Echo Look?

I guess the male perspective doesn’t apply here.  Most of us men have two or three pairs of shoes we wear and repair until they fall apart, possibly keeping them past that point.  We have a few go-to pairs of pants and then possibly a dozen shirts or so we wear all the time depending upon the season and the daily plans.

So, the idea of a digital assistant to capture, compare and criticize our wardrobe and how it looks on us is just not important.  This male perspective, of course, explains my surprise that the latest manifestation of the Amazon Echo product portfolio (call the “Look”) that seems odd to me at least.

Of course, I am sure Amazon didn’t do this without some careful market research.  And, given today’s obsession with the online social media and online pictures, I guess I see the evolution will now be that individuals will focus on showing all the outfits they own and of course being marketed to for those deemed perfect to improve their looks.

Not that you needed another warning about this, but there are no privacy concerns here either, are there?  Seems like nefarious individuals would just love to hack into this device as voyeurs.  Who am I to raise this as a fear?  I have several Amazon Echo devices listening in already in my home and office locations.

I guess it was only logical to expand the point of view for those who seem to document everything they eat online.  I am actually thankful that they do so often when I want to check out a new restaurant.  But, I do think some have gone a bit too far.  That is why this picture kind of says it all.

I can’t wait to see what Amazon comes up with next … can you?

Zipper Merge


I was raised in New York where people have zero tolerance for almost anything they find objectionable.  If you have been in traffic and do not move within a fraction of a second after the car in front of you moves, you will hear honking from behind you to get going.  Time delays are in fact called a New York minute which means instantly.

Driving in the South, especially on the major roads, shows how courteous people are in general.  If the sign ahead says a lane will disappear, people merge way ahead of the merge point.  As a result, they tend to jam up and stop leaving a lane next to them empty.

People like me use that empty lane and then merge at the last point.  This is wired into me because I am from New York where drivers almost instinctively wait for the last minute.  In fact, they may ride the shoulder even beyond the merge to eke out another few feet of “lead” compared to the imaginary competitor they are driven to beat to the next exit or traffic light.

So, feeling my driving roots from New York and being in the South for so long I was a bit stunned to see an article justifying my New York driving habits.  It was from a few years ago but was recently posted to Facebook so it was news to me.  The November 4th, 2016 article from “HowStuffWorks” describes the right way to merge and it indeed is the Northern method.  It is called zipper merging because the cars take turns (in a perfect world).  Of course, in New York, the merge becomes more of a game of guts about how assertive you are going to be in the merge.

Here is a link to the article on How Stuff Works.

It is nice to be right, but in the South, you will probably get a hand gesture and worse for being so efficient.

When does an animal become a mineral?

I have always loved fossils.  The ones I have seen most often, of course, are the ancient seashells and small organisms you find in ancient seabed rocks. It never crossed my mind that the changes in these animals over time which we call petrification could redefine them and create all kinds of a ruckus.

But it has read about it here in Science Magazine.

I have no concerns about what anyone will ever find on my property in Atlanta, but this does really point out questions we never thought to answer when property right laws were written.

Of course, it really makes me upset when I ask my lawyer friends about whether any laws are really “binding” if they were contested.

To a person, they almost always tell me the same thing: it depends on who has the best lawyer and that often depends upon who has the most money.

This, in turn, makes me crazy because almost everyone I know who has been robbed, embezzled, or been abused in life and sought restitution tells me that the criminal justice system is mostly about being sure that criminals get just treatment … it is not about us who have been wronged at all.

Perhaps that old joke suggesting we should stop using rats for biological testing and use lawyers instead.  We are running out of rats, you don’t nearly become as attached to them, and there are some things you just can’t get a rat to do.



What can we Learn From the Bone Wars

The Bone War was also known as the Great Dinosaur Rush.  It was a period of intense and ruthlessly competitive fossil hunting and discovery during the late 1800’s.

Evidently it was driven by a heated rivalry between Edward Cope (Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia) and Othniel Marsh (Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale). From 1877 to 1892, both paleontologists used their wealth and influence to finance their own expeditions and to procure services and dinosaur bones from fossil hunters.

Each of these two paleontologists used underhanded methods to try to outdo the other in the field, resorting to bribery, theft, and the destruction of bones. Each scientist also sought to ruin his rival’s reputation and cut off his funding, using attacks in scientific publications. By the end of the Bone Wars, both men had exhausted their funds in the pursuit of paleontological supremacy.

Can you see the parallels to the scientific communities of today that dominate the news media?  We should all be “following the money” to see why what they are saying is getting the headlines.

Does homework cause cancer?  Watch the evening news … and of course, you have to wait to the end to find out.  Spoiler alert: No, homework doesn’t cause cancer.

Is the climate changing?  Of course it is … it always has been. Is the sea level changing?  Yes.  The question is, what role man plays in it.

To put climate and sea-level change in perspective, consider the history of the US shoreline.  At one point it was offshore to the edge of the continental shelf … about 400 feet lower than the current shoreline.  At another point, Macon Georgia was a coastal city.  Fossil seashells tell the story at Macon.  Might it one day be discovered we are back in a Bone War where there are no winners.



What in the world just happened without hardly any notice?  We now have a new concept for camping.  Check it out for yourself at website, glamping is where stunning nature meets modern luxury. It’s a way to experience the untamed and completely unique parts of the world without having to sacrifice creature comforts.

“The way we travel has changed. We no longer want a generic, one-size-fits-all vacation. We want to explore on our terms and immerse ourselves in the local culture, and we no longer just want to simply witness nature we want to live in it. A fusion of glamour and camping, glamping is a way to authentically experience the most awe-inspiring locales around the world.”

This caught me by surprise, but apparently it is a hot trend in travel.  Check it out yourself.  And, by the way, notice this is not an inexpensive choice.  Prices will shock you.

Frankly, I am a bit terrified of tenting in some of these areas because critters can easily penetrate these dwellings.  But, then again, I wondered how Airbnb ever succeeded, yet it has.

Perhaps this is a sign that everyone can be in business offering something if they really want to.

I just was so astounded I wanted to share it with you all.