Jim’s WebLetter for 1/3/09

Hi-ya friends and neighbors!

Now that it’s 2009, I seem to hear a lot about forgetting the past and looking forward to the future. I am reminded of a quote from George Santayana who once said, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. In the next 10 years, after the economy has right-sided itself, we need to remember how it got this way. It wasn’t the actions of any one person. It was a collective effort of greed, pure and simple.

The quote given by Michael Douglas’ character Gordon Gecko in the 1987 Oliver Stone movie “Wall Street” is wrong when he said, “greed, for lack of a better word, is good”. Medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas said of greed: “it is a sin directly against one’s neighbor, since one man cannot over-abound in external riches, without another man lacking them … it is a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, inasmuch as man contemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things.”

In short, it is important to look to the future, but never forget the past. After all, who would want to live through this again? (Sounds like an episode of “The Twilight Zone”).

OK, I’m stepping down off my soapbox. This week, I had some time to find some pretty interesting places to visit on the Web, coupled with links a few JWL readers sent along. Take a look and enjoy the best of the Web with Jim’s WebLetter.

Earth Album fills your browser with a full map of the world, courtesy of Google. Click on any location, and geotagged photos appear in a strip on the top of the interface. Click one to see it larger and get a description from the photographer. Naturally, you can zoom in on the map to get more specific choices. Big cities and tourist destinations have the most photos associated with them, but click around to get a variety. You can even search for photos at specific addresses. http://www.earthalbum.com/

And speaking of pictures, PicApp is a free stock-photo service that lets you quickly and easily grab photos of whatever subject you need for use on your blog or presentation. PicApp has quite a large image catalog, and photos range from run-of-the-mill stock photos to celebrity pics. http://www.picapp.com/

Long-time friend, Ray Mack, sent an email with a link to what may be the funniest YouTube video I have seen in a long time. Uncle Jay Explains the News, is one man’s take on the events making the headlines. Now if the TV anchors could do the nightly news in this format, their ratings would surely be better. Uncle Jay, who actually began on a TV station in the mid 90’s, does a weekly wrapup of the news told in simplified form so everyone can understand. While he rarely sings the news, this episode includes songs that seem to fit the news story to a tee. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWiXy55OHyY

Another video from YouTube, which is featured on the site College Humor, is a video that was made in 1969 about the future of the internet. Whoever envisioned the World Wide Web to become the model for this video seemed to know the importance of online purchasing and bill paying. I have watched this video a number of times now, and I must confess, while things aren’t quite like this, the concept is right on spot. See for yourself … http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1774793

With all the hype YouTube has received, it’s not exactly guaranteed to be kid-friendly. But Totlol takes care of that with actual human beings rate videos from all over the Web as suitable for kids age 6 months to 6 years and embed them. You can find classics like Kermit singing “It’s Not Easy Being Green” on Sesame Street to modern VeggieTales and Wiggles and lots of fun videos in between. All are kid safe, all in bite-size chunks great for those kid-size attention spans. http://www.totlol.com/

Two church members were going door-to-door and knocked on Vickie’s door. She was not happy to see them and told them in no uncertain terms that she did not want to hear their message and slammed the door in their faces.
To Vickie’s surprise, however, the door did not close and in fact, bounced back open.
She tried again and really put her back into it, and slammed the door again with all her might, but got the same result. The door bounced back open.
Convinced these rude young people were sticking their foot in the door, she reared back to give it a slam that would teach them a lesson, when one of them said, “Ma’am, before you do that again, you need to move your cat.”
(thanks, Tony)
A distraught man was in quite a hurry to see his Dr. He ran into his Dr.’s office in a frantic rush exclaiming, “Dr., I’m shrinking!” The Dr. replied, “It’s okay, you’ll have to be a little patient.”
(thanks, Rich)
Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?
SARAH PALIN: Before it got to the other side, I shot the chicken, cleaned and dressed it, and had chicken burgers for lunch.
BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a change! The chicken wanted change!
JOHN MC CAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.
HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure right from Day One that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn’t about me.
GEORGE W. BUSH: We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road or not. The chicken is either against us or for us. There is no middle ground here.
DICK CHENEY: Where’s my gun?
BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is your definition of chicken?
AL GORE: I invented the chicken.
OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I’m going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.
MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer’s Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.
DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I’ve not been told.
BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken 2008, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken 2008. This new platform is much more stable and will never crash or need to be rebooted.
(thanks, Frank … and I always thought it was ‘to get to the other side’)
And that’s this week’s look into the computer screen, WebLetter friends. Thank you for looking with me. Have a great weekend and until the next one, may God continue to bless you and keep you safe.

Jim’s WebLetter
Discover the best of the Web
C-my-site at http://www.jimonline.com


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