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Future Stuff

Dan learns something from a rabbi

I’ve been writing “Off the Beaten Path” for about a year and a half. They come out about once a week and include web paths I’ve found that have taken me to places I hadn’t expected, given me information I’ve found interesting, or even taught me something. The “path” of this blog can honestly go about any direction. I try to lump similar ideas together when possible, or sometimes it’s just “writing succotash” (throw in whatever you find and call it a meal). I appreciate any ideas or any links you might have and am glad to give you credit for the cool find (if you want), so thanks in advance for any links or info you care to share (my email address is below).

This week’s OTBP is future technology-driven. I hope when you see the reference to Grit, you might say, “Man, I haven’t heard that name in years,” (it’s a newspaper that kids would sell years ago). The end of this post always includes my “and finally.” I try to end with something you can walk away with and maybe make a difference.

It’s something I learned when I worked for Armed Forces Radio & TV in Madrid, Spain. It was during Rosh Hashanah that I was told I’d have a rabbi on as a guest on my morning show (the year was about 1987). I grew up in a Protestant/Catholic house, so I was very curious what the rabbi would say. I knew nothing about Judaism so it was all going to be a learning experience. Prior to going on the air, I wanted to ask a few question for my own knowledge since Judaism to most of us is a mystery. Here are my questions and the rabbi’s answers (I loved every one of them and remember them to this day!).

Dan: Who was Jesus?
Rabbi Schwartzman: He was a very good man who led many people.

I remember thinking how diplomatic and kind he phrased this. I know religions differ on many this … and this would be one of them.

Dan: How do you get to heaven?
Rabbi Schwartzman: Live each day as if it’s your last, and do as much good as you can for others.

This is something that has always stuck with me. Always thought it was a great way to live and think … and so this is why Off the Beaten Path often ends with something (hopefully) uplifting or memorable.

Facebook Live
If you aren’t into social media, you’ve been missing out on something. Facebook recently released their “go live” app where your smartphone, computer, etc. can begin “broadcasting live” to your Facebook friends (or those you permit to see your feed). It’s oddly enticing and interesting. I was ice skating with my 12-year-old and was streaming her via my Samsung phone (fortunately an older one so no “self-heat generating system” was included). I was able to get immediate feedback and responses to include who was watching and how long. This sort of “instant feedback” even surpasses the best overnight ratings info that Nielsen can provide!

It has to make you wonder if TV of the future will be so completely interactive. I’d venture to say we’re not far from the reality true interactive television through full transceiver communication (not transit/receive but continuously bidirectional communication between the “broadcast source” and the public … or, in today’s world, internet streaming. We see people respond via Skype and other ways to broadcasters, but this is just the tip of where it will go.

Speaking of the Future
Here’s a website that’s worth checking out. Since January is CES time (Consumer Electronics Show), it’s a time to start thinking about all the cool new stuff just around the bend. Extreme Tech posts some good stories related to upcoming technology. Here’s one about some new or refined innovations for cars. The technology comes from Bosch.

Old Faithful
As a kid, I was more into short stories and magazines. From Boys Life to Grit (some of us sold this “family newspaper) to Popular Mechanics and Popular Science, you could always find me reading something. It’s good to see some of these still around. If you haven’t seen Popular Science’s online presence, they still present some interesting stories and information.

Cool Tech
The website called often has some great technology stories … plus some excellent “hidden” info about artists. Being a former rock jock at 106.7 KAZY in Denver, WLVQ/QFM 96 in Columbus, Ohio, 97.5 WONE Akron/Cleveland, and others, I still love my rock n’ roll. I found this story about Pink Floyd related to the release of their catalog, streaming, and even high-res audio (24-bit/96 kHz audio).

And finally …
The story of a janitor at the Air Force Academy who was a WWII hero. This should remind us that there are heroes all around us, and the color of their skin, their religion, nor their profession dictate whether they’re a hero or not. Sometimes you just need to learn about them to realize this.

If you stumble across a good or unusual web site that might be of interest, please don’t hesitate to send me the link and any info you might have about it. My email address is [email protected].