Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Amazing New App That Lets Us Help The Blind

Technological advances have come a long way to help those who are visually impaired. Those devices are used only by the individual, which is great.

The Be My Eyes app won two awards for technology in 2018 and they need our help.

Say this individual goes to the store and the items have been moved or a new item has been introduced. He or she is unsure which to buy.

This new app lets them connect with a volunteer at a moment's notice. They turn their phone screen to the store products and ask their question. Perhaps they might say, "Which one is ... brand." 

The price is great. The app is free.

My daughter has signed up for this app. She is excited to have her first opportunity to help someone.

Here is the link for the explanation of the app. The link will direct you to FB:  Be My Eyes - Helping the Blind 


You can go to the app store and find the app on your own.

What I like about this idea is it gives me the opportunity to help someone in a very practical way. If I am available, I answer my phone. I listen to the question and do my best to help. That simple.

I should mention that over a million have signed up to volunteer which shows it success already. Does this mean you aren't needed? No. That one minute when someone needs help they might call you.

So, what do you think? 

This post has been brought to you by the one-word: HelpingTheVisuallyImpaired

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

SummerTime Beach Book Ideas

Pacific Ocean
Photo by Mary Vee

One of the favorite summer pass times for readers is finding and reading the perfect book on a beach. 

Sitting under a sun umbrella with a coating of sun tan lotion, readers turn pages to the beat of waves rippling on the shore. What could be more peaceful?

There are so many stories available, how can we choose?

Here is a fantastic resource:

The Grace Awards website features noteable books throughout the year. 

This week, board members for the site are hosting a Fiction Spotlight called Summer Book Bash 2019. They selected twelve books designed specifically for readers such as you. Any of these stories are perfect for taking to your favorite relaxation place. 

Photos of the books, links, and blurbs tell why these books are the perfect choice for a beach towel on the sand read. Best news of all: the featured books are on sale, most at only $0.99! 

I saw most genres represented in the list. 

I'm leaning toward the mystery ones: A Dangerous Deception, Roadkill, or Courting Danger to start. Let's see. If I read one book a week and there are twelve books. I think I could read them all before Autumn.

Please note, some of the books are on sale this week only while the others remain on sale for the summer. So you might want to go ahead and get your copy, make a TBR (to be read) pile, then choose a book to read first.

This link will open in a separate window. SO after you look at the list write in the comment section below which book captured your interest. 

And...if you have read any of these books, let us know!!

This post has been brought to you by the one-word: HappySummerReading

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Coffee Shop Lure

Lindt Coffee Shop
Paris, Photo by Mary Vee

Writers learn early on the importance of writing about what you know.

This doesn't necessarily mean we are experts in the topic we include. But we have dabbled in or research a plethora of resources which enable us to seamlessly take a reader to the location, or communicate the experience.

Today, my main character sits in a coffee shop located on a narrow, windy Paris street a few days before Christmas. 

During the late spring, summer, and fall seasons, tables and chairs clutter the sidewalk outside this shop. It's considered prime seating. Ambiance worth every penny because in the distance, the tip of the Eiffel reaches above the buildings.

Not on this day, though. 

Inside the coffee shop, locals take chairs from other tables and huddle together. They reach past their knees for their cup of latte, take a slug, and put the cup back. The topic of conversation is undefined, much like oil and water, swirling from one issue to another.

At other tables, couples sip their beverage and look at the newspaper oblivious to the boisterous conversation only a few feet away.   

But, my main character sits alone at a table near the shop's glass window front. He drinks his coffee and watches for her. 

The missing woman he'd been hired to find. 

He has no proof she is even here other than a few interviews that gave him pause to think it.

He drinks his coffee and watches. And waits.

The patience of a hired detective.

My character is not sipping the delicious coffee I experienced in the Lindt coffee shop. I was given a chocolate spoon to stir my coffee. And it was DELICIOUS!

What is your favorite coffee concoction? 

This post has been brought to you by the one-word: CoffeeShopInParis

Friday, June 21, 2019

Exciting New Reading Invention Releases This Year

Photo by Mary Vee
Due to modern technology, blind students are using Braille less. Audible advances enable these individuals to hear stories and informative text easily. 

Educators are finding that these students have become deficient in spelling, composition, and are limited to only that which is produced audibly. 

Here is some amazing facts about Braille.

The inventor of Braille, a fifteen-year-old boy names Louis Braille, took his idea from a night code communication used by the French military. The code enabled leaders in combat to read messages at night without a light. 

At age three, Braille suffered an accident when playing with an awl in his father's workspace. The incident blinded him in one eye that became infected and spread to his other eye, leaving him totally blind.

Louis Braille's was smart. He earned scholarships to attend the Royal Institute for the blind.   In those days blind students read by moving their fingertips across raised letters, a tedious method.

Using an awl, Braille created raised dots in patterns. Overtime the series of dots opened the world of language, music, and math for the blind. The code has been universally adapted for all languages.  Click here to watch a short, amazing video on this topic: BBC Braille

In recent years, young blind people have preferred to listen to audio, turning away from reading with their fingertips. Educators noticed deficient scores in areas of composition and especially spelling. 

Rising to the challenge, a new Braille eReader will reach markets this year. It enables students to read faster, has more information in a smaller space, and is exciting students to once again read. Here is another amazing video with this latest update presented by BBC Braille Technology  

This post has been brought to you by the one-word: Read

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

This Year's Royal Academy Winners Invented A Means To HEAR Sign Language

Photo Courtesy: pixabay.com
Have you heard the latest about a phenomenal prototype on its way to the market? Gloves for the deaf to communicate with the listening population. The gloves have sensors that translate hand and finger signs into audible language!

I have friends and acquaintances who can sign with the deaf. I also have deaf friends who can read lips. These individuals can understand me, but I am not able to understand them because I cannot sign. 

The June 9, 2019 news reporting Roy Allela's award-winning gloves that enable the deaf to audibly communicate with the hearing is spreading across cyberspace. The invention won him the grand prize for the Hardware Trailblazer award at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and second runner-up award at the Royal Academy of Engineering Leaders of Innovation Fellowship in London.

What gave Allela the idea? He has a niece who was born deaf. The niece learned sign language, however, the family has not. Allela realized the communication barrier that might hamper children with hearing loss in schools. His goal is to mass produce the gloves for use in not only African schools, but also schools around the world.

Here is the link to read more about Allela and see his amazing invention: blackenterprise.com

In 2016, two young University Students collaborated on making sign-language gloves. The one had suffered a seizure when an infant rendering him unable to speak. Although he could hear, he used sign language as a means to communicate. The two worked together to create sensory gloves that translate signs to text and audible sounds. The project won them the Lemelson-MIT first place prize. Their gloves are also in the prototype phase. You can read more about these young astronautic engineers at: washington.edu

I think the idea is amazing! A way for those who do not know sign language to communicate with their non-hearing family and friends. 


This post has been brought to you by the one word-CommunicatingWithFriends

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Green Heroes Envious of Newest Superhero Spotted by the National Weather Service

A 1930's radio program started the Green Super Hero craze in 1930. 

The Green Hornet matched wits with the underworld, ridding the world of criminals and racketeers. A 2011 movie made by Universal Studios updated the story with ridding the world of meth labs.

In 1940 DC Comics created the Green Lantern. He wears a ring that gives him the power to create anything. His power is limited by the ring which must be charged by a green lantern. The power originates from another world where fellow superheroes meet up to fight the ultimate villains. A remake was made in 2011.

In 1941 Marvel Comics created the Green Arrow. The answer to Batman. The Green Arrow's power is martial arts and archery. Netflix has made a TV series called The Green Arrow that is currently running.

Photo credit: AP as shown on the NPR website
See link below
But none of these superheroes can hold a candle to the Green Blob, sighted by the National Weather Service this week on June 4, 2019. CLICK HERE for Article and Videos

This IS NOT, I repeat, not an area 51 sighting.

The Green Blob was measured at 80 miles by 80 miles and flying over the San Bernando Valley in Southern California according to Newsweek. CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE . The National Weather Service states this is not the first time the Green Blob has been sighted. 

The blob masked its appearance to a mass likened to a light rainstorm and flew ten miles above the earth's surface.

A meteorologist contacted a local weather watcher and asked him what he saw.

"Ladybugs," the local reported. A massive swarm of ladybugs that is called a "bloom".

Now that is amazing. An All Natural Green Superhero.

This post has been brought to you by the one word: AllNaturalGreenSuperhero 

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Facebook Thread About Crazy Diets

Photo Courtesy: Pixabay.com

This week a thread on Facebook received a lot of attention. The comment section basically drove it viral. The issue was eating disorders of a strange kind.

Some parents have taken the goals for good eating and exercise for children as outlined by Michelle Obama a few years ago to the extreme by placing children on adult level diets. Restricting the daily caloric intake for a child to 600 in one case. 

Another individual's comment stated a focus on their weight led to missing indicators for a terminal disease.

When convincing information is presented, it is natural to swing the pendulum. Being overweight is not healthy. We want our family and ourselves to be healthy.

However, not all diets are for all people.

A child grows in spurts. At times the child may appear overweight. One month later, a growth spurt will show the child's body prepared for the event. Growth does not happen on a schedule. It sure would be nice if it did, though, right?

As for adults, before engaging in a drastic diet, check with your doctor first. Perhaps the added weight is a physical problem that needs to be addressed. The thyroid can throw us off and that isn't the only culprit.

Be careful. 

Your health helps produce quality of life.

And you are important.

This post has been brought to you by the one word: WisdomAndModeration