Posts tagged “News Flash”.

Download all of Facebook ???

So, I was looking for old Facebook entries today to figure out when I did certain things (video project related). I tried clicking all the “See Older Posts…”, “see more…”, and “view all XX comments…” links to expand the page so I could dump it to a PDF file. Ha! I got to the end of all my posts; but, while trying to expand all the comments Facebook jumped me to another page and I had nothing. I said to myself, “Self, there aught to be a better way right? I should be able to see all my old posts… I should be able to search all my old posts. Heck, I should be able to download all my stuff from Facebook!”

Well, looks like someone else thought of that too. Just last month, October 6th, Facebook gave it’s users the option to download EVERYTHING associated with their Facebook account. Every post made to your WALL, all your photos, all your videos, all the comments on your photos and videos, your profile, your events, your messages, even a list of all your friends. I found this after a short and sweet Google search.

Yes, you know me! I did it right away! When you click, “Download my Information” it tells you it’s going to take a while. They send an email to the email address Facebook has on record when the ZIP file is ready for download. Don’t be alarmed. I’ve been on Facebook for close to a year now and my ZIP archive of everything was 762 Megabytes. It took about an hour or two to compile everything and on my broadband connection, it took 10 minutes to download. After I downloaded it, I UN-ZIPPED it, wondering what I’d find.

What did I find? I found the most useable archive of information I could have imagined. Extremely well done. There were several directories, one of which was HTML. Jumping in there and clicking on Wall.html got me to a local copy of all my Facebook information in one easy, searchable, HTML file! But then what did I really expect from web developers? They stuck with what they knew. They did what they do best. I was extremely impressed.

Actually, re-reading and editing this post I said to myself, “Self, they should have put a readme.txt or an index.html in the top directory.” And when I checked, both files were there. I just immediately went digging to see what was under the hood and wound up at the same place via a different path.

So what? So, you should download all your information to really conceptualize what Facebook knows about you. It’s easy, it’s informative, and it’s really cool to have a copy for yourself.

Unexplained Lights in the Sky

Let me start this by saying, I’m a thoughtful and intelligent person. I’m an amateur astronomer. I sit in my backyard often gazing at the night sky. I know the difference between a planet, a star, a galaxy, a meteor, and a plane. Now that I’ve said my peace, the following will be that much harder to believe.

I was sitting outside with my dogs — they were supposed to be doing their business, but instead they were being cute and cuddly — gazing at the night sky. My eyes fixed to a bright light above. I immediately thought it was Mars, because it was about in the same place as Mars was a few weeks ago. But then I realized, Mars hadn’t risen yet. Venus? No. Then, the planet I was trying to identify started moving across the sky. Yes, I said it. While I was staring at, what I thought was a planet, trying to identify it, the damn thing started moving.

OK, not a planet. Am I looking at a plane? No blinking lights. It’s moving away from me, bearing SSE, and it’s very bright. The bright lights on a plane face forward… they are landing lights. No, this was not a plane.

Then I got excited, and scared. Was it a meteor? No fiery tail. But could it have appeared to be “not moving” because it was actually coming towards me?

As I watched, the light dimmed, getting very small and changing to a red tint. I was now convinced I was witnessing a meteor burn up in the atmosphere from a very unique and frightening perspective. I was pretty excited at that fact. It’s not often you get to see a meteor last that long in the sky, let alone one coming straight for you.

I reflected on my identification process. The effect of the object dimming almost made it look like it had climbed high into the sky. I was thinking how that would be very easy to mistake as something flying away from you instead of coming at you and burning up. Then the unthinkable occurred.

It did not burn out. Let me say that again because even I don’t believe it. It did not burn out. The light went red, and got very small and very faint, but it did not go out. Instead, what I witnessed was incredible and unbelievable. The little red dot seemed to change from red to a whitish blue and move north in the sky.

So, what I think I may have witnessed is a real life UFO. I can’t think of another explanation. The shrinking, dimming and the red color change was the object climbing upwards through the atmosphere. Then I watched as it crossed half of the sky (that’s a 90° arc or more from my perspective) in ten seconds. I noticed it shifted slightly blue when it was approaching and red when it was receding from me. I make no estimates on the altitude or speed of the light. I will however stick to what I observed.

This just happened moments ago. After I lost sight of it, I wanted to tell my wife, but she was putting the kids to bed. Believe me, you do not want to interrupt bed time with exciting stories like this — not if you know what’s good for you. So I grabbed my laptop and wrote it all down.

What did I see? I can only say it was a single point of light, that was very bright, then dimmed, then went across the sky. I wonder if the local airport saw anything on Radar?

MythBusters Kills people!

“Guns don’t kill people… Mythbusters kill people… when people try what the MythBusters do on TV at home!”

Jamie Hyneman, in the last episode of MythBusters said “[Guns] kill people.” He’s so wrong. A gun can not do anything by itself. It’s a tool and is wielded by a person — a thinking, breathing, individual who is solely responsible for their actions and the use of that firearm.

I’m saddened to hear this otherwise thoughtful individual say otherwise.

Southern Snow Shoveling

Special Thanks to my brother Donald for the Snow Shovel. ;-)

n+1 sides to every story

Fender Bender

My car is completely payed off this February.

Where N equals the number of participants or observers to an event there will always be n+1 accounts of what happened.

This is my account.  I was driving in a parking lot.  Traveling between 10 and 15 miles per hour when at approximately 3:50 p.m. a woman in a silver Taurus backed into my path and collided with my vehicle.  I had no time to react.  Boom!  And the event was over.  Our cars hit perfectly on the corners of the vehicle.  My right front corner was hit by her right rear corner as she backed out of the parking space.  My car stopped moving, and my windshield wipers turned on.  My hand must have hit the lever on impact.  That has no bearing on anything aside from I thought it was very strange.

I jumped out of the car to make sure everyone inside was OK.  Yeah, it was only a 10 mph crash… but a kid could have poked an eye out with a crayon or something I guess.  No injuries.  I don’t even think you could fake one either.  My airbag didn’t even deploy.

She was obviously a Nurse of some kind, deduced by her attire: scrubs.  It was obviously a new car, deduced from the dealer tag in the window.  And just three days after Christmas, no one needs that.  I offered my condolences.  She was obviously mad as hell, so I said no more.  I observed her scream several times at the child who was in the back seat.  And when I say scream I mean she shrieked.  She shrieked so nastily, which such hostility and hatred, that each time I felt a flight or fight response and all I could think was “poor kid.”

I called 911 and reported the accident.  They gave me a 30 minute ETA for an officer to arrive.  I called home to tell my wife I was involved in an automotive altercation and then I called my insurance company to report the incident and make sure they knew I wasn’t paying a dime because she was at fault as far as I was concerned.  I snapped a few photos for documentation purposes and waited.  And waited.  And waited.

The Officer arrived about 45 minutes later.  Remember how I said I was originally sympathetic to this woman’s misfortune?  Well, my sympathy completely ended after the Officer asked me my account of the situation and she acted out, yelling and hostilely denying the beginning of my diatribe after only uttering several words.  The Officer commanded her to go stand by her vehicle in that way Police do.  I swear Police have Jedi mind powers!  And doesn’t everyone know not to raise your voice to a police officer? That poor guy didn’t want to stand out in the cold and do all that paperwork because of her stupidity.  And he definitely didn’t want to do all that AND get yelled at.

I was given a sheet of paper to fill out by the officer.  When I gave the paperwork back to him, he informed me that her story was quite different.  I told him she popped right out of the space and I had no time to react.  He said OK, and went to his car and told me I could sit in my vehicle to get out of the cold.  So I waited some more.  Finally he gave me her paperwork, that she would receive mine, and he told me I was free to go.  I had checked my lights and most of them worked.  I lost a running light and asked him if that would be OK to drive with.  He said it should be fine.  He asked if I had any other questions.  I asked if he had determined fault or if fault was determined in a parking lot and he shared that he had not determined fault at this time, but I could check the report in two or three days to see if that changed.  He mentioned that the insurance companies could and would work it out.  In parting he did tell me that the woman who hit me was driving with a revoked license, so she’d be getting a ticket for that, which was ultimately in my favor.  I thanked him for his time and apologized for the inconvenience to him — I have a lot of respect for police, they don’t get paid enough, and they deal with everyone on the worst possible days of their lives, it’s a tough job and I respect the people who chose it as a profession.

That was it… I was free to go. Now here’s the really strange thing.  You know that sinking feeling you get when you see the blue lights in your rear view mirror?  Or the blue and red lights in NJ and just the red lights in NY?  Or the sinking stomach feeling when you get in an accident or something really bad happens?  I didn’t get that at all.  I was completely apathetic to the direct consequences of the events of this afternoon.