We will be having a Technology Auction and Fund Raiser coming up on Saturday, September 27 at 3:00 PM eastern time, in the Town Square room.
Please feel free to let us know of any items you would like to donate.
Perhaps, you have updated your adaptive technology and have a talking dictionary lying around collecting dust, or what about some software, keyboards, microphones, notetakers, cellphones, headphones, hard drives, mp3 players, digital recorders, iPhones, Victor Streams, and even computers, that you have meant to sell, but just have not found a buyer?
We've got the perfect solution for you! Donate your technology items, whether new or gently used, to us, so that we may auction them off and raise money for our site. All proceeds go toward our annual fees to maintain the site for your continued enjoyment and fellowship. Most of the donations tend to be accessible electronic items, however we are not going to limit it to just this. So if you have any homemade craft items, delectable desserts, or anything non electronic we would appreciate the donation of those items as well. We ask when you donate please let us know the physical condition as well as the working order of your donation. We also ask anyone who is donating to pay for the shipping of that particular item to the winner of that bid, if possible.If you wish to donate an item to this fund raiser, please, contact us at:
Please include the name of your item, how old the item is, model number, a brief description, any problems with the item, and any other pertinent information about the item which would be beneficial for the new user to know.
It's due to the generosity of members like yourself that we enjoy the activities, games and events here on Out-Of-Sight. Whether you donate or not to our auction, everyone is welcome for an afternoon of friendship and fun! We thank you in advance for your generous donation! See you on September 27th!
We have been tossing around the idea lately of having another Out-Of-Sight Gathering, and would like to know your thoughts about it. It would be great for us to meet each other and share fun and laughter for a few days, and get to know each other a little better. What do ya say? Sound like a good idea? Please fill out the below survey, and let us know your thoughts.Click here to take the Out-Of-Sight Gathering Survey
This summer, I experience a day that I will never forget.
While in Louisville, Kentucky visiting my granddaughter, my daughter and I planned a day to tour the American Printing House for the Blind.
Founded in 1858, the APH is the world’s largest company devoted solely to researching, developing, and manufacturing products for people who are blind and visually impaired. There are almost three hundred employees who work there.
The APH offers self-guided tours of the museum which houses the history of the visually impaired. There were numerous exhibits that have been involved in the improvement for the visually impaired to learn to live productively in the sited world. This part was neat as most exhibits were available for me to see with my hands.
The APH also offers a tour of the publishing department where audiobook recordings, printing materials, and many offices and rooms show dedicated workers actually on the job. This was such a neat experience because it gave us a chance to understand how many actual processes it takes to publish or record just one piece of printed material. It is quite a long and labored process.
On the tour of the publishing department audio section, Ray Pouche recording. readers like Ray Pouche. They read two hours a day on one side of a glass facing an editor. The editor is listening and watching the text, so that even if a reader swallows, he or she must reread that section. Some of the readers are radio broadcasters as well. It takes twenty-four days to completely finish recording an average twelve hour book.
We were pleasantly surprised to have the opportunity to meet Mr. Jack Fox, one of the most popular readers. While visiting with him, we discovered that another famous reader, who most think is his spouse is actually his daughter, Jill Fox. Mr. Fox was friendly and thanked us for taking the time to stop by and show our appreciation of his talent. Before leaving, he shared that his granddaughter is currently in voice training and will hopefully carry on the family tradition.
Mr. Fox was in the middle of recording when we stopped by, but he nor his editor were bothered by our intrusion of their work. He and I had our picture made together and shook hands. This is a day I will never forget.
Although a gifted math student throughout high school and college, Abraham Nemeth received only discouragement when he tried to major in the field in college. As we reported on the occasion of his death—at age 94—in October 2013, Nemeth, who was born blind, overcame resistance and eventually earned his Ph.D. in math. He went on to become a tenured full professor in math, start a program in computer science, and devise a manual code for recording mathematical notation that has permitted countless visually impaired people to succeed in math and other fields where mathematical notation is required.
Eight decades after Nemeth’s college days, the University World News reports that Argyris Koumtzis, a top student and winner of math and physics prizes who is blind, was at first denied admittance into the physics program at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece. But in his case—in an indication that times have changed—things worked out OK.
According to his rejection letter, Koumtzis was rejected because the university decided that he wouldn’t be able to complete the required lab work. When Koumtzis and his supporters protested, university rector Giannis Mylopoulos suggested he pursue a degree in mathematics instead, and then do graduate work in theoretical physics.
When Koumtzis declined this offer, Mylopoulos kept trying. He suggested forming “a committee of university lecturers, which would also include Argyris’ school teacher, to examine needs in terms of infrastructure, materials, academic know-how, special staff etc in order to give Argyris the best possible opportunity to study and complete the course successfully.” The rector asked the national education ministry to pay for the effort, “but already the mayor of a nearby local authority had stated that the council would be happy to contribute towards the expenses,” the article continues.
“Our basic aim, says Mylopoulos, quoted in the article, is that nobody should be excluded from knowledge, study, education or the university. Argyris will study at Aristotle University and we will all help him to complete his studies and realise his dream with the support of the state.
Tired? You may lack ethics, study finds; Level of honesty changes depending on time of day for early risers and night owls.
Do you consider yourself an ethical person? Chances are you answered yes." But new research suggests that our ability to act honestly in a given situation depends, in part, on the time of day.
A study forthcoming in the journal Psychological Science finds that early risers, or "larks," are more likely to act dishonestly in the late evening hours. Night owls, on the other hand, exhibit a tendency toward ethical lapses early in the morning.
Most of us are hard-wired to go to sleep and wake up at certain times of day. Some of us go to bed early to wake up early, while others prefer to stay up late and wake up late. Many of us fall somewhere in between. Researchers refer to this preference for sleep times as our "chronotype.
Chronotype is "largely determined genetically," explains Sunita Sah, one of the authors of the Psychological Science study. But it can change over time. Teenagers and students might find their chronotype shifts as they get older." But it's quite difficult to deliberately reset your body's sleep clock in a short period of time, as any new parent knows.
Sah and her colleagues found that this internal clock also affects our ability to behave ethically at different times of day. To make a long research short - when we're tired, we tend to fudge things and cut corners.
Sah measured this by finding out the chronotypes of 140 people via a standard self-assessment questionnaire, and then asking them to complete a task in which they rolled dice to win raffle tickets - higher rolls, more tickets. Participants were randomly assigned to either early-morning or late-evening sessions. Crucially, the participants self-reported their dice rolls.
You'd expect the dice rolls to average out to around 3.5. So the extent to which a group's average exceeds this number is a measure of their collective result-fudging. Morning people tended to report higher die-roll numbers in the evening than the morning, but evening people tended to report higher numbers in the morning than the evening," Sah and her co-authors wrote.
These results "cast doubt on the stereotype that evening people are somehow dissolute, the authors conclude - early risers are just as likely to cheat when taken out of their temporal comfort zone.
These findings have pretty big implications for the workplace. For one, they suggest that the 9-to-5 schedule is practically an invitation to ethical lapses. Schedule your most challenging tasks for the times of day when you know you'll be most alert. Alternatively, if you're feeling Machiavellian, you could put off your difficult tasks until you're tired and exhausted, knowing that you'll fudge your way through them with ease.
One of the important points the study really reflects is that good people can make unethical decisions," Sah says. Christopher Ingraham The Washington Post
In a time when workers’ rights are taken for granted and even workers’ benefits have come to be expected, it’s no wonder that the origins of Labour Day are confined to the history books. What evolved into just another summer holiday began as a working class struggle and massive demonstration of solidarity in the streets of Toronto.
Canada was changing rapidly during the second half of the 19th century. Immigration was increasing, cities were getting crowded, and industrialization was drastically altering the country’s economy and workforce.
As machines began to replace or automate many work processes, employees found they no longer had special skills to offer employers. Workers could easily be replaced if they complained or dissented and so were often unable to speak out against low wages, long work weeks and deplorable working conditions.
This is the context and setting for what is generally considered Canada’s first Labour Day event in 1872.
At the time, unions were illegal in Canada, which was still operating under an archaic British law already abolished in England. For over three years the Toronto Printers Union had been lobbying its employers for a shorter work week. Inspired by workers in Hamilton who had begun the movement for a nine-hour work day, the Toronto printers threatened to strike if their demands weren’t met. After repeatedly being ignored by their employers, the workers took bold action and on March 25, 1872, they went on strike.
Toronto’s publishing industry was paralyzed and the printers soon had the support of other workers. On April 14, a group of 2,000 workers marched through the streets in a show of solidarity. They picked up even more supporters along the way and by the time they reached their destination of Queen’s Park, their parade had 10,000 participants - one tenth of the city’s population.
The employers were forced to take notice. Led by George Brown, founder of the Toronto Globe and notable Liberal, the publishers retaliated. Brown brought in workers from nearby towns to replace the printers. He even took legal action to quell the strike and had the strike leaders charged and arrested for criminal conspiracy. Conservative Prime Minister John A. Macdonald was watching the events unfold and quickly saw the political benefit of siding with the workers. Macdonald spoke out against Brown’s actions at a public demonstration at City Hall, gaining the support of the workers and embarrassing his Liberal rival. Macdonald passed the Trade Union Act, which repealed the outdated British law and decriminalized unions. The strike leaders were released from jail.
The workers still did not obtain their immediate goals of a shorter work week. In fact, many still lost their job. They did, however, discover how to regain the power they lost in the industrialized economy. Their strike proved that workers could gain the attention of their employers, the public, and most importantly, their political leaders if they worked together. The “Nine-Hour Movement,” as it became known, spread to other Canadian cities and a shorter work week became the primary demand of union workers in the years following the Toronto strike.
The parade that was held in support of the strikers carried over into an annual celebration of worker’s rights and was adopted in cities throughout Canada. The parades demonstrated solidarity, with different unions identified by the colorful banners they carried. In 1894, under mounting pressure from the working class, Prime Minister Sir John Thompson declared Labour Day a national holiday.
Over time, Labour Day strayed from its origins and evolved into a popular celebration enjoyed by the masses. It became viewed as the last celebration of summer, a time for picnics, barbecues and shopping.
No matter where you find yourself this Labour Day, take a minute to think about Canada’s labour pioneers. Their actions laid the foundations for future labour movements and helped workers secure the rights and benefits enjoyed today.
Who is the Murphy who made Murphy's Law?
For those not familiar, Murphy's Law states: Anything that can go wrong will. Early Origins Pessimists have existed long before the Murphy whose name today graces this fundamental law.
One of the earliest instances of this law being stated explicitly happened in 1877 where Alfred Holt is believed to have said in an address to the Institution of Civil Engineers: It is found that anything that can go wrong at sea generally does go wrong sooner or later. By 1908, it had become a well-loved maxim among magicians as well, as explained by Nevil Maskelyne in The Magic Circular: It is an experience common to all men to find that, on any special occasion . . . everything that can go wrong will go wrong.
And reiterated by Adam Hull Shirk in The Sphinx in 1928: It is an established fact that in nine cases out of ten whatever can go wrong in a magical performance will do so. Later, in 1941 the great pessimist and antiauthoritarian George Orwell wrote in his diaries: Iraq, Syria, Morocco, Spain, Darlan, Stalin, Raschid Ali, Franco . . . . If there is a wrong thing to do, it will be done, infallibly. One has come to believe in that as if it were a law of nature.
The Eponymous Murphy In 1949, scientists and engineers at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert in California: Were performing tests to figure out how many Gs (the force of gravity) human beings could survive. A rocket sled called the Gee Whiz would travel over 200 miles per hour . . . and stop suddenly to simulate a plan crash for its test passenger. With some opining that the human body could only withstand 18Gs, no people were used during the first 35 test runs: At first Gee Whiz was tested with a crash test dummy, known as Oscar Eightball. Eightball would suffer a violent ejection that sent him flying 700 feet . . . . These problems were fixed, however, and then they strapped a chimpanzee in the seat. The original equipment used to measure force was found to be unreliable, so the Air Force called in Captain Edward A. Murphy, Jr., a former pilot and aerospace engineer, to create and oversee the installation of new senors. However, after a trial run with Chim-Chim, the "strain gauges" showed no readings. Upon inspection, Captain Murphy blamed the technicians who installed them, saying: If there's any way they can do it wrong, they will.
Eventually, someone fixed the gauges, and a human volunteer, Colonel John Paul Stapp, participated in several runs, ultimately reaching the force of 46.2Gs, shattering the previously thought limit for humans of 18Gs. According to sources, the combination of the strain gauge test failure and Murphy's gibe was irresistible to the quick-witted research crew. Although some disagree, the majority identify the brave Colonel as the person who named the aphorism after the unlucky Murphy: At a press conference Stapp was holding, when asked how such dangerous testing had never caused a fatality, Stapp commented that he and his team always kept Murphy's Law in mind when working, and planned to prevent mistakes. As a corollary, Stapp had his own aphorism, which stated: The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle.
Murphy's Law Applied: This list of alternative and specialized applications of the fundamental law of pessimism has been blatantly stolen gratefully borrowed from Murphy's Laws: If anything can go wrong it will at the most inopportune time.
The greater the value of the rug, the greater the probability that the cat will throw up on it. If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong (or the one to go wrong first).
The other line always moves faster. The chance of the buttered side of the bread falling face down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.
In any hierarchy, each individual rises to his own level of incompetence, and then remains there. (Also known as the Peter Principle)Anything dropped in the bathroom will fall in the toilet.
Ohio teen's sudden death highlights dangers of caffeine powder; FDA launches investigation into substance and may take regulatory action.
A few weeks before their prom king's death, students at an Ohio high school had attended an assembly on narcotics that warned about the dangers of heroin and prescription painkillers. But it was one of the world's most widely accepted drugs that killed Logan Stiner - a powdered form of caffeine so potent that as little as a single teaspoon can be fatal.
The teen's sudden death in May has focused attention on the unregulated powder and drawn a warning from federal health authorities urging consumers to avoid it. I don't think any of us really knew that this stuff was out there, said Jay Arbaugh, superintendent of the Keystone Local Schools.
The federal Food and Drug Administration said Friday that it is investigating caffeine powder and will consider taking regulatory action. An autopsy found that Stiner had more than 70 micrograms of caffeine per millilitre of blood in his system, as much as 23 times the amount found in a typical coffee or soda drinker, according to the county coroner.
Caffeine powder is sold as a dietary supplement, so it's not subject to the same federal regulations as certain caffeinated foods. Users add it to drinks for a pick-me-up before workouts or to control weight gain. A minuscule amount packs a punch.
A mere 1/16th of a teaspoon can contain about 200 milligrams of caffeine, roughly the equivalent of two large cups of coffee. The powder is almost impossible to measure with common kitchen tools, the FDA said. The difference between a safe amount and a lethal dose of caffeine in these powdered products is very small," FDA spokeswoman Jennifer Dooren said. A full teaspoon of caffeine powder could contain 3,200 milligrams of caffeine.
In that concentrated amount, a person can experience adverse effects in a matter of minutes, said Dr. Bob Hoffman, a New York University medical toxicologist. The brain becomes alert, then agitated and confused. The heartbeat picks up and can become dangerously irregular. A person can suffer nausea, vomiting and potentially a seizure.
To be honest, we already thought shoes were pretty smart. They protect your feet from the elements, they keep you from stepping on sharp and disturbingly squishy things and they help you get where you need to go. But technology never settles, guys. Now shoes are getting even smarter.
An Indian company called Ducere Technologies has created sneakers and insoles called Lechal that pair with an app and Google Maps to help you get from place to place. The shoe and insole are both connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth. You input a destination on the app and then as you walk around, your left or right shoe vibrates to show you which way to turn.
You can either wear the sneakers, which come in red or black, or put the insoles in shoes you already have. The shoes and insoles were originally designed to help blind people navigate, in conjunction with a cane. As the company began to develop the shoes, it became clear that they could also have other uses. For every pair of footwear sold, Ducere will subsidize another pair for someone who is visually impaired.
The shoes don't just tell you where to go. They also serve as a pedometer and a calorie tracker.
Shoes are a natural extension of the human body, the company's co-founder and CEO, Krispian Lawrence, told the Wall Street Journal. You would never forget to wear shoes, the way you might forget your phone or wallet at home, he says.
The shoes and insoles will be available in September for around $100. They're compatible with iPhones, Android and Windows phones. You can sign up to pre-order them now.
Yes, it's sort of expensive -- but cheaper than a pair of Air Jordans. Yes, it seems sort of ridiculous. Yes, you can just look at your phone to tell you where you're going. But walking down the street while looking at your phone is a real issue: When you aren't paying attention, you can be a danger to yourself and others. Need we remind you of the woman who fell into a fountain while walking and texting? Technology is meant to solve problems. Sometimes they're big problems, and sometimes they're small ones.
Purple Communications, Inc. today announced the availability of the SmartVP 2.0 videophone specifically designed for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. The next generation of SmartVP features upgraded hardware and software, supported by new and powerful video platform to provide a seamless communication experience.
Initially launched in 2013, SmartVP is an Android-based HD videophone that connects to a television, allowing deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals to communicate with each other and with people who don’t know sign language through the use of Video Relay Service (VRS).
VRS connects a deaf individual to an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter who then vocalizes the conversation to the other party. Similarly, the interpreter relays what the hearing person says and conveys that to the deaf individual through ASL.
“Thousands in the deaf community are using SmartVP every day to connect with their friends, family and the hearing world — we intended this to be a life-changing product and now we’ve taken the next step to provide users with the best possible VRS experience,” said Purple Communications CEO John Ferron. We have worked incredibly hard to improve not just the hardware and software, but also our network infrastructure to make the SmartVP 2.0 experience better than ever.
Indiana deaf consumer Ronelle Johnson was one of the first people to receive a SmartVP in the area. I have had SmartVP for a year now, and it has really made my life easier by giving me equal access to communication. I love the features and apps that SmartVP offers, and the HD video clarity is like having an interpreter right in my own living room!
The SmartVP 2.0?s hardware upgrades along with the latest software update (version 1.2) ensure users can enjoy higher quality video and a more reliable connection on the most feature-rich device on the market. Current SmartVP users can also take advantage of the 1.2 software update through an over-the-air (OTA) update.New features in the SmartVP 1.2 software update include:
SmartVP 2.0 is an important next step in the evolution of VRS, continuing Purple’s track record of innovative firsts for the deaf community, said Purple Chief Technology Officer Tony La Rosa. At Purple, we’re committed to ensuring the deaf community has access to similar advancements in communication technology as the hearing world, and SmartVP 2.0 reflects this. We’re continually working to improve SmartVP and look forward to integrating even more features and functions that will unlock the device’s full potential.
Additional SmartVP 2.0 features include two 360-degree bright notification flashers, the market’s most powerful remote and support for voice carryover (VCO) service, which give users the ability to use their own voice during a call. Other SmartVP 2.0 applications include YouTube for select ASL channels, a weather app and CaptionFish for finding nearby captioned movies and show times.The SmartVP 2.0 and VRS are free of charge to qualified individuals, as are Purple’s P3 software and mobile applications for PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. For more information, visit
In last month's issue, I asked you to weigh in on a very current troubling situation unfolding in eastern Europe. To re-cap, here is the question, followed by your votes and comments. Then, continue reading to get this month's survey question.Question:
Being able to swim is an important recreational and safety skill to have. There are many challenges to learning how to swim. Do you have, at the very least, basic swimming skills? Please vote Yes, or, No by visiting the following URL:Click Here To Take The September Survey
I'm planning a major project in our backyard to put in a patio. My wife suggested that I contact you with any tips you may have on its design. So, please get back to me with any ideas you'd like me to include. Many thanks.Sincerely,
You came to the right person for design advice. You're not the first one to seek my guidance on construction and design. First, you aren't doing the work. You'll need to hire a professional to do the job because you'll simply do the work half assed and only partially finish it. All you so-called, Jack of all trades, master of none, never can actually finish off a project, it will just linger on uncomplete for many seasons. Second, make sure the patio is large to accommodate all my girlfriends. We need lots of room to gather around to enjoy a glass of wine and to nibble on some shrimp. Oh, and most of all, don't forget to make sure you hang up the large flashing sign that reads, "No Men Allowed". You can cacoon in your man cave because your wife, myself, and our girlfriends will claim the patio for us. So, chop, chop, get moving and hire someone right away so that we can enjoy the remaining summer and fall. Cheers!Insincerely,
Whenever I text my husband to do some errands, he comes home and makes like he never saw the messages. He plays dumb and says that he was too busy and simply didn't get the text until he gets home and reads them. That's baloney! How can I get him to read the messages and actually do the errands?Sincerely,
Well, you know what they say about "payback", don't you? Now, it's time to put it in action. So, when hubby wants to know which tie matches his clothes, or, he can't remember where he put his wallet, or, he needs a certain shirt ironed, or, he wonders why dinner isn't on the table when he gets home, you can simply ask him to send you a text to remind you. Then, you just forget about it. Yep, just like he just didn't have time, or he didn't get to his phone to read your texts ... that's what they call classic payback. Then, maybe he'll get the hint.Insincerely,