It’s about that time again where we set our clocks back to observe Daylight Saving Time (DST). The official date is Sunday, Nov. 7th at 2:00 am so you have a week to go! It doesn’t seem that long ago when Indiana didn’t participate in DST. In fact, we had our own “Timezone” called Indiana in the settings on computers. The last time I checked it was still there in Windows 10, even though it’s not used anymore.
I’ve been trying to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and get some steps in by walking around the neighborhood. This is a perfect time to catch up on the numerous Podcasts I have downloaded to my phone. One of my all-time favorites is from 99% Invisible. This podcast explores all kinds of interesting topics such as the Sears catalog that had mail-order houses available, and why Margarine was PINK at one time.
99% Invisible is a sound-rich, narrative podcast hosted by Roman Mars about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world.From 99percentinvisible.org
After the impressive iPad Pro upgrade, I decided to upgrade my several-generation-old Apple watch to the new Series 7 model. The larger display is what really sold me. I use my Apple Watch daily and I’m looking forward to checking the new model out. If there’s anything worth reporting I’ll do a mini-review in a few weeks.
And finally, I stumbled upon some motivational videos on Youtube last week and the following one featuring Joe Rogan was very interesting. Enjoy!
I have a confession to make. I’m lazy when it comes to writing. I let the computer recommend corrections and highlight spelling mistakes. I thought I had it all figured out, and then I tried Grammarly.
Years ago, I played with Grammarly when it first came out and didn’t see the need to keep it as it didn’t appear to be any better than the built-in tools I was already using. However, I kept seeing Grammarly pop up online, and several people I know are happily using it, so I decided to give it another try.
First off, the amount of integration this tool provides is impressive. From browser extensions on the desktop to additional keyboards on mobile devices, Grammarly has you covered just about everywhere. I’ve been using it for the past month or so while drafting Blog entries, and it’s caught WAY more grammatical errors than the built-in editor, especially missing commas that I’m guilty of having. Some of the more technical emails I’ve needed to write at work have greatly benefitted from Grammarly too.
There are a few different options with Grammarly. Free, Premium, and Business. The Premium version I’m currently using is $12 a month (less expensive if you opt for the annual plan). It’s a little steep, I’ll admit, but it’s become so integrated into my workflow I’m willing to pay the price. Of course, it’s not a perfect solution and will, on occasion, make a recommendation I don’t quite agree with, but those are few and far between. Another thing to know is an Internet connection is required for Grammarly to function.
All in all, if you love to write, or you need some help polishing up your communications, Grammarly is an excellent tool for the job!
In other news, I just started listening to a new podcast called “How We Survive” from NPR Marketplace. The first season is all about the lithium used in batteries that will be powering everything in the future and how we need to mine more to meet the demand.
The climate crisis is here. Time is slipping away to stop the worst effects of global warming, and the world is looking for solutions. On “How We Survive,” Molly Wood explores the technology that could provide some of those solutions, the business of acclimatizing to an increasingly inhospitable planet, and the way people have to change if we’re going to make it in an altered world. Our first season dives deep into the economics, the tech and the human stories behind the race for lithium. It’s the “white gold” that will help electrify our cars, homes and power grids, and unlike the gold rush of the 1800s, this time, our survival might depend on it.Molly Wood – Host of the “How We Survive” Podcast.
That’s it for this week. I have a few ideas for upcoming blogs and have several drafts in the works. See you next time!
The last 4 posts were a recap of my week-long trip to OH, PA & NY to visit the Allegheny National Forest. With the daily rain, and summer temps, the mosquitos were out and looking for blood but I brought a solution to that…
After seeing ads and reviews over the past year I decided to pickup a Termacell Backpacker Mosquito Repeller prior to the trip. This device comes in many different models and is powered by battery or Butane/Propane canister. I chose the latter as I use that fuel for cooking while camping.
The Thermacell uses heat from a tiny gas powered flame to heat a small pad containing a repellant solution. They claim a 15′ “zone of protection” and I think that’s pretty accurate. I noticed an immediate improvement as soon as I fired up the repeller and set it on the table next to where I was hanging out. It was especially useful under the tarp where I was spending a lot of time during the rain showers. It’s not going to work as well of there’s a lot of wind, but the bugs are usually not a problem when it’s windy.
The pads last for approximately 4-hours and cost around $2 each (cheaper in bulk). There is a very slight sweet smell but it’s not off-putting and a lot better than some of the other scented candles that don’t work very well. This being the backpacking model it’s quite small and portable. If you have a larger space to cover they make bigger units for that.
If you’re looking for something to help keep the bugs at bay while enjoying the outdoors check out the Thermacell line of products and see if they’ll work for you.
Hopefully, by now, most of you know what a Podcast is. Believe it or not I was part of the Man Fights Back podcast a while back. We ended up recording 44 episodes before putting things on pause for a while. Hopefully we’ll get to a point where we can start recording again.
Publishing a podcast is a lot of work. Coming up with material, time to record, time to edit, time to produce and, most importantly, building your audience. Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak at the No Agenda Show podcast have figured all of this out and find time to publish 2 episodes a week totaling 5+ hours of content. They give the show away and only ask for donations to keep the show going. As of January 15, 2012 they’ve recorded 374 shows, along with a few special episodes.
Donations of $50 or more get their name or organization mentioned in the show. The top two donations for each episode get Executive Producer and Associate Executive Producer credits. It’s all turned out to be a pretty cool concept. Individuals who accumulate $1000 (or more) worth of donations (or donate it all at once) get a special “Knighthood” designation and customized ‘hit them in the mouth’ ring complete with old-fashioned envelope sealing wax that you can make an impression in with the ring.
The No Agenda Show is hard to describe but it covers a lot of current events and things you don’t hear about in the mainstream media. The discussions are lively and often times very humorous especially with all of the musical jingles and memes. The show notes are a treasure trove of links and media clips that allow you to dig deeper into the topics you find interesting. I’ve gotten a lot of ideas for the IndyScan.com blog posts from this podcast.
I’ve been planning on donating to the show for a while now but thought it might be kind of neat to pool together some donations from IndyScan.com readers and submit them on the behalf of IndyScan.com and its followers. The goal is to add a little more money to what I was going to donate ($100) and get some press for the blog.
Starting today I’m going to place a special donation button on the IndyScan.com site and will take contributions (via PayPal) until February 29, 2011. Every penny contributed will be added to my donation and submitted to the no Agenda Show for inclusion in one of the early March shows.
I hope you have a chance to check out the No Agenda Show and find it something you want to listen to and make a donations towards.
You can also donate from this blog entry:
One of the best Podcasts on the Internet. A listener, in lieu of a cash donation, purchased this ad for $400. VERY cool!