I wish I had seen this earlier when I posted about the Cigar Box Guitars. This blog is dedicated to them and their history. I really like this blog a lot and thought it was real neat.
Blog - Cigar Box Guitar History Museum
September 26, 2009
We are about to exit the 21st first decade! I wonder how the people from the 20th century felt when the second decade was about to start. They probably felt different considering the technology was still very much in infancy. They were always in awe about new inventions that were about to come, that we take for grant today. For instance, we have came a long way since the first "talkies". Now it's the 3-D movies that got us excited the end of the last century. Remember "Toy Story"? I recently read that there is a new technology at work for virtual 3-D movies. It already exists, but it's not perfect. I don't think I'd want to watch a horror movie in a virtual reality mode. How far we have come since the talkies!
Now, Rottentomatoes.com has recently just published a list of the worst 100 movies of the decade. I'd like to see a list of the best 100 movies of the first decade (2000-2009).
Counting down the worst reviewed movies of the last ten years
September 25, 2009
I have never heard of the National Cigar Box Guitar Museum before, nor have I heard of these guitars either. But, I find this set rather intriguing. It would be nice to see them in person. Ted Crocker has a great set of the Cigar Box Guitars gallery. There are quite some interesting ones.
Flickr Tom Crocker Cigar Box Guitar Museum set
September 24, 2009
The birth of the driver license is interesting. The first driver license ever was issued to Karl Benz from Germany in 1888. It was him who requested a written permission by the Grand Ducal to operate his car in public roads, due to the complaints of the Mannheim citizens about the smell and the noise of his car. Personally, I was somewhat shocked when I saw the picture of the first driver license. This is not what I had in mind all. I pictured it as a fading yellow paper with a black and white picture of the driver and some kind of stamped symbol on it.
First Driver's License From Wikipedia
September 22, 2009
September 21, 2009
There are really good stuff at ASL Pro if you want to learn some basic sign language. ASL that stands for American Sign Language. This language is not English. It's an independent language with its own grammar rules. It's not a universal sign language. It is however, not the only sign language that exist in the US. If you want to learn English word by word in sign language, you need to use SEE. It stands for Signing Exact English. I have seen many people using it though.
I've heard people assuming that sign language is universal, but it is not. Each country has its own sign language, just as each spoken language around the world has its own rules. Even the sign language in Britain is not the same as in the US. Their finger spelling is different as well. I actually was told that there are other sign languages in the US besides ASL and SEE. But I am not an expert on that. I am not familiar with them and never saw them in action. The only one that I actually did see in action is the "cued speech". You can see it in action down below.
Interesting though, just as the spoken English has different dialects around the US, so does ASL. Some signs vary from each state to another. Even between upstate New York and NYC which I witnessed long time ago. For example, the sign for "hospital" is different but still similar though. Also, I've seen the sign for "computer" in NY and CA signed differently. They don't look the same at all.
If you want to learn some basic sign and finger spelling or just to impress your friend, check out this site. It has video clips with live people, so you can see the sign in action. This is one of my favorite sign language site out of. There are other good ones of course, but I like their video clips with live people. For me, it is also easy to navigate which is always my top priority when I browse around.
What Is A Cued Speech?
I don't normally post these sort of things, so I hope this won't come across as a solicitation. This is close to my heart and I personally have connection to the Hearing Dog Program and I try to let people know about it. I tell them they mean a great deal for the deaf because they provide them dogs that will help make their lives easier, and even save them from danger like fire. I am always happy to do what I can to help them.
As some of you know, Shelby, my Black Lab is a service dog. She is a Hearing Dog from the new non-profit Hearing Dog Program (HDP) in SF (The San Francisco SPCA terminated their original services program out of the blue. Now the program has their own place not affiliated with the SPCA). As a hearing dog, Shelby's chores include letting me know when someone rings or knocks at the door, alert me to a fire and clock alarm, as well to the phone. These are the basics that every hearing dog learns. Some people teach their dog further more, like to alert to the kitchen's timer, or when someone calls the owner's name which is actually easy to teach. So bottom line the hearing dogs purpose is to alert their deaf owners to the certain sounds. Eventually, I want to teach her some tricks. Grin.
Anyhow, I've received an email from the hearing dog trainer at the HDP (she helps me training Shelby) telling me that they need more funds for the next few weeks. They are having a graduation ceremony in Fremont, CA next month for the hearing dogs to officially become hearing dogs (right now they are called dogs in training). They get the orange vests (same vests as the guide dogs for the blind, except that theirs are blue). I'd like to post a plea on their behalf, to help them with the donations and the fundraisers for the next few weeks. I owe them that. After my previous hearing dog, Bodie, was killed last year in October, I was left with out a hearing dog for several months. Then a few months later, the HDP brought me Shelby. My new Hearing dog. If not for them, I'd be without a new service dog. So they have been a true blessing for me. I've known for years since my volunteer days back during the late 90's. I can guarantee you that they truly invest their time in the dogs and the program. It's not easy when your organization is a struggling small non-profit. They do the best they can for providing services for those who need them. Their determination to re-establish the program independently after it was shut down by the SPCA took much of their time and efforts. Also, one of the trainers is even hard of hearing herself and a pioneer.
If you are interested, you can contact them via their website even if you don't want to donate. You can ask them questions if you know someone who needs a Hearing Dog. Hearing Dog Programs are not common in the US
The HDP official site:
Hearing Dog Program - Donations
Hearing Dog Program Main Page
BTW, the dog in the picture at the HDP looks a lot like Shelby, but I don't believe it's her. Shelby was much bigger when I got her. She was raised by foster parents when she was little.
September 20, 2009
From the Historical Society of Princeton, vintage photographs of Princeton. I noticed that every time I refresh the link below, a different image appears above the thumbnails (the little photographs). The images above starting from bottom are called "Baker Street", "Dumthwacket", "3 Delivery Wagons" and "University Laundry". As I am typing this the site just went down. Ugh
Historical Society of Princeton