Friday, July 30, 2010

About Freebies

I just received an email from Major League Baseball telling me I've been chosen to receive a free (30 day) subscription to the Insiders Club magazine, a free stadium blanket with my teams' logo and an Official 2010 All-Star Game Program. Truly not interested, thank you, but upon reading further before deleting I discover in fine print the words with paid subscription. Now, with that obligatory financial hook, is this still a free offer?

And you thought I was born yesterday.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Old Dinosaur Speaks about Local TV News

I heard a couple interesting news items this week on the local TV channel. You know, the one with a hamster powered transmitter trying ever so hard to build market share so they cover stuff happening elsewhere in the region to make their "numbers" more attractive to prospective advertisers. Well, one of the stories that caught my ear was about a fire that was blamed on an electrical shortage. That's right, shortage.

Now I don't expect TV news readers to have a knowledge of all the Sciences and technologies but I'd have thought that somewhere along the path of growing up, graduating from high school, going to college and studying Journalism that a reporter would have heard the term "short circuit" casually shortened to "short." But shortage? You have an electrical shortage when you need 3 batteries but only have two. Or if the power demand is so great the power company reduces output so you have a brown out that could be considered a shortage.

Why make a big deal about it? Because the media, electronic and print, are a major force in the field of education. If the news readers themselves need education, how can they benefit those in their audience who can't discern between fact and fiction; or half truth; or non-truth.

The media have a responsibility to be correct AND accurate. They should be setting a shining example. Sad to say, the local news readers on TV may be the most educated persons some people have any regular contact with. Even if the reporters don't question some items in their script, their editors should!

The Old Dinosaur Introduces Himself

I consider myself "old" because I have passed the milestone most people have set in their minds as being "that point" in one's life. To the teenager, old is probably over thirty. To the nonagenarian, old is probably something more than 100. Regardless, I am definitely in the Autumn of my years. As far as being a dinosaur, my line becomes extinct the day I die (50 or a hundred years from now). My half-sister from my mother's second marriage died in 1972 at the age of 20. She was unmarried and childless. My half-sister from my father's second marriage is alive and well, happily married and also childless. She's a lady so I won't mention her age but she is close enough to my age that were she to have a child, it would be a miracle and in every medical journal known to man and on The Today Show.

On the threshold of my extinction I feel compelled to speak about some things which have been bothering me over the years. Why am I bothered? Because, it seems, the world and intelligent behavior and common sense have not taken the track my teachers and professors led me to believe they would with applied education. Based on the philosophies of the educators who taught me my ABC's and 3 R's and beyond,"things" in the real world should have improved. Incrementally perhaps but still in a positive direction. I think it's gone the other way.

It's a rare day that I don't see or hear something that gets my attention and makes me say, "You can't be serious!" Here, now, I'll be able to think out loud. Maybe I'm right on and maybe I'm dead wrong but at least I won't be silent.

Here comes the Dinosaur!