA decided to release photage the telescope took of the Bubble Nebula.

The Bubble Nebula is located in the constilation Cassiopeia, about 7,100 light years from earth.  It was discovered in 1787 by William Hershel.

A fact I didn’t know till I read the article I’ve included below is that the Hubble Telescope is a project that NASA is doing in partnership with the European Space Agency. I would definately check out the link, because they animated some of the camera shots and it looks really neat.

Hubble Sees a Star ‘Inflating’ a Giant Bubble (NASA)

  • Chernobyl Anniversery

While Chernobyl is not necessarily a happy topic, It is an interesting one as it has become a study in how the Earth repairs itself after a nuclear tragedy.  I was only a few months old when it happened, so in a sense I’ve never lived in a world without this incident being a cautionary tale about nuclear power.

On April 26, 1986 operators at the plant were doing a systems check when a series of power spikes and a failed emergency shut down caused a rupture in the reactor.  The moderator was exposed to air and ignited, sending a plume of radioactive material.  The fallout area covered parts of Belurus, Ukraine and Russia. 31 people were killed directly, and estimates on the secondary deaths caused by the radiation exposure are still being made. The lowest number given is by UNSCEAR a UN oversight organization which places it at 64 as of 2008. Several other estimates are given, although one puts it at a million although it hasn’t passed peer review.

The area around Chernobyl has been blocked by various governments.  People wanting to study the area are given day passes as the radiation around the planet is still quite high 30 years down the road.  The exclusion zone is 19 miles in all directions.

Places around Europe are still finding lingering issues and radiation exposure in plant and animal life from the diaster.  Russia, Ukraine and Belerus still have good portions of their budget dedicated to containment and decontamination.

The other 3 reactors in the plant remained operational till one by one they were closed down.  The final reactor was closed in 2000.

At least 3 countries are now nuclear power free because of this disaster.  It is also considered the worst nuclear diaster,  considered a level 7 incident.  Fukushima Japan in 2011 is also given this distiction.  In the US,  the Three Mile Island Accident (1979)in Pennsylvania was rated level 5.

Chernobyl Diaster (Wikipedia)

The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is Argubly a Nature Reserve  (BBC)

Background on the Three Mile Island Accident (National Regulatory Commission)

Three Mile Island Accident (Wiki)

Chernobyl in Pictures (BBC)

  • A Coral Reef was found in the Amazon

In the Amazon river mouth, under the muddy waters scientists have found a coral reef as well as several new species of aquatic life.  It was previously thought that coral reefs would be smoothered in low light, low oxygen areas such as the sediment thick mouth of the Amazon.

Surprising, Vibrant Reef Discovered in the Muddy Amazon (National Geographic)

 

 

 

 

Happy Easter

While I know my readers no doubt have a variety of reasons for liking (or not liking) the holiday, for me this holiday has two meanings.

There is the religious one.  I am a Christian, and this holiday celebrates the idea that Christ died for our sins.  To me this holiday is more significant religiously then Christmas.  I attended Church this morning which was uplifting.

There is also the commercial holiday which is fun and enjoyable.  I love chocolate and its always fun to watch little kids riffle through their easter baskets seeing what treats or toys are waiting for them.   This year I got my niece a bunch of scribble eggs, plastic eggs she could draw on.  She seemed quite happy to doodle away, carrying the egg wherever she went for awhile.

Its also a day of togetherness.  So I wish all of you a happy Easter for whatever reasons you celebrate it.  If you don’t, I hope you had a great day as well.

EDIT:  I thought I posted this yesterday, but apparently I only saved it to my drafts.  So pretend it was yesterday when you read this.

National “Love Your Pet” Day

I don’t really think loving your pet deserves its own day, but according to the google search on what national/international days/month this is, JAnuary 20th came up as  Love your Pet day.

So I’ll talk about my Pet.  Who I’ve shown before.

20160115_220312

This is Max.  Max is a four year old cat.  We believe he is partially Maine Coon because he seems to have quite a few of their characteristics.  He’s a very friendly cat, likes to hang around humans, particularly ones who are a little older and will let him cuddle without trying to make him play with them as the younger set do.

He likes to sleep next to computer uses, putting his paws around their arms (as you can see above) as if to keep them from leaving.  He also sucks his thumb at times and purrs realllly loudly.

We got Max after another family found he didn’t quite fit in with their other animals who weren’t so fond of Max.  We agreed to take in what we told was a kitten.  Max was about six months old at the time, and we had assumptions.

Max was a big kitty.  He looked like a fully grown cat at six months so we had to get new things, because all of the litter pans and stuff were for small kittens. Now he’s about 12 lbs, so he’s still a hefty cat.  He could probably sit on my sister’s cat and we’d never know.  He’s still really friendly, and cries when he doesn’t hear human voices or see us.  We end up leaving the TV on when we are away just to keep him company.

He’s seriously one of the most cuddly cats I’ve ever met.  He is actually sitting next to me as I type, one paw on the laptop, purring away, sucking on his paw.