I couldn’t think of a whole lot to write about this week in regards to my usual blogging topics. Except…then I remembered I am trying to blog about more things in general… like life and happenings. So I am going to try that.
The flu season has hit our area full force this year now, and our household is no different. We have been dealing with the flu at home for the past week. We are in recovery mode now, thankfully, and hopefully we won’t have to deal with it again this season. This was a particularly hard week in terms of the illness, as neither of us have had anything worse than a cold or a minor infection in many…many years. New lessons were learned for all of us this year in terms of dealing with more serious illnesses…and…getting older and dealing with them. We definitely aren’t 20 anymore, and don’t bounce back nearly as quickly as we used to. That was a hard pill to swallow.
Not only has that happened to us, but lots of things have been going on in the news this past week that have been pretty interesting to me. It has been a long time since I have paid attention to the news or to events resembling news. For some reason this past week was different. There were a few things that caught my interest and got me thinking.
First thing, on January 22 there was a first-time-ever event that took place on YouTube. It was called “YouTube Asks Obama.” It was an event where three top YouTube personalities (Hank Green, GloZell Green and Bethany Mota) were able to interview the President of the United States in real-time, inside the White House. It was a pretty cool concept, in my opinion. I know I’m not American, and things like this don’t really have a direct effect on me and mine, but it was interesting to me nonetheless. I watched it the following morning. I thought it very well done. They claimed that Obama had not seen any of the questions in advance of the actual interviews, but I am personally kind of skeptical of that. He was asked some questions you would expect him to stumble a little bit over, and his answers seemed a little rehearsed, like he had time to think about an answer in advance. Regardless, I think it was something great that catered to younger people. I read somewhere that the US has a similar issue with engaging younger voters as Canada has, and I think this event could go a long way toward inspiring interest in politics in young voters. Maybe they could do something like this with the Prime Minister here in Canada… I’d totally watch that too! Anyways, American or not, I do recommend watching it. It has been posted on the White House’s YouTube channel. And check out some of the YouTubers themselves. They’re really out there making names for themselves. In fact, Hank Green posted a really interesting little article on Medium about his experience and the relevance of mainstream news media in this day and age.
On Friday, a co-worker said something interesting to me: “Did you hear that the Doomsday Clock is 2 minutes closer to midnight?” Of course, I responded I had not, seeing as I am not a huge follower of news. As soon as I was able, I took to the internet and Google to suss things out for myself. Turns out the clock was moved from five minutes to midnight to three minutes to midnight – with midnight being symbolic doom for humanity and the earth, of course. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board has done this because the world has failed to reduce its “nuclear arsenal” as well as due to climate change. The hands on the clock haven’t been moved since 2012, so this was a pretty big deal – relatively speaking. It’s also the closest it has been to proverbial Doomsday since 1984, still in the midst of the Cold War. I dunno, this is interesting news in the sense of what it implies, but it really doesn’t affect everyday life for any of us. Personally, when I hear the words doomsday clock, all I can really think about is the Doomsday Clock in Watchmen! Speaking of which, I think it just might be time to pull that one out for my viewing pleasure again. It has been quite awhile…
For the techies in my midst… Windows 10: The Next Chapter aired as a live stream on the internet on the 21st, showing what`s happening with Windows 10, Microsoft’s next operating system. It shared new features coming available in the technical preview including the ability to seamlessly switch between devices (i.e. from laptop to tablet to phone), the use of Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant who learns things about you and tailors herself to you, and a new web browser. Because we all just LOVE Internet Explorer and would just HATE to see it go the way of the dodo… There were also some other cool things that they introduced… the biggest one being the Hololens which has some really exciting implications. You can read some stuff about it here. I’m kind of excited for Windows 10. Jay is running the technical preview they have released to Windows Insiders, and it’s looking better and better with each new release. A lot of the things they got wrong with Windows 8, it seems like they are getting those things right with this new upcoming release of Windows 10. Did I mention ALL Windows 7, Windows 8 and 8.1 users get a free upgrade for the first year?! Even better!
There. I’ve written a whole blog post about things I have never written about before. It was kind of fun actually. I will have to do this again! 🙂