Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday's Odds and Ends

The first bit of good news is that it has warmed up just a bit and some of the places hit the hardest with winter storms this week are getting a reprieve. It's a balmy forty degrees here, and I am so glad I did not have to haul buckets of hot water to melt ice in the horse trough this morning. 

Today I'm sharing blueberry scones with all my visitors. Grab one and enjoy.


 In last Sunday's Parade Magazine, novelist Brad Meltzer wrote an interesting article titled Do Kids Still Want to be President. He did some research and discovered that, unlike when some of us were young and aspired to grow up to be President of the United States, today's young people don't have the same aspirations. In a poll of kids between ages of 10 and 16 that was conducted by the publisher Penguin Young readers only 27% of the kids said that they would like to grow up to be president. Among the 15 to 16-year-olds there were only 13% that said they would like to be president.

Meltzer thinks that one of the problems is the fact that we are so vocal with our dissatisfaction of the president. All the young kids see is the frustration that we have with politicians and government and all the negative press about the president. So why would they want a job that is so thankless?

Another news item that caught my attention this week was a column by Steve Blow with the Dallas Morning News. He wrote a piece about the difficulty he has hearing some of the dialogue on television shows, and he actually went to get his hearing checked because he thought that was the problem. What he discovered was that his hearing is just fine.

Photo Courtesy of ActiveRain.com
 One of the reasons many people have trouble catching all the dialogue in some TV programs is that the actors mumble more in today's shows than they did in shows 20 or 30 years ago. He wrote that he caught some reruns of shows that aired in the 60s and 70s and noticed that the actors spoke clearly and distinctly. So part of the problem with hearing dialogue in current shows is the way the audio is taped with actors talking fast, actors talking over each other, and a lot of sound in the background.

In the column, Steve also pointed out that the newer flat screen HD televisions have the speakers pointing to the back. He joked that he could hear the dialogue much better if he stuck his head behind the TV, although that did create a problem with the image. With the kind of technology we have to make what we see on screen so clear and defined, it would be wonderful if television manufacturers came up with a way to make audio match the same high standards.

Now for some fun
from the comic strips. This is from Dilbert:

Pointy-Haired Boss is asking Dogbert, "What's the newest management jargon I need to pretend to understand?"

Dogbert responds, "Experts say you should engage employees and follow from the front."

Pointy-Haired Boss asks, "Does that mean anything?"

Dogbert answers, "No one knows. Just to be safe you should tell people you're doing it."

Pointy-Haired Boss asks, "Should I act as if I'm passionate, or is this more of a fake caring situation?"

Dogbert says, "Beats me try combining the two."

So, Pointy-Haired Boss walks away thinking,  "Fake passion plus fake caring." He comes up to an employee who says, "My uncle died."

Pointy-Haired Boss says, "Woot!! What was his name?!"

In closing, I just want to share a bit of a new review for my mystery, Boxes For Beds. The reader really, really enjoyed the story, and I am so grateful that she took the time to write a review. Here's what she had to say:

"Boxes For Beds" pulls on two of the most powerful strings in the human catalog of fears--the fear of losing your child, and the fear of being falsely accused. The author does a masterful job of setting up the story in the early 60's in Arkansas."

1 comment:

liebjabberings said...

I've noticed the mumbling, too.

Hubby and I often end up turning the captions on and back something up because a key part of the dialogue was unintelligible.

Another minor irritant - since turning the captions on, when we watch TV over the internet, is never a quick button push. But I'm glad those captions are there - the other alternative, which may not even help, is to turn the thing louder, and risk my hearing.

Oh, and the way I became president of the Folk Music Society is that no one else wanted to do it. They tell me I'm doing well.

Alicia