Friday, January 25, 2013


You may have heard the expression "There's an app for that!".  The idea is that whether you are trying to lose weight, scan a bar code, record a voiceover for a slide show or play a game, there is probably a short program for your iPhone or iPad that can do the job or assist you with it.  The big competitor these days to Apple in the applications or app race is the Google-based Android system for phones, computers and apps.  The Kindle Fire is in the Android family.

Yesterday, I attended an instructional session by Dr. Kristi Roth and the use of the iPad and apps that might be helpful to a teacher.  One of the most valuable things I learned was that an iPhone app will work on an iPad.  Since there are many more phone apps, that was interesting.  She said the iPhone apps are formulated graphically for the size of the iPhone but that didn't seem to be a problem.

The iPad and other tablets are indeed finding a place in many parts of our world.  Here is the Pope, using one and emphasizing to the church authorities that they need to know about and use the social media such as Facebook and Twitter.  At my meeting, I learned from a longtime friend that a 1 ½ year old became comfortable with the iPad in minutes and fell in love with a little game that she and a visitor played together on it.  The next day, the visitor got a phone call from the stressed mom asking what the name of that app was since the child wanted it badly on their own tablet.

I just learned this morning from Carl Zimmer, science writer, about this app for your phone.  It enables you to see in the background of the screen of your phone what is in front of you.  The app assists a walker who is texting to avoid open manholes and other pedestrian obstacles.

I am convinced that regular meditation practice enriches all aspects of life.  The ancients meditated by sitting still and concentrating on their breath so one certainly doesn't need an app or any equipment to meditate.  Still I was curious and searched through the iPad apps related to meditation.  The most interesting one was the Meditation Jar, similar to a snow globe.  One envisions the swirling bits to be worries and oughts. The app slowly settles them to the bottom of the jar.  Steady awake consciousness is comparable to that of a cat watching a mouse hole - alert and ready but relaxed.  Concentrating on the swirling, slowly settling bits is a good visual exercise and keeps the mind from falling into a story without your being aware of doing so.  
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