Saturday, October 15, 2011

Five notable ideas

I like to listen to Great Courses on my iPod.  It is quick, convenient and inexpensive since the audio downloads are the least costly form of their courses.  The biggest inconvenience is that I have to remember to shut off the iPod separately or it will just keep running, losing my place in listening. I own several Great Courses that I bought before I had an iPod and used audio downloads.  I want to listen to them and catch up.  I just began A Brief History of the World by Peter Stearns.  Listening on CD's is more convenient in that when I turn off the motor, the CD stops immediately and will pick up right where I left off.

What history to study - Stearns explains that most people my age had courses in Western history and American history but not in world history.  He mentions that 1994 hullabaloo over the creation of high school history standards, which were disapproved off by the US Senate with a vote of 99 to 1.  I was surprised at the time that the history standards could be the subject of heartfelt objections, which tended to center on inclusion of disapproved subjects and insufficient praise for the Red, White and Blue.  Stearns explains that similar unhappiness is expressed by European historians with Americans getting a dose of history that does not pertain to Europe and might weaken the emphasis of America's European heritage.

Free 1913 book immediately delivered We are having a dinner modeled on one we had ourselves at the Baldpate Inn in Colorado last fall.  That Inn has a room covered with keys because Earl Derr Biggers, creator of the character Detective Charlie Chan, wrote a novel about the then newly-opened Baldpate Inn.  It was titled "Seven Keys to Baldpate".  Lynn mentioned last night that she wished she had a copy of the book. This morning, it was on her Kindle for a price of $0.00.

Understanding relativity The O'Reilly Radar blog had a link to a simplified explanation of Einstein's Theory of Relativity.  I used it and liked what I found at Muppetlabs.  I feel as though I do understand the theory better but not enough to answer questions about it.

Voice-driven search I hadn't used Google Chrome lately.  I gave it a try this morning and was impressed with the regular Google search window, which in that browser can received a spoken search term and immediately search for it.  It worked pretty well on my HP laptop but it had trouble understanding some of the search terms I said. 

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