Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Finer Thought

Edgar A. Guest

(Someone sent this to me, thought I'd pass it on.)

How fine it is at night to say:
"I have not wronged a soul to-day.
I have not by a word or deed,
In any breast sowed anger's seed,
Or caused a fellow being pain;
Nor is there on my crest a stain
That shame has left. In honour’s way,
With head erect, I've lived this day."
When night slips down and day departs
And rest returns to weary hearts,
How fine it is to close the book
Of records for the day, and look
Once more along the traveled mile
And find that all has been worthwhile;
To say: "In honour I have toiled;
My plume is spotless and unsoiled."

Yet cold and stern a man may be
Retaining his integrity;
And he may pass from day to day
A spirit dead, in living clay,
Observing strictly morals, laws,
Yet serving but a selfish cause;
So it is not enough to say:
"I have not stooped to shame to-day!"

It is a finer, nobler thought
When day is done and night has brought
The contemplative hours and sweet,
And rest to weary hearts and feet,
If man can stand in truth and say:
"I have been useful here to-day.
Back there is one I chanced to see
with hope newborn because of me.

"This day in honour I have toiled;
My shining crest is still unsoiled;
But on the mile I leave behind
Is one who says that I was kind;
And someone hums a cheerful song
Because I chanced to come along."
Sweet rest at night that man shall own
Who has not lived his day alone.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Great American Bird Count!

This weekend (Friday to Monday) is time for the Great American Bird Count! Anyone can participate, all you have to do is go to your back yard or other easy location,and count what birds you see for 15 minutes (or more), and then report your count. This should be a fun family activity that is also useful for scientists! Details, log sheets, information on birds you're likely to see are all located at the official web site.

The Gazette has an article on it, as well.

On another note:

A recent study that I posted on Facebook reports a negative relationship between blogging quantity and Facebook/Twitter use. The study was pretty specific in its scope, but if its results may be generally applied it suggests that as people use social networks more they blog less. In my own case, it is true. If you look at my blog posts by year in the side bar, with one exception, the general trend is decreasing over time.

Why? Well, some things that used to be posted on my blog are now posted on social networking sites instead. For example, sometimes I used to post links to articles that interested me here. Now, Facebook and Twitter seem much more appropriate places to do that, as well as being more expedient places to do, using my twitthat! and Post on Facebook tabs on my browser toolbar. Even my blog itself is posted on Facebook automatically, and what appears on Facebook receives much more response/interaction than on the blog alone because people are more likely to run across it in their FB newsfeeds than they are to come to my blog.

So is the blog dead? Hmmm, not necessarily. Facebook and Twitter work best with things that are short, while blogs can "handle" reflective diatribes better (and graphics and video better in many cases, as well). Plus, its archiving features are much nicer - searchable, organized by date and by topic/tag. If I want to find something I posted in FB or Twitter, it is not so easy, nor do they show up in search engine queries like blog posts do. It is kind of interesting to view the blog as a personal history or personal journal and it keeps evolving over time. I definitely don't post as often as I once did, but I'm not ready to call it dead just yet.

What do you think - what is better blogged and what is better as a tweet or on FB?