Rip Current

I got caught in a “rip” the other day, and despite the fact that I knew what to do, it was scary. So scary that a lifeguard had to help me out.

I was playing in some waves when I noticed that I was further out than other people. At first I tried swimming back in to shore, but soon realized I wasn’t going anywhere. Figuring I must be in a rip current, I started swimming parallel to the shore… again, I wasn’t going anywhere. Fighting down panic, and trying to avoid tiredness, I floated on my back and used my legs to kick. Seemed I was still going nowhere. It was at this time that a lifeguard showed up. At the time he showed, I was only a few feet from being able to get my feet on the ground.

“I couldn’t get in,” I gasped.

“You were in a rip current,” he said calmly. Then he told me what I should do if I should find myself in one again. Here’s the scary part… I did all that he told me except… signal for help. :/

Now, here’s the deal. At no time did I feel the rip current except when I was standing inshore and noticed the strong pull around my legs. Once I was swimming, however, I was totally unaware of any pull.

NOAA graphic on rip currents
NOAA graphic on rip currents

Follow the link of the graphic, and get some very interesting information. I think what I took away from the experience, is to not wait to ask for help.

when stars die

I don’t mean the celestial kind.

I mean the human kind.

I’ mean stars… not celebrities.

For many reasons we find the death of a star extremely fascinating.¬† We become totally obsessed with what their lives were like.¬† As if we some how could identify with them.¬† In reality, we may share certain facts like a birthday, or a strict parent, or some other superficiality, but we don’t have any idea what their lives are/were like. ¬† We can imagine what their lives were like, and I think that’s where the fascination begins.

Just as we can imagine what it would be like to win the lottery.¬† Just as we can imagine what heaven or hell is like.¬† We can’t really know what their lives are like, but we do know how their talents have influenced us.¬† And because we feel personally affected we care when they die, even more than when a war is started.

We still have Iran, Medical coverage, Global warning, Iraq and numerous other things to deal with, but talents have been lost.

eBook Software

I got an email form Amazon recently (as is usual) touting the latest iPhone application by Amazon, called Kindle for iPhone. This was intriguing because, it meant I could try out something like the Kindle for free on my iPhone instead of sinking over $350 into it.

So, I go to the app store and start reading the reviews.¬† Lot’s of people love it.¬† Some don’t.¬† The ones who aren’t all goo-goo

The new Kindle
The new Kindle

over it seem to consistently mention two other programs, Stanza, and eReader both of which are also free.¬† I don’t particularly like the idea of reading on a screen rather than paper, but I figured I’d give it a try just to see what it’s like.

I was not prepared for how easy these products make it to read.¬† Don’t want to flip pages, then put it on auto-scroll (at what ever speed is comfortable).¬† Don’t understand the¬† meaning of a word, then on eReader you can tap the word and look it up immediately in a dictionary.¬† Don’t like black ink on white paper (virtually speaking), then change it (perhaps to parchment).¬† Want the margins justified or ragged… change it.¬† The only thing I could determine that Kindle could do and the software couldn’t, was that it could read to you.

After much experimenting, it became clear that the software that was easiest to use, and thereby facillitate reading (and even encourage reading), was eReader.¬† Not only was it easy to buy books, but find free ones as well.¬† Even stuff available on the NY Times bestseller list.¬† And though eReader doesn’t have every book priced at $9.99 (like the Kindle), there are plenty of books below that price… especially given the numerous discounts.

Murdoch Apologizes

Rupert Murdoch, who not only owns The New York Post, but Fox News as well, had an apology printed in his racist newspaper:

Murdoch apology
Murdoch apology

I wonder how long before the next racist outrage show up in his paper or tv station. He still claims that the whole uproar came as a surprise to him. And he still places the onus on those who felt offended.¬† He does not accept responsibility for publishing a racist cartoon.¬† He is stating that some readers thought it was racist!¬† This is no apology,… it’s a continuation of the denial.

… waiting for the sun.