Audio: 1913 vs 2017

My husband and I attended Capitolfest this past August. Capitolfest is held in Rome, NY and features three days of old movies–many of which are silent. Those are accompanied by the 1928 original installation Moller Organ. In addition to movies, there are always a couple of presentations related to the early days of film making.

In 2016, we heard the Library of Congress film expert George Willeman’s presentation on the Edison Kinetoscope, The presentation included many photographs of Edison’s laboratory and the work being done to make “talkies.” Several kinetoscopes were shown. The video and audio quality of the 1913 productions was amazing. Edison’s people worked very hard on the lip-syncing aspect of mixing sound and visuals. What we saw was spot on. (There was an amusing segment where a group of people were singing the “Star Spangled Banner” but the video was of the group singing “God Save the King”. )

Sometimes, though, watching TV, I don’t think technology has advanced much over the past 100 or so years. Digital TV has a lip-sync problem that makes me crazy when I’m trying to watch news programs.

Maybe modern technology needs a few lessons from Edison.

Goofing Off

Sometimes it feels like being an author while holding down a full-time Day Job makes my life all work and no play. It’s a good thing I love writing–almost as much as I love having written!

But I do tend to goof off a good bit. Facebook and Pinterest are two of my favorite time sucks. My very favorite, however, is reading. I could read 24/7. I read the way most people I know watch television.

What’s your favorite way to goof off?

Let’s Laugh

Today is National Let’s Laugh Day and in observance, I’m sharing a list of some of the funniest books I’ve read.

In no particular order:

  • The World According to Garp (John Irving)
  • Up Close and Dangerous (Linda Howard)
  • Drop Dead Gorgeous (Linda Howard)
  • One for the Money (Janet Evanovich)
  • Two for the Dough (Janet Evanovich)
  • Three to Get Deadly (Janet Evanovich)
  • True Confessions (Rachel Gibson)
  • Metropolitan Life (Fran Lebowitz)
  • Bet Me (Jennifer Crusie)
  • Welcome to Temptation (Jennifer Crusie)

Beware the Ides of March

Even though a soothsayer warned Julius Caesar to “Beware the Ides of March,” all he meant was March 15.

March, July, October, May:   the Ides fall on the fifteenth day.                                                                           

In every other month of the Roman calendar, the Ides fell on the 13th day of the month.

But Caesar’s assassination isn’t the only bad thing to happen on March 15 (yes, this is a historical fact, not just a line from Shakespeare).

According to the Smithsonian:

  • In 1360, a French raiding party began a 48-hour spree of rape, pillage and murder in southern England.
  • In 1889 a cyclone in Samoa wrecked three US warships and three German warships, killing over 200 sailors.
  • Czar Nicolas II of Russia abdicated his throne in 1917.
  • Nazi Germany began its occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939.
  • Over 60 people were killed in the US and Canada as a deadly blizzard plummeted the Great Plains in 1941.
  • World record rainfall hit the Indian Ocean island of La Réunion in 1952–73.62 inches in 24 hours.
  • CBS cancelled The Ed Sullivan Show in 1971.
  • In 1988, NASA reported the ozone layer was depleting three times faster than predicted.
  • In 2003, the World Health Organization identified SARS–(Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

Have a great day!

Daylight Savings Time

This is the Sunday we “sprang ahead” to Daylight Savings Time.

Everyone seems to hate when DST ends in the fall, because it’s darker “earlier”.

Well, no. It’s darker at the same time; we simply look at our clocks differently.

DST is actually the “unnatural” way of measuring our days.

I’ve often wondered if the advice I read about avoiding  the sun between eleven in the morning to one in the afternoon takes DST into account? Isn’t the sun supposed to be directly overhead at noon? Then wouldn’t the sun be hotter, brighter, more dangerous between ten in the morning and noon during DST because the sun would be at its zenith at eleven?

Several studies have found evidence suggesting that Daylight Savings Time is actually bad for our health.  There are more heart attacks, strokes, and road accidents in the days following the spring ahead than there are at other times. And “falling back” triggers depression and earlier onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder in some people.

On the other hand, there is something to be said for the extra sunlight at the end of the Day Job day.