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Posts Tagged ‘Google’

I have been learning to play guitar since January of this year.  Although I’ve always liked music and songs, I’ve never given much thought to what music is.  I mean, I’ve always considered it as “sound” (in a physics sense), but learning to “play” music (make sounds) as turned into a deep and enriching exercise in itself.  Last night, I read someone’s definition of “music” as a combination of three things: rhythm, melody and harmony.  I thought this was interesting, so, today I went on Google and Wikipedia to see what they had to say about it…
There seems to be a (little / minor) disagreement about what “makes” music.  Most of what I read agrees with the three parts above, but I also found other sources which added a fourth:  dynamics.
This is my simplistic understanding of each:
1)  Rhythm:  the beat and speed of the sound(s);
2)  Melody:  the grouping of the sounds (typically making it – the “music” – distinctively memorable) into start, order and ending;
3)  Harmony:  the mixing of sounds for effect (happy / sad, blending / discordant); and,
4)  Dynamics:  how loud or quietly / soft or hard something sounds.
I’m sure any readers who are “real” musicians will find my explanation / understanding of these elements of music simplistic, and I’m okay with that.  LoL!  I think it’s amusing (amazing) I’ve enjoyed music my whole life, but never thought about ANY of this.  And, to be honest, I have large blind spots about most things under “arts and culture”.  I know I don’t know about them, but I have no idea how much I don’t know about them.  It’s fun starting to learn!
C’est la vie…
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On This Day In:
2020 I Am Shocked! Shocked I Say!
But You Gotta Have Faith
But Only Half
2019 …And Bullet-Proof Suits
The Bottom Line (Is No Surprise To Me)
2018 What Do You Hear?
2017 I’ve Got A Pocket Protector
Word Up!
2016 Better Value
2015 Any Port In A Storm
2014 Babies (II)
2013 Why The Young Stay In College Longer These Days
2012 Perceptions Of Worth
2011 Flavor
2010 Giants Win 1-0 !!

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Waaay back when I was a child, we had a dog we found as a stray puppy.  She was a little Scottish Terrier mix / mutt;  white with light brown ears.  No more that a foot high at the top of her head.
One day I took her to Golden Gate Park (in San Francisco).  At the entrance to the park is a pond named:  Alvord Lake.  Actually, it’s really more of a pond than a lake, and I didn’t even know it had a name.  Anyway, as we were coming down the rise from the park entrance, I let me dog off her leash.  My dog looked up and saw some ducks floating / swimming on the lake and she was off like a flash…
Now, at that particular time of year, the lake surface was covered with a dense cover of bright green pond scum – some kind of seasonal algae growth.
Back then, the lake did not have the palm trees or ferns which you can see in a more recent photo (below), but it did have the large rocks on the edge of the paths and around the edge of the water.
My dog was racing full bore towards the nearest ducks, intending to bound off of one of the boulders and into the middle of the her prey / victims.
Seeing her coming, the ducks were starting to move away and separate.
She hit the rock, leaping in the air more than her own full height and braced her feet to land on the dead run, pivot and continue the chase…
Yes, the predictable happened!  Splash!!  Surprised, she emerged covered in the scum / algae.  She was able to shake a good deal of the muck off once she swam back to shore.
Generally, it is wrong to anthropomorphize your pets, but I have never seen a dog / pet look more embarrassed by such an obvious mistake in judgement.
Needless to say, I was beside myself with laughter (at least until I got home and had to bathe her).  And, no, the GIF above is not of my dog 50+ years ago.  But it reminded me of the incident and made me chuckle.
[Disclaimer:  the two images are from Google and Google Maps.  The GIF was found on the net.  I don’t remember where.  I make no claim to ownership and they are being used for informational / illustrative purposes only.    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 I Don’t Want To Get Any Older…
Maybe I’ll See You There
2019 Free At Last!
2018 Some Basic Virtues
Day 17: Fit In 48’s
2017 Too Soon We Part…
Rigorous And Difficult
2016 Where And Why
2015 The Beauty Of Thy Voice
2014 Faith In Men
2013 An Average Verge
2012 Dew Drop Secrets
2011 Champion Freedom

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My daughter is a linguistics major (BA graduate) from Cal.  Last night we were discussing artificial intelligence and she stated she doubted she could work in the IT industry because she questioned the ethics of corporate America.
I asked: “Why?”
She said a co-worker approached her at her desk and asked her about a product she (the co-worker) was interested in buying.  My daughter said as an aside that this was nothing she had ever thought about, considered for her own purchase or searched on or about on the web.  However, the next time she picked up her iPhone (within one hour of the conversation), she began receiving Ad placements for the product they had been discussing.
I replied she must have left her Siri turned on.  She said, yes, but she had never actually said the name / product type herself.  Only the co-worker had done that.  She added, she was less concerned if it (Siri) had done the listening for her specific voice, but she didn’t approve of it listening in on others (not her voice), too.
I then reminded her that ALL security is an illusion and your confidence in the security is based on the amount of money you are willing to spend on maintaining the illusion.  (Which led to a completely different discussion…)  Of course, Siri / Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft are “listening” in and monitoring all of our searches and selling that information on to other corporations, who in turn convert our “hot leads” into sales offers – and they, of course, store our data and forward it on to other “affiliates”.  And so the cycle continues…  After all, it’s just good business.  Right?  And, if anyone else is listening in along with them, too?  Well, that’s just good government keeping us “safe”.  Right?
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On This Day In:
2018 Defining Characteristic
2017 Just Asking
2016 Still A Burden
15 And Counting
2015 All A Game
2014 Two Thoughts
2013 RIP – Dear Abby
Half-Life Problems
2012 To The Soul…
2011 Reverted!!

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Global climate change is one of the causes for the current drought in California and across much of the mid-west and southwestern United States.  Despite what #IncompetentDonald says, that’s just the unfortunate truth.  The thing about science AND reality is they don’t care whether you believe in them or not OR what political party you support.
On visiting the California Camp (Butte County) fire area and viewing the town of Paradise which was destroyed by the recent fire, #PresidentIdiot said we can deal with forest fires the way they do in Finland by raking the underbrush.  If only we had better land management.  Setting aside the fact this is a lie – the Finn’s don’t manage their forests by raking brush and that their President never told Trump they did, as #PresidentTrumpIsALiar claims, let’s take a look at what this “proposal” might cost (this is just a scribbling on the napkin guesstimate):
First I Google’d how many acres of forest land there are in California (Federal land only):   19,000,000 acres
Next I Google’d how long it takes to clear 1 acre of land of leaves – (in a level garden, using a blower and machine lawn-mowers / cutters):  3 men x 3 hours = 9 man-hours per acre.  This includes bagging and taking the leaves to the dump.  This was a private sector estimate at $40 per hour per person and with supervisory overhead (profit margin), a minimum of $500 bid for the job.  Please, note the bids I found are for back yards and gardens.  The quotes are not for brush, hills, mountains and dense forests which may either have no roads or be too steep / rugged to have road access.  In other words, you’ll have to hike there just to use that rake of yours.
That’s a rough $9.5 BILLION dollars ($500 x 19,000,000 acres)!!!  But, of course, we all KNOW that the private sector is MUCH more efficient than the government, so we can assume this is an accurate estimate and a lower cost than if the job were done by Federal workers.
So, how many workers is that?
19,000,000 acres * 9 man-hours per acre = 171,000,000 man-hours
171,000,000 man-hours / 2,000 man-hours per year of work = 85,500 man-years of raking.  (The good news is you don’t need a high school diploma to use a rake.)  Talk about full employment and a Civilian Conservation Corps!!!!
The most level management organization in the world is (wait for it…) the Catholic Church which has ONLY four levels between the parish priest and the Pope (Monsignor (parish), Bishop (diocese), Cardinal (region), Pope (Church) ).  If we adopt the standard rule of seven for supervisor efficiency (except at the bottom of the table) we are left with also hiring 1 supervisor per 36 rakers (2,375 supervisors), 1 manager per 7 supervisors (340 mngrs),  1 senior manager per 7 managers (49 senior mngrs), 1 executive per 7 senior mngrs (7 execs), and 1 “Head of Raking for California”.   Yes, I know that’s 5 levels not 4 (like the Church), but the numbers are the numbers and we don’t have God to routinely make miracles for us.
So, that’s an extra 2,772 folks who will be on staff but not raking.  Now, obviously, these folks are going to make a lot more than the $40 the private sector was going to charge for a “raker”, but let’s assume it’s ONLY $50 / hour.  The cost of this management will be:  $277,200,000.
So, President Trump’s “idea / proposal” to rake the underbrush to prevent future fires will need to hire / use about 88 THOUSAND people and cost  somewhere around $9.8 BILLION per year.  And that’s ONLY for Federal land in California.  And, let’s not get into who’s going to drive the trucks moving the undergrowth to the dump and / or where we’re going to find landfills large enough to hold all of the compost.  Oh, don’t forget the cost of the rakes and the plastic bags to hold the undergrowth during transport.  It boggles the mind…
This is the kind of ridiculous suggestion you get from a man who is so stupid he believes he is smarter than “his” generals (we are still in the Middle East and Afghanistan), “his” economists (we still have no tax relief for the middle class), “his” political advisors (Republicans just lost the House in the mid-terms), and “his” intelligence services (Russian had nothing to do with #DumbDonald getting elected), let alone “who knew healthcare was so complicated” (we still have no Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act).  Basically, this is what happens when you elect an incompetent con-man / grifter to be President.
And, no, I don’t seriously believe any company in the private sector is going to pay someone $40 / hour to rake / blow leaves.  I do believe that is what they will charge you, though.  Okay, enough scribbling…
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On This Day In:
2017 Federal Deficit, National Debt And Tax Cuts For The 1%
2016 Picky, Picky, Picky
2015 Another Limitation On Religion
2014 Enduring
2013 Tell Me More…
2012 Passing…
2011 Fake It ‘Til You Make It

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You either believe people are fundamentally good or you don’t.  If you do believe they’re good, then as an entrepreneur, a team member, a team leader, a manager, or a CEO — or a government leader — you should act in a way consistent with your beliefs.  If people are good, then they should be free.  Too many organizations and managers operate as if, absent some enlightened diktat, people are too benighted to make sound decisions and innovate.
     —    Laszlo Bock
Google’s head of human resources, (senior vice president, people operations)
From his book: “Work Rules!
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On This Day In:
2014 If You Ever Fall…
2013 Glory Days (part 2)
2012 They Follow A Pattern – If You Know What I Mean
What I Live For (Precis)
2011 Giving

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