~★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥ ~
September, 12, 2012
★~Today’s Quote: Calvin: Sometimes when I’m talking, my words can’t keep up with my thoughts. I wonder why we can think faster than we speak? Hobbes: Probably so we can think twice.
★~ National Video Game Day:
The first commercially available video game was called “Odyssey,” and premiered in 1972. It came complete with two sizes of colored Mylar sheets that stuck to your television screen to represent the playing fields. Needless to say, we’ve come a long way in the last 40 years! Video game sales in the U.S. alone were a whopping $17 billion in 2011 with “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” topping the sales charts. Even though that amount was down 8 percent from 2010, that’s still a lot of bing-bang-boom.
If your not a gamer why not celebrate Video Game day by watching this video of the original video game inventor, Ralph Baer, playing an early version of ping-pong with his associate, Bill Harrison. Click for more video game facts
★~ Programmer’s Day;
The 256th day of each year is celebrated as “Programmer’s Day.” That would normally fall on September 13, but because 2012 is a leap year, this year it falls on September 12. The number 256 is two to the eighth power, and represents the number of distinct values that can be represented with an eight-bit byte. If that confuses you as much as it confuses me, you’re not alone. But to programmers, that’s a very significant number!
The first major computer language — FORTRAN — appeared in 1957. It was short for “Formula Translating System.” Although it is a very limited language by today’s standards, it set the stage for many more complicated languages and served as the skeleton for more complex mathematical coding functions.
The official cheer for Programmer’s Day is “Shift to the left, shift to the right! Pop up, push down, byte, byte, byte!”
★~ Chocolate Milk Shake Day:
Although milkshakes were apart of our childhood, they actually had adult origins. The first milkshakes were a kind of alcoholic eggnog, first appearing in print around 1885. In addition to tasting great, they were said to have also served medicinal purposes.
By 1900 they were enjoyed purely for refreshment, and without the alcohol, but it wasn’t until 1922 that they made their giant leap into widespread popularity. That’s when Ivar “Pop” Coulson — a Walgreens employee — added two scoops of ice cream to a regular malted milk drink. The idea spread like wildfire.
Enjoy a Milk Shake today!
★~ Today in History:
♥~ 1954 – Lassie was seen on CBS-TV for the first time. Despite being called “girl” by Tommy Rettig, who starred as Jeff Miller, and Jan Clayton, who starred as Jeff’s mom, Ellen, Lassie was, in reality, a male dog. In fact, there were more than a half-dozen Lassie dogs doing stunts.
♥~ 1959 – NBC-TV launched Bonanza, the first color western on TV. In all, 428 episodes were produced as the show ran through Jan 16, 1973. Michael Landon played Little Joe, Lorne Greene was Ben Cartwright, and Dan Blocker played Hoss.
♥~ 1966 – The Beatles received a gold record this day for Yellow Submarine.
♥~ 1880 – H.L. (Henry Louis) Mencken newspaper journalist, critic: Baltimore Sun; author: The Smart Set, American Mercury, The American Language; son of cigarmaker, August Mencken; died January 29, 1956
♥~ 1940 – Linda Gray actress: Dallas, Models, Inc., Melrose Place
★~ Did You Know: Video Games: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly:
♥~ They Can Make You a Better Surgeon: I’m betting your kid or favorite gamer has already shared this one with you. The next time you go under the knife, make sure to vet your surgeon’s video game skills first. In 2007, researchers at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City reported that people who played video games for at least three hours a week made better surgeons.
♥~ They Can Marry You; A Japanese man married his virtual love mate, (Nene Anegasaki) who he was dating on the video game Love Plus. He even had a priest there to conduct the ceremony in front of a live audience. SAL9000 had been courting his beloved Nene for a long time; he’d already taken her on vacation to Guam and documented the trip online. Just to ease your mind… the wedding wasn’t legally binding.
♥~ They Can Teach You How to Build an Empire: In 1984, a 24-year-old game designer named Will Wright published his first game, Raid on Bungeling Bay. The goal was for players to pilot a helicopter over a series of islands, blowing up factories and bridges while dodging enemy fire. As people advanced to the next level, the factories were programmed to produce more sophisticated weapons—fighter jets, missiles, battleships. Realizing that the design tool he used to program the factories was a game in itself, Wright started experimenting with the concept. The result was a new game called Micropolis. The game was retitled t SimCity and self-published it in 1989. The game was a hit. Riding on SimCity’s success, Wright became the first superstar of game design. In 2000, he released The Sims, which puts players in control of simulated people. It went on to sell more than 15 million copies, making it the best-selling computer game of all time.
♥~They Can Make You Crazy Rich: Make no mistake; there’s plenty of money to be made playing video games. In the late 1990s, game makers introduced online role-playing games in which thousands, even millions, of online players can vanquish monsters and hunt for treasure while inhabiting virtual worlds. These massively multiplayer online games, or MMOs, encourage players to collect gold coins and other in-game money, and then trade them with other players for more powerful weapons, armor, and equipment.
It sounds innocent, but this virtual market made a quick leap to the real world after users realized that they could sell their make-believe valuables on eBay for a profit. The system, known as gold farming, can be quite lucrative. In 2008, one analyst estimated that gold farming was a billion-dollar industry that employed some 400,000 people worldwide. In China, where 80 to 85 percent of gold farmers reside, companies pay gamers low wages to work 10-hour shifts in sweatshop-like conditions. The firms even have call centers set up to handle international clients, with individual operators fielding as many as 100 calls a day.
The system has vexed video game companies, and they aren’t the only ones irritated by the emerging market. In Asia, gold farming has become so prevalent that governments are stepping in to regulate the practice. Both the Chinese and Japanese governments have enforced laws concerning virtual currencies due to the growing number of scams and fraudulent acts taking place in gold-farming communities.
♥~They Can Ruin Lives: Most people are able to tear themselves away from a video game eventually, no matter how much fun it is. But the trouble starts when the rewards of playing a game begin to outweigh the benefits of real life.
Such was the case in 2005, when a 28-year-old South Korean man named Lee Seung Seop suffered a fatal heart attack after playing online games for nearly 50 hours straight at an Internet cafe in the city of Tengu. Sadly, these types of cases are growing in number. According to surveys conducted in the United States and Asia, an estimated 3 to 30 percent of gamers show signs of video game dependency. Psychologists put the affliction in the same category as pathological gambling.
Interested in knowing more about the Chicago’s Teachers strike (Day 3). In my opinion this columnist sums it up pretty well. Collateral damage.
Last chance to Swap for the Casper camera today. Casper will make a choice and a new trade will be announced.
Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday.