30 Steps to the Mailbox

In Uncategorized on December 3, 2010 at 8:45 pm

I got a little riled up. A week late, of course.

Currently it takes me approximately 30 steps to walk from my garage door to the mail cube down the street and so I do not grab the mail on a daily basis. More like a weekly basis. Out of sight, out of mine I suppose. This means that all of our bills are electronic, so don’t worry!

Yesterday I picked up last week’s edition of Time Magazine and was immediately intrigued – they covered the last decade and wrote up several showcases of stories they had written (and consequently predictions they had made) and where the stories are now that 2010 is coming to a close.

I turned to a section named “10 questions” – each week either Time or people writing in interview a person of note. For the Week of Dec. 6, it was Ray Kurzweil, a futurist/author/brilliant type. One website had this to say:

“Ray Kurzweil has been described as “the restless genius” by the Wall Street Journal, and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes. Inc. magazine ranked him #8 among entrepreneurs in the United States, calling him the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison,” and PBS included Ray as one of 16 “revolutionaries who made America,” along with other inventors of the past two centuries” (www.kurzweiltech.com/aboutray, accessed Dec. 3, 2010).

Basically, his job is to accelerate intelligence. The Time article asked him questions about predicting the future, reaching artificial intelligence, technology and health, growing meat with artificial intelligence, and the combining of all religions into one thought.

Who said any of this was a good idea? I must say that man has always sought eternal life (think of the Eldorado myths, the Tuck Everlasting book and movie, etc). What happened to the dignity of human cycles? Can technology become God?

Of course there is a whole genre of books, films, articles, websites and other media forms that explore these ideas and possible consequences. In main stream technological thought, do we ever stop to consider the possible consequences of a technology before we set it into motion?

And don’t get me started on the blending of religion. An enlightened mind is not one that “rises above” all religions and acknowledges either self or the world as god. That in itself is a religion. Why must almost every futurist I have read consider it the advancement of humanity to make us completely different from who we already are?

Mr. Kurzweil, if you must change the entire human race, put a little more thought into how you will go about it.


E-mail Spemail Memail…Ack!

In Uncategorized on December 2, 2010 at 10:08 pm

I had a recent bout with e-mail communication disintegration. It was not the first time this has happened. Once during the pursuit of my undergrad degree, I was working as a writer and editor for an on-campus communication. My advisor (who is now one of my favorite professors!) asked me to complete a few projects. Either the dates were buried or I didn’t pay enough attention to the messages and I thought they were due after Thanksgiving break.

I logged onto my e-mail at some point during break and found a series of e-mails from her perspective – I had already missed her intended deadline and she had also wanted ideas for a few new stories. She expressed quick concise language – I read between the lines and took up my own story of indignation.

We finally did work it out, though, and she still mentors me to this day. Asynchronous communication is a funny little creature.

According to Carolyn A. Lin’s article on the “Effects of the Internet” in my Mass Media and Communication Theory book, “asynchronous online communication in a social context allows individual users to send messages directly to each other, (e.g. e-mails) or to post messages to a larger group of people (such as chat rooms or newsgroups).” Synchronous communication allows people to exchange information in real times, such as chat room use.

I am not denying the importance of online communication. I am merely stopping to consider how much time we as a world population waste on the misunderstandings caused by this tool, be it in business, school or in keeping up with friends and relatives. I tend to agree with the thought that it can be a hindrance sometimes – yes, we can read between the lines of an e-mail or another online communication, but the between part is usually where I place the filter of my personal perspective. Then I mis-construe the information and react emotionally. At other times, I appreciate the time lapse to think and formulate a good response to the information I am fed.

However, I definitely want to make a plea to anyone who manages anyone – DON’T LET E-MAIL MAKE YOU LAZY. If you have an important topic to discuss such as a schedule change or something that has gone wrong, put cowardice behind you and walk into the room next door or pick up the phone and concisely convey the conversation. There is nothing worse than an employee having to guess what the conversation is really about. Communication falls apart much too easily without quickly fired e-mails or social networking comments getting in the way.

The Results are In!

In Uncategorized on November 29, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Well, after a delicious and cozy little Thanksgiving break with family and friends, I got out my thinking cap and reading glasses to analyze the results of the great Facebook project.

Today in one of my classes, professor Hallahan showed a graph of how widely used Facebook is – and the map showed half of the world used Facebook for social networking. Wow.

As I endeavored to say everything I wanted to post online out loud, I often found myself a little timid…except when my dog was the only one listening. For some reason, it is much more comfortable for me to throw my thoughts out there online. Perhaps this is because people can choose to read and respond – people who won’t care just won’t respond. In real person, awkward silence often ensues when a random interruption happens.

What I also discovered, though, is often times a random spouting of information inspired a really fun conversation – and in-person conversations are much more gratifying to me than online ones. I do believe both spaces are valid and real, although the world would be a very sad place if all human interaction ceased. Screens don’t make best friends no matter how current teenagers feel about their phones.

As I posted more, people responded more. I also think the mix of content attracted different comments. Some people responded to my every day postings and others responded to thought provoking questions. Also, I was surprised by how many times I promote businesses/websites, etc. This is why Social Networking is a money maker!!!

Sheepishly, I must admit I made a lot of spelling mistakes. And I probably contributed to the declining grammar awareness of America.

Here is the log of information from the 48-hour period. Let me know what you think. And please say hello to me in person – not just online. I need lots of hugs.

NOTE: All responders names were noted in initials.

November 15 at 12:37pm

Rhema Zlaten ‎// The great virtual is reality experiment – for the next 48 hours, I will be posting lots of updates on my life and also announcing them to the physical world around me – check out my blog post for more… and comment:

Technique on Demand
After a quirky and characteristically nerdy new media conversation in the Graduate Teaching Assistant office this morning, I was inspired to try a mini-project.

Response: One like and One Link posted
KV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTN9We8unmU

Rhema Zlaten: Oh…my…goodness… I am LAUGHING!!!
November 15 at 12:50pm · Like

November 15 at 12:44pm

Rhema Zlaten ‎// Question – is it bad that I am a proud puppy mom? Matt just sent me the cutest pic of Perrin sleeping in the sunshine…

Response: One Like

Rhema Zlaten: In response to this, a classmate opened up her Facebook on the computer next to me and showed me her one-on-one photos with her puppy for last year’s Christmas cards. Another class mate said it is bad that I am such a proud puppy mom…
November 15 at 12:47pm

AD: Well if it’s bad then I’m a very proud puppy mom. We’ll be proud puppy mom’s together.
November 15 at 1:04pm

RTL: What’s so bad about that?!?!?!
November 15 at 2:17pm

JL: There is nothing wrong with being a proud mama of any sort. My girlfriend has a few dogs. She gets their pics with Santa every year!
November 15 at 4:33pm

November 15 at 1:48pm

Rhema Zlaten ‎// Said to the empty GTA room, “I am finally listening to Christmas music! So satisfying…”

Response: Three Likes

RNR: I cant find my christmas cds!! Im gonna die! Lol jk…..sort of……….
November 15 at 2:02pm

JL: ‎//said from my bedroom, “I love Christmas music… but I hold out until the day after Thanksgiving. Let’s share playlists, dear Rhema in the (possibly, but not probably) empty GTA room.” Wait, I think I might be an extraneous variable that could cause some cognitive dissonance in the experiment…
November 15 at 2:17pm
Rhema Zlaten: He he. I am a big Pandora fan! I grab all of their Holiday channels and make a quick mix and then jam out all day long…
November 15 at 3:54pm · Liked by RNR

November 15 at 3:54pm

Rhema Zlaten ‎// Current Discussion – Is Urban farming just a romance? KH brought out the how Cuba converted to Urban Farming for 50 percent of their food after the fall of the Berlin Wall. I talked about how I am afraid of birds, my biggest roadblock to owning urban chickens (oh…and Longmont City Ordinances) and MT mentioned how even Vogue is covering cool issues like urban farming.


KH: City ordinances be damned, they’re too invasive anyway. Both times we had our chickens we were technically doing so illegally. So long as you keep the chickens well-housed, away from your neighbors, and only have hens who make minimal noise, there is little difficulty. Bribing the neighbors with fresh eggs is also a good strategy.
November 15 at 4:03pm

MT: I’ll bring the magazine tomorrow! I already found the article!
November 15 at 6:40pm

MCL: locally I think the debate is kind of silly. I’ve never really seen longmont as being “urban” . we’re not talking patio gardens and rooftop hen houses. wasn’t it just a few years ago I’d see cows grazing off francis on my way to church.
November 15 at 8:40pm

MT: The magazine is now in the GTA breakroom. You are looking for pg. 98 🙂
November 16 at 2:20pm
Rhema Zlaten: ‎=)
November 16 at 6:07pm

November 15 at 6:47pm

Rhema Zlaten ‎// thinking outloud about vaccinations… Do we need them? Do we understand what they do? Do we understand where they come from?


DW: Pretty much, yeah. For instance: polio.
November 15 at 6:49pm

RW: you sound like a grad student! all these challenging issues and concepts in your status updates.

i guess i’m next. 🙂
November 15 at 6:49pm
MV: No, no, and no.
November 15 at 6:56pm
MV: I’m speaking of flu vaccination of course.
November 15 at 6:57pm
SS: I have also seen what happened when we don’t have the polio vaccine. Relatives and friends stricken with it. I also taught a class full of children that where born deaf because they parents didn’t get the vaccine.
November 15 at 7:22pm
TR: I think it’s extreamly important to be informed and do your own research instead of always trusting that the doctors are right all the time! A great book to read is “what your doctor may not tell you about vaccinations.” it is written by a… pediatrician and she gives great advice on when to get certain vaccinations and which ones she doesn’t think are really necessary! I personally haven’t done any vaccinations the way that doctors recommend because I don’t think bombarding my childs immune system with FIVE different diseases in one day is appropriate. I have done one vaccination at a time and I space them out at least four weeks apart and I don’t start their vaccinations until they ate at least six months old…that’s just what I have personally felt comfortable with!See More
November 15 at 7:54pm
MCL:I think we need them. while things like polio are pretty rare they have not been eradicated. recent news has shown stories of kids dying from pertussis, meningitis.
more research and education would be nice though. chicken pox is one I wonder about as i’ve had friends recently have their kids come down with it even though they had the shot. it would be nice that the benifit outwieghs the risk.
November 15 at 8:02pm

BHM: I’m very much with TR here. I would have just follow what the ped said, but when Phil was a baby, he just couldn’t handle it all at once. Our ped (Dr. Pfanstel here in BA) broke them all up into small quarter and half doses. I have never had a flu shot, and don’t plan to, and I made SURE the kids actually GOT chicken pox.The USUAL childhood disease.
November 15 at 10:39pm

Rhema Zlaten: Ohhh… wonderful comments! I am writing a news story about the recent push for meningococcal in Fort Collins because of the outbreaks on the disease. A radio program I heard about last night commented on the role of the immune system and how each shot changes the immune system. What the CDC is finding, however, is that the meningococcal shot doesn’t last 10 years as originally thought but only 5 and so college students are at risk, especially because their immune systems are run low with college life…a girl just died a few weeks ago here at CSU. I guess dust and desert climates help carry the bacteria.

November 15 at 7:52pm

Rhema Zlaten ‎// Said allowed to the husband “Is it ok that refridgerated water is my favorite ever?” He said “yep.” It is the simple things in life…


AMW: It’s great that he allowed you to say that aloud. (I’m so sorry, but I’m in writing/editing mode and I can’t help myself)
November 15 at 10:54pm

Rhema Zlaten: He he…texted from my phone. Will correct it!
November 16 at 8:50am

November 16 at 6:56am

Rhema Zlaten ‎// Dear Train: when you come at 3:48 a.m., you always set off a chain reaction…wake up puppy, who wakes up husband and then pounces to chomp wife’s nose. Boo.

Response: One Like

November 16 at 9:43am

JL: I thought today, why on earth did I wait so long to do my study critique? It was pretty easy and actually fun. Dang it, your think/post out loud actions are inspiring me, but only to post my thoughts on your wall, not as my status, what would Bandura and his SCT say about that?

Rhema Zlaten: You are my favorite! I started the critique and will be finishing tomorrow…not bad at all. I guess I have learned a lot this semester, lol.
And I would say that Bandura would categorize you as highly self-efficacious for stepping out into… a public space and letting the world know what you think…even if it is the wall of Rhema’s world…

November 16 at 3:36pm

Rhema Zlaten ‎// Rhema says aloud to the dog “All is quiet on the homefront.”

Response: Two likes

RB: Awesome. So when do we get a girly weekend on the homefront?
November 16 at 4:20pm

Rhema Zlaten: Whenever you are free! I do have a girlfriend coming in for Thanksgiving weekend. We could meet up or you could come here…we could make cards, something I have been salivating to do…
November 16 at 6:05pm

RB: that sounds good. Maybe that Saturday night? I’ll be coming back from GJ that day…
November 16 at 6:06pm

November 16 at 4:47pm

Rhema Zlaten: Said to husband, “I am all cuddled up in the comfy yellow chair with the silky gray throw blanket composing a methods paper.” His response: “Bum bum bummm!”

Response: One Like

GT: ‎(: hello.! I hope to see soon.!
November 16 at 4:49pm

GT: ho Friend.! miss U.!
November 16 at 4:49pm

November 16 at 5:24pm

Rhema Zlaten ‎// Gluten-free and dairy free mac and cheese is DELICIOUS… And decidedly cheeeeesssseeey. Announced to the dog who is begging. However I will lick the bowl!

Response: Two likes

JS: thats surprising! whats the brand? 🙂
November 16 at 5:28pm

Rhema Zlaten: Amy’s – in the frozen section!
November 16 at 6:03pm

DD: it doesn’t sound like mac and cheese at all 🙂 isn’t mac and cheese mostly gluten and mostly dairy?
November 16 at 6:14pm

JS: hmmm sounds like something worth scouting out!
November 16 at 6:25pm

AHH: Yes it is!!! 🙂 My kids love it!! We cook/eat almost all gluten-free/wheat-free, dairy-free. It’s good!!!
November 16 at 8:01pm

LW: I pretty much love all of the Amy’s stuff.. its tasty!
November 16 at 10:08pm

November 16 at 6:13pm

Rhema Zlaten ‎// It will be great to end the evening with worship and soaking in God’s presence!

Response: Four Likes

DD: We will be there shortly 🙂
November 16 at 6:24pm

BH: Wish I could be there!
November 16 at 6:48pm

November 16 at 8:49pm

Rhema Zlaten Says to the world… Goodnight, sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite…

Response: One like

MWM: Literally huh????
November 16 at 8:53pm

November 16 at 9:21pm

JC: Love your blog. I wish I could hear you spouting your updates outloud 🙂
that time I spelled it right, ha ha.

Response: One Like

Rhema Zlaten: He he… sometimes I have found myself too shy to say what I am actually thinking, except to the dog, lol.

November 17 at 7:20am

Rhema Zlaten ‎// well hello there comfy blue sweater

Response: Two likes

RW: you should twitter.

admit it.
November 17 at 9:10am

Rhema Zlaten: Well, you should check out my blog as to WHY I am updating on impulse…whenever I want to…

November 17 at 10:02am
RW: i was wondering. especially since hearing your previously expressed sentiments on blogging and twitter and such.

ha ha well good. i’m glad this is what it’s about. 🙂
November 17 at 10:38am

November 17 at 1:04pm

Rhema Zlaten ‎// Mmmmm…. delicious SOUP!!!

Response: One Like

GT: ‎(:
November 17 at 4:15pm

DB: That’s what we had tonight too, and it was quite good! By the way, if you are making it from scratch, allrecipes.com is a great source for recipes.
November 17 at 6:16pm

Rhema Zlaten: Oh I LOVE to make soup from scratch! Although last night I picked up some Chicken Sashimi soup from a Wok and Roll in Fort Collins…AMAZING!