The World of Lu

Creating a digital heritage while engaging in some quality musings!

Archive for the month “June, 2012”

Facebook, Be Patient With Me!

Welcome the new FaceBucket!

“I am sorry FaceBucket (I mean Facebook) I have no pictures to upload today… please be patient with me.”

In this present age of Tweet where economy of words is paramount (at least per each Twitter offering) a new phenomenon has dawned on the digital horizon.  I call it Uploadmania!

Recording artist and Classic Rock fave, Rod Stewart once sang, “Every picture tells a story, don’t it!?!”  And there’s a saying we all have heard, “A picture is worth a thousand words!” Today many Facebook Friends, Family, Acquaintances and Friends of Friends are taking those sayings to heart and have been uploading hundreds of stories and millions of words each hour… all via photo uploads!

You may say… “Chris, you must be arriving late to the revolution! Folks have been uploading digi-pics to the web liberally and in quantity like forever.”  Well, OK… I can’t argue that but that upload revolution started with Snapfish, Shutterfly and Photobucket and the like.  The digital camera revolutionized how we processed photos.  Most if not all Kodak processing plants are now out of business as a result.   Online storage of digital images with the ability to edit and organize and then advertize to friends and family transformed how we ordinary humans did photography and photo-sharing. And who even needs online storage… I get emails with ten to twenty pics from people I know from around the world!

To my way of thinking the digital world changed significantly with the proliferation of the Smart Phone.  But not just a phone that can surf the web or even update your status.  It’s the Smart Phone camera that has evolved and become a legitimate force in capturing real life photos.  Not only that it has the advantage over the camera in that it does not need to be connected to a computer to download the pics.

All you need to do is focus, snap, save and upload the latest photo to your FaceBook or Twitter account.  If your’e only a little techno-savvy you’ve got a web shortcut already set up on your phone that always has you logged in! 

Then again why limit yourself… snap you and your friends in the car, beside the car and on top of the car.  Capture your lunch or your dessert or your fancy drink in a series of still shots!  Oh and I don’t have to tell you to photograph your child (or grand -child!), do I? I think I have seen more baby pictures in one week on FB than I have in my previous 25+ years of having children.  Good thing I like kids!

The self-portrait has skyrocketed to new heights.  Arms length photography took a major leap with the reverse lens being added.  Now all your FB buddies can see themselves in the view screen BEFORE snapping the shot.  A vast improvement… since then profile pic morphing occurs on an noticeably accelerated pace.

 And who knew we needed a super mobile phone photo app like Instagram. Boom! This app allows you to save, edit and apply filters to your mobile device photos before uploading! This is so awesome, folks, Facebook is buying it!  For $1 billion!

But it gets better.  Even before Facebook closes the deal on their Instagram purchase they released their own app called Facebook Camera (for iOS but soon for Android) that allows FB-ers to edit and filter their photos before upload.  And if you can’t decide which photo to upload FB Camera lets you upload a bunch at a time! The upload revolution kicks into a higher gear!

http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/24/facebook-camera/

So FB will offer both apps in competition with each other! Effectively saying, we don’t care how you upload your photos, just upload. Upload often, upload much! 

So I say they ought to rename the site “FaceBucket” in honor of the steady stream of pics I see uploaded each day, having steadily increased over the last 18-24 months.  Not just individually but in FB multi-packs!  And if that isn’t enough grab your iPad and start snapping away.  The most recent iteration was almost all about the camera and screen resolution (so you can ooh and ahh over the photos you upload with even greater eagle-eye clarity!)

Don’t get me wrong, I think this is amazing.  My gripe is that I’m so rotten at taking photos these days.  Can’t even take zoom lens graduation pictures correctly with a hi-tech digital camera.  And forget me and my smart phone… somehow I get nothing but grainy pictures from my Stratosphere.  But I love to see photos quickly and easily on FB these days especially if they are ones of my son Daniel and his beautiful lady Lariah getting married.  Hey, I’m even in a few of them! 

So thanks for uploading.  FaceBucket, I mean Facebook thanks you too!

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Diamond Jubilee 2: Long Live The Queen!?!

“Her majesty’s a pretty nice girl… I’d like to tell her that I love her alot but…”          (pre-Sir Paul)

Long Live the Queen?  Well of course!  We wish the old girl the best health that money can buy and the providential good fortune that only God can provide.  We, Americans, are good-natured souls, aren’t we?  Of course… Long Live the Queen!

The monarchy is the feel good story of the UK right now. 60 years of queenly reign from Elizabeth, an opulent celebration called the Diamond Jubilee which followed the highly successful Royal Wedding. Who doesn’t love the commoner Catherine become princess!  She’s beautiful, intelligent, charming and a PR gold mine.  Britain is in a swoon over the monarchy.  And it won’t be revving down anytime soon. Just wait for the next helping of Royal Love with the Summer Olympics in July to show itself brightly!  Presently a whopping 80%+ of her subjects favor the monarchy and its continuation.

But here in the States there are different sentiments.  Most could care less, I think.  One co-worker I talked to said it was “silly”, another chortled “mighty fine tourist attraction!”.  It’s a “waste” another said, “they’re just grasping at nostalgia”.  Others seemed disinterested when asked their opinion.  If someone mentions that taxes go to funding the royals you’ll get a little rise in emotion around the room.  One snorted, “You gotta be kiddin’ me. Isn’t it about time they got rid of the whole thing… geez, it is the 21st century, isn’t it!?!”

And so the comments go… though women are a little more sympathetic.  Well, duh! The jolly good reigning monarch is a woman no less! To be fair, women seem to like the whole bunch (well maybe not as fond of Camilla!).  And much more than that they simply “loved” the wedding!  My wife woke up very, very early to enthusiastically join the masses around the world to bask in the televised real-life fairy-tale  ceremony’s glow last year. 

And now we have the Diamond Jubilee! She loved the musical offerings of this celebration, tuning in to the performances of Stevie Wonder and Sir Paul and others.  We both thought it was wildly exciting to see thousands upon thousands of Brits frantically waving their hand-held Union Jacks like so many red, white and blue hummingbird wings!  Interestingly disestablishmentarian types such as Elton John and Paul (belly full of wine…) McCartney who in earlier days would have feigned disinterest or showed outright disapproval have changed their tunes.  I guess being knighted is just too cool to pass up!

I talked to one of my Brit friends the other day and he understood the difficulty of explaining the popularity and support of a monarchy.  Rulers based on nothing more than lineage, on blood line as if that was magical is kind of hard to swallow for the “Don’t Tread on Me” American.  My friend sees a link to the heritage of Arthur and Camelot, the Magna Carta and William the Conqueror.  We see “No Taxation Without Representation” and colonial rebellion flows through our veins.  It doesn’t matter if the UK monarchs have but a shadow of the kingly power of by-gone eras and that what they do have is surely not enough to be even mildly despotic. Nevertheless the American Revolutionary in us cries “I must be totally free!  Give me Liberty or Give me Death!”

Though I secretly enjoyed this stuff more than I admit (at least until you ask me to donate to the Monarchy Establishment Fund!) the truth is that the contrast between the Brit and the American is never more polarized and clear than when we see the monarchy lifted up into the limelight.  Paying to have a king? You kidding? We have no need of a king here, dear friends, never did and never will!  We celebrate Thanksgiving, thank you very much! Our hearts have been touched in different ways.  We have no history of monarchy, theirs is rooted in it. This makes for some interesting dynamics with our individual responses to the true King of Kings.  Brit vs Yank… any difference? I definitely want to look at that in my next “Diamond Jubilee” post.

So until then… “Long Live the Queen!” we ex-colonists say… as long as she’s yours and not ours! 

(Part 3 to come… The King He Reigns)

Diamond Jubilee 1: The Magic in Monarchy

Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl…”     (Sir Paul)

Tuesday marked the end of the four-day rousing hoopla known as the Diamond Jubilee. This auspicious event was in honor of Queen Elizabeth, celebrating her 60 year reign.  London streets were filled with partying and revelry. “Long live the Queen!” 

Paul McCartney was there (rather Sir Paul, excuse me!) and Sir Elton John and other celebrities and of course a host of dignitaries.  Piers Morgan of CNN was especially ebullient over this celebration and boasted how the monarchy had grown in favor with himself and with a myriad of other commoners over the past few years.  The Royal Wedding of Prince William & Catherine Middleton on April 29, 2011 at Westminster Abbey was a definite hit with its Cinderella-like magical ceremony and was quite a catalyst in raising the approval ratings.

For me all of this was fascinating.   Anything significant that goes on in the UK always catches my eye. Being born there (yes, yesterday was my birthday!), in London in fact, demarcates the country as a special place in my heart, it’s my point of origin.  You see, I’m an immigrant who came over with his Polish mum and dad from England when I was 2 1/2 years old.  So if there is a celebration in Londontown you have my attention, I am automatically enthralled.

Kings and queens, barons and dukes, lords and ladies… Britannia has them all.  The love of royalty has survived into modern culture.  Rock stars such as McCartney and Elton John get knighted.  Pomp and ceremony put on display at the Royal Wedding and gazillions watch glued to tv’s. We dress our daughters as princesses from an early age and feed our children healthy doses of Disney DVD’s. 

Brits still take personal pride in their royalty and strike up the cheers when the trumpets sound and the queen appears with her entourage with Prince William and Princess Catherine smiling regally. What is our fascination with this pageantry, with royalty, with monarchy? What is it about banners, castles, knights and kingdoms and silver and gold, velvets and jewels and crowns on parade that stir our hearts?   Is there some kind of magic in monarchy that captures our imaginations? Is that what thrills our souls?

There are, I’m sure, many good theories. But not having time to research them all I have to say that I think we are fascinated because we equate kings and queens and the like with happy endings and generally good things.  And good kings are really good things. And good kings (and queens and the like) usually win.  I think of Lord of the Rings and Narnia.  And I think we also like to project ourselves as kings and queens.  Fairy-tale monarchs without a care in the world!  Hopefully we would wield the power, riches and rulership well enough. Better to rule over than to be ruled methinks!  We even might be quite good at it.

Then again maybe some of us would be just as happy to be sons and daughters of a benevolent monarch. We’d be princes and princesses… happy-ever-aftering!  Though I think there is more to this than meets the eye… (more to come… stay tuned for Part 2)

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