Wednesday, March 08, 2023

This and That


by Sybil Johnson

I missed my last post because I was in the Seattle area. Not much of an excuse, I know. I couldn’t think of anything to talk about before I left... Weather there was actually quite nice, much better than the storm that passed through Southern California while I was gone. I was quite happy to be out of town and even happier when I got home and found the house still in one piece. Our neighbors told us we had so much hail it looked like a snow on the ground. I’ve seen hail before at the beach in the last couple years, but not that much. There was wild weather with snow in places where there shouldn’t be any and way too much snow in places that usually get it. People in the San Bernardino Mountains east of us are still digging out from all the snow. Roads are closed so people can’t get supplies or medicine. Some can’t get home. Relief efforts are proceeding. I hope things get back to normal for them soon.

Today I shall talk about a number of random topics that I’ve found of interest lately.

Let’s start with ChatGPT. I found the posts on the topic by my fellow TypeMers very interesting. I haven’t looked into it much so appreciated what everyone had found out. This seems to be the hot topic these days. It was even the answer to a question on Jeopardy! the other day. Things have certainly changed since I studied Computer Science eons ago. AI was in its infancy. I was always fascinated by natural language processing, but never studied it in detail. I certainly didn’t expect something like ChatGPT would come along. There’s a free AI/Media Advocacy Summit this Friday, March 10 starting at 11 am ET. You can find out more about it and register for it here:

Time zone for the moon. Apparently, the European Space Agency is pushing for the moon to have its own time zone. At first, this seemed very odd to me. I had questions like will there be daylight savings time up there? Why does the moon need its own time zone? After I read this article, it made more sense to me. Right now a moon mission operates on the time of the country who sponsors it. With lots of missions scheduled from different countries coming up in the next few years, there seems to be the need for all of those missions to operate on the same time. Other tidbits I learned: the International Space Station runs on UTC and clocks on the moon run faster than those on earth.

Dentists with therapy dogs. Did you know that there are dentists who have therapy dogs in the office? People can request their services while getting work done. It lessons anxiety for some people. I looked to see if there were dentists who have therapy cats since I’m more of a cat person. Alas, and not unexpectedly, I could find none.

Jaywalking in California. As of January of this year, jaywalkers no longer have to worry about getting a ticket unless there’s “an immediate chance of a collision.” This is known as The Freedom To Walk Act.

Life At Sea Cruise. There’s now a cruise where you can live at sea for 3 years. The itinerary consists of 375 ports in 135 countries. It will hit all 7 continents. There’s an on-board business center so you can get work done, if you want. Price starts at around $30,000 per year for an inside cabin. The most expensive is a suite at $109,000 a year. There’s room for about a 1,000 passengers. There’s a gym and hospital on board. There are people to prepare food for you. They have their own security force and jail if someone commits a crime onboard. (That was one of the FAQs.) You have your own fridge in your room. You could cross a lot of places off your bucket list... It’s scheduled to begin Nov 1 in Istanbul. Sounds pretty interesting to me. No, I’m not going to do it. It does seem like the perfect trip for a writer, though. You could give up your apartment or rent your house out. You can have your mail forwarded to a virtual mailbox. Maybe you could even get someone to pay for it in exchange for daily posts on what's happening on the cruise and/or frequent articles. It's something to think about. You can find out about it and book it here: 

Those are the things I found interesting lately. Let me know if anyone books that cruise!


Thomas Kies said...

I found this very interesting as well. Thank you for posting!!

Anna Chapman said...

Can't afford that enticing cruise, but a therapy cat at the dentist's office is a lovely prompt for a story! Maybe not a murder mystery, but a fun story anyway. (Maybe a therapy cat in the dentist's office on that cruise ship? Ships' cats are an old tradition anyway.) Thanks, Sybil.

Sybil Johnson said...

I think there's a lot of opportunity for stories in these items. I would read about a therapy cat.