Tuesday, October 7, 2014

HISTORY BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE


The re-creation of the march of the First 500 members of the Newfoundland Regiment to the S.S. Florizel yesterday was great to behold.

The Royal Newfoundland Regiment Band led, followed by the First and Second Battalions, the Church Lads' Brigade band, the RNC Honour Guard and mounted unit, Royal Canadian Legion,  the Signal Hill Tattoo and the Boy Scouts. Lots of colors as we remembered the proud contribution of than nation to the European War to end wars.

The  participants marched the actual route, taken by the original recruits, from Caribou Park, Pleasantville to the St. John’s harbour front. The event was part of the  Government of Newfoundland and Labrador – Honour 100 commemoration.

The Florizel was party owned and operated  by the Bowring Brothers. The luxury passenger liner was used as a troop transport ship to get the first 540 volunteers across the Atlantic to Europe in October of 1914.

The ship was converted each Spring for participation in the annual seal hunt.  She ran aground in stormy seas near Cappahayden on Sunday, February 24, 1918.  Only 17 passengers and 27 crewmembers survived.

Earlier in the summer, I took a few pictures of the reenactment of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment drilling on Signal Hill. I thought I might share them with you.








TWITTER VS BLOGGER: NEGATIVE OR POSITIVE CROSS ELASTICITY

As a one time hardcore blogger, my activity over the last little while has slowed down. I though I might come out of my hibernation today to explain why.

I have been having an affair with Twitter! I don't think the mico-blog format is real blogging but the reach, debate and discussion has hooked me. I can cover more ground, get immediate feedback and not worry(as much) about typos and editing.

However, the 140 character limit is limiting, the short bursts are not conducive to in-depth observations of topics that matter to me. Writing a blog post takes a real commitment of time. Many original posts take hours to compose, research, edit and post. It can be a black hole for my time.

Twitter bursts take a seconds but is it less of a commitment than traditional blogging? 

Multiple posts, getting sucked into discussions or doing a little research to ensure you know what you are waxing polemic about takes time as well. Sometimes I feel a tinge of addiction - just how much time am I wasting on social media? It is hard to resist the urge to check my Twitter account - day or night! My will power has dwindled. I wonder if the same strong desires to Twitter is akin to the some peoples irresistible need  for tobacco, alcohol and coffee?

Doing contract work means I am not working in an office with staff. I do not have the same level of socialization.  No talk around the water cooler, in the lunch room or outside with the smokers. Twitter  fills a need for interaction and socialization.

Can traditional blogging and Twitter compliment each other, like a negative cross elasticity of demand? (see I am paying attention to my Economics course). One does not have to displace the other, Twitter is not a substitute for Polemic and Paradox, it is a complement.

What are your thoughts? Or would you rather discuss it on Twitter?




NOBEL PRIZE FOR PHYSICS LIGHTS UP OUR LIVES

When I was in Jr. High it seems we knew who invented most of the world's industrial and medical inventions. The most important developments of the Industrial Revolution, facilitated major advancements in mining, manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, medicine and technology. Names like Thomas Edison, Samuel Morse,  Alexander Graham Bell, The Wright Brothers, Robert Fulton & Eli Whitney and their contributions race to the top of my mind,

Keeping up with who is responsible for the many breakthroughs in the 20th and 21st century would be more of a daunting task. Banting & Best, Alexander Fleming, Frank Whittle, Enrico Fermi, Jonas Salk & Douglas Englebart come to mind. However, I have not a clue who invented refined or revolutionized many of the products that I use on a daily basis. Who invented the stereo, the keyboard I am typing on, the World Wide Web or the technology behind my 55 inch 3-D Smart TV (already obsolete)

Today Shuji Nakamura and Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics today.  Nichia Corporation rewarded Nakamura with a pat on the back and $200 for inventing the blue light-emitting-diodes, or LEDs which have revolutionized how we generate white light and are replacing Edison's incandescent light bulb.

He left Japan and became an American. He sued his old company and the pair settled for $8.1 million. The question still lingered whether it was the individual or the company that was behind the invention.

21 years later the issues appears settled, Nakamuracan add a Nobel Prize to his settlement.

According to US-based Winter Green Research, the LED lighting market will grow by 45 per cent per year until 2019 and go from a value of $4.8bn in 2012 to $42bn in 2019.