Total Pageviews

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Thoughts on HitchBOT

In the past few weeks in the news there has been the saga of HitchBOT. It started as a social experiment to see how many people would pick up the hitchhiking portable robot and take it across the country. HitchBOT was a passenger all across Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands.
The two professors and creators of HitchBOT decided to drop it off in Boston, MA and see how far it could go, its destination communicated through its screen was San Francisco, CA.
Unfortunately, HitchBOT was not allowed to record the image of the Golden Gate Bridge. After two weeks, it made it to Philadelphia PA where it was torn apart and left in pieces on the street.  
However, the story does not end there. A group of inventors named The Hacktory from Philadelphia saw this news story and did not want the conclusion to be that people only want to destroy things. They reached out to the Canadian inventors and offered to help repair HitchBOT. 
 Another item that has come about is PopeBot, built by a Philadelphia local station 93.3 WWMR. This robot is also dependent on people to take it on a journey and these images are posted to social media

This turn of events is a good lesson for your family. Though the negative events such as the demolition of HitchBOT is disheartening, sometimes taking positive action can help out change the course. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Hearing the here and now

Months ago, as I was driving, I happened to noticed that Canyon Hearing Aid Center was torn down to make way for more parking for the next door convenience store. For some reason, I felt sad about this new turn of events.
I should have been accustomed to this type of change of landscape.  Being from Las Vegas NV, I had seen many hotel and casino buildings disappearing off the face of the earth. For instance, I remember watching on television the implosions of the Landmark and the Sands Hotels. Years ago, I had been a guest at the Landmark , which was a fanciful building, true to its name. I also visited the Sands’ kitchen facilities  when I was attending UNLV.  It was somber to see history be turned into dust.  At least these implosions made way for construction of larger hotels, supplying jobs and eventually more tourists.  
Maybe the reason I was saddened by this destruction of Canyon Hearing Aid Center was that someone lost his livelihood. This land was just being used as a parking lot.  
I had visited this establishment a couple of years back.  My husband had noticed that when he spoke to me I responded by asking him what did he say.  I argued that sometimes he spoke in low tones. However, I did notice at times I was asking other people to repeat themselves. He became concerned and insisted I have my hearing checked. We had seen Canyon Hearing Aid Center many times in our travels and one day we drove to this facility. I wasn’t looking forward to the hearing test at all—it was a reminder to me that I was growing old and one of my senses might be betraying me.  
When we stepped into the building, it appeared that time had stood still in these rooms.  The man who did my hearing test was none other than Dan McCuskey. He looked exactly like he did on the local commercials. I mentioned to him he was much taller than he was on television. With a deadpan demeanor, he stated that he was sitting down for the commercial, so of course no one could tell his real height.
I explained the reason behind my appointment and he administered a battery of hearing tests. The results were my hearing was perfect. Though I was thrilled I wasn’t in need of a hearing aid, I was curious why sometimes I had to ask someone to repeat what he/she just said? He explained as we age, we sometimes cannot process words as quickly as we used to when we were younger. He suggested instead of asking the person to repeat him/herself, just state “I cannot listen as fast as you’re talking!” I found him to be very knowledgeable and had a good dose of common sense.
I wasn’t quite joyous about the news that I wouldn’t be receiving a hearing aid today. It didn’t change the fact that I was growing older and this realization was disheartening.  As I left the examining room, I saw that Mr. McCuskey was speaking with a delivery driver in his office.  The subject they were speaking about was of motorcycles. From what I overheard, the delivery driver was asking Mr. McCuskey did he enjoy going on his latest bike ride.
I couldn’t believe my ears (I knew I heard right, I had a print out to prove that!)—here was this gentleman older than I was and he was riding motorcycles?! I was inspired by this and decided that though I may be growing older, that didn’t mean I would stop being vital.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any mention of the closing of Canyon Hearing Aid Center.  I hope that Mr. McCuskey is enjoying himself, riding his motorcycle into the sunset.