Friday, April 30, 2010

How does Michal find the time to blog?

Earlier this week, I caught up with a blogreader in the cafeteria at Brooklyn College. I was asked where I find the time to blog.

Much of what I blog are things that I have enough of a strong opinion about that the blogs just flow out of my fingers pretty nicely. Rarely do I edit or organize these impromtu posts. When I have no time for even that, or I don't have any opionions, I post pictures I already had on my computer... At one point I posted my drawings that I've drawn by hand. I've also posted pictures drawn in paint. These were drawn before I went back to college and they were sitting around on my old computer. However, that computer just bit the dust by way of virus and so, I've lost my tiny remaining reserve of "emergency blog posts", such as I started a series on my Army days which I didn't get very far on, so I wanted to finish it first. Now, I have to start over with that.

Another thing that a savvy blogreader might notice, is that many of my longer posts are actually papers I've turned in for school to one of my professors. For example, this rather weird diagram was something I turned in last semester for my favorite Brooklyn College professor of all time. Personally, I like my paper for Marketing that I turned in about the super bowl ads. If you pull up the label college, most of it is papers I've written. This accounts for a number of my posts.

Gilad Shalit is a real case of Pidyon Shevuyim.

There you go. Why aren't we doing more to rally behind Gilad Shalit who is a real innocent victim suffering. I was just reading this blog post and I saw this in the comments inspiring me to put up a post reflecting such an idea. Here is a link to support a REAL victim of Pidyon Shevuyim.

Another good comment from the post:

A Muppet

But the reason the sentence is out of line with the crime has nothing to do with the fact that the defendant is Jewish. The problem with the sentencing guidelines regarding how it calculates sentences for white color crimes is well known and applies regardless of the religion of the defendant. And really that's at least my problem here. The attitude that Pidyon Shvuyim justifies everything in this case has meant that it justifies what can at best be considered lies of omission about the facts of the case whenever it is reported to the Orthodox public. It's created a public that is both intensely certain about the facts of this case and objectively terribly misinformed. This does not help Sholom Rubashkin.
And people keep bringing up his family who suffers. Well, he had a responsibility towards them to not get himself put in jail and thus, uphold the law. This is his own fault.

Sometimes temps are criminals, don't employers know this?

I ran across a link to this article from a blog that I'm "following." (I don't always read my reading list and I only read what looking interesting from the title and snipet.

I'm nauseous at the way jobs have disappeared and they are being replaced by temp assignments. Then the companies don't understand why they don't get good output or ya know, they end up with ex-con murderer perverts supervising teen girls.

This takes me back to when I was working at a large national temp agency. I started on a Tuesday after labor day one year. On Friday, we had a little incident. Actually it was more of a big incident. I was living in Buffalo working with this Brooklyn Jewish girl, Skye, the daughter of Jewish hippies (thus such a name). This couple came in on Thursday looking for work. They said they just moved into the area.

The main office (we were just a satelite recruiting office) sent the guy to work the next day. So, on Friday I'm making calls to check employment of  applicants from that day and the day before. Well, I get to ABC temps in Pennsylvania and I'm speaking to a woman from there. The woman says to me, "are they right there in the office right now?" "no, they came in yesterday..." "Well, they're wanted. They escaped from a halfway house here in Pennsylvania." I was speechless and Skye was in the bathroom.

When my co-worker, sort of boss got out of the latrine, I told her what happened. She picked up the phone and called the main office to rely the story to them. Before we knew it, the FBI was in our office, "where are they?" Skye gave them to location where they were sent to work. The main office called the guy at work and told him his wife had an emergency and needed him at home. We heard later from the FBI guys that he stopped at a payphone to try to reach her by calling the hotel (known to be a crack hotel in the seedy part of Buffalo) where they were staying. They caught him. I don't remember what happened with her. I remember he was their main concern. Deported.... back to Pennsylvania...

If Rubashkin isn't getting stare decisis, let the lawyers deal with it.....

Bee Zee commented on another post:
"Anyone who is saying that Rubashkin should be acquitted is delusional, but to say that the sentence suggested to the court by the prosecution is a bit extreme is legitimate. Others who have done much worse than he has done get less time than he is facing. This is not to say that he shouldn't pay for his crimes, nor that what he did wasn't so bad, but to give him a sentence that is fitting, when comparing his crime to the crimes of others with smaller fines and/or sentences. We have laws in the USA regarding sentencing someone beyond the requirements of the crime that they committed. Whenever the courts act in a certain way, giving people certain sentences, it sets the standards for sentencing. To move beyond these standards, then, would bemoving beyond the standards set for the punishment for his crime."

Yes, Bee Zee, we do have such a thing. It's called the "doctrine of stare decisis." Stare decisis is from the latin: "to stand on decided cases." This is chapter one of someone's first law class. I just want to point out.. prosecuters suggest harsh punishments. That's what they do, that is their job. It is then the job of the DEFENSE LAWYER NOT members of the public to counter-argue to the judge that the reccommendation is too harsh.

No seriously, if Jews want to help other Jews, can't they find someone who isn't a criminal to help? Ok, I"M  not a real Jew and thus undeserving of human kindness from Jews... it's a good thing the goyim are really nice to me. Anyhow, maybe there's a real Jew who is NOT  a criminal and you should be helping people like that.....

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sometimes, life just ISNT fair, but for real Jews this isn't ok, for everyone else....

This was a comment I left on the post about Jews who can do the crime but not the time...

If the prosecuters are suggesting something too harsh, then it is the job of Rubashkin's LAWYER, not the Jewish public to deal with it. I can only imagine what these politicians think of the Jews for the flooding of phone calls and letters on behalf of any Jew who needs to be convicted of anything. It only makes Jews look like they don't know how to mind their own business.

This is not the fight for the public. This is for the lawyers and the judges to deal with in a courtroom. Furthermore, sometimes things just fall out unfair. That's life. In my recent post talking about life and the public being unfair to me, you all weren't so sympathetic to me as you are to all the Jews in the news. Is this because I'm "not a real Jew"? I mean, someone sent me a message that I should swallow a bleach-ammonia cocktail and curl up and die.

Another thing.... no one is putting a gun to your head and making you read my blog. I think the guilt hits home. That's what I think.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

More Rubashkin nonsense...

Another one of those attempts to rally everyone behind Rubashkin. This annoys me-really annoys me. I think that lay persons shouldn't act like they are lawyers. I'm not a lawyer but, Also, I think this video fails to uphold the critical thinking that Jews are supposed to have from all that Torah study.

For starters, UMMMMMMMMMMM, isn't the CEO of Toyota Japanese? Of course the US doesn't have jurisdiction to do any more to him than fine him. The only reason we can do that is because he does business here. Furthermore, talking about his wife and children being without him... well, he's the one that did that to them. Also, his wife had no clue her husband was all about white collar crimes?

Ok, I will return to this topic at a later time when I have time, for now, let's all think critically.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why do Jews insist on presuring people to do that which they are not in the position to to?

I've been getting comments lately about how I'm bitter. You know what? I am freakin' bitter.

I mean, after I had no choice but to leave college back in 1997, I spent a good chunk of years trying desperately to put myself into a position to be able to go back to school. The world is a cold place. Oh, well. I finally accepted that it just wasn't going to happen and that my mother was dead and she wasn't coming back. I was no longer going to have a support system and I had to survive by myself in this cold world. This just wasn't going to afford me the opportunity that everyone else has. I became fine with this. I came to realize I had no choice. Now....


Everyone rode me to go back to college and I shouldn't be here. I don't know how to solve for x in....  a = x/b and a = b /x and Y = .8Y + C + I + G and so on so forth. Granted, I have managed to find someone who would take TWO SECONDS to show me how to find a = bx and a couple other things.

Mostly ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL those Jews who insisted on repeatedly telling me what a smart girl I am and that I should have a PhD and so on and so forth... where are they? The response is that they are not here to "do my homework for me."

And I'm supposed to take calculus?!?!?!?!?!?!? Without having taken Pre-calc EVER and not knowing how to do algebra.

WHY couldn't you people have just kept your mouthes SHUT???? I was fine.

Are these people going to pay for a tutor for me to get through school? NO!!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Jews can do the crime but, not the time....

I am ever increasingly SICK and TIRED of people Emailing me and FB inviting me to rally behind Jewish CRIMINALS, like Rubaskin. Someone, I can't figure out who, set me up with an invite on Facebook to a prayer service for him.


—RAMBAM ‘ הלכות מתנות לעניים פרק ח‘ הלכה י"
Are these people for real? Yep, the goyim did it. It's all the goyim's fault. Do you sense my sarcasm? There are far too many Jews who somehow think that they are priviledged to be above the rest of the population. The Torah commands us to be preists among the nations. Jews have forgotten this. Yes, I said "Jews" not "we"... Remember? I'm not a REAL Jew, as I'm often reminded.

Instructor Prickle…

I have this class… it’s not so easy for me, but to make matters much worse, the instructor is the biggest prickle. He gives no homework on Monday and he gives MOUNDS and MOUNDS and MOUNDS upon MOUNDS of homework on Wednesday. Then the homework is due on Monday. However, most of my spare time is on TUESDAY. I have been asking him every Monday since the semester began, if I could please have the assignments today instead of Wednesday. Last week, he agreed and said I could come get it in his office hours. However, on Wednesday, he changed the homework, despite the fact that I had started on it based on what he gave.

Today, I asked, as usual, if he could please give me the assignments for the week so I could start on them. So, he said he would give them to me if I went to his office. I had a class right after and I had to utilize the latrine. I got to his office and wouldn’t you know it, the JAP who always wears short skirts with no pantyhose was there. He helped her. I said, “I have a class.” She CLAIMED she did, too. This is the girl who talks all class and never brings her book, even though he explicitly told the class to bring our book to every class. He told me to come back at a later time, during which not only do I have a class with his office-mate but, as I’m typing this it dawned on me that he has a class. My project partner for another class is in that class, so I know this. I told him that I had a class, then. He said that was impossible. I said, “the professor is sitting right there.” I ran to the lou. My back pack strap snapped as I was rushing. When I came back, instructor Prickle and little miss short skirt JAP were gone. I was NOT gone that long AT ALL, three minutes?

Finally, another issue that I’ve been having with this instructor prickle is that he insists on touching me, you know like, tapping me on the shoulder.. arm… and such. This is yet another issue which has been supposedly resolved and yet it continues to crop up. Today, I was putting a problem on the board, and he touch my arm. This is getting pretty outrageous.

Finally... (for real this time....) the first day of class, he basically said that he expects us all to have friends who work on Wall street to do our homework and take home tests for us. However, when I try to ask such friends for help, they say they can't keep doing all this homework and stuff for me. Also, people keep asking, "don't you have free tutoring at your college?" or "Doesn't your instructor have 'help you hours?'" These things are limited and during my other classes.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

More about bribing kids... read an article over Shabbos

So, I have a friend, an older lady who gets the Bina magazines her friend has already read and when she has read them, she passes them to me. So, she gave me one on Thursday and excitedly tells me that there's a story in there about a convert. However, my eyes land on another golden article that is on the cover and featured inside; "Buy Now, Pay Later-The price of parenting via bribery" p.38 of the January 26, 2009 edition of the Binah magazine.

The author is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has seen is over and over again. A parent is frustrated trying to get the kids to do what the kids needs to be doing. A highlight from the article is, "when a parent employs bribery, the message is, 'you may choose to do what I ask, but only if I pay you to do so.' "

A forgotten little nugget came to my mind as I read this article. I grew up in an apartment with my divorced mother and my widowed grandmother. My grandmother used to offer to pay me to do the dishes. Although, the dishes weren't really my chore at my mother's house. My chore was taking out the garbage, which I did on either my skateboard or a sled, weather dependant. My mother used to get so upset about this. In the end, though, it wasn't my chore and I knew my grandmother just wanted to see me doing more chores so, since she couldn't tell me what to do, as she wasn't my mother. I would tell my mom, "gram just wants me doing more. She's right, but, I'll take her money." In the end, my mother would tell me to go away and gram would pay me for doing dishes I didn't do.... I'm chuckling now writing this.

I was too little to reach the sink and I would get water ALLLLLLLLLLLL over the kitchen. It was with good reason my mother wasn't assigning me this chore. Actually, I used to set the table, too. However, it was done by whoever wandered in hungry and curious when dinner was.... "not yet, but, ya wanna set the table to keep your mind off the food?" my mother would say with an enthusiastic smile.... to which I would usually reply, "sure, why not?"

Continuing on with the article, the author points out that when a parent does this, kids are very enthusiastic at first but this wanes off as they start to decide what they are doing is not worth the work. Another problem is that they ask for continual renegotiations for more money. A thought I had, that the authors hints at without saying, if there are other children they might say, well if he gets paid to make his bed, I'm not making mine unless I get paid. Also, the author suggests that when a child is paid to do their chores, they should not get paid if they don't do them. I was thinking that while reading the article. Thus, they stand to lose by not doing what they are supposed to, making clear this is not an OPTION, even though I'm paying you for it. There are consequences if you don't do this.

The author suggests working with a human's natural instinct for approval, particularly from parents.

The author of the article in Bina's name is Simcha Ribowsky LCSW in Brooklyn 718-252-2078.

pictures.... library cafe another angle

Pictures.... library cafe

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bright eyed, bushy tailed happy-go-lucky twenty (& 30) somethings....

I just had a comment on my post about how some of the Jews at my school act. I mentioned how these two girls come in to class just as it's starting, take desks from the other parts of the room and put them in front of the front of the room so that they are sitting in front without regard to the fact that they are acting as if they are somehow special and blocking people who came early to make sure they were sitting in front.

Someone left a comment on it that I will never get a shidduch this and that...

I've noticed a trend amongst people with supportive friends and families that don't seem to have real struggles in life that they tend to look down on and judge others who've had it hard.

I recently got an Email from a blogger in his 20's telling me about a singles event to go to. When I stated that I can't go because it's in the middle of finals week and I don't see the point in going to an even for age bracket up to 38, I got a snotty 20-something kinda response. The event was at the YI of Staten Island. Shabbos ends at 8:30-9pm nowadays and when you go away, that means you're not leaving until 10pm. So, at 10pm, I take a bus to the ferry, then I wait for the ferry, take a half hour ferry ride followed by an hour and a half, maybe two hours on the subway. I would get home at 1am, if I were lucky, then I have to leave the house again at 6:30. Of course, I have to go to bed and get up again, so we're talking about 3 hours sleep, for what? So, I can meet a bunch of guys who aren't going to want me because I'm not a 21 year old or whatever.

The interesting thing is that if a 56 year old says much of the same that I say, they are speaking GROUNDED. However, when I say it.. I'm negative. Maybe you should just realize that I've lived a little more than some pampered 20-something, or even a pampered something my own age, as one of the judgemental ones was only a couple years younger than me told me I haven't found someone because I'm not a quiet nicey nice like she is. That's not possible since I don't even go on dates. Guys generally say no just because a) I'm not young enough  or b) I'm a gyoress.

Either way, right now, what I care about is school and my grades.

Friday, April 23, 2010

belated Pesach pics

I never posted any of my Pesach freezer pics

Who does Michal study with?

I just noticed, it's quite interesting... my main study group's regulars are a muslim, an xtian and myself (a Jew). I like to kid that you say, "a Jew, a muslim and a Xtian walk into a room... and they study." I mean, seriously, doesn't it sound like the beginning line to a joke? Then for my other particularly hard class, I found this Nepali boy with whom to study. What a lifesaver, he is, too! In the homework due next Wednesday, there was this crazy hard problem with some more tricky algebra in it. I never would have gotten it. I would have been balling my eyes out and trying to call people who wouldn't have been available. Paper would have been ripped and thrown around the room in a fit of frustration. This math kills me. I haven't taken an actual math class since 1992. Although, I have done math since then. I took BET (basic electronics training) in the Army and I'm quite sure we had a lot of math in that. We had to make calculations related to Amps and volts and stuff like that. Incidentally, did you know that it's a short which has no resistance and an open which is entirely resistance. When people say, "maybe the wire shorted out..." usually they are talking about an open.

Ok, back to the point, so how come I don't study with other Jews... hmmmmmmmm... maybe because they won't study with me. I have two in my first class. They come in late, grab desks and move them so that they are in the front and they block other people's view, as if they are somehow more important than everyone else. What is it with Jews and their self importance.

As for the Hillel, I've been driven out by a secular Jew.

pictures... walkway and spring trees

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New Media, old media

One of the classes that I'm taking is called, "New Media & Business." We talk about various forms of new media and one thing that's constantly being brought up is how fast technology changes and how quickly we adapt to the new technology. Well, I originally started college in 1994, so I ocasionally think about how different my college experience is now from when I was in college before.

Well, a perfect example came up yesterday....

As you can see by this photo, one of my classes was cancelled. Furthermore, he has two sections, ours and the one after ours. Well, remember that girl that I originally didn't like but now we study together? If not, just click here. Anyhow, she's in the 3:40 version of this class and I'm in the 2:15. So, I took this picture with my cell and sent her a text message of the picture.

When I was in college before, cell phones did exist but, I didn't know any students who had one. They most certainly didn't have cameras, not to mention, texting was not out yet. Technology is changing so fast. It's also weird to think about that. We've become so used to the commonplace nature of cell phones.We can't imagine the days before texting and cell cameras, even if we were around for those days.

Some other handy facets of technology that I didn't have available to me when I was in college the first time include: Email on the cell and Youtube. When I can't understand my prof, I try to find a Youtube video of a more lucid professor teaching the same subject. It's been quite helpful. I can watch some videos before I read from the book, thereby making the book much less intimidating.

What do you think?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

If I make Crack, should I sue Arm & Hammer?

Hahahah, made you open the link, didn't I? Well, can you believe that someone actually had the nerve to do this?

It's in my business law book. I'm reading along... boring... boring... yep, more boring stuff...  then I see someone sued Arm & Hammer and I wondered why. WOOOOOOOW! This guy, George Ward got locked up for distributing this combination. So, he decided to sue. Incidentally, he represented himself.. hmmmm.. don't they say that only a fool represents himself?

I never knew crack was BAKING SODA mixed with coke. It's odd that it should smell so bad. Baking soda is supposed to make things smell fresh... thinking back to 5th grade science... not when you burn it but crack is worse than just burning baking soda. For those who haven't been blessed with squalid poverty that lends itself to your relocation to such a place where you learn this. Crack smells like @$$ crack and burning garbage combined. It's quite a rancid smell.

Did Hashem intend Jews to expect the world to revolve around them?

There's been a theme going on in my Jewish reading.... First I get an Email that had been through the gamut of FFB after FFB forwarding it to their friends... I should call the congress on behalf of RUBASHKIN... UM, NO, how about NOT. Then I read this article online. The trend seems to be clear to be as cutthroat as possible and not to care about anyone else, even other Jews, in the process.... It just seems counter-Torah to me... hmmmmmmmmmmmmm, what do you all think?

Bribing kids for success in high school...

I just saw that over on the Daas Torah blog, he has started a topic on bribing kids. His post is related to a friend he had in the early 80's who was bribed not to watch TV for a month. The kid got his $200 for keeping the bargain. He used it to go out and by a big fat TV... hehehe-love the irony, no? So, I was inspired to blog about a discussion had amongst my family....

It's funny, I was just discussing with someone over yontiff, the idea of bribing kids to get good grades. At my stepmother's wake (sorry, but, I AM a gyoress)... my aunt said she was going to bribe her niece, my estranged cousin, to get good grades. I mentioned that I had recently read an article in Psychology Today, which happens to be one of my favorite magazines, about how studies show that success in high school doesn't have the impact we think it does. Really success is better predicted by the support systems in place during the young adult years. Well, a screaming match ensued... but it's quite an interesting topic, what do you think?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Busy, busy Michal

I've been insanely busy. I'll try to blog more. Interesting enough, tonight I studied with the girl from this old post.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Co-ed sex ed in Jewish schools

I was Emailed this link by a blogreader and asked what I think of the article.


I'm a generation Xer, even without being religious, I'm from a generation that still has a tiny bit of understanding about men and women and girls and boys remaining seperate. When I was younger, there weren't male and female roommates. Guess what else? In my public school, we didn't really have a sex ed class. We discussed some of it in health and some in gym. Those were co-ed classes but, seriously this seems like it's way out on the left wing, even for Modern Orthodox. Although, Modern Orthodox in Manhattan is a step to the left past MO in Brooklyn and Queens.

I know of a beis din for conversion that told an acquaintance of mine that they wouldn't convert her if that's where she put her kids.

Friday, April 9, 2010

I hate keynesian economics... I really do

I know what you are thinking...... this is another case of a student not liking a class that might be hard... no, it's not that. I assure you. Besides, Corporate Finance is the bane of my existence, not Macro.

Keynsian economics are part of macroeconomics. Based on John Manyard Keynes' theories, this is, put simply, a model of how the government tries to push the masses into to spending themselves into debt so that the United States can boast a higher GDP. Don't worry, the government pitches in themselves and they are the frontrunner in the debt-racking up race.

Personally, I find it to be a childish shirking of responsibilities for some shallow outdoing of one's peers. Is it really going to kill us if we don't have the highest GDP one year? Isn't more important to pay down the debt? In the process, we pay more and more interest in that debt that the government racks up.

 In general, I think the goverment dollars are spents on whims of the politicians. They sign off to give government dollars to this and that special interest group, you know, whatever group belongs to the guy with whom, they play golf and  frequent the titty bars. Maybe, the lobbyist just adds some dead presidents to their pockets, instead. Either way, it's all about the politicians whims churning their way into the aggregate this and the aggregate that. Everyone's corrupt and being in the land of the free only means we're better off than living elsewhere but, there is no country where one can escape the politics.

Finally, if you don't believe me, listen this guy. He points out that no one follows keynsian economics but the government. Well, the government is the most poorly managed entity out there and everyone knows it.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

An Amazing Thing Happened this past yontiff...

Those of you who are regular readers to this blog know that I've had... trouble... with Shabbos hospitality.... well, out of nowhere, I ended up at dinner and lunch at two different families in my own neighborhood for Shabbos chol chamoed. Furthermore, one of them had me back for a meal during the last two days.

Macroeconomics meets

I've been insanely busy this semester and I haven't had a chance to blog about anything I'm learning directly in class or side conversations from class. Now, Passover has passed over (har-har) and I have a minute to breathe (breathe-now back to the grindstone....) Actually, I was commenting on my friend's FB status and I went off on a tangent that crossed over to a side conversation from my Macroeconomics today.

The original status was: Just saw a woman customer use her foodstamp card to purchase an iced coffee at 7/11! That's not ok. 3 hours ago

My response.....
I didn't read all the comments but, how do you know she was paying with FS? You're not allowed to buy prepared foods with it. 7-11 likely has a system that would make that impossible. However, sometimes the clerks work around stuff by punching it up as a grocery item. Usually a guy behind the counter will do stuff like that for a cute girl.

Also, one can use the same card and be spending cash off it. I bet you didnt' know that.

I also want to mention, what if your parents changed the locks on you and you didn't have the Jewish community. What the hell would you do? What if you didn't do anything wrong? Not everyone can live at home after they are 21. The world is a harsh one and the gov't officials each steal more than any one person on benefits gets. They take all kinds of bribes to quietly pass all kinds of legislation that hurt the citizens. Many of these legislations take jobs away from workers with no or little skills. That drives up the competition for the remaining jobs, thereby lowering the wages relatively, as inflation sets in and wages fail to keep up.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Evolution of Some Key Items of Technology

The evolution that one speaks about when they talk about new media and business is all around us. The public actually adapts to new media pretty rapidly. Much of the new media that is associated with business also has a strong existence in personal lives, as well.

One cannot talk about new media and business without talking about computers. In 1936, Alan Turing came out with his “Turing Machine,” which was the beginning of computer science. In the late 1970’s the computer got smaller and began to appear in homes and schools. I remember as a little girl using the Apple II’s in school with the floppy disk that actually flopped. You know, the kind with the hole in the middle. Apple launched the Mac line with a landmark superbowl commercial in 1984. When I was in high school, I took a class where we used the “ET Macs” so nicknamed because they looked like that famous extra-terrestrial from the movie. Then I got my first computer, a “pizza box” Mac. This was the state-of-the-art Mac computer at the time. Back then, a laptop weighed a ton (ok, not a real ton but they were quite heavy) and cost over $2,000.

Back when I got that first computer, I used it to troll on the internet. In 1993, when I started using the internet, few people knew what it was. Most of what you used was part of your providers own offering. The big names in Internet Service Providers (ISP) were: America Online, CompuServe and Prodigy. There were also local bulletin boards that us nerds would dial into with our modems. I don’t know if they even still exist. Connection speeds got faster and soon enough we were connecting through cable and other high speed sources. Now, high speed connection is the standard. Although, I know a couple in their seventies who still use dial up. A quick note about search-engines which are a key element to the internet, when I got started with the internet, I was using Lycos until Yahoo came out in 1994. It’s hard to believe Google only came out in 1998.

Another item that has changed quite a bit over time, is the camera. I’ve been to the Kodak museum in Rochester. They showed the evolution from black and white photos to Polaroid cameras which take a picture that pops out of the front and develops to the “throw away cameras” that were popular before the industry turned digital. After turning digital, much of the evolution involved an increasing clarity (increasing pixel resolution). The traditional camera industry has scrambled to redefine themselves in light of these technological changes. They now offer developing of digital photos, digital frames, photo printers and cameras. A related item of interest is the video camera going from tape to digital.

As a later member of generation X, I also saw the unraveling of cell phone technology. When I was a kid, I saw the “car phone” on television. I now learn that the cell phone really came to the U.S. in 1982. This is when the FCC approved a submission that AT & T had submitted. My distant cousins had a car phone in the 1980’s. It was a big deal. We did not know anyone else with a car phone until my father got a cell phone around 1989 or 1990. It was big and bulky. I think it was bigger than today’s cordless phones. Eventually, though, the cell phone became more and more common. They got smaller and more and more lightweight until recently, that is.

In the last ten years, we have begun to see a convergence of the various technologies. During late summer of 2002, I got my first camera phone. I scrimped and saved and it was a big deal. Of course, now everyone has a camera phone. In fact, the cameras in the phones are often video cameras now. This was also a big deal not so long ago. In October-November of 2006, I very briefly had a phone with a keypad with which I played on the internet. It had been second-hand and it broke. They were still very expensive back then and I didn’t buy my own. However, this past summer, my phone broke and when I went in to buy a new one, I found that the phones with keypads have gotten so cheap that I bought one.

If you look above, I have carefully laid out for you all these various capabilities that have all come together. The most obvious platform for this is the cell phone which now contains a digital camera which takes both pictures and videos. These devices also go on the internet and come with their own little key pad to do so. Furthermore, today’s laptops and netbooks are now coming equipped with cameras that record pictures and videos. I’m typing this paper on a netbook just like this. I bought it less than a month ago. It was not top of the line. It was only about $50 more than the cheapest option.

As someone who grew up during much of this evolution, I still can’t believe how much things have changed. What will be next? Perhaps our phones will plug into our computers USB port to transfer data back and forth. Perhaps, we will be watching TV on our phones. Can we already do that? The technology changes so fast. Yet, we also become spoiled by our adjustments to the new technologies equally fast. I can’t imagine that a year ago, I had to come home to check my Email on the computer. It seems like a world away. It was only August. When the new changes come, how quickly will we adjust and forget?

My rough sources:

Personal memories and knowledge

My marketing book, “Marketing: The Core” by Kerin, Hartley and Rudelis 2nd edition. (p. 29 to 31)

Is There A Monster Lurking Under My Internet?

We have seen many changes in technology in the last three and a half decades that I’ve been alive. However, the introduction of the internet was a technology that has combined human interactions with technology. This was unlike the other technological changes. There are several venues where people meet. There are social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. There are also YahooGroups for discussing topics of mutual interest to each other. Also, people meet through online dating sites. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

When I posed the question to my Facebook friends as to what they think of social networking sites, my friend H, replied that since she has not one but two autistic children, she finds it difficult to socialize. However, online socializing affords her the ability to socialize when she has a few minutes off from the kids. She and I actually originally both commented on the status of Frum Satire. She “friended” me. She was one of the first people I became Facebook friends with that I didn’t know yet in person. We went to see Heshy Fried aka Frum Satire together on Sunday August 16th, 2009. At the show, I met another of my Facebook friends, the commenter with the really long Hebrew name. Unfortunately, there was also a guy there (J) that I hadn’t met in person and didn’t want to meet. I had spoken to him on the phone as he claimed to have a resource for anyone interested. However, he immediately tried to meet for coffee. He tried to talk to me after the show. I grabbed H and we left.

While some have benefitted from social networking, like my friend H. Countless stories abound of problems that resulted from meeting someone online. People have met with someone who stole their money. Women have dated men who were already married. I found an article-1 about several teen girls who were lured into meeting older men off of MySpace and then sexually assaulted. Some of the girls in the article were drugged first, too. A really creepy and disgusting article-2 I ran across told of a father propositioning his own 13-year old daughter over Facebook. I even found a recap-3 of news stories from 2005. The stories of sexual predators online are endless.

On a more personal note, I have been able to find or be found by old friends and keep in touch with them. We comment on each other statuses and occasionally chat. My landlord’s daughter (from growing up) actually managed to find me. I found a picture of my mother’s house on her page back when it was red. It was painted blue when we were all young. She also found a picture of me at one of her birthday parties. I managed to find more friends than found me, mostly because my first name-last name combination is quite common. I found many of my friends from college the first time (ten years ago). I found a friend from the Army. I found my French pen pal that I haven’t talked to since high school.

When I wanted to gather friends to go ice skating over winter break from school, I just put up a status on Facebook asking who wanted to go with me. When I wanted advice on what netbook to buy, I just put up a status asking about it. If I had to call everyone to see who was free to go ice skating or who knew about the netbook, it would have been an exhausting effort. In fact, an online friend from the other side of the world, was one to share advice about the netbook. I sure was not going to be making phone calls to the other side of the world for something like that. Actually, I originally spoke to this girl from a Yahoo group to discuss conversion to Judaism, another medium of socializing online.

While I have not had any horrible experiences like the ones described earlier in this discussion, I have experienced some downfalls. Most notably, the sheer volume that you can lose, “farting around online” as I call it, tends to happen through Facebook or even reading and replying to comments from others' blog posts. Generally, the blog posts themselves do not take up so much time. I, now limit my reading of other blogs and the comments to when I’m waiting for the bus and other down times when I have signal on my cell phone. Rarely, now, do I read blogs from my computer when I am home.

Another time-killer is chatting with friends on Facebook. I discovered during final exam season that it’s best to put myself into offline mode if I have my Facebook open. One girl who is not in college but, a vocational program to teach day care, just couldn’t understand that when I put up a status that I was not available to socialize until December 22, she was included. She called me on the phone, “what’s your status about? What? Like you have school?” I had to tell her, “It’s finals season, do you NEED something or are you trying to chit chat?” It’s unfortunate that I have to take myself offline because there’s a woman I work for who will send me instant messages on Facebook. Although, now she sends them on Yahoo.

Many people hear the stories about the predators online like the ones above and become very afraid of the internet. So, now that we have examined both sides of the issue, I leave you with my conclusion about social networking. Children are sometimes scared that there is a monster under their bed. While it may be more realistic that there is a monster under our internet, one should take precautions that will reduce the risks. Generally, one shouldn’t be running out to meet new people in person that they just met over the internet. In fact, Hannah and I were friends online for at least 6 months before we finally met up. Predators usually get impatient. Also, one should not be sharing personal information to strangers or as part of their online profiles. Many articles online list safety precautions-4 of interest to all, but particularly for teenage girls.