Web Based Advertising and Your Values

I use Ad blocking add on my browser. An adblocker protects me from most ads on ad saturated sites. I mean really, who is not insensitive to web based advertising any more? This isn’t a story about adblocker’s though. This is some thought about how and where companies advertise on the web, and what it says to me about those companies.

Recently, I used a computer without adblocker software installed. I was shocked to say the least at what I saw. Ads wanting me to partake of a companies offerings. Wholesome family value companies, who’s ads are inserted randomly in very disturbing stories. I found what I was observing ad and story wise very disconcerting.

Clicking a story with a disturbing headline about a women murdered, there is a picture of the woman, the story of how she was brutally murdered, and an advertisement for a family value company embedded in the upper right and offset to the middle right of the story text.

I could not believe a national chain, advertising on the net, has no interest when or where their ads are placed? As I clicked through article to article, there they are, ads from upstanding red, white, and blue wholesome companies ads right there among all the trash stories.

I thought there must be some oversight on the part of the companies. I emailed one company who had their ad placed in the above mentioned murder story. The company responded they have no control over where their ads are placed. This is a national chain, not some Mom and Pop Shop desperate for any type of online presence.

I am surprised at myself, and I am surprised at you. I am disturbed by these ads and their placement. We have become so immune to web advertising, ads are not noticed when reading the text. I do not know if these ads effect you or not, but at this point in my life, I know who I am, and I know what I want or need. An ad embedded in a story is not going to sway me to utilize them, or make them a part of my life.

The indifference to the placement of these ads however does lead me to question what these companies are really about. Read a sickening murder story, and book a room for your next vacation? Feels a little bi-polar to me.

Go ahead and check this out yourself. Go to a website that collects news of any type, and does advertising. Click on any disturbing story you find, and look at the ads, their placement, and values they want to portray. I think you will be a little awed too, maybe disturbed by companies who want advertising so badly, they do not care where their ads are placed.

In the future, I am going to pay more attention to these ads when I see them. They have started me thinking about the values that are important to these companies, and whether their values align with my own. How about you, will you see web based ads differently in the future?

Light Fast and Powerful Linux Distro that Roars

Well, I had I thought written a fairly good article written about SolydXK Linux. It is “had” because my fingers turned: ctrl c, into something resembling: ctrl cv, which left me with an empty document and no backup. Ok, I thank Windows for that dual blunder.

So this will be a shorter written praise of SolydXK Linux. If you want the stability of Debian, melded with Mint Linux,  head on over to the SolydXK website and check out what they have to offer.

I found three flavors on the site, SolydX, a blazing speed, well crafted XFCE  compilation, SolydK, a slick and very fast KDE compilation, both created from Debian Testing repositories, and the third SolydX soho business compilation.

SolydX is a nearly perfect for me. Fast, light, powerful,  and almost complete. I added three programs that most people would have no interest in. SolydX and SolydK are geared for home use, and home gaming. SolydK is great but has too many programs I would not use.

SolydXK updates are done quarterly as a package deal. If the update is not ready for the quarter due to package behavior, or other problems, the update is held back. This sure tames the guessing game update for SolydXK users. Of course if you want the SolydXK for business compilation, it is built on Debian Stable, so updates are very slow.

SolydXK is being developed by an ex Mint Linux (LMDE) user, who struck out on his own with some help of course when Mint Linux LMDE went south, or north. If you are new to Linux, SolydXK has several tutorials to help you out. The forums are also responsive and you should find the solution for your issue quickly.

Due to the tutorials on the SolydXK website, their forum, and the plethora of how to’s and examples on the already on the web, I won’t waste your time with installation, and operation. I will mention, if you like Windows XP, and are looking for something similar, SolydX or SolydK will be to your liking.

If you want a fast integrated, fast, and light Linux distro that is based on rock solid Debian, with a very nice paint job, and a big engine, head on over to SolydXK website and check out their offerings. I think you will like what you see and read.

Whole Brain Focus

Your individual brains working together may be a wonderful experience. Have you ever had those times when something you do frequently suddenly becomes difficult, if not down right frustrating? I know I do. I like some puzzles, and I generally do those puzzles daily. Some days, or parts of a day however, a puzzle becomes very frustrating, and I did not understand why.

I was reading today in a book at the library that each individual brain may be broken down into four to seven different brains, or personalities that make us who we are. As I thought about this, I wondered if that is the background chattering and at times nonsense conversation that goes on in our heads.

You know, the thoughts that interfere with your thinking when you are trying to concentrate? Or the unlinked sentences that float through your thoughts when you are not thinking of anything? I thought perhaps those were the individual parts of my brain that could be separated out into separate brain selves.

If this idea is true and we all have those four to seven separate brain selves, it would seem at any one time we are only using one or two for any given task. For example, if we are doing a math problem, not all portions of our brain are in use. The only part of our brain I think we would use is the part that has the capability of understanding a math problem, and the rules that involve doing math.

The same would apply to speaking, reading, hearing, taste, and so on. Or the same could apply to a portion of our brain that likes math, another that likes language, another that likes visual puzzles. Maybe it is all one in the same with different labels. I really do not know, nor could I pretend to know.

For example as I am typing this, my typing is of probably poor quality. I have to go back and correct what I have typed. I have trouble with: …t he, transposing letters: from for example, and example. It seems to follow that more than one part of my brain is needed to type in a more correct manner. From that thought, can I assume, all the required parts of my brain needed to type well do not care about typing?

I think it is important that what I am typing is coherent and grammatically correct. But what part of my brain is that? It obviously is a different part than the parts not paying attention and allowing me to make the same typing mistakes over and over again.

How much would it change us, if we made an effort to have all the parts of our brain working to solve a problem, whether that be typing correctly, solving a puzzle, or being creative? It may be the language part of our brain, may not be interested in creativity. But what would change within us if we could make that part of our brain interested in creativity?

I think, when we have those, “Aha” moments it happens. For a few seconds some part of our brain which normally does not take an interest in whatever it is we are doing, decides to contribute to the process of arriving at a solution. That little slice of our brain which generally does something else adds its effort to solving our problem.

A few seconds later we have our, “aha” moment, and we are surprised by our flash of genius, and wonder why we never thought of it before. Then our brain goes back to its normal pattern of distracting us, or thinking other thoughts, while we turn our flash of inspiration into reality. And that feels really good.

Are You Sure You’ve Never Been Abducted by Aliens?

“Have you ever been abducted by Aliens?”

“No, I don’t think so.”

“Are you sure?”

A three or four year old boy plays in the back yard near the wood-line of his back yard. The house he lives in has no indoor plumbing. There is a kitchen sink, but the drain is plumbed through the wall, and into the ground, entering into a small trench about forty feet from the house which drains into the woods.

He plays here sometimes because it is easy for his mother to find him when he becomes too quiet. His other favorite spot is playing in a bowl like part of the yard on another side of the house to his left. He is playing with a big yellow toy dump truck, building roads or whatever it is little boys do when they play with toy trucks in the grass.

He hears a noise and looks up. It does not sound like a plane from the airport, this is a quiet sound, and he may not have noticed if they had a road or neighbors nearby. He looks up, and there in the air just above the trees over the ditch, is a silver disk floating in the air. It looks too small to hold even one  grown up, he wonders who in it.

Instantly he knows there are two of them inside, and they are is there to get dirt from the drainage ditch. It’s okay, he knows now. They are going to get some dirt. There is nothing special about it. The boy wonders why they want that dirt? All it is soggy yucky muck made with water from the kitchen sink drain. He does not even like playing in that stuff himself.

As he watches, he sees a silver bucket tied to a white rope descend from the back of the silver disk. In his mind, he thinks they rolled down the back window, and lowered the bucket out through it. He can’t see, but that is what he thinks. The bucket drops into the drainage disk, somehow scoops up some mud, and is pulled back into the disk.

Then the disk flies off. The little boy, who has never seen anything like this before, is so okay with the event, he never told his parents what he has seen. In fact he did not give it a another thought after it was over. He went back to the earth moving job he had to get done with his toy truck.

A twenty year old living in the mountains of California takes his six year old cousin camping one summer day. He knows which camp-site they will go too. There isn’t anything to do there though.  It is not a camp-ground, only a place where someone can spend the night. He also does not wonder why they would go there when there were better places to camp. They arrive at the camp-site in the afternoon, cook and eat dinner. They will sleep in the back of the Travel-all, cook breakfast in the morning, and head home.

He wakes up in the morning choking, out of breath. There is a small purple person standing on his chest. The two foot tall person is the color of beet skin. He is wearing a thick yellow suit which is so tight, it looks like it is part of his body. On the chest area of the suit is a large red Z. He wakes choking, and thinks the little purple person is trying to choke him, because he sees him standing on his chest and feels his hands at his neck.

In an instant, it is over, and he is awake. The only people present are himself and the cousin who is still asleep. He remembers eating dinner only because he forgot knives for the meal and they had to eat the meat with their fingers. Oddly that is the only memory of the night before.

This morning it felt so real as he was choking, he could almost feel purple hands on his throat as he lay there. He can not explain why he thought he was choking, that has never happened before.

He wakes the young boy. The young boy wakes wanting to get back home as soon as possible. He does not want to eat breakfast, but wants to go straight home. They pack up their few items, and head back home. Other than arriving, eating, and leaving in the morning, nothing of note about the trip is mentioned.

It becomes a forgotten memory like the disk with the bucket. Years later he remembers both instances, a few weeks after those two innocent questions were asked of him. Now he wonders if the purple person in the yellow suit was reviving him, and not choking him. He also wonders why the boy wanted to go straight home in the morning as soon as he woke, it was not his normal behavior.

Some years later he was at RAF Woodbridge, next to Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England when the UFO incident occurred. He went home after work that night, not mentioning anything about the incident to anyone. Just another night at work.

“Have you ever been abducted by Aliens?”

“No, I don’t think so.”

“Are you sure?”

Headlight Cleaning in Ten Easy Minutes

My vehicle headlights were so fogged over I may as well have had candles instead of headlights. They were so bad the only time I really noticed the colors of other vehicles at night was if another light source was shining in the other vehicle or it was a stop light.

It was so bad, it was getting to the time when I thought I shouldn’t be driving at night as the headlights were so bad. Not wanting to spend anywhere from $20.00 up to have them cleaned, after seeing how bad some of the cleaning jobs were, I decided I would clean my headlights myself.

I decided the headlights were suffering some form of oxidation. Oxidation with iron is rust, but other materials oxidise also. I knew it was severe oxidation as the vehicle is a 1998 model, and the headlights had never been cleaned.

Rummaging under the sink and laundry room, I came up with some possible solutions. Using a green scrubbing pad I tried the following which all failed: Ammonia and water, bleach and water, some glass cleaners, and other cleaning products. Don’t waste your time trying any of these, they do not work, and I am sure the finish on your vehicle would prefer they were not used.

When all else fails Google is your friend. I found the top three do it yourself recommendations were: Sand paper, tooth paste, and automotive mag aluminium cleaner. I looked at the sandpaper I had and it was all for wood, so that was a no go. I had some old tooth paste that had no additives such as whitener – whitener I read sometimes made it worse.

I tried the tooth paste and a green scrubbing pad for about ten minutes on one headlight. There was some improvement but nothing to write home about. The headlight now looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in at least ten years. Not the results I wanted.

I had an old, old jar of mag and aluminium cleaning paste I bought for another purpose several years ago. I dug it out, and it had a brown layer on top. Underneath though was the white cream I remembered. I cut off part of an old tee-shirt and started rubbing lightly as the directions said.

In less than five minutes I had an almost brand new looking headlight! It was a little cloudy, maybe from age, maybe from the toothpaste, but it looked almost brand new. I moved over to the other headlight, and five minutes later, same result!

I would expect you can have the same bright and shiny headlights if you are willing to spend a few minutes on each headlight. My results however may be different from yours, so remember you could end up ruining your headlight cover, and end up buying a brand new one. In my case the headlights were bad enough, it was a risk I was willing to take. Think about it before trying to clean those headlights yourself.

This was three weeks ago, and both headlights still look clean and shiny. Ten minutes work, and at least a twenty dollar savings. I am pretty happy with that!