What’s your slant?

Monthly archive

May 2018

Audi A8 – Valiant in Valencia

in Auto/The Tech Slant by
Audi A8

Taking the Audi A8 out for a prance in Spain

*When the Audi A8 last rebooted, people were hardly in an uproar over the changes. No, Audi plays it safe with their big limo, a flagship that necessarily must embody all the aspirations implicit in the marque’s “russian dolls” approach to carmaking.

The car is especially handsome under Valencia’s ochre, wintertime sun— even the tourists are straining for a look at the handsome car as it cruise the wide boulevard near L’Oceanogràfic, a stunning oceanarium situated in the east of the city of Valencia, Spain, where different marine habitats are represented. Designed by the architect Félix Candela and the structural engineers Alberto Domingo and Carlos Lázaro, the structure echoes the curving grace of the A8, casting an impressionistic reflection on my press car’s highly reflective hood in the afternoon light.

AUdi A8 in Valencia
PHOTO CREDIT: SHARPMAGAZINEME.COM

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Just Login to our System

in The Life Slant/The Tech Slant by
Login to our system

*“Just login to our system.”  A very common demand these days.  You can’t get a mortgage or buy a toy or receive medical care without creating an account and logging in.  It sounds reasonable, but is it?

Entering your life’s data into any system is risky, as we are repeatedly reminded by the steady stream of news reports about hackings that assurances about the safety and security of your data are mere rhetoric, no matter the company or organization.  Demanding that you to login to a system assumes that you are willing to take a huge leap of faith, and trust that:

  • the system is well-built and supported,
  • the people administering the system are highly skilled, and that
  • state-of-the-art security measures (ineffective as they may be) are in place and the people administering them are highly skilled.

This is like asking you to jump off a cliff based on a stranger’s assurances that “it’ll be OK”.
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Bees – Nature’s Smart Superheroes

in The Life Slant by

*Bees are admirable little creatures, but they’re in terrible trouble.  Nearly 7.6 billion procreating humans need them in order to survive. That means you.

Twenty thousand species of bees pollinate about 85 percent of flowering plants, or 336,000 species, including most of the 80,000 kinds of trees on Earth. In fact, bees help us breathe because without plants, we couldn’t exist!

Bees: Forager Honeybee Nappnig
A forager honeybee napping on a lemon blossom petal in Hollywood, California.
Photo Credit: Dr. Reese Halter

Bees pollinate 75 percent of the world’s food crops and 100 percent of cotton, which clothes us. Bees account for as much as $577 billion in commerce per annum.
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Software’s Sorry Sycophants

in The Tech Slant by
Software Sycophants Header

*I’m so fascinated by all of the new colloquialisms, and l especially the “early adopter.”  As far as new, at least in America, we love new stuff, and old stuff is left to collectors. By the way, the prices of antiques are going down sharply. It seems the new young people have little interest in old stuff, the prized antiques of yesteryear. That antique table and chair might be better on the auction block real soon, as I do not see young people praising old stuff.

You might be able to get money from things like old baseball cards and comic books, but as America’s national pastime loses followers, (baseball is losing audience and the major league is deliberating how to change the game to attract more followers)  and fewer and fewer young people read printed material of any kind, I would bet that even your prized baseball cards and comic books are going to lose value soon. Keep Reading

A Father’s Journey – Part 4. Open Hearts

in The Life Slant by
A Father's Journey

* Friends and strangers, far and wide have opened their hearts beyond my wildest imagination.


*Stephen Pecevich, a single dad of three in the Boston area, had his life take a complete detour when his youngest child was diagnosed with cancer before she she was even 60 days old.  Follow the story of how this devoted father found faith and strength on what Stephen calls “a life detour”, as we publish regular excerpts from Stephen’s own memoir, which will be available in its entirety in the near future.

January 25th

Dear Sydni,

*I awoke in such an upbeat mood this morning. You smiled upon me in my dreams last night. Your beam assured so that it strengthened my resolve as I greeted the present day.
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Fossil Fuel Are Roasting Earth

in The Life Slant by
Fossil Fuels and Pollution

*April 2018 marked the 400th consecutive month of global temperatures above the 20th century average. That heat is coming from burning fossil fuels, which are subsidized $5.3 trillion per annum.

Humans are knowingly pumping climate-damaging carbon dioxide into the atmosphere 10 times faster than the previous 66 million years.

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Hard of Listening

in The Life Slant by
Active Listening

*People pay thousands of dollars for education, yet listening is free. Nobody likes to be criticized. And to some extent, everyone displays some measure of defensiveness – the impulse to reject all criticisms by denying their validity and undermining the messenger.

Unfortunately, defensiveness does not serve us. It encourages us to ignore potentially useful feedback, which inhibits our ability to improve. It behooves us to rely on those with relevant qualification and expertise. We cannot learn that which we think we already know.

Listening isn’t something we’re all innately born with, and we’re all guilty of not listening at times.  Listening is a skill just like reading, writing, and talking.  That’s good news because it means we can all learn to listen and connect with the speaker. Like any skill, the more we practice it, the better we become. We have had practice reading, writing, and talking, but how much actual practice have we had learning how to become better listeners?

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Seven Words to Approach With Caution in 2018

in The Life Slant by
Seven Words - Offensive Language

*“Don’t use that word!” This new, weird battle cry being barked by presidents, governors and protective moms somehow persists in the Land of the Free. Even casual conversation can be a tricky affair these days, with unlikely words laying in wait like landmines set to explode by the slightest touch, often causing unwanted clarification, heated debate or scolding.
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Conflicting Cultures – Righteous Capitalism

in The Political Slant by

*Recently, someone in academia (no point in revealing the exact location) was criticizing the West for destroying Middle Eastern and other cultures. Academically, this instructor was teaching of the “evils” of the West, and how Middle Eastern cultures were suffering and being erased. The instructor used imperialism as the model.

The imperialists overtook the foreign lands and exploited their resources and their citizens, making the lands colonies. The colonies surrendered their wealth to the imperialists who got fat and enjoyed the bounty of the land. The indigenous people of the colonies worked hard to make the lives of the imperialists easy and prosperous. The great thing about academics is that if one theory works, it can probably explain other events, and if that theory fits your personal ideology and position, all the better.

Imperialists considered themselves monarchs who achieved their positions via merit, when in fact their rewards were simply fate, being born to certain people in certain places.
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While the North Pole Cooks, Trump Tweets

in The Life Slant/The Political Slant by
Trump Tweets ignoring Climate

*There is a giant gulf today between those who promote and profit from fossil fuels, including Presidents Trump and Putin, and our life support systems – Nature. In my latest book, Save Nature Now, I’ve dubbed it “Black Gold Fever,” a contagious excitement over the riches of fossil fuels.

Consider this, there has never been such an accumulation of money on our planet controlled by a handful of people. The bulk of that wealth was derived from killing Nature at the expense of the health of our biosphere, the livable space occupied by all living organisms.

Instead of prudently protecting our home, since 1997 earthlings have burned as much fossil fuel as the previous 250 years. Keep Reading

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