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Prof. Boerner's Explorations

Thoughts and Essays that explore the world of Technology, Computers, Photography, History and Family.

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Archive for December, 2010
Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary:

JerryPhotoOn this last day of the year we want to offer some suggestions for taking digital (or film) pictures of significant events on New Year’s morning, such as taking in a parade, like the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. Since these are a one time opportunity for photographing the parade, you need to be prepared, both mentally and equipment-wise. We present both general tips and some specific tips for your convenience. Have a great day watching history go by with each float, band, equestrian group, or other participant.

Even though you may not be a professional photographer, you, too, can obtain memorable images at any parades that will be viewed tomorrow. Some of the key things to remember include: You will get one (and only one) chance to get shots of any float, equestrian unit, or band unless there is a halt to the parade’s progress and you will be surrounded by a crowd. So you need to be ready to shot for each unit and you need to select a location that will not be blocked.

This necessitates planning to pick a good position, selecting the correct lenses, and know the order that the floats, bands and equestrian groups ahead of time. Street corners are usually good, especially if the parade must turn around that corner. Get there early; this may mean the afternoon before to get in front. If you are using a camera with an interchangeable lens, don’t plan on changing lenses! Use multiple camera bodies if you want more than one lens will be needed (one for a telephoto lens & another for a wide angle lens). Extra batteries and empty storage cards (digital cameras) or extra film.

Finally, shot a lot! Remember, only a few images out of every 100. By being well-prepared and shooting a lot should will yield rich results. Good luck!

So, let’s look at some of these techniques…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2111 Words ]
    

   

Quotations Related to PARADE

“Leadership involves finding a parade and getting in front of it.”
— John Naisbitt

“And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.”
— G. K. Chesterton

“Campaign behavior for wives: Always be on time. Do as little talking as humanly possible. Lean back in the parade car so everybody can see the president.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary:

On New Year’s Eve would find our family visiting friends. While my parents played cards with these friends, we kids sat in the living room watching the special TV shows featuring the East coast celebrations, including Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians playing in the Roosevelt Hotel. As the crystal ball was falling to mark the new year, the orchestra would start playing “Auld Lang Syne”. After that we would fall asleep until we went home in the wee hours of the morning. Such was my introduction to Guy Lombardo.

He and his musicians entertained the upper crust of east coast society. He filled the need of Americans for a distraction from the Great Depression. His live broadcasts were carried on CBS radio and heard across the country. To those generations growing during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, he was like American Bandstand of the 1960s and MTV of later generations.

So, let’s get our exploration started…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2984 Words ]

    

   

Quotations Related to CELEBRATION:

    

“I’m not going to be caught around here for any fool celebration. To hell with birthdays!”
— Norman Rockwell

“The Olympic Games are the quadrennial celebration of the springtime of humanity.”
— Pierre de Coubertin

“The march is a way to get in celebration mode.”
— Charles Richards

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary:

JerryPhotoEdwin Hubble may not be a household word, but most school children have heard about the Space Telescope named after him. We have probably heard of the need of this device requiring “glasses” of sorts; an error was made in the optics which required a special shuttle mission to correct. And correct it indeed was the result!

While the Hubble Space telescope was designed years after Edwin Hubble’s death in 1953. However, He was well-known for his concept of an expanding universe that resulted from its creation at the “Big Bang”. His futures contributions involved the speed of expansion being related to the color emitted, based upon the “red shift” of the color which became Hubble’s Law. Stephen Hawking observes that Hubble’s "discovery that the Universe is expanding was one of the great intellectual revolutions of the 20th century."

Although he worked on two of the largest telescopes at his time, the Hooker Telescope at Mt. Wilson and the Hale Telescope at Mount Palomar. These scopes both represented the best optics available at the time. But the atmospheric conditions in Southern California hindered the images that could be seen; photographic films and cameras had not yet reached the refinement needed for recording the extremely faint images required. The Hubble Space Telescope solved that atmospheric condition, as can be seen in the image below.

One of Hubble’s most famous images, Pillars of Creation
shows stars forming in the Eagle Nebula

For your convenience we have included a couple of YouTube videos that illustrate Hubble’s concepts. Please take time to see them; they require Adobe Flash, so those using iPads will may need to access them from another computer. They have been tested on a iPad and they played OK.

So, let’s get on to our exploration of Edwin Hubble…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3742 Words ]
    

   

Quotations Related to EDWIN POWELL HUBBLE

    

“The great spirals… apparently lie outside our stellar system.”
— Edwin Powell Hubble

“The history of astronomy is a history of receding horizons.”
— Edwin Powell Hubble

“Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.”
— Edwin Powell Hubble

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary:

JerryPhotoWe turn our attention today to one of many episodes of our country not living up to its promises in Indian treaties. We refer to the Massacre at Wounded Knee. When the treaty to relocate the Lakota Sioux to reservations in the Dakota Territory, promises were made to allow them to continue hunting, but also guaranteed then provisions IF they gave up their Black Hills land. It would seem that the only part of the treaty to be honored was the promise “to take their land.”

As the white families started to settle the territory, they also started to slaughter the buffalo. That left the Indians without enough food and supplies. Also, the discovery of gold in the Black Hills didn’t help much. When the Indian agents couldn’t supply the needs, a right under the treaty, the Lakota started to adopt the messianic vision of Tom Wilson (Wovoka) — the Ghost Dance.

This religion/ceremony incited the Indians to a militant frenzy. The white settlers reacted with fear. They called on the Army for protection. Unfortunately, this led to the death of Sitting Bull, which fueled the fires of resistance among the Indians. This would lead to the Massacre on this day, December 29th, in 1890. Up to 300 Indians were slaughtered that day including many unarmed women and children.

This battle still stirs emotional responses among Indian rights groups today. So, let’s start our exploration of this event…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3801 Words ]
    

   

Quotations Related to SIOUX

    

“I had many enemies among the Sioux; I would be running considerable risk in meeting them.”
— Buffalo Bill

“We had avoided discovery by the Sioux scouts, and we were confident of giving them a complete surprise.”
— Buffalo Bill

“I differ materially from Capt. Lewis, in my account of the numbers, manners, and morals of the Sioux.”
— Zebulon Pike

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary:

JerryPhotoWe recently examined the life and trials of Nelson Mandela. A similar pattern of experiences filled the life of today’s feature, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Both experienced long-term imprisonment for their political beliefs. Both lived under régimes that applied oppressive measures against dissonants. They survived to emerge from these experiences to lead a nation (Mandela) and internationally-known author (Solzhenitsyn). And, they both were awarded Nobel Prizes for their efforts.

Solzhenitsyn was born just after the Russian Revolution of 1917, but lived the first half of his life under brutal rule of Joseph Stalin. His writings were unwelcomed by Stalin’s régime and he was placed in one if the gulags, essentially concentration camps. While serving his time, Solzhenitsyn listened to and committed to memory the stories from his fellow inmates. These were fashioned into The Gulag Archipelago. For this, he was awarded the 1970 Nobel Prize in Literature.

So, let’s get this exploration on the road…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4001 Words ]
    

   

Quotations Related to SOLZHENITSYN

    

“In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.”
— Solzhenitsyn

“Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity.”
— Solzhenitsyn

“For us in Russia, communism is a dead dog, while, for many people in the West, it is still a living lion.”
— Solzhenitsyn

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

  

Commentary:

JerryPhotoWe want to revisit last year’s main posting and present it to you so that you may appreciate how easy a community can provide for the needs of our armed forces. During the period following the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. The Union Pacific Railroad passed through the small, rural Nebraska town of North Platt. The  women of the town heard that a train filled with Nebraska boys on their way to the West coast. These women decided to make cookies and coffee for these home state soldiers.

When the train arrived, it was found that it did not carry Nebraska soldiers after all. The cookies and coffee were given out none-the-less. Thereafter, the women continued to serve coffee, cookies, donuts, and sandwiches to each troop train that passed through. The soldiers were given ten minutes to receive their refreshments. This continued through the end of the war.

The North Platt Canteen should be used as a model for our communities (church groups, service clubs, etc.) to provide for those in need. We hope that you and your friends will explore the possibilities.

So, let’s get along with our exploration of the women providing for the sons of other families…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1576 Words ]

   

Quotations Related to THANKS

    

“They made us feel we were heroes…”
— Marine Sgt. Vincent Anderson

“Since 1945 I have been trying to find a community that I and some others owe thanks to.”
— Joseph F. Mullane, Sergeant Major, US Army

“Many women volunteered to staff the Canteen, which saw as many as 23 trains a day, carrying up to 8,000 servicemen and women.”
— Gary Reber

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary

JerryPhotoWe examine today an event in 1979, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, that still has relevance to us today with our “War on Terror”. Our excursion into this country on the historical “Silk Road” will be carried beyond the nine years of the Soviet invasion.

It would seem to lend credence to that old saying, “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” But wait, weren’t we their supporting the opposition groups during the soviet invasion. And wasn’t our current Secretary of Defense in the CIA at that time? We should have known the pitfalls. We, like the Soviets, have good men on the field of battle along with the most sophisticated armaments and technical aids.

But computers don’t help much fight an enemy that blends with the native population and fights a low-tech war. It would do us well to start discovering the facts from this posting and then go to the source documents for a fuller presentation on these data. We should use this opportunity to become better informed  and understand what our country stands for.

So, let’s get this exploration started…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3962 Words ]

   

Quotations Related to AFGHANISTAN

    

“Afghanistan is a land-locked country.”
— Lakhdar Brahimi

“But also, there are no films being made about Afghanistan.”
— Mohsen Makhmalbaf

“Ataturk sent several Turkish staff officers to Afghanistan, helped them build their own army.”
— Bulent Ecevit

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary

JerryPhotoWe turn our attention once again towards examining the background of one of the more beloved Christmas carols. As with most of these carols, the is quite a “backstory.” The carol was based on a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He wrote this poen originally in the mid-1800s and amended it after the Civil War. These words were later set to music.

As this Christmas excitement starts to wan, and we look to returning to work or school, let us take a bit of time to reflect upon our friends, family, God and faith. Let us think about the words of some of our favorite Christmas carols for the strength to face the new year.

So, let’s start our exploration of todays carol…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2321 Words ]

   

Quotations Related to HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW

    

Music is the universal language of mankind — poetry their universal pastime and delight.”
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Look, then, into thine heart, and write!”
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary

JerryPhotoWhen I was a boy, I remember getting a crystal set. If you tightened the screw on the crystal in just the right was and put on the headphones, you could hear a radio station over the static. The advances in signal amplification and improvements in the signal strength (signal-to-noise ratio), we were able to abandon the crystals and complicated tuning and hear radio through speakers. FM technology furthered this process and eventually enabled stereo receptions.

Early advances were made by Tesla (alternating current) and De Forest (Audion triod tube), but the real advances would be made by Edwin Armstrong. During the 1920s he made significant advances in the technology that resulted in FM Radio in 1933 and seemingly endless legal battles between Armstrong an De Forest, As these technologies were sold to Westinghouse/RCA (by Armstrong) and AT&T (by De Forest). This continual conflict and lack of profits from his inventions, Armstrong committed suicide in 1953.

Let’s get our exploration of this technology saga now…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4125 Words ]

   

Quotations Related to RADIO

    

“The radio makes hideous sounds.”
— Bob Dylan

“Gossip is the Devil’s radio.”
— George Harrison

Men substitute words for reality and then argue about the words.”
— Edwin Armstrong

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary:

JerryPhotoWe come again to that time in the holiday season to celebrate Christmas. This complex holiday emerged out of both secular and sacred traditions to its present status of a Christian celebration with heavy commercial overtones. This was especially evident this year when our country is in a prolonged economic turndown (or recession) with high unemployment. Top that off with the heavy rains and snow, we have a formula that calls for hope.

While these conditions should elicit a response from Christians through their churches, we have seen more of a response fron the non-religious agencies. And they have stepped up! There have been toy drives, food drives, etc., but not through our Christian churches. Secular agencies like TV stations have filled in. Perhaps Christians should heed this as a wake-up call.

One of the most sacred traditions of Christians historically been the individual call to service. It is not just up to the clergy, it is the individuals that need to respond with their generosity an time. I remember as a junior higher facing a very bleak Christmas soon after my parents were divorced. We were living on welfare; on Christmas some of the curch members brought some second-hand toys and games. It was like we had hit the jackpot!

So I ask you to give thought to these issues as you read through today’s message. Explore your own feelings and actions and set some goals in your New Year’s resolutions for 2011…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1373 Words ]

   

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Quotations Related to CHRISTMAS

    

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”
— Laura Ingalls Wilder

“It’s quite a famous story that takes place on Christmas Eve, and the Germans, French, and Scottish are trying to make peace one night and they bury their dead and they play football. I play a German opera singer, in German, which I never have so I am really excited about that.”
— Diane Kruger (on the “Christmas Truce of 1914)

“I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”
— Charles Dickens

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