Apr 14, 2017

Good Neighbors

The Canada–United States border officially known as the International Boundary, is the longest international border in the world between two countries. Eight Canadian provinces and territories and thirteen US states are located along the border.

At one point the border between Canada on the north and the US runs through the villages of Derby Line, Vermont, and Stanstead, Quebec - and though the middle of the town library.

It physically snakes through side streets, in and out of houses, through the public library, and straight down the middle of a main road that residents affectionately call “Canusa Avenue." An apartment building in town has two addresses, one for each country.

Incidentally, Canada borders are east, west, north, and south of the US. In Alaska, Canada is directly East. In many northern US continental states, Canada is directly North. In Maine, it is directly West and North. In Detroit, Michigan, Canada is directly South. Part of Washington State is both North and South of Canada. See my blog 

Apr 8, 2017

Happy Friday

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I always try to be kind, especially on a Happy Friday!

Video Watching

It is estimated that around ten billion videos are watched online annually.  Of those ten billion videos, user created videos are most viewed, followed by news and movie trailers.

Wyatt Earp and John Wayne

Wyatt Earp was not satisfied sticking to one job for too long. During his life he was a lawman, buffalo hunter, brothel keeper, miner and boxing referee, among others. But he was best known for being an infinitely tough cowboy.
Earp took part in the most famous shootout in the history of the American Wild West, the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, a 30-second gun battle that has inspired dozens of feature-length films. What you might not realize is that, unlike most people involved in that event, Earp lived long enough to see the earliest movies inspired by his exploits.

Toward the end of his life, Earp settled in California and tried to break into Hollywood. Perhaps noticing an alarming lack of westerns where his character was always surrounded by naked ladies, Earp decided he wanted to tell his story from his own perspective. Unfortunately, the closest he got was reportedly a background part in a single scene of an obscure 1915 film. However, Earp did get to befriend some Hollywood actors, including a 17-year-old nobody called Marion Morrison, whose stage name is John Wayne.

While hanging out on movie sets, casually choreographing historical gunfights for directors like John Ford, Earp would share stories from the Wild West with the actors. The future Wayne, then an extra and prop man, soaked them up. He also paid close attention to the way Earp talked and carried himself.

Six Interesting April Facts

1. The Romans called this month Aprilis which may derive from the verb aperire meaning “to open”, referring to flowers and fruits opening.
2. April was the 216th most popular name given to a baby girl in England and Wales in 2015 and the 191st most popular in Scotland.

3. Of the eight US presidents who died in office, three died in April.
4. April is the first month of the year with exactly 30 days and the only month with an “i” in its name.

5. In the UK, April is national awareness month for pets, mathematics, stress, irritable bowel syndrome, bowel cancer and jazz.

6. The Anglo-Saxons called April Eostre-Monadh, possibly named after a pagan goddess.

Windows no Longer King

The technology world passed a potentially huge marker during March 2017 as Google developed Android, with 37.93% overtook Microsoft's Windows at 37.91% software in terms of worldwide users. Apple IOS is at 13%

Google's mobile software tops Windows after almost 30 years as number one. The news comes from online research company StatCounter, which continually monitors the number of users worldwide.

Windows still dominates the worldwide desktop market, at 84%. Android had just 2.4% of all internet usage five years ago.

Hacking Browsers

Google Chrome is the least hackable web browser, the results of the 10th annual Pwn2Own event shows. The computer hacking contest is held each year at the Vancouver, Canada CanSecWest security conference and sees contestants desperately try to exploit popular software and hardware with previously unknown vulnerabilities.

Those who manage to successfully find an exploit win a cash prize, a jacket emblazoned with the year of their win, and, the device they broke into. During the three days of Pwn2Own, Microsoft Edge was successfully attacked five times – racking up $300,000 in bounties. Safari was exploited three times, Firefox was attacked twice, but only once successfully. Google Chrome had no attacks completed in time.

Library Tidbit

There are more libraries in Britain’s prisons than there are in its schools.

Movie Trailer Facts

The color of the background for movie rating cards is important. The rating for the film itself shows up in text, but is also indicated by the background color of the rating card splash screen.
There are three colors used - red, yellow, and green. The specific regulations surrounding what can be shown in the preview for each of these rating cards are set by the MPAA.
The most commonly seen one is the green rating card. Before April of 2009, a green background meant that the preview was approved for all audiences. Since April of 2009, the MPAA now states that the green card is for “appropriate audiences”. This basically means it is appropriate for audiences in theaters, taking into account what movie the audience is about to watch.
A yellow rating card indicates the preview is for age-appropriate Internet viewers and is used on internet trailers only. The red rating card indicates that content in the preview is only appropriate for mature audiences. These previews can only be shown in theaters where the movie about to be watched is R-rated, NC-17-rated, or unrated.

Theatrical trailers must be less than two minutes and 30 seconds, as mandated by the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America). The MPAA gives each movie studio one exception to this a year where they are allowed to show a trailer that is longer than 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Trailers shown online can be any length. The rating system itself is entirely voluntary on the part of studios. However, having a film rated tends to boost revenues significantly, so nearly all major studios submit all their films for rating.