Brandon Straka brought his #Walkaway movement to Chicago.You
I tried for the second time to start a new blog with WordPress. This used to be a snap, but new blogs by default use the new, horrible block editor that makes working with a blog a lot harder to format. I’m sure I can do a bunch of tutorials to learn, but I consider learning to use something I’ve used for 10 years without much problem a big waste of time.
I suppose the software engineers needed a project, but there’s wisdom in “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” For the new blog, I want a simple template with a main space for posts and a small sidebar. I chose the same Theme used for this blog, but it gave me three squares across. That could work for a more visual blog, but this one’s mainly text.
I suppose I should download my blog files regularly in case I’m switched over and must abandon ship. What’s awful is I just paid my annual fee last month and I may be out the door in a couple months.
I’m enjoying the new cast for the most part, but still miss Clare Foy and Vanessa Kirby who played Princess Margaret. The series creator states that it just takes 3 minutes to get used to the new cast. While I like most of the actors, it’s taking me longer to adjust and I don’t know that I’ll adjust to the new Princess Margaret.
I used to pay for extra space to use the photo archives on Flickr.com. A few years back they offered unlimited space for free. I loved that. Who wouldn’t?
Now Flickr is changing the rules and charging $49/year for accounts with more than 1,000 images or videos. I just don’t want to pay for something I have been getting for free for years. Who would?
Yahoo owns Flickr and I figure they make enough money, though that’s not based on my evaluation of their ledgers. We’ve got till January to move or delete images and I think that’s what I’ll do.
Microsoft, Shutterfly, Google and Facebook all have free photo archive space. I’m sure there are other services that also do. It’s just that it will take a lot of time to move these files. I have many on my computer or on an external hard drive. It’s a chore to get all these files organized though.
Ah, technology. You get us used to a service and then when we’ve made you integral to our lives, you pull the rug out from under us.
N.B. Microsoft charges now.
by Carl Sandburg
I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.
The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper
sunburned woman, the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.
The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes,
new beautiful things come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind,
and the old things go, not one lasts.
On Sunday I happened upon a radio show about robots and how they’ll revolutionize industry. The program mentioned how construction is far more labor intensive compared to other fields and how there are now robots that do these jobs much more quickly and without needing bathroom breaks, vacations, lunch time, etc. Robots do need maintenance but they don’t get tired as people do. They don’t need insurance or a pension. They won’t strike. You get the idea.
The video at the top shows a robot that lays bricks. Masons are still needed, but not as many. The robot can lay bricks an estimated 3 to 5 times faster than a mason.
Here we see a robot that can do demolition work.
In the radio show, the presenters asserted that a house could be build much faster and far cheaper. A small brick house could be built for $5000. Amazing. That would really do something to the housing market as a whole.
Of course the big question is how will this impact labor and economics. People do need jobs. The Second Industrial Revolution featured great turmoil as the people who worked as craftsmen were put out of work. Can we learn from those mistakes? Can we plan so that thousands of people aren’t thrust into poverty?
We also have the advent of driverless cars. I’m not a fan. I realize that these cars can prevent accidents, but I like driving and accidents seem rare. This change will do away with truck drivers, cab drivers, bus drivers, etc do when their jobs are eliminated. One reason I prefer to take the bus if I’m in the city at night is that there’s a person who can take action if there’s a crime on the bus, while the subway lacks personnel. In the early days there are sure to be more accidents with the driverless cars malfunctioning.
So I figured out how to download the Christmas style-sheet I used so I could save it and then change my theme. My former WordPress theme, as I’ve mentioned, disappeared without so much as a “by your leave” from WordPress. I’m glad I’m not holding my breath for WordPress to reply to my query on this.
I have also been waiting for the exported file that was supposed to be emailed to me. I’m not sure where that is.
Anyway, here’s a new theme. It doesn’t have the color or delight that Koi offered, but I didn’t see a free theme that had that same look. I regret changing but how did I know it would be irreversible.
I realize change is good, but ironically, my holiday change resulted in a forced change.
I first encountered Barbara Oakley, PhD in the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) called Learning to Learn on Coursera.org. She taught the engaging course with Terrence Sejnowski, PhD.
To say Mindshift is mind-blowing is an understatement. The book explores how we can change our thinking to learn better and change the trajectory of our careers. Each chapter interviews a person who’s struggled and then implemented a new way of thinking to succeed in a career or career change. For example, one chapter follows a successful jazz musician who decided he wanted to do more for the children at the hospital where he volunteered. He wasn’t good at science or math in school, but after adopting new learning skills, he succeeded in the math and science classes he needed and got into med school. (By the way, studies have shown that music majors make better doctors than biology majors.)
Another chapter presents the importance of mentors through research as well as the life experience of a man who got off track and dropped out of high school. He had been ditching school and when his parents found out, he convinced them to let him quit. They did, but required him to get a job. When he did, he also started seeking out mentors. He didn’t join any organized programs, he just lined up people who were doing the work that he needed to learn or that fascinated him. He didn’t come to them expecting a one-way street. He figured out how he could offer them service of value so the relationship was balanced.
The only chapter I thought could be better was on career change. It did have some helpful tips, but as the man portrayed changed from one science (physics) to another (neurobiology) while the subject and types of experiments were different, he remained in academia where he could sit in on a college courses for free and get post doc jobs. Thus his change wasn’t as dramatic as other people’s. The industry he was in offered ways to retrain and respected his doctorate in physics so that his path wasn’t as bumpy as others.
Amoretti I: Happy ye leaves when as those lilly hands
Happy ye leaves when as those lilly hands,
Which hold my life in their dead doing might
Shall handle you and hold in loves soft bands,
Lyke captives trembling at the victors sight.
And happy lines, on which with starry light,
Those lamping eyes will deigne sometimes to look
And reade the sorrowes of my dying spright,
Written with teares in harts close bleeding book.
And happy rymes bath’d in the sacred brooke,
Of Helicon whence she derived is,
When ye behold that Angels blessed looke,
My soules long lacked foode, my heavens blis.
Leaves, lines, and rymes, seeke her to please alone,
Whom if ye please, I care for other none.
According to the Financial Times, China’s boom has peaked and opportunities are drying up. This short video is well made and includes interesting interviews with Chinese factory workers who’re heading home or contemplating such a move and with a Vietnamese worker who went to China. I had no idea that Chinese factories were bringing in illegal workers from Vietnam.